In November 2005 I took the plunge and bought a motorbike on eBay. Since then I have taken part in training, and generally made a few comments.
Motorcycle Maintenance Evening Classes - Edinburgh

I missed a comment from May from David mentioning motorcycle maintenance evening classes and asking about the Edinburgh area. It would seem that evening classes mirror the school and college semesters so it is a good idea to keep an eye out for schedules as the summer holidays draw to a close and autumn starts coming in. Edinburgh Council ran a Motorcycle maintenance evening class in Autumn 2014 from Boroughmuir High School and the new schedule may include similar when posted from 12th August 2015 West Lothian College in Livingston have a basic Motorcycle braking, steering and suspension course starting on 2nd September...

posted @ Thursday, July 30, 2015 11:58 AM | Feedback (1)
EICMA 2012–The Show

I’ve posted the story of how I chose to go to the EICMA show last year, and having got through the turnstiles the plan was to get to the BMW stand as soon as possible to see the new R1200GS. The show is huge and was quite different to our regular fare at the Scottish Bike Show. As soon as we got in there were folks handing out fisherman’s friends. Yes you read right, and I still can’t quite believe it. If you don’t know these are menthol cough sweets made in Feetwood, Lancashire. And they were handing them...

posted @ Thursday, May 30, 2013 7:06 PM | Feedback (0)
EICMA 2012 from Edinburgh

Further to my previous post here is a shorter summary post on our Itinerary. How we got there We flew EasyJet from Edinburgh Airport to Milan Malpensa with one item of hold luggage. The Winter schedule is quite light midweek so watch for this adjustment. In hindsight we would travel with proper full size hand luggage and use that instead to be quicker and save the extra cost. I bought return tickets for the Malpensa Shuttle from Malpensa to Central Rail Station. You can buy tickets on the EasyJet flight for the same amount of money as...

posted @ Wednesday, May 29, 2013 9:15 PM | Feedback (0)
Kirkcaldy Sand Racing 2013

A video I shot on my phone at last weekend’s sand racing at Kirkcaldy in Fife, Scotland. The weather was atrocious across the country but it was an excellent event. Number 50 having a hoot.

posted @ Thursday, May 23, 2013 10:15 PM | Feedback (0)
i2i motorcycle academy facebook

You will know from previous posts that I have used i2i Motorcycle Academy in the past (and hopefully will in the future) to acquire machine control training. i2i have had a website at for a few years now and have also been represented on social media for a couple of years. The i2i motorcycle academy Facebook page can be found at

posted @ Thursday, May 23, 2013 7:30 PM | Feedback (0)
Off Road Skills Level One–April 14th and 15th 2013–Conclusions

The quality of instruction and course content of Level One at Off Road Skills are excellent and I thoroughly recommend it. I would also recommend the R1200GS as the bike of choice but I might be biased because of my size. My hope is finances permitting (I did go and buy a new R1200 GS Adventure this year) that I will be able to do Level One again next year. It is longer than helpful from a learning perspective but we all have to live within the limitations we have. Things I took away: The...

posted @ Wednesday, May 22, 2013 6:06 PM | Feedback (0)
Off Road Skills Level One–April 14th and 15th 2013–Day 2 (Monday) Trails and more hills

Most rider training courses I have looked at are one day, so I used to think the cost of the ORS school was a bit steep. What hadn’t really clicked is that the course has always been two days and in that light makes a bit more sense, even if it is the other end of the country. One thing that reinforced the point that I had chosen well was the multinational mix of attendees, I’m not sure but I think that there were attendees from mainland Europe on the course. On Monday morning Nicky did a fantastic job...

posted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 6:06 PM | Feedback (0)
Off Road Skills Level One–April 14th and 15th 2013–Day 1 (Sunday) Stuff on trails

So having pottered about on the flat area we headed off in to the forest for some riding on trails and getting used to standing up. The position to adopt was described as “standing at a bar” which we all seemed to understand. The trails involved a number of different surfaces, though with the rain mud was a common feature. We went from graded roads of a mixture of gravel and mud, to quite muddy trails up to gravel roads. Understanding peg weighting made a big difference and to this day I’ve still to reconcile that with the California Superbike...

posted @ Monday, May 20, 2013 6:06 PM | Feedback (0)
Off Road Skills Level One–April 14th and 15th 2013–Day 1 (Sunday) Stuff

This is where it gets tricky – as things progressed there was more and more learning and as such the timing blurred and there is going to be stuff I forgot, and will no doubt mention in the wrong order. As far as groups are organised all of the folks from the Motorrad Central group were put together rather than streaming on experience, and we got Kevin Hammond as our instructor. As David was along from Motorrad and had already shown himself as a confident off road rider – he was to be the tail end. As far as I...

posted @ Sunday, May 19, 2013 6:05 PM | Feedback (0)
Off Road Skills Level One–April 14th and 15th 2013–Day 1 (Sunday) Intro

So if you’ve read my previous post you will know that we are staying at the Old Tredegar, there is a group of 8 of us, and we are all travelling around in a VW Transporter Shuttle in Silver (did I mention the colour?). Nicky did a sterling job of looking after us all for breakfast on Sunday morning and then we all headed back to our rooms to kit up for the journey to the industrial estate where ORS are based. Longest bit for me (as expected and in order of duration) was 1. Removing the visor from...

posted @ Saturday, May 18, 2013 5:03 PM | Feedback (0)
Off Road Skills Level One–April 14th and 15th 2013–the trip to Wales

I recently had a great time with a group from Motorrad Central at the BMW Off Road Skills School in Wales. We spent two days riding new BMW motorcycles round trails and up and down hills etc. As you will know from reading my blog over the years I like motorcycle training – so I am “better” at the thing, so I can do anything possible to improve my survivability but also because it tends to be fun. The Off Road Skills school in Wales has a national reputation, no doubt established through their many years of existence, the...

posted @ Friday, May 17, 2013 4:02 PM | Feedback (0)
Motorcycle Racing Interviews

After a little encouragement I’ve been thinking about resurrecting this blog and posting more. While I consider content for longer posts I had to post links to a couple of interviews of Motorcycle Racers that I enjoyed. First of these is a three parter with Valentino Rossi, an Italian Motorcycle racer in the MotoGP prototype series, by Motorcycle News (MCN) on YouTube: Valentino Rossi Part 1 Valentino Rossi Part 2 Valentino Rossi Part 3 The second is with an Australian called Simon Pavey who...

posted @ Thursday, April 11, 2013 7:37 PM | Feedback (0)
Riding new BMW Motorcycles

With it being summer in the UK, and the two BMW Motorcycle dealers in central Scotland being under new ownership is the wonderful idea called the “open day” when they set out a whole pile of things including food etc, but even better they arrange “demo rides” where you can come along and have shots on a whole number of new BMW motorcycles just by providing details of your (full motorcycle) driving license. As a result of open days at Motorrad Central East and West, or as their websites call them now Motorrad Central Edinburgh and Glasgow, I’ve had...

