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March 2017

The Green Welly Stop’s Fiona Robertson rides out with Ewan McGregor Tinto Moto Experience We ride the Argyll 190 and NC500




FIVE ICONIC BRANDS IN ONE PLACE New and used motorcycles Servicing and repairs MOT preparation and testing Motorcycle hire CBT and DAS training Motorcycle clothing and apparel

MOTORCYCLES 553 Gorgie Road, Edinburgh, EH11 3XX Tel: 0131 478 6661 @SaltireMcycles @AlbaCustoms 2016 Scottish biker DPS 2xA5.indd 4

Proud winner of MCN Dealer of the Year 2016 29/11/2016 15:00:53


017 is lining up to be an exciting year at Scottish Biker with support from Transport Scotland helping us grow and develop both the magazine and our brand new website In this edition, our contributors include; Roddy Benzies of Get2Grips, previously a Motorcycle Instructor with Police Scotland; Tom Campbell, Chairman of the NC500 Limited; Stuart Gray, Events Director at Knockhill Circuit; Clive Rumbold of MotoScotland and Fiona Robertson from The Green Welly Stop. Ever since Scottish Biker was first conceived with Road Safety West of Scotland, our goal has always been about keeping motorcyclists safer on the road. However, even the best never stop learning and with Scottish Biker you will find more opportunities to learn or maybe try something new.

We want to encourage more people to get into motorcycling and to enjoy the freedom, so we’ve included a how to get started section, CBT’s with our partners at Saltire Motorcycles and DAS with the folks at GMTS in Tayside. The roads in Scotland could have been designed with bikes in mind so we have a couple of tasters in the North Coast 500 and the Argyll 190 – Kintyre route. The next edition is June. Thank you for reading and please follow our webpage at e. Ian Stavert, Editor

Front Cover - Scott Tavener Argyll 190 - Marjorie Leighton North Coast 500 Ltd INDmedia Ltd





The Green Welly Stop – FK20 8RY.

Ride the latest Ducati models Want to demo ride a new Ducati in and around some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery? Fancy a spin on the new SuperSport, Multistrada 950 or maybe a Scrambler Café Racer? We will have a range of new 2017 models available for you to experience over this special Ducati Roadshow supported weekend. For more details contact

Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd April, 10am - 3pm The Green Welly Stop – Tyndrum, Perthshire FK20 8RY. Advance book, call: 0141 333 4 998 * Models on show/demo are subject to availability please contact us to confirm particular models of interest. Advanced booking available. Exact model can not be guaranteed due to possible unforeseen circumstances. Demo rides can only be taken by riders over 21 who have held a full UK motorcycle licence for a minimum of two years. Subject to licence, suitable riding gear and weather conditions. An indemnity form will need to be signed and a credit card is required.





e all think we’re good riders don’t we? We’ve all been riding for a while and not had any accidents – so why would I need any advice? Bradley Smith, Mark Marquez and even Valentino Rossi have ‘performance coaches’ to point out where something could be done a bit better – NOT what they are doing wrong and these guys are at the pinnacle of their sport.

Roddy B



), Ian S

tavert (b e


I met Roddy at Kenmore for early coffee on a bonny, sunny morning. I was asked about my riding background, I explained I have held a bike licence since 16 and these days ride around 15,000 miles a year. During my work, I’ve been on numerous training courses on road, track days and off road – (perk of the job).

So then over my coffee I was asked again what did I want to achieve from the day? My answer is always simple, I want someone with more or diverse I made contact with experience than I Roddy Benzies from “Roddy retired from the Get2grips. Roddy retired Police in Autumn 2014 where to give me some pointers as to what I from the Police in he trained Police Scotland can do better on the Autumn 2014 where he trained Police Scotland motorcyclists and drivers, so road, or, point out any bad habits. Just motorcyclists and he knows his craft. ” be blunt tell me how drivers, so he knows it is! Roddy being a his craft. Roddy started very modest man came back, “I doubt I can say Get2grips in April ’16.’ much that will help” - how wrong he was! My initial contact with Roddy was over the I won’t give away all Roddy’s tips, bits of advice phone, I was impressed straight away when I and pearls of wisdom, that’s how he makes his was asked ‘what do you want to achieve with living – just let me say this. By the end of the me?’ – now that is a great first question. It day which was a good few miles and around basically says to me that a) this wasn’t going 4.30pm - my brain was absolutely fried! If bike to be an ‘off the shelf day’ and b) it makes you cops go through this for weeks, fair play to think why you called. them! Let’s call it advanced thinking – not advanced riding.

“The major cause of biker issues in Scotland are left hand bends, overtakes and junctions with other traffic.” ion to go

Photo capt

Not once did I receive any negative criticism, my thinking and observation was challenged (positively) numerous times, for all the right reasons and far beyond what I would normally do - the way I analyse signage, contours, corners, road features, traffic - the list goes on. This was done both over the headset as we were riding and at our debrief stops. The major cause of biker issues in Scotland are left hand bends, overtakes and junctions with other traffic. All of these things we discussed at length – self-preservation was what it was all about. My highlight of the day was following Roddy for about 25 miles, whilst he gave a full blown finely detailed commentary of his ride, what he was doing, when and importantly – why. As I said earlier, I have done many training courses before, but my day with Roddy at Get2grips was the best on road training day I have ever done – bar none. I learnt a huge amount, some of which I didn’t realise until a few days later when I was applying what I’d been advised, and believe me it works. If you want to develop your thinking and riding – meet Roddy, irrespective of what you ride and how long you’ve been riding. On the strength of this experience we’ve asked Roddy to help us out with this edition of Scottish Biker.




Following the great success of the 2016 Ride In, we have decided to repeat the event, only this year it looks as though it will be bigger and better. We will have more exhibitors (including some of our dealership partners) meaning more people to see and meet – visit www. for more information.

The day will start at 10.00am See you there!





here are many fantastic roads in Scotland, some more populated than others. The ‘Argyll 190’ is a hidden gem in that it has a bit of everything, however, unlike some popular roads it is highly unlikely that this will be attractive to those who want to go for a ‘spirited ride’ – this is very much a ‘Scenic ride’. One big attraction of this route is that you can do a detour to some of the Islands (Arran, Jura, Islay, Gigha, Colonsay) to add that bit of extra adventure.

here. Follow the A83 through the town and around the top of Loch Gilp which is a scenic stretch, a taster of things to come, just watch your speed, especially past the school as Police checks are often in place! Passing through Ardrishaig and some lovely flowing bends, keep your eyes peeled for the B8024 signposting Kilberry to the right. This is where things change, the pace of life slows right down and you will enjoy something different around every bend.

The B8024 ‘loop’ towards Tarbert is a singletrack road with passing places, the road undulates quite a lot, the road surface on this Starting at the ever“...there are good popular town of Inveraray, opportunities to make safe section in general is sound. Most of the time with plenty of places to overtakes, so patience and the visibility through the stay, shop and eat the planning is the key!” bends can be quite good, ‘190’ sets off along the however, some can be A83 heading south. This is a little restricted for view – you will find some an interesting road to ride the bike with plenty of variety and some interesting corners, a minor farm traffic and watch out for locals who know the road better than you! downside can be that it can have a level of tourist traffic (at least as far as Lochgilphead) which can slow progress a little, but, there are good opportunities to make safe overtakes, so patience and planning is the key!

The suggested route:

About 25 miles later sees you entering Lochgilphead, there’s a fuel stop here – if you don’t have a full tank it’s advisable to top up

There is a fuel station at Clachan. On leaving Clachan the road opens out and on a clear day the views out to Gigha and Islay beyond are fantastic, again there are plenty of places to pull over and admire the view.

The views as you drop down to Loch Caolisport are amazing, from this point there are plenty of photo opportunities all along this section of the route and plenty of places to pull over. The route through Kilberry and on through Torinturk has a few ‘interesting’ sections, so again it’s advisable to keep your concentration as there can be some tight corners after some of the blind crests. Whilst the traffic levels on this road are very low, it is also part of the National Cycle route, so keep that in mind.

On arriving at Kilkenzie the road leaves the coast and turns inland towards Campbeltown – the town has all the facilities you would expect, accommodation, places to eat and a harbour side to sit and relax overlooking Campbeltown Loch. From Campbeltown pick up the B842 for the 10-mile ride to Southend. Southend, at the southern tip of Kintyre, is the half way point on the route, you can dip your toes in the sea on the beach, or call in at the Muneroy tea rooms for some of the best cakes in Scotland – all motorcyclists ride on their stomachs!

The B8024 re-joins the A83 just south of Tarbert, so turning right head south signposted Campbeltown. This section of the A83 is open and flowing with good vistas over Loch Tarbert, be careful as you approach Kennacraig as this is where ferry traffic converges from both sides, beware some last minute unexpected driver decisions.

Once refreshed head back up to Campbeltown, just after the roundabout on the harbour front, take the B842. This road climbs up to the cliff tops above Ardnacross Bay.

The B842 is once again a bit of a narrower road and once you reach Carradale it becomes a single-track road with passing places. This coast line is far more undulating than the west coast, the map will show that there are some hilly sections, care should be taken on these stretches, there are warning signs about the severity and some of the corners tighten unexpectedly and there is also the risk of an oncoming vehicle in the middle of the road, it all adds to the adventure! There are numerous places to stop and admire the view from Carradale northward with some spectacular views across to Arran.

