What next?

With both my Honda CRF250 Rally and Kawasaki Versys 1000 GT now sold it’s time to seriously start looking at a new adventure bike for the trip and general riding here in the U.K.

Currently on the list are the following:

Yamaha Tenere 700 Rally
KTM 790 Adventure R
KTM 690 Enduro R
Husqvarna 701LR

I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of KTM or Husqvarna but, they have to be in the running as they currently have some impressive machines in the adventure market.

The Husqvarna 701 range are actually KTM 690’s rebadged and the only real advantage of the 701LR is the long range fuel capability. Whether this is enough to swing my brand choice remains to be seen

The Yamaha Tenere 700 Rally is currently my favourite. Having owned and really enjoyed a Tenere 660 I know the Yamaha will be super reliable and well put together.

Price wise the KTM 690 Enduro R is probably the cheapest with the Husqvarna and Tenere 700 coming in a close second and the KTM 790 Adventure R being the most expensive.

So it’s now time to start researching, riding and seeing which I prefer!

More soon …

For Sale – 2016 Kawasaki Versys 1000 GT

Bike Now Sold.

I purchased the Kawasaki Versys 1000 GT new in June 2016 from Orwell Motorcycles in Ipswich who are my local Kawasaki dealer. It’s a great bike and I really love riding it but, it’s time to sell it and try something new!

Kawasaki Versys 1000 GT in green

I had the MRA tall screen, Oxford Heated grips and the SW Motech GPS/Phone mount plate fitted by the dealer at purchase time. These simple additions really improve the comfort with the screen throwing the wind up way over my head leaving me in a calm, buffet free bubble and the heated grips keeping my hands warm during those colder months we get here in the U.K.

Please note, the Garmin Zumo GPS mount is NOT included in the sale and will be removed prior to sale as I’ll be keeping the GPS unit for my next bike.

The MRA screen makes a huge difference to comfort especially at speed

The bike has done 11300 miles from new and has been serviced by Orwell Motorcycles with all stamps in the book and on the service key that is included in the sale. The bike is sold with all original paperwork and keys.

The bike comes complete with all the GT extras namely, matching top box and side panniers, spot lamps, gear indicator, 12v socket and fairing protection bobbins on each side as shown in the photos. 

Full service history and only 11300 miles from new

The bike has the Kawasaki KTRC traction control and ABS system with the ability to select power and traction control levels on the fly.

Included in the sale is the Tutoro automatic chain oiler and Optimate Battery charger both of which were fitted by me from new. With the Tutoro oiler fitted I’ve only had to adjust the chain twice over the 11300 miles, it really does make a difference.

New Continental Road Attack 3 tyres were fitted by Orwell Motorcycles just a few hundred miles ago.

There are two tiny marks on the green section of the left hand pannier where I dropped it whilst removing it from the bike, other than this there are no marks on the bike at all.

I’m a mature rider of 40 years and have fettled the bike much more than I have ridden it!
Having multiple bikes none of them have high mileage but all of them are serviced by the main dealer even if they haven’t reached the necessary mileage.

Service details are:

  • 01/06/16 PDI 
  • 22/06/16 1st service, 721 miles
  • 10/07/17 2nd service, 4181 miles
  • 01/09/18 3rd service, 7248 miles 
  • 19/12/19 4th service, 10593 miles

All done by Orwell Motorcycles, registered Kawasaki dealer, where bike was purchased from. In terms of what has been done at each service: 

  • New spark plugs at 7248 miles
  • Oil and filter change at each service
  • Brake fluid change at 7248
  • New tyres fitted few hundred miles ago.

Price £6499.00 OVNO

Payment of cleared funds only via bank transfer before collection please.

First to view will buy.

No Test Rides.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me direct on 0752 6116110 or via email

Thanks for looking!

For Sale – CRF250 Rally with many extras!

Bike now Sold.

For Sale: 2019 Honda CRF250 Rally with many extras.

Purchased new in Jan 2019 for my adventure to Mongolia and back however, due to the pandemic this trip is now cancelled for the forseeable future and so I have decided to sell the bike and will purchase another new bike once travel to Central Asia is possible again

The bike has been well maintained and serviced by the local Honda dealer and had oil and filter changes done by me in between regular services.

The bike has been kitted out for the ride to Mongolia and has had the following extras fitted:

Gecko heavy duty clutch £35
Tutoro auto chain oiler £100
DID 520 VX3 chain £55
JTSprockets £25
Tusk Pannier Rack £292
Oxford heated grips £100
Renthal bars £35
Bar risers £25
Hagon rear shock £300
HyperPro front suspension £120
Continental TKC80 tyres £174
GP-Kompozit Crashbars and skid plate £135
Zeta XC handguards £52
Sidestand foot £5
Rotopax style 5L fuel can £22
Optimate battery charger £56

The sale also includes the following Parts: £165
4 x Oil filters + Gaskets
Front/rear brake pad sets
1 x air filter 
Front & Rear wheel bearing sets
Head bearing set
2 sparks plugs
Front sprocket
Inner tubes

Total cost of extras £1696

Original OEM IRC tyres free!

