Updated 3rd May 2014
Ducati Monster 1200, and
traded Red in so no
further updates to this page.
April 2014 I had a 3 day weekend at the end of April when I rode Red on the Saturday with a mate to On Yer Bike for their 25th Anniversary open day where they had various things going on including a visit from 3 times BSB Championship winner Shane Shakey Byrne...
On the Sunday I rode Red to the Super Sausage Cafè for "2 Stroke Sunday" (see left) not huge amounts to see but a nice ride, and then I went to Ride Free event also not masses to see, but both events were free entry. On the left is a Suzuki GT 750cc 3 cylinder "kettle." A few pictures here.
have had another test ride this time on a Ducati
Monster 1200S and I liked it so much I have ordered
the standard model from St. Neots
Motorcycles. I get it by the end of May so will
have the whole summer to enjoy it. I traded Red,
and added some cash from my savings.
It has about 10BHP less the Red but about the same torque, ABS, TC, a lower seat, 3 riding modes and should do 45MPG (maybe more?) I've not ordered an extras thought I would get used to it first then decide, but I think a fly screen is a must plus a tank bag.
|April 2014 I took part in a
motorcycle ride for Emma's birthday
a lady in Letchworth who had on her
bucket list a ride on a motorcycle
so we made that happen. She was so
excited she was screaming when we
all came down the street to meet
her! We had a gentle ride to
Buntingford via Baldock, and back in
After Emma's ride I had a little ride about on some B roads then made my way to the Surfin Cafè in Biggleswade for a coffee, and cake break then home for a little gardening...
|April 2014 Since returning from Florida I
have ordered a Roof flip-up helmet, which
should arrive soon. I visited St.
Neots Motorcycles where I bought a new pair
of Spada gloves same as the ones I already had,
and I booked a test ride on a Monster 1200cc for
this week. The same day I went to the cafè at Stowe
Landscape Gardens for the first time. Free
secure bike parking, a good cup of coffee, and
cake with a friend, plus a little ride about that
area on our bikes in the sunshine. In the evening
I went to the Oakley
Motorcycle Club for the first time in ages,
which I enjoyed.
Also I have spoken to Peter at Scorpio Racing about fitting the Keis heated grips to Red, which he should be able to do in the next week or two. The weather has been very kind since I got back from Florida, but it is still a bit nippy in the mornings so may as well get them fitted even if I end up trading Red for a Ducati Monster 1200cc?
|February 2014 I rode Red over towards
Cambridge a nice run for Red she started
first time, ran perfectly, and the headlamp appears
to be fixed fingers crossed.
I still need to get the heated grips fitted.
Earlier in the day I had a ride on Blue.
|January 2014 I
think Red is fixed now, but have not ridden
it to double check. The voltage, which you can check
via a function on the dash appears to be OK. I did
wrap up some of the wiring in the cowling in lots of
insulating tape in case it was chaffing? Then a mate
with a multimeter kindly popped round, and he worked
out the new lamp was dodgy, although it looked OK.
So I have replaced it with a more expensive version.
Fingers crossed all is OK now. I still need to get
the Snug Grips fitted, but no rush.
I had a quick look at the dip beam again on Red, but the lamp appears OK so maybe the fuse has blown? Some of the wiring inside the cowling looks a bit poor so I'm thinking of wrapping it all up in insulating tape then checking the fuses. I have put it back together again so I can ride it in daylight if I want to?
I got some heated grips "free" as part of a magazine subscription. I plan to have these fitted to Red.
|November 2013 I
have not been out on either bike recently but I have
started them both up a couple of times, and they
both started on the button first press. I noticed
today that the dip beam bulb has gone again.
I will have a look at that when it is a little
I bought but have not yet fitted a couple of lever covers. Also I might get heated grips as well? I need some warmer weather so that I can ride over to see the guy and get them fitted, or maybe wait until the spring?
|November 2013 This
week I fitted the new dip beam bulb to Red
but made a right hash of
it. Not getting it aligned correctly AND
then not refitting the cowl properly! I
had a last minute panic when she would
not start prior to taking her for her
MOT test. I borrowed some jump leads
from my neighbour, got Red
started, rushed down to the test centre
where they pointed out the dip beam was
too low, and the cowling lose! After a
bit of tinkering we got the bulb in the
right way around, and the cowl back on
and tight :) They then passed Red so I'm good to go for
I did just over 4k miles in the last 12 months not bad for me especially as she was off the road for almost a month when the exhaust cam failed on the front cylinder.
2013 This week I went to the Oakley
Motorcycle Club on Red
and whilst riding there in the dark
I noticed the dip beam is not working. I've ordered
a new bulb and hope it won't be too much of a faff
to change it over? In the handbook for Red it says to take it to a dealer! Also
the MOT on Red
only has a week left so I need to
get on and fix it if I want to keep riding this
Also yesterday on Red a first visit to Fermyn Woods Country Park where I had a coffee break in the Skylark Café. Motorcycle parking is free there. Whilst there I had a little walk about and enjoyed seeing a pair of Red Kites, and on the way home a "Common" Buzzard.
Last week my first visit to the Old Sugar Loaf in Dunstable High Street for a meet of the Herts, Beds, and Bucks Bikers which I enjoyed. They meet every Wednesday but as I only get 1 off every 6 weeks I don't think I will be a regular! Anyway it is also Billing Bikers every Wednesday...
2013 I went to the BSB showdown round at Silverstone
circuit on Red, which I much enjoyed in the
sunshine and warm temperatures for early October. I've
loaded some pic's here.
Since then the good weather has continued and this morning I had a ride about on Red with M on his bike for the first time in ages. We went to the Super Sausage Café for coffee, and chocolate then Aston Martin HQ to look at the used cars not that either of us can afford one! The cheapest they had was a two year old Sygnet at almost £20,000 then home. A few snaps here.
