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Monday, 31 October 2011

Airbag vest - the future of motorcycle clothing?

If you've ever been fascinated by the Air Bag race suits used in MotoGP, this year's Motorcycle Live show has got something unique that might just interest you. Air bag body protection specialist Point Two, who are well known in the equestrian industry, will be launching their new range of Motorcycle air bag vests and jackets.

An example of one of the firm's air bag vests designed for Horse Racing.

Industry experts will be on hand at the Air Vest stand B372 to launch the innovative new products and to ask any questions you might have about how they work or what the benefits actually are.

The firm say that they aim to 'raise the bar' in protective bike gear and have put a lot of resources into developing their new range of products, of which the details and prices will remain a secret  until they are officially unveiled at the show.

This really is a unique opportunity to have an insight into the possible future of motorcycle protective clothing with the chance to ask questions, live demonstrations will be running on the stand daily.

To find out more or to book a ticket to the show, visit www.motorcyclelive.co.uk

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Motorcyle Live to host official IOM TT day

Motorcycle Live have announced some great news for Isle of Man TT fans as they will once again be designating a full day to celebrate the legendary event. The final day of the show (Sunday 27th November) is officially TT Day.


TT heroes including John McGuinness, Conor Cummins, Bruce Anstey, Ryan Farquhar, Michael Dunlop, Michael Rutter will be at the show on the day to sign autographs and kick off celebrations of the world’s most exhilarating road race.

The organisers have announced that there will be a TT take over at the Black Horse stage in the Arai zone of the show, which will host a Q&A session with BSB commentator James Whitham and a quiz with MotoGP commentator Steve Parrish.

Unfortunately legendary TT star Guy Martin won’t make it for TT day but will instead be visiting the show on Sunday 20 November.

For details and tickets checkout www.motorcyclelive.co.uk

Friday, 28 October 2011

Winter bike storage - Oxford have it covered

With winter now almost upon us and the dark, cold, damp weather setting in, now's the time to think about keeping your bike protected from the elements.


For those not lucky enough to have a garage, shed or sheltered area for your pride and joy, an outdoor cover is an essential piece of kit. Seeing as we are in this situation ourselves we decided to take a look at what's on offer from Oxford Products.

Oxford are well experienced in the bike accessory business and currently offer 3 outdoor cover options. The entry level option, the Aquatex, provides a decent straightforward option to keep your bike dry. It's double-stitched Nylon build makes it more durable than cheaper covers available elsewhere. It also comes in 4 sizes, offering a good fit for a range of bikes, the RRP is between £20-25 depending on size. Click here for the best prices on the Aquatex cover.


Next in the range is the popular Rainex cover, the model we've been testing over the last few months. Personally i've owned one of these covers before and it did a great job, on opening the new version it's clear that Oxford have put in some effort to develop it even further.

The quality of the PVC outer is evident to the touch, and with taped scenes there is no way water is getting through this cover. The soft inner lining is an additional feature on this mid-range cover, which helps to protect your paintwork for added piece of mind (especially when the cat is about).


We've had the cover on the bike for a good couple of months and in that time it has been thoroughly rain tested! Another thing that we noticed was when you removed the cover after it had been raining, the bike was completely dry inside, which Oxford attribute to the concealed vents that eliminate condensation.

We had the medium sized cover which fit our 2007 GSX-R600 snugly with minimal overhang, the handy strap at the bottom can be adjusted to pull the cover in tighter around the bike too. The Rainex also features a couple of small holes near the front and back wheel for passing a chain through, another indication that this is a well thought out product.

The Rainex comes in 3 sizes and retails for around £45-£50 and if you can afford the difference from the basic cover it is well worth it. Click here for the best prices on the Rainex cover.

The final cover in the Oxford line-up is the Stormex, the cover that they say offers 'ultimate all-weather bike protection'. Without testing this model we can't really comment on the quality of the materials compared to the Rainex, however the materials are most likely to be even better quality. Other than that it has all of the features included on the Rainex and has an RRP of £60-80. Click here for the best prices on the Stormex cover.

There's a simple reason behind the success of Oxford's bike covers, they perform well and at a reasonable price. So if you're looking to get your bike covered, find your nearest Oxford dealer at www.oxprod.com

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

New Yamaha GP Racing clothing line

Remember the tasty white and red racing livery featured on Lorenzo and Spies' GP bikes at selected MotoGP rounds this year? Well, incase you missed it, the colours were in celebration of Yamaha's 50th Anniversary in GP racing.


