Anecdotes and Ramblings (July 2022 onwards)

June 2024

A great couple of days down to the City of Reims in the Champagne region, and taking in the remains of the Reims-Gueux motor racing circuit
 
Monza Paul plotted the route, but sadly at the last moment was unable to go, and so Andy, Bob, Pete and myself rode the 200 mile, or so, route to the Ibis Hotel on the outskirts of Reims city centre
 
A stop halfway down at a little trattoria near Gouzeaucourt proved a great success, with first class service, excellent tasty food, and more than reasonable prices. My dish was Pates Carbonara (pasta/penne carbonara) whilst the others tucked into 29cm pizzas at around 10 euros a pop
 
We visited the circuit on the way down, around 15 minutes from our hotel, and for me it proved very interesting, so evocative of a previous age, and the scene of so many great races thru’ the roaring ‘50s and ‘60s
 
The evening saw us grab a taxi into the town centre and specifically Place D’erlon which had a truly electric atmosphere on what proved to be a beautiful summers evening…
 
…this thoroughfare is full of bistros, eateries and bars and was a most wonderful place to be. Kronenbergs were downed, food consumed, a short to finish, and then an uber taxi back to the hotel courtesy of Andy’s uber account which proved to be magnificently effective
 
A good continental breakfast was had in the Ibis, and then our route took us back out along the motor racing circuit and onwards to Thiepval where we spent some time at the Edwin Lutyens designed memorial…
 
…this commemorates 72000 service personnel lost during The Battle of the Somme, both French and across the Commonwealth. Each name is carved in to the stone of the memorial. Very touching, poignant and a stark reminder of what we all have to be so very grateful to these people for
 
A lovely little restaurant is in the grounds, and we enjoyed croque monsiers, and a charcuterie/fromage selection
 
Close by to the Thiepval Memorial is the Ulster Tower, in respect of the 36th Ulster Division of whom so many were lost during 1916. The tower is quite beautiful, almost as from a fairytale, and overlooks a lone German gunner post in the fields, marked with a flag, that proved so deathly to the allied forces
 
A little further along, is yet another reminder of how many Commonwealth servicemen were lost in The Great War. Beaumont Hamel remembers Canadian servicemen from the Newfoundland Regiment and is a quite unusual ‘monument’ signified by a huge Caribou, the emblem of Newfoundland. 90% of the Newfoundland Regiment were lost during The Somme
 
From Beaumont Hamel, it was time to return to Le Shuttle, with Monza’s route taking in many entertaining rural roads, proving most enjoyable
 
In total, just over 400 miles covered on French soil
 
An excellent two days on the bikes
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

May 2024

Our very good friend Bob, turns 80 in the next couple of months..
 
He’s been mentioned on here by us a few times, and with very good reason
 
We first met Bob in February 2016, when he rode up from Redruth in Cornwall on his 1999 Yamaha R1 4XV to p/ex it for a 2003 Fireblade 954. We remember him telling us how he had ridden across Bodmin Moor thru’ sleet and hail on the way up…
 
…anyway, the deal was done, and one cup of tea later Bob was on his way back to Cornwall. He covered around 675 miles that winters day, on an R1 and a Fireblade. Still, at that point he was only 72 years of age
 
Since then Bob has purchased a further 8 bikes from us, all Superbikes bar one, so all bikes purchased as below:-
 
2003 Honda Fireblade 954
2004 Yamaha R1 5VY
2006 Suzuki GSX-R1000 K6
2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000 K9
2012 Fireblade RR-C 20th Anniversary
2012 KTM RC8
2013 BMW S1000RR
2018 Suzuki GSX-S1000 AL8
2013 Suzuki GSX-R1000 ZL3 Millionth Edition
 
Bike number 8, the GSX-S1000 was supposed to be Bob going all sensible, but he found it far too sanitised and quickly p/ex’d for the GSX-R1000 Millionth which he still has, and is seen astride in the photograph
 
Bob also plays a guitar very well indeed, and still bench presses some serious weights having been a body builder in his earlier years
 
We think the word ‘inspirational’ is very apt here
 
Keep doing what you are doing Bob
 

April 2024

A great couple of days in Leicestershire, and taking in a track day on Monday at Donington GP circuit with Peter Stiebritz, Chris Fountain, Lee Richardson, Andrew Goodsell and Graham Saunders
 
Noreen and I travelled up Sunday afternoon, and met Chris, Lee, and Lee’s daughter Maddie, whereupon we all stayed at The Coach House Bar in Kegworth, just 4 miles from the circuit
 
The Coach House proved to be welcoming, clean and entirely fit for purpose (thankyou) and also sold Aspalls in the bar so I was quite content
 
