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
Honda CB125 twin
Honda CB 250 G5
Honda CJ 250
Honda CB250 Superdream
Suzuki GT200 X5