Metzeler Tourance : Long Term Review

Metzeler Tourence Long Term Review
Metzeler Tourance Long Term Review

When I got my 2010 BWM R1200GS Adventure (in September 2016) it came with the stock tyres (I believe they were an optional extra – but they were fitted by BMW Motorrad) – a pair of Continental TKC80. Basically they are ‘knobblies.’

That’s fine, ‘knobblies’ have a very real purpose, but let’s be honest most R1200GSA riders don’t need them – note I said most. If we are being even more honest I also think it is safe to presume that most customers who put these on their R1200GSA are doing so cosmetically – they look cool. Again, note I said most.

I hated them.

They were noisy, bumpy and (for me) I felt they really lacked grip which meant I lacked confidence on the tarmac. I have no doubt if you were on something a little less solid than road worthy tarmac then they would excel, but for mainly road use – they simply were not for me.

I concede that they look cool, but I am well past the stage of wanting a tyre that looks cool – I just want it to stick really nicely to what is underneath that tyre – for me that is 95% tarmac.

So the first thing I did was change them and I opted for a set of Metzeler Tourance.

Continental TKC80 v Metzeler Tourence on a BMW R1200GSA
Continental TKC80 v Metzeler Tourance on a BMW R1200GSA

Read moreMetzeler Tourance : Long Term Review

Motorcycle Live 2018 : Birmingham NEC

Motorcycle Live 2018
Motorcycle Live 2018

Motorcycle Live 2018 ran this year from 17th – 25th November, so now that is over I can post up a few photographs along with my thoughts on the show and what I saw this year without having to issue a spoiler.

This year saw 4 halls filled with the current (and upcoming) offerings of 40 manufacturers along with a chance to test ride numerous machines both on the road and on the ever popular Adventure course where you can test on the most popular adventure bikes on a well thought indoor track.  It’s not taxing, not difficult at all, but it is fun.

The Live Arena was also present and what was previously a showcase for Arena Cross this year was taken over by Moto Cirque and what these guys can do on such a small stage really is spectacular.  If you get that the chance to see their show in full, take it.

Other than that it is all about the bikes and I have composed a gallery of over 100 photos for your viewing pleasure but first I am going to point out a few of my highlights…

Read moreMotorcycle Live 2018 : Birmingham NEC

Iron Butt Association : Circuit of Ireland

According to Wikipedia : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Butt_Association

The Iron Butt Association (IBA) is a US-based organization dedicated to endurance motorcycle riding with a claim of over 60,000 members worldwide who tout themselves as the “World’s Toughest Riders.” One of its more popular slogans is “The World Is Our Playground.”

The IBA does have membership in a traditional sense. There are monthly newsletters sent to subscribed members. There are no mandatory yearly dues, although members can voluntarily pay an annual fee to become a premiere member. Premiere members receive occasional news and information from the IBA staff, early notice of some events, additional chances to enter some events, discounted entry fees for some events, and access to special areas of the web-based discussion board.

The IBA is a loose-knit organization with only one way to earn membership: ride one of the several rides the IBA certifies.

All that sounds pretty accurate. You can check out the official IBA Websites here :

Iron Butt Association Web Page : http://www.ironbutt.com

Iron Butt Association UK Web Page : https://www.ironbutt.co.uk/w3/index.php

Iron Butt Association Ireland Web Page : http://www.ibaireland.org

It was this bit that got me : ‘with only one way to earn membership : ride one of the several rides the IBA Certifies.’

 

Read moreIron Butt Association : Circuit of Ireland

TomBoyNI’s MotoVLog Episode 002 : BMW R1200GSA Walkthrough / GoPro Hero 5 & Mic Adapter Test

Have a quick walkaround of my 2010 BMW R1200GSA and see all it’s latest modifcations and accessories.

Also listen to the audio captured by the new GoPro Hero 5 using the GoPro Mic Adapter and an external microphone.

A full list of the modifications and accessories (as of today) :

  • – BMW Navigator IV Sat Nav
  • – Tyres – Metzeler Tourence
  • – Grip Puppies
  • – Cymarc R1200GSA Adventure Crud Catcher
  • – Cymarc R1200GSA Adventure Spot Light Protectors
  • – Touratech Fork Protectors
  • – Touratech Throttle Cover
  • – Wunderlich (Guard Concept) GoPro Mount
  • – Nippy Norman’s Emergency Oil Bottle for R1200GSA
  • – Wunderlich Tank Pads
  • – Wunderlich Protective Fork Stickers
  • – MachineArt Mudsling Max
  • – MachineArt Avant Fender Extender
  • – Cymarc R1200GS & R1200GSA Adventure Oil Cooler Guard
  • – Rugged Roads Rear Splash Guard
  • – Rugged Roads Centre Stand Guard
  • – Rugged Roads Headlight Guard
  • – Rugged Roads Exhaust Link Pipe Guard (Plain)
  • – Rugged Roads Frame Guards
  • – SW Motech Bags Connection Mounting Plate
  • – BMW Top Box Pads
  • – R&G Shocktube (Front)
  • – R&G Shocktube (Rear)
  • – Helicopter Tape (Front Forks)
  • – R&G Shaft Protector
  • – Yoke Protector

Isle of Man TT 2016 : Day 4

So this is it for this trip, the final day.  The boat is about 7pm so unfortunately that means no viewing of the practice session tonight.  That’s one of the bad points on coming over for Practice Week from Northern Ireland – the sailings aren’t perfect, but I suppose there is no way round it unless the Steam Packet put on an 11:00pm sailing – Hint Hint…

On getting packed up the hotel kindly offered to look after my gear and panniers so I could go and enjoy the mountain again – just another reason why I absolutely will go back to this hotel without any qualm.

