Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Homeward Bound

Gareth and I left Reims this morning and headed for Zeebrugge in Belgium and our ferry home . Another warm day, with very  light traffic, at least until we left the peage/toll roads.

Since we arrived in Zeebrugge with plenty of time to spare we headed off along the coast a bit and chilled out in a surf-shack cafe on the beach.

View from the bar
Unfortunately we had to restrict ourselves to a few soft drinks. A cold beer would have been most welcome after the long day’s ride.

I'll start posting pictures when I get home tomorrow.

So far it’s been a good trip, and despite the distances involved a relatively straightforward one.

Roll on next year when we have tentatively pencilled in a similar trip to the Stella Alpina Rally in Italy.

Sunday, 27 May 2012


As mentioned yesterday we all got badly sunburnt wandering about at the race track. Today, the back of my neck and my forearms are a lovely shade of crimson not usually seen in nature.

So, we decided not to spend so long out in the sun and called a halt about one o'clock having seen another batch of racing, toured the club stands and wandered about the paddock area looking over the race bikes.

As I'm using an iPad to make these entries I'm having some problems loading photos. Be assured that I took plenty and I plan on a proper write up with appropriate pictures when I get back. You'll either have to wait till then or check out some of Norrie's pictures on his blog.

This is our last night in Dijon. Tomorrow Gareth and I head north to Reims before heading to Zeebrugge the following day to catch the ferry and home. Norrie is planning on spending another week or so in France on his own before heading back.

Holidays in the Sun

We spent all day yesterday at Dijon-Prenois racetrack in the sun, and we all got badly sunburnt. Not often us Scots can say that!

The Coupe Moto Legende event is just massive. I took hundreds of pictures, some of which I'll post when I get back, and that barely scratched the surface of what was there.

We also got to see Agostini, Phil Read and a number of other old timers race their classic bikes around the circuit.

All in all a good day, if rather long.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Over the Hills & Far Away

We finally arrived in Dijon yesterday evening after a long run down to Hull to catch the ferry to Zeebrugge and then the long 400 plus mile run to Dijon proper once in France. 
The Three Amigos somewhere in France
On the way we lost Terry whose bike expired almost within touching distance of Hull.

Today was spent wandering around the old town and dodging the roadworks - they're digging up the roads to install a new tram system. Coming from Edinburgh, where they've been at something similar for about three years it made me feel right at home.

The racing starts tomorrow, so there is more to come.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Made For Walking

I have just finished re-proofing my trusty Alt-berg boots for the trip to France. As a result, I now have waterproof hands, which should come in handy if it rains.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Coupes Moto Légende

Well, it’s nearly that time again. Time to pack the bike, head for a ferry terminal and make that trip across the sea to foreign climes. This year, as mentioned earlier, I and a few friends (Norrie, Terry (MuZRider) & Gareth) are planning on a little run through France to Dijon for the Coupes Moto Légende.

 A little taster from last year, courtesy of YouTube

Part race meeting, part bike show and generally a good time to be had by all (if all the reports I’ve read are anything to go by), the event is held annually at the Dijon-Prenois race track in Eastern France.

Mr. Combo and his lovely assitant Rita
We’re away for about a week. So, either I’ll manage to post regular updates utilising the hotel’s wi-fi, or there will be a big gap until I get back and then I’ll post loads of photos and stuff. Only time will tell.

Thursday, 17 May 2012


A good selection of old programmes for the Sachsenring, and other race events, can be found here.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Nostalgia Ain't What It Used To Be

This must be how older guys feel about British bikes they grew up with.

Many years ago I used to own a beat up old Suzuki GT250 X7. It had passed through the hands of many of my friends, and had been crashed a good few times. By the time I got my hands on it it lacked mirrors and indicators, had  a jury-rigged electrical system operated by some toggle switches under the seat, expansion chambers and K & N filters instead of an airbox, and was painted a rather lurid green colour. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of it.

