Cmax mended

It's very rewarding the way FFs refuse to lie down and die. I don't think there are a great deal of 2002 Tmax's left, but this first conversion to FF, done originally in six days as a feasibility study, is one of them. Now living in Leeds with it's third owner, it head-butted a car recently, bending the forks legs slightly and deranging the simple footbox structure. This was a fairly crude arrangement, finished with corex and tank tape which had survived the years rather well. Typically, it took rather longer (three weeks) to source the replacement forks legs than it did to make the new footbox structure (four days)

Here it is, back at home, ready to be re-assembled with all the delicate bits like the lights and sporting the new footbox assembly, based on the same dimensions as the original but featuring various details improvements and properely finished in 'satin' powder coat. The next car it head-butts will notice the difference!

Cmax mended

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Early Tmaxes are the crims' choice of PTW!

It's worth knowing that early, 'Mk1' Tmaxes (200--2003) are the choice of steed for the utterly mis-named 'moped gangs' in London (none of whom actually ride or steal mopeds). (They were the choice of steed for Parisian miscreants by 2001!). Apart from having only one front disc and old-fashioned carburettors, Mk1 Tmaxes were ridiculously easy to steal, because the ignition switch could just be 'screwdrivered'. For this reason the Mk2 Tmaxes came with an ignition igniter in the key handle as well as twin front discs and fuel injection, providing an extra 5bhp.
A stolen Mk1 Tmax was abandoned right opposite my house just the other day! Remember, the Tmax was the top-selling motorcycle above 125cc in Europe from the first year it was released and for the next decade. Apart from a couple of little foibles, they are pretty robust and are well capable of doing 100,000 miles. PNB

Opportunities ignored

And these older models are now valued at around £1500. Yet, as far as I know, only three of them have been turned into FFs. Despite this being a really easy conversion. This one was converted, albeit crudely, in six days. So much for 'home' production of FFs! Clearly a major transformation of English society in my lifetime. In the fifties and sixties averyone and their pet rat was making special vehicles, Tritons, Norvins, Trikes, Gilberns, Tojeiras - there was an endless list. Now it seems that vapourware is about the limit for most people. Look at the offering on EMN, where's the imagination? Or actual innovation? (apart from Arnold Wagner)

Of course there's lots of utterely ridiculous stuff being made, often at huge expense over long periods; motorcycles with aircraft radial engines, motorised armchairs, any number of iteration of the 1886 'Safety' bicycle. Like any of that is going to help. If individual innovators disappear so will innovation - or did anyone think the major corporations would pick up that load? Really? I mean, that's how come motorcycles are so totally different than what they were ten years ago right? Look at the C-Evo. Is it any more comfortable, better handling or safer than the Cmax above? OK, it's electric. Quite well done, as BMW's tend to be. But that's not innovation, that's just keeping up with reality. It's not, of itself, going to reverse the steady decline in PTW use. So what are potentially the worlds most efficient vehicles will continue to be realised in the most dangerous, uncomfortable and least efficient form. Electric power doesn't solve that, it just makes it more obviously stupid.

And here we are. In the Age of Stupid.

Scooter gang raid

Seems you are dead right, Paul. See the photo in today's Daily Telegraph of a scooter gang holding up traffic on a Thames bridge, while they steal a £100,000 TV camera, erected to film the boat race. I think the bike in the foreground is a T Max. BTW, I still have three mk1s, as a mk2'. Colin