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Bought on Friday, sold on Monday

Published: 21 January 2002

Colin Price, 42 is from Hereford. He’s owned 16 bikes

" When I started motorcycling I was either a student or in a lowly paid job, so I rode whatever I could. My first two-wheelers were Garelli mopeds. They were Italian, nothing special, but they went 40mph, faster than today’s 50cc mopeds. I decided to do a bit of home mechanics on one and when I put the head back on I over-tightened it. One of the studs cracked the crankcase and when I was riding along one day a chunk of the crankcase fell into combustion chamber, locked it up completely and I ended up with a con-rod through the side of the engine. My father wasn’t too impressed with my mechanic’s skills and banned me from doing anything else to them for a while.

" Up until the Suzuki TS those early bikes were ones my father bought for me. The cheapest was one of the C70s. The C70s and the Monkey bike had a rocker foot, semi-automatic gearchanges. I found out if you pressed on the back of the pedal the clutch would slip and I could wheelie it. It was a bit severe at times and I remember being a bit over-zealous with the throttle, up came the front and it just kept going. I was left stood watching the bike go up the road. I was young and a bit stupid, but it was fun. I would’ve loved to have a Fizzie or an SS50, but I didn’t have the money so I was stuck with the old fogey’s machine. Embarrassing really, but I got one for £60, rode it for six months and sold it for £70, so it wasn’t all bad.

" I’d just turned 17 when I started looking at 125s. I bought a TS125 and got a lot of pleasure out of it. It took me on holiday several times into Wales and all other the place. I couldn’t believe it. It just kept going. I kept it 18 months and sold it for more than I bought it, but then made the mistake of buying that CB125 Twin. It was the worst bike I ever had and the one I owned for the shortest amount of time. I bought it on a Friday evening and sold it on Monday. In the day it was the bike of the time. It was the first 125 twin, I think. It had a sporty look and I just had to have one. A secondhand one came up and I didn’t give it a long test ride, I just wanted it and sense went out of the window. Then I suddenly found it wasn’t what I was expecting. It was gutless and it felt like it had a hinge in the middle. It totally disappointed me in every way. "

After a few less than glamorous 250cc Hondas Colin left biking at the age of 29, but a second flush of youth saw him buying an RD250LC six years later. " A mate of mine went out and bought a bike to commute on and I thought I ought to get back into it. In those years I didn’t have a bike I really missed them. The LC was a bike that set the standard in its day. Had I had the money when I was 17 it was the one I’d have gone for. It was a hooligan bike and even all those years later it was as good as I thought it was going to be. I loved it when the power kicked in and it never let me down in the 12 months I owned it. The RD got me really into bikes. I got new mates to ride with, but no-one liked to ride behind it because of the smokescreen and I started looking for something else. I ended up with a grey import CBR250. It caught my eye because it looked like a micro Blade. Handling-wise it was a revelation.

" When I came back into biking I started with small engine and worked my way up. I learned quite a bit from the smaller stuff, keeping corner speed up and stuff like that. It’s surprising what you can learn about riding from bikes with little engines "

The 15,000rpm powerband started to get tiring, constant dancing on the gear lever to keep the motor spinning led Colin to his next bike a VFR400. " I got to point where I was riding with guys who were all on bigger bikes. I could keep up with them in the twisties, but when it got to the straights they were leaving me for dead. I had to thrape it to get the best out of it. I kept it 18 months and looking back it’s the bike I’m fondest of. It taught me how a bike could really handle and how not to be not afraid to push it, because modern bikes can handle my capabilities. "

A craving for more speed led Colin to purchase his current 1998 Kawasaki ZX-7R late last year. " I did look at Blades and R1s but they have sky-high insurance. The ZX-7 only costs me £180 fully comprehensive per year.

" The reason my taste in bikes has changed is because I like ones that really handle. That’s why I’ve become an ardent sportsbike fan. I don’t see myself changing, because I get a hell of a buzz from the acceleration and the handling. In ten years time, I can see myself riding a twin. Whatever the equivalent is of the SP1 or SP2. I’m not ready for one yet, because I still like the scream of the four, the snarl of the airbox when it hits 10,000rpm and I love the Kawasaki for that. "

Colin’s Old Bikes

2x Garelli 50cc automatic

Honda Chaley monkey bike

3x Honda C70

Suzuki TS125

Honda CB125 twin

Honda CB 250 G5

Honda CJ 250

Honda CB250 Superdream

Suzuki GT200 X5

Yamaha RD250LC

Honda CBR250R

Honda VFR400R

Kawasaki ZX-7R