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  • Writer's pictureIan Speight

September '22 - Wonderful Wales, sunny Scotland, not to mention training and examining.

Another great month that delivered some great weather, some fab training and a great Motorrad Tours tour to Scotland.


Due to being away on the Motorrad Tours, Scotland tour, training sessions were slightly less than a normal month, but first up was Tom on his 800 Crossrunner. Tom has already passed the BMF Blue Riband Rider Award and is now preparing and progressing towards taking his RoSPA test. Tom has 2 further sessions booked for next month.

Charles on his Ducati Monster followed Tom. It was Charles's 3rd session as he nears test standard.

Will came along next on his Triumph Street Triple. Will is a relatively new rider and it was his first experience of advanced techniques and training.

Angela came for her second session on her Versys 1000. This session we spent some time refreshing her slow speed skills before heading back out on the road.

Around and around the cones until it's perfect, which it soon was!

Steve was up next on his R1200RT. It was Steves second session as he progresses towards completing the Enhanced Rider Scheme.

Customer test pass.

Ian took his RoSPA test in August and achieved a Silver grade. However, not content with a Silver, he took it again in September and contacted me to let me know that this time he had achieved the Gold we both hoped for the first time. Great result and well deserved.

Examiner duties.

In September I conducted tests on behalf of RoSPA, The BMF and Diamond Advanced Motorists. First up was Paul on his 1250GS. It was Pauls triennial RoSPA test and he put in a great ride to maintain his previous Gold grade.

Next up was Lewis who was taking his Diamond Advanced test on his Suzuki Vstrom. Another really good ride, resulting in a successful pass.

Last up was Jim on his 1200GSA. Jim is a very experienced rider who coaches off-road and on-track and has a great biking CV. Jim was having an assessment to become a BMF Blue Riband Rider Award Trainer/Assessor. Another great ride, followed by some great coaching and briefing/debriefing scenarios which all resulted in him passing successfully.

Motorrad Tours tour around Scotland

On the 10th September I headed up to Edinburgh to meet the 8 customers I would be leading around Scotland for the next 8 days and 1500 miles. All the customers knew each other and had flown in from around the world, making this a truly international tour!

The weather was mostly very kind with only the odd shower, but definitely more dry than wet for the majority of the tour. Without giving too much away, we visited the Isle of Bute, Skye, Mull, Applecross, John O Groats, before heading south over the ski 'resorts' back to Edinburgh.

It was a great tour and I will be keeping in touch with all the guys via social media and hopefully see them again in the future. Here's a few photos from the tour.

Day 1 and getting ready to head off.

The tour included a few different ferry crossings.

Look at those blue sky's and smiling faces.

Back on a ferry

Waiting to disembark....

Castle Stalker...."your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries".....if you know you know!

More blue skies and happy people - Alan in the red top was our 'back up' van driver, hence the shorts, he wasn't on a bike dressed like that!

Eileen Donan Castle.

Applecross and the 'pass of the cattle'.

Urquhart Castle.

Birthday on tour means finding a cake and problem...honest!

All the guys in their tour tee shirts.

Thanks to all the guys for making it such an enjoyable tour.

Birthday in Wales

As I mentioned last month, it was my birthday in September, so at the end of August, Kim and I headed to Wales (in the car) for a few days. It was a fab few days, we were blessed with some great weather, and we visited quite a few places we've never been to before.

Birthday boy!

My bikes.

Versys 1000 - September completed 1 years of ownership with the Versys. It's been a mixed time. There was some early warranty issues which took 3 visits to the supplying dealer to sort out. Since then, I've struggled with the suspension, trying to find some sort of optimum setting. In truth I think I more or less exhausted all attempts and it may be a case of needing a better rear unit. That said, in the last few weeks it's definitely been the best I've had it so far. Unfortunately, as well as struggling with suspension settings, the temperamental cruise control and poor 'LED dash board' continue to annoy, so much so, that despite covering 9000 miles in the 12 months I've had it, I decided to start looking for an alternative bike.

X-ADV 750 - I've not ridden the X-ADV much since getting back from last months European tour and despite loving it on the tour, I know that I might not ride it as much as I had hoped, so started to consider swapping it, along with the Versys. I've covered 3500 miles on the X-ADV in a relatively short time and still can't believe how good the bike is and how much it has exceeded all my expectations.

BMW S1000R Sport - No matter what happens on the bike front, I will not be parting with the S1000. I've owned over 60 bikes and the S1000R is right up there as one of the best bikes I've ever owned.

So, what's next? - Well, I came very close to signing for another BMW (1250) GSA and had 2 demo rides on an NT1100. I also looked at the Multistrada and KTM, but then, completely out of the blue, I found myself having a demo on a Honda Goldwing. I have bought a new bike, but the deal was done in the first week of October, so full update and photos next month!

My previous bikes - Yamaha FJ1200.

After a couple of years riding the CB900 I told you about last month, I decided to upgrade the bike. It was May 1992 and I narrowed it down to a Honda CBR1000F and a Yamaha FJ1200 and as the title above tells you, I opted for the FJ.

I bought the bike from 5-Ways Yamaha in Hull and paid £5315, I know because I still have the original bill of sale, in fact I have every bill of sale for every bike I've bought since that FJ! I fitted full luggage (Kappa) and a taller touring screen and that was it, it didn't even have heated grips. I owned the FJ for 18 months and it was the first bike I ever went to Scotland on and the first bike I ever went 'abroad' on.....only as far as Holland for the Dutch Moto GP, but never the less, it was 'abroad'. Six of us went to Holland on 3 bikes. Me on the FJ with my mate Garry on the back, Graham on his Goldwing with his brother Chris on the back and Tony on his GSXR1100 with Matt on the pillion. The FJ was traded in for a Kawasaki ZXR750, more about that next month.

This picture was taken outside a B&B in Scotland.

Here we are at the Dutch GP. I can only assume we were paranoid about getting the bikes nicked by the number of locks we've put on the bikes!

Waiting to get the ferry back to the UK.

Original bill of sale. The bike came up for sale on Ebay a few years ago, it was £500 and had covered 95,000 miles....I very nearly bought it!

And that rounds up September 2022, thanks for reading, until next month, ride safe.

Ian S

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