Look, I spent most of my time riding my bikes, not photographing them. Most of us didn't own cameras, and the mobile phone hadn't been invented yet. Hence, many of the pictures below are not of the actual bikes I owned, but are the closest I could find with a Google image search..
1973/4 - Yamaha FS1E
It was 1973, I was 16 years old with £166 in my pocket. What else could it possibly be other than a 'Fizzy". The first taste of independence for so many young men.
Just like the one in the photo, mine had indicators fitted (an optional extra in those days).
1974/5 - Yamaha DT175
My first 'real' motorcycle (almost written off when it was just 5 days old). Had a mate who lived on a farm, so this bike often came home covered in muck.
Then I discovered road-racing, and the knobblies had to go…
1975/7 - Yamaha RD250B
I guess we all have one bike that captures our heart more than any other, and this was mine. I rode it through the glorious 'summer of 76'. 19 yrs old, no responsibilities, and a horde of mates on 'strokers'.
Roadrunners, Dunstall fork-top clip-ons, and leave your brain in the toolbox.
1977/9 - BMW R25
I don't know why I bought this. I just saw it for sale (90% restored) and fell in love with it. It was just so damned cute!
Everything about this bike was so well-thought out, from the hinged rear mudguard to aid rear wheel removal, to the auxiliary hand operated gear change lever so you could select a gear with the clutch in and both feet down on the side of a mountain track.
It even had a neutral light!!!!
1978 - Suzuki 250 Hustler
By now I had a car for general transport and the baby Beemer as a hobby/investment, so this was to blow the cobwebs away at weekends.
Don't know if it was the bike or my age, but I never took to this like the RD250.
1979 - Kawasaki KH250
Yet another quarter litre stroker. When I collected this one it had a Yokohama on the front and a TT100 on the back. The wet journey home gave my buttock muscles a good workout.
The only bike I ever had stolen…. and to be truthful I wasn't too sad to see the back of it.
1983/4 - Honda CB400F
Probably the most disappointing bike I ever owned. Perhaps I was expecting too much, but after an upbringing on two strokes I was always trying to find the seemingly non-existent power band. The bike also felt incredibly small.
The 1,500 mile interval between oil changes also wore a bit thin when I was doing 500 miles a week!
1984 - BMW R90S
My shortest ownership of a bike. Took a chance on this one at an auction. Got it for the right price and, much to my amazement , it fired up after the battery had been charged. A quick check of the fluid levels I took it for a spin. All went well until I decided to treat it to a service. I took the front engine cover off to replace the points… only to discover that the thread had been stripped, so some monkey had welded the advance/retard unit to the end of the camshaft. This, coupled with several other potentially costly faults, saw it back down the auction house the following month.
1984/5 - BMW R80/7
Commuting between Norwich, London and Swansea over an 18 month period, I covered more miles on this bike than any other I have owned. Would run all day at 80+mph, returning 50 mpg.
Cracking bike, written off on the day of the Live Aid concert by a Cortina driver. R/H pot took the full impact, and the Old Bill reckoned if I had been on any bike other than a flat twin I would probably have lost my leg. As it was, I walked away from it relatively unscathed.
2003/5 - BMW C1
Scorned by motorcyclists and car drivers alike, the C1 was a brilliant design, poorly marketed.
I used one of these for commuting for a couple of years and loved every minute. 70mph, 80mpg and levels of weather protection and safety previously unheard of. Despite looking top heavy, the weight was carried low down and the vehicle handled remarkably well. I could even live with the fact that my wife christened it 'the prattmobile'.
2014/5 - Suzuki Burgman 125
Bought for commuting, and to regain my confidence and road craft before a return to 'proper' biking. The amount of storage under the seat of these things is absolutely staggering - I think they must be made from the same material as the Tardis.
2015/6 - BMW F800GT
I had intended for this to be my last motorcycle, and if my wife hadn't discovered a love of pillion riding that got us considering some two-up tours I would probably still be riding it.
I don't know if it was the colour, but this always seemed to draw admiring glances from non-motorcyclists, particularly the ladies.
2019 onwards - BMW R1250RT
Bavarias latest and greatest RT - COMING SOON