Saturday, November 29, 2008

50th anniversary of the Triumph Bonneville

Did you know its the 50th anniversary of the original Triumph Bonneville and the 21st anniversary of the Hyde Harrier. Well Triumph specialist Norman Hyde and Harris Performance do. In a collaboration they have produced the Hyde Harrier Jubilee which was launched this week at the Carole Nash International Motorcycle and Scooter Show.

Now powered by a modern Triumph 865cc engine, this bike is a tribute to the original Hyde Harrier. The conversion is apparently available as a base kitwith additional components which can be added kit. More details available on

Ride safe.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

134mpg on a Honda!

Honda have just launched their new 125cc motorcycle to eventually replace the indomitable CG125 which I understand is in its last year of production. The new Honda CBF125 will be on sale in UK Honda dealerships next week.

The new Honda CBF125 is supposed to be staying true to the founder of Honda, Soichiro Honda's original Honda motorcycle principles of being affordable, reliable, safe, good quality and a joy to own and use.

However what is the most amazing thing about this new 125 I am sure for many will be the outstanding fuel economy Honda are claiming, particularly now petrol is such an expensive commodity.

Honda are claiming an amazing 134mpg (or 29.6miles / 47.4km per litre*). That is a staggering 370miles (600km) from one 13 litre tank of petrol.

Now rightly Honda qualify this claim by saying "These figures were obtained during test conditions and may not be replicated in everyday use by every rider and riding situation". However I am sure that well the other side of a 100mpg would be achievable.

Fantastic a leading motorcycle manufacturer is offering a bike with outstanding fuel economy and prepared to speak up about out! Now isn't that a breath of fresh air, well not totally but the new bike's emissions are well below the EURO-3 standard.

Well done Honda for offering something the market really needs, good value, cleaner and economic two wheeled transport. The price I understand will be £1795 on the road, not bad!

Ride safe.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, November 28, 2008

Flip-front helmet ratings published

I am sure like me you've been waiting for the latests batch of helmet test results from SHARP, the Department for Transports Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme.

They have now tested 20 leading flip-front helmets and I've detailed the results below:-



Matisse RS

System 5


Justissimo GT














RS V121

RS RS101

2. All final results of SHARP testing can be found at:

3. The SHARP tests and assessments are valid for all types of helmet and further results will be released on a rolling basis. Full face helmets represent the largest part of the market (approx. 80%), but flip front style helmets are gaining in popularity and therefore, SHARP has assessed these before completing the remaining full face helmets. Open face helmets will be considered later.

Ride safe.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The Carole Nash International Motorcycle and Scooter Show 2008 launched

Charley Boorman and the Hairy Bikers

Ruben Xaus unveils the BMW S1000 RR Superbike

The Carole Nash International Motorcycle and Scooter Show launched yesterday at the Birmingham NEC and a host of stars from the world of motorcycling and racing were there including Ruben Xaus at the launch of the BMW Superbike contender the BMW S1000 RR. Plus amongst others, BMW ambassador Charley Boorman and those biking chefs the Hairy Bikers, Si King and Dave Myers.

Ride safe.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

More great motorcycle book and DVD reviews

Motorcycle journalist Ian Kerr has been burning the midnight oil and we've just published 3 great motorcycle book reviews and one MotoGP DVD review on that Ian has written.
Why not take a look now, they're accessible on the Home Page of the

The books Ian has reviewed are:-

Off-Road Giants by Andrew Westlake

The Fine Art of the Motorcycle Engine by Daniel Pearce

Scooter Lifestyle by Ian 'Iggy' Grainer

The DVD Ian has reviewed is Moto GP Riding Secrets

Ride safe.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Harley-Davidson XR1200 launched in America

The Harley-Davidson XR1200 in action

The Harley-Davidson XR1200

Although we had the European launch of the new Harley-Davidson XR1200 here in the UK and Europe back last April, it's not until now its been released in its home country the United States of America.

Born out of the legendary flat-track racer the XR750 the new XR1200 was received input in its design from flat-track racing legends Scot Parker and Rich King, together with European GP racing champion Adrien Morillas.

The XR750 was the most dominant American dirt track racing motorcycle of all-time, winning the Number One plate in 26 AMA flat track seasons!! In tribute to the XR750, there is a pre-sale of only 750 XR1200 models from 1 December to 12 December in the US.

More details of the XR1200 can found on

Ride safe.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Have your say on the proposed modular motorcycling test

The Driving Standards Agency have put out proposals to enhance the way motorcyclists are tested.

They are proposing a two stage modular test, to split the current single-event motorcycling test into two parts:-

Module 1 would contain the specified manoeuvres element of the test including exercises designed to assess the rider's ability to control their machine safely, including avoidance and emergency stop exercises carried out at a minimum speed of 50 kph.

Module 2 would include an eyesight test and up to 35 minutes of in-traffic riding assessing the rider's ability to safely interact with other road users.

