Posts tagged ride
LincsGeek and I have been talking about, dreaming about, going on a motorcycle tour of the west of the USA for years. Years and years. Probably about ten years. Maybe more.
We have always joked that we probably wouldn’t actually get around to going until we both retired, by which time we would be very old and frail to fly over to America to sit on a motorbike for two weeks riding 200-300 miles a day.
But last year we decided that we were just going to go for it. So we started to research our ideas thoroughly, and when we went to Motorcycle Live at the NEC in November we made a point of speaking to a number of tour operators that offered the kind of thing we were after. We decided on the summer of 2014, decided which company and which tour, and then waited patiently for the dates to be released so we could go ahead and book.
On Friday we got the email we’d been waiting for. The tour dates for 2014. Yay!
So, in June 2014 we will be jetting off to Los Angeles with The Lost Adventure to meet our Eagle Rider tour guide and group before we spend 16 days riding Harley Davidson motorbikes through the South West of America. We will see the Grand Canyon, Bruce Canyon, Monument Valley, Death Valley, Yosemite, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco. We will ride Route 66 and Highway 1, and cover 2,000+ miles of straight and winding American roads.
I am so excited!
Before we booked our trip we had to decide which bikes we would like to ride. This is an Eagle Rider tour and so we had the choice of quite a wide range of bikes, but we both decided we should do it properly and choose an American Harley Davidson over a British Triumph or a German BMW. On Saturday our local Harley Davidson dealer – the guys who had loaned me that Sportster Nightster for our Top Down Charity ride back in 2009 – had an open house event which couldn’t have been better timed. LincsGeek had already chatted with Tim Orr from The Lost Adventure who had made some recommendations, so off we went to Lincoln Harley Davidson to sit on some and make our choice.
With a Sportster 1200 being out of the question thanks to its teeny fuel tank (finding a fuel station every 100 miles on a trip like this would really annoy the rest of the group!) I had a sit on the Fat Boy and the Heritage Softail Classic, the two smallest and lightest bigger Harleys available on the Eagle Rider inventory. But of course small and light they are not; 330kg is rather more than the less-than 200kg I am used to.
We had our free hog roast (most welcome!) and then set to choosing the right bike for each of us. I started with the Heritage Softail Classic. I could reach the floor, I could stand the bike up, but I could not reach the side stand to kick it out and put the bike back down again. Oh dear. I could ride the bike for sure, but it is big and fat and even with a 690mm seat height I am still only on the balls of my feet so I’m not sure I could scoot that thing back into a parking space. Not a chance. Moving on!
Next was the Fat Boy. Actually the same frame and tank as the Heritage Softail, it is the same weight and size but without the touring screen and some of the other bits and bobs. The biggest difference I noticed when getting on it was the seat was more scooped, it was narrower, and so I had a much better footing on the ground. Still huge and very heavy, but better. Unfortunately it seems that wasn’t the standard seat, though. Shame! But of the two bikes I preferred it, so that is the one I have gone with. It is a lovely looking machine, and I simply cannot wait to get to LA and take it for a spin.
Incidentally, LincsGeek thought he’d decided on the Road King before he sat on the Heritage Softail Classic – the Road King is simply enormous, and while the Softail is still a big bike he felt much more comfortable on it. So he’s chosen that one.
I know for a fact that if I am going to have the time of my life then I am going to have to be able to manoeuvre the Fat Boy around. I have 14 months to get much, much stronger. I’ve started running again. And I should get to the gym too. This is one adventure I’m going to have to put a lot of effort into to make sure I get the most out of it.
I have another motorcycling adventure planned for this year… The Graham Homes Memorial Ride will be raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK. Please support us if you can.
The Graham Homes Memorial Ride will be 2,000+ miles of Great British roads over a week at the end of May 2013, raising money for two cancer charities. It will be our biking tribute to Graham, my father in law, recreating something of our John O’Groats to Land’s End trip in 2009, while hopefully making a difference to someone else (and their family) by fundraising.
LincsGeek and I will be joined by four friends, there will five bikes in total, and all of us are keen to raise a decent sum of money for charity. We have chosen Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support as the beneficiaries of our ride. They say cancer affects everyone in some way. Well it affected us in a massive way last summer, and it seems only right that we use this trip to do at least something to try and make a difference to other people who find themselves going through anything like this.
