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Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT

the jb back to riding blog post thing

It's mid-August, and here we go for a third attempt at a return to riding for the JB and knee

BACK INTO ACTION

It’s been a funny old return to action for me. Not least because no sooner were we given a ‘go out and play’ order than I was laid out on the operating table with a couple of surgeons digging needles into my knee. On the upside, the surgeons did a bang-up job and while I’m still minus an ACL (confirmed as MIA – that’s ‘missing in action’ if you’re Forces patter isn’t up to scratch) the knee is so much more mobile and so, slightly tentatively, I’m getting back into riding. That is while diligently following physio’s orders… kind of. If you’re wondering what I’m wittering on about, read a few Blogs back to when I bust the knee last December. So after the previous attempt at getting back into riding, which didn’t quite work out, here we go again – 2020 season, the third try.

In the garage: the two Hondas got dusted off, RX then relocated to Craig's for some intense H&H action, while the TLR awaits JB's green light on the knee
Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
Meanwhile, the big Suzook arrived!

GARAGE LIFE

Life has at least restarted in the JB garage. The Honda CRF250RX has now gone north to Craig – I can’t trust my knee to big off-road action just yet – but before it left I did a quick last tidy-up and for the RX and my other Honda, the TLR250 trials, I got the oils out and did an air filter clean and re-oil given they’ve probably gone dry in the down-time (and having finally managed to source latex gloves again). Craig’s going to have a ball on the RX, I know – and that is something that’s making not just me but Warren also pretty green with envy.

Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
First job on the Suzook was wheels out to fit some proper adventure tyres
Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
Would hoverbikes be a cool thing?

V-STROMMIN’ AGAIN

However, Suzuki has kindly given RUST a medium-term V-Strom 1050XT to (further) evaluate. Given the economic circumstances right now – the industry is staggering somewhat – I went the easy route and asked Suzuki to prep it to their ‘Explore’ spec so I’m not chasing endlessly for aftermarket parts. And boy with the added protections and panniers it does look a treat – this bike has become a real eye-catcher. With a first adventure fast approaching I then got on the tools and whipped out the wheels and took them down to my most-excellent local Watling Tyres, and got a set of those new Dunlop Trailmax Missions fitted (https://rustsports.com/dunlop-trailmax-mission/). They look like a great option for that elusive mix of dirt grip and extended mileage that we all seek. Maybe they’re not a mud tyre, but frankly when conditions get that bad we’re better off parking our expensive toys.

Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
Removing the rubber foot rest iserts will be like instant footpeg lowering. Should bring the brake lever into just about the right place for standing-riding too
Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
Interesting... the panniers are mounted on rubber bushes

GO WEST…

So the plan is to ride the Tour of Wales (500km in 12 hours) by Rally Moto this weekend and if everything works out with that I’ve got a bigger mission coming in September. But only if the knee (and the rest of the old bod) are up for it.

Part of me is though still agonising over not being able to ride the two Hondas. That’s probably always the way – you want what you can’t have. But to be riding my refreshed TLR especially – I really look forward to that.

TBM – it’s not over yet!

In other news, in something of a digital dig around at the back of the virtual cupboard I rediscovered the old TBM Facebook page. Now this is a find. With the RUST Facebook page practically an insurance write-off after a certain IT chap tried lashing a virtual supercharger on it (the algorithms are now shot to pieces), I’ve found the old naturally-aspirated TBM page is in full working order and still connected to over 8000 fellow enthusiasts. So I’ll be looking into using this communication portal rather a lot more in the future. If you’re not a follower already you can find it at https://www.facebook.com/trailbikemag

So for now, that’s life here. But August into September I can see riding activities are going to ramping up considerably. And with that we’re looking at publishing our next edition of the magazine. So here’s hoping Covid-19 doesn’t get a grip on us again and we can push on. I trust you’re getting out there too, feel free to share any comments or reflections in the comments below or drop me a line at editor@rustsports.com – it’s always great to hear from you guys.

Happy riding.

JB

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