The basics, the ABC of surviving on a motorbike

We all (well, many of us) enjoy a motorbike and we almost all teach ourselves how to ride. We may get some tips from a mate or two or from the guy in the shop that sells us the bike but in general we all think that we know how to ride a bike. We have all watched Valentino on TV and we convince ourselves that we can do the same.

Many do not survive long enough to learn that riding a motorcycle on the road is a very dangerous activity. I lost a school friend at 17 so I began to understand that there is more to this than meets the eye, so to speak.

So from my ripe old age I have a few tips for you all, as follows: (and the bike shown above is my Yamaha MT10 which has a detuned R1 engine with 160 horses and FLIES!!)

  1. ALWAYS ride defensively. Cars hurt, so a basic starting point is to assume that all cars are badly driven (many are) and so always stay well away and allow them to get it wrong. Many drivers will take all of the road on a corner so never use all of your lane, stay near to your side of the road. Many car drivers hold their smartphone in one hand so they do not pay much attention to driving and the use of indicators seems to be a thing of the past.
  2. ALWAYS ride within your limits. Sports bikes today are not far removed from race bikes in terms of power, performance and brakes. A modern 1000cc bike has almost 200 horse power!! It is almost impossible for a normal rider to find the limits of a modern bike even on a race track. Instead, it is very easy to find our own limits and we must learn to know them and to stay well within them.
  3. NEVER ride a bike when you are not feeling up to it. Take a bus or tram or car but not the bike because a bike requires 100% of our concentration. 80% is simply not enough.
  4. TAKE A RIDING COURSE. There are several excellent riding schools such as the California Superbike School in the UK, Ron Haslam’s school at Donnington Park and Run x Fun in Italy and all of these are excellent places to learn about riding a motorbike. All are circuit-based for safety reasons and not to teach you to ride at high speeds!!
  5. LOOK AFTER YOUR BIKE. We have only 2 tyres and the tyre condition and pressure are vital, so always check over the bike before and after every ride.
  6. NEVER insult another driver (with hand signals, for instance). It is not worth it. Sadly “Road Rage” exists and you can see many many examples on YouTube so always try to stay away from bad drivers, bikes are always the easy victims.

I have worked with RunxFun for several years and lessons are really the best way to survive and to enjoy yourself too.

All questions answered!!



Published by Simon

I offer an ever-developing range of services to satisfy an ever-changing set of markets. Born in the UK I have lived in Italy for more than 20 years. I can help you to experience a touch of the real Italian experience which goes beyond your dreams but without stress nor unwanted suprises.

5 thoughts on “The basics, the ABC of surviving on a motorbike

  1. Hi Simon, I bought one of the Petronas R1’s from YART. 2yrs later I have been contacted by HMRC in regards to import taxes, have they contacted you?

    Best wishes



      1. Hi Simon,

        HMRC PTU unit PTU=Personal Transport Unit is who made contact. I haven’t filled in the Nova form yet, I’m asking questions ATM, obviously I contacted YART, his attitude was not the best (it was pretty much ahh well tough titty’s you signed the receipt). One guy who bought one is saying £8200 duty is to be paid, he did the nova form and sent it back to HMRC.

        Were import taxes ever mentioned to you? It wasn’t to me, I’m just a working class consumer, not a importer or exporter of anything, I bought it with my inheritance. If I would have been informed about import duty I would never had bought the bike as it wouldn’t have been worth it. It’s not really worth what we paid TBH it was the Valentino connection that made it kind of attractive. Did you ever get the helmet and VIP ticket? I know one bloke didn’t.

        The bike at Hunts was bought by them they paid the duty and can/will claim it back.

        Right now I feel Mandy has ripped the UK buyers off by not giving full disclosure and not fulfilling his contract (Helmet and tickets). I am just thinking through what can be done about it legally and what questions need asking to HMRC. EG What would happen if I took the bike back into the EU or use it on track days in Spain and leave it there? No Limits keep bikes in storage out in Spain. At the time of purchase the UK was still in the EU, so where do import taxes come into play there? It took Austrian customs 12mths to contact HMRC then HMRC took 12mths to contact the buyers, why has it taken 2yrs to make contact?

