by Steve White
Saturday 18th September 2004
Todays trip was to the Petit Luberon mountains. My steed at the start of the day was to be ' LaRue' the Sunbeam S7 500, to be followed in the afternoon by the Triumph Tiger 650. The others out on todays run were Neil on the Honda, and Dave & Kathy Selwyn on the Triumph. We met up with Dave Broderick on his Kawasaki 900 Ninja at the first coffee stop at Lourmarin, which was almost at lunchtime, so we then rode on for half an hour or so before stopping for another al fresco lunch in the foothills of the Petit Luberon range at Gordes.
That Sunbeam was something else! It was weird to ride (compared to what I am used to), with the plunger rear ' suspension' doing it's own thing over the bumps, and the sprung saddle doing the opposite sometimes, and the same at others, trying to take bumpy bends smoothly took some doing at times! But, (and don't bring out the men in white coats please) I found that I had the widest grin on my face, and actually laughed out loud once while riding it. It was great fun, but I was happy to change over to the Tiger after lunch.
We made quite a few stops to take in the scenery in the afternoon, there was after all, rather a lot to look at, as well as to ride through....
After this last stop, we set off back to base. Progress was good today, as everyone out today was used to the bikes, so the ride could be enjoyed so much more. Oops! I spoke too soon. The Triumph started misfiring, and eventually stopped. Neil dug out his bag of tools, which included a multimeter, diagnosed a discharged battery, which was of course no good to the Boyer ignition set up, which needed a full 12 volts to produce the goods! Out came the jump leads, connected to the trusty Honda, which was revved at about 2,000 rpm for 10 minutes or so, and the Tiger was purring again. Enough to get home anyway.