posted @ Saturday, July 17, 2010 9:50 PM | Feedback (0)
Motorcycle Maintenance Evening Classes

I've missed the start of this course, but worth keeping an eye out for if you live South of Edinburgh. Scottish Borders College continue to run their Motorcycle Maintenance evening class "Know Your Motorcycle". I did an introductory version of this a couple of years back and it is good to get along and fiddle with someone else's bikes! The evening class details are on their website , unfortunately I am a bit late in flagging it up as it started a couple of weeks ago, but it looks like they are running a 10 week course from Newton. Now to see...

posted @ Saturday, September 26, 2009 9:52 AM | Feedback (2)
i2imca comes to Scotland

One benefit of being involved with a road safety charity concerned with motorcyclists is that venues and other service providers are willing to “go that extra mile” when it comes to trying something new or helping with charitable aims. As you may understand from previous postings, I have undergone regular training to do with riding my motorcycle and following a successful advanced motorcycle test as administered by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), I went on to volunteer with the local group affiliated to the IAM and serve on their committee and qualified last year as an “Observer” –...

posted @ Thursday, September 3, 2009 1:01 PM | Feedback (0)
i2imca on facebook

Go look at i2imca on facebook.

posted @ Wednesday, July 8, 2009 1:20 PM | Feedback (0)
i2imca Machine Control 4

Last weekend I had the opportunity to take part in the final course of four with the i2i Motorcycle Academy. Each of the four courses uses techniques from road, off-road, supermoto and track motorcycle riding to teach participants how to work with their machine and to challenge the preconceptions we all have about what can be done and what can’t be done with a motorcycle. Known as MC1, MC2, MC3 and MC4 the courses build on each other to challenge you and your own machine, and also off-road and supermoto machines provided by i2imca. But a key technique of...

posted @ Wednesday, July 8, 2009 12:55 PM | Feedback (0)
Scottish Supermoto

Popped along to see one of the EDAM members racing a DRZ at the Scottish Supermoto place in Crail. Got there a bit late, and the batteries ran out in the big camera, but there are one or two pics in there that turned out really well. There are also a few snaps, some photos of empty track when the bikes were moving past too quick and others that are out of focus. I was just getting the hang of panning with a longer lense too when the batteries went. Ho hum. See on Flickr.

posted @ Saturday, May 23, 2009 9:08 PM | Feedback (0)
Bikesafe Assessed Ride - II

Way back in history, almost three years ago in fact, I did an assessed ride with Lothian and Borders Police under their bikesafe initiative. At the time they called me up to fit me in with a run from Peebles, which at the time was a bit of an experience as I had to find my way all the way from Livingston near where I live to Peebles in the Scottish Borders. At the time I didn’t get along to their theory night but just did the assessed ride. Wind on a bit and I asked to see...

posted @ Sunday, May 10, 2009 10:08 PM | Feedback (0)
EDAM Run To Arran

I’m treasurer and webmaster of a motorcycle club affiliated to the Institute of Advanced Motorists called Edinburgh and District Advanced Motorcyclists. The main aim of the club is to assist people with preparation towards an “Advanced” test that is run and administered by the IAM. The idea is that Advanced training helps an individual to manage the risk of riding a motorcycle and try to avoid the situations that result in accident. The club also tries to do things for those that have passed the test and some of us had a run to Arran last Sunday. The run...

posted @ Sunday, May 10, 2009 9:35 PM | Feedback (2)
A brilliant time off road with i2imca near Thirsk.

Way back last year I spent a couple of days with the i2imca guys on an airfield in a place called Tockwith, learning some techniques with my own bike. The general idea will be familiar with anyone who has had to learn any discipline with a physical element - lots of small drills build up to a larger result. As the person riding (or driving) a motorcycle has such a big influence on how it behaves, these drills consider what you can do to work with or against a motorcycle for stopping, cornering and accelerating. That makes all sound a...

posted @ Sunday, April 12, 2009 12:20 PM | Feedback (0)
AlistairL learns some more motorcycle stuff in 2009

I love it when a plan comes together. As previously mentioned I am off to do MC2 with i2imca in April, and I have a slow riding course with Edinburgh Advanced Motorcylists at the end of April. I've just heard from the Edinburgh Advanced Motorcyclists events coordinator that we have some proposed dates from i2imca to run MC1 / MC3 at East Fortune this year, so it looks highly likely that I will be repeating MC1 and MC3 in Scotland at the end of August which is an excellent thing. And I've just heard from one of the guys at Lothian and...

posted @ Sunday, February 15, 2009 2:23 PM | Feedback (0)
Superbike School UK back on motors TV

The mini series about the California Superbike School is back on motors TV from 27th February at 20:30, worth a look to get a wee hint at what the school is all about. All I need is a full set of leathers, and a few hundred quid.

posted @ Sunday, February 15, 2009 2:17 PM | Feedback (0)
Motorcycle Gloves as Personal Protective Equipment EN 13594

Further to my post on getting measured up for new bike kit (should hopefully be ready sometime in the next two weeks) I have been digging around a little to find out who supplies CE approved motorcycling kit. I was pleased to discover that my Alpinestars boots are CE approved so the only item of my kit that will not be is gloves. The applicable standard for gloves is EN 13594 and if you do a google search the only gloves you are likely to find hits for are the Halvarssons Safety gloves. These are fine but I haven’t...

posted @ Thursday, January 29, 2009 6:19 PM | Feedback (9)
Next Motorcycle Course - off road with i2imca

I'm not sure if I have blogged this already, but what the heck I'll blog it again and you can tell me if I am degenerating into an old fart and repeating myself. Last year I spent a couple of days with a company called i2imca who run motorcycle training in Yorkshire. You may know that I have spent time last year and the year before with the local groups of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) getting their coaching up to prepare for the Advanced Car and Motorcycle tests administered by the IAM. And subsequently trained to be one of...

posted @ Wednesday, January 7, 2009 8:03 PM | Feedback (0)
Bus Lane Code of Conduct for Bikers

Specific politics aside for Boris Johnston, whatever his personal politics are, but he has held to a pledge to an extended trial of allowing motorcyclists into bus lanes. Unfortunately this has not gone down too well with the Cycling Lobby so I really hope the bikers in London rise to the challenge of showing they can use the facility well. To this end the Motorcycle Industry Association has proposed a code of conduct to make this trial a success and something that will make other councils look up and pay attention. Unfortunately Edinburgh City Council recently decided not to review...

posted @ Monday, January 5, 2009 11:17 PM | Feedback (2)
Measured up for new motorcycle clothing

