Tag Archives: Triumph Thunderbird

Christmas in Andalusia, Spain

Christmas road trip planned…Its going to b a little fresh I know but hopefully once I get to southern Spain things should warm up a little. Was planning to take the Portsmouth to Santander ferry but this takes so long I think it’ll be quicker to ride down via the Poole-Cherbouge ferry,  more fun too.

I’ll spend a couple of days in Malaga hopefully with a visit to Gibraltar  on Christmas day a before I join a guided bike tour with Hispania Tours around Andulusia for 8 days and then returning home via Barcelona.

The outward route looks to be just over 1300 miles

The return route is just over 1550 miles

The organised tour is about 850 miles, so with a trip to Gibraltar and getting lost once or twice it’ll be a trip length of just under 4,000 miles.

Obviously this is a trip on the Thunderbird, the bikes pretty much ready to go, I’ll put the screen on so that should keep the worst of the weather off, I may need a new rear tyre (no surprise there) it would probably have been ok but as I’m sure there will be rain at some point it makes sense to have some decent tread depth.

The riding kit needs to be adjusted a little, a set of textiles for sure with some decent waterproof liners and waterproof gloves, if such a thing exists.

Lands End To John O’Groats…LEJOG Day 1

Ok, total distance covered today was 482 miles, I should have said the Atlantic Highway was the A39, the A49 is tomorrows road ūüôā A little damp first thing, a shower as I went through Bodmin but after that the sun came out and stayed out all day, not overly warm but all good !

I’ve split the tracking maps into 3, to much information to put it all on one map,,,5.00-10.00 am, 10.00-2.00 pm and 2.00-7.00pm

Tracking Map 5 AM-10 AM
Tracking Map 5 AM-10 AM

Tracking Map 10 AM-2 PM
Tracking Map 10 AM-2 PM

Tracking Map 2 PM-7 PM
Tracking Map 2 PM-7 PM
So lets have a few pictures to finish with…


Lands End
Minack Theatre coast
Minack Theatre coast

Minack Theatre coast 1
Minack Theatre coast 1

Minack Theatre
Minack Theatre

Minack Theatre 1
Minack Theatre 1

Somewhere between Newquay and Padstow
Somewhere between Newquay and Padstow

Next…Up to Carlisle via the Lake District..

Lands End to John O’Groats…LEJOG..The day before..

So, tomorrow is the day, Lands End to John O’Groats, I’ll be starting out at about 5.30 ish, I don’t mind the early mornings, quiet on the roads etc., I need to start early as at Lands End the site is restricted to pedestrians only after 11.00, so I have to be down there by then, gives me plenty of time to get back though ! As I live just north of Bristol I intended to get down to Lands End and back home in a day, about 450 miles in all, day 2 will be from home, to Carlisle about 280 miles and 7 hours riding time, probably through Hereford and Shrewsbury, the A49, I may jump on the M6 to bypass Liverpool then jump back on the A6 into the Lake District and up to Carlisle, Day 3 from Carlisle to Inverness about 250 miles 6 hours of riding, looking forward to riding through Scotland, I’ve heard some good things, then Day 4 Inverness to John O’Groats and back to Inverness about 240 miles and 5 hours riding time, again no idea what to expect here, hope I can get a photo at John O’Groats, looking forward to some spectacular scenery….then its back to Carlisle and back home, Ill see how the route goes on the way up because it would be nice to vary it on the way back…taking the Drift cameras, a stills camera, going to fry to talk a little bit more…not in a Vlogging way…just when I’m off the bike with my ‘selfie stick’ we’ll see how that goes…not sure how much time I’ll get but determined to make it a fun trip, its a solo trip and riding alone, although your never really alone in this country…

I’ll update the blog each night but for those on twitter I’ll post regular updates when I stop and fuel up¬†@trumpettouring

Road Trip 2015, Day 8 Sibillini National Park

Up bright and early this morning, Sun shining not a cloud in the sky.

Last year we were unable to go to the Sibillini National Park because things didn’t work in our favour so this time it was one of those things that was on the top of the list, were trying to do all the things we never get round to doing and avoiding the ones we’ve done many times, Assisi, Pisa, etc…although there are some exceptions, Lucca is one…I’m sure there will be others.

Once the bike was loaded, route planned, cameras ready we set of, via Spoleto and on to Norcia on the edge of the Sibillini’s.

¬†Great ride up from Spoleto to Norcia, the bit before was main roads but this section was nice a twisty, good road surface and views a plenty. I’ll take a moment to talk about the tracker I had fitted to the bike, the idea was that I could download the maps so I could post up the route, what a waste of time, I think it misses more than it picks up, utterly useless, not a happy chappy, I’ll stick the map up so at least you can see roughly where we were..

Anyway, Norcia, Famed for Tartufo & Cinghiale (truffles & wild boar) and also a meeting point for Sunday rideouts it seemed, bikes everywhere !

After fining somewhere to park we took a walk through town, the centre closed off to traffic, not sure this is all the time or just on Sundays, we had a look around for something to eat but not wanting a full restaurant experience we settled for the little bar (cafe) right next to where parked the bike, Pannini ordered along with coffee..