The challenge will take us to the furthest points east, south, west and north of Great Britain (in that order – we’ve decided to go clockwise). We’ve not set our route quite yet, but we like to think we will be able to see a little of the best scenery Great Britain has to offer on our journey (life is all about the journey, after all) and create some new memories on the way.
I have set up a blog that will include everything associated with the bike trip – updates, photographs, profiles, fundraising, information and so on – it will be the place to go for everything GVH Ride focussed. We would love it if you went over to the Graham Homes Memorial Ride blog, subscribe either by email or by putting us in your reader, and share what we’re doing with your friends and family. There’s a link in my side bar too just in case you need it. And of course, most of all, we would appreciate it an awful lot if you’d get out fundraising off the ground by donating. We’ve set up a page on Virgin Money Giving to make it really easy to give money. Thanks!
It’s become a bit of a tradition for us to go on a bike trip/holiday each summer – this is normally a small group affair, including myself and my husband, my father in law, a good friend, and sometimes my brother in law too. We’ve done Wales, the Lake District, Ireland and of course the Top Down trip which we used to raise money for charity. This summer we were going to Scotland, to specifically ride across Glen Coe, a route that we did during our Top Down adventure but due to the lateness of the day and the number of miles we had left, we couldn’t really stop to enjoy the scenery.
When Graham passed away just a few weeks ago we were pretty much decided that the trip was off. I mean, it wouldn’t be the same. We’d planned this trip because Graham, and the rest of us, wanted to rediscover something of that trip in 2009, and explore the area of our ancestors (part of the Mcsomething clan – there’s a castle somewhere apparently!). Rick, our good friend, decided he definitely didn’t want to do it – it would be too strange. But something made my husband and I decide to go. We had a lodge all booked and paid for, had the time off work, had two bikes sat in the garage that hadn’t been on a long trip yet (we’ve both recently “upgraded” our bikes), and we needed a holiday. We were encouraged to go by our family and friends, and in the end it seemed the right thing to do.
So this is a blog post about a different kind of bike trip – husband and wife, with a big hole left, riding for miles to get away from it all.
A Different Kind of Bike Trip
When we did our top down trip back in 2009 we experienced some pretty rubbish riding weather. Rain, wind, more rain, flooding, yuk. But on Sunday on our way through Otley or somewhere near there we had what I can only describe as a freak storm. Torrential rain, immediate flooding of the roads, poor visibility, and of course thunder and lightening. I am not very happy in storms at the best of times, I was quite frightened, and so very wet (yes, right through to my knickers – nice). A few miles down the road and it was lovely. My boots still weren’t dry by Tuesday evening. Those bikers we saw go in the opposite direction had no idea what they were about to experience!
We didn’t do the whole trip to Killin in Scotland in one day – we wanted to take the scenic route. We rode just under the Yorkshire Dales (I waved at the Peaks we walked back in May) and through the Lake District, roads we have ridden many times before and will never get tired of. We eventually made it to a Premier Inn at Carlisle (who puts the accessible rooms down seven steps and at the end of a very long corridor?!) and a good healthy meal of Big Mac and hot Apple Pie.
The next morning we both commented it just wasn’t the same without two R80RTs bring started up outside the hotel window as a warning that it’s time for us to get going. Not the same at all. Who would check the oil and the chains and make sure the bikes were ready to go each morning? What would we do if we broke down? It just wasn’t the same without Graham.
We rode up to Glasgow on the motorway – the matrix signs said “heavy rain forecast” all the way. And they were right. Rain rain and more rain, again, this time on the M8 through Glasgow with flash flooding, but at least there was no lightening this time. It rained on and off through the rest of the day – from Glasgow we rode over Erskine Bridge, up alongside Loch Lomond, stopping at Luss (there are motorcycle bays close to the village store) for cake and drink.
Our chosen base for the week was Killin Highland Lodges, just on the bottom tip of Loch Tay and not far from the Falls of Dochart. The lodge was nice with decent hard standing for the bikes outside. It was really too big for the two of us, would have been perfect for four. Such a shame, seemed wrong to use one of the other rooms for our kit but made sense. Difficult for sure, an odd feeling when we popped to the co-op and bought pizza for dinner – something Graham couldn’t even eat. Unsurprisingly we had no phone signal so couldn’t check in with family or friends but Sky tv meant we could still get our Olympics fix while we were away.
