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February 2013



The Committee Chairman & Nigel Barton

Group Contact Vice Chairman Secretary Website Observer Co-ordinator

John Tipper Roger Wardley Graham Simpkins

John Tullett

Lyn Childs

Promotions Treasurer Full Members Rep

Graham Childs Teri Olley Geoff Preston

TUG (Newsletter) Editor

Laura Windram

Membership Secretary & Associate Co-ordinator

Events Co-ordinator Paul Scott

Bill Peck

Committee Member

Keith Boyles

Committee Member

Jill Winn

Committee Member

Paul McKelvey

BMF/MAG Liason




Dear Members As the AGM is upon us I’m sure you will join me in thanking all those that are standing down for their efforts and commitment to the group over the last year, I have certainly learnt how much time is taken up helping on the committee, however it is all well worth while when you see members achieving success with their riding and enjoying each others company at social events . I’d missed my bike whilst away in Spain at Christmas especially when we stumbled across some stunning roads, there were even some that Pathfinder Pete would have loved (full of craters with grass, loose gravel and a shear drop to one side!). Also the snow that was around during January put a stop to my two wheeled commute, and was an unfortunate reminder to how rubbish driving a car is, being confined within a box on four wheels trundling along like dumb sheep doesn’t do much for the soul. Snow is only thing that stops me riding for any length of time so I always feel a bit lost, I’d probably be ok if I took my crash helmet with me anyway! Luckily it doesn’t happen often and doesn’t last long. Its now 13 degrees, wet and windy wow it must be summer….

Chairman’s Piece


John Tullett


John Tipper Reveiller Rides


Diary (Pull Out)


Membership Form (Pull Out) 28 This and That


Our Trip up North Andy and Lynn


The Triangle


Figure of Eight


Power is Best


The deadline for Aprils Tug is the 22nd March

What’s happening next? Log into, then Runs and Rides Forum PROMOTING MOTORCYCLING EXCELLANCE SINCE 1982


It is hard to believe that twelve months ago I was elected chairman of our group, the year has simply flown by and by the time you read this I may or may not have been re-elected as chairman, whatever the outcome of the ballot if you voted for me thank you. The past year has been hard work, mostly learning what was expected of me or should I say expected in the role of chairman, as there is no manual, no real job description, indeed no formal hand over from the outgoing chairman. As time went on it became more apparent that the Chris Reed took responsibility for almost everything from organising certain rides each year, slow riding days, heading up the training team, being a senior observer assessor as well as many other tasks behind the scenes. Well I had to have a little think on that one and I soon came to the conclusion that I was never going to be able to keep up with that sort of work load. My idea was to simply ask for help from the training team and the rest of the committee getting them to do the jobs they are good at and thus sharing the load, I offer support and encouragement and of course mediate occasionally. Well, have I done a good job? that’s not for me to say, have the rest of the committee done a good job? yes they have and I am very sad that Graham and Lynn Childs are standing down, a very big thank you to them both and the rest of the committee members for all of your hard work this year. I must not forget the training team John Tipper, John Tullett and the rest of the team have done a fantastic job developing our training and the organisation of it, well done to one and all and a big thank you from 4


me. 2013 could well be a hard year for the group as the financial situation in our country does not appear to be easing and people find they have less disposable income, it is going to be hard to retain full members, a very important part of our survival and of course finding new associate members, so please give a thought to any way in which you may be able to help or indeed just spread the word about our group. We are in need of a volunteer to take the EAMG stand to Colchester football ground for the first bikesafe event of 2013 on Sunday the 5th May or we will not be able to attend the event which would be a great shame, supporting this event is very important for

us to remain a recognisable organisation within Essex as we have no national status as do RoSPA and the IAM, so if you can help please let me know.

Changing the subject have you ridden an electric motorcycle? Laura and I were at the Motorcycle Trade show at the NEC a couple of weeks ago and the opportunity was there to ride a Zero DS something or the other on a short pear shaped track ring fenced with a steel crowd control barrier! Yes I thought a circuit, a bike albeit battery powered and a nice grippy floor this should be fun, so I signed up grabbed a lid only to find the DS was now already on track and a selection of battery push bikes where on offer. NO I did not ride a push bike I did the only thing any test pilot would do, I adopted a sulky face folded my arms and waited. Two or three minutes later the previous rider was in, he climbed off the bike and preceded to make sure I knew where the sport/eco switch was, silly man SPORT for me I’m not a wimp! Checking left as I joined the track from the pits, all was clear, a great big handful of throttle and we were off ‘bloody hell’ was my first thought I was now pilling into the first very short bend at a great rate of knots and the thing didn’t make any noise! Any way the brakes worked fine and after a few laps we soon had the little bike cranked over off road style tucked right up on the tank foot down sliding it out of the



faster bend leaving black lines on the NEC floor. It was great fun so much torque, instant power brilliant. Of course the paparazzi where there, well the guy who was running the track and Laura were, the flash’s were going off as I was coming out of the faster bend unfortunately the little battery bike was so quick Laura’s digital camera in sport mode couldn’t capture a decent shot. Once they dragged me off the bike we carried on looking around the show but not before I checked out the cost of the bike, around £11,000 88mph (but not for long) A great idea and the technology is getting better but the price! If you get a chance to ride one go for it impressive it was..... Finally my best wishes to all for the new year lets hope we all have a great, safe riding year. I for one am looking forward to it.




Membership Report

Dear Members, Membership is now due for renewal for 2013 . The Membership fees have not been increased for 2013.Membership forms are downloadable from the clubs website. Or are in the centre of the TUG.













Fees for 2013

New Associates Members £55.00

Associates member’s Renewal is £45.00

Full member’s Renewal is £25.00

Socials Member’s are £25.00

FMT £20.00

I would like to extend a huge thank you to Lynn and Graham for all their hard work and commitment to EAMG, the group wouldn’t be what it is today without them and they will be sorely missed on the committee. Also a big thanks for being good friends to Nigel and I over the last year or so it really means a lot.

Laura x




When filling in your

Don’t forget renewal time is upon us again, please fill in the form on the centre page as soon as possible

membership form please don’t forget to fill in the gift aid form too, it is an extremely important source of income which all helps towards training associates and full members :)

Group night on the March 5th is Race Night, please feel free to bring friends and family to what will be a fun evening



Responses to

The next or


get in to the forum at

for TUG is the 22nd Mar 2013 Please ask for my address if you’d rather post me your article

T hi s hum bl e l i t t l e m a g a z i ne co st s qui t e a l o t t o pro du ce a nd po st , so w o ul d a l l m e m be rs ca re f ul l y co nsi de r w he t he r t he y re a l l y ne e d t o re ce i ve a co py i n t he po st . I f yo u co l l e ct T U G a t g ro up ni g ht pl e a se m a ke sure t ha t yo u ha ve t i cke d t he f o rm a t t he do o r so w e kno w yo u’ve ha d o ne . I f yo u use t he o nl i ne ve rs i o ns a g a i n pl e a se m a ke i t kno w n o n yo ur m e m be rshi p f o rm . I t ’s a l so w o rt h co nsi de ri ng g e t t i ng a f ri e nd t o co l l e ct yo ur co py f ro m g ro up ni g ht a nd pa ssi ng i t o n. A ny sa vi ng s w e ca n m a ke w i l l be a hug e he l p t o t he g ro up, t ha nk yo u.

