Touring on 125
Suffolk to Cornwall on 125cc
125 motorcycles and scooters are not an obvious choice for long distance riding. However many people have found them perfectly capable of covering long distances and providing you are not in a hurry you will have fun. Lower speeds mean you have to carefully research your route taking you to places where big bikes rarely go. Also travelling slower means you see more, so less can really mean more !
I have had a few long rides on 125’s and found them very memorable and enjoyable. Back in 1997 I followed the Motor Cycling Club’s Lands End Trial on a 125 Trail bike. On Good Friday I left Ipswich at 3pm and passed through London 2 hours later, riding through Trafalgar Square and down the Mall. Following the Trials pre war route I used the old A30 with a stop at Bagshot at 8pm for a fish and chip supper. The old road was quiet and the lights of Surrey were soon left behind for the rural darkness of Hampshire. It was a beautiful night, clear and starlit and that year the Hale-Bopp comet was making a superb display.
After refuelling and a brief ‘comfort’ stop in Salisbury I pressed on to Yeovil and then headed north to Taunton. Hot coffee and bacon butties were enjoyed in the early hours at Minehead before heading along the north Devon coast. The bends and hills were challenging in the dark and speed was severely reduced by Porlock hill. The garage in Lynton was open for the Trial so I filled up with fuel. From Lynton I headed south to Bideford and a second wind was gained when the sun came up at 4am. Travelling through rural Cornwall, stopping to watch the riders attempt the sections was most enjoyable.
After a full English breakfast I made for St Agnes on the north Cornwall coast where we enjoyed the action on a famous section called Blues Hill Mine. It is a superb location high on a cliff overlooking the sea. I finally arrived at Lands End at 3pm having completed 500 miles in 24 hours on my trusty 125.
National Rally Cheltenham
Another trip took me to York and back in a day on a Peugeot Elyseo 125. The ride was undertaken to prove how effective modern scooters can be. The machine was economical and comfortable. Again a cross country route through the Fens via Lincoln was taken in time for lunch in York. I was home again in the early evening having completed 200 trouble free miles.
The same machine was entered in the National Rally. This is a 500 mile navigation rally held over 24 hours. The scooter was probably one of the smallest entered but the rally was completed successfully to the finish at Cheltenham. I cannot remember much about the rally itself but I do remember a very pleasant ride home over the Cotswolds!