Motorcycle Blog UK

This motorcycle blog tells my story as a biker in London, from learning to ride to now a seasoned city commuter and lover of motorcycle adventures further afield.

Read on and watch my videos about the lessons I’ve learnt, tips I’ve picked up, reviews of my kit and stories of amazing rides around the globe.

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Categories
Riding Videos

Big Changes Ahead – Highlights from a Summer of Riding

There’s some big change ahead here at Beginner Biker Adventures as our plan to relocate to Scotland is rolling full speed ahead. All the moving stress and preparations may have reduced the amount of content we’ve been able to deliver, but we’ve still been out riding as much as we can. Here’s my latest YouTube video with highlights of our best riding moments from the summer – enjoy!

What were your summer biking highlights? Have you undertaken a big relocation recently (or planning one)? I’d love to hear from you!

Categories
Riding

Should you take your child pillion on a motorbike?

Child Pillion Motorbike ClothingMany people have speculated that children shouldn’t be allowed on the motorbike because it’s unsafe but this is untrue, I’m here to explain the possible issues and solutions for children as a pillion on a motorbike. In this article, we will cover the legalities, safety concerns, where to buy motorbike gear and some handy tips!

The Legalities

According to UK law, a child of any age can ride as a pillion as long as a few basic requirements have been met:

  • The motorbike has a pillion seat
  • The child can reach the footrests
  • The child has a well-fitted helmet

It is also highly recommended that the child has protected clothing, (such as; jacket, trousers, gloves, boots etc.) and some form of hi-vis, though these aren’t required by law.

Safety concerns

Letting your child pillion on your motorbike can be safe and enjoyable if you are responsible and understand the risks involved. You must be confident that your child is mature enough to know how to react to the motorbike’s movement, whether this is braking, cornering but especially acceleration. They will need to stay still and not jerk around.

You must also be aware that childrens’ attention spans are short and it’s safest they are only taken on short journeys. Also, there is a danger the child may fall asleep so regular toilet and snack breaks are needed.

Categories
Riding

No Laughing Matter

Not funny at all. Riding through Shoreditch en route to the Bike Shed to catch up with buddies, when – puffff! my rear tyre suddenly just deflates. I only just creep the bike the last 50 meters into Bike Shed so I can inspect the damage.

At first, it looked like a big chunk of metal in the tyre, but when I pry it out with pliers, it’s a fucking NOS canister dumped by some kids after a cheap high! Grrrr… I managed to plug the hole with a whole bunch of sticky strands and some help from Bike Shed staff to get it reinflated. As a seasoned London commuter, I’m regrettable quite experienced in plugging punctures.

Categories
Uncategorized

Big Changes Ahead – Relocation Plans

As you may know, if you’ve been following this blog closely, we have been planning to relocate out of London, but last week things just got real. Our house went on the market and we accepted an offer a few days later! After months of planning and preparation, the madness is in full swing.

A frantic dash up to Scotland followed to view as many houses as we could, whereupon we found a decent place in Stirling that ticked most of our boxes. There’s always some compromises to be made, but our top priority requirements were met; location, good nearby school, size, home office, big garage etc. Our offer was accepted (phew!) and now we have the nail-biting wait to get all the finances and solicitors gubbins lined up for the next couple of months. Fingers crossed everything goes smoothly with no hiccups, these things can (and do) go tits up, so I’m not counting my chickens just yet. But it’s a good start to a huge and exciting change of lifestyle.

So, apologies for the slight lack of content recently, preparing our house for sale has taken up a lot of time and things will likely be in a state of turmoil for a little while yet. But watch this space, for news on our big Scottish adventure!

 

Categories
Riding

London Motorcycle Parking Apps: Byke Parking vs London Bike Bays

Riding in and around London can be a bit hairy at the best of times and downright stressful at the worst. The traffic, the endless traffic cameras, inconsistent bus lanes rules, varying speed limits, which lanes should you be in, one way systems, navigation nightmares and then finally you need to find somewhere to park. There are many London motorcycle parking, most of which are free too! But knowing where they all are is another matter. Especially with so many being lost to cycle highways, wide ‘Covid safe’ pavements and the constant tweaking and shrinking of road space.

London motorcycle parking

In the past, we used to rely on the old ParkingForBikes.com website, but sadly this is now defunct. Two newcomers to the scene are mobiles apps Byke Parking and London Bike Bays. I gave both a test run and below is my verdict.

Categories
Gear Reviews Maintenance

Tru-Tension Leather Cleaner & Protect Conditioner Review

Motorcycle leathers don’t half get mucky, invariable covered in flies, splashed up crud, dust, split ice cream and other grime. And that’s just after one ride! Yet, we infrequently clean and maintain our protective motorcycle gear. So when Tru-Tension asked if I’d like to test out some of their best motorcycle leather cleaner and conditioner products, I was like ‘hell yeah, I need some of that, my motorcycle leathers are filthy!’

Leather Motorcycle Jacket Maintenance Time!

Tru-Tension cleaner & protect for leather motorcycle jacket maintenanceThe Tru-Tension leather cleaner and conditioner products come as a two-step set; first the cleaner to remove dirt and grime, then second the protector/conditioner to keep your leather supple, strong and water-resistant. Both come in 400ml bottles and typically sell for £10 each. Not the cheapest but let’s see how they perform, but then if you want your leathers to protect your skin, you should protect your leathers well.

To really test these Tru-Tension products, I dug out my black and white Alpinestars GP-Pro motorbike jacket, the white panels of which were looking pretty grimey and not that white anymore!

Have you been putting off your leather motorcycle jacket maintenance? Read on to see how the Tru-Tension products perform.

Categories
News

Future Gear: The Chill Ride Cooling and Heated Vest

We all know the biking mantras ‘dress for the slide, not the ride’ and ‘all the gear all of the time’. Whatever the weather, we really should be wearing all of our protective gear, you just don’t know when you’ll need it. In the winter, the issue is wearing enough gear to stay warm, whereas in the summer the issue is staying cool enough. So, when I received an email from new start up Chill Ride about their new invention of a motorcycle vest that both cools and heats, I was most interested.

Categories
Gear Reviews

Monimoto MM5 Motorcycle Tracker Review

Sadly these days, as a motorcycle owner you can’t afford to ignore the huge motorbike theft crime wave and thus the plethora of security devices that can help protect your pride and joy. If you’ve read my motorcycle security guide, you’ll know that using multiple security items in conjunction can offer the best overall protection. Physical locks can help prevent theft but are often easily beaten with a battery-powered angle grinder. This is where a tracker can come into play, by helping you recover your bike.

MoniMoto Tracker ReviewThieves will often hide a stolen bike in a quiet side alley for a day or two to see if it has a tracker and someone comes to recover it. This is your window for recovery before it’s completely lost. Otherwise, a tracker can provide location info of a lockup you can relay to the Police to investigate. Whereupon they’ll often find many stolen bikes as well as yours and hopefully enough evidence to charge the culprits.

Monimoto manufactures a unique tracker that requires no wired connection to your motorbike, has a very attractive price and low monthly subscription cost. So when I was sent a review sample of their Monimoto MM5 motorcycle tracker to test out, I was very intrigued to find out if it lives up to promises.

Watch my view review or read the detailed write up below.

Categories
News

Big Milestone, 400 YouTube Subs

Just hit 400 YouTube subscribers!

A huge thank you for all your support, it’s been quite the journey. Having started this as a hobby and seeing it grow and develop. There’s been so much positive and constructive feedback, I couldn’t have done it without you all.

I’ve always found the video creation side tougher due to the time commitment needed for editing. However, fear not, more video content is on its way very soon now. Watch this space!

You can find the Beginner Biker Adventures YouTube channel here.

 

 

Categories
Gear Reviews

Review of Shapeheart Phone Mount for Motorbike

There’s nothing quite like getting lost on a motorbike to clear your mind and find yourself. But other days you really just need to get from A to B without hassle or stress. Maybe you need to be somewhere for work, maybe you’re off to a social rendezvous or maybe you’re leading your crew on a ride. For this, you really need a satnav, but motorcycle satnav’s aren’t cheap. However, you’ve got a decent phone in your pocket with loads of GPS apps on hand, so why not use that? For this, you’ll need something like this Shapeheart phone mount for motorbike.

Shapeheart phone mount for motorbike

The folks behind the Shapeheart asked me to review their new motorcycle phone mount, which promises to be a good budget contender, but is it the best motorcycle phone mount for the money? Read on to find out more.