Friday, August 29, 2008

Motorbikes in London Bus Lanes in doubt again!

Apparently following a petition from the London Cycling Campaign with over 3,500 names asking Borris Johnson to reverse his decision to allow motorcycles in London Bus Lanes, the Mayor appears to now be wobbling on his previous decision.

The BMF have now thrown their weight behind the MCN petition asking London’s Mayor Boris Johnson to honour his commitment to allow motorcycles into bus lanes.

The MCN petition has currently attracted over 3,100 signatures but more are needed if we are to influence the Mayor say the BMF.

The petition can be viewed at: or simply signed by emailing MCN at with ‘Bus Lanes’ in the subject line.

So if you want motorbikes in London bus lanes to have any chance of happening, SIGN THE PETITION NOW!

Ride safe.

Jon Booth


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

AA's use of bikes and scooters expands!

Honda Silverwing 600 scooters and NT700VA Deauville motorbikes will be used by the AA in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow, as the AA now also chooses Honda motorcycles as part of its rapid response two-wheel patrol fleet.

Its great to see motorcycles and scooters becoming part of the urban transport solution!

Ride safe.

Jon Booth


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, August 28, 2008

UKFMX Freestyle MX Team Display at Beaulieu Motorcycle World Video Clip

Here at we've just produced this 10 miunte clip of the UK's hottest FMX riders from the UKFMX Freestyle MX team ( in an action packed display of airborne acrobatics at the 2008 Beaulieu Motorcycle World Show.
Featuring FMX rider John Pearson on a Suzuki RM250 and FMX rider Dave Wiggins on a Honda CR250. They sale between ramps at heights approaching 40 feet. The further they jump and the higher the altitude, the longer the period of negative G-force and the more ambitious the resultant stunts.

Ride safe.

Jon Booth


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Updates on my leh ride

I am writing from Leh.
You can see the day 1's proceedings at

The above link will be updated with day2's ride tomm
We did Khardungla Pass today (18000+feet) and will be riding to Pangong Tso lake tomorrow

Friday, August 22, 2008

2009 Suzuki RM-Z450 & RM-Z250 have new graphics

Suzuki GB have just released pictures of next years RM-Z450 & RM-Z250, both motocross machines have new graphics!

Ride safe.

Jon Booth

Update: Riding to the roof of the world

Updated at 5:15pm/22nd August local time

In fifteen min, I will be off to the airport. I land in New Delhi at 9:10pm local time. Hopefully should be in bed by 12 mid night and get four hours of sleep!

My bike is on its way and will be delivered at my Delhi home by evening.

Leh, here i come....

PS: Bookmark to read the updates daily. I might not get enough time to update this blog.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Riding to the roof of the world and beyond!

All those who have been following my plans of riding to the worlds highest motorable road and beyond, here is the final itinerary

Sat : Delhi - Manali
Sun : Manali - Sarchu
Mon : Sarchu - Leh
Tues : Leh - Khardung La - Leh
Wed : Leh - Chang La - Pangong Tso
Thu : Pangong Tso - Phobrang - Marsimek La - Phobrang - Chang La - Leh
Fri : Leh - Sarchu
Sat : Sarchu - Manali
Sun : Manali - Delhi

We will riding through numerous mountain passes, the highest being 18,634 feet or 5646 meters about mean sea level. Yes, the Himalayas can make the alps look minute!

I, along with five others leave tomm morning (Saturday morning). I will try to keep you guys updated on the trip. You may catch my ride on

The Shows must go on!

Both MAG and the BMF have added their voice to the growing furore over what appears to be unjustified and discriminatory cancellation of a growing number of motorcycle shows here in the UK by the police.

So far far this year the police have cancelled the following shows:-

  • Driffield Bike Day and DABS Rally, Yorkshire (23 - 25 May)
  • The Welsh National Motorcycle Show 23 - 26 May
  • Past it MCC 13th Birthday Party 31st May
  • Stourbridge MCC's Midsummer Bash 21st June
  • Rock and Blues 24th - 27th July
  • Stourbridge MCC's Woizel Rally 8th 9th 10th August
  • Great Yorkshire Bike Show 15th-16th August
  • Past It MCC's 10th Zimmer Frame Rally 22nd - 24th August
  • Patriot Games Rock Festival, Monmouth 22nd - 24th August
  • Isle of Anglesey Motorcycle Show 22nd 25th August
The British Motorcyclists Federation have written to the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith MP, the Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy MP and the President of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Ken Jones QPM raising concern over this and have requested a meeting with the Home Secretary to discuss this growing problem.

BMF Chairman Anna Zee, said: "It is extraordinary that the authorities seem to assume that a motorcycle gathering must mean trouble. The BMF runs some very large shows, with attendances of up to 85,000 with never a hint of trouble. Nor are we aware of any previous history of problems at the events cancelled this year. With so many cancellations, and the reasons for them being shrouded in mystery, we feel that motorcyclists are suffering completely unjustified discrimination."

If you want the peaceful enjoyment of motorcycling and its social scene to continue then show your support to both MAG and the BMF in getting this discriminatory policy of cancelling motorcycle shows STOPPED, before its to late. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED, MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD BEFORE ITS TO LATE!!!!

Ride safe.

Jon Booth

Yamaha's custom 125 arrives, the YBR125 CUSTOM

If you've been after a custom 125, the new Yamaha YBR125 CUSTOM is now in UK Yamaha dealers.

It has an ultra-low seat (760mm) with high custom bars for a relaxed cruiser-type ride.

Ride safe.

Jon Booth

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The all-new Suzuki Intruder C1800RT

Suzuki have announced the addition of a flagship model to its cruiser range the all new Suzuki Intruder C1800RT. With the power from the M1800R sports cruiser, a relaxed riding position and additional touring kit, they've created this new touring cruiser.
The touring kit includes a large touring windshield, saddlebags, passenger backrest, pullback handlebars and floorboards.
However all this luxury is going to set you back £10,000!

Ride safe.

Jon Booth

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bike India Sep 2008 Issue

Here is the September Issue of Bike India magazine. It should be out on the stands in the next 2-3 days.
If any one needs a copy, shoot an Email to

In the meantime, do have a look at the WEBSITE as well

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Motorcycle insurance discounts available!

Its official motorcycle insurance discounts are available.

The DSA and the Motorcycle Industry Assocation, working with leading motorcycle insurance companies have put together the Enhanced Rider Scheme (ERS) which will offer significant motorcycle insurance discounts to all qualified bikers who successfully complete the scheme.

The motorcycle insurance brokers and direct motorcycle insurers currently sponsoring the scheme are: AA Insurance, Bennett's, Bikesure, Carole Nash, Chandler Direct, CIA, Devitt, Direct Choice, E Bike, Hastings Direct, MCE, Lexham, Motorcycle Direct, Norwich Union Direct, Express, Rampdale, Premium choice, Swinton. The scheme is supported by the following insurers: AXA, Chaucer, Equity Red Star, Groupama, Highway, KGM, Link, Zenith, NIG, Norwich Union and Royal & Sun Alliance.

Bikers wishing to take part in the scheme can find their local DSA RPMT at: and follow the relevant links.

So what have you got to lose, enhance your riding skills and save money, its a no brainer!

Ride safe.

Jon Booth

Are you Britains ultimate biking family?

Bennetts have put the call out to find Britain's ultimate biking family!

Are your nearest and dearest nuts about biking? Does your granny still ride on two wheels or has your nephew just passed his CBT? Bike insurance provider Bennetts is looking for the
UK's ultimate biking family for an up and coming marketing campaign and wants to hear from anyone who has at least three generations of bikers in their family. So if you think your family fits the bill and want to find out more, email your contact details and a picture to by 22nd August.

Ride safe.

