Tug web dec 2017

Page 1

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group

December 2017

Welcome to TUG Dear Members, I have been a bit poorly for the last few weeks (bad reaction to a ‘flu shot, followed by virus vertigo) so I have been on just one ride (yesterday) since the last TUG, and have few pictures and had little chance to bully people about articles. The result is a TUG which is a lot less wordy than usual, For the first time I really understand why TUG editors burn out so quickly. Without content it is a desperate task, and I had not realised how fortunate I had been until now. Please, please send me some stuff. Everybody had a first bike, Tell us about it. Everybody has had scary moments. Tell us about them. Some have serious opinions about training, or the law, or bike models. Share them with us. You can email me at chrisj_tug@edimatrix.co.uk Everybody will be grateful that you did.

Chairman’s Piece


Test Passes


Membership Info


Observer Coordinator


New Members


3640.1 Tips for Norway 17 Membership Form


Dates for the Diary


Picture Gallery


Coping with Cadwell


Events Report


John Tipper As He Was 38

Observer Profile


Further Training



Editor 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

Page 4

CHAIRMAN’S PIECE December 2017 Brrrrrr, the heated jacket and gloves are out. Several mornings have been frosty recently, winter is definitely here. The Calendar is quieter this time of year but we managed a great turn out for Mick Jones talk at October group night, which was enjoyed by all. I know a lot of you have been looking to practice some off road skills which can only enhance your on road ability.

As a Committee we are doing all we can to welcome new members, and help them settle in. Group nights and the Associate rides are a great way for them to get to know members, but if you see any anyone standing or sitting alone please invite them to join your table or ask an Observer to have a chat with them. I must thank you all for your patience this year with the website. Without warning we discovered the language it had been written in was obsolete. We thank Graham for his efforts re-writing some of the pages but the task is long and arduous. We now have a team working on some additional new content and a designer tasked to re-structure the existing site. I am hoping we will be live by the AGM in February. The existing key members of the committee have indicated they are happy to remain in position which I am really pleased about. That doesn’t assume we will get voted in as everyone is eligible to stand for election. If you want to join the committee you would be more than welcome. One small task that is being neglected at the moment is someone to source new advertisers for TUG and look after the invoicing for existing ones, if you could help with that please let me or Chris Johnson know.


Page 5

Enough of my ramblings…Seems too early to be saying it but… Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Jill

Mick’s post on Facebook after group night. Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Page 6


Joe Johal

Stephen Green

Examiner: Mick Jones

Examiner: Mark Anderson

31st October2017 RoSPA Gold (retest)

21st October 2017 RoSPA Gold (retest)

Sandra Smith

Eddie Friggens

Observer: Mick Hewitt Examiner: Mick Jones

Observer: Geoff Preston Examiner: Mark Anderson

31st October 2017 RoSPA Silver (retest)

Ian Brady

3rd November 2017 RoSPA Silver

Bob Hunter

12th November 2017 RoSPA Silver (retest)

25th November 2017 RoSPA Silver (retest)

Observer: John Tullett Examiner: Mick Jones

Observer: Jill Winn Examiner: Mark Anderson

John Tullett

18th November 2017

Michel Coque

25th November 2017 RoSPA Gold (retest)

IAM Fellow Examiner: Mark Anderson


Examiner: Mark Anderson



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.”

