Posts in Category: Motorcycles

New way to travel to Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours B&B

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Bikeshuttle have announced a new route to Toulouse, an hour and half from Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours B&B.

“Ahead of its third season of transporting motorbikes between the UK and Geneva, Bikeshuttle announced that it is additionally offering Toulouse as a destination this year. It’s the perfect city location for motorcyclists wanting to ride to the Pyrenees, southern France or Spain”.

Map of Routes offered by Bikeshuttle

Destinations offered for your motorbike

You can drop your motorbike off at their Northampton depot, catch a low cost flight to Toulouse and the next day have your bike delivered.  Ready for your stay at Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours B&B.  What could be easier?

The new run starts 7 September, 2017 and will continue for five consecutive weeks with the last UK departure on 5 October.

“We’ve priced it very competitively and are just doing five runs this year to assess the level of interest with a view to offering it the whole season from 2018. It would be perfect for riders wanting to head to the MotoGP in Motorland Aragon on 24 September, or you’re just 120 miles from the Pyrenees,” says Guy Buswell co-founder of Bikeshuttle.”

To find out more information please visit their website or Facebook page:

 

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https://www.facebook.com/bikeshuttleuk/

 

Rebuilding the VFR (again)

On my way to Toulouse at 7am last November, I unexpectedly found myself sliding down the road, luckily the bike went first followed closely by me, no other vehicles were involved.  Once I was back on my feet a quick phone call to ‘mission control’, who was still tucked up in bed, resulted in car and trailer arriving toute suite.

Honda VFR

Unexpected parking in the ditch

Honda VFR off roading

Not built for off roading …..

Unable to push the bike out of the ditch, so Belinda towed it out while I kept it upright.

Naked Honda VFR

Naked Honda VFR, time for some ebay action!

Back in the workshop nothing that couldn’t be repaired with a tin of filler, a few cans of paint, mud guard and side panel.

New and repaired plastics

Taking advantage of some good weather to dry the paint.

Warming by the woodburner

Warming by the woodburner, for that baked finish :)

Honda VFR Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours

Colour matched panels!

Honda VFR Hourquette d'Ancizan 1564m

Looking all shiny and new, not bad for 100k miles.

 

Do you have trouble with Hairpins?

Written by Dave and Janet who stayed with Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours earlier this year.

Dave and Janet on Col d'Aspin with their white BMW 1600GT

Dave and Janet on Col d’Aspin with their white BMW 1600GT

The main reason for our visit was to see if Phil could iron out the problems I sometimes have getting the bike round very tight uphill hairpin bends in the cols resulting in drifting over to the wrong side of the road. Having just bought a BMW 1600 GT I was very anxious to try and sort out this problem before our trip to Corsica.

Riding the beutiful Col d'Azet with snow capped mountains, does it get any better!

Riding the beutiful Col d’Azet with snow capped mountains, does it get any better!

Well, what a success! Not only was Phil able to quickly assess the problem and explain what I needed to do but, just as importantly, we were able to spend all day practicing on the trickiest cols in gorgeous scenery until I got it right. Phil’s enthusiasm to sort out my problem was infectious and gave me a lot of confidence.

Next stop Col de Menté for a spot of lunch.  Best lunch stop - mushroom omelette, salad and chips and watch the vultures circling the high mountains

Next stop Col de Mente for a spot of lunch – best lunch stop mushroom omelette, salad and chips watching vultures circling the high mountains

Col de Menté hairpins, if you need practice this a great route for it.

Col de Menté hairpins, if you need practice this a great route for it.

I feel so much less anxious about our trip to Corsica now and I can start to enjoy the bike even more than I do already. I don’t feel at all intimidated about its size and weight any more.

Dave and Janet making the descent from Col de Menté.

Dave and Janet making the descent from Col de Menté.

So thank you both again for not only a lovely day’s riding but for leaving me with skills that can be put to good use in the future.

Davy’s biking story

Started out biking in 1975 at the age of 16 and bought a new red Yamaha FS1E Fizzy costing a whole £200. I used this to get to work and to hang about with my mates on their mopeds. Didn’t get any rider training so I learned as I went along, needless to say I fell off on the first day and bent my pedals. Fell off it a few times trying to go faster and used to scrape the pedals going round the bends.