Later I popped into town on Blue.
|September 2013 I had a very nice three day weekend visiting my chums in North Wales, and riding Red. On the way there in warm sunshine I had a first visit to Lynn's Raven Café (see left) for lunch. I carried on to Bala High Street where I had a coffee at Plas Yn Dre. Then to my chums to stay for two nights. I had a nice relaxing time being fed, and looked after by them. On Monday morning I went to Sleap Airfield (another first visit) for lunch in the café in the old WW2 control tower. I then had a nice ride through the countryside, and a little bit of the M42 to the National Motorcycle Museum, which was yet another first visit, and then home. I think I rode about 380 miles in total? I've loaded some pic's here.|
|September 2013 I finally did my BikeSafe course on Red with the Met Police in North London. The report on my riding was that it was generally good, and they gave me some pointers to improve further. After that I went to the Ace Café then home.|
|September 2013 Monday morning before work I had a very pleasant ride about on Red with D to give her a bit more confidence with her new bike. We had a coffee and cake break at The Pumphouse Café in Wellingborough and also a very quick look at the Triumph dealers nearby. It was chilly especially at first but the sun was out and it warmed up later.|
|September 2013 Thursday I had a very short ride about on Red and a coffee at the Kings Arms in Cardington village. Then I went to another local village called Ireland for a photo stop. In the evening I rode Red to the Oakley Motorcycle Club with yet another chum "KTM Kev." He's been thinking about a big trip for some time, and now I am on board. The plan is to do a lap of Florida on Triumph motorcycles early next year. Planning, plotting, and booking has commenced.|
2013 Recently I had a
little ride around on Red
with D on her bike. She's just got back into
biking and wanted to go for a little confidence
boasting ride on her new bike, and it was a lovely
sunny day for it. We stopped at the Copper
Beach Gallery and Tea
Room for tea and very nice cake. I have been
intending to visit for some time. It's rather quirky
but I liked it. This was before work.
The day before on a rest day I was out in the morning on Blue with P riding her bike again in the sunshine this time to the Quarryman's Rest Café at Irchester Country Park. That evening I rode Red to a biker meet at the All Seasons Café near Northampton to see the bikes and a friend who I'd not seen for sometime.
2013 Recently I rode Red
to the Baldock Bike
Bash, which was much smaller than last year perhaps
due to a clash with the MotoGP at Silverstone? Anyway
it was free and the sun was out... Some snaps here.
I had a cream tea there in the Taste Café Bar in the High Street then we headed over to the Silver Ball Café, but it had just shut. A steam lorry was just pulling out but I didn't get a picture of it. So we went to The Heath in Royston instead for a coffee. After that I went over to Stevenage for afternoon tea with my dad, and his friend Helen then home to watch the MotoGP on TV. A fantastic result for British rider Scott Redding winning the Moto2 race, and his main rival Pol Espargaro finished 8th.
I rode Red to
Olney for a coffee and it was market day (Thursday) so
I had a quick look at that then I went to Cosgrove
village and parked up then walked to the 1811 iron
aqueduct, which was interesting. I've not been there
before, but think I will have a longer visit soon. The
aqueduct takes the canal over the top of the River
Great Ouse. A few pic's here. Read up about the aqueduct
Tuesday evening I rode Red to Ultimate Bike Gear for a tea, cake, and a look about. Then carried on to Hartford Marina for bike night, but the venue burnt down a couple of weeks ago (which I was not aware of) so I just headed home after that. I'm a bit surprised somebody enterprising has not set up a burger van there on Tuesday evenings just to keep them going until the pub is rebuilt.
I've just booked another visit to Bristol to see the remaining Gromit Unleashed statues, and maybe a couple of side visits including I hope a catch up with chums who live in Swindon.
|August 2013 Bank
Holiday Monday I rode Red to
Classic Bike Show in the sunshine. The first
time I have visited but lots to see. There's a bike
show competition with prizes in various classes and
bikes parked all over the village. There's a small
charge and profits go to local charities. Many pic's here. On the way back I
was chugging about in The Fens when I had a very good
view of a Marsh Harrier somewhere near Ramsey. I have
seen these birds before but usually at RSPB
Minsmere, or that area on the coast.
I was going to go to the Buell and H-D meet at the Ace Café on Sunday on Red, but I was just too tired after a very busy week at work plus my packed but very enjoyable weekend in Bristol, and we had overtime at work the week before that...
I had another three day weekend and booked
leave on Friday to go to Bristol to see Gromit
Unleashed public art and charity thing. I much
enjoyed that and think I managed to see 59 of the 80
official Gromits. I went on Red & on the
way I visited Bibury "prettiest village in England"
where I had a look around, and a coffee. First stop in
Bristol was at Harry's Café
for tea. Then to my hotel the Travelodge
in the centre of town for three nights. In Bristol
apart from the Gromits I also had a look around the M Shed, Clifton
Suspension Bridge, SS Great
Museum, and Art Gallery... The SS Great
Britain you pay to visit, but it is well worth
it, and the rest were free. Lots of pic's here.
On Monday morning I rode Red to my last three Gromits then visited the Haynes Motor Museum for the first time. I much enjoyed this as they have a strong collection of bikes and cars going back over one hundred years. More pic's here.
Lastly I went to the Bicester Designer Outlet Village (see left,) where I had coffee and then home. I think I rode about 300 miles over the weekend.
2013 One Saturday morning I rode
Red around with M on his bike. We went to Skins in
Brackley for coffee, fresh lemon drizzle cake, and had
a look at the bike gear, but didn't buy any. We sat
outside and had good views of a Red Kite flying over
the town and another on the way back in a village near
Buckingham, and good views of a "common" buzzard as a
On the following Sunday I went on a charity motorcycle ride in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, which included a little time on track at Bruntingthorpe home of the Cold War Jets Collection, and Lightning Trust. Motorcycle News use the over two mile runway for speed testing... I was not the quickest or slowest but had fun and did see 133mph on the speedo when the bars started to wobble a little so I backed off. I think Red can do about 155mph? A few pic's here.
