I’ve Gone ‘Naked’!

IMG_1158.JPGLast month I went along to the MCN Motorbike show at the Excel centre, with the intention of buying a Sports Touring motorbike to replace my Varadero.  I also had no intention of buying a Honda again.

Unfortunately, Suzuki didn’t seem all that keen on selling me a GSX1250FA.  Trying to arrange a test ride on one seemed impossible!  Then, as my Varadero went in for it’s 16,000 mile survey the lent me a Honda CB1000R once again.  This is the bike I used for a day 3 years ago and it pursuaded me to move up to a 1000cc bike.

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MCN Bike Show at ExCeL Center London 2012

2012-02-05 15.04.38.jpgI’ve been to this show for the past 4 years.  It was at one of these shows that I sat on a Varadero and realised it was the most comfortable bike I’d ever sat on, which lead me to buy one back in June of 2009.

Well, I’ve had a few issues with it in the last year or so, the gearbox failing twice.  The fist covered by warranty, but this second time it has cost me £1,400 and then another £270 to get it serviced!

This made me wonder if I should think about changing bikes again.  Much as I like the Varadero, I can’t be paying out bills like this very often.  If I get a new bike, I will at least be covered by warranty. Continue reading MCN Bike Show at ExCeL Center London 2012

Snowdonia Sequel

It was only 5 months ago since we last went to Snowdonia, but we liked it so much, we thought we’d go back!

This time myself, Lee, Mike and Steve set out from the Little Chef in Burford, following Steve’s well planned route through Wales to our hotel in North Wales.  The weather was pretty good as we set out, but it was almost exactly as we passed into Wales that the clouds appeared and it wasn’t long before the rain was falling.  A little drizzle at first, we didn’t let it slow us, but it soon picked up, so we pulled over and donned our waterproofs.

As with the first trip I was using an app on my phone called Trip Journal to log our route.  This time I was using my Samsung Galaxy S, which has a bit of a better camera and I was better prepared with a spare battery and a cigarette charging point on my bike!  This meant I could leave GPS on the whole time to track more accurately where we rode.  (Apart from the one stage it turned itself off!)

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Car Repairs and Financial Issues!

I decided last week to get my car fixed after the Christmas Day issues, so I dropped it in to the local garage.  I got a call later in the day with bad news about what was wrong…  three new tires, a control arm as well as the faulty alternator and battery would bring it up close to £800!  I wasn’t even sure I still wanted a car, but I guess I need to get these things fixed, even if I wanted to sell it.  A couple of days later I get a call, they can’t find the reason it keeps stopping charging.  Today I picked it up and had to pay out £938 for the repairs!

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Ireland Biking Weekend

This last weekend was quite an adventure, I got Friday and Monday off from work in order to ride over to South West Ireland with some friends.  Some of the guys met up on Thursday to ride to Wales which is where the first drama occurred when a silly lady decided to turn right, from the left lane of a roundabout, knocking Mike off his bike!  So, after separating his shoulder, he was in no condition to carry on the ride.

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Bike Upgrade

After over two years on my Honda Transalp I decided it was time for me to trade it in.  A leek had once again started in the right hand radiator, just 2 months outside of warranty.  This, along with a wearing clutch, rear pads and ball bearings meant I thought I should take out a Varadero for a test ride.

The 4th bike I've ever owned. A Honda Varadero XL1000V

The Varadero’s an even bigger bike, possibly the biggest on the market at around 270 kilo’s with a full tank.  This does mean it’s very comfortable for the larger gentleman such as myself.  The extra power from the 1,000cc engine also felt very nice, giving it around 92 bhp compared to my Transalp’s 57.

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MCN London Motorcycle Show

Having very much enjoyed the car show last summer, I was pleased to see there was a Motorcycle show at the ExCeL Centre this January.  Myself and a couple of collegues from work got ourselves some tickets and met up to have a look around.

It wasn’t quite on the same scale as the car show, but then I guess there are less bike manufacturers to exhibit that car companies.  This show took only the North side of the centre apart from the live action show which took place in the south section.

It was great to be able to have a sit on all the new bikes to see how they felt. I personally felt right at home on the Honda Varadero 1000cc, the big brother of the 125 bike I learnt on.  It seemed large enough for my body to fit on it nicely.

Before heading home I got myself a nice new Shoei helmet in matt black, with a fantastic Pinlock system to stop the visor fogging up.

A slightly hairy moment on the way home as I accelerated off a roundabout and the back wheel slid out on some dirt, but there was some nice weather for a nice ride home.

Brands Hatch – Superbike World Championship

Last year, having recently passed my motorbike test, I went with some new biker friends to Brands Hatch and had a great day.  When I saw I could get cheap tickets to go again this year through work, I jumped at the chance.

Not such a sunny day this year, but still some great opportunity for photo’s, the bikes and the girls!

We didn’t really pay too much attention to the racing, I wouldn’t know one biker from another, but it was still a fun day looking round the stalls, taking photo’s, trying to find a shop cheap enough that we could afford a drink!

To see all the pictures, click here.

British International Motorshow

Me and a friend got tickets a few days back for this Motorshow at the ExCeL Centre in East London.  We headed down on the bike to check it out.  I was worried about parking, but it turned out they allowed bikes into the carparks for free, so no problems there.

On entering, the first thing to do was check my coat and get a bite to eat!  With that out of the way we headed round the exhibition.  What an amazing array of cars on show!  Everywhere you turned was another shiney, expensive, fast car to take a picture of.  A few of them you could climb in yourself.  I nearly got stuck in some little Honda S2000 sports car!

Once we’d been round everything inside, which took around 3 hours, we got a bite of chinese for lunch before heading out into the sunshine.  We had tickets for the Honda DreamScape… but the 11am show.  Luckily they let us in anyway.  It was a 40 minute long ‘display’ hosted by a couple of guys in suits, making jokes.  The first vehicles on show where there bikes, wheelies, stoppies and burnouts gallore!

Then came some cars and even some gymnasts!  They did a relay race, two teams of four cars, speeding down and back the little arena, spinning wheels and creating lots of smoke!  It was rather entertaining mind you.  We also got to see the Honda robot serving drinks and dancing!

All in all, a fun day.  I think I’ll look to get tickets for the Motorbike show at the beginning of December…

To see all the photo’s, click here.