But, boy did it shift. However, after yet another crash it was eventually given to another friend for nothing as I didn’t have the space to store it.

I recently briefly toyed with the idea of getting another one, but it has become a bit of a cult classic with reasonable ones selling for between 1500 and 2000. This is more than I want to part with for the sake of nostalgia.

There is even a decent owners club for them.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


I picked up some foreign currency (Euros) from the bank this afternoon for my trip to France next week.

Gosh, it’s nearly holiday time now.

Honda Twins


Monday, 14 May 2012

Testing Times/Landmarks 2012

Well, I finally managed to get the Triumph in for its annual MOT (safety inspection) this afternoon.

At the MOT Centre
It passed as I fully expected it to. Nevertheless, there is always that niggling fear, that small element of doubt at the back of your mind that something will go wrong and it will fail.

Shiny new chain & sprocket
It happens to me every time, no matter how much time and effort I have put into making sure everything is as it should be I always think that I might have overlooked something. I once got all the way to the test centre only to have an indicator bulb blow as I was pulling in to the car park.

View from inside my helmet
On the way back I managed to get the last photo I needed for the Landmarks Challenge I mentioned in an earlier post. Unfortunately, this was #17 Rain. So, with the others I took a while back, that's me finished. Having said that, I'll probably have another go and try and be a bit more adventurous. I'll have to see what I can come up with on the trip to France next week.

Also, I had to stop and take a picture of this groovy mobility scooter I saw on my way home. "Look out kids, Granpa’s on the loose again"

Saturday, 12 May 2012


Off to France soon. Time for a new chain & sprockets for the Bike.

Fitting them, the first thing to understand is that you should ignore most of the things that they tell you to do in your Haynes manual. While such manuals are useful, their methods are in no way the only way that things can be done.

Thinking like that, well, that way madness lies!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Nifty Footwork

When I bought it I found the standard riding position on my Triumph a bit cramped on long journeys, and I was disappointed to find that you couldn’t adjust either the standard handlebars or the footpegs.  I did buy some very expensive handlebar risers about a year or so ago and these have made a tremendous difference, but I still get a bit of cramp in my legs, mainly due to a knackered left knee.

I recently decided to bite the bullet and get myself some adjustable footpegs as well to see if these helped. I found a set of Vario alloy footpegs from a company in Germany which were advertised as being fully adjustable. I ordered them online from Germany, they were paid for using PayPal and I received the parcel within a week of placing the order. Isn’t modern technology wonderful? Remember looking for stuff before the internet?

Here’s the three-piece kit I received. From the left: pair alloy Touring footpegs, pair alloy ‘hinges’ & pair 30mm alloy spacer-arms. 

The basic idea is that you fit a spacer-arm between the original mounting point on the frame and the new alloy peg (you can see the difference in these two 'pics). The peg has teeth cut into it which line up with similar teeth in the spacer-arm. This then allows you to move the position of the footpeg to best suit you, and the length of the spacer-arm determines how much travel you now have to play around with. 

I decided to fit them this afternoon. The instructions were straight-forward enough, if a bit on the strange side; it looked like someone used babelfish translation software. Essentially, you take the old pegs off and fit the new pegs using the existing bolts and circlips. The whole thing only took about 15 minutes. If only everything were this easy.

I do have one complaint, though. The kit was advertised as being designed specifically for my particular machine so I didn’t expect any problems with the fit. However, the ‘hinges’ are a bit smaller than the ones on the standard pegs, which leaves the new pegs sitting at a bit of an downward angle. While this doesn’t pose a problem while you’re actually riding the bike it is annoying and detracts from the look of the bike and from what is otherwise a quality product.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Fold Your Own

"Männer der Stahl-Antriebsautos des Papiers"

  "Men of Steel Drive Cars of Paper"

Suhl Mann

Race Breed

MuZ Skorpion Sport Cup 660

Essentially a Skorpion Sport equipped with a full fairing and a single seat and intended for clubman racing.