Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Lone Wandering Walton .........

Time for another pootle me think's...............

Here's  my SS1000 "Leap of Faith" route starting at 5 past midnight tonight.



Image taken from MapSource


I hope it works as it will be running from the dreaded iPhone, just need to remember to keep it plugged in this time and reset if I get a text or call aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhgggggggggg!

Have visions of my National Parks ride wuzzing round my head now, damn....

Anyway if anyone is out and about I'll be taking the following route

Rochdale M62/M6/M5, GordanosM4, ClacketsM25, Berwick-upon-Tweed M11/A1(M), Glasgow M8/M74/M6, Rochdale M61/M62.

Give me a wave if you spot me.............

Butte du Lion. IBA UK February 2012 RTE in Belgium



"Love you Dad"

"Love you sweetheart"

Just hearing those word's, feeling those little arms wrap around me from behind and give me a great big squeeze was almost enough to make the numb bum and aching back all worthwhile.


Yes Ben & I were on the road again this weekend, riding over to Belgium to attend the IBA UK's, & Ben's for the fact, first European Ride to Eat of 2012 at the Butte du Lion the memorial built on the exact spot the battle of Waterloo was fought.


As Ben was at school until 3.30pm on Friday I decided to make it a really special "Dad's & Lad's" trip by booking us on the Hull to Rotterdam overnight crossing. This included en-suite cabin, dinner on arrival/boarding and a full breakfast before departure.  I'd also booked us into the Ibis Waterloo Hotel for Saturday night so even before leaving home all accommodation was set. I find this takes off so much pressure of not knowing whether there will be rooms available and you can usually get a great room rate if you plan well in advance. On the occasion it reduced the room from 62 Euro's a night to 40 Euros so with all the logistics planned it was just a case of sorting a route.


The ride over to Hull from Rochdale is a real doddle straight across the M62 making it a straight hour and half ride. Looking at MapSource I realised this was going to be a great ride for Ben as Waterloo is only 120 miles from Rotterdam.

At first I planned  to head over to Arnhem and visit the WW2 museum, then I plotted a wet weather rouet straight to the Waterloo hotel and then the alternative, sightseeing route island hopping due south down the coast road. So with a selection of routes uploaded into the Garmin 660 that was another box ticked.

As ever the last job to be sorted out  is personal  kit. The panniers always have my "Emergency Kit" packed in them.  My "Emergency Kit List" comprises of:-

·         First Aid Kit

·         Tool Kit

·         Puncture Repair Kit

·         Bivi Bag

·         Jet-Boil Cooker

·         1Litre Flask of Water

·         Boil-in-the-bag Food Selection

·         Assorted Instant drink Mixes - Hot Chocolate/Tea/Coffee (pre mixed sachets)

·         Spare Head-Over

·         Spare Waterproof Gloves x two pairs

·         Fleece Jacket

·         Long Sleeve High Visibility Jacket that fits over my bike jacket

·         Tinted Visor or Clear dependant on which I have fitted at the time

·         Bag of Tricks -  which could have its own list.


After Ben's little mishap with the Gerbings Heated Gloves on Sunday, I called Martin on Monday -first thing. Martin at Powered Adventures was straight on to Gerbings UK Supplier who in turn called me directly on Wednesday morning. I had a very good conversation with Dan who after asking what set up I had and how the gloves had been before the problem of overheating said he was happy to have a look at the gloves and get the problem resolved as the gloves even on full blast should not exceed 55 degrees.   

I explained that Ben & I were heading out this weekend and Dan did no more, he couriered a replacement set of gloves out over night. Now that's the sort of service worthy of a positive mention. Last job pack a few clothes for the weekend, Gazelle's - check, Fred Perry - Check, sock's - check, grollies - check, well you get the idea.

So Friday 3.30pm arrived and Jeannie picked Ben up  from school, when they got home I could sense there was something amiss. Ben was a little apprehensive about going away and leaving Lilie Rose & his Mum for a full weekend. After a little chat he realised they would be fine and got his clobber on. The gloves went on but he asked if he could leave them switched off at first as he was still nervous about using them after last week. Fair comment and the gloves remained off, not the heated jacket mined, he loves that jacket.

