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Spyder Club Open Day

Add comment May 12th, 2017

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Firstly a huge ‘thank you’ to all of the members and non-members who came along to our open day on the 29th April.  We had a fantastic turnout and great atmosphere for our open day extravaganza!

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With the support of motorcycle manufacturers Aprilia and Triumph and dealers BMW Park Lane and Bennett’s Motorcycles, MV Agusta Yorkshire, we had a plentiful and superb fleet of motorcycles for guests to ride.

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We also teamed up with Baines Racing, our neighbour at Silverstone Park, who were offering experiences and technical information for those wishing to exercise their legs on two wheels, rather than their wrists.  Core Cycling were also offering coaching and Retul advice.

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Also in attendance were Arai doing free helmet services and RST.  Zona also brought their set up and offered demos of their rear view camera system.

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Along with the two wheeled attractions, those clever boys from Delta Motorsport took a number of people out in the all electric E4 Coupe.  With carbon fibre aplenty and little noise, the lucky people who got a ride came back very exhilarated.

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It was a great day with a superb atmosphere both in our new lounge and bar area at Spyder Club HQ and around the exhibitors in and outside.  Thank you to everyone for making it so.

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However there was a negative to the day, a day we knew would one day come and after nine years, sadly it arrived.  One of our very competent, careful riders suffered a serious accident.

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Why would we mention this?  Because the member involved is a consistent, considered and experienced rider with 25 years of motorcycling behind him and until the 29th April, no incidents.

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He is now in hospital on the long road to recovery through no fault of his own.  He is with us because of the quick actions of Spyder Club members, the emergency services and Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

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It’s a sobering thought that such a careful and experienced rider can still come to grief and a lesson to all riders that training, the right clothing and first aid skills should be compulsory.  Advanced training is already a big part of our membership and we will be offering workshops in the future featuring first aid too.

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We wish him the speediest of recoveries and thank those both at the scene and back at base for understanding the seriousness of the event.

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To finish on a positive note, that’s our first serious incident in 9 years and a testament to our members and trip guests.  We will therefore look forward to our next open day and providing advanced riding and first aid work shops at Spyder Club, Silverstone.

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We are also looking forward to seeing our friend back in the Spyder Club members bar in the not too distant future.

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Triumph Street Triple 765 RS and Bobber Review

Add comment April 6th, 2017

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My first rides of both the brand-new Triumph Street Triple 765 RS and Bonneville Bobber were in the freezing cold temperatures of the UK.  The RS in particular was ridden at night, in the rain and with 4 degrees indicated on the very flash dash; the bath after that ride was far more rewarding!

However, fast forward a week and our first guests for the Spyder Club Season Starter trip arrived into a beautifully sunny Andalucia, Southern Spain to ride, amongst others, the two new Triumph machines.
Bobber first, it was the bike that whilst riding, I had the best of the weather and roads with back in the UK and I haven’t had the chance to ride it in Spain yet.  Straightaway though, it was so easy to ride.  The 1200cc motor pulls effortlessly and is smooth as silk.

On dry roads around Northampton in slightly warmer temperatures than I’d ridden the RS the night before, the Bobber flowed beautifully through the sweeping corners.  Getting lost in a large town, the motor, handling and controls were predictable and did nothing to hamper my ride as I searched for my way back home.

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However, the feedback from our trip guests whilst in Spain has been the most interesting.  Here in the mountains close to Ronda, we spend most of our riding time enjoying technical and challenging roads, the Bobber has kept its cool throughout.

Not a single guest has been unsure of the superbly built and quality feeling Bobber.  In the past, the retro styled bikes have divided opinion but that’s not been the case with the Triumph.  From our guys who enjoy the sportier bikes, to the chaps who are happier with an adventure style machine, all seven riders in Group One have been massively impressed with the Bobber.  It handles everything we put in its way: from hairpins, to fast sweepers, it was never left behind and with the glorious twin soundtrack, just put a smile on everyone’s face.  It’s been an exciting talking point.

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And on to the RS.  I have been lucky enough to ride this bike on roads is was built for.  On this trip, we have a 2010 Street Triple R, a 2016 RX and the new 765 RS.  The reason we bought the RX and RS out to Spain was to get guests to ride both bikes back to back, the 2010 R is Spyder Lizzi’s bike.