The most exciting thing I've done recently involved a short trip to Barnard Castle to the factory of Scott Leathers. Kindly the folks there offered to make me an appointment during my holidays when the factory was closed to measure me up and talk about what they could make for me. I've known about Scott Leathers for as long as I've ridden motorcycles. The riding school that I learned with used David Grieve motorcycles in Buckhaven for servicing, and Dave Grieve stocked Scott Leathers kit. So the first textile jacket and salopettes that I bought in 1995 were made by Scott...

posted @ Saturday, December 27, 2008 1:17 AM | Feedback (9)
Youtube goes all widescreen

Just been on Youtube and wondered when it went widescreen, apparently a few days ago. I'll need to see if they do bullet cameras in widescreen so I can upgrade the video on my bike...

posted @ Thursday, November 27, 2008 10:36 PM | Feedback (0)
Superbike School UK on Motors TV

Having a nice slow start this morning I hunted around the channels looking for some motorbike stuff to watch and stumbled across a programme called "Superbike School UK". I actually thought this might be a programme that I had seen before, but I was chuffed to realise that it was a series of programmes about the California Superbike School in the UK. CSS is the track based course to go on, and came to the UK about ten years ago. It is based on the materials of Keith Code who wrote amongst others the Twist of the Wrist books which...

posted @ Saturday, November 1, 2008 11:59 AM | Feedback (0)
Further catchup with the world of AlistairL

I think I would be better off with Twitter than these summary posts, but such is. These will placeholder my life until I get my thoughts down in more detail: A week last Friday I took Mrs AlistairL out for a Fish Tea at the Tailend restaurant in Albert Place. Alegedly related to the management of the Anstruther place at one time, they managed to squeeze us in without a table booking and the fish and chips was excellent. The dining room is a bit small, so look it up in advance and book. Recommended. I had "fun" this week wrestling with...

posted @ Sunday, August 31, 2008 5:45 PM | Feedback (1)
Catchup with the world of AlistairL

I do these catchup posts from time to time, when I go through a period when I'm not in to keeping the blog up to date. Happenings include: Cat MkII. After keeping her resolution not to have another cat, two weeks after the departure of Cat MkI I accompanied Mrs AlistairL to Dalkeith to meet a little female kitten being fostered with her brother and mother by the Lothian Cat Protection folks. After an hour of play we departed with a little 12 week old black male kitten who is now called Luey. He plays most of the time he is...

posted @ Tuesday, August 12, 2008 1:04 PM | Feedback (1)
Another ride out on the motorcycle

Out again for a short ride yesterday, so I took part of the route we travelled on my Qualified Observers test the other week. A nice wee bimble, so I connected up the curly Autocom lead and plugged in the MP3 player to listen to some tunes on the way. Setting out from home I got some petrol at Shell Lizzie Bryce, just near the house, only needed about half a tank or so but wanted to make sure I was well fueled up for the wee run to the borders. Then off along the A71 to join the Edinburgh bypass,...

posted @ Wednesday, June 4, 2008 11:24 AM | Feedback (0)
A wee ride out on the Motorbike

I thought I would do the equivalent of obtaining Dumbo's feather and now have a new set of Bridgestone BT-021s on my R1100RS, so there is nothing apart from my head to fix on the bike.There was a minor mixup from the supplier to the garage and they gave me a call on Friday to apologise that they had been sent BT-020s and had ordered the proper tyres for a Saturday delivery, so they kept the bike overnight for me so they could fit the tyres when they arrived.As it was I had planned a day out on Saturday so...

posted @ Sunday, June 1, 2008 5:59 PM | Feedback (0)
Motorbike Tyres

The bike is in getting a new pair of tyres, the front is getting a bit near the wear indicators for comfort and the rear is quite squared off. What happens over time is that the round profile of a rear motorcycle tyre gets worn off as you ride upright most of the time. After a while this makes it harder to steer as you go over the new square edge. I've decided to go for the new Bridgestone Battlax sport touring tyres the BT-021s front and back. The bike got a pair of their predecessors over 2 years ago and they...

posted @ Friday, May 30, 2008 3:41 PM | Feedback (0)
Latest on the broken Motorbike

Latest update on the broken Motorcycle is that it is progressively getting unbroken. I patched it up with gaffer tape last week and took it out for a run on Friday night, but got to the petrol station at Dreghorn to find my left foot and lower leg covered in oil. Not the best in any situation, but it was pouring with rain and made things really slippery. The bike was running fine though, but this had me thinking all sorts of crazy things about cracked cylinder head or other terrible things. So I laid a trail of oil on the...

posted @ Thursday, May 15, 2008 9:27 PM | Feedback (0)
Gaffer tape

I'm going to have a bit of fun over the weekend and tape the small broken bit of my bike together with some blue Gaffer tape I bought over the web. Roadies and the like no doubt know all about the wonderful qualities of the stuff but I have only just found the wonderful and the multitude of tack levels and colours available. So I've got a couple of rolls in blue, the colour of my motorbike. I'm going to do a temporary tape up job to stop the indicator blowing away.

posted @ Friday, May 9, 2008 12:59 PM | Feedback (0)
Fell off my bike today :(

I was out for my Observer practical test and fell off my bike. I was getting along fine and I was down to Peebles and Galashiels and all of the way back up the A7, came up to the on-slip at Lasswade Junction on A720 for some reason a survival reaction kicked in as I made the turn and I put both brakes on and the bike went down on its left side with me. Couple of holes in the bike - beside the LHS indicator, left hand valve cover. A few other scrapes on the bike too. Scrapes to me are...

posted @ Sunday, May 4, 2008 9:41 PM | Feedback (1)
Tested out my radios last weekend

It has been a bit of a busy week, hence I am a bit slow in posting this. My writing efforts have also been devoted to drafting up a magazine article, only a short news report but hopefully it will end up in print - more to follow. The article was about a training event held by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) for their Senior Observers in Scotland. I managed to blag my way in to helping out on the day. I originally offered to make the tea but got a minor promotion to signing folks in and talking photographs....

posted @ Saturday, May 3, 2008 9:43 PM | Feedback (0)
i2imca Cone Effect 1

Another rambling on my weekend with i2imca, this time a bit harder for me to explain. A big part of motorcycle stability is down to the gyroscopic effect of the two wheels - at even lowish speeds their spin helps keep the bike upright. There is also stuff that goes on because there are two wheels acting as seperate gyroscopes. Anyway, as biker types know the way you turn is to use something called countersteering, which is a counter-intuitive thing that involves moving the bars the wrong way and making the bike tip the way you want. Otherwise providing the bike...

posted @ Monday, April 21, 2008 9:32 PM | Feedback (2)
i2imca stories 1

I'm not sure that a huge blog post about my visit to i2imca is appropriate, so I think I'll post things as they come to mind. One of those is the concept they have of stories. I'm not sure if it is NLP based, but the idea is that we all have a perspective on the world and i2imca calls these stories. For example, "You will crash if you brake in a bend", "You will crash if you lock a wheel", "You steer a bike by hanging off", "Bikes crash in the wet", "Sports bikes are bad for tank slappers"....

