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wordsmith last won the day on April 20

wordsmith had the most liked content!

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About wordsmith

  • Birthday 10/02/1939

Personal Information

  • Location
    Redland Bay, SE Queensland
  • Bike
    2020 MT-09 SP

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  1. Thanks, showme - and may I say I love (and can relate to) your avatar! To partially answer your question, excluding work and career, which all too often in we males becomes an all-consuming part of life, I was for many years a very keen sailor. I owned and built a number of small off-the-beach racing catamarans of 14' and 16' length, the joys of which were greatly enhanced when my young son (now 58!!!) took an interest and crewed with me. It helped the bonding process and to this day we remain very close. I also later owned a 24' trailer-sailer for family use, and also crewed on a 32' ocean-going yacht. Frankly , none of these activities now interest me in the least, even if I was fit and able! I was also a competitive distance runner up to and including Marathon distance (but can hardly walk now, and couldn't even run a bath!), which kept me super-fit. In more recent years, because I enjoy working with my hands I built a couple of 18' sea kayaks, and had thought I might like to have another dabble at that, building purely as an interest and to then sell rather than paddle myself, but alas I would find it hard to be on my feet for hours at a time building one, tho' it would be very satisfying. In fact I recently ordered a book of plans, etc., from a specialist business in Maryland (Chesapeake Light Craft) to stoke my interest further, but I doubt I'll be willing to commit to such a project now. After retirement (but still while enjoying my riding days) I worked from time-to-time as a volunteer on projects in various Aboriginal/ Indigenous communities, often very small and very remote, and also mainly very deprived, but would not want to put myself through that activity again, rewarding though it was at the time. Time, methinks, to break out the old pipe 'n' slippers (sob!).
  2. After quite a lot of research, which was in itself both informative and interesting, I’ve decided not to pursue the Spyder option any further, not that I could do anything meaningful for at least several months anyway. I was surprised at the amount of info available, including some pleasant videos, many of them from the USA, so I’ve been able to look into the Spyder world quite closely. Bearing in mind that I have actually ridden/ driven a Spyder rather than merely looking into it, I feel that the day-to-day experience might not be as satisfying as riding a motorcycle. To be sure, for an old rider such as myself it has some advantages, but I doubt they’d compensate. Also, the dealer network around here is pretty sparse, and as the Spyder is very complex machine on which a DIY approach to servicing would simply not work for me, that’s an important consideration. Indeed, I read that some BRP/ Can-Am dealers simply will not work on Spyders because of the complexity of the machine and resulting very high costs that have to be charged. And the cost of entry is high, about AUD $30,000 if buying new. Without wanting to sound like a two-bob millionaire (I’m not!) I could afford it, but choose not to given the misgivings I have. But it was an interesting chore to look into this option, and I’m glad that I did. Thanks to those here who may have commented.
  3. A number of well-meaning folks have suggested I try a 'trike' of some kind. I have, indeed 'bin there, dun that' with a Can-am Spyder S3, back in late 2019. A weird and not totally enjoyable experience, as there are more differences than similarities compared to a motorcycle, I thought - but it would certainly retain that 'wind in the hair, bugs in the teeth' experience. Here's a small pic of me - no ATTGATT here - just sampling the Spyder on my first foray into that territory: the ride came later. (My wife took the wind out of my sails then by saying that it looked like a ride-on mower!).I took it no further then, and even now would have to get my well-being issues, especially the eyes, well under control before investigating further, but 'tis certainly food for thought, to such a degree that I shall not be selling my riding gear immediately. But it is most definitely farewell to two-wheel travel.
  4. This is how mine was installed, with the reflector raked back at about 10 degrees, although I have seen them completely vertical and also raked forward. My set-up moved the wind-blast from the bottom of the helmet to the upper part, ideal for what laughably passes for winter around here I'd reckon.
  5. I had a pair of these D-ZELL brand (I assume) LED knuckle guards ex Korea on an earlier Tracer. BRILLIANT (in all senses of the word) - super easy to install, and added greatly to my sense of security and visibility to others on the road. Highly recommended.......
