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The cover photo was taken by Derek Barker and the digital editing was done by Mike Roberts. Santa says "I've sacked Rudolph and gang. This is much quicker!"

Chief Ride leader Dean with 2019 Ride leaders

Chief Observer Derek with some of Novembers test passes

The SAM Observer December 2018

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your Committee No Calls After 21:00 Please Officers Chairman Vice Chairman Secretary Treasurer

Richard Ockelton Martin Drury Les Steggles Bryan Duncan

07872-925532 07595-277831 01359 245898 07879 654122

Committee Members Chief Observer Caring SAM Charity Co-ordinator Events Events Events Events / Young Rider Publicity Co-ordinator Publicity Chief Ride Leader Webmaster Magazine Editor

Derek Barker Brian Ellis Brian Ellis Trevor Read Steve Cook Rob Baker Zoe Lee-Amies Glyn Hill Dean Harris Dean Harris Mike Roberts Felix Oliver

01473 327555 07740 564097 07740 564097 07525 724002 07711-650183 07710 537844 07540-617768 07986 319163 07956 339112 07956 339112 01473 718915 07712 649860

Committee Support Members Membership Secretary Linda Barker Associate Co-ordinator Susan Smith Admin Support Sara Hale Buddy Co-ordinator Vicky Smith

01473 327555 01206 251946 01359 241552 01255 830352

National Observers Mike Roberts 01473 718915 Richard Toll 01473 401363 Geoff Scott 07983 939998 Paul Newman 01473 620450 Paul Spalding 07879 844618 Kevin Brendish 07854 494041

David Rudland Ross Mckinlay AndrĂŠ Castle Ruth Acworth Tony Chyc Paul Ballard

01473 401362 07986 838028 07730 526674 07783 007100 01206 231782 07850 715063

Observers Steve Gocher Dean Harris John Rudland Phil Sayer Terry Fellowes

01473 430643 07956 339112 07740 874300 07990 565451 07870 764187

Richard Ockelton Rob Baker Matthew Barker Glyn Hill

07872 925532 07710 537844 07931 700725 07986 319163

I.A.M. Examiner Ian Maxwell

07974 941545

Neale McConnell

01986 798452

The SAM Observer December 2018

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Contents Congratulations test passes Committee December’s Chat SAM Committee Nominations Latest Associates IAM’s Test Passes Motorcycle Dexterity Days 2019 Go Karting SAM Theory Evening Free Cash SAM Membership Fee Winners SAM’s Breakfast Run Ride Co-Ordinator and leaders Saturday Jaunt My First Worst Bike In Seach Of The Perfect….. Editorial Advertise Here Members Information SAM Dates for you Diary Promo days pictures Our Venue

by Richard Ockelton

by Derek Barker by Paul Ballard by Derek Barker by Sara Hale by Linda Barker by Derek Barker by Sara Hale by Andrew Goodey by Martin Andrew by Editor by Committee by Mike Roberts by Glyn Hill

2 3 5 6 7 7 8 10 13 14 15 15 17 18 19 20 24 32 33 34 35 39 40

next Issue Closing date for copy – Friday after club night. Send via e-mail or on a USB memory stick (which will be returned) or even hand-written, not a problem. The Editor reserves the right to edit, amend or omit as he feels fit.

WEBSITE ADDRESS SAM is a registered Charity ~ No. 1067800 All Official Correspondence to:

The Secretary, Les Steggles, 1 Apple Grove Wetherden, Suffolk IP14 3RB The SAM Observer December 2018

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Chairmans Chat A very warm welcome to the December edition of the SAM Observer, the last of 2018. December’s Group Night. The venue has changed to, Gresham’s, Ipswich, 312 Tuddenham Rd, Ipswich IP4 3QJ. The room is called the Venue, so please be aware that is to be held on Tuesday 18th December 2018. If you are unsure please check the SAM calendar. Thank you. Due to the proximity to the festive session. There is no Theory Evening this month either, for the same reason. January’s theory evening will take place on Thursday 17th January 2019 at Kesgrave Community Centre starting at 17:30. This month’s topic: Cornering and shall be presented by Phil Sayer. A gently reminder for the New Year. The AGM is due to be held on Tuesday 19th February 2019. If you're considering a position on the committee and would like to know more about any available opportunities please feel free to get in touch with me or any other member of the committee and we'd be happy to discuss it further. Nominations for election to the committee at the AGM need to be presented to the Secretary a month before the event. i.e. before or at January's group night at the latest. Nomination forms can be found on the SAM website, under 'Extras', 'Committee Nomination Forms' or directly via this link: On the SAM committee front, please join me in welcoming Les Smith who was recently co-opted onto the committee. Les will primarily joining Mike Roberts in the role of communications. When I say primarily I mean as well as being directly involved in communication’s they'll also be attending monthly committee meetings, contributing to the discussion and decision making process, influencing the running of the group and keeping it headed in a positive direction. However you're celebrating the end of 2018 & the beginning of 2019, I wish you and yours a happy, peaceful end to the year and a healthy, prosperous New Year. Cheers

