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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group

February 2018

Welcome to TUG Dear Members, What with being abroad and having ‘flu yet again it has been another bad period for rides for me, and the Events Report and picture gallery reflect this. A major plus has been that a number of contributions have come in from members and I have had no difficulty in filling TUG. There was too much for a single issue, but please keep those articles coming. Memories of early bikes have been a rich source, and are particularly enjoyable for those of us who have reached a certain age. It also reminds us how lucky we are now to have machines which stop and start reliably, and tend to stay in one piece for more than a few miles at a time. Who nowadays travels with an asbestos cloth to smother the flames when the carbs caught fire? Chris

Editor (

Chairman’s Piece


Test Passes


Membership Info


Observer Coordinator


Skill for Life


New Members


Me and Motorcycles


Membership Form


Dates for the Diary


Picture Gallery


Me & Motorcycles cont. 30 KTM 1290 Super Duke 32

Full Member Rides


Events Report


Observer Profile


Further Training


What’s happening next?

Log into, 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 February 2018 Well where did that year go?? It seems only 5 minutes since I became chair, and by the time most of you read this the AGM will be upon us again. I’d like to thank all the committee for their help and patience settling me into the role. We have had some great speakers this year as always, and some more are already booked for the coming months, including KTM, Mike Croome on Speedskills, Jeremy Hill and Andy Ibett. The highlight of the year for me, would be the monumental decision to change the groups logo. It proved quite emotive but was eventually agreed by the majority of members. Merchandise showing it is available to order from Suzy most group nights. Thanks also to the training team for their continued commitment, not only for the time they give freely to our associates but also for the additional time given up to be re-assessed and prepare AGT talks. Several members have organised the raffle and raised over £500, thank you to all. Some of this money is donated to the guest speaker and the balance goes back to the group’s funds. The committee decided to bite the bullet and spend on a new website. This has been in the making for the past couple of months and will go live in February ready for the new season. The content for has pretty much been written by John Tipper and I know we will benefit

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from his efforts. I know how much time he has put in and I am really grateful, as should we all be. Last but not least I must thank, TUG editor, Chris Johnson for a fantastic job done, while suffering a constant battle for more articles. Apparently Chris celebrated his 70th birthday recently and looked rather dapper as he strutted his stuff. Congratulations Chris.

Editor: Blush! My own fault for not confiscating cameras at the door.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Michel Coque 3rd December 2017

EAMG Observer (retest) Assessor: John Tullett

Neil Frost

4th December 2017 RoSPA Gold (retest) Observer: Mick Hewitt Examiner: Mick Jones



Car and Van Tyres

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


Tel: 01621 856 888 Email:

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

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

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

Membership Fees for 2018 

New Associate Members

...£55.00 (Includes AGT Training)

Associate Member Renewal

...£40.00 (Includes AGT Training)

Full Member Renewal


Social Member


Full Member Training

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
















Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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OBSERVER COORDINATOR John Tullett Training Team News EAMG has always sought to deliver training options that allow members to develop their skills beyond the level required to pass an IAM or RoSPA advanced test, should they wish to do so. Accordingly, in keeping with our ethos to 'promote motorcycle excellence' the Training Team has recently introduced a minimum requirement for all Observers, including Trainee Observers, to hold a current RoSPA Gold pass. Over recent months two long serving Observers have stepped down. On behalf of the Training Team I would like to thank Peter Richbell (Senior Observer) and Kevin Scott (Observer) for the skills, dedication and time they provided to assist members of the Group over many years. If any Full Members wish to be considered to become Trainee Observers then please let me know and I will be happy to provide further details of what is involved. New Members and Observer Allocation Recent joiners may have noticed that the 2018 membership form includes more information that previously, however, one thing it does not include is a section for Associates and Full Members signed up for Further Training (FTFM) to indicate when they will be available for 1-to-1 observed rides. Accordingly, when a new member joins, Paula - our Membership Secretary - gets in touch with me and I then contact the Associate/Full Member to confirm these details, which should ensure they are allocated to the most appropriate Observer. This procedure normally works very efficiently but, like most things, is not totally infallible. In one recent case, for example, my e-mail bounced back when I used the address provided on a membership form and I also did not receive a response when I left this individual a voice message. It is also likely that in some cases my initial e-mails have ended up in a 'spam' folder - leading to possible delays in allocation!

