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The South East’s No.1 FREE bike magazine ISSUE 51• JUNE-JULY 2017





01420 488290

PetersďŹ eld road, Whitehill, Bordon, Hampshire GU35 9AR

Enough said. www.haslemeremotorcycles.co.uk


Editor scribes After a few years in the doldrums, the motorbike show seems to be becoming more popular again. These events take an enormous of amount of time, energy and of course expense to arrange and run. With insurance and Health and Safety issues, more hoops have to be jumped through than ever. So it’s great to hear of all these events taking place across the South East over the summer. There’s something on every weekend to interest all breeds of bikers. Planning your biking events around these weekends is a fantastic way to ride to new places, meet interesting people and experience different aspects of motorcycling. We have listed some of the bigger shows and attractions in this issue and attempt to put as much information about anything else we don’t have room for on the website and social media. This time of year is also perfect for brushing up your biking skills. We have included various different ideas for not only learning more about yourself and your riding, but enjoying yourself at the same time.


4 IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY 6 Ride Skills Day 10 A Guide To Filtering 14 New Gear 17 Classic Summer Events 19 MAG News 22 Setting The Standard

There’s plenty do and see out there on two wheels this summer, so get on your bike and enjoy it! All the best Nick

Visit southeastbiker.co.uk for events list



ADVERTISING AND Debbie Tunstill, email: debs@southeastbiker.co.uk

GENERAL ENQUIRIES Tel: 01892 459080 EDITOR & PUBLISHER: Nick Tunstill, email: nick@southeastbiker.co.uk South East Biker, 2 St John’s Road, Crowborough, East Sussex. TN6 1RW PRODUCTION: Dean Cook: deancook@magazineproduction.com PRINTING: Gemini Print, Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex. © 2017 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.

South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk

29 PLANNING A TRAIL RIDE 33 An Asian Adventure 3


It’s never too early

Chatting to a fellow rider in his mid twenties who I had just met, he told me a story about a recent fall from his beloved VFR. I asked if he had ever considered an advanced rider course. “Not until I came off”, was his predictable reply! John Allsopp gives us the benefit of his biking experience…


his seems to be echoed by many young riders today. A feeling that an advanced rider course is not for them, as they are too young. It’s a course for the older rider they say. So how do you get to be an older rider then?

An advanced rider course (ARC), is beneficial to any rider as it develops your skills and improves your confidence. You will become far more efficient on bends, anticipate situations more easily and become a safer rider. Not to mention you could also save on bike insurance! In a nutshell, if want to get more out of your ride, then put more into it. So why is it that the younger rider chooses not to go ahead and get further training? There is a scientific reason for this. A younger mind recognises the danger in going too fast, yet chooses to ignore it. The thrill is chasing the danger in the first place. It is not until the mind reaches a certain age, usually around 25 years old, this thrill seeking mindset starts to develop into a respect for self preservation. Usually, as by then you either have your own family and don’t want to let them down, or you just recognise that you need to calm down a bit. For some riders, this could be beyond 25 years old, for others it might be younger. Furthermore, once a rider has had an incident where they know they were at fault, this mindset may change as a result. As I believe was the case for the young man I described in the opening. Cast your mind back to your early days, when you had ‘L-Plates’ on your bike. Remember how much you had to concentrate while you learnt a new skill? Remember the frustration of getting it wrong a few times before the incredible feeling of getting it right? That incredible feeling is still there to be had. Every hazard, every bend, every time you know you got it right. That is the feeling you can keep every time you take your machine out. Knowledge that you are doing all you can to improve your ride, making sure you arrive at your destination is one thing, but for many of us, it’s the ride we love, not the arrival. So now you’ve been riding a few years, and you have developed some bad habits that you are fully aware of, but no idea how to combat them. Maybe you don’t care too much as it is just a bad habit. Complacency can be a dangerous thing! Far better to deal with any issues you may have when you recognise them. But who 4

June-July 2017 • South East Biker Magazine


in their right mind will openly admit to their mates that they have an issue they wish to address? Here lies one of many stigmas faced by the modern rider. This is exactly the point I wish to address. I want to eradicate these stigmas and let it be known that it is ok to be aware of any failings in your ride. But what can you do about it? Simple answer really is to sign up for an advanced rider course. You could do a Bike Safe course which will take you out for a day with a police class one rider. You will be observed on your ride and offered very helpful golden nuggets of information tailored to you and how you could improve. This is only a day though, so you would be highly recommended to get in touch with your local advanced rider course provider. RoSPA and the IAM both offer a fantastic course with the benefit of a test certificate and a real sense of achievement at the end. No stigma attached. Doing the old man thing isn’t cool. I get that, but who says an ARC is an old man’s game? Being in a coffin, or laid up in hospital for a long period isn’t very cool is it? What an ARC gives you is a different set of tools to work with. These tools enable you to plan further ahead, respond quicker to the environment and enjoy more of what you love for longer. Making progress on your ride is what many wrongly understand as just riding fast, but thinking the situation through enables you to plan that much further ahead so you can be on top of your game in every situation. That takes skill, practice and experience. The more you put in, the more you get out, it really is that simple. Ride safe, and enjoy every mile ADVANCED RIDING TRAINING PROVIDERS

So where do you start on the journey to brushing up your biking skills? Well, a good place to start is your local motorcycle training school. Just drop in and have a chat. They can assess what level of riding ability and confidence you have and provide further training options including the Enhanced Rider Scheme (ERS) which is a DSA backed scheme. Then there is the excellent BikeSafe day run by police riders. Don’t be be put off by the police involvement, they are bikers first and officials second. It’s a great day for all levels and ages and many riders come back regularly to keep themselves sharp, you even get a free lunch! Once you have completed either of these have a look at RoSPA or IAM Roadsmart. Both organisations will run free assessments and have an active social scene as well so you will make many new biking friends as well as improve your skills. You can also work through various levels of achievement if you get hooked. If you are after something less formal and tailored to your exact needs, then there are private trainers available. Obviously it would make sense to check out their credentials and references before heading out on the road. www.gov.uk/enhanced-rider-scheme www.bikesafe.co.uk www.rospa.com www.iamroadsmart.com South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk





Having been immersed in the biking world for coming up to 36 years, I think I can reasonably safely say that I’m sure that many bikers would love to take their bikes onto a smooth track, with no speed restrictions, and challenging curves on which you can chase that elusive apex. John Allsopp takes to the track…

am pretty confident that there are many lesser experienced bikers than me who are a little nervous or put off booking a full on track day. But, irrespective of years in the saddle, the idea of hitting the track alongside more experienced track riders on race replicas, using tyre warmers and fuelled on a heady mix of adrenaline and testosterone can be a daunting one. That said, a track day is a great way to improve your riding and learn that your bike is capable of far more than you in a safe environment. This is the core aim of the Ride Skills day I attended of behalf of South East Biker. It is also far more than simply having a spin around Brands Hatch. The day is organised by Kent Fire and Rescue Service and in conjunction with Kent Advanced Motorcyclists Group, Survival Skills Training and MSVT. The primary focus of the experience is the prevention of incidents and the associated heartache that the aftermath of such incidents bring. The day included: basic Biker Down First Aid; a theory session on hazard perception and crash scenarios; an advanced observed ride; slow speed control (including emergency braking); and two 20-minute track sessions. The day begins with registration at 8:30am and 6

finishing up around 5:30pm, with breaks throughout the day. Attendees are divided into four groups of around eight and cycled through the session components, coming together for the track sessions. I found a varied mix of people on the course from relatively inexperienced to seasoned riders. There was also a very wide ranging selection of bikes including tourers and adventure style bikes rather than pure sports focussed models. The first aid session was a ‘taster’ of Biker Down. Having been masterminded by James Sanderson from Kent Fire and Rescue Service, the Biker Down course seems to have been adopted by nearly every area in the UK. This achievement speaks volumes for Jim’s commitment and, the strength of the original concept. Kevin Williams of Survival Skills helped develop Module 3 of the course. On that course you can learn essential skills that could help you save a fellow motorcyclist or any other road user who has been injured. Practical demonstrations (with group participation being the key here) are given in the correct technique regarding helmet removal. Also covered is airway maintenance and CPR. The information was delivered in a informative, professional and in a relaxed way. The main idea on the Ride Skills day is of a ‘taster’ and, my opinion was that the participants would June-July 2017 • South East Biker Magazine