Like the B8024 the road is remarkably quiet, however, this works both ways as oncoming vehicles may also be caught out by meeting you – so keep aware and watch your pace. This is also part of the National Cycle Route – so be mindful of cyclists struggling up hills or on some of the blind corners. Traffic can also increase towards the ferry port in Claonaig (to and from Arran). The road re-joins the A83 at Kennacraig for the return ride to Inveraray, passing through the pretty little village of Tarbert, after the openness of the A83 south of Kennacraig, the route north of Tarbert can be a little more restricted, however, visibility is generally good – just watch out for the HGV’s, school buses, tourists, tractors, cyclists, walkers – and other motorcyclists!


The B8024 and B842 are not suitable for overtaking, you are reliant on the vehicle in front pulling into a passing place to let you past (as the signage suggests) – so please be patient!

From Sean Nicholas (KTM1190)

After a brief stop in Campbeltown a ride back to Tarbert up the East coast of the peninsular takes the rider on some challenging single track road with passing places. There are stretches between Peninver and Saddell and going on up to Carradale that offer some great twists and bends. Some of the beaches along this coast offer a great opportunity to stop and relax and even forage for seaweed, which is abundant along this coastline.

The A83 South from Inveraray through Lochgair to Lochgilphead offers some of the best coastal scenery in Scotland and some outstanding motorcycling road. When the weather is fine “Lochgilphead offers some Rather than head there’s no better place in of the best coastal scenery back to Inveraray you the World and when the in Scotland and some out- could take the A816 weather is changeable, the coastal scenery is standing motorcycling road” from Lochgilphead to Oban. It has become very dramatic and still my favourite road in the UK as it offers the offers visitors a fabulous experience that is best sets of twists anywhere and can provide a difficult to match anywhere else.  The run South challenge for even the most experienced riders.  down from Tarbert along Loch Fyne provides It’s the sort of stretch that has sections where riders with a great mix of sweeping bends, tight you are flicking between first and second gear challenging twisties and long straights giving to negotiate some delicious tight bends, pushes an opportunity to absorb the majesty of the your motorcycling senses and skills to the Kintyre coast. maximum and makes a rider want to change his bike to a supermoto. This is definitely one road that will keep me returning to Scotland year after year.





altire Motorcycles are here to help you every step of the way.

The Saltire Rider Training department can offer you the training you need, whether you are starting at the very beginning with a taster session, or coming back to biking after a wee break and need some guidance!

a more comfortable and enjoyable experience whilst learning. Compulsory Basic Training courses are run all year around, despite Scotland’s unpredictable weather! At Saltire, motorcycle training is tailored to suit individual needs, which they feel is crucial at the early stage of the CBT. The instructors look to develop and expand each student’s skills to make them safer riders. They are very friendly and approachable, and will help you with anything you may be having issues with.

Saltire Motorcycles is spread over a vast building which also holds a comprehensive range of motorcycle riding gear, to suit all needs and tastes, as well as a wide range of bikes, obviously! It also incorporates a café, with “I am glad I stumbled across fresh homemade food, Saltire to do my bike training, pool tables and a tattoo all the staff are friendly and studio, so it’s a great place to hang out with professional but also make your biker friends! you feel welcome” The rider training school has an outstanding record and pride themselves on their results. The staff are friendly, patient and genuinely want you to get a bike licence, so that you can enjoy the experience of motorcycling too. The Training School has a unique advantage of having an indoor training yard, which enables

Your CBT is usually a full day course, however if required, you may be invited back in for another half day or so, to ensure you are ready James to hit the road safely alone. Your CBT is not a test but a training day. Your day is split in to 5 elements. Element A is talking about safety kit and why we wear the kit we do. Element B is an introduction to the bike. In this element your

succeed in their dreams of riding a motorcycle. An increasing number of leaners return to Saltire to attain their full motorcycle licence. James did his training at Saltire and says “I am glad I stumbled across Saltire to do my bike training, all the staff are friendly and professional but also make you feel welcome”

Saltire Motorcycles and Alba Customs Proud winner of MCN Dealer of the Year 2016

instructor will show you the basics you will need to know about how to look after your motorcycle. Element C is when you get on the bike and start to ride. You will do some circuits, figures of 8, emergency stops and some junction work.

He initially popped into the shop to for a wander round. He decided to book his CBT with us then bought his first 125cc motorcycle, which he then traded on the ‘Buy back Scheme’ to get his Suzuki GSR 750. Due to him doing his training and buying a bike he is on first name terms with most of the staff, and feels like a member of Saltire’s biking family. He has since introduced his brother to the world of motorcycles!

You will then step back in to the classroom for element D. This is the practical on-road training to ensure that you have sufficient knowledge to head out onto the public highway. If your instructor is happy that you are ready for the road, you will then head out for your compulsory 2 hour road ride. This will include junctions, roundabouts, general road riding, as well as highlighting where and when to do correct observations. Our instructors try and ensure you get a bit of experience on different road types from 20mph roads to 60mph country roads. Saltire instructors pride themselves in the high quality of training they provide and enjoy seeing the smiles on the student’s faces when they

So you want to be a biker! Brilliant! Saltire Motorcycles Ltd. 553 Gorgie Road, Edinburgh EH11 3XX Tel: 0131 478 6661 Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday: 9.00am - 5.30pm Sunday: 11.00am - 5.00pm




here are two issues that turn up repeatedly in the road casualty statistics in Scotland - Left Hand Bends and Overtaking On rural roads especially more of us have incidents whilst cornering, why is that? Roddy Benzies of Get2Grips gives some advice on what we should consider…


Some of the most common motorcycle collisions involve a rider being injured or killed as a result of running wide in a corner. In doing so, you risk colliding with trees, fences and other street furniture. Left hand bends have the additional hazards of oncoming traffic.

Position - Check appropriate mirrors and move to a position that gives you the best view into and around the corner. This is usually nearside (12” to 18” from the left verge or kerb shy line) for right hand bends and offside (12” to 18” from the centre line) for left hand bends. Be ready to move away from oncoming traffic. Speed

Adjust your speed before you reach the corner so that, when you enter it, you can safely stop in the distance you can see to be clear. (In a left hand bend that means on your own side of the road).


Select a suitable gear for that speed. A motorcycle is at its most stable when it is travelling in a straight line, on a level course at a constant speed. When you corner you place additional forces on the tyres. Tyre grip is shared between steering (cornering), braking The safest way to negotiate and acceleration. The more corners is by using the “Many collisions occur in grip used for cornering, ‘system’. This involves bends where you cannot means less available using good observations, grip for braking (in an see across to see where emergency) or acceleration. positioning, adjusting the road is going.” speed and selecting the Equally, the more grip used correct gear. for braking or acceleration means less grip available for cornering. So maintaining a constant speed will assist tyre Observations grip and stability. Look ahead early and start assessing the corner as soon as it is in view. Look as far as As you corner your motorcycle will slow down. you can across a corner long before you get 1) Friction on the tyres physically making the there and get an indication of where the road turn and 2) the smaller circumference of the is going next. Use all signs and road markings tyre outer edge means for the same engine revs to assist. Paint and signs cost money and road you travel shorter distances. engineers only put them there because they are necessary. If you are approaching a bend with To compensate for this and aid stability in more warning signs, chevrons or road paint bends open the throttle slightly, enough to then it is most likely going to be tighter than compensate for the loss of speed as you bank the last ones. the bike over. Anymore and you will accelerate into the bend.

Many collisions occur in bends where you cannot see across to see where the road is going. It may disappear round a hillside or into a bank of trees. These corners can only be correctly assessed using the ‘limit point’ (On a left hand bend the limit point is on the other side of the road so you will have to consider this when adjusting for your stopping distance).

This is where, on a level stretch of road, the nearside and offside verges appear to meet. As you approach the corner you will see the limit point do one of three things. It will either remain stationary, move away from you or move back towards you. It is the rate at which it moves away from you that dictates the safe speed. When approaching a bend with a limit point from a long straight, you may not see any more of the furthest verge coming into view. i.e. you are not seeing any more road ahead as you eat up your stopping distance. This is a stationary limit point. You should consider the need to slow down.

As you get closer you may see more and more of the furthest verge coming into view. i.e. you can now see more road coming into view, but if you are still eating up your stopping distance and getting closer to that limit point, it is moving away slowly. You still need to consider slowing down.

As you get closer to the bend you will see more and more road coming into view and you will no longer be getting closer to the limit point. (The same number of hazard lines coming into view as are passing your bike). That means that it is moving away quickly and, provided you can still stop safely on your own side of the road, you are now travelling at the correct speed to enter the bend. A limit point will only ever appear to move back towards you in the second feature of a double bend. It is purely your angle of approach from the first bend into the second which makes this happen. As you progress you will see it stop and then move away as above.

In slow – out fast helps make your life last!






