December 2016 Archives

More history in the intervening years ....

We moved into the realms of motorhome ownership in 2009, bought ourselves a 1992 6 berth naturally aspirated Talbot powered Elddis Autoquest 400. The first few outings taught us that this size of motorhome just isn't catered for in UK towns and villages. at around 24ft long only through & through type parking bays in non-height restricted car parks are 'usable' (not always suitable as sometimes they are too narrow too), so this prompted the addition of a heavy duty rack for the back and the purchase of a little 125cc Kymco Agility scooter as a run about, when we had to park in peripheral industrial estates. We used this for 3 years until its age caught up with it and it succumbed to the dreaded frame rot. We'd enjoyed the motorhome experience so much, we went looking for a replacement but with a few refinements to what we'd had; we wanted a fixed bed with a garage under and an engine with a bit more staying power on the hills.

As both our son's had now vacated the nest, 6 berth wasn't a requirement, however we found that to get the fixed bed & Garage option at an affordable cost, another 6 berth it would have to be. That quest evolved into the purchase of an Italian built Miller Arizona 2004, which we bought in the spring of 2012, and is still getting very well used to date, at least out-with the winter months. Not because of lack of heating or insulation of which both are quite adequate, just down to the external environment conditions over the winter months.

The acquisition of the Kymco Scooter also revitalised my passion for two wheels. A really good mate at work, Peter Kennedy, an Australian by birth, but a Scot by choice, was also into motorbikes. A chance sharing of a video clip in 2013, of racing at the Isle of Man T.T. had him salivating about going there to watch. We started making tentative plans to go the following year. He had an ST 1100 Pan European and I thought my Kymco scooter might struggle on such a trip. I looked towards getting one of my old stable of bikes back on the road but was struggling in sourcing parts and the thought of having to carry lead replacement along for the trip for petrol (my youngest steed was 1976) was also putting me off. I went looking for a slightly more modern bike with the original intention of buying and re-selling after the trip. I looked at a variety of machines on the second hand market, not modern, definitely not Sports, I wanted a tourer of some sort. As it turned out, I ended up buying an ST1100 too, in Silver as opposed to PK's Blue one and one year older, a 1994 model.

Our plans of going over for the T.T. were getting way laid by work; PK was getting shipped out to Asia for a few weeks. The T.T. got put on the back burner and I suggested the Manx GP instead as another option. Same location just an older style of bikes. So that became the target for early September 2014. As it was, PK got shipped out again up to Aberdeen the weekend before, it looked like he'd be back on the Tuesday so bookings were made for B&B & the ferry out on the Wednesday lunchtime and back on the Sunday Evening. We would only catch the senior race on the Friday but at least we would get time to tour around the island. As it turned out, the senior got red flagged on the 3rd lap so our viewing time was limited to say the least. Anyway, PK was hooked, longer term plans to get back the following year for either the T.T. or the Manx. Sad to say that never happened; PK took a heart attack and died, two months after our return.

The other outcome was the re-kindling of my love of motor cycling; I'd fell in love with the Pan Eu. After some intent discussions with the wife, as, honestly, I had intended selling it on again, it joined the rest in the garage and still gives me great pleasure getting out for a run as and when time and conditions allow. One never knows, I might still manage a return trip to the Island in the future. I'd also like to do the North Coast 500 around Scotland.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2016 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2016 is the previous archive.

February 2017 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.