The forecast for Tuesday suggested it would be driest to the west of Scotland, so naturally we decided to head that way! From Killin to Crainlarich and up to Tyndrum for lunch at the Green Welly Stop, a place my mum and dad frequented when they lived in Glasgow and so we had to visit (motorcycle bays on the right as you go in the car park). From there we took the A85 to Oban, stopping to take a couple of pictures for the album on the way. We rode along to the beach to check the sea was still there (miss you Grandad) – we had a gorgeous view across the bay in the sunshine, shame there wasn’t an ice cream van to complete the picture.
From Oban we headed down the coast road (A816) – a combination of long sweeping bends and twisty corners plus one tighter-than-it-looked hairpin bend up a hill; nice road, nice ride. We managed to lose each other at Kilmartin – oops – but met up again at Temple Wood Stone Circles before continuing down to Lochgilphead and up to Inveraray where the views across Loch Fyne were just stunning in the sunshine (what a difference a day makes!). It was a fantastic days riding; I got to see the sea and some lovely Lochs, and we got to ride some nice roads. To be fair we didn’t come across a rubbish ‘A’ road while we were in that area of Scotland – you can pretty much tell on the map if a route will be scenic and winding or fast and straight. That evening we ate at The Old Smiddy in Killin – the walk down the road into the town from the lodge was a bit hairy (a fairly narrow road with some blind bends and one way bridges), but it was worth it as the food and welcome was excellent.
The reason we booked this trip originally was to ride across Glen Coe. Back in 2009 we rode from Fort William down to Falkirk as part of our top down trip, but due to the number of miles we had already done that day and it being dusk it was difficult to enjoy it properly. So we vowed then to come back so we could ride the A82 again, take our time, enjoy the view and the road. Very (very) sadly the trip just didn’t turn out that way, we were just a few weeks late to enjoy it together, but the two of us decided to do it anyway – and remember.
We rode from Killin (of course!) up to Tyndrum and then up the A82 over Glen Coe to Ballachulish. No chance of the snow gates being closed today of course but it still makes me smile and feel a little bit mischevious to drive through them, with blue skies and white fluffy clouds I was looking forward to some fantastic views. I wasn’t disappointed. Curiosity got the better of us at one point and we turned off to Glen Coe Mountain Resort where we had a suitable lunch and watched walkers and mountain bikers head up the open chair lift to the summit. We were very tempted, and decided we’d come back and ski one weekend sometime. We must.
On to Fort William to see if we could see the top of Ben Nevis – we saw glimpses on the road but it was coated in cloud. We stopped at the Nevis Range Mountain Centre and once again watched the mountain bikers, both wondering what life would be like if we had just one hobby that we concentrated on rather than many we were average at. The guys on their downhill mountain bikes and protective gear made the bottom section of the world cup track look easy – I overheard a couple of them exclaim to each other it was a lot harder than they thought.
Time was against us really so we didn’t head further north – Loch Ness is still on the “to visit” list for another holiday (we will definitely be going back to Scotland!). Instead we headed up as far as Spean Bridge before taking the A86 – a lovely road that was quite narrow in places but a joy to ride with stunning views across Loch Laggan (but nowhere to stop for photos). The A889 took us across to the quick A9 (loved the fact a couple of police bikers were stopped in a lay-by taking photos of each other with their bikes with the hills in the background!). The A9 was saved only by the stunning views, we were very high up! We picked up the A827 west which took us all the way back to Killin, alongside Loch Tay, a winding fairly slow road. We have been spoilt today with the views. If you’ve never been across Glen Coe, go; go soon.
That evening we ate in Capercaillie Restaurant in Killin – the service was a tad slow but enjoyed a really decent roast lamb dinner with all the trimmings followed by the largest bowl of apple crumble I’ve ever been served in a restaurant. So full!!
For our last full day in Scotland we could do no better than head back over Glen Coe – just because we could. It seemed busier for some reason but was still a nice ride. We went back to the ski centre for cake (we don’t forget a nice cake stop!) and then back to the Lodge before walking into Killin (back down that dodgy road) to enjoy the sunshine – we clambered over the rocks at the Falls of Dochart and sat on a bench to catch up with friends on twitter, then had dinner at The Old Smiddy again. A relaxing day. That was a good thing as we had a very long trip home on the Friday – motorways are boring, even more boring on a motorbike than in a car and you have to concentrate so it’s really tiring. Ah well, home safely after miles and miles in the saddle, with happy memories of a good trip. A different kind of bike trip, but a good trip none-the-less. Both the Triumph Tiger 1050 and F650GS enjoyed their first week long trip, and their riders are pleased to have gone after all.
