The South East’s No.1 FREE bike magazine ISSUE 41 • OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2015
BIKERS ON TRIAL A TRUE HERO
REVIEWS • FEATURES • EVENTS • SPORTS SEB: ON FULL THROTTLE SINCE 2008southeastbiker.co.uk
Editor scribes We have met some amazing and humbling motorcycling characters this summer and it is a pleasure to tell their stories to a wider audience. For completely different reasons, the tales of Dave Fletcher and the Talan Racing team are inspiring to say the least. Hero is an overused word these days, but these guys certainly live up to the title.
The adventure bike market is extremely buoyant these days, with some fantastic models coming out regularly from all the major manufacturers, and we try out a pair from Suzuki and BMW. It’s difficult to find fault with modern bikes, they are generally all well designed and engineered, so it’s a case of finding what suits you the most. Hopefully these reviews will point you in the right direction. SEB have been out and about, trying out some fabulous Welsh roads and a bit more off road competition. As per usual, we didn’t trouble the trophy engravers, but it’s the taking part isn’t it? Michelin’s Tony Charlton provides some fascinating information on that most vital of motorbike components, the rubber we choose. The small, credit card sized patch of tyre that connects us to the road is the result of a huge amount of development and engineering. Interesting stuff.
4 FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT: BMW S1000XR 8 Suzuki DL1000 V Strom 11 Bikers On Trial 17 JW Groombridge New Showroom 19 A Day At The Races 21 A True Hero
We preview Brightona, the charity event that winds up the year’s large open air motorbike gatherings. SEB are pleased to be able to support this worthwhile cause. See us there! All the best Nick
Visit southeastbiker.co.uk for events list CONTACT US ADVERTISING AND Debbie Tunstill, email: email@example.com GENERAL ENQUIRIES Tel: 01892 459080 EDITOR & PUBLISHER: Nick Tunstill, email: firstname.lastname@example.org South East Biker, Friars Gate Farm, Mardens Hill, Crowborough, East Sussex. TN6 1XH
23 BRIGHTONA PREVIEW 24 Talking Tyres 27 Freestyle Wales
PRODUCTION: Dean Cook: email@example.com PRINTING: Evon Print, Henfield, Sussex © 2015 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: BMW S1000XR. Image courtesy of BMW.
South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk
30 THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT 3
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT…
A TRIP ON THE BMW S1000XR G
oing back just a decade, the Triumph Tiger 955i was one of the most powerful motorcycles in the evolving adventure market. How things have changed. The top adventure touring bikes from the likes of KTM, BMW and Triumph have been criss-crossing continents comfortably over the last few years and then along came Ducati with the 2010 Multistrada and changed the game forever. Stunning performance, advanced electronics and suspension, combining comfort with style, produced a bike that was as close to the perfect all rounder as it was possible to buy at the time. Despite the bike’s obvious appeal, the Multistrada hasn’t dented the BMW GS’s dominance as the 4
Whilst paying a visit to Road Trip in Woking, Nick Tunstill was offered an outing on the German manufacturer’s exciting new “Adventure Sports” bike…
weapon of choice for would be adventurers. Possibly because it isn’t perceived as quite rugged enough for the adventure section and not sporty enough for the fast boys. The S1000XR has taken sides though and it’s decidedly more “Sport” than “Adventure”. Based on the hugely successful S1000RR sports engine, the 160bhp version will whisk you across continents with a grin as wide as the Cheshire cat. First impressions, it’s a great looking bike, BMW have put some work in to make it sharp and up to date. Slinging a leg over, I found it quite tall and with a high centre of gravity. There is a lower seat option but it is not adjustable on the bike. A bit of a shame as I would lower it and anyone under 5’10” may find it a challenge. Anyway, October-November 2015 • South East Biker Magazine
as with most of these large bikes, once on the move, the bike is well balanced. The RoadTrip model is a top of the range version with the Dynamic Pack allowing almost endless combinations of electronic rider mode combinations. This model also comes with the very impressive Pro Shifter allowing clutchless gear changing both up and down the gearbox. The clutch itself is on the heavy side so, once you get used to riding without it, the advantages are great. If you like your electronics, you will love the BMW. I don’t think there has been anything overlooked on the XR in this department, with the BMW branded SatNav, information and warnings can be fed to this screen as South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk
well. The instrument panel is clear and even I found it reasonably easy to navigate! So, pulling away into the busy Woking streets I found the XR is very rideable at low speeds and it doesn’t have the frustrating slow traffic ride of some out and out sports bikes. The upright riding position and wide bars give a commanding and comfortable view of the world outside your lid. It’s impressive how top of the range, modern motorbikes are so rideable, even for 5
a novice. There’s nothing daunting at low speeds so I just spent some time playing around with the clutchless gear shifting. Once used to it, I went in search of some national speed limits to have more of a play, a bit of a challenge in Surrey it seems. Once out on more open, twisty roads, the XR starts to show its true colours. Grab a handful of the fly-by-wire throttle and the 160bhp 4 cylinder roars into life. On Surrey’s roads the bike will cope with anything that you can throw at it. With excellent brakes, suspension, traction control and road holding, you can push with confidence, even on gravelly and damp surfaces. With its sportsbike heritage, the BMW is more likely to get you in trouble with the law than the conditions. The only comfort issue is the vibration through through the bars, something that shouldn’t be too much of a problem for BMW to address. It’s a super smooth engine and, with the gear shift system, the acceleration is mind blowing. I didn’t even begin to tap its enormous potential, it’s not really feasible on a busy weekday around Surrey. But I had a taste of what it has to offer and I can imagine it would be awesome on a long European jaunt. With a combination of comfort, practicality and sportsbike performance, this motorbike would grace any biker’s garage. I think the most impressive feature is how usable it is. Everyday commuting would be practical and fun, with the weekends and holidays amazing. The BMW S1000XR may just be the bike to finally convince hard core sports bike fans that riding an adventure bike can deliver the same punch. South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk
Have a chat with RoadTrip and take one away for a dirty weekend, just the two of you. www.RoadTrip.uk The standard XR costs £12,400 and the Sport and Sport SE are £13,645 and £14,750 respectively. Not cheap, but you are getting a real state of the art motorcycle. USEFUL INFO
Engine size........................................999cc 160bhp Engine type.................................... 16v, inline four Frame type.................................Cast ali, twin spar Fuel capacity............................................... 20 litres Seat height...................................................820mm Bike weight..................................................... 228kg Front suspension......................43mm USD forks,
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SUZUKI DL1000 V STROM Whilst the V Strom 1000 and BMW S1000XR are both litre adventure bikes, they are aimed at very different riders. The Beemer is basically a sports bike with added comfort for longer trips, the Suzuki comes at it from a different direction. A Suzuki demo day at Loomies hosted by Haslemere Motorcycles gave me a chance to do a back to back comparison...
