I got a Sunday job in a local bakery where we were paid double-time for working on a Sunday. I saved up the £200 pounds the Yamaha RD125 twin-cylinder two-stroke cost. Not new and it had a ridiculously large 'touring' faring and full luggage boxes on it when I first saw it.

I got this before I was old enough to ride it on the road, so the grass in the back garden suffered again as I learnt how to use the clutch and gears. On my 17th Birthday I took it on the road for the first time. I had carefully planned my route so that it started with only left turns at junctions, so I wouldn't have to stop and risk stalling the engine with my poor clutch control. Apart from one very near miss on that day (where did that car come from!) it was a wonderful ride.

The 125cc twin-cylinder engine was beautiful, very free revving and pulled like a train. Quite a step up from the Mobylette moped.

I passed my motorcycle test on this bike and was planning to get a Yamaha RD350 as if could do just over 100mph. My mother started to get a bit worried and said I could have her Austin Mini 850 if I passed my car test. The deal was if I sold the bike she would accept whatever I got for the bike. Loads of the lads at school were getting cars, so I passed my test and the bike had to go.

It was about another three years before the Mini expired (after many miles and lots of adventures) and I got a Yamaha 125 single-cylinder as a runabout until I got a replacement car.