Family Motorcycle Tour Scotland, Part 1

A family tour on bikes to Scotland, what could possibly go wrong?! With the British weather not on our side, it certainly was going to be a trip to remember. Check out this part 1 video of our journey North from London to Scotland via the Peak District, Yorkshire and the Pennines.

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Been sitting on this footage for a while, but with so much other stuff going on recently, I’ve now finally got this first part edited. Hope you enjoy it.

Gear Reviews

TCX Gore-Tex Motorcycle Boots Review – X-Five.4

Yuck! Piddling down with rain, leaking boots, wet, soggy socks – that time again. My old Alpinestars SMX-S boots finally wore out, the soles worn through and no longer waterproof. But what boot to replace them with? I am usually a creature of habit and would have just ordered a similar pair of Alpinestars SMX boots again, or their Web Gore-Tex boots, however this time I was stuck. A lack of stock, long lead times, very little in a size 11 that were waterproof (note many of the SMX models come in waterproof ‘WP’ or ‘normal’ non-waterproof versions…), and those in stock were commanding silly prices of around £200+ Hmmm.

I needed an alternative to the Alpinestars Web Gore-Tex boots.

TCX Gore Tex Motorcycle Boots X.Five.4So, I had a hunt around and came across these Gore-Tex TCX X-Five.4 boots for the slightly more acceptable sum of £160. I’ve never had TCX boots before, but have heard a few good things about them. I figured £160 was a good price for Gore-Tex motorcycle boots since Gore-Tex always carries a premium for the Gore-Tex guarantee.

The TCX X-Five.4 boots are a fairly standard construction and have an understated design that doesn’t stand out. Black leather outer, a small reflective panel on the rear shin and textured rubber toe cover to protect against the gear lever. There’s some discreet TCX branding on the front shin in a grey and tiny Gore-Tex metal badge, but that’s it. Ideal if you don’t want anything to stand out to wear under your Kevlar jeans for work or a meet down the pub. Further to this, these TCX Gore-Tex boots are not as bulky as the SMXs, so fit a lot better under trousers or jeans.

TCX X.Five.4 Gore-Tex Motorcycle boots


Scottish Motorcycle Show 2022

After what seemed like years, we made it to a motorcycle show. This weekend we popped along to the Scottish Motorcycle Show in Edinburgh, having missed many past bike shows due to various lockdowns and those that followed in Birmingham and London shortly after due to our big move to Scotland. It was good to check out the local show up here, see many of the new bikes to hit the market and all the other stands on show.

Custom Tartan Yamaha XJR1300
Custom Tartan Yamaha XJR1300

The Scottish Motorcycle Show spanned 3 large-ish halls with a number of manufacturers, stalls selling gear, custom and classic bikes on show and many stands from local motorcycle clubs. Outside there was some entertainment in the form of the Two Brothers stunt riders and some trials riding.


A Wet February off the Bikes

Kelpies, Falkirk
A brief moment of winter sun at the Kelpies

Wet. Wind. Sleet. Cold.

Pretty much what one would expect from a winter in Scotland. Although some extreme weather has hit the UK (122mph wind on the Isle of Wight! WTF!), here in Stirling we have dodged the worst of it. But it’s still been pretty wet and miserable, so not a lot of biking has occurred this last few weeks and things are a little quiet on the blog. In the meantime, I’ve been keeping busy with other projects.

Clothing/Protection Gear Reviews

HeatPerformance Maximum Heated Motorcycle Gloves Review

No one likes cold hands and fingers when riding a motorbike. Sure, some will pack their bikes away for the winter, but they can miss out on some beautiful sunny winter days. Some make do with heated grips, which do help but can still leave your fingers and back of your hands cold.  Some fit muffs on their handlebars, which although effective rarely fit on a faired bike. One of the best solutions is heated motorcycle gloves – decent protective gloves with an integrated electric heating mesh sewed inside.

Heated Motorcycle Gloves Tested

Loch Tay, Scotland, Winter Ride
Bit nippy in Scotland, definitely heated gloves weather

Dutch firm HeatPerformance produces many such heated gloves for a variety of sporting activities, skiing, hiking, outdoor work and of course heated gloves for motorcycles. HeatPerformance put forward their gloves for review, which now we are in Scotland we can most definitely test out.