Page 9

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

Page 10

OBSERVER COORDINATOR John Tullett Senior Observer Assessor External Assessments As an independent Group committed to ‘Promoting Motorcycling Excellence’ you would expect EAMG's Observer training to be thorough and challenging, with a considerable level of commitment required from individual members of the Training Team. As someone who is also a RoSPA Tutor (car & bike) and IAM National Observer (car) I can confirm that, in my experience, EAMG's testing and retesting regimes are more demanding than those applied within 'official' advanced groups. To ensure that an appropriate level of objective scrutiny is applied to the Senior Observer Assessors who carry out these observer tests they are required to attend an external assessment of their riding every two years. The four SOAs recently attended external assessments with Giles Lamb of Rapid Training and received excellent individual reports, will all demonstrating higher riding standards than that of other observers Giles had assessed. The following overall summary from Giles provided a glowing endorsement for EAMG: " hilst most of my work with Rapid is with independent students who just want to improve W their riding, we do of course see a number of observers from different clubs. Here in the South East I get to see observers from the Kent groups as well as Surrey and Sussex. And I am pleased to tell you, that so far (!), the standard of EAMG has been very good indeed. I suppose my biggest beef with all of the clubs, is this tick box ‘paint by numbers’ or ‘dot to dot’ style, where riders learn a style that is just a series of chess moves and often has no real thought behind it. Everything becomes a stilted mathematical formulae, and flow and rhythm and fun seem to lose out. I haven’t seen this with you four. That’s good! The hardest part of instructing is getting this balance right between teaching black and white, and grey. Ultimately what you want, is a rider who makes the right choices, so things like knowing when to position for a junction and not the bend or of course knowing when to position for a bend and not the junction! The best riders work those sorts of challenges out for themselves, they are not a slaves to set manoeuvres, whether it’s positioning, overtaking, urban work etc. And it’s those shackles


Page 11

that I see time and time again in a lot of the clubs. So good, that so far all I’ve seen is thoughtful and intelligent riding with no Janet and John staring into empty side roads, five life savers at the roundabout, swerving away from empty garage forecourts and all of that guff! Keep up the good work!"

Copdock Show EAMG had a really enjoyable day at the Copdock Show on 1st October and even the weather ended up being a lot better than forecast! Thank you to everyone who gave up their time to assist on our stand including:- Audrey & John Tipper, Mick Hewitt, Alan Burke, Geoff Preston, Rob White, Eddy Brazier & Jaques de Klerk.

This was the first promotional event I was able to attend in 2017 and I would like to include a special mention for Rob White who has provided invaluable assistance to the Group by not

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Page 12

only storing the EAMG gazebo & promotional material this year but also transporting them to and from each event.

Kent Biker Down Course A bit like when you wait ages for a bus and then two turn up together, no sooner had I attended the EAMG Biker Down course than I received an invitation to another one in Kent on 26th September. My initial reaction was to decline the offer but when I saw the evening course would cover: (i) Incident Scene Management; (ii) Casualty Care; and (iii) The Science of Being Seen by Kevin Williams, I made my booking without hesitation. I was particularly interested to hear what Kevin had to say as I had purchased his PC based 'Survival Skills' training CDs some years ago. The journey to Rochester proved to be straightforward and the Kent and Medway Road Safety Experience venue offered excellent facilities - including an auditorium seating about 100 and two big screens to make the presentations easily visible to the 25 attendees.

The Incident Scene Management section was good, albeit less comprehensive than EAMG's course, which was not totally surprising as it had to fit into a 1 hour slot. Casualty care was very comprehensive with three volunteer life support instructors from Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) on hand to demonstrate and discuss motorcycle specific first aid techniques before attendees were given ample opportunity to practise CPR, crash helmet removal, applying tourniquets, etc., etc.. We then moved on to what I hoped would be the highlight of the evening - the Science of Being Seen presentation. The talk did not disappoint and covered phenomena such as 'motion camouflage' and 'looming', as well as tips on what you can do to be seen without the need to cover yourself head to foot in luminous yellow! [Steve subsequently agreed to step in at short notice to repeat his talk at EAMG's October Group Night meeting. Judging by the number of questions raised and post-talk conversations this subject generated a lot of interest amongst our members. For more details relating to Steve and Survival Skills see http://www.survivalskills.co.uk/ ]


