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  • Writer's pictureIan Speight

May 2023 - Scotland Twice, training, BikeSafe and an unexpected new bike!

May was a very busy month, with back to back Motorrad Tours to Scotland, training, my first BikeSafe event of the year and an unexpected new bike.

Scotland 1 - Motorrad Tours/Bowker BMW Preston.

On the 2nd May I headed south to collect my tour bike and meet fellow Motorrad Tours, Tour Leader Mark H, and we then headed north to Preston. The following morning we headed to BMW dealer Bowker, where we met the 28 customers for the 5 day tour to Scotland. This was my 4th Bowker tour and there were a lot of regular customers as well as a few new faces. The weather was reasonably kind to us, although the temperature on a few days was quite low. However, the rain mainly held off and over the 5 days/4 nights, we covered around 1300 miles. All in all a great tour. Here's a few photos.

Coffee stop in 'The Lakes' on route to Scotland.

Mark H leading a group over Hartside Pass

Jon (Tracer 900), Paul (C400GT) and Simon (1250GSA)

Who doesn't love highland cattle.


Coffee stop at Glenshee.

Scotland in the sun!

Stop off at one of the many reservoirs.

Quiz night!

Lunch stop at the Drovers Inn.

It's a big thumbs up from me!

Scotland 2 - Motorrad Tours/Barrie Robson BMW, York.

Having returned from the Bowker tour on the Sunday, it was a quick turn around to be ready to lead the second tour on the Wednesday. This time, it was Barrie Robson BMW of York. 19 customers and me. Another 5 day/4 night tour covering around 1200 miles. It was my third year in a row leading this tour and a lot of the customers have trained with me and become friends. so it was great to have them on the tour.

Here's a few shots from the tour.

Group photo outside of Barrie Robson BMW.

Getting ready for the off.

Coffee stop at Langley castle, on our way to the borders.

Langley Castle.

On our way towards Glencoe. Beautiful scenery.

Everyone is ready for a hearty meal after a long day in the saddle.

Mick, Andy and Ian....just look at that back drop!

Enjoying a beer in the sunshine.


Castle Stalker.

Coffee stop at Loch Katrine.

Kev making new friends on tour.

Getting ready for the off from our Lochside hotel.

Happy, smiling faces on tour, exactly how it should be. Sorry to 'half a face' Craig, and 'one armed' Jim and Dave who were not quite in Iain Ws photographic eyeline when taking this one! Left side of table front to back - Craig, Kev, Martin, Ian, Mark, Paul, Dave, Michael and Andy. Right side front to back - arms of Dave and Jim, then me, Paul, Phil, Steve, Tom, Mick, Ian.

Another fab tour, as it always is. Until next year.....


Although I was away in Scotland for some of May, I still managed a few training sessions. First up was Charles on his 950 Multistrada. I trained with Charles last year, when he owned a Ducati Monster, and he successfully completed the Enhanced Rider Scheme. In February he decided to upgrade his bike and next month he will embark on his first ever European bike trip, so he decided it was time for a refresher. Great half day session, which soon had him and his Multistrada flowing nicely, picking off the overtakes and generally making smooth, unobtrusive progress.

Bob came along next on his 1200GS. Bob is an experienced rider who has been riding for over 30 years. He has previously passed the IAM bike test and is a member of the IronButt Association and still takes part in various rally's and treasure hunts around the UK. He has owned his current bike for 2 years and has already covered over 50,000 miles!

Two things deserve Bob's respect. Firstly that despite his experience, he still appreciates the benefits of CPD when it comes to his riding, and secondly, Bob will be 80 years old in 2 months time! Fab training session and real a pleasure to spend the day with Bob.

Jon followed on from Bob on his 1250GSA, 40th anniversary. It was Jons second session and resulted in him completing the Enhanced Rider Scheme.

Steve had a few sessions with me last year, resulting in him successfully completing the Enhanced Rider Scheme. Not wanting to rest on his laurels, Steve decided it was time for a refresher. Fab half day spent riding good roads in glorious sunshine and his Sx sounded well nice with it's newly fitted end cans.

Customer test passes.

Paul came back to biking in 2021 after a 36 year break. Over the last 2 years, Paul has had regular sessions with me, during which he successfully passed the Enhanced Rider Scheme and the BMF Blue Riband Rider Award. On 29th May, Paul contacted me to let me know that he had taken his RoSPA advanced bike test, and not only did he pass, he did so with the highest grade possible, a Gold! A great result and thoroughly deserved.

Ben had his final pre test assessment in May and then took his test on 30th, and I'm pleased to say he also passed successfully.


On Saturday 20th, I supported Humberside Police to deliver their BikeSafe event. As many of you know, I first started delivering BikeSafe as a Police motorcyclist nearly 23 years ago, and now continue to do so as a 'civilian', representing RoSPA, The BMF and DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme. 10 candidates were in attendance and I was paired up with Nigel on his M1000R, which he only collected the day before! Nigel has some previous experience of advanced training, and this was clearly evident in his riding, which was smooth and progressive. Fab day, great weather, very enjoyable.

Nigel and his day old M1000R

10 Candidates 'shared' out amongst 7 civilian observers and 2 police riders.

Pairing up and ready for the off.

RoSPA Social ride.

On the 17th I joined the guys for their 'Wednesday Wobble. 7 riders on a good mix of bikes set off from just south of York and took a meandering route to a bike night at Sykehouse. I wasn't able to stay for the whole 85 mile route, but on the plus side, it meant I got home before the rain came.....result.

DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme.

This came in the post while I was away in Scotland. It's my DVSA Certificate of registration and entitles me to be included on the DVSA register of qualified instructors, authorised to give motorcycle rider development training as an Enhanced Rider Scheme trainer. It was quite a challenge to get to the required standard back in 2020, so I'm pleased to be able to continue to deliver this qualification for the next 4 years.

New bike! BMW R1250GSA.

When I bought my GSA in February, I genuinely believed I would be keeping it for the foreseeable future, however, having seen a 'fantastic' deal on social media for a new 1250GSA, I visited the guys at Barrie Robson BMW to see if they could do the same deal. This was on the 25th May. I sat down with sales executive John, and after watching him crunch numbers, look at the figures and sweat a little bit, a deal was done! The next issue, was that they would have to supply the bike and get the 1st service done before I was due to go away on 3rd June! After more debate, and an amazing amount of 'pulling all the stops out', I collected the bike the next day and then returned it for it's 600 mile service on 1st June.

Here's John beavering away to make the numbers work.

Deal done and 'sold' ticket affixed.

24 hours later it was collection day, and doesn't it look mighty fine.

The next 6 days were spent getting the 600 miles done in readiness for the 1st service.

Previous 1250GSA - I collected my previous GSA on 10th February and was fairly certain I would be keeping it, but, as you've just read, that's not how things panned out! That said, it was a great bike, and who ever buys it next will hopefully enjoy it as much as I did. The bike performed without issue and in the 3 months I owned it, and in that relatively short time, I covered 5,500 miles.

Here's the last photo I took of the bike. Taken the day I did the deal on the new one. Great bike, although I never liked that top box!!

And that folks, rounds up May 2023. Thanks for reading.

Ian S.

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