With an empty space in the garage and being without a bike for the first time in over half a century I started searching for a bike with a low seat height. Obvious choice would be an Harley Davidson but budgetary constraints, tractor-like engine characteristics (apart from the V-Rod model with an interesting engine developed in partnership with Porsche which many Harley fans frown upon as not being a proper Harley) and an image which suits bank manager types riding once a week on Sundays (if it's sunny) wearing ripped teeshirts and red bandanas, put me off.
After much searching I'd narrowed it down to a very low kilomètrage (1200kms) 1100cc Yamaha Virago and a 750cc Moto Guzzi V7 Stone 11 (two, not the three which is very new and a bit pricey). But..., the Virago was way up north near Strasbourg and the seller wasn't prepared to accept an offer below €4500 on his €4750 price. Have to admit I was tempted but the weather was nasty (not good for driving) and it was almost the shortest day (again, not good for driving) and getting there and back would mean an overnight stay somewhere. All seemed too much of an hassle. This left the Guzzi as a front runner. But..., €5k, hmm, pricey. Then, as is often the case, something else popped up: a very low kilomètrage 750cc Moto Guzzi Nevada with just one owner from new (a lady), being sold in a village about 25 miles south of relatively nearby Clermont Ferrand.
To cut a boring story short, I gave her an offer she couldn't refuse (well, she could have I suppose, but she didn't), then hurtled along to St. Leonard de Noblat for a cheque de banque, then loaded up the trailer and headed off to Auzat-la-Combelle with Georgie, Hamish and a Thermos. Weather was a bit iffy going there (snow, mist, etc.) but not too bad coming back. Bike was fab, so too the seller and her family. Job done. Roll on spring.