Page 13

I would certainly recommend this Biker Down course to anyone who rides a bike and not just because it is free or that you are given a comprehensive first aid kit! For more details see: http://www.facebook.com/kentfirebike or for an invitation to attend send an email to bikerdown@kent.fire-uk.org If you fancy something a little more challenging KFRS also offer Ride Skills days at Brands Hatch in partnership with Motor Sport Vision and the Institute of Advanced Motorists. The sessions are aimed at beginners who have never been on a track before and also experienced riders who want to improve their skills further and include: Advance theory input; First aid; Emergency stop/slow speed control; One-to-one observed ride; and Two track sessions. The only downside is that you will now have to wait until 2018 and there is a charge (ÂŁ55 in 2017)! For more details see: http://www.kent.fire-uk.org/your-safety/road-safety/roadsafety-for-bikers/ride-skills/ IAM Fellow Membership I was surprised to read that at a recent IAM conference the IAM Surety insurance broker reported the claims history of IAM members was no better than that for the general population as a whole. They cited two reasons for this (i) a member who had passed their IAM test some time ago may not have undergone any form of subsequent checking to confirm that they had maintained this standard; and (ii) IAM members tend to travel further that the average motorcyclist. Perhaps coincidentally (?) the IAM have just introduced a new 'Fellow' membership tier, which will offer retesting every 3 years. I wonder where they could have got that idea from? In theory the IAM's insurer will offer enhanced insurance recognition to Fellow members and, on the basis that I need to be an IAM member anyway as a National Car Observer, I decided to take my Fellow test on bikes as the additional ÂŁ16 a year membership fee did not sound unreasonable for a regular retest. There is also a initial test fee of ÂŁ39 if you took your IAM test more than 3 years ago. I am not sure how many IAM members will wish to become 'Fellows' and I ended up being the first one Mark Anderson had tested. Hopefully up to date test experience will also prove useful on the relatively rare occasions that I train an EAMG Associate for an IAM test. For more details see: https://www.iamroadsmart.com/campaign-pages/end-customer-campaigns/ fellow-membership BMW Servicing

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Page 14

I recently needed to arrange a 50,000 kilometre service for my R1150GS and after receiving a fairly eye-watering estimate from a local Motorrad dealer decided to try and find a suitable independent specialist. On the basis of the comments quoted on their web site I ended up contacting MotoScot ( http://www.motoscot.co.uk/ ) who advertise in the BMW Club Newsletter and was very pleased that I did as Steve Grover's quote was significantly more competitive.

After dropping my bike off I was very surprised at how much more responsive and smooth the MotoScot courtesy GS1150 was than mine, especially considering it had over 105,000 miles on the clock. However, when I got my own bike back it had also been transformed and was running better than ever, which says a lot about the quality of the work done by MotoScot as it already had a FSH from an official BMW dealer. The icing on the cake was that the cost of the service ended up being about ÂŁ70 lower than originally quoted. ---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 send me a PM via the Message Board.


Page 15

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Page 16

New Members

David Bailey Craig Carter Andy Fraser Robert Gardner Daniel Rutter Barrington Brotherdon Kevin Byford Keith Thompson

Alan Books Harry Devine Jonathan Freeman Thomas Mahoney Martin Sayer Jordan Dorking Paul Kuderovitch

- and a lamb returned to the fold Stuart Daniels

Apologies for the missing list in the previous edition of TUG. The editor has now been given viewing access to the membership database and hopes he has not missed too many people this time. 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!


Page 17

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

P. McKelvey & Co Chartered Certified Accountants and Registered Auditors

Services available include: 

Statutory audits

Limited Company accounts preparation

Payroll preparation & Employer returns

Management accounts

Corporation tax returns

Profit extraction

Sole traders & Partnerships



New Company formations

Self assessment tax returns

Capital gains

Company Secretarial & Annual returns

VAT returns

Incorporation planning

FREE initial consultation FIXED fees available

For further information contact Paul McKelvey Telephone: Facsimile: Mobile: Web: E-Mail:

01708 220548 01708 220616 07949 827309 www.pmckelvey.co.uk Info@pmckelvey.co.uk

St Lawrence House 2 Gridiron Place Upminster Essex RM14 2BE

Page 19

3640.1 Tips for Norway Paula Hockey

Wild camp in the Artic Circle

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Page 20

Accept there may be a slip up or two :)

Celebrate making it to your destination- crossing the Artic Circle line


Page 21

Don’t always follow the set route that 'bikers recommend' -over Roldalsf jellet rather than through Laerdal tunnel- there are lots of other tunnels with duel carriageways, 360 bends, direction changes etc.

