Sunday 30 August 2015

Coupes Moto Légende 2016

As regular readers will remember, back in 2012 a group of us went to the Coupes Moto Légende in Dijon, France. We had a great time and I decided that I would return one year, and 2016 will be the year.
I haven't been abroad for a couple of years due to lack of funds and job security, but things have improved so I'll be 'Touring on a Single' again!

More later.

Website (in French)

Saturday 29 August 2015

Friday bike

On Friday I was working in and around Inverness, and on the way up saw signs advertising the 'Thunder in the Glens' rally.

This is a big Harley Davidson rally held each year in the town of Aviemore.
On the way back, I must have seen at least 200 HDs heading to the rally on the road between Aviemore and Perth, and a report on BBC News website put expected figure at 5,000.
Had a look at the programme and it seems to be a very well organised affair, and with 5,000 people needing to eat, drink, sleep somewhere, buy petrol, souvenirs etc, a major boost to the local economy. Unfortunately, they had typical Scottish summer weather – 10 minutes brilliant sunshine, 10 minutes heavy rain – repeat all day!

One Harley Davidson I didn't see on the road was this week's Friday bike:
Harley Davidson Topper

The Topper is the only scooter HD ever built, and was available between 1960 and 1965. It was powered by a 164cc two stroke single with a 'pull cord' start like a lawnmower.
One with bodywork removed showing engine.

Sunday 23 August 2015

New camera

As I mentioned in a previous post, my camera suddenly stopped working, so the search was on for a new one. I'm not a very serious photographer - I just want something I can 'point and shoot' that hopefully gives reasonable results. After a lot of looking round the Internet, comparing prices, etc, I ended up buying a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX220.
This is a fairly standard compact camera, and compact is the word - it's tiny! (95 x 60 x 25 mm), so will easily fit into a pocket. There are plenty of other similar cameras on the market, but this one came up at the right price/spec. I'm not going to bore you with any technical details as I haven't bothered reading them, but the important things are: 18.2 megapixels, it recharges via a USB lead so I can recharge it in the topbox of my bike, when I put a 64GB SD card I had handy into it, it said it could take 1880 pictures, and it can shoot HD video.
I went for a walk round the village taking pictures and was very impressed by the quality. It was a very sunny day, and the following pictures are as they came from the camera other than resizing, no altering of the pictures has been done.
My Traveller outside my garage.
Yamaha SZR 660 'project' and 'spare' Traveller inside the garage. Light is solely what was coming in the door - no flash and no lights inside garage.
Entrance to old railway station. Line has long gone and is now a cyclepath. This was taken in the shade from the railway bridge with a small amount of zoom.
View up main street of village.
Village steeple. This has been a school, village hall, and meal market over the centuries, but never a church despite people mistaking it for one.
Statue on Steeple taken from same point as above photo, but using zoom on camera.

Label on postbox cut from picture above on computer to show quality of photo.

There's no manual with the camera, but you can download one from Sony's website. It gives you lots of info on the hundreds of things that appear on the screen, including what seems to be a special setting for photographing cats! (No, I haven't read it all yet!)
I didn't know about this before I went out, but the picture I took of my neighbour's cat, Tibby, came out OK.

I've very pleased with it as the photos seem to be of very high quality, it's very easy to use (I'll only ever use it on one setting!), and the size makes it easy to carry around. So hopefully better quality photos will appear in future posts!

Technical stuff if anyone's interested here.

Friday bike

Expemotion E-Raw

Prototype electric bike from French company Expemotion. No details of motor, etc, but its 'unique selling point' is its multilayered curved wood sprung saddle.
Found this video of the prototype being built. Certainly seems very labour intensive, and you can see the engine/battery unit is a foam mock up, so I assume the bike being ridden at the end is operating under gravity!


Sunday 16 August 2015

A run in the sun

Here in Scotland we've had one of the worst summers I can remember. It seems like it has rained every weekend, and as a result I've hardly been out on my bike. My friend Kirstin asked if we could go for a run as she has a potential buyer coming to see her bike on Monday and wanted one last run on it. (It's a Chinese Yamaha YBR125 'clone'). The weather turned out to be nice for a change, so it was out for a run round the backroads of Renfrewshire and East Ayrshire, stopping for coffee at a very nice café. All in we did about 40 miles (60 km) on very quiet roads and I saw 22 degrees on my thermometer! Woo – that'll be our summer then!

This is the only useable photo from the trip. My camera started making strange noises and wouldn't zoom, and when I got home I found all the photos except this one were well out of focus and the lens mechanism wouldn't work - looks like it's dead! This was actually my first digital camera and I had gone back to it when my newer one failed. It's really big and clunky compared to much cheaper, newer cameras, so time for a replacement.

Friday bike

Métisse Motorcycles Mk 5 Street Scrambler

Was driving back from a work training meeting in the Midlands on Friday and I heard an interesting article on the radio about the forthcoming The Man from U.N.C.L.E. film. The article was on the Métisse Motorcycles used in film and included an interview with a spokeman from the firm.
The bikes used in the film are their 'Steve McQueen Desert Racers', a replica of a bike built by the Rickman brothers for the actor, and NOT a replica of the bike used in the film 'The Great Escape', as many people believe. These use refurbished Triumph TR6 engines from the mid sixies.
When I got back I had a look at their website, and found this week's Friday bikes – their Mk5 Café Racer and Street Scrambler.

These use Métisse's own 997cc 'Adelaide' parallel twin engine, and like the other bikes in their range, are hand built to order. I found an article from 2010 that put the projected price at £16,000 = 22,500 = US$25,000 – I imagine that will have gone up a bit since then.
Found this video of a frame being built, some of the bikes being ridden, and the new engine.

Just look at the craftsmanship that goes into making the frame – aren't those joints beautiful?

Technical details:
Engine Configuration: Air cooled parallel V twin
Engine capacity: 997 cc (98 x 66 mm)
Power & Torque: 97 bhp @ 8,000rpm & 70 Ib/ft @ 7,000rpm
Transmission: 5 speed Metisse
Ignition: MBE ECU
Fuel system: Twin 42mm throttle bodies & injectors with high pressure fuel pump
Exhaust system: Twin stainless steel back-swept pipes

Métisse Motorcycle: Website

Further reading: Article 1, Article 2.

Friday 7 August 2015

Motorcycle ergonomics

Ever looked at a bike and wondered if the riding position would suit you? Well, there now a website that can help. Motorcycle Ergonomics is a site where you can select a bike from a list, input your height and inside leg measurement, and it'll draw a figure of your size on the bike with the option of a 'feet up' or 'feet down' view. It also gives you the lean and leg angles, as well as options to see what it would be like with higher, lower and pulled back bars and footrests, and raised or lowered saddle.
The database doesn't have a Skorpion (yet), but here's why I won't be keeping my Yamaha SZR 660 once it's rebuilt.
Don't think my poor old back and wrists would like that for very long!
It's good fun to play around with, and to find bikes that you could never own!
However, look how relaxed an Indian Scout would be:

Ever wanted to come to Scotland?

Well these Belgian tourists did,
and made this superb video.

Monday 3 August 2015

Anyone know this rider?

This picture was posted recently on Facebook.
Can anyone identify this man so he can get his camera back? Please share
A GoPro hero3 found in a ditch near Ullapool about 6 months ago. It has now dried out and footage of a bike journey between Ullapool, Lochinver etc.

If anyone knows him, let me know and I can pass on a message.