One Saturday morning at St. Neots
Motorcycles I had a test ride on a Ducati Diavel
Strada, which I much enjoyed, and I could have
had another test ride on a Carbon Diavel, or
something else from the Ducati range, but had to nip
back to Bedford before work later in the day. I rode
over on Red, and
whilst there bumped into a guy riding a Black Buell
1125 CR. I would have loved to chatted away with the
owner, but I did need to get back home pronto.
On Sunday I went to the WSB races @ Silverstone on Red with a free ticket I'd won that included a pit walk. Again much enjoyed that, and a cheap day out to! I took loads of photo's some of which I uploaded here.
Thursday morning I had a ride about on Red with M including a break for coffee at the Brownlow Café on the Ashridge Estate in the sunshine. I'd not stopped there before, although I have ridden around the area before. I enjoyed that and think I went down a couple of roads I had not ridden before? I did get lost once, but soon got back on track. Also we had a couple of good red kite sightings. I see these huge birds almost every time I go for a ride now. Just 10 years ago there were none of them in the whole of England!
I had a ride on Red to Whitewebbs
Museum of Transport in North London. I have not
been there before, but enjoyed it. The original
building is a Victorian pumping station now full of
cars, bikes, motorcycles... I took loads of snaps some
of which are here. On the way back I stopped
in Hertford for a coffee at Café Rouge. The weather
forecast was a bit mixed but apart from one very brief
shower on the way home it was a very nice day.
Earlier in the week I rode Red and went with M to the Market Square in St. Neots where we had a coffee at Café Nero and a bit of a ride about before work in the sunshine. Also we popped into St. Neots Motorcycles (where I bought Red) and I booked a test ride on a Ducati Diavel Strada for this coming Saturday morning. Think I get to ride it in a group for about an hour, which should be fun. Fingers crossed the weather is good.
2013 I had a little ride about on
Red to The Silver Ball Café for a cup of tea
then to Bike
Stop in Stevenage where I treated myself to a
white Strada Sting helmet. It's an off road
style helmet that I have worn for trail riding
already, and I'm happy with.
Recently I had a little ride on Red to The KTM Centre for the first time. This was before work with M. It was the first time I've ridden Red when out with him. I picked up some bits there for a mate, and had a look around. On the way there we had coffee in Harpenden High Street. It gave me the chance to play with the sat nav on my new Nokia Lumia, which went OK. Whilst going the "wrong way" round the "Magic Roundabout" in Hemel Hempstead on a hot day I glanced at the dash and it was showing 120F! I've seen just over 100F a few times recently but that was special.
2013 I went to the Oakley Carnival on Red
before work. I took some snaps which are here. I enjoyed that in the
sunshine. The summer has finally arrived in the UK and
it was showing 106F on the dash (I think it was more
like 90F in the shade but then again I was not in the
shade) and I was low on petrol!
Tomorrow I'm off to Ken's Diner again to meet up with my friend from Wales for dinner. Later this week I'm heading down to the KTM Centre for the first time to fetch some bits for a mate who's stuck at work, and have a look at all things orange. I might pop in to the Fourways Café whilst I'm down that way?
2013 Last Saturday I had a ride on Red
with some of the HBBB guys. We went from Bedford over
towards Rushden then cut across to St. Neots Market
Square where we stopped for refreshments at the Market
Café, which I'd not been to before. The guys then
decided to scatter, and I started to ride home via
various B roads, but on the way it was such a nice day
that I decided to divert to Jordans Mill
for coffee and more cake. I did about 60 miles? Then
the main event of the weekend.
On Sunday morning I rode Red to Krazy Horse custom shop near Bury St. Edmunds, which I enjoyed. Lots to see and a good café to. This was another first time visit, but I'm sure I will be back. It's about an hour from my house. Then on to Lowestoft for the beach. They have free motorcycle parking, which is nice. When I arrived I got talking to a local who told me it's "American Day" so there's stuff to see and do down by the South Pier so I headed there on foot. They did indeed have a free American car show, a few bikes, rock and roll band playing live... After that finished I made it on to the beach where I had a little sun and a paddle.
2013 Later I headed up the coast to
Great Yarmouth where I had a ride up and down the
promenade followed by fish and chips. Then to Norwich
for a one night stay at the Holiday
Inn at the airport. I'd booked this last minute.
I would have liked to stay on the coast but could not
find much or it was too expensive. Pictures of Sunday
Anyway I wanted to visit the City of Norwich Aviation Museum, which I could see from my room. The museum is small, but they have a strong collection including a Vulcan, Nimrod, Jaguar, Hunter, T33, Lightning, Meteor... On Sunday it had been wall to wall sunshine, but Monday morning was a bit hazy. After a tea I headed up to Cromer where I had coffee and cake on the pier plus a walk about and a sit on the beach. Later I went to nearby Sheringham for the North Norfolk Railway. I didn't have a ride, but did see a couple of engines in steam, and a quick look at the seafront. I then rode all along the North Norfolk coast to Hunstanton for my final rest stop, and then home. Pictures of Monday here. I think I did about 300 miles in the two days. Red appears to be running OK now fingers crossed.
2013 Recently I went to the Rushden Transport
Museum for the first time. It's free to get in
but I did make a donation. Some pic's here. Then to Ken's Diner
again this time for a free Car show to celebrate their
first birthday. Even more snaps here. Next I went to
Wellingborough for coffee at the Pumphouse
Café at Nene
Court which I had not been to before.
