The daily commute
Yes, I know the planet is dying and cars are the biggest cause of climate change (well, after cows and volcanoes and rather large ships), but I love things with four wheels and two. Plus I have the scars to prove it!



May 2013: Selling the bike... hmm, not happy!
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April 2013: From bike to car. Warmer, can carry stuff, can carry a spare type and a dog.
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February 2013: Selling the old bike. It was a pain to start, tested my patience, uneconomical for a 650cc, but it had character.
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January 2013: Pretending to keep fit!
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January 2013: A ride out to Harrogate in the snow, stopping in Bainbridge.
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04 July 2012: Stopped off on the way to a client today. This has been a non-biking summer!
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24 September 2011: I went down to Crewe today to look at a 'replacement' for the 1200GS, at least until the thing gets fixed. It's a good old airhead!
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09 September 2011: A motorcycle is naturally vulnerable to theft, and it is not always possible to construct a garage on one's property in the UK. Of course a garage in the street or on the road would be impossible too. The modus operandi today seems to be to first break the steering lock, then rip the wires out, and only then put some effort into the noisy and difficult work of breaking the chain or ground anchor. Of course the motor manufacturers make it difficult, and the BMW's engine management system is linked to a security key that is read by an antenna when one inserts the key. That doesn't stop parts-thieves or the uninformed from trying anyway. Now one's problems really start, because if the thief has tried to hot-wire it there is a good chance they have shorted out the engine management system and apparently it is frequently damaged. And BMW require one to buy an entire wiring harness because the plugs to the ignition and antenna are proprietary (not even RS electronics have them on catalogue), and that is an extra 600. So, the 'round-the-world' BMW will incur nearly 2000 damage (400 for the headstock frame, 600 for the harness, 500+ for the ECU, plus labour) to remedy a wrench to the handle-bars and a good yank on two wires. Modern is not always better... ...my immobility and the saga continues. Oh, joy!

19 September 2011: The fine folk on the UKGSer website gave me some pointers, and it seems Rainbow in Rotheram have a 35 kit to repair the plugs that has to be installed at their shop. Still don't know whether the ECU is shot, and will have to get the bike down to Rotheram, but it's a saving of 600 for a harness. I'll also purchase a disk lock and forego the steering lock.

BMW R1200GS: Expensive, but a great bike. I appreciate its ability to carry a lot of paraphenalia. Here at Semer Water and going over the Langdale passes in the Lake district.
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Do I go to work today?: The R1100GS was my sole means of transport for 3 years in the UK, through sun, snow and icy roads. Riding here is a different proposition to Johannesburg, and what this South African knew about riding motorcycles on icy roads is dangerous! Still, practice makes perfect.
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Working in Scarborough: Commuting in Scarborough was great, and I often took a spin around the Oliver's Mount racecourse on the way!
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Kirkham Priory: Early morning in October.
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BMW R60/5: I took one look at this little beast and loved it. The 1971 BMW R60/5 had twin Bing carbs, drum brakes front and back, and hard round tyres. I scraped the pegs more than once cornering it, and the braking was non-existant, but it was a lovely machine to ride.
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K100: I bought this BMW K100RS from Jerry in 1994, and it turned out to be a superb tourer. Very reliable and handled like a dream, until the throttle stuck open and I high-sided it on the motorway at 110km/h. Idiot!
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K1: I just had to have Mike Jones' fettled BMW K1 from the moment I saw it. Big thanks to Anne for making it happen! A very impressive machine for its day, the beast had a couple of quirks but turned out to be very quick and a pleasure to ride long distance on. Johannesburg to Nelspruit in 2 hours, that's 400km through twisty mountain roads! Just had a lousy turning circle.
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The Duke: A real love-hate relationship. Absolutely beautiful machine to look at and ride, positively useless in the reliability department. And it was decked out in the company colours - very discrete sponsorship!
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996: The 748's biggger brother. Again, more oomph and the great styling and handling, but set aside a good portion of your salary to pay for ongoing repairs.
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Roadtrip to Clarens: Nearly 800kms and 6 hours on the back of a Ducati. True to African tradition, I had the luggage and the chickens stacked up on the back (bought some soft panniers after this!) The bike was superb through the mountains, but discovered that it was particularly vulnerable to water in the fuel. More here
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Rally Shoot: Forests are cold throughout the day much of the year. One soon forgets it playing around with a Subaru - very capable little cars!
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The 450SLC: Anthony taking my 450SLC. This classic is a pleasure to drive, just rather expensive on fuel and a bit lardy in comparison to modern sports cars. It took me on the roadtrip to Durban, more here
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Not mine!: As seen at a car show in 2006. They are still selling these bread vans as new today!
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Lotus Exige: Only if you are short and don't mind a hard ride.
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Saab concept car: No shortage of money in the car industry to put on a show like this for something that is really only an idea.
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