Now, before we get all moto excited here, I must be up front with y’all. It’s not a motorcycle, BUT, it is the next best thing. Rest assured, there is motorcycle content in this post.
This year I decided I wanted another convertible roadster as my daily driver. Way back in time I had a Triumph Spitfire, a British roadster that I just loved. In 2016, the roadster bug bit again. I scoured the on-line sites for six months until I found this beauty in my price range with super low mileage and a body to die for. She is in perfect shape for a 14 year old car.
Since Zed14 showcased his new automobile on his awesome moto blog a few months ago, I felt that a precedent had been set. Since it is winter here in South Carolina, two wheeling has taken a significant downturn, so I needed some fresh blog material. Well, here she is, goofy grin and all, my new as-close-to-motorcycling-as-she-gets ride:
2003 Mazda Miata MX5
Roo has named her Guinness, due to her tan and black interior, but I’m not sold on the name yet. We both love her. She’s no speed sled, but power to weight ratio is pretty impressive. Fun? What a blast! Top down, curvy mountain roads that she takes like she’s on a monorail. Wow! Mazda got it right. As one fellow Miata owner said to me: “Mazda built a modern day British Roadster with technology, reliability, and power.”
The MX5 resurrects the classic small British roadsters of the 1960’s: Triumph Spitfire and the TR series, and the MGA’s and MGB’s as well as others. My MX5 is the NB series, or second generation built between 1998 and 2005. I like the lines of the NB series. It is truer to the look of the old Brit roadsters of the 60’s than the new MX5’s today.
This is no luxury, pseudo sports car. This is the real deal. The MX5 is tight: stiff suspension, super responsive steering, low and wide for superb handling. Not to say that the ride is torturous, it is actually quite comfortable. But, in a sports car, you want feedback from the road, just like on a motorcycle, and the MX5 gives it to you.
Shifting through the five speed gearbox is quick and easy with the short throw shifter. Redline is 7000 RPM, but the MX5 is built for low to mid-range torque, so you hit highway speeds well in advance of the envelope.
I really can’t believe the condition of this car considering it’s age. Of course, from the outside, she looks tiny, and really is. But once seated in the cabin, it seems like she morphs into a larger car. Ample leg and head room, plenty of space for my shifting arm without slamming my elbow into the passengers ribs, as in my previous car.
With the top down, the fun factor continues. I had forgotten how much fun driving a convertible is. Christmas Day turned unseasonably warm, and so I dropped the top and Roo and I went on a short drive on some local curves, laughing and hooting all the way.
Christmas eve day had me attending a regular car (mostly) and motorcycle (a little) event called Cars & Coffee, held the fourth Saturday of each month at the Michelin headquarters here in Greenville, South Carolina. Everyone brings their own ride, and the scope of cars that show up is breathtaking! From Chevy Belairs and VW Beetles (original), to 2016 Corvettes and Camaros, plus everything in between. Even the Batmobile from the 1960’s TV show came rolling in! The sound, the horsepower, and the aesthetic beauty presented here was astounding! About 150 cars showed up, and, because of the holiday weekend, was a much lower number than usual!
Cars & Coffee
This is one bad-ass looking car!
2016 Fiat 124 Spyder Abbarth
Designed by Fiat (you can see the Italian styling), built by Mazda. A great looking and performing Roadster, but all the car mag reviews still give the performance edge to the Miata MX5.
Everyone knows what this is. “Super cute” says Roo.
When this came rolling in, the whole crowd moved as one to it’s parking space
The Batmobile (from the 1960’s TV show)
I’ve seen it all, after that Bang! Pow! Zap! Batman nostalgia display. I can go home now. NOT! One more stop, to view a thing of beauty that crossed my line of vision. Something I had never seen or heard of or read about before. And, it was perched on two wheels.
1982 Honda CBX1000 (web photo)
The owner of this beautiful machine was there, and I struck up a conversation with him. He had purchased this bike from a dealer only two months prior. A long time motorcycle and sports car enthusiast, he has owned a bike in almost every marque made. He currently rides a late model BMW (besides the Honda), and his daily driver is a Porsche 911.
1982 H0nda CBX1000 (Cars & Coffee photo)
He said the only thing he had to do to this bike was change out the fluids and replace a burnt out headlamp bulb! What you see in the photos is exactly how he bought it! Wow! What a find! I’d never heard of this Honda before, and sure am glad I got to see one firsthand.
Behind the Honda was a old Harley, 1950’s I believe the owner said. You can barely see it in the Honda photo to the left. The owner is in the photo to the right getting ready to fire it up. Three kicks on the kickstarter and he was on his way.
That’s a damn good looking motorbike for it’s age, kind of like my MX5! Vintage gets sweeter with time!
I posted about this before, but 2017 will see me astride a new motorbike. My wonderful Honda ST1300 will be retired, along with the little Suzuki TU250. The plan is to have this happen in February. In their place will be another Honda, the NC700X DCT. Smaller, lighter, actually flickable, and Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission that I have fallen head over heals for.
2016 Honda NC700X DCT (web photo)
Riding the NC700X in Vermont this past July (MSTA event photo)
And so, I am very happy with my MX5. Looking forward to some great driving this spring, top down, wind in the hair, with Roo and a beagle or two if we can swing it. To quote another MX5 owner: “Mazda made the British sports car the Brits wish they had made.” To all my U.K. friends..nothing personal.
The torch has been passed (but I’d love to have that TR6)
I may have to create another blog site for the drop top. I’ll think about that.