Regalia is now available to order please see Jill Winn for more details



Observer News- Congratulations to Mark Birchall who recently passed his initial assessment to become a Trainee Observer. If you have ever thought that you might be interested in becoming an Observer with EAMG then please get in touch with me and I will supply further details of what is involved. If you are to succeed it will inevitably demand a high level of commitment and time, both from you and your Senior Observer, but when you see your trainees become safer and more competent on their way to attaining advanced riding skills you will find all of your efforts to be fully justified. Test Passes– Our Observers always endeavour to ensure that all test pass details are reported in TUG. However, as we do not receive any formal notification of Group member test passes from either the IAM or RoSPA, it is inevitable that sometimes details can slip through the net. If Group members could please send me details of their test and retest passes I will ensure that they receive the recognition they deserve. Additionally, it would be greatly appreciated if members who have passed their test could write a few words thanking their Observer and maybe something about the training process and the test, for inclusion in TUG, to give new Associates an insight into the process of advanced riding. Please either forward these contributions to Laura ( or or me. Training Feedback– EAMG Observers seek to deliver the highest possible standards when assisting Associate and Full members undergoing training, consistent with our ‘Promoting Motorcycling Excellence’ philosophy. Being an independent Group we set demanding standards for Observer training, testing and 10


retesting. However, we are always keen to identify any areas where we could improve. Accordingly, we will be asking Associate and Full members to complete a confidential Training Feedback Report which should be returned to me. Your constructive feedback, whether complimentary or critical, will be invaluable in helping to ensure that we maintain and develop our standards. Useful APPS– Towards the end of last year I finally got around to bringing my mobile phone into the 21st century. I have just started to explore the range of Android Apps available and the choice is fairly mind boggling. There are, no doubt, numerous Apps that could be useful for Group members (and there must be someone out there who is far better qualified than me to provide a guide on this? If so, I would be very pleased to see a future TUG article...). Nevertheless, a couple I would recommend are: (1) The St John Ambulance ‘First Aid’ App which provides advice on responding to major and minor emergencies through a combination of written guidance, images and verbal instructions. This is the kind of App that you hope you never need but just might be helpful if you are ever the first on scene at an emergency. (2) In my view the Highway Code is not the easiest book to revise, because as you read through it you can easily convince yourself that you know the rules when they may not be committed to memory. I have previously found the PC CD Interactive Highway Code useful to check my real knowledge levels, but there appear to be many Apps for mobiles that will perform a similar function (without the need to lug a PC around). ‘Theory Test Lite’ is one option that I have downloaded and will use again as it allows you to run through a mock test of up to 35 randomly selected multiple choice questions. Should any members have any training related queries then please contact me via e-mail or send me a PM via the Message Board.

John Tullett






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Collection and delivery available Our cafe will be opening in the spring and our location would make an ideal ‘meet up’ venue for ride outs etc. Come and enjoy a coffee and a bacon sandwich whilst we work on your bike! No parking restrictions and a large designated block paved motorcycle parking area. We are a Biker 2 Biker company and treat every bike as if it is our own

01621 782 742 We look forward to seeing you soon!!!



Hi, we thought you’d like to know that The Rider’s Digest is back as an online magazine and that it’s free to download at Following the demise of the printed version last September the company was wound up in the courts and that appeared to be that. However, the readership was still there and, having edited the magazine from January ’06 to July ’09, I and some other die-hard Digest types decided that through a combination of love, effort and goodwill, TRD could be restored to its former glory - albeit online. And that's precisely what we've done. We have produced three issues so far and are already reaching over 10,000 readers a month. Most of your favourite contributors and features are back (Six in the City, In the Saddle, Boy Biker, Rod Young etc.), plus we have a whole load of new writers from around the world. I want to stress that the new version of TRD has nothing whatsoever to do with the company that went bust, or any of the individuals who owned it at that time. It is an entirely new initiative starting from scratch with nothing but the name (which was free to pick up) and the great reputation that goes with it. We sincerely hope you’ll start reading the Digest again as it really is as good, if not better, than it ever was. If you click the ‘Subscribe for Free’ button on our website, we’ll simply send you a reminder email every time we publish a new edition. You can also follow us on Facebook Best regards, Dave Gurman Editor, The Rider's Digest

EAMG Members are you looking to renew your bike, car or household insurance? If so why not try Carole Nash, you maybe able to earn the group a donation. Please use the number below and quote the reference number

0800 083 4422 Quote Ref 1460



Reveiller Rides 2012 - Part 2: Higher Mountain Passes, Old Volcanoes, Snow and more Glorious Tarmac

Is your glass half empty or half full? Are you a pessimist or optimist? Weathermen have said that in England, 2012 was the wettest since records began but didn’t it start with a hosepipe ban in the South East with everyone being paranoid about global warming? Didn’t the government appoint a Minister for the Drought? Strange, I haven’t heard anyone wining about global warming recently, have you? How short our memories are.

For my part, my glass is always half full. OK it’s been wet this year and we had some snow in September (more of that later) but since departing Heathrow at 13:00 hrs on a flight number containing 13 in the capacity as manager of Britain’s speed skating team at the 13th Winter Olympic Games which opened in Lake Placid on 13th February 1980, I’ve had no problems with the number 13. It is true that our skaters had some bad luck but Eric Heiden, from Wisconsin, won Mick, Audrey, Kevin, Richard, Bruce, all five men’s speed skating gold medals Simon, Chris, Joe, Teri and Janis setting four Olympic records and one world record in the process to become the most successful Winter Olympian from a single games. The USA ‘collegiate’ ice hockey team won the gold medal defeating the favoured Finnish team in the final and the previous four consecutive Olympic gold medallists from the Soviet Union in the process. Robin Cousins won our only medal, a figure skating gold. Thirteen must be a great number for these guy’s and 2013 will be a great year for us with great weather and great riding. Fifteen of us ventured to the Côte d’Or in July, our number including five new faces, a great group, excellent riding and much jollity. As John, Margaret and Ian had booked to join this ride rather late, we couldn’t get places on our train so they had to get up even earlier than the rest of us to catch an earlier train. However, due to a delay, they only had to wait at the Calais Terminal for 5 minutes or so.



The weather forecast wasn’t good but we left the terminal in dry sunny weather, albeit with clouds threatening. Being a green* ride for all abilities, we began at a leisurely pace giving everyone the opportunity to settle down. With only 151 miles to cover we had plenty of time for refreshment stops. Having ridden 100 miles or so from home to Folkestone with only light refreshments available at the Early Arrival Services (M20, Jcn 11), I was looking for an early stop and found a welcoming cafe near the town centre of Hesdin. Villagers in France are generally very relaxed about bike parking but on this occasion a local shop owner appeared looking perplexed. “You can’t park there” she cried, “The road is being closed at Gil, Darren & Spider midday for a boot sale”. It was only 11:20 so I explained we were only stopping for coffee and would soon be on our way, which seemed to satisfy her. We continued in warm sunshine but those clouds were becoming more menacing; another hour and we’ll be stopping for lunch. We had just found a restaurant in Airaines when the heavens opened. It had just turned 1 o’clock so the restaurant was quite full, always a good sign; nevertheless an area was cheerfully found for us. Heavy rain accompanied our excellent lunch but we were under cover, warm and dry. By the time we were back on the road the rain had abated and we continued on our pretty scenic route to our first hotel in Agnetz. All checked in and room keys distributed, it was time to park the bikes in the underground garage but heavy rain beat us to it! Bikes safely parked, showered and refreshed, we settled down to cool beers and dinner.

It had rained for most of the night but we awoke to a cloudy, fairly bright morning. Margaret, Audrey and Theresa Gil’s Fazer, Audrey’s ZX6 and my Pan wouldn’t fit in the garage (chivalrous weren’t we) so for us it was out with the chammy drying off our bikes. Our planned 170-mile south westerly scenic route to our second hotel in Magnant, took us on ‘D’ roads through Villers-Cotterets, Romilly-sur-Seine and Troyes. From here we could easily reach the Côte d’Or for our much-awaited mid-tour rideout. We arrived at Magnant at about 4 o’clock to discover Spider and Richard chafing at the bit for more miles; I gave them some suggestions and off they went. It had been a warm dry day, well, it was July so the rest of us settled down on the hotel veranda and enjoyed the warm late afternoon sunshine with a few beers exchanging tales of the day’s ride before dinner.