If you're a fan of the classic racing colours, the good news is that Yamaha are launching a limited edition clothing range, giving you a chance to own your own piece of the celebration.


With everything from jackets to keyrings available in the bold racing design, there's something to fit every racing fan and every budget. You can see the new clothing range at the Yamaha stand at Motorcycle Live.

Check out www.yamaha-motor.co.uk/anniversaryteamwear and www.motorcyclelive.co.uk for details

Motorcycle Live launch mobile web app

The organisers of Britain's premier bike show, Motorcycle Live, have just launched a brand new web application for mobile phones. Visitors can access the app by visiting www.motorcyclelive.co.uk where they can find details of the show and can book tickets with ease.


The smart phone friendly website has all of the show's latest news, as well as a list of all the exhibitors and timings for events for the duration of the event. In the downloads section you'll also find maps of the show, which will undoubtedly come in handy when you visit.

Unlike some other smart phone apps you don't need to download this one, just visit the website on your mobile phone and you'll automatically be redirected to it, the app is also completely free to use.

Visit the web app today to book your advanced tickets, priced £16 for adults, £10 for seniors, £6 for children (6-16) and kids under five accompanied by a paying adult go free.

Go to www.motorcyclelive.co.uk or scan the QR code below

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Suzuki refine GSX-R1000 superbike for 2012

Suzuki's range-topping superbike, the GSX-R1000, is being updated for 2012, the manufacturer has just announced. The latest developments on the bike are said to be increased chassis and engine performance as well as reduced weight.


In summary the developments include a number of weight savings across the bike thanks to the latest MotoGP technical innovations, resulting in an overall weight loss of 2kg. It may not sound like much, but Suzuki are only really making minor refinements to what is already a strong bike (as demonstrated in the BSB championship this year).


The updates also include the fitting of the well-proven Brembo Monoblock calipers for uprated stopping power. Another visible tweak is the new lightweight 4-2-1 exhaust system with a titanium silencer, similar to that of the current GSX-R600 and 750.

Suzuki say that the 2012 GSX-R1000s pistons are 11% lighter, which combined with an increased compression ratio, help the motor to spin-up quicker and deliver more mid-range power and better acceleration.

The bike will be officially unveiled in Milan on 8th November but UK fans can check it out at Motorcycle Live from 19th-27th November.

See more at www.suzuki-gb.co.uk or www.motorcyclelive.co.uk

For the latest motorcycle news updates follow @momentumblog on twitter.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Honda reveal details of new Integra motorcycle

Honda have just announced the name of the newest addition to their 2-wheel line-up, the Integra, so called because it 'integrates' the benefits of both a scooter and a performance motorcycle.



The name, borrowed from Honda's legendary 4-wheeled performance coupe, is given to a rather futuristic looking 670cc sports scooter, which as it's name suggests integrates all the comfort and practicalities of a scooter, with power and handling characteristics of something much beefier.

Providing the punchy power is Honda's newly developed liquid cooled inline 2-cyclinder engine. According to Honda it's compact design and lightweight construction has enabled them to position the unit for a low centre of gravity, hence the unexpectedly good handling.

The new motor has been mapped for low-mid range torque, perfect for city commuters and the odd sunday afternoon b-road blast. As you'd expect from a modern engine, it's been built with low emissions in mind and is said to deliver impressive fuel economy, with figures in the 70-80mpg range to be expected.

With the practicality based on that of a scooter, there is an automatic transmission option, however Honda deemed it appropriate to include their newly developed 2nd generation Dual Clutch Transmission which means that there is also a manual mode, for riders looking for a bit more of an involved riding experience.



Looking at the overall styling, we'd be hard pushed to say that it's beautiful, but there are features, like the wavy disks, sports tourer headlight, big wheels and chain drive, that give this bike more street cred than a typical scooter.

We can only guess at who might want to buy one of these, perhaps someone looking for more than a scooter, but with the ease of an auto box and chilled out riding position? Who knows. We look forward to seeing how the Integra fares when it arrives in 2012.

Read more at www.honda.co.uk/motorcycles or visit the Honda stand at Motorcycle Live (www.motorcyclelive.co.uk)

Sunday, 23 October 2011

MotoGP racer Marco Simoncelli passes away

Motorcycle Racing suffers a sad loss today as young Italian rider Marco Simoncelli has died.



The San Carlo Honda rider succumbed to his injuries, after an accident on lap 2 of today's Sepang MotoGP race.

