Big adventure - for me...

Pirate

Well travelled
Location
Aldershot, UK
Did a round trip of 170 miles from Surrey to Wiltshire and back today (no sniggering at the back please!) on my 2019 Himalayan. I understand that for many of you this is absolutely nothing and last December I rode to Northern France and back (froze to death, got a puncture therefore missed my ferry home...) but I was simply so impressed with my bike (and most of my kit) I felt I had to make a brief report.
I had Oxford Adventure Hot Grips fitted at the weekend so this was my first test of them - absolutely brilliant, wish I'd had them last winter. My local bike shop, Normandy Motorcycles, fitted the grips and did a fantastic job, wiring them into the ignition. I have a very slow pulse rate so my fingers freeze easily. My fingertips remained cold, but not so I couldn't feel them (like before!) and my hands were certainly warm. The outside temperature didn't rise much above about 8 degrees (minus wind chill of course) and I had the grips set at 75% most of the time. A pair of Spada winter gloves were pretty effective which, together with the RE handguards, kept the wind off.
My bike, which is stock mechanically, save for an Iridium plug, performed faultlessly. The roads were a good mix, mostly 40-50mph with a little motorway and a few villages (30mph) thrown in. Cruised nicely at 70mph, hit almost 80mph once or twice without much effort, but both the bike and I felt more comfortable at 60-65. 40-50 is what the bike does best I feel. I never thrash my bike but it certainly did everything I asked of it and usually had a bit in reserve.
I have Oxford Montreal 3.0 trousers and jacket, both with liners in and all zips fastened. Pretty good protection but could still feel a bit of cold air coming through despite long johns, long socks (Oxford thermal) and three layers underneath the jacket. Nothing unbearable though and although my feet were cold by the end of the journey I wasn't particularly aware of them en route.
Overall, a highly enjoyable ride but I'm darned if I know how people like Nathan the Postman go from Lands End to John O' Groats on a Himalayan. Motorway cruising is for bigger beasts I feel.
I know we are in lock-down but this was a work trip, before you all call the police...!
 

RSD-Moto

Finally made it
Location
Surrey UK
Sounds good @Pirate you did well...

Heated grips are a godsend, but be careful using them in the wet, as they will speed up the water ingress into your gloves (cold and dry, or warm and wet is generally the choice ;))

I have found from experience that Merino Wool base layers work the best. I have tried various options, including Outlast, but Merino wins for me. I have Merino socks, long johns, shirt and neck tube for the colder days, but even on warmer days I still wear the long johns and neck tube as they help wick the sweat. Try to avoid cotton next to the skin.

It also depends a lot on your metabolism. I generally ride in a mesh jacket until it gets down to about 15 degrees centigrade before I dig out the warmer gear, but on the flip side, I struggle in the warmer weather.

My bike is also stock bar the plug, and I find without the RE panniers, it will happily sit at 70 on the motorway, at around 5k rpm. It is certainly happier at 60, but it doesn't feel like you are wringing its neck at 70.

These are all my findings and opinions, YMMV :)

As for Nathan, I think a lot of his trip is done on the A roads, only short bursts on the Motorway?
 

Pirate

Well travelled
Location
Aldershot, UK
Thanks RSD - you make some good and valid points here. I agree about 70mph being fine (but at just under 6K RPM on my bike - is that bad or was your 5K a typo?) but I felt a bit of vibration through the pegs at that speed whereas a little slower made things much more comfortable.
Helpful to know about merino wool - coincidentally I have some merino socks on my Christmas list.
Oh, and the MPG suffers considerably at these higher speeds. I've been averaging over 80MPG for the last few fills but it plummeted to 71MPG for this ride (I have a spreadsheet which works out my MPG accurately - yeah, I'm a saddo!).
I guess you're right about Nathan's trips - it's certainly A- and B-Roads for the most part as far as I am concerned.
 
Last edited:
I wear cycling bib tights under my motorcycle gear ,,, fibre pile pullover and sometimes those cheap chav grey joggie bottoms, I have a cordura jacket and trousers with padded liners and if really cold i wear a one piece water proof suit over all of that ...
Bit like dressing an astronaut the wife recons ....
332 miles today and 227 tomorrow ... but warm and comfy .....
 

Robert

Well travelled
Location
Holland
Better be comfy then be sorry! I don't have heated grips but am considering those. I do have hand guards that keep most of the wind (and rain) off my hands which makes a big difference; good gloves are also very helpful.
@Pirate: I also have a spreadsheet keeping tab of the cost and service history of my bike. Gives a nice insight in the cost of the bike, the lifespan of different things like tires and chain and shows the history of mpg.
The mpg changed nicely from day one (I bought the bike new) till about 6000 km: from 30 kpl (metric) to 34 kpl.
 

Morgan60

Well travelled
Location
NW USA
Did a round trip of 170 miles from Surrey to Wiltshire and back today (no sniggering at the back please!) on my 2019 Himalayan. I understand that for many of you this is absolutely nothing and last December I rode to Northern France and back (froze to death, got a puncture therefore missed my ferry home...) but I was simply so impressed with my bike (and most of my kit) I felt I had to make a brief report.
I had Oxford Adventure Hot Grips fitted at the weekend so this was my first test of them - absolutely brilliant, wish I'd had them last winter. My local bike shop, Normandy Motorcycles, fitted the grips and did a fantastic job, wiring them into the ignition. I have a very slow pulse rate so my fingers freeze easily. My fingertips remained cold, but not so I couldn't feel them (like before!) and my hands were certainly warm. The outside temperature didn't rise much above about 8 degrees (minus wind chill of course) and I had the grips set at 75% most of the time. A pair of Spada winter gloves were pretty effective which, together with the RE handguards, kept the wind off.
My bike, which is stock mechanically, save for an Iridium plug, performed faultlessly. The roads were a good mix, mostly 40-50mph with a little motorway and a few villages (30mph) thrown in. Cruised nicely at 70mph, hit almost 80mph once or twice without much effort, but both the bike and I felt more comfortable at 60-65. 40-50 is what the bike does best I feel. I never thrash my bike but it certainly did everything I asked of it and usually had a bit in reserve.
I have Oxford Montreal 3.0 trousers and jacket, both with liners in and all zips fastened. Pretty good protection but could still feel a bit of cold air coming through despite long johns, long socks (Oxford thermal) and three layers underneath the jacket. Nothing unbearable though and although my feet were cold by the end of the journey I wasn't particularly aware of them en route.
Overall, a highly enjoyable ride but I'm darned if I know how people like Nathan the Postman go from Lands End to John O' Groats on a Himalayan. Motorway cruising is for bigger beasts I feel.
I know we are in lock-down but this was a work trip, before you all call the police...!
Congratulation on the ride. Keep up the good work. I’m a long distance rider myself and you need to start somewhere and the Himalayan is not a bad bike to start on. For laughs in 2018 I did the Western States 1000 on my Himalayan. A easy 1000 miles in two days. People were amazed I did it on such a small bike. No worries at all. The first day was 650 miles and I have to say I was more comfortable coming off the Himalayan after a 650 miles in one day then on my old Honda 1800 GoldWing after 650 miles in one day believe it or not. I also finished in the top 20% without trying. But then it wasn’t a race anyway.

3249
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom