o.1 The South East’s N ine FREE bike magaz
anuary 2014 Issue 30: December-J
The Last Hurrah
TRAINS, BIKES & TANKS: SLOVENIA & CROATIA
THE BEST OF BRITISH
ORTS P S • S T N E V E • S URE REVIEWS • FEAT www.southeastbiker.co.uk Join us:
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CONTENTS 4 Huntsman Motorcycle Club 8 Bikesafe London: Revisited 10 Bikesafe Revisited 13 A Ride to Remember 14 Trains, Bikes & Tanks: Slovenia & Croatia 18 Forcefield Back Protector Pro 001 20 Book Review: Gone Riding – Dom Giles 22 Frontline – MAG 24 A Weekend in Wales 26 The Last Hurrah 28 Diary of a New Rider (part 2) 30 Local Heroes 32 The Best of British
WHERE CAN YOU FIND SEB MAGAZINE?
South East Biker (SEB) Magazine is delivered to selected motorcycle outlets and businesses across Sussex, Surrey, Kent, London, Essex, Middlesex, Berkshire, Hampshire and Dorset. Please see website for current distribution points. We are increasing our circulation every month, so if you missed your copy then subscribe for just £9 per annum and we will post you a copy direct to your door so you will never miss an issue ever again. Just email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
www.southeastbiker.co.uk MAKING CONTACT
ADVERTISING Debbie Tunstill & GENERAL Tel: 01892 610808 ENQUIRIES: Email: email@example.com
South East Biker, Wirral Acre, Eridge Road, Crowborough, East Sussex. TN6 2SP EDITOR & PUBLISHER: Nick Tunstill, email: firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION: Dean Cook, email: email@example.com PRINTING: Evon Print, Henfield, Sussex © 2013 South East Biker (SEB) Magazine is an independent title and does not endorse the products or services that appear in the magazine. Opinions expressed in the magazine do not necessarily represent those of the editor or of South East Biker magazine. Reproduction of content is strictly prohibited without prior written approval from the editor or publisher.
COVER IMAGE: Alex Lowes celebrates becoming British Champion 2013 Photo by Nigel Martin firstname.lastname@example.org
South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk
Wow, where does the time go?? A fantastic summer of bike events whistles by and before you know it the days are as short as a Hobbit. When the last MotoGP of the season winds up, it’s always a bit of a downer. But fear not, by the time issue 31 comes out, the days are getting longer and we will be planning our 2014 events. I don’t think we can let this year end without acknowledging the vast array of motorcycling talent that these islands produce. Cal Crutchlow, Bradley Smith, Scott Redding and others have ridden far above their machine and team’s expectations in MotoGP. Tom Sykes and Sam Lowes have really set the pace in World Superbikes and Supersport, both winning championships. BSB has been the most exciting short track series in the world with young Alex Lowes seeing off old hand Shane Byrne over a fantastic season. Michael Dunlop is fast becoming the best road racer in the world and Tai Woffinden has put speedway firmly back on the map with a World Championship winning season overcoming serious obstacles and injuries. In Motocross, Enduro and other off road sports, Brits are always running near the top. Considering motorcycle sport is such a minority activity, I reckon the UK is punching well above its weight. We just need these guys to inspire the next generation of bikers in the same way that Barry Sheene did in the 70’s. So, as we march into 2014, we can make plans for days out, weekends away, tours and trackdays. Hopefully some of the articles in SEB will inspire you. Sandy Caulfield carries on trying to pass her Mod 2 test with plenty of adventures planned. Alice Dryden heads off to eastern Europe using the wonders of Motorail. Terry the Poisoner takes to the track at Silverstone, and Debbie and I do another Bikesafe day, this time with offspring. Plenty to do and look forward to then, and, if you want a New Year’s resolution, join MAG and help secure the future of biking. All the best Nick Tunstill
south east biker magazine @southeastbiker 3
HUNTSMAN MOTORCYCLE CLUB
celebrating 50 years 1963 -2013 Not many Motorcycle Clubs survive for 50 years, but The Huntsman MCC has just celebrated its half century… and it has a great summer bike show to boot. John Skinner tells us something of its history.
he Huntsman Motorcycle Club and Associates meets each Tuesday evening at The Huntsman Public House in Eridge, Sussex. When I first joined back in the summer of 2009 I think there were 22 full time long standing members. Since that time the club members have grown to number 76. During the summer months the numbers naturally swell to 120-150 plus on Tuesday evenings. It’s difficult to qualify exactly why the membership has increased so much but from my personal experience the club welcomed me in and made me feel like part of their fold in a relatively short time span. There’s a wealth of characters and life experiences within the club and all make the effort to engage with you even if it’s just a smile and a few words. On the other side of the coin the venue itself has had a major impact on the club’s health. A young lady turned up to take over the license of the pub almost the same time as I joined the club, it may be coincidence, but that kind of cemented my interest in 4
the club and the pub. ‘Our’ landlady is called Emma, and I sometimes wonder why someone so young would take such an interest in a pub with which she inherited a load of bikers? Well, embrace us she does, we surely must be one of the luckiest bike clubs in the area, we have wonderful bar staff who seem to enjoy our company on a Tuesday and are equally at home on the other side of the bar as friends. Don’t get me wrong, Emma has plenty of other groups to cater for in the area, such as the rock climbers from Bowles leisure centre, local farmers, cyclists, walkers and steam train buffs that come along the line from Tunbridge Wells. It’s a mixed crowd over the course of a week but you are all made to feel welcome. Surely that must go some way to make our club successful in recent times. But that is getting away from what I set out to write about. The Club started out back in the late winter of 1963 and that was as motorcycle and side car club. At that time the sidecar outfits were a common source of transport for couples and families. An advert was December-January 2014 • South East Biker Magazine
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HUNTSMAN placed in the local press of the time and a date given to meet at the Huntsman to any likeminded outfit owners. At that time there was a small outbuilding sat in the Huntsman grounds, where for many years the bike club met. Unfortunately that’s no longer with us, but on that first night a group of riders turned up and the club was formed. We still have one of the founder members in the club, but he must have been very young at that time because he still looks young now. These early club members developed a strong bond with each other and some of the journals kept from that time are full of diaries of events and trips away as well as amusing recipes to be tried on camping stoves. The club has had its share of trials and tribulations of course, people come and go or just move away and numbers rise and fall. The club hut was demolished by a landlord years ago and there was even a period when the pub closed and the club had to meet at a local hall for some months until another landlord was found. But they survived to present day although with very few outfits I’m afraid to say. So 2013 was our celebration of 50 years as a club in all its manifestations and to help celebrate that fact Emma took a coachload of members and associates to the Hall and Woodhouse brewery in Blandford, Dorset for a complimentary tour and lunch plus a few beers, of course. Then in July we had our annual summer Bike Show and BBQ in the Grounds of the pub with what I should think was a record gathering. The bike show varied in content from vintage, through to classic British and Japanese machinery right up to present day, with some unusual custom machinery and a smattering of genuine race machinery from across the years. We were also lucky enough to have the support of the BSA owners club this year and of course some of the more regular stands like SEB, Cosmo, and Adventure Peru motorcycle holidays, all adding up to make a really successful day. The pub, as always, were excellent hosts. I couldn’t have asked for a better result after taking over coordination for the show from our long standing organiser Mark Stone who had done so much to lay the foundations over previous years. Of course it wasn’t just me, it was all of the Club members and the pub staff pitching in to make a great day. So, as we come toward the end of our 50th year, I ‘d like to say thanks to all the members past and present that have made the club what it is today. If you are reading this and you fancy a Tuesday evening in reasonable company come along to the Huntsman at Eridge, Winter or Summer we’ll be there and if you don’t want to meet the bikers, go on another night, the food is really good. 6
And lastly I’d like to say thanks to Emma and her team on behalf of all of the club for looking after all our needs and I what I hope will be a long association. See www.huntsmanmcc.co.uk for more information
December-January 2014 • South East Biker Magazine
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Bikesafe London :