Jon Booth

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Beaulieu Motorcycle World 2008

Just a quick blog to let you know about a new picture gallery on, its of the 2008 Beaulieu Motortcycle World Show, backed by another great rock track from 23Kid.

Despite the weather inter-bike were there and we've 40 pictures of the event for you to enjoy.
Ride safe.
Jon Booth

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yamaha takes top sales spots for July

With the release by the MCI of Julys motorcycle sales figures, Yamaha dominates with first and second place. Top selling bike is the sporty Yamaha YZFR125 and second is the practical Yamaha YBR125. Both showing that there is real growth in the bottom end of the market, with many taking to two wheels.

Lets hope this injection of young blood helps continue the growth in interest in motorcycling in the UK!

Well done Yamaha!

Ride safe.

Jon Booth


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Motorcycle sales up a massive 22%

The Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI) has just released the sales figures for July and the sale of powered two-wheelers has jumped 22%.

That's fantastic news for us all involved in motorcycling, it finally seems that motorcycling might be seeing a resurgence in the UK. Apparently growth is in the practical, multi-use every day bikes, with scooter and moped sales up 27% and naked bikes up a massive 46.5%.

Now obviously some of this must be down to people rushing to pass their tests before the new test regime comes in, but nevertheless it's a welcome spurt of growth.

Ride safe.

Jon Booth


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

New Suzuki GSX-R!

Now before you get to exciting, this GSX-R is for the toddlers out there!

Suzuki have just announced the Kiddimoto GSX-R, a wooden childs bike.
Featuring the Szuki blue and white colour scheme and the GSX-R logo.
So if you want to get your child started into the world of motorcycling they are available from Suzuki GB at or any authorised UK Suzuki dealer.

Ride safe.

Jon Booth


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, August 11, 2008

India : Stunts on the good old Bajaj Pulsar 180

India may be deprived of good powerful motorcycles but there are riders who know how to play around and tame small capacity bikes. See this video for wheelies and stoppies on the Bajaj Pulsar 180. Yep, no riding gear, but their skill is mind-blowing

Guys, if you are watching this, a request from us to invest a few thousand bucks into a good set of riding gear please!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

New motorcycle test shambles continues!

The RMI's Motorcycle Rider Training Association (MRTA) is asking that the new motorcycle test now be delayed until 2009.

The DSA's target was to have 66 new motorcyce test centres ready by the 29 September but only 38 are operational plus 14 temporary sites.

Commenting on this situation, MRTA Chairman Kevin Bryan said; ‘This is making it impossible for rider training companies to plan ahead and is already affecting business. With many trainees choosing ‘intensive’ courses with a test at the conclusion, the fact is that we can’t sell such courses as we have no way of knowing what tests will be available or where after 29 September. There are seemingly no test slots available anywhere in the country before 29 September excepting cancellations and no ability to plan business beyond that point. The situation naturally affects current trainees and every member of the public looking to take their motorcycle test.'

Bryan adds: ‘The whole motorcycle sector could be damaged by the current test situation. The DSA must act to protect the industry, and the interests of its customers, who will also suffer.’

The MRTA has again written to the Transport Minister to ask for the test to be deferred and will be meeting senior Department for Transport officials shortly to address the issue.

So lets hope common sense prevails and the new motorcycle test is delayed, otherwise it will be another major blow to motorcycling in the UK!!

Ride safe.

Jon Booth


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The Ninja 250 comes as an answer to the RD350, after 25yrs?

I have a Karizma for the last five years. A decently powerful 17bhp bike that has served me well. But it’s human and natural to get bored of a handful of horses in five years. My colleagues pester me into buying something more powerful but with no affordable option available in India, I have no option but to squeeze each single horsepower of the 223cc engine each day to somewhat satisfy the enthusiast in me.

While searching some info on the Yamaha RD350 (yes the same mosquito-killing smoke fuming bike that can still lick every single bike being manufactured in India), I happened to come across this particular website. The next two hours were spent reading every single page followed by an hour trying to search for the author who it seems loved being anonymous. But whosoever he is, I salute you buddy!