The bike has now done 5369 miles mainly on road with the bike having been taken on Peddars Way in Norfolk and a week riding soft trails in the Pyrenees. I’m a mature experienced off-road rider and so the bike hasn’t been abused.

The bike has just had an oil and filter change and the next official service isn’t for another 6000 miles.

The bike is in excellent running order but does have a little wear to one of the transfers on the left side where my boot has rubbed, see photos.

The Tusk rack that is fitted to the bike was imported from the USA and fitted by me in my extensive workshop.

Viewing highly recommended as first to see will buy.

£5300 OVNO 

Payment of cleared funds only via bank transfer before collection.
No test rides.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me direct on 0752 6116110 (08:30 – 22:00hrs) or at mike@trailsoftheunexpected.co.uk

A few photos …

Just a few photos from my 142 mile back lane ride up into Norfolk this week using the Calimoto app on the Honda CRF250 Rally.

Walcott Beach – There’s a great biker cafe opposite the beach.
Happisburgh Light House.
Horsey Windmill.
Part of the Norfolk Broads with the Horsey Windmill in the background.

Crosstour 4K Camera failures

The two Crosstour 4K cameras with remote control

Back in December 2019 I purchased 2 x Crosstour 4K video cameras for the trip and spent money getting the mounts such that they could be fixed to various locations on the bike and crash helmet.

After very little use I started to get problems with them both. First the sound developed issues. Using an external mic fitted in the helmet the sound gradually got quieter and quieter. I initially thought that perhaps the mic had developed a fault and so I tried some other external microphones but, the problem was still there. The internal mics in the cameras were fine but, useless when on the move.

The second problem that gradually got worse over time was the on/off buttons. Sometimes they would work and other times they wouldn’t. Eventually they gave up entirely and it was impossible to switch the cameras on!

Both cameras have now been returned to Amazon for a full refund and I’m now looking again at cameras for the trip. I was hoping to have been able to produce some video footage of my local rides by now but, alas not!
So , I’m currently considering GoPro, Insta 360 One R, DJI Osmo Pocket and a few others.

The DJI Osmo Pocket looks extremely good for doing pieces to camera and some general hand held video footage as the 4K camera is on a 3 axis gimbal which is able to give professional levels of stability. It also gets great reviews and there are plenty of accessories available for it at sensible prices.
The DJI app that accompanies the camera gives access to a pro set of controls for the device including the ability to follow a person or object as it moves.

The other idea I really like is the 360 degree video capability of the Insta 360 One R.

Having just one camera mounted but, capturing a full 360 degree view at all times will be very handy whilst riding. Whether the camera itself is actually up to the rigours of off-road riding is a concern though.

Lots to think about and much research to do but, I’ll blog about it as I go along.

More soon …

Getting back in the saddle post COVID19

Somewhere in the wilds of Suffolk

Now that the UK is starting to relax the COVID19 restrictions it’s been possible to get out on the bike more. Not being able to leave the country and head into Europe has meant that local rides are the only thing available at the moment, especially with Wales and Scotland keeping their lockdown in place and not allowing the English to visit.

The village of Walpole

I’ve been riding on my own on the little Honda CRF2510 Rally and really enjoying it. It’s the perfect bike for riding around the tiny B roads in Suffolk and Norfolk enjoying the countryside. Only problem has been not being able to get a drink very often as there is nowhere open for food or drink.

Not a soul for miles around

I’ve been using the Calimoto app to generate loop rides starting and ending at home. It really is superb for this and created some really interesting rides. The photo above is from an 80 mile loop ride automagically generated by Calimoto.

Being just just 15mins from the coast is handy to pickup the tiny coast roads and head north up through Suffolk and into Norfolk taking in Orford, Aldeburgh, Thorpeness and Sizewell to mention few eventually arriving at Walcott.

Phil and I on another of our coastal rides

I’ve also been stretching the legs of my Kawasaki Versys 1000 riding out with my good mate Phil who lives a couple of doors down from me. The weather has been superb and the riding has been great. The roads are getting a lot busier now which is a shame but to be expected. It’s been great to get out and about again for sure.

I’d really like to take the CRF250 Rally down to the Pyrenees this summer if at all possible and do the coast to coast route through the mountain trails. Whether this will be possible or not is still too hard to predict but we can but hope!

More soon …

Freedom!

The UK government has started to relax the U.K. wide lockdown and it’s now possible for us to ride our motorcycles to and from a place of exercise.

My expedition Honda CRF250 Rally Parked up on the quay at Bawdsey Suffolk.

So without delay, I got the bikes out and headed out into the wilds of Suffolk. The weather has been splendid for this time of year. Normally it’s rainy and miserable in Spring but, since the COVID19 pandemic hit and the planes have all been grounded the weather has been spectacular!
With temperatures hitting the dizzy highs of 20c it’s been like summer here in the U.K. for a couple of weeks now.