By Nick Tunstill
n an early issue of SEB we embarked on a Bikesafe day with our group having a mixture of riding experience. We were very enthusiastic about the day and, when Bikesafe were running a special promotion at Excel earlier in the year, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to have another day out and bring a couple of offspring as well. The summer flew by and the earliest available weekend to get together was late October. As the day approached, the weather forecast was predicting the biggest storm since time begun. Oh well, there wasn’t much we could do about the weather and riding in mixed conditions is a part of British bike riding. So we checked our bikes over (my horn didn’t work last time!) and headed off on a bright and breezy Sunday morning to the Warren near Bromley. On arrival, one of the police motorcyclists met us and had a look over the bikes. Don’t be put off by this though, they are 8
looking for a functioning and safe machine and are not nit picking! Off into the class room for tea and paperwork, which includes choosing your lunch at Frankie and Bennie’s. It’s important to remember that these guys are motorcyclists first and foremost. The fact they ride police bikes for a living certainly shouldn’t deter anyone from going on a Bikesafe day. The course has changed since we last went on it, for the better in my opinion. We spent an hour or so running through scenarios and how to avoid the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. There seems to be a general trend these days to blame everyone but yourself for anything that happens to us in life. You only need to look at recent cases involving politicians, newspaper editors and proprietors, even the police themselves on occasions, to see that, even when caught red handed, it’s always someone else’s fault. The problem December-January 2014 • South East Biker Magazine
nosa derrumquati dolorep sus doluptu ribus, nulpa voluptas Highway Code, earplugs and a very handy solar torch. ienimus iunt plabori oremque late udant, mixture, optatemmyself poreribus nimi, debisto taturer spidust iorecus Our groupnet, was a proper riding nobis ium quiaeped et qui volorer illuptatibus nullabo. Accus. for “several” years, Debbie aboutexcepre five, butperiscia with a vel lot natur, in cuptatectur sequam et rem consect eos Ugitiis magnat. Hari nonsectorro crammed into that,mo Joshcor passed his test uribus two years anducia spereca eprovita pore rem exereiciunt volo berisEveryone estemol incto moles quias etago periostota and Alexsiwas riding his DT125 on a CBT. voluptatquid estior anti vendis reday. volest aut rehenisquae occum volupti osamus, consed learned something estibus from the Personally, it made exerum imagnatem. Giatiis sum quiantia ra voluptatiae. quidi ut ea ipidem dellendia me think a lot morecum about my dayillam to day riding. Most vollab inisin custio es event. Nempore henihil sitatur? commoluhappen within a couple of luptatur miles of our Berovid quam, untemperrum sita dolesequodit et lateaccidents Ehenimus dereand volenem ptistrum que lab id homes. elit faciisWe are all familiar withditatus the routes trafficut nonsectessi ressus acereprerum ent, quatem de lautEasy alis to aut earum aliaectisim dent apid conditions that ourlaborum minds are often elsewhere. nusdam quisim et quiaspe volupta rem on res aassequi sus. queparticularly secum do, but dangerous motorbike. tiscipsam, sam quam incimus plam molupic aboreriat fugia aut dolo blaut volo estrum volorro magnimus Anyone who rides aXero bikeconsequis will thoroughly enjoy a lique et laboriae nonsed magnate Nequatur? Evendestis siminum quam quosapis dolorum Bikesafe course. It’s labo. particularly useful to those who ellaccus estiberati ommod ut moluptiunt, simus abor as de consequodi doles mod havequas passed their test within a year or aut so, those am nos si officitatur sit liberum modi dero ipidebis et que ra imus elesequos returning to biking sunt and anyone not sure of riding quidebis magnihiti incia vid eum plam in velit unfamiliar conditions. But even if you are a quatiae ctectotatem solupis with being a motorcyclist is that, even ifutwe arenusam quias faccuptatem a nis alibus, hardened, round the world explorer you will benefit. nataturento inus, in sum totally blameless an dolorrum accident situation, we are theque prae temporebody, perferibusIt’s et run dolupid by a ut great bunch, who obviously really enjoy doloron alitas quiant ones ouret, arse withaudit a bentverum bike and possibly eatendigni it andntiostione have a vast array of experience to call on. It earibus apediciam quidriver volo dolupis while the careless car may be shaken, if theyquo quaspie accuptas vendelldoesn’t andebisit, matter what bike you ride, scooter, 125 on aliquid to ioritatiis re cus. bother stop, but not very often hurt.etAnd no matter quiTV, volorum explitatem Lplates or a Panigale. Oreptur how oftensunto “Thinkblanissit, Bike”adverts are run on car quist, et quibusa pisquissit, ilitOh, re, aut justessitia don’t ask Adrian about his Mongolian aliaspe are ratatisci sumentiam drivers basically not looking for motorbikes tatiscia volupta dolorum expelisyou may be there some time!!! expedition, quisquas sequis eatam, conempo in many situations. ressinctium sitiisqui quatet So, once we have acknowledged this,quo andqui therenimet fact audipisque velictent eos mi, ommoluptatur Bikesafe London is subsided by Transport for eaque restis et quam, accidents sus eaqueare single that many motorbike vehicle arum alis London and costs an amazing £45 or two for £75. volendi at we venis doluptia incidents, canquas work on making our sunt, ridingomnimus, as safe ut et volupitem quidusdae nonsecta sanda siminita as doluptis autem and enjoyable possible. peruptio. Amazingly this includes lunch at Frankie and qui de pliaectatur apissession, aut quiat After the classroom we headdolorit, out for sapis someipis auditae anditistrum di which was the only way we could lure Bennie’s, estor urban aute niam quiYou berum labor local riding. will generally beUtpaired with si doluptas quodion tem along. quis It would make a terrific present for volore que machine vel eium or re,experience. ararider onaut similar Now, emoluptioAlex se nimagnam as volore, que sitas well. someone officitem laut eiurdone si cusdae vent it takes even if you have this before, a bit of ium sequisq uidelli time to get used to genist havingraa que fully kittedlaborerum police bikeacilibus. Odiand alicabo velis est del maximet litiisthis molupta behind you. But feelingtiumqui soon wears off you ribus, www.bikesafe-london.co.uk dolore vel es di inus ant quam, beat.concentrate on your own riding technique can and il moluptatio. porum Many thanks to Ian, Adrian, Phil, Mick and all the Mendit restem sus of short observations. Weharum have aint, couple stops and Rat repe nienisateaquam Bikesafe London delibus dantis to expe debriefs beforemo heading offma for lunch. repercide nosam reteam quoride int quas con paruptae diof corrum dolupta The highlight the day is the afternoon into ant vercil est ad qui con temquidere volorThe sitio quae nihicit, the countryside. emphasis is on safety andprent ridingad maio. Em utem ciasiment et, et molent veni officabo. Ic totatiis nus demThere isipiendu within your own comfort zone. no pressure hil erum volenim dolorpos atias progress” eliquaecea dit, aut phrase!) at all to “make (horrible or keep up voluptius eiusae venimi,to evella verroanother mi, incilrider. eossum with Outvolupta here you get a chance put quia quaecup tationsedThe mod undestrumqui culpa niam, lautofficers quo into practise. many of thenimagnim tips from the volent, que volleca borrovidem optio.flies Sapic cuptibus time by temquo and, before you know it, you are heading cuptatet ea dolor accupta aut velloru meniam harumenimi, inti if it’s coincidence, back towards base. I am not sure labore pellibeata voluptaqui sit earibus itaturia nes we came but the firstdandaer time I did BikeSafe, across a dolecab consequis estotat quiam, sam la in the chap who had embedded his Ninja front iur, of acullum nobis mosam rionsequi aut rempor atiis quideniatust unte aamet harum Transit by getting corner wrong. This faccabo time it was a lam que is quuntoreped utaspeloff into thenum cyclist who had eost got punted greenery on num et vidus pelique USEFUL INFO TRIUMPH TIGER 800 del ex et aceptatur re praesecepe luptatenis the countryquam lanes.asperitatio. It just goesEnt to show the potential Top Speed................................ 130mph re nestibus sa pos aspernam atis hilibus, od quidis dangers that lurk aut out omnis there! sinit, Power............................................94bhp non nime sitBy officiae eiurem soloreped the time we arrived backquas at the Warren, the sus diciur, sam aut am Weight...........................................210kg fugitem quae net landerum lit magniendunt autatus. wind was picking up and the last section was fairly Seat Height....................... 810-830mm Engine................................ 799cc Triple into voluptibusam quis Temwith incide voluptam brief us all getting re, an assessment mos and aenihil goodie Fuel Capacity............................ 19 litres re arum quis dent, sinvent, omnistio con re corerci pissit odit,an upsus containg various items including to date South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk
Revisited Debbie Tunstill gives us her viewpoint...
