Category Archives: Riding

Track Day at Brands Hatch

Ever since last August when I attended a track day taster with the Kent Fire bike crew, I’ve been itching to get back onto the track. Once you first bomb it round the track, the bug bites and you just want your next fix. My next hit came in the form of a road bike only day again down at Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

The day was split into 4 groups of ability which ran in sequence with 20 -15 minutes each. But before getting on the track some formalities needed to be sorted; registration, a briefing session and of course the dreaded noise test. I attended the day with some friends (on a Ducati and an MV that put my Fazer to shame), but we also shared a garage with others we met on the day. There was a friendly atmosphere of camaraderie, with all enjoying themselves.

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Good Friday Seaside Ride, London to Essex Loop

It was a bank holiday, the sun was shining and the rest of the family were out of town – such a perfect day teat up Essex on the bike. Be rude not to take advantage.

Finchingfield

I struck North out of Romford, up to Ongar, West a bit to Stansted, up through Thaxted and then my first stop was Finchingfield – all roads lead to Finchingfield, you can’t have an Essex ride out not going there… Though surprisingly quiet today, not like most weekends. A quick cuppa in Bosworth’s, then back on the road.

Heading Eastbound to Sible Hedingham, Sudbury, Manningtree before finally hitting the coast in Walton-on-the-Naze for lunch. Parked on the seafront by Revved Up,  a friendly little biker shop selling clothes and a modest brew. With sea, sand, surf and the chippie next door it ticked all the boxes for a quintessential British seaside jaunt.

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Five Super Useful Mods for Motorcycle Commuting

If you plan to commute year round by bike, then here are five super useful mods you should definitely consider for your bike.

Top Box

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” »

Remembrance Day Ride to Duxford War Museam

“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.

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Bad Riding Habits

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

bad-habit-cover-brakesCovering 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!

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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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