5 December 2017


For the summer?

I had an email (and no doubt everyone else with a Triumph did!) from Triumph announcing a clear out of parts and accessories.for a range of bike including the Rocket.

When I bought Pepé I wanted the flyscreen but with a combined cost over £250 for the screen and fittings,  I couldn't justify the expense.  Unlike the X model that came with it fitted the ordinary Roadster came with nothing.  

So when I saw in the list of parts at half or even lower price I chased it up. The flyscreen blade came out at just over £40. With all the bits, some genuine parts an some pattern the total cost is about £125.

The reason for pattern parts made by a guy, David Gill, is because the screen needs two brackets to hold it in place. One side is out of stock at Triumph!  And given that the bike is no longer in production as it couldn't meet the latest EU emissions regs, what chance of stuff being made?

What happens if an owner has an accident and needs a replacement?  Looks like tough titty!

I have everything I need.  I had toyed with the custom screen but the guy hasn't come back to me since August (!) and so I have given up on that.

The flyscreen I have bought is the gloss with red stripes to compliment Pepé's existing colour scheme. 

Photo session to follow.

27 November 2017

Sinterklaastreffen 2017?

Currently the UK is in the grip of a cold spell.  Winds from the north-west are coming from the pole and bringing icy conditions to the south of England and snow and ice to the more northerly climes.


The decision whether to go to Belgium will be taken later in the week.  The newspapers are scaremongering about "arctic conditions" being with us for weeks rather than the usual days.  

One of the geographical benefits of where we are off the coast of mainland Europe means that we benefit from the jet stream and that generally brings warmer air up from the equator that means we get less snow but we get more rain than the Europeans. 

Unfortunately it looks as though we are going to be north of the jet stream this week and in the cold air.

It was very cold on Friday when I went on the Ride for Kelly and on Saturday we (Neill, my brother and me)  went to the football (soccer y'all) at Gillingham and even with four layers of clothing, gloves and woolie hats it was still freezing!

Today it was heavy rain!  

The ide aof a Johnny No-Mates trip across the Channel to Belgium in the pissing rain or freesing icy cold is not that attractive!

Let's see........

Update 28/11/2017

Weather forecast for the weekend has taken a turn for the worst.

They are now saying that Friday into the weekend will have what they euphemistically call "wintry showers" during the day and overnight.


Update 29/11/2017

Definitely not going now.  Snow forecast for the south-east and "near continent".  That's Belgium.  Riding a £10000 ($12700) bike in those conditions it a definite no-no.

24 November 2017

Last Ride for Kelly

The RV was supposed  be no later than 0945. So I arrived at 0920 and found one scooter there and John the organiser.

I parked up near the church and went into the coffee shop. A couple of skinny latté  later the scooters had begun to multiply and a couple of other bikes had joined in.

I was talking to some of the guys when we discovered that the church proceedings started at 1100.
At 1045 we were asked to fire-up and give a rev as the hearse passed by.

It was getting on for noon when we finally got to move and the escort began.

The cremation commitment was private for the family. I carried on from there to get a parcel from the post office and home.

It was cold but dry and sunny.

23 November 2017

Ride Out for Kelly - November 24th

Not quite the "Ride for Kelly" we had hoped to be holding this year or for many years to come.

Sadly, Kelly passed away a few weeks ago and this will be the final ride out as we have been asked to provide an escort from the church to the crematorium.

The Kelly Turner Foundation founded in her name will continue and the money raised used to help other children in the same predicament.


12 November 2017

Ring of Red

It was with some trepidation that once the Remembrance Day Parade had finished on TV that I went to the garage and tried to start Pepé. 

Of course I had to press the "go" button and was relieved to hear the "whirr. click" from last week. I then got the power unit out and attached the leads.

A few seconds.  Press again. Start. Phew.

I left it running whilst I finished togging up. Boy was it cold out of the wintery sun. My phone showing 6°C. The wind chill on the motorway at 70mph... I Googled it and it came out at -2.3°C. 

I need Santa to bring me some winter gloves. My usual ones were not that good today. I'll be more specific for him. Not too bulky but waterproof and warm. If anyone knows of a brand/model that fits this bill that won't cost an arm or leg, then tell me.

So back to Sunday. I set off about 1145. This is my fifth Ring of Red. In fact I have been going since the first one. 

The traffic was light to the M20. I decided that I'd go straight up and not bother with the A2 detour. A fuel stop at Dartford and then across river to Thurrock.

There was heavy traffic as I approached the Services. They are off the motorway by a huge shopping centre. With Christmas only 43 days away you can't keep the mugs from spending their cash. Worst still, there's an IKEA to attract the dumbos to buy flat packed Swedish chipboard furniture. 

Once in the services the organisation was excellent. An area of the car park setioned off and the management fully cooperating to make the day a success.

People complained about it being chaotic but simply put, that is bollocks. A small number of volunteers and marshals have to do the organising of hundreds of attendees into a  column and then on to the roads.

The traffic was held up by other volunteers with cars, to let us get out of the service area and onto the M25. Such a shame that Essex Police can't provide a car or two to assist or even a few bike cops?

Once on the M25 the first obstacle is the Queen Elizabeth Bridge. Traffic was crawling at 30mph and we had trouble reaching the 50-55mph speed and four bike lengths apart ideal.

I planned to go to the next services but as I was so damned cold I decided to go past and then turn around at the next junction.

Fellow Meldrew, Ian Jenkinson, was a mile or so ahead of me on his 1200GS. I was going to stop off for a coffee with him and his riding buddies on the way back on the other side of the M25. In the end I shot past.

By Maidstone I was thinking about a comfort break but carried on past that service area as well. The urge went off in the cold. 

Apart from my fingertips I wasn't feeling too cold. I was wearing a jumper I bought a few weeks ago in ASDA. That it has reindeer on it.... Anyway it was warming. Plus my ancient boots had back up courtesy of EDZ bikers socks. My legs in thickish kevlar lined cargo pants seemed okay. 

I eventually arrived home about 3pm. Once in the house I felt even colder than on the road.

My wristbands
From Thurrock

Me and Pepe

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