Richard The SAM Observer December 2018

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SAM Committee Nominations 19th February 2019. Would you like to help your club out ? Can you spare a few hours a month ? And make a huge difference on what happens within the club. Like all well-oiled machines it needs cogs. Become a cog and join the committee. Now is your chance. Fill in the form and send it to Les Steggles via post or email. Nominations have to be given in one month before the AGM. For more information and to download a nomination form visit This Nomination Paper must be returned to the group Secretary at least one month before the election by Tuesday 15th January 2018

SAM Committee Nominations 2019 I nominate .................................................................................. For the post of .................................................... Proposed by: Name ............................................... Signed ............................... Date ………… Seconded by: Name .............................................. Signed ............................... Date ………… Nominee’s signature ............................................. Date …………

Please copy, scan or download this from the website. Saves ripping it out of the magazine.

The SAM Observer December 2018

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New Associate Members A warm welcome is extended to our most recent Associate members:

Andrew Robotham Richard Ward Mark Whatmough Jerry Wilson Morgan Wilson Chris Bond Craig Osborne Neil Tweed If anyone else has joined us and not had a mention yet, let the Editor know and he will put your name in the next Issue

IAM Test Passes Congratulations to the members who have passed their Advanced test this month.

Donna Williams

her Observer was

Derek Barker

When you pass your advanced test please let Derek Barker or Susan Smith know.

The SAM Observer December 2018

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Motorcycle Dexterity & Control 2019 Motorcycle Dexterity & Control Days (a.k.a. Slow Riding Days) The Observer team in 2019 will again be running Motorcycle Dexterity & Control Days just for associates (plus a training event for Observers). For every motorcycle spill that makes the local papers, there are many more which never get much publicity. How many of you in your time riding have never struggled to keep your bike upright while manoeuvring in a parking area, or had to take a big dab with either foot while negotiating queues of commuter traffic? Not many (if any). Very often in these situations the rider grabs a handful of front brake, shortly followed by the resulting sound of expensive plastic and metal making contact with the ground. Motorcycle Dexterity & Control Days give you the opportunity to practice the art of riding a motorcycle slowly, and to learn the techniques that will help you do it. This year the dates are: Saturday Sunday Saturday Sunday Saturday Sunday Saturday Sunday

23rd March 28th April 18th May 23rd June 20th July 18th August 14th September 27th October

Observer Training - Full members only Associates Only Associates Only Associates Only Associates Only Associates and Full Members Associates Only Associates Only

All events start at 09:00 SHARP and the venue will be the playground of Sidegate Primary School, Sidegate Lane, Ipswich. IP4 4JD It is strongly recommended before you attend one of SAM's Dexterity days, you inform your Insurance Company that you intend to practise slow speed machine control in a school playground off road on tarmac, ask them to confirm that you will have full cover for this activity. Numbers are limited to these events to 10 per session so please book early by Email to to guarantee a space. NB. Please bring a drink/snack with you as there are no refreshment facilities on site. The SAM Observer December 2018

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The SAM Observer December 2018

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Go Karting Observers team building event organised by Derek Barker. Now I did declare early on that I had been to the Anglia Karting Centre before as I take my kids there where we can fight each other on the track then tease each other after, for days usually ( I say Kids 28 & 30 but they’re always kids aren’t they). I did gather that some of the others had also been there before but not as recently as myself and one of our party admitted that he in fact used to work there and tested karts, so the competition was gonna be stiff. The group consisted of 9 competitors 8 boys and a girl, so a good cross section of talent, abilities and more importantly – weight. The Evening started with 10 warm ups to get used to the track and karts then heats of 6 laps, semi-finals 6 laps and a final of 12 laps, the heats were usually 4 or 5 drivers at a time the same for the semi-final then everyone on the track for the final but set out on the grid position depending on your lap times. The heats seemed to last a long time as we were all mixed up for each heat and were required, at times, to go out again having just come in from a previous heat, there were a few that went out for about 4 heats on the trot, which was both tiring and hot but great fun nevertheless, a case of forgetting all the discomforts when the ‘red mist’ comes down. Out on the track the carts seemed to all be at the same spec so there were no advantage on speed, however, some did handle a little differently to the others, I swear one had flat tyre judging by the amount of sideways action, As you were in a different cart every time it didn’t matter. The track itself is laid in a figure eight with an elevated section to deal with the cross over, wide enough for 3 karts – just! In the safety brief at the start it was pointed out about the condensation drips at certain places on the track which made things interesting especially if you were trying a sneaky overtake then finding yourself sideways heading for the barrier, Mario karts come to mind at this point, just wished we had the banana skins and rockets as well. The SAM Observer December 2018