posted @ Monday, April 21, 2008 2:50 PM | Feedback (1)
EDAM Run to Wanlochhead

At least I think that is how it is spelled. Went out on a Non Group Organised Run with EDAM yesterday, the clue in the title is that Group Organised Runs have to be run to a set of rules, and as a result get insurance cover whereas Non Group Organised Runs do not have cover, albeit that group members and friends may be out there. It was my first run with EDAM and as my Senior Observer was organising it, I got the task of being at the Tail End. The idea was to run a drop off marker system,...

posted @ Monday, April 21, 2008 12:39 PM | Feedback (0)
i2imca was Superb

It's the second week since I was on a two day course with the i2i Motorcycle Academy and I haven't blogged about it. To be honest, I've had too much fun riding my bike since then. I originally went to try and help my slow speed skills on the bike, but the most improvement is in my cornering. By understanding how the bike feels with neutral steering (i.e. don't mess with the bars) and then shifting my weight more with corners I am a lot more confident with cornering than I used to be. In fact, I find myself oversteering...

posted @ Friday, April 18, 2008 8:31 PM | Feedback (1)
Getting ready for my weekend in Yorkshire

I'm off to do two days motorbike training in Yorkshire next weekend, so I'm beginning my preparation. I think I am going to switch back to the standard lids on my R1100RS system cases - I have been running with the narrower city lids for over a year as I don't go away on the bike, and the narrow lids look better and hold enough anyway. I've got excellent wee things called Kugler Klamps on the cases which allow me to easily swap the lids, so I got the standard lids out of the shed to check them but discovered the...

posted @ Saturday, March 29, 2008 9:42 PM | Feedback (0)
First Aid MP3s

Again, Via Kevin from Survival Skills, he has posted a link to a page with mp3s for a few first aid situations, produced by the South East Ambulance Service. More relevant to those of you who already have First Aid qualification, but a wee reminder to the rest of us to go out and do a course.

posted @ Wednesday, March 26, 2008 10:45 PM | Feedback (0)
Motorcycling - Fixing Your Lines

Kevin (Spin Doctor on Visordown) over at Survival Skills has put up an excellent post on sorting out your lines on the road. I like this for a couple of reasons, the first being that every now and again I get a bit ragged in my cornering and feel really ackward, and also that he puts his finger on the building blocks to sort it out. Motorcycles are relatively narrow compared to the amount of road width needed by cars, and there are more options for positioning. They also carry less grip, so the options for getting out of cornering problems...

posted @ Friday, March 21, 2008 11:00 AM | Feedback (0)
Bike Passed its MOT

Had a day working from home this week so that I could drop off and collect my motorbike from the local MOT place, C&J Wilson in Uphall. At the time I took the opportunity to get the Autocom Active Plus kit fitted. Wilson's are an Autocom dealer, and although I didn't buy it from them, they said they were ok fitting it to the bike. So the good news was that the bike passed its MOT, with a wee word of caution from the tester about a rattle from one of the brake discs. The discs are floating types i.e. they are...

posted @ Thursday, March 20, 2008 9:57 PM | Feedback (0)
Anniversary Weekend

It was my 11th Wedding Anniversary at the weekend, so the wife and I had a couple of days away in a Holiday Inn Express. The weekend started with a meal for us and the kids at Chenzo's in Uphall, which is a bit of a family tradition. Then the Scottish Motorcycle Show on Saturday morning. This was fun as I had been swapping emails with a company that does custom ear plugs, and as I had recently fitted the Autocom headset to my helmet, I was told to get a "lid-on" impression. This means they let the moulds set while wearing...

posted @ Monday, March 10, 2008 9:40 PM | Feedback (0)
Out on the bike and stuff

I used to be good at posting my Sunday ride reports, but I think I spent the time last Sunday finishing typing up my notes as Secretary of the Scottish IAM Forum. I now need to process it into more legible minute type quality that can be published. I finally found a Sunday morning when I didn't have an Observed Car run and the bike was in one piece and not having any problems. So I met the three other chaps at Dreghorn Services for a run to St Mary's Loch in the borders. From Dreghorn we went South to Peebles, East...

posted @ Tuesday, February 26, 2008 9:47 PM | Feedback (0)
Drip Drip of Petrol from the bike comes from

Headed over to see George in South Queensferry this afternoon to look at the petrol drip. It looked like it was coming down the outside of the three breather pipes that come down the right hand side of the R1100RS. Having looked under the seat, the breather pipes looked a bit cracked, but trimming and reconnecting them just had the drip coming out of the pipe. The breathers connect to a plate on the bottom of the fuel tank, which itself connects to lines inside the tank to connect to the fuel filter and petrol filler cap drain hole - channels...

posted @ Saturday, February 16, 2008 4:33 PM | Feedback (0)
Service Kit Final Rant

Spoke to the man from Sherlock's a couple of days ago to get bits in anticipation of fixing the petrol leak on the R1100RS tomorrow. Turns out the service kit was returned to them with a hand written note saying "Not Collected". I phoned three times a day for almost two weeks, and visited the sorting office in person three times. Argh.

posted @ Friday, February 15, 2008 2:37 PM | Feedback (0)
Drip Drip Drip from the bike

Seems I spoke a little too soon when I said the bike was serviced for another year. I was up in Perth last weekend for one of the two a year meetings of the Scottish IAM Motorcycle Forum and spotted a petrol leak, which has continued since. So off to South Queensferry tomorrow to see why my RS is leaking petrol down the right hand side.

posted @ Friday, February 15, 2008 2:34 PM | Feedback (1)
Bike comes back from service

Popped over to South Queensferry to pick up my bike from George. No problems encountered, so now I have the R1100RS serviced for the year and also fitted with new suspension and heated grips. The new suspension is superb, and as the weather improves I expect to be able to try it out more. It already feels less harsh but also less bumpy. I saved up for them for a while and ordered a set of uprated units through Tim Rose of T.R. Engineering from a company in France called EMC Suspensions. The units come with blue springs as standard, but...

posted @ Saturday, January 19, 2008 8:52 PM | Feedback (1)
Bike goes in for a service, etc etc

I'm just back from South Queensferry, having dropped the R1100RS off at George who does servicing on my bike in his spare time. I get the RS serviced annually, with bits and bobs in between. This time it is getting a couple of treats - new suspension and heated grips! The new suspension should help it handle better and also cope with my huge weight better, and the heated grips make a big difference to comfort when riding in this country which makes you feel cold on a bike even in the summer. The journey back was rather good, although I had...