Next year we are talking about organising a Graham Homes Memorial Ride to take in the four corners of mainland Britain and perhaps also the highest and lowest roads… watch this space.
When I right personal posts on my blog I often refer to how I lack in confidence, how I get anxious, how I worry about things. That anxiety often leads me to believe I can’t do something, and so I don’t do it – making excuses. Or I do it, and spend quite a lot of the time on the verge of panicking, meaning I don’t enjoy it.
I’ve been riding a motorcycle for many years now – eight or so I think, maybe nine. I’ve been “into” bikes since I was very small. I remember when we were living in Devonport, Plymouth that the route to the School gate took us past a couple of totally gorgeous Harley Davidsons parked outside the house on the corner. One had lovely deep purple tins. I wanted one. I then had the opportunity to have a go on a friend’s dirt bike – just a 50cc or something – and I loved it. I’ve always been wanting adventure I guess.
Anyway, with all that, a total love of two wheels and engines, and having had a license to ride for many years, it might be a bit of a surprise that I have never actually got a motorbike out on my own. I mean, someone else has always (at my request) got the bike out of the shed or garage (depending on where we were living at the time) and put it on a nice level surface so I could jump on and take it out. I’ve been on a few bike trips now and when I’ve had my own bike (borrowed or hired) I’ve developed the habit of pulling up in a car park or layby, getting off to take photos or have a drink etc, and then getting my husband or someone else with us to move the bike so I can ride off again. Very female I know. Poor show.
In November last year my husband and I decided it was time to stop sharing a motorbike (and hiring them when we went on holiday). So for my birthday I received a BMW F650GS (the one with an 800 engine that is, what an odd model name BMW!) – it is factory lowered and a low seat to help my short legs reach the floor. This is my bike. What an awesome present. We could both go on rides together, and both ride. No longer would I have to be happy with being pillion. Absolutely fantastic.
But of course with my own bike came new responsibilities. I’m no mechanic and although I’m not too ditsy when it comes to simple maintenance tasks I’m having to learn a lot more. That’s ok, these things interest me (most of the time). I even have to wash it myself (yes, yes I know!). But my other half would still get the bike out of the garage for me, push it up the slope, and set it down somewhere easy for me to get on and ride away.
I had a long-time-booked day off work, and the forecast was looking fantastic. Some friends were talking about going for a ride and somehow I agreed to go with them. Problem… my husband didn’t have the day off work. If I was going to join them on this rideout in the morning I was going to have to get my bike out of the garage. All on my own. I would also have no-one there for the trip to the petrol station, or for the 30-or-so mile ride to our meeting point. And there would be no-one to manoeuvre the bike when I parked it somewhere without thinking ahead.
No problem… then I thought some more and the nerves set in. The night before I even text my brother-in-law to tell him I might not make it. I was worried about getting myself wedged in somehow in the petrol station and not being able to manoeuvre myself out. I was worried about dropping the bike getting it out of the garage. I was worried about forgetting something important – like how to ride.
Actually I’m not sure what I was worried about.
As is usually the case I’d convinced myself that this thing was a massive challenge when actually it was very a simple task, and one that I was totally equipped to do. This bike is a perfect fit for me, had no fuel and so was the lightest it could be, and was sat in the garage facing out. I went out, sat on it, and rode it out onto the road. No problem. I then rode it up the hill to the local fuel station, where I parked neatly by the pump and filled up. I then enjoyed the stress-free ride to meet my friends, where I arrived smiling (and very early because I’d left sooooo much time to sort myself out!). When we stopped for a bacon sandwich (the fuel of bikers) I parked my bike sensibly and had no problem getting it back out of the space again. And when I got home I put my bike back in the garage (albeit facing forwards – but I did help my husband turn it round when he got home from work), still smiling. What a fantastic ride. Very enjoyable.
We get very set in our ways, and our heads can play tricks on us – it is very easy to convince yourself you are not able to do something, when actually the best thing to do is go for it. Try with confidence, because if you try without any belief that you will achieve then you will more likely fail. Believe you can do whatever it is and you are more likely to complete those tasks that have worried you. In the words of Nike… just do it. Confidence can be everything when it comes to success, without it you are just not your best.