Our large motorcycle store just outside Basingstoke, Hampshire has on display hundreds of both new and used motorcycles in our huge showroom. We also offer a large range of clothing, parts and accessories from AGV, SIDI, RST, HJC, DRAGGIN JEANS, OXFORD PRODUCTS, OGIO, SHARK, RICHA, FURYGAN, ALPINESTARS, TCX, SHOEI, VR46, MOOSE RACING, DRIFT ACTION CAMERAS plus many more so you can be confident you are fully prepared for your motorcycle adventures! We have a fully equipped service deptartment with factory trained motorcycle technicians to keep your bike performing at its very best. The workshop offers some of the following service, as well as MOT’s and service.

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certainly be encouraged to attend the full course following it. The class room theory session was run by Kevin Williams of Survival Skills. Kevin’s approach is to encourage riders to think deeper into reading the road ahead and to use that information to inform them of positioning, speed and awareness. The aim here is to enable the rider to predict the potential hazards that come hand in glove with riding on the road. Kevin’s delivery is again professional but certainly not dry and his years of research as well as riding shine through to provide an informative as well as engaging session.

I was also kindly invited to accompany an observed ride and was able to see how useful the feedback was to the rider who participated. I did get the impression that they would soon be signing up with the Kent Advanced Group in order to enhance their skills. The other session concentrated on slow speed control. Many (myself included) neglect this area

South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk

after their basic training. With small cones spread around the car park, riders practise weaving around, tight U-turns and figure of eights. Additionally emergency stops are practised, progressively loading up the front and not locking the rear. Cornering techniques are also covered, always a hot topic. The day ends with two twenty-minute sessions on the Brands Hatch Indy track, which of course included a bike noise test and briefing on rules and flags etc. For the first session the riders are split into two groups based on experience. The Kent Fire Bikes lead some sighting laps to allow riders to have some familiarity with the layout of the circuit. After this riders are invited to follow their lines to improve their position and help carry more momentum through bends. As with the whole day, these sessions are very relaxed, with no competitiveness, and overtaking reserved only for the straights with a healthy respect for personal space. Prior to the second track session, the Kent Fire and Rescue riders go through further techniques to help improve riding on the track such as body positioning, gear choice, braking and ideal lines on the track. The second track session also coincided with a vast improvement in the weather which was very welcome all round. All around the pit lane I saw happy smiling faces. All in all, for the multiple benefits which any rider of any experience can benefit from, this day comes highly recommended. The next Ride Skills sessions taking place this year will be held on the following dates: Tuesday, 13 June; Monday, 17 July; Wednesday, 2 August Tuesday, 22 August; and Friday, 15 September Bookings need to be made through MSV Trackdays. MSV Trackdays: www.msvtrackdays.com Survival Skills: www.survivalskills.co.uk Kent Advanced Motorcyclists: www.kamg.org.uk Kent Biker Down: http://bit.ly/Kent-Biker-Down 9


The Motorcyclist’s guide to Filtering We recently attended a fascinating presentation given by Tony Carter, Incident and Advice Specialist at Hudgell Solicitors. He could easily have spent the whole session just answering questions about the tricky subject of filtering. Here is the first part of an essential guide to where you stand when making progress…


ne of the advantages of riding a motorcycle is that we as riders can continue to make progress where other vehicles are unable to. When traffic is stationary or moving slowly in queues, motorcyclists can use their manoeuvrability and limited space requirements to continue on their journey relatively unimpeded. However, with this benefit comes a high degree of responsibility. Is it illegal? No, it’s not, although many would have you believe that it is. The Highway Code; the Driving Standards Agency publication on Motorcycle Riding and the Police Riders’ Handbook — Motorcycle Road Craft, all mention filtering and state that it requires great care and attention from the motorcyclist. The Police and riding experts will advise that no offence is committed if the motorcyclist complies with all road traffic signs, road markings, road traffic regulations and filters with appropriate due care and attention with courtesy to other road users. Some people have been as bold to suggest that if a rider filters at 15mph or faster than 10

the slowest moving vehicle then that would constitute an offence, either dangerous or careless driving. There is no minimum or maximum limit, it is about what is appropriate for the conditions as I will explain. Unfortunately, too many riders are injured because of filtering, so this begs the question of what happens if you want to bring a civil claim for personal injury, loss and damage suffered in a collision whilst filtering? It may be worth noting that when a judge is asked to make a decision as to who is to blame, they often refer to past cases particularly those which have been decided in a higher court. These are what legal professionals call legal precedents. The first major case decided by the Court of Appeal was Powell v Moody in 1966. Briefly the circumstances of this accident were that there were two lanes of stationary traffic. The motorcyclist filtered along the offside of the second line of traffic when he came into collision with a car emerging from a side road on the nearside intending to turn right through a gap in the traffic. The Court described filtering as queue jumping which was

a hazardous manoeuvre which had to be carried out with a high degree of care required by the motorcyclist. The Court said that it was effectively the burden of the motorcyclist to ensure that it was safe to overtake. As you will appreciate, the concept of queuing goes deep into our national psyche and there is a subconscious objection to those that “jump the queue”. If an accident happens where someone is doing this, then the natural reaction has been to blame the person who is in breach of the natural order of queuing. In this case, the Court held that the motorcyclist was 80% to blame. The effect of this is that the motorcyclist’s claim was reduced by 80%. You can appreciate how such a finding would drastically reduce the amount of compensation a motorcyclist would receive if he or she suffered serious injuries. In the case of Leeson v Bevis and Tolchard (1972) a bike was filtering and passed a single line of queuing traffic at about 15 mph. A van pulled out of a garage on the left in front of a lorry. A collision occurred between the bike and the van. This again went to the Court of Appeal and the biker was found 50% at fault. The next incident of any significance was the case of Worsfold v Howe (1980). This was a two lane road. The nearside was for traffic going straight ahead and the second lane was for traffic turning right. The biker was riding in the second lane at a speed of 10-30 mph. A tanker had left a large gap in front of it to allow