I’ll not say it never rains in the Cote d’Or but it seldom lets us down, especially in July. Our third day was no exception as we awoke to be greeted by warm sunshine and clear blue skies. Our rideout took us south through Essoyes, a lovely little village in Champagne where Renoir and his family spent many of their happiest days. For us, the biking mecca of the Côte d’Or beckoned but the route there was closed; quite a common problem on the ‘D’ roads of France but with sat nav, usually easily overcome. For those interested, I tend not to use the ‘recalculate route‘ option and when confronted with a deviation; I zoom out to see where the route goes and follow roads that I think should get me back to the planned route. But we all know what can happen to best laid plans! I thought we were going in a circle and the second time we passed Spider the delightfully pretty graveyard in the middle of nowhere, I was sure of it. As the purpose of the day wasn’t to tour the picturesque lanes of Champagne, delightful though they are, I took an executive decision and cut across to the D971 taking us directly to Chatillon-sur-Seine, in the North of the Côte d’Or.

Refuelled and ready to go we left Chatillon-sur-Seine on the D928 to Recey-surOurce where we regrouped before taking the fabulous 26-mile leg of the D959 to Issur-Tille. This is an easy road to follow with few junctions and only three villages. It is demanding to ride fast with open and flowing bends coupled with those that are blind until you’re on them. What ever your pace, this is a delightful road to ride so we set off individually each riding at our own pace regrouping just north of Is-surTille. Having time, I suggested we retraced our route back to Recey-sur-Ource so we could ride the ‘959’ the other way. Judging by the unprompted grin that appeared on everyone’s face, this was a popular decision. We returned along the D928 to Leuglay before turning south on the D996. Starting with wide open corners and open countryside the 996 looks innocent but it’s quite different from the 959; the surface is quite bumpy in places especially in forest areas where tree roots have swelled under the worn tarmac. As the surface improves, the more observant of us notice that the road starts to descend into the trees getting narrower by the meter. Bend and descent signs followed by Armco filled in to ground level give warnings of impending danRelaxing at Recey-sur-Ource ger. The increasing gradient, claustrophobic, narrower road now enclosed by



heavier foliage overhead are all signs warning us to take great care. A right bend sign, small this time, concealed behind the leaves, easily missed. Use the Limit Point, where’s the road going? It’s on you! A sharp right hairpin shortly followed by another to the left and a third to the right. Everyone made it safely and we regroup just beyond the cross roads with the D901 at Moloy. Relax; this is a challenging road if you’re not concentrating; the broken foliage on the opposite side of the first hairpin being a stark warning of other’s mistake. We’ve just crossed D901, the third in this fabulous Côte d’Or trio. I first discovered the 901 with Richard Nash many years ago. We’d been on a tour and had a couple of days to spare so we diverted through the Côte d’Or. The rest, as they say is history. The 901 can be awesome. A good surface, wide, open and flowing bends giving clear views across most corners but not all, concentration is paramount. There is a hairpin near Aignay-le-Duc but it’s open and easily seen.

We continue on the southern 10-mile section of 901 to Is-sur-Tille to re-join the 959 south to our lunch stop at Beze. The cafe I’d intended using was closed and although the adjacent hotel restaurant would have taken us, it was deemed far too expensive so a local patisserie came to the rescue. Fifteen hungry bikers took some time to feed; no problems though, it was sunny, very warm and the roads were great. Suitably refreshed and refuelled we returned to Is-sur-Tille on the 959 re-joining the 901/971 north this time to Magnant via Chatillon-sur Seine.

Our thanks to Neill, John & Margaret, Pete & Jane, Bruce, Audrey, Theresa, Ian, Spider, JT, Richard, Phil, Darren & Gil for joining us.

Have I ever told you how much I hate alarm systems on bikes? I’ve seen holidays ruined because of alarm problems. The immobiliser kicks in, the bike won’t start and you’re stuffed, quite likely being trailered home. On two occasions, we’ve actually seen bikes refuse to start because a local transmitter aerial is interfering with a bike’s alarm system. Once on the top of Mont Ventoux and the other at a péage tollbooth. I mention this because Ian’s CBF alarm was causing problems and we really thought his bike would have to be recovered. Fortunately, eventually it got its act together and we were on our way.



Although our destination for our fifth ride was the Austrian Alps, we stayed an extra night near Freudenstadt in the heart of Schwarzwald allowing time for us to enjoy some of the best biking roads in Germany. Most have heard of the B500 which runs from Baden-Baden in the North to Waldshut on the Swiss border in the South but our 165 mile loop gave us a real flavour of the area. Schwarzwald is a mountainous region filled with picture-postcard villages and valleys but the main charm of the area is the outstanding beauty of its landscape, an ideal place for walking, cycling, cross-country skiing in the winter, driving and of course, biking. Adding hot springs, Schwarzwalder-kirschorte (Black Forest Cake) and cuckoo clocks makes this area irresistible. My route was full of variety, we did ride a section of the 500 but you see so much more if you leave the wellridden tourists’ routes. We stopped for lunch at a welcoming hotel/cafe in the picturesque village of Enzklösterle enjoying some Chris & kirschorte Schwarzwalder-kirschorte, what else, while Audrey felt her boots needed cleaning.

Although the weather for our final leg to Austria was quite hot and dry, the temperature that evening dropped and we awoke to be greeted by chilly rain. We’d ridden 1,000 miles in four days so the weather was perfect justification for a day chilling out. Audrey went into town with Chris, Teri, Joe, Janis, Mick and Naomi while Simon took the Vanet cable car to the 2,208-meter summit of the Krahberg. Kevin, on a mission to get as many different country badges on his Explorer panniers, decided to go to Lichtenstein for a badge to add to his collection. Richard, Bruce and I decided to join him. We took a ‘very’ scenic route over the mountains completely forgetting it was the season for bringing the cows down from summer pastures to warmer climes. Landeck from Krahberg

We were within a few miles of Lichtenstein when we joined the mobile roadblock; not the police on the M25 you understand but it might as well have been. There were probably a hundred or more with accompanying support vehicles ambling along at a slow walking pace. It was wet, you can guess what the road surface was covered with and on such a narrow road, no amount of Richard’s crisp 1600GT exhaust note was 18


going to move them along. Good slow riding practice though; you have to admire the police escort riders. We must have been looking at cow’s bums for 5 miles or more, it was well over half an hour before the road widened ever so slightly. Richard made the first move, gingerly passing; I followed with Kevin behind, all of us praying we didn’t get nudged in the process. Rukka suit notwithstanding, I confess to arriving in Vaduz, Lichtenstein’s capital, eager for a hot drink.

Next day was September 13th! We’d planned a rideout over the Silvretta Hochalpenstrasse, at 2032 meters it’s not the highest or steepest pass in Austria but the 5 miles of beautifully smooth tarmac with clear edge and centre lines is well worth riding; not to mention the hotel at the summit that sells unbelievable apfelstrudel and the tight, twisting decent through the trees towards Bludenz. It was still raining and quite cold but the forecast was improving. Bruce joined Kevin and Richard who, having ridden this way yesterday on our way to Lichtenstein, decided to ride the 2,509-meter Timmelsjoch pass into Italy before returning via the Brenner Pass.

We could see fresh snow on the peeks but Hochalpenstrasse runs along a valley before climbing towards the Silvretta pass itself.

Silvretta Hochalpenstrasse: JT, Teri, Audrey, Naomi, Mick, Janis and Chris

Soon we were level with the snow line and the temperature had dropped to -1ºC but, it snows in Austria, even in September; the migration from winter pastures yesterday should have been the clue. The road had been treated; it was damp but clear of any snow. We reached the hotel to find 4 inches of snow in the car park but a warm welcome in the restaurant where we ordered apfelstrudel and a hot drink. Naomi, riding pillion with her grandfather Mick; nineteen, learning to ride, really did see what motorcycling is all about and loved every minute. We heard later that Richard, Kevin and Bruce endured -3ºC accompanied by sleet and strong winds rattling the windows at the summit of Timmelsjoch; well they were 500 meters higher and deeper into the Alps. Temperatures gradually increased as we made our descent reaching 9ºC in the valley only to drop again as we climbed the Fontella, Hochtanbergpass and Naomi & Mick Hahntennjoch passes on this route.