posted @ Sunday, January 13, 2008 2:51 PM | Feedback (0)
Received : One full service kit for an R1100RS

Spoke to Sherlocks on Friday, received the stuff today at work. Excellent service, speedy, and by Royal Mail. Now I need to get my bike and parts over to South Queensferry for it to be put together! (At last).

posted @ Monday, January 7, 2008 4:38 PM | Feedback (0)
Tomtom POI Loading and multiple maps

I run Tomtom Navigator 6 on my Orange SPV M600, and with a bluetooh GPS bought off ebay for cheap pounds it does the business of route finding albeit the wee processor in the M600 can lag a bit at times. I took advantage of a recent offer and got newer maps, but have been fighting with missing POI information that wasn't appearing on my new maps. It turns out that around about the first download it records which maps to download too then continues doing so. Add a new map and it continues to download to the original. What I...

posted @ Tuesday, December 4, 2007 9:05 PM | Feedback (0)
Long Way Down DVD Arrived today

Got my copy of the Long Way Down DVD through the post today. I'll need to go away and watch it! (Another for my queue of motorcycle DVDs).

posted @ Saturday, December 1, 2007 2:52 PM | Feedback (0)
Big fat guy on a wee blue bike

I've been surfing around the internet looking at motorbikes and found this picture of a big fat guy on a wee blue bike (yes it is me).

posted @ Friday, November 2, 2007 8:06 PM | Feedback (1)
Booked up for a Motorcycle course in April 2008

It’s been a while since I spent money on bike skills, I guess the last amount was payment for my Motorbike Skill for Life package with the IAM and associate Observer’s fees last year. I’ve always lacked a bit of confidence with my slow speed manoeuvring though it comes and goes which I think points the cause to be in my head rather than a lack of skills. When it comes to buying training for slow speed the choice in the UK is rather limited, most concentrate on the important higher speed stuff that is not only the main problem...

posted @ Friday, October 26, 2007 8:27 PM | Feedback (0)
Long Way down coming soon on TV

The recent trip by Euan McGregor and Charlie Boorman will start airing on BBC2 on Sunday 28th October at 9pm. Superb! Remember that the clocks go back that morning too.

posted @ Monday, October 22, 2007 5:37 PM | Feedback (0)
Sportiest Road Version of my Motorbike

BMW recently announced their new HP2 Sport motorcycle, very nice, but at a price. I'll have one thanks.

posted @ Thursday, October 18, 2007 4:51 PM | Feedback (0)
New Clutch on the R1100RS - Update

The new clutch is excellent, feels completely different, and the slip in 4th and 5th gear is gone. Now I'm having to get used to the full engine range in 3rd to 5th gears! And like the cars I have driven with new clutches, the quicker biting point is taking a wee getting used to. I think I'm doing well - I haven't stalled it yet!

posted @ Sunday, September 16, 2007 5:39 PM | Feedback (0)
New clutch in the Motorbike

Mrs AlistairL got the call earlier from the chap who fixes my motorbike to say that he had fitted its new clutch. The clutch has been slipping in high gears since I got the motorbike so it will be really interesting to see what the motorbike is like to ride. The clutch on the R1100RS is dry, like a car, instead of the type you get in most motorbikes which sits in the engine oil. Slipping the clutch on a motorcycle is essential to its low speed stability, hence most being set up to endure extra slipping. I'm off to pick the...

posted @ Wednesday, September 12, 2007 9:06 PM | Feedback (0)
Motorrad Central East (Dalkeith) Not Closing

I got a letter a wee while ago from Motorrad Central in Dalkeith (my local BMW Motorcycle dealer) saying they were going to close. I waited and waited for their website to mention this, only to see a post saying they have changed their mind. So Motorrad Central East in Dalkeith are staying open, which I think is a good thing, even though the propect of me buying new is never likely to happen.

posted @ Saturday, August 25, 2007 4:39 PM | Feedback (0)
Fatal Accident Enquiry - Steve Hislop

Its over three years since Steve Hislop, the motorcycle racer, died in a helicopter crash in the Scottish Borders. The BBC website has a news item saying an FAI is to be held. He was an interesting chap, quite focussed like motorcycle racers are, and had a mixed career. When he was good, he was very very good, the rest of the time his demons held him back from the kind of success he had potential for. Last time I saw him was giving a television interview at Knockhill during qualifying for the British Superbike round - he was resting up after...

posted @ Wednesday, July 25, 2007 8:11 PM | Feedback (0)
ESA Settings for IAM Activities

Rennie Ritchie has just got a new BMW with Electronic Suspension Adjustment. He helpfully gives the settings he uses for different riding situations. I'm not sure what to take from the fact he uses "Comfort" for IAM tests!

posted @ Sunday, July 22, 2007 11:28 PM | Feedback (0)
Advanced Motoring - the next chapter

Either I'm a badge collector, or I really value road safety (or I'm a glutton for punishment), but I've registered to go along to the introduction session for the last course of the year with Edinburgh Advanced Motorists. I'm hoping to benefit my car driving (obviously) but mainly my bike riding by learning how to do a proper commentary which will hopefully improve my observing even more for the motorbike. I'm going to bite the bullet and get the clutch replaced on the R1100RS which should improve my confidence no end for overtakes and other accelleration situations. The fact it slips in...

posted @ Thursday, July 19, 2007 10:32 PM | Feedback (0)
Top weekend run - Saturday morning

Went on my longest trip on the motorbike on Saturday morning with Joe, one of the associates from EDAM. Joe is technically an associate, but he's a lot more experienced rider than I am, and really knows how to make the most of his bikes - at the moment he has two to choose from in his garage, either a K1200S or a K1200GT. Passing his IAM test is a matter of time, he just tends to be a bit busy! Met up with Joe and John at South Queensferry, John was up visiting and was on Joe's K1200GT, with Joe on...

posted @ Monday, July 2, 2007 9:01 PM | Feedback (0)
Roadsafe 2007

I'm off to Carlisle Racecourse tomorrow to go to Roadsafe 2007. This is a road safety event run by Cumbria police - I just go to look at the police motorcycles and cars. Thankfully there are live bands and other things to keep the rest of the family amused. The weather was excellent last year, but there is lots of rain about at the moment so I'm hoping it will be ok.

posted @ Saturday, June 23, 2007 12:06 PM | Feedback (0)
IAM Motorcycle Test Route

For my own notes, here's a copy of the notepad text I prepared earlier: Start from McDonalds Newbridge. Follow exit route from carpark at front of McDonalds round back to T Junction, turn right onto B7030. At T junction turn left and follow road to lights at Junction with A89. Turn left onto A89 and follow road to lights at Junction with B800. Turn right onto B800 and follow road to lights at crossroads in Kirkliston. Turn right into Main Street. Turn left off Main Street onto unnamed road towards Almondhill. Follow unnamed road towards A90 and take slip onto A90 headed North West. Follow A90 until slip road...