5pm our goodbyes said we headed onto the M62 straight into the Friday rush hour traffic, bliss! Mind with a 50 mph average speed limit all the way from just before Huddersfield to well past Leeds the traffic was moving quite well and it only felt like a couple of minutes later that we were filling up just past the dock, doing a U-turn and being loaded onto the Pride of Hull. Mind you, I did make the mistake of going to the terminal thinking I had to pick up the tickets but was sent straight to the loading area.

Onboard it was a "Tie your own bike down Sir" scenario from the deck hand. As we were the only bike on the ship I had more rope and space than you could shake a stick at. Still wish I had taken a couple of ratchet tie-downs though. My knot tying is not up to much at the best of times.

After walking back to the bike as I'd left the boarding passes and the all important room key in the handlebar bag, I went back up stairs to Ben who'd already been harassed by three drunken youths asking him if he was "Disabled!" There are some real planks about at times.

Finding the two quilts screwed up on the floor with the pillows on top of them and fresh bedding lying on the bed did not impress me one iota but being the way I am I just got stuck in and made the bed. After a few minutes chilling out and getting changed  we headed out to explore what the Pride of Hull had to offer.

Two very noisy bars, full of "Hen Party Girls" & what looked to be a fair few "Stag Party Chaps".

"Looks like it's going to be a lively night in there tonight Ben"

"What, what did you say, I can't hear you for the shouting"

"Shall we go and have some dinner?"

"When I've had a look in the shops" that's my Boy, like farther like son!


Dinner was a rather nice buffet with a couple of roasts and a couple of tasty curries which we went for. That was after having a couple of popadoms with chutney, mint yogurt and red onions to start.  Ben tucked into a nice slice of chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream for dessert all washed down with a diet cola. I partook in half a bottle of the House Red which turned out to be a very nice Merlot.

Dinner polished off it was rapidly heading to 8.45pm and time for another look around the ferry. As we left the restaurant we were both very pleased we had gone in so early as the queue was 4 deep and well over  20 foot long.

The bar's were now so noisy we had one cola and a pint in my case and found a couple of seats near the TV to watch the new series of Benidorm. That was a waste of time as neither  of us could hear a word due to a "Singer" in the bar giving it their all. Much to the delight of the afore mentioned party goers.

"Time for bed me thinks' Ben"

"What already, it's only 10 O'clock"

That said we were off up to deck 10 passing quite a few teenagers who were being chaperoned around by  their teachers.

As soon as our heads hit the pillows after a nice relaxing shower it were out for the count. Mind Ben did get the best bed as mine was slanting to the floor on one side so I had to face up hill all night.....

Breakfast was great if not a lot busier that evening meal, being woken at 6am UK time was a shock though, don't you just hate losing that hour? Breakfast done, kit packed back into the bag and the call came for drivers to return to their cars. I wondered at that moment how many were still in the breakfast queue. Whilst we untied and loaded up there were three calls for drivers to return to their cars as they were now causing a delay. Strange that as 2 minutes later we in the queue for passport control! "Who was holding who up?" I said to Ben.

As the sun was really shining bright after pulling through Passport Control I pulled over and swapped my visor over, (roll on the release of the new Shoie Neotec).

Pulling away from the control into a series of S bends we were immediately stopped by a squadron of police. There were about 20 of them and for the very first time in my entire life I was breathalysed!  I could not believe it they were checking every single driver that left the ferry.

On board I had asked Ben which route he would like us to take and he had chosen the coast road so that was where we went. A sharp right once 100 meters down the road and we began our island hopping tour of the Belgium coast.

It was not long before Ben spotted his first windmill and so it was a quick detour into the village of Goedereede to "Bag" our first windmill.

