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

Col du Lautaret
Col du Lautaret (2057 m.)

Col du Lautaret
Snowball juggling

Sunny ride up the whole length of the valley of the Durance to Briançon (1326 m.). Checked in at a historic hotel in the fortified old town, then on up the road to the Col du Lautaret (2057 m.). Rocks white with snow and ice but tarmac black and dry. Special views around as approaching the snow line and the glaciers. Snowballs at the col, 2057 m. The side road on up to the Col du Galibier (2642 m.) was snowbound.

Read more: White ride - Col du Lautaret (2057 m.)

Transalp 750 (2024)

Transalp 750 (2024)
Pain aux raisons at a village boulangerie

A day’s ride on Honda’s alternative to the popular adventure style bikes from BMW and KTM. I found the Transalp 750 very rideable even with the high riding position and wide bars. It felt more secure (planted) on the road than did the CRF300 Rally I owned and sold on. The Transalp 750 will take a racing line on a hairpin curve and (as a twin cylinder) there’s not much need to change gear for ordinary road riding. So a miles muncher, easily going faster than I think but then nothing like the fun level as my CBR600RR in the workshop getting new tyres, pads and a service.

Read more: Transalp 750 (2024) - test ride

Saint-Julien-du-Verdon, lac de Castillon
Saint-Julien-du-Verdon, lac de Castillon

Aiguines, lac de Sainte-Croix
Aiguines, lac de Sainte-Croix

Setting off from Les Salles-sur-Verdon on the lac de Sainte-Croix in the Alpes-de-Haut-Provence, a figure of eight loop round Castellane taking in both rim roads of the Grand Canyon of the Verdon, Saint-André-les-Alpes and a sweeping part of the Route Napoléon from Barrême to Castellane.
Fantastic roads to run in new tyres: curves and climbs, impressive geology with snow still on the mountains around the Col d’Allos at the head of the valley. Hazy but unusually warm for early April - low twenties - so the canyon rim roads were busy.
Back to Les Salles-sur-Verdon for a memorable dinner in a restaurant with a pirate theme. I chose a steak Tomahawk and a salade chèvre chaude, both cooked over a wood fire.

More photos: Gorges du Verdon - running in new tyres

Westmorland Dales

Orton, Westmorland Dales

Orton, Westmorland Dales

This started out as a ride to the chocolate factory at Orton in the Westmorland Dales to arrange our Easter Eggs. That done, riding conditions were so good - light traffic, favourable weather - that I came back the long way round, via Teesdale and Alston. Great riding: sparse traffic, warm enough and brill roads. I needed that! And still sunny when I got back to Keswick.

More photos: Ride to the Chocolate Factory - Westmorland Dales

Ninja Z250SL at Bassenthwaite, Cumbria

New leathers on a deal at the London Bike Show and a new OEM spec battery arrived, yet another for my Ninja Z250SL. I fitted it, then went out on a short ride round Bassenthwaite Lake to check it all out whilst the sunshine lasted.

MLU > Looks good. How is the fit of Berik? Is it “standard” or prone to fit slim / bulky in your opinion?
JHB > The fit is OK but not great. The protection isn't the highest level. The ventilation is quite generous, meaning there's a lot coming through. Cost-effective but try before you buy or be prepared to return if disappointed.

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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.