To Buy, Or Not To Buy…

I’ve mentioned previously on my Triumph Sprint GT blog that the problem with so-called “Adventure Bikes” is that the manufacturers make them and then add a few thousand to the cost of the bike and then charge you extra for the luggage that anyone who buys one of these things will want to fit anyway!

Back in 2013, my Sprint GT with all the luggage, heated grips and a comfort gel seat, etc. came in at £8,500 whilst the then Triumph Tiger was £11,000+ and the Ducati Multistrada was £17,000, or twice the price of the Sprint.

Over the past 5½ years, I’ve only done a little under 10,000 miles on the Sprint, mainly on “Eurothrashes” as we call them. After my last one to France, Spain and Andorra, my right hand index finger was numb for a number of weeks which I put down to a combination of vibration and all my weight being on my wrists.

The latter was largely resolved by fitting bar risers but that then shifted more weight to my bum, so a Corbin seat was sourced from the USA at great expense and it seems pretty good.

I’m still left riding an older bike with good luggage capacity, nice looks and a good engine, but with dated and fairly awkward trip computer and no cruise control which is a real issue given that most of the Death Star’s mileage is done in big hits and hundreds of motorway miles to get to the fun roads.  All of these issues are resolved in the latest Adventure Bikes, like the latest BMW R1250GS Adventure – aka the Clitoris (“because every c**t’s got one”) – and the updated 2019 Triumph Tiger 1200.  Talking of the GS, a mate has finally changed from his venerable Kawasaki Versys to a BMW R1200GS Adventure because the 1200 stock was being shifted before the new model came out and he grabbed a bargain.  Being the Adventure, the BMW comes with a massive 30 litre tank capacity giving it a 350 mile tank range unlike the ‘normal’ R1200GS and its 20 litre tank (the same size as the Tiger 1200 and indeed my Sprint GT), so a 200+ mile range. Frankly, that’s not really an issue for me as I usually like to stop and stretch my legs every 100-150 miles anyway.

As I wrote last summer, when the Death Star was in for a service, I borrowed a Tiger 1200 and reported that:

“I test rode the new Tiger 1200 XRt at the same time. Good power, much more upright riding position and all of the toys, including cruise control and heated rider and passenger seats as well as automagic suspension adjustment. On the minus side, after not too long riding it, I had a numb bum so how it would cope with a Eurothrash, I didn’t know.”

At the London bike show at the ExCel last weekend, Mrs Me and I sat on a Tiger 1200 XRt and thought it felt OK, but that the luggage space seems much smaller than the Death Star’s. I’ve just checked and the Death Star has 117 litres of luggage space (standard panniers and top box) and the Tiger 1200 accessory Expedition luggage space totals 116 litres, but that top box looks tiny by comparison.

Looking at my Sprint blog, I’ve been umming and ahhing about a Tiger 1200 (or Tiger 1200 Explorer, as it was known previously) for a couple of years now.  The upright riding position – especially coupled with cruise control – means that my old and decrepit wrists should fare much better, so it’s all down to the seat. The best way to find out whether the (heated) seats are any good on longer runs is to try one out properly and Jack Lilley at Romford (or East London Triumph) have kindly offered me one in a couple of weeks for an extended ride. I intend using one of Ride magazine’s routes around the South Coast (GPX file) and stay over at a mate’s house (he’s a great chef…).

The bonus is the bike they may be letting me try is in the white that we like:

We shall see…

 

Movember

Well, November has been an interesting month…

I decided to join in with Movember again this year: fundraising for men’s mental health. A good cause. But yes, I end up looking more ridiculous than usual and hating the annoying slug festering under my nose! At least tomorrow I can shave the bastard off or at least trim it right back!

Tonight, I’m supposed to be going to their Gala Parté at the Roundhouse Camden, but I came down with a heavy cold this week which is on its way out – thankfully – but is on my chest right now, so I can’t really be arsed. And I’m a little bit down at the moment, if I’m honest, but shh! That’s our secret, right?

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself.

The 6th was the Bring Me The Horizon gig at Brixton. A good one, if I’m honest, although the band’s lead singer was a knob trying to look big in front of the predominantly young, female, screaming audience. More noise from them than from the stage.

That Friday it was the PurplePort London Social: it was good to meet up with some photographers and some models, including Sakura Star who’d previously said she was keen to work with me on a somewhat noir bondage and fetish project going forward: she has some excellent work on her portfolio already.

