As I watched my XT660 be taken away on the back of a trailer in 2016 I instantly knew I’d made a dreadful mistake.
I wasn’t riding like I had been – that was mainly because my son had been born at the end of 2012 and my time at home was suddenly far more precious. The bike was sitting there gathering far too much dust and so had to go.
Barley three years later I was coming home from central London on the tube and popped out at Stanmore. Catherine was due to pick me up in the car but was running late. I spent the time looking at some bikes outside a little garage under the arches and before I knew it I’d bought a fabulous little red Vespa.
I’ve been riding that all over the shop for the last three years and have been having a blast. My latest big run was up to the Priest and Deacons retreat in Walsingham, Norfolk. It was on that ride that I think I knew in my heart that it was time for another big bike.
I had a play with a few configurators on various websites but it wasn’t until I joined in with the 59 Club for their ride from the Ace Cafe down to Westminster Abbey for the annual blessing of bikes that I actually saw a bike that I utterly fell in love with.
As we rode into town I sat behind an Aprilia Tuareg 660 – the brand new mid weight adventure bike that is causing a storm in the adventure travel market.
It was solid on the road and was clearly happy in the traffic and the stop start avoidance of a large number of bikes on busy roads.
I got home and immediately googled the bike to discover dozens of reviews that confirmed my observations on the road and went further to say it was brilliant in the dirt and amazing in the twisty a-roads.
Speed forward two weeks and after much agonising (and negotiating) I’ve put a deposit on it. It’s due with me in the coming weeks. I had a test ride last Saturday and it produced the biggest smiles I think I’ve ever had on a bike.
I can’t wait for it to arrive and a new chapter in my biker life to begin.