Tug web apr 2018

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group

April 2018

Welcome to TUG Dear Members, Hasn’t the weather been miserable, with Beasts and Baby Beasts from the East? We did get in a few social rides, however. We are pleased in this issue to include a narrative poem by Sandra, which adds a touch of class to our other worthy offerings. You can still read TUG online at ISSUU, but they have withdrawn PDF downloads, so these will be available from the EAMG website Real Soon Now. If you want TUG to contain anything in June then I urgently need some new material. Tell us what your favourite bit of kit is, for example. Great works of literature not required (although gratefully accepted if offered). There is a brand new email address just for TUG you can use. Final copy date for the June issue is 25th May 2018. Come on, overwhelm me! Chris

Editor (TUG@eamg.org.uk)

Chairman’s Piece


Test Passes


Membership Info


Observer Coordinator


Skill for Life


New Members


Me and Motorcycles


Membership Form


Dates for the Diary


Picture Gallery


My Motorbike Poem


Brian’s Story


Events Report


Observer Profile


Further Training


What’s happening next?

Log into www.eamg.org.uk, then Runs and Rides Forum And follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Suddenly feels like spring is in the air! Time to dust down any machines that have been under wraps for the winter. The winter felt long and cold to me, hopefully the ‘Beast’ has finally gone home. The website is up and running with some adjustments required, but generally in place. Although I have had log in details for a few weeks I haven’t had the time to look at how the content is changed. We really do need a couple of volunteers to help keeping the content up-todate. You do not need to be on the committee, and it would only be for a couple of hours a month. Graham Simpkins as webmaster would be able to help if it was needed to get you started. We’ve still had no takers for ‘events coordinator’ to look after the gazebo and take it to the shows. This is only 3-4 events a year which are normally very enjoyable days out.

PLEASE PEASE PLEASE, this group is a charity not a business, no one is paid to do anything; every one gives their time freely. Our 3rd annual BBQ will be on 28th July tickets on sale at Group nights and most AGT’s. The last 2 years have been very successful with scrumptious food, excellent DJ, and fun and games.


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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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EDDIE Brazier 24th February 2018

EAMG Observer (retest) Assessor: Richard Parker

(Editor: The weather has not been suitable for tests lately)




Car and Van Tyres

All Makes — All Sizes Vintage Classic Modern Road Off Road Race


Tel: 01621 856 888 Email: autosafegroup@btconnect.com

Autosafe Group—MOT Classes 1-2-3-4- 5-7

RIDEMASTER PO BOX 859 Aylesbury Bucks. HP22 9FJ

T: 0844 888 0999 F: 0844 888 4190

www.ridemaster.co.uk “If you have a crash and it wasn’t your fault we can manage your claim free of charge. That means we will represent you and communicate with your insurance company, the at -fault insurance company, your repairer and, most importantly, YOU to resolve liability in your favour and manage your claim until your bike is back with you, fully repaired. In the unfortunate event that a bike is damaged, bikers may not be aware that once their insurer is notified, the insurer will arrange for their approved repairer to collect their bike. This may not be ideal for a number of reasons, that’s why Ridemaster will work with your chosen local repairer where they know you and know your bikes’ history. Call Ridemaster first and we’ll take the pain out of a bad day.”

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Membership Information Dear Members & Prospective Members, The membership form is on the website or page 22 if you wish to join or if you are renewing.

Also please remember to spread the word about EAMG, recommendation is such a valuable tool and current members are always the best advocates for what a good group this is.

Membership Fees for 2018 

New Associate Members

...£55.00 (Includes AGT Training)

Associate Member Renewal

...£40.00 (Includes AGT Training)

Full Member Renewal


Social Member


Full Member Training

(For more information on Full Member Training see page 42)
















Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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OBSERVER COORDINATOR John Tullett I am hoping that by the time you are reading this the 'beast from the east' will be an increasingly distant memory as I cannot remember the last winter when I have had to cancel so many 1-to-1 observed rides due to inclement weather (sorry Danny!). The Observers even had to call off a peer to peer ride scheduled for early March - which I cannot recall ever happening before! So, anticipating that spring has sprung and that this will have encouraged more riders to get their bikes out and thinking about the benefits of completing some extra training, I thought I would outline the training options that we offer:

1-to-1 Observed Rides (for Associate members - who have yet to pass an advanced test) These form the core of Associate training within EAMG, with a dedicated Observer focussing on addressing your personal training needs and aspirations. The Observer will train you to a level where you would be able to pass an advanced test (either RoSPA or IAM) but there is no obligation to take a test if you do not wish to. Associates are requested to make a £10 contribution towards Observer expenses on 1to-1 training rides. Before you can participate in rides with a 1-to-1 Observer EAMG requires you to complete a New Associate Training Process (NATP), which covers the prerequisites for safe participation in training. This will either be carried out by your 1-to-1 Observer or at a Group Night meeting or an AGT. Associate Group Training (AGT) AGTs provide Associates with the opportunity to attend a short Roadcraft presentation followed by an observed ride with different Observers and commence at 09:15 on the Sunday after the Group Night meeting, which is always held on the first Tuesday of the month. Our venue is Longmeads House, Writtle, post code CM1 3LY. Associates may attend AGTs at no charge as the related costs are covered by your standard membership fee (£55 for new Associates or £40 to renew). All Associates are eligible to attend as many AGTs as they wish, regardless of whether or not they are also allocated to a 1-to-1 Observer.