Back on the bike we carried on along the road towards Castelluccio, the roads getting more and more twisty as it climbed, the air now noticeably cooler, fantastic road, I can really see why this piece of road is so popular amongst bikers.

The small town of Castelluccio was closed off to cars as it seemed the bikes had taken over the town, quite a sight, carrying on along the final section of the plain the road slowly started to descend, then steeper with hairpin bend after hairpin bend, few cars around to slow the decent but at least this meant you could enjoy the scenery. I think I pretty much filled up a memory card on the Drift camera so should be interesting to see what I can put together when we go home.

Sat Nav throw a bit of a wobbly on the way back, had us going down the same road 3 times, Navigated back using the road signs, old school..
About 150 twisty miles today..

Road Trip 2015, Day 6 Todi

Quiet day today, chilled out in the apartment drinking coffee and admiring the view, washing to do, 5 days on the road your starting to run out of smalls !

Just love those Umbrian roofs, god knows how those tiles stay on in anything more than a stiff breeze, lots of swallow/swifts around too…

Wandered into the town for lunch just as a rehearsal for one of the festival concerts was getting under way, so walking through a hilltop walled medieval town in the bright Umbrian sunshine with a tenor singing Puccini’s Nessun dorma, does it get any more Italian than that ??

After a quick bowl of pasta and coffee, espresso of course, we had a quick change into the bike gear and shot off to the local supermarket to get some essentials and managed to park right next to the apartment, you can see our door open in the picture..

Tried a different restaurant tonight, had Peposa, beef stewed in chianti…very nice indeed..

Only about 25 miles done today..

Road Trip 2015, Day 5 Monticatini to Todi

After a great night out in Lucca, we packed up for the final time and headed down to a good breakfast, Hotel Reale in Montecatini is a great place to stay, cheap as chips but really nice people, good rooms, a little dated perhaps but what do you want for £40 including breakfast !

Not to many miles today as were heading towards our destination for 2 weeks.

Heading off for San Gimignano (San Gim) great place, but rammed full of tourists, yes I know we’re tourists too !

Having been here a couple of years ago we knew of a secret spot to park the bike so that done we headed off to the Piazza del Duomo to meet up with Tony and his lovely wife Karen, fellow Triumph riders, unfortunately their travelling companions had a few issues with their bike so weren’t able to make it….They didn’t have a Triumph, some foreign machine I think….

Coffee went in to lunch, as it so often does when your chatting but with the time moving on and still having the bulk of our 150 miles to do it was back on the bike and to our apartment in Todi.

Had to hit a few motorways as we had spent too long having lunch so the cross country route was out, a few issues with a loose mirror that kept being pushed back by the wind, why do Triumph use those little crushable washer things ? nothing a few turns of insulating tape couldn’t sort out and we were back on our way, an hour later arriving in Todi.

Carlo, met us at the agreed place and showed us around, luggage unloaded, a few pointers of good restaurants and thats it, home for 2 weeks, I’ll take a few picture of Todi and post them up later…

Pizza tonght…well, when in Rome…..

Road Trip 2015, Day 4 Varazze to Monticatini

Up early to nice bright sunshine, quick shower and down for our “all inclusive breakfast” unfortunately like the rest of the hotel it rather over promised and under delivered, never mind you can’t get them all right !
A quick hoon through the roads of down town Genova we high tailed it down to Lucca, for lunch, only 150 miles ish so an easy day for us.

Vehicles are banned in the middle of Lucca so you have to park on the outside and walk into the town, fantastic place, if you ever get the chance go, you won’t be disappointed.

¬†¬†¬†After a rather good lunch in the Amphitheatre in the centre of Lucca we set off to find our Hotel, 20 minutes up the road in Montecatini Terme, or if we had gone the direct route it would have been 20 minutes….an hour later we arrived !

Just chance to check in and change then it was back out to Lucca to meet up with a few friends at the Triumph RAT Lucca & Black Sheep Rude, Great night out, really good to see everyone again along with some new friends……and now we’re members of Black Sheep Rude !

Food & drink was consumed, tentative plans were made for the flock to visit next years TT & Ace Cafe visit….

Time to go, we shot back up the Autoroute, the quickest way, we tried every other way..

Great day, great night, its good to be back in Tuscany again..
Tracking maps as usual, with a bonus map of our wayward route to Lucca and the quick way back.

About 200 miles in all today.

Thunderbird heated grip improvement ?

Had the new grip in the post the other day following the heated grip fail, see previous post here, during the install which is relativity¬†¬†straight forward, I thought it looked different. I checked it and the lug that breaks is thicker….a whole millimetre thicker !


The standard grip, this one has done about 2,000 miles..





This one is the heated grip that had failed, this one had done about 14,000 miles..




This is the new heated grip…


As you can see the new grip lug is certainly 1 mm thicker, I checked it quite a few times to make sure before I took the photos.

lets hope this fixes the problem, only time will tell, although I think I’ll still carry a spare grip with me !


The Splugen Pass on a Triumph Thunderbird.

A little bit of video of the Splugen Pass travelling from Italy to Switzerland, excuse the lift music, I just couldn’t be doing with YouTube’s copyrighting issues…

Sunday ride to the New Forest

The forecast is looking good and we don’t need much encouragement to go on a ride…so we’re packing a picnic into the panniers and heading off to the New Forest…