HeatPerformance glovesThe HeatPerformance Maximum heated motorcycle gloves are powered from two 7.2V 2600mAh Li-Po batteries, which slot into the cuff of each glove. The gloves have 3 heat settings, which are quoted to give you between 2.5 and 8 hours of heat depending on setting and charge within 4 hours. The gloves retail for £150 which includes one pair of batteries and a charger. A spare/replacement set of batteries costs £40.

Featured Videos

Motovlog: Why Scotland?

A new YouTube video has just gone live for your viewing pleasure. Since making the decision to relocate to Scotland, everyone has wanted to know why. In this video, I run through some of our reasons and show some of the amazing scenery I’ve ridden through up here.

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Apologies if this comes across a little too much like a tourist promotional video for Scotland! Nonetheless, we’re all loving it up here.

Hardware Maintenance

Yamaha FZ6 Suspension Upgrade: Nitron Shock/Race Tech Gold Valve Emulators

As with many budget bikes, the stock suspension on my Yamaha FZ6 S2 was pretty basic. Sure, it did the job on an average ride, but it didn’t inspire confidence when pushing on or when you hit a particular bumpy bit of road. With over 20k miles on the bike, it was also beginning to show its age too.

Nitron motorcycle shock in trademark Nitron blue
Nitron motorcycle shock in trademark Nitron blue

When evaluating FZ6 suspension upgrade options, it quickly becomes apparent one can easily spend a lot of money. When you have an old bike that’s only worth a couple of grand, it’s difficult to justify a big outlay upgrading it. After discussing suggestions from friends and other Fazer riders on various owner’s forums, two suggestions kept coming up:

So who was I to argue such tried and tested wisdom?

Race Tech Emulators and fork springs
Race Tech Emulators and fork springs

Nitron is a British firm, who has been designing and manufacturing quality suspension for various motorsports for the last 20 years. They have a solid reputation for producing great shocks for many budgets. Similarly, Race Tech is a Californian firm that has specialised in quality suspension upgrades and parts for all kinds of vehicles for the last 36 years.


Lost in Scotland

Don’t worry, we’re still here! I’m afraid we haven’t had the chance to produce much new content for this blog or my YouTube channel lately. Mainly due to our recent house move, getting settled in, my day job and other stuff.

The house move in early October was a bit stressful (aren’t all house moves?) Things weren’t finalised to the very last second and due to awkward demands of our buyers, we had to stay with family for a week between houses. Nonetheless, we’re now mostly settled in, we’ve unpacked most of our boxes, kids are settled into their new school and we’ve even managed to get out on the bikes a little! The new house is amazing, in a lovely area, the neighbours are great, there’s so much more space and we have a huge double garage which feels like absolute luxury after our old middle-of-terrace tiny house in London.


Numb and Cold Hands and Feet when Riding a Motorbike

Just after the summer break, the weather in the UK begins to deteriorate quickly. The leaves fall on the roads and the temperature begins to drop rapidly. This is always a rather dangerous situation for motorcyclists.

Cold Weather Motorcycle GearMany motorcyclists have these problems. Fortunately, you are not the only one. There are two types of motorcyclists, those who only ride in the summer and those who always ride. The tips in this article will help you to continue to ride safely through the winter weather.

One key problem is cold hands and cold feet. But not only these two, also the rest of the body is difficult to keep warm in the freezing air. It is therefore important that you clothe yourself properly on the motorbike.

It is also important that your motorbike clothing not only protects you from the cold, but also from possible falls. So, make sure you wear protective motorcycle gloves that are warm, warm underwear, and of course, some good quality kit to protect against the slippery roads in autumn- or winter weather.

Riding Videos

Big Changes Ahead – Highlights from a Summer of Riding

There’s some big change ahead here at Beginner Biker Adventures as our plan to relocate to Scotland is rolling full speed ahead. All the moving stress and preparations may have reduced the amount of content we’ve been able to deliver, but we’ve still been out riding as much as we can. Here’s my latest YouTube video with highlights of our best riding moments from the summer – enjoy!

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What were your summer biking highlights? Have you undertaken a big relocation recently (or planning one)? I’d love to hear from you!