aving taken the S1000XR around the busy lanes of Surrey, I was interested to see how the revamped old trooper from Suzuki measures up. The looks of the bike have been sharpened, it’s still recognisable from old models but definitely an improvement. However, unlike some bikes, it won’t sell on looks and sound alone. The big V twin is aimed at the adventure touring market and will sell more on value for money than blistering performance. The 228kg is well distributed and with an 850mm seat height I could plant both feet comfortably, which was more reassuring for me at 5’10” than the XR. The clutch is light but a bit snatchy when pulling away in first. The upgraded 99bhp 1037cc twin engine is responsive, torquey and pulls well in all gears. The Suzuki does have character in this department, that will either appeal or not. When I first touched the front brake, I had a bit of a 8
wake up call, a lot sharper than the Tiger XRX I am used to. Personally, I found the brakes a bit too effective, I found using the engine braking more comfortable unless really called for. With excellent ABS and traction control, the V Strom is a well equipped package. The wide bars and upright seating position delivering a comfortable and dominant ride. I was impressed with the instrument display,
October-November 2015 • South East Biker Magazine
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both the high position of the panel and the amount of information available without having to scroll through endless menus. The auxillary socket is well placed just below the panel so easy to access. The performance won’t rip your arms off but there is plenty of power on tap for real world riding even with a pillion and luggage. Front and rear suspension is fully adjustable, which is important as the factory set up is quite firm.
The screen is adjustable also and, with plenty of factory accessories available, the V Strom can be kitted out to make an excellent tourer. Bear in mind the bike makes no pretence to having any off road capability so if this is required, look elsewhere. I think the V Strom 1000 would be best suited to longer commutes and trips. If you do a lot of town work one up, you may be better looking at the 650 version. I found with the lower weight it was
more of a laugh to chuck about than its big brother. Despite both the Suzuki and BMW XR being bracketed in the adventure section, they are very different animals. At £15,000 plus the Beemer is a state of the art, electronics packed rideable/ tourable sports bike. The extra bucks will buy you sports bike like performance and all the latest motorcycling features. At £9999, the Suzuki V Strom is great value for a very capable touring motorbike with a decent spec. Try a test ride at Haslemere Motorcycles or JW Groombridge USEFUL INFO
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October-November 2015 • South East 15/01/2015 Biker Magazine 09:40
OFF ROAD ADVENTURES
BIKERS ON TRIAL
Spurred on by our glorious success in the Taffy Dakar we came across a local event that would challenge our finely honed off roading skills even more, the Eastbourne and District MCC Long Distance Trial. What could possibly go wrong?
he Long Distance Trial is a bit more formal than the Taffy Dakar, being a proper competition with ACU and club membership being required. However the ACU trials membership is a bargain £10 a year and the club membership can be had for a day for a fiver. The rest of the entry fee went towards Help for Heroes. The rest of the SEB team were all suddenly working/ on holiday/not taking my calls but my team of one luckily evolved into a dynamic duo with Kevin Macleod bravely volunteering. As the day progressed, I was mighty glad I was not on my own, anyone in my riding class of old and unskilled will certainly need help along the way for an event like this. Kevin even turned up having made a fully functioning road book holder from a Tupperware box cable-tied onto his handle bars. I was most impressed with this Blue Peter style ingenuity, however, unfortunately for him, this gave Kevin the role of map reader and guide for the day. So we rode down to a farm near Rushlake Green for 8.30am on a bright Sunday morning, not really sure what to expect or what skill level it was aimed at. We had been emailed a road map, something new to me
South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk
having only seen them on TV on the Dakar coverage. We were proper adventurers now. Not only that, we had a number each, we were actual competitors! We milled around, had a cuppa and bacon sandwich and listened to the briefing with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. The route was 100 miles or so, around East Sussex, utilising back lanes, green lanes, private farm land and with some trials sections thrown in. We had booked late so started at the back, a position we valiantly managed to hold the whole day. The first section was a trials area in woods on the farm. There were observers checking the riders as we tried to complete each section without putting our feet down or deviating from the course. If we wanted to bypass any section, that was fine, we would simply incur a 5 point penalty. If we completed it successfully, we got a zero. Watching the guys in front, the first section looked do-able, maybe without falling off but certainly not without touching the ground. Still, we were here, we had to give it a bash. Luckily, being at the back, the audience wasn’t too large, so we scrambled around and just about got round but amassing plenty of 11
OFF ROAD ADVENTURES points on the way. We zeroed our trip meters as the road book contained little step by step graphics of the route with distances to each junction etc. With both bikes set, we could check the accuracy after a few miles. Now this bit was a lot easier than the Taffy, where it took us well over an hour and a half to find the first trail, resorting to having to ask an organiser rather sheepishly for directions. The road book shows where to turn, how far and which bits are tarmac and off road, simple. And, for once, it actually was. The route took us south and around some lovely, tiny country lanes and a hugely varied mixture of green lanes. After about an hour, we pulled over and I said to Kevin “We are doing well here, 26 miles already”. “Why does mine only say 16 miles then?” asked Kevin. Er, probably because my DR speedo measures in kilometres. Moving not so swiftly on, we followed, or rather Kevin followed the road book with skill and accuracy and I basically followed Kevin. Still, it worked, and we made reasonable progress, even passing one or two other groups. However they were either having a break or a mechanical, so there was no actual competitive success here. Now 100 plus miles on tiny lanes and off road is quite a lot for us novices, and we were feeling the pace as well as thoroughly enjoying it. We had a go at the trials sections with little scoring success but we got round them with a few minor spills. The green lanes around Sussex vary hugely in character and difficulty. Some are flat, dusty paths through the woods and there are dry rutted sections across the marshes towards Pevensey. Along the foot of the Downs runs the old coach road, an open gravelled track with glorious views. Most of them are achievable by a relative newcomer to riding off road. As long as you are 12