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So if you have recently joined, as an Associate or Full Member signed up for FTFM, and not heard anything from the Group then please feel free to be proactive and get in touch with me (my contact details appear at the end of this column). Associate Group Training Associate Group Training (AGT) is designed to complement your standard 1-to-1 observed rides and our first AGT for 2018 is scheduled for Sunday, 11th February. The Longmeads House venue, at 12-14 Redwood Drive, Writtle, Chelmsford, CM1 3LY, proved very well suited to our requirements during 2017. If you wish to participate in an Observed ride please ensure that you arrive by 09:15 to sign on before the Roadcraft talk commences at 09:30. Full members not signed up for Further Training will also have an option to attend a social ride. For more details see EAMG's Forum at Extra Eyes The Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) has recently launched an 'extra eyes' scheme to try and make local roads safer. Road users are being asked to film and upload footage of dangerous behaviour on local roads, which will then be reviewed by Essex Police, who will take the appropriate action, which could range from an explanation of the consequences of their behaviour, through to a retraining course or in serious cases prosecution. Find out more via extraeyes/extra-eyes-what-next/ I must admit installing a dash cam is not something I had previously thought of doing but it seems increasing difficult to use the roads without encountering someone who is totally oblivious to other road users! For example, on one short round trip driving from Billericay to Chelmsford, I was nearly involved in three collisions. The first occurred when a car

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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stopped on the left of Wantz Road without indicating. The car was stationery with brake lights on but just as I was moving out to overtake the driver pulled out towards the right hand verge and after he was moving he started to indicate. Fortunately I was able to move further out onto the pavement and avoid him. It was only afterwards it struck me that, in the absence of independent witnesses, an insurance company would have viewed an ensuing accident as being at least 50% my fault (as at the time of the collision it would have appeared I was overtaking a vehicle indicating right). Later that day I was about to join the A12 Southbound from Wantz Road when I was confronted by a car travelling in the wrong direction along the entry slip road, luckily there were two lanes and we passed without incident at a closing speed of about 80mph. I could not quite work out how he got there as the turn off from the dual carriageway would have been very acute, maybe he had just thought twice about joining the A12 and completed a u-turn on the slip road?

It was almost a relief to encounter an impatient BMW driver on my side of the road whilst he was overtaking a push bike on a blind and tight left hand bend. I was able to brake hard, giving him the opportunity to pull back in and 'just' cut up the cyclist, who survived to be able to shake his fist at the next inconsiderate driver he encountered. Carpe Diem Two recent cases have served to remind me of how important it is to 'seize the day'. In November 2017 Andy Ibbott was featured on the BBC's 'Employable Me' program. Andy - who ran the California Superbike School in the UK and gave a great Group Night talk with Leon Camier some years back - had suffered a serious stroke in 2011 during a routine operation which his doctors did not think he would survive. The program covered Andy's battles to survive, then walk, then talk and finally to find someone prepared to employ him. Andy's determination shone through and it was only subsequently that I read he had also recently competed in the Marathon des Sables - a six-day multi-stage trek through the Sahara desert. The MdS sees competitors take on the equivalent of

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five and a half regular marathons carrying everything they need in a backpack on the toughest terrain imaginable. Andy managed to get a third of the way through his third marathon before being timed out after 3 days. It makes my longest run (a 13.1 mile half marathon) seem rather insignificant! In January I heard through the BMW Club that Robert Bensley, who organises the Club's Cadwell and Snetterton track days, had fallen from a ladder whilst helping to prune a tree. He suffered severe injuries resulting in 5 weeks in an induced coma and a further 4 weeks in hospital but is now recovering back in the UK. I must admit that I was not thinking that any dates would be arranged for 2018 but Robert has just circulated an e-mail to advise that he is aiming to book 8th May & 8th August (Snetterton) & 23rd July (Cadwell). The days are being targeted at less experienced and slower riders this year and costs are ÂŁ135 Snetterton & ÂŁ125 Cadwell. Robert has requested confirmation of bookings by end-January - so you might be too late by the time you are reading this... At the time of writing this column these details had not filtered through to the BMW Club's website

---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 or send me a PM via the Message Board.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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

You will not be riding in one large group. You will be riding with an Observer and one other Full Member giving you the opportunity to have a 'rest' while your co-rider is being observed. Every effort is made to match your riding experience, ability and aspirations with your co-rider, any miss matching being addressed at the first refreshment stop. Routes vary; distance ranging from 150 to 200 miles on a variety of roads, including several debriefing stops and two refreshment stops. Joining details, including the route, will be sent by email a few days before the event. A full day’s training with a professional instructor will cost you well over £100 but for Full Members, the FMT joining fee is only £45, a small price to pay for a brilliant, fun and rewarding day that could save your life. Events this year: 25th March 2018 - 27th May 2018 - 29th July 2018 - 21st October 2018 To join, Email: John Tipper at further information see Further Training Opportunities for Full Members at the rear of this edition of TUG.