June-July 2017 • South East Biker Magazine


LEGAL ASSISTANCE traffic to emerge from a railway yard on the left. A car emerges very slowly in front of the tanker across both lanes to turn right. A collision occurred. This also went to the Court of Appeal where the biker was found 50% at fault. The Court said that the biker was travelling too fast and that he had gone beyond his line of sight. Things then remained fairly stagnant for a while until we got the case of Pell v Moseley heard by the Court of Appeal in 2003. Here we have a single lane carriage way in each direction subject to a 60 mph speed limit. The motorcyclist began to overtake a line of traffic when he came into collision with a car which intended to turn right into a field where a motocross event was taking place. The Court of Appeal found the motorcyclist 50% to blame stating that the motorcyclist was negligent in that he failed to notice that the Defendant’s vehicle would have


needed to slow down before turning right, a fact which should have been apparent despite her failure to indicate. Furthermore, the motorcyclist was aware of the motocross event and should have considered the possibility that the Defendant may wish to turn into the field and as such should not have attempted to overtake as he did. Three years later, we then saw a chink of light in the case of Davis v Schrogin in 2006, heard by the Court of Appeal. An accident occurred on a long straight section of road with one lane in each direction. There was a long queue of stationary/slow moving vehicles. A motorcyclist travelling in the same direction was overtaking at approximately 40 mph. He was half to two thirds of the way across from the central white line, was displaying a dipped headlight and a right hand indicator. He had been in that

position for approximately half a mile and was not weaving in and out of traffic. A car lost patience and decided to carry out a U turn when the motorcycle was no more than five car lengths back. A collision occurred. The Court found the car driver wholly at fault on the basis that the motorcyclist was there to be seen and that even if he had been travelling appreciably more slowly than he was, it would have made no difference because he had been right on top at the point of the accident when the Defendant first did anything to alert the motorcyclist of his intended manoeuvre. This was a decision of sense having regard to the facts of the accident. However, things became somewhat muddy when an article in one major motorcycle paper suggested that bikers could now filter in any circumstances and at any speed and recover 100% of their compensation.

June-July 2017 • South East Biker Magazine

LEGAL ASSISTANCE That euphoria was short lived following the case of Farley v Buckley in 2007. A motorcyclist was passing a refuse wagon which was travelling in the same direction and was indicating an intention to turn left into a side road. The lorry was unable to complete its turn as the side road was narrow and there was a car waiting to emerge and turn right. The motorcyclist, travelling at a speed of about 30mph, overtook the refuse wagon with its wheels virtually on the centre white line when the car drove out in one continuous movement at approximately 5-8 miles per hour. A collision occurred. The Court held the motorcyclist wholly at fault as it considered that the motorcyclist was travelling at a too high a speed, which in the circumstances was reckless especially having regard to the nature of the manoeuvre that he

had been carrying out, the lack of visibility to his left and the fact that the refuse wagon had been displaying its left indicator. The final case that we can refer to is Higgins v Johnson 2008 which is a County Court decision. In this case, a car was approaching a rugby ground on the right and indicated to turn into it. The car had commenced its manoeuvre when it was struck by a motorcycle which was overtaking. The Court heard evidence that the car driver first indicated left, then right, then left and then finally right again. The motorcyclist held back but once he believed that the car driver appeared to have settled on a course of continuing straight ahead, he pulled out to overtake. The Court accepted independent witness evidence that the car did indicate left, right, left and right. The final indication happened when the motorcyclist had already

begun to overtake. The Court held that the car driver failed to check her mirrors or look over her shoulder and had she done so, she would have seen the motorcyclist. However, the Court also found that the motorcyclist was aware that there was an indecisive, erratically indicating driver ahead of him yet he proceeded to overtake her on a yellow boxed junction. The Court found the motorcyclist 25% to blame on this basis. The moral of this story is cases such as these are fact specific. That is, each case is determined on its own merits. The court will look at the manner in which each party was driving/riding, traffic and road conditions and all relevant issues. To be continued‌ If you would like more advice on personal injury claims or any other legal matter Hudgell Solicitors can be contacted on 0808 301 8554 or www.hudgellsolicitors.co.uk



www.fastlanemoto.com Tel: 01732 36 36 30 88 Priory Street, Tonbridge, Kent. TN9 2AH South EastMotorcycles Biker Magazine Fastlane 0416.indd• www.southeastbiker.co.uk 1

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Discover your inner Hipster with the new Kickback Shirt from Oxford Products, a durable heavyweight cotton shirt lined with 100% DuPont Kevlar. Features include: hidden structure stitching; nylon bonded coats thread; overlays (hidden extra layers of material); water resistant coating; outer material stretches; upper ‘Box’ type pockets; internal pockets; buttoned style shirt; soft edge cuffs; YKK zips; secure internal pocket. Full range of colours and sizes, RRP £99.99 www.oxfordproducts.com


Motorini has added the new GP50 scooter to its range of high-spec, sensibly priced learner-legal models. The easy to ride, feature-packed, sports-styled machine features the same reliable and proven four-stroke engine and fully automatic transmission used in the well-proven Motorini XP50 model.The new GP50 follows the same sporty lines as the popular Motorini GP125 and is available in the same cobalt metallic blue and pillar box red colour schemes as its 125cc brother. It also features the same, easy-rolling and stable 12” wheels, hydraulically damped suspension front and rear, ventilated hydraulic disc brakes, clear MPH dials, a large LED rear light, silicone fork protectors, sleek but wide mirrors for optimum rearward vision, a rear grab handle which easily accommodates top box fitting, a durable non-slip seat, under-seat storage and polished alloy levers. The Motorini GP50 is available from Motorini dealers nationwide at a recommended retail price of £1149 plus on the road charges. For further details contact Clements Moto. Tel: 01227 720700 or visit the Motorini website at www.motorini.co.uk 14


Four out of five UK adults now have a smartphone and with most devices offering music, turnby-turn navigation as well as web connectivity, video recording, photos and communication, on-bike USB charging is fast becoming essential. Finding a charger that can stand up to the rigours of the riding environment, while delivering the correct amount of charge, and without draining the motorcycle’s battery, isn’t straightforward, with many cables and ports falling short. New to the OptiMate range, the USB O-108 delivers 3.3A — powerful enough even for the latest smartphones with USB-C charge connectors, and has built-in microprocessor controlled battery protection to prevent the motorcycle’s battery from being discharged. Charging is limited to a maximum of three hours, and the O-108 USB automatically cuts charging to the USB device if the vehicle’s battery voltage drops below 12.3V (approximately 50% charge remaining in an AGM battery). An easy-to-read LED display enables the user to see the vehicle charging system voltage at a glance. Purpose-built for motorcycles, all OptiMate USB chargers are 100% true power rated, and deliver a continuous and consistent charge. They also come with a built-in Apple ‘handshake’, to guarantee iPhones and iPads charge at the appropriate maximum. Weatherproofing comes as standard, to prevent moisture causing problems and guarding against any issues they may cause with the bike’s electrical system. The OptiMate USB O-108 On-Bike Charger retails at £32.99 inc, VAT. For details of the complete range of OptiMate USB connectors, leads and accessories — as well as their battery optimisers visit www.tecmate.com June-July 2017 • South East Biker Magazine


sat nav secured

handlebar lock

Wunderlich’s Security and Glare Shield offers peace of mind for BMW R1200RT LC owners concerned about losing their expensive Navigator system to thieves. BMW’s optional Navigator system for the R1200 RT doesn’t offer any provision for securing it to the bike, leaving it vulnerable to opportunistic thieves if the bike is left unattended (e.g. at fuel stops). Wunderlich’s easily mounted kit prevents this. Simple to fit and operate, the Security Shield fixes the Navigator firmly in place beneath a metal bracket. The sat nav can only be removed using the Shield’s high-quality, key-operated lock. Shaped to shade the Navigator system from the sun’s glare, the Shield also helps the rider see instructions on the screen clearly in bright light. Made in Germany and covered by a 5-year guarantee, it can be fitted quickly and easily,with no modifications to the bike. Clear instructions are included. The Wunderlich Navigator Security and Glare Shield fits all liquid-cooled BMW R1200RT models and retails at £89.00 including VAT. www.nippynormans.com