        Apart from the other buyer, myself and you, one of the other buyers is Paul Hollywood (Celebrity Chef) who has received the same letter as myself by Mandy’s own admittance. I’ve tried to get contact details for him but can’t find anything. That leave’s just one UK purchaser outstanding I wonder if he/she has had a letter? I’m pretty sure 6 bikes made it into the UK one or two made it to USA. This was not part of the deal in the advertisement.

        It’s a prototype race bike in LTD numbers that will never get used, it’s not going to pass a roadworthy test with the dept of transport. Mandy has sneaked it through customs without notifying them. On Google it clearly states taxes must be paid before going through customs or when it is road registered. Mandy claims he notified Austrian Customs when he delivered the bike, I’ve now contacted them asking for confirmation of this.

        I’m really cheesed off about this and ATM am holding YART responsible for any import taxes, if this would have surfaced two weeks after purchase I would have legally been able to give him the bike back for a full refund, not something that can be done 2yrs later.

        Best wishes


        Sent from Mail for Windows


      2. Blimey Scott, what a story. I have a few points to offer:
        1. I think that as this bike is essentially an R1M then it should be quite simple to register the bike, obviously having added and removed a few key bits. This was suggested to me by a bike dealer in the UK.
        2. My bike was delivered to the Midlands during COVID so perhaps the UK Customs were very lapse??
        3. I don’t think that YART tried to deceive us but they were perhaps er not completely truthful. When I bought my bike I assumed I must pay VAT and I sent the VAT when I made the transfer, they transferred it back.
        4. No I have never received the helmet or the ticket and to be honest I had forgotten about both.

        Over to you mate and all the best,


      3. Hi Simon,
        3. I don’t think that YART tried to deceive us but they were perhaps er not completely truthful. When I bought my bike I assumed I must pay VAT and I sent the VAT when I made the transfer, they transferred it back.

        Yes I agree Mandy was not entirely truthful, I specifically asked him about VAT because I bought the bike with my inheritance. He told me no VAT because the UK was still in the EU. So have you paid any VAT at all? Who transferred it back to you?

        I have no intention of using or registering the bike, I don’t want to devalue it. If we have to pay VAT the bikes are not worth the money we paid for them and any profit we may have had has now evaporated.

        I don’t think any of the UK buyers received the helmet and tickets. I asked about the helmet and ticket, Mandy just passed the book to Petronas (not professional), he advertised them as a package so he should be held responsible for the package, he has not fulfilled his contract.

        It would be nice if we could all take combined/collective action against Mandy for not being entirely honest with us all and not fulfilling his contract on the goodies and ticket.

        I’m pretty sure Mandy should have declared the bikes to UK customs on entry to the UK.

        Bottom line is we all paid good money for our bikes that were only worth buying because of the Rossi connection, goodies, Petronas birthday, Petronas success in Moto GP and obviously limited numbers all based around the number 46.

        Mandy was not entirely honest with us, this has now left us in debt with probably the most powerful organisation in this country. It’s common knowledge you can’t mess with HMRC and if they start demanding, worse case we could lose our homes for not co-operating, it’s scary stuff. My home is in trust, the letter sent by HMRC suggests they had done a Land Registry search. The letter was addressed to me but referred to my trustee. It’s frightening stuff.

        Personally I’m holding Mandy liable to pay the duty, I have sent a email to HMRC explaining my situation and have sent an email asking Austrian customs for the date Mandy 1st contacted them about the export, he clearly did not inform UK customs about the import. In this case I/we are merely consumers, we are not importers/exporters.

        One of my points is the out of the 46 bikes 5 were allocated for the UK. With YART being a globally recognised business/corporation, I naturally assumed that duty will have been taken care of because of this allocation. I still asked the question about VAT to Mandy and was told no because UK was still in EU. I’m so cheesed off about this

        Best wishes


        Over to you 😊

        Sent from Mail for Windows


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