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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New Members

Full Members: Phillip James Vince Eade Nick Gymer Associate Member: Gary Absolon

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

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Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Me and Motorcycles. Geoff Preston When I was around eight or nine years old, I and my mates would get “lolly sticks” and jam them into the brakes of our pushbikes to stick in the spokes so that as the wheel turned it made a rapid clicking sound, we'd pedal as fast as we could to gather speed and then coast and pretend that the sound was an engine and we were riding a motorcycle. Some seven or eight years later something more interesting came along. I was in the early years of a five year apprenticeship and couldn't afford such a wondrous thing as a motorbike but, some enterprising Companies developed engines that could be attached to an everyday pedal cycle for a fraction of the cost of a motorcycle, even a second hand beat up job. I saved my pennies and eventually had enough to purchase aforementioned bolt on engine, yes it literally bolted on with the only modification to the push bike being to purchase and fit a new rear wheel which allowed a fatter tyre to be fitted. This was required because the engine which I bought, a 50cc “PowerPak” was fitted behind and below the saddle and was raised and lowered directly onto the tyre, you can guess what happened when it rained, total loss of drive but, you still had the pedals. The amazing thing around this episode was that I took my test on this bike and passed and was immediately allowed, legally, to go and ride any motorcycle of my choosing. even what was probably the most powerful road bike of the day, a Vincent Black Shadow, the anoraks may tell me different regards the most powerful! I don't remember the demise of the “PowerPak” but there was a period in which I was without motorised transport and without dosh, still apprenticed., still pushing the pedals around. Then, I met the love of my life, my future wife. She soon realised my wish to have a motorbike and my lack of funds to do anything about it, now the majority of people reading this will probably be thinking, why didn't he buy one on HP (no not the sauce) Well, unlike to-day where any manner of institutions clammer to rain money down on one just for the asking, back then you had to have a substantial deposit and were required to prove that you were financially equipped to

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make the repayments over a quite short period. Not me then. So, my future wife persuaded her mother to loan me the money to buy a bike, I asked for £80, wouldn't buy you a new tyre to-day but, my pay as an apprentice was around £6 a week of which, I gave my mother £2 so it represented a hefty sum to me. I was born and raised in Highbury, yes of course I'm an Arsenal fan, and up the road in Harringey were several second hand bike shops and so off I went, alone and with the £80 and no knowledge of bikes other than riding pillion on mates bikes. I went into the first shop and found a bike that fitted the price criteria but there was a pool of oil underneath so I discounted it. That's how naïve I was, little did I know that this was the norm, the bike was a BSA Golden Flash, a machine I would long to own but never did. So, off I went to the next shop and here I spied another BSA, this was a 1948 A7 500 twin with tele forks and rigid rear end, far inferior to the Gold Flash I came to learn later but, no oil leaks so that was it. I handed the guy the lolly, he rolled the bike out and I was on my own. I'm two and a bit miles from home on a machine ten times the power of my previous mount and I haven't a clue about the gear sequence, add to this the fact that I'm on one of the busiest roads in North London and you will appreciate my dilemma. Why didn't I take a mate with me? Don't ask. So I decided that rather than use the busy Main road I would creep around the side roads, I must have set a world record for the amount of times I stalled it and was in the wrong gear, the route included an interesting tour of Finsbury Park among other local places of no interest. When I eventually arrived home which was before nightfall, which was just as well because, I probably wouldn't have discovered how to turn the lights on! there was a coalman delivering coal and as I came alongside his lorry I stalled it for the umpteenth time, as I fiddled with the gear lever he called over “what's up son” I explained I didn't know where the gears were, he jumped off the back of the lorry took the bike down the road, came back and said “ there you go, one up and three down” or, words to that effect. I had that bike for around four years until one day I was returning after a visit to the tea hut in Epping Forest and as I was coming through Woodford the bike slowed dramatically and came to a shuddering halt at the side of the road, I knew instinctively that the engine had seized. As I stood looking at it a Gentleman from the house I was stopped outside came over and asked what the problem was, I explained and when I explained how far from home I was he said that I could leave it in his front garden. It was a long ten mile walk home and to my eternal shame, I never went back and recovered the bike.

