I dropped him of at 9.15am and after a quick chat with the mechanic and with a coffee in hand I explaining Mr. T had cut out a couple of times whilst warm. He knew of the problem, some sensor or something, "nothing major, I'll sort it" and with that he rode Mr. T round to the workshop.
Keith wheeled out my "Pocket Rocket" a brand spanking new R6 which I had asked for when I'd booked Mr. T in the week before. "Oh my G*d!!! What have I done" as I stood over the pocket sized missile.
As soon as I went to pull away and had to tuck my knees under my chin I knew this was going to be fun. Winding on the power the front end went light and with sad realisation I knew I was getting old, very old. By the time I had weaved my way through Accrington town centre traffic, everything started to jell. I'd sussed out how to get my touring boots onto the peg without clipping the gear or rear brake leavers. My wrists had stopped feeling aggrieved at being set at 80 degrees, I'd realised that if I popped my visor up one notch I could see out without the pin lock getting in the way. Plus I needed all the air I could muster. My new Dianese Touring suit was doing its best to strangle me, only after opening the press studs could I actually move my head freely. As for the mirrors, what mirrors? Elbow enlarging viewers, would be a better description. I could not see a single thing behind me.
I was so chuffed to get onto the dual carriageway and wind on a little more power. As the tyres were un-used I took it steady up to 70 mph where the wind just lifted me enough to take the pressure off of my wrists. Moving out to overtake always drew admiring glances. The duel carriageway sweeps into a nice slow left then a huge sweeping right down hill. Bliss if there is nothing else on the road but at 9.45am “White van men” have total control. Dropping from there 90mph cruising speed down to 50 with the front end of their steeds almost dive bombing into the tarmac I just eased off and watched as the first three almost became one. Why is there never any “Boy’s in Blue” around when you need them.
Ow’d Bet’s was a real eye opener, the new 50mph limit was the only thorn in the side but even at that the bends just vanished. The steering is so predictable and precise, drop down two, wind her on and whoosh, next please. I was having a ball but all too soon the first set of lights popped into sight and 30mph was the order of the day. You can tell you’ve gone over the hill as you no longer take speed limit signs as a target to double! (Did I just say that, no never officer?)
Back at home I left the “Pocket Rocket” on the drive ready for a couple of pictures. J spotted it and asked if that was my new “Porn Star”. Truth is I used to ride an R6 as my works bike for a good few months, a black one with red “Porn Star” stickers above the heal guards. The lads working on the house loved the bike and named it accordingly, it stuck!
A nice little "Pocket Rocket" to play with!
Very, very nice, just too small for me!
The call came at just after 2.00pm Mr. T was ready to be collected so I jumped back on and way I went. This time after a quick bob in to the petrol station for a fiver’s worth of fuel I slipped straight through Rochdale’s traffic. Ow’d Bet’s was brilliant. The bends just slipped by again but this time I felt at ease, dropping a couple of clicks just on the lead in, winding it on just before the apex and straight back up two in rapid fire. As ever you get the good old “Corsa King” giving it rice in second and third, shame he nearly ended up in the ditch at the bottom of the dip. Why do they always see a bike as “The target” Got to tail gate, got to try and over take, pull in so close to the front wheel you can see the car mag’s on the parcel shelf with the two great holes ready for his 1000 watt speakers ruing from his 25 watt head unit. What a plank! Still don’t you just love traffic lights, filtering to the front and giving him a wave as he sat waiting for the next change of lights.
Back at the shop it was straight up stairs to pay.
“That will be £220 please”
“I was told it would be about £140 when I booked it in”
“Sorry about that but you were miss informed”.
Shock over I went down to see Mr. T being rolled round the front of the shop. A quick farewell to Keith and his assistant (the one who got it so wrong I could not say anything to him”) and I was back onto my trusty friend.
What a massive relief after being folded up like an origami swan for the morning to be sat on as comfortable and commanding as ever. Starting him up was music to my ears. Almost silent at tick-over, I pulled away from the shop and blow me if the front end didn’t go light on me. I really do need to chill out a little. The ride home was inspired, the bends , what bends? Straight through the traffic (what a massive difference having no panniers on makes) and within what felt like minutes I was back in my own garage re-fitting the AltRider Bash Plate, which I’d taken off the previous evening to save me half an hours labour.
The bill reads
Shaft Oil................................. £11.50
Oil Filter .................................£11.70
Sump Washers ........................£2.26
Air Filter .................................£30.70
Labour - 2 & Half Hours .......£120.00
Grand Total ............................£220.74
Just a quick addition, J came over to my Dad & Ange's in Alton today just to sort out the trip on the 11th. So after the fall how did she do? ............................... answer - Brilliantly, I didn't even know she was on the back at all. No issues getting on or more importantly off and our lunch at the Church Inn just outside Buxton was outstanding. Arriving home at 27 minutes past 3 was not so good but Dash appreciatted being picked up on Mr. T 3 minutes later. How close was that?