Looking across to the snow capped alpine mountains seen from the back seat of a motorcycle

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Oh Sugar Oh Sugar Oh Sugar!!!

Panic Date 20 March 2023

The Long Mynd. Actually this is The Port Way on the western end of The Long Mynd. Here, I tell you what, I'll add a link to Google maps so you can pinpoint where I am... https://goo.gl/maps/HgN8xpJtES2wTNVP8

I'm on the CB500X with Sharon on the back. We're enjoying a long weekend away near Ironbridge and today we're just out and about, mooching around the area, seeing what we can see, and consuming tea and cake in various cafes. I didn't intend to find myself at the western foot of The Long Mynd but random luck and happenstance has lead us here.

The CB500X atop the narrow road of The Long Mynd
It looks so good out in it's natural habitat.

I know this road is steep and I know it is narrow. I know because I came down this steep road in November last year. That time I was solo on the bike, riding behind a friend who knows this area better than I. It is steep, so steep my brake discs were blue in spite of my use of engine braking. 

As I look up the road I ponder. Should I - shouldn't I? On the one hand it is really steep and I'm going uphill this time and I'm 2-up. On the other hand the views up there are lovely and I'm sure Sharon will appreciate the vistas. Ahh stuff it, it's only a road, there's no nasty switchbacks, I'm a big boy, and I've been riding a few years now.

Just over the cattle grid and the road gets steep. I spy a car coming down and being the considerate motorist I am I note there's a wide patch just here, I'll pull in and let him by. 

Front brake on, both feet out, it's a tad gravelly by this edge of the road and with being 2-up I think it wise to use both feet.  Oh Sugar Oh Sugar Oh Sugar!! With the front brake only and all the weight being on the rear, with the albeit very minimal occasional gravel at the roadside, I am starting to slide backwards. 

These next two paragraphs pass in but a moment.

Oh sugar! Oh what the hell do I do? I know the back brake will hold us but as I slowly slither back I desire both feet on the floor for balance. Maybe if I hang on I'll slide off the gravel onto something a little more grippy? What is the best and safest way to bail off? Maybe I should tell Sharon to jump, save yourself woman?! The rearward movement is mercifully slow, it however feels as inevitable and unstoppable as the weather.

The driver is getting closer. I have an idea, it's a stupid one but it's my only hope. 2 fingers on the front brake, the other 2 on the throttle, I rise the revs and feather the clutch. The retardation abates. The car passes. I use all my experience and a hefty dose of clutch brutality to return Sharon and I to forwards motion uphill.

Holy cow! That was scary. We are not out of the woods as yet. I cannot see a single passing place ahead of me on this steep steep road. I'm in first gear, taking it easy but my heart is pounding and my breath leaden. No goddam blasted passing places, if there is anything coming down wider than a bicycle we are screwed. Oh there's one, on the right of the road and covered in gravel. Norra chance...

We continue. Our uphill climb is only what, half a mile or so but it feels more akin to a week long ride. The occasional passing places are gravel filled, the road to our left has no curb, no verge and drops away steeply. I prey, we prey that nothing comes our way.

Nothing does, oh sweet mercy, oh the joy of survival, thank you to whichever god I don't believe in. The road levels off and while still narrow with limited passing places we can at least stop safely and work out our problems rather than slithering backwards into the impending doom. A little voice from the back chirps "bleep bleep" (edited for your delicate ears).

"In the 19 years I've been on the back of your bike that was the first time I've been scared, real scared". 
"In the 32 years I've been riding these bikes that's probably the 2nd time I've been scared by the road itself".
Yes of course I've had some heart stopping moments, mostly of my own doing and occasionally from the doings of others to me. The only other actual physical road that scared me (and still does) is the Hardknott Pass.  