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Our next AGT will be held on Sunday, 8th April. Flexible Observed Rides Flexible Observed Rides provide Associates wishing to progress their 1-to-1 training more quickly with an opportunity to arrange additional observed rides with an Observer who has spare capacity. Flexible Observed rides are intended to complement and not replace rides with your allocated 1-to-1 Observer. If you are interested in Flexible Observed Rides please let me know when you will be available (e.g. weekends, weekdays or anytime) and I will endeavour to match you with a suitable Observer. Associates participating in Flexible Observed Rides will be requested to make the standard £10 contribution towards Observer expenses for each ride. Further Training for Full Members (FTFM) Full members have already passed an advanced test and FTFM provides these individuals with an opportunity to attend training with a personal 1-to-1 Observer, in a similar fashion to that provided to Associates. We request Full members to make a £10 contribution for each ride to help offset observer expenses.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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The majority of Full members sign up for FTFM to help prepare to take a RoSPA retest or an additional advanced test but the training can also be used to address specific issues or to further develop your riding skills. Your Observer will be seeking to train you to a standard where you can achieve a good level RoSPA pass. FTFM is designed to be flexible and you can sign up when completing your membership form or pay your additional £20 (on top of the standard £25 Full member fee) at any time during the year, whenever it is most convenient for you. If there is sufficient Observer capacity at AGTs Full members signed up for FTFM will be able to attend an observed ride, but priority will be given to Associate members (as Full members also have the option of attending a social ride at the AGT).

Full Member Training (FMT) John Tipper has been successfully running FMT days for many years and these offer a great opportunity to allow Full members to identify and address any bad habits whilst developing their riding skills. By the time you are reading this the first FMT of 2018 will have been held but details of the three remaining dates can be found elsewhere in this issue of TUG. You will be typically be riding with one other Full member over a predefined route of around 200 miles. This will give you an opportunity to ride on some unfamiliar roads and periodically 'take a break' while the second rider is being observed. You will be debriefed during the ride and given a comprehensive ride report. Several refreshment stops are incorporated into each route. The cost to attend a FMT day is £45. Great care is taken to ensure that each 'pair' of riders is matched in terms of their experience levels, ability and aspirations. Many Full members have attended FMTs prior to taking a RoSPA test or re-test; to check their riding skills; or to prepare for Observer training. Slow Riding Days We run slow riding days for the benefit of all members twice a year and charge a modest entry fee of £5 to cover the provision of biscuits & water and help offset our expenses. We always endeavour to offer as wide a range of activities as possible, including emergency braking; manoeuvring exercises; the correct way to pick up your bike; a 'swerve' test and the slowest rider race - to win the much coveted 'snail' t-shirt. We will also provide 1-to-1 assistance to address specific issues as required. Our next Slow Riding Day will be held at the Ford Dunton Test Track on Sunday, 3rd June. If you wish to attend please let me know beforehand, to help ensure we have sufficient numbers of Observers (and biscuits) available.


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Essex Motorcycle Show The date for the Essex Motorcycle Show at North Weald Airfield has recently been confirmed as Sunday, 20th May and will be held in conjunction with the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance's 60 mile charity ride-out from Welwyn Garden City (for more details see https://ehaat.org/fundraise/spring-motorbike-run/ ). Mick and Alan's Associate/Full Member Ride will also be heading to the show (check the 'Runs, Rides & Routes' section of EAMG's Forum via https://www.eamg.org.uk/ nearer the date for full information). If visiting the show please remember to visit EAMG's promotional stand.

---ooo0ooo--Should any members have any training related queries then please contact me on 01277 623860 (before 21:30 please), text 07570 992801, e-mail jtullett@eamg.org.uk or training@eamg.org.uk or send me a PM via the EAMG Message Board.

Editor: John Tullett at speed twelve years ago!

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Skill for Life?

(Editor: Appeared last issue but worth repeating!)

Passing an 'Advanced Motorcycle Test’ is a very good achievement but it’s only a measure of your riding standard on test day. Whatever skill you achieve, whether it be playing a musical instrument or riding a motorbike, it takes continued practice to retain or improve. If your life depended upon the skill, you’d practice wouldn’t you? Back in IAM days, EAMG pioneered Full Member Training (FMT) but were forbidden from continuing. However, the Group has always believe in ‘promoting motorcycling excellence’ so this issue became one of the primary reasons behind the Group’s independence. Four FMT Courses take place during ‘summer time’ between March and October. There is no obligation for any Full Member to take extra training or take further tests unless you hold a RoSPA when periodic re-tests are mandatory. FMT’s provide the perfect opportunity for Full Members to ensure their riding standard is maintained or improved. It is a mandatory requirement that all EAMG Observers hold a current RoSPA Gold qualification. Furthermore, they have to undertake comprehensive training that includes riding, briefing and debriefing skills to qualify. Thereafter, two yearly assessments are required to ensure their standard is maintained. Full Members joining FMT’s can therefore be confident their Observer will be highly qualified.

