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  • Writer's pictureIan Speight

Marvellous May 2024 - Training and not 1, but 2 Motorrad Tours to Scotland!.... and it didn't rain on either tour....... unheard of!!


It manged to stop raining for 2 weeks in May, and fortunately for me and 50 other riders, (across 2 tours!) it was the 2 weeks when we went to Scotland! But more on that later. First up....

Training.

Steve kicked off the month on his R1250RT. Steve already holds a RoSPA Gold but came along for a refresher before he embarks on tours to Scotland and Spain.

Dale came along on his Kawasaki H2SX. Dale has ridden bikes most of his life and is a firm believer in continual personal development. As such he has completed different types of post test training over the years and, now back in the UK having lived and worked abroad, he decided it was time for a refresher. Dale had 2 sessions in May and has another booked in June.

Martyn came along on his Triumph Bonneville. Martyn is an experienced rider who has completed track days and other post-test training, and decided it was time for another refresher. Cracking session, some rain, but mostly dry.

Gareth has trained with me on and off for the last 4 years, and during that time he has completed the Enhanced Rider Scheme and passed the BMF Blue Riband Advanced test. Mays session was a refresher, to ensure his skills are being maintained. Fab session full of positives with just a few tweaks required here and there.

Heath and his 1993 Trophy 1200 had a few training sessions with me in 2022 and returned in April when he successfully completed the Enhanced Rider Scheme. Mays session was about building on his ERS, by delivering consistency, and smoothness of 'the system'.

Paul finished off May on his 1250GSA. Paul already holds an IAM test pass and likes to partake in the occasional track day. Paul now wants to take his IAM Masters test.

RoSPA training.

Due to my Motorrad Tours commitments, I only managed 1 training session with my local RoSPA group, but it was a cracking session. I was paired up with Ian on his lovely CB1300. Unfortunately I forgot to get a photo! Doh!!

RoSPA Examiner duties.

Advanced Tutor test candidate Steve, came along on his K1600GT. Steve put in a great ride, which was safe, smooth and systematic, and followed it up with a comprehensive role play briefing and debrief when I took the role of associate. Great couple of hours, which resulted in Steve successfully passing both elements, and can now relax for the next 3 years until test time comes round again.

Motorrad Tours to Scotland x 2.

May saw me head off to lead 2 Motorrad tours to Scotland. The first was for customers and friends of Bowker Motorrad, Preston, and the second for customers and friends of Barrie Robson BMW, York. For the tours, I had the use of a BMW F900GS Adventure. This is a brand new model for 2024 and the first time I had ever ridden one. More on that later.

Here's a few photos from the Bowker tour.

All present and correct and ready for the off.

Morning briefing by my Motorrad Tours colleague, Mark H

'My' F900GS Adventure.

Discussing the days riding over an evening meal and a beer.

Glencoe.

Passing through The Lake District on route to Scotland.

With the warm weather, beer garden drinking was 1st choice.

Scotland!

More Scotland!

Arrochar.

It was a great tour, with most of the guys having been on previous tours. The weather was great, not a drop of rain! Mileage covered was around 1200.

Here's a few photos from the Barrie Robsons tour.

A slightly damp start, but after a couple of hours it stopped raining and never rained again for the whole tour.

Glenshee.

In the bar discussing the days riding.

Glenshee.

L to R - Mike, Mark, Phil, Jon and Steve, somewhere in Scotland!

Not just bikers enjoying the roads, scenery and weather. The supercars were out too.

10 Ferraris in total.

Queueing at Killin.

Braemar Castle.

Commando Memorial, Ian, Kev, Steve and Martin - the 'Triple Blackers'.

Paul B and his F800GT. Paul took the next photo, and by doing so, sacrificed his own place in it, so I thought he deserved his own photo!

Final group photo, many thanks to Paul B.

It was another fantastic tour, no rain after the first morning, meaning the riding and scenery was sublime. Lots of laughs each evening and at the end, the guys were already discussing next years tour!

Tour Bike - BMW F900GS Adventure.

For the 2 tours, I had the use of a BMW F900GS Adventure. According to the BMW Motorrad configurator, the standard price for the 900 Adventure, is £12,350. However, 'my' bike was fitted with the 'Ride Pro' option pack. This adds cruise control, Sat nav prep, keyless ignition, pannier rails, centre stand, LED aux lights, dynamic ESA, extra riding modes and gear shift assist. Plus the very nice white aluminium metallic matt paint scheme. It was also fitted with TPM at £195. This takes the price to £14885. The bike boasts 105bhp at 8500 revs and 93 Nm of torque at 6.750rpm and weighs 245kgs. The fuel tank holds 23 litres and over the duration of my time with the bike, returned 58.5mpg. The luggage is aluminium like the 1250GSA and offers lots of space but obviously adds further cost to the bike.

I covered 2490 miles from picking it up to dropping it off, and this mileage consisted of A and B roads, motorways and single track roads, which took me through towns, cities and villages. Overall, comfort was very good. Day 1 saw me ride 160 miles of motorway and I finished with no aches or pains. The longest day on the bike was 280 miles. Again, no obvious issues. The bike performed well, but did need 'revving' to get it going and keep it on song. The front fork dive felt quite 'severe', however, this could be down to the fact that I'm used to my 1250GSA, which moves very little under braking due to the tele lever front end. The 900s 21inch front wheel never caused any issues, although under heaving braking and fork compression, it could get a little 'squirrelly'. That said, overall, the bike handled really well in the dry and took everything I threw at it in its stride. It also got a lot of favourable comments and I was asked lots of questions about the bike, most of which received positive replies.

Overall, I enjoyed my time on the 900, and I think if I didn't own a 1250GSA, some of it's 'negatives' wouldn't have been so....well, negative. It went well, handled well, was very comfortable to ride, had great luggage space and returned nearly 60mpg. It's also lighter and considerably cheaper than a fully loaded 1250GSA.

NYF&RS FireBike

Due to training and touring commitments, I didn't manage to get out on the FireBike in May, but the rest of the team have. Karl, Stuart, Mark and Andy have been at various events around the county, talking to and engaging with riders of all ages and demographics. The FireBike team is made up of Fire Service personnel and volunteers, who each bring expert knowledge of the emergency services alongside a passion for motorcycles and rider safety with the sole objective of promoting road safety through education and training.

Stuart took a FireBike to the BSB.

FireBike and NYP at Strawberry Fields Cafe.

Assisting NYP with Project Apex - aimed at reducing road casualties.

BSB Oulton Park.

We even managed to pop up in MCN.

My 1250 GSA.

On the 26th May, my GSA became 1 year old. In that time it has taken me on 2 European tours, as well as numerous days out in the UK. I've had no issues other than software updates and it continues to deal with everything I throw at it. Over the 12 months of ownership, it has covered 15047 miles. It really is a great bike. I run errands on it, go for days out, touring, and of course, many miles as my 'work horse'. If you've never tried one, I urge you to do so.

Here's me, somewhere in the Alps in 2023.

Here's mileage figures for the month.

GSA odometer at 31/05/24 - 15047

GSA mileage in May - 1211

GSA mileage for the year to date - 4303

All riding mileage for the year to date 9140 - (4303 GSA, 2347 FireBike & 2490 Motorrad Tours).

And that my friends, rounds off May 2024. Until next month, ride safe.

Ian S

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