The overall price for the test will apparently remain unchanged, the price will be split across both modules - so candidates only have to pay for each section of the test as they take it.

You can have your say online and read the consultation paper which is at, or write to The Driving Standards Agency, The Axis Building, 112 Upper Parliament Street, Nottingham, NG1 6LP.

Or for more information you can call 0115 936 6092.

So if you want your voice to be heard on this critical motorcycling issue get your comments in to the DSA!!

Oh, anyone wishing to comment on the proposals must do so by 9 January 2009.

Ride safe.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Bennetts reveal top biker distractions!

Girls Aloud for Kit Kat Senses

Eva Longoria for Magnum ice-cream

Louise Redknapp modeling for Triumph Bras

Myleene Klass in a yellow and white bikini for M&S

Eva Longoria modeling for L'Oreal shampoo

Bennetts leading motorcycle insurance providers have revealed the results of a survey to discover what last year was the biggest distraction on the road for bikers. The results reveal that ads for the girls group Girls Aloud were the biggest distraction for bikers last year. With apparently 35% of bikers admitting to taking their eyes off the road to look at the Girls Aloud billboards.

The most distracting billboard adverts where:-

Girls Aloud for Kit Kat Senses

Eva Longoria for Magnum ice-cream

Louise Redknapp modeling for Triumph Bras

Myleene Klass in a yellow and white bikini for M&S

Eva Longoria modeling for L'Oreal shampoo

* Based on brand tracking research in April 2008

Now I know this is a motorcycling blog, but I have published the top five billboard ads above, so that you can look at them now, rather than be tempted to try and look at them whilst out riding your motorbike. Your eyes should be on the road of course!!!!

Ride safe.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Win a BMW K 1200 R

The BMW K1200 R

Visitors to the Carole Nash International Motorcycle and Scooter Show which runs from 28 November – 7 December at the NEC, Birmingham have chance to win a new BMW K1200 R motorcycle (kindly donated by BMW Motorrad UK) by buying National Draw tickets at the show in support of BEN. The winner will be announced on the last day of the show, 7th December, on the MCN stage.

BEN is the Automotive Industry Charity, the only occupational charity for those who work or have worked in the automotive and related industries. Founded in 1905, the Charity provides practical help, support, advice and friendship to more than 15,000 men and women and their families every year. In addition BEN provides a home to over 350 individuals who reside in one of its four residential centres in the UK and offers day care facilities at its centre in Coventry.

Ride safe.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Nation's Best Bikes to be revealed at NEC Bike Show

Britain’s best custom bikes, as voted for by thousands of UK motorcyclists, will be revealed on Thursday (November 27th) as the Britain’s Got Biking Talent climaxes at The Carole Nash International Motorcycle and Scooter Show.

Secrecy has surrounded the top 12 bikes and the owners who have had a professional photo-shoot by top bike photographer Adam Duckworth, now they’re contenders for the £1,000 top prize.

All 12 bikes will feature in the Carole Nash 2009 calendar, 120,000 copies of which will be distributed free at The Carole Nash International Motorcycle Show and other biking events.

Ride safe.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Guintoli to be at NEC Bike Show

Sylvain Guintoli

Crescent Suzuki have confirmed that there new British Superbike star Sylvain Guintoli will be introduced at the forthcoming International Motorcycle Show in Birmingham at a press conference on Thursday 27th November at 10.30 am

In addition Sylvain will in the Suzuki stand in Hall One on that day between 2.00pm and 4.00pm to sign autographs and meet fans.

Ride safe.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, November 24, 2008

2009 KTM RC8 ridden

The good guys at motorcycle-usa rode the latest 2009 KTM RC8

The superbike world keeps getting bigger, as European marques move in on the Japanese market. KTM, Europe’s second-largest manufacturer, has literally made its superbike bigger with the release of a higher-spec version of the RC8 at the EICMA 2008 Milan Bike Show.

The new RC8R, the second version of KTM’s inaugural superbike, ramps up the performance factor with a larger engine. Increasing the bore from 103 to 105mm (same 69mm stroke) bumped up displacement for the 75-degree V-Twin from 1148 to 1195cc. The compression ratio also spiked, jumping from 12.5:1 to 13.5:1.

To read the whole article, jump to the motorcycle-usa article HERE


2009 Suzuki Boulevard M90 (Intruder)


That's the question I had in my mind at the press introduction for the new Boulevard M90 that Suzuki calls a middleweight performance cruiser. With a 90 cubic-inch (1462cc) V-Twin and 723 pounds of claimed wet weight, it's hard to accept as a "middleweight" anything. But Suzuki (and its customers, speaking through focus groups) needed something in a muscle cruiser (hence the "M" moniker) to fit between the 805cc M50 and 1783cc M109R.

The M90's 52-degree motor has the same 96mm by 101mm bore-and-stroke figures as the classic-styled C90 model, but it's actually a whole new design. The engine's designer, Kenta Suzuki (no relation) usually works on sportbikes, and his stamp is evident with liquid cooling, four-valve heads, forged aluminum slipper pistons and other high-performance traits. Heavy flywheels, offset crankpins and torque-heavy low-end tuning make sure the rider knows he's on a cruiser.