Blue skies returned on the 14th for our ride to the Stelvio pass, Italy. I’ve written many times about the Stelvio so won’t repeat it all again; suffice to say this is the highest pass in Europe and a motorcycling must do if you ever get the opportunity. For Simon, never having ridden the Stelvio, this was to be the highlight of his holiday. Kevin was leading our ride today and our first photo opportunity was mystical lake of Curon Venosta where a small northern Italian town was Kevin at Cunon Venosta bell tower flooded to make way for an artificial lake. Why mysterious? Well, the semi-submerged bell tower is all that can be seen of the church. An eerie sight when you think what’s under the water. In winter, when the lake freezes, the bell tower can be reached on foot. Now a local landmark, it has received restoration work to protect it against water freezing in cracks within the masonry. Legend has it that, on a cold winter’s day, the bells can be heard ringing out across the lake but the bells were removed years ago, before the lake was flooded! Over the Stelvio, it’s time for lunch so, when in Italy, what else can it be? Kevin found a typical Italian pizza restaurant in Livigno. After some confusion about how to interpret the waiter’s instructions informing us how bikes can get around the barrier in the adjacent car park, we were on our way again. Richard, this time with Naomi on pillion, Kevin and Mick, taking the longer route via Switzerland but Audrey lead the main group back to the hotel. Richard and Stelvio Pass I’ve heard it said, quite recently, that happiness on a bike is a full tank of fuel. Even though my Pan carries 29 litres enabling 300+ miles between fill up, this is of little use if you can’t double the range of the bike in the group with the lowest range. I was down to 20 miles when climbing the Hahntennjoch pass on yesterday’s ride but, due to the steep climb and low gear work, this was dropping by a mile for every quarter mile we covered! The gauge showed zero as we approached the summit and I felt



decidedly uncomfortable, especially as I was sweeping with Naomi on pillion. During the 5-mile descent, the range returned showing 20 by the time we’d reached the next town. Fuel can be scarce in these remote areas and not every fuel station shown on the sat nav is still in business. So it was today. Audrey’s 636 goes to reserve at about 160 miles, less when climbing mountain passes. Chris and Teri’s Street and Speed Triples do a little less. I had plenty of fuel but I felt just like the navigator in a stricken piston engine aircraft running low on fuel desperately calculating the range of these three bikes and relaying my findings to Audrey. One mustn’t forget that the distance to next fuel given by the sat nav ‘crow flies’, on-the-road mileage will be considerably higher. I’m pleased to say that I got the calculation correct but Chris and Terry must have been riding on air. I know exactly how they felt!! Weather gods were with us for the rest of this tour so we were much more fortunate than Richard, Kevin and Bruce when we visited the Timmelsjoch pass. It was still windy at the summit but a far cry from the freezing temperatures and sleet they experienced a couple of days before. The Austrian approach to this pass was built for tourism, when you ride it you can see why. The views across the Alps are mag- Joe, Janis, Chris, JT, Teri, Bruce, Mick, Naomi, Audrey nificent, the early dusting of snow & Simon : Timmelsjoch adding to the grandeur. The thinking behind Italy’s southern section was very different. Mussolini had numerous military roads built up towards Italy's international borders. Construction from 10 km southeast from the pass commenced in the 1930s but after a meeting between Mussolini and Hitler on the Brenner pass in 1939, construction work ceased. It wasn’t until the mid 1960s that work resumed, the pass finally opening in 1967. All too quickly, our five-night stay in Austria was over and we were on our way home. Our route to Germany took us through northern Switzerland so we took time to visited another awesome location; the Rhein Falls. Nestled between Lake Constance and Basel, near Schaffhausen, the majestic river Rhein flows into the breath taking Rhein Falls. At 150m wide, 23m high with an average 700m3 of water gushing over the cliff every second, they are the largest waterfall in Europe; a spectacular back-



drop that has attracted tourists from all over the world. There are several viewpoints but a more adventurous way to feel the power of the water is on a boat taking you to the jagged edge of the fall. The skipper's piloting skill enables you to step onto a small jetty so you can climb the stairway that leads to the top of the rock in the centre of the falls. Without soundtrack, this picture cannot do justice to the sensation of crashing water that surrounds you.

Our thanks to Bruce, Kevin, Richard, Teri, Mick, Naomi, JT, Janis, Chris, Audrey and Simon. Thanks also to Joe for this picture taken four miles from the summit of the 2,757 m Stelvio Pass.

I know it was early October 2011 but our previous ride to the Massif Central was in temperatures more akin to mid summer; I mean 25ºC to 30ºC! Our train this time departed at 07:50 so we had to be up very early, the weather for this ride to Folkestone was truly foul; wet, windy and cold; sensible participants had stopped over in Folkestone. Our finale red* ride of the season is always well attended and so it was this year, however, Ron Luke had broken his ankle base jumping in Malaysia a couple of weeks earlier and Mick Hamilton’s wife Tracey had a fall badly injuring her ankle necessitating crutches so both had to withdraw.

Our route was pretty much a repeat of last year but we added a day to explore the Massif Central and booked a hotel closer to the town of Mont Dore. Dispensing the first 100 miles on péage, we stopped in Péronne for lunch. The cafe here is located adjacent to the Historical de la Grande Guerre (Museum of the Great War), I confess this always makes me feel very guilty because we’ve never allowed sufficient time to visit this WW1 site but this omission will be addressed in 2013. With the weather improving with each mile we travelled further south, our spirits were lifted and


Spider and Terry


we were soon sharing a pre dinner beer or two or, in some cases more, at our hotel by Auxerre. Next morning it wasn’t raining but as we reached the Natural Region of Morvan, the roads through the trees were quite damp in parts deserving some respect. To everyone’s absolute delight though, the D37 from Lac Settons to ChâteauChinon was dry. Those who have ridden this road will relate to why this is so significant.

I remember Nasher saying, “If its hilly or mountainous, expect rain” and so it was in Mont Dore, our base for two nights. Although we arrived with clear skies, it rained heavily throughout the night but this didn’t dishearten us. You’ll recall that my glass is always half full, the other Richard, monsieur Parker, says “if it rains before seven, it’ll be dry by 11”. Our scenic route took us over five Cols south to Aurillac for lunch. Despite the heavy sky, visibility was remarkably good but the same can’t be said of some of the roads. I knew they’d be narrow but some were worn out, covered with wet leaves and twigs. As if this wasn’t enough, Kevin decided his Explorer was up for more and went off-road; must be preparing for his trip to Morocco. Kevin off-roading

As a total contrast of both roads and weather, we returned north on the D922, seventy miles of sublime tarmac. Before returning to the hotel we took a photo opportunity in le Parc naturel régional des Volcans d’Auvergne (The Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Nature Park), Europe’s largest and oldest regional park. With volcanic landscapes and mountains, the Auvergne region has a very distinctive and appealing character that grows on you the more you visit. As a complete contrast, Mongoose, Spider and Terry visited the ‘martyr village’ of Oradour-surGlane that was subjected to a Nazi attack in the latter part of WWII. Oradour-sur-Glane This atrocity was carried out on Saturday 10th June 1944 by soldiers of Der Führer Regiment of the 2nd Waffen-SS Panzer Division, Das Reich when they killed 642 men, women and children and destroyed the entire village without giving any reason for their action. To this day there is no universally accepted explanation for this PROMOTING MOTORCYCLING EXCELLANCE SINCE 1982


atrocity, the village being left as it was on that terrible day. I first visited Oradour when on a MCi tour back in the nineties. I was riding with a true biker, long hair, tattoos, rings here, there and everywhere. Parking the bikes he questioned me for fitting the disc lock; “Do you think we need to lock the bikes here?” he asked. On reflection, I agreed and we left our gear with the bikes. We’d been in the village for no more than five or ten minutes and I was taking some pictures. My companion was very quiet, he hardly spoke unable to comprehend what he was seeing and left just saying “I can’t hack this, I’ll see you back at the bikes”. I still can’t comprehend that such an atrocity occurred.