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Racing. To be any good you had to be light, have good skills and plenty of bottle. I think some turned that into determination and aggression ( Geoff). I thing 3 of us picked up a warning black and white flag on the night ( caused by Geoff), myself included, for perhaps being too overzealous when it came to getting past people ( Geoff). There were people that were difficult to pass so it then becomes a time to use skill and tactics, I remember going 3 abreast into a bend, scraping along the barrier to hold my position thinking this could end badly, another time where I thought there were going to be injuries was going full speed round a bend under the tunnel to find a kart side on right in front of me having just spun, no time or room to avoid just had to anchor up and spin it to hit their kart sideways, thankfully with so much grip the speed was scrubbed off and the impact was softer than was expected, the next worry was the next kart coming round, which did exactly the same as me, by this time the situation was under control with yellow lights showing. So many instances to talk about and of course this was replicated by each of us. The final was mad with all 9 of us on the track, me being 3rd on the grid, at the back it must have been impossible to pass anyone but people were obviously trying due to the carnage we kept coming across and the amount of yellows being shown. In the end, Martin was victorious having lead from the start and was consistently good throughout the contest, I managed 2nd, sneaking through whilst Kevin was warming his tyres ( don’t ask) and Kevin holding his third position (Pic P 13) 4th Derek 5th Geoff 6th Terry 7th Mike 8th Steve 9th Linda I think I speak for all of us, the standard was high by all and the evening was great fun with plenty of excitement, banter and laughter, returning home really rather jaded and a bit achey too. I will definitely have another go next time.

Paul Ballard The SAM Observer December 2018

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The SAM Observer December 2018

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SAM Theory Evenings As most of you know, on the Thursday evening, directly after Group Nights, SAM holds its monthly Theory Evening. Based on an ever revolving subject list of important rider skills these nights are an informal evening of facts and lively banter all aimed at improving your ride based on the information in the Advanced Rider Course Logbook. Each session covers one of the four main topic areas; Overtaking Cornering

Planning & Positioning Gears & Acceleration

Mainly aimed at Associates going through the course, these evenings are also a good way for full members to brush up on their theory and add their experiences and questions to the session. The great benefit of attending these sessions in the classroom means it saves time on the road, covering theory and has the added advantage of an opportunity to discuss any issues you may have generally on your Advanced Rider Course.

Derek Barker The SAM Observer December 2018

SAM Chief Observer

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Generate Free Cash For SAM It Is That Time Of Year So Join The 'Giving Machine' and Start Shopping Now! It is easy to join the scheme enter your email address, create a password and you have an account. What do you do? Well it is 'simples' as those furry creatures say, once logged into the 'Giving Machine' site you search for your favourite shops and believe me the list is endless from Amazon, Ebay, Tesco (to name a few), insurances, travel, days out, hotels, home, garden, footwear, clothing, sports and DIY. When you have found your shop, click on the link and it opens another page onto the shops website, you proceed to purchase items and pay as you would normally. When complete just exit shop website and log out of 'Giving Machine' site. Your Account Once you have an account it will detail date/retailer/amount donated by them and you can watch it build up. There is a facility to invite family, friends and work colleagues to join the scheme. How does it work? Well this is the fantastic part whatever your total purchase price for each shopping trip the retailer you shopped with will donate a percentage to your chosen charity SAM. So it does not cost you a single penny, you donate nothing, it is the retailer who does. Retailers vary with their percentages donated from your sales but over the past few years I have raised over ÂŁ300 for different charities and costs me nothing except a small amount of time to log on to the site, so give it a go. REMEMBER IT COSTS YOU NOTHING!

Sara Hale The SAM Observer December 2018

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SAM Membership fees 2019 SAM membership fees are due in January. Not on the anniversary of your joining. The current cost is £22 for single membership and £25 for joint membership. If you have a current standing order with your bank for the correct amount, you need do nothing, your membership card will automatically be sent or can be collected at Januarys meeting. SAM prefers that subs are paid by Standing Order and if you would like to pay your subs this way, contact your bank online, or fill in the form (available on SAM’s website under Join Us) and send to your bank. If you wish to pay with cash or by cheque please fill in a SAM membership renewal form (available on the SAM website, under Join Us) and either send this via post to me, my address is on the bottom of the form, or I will be at January’s group night. Thank you

Linda Barker

Membership Secretary

The SAM Observer December 2018

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The SAM Observer December 2018

