There I was the proud owner of my first motorcycle all paid for, legal in the eyes of the government and in possession of a shiny blue Stadium crash helmet. However as I said before having never ridden a motorbike, absolutely no experience whatsoever.
Dad took me onto a private road and explained the controls. Made sure not only that I understood where they were, but also what they did and why! I'll post the image of the ST70 again below....
The image is from the internet (apologies for any copyright infringement) It is identical to the one I ownedI had only owned the Monkeybike for less than 4 months, during that time we had moved to Kendal we had a large garage...which wasn't used for cars (the camper was to high)....Into my life came the above, a Honda XL250 Motosport. A 4 Stroke single cylinder 4 valve engine, kickstart only It was bought used, again from James Walker's in Kendal. Proper clutch this time of course, 5 gears! and about 4 times more powerful. The choice was influenced by what I was seeing at the events I was spectating at, and it's apparent ability to traverse rough ground.
Surely now there was no distance to great. It was still fairly economical, almost twice as fast, more technologically advanced...and frustratingly unreliable! Not unreliable in a bits dropping off/breaking way...just never knowing if it would start...unpredictable might be a better word.
A classic case...January 1976 and I had been watching an All Wheel Drive Trial above Dubbs Road near Windermere. All went well, I had enjoyed the day...until it was time to go home to Kendal. Would it start, would it buggery! No phone at home in those days...I had been brought up to be as independent as possible...time to start pushing then. Fortunately the first section is more or less downhill, perhaps it would start running it off/bump starting? Nope...flat to Staveley and just beyond on the A591. But then a long uphill (where a Police motorcyclist stopped and said he would give me a tow if I had a rope...I hadn't..great offer though) before a coast down into Kendal. Upon pushing it into the garage at home after about 7 miles it was for sale in my mind. I turned round and thought I'll just give it one last kick over....of course it started....
I took my motorcycle test in Kendal in the January 1976 as well and passed first time...I'd been putting the miles in somewhere in the region of 6000 miles in all weathers in the 5 months or so. The test was no whre near as rigorous as the present one. From memory, a few questions on the Highway Code. Then the tester walked round the block, you rode in the opposite direction hence he saw you a number of times including his "suicide" move as he stepped out in-front of you to carry out the "Emergency Stop"....Brave Man!!
As the old cartoon said "That's all for now folks"
Stay Safe and Take Care