Spyder club tours

Archive for August, 2013

The Spyder Club Year So Far

Add comment August 21st, 2013

Spyder_Club_Norton_Day_and_Night (2)

After a really good 9 days at the NEC Motorcycle Live Show in November 2012, 2013 started on a real high with membership up by 20% and booked trip spaces by 40%. So in the depths of winter it was fantastic to be joined by such a big group for our winter party in February and a Norton Factory Tour.

Members enjoyed an afternoon learning about the Norton factory, bike manufacturing and then a Q and A session with Stuart Garner, Norton CEO. The day finished with dinner and drinks at Donington Manor Hotel, a really good start to the Spyder Club year.

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We then had our first new bike of the year the day after, the hugely anticipated BMW HP4! My first ride was far from entertaining as the M1 in February with snow was a bitter experience, although the brief thrash with the 911 Turbo warmed me through for a few adrenaline filled seconds, however after a late night prior, the ride back from Park Lane BMW was just about getting home quickly.

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From there though it got a lot better, I had another 400 miles to put on the bike before it’s first service and then loading it with the rest of the fleet to head to Spain where it impressed me massively. We always knew it was going to be outstanding as our previous S1000RR was effortless!

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There were four other newcomers to be picked-up before our jaunt to Spain. It had been a year since we’d had a KTM full time on the fleet (we’ve run an SMT, 990 Adventure, RC8 and RC8 R since April 2008 to March 2013) so picking up the brilliant SMT (members loved the SMT we took on our November 2012 Spanish trip) and our first single cylinder bike in the shape of a 690 Duke – hilarious, mad and so quick for a single!

But the day got better when I arrived at Ducati UK to load up a brand new Multistrada (again, members love this bike, ‘it does everything very well’) and our second Monster 1100 Evo (another bike members were very happy to see return to the fleet).

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With 11 motorcycles safely packed we set off on another journey to southern Spain. This would be our fifth visit to the glorious roads of Andalucia and as ever they never failed to entertain! With three groups joining us, I ride each route three times and still enjoy every mile. As usual, our guests were looked after from their arrival at Malaga airport until being dropped off for their return flight home. Good company, roads, food and wine, and of course some exceptional motorcycles to ride in the sun!

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Spain is a great way to start the motorcycle season and many of the guests joining us were doing so for their second, third or fourth time round. However we also had a number of new guests and one of the best testimonials we’ve ever received from one of them!

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We do our best to put likeminded riders together. Our philosophy is simple, if you like bikes, enjoy meeting people and ride well, we’ll make sure you enjoy your time with us. Our riders are those who enjoy making progress whilst riding to their own abilities and to the conditions of the roads, showing other road users, guests and Spyder Club bikes, respect. Because of these requirements our guests go home smiling having made new friends, enjoyed new bikes and wanting to return.

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To establish new customers we now have an interview process, this sometimes means turning money away; never a good thing but we have learnt the hard way and it makes much more sense in the long term. Our testimonial was very interesting as it started by saying ‘why should I be asked questions when spending my money?’ It went on to read ‘because I had a better time riding and being with people who were all likeminded, it was a brilliant trip because of it!’

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We arrived home to huge snow drifts and the worry of another wet summer ahead, silly but 2012 wasn’t good for the two wheeled industry in the UK. However we got right back to work and set about organising an open day in April at our usual spot, the Bird in Hand, Witney. As usual we had a good turnout and selection of motorcycles for members and interested non-members to sample.

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The Spyder Club open days provide non-members who want to learn more about Spyder Club the opportunity to do so before committing to membership or a trip. If you like the idea of meeting a few members and Lizzi and I, please get in touch and we’ll put you on our list and inform you of future dates, 0845 2000 868 or contact us.

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All our attention was then turned to our next big trip and our first venture to the Isle of Man and the TT!

Regardless of what event we have coming up next, our members want to use their days, points and miles and bikes are constantly being delivered for them to use. Members have been very active this year, the weather has helped but so has the continual turnover of bikes. Members see something new and book it, making sure they experience what they want to and often making buying decisions based on their experience on the Spyder Club fleet.

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This year has been no exception, the 1199, Monster, SMT, Multistrada, Norton and Street Triple have been bikes that members have either enquired about or purchased during the year, taking our member spend on bikes ridden through Spyder Club to over half a millions pounds in the last four years alone!

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But back to the IoM TT, what an event! We arrived on the ferry with 8 bikes, a car and minibus and headed straight for the barns we’d rented for our two week stay. The barns were perfect, the weather forecast looked good and we had two weeks of road racing to entertain us.