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BREAKFAST RUN 6th January 2019 Jubilee Restaurant Old Ipswich Road Ardleigh CO7 7QJ Tel: 01206 230316 Meet at Stowmarket Tescos IP14 5BE in good time for 09:30 Briefing and subsequent departure. All riders must attend Briefing. Ride Co-ordinator: Richard Ockleton On exiting Tescos turn right down the A1120 to join the B1113 to the left into Needham market. Turn left near Station Yard and follow to the Beacon Hill roundabout. Take the second exit but half way up the ‘up ramp’ turn left to join the Old Norwich Road to the right and continue through Claydon. Take the third exit at the roundabout and on through Sproughton to the A1071 Hadleigh Road turning right at the Beagle roundabout. Carry on until meeting the A134 then turn left to Leavenheath. Turn left onto the B1068 and carry on until joining the A12 northbound. Only half a mile later take the first exit and keep wheeling round to the left onto the B1070 to Cattawade. At the roundabout turn right and follow the A137 to Ardleigh. At the ‘centre’ crossroads turn right for a mile and a half then turn left onto Birchwood Road until joining the A12 southbound. Take the next exit – only half a mile – and the Jubilee is directly opposite at the ‘T’ junction. Park with caution on the gravel car park.

The SAM Observer December 2018

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Ride Co-ordinators and Ride Leaders

Ride Co-ordinator and Ride Leader Chief Ride Leader Dean Harris David Wood Vini Evans Richard Ockelton

Brian Ellis Robert Baker Karl Grimwade

Glyn Hill Nick Braley

Ride Leaders Ken Beckinsale Mike Roberts Eric Aldridge Adrian Tadman

Tim Wash Trevor Read Alex Jones

Martin Drury Fred Sparrow Nigel Pye

Please check the SAM Calendar and SAM Forum on-line for last minute changes/cancellations. On the Forum you will also find the routes as text, route cards, and on Google Maps / Streetview, along with a photo of the destination, so you can familiarise yourself with the route before the day. The SAM Observer December 2018

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Saturday Jaunt 19th January 2019 Route 11 A11 Northbound Attleborough Norfolk NR17 2PU Tel: 01953 797068 Meet at Beacon Hill services, IP6 8LP in good time for 13:00 Briefing and subsequent departure. All riders must attend Briefing. Ride Co-ordinator Vini Evans. Exit the services to join the A140 northbound. After about 10 miles turn left at the Stoke White Horse and follow this road to another White Horse at Finningham then turn right on the B1113. A mile and a half up the road this turns sharp right but continue on the minor road straight ahead to Walsham le Willows. Along the High Street turn right at the Six Bells (Navigation by pub, this) and meet the A143. Turn left and almost immediately turn right through Hepworth to Barningham joining the B1111 to the right. Stay on this road, crossing over the A1066, through East Harling, under the A11 and on to join the A1075 to the right. Less than half a mile up the road turn right on the minor road signposted Stow Bedon. Turn right onto the A1077 at Caston (very close to the Red Lion) and follow this road to Attleborough. Before entering the town centre turn left at the traffic lights before the flyover to join the A11 northbound for about 2 miles where Route 11 shares an entrance with the Shell filling station. The SAM Observer December 2018

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My first (worst) motorbike I'd read several 'Your first motorcycle' guides and picked up leaflets from local dealers showing teenagers having a great time on AR or TZR 125's so influenced by these I saved enough money to cover the insurance and clothing to leave ÂŁ400 for a bike. I looked at a couple of bikes and was seduced by the shiny red paintwork, fairing, belly pan, white cast wheels and micron exhaust of a 6 year old, 1983, Suzuki GP100, complete with grounded out foot pegs, ÂŁ325 including a Haynes manual and some Bel-Ray 2 Stroke oil. It was a genuine sale as the seller had passed his test, confirmed by the Honda CB250RS that sat nearby. We got the GP100 home on a trailer and after my older brother had finished pulling a few wheelies on it (his way of demonstrating clutch control) I learnt the basics by going up and down the drive before heading out on the road. My first ride out was literally to be an indication of the niggling problems to come, one indicator had revolved round so it showed the road below that I was turning left, another lost it's lens and the metal bracket for the bulb holder sheared itself due to vibration. So began what would be many journeys by bicycle or bus to Orwell's at Barrack Corner. Indicators fixed (well for about 20 miles until they vibrated to bits again, despite the use of loctite and thicker homemade bulb holders) I started putting a few miles on the clock. I think I probably managed about 200 miles before the engine started randomly cutting in and out, this proved interesting in many circumstances, roundabouts and slowing down for traffic lights being particular highlights. The engine suddenly cutting in would yank my elbow joints and then send me hurtling rapidly towards the rear of a stationary car or a crossing pedestrian, alternatively it could cut out, which meant I'd have a car rapidly approaching behind me, or an angry pedestrian. This unpredictability led to me taking apart the fuel tap, installing an inline filter, flushing the tank, stripping the carburetor, messing around with needle adjustments, float heights, changing the ignition coil, points, condenser, spark plug and H.T. lead all to no avail. The professional diagnosis was that excess play in the main bearings was affecting the ignition timing. This meant I was about to become more familiar with 3 things, cycling, the spares department at The SAM Observer December 2018

