In truth, comparing motorcycles one with another is not my best thing.
Once, on a whim, I bought a Norton twin much to the delight of a friend who’s much keener on Nortons than he is on Triumphs. The first weekend of ownership saw Mrs Bridge Club and I trundling north to show off the new acquisition, me on the Norton, she on the Triumph.
“How do you like the Commando compared to the Bonneville?” asked my pal who scrapes a living writing magazine articles about old bikes.
“They’m very alike,” says I, and he couldn’t get another word out of me on the subject. I dare say he expected more given that one has a five speed gearbox and the other a four speed, not to mention a taut frame and a bendy one, a small difference in displacement and the fact that the Meriden twin has effective brakes.
On another occasion I even told a proud owner that riding his recently rebuilt Wankel engined bike was like riding a big two-stroke. Best I could come up with at the time. Good bike though.
It is, therefore, with many misgivings that I stare at the blank screen (which might as well be a thousand yards away) to respond to the maker’s request to let him know how the new shock absorbers on my MT350 perform.
On a sunny, chilly spring afternoon I trundled along a trunk road (T) for fifteen miles to a local supermarket where they had Vim on special offer. The Harley seemed to white-line slightly less but I still couldn’t get my knee down on roundabouts. In straight line it soaked up the various indignities of the road surface at speeds up to sixty m.p.h., your honour, at least as well as it always has.
In the bike park the side stand still did its work despite the shorter shocks though my inclination is to increase general inclination by persuading my friend over the brow to lop an inch or two off said side stand.
Vim having been loaded into the panniers we set off on a fave ride, home via Pillarton, Clapperbridge, St Ive and Merrymeet.
These are quiet lanes in the true and informal sense. In some places there is room for two tractors to pass but mostly there carriageway has moss and grit up the middle, there’s a least one ford, lots of adverse camber and much work for the road menders to exercise their vital craft on.
The Harley just pootled along happily taking all in its stride, which is no mean feat for a machine with wheels instead of legs.
Its offroad capabilities continue to exceed mine – https://nvnl.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/130426-tailor-made-shocks/
To answer Norman Blakemore’s enquiry as to the relative performance of my new NJB shocks and the old stock shocks, “they’m very alike,” except that the seat height is now suitably lower which will allow Mrs Bridge Club to ride the Military Trundler with relaxed confidence.
So thanks Norman, and thanks “freddy54” for encouragement and explanation.
A little more on Clapperbridge from the Bridge Club Archives – http://thebridgeclub2011.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=clapperbridge