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Practice week was excellent, there were a few evenings of rain which didn’t do a lot for the racers practice but the riding the group did around the island didn’t suffer, and because the majority of the public come for race week the roads off the course were quiet and a delight!

Practice week is definitely the time to go if you want a more relaxed island with far more viewing areas free of the masses.  Can you tell if they are racing or not? During practice week I thought not, the likes of John McGuinness, Michael Dunlop, Guy Martin and Cameron Donald, etc are coming passed you at massive speeds and inches away. But then race week happened!

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Watching John McGuinness, Cameron Donald and Michael Dunlop ride past you at 150 mph, knee down, centimetres away from the curb, feet away from each other and only inches from the wall spectators are sat on is one of the most amazing things I’ve seen. All three riders were absolutely committed and all within 5 seconds of each other, amazing! It also renders practice week as practice! The added commitment from the riders is truly incredible, you hear the stories of what spectators witness but it doesn’t translate until you see it for yourself.

Prior to visiting the TT I thought the racers were just nuts. Having experienced their efforts and ridden the course you quickly realise the amount of concentration, stamina and sheer talent these guys have. If you haven’t been then go, it s inspiring, incredible and amazing! Plus the Isle of Man is beautiful, we were however lucky enough to be blessed with sun, sun, sun!

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We returned triumphant from the TT, it was a huge success and all our guests enjoyed the trip. We’ll be heading back again in 2015 and spaces are already filling up!

It was a quick turnaround because no sooner had we unpacked then we were preparing for our next short break, fly-ride motorcycle tour. However before we could do anything there were of course members to deliver motorcycles to and two new bikes to arrive! The Husquvana Nuda R and the Ducati Hyperm0tard were bikes everyone loved in 2012 and we hoped the new Ducati Hyperstrada would offer the same thrills. We haven’t been disappointed!

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Ducati have done it again, the new 800 cc, liquid cooled motor is smooth and punchy, brilliant! The handling is of course what you’d expect from a Ducati, exceptional, confidence inspiring and masses of fun, fun, fun!! It accompanied us to the Alps and no one had a bad word to say.

We also took on a new marque for Spyder Club with the help of the manufacturer themselves. The Victory Judge is our first long term cruiser and it has caused a stir! Since it’s arrival it been our most popular bike and all bar one of the members who’ve ridden it has enjoyed it thoroughly! It slows life down but punches hard when required. It looks stunning and the finish is first class. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Victory Motorcycles.

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As already said, we aim to take likeminded motorcycle enthusiasts away with us because that’s the way our guests and we at Spyder Club like it. It’s also why our rebooking rate is so high and some of our members are doing 5 trips a year with us. We provide plenty of good riding, lots of laughs and take care of all the hassle so our guests just turn up and enjoy themselves. Our fourth Swiss Alps trip would be no different.

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We had two new guests and four returning, five were Spyder Club members. The Swiss Alps are stunning, riding from corner to glorious corner, pass after stunning pass, Switzerland offers some of the best riding we do.

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We also took a non-Spyder Club bike for one of the guests. The down side, he didn’t get to ride the fleet we took but he fell in love with his own bike and it was amazing to watch his riding improve over the four days. We’ll continue to do this as long as it doesn’t effect other trips if we are running them back to back as it’s another way we can bring likeminded riders into the club.

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As most (but not all) of our members and trip guests are busy business owners, this adds another element to Spyder Club. To begin with, it’s another thing members and trip guests have in common but also there’s the opportunity to do business upon their return home. Two of our Spanish guests who met in March this year are now working together, and this has happened before. You do business, if you can, with those you like and we at Spyder Club are happy to help!!

Our members are largely successful business people and we very often get the very best advice when on trips and events. Member are passionate about Spyder Club and it’s/our success and we are very lucky to have them on our side!

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This year has been very busy with both member bookings and trips. The down side to this review of the year so far is we can’t really elaborate on the delivery of a Spyder Club machine to a member, it’s been a crazy year. What we can say is the tyre bill so far this year is huge, as is the fuel bill from the Sprinter van that does the hard work week after week, delivering the motorcycles. This year it has covered 26,000 miles already! However the sun has continued to shine and we have continued to buy new bikes meaning members keep paying their membership because there is always something new to try.

And then we went to Scotland!

Spyder Club Motorcycle Tour Scotland 2013

Our four time north of the border and the best yet! Why so much better than before, the routes were the same, fast flowing roads, unbelievably beautiful scenery and the usual Spyder Club fleet of excellent, varied motorcycles, the weather! We have, since 2010 and our first Scottish motorcycle trip, been incredibly lucky with the weather, only one day of rain in that time, but this year we were blessed. Three solid days of sunshine and heat. When we stopped we realised just how hot it was, but on the bike, perfect!