he Saturday evening weather forecast for Sunday 27th October was predicting windy gusts which were expected to increase in the evening to over 60mph. So to contemplate doing a BikeSafe day could be interesting. Nick and I did a Bike Safe day about 5 years ago and we thought it would be a great idea to take my son Alex (19) along on his DT125 and Nicks son Josh (23) on his Cagiva 650. BikeSafe ask that if you are on a small-engined bike just to let them know in advance. We told Alex the night before that we would be going for lunch at Frankie and Bennies, now I am not saying my 19 year old wasn’t looking forward to the day but once he heard about lunch he was more positive. The main concern for Alex was that he only had his CBT and felt the Police may be too critical. When we arrived we had time to meet the other riders and chat about the day. As Nick explained in his write up, the classroom is really interesting and makes you think differently about things. After the classroom section we are paired up with our Bikesafe rider and I was assigned Phillip Mason from North London. Alex was teamed up with BikeSafe rider Mick Best from North London, Josh was given Adrian Alsop and Nick was with Ian Hadcocks. The afternoon is truly the best part of the day as you really can settle into your riding you just have to remember you have a big yellow bike following 10
you. Some of the roads were covered with leaves, so interesting for me with a new set of tyres on. Phillip really wanted us to relax and ride like we normally do, so as we came round onto a straight bit of road and following a Merc doing 48 in a 60, I went for it. My bike picked up and overtook the car quickly. I got worried, as Phillip didn’t follow me so I stopped at some traffic lights and waited for them to catch up. At the break Phillip admitted I took him by surprise with my manoeuvre and, in his words, I caught him napping. The rest of the ride was great fun as we rode around down to Lingfield. At the end of the day the guys give you a form, which they write on any helpful information or advice. The goodie bag is full of some great giveaways, especially the little LED torch, earplugs and an amazing free magazine called South East Biker. Alex and Josh felt the day gave them a lot more confidence in their bikes and their own abilities, and I think the smile on their faces was enough of a reason to have booked the day in the first place. The main thing you take from the BikeSafe day is that we have to be responsible for what happens to us. This means riders should not trust that drivers have seen us, that a driver is going to turn left just because they have their left indicator on. Just because we are scanning down the road for potential hazards, most drivers are thinking about 10 things, other than what is on the road. December-January 2014 • South East Biker Magazine
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A Ride to Remember
he 7.00am alarm goes off on a chilly Sunday morning in November. It’s tempting to turn it off and pull the duvet over our heads for another hour or two. Luckily for us service men and women over the last century didn’t stay in bed either and got up and went to serve our country, often making the ultimate sacrifice. So a motorcycle ride around Sussex finishing with two minutes silence at Newhaven Fort was not the toughest way to show our respects. The South Eastern region of MAG organised the run from Route 23 Diner on the er…A23 to Newhaven Fort, where we had the privilege of special access for Remembrance Sunday. There was a splendid cross section of motorcycles and riders pulling up at the diner for a Sunday fry up. A great representation of scooters, trikes, classic Brit iron, cruisers, sports bikes and adventure bikes. Mods and Rockers have obviously made up and mellowed over the last half century! 9.30 on the dot and the marshalls kicked off the ride to Newhaven. I have to say they did a thoroughly excellent job, having attempted it myself I appreciate how hard it is to keep nearly 100 motorbikes in one convoy through lights and over major roundabouts. Top blokes. Luckily most motorists noticed we were actually doing something worthwhile and most gave us plenty of space and some even managed a wave. On arrival at the fort, we were fortunate to be able to ride into the main compound and park up en masse. We had time to have a good wander around and mull over the exhibits explaining the fort’s role in conflicts over the last century or so. Looking out across the Channel, thoughts went out to those thousands who left these shores never to return. At 11am, a cannon was fired in Newhaven announcing the 2 minutes’ silence, followed by a poem and the Last Post. A total of 91 bikes and scooters, 3 Trikes and 1 side car unit were on the run and £300 was raised for the appeal. The run was organised largely by Wil Humphrey and other members of SE MAG groups. This is planned to be an annual event so put it your diaries for next year and we can fill the fort with bikes. And if anyone knows a bugler please get in touch!
South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk
TRAINS, BIKES & TANKS: Slovenia & croatia
Motorail seems to be an increasingly popular way for motorcyclists to travel further on a fortnight’s bike trip. Alice Dryden and her partner head off into Eastern Europe taking advantage of this service…
lovenia wasn’t somewhere I’d ever considered as a holiday destination. Too remote, too foreign, and not worth the travelling time when France, Germany and Italy, all known quantities, were within reach. Then, at the start of the year, I read that a new motorail route had been introduced between s’Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands and Koper, on the Slovenian coast near the border with Italy. The idea of loading my bike onto a train and sleeping through a thousand-mile journey piqued my interest, and my partner and I had booked our fare before we’d really decided what to do with our time in Slovenia. We chose to use the motorail, or Autoslaaptrein, for the return leg only, riding down through France, Germany and Austria on a route carefully planned so it made sense to go via the snowy Grossglockner pass. We spent a night in Alsace, another in Salzburg, and crossed into Slovenia across the Wurzen Pass in the hilariously named Karawank mountains. 18% gradients and a tank parked at the side of the road made our arrival feel much more
special than if we’d used the motorway tunnel, and we emerged in a scenic national park. Our three high-mileage days were followed by two spent relaxing near Lake Bohinj, in the northwest of the country. On the first day we took it easy, but on the second we made for the Vršič Pass with its hairpin bends helpfully numbered from 1 to 49, December-January 2014 • South East Biker Magazine
READERS’ TRAVELS nosa derrumquati dolorep sus doluptu ribus, nulpa voluptas ienimus iunt plabori oremque late taturer spidust iorecus net, udant, optatem poreribus nimi, nobis ium quiaeped et qui volorer half of which are cobbled rather thandebisto paved. After illuptatibus excepre periscia vel natur, in cuptatectur sequamview et fromnullabo. drinking in the spectacular the top,Accus. we mo cor rem consect uribus eos Ugitiis magnat. Hari nonsectorro anducia spereca pore dropped downeprovita into a lush valley with sweeping rem exereiciunt volo beris estemol moles voluptatquid estiorforbidding anti vendisus to fallincto curves and signs off our bikes.quias et periostota si estibus re volest aut rehenisquae volupti osamus, consed exerum imagnatem. sum Moving on to theGiatiis town of Logatec, occum we did some cum quiantia illam ra voluptatiae. quidi ut ea ipidem dellendia vollab inisin custiovisiting es event. proper tourism, the caves at Postojna with Nempore henihil luptatur sitatur? dolesequodit Berovid quam,pink untemperrum sitaPredjama their sightless salamanders; Castle, et late commolu Ehenimus ditatus dere volenem ut ptistrum nonsectessi ressus acereprerum built into the rocky hillside; and the tanks and que lab id elit faciis laborum ent, quatem de laut alis aut earum aliaectisim dent apid nusdam quisim et quiaspe volupta submarine displayed at the Pivka Military History secum rem res assequi sus. aboreriat fugia que tiscipsam, incimus plam molupic Park. Thesam firstquam week of our fortnight’s holiday over, Xero consequis aut dolo blaut volo estrum volorro magnimus lique et laboriae we crossed intononsed Croatia.magnate labo. Nequatur? Evendestis siminum quam quosapis dolorum ellaccus estiberati ut Croatian coast Everyone ravesommod about the road, moluptiunt, simus aut abor as de consequodi doles mod quas am nosI had si officitatur sit liberum and insisted we make it part of our adventure. sunt modi dero ipidebis que ra imus elesequos quidebis magnihiti vid eum When we joined itincia at Split, though, I felt I mustethave ut plam nusam quias velit quatiae solupis made actectotatem terrible mistake. The route crawled among faccuptatem nataturento dolorrum commuter inus, trafficsum through one built-up area after que prae a nis alibus, tempore another, it was hot; partnerperferibus et dolupid ut dolor alitasand et, quiant auditeverything verum my quo quaspie ntiostione hates, apediciam in fact. Luckily things improvedeatendigni after lunch, earibus qui volo dolupis et accuptas whenioritatiis the roadreclimbed zones. Wevendell andebisit, aliquid cus. to cooler, faster qui volorum quist, et explitatem passed a few miles of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Orepturthrough sunto blanissit, quibusa pisquissit, ilit re, aut essitia whichratatisci made ussumentiam slightly anxious as neither of us aliaspe tatisciaour volupta dolorum expelis were insured that country, but reached quisquas sequisfor eatam, conempo quo qui renimet audipisque destination, Dubrovnik, ressinctium sitiisqui quatetsafely. velictent When weetretraced oureaque steps a few days later,eos mi, ommoluptatur eaque restis quam, sus sunt, omnimus, heading back towards Slovenia, we discovered the ut et arum alis volendi at venis quas doluptia volupitem quidusdae nonsecta stretch of rugged coastline Sheer sanda siminita doluptis autemaround Karlobag. sapis brown cliffs on the right the bends,dolorit, sea and the ipis auditae peruptio. qui de pliaectatur apis aut of quiat anditistrum si doluptas di island of niam Krk toqui theberum left. This made forUt a morning’s estor aute labor quodion was enjoyable scenic.emoluptio tem quis rariding volorewhich aut que velaseium re, as it was se nimagnam We spent night of the holiday in a small as volore, que sit officitem lautthe eiurlast si cusdae vent laborerum acilibus. hotel among pinegenist woodsraand and rode ium sequisq uidelli queolive trees, Oditoalicabo past roundabouts planted with lavender the ribus, velis est del maximet litiis molupta tiumqui dolore vel es di inus ant quam, Slovenian border. Here, for the first time in two beat. il moluptatio. porum through tunnels and rainstorms, waved to a group weeks ten border wereRat repe Menditand restem harum controls, int, sus our passports repercide nosam reof nienis eaquam bikers waiting at a level crossing, and watched checked. Proceeding to Koper, our way delibus dantis mo to expe ma we found int quas ad rise over the Austrian