Motorbiking

"Biker" for me usually means motorbiking, though I also have a Marin mountain-bike...

My current motorbikes are a Honda CBR600RR ABS 2017 and a Kawasaki Ninja Z250SL.

Previously I have owned: Honda CRF300 Rally, Honda CBR600RR 2005, Honda CBR600FW, Honda VF750F, Yamaha FJ600, Suzuki GSX750EX, Yamaha FJ750, Yamaha XJ900, Kawasaki Z750 and I passed my riding test on my Kawasaki KH250.

See also my Motorbiking web links

Grand Canyon of the Verdon

Grand Canyon of the Verdon

Riding through the last burst of colours on the trees and vines as the autumn closes down. The autumn air is so clear I was able to make out the Cévennes and Ventoux to the west and the Écrins to the north. The sky was clear over the canyon but the storm at the weekend had closed the South Rim Road with a rock fall (as last year). Access was possible to the gorges for the 14 km in from Aiguines, but not a through route and I saw just a pair of scooters and one cyclist in the hour and a half or so I was in the canyon!
Just can’t beat riding a sportsbike in Provence on clear, dry roads as here, and let alone the scenery and fantastic food.

More photos: Grand Canyon of the Verdon - November 2023

Yamaha YZF-R3 test ride

Yamaha YZF-R3 test ride

This was pretty good fun, the R3 is the smallest of Yamaha’s sportsbike range but it can be “raced up” to something similar to the spec of a Moto3 GP bike, there’s also a GYTR race kit. It’s a twin cylinder engine with a rev red line up at 14,000 rpm. I found it handles like a scooter getting out of the dealer’s lot, the riding position is about the lowest of any sportsbike I can remember riding, including my Ninja Z250SL. It’s not a problem to manoeuvre to fill with petrol or to park, the weight overall is just 169kg and the centre of gravity is low.

Read more: Yamaha YZF-R3 test ride

Mosedale
Mosedale

Caldbeck Moor

Riding round Skiddaw to see Scotland across the Solway Firth at Silloth
Last ride before the clocks go back to winter time. Leaving Keswick as the mist was melting in to hazy sunshine. Riding the open moorland back in the mist round the east side of Skiddaw and Blencathra. Fording about 10 cm depth of water at Carrock Beck, then on to Hesketh Newmarket. Evocative place names! There to Wigton and onwards to Silloth there are long stretches of straight roads, some presumably following Roman alignments. Except for the steep sides of the deep valley of the River Caldew which are marked as 17% and 20% gradient, so have some interesting curves.
There’s a fine view from Silloth of the Solway Forth and Scotland beyond. Then the fun road back to Keswick through Bothel and Bassenthwaite village.

More photos: Skiddaw to Silloth - last ride before the clocks go back

Bike ride with AMA to Mont Ventoux, Provence

Bike ride with AMA to Mont Ventoux, Provence

Great day out riding with the French bike club AMA. A cool start (8°C) with a heavy dew where I was staying in L’Isle sur la Sorgue. The air warmed up while we met and had coffees at Cavaillon. Then a joyous ride on a back route through villages and vineyards to the restaurant booked for lunch at Bédoin at the foot of Mont Ventoux

More photos: Riding Mont Ventoux (1910 m.) with AMA

CBR600RR ABS (2017)

A third fine morning despite the dire forecast so another unexpected ride opportunity. I stayed on the routes near the coast to avoid the low cloud and murk inland. This ride in my oldest Dainese leathers, with matching gloves, boots and D-tec helmet. All still fit and nothing broken but the 2005 style now looks antique.

More photos: Ride before the storm 3: Cassis

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En route from Marseille to the Alps

I'm riding light for a week on the mountain roads of the Alps. No laptop, although I do have my SLR camera but photos will have to wait till I'm back in Marseille..

I left Marseille for a long ride north via the Col de la Croix Haute (1179 m.) to Saint-Gervais under Mont Blanc. A bit of rain towards the end of the day which cleaned the Provence dust off my white leathers and boots but didn't soak me through.