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Orwell's and the insides of a 2 stroke engine. A Haynes manual was included with the bike and the condition of this oily, creased, taped together book was evidence it had been a popular read for previous owners. With the engine removed and after fighting screws with chewed up heads I split the crankcases, then carefully reassembled it with new main bearings, crank seals, clutch plates and a small end bearing. Amazingly it fired up after my amateur endeavors, the micron exhaust joyfully crackling away. Now it was time for the bike to start paying me back. I could start gaining some experience in preparation for my Part 2 test, look for a better job, travel to see my girlfriend and stop spending money on GP100 parts and various tools. It did reward my efforts for about 2 weeks before the enclosed carburetor started leaking fuel out of the chamber it was mounted in, the remaining side panel decided to join it's counterpart in the Suffolk countryside somewhere and the engine seized up. What a lovely hot day it was too for pushing a motorbike 5 miles home. Fortunately due to my distrust of the bike I never ventured any great distance on it. I stripped the engine down again, which didn't take long thanks to the lovely new crankcase screws I'd put in. I cleaned it out and sourced a re-bored barrel and piston for ÂŁ70. I put the bike back together, replaced the rear brake shoes and side panels, then got it running well enough for a brief test ride and advertised it for sale. I didn't use it myself as a mode of transport whilst waiting for any potential buyers, in fact I daren't go near it in case another fault randomly manifested itself. It seemed as delicate as a Ming vase in an earthquake.

I pretended to potential buyers that I had passed my test and that was my reason The SAM Observer December 2018

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for selling, I'd failed my first attempt at Part 2 but had passed Part 1 so it wasn't really a lie, the 'L' plates from the GP100 had been transferred to a lovely pale blue 1980 Honda C90 I'd got as a replacement. The lucky buyer had a few runs up and down our drive whilst I prayed that the Suzuki would not cut out or dismantle itself, even the indicators behaved themselves. I happily sold it for ÂŁ25 less than I'd paid for it, gave the buyer a receipt with the legendary caveat 'sold as seen, tried and tested' then spent a few days hoping the phone wouldn't ring, not that I was there to answer it, thanks to the C90 I was out enjoying the novelty of a working and dependable bike. After the GP100 I truly marvelled at it's ability to complete a journey with no problems.

I did learn more than I anticipated with the Suzuki, including; running out of petrol is not good, don't park on soft tarmac in warm weather, and if you take a petrol tank off, store it where it won't get damaged. Amazingly according to the DVLA website my GP100 survived until 1998. Somebody must have cared for it, I despised it, at best it did give me some preparation for the RD350 YPVS that followed a few years later though.

Andrew Goodey

The SAM Observer December 2018

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Social Rides Please note that it is you, the rider, who is deemed to be in control of the vehicle at all times during an Observed Run and during all other Group activities and that the Committee of Suffolk Advanced Motorcyclists cannot and do not accept any liability whatsoever for any injury to person or damage to vehicle occurring in the course of any rally or other event organised by the Group. Any member attending such an event does so entirely at his or her own risk and must maintain their own insurance to cover any said injury to person or damage to vehicle and must be riding a road legal vehicle, having valid road tax, insurance and MOT certificate (if applicable). Participants on S.A.M social rides are advised of the Events Committee’s guidelines as follows: You will be expected to provide a suitable means of carrying a map of the route If possible, have breakdown cover for your machine. Be responsible for your own safety Rides will commence promptly at the published departure time. Have a FULL tank of fuel No more than 5 in a group. Please watch our light hearted video with a serious message explaining all of the above. The SAM Observer December 2018