Sharon being a hobbit she is oft told that she can ride any bike she wishes and size is not the problem, it's confidence. That's true... if you're going to ride on smooth flat roads where the tippy tip of a tiptoe is sufficient to keep the bike upright at the lights. I'm riding a 500cc "small" bike, I can get both feet firmly and squarely on the floor and with well over half a million miles under my wheels I'd argue I'm experienced and confident - and yet I can still find roads and surfaces that at least worry me and occasionally scare the poop outta me. I'm kinda glad really, don't want to think I've nothing left to learn on motorcycles.

The rest of The Long Mynd rewards us with the promised great views. The eastern side (The Burway) that drops down to Church Stretton is also steep - BUT - less steep than The Port Way. Plus we're heading downhill so the front brake has some effect now. 

We look across angular hills and big skies to open countryside in the distance
Worth it for the view?

What is the correct course of action given the predicament above? Ideally - use the rear brake as well as the front. However there are times when it is necessary to have both feet down. Or you may find you've inadvertently stopped with a slight lean to the right where you need your right foot, the rear brake foot, to keep you upright. On these narrow lanes with a drop to the left and a car coming towards you, there may be nowhere to put your left foot!

This is one situation where CBS (Combined Braking System) would be useful. Would I purchase a motorcycle with CBS for this issue? No I wouldn't. I did make use of the engine and clutch which appeared to be my only option but it is at best sub-optimal for the clutch, at worst requires some considerable skill to manage and could all too easily go horribly wrong very raidly. 

I don't have a good answer for this - do you? 

Share your tale of terror - click here.

Reader's Comments

Ian Soady¹ said :-
I think what you did (slipping the clutch) was a perfectly good solution to the problem and better - to my mind - than relying on a bit of software embedded in CBS. As you & I know Ren, software is written by fallible humans (or maybe soon by even more fallible so-called AI). As you will have taught many people, slipping modern clutches for a limited period, for example when slow speed manoeuvring, won't do them any harm.

It does remind me of the days when fitting 2 leading shoe front brakes was a popular mod for the type of bike I usually ride. Great for forwrd motion retardation but absolutely useless for holding the bike from rolling backwards on an uphill slope where they become twin training shoe. And those bikes do not take kindly to slipping clutches for more than a few seconds...... Of course on those bikes the brake is where it should be on the left hand side so the foot problem becomes less serious.
12/04/2023 10:17:45 UTC
nab301 said :-
"I don't have a good answer for this - do you? "

You see to have handled it ok , especially as you were two up, other than doing an on foot recce beforehand after which you may have decided not to travel up the hill ! . As for CBS , the only types I'm familiar with have the combined part operated by the rear brake pedal so no use in this situation.
Spare a thought for those riding bikes with twin leading shoe drum brakes , gravel or not they don't work in reverse!
I sense a CB500X clutch replacement article in the next few years!
12/04/2023 10:38:06 UTC
nab301 said :-
Ian beat me to it on TLS brakes , and of course I've just realised that some of the latest bikes seem to have a hill start assist system.... I'm not sure if that would have helped when I came to a stop for traffic reasons on an icy incline , no tyre traction , no grip underfoot ( couldn't step off) somehow managed to stay upright and resume progress.
12/04/2023 10:50:06 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
The CBS (Combined Braking System) does not necessarily have software - early systems did not. CBS puts a bit of front brake on if you press the rear, and a bit of rear brake on if you press the front (usually - there are various versions out there). But yes CBS with ABS might not necessarily work. It is my understanding that the CB500X's ABS (not CBS) does not kick in until we're over 7mph which would apply in this case.

It is true to say that modern clutches can handle a lot more abuse than old style clutches. I'd still suggest to anyone reading that it it remains good practice to treat your clutch with respect as it will last longer, but gone are the days where 60 seconds of slipping the clutch will cause it's immediate demise.

I'd never considered the twin leading shoe issue on drum brakes!

