Friday, July 4, 2014

Some photos from along the way

My first interaction with Moto Italiano I guess you could say, this 888 on display at the 1993 Melbourne Hot Rod show.  That sign was still around until the end, sitting upstairs on the mezzanine.  It probably went into the bin like everything else did.

March 7, 1995: Trev offers me a bike to take home for the night, a 906 Paso in to be sold on behalf of a customer.  I was going to drop off some brake parts from the shop ute to a mate for reconditioning, so it seemed a good idea.  My first question was "Is it insured".  "Of course it's insured " said Trev.


This is what a 906 Paso looks like after it has been wheelied into (unintentionally, of course, on both 'wheelie' and 'into' counts) the RH rear corner of a City of Melbourne mobile works caravan.  Allegedly the noise it made was that of an explosion.  Which is kind of what the front end appeared to have done.

Look at the next photo:

Then try to say "bruised and lacerated scrotum" without smirking.  I can't.

What followed was my first ride in an ambulance and my first time on a trolley being wheeled into an emergency room.  You know those scenes in movies where they show the view of the ceiling with passing lights that someone sees as they get wheeled into the ER?  That's 100% life like, and quite bizarre.

And the first time I had all my clothes cut off on the ER table with the great big "cut everything" scissors.  Cost me my first leather jacket and my TISM "Great Truckin' Songs Of The Renaissance" T-shirt.

And because the ER doctors were:

1/ paranoid about neck injury 


2/ female

the probing for my injuries, done with tenderness around neck level, slowly degenerated into pointed jabbing by the time they'd reached the ball zone.  Given that, by this stage, the level of nadular pain was at hyperventilating levels, the true depth of the evening's deviation from previously laid plans was born out by the stabbing of fingers followed by the ever loving "Does that hurt?"

"Whada you reckon?"

If I had any ability to make my stomach muscles contract at all I might have tried to raise myself up and go them.  But I was helpless, naked and cold.

After they started pumping morphine into me one of the doctors asked if I was feeling a bit spacey.  I think I suggested she call her dealer, as it wasn't kicking in.  Thus began my first interaction with the world of opiates.  It was never something I really enjoyed; while the dopey fog of sleepiness wasn't so bad, the nightmares and itching were.

That night I ended up with 3 stitches in the aforementioned scrotum.  I don't think I'll ever forget the stinging pain of the local anaesthetic needle as they went my nads like a pin cushion, or the sensation of the stitches going in.  And out, and in, and out.  The local removed the pain, but not the feeling.  It's rather odd.

A few days later I woke from my first general anaesthetic with a couple of little wires in my wrist, to hold the end of the (I think) radius in place.  It was quite a weird sight seeing two little pins poking out of my arm.  I expected that a hole in your skin like that would bleed.

A week or so later the stitches came out, a task performed by a male nurse who had, at least, an appreciation of and for the delicacies at hand.  The pins came out a few months later, when I watched a doctor open a sterilised package containing a pair of pliers much the same as I had in my toolbox.  When he couldn't get the wires to move he actually put my hand on the desk and then put his knee on top on it to hold it down, before realising (possibly due to the looks from myself and my mother) that perhaps that wasn't the most correct way of doing things.  Turned out a quick twist was all they needed to free themselves, and then they came out.  Followed by a couple of drops of blood.  Again, I couldn't believe there wasn't a torrent of it.

One thing that came of it was a change in my attitude.  I'd always been a bit of a gunna, while never actually doing anything.  Well, I did manage to finish rebuilding a Monaro a few years before, but up till then I'd pretty much just floated through life without really getting into anything.  So while I had a few weeks off, I came to the conclusion that I should get into something.  And that something became motorcycles.  Although, the way I went about it may seem a little odd, given the surroundings.

Although it did take until the second time my parents got a phone call from an ER saying "We have your son here..." for me to appreciate the impact it had on them.

And I still contend it's one of the better things you can do with/to a Paso.

June 1995: What you get for $8,000.  

Well, it came with all the other parts needed to assemble it pretty much.  A customer was having this resto done, and wanted to bail on it.  At that point most of my friends were getting into property, and over the next 5 years the value of the Melbourne property market generally doubled.  As I sit here 19 years later, the long term impact of that decision is clear any time I look at our mortgage.

Some Saturdays, my play day, I'd go into work and just look at it, wondering how I was ever going to get it finished.  But, by April 1997, I had this:

The colour choice put a few people off, and, to add weight to the general opinion of dislike, it's in one of Ian Falloon's books in black and white (and uncredited).  But I loved it.

I had a preview to how it would ride when I rode Trev's V7 Special (actually an 850GT or Eldorado painted as a V7) in to the 1995 Italian Motorcycle Concourse (November, Lygon St).  As long as you didn't want to do anything too quickly, it was fine.  I'm guessing Trev rode either the SB6 or Mantra (behind the V7), as we were the Australian Bimota importers at that time.  You can see the Monaro behind them, my first love in orange.

And I did find a few years later that you could comfortably scrape the centre stand on the ground without falling off.  It really was a very cool bike, but in the end it was the 6 or so hours it took to clean it that wore me down, so I stopped riding it and eventually sold it.  And I haven't seen it since, although I know it is still around.

February 1996: Bearded up and giving some love to an 888.

March 1998: My Sport 1100i, The first and only new bike I will ever buy.  It's quite a nice feeling removing your own bike from its crate.  Pre modifications and crashing.  And proving I hadn't learnt anything about the benefits of worthwhile investment.  Actually my first official borrowing of money, all $15,500 of it.  I bought it direct from Stolarski, when they were unloading the bikes they still had when they lost the Australian importership.  I could have had a Daytona RS for $18,250 from memory.  In hindsight, I should have found out how much a 900SSie would cost me.  Or one of the last 1997 900SS.  Would have been much more relevant.

No comments: