Well the day finally arrived. It was time to trade up and trade up I did.

A few weeks ago I bit the bullet and went for it. After visiting a couple of showrooms and negotiating a few deals, the day had arrived to place the order.

Having ridden a GS for the last year or so, and with a view to some more touring in the very near future, I went for improved wizardry of a the yellow 2010 R1200GS Adventure.

With the order placed and deposit paid, it was time to sell my bike. And after running it through AutoTrader, MCN and eBay, eBay was the winner, with someone clicking the Buy It Now button the morning the auction was to finish and paying the asking price. The timing actually worked out very well and I was able to take delivery of the new bike 2 days before the old one was picked up so there was no down time.

Picking up the new bike last Tuesday morning was a day full of excitement. Got the run down on all the documentation, buttons and gauges at the showroom in Park Lane, checked my Sat Nav had been installed from my old bike correctly and headed off to work with a whopping 5 miles on the clock. It was just too new, and as long as I didn’t hit anything and no one hit me I knew I was onto a winner with this bike.

So, with the new bike requiring a good running in, there was no better excuse to head off for the weekend and that is exactly what I did.

A mate at work was heading down to Devon with friends and family and invited me along, so not only did I get a decent ride to run in the bike, I could also dust off the old tent and go camping for the weekend as well. Win and win! As always, it was very exciting packing to go away for the weekend. It doesn’t matter how far you are going, just the mentality of going through all the stuff you have to take and working out how best to pack it on the bike (which is heavy enough by itself), and of course you have to have something that doesn’t fit in the luggage so people know you are not just riding around pretending to be a serious adventurer!

Given I had to get 500-600 miles under the belt before it’s first inspection and service, I booked it in for the following week as the trip was going to give me some great riding to run in the engine with the extra load of luggage, stop/start in traffic as well as more free-flowing traffic on the motorways and A-roads.

We headed off after work on Friday, meeting my travelling companions (George on his F800GS and Brad on his R1200GSA) in Fleet before hitting the A303 out past Stonehenge for a weekend in Woolacombe, North Devon. And coming to grips with the differences between the old and new bike along the way.

First of all I have to say there is not one thing that is better than the old bike… EVERYTHING IS BETTER!!

  • Electronic suspension pre-load meant no more cranking of the suspension when you take luggage or pillions on and off the bike
  • No more noisy servo-assisted brakes
  • Acceleration was extra smooth (even on a new engine)
  • Traction control (haven’t tested it but good to know it’s there)
  • Bigger screen meant I could even lift my visor at 90mph without my eyeballs imploding
  • Bigger and tougher luggage
  • Bigger fuel tank
  • On-board computer for temps and tyre pressures
  • Better looks!

The ride to Devon was a dream, arriving under the cover of darkness and drizzle (well, it is England) about 11pm, but with a grin from ear to ear.

A couple of beers, a chat, and pitching the tent meant it was time of bed.

Saturday was a great summers day and I have the sunburn to show it. Even though it started cool, and having to wear a jumper on the beach, the sun finally came out. Some of the guys even went for a swim and surf at the beach. I am told the water wasn’t as warm as it looked… and it didn’t look warm. We spent the day at the beach and had a great BBQ in the evening.

Sunday was an early start to eat and pack before heading home a slightly longer way. Everyone was on different schedules that day, so once the body and bike were packed and fuelled, I was off to ride through Exmoor National Park and a few B-roads before picking up the A303 and heading back to London.

Took a couple of hours just to cruise around taking in the sights and checking out some of the small villages and towns along the northern coast, looking across to Wales on the other side. Some of the roads in and out of the towns were on a 25% decline going in and 25% incline coming out. I’m glad the brakes I was smelling at the bottom were not mine.

Now with about 500 miles on the clock it is ready for it’s first service in preparation for a trip to the Isle of Wight this weekend and then up into Scotland for a week at the end of the month. Can’t wait.

Here are some of the photos I took over the weekend of the bike and also the beach at Woolacome and Exmoor National Park.