Roadtrip time! Claire and I have done a lot of riding in Europe together but this year we thought we’d make an effort to see a little more of the UK as rumour has it, there’s some very nice parts of it indeed that aren’t full of bike thieves and and highway robbers.
Both Claire and I got two new bikes within a month of each other, her a BMW S1000R Sport, and me a KTM 1290 Superduke R. Both awesome, both just serviced and slightly fettled.
I got some luggage for the KTM but had to wait a couple of months for it to turn up, and when it did, it wasn’t very good, but it did the job. Claire’s was awesome. Well… BMW innit.
I don’t know if the side panniers were just badly designed or not for the KTM, but the right-hand one would have lasted about five miles before the exhaust would have melted it, so I had to fashion up a last-minute fix with some heat shield material. It just about lasted.
Day 1 - Rode from London to the Peak District (Buxton), all awesome twisties.
Day 2 - Rode around the Peak District. Visited the highest pub in the land.
Day 3 - Rode from Peak District to Yorkshire Dales (Settle)
Day 4 - Rode all around the Yorkshire Dales. Visited Matlock, Matlock Bath and the like. I have never in all my life seen so many bikes on the road as at Matlock Bath! This was some kind of biking Mecca! Even the Ace Cafe Streetfighter Sunday couldn’t hold a torch to this place on a Sunday! Got shouted at by some Captain Slow leading his unmerry disciples to Boredom for no apparent reason.
Day 5 - Rode to the Lake District (Watershead Bay)
Day 6 - Rode the West loop of the Lake District. Ate crap food, completed the Honister Pass, gawped at how beautiful the area was. Love it here.
Day 7 - Rode back to London by Motorway (too tired to do anything more at this point).
All in, we did about 1,000 miles. Not bad. Some of the roads were absolutely mental, really fast twisties with huge hill climbs and descents some proper flip-flop thrillers. I honestly haven’t ridden roads as good as these for years and I was quite surprised we had places like this in the UK. City boy, I know.
I’d thoroughly recommend a trip up to these areas. We had a blast. The roads are awesome, the people are amazing, people aren’t trying to steal your bike, and damn it’s cheap up there.
Also, got home to find out a bolt had fallen out of the side-stand on the KTM. Nice. It’s on the paddock stand for now, whilst I wait for KTM to order me a new pillion seat lock, which also fell out before the trip. Don’t reckon much of KTM QA so far.
The TomRom Rider 450 performed quite well. This was a new purchase and is a vast improvement over older models. The experience is far from perfect though, with the biker-specific features being useful and better than using a phone but then not very well thought out at times. You’re left making bad compromises when plotting a route which means you either don’t end up on the route you want, or the route is inappropriate at times. I’d love to help TomTom get this right. They’re really nearly there.
We’ve had an Interfone 4MC intercom for a few years now and it served us well enough this trip, but there’s a major flaw that pissed me off this trip - you can’t have multiple devices/sources broadcasting on the channel at once, so you either listen to your buddy OR listen to the satnav, you can’t hear both. I don’t know if newer models have solved this problem? I missed a few turns due to having no audio prompts from the nav. Slightly annoying as you end up being taken off your nice planned route onto some crappy, inappropriate detour.
- 2017 BMW S1000R
- BMW tail bag + tank bag
- BMW comfort seat
- BMW touring screen
- 2017 KTM Superduke R
- KTM tail bag (modified) + tank bag + panniers
- TomTom Rider 450
- Interphone 4MC Intercom