Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Buell Goes To Scotland

Over the first two weeks of June my partner and I set off on a tour of Scotland on my Buell Ulysses XB12XT. Scotland has been somewhere I had always wanted to see, especially the much refereed to John O'Groats. Coming from Ireland we decided to travel to Larne and cross to Troon, though coming back we choose the Cairnryan to Larne route since we had a better choice of crossing times.

Doune Castle
Parked up outside Doune Castle, fully loaded for 2 weeks in Scotland!

We planned out two routes, one which included us travelling to John O'Groats, and a second which had us just travel West to Isle of Skye after visiting the Loch Ness area. We would decide which route to take once we got up to Loch Ness as much really depended on the weather. On our second night in Scotland, at the Comrie Croft campsite, we met a group of motorcyclists from the Netherlands who had spent two weeks in Scotland in atrocious weather, they decided not to go further than Inverness after two of their tents were badly damaged.

Trotternish Peninsula
Trotternish, Isle of Skye...the scenery was amazing.

Everything did go to plan for us though and we ended visiting all the locations we had hoped to, and a whole lot more. Below is a rough map of the route we took, starting in Troon and working counter-clockwise around Scotland back to Cairnryan, a journey of some 1,200+ miles / 2,000+ km. Each morning breaking camp and each night making camp at a new location. 

Of course we took LOTS of photos along the way and you can follow the route we took by visiting my Scotland photo album, which includes locations such as Doune Castle (of 'Monty Python, The Holy Grail' fame!), Loch Ness, Loch Lomond,  camping at John O'Groats, the Glenfinnan viaduct (which has appeared in the Harry Potter movies) and much much more.

Comrie Croft Campsite and Hostel
All the campsites had their unique personalities, but all were welcoming to motorcycles and friendly

It was a trip that I have been wanting to make for a long time and it was certainly worth the wait. The Scottish Highlands are stunning, and to travel through them on a motorcycle was perfect. The weather was not always perfect, especially when camping, but there is very little I would change. Hopefully I will get a chance to visit again to see a few places we missed, but for now I am more then happy.

John O'Groats Campsite
Camping at John O'Groats with a view of the Orkney Islands

We did camp the whole time and if you have not done it before then do give it a try at least once. I have been camping since I was a teenager and have seen the good, bad and ugly ways of doing it. Just like everything we all have our own ideas of what is comfortable and acceptable, just find your own comfort zone and you will also find a campsite that is also exactly what you want. Experience can not be beat, but we all have to start somewhere, and some of the views from a tent just can not be matched.

John O'Groats Campsite
The sun setting over the Orkney's

This was one of those trips one could write a book about with all the little adventures and experiences we had, and hopefully over time I will get to share most of them, but if you have any questions then feel free to ask in the comments below and I will try to get back to you when I can.

Trotternish Peninsula

For now, peace and keep the rubber side down.
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Brammo Invades Europe

Brammo, the electric motorcycle maker, has begun production in Europe. This is a very welcome move and arguably Europe could represent a better market for their product then the USA. Hopefully EU states will begin to extend their electric vehicle subsidies to PTW, realising that a 4 wheel car, and all the production that goes into it, will never really be 'green'.

Below is the full statement from Brammo!


Amplify’d from
Brammo Inc., a global leader in the electric motorcycle industry, is proud to announce that production of its award-winning motorcycles is now under way at the Flextronics production facility in Sàrvàr, Hungary.

The newest Brammo production line is capable of producing 660 motorcycles a month and will initially produce the Brammo Enertia and Enertia Plus for North American, European and Asian customers.

Craig Bramscher, CEO and Founder of Brammo said; "Now that our new facility has begun production, we have a significant number of customer and fleet orders that we will be fulfilling this year." Bramscher added; "It’s been a very satisfying year with customer orders, new dealers and now production all gaining momentum much faster than anticipated."

The Brammo production facility in Sàrvàr is almost certainly the most advanced electric motorcycle assembly line in the world and it sets new standards for quality and efficiency. Brammo’s focus on designing for commercialization and quality ensures that its award-winning motorcycles are extremely reliable and can be serviced quickly and easily by skilled motorcycle technicians.

Brian Wismann, Director of Product Development at Brammo Inc., said; "After 8 months of solid, concerted effort on both sides we have reached this milestone, and I couldn’t be more proud of the team. We have been extremely impressed with how much Flextronics brings to the table in the way of manufacturing and quality processes owing to their vast experience as a Tier 1 automotive supplier and contract manufacturer. This partnership gives Brammo the ability to scale production and access global markets and the benefit of strengthening its reputation as the builder of the world’s finest electric motorcycles."

Brammo Production
About Brammo

Brammo Inc is a leading electric vehicle technology company headquartered in North America. Brammo designs and develops electric vehicles including the Enertia, Empulse and Engage motorcycles. Brammo is an OEM supplier of its innovative Brammo Digital Drivetrain™ systems including the Brammo Power™ battery pack and Brammo Power™ vehicle management system. Brammo has vehicle distribution and marketing operations in North America, Europe and Asia.For more information, please visit

About Flextronics

Headquartered in Singapore (Singapore Reg. No. 199002645H), Flextronics is a leading Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider focused on delivering complete design, engineering and manufacturing services to automotive, computing, consumer, industrial, infrastructure, medical and mobile OEMs. Flextronics helps customers design, build, ship, and service electronics products through a network of facilities in 30 countries on four continents. This global presence provides design and engineering solutions that are combined with core electronics manufacturing and logistics services, and vertically integrated with components technologies, to optimize customer operations by lowering costs and reducing time to market. For more information, please visit

About Sàrvàr

Sàrvàr, Hungary, on the banks of the River Ràba at Kemeneshàt, has a population of 16,000 and is the site where Hungary’s first book, the New Testament, was printed, in 1541.