Our thoughts are with Marco's family and friends. Rest in Peace Marco Simoncelli. Image courtesy of Honda Racing

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Manchester Motorcycle Show re-launched for 2012

Two wheel fanatics in the North will soon benefit from a major bike exhibition closer to home as Manchester Motorcycle Show is re-launched! The new management have announced that the two day exhibition will take place on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th January at Manchester Central Convention Centre.


Manchester Motorcycle Show will give bike enthusiasts the chance to see all the fantastic new models from the major manufacturers, loads of modern bikes and scooters as well as some stunning classics from yesteryear.

One of the newest bikes on display will be TT racer Guy Martin’s 500bhp turbo café racer, brought to the show by none other than the man himself. Guy, who will be at the show both days to talk about the bike and sign autographs, has built the bike from a 1991 GSX-R1100 but not much of the original bike remains as it now has a 1380cc big bore engine and fuel injection.

The show also features an extensive retail area with loads of goodies for you and your bike, including clothing, helmets and everything else needed to keep you on the road.

Adult ticket prices are £10 when booking in advance, £15 on the gate. Children under 15 years enter for free with a paying adult. The show is open from 9am each day and closes at 5pm.

For details check out www.manchestermotorcycleshow.com

Friday, 21 October 2011

Toasty hands with new Oxford Heated Gloves

Oxford products, the company famous for their HotGrips (heated handlebar grips), which keep many bikers sane through the cold British winters,  have announced that they will be launching new heated gloves at Motorcycle Live in November.


The glove is made 1mm leather and 500 denier PU backed Nylon with stretch panels for comfort, reflective piping to keep you lit up, excellent padding for protection and a visor wipe for poor weather. It also includes triple layered waterproof & breathable material to keep you warm even without the heat source.

Unlike similar heated gloves, Oxford hasn't used wire-based heating elements, instead they have a woven heat source which gives a tidyer looking glove.

Once wired in, heat can be adjusted using the button on the top of each glove. The three heat levels are show by the coloured LED which glows red, yellow or green.


The full kit is available in November and will retail for £149.99 in sizes XS-XXL and comes with a 2 year guarantee.


For more info click onto www.oxprod.com or visit Oxford at Motorcycle Live (www.motorcyclelive.co.uk).

Thursday, 20 October 2011

A zone for every biker at Motorcycle Live

Organisers of Britain's premier bike show are inviting you to 'zone out' at this year's Motorcycle Live at the Birmingham NEC. Before you ask, no they're not asking you to partake in anything illegal, just letting you know of the variety that the sow has to offer.


From adventure biking, classic machines, custom models and off-roading right through to sports touring and racing, the show is set to entertain visitors from all biking backgrounds.

If you're heart is set on a once-in-a-life-time trip, then check out The Escape Zone sponsored by Yamaha Super Ténéré, where you'll find plenty of inspiration and equipment for your adventure.

For the classic motorcyclists among us, be sure to head to the Classic Zone sponsored by Brittany Ferries, with a one-off display of jaw-dropping machines, dating right back to the 1920s.

For those who just can't leave their bike alone, the show is offering the Custom Xtreme Zone sponsored by Back Street Heros & Streetfighters with a display of customised motorcycles. This is a chance to see some of the best cover bikes up close and personal and get a first glance of some future award winners.

The dirty riders can chill out in the T+MX and DBR Off-road Zone, and try your hand at the Yamaha Off-Road Experience and the ACU Trials Zone. Kids can also have a go at the Suzuki Off-Road Experience.

The ticket price for Motorcycle Live 2011 is all-inclusive, and costs £16 in advance for adults, £10 for seniors, £6 for children aged 6-16 and kids under five accompanied by a paying adult go free.

Book now at www.motorcyclelive.co.uk

Honda Crosstourer concept will make production

Japanese bike firm, Honda, has just confirmed that the Crosstourer concept model unveiled at the 2010 EICMA show will be making it to mass production. The new bike is set to be revealed to customers in full production spec at the 2011 EICMA show in November.


The Crosstourer combines sports touring features, such as the company's recent V4 engine configuration also found in the VFR1200F, with the long travel suspension, upright riding position and styling of an off-road machine, making it a unique and versatile package. The machine will also be offered with the option of Honda’s innovative Dual Clutch Transmission technology.

Yosuke Hasegawa, leader of the development team, comments:

“The Crosstourer offers a high-level fusion of vibrant off-road styling, upright riding position, V4 engine power and Dual Clutch Transmission that offers more direct power transmission and easy operation. We are convinced that we have successfully brought out new value in what can be termed the true Crossover Concept.”