Yamaha FS1E fizzy

Yamaha FS1E Fizzy

After a year I traded Fizzy in for my much loved brand new blue Suzuki GT250 1976 model costing £550. I got £150 for the fizzy which isn’t bad. I wrote the GT off the first winter. I had it only 6 months as I used it rain hail or snow. Hit ice on a bend at about 60 and low sided it causing it to be a financial write off but I bought it off the insurance company for £40 and replaced most of the damaged parts with second hand stuff. The insurance cleared my finance on it so really I got the bike cheap in the end.

Suzuki GT250 1976

Suzuki GT250 1976

Tuned the GT as per Motorcycle Mechanics mag , raising the exhaust ports and lowering the inlets plus a carb rejet. The bike was a lot quicker now. Used to run it on a Castrol R mix oh what a lovely smell. Done a few track days on it at Knockhill when I used to Marshall up there. We would be allowed on at night before the race day. One time I went on track it was a bit wet and I went round going faster every lap gaining confidence in the wet, but on the last lap I entered the first right called Duffus corner at 70 and scraped the foot peg too much and the rear lost grip and off I went. No injuries apart from cuts and bruises but the bike lost its clocks and front brake reservoir and throttle broke. I got it home after the racing next day with a set of mole grips on the throttle cable and just a back brake. Brilliant times no pain no gain.

I kept the GT for 3 years and it had done 40K miles really loved the bike still know the reg NSD411P wish I still had it. I traded it in for a new wine coloured Yamaha RD400 1979 model. Nice bike very torquey and quick. Only had it a year as I passed my car test and bought a car and got married. That was the end of biking for a while. The big Stork delivered 3 Kids to my door and Davy grew up.

I bought an old RD250 and done that up but sold it on after it was finished.

I eventually came back to biking in 2001 after a 20 year fast and bought a new 2001 Yamaha Thundercat in blue.

Yamaha Thundercat

Yamaha Thundercat

Well was I shocked how quick these 600s are. Handling, brakes and how well the tyres gripped in the dry and more so the wet was quite a pleasant surprise compared to my 2 stroke days.

After 9 months and 3000miles with the Cat I went into the Yamaha dealer to get a new back tyre, well I got a new back tyre but it was attached to a new 2002 Black Fazer 1000. That was the end of the Cat.

Yamaha  Fazer 1000

Yamaha Fazer 1000

I had my 02 Fazer for 4 years and done 25k miles but the job front was poor so I sold it to my mate. I was bikeless for about a year while I found another job and got the pennies back in the bank. I picked up an old Yamaha 600 diversion for £250 and gave it some TLC and traded it in for another Fazer 1000 2005 model in silver with the black engine.

Had the this Fazer about a year and then I caught my eye on a black 2009 Hayabusa so traded the Fazer in for it. The Busa was a great bike very fast, handled well and ate back tyres like they were going out of fashion.

Suzuki Hayabusa

Suzuki Hayabusa

I kept the Busa for 3 years and 18k miles and decided to get a smoking jacket and slippers and calm down so I bought a new grey/black 2014 BMW R1200GS. It was a totally different riding style to the Busa very comfortable and relaxing.

BMW R1200 GS

BMW R1200 GS

I decided to go on a tour of Europe with it and this is how I met Phil and Belinda. I stayed with them in September 2014 and did a few ride outs with Phil and his outlaw mates, only joking a nice bunch of guys they are. Phil took me on so many brilliant routes, every day was fantastic and I can’t thank him enough for that. Sadly on one of our days out the GS fell off its side stand and broke the clutch lever and it suffered a few scrapes here and there but it was still rideable. Thankfully it didn’t fall into Phil’s Tiger or Wills GS.

So I am off to Phil and Belinda’s again September 2016, not on the GS as I got rid of the smoking jacket and slippers and I chucked it in for a new red 2015 BMW S1000R Sport in April as I found I grew to dislike the GS due to the agricultural way it ran plus I had some issues with it like smoking heavily on cold starts and surging below 50 which BM could not sort out so it was time to part company.

