My First Motorcycle

Not just  a twinge, but a veritable stab of nostalgia as I discovered that the first motorcycle I owned has its own page.  Strangely enough, considering it was an Italian bike, the page is a fan page in Dutch, which is a coincidence because it was from a Nederlander, Ari van der Heyden,  a colleague of Dad’s, that I bought this beauty just as I turned 15.  She cost me five whole shillings, a nominal amount that only a few months later became  50 cents, when NZ went to decimal currency.  The best 5 bob I ever spent!  Dank U wel Ari.

The interesting thing was that she had a one gallon fuel tank. I remember clearly that it cost half the price of the bike to fill her up.  Petrol was half a crown (two shillings and sixpence = 25c) a gallon.  That is about 5.5 cents per litre. It was a bit hard to work out, as she had no odometer as I recall, but as far as I could tell she did well over a hundred miles to the gallon.

She was temperamental, and had loose points that would often jump off the cam.  One would be cruising along happily and suddenly the motor would die.   I would have to stop, remove the cover plate, put the points back in and reset them before she would go again.

Parts were impossible to find, so as bits broke, or wore out I learned to cobble things together from whatever I found.

And here is a picture of her:

My first Motorcycle

Nassetti Dilly Turismo

Once I passed my test, I was gone.  I cannot begin to describe the sense of freedom she gave me.  Just knowing that I was no longer restricted by how far I could pedal.  In theory  I could now go anywhere!  Who cared if it had only a top speed of 29 miles per hour.  32 downhill.   It was a motor cycle.   She was a quantum leap from the first Raleigh push-bike that first gave me freedom to travel.  (Trikes and pedal cars don’t count).

She was 49cc of throbbing, smoking, rubber burning, scintillating, wheel spinning joy.

I still feel that same excitement riding today, 45 years later.

You never forget your first love.


About Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
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2 Responses to My First Motorcycle

  1. says:

    Hi there, i read with much interest your post on the Sery. My brother and i have one too.
    Please have a look at….the site is in italian !
    Are the pictures of the red Sery yours and recent? Please write to me i can tell you all about the history of your Nassetti.
    Hope to hear from you soon.


  2. Pingback: I Knew it! | Flitting Amongst The Swanplants

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