I remember the feeling of trepidation as I picked up my brand new Yamaha Super Tenere XT1200Z from Keith Dixon Motorcycles in Accrington. Saying farewell to my trusty FJR1300 was tough. I’d not had a single issue with “The Beast” in the 2 years and 40,000 miles of ownership.
So why did I swap such a great bike for the Super Tenere? Good question! Two reasons really first the value of the FJR1300 was about to drop through the floor as soon as I went over 40,000 miles. I’d already been insulted on a number of occasions by various dealers offering me a paltry £4,300 for what was in essence a £9,000 bike only 2 years earlier purely because it had such “high mileage”. The second reason I discovered taking the Super Tenere out for the day whilst the FJR13000 had its 38,000 miles service. It was just so easy to ride, light, nimble but not twitchy and I just loved the riding position. It took all the strain out of my back, shoulders and wrists. Don’t get me wrong The FJR1300 was comfortable and a dream to ride but the Super Tenere just sat me straight up removing all the discomforts that I had been living with for the last 2 years.
Truth be known, I would have loved to have been able to keep the FJR1300 and bought the Super Tenere. Now that would have been an absolutely awesome combination to have in the garage but life’s never quite that perfect. Plus I also know I was just about to embark on a very expensive “Farkling” campaign. Just how expensive was to become apparent over the coming 10 months because that’s how long it took me to change this beautiful black Super Tenere into my Mr T!
Mr T at The Cat & Fiddle
Derbyshire - England
June - So our journey to enlightenment began with me taking J over to her friends to drop of a birthday card for her daughter followed by a ride over to my Dad’s to scrub in the new tyres. Mr T gets his first outing ………… at last! Was my very first Blog about Mr T. I read it now and can truly say I still feel exactly the same the Super Tenere is an amazing bike to ride and now I have finished setting him up perfectly for myself (all be it I’ve still to sort the seat).
July - After doing a few “Farkles” which included, fitting the SatCom1 intercom, fitting the Garmin 660 along with a hand full of “Touratech” goodies it was time for Ben & I to go on our first adventure, Monaco or Bust ……. Bust it is then! The ride flagged up a couple of issues that I had not really thought about but ultimately sent me off at a tangent changing the skid plate, panniers, hand guards and engine bars. Oh to be a normal run of the mill biker who’s happy just having a great bike parked up in the garage. After the bike had fallen over with Ben still sat on it I knew I’d have to re-build Bens confidence in Mr T from scratch.
Ben all set to head to Monaco or so we thought!
Reims - France
I got stuck into getting Ben relaxed on the bike by having the following weekend in Derbyshire, The Wandering Walton’s visit Derbyshire turned out to be just the tonic. We had a brilliant time and it was so nice to take Ben on a tour of my old stomping ground. We both really did have a great time but I could still sense Ben was very nervous to sit on the bike alone, seems only time was going to sort that out.
August - Had me buying and “Fitting Metal Mule Panniers to Mr T” from eBay in silver. Not a great choice but at least the rack would remain even if the panniers were to be sold on to a Triumph Bonneville Café Racer riding photographer in Manchester of all people.
September - I found a brand new pair of black Metal Mules on eBay again belonging to an Paris Dakar Racer called Sean who lived in Cambridge. Mr T’s new Metal MulePanniers was quickly followed by Time to turn on those lights. In fact September saw me fitting quite a few Touratech parts to Mr T. Touratech must have thought their golden chicken had laid its first half dozen egg’s. I went a little mad with lights, guards of every description, screen adjuster, Sat Nav mount, top box and rack, the list went on and on. Still at least J & I had a fantastic if not somewhat wet riding weekend in Moffat with the Manc Riders which was brilliant. 33 Miles to Moffat…… is one of my favourite Blogs of 2012.
Jeannie getting ready for another mooch!
Moffat - Scotland
October - Saw me attending the 2011 Ride to The Wall, RTTR 2011, Fitting AltRider crash bars and skid plate and even announcing that “Mr T is Done!” All I needed to do then was try out all the new toys and so it was off to Colditz in former East Germany. Time to Try out Mr T’s new toys……. Colditz sounds good, the ride turned out to be a very emotional time on a personal front. Meeting two of my children in German for the first time in 18 years.
Mr T & Ron's BMW 1200 GSA taking a brake
Colditz - Germany
November – Mr T had his 6,000 mile service, done! followed later in the month with a ride to the NEC Bike Show 2011 where I met and spoke to both Sam Manicom who I’m still in touch with and Nick Sanders.
December – I did very little with Mr T instead I concentrated on finishing the re-build of Trinity Ben’s 1993 Kawasaki ZXR L1 and finally produced The Wandering Walton’s 2011 Review…. A year of three parts.
