I bought my first bike, a Honda C100 4-stroke, at 14 and then broke my collarbone at 15 when I managed to lose the front end and fly over the handlebars in a local field. Since then I have had a range of motorbikes and experiences including track riding as well as racing and I just wanted to pass on some basic survival tips to you, dear reader. So here we go:
ALWAYS stay within your comfort zone. Work on expanding that zone by taking any and all training that you can find and afford.
ALWAYS dress ready for the worst, so good helmet, gloves, bike jacket and jeans are essential.
Assume that the other road users will do what they should not, so ride defensively and give them all a very wide berth. And they often do the wrong thing.
Take rider training cos we are NOT all Valentino. Track riding is great for learning, so is off road riding.
Look after your bike (check tyre pressures, oil levels etc) and your bike will look after you. I check tyre pressures before evey trip and then daily during my trip.
Stay safe and have fun! My current lovely bikes are shown below
Ok so you love motorbikes and the freedom they bring us. Ok so you love the wind in yer face and the fact that you can easily slip through stationary traffic and get away first from the traffic lights.
Me too! I have owned lots of bikes and I currently have five in my collection, I much prefer using 2 wheels than 4 whenever possible.
And I have one golden rule: NEVER ride a bike without wearing gloves.
Why? Well think about it. If you fall over walking you put your hands down to cushion the fall right? Same if you were to fall over from your bike, same if you were to fall OFF your bike. And then who do you think wins, the tarmac or your hands? I have seen the scars after bike falls even at very low speed and the hands will always bear the brunt of the damage.
So I hearby offer you this super summer glove which I found and I dont wanna be rich, I can offer you a pair of these for 20 Euro delivered in Italy, 25 rest of Europe. I recently rode 2400 kms from the UK down to Amalfi and I used these, very comfortable and not too hot. I have only one size XL (which is more or less a medium large for we Europeans) and they fit most people.
I have never seen such a wonderful museum, have a look here. They have more than 1000 British bikes and at least 800 are on display at any one time, the others are then maintained and every bike they have is a runner!
No other museum I have ever visited offers so much. The bikes range from the late 1800s to the present day and my goodness they are ALL worth seeing! Every bike they have is a runner so hence the drip trays, and they are really well described and grouped into military, race, RAC/AA, three wheelers etc and so make wonderful viewing.
DO visit and I promise it is well worth your time!! There is even a canteen upstairs offering excellent food at a great price.
Well I collected my beautiful new Yamaha MT10SP last week in the Midlands from Alf England and I then rode her home to Amalfi. You need a day to ride through France and then another to cover Italy, on a bike you MUST take yer time and allow for weather, tiredness, traffic and all of the other factors that can influence the ride.
I was very lucky with the weather, in the UK it was mainly warm and dry and I only hit a couple of wet patches going from the Midlands across to Cambridge. Then on the Friday I headed up to Nottingham to see family so I then set off from Nottingham at midday Saturday down to Dover and hopped onto the P and O ferry for Calais. I love the ferry as much as I don’t like the tunnel, I always buy an open ticket with P and O and I find their service excellent. The open ticket includes a seat in the Business Lounge with free tea, coffee and newspapers, happy days!
So in the afternoon I arrived in France and I headed into Calais to fill up the bike at the local Supermarket and I then headed south on the wonderful French motorway system. Luckily I have the new European Telepass so I do not even need to stop at the Pay Stations, great for the motorcyclist as it saves removing gloves and then searching for tickets and or cash or credit cards.
I stopped at Reims where I had booked a night at the excellent Ibis Budget at Thillois, I have stayed many times and the area has eveything you need for a good meal, beer and rest and the hotel car park is secure! I find that a gentle start to a long trip is always a good idea as you need to get to know the bike, so a long slog is never a good idea for the first day.
From Reims early the next morning I rode south in increasingly warm weather and the French motorways are sooooo good you can generally cruise at whatever speed you choose. This bike has cruise control so I selected 140km/h to (hopefully) stay out of trouble and headed south towards Chamonix. When I got nearer the information signs showed a waiting time of one hour for the Mont Blanc tunnel so I decided not to stop for lunch as I had planned, instead I overtook the hundreds of cars in the queue and I got through the tunnel quickly, they charge an extortionate 32 Euro for the bike compared to about 45 for my van!!
So I was in Italy and so I could increase my cruising speed as the Italian police are more lenient and in general anything up to 160km/h seems to be ok, so I headed to a lovely hotel I know in Biella for the night as I was starting to feel quite tired. The Hotel Europa is in the city centre but very quiet and comfortable with an excellent eating house very nearby.
The next day was a gentle ride south down the motorway, I stopped for lunch in Orte with an old mate and then from Orte down to Amalfi where I arrived at about 4pm, tired but very very happy!! The bike returned an overall 16.5 km/litre (46mpg) which is great, the only problem is the range as she only has 16 litres of petrol so this means a stop every 180/200 kms when she runs onto reserve. WHAT a great bike, total ride was about 2400km. A few pics follow: