Category Archives: Bikes

Mega Motorteffen

In one of those rare occasions where Facebook adds are actually useful I found about a motorcycle event happening just next to Amsterdam: the Mega Motorteffen.
Don’t ask me what that word means, the event however was quite good with virtually every manufacturer making their newer models available for test-ride.

I’ll talk more about some of the bikes I rode in other posts but for now I’ll leave you with a small gallery of photos from the event.

And back to present day, still powered by BMW Motorrad!

What better excuse to leave work at 15h45 on a warm sunny Tuesday than a date with a lady?

Who cares if she is fat, ugly and high maintenance when she rides like that!

Ok, racy puns apart. We did book couple of BMW’s GS Speedates: me on the R1200GS an my mate on the F800GS both in the taller&fatter Adventure version.

I rode the original R1200GS Adventure a few years ago in the mountain roads around Sintra. Didn’t really like the bike, it felt too big, too heavy and not agile enough. A few years later I had the opportunity to ride one of the standard R1200GS with the new air/water cooled engine, I remember being absolutely surprised with how much better the engine felt compared to the old bike. Still not a mind-blowing performance but still proper fun to ride around N108, Porto, Portugal.

As soon as I spotted the GS Speedate events on BMWs website I jumped at the opportunity to try this new air/water cooled engine on the big Adventure version!
After a 45min ride around a mix of urban and countryside roads, including a sequence of narrow twisty dike roads I have to say the big GS did not disappoint, very much the opposite. I got confirmation on how much more I like this later version of the Boxer twin and was mindblown by how different from my memory of the old GSA this one is. Maybe I just got older and more used to tall fat bikes but I have to say the massive GS handles better than many standard bikes around. The way it flicks from side to side defies gravity and how easy and natural it all feels to the rider is nothing short of engineering Vudu!

Is it a bike for me? It could be, although it’s universal success (read omnipresence) and massive price tag do make it a very unlikely reality.

For now, I’ll leave you with some photos and a big thank you to BMW Motorrad and Motoport Wormerver for the test-ride.

Time Travel, Powered by BMW Motorrad

A BMW R1200GS Adventure Test-ride recently (which I will talk about in a future post) reminded me of the fact that about one year ago I went with some mates to a SpeedDate with BMW event to try out a couple of their new bikes.

I went for the S1000XR and they went for the R1200RS, R-nineT and F800GS. The only thing I can say about the S1000XR is that it is a brilliant bike! Compared to my Ducati Multistrada 1200S it lacks the low down punch of the V-Twin that makes it want to wheelie coming out of every traffic light but it makes up with a much more refined feel and more equipment (like Cruise Control). The engine feels basically the same as the one on the S100RR and I think I would only really tell the difference when riding the the two back to back, the brakes are as with all the S1000 range, very near perfect and the whole bike feels really well sorted. Except…it isn’t! One tiny, niggly fault that would probably stop me from buying it: The infamous vibrations at motorway speed that simply numb all of your limbs!
I’ve been told it is solved on the newer 2017 bikes and that on the older ones a set of heavier bar-end weights helps a lot but what I can’t stop wandering is what kind of test-riders BMW hired that did not spot the obvious issue trough all of the testing??

Anyway, here are the photos:

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Gymkhana Sunday

First time taking the new girl out for a Motogymkhana session.
Mixed feelings at the end of the day, the FZ1 feels surprisingly heavy and way less agile than the Multistrada.
The lack of a softer engine map and the sticky throttle don’t help with control either, making it quite a workout to tame the thing.

Let’s see how we’ll do next time around, after some minor tweaks to the bike.

For now here is a quick video of the day.

As usual, feel free to comment, like, subscribe!

The Dark Side of Japan Tour – Yamaha @ Amsterdam

An unwritten rule of motorcycling states that once you get a motorcycle  built by manufacturer X, you loose all ability to make rational decisions, become hopelessly in love with all merchandising that includes X branding, will sign-up to all and any online forums for your bike’s Make (or even Model) and will only ride with people who own the same make or model. It’s called the fanboy effect.