Best picture of the weekend
Ben "Bag's" his first Windmill

Arriving at the Delta Paviljoen to find an electric barrier across the entrance was a bit of an anti climax. We tried a few times to gain access but it was not going to let us in. As we pulled away a couple of coaches arrived and up it went. "Git!"

Halfway round the coastal ride I realised we could cut off a fair amount if we just drove straight across the island (there not really islands in the true sense of the word as they are still connected to the main land, but they're not fiords either so I've chosen to call them islands, no offence meant Belgium!).


It just does not get any better than this
Fantastic weather for the end of February

"What do you think Ben, shall we cut straight across and head straight to the hotel?"

"Is it quicker?"

"Yes it cuts out 50KM and saves us a good hours travelling"

"Yer, let's go to the hotel, I've seen enough sea now!"

An hour and a quarter later we rode into Waterloo after travelling along the quietest motorways I have ever ridden on.

Now Waterloo struck me as being a really nice, clean, fresh town, not too big and not too small. I liked it straight away. The Ibis Hotel was really easy to find and pulling up outside the adjoining restaurant to see a blue FJR1300 adorned with all types of IBA Stickers I knew we were not the first to arrive. In reception Werner & Doris were just checking in having arrived minutes earlier. Once checked in the receptionist advised us to park in the Blue Painted Disabled Parking Spaces by the reception window so they could keep a close eye on the bikes for us.

The rooms are clean and tidy with great en-suite facilities. I jumped straight into the shower and Ben got his biking clobber off and settled down to watch TV in jeans and t-shirt. Once I was dressed we headed to the restaurant and a beautiful freshly stone backed "Four Seasons Pizza" with a couple of diet Cola's. I had the common sense to order one between the pair of us having spotted the size of the pizza's one of the other occupants was eating. I was right to do so as Ben struggled to finish his and I was too full to help.

Fed and watered we headed back to the room and donned our biking clobber once more for the short 2.2 mile down to meet the other IBA UK folks at........

The " Butte du Lion"  

Before we had even left the side of the bike Uncle Ron appeared to give Ben a great big hug.

 "Great to see you again Big Lad, good ride over"

"Yer, not bad"

And with that we all headed over to meet the rest of the attendees. It was a great turn out with riders there from all over the UK, Germany, France, Belgium and as ever my good friend Philip from Switzerland who arrived a little later.

We all had a good old natter, Ben was kept entertained by Uncle Ron's "Blackberry Play-Pad" (I think that's what you called it Ron, sorry if I got it name wrong). Then it was off up to the top or the "Butte de Lion" well at least for the brave or should that be fool hardy, I'm not too sure.

At the top we all took a mad flurry of pictures with Ben chomping at the bit to run back to the bottom and climb the 220 odd steps again, for some inexplicable reason!

The intrepid few that did the hill

IBA UK Feb 2012 RTE
Waterloo in Belgium



Outside we took the all important IBA UK RTE Photo, then everyone does as they do headed off in all directions. Uncle Ron, Kevin, Lyn, Deb's & Steve all headed back to the Euro Tunnel, about 10 of us headed back the Ibis Hotel for a great night of swapping stories, eating good food and having an all round brilliant night in the bar. Even Ben enjoyed it, learning to count to ten in German really made his evening fly by. Mind it was soon 9.00pm and it time to go up the wooden hill to bed for Ben,  half an hour watching TV while Dad had his last beer in the bar (popping up every 10 minutes or so, as you do, to settle you mind) then I followed in Bens footsteps.

Having had a thoroughly enjoyable evening it felt a little sad to be saying good bye to the remaining "Party Goers" but all good  things have to come to an end. However for Ben & I there was one last interesting thing to do. We were heading over to Ypres to visit the WW1 sites dotted around the city and to see the Hooger Crater, Hill 62, The Menin Gate & Flounders Fields(the museum is closed till midyear so we left this off until later in the year).

Arriving at the Hooger Crater we parked up and I could not believe it there was a Mitsubishi Pickup with a RBLR Member sticker on the back window. Within minutes we were chatting with three English chaps, one of which lived just up the road, two of whom had marshalled the 2009 RBLR 1000 which had been the start to all my IBA escapades,  what a small world hey!




