Monthly Archives: January 2012


Lovely blue skies and sunshine today so I had a peek under the covers to see how the bikes were coming through the winter.

The gixxer was as fresh as the day I put her away and fired up at the first touch of the button. The Tenere was rarin to go as well but needed a wash down. The Wurth stuff I had sprayed her with had left her lookin dull. A quick wash and dry soon had her sorted and unless it snows tomorrow I will probably put tax on her.

The XJR had been doused with the same Wurth product as the Tenere and she got the wash and WD40 treatment too – how about that then —

I drained the carbs on the ’99 XJR before I covered her up so I wouldn’t have a repeat of the former troubles. I will wait till the winter salt clears before taxing her and If all goes to plan she will be on the road by April at the latest – can’t wait 🙂


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Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Uncategorized



gixxer country —

Gixxer country – blue jeans and rock’n roll.

It’s been one of these days – started with the gixxer – moved on to the pub and may well end up back in my local for their Folk Music night with a hint of Rabbie Burns. The bagpipes were being warmed up out the back as I left so it could be one of those nights 🙂

Before that kicks off let’s see what’s left in the gixxer cupboard.

There’s Ballantrae for starters —

then there’s this bit including the softball that prevents the screen folding back at over the ton —

She’s no Tenere but I had covered many miles on dirt roads and almost been runover by an out of contol tractor and four wheeled hay trailer with a load of worried looking young people on board before I reached this picturesque spot in Istria —

Since then she has met up with a bunch of merry German ladies on their first tour of Scotland —

and even looks the part parked by this old fashioned red phone box at St Mary’s Loch —

So-o — taking a break near Munich while on a trailer to Croatia —

or parked down the road by Wigtown harbour —

my lil gixxer ticks lot’s of boxes and seldom fails to put a smile on my face 🙂

gixxer country

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Posted by on January 27, 2012 in Uncategorized



Gixxer 6

All winter I’ve been beating myself up about having three bikes and barely enough dosh to run one. I change my mind from day to day as to which one I should sell first in order to finance my riding in 2012.

At the moment my Gixxer 6 is in pole position for the chop but when I fire her up I wonder WHY? She is so eager to get out there – barks like a good un and is so-o light to wheel around.

She will be a tough sell in more ways than one —

These first two photos are from the warm roads of Croatia – so easy to get lost —


But fettling her in the open air was a pleasure —

and playing the fool on a cool hilltop after lunch at a village inn was fun —

This baby can fly and has some trick bits to help keep her in check —

including some meaty Galpher discs as the originals warped far too easily.

I do like the ABM top yoke – another expense I hadn’t allowed for but my early attempts to modify the original left it looking like a school workshop project —

It had to be a top of the range Supersprox sprocket and ‘O’ ring chain that went in when I lowered the gearing —

H-mmm — I DO like her —

a LOT —

Maybe I should forget about selling her and do the Lottery instead 🙂

gixxer 6

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Posted by on January 27, 2012 in Uncategorized



Tenere Tracks in the snow

There was a time when I would dream of doing the Paris – Dakar but never did – no worries cos I’ve enjoyed most of the places I’ve been on my Tenere.

Including coming bleary-eyed out of the bunkhouse at Braemar to this scene —

But I’m not a lover of German autobahns. One day after a couple of hundred miles of full throttle at 108mph I got a little bit bored and pulled into a service station. Five minutes with my Swiss Army knife cut the ninety degree snorkel inlet off the air intake – a result! The next two hundred miles were done at 113mph!

It’s not all about speed – sometimes just getting there is challenge enough. Getting to Glenshee and Braemar wasn’t the challenge but getting out again after we had been snowed in was —

I remember this pic – it was my first of the Tenere – probably Loch Dochart between Lix Toll and the Green Wellie on my way to Ardnamurchan —

There have been many more – this one at Palnackie

If old dogs are your thing I cater for them as well —

an out-of-holiday season Portpatrick —

yes I like boats – in Port William harbour at low tide —

with Ailsa Craig on the horizon I must be by the tea hut south of Girvan —

waiting for the boys to patch the road somewhere in the Scottish Borders —

on the way to Seahouses – Northumbria —

by the Orchardstoun Roundhouse —

a remote beach on the Isle of Tiree —

by a defunct viaduct to nowhere —

the old cottages and red tin roof on the village hall make a lovely backdrop at Parton —

out for a gallop in the Galloway Forests —

Near Newcastleton with Hermitage Castle in the background —

Time to see what today will bring 🙂

Tenere Tracks

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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Uncategorized



Tenere XT660Z Gets Around

My Yamaha XT660Z Tenere —

I’ve ridden this bike all over Europe – but – despite re-packing the seat she still has me standing on the pegs at every opportunity cos she is just so uncomfortable —