BMW S1000R Sport

BMW S1000R Sport

The S1000R is a very nice bike not as comfortable as the GS but not uncomfortable. Its mighty quick, agile and  handles very well and brakes are dynamite. Looking forward to trying it out in the Cols next year.

Is Col du Tourmalet open yet?

Today we rode from Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours in Vielle-Adour to the Col du Tourmalet via La Mongie.  As you can see from the photos there is still lots of snow in the high mountains, the road was clear to the top but its still not possible to go down the other side into Bareges, we will keep you posted on this.

Snow on Col du Tourmalet

Snow on Col du Tourmalet

Snow on Col du Tourmalet

Snow on Col du Tourmalet

Mr PMT concentrating on the Honda VFR 750

Mr PMT concentrating on the Honda VFR 750

Plenty of riders out today, this group were from Lyon in France

Plenty of riders out today, this group were from Lyon in France

Looking down in Bareges from the Col du Tourmalet

Looking down in Bareges from the Col du Tourmalet

There are three people skiing in this photo!

There are three people skiing in this photo!

More bikers on their way up the Col du Tourmalet

More bikers on their way up the Col du Tourmalet

Bikers taking advantage of the beautiful weather on the Col du Tourmalet

Bikers taking advantage of the beautiful weather on the Col du Tourmalet

Montgaillard Enduro 2015

Sunday 5th April saw the 22nd Ronde des Puyolles which is a enduro type course of nearly 100km set in the foothills of the Pyrenees and organised by Montgaillard Club du Moto 65.  In typically French fashion there is a full meal with wine at midday and a second shorter course for those with enough energy in the afternoon.  This was Mr PMT’s third attempt at taking part in an enduro event and he was helped and encouraged by his good friend Keith who was riding a GasGas 300.

Mr PMT leaving HQ to take part in the 22nd Ronde Des Puyolles - Enduro at Montgalliard

Mr PMT leaving HQ to take part in the 22nd Ronde Des Puyolles – Enduro at Montgalliard

Over 150 clean bikes lined up ready for the action to start at 9am

Over 150 clean bikes lined up ready for the action to start at 9am

Jerry cans filled with fuel that will be taken to the half way point in the mountains.

Jerry cans filled with fuel that will be taken to the half way point in the mountains.

On the starting blocks (Keith far left no. 25), 5 bikes set off at timed intervals.

On the starting blocks (Keith far left no. 25), 5 bikes set off at timed intervals.

Most riders carry a camel pack on their backs consuming around 2 litre of water in a morning session in cool conditions.

Most riders carry a camel pack on their backs consuming around 2 litre of water in a morning session in cool conditions.

And they are off ......

And they are off …… (Mr PMT no. 13)

Refuelling for bikes and riders, on offer for all riders hotdogs, slices of pork washed down with red or rosé wine (water was available on request ).

Refuelling for bikes and riders, on offer for all riders hotdogs, slices of pork washed down with red or rosé wine (water was available on request ).

Not so clean now!  After 96km off road in all terrains.

Not so clean now! After 96km off road in all terrains.

Back wheel caked in mud!

Back wheel caked in mud!

Mr PMT was number 13, lucky for him this year as he completed his first local enduro - yippee!!!!!

Mr PMT was number 13, lucky for him this year as he completed his first local enduro – yippee!!!!!

Mr PMT was soooooo pleased to have succeeded this time ………….  Keith was keen to do the afternoon session but his partner Mr PMT was absolutely knackered.  Lunch took care of a couple of hours and the pair were then invited back to the village hall by the club for another meal later that evening which was a great honour and good fun.

Journey to PMT brings new life to the TT600R

Percy and Tony arrived at Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours for a short break driving down from Caen which took them about 9 hours in the van which was mainly loaded with Tracy’s weekend essentials (Percy’s better half) and two bikes, one belonging to another friend Dennis and the soon to be infamous Yamaha TT600R just recently purchased off Ebay by Tony with the immortal words ‘shouldn’t need much to get it going’.

