The 2010 National BikeSafe Motorcycle Show

The 2010 National BikeSafe Motorcycle Show starts at the Sheffield Arena on Saturday June 12th and runs for two days.  The show is open from 10am to 5pm both days and is well worth stopping by.  With over 100 exhibitors and trade stands, stunt riders, free assessed ride-outs plus lots of family attractions there is something for every motorcycle and scooter enthusiast.  What’s more the show is completely free with free entry and free parking.  For more information check out the official website at http://www.bikesafeshow.co.uk/

Rumour has it there will be a Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 on show and available to test ride, something of a treat as for this year the bike is only available to purchase unseen and untested online from Yamaha. – (UPDATE – this has now been confirmed by Yamaha – ‘Yamaha will be giving free test rides (subject to criteria) on the brand new Super Ténéré and FZ8 at the upcoming National BikeSafe event. This will be the first UK showing at an outside event of both models so be sure to visit the Yamaha stand early to book your test ride.’)

Perhaps even more exciting is the new electric BMW C1-E, the safety enhanced scooter featuring a roll cage and harness for the rider.  Safety may be improved but unfortunately you’ll still look like a complete tool riding one!

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No Weather for Biking..

Owwwww…. Well it had to happen some time, my first spill off the bike.  Almost no speed to it but still an interesting experience.

Now anyone in the UK is probably saying to themselves "That fool was on two-wheels in this weather!!"  Well yes I was but only because I'd done it successfully before, but this time my luck ran out. 

I'm no fair-weather biker, rain, hail, ice, gale force winds, I'm there on the bike and loving it.  I rode my wee Suzuki GZ125 commuter all though the winter last year, and while the cold snap then wasn't as bad as this, I still braved ice and snow and managed to stay upright.

Unfortunately the policy in my local area seems to be to grit main roads and leave all side streets/minor roads, both rural and urban, to turn into ice rinks. 

As soon as I turned onto the last street to my destination this morning I could see it was pretty bad but I only had 100 yards to go to safety.  I dropped my speed from 25 to 15mph and crawled along, gently braking as I drew level with gates of the entrance to work.  Then with no wobble, slip, or warning, WHOOP! the bike was gone from under me and I was sliding along the road….bollocks.

Luckily the damage was minimal with my brake peddle and an indicator bent.  The large handlebar muffs I have comically employed to keep my hands from freezing made for a good shield against the iced over tarmac, saving me a few £'s in repairs for sure.

Well I'm in the club now, I've had a wee motorcycle crash, one I can gladly limp away from.  It was a jarring experience making you realise just how vulnerable you are on a bike, and how close and hard the ground is!  In a strange way I'm kind of glad it did happen as I have always wondered if the armour etc actually worked, and how I would feel confidence-wise after something like this.  I'm glad to report I've taken a hammer to the brake peddle and will be riding home later.

May any future crashes be low speed slips, and I think I'll ask the wife for the lend of her car tomorrow : )
 

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Oh dear, more UK test crash stats

Figures have been released showing a big rise in accidents occurring during the new Euro bike test introduced to the UK earlier this year.  Again it seems to be the notorious 'swerve manoeuvre' causing all the hassle, and in some cases pretty nasty injuries.  As reported in MCN in the 10 weeks running up to the new test there were 13 accidents.  Since the new test there have been 45!  The UK government has now been forced to look into why, even though it's pretty bloody obvious, so let's hope a few adjustments are made to the test sooner rather than later. 

Don't let it put you off going for your test, just make sure you have a good instructor who is confident about what's involved and can drill you on the awkward bits.

For more info on what's involved in the UK bike test check out –

http://www.ridethewildwind.co.uk/Tips_for_New_Riders_on_RideTheWildWind.html

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Opening the shutters..

Almost ready to get this 'Ride The Wild Wind' VOX blog up and running.  I previously set one up on Blogger, but I wasn't impressed with it technically.  I've a personal blog on VOX and thought it would be good to shift my old posts across. 

So I've updated my profile so you know a little about me
and what this blog will be dealing with. As for the Ride The Wild Wind
website, it is currently under construction and I hope to 'launch' it
properly within a month or so. It will be updated throughout next week
with more page structure and email addresses for folks to send in their
pictures, stories, tips, etc.  Oh and for those reading this who aren't in NI pictures and stories can come from anywhere in the world, so send them in and showcase your pride and joy!

Hopefully this will be a fun
project and I'm looking forward to hearing from fellow bikers both from
N.I. and further afield. Biking in Britain has been getting a bit of
bad press lately, with some high profile speeding cases getting bikers
punished as if they were murders. Hell you get less of a sentence for
murder these days in Britain.

Despite the best attempts by UK
and Euro Gov's and Health & Safety enthusiasts, I don't see it is
fair to allow them to demonise us. With the site and the blog I would
like to showcase the good natured fraternity of motorcyclists, which is
one of my favourite aspects of being part of it all.  Even with my
crappy L-plates, which will be dumped soon, virtually every biker nods to acknowledge that I'm part
of the club.

I'm looking forward to hearing you're views and opinions on every aspect of being a biker, and I'll post my old Blogger thoughts here shortly..

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