posted @ Tuesday, June 5, 2007 3:25 PM | Feedback (0)
Recommended for Membership of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

Just back from my test with Dougie, the IAM examiner. And I got a "recommended for membership" which means I passed! Points to work on were linking bends i.e. "apexing" and one or two opportunities for overtakes where I was a bit late or missed the opportunity. A great milestone, and he said to keep going and improving by considering IAM Observing, Senior Observing or by thinking about working to a Rospa Gold grading. Route to follow. I'm off to Vittoria's this evening to celebrate.

posted @ Sunday, June 3, 2007 3:07 PM | Feedback (3)
Nineteenth Ride to Advanced

Out for a wee run with Bob the Observer tonight, which was an interesting change. Being out in the evening meant slightly busier roads, and also more pedestrians around. This made it a bit more interesting than a Sunday morning. I've got to remember rear observations before slowing, something to remember on a motorcycle because they slow so quickly on engine braking, and a wee reminder to keep scanning. All in all a good run, and quite enjoyable.

posted @ Thursday, May 31, 2007 1:03 AM | Feedback (0)
IAM Test Date Arranged

The examiner phoned me today to arrange the IAM Motorcycle test. First thing they ask is if you are ready for the test, which I am (hopefully). Then confirmed the day (Sunday 2nd June 2007) and the time (I'll tell you after). He told me the location to meet, and what colour and kind of bike he is riding. He'll be along on his own bike, which is a distinctive colour and therefore easy to spot. He sounded friendly enough on the phone, the test will last around an hour. I gave Bob a phone about the test, so I'm out for a...

posted @ Monday, May 28, 2007 10:41 PM | Feedback (1)
Eighteenth Ride to Advanced

As you may have understood from recent posts, I've put my application in to the IAM for my Advanced Motorcycle test so recent runs have been for polish and a little bit of practice. I was out again this Sunday with Bob, but we had another associate out with us who had her mock test last week and the three of us headed out. From the steadings we headed into town, up through Fairmilehead and up towards Dreghorn barracks. Then through town, then looped around to Westerhailes shops. Then looped back around to the Lanark road, headed along there and...

posted @ Monday, May 28, 2007 10:33 PM | Feedback (0)
Seventeenth Ride to Advanced

A nice run today, but I would say that because the Observer I was out with said I did some things right. My regular observer Bob was out doing a mock test, so I was out with Jim this week. Jim keeps his bikes (4 of them) really shiny, so much that we reckon he brings them in a van to keep them clean before appearing at the car park we meet up in. We started today with a bit of a demonstration from Bob. Bob is a Senior Observer, and therefore conducts his share of mock tests. He had picked...

posted @ Sunday, May 20, 2007 2:11 PM | Feedback (0)
Trophy presentation piccie

Stuart, the new Associates Secretary at EDAM just emailed me the pictures from the EDAM AGM a few weeks back. Unfortunately technical difficulties mean the photo is a bit underexposed, but you get the idea: This was me receiving the Associate Trophy.

posted @ Saturday, May 19, 2007 9:53 PM | Feedback (0)
New speedo cable fitted to the BMW R1100RS

My old R1100RS is just over 44,000 miles old now and I just completed fitting a new speedometer cable. I ordered it the day after (Thursday) the old one broke and the part arrived this morning from Sherlocks. The old cable broke about 30mm from the wheel end. It is easy enough to fit, turn the key in the ignition to undo the steering lock, and use this to make access to the removal of the two side panels by the dashboard easier. There is a small screw on each side down the opening around the steering - this mounts into the...

posted @ Saturday, May 19, 2007 3:06 PM | Feedback (0)
Speedo cable broke on the BMW

I've been back at our offices this week and taking advantage of the more flexible dress code by taking my motorbike to work. All fine and dandy coming home tonight, then looked down to check my speed and the speedometer had stopped working. Checked the cable when I got home and right enough it is broken. Not expensive or difficult to replace, just means I won't be on the bike until I replace the cable.

posted @ Wednesday, May 16, 2007 7:03 PM | Feedback (1)
Long way down on the BBC

Ok, so I'm slow on the uptake. Apparently the BBC have got the rights to the program, and there is a Long Way Down site on the BBC all about it. They are on BMW GS's again.

posted @ Tuesday, May 15, 2007 2:07 PM | Feedback (0)
Euan McGregor and Charley Boorman on the Long Way Down

I've been watching out for news of Messrs McGregor and Boorman heading out on their latest trip, and signed up to their emailing list. I haven't had anything through the email, but I spotted an article on the BBC saying that they had popped in to the Veteran's Erskine home on Sunday. That places them in Bishopton on Sunday 13th May 2007. They have rather strange jackets on in the picture on the BBC Site, and I see no mention of the bikes they are on.

posted @ Tuesday, May 15, 2007 1:54 PM | Feedback (0)
Sixteenth Ride to Advanced

Had a good run yesterday, though the weather closed down at the end it was dry for most of the run. Bob, the observer who normally accompanies me, was out on a mock test with another associate, so I went on a run with Dave. We headed across town past longstone, near slateford, then over to Corstorphine, the Drumbrae roundabout and stopped just before the top of the hill. Then out on the A90, up the slip road before the bridge, then a short stop, before heading out to Linlithgow. Points to work on included better observations and not getting sucked into...

posted @ Monday, May 14, 2007 1:22 PM | Feedback (0)
Advanced Motorcycle test application in the Post

Posted my application for my Advanced Motorcycle Test off to the IAM today, the form says to expect a three week wait.

posted @ Wednesday, May 9, 2007 8:15 PM | Feedback (0)
Fifteenth Ride to Advanced

Highs and lows today. The Highs came from my riding, the initial ride was really good, we headed out of the Steadings car park onto the bypass heading West. Came off at the Lasswade junction and turned right onto Lasswade Road, followed the road through and got to Dalkeith Bus depot (somehow!). Then along the A68, cut left across to Ormiston for another stop. Then off through Musselburgh, into town, up Leith Street and North Bride, then right at Chambers Street and threaded through town to the Braids Golf Driving Range. Points to remember from today's ride: Keep observations up, and obvious head...

posted @ Sunday, May 6, 2007 9:44 PM | Feedback (0)
Mock Test Route

Left out of Steading car park on to A702, follow Biggar Road up to lights at Fairmilehead. Turn right at lights into Frogston Road and follow road until T junction at traffic lights. Turn right into Old Dalkeith Road and follow road to Sheriffhall roundabout, take first exit on to Millerhill Road. Follow Millerhill Road to roundabout and take second exit towards Millerhill. Follow Old Craighall Road and take second exit at roundabout and turn into Musselburgh services. Leave services and take second exit to Musselburgh. At T junction lights turn right into Mall Avenue and follow road to traffic lights at high street. Follow high street...