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In search of the perfect bike (and failing to find it of course). Some riders I know are serial motorcycle purchasers (no names mentioned here) who think nothing of buying a new bike every few months. If I sound critical, it’s only because I can’t afford to do the same myself. But there is another reason I don’t do it. I find the bike (and car) buying process one of mental (and sometimes physical) turmoil. As a result, my bikes usually stay with me for at least three and sometimes up to seven years. (The two bikes I only had for six months were serious mistakes, and three of those six months were spent trying to get rid of them). The reason for this, is perhaps my northern upbringing, which has given me a dislike of spending money (my own money that is). And the feeling that, after spending quite a considerable sum of money, the bike might not be right after all. This means researching, sourcing and buying a new bike can take a year or more for me. Early in 2018 we finally paid off the last instalment on the mortgage. The eldest son was living away, working in a reasonably well-paid job (well more than I get, and I’ve been working for what seems a lifetime). The youngest son is still at University and still seems to need financial support however. To celebrate, the wife changed her car and suggested I do the same. With some reluctance I parted with my lovely Mazda MX5, which was starting to become a bit of a money pit and I bought a boring, but very cheap to run, little Citroen. I was persuaded to do this, because it was suggested (by the wife) that I could now buy the bike “I was always on about”. In the noughties, I’d owned a couple of BMW bikes, which I really enjoyed. However, I was sad to discover, the reputation of magnificent German build quality and reliability was somewhat of a myth. I was starting to get far too friendly with the RAC Rescue service. The result was that in early 2014, I moved back to my default motorcycle manufacturer, “boring but dependable Honda”. My first bike was a Honda (CB125S reg; RBE692M). (It’s funny how I remember the reg. no. of my first bike, but not any of the recent ones). And have had more Hondas than any other make. All of them good dependable bikes, but mostly forgettable (even the CX500 that was my only transport for seven years). The SAM Observer December 2018

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But now I had a clean sheet. I had the good lady’s permission to buy anything (within reason) that I liked. The initial feeling was exhilaration, or the feeling I imagine winners of the big prize on the lottery get. So, to get to work and find that elusive perfect bike (for me). First, I needed to draw up in my mind the kind of things I’d be looking for. Some of you may know, that my weekends are often spent chasing racing cyclists around the country as a member of the National Escort Group (a sort of cycle race marshal, tasked with keeping the public and competitors safe). So firstly, the bike needed to be comfortable. It’s not uncommon to get up early on a Sunday morning, ride up to 200 miles, then supervise a race for up to four hours, and then ride home again. Fellow NEG members use a variety of bikes, but BMWs like the GS (1200 and 800), RT and huge K1600 are very popular. Similarly bikes like the aging Pan European, Yamaha FJR 1300 and Kawasaki GTR1400 are equally popular. It’s no coincidence that many are the same bikes used up and down the country by Police riders. I’d previously had a BMW R1200RT but let that go, partly due to the weight and the fear of my now dodgy knee, would give way, and drop the whole lot in front of a cycle race! So ideally, I didn’t want to go much more than 250 kilogrammes wet weight, unless it was something I felt happy to manoeuvre around. One early front runner was the Triumph Tiger Sport. This however was quickly dismissed, when I asked if I could push one around Ling’s Triumph’s showroom. The salesman followed me around with a worried look on his face. The probably feared I was going to drop it….I was too! I soon discovered it’s not weight that’s important, but how it’s distributed. I found some heavy bikes quite reasonable to move (BMW R9T Scrambler) and some lighter bikes not so easy. I also needed capacity for carrying things. So, a top box was a necessity (and side cases useful too) so sports bikes were out (well they’d been out since I once tried a Suzuki GSXR 750 and put my hip out for a while.) Cruisers were also out (although I did longingly look at a Triumph Bonneville America). Two important qualities I needed were reliability and finish. I commute all year due to the awful traffic on my journey to and from work, and some bikes just seem to rust at the first sign of salt. My existing Honda had been superb in that respect. I regularly sprayed it with FS365 and tried to wash it as best I could, and after four years and 35,000 miles, the only sign of weathering was on the steel footrest hangers. I started to look for year old bikes in showrooms and trying to The SAM Observer December 2018

