Shortly after purchasing my brand new Sinnis Café 125 in May 2015, my friend announced that in the July of that year he would be moving down to Cornwall for 12 months volunteering with the National Trust. Staying in free accommodation right on the coast in Botallack, he said I’d be able to visit him and stay for a few days. So instantly looking at my motorcycle I thought, road trip! 400 miles and back from my native St Helens in Lancashire, plus a few detours I thought can I do it on a 125?
I’d already broken in the new engine with day rides across Lancashire and Yorkshire taking in Forest of Bowland and it’s single track roads and the Yorkshire Dales along with a couple of rides to the Lake District. Averaging 150-200 mile round trips depending on routes with a few stops along the way to rest the legs. So I already had confidence in the ability of the engine. Some people said it was too far on not only a little bike but a Chinese bike, not knowing that the engines are derived from proven Suzuki GN engines. So after some planning and adding Wales into the journey home I realised I had around 1000 miles ahead of me, using only A and B roads and hopefully averaging 50mph with all my luggage. I took the bull by the horns and my bike by the handlebars and off I went.
Setting off at 4am on a calm August Morning I left St Helens for Warrington where I’d join the A49 southbound where it would take me all the way to Hereford before the spaghetti bowl of A and B roads would unfold and I’d have to rely on my Sat Nav to get me beyond Bristol into the South West.
After recently being serviced the bike was running smoothly and felt comfortable despite the weight of my luggage over the back wheel. By midday after a couple of stops and having the traffic gods on my side I had covered over 200 miles and was on the other side of Bristol! I couldn’t believe I’d made the halfway point and it was time for my first fuel stop as I’d hit reserve a few miles before it. 200 miles from a 10 litre tank averaging a steady 45mph. Not amazing speeds but you tend to pass through a lot of towns and villages with 30mph limits along most A roads. But you definitely get to see more of our country’s stunning countryside.
After an hours rest and a good meal I set off for the second part of the slog to Botallack. My legs were sore but surprisingly my back and backside were not. The seat is comfy and the riding position makes for a nice ride. The bike fired up instantly and was raring to go as I made my way along the A38 towards the A39 where I’d cruise along the stunning Atlantic Highway and join the A30 into Cornwall. The A30 was and probably is still Hell on Earth! This is where I started to ache all over and get a little fed up on being sat on the bike. But after a little stop and a cold drink I noticed how glorious the blue skies where, the sun was still shining and my bike looked great sat there loaded up for adventure in the summer sun. I instantly perked up and climbed back on the bike, firing up instantly once again raring to go, as if to say “if I can hack the ride then you surely can” this is where I really bonded with the bike and developed a soft spot for it like many do with their motorcycles. It took me down the awful A30 and despite being loaded up with luggage still managed to climb to 60mph and sat there for 2 hours before hitting awful holiday traffic 40 miles from Penzance. After a lot of filtering and stopping and starting I made it to Penzance where I had another break before taking the final but short ride to the coast. By 5pm I’d made it to Botallack. 11 hours on the road! I was tired, aching and sore. But I was proud of my little machine getting me all the way without a hiccup.
You can travel on a budget like myself and you can do it on a great bike that doesn’t cost the earth to buy or run. You won’t get there fast and you won’t get there without aching a little but you will get there. It just takes a little patience and passion for a great adventure. So I urge all fellow Sinnis owners to get out there and explore because you have the bikes to do it.
Next stop, the Western Highlands of bonnie Scotland.
– Stuart Wainwright, Sinnis cafe 125 owner from St Helens.
Thanks Stuart – We love stories like this. We have sent you some things in the post. If anyone else would like to tell us about a fantastic trip on their Sinnis, send it (with pictures) to us and if we publish it we will send you a parts credit, or something special in the post!!
Stuart tells us he is going around Scotland next – we cant wait to see that 🙂
All the best, and don’t forget to wave at fellow bikers