You will not be riding in one large group. You will be riding with an Observer and one other Full Member giving you the opportunity to have a 'rest' while your co-rider is being observed. Every effort is made to match your riding experience, ability and aspirations with your co-rider, any miss matching being addressed at the first refreshment stop. Routes vary; distance ranging from 150 to 200 miles on a variety of roads, including several debriefing stops and two refreshment stops. Joining details, including the route, will be sent by email a few days before the event. A full day’s training with a professional instructor will cost you well over £100 but for Full Members, the FMT joining fee is only £45, a small price to pay for a brilliant, fun and rewarding day that could save your life. Events this year: - 27th May 2018 - 29th July 2018 - 21st October 2018 To join, Email: John Tipper at jtipper@eamg.org.ukFor further information see Further Training Opportunities for Full Members at the rear of this edition of TUG.


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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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New Members

Full Member: Richard Collar

Social Member: Valerie Nunn

The editor has now been given viewing access to the membership database and hopes he has not missed too many people this time., or got their names too badly wrong We wish you all heartily welcome to the Group, and hope that you can take full advantage of the wide range of training and social events which we offer, We all aim to be, not just better riders, but happy better riders!


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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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St Lawrence House 2 Gridiron Place Upminster Essex RM14 2BE

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Me and Motorcycles. Roy Hems My First Motorcycles 1936 B2 250cc BSA Whilst serving in the RAF in 1946. I was stationed at the now famous Bletchley Park. I qualified as a High Speed Telegraphist working an eight hour shift system, finding myself with opportunities for 36 hours off on a weekly routine and 48 hrs on a roughly 6week rota. I felt the need for some form of transport. The Motorcycle was the economic answer. I saw the above BSA B2 250cc for sale and bought it for £65. This being my first experience of motorcycles for I was an Automotive student, still doing my studies by correspondence, however, clueless about motorcycles. That situation was going to resolve itself quite quickly with this machine. I was stationed at RAF Bletchley Park, needing to get home to Ilford, Essex. I had always wanted to own a motorcycle. I understood the mechanics of the machine, unfortunately the use of the Air Lever, and Ignition Lever combinations, as was the ability to ride a motorcycle, were not familiar to me. I had applied for my first Provisional Driving Licence early in 1946, as all driving tests had been suspended for the duration of the war, for anyone holding a Provisional for one year prior to the resumption of the test on 1st November 1947 would be able to apply for a “Full” licence without a test. Unfortunately I missed out, applying for a conversion to a full licence, by a few months and had to take a test. More of that later. Oh! The pleasures of motorcycling in the post WWII war period, especially riding a bike already twelve years old, 1936 250cc O.H.V. B.S.A B36/2.With a three speed hand change gearbox, This machine was really at the tail

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end of the Early period of design, in so much that the lubrication system (If you could call it that) was just one move on from the plunger pump in the top of the tank the kind which had to have two pump strokes every two or three miles, this machine had moved on to the automatic pumping system (The Pilgrim Pump) fitted on the bottom of the timing cover, with a glass sighting bowl and a small adjusting feed screw, It was necessary to set the number of drips at tick over to one drip every minute. The unfortunate side to this system was, as was its hand pumping predecessor, a `Total Loss` system, in other words none of the oil was returned to the tank, it all got blown out over the rear wheel. If the feed were not just right the engine would seize up, which it did with monotonous regularity. More about that later. I did eventually get it right, after a complete engine rebuild. The performance of this machine was not anything like the manufacturers claimed. On a good day with the wind behind and a slightly damp road to reduce friction, just over 50 MPH was possible, but very hairy. I later found the unfortunately road holding was caused by the front forks spring had run out of its useful life and was fully compressed all the time, this was aided and abetted by the Main frame chainstay bolt having worn out, but more of that later**. A grease nipple for each valve lubricated the OHV Guides, Rocker Arms were covered by a tin plate, valve springs were exposed, and the clatter was quite something. There were two other items on the 250, which were a source of trouble. The Single central spring clutch, standard fitment to all BSA Motorcycles until 1938. In 1937 there was a move to improve clutches with multisprings but only on a few models. **The connection between the front and rear section of the frame under the gearbox was the second real problem. The clutch would never free equally all the way around, always dragging at one point. This was not correctable, the spring, when it was wound, started and finished on the same side of the spring, creating different poundage’s either side. With regard to the Frame problem, the joint of the rear bottom chain stays and the engine mounting plates were connected by a large sleeve passing through the cast end lugs on the stays, a large bolt compressing the lot together, unfortunately until I welded additional plates either side of the engine mounting plates to thicken them up, they had worn through the sleeve and the whole assembly came loose. There were reports of these frames collapsing in the middle. I did not know at the time I bought it that the front suspension (Forks) spring was already useless with no rebound at all, making every bump quite a shock up the arms. Having bought the machine, I came off Night duty at the Signal Centre, instead of going to bed, having the time off from 8am that day until Midnight the following day, I decided I would collect the bike and ride home to Ilford. Having mentioned my intention to a friend, he said he would like to come with me.


