Units 1&2 Baruch Park

Viro Crescent, Stikland

021 910 0535

sales@mhm-mc.co.za

Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 17:30

Sat - 9:00 - 13:00

The Price of Fun

Yesterday I had a very pleasurable ride on a Sym Blaze 200 delivery bike, and the experience made me think about the cost to fun ratio of motorcycling.
It all started when a customer brought in a recently purchased Sym delivery bike, only 248kms, complaining that he had trouble starting it that morning, and then after it did start it then abruptly stopped on the freeway only to restart again. This type of problem is always difficult to resolve as the bike was running perfectly when he brought into us, so as it was close to the first service Gino suggested the workshop do the service and then I then take it for a long test run to see if I could also break down. Fine with me, nice day and I enjoy riding pretty much anything with two wheels and a motor.
So around 13:00 off I go, whizzed away from the shop, I was pleasantly surprised by how nippy the bike is, this is pretty good for a 125, only later noticing the rather small 200 graphic on the tail, ok that explains it. Up Bottelary Road, the bike is running great easily keeping with the traffic flow at a nice 80 to 100 kph, only issue I had was this big white van tail gating me all the time, finally realised it the delivery box on the back, so stopped trying to get away from it and relaxed. Turned left at the Stellenbosch Road and headed to the N1, but then turn right into the Old Paarl Road, that this point I realised I was having fun, lovely warm, actually hot day, no pressure to go fast, just pootling along with the traffic enjoying the sights and smells of the country. So, I stopped, can’t have too much fun, no, to take pictures of the bike by the entrance to the Giraffe House, see below or above, I didn’t know giraffes climbed, totally bizarre.
Back on the bike and a few kms down the road I turned right into Muldersvlei Road, I like this road, small and picturesque, very much like an English lane. Stopped again to take pictures, Transnet were busy maintaining the lights at the main railway line crossing, about 6 people working and lots of bakkies, didn’t know Transnet maintained, totally bizarre.
Also took the opportunity to turn in and explore the Muldervlei Railway Station, strange I know, but I do like railways. Fortunately, this station, being sort of in the middle of nowhere, has escape the vandalism of most other stations. Quite a large station building it served as the northern main line to the, now unused, Stellenbosch branch, I image it must have been quite busy 80 or so years ago when the branch was in full use.
After a quick ginger beer from the country café I continued, around past the Western Cape Department of Agriculture corporate office and college, quite an extensive but tasteful campus, to the R44. Turned right and then a bit further on right again into Kromme Rhee Road, another nice lane, to get back to Bottelary Road. Wave at all the school kids coming out of St Vincent, the big white church, and buildings at the crossroads, and get puzzled looks, why is that delivery bike waving at us. The plan was to go back down Bottelary Road, but I hadn’t broken down yet, plus I was still enjoying myself, so decided to turn towards Stellenbosch and take the Polkadraai Road, M12, back via Kuils River to Stikland.
Two things then happened, first about halfway the Stellenbosch the temperature suddenly dropped, and when I say suddenly, I mean like I just walked into the beer fridge at the local bottle store. No dropping into a dip or geographical reason for the temperature change, it just dropped, I would guess about 10 degrees, never felt that before, totally bizarre.
Second was the break down, the bike started spluttering and then stopped just before Stellenbosch, at that point I had just done just over 30 kms from the shop. Seemed like I had run out of fuel, but the gauge still showed more than three quarters full. The bike has a carburettor and a fuel tap, so it was easy to pull the fuel pipe off the tap and guess what, no fuel coming out of the tap. Right, so must be that some dirt has got in and blocked the tap. Well, no, a quick call to Gino, he tells me to open the fuel cap and wow, the petrol is now flowing out of the tap again. Air lock in the tank, the breather is obviously blocked, and it takes about 30 km to pressurise the tank enough to stop the fuel flow. Fuel pipe back on and off I go again, back to the shop where they inspect the breather in the fuel cap lock and find a data dot blocking it, totally bizarre.
So, back to the cost of fun ratio. I don’t class myself as a bike snob only wanting to ride this make or size of bike, as I said I just really enjoy simply being out there riding. This little bike costs around R22k, cheap be today’s standards, yet I really had a fun time on it for the two hours, 60kms, I was out. If instead I had been on a R220K machine, would I have had 10 times the fun, I doubt it. This is not to say we should all ride small bikes, but that you don’t need the latest, biggest, most expensive bike to have fun, a bike, and the right attitude it all you need, and in today’s economic times maybe a smaller bike does make sense.
Makes you think, does it not. ~Bob
X