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1st Run of 2018 GRR Beast From The East

February 24, 2018

The beast from the east, how I am sick of the snow, its the end of February and i have not had the bike out in months, the winter blues are getting too much.  After watching the weather forecast there is a little break over the weekend a whopping 2 degrees, but no snow or rain forecast this is my chance and nothing is going to stop me. 

Ullapool to Kylesku part of the NC500

As its the first proper run on the new bike I am a little nervous, I’ve been riding the KTM 990SM for over 8 years now and know it inside out, this is a different beast for me, 1290cc and its not exactly going to be warm.   

I decided to go on a route I know well to try and build up some confidence, Ullapool to Kylesku (so spoilt living in the highlands for great biking roads and scenery).  

How Fridays have changed, my Friday was spent going over the bike and charging the Bluetooth headset and adding the handlebar clamp bolt mounting kit for the Galaxy S8+.  Regardless of where I'm going on the bike I listen to music and I use Spotify so playlists were made (yeah I know only a couple of hours on the bike) but good music makes a difference. 

Blue Skies Over Ullapool

Blue skies over Ullapool,

People at Ardmair beach, looks lovely but at 2 degrees its Baltic, tyres are still warming up and starting to feel the cold with only a few miles out of Ullapool.

NC500 Assynt Heading into Assynt, can see why people call its gods country, some iconic mountains including Stac Pollaidh on the left, a fair bit of wind pulling at the peak on my Shoei Adv helmet. The GoPro really does give you a warped look at the world win 4k superview. 

Elphin

 Elphin, what can i say about Elphin apart from if you think its cold wait till you get to Elphin, its always colder, oh and they have some of the best tarmac to be found in the highlands, im pretty cold by this point, the bike is fine no slides but the ice warning keeps flashing up and im needing to cancel it.   

NC500 potholes

 Remember this road is part of the north coast 500, a route that has been advertised as Scotlands answer to Route 66, look at the state of the road section here that is going to be repaired. The route sees a lot of supercars with very very low ground clearance, cant see them liking this, the SDR handled it with ease ;-).  

Ardvreck Castle

Ardvreck castle / Inchnadamph area some nice bends here but you have to be careful of people pulling out of the laybys especially around the castle entrance, from this part is where i really enjoy.  I pulled over to crossing the lanes here just to give me more space from the car / people pulled over.  

What a view

Just before this viewpoint i had a bit of a moment, i was just coming up to a bend and leaned the bike over a bit and hit gravel, does not look like much on the camera but it pushed my back wheel out and i thought i was going to high-side or run straight on, a proper change of pants moment.  

Kylesku Bridge

Kylesku, a cracking bridge when heading north you can get the bike properly over on a bridge, dont think there can be many bridges you can do that on.  Well the ice warning sign was flashing up again, doing my head in having to hit cancel all the time, KTM i know its freezing trust me i know.  

I had not been out in my bike since October and i have feel in love with riding all over again.


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