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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group

February 2019

Welcome to TUG Dear Members, 40 countries in a year! We did not have room for all of them but the second part of J. Murphy’s epic odyssey will appear next month. MS Publisher has suddenly decided to get funny with the capital letter K Apologies for the oddities. Richard Parker’s younger brother produced a little celebration for his birthday, which we include since the Group figures in it. It was an image file so the print quality is not great. We are running out of observers for the Observer Profile, but if anyone would like to submit a Member Profile in that format it will be gratefully received. Full autobiographies also welcome. Actually, anything is welcome. The final copy date for the June TUG is Friday 24th May 2019. Submitting earlier is good. Chris

Editor (TUG@eamg.org.uk)

Chairman’s Piece


Test Passes


Membership Info


New Members


BMW GS Comparisons


Essex Bloodrunners


Europe Trip 2006


Membership Form


Dates for the Diary


Picture Gallery


Shaggy Dog Story


Richard Celebration


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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CHAIRMAN’S PIECE April 2019 ..Spring is in the air, and finally the skips have been removed from my drive and the garage is returning to normal. Since I moved last October I have been putting most of my thoughts and efforts into house renovation. At the Committee meeting last week Chris reminded me that he needed a Chairman’s piece for TUG I cheekily asked if it would be okay to take about some of the members of the group whose trade skills I have used since I moved. He seemed to think it was an acceptable idea so I’m blaming him!

Lounge and Kitchen before…

So from the photos it looked ok but after some use we found the kitchen had several issues and a plan was devised. I needed a team. Ian Taylor had been my plumber at my old house long before I joined EAMG and it was mainly his fault I joined. Andy Hems took on the kitchen fitting and a bit of project management and Dave Brewster the Electrics. I’d already had a bit of help before Andy started and this is what he was met with…


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With a bit of help from Sky…

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Getting there ‌

Editor: When Jill offered a piece showing Group members working on her home I, being an irreverent type, hoped for pictures of aforesaid members in typical builder poses showing plenty of bum cleavage. It was not to be. Good taste prevailed. Sigh.




Danny Rutter

28h February 2019 RoSPA Gold Examiner: Mick Jones Observer: John Tullett

Terry-king Emmanuel 2nd March 2019 RoSPA Gold Observer: Jaques Deklrk Examiner: Paul Mostyn

… and hearty congratulations to the latest EAMG Life Members, Richard Parker and John Tullett. A richly deserved award.

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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. The membership appears to dip in the first quarter because renewals have not all been made promptly!

Membership Fees for 2019 

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) This is in addition to the Full Member Fee
















Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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New Members

Full Members: Stephen Fletcher

Stephen Ashdown

The editor has viewing access to the membership database and hopes he has not missed too many people this time., or got their names too badly wrong. Sometimes it was not clear (to my old eyes) if a new member joined as a full member. Please accept my apologies if any of the above have the wrong status,

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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2015 R1200GS ADVENTURE vs. 2017 R1200GS RALLYE John Tullett Is anyone able to explain the strange phenomenon whereby a rider can be perfectly happy with the bike (or bikes) in their garage but they still somehow manage to convince themselves that they really need a change of machine? Well, I recently found myself a victim of this strange affliction and, after much reading of reviews and scanning of online advertisements, found myself heading towards Cooper Motorrad in K ent. My plan was to 'take a look' at a 2015 GS Adventure TE and a 2017 GS Rallye to discover if either of these bikes were good enough to convince me to make a change. My heart was saying GSA but my head was thinking that the smaller and lighter Rallye could provide a good halfway house between a GSA and a standard GS. I met salesman Jack on arrival and was pleased with his 'non-hard sell' technique. After a brief chat he offered me the opportunity to test ride both bikes but my cunning plan was nearly scuppered at the first hurdle because another rider was already booked in to ride the GSA. This left me to take the Rallye out first. While I think the Rallye is a visually attractive bike I was disappointed by the neutered exhaust note as I set off on the recommended 'easy to find your way back' route along the A21 towards Hastings. Fortunately the road switched to single carriageway within a few miles making it a good choice. As I entered the fourth roundabout with a small amount of counter-steering the front wheel tucked a little, nothing too dramatic but just enough to remind me that I had signed a disclaimer to say I would be responsible for the first ÂŁ1,000 of any damage! Maybe the tyres were not fully up to temperature but I have


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never had any similar issues with the identical Michelin Anakees fitted to my R1150GS. My overall impression of the Rallye's engine was that performance was disappointing for a bike offering 125 bhp (50% up on my 1150). Maybe the engine was still loosening up with only 5K miles on the clock or the muted sound track made the bike feel slower than it actually was. As I returned back to Cooper's I also found myself thinking that the relatively thin seat could prove to be a triumph of design over function on longer trips. In conclusion this bike failed to hit the mark for me.

