If youíre reading this page, the chances are that you are already a convert to the Gospel of the Big Traily and I am preaching to the converted. However on the off chance that you have wandered on to this site from a link from another bike site, let me try to evangalise by telling you about my confrontation on the biking road to Damascus. I was always enamoured of weird Italian sports bikes. My garage often contained Ducati singles or Benelli 2-strokes. Buying one of the first CX 500s in the country put me off Japanese road bikes for some time and sent me down the path of Euro exotica. Despite their dodgy reputation for reliability, I never had any problems and happily covered many miles here and abroad on Guzzis, Morinis etc.
One day fancying a change from my current Laverda SF 750 I rang a dealer who had advertised some Ducatis for sale. On the phone he told me he had discovered some brand new but old model Ducatis and Cagivas in a warehouse in the States and he would send me details. When the stuff came, to my surprise it was the Cagiva 650 Elefant which caught my eye. I had always had an off road bike as well as a road bike but had never thought of combining the two. I decided to order one and paid a deposit. After waiting for some time I was finally informed that the bikes had been damaged in transit and I was given my deposit back. So, I thought , back to square one, Iíll get another Italian sports bike. I rang a dealer I knew and he offered me a Le Mans saying he was sorry but the only other bike of that general size he had was a Cagiva Elefant 750. I couldnít believe the coincidence so I went to look. That was it, a deal was struck and I returned the proud owner of a 3yr old Elefant. During the next five years that I owned the bike I became wholly convinced of the virtues of the Big Traily.
They can scratch as well as any sports bike , especially on bumpy back roads where any biker worth his salt wants to be, away from the hordes of cars.[ Are you always surprised by the convoys of Firegrates and the like that you see on busy A-roads in the summer? I am.]
They can tour better than anything but the real monster mile munchers and when you get to where your going you can unload and have some fun.
And yes you can take them off road providing you are fairly circumspect, avoiding wet grass and mud, sticking to hard rocky tracks.
Their ideal environment is in mountainous Europe. For the last 4 years my Elefant followed by an Africa have conveyed me in comfort to Spain and Italy where not only are there stunning tarmac passes to ride with surfaces unknown in England ,home of the pot hole, but there are plenty of unsurfaced tracks to ride taking you to incredible views inaccessible to all but the hardiest walker.
Well, if youíre new to the game I hope I have persuaded you to sell the GSZZXRRRCB 1, get rid of the clown suit leathers and do more miles than just going to Matlock on a summer Sunday. If you have a big traily but havenít used it much, get out there and use it. Go on Club trips, even better organise Club trips! If youíre an old hand , please share you experience with us all, whether itís touring tips, destinations, mechanical solutions whatever we would like to hear from you. Remember you have bought the most practical, fun type of motorcycle known to man!