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Zumo’s new 660 is entirely touchscreen operated, and the screen is bigger than the 550’s


Dimensions: 5.3 x 3.3 x 0.9in (13.5 x 8.4 x 2.3cm) Display size: 3.75 x 2.15in (9.7 x 5.7 cm); 4.3in diagonal (11cm) Display resolution: 480 x 272 pixels Weight: 270g Battery: Removable, rechargeable lithium-ion Battery life: Up to five hours Waterproof: Yes Basemap: Europe Built-in memory: Internal solid state Data cards: SD card (not included) Waypoints/favorites/locations: 1000 Routes: 20 (additional storage on SD card Connectivity: Bluetooth Compatibility: Windows 2000 or later; Mac OS X 10.4 or later


Voice prompts: Yes Speaks street names: Yes Lane assist/junction view: Yes 3D building view: Yes Auto re-route: Yes Choice of route set-up (faster time, shorter distance, off road): Yes Route avoidance (avoid highways, tolls etc): Yes Speed limit indicator: Yes Find closest hospitals, petrol stations, etc: Yes World travel clock, currency and unit converter, calculator: Yes Picture viewer: Yes MP3 player: Yes Audio book player: Yes Headphone jack/audio line-out: Yes Touchscreen: Yes

Routes are easily adapted mid-journey, even in gloves

Words Simon Weir Pictures Mark Manning

Have tent,

With all the camping advice in this issue, one of us needs to go and do it to check that it all works. As I haven’t been camping since I was a kid, who better to get an unbiased view on what it’s really like? I load up the Fazer and go. Now I’m here, sitting beside a tent in perfect early evening sunshine on a sweet-smelling, tree-fringed meadow. The only sounds come from the nearby river rushing quietly by and my dinner bubbling on my stove. I’m in the tiny Welsh village of Rhandirmwyn. The ride here from Lincolnshire covered 230 miles – OK, there was a bit of mile-munching on the A46 and M50, but for most of the day I’ve ridden brilliant roads.

If you like your Tarmac smooth and open, the unclassified road from Llandovery to Rhandirmwyn might not be for you. On the other hand, if you like tight, technical roads and don’t mind the odd bump, this stretch of road is a tree-lined epic. The corners come thick and fast, but it also has the full complement of lumps, jumps, gravel, blind corners and crests, plus the occasional caravan and sheep – the traditional cocktail of hazards the roads of rural Wales serve up. Getting down this road at anything like the speed limit is a real challenge – I get to the end of it exhausted and grinning broadly. It’s the highlight of a great day, but also the last bit of riding.

will travel Where We Went

The Cambrian mountains are wilder and less famous than the nearby Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains. There are fewer towns and fewer roads – and many of those are single-track lanes. However, all three hilly regions are close together and loaded with genius riding roads and amazing scenery.

Not sure about camping? We sent RiDE’s resident canvas-phobe to try it Llandovery and Rhandirmwyn are only seven miles apart, but it feels further. This isn’t off the beaten track – this is where you come when off-the-beaten-track gets too busy. When the back of beyond is still too close to home. There’s no mobile phone signal. There’s very little traffic. Just a post office, an award-winning pub, a clutch of houses and more landscape than the entire South of England. On a baking summer afternoon, it’s as close to heaven as you can get with your leathers on. Down by the river is the Camping and Caravan Club’s site – non-members welcome. For £12 (£5 for members) I can pitch my tent anywhere on the big field. I pick a spot that’s about 200 metres from

This is Llyn Brianne. More scenic than the Ace Cafe

86 Ride SEPTEMBER 2009

R tRips OU

INTERACTIVE Words Austin Smith Pictures Ian Jubb


“G’day mate, this your Fireblade?” Mick Doohan, five-times 500cc world champion, is one of my motorcycling heroes. He needed a bike to ride up the hill at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, and I have a Honda Fireblade in HRC colours, so of course I was delighted to lend my bike to Doohan for the weekend. I made sure I was there to meet him and see him in action. He was never the most talkative of blokes, and that’s not changed. He lets his riding do the talking for him, and he’s clearly not lost his touch, pulling wheelies and performing burn-outs in a way I’ll never be able to match. He’s not lost his appeal, either. He drew huge crowds of autograph hunters and bikers who wanted to meet him. But first they had to get past the excited bloke in the RiDE T-shirt telling anyone and everyone: “That’s my bike that is…”

1: Crowds kept Doohan busy signing autographs 2: Get on, pull a wheelie, no problem… 3: … and a rolling burn-out too 4: Coolest autograph of the weekend: Doohan’s signature on our Blade 5: Turns out that squiggle on his leathers is nothing like his real signature 6: Just another day in the life of a legend – but a quite extraordinary day for RiDE







“Doohan lets his riding do his talking for him, and he’s clearly not lost his touch”


Start mileage: 348 Current mileage: 3445 Average mpg: 41

september 2009 Ride 127

RiDE Sep 09  

Tells it like it is