One of the consequences of said effect is that the few unaffected by it are left with a feeling of misplacement. There is nowhere for us: the Maker agnostic.

Sure, I’ve written a couple of blogs based on the bike I had at the time; I’ll even confess to owning a pair of (very stylish) KTM boxer shorts, but the fact is I don’t understand how anyone can commit to a single brand. At the very least you’ll be missing out on experimenting with a whole host of wonderful different bikes.

Having said that, I am a sucker for brand events (regardless of the motorcycle maker in question) and given the opportunity to jump in on Yamaha’s Dark Side of Japan Tour to test-ride of the new MT10, I just couldn’t say no.
Having been to a few of these events throughout the years I have to say no one does it better than BMW (hard to compete with Circuito do Estoril race track booked for a full day to offer riders free test-rides on track), Yamaha however seems to be the best of the Japanese brands at it!

A nicely (albeit slightly empty) decorated Kromhouthall, free drinks and nice food. Oh, yes and bikes, too!

Considering we are in a flat country with absolutely no good riding roads and the only half interesting ones on any given sunny day are full of bicycles, cars and tourists Yamaha did a decent job at finding us a route to try the bikes. At 41km and over one hour it was probably one of the longest test-rides I’ve had. And despite the low average speed due to road conditions and traffic meaning I only got to use 1st and 2nd gear, the MT10 did prove to be a fantastic bike with superbly smooth fuelling and exciting power delivery. The suspension also did a decent job of absorbing the potholes despite being obviously on the firm side and the little I could experience of the handling felt great. The biggest take way though is the engine, that crossplane motor sounds and feels better than any other inline 4 I have ever tried!
I’m a big fan of big naked bikes and the MT10 is still not quite up there next to the Inline Triple of the Speed Triple or the V-Twin of the Super Duke but damn did they do a great job with that 4 cylinder!

As for theroute if you want to have more detailed look at it, click HERE

Greece – Spring 2016

I might as well start updating you guys on what else happened during this long hiatus. Nowhere better than the Spring of 2016 and our trip to Greece!

At the time I wrote a full feature article on The Rider’s Digest and at merely £0.50 for the whole PDF issue I strongly recommend you give it a try. Not the least because you’ll get also a bunch of other articles written by way more talented people than me!

Check out The Rider’s Digest Issue #193

For those less inclined to be bored with reading her’s the TL;DR version:

Went to Greece, rented a Honda CB500X, spent a week riding around the 2nd largest Greek island: Euboea/Evia, found a Tortoise, crossed a creek, got stuck on the beach, sunshine, rain, awesome fun!

Here are a few bonus photos that didn’t make it’s way to the article.

Hope you like it and as usual feel free to like, comment and subscribe!

Thinking about doing something similar and have some questions? I’ll be happy to help!

And…we’re back!

Hi there everyone!

Is anyone still on that side of the line?

….

Anyone?

….

Hey, there you are!

The one lonely MultipleRoadDisorder reader that survived the months and months of boring emptiness and endless re-reading of mildly interesting old posts.
If you made it this long you’ll be thrilled to know I’m back. Sadly without the Multistrada that originated the creation of this blog.

In the nearly 11 months since my last post much has happened, some good, some bad but all of it leading to this update.

Let’s start by the end, because that makes more sense, obviously.

What am I riding now?

A 2006 Yamaha FZ1S and the trusty LML Star 125.

What happened to the CBR929?
Sold it a couple of months after buying it. Didn’t like it.

What happened to the Ducati?
I hadn’t ridden it much lately and decided on selling it and getting a Speed Triple 1050, one of my all time favourites. Perfect for a bit of weekend fun and the odd trackday.

So why didn’t I get the Triumph?
A couple of days before I closed the deal on a 2012 Speed Triple a duo of assholes broke into my building cut the 3 locks on the bike and stole my Multistrada!
Leaving me without bike or the money to buy the Triumph!

Seriously!?!
Yes, seriously.

What happened after?
Well, after I called the police, supplied them with the CCTV footage and cried silently for a bit. I went online, spent over 300€ on locks for a bike I no longer had, upgraded insurance policy on the LML and starting looking for a cheap replacement for the Ducati. Those lowlifes might have stolen my bike but I refuse to let them steal my lifestyle and passion!