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Again I was back to the pushbike and still an apprentice but a chap I was working with had a BSA Star Twin (it seems I was destined to ride BSAs) which he offered to sell to me. Now I entered the technological age, this bike had a sprung rearend, oh! the joy. I still had the Star Twin when my lovely wife and I married and set off on our honeymoon on the bike one Sunday morning bound for St Ives in Cornwall. We set off early because in those days before Motorways it was a long day travelling from London to the West Country, we stopped outside Basingstoke for breakfast and were sitting on the bike to leave and I was kicking it over several times, no electric starts then, I became aware that my upper left leg was getting rather warm, I looked down to see flames licking up from the carburettor. I attempted unsuccessfully, to douse the flames by beating them with my glove, at this point two bikers pulled up and joined in and the flames were doused. There was a concentration of the wiring harness in the area of the carburettor and much of the insulation of the cables had been burned away, my first thought was, there goes the honeymoon because due to stretched resources I didn't have the luxury of breakdown cover. A situation then developed where the milk of human kindness overwhelmed me, the two chaps asked what we were about and when I explained they instructed me to take my new wife back into the cafe whilst they tried to do something with the bike. About two hours later after removing the fuel tank and several other bits, they had managed to find enough slack in the wiring harness to cut out the bare sections and rejoin the cables. The bike started and after expressing how grateful we were we were on our way. It was even more generous when you consider the two were on a short weekend trip to the Isle of Wight. A year later my wife gave birth to our first son and we still had the bike and of course three people and a solo motorbike don't go and a car was out of the question, there was an obvious solution, a sidecar. I bought one of the two bike magazines of the day and found a second hand double adult chair and we were set. The combination, that's what they were referred to, was still OK when we had our second son. As a form of transport it wasn't great but there was no other option. My brother had bought a beat-up Ford 100E van and we saw the opportunity to earn some extra money at weekends and after a short discussion, the options were limited, we decided on window cleaning. The resources were minimal, they had to

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be, an extension ladder and a short ladder, a couple of leathers and scrims and a bucket. Being a joiner I made the short ladder. This worked well until we reached the point where one vehicle wasn't sufficient so, I decided that the problem could be solved by removing the body of the sidecar and put the ladders etc on the chassis. This worked but one day I was sailing along merrily and for whatever reason, it was a long time ago, I had reason to brake sharply, as sharply as you could on an old British bike, and as I did so I watched the ladders go slithering down the road ahead of me. Shortly after this my affair with motorbikes came to an end when, with the proceeds of the window cleaning as a deposit, we purchased a two year old Austin Minivan, my first four wheeler. The bike, as you may imagine, was fit only for the knackers yard.

That was 1963, I next made acquaintance with a motorcycle in 2002. During the intervening years if I gave any thought to bikes at all, it would be to a BSA Rocket Gold Star or the like, you see my view of Japanese bikes was that they weren't bikes at all but sewing machines on wheels, I had taken no interest at all and was still thinking early sixties . I was working in an office block and had gone to get some tools from my van parked in their underground car park when I noticed a motorcycle parked and it immediately took my eye, it was an ST 1100 Pan European, at this point I had no intention of getting a bike again. Over the weeks, months and even years I thought more and more about it and after considering my age, the amount of traffic compared to the early sixties and whether my nerve was up to it and visiting the bike show for three years on the trot, I was almost there and then, a chap I was talking to told me he had gone through a similar process and suggested doing what he had done, and that was to buy a sports car. I thought that made perfectly good sense and so took myself up to the Mazda dealer in Romford with an inclination towards purchasing an MX5. As I walked towards the showroom there, parked in all it's glory was this shining example, I walked up to it, cast my eyes over it. Turned and walked away thinking, it's a car! I now find myself scrutinising the local bike dealers for a second hand ST 1100, not the most rational decision when taking into account that my last mount, the Star twin was 500cc and weighed around half as much and the performance difference, as I was to learn, was phenomenal. I found a dealer in Southend who

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was advertising an ST and I arranged a test ride. Suffice to say that at this stage I needed a test ride to establish whether or not I was going to be able to get back on a bike and control it. The day arrived for the test ride and as I drove to Southend I was full of trepidation as to the outcome, would I make a fool of myself simply pulling away from the showroom, would I stall it? fall over or lose my nerve amongst the traffic on the busy A127? Fortunately for me the dealers was served by a little service road and parking was tight and not many parking spaces, the bike was parked some way away from the shop and so my fears of doing something embarrassing outside the shop were allayed. I filtered onto the 127 to make my way towards London. After clearing the traffic congestion I opened the throttle, smiled and knew I was back into biking! I passed the IAM car test in the same year we won the world cup and one of my first thoughts was, yep I need all the help I can get here and took myself along to the local Advanced Motorcycle Group. I went pillion with Malcolm Avery who was riding an ST1300 and was mightily impressed, when we got back I told him that I hadn't got a bike yet and was unsure of what to get and that the ST might be too powerful and heavy for me and maybe I should consider the less powerful Deauville. His comment was “do you like the ST”? my reply was an enthusiastic “yes” his comment “buy one” He then recommended a dealer who coincidentally happened to be quite close to where I lived, I went on line and found that this dealer had a low mileage ST 1100, I phoned and arranged to go see the machine, I was knocked out when I saw the bike, it was pristine in the classic Honda red with gold wheel rims, I was in love again. During my research I noted ABS was a must for any machine I was going to purchase, like I said, I needed all the help I could get. After my euphoria at the sight of the 1100 I was totally deflated when the answer to my question “does it have ABS” was a disappointing NO. I explained this was a must and I wouldn't be buying the bike. Brian, the dealer, went on to say that he had a new ST1300 at home which was his own machine and had 103 miles on it and that he and his wife had been too busy so far to ride it and he was ready to sell it if I was interested, is the Pope a catholic? Two days later the bike was at the showroom and I went to have a look see and take it for a ride, I didn't need the ride, having seen it the decision was made. Although it was virtually new I was able to strike a very favourable deal and the dastardly deed was done. I bought the bike in late November and I didn't get to ride it much and I had signed up to lead a three month mountaineering expedition to Patagonia in (Continued on Page 30)

