Putting the MT07 on track

With a vague hint of spring in the air, me and a bunch of friends decided to book our first trackday of 2016, at Mallory Park Race Circuit with No Limits Trackdays.

In the weeks leading up to the day, we were all on weather-watch and in true British fashion, it was scheduled to rain.  Darn it!!  However, not to admit defeat, we decided to go and make the most of it anyway and trundled up in a 3 van convoy the day before (which, typically, was an absolutely glorious day!).

After what might have been a bottle of red wine too many, we were on the road heading to the circuit at 7am the next morning.  It was cold, grey and very damp – bleugh!

First up was registration, followed closely by a bacon sarnie and a hot mug of tea.  Unfortunately Mallory has very limited garage space and they were all taken by the time we arrived, so we found a spot in the paddock and unloaded our shiz.  Next up was the compulsory safety briefing, followed by an extra 10 minute briefing for those of us in the novice group.  This is where the No Limits guys do their absolute best to put minds at rest and tell us to take it easy, especially in the rain!

The day was being run in the usual 3 groups fashion; Novice, Inters and Fast, with each group having 20 mins on track.  Inters were up first, so they headed off for noise testing while the rest of us got into our leathers and put tyre warmers on.  The fast group were on next so whilst they were out, those of us in the novice group got ourselves noise tested and ready to go.  My bike read 98db with baffle which was lower then I expected as it had read 101db at Brands a few weeks earlier!

Our first session started with 3 sighting laps taken at a moderate speed behind an instructor.  By this point, rain was coming down in a fine but consistent mist and the track was wet so after the sighting laps we all cautiously got up to speed.

I’d had my bike serviced a few weeks beforehand and put new tyres on, opting for the Michelin Pilot Road 4, so felt confident as they perform really well in the wet.  That said, I misjudged my downshift on the approach to Edwina’s on my first lap and felt my rear tyre spin out a little so made a mental note not to get too cocky.

Mallory is a relatively short circuit so you get to do quite a good few laps and as the end of the first session approached, I was feeling good.

By the third session, I was feeling so much more confident.  I was focusing on my line and positioning, and was really starting to get my speed up, especially around Gerards corner, despite the fact the rain had really started to hammer it down.

Back at the paddock, we decided that we’d have one more session, then pack up and leave at lunchtime.  A few of the guys were really slipping around and didn’t fancy taking any more chances, and we all knew that the weather was due to get worse later into the afternoon.  One of the guys, Tom, also had a fuse blow on the approach to the hairpin which made his bike cut out so he was, understandably, feeling a bit uneasy!

Back out on track again, and you could now see that people were getting more confident.  A few riders had switched over to wet tyres so were picking up the pace.  All was going well until the last few minutes of the session when a guy overtook me on the hairpin approach but misjudged it and lowsided right in front of me.  Thankfully, as its quite a tight turn, I had already downshifted into 2nd gear and was going at a reasonable pace, so was able to avoid hitting him as he slid on his back across the track into the grass.  The session was immediately red-flagged and, at that, I pulled in to the paddock and called it a day.  Thankfully the guy was ok and within 30 minutes was busy fixing his bike with cableties ready to go back out after lunch!

Its a shame it rained so much as I really enjoyed the track.  With only 74bhp, the MT07 isn’t the fastest machine on the straights, especially when up against big litre sportsbikes, but I was really pleased with how it performed through the corners and chicanes which is where I could get my overtakes in.  The PR4s were fantastic and really performed well in pretty tough conditions.  We had a few moments where they slipped a bit, but I’ll be the first to admit it was likely due to user error.  The main thing is that I stayed shiny side up!!

I can’t wait for the next one now…

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Review – Ladies Held Ayana 1pc Suit

Ladies, I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that finding decent bike gear is a bit of an uphill battle for us girlies.  Most of my local bike shops have no more than a token selection and nearly never carry a full stock of sizes.  Now, I can’t fault the shops, I know that there are far fewer ladies on two wheels than there are men, but it does make it rather difficult for those of us that are!

Having decided that I would like to invest in a leather suit, and after trying on pretty Ayanamuch everything available in my local stores, I put in an order for the Held Ayana 1 Piece Suit at FC Moto in Germany.

I was gearing myself up for the usual disappointment, but when it arrived a few days later, I could not have been happier!

The first thing I noticed was how soft and flexible the leather was, nothing like most of the other suits I had tried on previously.

Still a bit worried about whether it would fit, I put on a pair of leggings and a long sleeved t-shirt (which helps with getting leathers on and off), scraped my hair up and began the ordeal.

