So after squeezing the family into the mother in law’s tiny Japanese car (that does not turn into a robot) I set off on my Meteor to ride across the country. I’m going to break this down into my thoughts on certain parts of the experience as it’s probably easier (and you can skip to sections if you want).
The general ride:
Ok this was actually fairly good as the vast majority of it was on A roads and even when we did go onto the A1(M) and M1 itself the Meteor really had no issues keeping up with the traffic. An awful lot of people generally don’t seem to be going above 65 anyway l, often slower! This was roughly the same on the return journey too. I can’t comment if this was a result of the location or just a total coincidence. I also didn’t use much fuel on the trip either, having nearly filled it to full (probably 14-14.5L in the tank) I added an extra 4L in at Moto Blyth and had roughly 10L (reserve of 5L + 5L) remaining which I didn’t need to refill until the day before coming home.
Did I mention I got to go on a boat? Probably about 500 times already! But here it is if you haven’t already been subjected to my enthusiasm.
The comfort factors:
- The seat – I think roughly 3.5 hours is my maximum time in the saddle as after that my butt starts to hurt. Ok, I might not be the biggest hunk of a dude out there so on that basis I’m sure someone can do better. I just have the stock seat and I’m unsure exactly how the tour seat would make a huge difference yet, investigations will need to be made. I swear on the return home I had a butt-pack…. This wasn’t helped by the return journey ending on the horrific A17.
- Cold/Hot – I had to take a gamble on the gear to take as it looked like it was going to be cold for the journey up and at least one day of rain. I took winter gear without my trouser linings. For the most part it performed absolutely fine with the exception of Nidderdale. The wind was pretty much constant on the return journey, cold and seemed to be sweeping in from my left. At one point my leg got so cold it started shaking and I couldn’t stop it until Harrogate, it didn’t warn up until Weatherby services.
- Noise – I tried out some disposable ear plugs and found them a great way to reduce wind noise, especially in the motorway. In an oversight on my return journey I had forgotten to put them in until Weatherby and really noticed the difference. I think I need to invest in a bulk pack.
Ok let’s not go there, well in fairness it’s mainly because it mirrors Google maps which, has a new and horrific architecture. It will not divert you without warning, for anyone using a mobile you get the option, not for those of us using the RE/Tripper app. Many times on the way home it kept trying to send me towards the A66 rather than the route I had already selected, I had to manually navigate to Kirby Lonsdale until it stopped doing so. While I feel it’s unfair to blame Tripper for this as it’s ‘The Google’ who are responsible, there needs to be a way to potentially prevent this in app. Why would we get the option of choosing how to be routed in the RE app, when it will ultimately ignore us??
What could I have done better?
For starters I really need to think about my foot rests, I have the stock ones because my original boots were kinda race-esk so I could roll forward/back off the pegs to change gear. Since changing to much better boots that allow me to walk properly, I’ve noted I can’t do this as easily and need to physically move my feet (the horror). I think investing in the wider touring pegs could really help the comfort factor, especially in the cold and on longer rides. A future purchase probably, if I can find them for the right price!
I noted that in certain circumstances, while climbing hills (which I will expand on in future) the mirrors dud seem to get a jiggle on like hell. I’m told the tour mirrors help to prevent this but I am not totally convinced, some more research is needed!
Luggage, my trusty bag (courtesy of Sir Classic Rider) was chosen for the trip as it has a larger capacity for my waterproofs+additional tools. For any future Warhammer related visits requiring the deployment of ‘Heavy Support’ choices, larger and purposeful panniers will be needed. I’ve seen quite a few that can be mounted directly to the rear seat rails.