Sunday 30 September 2012

September out in a blaze of sun

After a poor start to the morning with heavy rain and wind we ended up having a grand run over the Lamermuir hills after a pit stop for Tea and rolls at Gifford. A really nice afternoon with empty roads once we got clear of the end of the month payday lunatic Ikea shoppers!!
It actually felt warm on the return leg, Fiona only joined us for the first part of the run and Kevin departed to see a pal in Aberdeen and so we were 5!  It would have been easy to not bother today what with the rain and a slight hangover but I'm sure we're all glad we made the effort! October tomorrow and the clock is now ticking away to our departure for Argentina.
Had a call from Motorrad to say they managed to break a part of my fork leg during the warranty work so now its another week at least before I get it back, it now gone from "I'm not in a hurry" to "panic, I'm in a hurry"
The bikes leave 6 weeks tomorrow and there's a fair bit of prep work to do on them so the pressure is on. Priority this week is to get my bike sorted out and then hopefully Fi's will be back home next week so we can get it ready, then a short roadtest (no point in wearing them out here!) and then thats it, all systems go hopefully

Saturday 29 September 2012

Ignored routes

This weekend we're being visited by the Southern Ireland contingent of Martin, Kevin and Mikey, the bad news is Martin and Kevin have brought their Harleys but since they are great lads we'll forgive them for that. I lent Alex my 750 Roadster as his Commando problems are more serious than we thought and we set of down the borders, turning off the A701 at Tweedsmuir for St Mary's Loch. Its a road that I'm seldom on and now I've been on it I must do it more often, little or no traffic and spectacular scenery. A bit cold when we stopped for photos but thankfully the rain never came to much. An excellent lunch and banter at the Tibbie Sheils hotel on the Loch then a wobble back through Peebles. A grand day out indeed !

Sunday 23 September 2012

Good turnout, nice weather

So this weekend we had our Tay Valley /Edinburgh and Northumberland joint camping weekend, The weather was kind to us, the turnout was better than expected and I'm sure a great time was had by all. Alex's Commando stopped en route just outside Edinburgh with a blown head gasket so a quick run back to get his van and nothing too serious, Great run on the Saturday with Lunch at Gifford and afternoon tea in St Abbs, glorious sunshine all the way but a bit cold overnight with frost on the tents and bikes in the morning, Alan Throssel, and Tim Harrison made the impressive effort to come up from the Essex branch , Simon appeared from Wolverhampton and Alan Clark from Hull all on Nortons, thanks lads for the effort!
Hopefully it'll become a regular event?

The bar on Saturday
 St Abbs
 St Abbs
 Sunset on Friday
 Fiona used the Mk3, I was on the roadster
 Nice Nortons in the setting sun
 Kicking tyres
 Loading sick Norton in the van!

Sunday 16 September 2012

Almost escaped the rain

Eventually got it together and got out on the bikes for a while, the wind was ever present and the rain threatened and appeared in bits but never bad enough to get soaked. Result is that the Norton isn't too dirty so it'll need minimal cleaning before our Norton camping weekend in the borders next weekend. This is a joint Tay Valley, Edinburgh and Northumberland weekend so hoping for a good turn out. Looking at the weather forecast it doesn't look too bad so fingers crossed it'll be good enough for a wee run out on the Saturday.

Saturday 15 September 2012

Lull before the storm?

Took advantage of a sunny and quite pleasant morning to get the bikes out, Fi took the BMW for the first leg to Gifford to try out the new seat, big improvement but for her it maybe needs to be an inch or so shorter, OK for me. Commando was running great and it was a really enjoyable few miles. Dropped the Beemer off at Motorrad to get some warranty work done (Head bearings and uprated valve lifter) and then wobbled back home on the Commando two up. The wind is getting stronger and the temperature is dropping so I think we scored the best of the day! Rain forecast for tomorrow so we'll see what happens.

Friday 14 September 2012

Seat modified

One thing that has been apparent from the first ride on the BMW 650 is that the seat is not comfortable in the least, 100 miles and your backside is nipping, not good for an "adventure touring" bike so I've had one modified to see how it feels. Sitting on it (not a great test) it feels better, now need to do some miles to see how it works!
 This is the "after" seat

The "before" seat

Sunday 9 September 2012

Might be the last good warm day of the Summer?

Well thats what to gloom and doom mongers are saying so it would have been rude not to take advantage of it. Out on the Commando today, brunch at the excellent Picnic cafe in South Queensferry then a run past Knockhill to Powmill for more tea and some strawberries and cream. The roads around Knockhill (Scotland main race circuit) are shockingly bad, the surface has been fixed for most of the way but the amount of muck on the roads left by tractors is verging on criminally irresponsible. I understand farmers have to work but don't leave half your fields on the roads! and if its unavoidable some signs would be good, the police of course should take some responsibility but obviously don't! I expect it to be bad and ride accordingly but not everyone will be aware of the hazards and it could easily lead to problems.
Spotted this chain (on a Morini, bottom picture) and it wins the award for most neglected chain this week (its usually mine!)

Friday 7 September 2012

When is motorcycling not enjoyable?

Strange question to open this post but I thought I'd ask, we were at the Lothians Classic club meet last night, windy and dry turned to windy and wet. That I didn't mind, enjoyed it actually, out on the Mk3 Commando which was going well. Coming home though it was wet , windy and dark, its the dark I hate, not the dark itself but the fact when its dark and wet and no moonlight on small roads you are constantly being blinded by car drivers who either don't dip or have these 4x4's with lights shining right in your face. Cars following in these situations make me uneasy also , they never give you enough room. Anyway I think you can figure out that wet and dark on  busy unlit roads is probably my least favourite motorcycling!
On a positive note my good friend Martin Connachy posted over the sample design that he will put onto a couple of shirts for us so we look posh when invited to the various UK Embassies around the Americas as we travel for wine and nibbles.......Aye right!!!

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Back on a Norton

Sunday was quite a good day in Scotland so a chance to get out on a Norton for the first time in three weeks, and it felt great, compared to the BMW it feels like its got more power and like a favourite pair of gloves, fits just right. The only small problem was that somehow during the week I managed to hurt my back so the suspension on this particular Commando isn't brilliant so every bump (and our roads have many!!!) felt like I was being kicked, spoiled the fun a bit but being on the Norton again did make me smile. Not sure how I'll cope being without my Nortons for a year?
Now the problem the world over is that driving standards amongst the general public are quite frankly terrible, sunny days seem to exacerbate this and there were plenty of "dithering" idiots around at the weekend, be careful out there, nobody actually pays much attention past their front windscreens! Picture of the bike at a very sunny Gullane Beach.