Like many ladies, my bottom half is a size bigger than my top half and its usually my ample derrière and hips that cause the size problems, but so far so good – this thing is gliding on without a glitch.Ayana White  Zipping up caused a bit of a sweat, but once I’d done up the internal zip, it got much easier and within a few minutes I was in!

The only way I’ve been able to describe how well this suit fits is by saying it’s like I’ve been vacuum packed into it.  Seriously, this suit hugs every inch, yet because the leather is so soft and pliable, its not uncomfortable in the slightest and really moves with you.

In terms of spec, the Ayana boasts:-

  • Breathable mesh inner lining
  • Aerodynamic racing hump
  • Stretch leather panels at knees, back & shoulders
  • Schoeller Keprotec stretch panels at under and inner arms, crotch & calves
  • Knee sliders
  • Front air vent zip function
  • EN 1621-1 CE certified height adjustable soft protectors at knees
  • EN 1621-1 CE approved Soft protectors at shoulders, elbows & knees
  • EN 1621-2 CE approved SaS-Tec back protector
  • Titanium protectors on shoulders, elbows & knees
  • Removable Temperfoam hip padding
  • Double stitched throughout
  • Double leather reinforcement on seat

I’ve been wearing this suit for 6 months now and really can’t fault it.  It hasn’t become saggy in the way many other suits do and still fits like a glove.  I can’t comment on how well it holds up in the event of a crash as I haven’t come off my bike (thankfully), but given the level of protection, I’m confident it would perform well.

With regard sizing, unlike some of the *ahem* Italian brands, I found the fit really true to size.  The Ayana is available from EU34-46 which is the equivalent of UK6-18, so a good range to fit most of you gals.  Their size chart was absolutely spot on for me and matched my usual dress size so if in doubt, take your bust, waist and hip measurements and check!

Bike trip to Europe: Day 2 – Paris to Arras

Will and I were up fairly early to catch breakfast before having to check out of the hostel.

Day 2 map

As we ate, we decided how best to attack the day, and agreed that we should head back out into Paris for an hour or two, before heading north towards our next overnight stop, Arras.

Thankfully, we had woken up to quite the glorious morning, and although it was cold, the sun was out and it was dry so the ride back into central Paris was really nice.  Being a Saturday, the roads were alsoscreenshot_2015-11-21-11-16-13-2.png much quieter than they had been the night before which was a welcome relief.

We headed straight back to the Eiffel Tower and managed to get some better photos.  We still got a few odd looks, 20151121_120335_hdr-1.jpgbut that only made it more fun!

Next up was a quick trip to the Louvre, before leaving a padlock on the Pont des Arts as a bit of a windup for some friends, and with that, our time in Paris was up.

The weather forecast was predicting heavy rain for the afternoon so we decided to take the most direct route north via the motorway.  We also decided to skip a couple of the sites along the route and head straight for Carrière Wellington in Arras.

As if by magic, just minutes outside of Paris, the heavens opened and subjected us to a torrential downpour.  My waterproof overs were doing a fairly good job of keeping me dry, but, once again, my feet were soaked, despite having put my feet in sanitary disposal bags before we left!!!  Thankfully, my newly installed Oxford Heated Grips were doing a pretty good job at keeping my hands toasty.

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The journey to Carrière Wellington took about 2 hours and we arrived at the museum just in time for a tour.  The staff there were really helpful and were more than happy for us to leave our wet gear and helmets in a small warm room.   I got the impression they thought we were a bit mad!  The tour was fascinating, even though they made us wear tin hats (there is a photo, but I promised Will I wouldn’t post it!).

By the time we left the museum, it was pitch black and still pouring with rain.  In a rather clever move, I had decided to leave my gloves on my grips which had helped them to dry out a bit.  Sadly, Will had decided to leave his in his cockpit, open side up, which meant they had filled with water, so he had wet hands while I had wet feet – you can’t win them all!

Most of the stops we had planned for Arras needed daylight so, as it was dark, we decided to head straight for our hotel in order to dry off and get some grub.  The 30 minute ride was one of the scariest I have ever had – the rain was coming down so hard that visibility was practically zero, and road markings were no longer visible due to the amount of water pooled on the floor.  How we made it to the hotel, I don’t really know, but we were both really grateful to get inside!

Thankfully our room had two huge radiators as well as one of those 1970s style bathroom hairdryers.  Said hairdryer spent the best part of our stay alternating between my left and right boot, whilst our gloves too up residency on the heaters.