I am a massive fan of the Street Triple, it’s the perfect lead bike, enough power to have plenty of fun, handling that competes with many far more focused machines and a predictability to flatter any rider, old or new.

With long term Spyder Club member ‘Quick Mick’ behind me on the RS and me on the RX, we agreed to stop 15 miles in to a 30 mile stretch of 2nd and 3rd gear cornering roads.  The RX showed its usual talents and made me smile and giggle for the entire ride.

Stopping in a village to swap, I climbed aboard the RS and within seconds felt the advances of the new machine.  It’s so light, so flickable, but as Mick said, ‘it’s a scalpel.’  The precision with which you can turn and hit the exact spot you want to is unbelievable.  How have Triumph taken an exceptional motorcycle, the previous generation Street Triple, and made it even better?

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As with the Bobber, the seven guests all agreed it was a cracking motorcycle and definitely a contender for the best bike ever.  The engine is a peach, even in the more revy RS model, it’s so responsive throughout the rev range and the howl from that triple motor is brilliant.

As yet we haven’t played with the new toys the RS benefits from over the older models, in time no doubt we’ll have more to say on the RS.

At the end of the 30 miles I got Spyder Lizzi to ride it.  Her 2010 Street Triple R is not something she gives up lightly, but after 20 miles on the RS, Lizzi has found her replacement.

The two new additions to the Triumph model range have been a joy to ride under the sunny skies of Spain and even in the cold and wet back home.  Whether you are looking for nostalgia or bang up to date technology, the Bobber and RS are simply brilliant motorcycles that have massively impressed all of our Spyder Club Season Starter trip guests, and I have no doubt the next group will enjoy them just as much.

Spyder Club Season Starter Motorcycle Trip, Group One

Add comment April 6th, 2017

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We start planning our trips a good year in advance and before you know it, they are done.  Our first group of the 2017 Season Starter trips have just left us for Blighty and we now await the arrival of group two and the boys from RST Leathers.

We and our first guests have been blessed with perfect weather conditions, blissful roads and some cracking motorcycles to ride, including two great new machines from Triumph, the Bonneville Bobber and Street Triple 765 RS.

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We have moved the Season Starter trips further west this year to open up new roads and stay within a beautiful national park in the stunning region of Andalucia.

It’s been a fantastic place to return to each evening and enjoy a well-earned beer after a good day out on the bikes.

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As usual we bought along a great range of motorcycles for our guests to ride, swapping en route so they can enjoy all of the bikes we have brought out with us.  And as usual, the guys have returned home with new purchases in mind.

The bikes with us this year, a Ducati XDiavel, Monster 1200R and Mutistrada, a KTM 1290 Super Duke R, a BMW R1200GS and S1000XR and the new Triumph Street Triple 765 RS and Bobber, along with the Street Triple 675 RX and a 2010 R.

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It was a great four days riding here in Spain with returning and new guests.  Thank you, guys, for making our first trip of 2017 a good one, and now it’s on to the next.

Spyder Club Season Starter Motorcycle Trip in Spain

Add comment March 30th, 2017

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Here we are again in Andalucia, southern Spain, under the sunny skies and awaiting our guests in a new location and a lovely hotel not far from Ronda and the epic A-397 road.

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From tomorrow, guests will arrive into Malaga airport, where they’ll be transported to the awaiting fleet of Spyder Club motorcycles and 4 days of superb riding.

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This year’s fleet includes the Ducati XDiavel, Monster 1200 R and Multistrada, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R, BMW R1200GS and S1000XR and the brand new Triumph Bobber.  We also have three generations of the fantastic Street Triple, the R, RX and another new one, the 765 RS.

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So what’s not to like, the hotel is perfect, the beer is cold, the sun is shining and the roads and bikes are excellent.  We have been running this trip since 2010 and we have guests who’ll have joined us every year, that has to say something.

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And there’s a final space available on our RST Partner film trip between the 6th and 10th April, who’d like to join us?

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Spyder Club Annual Winter Party

Add comment February 6th, 2017

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The 2017 Spyder Club event calendar has been kicked off as usual with our annual Winter Party.