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Photo` Me with the friend who was brave enough to be my passenger. Photo taken outside the famous Hut 106 before the Fireproof Asbestos was removed postwar . Following breakfast in the mess, we went to the garage to collect the bike. Not wanting to appear the absolute novice that I was, once the mechanic had demonstrated how to start the machine and put it into gear, as soon as he left me to it, I pushed the bike a little way down the road, I then followed the instructions, started the engine, advanced the ignition, opened the air lever and gently increased the revs to get the feel of the throttle. The twist grip was a typical pre-war BSA arrangement, Sliders inside the handle bar operating in opposing slots. These were well worn; the throttle had a mind of its own. The changing from opening to closing and the reverse were very hairy moments; there was a damper to hold the throttle in any one position, however, that was well worn out. Changing gear caused some considerable wobbles, removing the right hand from the bars, with the throttle closing automatically, whilst operating the clutch that was dragging and changing the hand gear lever on the right hand side of the tank, Would have been dodgy for an experienced rider, but for me on that first 60 mile journey with a pillion passenger that had never been on a bike before. I leave to your imagination! By the time we had reached B.G.England`s Motorcycle dealership at Dunstable, on the A5 the throttle was no longer to be tolerated. Mr. England had it changed for meto a modern unit with a damper, while there he had the clutch adjusted along with the front brake cable adjustment corrected. The Front Brake Handlebar Lever had a particular BSA adaption of a variable lock fitted for locking the front brake in the on position, which released the moment the lever, was operated. Very handy when parking on a slope! The BGE mechanic was the boss`s Son-in-law, soon to be World champion Moto cross rider, Basil Hall. Start of a friendship that lasted many years on the scramble circuits. The work Bas` did was a revelation to me, everything worked as it should have done in the first place! Reaching Barnet, the engine felt as if it was being held back. Stopping to check the Oil in the tank assured us there was no shortage. The Pilgrim pump drip feed seemed, to me, to be working ok. So we stopped at the side of the road for a rest. Boy did we need it after the precarious ride we had just had. Whilst sitting on the grass along came a combination of the AA. Stopping to ask if we were ok, he joined us on the grass, explaining the complexities and vagaries, of the Pilgrim Pump, which was fitted to many machines at that time. He thought the piston was seizing in the cylinder. Suggesting a little more feed. This was done. The result was an uneventful ride home. However, the oil tank had emptied its 4-pint contents all over the

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rear wheel and our trousers. Causing a few exciting moments at the back end, not that we realised what was causing the problem, we put it down to cobbles and wooden block and tramlines. Who remembers those? My friend, after my mother washing and drying his trousers decided to go to London for his leave period by train. Who could blame him? I decided to leave the bike at home and also travel back by train the next day. Oh!! The joys of motorcycling in those heady days. My petrol ration was two and one half gallons per month; it left the bike with little use for a while. Ignorance is bliss it is folly to be wise! The following day, I decided that I would take a trip to Barking to have a look at the machines in Albon`s dealerships, they had at that time two showrooms one on the corner of Longbridge Road and Ilford lane and the other in Ripple Road. Unfortunately whilst I was out it started to rain, I was not equipped for rain at any time, I was soon very wet. However, once wet you cannot get very much wetter so I carried on. So far my two days of riding had been dry. This was my introduction to the bad side of motorcycling. Barking at that time was Cobblestones, Tarred Wooden Blocks and Tramlines, a wonderful combination not found anywhere today, Add water and the Streatham Ice Rink was a poor relation. Riding over the bridge at Barking Railway Station, I had to slow down for pedestrians, You know the things they walk out in front of you and expect you to stop! I applied both brakes, for what they were, and proceeded to slide down the steep camber to the kerb, fortunately I did not come off, but very nearly did, My confidence was severely shaken. It made me very wary for the future. I had applied for my licence prior to 1st November 1946, I could apply for a full licence without taking the test, which restarted on that date. However, my timing was out so I had to have a test. There was a considerable wait, eventually my test date came. One that coincided with my off duty times, which was the fourth time. The testing office was in West Ham Lane, Stratford. There were only a few test centres at that time. West Ham Lane, on the western side was one large open area of bomb damage. This was opposite to the test centre office. I duly propped the BSA against the high kerb near the office, popped my test form through the little window in the door, and waited. A little man with thick horn rimmed glasses came out, as I was the only one there, asked if I was the applicant. Then proceeded to ask Where should I not park. I gave all the answers I had read about in the Highway Code, which I had read from cover to cover. Without actually getting on the bike, he then informed me I had failed, My front wheel was too close to the Metal studs outlying the “Belisha” pedestrian crossing. Crossings were named after the one who suggested them Lord Hoare Belisha. So I had to book another test. I wrote letters of complaint but to no avail. This was a very hairy thing booking civilian dates, which could be changed at the drop of a hat, as could my own situation, being on a watch system at Bletchley Park, Bucks. My time was totally precarious and subject to constant change without notice. I found I had to change the date three times before I could attend the test, My commanding officer wrote to the test authorities to complain of their inflexibility, Mainly because I had applied to him for change of watch shift so often in order to accommodate the test office, they amazingly refunded the lost fees. However, when I arrived for my test, who should I get but the same examiner. Due to the previous problems I expected to have a rough time. But not so, I parked way down the road on the bombed area, which had been cleared of debris. I was asked the questions relating to the Highway Code and then told to ride around the roads that surrounded the bomb damage whilst he stood outside the office and watched me. I was then presented with my Green


