Ride outs, new parts and an Armchair Festival

Since the easing of the COVID19 lockdown here in the U.K. I’ve been making the most of the freedom and putting a few miles on the bike.

End of the road, Orford Suffolk

Since my last blog article I’ve put almost 1000 miles on the Tenere 700. It’s been great to get back on the bike after 4 months of lockdowns and to finally start to get to grips with it. There’s still a few things I’m not happy with but, over the next few weeks/months I’m hoping to get things sorted.

Logging in Rendlesham Forest

The biggest problem I have with the T7 is the seat height, it’s just too tall for my little legs! Having just a 29in inside leg the Rally Edition seat stretches me to the absolute limit. Only being able to get one foot down on tiptoes really isn’t good for trail riding especially if there are river crossings involved where ideally I’d like to get both feet firmly planted.

I’ve been looking into getting the seat re-profiled and made lower but, the cost of doing this is almost as much as buying an OEM low seat and rear rack unit instead of the passenger seat. So after much deliberation I’ve ordered and OEM low seat and the rack to fit in place of the passenger seat. This will hopefully lower me enough so that I have more chance of making contact with terra-firma. This will enable me to keep the original Rally Edition seat so that if I ever decide sell the bike I can put it back to original configuration. The new seat parts should arrive in the next week or so, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Horsey Wind Pump, Norfolk

I’ve also purchased a pair of Oxford Hot Hands over grip electric warmers for the bike. Having had grip warmers on many of my previous bikes I’ve realised that I really don’t like having cold hands!

I decided to go with the over grip warmers as they make the hand grips slightly bigger in diameter. This makes quite a difference on long trips especially for arthritis sufferers like me. Increasing the diameter of the grips makes it a lot easier to keep the throttle open on long trips and helps reduce hand fatigue, the warmth also helps with the pain when it gets cold.

Amazon have them at a bargain price at the moment, I got them for £38.37 reduced from £69.99, bargain!

I’ll need to get the appropriate connector to attach the hand warmers to the wiring harness, but these are easily available from Eastern Beaver.

I also need to install the second 12v socket to the bike and wire it into the 10A feed that is available from the wiring harness. The OEM fitted 12v socket is fused at 2A and won’t drive much more than my iPhone. I may even rewire it to the 2nd 10A feed on the bike so that I have two 12v sockets capable of charging many devices at the same time. I’ll put together a separate article on this when I get to it.

Sean, Ben and I have all booked places for the Armchair Festival down in Cornwall in September. This is a new adventure festival and it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out. If you’re also coming to the event be sure to give us a shout as we’ll be camping for the weekend.

Well that’s it for the moment, more soon!

Walcott Beach, Norfolk

End of lockdown ride out

The end of the 4 month COVID19 lockdown has finally arrived with 29th March 2021 being the first official day that we can get out on the bikes legally!

Needless to say I took advantage of this and got out on my new Yamaha Tenere 700 that’s spent most of it’s first 6 months of life in the garage.

Obligatory selfie – Ben Jackson sporting his lockdown hair and me with hardly any hair as always!

I arranged to meet up with Ben Jackson who I met back in 2018 at the HUBB event over in a very wet and soggy Wales. This was only the second time we’d met although we’ve been chatting on Signal for some time now.

The ride down to Danbury in Essex was without event although I did note that the A12 is still one of the worst roads in Britain!

Ben with his new Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sport

Ben had got his new Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sport the day before and was dying to stretch its legs so, the timing was perfect. After a brew and a chat at the “Tea on the Green” tea rooms we got mounted up and headed out.

We rode around Danbury and Maldon for a while but, there wasn’t much to see and so headed up towards Clacton and the coast.

After a quick blast up the A12 and then cross country we finally arrived in Clacton around lunch time.

Parked up at Clacton Pier for a brew and some rather nice chips!

Clacton was heaving, hardly surprising since it’s a Bank Holiday weekend in the U.K. We snuck the bikes into a cool little spot right on the pier and grabbed some lovely chips and a brew. The two bikes got a fair amount of attention from passers by including a couple of bikers who stopped for ice cream!

On leaving Clacton we found a neat little nature reserve that was in an old quarry in Fingringhoe and spent a little time taking photos and playing with slo-mo video on our phones. It didn’t take long to realise neither of us were particularly good with video and would need some practice before we did any trips!

Mike checking the lean angle in Fingringhoe, Essex.
My attempt to capture Ben in action in slow motion …
Baby Blue Eyes and Momma Africa parked up at the Nature Reserve Gate.

Sadly Ben’s attempt to take a slo-mo video of me came out as a bunch of photos with just a part of me in the frame as I went by, so I won’t embarrass him and post them here 🥴

It wasn’t long and it was time for us both to head off home, Ben back to Kent and me back to Suffolk. Getting home I found I’d done 193 miles over the day, not bad for a first rideout. Ben had hit the magic 200 miles!

Hopefully we’ll get more rides together planned and maybe even some weekends away camping.

More soon …