Spyder club tours

Archive for June, 2013

MotoGP, Formula 1, WSBK and the Tour de France, HELP!

Add comment June 29th, 2013

What a weekend ahead, where do you turn or do you just leave the house and watch the highlights!?

With Cal Crutchlow on pole for today’s MotoGP race at Assen, Scott Redding well placed again for hopefully another good result to keep his lead in the Moto 2 championship, the World Superbikes heading to Imola, Italy for more increbible racing, Silverstone hosting the 8th round of F1 and Chris Froome starting his campaign to become the second Brit to win the Tour de France, there is too much to watch!

We are being spoilt this weekend with world class sport gracing our screens and potentially making this weekend very unproductive!!

Plus Andy Murray is looking really good for Wimbledon! Could this be another incredible summer for British sport?

Ducati Hyperstrada First Ride

Add comment June 25th, 2013

The ignition illuminated showing just 8 miles on the clock so the first 20 miles were very tame, scrubbing the tyres and easing the engine into life.

Initial impressions were… different! I felt like I was on a push bike as the bars are quite close, I’m 6ft 2, and it feels small. The engine showed it’s potential straight away: smooth, grunty, power even when riding it easy and it sounds lovely!

20 miles in and I started to settle into it, enjoying the different riding position and feeling more grip from the tyres, and then the engine was pushed just a little harder! Wow, different isn’t wrong and in this case it’s very right.

I’m not sure at this point what the tank range is but the bike is comfortable and the screen does just enough to keep the wind off at bigger speeds and with the addition of the panniers could easily be used to tour, it would be blissful through the Alps! We’ll find out next week!! But this is a fun bike, a bike that will keep you smiling and your licence in tact.

Last year we had the hugely popular and accomplished Husqvarna Nuda R and the Hyperstrada is as good. Ducati may see that as a slur but members all raved about the Nuda, it made every rider better, was super smooth and handled like a dream, the Hyperstrada does all of this too.

The upside to the Ducati is you can mount large panniers to it and take it away. This is a bike Spyder Lizzi is also comfortable on at 5ft 8 and 8st 7, she’s not worried about the massive weight when fully loaded as the Hyperstrada starts off looking like a more manageable machine in the first place.

Whilst the bike feels small the wheelbase is long enough to offer incredible stability through corners and under breaking.

First impressions, after an uncertain start I’ve fallen for another Ducati, massive fun, usability and funky to boot. And it’s not even run in yet!!

A Ducati Multistrada or a KTM SMT?

1 comment June 21st, 2013

Given a choice which would it be? Both bikes have been at Spyder Club for a while now, the MTS since 2011, and both have their following. They are of course very similar in stature, weight and their ability to carry luggage and therefore perfect for a trips, but how do they compare when ridden?

The Multistrada was billed as 4 bikes in 1 when it first came on to the scene in 2010 giving it’s rider superbike power and handling that can easily shame the plastic missiles. It really is a bike that can do everything. During the last two years we have had the standard machine for the majority of time but also a spell with the S version. The Multistrada S, with it’s different mapping and suspension system is superb, ready for everything at the touch of a button. The power and torque are staggering. The first ride I had, bolt upright rather than bum up and head down, saw me nearly falling off the back as I wound up the throttle. The acceleration is incredible and once you get used to being sat up, very manageable in any of the four modes.

In a group of five bikes also including the Diavel, RC8R, Tuono V4R APRC and my trusty 749S out in Switzerland in 2011, our guests decided the MTS was the bike of the trip. It performed brilliantly on all types of roads from the tight hairpins of the Stelvio Pass to the more flowing turns of the Nufenen. With 150 bhp on tap in Sport and Touring modes, it would keep tabs on the very agile and powerful Tuono at the same time as pulling up on the brakes within almost the same distance as the long wheel based Diavel. And at high speed it would charge unconcerned with the faired KTM RC8R superbike, a marvel in it’s own right!

Which brings us neatly to the KTM SMT, the challenger! Like the Multistrada this is a bike that a number of Spyder Club members are interested in buying having ridden it through the club. We were lucky enough to take a black SMT on our November Spanish trip in 2012 and the reaction from those who rode it was exceptional. A great bike in all conditions and all types of road! We bought our own for the March Spanish trip where we also had the MTS and it was interesting to hear the different opinions.

Firstly the KTM is down by about 40 bhp but it also costs about £3,000 less when new. Regardless, both bikes are very similar with an incredible ability to cover ground quickly in comfort, your head high above the cars providing valuable extra visibility. As with the MTS, the SMT offers as much confidence when pushing on through tight bends as it does through fast sweepers. There aren’t as many horses but honestly, it doesn’t need it. I love this bike, point it in the direction of challenging roads and head off into motorcycle bliss!

Myself and a member recently rode the Multistrada and SMT to another members house for the weekend. Both of us carrying luggage, we headed across the Cotswold’s on a Friday afternoon. Our opinions were the same, Rich couldn’t fault the Ducati, character in abundance, masses of power and handling that keeps it all in check, I felt just the same about the SMT. Spyder Lizzi was riding her Triumph Street Triple, another fantastic machine that many members have ended up owning but a review for another day!

I’m a Ducati man, my last three bikes before a turn on a VFR, have all sported the Italian flag however given the choice between the red and orange, it would be the Austrian!

However my opinion is moo (pointless joke, for those who haven’t seen Friends) or moot as our membership is split pretty much straight down the middle. A number of members already own Multistrada’s having ridden ours over the years and as the KTM is ridden more the visits to KTM dealer websites increase!

Both of these bikes are fabulous, great at covering large distances in comfort and style at the same time as handling challenging rides with ease, flattering their riders with stability and usable power. Ultimately it’s about which one best suits you.