After a lovely dinner, it was prep for the following day and an early night!

Bike trip to Europe: Day 1 – La Havre to Paris

Earlier this year, I thought about taking a little trip to Europe on my bike.  I had originally thought about going during August, but, as usual, time ran away with me and before I knew it, it was October!

Not one to be phased by blustery winds and driving rain, and after my friend, Will, told me he had really hoped for a foreign holiday this year, I ran my stupid idea past him – “how about a long weekend trip to France and Belgium mid-November?”.  For some reason, he thought it was a great idea too and, perhaps rather stupidly, agreed!

It went a little something like this:-

Day 1 (and a bit)
We had opted to get the overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Le Havre with Brittany Ferries.  We met at my place early evening, had a quick bite to eat, loaded up our bikes, before setting off at around 8pm.

We got to Portsmouth with plenty of time which was a good thing as given the recent attacks in France, it seemed that security had been tightened, and both Will and I were subject to bag and body searches.  To be 20151119_230125.jpghonest, I thought the body search was particularly useless as I was wearing 2 thermal tops, a fleece, my titanium armoured leather one piece suit as well as an over-hoodie.  I could have had an entire armoury under all that without her knowing!

After a short wait, it was time to board the ferry where a team of guys helped us to tie down our bikes.  Once secure, we picked up the key to our berth and got a good sleep in prep for 4 days across Northern France & Belgium.  But not before trying to do the splits across the top bunks of each bed!!  I’m not sure why I didn’t take photos of that…

We disembarked shortly after 8am and made our way onto the streets of La RouenHavre.  Our first destination was Rouen, following a fantastic route that Will had put together.  We had been told that the roads of Northern France could be quite boring, but some of these were brilliant, with hills, twists, turns, and a handful of tight hairpins for good measure.  Sadly, torrential rain forced us to be rather sensible, but I bet they would have been incredible on a good warm, dry day!

As we got closer to Rouen, we rode through some lovely little villages, lined with really old mismatched houses covered in wood beams and lead-piped 20151120_113117.jpgwindows.  We were definitely in France!!  We pulled into the main square by mid-morning and had a little wander around Cathedral Notre Dame de Rouen, which is set off of a cobble-stoned square and surrounded by rows of quaint shops and cafes.  Sadly, the Cathedral was closed so we couldn’t look around inside, but it was really impressive and quite imposing from the outside.

It was at this point I realised that travelling in a leather one-piece suit was not the best idea as it can be quite uncomfortable to walk around in, especially with so many layers underneath.  Actually, that’s an understatement.  I’m quite certain that Will was one more whinge away from turning around and heading home (sorry Will)!  I also discovered that covering bike boots with water-repellent spray does not make them waterproof.  Ho hum!

After a little wander [read: waddle] through some of the nearby streets and alleyways, it Pariswas back to the bikes and on to Paris…

The route wasn’t quite as scenic as the first leg, but having our Sena devices up and running made the ride really enjoyable as we could just chat the time away.  Before we knew it, we had reached the outskirts of Paris and were swiftly heading towards the dreaded Place de Charles de Gaulle.  However, by what we have since reflected on as a stroke of coincidental luck, we took a wrong turn and ended up on Boulevard Périphérique, which I can only liken to the Parisian equivalent of the M25.

We had originally planned to do a bit of site seeing, but subsequently decided that leaving bags on the backs of our bikes next to some of Paris’ most famous landmarks exactly one week after a terrorist attack was not the best idea, so headed to the Generator Hostel to dump our bags and get changed into more tourist friendly attire.  Once sufficiently defrosted, we headed back out to do a round of the top tourist sites at night.

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I’m a real sucker for pretty buildings all lit-up at night, and Paris did not disappoint on that front.  Our first stop was Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris, our second Notre Dame of the day!

From Notre Dame we took a walk towards the Latin Quarter on the hunt for somewhere to eat but, instead, stumbled upon Shakespeare and Company, a bookstore that has occupied it’s spot at 37 rue de la Bûcherie on the Left Bank since 1951.  I had read about this shop just days earlier and had put it on the list of possible places to visit, so I was really pleased to end up there completely accidentally.  The bookshop is an absolute dream and although I’m not a big reader myself, I love the idea of books as well as the romanticism of it all.  The shop has sleeping facilities and claims to have let over 40,000 sleep there in return for a little work over the years.  When you buy a book, they fill it with little keepsakes; a stamp on the inside cover, a unique bookmark, and even odd photos that people have left there over the years.

