Motorcycling pages


The summer of 2007 was the summer of getting a motorcycle licence via a three-week course at Camrider in Sawston near Cambridge UK and eventually buying a Suzuki Bandit 600 motorcycle just at the end of the summer. This site is a record of motorcycle adventures since. First here's some good biking links, the last one to my travels to date by motorbike around Europe, and then the inevitable photographs.

longwayround On the day I passed the test (I failed it first time round) I visited a friend on my walk home who lent me the Long Way Round documentary DVD and the paperback. As someone who at the time found it was scarey riding to the other side of town, I found it captivating.  
bmw Then there is BMW Motorrad:  
ijms It was a complete suprised to find this journal, the International Journal of Motorcycle Studies. Its a kind of sociology and history of motorcycling in the US and UK. Usually fascinating and readable.  
ted-simon The lovable Ted Simon rode around the world in the 1970s when he was a journalist working for the Times, in his 40s on a Triumph and, amazingly, a second time at the age of 69 - on a BMW of course. The book of the first trip called Jupiter's Travels is seminal. He also has an interesting website and now has a travel writing foundation. Unlike so many other motorcycle travel writers, he has something interesting to say, and has the gift of being able to write. I met him in 2015 and he described himself to me as a big fish in a small pool (meaning motorcycle travel writing). We both had German mothers.  
mcn The useful Motorcycle News site, nearly as nice as the newspaper you can drop into your supermarket basket for mindless enjoyment:  

Some reviews of motorcycle travel books and DVDs


bike-travel-icon My blogs of motorcycle travels in Europe  

Here are the photographs

My son, Dante and I soon after I bought the first bike. I bought lots of stuff: a jacket, boots, gloves etc. cheaply on Ebay. Most of it either fell apart or looked dreadful - or both.


In May 2008 I bought a Triumph Sprint ST to move me one step closer to my planned journey to Europe later that Summer. Here it is parked next to my nice Bandit which I sold earlier this week. It was sad to see it being ridden off but the Sprint is a real bike - it makes a humming sound when you turn the ignition on.


two bikes


In August 2009 I found myself buying the bike I had imagined that I would have to wait for an inheritance before affording. Luckily a cheque from some journal work for a publisher coincided with the appearance on ebay of a locally placed 1200GS Adventure - with, crucially, a low seat and at an affordable price. Here it is just after I arrived home with the other seat strapped to the back. It felt agricultural compared to the Triumph. It needed a new clutch (it was nearly impossible to put it in neutral) which BMW paid for even though it was out of warranty. Ah, happy days.

bmw 1200gsa    

In March 2015 I traded it in for...




...this, a 2014 R1200GS TE, liquid cooled and super agile and slim compared to Bertha above (you can see her deposited at SBW Motorrad in the background next to the white van). I got £5000 for Bertha which I was pleased with. They are selling it for £7995. Whenever I am not on it, I wish I was. As I drift off to sleep most nights, I imagine riding it. I remember going to SBW Motorrad to try an F800gs but that wasn't available so I tried this ex-demo and loved it immediately. Even the seat was comfortable... but great as it was and is to ride, it seemed to lack character and I never deeply bonded with it. Maybe one day I will return to this type of bike.


July 2021: after two or three trips wanting a lighter slightly less popular bike, here it is finally: a KTM790 Adventure. I spent nearly a year planning to buy a 690 Enduro but finally twigged that it would not be that great on road where I spend most of my time. I've been part of the BMW ecosphere for twelve years so this is a new start.



In the tradition of the earlier trade in photo you can see my sold BMW in the background, behind the learners setting off from outside Orwell Motorcycles in Ipswich. (They're selling it for £9650)

And here it is (below) paying a visit to London to make a few electrical changes before heading back to Cambridge where it will live.