It’s been a while since I last updated you all on Deux Smurfs progress, 5 months I believe, sorry about that. Though to be fair, nothing exciting has happened in that time, except for the new tyres of course.
In Part 5I mentioned that I desperately needed new tyres, the General Grabbers that were fitted when I bought her were just about legal. Fortunately my go-to tyre manufacture, BF Goodrich, were kind enough to send me a set of their KM2 Mud Terrains to review - clicky link - and so far they’ve been brilliant. What has amazed me the most is how much grip they have on wet roads, I never thought it possible from a mud terrain tyre.
I also mentioned that she needed a new set of bulbs as her original lights were dismally bad. Unfortunately, the set of Gigalights that Bosch promised me never arrived, but now the nights are getting lighter, they’re less important.
Again, in the last instalment I told you that her battery had died on me. It was expected really, having a constant stream of press cars arriving at our door meant that weeks would go by without giving her a proper run. Mid January and after a week or so of it being on charge, I refitted the battery and within a week of minus temperatures and only 4 mile commutes it was flat again, so off I toddled to my local Euro Parts and spent £85 on a new battery.
Another couple of ‘investments’ have been the Motorola XT180 walkie-talkies and a tti TCB-560 CB from Patterson Electronics over in Belfast. Yes, I know I could have bought them closer to home, but Ian has always gone above and beyond when it comes to customer service as well as being the font of all knowledge when it comes to this sort of thing. So if you require anything to do with communications, give them a try.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, with all the press cars we get, it’s difficult to clock up the mileage, but in February I was press car-less and received another invite from Subaru to go on their BRZ and Levorg launch down near Cheltenham, which was a 332 mile round trip. It was a good opportunity to see how the BFG mud’s performed on a laborious motorway journey. As I wrote in their initial review, at motorway speeds I really can’t tell a difference, it’s only at around 30mph that I hear a distinct rumble.
Not far from Cowley Manor, our hotel for the night, I found a nice little green lane just 10 minutes away from junction 11a off the M5, and if you’re on TrailWise its ID No is: SO9118-01
It’s a narrow lane with a gentle climb, the surface was compacted stone that turned to large rocks as you start the final climb. It had been raining, but in low box and keeping it steady, traction wasn't an issue. Around 1/2 way up I came across a fallen tree but I managed to squeeze past using the banking on the opposite side. Sadly there's signs of off-piste driving on the right and evidence of campfires, but overall a nice little lane.
Since then there’s been various trips to the NEC in Birmingham and Stoneligh in Warwickshire and another little green-laning mooch that I’ll add soon. Oh yeah, she passed her MOT without any advisories too!.
So what are my future plans? Well, her rear exhaust has began to rattle, so I think I’ll make a call to Milner Off-Road for a replacement back box. I still need to figure out what I’m going to do about the lighting situation, and as I’m going to Drumclog soon for a weekend of off-roading I'll raise her tow bar up a bit for off-road clearance. Now, where can I buy an antenna for the CB...