Finally I had a look at the motorcycles at Pure Triumph nearby. I like the look of the Triumph Street Triple R in black with red detailing they had outside. The price is not that crazy but it has a lot less power and torque than Red. However, I am interested in the 1198cc Ducati Monster that is due soon. Ducati appear to have put the 150 BHP "Testastretta 11" engine from the Diavel that I have already ridden into an updated Monster frame. I expect it will be silly money but I could be tempted? I had a test ride on the Monster 1100 Evo and it was OK but needed more power and torque that the larger engine should give it. I hope it will come with ABS TC different power maps...
|June 2013 Recently I went on Red to the first ever Northants V Twin Custom show at Jacks Hill Café which was free and had a random but interesting selection of bikes on show. I only had a quick stop there as I then went on to my cousin Robin's 60th birthday party about 15 miles away. Good to see lots of my family many of whom I'd not seen for ages.|
|June 2013 I rode Red to
the Oakley Motorcycle Club. Fingers crossed
she is running OK now.
Previously I had a little mostly B road ride on Red to the Ambience Café in St. Neots where I had a coffee then had a quick look at the nearby Rivermill Tavern.
I picked up and paid up on Red. It was not cheap but just good to have her back. Roll on summer. Not sure what I will do with her long term? When she is running she is just great, but this is the second year on the trot that she has been off the road for almost a month, and then there's the cost of getting her fixed... She only does 33mpg, etc.
I rebooked my Bikesafe training, which will now be in September.
2013 I dropped Red
off for it's service, but when I got back from work I
got the bad news that the exhaust cam on the front
cylinder is knackered. Red
will be off the road for about two weeks whilst parts
come from the USA. Red
won't be ready to go to Scotland this weekend and I
hate to think what the final bill will be. It was
almost £400 for the parts to repair her, plus service
parts, plus labour... I did manage to cancel my
B&B in Scotland without charge, and obviously I
will save on petrol and food by not going to Scotland
& I had budgeted for a full service, but I have
had to dip into my savings and I hate that!
Due to the problems with Red I need to postpone my Bikesafe training course with the Met police, which was booked for Sunday 2nd June. I can't see Red being back on the road by then?
Last Sunday I went to the Super
Sausage Café for breakfast, and they had a hot
rod and American car show. However, the car show was
a bit of a waste with only a few American cars and
no hot rods, but the sun was out and it was free.
Then I went to the British Supermoto meeting at
Finmere Aerodrome, which was also free, and more
enjoyable. I loaded some pic's here.
Monday morning I dropped off Red with Peter at Scorpio Racing for a service, and fingers crossed I get it back Tuesday before lunch (see above) then I need to pack for the Scotland trip.
Over three years ago I asked at work if they were getting any big lockers for bikers to leave our kit in, and was told no, not interested... I do have a small locker. Then on Saturday out of the blue somebody said to me your a biker? When I said yes they said OK do you want a big locker? Obviously the answer was yes and I should get the key this week. I've seen the lockers and they are more like medium sized but should be OK for helmet, boots...
Good day on Sunday where I had a back roads ride on
Water with my mate and his daughter. We had a
break there in the sunshine then went to Ken's Diner
for more refreshments then home via a different
route. This was my only day off work over the UK
Bank Holiday weekend. Then in the evening I rode Red
to Stevenage as my dad was treating me to dinner.
Today I'm working later but plan to check out Corner 5 at Box End Park for a coffee in the sunshine. Been thinking of doing this for ages, and we went right past it on Sunday, which reminded me. Also it is close to work.
I have Thursday off this week so thinking of another trail ride on Blue then spending the evening at Oakley Motorcycle Club.
Last Thursday I went to
the Oakley Motorcycle Club
on Red where
it was "Italian Night" so lots of Ducati,
I went to Ride Free on Red as Blue was not back from Jamie in time. Not a huge amount to see but it was free entry and just nice to be outside chatting with other bikers. Part of the event was the Steve Colley trials show which was impressive. I took a few snaps which I uploaded here.
I still need to book a service for Red. I hope to get this done before a trip to Scotland at the end of this month. I'm going to Oakley Motorcycle Club this week (due to a shift swap) and next week. The local green lanes opened today so I'm going to have a little look at them tomorrow on Blue and maybe on Sunday to?
I've worn my new Akito motorcycle trousers a couple of times now and for what I paid I'm happy with them. They were marked up @ over £100 but I paid less than half that.
I rode Red to Ken's Diner again to meet a mate for dinner. A few interesting cars there including a 1950's Cadillac with a record player. There was also a film crew in attendance shooting something for the Discovery Channel, but we won't get to see the finished show until next year?
I rode Red
to the Super
Sausage Café for brunch and to meet up with a
couple of the H.B.B.B.
guys for a chat then went on to Jack's Hill
Café to a vintage trucks show. Lots to see and
it was free! There were many old cars, vans,
bikes... I took some more pic's which you can see here. It was a very nice day
for riding at about 15C and hardly a cloud in the
sky. The weather forecast for the next few days is
typical April with cold nights followed by mild and
sunny days plus the odd shower.
In early April I went to the car, bike... show at Ken's Diner on a sunny and at last mild day. I took loads of photo's some of which you can see here. Lots to see and it was free and as a bonus I had good views of a red kite flying only a hundred yards away.
I still need to book a service for Red. I bought a new pair of silk under gloves from fleabag that were cheap, arrived quickly, and I'm happy with. Also I purchased a pair of Akito motorcycle trousers, which were very affordable in a sale. What caught my eye about them apart from the price was that they were advertised as short leg so the knee pads are in the right place and not half way down my shins!
Popped into town to collect my new glasses so tried
out the tank bag which was just as good as I thought
it would be. It was rather cold at 37F or just over
2C but OK for a very short ride.