His love (and hate) for not only two-wheels, but other things in life (including the mighty lord) has been expressed beautiful, with sarcasm as well as love. But what really caught my eye was the page on the RD. Not only has the gentleman enlighten me more on the bike, but is now a source of inspiration on how to ‘write’. No really!

Coming back to the point, way back in 1983 (incidentally the year when I was born), there was a tie-up between Yamaha and Rajdoot. The good thing was the bike that was born out of the marriage of two brands, a 39bhp two-stroke twin-cylinder 350cc bike. The bad thing was that the bike lived up to its advertisement – for a ‘few’ that like to live their dreams. It seems the ‘few’ were hardly a few hundred bikers. The bike was a failure. The ‘few’ ones who went ahead, making a laughing stock of themselves at that time are exactly the one who can kick the butt of each and every sorry arsed excuse for a bike launched since then in India.

The original 39bhp bike was dead for India. A few changes to the exhaust port and the HT (high torque) model was born. It lost 8.5bhp but was still faster than anything an Indian had felt between his groins. It sold a tad more bikes than the original model till its habit of guzzling petrol came out in the limelight. The HT too died. Yamaha engineers were back to work again. Work was done on the exhaust port and the ignition timing and hence the low torque (LT) was born. A full twelve brake-horsepower down than the original one, the LT was still good for around 140km/h or so.

The LT, as compared to the original bike, was a joy to ride at low revs. Power was available on tap for city riding, though you felt as if the bike hit a wall at around 6000rpm or so. But it sold well till the time it was taken off the market for being too expensive on the pocket. The bike still lives on in every hard-core nut’s heart. The lucky few who have managed to maintain the killer machine well or managed to add some dope in the form of modifications are laughing away to glory raping other so called performance machines in India.

An electric start, or discs, or half fairing doesn’t make a bike go fast. Goodies can never be compensated for performance. Bikes came and went, but nothing came close to the RD. True, most RD than run on the road are kept in a horrible state by the owners but if you know the ones who run and keep an RD the way it deserves to be, then you surely understand what I am talking about. If you are one of those who want to feel your hair stand every time the throttle is pinned or feel its time you tasted real blood, I will be frank – the probability of you finding a decently maintained RD is even less than finding one cop in Pune wearing a helmet on the bike.

This doesn’t mean the future for bike nuts in India is a doomed one. There was a bike being sold by Kawasaki abroad for the last 18 years – a 250cc parallel twin bike good enough to keep up with the likes of the RD. It got a much awaited makeover and is all set to hit our roads soon. Yep, the minuscule little baby Ninja 250. It may not send shivers down you spine like the RD, but for Rs 2lakh for a brand new legal small superbike managing 30odd horses will a full fairing is a good deal. The old 250 managed a 6odd second 0-100km/h sprint with a genuine 160km/h capability. I don’t see why the latest 250 (even with revised tuning for environment protecting norms) should still be at par with the best of restored RDs on the acceleration and top speed stakes. Add in better handling, comfort and reliability and your wait for a bike different from the usual tight-tummied screwed-up mopeds seems worth it.

May I add that after market performance add-ons like full exhaust system are already out for the Ninja and with a potential to add another half a dozen horses to the parallel twin engine, the Ninja 250 might well be the answer to the RD350 in India, after a full quarter of a sanctuary. The only way I can keep myself from laughing after writing the last line is by thinking, “better late than never”….

Read more about the Ninja 250R
My Casio Riseman
The R15 goes touring
I love CARS too!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Michael Schumacher crashes on a Fireblade

Michael Schumacher’s latest road racing venture didn’t start too well as this picture, taken by Kel Edge shows.

Schumacher crashed, unhurt, during a timed qualifying session for the Oschersleben Eight Hour race, a round of the World Endurance Championship.

