Posted August 07, 2019

500 Mile Michigan Trip

I have been working for Lexmoto for a number of years and have a great deal of confidence in the products that we sell. I like to think that we provide a product that offers an affordable option for new riders that gives access to a wide world of independent travel and the freedom that comes with it.

We were contacted to advise that Lexmoto had been shortlisted in the Honest John awards 2019 and asked to attend an awards event in London. Typically when it comes to trips to London with work there is a large number of logistics involved when we attend the London Motorcycle show. This event however just required a person to attend on behalf of the company. In a moment of inspiration, I suggested that I would ride a bike up to attend the show, covering a total distance of 340 miles between Exeter and Central London. This trip would enable me to officially enter the Lexmoto Adventure Club as an added bonus so I decided it was an opportunity too good to be true.

The Bike
Having free choice of the entire Lexmoto range is a daunting prospect. Whilst there were more suitable models for such a journey the Michigan 125cc looked too good to miss such an opportunity. The reason for my choice was due to the relaxed low, comfortable seating position and stylish looks.

The Route
Looking at the route there were a couple of different options. In the end, I opted to take the A303 before using the M3 into London. I decided that with it being my first time driving into Central London I would take the opportunity to spread the trip over two days, setting off on the 1st and returning on the 2nd May.

Route

The Prep
The week arrived and admittedly I had not spent a great deal of time preparing. The Michigan had barely any miles on it and I had not had the chance to really give it much of an outing yet. I finished off work in the office and headed out on the bike for an afternoon riding (Not a hardship!). My initial plan to give the bike a quick run around quickly fell to the wayside and before I knew it I was venturing up the A30. My trip took me from Exeter to Tavistock before returning back through Dartmoor. When I returned to the office that afternoon I had racked up over 100 miles and a beaming smile. I returned the bike to our technicians to complete the first service ready for the adventure ahead.

Londontripdm

Day 1

I prepped my rucksack with clothes and a camera kit. The total estimated weight of rider and kit was 135kg. This is the same weight as a lightweight rider AND a small pillion combined.

Cruising comfortably between 55-65mph and occasionally hitting 70, we made progress away from Exeter, up the A303. The seating position on the Michigan is upright with feet forward which made the long ride more comfortable than it would have been on a regular sports or city bike. Never the less, plenty of rest stops were advised. As well as stretching my muscles, this enabled me to visit several places of interest along the way. During my journey, I took in stops at The Haynes Motor Museum and then Stone Henge. I found it quite funny to see the assortment of premium adventure bikes on display as I appeared on my modest 125cc.

londonsh

As I arrived in London I stopped for fuel. To completely fill the tank required 9 litres. For the 170 miles travelled, it worked out at an average consumption of over 80mpg, which would have been more if the ride had been more leisurely with a lighter rider and less baggage.

After checking into the hotel, the rest of the evening was taken up with a ride around London, taking in the Ace Cafe. Where the parked Michigan became a bit of a curiosity. Navigating back in the dark the digital display and bright LED indicators certainly added some confidence despite much heavier levels of traffic than I was used to.

Michigan Ace Cafe

Day 2

The next day was the awards ceremony. This involved a lively ride through London again, but this time, in rush hour traffic. The Michigan's 'ape hanger' handle bars made filtering slightly challenging through the tighter gaps, but I reached the destination safely and on time. Parking within metres of Carnaby Street was completely free! The awards show were an interesting affair and provided the opportunity to meet some interesting people from different industries. Unfortunately, we just missed out to Honda on this occasion but nonetheless I took the opportunity to go over and congratulate them and we proceeded to enter into a half-hour conversation about motorcycles and the challenges that the industry faced. It’s always good to talk bikes, even if it’s with the competition! Incidentally, Honda staff didn’t opt to ride to the event (Despite their round trip being 260 miles less)!

After topping off the tank ready for the return ride, I passed through central London for the last time, passing Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. I was taken by surprise at a set of lights by a taxi driver who pulled up and starting talking about how far Lexmoto have come in the last few years, which was a personal 'feel good' moment.

London trip 2

The ride homewards, towards the setting sun was breathtaking. Me, the Michigan and the landscape.

The complete 500 mile trip cost a little over £20 in fuel. The equivalent rail or flight journeys were showing prices up to £250.

Admittedly, the Michigan is not the fastest or most comfortable way of covering 500 miles when compared to train or plane, but on reflection what it did give me was freedom to go when and where I wanted, at my own pace, with the added bonus of free parking and filtering through busy traffic when needed. It certainly made it an Adventure!

The Michigan never missed a beat on the trip and a few hours of riding and £20, it was an experience I'll never forget.

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