Hooge Crater Museum




Hill 62 Canadian Memorial




Sanctuary Wood Cemetery




The Menin Gate



Well, having toured around the area taking in so much history we were both in need of the loo. Now trying to find a service station open in Ypres on a Sunday afternoon is nigh on impossible. Pulling into the central square car park for the third time I spotted a biker at the side of his black and chrome beast having a "tab".

"Excuse me mate, do you know if there are public any loo's about" I asked in that "matter of fact, everyone should speak the Queens English approach all Brit's abroad have"

"No, you will have to go in one of the bar's" he replied in a "hacked off for being spoken to" tone

"Oh, fair enough, can you do me a favour and take a picture of us on the bike please" (manners are the way forward, works every time).

"Grunt, Yer will this do" moving away from his bike to get us in the picture.

"That will do great, Ta"


"Dad's n Lad's in Ypres


Picture taken he handed me back my camera and turned to walk back to his beast of a bike with the Chrome Skull mounted on the front mudguard. It was only then that  I noticed he was a "Full Patch Member"

Whoop's, now I know why he was so gruff but fair dues he took a cracking picture. Many thanks' if your reading Mr Angel!

After a spot of rather nice lunch and a wee, we once again climbed aboard Mr. T and headed for the Euro tunnel.  We arrived at 5 minutes to 3 and left at 3.20pm through the "Time Machine" as Ben calls it as we arrived back in the UK half an hour earlier than we set off, now how cool is that then!

Filling up at the terminal, we made great progress all the way to just north of Grantham, a massive 205 straight miles in the saddle for one real true grit Iron Butt 10 year old little boy called Ben .

Ben you are an absolute Gem and I love every bone in your body. Thank you from your soft old Dad for making this weekend one of the most enjoyable experiences we have had together in forever.

"Now get up stairs and tidy your bloody room, it a chuffing tip"

"Only kidding sweetheart, only kidding" x x x

Here's a cracking shot of Uncle Ron
heading to the sumit of
"Butte du Lion"

So to summarise.

The Gerbings Jacket Liners and gloves did a brilliant job with no reoccurrence of the last weekend. So much so that I tried the new gloves on the way back. They fit a treat and have since bought them so we are both fully kitted out.

Ben rode his biggest straight mileage without stopping a whooping 205 miles, which I am so proud of him for. Even if his bum was numb and he couldn't feel his legs. Just remember our little saying Ben.

"Wiggle Your Bum so it doesn't go numb" and you will be OK.

Now to get sorted for my next little adventure.............................. but more of that later! TTFN Folk's!




"We will remeber them"

Monday, 27 February 2012

The XT1200Z Tank Conversion Project - Part 2

Well as I promised the Yamaha Super Tenere Forum members the 10,000 Blog Hit post will be a full update on the XT1200Z Tank Conversion Project.

Jaxon of  www.rideonadv.com has been very busy working away over in the U.S.A. on the tank that I bought from eBay. If you missed the original post here it is at The XT1200Z Tank Conversion Project page. Now rather than me try and prattle on about how the job and how it has gone I will go with the old but very true phrase........

"A picture paints a 1,000 words" so without further ado here's the story so to date.............




Take one brand new XT1200 petrol tank





Remove all trace of paint from the work area




Mark up the cutting area




Insert spacers and tack-weld together





Over-view with inserts in place




Make further cuts to increase volume further




Add more infills and weld fuel tight




Overview of expanded tank




Polished tank ready for the body shop


Now as far as projects go this has got too be the biggest I have undertaken with the Super Tenere and I'm pleasure to say dealing with such a professional operator as Jaxon as been a true pleasure. So a I would like to pass on a massive thank you to you Jaxon for all your hard work, dedication and the skill you have invested into my new and improved true Super Tank.



OH! I forgot to mention the capacity well it is now an Un-official 8 U.S. Gallon Tank and for us Europeans that is a fantastic 30.23 Litres up from the 23 it originally was.