With regards to the modern layout (rear brake being operated by the right foot). This works 99.99% of the time just fine. I have considered how other layouts may work. If the brake lever is on the left foot, gears on the right as per the old 50's bikes - surely you'd have the same issue if you have both feet down?
12/04/2023 10:55:37 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
The advantage with the brake on the "proper" side is that the unoccupied right foot is normally on the high side of the camber so has less far to go. I remember almost dropping my Tiger 955i in France when I couldn't quite reach the deck with my right foot...... But yes, both feet down just the same issue.

Few here will remember the old Hendon Shuffle taught (allegedly) to police motorcyclists back in the day. Stop the bike using both brakes, left foot down and change into neutral (holding the front brake on), right foot down and hold the back brake on so showing the brake light (only on back brakes in those days). Then to set off left foot down, into first and off we go.
12/04/2023 12:16:31 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I'll still do that shuffle from time to time Ian.

With regards having the brake on the wrong side (not "proper" pffft) then the camber is on the wrong side in the rest of the world. Obviously the rest of the world drives on the wrong side of the road (save for a few ex colonies) but still, what can you do.

To me the current setup is logical. Gears on the left side (clutch and gear shifter), go faster / slower on the right side (throttle, brakes). Of course when we go fully automatic (Honda DCT) and then electric we won't be needing gears and clutches. In which case we could have brake levers for front and rear on the handlebars (rev-n-rip scooter style) and our feet can do whatever they want. Hell you could even have a foot operated throttle like a car! Or how about combined brakes (like a car) with one foot brake and additional hand brake?
12/04/2023 12:40:57 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
You may remember my brief dalliance with a Yamaha Xmax "super" scoot. Although it filled a gap at the time it was awful - partly because I had to re-educate my left hand to avoid constantly locking the back wheel, partly as I felt I had little control over what was happening. I like automatic cars but hate automatic bikes. Fortunately my riding (and probably everything else) days will be over by the time they're ubiquitous.
12/04/2023 13:51:00 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
I've had this happen many times whilst riding off road Ed. You did what you could and got away with it. Which is good. Do Sharon's kidney punches hurt......
Can't say I remember it happening on the road to an extent that was troublesome and whilst offroad on XR400's I didn't have to pay for the clutches.
If riding off road and it was in danger of getting hairy I think I would have just laid it over. But as I say I wasn't paying for the bike or kit.
Thanks for reminding us it's spring.
It's snowing here!
Upt and really ready for spring.
12/04/2023 17:00:03 UTC
nab301 said :-
" Or how about combined brakes (like a car) with one foot brake and additional hand brake?"

Too late Ren , big block Guzzis have had them for years complete with hydraulic proportioning valve, I've never ridden one but apparently it's possible to use just the foot brake most of the time...
12/04/2023 17:22:56 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
Perhaps one of the soon to be released self balancing bikes might find its way to your door Ed.
I've ridden new and old CBS bikes, but I haven't got a clue if they would have helped, they all seem to work differently.
12/04/2023 17:27:19 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
I once attempted to cycle up that road. It wasn't the gradient that beat me, but the sight of a car approaching down the hill. The vertical drop to my left and the thought of the car trying to squeeze past without bothering to find a passing place was enough to get me to dismount in record quick time...
12/04/2023 18:49:46 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
Not just the big blocks Nigel, the V50/35 and descendants had them as well. But no proportioning valve. I must say that although the linked brakes worked very well, it was hard to train myself to use what felt like the back brake all the time. No rproblem if it's your only bike.
13/04/2023 10:11:03 UTC
Bogger said :-
I've had a similar experience Ren, on a flat car park two up. I attempted a slow U turn in said gravel strewn carpark. I had to stop for a car coming across my path. The front wheel slid just ever so slightly and the handle bars turned in on themselves. This canted me over slightly to my left, both feet were down at this point.

The real problem was the 17 stone bloke perched on the back. There was no way I could keep it upright on my own. From recollection I shouted quite loudly for him to put his feet down as well.