March 2013 I had Red cleaned and covered in ACF-50 by Peter at Scorpio Racing in Kempston. She is looking almost showroom now but no doubt it will not last long. Now she is clean I attached the straps for the Touratech tank bag.
The local Ride Free event due for Sunday has been cancelled due to the weather. It should be rescheduled in about 6 weeks time. I was planning to attend but it is predicted to be only just above freezing and maybe some snow so I was having second thoughts even before I heard it was off and I got injured.
Just after midnight on 1st March I paid the road tax
on Red online so now I'm good to go for
another UK "summer." Later in the day I had a short
ride around on her. I've organised a clean and valet
for later this month and then will be booking a
service to. Looks like it will be an expensive
February 2013 I bought a used tank bag for Red on fleabag for a good price. It looks like a very nice piece of kit. Touratech is a German company so you know it's not going to be rubbish. It was advertised as being for a Buell Ulysses but fits Red just as well. I hope to get some use out of it this year. I've booked a cheap hotel in Bristol for a few nights in August and plan to visit the Gromit Unleashed public art exhibition plus there's loads of other stuff to do. Also I have a long weekend in early July when I'm thinking about a first visit to the R.A.F. Waddington Airshow and maybe a few nights in Mablethorpe or Skegness?
I've signed up for a half price Bikesafe course but it is not until June.
|November 2012 The road tax
has run out on Red and I have decided not to
renew it at the moment. If we have some nice weather
I can go on line and tax it in a couple of minutes
if/when I want to ride it. In the meantime I have my
cage and Blue
to get about in/on. I will get Red
cleaned and covered in ACF-50 when it is back on the
road as I was happy with the job Scorpio Racing did
October 2012 Red passed it's MOT (safety check) recently so good to go for another year.
I went to the Working Steam weekend at Stotfold Mill on Red in the sunshine. I've been before but they had a couple of things I'd not seen before and it was just nice to be outside looking at the traction engines... I took some snaps which you can see here. On the way there I had a good view of a red kite flying low close to the A600. After the mill I went to Baldock Services for a coffee before heading home.
I had a little ride about on Red in the sunshine firstly to Irchester Country Park to have a look at the Irchester Narrow Guage Railway Museum, which was small but interesting. Then I had a coffee at the Quarryman's Rest Café. Later I rode over to Salcey Forest to walk to the top of the tree top walk followed by tea and cake in the Forest Café.
|October 2012 I went
down to see Scott @ Bedford
Wheels this week to get the tyre fixed. Also I
got the road tax reminder this week and think the
MOT (safety check) is due soon? The Angel bit of the
Pirelli Angel ST rear tyre has now worn off showing
just the demon if you can make it out?
September 2012 I got a cheap ticket from Oakley Motorcycle Club for the BSB meeting at Silverstone, which I enjoyed until I got back to Red on Sunday afternoon and noticed I had a flat tyre. It had a screw in it. I called the RAC and they said 75 min's wait time but turned up in about 20 min's and plugged the hole so that I could chug home at no more than 50mph which was a bit tedious. Anyway the racing was good and in particular Alex Lowes doing the double on the WFR Honda. Lowes had never won a BSB race but had got pole and two third places in the previous round at Assen so you could see it happening soon. At Silverstone he took pole again and got to the front and looked comfortable in the first race but in the second race there was a real dice for the lead with Lowes pushing under Shakey Byrne at the last corner. As usual I took loads of snaps some of which are loaded here.
|September 2012 I've been a busy boy with a very enjoyable 6 day/4 night long weekend away riding about Coast to Coast on Red. Firstly I went to see my friends who live near Lake Bala in North Wales and whilst there I visited Aberystwyth and the Sweet Lamb stage of Wales Rally GB. I stayed with my friends for a couple of nights then rode across to Bridlington for a two night stay at the Oakwell B&B. On the way to Bridlington I visited another chum for afternoon tea and also Squires Café Bar, which I've intended to visit for ages and it is only 10 miles from my chum's house. The following day I went to Oliver's Mount in Scarborough for the Steve Henshaw Gold Cup bike race meeting. Then on the way home I took a detour to go to Mablethorpe to see the Bathing Beauties designer beach huts. I had a further stop in Spalding for a coffee and finally Ken's Diner in Finedon for dinner. The weather was mostly good apart from some rain late Sunday afternoon and also on Friday morning but it didn't make much difference to my plans and on the whole I had a lot of sunshine and warm temperatures for mid-September. I took loads of pic's some of which you can see here.|
|September 2012 I went on
to a meet of the Stevenage
and District Motorcycle Club on Monday at The
Cock Inn in Broom. Interesting pub as it has no bar
as such. You order your drinks and they go down to
the cellar and poor your beer straight from the
barrel. Only about 10 members turned up but I got
chatting to one member for a couple of hours about
all things motorcycling past and present.
I rode to the Baldock Bike Bash, which is held in the High Street. Not in the same league as Cassington Bike Night or the Brackley FoM, but surprising amount to see and it's free! I took loads of pictures which are loaded here. On the way I stopped at Baldock Services for a Starbucks coffee and on the way back I went to The Heath in Royston for another coffee then took the long way home via various B roads.
|August 2012 I rode Red
to the Oakley
Motorcycle Club Classics and Vintage night.
Where I had a very pleasant evening chatting to the
members, looking at the bikes, and enjoyed a pint of
the guest beer Bateman's Summer Swallow. I
took a few snaps which are uploaded here but they are not great as
it was getting dark.
I rode Red to the Honda Owners Club meet at The Horseshoe pub in Sywell village on Bank Holiday Monday. Not a huge amount to see. It was free of charge, but I did make a donation to the Air Ambulance fund. I took some photo's which are uploaded here. On the way back I had a coffee at Ken's Diner in Finedon and then I took the long way back by riding the B645 from the A6 to the A1 then home. When I got back I noticed Red has clocked 10,050 miles.
