8th July 2019

Yamaha Majesty YP250 MOT and trip to North Coast (225 miles)

An amazing day. Even the weather was brilliant. I had purchased my Yamaha Majesty YP250 on the 11th May, recorded on another web-page. Life has been so busy that there was no time to get it road legal. I had booked an MOT for today with Tom Macbride at Spinningdale for 10.30.

Before I left I took off the front caliper. I forced the pistons most of the way out with the brake lever. I cleaned the pistons and sprayed them with WD40 and ACF50. I forced them back in using a clamp. This was repeated several times. The brake had been binding and this helped a lot.

I left at 9.30 and went down to the Skiach and filled the tank with petrol. I then headed back up and went over the Struie. I had to stop at the viewpoint. My first panic happened here – it would not restart. Checking the side stand was properly up and brake lever well pulled back it started! What a relief.

It had not started before while trying it out and I had to do a strip-down to get to the starter motor.

I went round by Bonar Bridge and stopped a bit before Spinningdale as I was a bit early. Again it was a struggle to start. Apart from this starting issue it was running like a dream. 

I got to Spinningdale Motors and as usual with Tom had to wait a wee while. But he came and did the MOT. It sailed through with no advisories.

While waiting for the MOT the gentleman in the next picture with the beard came in from Golspie on his nice Honda C70 for an MOT. While chatting and sharing our life experiences the other guy with the red bike (modern and horrible, I didn’t even register the make!) came in having come off. He wanted Tom to do some repairs to the electrics. He had hurt his shoulder and we advised him to call at Invergordon Hospital Minor Injuries. These guys go to fast. He was a Geordie. Poor chap, though, that just spoils a day.

The scooter passed its MOT –

It really has done very little mileage in the last three years. I probably added as much with today’s trip.

With an MOT in the huge glove compartment I decided to head North and have a day of it. I pushed past Dornoch, through Golspie and on to Brora. I went to the COOP to get supplies for my day.

I pushed on to Berriedale Braes and stopped at 12.39 . I went up to the old cemetery and sat on a stone to eat my picnic. This is most of it consumed. I had eaten a delicious big pork pie!

All the stones were shored up.

There is a huge amount of work being done all round the cemetery. They are sorting out the road. Its a shame as this part has real character. I believe there is to be a flyover.

I met an American couple as I was leaving who wondered how I had got into the cemetery. I explained how the style made of Caithness flags worked. I had a blether. They were very pleasant.

At Tesco in Wick I filled up with more petrol. I also got a bottle of Pepsi Max.

So this works out as

24428.7 – 24330.1 = 98.6 miles

5.16 litres = 1.14 gallons

Fuel consumption = 86.86 mpg.

I’m delighted with that.

It’s early days, it will have to be calculated over a period of time.

Then it was push further North, not going to John O’Groats as its too touristy but stopped at Cannisby Church. Who pulled up just after I stopped but the American couple from Berriedale! We had a much longer chat. They were obsessed with electric cars and renewable energy. Surely if your watching your global footprint you don’t fly to the UK. They seem to do a lot of holidays. But they were very nice.

The island of Stroma with Orkney beyond.

This must be a John Nicolson piece of stonework. It’s interesting how the lichens have become her hair.  John Nicolson (1843-1934) was a Caithness farmer with a talent for painting and sculpture as well as a deep interest in local history. He was born at Stemster near John O’ Groats in 1843, but moved in 1858 to Half Way House at Auckengill, (now Summerbank) where he continued to farm until his death in 1934.

I pushed on along the North coast passing through Castletown and Thurso and to beyond Reay where I turned down onto the Halladale road. I met hardly any cars on the way down. I stopped at the cemetery at Trantlebeg at 3.25. I went down by the river and ate and rested for some time. I lay in the sun for half an hour by the river listening to the water and the birds. It was lovely just to be at peace. The sun was warm and I think I dozed off.

I pushed on down the lovely Halladale road. This is getting near the Wetlands at Forsinard.

Of course I had to go over Glen Loth. All my bikes have to do this one. I met more traffic going over the glen than I did in Strath Halladale. You used to meet nothing up here.

Morven showing in the middle. Look at that sky.

Then it was down the glen and onto Brora and then stopped in Golspie. I went to the chip shop and got battered chicken fillets and chips which I took down to the sea front to eat. The day had changed. It was overcast and much cooler.

I headed on down the A9 and over the Dornoch bridge. I came by Edderton and back up to the Struie road. This is at the entrance to the windfarm at Aultnamain.

I stopped a wee bit further on to get a picture of the bell heather.

And reached home at 7.00 pm. A great day. I am so impressed by this scooter. It can hold road speeds easily. It cruises at 60 mph effortlessly. It doesn’t have the fuel consumption of the wee bike but still pretty good.