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

Diary 2018

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

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February 4th 6th 11th 18th March 4th 6th 11th 18th 25th 25th 31st April 3rd 8th 15th 29th May 1st 6th 13th 20th 20th 20th 27th June 3rd 5th 10th 16th 17th 24th July 1st 3rd 8th 15th

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) Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Richard's Full Member Ride Maldon Motor Show Group Night Associate Group Training (AGT) Observer Peer to Peer Ride (1803) (Continued on page 29)

Building, Civil Engineering and Maintenance 

Extensions - Garages - Loft Conversions

Block paving Driveways - Patios

All Types of Roofing

Carpentry - Brickwork

Water Main and Sewer Repairs and Renewal

Fencing - Replacement Windows (uPVC, Hardwood, Aluminium)

uPVC Cladding, Fascias, Soffits

Underpinning - Landscaping

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

For free no-obligation quote, phone Clint on

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

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22nd 22nd 29th

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 Mick’s Associate/Member Ride Group Night (Xmas Quiz) Associate Group Training (AGT) Richard’s Full Member Ride

Diary 2018

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

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

(Continued from page 26)

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery ■ Some a

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are Old! ■ Picture Gallery ■ Picture Gallery

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(Continued from page 23)

South America starting January. In between the challenges and excitement of the expedition I would occasionally think about that new bike sitting in the garage just waiting to be ridden, almost as exciting as the Expedition itself. When I got back it was a case of making up for lost time and during the next few years I made trips to Russia, several European countries and the USA, the ST was in it's element in the US. Richard Parker and I arranged a biking trip to New Zealand and we rented GS600s for the trip, Where it was appropriate we sought out the mountain roads and I was surprised to learn how much easier it is to manoeuvre the 600 around the twisties and, believe me, the ST is no slouch when it comes to handling but, it's a matter of physics, the more weight, the less throwing about. I decided I wanted a lighter bike to throw around in the tight twisties and on my return I checked out three or four 600s and decided on the Hornet. Two years later whilst in France and riding the ST along a major road I approached a junction which had vehicles waiting at Stop lines and I had eye contact with the lead car at the line and the driver was looking in my direction, hold up he's pulling out! Crash, bang, wallop, I end up in Hospital for a week and the ST's written off, he admitted liability but little comfort, amazingly my injuries were restricted to severe bruising over about 60% of my body and it didn't affect my riding confidence but it was the end of the ST.

The following year 2010, Chris Johnson and I had arranged a six week expedition to the good old US of A, my favourite riding destination, and I was a little concerned about doing some 10000 miles around the States on the Hornet, I needn't have worried, it coped just fine and in the Rockies and the like it was better than the ST. When I returned from that trip I found that there was a problem with the Hornet's headlight which I was unable to fix, so I took it over to Brian and there in the showroom was the new VFR 1200 winking at me. I arranged a ride for a couple of weeks later and when I turned up the demo bike which had 110 miles on the

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clock was the DCT clutch model so, in for a penny etc, I rode down to Rye learning all the time how best to use the different modes and it wasn't until, on the way back, where I got onto the A21 by-pass that I was able to fully check out the bikes capabilities, suffice to say again, I got back struck a deal and it was delivered by van two days later, well it was winter and I didn't want to get it dirty. Three years later whilst on a day trip to France on the VFR I had a head-on collision, totally my fault, wrong side of the road. Unlike my previous encounter I have no recollection of what happened other than opening my eyes to see the roof of the ambulance into which I was being stretchered. I spent 8 hours in A&E and once again injuries were confined to heavy bruising of both legs, how lucky was I? The VFR? never saw it again. I don't know why to this day but there was no third party claim! My 2007 Hornet now has 156000 miles on the clock and is accompanied in the garage by a 2009 matching Hornet but with a mere 50000 miles on the clock. I bought this from Sam, a club member and friend a couple or so years ago. Even though they have quit making them, I still have a hankering for the ST1300! That's me and bikes.