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Pass form. Not a word was spoken. I was now a qualified, green as grass, motorcyclist!! I have a perpetual nagging thought, a number of my friends in my age group, have never passed a test for either a car or motorcycle, having a provisional licence during the war and just after, upon their demob, converted to a full Licence. This raises a very poignant question, in today’s conditions should they still be driving? The feeling of pleasure was soon removed within minutes of leaving the centre, the Clutch started to drag, the only way to engage a gear was to sit astride and push the bike along and engage the gear and hope it would go in and get the machine rolling. Stopping at traffic lights in Stratford at 4pm was not the best of times to do it. Another regular problem, I was able to get around myself, the ignition timing had a nasty habit of slipping, the taper shaft of the Magdyno drive and the sprocket that drove it would become lose, this resulted in me sitting at the side of the road with a special brass rod, made for the purpose, putting the piston at 7/16 BTDC on the compression stroke refitting the sprocket, Ignition points just breaking, which I held with another special tool made for the job, and locking the whole thing up with a King Dick Ring spanner that was always held with a rubber band cut from an inner tube around the front down tube, for this purpose. Having got the clutch problem put to rights, The Magdynamo started giving trouble, this time a change of problem, the large Celeron gear/clutch mechanism started to slip, this resulted in the battery not charging, although the headlamp switch panel included an ammeter, this was not a very good indicator of charging efficiency. What with Clutch drag, Seizures and lack of lighting for large amount of the time, what fun!! The lighting problem was to have a more serious outcome, slipping ignition timing.

Photo` What I eventually aspired too a Scrambler 500 Gold Star. My very early experiences of Motorcycling were precarious to say the least with totally unreliable equipment. Those experiences led me to the career in Motorcycles and the Automotive Industry.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

All Full Member Rides will leave Sainsburys Springfield, Chelmsford, at 9.30am

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February 4th 6th 11th 18th March 4th 6th 11th 18th 25th 25th 31st

Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night - AGM Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1801) Group Night - Jim Aim (KTM Dealer) Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Full Member Training (1801) Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Super Sausage Run (to be confirmed)

April 3rd 8th 15th 29th

Group Night (Jeremy Hill from the BMRC) Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Mick’s Associate/Member Ride

1st 6th 13th 20th 20th 20th 27th

Group Night (Mick Croome, SpeedSkills) Associate Group Training (AGT) Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1802) Richard's Full Member Ride Essex Motorcycle Show, North Weald Mick’s Associate/Member Ride to Essex Motorcycle Show Full Member Training (1802)

3rd 5th 10th 16th 17th 24th

Slow Riding Day Group Night (Andy Ibbott , ex-California Superbike School) Associate Group Training (AGT) SOA Peer to Peer Ride (1801) Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride

1st 3rd 8th 15th

Maldon Motor Show Group Night (Steven Green on accidents and the Law) Associate Group Training (AGT) Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1803)



Diary 2018


(Continued on page 29)


Building, Civil Engineering and Maintenance 

Extensions - Garages - Loft Conversions

Block paving Driveways - Patios

All Types of Roofing

Carpentry - Brickwork

Water Main and Sewer Repairs and Renewal

Fencing - Replacement Windows (uPVC, Hardwood, Aluminium)

uPVC Cladding, Fascias, Soffits

Underpinning - Landscaping

Painting and Decorating Fully Insured (But not yet Needed!)

For free no-obligation quote, phone Clint on

01621 828276 (Office) 07836 277223 (Mobile) Domestic and Commercial Work Undertaken Insurance Work also Welcome Member of The Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors Flagstaff Farm, Green Lane, Althorne, Essex, CM3 6BQ

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22nd 22nd 28th 29th

Richard's Full Member Ride Mick’s Associate/Member Ride EAMG BBQ at Longmeads House Full Member Training (1803)

August Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night (Eddie Friggins Summer Quiz Night) Associate Group Training (AGT) Audrey & John's Cotswolds Ride Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Essex Air Ambulance Run/Show Slow Riding Day Richard's Full Member Ride SOA Peer to Peer Ride (1802) Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1804) Copdock Show (date to be confirmed) Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Full Member Training (1804) Richard's Full Member Ride Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Group Night (Xmas Quiz) Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard’s Full Member Ride

Diary 2018

5th 7th 12th 19th 26th September 4th 9th 9th 16th 16th 23rd 23rd 30th ?30th? October 2nd 7th 14th 21st 28th November 4th 6th 11th 18th December 2nd 4th 9th 16th

Group Nights @ 19:30, AGTs @ 9:15 am

(Continued from page 26)

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Some a


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are Old! ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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'My Motorbike Poem' By Sandra Smith

In my youth I rode a motorbike, with overconfidence and verve It seemed to come so natural, because I had the nerve To sweep round the bends, In an almighty swerve With throttle and bottle, to survive every curve On my 16th birthday, motorbiking did start A surprise from my dad, to gladden my heart He paid the deposit, to put my way For a new, step through Honda, instalments to pay Just 50cc, took away all the strain Of push biking 8 miles, to work, in the rain It was not long before, my test I did take To be observed round the block and emergency brake The examiner stepped out and I came to a stop Without running him over, the test so to flop He ticked his paper and to me said 'you'll do' So I imagined that biking, I knew through and through I got in with the rockers and changed my machine From a tiddler to a middler, an old C15 A BSA 250, I liked very much To ride the Cotswolds, once I'd mastered the clutch Then came the Tigers, 90 and 100 And on the latter, to the ton I thundered When I think back, it seems like a dream In those swinging sixties, to be part of that scene


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Forty years later, a new century turned In my new swinging sixties, I once again yearned By spending the money, in my pension pot On a big motorbike, to go off like a shot It was near 40 years, since I'd rode such a bike And so looked around, for one that I'd like To tour abroad, that was my vision With comfort, style and shaft drive transmission I thought modern bikes, might be easy to ride Though this silly delusion, was soon pushed aside When the smallest tourer, just 650cc Proved to be, too much for me I tried so hard, to impose my will On that bulky and heavy, Honda Deauville In preparation, I'd done 500cc training My former skills, in hope of regaining My dreams for this purchase, all came to nought As on a Gloucestershire byway, I came to a halt At a tee junction, my left boot to put down On a steep camber and collapse like a clown The bike pinned me down, with all it's great load And for 30 long minutes, I lay on the wet road Until a kind motorist, lifted from me The bulk of that Deauville, I was again free I knew from that moment, that machine had to go And I was to replace it with a 'Virago' Which means 'Warrior Woman' or something of the sort Much lower and lighter, with shaft drive on the port I realised from this time, I could better survive On this old Yamaha, Virago 535 But if I was to do so, I had to be With an advanced group, the EAMG!