Chose what you can realistically achieve then you wont be disapointed and anything extra will be a bonus- I was delighted i reached my destination and had no real desire to go to Nord Cape, preferring to head back south and see the national parks.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Page 22

Do your research- we chose July/ August so it wouldn't be too cold or wet but knew we would miss the Northern Lights. This is as dark as it got in the Artic Circle.

Take supplies- alcohol is expensive, food not bad and there are plenty of petrol stations all with cafes, but this allowed us to pull up anywhere and supported our wild camping choice of living.

Embrace all weather conditions- this was my favourite mountain road, tight bends, no barriers, wet and cold, but so enlivening- Jotunheimen National Park


Page 23

Ride to enjoy the beauty- don't underestimate the thrill of the landscape. It was not all about speed and hairpins for us (though that was fun!).

There are no short cuts, you have to get a ferry ftom Harwich to Hook of Holland and travel up through Germany (we stayed in youth hostels overnight) and Denmark before getting a ferry to Norway. We went out to Bergen and back from Stavanger. We were away 18 days in all and had only 2 days when we were either off the bike of traveling for a short while. We found out that fatigue was and learnt the importance of breaks, water and food (its amazing how much energy you use). The whole experience was amazing and challenging and left me just wanting to continue seeing the world on my bike. I am happy to share the route i planned and any further information. My thanks to Richard Nash for taking me on my first ever and subsequent rides to Europe. To Al Campbell for being such a good companion and our partners who didnt want to come but let us ride 3601.4 miles making biking memories that we will remember for a very long time. HERES TO THE NEXT ONE- ....

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Diary 2018

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

Page 26

December 2017 10th 17th January 2018 2nd 14th 21st February 4th 6th 11th 18th March 4th 6th 11th 18th 25th 25th 31st April 3rd 8th 15th 29th May 1st 6th 13th 20th 20th 20th 27th June 3rd 5th 10th 16th

Associate Group Training (AGT) Mick's Associate Member Ride Group Night - Natter Night Richard's Full Member Ride Mick’s Associate/Member Ride 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) Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard's Full Member Ride Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Group Night 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) Slow Riding Day Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) SOA Peer to Peer Ride (1801) (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

Page 29

17th 24th

Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride

1st 3rd 8th 15th 22nd 22nd 29th

Maldon Motor Show Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1803) Richard's Full Member Ride Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Full Member Training (1803)


August Richard's Full Member Ride Group 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

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

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

(Continued from page 26)

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Page 30

Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Some a


Page 31

are Old! ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Page 32

Coping with Cadwell Andy Davy I wrote last year about my journey getting back into biking. My personal training programme included a free day at Wethersfield Airfield, courtesy of the Essex Firebike team, on their Advanced Machine Skills event. Over lunch the instructors, from Hopp Rider Training, spoke of their ‘Better Riding Days’ at Cadwell Park, saying what a great place it was to teach cornering, with all its many level changes. Their promotional web page (http://hoppridertraining.co.uk) made it clear that while the event may take place on a race track, it was not intended to be a ‘track day’. Their copy was however seductive: “We believe that to ride safely you need to train at speeds above the speed limit – how else can you get that essential safety margin?” I was sold and found myself signing up for the £250 course. The first shock was how far away Cadwell is from Essex. At 140 miles, I could see it would be unwise to leave early for an 8am start, so I had to book a B&B. In the end the curvy route I programmed into the GPS took me over four hours – on the other hand, some of the roads in Lincolnshire are magical for a bike – wide, sweeping bends with great visibility ahead. And by that point, the late afternoon sun was shining down on me. Bliss. The owners of the B&B were very used to accommodating bikers, and they had five of us staying for the following day’s event. Somehow they fitted all our machines into their garage. I met even more bikers at the (only) village pub, where I had dinner. The following morning everyone headed off early for the track, only five miles away now. Arriving, we were straight into the sound check before we could go any further: “5,000 rpm, please” said one chap, and before I knew it his colleague was planting a sticker onto the front