A handlebar lock is a simple, yet highly effective, security system, which is always available, wherever you go, because it is permanently attached to the scooter. One end of the armour-plated cable is fixed to a bracket beneath the seat and the other can be locked to the handlebar in a few seconds, preventing the scooter from being ridden or wheeled away. When not in use, it is fixed neatly between the footrest and seat, so it doesn’t occupy space in the compartment under the seat or in the top box. Unlike traditional chain locks, which are secured through the wheels, the handlebar lock is much cleaner to use too. A 1.0 metre extension cable is also available, should the rider wish to secure the scooter to a lamp post, railings or another anchor point. Two versions are offered in sizes to fit most current models from Vespa and Piaggio. Retail prices for the standard handlebar lock start at £47.99 including VAT. The luxury handlebar lock offers the highest level of security and comes with an STS locking system, anti-drill coating, 7 mm hardened steel (carbo-nitride) joints, stainless steel internal cable and anti-leverage mounting bracket. Prices start at £126.99. The 1.0m extension cable sells for £45.99. All prices include VAT. www.fowlersparts.co.uk

L-BRACKET LUGGAGE Ventura has re-invented its unique luggage system with the all-new EVORack and matching EVO-40 (40-litre) and EVO-10 (10-litre) Bike Packs. Designed to match the sleek lines of whichever motorcycle it’s fitted to, the new EVO-Rack has a flat base and an adjustable mounting system. This allows the EVO-Rack to pivot, so it can be mounted in various positions on the same bike and also swapped between motorcycles, as long as a set of Ventura L-Brackets are fitted. The EVO Rack can be removed from Ventura’s well-established L-bracket system in seconds, leaving only the discreet L-Brackets behind. The rider then has the option of fitting a pillion Grab Handle. The EVO Rack retails at £79.99; the EVO-40 Pack is £149.99 and the EVO-10 Pack sells for £73.99. Prices for L-Brackets start at £82.99 and vary according to make/model of motorcycle. All prices include VAT. L-brackets for the Triumph Street Cup (pictured) are £107.99 inc VAT. www.ventura-bike.co.uk South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk




You wouldn’t re-invent the wheel but there are other long established everyday items out there we use that may benefit from a new design approach. We came across these handy little folding funnels and thought, “what a great idea!” Made of flexible silicone, not only do these little chaps fold down for easy storage and transport but won’t crack or break like the conventional plastic ones. For bikers this is a real bonus meaning there’s no reason to not stick one under the seat or in the topbox for trips out. They also take up less space in your tool box. We really like products like this. They solve a problem that you never really thought existed until someone comes up with a simple solution and then it seems obvious! Nice work. The company are promising more products along the same lines so stay tuned. Currently available from Motogirl www.motogirl.co.uk. They will cost you just £5.49 each. FOLDY FUNZ Foldy Funz a brand new concept for bikers and motorcyclists, colour coordinated to complement most makes of bike. Fully functional with “Push to Fold” collapsible design and durable heat resistant silicone. These space saving easy storage funnels can be folded into your tool box drawer, tank bag, panniers or simply kept in your pocket! Go anywhere, store anywhere Foldy Funz are designed to make all refills and top ups clean, safe and easy. 16

GREAT FOR: • Emergency refill or top up • All engine and transmission oil changes • Coolant and brake fluid refill or top up • Difficult to access transmission fillers • Awkward angled fillers (R6, KTM RC, Ducati) • Drink and hydration refills (Dakar, Enduro and Adventure riders) • In the kitchen! FEATURES: • Hanging eyelet for the workshop or garage wall • Four-step flow system (avoid over fill) • Easy to clean For details visit: www.mototgirl.co.uk June-July 2017 • South East Biker Magazine


CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE EVENTS THIS SUMMER Thanks to Julie at ELK Promotions for information.


n June 11th the new BikeFest South event is on at Goodwood. There seems to be a lot on the biking menu and it’s £20 get in (See SEB reader special offer for discount). Let’s hope it’s the launch of a great new annual biking fixture. On June 18th check out Motorcycling through the Ages at Horndean, Hampshire. British Bike Night is from 7pm at the Wagon and Horses in Charing on Thursday 21st June. Always a fantastic turn out for all bikes. Brit bikes can park in the main car park with all other nationalities in the field! From June 30th to July 2nd Malle London puts on the highly trendy Malle Mile near Orpington. There is a hill climb, motorcycle polo, cinema and exhibition of rare motorcycles. Dust off your check shirts and turn up jeans and head off to Kent. The East Sussex section of the Vintage MCC hold their Bike Show and Concours at The Cricket bat

factory in Ashburnham at 2pm on Saturday 1st July. More details at www.vmcc-eastsussex.co.uk The next day, July 2nd, sees Motorcycle Day at Brooklands Racetrack, Weybridge. This is a superb day out for bikers and petrol heads in general. You can stroll round the historic banking and picture those intrepid motorcyclists and drivers ringing their machine’s necks all those years ago. There

South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk

are plenty of stands, a fantastic museum and a spectacular hill climb as well as old aeroplanes that can be inspected at close quarters. The Sunbeam MCC have their annual Garden of England run for pre 1940 bikes on July 9th. It starts and finishes at Headcorn Airport which has a wartime museum plus a Battle of Britain Show the same weekend. July 10: Simply Bikes, National Motor Musem, Beaulieu July 16: South of England Summer Classic Show & Bikejumble, Ardingly The Huntsman MCC at Eridge have their bike meetings on a Tuesday evenings throughout the summer. There’s always an interesting mix of bikes on show and June is particularly popular with the long evenings. On July 30th the club has its annual bike show with loads to see, great music and beer. July 30: Bexhill Motofest is a steadily growing bike and music show in a lovely setting that is a really family friendly day out.


This is motorcycle hire made easy If you prefer riding on two wheels rather than four like we do then West Sussex Motorcycle Hire can give you the ride of your life on the bike of your dreams. If you are looking for the best motorcycle hire UK and further afield, look no further.

“Brilliant service, great bikes and friendly staff. Top stuff” – JF “A big thank you…for pulling out all the stops at short notice to make our hoilday a great one. The bike a R1200GS was fab for me and the wife. Will see you all next year for more of the same.” – PW

Our fantastic rates and legendary service lets you ride in style for a reasonable price. Whether you want a bike with attitude or something sleeker for touring the countryside, you can find it here at West Sussex Motorcycle Hire.

