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  • Writer's pictureIan Speight

Outstanding October!- Rider Development Weekend, more customer test passes and the new bike arrived.

Rider Development Weekend.

The 8th, 9th and 10th October was the dates for the first ever Rider Development Weekend. I was joined by fellow BMF Instructor/Assessor Ian (Alf) Garnett and we took 6 customers to the Scottish borders for 2 days of development, followed by them all taking their BMF Blue Riband Rider award assessments and I'm pleased to say they all passed successfully. Read the full details here

From L-R Alf G (BMF Assessor/Instructor), Chris (k1600), Tony (Multistrada), Neil (1250GS), Stuart (Africa Twin), Andy (1200GSA), Mark (1250GSA) and moi.

Customer test passes - BMF Blue Riband Rider Award

As well as the Rider Development Weekend BMF passes, October also saw the following customers pass their BMF tests. Paul B took his on his BMW800GT. Paul only came back to biking in 2021 after a 36 year break. He completed his Enhanced Rider Scheme with me in July. A great result and testament to the hard work Paul has put into his training. Here's Paul getting a congratulatory hand shake from BMF Assessor Alf G

Paul W also took his BMF assessment in October, passing successfully. Paul rides an R6, but when he wants a more 'full on' experience, he also has an Aprilia RSV1000!

Michael was another successful BMF pass riding his Ducati Monster.

Steve on his 1250GSA finished off the month with another Blue Riband Rider Award pass.

Enhanced Rider scheme.

James passed his test in 2019 and came along on the 1st of the month to take the Enhanced Rider Scheme qualification. We spent a day completing the ERS syllabus, resulting in him passing successfully.


Liam came along on his Triumph 1050 for a half day riding health check. Liam is an ADI by day and was soon implementing suggested changes to his riding style.

Next up was Daniel on his 950 Ducati. It was Daniels second session as he progresses towards a potential advanced qualification. Daniel has since swapped his 950 for a V4 Multistrada so I'm looking forward to his next session.

Gareth was riding his F750Sport. Gareth recently completed the Enhanced Rider Scheme and is now looking to progress to further qualifications.

Bev came along on her KTM690. Bev already holds a RoSPA Gold pass and has recently commenced Tutor training with her local group and wanted some comms training to help with her tutoring skills.

You read earlier about Paul passing his BMF on his F800GT, well he was back again, this time for some wet weather and motorway riding as well as some slow speed control training. We started the day with some very wet weather training using the A1, M1 and M62 and then made our way to Anchor Motorbike Training in Dewsbury where Instructor Carl took Paul through the basics of slow speed manoeuvring using their safe training area. Paul started on one of Anchors bikes before swapping to his own and was soon ticking off the manoeuvres.

Patrick came for his second session onboard his 1200 GSA. Patrick is a good rider who has really taken to the advanced techniques and is now keen to prove his worth and will hopefully be taking an advanced test in November.

Steve was up next on his FZ800. It was Steve's second session with me as he eases himself back in to riding after a significant break from bikes.

RoSPA Examiner duties.

Only one test conducted in October and congratulations to candidate Ian. Ian rode his 1250GSA extremely well for the whole duration of his test resulting in a well deserved Gold pass.

New bike - Versys 1000

On the 12th, I picked up my new bike, a Kawasaki Versys 1000. I've added the full GT kit which consists of panniers, top box, all inner bags, tank pad, GPS mount and frame sliders. I also ticked the options for heated grips, rad guard and fender extender. First impressions are good, it's comfortable, the controls fall easily to hand and it seems very smooth. The suspension was a little soft so I've firmed it up front and rear, the dash is quite dimly lit even on it's brightest setting and I'm still finding my way around the various modes and dash settings. The only real negative is that the screen causes quite a lot of noise and turbulence no matter what height it's at so I will be looking at alternative screen options. Other than that all is good, although it is early days and at the time of typing this I've only covered around 550 miles. Its booked in for its 600 mile service on 12th November.

Website update

Some of you may have noticed that I have updated a few areas of the website, most noticeably with some new images. Thanks go to my friends Simon W for being my 'customer' for the day and to Terry Rawcliffe for taking the photographs. Terry wanted me to point out that he is not a professional photographer but enjoyed the practice and I am very grateful for the images.

I thought I'd share these 3 images with a little explanation about each.

The first one may look like neither of us are looking where we are going but this is a great example of looking for a 'cross view' as the road ahead of us bends sharply to the left.

The next one shows how the lead rider positions himself towards the centre white line for a left hand bend in order to 'open up his view'. It also shows how my following position is 'off set', so I have a view 'through and beyond' the lead rider.

This is a right hand bend, note the lead riders position which is towards the nearside, also note how the riders is looking to his right to for that all important early view. My following position is again slightly offset so that I am not directly behind the leading bike.

And finally, in the last MCN of the month I appeared in their 'First Bikes' collage. It is a photo of me at age 18 on my Honda CX 500 Turbo. These were quite a rare machine with only something like 5000 made in 1982 before Honda upped the CC to 650 and then stopped production all together in late 83/84.

And that my friends rounds up October 2021. Until next time, ride safe everyone.

Ian S

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