Well a couple of years later, Triumph were really slow updating the Tiger 1200 and when it finally did, it had the new T-plane engine which loses the distinctive triple sound.
This, plus the luggage issue, meant that we looked at other bikes and ended up having a test ride on a BMW R 1250 RT as my first ride back after the finger amputations and once I could walk again.
We also changed our living arrangements post-Brexit as we couldn’t go touring in the rest of Europe while we were using up our Schengen 90 days out of every 180 days on a rolling basis time to live in Corralejo, Fuerteventura. We gave up our place there at the end of October 2023 having done a deal by phone and email with Bahnstormer Motorrad in Alton on a brand new 2023 BMW R 1250 RT LE which I picked up on 7 November 2023 having registered it on 30 September!
While Elon Musk continues to try to kill Twitter – sorry, it’s X now, isn’t it – Lotus’ execs and marketing gurus saw it and clearly said “hey Elon! Hold my beer!”
Yes, they have foolishly tossed aside their faithful fans and customers in favour of the feckless “influencers”, you know, the vacuous nonentities that do nothing and expect to be paid for it with a misplaced sense of entitlement that only so-called social media brings.
“The Stars aligned last night for our new Lotus London Mayfair launch!
#ForTheDrivers #LotusLondon “
Of course, hardly anyone over 30 years old with an actual life knew who any of these “Stars” actually were, but hey! Lotus clearly don’t want our sort of money anymore. After all, according to an email I received today, it’s a new era:
“Lotus is in a new era.
“We are on a transformative journey from an iconic British sports car company to a global luxury lifestyle brand. As part of this journey, we are excited to announce that our first major European flagship store on London’s Piccadilly is now open.”
No longer a sports car company, it’s now intended to be a lifestyle brand.
So long then, Lotus, it’s been … emotional.
And as for that noise you can hear? That’s Colin Chapman spinning in his grave with enough revolutions to power the Hethel factory.
Maybe Lotus’ 200+ job cuts could start with their marketing department?
We’re approaching MoT anniversary, so I thought I’d get in there early and book the ZRX in for an MoT at a local bike shop, A Force Motorcycles in Aldershot.
I trotted up there yesterday and a thorough MoT test was carried out … with Blue Rex’s first ever failure!
The Clear Alternatives LED rear light illuminates red (and amber with the integrated turn signals) but does not shine white light down onto the numberplate, so it’s a fail. There is what appears to be a small pilot type LED which might perform that function, but the general consensus appears to be that there isn’t one. I may be able to bodge something together, but in the meantime, I rode home and then took off the rear seat cowl – revealing a missing bolt to hold the rear mudguard and under seat plastic in place, so that was replaced. I then disconnected the LED light and refitted the OEM red one (having popped to the local Jet petrol station to get a couple of 21/5W tail/stop lamps) which I keep with all the other OEM parts I’d taken off*.
I also fitted the marginally larger numberplate – I think it’s the same sized font, but just more space around it – which was the other fail item – and then this morning popped back for a free retest and pass certificate.
Mileage this year is 19,621 miles, up 159 miles from last year.
*Now we’ve moved out of London, I’m expecting to do more miles on Blue Rex, such as last weekend’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride in Guildford & Surrey Hills, so I’ve removed the “spools” and refitted the grab rails for Alison. Next job is removing the rear sets and refitting the standard footrests.
I’ve been monitoring my weight – albeit somewhat loosely at times – with Garmin Connect since 26 August 2011 (apparently) when my weight was 93.3kg (14st 10lbs) and I was starting out on my fitness journey.
After getting off to a good start thanks to running and then adding some cycling, my weight fell to 85.1kg (13st 6lbs) by the end of January 2012, but began to rise gradually into 2014, falling back again in 2015 with a low of 84.1kg (14st 3lbs) before we went off to Hong Kong, Vietnam and Ko Samui. 2015 was also when we ran the Berlin Marathon.
My weight then gradually rose – with a big dip in the summer of 2018 for our wedding – until late June 2019 when it hit 95.4kg (15st). And then the crash happened… A month laying in bed eating pureed food meant that my leg muscles atrophied so by the time I weighed myself in August 2019, my weight had fallen to 85.8kg (13st 7lbs).
The aftermath of the crash affecting my mobility and exercise capability coupled with our love of eating well and lots of travel – for work and pleasure – meant that one more my weight gradually increased, peaking at 99.3kg (15st 9lbs) in October 2021.
It stayed pretty constant after that until last summer when my knee was becoming particular painful with the necrosis that had been diagnosed back in 2012. That had affected my ability to run, so I saw my consultant privately again and he encouraged me to do more cycling (also referring me to a sports physiotherapist who’s excellent) and to lose some weight, possibly trying some fasting or kept dieting. That led to the purchase of a fixed cycle and that explains the manic cycling, both indoor and in the real world since.
So since August 2022’s high of 98.2kg (15st 6lb), trying to limit my carbohydrates and this exercise (with some riding challenges to keep things interesting), I today hit 85.3kg (13st 6lbs), so that’s two stones lost since August and my second target of 85kg in sight (about 1lb to go). Once I hit that, the next target is likely to be 80kg, or roughly 12½ stone.
Whilst I was in the USA doing the Pacific Coast Highway in a 5.0L V8 Mustang Convertible, I thought it was long overdue for Blue Rex to have some care and attention, so it was off to Larry at PDQ to give it a good fettle and its MoT.
And it really was a good fettle: the old Datatool alarm was finally consigned to the bin, as was the battery. The carbs were basically overhauled and a couple of pipes and o-rings were replaced. There was a new chain and sprocket set. There was a new set of tyres to replace those that were on there that were many years old and had all the grip of Donald Trump.
It was then MoT’d and it passed with a mileage of 19,462 which was 40 miles up from last year’s and was basically the mileage out of London to PDQ.
Whilst at PDQ, Larry whacked it on the dyno to see how it measured up, some 11 years after the team at PDQ had breathed on it. 154.89bhp at 10,100rpm (158.37bhp) and 90.5lb/ft of torque at 7,830rpm (91.5lb/ft), 2011 figures in brackets.
It’s a new dyno – so not necessarily a true like-for-like comparison – but it’s still close to what it was putting out before, which is pleasing.
I used my disabled person’s Freedom Pass to get there, so it cost me nothing and the ride back was lovely: back in a little over an hour (with a fuel stop) thanks to filtering and people working from home.