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I never realised riding such an art And many observers, their advice did impart I was very trying, in more ways than one And had more observations, than the rising of the sun I finally won silver, with a RoSPA pass But couldn't up my game, this achievement to surpass I was honoured by the group, a trophy to receive Such a great group of people, I never want to leave I'll never drive a car again, I love my motorbikes I tour on the Virago, so I can take some hikes Across the length and breadth of Britain, to walk the hills and dales Staying at hostels, by coastal paths and mountain trails In 2016, I took my RoSPA retest Just scraped a bronze, I was not at my best But I am a trier, just ask my trainer And in 2017, a silver re-gainer! I've now found my level, I'm not meant to be A fantastic rider, like some that I see I hope what I've learned, will keep me alive As I ride my Virago and Honda 125 So thanks to the group, and thanks to 'Roadcraft' And thanks to myself, for not being so daft To imagine that biking, I know through and through As when that bloke long ago, said to me that 'You'll do' ''


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Promoting Excellence In Motorcycling: My Story Brian Rickerby My story starts 18 months ago, when having retired I passed my DOT motorbike test and purchased a gleaming 6 month old Triumph Bonneville, the bike I had wanted since I was 16. (Having finally scratched the 45+ year itch to own a Bonneville I have since part exchanged it for a more modern bike). Whilst I had passed my test and therefore had a certificate to confirm I was competent to ride a ‘big bike’ on the road I was still very much a learner. In fact I would describe myself as a ‘cautious risk adverse provisional’ rider (the more astute amongst you will spot the acronym). Having purchased my bike from Jack Lilley in Romford I attended a free Met Police bikesafe course which runs from Jack Lilley. I learnt a lot on that day, but it was just one day and I took on board the recommendation from the Police rider to join the official Essex IAM/ROSPA training organisation for further training. Shortly afterwards I gave my wife a treat and took her to the North Weald Motorcycle Show (although she didn’t seem to appreciate it as much as me – no pleasing some people). As luck would have it there was the training organisation my Policeman friend had been talking about and I joined EAMG not realising that this was not the ‘official’ ROSPA group. (I thought the fees were cheaper but I just thought it was a deal on the day - in truth nobody queries cheaper fees!). This turned out to be a fortuitous mistake as I firmly believe I joined the best club available. I attended my first club night and was introduced to the delights of ‘IPSGA’ and ‘TUG’ (the biker magazine called ‘tug’ turned out to be nothing like I expected). I was assigned an observer, which in my case was Geoff Preston (other observers are available). Through a series of observed rides Geoff then spent the best part of the next year turning a c**p rider (see above) into an advanced rider as I have just completed my ROSPA test with Mark Anderson and obtained a silver pass, which I am delighted with. I also Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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had rides with other observers on the monthly AGT’s (Richard, Paul and Mick) which were very useful as they each gave a slightly different view on my riding technique (or lack of it) but it is Geoff I owe my biggest thanks. I turned up for one observed ride with Geoff to find another rider, John, was also there as Geoff had double booked us. This turned out to be another fortuitous mistake as we conducted the ride as a ‘three’ which we both found very useful as one rider could be observed while the other followed and had a ‘rest’ while observing from the back. We all agreed this worked well and all my remaining rides with Geoff, with the exception of the pre-test ride, were with the three of us. Since joining EAMG I have met some very good friends and enjoyed a number of social rides but most importantly the overall improvement in my riding ability since joining is testament to the clubs motto: Promoting Excellence In Motorcycling.


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Events Report Chris Johnson Well, I have been on more rides recently than in the last two Events Reports, but that was scarcely difficult. One of them was not Richard's Full Member run to Bramford, near Ipswich, on the 4th February. This was a shame, since I have never been to Bramford, which seems to be a pleasant little nonentity of a village. I cannot remember what my excuse was; but I am sure it must have been a pressing one. Anyway, they started off with 15 riders and arrived with 16, since Ron was late and caught them up in mid-ride. There was no halfway stop so at the destination a number of members dismounted rapidly and sprinted for the toilets. There were queues at the cafe but the food was good. I would guess that it was the Waterfront Diner. The run was a 'nippy but nice' 130 miles, and Jill and Neil acted as sweepers. After the AGT on 11th February nobody wanted to lead a ride, but Terry was eventually prevailed upon, and surprised me by choosing a run to the Old Warden Airfield at Shuttleworth. I know I must have attended this ride, because I took pictures on it, but my memory of it is horribly sparse. I think there were 5 of us, the weather was OKish, and it seemed further than Terry had implied at the start. Small group, no markers, nobody got lost. The airfield was open and different, but not overwhelmed with interesting aircraft. Since we crossed the A10 I probably broke away on the way back to get a quicker run home, but I just do not remember. A week later, on the 18th February, Mick held his Relaxed Run to the Wyvale Garden Centre, near Bury St. Edmunds. It was a fine day, but rather chilly in the morning. I arrived shortly before the start time (delays due to an accident) and was welcomed with great enthusiasm. This would have been flattering but Mick then blew it by explaining that they had been hoping for my arrival so that nobody else needed to take a photograph! There were 11 of us. The roads were a bit damp and salty so Mick opted for a straightforward route out through Sudbury. We made it to the Garden Centre about 11:15 after 45