Pit Lane, Hillington Park, Glasgow, G52 4FA 0333 240 5888 ©H-D. Harley, Harley-Davidson and the Bar & Shield logo are among the trademarks of H-D Milwaukee, LLC.





t was going to be an adventure. We’d been to other parts of America, but never California. The one bit of planning we did was to book a couple of motorcycles. The rest of the holiday was going to be a mystery! our documents, remove the screens that were standard on the bikes (who needs a screen?), pack the waterproof bags on and get the sat nav sorted and we were on the way. First stop We were hiring our bikes through Eagle Rider. at Ewan McGregor’s house for a cuppa and a An American wide company that I have to say, does a very good job. Everything was very slick. run through the canyons. Yes, I know, name dropping, however, it was a GREAT way to start We made a phone call, reserved our bikes and the holiday! We started briefly on the Pacific that was all the planning we did, bar a large Coast Highway (PCH), fuel, and then headed map of California which just delighted my onto the twisty roads. A great way to learn how husband, Ed. your bike handles. “First stop at Ewan McGregor’s What shocked me, Ed has a lifelong passion was how easily I got for Harley Davidsons. I house for a cuppa and a run used to the big twin. have, due to sharing the through the canyons.” She (Indy) was really pain, have a lifelong diseasy to handle and I was amazed that I got like of Harleys. I don’t think I will ever recover, used to handling her at low speeds. Solid and having seen the amount of ‘fixing’ needed. I’m true. Lunch with Ewan was at Neptune’s Net – a renting an Indian. A 60 cubic inch Indian! haven of seafood. If you want it fried, fine. If you want it out of the shell, that’s good too! It We were on the cusp of shipping our bikes. If was all too short, but hey, he’s a busy man. We we had been going on holiday for 3 weeks, it felt were honoured. would have been worth shipping them. As it was, we went for 2.5 weeks. It’s worth doing the So, with about 1000cc of grunt, I spent the homework to find out which way is the cheapfirst part of my holiday getting used to her est option. torque, which I have to say was amazing. She has a lovely scooped leather seat. Very quickly Picking the bikes up was really easy. Hand over We flew in to Los Angeles International Airport, after a hurried connection in London.

place in 1947 and was the base of the film, ‘The Wild One’. That was the most dreich part of the whole holiday. We did get a top tip though, from the policeman that was outside our motel room the morning we were to leave Hollister. Be aware of the signs that advise you to ride more slowly round bends. Pay attention. Slow down. However, his top tip was: watch what you do when you leave the town, the tomato farmers leave a trail through the main street. Tomatoes + Motorcycle = chaos. I have to say though, it’s not an issue. We’re used to slippery conditions and corners. Onwards, through rocky canyons which I would have appreciated more had I had a helmet cam on to re-live the experience. I saw the most I realised it was scooped for a reason. So, when you crack open the throttle…… Wham! My feet left the pegs and my (ample) ass shot back on the seat. Had the seat not been scooped out, I would have landed on the back mudguard. Oh, what fun! 6th gear, open the throttle, brrrrrrap! Riding V-twins all the time, I’m used to shifting a gear to get a bit of action, but, no, with Indy it was an instant shift of power; twist that wrist. I have a big grin on my face. We headed up the PCH. The views were spectacular. It is on the list of the ‘things to do now, whilst you can’. We only did the stretch to San Francisco. Our next stop was Carmel and the accommodation wasn’t as expensive as you would imagine. The view at the beach was worth it. We headed south from San Francisco, after doing the tourist bit…. The uppy-downy roads, the Golden Gate Bridge, a wee taster of the big city. The next part was via Bakersfield, the home of nodding donkeys - we could smell the oil, next was Hollister. Hollister was the place that witnessed the motorcycle riot that took

amazingly HUGE boulders in the canyons. Oddly enough, Ed didn’t notice them. Strange what you see, or don’t see, when you are travelling. From there, the weather got a bit more interesting. Given it was November, you have to pack summer and winter clothes. This can be a bit challenging, but thankfully, BA give you a baggage allowance of 2 suitcases per person, so it’s easy to pack your bike gear. Check that before you go. Bike gear takes up a lot of space.

We took a visit to Death Valley. In the summer, it’s baking hot. In November, getting to Death Valley was really cold. In Death Valley when we paid premium prices for fuel (worth it, given my small tank), we sat in the sunshine and enjoyed what must have been about 20 degrees.

used to corners. Americans aren’t!

Then there’s 4-way crossings. Don’t be worried, just think about ‘first come, first served’. That’s how it works. People don’t ‘stop’, it’s more a rolling approach to the stop sign, but the one thing they are anal about is the first come, “Would I recommend it? Definitely. It’s a marvellous, first served, basis. If you break the rules, they will eye-opening experience that honk. Loudly.

Everyone was friendly. It must have hacked Ed off, but most people admired the Indian before the everyone Harley. I guess that must be down to Harley’s being so popular, wee Indy was different and pretty cute. Now, riding in the USA, the main thing that’s different, is turning right on a red light – UNLESS it tells you that you can’t. It’s pretty much common sense. If you’re not sure, it’s ok, the honking of horns behind you will give you the clue. The speed limits are nearly the same as home, however, the drivers and riders don’t pay the blindest bit of attention. On the highways, they overtake and undertake, so pay attention to your nearside and offside mirrors; everything happens in a blur. Corners are interesting: if it’s a really sharp corner, the advised speed may be 30mph; it may be 50mph. It’s ok though, we’re

should do.”

Would I recommend it? Definitely. It’s a marvellous, eye-opening experience that everyone should do. Buy a map and venture off of the main highways, and enjoy the different roads, conditions and the people, who were marvellous. Due to the climate of ‘Brexit’, it wasn’t cheap. I will never, ever complain about prices at home, ever again. I know it was bad timing, however, it was all worth it. If you are thinking about going to California, just do it. It’s an eye-opening experience, and if you are addicted to motorcycling like I am, just do it. Save up your pennies, and make sure you visit the mountains and the desert! It’s just wonderful.




L to R,


o gain a motorcycle licence of any kind, you must pass a CBT course and a motorcycle theory test. Once you have both of these under your belt, you progress to your Module1 practical test, which involves seven manoeuvres carried out in a large off-road area. After passing that, then it’s Module2 practical test which assesses your on-road riding. With that passed, you’re sorted!! We offer all routes to your full licence. If you are 17-19 years of age, training will be carried out on a 125cc motorcycle. On passing all parts of the test, you will be restricted to a 125cc motorcycle, (A1 licence) and can elect to sit a further test at age 19 to move up to A2 licence. If you are 19-24 years, you will train on a motor-


Ian, Stu

art, Ma

rgaret, B


bike of 25-35kw, (in our case, a restricted ER5) and, on passing all parts of the test will be able to ride a bike of 35kw (47bhp) (A2 licence). After 2 years, you can elect to sit a further test to gain your full (A) licence. 24 or above, then you are “direct access” and can go straight to a full category A licence, training on a bike of 600cc or more. We use Yamaha Diversion 600s, or lowered Suzuki SV650s for the shorter folk among us! Stuart, Ian, Michal and Bob are on hand to take you through your CBT if required, and then Ian, Michal and Bob can further your training, culminating in your Mod1 and Mod2 test passes! Michal is Polish, so is able to offer bi-lingual tuition, as understanding the finer points is always easier in your first language! Margaret deals with bookings, and everything no-one else wants to do!!

“We are based in Dundee,

time-wise, and can offer We are based in and cover all of Angus and lessons 7 days a week, Dundee, and cover all Perthshire, but also will train and after hours in the of Angus and Perthshire, but also will train anyone from anywhere if they summer time when failing daylight is not a anyone from anywhere are able to get to us!” problem. We also get a if they are able to get to lot of offshore workers, so are well used to folk us! We are a happy, family based business who who either don’t get back when they should, or offer professionalism and enjoyment in equal get sent away earlier than they hoped. Juggling measure. tests is something we have down to a fine art! We were the first ATB to achieve MCIAC Accreditation, with all the Quality Assured benefits At this time of year, as the weather warms up, booking a few weeks in advance is a good idea this brings to the business. We are still the only to make sure you can get the dates you want, ATB north of the border to have this award! although it’s always worth asking last-minute as we sometimes get cancellations. A full DAS course, which includes CBT, all training (at least 7 x 2hr lessons, and more If we can help further, please don’t hesitate to if required) and a Mod1 and Mod2 test, costs give us a call! £685. The only other cost is £23 for a motorcycle theory test. Although this sounds a lot, we GMTS (Tayside) Ltd will discuss payment plans with you, and find T 01382 668830 E the best solution for you and us. We will also W tailor your training course to suit your needs

SBM 2017




afety cameras come in all shapes and sizes; average speed, fixed speed, red-light, vans and now even a motorcycle. However, the purpose of each is the same; to make our roads safer. Cameras are generally only placed in locations where there have been a history of collisions and injuries where speed has been a factor. Therefore, where you see a camera enforcement sign (the box brownie) you can assume that there have been collisions on that stretch of road and people have been injured or even killed. It’s a sobering thought, and it’s for that reason that we are keen to encourage people to travel as safely as possible on Scotland’s roads. Recently, Safety Cameras Scotland, linked in with Scottish Superbike Champion, Andrew Tasker, and F600 NEMCRC Champion 2015, Sammi Tasker aka “Team Tasker”. Both are

keen to encourage motorcyclists and drivers to consider their speed as well as their riding and driving manner on public roads. With the support of Team Tasker it is hoped we can raise additional awareness of the dangers of excessive and inappropriate speed, and communicate with drivers and riders to ‘keep it for the track’ if they want to explore the full capabilities of their vehicle regardless of how many wheels it has.