In "Wandering Walton's" terms that is an amazing increase from 240 mile range to a very impressive 333 mile's. Now as 3 is my lucky number I have taken that as a touch of very positive "Fate".



Now it's all down to the guy's at the "Body Shop" to work their magic and create a masterpiece.















Monday, 20 February 2012

Little Ben meet’s Big Ben




“Bloody Men”

“Now what?

“Where’s the futon mattress?”

“Oh.......... sh1t! Sorry I forgot”

“I’ll give you forgot, an old woman in Aldi car park thought I’d lost the plot. Full trolley and the bloody boot is full with a damned futon mattress. Thanks for that!”

Hay ho, back to reality with a bang after a fantastic trip down to the Ace Cafe.

Ben & I were up at 6.30am ready and on our way by 7 heading West across the M62 and then due South down the M1. The M62 is a pain at the minute with a “average” 50mph speed limit from Saddleworth Moor all the way to the A1 South so I was running late for my 8.30 meet with Gaz from the Adventure Biker Rider Forum. As it happens we were only 10 minutes late but made good time down the M1. Ben’s new heated Gerbings Jacket Liner was doing a great job but the gloves weren’t, and his hand got very cold till I realised I’d turned them off by accidently putting the portable dual controller back into his pocket at the petrol stop just north of London.


The start of a Fantastic day in London 

Arriving at the Ace Cafe 40 minutes later, Gaz pulled up, dismounted and was gone, never to be seen again. I would have liked to have said thanks for the company (so Thank You Gaz if you’re reading this). A couple of photo’s and it was over the road to have a look around. Ben was having a ball surrounded with so many OverLanders Motorbikes fitted out with every accessory known to man. From home made hand guards made out of 5 gallon plastic cartons, to sheep skin covered seats to a Honda Moped that had been to Australia and back. It was one amazing gathering. Ther are lots of photo's on the Adventure Bike Riders Forum.


Some many bikes, so little parking


It’s the first time I have visited the meeting but after calling in at the Horizons Unlimited meeting held last year in Belper, Derbyshire each year I had a good idea what to expect. Postings about the forthcoming meeting on the ABR Forum had reached fever pitch the day before (48 emails in one afternoon – note to self- unsubscribe to topic). After a few minutes I spotted Phil waving to us from the midst of the crowd.  It was nice to meet up with a few familiar faces and made Ben feel right at home, not that he didn’t already mind, but nice all the same. I turned round to find my best mate Ron stood directly behind us having just arrived. Now how is that for good karma!

After a quick chat with the assembled IBA folks Ben was ready for a drink and a bite to eat so we headed over to join the queue which extended clear out the door. Thank you to the chap with the cap on who pointed out we could queue from both ends, speeding our service by 20 minutes. Top man, keep up the good work.

Brew in hand we took a seat at one of the tables after standing around 5 minutes, the bacon and egg butties came out.

“Number 479”

“Number 479”

“NUMBER......”

“OVER HERE”.................. whoops did I shout that loud, the whole cafe went silent for just a second and looked at me. Ben hung his head thinking “I’m not with him”

I forget sometimes how loud I can go, down to too long in the army shouting for a living I guess.

Now once the hot chocolate had cooled down and butties devoured Ben & I went over for a chat with Sam who had his own little stall set up. I got to meet Birgit for the first time. Seems odd now but I sometimes forget they don’t really know me all that well but having read Sam’s book I feel like I’ve know them for years. Mind I did first meet Sam at the NEC in 2009 so it is technically a couple of years and as we chat from time to time by email I suppose I do get lost with my thoughts. Sam introduced me to Paddy Tyson telling me all about his many “Hat’s” that of Veteran Overlander, Magazine editor and head of M.A.G. I was even more star struck than Ben.


One happy young man, Biker Ben

It was a quick pop upstairs to the loo’s, when I came out I spotted a couple of folks taking pictures from on the roof. I plled through the door with Ben close on my heals only to be told by someone

“You’re not allowed on here, sorry mate”

“Can I just grab a couple of pictures please, Hi Sam” I got the big smile and a nod in response, it worked. (Thank you Mr Manicom)

“Go on then but be quick”

Quick as a flash I had three in the bag, Result!