Luckily we stayed upright and went on our way. On our way to the Hardknott pass!! I did sweat a little going over both Wrynose and Hardknott but I kept the power on through the hairpins and all was well.

I think if I'd had a smaller passenger on the back we'd of been over in the carpark, with a BMW on top of us.

13/04/2023 17:11:33 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Wow! For a short while there I thought I was in a parallel universe. I was half expecting the regular teasing and malice that typically comes from you reprobates but I almost sense a hint of empathy. Its as though you may have all been through something at least similar if not an understanding of the physics of my little fright.

As for Sharon's kidney punches? I figure I must be a slow rider as she hasn't gone as far as physical violence... yet. Mind you she might only be small but she can pack a punch. Remember never to be mean to your respective partners, even if you are almost twice as heavy and twice as strong you will need to sleep at some point in time.

Hill assist? I'm aware this tech exists on cars, I'm not aware of a bike that has it yet but I suspect there'll be a BMW or KTM with it by now. I wonder how it works? Google...?
14/04/2023 19:33:28 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
Ed, when you're right, you're right.
14/04/2023 23:01:03 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
I suppose the next thing will be the "self driving" bike as the latest Tesla about to hit our motorways. Hands free and apparently it monitors whether the driver is looking at the road (as opposed to the phone they're holding) and stops the car if it decides attention is wandering. What a good idea to come to an abrupt halt on a busy motorway.....

Another "solution" looking for a problem. If you can't be bothered driving take the train.
15/04/2023 10:00:31 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
Correct Ian. I really can't stand the driver aids in Sue's modern car, never mind one that drives itself. Personally, having worked as a programmer, and around other programmers for the thick end of 40 years, I'd far rather have a person driving the vehicles around me than a computer program...
16/04/2023 19:32:38 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
There will be problems, quite possibly even heart-breaking deaths. There will be terrible errors, entirely wrong decisions and plenty of law suits. But. We already "accept"/"tolerate" around 1500 deaths each year on UK roads. I do not know how Tesla's "not steering" system will work and as a programmer myself I know code is seldom infallible.

However - would I trust an AI system with the combined knowledge of millions of miles covered from millions of vehicles across the world or the brain of a tired driver who's focus is on last night's argument with their partner and the pressure to perform at work?

I don't believe we're fully "there" yet with AI self driving vehicles, I share your concerns regarding these half assed halfway self driving but not really systems. I suspect though that one day in the future it will happen and while not perfect it'll be better than the considerably imperfect humans we are.
17/04/2023 08:42:35 UTC
nab301 said :-
"I suspect though that one day in the future it will happen and while not perfect it'll be better than the considerably imperfect humans we are"

Ren , will that not sound the final death Knell for Ptw's? After all, motorcycles are an anomaly that is over represented in crash statistics yet I can't see them adapting to driverless mode... while the powers that be, certainly in the EU would like to see them gone but as Ian suggests , if you don't want to drive ( a car)take public transport.
For me , part of the fun of driving / riding bikes is manual gearboxes , I don't particularly want automatics , or self parking cars , or lane assist . Admittedly lane assist ( supplied with most new cars) seems like a reasonably good idea, whereby changing lanes at over 40mph (I think) without indicating creates a warning for the driver, but anecdotally these drivers are disabling it which means either the system has faults or drivers really aren't indicating when changing lanes!
Locally, (Southern Ireland) this decision to upgrade vehicles seems to be increasingly taken out of our hands by insurance companies who often refuse to insure older cars on stand alone policies , describing them as end of life or quote exorbitant renewal fees..
Then, even if you agree with the technology , I for one cannot afford it new ,and certainly have no interest in purchasing a 10 year old EV .
Finally , having watched all the terminator Films over the years and the 2018 film , Upgrade, I don't want to be around when Skynet goes wrong or Stem takes over...
On another note , I was reading a group roadtest of 3 new bikes one of which was the Herald Brute 500 cc, and it is sold with no ABS , how does the distributor get around that hurdle in this day and age ( not that I'm a fan of abs.)