Fortunately the other rider had just been trying out the used GSA prior to placing an order for a new Triple Black model, so my second test ride was back on. As I approached the GSA it undoubtedly has a real visual presence but, being the low suspension model, I could comfortably get both feet flat on the floor. The bike also fired up with a much more meaningful bark. Three big ticks and I was not even moving! Within a few yards I knew that I could quite happily live with a GSA, as the bike is so well balanced and the kilos melt away as soon as you are moving. I had some doubts about how well the GSA would handle filtering, as you could hardly accuse it of being slender. In practise these doubts proved to be totally unfounded as the cars I encountered gave me plenty of space - I am not sure if this was just due to meeting some particularly courteous drivers or whether the spotlights helped a little! The easy going nature of the GSA was impressive as I could effortlessly filter to the front of queues and use a little of the available performance whenever a gap appeared. The exhaust note added to the overall riding experience with a pleasing level of popping and banging when blipping the throttle on down-changes.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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After dropping the bike off and heading back home I now knew that a GSA was the right bike for me. Stage two was to consult my Finance Director (a.k.a. K ay) to work out how. Having considered the finances it was clear that I would need to sell at least two bikes. My Fireblade was top of the list as, even though if is a fun bike to ride, increasingly I return from long journeys feeling like my wrists are broken. Also the Fireblade is not well suited to our ever deteriorating local road surfaces. Much though I was very reluctant to sell my R1150GS this also made more financial sense that the VFR750. January is not the ideal time to be selling a bike and faced with selling two, including a sports bike, I decided against trying to do this privately. Cooper's were not interested in my R1150GS offering a derisory amount but they did obtain an acceptable quote from a trader for my Fireblade. I checked out the web site http:/ / www.wewantyourmotorbike.com/ which provided some interesting theoretical valuations for my bikes. I then asked them for actual quotations to buy the GS and Fireblade. They declined on the GS but did make an initial offer on my Fireblade although this then appeared to stall after I sent them some pictures! I had some interest in my GS from RIDE DMC Motorcycles, based in Dartford, who sell a lot of used BMWs but they changed their minds when they realised the bike was fitted with ABS - which they claim is fragile. MotoScot, who carried out my GS's last service, also expressed an interest but only at a 'low' trade price that they were reluctant to reveal. It was beginning to look like I would have to trade in the Fireblade at Cooper's and then sell my GS privately but I gave TUG advertiser Peter Allenby a call. Peter purchased my 918cc FireBlade some years ago and happily reminded me of the mouse nest he had discovered in the air filter!


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Peter came round that evening and made what I thought was a fair offer on both bikes. He took the Fireblade that evening and I delivered the GS the following day. I was now in the invidious position where I had sold two bikes but had not yet secured their replacement. Salesman Jack had also chosen this point to take some leave so I had to wait a couple of days before I could confirm my purchase of the GSA. Fortunately, all went to plan and I collected the bike towards the end of January. I am really enjoying the bike and can only think of three small issues so far:

 


K eyless Ignition - To me this is a solution to a problem I did not have, particularly as I still need a key to fit the sat nav, open the top box or remove the seats. Cleaning - The bike is undoubtedly the most difficult I have ever had to try and keep clean. It seems like BMW have built in numerous nooks & crannies with the sole objective of making this process as time consuming as possible. A Very Hard Centre Stand With a Strong Return Spring - I have already managed to roll the bike off the stand twice only to have it crash into my shin. The first time it hurt and this was reconfirmed when I managed to do it again (luckily the tennis ball sized lump that came up was above the boot line so it did not prevent me from riding). I have now made a mental note to try and ensure I keep my right leg in front of the centre stand whenever I am moving the bike around - as it is not easy to balance it while hopping on one leg!

Despite these minor niggles the only question that regularly goes through my mind whenever I go for a ride is why did I wait so long to get a GSA?

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Use your skills to help save a life with Essex Bloodrunners The Essex Voluntary Blood Service, also known as Essex Blood Runners is a charitable organization that delivers urgently needed supplies of blood, platelets, plasma and samples to nine A&E hospitals across Essex and East London. We are one of 30+ such groups throughout the UK.

This free of charge service is on call from 7pm to 7am, every night of the year, and 24 hours at weekends and all national holidays. We are all volunteer motorcyclists/car drivers and do not receive any payment. Each month, members suggest shifts and dates convenient to their work and home life. We are now recruiting new members and IAM/RoSPA riders/drivers are just the sort of responsible and skilled men and women we want to join the team. Let's be clear: this can be tiring work at unsocial hours in all weathers; will add several thousand miles to your vehicle each year and cost you several hundred in fuel. On the plus side, you will be a valued member of a professional team helping the NHS to bring life-saving care to a sick person who could one day be you or one of your loved ones. Many of you may already be Blood Donors - the easiest way for any of us to save a life. Becoming a Bloodrunner also helps save lives and puts your IAM/RoSPA skills to a noble cause.