The underseat exhausts don’t help – particularly on four hundred mile days. In fact if I was a younger man I would be worried in case the heat from the cans was cooking my gonads and making me sterile —

but seeing as I’m old and grey I suffer the occasional discomfort and enjoy the bike for what it is —

a cheap – frugal – dual purpose bike —

Every time I see or touch her I just want to load her up and head for the early morning ferry —

to wherever —

that takes my fancy —

sunshine or snow –

tarmac —

or trail —

it doesn’t really matter —

cos one of these days I’m gonna scratch that itch again —

XT660Z Tenere

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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Uncategorized



No Trains to Kirkcudbright

There are no trains to Kirkcudbright – Dr Beeching made sure of that back in 1966 when not only did he have the rails ripped up but he made sure it would be for keeps when he had the lovely old stone bridge over the River Dee taken down too. Sacrilege! He should have been sent to the Tower!

At least I was able to park my bott on one of the old sandstone blocks from the cruelly dismantled bridge while I had my lunch today —

In brilliant sunshine – with views of the River Dee and our art-deco power station in front —

and the bare beach trees on the old Iron Age Fort behind me —

it felt good to be out and about —

In the January sunshine with my camera again.

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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in out and about


Girvan Gangsters

It’s best to wear a hard hat when sight-seeing in Girvan —

cos when the gangs are after your sannies no-one is safe —

thanks again for the pics Buttons

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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in out and about


Dolphins at Play

A few Posts ago I mentioned that I hoped 2012 would be the year I succeeded in photographing the Moray Firth dolphins at play. Well what do you know! It looks like someone clicked ’em with my old Finepix camera back in 2009!

The Moray Firth dolphins at play!

and this sunset over Rosemarkie taken on the same trip north isn’t bad either —

This is another pic that hasn’t seen the light of day till now —

That one had me scratching my head till I realised it is a long-lost pic of my Tenere with sailing boats on Lake Windermere taken while on a ride with some friends from the XJR Owners Club two or three years back!

This recent photo of Portpatrick Harbour taken with the Finepix is every bit as good as I got with my compact Cannon Powershot. There’s life in the old dog yet. It’s just a pity she needs so many expensive batteries when in regular use.

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Posted by on January 11, 2012 in out and about


Drilling for Oil

There’s no truth in the rumour that they are drilling for oil in Portpatrick harbour —

No – nothing so exotic. The jack-up rig is merely sheltering there before starting work on a new sewer outfall and pumping station for Stranraer further up the coast.

It didn’t bother the pigeons who live in the drainage ducts in the harbour walls one bit —

that’s for sure cos they just got on doo-ing what pigeons doo – ouch – checking how many they can fit in a four inch drainage duct —

My friend Derek was heading for Stranraer today on family business so I cadged a lift and he was good enough to drop me right down by the harbour in nearby Portpatrick. A journey that takes just over an hour by motorbike or car would have taken me three and a half hours by bus – not leaving much time to explore.

I had time for a chatty latte with the lady in the tearoom cum fancy ladies gear cum card shop then snapped this foreign looking geezer by the strange goods emporium —

and his demure lady friend with the strategically placed basket —

then it was a brisk walk along the cliffs to the ruined Dunskey Castle —

before finding a sheltered spot from the fresh breeze to have my lunchtime picnic overlooking the harbour —

Next came the lo-ong bus journey back but It was a civilised way to travel with thirty minutes in Stranraer library and another thirty minutes of the trip spent nursing a dark rum and coke in a pleasant Gatehouse hostelry while I waited for the last bus of the day for Kirkcudbright.

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Posted by on January 10, 2012 in out and about



Showtime – Carlisle style —

and the round tower across the way from the rail station is where the Lord Mayor keeps his chain of office —

Yes – I had an away-day to Carlisle. I managed not to buy anything in the sales but there was a Shoie crash helmet for half-price at the motorbike dealer’s and I was tempted. Maybe I will go back tomorrow.

I’ve had loads of off-road bikes and dual-sports bikes but apart from when I was competing in off-road trials many years ago I’ve never had a proper dual-sport helmet.

In that style but blue on white – maybe I should go back to the shop tomorrow – after all I still have my blue Tenere dual-sport bike —

It’s a sign of the times but the Yamaha agent that was – is now offering Ducati – Aprillia and Kawasaki machinery. That’s right – no longer Yamaha. The reason – Yamaha are demanding top-dollar for their bikes and are not offering new models. The worm is turning and european manufacturers are coming to the fore again. I must admit the Ducati range looked good – if expensive and the new models from Kawasaki are trick.

Mmmmm – I did like that crash helmet but I’ve got five gathering dust on top of my wardrobe already. lol

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Posted by on January 5, 2012 in out and about