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June-July 2017 • South East 09/01/2017 Biker Magazine 10:28

Manifesto For Motorcycling


Andy Carrott, Vice Chairman, Motorcycle Action Group

t doesn’t seem five minutes since I last submitted an article to SEB and the Editor is chasing me for a few words from MAG for the next issue. The two months since the last deadline have flown by but the old phrase “a week is a long time in politics” has just come to mind. Uttered by the late Harold Wilson just before he won an election (and for the benefit of younger readers, he was a Prime Minister in the last century), a week does appear to be a very long time in politics, especially when there is an Election…again. MAG has lobbied all the main political parties with its 12-point Manifesto for Motorcycling. Time will tell if they make good on any promises but our desires include exemptions from road-user charging, road improvements that are not detrimental to our safety, access to all bus lanes, decent parking facilities, zero VED for eco-friendly motorcycles, a simplified rider testing regime, a review of sentencing for drivers who kill or injure riders, solutions to deal with motorcycle theft and also to retain personal choice in respect to technical innovations. I have mentioned before, we can only embark on these campaigns if we have the support of riders in the form of membership (please call 01926 844064: single membership costs £27; family, joint, affiliated club and corporate memberships also available) but you can also support MAG by attending its fundraising events. June 9 to 11th you can attend the Lion Rally near Reading. Or if camping is not your thing visit the MAG stand at Peterborough’s Motorcycle Day and Charity Ride on 10th. There’s one of the biggest bike rallies in the UK in Yorkshire on 15th to 18th June with the Farmyard Party featuring 30 bands over 4 stages plus a comedy club (and perhaps a few beers too). Further north you can attend Blackpool MAG’s 20th rally from 23rd to 25th. In the South-West there’s the Barnstaple Bike Nights on the second Thursday of the month, or the Abergele MAG Bike Show in Wales on 24th June, or the St Ives (Cambridgeshire) Festival of Motorcycling on 25th. July 1st sees the Brum Demo in Birmingham and the Chinnor Bike Dayz 7th to 9th or there’s the Winchester MAG Bike Show on 8th. Back north on 14th to 16th July for South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk

the 6th Dead End Rally or visit West Wales for the Aberystwyth MAG Seaside Rally. July 28th to 30th, 2017 sees MAGFEST 2 in Plumpton, a summer festival and rally, with live music and celebrity guest TT legend Chas Mortimer. August 4th and 5th sees the Yorkshire Pudding Rally near Selby or you can take a ride into the SouthWest for the End of the Road Rally on the Lizard peninsular 10th to 13th. September 1st to 3rd sees the last of the year’s really big rallies and some North-East hospitality at Stormin’ the Castle, Co. Durham. Attending MAG events can get you out on your bike, scooter, trike or combo exploring the length and breadth of the country. There’s something rather special about a group of mates setting off on a road run with their camping gear strapped to the bike. We party with a purpose — to keep the roads open, safe and free for riders — but that means having a lot of good times as well. There are dozens of other local events and meetings you can attend too. Membership gets you a bi-monthly magazine that lists all local meetings as well as adverts for the major events, details of which can be found on our website www.mag-uk.org. So please join us and party with a purpose too. It’s a great excuse for getting some miles and smiles on that transport of delight that awaits you. Motorcycles and scooters are not part of the country’s transport problems; they are part of the solution. You can help us get that message across and help ensure riders have a voice by supporting MAG. Please call 01926 844064: single membership costs £27; family, joint, affiliated club and corporate memberships also available. 19









www.bexhillmotofest.co.uk Located at De La Warr Pavilion car park and throughout Bexhill on Sea. SATNAV: TN40 1DP





otorcycles, Music and stunning stunts make this year’s BEXHILL MotoFest on July 30th one of the biggest and best FREE to attend biking events in the South East. Over the past four years BEXHILL MotoFest has built a reputation for bringing surprises to the biking crowds. From Live Motogymkhana to Mini Moto Racing and last year’s fantastic two hour Led Zeppelin fest with Coda the most authentic Zep tribute band in the UK, every year is definitely different and this year is no exception. Set against the seaside backdrop of the iconic art deco De La Warr Pavilion BEXHILL MotoFest 2017 is bigger and better than ever. For 2017 BEXHILL MotoFest have teamed up with Swinton Insurance to bring Spectacular stunts to the De la Warr car park with Motorcycle stunts International and Stunted Reality, a Zona Italia to welcome the Ducati owners club and all riders of

South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk

Italian iron, a Harley Cavalcade and a Goldwing Cavalcade will be hitting town at about 10.30am – The Ride to the Music festival on the sea front terrace of the De La Warr Pavilion is headlined this year by STONED – probably the best Rolling Stones tribute band in the southeast. There will also be traders and exhibitors from all aspects of the motorcycle industry as well as a family funfair and unique RIDE THE FUTURE electric bike exhibition. Bikes will be display parked throughout the town and a wide range of food and refreshments will be available from over 50 cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars. BEXHILL MotoFest: SUNDAY July 30th 2017, De La Warr Pavilion Car park and throughout Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex TN40 1DP 21


SETTING THE STANDARDS Your safety is important. Your choice of trainer will be one of the most important decisions you ever make. Good trainers create better riders. They pass on skills to keep you safe. So how do you know if a training school is a good one? When looking for a trainer, look into an MCIAC Accredited school. Stevie Muir from the MCIA provides some pointers.


hen you bought your first motorcycle or scooter how did you choose it? Did you google ‘closest motorcycle for sale near me’, then skip off down the road to finalise your purchase, without doing any additional research? Thought not. You probably read reviews, asked your mates, went into a few showrooms, and maybe even visited one of the big shows like Motorcycle Live. But what about your training? How did you find a training school? If it was pre-google you might have ‘let your fingers do the walking’ and found one through the Yellow Pages, or maybe asked a friend or relative. Chances are you didn’t do nearly as much research as you did for your bike and may well have based your decision purely on cost. ‘Word of mouth’ is always valuable, but these days we tend to want a bit more reassurance when it comes to paying for training, especially training that can affect your safety. Good training leads to good riders and bad training leads to vulnerable ones. So how do you make sure that any school you choose, or recommend, is a high quality one, rather than the cheapest you can find? To answer this question, it’s probably a good idea to give you a quick overview of what existing checks are in place. Basically, any school which offers CBT has to be registered with the DVSA and is then known as an Approved Training Body (ATB). Every four years, the DVSA visits the trainers that deliver CBTs to make sure they reach minimum standards, which are set out on the GOV.UK website. The DVSA now has powers to act on ‘tip offs’ about poor practice around the delivery of CBT but does not examine the way licence and posttest training is delivered, nor does it inspect the way an ATB is run as a business. Most discerning people would want some sort of additional endorsement and at more regular intervals. That is why the Motorcycle Industry Association set 22

up a system of ‘accreditation’, to give good schools the opportunity to distinguish themselves in the market place and to give riders an easier route to find high quality training and to weed out those which cut costs and compromise safety. The Motorcycle Industry Accreditation Centre is an IMI approved centre and has been quietly recruiting schools over the past four years. Up to now, this has not been publicised to riders until a good geographical spread was achieved. If you check the website www.mciac.co.uk, you will see there are currently around 50 sites featured, which are either fully accredited, or are far enough along in the process of acquiring accreditation that they can use the MCIAC branding. There are an additional 50 sites in the early stages of accreditation, which will be added to the website once they progress further. Accreditation measures areas like customer service, how well the needs of learners are met and how seriously safety is taken. For example, MCIAC schools offer all CBT customers both manual and automatic machines. They are not just put on an automatic, because it’s easier for the school, as is sometimes the case. Once accreditation has been earned, the schools are audited every year by MCIAC Assessors, who check 43 points within the management, quality, safety and training delivery areas of each business. As an additional check, every single rider who trains with an MCIAC school gets the opportunity to answer an electronic survey about their experience which provides an additional all year round check on quality. This allows the schools to know what they are good at and quickly address areas for improvement. Whether you are offering a recommendation for a CBT, or are looking for licence training or post-test training for yourself, you can find your closest MCIAC school by putting your postcode into the search part of the website www.mciac.co.uk. New schools are continually added each month. June-July 2017 • South East Biker Magazine


