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Throughout 2018 we’ve continued to celebrate the owners who have kept the same motorcycle for 30 years or more.
They’ve shared their stories about the memories, the rebuilds and the joys of owning a classic bike for so long on our Bikesure Forever Bikes blog.
Here’s the five most read articles of 2018 – and we hope 2019 will bring even more extraordinary tales.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at Bikesure.
Number 5. Bob’s lifetime of memories with dream Harley Davidson Duo-Glide
As a teenager in the early 1960s, when British bikes still ruled the roads, Bob Warner only had eyes for the big Harleys from across the Pond.
It was an era when motorbikes, or scooters if you were on the other side of the mods and rockers divide, were the only affordable mode of transport for youngsters looking for freedom.
“At school, some of the other boys were on about the Triumphs, Nortons and other British bikes,” he says.
“But I’d seen pictures of Harleys in magazines and had decided that was what I wanted.”
Number 4. John’s four decades with “special” Matchless workhorse
John, a former mechanic before swapping overalls for a police uniform, bought the 348cc, single-cylinder bike back in 1974 for just £25 as an MoT failure from the local headmaster.
And despite owning other bikes both before and since, he has never once considered selling the “special” Matchless that once carried him to and from work in all weathers and still takes to the roads at least once a week.
“It was my main means of transport for work, pleasure, everything – it’s so easy to ride and it’s got character,” he says, hunting through photo albums for old pictures of the bike.
“It’s special. I never reached a point where I thought about selling it, and I’ve turned people away who have wanted to buy it over the years. No way would I ever sell it.”
Number 3. Terry Betts: a life in speedway
It was 1979 and speedway legend Terry Betts had just quit the sport he loved at the age of 36.
The risks that first attracted him to the oval as a fearless teenager had become too great, a serious crash at Reading a sign not to push his luck too far.
He had a young family to think of, new priorities and a new life to look forward to after two decades of domestic and international success. But he knew how easy it would be to get drawn back into the saddle, the offers would come – and he’d find them hard to resist.
So he systematically dismantled all the bikes he’d kept from 20 years in the sport, stored them away and kept his distance from the tracks where he’d made his name.
But around 10 years ago, encouraged by his son, it was time – and safe – to start rebuilding, to reconnect with the bikes that carried him to international stardom.
Number 2. Why I can’t sell my Norton International
It’s 1959, and Brian Higgs, a teenage Teddy Boy, has fallen hook, line and sinker for a Norton International.
Six decades later and Brian, now 77, is just as smitten with the bike that’s been with him virtually his whole adult life.
“It was always a special bike,” he says, pushing the 1950 Norton out of the garage it shares with a more modern Suzuki GSXR750. “I could never get rid of my Inter because it was the ultimate. I loved the sound of it and the smell of the Castrol R.”
Number 1. Special Lambretta SX200 back on the road after 46 years
Ian Mann’s Lambretta SX200 wears its 51 years on its panels, on its unpainted headlamp cover and on its chipped and scarred legshields and mudguard.
The 68-year-old and his “special” Lambretta have been together at the turn of every decade since, even if the SX has spent the majority of it laid up in first his dad’s, and then his own, garage.
But now, after more than 40 years in hibernation, the scooter that cost Ian £170 in 1968 and gave him some unforgettable teenage memories is back on the road.
“I was bloody nervous to start with,” he smiles, having not ridden the scooter since 1972. “But it was great, it felt good. Riding it now, you still think of the old days. It’s an achievement to have it off the road that long and to get it back on again. I never thought about selling it because it’s special to me. It’s your teenage years, a carefree time which everyone looks back at.”
If you’ve got a classic motorcycle, check out our classic motorbike insurance designed from the outset with you in mind. And because we have access to several, quality, but cheap classic motorbike insurance schemes we can find you the perfect policy for your pride and joy.Insurance