It’s the late 1960’s school days and the talk between me and my close mates is bikes, the periodical of choice is the Motor Cycle News, the MCN the Eagle and Dan Dare just a vague memory.

Dave was the first to get a bike (enlightened parents), a 125 BSA Bantam closely followed by Henry who I think was given a Honda SS50 (which for you later starry eyed FS1-E owners looks almost identical at first glance). Henry’s older step brother John had a BSA Starfire to get to work on. I must have been talking about this at home as I had been expressly forbidden to have such a machine. There had been a lot of bad press about the Mods and Rockers, the motorcycle riding Rockers being the worst offenders apparently!

So with the ban firmly in mind and money saved from my two paper rounds I bought a box of bits from Ian. This box of bits was a Triumph tiger Cub which was stashed at henry’s. A bible was purchased, yes the ubiquitous Haynes Manual and the bike was put back together.

With the T20 back in one piece, tank fueled. sat astride and an good kick on the kick start. Ouch! See the thing with Cub engine was that you had to get the timing spot on or it was very likely to kick back and kick back it did. A little more fettling and away she went. Yess!

So the next hurdle of course was broaching this subject the with the parental folk and this happened quite unexpectedly.

Imaging a lovely early summers day and I’m arriving home from school in the Limpley Stoke valley (best place in the world to grow up) and I start my way up our long winding path and… Why is my mother standing outside the front of our house and greeting with a brown manila envelope swinging between finger and thumb? “What is this?” I’m abruptly asked. Damn! Why does the government insist on printing Ministry Of Transport on the outside of their envelopes? Sheepish look and “That’ll be my motorbike log book probably”.

The rest is history…

©2024 Chris & Hilary Drake