Andrew Tasker said:

“I have been riding motorcycles and racing since I was six years of age and in my career have witnessed first-hand the dangers of motorcycling even in a relatively controlled environment. Track racing is undoubtedly dangerous - and

We’ll be out and about meeting motorcyclists at a few events this year. Below is a QR code that links to the questionnaire. Your responses are confidential. We’ll only use your name if you give us permission to quote things you’ve said. It’s just a few questions to find out more about who is riding on Scotland’s roads. We also want to be able to work with other partners (e.g. Transport Scotland) in feeding back information which will keep us as motorcyclists safe on the road. We want to know more about you, your experiences, and why you enjoy bikes. The survey will run through the summer and we’ll feedback the findings later in the year.

that’s when everyone is travelling in the same direction. On the road, events can develop very quickly and it’s often the actions of others that can lead to dangerous situations developing in an instant.

tuition is available. I tutor groups of novice racers from age 12 and up and would encourage any rider to contact their local circuit for more information.

I regularly see racing incidents, the track design and the various safety features around it mean Having recently sustained a racing injury, I relied that serious injury is often avoided. This is unlikely to be the case on heavily on help being immediately available. I “With the support of Team the road with trees, signs, could not imagine what Tasker it is hoped we can kerbs and other vehicles waiting to get you around it would have been like raise additional awareness every bend. if that had happened of the dangers of excessive on a remote country road where there is the and inappropriate speed” I would always say keep it on the track. Public roads possibility of a lengthy wait before that initial medical response arrived. are not the place to ride or drive irresponsibly and hopefully by highlighting this we can raise awareness of the dangers.” It has to be better to drive or ride according to the conditions and not put yourself or others at The new safety camera motorcycle (pictured) risk. If you want to drive or ride competitively find your local race circuit and sign up to keep it is a R1200 RT SE model with self-adjusting rear suspension. The equipment is fitted around the on the track.” bike in customised panniers and top box which provides the weight distribution but also allows Sammi Tasker said: for integration with the bike systems for power “Like Andrew, I also don’t ride a motorcycle and other ancillary requirements. on the road. All my skills have been developed on a track from a very young age and the For more information about Safety Cameras, including opportunity to do this is available to everyone. locations, how they work and much more, Local racetracks, including Knockhill Race Circuit, have track days. As well as general access to the controlled track environment,

visit and we are on Twitter@safetycamscot. For more about Team Tasker – they can be found on Facebook and can also be followed on Twitter@TeamTasker.





ho do you think would be the best person to lead Mark Beaumont off on his epic record-setting cycle ride of the North Coast 500… the man who created it? Well, no actually! As I set off on my Pan European from Inverness Castle with the heavy weight of expectation on my shoulders, I really should have trusted my sat nav and not my instinct….we got lost in the first 5 minutes! Never mind, that early morning gave way to a wet and wild afternoon, night, morning afternoon and night again as Mark completed the route in just under 38 hours. I certainly wouldn’t recommend any biker doing the NC500 behind a cyclist even though at 6 miles per hour on the hills it lets you enjoy the incredible sea and landscapes! Many of you will have already done the route and will have your own experiences….I’ve done it many times now and each time it is different, clockwise or ant-clockwise its another view and another perspective, a different weather “I’ve done day and a different pub for lunch. now and

it many times each time it is different, clockwise or ant-clockwise its another view and another perspective”

It would be easy to recount the wonderful roads with sweeping bends and long straights….but you have either seen it or done it and know that. What about the other stuff – the secrets of the NC500? Well we say that this isn’t a race track and it is not for getting round as quickly as possible. If you want that, go elsewhere – the Nürburgring perhaps. This is about the sheer pleasure of the views, the people, the food, the photographs and I’ll say it again….the secrets.

So what about the secrets? Well, there’s the amazing story to Loch Ewe and the Russian Artic Convoy, there’s Whaligoe Steps on the East, the poem carved into the rock near Thurso that you can only see at low tide, there’s the aurora (Thurso is the UK capital of the Northern Lights), there’s the craft distiller at Dunnet Bay with the now famous Rock Rose gin (ask Martin if he’ll let you try the limited edition North Coast 500 Rock Rose Gin – take a sample if you’re not staying the night!). Go off the route to Achiltibuie and see the dramatic views of The Summer Isles and the road

Whatever your bike (mine’s an R1200RT now), the North Coast 500 will give you an amazing experience, but treat it and the people who live there with care and respect and you will be rewarded with what some have said is a life changing experience.

Both ‘Bike’ and ‘Ride’ have called this the best biking road in Britain and there’s no doubt that it is a stunning ride.

round Stac Pollaidh to Loch Inver…wide enough for a bike, but not the two artic lorries that once met head on and had to be craned off the road! Both Bike and Ride have called this the best biking road in Britain and there’s no doubt that it is a stunning ride. I have many favourite parts of the route including along the northern coast where the West coast suddenly and dramatically becomes the East coast with its huge Caithness seas and skyscapes.




o, John and I were sitting having a couple of beers, discussing bikes and routes and quickly realised we didn’t use the bikes as much as we would like. I’ve got a map of Scotland on my wall and there wasn’t much roads covered, mainly down to work commitments and family. With this in mind we decided to get some miles under our belts. After looking at routes around Scotland, the North Coast 500 looked the most challenging. Looking at the trip online it advises you to do the route over 5 days, taking in sights and landmarks, we did it in 3 days. I’m not much of a history buff….

We loaded up our bikes, my 2012 Triumph Tiger and John’s 2015 Honda Crossrunner. We had top boxes to carry the essentials such as waterproof clothing and eh… that’s about it. Leaving Lochgilphead we travelled north on the A83 then into Glencoe. This is a fantastic road, plenty of corners and straights, not to mention fighter jets and micro lights buzzing past that caused a bit of a wobble. However, we finally arrived in Inverness which was our first overnighter. (Should have mentioned earlier that it should have been called the NC 680, but its not got the same ring to it). Overnight in Inverness is brilliant, lovely place and very pleasant people. Some dinner and early night ready for day two…. Up at 8am and first stop, petrol station. Both bikes are reasonably good on fuel with both bikes returning around 45mpg, so managed to drive

past a good few petrol stations before filling up. Day two was going to be the longest leg of the journey, heading up the A9 to the top at John O’ Groats. I decided, stupidly, that I didn’t need my thermal lining in the jacket, which was quickly changed around 20 miles north of Inverness (Brrrrr). The road from Inverness to John O’ Groats was brilliant, no silly driving by others and a vast selection of bikes and cars, probably doing the same thing as us. Each time we stopped to stretch our legs (I mean rest our bums) there was always a cracking view over the North Sea. We arrived at John O’ Groats around lunchtime and plonked ourselves down in the coffee shop for a warmup. Then it was time to do the tourist thing, photo at the sign post, I was going to drive my bike up to it but thought better of it. From John O’ Groats, it was a trip along the top of Scotland with more spectacular roads and views. Around 50 miles from Ullapool the rain started which as you can imagine totally changes the behaviour of the bike. There were points

“The views and roads in this area are a real mix, single track, blind corners, sheep, cows, cyclists and at one point a bull.”

where spray from vehicles became an issue and a few stops were made ‘til it cleared. We arrived at Ullapool around dinner time with our legs and bones in agony, I looked forward to small villages and 30mph zones so I could stand and stretch while riding, in hindsight stopping would be better, I mean safer!!

headed south on A835 then cut off onto the A832. This road was tricky in parts, lots of slow bends, straights where it looked fine ‘‘til a cross wind hit you, so it kept us on our toes. The views and roads in this area are a real mix, single track, blind corners, sheep, cows, cyclists and at one point a bull.

So, after we put the world to rights in the bar we discussed the next leg of the trip, Ullapool – Home. Looking at the map it was a big diversion to head for Applecross, but it had to be done…. Early, sore night ready for day three.

Eventually we arrived in Applecross. Only one thing to say about the place, amazing! If you haven’t been, then put it on your bucket list. The views are stunning; however, the best was yet to come…..

Heading out of Ullapool after the usual stop for petrol and before the tour busses we

After a quick lunch and a chat with the owner of the coffee shop he advised us to head over the Applecross

pass, another single-track road with a few nice stops for photos. The single tracks were becoming very tedious, that was till we came across the “Bealach na Bà”. A stretch of road that looks like it was taken out of a computer racing game. Hairpin bends, steep descents, amazing views of the valley. This part of the trip was the most technical section of the trip but it was worth every mile to get there. The road home from there was an easy ride on two way roads and very little traffic, all in all, the trip was a great experience.