Take a look at EssexVoluntaryBloodService.com for more details and contact us if you would like to know more. Trevor Wright m00577282


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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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Europe 2006 J Murphy 40 Countries in 2006 on my Pan European ST1300 2006 marked a big change in my life. I ‘took’ early-retirement from my job of 29 years in April. I wanted to mark the change in some way, some way that involved me and my bike. I first thought of visiting every country in the EU but that would involve long ferry-crossings to Cyprus and Malta and I don’t particularly like ships! I then realised that 2006 also marked 40 years since I started riding motorbikes in 1966 when I was 16, the youngest you could be in those days for a motorcycle licence in the UK. So, I thought, why don’t I see if I can visit 40 countries in this, my year of great change. A quick look at the European road atlas made me realise it was eminently possible and I began in April with a quick trip from southern England to Wales, Republic of Ireland, (yes, I know I said I don’t do ships but it was only 2 hours!), Northern Ireland and Scotland. Good, 5 down, 35 to go! Two days, 818 miles, five countries 26th May – 2nd June France, Monaco, Italy, Republic of San Marino, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands. 29th May In May I was booked on a long weekend in France with fellow-members of the Essex Advanced Motorcycle Group and I decided to extend my French trip somewhat. We were staying in Burgundy near Beaune so, on the Monday morning when the rest of the group headed north for the Channel ports, I headed south to Grenoble and the RN85, the Route Napoleon. 200 miles of twisty, spectacular road later I was in the Holiday Inn, Cannes, my first overnight stop. Mileage today 415. 30th May Next morning I headed east towards Monaco, became caught up in French rush-hour traffic and only had time for a quick look-see into the Principality. Next stop Florence then to San Marino and up to Trieste, my next over-night destination. The weather was not too kind and it rained on and off all day. Florence was fun, I tried to ride straight through the centre and, at one point, was riding alongside the River Arno in a no-traffic zone past the end of the Ponte Vecchio. The road across the Apennines was fun but time-consuming and I didn’t get to San Marino until late afternoon. It was then a long slog up to Venice and across to Trieste. The road to Venice was badly-surfaced, bumper-to-bumper heavy trucks all doing twice the speed limit, pouring with rain and pitch dark! Venice was reached without incident however and the rain stopped in time for a pleasant blast along the Autostrada to Trieste. Checked into Holiday Inn, Trieste @ 2135. Mileage today 615

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31st May Up early the next morning and into Slovenia then into Croatia. I forgot to buy insurance on the Croatian border, an omission I didn’t realise until I was safely back in the EU! This trip was a matter of long distances in the shortest possible time so wherever possible I took the motorways and after a few uneventful hours on the Croatian highway I reached the border with Serbia. Insurance on the border was no problem save for having to buy it for a month when I only wanted one day Belfast and I don’t even know how much it cost because it was priced in Serbian Dinars and I didn’t know the exchange rate. Paying by credit-card was no problem (and the cost turned out to be about £40 when I received my credit-card statement). Rather than hack all the way to Belgrade to take the motorway north to Hungary and Budapest, my next overnight stop, I decided to ‘cut the corner’ by going through Novi Sad and picking up the Belgrade-Budapest highway there. Great road to Novi Sad, twisty, poorly-surfaced in parts and some of the slowest trucks I have seen but good fun. Crossing the Danube in Novi Sad was an experience, the bridge was a shared rail/ road bridge and when I say ‘shared’ I mean ‘shared’. It was a single-track rail bridge which had metal plates laid down on either side of and between the rails. Road traffic queued at a barrier until no trains were coming then crossed alternately, first from one river-bank then the other. Getting on and off the bridge was frightening, there were huge gouges in the roadsurface and the rails were sticking up a good few cms. It was a matter of trying to attack the rails as near to 90 degrees as possible and then execute a quick right or left flick to line up with the bridge. It was at times like this, of which I was to experience several more during my travels, that I questioned the wisdom of travelling alone. Once across the river I lost some time navigating out of Novi Sad but then hit the Belgrade Bucharest highway and headed north. The run up to the Hungarian border was very flat, very straight, very windy and, in parts, very fast although there were one or two speed traps but they were very visible from a long way off, phew! Crossed into Hungary without incident and into the centre of Budapest where I was staying the night. Checked into the Budapest Intercontinental at 1800. Mileage today 584

1st June Up at 0600, fantastic morning, clear blue sky. Had breakfast with a view of the sun rising on the castle and Fishermen’s Bastion on the opposite side of the Danube. Left at 0745 onto M1, direction Vienna. About half-way to border realised no toll-booths on motorways unlike previous trips to Hungary so stopped at service station to enquire about vignette. Yes, do need one! Despite having no problems yesterday I decided to get one to avoid any possible trouble at the border. Why didn’t the people at the entry-point tell me I needed a vignette? Turned off M1 towards Bratislava and at Slovakian border asked about Slovakian vignette. There was a booth there to buy them and whilst waiting I realised it was unseasonably cold.


