I always look back with great fondness at the tests and the pleasure and experiences that I had through the year. This was a challenging year again due
to the continuing problems in producing semiconductors for bikes (and cars) with the lack of availability of demo bikes from main dealers. They are simply not getting them or are all sold immediately online. I had to put my best Oliver Twist impression on and ask for “more” often throughout the year!
I also wanted to broaden the articles and this gave me an opportunity to do so. March was an article regarding contributory negligence “Where there’s blame”. This is a matter for two wheeler riders of any type. Insurers often look at two wheelers as being partly to blame for any accident, as a starting point. Each case is fact sensitive but a robust response is always necessary. The key is to take a keen interest in the detail of each case and obtain witness evidence as quickly as possible then be patient and to persevere.
April saw me riding the Honda NT 1100 which is meant to be a Super Blackbird replacement. This is a supremely comfortable, nimble for its size, powerful and accomplished mile muncher. Difficult to fault. May saw me on the eagerly awaited ride on the upgraded Moto Guzzi V7 850 up from the previous 750 cc capacity. Guzzi have done for this bike what Triumph has done for the Bonneville and upgraded the engine to answer previous concerns that the bike itself was great but it was 46 slightly underpowered. This did the trick, characteristically different and all in black.
June saw an article particularly aimed at cyclists. There are many similarities to acting for motor bike and scooter riders, with cyclists, but cyclists also have their own unique difficulties in relation to cycling law and accidents generally. Speed can be a safety factor for scooter or motorcycle riders in certain instances on the road, but not for cyclists. Cyclists can be particularly vulnerable to road rage incidents from car drivers and highway defects. Fortunately cyclists are very high up the new Highway Code list for priorities on the road. About time. I was pleased to notice, after the new code, an obvious change in the attitude of most drivers towards cyclists.
July I was on the Triumph Tiger Sports 660 and later in November on its roadster brother the Trident 660. It was tallrounder versus naked roadster with different styles but the same main chassis/engine and exhaust. Both very good bikes indeed and depends upon your preferred use and the amount of weather protection that you need. This is called the light middleweight class!
Despite the heat in August I couldn’t get a demo run for love nor money. I thought I would revisit my first ever article in April 2015 and cross-reference that with my own bike which was the same bike a Honda VFR 800 X Crossrunner.
September and October saw me on the smooth Suzuki GSX – S1000GT and the Jolly pop around town Vespa Primavera 125 scooter. Two different ends of the spectrum – both bring a smile to your face in doing their jobs admirably. December saw my retelling of an August bank holiday lads run out to the borders. Marvellous.
Best bike? I’m afraid my heart goes to the Moto Guzzi V7. For me, a great blend of heritage/modernity for this retro roadster. Best pitstop diner? Unfair competition but it has to go to the Buccleuch Arms (Babotie meal) in Moffat. Unfair because that was an overnight stay and not a quick stop at one of the honourable mentions I can give being Pranzo in Whitley Bay, Factory Kitchen in the Ouseburn and Wheelbirk’s Parlour in Northumberland.
Massive shout outs to Triumph Newcastle, Honda Newcastle and Motech in Byker for being able to provide me with “more” demo bikes in my hour of need. Your reward will be in heaven! More of the same hopefully next year!
Thanks for reading. Mark.
Mark Hipkin is a Partner/ Head of the Personal Injury and Civil Litigation department. He welcomes your e-mails or calls on the law (or your biking experiences) at email@example.com or call 0191 2533509.