BMW Motorrad

Douglas Park Motorrad

AFFORDABLE FINANCE AT DOUGLAS PARK MOTORRAD. BMW Select Representative example: BMW R Nine T Sport with Heated grips, Custom paintwork, Frame kit, Seat hump, High rise Akrapovic exhaust, Aluminium tank smooth seam, Anti-theft alarm, Nose fairing and Cylinder guards. Term of agreement

47 monthly payments

On the road cash price*

Customer deposit

Deposit contribution

Total deposit

Amount of credit

48 months







Option to purchase fee^

Optional final payment^

Total payable

Rate of interest

APR Annual Representative mileage

Excess mileage charge




5.9% fixed

5.9% APR


Douglas Park Motorrad 13 Braeview Place, East Kilbride G74 3XH Tel: 01355 818211 Open 7 days



Park’s of Hamilton (Holdings) Ltd is a credit broker and not a lender. Representative example is for a BMW R Nine T with a contract mileage of 16,000 and excess mileage charge of 7.71p per mile. All finance applies to new motorcycles ordered and registered between 4 January and 31 March 2017 (subject to availability). Retail customers only. *On the road cash price is based on manufacturer’s recommended retail price and includes 2 year BMW Retailer Warranty, BMW Emergency Service, 12 months’ road fund licence, motorcycle first registration fee, delivery, number plates and VAT. ^Optional final payment and option to purchase fee not payable if you opt to return the motorcycle at the end of the agreement (motorcycle condition, excess mileage and other charges may be payable). Finance available subject to credit acceptance to UK residents aged 18 or over. Guarantees and indemnities may be required. Terms and conditions apply. Offer may be varied, withdrawn or extended at any time. ‘BMW Select’ is a form of hire-purchase agreement provided by BMW Motorrad Financial Services, Summit ONE, Summit Avenue, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 0FB. You will have a 14 day statutory right to withdraw from the agreement. Douglas Park Limited is an Appointed Representative of Park’s of Hamilton (Holdings) Limited, FRN 308476 of 14 Bothwell Road, Hamilton, ML3 0AY, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Park’s of Hamilton (Holdings) Limited permitted business is Insurance Mediation and to act as a Credit Broker. We can introduce you to a limited number of finance providers including BMW Motorrad Financial Services to assist with your purchase, who may remunerate us for introducing you to them.



otorcycles and scooters are an easy target for thieves but theft does not have to be an inevitable part of owning a motorcycle. The majority of motorcycle crime is committed by opportunistic criminals who target motorcycles without sufficient security measures in place. You can outsmart these criminals by following a few simple steps.

Security Tips

• Ensure your bike is fitted with a combined alarm and immobiliser which will deter thieves when the alarm sounds. • Attach both a disc lock and U-lock. Do not rely on one device, the more security placed on your bike, the less attractive it is to a thief. The longer it takes to overcome the security of a bike, the more of a deterrent it is. • When applying your locks, ensure they are secured to a solid anchor point or a permanent piece of street furniture. Keep the lock off the ground where possible as this makes it difficult to cut off . • Cover your motorcycle and ensure the cover is attached to the security device. • If possible, use ‘Thatcham’ or ‘sold secure’ approved devices. These have been tested by the industry and are generally agreed to be amongst the most robust security devices available. • Ensure you always activate the steering lock. • Avoid leaving your helmet or other possessions on the motorcycle, in luggage space or panniers.

Tracking devices

Tracking devices are an effective covert security measure. Although they may not prevent your motorcycle from being stolen, it will assist Police in tracing and recovering the vehicle quickly.


Tracking devices vary in price and features. You should seek advice from your local motorcycle dealership.

Marking and identification systems

Datatag ID - Datatag is a piece of technology which can be attached to various parts of your motorcycle. It comes in different forms, dependant on what is most appropriate, and is unique to each individual. Datatag assists Police identify the owner of the vehicle should it be stolen and later recovered even if the motorcycle has been taken apart. For more information on this product, please visit Alternatively, You can mark your motorcycle by adding your own unique markings. For example, mark your postcode or registration number on various parts of the bike.

Security at Home

If you have a garage, shed or secure storage area consider securing your motorcycle there. You should fit a solid anchor point within this storage area and secure your bike to the anchor point using a good quality lock and chain. REMEMBER - Ensure your garage, shed, storage area, is also secured properly. Utilise CCTV, Padlocks, security lighting and alarms to maximise security and keep the thieves out. When reviewing the security of your shed and garage, ask yourself “if I needed to get in because I lost my keys, how easy would it be?”.


s every motorcyclist knows, unintended contact with solid objects can have devastating consequences. I am a biker who has been privileged to be involved with Motorcycle Sport for almost thirty years: when I saw Airvest in action I wanted to help to make it available to bikers everywhere. In the next issue I’ll be talking about motorcycle airbag protection, how it works and where it’s available. In the meantime, visit for more. Garry Stagg Knockhill fm Commentary M 07719251744 W



he enhanced rider scheme checks your motorcycle riding skills and provides training to help you improve. There is no test. You can take the enhanced rider scheme if you’re a fully licensed motorcyclist and have passed your test.

The scheme is suitable if you: • have just passed your test • are returning to riding after a break • are upgrading to a more powerful motorcycle • want to check your riding standard

You will first have a rider assessment with a DVSA registered trainer, riding in different road and traffic conditions long enough for your trainer to make a good assessment of your skills. For most people this is 1 to 2 hours. If this shows that you don’t need more training you will get a ‘DVSA certificate of competence’ straight away, otherwise you will get personalised training to improve your skills and get the certificate at the end of your training. You will be assessed on all aspects of motorcycling from slow speed control to overtaking and making safe progress. An overall grading for each aspect will be given and will indicate the overall level of risk you demonstrate.

The DVSA certificate of competence gives you discounts with most motorcycle insurers. The type of training depends on what you need to brush up on. You might be offered all-day courses or shorter sessions. The cost of this training is dependent on the individual trainer’s rates. Further information including a list of your nearest registered trainers can be found on the D.V.S.A. web site





cottish Biker Magazine has agreed a discount with Knockhill Circuit for our readers at First Time on Track - Novice Nights on April 26th and June 26th. These are, as they say, for first timers only and have reduced numbers of only 30 riders to ensure quality track time and plenty of space. Additional instructors are on hand to guide and help where required. These events are not for track day regulars – SBM hope to have some more separate events.

Both events are 6pm to 8pm session, the capacity is 30 riders max. and the cost is £90 in advance or £100 on the night, but by quoting SBM17 Scottish Biker Magazine readers will get 10% off. You can book directly with Knockhill, quoting SBM17, and go along knowing that it is a track day newbie event with (hopefully) many fellow SBM readers on track. Knockhill booking office; 01383 723337 Please note: This is a Knockhill Circuit event – not a Scottish Biker Magazine event





nockhill Racing Circuit was originally built by farmer Tom Kinnaird specifically for bike racing. We do let the car boys and girls out to play as well (three-times BTCC Champion Gordon Shedden works here, but he’s a biker too) however, with eight days of Scottish Championship and Club Racing each season plus BSB and frequent track days, we know where our roots are! Gordon says “Track Sessions are a great way to escape the restrictions of the road and use all the performance of your bike, in a safe

environment. They are also ideal for honing your riding skills”. With that in mind, Knockhill is delighted to link to Scottish Biker with special reader offers: quote SBM17 when booking (either online or on the phone) and you can enjoy 10% off Trackdays (if it’s new to you, look out for the Intro Night sessions) and Concession Rate admission to any KMSC-run Scottish Championship Bike Meeting. The Intro Night is ideal for anyone who has never taken part in a Bike Trackday. These twohour open-track sessions are for first timers only and numbers are restricted to thirty. There are two friendly and approachable Pit Lane instructors on hand – always happy to help. Go to or call us on 01383 723337.


breathtaking biking!



iding a motorbike is a skill and art in itself – add that to the fact that today’s public roads are littered with hazards - and you soon realise that the better trained you are, the better equipped you are to stay in control and be safe. One of the best types of road craft training is actually off road motorbike training! This is because you will learn fundamental riding skills and how to ride competently in road conditions that you would not have been trained for in current riding tests and other types of advanced rider road training courses.

MotoScotland, uniquely, was the UK’s first and only off road motorbike training school to have their specialist training recognised by the government and also by Council road safety departments. Some Council road safety departments part-fund MotoScotland’s training, recognising it is better to avoid the serious human and financial costs of preventable road accidents/deaths.

MotoScotland is the “MotoScotland’s Level 2 Major bike insurers also only off road motorbike course can actually earn endorse MotoScotland’s training school in the UK who focuses on training insurance premium discounts unique type of training. Riders completing riders how to ride off off their road bike policy.” MotoScotland’s Level 2 road competently…. course can actually earn insurance and then how to use these invaluable skills to premium discounts off their road significantly improve their road riding – and bike policy. Essentially, over as a result, their road safety. Riders who complete MotoScotand’s type of training are potentially at a lower risk of a road traffic collision.

Based on a stunning 50,000 acre, private Highland estate where the scenery is world class, MotoScotland’s facility is 5 times larger than any other UK off road motorbike training centre. Course group sizes are kept purposefully small to ensure that each rider receives the personal care and attention he/ she needs to grow their skills and confidence. This has lead the business to earn a very high customer satisfaction rating. The training itself is performed in a safe and controlled off road environment with no other vehicles or people present – this gives riders time, the training can pay for itself – and the space and time they potentially, the training could help you avoid “There’s no pressure to do need to learn riding skills that are challenging an accident! And the any part of the course but enough - without any best part of it all is the there is unlimited support, other distractions. fact that it is probably one of the most fun encouragement and There’s no pressure to do types of motorbike patience from the qualified any part of the course experiences you can and experienced instructors but there is unlimited have! MotoScotland’s support, encouragement award winning centre and team.” and patience from the runs off road courses qualified and experienced instructors and team. for complete beginners to advanced levels. With no exams or tests, riders can focus on the Everything needed for the training is provided sheer pleasure that can come from achieving by MotoScotland, including motorbike, fuel, riding competence and confidence. insurance, safety clothing/kit, food/drink, qualified A.C.U. coach, certificate, etc.. A CBT motorbike road license (or higher) is (Story continued over page) currently needed.