mountains before the est moon to paruptae the railway then to thequo loading area,ant vercil con distation corrumand dolupta prent ad maio. Em utemour steward to make our beds for summoning where we were to removequi thecon luggage temquidere volorinstructed sitio quae nihicit, ipiendu molent theetnight. from our bikes and ride them train. ciasiment et, veni officabo. Ic totatiis nus demon to the hilwas erum eiusae I slept well, although I think I was woken a couple The roof of eliquaecea the vehicle dit, compartment sovolenim voluptius dolorpos atias aut venimi, of times by sharp corners. After breakfast, we low mi, thatincil I had to duck right down behind theevella quia quaecup verro eossum volupta mod undestrumqui arrived at our destination and found ourselves windscreen. I found the like that so culpa niam, nimagnim lautidea quoof ridingtationsed que volleca standing borrovidem in a confused huddle with the rest of the offputting that I stopped and couldn’tvolent, get going optio. Sapic temquo cuptibus ea dolor accupta aut A railway worker handed everyone a passengers. again,meniam so my partner had to inti walk backcuptatet up the train velloru harumenimi, labore pellibeata voluptaqui hi-viz waistcoat (she laughed because I was already parkdandaer my bike for me. We two-person sitand earibus itaturia nesfound our nobis mosam one, but still had to put the regulation sleeper, dumped our kit,sam andlavisited adolecab nearby iur, cullum wearing consequis estotat quiam, faccabobefore rionsequi aut rempor version on atiis top) and we walked along the line to supermarket to buy supplies quideniatust unte amet harumfor the journey num lam que num et vidus our pelique reclaim vehicles.USEFUL INFO in. eost utaspel is settling quuntoreped delto exwork et aceptatur reI praesecepe successfully rode TRIUMPH my bike off theTIGER train by 800 the A nice Dutch showed luptatenis quam steward asperitatio. Ent us how ............................... 130mph re nestibus sa pos aspernam atis simple expedient of Top not Speed. wearing my helmet, which the wash basin and gave us a plastic glass of hilibus, od quidis aut omnis sinit, Power............................................94bhp non nime samme autseveral am extra inches of clearance. We then we were quas whizzing back in a sus diciur,gave sitchampagne, officiae eiurem soloreped Weight...........................................210kg fugitem quae parked onlitthe platform, our hi-viz, loaded matter of hours through places we’d explored over net landerum magniendunt autatus. Seatreturned Height....................... 810-830mm mospassed enihil into voluptibusam quisset off.Engine................................ 799cc Triple the bikes, and aTem week. We voluptam raced carsre, on the motorway, incide Fuel Capacity............................ 19 litres sus re arum quis dent, sinvent, omnistio con re corerci pissit odit, South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk
Having navigated across eastern Europe, we had blithely assumed that finding our way back to Calais would be a doddle. In fact we got lost exiting the station and lost again in ‘sHertogenbosch. Despite this, we arrived in plenty of time for the 17:50 Eurotunnel we’d booked – and the holiday was over. Would I recommend Slovenia, Croatia and the Autoslaaptrein? Definitely. There were some breathtaking rides to be had, and many wonderful non-bike-related experiences too – like spotting an octopus while swimming at Dubrovnik’s Lapad Beach, or buying fresh figs and mandarin juice from a roadside stand. Some of the roads we’d been looking forward to turned out not to be so great, but for every one of those there was a good bit where we least expected it. Almost everyone we met spoke excellent English, and we picked up the essential words quickly: coffee is kava, beer is pivo (and both are cheap). We were baffled for a long time by the signs offering ‘malice’, often between specific hours; it turned out to mean ‘brunch’. The road surface was mostly good, although the tarmac was sometimes cracked and patchy. I was unimpressed on one occasion when the main road between two medium-sized Slovenian towns unexpectedly turned into a gravel track, which it remained for 20 kilometres of hills and bends. (As an extra hazard, around one bend we surprised a group of very young soldiers on a training exercise.) Outside the towns we found little traffic and few police, with a lorry driver flashing his lights to warn us of the speed trap on one beautiful straight road up in the hills. The motorail can seem like an expensive option, especially if you book a sleeper as we did (costs come down considerably if you share a six-berth cabin). Take into account food, fuel and overnight stops for the three days or so it would take to make the journey by bike, not to mention the time saved, and it begins to look more reasonable. We booked through railsavers.com, but you could also try direct from autoslaaptrein.nl. An ‘airline-style meal’ is provided in the evening, and there’s also a restaurant and a refreshment trolley, but I do recommend bringing extra rations, particularly of the liquid variety if it’s hot. (Consuming alcohol brought from outside is forbidden, but a few suspicious ringpull noises suggested that not everyone obeys this, and we may even have transgressed ourselves.) 16
My partner is now talking about taking the motorail both ways and venturing still further, perhaps to Romania. That seems a little ambitious to me, but it’s definitely under consideration. And next time, I will ride my own bike both on and off the train... December-January 2014 • South East Biker Magazine
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17 15/01/2013 14:00
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However, it’s notsolupis as simple as that,dolesequodit the Pro Insertset late commolu atiossimus ditatia corro elit faciis nataturento inus, sum dolorrum come in 8 sizes, with varying shapes. Soptistrum you will que needlab idThe full range ofvolenti Forcefield of products can tem fugia que por modi que nis earum aliaectisim dolor et, quiant audit verum to lookalitas carefully at your jackets and seeaut what’s going bedent see apid at www.forcefieldbodyarmour.com. atatempe mo quodior que a betterrepedit earibus qui volo dolupis to fit. Of apediciam course all manufacturers have molupic differentaboreriat styles, fugia To have look at the products, ecepudae voluptatur aor volo mi, magnimus aliquid re pockets, cus. size andioritatiis shapes of so you mayvolo well estrum find onevolorrovisit JW Groombridge, GetGeared torro est, omnisserores culparc siminum quam quosapis dolorum Oreptur protector sunto blanissit, Forcefield won’t fit all your jackets. Helmet City. 18
December-January 2014 • South East Biker Magazine
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GONE RIDING The New Adventure Motorcycle Travel Book! Launched at Motorcycle Live NEC 2013 Ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things and in 2010, Dom Giles was determined to break out of the rat race and do just that. Bravely he gave up his job as a History teacher to follow his dream: to explore the world from the seat of a motorcycle and try and make a positive difference as he went along.
uestioning his sanity at times and often stepping out of his comfort zone, Jupiter’s Traveller, Giles discovers a lot about the world, a little about himself and almost nothing about his motorcycle! Riding from Alaska to Panama took six months including stop overs to work on a turtle rescue centre in Baja California and a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica. Along the way he explored the wide open spaces of Canada and Western USA, delved into the psyche of our American cousins and reassessed his own place in the world as he tried to deal with the unique loneliness of solo motorcycle travel. As a mechanical Luddite he struggled with a failing machine, but this never dampen his enthusiasm for the new – surely the essence of travel. In Southern Africa Giles taught in a township school for three weeks, but when his motorcycle arrived his adventure resumed. Heading north through nine countries he learned about Britain’s role in the history of Southern Africa and how the countries he was passing through were trying to come to terms with that legacy. As his journey unfolded, Dom was constantly touched by the kindness of others as he experienced the exhilaration, beauty and occasional naked fear of overland travel. One year later he returned a changed man. He’d changed his attitude towards life, he’d changed his view on the world
and he’d even changed the oil on his bike, once. Giles learned more from his adventure than he could ever have imagined. “The world is a wonderful place; people are kind and helpful and we must do more to solve the global problems we are faced with. On one level travelling like this may be a selfish, self-indulgent luxury but it can also be a force for good in the world. If all global leaders were forced to take a year out to travel the world by motorcycle wouldn’t the world be a better place?” Reviews: “Gone Riding is an illuminating story of adventure that’s full of thought-provoking insight into the lives of people across two continents and the challenges and triumphs of solo motorcycle travel.” The Ted Simon Foundation
“Dom’s writing, packed with nuggets of information, contains the real essence of travel writing… he seamlessly links the bike ride with a social conscience and desire to learn from the people he meets.” Overland Magazine
GONE RIDING Motorcycling and Volunteering across two continents ISBN: 978-1-78003-720-2 Publisher: Pen Press Price: £13.95 E-version: £6.50
December-January 2014 • South East Biker Magazine
CHARITY RIDE OUT
The Ted Simon Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in Northern California. It aims to encourage and assist independent adventure travellers in their exploration and comprehension of the world and the communication of what they discover – whatever their medium of expression might be. “Travellers survive and flourish by adapting to the world around them. As a result they learn a particular truth about the societies they move through. What they learn can be of great value in explaining the peculiarities of foreign cultures and in reaffirming what is common to all of us; generosity to strangers and a desire to live in peace. The purpose of the Foundation is to bring those truths to the general public, to counter the generalisations of the media, and to remind us all that life is lived family by family, mile by mile, regardless of the great issues which may be dominating the news. We believe that all travellers have it in them to be reporters of truth in the world, and we want to encourage them to broadcast that truth by whatever means may be appropriate. The honest personal experiences of perceptive observers have great power to remind us that we all share this world. Our ultimate aim is to promote understanding, reduce tension and to favour the chances of peace in our world.” Ted Simon
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21 22/07/2013 15:50
MOTORCYCLE ACTION GROUP
FRONTLINE NEWS FROM THE MOTORCYCLE ACTION GROUP
Motorcycle Action Group
Fighting on behalf of bikers
THE WORLD OF RIDERS’RIGHTS?
