Hi, I’m Paul Starmer, the “Alpinebiker”. Now well on the wrong side of 50, I’ve been a motorcycle fanatic since I was old enough to buy my first “bike”, a twist and go two stroke Puch Maxi, back in 1976. After passing my test I bought a Honda CB125T and a year later a brand new Yamaha RD250.
The 70’s were a golden era of two stroke machines, smoking exhausts and powerbands, with aspirational machines at that time including the Laverda Jota and Kawasaki Z900. Back in “those” days there was less traffic on the roads and bikes were quite basic compared to todays highly developed machines, but whatever era you ride in, you put a young guy on their first bike and they’ll eventually find the limits, hopefully without hurting themselves too much! I was fortunate in that I managed to stay aboard my bike most of the time, whilst my fellow 6th formers regularly came off theirs on an almost weekly basis, amazingly without serious injury, but one of them was tragically killed on his CB200, caused by someone doing a U turn in front of him. We all loved the fun, speed and freedom that bikes can bring, but this tragic accident and the death of an ex work colleague some 30 years later show the high price which we sometimes pay.
The Yamaha RD250 was a great bike, and I have vivid memories of smoking two stroke exhausts, rapid acceleration when you hit the powerband, and having both myself and my brother who was pillion at the time, being bounced off the saddle when I rode over a humpback bridge a little too fast! Eventually however, a lack of skill and the powerband caught me out, and after a couple of body/tarmac interfaces I decided that a long life was better than getting hurt or killed, so the Yamaha was sold, and the start of a non biking period began, but the “bug” never left.
I had a break for around 3-4 years, bought a couple of commuter Honda Superdreams, then sold them when we started a family, after which there came a 12 year break, but yet again the bug returned and I got back into biking, and have been riding regularly since 1996, since when I’ve averaged 10,000 miles a year, or over 250,000kms!
Here is the history of the bikes that shaped my riding:
Starter bikes in the 1970’s- Puch Maxi 50cc moped, Honda CB125, Yamaha RD250
Second time round 1980’s- Honda CB250N Superdream, Honda CB400N Superdream
Mid capacity engines in the 1990’s – Kawasaki ZZR600, Honda VFR800, Laverda 750S
Sports bikes- Honda RC45, Suzuki GSXR1000K2, Kawasaki ZX-10R,
Tourers in the 2000’s- Honda CBR1100XX Superblackbird (*2), BMW K1200GT, BMW K1300GT
Sports bikes in 2010’s – Yamaha R1
HONDA CB250N SUPERDREAM
HONDA CB400N SUPERDREAM
HONDA CBR1100XX Super Blackbird (s)
HONDA RVF750 RC45