“MotoScotland’s facility is 5 times larger than any other UK off road mot or bike training centre.”

Some of key safety benefits that riders can learn in MotoScotland’s specialised off road training include: • How to safely pick up a dropped motorbike – to help you avoid injuries • How to steer a motorbike (i.e. for acute/sharp turns, etc.) at walking speeds without dropping the bike – invaluable skills, e.g. for safe U-turns on the public highways, etc. • How to gain additional grip through your tyres on slippy surfaces, e.g. gravel, leaves, mud, diesel, etc. – critical skills for when you inevitably encounter these surfaces, e.g. unexpectedly when cornering! • How to ride safely on slippy surfaces – bike angles, throttling and braking summarised for control on surfaces like painted lines, wet metal surfaces, e.g. manhole covers, etc.

• How to safely arrive to and set off from junctions – badly planned junction arrivals can lead to a bike being dropped; unplanned junction set offs can lead to the bike going wide, potentially into oncoming traffic! • Managing bike controls better – so that the rider is more pro-active than reactive • How to achieve better balance whilst anticipating changing conditions – one of the most fundamental riding skills that can be learned • Which brake to use on which slippy surface and how to stop safely (on slippy surfaces), under control – critical safety skills to avoid running into something you do not want to • How to identify an overbraked front wheel, recover it and avoid falling off – an absolute must for road safety • How to identify an overbraked rear wheel, recover it and avoid falling off – an absolute must for road safety

In addition to all these significant road safety skills, MotoScotland’s off road training can also bring riders: • The ability to quickly read and adapt to different riding conditions • The confidence in knowing how to control the bike better • A balanced perspective and emotional control over fear of slippy surfaces • An activity that helps riders keep fit • A deep enjoyment that comes from engaging with nature and wilderness • Fun and exhilaration For more details or to book, please contact MotoScotland using one of the following methods: T 01499 320460 (opt.1) E W Search and find ‘Motoscotland’ on:

* Terms and conditions apply



n a beautiful sunny day in January, the temperature was showing -3° with a bit of a frost.. Tinto Park is set on a 120 acre hillside site off the B7055 Rigside to Winston Road in South Lanarkshire, about 3 miles off the M74.

basic introduction to 3 different off road riding skills – Enduro, Trials and Motocross. After getting kitted up, Robbie introduced us to our Honda CRF250’s, explained about positioning, suspension and the racing gearbox (which made life a lot easier). The morning Enduro session was about getting used to the feel of When I first contacted owner Robbie Allan the bike, learning how to position the body I explained that I’m primarily a road rider, for both inclines and although I have “’s amazing how quickly you descents, how to ridden off road before, in no way pick up information and learn manage cornering on slippery surfaces. We am I ‘experienced’. how to deal with situations.” then spent an hour or On arrival, I was met so riding across the hills to get more experience by Robbie and a couple of his team, I also of different situations, it was great fun and it’s met John who had travelled up from County amazing how quickly you pick up information Durham to get some experience before and learn how to deal with situations. his new WR250 arrives – so we were both ‘inexperienced’. It was then down to the motocross track, Tinto Park has 5 different tracks, at different grades We were to have a ‘taster’ session, which is a

A 4 Hour Off Road Taster with introduction to basic off road riding skills and experience riding motocross, trials and enduro with bike hire and provision of protective clothing. (2 riders per session) is £120 each.

Contact: T 07711363141 E W

depending on rider experience – from Novice to Pro. Thankfully we went on the novice track, it hadn’t been used for a few weeks through winter, so with the frost cover it was slippy, but great fun – it’s amazing how these bikes and tyres find grip. After a good number of laps it was lunchtime and a badly needed break! After a lunch break we had a spell in some rough stuff on Robbie’s Montessa 260 trials bike, fantastic fun so nimble and grippy, it’s also a fantastic way to lean about throttle and clutch control – a bit strange not having a seat! It was then back on the CRF’s for a ride out on the Enduro trail, it’s a chance to put everything that has been discussed into practice – 15kms of hills, tracks and forest rides, again great fun, hard work, but great fun. Robbie is not only a fantastic rider with a competition background he’s also a very good coach. It’s a great benefit when someone can show and explain clearly what new skills entail. Would I recommend it? You bet. The whole day was set around our confidence levels, I leant a lot about myself and what the bikes can do and we only scratched the surface. If you want to try something new in a fantastic setting, with great coaching just do it. But beware, it’s addictive!

“Robbie is not only a fantastic rider with a competition background he’s also a very good coach.”

New Store Open The new home of Ducati in Scotland After 15 years of success at their well known city centre premises in Great Western Road, Ducati Glasgow have now moved! Expanding into incredible new purpose built premises alongside sister store Triumph Glasgow and West Coast Harley-Davidson - just off the M8 at Junction 26, Hillington Park, Glasgow. Pay them a visit and experience Ducati in a new light and tour the amazing facilities. A huge selection of new and pre-owned Ducati awaits, plenty of parking, a viewing area for peering into the state-of-the-art Service and MOT bays and the Land of Joy where you will find the very latest from the ‘17 Ducati Scrambler range.

There will be an Official Opening of the new premises, with guided tours and appearances by celebrities from the motorsport world. If you are interested in attending please visit: for all the latest news, offers and more.

This is a tremendously exciting time in the development of the motorcycle industry within Scotland and another milestone in our development as a well known and customer focused dealership. I look forward to welcoming our new and existing customers to the site. Martin Rees, Managing Director

Email for more details. Ducati Glasgow Facebook and Twitter pages will be kept up-to-date with all event information as details are released so keep track of this space.

Make a pitstop at the ‘Café Racer’ area on site whilst you are there and enjoy hot drinks and snacks. There’s even lockers and coat rails for you to hang your helmets and jackets to relax in comfort. Opening hours are Tues – Fri from 8.30am-5.30pm, Sat 8.30am-5pm and Sundays 10am-4pm.* *Seasonal opening hours apply.

New location details: 6 Mossland Drive, Hillington Park, Glasgow G52 4XZ.

Call to book your new model demo ride or service Tel: 0141 333 4 998


TRIUMPH GLASGOW – BE PART OF THE STORY FROM THE START... NEW STORE: 6 MOSSLAND DRIVE, HILLINGTON PARK, GLASGOW G52 4XZ. This new Triumph store completes a trio of all-new premier motorcycle dealerships that have instantly transformed Hillington Park into a beacon for all riders across Scotland. Located just two miles from Glasgow Airport with easy access just off the M8, Triumph Glasgow brings legendary models like the Street Triple, Bonneville family and the Tiger adventure range within reach. The warm, welcoming, purpose-built store features a fully stocked official clothing and accessories area, a rider lounge, design your bike area, handover suite and of course new and used bike showrooms. You will even be able to ride your new bike right out of the store. No expense has been spared to bring these new facilities to life, from free WiFi to USB charging points for your mobile devices in the Café. Simply ride in, relax... roll out.

There is an Official Launch event this April which will be promoted via Facebook and Twitter, be sure to keep up-to-date. Make sure you subscribe to the newsletter on the newly launched website to be one of the first to receive updates and invitations:

Call to book your new model test ride or service Tel: 0141 333 4 998



had wanted to learn to ride a bike for ages, but it was only when I turned 34 that I went for it.

A £20 taster lesson in the yard (I’ll just do this to see what it’s like), then a CBT (might as well do it, is valid for 2 years, I don’t have to do the test) was followed almost immediately by the Direct Access Course (I’ll have my licence then, I don’t have to buy a bike). Shortly afterward, I bought a bike. A Honda CBR650F.

all needed work. Worried I didn’t have enough experience, but knowing the IAM would help, I signed up for a free assessment ride - ‘Ride Scot Free’ - IAM RoadSmart free assessment. I was met by Kenny Wilson, again hoping not to make a pillock of myself. Expecting half an hour or so, Kenny took me out for more like 3, with a few stops along the way to discuss concepts. He demonstrated and then followed as I tried to link a series of bends together, already more interesting and fun than in a car.