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Soon came to Czech border, asked about Czech vignette and was told bikes don’t need them – hooray! Turned towards Breclav and Mikulov and crossed into Austria there. Bought Austrian vignette at border. Managed to avoid huge rainstorm on way to Vienna which took a while to cross. Took A1 direction Linz and between Linz and Salzburg the heavens opened and it poured all the way to Feldkirch, apart from about 20 dry kms around Innsbruck. Around the Arlberg tunnel the rain turned to snow, the road was clear but the fields and woods were completely covered – and this on 1st June! I passed a GB-registered Transalp a couple of times en route and arrived Holiday Inn, Feldkirch at 19.45 – soaked. Mileage today 654 2nd June Up at 0715, left Feldkirch at 0830 to Liechtenstein then into Switzerland then back into Austria and into Germany. Took A7 to Ulm & Wurzburg then A3 to Frankfurt am Main then towards Cologne. Took road to Koblenz then A61/A4 to Aachen to avoid Cologne Ring. Traffic to just north of Frankfurt was OK and was able to cruise at 200 kph, about 125 mph, and managed to see 140 mph on speedo a few times – exhilarating! After Frankfurt the traffic slowed and was heavy all the way through Belgium to Calais. The Brussels ring was very heavy and there had been a major RTA on the southbound side of the road towards Oostende involving a tanker which slowed everything down on my side as well. Arrived Calais 2110, had to wait until 2245 for next ferry. Once over Channel was home in Chelmsford in just over an hour. Mileage today 778. 3770 miles in ten days and sixteen countries. Twenty-one down, nineteen to go!!

10th – 18th September – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine. 10th Sept Left Chelmsford 1600 to Channel Tunnel. On Shuttle (vehicle-carrying train through tunnel) 1730, 35 mins later arrived Calais and onto A16 towards Belgium and my overnight stop in the Crowne Plaza, Antwerp. Mileage today 217 11th Sept Up at 0600, left at 0730 and polished off Belgium and Netherlands by 0850. Crossed into Germany near Krefeld and made good progress via Essen, Hamburg and Lubeck arriving Puttgarden in time to catch 1515 ferry, three hours earlier than planned. There were 7 other

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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bikes on the ferry, Swedes and Danes on, mainly, noisy Harleys. Across Denmark in good time and across the bridge into Sweden. I stopped in Copenhagen to refuel and the filling station was full of bikes of all types and ages. I did ask one of the motorcyclists what was going on but, unusually for Scandinavia, his English wasn’t sufficient to tell me, I never did find out, there must have been 200 bikes there. Arrived at Hotel Ibis, Lund, Sweden at 1845. Mileage today 605 12th Sept Next day left Lund at 0845 and straight onto E6 for Goteborg and Oslo. Very little traffic and what there was was sticking to the motorway speed limit of 110 kph. First 200 miles were a bit boring but then turned onto single carriageway road to Halden in Norway. It was spectacular with many sea inlets, lakes and very little traffic. The Swedish/Norwegian border wasn’t even marked, I only realised I was in Norway because the white lines down the centre of the road became yellow! Very Scenic ride then out of Norway and back into Sweden arriving Karlstad 1700 for my overnight stop at the Hotel Ibis, Karlstad. At some time during the day I saw lots of geese flying south, 10 or 12 big Vformations, all at once then no more. Mileage today 409 13th Sept Next day was short one in distance terms, only 200-odd miles to Stockholm and then onto overnight ferry to Finland so I had a lie-in! Left Karlstad about 0930 and headed for Stockholm. Managed to buy a new connector for my mobile ‘phone to link with my Autocom system so I can talk whilst on the move. It’s very good to be able to take calls at any time especially when moving across time-zones so that those at home can keep in touch. Traffic en route Stockholm was light but became heavier as I moved eastwards and there were lots of roadworks. Parked in central Stockholm for a cup of tea and a cake then made my way to the Viking Line terminal to await ferry check-in. Boarded about 1915, made sure bike well-secured with ratchet tie-down and found my cabin. I had lashed out on a luxury cabin and it was well worth it. It was bigger than some hotel rooms I’ve been in and had a fabulous view right over the bow of the vessel. I had a ‘Viking Buffet’ Euro 23 for all you can eat and drink! I discovered that Finland is in the Euro zone – good, makes life easier not having to change yet more currency, and that Finland is 1 hour ahead of Sweden. Not so good, that means an arrival time of 0730 is actually 0630 for me! Mileage today 221.