The next day it was off up to Norwich to see Norwich City beat West Ham United and thereby save Chris Hughton from the dole queue for a little longer…

The following week was fun at work: I was put forward for a major commission in Canada without my knowledge so I had a meeting planned with my boss – the owner of the business I work for – which never happened as we’d heard that I was needed in Chicago for a meeting which was then cancelled at short notice as they’d gone with a local company instead of ours. So that’s parked for another day…

I had a couple of days off that week to recharge and the Wednesday was a good opportunity to have one last thrash on the Sprint before winter sets in. I headed off down to Sussex, for a “Bigboy Breakfast” at Wesson’s Cafe, stopping off en route to get a warning for a dodgy numberplate as it’s too small, apparently. Oops! Must order a legal one: the bike never came with one because the vanity plate came later. The that night it was off to the O2 to see Vampire Weekend and Noah and the Whale in concert. GT and I stayed for three songs, it was that rubbish…

At the weekend, GT and I were off to an 80s party in the evening: her goth’d up (more so than usual thanks to crimping her hair) and me with a poodle perm wig, Frankie Say Relax t-shirt, white linen trousers and some horrendous white canvas shoes. A late one at that, DJ-ing from my iPhone with some 80s tracks. And then there was the Sunday…

GT had a race first thing in the morning, so while she was gone I got up, bathed and had a coffee. When she got back I made more coffee and joined her in the bathroom whilst she had a post-race bath. I told her there was something wrong: I felt she wasn’t that in to me any more – we’ve been seeing each other for nearly 3 years now on an irregular, regular basis – and that it’s become more pronounced since she was promoted, working longer hours with shifts, etc. GT agreed that she seemed to have no time to put in to a relationship these days to make one work, so we agreed to split up rather than just going through the motions. We then spent the afternoon shopping in Kingston and had dinner before I left.

The following weekend was all about gigs and bikes: on Saturday it was off to the NEC for Motorcycle Live. A chance for me to buy some new Goretex Alpinestars SMX Plus bike boots in black for next summer’s Austrian Eurothrash. It was also great to bump into Emma Kate Dawson for a chat and a catch-up.

Then on the Saturday night I saw Queens of the Stone Age at the Wembley Arena and as I had a spare ticket – I always buy two out of habit – I invited Sakura Star along as I knew she was at a loose end having just split up from her bloke. She showed me some great photos that another photographer had taken of her in a fab leather and feather dress which are now on her profiles having got clearance from the designers and we had a few drinks before the gig. QOTSA were excellent and SS was good company.

Queens of the Stone Age
Queens of the Stone Ages

Then on the Sunday night it was off to the Hammersmith Apollo with GT to see the Pixies who were also absolutely superb.

The Pixies

 

The Pixies

Last week was busy: London, Birmingham and Manchester with lots of different hotels and lots of travelling. And there’s more to come soon when I pop over to Toronto to speak at a major event.

At least that should keep me busy and my mind off relationships past, present and future. In the meantime, I’ve booked next year’s holidays to Fuerteventura with my ‘kids’ to go with the Austrian Eurothrash.

Onward and Upward

So I’ve covered the Sprint GT’s first service over on its own blog – I just need to start giving it the berries a bit more (although its trip computer must be over-reading…).

I also received a letter about my stepmother’s estate which was a piece of pleasant news and well timed, given I’m planning to buy a house or maybe even my apartment which may soon be up for sale.

Due to a change of plans, I had Saturday free so I decided to get the pushbike out to go for a little spin: maybe 5 or 6 miles on the advice of my Consultant Knee Surgeon and my physiotherapist at the excellent London Bridge Hospital. 11.4 miles later and I’d had a great time, keeping the cadence up and not putting too much effort through the knee. Same thing next week, I think.

GT popped over in the evening, meeting me for dinner at the O2 where we were then due to see Iron Maiden play. An excellent gig! Then over to Waterloo to say goodnight and back home to the apartment.

Up at a reasonable time on Sunday to head up to Norfolk for lunch with the ‘kids’ which was made more difficult by the completely inept road closure arrangements for the Prudential Ride London: every main road out of London to the East was closed despite the official sites claiming they’d be open earlier.

Monday saw more check-ups and blood tests – all fine – and a nice, long phone call as arranged the week before from Humberside Police to explain, as expected and agreed, that they wouldn’t be pressing charges against the psycho ex for her theft and disposal of some of my stuff (“intention to permanently deprive”), but only because it wouldn’t be in the public interest to waste taxpayers’ money on a prosecution: there was the passage of time caused by them, sadly, which they accepted was the case and they knew she would never admit guilt – she never does – and accept a caution, so the options were a full trial or nothing and the thefts were, as I told them, insignificant (I’ve long since replaced the stolen goods with better quality, newer things … a bit like I did with her, I suppose). They suggested I start a private prosecution, which is always an option, but I can’t be arsed to waste any more time on her.

But the good news is that they’ve now got the proof of what she’s really like: a liar and a thief. So that’s the end of that: maybe she’ll stop stalking me one day too?

So it’s onward and upward!

8000 RM Cherished Numberplate For Sale

I recently acquired another cherished numberplate to go with the ones on my car and bike as I did think about getting another vehicle soon and wanted a more memorable ‘plate.