17/04/2023 10:43:38 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
Ed, dont look now......there's luddites out there.
I should know, I'm one of em. Well sort of.
But we can't fight it boys and girls, it is what it is. Progress?
The new car we ordered in January for delivery (?), sometime, maybe, who knows, will be 48V mild hybrid and loaded with safety (?) driver aids. It's just the way it is, it ain't posh it's just how they come.
It's progress (?).
Will driverless cars make the roads less safe, dunno, but it'll appeal to folk who took no notice anyway.
On the subject of bikes, I can't think why they can't be made to do what cars do, they already have active cruise, they can stop them falling over, keep them in their lane and hey presto. It will appeal to some, not I, but in ten years I would predict every large motorcycle EV (that'll be all of em then) will come with these features.
But we all have choice, if you want to run around tax free on a smoky old Franny Barnet you can, well you can for now.
Enjoy your pleasures everyday whilst you can, enjoy your liberties whilst you can, there's only one constant.......change.

17/04/2023 12:52:51 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Presently the whole notion of lane assist and hill assist and parking assist etc etc etc simply says to me "oooooh look, more things to go wrong!" I mean I quite like the eleccy windows in my car BUT I'd rather it had windy uppy old style mechanisms because I could fix them with an old coat hanger and araldite. I can understand an appreciate the notion of "modes" (rain, sport, etc) on a motorcycle but again it just means the computer is more complex and therefore more likely to go wrong and cost more to replace.

Electric windows are a case in point. How many of you actually even notice the electric windows today? The only time you'd notice them is if you got into a reasonably modern car and it had manual winders? "Ooooh how quaint!" Then you'd proceed to definitely not buy one of them, ain't no-one wants to put their shoulder out having to make circles on the door panel pfffft.

nab301 - I have no real idea what the future holds but I concur there's a reasonable chance that motorcycles will become a thing of the past. Much like traction engines old cars and bikes might become the domain of collectors where we ride around closed roads at weekend events up and down the country. It is also possible we might end up with self riding fully electric (hydrogen, green fuel, nuclear...) powered motorcycles. Technically it's possible.

It's arguable that PTWs may.. possibly... be the future. Do we really need 1.5 tons of metal and battery to move 80kg of person? How about a self balancing self driving covered motorcycle with heater? Lighter, smaller and more efficient and when every vehicle is networked - considerably safer.

If you really want to poop your pants google Robert Miles AI Safety. The rise of the robots could be every bit as scary as it sounds. I'll add a link to one of his videos.

Bet your shiny new car will have electric windows Upt'. Bet it'll have air-con too and that's a new fangled technology (new being we didn't have it when I were a lad). Probably have a heated screen and heated mirrors too, all new since the bad old days. Tell you what though, it won't have a cassette player. Oh how I miss the old tape deck in a car, regularly eating the cassette and creating a nest of shiny brown tape in the passenger footwell. Happy days.
17/04/2023 16:05:15 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
The salesmans face was a picture Ed......
"Where do I put my CD's"?
"Perhaps the charity shop sir"......
17/04/2023 16:33:59 UTC
nab301 said :-
"If you really want to poop your pants google Robert Miles AI Safety"

eek !

@ Upt
""Where do I put my CD's"?
A number of elderly ( older than me anyway) neighbours over the years have mentioned how they're holding on to old cars because new models don't have a CD player , obviously todays car salespeople don't need the commission , I'm sure it would be easy to fit a remotely operated cd changer somewhere in the car.
Can you imagine potentially how little a car without all the tech would cost today , base model £€ 2k max ! Back in the 70's and 80's the only cheap option were Eastern Bloc bikes and cars , Em Zeds and Jawas , cars were lada , Fso and Yugo , ok they were all based on old Fiat models but bikes and cars alike sold well locally.
My own 23 year old Seat Arosa has no airbags , no abs, no traction control, manual windows, no central locking but has, wait for it , MPI ( multi point injection!) and power assisted steering .