First trip out was on the Kawasaki Versys 1000cc, my wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a bike I’ve owned from new in 2016 and one that I dearly love. Heading north up the Suffolk coast I dropped into the lovely seaside town of Southwold. Not far up the road in real terms but since it was my first ride out in quite a while I wanted to break myself in gently.

My 2016 Kawasaki Versys 1000 parked up in the sun at Southwold Suffolk.

The ride was glorious albeit a tad windy as I got closer to the coast. Getting the tyres warmed up on the bike for the first time in ages was a great feeling and I was soon back in the swing of things.

The very next day it was the turn of the Honda CRF250 Rally to get out onto the road. I love this little bike and it just loves tootling around the back lanes and byways, together we make a great team.

My expedition Honda CRF250 Rally taking in the views of the Suffolk countryside.

Heading out into the sticks not really having a preplanned route I just explored lanes and byways that I’d not ridden before, most of the time not having any real idea of where I was.

Stopping here and there to take photos, take in the scenery and enjoy the sun on my face it was heavenly to enjoy the silence of the countryside. At times it felt as if I was the only one on the planet, a wonderful feeling to be had.

Passing through tiny villages that I’d never heard of before I found my self arriving on the outskirts of the town of Felixstowe on a back lane that I didn’t know existed. Eventually I came out near the golf course in the old part of the town and continued on until I reached the dead end at the Felixstowe Ferry opposite Bawdsey on the river Deben.

Heading out of Felixstowe I decided to ride around the river Deben to the other side and follow the road to its natural end at Bawdsey. Once again heading out into the sticks and not having any real route in mind I passed through a completely different set of little villages until I arrived in Newbourne, a village I know. Passing the Newbourne Fox Pub that was closed like all the other pubs at the moment, the village seemed dead compared to normal. Heading north through Waldringfield Heath round the back of Adastral park where all the tech companies live I was soon in the town of Woodbridge. A lovely old market town with many fine public establishments. I followed the road round past the marina, through Melton and headed out into the sticks once more.

The view over the river Deben from the dizzy heights of Ramsholt.

I somehow found myself on the Ramsholt road and decided to head up onto the top of the hill overlooking the river Deben near the Ramsholt Arms pub. Stopping at the top of the hill I sat in the sun for a while enjoying the view over the river whilst listening to the birds chattering away. This was becoming a very relaxing and enjoyable second ride out!

Leaving Ramsholt along the sandy lanes I managed to find myself on the back lane heading in the direction of Bawdsey.

Passing Bawdsey Manor where the radar research took place in the early part of World War II I soon arrived at Bawdsey Quay, directly opposite Felixstowe Ferry where I had been an hour or so earlier. 25 miles of riding to end up no more than 150 metres from where I started!

Wanting to stay within the law, I took my exercise and walked over to the cobbled beach to take a photo of Felixstowe. Exercise over, I headed back to the quay.

Looking across the river Deben to Felixstowe Ferry from Bawdsey cobbled beach.

Sitting on an old wooden bench with my back up against an old brick building in the sun, I watched the world go by for what seemed an age. Fishing boats came and went, sail boats slipped by silently all whilst the tide gradually came in. It was heaven!

Soon it was time for me to start heading home again. Getting my crash helmet on, biking gear zipped up and the bike fired up I headed back out into the countryside winding my way around little back lanes enjoying every moment of my new found freedom.

Looking up the river Deben from Bawdsey Quay.

The little Honda buzzed excitedly as we progressed past the lush green fields and derelict farm buildings that litter the landscape. I’d forgotten how much fun it is to ride little bikes, it was like being a boy again except it was totally legal this time!

Stopped on a Byway somewhere in Suffolk.

Ten or so miles later going through one village twice somehow I was soon back home and putting the bike away ready for another day.

COVID19 offer from Garmin

When all this COVID19 stuff kicked off and it became clear that I wasn’t going to be able to go on my trip to Mongolia this year I had no choice but to cancel my service with Garmin for my Explorer+ GPS unit. By cancelling the service I saved over £200, not to be sneezed at.

The saving is great but, it also meant that when I wanted to start using the device again I’d incur the £25 fee to have it reconnected to the Iridium satellite service.

Yesterday I got a call from Garmin, somewhat surprised to say the least I had a chat with a lady by the name of Victoria.

She explained that since they’ve had a lot of people cancel their 12 month service due to the pandemic, Garmin are now offering to reconnect the devices to the service for free, will waive the cost of the first month of service and then will allow me to suspend the service for a long as I want without any monthly fee.

This means I won’t have to pay the reconnection fee when I want to start using the unit again and will just need to login to my Garmin account and recommence the service.

This works perfectly for me so, I’ve signed up and my inReach Explorer+ is active once more.

It’s good to see that companies are reacting to this COVID19 pandemic that’s gripping the world at the moment and providing a flexible approach to service provision.

Well done Garmin!