But I’ve changed my mind about that, so I’ve advertised the plate – 8000 RM – on eBay starting on 16th April around lunchtime if anyone’s interested.

The number is currently on a retention certificate and the price includes the DVLA Assignment Fee but not a DVLA change fee if required.
I have seen similar numbers advertised on the trade sites at between £8,000 and £17,000, so I am seeking a realistic price for the ‘plate which I’ll keep and assign to another vehicle of mine later on if it doesn’t sell.
8000 RM

Reflective

Work’s been quite hectic of late, as has my social life (which is no bad thing, of course).

Friday and I was off up to Soho and the Jazz After Dark to catch up with a mate, the excellent James Gillespie, who was over in the UK from Fuerteventura to play a few gigs on a whirlwind visit. Really good to catch up with him and his partner Jess plus a few other people I’d met at the Rock Island Bar as well as a few of James’ family members. Lots of drinks as always – ciders, spirits and shots! It was a great night out and even being grabbed in the bits by a friendly transvestite on my way home didn’t faze me!

Saturday and I was up bright and early to go and look at a house in the next block from mine in the same Crescent: a fair sized house for me with an even nicer garage which has the potential to double as a photographic studio due to its size and the high ceiling height for backdrops, lighting rigs, etc. We’ll see.

The it was off to see GT for lunch and an afternoon watching three hours of “Django Unchained” – spaghetti westerns reinvented for the 21st Century. Then it was off for another excellent curry at Cinnamon Spice.

A nice lay-in on Sunday before heading to Covent Garden for more retail therapy at Dr Martens with GT before I made my way home to pack and change to get to Paris by Eurostar and my hideously expensive but comfortable hotel.

A long day Monday in meetings and giving presentations to the MD of one of our larger Clients, made more difficult by a streaming cold {sigh}. Drinks in the Eurostar Business Lounge obviously help you care less.

Finally back home; my cabbie is also riding down to the Pyrenees this summer, apparently…

Working from home today so that I didn’t spread the sniffles; I took the opportunity to cancel a couple of remaining credit cards having cleared all the balances over the past few months. There’s something cathartic about doing this and cutting up the old ones. They were a safety blanket for me at times over the past years but with the potential to bite back, so it was good to cut them up and cut off more past times. More ties with the past severed for good.

Bikes, Bands and Babes

Well, I couldn’t think of a better ‘b’ word for women without getting more insulting; ‘birds’? ‘Bints’? ‘Bitches’? Etc.   Anyway, last weekend I had the weekend free to myself so at the last minute I arranged with a friend, Yox, to head up to the NEC at Birmingham for the Motorcycle Live show. Yox said he’d arrange the show tickets and I arranged a couple of First Class rail tickets up there. He then stayed over at Chez Bleu on the Friday night after some pubbage and two massive XXL pizzas (which may have caused some ‘issues’ with air quality:

Scratch and Sniff

We couldn’t face breakfast early on Saturday morning so headed straight to Euston and then on to the NEC where we spent most of the day checking out the bikes, buying boots and bags and snapping away at one or two models – see my earlier update on my Blue Rex blog.

Then back to London, parting company at London Bridge.

I went back to Chez Bleu and packed my full camera kit and headed back to London Bridge to pick up some bits and bobs from the office, including another new ring flash adaptor, this one being for my Speedlites. I then picked up a friend, Alex, and off we went to do a bit of an impromptu shoot – again the results are on an earlier update.

A great laugh with us pratting about, but I got a few decent shots before we headed over to Brigade for dinner and fizzy pop for the second time in a week for me!

Sunday then saw me having a nice lay-in before heading over to Covent Garden to meet Amy for a late lunch at Wagamama and shopping. Still no sign of my iPad mini from the online store yet and none in stock at the Apple Store there, sadly. A long day’s shopping before heading home.

Monday evening was a rush: dashed back from the office to change and head back out to the O2 for the Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie “Twins of Evil Tour” gig and a meal with GT. Great entertainment all round!

 

Zombie!

This week has brought some hectic juggling of my diary: Westminster and Birmingham this week and Westminster and Paris next week before I head off to Fuerteventura again for some well-earned R&R.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live Out Loud!

Well since I last updated this blog, a lot has happened. Obviously the main event was my trip along Route 66 on an Electra Glide (posts syndicated below and on my Big Trip Blog). Breathtaking!

A week back in the UK – missing the States a lot – and I was off to Paris for a couple of days again with one of our Clients.

Back in London and the weather was wonderful at last, making walking home from work lovely if challenging – trying to avoid pubs!

Silhouette
Silhouette

Paralympics were on, bringing with it the Mayor’s fun: a big screen on Potters Field between County Hall and Tower Bridge with stalls selling all sorts of food and a bar. Made walking home and indeed lunchtimes different and bringing out the crowds.