Safe riding, Geoff Preston.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Living with the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT John Tipper I received an email from Phil Reader recently, asking me what I thought about my KTM 1290 Super Duke GT. It’s a while since I’ve written for TUG and our editor is always looking for new content so here is my reply. For me, the KTM GT is what motorcycling is all about; it’s the grin factor! Eighteen months and 15,000 miles or so and I still love it. I’d buy another tomorrow, if I had the money!

I know your newest bike is always (well, nearly always) your best but, for me, this is true with the KTM GT. It’s the first bike I’ve owned that has electronic aids such as power and suspension modes. The SP1 taught me to love ‘V’ Twins but the GT is something else. Taking it to Cadwell Park recently was a revelation! I’ve ridden the circuit several times; I’m by no means the fastest but not too slow either. First sessions, I was convinced the cones were misplaced but as my pace improved, the cones came to me and the GT was really flowing. I set the suspension to Sport but chickened out keeping the power on Street; this gives you full power but with a much smoother delivery. Tyres warm, more comfortable in myself and gotten used to the track again, for the final session, I switched the power to Sport. Wow, the drive out of the corners was in another league. You’d love it! The front end is rock solid, even on bumpy (Cotswolds) lanes. The Brembo’s are by far the best brakes I’ve had and that includes the SP1 and 2006 Blade! For me it’s very comfortable to ride, the foot pegs are quite high so your ‘dropped toe’ riding style shouldn’t be a problem. The heated grips and heated seat Where the GT was (optional and also new to me) are really powerful, great when it gets born, chilly later in the day. The headlight Mattighofen, Austria is good (for a single unit), the ‘lean angle lights' are OK but I’d rather be able to fit a couple of powerful LEDs in their

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place. I’ve purchased a pair of Denali LEDs from R&G that I’ll fit to the front forks, not perfect but will improve light spread. I’m also replacing the horn that is pathetic. The tank capacity of 23 litres gives me about 230 to 250 miles so 200 before reserve is easily achievable (unless you’re on track). Therefore consumption is circa 45 mpg. Range indicator is wildly optimistic. I find some of the smaller text on the instrument display difficult to read and would prefer the TFT screen currently being fitted to the Adventure. According to the KTM salesman at the NEC, there are no plans to upgrade the GT to this display. On the negative side, when new I repeatedly had electronic ‘MTC’ error messages, indicating Traction Control and ABS was inoperative that Hyside had problems identifying. KTM, Silverstone, were able to dial into the bikes CPU and suggested replacing the exhaust valve module that cured the problem! I have to ask, how accurate are the error messages? The rear seat storage is minimal being half filled with a charcoal filter; nevertheless, removing the tool kit, I’ve been able to fit a PDM, Autocom Logic and Kenwood bike -to-bike radio complete with external aerial. Running cables under the tank to the Garmin was a nightmare. Even now, although I can lift the tank a centimetre or so, I’m not aware how to remove it. If you want to remove the rear wheel yourself, you’ll need a 35mm 3/4 sq drive socket, a torque wrench capable of tightening the centre nut to 250 Nm (185 lb ft), a work bench (to tie the bike onto preventing it from falling over) that’s fixed to the floor so it doesn’t run away. OH, and plenty of muscle!


I had to pay the full price as dealer stock was minimal during the early months (I sold four bikes and still had to add some) and saddened they’re being discounted now but that’s life. I love the KTM. For me it’s what riding is all about, even if it makes you feel you’re a better rider than you really are. I visited the factory in Mattighofen, having only given them a few days notice, I had a very informative tour even though it was in German, and felt part of the KTM ‘family’.

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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Full Member Social Rides Richard Parker Who wants to be a ride leader? When I joined EAMG around the year 2000 it was an IAM group and much larger than at present. I hadn't ridden for over 20 years so needed to get up to speed as not only had bikes changed but also the traffic, signage and restrictions. I passed the IAM test then went on to get a Rospa Gold. What to do now I wondered? How to keep an interest in the Group for myself and many others? There was the annual Super Sausage run but very few other organised ride outs so I decided to start Full Member rides each month. I chose to make it Full Members as Associates had plenty of opportunity to ride with their Observers and also as the Group was much larger a big turn out wouldn't fit into a cafe. That still applies.

I posted my intention and on the first ride I had only one person turn up. That was Smurf. We rode to Milton Cambridge and back but thereafter numbers picked up and it was soon the popular outing it is today. Why am I writing this? Because I've been leading these rides for many years and maybe there is someone out there dying to have a go. I won't go on forever but it would be nice to think the rides will. Start by sharing the task with a view to eventually taking it on fully. I still enjoy the role so I'm not anxious to step down yet but am mindful of the future and would hate to be holding someone back! Maybe we could try running two a month. Please let me know if this is your forte'.

