Lies, damned lies and statistics

Mark Twain attributed “Lies, damned lies and statistics” to Benjamin Disraeli.  There is no record of Disraeli having said (or written) such a thing and the phrase didn’t start appearing until years after Disraeli died, so it was probably a bit of a fib from Mr Twain.

Before I chunter on, anyone who hasn’t been following this from the start can click here (or touch, or whatever the phrase is for tablet users) and go back to the very first post.   Those were the days when I was optimistic.

Continuing the virtual game of “Where’s Seat” (wouldn’t it be a joy if it is wrapped in red and white stripes amongst a myriad other seats not similarly wrapped), I received a voicemail late last night.  It was simply a recording of The Beatles “Back in the USSR” so I think it safe to say that the hiking Seat has covered 50% of its travels and is now trudging dolefully through a European winter.

Now here is a thing.   As parts for Little Project are quite hard to come by in the UK (Rocking horse poo is more common) I decided to see if I could find out how many have been sold across the country.   I thought this would take about as long as it is taking Seat to complete its journey, but the internet is full of statistics and so such information is readily at hand. I would like to thank Olly Smith (@olly_smith) for the data provided at www.howmanyleft.co.uk and for the hours he must spend collating such figures – Any mistakes in interpreting these numbers are mine and not his.

It seems that during peak time, there was a grand total of 47 CT125’s being taxed.   First one sold in 1982 and the last one a forlorn and lonely sight, dusty and forgotten in the corner of a dealers showroom, sold in 2002.

By the end of 2012 there were only 14 bikes still registered (9 on the road and 5 with SORN), Little Project is obviously not one of these so that makes 15 CT125’s somewhere around the country.

I can’t decide if this is good or bad.  On the one hand, I have something that is rarer on the British roads than a Lamborghini Diablo VT (26 in total) and that is quite exciting.  On the other hand it does explain why spares are difficult to locate.   I can take the positive view that somewhere out there are the remains of another 30 or so broken bikes that might (if I can locate them) provide me with enough spares to be up and going again.

I have been looking for a picture of a complete and running bike so that I know what I am aiming for.   I think that copyright law means that I can’t publish it directly on the blog, but I’ve found a couple of examples; Here is a UK model and here is a US model.   Not far to go for me then!

I have located a few more parts, kindly being shipped at a greatly reduced cost from Generation Cycle in Perris, California.  If you’re ever in the desert in search of bike bits, pop in and see them, they’re nice chaps.

Thank you for your time

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One thought on “Lies, damned lies and statistics

  1. Reblogged this on noreinsgirl and commented:
    Mark Twain also stated, “There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.” The first group is also reward with the tenacity Rob is showing on the Little Project. Well done you.

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