For more details keep your eyes peeled on www.honda.co.uk/motorcycles

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Get On two-wheels at Motorcycle Live 2011

The motorcycle industry’s popular Get On campaign will be returning to Motorcycle Live this year from 19-27 November. The campaign will be offering their usual free two-wheel taster sessions to novice and born-again bikers. If you're looking to Get On two wheels, their area in hall 4 is well worth a visit.


Riders over the age of 16 will be offered 20-minute taster sessions on a choice of scooters and motorcycles provided by supporting manufacturers, including an eco-friendly electric scooter.

Safety equipment and a fully qualified instructor are included and each rider will receive a  one-on-one briefing before they set off. Participants will then be introduced to the basics of biking as they ride a short and simple course to get a feel for life on two wheels.

Walk-up appointments will be available, but the organisation recommends that you pre-book via www.geton.co.uk. Simply enter the postcode for the The NEC (B40 1NT) in the ‘Book a free ride’ section and select Motorcycle Live as a training location.

After the taster session, riders have the opportunity to find out everything they need to know about getting on to two-wheels, from where to do a CBT and how to get a full licence, to buying that first bike and getting kitted out and insured. All with the aim of bringing the benefits and excitement of riding a bike to more people.

Tickets for Motorcycle Live are £16 in advance for adults, £10 for seniors, £6 for children aged 6-16 and kids under five accompanied by a paying adult go free, book now at www.motorcyclelive.co.uk

For more info about Get On visit www.geton.co.uk

Monday, 17 October 2011

Casey Stoner - 2011 Moto GP World Champion

It was the 16th race, his home grand prix, his birthday and his 9th win of the season which saw Casey Stoner finally crowned as the 2011 Moto GP World Champion.


We reported before the season started that Honda had a very busy winter developing their GP bikes for the 2011 season in a bid to take the final 800cc world title and prove their critics wrong.

Taking the win in the first race at Losail, Casey Stoner showed the world that he meant business with his new partnership with Honda. As much stick as he gets from the press, you have to respect the young Aussie's audacious attitude, reflected in his flat-out riding style.


His passion for winning was clear from the start, for the first time since he jumped aboard the Ducati to take his first championship win in 2007, a spark had returned to re-ignite his determination in motorcycle racing.

Although title rival Jorge Lorenzo missed the race due to injury, the championship was pretty much wrapped up already. The season so far has been a mixed one, with some edge-of-seat adrenaline pumping action mixed with dull minimal-passing races with big gaps between the riders. All credit where it's due though, Stoner got his head down and went for the win, regardless of the entertainment value.

Now that Stoner and Honda have secured the championship, we're hoping for a bit of fun in the final two rounds, as teams head out with nothing to lose. Just around the corner is a new era for Moto GP as we welcome the return of the 1000cc classes and with it a bigger grid than the 10 riders that finished the race at Philip Island.

So congratulations Casey Stoner for taking the first and last championships of the 800cc era for two different manufacturers. Now bring us some entertainment in Malaysia, Valencia and the 2012 season.

Photos courtesy of www.motogp.com

Thursday, 13 October 2011

TCX kick-off 2012 motorcycle boots range

Motorcycle boot producer, TCX, have announced that they will be kicking their 2012 range into action at the International Motorcycle Show at ECIMA on 8th November. The firms latest line up will now include two racing boots, a touring option and one female-specific model.

R-S2
New to the range is the R-S2, which is the first boot to feature TCX’s Precise Air-Fit System, which is said to offer the a revolutionary precise fit. Situated on the front of the boot, the air pump can be used to adapt the shape to fit your feet, and to get them off again, you'll be pleased to here that there is also a quick release system.

TCX’s revolutionary Torsion Control system (featured in our review of the S-Race air boots here) has been given a face-lift and now has carbon fibre injected into the structure. The carbon reduces the weight of the boot, and increases the structural support. Another new feature is the MCS system, which has been designed to control up and down bending of the metatarsal. The new R-S2 will be available in bold white or stylish black and priced at £249.99.

S-Sport Tour
Another style added to the racing line is the S-Sport Tour. Similar in style to its predecessor, the S-Sport Tour has a light micro fibre upper with front and rear padding. For protection there are new polyurethane heel guards, a new ergonomic shin plate, shift pad and a new PU ankle insert. The S-Sport Tour is available in black and white and priced at £129.99 or £149.99 for a black waterproof version.