prepared to pick yourself and bike up a few times, it’s thoroughly enjoyable. We stopped for fuel and a pasty near Hailsham and were pretty pleased with our progress so far. It was a beautiful summer’s day, we were riding bikes all day long, mostly on roads free of any traffic. What’s not to like? Despite riding pretty much non stop and only getting lost a couple of brief times, time seemed to be against us and we still had a fair bit to go as we rode up to the catering tent on a farm field for much anticipated tea and home made cake. It was getting on for 4.30pm now and we rather smugly thought we had done all the hard work and were simply on a cruise back. Wrong. The back up crew were now behind us, collecting the markers and closing the trial sections. The first bikes had passed the tea station at 1.30 but had set off about 20 minutes ahead of us at the start. Now that was impressive! Apparently there were still several trial sections and quite a few miles of road and off road riding to tackle. We were pretty knackered by now, the physical and mental exertion involved when you are not used to this kind of riding is surprising. Pressing on, we completed the remaining trial sections in our own bumbling way and, with just a couple of green lanes to go, we met our Everest. An innocuous looking uphill trail turned into a deeply rutted, wet slippery challenge. Most of my DR seemed to disappear into a water filled ditch that reminded me of library footage of the Somme. It was a two man effort to drag the bikes along one by one. We managed it, without really sitting on the bikes at all on that section. Just as we reached the top, one of the sweeping crew, shot up behind us, merrily asking if we were ok. “How the hell did you just ride a bike up there?” I asked. “Rode up the middle and stayed out of the ruts” he replied “And did you know your rear October-November 2015 • South East Biker Magazine
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OFF ROAD ADVENTURES mudguard and number plate are just hanging on by the connecting wire?” Nope, out with cable ties and bungees. The marshalls wisely rode behind us as they had hopes of getting home that night and we were flagging but determined to complete the course. Finally we rolled into a farm back near Rushlake Green for the final trial section. Now why did they save this particular joy till last. Kevin and I looked at each other as we surveyed the slope in front of us. “Most of the others have done it” the observer helpfully pointed out. Kevin bravely volunteered to give it a go. Running out of steam half way up, he gracefully slid down underneath his Husqvarna. I thought I would give this one a miss and bypassed it for the next section. Kevin wisely turned this down so it was up to me to make an idiot of myself of course. Straight up the slope, front wheel up and it looped over the top of me, spun round and fell down the slope into a tree. Oops, another no score, or rather 5 penalty points, bashed bike and shamefaced I
trudged down to pick it up. Well. only the Speed Trial to go. In my innocence I thought this would be a kind of track lap on grass, around hay bales, a bit of a laugh at the end. I was looking forward to it. Nope, it was a timed lap around a trial section, I gave it a go but could have been timed by the movement of the sun rather than the observer’s stopwatch. Still, we had completed it, knackered but an excellent day with us and the bikes just about intact and bodged together enough for us to ride home. The Trial takes place each year and I can thoroughly recommend giving it a go. There was a wide selection of bikes being used, plenty of KTMs, of course, but old Triumphs, Hondas and even an MZ. Many thanks must go to the organisers and observers who did a splendid job, staying all the way till well after 6 to wait for the stragglers, pickingup the injured riders and bikes and supplying excellent tea and cake! Eastbourne and District MCC can be found at www.edmcc.co.uk
EASTBOURNE AND DISTRICT MCC The club was founded in 1926, stopped during the war and re-started in 1946. We operate under AMCA rules with the exception of our S E Centre Trials Championship round in June and the LDT in August which are run under ACU Regulations. We are part of the South Coast Group of clubs which includes Bognor club, Worthing, Brighton, Crawley, Redhill and Reigate and Horsham clubs, some only have a handful of members the others substantially more. Our average membership is between 50 and 80, a hardcore group with a few fluctuating riders each season. We run three of the group trials in September, October and January, these are always on the second Sunday in the month for all the area groups , which is why they are known as ‘group’ Sundays. Our own club events are generally held on the third Saturday of the month starting at 1.00pm so that riders who work in the morning can still arrive in time to ride. All other clubs have Sunday events, each club with a preferred end or start of the month date. We have also run a schoolboy trial in the mornings at 10.00 am prior to the afternoon trial, but due to much reduced numbers, decided it was not time efficient to continue. If we
can guarantee a minimum number of 6 youths, we can certainly resurrect this, to bring some young blood into the club. We cater from the age of 6 years to as old as you feel able to ride, our oldest rider was recently 79, with some cohorts not far behind. We are very lucky to have access to a variety of farm venues, so we can usually go somewhere different most months. Not all clubs have that facility. Trials are a good grounding for all aspects of bike sports, as you learn balance, throttle control and how to negotiate tight corners, ascents, descents, logs, and occasionally rocks, this is all year round come rain or shine. Trials riders compete well at enduros due to their ability to negotiate obstacles which the faster sports don’t encounter. Trials is the cheapest bike sport to take part in, there is a wide variety people involved, and it is both a healthy and social sport to enjoy on a regular basis. With all the clubs in the south east, it is possible to ride every weekend if you have the inclination. Some of our riders go to a French four-day trial every July and often travel to Yorkshire to ride different terrain, where rocks and moorland prevail. See www.edmcc.co.uk for details of events and how to get involved.