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As ever, we started our day with a visit somewhere special and on Saturday morning, we all turned up at the Williams F1 facility for a tour of the Sir Frank William’s Museum

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Wow, what a collection of cars.  In the majority F1 race cars, championship and race winning cars and a stunning hoard of memorabilia.

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There where other non-F1 vehicles too, including the Renault Laguna British Touring Championship car and a MG Metro rally car, I always loved the 6R4, but apparently that doesn’t warrant a go.

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As usual after we’d been mesmerised by the carbon fibre, the weight, or lack thereof, of an F1 race wheel and tyre, the cost of a steering wheel and the space drivers sit in, we enjoyed lunch and a Batak challenge in the trophy room, I came second, again!

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It was a great visit to Williams and Simon our guide was hugely knowledgeable and very passionate, it’s well worth a visit.

Then we headed to the hotel for some rugby, watching it I mean, not members trying to tackle us to the ground to book the new bikes first!  Then a few beers, accompanied by our resident ivory tinkler; the room is full behind him, honest.

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Then dinner and drinks and a really good night.

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We’d like to thank all who joined us, members and their partners, those who came as non-members to see what Spyder Club is like and have since joined.   Spyder Club just keeps getting better and better and it’s events like these and the support we get that makes it so…

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We have an Open Day fast approaching for those who need another club fix or any potential members wanting to come and see what we do.  Join us on Saturday 18th March, until then, Spyders.

IOM TT 2017 Race Schedule

Add comment January 9th, 2017

Spyder Club Motorcycle Hire and Tour IOM TT 2017

We’re really looking forward to the TT again this year and the race schedule is now out:

Saturday 3rd June
1100hrs – RST Superbike TT Race
1400hrs – Sure Sidecar TT Race 1

Monday 5th June
1045hrs – Monster Energy Supersport TT Race 1
1415hrs – RL 360 Quantum Superstock Race

Wednesday 7th June
1045hrs – Monster Energy Supersport TT Race 2
1415hrs – Bennetts Lightweight TT Race
1620hrs – SES TT Zero Race

Friday 9th June
1015hrs – Sure Sidecar TT Race 2
1230hrs – PokerStars Senior TT Race

Qualifying takes place from Saturday 27th May to Fri 2nd June between 1820hrs – 2050hrs

Once again we’ll be taking a stunning fleet of bikes to the island for customers to hire, we also have packages available which include accommodation and motorcycle hire, day tours of the island which include a lap of the circuit and our ever popular laps of the course with Steve Parrish.

If you’ve not already booked your trip to the IOM TT for 2017, come with us!

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The Best Bike of 2016 at Spyder Club

Add comment December 8th, 2016

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It’s a great thing to do at the end of each year, work out what bikes you have gelled with during the last 12 months.  Once again, Spyder Club members had access to many new motorcycles and this year more than ever, they were truly spoilt.  With a total of 30 motorcycles to choose from and our first trip fleet of the year averaging at over £16,000 per bike, it’s been a good riding season.

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And for once I was blessed.  Group One of the Season Starter trip in Spain picked their steads and jaw droppingly, left me with a brand-new Ducati Monster 1200R.  Not only did they leave me with the bike I most wanted to ride, we were also heading to the A-397 from San Pedro, the fantastic Ronda road!

The road is a favourite and after 50 kilometres of heavenly tarmac, so was the Monster.  The engine is a peach, so smooth, so refined but with that Ducati character that lets you know it’s a special bike.

I’ve ridden the standard machine and the S and both are great bikes, but the R, it’s just so much better.  On the Ronda road, a technical ride, it didn’t miss a beat and its hat was firmly thrown in the ring for bike of the year.

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We have owned a KTM Super Duke R for a few years now but I rarely get the chance to ride it, members and trips guests always come first.  Finally, I had the privilege and proper first ride on one of our Open Days, and the hype is right.

The Super Duke is so capable; refined when required, brutal when the throttle is opened, with spirit and handling to flatter every rider.  Just like the Monster, it’s a bike that has so much to offer, and going on the numbers of members buying the KTM, wins hands down, but let’s not make that decision just yet…

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Staying naked (!), I have run two 2008 Triumph Street Triple R’s over the last three years and covered many, many miles on them.  We also have a 2010 Street Triple R and this year bought a brand-new RX.  It doesn’t matter which one you climb on, it just feels like home.

