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Andy Smith is a former Police Motorcyclist with years of experience in motorcycle training at all levels. He offers training through 1stClassRider.co.uk, and ride outs through his newsletter blog right here. To contact Andy click here.

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Next Ride Out. Pendine Museum of Speed

pendine_m We are just back from visiting the D Day beaches of Normandy, so keeping the ‘sand in your shoes’ theme the next Ride Out will be to The Museum of Speed at Pendine Sands. I won’t tell you what you might see in the museum because you won’t need to come along then. (but I have heard it is full of naked ladies who are giving away free bacon sandwiches).

Meeting at Riders at Sloper Road, for a 9.45 departure on Saturday the 20th of June. (It was going to be a Sunday Ride Out but that is Father’s Day and I know most of you would want to stay home to be pampered or pestered by your loving offspring, so I picked Saturday).  Come and join us and if you feel a bit adventurous take your bike for a blast along the sands. For those who would rather – and that’s me- you can just have a proper seaside bag of Fish & Chips and a cuppa in a paper cup.

France was great with no rain whatsoever although not all the bikes came back!  A broken chain (Chain you say???) meant that the French authorities tested the usefulness of Carole Nash’s Breakdown Service. Pardonez Moi! Carole who?  So the rider came home….but the bike is still in the ‘corner of a foreign field which will be forever Honda’.

A moving trip seeing the Veterans of the D Day landings and Pegasus Bridge, the first place where the Allied invasion began, being honoured.  Those old soldiers who were able to make the trip proudly displying their medals.  You wouldn’t give them a second glance in a Post Office queue back home but heroes they were, and ever will be.  Well worth the trip.


I often get asked, (well I was asked once!) what tyres I find the best.  I’ve just had new tyres fitted and my last three choices have been a different brand each time so I’ll give a quick run down of what I’ve found with each.

On the fitters recommendation I tried Continental Road Attacks and I must say that in the dry I couldn’t fault them.  Giving good trip at all angles and all speeds.  They gave a good solid feel on the road.  In the wet they did feel a bit vague, but even then gripped at all angles but didn’t quite give the same solid feel that I enjoyed so much in the dry.

They wore well and lasted over 9000 miles before needing a change.

The next fitting and I went for Avon Storms.  Not bad but certainly not as much of a solid feel as the Road Attacks but once they started to wear it was as though someone stole the tread from the bike overnight.  The front tyre gave a really unusual wear pattern and they only lasted between 3000 -4000 miles so a big difference in longevity.

I’ve now gone back to Bridgestone It used to be the O2O but now it’s called the O21.  Having just done a 1000 D Day miles, all in the dry and I have no complaints as yet.  I used to have the Bridgestones on my K1200 RS and liked them then. So I’ll let you know how they do on my RT.

On a safety note, whichever tyres you choose don’t forget to keep the tyre pressures checked. The Highway Code advises that you check them weekly but when you consider it is the only contact that your 12 grand BM has with the road, it might be worth making it more of a daily check than a weekly check.  You’d be surprised how just a pound or 2 either way can affect the handling of the bike, so keep them checked.

I’ve got loads of photos from the last French Trip to up load so take a look in a day or 2 and see what you missed.

Coming up.

Another French Trip.  To the Somme.  There is so much to see that the bits we saw on the first trip in April deserve spending more time. So instead of spreading ourselves so far and wide this trip will concentrate in The Somme Region. This will probably be arranged for early September. Interested?

Also the first weekend in July sees the annual BMW Biker meeting in Garmisch (Southern Germany).  So as that dates draws close I will be looking at my work commitments and hopefully be able to arrange a short trip to visit the show.  Interested?

If any of this appeals to you or you just want to have a chat about it come and join us on the ride out and let me know.

Come on…you know you want to…

There Are 11 Responses So Far. »

  1. Hi Andy
    When are you of to the Somme?

  2. Hi Andy
    When are you planning to go to the Somme.

  3. Hi Martin,

    Not sure of the exact date as yet but it will probably be end of August or early September before the kids go back to school. It will be over a weekend. Are you thinking of joining us?

  4. Glad you all had an eventfull trip and made the ferry ok!
    Tyre’s a bit of a sticky subject. I now have Pilot road 2’s on my CBF1000, They feel great in the dry and plenty of wet, done 3000+ and still look like new (almost). Had the BT021 previous, Lasted 8000 miles but didn’t like the feel, back felt bummpy and front vague. BT016 stuck like super glue, but were down to the canvas at 3000, Had to pit in Inverness before I could make it bake.
    See you for the dune races then,

  5. Thanks for the trip update Andy.
    I was looking at the map to work out what petrol station I could fill up at to find you had all buggered off like you did when we went on the Jack the Ripper trip.
    I enjoyed my ride home on my todd but missed you lot too. Bring on the Shell V Power.

    See you all soon.

  6. Hi Peter,
    I remember I said we were going to Morrisons but they didn’t sell petrol. The next one along was Safeway I think. It was amassive place on the first roundabout you would have come to. If you missed us it must be done to those fumes from the strange fuel you put in your bike. Mine runs on Bacon fat! Come on trade it in.

    We’ll go a bit slower for you on the next ride out!

  7. Thanks for that Andy. I remember going into the huge Morrisons at the end of that road and even went into the petrol station but alas I was too late. I was ages filling up as everyone in front of me in cages had just arrived and there was only one V Power Pump. I have found one on the way out of Pendine so I will make sure I leave a little earlier next time.On another unconnected note, I understand the Carmathanshire Celtic Pride Pies are well worth a look.

  8. Peter/Andy,

    Sorry that was my bad as tail-ender … I thought I counted off all of the bikes from the seafront, did get a bit confusing with the other sports bikes leaving and us weaving thru town!!

    Hope the trip back solo wasn’t too taxing 😉

    Coffee’s on me Saturday morning, by way of an apology!


    Ps. Andy, get them all bl**dy GPS ankle-bracelets quick before Saturday … 😉

  9. What a fantastic way to raise money! Thanks Ladies & Gentlemen for those of you who kindly donated a total of £60 today on the Ride Out to Pendine.

    I have posted a cheque off to the NSPCC already.

    Big Thanks again.


  10. Hi Andy,

    Thanks for organising the Pendine ride – first time I’ve been along. Great route, with a bit of imagination you could believe yourself in the Alps on those passes in the Valleys! Really enjoyed it.

    Matt (on the grey V-Strom 650)

  11. Thanks for organising another great rideout on Saturday Andy…….esp such a sensational route on the way there (Brynaman to Llangadog over the Black Mountains). No problem that you’d all shot off before Matt and I had finished yakking at the caff……we caught up with a couple of the boys in Llandovery before making it a 250-mile round trip via Abergavenny and Usk. August 16th looks good……hopefully a July one in between? Cheers…..Biker Jules

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