Back out on to the Paris streets, we settled on a little restaurant a 15 min walk away which had a pianist and double bass player turning out jazz standards.  If you had have been oblivious to the news over the last week, it would have been hard to know that this city had been under attack just a few days earlier, there was a really nice buzz to the area.

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Next on the list was the Eiffel Tower which had been lit uppalais bourbon with the colours of the French Flag.  The Palais Bourbon had also been lit up.

We spent a bit of time trying to get some nice photographs by the Eiffel Tower, much to the amusement of other tourists.  Whilst they were all trying to get the perfect selfie, Will and I were trying to the perfect bike pic – #bikelife!

From the Eiffel Tower, we made our way to the Sacré-Cœur.  It was not the easiest of rides with lots of one way streets and uphill img_20151120_221207.jpgcobbled roads, but it was more than worthwhile as we were treated to an absolutely spectacular view of the city.  The roads surrounding the Basilica were incredibly beautiful & peaceful, and made for a picturesque backdrop to our two beasts.

And with that, we called it a night and headed back to our hostel, but not before Will nearly got shot by the French Army for parking where he shouldn’t and wandering around with his helmet on, whooops!

MT07 – Installing ASV Shortie Brake & Clutch Levers

One of the perils of Central London commuting is finding somewhere to park.  There are 5 fairly large motorcycle parking bays within 100m of my office, but they are always jam packed often resulting in people shifting bikes around in order to squeeze theirs in.

Around a month after getting my bike, I left work one evening to find that my clutch lever wpid-screenshot_2015-09-22-11-37-50-1-1.pnghad been massively bent out of shape, probably due to someone squeezing their bike in and catching it.  Getting home that evening was a nightmare as my small hands could barely reach it so a friend helped me bend it back into a more reachable position whilst I looked at getting replacements.

A couple of people recommended the ASV Levers which claimed to be ‘unbreakable’.  At just over £80 each, the wpid-screenshot_2015-09-22-11-59-51-1.pngprice made my eyes water, but I was assured they were the absolute nuts so I placed an order for a pair of the shorties (Clutch & Brake).  A few days later, the clutch lever arrived and I was not disappointed!

It felt sturdy and well constructed, had an enormous range of adjustability, and the backward hinge mechanism gave me comfort that it was unlikely to be bent out of shape again!  The brake lever, I was assured, would follow in a few weeks due to stock availability.

Installation of the clutch lever was really easy and took no more than 10 minutes, if that.

wpid-img_20150922_125821.jpgUnfortunately, the Brake Lever took quite a while to arrive as there was a UK stock issue affecting pretty much all stockists.  It ended up arriving almost 3 months later, but again, really pleased with it.  Installation was even simpler/quicker and I’m over the moon that my levers now match!

MT07 – Installing a Tail Tidy

After toying with the idea for a little while, I finally bought a tail tidy for the MT-07 and decided to have a go at installing it myself.

I was torn between the R&G tail tidy and the Genuine Yamaha Part but as the store only Yamaha Tail Tidyhad the Yamaha in stock, that was my mind made up.  It was about £15 more expensive than the R&G but I figured it would be nice to have the yammy logo on the back anyway!

Once I got home, I excitedly ripped the box cover off, only to find that the installation instructions were on the reverse of it…and I had just torn it in two!  So the first task was to celotape it back together.

The next task was to complete a PHD in understanding assembly diagrams, and that’s coming from someone who already has an wpid-wp-1435501445045.jpegMSC in Ikea Flat Pack Assembly!  Sweet jaysus, it couldn’t have looked more complicated if it tried!!  So, after following 3 instructions just to get the seat off, I decided to search for Youtube videos and found this incredibly handy guide which I followed instead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v49ygePVCm8.

Basically, take off the pillion seat, take off the main seat, remove 8 screws/nuts/allen bolts as well as a handful of popper thingies holding the fairing together.  Carefully prise the rear side fairings off, unbolt the existing tail, release the wires, assemble the new tail, solder the wires together and follow the above steps in reverse to put it back together.

Despite it taking me quite a while to complete, it was actually quite an easy job and it was nice to really see the insides of the bike too.  I even found the elusive Auxiliary DC Connector that no one seems to know how to use!

And the end result:-

wpid-img_20150628_143453.jpgThe licence plate itself is bigger than it needs to be with all that Metropolis info at the bottom, so at some stage, I’ll replace it.  I will also replace the blinkers for smaller LEDs and I’ll also get rid of the large reflector, perhaps replacing it with a smaller one stuck on the bottom of the plate.