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Events Report Chris Johnson In the last Events Report I said glumly that it was not going to be a good report because bad health had kept me away from all rides except one. In retrospect that was the Good Old Days, because in this period I have been on precisely none. Zilch. Nada. Let us look at the delights I missed. There was a Full Member Social Ride on Sunday 3rd December. Richard was still out of commission so Geoff led a ride to Red Lodge. I am pretty sure I had a solid family reason for missing this; it wasn't just pique at having been abandoned in Diss on Geoff's last ride. There are no details about the ride available on the Forum other than Mick having acted as back marker and Colin having enjoyed the ride despite missing a chunk of the return journey. Was Geoff up to his old tricks again? I shall fight back my paranoia and say probably not. Mick's Associate/Member Ride on 17th December to the Robin Hood Pub in Cambridge was cancelled owing to bad weather. Apparently Paula had set her heart on a run and ventured out on her own later. Her description of the outing, "a smattering of fog, a sprinkling of rain and temperature to suit a polar bear", seems to indicate the cancellation was a sensible one. I was away in Germany and Sweden over Christmas and New Year but there were no runs so I missed nothing. The first outing of the New Year was Richard's run to the Rushbrooke Arms on 14th January, which happened to be my 70th birthday. Since we hadn't got back from the party the night before until 02:00 attending this would not have been wise, even if one ignored the convention that you should be around on your birthday to receive congratulations from friends and family Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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rather than going out and enjoying yourself. In the event they had 18 bikes and covered 110 miles. Colin and Tony acted as back markers, there were no reported incidents, and everyone seemed to have had a good time. Phil Reader reported that afterwards he had given his new bike a quick jet wash and then used his new dryer on it for the first time. I was struck by this. I have got one of those electric leaf blowers. Perhaps it would work to dry off the bike? Of course, that would require that you first washed the bike, which I am no great enthusiast for doing, being a great believer in the protective effects of a layer of road grime, but I think I shall give it a try. The final ride of the period was Mick's Associate/Member ride on 21st January, another try at riding to the Robin Hood after the previous month's cancellation. I was suffering from yet another bout of 'flu, so this was not for me, but I think Mick may have been influenced by Paula's initiative after the previous run and the run went ahead, despite clear indications, like snow, that it was not meant to be. Mick has kindly sent me the following account of the run. "Saturday was a day of checking the weather predictions for Sunday ‘on or

off’? Finally decided ‘on’ as prediction was for rain with possible flurries of snow! Walking the dog at 7am Sunday confirmed ok as my back lane, which is always a good indicator of the worst conditions, was wet but no ice. December’s ride was cancelled we were all keen to get out. I was there early and decided it was ok to ‘go’ based on my ride in. Tom, a new associate turned up on his lovely KTM 1090, this was his first outing on a club ride. Had an interesting chat about the benefits of key less ignitions and how easy they are for the scum of the earth to pick up your bike/car unique code by walking near you with a briefcase that conceals a high tech reader which gives them access to your vehicle – also works where they come to your front door, and as most of us leave keys near the door, and reads the code of your vehicle – simple. Seven of us gathered at Sainsbury’s where very light snow was beginning to fall – Richard P, Rich, Paula, Dawn, Tom and Stephen. I did have ½ degree on my temp but road conditions were ok and we’ll stick to the main Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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roads. So off we go via Regiment way, Dunmow, B184 through Thaxted. The snow flurries became heavier and with misting inside the visor and snow hugging the outside I pulled into a layby at Saffron Walden and decided to turn back and head for MacDonalds Regiment Way. So a loop round Saffron and joined the B184 back for food, coffee and a good chat about everything. Chris J – your email to me quote: ‘since the weather conditions seemed to indicate it must have been a triumph of enthusiasm over common sense’. I did expect you to turn up to take the pics of the snow as I sadly forgot – when did you get some ‘common sense’! Mick" Mick, 'flu is a great substitute for common sense. Tom Mahoney was having his first associate ride with the Group. It must have been an interesting experience for him. Riding in snow was probably the worst motorbiking experience of my young life. I was coming back from Sheffield to Manchester across the Snake Pass one night when a blizzard blew up across the moors. The road and verges quickly became indistinguishable, even if the powerful 28w BSA Bantam headlight had not been useless in the swirl of falling snow. The only way of travelling at anything other than a slow walking pace was to wait until a car overtook you, and then follow behind it for as long as you dared. There was regrettably little traffic and I froze for the best part of two hours. A duffel coat and faux fur mittens are not the best gear for a winter ride. I was actually quite lucky. Following the vehicle in front during a blizzard can be risky, as a line of eight cars in a ditch during a Swedish winter made plain to me when driving up from Gothenburg one winter. Let us hope that the next events report has a bit more substance to it.