Page 33

of the bike. It said 97dB, so I was in (the limit is 105dB). A quick registration and straight into the clubhouse for the mandatory safety briefing / pre-course training talk from Martin Hopp. Those that have experienced this before will know that he brings his granddaughter’s bicycle wheel to the talk (don’t ask – it will take too long to explain). Everyone leaving the briefing got a wristband to accompany the one they had gained at registration – this time to show they were safe to go on track. Seeing all the riders gathered in one place was illuminating – many (most?) had done this training day at least once before, and I was surprised how many women had come – a much higher proportion than I am used to seeing at biking events (and, for the record, that’s a good thing). The 60 or so riders had been divided before the day into Group A or B. I was somewhat flattered to be asked in advance which I would like to join, but as a newcomer to Cadwell I thought it prudent to choose B. A wise choice as it turned out. That meant I had another sticker for the front of the bike – this time an amber triangle (Group A had green) – and got an extra 30’ to get sorted before going on track. Once Group A had assembled and headed out, Group B riders had to choose their ‘mini-group’ by lining up behind the relevant cone. I chose the (theoretically) fastest sub-group, not least as I already knew the instructor (Keith Dunn) and we had after all been advised in the joining instructions to ‘be selfish’(!) Once parked up and waiting I had a chance to remove the panniers & top box from the RT. At least getting my leg over was going to be easier for the rest of the day (no sniggering at the back, please). And then we were off, each mini-group at a time, led by their instructor, clad in a fluorescent orange bib. The idea was ‘ducks & drakes’ (amusingly modelled in the clubhouse by the instructors during the pre-track briefing). What that meant was everyone getting the chance to directly follow their instructor for a full lap before peeling off and re-joining their mini-group at the back. The first session was fairly steady (although it still felt fast to me at times), the

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Page 34

intention being to teach us the geography of the track and the preferred racing lines. Following the latter was massively helped by little cones, strategicallyplaced to show ideal turn-in and apex points for most of the bends. Later, when we were out on our own they at times proved vital. Our allotted 30 minutes passed quickly, although we all managed to get at least two laps directly behind the instructor. Before we knew it we started seeing chequered and red flags and it was time to pull off for the paddock. As we drew in, Group A teams started to leave for their next half-hour session and we had a quick debrief, loo break and plan for the next session. And so things continued until lunchtime, giving us four slots (two hours in total) on track. Each session built on the last, with the focus moving from where to look, leaning (if not off the bike, then at least offcentre), use of the throttle and so on. Some of the guidance made an immediate difference to how it felt on track and my own confidence (although I could never quite get comfortable with leaning off the bike). A fine lunch in the clubhouse (with a good choice of meals) was quickly followed by another safety briefing, this time laying down some strict rules for overtaking. The aim was to ensure everyone stayed in one piece as they were allowed more freedom. Martin Hopp was particularly clear about it: “some people like ‘no limits’ track days – that tends to mean no limits to how many times you crash”. (Actually someone did fall off during the morning’s training, thankfully at


