Tuesday, 17 July 2012

V-Strom to BMW F800GS


The yellow-coated examiner handed me pass certificate and then it got real. I had already lined up  second-hand Suzuki V-Strom and now I had to pick it up. In the pissing rain from Kincraig to Forres I suddenly realised what this was about. I know nothing, yep I can pooter around a city making sure I don,t become bus food, but driving without instruction, on the open road at 60+ I do not have a clue. Whilst the 650cc bike purred away though the rain back to base, I felt there was something missing. However nice the bike was, it neither had the image or the character that could take me to the outer reaches of my journey. It was a bit more Hairy Bikers cookery machine, than Jedi Master continental dirt slugger. But before Obi-wankenobi became the true master of his realm he had to learn a few tricks. Dropping the bike and dumping my pillion (girlfriend, moll, life-partner- what do you call a lady friend who you love and live with?) on the tar at a 0mph, only reinforced the statement of the friendly traffic cop, that I am a minnow in a sea of sharks. Its time to get some teeth…

The new BMW F800GS at the top of the Col du Petit St-Bernard 

Inspiration, if you could call it that came from watching a few re-runs of the Long Way Round, nope, not the Charley Boorman bits, or  Ewan McGregor' s more engaged interactions but from the bikes. But the 1200GS's are just too big, so I found myself edging towards BMW dealers in Inverness and Edinburgh. So I took the plunge, and without having ridden one, I traded in the Suzuki for the F800GS demonstrator from BMW Motorrad in Dalkeith. Two days later a few shekels were exchanged for the gleaming new machine. But before the dreams of the mongolian step became reality I had to learn to ride...

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