Yamaha XV535 (Virago)
But the Virago has some drawbacks; it has a limited touring range (100 miles) before refuelling is required and all that chrome needs regular polishing to keep it shining. These ruled it out as a realistic tourer. So back to the research again (more fun - I was loving this).
Finally, I lighted on the Honda CB500. Not a shiny bike like the Virago, but a solid, dependable and economic one with a fuelling range of over 200 miles. By good luck a yellow paint version was advertised on the CB500 owners forum and I was able to secure first option to view it. Its location was up in North Yorks near Harrogate - up by the Dales.
Countryside up beyond Keighley
I took the coach up to Keighley (cost a mere £15 from London) and spent the night with old friends Jimmy & Margaret Coffey and their family. Next day they drove me to Dacre where I met with Ben & Diane South, the bike owners. The bike was gorgeous and I snapped it up immediately. Now all I had to do was ride it 250 miles home! What a journey that proved to be - with a wobble here and a wobble there, the odd stall in the motorway services and the constant roar of rushing air in my ears on the motorway I finally arrived home 8 hours later. What a marathon. But the bike (and myself) were now safely installed at home.
My very own Honda CB500.