14th Sept Arrived Turku, Finland at 0730, found my way out of the town OK then a fairly uneventful ride to Helsinki where I was to catch the ferry to Tallinn, Estonia. Was not too impressed by Fin-


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land or Helsinki, quite different to Sweden and Denmark and had the general air of being a bit run-down. I suppose I only saw a brief slice of the place so don’t write it off on my say-so! Checked in to Viking quay for Estonia ferry at 1100. Was directed to lorry deck and bike wasn’t tied down because the sea was very calm. I was a bit apprehensive but it turned out to be correct, absolutely flat. Two hours later arrived Tallinn. When I went to lorry deck found the vehicles so tightly-packed I had a problem getting to the bike, had to scramble beneath the ends of trailers to get to it. Before then I had changed some Euro into Estonian Krowns. Confusingly for us Brits the abbreviation used for these in Estonia is £. Off into Tallinn and found my hotel relatively easily. Had time for a wander around the Old Town. Mileage today 163 15th Sept Up next morning at 0630 and on road by 0820. Found the road to Riga, Latvia, OK but it was cold, only 8 degrees and Estonia is very flat, very wooded and the road was very straight, so ho hum! Crossed Estonia/Latvia border OK and ran parallel to the sea – the Gulf of Riga – for quite a way en route to Riga. Long deserted sandy beaches. Saw two storks’ nests on the top of telegraph poles and a stork on the roof of a house. Re-fuelled in Riga and after some rigmarole got onto the road for Vilnius, Lithuania where I was to stop that night. At the Latvia/Lithuania border the border guards wanted to see al my documents including driving licence. In over 20 years of driving outside the UK it’s the first time my driving licence has been asked for! Arrived Vilnius about 1700 and ‘phoned hotel for directions. Even though it turned out to be only a few hundred meters from where I was they didn’t have a clue and suggested I asked a passer-by! I stopped at a bus stop to ask and ended up taking a guy on the back of my bike so he could show me the way. I had seen many other motorcyclists without helmets so I was relaxed about taking him. I don’t think he had ever been on a bike before, he was hopeless, leaning the wrong way and all but he did show me to my hotel. He was waving at people as we passed; I think he just wanted a go on the bike! Had a great room at the Crowne Plaza, Vilnius, top floor with a great view over the city. Mileage today 390. 16th Sept Left Vilnius the next day at 0820 to ride approx 80 miles to the Belarus border. I wasn’t very confident about getting into Belarus as I didn’t have a visa but hoped I’d be able to buy one on the border. The terrain was very flat and wooded with lots of people out picking mushrooms and selling them by the side of the road. The last 20-odd miles to the border were very quiet and sure enough, the border guard said I could not proceed without a visa. This was the Lithuanian guy but he insisted I could not go through to ‘White Russia’ as he kept referring to it and said there was no possibility of obtaining even a transit visa for Belarus. Having half-expected this I had an alternative route already planned which involved a detour of only about 30 miles to get to the Polish border. There was a short queue of about 6 cars and I crossed with no difficulty. I gained an hour doing this, Lithuania is on GMT+2, and Poland is on GMT + 1. The Polish roads were surpris(Continued on page 32)

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

All Full Member 0ides will lea0e Sainsburys Springfield0 C0elmsford0 at 0.30am

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2019 Sunday, 6th Tuesday, 8th Sunday, 13th

Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night - Natter Night Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride

Sunday, 3rd Tuesday, 5th Sunday, 10th Sunday, 17th

Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night - AGM Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride

Sunday, 3rd Tuesday, 5th Sunday, 10th Sunday, 17th Sunday, 24th Sunday, 31st

Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1901) Full Member Training (FMT 1901)

Tuesday, 2nd Sunday, 7th Sunday, 14th Tuesday, 16th Saturday, 20th Sunday, 21st Sunday, 28th

Group Night (Skid Bike) Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Bob's Midweek Ride - Krazy Horse Cafe (Bob Cowl) Super Sausage Run (to be confirmed) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1902)

Sunday, 5th Tuesday, 7th Sunday, 12th Sunday, 12th Tuesday, 14th Sunday, 19th Sunday, 26th

Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night (Rapid Training) Associate Group Training (AGT) Essex Motorcycle Show, North Weald Bob's Midweek Ride - Rye (Joe Johal) Full Member Training (FMT 1902) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride

Sunday, 2nd Sunday, 2nd Tuesday, 4th Sunday, 9th Tuesday, 11th Sunday, 16th

Richard's Full Member Ride Slow Riding Day Group Night (Eddie’s Quiz) Associate Group Training (AGT) Bob's Midweek Ride - Southwold (Neil Bullock) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride

Tuesday, 2nd Sunday, 7th Sunday, 7th Sunday, 14th Tuesday, 16th

Group Night (Mens Health!) Maldon Motor Show Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC





Diary 2010


(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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(Continued from page 26)

Sunday, 21st Sunday, 28th Sunday, 28th

Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1903) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Full Member Training (FMT 1903)

Sunday, 4th Tuesday, 6th Sunday, 11th Tuesday, 13th Sunday, 18th Sunday, 25th September Sunday, 1st Tuesday, 3rd Sunday, 8th Sunday, 8th Sunday, 15th Tuesday, 17th Sunday, 22nd Sunday, 29th October Tuesday, 1st Sunday, 6th Sunday, 6th Sunday, 13th Tuesday, 15th Sunday, 20th Sunday, 27th November Tuesday, 5th Sunday, 10th Tuesday, 12th Sunday, 17th Sunday, 24th December Sunday, 1st Tuesday, 3rd Sunday, 8th Sunday, 15th

Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Audrey & John's Cotswolds Ride (to be confirmed) Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Essex Air Ambulance Run/Show Slow Riding Day Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1904)

Group Nig0ts 0 100300 AGTs 0 0015 am


Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Copdock Show Richard's Full Member Ride Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Full Member Training (FMT 1904) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Bob's Midweek Ride - TBC Richard's Full Member Ride Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride Group Night - Xmas Quiz Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick & Alan's Associate/Member Ride

Diary 2010

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture


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Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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ingly good, they have improved a huge amount since I was last there in 1999 and I made good time to Augustow, Bialystock and Bilesk Podlaski. Annoyingly, the road-numbering scheme seems to have changed since my map was printed but I managed to find my way with little difficulty. After being shut out of Belarus I was now determined to ‘pop into’ Ukraine before I got to Warsaw for the night. I approached the border at Chelm at about 1700 and came up to the back of the truck queue with about two miles to go. I sailed past the trucks but pretty soon came up behind a queue of cars and vans. I decided to see if I could poodle past to the front. There was a border guard holding up all the traffic and only allowing vehicles past when a booth became free but he just waved me straight through. At the booths there was one for EU vehicles with only one car waiting; all the other lanes were packed. I got through this and joined a two-lane queue of all vehicles over the river marking the Poland/Ukraine border, the River Bug. As before I filtered through and encountered no hostility. At the end of the bridge an official gave me an immigration form to fill in and he wrote the bike’s registration number on a square of white paper which he also gave to me. I then joined and filtered past another queue to the actual Ukrainian border control. People kept asking me about the bike, mostly how much did it cost. Most cars and vans were Ukrainianregistered and had all sorts of second-hand stuff piled in and on them, tyres, car parts, clothes. Eventually I got to the booths where everything was at a standstill because of a ‘computer problem’ After about 10 minutes hanging around – how long people further back in the queue had been waiting goodness only knows – I asked if, by crossing the river, I was now in the Ukraine. After some conversations in a mixture of Polish, Russian, German, English and Rubbish the border police said yes, I was in ‘Ukrainia’. As it was now about 1800 and I had a hundred and fifty miles to get to Warsaw I decided to go back. The border lady stamped my square of paper and said to give it back to the official on the bridge. I did a uturn through a gap in the central divider, matey on the bridge looked a bit nonplussed to see me but he took the paper, asked for my passport, asked how to pronounce ‘Murphy’ and said carry on. Got to the Polish side where there were 3 or 4 lorries waiting at a barrier. There was a gap I could fit through and arrived at the border booth. 30 seconds later I was on my way. Night fell on my way to Warsaw but the traffic was OK, the roads were good and, apart from a huge number of insects striking my visor the journey was fine. I arrived at the Warsaw Intercontinental at 2100 and quickly relaxed into my huge room on 28 th floor. Mileage today 578. 17th Sept Up at 0630, mega breakfast and on the road to Cologne by 0820. 300 miles to Poland/ Germany border, mixture of motorway, good road, bad road and roadworks but traffic generally light and got there at 1320. Slipped past a half-mile queue to the front, no one seems to mind. No problems, only had to show passport then 400 miles to Cologne. Very warm (26 degrees) but made very good progress and arrived Cologne Intercontinental at 1945. Mileage today 711. 18th Sept


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Awoke at 0800 to heavy rain but by the time I left about 1030 it was virtually off. I did catch some brisk rain before I got to Belgium but only for about 50 miles and it was dry thereafter. Arrived Channel Tunnel at 1500, on Shuttle 1606. There were several other bikes, most of who had been to the Le Mans 24 hours; they said it had rained constantly for 36 hours! There was guy on a 600 Ducati Monster who had ridden that day from Geneva and he was heading for Nottingham. Uneventful ride up M20, M25 and A12, home at 1700. Mileage today 348

Nine days, 3,640 miles, nine ‘new’ countries, 30 down, 10 to go! 2nd – 10th October – Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Bosnia, Kosova, Montenegro, Luxembourg For this trip I bought a European-wide insurance from Alessie Insurance in Holland. It covers every country in Europe, including Turkey. This would save having to purchase insurance on borders, which I don’t think you can do entering Turkey anyway. 2nd Oct Early start at 0550 to Folkestone to catch Shuttle. One other bike on the train, a GSX600 heading for Barcelona. Arrived Calais 0930, pouring with rain. Headed towards Brussels and the rain stopped after about 10 minutes. Good run to Brussels then to Aachen. Lunch at Aachener-Land services then towards Cologne and Frankfurt. Started to rain after Frankfurt and was horrid for about 2 hours but dried and warmed up by Nurnberg – 19 degrees. Arrived Holiday Inn, Passau at 1900. Mileage today 732, in just over 12 hours. 3rd Oct Had breakfast at 0630 overlooking the Danube just as dawn was breaking. Left at 0800 heading for Slovak border. Motorway all the way but got stuck in major roadworks near Graz, where I discovered a funny trait to the Austrian character! Whilst all the other nationalities in the line of traffic, Poles, Slovaks, Germans, Italians, etc, etc, pulled over on seeing a bike coming up behind, the Austrians, with one or two exceptions, actually positioned their car to impede one’s progress. One could see them looking in their mirrors and turning the steering wheel to block the filtering space – how peculiar! Went through Slovenian border without even showing passport and then short run of about 30 miles to Croatian border where had to show passport. There was then a fairly boring slog across Croatia for about 250 miles in 30 degrees. Not much to see but traffic was light. Arrived Serbian border where only had to show passport and Green Card. Arrived Belgrade about 1730 and asked guy on a Vespa if he knew where the Hotel Union was. He spoke good English and said he would go with me to show the way, in about 5 minutes we were there. Apart from having the smallest hotel room in the world it was fine €44 a night including breakfast. Dined in the hotel, pork kebabs and three bottles of beer £5.60, not bad. Mileage today 552. Editor: To be continued in the next issue of TUG

