A long time being talked about, finally got the ferry booked to go to Arran. It didn’t disappoint, it turned our to be a nice sunny day, and because it was during the week, it was pretty quiet too. Once off the ferry we headed south to Lamlash, a small village that has beautiful views of Holy Isle. On the south of the Island everywhere you look has spectacular views like (above) the lighthouse on the island of Pladda looking onto Aisla Craig. We could have stopped everywhere for photos, but we didn’t have all day, so we battered on to Blackwaterfoot for a spot of lunch by the sea. On to the North of the Island where the Isle of Arran distillery is situated. But that’s for another time, when I don’t have the motorbike with me. Heading south from Lochranza gives you amazing views of Goatfell, and Brodick Castle. Before getting back to the ferry, a must stop location, the Arran Brewery, to pick up some beers for “feet up time” later. Can’t wait to go back.
The world of scooters have taken a surprising turn, for years they have remained the same formula, urban, with a hint of super sport (if in colour only). Over the years they have only changed in size, with some companies bringing out larger engines. Now Honda have broken all the rules and made a adventure style scooter, and it looks cool. It’s got adventure style trimmings, including an large 745cc engine, higher ride height and chunky multispoke wheels. I’m not sure it would be my first choice for the Paris to Dakar rally.
For a few years the car industry has been going back in time, bring out classic cars with a up-to-date twist. The same can be said for the motorbike industry. So no surprise that BMW have jumped onto the bandwagon. The RnineT has been out for a few years, but recently updated with this beautiful 70’s style look. The RnineT Racer, is straight out the years of classic sports bike, but with all the new tech that BMW put on their bikes these days, and probably some of the comfort too. 1170cc boxer engine, shaft drive and motorred ABS are just some of the standard kit this 2016-70’s icon comes with. Here
It’s coming into winter time, long gone are the long sunny days and dry roads, now comes the cold dark nights and hazardous mother nature, here are some things to look out for.
Ice on shaded roads
It might feel like the sun has heated the day up to an acceptable level, but the nights are a lot colder and brings frost. With the short days and low sun, some parts of the road don’t see light at all, so the frosty parts stay there.
Leaves on corners
All the lovely colours on the trees, eventually they fall off and cover the roads, and they are slippy too.
Yeah, it’s still warm enough, just take the bike out, but it’s cold enough to freeze you fingers off at 70 mph, get the winter gloves looked out again, your fingers will thank you.
Low sun glare
Shorter days come with low sun, this makes it hard to see but also makes it harder to be seen.
Yamaha have upgraded their flagship sports tourer to make it an even more outstanding way to see the world. It still has the comfort of a sports tourer but is now rocking the looks of a sports bike, including lot’s of extra stuff, like a new 6-speed transmission, assist and slipper clutch, front and rear Led Headlights, Fully adjustable screen, cowl, seat and handlebars, yamaha D-MODE, cruise control, traction control, 25ltr Tank, electronic adjustable suspension, upside-down forks, heated grips and 12v socket, these are just some of the features. The new FJR looks super cool in black, not to sure about the silver version. It also looks nice without the side luggage, which is a good thing, as the entry level model doesn’t come with them.
FJR1300A Entry level £13,299
FJR1300AE adjustable suspension £14,799
FJR1300AS automatic £15,499
A wee late night run to Arrochar, decided to avoid the Loch Lomond route and headed up through Cardross, Helensburgh and Rhu. The road leads up the side of the “infamous” Faslane, where the subs dock with the trident missiles, but you don’t see much except lots of fence and barbed wire. Lucky that this road leads to the newly resurfaced road that follows the loch Long shore line, a twisty, hilly road that makes you think your racing, but not too fast, its a two way…. once you have done your best Rossi impression, you arrive at Arrochar, where you can enjoy the beautiful sights, whatever the weather. Here is the map
Alway at the front line of design, Ducati have brought out some stunning bikes over the years, the new Ducati 1299 Panigale S Anniversario is no different. Every angle of this bike is exquisitely beautiful. This is the new anniversary edition of Ducati’s flagship super bike. weighing in at 162kg, this bike rocks 205 horsepower with Ducati’s Superquadro 1285 cc engine. They have put the latest technology thats on a bike with one of the best power to weight ratio in it’s class, make this a bike thats setting the benchmark for other super sports. This is the type of bike that makes you put a couch in your garage, so you can spend some time admiring the details.
After hitting the beaches on previous journeys, I thought I’d head for the Loch’s this time. Starting, by crossing the River Clyde, over the Erskine Bridge and heading for Dumbarton, Cutting up North on the West side of Loch Lomond. I don’t mind keeping in with the slow traffic on this road, as the views are stunning, but after Luss the trees take over, so overtaking on the wide roads is easy. Before you know it your at the Tarbet Hotel and heading left to Arrochar, that sits on the banks of Loch Long. Arrochar has a biker friendly cafe called the pit stop, but no time to stop here. I follow the road west, passing the rest and be thankful, another beauty spot where you have a choice of hot food and drinks curtsey of the burger van (well, it is Scotland). Keeping on the road you get to Loch Fyne, which has the amazing Fyne Ales brewery at the top end of the Loch. Further round and I arrive at Inverary. It’s a nice day, so I grab something to drink and look out on the Loch for a while, before starting my journey back. Heading back the same was is something I try to avoid, so I take the same road back…. Only until I reach Arrochar, where I take the cut off that goes down the side of Loch Long. The twisty single track road takes you down to Faslane and along the side of Gare Loch until it joins the Clyde estuary, through Helensburgh and onto the town centre of Dumbarton. A good 2 hours on the bike with amazing scenery and a good view of what Scotland has to offer. Here is the map.
Thought I’d abandon the obligatory bag of chips for this run. Apart from the fact it was warm, it was only 10 in the morning, so I went all continental and got myself a coffee. Drinking my coffee and sitting on a bench in Largs, watching the ferry leave and take people across to Great Cumbrae. I got on my bike and headed south along the coast. Although, most of the road is not coastal, some of it is, and it was such a nice Sunday, that it didn’t matter. The road takes you through the wee towns of Fairlie, West Kilbride, Saltcoats and Irvine before ending in Troon. This run can be done in 45 mins. This was where I stopped for some ice cream and admired the Mediterranean looking beach. It was a sight to behold, everyone had their summer clothes and i was sitting in my thick biker denims and a motorbike jacket…. Here is the map
You know the story, not a cloud in the sky, you get on your bike and 20 minutes into your journey, the sky clouds over and your in the middle of a mini monsoon. Here are some one-piece suits to keep you dry in those downpours.
(from left to right)
Hein Gericke Competition Rainsuit. Around £60
Oxford Rainseal Oversuit. Around £40
Held Monsun Over Suit. Around £100