You’ll be pleased to know that MAG here in the UK is not alone in fighting for what we believe in – the right to ride our bikes how we like without some tosser trying to take that right away. There are similar organisations in Sweden, France, Belgium, Holland and most other European countries; most of which started along the same lines as MAG. In America, there is ABATE (American Bikers Aimed Toward Education), which has done rather well in a lot of states to get the helmet law repealed. Nothing much in Russia yet, but then the political climate isn’t that great for dissent, especially as they’ve just reduced the Greenpeace activists’ charges from Piracy to Hooliganism.
n Europe, MAG is quite a major stakeholder in FEMA, the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations based in Brussels. I’m quite proud of the fact that MAG was one of the founders of FEM (and for the most part, funded its early years), which started in 1988 and went on to become FEMA four years later after merging with EMA. Looking on the FEMA website www.fema-online. eu you’ll find FEMA’s history – too much for me to go into here – and you’ll also see a picture of a 30-year old Neil Liversidge (probably MAG’s most well-known face, someone who has spent most of his adult life making sure MAG is doing what it set out to, not becoming another pointless road safety organisation) along with Simon Milward – who was FEMA’s general secretary at the time – and a few others. Sadly Simon Milward died in Mali while undertaking the Millennium Ride in 2005, raising money for Motorcycle Outreach and Médecins Sans Frontières. FEMA membership now consists of 24 organisations in 19 different countries. It isn’t something that you can join individually, however, if you’re a member of MAG or the BMF in this country, you’re automatically a member of FEMA. The organisations all pay towards the upkeep of
FEMA’s office and staff, making sure we have a voice in Europe. Love or loathe the EU, you can’t get away from the fact that it is where most of our laws come from, whether it’s our driving licence directives or whether or not children under 8 can blow up balloons (seriously – according to an EU directive it is illegal for a child under 8 to blow up balloons!). Obviously, FEMA, and most of its member organisations have been hit by the recession – also, the weather has affected most of MAG’s events this past couple of years, however we will still help out where we can. We’re asking people, when they see a MAG stand at a show or whatever, to chuck a quid into a collecting bucket. Nothing major. Especially, as a quid will hardly be missed by most people. It won’t even get you half a pint of beer these days – unless of course, you’re in the Colpitts pub, Durham (the home of Durham MAG), where a pint of Sam Smiths is £1.80 (to my amazement when I visited there recently). Better still, join MAG while you’re at it. Talking of Simon Milward, by the time you read this, MAG members Doug Smith and Max Jowett from Devon will be back from their expedition to Mali, where they went to find Simon’s Tree; a baobab tree on which a memorial plaque had been attached, as it was close to where Simon died. They December-January 2014 • South East Biker Magazine
MOTORCYCLE ACTION GROUP
made the journey in record time and found the tree (carving their names into it) and putting up their own plaque. They even found the time to hunt out a new breed of pothole on the way down (eh Doug?)! Max owns the new East Sussex branch of Wheels 2 Work, a scheme that enables young people – or those who can’t afford to buy a car – the means to get on the road by renting a bike or a scooter for an affordable weekly fee (that comes with all the kit and a bike that is regularly serviced). Better that than relying on very poor public transport, like most people have who live in rural areas. Membership of the scheme now includes automatic MAG membership as both W2W and MAG value the importance of getting young people on two wheels, and without new blood coming into biking, we’re not getting any younger! John Mitchell, MAG National Chairman and South East Region Rep
Fancy a trip to the famous NorthWest 200 races without the hassle of arranging it or paying out large amounts for a full tour? A pal of ours is running a small trip, leaving West Sussex in the 2nd week of May 2014. If interested, please email email@example.com and we can furnish you with details.
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mototracker.co.uk 17/01/2013 12:43
A WEEKEND IN WALES
Matt Johnson & Wales by Sandy Saulfield
One of the big advantages of our geographical position in the South East is our access to a wide range of motorcycling destinations. Whether it’s a daytrip to France or a fortnight around Europe, we can have an adventure to suit our pockets and timescale. Sandy Caulfield caught up with author Matt Johnson and tells of the delights of a weekend in Wales… AUTHOR PROFILE Matt Johnson is a biker and author. In the 1990s he was a Police Officer with the Metropolitan Police, and became a motorcycle traffic officer. His debut novel, ‘Wicked Game’ is a gripping adventure in which the reluctant hero, aging London cop Robert Finlay, becomes embroiled in a cat and mouse game of survival, when his hidden past as an SAS Captain catches up with him. Matt Johnson now lives near to Abergavenny in Monmouthshire, South Wales, and rides a fully loaded Harley Fatboy. He gives us plenty of good reasons why you should take your bike to South Wales for the weekend... South Wales is a biker paradise. Yawning vistas and empty roads tantalise and tempt. The magnificent Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons throw open one gorgeous view after another. The roads are good, not potholed and unpredictable like much of the UK. And if you can put up with a spot of rain, there are very few places to beat it. But can you realistically get there from the SouthEast of England, and enjoy it, in a weekend? We think you can. And here’s why. GETTING THERE The M25/M4 will get you to the Severn Bridge in about three and a half hours from mid Sussex. It’s an easy route and drops you straight onto the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park. From there, South Wales is your Oyster. And it’s not as big as you might think. Author Matt Johnson lives on the old A40 and says that’s one of his favourite rides. He is clearly passionate about the area he lives in, saying “I like to get up into the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains. One of my favourites is the tenmile stretch of the A4059 from Hirwaun on the Heads of the Valleys road into Brecon. It goes up on the mountain and has great visibility.” If you prefer to keep off the beaten track, Matt recommends the lesser known B4560, a road that joins the A465 and heads north over the moor to join the 24
A40. He says, “Due to the mountain you get really good visibility ahead to plan overtakes and routes through the winding bends.” But in this area, you are literally spoilt for choice, with loads of beautiful routes over and around these awesome mountains and valleys. The A4067 south of Sennybridge is marked as a green ‘scenic’ route and, of course, there are also the wonderful coastal routes around the Gower and Pembroke peninsulas. There are some great bike friendly places to stay in South Wales, and Matt gushes about the Castle Inn just outside Talgarth. He says, “They cater for a lot of bikers, have good off-road parking, drying facilities and good grub. You can choose between bringing a sleeping bag for the bunk room, or forking out for something more comfortable. They can even cater for camping.” There is also the wonderfully quaint ‘Bear Inn’ right on the High Street in Crickhowell. There you will find a cosy bar, great food, and a rear courtyard where you can park your bike away from the street. Wales is a biker-friendly sort of a place, and on a weekend the roads become the bikers’ playground. That’s not to say things get silly. There is an expectation that bikers will treat the roads with respect, and with sheep popping out here and there at random, you’d be daft not to. An hour west along the A40 from Abergavenny there is the popular Landovery Cafe and Ice-Cream Shop, and a new bike stop called the Steel Horse Cafe has opened up on the old A40 between Raglan and Abergavenny. Matt Johnson’s particular favourite is on the Gower peninsular at Swansea. He says, “Follow the Coast Road west from the M4, and it takes you along the coast next to the beach. You end up at a cafe called Verdis, which serves the best ice-creams and coffees around.” When you have finished exploring the bikers heaven that is South Wales, there is, as a last port of call before heading south back towards the M4 and home, the Abergavenny Coffee Shop right in the centre of town. There you can sit amongst other bikers, exchange stories, or just sit and bike watch whilst you enjoy one of the best bacon and egg sarnies you’re ever likely to taste. So there it is. South Wales in a weekend. What are you waiting for? December-January 2014 • South East Biker Magazine
PLASTIC-PAINT YOUR BIKE WITH
Martin at Evolution Paintwork, based in Framfield East Sussex, tells us about a versatile and budget-conscious alternative to traditional paint and vinyl wrap... “I’ve been working in the painting, panel-beating and welding industry for over twenty years and set up my own business, Evolution Paintwork, a year ago. Whilst specialising in motorcycle repairs, restoration and traditional paintwork, I now offer a liquid wrap alternative – a rubberised paint that can be sprayed over pretty much any material – plastic, metal and wood to name a few. So it’s ideal for covering bike fairings, helmets and car panels. One great advantage of this paint is that it can be sprayed with very little preparation to the surface, meaning a plastic paint job will normally cost half that of a traditional paint job! Fancy a different colour on your track bike for next season? Want to try a new shade for your road bike? Or fed up with your helmet design but don’t want to buy a new one? Plastic paint is ideal for temporary colour changes because you can peel it off when you want to change again. Change the colour as often as you like, or revert to the original design with no damage to the paint underneath. Plastic paint comes in clear and primary colours which can be mixed to create other shades. The clear paint is fantastic as an invisible protective layer against road salt, winter dirt and stone chips. Then peel it off when the weather improves! The photos show the before and after of an old helmet I painted in matt black. Just to jazz it up, I airbrushed a Monster logo on the back! If you would like to more about plastic paint or would like a quotation, give me, Martin Watts a call on 07842 968863, email me at email@example.com or visit my website at evolutionpaintwork.co.uk.
