Categories
Courses/Tuition

Benefits of Taking a DMV Practice Test

online DMV theoretical testBefore you can get a driver’s permit, you need to pass a US DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) written test. The best way to prepare for this written test is to take an online DMV theoretical test. However, a practice test is not for the sole purpose of preparing for the test. It comes with other benefits as well.

One important benefit of taking practice tests is that you get to know the rules and laws related to driving and road safety. You acquire theoretical knowledge regarding driving safely and abiding by road signs and other rules. All these lessons will help you become a safe rider.

Categories
Featured Videos

Motovlog: Best Roads Wales Tour 2020

Back in August, since other touring plans were scuppered due to the pandemic, we undertook a Wales motorcycle tour. A staycation, crashing with family in Welshpool for a couple of weeks with a plan to explore the best roads Wales outlined in Simon Wier’s Bikers Britain book. Check out this video of the key highlights from the trip – enjoy!

If you want to get more details of the routes, you can grab yourself a copy of the Biker’s Britain book from Amazon here.

 

Categories
Motorcycles

A New Bike in the Stable – Triumph Street Twin

Exciting news – I have finally bitten the bullet and upgraded from my old Honda CBF500 to a new Triumph. I’ve always been fond of Bonnevilles and their retro styling from my formative teenage years when hanging around with classic Bonneville owning bikers in Shropshire. Although this Triumph Street Twin deviates more from the Bonnevilles of old, it won my heart.

I have test rode several bikes before settling on the Street Twin.

  1. Ducati Scrambler 800 – Great bike, but more money than I initially wanted to spend. Also, some of the finish was questionable, e.g. exposed wiring going into switchgear.
    • £7700 new (with some tempting 0% deals on) or £5k+ second hand
  2. Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 – Again, a good bike, but I struggled height wise when not wearing built-up boots. I needed something I’d be comfortable in all scenarios. I’d also heard too many conflicting reports on reliability, especially from local trusted garages and motorcycle rental shops Arthur had visited.
    • £5500 new
  3. Triumph Bonneville 900 from 2012 – Chosen due to cast wheels and lower seat height, it was a decent bike, but the particular instance I test rode had an awkward gear change I struggled to get my boot under and some questionable cosmetic additions…
    • £4500 second hand (9k mileage)
  4. Triumph Street Twin 2020 – I took this out for test ride initially on a whim at Arthur’s suggestion whilst the Triumph dealer and I simply fell in love with it. It was slightly lower than the Bonneville and I just felt far more confident on it.
    • £7300 for the 2020 demo bike (+£500 free accessories!)
Test riding the 2020 Triumph Street Twin
Test riding the 2020 Triumph Street Twin
Categories
Gear Reviews

Tutoro Trek Auto Motorcycle Chain Oiler Review

If you have a motorcycle with a chain you will be more than familiar with the regular maintenance it requires. Spraying on chain lube every few hundred miles, the inevitable fling of oil all over the rear of your bike, and the periodic clean of thick gunk from excess lube and dirt. Depending on how much your commute and ride, it’s a chore you need to do every couple of days to a couple of weeks. On a long tour, chain lube is just one more thing you need to pack. If you don’t have a centre stand or a handy paddock stand, the job is even more hassle to ensure the entire length of your chain is sufficiently lubed. There are no two ways about it, chain maintenance is a hassle, almost enough to make you buy a shaft drive BMW or a belt drive Harley… almost. 🙂

This is where an automated motorcycle chain oiler comes to the rescue. Essentially a small reservoir of chain oil you mount to your bike, with a long hose to dispense the oil directly onto your chain and sprocket as you ride.

Motorcycle Chain Oiler Comparison

How the automated oiler is activated can vary:

  1. Electronic motion detection (e.g Scottoiler xSystem)
  2. Vacuum activated (e.g. Scottoiler vSystem)
  3. Harnessing inertia of vertical suspension movements (e.g Tutoro chain oiler)

Electronic systems are expensive (~£200+) and need wiring to your battery. Vacuum systems are cheaper (~£100) but require additional hoses connected to an engine vacuum or induction outlet. This leaves the Tutoro Auto Trek, which is activated by suspension movements as an option that is both easier to install and cost-effective (£105). It is an intriguing option that I was keen to investigate more when Tutoro offered a kit for review.

Categories
Motorcycles

How to Sell a Motorcycle in Six Easy Steps

How to Sell a Motorcycle - KTM Duke 125Unfortunately, there’s come a time when we as riders know that our motorcycle’s time is up. Despite all the memories that we’ve made with our motorbikes, all the challenges we’ve faced, all the ups and downs we’ve encountered, there’s a time where we have to sell our motorcycle and say goodbye.

But how do you sell a motorcycle? For one, you don’t want to underprice your bike. That’d be cutting its value short. But at the same time, you don’t want to overprice your bike for fear of no one buying it.

Today, we’ll be teaching you exactly how to sell a motorcycle and what you can do to get the maximum price possible from your bike. We’ll give you our favourite tips on selling so that at the end of the day, when it’s time to say goodbye, you’ll be able to give your motorbike the proper farewell.