And…
Turns out I have even “awesomer” friends than I thought who, out of the blue, started a GoFundMe campaign to collect donations to help get me back on a bike.
You can check it out here: Ricardo’s Stolen Bike
The main target set was 2.000€, and although we are far from reaching it I was still widely amazed by the generosity of friends and anonymous people who parted with their hard earned money to help get a bit of my bike back. I am forever thankful to everyone who contributed and I hope I can one day repay all the love I got!

With the money from GoFundMe and a help from my GF I dove into the rabbit hole that is the classified adds websites.
With newer bikes out of the picture due to budget constraints, the shortlist was limited to Japanese bikes (no matter what some people try to tell you, old Euro bikes are not as reliable as Japanese… I’ve had both and as much as I prefer the character of a Euro bike, right now I just want something that a decade or more down the line, still works as well as it did when it first left the factory.)

This eliminated old Triumph Speed Triples, Sprint ST, Aprilia Tuonos or Futura and obviously Ducatis. Played around with the idea of a BMW K1200 but that only lasted a minute. (Anything below 4000€ had way too many kms and would become too expensive when something inevitably went wrong.)

Queue the Japanese brands:

Suzuki:
GSXRs: Not my kind of bike…
Bandits: A great cheap and reliable option but with the exception of the 400 (impossible to find for sale here) it is just to plain and boring
GSXF’s: Come on, seriously! Have you looked at them?
TL1000s: Yeah… rotary rear damper…no!
SV1000s: Yes, love them! Bit above budget, but definitely on the shortlist.
SV650s: Yes, the sharper looking version, also love it. In the shortlist.

Kawasaki:
ZZR1400: Too expensive, I’ve had one already and way overpowered for Dutch roads.
ZZR1200: As above but cheaper and uglier.
ER6: Decent budget option and a great learner bike. Without wanting to sound snob but I feel like I’ve outgrown this kind of bike and the parallel twin is by far my least favourite engine configuration.
Z750: Decent bike but most of the ones I saw for sale looked tired. Then seem to attract a peculiar kind of owner.
Z1000: The old quadruple exhaust version was definitely close to the top of the shortlist.
Z1000SX: Too expensive
ZXRs: I do like the like the looks some of them but I know I would hate to live with one.

Honda:
CBR1100XX: Cheap but like the ZZR1400, overpowered and heavy for Dutch roads and track and I’ve also already have owned one.
VTR1000Firestrom: At the top of the shortlist, had a look at a couple but being almost 20years old most required to much TLC (Tires, chain kits, etc) bringing up the apparently low initial acquisition cost.
CBR600F: Overinflated prices, bland looks.
Hornet600 and 900: looked into a couple as a serious option…one of my mates rides a 600, so decided to get something different.

Yamaha:
The only major Japanese brand I’ve never owned so why not now?
FZ6: a decent option, one of my mates has one. I rather go for something different
R1: love the 2004-2006 swing arm, but RRs are not my thing
R6: too small and revvy for road use
FZ9: I love a triple engine but these are still too recent and expensive

FZ1: The lovely R1 swingarm and derive 1000cc, 150hp engine, semi-fairing, agile…. good value, found my bike!

I present you: The “insert name” 2006 Yamaha FZ1!

2017-04-10 17.03.45

The polls are open for naming my “new” bike, so if you have any suggestion, feel free to leave it in the comments below, and if you liked this update, like share and subscribe.

Thanks!

Fun times with the Multistrada

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Sorry guys, been quite busy the last few weeks and haven’t had much time for updates. If you follow me (and The Rider’s Digest) on Instagram you’ll have seen a bit of what I’ve been doing and hopefully soon I’ll be able to send some more updates your way.

In the meantime, this is what I was doing last friday. Fun times with the Multistrada on track. The lean angle is measured with the Pirelli Diablo app for iPhone so not 100% precise, but this is about the lean angle at which the Multi starts to deck out with knee down and pegs scrapping on both sides.