Having passed the DSA bike test, the car was almost put into retirement, and I travelled everywhere and every when I could by bike, I was allocated to an Observer, Brian Singer whether I needed to or not. I very quickly from Perth, who kindly gave up his time on learnt that this was a very different skill. I weekends to coach me. I was pleasantly believed my general observation were good surprised at the 3 hour rides around the enough having been used to looking very Scottish countryside, far ahead in the car, nevertheless a few “Worried I didn’t have enough with ample breaks for differences were stark. experience, but knowing the tea and cake. Bikers clearly know all the Road surface state IAM would help, I signed up best places to stop. was one... Positioning for a free assessment ride to see and be seen became much more ‘Ride Scot Free’ - IAM Road- My first lesson with Brian was on important. Observation Smart free assessment.” wet roads, but I linking became much immediately received some helpful advice, more critical - a bold slow on the road before including seating and arm position, weight a bend - not just for the bend - likely means a distribution, suspension mechanics, cornering junction is coming up very shortly. Car waiting advice and gear selections. Turns out pottering at it? May well affect speed and position around everywhere in 6th at 3000rpm is through bend, overtaking was another one. nowhere near as smooth as 3rd at 8000rpm. In addition, the very simple basics of riding A week or so later the day of my test had a bike, low speed tight turns, gear selection arrived. The test itself again was another 60 or (remembering what gear I was in), smoothness

so minutes, through a mix of urban and rural roads. Appropriately firm acceleration up to the limit is expected (if safe) as well as complying with the urban restrictions. Positioning, observations, mirror checks, smoothness, and progress were all assessed, under the umbrella of the “Police system of motorcycle control” - a logical way to approach and deal with hazards. Having not done anything too daft on the ride, I was relieved that I was awarded a F1rst, though it may have just been that the examiner had the same model (albeit shinier) bike as me. I regret nothing about doing these courses. They have improved my riding and driving no-end, and opened the beginning of a world of learning. I am aware that advanced driving has a bit of a reputation for excessively slow, over cautious and “boring” styles of riding and driving, but I can assure that this is not the case. If anyone is thinking about doing it - you should.



orth Ayrshire Council Road Safety organised a pilot session of Biker Down, at Dreghorn Fire Station on Saturday 12th November. The initiative is delivered by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and is an interactive presentation, dealing with crash scene management, First Aid for motorcyclists and the science of being seen. Almost 30 bikers attended the pilot and everyone agreed the valuable information, practical advice and instruction would save lives if they came across an emergency, where a biker has been injured. Having instruction on how to correctly remove a helmet (if necessary to) and maintain simple life preserving skills, until the emergency services arrive was demonstrated and then practised

by everyone. Managing the crash scene to prevent further injuries occurring without putting yourself or other helpers in danger, and what information the emergency services will require to know when making the emergency call, sounds simple, but can make the difference for a fast response. One thing I took from this was how many ambulances would be needed, as most only carry one patient. Two casualties’ two ambulances! Whether you ride alone or in a group, the course provides valuable information and techniques for everyone to manage a traumatic scene correctly. Colin T Kay, Road Safety Officer Facebook page – Biker Down Scotland E (West – Oban & Motherwell) E (East – South Queensferry)




he Clyde Valley Curvy Riders is a region within the nationwide Curvy Riders Motorcycle Club which has just celebrated its 10 year anniversary. What’s unusual about this club is that all the members are lady riders and every year members from all over the country have an annual gathering – attended by approximately 130 lady bikers.

“...all the

There are many other impromptu meet ups and cake tasting runs alongside weekend overnighters. We also have events where friends and family are welcome. This year on our annual European tour some of us covered more than 3100 miles in 15 days, we travelled through Luxembourg and Germany to visit the Austrian Alps and cross the border in to Slovenia visiting a total members are of 11 countries.

The Clyde Valley members lady riders and every are a close-knit group of We also rode the famous women from the age of year members from all 19 to 66 with a variety over the country have an North Coast 500 – putting our own added twist to of careers. However, annual gathering” it by including a visit to there is one common Skye and having a play through the wonderful theme, we are all easy going, fun loving and Cairngorms. motorbike mad! The group has been going for approximately three years. At present there Most of us have completed the Biker Down are 30 active members in the region. We have course as well as being members of IAM and excellent relations with the local Edinburgh and ROSPA. Dumfries groups. We meet every month for a ‘social’ and have a monthly ride out unless weather is against us.

New members wanting to check us out visit curvyriders.

We meet every month for a ‘social’ and have a monthly ride out unless weather is against us.




he Green Welly Stop in Tyndrum has been around for a wee while. Back in 1965 the Gosden and Wilkie families started off with a Post Office, General Store, petrol pump (the hand pump variety) and a delivery van. In the early 1970s, literally brick by brick, the family expanded the business in earnest. Just think the next time you sit in the ‘quirky’ restaurant and consider the odd / old fashioned design. The whole place was built by the family; they couldn’t afford to employ contractors. The pillars in the restaurant are immovable obstructions. They hold up the roof and make changing the seating very difficult indeed. It may be old fashioned, but it’s practical.

Edward and Fiona Robertson have run the business for over 20 years, Fiona is the third generation of the family. They are both passionate about the business and are always open to your comments and feedback. The family believe in providing ‘Good Food and Fine Shopping’, and being the ‘Perfect Spot for a Halfway Stop’. All the food is made on the premises by their hard-working team. Toilets are vitally important too, as you know! A life-long biker, Edward recognised the need for motorcycle parking and the Filling Station tank farm was originally used. In recent years, they have expanded this area, which in the summer months, especially on a Sunday, can overflow.

They try their best to provide the best possible safe area for you all. If it is heaving busy, please think about where you park your pride and joy. Try not to block the exits or the Filling Station forecourt. A member of the team may ask you to move your motorbike. This can be a pain, however, entrances and exits must be kept clear. Fiona is now a qualified IMI National Observer for IAM RoadSmart and is passionate about her hobby; coaching and mentoring people to become safer riders. If you want to know anything about the advantages and benefits of going on an enhanced motorcycling course, Fiona will be delighted to tell you. With thanks to Fiona Robertson, Boss at the Green Welly

THUNDER IN THE GLENS This year Dunedin Chapter Scotland will host their 21st Thunder in the Glens®rally. Held in Aviemore 25th - 28th August this family orientated rally has become a must attend event for biking enthusiast from across Europe. A packed programme of events

includes 5 music venues on site with something to suit all tastes, trade village with over 70 traders, mass bike ride outs on Saturday (2,500) and Sunday (500), local guided tours, charity rides and so much more.

Pre-registered tickets £40 per person, including rally pack, can be purchase on line at until 1st July. Thereafter tickets on the gate £45 per person, no rally pack. Rally price includes on site camping with toilet and shower facilities.

Become one of the most skilled riders on the road With our Advanced Rider Course

Find out more: 0300 303 1134



fter 17 very successful years at their city centre dealership in Charing Cross Glasgow, West Coast Harley-Davidson are moving their entire operation five miles to a new purpose built 18,000 sq ft showroom and service facility on the outskirts of the city. The result of three years of planning and preparation, the new building will be home to this iconic brand and will provide unprecedented access for all bikers and enthusiasts. The new location at Hillington Park is only 200 meters off Junction 26 on the M8, so it’s really easy to get to with the added bonus of parking for up 40 cars and almost unlimited quantity of bikes all within the dealerships grounds. The

new build also benefits from a state of the art workshop and service facility, a superb themed showroom and their very own J26 café. And if that wasn’t enough, MD Don Rutherford outlined their plans to expand into the Rapid Fit business and retail their trade bikes under the West Coast Moto banner. Don, who has been in the motorcycle business now for over 35 years and has been involved with just about every new bike franchise there is, knows a thing or two about looking after customers. Multiple award winning West Coast have grown their reputation on delivering a top class customer focused business and Don’s plans for West Coast Moto sound very exciting indeed. Don’s daughter Fiona explained that West Coast Moto has been set up primarily to sell the

Sounds good? Wait bikes traded-in to them that they didn’t have there’s more! Whilst space to offer before but she knew they’d need this might be enough an experienced set of hands to join them and to whet your appehelp establish the business. “We’ve been joined tite, what will really by Abe Berry (ex Saltire Sales Director), who get the juices flowing is the news that West brings a mountain of experience to our team Coast, Ducati Glasgow and Triumph Glasgow and who shares our vision on a new way of bikare all within a stones throw of one another. ing” Fiona expanded on her thoughts “Not only Right across the Pit Lane that divides the two will Abe be able to offer all the bikes traded buildings are two new purpose built showrooms in to us at really keen prices but he’s also the creating the most kind of guy that has so many connections that “...our full MOT spec workshop innovative one stop he can source the right has a green lane especially for heaven for bikers, if not in the UK then certainly bike at the best price. Rapid Fit so we won’t keep in Scotland. With no franchise costs you waiting” to pass on West Coast “We know this’ll be Moto will be able to huge!” enthuses Don and you can tell from offer these bikes at a cracking price.” the way he’s talking about this that he’s been looking to do this for many years. “This is what Don and his team have also been working hard Scotland and Scottish bikers have been crying behind the scenes to come up with another out for ages for, a motorcycle heaven right on first – Rapid Fit consumable items. “Our buying their doorstep. My congratulations to Martin power has allowed us to purchase a fantastic Rees and his team at Ducati and Triumph, deal on tyres, chains, filters, batteries etc” exthey’ve done a great job on their new showplained Don, “and our full MOT spec workshop rooms and like us share a bright vision of the has a green lane especially for Rapid Fit so we future for Scottish bikers ” won’t keep you waiting. It’s been pretty obvious to me for some time that there’s a good Both business will be open during March and demand for a Rapid Fit approach in the West we cannot wait for our invitation to drop in and of Scotland, so we’re meeting this challenge see this for ourselves. “Take it from me” says head on” Don – “this level of investment and commitment to biking does not happen very often ” Having met up with the bosses of West Coast, Ducati and Triumph – I know he’s right – 2017 will be a huge year for all of them.

