July 01, 2011

Motorbikin' (2)

I have decided.

The Sym 125 I have been pootling around on no longer excites me.

This beasty does though:

So I am going to buy one on Wednesday. It is a Pioneer Torro.

It is a lot of bike for the money and having had a go on one today, I am sold. It is just right for me. I figure that I am going to end up on a cruiser after I take my test so I might as well get my learning done on one.

I know it doesn't travel at Warp 9. It has a manual choke and will take a few minutes to get started, and will need some choke even on a hot summers day (what with the air-cooled engine and all) but I like the feel, the look, and the weight of this bike. I could have gone for a bigger engine, something lean and mean, but I am an old fart. I like the seating position and I have nothing to prove. It feels really comfortable!

*stands by for the purists to tear me a new one*.



Richard said...

Not wishing to tear you a new one, but a couple of questions:

1. Does the supplier have a ready supply of spares? Some of the cheaper far-East bikes don't have any spares back-up at all. You break something, the bike is scrap.

2. Have you got a mechanic or dealer with workshop facilities who can do warranty and repair work? Many workshops won't touch these bikes, mainly for reason (1).

Seriously, check out these issues before parting with your cash. Something like a 5-year-old Suzuki Marauder (same engine size, same style) would be far more reliable and enjoyable to ride. Plenty of spares, everyone's granny can fix them, and no-one will laugh at you. I can see you buying a ton of heartache here. I gave a lift to a young lad on something similar recently when he had run out of petrol. The bike was a couple of years old, but looked twenty - rust everywhere, bits hanging off, real poverty biking. Find an older Jap cruiser for the same money and I guarantee you will be a lot happier.

Hyosung is the only far-East non-Japanese brand that has any kind of reputation. Sorry, mate, but there it is.

F***W*T TW****R said...

I don't ride bikes 'cause I fall off'm. But love the beauty of'm

Captain Ranty said...


1. Yes

2. Yes.

Both are 25 minutes away. I get a 12 month warranty with the bike, and a mate of mine has one. He is teaching me some basic maintenance as well.

The Torro has had some great reviews. I haven't found anything negative so far. Besides, I want to be taking my test (and trading the Torro in for something else within a year) so the pain won't be everlasting.

I appreciate your advice though. The one thing you can depend on bikers for is their willingness to help.

I agree that Japanese are the best.


Captain Ranty said...

Oh, my mate with the Torro also has a Royal Enfield (1957). His model is pretty rare. There are only four left in the UK.

He knows his onions.


Captain Ranty said...

Eff Tee,

My plan is NOT to fall off them.


Richard said...

OK, but consider this: http://www.parkers.co.uk/motorbikes/used-prices/Valuation.aspx?plate=82&deriv=7353

Anything from the big four will be better (there are no small Brit bikes at the moment).

Captain Ranty said...


"It seems ridiculous that Suzuki have pitched this single against their own Intruder - until you look at the price. It's more basic and looks lighter, which it is, and cleaner in appearance. The only thing that grates is the forward-mounted foot controls. In many ways this is a tarted up commuter rather than a semi serious cruiser, but it's reasonable value which is probably why it was the UK's best-selling cruiser in 2003."

I like the forward-mounted foot controls on the Torro and this bike, (although Japanese) is now 8 years old.

Does that matter?

(I am not too concerned with resale value. The Torro is just a training bike for me).


Grandad said...

The good old Male Menopause strikes again.


Richard said...

I have found you a reliable and stylish (if you like that kind of thing) Jap cruiser from 2006 (06 reg) - that's five years old, and probably with a mileage of less than 10k - for less money than your Torro. It will be barely run-in and go for years. Resale value would be good, even if that isn't important to you. The Intruder has more going for it, but I thought you wanted it cheap - why else would you go for a Chinese bike? I'm not recommending either of these bikes, by the way, just pointing out that there are better ways to spend your money.

Put it this way: transport yourself back 30 years and ask yourself would you buy a new Moskvitch or a 5-yr-old Ford Cortina?


Captain Ranty said...


That is eggzackly what 'er indoors is saying.


Captain Ranty said...


Well, I haven't committed yet.

I'll have another look at the Jap cruiser.

Thanks for the heads-up.

I just want something reliable for a year or so.


NewsboyCap said...