Now that's what I call a busy Biker Bar 

It didn’t take long outside before Ben was anchoring after a trip to see Big Ben. I’d put a fair few points of interest into the Garmin before we set off but was not really looking forward to traipsing around London looking for them.

“Right folk’s looks like we will be seeing you”

“You off already?” Ron replied

“Yes Ben wants’ to go sightseeing”

“Well I’m off to my sisters soon but need to pick up Jo first”

“Do you fancy showing us round, or pointing us in the right direction?”

“Yes why not”

“Nice one Big Lad, Ben, Uncle Ron’s going to show us London”

“AWESOME”

We started to say our farewells and head to the big when I spotted Old Git Ray’s blue Tenere.

“Ben look that’s Ray’s bike you know the guy I met at Horizons meeting last year. I wonder where .......”

Out pop’s Ray’s head from behind a couple of guys,

“Hello mate, how you doing?”

“Hello, good thanks, and you?”

That was it we were off, much to the disgust of Ben who was now chomping at the bit to get on the road, London was waiting.

Ray had a good look at Ben’s Gerbings Jacket Liner then came over to Mr. T to see the bike in the flesh. Lifting Ben clean of the floor and putting him down behind him so he could see where I have mounted the heat controller. Ben thought this was well funny.

Ron rolled up and it wasn’t long before I had Ben sorted and mounted. We said our farewells to Ray and headed into the metropolis called London inner city.

I’m not even going to try and describe where Ron lead us but my word I have never seen so many tourist attractions in such a short space of time in my life before. Ben was ecstatic, so much for just pointing us in the right direction Ron took us to every single point I had inputted into the Garmin, and more besides. It was great, stopping to point things out, show us things, and explain what was what and where. Jumping on and off his bike like a man possessed to take pictures of us both.

We had an amazing time, Ron you could give whistle stop guided tours of the London Attractions for a living you were fantastic, thank you.

We saw Battersea Power Station, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Abraham Lincoln, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Nelsons Column, Admiralty Arch, The Mall, Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade Ground, The Royal Arboretum, and on and on............ It was simply the most fantastic Guided Tour of London I could have wished Ben to have had. There were so many closed roads, road works and other obstructions I know if we had been on our own we would have not seen a quarter of what we saw.











Sadly as with all good things it had to come to an end and for us that was on the side of a manic dual carriageway. Ron was heading home and we needed to carry on around the inner circular towards the M11 then on off up the A1. Ron jumped off his bike for the last time and bid us farewell, until next Saturday on Waterloo, Belgium, that is. Picking his wallet up off the floor which had fallen out of his bike suit pocket, bit of good luck there, again Karma looking after us and that was almost that.

Give or take the 225 miles ride home we had in front of us but with so many sights and memories flying around in his head Ben was not fazed one iota. I plugged Bens heated kit back in at this point and he headed out of London.

“Dad, can you pull over” he said just as I reached the A1(M)

“What’s wrong darling?”

“My gloves, there burning my hands”

“Shit, not good! Ok sweetheart, just hold your hands out in the wind, that will help cool them down a bit”

I pulled over at the first parking area luckily just 2 minutes later, pulling the gloves off revealed how red raw the backs of his hands were. I’m annoyed I didn’t think to take a photo but I was too busy using my own freezing hands to cool his down.

I checked the controller and it was almost on full so turned it down to just on. We set off again but it was no good they did exactly the same. This time I just unplugged them from the sleeves, no harm done but I’m not impressed with them at all.  

We stopped at Peterborough Services and had a KFC, Cola, loo break and fill up before finishing the ride in glorious sunshine.

So to sum up, in all honesty with temperatures ranging from 1 degree centigrade up to 8 degrees in London, glorious sunshine all day, fantastic company and an amazing whistle stop tour of London both Ben and I had a wonderful day out on the bike.