JW Groombridge Bikes at ESAM Open Sunday


SAM (East Sussex Advanced Motorcyclists) are hosting a special Open Sunday on June 11th with J.W.Groombridge Motorcycles providing several bikes for demonstration rides and offering a 10% discount on bike purchases. Demonstration bikes include Suzuki, Royal Enfield and Kawasaki, such as the latest version of the Z1000SX which features LED headlights, ABS and traction control and conforms to Euro 4 emissions regulations. Ultimate Ear, a company which makes ear plugs moulded to the individual’s ear, which can be linked to a mobile phone, will also be represented. ESAM, which is affiliated with the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists), offers a package of training which culminates in the advanced riding test. Whether you are a rider who has recently passed the standard test or have held your licence for many years, you will benefit from the advanced course which promotes safe and progressive riding, giving you the skills and confidence

to successfully negotiate hazards on the roads. The Open Sunday is at Reid Hall in Boreham Street (BN27 4SD), where there will be a BBQ and beverages. We welcome bikers to come along for an informal chat and test ride the bikes on display. ESAM Observers will also be on hand so you can experience a free ride out and get an initial assessment of your riding. Please wear suitable protective clothing for this. If you are interested in buying a new bike, or would like to put more enjoyment and skill into your riding, then come along to find out more about the advanced riding course and ESAM. A 10% discount is offered on the day to those who wish to sign up for the course and become ESAM members.

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June-July 2017 • South East 17/03/2017 Biker Magazine 12:18



Join us at BikeFest South with a unique reader discount. Readers of South East Biker can get £5 off tickets for BikeFest South at the Goodwood Motor Racing Circuit on Sunday 11th June.


• Road test over 120 different motorcycles • Learn how to deal with being first on the scene of a crash • Buy quality gear and accessories • Take part in a range of activities • Meet inspirational bikers and artists

• Learn how to ride in a gymkhana • Test an electric bike • Try a bike for non-riders, and support eight different charities, as well as visit our stand. All the activities are free. You can learn how to to filter ultra-slowly, flick your bike around at speed and avoid getting wiped out in a SMIDSY. You can also have your riding checked out and learn lifesaving tips from an IAM Observer. BikeFest South is the first fully experiential event that offers both bikers and their other halves a great day out. “We have 12

South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk

manufacturers, 20 plus clubs, and a range of clothing, riding gear, helmets and accessories plus ‘Geton’ for new riders. You won’t find cheap helmets or £10.00 gloves, but quality brands at good prices,” explains organiser, Peter Smith. “There’s lots to see,” he continues. “The latest bikes, test rides, customs, training, artists and celebrities with plenty to do, great food and live bands.” The Southern Young Biker of the Year competition for 16-30 year olds is also at BikeFest South. www.bikefestsouth.co.uk. Enter SOUTHEASTBIKER at the checkout to enjoy a £5.00 discount.



WHAT’S BEHIND THE BIKE SHED? We first took a trip to the Bike Shed last year and, as they are now distributors for SEB, thought it was time for another opinion. Russ Green checks it out…


he Bike Shed Motorcycle Club started in November 2011 as a blog about Anthony “Dutch” van Someren’s journey as modern sportsbike rider into the ‘new wave’ custom motorcycles everyone was reading about online – the cafe racers, brat-style, scramblers, etc. He wrote about the new bikes and builders on the scene, especially in the UK and Europe. The blog attracted a crew of friends and contributors, originally including custom builders Tim and Kev from Spirit of the Seventies, Adam from Untitled Motorcycles and Art Director Barry, from Two Wheels Only & Motorcycle Deluxe. Having heard much on the grapevine about this interesting concept cafe, I decided I had to ride up there to that there London and find out for myself. My trusty steed (called Hope) decided to have an air lock in the system as the traffic became the stand-still you would expect in any city centre. So we pulled over and tucked into the safety of some road workers’ signs which were keeping the traffic out to protect the 26

Pleased to arrive

workers. A quick ciggy and chat with John Allsopp, who had invited me to join him for the day, and the engine had soon cooled off enough to continue the last mile and a half to Shoreditch. While we were standing chatting, the road workers had moved a bit further up the road and took our protection with June-July 2017 • South East Biker Magazine

COMMUNITY them. Luckily Hope was ready to finish the journey, as by now we were both getting thirsty. Arriving on a wet miserable day, the sun had threatened to come out and the day was promising to be much better than how I felt when I arrived. Off road parking made it easy, and gave a reassuring feeling that the bikes could be easily seen from within the cafe itself. Going in, you are faced with a modern, yet classic cafe / restaurant with an impressive bar and big comfy booth-like seating. There is a large pigeon hole store cupboard near the door to accommodate your crash helmet and gloves should you wish to relax without the worry of what to do with them during your visit. Instantly greeted with a smile, we are shown to an option of seating, being chairs round tables, high benches nearer the bar with stools, or indeed as it

wasn’t too busy, we opted for the greedy option and took a booth just for the two of us. Very comfy and made me forget the last few miles of the journey which had stressed me out a bit with an overheating engine temperture. I soon cooled down in this relaxing setting and didn’t feel the need to rush at all. I was instantly calm.


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.

Call us now on: 07977 874075 Visit: www.viking-motorcycle-seats.co.uk Email: leetheseat@hotmail.co.uk, or pop in and see us at: 27a Heaver Trading Estate, Ash Road, Ash, Kent. TN15 7HJ South East Magazine Viking VinylBiker HP 0515.indd 1 • www.southeastbiker.co.uk


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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COMMUNITY The menu is full of mouth watering temptation, but not too full that you become dizzy with choice. I like that. I understand they vary the menu occasionally too, suiting the season, but we both chose the full English breakfast (available until 3pm) and well worth getting there for. Quite possibly the best bacon I think I have ever had anywhere. 24hr prepared slow cooked belly in thick rashers that costs a tiny bit more than normal but is well worth the price difference. I wasn’t so keen on the spicy beans, as they caught me off guard a bit but I’d be back just for the breakfast alone, yet this place has so much more to offer. Barista made coffee was as good as you want, no complaints at all. I even had a pot of tea after breakfast, the milk was served in a cute little tiny milk bottle, warmed as was the big mug. You don’t want a little cup do you! Even the toilets are impressive here. Exceptionally clean and the sort you might expect in a posh hotel. Nothing about this place is particularly posh, but you certainly get the feeling your money is being wisely spent. This is a business for the long term. The staff want to be staff, if that makes any sense. They want to treat you with respect, they seem to care that you are a customer and have feelings. They give a toss that you are spending money you have worked hard to earn. I got the impression I was being treated the same as


anyone else who walked through the door, no matter how much or little I was there to spend. I would be as welcome if I arrived alone just for a quick coffee or with a large group eating and drinking the entire menu. Everyone is treated the same, and I liked that. If I had any hair, I might have been tempted to have a trim while I was there, as there is a resident barber shop at the back. I guess I could treat the beard one day, or perhaps a dome polish! There are plenty of custom and vintage motorcycles on show, some for sale and some most definitely not! All the same, it’s a nice place to see them on display. A further look around I see Bike Shed apparel on sale, including helmets, jackets, gloves and shirts. Also a lounge with Chesterfield sofas, comfy armchairs and plenty of magazines to read (including SEB) and power points to plug in a laptop or charge your mobile before you head off on the road again. A quick chat with Dutch was nice, but much nicer to have been cheered up by our warm attentive waitress Amelia who deserved the tip. Speaking of tips, this is the best one I could think of for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a coffee in Shoreditch — try The Bike Shed. You won’t be disappointed if you go there. The Bike Shed, 384 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT www.thebikeshed.cc