The former Formula One World Champion superstar is riding a Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade for German team, Holzhauer Racing, teamed with current German superbike champion Martin Bauer and Matthias v Hammerstein.

Source : MCN

Interesting Reads

My Casio Riseman
Yamaha YZF-R15 goes touring
The Doctor caught in the act!

More on the new Honda VFR 1000 with V5 engine

Honda has pulled out all the stops to showcase the finest technology ever seen on a road bike with the all-new VFR1000F and touring-spec VFR1000GT motorcycles.

Along with the sexiest VFR yet, Honda has finally succumbed and given us a road motorcycle with a V5 engine derived from the successful 990cc RC211V MotoGP machine.

If that's not enough, they've also linked it to a Ferrari-style push-button gearchange for the fastest, smoothest gearchange yet seen, running through shaft drive with a trademark VFR single-sided swingarm.

To see the full story on these and more of Honda's 2009 motorcycles, pick up a copy of this weeks MCN (August 6), out now.

Honda also has plans for a GT version


Suzuki DR125SM road test

Just put a road test by leading motorcycle journalist Ian Kerr up on of Suzuki's latests 125cc motorbike the DR125SM . So if your looking for a leaner legal 125 bike, with Supermoto looks, give it a read.

Ride safe.

Jon Booth

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Motorbikes in London Bus Lanes thanks to Borris!

The BMF have confirmed that London Mayor Boris Johnson has finally given the go ahead for motorcycles in London bus lanes. He has asked Transport for London to permit motorcycles to use London bus lanes before the end of the year.

So at last after much campaigning common sense has prevailed. London will benefit from less congestion and we motorcyclists will be safer as the statistics proved.

Thanks Boris!

Ride safe.

Jon Booth

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

2009 Honda VFR 1000 V5 revealed!


2009 Honda VFR 1000 V5 revealed!

MCN'slatest copy has all the details of the all new 2009 Honda VFR 1000 V5.

In addition to the all new VFR 1000, they also have news on the new 250 VTR and VFR1000 GT version! Cant wait to get my copy...

Save on Weekend Airfare Deals

2009 Husaberg 450 Enduro

When KTM bought Husaberg several years ago, Husaberg loyalists immediately wondered about the direction KTM would take their beloved company. Husaberg had always been a maverick, and employed eccentric design and technology to develop bikes that developed a virtual cult following. For a while, it almost seemed like KTM would let Husaberg die a quiet death.

Now, KTM appears to be using Husaberg as a premium brand employing new, radical technology that may eventually work its way into KTM's own line-up. The 2009 Husaberg 450 Enduro (likely to be called the FE450 in production) is the perfect case in point. What is so radical about the new Husaberg 450? A number of things, really.

As children, we learn about gyroscopic forces while playing with common toys. Spinning a top, for instance, or playing with a yo yo. When an object spins, it creates resistance to movement (inertia). Aprilia, for example, raised the effective center of gravity of its flagship sport bike (the Mille) several years ago in order to make the bike turn better. This confounded many observers, but the fact of the matter is that Aprilia addressed a fairly simple engineering principal regarding location of the crank and its effect on handling.

The new Husaberg design addresses this concept in a radical way. The position of the crank on the new 450 (which actually will displace 448.6cc) has been moved more than a few millimeters (which Aprilia accomplished). In effect, the crank has changed time zones. Nearly four inches higher, and more than six inches rearward of last year's crank position, Husaberg has attempted to place crank inertia precisely at the center of the rolling axis of the new bike. According to a Swede who has been racing the machine (quite successfully) in the World Enduro championship, the new bike handles like a machine of much smaller displacement (think about a 250cc motocrosser versus a 450cc motocrosser). This is precisely why Husaberg undertook the design exercise in the first place.

While radically repositioning the crank shaft, Husaberg designed the new single in a manner that lays the cylinder nearly flat (at a 70° angle). This opened up space for a uniquely placed airbox and fuel tank, which aid performance and further centralize mass. Husaberg is also employing a plastic rear subframe on the new chassis. According to Husaberg, this makes the subframe lighter and stiffer, while allowing a more complex shape that will accommodate the mounting of electric components and closer integration of the muffler system.