October-November 2015 • South East Biker Magazine
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NEW SHOWROOM AT JW GROOMBRIDGE The final phase of the refurbishment plan at JW Groombridge Motorcycles is now complete with the opening of a new state of the art two-storey building.
he new building has allowed JW Groobridge to create not only a spectacular Kawasaki showroom but also a new Royal Enfield display on the ground floor and a dedicated 2,000 sq foot Accessories and luggage showroom on the first floor which offers a vast range of products to cover all that your bike could wish for! With a warm welcome guaranteed, they invite you to come and visit their enlarged dealership where they have all the latest models on display from Suzuki, Kawasaki, Royal Enfield and Keeway plus a whole host of used bikes to suit all budgets and riding styles. The service reception, now at the rear of the new building, offers is now side by side with the parts reception so that all your servicing, tyre fitting, spare parts, repairs and MOT requirements can be dealt with efficiently. The first floor accessories showroom includes a very wide range of items from the best known brands for luggage, custom accessories, covers, security chains, tools, aftermarket exhausts, lubricants and cleaning materials plus a selection of their vast range of over 400 tyres which are kept in stock. The easily accessible site is on the A267 Tunbridge Wells to Eastbourne road and has spectacular views from the new showroom, they offer a great destination for a ride out and a ‘One Stop Shop for All Your Biking Needs’. J W Groombridge guarantee to give you expert help in choosing what is right for you in all departments, be it in their massive clothing store with enviable reputation for service and choice or the South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk
new accessories area. If you are at a distance, they offer an online shop at www.jwg.co.uk which displays all new and used bikes shown and details of most of their clothing and helmet range although, unlike many other clothing retailers, they actually have more in stock than is able to be featured on the website. Alternatively ordering can be made by telephone and delivery can be arranged for all items. They will be launching a specific parts website to cover items for Kawasaki, Suzuki, Royal Enfield, Keeway and Sym motorcycles both modern and vintage. The new site www.motocyclepartsonline.co will be launched shortly. For those yet to start out on their biking career or returning after an absence they have an in-house Rider Training school which offers CBT, A, A1 and A2 licence courses as well as bespoke rider refresher courses and the Enhanced Rider Scheme (ERS). The training school uses bikes which are less than a year old to ensure reliability and helmets, jackets and gloves can be provided for training sessions. Future events include a joint venture with Dainese at the final Brands Hatch BSB meeting on October 16-18, while recent activity saw Groombridges supporting Royal Enfield with a ride out to the highly successful Goodwood Revival meeting and an evening on Arai Helmets provided for ESAM (East Sussex Advanced Motorcyclists). For more information visit: ww.jwg.co.uk or call them on 01435 862466 17
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A DAY AT THE RACES
We have charted the progress of Talan Racing previously in SEB, so when their major sponsor, McMillan Williams solicitors, offered us as day out at Brands Hatch to see behind the scenes and watch the racing, we were off on our bikes like a shot…
hot, early August morning saw us riding over to Brands to meet with and watch the Talan Racing team in action. If you haven’t come across these guys before, they are the first privately funded disabled motorcycle race team. Founded by Talan Skeels-Piggins, who was paralysed from the chest down in a bike accident, the team has had to overcome numerous obstacles to get where they are today, competing in the frantic world of club racing. On strolling around the pits, the first impression was what a professional outfit the whole team looks. As one bystander remarked “Talan Racing would not look out of place in a BSB paddock”. From the eye catching bikes, to the crew and support staff in their branded gear, the whole operation was extremely slick. We chatted with Talan, the other riders and mechanics as well as Abi who handles the logistics. The attitude and enthusiasm is inspiring and spreads much further than simply motorcycling. The race team consists of Talan, Louise, Steve and new boy Will. However it is the entire squad that makes the whole of Talan Racing so special and unique, with several of them suffering with disabilities as well. It always adds more interest when watching the racing if you have met particular riders, but today had an extra dimension as they were up against more than just other bike racers. The bikes had numerous adaptions to be rideable by the various team members, but also have to conform to the various class regulations. If you are unable to put your feet down at the start, you have to be held at the back of the grid and then caught at the end, quite a feat. Imagine how hard it is to ride a motorbike with no feeling below
October-November 2015 • South East Biker Magazine
your chest and no way of shifting your weight or using your legs to balance and support yourself. Then try and picture yourself doing this whilst going full tilt into Paddock Hill bend! To witness this is pretty amazing and anyone who has raced can appreciate how tough and challenging this must be. The standard of motorbike racing at the BEMSEE club is particularly high, with riders such as Sam Coventry, who we featured last year, going on to be competitive straight away in BSB, itself the toughest domestic series. To watch these guys compete on an equal level is incredibly impressive. If you are starting at the back of the grid, as Talan has to, no matter where he qualifies, you have a point to prove. We watched with amazement as Talan and crew carved their way through from the back of the field to finish way above their grid positions. If you are around Brands or Snetterton in October, try and get along and watch the team racing. It’s a great day out, you can wander around the paddock and chat to the teams. The racing is fast, exciting and competitive. DREAM THE IMPOSSIBLE While we there, a film team was making a documentary due to be released next year. There is a teaser clip on the website www.talanracing.co.uk/videos as well as a video about how Talan faced up to his disability, from initial despair to the determination to not only ride a bike but to race one. Dream the Impossible is due for release in early 2016. Many thanks to McMillan Williams solicitors, both for organising the day and supporting Talan Racing. Also to sponsors GetGeared, Held and R&G. 19
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A TRUE HERO
Some of you who ride down to Wessons Café in Horam may have noticed an old chap sitting on the wall enjoying a cuppa and a bacon sandwich. He will nod and say hello or maybe even stroll over for a chat. Take the time to talk to him, for he is one of a dwindling band of men who risked everything so we can enjoy the freedom we have today…
ave Fletcher is approaching 94, still rides his Honda motorbike, still cycles and raises funds for the RAF Association. During World War Two, Dave was a rear gunner in a Lancaster bomber, flying missions over Europe. Most of us can’t begin to imagine how terrifying this must have been for a young man. Your life expectancy was about five missions, or six weeks and over 55,000 bomber crew lost their lives defending the Allies. Figures we can’t contemplate in the 21st century. So when Steve Wesson mentioned that Dave was off on his bike for a fundraising ride around France and would we liked to start the journey with him, we were very honoured. We rode down and had a chat with Dave before he set off. He’s a lovely, friendly chap, telling us tales of his wartime experiences and previous bike trips. At the tender age of 92 he undertook a bike trip to Inverness to visit his old air bases, camping on the way! He got lost around Guildford, felt tired so simply had a kip by the side of the main road. Steve has provided Dave with free tea and food for life, a great mark of respect for someone