X-Tour
For those seeking a touring option, the X-Tour is finished in full grain leather with padded front and rear areas to increase comfort and flexibility. A new addition is the Adjustable Fit System, which features a double outsole. The X-Tour Gore-Tex is available in black and priced at £199.99.

X-Square Lady

Female bikers aren't going unnoticed either, with the introduction of the casual X-Square Lady, a stylish and practical boot for use under jeans. Made from suede with patent leather inserts, the boot also features a reinforced malleolus area, back counter and toe reinforcement. There is a laced closure with a Velcro top and a removable shift pad is included. The X-Square Lady is available in black and priced at £99.99.

Check back for the latest details on the 2012 range of TCX boots and visit www.tcxboots.com

Monday, 10 October 2011

Ducati unveil all-new 1199 Superquadro engine

Ducati’s brand new 1199 Panigale is certainly a hot topic right now and with it's official unveiling at the International Motorcycle Show in Milan fast approaching, the manufacturer has revealed a teaser for the new bikes power-plant.


The firm's latest engine, named the Superquadro, is said to go beyond the barriers of engineering to do deliver a futuristic superbike. Its no-compromise approach to design is rumoured to set a new benchmark for the most extreme sports bike engine.

Ducati engineers were asked to create the next generation of Superbike engine for the Ducati 1199 Panigale. Increase power, torque and user-friendliness and reduce overall vehicle weight might sound like impossible tasks, but given a “blank canvas” to create the new power-plant, Ducati say that their engineers have ticked all the boxes with the new motor.

The innovative Superquadro engine, so called because of its massively over-square bore and stroke ratio, has increased power to a crazy 195hp and torque to 98.1 lb-ft (13.5kgm) with user-friendly Riding Modes for different riders and conditions. Also its new construction results in reduced overall vehicle weight and major services extended to 15,000 miles.

Only Fabio Taglioni’s masterpiece 90° L-twin configuration and Desmodromic valve control have been retained from previous engines. Everything else is new.

To find out more about the new 1199 Panigale motor visit www.ducatiuk.com

Sunday, 9 October 2011

BSB showdown delivers spectacular photo-finish

The British Superbike championship lived up to it's reputation for delivering world class racing today as Tommy Hill took the championship win, crossing the line 0.006 seconds ahead of title rival John Hopkins.


The final round of the championship at Brands Hatch was full of dramatic events as the challengers overcame technical difficulties and even crashes over the 3-race weekend.

However, all said and done, when the riders lined up for the final race, the championship could have only gone one of two ways, Hill or Hopper.

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne made an early break in the last race of the season, followed by James Ellison, pumped from his debut podium on the sorrymate.com Honda in the previous race. Following closely behind was Hopkins and Hill, split by only a bikes length for the majority of race.

In the last 3 laps though was where the action started to heat up. After sitting patiently behind for 16 laps, Hill finally made a move on Hopper and made it stick to put himself ahead in the race and for the championship win.

Hopkins followed Hill closely, and after Tommy put a move on Ellison in the penultimate lap, he was forced to follow suit, and did so in world class style.

What followed in the final lap of the race can only be described as quite simply the best professional racing i've ever seen. Just like rivals Rossi and Lorenzo battling it out on the world stage 2 years ago Hill and Hopper continuously swapped places throughout the lap, passing in the most unlikely of places.

Standing up, shouting at the TV, adrenaline pumping, the tension was almost too much to take, but forcing myself to stare at the screen i watched closely as the last few corners approached with the duo side-by-side in a world of their own.

Under all of that pressure, tactics went out of the window, as each rider put their body, mind and soul into getting their bike in front. Into the final corner and Hill takes a tight line whilst Hopper draws out wide to get the run down the straight.

Hill leads by a bikes length onto the straight but Hopper quickly closes the gap as they cross the line side-by-side. The official timing quickly reveals that Hill is the new BSB champion as he crosses the line six thousandths of a second ahead of Hopkins.


Standing up in the living room, shaking, i can only clap to show my appeciation for the entertaiment these guys have given the fans. The ensuing scenes are the ultimate illustration of euphoria and despair as you read the emotion on the faces of the champion and the unlucky second place.

Whilst some don't agree with the new BSB point scoring system there's no denying that this race has outshone any world championship racing this season.

Congratulations to the 2011 British Superbike Champion, Tommy Hill.

For the full race report visit www.britishsuperbike.com

Photos courtesy of Double Red, British Superbike Championship

Byrne wins intense Race 2 at Brands Hatch

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne won a dramatically tense second MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race as several of the Title Fighters had their title dreams left in tatters as Michael Laverty and Josh Brookes crashed out of contention. Championship leader John Hopkins suffered a technical problem on the opening lap and once he had restarted the Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki he had to fight his way back from last to twelfth to hold a one point advantage over Tommy Hill ahead of the final race.