17/04/2023 19:26:42 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
Completely with you on this Ren. I don't want any of this nonsense on any car I drive, and would much prefer a vehicle without any of the gadgets. I don't know if the 'Lane assist' on Sue's Skoda is typical, but if I want to swerve to miss a pothole or pedestrian that steps into the road, it fights you and stops you performing the maneuver as quickly as you would normally do. This could literally mean the difference between life and death. I switch it of every time I drive the damn thing. It also decided it was going to do an emergency stop last week, when another car approached the stop line at a side road as I was approaching. Scared the bejesus out of me. Fortunately nothing was behind me....
17/04/2023 20:15:57 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
CDs Upt'? Oh yeah I remember them, they are now called coasters (to stop your tea cup marking the coffee table (not that I have a coffee table)). Charity shops won't even take them now, no-one buys them.

In this new age of Austerity (again) nab301 it seems there's still WAAAAAAY too much money. I'm still pretty sure if you regurgitated a brand new version of a Lada first of all it wouldn't pass modern safety standards. ABS is legally required and to get any kind of meaningful safety rating not only do you need airbags and crumple zones, today you need lane assist, anti roll, collision avoidance... And then even if you did manage to do ALL that and produce your NewLada no-one would buy it because of the badge. Dacia (old Renaults made in Romania) seem to do OK with the frugal folks like myself but they're not a huge success.

Power assisted steering - there's another one. Have you tried turning the steering on a modern car without the power assisted steering? Ooof, heavy. Gimme skinny tyres and rack-pinion like the good ole days.
18/04/2023 08:26:42 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
Plenty of money it's just not in the right places......
18/04/2023 11:20:07 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
Equity release accounts for a lot of it Ed, the figures are scary big. Probably fuelled by low returns on private pensions and rapid house price increases during Covid.
Total lending for 2022 reached £6.2bn, a 29% increase from £4.8bn in 2021 and a new annual record for the market. It means the equity release market has doubled in size over the last five years, having seen £3.06bn of annual lending in 2017.
18/04/2023 16:45:49 UTC
nab301 said :-
" I'm still pretty sure if you regurgitated a brand new version of a Lada first of all it wouldn't pass modern safety standards."

What about reverse psychology, remove all the safety features , seat belts etc, and fit a spike on the steering wheel , would that prevent a lot of the "accidents"

" I don't know if the 'Lane assist' on Sue's Skoda is typical, but if I want to swerve to miss a pothole or pedestrian that steps into the road, it fights you and stops you performing the maneuver as quickly as you would normally do."
That sounds about right talking to owners with that feature, no problem , once all vehicles have the emergency brake feature it'll be fine !

18/04/2023 20:47:24 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I did not know that the equity release market was booming Upt'. I'da thunk it was a lot of mums-n-dads giving their offspring a deposit for an otherwise unaffordable house to get the little bleeders out of their own homes? But yeah, why not get yourself a 70k Mercedes while you're at it.

nab301 - Risk Compensation Factor is what you speak of. If you feel super safe in your car you drive faster and/or with less care. It's an interesting point, as you remove jeopardy you remove fear.
19/04/2023 09:05:27 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
I think there's a little bit of rose tinted spectacles going on here.
I suspect if any of us jumped into a 70's car as a daily driver it wouldn't be your daily driver very long. There were some good examples of 4 wheeled engineering out there but most were god awful, they rusted within weeks, broke down with alarming regularity and when they did run they didn't do it very well. Er'Indoors car, now 10 years old is quite a sweet spot. Small, economical petrol only and with just enough equipment (sat nav, electric windows x 2, a/c) and a better ride than any small car should have and all for £8500.00 new in metallic.
This simply doesn't exist anymore. Even if you add on compound interest for the last ten years this car should still be available new for around 12. In reality you'd probably have to spend nearer 20 for something similar and wait twelve months for it to arrive.
Oh the good old days.

