MSL touring: The odd couple
Riders clocking up big biking mileages isn’t such an unusual feat. But a couple who’ve done 50,000 miles two-up together on a GSX-R1000? Well, that’s a very different story.
The fact they can spend time living so close together on a bike, yet can’t live with each other under the same roof only adds to the curiosity of the tale.
Their two-wheeled relationship began when Steve James invited his then new girlfriend Nadine Quarterman to take a spin on the back of his GSX-R one afternoon back in 2003. Having been pretty much bitten by the biking bug from that point on, Nadine has since travelled far and wide with Steve, on the back of what would seem to be a most inappropriate tourer.
Regularly seeking adventure away from the UK, the Swindon-based duo has chalked up many multi-thousand mile trips riding through most European countries. The GSX-R has also taken them around Corsica and over the Med to sample the delights of hot and sandy Morocco.
The GSX-R mounted pair have done many speedy laps of the TT course, which they visit every year, with Scotland and Ireland receiving their attentions regularly. Some laps of the Nurburgring have been completed, and on a German autobahn they once topped 165mph.
With little option but to travel light on the Suzuki, they make do with just a tankbag and set of throw-over panniers. Most trips are only basically planned with the mood at the time dictating the final directions and decisions.
They’ve actually used two of the 180mph Suzukis to accumulate their marathon mileage. After clocking up 40,000 miles on a 2001 K1 model, they switched to a K3 version of the bike simply because Steve was offered the newer bike at a price he couldn’t refuse. The 2003 K3 has since done 10,000 miles under their guidance.
The original K1, which now has 60,000 miles on the clock is now just used for trackdays, as is the K3 occasionally.
Neither of the Suzukis have ever broken down or given any mechanical problems. They’ve not even had a puncture. Here, Nadine a 43-year-old senior account manager, and Steve a salesman who’s recently turned 50, tell us their tales to give an idea of how they cope with their extraordinary life on two-wheels.
Words: Chris Moss
Photography: Nadine Quarterman and Steve James
Responses to “MSL touring: The odd couple”
Current Issue: June 2016
News: Yamaha’s new Tracer 700
Your letters: Win a Kriega R3 pack
Crunch time: Leon Mannings
Test ride: Ducati Multistrada Enduro
Still no level playing field: High Sider
Test ride: Triumph Tiger Sport
Test ride: Honda NC750X and Integra
The role of development: Kevin Cameron
Test ride: Yamaha FJR1300
Test ride: BMW F700 and F800GS
Test ride: Dunlop RoadSmart III tyres
Fifty years later: Maynard Hershon
Mark Kemp gets through Oz
UK: Roman dividend
Italy: The Italian job
India: View from the back
Little or large: Richard Millington
The timeless ride
Three tours to take this year
Used test: BMW K1300GT
Workshop: Triumph Legend bobber
Long term test: Yamaha XSR700
Long term test: Royal Enfield Continental GT
Long term test: Honda NC750X
Long term test: BMW C650GT
Long term test: Suzuki V-Strom 1000
Long term test: Suzuki GSX-R1000
Long term test: Kawasaki 1400GTR
Long term test: BMW F800GS
My bike: KTM 1050 Adventure
My bike: Triumph Speed Triple
Tested: Shoei Neotec, Halvarssons Prime & Prince, Givi mount, BarkBusters muffs, Zoë Cano book
Classic test: Yamaha RD250E
Tuning a pigeon’s claws: Steve Rose
• Next issue on sale: June 10, 2016