Evolution Paintwork All types of motorcycle paintwork and classic restoration undertaken Track day/race fairings Plastic repairs Accident repairs 20 years panel beating & painting experience Martin Watts T: 07842 968863 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.evolutionpaintwork.co.uk Find me on Facebook Unit 6 Oaks Farm Workshops, Framfield, East Sussex, TN22 5PN
South EastPaintwork Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk Evolution 0313 HP.indd 1
25 15/03/2013 15:19
THE LAST HURRAH
The Last Hurrah of 2013
How quickly does the trackday season go?? Terry Dunn tells of a day out at the end of the season on a trackday with a difference…
By Terry “The Poisoner” Dunn
had the thought of getting one last trackday in before the onset of the winter weather so hunted around and found a midweek one at Silverstone on the 4th of October. I also thought this one might be a bit interesting as the normal regime of novice, intermediate and fast had been changed to novice, intermediate and a ladies only session. This was the brainchild of Maria Costello MBE, she of the female lap record of the TT. With no fast group available, myself and good friend Ray (A North Gloucester Club racer on a CBR600RR) booked into the intermediates. Then, less than a week before the event, Jo Ilkin the Silverstone events organizer phoned and said that the novice and intermediates were being grouped together as the third session had been bought up by the BBC who were there to film with no less a hero than world champion hopeful Scott Redding! Jo was very apologetic
and said that if riding with novices was unacceptable, we could reschedule at no extra cost. Actually, we thought it might be fun and if nothing else we could at least practice our overtakes! The day duly arrived. The Met office promised heavy rain and high winds. As usual they were spot on and it was a warm, dry morning. Sign on also supplied everyone with a free £10 voucher for lunch in the second floor café of the new ‘wing’ building. Sorry, did I forget to mention we were in the spanking new pit complex? Fresh and shiny new garages with clean floors, attached toilets, excellent lighting and plenty of power sockets for the tyre warmers. Free bangers and mash and a bottle of pop at lunch and all for £129. Bargain! In due course Scott Redding thundered around the International circuit on his sessions and was interviewed by
December-January 2014 • South East Biker Magazine
THE LAST HURRAH Mike Bushell in between plus filmed a lot and watched a lot from the pit wall. They had a garage all to themselves but the doors were open so I swanned in, took a photo of the lanky hero and then was smartly ushered back out by a BBC producer. Well, I guess it was they who paid for the privilege. Word must have got about on the days leading up to Mr. Redding’s appearance as I saw several ‘known faces’ from the biking world during the day. Alistair Fagan, Fast Bikes magazine journo and some time BSB racer was there, tucking into his lunch all be it with slight difficulty with one arm in a cast. Matt Wildee, editor of Performance Bike Magazine, and cohorts John McAvoy and Mark White were riding. I found it interesting that they were the only riders who did not set up inside the garage, staying outside in the car park with their vehicles. They stood right at the back during the start-of-day briefing and I never saw them mixing with the other riders between sessions. Perhaps not the best way to promote your publication, but what do I know. Maybe they were simply enjoying a day off and just having a blast? John McAvoy and I did share a laugh though when we crossed paths with him clutching a hammer in one hand and a hacksaw in the other. Trouble apparently with a baffle bodge to get one of their bikes through the sound check. A film crew from the programme Bikeworld on the Men & Motors channel was there too. Suzi Taylor, the female presenter was very friendly and approachable, chatting with us and listening with apparent interest as Ray and I rambled on. She rode too, in the ladies group on a Ninja6 that was initially very reluctant to fire up. Seeing the crew pushing the bike up the car park for a bump start makes you realize that TV stars have feet of clay too. Speaking of the ladies group, it was fantastic. Chatting with Maria Costello, who had instigated the whole event, she told me they’d had an excellent turnout of twenty nine riders and it was brilliant to see them all out on track. Not girlies on bikes fumbling their way around a racetrack but riders in their own right, tackling Silverstone to the best of their abilities just like the rest of us. Apparently one rider ran off the track and one other actually binned it, just the same as a couple of guys in our own group. I must admit that watching a guy paddling his Panigale through the gravel trap after going straight on at Vale corner had me chuckling in my Arai as I went by. I did then feel a little guilty too at laughing at his misfortune but that was tempered by the thought that he’d probably do the same if the roles were reversed. Light rain arrived at the same time as the free lunch so it was wets on for the afternoon sessions for those few who had them. Lots of the novice guys (and gals) who’d turned up on the day on their road bikes went on out with their street tyres. Big respect for all the first timers, and there were no prangs either.
South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk
The BBC left as soon as they were sure the rain had settled in, which meant 20 minutes on 20 minutes off for the remaining two groups, burning up the remainder of their seven sessions and finishing earlier than expected. This meant an easier and unhurried pack up and push off home at days end. Probably one of the most unusual trackday experiences in the seven years to date that I’ve been indulging in this magnificent pastime, but Ray and I agreed it had been one of the most fun ones. Can’t wait for 2014.
Diary of a new rider
By Sandy Caulfield Sandy had put down a deposit on a Tiger 800 with the aim of passing her Direct Access, joining the Cancervive charity run and embarking on a European tour. In the last issue of SEB, Sandy had just failed her Module 2 test… for the second time and was slightly disappointed, to say the least!
t had been my mission that Iwas going to ride my Tiger solo at the Cancervive charity ride. I just kept onthinking that there must be another way. I thought about buying, or borrowing, a125 and doing it on that. I thought I should just have some fun on a small bike for a while instead of all this disappointment and pressure. But everybody I spoke to said I would regret it, lose a load of money, and anyway I was a good rider and could easily cope with the Tiger. I rang the Triumph dealership in Washington and asked them if they would release the bike to me even though I had failed my test. They said yes, but only if I could get insurance in my own name, and only if I could get someone else to ride it away. Hmmm. Next step insurance. I did a search on www.comparethemarket.com and got a reasonable quote from Bennett’s Additions. It was £360 and included the full works – breakdown cover, helmet and leathers, European travel etc. I rang them up and explained the situation. It was obvious that the woman on the other end of the phone hadn’t had these sort of questions before because she kept having to put me on hold while she found out the answers. Anyway, it turned out that they would insure me, so long as I had a named driver on the policy who held a full bike licence, and who would be the only rider until I passed. That’s good then, I have a hubby with a full bike licence. So far so good. Then I asked them whether it was possible to learn and take my test on my own bike. Back to Greensleeves. Yes, so long as I was fully under instruction. By this, they meant: with L plates; with attractive flerky jerky; on comms with an instructor. Any training ride whatsoever was absolutely fine by them so long as these conditions were met. So then I rang my instructor and asked if he was prepared to ride with me at the Cancervive ride. I told him the sequence of events, and my plan. He whooped! And so I find myself with the plan almost come to fruition (near as damn it)... 28
THIRD TIME LUCKY!! WELL, I AM delighted to report that I finally did it! The third time I took my Module 2 I passed. But the background to this success is that I passed because I knew I could do it, because the weekend before it I did do it – I’d taken part in a 70-mile charity ride on my brand-new Triumph Tiger 800, having established that it would be legal to ride my Triumph so long as I was with my instructor and we were linked by intercom. The morning of the Cancervive charity ride dawned grey and wet. Not just wet, actually pouring down. I looked out of the window and knew I’d be getting a soaking, but nothing on earth – barring a nuclear explosion – would stop me from going on that ride. It had been too hard won. And let’s face it, I was hardly a newcomer to miserable riding conditions. So I went to the garage and looked at my new bike. Before that day I had ridden it for perhaps three minutes, round my instructor Allan Kelly’s schooling yard at TT Motorcycle School near Lewes (www.ttmotorcycleschool.com). Now I was going to ride it, albeit under instruction, for several hours, on unknown roads, surrounded by a swarm of experienced bikers and bikes. My knees were actually knocking together. Al came to my house on his BMW R1150GS and we set off for the Roebuck Inn in Laughton, where the ride was to begin. Also in our little posse was my hubby, the Bear, on his R1200GS Adventure, and my sister Diane on a Ducati Multistrada. OK, so I was sporting a fluorescent jacket and L-plates, but I’d done it! I was on the ride on my own bike. My breath came in short gasps and my head was buzzing with nerves as we made our way in a slow convoy to the pub. I was concentrating so hard I didn’t even notice that the rain had stopped. But as the road unwound in front of me and the wet tarmac dried, a wonderful sense of peace came over me because here I was, actually doing the ride. A slow beam spread across my face, and it remained there for the rest of the day as 40 bikes wound around Sussex on what turned out to be a wonderfully sunny afternoon. My sister sat behind me in my right hand mirror December-January 2014 • South East Biker Magazine
the whole time. Al sat on my left. I felt so protected. The Bear and friend called Dan acted as marshalls for the ride. At every major junction they made the traffic situation safe, so the 40 of us were able to ride through in a blob, always together.