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Scotland is one of the most beautiful places in the world and for the biker it offers some of the very best riding you can imagine on quiet roads. We will probably not return next year as we have experienced it at it’s very best, we’ll be back in 2015 though!

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Two weeks after returning from Scotland we were off on another UK trip where the roads are excellent. We only had three riders and a pillion but the small groups often make it a far more relaxed time. We headed west for Hereford where we met the rest of the guys and girl on Friday evening for a beer and dinner.

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On Saturday we headed into Wales and the smooth tarmac it’s famed for. Two days of riding great routes, right on our doorstep. There was only one Spyder Club bike used, the BMW HP4, as the two other riders came along on their own bikes, the average Spyder Club member owns three bikes. Normally this is a good way for members to join us for a less expensive weekend away, using their membership and meeting other club members. We’ll be running more of these later in the year and putting them into the 2014 calendar which is being published very soon.

Spyder Club Motorcycle Tour Wales Anglesey Ducati 1198 SP

We also visited Anglesey Race Circuit on Saturday evening to watch the last races of the day, a great track which has to be visited, they were having a good time out there and the views surrounding the facility are stunning.

One week later we were ready for our first attempt at a track event. It wasn’t as complicated as running a circuit event as we’d only be going in a straight line, in theory. Our Bruntingthorpe High Speed day was an exclusive Spyder Club event, no one else there but us! We, and it transpires, our members weren’t sure what to expect.

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Going fast in a straight line is easy, point, squirt! But with most of the members having both a car and bike there, courtesy of our bike pick up service, the smiles and runs alone the to mile runway just kept coming. There was no one else there but us, 18 driver/riders hitting stupid speeds all afternoon, safely. We will we be doing it again, every one of our members wants to go faster, everyone of them said it surpassed their expectations, we have already pencilled in the 1st August 2014!

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It was also really good to hear that Bruntingthorpe haven’t had a bike event at the Proving Ground for five years but they were confident Spyder Club members would be respectful, responsible riders/drivers at the same time as having fun, we didn’t let them down!

The joy of the Spyder Club membership is the characters we have onboard. Zef is a complete bike nut, motorcycles have been in his life constantly and the whole group were delighted to see his British Land Speed Turbine bike running at our Bruntingthorpe day as it had been a few weeks before at Goodwood Festival of Speed. You don’t get that anywhere else.

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What a machine, superb!

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We then all headed off to Kilworth House Hotel for the evening for dinner and drinks and to relive the speed of the day, 190 mph on a Ducati 1199 Panigale, a Kawasaki ZZR1400 that wiped the floor with everything, a BMW K1300S that seemed to never stop, it’s rider bolt upright but blasting past everything and a Suzuki GSXR1000 25th Anniversary Edition that sounded awesome!

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The cars were staggering too, the BMW M5 V8 twin turbo just leaped off the line and pushed you back into the seat, a Jaguar XKR that left a Ferrari F430 and 550 Barchetta for dead and a C63 AMG at 161 mph was my fastest four wheel experience as a driver. A great day and one we can’t wait to run again.

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And now we are getting ready for Provence and the Pyrenees trips at the same time as taking on two new bikes before we go and making sure members are using their points, days and miles.

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Yesterday we picked up an MV Agusta F3 800 from Bennetts Motorcycles in Barnsley. I spent the morning and afternoon running it in around the Peak District before returning it to Bennetts for it’s first service! Today we have sent it on it’s first booking with our longest standing member after taking it for a ride for a few pictures and a bit of film. Lizzi has fallen in love with another Spyder Club machine, meaning she now wants a Ducati Hyperstrada and MV Agusta F3 800 to go with her Triumph Street Triple and Bimota DB4, we need more members!!

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Mr P joined us two months after we started Spyder Club way back in 2008. He is into his sixth year of Spyder Club membership and about to join us for the first time on a fly-ride trip to the Pyrenees.

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There is one more bike to join us before we head off to Provence and the Pyrenees and it’s one members are really looking forward to. We have had three Ducati Diavels in various forms but the Strada will make an already brilliant bike even better! It offers itself to touring perfectly, comfortable, masses of usable power and handling that really shouldn’t be as good as it is for what is essentially a cruiser, albeit a Ducati take on a cruiser!

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But back to Mr P, this is what we get from our members, loyalty in a way we are humbled by daily. We work hard to look after all our members and in return they make their club, our trips and events great experiences, mostly on two wheels!!

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It’s been our best year in our five and a half year existence, membership is up, our rejoin rate is very high and our trip guests are smiling and rebooking. We are also up to our 75th bike since we started in February 2008 and our 76th will be the Ducati Diavel Strada and with us by the end of August. Members also believe they get value for money from the services we provide, so now it’s time for all those motorcycle enthusiasts who keep telling us they like the idea and what the club stands for to come and join us?!? Get in touch and see why Spyder Club really is about Easy Riding

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The Stunning MV Agusta F3 800 Arrives at Spyder Club

Add comment August 20th, 2013

Spyder Club MV Agusta F3 800

Spyder Club have owned three MV Agustas in our five year history: the MV F4R 312 – famed for it’s ability to do 312 kph and so stylish it was exhibited in the Guggenheim Museum; the MV Brutale 910 S, brutal by name and nature; and the MV F4 1000 (2010) which split opinions with it’s squared exhaust pipes. After that history, it appeared a certainty that the 675 would make the Spyder Club fleet but it never happened, concerns with power delivery, fuelling and throttle control meant the order was delayed and the bike never arrived.

The MV Agusta F3 800 is the big brother to the F3 675 and has had the issues that plagued the pretty bike, all ironed out. It’s hard to do justice to such a stunning piece of machinery – rumour has it from Mark (currently running it in up in the Peak District) that it has sublime handling and a stunning soundtrack produced from the triple cylinder engine and exhausts positioned low on the bike. More importantly the delivery of the power is as it should be, whilst not as smooth as the 675 Triumph and with less pull lower down the rev range if you ride it as it should be ridden, like a sports bike, it’s just brilliant! There the superlatives end – our members will have to find their own words to describe just how good this bike is.

Aren’t they lucky – I guess I’ll find out tomorrow morning! You know what to do… join Spyder Club

Spyderlizzi

And purely for gratuitous reasons a few pictures from the archive of MV Agusta ownership at Spyder Club:

Spyder Club MV Agusta F4 1000

Spyder Club MV Agusta F4R 312

Spyder Club MV Agusta Brutale 910S

 

Spyder Club Exclusive Bruntingthorpe Day, Brilliant!

1 comment August 13th, 2013

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What a day, superb, brilliant, laughter all the way! It surpassed Spyder Club members expectations as whilst anyone can point and accelerate down a two mile straight to incredible speeds, you can’t do it safely anywhere else but on a runway and at Bruntingthorpe you are looked after very well too!

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We weren’t sure what to expect from the day and it became apparent members felt the same but as we watched them finish a run and head straight back out again and again with huge smiles we knew we’d be doing it in 2014! And we will, as each of the members who joined us at Bruntingthorpe wants to do it again next year.

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We offered members a pick up service for their bikes so they could also bring their cars and run both two and four wheels. The fleet was pretty impressive as our members have some special machinery.  Bikes: 2 BMW HP4’s, a Ducati 1198 SP and 749 S, Kawasaki ZX6R, Triumph Daytona 675 and 955, Suzuki GSXR1000 25th anniversary, ZZR1400, K1300S and R, and Spyder Club member Zef Eisenberg brought along his Turbine bike, very impressive!

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Oliver also brought his Tom Sykes BSB bike (currently for sale) that couldn’t run in the end due to noise restrictions but it’s amazing, it weighs nothing and is incredible just to sit on, a great shame we couldn’t hear it wail! The best noise was the Anniversary GSXR that sounded like a train coming down the straight. The ZZR1400 was easily the fastest with the GSXR, 1199 and K1300S very close behind.

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We also took a few Spyder Club bikes for members to use including a couple of Street Triples, the R was beaten by the standard whilst accelerating (max speed indicated, 151 mph), a Ducati 848 (175 mph) and 1199 Panigale (186 mph, then the speedo went blank as the bike was still pulling!)

We had the following cars too: a BMW Z4, Morgan Aero, Porsche 911 (991) C2S, Audi RS4, the Jaguar XKR hammered the Ferrari 550 Barchetta and F430 and was the surprise of the day recording 175 mph before hitting the limiter. The BMW M5 V8 twin turbo was bloody awesome, flying off the line and pulling very hard all the way to a limited 168 mph. Lizzi and I were lucky enough to drive Peter’s Mercedes C63 AMG, so fast, 161 mph was hit very quickly and much to the annoyance of it’s owner was where is stayed, limiter hit again!

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There was two other cars we wanted to run but couldn’t due to noise restrictions and a member not being able to make it. We were really looking forward to seeing Paul’s race car, a recreation of the Porsche 962 Le Mans car in Gulf colours, run down the 2 miles with 650 bhp it would have been a rare treat! And Colin’s Caterham R400 would have left all the other cars for dead had it arrived! At least until early three figures when it would have watch the others fly off into the distance.