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The Rosslyn Hotel – Isle of Man

After a meet up with the guys in Douglas, some breakkie and a quick walk around the town and a catching of the sights it was time to head out back out towards the track.

The Legendary Isle of Man Horse Drawn Tram
The Legendary Isle of Man Horse Drawn Tram

It was on this walk around the town that I called into the RoadSkin pop up store and purchased myself a nice Roodskin motorcycle hoodie (which I have been wearing regularly ever since) and a pair of jeans (which I have yet to pull on) – the pop up store saving me well over £100 on these two items alone, oh and I picked up a couple of neck warmers too.

(Long Term Review to follow on the RoadsSkin Gear)

Read moreIsle of Man TT 2016 : Day 4

Isle of Man TT 2016 : Day 3 – Isle of Man Motor Museum

As mentioned on my Isle of Man 2016 : Day 3 post I visited the Isle of Man Motor Museum.  Quite simply this is an outstanding collection of motor vehicles that is well worth a visit the next time you are on the island.

The Isle of Man Motor Museum
The Isle of Man Motor Museum

The Museum was founded and funded by father and son team Denis and Darren Cunningham to act as the public home for their collection of over 130 vehicles.  The Museum also hosts over 150 other vehicles on loan from other enthusiasts and collectors.

The Isle of Man was chosen as the location for the Museum due to the unique place the Island occupies in motoring and motorsports history. The Island is the motorcycle road racing capital of the world and has hosted the famous TT races on the public roads annually since 1907. The Southern 100 and the Festival of Motorcycling are also fantastic opportunities to see road racing here.

For 2016, the Museum is proud to host the Joey Dunlop Collection featuring many of his trophies, leathers and race machines. Joey is the most successful TT competitor of all time with 26 victories to his name earning him the title “King of The Mountain”.

Rallying and enduro are also a huge part of motorsport on the Isle of Man and the Museum features a Ford Zephyr which competed in the London-Sydney Marathon rally and World Enduro Championship winning KTMs from local hero David “Knighter” Knight OBE.

Read moreIsle of Man TT 2016 : Day 3 – Isle of Man Motor Museum

Isle of Man TT 2016 : Day 3

Another well rested and early start this morning and I meet up with the guys at a local pub for a bit of a breakfast fry up…

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It’s hard to recommend places on your first visit, simply because you have been to so few  but that won’t change the fact that if a place is good – it’s good, and this places was.  A nice breakfast down the hatch and it was time to make a move.

The guys I was with were keen to hit the Mountain Road again and get some fast miles under their belt, I however decided to go off the path less travelled and explore the Island a little more.

(There is a path much less travelled element to the ISle of MAn, with hundreds of miles of green lanes all over, and you will see lots of guys on scramblers and enduros coming off the countryside.  The path I travelled wasn’t their path although to be fair they looked like they were having an absolutely outstanding adventure!)

Read moreIsle of Man TT 2016 : Day 3

Isle of Man TT 2016 : Day 2

An early start after being well rested in my super comfortable hotel room!

A bit of breakfast down the hatch and the sun is already shining!  The Start / Finish Line seems like the perfect meeting place…

Isle of Man TT Races - Start Finisg Line - Practice Week - 30/06/2016
Isle of Man TT Races – Start Finish Line – Practice Week – 30/05/2016

To start of with a trip to one of the Island’s regular tourist attractions, The Laxey Wheel…

Laxey Wheel, Laxey, Isle of Man
Laxey Wheel, Laxey, Isle of Man

After the obligatory photo off we go to the mountain road.

This time however the road gets closed due to a collision.  It actually happens twice today, 1 rider is unfortunately critically injured, 3 others are hurt coming off their bikes, and unluckily for them were only wearing tracksuits at the time!

The Isle of Man Constabulary Twitter Account shares this information live time and is really one of the greatest sources of news on the Island.  Make sure you follow them for up to date info on all of the Island’s roads.

Isle of Man Roads Policing Twitter Account : https://twitter.com/iomrpu

Isle of Man Police Twitter Account : https://twitter.com/iompolice

Read moreIsle of Man TT 2016 : Day 2

Isle of Man TT 2016 : Day 1

Joey Dunlop Memorial at the Bungalow, Isle of Man

It is 29th May 2016 and the start of Practice Week for the 2016 Isle of Man TT Races.

It is also my first time over to the Isle of Man in many, many years, and actually my first time for any of the racing.

With it being my first time over I took some advice and went for Practice Week, actually four days of Practice Week.  The reasons behind this are…

  1.  It’s cheaper.  Much cheaper.  This year it cost £115 for the return sailing for me and the bike.
  2. It’s easier to get accomodation.  I picked up a ‘4 Star’ (according to Booking.com) Hotel for £60 a night.

That totals up to £295 for the four days.  That’s not too bad.

So I met up with a couple of lads and headed off to Dublin.  Reaching the ferry without drama and boarding the ship worry free.

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Here is where I meet my first (of few) difficulties.

Read moreIsle of Man TT 2016 : Day 1

Castles of Ireland 2016 : Tullynally Castle, County Westmeath, Republic of Ireland :

Introduction :

My Castles of Ireland 2016 Tour is part of a larger UK & Ireland run Challenge as can be found on Adventure Bike Rider.

I will add the add the castles to this blog along with a little bit of their history to wet your appetite as to just another thing that Ireland and Northern Ireland has to capture your imagination and set your sights on.  You can take in all of the castles on this island in on one trip of 676 miles, that according to Google will take you 14 hours 50 minutes.  Of course that means no stops, food, leg stretches, or photo ops.

Castles in Ireland / Northern Ireland - The Route
Castles in Ireland / Northern Ireland – The Route

Read moreCastles of Ireland 2016 : Tullynally Castle, County Westmeath, Republic of Ireland :