Life is all about the journey. Part of that for me is trying new things and challenging myself. So I consider last Monday a bit of a motorcycling breakthrough. A confidence boost for sure. It may seem incredibly small (I know I’m a “lady rider”), but I achieved something, and now I will not hesitate going out for a ride on my own should I fancy it. The rest of my get outdoors year will be full of even more motorcycling fun as a result.
There’s (nearly) no stopping me now!
Are you a motorcyclist with an Android phone?
If so then you should take a look at Biker Buddy.
This is a new app designed to look at the way motorcyclists might use smart phones to plan and execute social rides.
Biker Buddy is an Android app developed for an academic research project into the use of mobile and social applications for planning and undertaking social motorcycle rides.
The application is designed to be used by motorcyclists arranging the rides or just taking part, and runs on Android devices owned by the motorcyclists. Your part in this evaluation is to use the application on your own Android device to plan and/or join social motorcycle rides, and to track your location during rides, and then answer a series of questions.
To help with the MSc research project you need to download the (free) app, have a play with it, and then complete the survey on the website.
Have a look at the Biker Buddy website for more information and to download the app.
And make sure you tell all your biker friends about the project too! Cheers
Being a female rider with a short inside leg and without oodles of strength, the bike I choose to ride is very important. I can’t just jump on any bike and take it wherever I want to go. What some take for granted is a real concern for me… Do my feet touch the floor?! If I stop at the side of the road with a camber can I actually come to a stop safely?
At the moment my husband and I share a bike – we have a Suzuki SV650S (on which we have lowered the suspension and have a cut out seat). This is the perfect compromise – the sports tourer is low but had excellent handling and suits us for our normal riding very well. If we go out together I’m the one sat on the back – of course – which I don’t mind at all. But when it comes to long rides or trips away, being pillion isn’t the same and means I, and my husband, don’t enjoy the journey as much as if we were on separate bikes.
So when we decided to go toIrelandfor a week’s leisurely tour, there was a decision to be made… Pillion for the week. Or hire. Ok it was a no brainer – I was gonna hire!
Celtic Rider were really helpful. After an email conversation with Paul I chose their factory lowered F650GS with low seat – I’ve sat on one at Motorcycle Live before but never ridden one. The Enduro style is one I’ve liked since I was a child, with its leanings towards a dirt bike but fantastic for touring. I spent the weeks leading up to the trip incredibly excited but also nervous – I mean, what would happen if I stalled it when riding it away from the car park?! Yes I get very nervous! But hey – I rode a brand new Harley the length of the country for charity a couple of years ago with no problems (thanks to Lincoln Harley Davidson for the loan), it would be fine.
Squinty-eyed happiness: Me, the Wicklow Mountains, and my hired F650GS
When we arrived on the Sunday (having ridden two up from home, stopped over in a drab Holyhead, and got the ferry over to Dun Laoghaire) we were a little concerned as the place was shut up, but Paul was soon there and had me on my bike in no time. I loved the laid back attitude – so friendly and obviously in love with biking and Ireland. He offered to take us up into the Wicklow Mountains on the outskirts of Dublin to get our trip off to a good start – taking us onto some narrow but beautiful roads with amazing scenery we would never have seen without him. It was really good of him to give us his Sunday afternoon.
BMW F650GS on the way to Waterford
From there we rode down to Waterford. The 650GS was a really nice bike to ride. Despite being able to put both feet on the ground (well, not completely, but enough to be stable) I felt really tall – the visibility in traffic was excellent. The last long trip I did was on a Harley Sportster Nightster and on that I felt anything other than tall, and while I loved the “lolloping” of that bike, this upright machine felt strong and stable.
Ireland is truly beautiful and has some great roads and scenery for a bike tour. We spent six days in the countryside, riding around 1000 miles, taking in as much as we could without making it all about the tarmac (bike tours are fabulous fun but if you never stop to see what’s there you haven’t actually visited a place).
From Waterford we went up to Killarney where we stopped for three nights. The Ring of Kerry is apparently a must – so we obliged on one of our days based in Killarney. It was great to have a base for a short while as it meant the luggage could come off the bikes and we could ride lighter, it makes a difference. It started off really well, and we went over to Valencia at the recommendation of our B&B host, which was well worth it. The road, though, is really not well finished – especially from Waterville (where we had the most amazing crumble in a little cafe) round to Sneem, so bad in fact that we cut off the last bit and took the direct route back to Killarney – just way too uncomfortable.