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miles. It was a pleasant enough place but the food was merely adequate and not cheap (it was a very expensive shop generally; the people in the area must be doing well). The service was cheerful but absolutely chaotic. My Full English seemed strangely deficient, and then 15 minutes later they turned up with a plate containing the two missing fried eggs. Three off-roading mates of Mick & Alan joined us there for the meal. It was a little warmer and dryer on the way back so Mick mixed up the roads a little and we came back via Clare, Finchingfield, Sampford and Thaxted. I peeled off at Dunmow to get a quicker run home. Alan acted as sweeper, as usual. Distance would have been a little under 100 miles. After the AGT on the 11th March Andy offered a run to Baldock. I am really having problems with the postAGT runs. On the official Runs & Rides forum I normally post a short summary which helps remind me what happened, but for AGT's, which are EAMG Events, I often feel it is inappropriate. I need to get thicker skinned, and less idle. Anyway, it was a pleasant day for the time of year and Andy ran a marker system without back marker; you remembered when you were at the tail of the group and signalled to the marker as you approached. With only about seven of us it worked well enough. The Cafe Plus at Baldock was crowded, so most opted for a cuppa and the occasional sandwich which were eaten outside. I think I had an omelette - I never know when I am going to eat again. On the way back we did have a back marker but a) I cannot remember who he was and b) I cannot remember the journey back anyway. I assume we did come back. Richard was due to hold his Full Member ride to St Ives on the 18th March. The weather forecast for the day was dire. A certain Whining Willie (me) declared that he was not going to turn up if there was any trace of frost or snow on the day. Discouraged by this, or more likely the snowy weather itself, Richard postponed the ride to the following week. A wise decision. This meant that on 25th March EAMG pretty much owned the Sainsbury car park, with Richard's Ride, Mick's Relaxed Ride to the Ambience Waterside Café in St. Neots, and John Tipper's FMT outing to God knows where, we had over 30 members eagerly awaiting their respective

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starts. The numbers were split pretty evenly between the groups with exact counts being hampered by the tendency of everyone to go off and chat with everyone else. Richard's group was the last to leave, so I can say pretty confidently there were 12 of us. It was a dry, overcast and chilly day but mercifully not freezing cold. The roads were a bit damp and muddy out to Red Lodge, where we stopped for quite a long tea break, but the sun started appearing occasionally after that and the roads became drier throughout the day. At the Local Cafe in St Ives the liver. bacon and onions were even more substantial than I remembered, and I felt that I might never eat again. Don't worry, by late evening I was forcing down a morsel of food, several morsels in fact. I have stolen Colin Digby's picture of the bikes parked at St Ives because it was better than any of mine, and the sun came out for him. The route back was complicated by a road closure. There were earnest discussions with the workmen at the barrier, Richard rode a quick loop round the roundabout (not sure what that was about), there were further discussions, and then Richard led us off on an acceptable alternative route with no signs of any uncertainty. Drier roads meant slightly faster going. I left the group after the petrol stop on the A505 near Royston to get a quicker run home, by which time we had done about 125 miles.

The hour having gone forward that day was a double whammy. Not only did it mean getting up at what was effectively 05:30, but it was light enough when I got back to see that the bike was muddy, and have time to do something about it before nightfall. I reluctantly washed and hosed it down, and even fretted at the more obvious bits with a chamois leather. I hate doing this, because I know it means that when I come to drag it out of its shed again, which is difficult at the best of times, the discs will bind slightly and I shall be struggling and blaspheming in several languages.


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Observer Profile Name: Jacques de Klerk Name: Jacques de Klerk, otherwise known as JaqAss, not that the chaps of the Movie franchise are a patch on me.

When and why did you develop an interest in riding a motorcycle? In the far-off mists of time in the mid-1990s youth on my side, absconding from my post whilst working on Anglo American farming concerns in deepest Zambia, I began hooning around on farmer dirt bikes to scoot between plantations, flip flops, T shirts and short shorts as body armour. Needless to say having NFCS (No F***ing Common Sense) there were many offs with a heady mix of dirt and tar rash proudly displayed and tales of great adventures in the face of adversity re-told to those around, oh how I hit the ground. How old were you when you first rode a bike? 7-8 years old What was the bike and what were the circumstances? Monkey see monkey do, Mindola Dam and the slag heaps from the Copperbelt mines were my zoo, often seeing me behaving like an Ass and often finding myself on it, Those little Monkey bikes were such a blast. Of the bikes you’ve owned to date, which was the favourite, if there was one? What a choice, how could a mere mortal as I choose, from the delirious gurgles and induced dribbling of the phenomenal ZZR1400s, to the growl and bark of Dangermouse my current Ktm 1290 super adventure, of all my two wheeled steads, these 2 models rank highly in generating