Next event I have schedule is a MotoGymkhana experience on the 19June – that should be fun! But I am really keen on trying to get back on track at least one more time this Summer.

So…this happened! Harley Davidson Street Glide

Yes it’s true, after years of bad jokes about Harleys I finally got the opportunity to try one myself. Potentially resulting in a public apology for all my previous unfounded opinions on the subject.

Of course, given the opportunity to try just one bike I went for one of the quintessential Harley cruisers: the Street Glide!

2016-04-23 12.23.48 HDR (Copy)

Has my opinion on Harley’s changed after the 20min test-ride?

Humm, yeah, sort of!

Just standing still the Street Glide looks majestic, the deep black paint reflecting the moody skies above, combined with the mirror like finish of the immaculate chrome. Have no idea how well the finish would cope with the Dutch winter but on a new bike it looks great.

Seating on the bike and starting it bike seems more complex than necessary. The remote fob replaces the need for a proper key (like in my Multistrada) but the staring procedure involves rotating a knob on the triple clamp to unlock the steering, then switching the engine cut-off switch to ON and finally pressing a separate starter button!

Chromed steering lock knob in the middle below the Touchscreen dash and starter/hazard switch and cut-off switch on the right hand side handlebar.
Chromed steering lock knob in the middle below the Touchscreen dash and starter/hazard switch and cut-off switch on the right hand side handlebar.

The bike comes to life with a fantastic sound, shaking and rumbling all over. Standing her up of the side stand the weight becomes obvious and unlike most heavy bikes, doesn’t disappear when you get a move on.

It’s like it was designed to not hide it’s weight. Everything feels substantial: the grips are thicker than usual, the switchgear is oversized, the gear, clutch and brake levers are massive and thick.
The clutch action is heavy and the gearbox is clunky. It accelerates briskly but nothing close to fast – think more of sporty car acceleration and less motorbike – cornering is a affair best planned ahead and so is braking. The combined braking system using the foot actuator (70%front brake + 30% back brake) doing a decent job of slowing down the massive thing, the front brake lever though seems to not do much unless you have forearms like a Swedish lumberjack.

2016-04-23 12.27.20 (Copy)

But then you ignore all the things that make it different from most bikes and start to enjoy it for what it is: a cruiser.
And for cruiser I must say it felt brilliant.
The top dashboard is beautiful with it’s classic truck like styling and the lower section has a great touchscreen with Navigation, Radio & MediaPlayer. On the right hand side a small compartment is designed to fit your smartphone, with a USB Port for connectivity.
The dash is easily controllable with both Touchscreen and buttons on the sides. There is also a joystick next to your left thumb that you can use to skip song/radio and adjust volume, simple but effective!

The only other bike I’ve ridden that was equipped with a radio was the BMW K1600GT and although I loved the bike, I hated the Radio. For some reason trying to focus on riding the bike fast while having the speakers blaring outside the helmet was confusing my senses and I ended up shutting it off and just listening to the six cylinder soundtrack.
In the HD however it’s a completely different affair, you’re hardly ever going to be making an effort to go fast so the music surrounding you has you cruise along feels perfectly natural and adequate.

At the end of the day, am I ready to get a Harley? Definitely not!

Did I enjoy riding the Street Glide? Most certainly yes! It feels brilliant at what it does, cruising & relaxing. Forget any kind of sporty pretensions, rush to get somewhere or desire to hit the twisties. A sports bike is like sex, the HD is like having a warm apple pie when you’re really huyngry. One does not replace the other but they are both pretty damn good feelings!

Finally a big thanks to Harley Davidson Amsterdam for giving me the opportunity to test-ride the bike. The staff there is a bunch of really nice guys and the shop is a really nice place to spend some time, be it staring at all the shiny bikes or just having a great cup of coffee.

Another Greasy Saturday – Oil Change on the Multistrada TimeLapse

Another greasy spring saturday getting the bikes fully prepped for the season. Yesterday was the Multi’s time to get new oil, filter and the chain cleaned and adjusted.

Made a small time-lapse with the Mobius Camera:

Pardon the crude editing but spent enough time working on the bike to waste the rest of the weekend on the laptop editing the recording… have to ride!