A family run business for 40 years, Ride On motorcycles has everything you need to make biking a breeze, from your first steps of the CBT to full licence, we will help you though your biking career.

Stocking over 150 used bikes from 125cc to super bike and everything in between. We have now settled into Hillington Park which is the new hub for motorcycling with our service and tyre/MOT Centre in full swing. A large clothing department supporting the biggest brands and a cafe for meeting fellow bikers - we have it all. Since moving to Hillington we have had a new customer base as well as long term loyal customers, with a choice of 25 used 125cc at any given time there is plenty of choice for new bikers. After your CBT, kit yourself out for ÂŁ250 (head to toe).

We care about our customer and ensure that quality service is not only at point of sale but on any after sales needs. We have several customers that have bought over 15 bikes over the years with the most being 35! We hope this says a lot about how we treat our valued customers. Our highly experienced training school has seen a definite growth in CBT and bike training which is great news for the industry to see a new generation of bikers, we can only hope this continues.

We hope you have a great biking season and find the time to pop in for a look and a coffee. Ride On staff

Sales: 0141 883 6773

Service: 0141 882 1528

Training: 0141 883 6061




esidents of Perth’s Western Edge are once again going to be hearing the sound of 100’s of motorbikes and trikes heading for Noah’s Ark, Old Gallows Road, Western Edge, Perth, PH1 1QE on the last Saturday of the month from April to September to attend the hugely popular Perth Bike Night.

The nights are entirely voluntarily run with the help of MAD Scotland (Motorcycle Association for the Disabled Scotland) who give up their free time to marshal the event

Local businesses have been extremely The Bike Night is due to start its 4th season supportive providing raffle prizes and stalls in 2017 where, motorcyclists from as far afield for the event, Perth as Inverness in the North “Since beginning the Motorcycles, Street and the Borders in the South come together to event in 2012 Perth Bike Evolution Motorcycles, No9 The Guest House Perth, appreciate each other’s Night have raised over Knockhill Racing Circuit, bikes, have a chat and £10,000 for numerous Lamb and Gardiner Errol something to eat but more and KP Leather. importantly, raise funds for different charities” 6 different charities during Everyone is welcome at the events be it 2, 3 or the 6 months they operate.  4 wheels, entry is £2 per person, under 12’s free, raffle and stalls from 6pm to 9pm.  If you’d like Since beginning the event in 2012 Perth Bike to find out more have a look at their Facebook Night have raised over £10,000 for numerous Page “Perth Bike Night”. different charities.  Some of the charities supported include, Spinal Injuries Scotland, Perth Bike Night 2017 Dates Scottish Charity Air Ambulance, Scottish Emergency Riders Volunteers Service, RNLI Saturday 29th April 6pm - 9pm Queensferry Lifeboat, Poppy Scotland, Scottish Saturday 27th May 6pm - 9pm Mountain Rescue and smaller Charities Appaws Saturday 24th June 6pm – 9pm for Autism, Scooniehill Riding for the Diasbled Saturday 29th July 6pm – 9pm and Perth & Kinross ADHD Support Group to name a few. Saturday 26th August 6pm – 9pm




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ROSE LODGE Inverness

An ideal location after a long day riding and taking in the fantastic scenery and some of the best roads in Scotland, maybe riding the North Coast 500, Rose Lodge Guest House is a motorcycle friendly B&B situated 5 mins from Inverness City Centre with its wide range of Bars, Restaurants and shops. Also, close by are theatres, cinema and cathedral.

AccommodAtion is mAde up of; • 1 x family room - en suite (1 x double plus single). • 1 x twin - en suite • 1 x small double (separate bathroom) • 1 x single - en suite • Rose Lodge has off road parking, a drying room as well as access to a garage. • Full Scottish breakfast between 7.15 & 8.30am

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id you know there is an alternative to messy spray lube and constantly cleaning your chain and sprockets; a safer, more efficient way that will save you time, money and hassle? Scottoiler, a small family run business north of Glasgow has been manufacturing automatic motorcycle chain-oilers for over 30 years, all hand built in a small factory in Milngavie. Motorcycle chain maintenance is something few bikers enjoy and plenty of new bikers over look; keeping your chain well maintained is as important as looking after your brakes & tyres; a neglected chain can break or jump off its sprockets. In addition a badly lubricated chain will rob you of efficiency, costing you fuel and/ or power. Chain and motorcycle manufacturers recommend you fully clean and re-lubricate your chain every 300-500 miles; this involves cleaning off a sticky mess, akin to a sticky grinding paste and re-lubing. This process is far from pleasant. The problem with chain lube in a can, is it’s mostly tack additive (think glue!), most riders will over lube their chain, so you get this sticky

stuff flying everywhere and what’s left on the chain attracts dirt; any stones, salt, grit etc that is thrown at the chain sticks like glue and gets mashed up in the rollers and sprockets; this becomes a sticky grinding paste that wears away your chain and sprockets with every movement. By using a Scottoiler automatic chain oiler, you take away the need to spend wasted time repeatedly cleaning and lubing your chain. A Scottoiler will apply a steady flow of low tack clean oil at a rate that you set, one drop at a time. Just one small drop (0.023ml), once approximately every 60 seconds will keep your chain clean, free from corrosion and perfectly lubricated. By using specially blended Scottoil, with only 5% of the tack additive of a can spray-lube, dirt does not want to stick. With reduced cleaning also comes extended chain life, up to 7 times… Meaning fewer chain adjustments and replacements; many Scottoiler users report not having to adjust their chains between services. So the next time you are trying to remove sticky messy chain lube; remember there is a better way.


RODDY MACMILLAN Trunk Roads Patrol Group


s the Trunk Roads Inspector for Police Scotland’s’ east area, one of my priority routes is the A84/ A85/A82 corridor from the central belt to the west coast. The road is very popular from spring to autumn with tourists and motorcyclists and for many years this has been referred to as ‘The Road to the Isles’. The name almost leads you to think of the spectacular scenery and views and it doesn’t disappoint. As the nights start to become lighter and the weather improves, we will see increasing volumes of traffic on the road as more tourists and motorcyclists venture back out.

old daughter riding as pillion and I understand the thrill and enjoyment of motorcycling. Despite all my training and experience, last year my daughter and I were nearly the victims of I would say that the vast majority of drivers and two motorcyclists who were clearly challenging riders on the route are safe and sensible but personal and motorcycle capabilities, so sadly there is still a very small minority of motorcythe road safety message is not being embraced clists particularly whose riding manner shows by all. If motorcyclists little regard for their own personal safety and the “...there is still a very small want to challenge their abilities and those of safety of others. Our aim minority of motorcyclists their machines there are is to provide high visibilparticularly whose riding numerous track venues ity patrols and a level of manner shows little regard where this can be done reassurance to the local residents and road users for their own personal safety without taking it on public roads. which ensures that our and the safety of others.” roads remain safe and a The reduction in motorcycle casualties on this place to be enjoyed by all users. route in 2016 was particularly encouraging and moving forward into 2017, my team will also be To highlight a personal experience, I am a long in attendance to engage with motorcyclists and time motorcyclist myself, having been riding other road users and provide safety information since I was 16. I cover thousands of miles each on appropriate driving and riding practices. year on my motorcycle, often with my 16 year

Our colleagues from the Safety Camera Unit will support these patrols and in partnership with Police Scotland, we will be deploy the BMW R1200RT safety camera unit motorcycle, which is fitted with ranger speed detection and recording equipment. While it will not concentrate on any particular type of vehicle, it will be operating on routes where, from late spring to early autumn, there have been a disproportionate number of motorcycle casualties. Supporting data shows that while motorcycles account for only 1% of all traffic on the road, they account for 13% of fatalities. I hope that the camera motorcycle will resonate positively with the biking community, highlight that they are travelling on some of our most dangerous routes and influence riding behaviour accordingly. I would stress that we are not out to stop anyone enjoying our stunning Scottish roads, we are there as a very visible deterrent to encourage all drivers and riders to make responsible use of the roads. In addition, we will “Supporting data shows that I’m not out to ruin anyone’s enjoyment but be carrying out variwhile motorcycles account I have a responsibility to ous enforcement and for only 1% of all traffic on ensure the safety of all of education activities across the country as the road, they account for Scotland’s communities and visitors. With our part of ongoing safety 13% of fatalities.” unmarked police motorcampaigns directed at cycle and the Safety Camera Unit motorcycle the motorcycling community and the unmarked deployed, in addition to the other resources Yamaha FJR1200 Police motorcycle will be available, the chances of being caught should specifically utilised during these activities. Our you opt to disregard the speed limit or other local communities regularly highlight speedroad traffic offences have never been higher. ing as a concern and our analysis consistently The consequences of driving or riding dangershows that this is a significant factor in the level ously can be devastating for the families if of injury sustained should you be unfortunate someone is killed or seriously injured as a reenough to be involved in a collision.  Motorcyclists are more vulnerable than other road users, sult. It is my officers who knock on the doors of their loved ones to let them know their relative especially when overtaking and negotiating left has been killed and it never gets any easier. hand bends. I would encourage motorcyclists to slow down, use their observation skills, comply with the speed limits and take extra care when There is a simple solution - Don’t Risk It planning and negotiating overtakes. 




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Scottish Biker Magazine March 2017 issuu  
Scottish Biker Magazine March 2017 issuu