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Posts posted by Patmobile

  1. My 1936 4.25 litre Bentley with aluminium coachbuilt pillarless 2+2 coupe body by Gurney Nutting was a nice car.  It would cruise at any speed up to about 100 miles per hour for as long as you could afford the petrol.  Each passenger (not the driver) had his own cigar lighter.  The tool kit was in a green baize lined drawer with shaped recesses to hold each tool.  Upholstery was superb red leather.  Leaf springs had leather gaiters to keep the grease in and the dirt out.  The vertical louvres in the radiator grille were opened and closed by a mechanical thermostat.  No dipstick - there was an engraved quadrant scale on the side of the sump with an arrow that pointed to the figure on the scale representing the amount of oil present.  P100 headlights, of course.  4 speed gearbox with selector on the floor to the right of the driver.

    My favourite car of all was my 1996 BMW 635 coupe.  Fast, quiet, very comfortable, silky smooth unburstable engine, exciting handling, and remarkably economical.  A very hard act to follow - I kept it 19 years and had a succession of fast Mercedes and BMW coupes and saloons at the same time, (even a Mazda RX7!) but always preferred to take the Beemer out.

    I have now settled down to a Golf and two Smarts.  (Now there's a future classic)  

    I'm afraid I'm too old now to find out if you can do it in a Smart.




  2. Hello again

    Yes, it's true I don't like noisy bikes.  What's the point of them?

    All my cars for the last 20 years have had catalysts and injection systems that completely cut off fuel on the overrun, so there's nothing very advanced about that.  I might ask, "Why have bikes been using old technology?"

    OK, maybe I didn't interpret the OP's smiley correctly.  I thought it denoted a smug tone - I'm sorry I didn't understand it.

    I'm not against bikes, but the idea that they are some sort of less-polluting alternative to the car is truly laughable.  Somehow the bike lobby has become so strong that politicians and the press, and maybe the bikers themselves, have swallowed this lie.

    Just for my information - I'm really not picking a fight now - do bikes have to undergo a regular MOT/Controle Technique test?  Do advertisemants and showroom stickers for bikes have to carry mandatory information about fuel consumption and CO2 emissions?  Is there any legislation on the way to make very large gas-guzzling bikes pay more road tax than smaller economical models?


  3. [quote user="Bugbear"]

    Since the introduction of the 'euro standards' (1-2-3-4) all bike manufacturers have, like car producers, had to comply on all new cars and bikes produced for the european market.

    If a comparison needs to be made the performance factor is probably the closest fair comparison that can be made.

    Comparing a modern sports bike (0-100 mph speed in around 6 or 7 seconds) with a Bugatti Veyron or Ferrari (similar performance) gives a totally different perspective as to which are the most polluting.


    Thank you,

    In choosing to compare your bike with a Ferrari or Bugatti, you make my point far more convincingly than I could.

    Why don't bikes have catalysts?  Why are the standards for noise emission less strict than for cars?  Why do owners of  noisy bikes fit aftermarket exhausts deliberately tuned like trumpets to make an even louder noise?

    If riders were concerned about pollution I wouldn't need to ask these questions.  So have your bike by all means, but lay off the hypocrisy about emissions and pollution.



  4. [quote user="oakbri"]

    ......Maybe the slim chance of being caught is what makes the locals unconcerned, or maybe they are all friends of the earth and like to let their engines run as intended instead of spewing out excess fumes all in the name of "safety"[:D]



    All - or very nearly all motor bikes, especially any over 100bhp, are massive polluters compared with almost any car, including 4x4s. 

    So spare us the fake concern for the atmosphere of our planet, please.


  5. Just been watching the Olympic Womens Beach Volleyball (what a great sport!) on the same morning that Gary Glitter had just been expelled from Hong Kong by the Chinese authorities.  During a brief interval while the lovely bikinied sportswomen take a break or change ends or something, the arena public address system was pumping out the Glitter hit "My Gang" at top volume.

    Are they trying to tell us genuine sports fans that we're really just dirty old men?


  6. Mr Brown is very clever - maybe even more clever than the one with two brains - he should be teaching PPE in a good grammar school somewhere.  Oh, I forgot, there aren't any left.

    But that doesn't mean he can't act stupidly some or most of the time.  2 examples:

    1.  When he decided to sell off a large part of Britain's gold reserves all at once, he announced his decision to the world long before doing it.  Result - the market wrote down the price of gold in anticipation of tons of it becoming available.  Brown knows all about the theory of supply and demand but he wouldn't listen to anyone when they told him that, in real-world practice, his plans would cost the country billions.

    2. He recently lectured OPEC on the price of oil.  Told them, quite rightly, that the industrial nations would have a hard time and could go into recession if they didn't do something to reduce the price. (i.e produce more).  If that were to happen, he predicted, almost certainly correctly again, the price would drop like a stone when demand turned down sharply, as it does in a world recession, which would be uncomfortable for the OPEC members.  At the same time he informed them that Britain and other western industrialised nations would be taking major steps to reduce their reliance on the OPEC products in future.  Clever, eh?  Negotiate wth your major suppliers to get a lower price, but while doing so tell them you're going to stop buying their only product as soon as possible anyway.  I don't think any corner shopkeeper would have made such a basic error in price negotiations

    Mr Brown has got 2 brains.  One of them is evidently very clever, the other must be moronic.