I rode Red to the Brackley Festival of Motorcycling which was fun in the sunshine. As usual I snapped away and there are some more pic's here. I had to make a tough choice as it was also the Sywell Jubilee Airshow, Northampton Balloon Festival, etc all on the same day.
|I had a 20
track session at the Snetterton 300
Circuit. I took a few pictures, which you can
see here. We only had about 6 or 7
laps but I enjoyed it and the weather was warm and
dry for us.
|I had a nice
ride out with the Oakley
Motorcycle Club to the Long Itch Diner near
Southam, which I'd not visited before. We had lunch
there & on the way back we headed over towards
Rutland Water, and I decided to drop off and have an
ice cream and coffee at Ken's Diner
as we were going right past. Nice warm and mostly
dry run apart from a couple of very light showers.
I've loaded a few more pic's here.
The tyre pressure gismo has arrived and I've fitted it to Red.
had a busy couple of days at Silverstone watching
practice and both WSB races. It was sunshine and
showers which must have been tricky for the riders
& a number came off. I took loads of pic's
some of which you can see here. I went on Red on
Saturday which I've not ridden recently. I thought
the handling was off & when I got back I
checked the tyre pressures & found the rear
was very low. So I went down to see Scott @ Bedford Wheels on
Monday and it's fixed again. I need to
keep a closer eye on the rear tyre pressure for Red
so have just ordered one of those tyre pressure
monitor safety type things from a certain well known
auction site. It uses a traffic light system to show
all is good or otherwise in tyre pressure world. As
Red was out of action on Sunday I went on Blue.
|July 2012 I have not
ridden Red for
over 20 days as I've been up in North Wales riding
about on Blue
and also the insurance ran out & as I'm waiting
to see if I will get points & a fine or maybe a
driver education course for doing 37mph in a 30mph
area when I went to Goodwood. It makes a big
difference to the insurance premium and I don't want
to overpay if I don't have to! I sent the form back
admitting I was driving at the time of the offence
about two weeks ago so I should know soon? The best
quote I have without points was £130 but with 3
points it jumps to over £180. However, if I don't
get a reply soon I will insure Red anyway and
assume I'm getting the points as summer is going by.
New indicators have arrived. I'm happy with Oxford Products but not so impressed by Supamoto in Kempston who didn't want to help me. I have fitted the right hand indicator myself. I had been riding around with only 3 indicators for a week or so.
I've booked another 20 minute taster track session this time at Snetterton in August. I have been to the circuit as a spectator a few times but never been out on the track.
to July last Sunday with a first visit to Wollaston
BMW on Red
as my mate wanted some prices for bits and
bobs for his new Sertao. We had a drink there in the
biker café. Then to Ken's Diner
opening event in Finedon. It's an American 50's
style place so they had 50's music playing and lots
of classic American cars plus a few bikes. I took
some pic's which you can see here. We wanted refreshments
there but the queue was very long so we went on to Sywell
Aerodrome Pilots' Mess where I took some more pic's.
|June 2012 Monday I
went to Cassington
Bike Night on Red. I much enjoyed both the ride
there and back (about 120 miles in total) plus
looking at all the bikes in the village. I'd not
been before but would go again. I took a few snaps
which you can see here.
have had Red
about two years now and only just noticed where the
helmet lock is! Plus one of the indicators looks
like it is about to fall apart? What is it with this
bike and indicators! I went down to Supamoto to
sort that out, but as the indicators are just over 1
year old they didn't want to know. Bit disappointed
about that. They are Oxford Products indicators and
were not cheap. Anyway I ordered some cheap ones
online. They have arrived, look OK, but I need a
couple of connectors which I will get today and hope
to fit them tomorrow morning. Update Change
of plan as the bolt on the end of the new indicator
is too big to go through the bracket on the bike. I
had a think about what to do next and I decided to
send the original back to Oxford Products for repair
or replacement and see what they do?
|Sunday I rode Red in the MAG
East Anglian protest (against EU meddling...) ride
from Brampton Hut to Risby Truck Stop. I took a few
pic's which you can see here. Also in this
video I go by after 1 minute 16 seconds. I had
tea and a bacon butty there then headed off to
Ravensden for some tea and cake at Miss MoMo's
Saturday I went on the Herts, Beds, and Bucks Bikers meet which I enjoyed. We went from Tesco in Flitwick out via Woburn and over towards Leighton Buzzard on down to Hemel Hempstead for a break. Then to the National Trust visitor centre at Dunstable Downs for refreshments and a chat. After that I rode home mostly via various back roads.
|Last Sunday I
had a ride on Red to the Silver Ball Café on
the A10 just South of Royston. It's another of these
places I've been passed a few times but never before
stopped at. Anyway good old transport café style
food, prices, and some "interesting" bikes there
including a BMW K1, rotary Norton Commando, a brand
new MV Augusta F3 (675cc triple,) several
Vincents... Plus I visited the Oakley Motorcycle Club
last week but I went in the car as it was wet and
The Avon 3D Ultras I won from Motorcycle Monthly have arrived. Just going to store them for now ready to fit maybe next Spring?
|May 2012 I've had an
email to say I've won a pair of Avon tyres for Red which will
come in handy. BTW I'm very happy with the Pirelli Angel ST that
I got last year. The Angel on the tread has now worn
off showing just the Demon bit. They warm up quickly
and offer good grip wet or dry.
I went to see Michael Kiwanuka at The Junction in Cambridge recently and as it was a nice day I rode Red. We managed to get parking spaces almost right outside. Also I have visited Woburn ArtBeat on Red and took some pictures with my mobile which you can see here. Plus one Saturday I had a little ride to a meet of the Herts, Beds, and Bucks Bikers in the sunshine. They meet in various places but this time it was the McDonald's off the A505 near Leighton Buzzard. I had a nice chat to a guy I was at school with and had not seen since! Then we went to the tourist office in Woburn so that I could pick up an ArtBeat booklet. Finally we popped into the Woburn Triumph dealer for a cuppa where I bumped into another couple of Buell owners and had another chat. Very enjoyable day all in the sunshine.