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crawl underneath to see what they were like in those hard to reach places. Some makes are worse than others, but of course a lot is down to the owner’s cleaning regime. Then I started reading magazine reports and trawling YouTube, which led me to realise that most bike testers were looking for something different to me. I did however discover the latest European emissions criteria (Euro 4) mean most modern bikes run very lean, which is good for fuel consumption but, bad for rideability, with many machines unpleasant to ride at small throttle openings. Riding slowly and smoothly is something I do a lot during a cycle race, with a sudden need to crack on when the race suddenly erupts. I did try several bikes that seemed to have an “on/off” throttle, despite having lots of fancy riding modes (come on Suzuki, most of your bikes are like it now).. The next criteria was to have a dealer, or at least someone who can service the bike near me. I remember the times I had to take a day off work to get a bike serviced. This tended to rule out the Italian manufactures. I have a love/hate relationship with Italian bikes. One of the two bikes I regret buying was Italian, but I still enjoy looking at photographs of it. Maybe one day, when I no longer need my current type of bike, you may see me on a bright red Ducati.(And my car will be an Alfa). In the meantime, common sense took hold. Then Yamaha announced the forthcoming arrival of the MT09 Tracer GT! Light, comfortable, has luggage already fitted, good dealer not too far away and an excellent price (followed by good finance deals). I’d already tried the MT09 SP and was impressed, although not blown away. I always try to buy almost new bikes (I’ve only bought three completely new bikes in the past) as I hate the huge drop in value as a new bike leaves the showroom floor. I started trawling through the various Yamaha dealer websites, Autotrader and Ebay for a nearly new bike. I did this for three months, and none appeared (apart from an ex-demonstrator in Aberdeen, I did consider going up there on the train to collect, but it was sold before I could act). One bike I dismissed very early on in my search, was Honda’s CRF1000L Africa Twin. This was because I’d tried to sit on it at Motorcycle Live and needed help to get up onto the saddle. It was huge! Also, Honda insist that it comes with tubed only tyres. Great if you’ve travelling solo across Mongolia, but I’d suffered blowouts on tubed tyres early in my motorcycle career and didn’t fancy visiting that experience again. After going ten years without a puncture, I’d had two in the previous year. The big attraction however was the availability of DCT semi-automatic gears. My previous bike (Honda NC750X DCT) had this and I’d come to love it. I persuaded the wife to get a DCT car. She wasn’t keen at first, having never The SAM Observer December 2018

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owned an automatic, but now she admits to hating the occasional “stick shifty” pool car at work. The only other DCT bike is the VFR1200 in normal and Cross Tourer guises. Those two are extremely heavy. My brother in law has a manual Cross Tourer, and I’ve never experienced such a heavy lump. He admits to getting only mid 30’s mpg., reason for me to avoid. So, it happened that I dropped into John Banks Honda in Bury to have a browse (I was on my way to a meeting but was early). They had a newish, 6000 miles Africa Twin DCT with the touring pack for about two thirds normal retail price. They offered to let me take it out, and it would have been rude for me to refuse, so a date was set, and off I went. Once I got used to the extra height above the surrounding traffic, I soon forgot about those worries of riding on a narrow, 21 inch semi trail tubed tyre (front) and started to enjoy myself. After about an hour, I took it back and negotiated a trade in. I paid a deposit and then remembered to ring home and ask for permission….which I got (luckily).

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Now a month on, the usual Buyer’s Remorse, I always get when buying something expensive has gone, and I’m looking forward to four or more years ownership, before I have to go through the whole experience again. I took a while deciding but here is my ride for the next few years. And below, just a few of the notable alternatives, which nearly made it.

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Martin Andrew The SAM Observer December 2018

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Editorial Well what has been happening this month… for me bike wise nothing, and the poor old girl is sitting in the garden under a cover, not my nice Aldi cover I bought in the summer that just fell to bits, didn’t survive the UV from our sun. Last winter I had the brake callipers seize so had to clean up the pistons so I have ordered new ones from Orwells which I hope to fit in the winter sometime. I’ll take the bike up to the work shop where at least it’s nice and dry… more than can be said for the last couple of days. Silly thing is we have 12 months to prepare for the dreaded feast that’s arriving in a few days’ time and it still catch one out, arranging families and who goes where and when, all very distressing. Hopefully you’re plans are better than mine. Of course when that big fat chap crawls down your chimney he’s going to leave a notepad in you’re stocking so for next year you’ll be able to jot down a few notes so you can write a few lines for your favourite magazine…..

Safe Riding



Bowman’s Barn, Back Street, Gislingham, Suffolk. IP23 8JH. Tel: 07712649860 Thank you To all the members who have contributed to this month’s magazine.  But….. what about the rest of you…. 

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Closing date for copy Friday after club night If you’d like to help save the Group on the printing and postage costs of your monthly ‘hard copy’ of the ‘SAM Observer’ by opting to receive an email notification instead, then please give me your email details on Group Night or send me an email. I hope that you have been enjoying the reports that members who go on ride outs have written, and as you can see, it doesn’t have to be a wordy passage, so feel free to scribble a few words down, a few pictures and next month you will have another great magazine to read Don’t forget to take your cameras and a notebook to record your trip then you can write a nice article about it for your favourite magazine. I have a word template if anyone would like it, email me and I’ll send you a copy which has all the formatting re-set on it. Please remember that we use Times New Roman as the main font for the magazine at a size 16 so that when the printer converts the A4 pages down to A5 the font looks like a 12. I like pictures to be separate to your articles because I can make them bigger or small to fill the page

Advertise in our magazine Annual Advertising Rates: Advertise on the SAM website for an additional £25. Contact Felix for more details 07712649860 £50 for ½ page

£75 for full page

Norfolk Advanced Motorcyclists 3rd Monday of the month, 19:30, at Dunston Hall, A140, Norwich, NR14 8PQ Chairman, Secretary,

