After 8months of chasing various people about bikes and waiting for responses Sam and I finally drew a line under all the lure of a lot of carrot dangling and decided with only 3months to go… we would just go grab a couple of KTM Enduro 690 r 2012 from Fowlers in Bristol!
The night before we both lay in bed and asked each other whether we were excited. The answer rather strangely was “not really”. Having spent MONTHS negotiating rather painfully with various companies it all didn’t really seem like it was going to happen. It wasn’t until the morning when we started getting kitted up and the folks arrived to escort us up that things started to become a bit of a reality and we both had rather ridiculous smiles on our faces!
At Fowlers itself, the grin could only grow wider (my face was starting to ache)! I plonked down with Simon to fill in some paperwork whilst Sam nipped to the bathroom. When I found out the time it would take to process (30-45mins) I gave me Pa a quick call so they could grab a cuppa whilst they waited to see the bikes! The jammy dodger that my Pa is though had managed to spot the bikes coming into the showroom before us and took a sneaky photo! Monkey!! What was weirder though… he was actually standing next to Sam in the bathroom at the time of the call… not something I ever thought I would have to envisage was my Pa and Sam having a wee together! Slightly disturbing!!
Some mind bleach and 45minutes later all the paper work was sorted, my bank had taken a slight beating but Sam and I were outside with our new bubbas… and they were STUPENDOUS! We had a few photos and after being informed Fowlers car park is slightly slippy in the wet especially with new tyres we decided to wheel the bikes outside the gate and prepare to set off! (Less of an audience too for my inexperienced wobbling!)
Considering I hadn’t been on a bike for over a month and this was my 7th time riding (that figure includes my test riding!) I was a wee bit nervous at this point! What was odd for me too was the height of the KTM 690… I was used to much lower seats. As you can see from the videos of me setting off (with a rather nervous Pa behind the camera!) I had a bit of a wibble to begin with! Haha! I soon got used to it though!
Riding home was amazing! I soon learned that slipping off sideways on the saddle was a MASSIVE help in stabilising wibbles when stopping (although a bit hard with the non-grip rukka butts! I felt velcro’d to the seat!) When dodging a pothole I had a bit of a surprise too… I barely twitched and the bike whizzed where I wanted it to go! Nothing like the bikes I had been learning on which now in comparison seemed like riding a stubborn old boy of a horse which needed a ridiculous amount of coaxing to go wherever you desired! What was mega lovely too was I could see for miles! Way over the tops of cars giving me a great advantage in judging traffic and adjusting my riding style to suit!
Something I kept forgetting though… people can hear me outside my helmet. There would have been a lot of Bristol and Weston people hearing wheeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeee as I rode past that day! Haha!
When we arrived back we were both grinning head to toe! Sam was enjoying riding an endure style bike again and although he was concentrating on being my guard dog all the way back he was over the moon!
A big thank you to my parents for driving a rather excitable Sam and I to our lovely bikes! They’ve been so mega in helping us out, we cannot say thank them enough! Also a big thank you to Fowlers – in specific Rod – as well! After months of endless calls and non returned messages to various other places it was such a relief to deal with someone who calls you back and lets you know exactly where you stand within a day or two! Great chap!
So… two KTM 690’s Enduro r 2012s up… 3months to go… and lots of off roading and practice AHOY! Things are finally hotting up!