Sometimes the members/trip guests ask to ride my bike, ‘I’m sorry, it has the Sat-Nav and I have no idea where I’m going unless I have it,’ is a great way of saying ‘no’.

With a lot less horses than the Monster and Super Duke, and a price tag of thousands less, you could argue this bike shouldn’t feature, but you’d be wrong.  If you haven’t ridden a Street Triple of any variation, do it.  Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye to the 2008 R but luckily the RX isn’t going anywhere.

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Okay, a very different animal, but again, ride one.  Piaggio Group UK were kind enough to lend me a Vespa GTS 300 for my Lands End to John O’Groats and National Three Peaks challenge in May.  Setting off from Cornwall with 1,013 miles in front of me, plus 21 miles of mountain climbing, I was going to get to know my little white Vespa.

The challenge was to go non-stop so if this was a bad scooter, it wasn’t going to be any fun and could seriously dent my usually, sunny (ish) disposition.  In rain, on the motorway for hour after hour and on the epic roads right across Wales, the Lake District and Scottish Highlands and the East Coast, it looked after me and I genuinely enjoyed every mile.  I love the Vespa GTS, and yes, I am going to buy one.

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And so, what of the most expensive bike we’ve ever bought?  The Ariel Ace had its first outing in Spain in March and was interesting.  In short, it completely divided opinion.  There were many things that didn’t make any sense, the frame being right where you needed to grip the tank, the riding position being somewhere between a sports bike, in relation to the bars, and a touring machine regarding the pegs.

It felt like riding an old race bike, or at least how I expect an old race bike to feel.  It was heavy and whilst it never felt like it was going to leave the road, into corners, it never truly inspired confidence.

Members and trip guests were divided, many thought it was a good motorcycle, others just couldn’t get on with it.  The problems did diminish with more time on the bike; it was a grower, but a slow one.

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Understanding which bikes are in the top tier, is usually cemented by member purchases.  If members and trip guests go home and buy, you know they’ve truly bonded with a bike.  With the Monster, and Super Duke in particular, this has been true, but also for a number of adventure style bikes.

We have owned a BMW S1000 XR for two years and will keep it for one more.  It suits so many riders and has been a popular purchase after a Spyder Club test ride.  With the inline four cylinder from the RR under the tank and an up and down clutch-less shift, plus handling that inspires even the least experienced rider, it’s got to be a contender.

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And so has its brother, the BMW R1200 GS.  Again, a long-term resident at Spyder Club, we’ve had three this year, it does everything so damn well.  It’s a bike I never wanted to like, why would I want to ride an old man’s bike or ‘pretend adventurer’ machine?  Because the GS is truly a world class motorcycle and I’m now a paid-up member of the old mans, pretend adventurers club.  I can wax lyrical about the GS and as many of our riders own a GS, so can they.

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And you can’t leave the Multistrada out, last year on the Isle of Man it made me smile the most.  Just like the Monster, it has a beautifully smooth V-twin and as with all Ducati machines, the handling is the very best.  A worthy mention also goes to the ever popular KTM 1190 Adventure, which I prefer over the 1290 Super Adventure, and a few years ago, was my favourite bike.

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So, what about the sports bikes?  For the first time since 2008 our sports bike offering has been reduced, with only three new bikes on offer at Spyder Club: the Aprilia RSV4 RF, Ducati 959 Panigale and for the sixth year running, a BMW S1000 RR.  Everyone loves the V4 engine in the RSV and the Aprilia is at the top of the pile when it comes to superbikes, however not far behind are the S1000 RR and the Ducati 1299.

All of the modern day 200 bhp Superbikes are just mental and for me, working out which one is the best is impossible.  I am not talented enough to use these bikes to their potential and therefore I love them all, because they really are super bikes.

The 959 Panigale however, now there’s a bike to rave about.  It’s still no pussy cat and with 150 bhp on tap, no slouch either, but I feel in control of it rather than the other way around.  And once again, Ducati have developed the V-twin motor into something of real pleasure.  Gone is the low-down lumpiness of old, now there is a smooth, refined, predictable and precise engine with the usual pinpoint accurate chassis of a Ducati.  Now if only they would plonk it into a Monster 821, which we have just bought and I can’t wait to ride.

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So which is it?  There are many other bikes to mention but if we stick to the bikes bought by members and trip guests this year, those are the contenders.

