Awesome August. Training, touring and a torn Meniscus.....ouch!!
The end of July saw me and long-time biking buddy Daren heading off on a short mini tour. The plan was 4 days in Scotland followed by a couple of days in Wales.
Unfortunately, things didn't quite go to plan. A week or so before the planned trip I did 'something' to my knee. I hoped it would be fine but after 4 days I had to admit defeat and we came home. Here's a few photos from the 4 days I did manage.
Once back home, I had an appointment with my local GP who diagnosed a torn Meniscus. This is still to be confirmed via an MRI which I will have at some point in the future.
I did restart training after a week of rest and this went well until the knee 'let go' again meaning another week of rest and no training! Apologies to those people I had to cancel and thanks for your understanding and words of support.
MCN Better Riding guide.
The 18th August edition of Motorcycle News contained a 12 page pull-out 'Better Riding' guide. This was put together by journalist Simon Weir who contacted me and invited me to be part of the team of 'experts'.
It's a great feature that covers lots of hints and tips and I'm very proud to have been asked to contribute to it.
Fortunately, between knee issues I did manage some training!
First up was Steve on his K1600. Steve came from Louth in Lincolnshire for his training and had two sessions in August. his first was a general 'refresher' and his second resulted in a riding qualification (see below). Steve has a further session pencilled in for October.
Paul was next on his F800GT and in contrast to Steve, only came from 2 streets away in my village! In July Paul completed the Enhanced Rider Scheme and next, hopes to complete the BMF Blue Riband Rider Award.
Patrick who was on his 1200GSA is also from my village, so like Paul, didn't have to travel far. Patrick wanted a riding 'health check' and went away pleased there were no major issues. Patrick has booked a second session and is now contemplating taking an advanced qualification.
Bill travelled over from Grassington on his 1100RS for his training. Bill wants to obtain an advanced qualification so that he can become a cycle race marshal with the National Escort Group (NEG)
Lisa was up next on her GSXR750. Lisa has been back to biking for around 18 months after a 15-year break and wanted a riding health check and to practice some slow speed riding, a technique not that easy on a sports bike. We had a full day on the road and then finished off at Anchor Motorbike Training in Dewsbury, where she was able to practice her slow speed manoeuvres in a safe environment on Anchors own bikes. Lisa was a little tentative around the cones as she got used to the bike and the reduced turning circle compared to her GSXR but was soon completing feet up U turns and figures of 8.
Gareth on his 1200 Multistrada came along next for his first of 2 sessions in August. Gareth had very changeable weather for his first session, with rain to start us off and sunshine to finish. Despite the weather Gareth coped admirably and we had wall to wall sunshine for his second session.
Daniel followed Gareth, also on a Multistrada. Daniel and Gareth are friends and ride together on a regular basis but decided on separate sessions.
Laurance told me he had an 'old' BMW1100RS and then turned up on a brand new 2021 R1250RT complete with Star Ship Enterprise TFT! Great bike, cracking session and next session already pencilled in.
Andy and his R1200GSA came for his third session as he prepares to take an advanced qualification. Andy likes to make 'good progress' so lots of miles covered.
Tim came along on his 1150GS. Tim, like a lot of customers 'just' wanted a general assessment and to learn a bit about advanced techniques. He went away ready to book his next session and is already debating which advanced test to take in the future!
Chris came for his training on a very different BMW to Tims, a new S1000R! I've owned 2 S1000Rs so was very interested to look around and see Chris's bike. What a beaut....the bike not Chris!
Finishing off Augusts training was Michael on his Ducati Monster. Michael came for a full day and although we had changeable weather conditions, Michael coped very well whilst at the same time implementing new techniques to his riding.
