Ok. So allow me to tell you a little about my biking history. Tragically it is a tail of dreams more than a tail of experience.
When I was a teenager my Dad had a Honda Cx500. A blue one. His had the word ‘SILVERWING’ on the side panels. His bike had crashbars front and back.
This was a fantastic bike. Not fast , but man, oh so torquey . With that 500 cc liquid cooled V-Twin driving through a 5 speed box and shaft it was a joy to cruise around with. I learned to ride on that bike. With my dad as pillion we used to ride out from Pellissier (in Bloem) onto the old Jagerfontein road. Him with a full face and me with a pisspot and sunglasses to keep the wind out of my eyes. On that bike I learnt to change gears without a clutch. I learnt to blip the throttle when gearing down. On that bike I experienced the joy and the freedom of bike riding.
And then , shortly before I turned 16 , my dad sold the CX for something like R2500. I was very upset. I still wonder if he sold the bike due to financial difficulties (the reason I was given) or because he realized that I would have been able to get my bike lisense soon.
In the end , with no bikes in the house and with my folks not able to afford a fifty for me(or my brother) , I never got my bike lisence.
I remeber seeing a dual sport bike for the first time. I walked past the Honda delaer in Bloem and there in front of his shop stood a Honda 600 XLV Transalp. In Silver. Man , that was a pretty bike. But I was just out of school , trying to make a living , and bikes did not feature in my scope of possibilities.
I took a spin on a competition KDX250 once. And it scared the living daylights out of me !! I was used to the nice smooth torque of that CX500 and the KDX with it’s extreme powerband caught me totally off guard. To this day I do not like a 2 stroke !
In between I have had the odd chance to ride a bike here and there. A 125DT on the friends of ours’ farm. My dad’s 500Xt thumper on the farm. My brother’s KLR 650. My dad’s then Honda X4. And I was allowed to be a pillion on my dad’s BMW K1300GT.
The bug has bitten me hard and by hook or by crook , I will save and scrounge ,but one day I will own a bike.
If I have a choice it would be a Honda Transalp or a Honda Africa Twin.