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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to enjoy a day in the company of MotoScotland and below is my take on the days events.

As the dramatic Argyll countryside rolled by the car window the temptation to stop and wait to see the sunrise was almost too much to bear but I was a man on a mission and nothing was going to get in the way of a grand day out motorcycle off roading in the company of MotoScotland, Scotland’s newest motorcycle off road training centre.

So remaining focused on the task in hand I kept on westward to Inveraray which is located in the West of Scotland on the banks of Loch Fyne, about 50 miles to the North West of Glasgow. I arrived in good time to catch the stunning sunrise, giving me time for a well-earned breakfast.


The sun rises over Loch Fyne

Munching on a couple of rolls and coffee at David’s cafe in the village while enjoying the amazing scenery soon made up for the early start. Once fed and watered, it was time to make my way to the grounds of Inveraray Castle located just outside the town to meet Clive, owner of MotoScotland.com and all round good bloke.

The plan was to complete MotoScotland’s one day introduction to off roading course which, as the name suggests, gives you an introduction to off roading with a mix of technical instruction and trail riding and all set in the sort of scenery that Scotland excels at.

Once we had changed into our riding kit, we sat down with a cup of coffee and completed the necessary paperwork. Then Clive went through the itinerary for the day ahead and where we would be riding, which he all detailed on their huge multicolour map on the wall. The area he has at his disposal is simply massive (50,000 acres I seem to remember) and has an amazing variance in surface and layout. I get the feeling you could keep coming back again and again and
never go over the same trail twice.

Then came the bikes. The BMW G650GS. The bikes are only a few months old and are essentially the same bikes you or I could buy off the shelf, but they had been ruggedised for off road use with the removal of unnecessary fittings such as indicators, mirrors and screens. Additions, such as knobbly tyres and a heavy duty bash plate, completed the transformation from standard spec to full off road spec. They even had a factory lowered bike for the vertically challenged. Before leaving base camp Clive demonstrated a few basic things such as getting on and off the bike without the use of the stand and gave us a chance to practice mounting the bike from either side. It was also an opportunity to walk round the bike while holding it upright to get a measure of the bikes weight should the bike be dropped on a hillside. Group numbers are kept small with a 5 being the maximum.

And then we were off... A short road ride along the side of Loch Fyne then up a dam access road which gave us the opportunity to practice skills such as steering by loading up the pegs, leaning the bike one way while shifting your weight the other. On reaching the dam we headed up a grassy trail to one of Clive’s practice areas, a disused quarry, where Clive demonstrated how to safely pick up a dropped bike followed by us giving it a go. This was something that, as the day went on, would come in quite handy for one of us.


Clive Demonstrates how to pick up a bike without giving yourself a hernia

Next up we practiced slow speed manoeuvring. This proved to be harder than it looked with one tumble in our group. No damage and no harm done, the fall gave our comrade a chance to practice picking up his bike before carrying on. The slow speed manoeuvring instruction was spot on and Clive quickly spotted what I was doing wrong and what I needed to be doing to get even tighter and slower turns - even on really slippery surfaces. The next topic was applying the correct braking for the correct off road surface and one of the exercises we did was to purposely lock up and slide the front wheel while keeping the bike under full control. Interesting and nowhere as near as scary in practice as one would think. Despite the fantastic weather, there was still a large muddy area in the quarry and playing in that gave us the confidence to take on any surface.


Bike one way, bum the other

Clive gave us the choice of returning to base for lunch or picnicking outside. With the weather being like a summer’s day it was no contest and the picnic won hands down. Fab scenery and a lovely packed lunch. It doesn't get much better than this.

After lunch it was time for more trail riding and putting into good use what we had earlier learned - we rode a variety of trails, from Land Rover tracks to forest trails. There were also Polaris tracks that could be tackled. The variety of trails available would surely cater to all needs. There were even some water crossings that we took on, but due to the current dry weather there were little more than a trickle, nevertheless they were fun.




The afternoon just whizzed by and all too soon it was time to return to base where more coffees and biscuits along with the obligatory certificate of training completion, key rings and stickers were handed out.

All in all this was a fantastic experience and although my day was only a taster of what’s on offer, it’s clear MotoScotland have a fantastic setup here with courses to suit all tastes and skills. Clive also tells me there may be the possibility of bringing your own bike along for a day’s trail riding.

The bikes were great, the instruction was top notch and as a bonus all food, drinks, safety equipment, motor insurance etc., is included in the course price. But for me, the ability to legally and safely ride off road in some of the best scenery Britain has to offer is just stunning, and that alone makes the whole thing worth every penny..


Clive. Owner of motoscotland and all round good bloke

MotoScotland runs a variety of courses, details of which can be found on their website www.motoscotland.com


I had to stop on the way home for just one more photo
 

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Grumpy auld man!
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Great pictures and report Gordon,looks like a good time was had...........now if I were 20 years younger.;):D



Andy.
 

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Wing Commander
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Great pictures and report Gordon,looks like a good time was had...........now if I were 20 years younger.;):D



Andy.
You'd still be an old man ;-)
 

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any discount ?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
any discount ?
Trust that to be the first question form a loon. :) Oh those stereotypes are never too far wrong.

I guess that would depend on group size.. I'm sure there could be a little movement for numbers.

I'm already organising another visit up there with the IAM but if there is interest in a group xrv booking I'm happy to organise something. If anyone is interested in a winter / spring trip let me know just so I can get an idea on numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great pictures and report Gordon,looks like a good time was had...........now if I were 20 years younger.;):D

Andy.
No need Andy.. You would have ball. Nothing we did was overly energetic and I'm sure some soup and a nice soft sandwich could be arranged for lunch for you. :angel2::grin:
 

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Trust that to be the first question form a loon. :) Oh those stereotypes are never too far wrong.

I guess that would depend on group size.. I'm sure there could be a little movement for numbers.

I'm already organising another visit up there with the IAM but if there is interest in a group xrv booking I'm happy to organise something. If anyone is interested in a winter / spring trip let me know just so I can get an idea on numbers.
And a Yorkshire Loon at that :cheers:
 

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Grumpy auld man!
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Dinna be sayin things like blaw in,it'll jist confuse thae sutherners. :wink: :iconbiggrin:



Andy.
 

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OVALTEENY !!!
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Nicereview Gordon

Barftone won an ABR prize to go up there

What tyres were they using? Looked like MITAS E09s?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Nicereview Gordon

Barftone won an ABR prize to go up there

What tyres were they using? Looked like MITAS E09s?
Yes thats exactly what they are using... They worked fine and felt just like TKC80s to me
 

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OVALTEENY !!!
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Yes thats exactly what they are using... They worked fine and felt just like TKC80s to me
The tyre pressures in the pictures look low

Do you know what they were running ? I'm thinking of putting an E09 Dakar on for next year

I ran the E10s at 20 rear and 18 front but after the pounding round Cowm Quarry Enduro Circuit the front was down to 13 after 4 laps
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The tyre pressures in the pictures look low

Do you know what they were running ? I'm thinking of putting an E09 Dakar on for next year

I ran the E10s at 20 rear and 18 front but after the pounding round Cowm Quarry Enduro Circuit the front was down to 13 after 4 laps
I asked that also and 25psi was the answer. Si Pavey said the same when I asked him. It seems that's about as low as you can go with tubeless and not run the risk of breaking the bead on a rock and all the air escaping. Si did say ideally he would run them lower but they were just having too many flats and 25psi seemed to work well.
 

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Well done Boris on your review. I got mixed feelings as I won the prize on ABR forum for what I thought was a free 2 day course...hoorah i thought then someone noticed I had to take a full paying guest with me. I rang them and yes I had missed the small print of the prize so it was actually a 2-1 prize rather than freeby. As i live in the west country it would cost too much to go halves and out of pocket expenses so I emailed them a couple of weeks ago asking if I could pass the prize on which would have been ideal for you and your lad! no reply.
 

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Craigypops
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Well done Boris on your review. I got mixed feelings as I won the prize on ABR forum for what I thought was a free 2 day course...hoorah i thought then someone noticed I had to take a full paying guest with me. I rang them and yes I had missed the small print of the prize so it was actually a 2-1 prize rather than freeby. As i live in the west country it would cost too much to go halves and out of pocket expenses so I emailed them a couple of weeks ago asking if I could pass the prize on which would have been ideal for you and your lad! no reply.
Now this does annoy me, seems free but small print tells otherwise and they don't want you passing it on because then they're out of pocket so don't bother replying to your mail. So, they get free publicity in offering a "free" course and have to pay nothing out. :rolleyes:



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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Yes it's less than ideal. I had a look on ABR and found.

ABR said:
WIN! A two-day Foundation training course at Motoscotland.com!
It's competition time, ABRs, and this time we have an amazing prize for one lucky winner: A two- day foundation training course (midweek only) worth nearly £400 at the newly opened Motoscotland.com, Scotland’s first off-road motorcycle training centre!"
Which seemed pretty clear to me. ABR were giving away a free 2 day course as a prize. The fact that they chose to blur the actual nature of the prize well down the page .. Well that for them to answer.

Regardless who set out to blur things I'm surprised Clive didn't reply to your mail though
 

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Deer Dodger
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Now this does annoy me, seems free but small print tells otherwise and they don't want you passing it on because then they're out of pocket so don't bother replying to your mail. So, they get free publicity in offering a "free" course and have to pay nothing out. :rolleyes:

You're slipping boy :confused:


No rants and raves, whats wrong wivyaaa ?? :D
 
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