When I first rode the T7 in 2020 I asked myself if it would become the successor to my 800 GS. After writing that review, I couldn’t get the bike out of my head. And if you follow Jean Le Motard on Instagram, you know what happened eventually.
Last October I visited my local Yamaha dealer who needed a bit of luck to find one of the last 2021 Rally Editions for me. Two weeks later I said goodbye to my 800 GS. 110,000 km on the counter, 12 years old. Thanks for the good times!
In the meantime I have equipped the T7 with a few extras: a centerstand and a shorter Yamaha license plate holder, a Donner-Tech GPS holder and connections for a trickle charger and my heated jacket. I also hopped by at Allroadmoto for Bumot Defender panniers, Barkbusters handguards, Double Take mirrors and Outback Motortek crash bars. Coming soon: an Altrider clutch arm.
Still on my wishlist: heated grips and a small (but hard to find) rear luggage rack.
This year Suzuki is offering the V-Strom 1050XT in a World Adventure edition on the Belgian market. Due to Corona perils, we weren’t able to wander off with the V-Strom to the other side of the globe, so we picked out a worldly adventure close to home: the two of us went for a ride from the Belgian coast to the Pajottenland.
Suzuki pimps the World Adventure with a decal set with reflective details, aluminum cases, adjustable footpegs that they got from Gilles Tooling, a GPS mount, a Hepco&Becker aluminum bashplate with World Adventure label, heated grips and LED high beams.
You can get this adventurer in a yellow-blue, gray-blue or black livery. The black sparkles in the sun, which you can expect from “Glass Sparkle Black”. The many stickers are a bit over the top, but all in all it looks quite right.
When revamping the V-Strom in 2020, Suzuki returned to the legendary Dr. Big from yesteryear – just like they did before with their Katana. The new lines and the square headlight look nice and are reminiscent of the oldschool adventure bike.
However, the looks were not the most important innovation. Suzuki finally put its biggest adventure bike on the same level as the competition by adding a full electronics suite thanks to ride-by-wire. For example, Continue reading →
I guess I don’t have to tell you 2020 was a somewhat special year. For me it started on January 1st with a job change: much closer to home. No more long daily commutes from Limburg to Brussels. And as if that hadn’t enough impact on my milage, there was also this virus. So not only the number of km’s dropped dramatically in 2020, but also the number of motorcycle tests. An overview:
9.110 km ridden, for the first time not a five-digit number (3.627 km with my BMW F 800 GS, 5.483 km with test bikes)
After the first Dealer Clash last year, the Belgian en Luxembourg dealerships again had a chance to show their custom building skills during the BMW Motorrad Dealer Clash 2019.
The contest’s concept changed a bit: next to the BMW R nineT Pure, also the R nineT Urban G/S, Racer and Scrambler were allowed as donor bikes for a custom creation. Moreover – and in contrast to the 2018 edition – the result had to be street legal.
The 18 participating dealerships are presenting their custom bikes in the BMW Brand Store in Brussels this week. Earlier today a professional jury picked their top 3:
1. R90 Shades Of Grey by Motorsport Mabbe:
2. Back To Basics by Louyet Motor:
3. Two In One by Ginion Motorbikes:
If you’d like to check out the 18 bikes in the flesh in the BMW Brand Store, you have until March 18th (Waterloolaan 23, 1000 Brussels, open from Monday till Saturday, 10.00-18.30, free admission).
After the expo the bikes will go back to the dealerships where they’ll be exhibited during the opening weekend of March 23rd and 24th.
For more pics and a look at the realization of the bikes, check the Dealer Clash site.
A few days ago I rode a pitbike for the first time. A pitbike is a mini-motorcycle which you ride on a kart circuit. It’s a bit related to racing on a track. Some knowledge of racing lines, cornering technique and other track skills certainly is useful. But even without it I’m sure you’ll have fun. With a group of eight we headed to Racelandkart.
First we did a 12-minute practice heat to discover the track, then we had a 15-minute break, followed by a 5-minute qualifying heat (to determine the starting grid) and a 12-minute competition heat which – to everyone’s surprise – Jan F won.
The first heat really was all about getting used to the pitbike (a 125 cc YCF SM: small, agile, not really furiously fast) and to the unknown track (short and sweeping). But in two heats you make a lot of progress and you take corners faster and faster round after round.
The competitive element makes it even more fun. It’s less dangerous than racing on the circuit too. You are close to the ground and the speed rates aren’t incredibly high. I once fell quite spectacularly but I just ended up with a bruised hip. And I wasn’t the only one who fell. Seems to be part of the game. Continue reading →