Kegworth a little limited on eateries, but nevertheless a couple of Tandooris were present, and we all enjoyed a good meal..
An early start saw us thru’ the gates to Donington GP, and into the garages by just after 6.30am, where we met up with Peter, Graham and Andy (and also Greg)
 
The track was damp, and the majority of us ran wet tyres for the first 4 sessions, then switching to dry tyres for the final 2 (actually a 7th session available, but none of us took the option given the lengthy drive home)
 
All 6 of us enjoyed good fortune, with essentially a drama and fuss free day, with some very good time on the track
Donington GP is a truly wonderful circuit, that really has it all, from fast left/right sweepers, to tight hairpins, numerous crests and undulations, and long straights with hard braking zones…
 
Great photography, as always, from MSV Trackdays, and a couple of the shots show me being (aggressively ) pursued by Chris (blue GSX-R1000 no.6) and Graham (green ZX-6R) Great stuff
 
 
 
 

March 2024

My wife Noreen and I enjoyed a fabulous 5 day (4 night stopover) tour of Dorset, Devon and Cornwall…

We covered a total of 799 miles on our BMW R1200RS Sport SE, and had overnight stays at Glastonbury, Penzance, Beer and Winchester

Highlights of the ride were the fabulous north Cornish coastline route from Glastonbury to Penzance, and then the southern Cornish roads to the Lizard, across the water at Fowey, to Looe and up to and across Dartmoor to Beer…

..whilst highlights of the stopovers were the fabulous taverns in Penzance, the Bay View Guesthouse in Beer, and the positive vibe from Winchester, a great city for an evening out


February 2024

Nice season opener today with a day trip to France on the bikes, with Monza and Andy
 
Monza on his Z900RS, Andy on his Panigale V4S Corse, and myself on my ZZR1400…
 
Very mild for this time of year, but blustery at times. However, with all things considered, we were fortunate and the weather kind
 
Ultimate destination was the Vimy Ridge Memorial close to Lens and Arras, and which honours the memory of all Canadians who fought during World War 1
 
Monza led his pre-planned semi rural route, around 145 miles on French soil and taking in a coffee stop at a Cafe Tabac in Blendecques, and a very good lunch at an Italian Trattoria in Lievin
 
An excellent day
 
 
 
 

January 2024

Panigale 1199 Tricolore S..Major work ????
 
…nope, just a spark plug change. Looks worse than it is, but radiator off and wheel out makes the job a lot easier and is a good opportunity for coolant flush and fill with Motul Organic..
 
Nevertheless, this is one of the trickiest and involved plug changes I’ve had to do
 
Apparently some dealers book this at 6 hours, and in fairness with a methodical approach and the opportunity for some hidden cleaning, it is definitely in that region
 
 

December 2023

Good blast up to The Pied Bull in Farningham this morning on the big zed…
 
Weather mild and dry, ensuring a fantastic turnout with a truly eclectic mix of motorcycles
 
Unfortunately missed my friend Ron by a few minutes, but did bump into the legend that is Cosmo, so all was not lost
 
Took main roads up as just couldn’t resist the opportunity to ‘pick off’ everything in sight thanks to the ZZR’s sublime powerplant, with a more typical rural route back
 
Enjoyable run, and good to be back on a ‘big’ bike following mainly SuperMoto exploits in recent weeks…
 
 

November 2023

Great ride on our SuperMoto ‘winter’ bikes today…

Chris in excellent form and providing a brilliant route with plenty of suitably rural, muddy and sometimes slippery lanes
 
Plenty of noise made by the six bikes (particularly Wesley ‘s 250 2 stroke ) and resultantly gloriously filthy, just as they should be and used as intended
 
PS. If you like a decent portion of beans with your beans on toast then The Airport Cafe is the place to be. Very nice x (see pic)
 
 

October 2023

A brace of Black Beauties…
 
Our 2017 FPM375 Focus RS Mk3 nestles against our recently acquired 2004 Maserati Gransport…
 
Ballpark similar bhp and £££ value, but oh so different
 
 

September 2023

Ride of the Ruperts 2023 has taken place last Sunday, and truly goes from strength to strength..
 
Conceived and managed tirelessly by Stefano Morrelli (Steve) and his wonderful wife Agata, this registered charity raises money for https://www.whizz-kidz.org.uk/ whom provide motorised wheelchairs for young people, ultimately transforming their independence and quality of life
 
The ride itself is the signature event for Ride of the Ruperts, but is actually just one part of the overall fundraising that goes on throughout the year, with other rides including The Hop Run in Kent, and Ride of the Wellingtons in Belgium, a sponsored 10km winter walk, and numerous raffles for some truly fabulous prizes including Sarah‘s magnificent hand made bears and beautiful watches from sponsors Tesouro Timepiece
 
For my part, I only became a part of the Rupert ‘family’ during 2022, and since then have met so many wonderful people, and made new friends. The icing on the cake was The Ride of the Wellingtons in Belgium during July 2023, where an utterly brilliant time was had by all
 
My wife Noreen has also recently joined the family, and has been made to feel so welcome by all, and we thank everyone for that
 
Remarkably Ride of the Ruperts has raised £31000 this year from it’s varied activities, and this sum when added to previously raised amounts now means that the charity has donated over £100000 to https://www.whizz-kidz.org.uk/
 
2024 will surely be bigger and better – Get involved….

 

August 2023
 
We had a truly enjoyable 3 days in Snowdonia last week…
 
Our BMW R1200 RS was a wonderful companion, and for us, for this type of riding it is hard to imagine a better bike to be on
 
It offers grunty performance, excellent comfort and ergonomics, but is such a capable and enjoyable bike when ridden in a more ‘enthusiastic’ manner
 
Real best of all worlds stuff
 
Just brilliant


 
July 2023
 
I was very fortunate to be a part of this fabulous ‘Ride of the Wellingtons’ four day trip to the Wallonia region of Belgium with 30+ other bikes and riders from the UK…
 
The scenery in parts was nothing less than stunning and the roads in The Ardennes among the best I have personally ridden
 
The group camaraderie was something to behold and many new friendships made for all
 
The Belgian Tourist Office Wallonia filmed and photographed the trip as part of their future marketing strategy for this beautiful region
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
June 2023
 
Busy Summer Solstice for us yesterday…
 
A 1.30am start, 655miles, and 12 hours in our faithful Transit Custom resulted in these two absolutely beautiful KTMs being collected from Penryn and Whitemoor in Cornwall, and returned to base
 
1290 SuperDuke GT and 890 Duke GP await photography in the warm summer sunshine this morning
 
We were well past Stonehenge before the druids and pagans arrived for sunrise, and missed them on the way back too
 

 
May 2023
 

A most satisfactory couple of hours spent cleaning, fettling, checking and the obligatory oil change on our little ex Bemsee Thunderbike Sport Yamaha R6 5SL…

Brands GP beckons at the end of June and she is now all ready other than a new set of tyres that will go on in the next week or so…

 
 

 
 
April 2023
 
An excellent ride yesterday on the RIDE FOR UKRAINE fundraiser…
 
The event ably organised by Dominic Santana with assistance from Bob Lock, Neil Westoby, Paul Sacha @ Stefano Morrelli whom ensured that the large group of bikes all ended up in the right place !
 
The group convened initally at Shoreham Airport and winged (no pun intended) along the A259 through all the seaside towns, with two stops, prior to arriving at Goodwood for around midday, whereupon photographs of the group were taken on the start/finish straight
 
Around £3000 raised in total, and so a worthwhile effort by all
 
Picture shows myself, along with Stefano, Daniel, Grahame and Bob leaving Goodwood at the end of the day
 
 

March 2023
 
This beautiful Yamaha XSR900 Abarth arrives into stock. The second of these special little bikes we have had…
 
Just 695 of these were produced, all with a numbered plaque, with this one being no. 357
 
With only 1320 miles covered, it is about as close to a new bike as a used one can be, pristine and original
 
Sold within one day, and delivered to it’s new keeper in Inverness by our trusted couriers ‘The Bike Bus’
 
 

 
February 2023
 
Quite busy with deliveries in our faithful Transit Custom this month…
 
Saturday saw us to Ashton Under Lyne near Manchester, Wednesday to Swansea, Saturday to Sheffield, and then Monday to Tintagel in Cornwall, 2200 odd miles in total
 

 

January 2023
 
All loaded for early start tomorrow…
 
T500 should be in Northwich, Cheshire by 7.30am, and CB1000R dropped off at Purfleet maybe around 11.30am..
 
 

December 2022
 
A good day today on The 31st Christmas Toy Run in aid of Golden Lion Children’s Trust…
 
A very good turn out, and a nice ride via Cuckfield, Balcombe, Worth Corner and Tinsley Green leaving from The Motorcycle Workshop premises in Bolney, to The Gatwick Manor Hotel in Lowfield Heath where a most decent amount of toys were deposited along with many cash donations
 
Our good friend Peter and myself decided to take the scenic route back to the Hastings area with a planned stop at the delightful Gallipot public house in Hartfield
 
Alas, Peter suffered a puncture near Turners Hill and after an unsuccessful attempt to plug it, the beleaguered 765 RS was limped to my sister’s home in Copthorne, whereupon it will be collected by van this week
 
And so it was, that Peter and I rode the 50 miles home two up on the very pretty VFR, complete with tinsel and lights..It must have looked like Pride on 2 wheels
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 2022
 