And at the top of that list, it’s the Super Duke, well actually the 1290 GT and Super Duke R as some wanted a fairing.  Members voted with their wallets and seven have bought or ordered a KTM.  However, if I was buying a bike for me, it would be the Ducati Monster R, well, with the GS or XR, oh and a Street Triple, and can I have the Vespa GTS too?

Although, luckily I don’t need to choose, I’ll just stick with Spyder Club!

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Spyder Club at the NEC Motorcycle Live Show 2016

Add comment December 8th, 2016

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Another season finished and what better way to end it than at the Motorcycle Live Show, our ninth year, and 9 whole days standing on your feet!  Actually, it’s a great way for us to meet potential members, trip guests and short-term lease customers and also catch up with current members, manufacturers and our partners.  2016 has been our busiest year so although the show felt a little longer than usual, it was still great to be there.

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And how the motorcycle world has changed during the last 9 years since we began Spyder Club.  In recent years, the retro scene has been building, with an increasing presence seen over the years in the NEC halls.  This year there was a veritable retro tornado throughout almost all of the manufacturer stands, and some of the new bikes looked awesome.

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Triumph in particular have embraced the mass of interest in retro bikes and the scene.  Their unveiling of the Bobber in London recently was a fantastic event and nod to their commitment towards this genre.  The Bobber launch was superbly organised and filled to bursting with bearded, Belstaff jacket wearing bikers, free drink in hand and primed for purchases.  So far, we have only had the pleasure of owning a Street Twin, which, for the base model, is a truly brilliant motorcycle.  Triumph have really made their mark in the scene, hats (or helmets) off.

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You could argue BMW started the interest of the general populous in retro bikes with the fantastic R nineT a few years ago.  BMW have seen big things from their initially limited run R nineT and this year, have further capitalised on its success with exciting variations and many custom options.  With four R nineT’s spending time at Spyder Club since their launch at the beginning of 2014, it’s safe to say it’s a popular bike with our membership and trip guests, indeed, eight members and trip guests have voted with their wallets and bought their own.

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Whilst the R nineT can be given some of the credit for the eruption of the retro scene in the UK, the Moto Guzzi V7 has been a steadfast option for many years.  At this year’s Motorcycle Live show, the Piaggio Group stand had on display in their Moto Guzzi area the most beautiful V7 model.  The V750 with its chrome tank and brown leather seat was a real show stopper.  The V7 is often at the top of many group tests and whilst Spyder Club has never owned one, we house the Moto Guzzi press fleet so have been lucky enough to ride one on a regular basis, they really are fantastic, simple fun.

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We have owned a Ducati Scrambler, and we’re big fans.  Again, a simple, cracking, great motorcycle.  Retro bikes tend to do without the modern gizmos many bikes now have bolted on and that’s one reason to love them.  With enough power on tap to make you smile, these bikes make huge sense on damaged, busy English roads.  All the bikes mentioned are great on our B roads, however we have enjoyed the Ducati Scrambler on the flowing bends on the Route Napoleon where it kept many a big bike at bay.

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The show wasn’t all about the retro bikes, as usual it was filled with so much we would like to buy, the Spyder Club wallet ached at the thought.  The new KTM 1290 Super Duke and Adventure look stunning and as the current Super Duke and Adventure are already just that, the new ones are only going to be better.  The new colour schemes on the fantastic BMW R1200GS and RS look great, as do those on the Ducati Monster 821.  We love the Ducati SuperSport, one will be on the 2017 Club fleet for sure.

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Of course you can’t pass by the Aprilia stand without ogling the RSV4 and Tuono, well we are bikers!  The V4 engines are just to die for, and now we hear there’s another Italian V4 on the way, that’s a back to back test ride we’ll definitely want to organise for our members and trip guests.

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It’s been a while since the Club had a cruiser, the last being a Victory Judge and Hammer S; great fun and having been, at that time, predominately a sports and naked bike riders, it showed us a more relaxed and laid back style of riding that isn’t to be sneered at.  Another Polaris marque is the Indian, as yet we haven’t had the pleasure of riding one, but the Scout looks to be a popular contender.

Two more honourable mentions to the Moto Guzzi Flying Fortress which looks incredible and of course the new Norton V4 which simply has to be seen to be believed.