19/04/2023 09:11:57 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
Which is just one reason I always buy used and let someone else take the depreciation hit. My 2013 Land Rover Freelander 2 (the 2 is important!) cost me £10,000 3 years ago and is worth the same (or more!) now. I have to say it isn't cheap on fuel - although does about the same as a Triumh Stag I used for about 5 years as a daily driver round the turn of the century - but has required absolutely no attention other than servicing. The Stag was a lovely car to drive, even in modern conditions and even had electric windows. But if I hadn't been using it for work, doing 70,000 miles over that period, and getting 45p a mile it would have bankrupted me.

The Land Rover does have rather more electronics than I would prefer but none of the driver "aids" other than ABS and various modes of traction control. It's a lovely car to drive but isn't very "involving".
19/04/2023 16:28:30 UTC
nab301 said :-
"I think there's a little bit of rose tinted spectacles going on here.
I suspect if any of us jumped into a 70's car as a daily driver it wouldn't be your daily driver very long"

I'm with you on that Upt, 70's cars were generally rubbish and vey uneconomical, my ramblings are based on 80's cars , company supplied , Renault 11 1.6 diesel , a slug, but very comfortable to drive , Mk2 VW Golf 1.6 diesel, really good chassis , steering handling, unfortunately went up in smoke less than a year old , suspected electrical issue.
Mitsubishi lancer 1.8 D , torquey , no top end , comfortable drive ,although no great traction when pressing on, Renault 18 petrol estate, again , nice comfortable drive but a potential deathtrap to the unwary in wet conditions!
Opel Kadett D and E models , 1.6 diesel , lovely tight chassis and steering , engines from the agricultural dark ages!
I bought an early 80's Fiat 1.3 petrol as a project in the late 90's and madly that was a revelation ! A few days spent sorting the cambers and strengthening the known weak spots on the chassis and I had a sweet handling , comfortable and economical car.
My current car a y2k Seat Arosa was purchased for 1k Euro 10 years ago and owes me nothing.
On modern cars , I work in an aftermarket parts distributor and get calls for (on cars often less than 5 yrs old) in no particular order, Calipers , discs, NOx sensors, lambda sensors , exhaust gas temp sensors , exhaust pressure sensors, heater rads, clutches and dual mass flywheels, diesel injectors , Ad blue injectors , Dpf fluid ( cerium oxide ) injectors , blower motors, starter motors , alternators , P.a.s pumps etc etc etc.
In the future , for me , I think it'll be bikes , mobility scooter or public transport , something to look forward to!.

21/04/2023 13:16:28 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
When I were a young man (1990-2000) I had a friend who was a car dealer. I did some casual work for him valeting and the odd simple repairs. When a used car came in it was standard practice to get down on the floor to poke and prod the sills and the footwells, searching for rust of bodyfilla. By the mid teens (2015 say) I was there having a brew as he was inspecting another trade in.

He never once looked underneath the car - so I did.
"What ya doing?" he said
"Checking for rust etc"
"Oh the barely rust any more, I don't bother looking now"

Is the notion of "the sweet spot" relative to our ages? We recall the nightmare of constantly adjusting points so we do want electronic ignition... but not fully computerised (CDI?). We recall the nightmare of rust so we want modern rust protection. We recall poor fuel economy but we don't want Lambda/NOx/Manifold etc etc etc sensors.

I'ma gunna go get me a Lada.
22/04/2023 09:13:06 UTC
nab301 said :-
"By the mid teens (2015 say) I was there having a brew as he was inspecting another trade in.".

I thought you were older than that...
23/04/2023 14:28:14 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
Ooh you are awful!
23/04/2023 15:28:40 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I am older than that nab301, or at least I feel it.
24/04/2023 20:42:44 UTC
Ian Soady¹ said :-
I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now....
25/04/2023 10:04:00 UTC

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