If you can’t see yourself selling your motorbike, you can always rent out your motorbike to paying customers!

Categories
Motorcycles

You Meet The Nicest People on a Honda

You meet the nicest people on a HondaMary being one of them! However, after 5 years of ownership, it’s time for her to move on from her Honda CBF500. Initially purchased to regain her riding confidence after many years off bikes, the CBF500 was a great choice for her. After we lowered it that is, she is fairly petite. Nonetheless, it’s done its job and some, from commuting around London, weekend rides, biking rallies and tours around Wales, Scotland and France.

Honda CBF500. hugger, new chain, Michelin Road 5 tyresWe picked the bike up fairly cheap, but we’ve given it plenty of TLC and it’s held up well. All the routine maintenance has been taken care of with no short cuts – “Do it right, do it once” as Guy Martin would say. These Honda’s are well known for doing astronomical miles in the hands of couriers and motorcycle schools, and I’m sure this one will keep going for many more miles yet.

Categories
Gear Reviews

Pinlock Motorcycle Ear Plugs Review, Block the Noise, Hear Your Mates

It’s a well-known fact that riding a motorbike fast is bloody noisy. Stock exhaust or not, wind noise can often drown out your bike at speeds upwards of 50 mph. Even with a good quiet helmet like a Schuberth, the wind noise can have a deceptive impact on your ride and the health of your ears. Excessive noise can obviously cause hearing damage, tinnitus etc. But less obvious is the fatigue it can cause as your brain unconsciously tries to process and block out the noise. As such, it’s highly recommended to wear earplugs to reduce wind noise and to maintain your concentration on riding.

One disadvantage of earplugs is they can block out too much noise, making it difficult to talk to other people, either when parked up, pillions behind or mates over Bluetooth helmet intercoms. So, when I saw Pinlock had released a set of motorcycle earplugs with a special core that selectively blocked out higher frequencies like wind noise but let through lower frequencies like voice, I was most intrigued and purchased a couple of pairs for Mary and myself to try out.

Pinlock earplugs
Not leftover Lego, but special red sound filter cores to slot in the earplugs
Categories
Riding

8 Years Later

“Only look back to see how far you’ve come”

Time does fly, it seems like only yesterday that I started this journey. 8 years ago I finally heeded my better half’s advice, got myself a motorcycle license, bought my first motorcycle, hit the road and I haven’t looked back since. At the same time, I kicked off this blog to document the adventure in the vague hope others might find it somewhat interesting and perhaps learn the odd thing as I progressed. Fast forward to today, 8 years later and it’s been one hell of a ride!

Couples who ride together, stay together

There’s been biking adventures all over the globe, track days, advancing riding, innumerable group rides and lots of tinkering with bikes. Not forgetting riding together with Mary and the kids, seeing them grow up in the pillion seat. This blog has also grown from strength to strength with many great collaborations over the years. Of course, there was the odd mishap and crash, but you dust yourself off and learn from your mistakes.

Categories
Riding

Advantages of an E-Bike vs a Motorcycle

Recently my news feed threw up some articles extolling the advantages of an e-bike and what struck me was how they were exactly the reasons we all love and ride motorcycles. Hardly newsworthy and of no surprise to bikers. The articles described how the electric motor assistance on an e-bike provides the following so-called advantages:Top 10 advantages of an e-bike

  1. Ability to cover longer ranges than a normal bicycle without getting worn out
  2. Avoid breaking a sweat and arriving at work in damp Lyrca
  3. Carry some luggage without the strain on pedalling
  4. Save money compared to public transport or car
  5. Stay fit by still pedalling some
  6. Get fresh air, enjoy the outdoors and stay healthy and stress-free
  7. Cut through traffic with ease with a small e-bike
  8. Discover and explore more out of town on days off

Yeah, everything us motorbikers have been taking advantage of for decades, except a motorcycle takes things much further. You can cover much longer distances, carry more luggage, carry a pillion, cut through city traffic with greater speed and explore way more on days off. So, what are the true benefits of electric bikes compared to a motorcycle? Why not just get a motorcycle instead? Read on to find out.

Categories
Gear Reviews

Litelok Gold Moto 108 Lightweight Motorcycle Security Chain Review

Being London based bikers, we are through necessity always interested in the latest motorcycle security developments. Keen to stay one step ahead of bike thieves and keep our bikes secure. So, when Litelok approached us with their new Litelok Moto lightweight motorcycle security chain, we were of course, excited to check out this innovative British designed and built security chain.

Likelok Gold Moto 108 lightweight motorcycle security chain
Likelok Gold Moto 108 lightweight motorcycle security chain unwrapped

Litelok was founded by ex-Rolls Royce aero engineer Professor Neil Barron and his company has built up a reputation of producing strong, but lightweight bicycle locks. The Litelok Gold Moto 108 is their first heavy-duty product aimed at motorcycles, essentially taking their tried and tested design and beefing it up. We’ve been using the Litelok Moto over the last couple of months, read on to find out our verdict and if this really is the best lightweight motorcycle security chain currently on the market.