April 2012 I have Red back with new clutch parts at last. Only ridden it about 10 miles in the rain but just happy to have it back and fixed.
March 2012 I had not planned anything for the Easter weekend as looking at my work rota I was only off on the Sunday.
I rode to the H-Café in Oxfordshire for the first time and then back via On Yer Bike in the sunshine which was nice but Red's clutch is dragging. I think this might be due to clutch "weep" a known issue with these bikes so more expense! I have spoken to Steve at Maulden Motorcycle Repair to see what my options are and have decided to fit an Oberon Performance clutch slave cylinder but they don't have any in stock so Red will be off the road for about 10 days maybe more? Anyway on our ride we did see lots of common buzzards and red kites in particular near the Oxfordshire Golf Club I counted 9 red kites but think there were more all close together.
In mid-March I rode Red to work 1 day and then the following day had a very nice ride about including a stop at the Super Sausage Café on the A5 between Milton Keynes & Towcester both in the sunshine.
|December 2011 I
rode Red to
work and back on Tuesday during Xmas week (yes I had
to work on the bank holiday and I didn't get any
extra pay for it) a grand total of 8 miles! Now
she's all locked up in the garage with the cover on
and trickle charger running. Other than that I've
started her up a couple of times and that's about
October 2011 I've had a change of mind and taxed Red ready for the odd impromptu Winter ride so no doubt the weather will now we rubbish for months! I had another ride last Sunday this time around Ivinghoe, the Ashridge Estate, Tring... and we stopped at the Fourways café on a mild but mostly overcast day. The Sunday before first visit to the Super Sausage café (see left) on the A5 near Towcester. I've been past many times but finally got to go inside where they have good food and they are biker friendly. The Sunday before I had a little ride about with a stop for refreshments at AJ's Diner in Wellingborough.
Red now has new boots. I went for Pirelli Angel ST from Bedford Wheels using their ride in ride out service. The obvious tyres to go for were Pirelli Rosso but as I don't ride hard the Angels are a little cheaper and should last a bit longer but still warm up OK and will still grip when it rains. Since then I've taken her for her first MOT which she passed.
Last Sunday I went for a ride on the A421/A422 Brackley loop and stopped at the Flying Pig café @ Turweston Aerodrome for a tea and cake break. The Sunday before I rode Red to a free Bikesafe event at Millbrook Proving Ground which included a stunt show by Craig Jones which I enjoyed. No pictures as we were not allowed to take any. Then I stopped at the Marston Vale Forest Centre on the way back for a coffee and cake.
|Oakley Motorcycle Club. I enjoyed the second show down round and loaded some pic's here. On the left Red is parked in the Silverstone bike park. Last year I booked holiday from work but then the weather was not good and I had a cold so only went on the Sunday even though I had a weekend ticket. So this year I thought I'd just go on the Sunday and of course the weather forecast was good for the whole event and I felt fine. It must be somebody's law or an old charter or something? I won tickets to the first show down BSB round at Donington Park from the nice people at Fast Bikes magazine and I've loaded some pic's here.I got a half price ticket for the Silverstone BSB round last weekend via the|
Festival of Motorcycling where amongst other
things on a sunny day I had a test ride on a Ducati
Evo and then a Ducati Diavel. I enjoyed both test rides
and of course they were free! I did buy a wrist band
for the event as it's for charity & I took some
photo's which are loaded here.
I had a little ride out on Red to the Peartree Bridge carvery in M.K., which was OK and cheap! Then on to a free bike event at the Oakley Motorcycle Club. Other than that I've mostly been using it for work.
I went to the British MX round at Foxhills Moto Park. I took loads of photos some of which are loaded here and the following evening I went to Stevenage where I had a very pleasant evening with old friends at Prezzo in the High Street.
I rode to the Pit Stop café at Rockingham Classics and Sports which is only open on Saturdays. During the week they sell and service Moto Guzzi and Royal Enfield motorcycles.
May I had a very enjoyable 20 minute "taster" session for me and the bike at Bedford Autodrome. It was only £20 so I could not resist. It was windy and not that warm on the day (hence the jacket over my power ranger suit) but the early morning drizzle had stopped so the track was dry. I was not the quickest or slowest but had fun, and did see 129mph on the speedo. I still have chicken strips on the back tyre and virgin knee sliders, maybe next time?
Steve at Maulden Motorcycle Repair serviced the bike recently and the back tyre is almost done but It has over 3,500 miles on it already.
I've had a couple of minor issues with the bike. A slow leak in the back tyre was fixed by Bedford Wheels and the rear left indicator was not working again. I bought some replacement indicators with bulbs (remember them?) but when I tried to swap them over they blinked too fast. Anyway I now have some Oxford Products LED indicators fingers crossed they keep working.
had been using the Buell as my main transport as my
car has been a bit of a pain recently but also the
weather has been great. Only had about 3 or 4
showers in last 8 weeks. Mind you the garden is
looking parched. Then I realised the bike is overdue
for a service. I'd got the idea from somewhere that
the next service was at 7,500 miles but in the Buell
booklet it shows 6,200 which I've already completed.
So I'm now using the good old Serow
as my day to day wheels.
I rode to the British MX round at Milton Park (near J15a M1) as usual I took some pictures which are here. Good day in the sunshine all for £20 ticket. Not been to Milton Park before but think I will again. I notice they have some British quad racing coming up.
April First visit to Turweston Aerodrome Flying Pig Café on Easter Friday in the sunshine. I might go to their Wings and Wheels event in September?