The ride went more or less without a hitch. The only minor incident was when a bike directly in front of me clipped the kerb and I had to stop pretty sharpish. But even that had only served to prove to me that I could deal with the unexpected. As we trundled through the villages, children stopped and pointed and waved, as the 40 engines revved and rumbled along. For me it was an incredible experience. I will live on the endorphins for a very long time. So when the day came for my third attempt at Mod 2, I knew I could do it because I already had. I was still nervous, but I got a new examiner Al had never seen before, called David. He was calm and friendly, putting me at ease instantly. What a difference to the two I’d had previously. David took me around Burgess Hill for about 40 minutes, with a short spin on the dual carriageway. This time it was not scary at all, as I’d spent a good chunk of time on the previous Sunday on the A27. I had a good ride – not perfect, but I felt happy that I’d done a good performance. And it’s hard to be perfect! I got five minors, which I felt was respectable and fair. And it’s a pass, so I can ride my Tiger on my own… and I can get on with building my Ninja project bike, knowing that I can ride it when it’s built. So much riding to do, so little time.
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12/09/2013 15:32 29
ric Oliver was born in 1912 at Crowborough. He used to ride from Crowborough to Stamford Bridge with his brother to watch speedway. Inspired by this, Eric took up grass track racing. He graduated to racing sidecars and took the world by storm. He first entered the record books, when he won the inaugural sidecar world championship in 1949 on his pre-war 596cc Norton. Eric stuck loyally with Norton throughout his career. He went on to win 3 further world championships in 1950, 1951 and 1953. He is also remembered for his innovation, being the first sidecar competitor to use a dustbin fairing, rear suspension and the first to adopt the kneeling riding position. Eric was also an accomplished solo racer and continued to ride a 350 Grand Prix bike while racing a sidecar. In 1954 he won the Isle of Man sidecar competition. He returned to the Isle of Man in 1958, to compete in the Sidecar TT, on a “standard” production Norton Dominator twin fitted with a Watsonian chair, with Mrs. Pat Wise as the intrepid passenger. They provided perhaps the most spectacular racing during the 10-lap race taking the chequered flag in tenth position, collecting a Bronze Replica for their efforts. The TT organisers were contemplating moving all the races to the Mountain Course, so in 1959, Eric and his passenger Stan Dibben, were asked to proceed the roads-open car on a lap of the 37.73 mile course at the conclusion of the Senior TT of 1959, to see if the ‘chairs’ could cope with the course! All was satisfied, and the 1960 TT saw Eric and Stan entered for the three-lap race. However, a dramatic accident during practice when the bolt holding the forks sheared put them out of contention. Eric broke his back in two places and Stan came close to being decapitated as the outfit plunged off the circuit heading straight for a wire fence. Luckily the sidecar broke the wire fence as it came into contact with Stan’s throat and he was thrown clear. Eric recovered fully from his injuries and Stan was not seriously hurt. Both men decided 30
to retire from racing. He couldn’t resist the lure of bike racing and in 1978, a year before his death, Eric rode his last race at Brands Hatch. After Eric retired from Grand Prix racing, he opened a motorcycle shop in Staines, Middlesex. Apart from an outstanding motorcycle racing career, Eric wanted to become a fighter pilot with the RAF during World War 2. However he was judged too old and so trained to become a flight engineer. He undertook 47 operations in Lancaster bombers. Eric Oliver died as a result of a stroke on 1st March 1980. A man who lived a full life… December-January 2014 • South East Biker Magazine
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Quick Response I.C.E. Information Stickers
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Quick Response (QR) and In Case of Emergency (I.C.E) are two popular standards / technologies that we have uniquely married together to create a new information safety product. Originating from barcodes typically used to point at websites when scanned, we embed I.C.E text in the codes giving the the idea of Quick Response In-Case of Emergency Information Stickers on helmets. Primarily aimed at motorcyclists, these can be used by cyclists, ski-ers, walkers, anyone outside and vulnerable. Cost effective, currently £9.99 for four stickers delivered. Club discounts available. Great reaction from paramedics, ﬁre services, trafﬁc police and motorcycling organisations. Our aim is to have the system recognised so that ﬁrst responders can act accordingly and hopefully transmit useful information as quickly as possible, especially to loved ones.
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THE BEST OF BRITISH
BEST OF BRITISH
Debbie gives us a round up of a fantastic season of British Motorcycle sport Photos by Nigel Martin
acing this season has probably been the best for British riders and spectators alike for some years. Tom Sykes won the World Superbike title with ease, Sam Lowes finished the season in style to become World Supersport champion and Alex Lowes became MCE British Superbike Champion. The British championship title collection was started by Tai Woffinden as he picked up the FIM World Speedway Championship title after a heroic ride with a second broken collar bone in a matter of a month. Rob Guiver was crowned Champion of the Motorpoint British Supersport Cup. After winning the most pole positions of the season, Tom Sykes took his first WSBK title. Tom was one of our first interviews of the magazine, he was riding for the Crescent Suzuki team in BSB and he took pity on us and agreed to give us an interview when others wouldnâ€™t give us the time of day. We found out that he is an all round lovely guy and loved racing, it has taken him some time but we are so happy to say well done Tom. All that hard work developing a great Kawasaki motorcycle that is now one of the most popular choice of motorcycles for racers. Sam Lowes showed his true ability and sportsmanship for such a young man when others were trying to push him to make mistakes. As we saw, Sam kept his cool and did most of his talking on the track, winning his title of World Supersport champion convincingly. The Lowes family really are a talented bunch and I am sure we will be talking a lot more about these boys for some years to come. Alex Lowes really did have us all biting our finger nails down to the bone on the last day of the championship. Once again the technical and rule changes that were implemented in 2011 for MCE British Superbikes has really made this championship open to all teams and riders. Challenging for the top six this season the usual
Josh Brookes riding the Tyco Suzuki
suspects were Shane Byrne, Josh Brookes and James Ellison. One rider who added his name early to that list was Alex Lowes, but we also saw Tommy Bridewell, James Westmoreland, Jon Kirkham, Ryuichi Kiyonari and new boy to the grid PJ Jacobsen, all fighting for that 5th and 6th place. It really shows that the changes made have opened the championship up as Chris Walker and Dan Linfoot were also trying to throw their names in the hat by getting good finishes. At the end it was Westermoreland and Kiyonari that took the last two places in the top six to fight for the title but it really was one of the top three that were expected to take it. I have to mention James Ellison who just seemed to have gained some cowboy skills from his American wife, as he had a huge moment at Silverstone where his bike tried to get him off. Ellison was left holding the handle bars but with December-January 2014 â€˘ South East Biker Magazine
THE BEST OF BRITISH
both legs over one side of the bike, he straightened the bike and threw his leg over the saddle and was back in his seat as if nothing had happened. I have never seen anything like it other than Russian Cossack horsemen that do amazing stunts on their horses whilst they are galloping along. Equally this takes a huge amount of balance, trust in the animal/ bike and determination to stay on! MCE British Superbikes champion winner Alex Lowes, this year, was the youngest rider to take the title ever, but you cannot say Lowes rode like a youngster. He rode with a huge amount of maturity and courage which showed, seeing the way he pushed the Samsung Fireblade to its limits and then some was inspiring. Shakey Byrne even admitted keeping up with Lowes was all he could do, he could not have pushed his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki anymore. Rob Guiver was crowned Champion of the Motorpoint British Supersport Cup before the Brands Hatch meeting so lucky for Rob as he really didn’t need to push for a podium. Rob admitted to us that he is not a fan of a wet track so, when the heavy rain started to fall just before his race, we knew he would just make sure he finished. Rob has been pretty consistent this year on his Triumph Daytona 675 and shown his ability by winning the last two championships he has entered. The real shame is that unless Rob can get a sponsorship deal for next season, we may not see him return to the track, so if there is anyone out there that wants to help him out in any small way, he would love to hear from you. Rob is an established rider in the BSB pits and we are hoping we can try to help him stay in there but he does need more help. The one rider that some people may not have heard much about, unless you are a Speedway supporter, is Tai Woffinden. Woffinden kept his supporters on the South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk
edge of their seats until the very last meeting to take the title. This was no mean feat as he had suffered a broken collar bone at the Millenium stadium, Cardiff and after missing only one round was back with it plated two weeks later. Tai showed how Speedway riders are so tough, riding on an uneven surface battling to ride a bike with no brakes. He then re-broke the collarbone, in a collision with Thomas Goleb, two weeks before the final round. Tai struggled to hold on to the bike in the final round and got the needed 13 points to secure the 2013 FIM Speedway Championship. The other thing about most of the Speedway riders is that they ride for a league team but most ride for a number of teams in different countries’ leagues. After a FIM meeting Tai would fly to the UK to ride for the Wolverhampton Wolves on the Monday evening and mid week to Poland to ride for WTS Wroclaw. If you have never watched a Speedway meeting please give it a try and I am sure you will be hooked just like Nick and I. MotoGP was amazing this season with the best rookie year ever for Marc Marquez who took the MotoGP title at the final round at Valencia. MotoGP needed this young man to come in and shake it all up. My own opinion is that there are some serious questions to be asked by Honda that all but one team mate of Dani Pedrosa has won the title, but Pedrosa still has not done it. Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner and now Marc Marquez have all won the MotoGP title whilst being a team mate to Pedrosa. Next year will be interesting with Crutchlow on the Ducati, Smith riding the Yamaha, Laverty with PBM, Redding on Honda and the possibility of a Lowes riding too. Racing for next season looks to be littered with talented British riders and for the supporters it can only make for a great spectacle. I cannot wait for the next season of racing to start. 33
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USED BIKES J. S. Gedge (Honda)
406-410 Old London Road, Hastings, E. Sussex. TN35 5BB Tel: 01424 423708 The one stop Honda shop.