posted @ Saturday, May 5, 2007 9:40 PM | Feedback (0)
Workon points from Mock Test

Now that I'm clear of courses at work (for three days in Northleach), the project I am working on for a bank, and then conducting an interview and a night out for a colleague who was leaving, I'm back considering action points in preparation for applying for the IAM Advanced test for a motorcycle. The action points I got from last Sunday, 29th April 2007 where: Regarding hazards on the nearside - more room if possible. Forward Observations and planning need to be improved. E.g. led to poor safety position in Prestonpans (see point 1 above) and taking bends one at a time. System - Earlier, shoulder and...

posted @ Saturday, May 5, 2007 9:26 PM | Feedback (0)
Fourteenth ride to Advanced

Mock test today, eek, so a list of things I need to polish up on. I'm a bit down in myself having looked at the list of things I need to work on, but I'm sure I'll be out of it later on and rearing to work on the stuff to do better! The old nemesis of nerves got to me, which means I close down and the quality of my ride drops. But at least this is in advance of the real thing. Cheers to Simon B for taking the time out. I might post more detail when I have the...

posted @ Sunday, April 29, 2007 3:42 PM | Feedback (0)
Twelfth Ride to Advanced

Took a break over the easter weekend and did a bit of riding on my own, practicing observations doing scanning, reading road signs etc. This mornings run was mainly the borders, but with lots of corners to practice my road positioning. Every speed limit (apart from 50 I think) with right and left hand corners. We went from our venue near the hillend ski centre, headed south and I followed Bob my Observer for a demo run down a wee twisty B road (Pentland Road). Thankfully he didn't quite go as fast as he could have on that on his VFR,...

posted @ Wednesday, April 25, 2007 8:43 AM | Feedback (1)
Thirteenth Ride to Advanced

I was ready for rain this morning, but the wind dried things out and it was a dry run. Today was labelled Motorway, so I had checked my chapter in RoadCraft on Motorway driving, and answered my set of questions on Motorways and speed. We headed through town from our starting point just off the bypass, and headed in towards Dreghorn. I wasn't confident of the area, which doesn't help the quality of my riding, but I am managing to calm the nerves more these days and just get on with it. From there we headed towards Westerhailes, Longstone, Corstorphine and...

posted @ Sunday, April 22, 2007 6:23 PM | Feedback (0)
BMW Motorcycle in the 24 Hours Endurance race at Le Mans

Just caught 5 minutes of the live coverage of the 24 Hours Motorcycle Race at Le Mans and they mentioned that a BMW is running and on the first page of the results. Yay! Bike number 17 is one of the boxer twin bikes, the same configuration as my bike, and with the same telelever and paralever suspension front and back. The specifications (in French) say it is 1170cc, so I think it is likely to be based on the R1200S. As I write they are 20th in the race. I thought they might be running one of the new nice and fast...

posted @ Saturday, April 21, 2007 11:46 PM | Feedback (0)
Picked up my Trophy last night

I was at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Edinburgh and District Advanced Motorcylists last night. These are annual fayre for regulated organisations of any sort, and being run under the charity laws in Scotland they have to observe the formalities. So I went along to have a look. As I haven't obtained full membership through the process of reaching the required level in an Advanced Motorcycle Test, I was along as an Associate, meaning I could watch but not vote when it came to that bit in the proceedings. It was typical of these things, with a tinge of...

posted @ Saturday, April 21, 2007 9:22 PM | Feedback (1)
Biker Boots, Finally listened to Kev

Way back in the olden days, Kev pointed out the error of my ways when it came to my choice of footwear for my motorcycle. Today I got my new footwear, to give them their full name - Sidi Black Rain. And I got them in EU size 50, and like other Sidi boots they have a zip that goes almost to the sole, dealing with the problem I have with my big fat ankles. Black and waterproof, excellent, goes with my other bike stuff. Have a picture!

posted @ Wednesday, April 11, 2007 10:45 PM | Feedback (1)
Eleventh Ride To Advanced

Different routes today, and I pretty much sucked. I'm stuck on using Observations properly, my cornering is a bit iffy and my slow speed stuff too. The cornering is getting worse, the other bits have hung around for a while. Harrumph. I'm taking a break from the training next week, I thought about giving it up today but I'm not the type to quit a course.

posted @ Sunday, April 1, 2007 8:13 PM | Feedback (0)
Roadcraft references for cornering

I'm due to cover cornering in my EDAM run tomorrow, and I've found a section in Roadcraft that bears out my previous post on experimenting with how I sit on the bike. On page 89 of my edition of Roadcraft (the first impression way back in 1996) it says under "Riding Position and balance": "When you are moving, sit in a comfortable position with your body slightly leaning forward. Sit so that you can reach the controls comfortably without locking your arms straight. A slight bend to your arms will prevent the transmission of shock from the handlebars to the rest of...

posted @ Saturday, March 31, 2007 8:50 PM | Feedback (0)
Motorbike passes its MOT Test

The R1100RS had its MOT booked for this morning at 09:30, so I was out early and used the opportunity to go out for a ride and try some different options for cornering. I've started the advanced riding training again for 2007, and I'm on to weak areas in the lead up to the test. My slow speed maneuvering and cornering are needing work. A big part of this is how I get on with the bike, e.g. sitting in a different position or leaning forward or back can make a big difference to both of these. I went out to...

posted @ Saturday, March 31, 2007 4:58 PM | Feedback (0)
Does that mean I am an Artisan?

Just back from my last evening class at Borders College on the Know Your Motorcycle course. Hats off to Shane Black for knowing his stuff, and tweaking the course content to allow us to get on with the spannering. It was great fun, and the only downer for me was having to travel all that way to Galashiels. I can't believe that I have to travel 40 miles either South or West to get a basic mechanical maintenance course. I guess the city bikers must be too posh to get their fingernails dirty. And its not as if they have to,...

posted @ Monday, March 26, 2007 11:09 PM | Feedback (1)
Ninth or Tenth Ride To Advanced

I've checked back and I'm not sure which week this is, so here goes anyway. The preparation for my IAM Advanced Motorcycle Test with EDAM started up again today with the clock change. Between work and recent illness I haven't been out on the R1100RS that much, so today was reassuring in that I appeared to be at a similar level as I was in November. Same weak areas, others have held steady or have become more of my standard ride which is a good thing. I need to look as far as possible, observing what is going on and using...

posted @ Sunday, March 25, 2007 8:50 PM | Feedback (0)
Second Opinion on the BMW R1100RS

Collected the R1100RS on Wednesday night, after a feat of logistics planning between Livingston and South Queensferry. I'm the only driver in the house, so I had good fun with the round trip involving driving the car, riding the motorbike, catching a bus and catching a train. Having checked the bike over, I'm going to avoid second guessing the examiner and put it through its MOT test, and see what he thinks. The lower shock mounting has been tightened up, the brakes have been freed off, and the pads in both calipers replaced as they were badly corroded on the backs...

posted @ Saturday, March 24, 2007 1:52 PM | Feedback (0)
Horse riding compared to Motorcycling

From the BBC news site (morning promotional item for one of their evening investigative programmes, except for viewers in Scotland): "Horse riders are more likely to be injured than motorcyclists on rural roads in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, a BBC Inside Out investigation reveals." The solution to both, as well as a proper attitude to personal safety, is proper training.

posted @ Friday, March 23, 2007 8:31 PM | Feedback (0)
BMW goes in for a second opinion

Took the R1100RS to South Queensferry this evening for a second opinion on the items that "condemned" the bike, to quote the chap tonight. His opinion? Floating discs are meant to move, the bolt at the bottom of the front shock might be worn, he has seen a lot worse when it comes to front discs. Yes, the calipers need freed up, but if I don't ride the bike enough ..... Some people in the motortrade can't tell you straight when they don't want to work on a bike, so they frighten you off ...

posted @ Wednesday, March 21, 2007 12:43 AM | Feedback (0)
Bloomin vehicles

I changed cars last year, when the finance deal on the last one ran its course, so my current Passat is on a variable servicing schedule. For some folks it means longer intervals between visits to the garage. With me it means that the service indicator has just kicked in and is now pointing out I have 1800 miles to my next service. I think this gives me about 9 weeks. And its MOT time for the bike. With cars over the last few years they have been serviced at the same place as do the MOT, so it is pretty straightforward...

posted @ Tuesday, March 13, 2007 12:18 AM | Feedback (0)
Tenth Anniversary, The Scottish Motorcycle Show

The Scottish Motorcycle Show falls within the week of our Wedding Anniversary each year, so I usually work to combine both by going to the show during the day then going out for a family meal in the evening. Being as it is our tenth this year, I booked a few days away for myself and Mrs AlistairL. Believe it or not we honeymooned all those years ago in Glasgow, so we returned again, albeit to a different hotel. I booked up a Junior Suite at a hotel about 50 yards from Sauchiehall Street and had a great few days. We...

posted @ Sunday, March 11, 2007 5:57 PM | Feedback (1)
Random Purchases

Apart from a whole pile of books, I have purchased: A Tony Hawks Helmet Camera - why o why did buy that. Low Resolution, bad low light handling, but has a laser pointer. Head mounted laser pointers are useful for Locutus impressions, and for giving the cat a moving red dot to watch. If you are thinking of such a gadget, go for the much better Oregon Scientific ATC-2000, or consider a proper solid state setup. A Mike Waite Advanced Motorcyling DVD - ouch, that is fast riding, police speed application of the roadcraft system. Ride Like a Pro IV DVD...

posted @ Wednesday, February 28, 2007 7:12 PM | Feedback (0)
Scottish Motorcycle Show

My tickets have arrived for the Saturday at Ingliston, for the Scottish Motorcycle Show. Only two of us going this time as the kids are old enough to cost me full price. So just me and Rona going, the kids stay at home this time but have tickets themselves for Fightstar in Glasgow the following week. I'm looking forward to sitting on the bikes again at the weekend, trying out the newer BMWs etc. Excellent. Just realised how long my blog has been going, I've got posts from 2004 and 2005 about going to the bike show!

posted @ Monday, January 22, 2007 2:22 PM | Feedback (0)
Where is the advanced riding?

Ah well, it came to a bit of an abrupt end. When I joined up towards the end of the season there was a risk that I'd miss the window of opportunity this year. As it was, the runs stopped at the beginning of November. As I've read elsewhere, the advanced biking training tends to run with BST. The weather gets unpredictable from October onwards and the risks to the Observers themselves tips the balance. I'm a bit disappointed I didn't get the test in this year, next year is a bit trickier to organise, but I've enjoyed what I've learned and...

posted @ Monday, January 22, 2007 2:22 PM | Feedback (0)
Fifth Ride to Advanced

This week was a bit of a diversion, when I got to the car park that we meet up in, it was announced that the regular Miss Laidlaw trophy was happening. This is an award dedicated to a benefactor of EDAM, and involves a large bike and a small bike and a number of cones in a car park. It was quite nostalgic to see a wee blue Honda CG125 sitting there, as that was the bike I did my CBT on all those years ago. They even had L-Plates fitted for genuine effect. The big bike was a CBF1000, which...

posted @ Monday, January 22, 2007 2:18 PM | Feedback (3)
Holiday Biking Stuff

I've been relaxing so much during this holiday that I haven't been out on the bike - how negligent of me. I have been taking steps to do something about it though. I just received the revised version of "Not the Blue Book" which is a book on advanced motorcycling. The Blue Book is Motorcycle Roadcraft, an HMSO publication on the police system of riding a motorcycle. Dave Jones adds a bit of background to the official book which can be a bit dry at times. If you follow the link to Roadcraft you'll notice that the book is in fact green,...

posted @ Monday, January 22, 2007 2:18 PM | Feedback (0)
Bike Serviced this week

My first year of ownership of the R1100RS comes to an end, and I've got the old machine serviced again by George in Queensferry. Turned out my sticky brake caliper was nothing of the sort, and was actually a sticky brake lever pivot. The way to check? Spin the wheel and move the lever! Unfortunately the allen bolt head has been mangled in a previous attempt, and the casting can be at risk if you give the bolt removal a good shot, so the miracle WD40 has done the job, and I have my instructions for where to spray a liberal...

posted @ Monday, January 22, 2007 2:17 PM | Feedback (0)
Sixth, Seventh, Eighth Ride to Advanced

I've been a bit remiss in keeping these up to date, my last post spoke about the EDAM Miss Laidlaw trophy which was a break in the standard proceedings, as was today's ride which was also connected to the Miss Laidlaw trophy. There are two trophies on offer for the annual award, which are held for a year after the competition. As I mentioned when I posted about the original trophy day it starts with a test paper and slow riding work with cones. The trophies are split between full members (who have passed the IAM motorcycle test) and associates (who are...

posted @ Monday, January 22, 2007 2:17 PM | Feedback (0)
The art of motorcycle maintenance

I'm signed up for a spannering course for motorbikes, having monitored Learn Direct Scotland for the last year, and narrowly missing one course which was cancelled due to lack of interest. I start the "Know Your Motorcycle" course at Borders College in, wait for it, Galashiels, on Monday. It runs for 10 weeks and the finish will coincide quite nicely with the advanced riding lessons coming in again. It is a bit far away, but is the typically excellent price provided by such establishments. I've also made enquiries about first aid courses, and the local St Andrews Ambulance seem to do quite...

posted @ Monday, January 22, 2007 1:58 PM | Feedback (3)