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© 2017 John Kiely        john@purlieu.photography             Phone +447736849388

Big Camera, Small Bike

July 21, 2019

This text is taken from my new Facebook page.  I intend to add posts both here and of Facebook as my adventures on my Honley continue.


As a landscape photographer I quickly realised the advantages of using motorbikes as a form of transport while working. You see more of the world for a start, and they are easy to park. I fell for the obvious temptation and used bigger bikes for carrying my equipment, I use medium and large format cameras. When my Moto Guzzi Cali broke down an old Honda Goldwing took its place, they don’t come much bigger! Lovely bike, very comfy and carries everything with ease, seemed perfect.



In the Autumn of 2018 I set off to Spain and Portugal in a motorhome with my wife Jan, dog Kelsey with friends Emma and Jim filling the role of guides. Obviously the Goldwing was too big so I bought a little Honley Classic 125 from Ernshaws in Huddersfield. You may not have heard of it, well there were only 38 commissioned by Ernshaws. Basically it is a Chinese copy of a 1978 Honda CG125, called Honley after the village that the guy that runs the shop lives in. This fitted perfectly in the garage at the back of the motorhome.


I very quickly realised the advantages of this little bike, besides the ridiculous amount of miles it does to a gallon of petrol. Firstly it is so relaxing to ride, you don’t have to worry about the right line for corners, and you definitely don’t worry about the best places to overtake. It will climb any hill, slowly, and I tested it to extremes in the Spanish mountains. best of all it is so light that it will go places the bigger bikes, including adventure models, struggle at. With a bit of thought, and a backpack, carrying my equipment is no problem. Best of all, there are no problems parking it, it can be left in places that the Goldwing would cause an obstruction.


This page will follow my trips out on my small bike, with a big camera

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