In rare unguarded moments

you'd see the old motorbikes

side - propped at a kerb

languidly leaning:


    Douglas Dragonfly

    Velocette with fishtail silencer

    Sunbeam, Ariel Square Four,

    Vincent Black Shadow. 


Everything deeply chromed

from pretty heads

to tippy toes,

Dunlop tyres, de rigeur,


and wait for the owner,

the original often as not -

gauntlets, goggles

open face helmet

boots with socks tucked over.


Just been to the shops.

"No complaints,

takes care of itself."

understatement you'd accept

with good grace

as the vision like a loping gentleman

slips quietly away. 




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Fri 20th Jul 2018 23:02

It's always a surprise Hannah to see a sort of macho man concept like this poem liked by a lady. I would say though that the names they had were a flight of fancy and romantic , rather than the later Jap bikes with names like ZKX or Javelin and such like. That may have appealed to you. They really were like the gentlemen of the road.

Much appreciated. You're never too old to dream I say.


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Hannah Collins

Fri 20th Jul 2018 22:27

Beautifully read, brought it to life.
I love the names of the motorcycles.
One of your best.


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Fri 20th Jul 2018 21:28

Yes those were the days Martin. Being saluted was part of it if you were a member with a badge. Terrific comedy clip you mention, I remember it! Thanks , glad you liked that line.

That's it Graham. My two brothers and I used to tinker with bikes constantly. Those electrical harnesses were like spaghetti junction.

Thanks Mark. That machine was king of the road, apart from the Brough Superior. Who could afford one today? The smell of oil on the open road, perfect.

Be my guest, Sanjay. Quirky to say the least, but much admired in their time. You should add Scott Squirrel to the list! It's nice the poem intrigued you. Thanks.

Cheers John. I like the washboard lady! I didn't know this would garner the comments. Good if you're in the older sector.

Thanks for the likes, Col, JR, Jon, Anya and Darren.


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John Coopey

Fri 20th Jul 2018 00:03

Fabulous memorabilia, Ray.
Are you familiar with this song; in my view the best arrangement of the best motorcycle song ever - The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band’s “Vincent Black Lightning -1952”?

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suki spangles

Thu 19th Jul 2018 23:27

Hi there Ray,

Although I know less than zero about bikes and cars I really enjoyed this. A little slice of life. I'll check out the web later to see what these bikes look like. Mind you, I'll still be completely clueless!


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M.C. Newberry

Thu 19th Jul 2018 17:39

I still correspond with a long term ex-job chum who has owned a Vincent Black Shadow since we first got
acquainted back in the early 1960s - and has lovingly
maintained it so he's still able to use it for extended long-distance trips to places as far apart as the USA and
Australia. It usually attracts a crowd of admirers even if
its owner is past that point in his life! ?

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Graham Sherwood

Thu 19th Jul 2018 10:57

Ah! the good old Stinkwheel days eh?

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Martin Elder

Wed 18th Jul 2018 23:01

What you have written reminds me of the old AA motorcyclists who stopped to help motorists. It also puts me in mind of an episode of 'On the buses' When Olive who was heavily pregnant was wedged in her husbands sidecar and at a junction she went one way and he another.
A lovely poem Ray with a wonderful last line

'As the vision like a loping gentleman slips quietly away'

Nice one

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