1991 Honda CRM250, Mk2

I've been looking for a little trailly for a couple of years, after having had all sorts of fun at off road schools and events. I'd decided I wanted a stinkwheel, as they tend to be lighter than a four stroke and easier to pick up and start after the inevitable prang. I'd actually done a bit of research into importing traillies from Japan to the UK a couple of years ago (answer: don't bother, no money in it), and the CRM250 Mk2 consistently came out as a good two stroke to buy: Honda build quality, water-cooled and reliable (provided you change the gearbox oil every six months). So the only thing to do was to find one.

And this proved tricky. I never went out of my way slavishly reading the small ads every week, but I kept an eye open and they were few and far between. Then I went to an autojumble at Kempton Park in February, and blow me down, there she was. Looked clean, lowish mileage (10,000 Kms), owner seemed a straight-up sort of guy, and local, so I offered him £150 less than he was asking. Which he refused. I got his contact number though, came home and checked prices on the Internet - his was right. I also bought Trials and Moto Cross Weekly to see what the market was like, and there wasn't a single one for sale. So I gave him a call, offered the asking price and a week later it was cluttering up the garage.

There were also some more byways so I gingerly followed them, never above second gear, and having to force myself to relax - it's hard getting back into the habit of riding a bike confidently through slippery mud and deep potholes, but great fun.

Through the ford another couple of times, then home, without falling off this time. Fast forward two days and I ache all over!

So, what's the spec? Water-cooled 246cc single, making about 40 bhp at 8000 rpm, and, more importantly, about 27 ft/lbs of torque at 6500rpm. This means she doesn't need huge revs to get decent drive, which in my inexperienced hands would mean multiple prangs. USD forks, very long travel suspension, weighs in at about 130kg, so light enough for me to feel in control of her as she moves around under me, rather than vice versa. Nothing special about controls, speedo, no tacho and basic warning lights (including oil - that's the important one).

So I'm having fun with her at the moment. I know some guys who go out most weekends, and once I've stopped aching quite so much I'll trundle along.

Next job was buy the kit. Cheapest just about everything (boots, trousers, jacket, gloves, helmet and goggles) still came to about £500, but I wasn't really willing to risk my rather more expensive road kit (and look a prat).

A bad back meant it took another couple of weeks before I finally took her out. You can go down byways legally, and the nearest to me is about three miles away and it lasts for about a mile. It was narrow, rutted, had trees overhanging it and I only fell off once. That was enough for one day.

Next day I decided to take her through a ford I know, to save having to wash her. It was deeper than I remembered, water came up to the bottom of the tank but she, er, sailed through it. Magic.