CRF250 Rally finds a Shieling in the Glen

26 Sep

It was another of those rare ‘rogue’ nice days with some welcome sunshine as we head into October – a day to be out on the hills with the little Honda —

I’ve had it in mind to try a certain long trail to the east of here for some time and I wasn’t going to get a better day for it this side of Christmas.

The first few miles were steep and rough in places with an occasional river crossing to ford but once through a hidden pass that didn’t look entirely natural the trail improved and there were signs of a previous habitation in the wide valley I had ridden into.

So-o – with apologies to Stealers Wheel —

‘rusting roof sheets to the left of me’ —

‘crumbling stonework to my right’ —

‘here I am’ —

‘parked in the middle of you’ —

There’s little doubt that this remote glen supported at least two families not so long ago but there’s not a soul to be seen up here now – just a few flighty blackface sheep with a hint of the wild goat in them plus a half dozen or so hardy cattle.

In fact – apart from the low density sheep and cattle grazing the bare hills and an odd buzzard in the sky above the only other sign of life was a big red fox scuttling out of my was as I entered the woodland above the loch.

The well surfaced track I’m following was probably built when the area was tunnelled and dammed in a previous bout of hydro-electric frenzy —

Thankfully there’s little sign of traffic on it today and not a lot of water in the dam either despite this past summer being one of the wettest on record —

It wasn’t as easy finding my way out of the hills as it was getting into them but the wee Rally bike and I emerged from the hills and forests unscathed and enjoyed a good gallop home – on dry roads for a change. I had thought her over-geared in 6th when I first got her but now with 900 miles on the clock her 250 eager cc’s spin up quite readily and with 10mph to every 1000 revs she might even reach the mystical ‘ton’ one day – downhill with a following gale πŸ™‚



Posted by on September 26, 2017 in Honda CRF250 Rally, Isle of Luing, Motorcycling


2 responses to “CRF250 Rally finds a Shieling in the Glen

  1. Don

    October 23, 2017 at 11:55

    Hello Mark – thanks for coming onto ‘from-a-distance’ – I get thousands of views from all over the world but few comments – it must be down to the way I tell ’em.

    Regarding the rack for the Rally – mine came from motorbikeparts-uk on ebay. Its nicely made in chromed alloy – cost Β£89.95. They come in black too at ten quid less. The rack looks stronger than the Rally mounting points so it would be easy to overload it.

    The 15 litre tailpack is by Givi – I carry puncture sealant – WD40 – spare gloves and an extra tool pack n stuff in it. There’s room for spare tubes too if you do a lot off-road. Initially I tied it on to the std Rally bungee mounts using the neat adjustable loops supplied with a perforated rubberised mesh to protect the paintwork. It fitted perfectly but I think a miniscule 2kgs is the max recommended weight for the tailpiece – hence purchase of the rack. The pack is expandable but not-a-lot and also has an elasticated laced top section suitable for waterproofs or a rolled up newspaper. The day-glo orange waterproof cover comes as standard.

    I have a set of Oxford Products Sports soft bags which I used with my XJR1300 on my first trip to Croatia in 2004 and haven’t used since – preferring the security of hard luggage on European forays. The bags are still like new and I am hoping to use them on the V-strom when needed. They might even fit my Rally.

    The problem with long distance travel on the Rally is always going to be weight distribution and deciding what items of clothing n stuff to leave at home. My GS1100 and 660 Tenere were built like the old Forth Railway Bridge and carried so much kit around Europe that was never used without a murmur of protest. The CRF looks and feels lightweight in comparison – with the bonus that it is a lovely ride.

    No worries – people have gone round the world on Honda 90’s – it’s just a case of adapting and leaving the kitchen sink at home πŸ™‚

    Let me know how you are getting on Mark – a quick spin over the Humber Bridge will get you into Yorkshire and all it’s official Green Lanes. My favourite stamping ground when every Sunday was a day to spend in the dirt were the green lanes south and west of Church Stretton in Shropshire leading all the way to the Cardigan Bay-Welsh coastline. It’s not like that in Scotland where we have the right to roam – but only on foot. Most tracks are marked ‘Authorised vehicles only’ and it’s best to have the permission of the Landowner before going off-road.

    Cheers – Don

  2. Mark Holyoake

    October 23, 2017 at 06:29

    Hi, May I ask what the rack and the luggage is? Have acquired a Rally, partly inspired by your article(s) and want to kit it out for a trip to the Highlands next year, from Lincolnshire.


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