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Thursday afternoon auction gold

Bikes

Thursday afternoon auction gold

Nik Ellwood

You might remember that when I recently purchased the 916 that I was actually looking for a Fireblade. The whole team has been talking about ‘blades a lot, and we all really want one. In a past life I had a 94 Foxeye that has always remained high up my list of all-time favourite bikes. When I put a bid on this 1992 Mk1 I didn’t think there would be much chance of me winning it. Wrong. It turns out that auctions that end mid-afternoon on a Thursday might pass someone people by.

 

Either that or nobody else fancied the 45,000 miles on the bike.

 

I figured it would need work. Or sound like a bunch of jackhammers on max before going bang. Or the left side would be horrendous (all the pictures were of the right-hand side). Wrong again. Sure, it’s a 27 year old 45,000 mile motorcycle. But not that far off being a good one. Not far off at all in fact.

 

So what’s wrong? There’s a fairing fastener missing. It has horrible mini indicators, and the engine cases could do with a refinish. The mudguard has some chips, as do the wheels.  But on our first ride it all felt pretty healthy.  The 16-inch front wheel made its presence felt in the first few yards, coupled with some head bearings that might need a bit of a tweak, or a visit to the bin. The steering felt heavy, and slow. As we picked up momentum things came together. Suspension that has been recently refurbed joined the party, and a motor that has obviously been well-serviced by the previous eight owners had all of the original drive. It’s good. Really good. As good as I remember the Foxeye being.

I started to mull over the idea of a full restoration. Yes, even ditching the early 90s M&P pink bar ends. More miles into the trip and I swung the other way. It’s a survivor. A real bike that has been used but maintained. Do I want to mess with that? I don’t know. Looking under the fairing of the 916 makes me think I have plenty to keep me occupied on the stripping and cleaning front, so for now a new set of indicators and some fairing fasteners are on order. Otherwise I think it looks kind of cool as it is. Maybe more miles will tell. There’s only one way to find out!

The first run was a quick blast to Mallory in the sun

The first run was a quick blast to Mallory in the sun

Hopefully we'll be back later in the summer when the track is open.

Hopefully we'll be back later in the summer when the track is open.

90s carbon-effect mini indicators = bin

90s carbon-effect mini indicators = bin