June-July 2017 • South East Biker Magazine


Planning a successful trail ride

Bob Dixon from AdventureRide points us in right direction as we prepare to hit the trails…


t’s always a relief when everyone gets back from a ride safely. With everybody still buzzing from the ride there’s lots of lively banter as the adventures of the day are re re-lived . It’s great to see people enjoying themselves and the satisfaction of a job well done is one of the best things about organising a successful ride. Leading a trail ride is fun but it can also be challenging. It’s the responsibility of the ride leader to make sure the day runs smoothly and everything goes to plan. If you’re thinking about organising a ride for your mates here’s a few pointers to make sure your day out is a success. THE ROUTE Planning the route is obviously the most important aspect of the ride so try not to leave it to the last minute. Consider the sequence of the ride, particularly the technical sections if your group consists of inexperienced riders. Remember, most riders will be happier riding up a steep rocky section than down it, so factor this in when planning the direction of your ride — work on the premise that an accident going up a hill is usually slower than one going down! Conversely, if you’ve got some big trail bikes coming out, give some consideration to whether there are any long muddy climbs to tackle. Big bikes can really struggle to find any traction on greasy uphill sections and a bit of thought on which direction you will be tackling a hazard can save a lot of grief. South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk

If you’re planning some river crossings think about putting them in the afternoon section of the ride. There’s no point in getting soaking wet at the start of the ride if you can avoid it. Quite often it simply isn’t practical to plan around all these eventualities but it’s worth thinking carefully about them and deciding which is the best set of compromises for your situation. FUEL AND SPARES This is very basic stuff but make sure you know where fuel can be obtained on the route and whether it will be open. Many rural petrol stations have limited opening hours. Always ask riders to make sure they turn up at the start with enough fuel for at least 70 miles, if their tanks aren’t big enough they need to carry an auxiliary fuel cannister. Advise all the riders 29

TRAIL RIDING to bring the correct kit to deal with a puncture, even if they’re not able to deal with it themselves. It’s not fair to rely on other members of the group to carry spare tubes etc. Everybody in the group should be encouraged to be as self-reliant as possible. Riders will always pitch in and help each other but it’s always good to know the person in distress has at least tried to avoid relying on the kindness of others.

THE BRIEFING On the day of the ride make sure you do a rider briefing, this might seem a bit OTT if you’re just going out with a few buddies but it’ll pay dividends. Firstly make sure everyone knows roughly where you intend to take them, where you’ll be stopping for food, refreshment etc. Appoint a tail-end Charlie, contrary to popular opinion the fastest rider should be at the


We have featured trail riding and green laning several times in SEB and great fun it is too. If you have become addicted and fancy something similar but maybe with more sun and fewer locals waving their fists at you why not broaden your horizons? It’s cheap, quick and easy to head off to Europe for a few days. Algarve Trailriding Tours offer something off the beaten track. Anton who runs the business explains how it works… Algarve Trailriding Tours is an English-owned and run company set up in Portugal’s south west area of the Algarve. The whole idea is to provide clients with an offroad experience that suits their abilities. We have had clients new to offroading and very experienced offroaders as well. Primarily we are all about trailriding, which in my mind means anything from forest tracks, river crossings, open fire breaks to areas of single track. Having lived in this area for fourteen years I now speak Portuguese and have friends who are Portuguese offroaders too. Algarve Trailriding Tours are all about small groups to enhance the personal touch. Our bikes are varying cc’s either 250s or 400cc. The bikes easily cope with this terrain and are perfectly suited to either experienced or non experienced riders. We provide all the safety gear, fuel, guides and uniquely provide personal accident cover in the price as well. The company has only been running a few months but if things keep on going well, we intend to be buying extra bikes and gear for the forthcoming season. We are a one-stop-shop in that we have a dedicated transfer company from the local airport (Faro), we have choices of three different houses to accommodate riders and we do pick up from the houses in the mornings/afternoons. This area not only offers endless trailriding possibilities but if you want to travel with your family, the beaches are amazing, loads of extra activities in this region including surfing, horseriding, walking, MTB, cycling, scuba diving and regular tourist trips, dolphin watching, fishing etc. In fact, too much to list. This area is only just coming up on the tourist map so prices are still very good and with so much food being locally grown organic produce the cafes/restaurants in this area provide fabulous well priced meals. More information can be found at www.sandytoes-algarve.com/trailriding 30

June-July 2017 • South East Biker Magazine



back, not the slowest. This is because the tail-ender can sometimes be delayed at traffic junctions and will need to get a move on to catch the group up. If the slowest rider is at the back this just adds to the delays. Position the slowest rider behind the leader, one way or another the group is going to have to ride at the pace of slowest rider and if he/she is positioned directly behind the leader it becomes much easier for

the leader to adjust the pace of the group to suit. Explain to everyone what the procedure is for dealing with gates. If someone is clearly struggling to get on or off their bike [it happens] or has problems parking it on rough ground, excuse them from gate duty because it just holds up proceedings and affects the flow of the ride. Make it clear what the procedure is when you come

The adventure starts in store






Tel: 01403 823222 • Web: www.motoward.co.uk • Email: motowardsales@aol.co.uk

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 HP Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk Motoward 0117.indd 1

31 09/01/2017 10:43

TRAIL RIDING across walkers/ equestrians / cyclists/ livestock. Most importantly stress to everyone that as ride leader you cannot be expected to know what is going on at the back of the pack. It is up to each rider to look out for their buddy riding behind and to do this by frequently checking over their shoulder to check all is well. If a problem occurs they should stop immediately and if everybody adheres to this procedure the message will soon get through to the ride leader. This prevents the potentially dangerous situation of somebody riding like a bat out of hell to catch up with the leader to inform them of a problem and colliding with someone else from the front of the group coming back to find out what is going on.


Calling all trail riders and off road motorcyclists. EDMCC will be running its annual LDT on Sunday 6th August. Starting deep in the Sussex countryside and using a detailed road book, riders will follow a predetermined route around byways, roads and some testing private land. Along the way there will be some “Trials” like sections suitable for Enduro and Trail bikes for you to test your riding skills.

Better then the M25 on a Sunday


Covering approximately 100 miles, expect to be riding for a good part of the day, reaching far flung destinations such as Crowborough, Firle and the Pevensey Marshes. For more details of the event and how to enter please contact Pete on peter.collins147@btinternet.com No previous experience necessary! Please see South East Biker on line back edition number 41, Oct Nov 2015 for full ride report and pictures.