Page 35

low speed, with no injury a far as I could tell). While Group A headed back on track for the first sortie, the rest of us received a detailed explanation from instructor Chris of each of Cadwell’s bends and how best to take them. It was an excellent talk and really helpful. I just wish I could have remembered all of it for the rest of the day. The afternoon was shorter, with just three sessions, but more fun. Instead of staying in our chosen group, we could go at our own pace. (But only after being led for a lap or two by our instructors, who gradually picked up speed and hopefully saved anyone from tearing off into the early bends with cold tyres). After a lap or two each instructor peeled off into the paddock, leaving us to fend for ourselves. I really enjoyed these sessions – I could ride at my own pace and concentrate on what I had been trying to pick up during the morning. There was no longer a need to ‘keep up’, although inevitably, finding someone ahead that I thought I might be able to overhaul was a real draw. However, it wasn’t a race and as Chris had stressed, on the track “there’s always someone faster than you”, so indicating right (all overtaking had to be on the left) to allow someone to pass didn’t feel like failing in any way. I’ve said little of the track itself. As the Hopp team had said, it’s an excellent place to learn. Some corners, like Coppice, are smooth and really fast, and banked to your advantage. Others are sharper and drop away with an adverse camber – it took me a while to realise why I was finding Barn so unnerving and why I felt unwilling to wind it on into the straight. It also took me most of the day to get comfortable with the bike

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Page 36

unweighting at the top of the Mountain, and although I became relaxed about the front wheel lifting off, I was never going to match one of the instructors, who routinely used the Mountain to initiate a wheelie for a good 50 metres or more. I also found it hard to really push the bike through the long sweeping curves of Charlie’s and Chris Curve, and I usually found myself falling behind others on most laps. On the other hand I easily caught them up on the twistier sections, through Gooseneck, Mansfield, the chicane and the Mountain. I really loved flicking the bike from one side to the other, utterly confident in the RT’s handling. Martin is proud of how much track time everyone gets and beforehand had proudly boasted that some riders achieved nearly 180 miles on the circuit. I found that hard to believe, but by the end of the day I found I had clocked 171. No wonder I needed to fill up at lunchtime (at an exorbitant £1.40 per litre). Thankfully I managed to remember to turn on the camera on one or two trips and got some nice footage of the experience. I even found another RT pilot in a lower mini-group who had a rear-facing camera – on the last run I made a point of catching him up, to see if I could get some material of my riding (rather than just the rear of everyone ahead of me). If you’re interested you can see short clips of both on the Hopp Facebook post for the day (21 September): https://www.facebook.com/Hopp-Rider-Training154156158066224/


Page 37

Events Report Chris Johnson This is my 60th events report. It is not going to be a parade number because illness kept me away from all rides but one, but I do have two accounts from ride leaders and for the rest I shall try to throw something together. Bob Cowl's Midweek Rides are becoming an institution. He held one on the 17th October, a 120 mile outing to the Old White Horse in Baldock. There were 12 bikes, one with pillion, and the route in the fine autumn weather was good, as was the lunch. A month later the outing on 14th November was to Burnham via Bradwell Waterside; a shorter trip of about 60 miles since the year was drawing to a close. They had 9 bikes, three with pillions, and eschewed the planned delights of the bijou Parlour Cafe for the rather more louche Deb's Diner, but it had 'good, cheap grub'! About Mick's relaxed ride on 22nd October to the Hearts Delight Garden Centre CafÊ at Manningtree I have no information other than that it was about 120 miles and Doug and Maz took part. About Richard’s Full Member ride to Attleburgh on 29th October much more detail is available. It sounded like quite a lively day. First an account from the man himself -"It seems that with the clocks change everyone got up early and wanted to come out. Even Jill was early! So with 26 bikes plus some pillions it meant my lunch booking of a table for 12 was futile but a message was sent and the cafe responded admirably so even with 4 bikes leaving the ride early we sat 26 down for lunch. Lucky I'd chosen a large cafe. Food was good and service excellent so we will return. Everything looked good for an early finish until I ran out of markers at Finchingfield but fortunately I was able to phone John who filled me in on the demise of Andy's bike. While we waited with the local markers Jill rolled up also with a puncture which was quickly fixed with Spider's string and Roy's pump so we were ready to leave when John turned up with all the markers he had collected. My thanks to Audrey for tail ending all day and to Neil who did the last bit. I would also like to particularly thank all the markers who stuck to their posts for over half an hour until the repair group came along and collected them up. Had they vacated their positions the whole ride would have fallen apart and riders would have been left stranded for miles. So well done!"

