My Yamaha Tenere XTZ 660. Yes I’ve still got the Wee Ten despite partially blaming her for the sore butt I’ve been having fixed for the past sixteen months. I didn’t find the saddle was a comfortable place to be on during the long days I spent there as I traipsed across Europe.
But it wasn’t Europe that got me in the end (sic). It was a soaking wet eight – ten days tour of the Outer Hebrides so perhaps the much-maligned Tenere seat wasn’t to blame after all. There was certaiunly little respite from soggy bike suits – torrential rain and flooded roads followed by delayed ferries and long ferry journeys in damp clothes on that trip.
The run up to Oban from down here in south-west Scotland was done in torrential rain – enough to overwhelm my new Heine Gerricke Goretex lined suit and it was still damp when I made an early morning start from my overnight digs in Oban. It was a short run round the harbour to the ferry terminal and the Ten and I were soon on the Calmac boat for the long sail to the Isle of Barra —
Leaving the rain behind through the Sound of Mull —
The view over to Vatersay from my bedroom window on Barra —
and in close-up —
Of course I had to check out the landing strip on the beach —
and polish the otter’s head —
before leaving on the short ferry trip to South Uist —
South Uist passed in a water soaked blurr – whole hillsides appeared to be pouring across the single track road at some points and all I wanted was to get over to Skye and better weather. But the ferry was broken down and somehow I found my way to the beautiful Isle of Berneray —
A welcome B&B gave me a good night’s sleep and I left the Ten in the shed next to the Massey Ferguson tractor and walked the white sandy beaches under blue skies all the way round the island —
Next day I was back to riding in torrential rain but I do treasure this rare sunset —
There had been drier trips in previous years – this time the Ten and I are on the Isle of Tiree —
amongst thatched cottages —
and white sandy beaches —
But the white stuff isn’t always sand —
Although the Landy Lads like it up by the ski slopes —
It was just a matter of clearing the snow off the bike outside the bunkhouse in Braemar where I had spent a couple of nights then heading up to the ski slopes at Glenshee —
Another day I was in Scottish Border country not too far from Hermitage Castle where I found a trail with a ford to wet the tyres a time or two —
Time for a mug of tea while waiting for the lads to turn up on an away day to Kielder in Northumberland —
This time she is parked a tad nearer home by the Solway Firth —
She’s a bike for all roads —
or no roads —
and sunny days too —
So what brought this on? Well – after missing the joys of motorcycling for the past sixteen months while the medics did their thing in a place where I can’t keep an eye on what they are doing I think I’m sorted. So sure am I that I went to check the Tenere out at a friend’s house where she has been hibernating and found her as tidy as the day back in Feb 2009 when I bought her new —
and despite her twenty thousand hard miles she fired up on the button like a good-un —
Where to this time? —
Maybe Berneray —
Or will it be Tiree?
That’s the morning sun as seen from the Isle of Tiree.
Yamaha Tenere XTZ 660