Never heard of them, wouldn't Fuck it even using yours.
Richard is right IMO, get a second hand JAP bike, sell it for what you paid for it in 12 months.
Then buy BRITISH you know it makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Captain, if you want japanese, my personal recommendation would be either the intruder or a virago. The virago is generally looked on as a bit of a pussy's bike but they are reliable as hell, shaft drive too. Of course british is best though in which case look at the triumph america or speedmaster.

giant bee said...

Cap, I'm a sports bike fan myself but I also ride dirt, and I love both. Doesn't really matter what you ride as long as you enjoy it mate. Find some like-minded cruisery types and go chug along happily :)

Bikes > cars any day of the week, except if it's pissing stair rods or you've got to carry a tonne of crap/people. Yes I have a car as well but usually when I'm in it, I'm wishing I wasn't. Heh.

More bikers = a good thing :)

Good luck and stay sunny side up

richard said...

I personally would go for a Jap bike, Honda Shadow 125 from choice. Having said that, the Pioneer looks very nice and it might be alright. If I was determined to get a Chinese bike I would also consider Jinlun. http://jinlun.co.uk/125.html
But a good local dealer is important.
Well done for getting a bike and I hope it gives you great pleasure.

Ampers said...

I have owned an old 1,000cc Ariel Square 4, before you tell me this bike was a 650cc, this was a 1932 model when it was 1,000cc.

Owned a Matchless 350cc

Owned a Velocette 500cc single.

Owned a Vincent Black Shadow 1,000cc - now that one I really do miss.

Owned a Triumph Tiger 110 which I used to ride up the M1 at 110mph - back in the days when there was no speed limit.

Used to hang out at the Ace Cafe on the North Circular, and it is still there, and hasn't changed too much :-)

Those were the days, my friend, I thought they'd never end...

nisakiman said...

Hey Ampers, did you ever get down to the Manor Cafe in Camberly? Big rocker hang-out in the 60s, on a par with the Ace. Saturday nights was like a classic show of gleaming bikes. There was a guy used to show up on a Vinnor (Vincent 1000 V-twin in a Norton Featherbed frame) which was a peach. He must have worked in a plating factory, because everything that wasn't painted black was (polished) bronze plated. Even the heads were bronze! (Plated, I presume.)

Me, I had a fickle and tatty Norton Dominator 88 (500 twin) that dripped oil everywhere, but I loved it! Except when it wouldn't start, that is. Didn't love it so much then...

I pootle around on a Suzuki DR 125 trail bike these days when the weather's fine. Its more than 10 years old, but is sooo reliable. Always starts first kick, even after sitting all winter without turning a wheel. You gotta hand it to the Japanese. It's no wonder they trashed the British bike industry.

Richard said...

Thought that was called a Norvin - Ogri's bike. Crob crob.

Ampers said...

Na! Never went there, but had heard of it.

Too far from the motorway and high speeds :-)

Gareth said...

An employee had a Jinlun, it looked great at a silly price new! but then they just stopped supplying spares, something went wrong, and its on his drive a year later - and he's a trained engineer so its not through ignorance.

Derek said...

It's a what?

Honda - funny name for a motorbike. So we thought in 1960something.

48yrs riding, 28 despatching. Just ask. Currently riding Italian. Always fancied a Goldie, or Dunstall Dominator. Never did get either.

Vinnor does sound odd, Norvin was more usual, but rare nonetheless.
Watch 'The Leather Boys' for some fifties sixties flavour.

richard said...

Gareth - to tell the truth, an MZ125 would be more my thing. And not a 4-stroke. At least if (when) it breaks down 1. it's entirely expected and 2. it's entirely fixable.

richard said...

And the reason I like the Jinlun compared to the Pioneer is that the JL really has 2 cylinders whereas the P. just has two exhausts. It wouldn't surprise me if one pipe is fitted to a blank port in the barrel. Looks like a copy of a CB125 engine. Good enough engine, but a single shouldn't be ashamed to have a single exhaust port.
Captain, I beseech you to get a Jap or even a Gilera "Coguar"!

I am Stan said...

A Triumph Bonneville Captain.

No argument!!!!!!!!!

Richard said...

Hmmm ... might be selling one of those ...

Shaunantijihad said...

OMG Captain, do not buy that Chinese shit or it will probably kill you.

Get a Yamaha Virago. They still make the 250 version, it's only small but twice as powerful as that Chinese junk. Or go for the newer style 650 Custom V Star, especially if you're nearer 6 feet than 5 feet tall, a bit heavier but smooth as Spanish girl's bum. ;-)