South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk
who has more than earned it. We were a bit concerned about Dave heading off into the wilds of France at his age but were reassured when his mate, young Tony (in his mid 80’s) appeared to ride with him! That’s all right then. So Dave set off, with several bikes in pursuit, literally trying to keep up with his pace and we wished him a slightly emotional (us, not Dave) goodbye as he rode off into the sunset. As we rode back, I reflected on what an honour it had been to do just that short journey with someone who had been through so much and is still going strong. We don’t know for sure if he is Britain’s oldest biker, but it’s pretty likely. The good news is Dave completed his trip without major incident and raised over £1000 for the RAF Association. You can ride down to Wessons, have one of their excellent breakfasts or burgers, and drop off a few quid for Dave. Humbly, he doesn’t make a lot of fuss about it, but we think what he does is extraordinary and deserves wider recognition. Wessons Café can be found in Horam, near Heathfield, Sussex. wessonscafe.com 21
One of the last big outdoor motorcycle events of the year is Brightona 2015 on October 11th. It’s a brilliant biking day out on the south coast, filling Madeira Drive with bikers and motorcyclists of all persuasions.
dedicated team of volunteers give up their time and work all year round to pull it all off. It takes an awful lot of work to organise an event of this scale so all support is welcome. The £5 donation entrance cost goes towards vital medical equipment to improve the lives of hundreds of people. A small price to pay for a day’s entertainment and make a contribution towards facilities that benefit the community. It’s a great family day if you can’t make it on your bike but still want to support the event. Since 2004, Brightona’s Motorbike Festivals have had thousands of visitors flocking to the shores of Brighton. With the backing of the local council and authorites, the event is now a major part of the city’s calendar. Brightona Charity Riders hold many events throughout the year. The biggest of these being the Brightona Bike Show. You can always expect a fun packed time with some amazing motorcycles, hot rods,
South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk
live music, stalls and not forgetting the wall of death! When it comes to the bikes there are many categories including Best Bike in Show, Best Custom Bike, to name a few, plus Best Hot Rod. Music is a vital part of Brightona and many bands perform at each event, so bring your dancing shoes!! Finally why not treat yourself or a loved one to something from one of the many stalls offering leather wear, bike memorabilia, plus much more to fill your shopping bags. If you would like to contribute but can’t make it to an event or want to get involved as a volunteer, marshall, stall holder or to enter competitions, help raise money or simply keep up to date with upcoming events, contact Abe Goldin on 01273 708151 or email email@example.com Brightona would like to thank all the loyal sponsors, stall holders, musicians and volunteers who are essential to making these events a success! 23
THE STICKIEST TYRES FOR MY SPORTSBIKE PLEASE O
Tony Charlton is 46 years old and has worked for Michelin for over 25 years. With a background in automotive engineering, Tony is Michelin’s Product Technical Manager for the two-wheel team. Riding for nearly 30 years Tony started out on an FS1E, but currently rides a Triumph Street Triple, a CCM404 and a GasGas Pampera. Mostly a road rider with green laning, the odd track day and some Enduro riding thrown in for good measure!
ne of the questions we get asked a lot is “what are the stickiest tyres you make?” As ever the answer depends on what the tyres going to be used for. The stickiest sportsbike tyres in every manufacturer’s line-ups are their racing slicks and wets, defined by the lap times that they are capable of delivering, but of course they’re not road legal. Most of the big manufacturers now also make road legal race tyres, such as the Michelin Power Cup Evo, the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC, the Dunlop D212 GP Pro and so on. Manufacturers have reacted to customer demand by supplying treaded road legal tyres for racing on. To give maximum grip these type of road legal track tyres have to be run as designed, and that means in the dry (racing wets are used in the wet), and constantly working. On a track if you’re not accelerating as hard as possible, you’re flat out. If you’re not braking as hard as possible, you’re cornering as hard as you can. This means the tyres are constantly being pushed and this is essential to keep the tyres up to their ideal working temperature. Drop outside of the specific tyres relatively narrow optimum temperature range and the grip levels will drop. You may have seen racers frustration at even a short delay on the grid and heard riders blame cold tyres for their accidents. There are also some really good crossover hypersport tyres available that are made to perform well on track, but are designed to warm up and retain their heat much better than a dedicated track tyre and have a far wider temperature performance window. They offer considerably more life too, and are generally designed with 50% track and 50% road use in mind. Ideal for those riders that want to be able 24
to enjoy some fast tracktime, and who ride to and from the track days rather than having the bike in a van and using tyre warmers. These give much greater life than dedicated track rubber, are less sensitive to set up, but grip levels are not very far behind in terms of potential lap times. Where some of the options out there fall down is some offer no real wet weather performance. If you’ve ridden to your track day and are riding home again then swapping to a set of wets on track isn’t an option for you. Even for dedicated road use (though most riders that choose a hypersport tyre do so with the October-November 2015 • South East Biker Magazine
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TALKING TYRES intention of only riding in the dry) we’ve all been caught out in some unexpected bad weather, and at Michelin, we think it’s important to factor that in on even our sportiest of road tyres, like we do with the Supersport Evos. After all, a trip to watch the MotoGP, a trackday that’s been booked and paid for, or a weekend away on the bikes in Wales or Scotland isn’t going to be cancelled because the forecast isn’t great, and shouldn’t be ruined because your tyres only work well in the dry. For those that will be riding despite the weather and not because of it, but still want a very high level of grip and the performance of a sports tyre, sacrificing a little ultimate dry grip to give something more confidence-inspiring in the wet makes a lot of sense. Modern sports tyres such as the Pilot Power 3 are excellent in dry conditions, complement the
sports bikes handling and performance characteristics and are more than capable of handling a track day, but it’s the recent improvements in how they perform in wet conditions that is impressive. It used to be widely considered that in order to give good wet weather grip and performance, the dry weather performance and tyre life must suffer. This is less and less the case with modern tyres, most sports tyres now feature a high
level of silica in them, as opposed to carbon black and this helps to give greater life and better wet weather performance across the board. Developments in carcass construction, tread patterns and compound mixes all have a direct effect on tyre performance too. Fit the right tyres and the days of not heading out at all on your sportsbike, or turning round and heading home if it starts to rain are long gone. moto.michelin.co.uk
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October-November 2015 • South East 15/01/2013 Biker Magazine 14:00
BIKESAFE – Education in partnership with the road user WHAT WILL IT ENTAIL?
