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  • Writer's pictureIan Speight

Awesome August 2022 - Training, tests and touring on the X-ADV!

Updated: Sep 4, 2022


August was another busy month, with lots of training, a few bike tests to conduct and a 10 day European tour on the X-ADV, but more on that later.

Training.

Craig on his R1250GS was first up. Last month Craig completed the Enhanced Rider Scheme and wanted a further session to prepare him for his RoSPA test. ** Result below **

Up next was Steve on his 650 Versys. Like Craig, Steve completed the ERS last month and is now working towards a RoSPA test pass.

Charles came along for 3 sessions in August on his Ducati Monster, which resulted in him successfully completing the Enhanced Rider Scheme. This is a great result as Charles has been off bikes for 40 years! He is now contemplating further post test qualifications.

Steve came for his second of 3 booked sessions aboard his R1200RT. Steve wants to complete the ERS and may then go on to take further qualifications.

Robin followed on from Steve on his F750GS. Robin is a relatively new rider, having passed his test only 3 years ago but has already completed the ERS and taken part in a BikeSafe day with North Yorks Police. Robin has already started working towards a RoSPA qualification and has had a few sessions with his local RoSPA group up in the north east but wanted a 'fresh set of eyes' to assess his riding.

Martin came along for his 1st session on his Africa Twin. Martin holds a driving qualification and now wants to transfer his driving skills over to his motorcycling. Great first session despite the mixed weather conditions.

Training in August was rounded off by a Triumph rider who wished to remain anonymous as they want to keep things on the QT until they're ready to take and pass their advanced test.

August customer test passes.

As well as the guys mentioned above who completed the Enhanced Rider Scheme, the following customers passed their advanced test in August.

Craig passed his RoSPA test successfully, obtaining a very well deserved Silver grade.

Patrick trained with me previously, passing the ERS and the BMF Blue Riband Rider Award. He contacted me on 20th August to let me know he had taken his IAM test and passed with a F1RST. Another well deserved result.

Ian took his RoSPA test in August and contacted me to let me know he had passed successfully with a Silver Grade. A great result and he can add this pass to his ERS and Blue Riband Rider Award certificates.

RoSPA Examiner duties.

Two RoSPA tests conducted in August. First up was Richard on his R1250RT. Richard put in a great ride and this resulted in him being awarded a Gold pass grade.

Next up was Andy on his R1200RT 'Fire Bike'. Andy works for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and is part of their 'Fire Bike' team, a group of volunteers helping the Police and other organisations to promote road safety and responsible riding. Andy and his team wanted to ensure they could all ride at the highest civilian level so all decided they should put themselves through the RoSPA advanced bike test. Andy was first to take his and has set the bar very high for the rest of the team. Here's Andy with his 'Fire Bike'.

RoSPA group.

Managed to have another day with my local RoSPA group (Advanced Riders North Yorkshire) and despite the slightly dodgy weather forecast, it was a good turn out. Five associates and more than enough tutors to train on a 1:1 basis. Good mix of bikes (R1250GSA, R1250RT, R1200RT, R1200RS....and a Triumph Street Twin to off set all the BMWs!)

Last minute tutor discussions before we all set off with our associates.

Associates and Tutors bikes at the ready.

BMF Examiner get together.

I popped up to Middleton In Teesdale in mid August to meet up with fellow BMF Regional Chief Instructor Colin B. Colin 'looks after' a huge region of southern Scotland and runs DART Rider Training from his base in Dumfries. Although we have spoken many times on the phone, this was the first time we'd actually met! Really enjoyable couple of hours talking all things training and generally putting the world to rights.

European Tour.

In August I embarked on my yearly bike tour with long time friend and biking buddy Daren. I've known Daren for around 20 years and we've been doing trips every year since 2004. We even managed trips to Scotland in 2020 and 2021 in between Covid lockdowns! This year we decided to head to the Alps so Andermatt in Switzerland was our turn around point. Daren has recently moved worked places so added an X-ADV to his garage at the same time as I bought mine, so despite me having the Versys and S1000R and Daren having an R1200GS, there was really only ever going to be one bike for us to go on....the X-ADVs of course!