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The day went without a hitch, indeed we even had a few surprises, one in the shape of a Dakota landing over our heads on the runway, fantastic, and whilst Lizzi and I were packing up and the members were having a drink and reflecting on the day at Kilworth House, we watch the 747 being moved! Because Lizzi from Spyder Club also works with RMA Track Days her experience in running such events shone through and kept everything safe.

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And safety was of course a big factor. Travelling down a 2 mile straight at nearly 190 mph on two wheels is very easy, point and pull the throttle, anyone can do it! So it’s testament to Spyder Club members that Bruntingthorpe even let us run the event as we were the first bike day on the runway in 5 years. This reflects the reputation Spyder Club and our members have established, we enjoy two wheels but understand fun doesn’t need to come at a price!

We also need to offer Bruntingthorpe and in particular Dave, a big thank you, as without his help and understanding we could’t have made it happen. We are looking forward to a long relationship with Dave, a true petrol head and gentleman.

The day was ended with dinner and drinks at Kilworth House, a great venue for Spyder Club and one our members enjoyed. We’ll be heading back there for our winter party upon their instruction!

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The Bruntingthorpe event will be featuring in the 2014 calendar without a doubt as all who were there are coming again and many members who weren’t, want to. If you’d like to join a club for likeminded bike enthusiasts then Spyder Club is for you, give us a call, it’s only a chat about motorcycles!! 0845 2000 868.

Take a look at some of the film:

1199 Panigale v ZZR1400

1199 Panigale v ZZR1400 Drag Race

Dakota Coming in to Land

911 and Morgan Aero, M5 

Zef Eisenberg Powering up the Turbine Bike

Spyder_Club_Bruntingthorpe_Husband_and_Wife_Race

The Spyder Club Victory Judge Makes it’s Mark!

Add comment August 6th, 2013

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In the past we’ve had a few cruisers on a temporary basis at Spyder Club but members have only had the opportunity to ride them over half an hour or so, which isn’t long enough to do any bike justice!

They haven’t been run of the mill either as Harley Davidson were good enough to loan Spyder Club a V-Rod and Fat Bob CVO amongst others! But you need a decent amount of time to get to know any bike, so the arrival of the Victory Judge at Spyder Club has allowed members to really enjoy the experience of riding a cruiser!

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The likes of the Moto Guzzi Griso SE and Ducati Diavel have been the closest things to cruisers previously on the Spyder Club fleet, and they’ve worked very well! The Griso is still a bike members reminisce over and want to see back at Spyder Club and as the Diavel is about to return in the Strada variant, the fourth Diavel we’ll have had, it’s popularity is obvious!

But these aren’t like the old cruiser bikes, big lazy things that won’t stop or corner.  These bikes encourage a slower pace of life than a sports bike but when they need to go – boy do they! It’s a different way of riding two wheels and one Spyder Club members are enjoying.

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There’s also a sense of occasion about the Victory Judge that you don’t get from many of today’s missiles. People stop and stare, non-bike riders as well as the enthusiast. It attracts attention where ever you go and members have reported lots of conversations about the bike when out on a ride, ‘you can’t just stop for a rest because you end up chatting!’

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The Victory Judge is a well put together machine too. The finish is excellent, the motor sounds beautiful and the paintwork stunning. It handles, it is of course different to many of the bikes on the Spyder Club fleet but once you’ve understood it, it works brilliantly!

And that engine, 1,700 cc’s of push! In the higher gears it’s relentless, overtaking quickly in top gear from low speeds is easy, hands gripped firmly to the bars whilst the bike hurls you into the distance!

So, our first long term cruiser has been an overwhelming success. Spyder Club members are enjoying it and currently, it’s the most popular bike on the fleet, very closely followed by the Ducati Hyperstrada though!!

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Spyder Club Welsh Weekend

Add comment August 5th, 2013

Spyder Club have just returned from a great weekend riding the stunning roads of north Wales.  Meeting up for the first night just outside Hereford there was a small group of us, some riding their own bikes and some on the Spyder Club fleet. Bikes included the BMW HP4, a Ducati 1198 SP and Triumph Street Triple R.

After a substantial breakfast the following morning, we lead the group on Saturday morning over the brilliant A483 to Newtown before heading up to Snowdonia for lunch.  After a hearty meal (which was to become a habit of this trip!) we set off for a windswept Anglesey where we watched some racing before arriving at Colwyn Bay for the night and dinner.

The next morning after another sizeable breakfast we completed the famous Evo triangle, rode through Betws-y-Coed, stopped for a smaller lunch and ended the weekend near Hereford.

A quick weekend away covering 400 miles of fun filled tarmac.


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