I have a couple of questions for the technical forum, just an introduction first. Long, sorry. I got my ’97 Thunderbird 900 nearly a year ago. To my aging eyes it’s truly a great bike, every time I see it I feel proud to own it. The not-so-great part is that before the buy, I hadn’t been on a bike for 44 years. It gets worse – what I rode back then, was a Vespa 125. Yup, I know. To try to avoid to immediately join the organ donors’ club I did take ten “refreshment lessons” at a driving school. Let’s just say that they were more like pure beginner’s lessons than refreshment anything. They were very useful, but boy, did 1973 feel like a long time ago. So why this madness? A number of reasons. Through my adult life I have always longed for a proper bike, a longing I have spent decades supressing. But last year I took early retirement and got time on my hands. We also moved away from the city – wherever I need to go now, I drive on country roads with little traffic. The cancer examinations I had to undergo a year ago also had an effect. I don’t want to postpone the things I want in my life anymore. I was ten in 1965. On the rare occasions I was lucky enough to spot A Really Great Bike, it invariably said Triumph or BSA on the tank. So those have always been glued to my mind as the ultimate choices – never underestimate the power of the formative years. I should of course have started out with something lighter, a 350 perhaps, no argument there. But lighter mostly means smaller, and I’m 6’2”. Even on the driving school’s Honda 650 I noticed by my reflection in the shop window’s that I looked like I was on my way to perform at a circus. A too big guy on a too small bike. Anyway, I didn't want the lighter bike. I wanted the Triumph. I try to convince myself that the fact that I’m quite fit and am involved in activities that demand good body control will give me some advantage. I hope it does, but I may be naive. I am a sea kayaking coach on club level and I train for roadracing on bicycle a lot – hey, I come over to the UK for vintage bicycle racing; the 100 miles Eroica event in The Peak District, which is great fun. The twentyone year old Tbird is in great shape at 14.300 miles, all I have needed to do is cleaning the carbs, adjusting the valves, replacing the brake light switch for the front brake, replace a sheared bolt/axle in the alternator and some other minor stuff. I have no intention to go to the North Cape or Italy with it. I use it more or less like I would have used a moped, for shorter, half-day trips in my neighbourhood. Before I laid it up for the winter I started to feel quite confident (which is dangerous, I suppose!). It’s just in low speed curves, like small roundabouts, that I’m still really on my toes. Outside there is a white winter wonder land right now, but I can’t wait for spring to come. Wish me luck, I sure can need it!