Kevin & Mongoose

On a lighter note, we’d arrived at the Calais terminal in time for a coffee before joining Le Shuttle. As we were called for boarding, three ‘noisy’ sports bikes squeezed in front of us but, as always, were held up by the stewards to load the cars first. I’d suggested to Stephen P, who lives fairly close to me, that as he'd followed me for 5 days, he should lead us home but having left the train keeping to 50 mph waiting for him to pass, everyone followed me!

This was OK until we got mixed up with the ‘boy racers’. Mongoose decided enough was enough and passed us all so I followed him along with most of the others in our group. The boy racers weren't seen again!

Sadly, Audrey was unable to join us on this ride but my thanks to Richard’s Parker & Nash, Stephen’s Shortis & Pearce, Terry Greer-King, Spider, Mongoose, Pete Melbourne, Darren Wigington, Stuart Daniels, Peter Collins, Kevin Davis and a special thanks to Bob & Mary Cowl, the only pillions, Mary being the only girl. This ride was a great finale for the 2012 season.



Our sincere thanks to everyone who has joined our rides; we have enjoyed your company and great riding. We hope you will find our 2013 programme as exciting and look forward to riding with you all again.

John and Audrey Tipper

Take a look at our pictures at

* Ride Grading: Green: Leisurely ride, daily mileage circa 150 to 200, ideal for pillions. Blue: Multi-day tour, daily mileage circa 250, more challenging roads ridden at a leisurely pace. Red: Challenging roads and some high daily mileage so these rides are for experienced riders please. See our ride brochure for further information.







All Full Member Rides will leave Sainsburys Springfield, Chelmsford, at 9.30am Diary 2013

2013 Jan Feb

8 27

Group Night (natter night) EAMG Full Member Ride


Group Night EAMG AGM & Reveiller Rides


Associate Group Training


EAMG Full Member Ride


5 10 17 24

Group Night ( Race Night, guests welcome ) Associate Group Training EAMG Full Member Ride Observer Peer 2 Peer


2 7 14 27-30 28

Group Night Associate Group Training Full Member Training Reveiller Rides (Green) 4 day TBA EAMG Full Member Ride


5 EAMG Full Member Ride 6 Graham Childs Cornwall run details TBA 7 Group Night 12 Associate Group Training 19 Observer Peer 2 Peer 25/05-04/06 Reveiller Rides (blue) 11 day Scotland 26 Geoff Prestons day trip to France


2 4 9 16 22-25 23 30

Full Member Training Group Night Associate Group Training Slow Riding Day at Ford Dunton Reveiller Rides (Red) 4 day TBA EAMG Full Member Ride Observer Peer 2 Peer


2 7 12-15 14 21 27-31 28

Group Night Associate Group Training Bikers Retreat Wales EAMG Full Member Ride Full Member Training Reveiller Rides (Green) 5 day TBA Geoff Prestons run to the Norwich Aero Musuem


4 6 11 12

EAMG Full Member Ride Group Night Associate Group Training Associate Social Ride













John & Audrey’s Boys & Girls ride Cotswolds

24/08-03/09 Reveiller Rides (Blue) 11 day TBA


Geoff Preston’s Beachy Head run


Group Night


Associate Group Training


Bikers Retreat Wales


Observer Peer 2 Peer


Slow Riding Day at Ford Dunton


EAMG Full Member Ride


1 4-8 6 13 20

Group Night Reveiller Rides (Red) 5 day TBA Associate Group Training EAMG Full Member Ride Full Member Training



EAMG Full Member Ride


Group Night


Associate Group Training


EAMG Full Member Training


Group Night


Associate Group Training


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


Diary 2013




Member of The Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors



Sadly I’ve not ridden with the group for a while, my time seems to be given elsewhere. I did manage half a ride a few weeks back, I got as far as Needham while the others were destined for Dunwich and fish ‘n’ chips. I have even missed a couple of group nights. This leads my to the point I’m trying to make. To maintain advanced riding habits you need constant practice otherwise you tend to go back to nature and ‘just ‘be on the road, instead of, on the right position of the road. A lay off does you no favours. To add to the demise of standards I’ve been riding my classics lately and with a distinct lack of speed and power one tends to ‘drop out ‘of the system. I have to remind my self of road positioning constantly but going ‘not very fast’ it is a lot easier to stop in the distance you can see. Well it should be if the classic brakes were up to modern standards which proves the point that all things are relative. We all could do with an update or re-assessment from time to time - I think mine might be due.

When there was a fad in the group for Honda CB 500 Ed Brasier was heard to say “B----y hell what ever next we’ll all be riding 250’s soon”. I said, “no it wont get that bad Ed”. It’s got worse than that, I seem to have gotten a Honda CD200 Benly. Nicki has one so she can ride in vintage club events which caters for bikes more than twenty five years old so I bought one. Not sure why when there are a couple of big bore oldies in the garage. For the price of a good riding suit I wound up with a decent thirty two year old Benly ( mines blue hers is red. Sad people). I bit of time and money and mine is nearly ‘show room’ (if you don’t look too close). Nicki’s is equally as good but a mere thirty years old.



A nice Sunday arrived and we set off on the Benlys for breakfast far away, well ten miles away. I was disappointed to find that my Honda wont keep up with Nicki’s and she easily pulls away from me on the straights and leaves me for dead up the hills. I’m devastated but she enjoyed reminding at every opportunity ever since ( When women get the upper hand ?). Back home an investigation revealed my bike as having a carburettor from another bike and consequently all the wrong jetting. That’s all been put right and now I’m hoping to see 60mph on the flat and maybe 65 in a crouch with the wind behind me as previously I only saw 53 down hill with a gas stove on my back. So I’ve revealed my dark secret of owning a mechanical mouse but I know of a group member who owns a - - - wait for it - - - - vintage Lambretta, yes a scooter of the ‘Mod’ persuasion. Will Spider ‘ever’ come out of the closet.

I think of a tale about a man who completely dismantled his bike in search of the fault that stopped it running later to discover that it had only run out of petrol. Fictitious story I suspect but my neighbour dismantled his learner bike thinking the engine had seized only to find the back brake had stuck on. When Nicki’s CD started making a strange noise like a dry bearing I was drawn to the starter motor. A strip down of the side casing, starter motor and its ramping mechanism that engages it revealed nothing, in fact for a thirty year old motor things looked rather good. Put it all together and we still had the noise. I really needed to ride it up the road with no helmet on and my head under the handle bar to appreciate where the noise might be coming from. This I did (some times you just have to be a bad ass biker ) And all was revealed, one grinding speedo head. Before anyone chastises me for this, don’t bother, I’ve done much worse.

You can’t do this on a modern bike. We went to the Copdock bike show at the end of September and parked our bikes on the bits of wood provided. Enjoyed the show on a rare dry day and then headed back to the bikes. Nicki pressed the starter on her bike which merrily ticked over while I kick my 1963 BMW into life. Sometimes it’s a few kicks and sometimes lots of kicks. On this occasion it was lots of kicks and when I’ve about had enough, it starts. Unbeknown to me I’d left it in gear. Feeling slightly ‘puffed’ I climbed on, gave it a couple of blips on the throttle and rocked it off the centre stand. There then came a rude surprise as I was propelled forward. Fortunately (on two counts) it was a grass surface and most of the other bikes parked around me had left. Some wheel spin and a quick grab at the clutch lever saved an embarrassing situation which would have been enjoyed by the on lookers.