One final mention goes to Andy E, who despite a dreadful weather forecast, still wanted to go ahead with his training if possible. He turned up and we watched the dark clouds gather, followed by the car park emptying of all other bikes. The heavens finally opened and we sat patiently, listening to the thunder and watching the lightning show, while the rain bounced off the road, the amount of standing water ever increasing until in the end we decided to accept defeat. They say, 'it ain't training, if it ain't raining', but under those circumstances it would have been crazy to undertake any journey that wasn't necessary, training or otherwise. The below photo really doesn't do it justice.
Away from normal training I carried out a couple of BMF assessments. Martin came along on his 900 Tracer for his Blue Riband Rider Award and rode exceptionally well to take away a Gold pass.
Ian on his 1250GSA also took his BMF award in August. Ian trained with me a couple of years ago and returned last year for a refresher and to complete his Enhanced Rider Scheme. Earlier this year Ian passed his RoSPA test and decided the BMF Blue Riband Rider award was his next challenge. Well, I'm pleased to say Ian passed successfully, obtaining a Gold in the process.
Enhanced Rider Scheme
As mentioned above, Steve had 2 sessions in August on his K1600 and the second one resulted in him successfully passing the ERS assessment. Steve is now contemplating taking further riding qualifications so is back again in October.
Customer test pass.
Nick trained with me back in April this year and successfully completed the Enhanced Rider Scheme. In June he passed the Blue Riband Rider award and decided his next challenge was to take the IAM test. Nick contacted me in August to let me know he had taken and successfully passed the IAM test. This is all the more impressive when you consider Nick only passed his bike test in 2020!
I had a last minute rescheduling of a customer on the 23rd so decided to go for a social ride. I popped a post on FB and as a result was joined by Jeff (700 Yam), Bev (KTM), Lee (Ducati), Nigel (1250GS), Mark (Ducati 848) and Chris (1250GS). A thoroughly enjoyable few hours around the Yorkshire Wolds.
K1600 - 10,000 mile update.
I collected my 2018 K1600GT Sport on 21st March 2021 with it showing 7465 miles on the odometer. On the 23rd August I passed 17465 meaning I've covered 10,000 miles since getting the bike 5 months ago. August was also the month that the bike had its 'big' service. Oils and filters changed, new spark plugs and the dreaded valves clearances checked/adjusted. The work was carried out by the excellent team at Barrie Robson BMW in York with no issues to report. Phew!
It was also tyre time, the second set since buying the bike.
The bike came fitted with a set of brand new Bridgestone BT023s which I changed at 5200 miles. I found the tyres perfectly fine in the dry but lacked feel in the wet. Unfortunately, when it came to new tyres the first time round, I had limited choice so opted for another pair of 023s. Again, these were fine in the dry but some recent wet weather saw a couple of unnerving slides. Consequently, this time I chose a set of Metzeler Roadtec 01s. I'd read good reviews on the various owners' forums so we'll see how they perform.
The tyres were fitted by the guys at Leeds Bike Tyres at Scholes near Leeds.
The big K has performed fantastically well in my short but hard working ownership. It's earning its keep most days come rain or shine and has also been taken to Scotland. I never tire of it's sound, it's performance or how well it handles despite it's bulk.
The only issue so far was one occasion when the engine management light came on and it went into 'limp mode'. I switched it 'off and on again' and it cleared the fault and so far it's not reoccurred. It does seem to use quite a bit of oil though, needing a litre every couple of thousand miles, so I'll be keeping a close eye on it until the next service to see how it goes. When I owned a K1600 previously I thought it was the best bike I'd ever owned and that I wouldn't want to own anything else. After 10,000 miles, those same thoughts are coming back, it truly is an awesome machine.
Another little mile stone achieved on the Facebook front with my business page passing the 1200 'likes' mark. I know to some this is still very small numbers but I continue to be humbled by all the support I receive. A massive thanks go to everyone who continues to support me, it's very much appreciated.
Next month I will be celebrating my birthday (21 again obvs) and taking a week or so off to give my poorly knee a bit more rest before getting back at it. Can't wait.
Until next time. ride safe everyone.