Tower Bridge Adornment
Tower Bridge Adornment

GT got us tickets for the weekend’s Paralympics so off we went for a look around and to be awestruck.

Coca-Cola "Bubbles"
Coca-Cola “Bubbles”

I think GT’s favourite part of the Olympic Park was probably the champagne and seafood restaurant where we spent a pleasant hour or two!

Then the following week, it was my daughter’s 21st birthday, so she came down to stay at mine for the weekend, with a trip to the West End shops for a dress and a champagne afternoon tea at Harrods’ Georgian Restaurant (after we’d had the Best Milkshakes Ever!).

Shake It Baby!
Shake It Baby!
'Arrods
‘Arrods

My 21st birthday present to her was a vanity plate for her car: 1991 AM (her birth year and initials). This was the end of the weekend that I’d spent with GT shopping in Kingston for an LBD for a do coming up with a lovely vegetarian meal on the Thames.

The following week saw more meals out plus a trip and stay in the Midlands to train a client’s staff. Great fun as always, but hard work.

Last week was fun: GT came with me to a champagne drinks reception at the Spencer House in St James Place, hence the new Karen Millen dress and Jimmy Choo killer heels! Driving in the back of a cab over Waterloo Bridge, we saw a huge ride at the Southbank that we decided we had to go on, so plans were hatched for coming back last weekend to ride on Priceless London Wonderground’s high-spinning swing ride, the Star Flyer, the tallest travelling ride in the country at 60m tall, with amazing views of London (especially when we went back later, after dark.

That was a weekend of film too, seeing “Killing Them Softly” (slow-paced but well done) on the Friday night and “The Sweeney” (which was an enjoyable romp if paying only lip service to the original series) on the wet Sunday afternoon.

Quite pleased too, recently, with the release of iOS6 and the iPhone 5 which is a lovely shiny thing!

And finally, Esther, I’ll leave you with my favourite track during this period which sums up a lot of things (more of which later):

Midweek Blast

Well what an evening that was!

On my way in to work this morning, I got a text from Purge asking if I was up for a rideout down to Hampshire. After much contemplation – I finish work late and I’m flying out to Athens later today – I decided that yes I was.

And so it came to pass that I headed off from the apartment down to meet up with Purge, Matt, Pal, Agent64, Pathfinder Rob, Mr Bosch and MP at Alton Station Café, which I found out was a bike meet! From there we blasted off down to bike night at Loomies where I happily scoffed down some chips with sliced mushrooms and chopped bacon, topped with melted cheese. Fantastic!  Just as I was leaving, Young Burchy showed up on his 7R so it was good to meet him too.

Not so good was Agent64 getting a puncture in the rear tyre of his ‘Blade thanks to stone chips all over the A31. Bugger!

Despite the evening getting much colder now, we then headed off at a spirited pace to the Pub With No Name at Prior’s Dean where we grabbed a pint and sat outside watching the darkness settle in. I left around 10pm to head home but decided shortly after setting off that I was getting quite cold and should stop off en route at GT’s place for a coffee to warm up, so I used the SatNav’s Bluetooth link to my iPhone and Scala headset to ring her up and invite myself over. Good call (literally)!

Then home at midnight and 135 miles later, only to be greeted by the bad news that YB had dropped the 7R after an incident with a deer on his way home. Bugger!

 

Iron Butt Charity Ride

1000 miles in 24 hours (plus 400 miles to and from the start!)

I’ve signed up to do this: the Royal British Legion is holding an event under the Iron Butt Association SaddleSore 1000 rules. There are several aims, first to raise money for Royal British Legion. The second is to try and take the record from the Americans. And the third is obviously the personal challenge of trying to ride 1000 miles in 24 hours (plus a 400 mile round trip to and from the starting point!).

The event starts on Friday 19th June at 12:00 with riders briefing, with riders departing between 08:00 and 09:00 on Saturday 20th June, completing the ride by 09:00 on Sunday 21st June.

I have sent off my entry form along with a cheque for £30 but I will also need to raise at least £50 of sponsorship.

As for the ride there are four routes, two north, and two south. I am taking the Route B North Anti Clockwise.

The RBLR website and route details is here.

The easiest way for me to collect sponsorship is the just giving website at http://www.justgiving.com/richardhmorris – they can claim the gift aid on your behalf.

Please sponsor me!

2008 Motorcycle Show, NEC Birmingham

So I went along to see the show on trade day and took my trusty camera with me to take a few snaps.

The show was actually quite disappointing and for the first time in a number of years, Kawasaki did not have a ZRX anywhere to be seen.

I do fancy a Triumph Street Triple R for town use – not to replace the ZRX but just for twatting about on in London.

Anyway, photos are here: