UK POSTIE BIKE
Postie Bike Adventure Tours are new for new for 2020 and are born off the back of the bikes used in the 2019 Garbage Run Australia. That was a trip of some 6000 kilometres, straight through the heart of the Outback, riding from Brisbane to Perth. At the end of that trip the bikes were loaded in a container and sailed home to the UK; the biggest fleet of ex-postie bikes outside of Australia.
The bikes are all retired Australian postal bikes - aka postie bikes - and are made by Honda and badged as CT110s. They're incredibly robust and easy to ride machines, ridden for approximately 25,000 kilometres or three years before being retired off by the mail service. The idea is to use this fleet of 10 bikes to take people on shorter back-road adventure tours here in the UK. Some of the trips will be road based, but many of them will involve an element of trail riding on road legal lanes; terrain that the CT (Cub Trail) was originally designed for.
Because of the lightweight nature of the bikes, as well the easy to operate four speed semi-autimatic gearbox, they're both fun to ride and perfect for novices to venture off the beaten track for the first time.
Some of the Postie Bike trips for 2020 will be one day rides, others will be bunkhouse weekends at venues around the UK, as well a few longer trips such as the five day expedition planned along the Great Western Trail down to Land's End and back.
All the bikes will be insured and ready to go. You'll just need to be over 21 years of age and hold a full motorcycle licence. For longer trips, luggage is provided and for the day rides a full tank of fuel is also included.
Please have a look at the scheduled Postie Bike runs at the bottom of this page, but if you want to speak to me about any bespoke or personalised trips then please just get in touch.
One bike to guide them all...
Dorothy is the bike that I originally rode from Sydney to London then from New York to Alaska on and is the bike that I'll be using to guide the UK Postie Bike Adventures.
At time of writing she stands at 98,000 kilometres and beyond a top end rebuild in Seattle she is almost completely original, other than the extra tank in the 'step-through' to give extra range.
The benefits of taking a bike like that on a global motorbike trip is that it not only drastically reduces the price of documentation and shipping and insurance, but also is mechanically simple to to keep going. You also have the benefit of spare tyres available anywhere, good fuel economy and nothing major to really go wrong. Speed is the only issue.
She's obviously a bit slow and steady, but that she managed the trips without any real problems is why I have such a fondness for the machines. They're good fun, easy to ride and hugely capable of taking you on any adventure. It's why I used them on the coast to coast Australian run in 2019. Nine bikes, 6,000 kilometres, and the only mechanical failure was a carburettor needle dropping out on the first day. Other than, faultless. They don't build them like this anymore...
The postie bikes used for the 2019 Garbage Run Australia were all supplied by Joe at One Ten Motorcycles in Caboolture, the same place as Dorothy was supplied by all those years ago.
The bikes varied slightly in age but were all worked on by Joe and his team in order to prepare them for the arduous journey across the heart of the Outback. All the bikes were named - Chloe, Lucy, Sally, Holly, Suzy - for ease of identification if nothing else, and all but one completed the 6000 kilometre journey from Brisbane to Perth, Lola being crashed badly in the desert and having to be abandoned in the South Australian town of Hawker.
The rest, at the end of that trip, were put in a container ship and sailed to the UK, along with a ninth bike that was being sold by the shipping agent in Perth. The bike had been stood for a while but was in great shape and had only covered 25,000 kilometres. That one joined the other eight in the container and has subsequently been christened 'Bruce'.
The bikes all run105cc four stroke engines, offering around 7bhp and come with a four-speed semi automatic gearbox. This means that whilst there is no cutch lever to use, there are still four gears to change between. They ride much like a Honda C90, albeit that bike has three gears not the four of the CT. Neutral is at the bottom of the gearbox, so it’s up all the way into fourth. Top speed is around 45mph, but mechanical sympathy leads to a realistic cruising speed of 40mph.
To cope with the ordeals of the postal delivery service Honda tailored the regular CT110 especially for the postal service, giving it thicker spokes, stiffer springs and heavy duty hubs. You could never buy a new postie bike as a civilian - they were only sold to the postal fleet - with regular riders only able to get them once they'd been retired off after approximately 25,000 kilometres of service. In around 2015 the trusty Japanese made CT110 was replaced by the Chinese built CT110X; better in being fuel injected and a little bit quicker, but not nearly as robust or iconic as the original CT.
There are 10 bikes in total. Each tour will accommodate 8 riders, myself as guide and the tenth bike as a spare or for the accompanying second guide, tour dependent.
The tours are a mixture of one day, two day and the best part of a week. They're aimed at everyone, from the novice to the advanced, the beauty of the bikes being that they're so easy and fun to ride. Some of the tours involve trail riding. For those you'll need a sturdy outfit, with full face helmet, or open face with goggles, protective clothing with elbow, knee and shoulder protection, as well as a sturdy pair of boots with as much ankle and shin protection as you can find. Rain will no doubt be a factor so please pack an appropriate level of waterproofing and if you have any questions regarding riding kit or nature of the tours then please just get in touch.
The order of proceedings will be to start with an introduction and a walk through of the bikes and their features. Bikes will be allocated, once allocated you will be responsible for that machine until the end of that trip. Mechanical sympathy is expected of all riders. Fair wear and tear is of course to be expected but not misuse or deliberate abuse. Riders will be offloaded if this becomes an issue. Fuel is included unless otherwise stated. All bikes and riders are covered Third Party and Theft. A deposit of £150 will be required from each rider. Damage will be charged at a nominal fee; brake lever £15. Wing mirror £20. Any further damage will be charged on a fair and reasonable basis. Riders take part in the runs at their own risk. Personal injury insurance is not included. Upon booking, further details and information will be issued.
RIDERS MUST BE 21 AND ABOVE AND HOLD A FULL MOTORCYCLE LICENCE
PLEASE SEE THE LIST OF SCHEDULED TRIPS BELOW AND IF ANY TAKE YOUR FANCY PLEASE JUST USE THE CONTACT BOX AT THE BOTTOM TO REGISTER YOUR INTEREST. BOOKING DETAILS WILL BE SENT OUT IN DUE COURSE.
March 21st - 22nd - Cumbrian Bunkhouse Weekend
6 places available - Friday and Saturday night bunkhouse included - Fuel included - Bike hire and TPFT insurance included - Saturday and Sunday morning riding - two breakfasts - two dinners - £245
May 29th - 31st Dartmoor Wild Camping Weekend with Survival Skills
8 places available - Friday night accommodation at Union Road Moto-Velo included - Saturday and Sunday ride - Saturday night camping - Bike hire and TPFT insurance included - £195.
Postie bike Wheels and Waves Weekend - Date TBC
8 places available - Friday night accommodation at Union Road Moto-Velo included - Saturday and Sunday ride - Surfing lessons Saturday afternoon included - Saturday night camping - Bike hire and TPFT insurance included - fuel included - £245
If yourself or a partner or a group of friends want to arrange a bespoke day on the bikes, either in North Devon or further afield, then please contact me directly for possibilities and available dates.
- Solo - £150
- Pair - £125 per person
- Thereafter (up to 8) - £110 per person
Price includes bike, fuel and insurance.
Cost does not include food and personal accident insurance.
£80 NORTH DEVON ADVENTURE DAYS
These are intended as great taster into the world of postie bike adventures. Based out of North Devon, near to Barnstaple, these day long guided tours run from 10am to 3pm and explore some of the best coastal roads North Devon has to offer. Some of the days will involve light trails, others will all be on the road. A £5 fuel surcharge will apply, as will a £150 deposit per bike. Most Adventure Days will run on a Wednesday. Check out the calendar below for dates and click on the link to book.