Review – Rev It! Allure Evo Jacket & Marryl Evo Trousers

After riding around in bulky Hein Gericke textile gear over the winter months, I recently decided it was time to get myself a set of leathers for the summer.

I briefly had a look at leathers when I bought my last lot of kit, but wasn’t massively impressed at the selection at my local bike store. They had a few nice jackets, but they all seemed to feature pink embroidery, or rhinestones, or both! Egh, I couldn’t think of anything worse! Who designs this stuff??

What I really wanted was a sleek looking set in a soft flexible leather that would be both flattering yet protective. After spending a bit of time looking around online, I finally stumbled upon the Rev It! Allure Evo Jacket and the Rev It! Marryl Evo Trousers.

I ordered the trousers from SportsBikeShop and the jacket from GetGeared and both arrived the very next day, just in time for the bank holiday weekend. A superb service from both retailers!

The trousers were a bit of a squeeze, but I had read that they should initially feel tight as they generally give and mould to your shape. On the otherhand, the jacket was too big. Not wanting to mess around with online returns, I decided to pop to GetGeared in Leatherhead who had a smaller size in stock and gladly exchanged it for me.

I rode the 25 miles to Leatherhead in the trousers and by the time I arrived they no longer felt tight, but actually really comfortable. The trousers, like the jacket, are a mix of leather and fabric and both had loosened up nicely, especially around my generous helping of derrière. I rode back home wearing the smaller jacket zipped up to the trousers. It initially felt like what I can only imagine wearing 5 layers of full-body Spanx must feel like, but by the time I got home I didn’t really want to take them off. A small (ok, big) part of me felt like a badass cross between Trinity from The Matrix, Catwoman, and a ninja Power Ranger! I probably looked like neither!

It’s now been 5 days since getting the new kit and I absolutely love it. The jacket, in particular, is fantastic. It’s so much easier to wear off-bike than my textile jacket and doesn’t scream “BIKER” when teamed with a pair of casual jeans. The shoulder and elbow protective inserts feel sturdy but not bulky at all and when I’m hunched over my tank (ok, it’s an MT07 so I’m not that hunched over it) it has enough give to make manoeuvring easy, yet feels strong enough that it would save my bacon should I ever find myself shiny side down.

So far, 10/10!

Alpinestars Stadium Shoes – Summer Boot Review – Style and Substance

It is no mean feat choosing motorcycle clothing for the warmer months that keep us cool, safe and, well, looking cool.

Two weeks ago I purchased a pair of Alpinestar Stadium Shoes. I’ve always had a soft spot for high top style boots in the non-biker form so when I saw these online I knew it was only a matter of time before I stopped pretending I hadn’t been suckered in on looks alone.

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I have long admired some of the other Alpinestars casual footwear. I wanted a pair of boots for summer that keep my feet nice and ambient while not looking out of place in the ambience of a pub garden or trendy cafe. The safety credentials on paper looked impressive also considering how non-biker they look.

In the flesh they do not disappoint. The relaxed attitude they portray is in no way compromised by the pragmatics of being a motorcycle boot. Get Geared stock half sizes, in a 9 1/2 my feet couldn’t be more comfortable if they were dangling into a pool of warm custard. The boots feel supportive and supple, the sole thankfully doesn’t flex like a pair of trainers, not ideal for resting on pegs, but is very comfortable to walk in. The heel seems to have moulded to the shape of my Achilles,  I do not know if this is a technological feature but it means my heel remains where it should while riding, not slipping around in the boot.

The boots are not waterproof. I looked at other casual water proof boots but they won’t have the level of ventilation I want. I’d rather avoid a certainty, hot sweaty feet, than prevent something less likely, rain on a summers blast.

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They look the absolute nuts, seriously. I also purchased a pair of Rev’it Memphis Jeans, the combo is a match made in heaven. Off the bike the jeans cover most of the lairy laces, plain laces are also supplied but I love the yellow, but enough colour remains on show to catch admiring glances. My brother-in-law and I went on a blast down to Boxhill just before dusk, as the sunlight failed the boots shone brightly. He reported they were clearly visible from in front and from behind thanks to the reflective and fluorescent dashes.

They aren’t cheap, at £130 cheaper alternatives are on the market, but they are good value, they feel quality. I was concerned they might be a ‘style over substance’ luxury item but that is not the case, they feel every bit as good as they look.

