#Ride5000miles fans mark the new year with new metal

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Although lockdown means 2021 hasn’t begun the way we’d all hoped it would, some members of our #ride5000miles group are gearing up for a memorable year on new bikes once the situation starts to improve.

With zero miles on the tacho and plenty of lost 2020 riding to make up for, these enthusiasts include emergency services worker, Simon Boyle, from Penicuik, who picked up an all-black Suzuki Katana to sit alongside his V-Strom 650XT.

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“I thought ‘bugger it, I work hard enough, I’m having it for Christmas’,” the Scottish rider told MCN. “I’m a kid of the 80s and the Katana reminds me of watching Street Hawk.

“It rides beautifully and it’s so smooth,” he continued. “You don’t need to give it many beans. I don’t like revvy bikes and that thing will pull in fifth and sixth.”

Simon plans to use the big Kat for blasts along the Scottish Borders, as well as showing it off at a number of local bike events.

Another #R5K rider preparing to indulge in a year of four-cylinder naked goodness is Manchester-based university administrator, Jon Ashley, who has picked up his fourth BMW S1000R in succession, having put 16,000 miles on his previous 2018 model across two years.

Jon also considered a Yamaha MT-10, Ducati Monster 1200 and KTM 1290 Super Duke R, but was again drawn to the BMW’s flexibility and value for money, saying: “I couldn’t ask for more from a bike, really, although I’m really interested in the new one for next year.”

Alongside a potential trip to the Isle of Man, carried over from 2020, Jon plans to pack the year with plenty of longer 250–300-mile days, saying: “I won’t be worried about getting home for teatime, I am just going to make the most of it!”

It’s not all about big bikes though and Tracy and Kevin Atkinson, from Chester, have purchased a pair of KTM Duke 390s to sit alongside their BMW S1000R and HP4 as smaller, more manageable winter rides.

“For a little 390, they have got a lot of grunt. I’m really enjoying mine,” said Tracy. “We will do some kind of trip within the UK, too. We did Cornwall last summer and might do something like that on the KTMs.”

#Ride5000miles members finally get on the road with their new machines

First published on 29 June, 2020 by Dan Sutherland

John Caisley purchased his Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro before lockdown

With the Government announcing bike dealerships in England could re-open from June 1, members of the #ride5000miles Facebook group wasted no time getting their hands on fresh machinery.

John Caisley, 50, from Worthing put a deposit down on a Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro three days before lockdown and was finally able to collect it last Saturday (June 13).

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Making up for lost time, he now plans to use the bike for commuting duties, as well as a WW2-themed tour across Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia, when travel restrictions allow.

“You look at the Rally Pro and it’s fully specced-up,” the medical technician told MCN. “I think it looks great and it feels great. It’s not top heavy and you don’t notice the weight. But it was the engine sound that I fell in love with,” he continued.

“My commute is about 20 miles of mixed dual carriageway and town roads, but I’ve just been spying a different route, with smaller roads and a Byway!”

Ross Wolverson and his new Yamaha Tracer 900

He’s not alone, as Ross Wolverson, 25, from Welshpool also treated himself to an upgrade by swapping his Honda CBR500R for a 2016 Yamaha Tracer 900. He said: “I was using the 500 and that took me round Scotland and Ireland, but I couldn’t get enough luggage on it,” he explained.

Already using the bike for essential travel, he continued: “I absolutely love the Yamaha and it feels like I’m sat on top of a tank, compared to the low-slung Honda.”

Once leisure travel across the UK becomes possible, Ross plans to take the three-cylinder Yamaha either down to Cornwall or up into Scotland.

“I just love the Scottish roads, the mountains, the lakes and the highland cows,” he continued. “I’ve never been to Cornwall, but I’ve heard good things about the lovely beaches. It’s meant to have lovely ice cream, too.”