If you are of sound body and mind you won’t have done this. I did and so did Nigel Barton. Grass Track Racing. I’m not sure how many seasons Nige did but I did seven. Just to set the scene, imagine speedway racing but with twelve riders per race instead of four. The bike consists of spindly cycle parts, one feeble brake (just to satisfy the scrutineer) and a mighty J.A.P engine with a two or three speed gearbox.

Twelve of you abreast waiting for the start tape to flick aside. 500cc bikes all on open pipes that hurt your ears, methanol fuel fed in so rich it burns your nostrils only sweetened by Castrol R. The tape goes away and at full revs the clutches are dropped. Wheel spin is essential to avoid looping. Those unfortunate to be behind the start line are showered by stone and dirt with a velocity that can cause injury. Heavily studded tyres driven by that J.A.P propel you forward at an unbelievable speed and you are all at the first corner together sliding sideways, spinning back wheels throwing debris over those behind (or me). Four laps per heat, six for the finals and all over in about 3 or 4 minutes. I defy any one to spend a more exhilarating or violent 4 minutes. I might add I didn’t excel at this sport. I collected some injuries but I did come 2nd in a heat. When I went to collect my winnings they gave me a 50 pence piece selotaped to a bit of Cornflake packet. That was in 1974 when 50 pence was worth - - well - - not very much. Heady days indeed. Looking back that might have been my fifteen minutes of fame - - - and I missed it.

Dave Iszard.



“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.”

RIDEMASTER PO BOX 859 Aylesbury Bucks. HP22 9FJ T: 0844 888 0999 F: 0844 888 4190





Our Trip to the North York Moors and Isle of Man (Written by Andy and corrected by Lynn)

I decided to sell the Blackbird this year in order to buy the new Triumph Explorer, as we wanted to tour in a little more comfort in our old age (Andy speaking for himself!). The new bike is great, but I wasn’t happy with the front end, which was far too hard. Fortunately, Darren at MCT had already worked on several Explorers and knew just what to do. What a transformation! The ride is so much better and the bike now handles very well, although I am looking forward to changing the Metzeler EXPs for some sports touring tyres as soon as they wear out. With the bike now sorted, we arranged a trip to the North York Moors and to the Isle of Man for the middle of September with three nights at each location. A strange mix I know, but we had hoped to visit my cousin, who lives up a mountain in the lake District, to break our journey to the Isle of Man. Unfortunately she and her husband were touring in Europe so we had missed our chance. We therefore decided to go to the North York Moors instead and combine this with our trip to the Isle of Man. The day of departure finally arrived and we got some quick miles out of the way by travelling to Peterborough by a fairly direct route. We then picked up the A15 to Scunthorpe via Lincoln and across the Humber Bridge to Beverley. From there we travelled up the coast via Bridlington and Scarborough and then turned inland to Pickering and on to our destination at Hartoft End.

The weather was sunny but cold, and wind was a real factor (and that was before Andy had enjoyed a single Yorkshire breakfast with black pudding!). Although the wind was gusting strongly, the Explorer was very stable and managed far better than the Blackbird ever did. However, not being a farmer, I didn’t know that after the harvest, comes the muck spreading and apart from the pong everywhere, the roads were covered in crap round every bend and farm and field entrance. As we reached Yorkshire it started to rain and the mud and muck became very slippery and some care was needed.

We stayed at the Blacksmiths Country Inn, which was very nice. The staff were very friendly and the food very good. It made a good central location for exploring the area.


Andy relaxing in Yorkshire


After a good meal and a night’s sleep, we made our plans for the day which was spent criss-crossing the Moors with the intention of ending up in Whitby. It was still very windy and some of the roads were very exposed, but we had a lot of fun, particularly when Lynn kept asking me to go down small roads that turned out to be little more than goat tracks!

Views of Yorkshire We eventually ended up in Whitby, but couldn’t park anywhere near the centre, so gave up and went north up the coast to Runswick Bay, where we visited an old friend who’s family run a pub down at the bottom of the village. It’s an interesting town and well worth a visit.

Back to Hartoft for another good meal & to sample the Yorkshire Ale! The following day we decided to go over to the Yorkshire Dales and visit the café at the top of Hartside, some 2,000 feet above sea level. Several members of EAMG/ERAM had visited it and recommended it to us for the commanding views across the countryside. We travelled crosscountry via Thirsk, Masham, Leyburn & Hawes and then up to Penrith and the A686 towards Alston. The ride up to the summit is quite something with very steep hairpins and sheer drops to the side. The wind at the top was fierce and we had to park the bike on the sheltered side of the café. By this time it was getting late and the weather was closing in, so we travelled back to Hartoft by a more direct route via Scotch Corner.

Next day it was time to say farewell to the Blacksmiths and leave for the Isle of Man. The sun was shining and the wind had finally subsided and we had a great ride across country to Heysham via Thirsk, Hawes, Ingleton and Lancaster. The crossing to IoM was very smooth thankfully, as Lynn suffers badly from sea sickness! We finally arrived at our destination in the early evening. We stayed in Ramsey, which was possibly a mistake. We met a couple who had moved to the IoM from the USA who described Ramsey as ‘a town in need of a hug’. However, the B&B was OK and the rest of the IoM turned out to be very nice. After four days on the bike and with a bad weather forecast for the following day, we decided to have a day off the bike and instead bought an open ticket for the rail and bus services.



From Ramsey, we were able to take the Manx Electric Railway to Douglas and then the Steam Railway to the south of the Island at Port Erin. It was nice to slow the pace and chug along and for me to be able to take in all the scenery for a change, rather than concentrating on the road ahead.

Creg-ny-baa– IoM—southernmost

The forecast for the second day was dry and sunny and I finally got to do what I had wanted to do all along – ride the TT course! We started at Ramsey, which is at the beginning of the mountain section and it quickly became apparent how skilled the top riders are. With sheer drops and tight bents, the mind just boggles at how they can achieve such high lap speeds. Strangely, after I pointed out the bend on which Connor Cummings dramatically lost his back end, Lynn went very quiet!

We passed through the start and finish line in Douglas and down the famous Bray Hill and on to Ballacraine, through Kirk Michael and over Ballaugh Bridge and back to Ramsey. All the famous bends have maker boards with the name and shape of the bend and each mile of the circuit is marked. The road surface is no better than a well maintained normal road and there are manhole covers and bumps and lumps everywhere. For the racers, set-up must be incredibly difficult and must be a compromise in the end.



To be honest, I was overwhelmed by the history of the place and we just toured around taking it all in. I have always admired TT riders, although I have always thought they must be mad as well. I now know they are completely bonkers! I also have the highest respect for their bravery and dedication particularly when the death toll is now over 200, so I’m told.

We spent the rest of the day travelling round the Island sightseeing and we visited the southern tip at Calf Sound to watch the seals and to see Ireland across the way. We then travelled to the northernmost tip at the Point of Ayre, where you can see Scotland!

The Calf of Man point of IoM

The next day we said our goodbyes and travelled back to Essex by the most direct route, but the weather was kind again and the sea was very calm. The Explorer was very good at motorway speeds and we made good progress.

We really enjoyed the trip and we met some very nice people along the way. An ‘older gentleman’ we met in Hawes who said we were ‘soft’ for needing so much gear (protective clothing!) to the two ladies in a coffee shop in Ramsey who talked enthusiastically about the TT and the house party they host every year for their visiting friends during the TT. The scenery (Lynn assures me) in Yorkshire and the Isle of Man is stunning and well worth a visit.

The bike did everything we asked of it and carried the weight (of the luggage – not Lynn, I quickly add!) very well both at high and low speeds. The engine produces masses of low down torque and made lazy overtakes very easy, as well as coping very well with steep hills and goat tracks. We just need to decide where we go next…….





