Five of us went for a trip roughly following Ride Magazine’s 6 Scotland tour and had an excellent time. It’s obvious there is stunning scenery in Scotland but I didn’t know it was that stunning. The roads were empty; up in the west highlands there was nothing on the roads. It felt like we had them to ourselves, and rode our bikes accordingly…
We had a FZ1, CB1000R, Speed Triple, SV650 and, of course, my TDM.
You can find the route here http://www.ride.co.uk/Routes/ and it is also in the ‘Biker’s Britain’ book.
We mooched around the Lake District first, taking in some roads escorted by the Dad of one of our gang, who is a local with expert road knowledge, on his 300cc scooter (plenty fast enough for this area in the wet!).
Honnister Pass is good to take in all the scenery that us southern fairys don’t have where we live.
Loads of other fantastic little roads.
The actual Ride route gets going in the Pennines, but it was wet and foggy when we were there.
Quick rest at the Scottish border where the weather cleared up and the roads over to Moffat were lovely.
The Cairngorms were spectacular but not the best riding roads; a bit of traffic and quite a few straights, but well worth it of course.
On the way to Inverness. Normally being a fair weather rider, I was pleased to discover that rain doesn’t have to stop play!
The route up to the north coast to a village called Tongue was an ace single track A road. It was empty, you could see a long way ahead and with no hedgerows to restrict views you could really have some fun. Have to concentrate though!
Some really nice roads around and very close to the various Lochs.
Durness right up in the north-west had, I think, the most north-western petrol station on the mainland UK. It was self-service, and there was an unmanned shed with oil and other essentials. Not sure what the deal is, there might have been an honesty box or something to pay for the goods.
The coast road down to Ullapool had some ok views I guess…
Action shot of that road
Check this out. The route detoured off the main road (main road… it was still empty!) onto a single track road which was simply brilliant. A lot of this road was like this.
Strangely the route doesn’t include Applecross and we felt it was compulsory to add that on.
Not a hard choice which way to go it is really. Perhaps it was these signs which Morpheus got his idea from, for the red and blue pill in The Matrix…
The way up from the east
View from near the summit
The way down to the village and the excellent pub
Coming out of Glen Coe
The fun ended here. Riding the road towards the camera, this nasty corner appeared which suddenly tightens up and drops away. Our SV man crashed (you can see the black skid mark). The warning chevrons had been taken out by a previous car accident. The farmer in the adjacent field saw it and come over moaning that some of his land had been taken away (he had to move his fence back from the road as people kept crashing there, taking out his fence and then his cows escape into the road) but we had other priorities sorting out our injured comrade! He’s ok apart from a couple of broken vertebrae in his back. The bastard road in question was the B776 between Howwood and Uplawmoor, just south of Glasgow. Please be careful here! The police commented about the high number of accidents on that corner and intend to do something about it. The only warning was a sign that signified that there was a junction on the corner, not that the corner itself was very sharp. Whilst sorting everything out various locals stopped including two separate car drivers who both commented they had crashed there before, one on a motorbike!
Once all that was sorted we (-1 ) continued to Moffat. The following day, as it was dry, we retraced some of our route that we did on the way up when it was wet. The Hartside Pass up and over to Alston was fantastic.
The TDM was great of course, only hiccup was the wet weather running issue which was solved by taping the right hand HT lead where it touches the frame. The suspension was a little soft for some of the rollercoaster-like roads - when the rear suspension was really compressed in a corner as you hit the bottom of a dip it all got a bit out of shape. It's not a sports bike, but not far off!
All in all a fantastic route and superb 7 days away. Highly recommended. Who needs the Alps and Pyrenees; look what we have at home!
Edited by humbertronic, 10 January 2016 - 12:44 pm.