The Bike Buying Legend that is Bob has returned again for his 9th purchase
 
Now knocking on the door of 79 years, Bob had decided that his last purchase, a 2018 150bhp Suzuki GSX-S1000F just wasn’t quick enough
 
..and so, he has returned and bought one of our own personal bikes from us, a lovely Suzuki GSX-R1000 ZL3 Million Edition which will be replaced in our own collection by the 2016 GSX-R1000 30th Anniversary Edition shown with Bob and his new bike in the photograph
 
Bikes Bob has purchased from us are a Fireblade 954, GSX-R1000 K6, R1 5VY, GSX-R1000 K9, CBR1000RR-C, RC8, S1000RR, the afforementioned GSX-S1000F, and now the GSXR1000 ZL3 Million ☺️
 
Bob, we salute you

October 2022

 
A great day’s riding in Devon and Cornwall on this K1300S 30th Anniversary…
 
BMW collected near Exeter on our way to our holiday base in Combe Martin, North Devon…
 
270 miles round trip covered from Combe Martin to Lands End…
 
Temperature 16 to 18 degrees celsius all day long…
 
Big BMW awesome bike for this ride, very powerful and beautifully stable through the long fast sweepers on the A39…
 
Literally 100s of cars overtaken, picked off all the way along on our brusquely ridden route….
 
Great fun 


October 2022

A pleasure to meet octogenarian John this morning, along with his wife Joyce, and two labradors Harley and Monte, at their home in Walderslade…
 
John had purchased our Enfield 535 GT, to go alongside his Bullet 350, Bantam 175 and Harley Sportster 883, amongst others…
 
Two particular points of interest in his garage were a 1932 BSA Sloper engine, and a remarkably clean and original 1982 Jaguar XJ6 4.2…
 
The Jag had been owned from new by John’s friend for the first 30 years of it’s life, and subsequently by John. All original, with excellent ownership provenance, and a genuine 56000 miles; would not easily be found elsewhere…
 
 

September 2022

A great day was had on the other side of the English Channel on our ‘new’ BMW R1200 RS SE Sport complete with BMW’s Navigator Vl
 
Solo riding, as one of our riding partners is suffering from a leg injury and the consensus was to put this day trip back a couple of weeks
 
Eager to properly put the BMW through it’s paces, and indeed to see how the Navigator Vl performed, we cracked on nonetheless and went anyway
 
Primary destination was Ypres in Belgium, but via a route advised by our friend Monza Paul (the one with the gammy leg ) that passed through Watten, Cassel and Poperingue on the outward bound route, and back via Staden, Veurne and Dunkerque inward bound
 
Road between Watten and Cassel was notably nice to ride, in contrast to the cobblestoned streets of Cassel, beautiful nevertheless
 
A coffee stop in Poperinge preceded a decent lunch in Ypres, and a later stop in Dunkerque
 
All BMW equipment performed faultlessly. Correct tools for the job, and will surely see many more days like this
 
All in all around 140 miles covered in France and Belgium…
 
 
 
 
 

September 2022

A magnificent day was had on our astonishingly period looking Kawasaki W650 at The Ride of the Ruperts Ride of the Ruperts 2022, the 4th time now that the event has been run…
 
Meticulously organised and carried through to great effect, this event is essentially down to the efforts of one man Stefano Morrelli
 
This year, around £20000 has been raised for the charity Whizz Kidz, which dedicates itself to providing wheelchairs, and other mobility aids to disabled children. A wonderful cause…
 
The ride itself involves around 250 riders, each of whom have paid a fee, which goes directly to the charity, to take part, winging themselves around 65 miles through the Sussex countryside in a most convoluted and scenic route, commencing in Rudgwick West Sussex, and culminating on Golden Cross near Hailsham, in East Sussex…
 
Traditionally, a ‘Rupert’ will wear his/her finery, often tweed, as seen in some of the pictures here
 
Up to 40 riders are employed as drop off riders, ensuring that no one gets lost en route, and for the most part this works very well
 
All-in all, a brilliant event, and a fabulous day, with a real worthwhile outcome and benefit to the charity and it’s young people…
 
A big congratulations to all involved, but particularly the organisers, and very specifically to Stefano

 


August 2022

A brace of Ducati 1098s in the sun today…

Our 2007 Tricolore S, and 2008 R..

The R has just been MOTd, and a running issue with the Tricolore S now resolved, resultantly a cam timing problem on the vertical cylinder inlet camshaft, completely transforming it’s power delivery…

 


July 2022

Bit of an MOT day at Moton today…
 
The ‘3 Rs’ and an ‘S’
 
Triumph Thruxton 1200 R, Triumph Speed Triple 94 R, Ducati 999 R, and Ducati 998 S…