  6. Not much need for a surfboard in Salop I'd imagine, DK! Lovely part of the UK there - long may it remain unspoiled.
  7. His business card and brass plate on the door says "optometrist". It's all he does...
  8. Finally, for the last time but not the first (!) I have to declare that I have retired from motorcycling. Age – almost 82 now – and a number of wellbeing issues that will not go away have made this painful decision now irrevocable – indeed, I am selling all my riding gear so that I’m never tempted to get back onto two wheels. My last of many bikes – a tasty and very rewarding Yamaha MT-09 SP – left the garage today in the hands of its new thrilled-to-bits young owner. The ‘wellbeing’ issues I refer to are not going to kill me – at least not directly – but deteriorating eyesight and balance problems have taken over. Not much fun if one has hazy vision and/ or can’t stand upright! I’m having laser treatment for the eye issues, which is mildly painful, and I got a laugh out of the optometrist during the last session when I asked him if he was with ISIS as he scraped the inside of my eyelids with a blunt scalpel. The balance problems arise from a couple of other neurological issues including an out-of-the-blue onset of vertigo several months ago. See me walking and you’d swear I’d just come out of the pub after a heavy drinking session! It’s not often thought about, but the feet are used a lot in motorbike riding, not only to change gear and to brake, but to balance the bike when cornering, and of course to put down at rest. Lack of sensation ‘down there’ does not help any of these necessary actions. I’ve only ever had one very minor ‘drop’, at zero kph, and would like to keep that record. Since getting back into motorcycling on my retirement in 1994 I’ve had a lot of bikes, mostly BMW Boxer twins, but more recently lower and lighter Yamaha medium-capacity machines. I’ve enjoyed most of them, but my favourites were the BMW R1200 GSs, including a late-model LC. I believe I enjoyed them the most not because they were the ‘best’ – however defined – but because I had them at the right time of life to indulge in a lot of long-distance touring, which I loved and at which they excelled. The early MT-09 Tracers, and a later 900 GT served me well as my riding needs and abilities changed, and the just-departed SP was a lovely thing to see and to ride. So there is now a large motorcycle-shaped hole in my garage for the first time in almost thirty years, and a larger hole in my heart. I’ll miss buying a new machine and engaging in the negotiation ‘dance’ with dealers (how rotten are most of them in that profession); the pleasure of receiving parcels of after-market bits and pieces from far and wide to again commence the farkling process; and the joys of planning a new tour to roads and sights often new to me. I’m not at all sure what I’m going to find to take up my time in the future, for motorcycling and everything associated with it – including taking part in Forums such as this – have kept me busy and fulfilled. But “the moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on – and writes another bit”, as Omar Khayyam did not write. So we move on. So – best wishes to you all as we grind our way through covid, Stay Upright, and above all – Do Not Get Old!
  9. Apart from that, not a bad product (not!).
  10. 2021 Tracer GT in AUSTRALIA...... any Aussies here with a (reliable) handle on likely/ possible/ optimistic timing of arrival of the new GT on our shores? TIA...
  11. Great plan to do this trip - but if the OP takes all suggestions he'll end up having a three YEAR ride on his hands!! 😉
  12. Thanks, zig. I found it hard to believe the suggested 24kg weight increase. I'm happy too at the claimed but yet-to-be-proven 7kg weight-loss, although yet another 'report' claims a 2kg drop! The fuel capacity appears unchanged at 18L, so that could not have contributed to the claimed 24kg weight-gain! Somebody has screwed-up - again. And speaking purely for myself, if I was in the market for another GT I'd look long and hard at a 2019/ 2020 model, which has everything I need, including panniers and cruise-control, yet without the electrological doo-dahs of the 2021.
  13. This is interesting! Another review from mcnews.com.au says that the new GT is "a couple of kg lighter", which sounds more like it. I'll search again for the specific source of the earlier info (hoping it's wrong!) and will add a note to this post later. The AMCN article was rather better than the usual spec sheet manufacturer blurb.
  14. I have just read a review of the new 2021 GT, stating that its weight has been increased by a whopping 24kg. Surely that cannot be correct - and if it is it removes one of the GT's best assets in its original low weight, IMHO. Any comments or ideas on this, please chums?