January – “Out and about …….. in this weather” saw me visiting my Mum’s grave in Temple Normanton followed by a tour around the Peak District stopping of at The Cat & Fiddle for a coffee before heading home. 6 months of ownership and it was Tyre Time for Mr T. I went with Continental Trail Attacks which I’m pleased to look back and say where brilliant returning 10,000 miles for the £241 invested. The Metzler Tourance had given me 7,500 good miles but the confidence building grip of the new Continental Trail Attacks were something else.
February – Now this is when I really did lose the “Farkling” plot and decided to have a petrol tank fabricated. I was so sick of filling up at 220 miles with a maximum range of 255 miles to almost empty. The XT1200Z Tank Conversion Project got under way and without doubt drew more attention to this Blog than any other post. I tipped over the 10,000 hits mark and was absolutely ecstatic, we even had a celebratory drink I was so chuffed.
I managed to finally get Trinity finished and running only to be covered up again and not touched now for 3 months bar the odd “viewing” by interested visitors. Ben & I headed to the Over-Landers Meeting being held at the Ace Café in London when Little Ben meets Big Ben turned out to be a great day. Ben got his picture taken with Sam, Birgit & Paddy which I’ve got to admit I’m really proud of as their all great people whom I respect immensely. Ron took us on a whistle stop tour of the city which was just out of this world and I’m eternally great full to him for making Ben’s day so magnificent. Only down side was when the heated gloves decided to cook Bens hands as we headed back up the A1. Hey ho, these things are sent to test us and test us they do. Shortly after the Ace Café ride Ben & I took off for weekend in Waterloo at the Butte de Lion. IBA UK February 2012 RTE in Belgium.
Ben trying Mr T on for size, soon Ben, soon!
Ouddorp - Netherlands
As it was a leap year this year I took up Phil’s challenge and rode 1000 miles around the UK on The “Leap of Faith” SS1000 which took 17 hours and 17 minutes after which Jeannie and I went out for tea followed by a couple of pints at our local as it fell on a Wednesday.
March – It’s non-stop in the Walton Household and true to form March was to no different with me riding to Spain and back. Blogging on the way down Rochdale to Reims inthe rain….. and then some followed by The road to Zaragoza on the way home. The best bit of the trip was picking Jeannie up from Alicante airport for a long weekend together, brilliant!
This is close to Eygypt as we can get for now.
Alacante - Spain
As you can imagine Mr T was due some TLC in the form of Mr T's 12,000 mile service, Done! by the end of the last couple of months outings. This was me taking it steady.
April – Our family holiday in Cyprus and The XT1200Z Tank Conversion Project dominated April with me taking a break from big miles for the month. That’s if you don’t count our -We’re on the road to nowhere Safari Cyprus style.
May – Early in Belfast, Breakfast in Cork & Lunch in Letterkenny. Brilliant saw me ride 1000 miles around Ireland and then straight back home. I was planning on riding 4,000 in total 1,000 in each of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom but I got bored. I’d simply spent too much time on my own riding around and not seeing a thing. Still the IBA UK Brit Butt Rally 2012. A Rookies Prospective sorted that issue out good and proper. It is one of the best rides I have ever had only tarnished by Ron’s withdrawal from the event due to an oil pressure light problem. The event is featured in the July issue of Bike Magazine. I’m in the one picture but just the top box and the back of my head. Ron’s BMW1200 GSA taking centre stage. What a way to go out in style as the oil light problem as now been fixed by him buying a Honda Pan European, Top Man. Roll on IBA UK Brit Butt Rally 2013.
Waiting for the ferry home, only 3 hours to wait.
Belfast - Ireland
June – And so here we are 12 months later. Mr T has had a great birthday month being shod in with new tyres. I’m trying Michelin Anakee 2’s this time as I’ve read some great reviews about them. First impressions are not that great in the wet to be honest but that’s because they only have 200 miles on them so far. New tyres were followed by the Mr T's 18,000 mile service... Done! and new rear brake pads. Just top of the celebrations I splashed out on a new The Series II Expedition Redverz Tent which performed magnificently at last weekend’s RBLR1000 ride where I helped Paddy & Vicky by issuing the successful riders their IBA Certificates.
Snug as a bug in a rug.
The Series II Expedition Tent is simply Amazing!
So to conclude, Mr T has covered 18,000 miles in 12 months, had three services working out at 7p a mile servicing/tyre costs, been to 12 different countries and has a new tent. Now that’s what I call being a BIKER is all about! What do you think?
Next weekend we will be at the Horizons Unlimited Meeting being held near Belper where Mr T will be posing for pictures and I’ll be helping Sam out on Recycling Duties (meaning picking up rubbish to me and you). Hope to see you there.
Just keep an eye out for the number plate with “The Wandering Walton’s” along the bottom.
Where brave men dare to ride
Say a fond fairwell to Ron's GSA
Tiered but happy.............
Story of my life!