“Lifetime skills helping to create a safer riding environment” WHAT IS IT?
BikeSafe is a National Police run motorcycle scheme, aimed at working with bikers in a relaxed environment. The idea is to raise awareness and to create a genuine desire for you to progress to accredited post test training. The end result — a reduction in casualties.
The format of BikeSafe workshops may vary in different parts of the country but all contain information on real life needs: • Attitudinal issues • Systematic methods • Collision causation • Cornering • Positioning • Overtaking • Observation • Braking • Hazard perception • Use of gears A BikeSafe workshop will include an on road observed ride with a police motorcyclist or approved BikeSafe observer. It’s fun and the beneﬁts could last a lifetime.
WHAT DOES IT GIVE YOU?
• A taste of safer motorcycling techniques • An observation of training needs • A certiﬁcate of completion • An opportunity to beneﬁt from incentives
It helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses in preparation for training by recognised accredited providers.
For more information and to book visit: www.bikesafe.co.uk
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27 21/09/2015 13:40
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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.
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October-November 2015 • South East Biker Magazine
et right in the middle of awesome motorcycling country, opened in 2014 and run by 9 times British Enduro champion Wyn Hughes and his wife Tracy, Freestyleâ€™s Newtown branch is well worth a visit. The store is on the main road and you will receive a warm welcome and can grab a coffee and food in between road or off road jaunts. There is a well stocked showroom with bikes, kit, accessories and a workshop. When we dropped by Wyn was preparing a rather smart Husqvarna 450 with some tasty extras for a national event.
Freestyle specialise in motocross, trial, trail and enduro machines and kit. They also support and are involved with various off road events locally and in Wales. If you fancy a bit of training, they run courses for beginners to advanced riders. You can also head off one of their weekend off road experiences, either on your own bike or renting one of theirs. Freestyle Wales can be found in Newtown, Powys SY16 3AJ 01686 807888
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South East Biker Magazine â€˘ www.southeastbiker.co.uk
The Land that Time Forgot
Saturday afternoon mid summer!
We have featured the land of leeks and dragons before in SEB, but it’s always worth another visit. Picking up a new bike was an excuse for a long weekend in the principality...
irst of all, sort the bike. The old Tiger was getting a bit long in the tooth and a trip to Jack Lilley in Romford for an Open Day eventually led to the purchase of a Tiger XRX from the Ashford branch. It wasn’t pre-planned but spending a day at a Triumph dealer wore down my iron will (and natural tight fistedness). I had planned a bike trip with my eldest, Josh, for a few months so managed to pick the bike up on the way to the West. I headed off to Bristol to meet Josh on thursday afternoon for a friday morning start. We picked up Josh’s Cagiva from the workshop in the morning where he was getting his chain and sprockets replaced and headed for the Severn bridge. The south part of Wales is as busy as the lovely, overcrowded South East we all know well. But as you head towards the start of the Brecon Beacons, the traffic starts to disappear and you get a feel for what Wales has in store for us bikers. The plan was to meander up to our base in mid Wales for a couple of nights and head north one day and west the next. Plans eh? Satnavs are all well and good, but it’s well worth equipping yourself with a couple of maps to mark some route ideas on first. We had chalked up a few routes using a biker guide. It was a good start. An A5 A-Z of Wales at a scale of 2.5 inches 30
to a mile was ideal and contained as much information as we needed. Wales offers not only awesome roads with spectacular scenery, but also a wide range to suit all riders. And I think this is the real key to the place. The A roads from Brecon upwards are pretty much deserted, even on a mid summer’s weekend, with great tarmac, fabulous sweeping bends and long straights. The B roads offer an even quieter option, again with incredible riding on offer. These often offer a great alternative to the more direct and popular A roads, often running alongside their newer versions. Look out for the yellow wiggly routes on the maps. The third version are the smaller, almost C roads, marked white on the map. If you didn’t know better, these could be little more than tracks, and sometimes they are. But don’t be afraid to try them out, they offer some of the finest motorbike rides in Europe. As we headed north on a lovely summer’s afternoon, we meandered through beautiful little villages and as we entered one, Josh signalled for me to stop. He was shaking his head, I thought he had a puncture, but his clutch cable had broken. Great news at the start of the weekend at 4pm on a Friday, in a village with no mobile signal! As we scratched our heads, a chap in a VW pulled up and asked if we needed a hand. Turns out October-November 2015 • South East Biker Magazine
Aberystwyth bike meet
You meet all sorts ona bike trip
The only Cagiva in the Village
place up a tiny lane, based on what looked like a farm. Well Chris, who couldn’t be more friendly, sorted out the cable, sold us some chain lube and gloves and showed us round the place outlining their plans for using it as a base for both road and off riding breaks. What a great idea. Then she marked up our maps, showing us routes we probably would have missed. A very helpful lady. So if you are up that way, check out Pure Adrenalin Motorcycles at Maes-y-Meillion Farm, Lampeter.