So there you have it. KTM is letting Husaberg be Husaberg, after all. This new Enduro model won't be cheap, but it just might be more nimble than any dirt bike of comparable displacement. The new FE450 should go on sale later this year.


Casio Riseman in India : Delivered

Last month,, I had written about booking the Riseman (READ). Well, a few days back it was delivered - my own Casio Riseman. And oh boy, am i happy!

See the temperature? 31.4 degrees...Yeah, my office cabin isnt exactly cool!

I always wanted a Casio Protrek - the one with altimeter, barometer and temp display functions and all. But these watches werent available easily in India. And then I saw the Riseman. Tried a lot finding the Casio Riseman in India, but couldnt. Finally, got in touch with an official importer of Casio in India and got mine for Rs 9,995! Yes, expensive, but its worth it.

Pune is a hilly area and my office is on a small hill - 2200 feet above mean sea level

-Has altimeter function - shows your current elevation.
-Has barometer function - shows the atmospheric pressure
-Temp display
-Is solar powered
-Automatic EL : Turning your wrist automatically lightens up the display. Cool feature
-And lots lots more!

If you want the Casio Riseman in India at a special price, shoot me an Email at

Kawasaki Ninja 250R for India :


The August Issue of Bike India Magazine has a ride report on the much awaited Kawasaki Ninja 250R. The bike is headed for India and will be sold through Bajaj's Pro-Biking showrooms soon.

The Ninja got a full revamp last year and definitely is the best 250cc in the world. With a 30odd Bhp twin-cylinder engine, the bike is good for a seven second 0-100km/h sprint with a 160-165km/h top end blast.

Grab the August issue now! For more, visit the website -

You may also read these links on our blog-
After market exhausts for the Ninja 250R
Details on the Ninja 250R

2008 GSX-R1000 Team Rizla Suzuki Moto GP replica

Happened to drop by at

Suzuki has unveiled a new GSX-R1000 Team Rizla Suzuki Moto GP replica limited edition, with just 135 examples coming to UK dealers next week.

Available in the famous 'Rizla dutch blue' colour scheme direct from the factory, the new model features the full 2008 Grand Prix livery (with a paint protection kit), as well as the sought-after Yoshimura Evo exhaust cans, with a limited edition certificate and both Chris Vermulen and Loris Capirossi rider graphics too.

Talking about the special model, Suzuki GB's George Cheeseman commented;

"We are delighted to secure this limited quantity replica. Although the Rizla colour scheme is no stranger to UK riders, this is the very first time an official model has been available in this paint scheme, available with full-factory aftersales support and through authorised UK dealers."

Coming with individually numbered top yoke plaques, the new model is available to order through all authorised dealers with immediate effect. More information on the Team Rizla Suzuki Moto GP GSX-R1000 Limited Edition can be found by visiting

Limited Edition GSX-R1000
2008 GSX-R600 and GSX-R750

Saturday, August 2, 2008

AA choose Suzuki Burgman 650 scooters

The AA have taken delivery of sixteen Suzuki Burgman 650 scooters as part of their rapid response two wheel fleet. You'll see them in Manchester, Birmingham and London.

It's areal positive message for motorcycling to see a major motoring organisation like the AA make a welcome return to the use of powered two-wheelers!

Ride safe.

Jon Booth

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, August 1, 2008

2008 Honda MD250H ridden

We told you about the 2008 Honda Moriwaki MD250 HERE and HERE

Motorbox recently got to ride the Honda MD250.
The MD250 comes with the engine used on bikes like the Honda CRF250X. The four-stroke, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder 249cc engine is specially tuned and fettled by Moriwaki, for the MD250H.

At $11699, it aint cheap though.

Read the whole ride report HERE

Image : Motorbox