21st March 2016 was the day Jan picked up her new Kawasaki Versys 1000 from Kevin at J&S Motorcycles, Oakmere. The bike was handed over with 4 miles on the clock, only another 596 to do before it’s first service……. With our 2016 motorcycle touring season about to start on the 10th April these miles had to be put on quickly and so on leaving J&S we set off on a 100 mile ride into North Wales to pick up Geraint’s newly painted helmet which Mike from MAD Designs had just completed. It’s the same design as previous but “blinged up” a bit more this time, (looking forward to the sunshine picking up the sparkles 🙂 !!!!!), and due to the design on this SHOEI helmet the Welsh Dragon is set slightly further back.
A few days later we added nearly 200 more miles onto the new bike with a ride into North Wales on a typical UK spring day which had sunshine, blue skies, rain, hail and even snow on the hills as you can see from this photo of “old style” Versys and the new bike taken near Dinas Mawddwy. We had, what can only be described as “Millionaires motorcycling” that day with very little traffic on the roads, it felt like we had Wales to ourselves at times 🙂
After Easter Geraint had a few Assessment days booked in and on two of them Jan rode to the start points to clock up the last couple of hundred miles needed. Riding to Ludlow on the 2nd April certainly gave an opportunity for some wet weather riding! It lashed it down all the way there and back but it’s good to get in the practice for all types of weather. Unsurprisingly the majority of motorcyclists would not deliberately go out for a ride in the pouring rain but when you’re on a tour and you encounter poor weather it is always useful to have had some experience of how to adapt your riding to the conditions.
The final 120 miles were put on the bike yesterday (6th April), this time Jan rode to Welshpool to the start point of another Assessment, the cafe was certainly the best place to be when the skies turned black and the wind started howling!!! Luckily as quickly as the storm came it blew through and Rob was able to undertake his Assessment ride in reasonable weather and Jan had a good ride home stopping off for a photo at Ellesmere lake.
Today the bike goes in for its 600 mile service ahead of our first tour of the year which starts this coming Sunday 10th April – Wales On & Off-Road. We’ll also be having the new Metzeler Roadtec 01 tyres fitted to it which we will putting to the test over the coming weeks and months and you can read up on how they handle in our forthcoming blogs.