Kent Fire & Rescue Ride Skills Day at Brands Hatch Review

I’m sure there are few bikers who wouldn’t want to take their bikes onto a super smooth track, with no speed limits and great corners to tip into. However, I’m also sure there are many lesser experienced bikers who are a little nervous or put off booking a full on track day. If you’ve only got a little street bike for commuting or not a confident rider, you will likely be daunted by the idea of hitting the track with loads of race replica, crotch rockets, fresh out of tyre warmers and fuelled on testosterone and macho posturing.

However, a track day is a great way to better your riding and learn what your bike can do in a safe environment. And this is the core aim of this novice Ride Skills track day run by Kent Fire service in conjunction with IAM and MSVT, which I attended. Undoubtedly they prefer teaching bikers to ride better, than cleaning up motorcycle mess off the roads when things go wrong. The day included:

  • Basic Biker Down first aid
  • A theory session on hazard perception
  • An IAM observed ride
  • Slow speed control (including emergency braking)
  • Two 20 min track sessions

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Replacing Schuberth Inner Sunvisor

Schuberth S2 Inner Sun VisorSomehow, I managed to break one of the clips for the inner sun visor on my Schuberth S2 helmet (same visor for C3 and C3 Pro). Despite using duct tape to secure it, invariably it could come free and start flapping around whilst I’m in the middle of riding. Less than ideal.

Today I finally got round to fitting my replacement sun visor. A little bit tricky as the pins on the hinges that go through the visor are slanted to ease the visor slotting in and prevent it coming out. I managed to gently push one pin from behind with a piece of wooden dowl, then prise the visor out. The visor having broken on the other side negated the need to repeat on the other pin.

No matter how hard you try, you inevitable cover it in finger prints…

Fitting the new sun visor was a bit easier, but required some coordination to slide both sides of the visor into both hinges at the same time whilst keeping them and helmet still. No matter how hard you try, you inevitable cover it in finger prints… 🙁

The replacement sun visor cost £35 from SportsBikeShop. Note it comes in two sizes for different helmet sizes.

Buy a Schuberth S2 / C3 sun visor from SportsBikeShop.

Buy a Schuberth S2 / C3 sun visor from GetGeared.

Leather One Piece Suit and Track Day

Just picked up this Alpinestars one piece suit off eBay. With a bit of patience, I managed to blag this decent nick one for a monkey, not bad as often they go for £150-200 odd. Sizing was a bit tricky, as I’m pretty tall and skinny (6’1″ & 11 stone), but an EU52 fits well for height, not too bad around the waist and it only a spot baggy around the arse. The knee sliders are also nicely worn, so I won’t look a complete track day virgin… 😉

Find an Alpinestars one piece suit on eBay.

My plan is to try some track days, starting with a Novice Skills Day at Brand Hatch. Run in combination with Kent Fire Service and MSV, it covers Biker Down, slow speed control, an IAM/RoSPA observed ride and two 20 min track sessions. All for the princely sum of £55. It’s been a while since I did a Biker Down course and more slow speed and IAM tuition is always handy. Watch this space for my report back on the day.

Five Lesser Known Moto Adventure VBloggers

Roadhawk Ride crash camera-2It seems everyone is riding with a camera protruding from their helmet these days, all super hot shot VBlogger’s in the making and hoping to match the likes of Baron Von Grumble / Royal Jordanian, or simply bring all wrong doers to justice. The reality is, 99% of the footage shot on a bike is pretty dull to watch and the remaining 1% needs some serious editing to create 5 minutes of entertaining YouTube video.

However, here are some more adventurous riders whose YouTube channels don’t contain yet another dull city commute dodging pedestrians. Enjoy!

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Howto: Plan & Follow a Google Maps Route on Motorcycle with your Phone

You’ve all been there, spent ages on Google Maps trying to plot a perfect super twisty route down all the quiet back roads; but come unstuck when trying to follow the route whilst on the bike. At the end of the day, you’ve got a computer with a route on the screen and  a phone in your pocket with a GPS and maps – why is it so hard to your route from one to other and then ride it? This howto guide goes through all you need to ride a route off Google Maps on your bike, using your phone.

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GetGeared Summer 2016 Voucher Codes

GetGeared Prime Deals
Click to use vouchers

The lovely folk up at GetGeared are offering some top summer discounts with these coupon codes. Just click the link and paste the code in at the checkout to save yourself a few quid.

GGSUMMER5 – Spend over £100 and get 5% OFF

SUMMER25OFF – Spend over £250 and get £25 OFF

SUMMER35OFF – Spend over £350 and get £35 OFF

SUMMER20HELMETS – Spend Over £200 on a Helmet and get £20 Off!

All valid until 30/09/2016.

Fazer Maintenance Day – Carb Balancing

FZS600 Carb BalancingToday has been a productive day finishing off my regular servicing of the bike. The big downside of tackling routine servicing yourself is finding the time, and so I was forced to split the work across to free weekends a couple of weeks apart.

First the oil change, air filter and rear brake service (which included a new Hel brake line). Today finishing off, front brake service, carb balancing and other remaining checks etc.

The Morgan Carbtune tool makes easy work of balancing. The most difficult thing on the Fazer is finding the adjustment screws buried deep between the carbs. They’re almost impossible to see and you just have to poke a long screwdriver down into the engine and guess where they are!

Cornering Improvements and Less Chicken Strips

Over the last year I feel my cornering has improved a lot, I’m definitely more confident, leaning further over and carrying more speed (safely) through a bend. This became very apparent following a trip up to North Wales at the  weekend and comparing my chicken strips to doing the same trip last August 2015.

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