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. Shaggy

Dog Story

Contributed by John Tipper LAST RIDE ON MY HARLEY While riding my Harley, I swerved to avoid hitting a deer, lost control and landed in a ditch, severely banging my head. Dazed and confused I crawled out of the ditch to the edge of the road when a shiny new convertible pulled up with a very beautiful woman who asked, " Are you okay?" As I looked up, I noticed she was wearing a low cut blouse with cleavage to die for... " I'm okay I think," I replied as I pulled myself up to the side of the car to get a closer look. She said, " Get in and I'll take you home so I can clean and bandage that nasty scrape on your head." " That's nice of you," I answered, " but I don't think my wife will like me doing that!" " Oh, come now, I'm a nurse," she insisted. " I need to see if you have any more scrapes and then treat them properly." Well, she was really pretty and very persuasive. Being sort of shaken and weak, I agreed, but repeated, " I'm sure my wife won't like this." We arrived at her place which was just few miles away and, after a couple of cold beers and the bandaging, I thanked her and said, " I feel a lot better but I know my wife is going to be really upset so I'd better go now." " Don't be silly!" she said with a smile. " Stay for a while. She won't know anything. By the way, where is she?" " Still in the ditch with the Harley, I guess."


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Events Report Chris Johnson Mr Puncture Magnet has had a whole two months without one! The first ride of the period should have been Richard's ride to Harleston on the 3rd February, but it was officially cancelled because of the cold and fear of ice. This may seem odd when we have had the warmest February on record, but it didn't start that way. It was rescheduled for the 17th. At least then it was warmer, but we had rain the night before and the day started damp and overcast. Mick was also running a 'relaxed' ride to Newmarket that day and I think his group was larger than the 18 bikes in Richard's. I volunteered as back marker since I had a new rear tyre and was not intending any sporty riding. This paid off in that, whereas others complained about how slippery the roads were, I had no trouble. I do not think we have been to Harleston before. Richard had arranged a real corker of a route, which I have comprehensively forgotten, along an astonishing variety of roads, some of which were actually rather greasy. Harlestone was very picturesque. We parked behind the church, and Mark's Cafe turned out to be very good indeed.. As usual I can remember nothing of the route back home, with Jim having taken over as back marker, until we reached the petrol stop at Sudbury. As we left there the guy ahead of me got sucked into a line of bikes taking the wrong turn at the roundabout, and I followed to try to set him right. We turned back very quickly but by that time the marker was gone and, though we tried to catch up with the group, that was the last we saw of them. On the Forum afterwards it was clear that the run, and the new destination, had been very much appreciated. 150 miles. Richard's next run was to Grafham Water on the 3rd March. A big advantage of February in non-leap years is that the Sunday runs match dates in it and March. Richard referred to the conditions as 'persistent light rain'. Okay, I'll admit that it wasn't actually a thunderstorm but it was a pretty miserable day and the low turnout of 9 bikes reflected this. Light rain can still be very wetting when persistent, and I suspect the nine of us had more free

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time than common sense. I volunteered as back marker again. The roads were slippery, but Richard chose a pace appropriate to the conditions. I am perpetually astonished by Richard's ability to find different ways to Grafham Water. This time I was sure that we were hopelessly off-track until, suddenly, there it was. We had a very sales pitch made to us by the lady at the cafe there and consequently I think everyone had pie and chips. My unerstanding of the pitch was that it was pretty much that or nothing. Suitably fortified by heavy calories (rather than the salad which I had virtuously intended) Phil reader took over as back marker for the return journey. I left the group after the petrol stop on the A505 to get a quicker journey home. The run was listed at 10 miles. I had intended to got to the AGT on the 10th of March, but my wife had guests and generously told me that I could do what I wanted. Over the years of marriage I have grown increasingly sophisticated at interpreting 'Do what you want', and on this occasion deemed it politic to remain at home. Fortunately Tony S. (I think the S is for Stevenson) sent me an account of the ride afterwards. It was clearly a run after my own heart, and I quote it below. AGT 10/3/19 full members ride.