99-107 Upper Stone Street, Maidstone. Kent. ME15 6HE Tel: 01622 688727 or 01622 765791
Email: email@example.com We specialise in quality used motorcycles and are Kent’s leading motorcycle trials specialists.
J B MOTORCYCLES Servicing • Vehicles Wanted Used Bike Sales • Accessories Part Exchange Recovery & Delivery
Call 07717 013566 firstname.lastname@example.org www.jb-motorcycles.co.uk Skitts Manor Farm, Moor Lane, Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 5RA
SERVICING Fastlane Motorcycles 88 Priory Street, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 2AH Tel: 01732 363630 Email: email@example.com We have a wide range of Used bikes, Clothing, Servicing, MOT’s, Parts,Track and Race Preparation.
CLOTHING GetGeared 290 Kingston Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 7QE Tel: 01372 225100 Everything you need under one roof or check out our extensive website.
The Biker Store Unit 2, Systems House, Eastbourne Road (A22), Blindley Heath, Surrey, RH7 6JD Tel: 01342 458171 Wide range of helmets, clothing and accessories. Come down and see our large showroom.
Helmet City Waylands Farm, Tatsfield, TN16 2JT Tel: 01959 577911 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Large range of Helmets, clothing and accessories in stock. Outlets in Chichester and Dorset. www.helmetcity.com
TRAINING Sussex Motorbikes Tyres, Servicing, MOTs, Repairs, Sales & Training www.sussexmotorbikes.co.uk CBT, DAS, ERS with bike and kit hire available. We are an established training centre that can take you from CBT to advanced training.
MTS SUSSEX Motorcycle Training for Sussex, Surrey and Kent • Taster Sessions • CBT • A2/DAS • • ERS • Advanced • Back to Biking • • Free Assessments • Ladies Only Days •
Call us now on 01342 890006 email@example.com www.mtssussex.co.uk
Insurance Champions Call 0800 089 2000 or visit www.bikesure.co.uk
Viking Motorcycle Seats 27A Heaver Trading Estate, Ash, Kent TN15 7HJ Tel: 07977 874075 Seat modifications, Gel pads, re-covering and embroidery www.viking-motorcycle-seats.co.uk
December-January 2014 • South East Biker Magazine
Honda Specialist Servicing & MOTs Accident Repairs, Clothing, Accessories and Parts
Full Range of Halvarssons Available! All your Winter seasons’ needs available for you and your bike.
01892 652380 Whitehill Road, Crowborough, East Sussex. TN6 1JS
The South East’s No.1
John Harris QP 1213.indd 1
Re mEaEg! F bik
IF YOU HAVE JUST READ THIS… THEN SO HAVE YOUR CUSTOMERS
Why not advertise your Company in the South East’s No 1 FREE magazine for bikers? Maximize your company’s full potential by promoting it in South East Biker Magazine and make sure your company’s name reaches the customers you need. SEB has a readership of around 20,000 in the height of summer. SEB also has an active website, Facebook Group and Twitter to keep our readers in touch with what’s going on around the South East. With a fully readable edition online our readership is worldwide. Whatever your budget we can provide a solution; from a business card box to the prestigious cover ads, we are here to help you. Call Debbie Tunstill today on 01892 610808 or email firstname.lastname@example.org South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk
BIKER BREAKING POINTS
SOUTH EAST BIKER BREAKING POINTS
Here is your quick guide to biker resting points throughout our region. If you wish to advertise your business here to 1000s of bikers then call Debbie on 01892 610808 or email: email@example.com
Kent Motorcycles H’s Café
Mickleham , Box Hill, Dorking, Su rrey. RH5 6B Y Tel: 01306 88 4454
Dover Road (A2), CT4 6SA Tel: 01227 832601
Rykas Café – the South Ea st’s motorbike rid ers institutio n. www..boxhi ll.co.uk
Opening hours: Mon - Fri, 7:30am - 3:30pm Sat 7:30am - 5pm 8am to 4pm Sun il 9.30pm Wed is Bike night open unt
The Bell Inn
The Pied B ull
Outwood, RH1 5PN
High Stree t Farningha m Kent. DA4 0DG Tel: 01322 862125 Bike
s welcome, good food and good company.
Loomies Café West Meon, GU32 1JX
Station Road, n Café Alton, GU Tel: 01420 8220 34 2PZ 5 Op ening Mon-Sat 6:30am- hours: 3p Late night: Sta m. Closed Sun. rts en Wednesdays 5p d March Take away servi m-9pm. Try one of our ce available. great money quality value for meals.
Oakdene Cafê Wrotham, TN15 7RR
High Street, Horam, Heathfield, East Sussex TN21 0ER Tel: 01435 813999
Home of the MAMA Burger Eat In or Takeaway Welcome Now Open 7 Days A Week Mon-Fri 7am To 4pm Sat & Sun 9am To 4pm (Inc, Bank Hols)
ays Whitew é f a C Hill, ry (A29) Bu FD BN18 9
The Harrow Inn
Harrow Road, Knockholt, Sevenoaks, Kent TN14 7JT
Chiddingly, BN8 6HT
Tel: 01959-532168 Extensive menu, great value with stylish restaurant. Wednesday is Bike night with special events.
December-January 2014 • South East Biker Magazine
MOTORCYCLE SEATS MOTORCYCLE SEAT UPHOLSTERY SPECIALISTS Quality Craftmandship at Down to Earth prices
We are a small but busy workshop near Brands Hatch supplying and fitting gel pads, memory foam and standard vinyls. We have a full range of faux (fake) and genuine skins. If your seat needs recovering, is uncomfortable or too high or wide, Viking Motorcycle Seats have the solution. How about some customised embroidery? We offer a complete, bespoke service to make your bike unique. While you wait service available.
NEW PRODUCT: HEATED SEATS We now supply and fit the fantastic BRAD PADS, heated seat elements to keep you warm all year. These can be inserted into your seat at the same time as a rebuild. A very simple connection to the battery is supplied and the pads come with two settings. Price is just £75 or £95 including wiring into bike.
Call us now on: 07977 874075
Visit: www.viking-motorcycle-seats.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or pop in and see us at: 27a Heaver Trading Estate, Ash Road, Ash, Kent. TN15 7HK 30 years experience • Quality craftmanship • All work guaranteed
VIKING MOTORCYCLE SEATS
Published on Nov 22, 2013