If you live or commute into London, you will undoubtedly have heard about a raft of emission charges, toxicity charges or ultra low emission zone charges being banded about to tackle pollution. With so many charges, consultations and plans a foot it’s tough to get a grip of what the hell is actually coming into affect and how it’ll affect you and your bike.
Pollution is pretty bad in London, but motorcycles should definitely be considered as part of the solution. Bikes rarely, if ever sit still in traffic jams and have much shorter journey times and thus pollute less. Recent TFL consultations even concluded bikes contribute less than 1% of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. So read on to learn how to avoid the charges and keep biking.
Pinlock visor inserts are definitely the dogs bollocks for preventing a misted up visor. Whether, you ride in the winter, the wet or often set off early on brisk mornings; once you have a Pinlock, you don’t realise how much you rely on it until it starts to fail.
However, from time to time your Pinlock will need a little TLC to keep it working great and remain mist free. This article explains how to remove, clean, refit your Pinlock, as well as some tips on ensuring you maintain that crucial air tight seal. Continue reading “Pinlock Fogging Up – Maintenance Time” »
If you plan to commute year round by bike, then here are five super useful mods you should definitely consider for your bike.
Sure, they’re not the most aesthetically pleasing of items and certainly not suited to all types of bike. However they are invaluable for lugging a change of clothes and packed lunch to work and the best way to transport heavy security chains that are now sadly essential in the city.
Givi are the market leader for top boxes, but there are cheaper alternatives from the likes of Kappa and others. Although Givi racks are bike specific, the plates and boxes aren’t and can readily be picked up second hand. Do opt for the better rated Monokey kit, rather than lightweight Monolock ones. Continue reading “Five Super Useful Mods for Motorcycle Commuting” »
Forking out for kids school shoes and trainers several times a year costs enough, but if you need to get motorcycle boots too, then things really do start to mount up. Thankfully, these RST boots don’t break the bank.
As with most kids gear, it’s more often grown out of, rather than worn out. As such we were able to pick a good condition pair of these boots up off ebay cheaply. They’re made from a study and solid leather, have a good chunky sole with lots of grip. The boots are waterproof lined, with two straps and a flap with Velcro to tighten the boots around the ankle and shins. They also have a leather gear change panel and a soft padded lip around the top.
Well, 2016 was quite a year; so many great musicians and celebs dying; the whole Brexit fiasco, Big Mother Theresa May in power and not to mention despicable Trump being elected. It’s difficult to look back and take stock of the good stuff that happened. But, my wife finally finished her PhD, my best mate from college got married, I popped my track day cherry and even managed a whole year without falling off!
As for new year’s resolutions and forthcoming plans, here’s just a few:
Throughout the years I’ve been riding my Yamaha Fazer I have always found the seat a bit of a weak point. It suffices for short journeys, but after a couple of hours it’s less comfortable. But what really annoys me is how slippery it is, especially when wet, worse than Bon Jovi. In the past I’ve worked around these issues by strapping a Triboseat grippy cover on top, but it’s not perfect.
Recently I splashed out on a replacement seat from Wijalis, a small Polish firm that recover and rebuild all kinds of motorcycle seats. This particular seat was one ready built upon a standard Yamaha seat base, and although I was offered options to customise it further, I opted to stick with it as built, and thus set me back £100. Wijalis also sell seat covers on their own or you can send them your seat for remoulding as you desire.
“Lest we forget
What they were dying for
Lest we forget
What they were killing for
Lest we forget
What the hell it was for”
This remembrance Sunday I joined an ELAM ride out to Duxford War Museum, which had free entry for the weekend and many remembrance activities organised. The weather had brightened up, but the morning roads were wet and slippery with leaves and crud, so pace was conservative.
Who hasn’t got any bad riding habits? Don’t lie, none of us are perfect, I bet you all have the odd bad habit you’ve picked up. Maybe you don’t realise, maybe you know full well but have never managed to shake it. Below are a number of very common bad habits and why they can be bad.
Covering The Front Brake
Covering the front brake can be bad as when taken by surprise you are more likely to grab a handful, panic brake and lock up the front wheel. Especially if you have no ABS, are banked over or in the wet. By not covering the brake, you are more likely to consider a swerve instead or brake progressively.
Secondly, if (like me) you tend to cover with two fingers only, you won’t be applying as much leverage on the brake lever, and possibly obstructing it with your other fingers. If you brake hard and your little finger gets squashed, at best you can’t brake any harder, at worst you’re gonna release the brake cause your little pinky hurts!
The holidays are most definitely over, it’s back to the serious business of not dying on the streets of London. I see a lot of stupid road users and I’m fairly immune (mentally) to most of it these days, but tonight things got very close. A proper brown pants, heart pumping, adrenaline gushing moment.
See if you can predict what is about to unfold. What would you have done?
Trials and tribulations of a motorcycle newbie in London