Sunday, 27 May 2012


I've managed to put some miles on the new bike and started getting it used to my shape and style. I think we'll like each other although we're still on polite terms rather than real buddies. All my bikes have talked to me in their own way. You can have a relationship with a bike whereas a car, is a car, is a car. Just like my previous BMW, an 1150GS, the R1200R is a technological gem and the latest twin-cam motor is just about as far as the Boxer will probably go, with rumours of a brand new engine buzzing around the bike media.

The bike is a `Roadster` and therefore has a slight lean forward riding position, but without the wind-penetrating full fairing and having your knees up by your chin like a race horse jockey. That stuff is ok on a race track but becomes crippling after about 50miles on public roads. As for riding in a busy town or city on one of these track replica rockets... not nice at all. I've nothing against track ready road bikes, I just can't see the point, for me anyway and this was brought home to me some years ago when a guy on a fabulously manic Kawasaki followed me around a busy M25. I was on my Harley Road King and was coming back from a day at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford. After 40 miles more or less together, through the heavy fast flowing traffic, we both pulled off at a service station. Me for a pee and he for to stretch his aching back and massage his aching wrists and hips. Well at least he didn't ask me to do anything. He told me that his 70 mile ride home from work was a crippler and he always had to soak it off in a hot bath. When he found I'd come from Cambridge and still had another 80 miles to go he said `You look like you could keep on going to Lands End and you'd just need a beer at the end. If I was following you that distance I'd need an ambulance`.

That's why I don't do hyper sports bikes, much as I admire the technology that allows them their blistering performance.  I'm happy with my 110 bhp, and wonderful 115Nm of torque (far more useful), ABS assisted mega powerful brakes (one finger only required for a full emergency stop), traction control, heated grips and razor sharp handling. There's enough grunt to slingshot me from one bend to another in a very short space of time. I don't want adrenaline rushes, knee scrapers, ultra high speeds (my bike will top 135mph - but not with me on it - unless I've accidentally ridden it off a cliff). Riding brisk and sharp and safe, without pissing anyone else off in the process, is my desire.
The lean angles I can achieve on this machine is a world apart from the Road King. That big chunk could hold a line through a bend just fine, but you had to line it up with foresight if you didn't want to ground the footboards on tighter curves and roundabouts.

I like the journey more than the destination and I never miss the chance to dip into a new old place as I make my way there. Here's a few pics of the places on the way and the last 5 of a peaceful little haven on the Alde river estuary that I dipped into on the way home on Friday. A fitting resting place for Private Miller of the Royal Fusiliers, a thirty nine year old soldier of the Great War who died 8 days before the Armistice.

A very old Suffolk village church

"If you hum it, I'll play it"

The church at Iken


Beautiful flowers in the wild churchyard at Iken

RIP Private Miller, in a far, far better place

I've got a day trip lined up for Tuesday. 200 miles there and 200 back. The weather forecast is `British summertime`, so I think I'll put the luggage boxes on, wear my airmesh jacket and pack the waterproofs and a spare pair of gloves. We'll see how my muscles and joints feel on Wednesday morning.


TonyF said...


Anonymous said...

I envy what you have now. In a lovely part of the world with the time to explore it and pop to London as and when!

Obviously I'd have it the other way around, but...

Hogdayafternoon said...

TonyF: Yup, looks iffy. better check my lightning conductor.

Was out on Havergate Island on Friday, spotting the wildlife; Avocets, a Shoveller, 4 Spoonbills, Meadow Pipit doing a `parachute` routine, the only breeding colony of Common Gulls (not common at all). Coffee and a croissant in The Pump Street Bakery (opp the Oysterage). Bliss.

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CI-Roller Dude said...

I prefer to ride "sitting up" like on a cruiser. I've tried the kind where you have to bend over and it kills my back.
I know what you mean about the bike learning how you ride. Most non-riders don't understand and that's why they crash so soon when first riding.
Start out slow and easy until you and the bike know each other very well.

Quartermaster said...

Good thing you packed the waterproofs. East Anglia isn't a great riding climate no matter the time of year. Same here in the US Southeast. The North Carolina side of the Blue Ridge is cooler and wetter, so the rain suit is always in the trunk.