Last September me and eight friends decided to go on a motorcycle tour, travelling from Reading in the UK down through France and over the Pyrenees into Spain. We were going via Andorra then down for a day’s rest in Barcelona before travelling across northern Spain to Santander where we were going to take the ferry back to England.

Our party consisted of a number of different machines, two Honda Deauvilles, a BMW GS 1200, a Honda Hornet, a Kawasaki ZX 9, a Bimota SP6, a BMW R1150RT and me on my Triumph Rocket Three.

I had bought the Rocket Three just two months before leaving for this trip and had only covered 345 miles on it prior to the 2200 miles we were planning for the trip. To this end I had a number of extras fitted to the bike, including fog lamps, heated grips, a small summer screen, a backrest and sissy bar, fuel gauge and clock, leather panniers, and a riders backrest. Of all the above options it turned out that the best accessories I had had fitted were the heated grips and the riders backrest.

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Good ole mini bikes, an evolution from the go cart, have been a form of recreation and fun for many decades now. Mini Bikes are a great way to put some additional fun and entertainment into those outdoor and camping vacations. Being relatively small and not very heavy, mini bikes are pretty easy to find a spot for to take along no matter where you may be heading. Adults and kids alike can have a lot of fun taking a spin on one of these classics.

Still today, these two wheeled wonders are doing their part to take outdoor recreation to the next level. Popular manufacturers of past like Rupp and Fox took advantage of this excitement in the 50′s, 60′s and even into the 70′s as these small machines were a huge craze to the masses. Manco still to this day makes various versions of this old time favorite. There are still plans available that one can purchase and use to make their own homemade frame. Even kits can still be found that one can build and assemble themselves which saves a few dollars on a minibike purchase. The original mini bike was a solid steel frame welded together, but as time went on they started adding springs in the forks and to the rear of the frame as shock absorbers, making it a much smoother to ride. Some of the latest versions do have shock absorbers just like motorcycles.

Originally they were powered mainly by four cycle Briggs & Stratton and Tecumseh engines. These were very popular choices of days past. Occasionally you might find a Kohler engine here or there. Today these old favorites are still in use along with some of the new manufacturers like, Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki. Most of the original mini bikes were designed with a centrifugal clutch, chain and sprocket assemblies to drive them. As the newer two cycle engines came into the picture, these smaller cc engines were much like their counterpart, larger motorcycles. They included a gearbox and shift lever that changes ratios and gives a variety of ranges to use depending on the terrain or need of the driver.

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