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Member Profile - Steve Smith

posted 20 Apr 2012, 16:44 by Section Webmaster

I like to think I found BMW motorcycles early in life as I first bought a GS 1150 in stunning blue and white back in 2001. I was 34 at the time and had a good few mates still riding racer reps which were mainly Jap bikes.

The bike I sold to buy the BMW was a Suzuki 1200 Bandit and although I thought that was a good bike nothing set me up for sitting up high and comfortable on the GS with heated grips and panniers for touring. The gearbox on the 2001 model I bought was clunky as hell but the bike rode really well especially during spirited riding. I found the handling to be superb if a little unusual in so much as the bike would go from huge lean angle to the opposite lean which seemed as if I would never stay on. The first track day I did on this bike was amazing in that I worked out you could do pretty much anything on it.

I have a chequered history of riding all types of bikes from age 16 including, Simpson 50, Suzuki 125 GS, Suzuki SP 400, Suzuki RF 600, Kawasaki ZZR 600, Suzuki 1200 Bandit, Honda VFR 800, Harley Davidson V Rod Night Rod Special, Kawasaki ZZR 1400 twice, Kawaski 1500, Kawasaki 200 trail bike etc.

When my wife asks me what I get out of riding my motorbike I often answer, clear the head and chill out but this couldn’t be farther from the truth really. I try very hard to be a safe rider and find that as I ride only at weekends and some evenings I concentrate so hard I get tired. This does clear my head of the day to day stuff so I guess one part is right anyway. I think bikers have a very different and more open approach to meeting others regardless of what style of bike they ride and have spoken with many strangers that I would not normally meet in my day to day life. I find this part of biking a real incentive to get out there and ride.

I have done many European trips over the years when finances and family life has allowed and visited Scotland, Wales, France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. I have also had a trip riding a Harley Davidson for a week in Florida to Bikeweek at Daytona. My last trip abroad was last summer with a mate on a Kawasaki 650. We caught the ferry to Santander and then headed off into the Pyrenees and found some amazing roads with stunning scenery. We stayed at whichever town we were closest to and had good fun in Pamplona to name just one. The riding is the focus of the trips for me and I love mountainous hairpins with tight turns and twists either up or downhill.

The best bike in the world for my money is my Black GS1150 Adventure which I bought from CW’s back in 2003.

I only took my nearly new gs 1150 in for a service but the little buggers there gave me a test Adventure to try out and by the time I returned (5 hours later), I was smitten. This bike has given me great memories and such stable, exciting and reliable riding over the last eight years  I find it hard to contemplate selling her. I think we have many trips in us for many years to come but my head could get turned by a new model with the character that this bike has.

I have just returned from a holiday in Florida where I hired a Harley for a day which picked up a flat tyre whilst in the middle of nowhere.

The sign next to the area I stopped at  proclaimed it was the green swamp wilderness preserve and whilst waiting for a replacement to be delivered to me and the flat one collected I spent three hours thinking about what a great day it is when you ride any bike anywhere. The replacement bike arrived before I was attacked by the Gators and I continued on a really good day out. This photo shows one of my daughters on the replacement which came with a stereo and cd player !

 Of course she made me ride her around the town with One Direction (a boy band ), on loud which did wonders for my street cred! I am really looking forward to the calendar of events with the BMW club for 2012 to make new memories of fun with friends sometimes at speed and sometimes in the bar.

Steve Smith based in Poole, Dorset.