First ride of K.I.T.T

Well…

Bike has been named KITT as she is all black like KITT the car from Knight rider. Her pet name is Oyk, like little oick, as these are the letters on her number plate. Which is fitting as I am a little oick too!

Came home to an empty house, crept into the Garage, and there she was. Got on her, it was very strange thinking I’m going to be sat here every day for maybe 8 months. This is what my life will revolve around (apart from the earth). Very daunted at size to start with.

Picked the staples out of the bottom of the saddle, got an electric carving knife, and carved out 2 inches of foam, popped the cover back over. This meant that I can get one toe on the floor.

I practiced in the garage getting her off the side stand. I could just about do it. The next morning, I gingerly wheeled KITT out of the garage, down the ramp. Got on, and tried to get her off the side stand. After the 4th attempt, I thought damn, what am I to do? I can’t wait another three weeks before I get the lowering links, I want to ride NOW! Did consider wheeling her away into the garage, and admitting defeat, but  tried once more, and we succeeded! Yay! Rode off and had so much fun.

Every junction I came to, If I had to stop, much thought was given as to which foot to put down, watching the camber. Tootled around, refuelled (easy as I can use the kerb of the petrol pump to remount easily).

Went off to the post office, as had a missed delivery slip. Joked to the woman I hope the packet is small. She produced a 2 foot by 1 foot box. Oops! If I was riding my GS500, then this wouldn’t be a problem as have my rok straps and bike is prepped for taking blood boxes. But not the DRZ! So, rode home, jumped in car, went back to collect box. Ebay seller had posted my tank to my home address and not the stated work address. Oops! Drove home, jumped straight back on bike and rode off. Did about 70 miles including a few lanes around pymoor, but these were mud superhighways, so turned back after 400m or so, as if I dropped kitt here, I would never get her back up again by myself. Save the lanes for another day with a group.

Top speed was only 75mph, and checked out the gearing. The front sprocket is 13t and rear 49. No wonder. Means that it is great at low speed but useless for getting higher cruising speeds and fuel economy. Does mean that it wheelies without effort. Knobblies felt strange to start with. Did forget that the old GS has heated grips and toasty muffs, so after two hours wearing only summer gloves on my hands, I had white fingers. The excitement of the new bike cancelled out the cold for a while but I got to a point where I could bearly operate the levers, and it was time to go home for a hot bath and a gallon of tea.

Went out again the next day, the weather was even colder so didn’t go as far. Popped into Red Lodge Transport Caff for a refuel of tea.

and also to Niks to see his incredible trike

So, as mentioned above, the new Tank has arrived, as has manual, oil filter, inner tube. Lowering links are still taking forever in the post. UK customs held onto them for a week, and then parcelfarce now have them, god help me. Will I ever see them?

Last thursday I had the treat of going to see Sam Manicom speak at the Trail Riders Fellowship AGM. He did his talk on Into Africa..

http://www.sam-manicom.com/

His stories are amazing, his one year trip turned into 8 years! I left the meeting trembling with excitement and anticipation after hearing of his exploits in Africa. If you want a fantastic read, then you’ll find Sam’s 4 books on his website, link above.

Also got to meet members of my local TRF. http://www.trf.org.uk/ The organisation represents (responsible) trail riders all over the country. They work to preserve rights of way. Many of these green lanes are ancient roads. Also campaign councils to keep these clear for all users, ramblers, horse riders etc. I hope to go out with them over the next couple of months, and enjoy the local lanes.

No riding this weekend, as yesterday I was at the Excel Bike Show in London. Managed to restrain myself, as am a little skint. Did buy a new chain and sprocket. All though these shows cost an arm and leg to attend, it is good to actually speak to traders and exhibitors, and get a feel for products in the flesh.

and today, we have four inches of snow outside, which is quite something for the fens (I live about 10 metres above sea level). So the roads are not good. Perhaps I should modify my bike to something like this….

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