After being involved with the Ride Forever Training program for about two and a half years, and having had my current bike ‘Daisy’ (KTM 690 Duke) for about three and a half years, I felt it was time to change my office. Last night I picked up a new ride – it’s a 2017 BMW R Nine T Scrambler. I haven’t decided what to call her yet. I think a few weeks in the saddle is needed before I make up my mind, but I have a couple of ideas for a something suitable.

She is a little quirky, gorgeous to look at and cool to ride. I’m doing a few tweaks to the bars, levers and rear shock set up today. She is currently set up as per factory settings which is probably for a 6’2″ Blonde German who weighs 75kg, not a slightly more rotund 5’8″ English guy weighing just a little over 90kg with shorter reach and stubbier hands.

I’ll be using the R Nine T on a mostly daily basis; to run into town, take clients out on their CBTA Assessments (Competency Based Training & Assessment) and of course on some of our Ride Forever Courses.

Why did I choose an R Nine T Scrambler?

Well what I mentioned above is definietly a big factor (she is quirky and cool – allegedly just like her rider!). I like to be different and I want a bike that puts a smile on my dial every time I swing my leg over the saddle. I have to say, even riding home in the horrible, horrible rain last night in rush hour traffic was the most fun I have had in ages. Long may it continue!

I also chose the R Nine T Scrambler because even though I like technology (anyone who knows me knows I really do!), I’m also a simple kind of guy and the R Nine T Scrambler has got awesome ABS and ASC. The traction control activated coming out of a couple of bends on the way home in the wet last night – simple but effective. I also have heated grips, a 12v outlet and thats it, oh wait… I do have an awesome 1200cc BMW boxer engine with loads of torque, a six speed gearbox and the wind in my face – yeah what more do I need. Check out the full specifications by clicking here.

When I got home I rode past my house to the ‘no exit’ part of our road, pulled a U-turn and ramped her up to 100kph to try a couple of ‘wet’ emergency stops and really get a feel of how good the ABS is – and it is very good – inspiring confidence in the bike stopping, even in some pretty rubbish conditions.

Instructor alert – instructor alert!

Just for 2 paragraphs – I can’t help it!! If you ride down the road at 100kph in the wet you should not be afraid to put the anchors down from that speed – if you are scared and have never tried you are on a fools errand to be honest. It’s something I recommend every rider to do every time they ride. Get rid of the cobwebs from the last few days driving or the sleep out of your eyes and practice your emergency stopping. Who knows when you’ll need it? It’s a perishable skill too, so ‘if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it!’

Start off at a lower speed, say 40-50kph and remember to be progressive with your brakes, set up – taking up the free play in the lever until the brakes start to bite, the suspension loads and the tire contact patch starts to get bigger – all in just a moment of a second, then progressively and quick quickly and firmly squeeeeeze the lever in until you get to a stop. If you haven’t got ABS build up the pressure, but if you start to lock up release the front brake and reapply it.

A very happy new bike owner.

I will be doing some slow speed work this weekend and out with local IAM and Ulysses riders on Sunday so will have some fun in the twisties – hopefully we will go near some bends!

I also just want to give a shout out to Elliot and Scott at Avon City Motorcycles who were awesome as usual. Elliot has been trying to get me over the German border from the Austrian (KTM) side for a while now, but Scott letting me take the Scrambler home the other night really did the trick.

Elliot even (tongue in cheek) offered me a free Ride Forever course to get to know the bike better – since I run the courses locally it might not be a bad idea, I just need figure out how to clone myself so I can do the training and be the trainer at the same time! Every bike Avon City Motorcycles sells comes with a free R4E course with us.

I’ll give an update in a few weeks and let you know how we are getting along and what I’ve decided to call my new scrambler. Comment below with any suggestions!

Stay shiny side up and see you out on the road.