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  • Writer's pictureIan Speight

January 2023 - Price reductions, BMF trainers get together, MCN and rubbish weather!

January 2023, what a rubbish month for being out on the bike! Poor weather curtailed any planned training sessions, so what did I get up to? Read on to find out.

Price reductions.

In 2022 I had to increase my prices due to the way petrol prices shot up. I didn't increase them by much, and I'm pleased to say that all my customers were very supportive. I promised I would do my best to keep costs down, and I'm pleased to say that as petrol prices have now fallen to around £1.50 a litre, I have reduced my 2023 prices to where they were in 2021.

Special February offer.

In addition to the price reductions above, and in the hope that the weather will now start to pick up, for February I will reduce that further to £110 for 4 hours and £200 for a full day. (Offer valid for all sessions booked and taken in February. No carry over for any postponed or rescheduled sessions) You won't find better value anywhere for the same quality training I provide.

Customer update.

Ian S contacted me to let me know that he had become a volunteer Blood Biker. Ian trained with me in 2022 and as a result obtained various advanced qualifications. Great to see another customer putting their qualifications to good use.

RoSPA training

I managed a few sessions volunteering with my local RoSPA group in January. Here's a few photos. As you can see, despite the weather, there was still a good turn out.

Denise on her Triumph. Two weeks after this, she passed her RoSPA test with a Gold grade. Great result.

Pre training brews and butties, always a winner!

BMF Assessors get together.

As a regional Chief Instructor for the BMFs Blue Riband Rider Award, I organised a get together for all the region 2 Trainer/Assessors. Lots discussed as we look towards 2023. Watch this space for further details about a rider development day.

Region 2 Trainer/Assessors, from L to R.

Me, (obvs), Jim B, Martin B, Mark G, Colin C and Alf G, (the only one who brought their BMF 'vest'!).

For more details about the Blue Riband Rider Award, visit;

Motorrad Tours 2023.

I am pleased to report that I will again be leading tours for Motorrad Tours in 2023. This will be my 7th year with MT and this year I will be leading 2 tours to Scotland and 1 to Germany. I'm really looking forward to all 3 tours and can't wait to meet customers old and new. I'll also be heading to Wales in March for our annual training weekend. In the meantime, why not check out the full list of tours at;

Motorcycle News.

I managed to pop up twice in MCN in January. The first was part of an article by journalist Jon Urry about the BMW GSA. I know I don't own one at the moment, but they are a cracking bike and I was pleased to be asked to add my thoughts.

The second was a round up of riders and their mileage in 2022.

This photo was taken at the Grimsel Pass during last years trip to the Alps.

60th birthday tour.

2023 will see me hit the milestone of my 60th birthday.....I know, hard to believe right?! haha. But yes, it's true. The lovely Mrs S asked me what I fancied doing and I suggested a long weekend in Vienna, as we've wanted to go for a while. Mrs S then suggested that we go on the bike and include Vienna in a wider bike tour.....well I didn't need asking twice! Ferry is now booked (Hull to Rotterdam return) as are all the hotels. Route from Rotterdam will be Koblenz, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, (both Germany) Salzburg, Vienna, March, (all Austria), Vollen (Italy), Chur, (Switzerland), Colmar (France) and a final night in Bouillon (Belgium). The route takes in several passes, including Grossglockner, Stelvio, Umbrail as well as several smaller passes. There will be multiple days off the bike including 3 days in Vienna around my birthday. Here's a rough outline of the 2500 mile route we'll be doing.

My bikes.

Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports (ATAS) - I've now completed just over a 1100 miles on the ATAS and despite some online comments about the seat being uncomfortable, I find it perfectly fine. The suspension continues to impress with it's 'plush' ride and I like the colour TFT dash, although annoyingly, there are 5....yes 5 screen options. Tour, Urban, Gravel, User 1 and User 2. You can alter power, engine braking and have different information displayed, yet I can't have exactly what I want and still have to flick between screens to swap between trips and fuel range. Be nice to be able to have both on the same screen. I'm also still not keen on the way the cruise control works, the buttons are on the ride cluster meaning it's not so easy to set the cruise and hold the throttle, and it will only work at 30mph and above and only in 4th gear and above. Which means you either don't set it when you're in a 30mph and ride in 3rd gear, or you set it and have to chug along in 4th gear. Not the end of the world I admit, but then when you leave the 30 and want to accelerate, it feels like you're in a gear too high cos you're in 4th when really you wanted to be in 3rd! Yes I know, 1st world problems etc, but it is a niggle. The other negative, and this is a bigger one, is the panniers. They sit quite high and quite far forward on their brackets and this means that Kim cannot sit comfortably and get her feet on the footpegs with the panniers on. Kim is quite petit but she has ridden on plenty of bikes with hard luggage without any issues (Pan European, GSA, Crosstourer, Superduke GT, Versys) so I'm in the process of looking at alternatives to the standard Honda panniers. We managed a couple of ride outs in January, but I've probably only managed about 300 miles in total and have ridden my S1000 more.

On the plus side, it's now out of the running in period so I've been able to explore the bikes performance a bit more freely and it certainly goes really well. Is it 'better' than a GSA? Time will tell, lets just hope we can sort the pannier situation.

BMW S1000R Sport - What can I say, I love this bike!! I've managed a few rides on it in January, each resulting in me having to wash it, and I HATE cleaning bikes!! But I can't complain given the grin factor it delivers on every ride. I've just passed the 14000 mile mark, that's around 6500 in my ownership and I never tire or riding it. The bike is still pretty much standard, the previous owner added some 'crash mushrooms' and I've added the BMW comfort seat and some bar end mirrors, which despite their diminutive nature, give a great view and IMHO are much better then the standard mirrors. However, I am thinking of selling the S1000R, but if it doesn't sell for the right price, I'll be very happy to keep it.

Previous bikes - Suzuki GSXR750 (£9249)

I previously told you about my pink and white Yamaha YZF750 which I had bought in Oct 1993, well in August 1996, I traded it in for my very first Suzuki GSXR750 SRAD. I bought the bike from Miles Kingsport in Hull and paid the princely sum of £9249. (I still have the receipt). Miles Kingsport had started selling Suzuki's alongside their Honda range and I took delivery on 1st August, which back then was the date of new registrations. It was the first bike I ever collected on 'new reg day'. It was a great bike and got fantastic reviews. It was fast, screamed like a banshee at high revs and had race track handling. I didn't do any touring on this bike, but that was probably just as well because it was very much a racer for the road, with a head down, bum up riding position! At the time of me having the 750, a lot of my mates had Fireblades, which were growing in popularity and in March 1997, I finally gave in to temptation and decided to see what all the fuss was about. More on that next month. Here's the only photo I have of that GSXR750, on the driveway at my old house.....not very picturesque!

Invoice for the GSXR - £9249 from Miles Kingsport in Hull.

And that my friends, rounds up January 2023. Not a lot of riding or training completed but I still managed to find something to write about! Lets hope February is more productive and the weather warms up and dries up! Thanks for reading.

Ian S

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