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  • Writer's pictureIan Speight

A Look Back at July 2019

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The above photo is of me at the Stelvio Pass and is the reason why Julys update is slightly later than normal. More about that trip below.

Well, another busy month which saw me carrying out a mixed bag of undertakings for the various 'jobs' I have.

The month started off with me in my role as a Tour Leader for Motorrad Tours and taking a group of customers to Germany for the annual BMW Motorrad Days event. It was a fantastic event with thousands of BMW enthusiasts travelling from all over the world to attend. For full details and photos, please check out my Motorrad Days blog dated the 12th July.

July saw me conduct two advanced motorcycle tests on behalf of RoSPA. First up was Dom on his Triumph 1050 on the 14th, followed by Bill on his Triumph Tiger on the 19th. Both riders put in good rides and both achieved well deserved Silver grade passes.

Training wise, I had sessions with Dana, Richard, Stuart and Annie.

Dana came all the way from Reading on her Triumph Street Triple for her training. She had passed her bike test with BMW Rider Training and has joined her local IAM group, but wanted a few days 'intense' one to one training with me and at the same time enjoy Yorkshires fantastic roads. We covered about 150 miles each day and had some great riding.

Stuart on his 1200GSA has had a few sessions as he aims to achieve a RoSPA test pass with a view to potentially becoming a Blood Biker. He will be taking his test very shortly so fingers crosssed for a great result.

Richard on his yellow GSA started having training with me last year and as a result of that training went on to pass his RoSPA test. He followed that up earlier this year with an IAM test pass and we are now working towards an IAM Masters qualification.

My last training session of the month was with Annie on her Suzuki 750. It was her first proper step in the direction of advanced rider training. It was a very good first session and a solid base to work from.

On the 23rd July my GSA was in at Barrie Robson BMW, York for it's 12000 mile service and a set of tyres. Whilst I was there I was invited to add some 'running in' miles to their brand new R1250RS Exclusive demonstrator..... obviously I said 'yes' !

The bike is the latest in the BMW line up to have the upgraded 1250 engine and just like all the other 1250 variants it's a peach of an engine. I would describe the bike as being a 'sports-tourer', with a slightly forward leaning riding position and the foot pegs set slightly higher, giving more of a bend in the leg. I did about 90 miles on and it's a very comfortable bike, with no real weight on the wrists. I had use of a 1200RS last year for a Motorrad Tour and wasn't sure how it would be in the comfort stakes for a 2500 mile tour, but it was really good to ride, never uncomfortable and always fun in the twisties. I have no reason to doubt that the new R1250RS would be any different.

And finally, on the 25th July I set off with my mate Daren for our annual bike tour. I've known Daren for about 15 years and we've been having an annual tour together for the last 10 or 11 years. The last 2 years saw us taking our S1000Rs into Europe, but this year we're both back down to 'just' one bike, so I was on my GSA and Daren was on his 2017 1200GS.

The turn around point for this years tour was the Grossglockner high alpine pass in Austria and to get there and back we passed through France, Germany, Austria, Italy, back into Germany, into Belgium and a final night in France.

We set off on the 25th heading for the Euro tunnel at Folkestone, so it was a bit of a slog down the A1 and then due to train issues, a very long 3.5 hour wait in 38c temperatures to board a train. We had our first night in St Quentin followed by a night in Baden Baden, a night in Fussen, a night in Bolzano, 2 nights in Andermatt, 2 nights in Cochem and a final night in Saint-Omer before returning to the UK on the 3rd August.

We rode so many mountain passes that I lost count and some days we had breakfast, lunch and dinner in 3 different countries! The highlight should have been the Grossglockner, but the weather that day conspired against us with very low visibility at the top so only 3 very 'foggy' photos, and it cost us 26.50 Euros for the privilage! Never the less, there were many, many other great roads and passes that made up for it and we also managed to squeeze in a visit to the Nurburgring. Here's a few more photos from the trip.

Total tour mileage was 2745 miles, with my GSA returning an average of 55.8mpg and both bikes performed faultlessy.

And that sums up my July 2019. I hope you've enjoyed reading and I'll update you all again in September.

Ian S

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