We left Hull on the ferry to Rotterdam and then had 2 nights in Cochem. We visited the Nurburgring and Daren 'did a lap'.....yes a lap on his X-ADV.

All ready for the off, travelling very light with just a small tail pack for luggage.

Stop off at the Nurburgring on route to Cochem.

The following day, we did a 250 mile loop and finished at the old Nurburgring, where Daren took his X-ADV for a lap.

From Cochem we moved south for 1 night in Baden Baden. The following day we rode the famous B500, a fantastic road that twists, crests and swoops through the Black Forest as we headed further south for 2 nights in Andermatt.

Andermatt is a great location to ride lots of Swiss passes, which we did the day after arriving. What a day that was!

From Andermatt, we headed north for 1 night in Colmar, and then onto Vianden in Luxembourg and a final night in Eindoven in Holland. We enjoyed stop offs at 'a bridge too far' and the Spa race circuit.

Total mileage for the tour was 2001 miles, all incident free.

So, how did the X-ADV perform? In all honesty there's nothing I really dislike about the bike. The seat is comfortable for about 90 minutes riding before you need a leg stretch. The mirrors are really good and don't blur. The dash offers all the info you need. Having tried sport modes 1, 2 and 3 in various riding situations, I decided 2 was perfect for most situations when I didn't want to use 'Drive'. Fuel consumption averaged out at 80mpg over the 2000 miles. We never maxed the bikes out, but both saw over 100mph on one section of unrestricted German motorway. They were still gaining pace but also catching the traffic up ahead. Might have reached 105 or 110? Suspension can get a bit choppy on very bad surfaces but overall it coped very well. The screen spent most of its time in its lowest position but that's due to the daily hot temps. Had it been colder, it would no doubt have been more up than down. For comparison, in the UK since getting my bike, my screen has never been lower than fully up! If I was being really picky, I'd say it felt a bit lacking coming out of uphill hair pin bends, but I think that's also a little unfair because 54bhp is 54bhp. It can only do what it can do. In all other situations its performance was always enough. It's been a great experience touring on the X-ADVs and as long as I was one up with not a lot of luggage, I wouldn't hesitate to go away on it again.

Versys 1000

The Versys continues to tick lots of boxes although I have had numerous attempts at tweaking the suspension, which I just can't seem to fettle for a good all round setting. As a result, I spent a little time checking static sag and playing with rebound settings and I seem to have it at the best it's been since I got it. Time will tell if I need to tweak things further. Next month it's in for its 7500 mile service (but it will have done around 8500 whoops!)

S1000R

The S1000 was serviced in August and also had a new set of tyres fitted. The bikes mileage is quite low for its year so the service schedule was a little out of sequence, having lots of 'annual' services rather than mileage services. This is accepted practice, but as the bike was coming up to 12000 miles, I opted to go with a full 12000 service and this would then get everything back on track. The tyres I had fitted were a pair that I won for being featured in an article in RiDE Magazine. The bike had Dunlops fitted but the tyres I won are Metzeler Roadtec, so be interesting to see how they perform. Other than that, the S1000 continues to perform faultlessly and always puts a MASSIVE grin on my face. I love that bike!

My previous bikes - Honda CB900.

Having moved in to my own home in the mid 80's I had to reduce my out goings, I sold the NS400R and as luck would have it, a mate was selling his 1980 Honda CB900. It wasn't the prettiest bike, it had a blue frame (no idea why), a slash cut front mudguard, a taped up seat and a noisy 4 in to 1 exhaust. But it ran well, never let me down, was cheap and allowed me to continue to own a bike at a time when I didn't think I would be able to do so. I only seem to have 1 photo, and here it is.

I finished off August with a week away with Kim to celebrate my birthday, which was on the 1st September and is why this round up is later than normal. We headed for a few days around Wales and finished off with a few nights in Chester. However, this was a car road trip, not a bike tour but more on that next month.

Thanks for reading.

Ian S






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