we had broken down in the place where Little Britain’s Only Gay in the Village was shot, Llanddewi Brefi! Being a local biker, John (from Kent originally) took Josh off to a mate who rebuilt Triumph engines. No joy there, but his mate called a bike shop a few miles who just happened to have an SV650 clutch cable, delivered the day before. The Cagiva is built round an SV650 engine. So off we shot on the Tiger, with Josh map reading around the twisty country lanes. We found the
The adventure starts in store
R OA D
T R A I L
E N D U R O
M OTO - X
Tel: 01403 823222 • Web: www.motoward.co.uk • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
V I C T O R I A H O U S E , C H U R C H S T R E E T, R U D G W I C K , W E S T S U S S E X . R H 1 2 3 H J
TO P N A M E S I N C LOT H I N G A N D PA RT S • W O R L D W I D E D E L I V E RY South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk Motoward HP 0315.indd 1
31 13/03/2015 10:12
TOURING A quick blast back and Josh replaced the cable while several friendly locals gathered around to chat. John insisted we both try out his Speed Triple on the local roads, well it would be rude not to wouldn’t it? Fixed and on our way, we eventually pitched up at our remote weekend accommodation via a great ride to Devil’s Bridge, late and in the dark, all part of the adventure. Saturday contained a vague plan. We were based near Newtown in mid Wales, so dropped by at Freestyle’s Welsh branch to check out their impressive new store. From there we used the A-Z to pick various destinations and the most interesting routes to get there. Lake Vrnwy is well worth a visit, there is a fabulous pub attached to an hotel with a terrace overlooking the whole expanse of water. We met some Brummie bikers on interesting old Brit bikes including a couple on an outfit complete with Jack Russell. Over lunch they showed us an alternative route, barely visible on the map but leading across some deserted single track lanes with incredible views after riding along the side of the lake. From there we headed south again and criss-crossed the country at will. I was expecting hoardes of bikes, being a lovely weekend in the middle of summer, but it was surprisingly quiet and cars were few and far between.
Even if you did end up following a car there was always an overtaking opportunity around the next corner. Wales contains such a wide range of great riding roads within a relatively small area. From windy sheep tracks through deserted valleys, via pretty country roads through beautiful villages to fast sweeping bends with wide open straights in between, there is something for every rider. After a relaxing evening and barbecue, we slowly made our way south on the sunday via some incredible reservoirs and mountain passes. We checked out Devil’s Bridge in the daylight, which is again worth a visit. There’s a bike meet at Abergavenny bus station, then you can blatt all the back way to the border via the B4598 which avoids the motorway and four wheel riff-raff. There are some great places to stop and grab a cuppa such as Rhayader, the locals are friendly, food good and prices are sensible. Josh booked the accommodation through www.airbnb.co.uk, where you can find some great value and unusual places to stay. Half a day’s reasonable ride from the South East make it a perfect weekend motorcycling destination. Anything beyond the southern foothills of the Brecon Beacons offers great riding. It doesn’t matter if you get lost, you will find some excellent routes that way.
John Harris Motorcycles MOT, Servicing, Parts, Accessories, Accident Repairs, Clothing and Rider Training HONDA SPECIALIST
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32 JOHN HARRIS 0413 HP Ad.indd
October-November 2015 • South East 17/03/2014 Biker Magazine 17:33
More Shambling around Europe
normally take a book on my bike trips for those brief times when I actually get time to relax but for our trip around Europe this summer I joined the 21st century and loaded the tablet with a Kindle book about, er, a couple of bike trips around Europe… James ‘Grumpy Old Man’ Hamilton charts his trips with his sidekick TBone, whom he affectionately refers to as ‘the scrote’ in an online blog which, due to its popularity, he transferred to a Kindle book. The book doubles up as both a guide and an account of the two 10 day trips. The first covers a jaunt to the Med via France and back through Switzerland, Germany, France, Luxembourg and France. The second was a trip through France, Andorra, Northern Spain and back. James relates his accounts in his own unique style that is very readable, light hearted and informative. There is nothing over technical here, just a great account of
the trips, inspiring and informing the reader. With plenty of maps and photographs, the book can be used as either simply entertainment or as a handy outline for a European trip. If you are heading out into mainland Europe, have a read of this and you will find some excellent pointers on rides that should be on your list. Just after finishing the book, the tablet packed up for good, confirming my stone age prejudice that print is best! However I realise that this a brilliant way to save space and carry a lot of accessible information so check it out on Amazon Kindle, there is a little taster at www.bit.ly/more-shambling. It’s £3.99, less than the price of a French beer…
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and our, incident ed with hum ok is also a very er pp pe d an bo . Lighthearted d enjoyable ing in Europe is amusing an planned tour un anecdote, th , ee fr re as ide to ca e this book practical gu ist, could us ly adapt ker or motor si bi ea or or ot m ys , Anyone touring fora riences. r their own avelling expe the basis fo rgettable tr fo un r fo full ns 0 ai what it cont s and over 20 with 19 map book. rb ed at pe tr su us is ill to th It is liberally enormously es that add colour imag
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South East BikerBook Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk James Hamilton Ad HP 0715.indd 1
33 10/07/2015 16:49
Dealers back Bexhill MotoFest…and want more free-to-attend quality events
