April 14, 2003 at 12:12 am #8232
Doesn’t seem to be much on the Great Roads topic so as I have been for a bit of a thrash this morning thought I’d pass on a few “goodies”.
Started out at 08:30 this morning on my Thundercat along with “Red Leader” on a BMW R1100S, “Chewing Gum” on a Kawasaki ZX6R and last but no means least “Tail End Charlie” on a CBR600.
First road on the menu, so to speak, is the A456 that goes from the outskirts of Bewdley in Worcestershire before heading out towards Tenbury Wells. A pacey road and well surfaced too, with a good selection of tight twisty bends laced together with more open corners and places to dispatch the odd piece of traffic we came across on this crisp Sunday morning. As usual Red Leader took the first spot with me tucked in behind followed by Chewing Gum and Tail End. Now Chewing Gum is about to enjoy his first full summer on a bike, so at first the pace was brisk rather than storming.
Next up is the A49 briefly towards Leominster, nothing special but fun anyway before getting to the A44 heading towards Rhayader in Wales. Now this is a piece of God’s tarmac if ever I saw one. Simply glorious with bend after bend to keep you and machine on your toes. To make it just perfect the views are absolutely stunning too. So if you want to go steadily and drink in the spectacular panorama as it unfolds before you, then that’s cool too. On this section we came across a vintage 1920’s blower Bentley car been driven with real verve by an old boy dressed in the “Full Monte”, right down to a leather flying helmet! The business, Gave him a big thumbs up as I swept past.
After a few miles of pushing gradually harder you start heading deeper into Wales and the temperature starts to take a drop. My knees and fingers were getting pretty numb by now, but I didn’t care as the road continued to unfold before me. There is one series of bends, right on top of some hills that are just sublime. But be careful they can sucker you in. Don’t go in as fast as you think you can, you will get caught out. You have to constantly flick the bike from leaning one way to cranking over the opposite way. Brilliant, what a buzz!
After all this fun and games it’s time for a spot of breakfast. This morning we stopped at a place called the Express Café in Crossgates. Already there was a tasty pair of Aprillia Milles, along the usual selection of GSX-R’s, R 1’s and Ducatis. About a dozen bikes in all. Breakfast and chance to warm up before the next section. Good full brekky and a mug of tea just over £4 by the way.
Now the next section put even the A44 to shame. The A483 up to Newtown (Y Trallwng in Welsh) must rate as one of THE great biking roads. My limited skills as a wordsmith cannot do this piece of road justice. Suffice it to say the road just sucks you and for the next 15 or 20 minutes you are attacking bend after bend after bend. Almost in a trance, nothing else matters but the dive into the next corner, followed by the tug of power as you crack the throttle on the exit to launch yourself at the next bend. This is what biking is all about. Red Leader on the big BMW has an almost telepathic knowledge of these roads and Chewing Gum seemed to really relishing the chance to give his ZX6R some serious corner work. Again you are surrounding by views that have to be seen to be really appreciated. What a combination.
Around Newtown we peel onto the A489 and then A49 heading for Craven Arms. Now the A483 is a tough act to follow, but the 489 and 49 are two cracking roads too, with some ace stretches of flowing corners. Not much danger of wearing out the middle of your expensive sticky tyres in this neck of the woods, oh no.
In Craven Arms there are a couple of biker friendly cafes and we check into one for a mug of tea and a bit of natter. Again a smattering of some serious iron work is on show. A really trick 916 Ducati, a T955 Triumph, and a selection of Japanese stuff. Tail End, who had calmly been tucked up the back of our line stumped up for the tea and we sat outside and chilled for a while. Always good to do this between bursts of action. Stops things getting daft. As we sat a nattered a line of Harleys roared by, perhaps 20 or so. Not my bag, but an impressive sight anyway. A huge line of perhaps 12 or so Yam FJR1300s wondered past too, clearly a few owners clubs out and about today.Amazingly a trike went past fitted to take a whewlchair. Only a small two stroke engine by the sound of it and running on small wheels. Badged as a “Nippa”, does anybody know anything about it?