Rob Chandler, Alex Mason,

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01493 730409 01603 716735

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MEMBER INFORMATION A lot of useful information about SAM and its activities is available on our website. Below are some key links members will find useful. CONTACTS Contact details of SAM’s Committee & Observers, complete with photographs so you can recognise everyone. CALENDAR Our online calendar with relevant links which can also be linked to your smartphone. Contact: Mike Roberts OBSERVER ASSOCIATE CHARTER What is expected of the Observer and Associate while preparing for the IAM motorcycle test. Contact: Derek Baker CARING SAM Our customer service & complaints procedures. Contact: Brian Ellis DISCOUNT SCHEME Proof of identity will be required to be shown. (e.g. Current IAM/SAM membership cards). Save your membership fee, and more, by using these retailers who give a discount to SAM members. Contact: Dean Harris ADVERTS Got something to sell? Want to see what other members are selling? See our online adverts section. Contact: Mike Roberts SHOPS T-shirts, sweatshirts, fleeces, hats, and more are available from SAM’s two online shops. Contact: Mike Roberts FORUM All the latest news and discussion on all things SAM and motorcycle related. Have a read, and then register to join in. Contact: Mike Roberts The SAM Observer December 2018

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SAM Events for your Diary December 2018 Saturday 15th Saturday Jaunt The Copper Kettle, IP7 6DP Meet in car park behind B&M Home Store at Copdock (IP8 3TT) in good time for 13:30 Briefing and subsequent departure. All riders must attend Briefing Sunday 16th Associates only ride. For more details please see the September edition of "The SAM Observer" magazine. Contact: Sara Hale to book your place Tuesday 18th SAM Group Night. Gresham’s, Ipswich, 312 Tuddenham Rd, Ipswich, IP4 3QJ Announcements at 19:30 followed by, Guest Speaker, Bar and restaurant serving all types of food/drinks including teas and coffees. Tuesday 25th

Wishing you all a very happy and relaxing Christmas.

2019 January 2019 Wednesday 2nd SAM Committee meeting 19:30. Kesgrave War Memorial Community Centre, Twelve Acre Approach, Kesgrave, Ipswich IP5 1JF Sunday, 6th Breakfast Run, Jubilee Restaurant, CO7 7QJ, Meet at Stowmarket Tescos, IP14 5BE. in good time for 09:30 Briefing and subsequent departure.. All riders must attend Briefing. Tuesday 15th SAM Group Night. In the new building. Announcements at 19:30 followed by, Guest Speaker is from Freedom Motorcycle Tours ( Bar serving all types of drinks including teas and coffees. Thursday 17th Theory Evening. Kesgrave War Memorial Community Centre, Twelve Acre Approach, Kesgrave, Ipswich IP5 1JF. Come along and learn more about Roadcraft. 19:30. This month’s topic: Cornering The SAM Observer December 2018

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Saturday 19th Saturday Jaunt Route 11, NR17 2PU Meet at Beacon Hill services, IP6 8LP in good time for 13:00 Briefing and subsequent departure. All riders must attend Briefing Tuesday 22nd Barker

New Observer Training, TBA. 19:00 – 21:00 Contact: Derek

February 2019 Sunday, 3rd

Breakfast Run, TBA All riders must attend Briefing.

Wednesday 6th SAM Committee meeting 19:30. Kesgrave War Memorial Community Centre, Twelve Acre Approach, Kesgrave, Ipswich IP5 1JF Saturday 16th Saturday Jaunt TBA All riders must attend Briefing Tuesday 19th SAM Group Night. AGM. Announcements at 19:30 followed by, Guest Speaker, Bar serving all types of drinks including teas and coffees. Thursday 21st Theory Evening. Kesgrave War Memorial Community Centre, Twelve Acre Approach, Kesgrave, Ipswich IP5 1JF. Come along and learn more about Roadcraft. 19:30. This month’s topic: Gears & Acceleration

Note from Editor Please check the SAM Calendar & Forum for further details and for any changes after going to press. Especially in winter months when the weather can be unpredictable

Disclaimer The articles published herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Institute of Advanced Motorists or the Suffolk Advanced Motorcyclist Group. They are the opinions of individual contributors and are published with a view that free expression promotes discussion and interests. The SAM Observer December 2018

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Phil Sayer from Copdock Motorcycle Club handing a cheque to Chairman Richard.

Just a few pics from recent promo events, two from Copdock Bike show one with Steve Parrish visiting the promo tent and one with Dougie Lamkin, the other is from Sizewell Power Station safety day.

Glyn Hill

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The SAM Observer December 2018  

The December 2018 edition of "The SAM Observer"

The SAM Observer December 2018  

The December 2018 edition of "The SAM Observer"