Posted August 07, 2019

500 Mile Michigan Trip

Sometimes, we just want to see what our bikes can do. To work for a brand, you have to trust it, have confidence in the products and know that they can do what we say they can do.

This is why I, as a Lexmoto team member, instead of taking the train, or a flight to the Honest John Awards in London, decided to take one of our bikes.

So, a new Michigan was prepped by the tech team, taken out for 100 mile 'break in' ride, then given its first service.

Day 1

I prepped my rucksack with clothes and 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 from away from Exeter, up the A303. The seating position on the Michigan is much more 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.

The final 75 miles was on the M3. A final fuel refill required 9 litres. For the 160 miles travelled, it worked out at an average consumption of 80mpg, which would have been less 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.

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. Unfortunately, Lexmoto were beaten by Honda in the 125cc motorcycle category at the awards, but it was still good to be in the running.

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 breath taking. 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, but it gives you the freedom to go when and where you want, at your own pace, with the added bonus of free parking and filtering through busy traffic.

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

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