RiDE April 2021

RiDE helps you get more from your motorcycle. Put together by a team of enthusiastic experts, with help from thousands of committed readers, every issue of RiDE is full of recommendations on bikes, kit, routes, destinations and technique. We speak directly to our readers about their biking lives & use our expertise to steer them towards the good-value option in bikes, trips and kits. We’re famed for our regular Product Tests and eery month provide a comprehensive used-bike buying guide, helping potential owners find the right bike at the right price. Finally... every issue features touring guides and riding advice to help readers explore the world on their bike.

United Kingdom
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min

‘I want to take advantage of this wonderful UK’ If, like me, you’ve been suffering from lockdown-induced cabin-fever, you’ll find plenty here to get you excited and inspired for the motorcycling year. Things are at their worst now, but there is no getting away from the fact that soon the world will start to open up; first nationally, then internationally — and with it, so will our horizons. This issue is dedicated to getting the most out of 2021 by giving yourself a motorcycling holiday, whether at home or abroad. More than ever, we all need something to plan, research and look forward to and this year, I’m most excited about riding in the UK. Right now, a foray into Europe seems a long way off, so I want to take advantage of…

1 min
start picture

Eilean Donan Castle, Scottish Highlands This is me and my son Dan at Eilean Donan Castle. We rode from Cumbria to the Isle of Skye and back again in a day — 635 miles in 22 hours. I’m on my new V-Strom 1050 XT and Dan, his Honda CB125F on L-plates, as he’s training for his licence (so no motorways). The weather was horrendous when we set off and we nearly turned round and went home but we persevered and were rewarded with probably the best ride out we have ever had, alongside Loch Lomond, up through Glencoe past Fort William and the magical A87 from Spean Bridge to the Kyle of Lochalsh. We met some great bikers on the ride, which made the day even better. My son is now…

2 min
your rides

Bolton Castle, Yorkshire Dales I thought I would share a photo of my Royal Enfield Interceptor at Bolton Castle. I had a couple of days around Hawes and Leyburn in the Yorkshire Dales and stopped for a moment to take in the stunning view. David Jones Bealach na Bà, Scottish Highlands We made it! Here is my 1974 850 Norton Commando near Applecross, high up Bealach na Ba at 2053 feet above sea level. The Norton may be an oldie but it surged up the gradients to reach the summit. I rode non-stop from Norfolk to Contin, arriving to stunning scenery, before the next morning’s adventure to Torridon and beyond. You don’t need a modern bike to go touring; as long as it has two wheels, you will have a fabulous time. Chris…

5 min
‘the nc500 isn’t the only great route in scotland’

IT’S NO SECRET that some of the UK’s best motorcycling roads can be found in Scotland, but with the ever-increasing popularity of well-publicised routes, such as the NC500, it’s becoming harder to ride them without dicing with tourist traffic. Enter the South West Coastal 300, a challenging loop around Dumfries and Galloway, an often-overlooked region that is yet to draw crowds. With stunning and varied scenery and brilliant roads, it makes a great addition to any touring wish list — and for English bikers, is easier and quicker to get to than the NC500 as well as quieter. Being a circular route, you can join the SWC300 anywhere and ride in either direction, but I recommend setting out from Moffat and exploring it counterclockwise which, if the weather gods are kind, will…

1 min
local knowledge

Best day to ride Weekends aren’t as busy as the NC500 and in the week it can be quiet. Mid-summer is great, thanks to the long evenings and then the dark skies. Also be aware of any Scottish lockdowns – they can differ from UK ones. Best corner The whole of the Dalveen Pass is simply stunning – a flowing twisting cornucopia that threads between mountain and glen. The best section is the double-rights heading north between Watermeetings and Durister Mill through the bleak, exposed moorland. The surface is excellent, too. Be careful Watch out for road salt quite late into the season. Scottish road salt can be quite sticky (apparently they mix in molasses to help it stick to the tarmac) so make sure you’ve got a coating of ACF-50 or XCP on your…

4 min
should we ride more to improve our mental health?

WINTER CAN BE a struggle. Short days; a cold, wet climate; and a lack of sunshine all take their toll, especially on those whose hobbies revolve around summer months. Bikers know this better than most; between November and March we tick off the days to the next season. And in the current situation, things are even worse. Being unable to ride can impact our wellbeing, and for those already susceptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or low mood, the winter months can be particularly challenging. And those people are not alone; one in four UK adults will experience some sort of mental health issue in their lifetime. But there is good news; riding your bike can improve your mental health. The facts Riding is pleasurable and, as such, helps your body to release…