Get up to 10% off your order at FC-Moto.de until 28th February 2016 using discount code: FCMOTOWG10. T&Cs apply.

1st Big Bike and Love – Suzuki GSX650F

If you’re reading this prior to gaining your full license, and anything like me, I suspect you have spent more time pouring over reviews for middle weight bikes than you have MOD 1 & 2 training tips. And so you should, the test is a means to an end. A formality. Your 1st proper motorbike is the prize for successfully passing a nerve racking, technically difficulty, physically and financially demanding rite of passage. My prize was a Suzuki GSX650F in the Suzuki Blue colours and I still adore it 9 months after selling it.

The GSX650F has been around since 2007. As is the trend with most manufacturers, Suzuki took an existing bike as its base, in this case the 650 Bandit, fettled it to produce new model. However, despite humble beginnings, the GSX650F manages to be greater than the sum of its parts.

By improving the spec of the shocks, adding a handsome fairing and lowering the bars the bike transforms from a Bandit into a completely credible sports-tourer. The 16 valve in-line 4 cylinder engine adjusted to rev higher extracting power in a more exhilarating manor higher up the rev range. The excellent build quality preserved the bike during my ownership during which it saw plenty of action.

I owned a GSX-F for just over a year, it fulfilled every desire a new rider can reasonable wish for. Living in Surrey but with work and buddies in London the bike saw enough traffic trudging tedium, it never grumbled once. The suspension is plush enough to deal with poor surfaces, it has the low down grunt to seize road space and also, possibly assisted by the colour and Leo Vince replacement exhaust, commands a road presence that new riders benefit from to boost confidence, especially in cities. Changing the enormous stock exhaust is a popular and recommended modification.

The GSX-F whisked me in cosseted comfort on long motorway journeys thanks to its excellent fairing, comfortable ergonomics, well positioned mirrors and smooth engine.

However, where my bike stole my heart for good, it performed admirably in a tough, thanks to my competitive-to-a-fault nature, seven session track day round the Silverstone International circuit. Of course I was in the beginner class, it was my first bike based track day. Within the class was a huge disparity of machines, experience and confidence. Our group weren’t racers and the GSX-F is not a sports bike but this machine is responsible for giving me possibly the most exciting, intoxicating and memorable experiences of my life; more so than many previous car based track days, one of which cost nearly as much as a GSX-F!

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The GSX-F is superb value. PCP finance presents the opportunity to novice riders to buy a spanking new bike for low monthly costs. Owning a new bike with a full manufacturer’s warranty eliminates some of the worry second hand buyers take into consideration. Second Hand bikes like the GSX-F, which incidentally can be purchased new with ABS now, to my mind permit a greater flexibility than buying new. I knew that no matter how impressively my 1st proper bike performed I would inevitably want to upgrade after a years’ experience and, fingers crossed, that 1 years’ no claims bonus. I bought my GSX-F for £3,000 with 10,000 miles on it. I PX’d it 1 year later with 12,000 miles for £2,500. During this time it required no repairs, just a standard service, it sipped fuel and was very cheap to insure. And I wasn’t saddled with finance.

I walked away from my GSX-F with a healthy PX contribution, zero regrets and the fondest of memories; mainly being hunched over the tank, the GSX-R style clocks fuelling my imagination that is was Guy Martin as we screamed over the Silverstone start / finish line. The GSX-F made me forget any concerns I had as a new rider and gave me an experience far in excess of my expectations of its on-paper attributes and of the many reviews I read, again and again, when I should have been reading MOD 1 & 2 tips.

Biking weather

Largely due to my deep-routed hatred of public transport, I’m pretty much an all-weather biker kind of girl, but that’s not to say I enjoy riding in all weather!!

Two weeks ago I found out my new Hein Gericke trousers aren’t quite as waterproof as I was lead to believe, which I will write about in a review post shortly, but its things like getting soaked and having to spend an hour defrosting that make riding in the cold and wet less fun than I’d like.

However, HOWEVER, the weather that London is facing this week is sublime and has made my commute to/from London each day absolutely glorious.  I’ve only been on my MT07 for a few weeks but the sun and light nights are making it a whole new experience again.  Over the Easter Bank Holiday last weekend, I found myself just wanting to go for little rides – bliss!

I’m also looking forward to switching back over to my summer gloves which I’m hoping might be a bit easier on my poor hands.  My Richa Sub Zero gloves are great for keeping my mitts super warm, but goodness me are they hard work on my little girly fingers – suspect they need another winter to wear in a bit as they’re still so new feeling!!