Sunday 10th rode my Buell to the Cold War Jets Museum at Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome on a nice sunny day. You can see pic's of the jets here. Stopped on the way back for a pint at The Wharf Inn freehouse, which was nice.
Quick ride recently to village near M1 J15 to look at a Yamaha Serow I bid on but didn't win. 5pm Friday heading North on the M1 :-( but better than sitting indoors.
February Second ride of the year this time to the Fourways Café on a mild but windy and gray day. Anyway it was good to get out and about and whilst sitting in the café we could see common buzzards riding the breeze on a ridge.
ride of the year to Woburn via Shefford for a look
at the Farmers' Market and lunch in Caprioli then
Triumph for a look at the new Speed Triple
1050cc and Tiger
800cc models both of which looked good. My bike is
pictured on the left in Woburn High Street and I've
finally fitted the Laminar Lip (smoked screen) I bought for
it in November. Very happy with the lip which makes
the bike more comfortable at speed.
November ride to Ely which was enjoyable on a cool but mostly sunny day. First visit to Peacocks tearoom for lunch by the river where the food was good but the service poor. Then had a look at the Babylon Gallery next door where they had an exhibition of Bill Zigmant's photo's of stars from the 60's to 80's which was free! Got the day off to a great start when I nipped down the ATM and had a very close view of a Red Kite over the Bedford by-pass.
Enjoyed Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings at The Roundhouse in Camden. I went on my bike as there was a Tube strike and weather was amazingly mild. It was 15C at midnight in early November! Managed to bag a free parking spot just 100 yards from the venue.
Another ride this time to the Burwell Tea Room. First time visit which we enjoyed. Did rain a bit off and on but still worth it. I have now had the bike 3 months and completed over 2,000 miles. Plus I bought a used Oxford Maximiser (I already have an Oxford Optimiser) so I can now plug both my bikes into a trickle charger and the Maximiser can also do the car if needed?
I've been having a bit of a plane fest this year with the latest trip to the de Haviland Aircraft Heritage Centre home of the Mosquito (near junction 22 of the M25.) I've not visited before and much enjoyed with a surprising amount to see on a small site. Went on the bike which I enjoyed although it was cold but sunny and not the most exciting ride ever! Popped into Stevenage High Street Costa on way back for a warm up and coffee. Might check out the Midland Air Museum at Coventry airport sometime?
noticed that the left rear indicator had stopped
working so I swapped it with the right rear and
deduced the indicator unit was faulty. I had a look
to see if I could just go and buy a bulb but it has
LEDs in it and the handbook states to change the
whole unit so I had a discussion with Buell Customer
Support and Sycamore
H-D with the result that I posted my unit
which they replaced under warranty. Normally I would
relish a ride to Sycamore H-D but I was just too
busy with work until the end of the month apart from
Sundays when their service unit is shut. Update replacement
part has arrived, fitted by me, and works.
October I had a rare weekend with Saturday and Sunday off work and the weather was OK so I made the best of it with two outings in the same weekend. Firstly to the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre which is between Boston and Skegness close to the A16. It's a WW2 airfield where you can see a Lancaster bomber... Went on the Buell and did over 200 miles. Went up via the Fens and A16 but back via Sleaford and then the A15. I took a few photos which you can see here but they were nothing special as it was overcast all day.
The following day I went to the Working Steam Weekend at Stotfold Watermill. This is only about 15 miles from my house but I have never visited before. You can see some more photos here. Plan to check out the other steam fair they have in May.
September I went to the Silverstone BSB round. I had a cheap weekend pass, booked some holiday, and planned to make a big thing of it but I then got a cold and the weather was not great so I only went on the Sunday. Here my Buell is parked by the Oakley MC marque on the infield. You can see some more pictures here.
now done over 1,850 miles in ten weeks but not
expecting much to happen in next 6 months, or am I?
I've been up to North Wales for a week to ride my Serow and I went on the Buell. I did over 400 miles and have now completed 1,500 miles since I got the bike less than 2 months ago. Here we are near Llangynog on the B4391 on the way home. You can see more pictures of the trip here.
|KTM Kev and I
had a ride to Ugley in Essex at the start of the
month for a photo stop (see left.) We then had a bit
of a ride around Hertford looking for a tea shop I
recalled, but could not find (maybe because it is in
Hatfield?), then had a coffee in Stevenage High
Also I have been to Webbs at Eye (near Peterborough) where I left my photo licence after riding a Triumph Street Triple demo bike as they had my mobile number I was surprised they didn't ring me to say come get it.
I had a ride with the Oakley MC to the Old Bakery tea
shop at Swanbourne (which does not appear to have a
website) and then to the Red Lion in Stevington for
a pint and a bite. It was all good apart from it
rained for about the last 10 min's. After that I
went over to Stevenage and back so did well over 100
miles that day.
I attend the Sywell Airshow on my Buell which I enjoyed and you can see some photo's here. On the way back we could see all the balloons taking off from the Northampton Festival.
I had a short visit to Yorkshire to see my chums Darren, Fiona and young Sophie which included a visit to the Newark Air Museum. I had not been to the museum before and enjoyed it. Also I recommend the Friendly Farmer Café near the museum. I went on the Buell and put over 300 miles on it in 2 days, and have done about 600 miles in total so I'm getting used to it. On the left my bike is parked at the museum with a Gloster Meteor T.7 in the background. There's some more aircraft photo's here.
On the way home I took the long way and visited Sycamore Harley Davidson/Ducati dealers in Rutland in the hope of getting some soft luggage for the Buell but they didn't have anything so I bought a Knox 6 backpack on-line and ordered a "pop up" bag to go on the pillion seat.
In early August I had a couple of local trips and a ride to the White Lion next to the Grand Union canal at Marsworth (near Tring) for a drink in the sunshine.
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