Bodachs on bikes

If you came across a group of rather fast bikers on Skye, well now you know who they were...

With the Gaelic for ‘old man’ being Bodach it was only right we call our annual has been Scottish Racers run out 'Bodachs on Bikes'.  The gang now includes names from the past like Morrison, MacPherson, Simpson and Duffus with a Robert Burns and Big Gordo thrown in for good measure.

Island hopping was on the agenda this time round, so for £60 we acquired a Caledonian Macbrayne Hopscotch ticket allowing us three ferry crossings between the mainland, Skye and Lewis.  Having heard lots of good stuff about the new KTM 1190 Adventure I thought this could be the perfect bike for the journey so managed to book Loughborough’s Redline KTM’s demo out for a week.  My first stint was an uneventful 400 miles north but with an average of 250 miles range per tank and 80s club classics on the i pod it felt like I was there in no time.  I also kept myself amused scrolling through the easy to navigate countless combinations of engine performance, traction/anti wheelie and suspension settings clearly displayed on the dash.  There seems to be a setting for everyone; luggage or no luggage, big guy or small guy, brave or scared ( no rider aids or full rider aids). 

After assembling in the holiday town of Helensburgh on day two, we rode up around the coast on the A82, A85 and A828 to Ballachulish.  A quick puddle jump across Loch Linnhe then saw us heading round the A861 to Strontian before going north to Mallaig. Our first Calmac ferry hop was from Mallaig over to Ardvasar on the South side of Skye.   After sampling a few bottles of Seven Giraffes (brewed in Scotland) we decided to rest our heads laid our heads for the night in Portree’s excellent Bosville hotel.  The next day was an eye opener for me as I had no idea how spectacular the scenery would be over a lap of the Isle of Skye.  Around every corner there is another Loch with backdrops varying from craggy mountain tops in the mist to vast grasslands more akin to Southern Spain.  The roads are also a mixture of fast sweeping ‘A’ roads linked to single track sections but with ample passes places.  Considering the Hebridean winters must be harsh we didn’t encounter any pot holes or knackered surfaces.  After two days, and apart from my sphincter feeling tender, I was loving the RC8 powered Adventure.  I tried switching the traction control, ABS and anti wheelie off but to be honest these aids only help riding pleasure while keeping you safe at the same time.  Stabbing the clutch lever seemed to override the anti wheelie anyway so I still got my fix without fiddling with any buttons.  Our next two hour ferry crossing was in the evening, this time taking us from Uig in the north west of Skye to Tarbert on the Island of Lewis.

Our night in Stornoway’s Royal Hotel was comfortable and depressing.  Depressing, because for a moment we were one goal up on England at Wembley and then it inevitably went pear shaped, enough said.

On to day three, and after leaving the very normal coastal of Stornoway we headed out into a beautiful but barren Island that was surely designed just for big naked bikes.  Once again we enjoyed great road surfaces with very little traffic where we could scratch through hairpins and wheelie over crests without upsetting a single sheep or native.  On a three hour ride we took in some amazing scenery including Brochs (dry stone houses) and the famous Calanais Standing Stones before arriving back at Stornaway for our final evening ferry across to Ullapool back on the mainland.  And the riding fun wasn’t over as anyone will know the roads from Ullapool to Inverness are superb in every department. The A9 south from then on is good but riddled with speed traps so one has to be very careful especially if one is on a 160mph KTM!

Well the Bodachs on bikes were again stunned by the highlands and Islands on the west coast of Scotland.  A great trip was had by all with everyone enjoying their TDMs,Multistradas,STs and VTRs, however, providing you can afford 13K and you wear padded cycling shorts, I reckon the new 1190 Adventure can tick more boxes.  I'd have to describe it as a big traillie touring superbike with the potential to compete in all sectors. How you ride it is up to you.      

With the Gaelic for ‘old man’ being Bodach it was only right we call our annual has been Scottish Racers run out 'Bodachs on Bikes'.  The gang now includes names from the past like Morrison, MacPherson, Simpson and Duffus with a Robert Burns and Big Gordo thrown in for good measure.

Island hopping was on the agenda this time round, so for £60 we acquired a Caledonian Macbrayne Hopscotch ticket allowing us three ferry crossings between the mainland, Skye and Lewis.  Having heard lots of good stuff about the new KTM 1190 Adventure I thought this could be the perfect bike for the journey so managed to book Loughborough’s Redline KTM’s demo out for a week.  My first stint was an uneventful 400 miles north but with an average of 250 miles range per tank and 80s club classics on the i pod it felt like I was there in no time.  I also kept myself amused scrolling through the easy to navigate countless combinations of engine performance, traction/anti wheelie and suspension settings clearly displayed on the dash.  There seems to be a setting for everyone; luggage or no luggage, big guy or small guy, brave or scared ( no rider aids or full rider aids). 

After assembling in the holiday town of Helensburgh on day two, we rode up around the coast on the A82, A85 and A828 to Ballachulish.  A quick puddle jump across Loch Linnhe then saw us heading round the A861 to Strontian before going north to Mallaig. Our first Calmac ferry hop was from Mallaig over to Ardvasar on the South side of Skye.   After sampling a few bottles of Seven Giraffes (brewed in Scotland) we decided to rest our heads laid our heads for the night in Portree’s excellent Bosville hotel.  The next day was an eye opener for me as I had no idea how spectacular the scenery would be over a lap of the Isle of Skye.  Around every corner there is another Loch with backdrops varying from craggy mountain tops in the mist to vast grasslands more akin to Southern Spain.  The roads are also a mixture of fast sweeping ‘A’ roads linked to single track sections but with ample passes places.  Considering the Hebridean winters must be harsh we didn’t encounter any pot holes or knackered surfaces.  After two days, and apart from my sphincter feeling tender, I was loving the RC8 powered Adventure.  I tried switching the traction control, ABS and anti wheelie off but to be honest these aids only help riding pleasure while keeping you safe at the same time.  Stabbing the clutch lever seemed to override the anti wheelie anyway so I still got my fix without fiddling with any buttons.  Our next two hour ferry crossing was in the evening, this time taking us from Uig in the north west of Skye to Tarbert on the Island of Lewis.

Our night in Stornoway’s Royal Hotel was comfortable and depressing.  Depressing, because for a moment we were one goal up on England at Wembley and then it inevitably went pear shaped, enough said.

On to day three, and after leaving the very normal coastal of Stornoway we headed out into a beautiful but barren Island that was surely designed just for big naked bikes.  Once again we enjoyed great road surfaces with very little traffic where we could scratch through hairpins and wheelie over crests without upsetting a single sheep or native.  On a three hour ride we took in some amazing scenery including Brochs (dry stone houses) and the famous Calanais Standing Stones before arriving back at Stornaway for our final evening ferry across to Ullapool back on the mainland.  And the riding fun wasn’t over as anyone will know the roads from Ullapool to Inverness are superb in every department. The A9 south from then on is good but riddled with speed traps so one has to be very careful especially if one is on a 160mph KTM!

Well the Bodachs on bikes were again stunned by the highlands and Islands on the west coast of Scotland.  A great trip was had by all with everyone enjoying their TDMs,Multistradas,STs and VFRs, however, providing you can afford 13K and you wear padded cycling shorts, I reckon the new 1190 Adventure can tick more boxes.  I'd have to describe it as a big traillie touring superbike with the potential to compete in all sectors. How you ride it is up to you.      

Join the conversation!

Let us know what you think, just sign up for a free account, leave a comment and get involved!
Register Now