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Observer Profile Name: John Tullett When and why did you develop an interest in riding a motorcycle?Migrating from a push bike to a motorcycle seemed like a logical progression from an early age - faster, able to travel further what was there not to like? These thoughts were reinforced by my paternal grandparents living adjacent to Monty's Motorcycles in Edenbridge, Kent. There were always a mouth watering selection of 'proper' British bikes in the showroom window and invariably whenever I walked past the open workshop door there was at least one Triumph/ Norton/BSA being kick-started or revved-up. How old were you when you first rode a bike? 16 years old. What was the bike and what were the circumstances? Before I was let loose on the road with 'L' plates I had a practise on my Dad's C90 in my parents garden. All went well for the first few runs. I then went a little faster and decided to slow down using the front brake. Unfortunately, in reaching for the brake, I also opened the throttle wider. With the house wall rapidly approaching I opted to go left and lay the bike down. Amazingly the bike and I survived intact, which is more than can be said of my Dad's hitherto immaculate lawn which had an unexpected rotavating...

Of the bikes you've owned to date, which was the favourite, if there was one? I have been really fortunate to own and ride a number of great bikes but if I was forced to pick a favourite it would have to be my much loved 1972 750 Norton Commando! If you were given the opportunity to own any bike on the market which would it be? I would have always said a Vincent Rapide, but with the cost of Vincent twins increasing exponentially a Norton 961 is becoming a more realistic alternative. (A Britten V1000 would also be great for track days).

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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What is your favourite motorcycle related gadget? My snap-on tyre pressure gauge. If I was restricted to just one pre-ride check it would always be tyre pressures! Where is your preferred place to ride in the UK? Any quiet country road with a National limit and plenty of bends. I am trying to make the most of the Essex based ones before they all become urbanised... And overseas? Isle of Man (does that count?) If you were offered the opportunity to go on an extended bike tour who, family members aside, would you choose as a riding companion? Not an easy decision but Guy Martin would be near the top of my list, not least for the way in which his infectious enthusiasm can generate interest in a subject that you didn't previously know you cared about. No doubt he would lose me pretty quickly on the road but hopefully I could keep up when it came to drinking tea.

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How would you describe to a non-rider the attraction of riding a bike as opposed to driving a car? Many car drivers probably would not understand the sense of freedom, fun and involvement that a bike provides and, when you see the standard of driving displayed by some road users, it is probably just as well that they do not ride bikes!

When do you intend to give up riding? I don't. Describe your scariest moment on your bike? Not long after buying my new 1978 Triumph Bonneville I was riding back from Southend on the A127 when the bike ground to a halt with an electrical fault (another burnt out bullet connector!). I was just contemplating my next move when another bonnie rider pulled into the lay-by to offer assistance. He volunteered to go home and get a towrope. True to his word about 30 minutes later the rider returned and tied one end of the rope to his rack. We wrapped the other end round my forks and under my left hand - the idea being that if I had a problem I would just let go. As we pulled away this seemed like a great solution but within 100 yards I changed my mind as we reached the 70 limit. Suddenly the rope seemed incredibly short. Amazingly I made it home in one piece without incident, despite the complications I had in providing directions (with no working indicators and the need to keep hold of the rope). I resolved that bike-to-bike towing should be a one-off experience, but then experienced my second scariest moment when being recovered back from the 1979 TT by a Range Rover with the Bonnie (seized engine following a oil pump failure) on a trailer behind. We were traveling at about 55 mph on a quiet section of dual carriageway at around 03:00 when I noticed we were heading straight for the steeply raised embankment at the side of the road. I looked across and saw the driver had dropped off! With no time to shout a warning I grabbed the wheel and kept us on the road. The look of shock on the driver's face until he realised what I was doing is one I will never forget.

The bike needed a comprehensive rebuild, including re-bored barrels, oversize pistons, new con-rods, main bearings, etc., etc., and was something I really enjoyed doing. I was delighted when the bike started first kick!

Essex Advanced Motorcyclist Group Promoting Excellence in Motorcycling Since 1982

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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

25th March, 2018

27th May, 2018


29th July, 2018

21st October, 2018

Contact John Tipper, 8 Carlton Ave, London N14 4UA. Email: Tel : 0208 360 8590

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

Name: Address:

Post Code:



Riding Experience:


Typical annual mileage:


FTFM - 2018 Membership Secretary

Observer Co-ordinator

Paula Hockey

John Tullett

Additional Membership Fee

Contribution to Observer

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! 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: 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

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Tug web feb 2018  

EAMG bi-monthly Group Magazine

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EAMG bi-monthly Group Magazine


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