2018 Review - And what a great year it was, thank you!
Hi everyone, I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year and that you're all now fully recovered and looking forward to 2019.
Here's a look back at my 2018.
(Please note that depending on the device you're using to view this blog, the layout may not flow as well as the original)
Training wise I conducted 48 training sessions involving 31 customers, these have been both male and female, young and not so young and all with a varied riding history. Some only obtained their licence in 2017 and some have held their licence longer than I have.
The first session was with Martin on his Harley back in March and the last with Janine on her Kawasaki in December.
The bikes used have also been a great mix and goes to show it isn't always a BMW……although having said that…….the bikes used were…..
16 BMWs! - (11 GS/GSAs, 1 S1000XR, 2 RTs, 1 K1300S and 1 K1600).
5 Hondas - (VFR1200, CB650, NC750, 700 Transalp, 1000 Varadeo).
3 Suzukis - (a VStrom, SV650 and a 650 Gladius).
2 Kawasakis - (Z900, ER6).
1 Ducati - (Multistrada).
1 Harley Davidson.
1 KTM (1290S)
1 Triumph (Street Triple)
1 Yamaha (FZ600).
4 customers took their tests, 2 who had been with me for all of their training and 2 who wanted an appraisal of their riding prior to test. I’m very pleased to say that all of them passed, 1 with the IAM and 3 with RoSPA.
Congratulations to Julie, Olivia, Nigel and Richard.
During 2018 I conducted 11 motorcycle tests, as well as carrying out some IAM Masters Mentoring and attending 16 training session with my local RoSPA group (where I am the Training Officer)
I also arranged the annual group tutor training weekend to Scotland. 12 tutors attended, it was a mix of check rides, test papers and general discussions on all things advanced riding.
In 2018 I again assisted Humberside Police to deliver their BikeSafe events. I’ve been doing this since BikeSafe started back in 1999/2000 when I was a Police Motorcyclists. It really is a great initiative, aimed at giving riders an insight into advanced riding techniques and encouraging them to take further post test training.
Back in March I attended the annual 4-day Motorrad Tours training. As well as the usual subject areas covered, (previous tours, customer feed-back, new tours etc) all the Tour Leaders completed a First Bike on Scene (FBOS) refresher course. This accredited 3 year certified course covered accident scene management, general 1st aid relating to fractures, bleeds and burns as well as safe helmet removal and spinal care.
During 2018 I led 2 tours, the first was for customers of Bowker BMW Motorrad in Preston which saw 26 riders head to and around Scotland, covering approximately 1500 miles in the process.
The second was a 16-night tour of Eastern Europe, a fantastic tour starting and finishing in Prague and passing through the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria.
For 2019 I will be joining the Bowker customers again for Scotland in May, followed by BMW Motorrad Days in July and finally a tour to the French Alps in August.
If you’re interested in these or any other tours, please go to www.motorrad-tours.com
In 2018 I managed to obtain 3 new certificates to add to the list.
One for the FBOS course mentioned above, one from RoSPA in recognition of 'Prior Learning', (related to taking and passing the advanced riding and driving tests) and one from DIAmond for passing their Elite Motorcycle test.
(A congratulatory handshake from Cheif DIAmond Examiner Mark Jaffe)
Barrie Robson BMW, York.
Back in March, I was invited to attend the annual BMW Season Launch at Barrie Robson BMW, York. It gave me the chance to meet and speak to many of their customers and explain about me and the training I offer.
This was followed up later in the year when I was delighted to lead 2 of their many customer ride outs, one in June and one in September. Both were very well attended and the weather was kind to us on both occasions.
BMW 1250 GS/GSA
In October I was invited to be one of the first people in the UK to ride the new R1250GS and that invitation was repeated in December when I got to ride the new GS1250 Adventure.
Both bikes look very similar to the models they replace but the ‘big news’ is the shift cam technology along with the increased engine capacity, which help to boosts both BHP and Torque figures. Comparing both bikes to my own 2016 GSA, I would say they are much smoother in both throttle response and power delivery, especially through the mid-range. I really like the HP versions of both bikes so I'll have to have a look down the back of the sofa to see if I can raise the necessary funds!
I look forward to ‘working’ with the whole BR Team again in 2019.
It’s always nice to see your ‘name in lights’ and I was lucky to get quite a few mentions in MCN throughout 2018 as well as in RiDE magazine. I also had 2 further articles published, one in RoSPAs monthly magazine ‘Care on the Road’ and another in the BMW Club magazine ‘The Journal’. Who knows where I might pop up in 2019.
NEC Bike Show
In November I had 5 fantastic days working at Motorcycle Live at the NEC representing Motorrad Tours on the official BMW stand. I was mainly in the ‘touring’ and ‘Adventure’ bike sections (no surprise there) where I met and chatted to so many people about all things biking, touring and BMW.
As someone who has visited the show as a customer for years, it was great to get a small insight into the show from an exhibitors point of view. It really amazed me how much work goes into the preparation and delivery to maximise the customer experience.
My Facebook page continues to grow with the number of ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ currently at 498 (at the time of typing).
I really appreciate everyone's support, FB is a great tool for a small business like mine, it reaches so many people so quickly and also gives people the chance to ‘share’ my posts even further, around their own FB friends, family and groups. Please 'share' me again in 2019!
Looking towards 2019
I can only hope that 2019 turns out to be a good as 2018. I intend to continue to work with RoSPA and the IAM and possibly another organisation (but that's yet to be confirmed). I will continue as a Tour Leader for Motorrad Tours and look forward to working with Humberside Police (and possibly another force) on their BikeSafe events.
Training wise, 2018 surpassed my expectations and I'm pleased to say that I've already taken bookings for 2019. The gift vouchers have also been well received so no doubt they'll account for further bookings once the Christmas recipients book their training. (but remember...... the gift vouchers aren't just for Christmas and can be purchased all year round!)
I would like to say a massive "thank you" to everyone for all your support. For the comments, likes and shares on FB, for the training enquiries, to the people who've seen me out and about and who came over for a chat, but most of all, to those who booked and trained with me in 2018. It's been a great year and I've met some fantastic people.
I hope you enjoyed this 2018 review and I look forward to meeting some of you in 2019.