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Page 38

For those curious about the 'demise of Andy's bike' Andy Lee had this to say -"With apologies to everyone for holding you up for so long. I picked up a bad puncture shortly after lunch and it took three plugs to fix it. I was very fortunate that Audrey was tail-ending yesterday. She re-called John on their radio and he came back and saved the day. Although I carry a Crafty Plugger kit, I didn't know the sticky stuff has to be replaced regularly and mine was useless and couldn't be used. I think John and Audrey should be on every ride, as between them, they have the kit to sort a lot of problems, including several tyre repair kits and a compressor with various leads to fit every bike. Amazing....The puncture was caused by a small piece of flint that was shaped like an arrow head and was just as sharp. This caused a wide split in the tyre. If it wasn't for John, I would have had to be recovered, so thanks very much. I'm glad I gave you that Snickers bar in the morning now. It was a shame about the persistent rain in the afternoon, as this made conditions a bit tricky. My tyre was deliberately over-inflated in case it started to lose some air and it made for an interesting rear end feel. I also had what felt like a huge slide on a slow right hand bend which was almost an under-pant changing moment. I went straight home and was very glad to arrive in one piece. Just need to see if the tyre can be repaired now". By contrast Mick's Associate ride on 19 th November was much less eventful. Once again I can give you Mick's account of it. - "This months ride was to Hillcrest Nurseries just outside Bury St. Edmunds. Weather was cold/damp (about 3 degrees) and roads were greasy due to prior weeks salting – this mix of salt and molasses to stick to the road creates the worst conditions for bikes! Due to these factors I changed the route to the main roads, rather the salt than the micro climates creating black ice on the back roads! Route now; Regiment way, A130, A131 to Sudbury/Bury St. Edmunds – as I usually circle round this town the change caused me to lose the route but eventually re-found and continued A143/B1111 to the Nurseries. As one of our number departed at Bury we were now 8. Table booked and enjoyed a good chin wag with all – Paula told us about her trip to the arctic circle, camping all the way. She gave us an insight into hygiene tips when camping – no skinny dipping in the Norwegian Fjords (she’s not as tough as I thought!). Anyway, hopefully she can provide Chris a great article for TUG in the future. We were down to 7 on leaving as one of the guys was off somewhere else. More interesting route back where we picked up the pace with the improved conditions. Took the Bury road A143 to Ixworth, then A1088 to Woolpit/Borley green joining B1115 at Stowmarket all the way to Sudbury. Forked off A131 on the Hedingham road to Castle/Sible/Finchingfield/Dunmow finishing at Regiment Way MacDonalds, where we met Jacques, Colin Digby and a couple of others after a RoSPA ride for coffee. Great riding by all.. Note: No punctures on our ride!"..

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Page 39

Finally we come to the Full Member ride on 25th November, which I actually attended. Was this wise? Well, I am still here after it. Richard seemed to be down with what sounded like acute sciatica, so Geoff did the honours for us with a ride to Diss. I broke the Prime Directive by venturing out on a cold morning, and noted that its thermometer the bike read 1.5 degrees. "It must have been cold during the night", I thought. Wrong! It must have been warm during the night because after a couple of minutes the temperature was 0.5. There was however no apparent frost. With heated grips and heated jacket on I ventured out. It was delightfully sunny. At Chelmsford we had eight bikes, and I appointed myself back marker since I had no intention of doing anything progressive and if others did then the markers would just have to wait for me to turn up. Later events indicated that this might have been an over-optimistic assumption.. However Geoff kept to a sensible pace for the conditions and the group remained tight. You will have been spoiled by Mick's detailed and accurate route descriptions. I can remember that the roads, whilst showing traces of salt, were not too treacherous, and I can remember passing Dunmow, and we definitely went through Sudbury because we stopped at Wally's, where one of our number was chastised by the proprietress for putting his mug down disrespectfully. It was here that we found Neil was missing, but we agreed he was a big boy now and would probably manage. We continued through Stowmarket and, shortly before Diss, Neil rejoined us. .At Morrisons he explained he had gone off left at a roundabout whilst his thoughts were elsewhere. We had time for this, and indeed a detailed exchange of entire life stories because the service was appallingly slow. Eventually we set out on the return journey and went to the attached petrol station. It was crowded there but I managed to tuck in behind a guy who was just filling a jerrycan. At that point I saw two of our group riding round and making the universally recognisable gesture for "It's too crowded here, we are off to find another garage". I hastily put my gloves back on, backed the bike laboriously out of the crowd of cars, and went to join them. I was back marker. They would wait for me. Wrong again! There was no sign of the callous bunch. I was not sure what route Geoff was going to take on the return. so I shot off down the road one way until a sign indicated I was going towards Thetford. That seemed wrong so I doubled back until I found a garage. No friendly group waiting there. At that point, rather than breaking down and crying, I sent a text to Geoff which made no recriminations but stated the situation factually and indicated my intention to make my own way home. This I then proceeded to do via Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury, with a delay because of an RTA on the route. Improbable though it may seem as I left Sudbury I saw a group of bikers pulled in off-road who seemed horribly familiar. Reinstated as back marker we now made the familiar run through the Hedinghams, Wethersfield, Finchingfield and Dunmow, where we all went immediately off on our separate ways by previous agreement. I had done 146 miles. Since we did not stop at Dunmow I could not find out what the group had actually done on the way back. That is for another day.


Page 40

John Tipper As He Was

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Page 41

Observer profile Name: Eddie Brazier When and why did you develop an interest in riding a motorcycle When I lived in London my uncle lived in the same street as me and he always had several motorbikes parked outside in the street which I used to climb on and pretend to ride. When I was older he used to take me out on pillion and that was it I was hooked. How old were you when you first rode a bike I was 16 when I got my own two wheels, it was an old Lambretta LD 150. I did not have any formal training (there was'nt any at that time ) just got on and rode and in hindsight was very lucky as I had no bike skills whatsoever. Of the bikes you've ever owned which was your favourite if you had one. I have not had that many bikes as I tend to keep them for a long time but I suppose my favourite is my 1995 Honda ST1100 Pan European although it is getting a bit heavy for me now.It has taken my wife and I over a great deal of Europe and the UK and given us a huge amount of pleasure and differing experiences. If you were given the opportunity to own any bike on the market which would it be. I really like the idea of owning a Hyabusa but realise its too heavy and fast for me so my present 650 V Strom is ideal for me. What is your favourite motorcycle gadget My heated gloves are the best bit of kit ever for the winter but my TomTom sat nav has been extremely helpful when planning and taking our trips abroad.


Page 43

Where is your preferred place to ride in the UK I think the Lake District has been the most challenging and therefore the most fun but Scotland is very good because of the small amount of traffic up there. And Abroad. It has to be Germany and Austria both for great scenery and fantastic mountain passes. 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. I cannot think of any different other than my wife as pillion. How would you describe to a non rider the attraction of riding a bike as opposed to driving a car. I think the only thing I can describe is my feeling of enjoyment being in control of my bike while pushing through a series of bends and getting it just right and the fact I tend to see much more and smell the air around me much more. But I am not sure that non riders can understand anyway

When do you intend to give up riding When I am forced to Describe your scariest moment on your bike On my first scooter I managed to get squeezed in between two London buses at a set of traffic lights and was so scared they would pull away and squash me that when the lights changed I pulled away so hard I did a massive wheely ( imagine an old scooter doing a wheely ) and frightened myself half to death. As I said earlier in this piece I think I was very lucky. If you asked my wife she would say when I took her up the Stelvio Pass and the Col de Liserain.

Editor: Yes, that was a marginally younger Eddie on the Lambretta

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Page 44

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

25th March, 2018

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


Page 45

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

ÂŁ20 pa

ÂŁ10 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 Š EAMG 2017 Illustrations Š EAMG 2017, 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 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