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The bikes are of course the stars of the show, however there was a lot of other things to spend your money on, or dream about.  Whether planning your trip to the Isle of Man TT or the annual European tour, testing your next bike or trying on the next set of leathers or helmet, the Motorcycle Live show has a mass of things to see and do.  But let’s face it, us exhibitors know that every morning, when the doors are flung open, the masses flock straight to the manufacturer stands so they can sit on all the new bikes, and we wait until you all filter through to the other stands from 11.00 onwards.

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And so, another year at the NEC, Motorcycle Live show is done, and with it the Spyder Club season.  We are already full speed ahead with plans and ordering bikes for the 2017 season which will be here before you know it.  It’s a tough job deciding which bikes to add to the fleet but one thing’s for sure, with over 160 different motorcycles being ridden by Spyder Club members and trip guests since we started in 2008, we’ll be pushing to break the 200 mark before our tenth birthday.

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Spyder Club November Spain Trip 2016

Add comment December 8th, 2016

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Another Spyder Club season has finished in Spain, north of Alicante, in the best possible way.  With 9 guests, perfect weather and blissfully quiet, challenging roads, our November Spain trip was fantastic.

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Four of our guests were first timers, and all have booked another trip for 2017.  The riding was as we expect, safe and within each individual’s comfort zone.  No egos, no points to prove, just smiles and happy riders on a fantastic range of motorcycles.

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There are some incredible roads north of Alicante which is one of the reasons we head back each year.  We also have a lot of the same guests joining us year after year, why, because those roads just get better and better.  The tarmac is in great condition, the Spanish drivers are very aware and, did I tell you how good the roads are?!

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As usual our guests enjoyed swapping between a stunning fleet of motorcycles each day.  Bikes that joined us included a BMW S1000XR, RR and R1200GS, a Ducati XDiavel, Monster 1200R and 821, Multistrada and Streetfighter 848, Triumph Street Triple R and RX and Street Twin and KTM 1290 Super Duke R, not that shabby.

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As usual all the bikes impressed however, as with most 2016 trips, the Ducati Monster 1200R and KTM 1290 Super Duke R were firm favourites and Spyder Club members and trip guests have voted with their feet as each has sold well as a result of being ridden either on a trip or through membership.

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However, it’s not been just the super naked bikes that deserve praise and ended up producing a bank transaction.  The BMW R1200GS, S1000XR and Ducati Multistrada have all received the same acclaim and as ever, different motorcycles made more sense on different roads.

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A lot more manufacturers are going with wider handle bars on more of their bikes and it makes a big difference.  Especially if you are sat upright, in comfort and with good vision, those big bars mean you can flip from side to side so efficiently and enjoy the bike and road so much more, or does that mean I’m getting older?

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And so, that’s another trip season done at Spyder Club.  Already we are looking forward to our Season Starter in southern Spain, Andalucia and the rest of the 2017 short break, fly-ride motorcycle trips.  If you enjoy meeting likeminded bike enthusiasts, trying different motorcycles and riding enjoyable, challenging roads at your own pace, get in touch to find out why our guests keep coming back.

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Triumph Bonneville Bobber Launch Event

Add comment October 20th, 2016

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What a night, well done Triumph for organising a fun packed and well attended night and the launch a very cool, very retro motorcycle…

Triumph-Bonneville-Bobber-Launch

We were lucky enough to be invited along with a few of our members who had a great evening.  With music from The Vaccines and DJ Harriet Rose, Bobber sprint racing with Carl Fogarty and Freddie Spencer along with a host of journos, there was plenty of entertainment.

Triumph-Bonneville-Bobber-Launch

But the main attraction was the bike.  A restyle of the Bonneville, with a floating aluminium seat, a torquier version of the 1200 cc twin engine from the T100, it sounded good and I can’t wait to ride it.

Triumph-Bonneville-Bobber-Launch

So, should Spyder Club buy one?  We’d be silly not to.  The retro scene is a big deal and Triumph are ahead of the game with the Bobber.  It’ll go down a storm in London judging from last night’s reaction.

Triumph-Bonneville-Bobber-Launch

So we look forward to another fantastic Triumph creation and thank them for their invitation to a great night.

Triumph-Bonneville-Bobber-Launch

 

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