I decided to recycle some articles from earlier editions of TUG as these maybe of great benefit to our newer members……. The Triangle If you are an Associate under training with the Group or a Full Member, you will, at some point have come across the term ‘The Triangle’ but do you actually understand what is meant by this term? You will not find mention of it in ‘Roadcraft – The Police Riders Guide’ or in ‘How to become an Advanced motorcyclist’ (previously known as ‘Pass Your Advanced Motorcycle Test’), so what is ‘The Triangle’?

The Triangle is, in basic terms, the area behind a vehicle being followed in which, were something to happen, you as the rider would be seriously compromised or worse..... It is, to an Advanced rider, a No Go area. The ‘problem’ with trying to describe ‘The triangle’ is that it is a ‘living’ thing, the size and shape of which is constantly fluid and getting a rider to understand the dynamics of a constantly changing state is difficult.

In my opinion, the biggest factor is actually knowing just how quickly you are able to stop or change direction on your own machine, both in the dry and the wet, upright and cornering, taking into account road surface, camber and a host of other things. No two people will have exactly the same abilities and experience so we already have to understand that the size and shape of ‘The Triangle’ will vary even between riders in the same circumstances. So determining the size and shape needs the rider at the outset to be honest about their abilities and not to ride beyond them. ‘Ride your own ride’ is an expression you will also hear repeated within the Group.

Now that we’ve taken the rider’s ability into account we can look at the theory behind ‘The Triangle’. The Highway Code tells us to use the ‘Two Second Rule’ when following another vehicle in dry road conditions (extended to four seconds in the wet and up to twenty seconds in icy conditions) but is two seconds actually enough or too much? Two seconds is a good starting point but really



only of use with a vehicle that you can see over or past. Any vehicle bigger than a family saloon car will need you to reappraise your following distance and thus the increased size of ‘The Triangle’ up to the point where following a large lorry may require your safe following distance to be, say 5 or 6 seconds behind the vehicle in front. Taking this following distance into account we can now prescribe our triangle. Drawing an imaginary line across the rear of the vehicle being followed from kerb to outside the offside rear quarter of the ‘target’ and then back from these two points to the rider we have drawn ‘The Triangle’, the hypotenuse of which is the line drawn from outside the offside quarter back to the rider. If you then imagine that this triangle is filled in and coloured Red for Danger because it is an area that we do not want to go within. To do so compromises your ability to stop if everything goes pear-shaped. It is also important to understand that the rider controls the tail point of ‘The Triangle’ with their position and this is particularly relevant when positioning for bends when following vehicles. Firstly remember that you cannot stop as quickly in a corner. This means that ‘The Triangle’ must, of necessity be longer, so when following another vehicle into a corner, to maintain the correct bend position you must drop back extending the tail. Now we understand that ‘The Triangle’ is a dynamic shape of ever changing shape and size dependant on circumstances, it is worth knowing that the two biggest ‘abuses’ of ‘The Triangle’ comes when riders are either following too close or looking for overtaking opportunities approaching right hand bends. Rather than drop back to a safe following distance then positioning for the bend, many riders move immediately to the nearside trying to extend their view through the corner whilst far too close too the vehicle being followed, giving no time to react and no possible escape route should something untoward happen. From this nearside position, the overtake should it be on, will also require the rider to put greater steering input into the machine to allow throttle to be applied, slowing the overtake itself as the rider will initially point towards the offside kerb (meaning full acceleration cannot be safely applied until you are on the desired line) or the overtake will be very ‘swoopy’. Dangerous at worst, untidy at best! When dealing with an overtake the rider should always stay to the offside of the hypotenuse allowing an escape route. When adding a corner into an overtake scenario, it is important that the rider stays in the following position at the 46


tail of ‘The Triangle’ until the target vehicle reaches or just passes the apex of the curve. As this occurs, the rider should move swiftly up the hypotenuse into a pre-overtake position behind and to the offside of the vehicle. If the opportunity is 100% on, the rider can accelerate quickly past without deviation from the chosen course. If the opportunity does not materialise into an overtake, the rider should retreat back along the hypotenuse to a suitable following distance and position to await / anticipate the next potential overtaking opportunity. Many riders fail to retreat to a safe distance if the overtake does not materialise, maintaining too close a following distance with compromised safety. If this is you, then practice and learn to run up and drop back along the hypotenuse so that you maintain the best possible safety margins. This is a difficult concept for me to put into words and I hope to have done it some justice, but if any parts of this are unclear, feel free to talk to me, your Observer or anyone else on the Training Team. Chris Reed



Close Control Skills - The ‘Figure of Eight’

Whether you are doing your CBT , DSA Test or your Advanced Test, one of the manoeuvring exercises you are very likely to be asked to perform is the ‘Figure of Eight’. This particular exercise is an opportunity for the Examiner to look at your close control skills with the handlebars turned alternately to the left and right. He will be looking for high levels of co-ordination between the throttle, clutch and rear brake and also for the rider to be looking through the manoeuvre with their head turned towards the centre of the turn.

So what is the secret to doing successful ‘Figures of Eight’? Simple, practice is the answer, as with every other motor skill that we learn. Practice and lots of it..... However, you don’t have to do the whole manoeuvre in one go. To learn how to do the ‘Figure of Eight’ break it down in to it’s two component parts – a left circle and a right circle and practice each individually.

To practice successfully you need a datum at the centre of the circle to focus on. A cone is good, but a helper is better as you can maintain eye contact and keep your head up rather than looking down. A flat area is also a real help, so Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s car park at 6pm on a Sunday is absolutely ideal.

Let’s start with the left circle. What we want to achieve is a smooth circle with the steering turned as close to full lock as we can but initially we just want to do nice big circles to build our confidence. As you pull away, get your feet straight up and immediately cover the rear brake with your right foot. Keep the clutch at the biting point and now bring the engine speed up on the throttle so that it is busy – above idle but not so high that the engine is revving unnecessarily putting strain on the clutch. Now turn your head – not just your eyes – to the left with your chin above your shoulder and fix your concentration on your datum point. Turn the bars gently to the left, making sure that you make no changes to either the position of the clutch in the biting point nor to the throttle. The temptation when turning to the left is to open the throttle as the right



bar moves away from your body and to let the clutch lever out further as the left bar moves closer to the rider. The throttle is not too big an issue on its own because with the clutch at the biting point the added power is buffered by the clutch and a small adjustment to the throttle will quickly resolve the problem, but moving the clutch out of the biting point will have one of two effects. If the clutch is too deep into the biting point or fully engaged then any change to throttle position will cause the machine to react instantly causing it to run wide out of control (hence the need to practice in a large open flat area). If the clutch is not deep enough into the biting point or is disengaged by the rider then the machine will have no drive to maintain forward momentum and the machine will fall towards the centre of the turn necessitating the rider to put their foot down. It is therefore important that the rider keeps the bike under power at the biting point of the clutch to maintain momentum. Any excess speed should be removed by gently rubbing the rear brake, not by closing the throttle as closing the throttle will again cause the machine to fall in the direction of turn. Throughout the turn, the rider must keep focused on your datum point. Once you have mastered the left circle with the machine under full control, start reducing the diameter of the circles adjusting your use of the rear brake to match the reduced speeds required to make the tighter turns.

One you have mastered the left circle, move on to doing right circles. Using exactly the same method you used in the left circles, make nice smooth right hand circles. With right turns , the most common issues are closing the throttle as the right bar comes to the rider and disengaging the clutch as the left bar moves away from the rider. The third issue with the right turn is the temptation to use the front brake if the machine falls towards the centre of the turn as the riders foot comes off the right footpeg and away from the rear brake. At this stage, any use of the front brake normally results in a rider / floor interface issue!!! Once you’ve overcome these issues you will be able to gradually reduce the size of the circle. Remember that you’ll need to plant your chin above your right shoulder for this exercise.

