AFTER 40 years of restoration, a former scooter track champion has given his favourite bike a new lease of life.
Peter Hockley, from Fareham, was the national scooter champion in 1969 on his Lambretta Li150 Special and is now back ‘flinging it round corners’.
The 70-year-old said: ‘I live on a little circular estate and I was going round and round on that originally, just to get a feel for it.
‘I got back onto the handling side of things and then slowly but surely went further and further away from home until I’d got the confidence and reliability back into it.’
The average span of a motorcycle usually sees riders and their prized possession share memories for around 12 to 15 years, yet Pete has had 54 years of wonderful moments with his pride and joy, including during the height of the scootering scene during the mods and rockers era of the 1960s.
Peter said: ‘Once you’ve been on two wheels it never leaves.
‘It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been out of it, it’s still ingrained in your brain.
‘I was like ‘yahoo, this is nearly as good as it used to be.
‘Now I’m flinging it round corners again, but I’m not quite so wild and reckless as I was.’
Peter, who was a leading player in the south coast scooter scene, first with the Fareham Trendsetters and then with the Hampshire Union club, originally bought the bike for £177, 7s and 6d – but today its worth thousands.
He said: ‘Selling it was not even a thought process.
‘Other people said “why don’t you sell it because they get good money?” Yeah, they do, but it’s my youth and I don’t want to throw it away.
‘I remember some very good times with it and still enjoy riding it, so why sell it? It was not particularly in the way anyway, it was just there in the garage.’
Peter started riding his older sister’s NSU Prima scooter but explained: ‘It never really worked very well, so I ditched it very quickly.’
His Li150 Special, originally only produced in all silver, featured styling from the TV series scooters with an uprated Li powerplant including a modified barrel and head, closer gear ratios and carburettor that allowed more fuel into the combustion chamber.
Peter added: ‘My wife Val used to ride on the back but she’s said there’s no way she’s getting on the back of that thing anymore!
‘She’s chuffed I’ve got it back on the road though after all these years.’