THE RIDE Once you set off don’t panic if it’s all a bit shambolic for the first hour or so. This is perfectly normal and a group soon settles into its own rhythm. When tackling a technical trail always try to explain clearly the nature of the hazard ahead and provide as much info as possible. Where possible lead from the back, ie where you know a trail has a definite and clear end such as a T junction or a gate wave everyone through and let them blow off a bit of steam if they want to. This lets the more excitable riders burn off some energy without putting the leader under any pressure. It will also enable you to observe and evaluate the ability of the group and amend the route if necessary. On a practical level it’s always much easier to deal with the aftermath of spills if you’re bringing up the rear. Ride safe and enjoy yourself. If you fancy a fantastic day or two’s trail riding in beautiful unspoiled Shropshire, Bob’s details can be found at www.adventureride.co.uk

June-July 2017 • South East Biker Magazine





Pete Karmios and Ashley are sheltering from the elements in a barber shop in the middle of rural Sri Lanka. After a fruitless search for weather protection on the form of bin liners they decide to press on…

e set off on the darkening mountain road and ascended into the cloud base. Trail bikes aren’t famous for powerful headlamps and our feeble lamps barely lit up the potholes and steep drops hiding around each corner. The fog and constant drizzle didn’t help either. This morning’s sunlit, carefree adventure was now a sopping wet crawl up a mountain in the dark for somewhere to shelter for the night. Still on the A17 and riding slowly through Suriyakanda, we saw a roadside banner promoting a bungalow resort nearby. It looked like the Big Guy upstairs was pointing to our salvation! A steep narrow track led off the main road and took us South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk

to a collection of pretty bungalows set in private landscaped gardens. We felt like aliens, soaking wet and muddy with our bikes idling loudly in the quiet dark of the courtyard. The place seemed deserted and we couldn’t see any reception area which was disappointing. We were about to leave when a white clad chef, complete with tall hat emerged from one of the bungalows. Deliverance! Anywhere that had a uniformed chef had to be worth staying at! Sadly, our relief was short lived. The resort manager followed the chef and told us apologetically and firmly, despite our begging, that the resort was fully booked. Now, Ashley does good begging, especially when he’s soaking wet and knackered from a long day’s ride. 33

TOURING The manager seemed immune to his increasing desperation. No, we couldn’t sleep in the staff quarters. No, we couldn’t sleep on the kitchen floor. No! She wouldn’t let us use her room! The sad, pleading looks in our eyes must have struck a chord as she considered our options and then offered hope. “Okay, I’ll call my manager and see if there’s anything he can suggest”. A tinny reply came out of the earpiece for her to send us to the main office and he’ll sort something. Brilliant! Her directions were sketchy in very limited English and I suppose we were too relieved to listen carefully but we set off after offering heartfelt thanks. Back up to the main road, follow it for less than ten minutes and look for the manager’s office. If you go past the hospital, you’ve gone too far… After ten minutes riding we didn’t see a manager’s office or a hospital. We were now in complete darkness and thick fog which reduced visibility to almost nothing. I wasn’t too concerned as a hospital is usually a big thing with bright lights and bloody obvious signs outside — how can I miss a hospital! Thirty minutes and about ten tortuous miles later, no hospital and we’re descending out of the cloud into warmer, drier conditions. In the far distance we could see the lights of a big town so we had a quick conference. We could go back up into the fog and hope to find the

manager’s office, or press on down the mountain to the bright lights. While we were stopped against the mountainside, I saw two vehicles climbing toward us, their headlights like powerful searchlights below. We waited for them to pass on their ascent but as the lead pickup approached, it veered across the road and blocked me in. Not good I thought, especially as there were several men standing in the back of the pickup. When the front passenger leapt out and ran towards me I thought “Oh shit, it’s going to kick off!” I braced myself for the assault when he stopped inches from me and shouted “You looking for the manager’s office?” It took a moment to realise I wasn’t being mugged. My brain slowly processed his words as he repeated them and I just nodded stupidly. “Follow!” was his response and climbed back into the pickup. We turned around and followed them back up the mountain, not understanding what the hell was going on but relieved we had company. Riding back into the fog and drizzle was not fun and trying to keep up with the lunatic racing away in the pickup was a challenge, especially on the rain washed blind hairpins. A nagging voice in my head whinged repeatedly. “You idiot, Pete. They are taking you right back to where you started!” Eventually, we returned almost to the resort bungalows. Our escort jumped

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out and pointed to the driveway leading to the manager’s office. I still hadn’t seen a hospital! We rode down the curving driveway which opened out to reveal a large colonial villa with a group of people standing outside to welcome us. This was

South East Biker Magazine • www.southeastbiker.co.uk

the plantation superintendent’s bungalow for the Aigburth Estate and he was there in person with his domestic staff to greet us. Mr. Shivantha waved us over to a covered parking area and seemed genuinely pleased to see us. When we hadn’t appeared shortly after leaving the resort villas, he became concerned for our safety and sent his plantation staff out to look for us! He ushered us into the villa and I knew we were among friends when I saw a huge portrait in the reception room of a senior plantation official posing on a bright red Honda XR 250. Turns out Mr. Shivantha is mad about bikes too and was very keen to hear of our adventures. After a much needed shower and change of clothes we were greeted with drinks and fantastic hospitality from Mr. Shivantha; his excellent English was put to good use as we discussed his work at the plantation. With 1800 staff and 2500 acres of tea plantation to look after, we were honoured to be his guests and were suitably impressed by the opulent residence and the constant flow of food and drinks brought to us by the attending waiter. Put three bikers together with food and booze and the common bond had us talking about our rides late into the tropical evening. Next morning saw more generous hospitality over breakfast and an invitation to visit the plantation’s tea factory where they produce around 45,000 kilos


TOURING of tea per month. I couldn’t believe my luck. A tour of a tea plantation and factory was high on my to-do list — and we were getting the royal treatment by the plantation’s boss! In the UK, arriving as a VIP guest on a ratty TTR 250 would be met with disapproval and orders to park somewhere out of sight. Here, the factory management came out to admire our bikes and were interested to hear of our journey. We were shown around the tea factory where they still use the same process and even some of the original machines dating back over a century to British ownership. It felt like stepping back in time to the days of Empire. Apparently, English is still the official language of tea making and the heads of each department gladly practised their verbal skills describing their work in producing some of the finest tea in Sri Lanka. Fresh leaves were first weighed then lifted up to the long benches and warm air heating of the drying room. When the leaves are dried to around 40 percent of their original weight, they are swept down chutes into the noise and musky aroma of the rolling, sifting and grading machines where the stuff we recognise as tea ends up in the bagging area. We saw the whole process and each step was explained from start to finish with pride by each of the departments.


at the

The tasting room was next on the agenda. I’ve seen it on telly, people with absurdly sensitive taste buds slurping and spitting cold tea into buckets to make the perfect blend… Well beyond my senses I thought. And I was right. Mr. Shivantha did his best to educate us by laying out 10 samples of their produce and showed us how to slurp and spit. It was an interesting experience and showed my poor judgement of good tea, despite drinking gallons of the stuff at home! Suitably educated and impressed by a very efficient factory that still used the old traditional methods, we were each awarded a bag of their finest tea as a parting gift. I will be eternally grateful, to Mr. Shivantha for rescuing us off that wet foggy mountain and for being the perfect host. The factory tour took us till mid-morning, last night’s rain and fog had evaporated, the sky was clear blue and the temperature in the high 30s. We packed our gifts of fine tea, shook hands with the factory management and bade a reluctant farewell to our host. He asked where we were heading now and we replied with our original destination Adam’s Peak. “Oh”, he replied politely as he turned and squinted to the north where distant mountains on the horizon were shrouded in dense cloud. “Are you sure you want to go there?”


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South East Biker, Issue 51, June 2017  

The South East of England's No.1 Free motorcycle magazine for all types of biking enthusiast.

South East Biker, Issue 51, June 2017  

The South East of England's No.1 Free motorcycle magazine for all types of biking enthusiast.