Nearly but not quite on Inch Beach, Dingle Peninsula
Much better was our trip onto the Dingle Peninsula, which incorporated two of my favourite places of the week. Inch Beachwas just totally stunning and took my heart. If I’d have been riding my own bike and not a hire bike I’d have taken it along the sand, just to say I’d done it. There was hardly a soul on the beach, it was gorgeous. And then there was the Slea Head Drive which had the most breathtaking views of the week by far – and a very interesting cobbled ford to ride through. We had to stop for cattle and sheep, and the roads were narrow, but the couple of hours were well spent. We also went over the Conor Pass which was well worth it, although don’t attempt it if the weather is dodgy as even on a beautiful sunny day it was misty and damp at the summit. No sign of Fungi the Dolphin when we stopped in Dingle, but if (when) we go back I’ll be getting on one of the boat trips so I can meet the famous mammal. Again we had our B&B host to thank for our route that day – he was keen to make sure we saw the best the area had to offer, and I reckon we did that for sure. My favourite day without doubt and if you go anywhere near you’d be mad not to spend a day on the Peninsula.
Inch Beach, Dingle Peninsula
Conor Pass, Dingle Peninsula
The hospitality we found in Ireland was fantastic and the people are friendly. We pre-booked our accommodation through B&B Ireland, a very easy online system – you book and pay your deposit through the site, and then pay the balance to the B&B owner on arrival/departure. It’s well documented that Ireland isn’t cheap for food or drink. We stayed at three B&Bs with each one having something going for it. Suncrest in Waterford, Avondale House in Killarney and Lakeside Country Lodge in Ennis all come recommended after our trip – the accommodation at all was lovely, and there was suitable parking for our bikes too (I checked this before we went of course). Of the three Lakeside had the best setting without a doubt, I could happily spent a week there, but the couple at Avondale were so very helpful.
The main issue being on bikes was that after a days riding we couldn’t really be bothered to get all the gear back on to go out for dinner, so we ended up with taxis to pay each evening. None of the B&Bs were in town, and the 4/5 miles each way was €10-15 depending on the day and the time and the taxi. Having said that we ate in some fab places – The Country Kitchen in Killarney and Brogans in Ennis were two standout favourites that both served what I guess was traditional Irish food and we’d happily go back if we were in the area again. Food wasn’t cheap though – find the deals – go early, and set meals seemed a good option.
I should mention the Cliffs of Mohar. Supposedly some of the best views inIreland. Don’t bother. We rode there on recommendation (Google told us to), but it is basically a big car park and you have to pay the full entry price to get in. It was rammed, and there was no provision just to stop for 10 minutes. If you’re in a car and want a day out then fine, but it’s not somewhere just to stop and look if you’re on a bike. I’m sure it’s beautiful but we didn’t stop and were quite disappointed you apparently have to pay just to see a view when there are stunning scenes all around the Irish coast for free.
View from the Slate Quarry on Valencia
It’s a treat to be able to ride such a new bike for such a long way, and across all kinds of roads. It loved the wide N roads between towns, leaning into the long sweeping bends with ease. It sat on the motorway happily and being an upright bike I had great visibility over the traffic. In town it was easy to set off and stop, once I got used to the idle speed (and adjusted the clutch a little to make it easier to set off). Height wise it was just fine – my feet weren’t flat on the floor but I was perfectly stable and as the week went on I got more and more confident in manoeuvring the bike around – scooting a bike backwards and forwards to turn around, for example, is something I’ve not really been able to do before due to my height (and girlie weakness!), but that was possible (once I gained confidence). The only problem I had was the lean of the bike when on its side stand was so severe that if I stopped on even a slight camber I really struggled to get the bike upright again once on it. If I was flat footed and therefore had more grip then it would have been easier. I understand it might be possible to lengthen the side stand which would solve this (you can’t put a centre stand on the factory lowered bike as it drags on the floor when you go round bends) – it was a tad embarrassing to get my fellow bikers to push the bike up for me on occasion, at least once a day!
I can’t think of a better way to have spent a week in Ireland– and I can completely see why people fall in love with the place and never leave. Unfortunately though I had to return the bike and we had to return home – that trip home was so uncomfortable! I have always loved Cruisers, but this Enduro bike was fantastic to ride and I would recommend it, and Celtic Rider, to anyone wanting to see the beauty ofIreland. *When* we go back I will be taking my own F650GS with me… I can’t wait to go back.