Anyway back on the road and from here we took in the A4117 that takes you over the beautiful Clee Hill (watch out for the sheep), and onto the picturesque town of Cleobury Mortimer. Now this is a decent road and the pace was still cracking, but as it was getting towards late morning the traffic was beginning to build up. A Ducati 748 tucked onto the end of our line from here and seemed to be enjoying himself (or herself) in like minded company. But we left him when we peeled off onto the B4363 and B4194 to get back to Bewdley. Both these roads offer great biking, but are tight and bumpy and need to be treated with respect. Over confidence here could lead to something really nasty. Anyway we swept through the Forest around Button Oak and into Bewdley. A great mornings riding done and we split up and headed home.Chewing Gum was sporting a smile that you would need a surgeon to remove!
Few things to note, speeds never went over 95-100 mph and were more often sub 80. On these roads that is plenty quick enough believe me. We always slow down through villages too. No point in hacking off the locals is there?
Anyway hope you get out there sometime and try them.
RadarApril 14, 2003 at 12:51 pm #16421ScouserParticipant
Radar, the Wheelchair motorbike trikes are made by a small unit in Ravenstone, Leicester and are specifically made for the wheelchair user. Not sure what the doner bike is, but the rider lowers a tailgate, mounts the trike, secures the chair, starts then twist and go. I’ll try and find out more info.
Ride safe.January 15, 2004 at 9:27 am #16422diabloParticipant
Hiya radar, seems like you enjoy the twisties.. my personal favourite
But man, the speeds you were doing were phoenomenal. 95-100mph !!! that’s like 160kmph here !!!
Following are a few twisties that I have experienced…
– Going from Bangalore to Mangalore. A stretch of twisties come which takes about 1 hour to cross. There were 16 bikes in all in the group going ( 10 bullets, 4 RD 350s, 1 Pulsar, 1 CBZ (me !). As we started the ghats ( the local term given to the twisties in south india), I decided to break away from the bullet pack (they were going too slow for me in those lovely hills), and raced ahead. That was the only time I have been able to keep up with the RDs . Basically a friend of mine on a blue RD saw me on his tail, and the race was on.. My Bike leans better than the RDs, so every corner, I would gain a bit on him, which would all go waste as soon as the corner finished – the burst of acceleration from the RD being too great for my CBZ to handle. That was fun !
– The second trip that i can’t forget was going to the Kudremukh National Park ( again south india. I was working in bangalore at that time). I was doing this trip solo, and after the 100+ speeds on the state highways, i finally struck the hills. Its about 70kms of twisties. The roads in the initial parts is very bad (I think about 20kms). After that, it becomes bliss !!! The road passes through tight twists .. opens up into paddy field valleys, where you are suddenly brushing past the rice growing taller than you and your bike combine, and again hitting the tight twisities. About 30kms of this, and then you hit the mountains – the temperature difference is noticible … and the scenery is just marvelous. The roads at this point are about the best roads in the hills I have seen here, and with very sparse traffic.
My next sojourn would probably be to the roads up the Himalayas. I have grown up there, but when I did get a bike, I am about 2000kms away from there . The beauty of those mountains is just breathtaking !January 15, 2004 at 9:50 pm #16423
Those rides sounded brilliant, and I used to love keeping up with bigger more powerful bikes when I used to ride my 1980 RD250LC Yamaha and later on a RD350LC YPVS.
To go 95-100mph is quick, but many people ride much quicker than me! The danger starts to climb to levels I can’t handle to be honest.
The roads and countyside you describe sound really enticing, and to be honest I did not think that riding in India had this to offer.
Please let us know when you take on the Himalayas!
RadarJanuary 15, 2004 at 10:21 pm #16424
Wow, I’d love to do the Himalayas one day. Just love mountain roads and scenery. As Radar says, let us know when you’re thinking of doing your trip.January 16, 2004 at 5:24 am #16425rajnishParticipant
all the tourists visiting India hire mostly bullets and then go to either manali side or towards rishikesh.the states of uttaranchal and himachal pradesh have awsome views to offer.u have to see to believe.
Try this- https://www.himachaltourism.nic.in/welcome.htm
1987 Yamaha RD 350B
In first gear whack the throttle.January 16, 2004 at 6:02 am #16426diabloParticipant
Hi Radar, ID.
Truth to tell, I also did not know that such places existed in india, cause we normally just stay in the cities & towns, and the tour operators only suggest places which are more famous ( and hence more populated). It requires some research and then you just have to go out and figure out if your research helped.
A couple of trips I have to do sometime. Timelines are not really fixed…
1) A Trip to Leh. This is the mecca of riders. It has the highest motorable road in the world at the Khardungla pass. A few friends from the RD club went on their bikes . The log is at https://www.bikeszone.com/mab00019.htm . This trip can only be done during the summer season, as most of that area is closed due to snow during other parts of the year.
2) A trip around india. Basically India is huge. We have read about it in History books and geographic books (in school), but have not really seen most of it. So I am planning on this ride too… Most probably this will need to be done during spring or autumn so that both the south and north can be covered. The issue – I need a month off from work !!!
I will keep you updated if these plans materialize.
As rajnish mentioned, most people prefer the bullets for rides. This is due to the fact that they are the only tourers available. However, we do have people doing the trips on other bikes. I use my CBZ, the link given above has RDs touring, and another of my friends did Leh on his pulsar .
India is a beautiful country – if we get away from the towns and cities.January 16, 2004 at 8:47 pm #16427
All the ideas sound great, and don’t feel too bad about not seeing all of India yet. I have been saying that I would do a round UK tour for years, but somehow never get round to it! The closest was riding a Moped from one end of the country to another non-stop with some friends in 1990 for charity. 906 miles in 42 hours! (Full sory in the Scooter section). I have toured bits of Wales, Scotland and the Isle of Man, but have never done a full UK trip in one go.
Loads of people I know have toured Europe and there a few posts aboy these trips by various people.
I will get around to this one day!February 25, 2004 at 7:41 pm #16428
The A82 in the Scottish Highlands is beautiful, as is Angeles Crest in California.February 25, 2004 at 9:18 pm #16429
Did you rent a bike for the California roads?February 26, 2004 at 8:38 am #16430
I have rented, (expensive), but now I use a friend’s bikes, who lives there.
He has Ducati 998R and Suzuki Hyabusa as well as 2 home-built, radical Supermotos.
For those of you interested, there are thousands of miles of sunny biking roads in California, the best being Angeles Crest Highway 2, an amazing mix of fast and slow bends and a few straights where silly speeds are posted.
Lattigo Canyon is another favourite, twisty and difficult to master.
Highway 1, the coast road, is less frantic, but simply beautiful and Route 166 is where I saw an indicated 202 mph (don’t know what the genuine speed was), a lonely desert road north of los Angeles.
That felt FAAST!
Avoid the summer, too hot. Go in April, May, October, November.February 26, 2004 at 7:43 pm #16431
You must have had a great time there. I thought everyone rode at 55 MPH!
PS Have you taken a peek at the Hayabusa video on this site?February 26, 2004 at 8:02 pm #16432
Remember though, that 55mph is history in most states now.
65 is the norm, at least where I have been over the last few years.February 28, 2004 at 5:29 pm #16433
Originally posted by diablo
1) A Trip to Leh. This is the mecca of riders. It has the highest motorable road in the world at the Khardungla pass. A few friends from the RD club went on their bikes
I remember a long trip across Europe I did with a few mates. I was on a GPZ750, and there was a VT500 Honda and a YPVS350. The YPVS really struggled to breathe as we climbed the Swiss Alps and nearly conked out a few times, despite running great at lower altitudes.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.