he great British Summer struck the south coast just as we had all set up our stands for what looked like a fantastic day of all things motorcycling in Bexhill. Over 50 traders and exhibitors backed Bexhill MotoFest on July 26th. Despite atrocious weather that caused the event to be closed at 2pm on health and safety grounds, dealers were full of praise for the way the event was put together and the way it offered a distinctive and prestigious atmosphere for a free to attend coastal motorcycle festival. Set against the fantastic backdrop of the iconic Art Deco De La Warr Arts Pavilion, the event is now in its second year and is going from strength to strength in what it offers. With Mini Moto Racing on the car park, six bands playing on the terrace, a unique motorcycle as art exhibition and a good mix of traders that in 2014 attracted 10,000 bikers to the birthplace of British Motor Racing. This year dealers decided that this event more than any other fitted the current demographic for modern bikers who are very individual and discerning consumers. Robinsons Foundry showed a range of their Indian and Victory bikes while Dobles Honda were there in force promoting their Fireblade and training offers. Shaw Harley Davidson were represented by their 1066HOG Chapter and top end Armr kit was there courtesy of local clothing retailer Bolt Bikes. Travel and online companies were represented by companies such as Shop4bikers, FlyandRide, Adventure Peru who attended with transAmerica adventure woman Zoe Cano. The event is sponsored by Orange and Black the authorised Harley Davidson tour company, Holiday Safe the specialist motorcycle travel insurer and 34
Rother District Council, the local council for Bexhill. Howard Martin, the director of Bexhill MotoFest says: “We aim to get a good mix of traders and exhibitors that attract the kind of discerning, upmarket and sophisticated biker that many other events ignore. We also aim at the entry level market and work hard to create a family friendly accessible environment that everybody enjoys.” Michael Lee, marketing director for Dobles Honda says: “We really wish there were more of this type of prestigious event because this is one of the few events we attend that actually delivers solid leads and good sales, I have closed more deals at 1066 events (the company that runs Bexhill MotoFest) than at any other event we have attended.” Michael Robinson of Robinsons Foundry added: “ Bexhill MotoFest is great, no other event brings together the adventure travel market, motorsports, customs, live music and even art in the same way, it’s the perfect fit for a premier brand like Victory and Indian.” Plans are already being put in place to make the event bigger and better for next year, Howard Martin once again: “We have already built the MotoFest into a strong regional event and for 2016 we intend to break it out to become one of the biggest and best national events, but of course that costs time and money and we would really like more of the trade to get involved in sponsorship opportunities and as exhibitors.” We at SEB will be doing what we can to support and promote this and any other events that offer the region’s bikers the chance to get out for an enjoyoable day, on their bikes or with the whole family. Well done to those hardy riders who turned up in dripping kit!! For more information: www.bexhillmotofest.com October-November 2015 • South East Biker Magazine
Freehouse Pub and Hotel
Next time you’re in Hastings pop in or, better still, stay! Ten Real Ales, Live Music and Accommodation. Biker friendly with secure parking for hotel. For regular live music, entertainment and beer festivals visit: www.jennylindhastings.co.uk/what-s-on. The Jenny Lind Inn, 69 High Street, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3EW Telephone: 01424 421392 Visit: www.jennylindhastings.co.uk
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Bikers welcome at
The Three Oaks Pub Set in the beautiful Sussex Countryside
OOD AT F GREeve –9 12 ay ryd Served WIDE VARIETY OF ALES LIVE MUSIC MOTORCYCLE PARKING Butchers Lane, Three Oaks, Hastings, TN35 4NH
www.thethreeoakspub.com The Three Oaks Pub HP 0715.indd 1 South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk
23/07/2015 11:47 35
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October-November 2015 • South East Biker Magazine
Make your marketing stick! From die-cut stickers to shop signs and graphics, DemonSkinz can make you stand out from the crowd. • Stickers & Decals • Posters & Banners • Site Boards • • Bike Graphics • Van & Car • Signage • Point of Sale • • Shop Windows & Signs • Interior & Exterior • Call 01892 459080 for a quote or to find out more.
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South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk
EVENTS 11th October
Madeira Drive, Brighton www.brightona.co.uk 25th October
RealClassic Motorcycle Show Ardingly, Sussex www.elkpromotions.co.uk
British SuOpctober erbikes Brands Hatc h www.british superbike.c om
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October-November 2015 • South East Biker Magazine
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*With a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) product a significant proportion of the total amount payable is payable at the end of the contract by one large final repayment, so your regular monthly repayments are low. The representative example is based on 5000 miles per annum **The purchase fee of £10 is payable with the final repayment.
BASED ON BLACK PAINT FINISH, 5000 MILES PER ANNUM ON ZERO DEPOSIT
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TOTAL AMOUNT PAYABLE
INTEREST RATE (FIXED)
HARLEY OWN™ (Personal Contract Purchase) is provided by Harley-Davidson Finance. Harley-Davidson Finance is a trading name of Black Horse Limited. These finance offers are only available through Harley-Davidson Finance, St .William House, Tresillian Terrace, Cardiff CF10 5BH. Finance is subject to status and is only available to UK residents aged 18 and over. **The purchase fee of £10 is payable with the final repayment. All finance examples are correct at time of production (15 March 2015) but may be subject to change.
Warr's Harley-Davidson® (South East) 16-20 Mottingham Road, London SE9 4QW (Just 10 mins A20 town bound from Jct 3 M25) Telephone: 0208 857 9198 www.warrs.com Warr’s Harley-Davidson® is a trading style of F.H.Warr & Sons Ltd which is a credit broker and not a lender. We can introduce you to Harley-Davidson Finance and a limited number of other lenders to provide funding. We may receive commission or other benefits for introducing you to such lenders. © H-D 2015. Harley, Harley-Davidson and the Bar & Shield logo are among the trademarks of H-D U.S.A., LLC.
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