TT600R can just be seen to the right of Dennis's 1000DS Ducati Multistrada

TT600R can just be seen to the right of Dennis’s 1000DS Ducati Multistrada

The symptoms of the poorly bike were these, very hard to start (kick start only) and often kicked back, would only run on tick over and cut out as soon as the revs picked up.  Luckily we had a donor bike available and soon started to eliminate the obvious.  One and a half days later, much swearing and scratching of heads the ‘three ace mechanics’ (Percy, Tony and Mr PMT) thought they had found the problem.

Two flywheels, spot the difference?

Two flywheels, spot the difference?

On comparing the flywheels, both should have been identical but the one from Tonys bike, we found out later, was taken off a TT600RE (electric start) which I’m sure all you anoraks will know uses a different CDI unit.  The raised parts on the outer circumference of the flywheel that trigger the sensor are in the wrong place for the kick start models.

TT600R undergoing surgery.

TT600R undergoing surgery.

A replacement part was found the next evening, thanks to Ebay but unfortunately the only one we could find had to come from Australia where these bikes are quite popular.  We were fairly convinced this would make the bike go as it should and in the video that follows you can see the result.

‘I became a biker at 53’!!

Being a country kid from a small Kentish village my first means of independence was my cycle and I loved it, it meant fun and freedom and a gang of us would always be out and about.  So I’m surprised in retrospect I didn’t take to motorcycling at a young age – don’t think my Dad would have approved though.  At 17 I had my first beaten up old 1965 mini with a dubious subframe partially attached, well it was only £60 and my 4 wheeled days had begun.  It was only when my son in his early teens had a mate with 5 acres of ground and picking him up one afternoon was given a bumpy off road experience that I thought of biking again, it was fun!!

Christal with 'Mr Pickle' Honda cbf 125cc

Christal with ‘Mr Pickle’ Honda cbf 125cc

So when my husband (a biker in his teens but moving onto 4 wheels in his early 20’s ) decided in his mid 40’s with a job move to congested Croydon, that the only way to still see each other would be if he purchased a motorbike for his commute.

Wasn’t long before I was pillion on days out at the weekend and apart from the very first mile where he nearly lost me off the back at Staplehurst railway bridge, I was hooked!  We holidayed at home and abroad but the bug to ride myself only really came when my 22 year old daughter said she would like to try, so we had a 2 hour experience session on 125cc bikes and booked our CBT’s .

Day out with 'Mr Pickle' Honda CBF 125cc

Day out with ‘Mr Pickle’ Honda CBF 125cc

I then purchased a sharing Honda CBF 125cc – aka Mr Pickle – and rode approx 1500 miles on my short work commute to Tunbridge Wells and fun days with friends at weekends .

Phoenix Motorcycles, under the wonderful tutorage of Mark Jaffe, then offered a try a big bike session and all my fears of weight /power /size subsided, it was true what friends has said I did feel safer on the bigger bike.  Mod 1 and mod 2 were booked for the cold week of 20th December 2014 and on passing I purchased my Yamaha MT-07 after a wonderful day at the NEC Birmingham Bike show which was great, you could sit on everything all in one place and find the best fit.

Christal with her Mod 2 certificate, one very happy lady!

Christal with her Mod 2 certificate, one very happy lady!

So at 53 I became a biker!!

Finally picked “ARNIE“ up over the Christmas holidays and have been riding approx 2 times per week up till now and my first trip abroad is planned in April to Brugge, I would love to think I could join the Morocco fun the lads have enjoyed over the last few winters, we shall see !!!

Christal and Yamaha MT-07 'ARNIE' !

Christal and Yamaha MT-07 ‘ARNIE’ !

What a great achievement Christal we hope to see you in the Pyrenees on ‘Arnie’ sometime in the future!

Why an FJR you ask?

Paul at the Ace Cafe

Paul at the Ace Cafe

I started riding when I turned 16 (1978), a brand new DT50 followed 6 months later by a brand new Honda CB250N Superdream, it didn’t take me long to add fairing, top box and panniers and I was heading off exploring the UK with my girlfriend, 2 years and 34,000 miles later it gave up the ghost and I realised I needed something that would carry me and a passenger to pastures new in comfort. So in 1982 the Superdream went to auction and with the proceeds together with my life savings, I purchased a gleaming CB750FB.

