Monday, 30 June 2014


The next phase of tailoring the Tiger to suit my long legs was to fit a new seat. Touratech advertise a 'comfort' seat; I wasn't too concerned about the comfort part as I don't do long trips, but what attracted me was the fact that the seat had two height settings, the higher of which is 20mm higher than the Triumph's higher setting. A quick swop over of the seat fittings and,,,yep, it's higher. My feet still touch the ground, but the knee angle has improved, Now I just need to get those lowered pegs fitted and I should be knee-pain proof.

Standard seat in high position

New 'Comfort' seat in high position

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

I suppose it was funny...... work colleagues evidently decided that my new topbox changed the appearance of my Tiger to that more reminiscent of a pizza delivery scooter.

The constant phone calls and e-mails placing their orders for pizzas was also funny.....the first few hundred times.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Ferry nice trip

Dordrecht harbour
Time for the Tiger's first service, so last Friday afternoon I rode from work over to the Hook of Holland to catch the ferry over to England. This was my first time on a ferry with the bike, so I was almost excited....Actually, the ferry itself was pretty nice (although I guess after being in a cabin on a construction site anywhere would be nice), not many bikers making the crossing. It took about 6 hours, dead calm sea so I slept most of the way. We got to Harwich at 8pm, rolled off the ferry looking forward to a nice change of scenery and nearly fell off the bike from laughing out loud - round the first bend there in front was a windmill!

Anyway, I needed to get home before dark as these old eyes don't work too well so it was a two hour blast down the A12 then M25 onto North Circular, cruising a nice steady 85mph all the way - easy. I did note that the screen produces very uncomfortable buffeting at higher no doubt there's a new accessory in the Tigers future.

Saturday morning up early and rode down to the dealers in the most horrendous thunderstorm I've ever ridden in - as I stood inside the showroom in a large puddle with water dripping, no running, off me I realised that the jacket wasn't waterproof after all. I'd arranged a loan bike so I could ride down to visit the kid in his new house down in Henley-on-Thames, the trouble was I was soaked through, so ended up buying a new (guaranteed waterproof) jacket there and then - got a 25% discount so that wasn't too bad. The sun came out during the ride down, so I spent a nice couple of hours drying-out in the sun on the kids boat landing watching the river flow by, then a nice ride back on the now-dry roads. Collected the Tiger, now complete with heated grips, topbox and a centre-stand.

The Kid and the river

Sunday I'd booked the overnight ferry back to Holland, so after a relaxing breakfast I rode over to Essex to visit my old Mum for a while, then spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening riding the Essex lanes up to Harwich, what a pleasant ride through all the sleepy old villages. At the ferry terminal the place was packed with bikers, got chatting to some Dutch Moto-Guzzi-ists returning from a tour of Ireland, and some English couples off continental touring on their BMW rocketships. Somehow the Tiger ended up with the BMW's, but got some positive comments based on how small she was (!)

All my mates are BMW's

Another good kip and we rolled off at 8am Monday morning, a quick blast and I was in work for 9am, but wishing I could have tagged along with the Brits going down to the Black Forest and a ride around the Nurburgring.

Inevitably I'd bought some bits for the bike to make it 'more suitable' for me - the bar risers fitted easily and quickly and have completely eradicated my aching shoulders and wrists, so that was money well spent.

Not such an easy fit are the lowered footpegs, oh they are good quality, but I find I just can't fit their shiny aluminium blinginess to the blacked-out Tiger, so I'll have to resort to some home spray-painting (in the hallway) to render them inconspicuous.

And finally, if you remember the picture of the big yellow box I posted up back in the winter? Well that got finished and shipped off by barge down the river on its way out to sea - here's a picture of it on its way; now we can see into the shed where our little platform is getting built - a long way to go yet!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Sunday ride out - Dutch style

Went for a ride on Sunday; the weather forecast for the area was good so I did a bit of planning (most unusual for me) by looking at Google maps and trying to identify some wiggly roads – which is not easy here in Holland. Anyway, I planned out a rough route, factoring the probability that I would get lost, and got away early on Sunday morning. My planning proved to be spot on, as evidenced by the other 200 or so bikers using the same route! It was quite a pleasant ride, albeit fairly slow as the speed limits here are quite low and strictly enforced with speed cameras; that is until I got to Kinderdijk, where police were diverting all motorbikes into a car park for inspection - which is where I discovered that you have to carry all vehicle documents with you. It did look for a minute as if I was going to be in big trouble as of course I had no documents, luckily I remembered to act like an Englishman abroad and spoke very loudly and rapidly – in no time the policeman’s eyes glazed over and he told me to leave.

I then got stopped only a few miles away at another checkpoint, which seemed a bit excessive as all the bikers I saw were well behaved – if I contrast it with a weekend in Britain there would have been lads wheelying past the checkpoint and superbikes with loud pipes and max revs in first showing off – especially as the police were only stopping bikes. I stopped for a while for a coffee and took some photos of the inevitable windmills – I fear my photo library is going to take on an even more boring theme – before deciding to head away from the hassle and try some straight roads. 

Not another bloody windmill

After a pleasant and uneventful couple of hours I returned home to contemplate; perhaps bikers are not so bad off in the UK after all – from what I’ve experienced so far, Dutch drivers have much less regard for motorbikes than I’m used to, maybe because cycles have priority everywhere or maybe it’s a cultural thing. I can also see the value in our British system of road licensing, where all details are held in a database that the police can access instantly to see if you’re insured, your MOT is up to date etc. I know, that sounds like I’m supporting ‘big brother’, but you know, if you’re legal then there’s nothing to fear. And at my age I can afford to tax and insure my vehicles, unlike in my younger years ;)

Tiger in the hallway - sideways