Friday, January 15, 2021

November rain.

 Back in November our area dropped to level 2 covid restrictions so HB and I decided to get away for a couple of nights. I was pretty desperate to get away on the bike so I took the K75 while HB kept nice and warm in her car. I serviced the K75 and treated as much of the bike as I could with ACF50 in an attempt to keep the damage from the salt at bay.

K75 to Applecross

We decided to posh things up. We'd booked the Applecross Inn and Tim's big cabin at Strontian. Covid restrictions, the lack of daylight and freezing temperatures meant I had to take the most direct route to Applecross. Usually I'd do my best to avoid the A9 between Perth and Inverness but this time I was so grateful to be able to get away on the bike I actually enjoyed it. It was however, freezing. It was wet for a fair chunk of the run too. I rode from East Lothian to Inverness in one go and by the time I got to the cafe in Tiso at Inverness I was properly shivering. I felt much better and warmer after I'd eaten half the food in the cafe and I set off once again.

K75 to Applecross


Inverness to Applecross was a pleasant run. I was hoping for a nice sunset from the top of the Bealach Na Ba. Unfortunately the teaser at Tornapress was clouded out at the top. Still, it was a nice run over and it was great to get down into Applecross.

K75 at the bottom of the Bealach Na Ba, Tornapress.

K75 to Applecross

K75 to Applecross

K75 to Applecross

We had a quiet but good night in the Inn. It was good to catch up with Judy and the folk at Applecross. The weather was cold but sunny the following day making for a really nice run to Strontian. HB was a bit concerned about the icy conditions on the Bealach Na Ba but I never noticed it apart from a few frozen puddles.

K75 to Applecross
Judy Fish MBE loves the K75.

BMW K75s at the top of the Bealach Na Ba overlooking Skye and Raasay.

BMW K75s on the Bealach Na Ba overlooking Loch Kishorn

Eilean Donan

K75 and a cloud inversion over Loch Garry, Scotland.

It was a cold run down but I really enjoyed it. I even seen a few other bikes out and about. The salt on the roads may wreck your bike but the scenery makes up for it. We had another good night at Strontian, discussing plans and hopes for 2021. We're still hoping to have the Sunart Wildcat rally, although we'll be waiting till it's deemed safe to do so before we announce anything.

A cold K75s at Sunart Camping, Strontian.

A cold K75s at Sunart Camping, Strontian.

It was another freezing run home the next day. Once back the K75 got a good wash down and I warmed back up with a long shower. I had the Gopro so I'll knock up a YouTube video which I'll post up here later on.



BMW K75s at the top of the Bealach Na Ba overlooking Skye and Raasay.

BMW K75s on the Bealach Na Ba overlooking Loch Kishorn

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Scottish Mike Rides Yer Bike - Episode One - BMW R18 First Edition - A ride and review.


BMW R18 First Edition

A couple of months back I got the chance to ride BMW's new R18. I also had the idea to make some bike review videos and so was born "Scottish Mike Rides Yer Bike". The rough idea is to ride a bike I've not had a shot on before and do a wee review of what I think. I don't want to just do brand new bikes either, it would be great to get some older machines on as well. The plan is to start the video by giving an idea of what I'll think the bike will be like. Have a quick look around the bike. Get some riding footage and some pre ride feedback then a summary at the end. I'm already realising other stuff I need to do. I definitely need to say a few things I don't like about a bike, which I find pretty hard at times. All bikes are good fun after all. So likes and dislikes will be added in. I'll add in a bit of information and a few specs on the bikes, the background of the bikes will be interesting too if I get the chance to ride some older machines. If you have any feedback at all let me know in the comments. Some folk clearly don't like the music I've used on the R18 video so I'll play about a bit. I'll try and speak a bit clearer and maybe even swear less. Maybe. 
Anyway, the video is below, check it out.

If you have a bike that you think would make an interesting video and you're kind enough to let me take it for a spin please get in touch. it'll really help me in making what will hopefully be an interesting and entertaining bunch of videos.

BMW R18 First Edition

BMW R18 First Edition

Big thanks to Joe and the team at Motorrad Central for giving me a shot of the R18 despite the mucky roads.

More soon,


Sunday, January 3, 2021

Happy New Year!

 2020 is over! We're back in lockdown here in Scotland but with a possible vaccine on the horizon I'm getting hopeful for some good biking in 2021. Clearly, I didn't use 2020 for productive blogging, but I was lucky enough to get away on the bike when it was deemed safe to do so. I also done a fair bit of work to the bikes with the C90 receiving some much needed TLC and the K75 getting a new final drive seal, rear disk and a service. The C90 became my go to bike during lockdown. It's was the ideal thing for tootling a couple of miles to the next village to get shopping. I even added a new rack to the back and bought panniers for it. There may possibly be a trip in the C90 yet.....




IMG_20200119_160223Jake advises on the K75 back end.



The K was used for any time it was necessary to go further afield. I was pretty chuffed that my repairs had worked and there was no longer a wee dribble of oil on the rear wheel. 

My XR600 had an issue with the exhaust always coming loose. It was jetted to run an old Supertrapp can but the link pipe had rotted away. I got a new one made up by Harrison Performance who done a great job. I can't recommend them enough. It's currently pretty cold here so I attempted to do some snow riding on the XR. Unfortunately the whole place had turned into one big ice cube! I was nearly on my arse on multiple occasions. There was zero grip. None. Even the rough bits were as if they had been polished, the bike just slid around sideways!






As I said, I was pretty lucky to get away over 2020. I've put this wee video together of the Gopro footage I got over the year.


For obvious reasons we had to postpone the Sunart Wildcat Rally but luckily most folk are still keen to attend when we can do it. I've also got an idea for a "Small and Old" charity run with the idea being we do a camping trip around Scotland on bikes either below 125cc, over 20 years old or ideally both. The cost would be either £120 with £100 going to charity and £20 covering the cost of t shirts and stuff, or just proof that you've raised a minimum of £100 for a charity of your choice and £20 to cover t shirts etc. I'd book campsites for everyone but folk will need to cover the costs themselves. I'd try and get us a good deal of course. What's your thoughts on this? Let me know in the comments if you think it's a good/bad idea. I'll also add it to my Passing Places Tours site once I know where we stand with the Covid situation. I've still got a couple of runs to write up as well and a new YouTube idea where I roadtest bikes. I'll post it up soon. 

Stay safe everyone and Happy New Year!