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wild screams of excitement from within, one with arm wrenching ass clenching power delivery. The other low geared, mid-air, front wheel lifting shenanigans. Both induceing a smile from ear to ear each time I ride. If you were given the opportunity to own any bike on the market which would it be? Mv Augusta Dragster RR LH44 What is your favourite motorcycle related gadget? Pinlock visor inserts, so simple but invaluable in bad weather. Where is your preferred place to ride in the UK? Scotland. And, overseas? There are many, the Transalpina high mountain pass in Romania, Lysevegen road in Norway, Sani mountain pass in KwaZulu Natal, each new adventure brings new roads, surroundings and joys to share. If you were offered the opportunity to go on an extended bike tour who, family members aside, who would you choose as a riding companion? A tough choice, as there are a good number of those I know who I’d happily travel any ware with, the more banter, the greater the fun of a tour, laughter goes along way to easing tensions when stuck with others day in day out. How would you describe to a non-rider the attraction of riding a bike as opposed to driving a car? A bike connects all your senses to that around you and turns up the intensity dial to 11, I now understand why dogs stick their heads out of windows, it’s the connection to all around you, much like riding my bike. When do you intend to give up riding? When I can’t walk or crawl. Describe your scariest moment on your bike!

On my way riding down to Sicily, near Secondigliano Napels, the rain gods had dumped a deluge, roads were flooded and traffic horrendous, I


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decided to try a detour but found after a few miles or so on backroads, I was boxed in by three 4X4s near Secondigliano. Roughed up and had to show my passport to 8-10 bruisers, they took my passport to an old guy in one of the properties nearby, then came back, smiles and let me go. Turns out, I’d stumbled into the most crime ridden area for drugs in Italy.

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Further Training Opportunities for Full Members Have you ever wondered if your riding skill is still as good as it was when you passed your IAM or RoSPA Test? Is your RoSPA Retest fast approaching and you feel you’d like a refresher to check that bad habits have not crept into your riding? We are all only as good as the day we are actually riding our bikes. How good our riding was last year or even last month may not be as good as we think it is; complacency can be fatal. EAMG provide two Further Training Schemes for Full Members:

Full Member Training (FMT) – One-day training courses available four times a year Further Training for Full Members (FTFM) – Assignment to an Observer for 1 to 1 training These courses are provided to check riding skills haven’t deteriorated, for those wishing to take a higher grade of test such as RoSPA or for those preparing for qualification as an EAMG Observer. Full Member Training Four FMT Courses take place during ‘summer time’ between March and October. Participation is entirely voluntary and those taking part do not have to join each ride. Training is for your benefit and enjoyment; it is not a mandatory requirement that you go on to take a RoSPA test. To ensure the highest possible standard, Observers undertaking this training will hold a current RoSPA Gold certificate. You will not be riding in one large group. Where possible you will be riding with an Observer and one other Full Member giving you the opportunity to have a 'rest' while your partner is being observed. Every effort will be made to match your riding experience, ability and aspirations with your partner, any miss matching being addressed at the first refreshment stop. The routes, approx. 200 miles, will cover a variety of roads and include several debriefing stops and two refreshment stops. Joining details will be sent by email or post a few days before the event. Events this year:

Joining Fee £45.00

27th May, 2018 29th July, 2018

21st October, 2018

Contact John Tipper, 8 Carlton Ave, London N14 4UA. Email: jtipper@eamg.org.uk Tel : 0208 360 8590


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Further Training for Full Members You will be assigned to an Observer and rides will be arranged on a one to one basis when mutually convenient. Although not mandatory, unlike FMT, the training will be structured as preparation for a further test such as RoSPA. To apply to join this scheme: Apply to the Membership Secretary either at membership renewal or during the season. You will be asked to pay an additional Membership Fee (details below). Your Application will be passed to the Observer Co-ordinator who will assign you to the first available Observer. Where feasible, geographical location will be considered. You will be expected to pay the Observer a contribution (details below) towards fuel costs. Participation must be renewed annually.

Name: Address:

Post Code:



Riding Experience:


Typical annual mileage:


FTFM - 2018 Membership Secretary

Observer Co-ordinator

Paula Hockey

John Tullett



Additional Membership Fee

Contribution to Observer

£20 pa

£10 per ride

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Chris Johnson, Editor University of Essex Printing Services, contact Hannah 01206 872822 for more information. Please mention EAMG when replying to advertisers - it identifies you!

http://www.eamg.org.uk Affiliated to the British Motorcyclists Federation Registered Charity Number 1107703

Disclaimer and Copyright Notice: The articles published herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Essex Advanced Motorcyclists Group. They are the opinions of individual contributors and are published with a view that free expression promotes discussion and interest. Any spelling or grammatical errors are the responsibility of the editor .. Inclusion of adverts is not to be construed as EAMG endorsement, although most advertisers are excellent, but seek personal recommendations.Text © EAMG 2017 Illustrations © EAMG 2017, except where indicated otherwise. Group material may be reproduced provided acknowledgement is given to EAMG and the original author.

Twitter: @EssexAdvMCgroup

Essex Advanced Motorcyclists Group Ltd, Registered Office, St Laurence House, 2 Gridiron Place, Upminster, Essex, RM14 2BE Registered in England & Wales, Registration No. 5258261

Facebook: @EAMG.ORG.UK Pictures: www.edmxtech.co.uk/eamg.htm TUG email: TUG@eamg.org.uk

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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