Ben completed half a Saddle Sore 1000 in covering 490 miles in 11 hours 35 minutes and is now very keen to complete the illustrious End 2 End. (Land’s End to John‘O’Groats in less than 24 hours).

I need to sort my speedometer out as for some reason when I wired in the Gerbings wiring looms direct to the battery it switched the read out to kilometres per hour, mind you, with so many ride to Europe coming up in quick succession I may well just leave it for the time being. Odd though that it has switched itself! It even gives me KM per litre how clever is that then?


Little Ben Meets Big Ben 

Foot notes.

I’ve since tried the gloves on myself and no matter what setting on two separate controllers I use the panel on the back of my hand gets unbearable hot! I called Martin and he has passed on my contact details to Gerbings to get in touch. No response as yet I’ll keep you posted. 

Speaking to Dave the mechanic at Keith Dixon Motorcycles where I bought Mr. T all I need to do to revert back to miles per hour is hold in the two buttons on the clocks and switch the ignition back on. Simples! So Mr. T will be running in KM for the foreseeable. 

I wonder if my raffle ticket number 502 won anything? 

Finally I would just like to dedicate this Blog entry to my best friend Ron, I won’t forget what you did for Ben in a long time.

(P.S. Please pass on my apologies to Jo and your sister for making you so late. Sorry Ladies!)


What a fantastic surprise, we got a mention in Sam's write up Ace Cafe Adventure Travel Day, thank you Sam.


Sam Manicom,
Overlander Extrorinar, Writer and
all round Great Guy

Check out his fantastic new web site

   It's here!!! The new site www.sam-manicom.com 
For useless information about Sam,
and some very helpful information on his Adventure Motorcycle Travel Books.
Excerpts, Readers' Feedback, Reviews, Photos and much more on all of his books
'Into Africa', 'Under Asian Skies', 'Distant Suns' and now... 'Tortillas to Totems'


Book News! Sam's books are all now available in e-book format.
Check out Kindles on Amazon.com and .co.uk
Please do link up with Sam on Facebook - lots going on on his pages. 












Friday, 17 February 2012

I came over all "Nick Sanders" today ......

Having just swapped out three rusty allen bolts up front and given Mr. T a good jet washing, all I can say is, “I did come over all Nick Sanders” (in a good way mind Nick) and went mad with the stickers.

The stickers have been sat in the garage for quite a while and having had Jaxon fire me over half a dozen just made it impossible not to adorn my trusty stead with them. So out came the box and away I went.


As Jaxon would say Mr. T looks “Awesome!”.  

I had a couple of hours in the garage with Mr. T yesterday fitting the Gerbings Heated Jacket Liner wiring looms and mounting the portable controller for my jacket near the seat lock. The looms were a doddle to fit running the wires under the tank and then under the seat meant a really neat finish. Sadly I found I need at least two extension leads to ensure it’s easy to plug the jackets in.


Very tidy if I do say so myself

Whilst I was in there I also mounted the Action Cam that I’ve owned for a couple of years now. I hardly ever use it but it’s nice to know the mount is there just in case.


Roll camera, action......

 I thought I’d better give the new additions a quick ride out before our trip down to the Overlander Adventure Tour Bike Day at the Ace Cafe on Sunday 21st February so headed into Rochdale. All I can say is "WOW!" the heat from the jacket is simply amazing, I had to stop twice to turn the heat down. Warm arms, front, back and neck, these Gerbings Heated Jacket Liners are simply amazing. The only question I have to ask myself is "Why on earth has it taken me so long to buy one?"

If you are toying with the idea of buying a heated jacket, as I did for some considerable time, "Just do it!". It will be the best investment you make in a very long time. Don't just take my word for it call and speak to Martin at Powered Adventures.

Finally my "Man in America" is busy working away on the petrol tank project and all is going to plan. I will be dedicating the 10,000th Blog Hit page to The XT1200Z Tank Conversion Project so just keep watching this space for further updates.......


Here's to the final piece of the puzzle......