The chassis is similarly unique. The bodywork is smooth and flowing, with a strong family resemblance to its M109R big brother. Like the 109, it also gets a fat back end, terminating in a widest-in-class 200mm rear radial. The front end gets dual 290mm brake discs, paired with two-piston sliding-pin calipers. The 43mm inverted fork is a cartridge unit (albeit non-adjustable), and the concealed rear shock works through a linkage. Like every Boulevard model (except the old Savage, aka the S40) the M90 gets the shaft, literally, at least in terms of final drive.



Harley Davidson XR1200 launched in US

According to a dealer announcement, the Harley Davidson XR1200 will be released in the U.S. at the IMS show in Long Beach, California December 5th. Scott Parker and Kenny Coolbeth will be on hand for autographs and introduction. Looks like a total of 750 will be available.

XR1200 - DOM 1LA619 $11,079
Vivid Black $10,799

XR1200 - CAL 1LA639 $11,179
Vivid Black $10,899

Pre-orders can be placed for the first 750 models between 21 Nov 08 until 15 Dec 08 or when the first 750 models released have been claimed.

I guess Harley was listening after all. If you want one, it’s time to get to your Harley dealer with your checkbook.

Thanks to Chris for sending the first tip!

From: Badweatherbikers and thekneeslider

Moto guzzi grsio 1200 8v comes to US
Aprilia MANA and RS125 for US

Friday, November 21, 2008

Delhi to Marsimek La : Day 4

Read Day1
Read Day2
Read Day3
Read Day5
Read Day6

Day 4 : Leh - Khardungla - Leh

We had pushed ourselves in the last three days and deserved a break today. The plan was to ride to Ktop and back, relaxing and enjoying Leh in the evening. I had already spoken to 4-season holidays for the permits in advance.

After a wholesome tasty breakfast at the hotel, we left for Ktop by around 9:30am. We had to take the road from the main bazaar area. Surprisingly, such an important road start from a small bylane, going thru some houses, and then widening up as the inclination started. We were soon above the city, and had a fantastic view of the snow peaks for almost the whole way

The roads were quite good. Infact, i think Ktop is overrated. It may be the highest motorable road in the world, but after doing the Manali-Leh route, Ktop seems as a piece of cake!

An army convoy going to Ktop

We slowed down as the convoy had stopped. There was a small jam, but we all managed to find our Ktop!

I have read other people's account of GPS readings showing less than what the welcome board claims. Even my watch showed only 17820 feet

We spent around an hour there. Purchased t-shirts and mugs (i regularly use both!) and raised a toast to our ride with tea and maggi.

Riding back was fantastic, as we constantly had a lovely view of the city, and the snow peaks

The road going down to leh

The evening was spent lazing around the town. Walking, walking and walking. Also tried local street food, and retired for the night by 10pm. Next day would be a tough one...


Read Day1
Read Day2
Read Day3
Read Day5
Read Day6

Delhi to Marsimek La : Day 3


After a hard second day, three morning didnt seem to bring any respite for us. The AMS was bad than I had imagined it to be. My head was aching, and the chill out (the bike's seat was covered with a layer of frost!) didnt help either. After whatever I could possibly stuff my stomach with, I left immediately as Sarchu didnt have any STD booths. I had not spoken to my family since the night of day1. The first few km towards Pang were quite nice, and it was possible to keep an average speed of around 55-60km/h. However, once the ascent to the Gata loops started, my going became slow.

The much talked about Gata Loops

After the Gata Loops came the Nakeela Pass

And then the Lachulungla Pass

I was aiming for Pang, 80km from Sarchu in two hours. With a couple of breaks for pics and pee, I managed to reach here. There was an Army camp and the good guys let me make a satellite call back home. Note the line up of Innovas in the background? The group had stayed the previous night with us at the campsite. I waited for an hour before the others came and we all had breakfast together.

After breakfast, we continued and ride and came across these. Natural formations caused by wind!

And the More Plains. A vast empty piece of mother earth, extending for miles. There are no proer roads, though which ever dirt road you take, you end up at the same place - the concrete road to the Tanglangla Pass

A tired me.. with the Karizmas

Imagine being here at night!

The Karizma - probably the best Indian bike for touring right now

The Tanglang La pass at 17582feet

After riding down from the Tanglangla pass, the roads improved and some of us literally flew to Upshi where we waited for others to join

At Upshi

We reached Leh earlier than expected, thanks to the last 70km. Nitinjit had already arranged for a fantastic place for us to stay - Hotel Kaal, on the airport road. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing, having a drink (and two!) at the hotel itsel.

Delhi to Marismek la : Day1
Delhi to Marsimek la : Day2
Delhi to Marsimek la : Day4
Delhi to Marsimek la : Day5
Delhi to Marsimek la : Day6