Now that you can do both left and right circles, all that you need to be able to do is link them together to form the perfect ‘Figure of Eight’. For this, use two PROMOTING MOTORCYCLING EXCELLANCE SINCE 1982


datum points and when you cross between them, transfer your vision to the datum you are going to circle. Again, try not to start by doing tight turns. Get yourself settled and build your confidence on wider turns before tightening the circles. If necessary you can use your upper body as a counterweight against the direction of turn and this technique is particularly useful with low barred, sports bikes. This whole manoeuvre is an exercise in confidence so start off with realistic targets. If you need help, then ask your Observer to show you or again, you could make an appointment to come to any of the Slow Riding events. If you are coming up for test, you need to make sure that this skill is in place as you will now almost certainly be asked to complete 2 or 3 ‘Figures of Eight’ at the end of the road ride. Get out and practice! Practice makes Perfect .....

Chris Reed

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Machine Roadworthiness Hidden in the Appendices and only referred to in the chapter on Motorway Riding, Roadcraft give us a useful aid to remember the key points of a roadworthiness check. It does surprise me however, that such an important subject is relegated to such a position. I try to avoid motorways when riding so does this mean I don’t need to check my bike? Of course it doesn’t. Modern motorcycles are complex and powerful machines and riders are vulnerable. Concentration levels have to be high and the last thing you need is the distraction of worrying about the roadworthiness of your bike.

Is Roadcraft’s P-O-W-E-R slogan comprehensive enough? To be sure, I suggest:

P-O-W-E-R is B-E-S-T.


Check you have adequate fuel for the journey and learn the bikes range, particularly on reserve. Check the reserve tap position after a Service to make sure it is on and not on reserve. If the bike is left standing during the winter, drain the carburettors as unleaded fuel evaporates leaving a residue in the fuel system.


Check the engine oil level regularly and check for oil leaks. Check the brake and clutch master cylinder reservoirs for correct levels. Make sure you know where the rear brake reservoir is located and learn how to check the level. Those with shaft drive, check the final drive oil level.


Check the water level regularly and check for water leaks. Make sure you know where the water header tank is located and learn how to check the level.


Check the operation of the front and rear lights, the stoplights, indicators and horn. Check the side stand cut out switch. If it gets stuck it can cause the engine to fail to start.




Check the tyre pressures (when cold) regularly. Check the condition of the tread for damage, wear, cuts and foreign objects that could result in a puncture. Check the condition of the valves.


Check the brakes are free and not binding. The consequences of a seized caliper can be dire but they can be easily checked. With the bike off its stand, roll it forward and apply then release the front brake. Check it continues to roll freely. A similar check can be carried out on the rear brake by sitting on the bike on a slight incline and allowing the bike to roll forward. If any hint of binding is detected, remove and clean the brake pads making sure they are free in the caliper. With the pads removed, check the condition and free movement of the pistons. If you do not feel competent undertaking such work, take the bike to your dealer for checking. It’s important! Also check the brake hoses for chafing, cracking and fluid leaks.


Check your visor is clean and unscratched, particularly if you are riding at night. Carry visor cleaning materials including ‘Rainex’ or polish to aid rain clearance and an anti mist spray. Wear warm and waterproof clothing. You can’t concentrate if you’re cold and/or wet. Ensure your battery is kept fully charged, especially if the bike is laid up for the winter months, and carry a puncture repair kit. If you own a mobile phone, carry it.


Check the steering headset bearings are correctly adjusted and none of the cables foul when the steering is turned from lock to lock. To check this is, place the bike on the main stand (or a centre paddock stand) and get a friend to weigh down on the rear lifting the front wheel clear of the ground. Check the fork stanchion seals and the rear damper for leaks and check that the rear suspension linkage is kept greased to prevent seizure. Check the suspension settings are suitable for road conditions.



Keep the chain (if you have one) well lubricated and adjusted in accordance with the manufacturer’s tolerances. Adjust to the tight spot. If you are going abroad, make sure the chain is up to the mileage. Those with shaft drive should check the housing for leaks. PROMOTING MOTORCYCLING EXCELLANCE SINCE 1982

To many, these checks are routine but how many of us can say with honesty that we carry them our regularly? They are important. I for one have experienced a seized brake pad in the front caliper on a ZZR1100 that had only covered 7,000 miles!

John Tipper

Volunteers Required Promoting our group at various events through out the year is a really valuable tool for introducing our group to new members, this year we need your help. If you are available to help man the stand please don’t be shy speak to a committee member



Whilst at a recent trade expo I spotted a few things of interest, below is a new type of Bluetooth kit, the blurb I have included is translated so I’d suggest a look at their website as it is an interesting and well made product….

Buhel Helmet Commincation System D01 Buhel D01 helmet communication system is a totally new concept in Bluetooth® handsfree helmet communications. Using a revolutionary vibration driver, patented, Buhel D01 induces the helmet shell itself to create a robust, clear, 3D-like audio inside the helmet. Buhel D01 allows you to phone, listen the music and get gps information with any earcovering helmet. Buhel D01 can be fitted directly to the outside of the helmet without any further assembly operation, as it has no wires and no earphones. Buhel D01 can be removed at any time just pulling, so no risks when you leave your helmet locked to the motorcycle.



CE approved clothing will be making an impact this year, this is not just the CE approved armour inside the garment but the garment itself. Pictured are just two examples; the Ixon Tracker and Weise Avance. To get the CE status these products and many more that will be appearing have to meet quite a list of requirements, I was surprised how reasonable the prices are though. So it can only be a good thing for us as it will hopefully make buying a well made suit a much clearer process.



Further Training Opportunities for Full Members

Have you ever wondered if your riding skill is still as good as it was when you passed your IAM or RoSPA Test? Is your RoSPA Retest fast approaching and you feel you’d like a refresher to check that bad habits have not crept into your riding? We are all only as good as the day we are actually riding our bikes. How good our riding was last year or even last month may not be as good as we think it is; complacency can be fatal. EAMG provide two Further Training Schemes for Full Members: Full Member Training (FMT) – One-day training courses available four times a year Further Training for Full Members (FTFM) – Assignment to an Observer for 1 to 1 training These courses are provided to check riding skills haven’t deteriorated, for those wishing to take a higher grade of test such as RoSPA or for those preparing for qualification as an EAMG Observer. Full Member Training Four FMT Courses take place during ‘summer time’ between March and October. Participation is entirely voluntary and those taking part do not have to join each ride. Training is for your benefit and enjoyment; it is not a mandatory requirement that you go on to take a RoSPA test. To ensure the highest possible standard, Observers undertaking this training will hold a current RoSPA Gold certificate. You will not be riding in one large group. Where possible you will be riding with an Observer and one other Full Member giving you the opportunity to have a 'rest' while your partner is being observed. Every effort will be made to match your riding experience, ability and aspirations with your partner, any miss matching being addressed at the first refreshment stop. The routes, approx. 200 miles, will cover a variety of roads and include several debriefing stops and two refreshment stops. Joining details will be sent by email or post a few days before the event. Events this year: Joining Fee £45.00

Sunday 14th April 2013

Sunday 2nd June 2013

Sunday 21st July 2013

Sunday 20th Oct 2013

Contact John Tipper Email:



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:


Email: Riding Experience:


Typical annual mileage:

Machine: FTFM - 2013

Membership Secretary

Observer Coordinator


John Tullett



Additional Membership Fee

Contribution to Observer

ÂŁ20 pa

ÂŁ10 per ride 57


Registered in England & Wales, Registration No. 5258261

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

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 and a society that pays footballers more than teachers. Inclusion of adverts is not to be construed as EAMG endorsement, although most advertisers are excellent, but seek personal recommendations.Text Š EAMG 2011. Illustrations Š EAMG 2010, except where indicated otherwise. Group material may be reproduced provided acknowledgement is given to EAMG and the original author. Affiliated to the British Motorcyclists Federation Registered Charity Number 1107703 Essex Advanced Motorcyclists Group Ltd, Registered Office, St Laurence House, 2 Gridiron Place, Upminster, Essex, RM14 2BE



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