The AGT and the following full members ride. On opening the curtains this morning I thought do I really want to go riding in this weather. An hour later it had brighten up and so it was a go. I arrived in good time as well as picking up fuel on the way, a good move as it turned out. I was just taking my seat when Richard jumped me, will I lead the full members ride, well Err OK. Now there did not appear to be very many associates present but a lot of full members, talk about being thrown in at the deep end. Not having a route planned I plumped for Brown CafĂŠ at Munford (64 miles) Things did not get off to a good start and then went downhill from there. While getting ready I forgot to put in my ear plugs so of came the helmet, just at that point the wind that was gusting very strongly caught the bike and over it almost went with me just managing to catch it but my helmet did go flying fortunately without sustaining any

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damage. Ian very kindly held the bike until I was ready to move off. Of we went only to lose most of the riders before we had reached the Bloomfield Road and so now there were 5 bikes, Chris Lacey (Triumph) Danny Rutter and Neil Frost (KTM) Neil Bullock (Ducati) and myself, it was to stay that way until we were almost home. I always like to pre-plan a route as from past experience with my TomTom 400 but now 450 after a warranty upgrade I had found the twisty option took you down very narrow gravelly roads where you did not get very far fast, as a result I opted for the shortest route option and this is where it probable went wrong. On the other hand some of the riders may have been very slow in getting away as just after the start we got held up at roadworks at that point there were a lot of bikes behind. I did try and drop a marker at the Writtle Road roundabout but the bike behind me missed it, who later admitted he was half asleep. Having regrouped and resetting the unit to the fastest mode off we headed, got as far as Dunmow where it directed me to take the A120, assuming that it was taking me to the M11 I ignored it and so headed up country on the B184 to Great Chesterford where it dumped me onto the A11, No I do not want to use this road so at the first opportunity I turned off toward Haverhill from this point on I was just following my nose as it kept trying to take me back to the A11. After a number of twists and turns and another effort to put us on the A11 we joined the B1303 to head west to join the A14 heading east. It was not long after this that Neil came alongside to indicate he needed to stop so at the first service station we called it a day for this outward leg of the ride. Having refreshed we left via the back door to Finchingfield having set the TomTom to windy mode and hope for the best. This mode proved to work well as we came home via Newmarket and Cafe33 at High Point to Finchingfield. At this point Neil took over the lead, at Barfield the first rider left to head for home by the time we reached MD on Essex Regi-


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ment Way there were 3 bikes left with Neil and myself staying for another coffee before heading out separate ways home. The upgrade of the TomTom to 450 now only offers a winding route option and based upon today’s last leg it worked very well. I now feel that I can trust it to take me on an interesting ride in the future just by picking a point on the screen and then let it have its head. As a result I will make some more POI that include a tea break. I love the trouble he had with his SatNav. I keep a cheap one in my top box to get me out of trouble if I become more than usually hopelessly lost, but I do not enjoy riding with it because there is no outlet for a helmet speaker, and I think looking at it takes my concentration off the road. For route planning it offers you fastest, easiest and shortest. If you do not want a dull ride you choose shortest. It then obeys the letter of the law, rather than its spirit, and searches its database for every miserable, dirt strewn goat track it can find which might save you five yards. It does mean you tend to go through places you have never visited before with names like Shufflebotham and Crinkles Cut. You will eventually come to a road you recognise but I can practically guarantee that it will not be the one you expected, or indeed wanted. Enough of that. Mick and Alan's leisurely ride on the 17th of March was to Morrisons Café at Great Cambourne, Cambridge, listed at 112 miles. It was a sunny day, if a bit chilly and windy, and we had 19 bikes. Mick had devised a varied route which included a lot of unclassified, which could be a bit damp despite the brisk wind. It certainly meant that we got through a lot of marker drops. I had never been to great Cambourne before. The Morrison £4.70 breakfast brunch was great value and, by Morrison's standards, served pretty quickly. Whilst doing my officious photographer duty I was told by someone that if I was a real photographer I would be taking a picture of the line of helmets rather than the run participants. I duly did this, and duly present it for you here. Dull, aren't they? I enjoyed this run so much that I delayed cutting off for home until we reached Dunmow on the return journey. No incidents (apart from the guy who got, and plugged, a puncture at Sainsbury's before we started) that I am aware of.

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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

31st March, 2019

19th May, 2019


28th July, 2019

20th October, 2019

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 - 2019 Membership Secretary

Observer Co-ordinator

Paula Hockey

John Tullett



Additional Membership Fee

Contribution to Observer

ÂŁ20 pa

ÂŁ10 per ride

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Chris Johnson, Editor Printed by Colchester Press. 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 Š EAMG 2018 Illustrations Š EAMG 2018, except where indicated otherwise. Group material may be reproduced provided acknowledgement is given to EAMG and the original author.

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

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


Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982