  7. [quote user="Nicos"]I wonder if Patmobile got any alpaca????

    I've got the bug again...must be that time of year!!!![:-))]

    Not yet.  There was a lot of work to do on the house first.  Now I need to clear about 2000 sq m of trees that have covered what was once a nice paddock.  When that's done I reckon I'll get a few just for fun.


  8. I'm trying to complete my mother's first french tax declaration.  She arrived in France last year to live with us permanently, at the age of 88 (now 89).

    She receives a British War Widows' pension which is paid directly into her French bank account.  Am I right in supposing this does not have to be entered on Form 2047 - Declaration des Revenus Encaisses a l'Etranger, since it is paid direct in France, in Euros?

    Does it have public sector pension status?  If so where do I enter it on the Declaration form 2042?

    Her other pension is a final salary based company pension, currently being paid into her bank account in UK before being transferred to her French account.  This presumably does have to be entered on Form 2047. Right?

    Would greatly appreciate any knowledgeable input from anyone with experience in these specific areas.



  9. These discovery cruises were becoming very popular until the recent sinking.

    Now, however, ice and penguins are not enough.  Everyone wants the full antartic shipwreck experience.  Cruise lines are buying up old ships cheaply so that they can "accidentally" sink them.  Japanese shipyards are already offering a new type of luxury cruise vessel that "sinks" and then returns home underwater, where, after a quick change of name it can set off on another cruise.

    The passengers get such a kick out of it, they don't even mind losing all their baggage and coming home a week early.  They know they'll dine out on the story for the rest of their lives.  

  10. Everyday, on the advice of my wife and other medically unqualified pundits, I eat lots of oats, bran and apples.

    I think I'm turning into a horse.  No, I'm not growing a tail and neighing.  It's the quantity and - (excuse me) - the size of the waste product that is becoming horse-like.



  11. [quote user="Winegum"]I never realised car drivers heard or saw motorbikes (unless they are also bikers themselves). They've usually got the stereo up full volume or they're on their mobile phone![:D]

    I prefer to listen to the motor - however, it's so quiet you can only hear it inside the car with the stereo off.

  12. [quote user="raindog"][quote user="Patmobile"]

    Interestingly, no-one on this forum has yet been able to give any valid reason why bikes should not be made as quiet, or even quieter than cars.  That is because there is no logical reason.  No doubt biking is fun, but would it not be as much fun if the bikes were quiet? 


    You seem to be describing an off road event, where some, if not all, the bikes will have competition exhausts with minimal silencing.

    It's true, there's a certain ammount of selfishness riding noisy motorbikes. I did alot of off road riding when I first came to France and packed it in when I realized what a pain in the a**e I was being to walkers ejoying the countryside.


    No, I can't hear the event, it's too far away, and anyway, I've nothing against people taking part in motor racing, flying, or biking events at the proper venues.

    I'm complaining about the outrageous noise they make on the road, where they are noisier than any other type of vehicle that passes.  Why?

  13. I don't live near any sort of sports venue.  I just happen to live a few hundred yards from an ordinary road that leads to Berck & Le Touquet.  The offensive noise comes from the spectators' bikes as they ride noisily to and from the events that are held on the beaches there.  Cars pass by with the faintest swishing noise, tractors with an almost imperceptible low growl.  Occasionally the sound of a large lorry can break through the birdsong and the rustle of the wind in the pines.  These noises are of short duration because the vehicles pass out of earshot within seconds. 

    You can hear the shrieking motor bikes approaching half a minute before they get here - and for half a minute afterwards. 

    Interestingly, no-one on this forum has yet been able to give any valid reason why bikes should not be made as quiet, or even quieter than cars.  That is because there is no logical reason.  No doubt biking is fun, but would it not be as much fun if the bikes were quiet? 

    Bikers may be the nicest people, but they are selfish and self-deluding in their inability to recognise the damage their noise pollution does to the quality of life of the rest of the world. 




  14. [quote user="Bob T"]This must be a wind up! The reason that cars make less noise is that the engine is enclosed inside the car. Bike engines, on the other hand are exposed. A six to ten foot exhaust on a car will be quieter than a 3 foot one on a bike. The noise figures for all vehicles are for when they are new and most bikes, when new, are very quiet.
    When you talk about pollution, how can one person in a 2 litre Ford Mondeo, doing 30 mpg be polluting less than two people on a bike that does around 50 mpg?
    If there had been a custom car event near you would you be saying the same?

    1)  The bike noise I hear, at a range of half a mile or more with some bikes, can only be exhaust noise.  the mechanical noise of the engine could not possibly reach so far.

    2)  A 700cc Smart FourTwo has an engine similar in size to many motor bikes and an exhaust system of similar length.  It easily complies with the noise limits laid down for cars, so please explain why a bike with a similar size engine can't.