7 days later, yes 7, I was heading off to the Bol D’or at the Paul Ricard Circuit, not much spending money and no breakdown or travel insurance. What was I thinking.  Little did I realise that the experience of that ‘holiday’ was to prove the catalyst to future adventures.

Work, House, Family and other finance commitments saw me back on an old CB250N, which brought the memories flooding back.

Paul with his first FJR, Cirque du Litor, Pyrenees Motorcycle Tour

Paul with his first FJR, Cirque du Litor, Pyrenees Motorcycle Tour

In 1994, my newly arrived next door neighbour had a rusty Yamaha XJ600 for sale, I wasn’t on it long as I was knocked off by a young lady who ‘didn’t see me’.  The bike wasn’t a right-off and it went off for repair, I got the call to say it was ready but they also had a customer in the shop who wanted to buy it …. SOLD, I screamed over the phone.

The next day I went bike shopping and fell in love with a 1996 Yamaha Thundercat, the first ride out was so exciting that it took me a couple of days to stop shaking, this bike was awesome!

Another ‘incident’ meant I was looking for another bike, it was quickly replaced with a newer Thundercat, the years rolled by and the bikes were replaced, a Yamaha R6 was followed by an ’03 R1 and then an ’05 R1.

The R1 was a superb motorcycle, touring was hard work but I was very happy to continue with it, however, in 2007 all this changed,  I was visiting my local motorcycle dealers and stood in the centre of the showroom was a new model FJR1300.

Paul at Col d'Aubisque with MR PMT and Gary

Paul at Col d’Aubisque with MR PMT and Gary

Aged 45 and not getting any younger, it didn’t take me long to come to my senses and agree a deal, so 7 days later I was the proud owner of my first FJR.  In the 7 years I have had her, she has never once let me down, even when riding hard over the Pyrenees or even on the odd track day.

She’s a bit overweight, the bike I mean, but on the open road with full luggage and a passenger on the back it all makes perfect sense. I have learnt to handle and respect the weight especially at low speed, I hardly think about it now.

A visit to the Birmingham Bike Show in 2013 and then again in 2014, convinced me that my next bike was going to be the new model FJR, so, by juggling my finances, I managed to scrape enough together to p/x my 2007 FJR for a 2013 Model.

Paul picking up his new FJR1300 from Flitwick Motorcycles Bedfordshire. loving the big grin :)

It is sat in the garage right now, unfortunately the weather here at the moment is awful and I just haven’t got the heart to take her out in this until the gritters have stopped putting salt on the roads.

A trip to Germany in April is already booked with some good friends and so is a 2 week trip to the South of France to take in the Bol D’Or at the Paul Ricard Circuit in September, so you see folks at the age of 52 I will have come full circle, even though it has taken me 33 years.

Hopefully there are many more to come.

Safe biking,

Cheers, Paul

Paul enjoying a beer at Pont d'Espagne

Paul enjoying a beer at Pont d’Espagne

Triple the fun for Sharon

Two new additions to the family for Sharon and Pat.  Sharon previously had a Gixer 1100 and now proudly rides a 1050 Speed Triple.  Pat has seen the light after a go on Phil’s Tiger and now has one of his own, but the Tiger 1050.

Camping

Camping weekend ahead – perhaps the Tiger should be renamed the ‘mule’?

Sharon and Pat stayed with us for a week in 2012, unfortunately Sharon had an off followed by a free ride in a helicopter, being a very determined young lady this didn’t stop her for long.  A good friend Ken rode the bike back to the UK after Phil had put it back together, then in 2013 Sharon and Pat returned as they unfinished business.

Sharon on her new triple riding the hills of Wales.

Sharon on her new triple riding the hills of Wales.

When Pat arrived in 2012 on his Pan European that he purchased at a bargain price, he had only held his licence for 2 years, now addicted to the joys of motorcycling (with encouragement from Sharon) he is now the proud owner of a Triumph Tiger.

Pat at Devils Bridge on his Triumph Tiger

Pat at Devils Bridge on his Triumph Tiger

We are looking forward to seeing them sometime soon on their new machines 🙂