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Homepage. This page: Another story from 'Uncle Joe'
Uncle Joe's stories about motoring

Caught riding a Honda motorcycle after selling an Ariel!

"Uncle Joe", a name used to protect the innocent (and not-so-innocent,) has kindly volunteered his own motorcar and motorcycle memories. A series of stories will be featured here at oldclassiccar, all of which are true, based on the vehicles that Joe has owned, driven, or worked on, over the years.

If you have similar stories that you'd be willing to share with the world, I'd be happy to feature them here too, using an alias if you'd prefer!!

I've always enjoyed reading people's firsthand recollections of cars, and their foibles, in years gone by. Stories similar to this can be found on the main Motoring Memories Project page, which can be found here.

No-one at oldclassiccar necessarily agrees with, or condones, the events in these stories, and opinions given are not those of the site editor, but of the contributor!

Getting Pulled (on a Japanese bike)

175cc Honda
A few months after I had started college, an offer was made to me for my beloved Ariel Arrow. As I was riding quite a lot at this time, I decided to accept as the Arrow was proving to be a little to expensive to run. Besides, the money that I was offered would pay for a new 175cc Honda. A bit boring, especially after the tuned Ariel, but just the ticket for a poor student! I ended up keeping this bike quite a few years, eventually logging an incredible 111,000 miles on it! This was in spite of the fact that I got my full car licence after just a few months of ownership, and it ended up being used as a second vehicle. This is not quite true, as during my first year of driving, I wrote off a number of cars, so in fact it became promoted to my primary mode of transportation on more than a few occasions. It was during one of these promotions that the following happened, only to be reflected in a similar way a few years later. The story is true, although I am not sure that one point is legally correct. Judge for yourself. And answers on a postcard (well e-mail), please!

It was just after midnight on a cold wet night in November, and I was returning home from a college dance. To keep warm, after all, air friction causes heat, you know, I was riding a little too fast in a 30mph zone. When I came to a road junction, I stopped, noticing a Police Panda Car behind me. Naturally, I got pulled over. The conversation went a little like this:

“Good evening, Mr Duke. I suppose you know the reason that I stopped you?”

At that time, if you were pulled over by the police, and had been speeding, they referred to you as either Geoff Duke or Mike Hailwood if it was on a bike, or Stirling Moss if you were in a car. Of course there had been newer champions, but they just weren´t known! At least when this comment was heard, you knew what you had been pulled for!

“No not at all. Could it be that I had forgotten to cancel an indicator?”

“No, not at all. I have just followed you at about 50mph in a 30-limit”

“Oh I´m sorry, I only thought that I was doing 28mph!”

“Could you tell me where you have been, sir?”

“To a dance at college.”

“And were they serving alcohol there?”

“Of course.”

“And have you had anything to drink?”

“Only draught Coca Cola, officer!” I could see that he did not believe this answer. I know that there has been more than one tee-totaller at the college, as I´ve met both of them, but they were the exception that proves the rule.

“From the way you were driving, I suspect that you might have stolen this motorcycle. Can you tell me the registration?”

I told him the correct number, which surprised even me. He then placed his hand over the speedometer, and asked the mileage

“About 96,000” I answered. Even in the dark, I could see his eyes light up. He thought that he had me. That many miles on a Honda? No way! Until he looked. It was true! He couldn´t believe it. His jaw dropped.

“Well, it does indeed seem to be your vehicle, but as you were speeding, I would like you to take a breathalyser test. Do you have any objections?”

“Of course not, ossifer!”

I blew into the bag. As I had indeed not drank anything other than Coca Cola, it was OK. I expected his face to get even longer, but it didn´t. Instead he began to smile.

“You b****r,” he laughed “You knew didn´t you?”

“I´m sorry, knew what?”

“You knew that as the law stands, if I breathalysed you, and it was negative, then I couldn´t charge you with speeding. Go on, on your way.”

I actually didn´t know, and still dont. Could someone tell me?

Thanks for another interesting tale - I wouldn't be surprised if the law has changed a little since UJ was caught on his 175cc motorbike!

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