    3)  Old cars are still quiter than old bikes

    4)  I rarely see 2 people on a bike but I often see 4 in a Mondeo or similar car.  The car will typically also carry shopping, furniture, business samples, building materials, gardening supplies, etc. during its lifetime, so it's real life fuel burnt/payload ratio is likely to be far better than the bike's. 

    5)  To take a typical example, a Kawasaki bike of 700 cc will do about 45 mpg (Motorcycle News).  A 5 door, 5 seat, petrol-engined, 2 litre, versatile multiple-use hatchback such as a Renault Clio, will easily average 45 mpg.  Many similar size diesel engined cars will manage 50 or more mpg.

    6)  If the people who turned up to spectate at a custom car event, or even a motor racing event, drove cars that made as much noise as the hundreds of spectator bikes at our local events, I would certainly say the same.  I'm sure a lot of the spectators for these bike events came by car, but I didn't hear a single outrageously noisy car on either weekend. 

    I haven't found out yet if most bikes have catalysts in the exhaust to clean up the emissions.  I suspect they don't.  Can someone answer this question?  



  15. Thanks for that.  Sorry - been having major internet problems or I would have responded earlier.  We're still unpacking boxes and bringing the house up to scratch at the moment - so can we take a rain check on the idea?

    When it's all straight and the plaster and brick dust is out of our hair and noses, we hope to find new friends in the area.  Cup of coffee or a glass of something would be very welcome then.


  16. There were two motor bike events near us on two consecutive  weekends last month.  These brought lots of bikers to the area - and lots of noise pollution.

    Why are motor bikes so noisy?

     I was surprised to find out that bikes are permitted by law to be more noisy than cars.  The motors are small and could easily be made to be quiet.  Very brief research also revealed that motor bikes are among most dangerous and least environmentally sound vehicles you can legally use on the road.  I've heard about people campaigning against 4X4 vehicles, but why are they not concentrating more effort on pointing out how noisy, polluting, dangerous and fuel inefficient most bikes are?

    If anyone knows of a genuinely valid reason why bikes should not conform to noise and pollution standards that every car in Europe has to, please enlighten me.     



  17. Vanessa, we liked St Valery when we looked for a place there back in 2000.  Unfortunately we couldn't find anything that suited us at the time, but it's always been one of my favourite places in this region. 

    Woolybanana, if you're looking for a town with some authentic character in a beautiful setting, St Valery would be my recommendation as a starting point.  I'm sure pagnol8 could tell you more about its facilities and the quality of life you'll find there.  Just a couple of miles outside the town, towards Abbeville, we recently found the prettiest little 18th century (I think) chateau I've ever seen, in good habitable order, for sale at a very reasonable price.  We were strongly tempted to buy, but we would have had to make a lot of changes in order to provide a granny flat, so we reluctantly turned our backs on it.  

    We're now close to the Authie estuary.  I used "Marquenterre" in the topic heading to give a general idea of the area without being specific.  We have owned a second house in Fort Mahon for a number of years and we had noticed that the area seems to have a micro-climate of its own such that the weather on this part of the coast was always a bit warmer, dryer, sunnier than at home near Hesdin, only 50 odd kilometres away.  It can get a bit busy in summer, of course, but you can't blame other people for wanting to take advantage of the same benefits we came here to enjoy all year round.  I imagine St Valery can get a bit clogged up in August, too.

    I hope you'll both get the opportunity to spend more time here.



  18. [quote user="powerdesal"]What an absolute waste of time, effort and money. "Green" confidence tricks rule OK.

    I've sailed more than 25,000 nautical miles without any other power but the wind.  To do the same, at the same average speed, in an economcal diesel engine powered boat of similar size, would have meant burning a minimum of 2500 gallons of fuel.

    Before the industrial revolution there were thousands of wind powered mills all over Europe.  Nobody complained they were ugly, killed lots of birds (!), altered the route of the jetstream (!!) - I've actually heard all these ludicrous claims - or criticised them on the grounds that the claims made for their efficiency were greatly exaggerated.

    I don't believe that mankind's activities have ever caused any change in the Earth's climate, and I believe they probably never will.  To think otherwise is greatly to overestimate the importance of  we puny creatures and hugely underestimate the power of the natural forces to which we are all subject.  But, there's no question that burning fossil fuel is polluting our environment, and that we can't go on doing it forever, so why not use wind power when and where it is possible to do so? .



  19. [quote user="Gastines"]

    Is it a case of those at the bottom paying for the mistakes and bonuses, of those at the top?

    The funny part being amid all this uncertainty, the powers that be are wondering why so many aren't saving/investing for thier future.



    I bought a Ferrari with my pension money.  Unfortunately it was for someone else.


  20. Have you considered a DOM/TOM?  Martinique has some life and a very mixed population, I believe.  You would still be technically in Europe so no problem with visas/work permits etc. (Have to admit I'm guessing about this)

    If you're looking for an exciting change, this could be a great opportunity.  I'm beginning to get itchy feet myself


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