Martin Hamer looks back fondly on a wet Scottish Highland tour with a dear friend on a misfiring 500cc Honda four, thanks to water in the works.
Reading the November 2017 issue of Old Bike Mart, and in particular Lindsey Norris’s article relating to the challenges he faced with his Honda 400/4 when travelling to Scotland from the south of England, prompted me to share with you a time with a treasured friend.
As a teenager of 17 years and fledgling motorcyclist, in early 1972, I joined Warrington Motor Cycle Club, where I met other motorcyclists – many of whom subsequently became lifelong friends.
For a number of years and on an annual basis, my mate, Keith Williams (with the Honda 500/4) and I toured Scotland, mainly during the first week of September, when our employers had their ‘holiday factory shut-downs’. For the first few years both Keith and I owned Norton Commandos, myself a gold Fastback, XNE 40L and Keith a blue Interstate. Later Keith swapped to a Honda 500/4, which is the subject of my story. I kept the Norton faith!
Over the years, travelling through the Scottish highlands, we didn’t enjoy much good weather, but the week Keith travelled on his Honda was particularly horrendous, both in terms of the weather and also the electrical problems and engine misfiring Keith’s Honda 500/4 suffered.
The catalogue of woes with the Honda was similar to Lindsey’s editorial, in that Keith’s bike started misfiring from day one of our holiday and continued to do so for much of our seven-day tour.
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