Mazda MX-5 RF

So the other night Mazda unveiled its new MX-5 RF at the 2016 New York Motor Show.

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Wow! I love the look of this. And it actually looks great with the roof up as well.

MX-5-RF-GIF

So, a two seater fastback that looks great but this one looks like a Targa top as well. So do we trade-in the MX5 Sport Venture later this year when this RF becomes available or do we trade in the RX-8 R3 on the basis that the RX-Vision may not be released for a while yet, and then only as a two-seater?

Fourth Generation MX5 Launch

We were lucky enough to be invited along last August to the UK launch of the fourth generation Mazda MX5 and very impressive it was too: I can see why it has won many Car of the Year type awards.

Here are some of my photos from the day.

Berlin Marathon – Photos and Video

So I ran my first marathon on 27 September 2015: the 42nd Berlin Marathon. Despite having done very little real preparation – you can see my running diary in earlier entries – I finished it in 5 hrs 27 minutes and 23 seconds. This time was engraved on the back of my medal which also shows the world record time set last year, just to rub it in! Anyway, here’s some video of me finishing as well as some of the photos on the course:

Relieved Happy finisher Richard and Alison Crossing the line Approaching the finish Approaching the finish 347374_206011965_XLarge En route Keep on running

Berlin Marathon – Photos and Video

So I ran my first marathon on 27 September 2015: the 42nd Berlin Marathon. Despite having done very little real preparation – you can see my running diary in earlier entries – I finished it in 5 hrs 27 minutes and 23 seconds. This time was engraved on the back of my medal which also shows the world record time set last year, just to rub it in! Anyway, here’s some video of me finishing as well as some of the photos on the course:

Relieved Happy finisher Richard and Alison Crossing the line Approaching the finish Approaching the finish 347374_206011965_XLarge En route Keep on running

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Saturday morning found me heading out on the bus with a leather jacket and clutching my open helmet to head to Metropolis Motorcycles to pick up the Sprint. And so it was that I got off the train at Vauxhall and wandered over just as they were opening … which was just as well as it was filling up for “Crash a Triumph Day” aka Triumph Open Day with test rides aplenty.

After we’d done the paperwork and I’d laughed at the stupid warning label on the pannier liner bags (have I got to take a Triumph Technician everywhere with me?), I fired up GT with its 3.1 mile mileometer (or odometer as Triumph refer to it) reading and headed home via a petrol station to fill the tank right up. It was handy having the top box as well because I could put all my paperwork – in a neat Triumph pouch – and a Triumph T-shirt and mug in the cavernous boot.

To be fitted by a trained technician

To be fitted by a trained technician

Top Box Inner Bag. Really?

Top Box Inner Bag. Really?

So home, arriving with a little over 6 miles on the clock.

It was then that I noticed the scratches on the massive OEM silencer – the “Hoover” – which had been effectively hidden in the showroom and not showing up when I climbed onto the bike from the other side:

Scratched End Cap

Scratched End Cap

Scratched Silencer

Scratched Silencer

Now while I have told the dealer about them, it’s only important for when/if I sell the bike, because I’d already decided that I wouldn’t be happy with this profile:

Before...

Before…

… and I’d much prefer this one instead:

...and After

…and After

This has the added benefit – having removed the baffle – of releasing a lovely, deep growl from the triple engine without being too noisy, thanks to the catalytic converter in the headers/collector box (I only swapped out the silencer). Start to finish, it took me 10 minutes to fit this carbon fibre Remus Hexacone silencer. Lighter weight, smaller, shorter and better looking. And it makes the popping and banging on the overrun even better!

I then spent another 5 minutes taking off all the warning stickers from the tank before they get a chance to harden and take hold on the tank. Marvelous!

The next job was to fit the RAM mount for the satnav to the fork tops and then wire up a power lead to plug into the accessory socket. Sadly, this wasn’t actually putting out any power (and neither were the heated grips which share the same circuit) so that’s another job for the dealer to sort. I wired up another lead direct from the battery to the new powered satnav cradle from Amazon… which is also DOA! So the morning had taken a slight turn for the worse … which got much, much worse when I scraped the left pannier going into the garage due to my misjudging the width at the rear – the bike’s wider at the back than the front, even with the wide mirrors. Arse! Out with the T-Cut paste.

Finally, it was time to change into my black race leathers and matt black Arai for the full stealth effect. High viz? Schmy viz! Then off to Egham to drop off some apartment keys for Amy and then on to Epsom and the other GT for dinner.

Sunday morning and I was up and out of the house by 8.00am as I was heading down to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu to meet up with friends for breakfast and a natter. I chose the A3 as it was a nice mixture of roads and off I went, keeping the revs and throttle openings to a modest amount as I’m running the bike in. Playing with the trip computer showed that the GT was giving over 50mpg at 90mph – on closed roads, obv! – and even with all the town riding was averaging 46mpg with a range of a little over 200 miles.

Some slight tingling through the bars at around 90 as well, so I will need to keep it just under or just over on Eurothrashes.

After a lovely time with mates, I headed back to Epsom where the other GT had finished a difficult half-marathon – “demanding”, said the website – especially in the heatwave. I was pleased to have avoided it on doctor’s orders after my GP and Consultant had told me to rest my duff knee until it’s fixed.

On the way back up the M3, a crash had slowed traffic to a halt so I was able to see what it was like to filter with the additional width. It was OK: I just had to be a little more careful and filter with less extreme prejudice than usual.

Then in the evening it was back home through more heavy traffic up to Wandsworth and a weekend of around 250 miles.

Excellent!

Another Limited Edition…

…and these colours are really nice (especially the blue and silver one):

http://www.triumphmotorcycles.co.uk/triumph-world/news/27800

Triumph has once again teamed up with custom paint shop 8 Ball to create a limited edition run of just 50 eye-catching Sprint GTs.

Triumph has created two distinctive looks based around the standard Sprint GT colours; the first a striking pacific blue and pewter silver with scarlet red pinstripe design and the second an attention-grabbing phantom black and pearlescent bullion gold.

The bold paint schemes run across the Sprint GT’s flowing faring, fuel tank and large capacity panniers.

Just 25 bikes have been produced in each colour option ready for this summer’s touring season.

The new machines are exclusively available via the UK Triumph dealer network, priced £8,649 OTR.

130702_sprint_gt_8ball_black 130702_sprint_gt_8ball_blue