After 3 different Multistradas over 2 years on the Spyder Club fleet it is time for something new and our Hyperstrada has arrived, just in time to recreate the review Bike magazine did a issue or two ago!

If you’d like to ride lots of different motorcycles so you can have an informed opinion of them, Spyder Club can help. During the last five years, Spyder Club members have had access to over 70 different machines, and that’s only going to increase. Contact us, it’s only a conversation about bikes after all!

 

The Ducati Hyperstrada and Victory Judge Have Arrived!

Add comment June 20th, 2013

This must make it 74 motorcycles over the past 5 years that Spyder Club members have been able to access! Maybe that’s part of the reason we have 75% of our membership in their 3rd, 4th or 5th years with us and 80% of this years trip guests are returning!

Facts over, we are very pleased to have two new bikes on the Spyder Club fleet. With the 800cc’d Ducati Hypermotard causing a stir towards the end of last year with it’s usable power, comfortable riding position and superb handling it seemed the logical step to take on the all new, liquid cooled 800cc Hyperstrada. A bigger tank, comfier seat and more power will prove very popular with the members.

And now for something completely different! Through member feedback we know the fleet needs to be diverse (as well as keeping the superbikes, fast nakeds, etc) and this is why bikes like the Commando, HP2 Sport, Griso SE, CB1100RC and our Bimota DB4 work so well. Therefore we have gone for Victory, the Judge has arrived!! Our first long term American cruiser is finally here and members are excited!

The Hyperstrada needs running in and then is available to book, the Victory is already out on it’s first booking accompanied by the Norton!

A very big thank you to Ducati UK for their continued support and belief in the Spyder Club concept, plus an equally big thank you to Victory, we are looking forward to a good future with this new partnership!!

Farewell to the Isle of Man and a Superb TT!

Add comment June 11th, 2013

This was our first visit to the Isle of Man TT and what an experience.  As we sail home leaving a drizzly IoM behind we have realised just how lucky we have been with the weather but also how beautiful the island is. Regardless of the rain and lack of racing over the last few days the island still draws you in, it’s an amazing place regardless of whether the TT is on.

But that’s why we went, to watch the likes of Michael Dunlop, John McGuinness, Cameron Donald, Bruce Anstey and Maria Costello light up the roads with unbelievable talent. And that’s what it is, incredible bike control through streets with buildings on either side and over mountain roads that are stunningly beautiful but lethal at 180 mph!

Having never been to the TT, I wasn’t sure whether the riders were insane or insanely brave. Neither, just bloody talented at riding their bikes through danger without making a mistake for the vast majority of the time. It’s an incredible sight to see, rider after rider appearing through a build up of screaming sound and then disappearing within the blink of an eye around a bend, leant over at extreme angles and staggering speeds.

We viewed the racing from many different places around the course and none of them failed to entertain. Whether sat on a wall inches away from a 150 mph motorcycle or just a few feet from riders braking from 180 mph to enter a bend on the mountain I don’t think we stopped smiling and gasping at the mind blowing sights and sounds before us!

It was of course fantastic to see Michael Dunlop take four wins during race week and whilst he didn’t complete the five, you can’t be upset with a John McGuinness victory in the Senior, 20 wins and still the King of the Mountain!

Our guests were also blessed with a Norton race tent tour, both groups got to chat with Head of Design, Simon Skinner who enlightened Spyder Club members with details of their fantastic motorcycles that delighted the crowds of the mountain course lap after lap. With their distinctive sound and silver bodywork glimmering in the sunlight everyone knew exactly what was next on the road, brilliant! With Ian Mackman also finishing 18th in the Superbike race and the bikes proving reliable and fast, their goals were met and I hope the doubters have been silenced.

As previously said in our last TT update, it wasn’t just the island that impressed but the friendliness of it’s inhabitants! Their delight at the event itself and eagerness to make sure their visitors enjoyed it too was fantastic. It was the icing on the TT cake and an event we’ll look forward to retuning to many, many times.

 

Spyder Club News from the Isle of Man TT

Add comment June 3rd, 2013

And so it begins! Before the racing started we thought we’d be back next year for practice week only as the guys still crack on around the course and the roads are quieter for our own riding, however, then the first race happened!

Practice is very good, there’s more space to see it all, less madmen on the road trying to set their own lap times over the mountain and generally it’s a slower pace. But when you see that first bike or sidecar come into view and round the first bend at race pace it all becomes clear, the racing is when the real action happens! How on earth they ride into corners at the speed they do I don’t know, and never will. It is stunning, unbelievable and quite frankly, mental what the likes of Michael Dunlop, John McGuinness and many other road racers, right down to the last place rider can do.

Leaning a bike over enough to put your knee on the floor at 150 mph on the roads of the Isle of Man is incredible and until you witness it for yourself, the TV will never do their talents justice.

But it’s not just the racing that makes the Isle of Man special, there is so much more here. It’s a breathtaking island with beautiful scenery and some great riding roads.  This is an island that should be visited regardless of whether the TT is taking place as it has so much to offer and all within such a small space. From the views on the south of the island to the Calf of Mann, to the Alpine like scenes just a few miles from the top of the Mountain course and Snaefell on the A14.

And the locals, what a reception. They have all been so friendly, informative and willing to look after the hordes that have descended on their island. Whether spending the day in someones field with free toilets and refreshments on sale at very reasonable prices or enjoying a morning looking around the private collection of classic motorcycles at the Old Vicarage, Kirk Michael, we’ve enjoyed a fantastic time here on the Isle of Man and still have another week to go!

Will we be coming back again, bookings are already being taken for our IoM TT trip in 2014!


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