Brookes had taken the lead off the pole position on the opening lap from Byrne who hit the front on the HM Plant Honda at Druids, whilst Laverty moved up the order to third ahead of Brookes. Hopkins then dramatically suffered a problem with the Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki on the opening lap and after a frantic rush to get the bike started again the American rejoined the race at the back of the field and then had to fight his way through to twelfth.

The second lap was just as dramatic as Laverty crashed the Swan Yamaha at Druids, he was able to rejoin and limp back to the garage in order to return to the track to set a lap to fight for a grid position for the final race. A lap later and another Title Fighter crashed out as Brookes spectacularly ended his race at Paddock Hill Bend and Martin Jessopp and Peter Hickman also ended their race in the gravel. Alex Lowes, Ian Lowry and Barry Burrell were also riders to crash out of the frantic penultimate race of the season.

More to follow.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, race two result:

Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda)
Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) +1.150s
James Ellison (Sorrymate.com Honda) +11.994s
Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +12.825s
Chris Walker (Pr1mo Racing Kawasaki) +23.993s
Graeme Gowland (WFR Honda) +27.829s
Tommy Bridewell (Motorpoint Yamaha) +29.403s
James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +40.713s
Dan Linfoot (Tyco Honda) +46.981s
Karl Harris (Splitlath Aprilia) +49.918s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings ahead of the final race:

John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) 629
Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 627
Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) 600
Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) 590
Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 588
Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 521

Text and images courtesy of British Superbike, visit www.britishsuperbike.com

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Lorenzo's R1 at Motorcycle Live charity auction

The organisers of the charity motorcycle ride, Viva Valencia, have announced that they will be auctioning off Jorge Lorenzo's Yamaha R1 from the 2010 TT at this year's Motorcycle Live show.


The bike will be ridden by Matt Roberts on the ride from London to Valencia, Spain, on October 30, in support of Riders for Health where he will be joined by John-Jules and Yamaha dealer, Steve Keys, on two bright pink R1s.

Riders for Health makes sure that millions of people in rural communities in Africa have the health care they need by managing and maintaining reliable vehicles for health workers.


Lorenzo's R1 will be just one of the items at the Riders for Health auction on Sunday November 20, with all proceeds going to the charity.

The highest bidder on this one-off R1 will also get a new set of tyres courtesy of Bridgestone and a £500 insurance voucher from Carole Nash.

For details of the show, visit www.motorcyclelive.co.uk

Photo courtesy of Stephen Davison

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Steve Jobs: His life as an innovator of cool brands and dream products

On hearing the sad news of the passing of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, you might not immediately think it's a great loss to the motorcycle industry, but bear with us and read how his life inspired the world of motorcycling.


It was a little known fact that Steve was a biker in his youth and his friends knew him for his bachelor lifestyle and his BMW motorbike.

Steve was a master of product and brand design, development and promotion. It's fair to say that his work at Apple not only saved the company from difficult financial times, but also he revolutionised communication channels around the world.

If it wasn't for Steve's important role in creating aspirational products such as the iPod and iPhone and they way in which he built the Apple brand by creating such a demand for the products, the motorcycles and marketing activities we are subjected to every day would not be the same.

How many motorcycle brands discuss, research and even implement the tactics used by Apple in building their brand and promoting the products to customers? I suspect that it is all of them to some degree.

Ducati and Alpinestars are two examples of motorcycle brands whose communication of their products reflect Apple's in that their product is the center of attention. Their motorcycles and boots have been designed for a specific purpose, supreme quality and performance, much like Apple's iPod, iPhone and iPad. Their products have been promoted to us in a way that not only makes them cool and desirable but sets them as a benchmark for success - they are our dream products.

As sad as it is that his innovations will no longer directly influence the products that we care about the most, we should celebrate his legacy and the inspiration that he has given not only to the technology industry, but to the world and in it the motorcycle industry.

RIP Steve Jobs

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

New Oxford back packs at Motorcycle Live

Oxford, famous for their wide range of tough-wearing bike luggage, clothing and accessories, has announced the arrival of their new back-pack range to coincide with the 2011 Motorcycle Live exhibition.


The new range of back packs, which include 3 models; the XS35, XS30 and XS25, are all made out of the firm's tough ripstop polyester material, all have water resistant zips and reflective piping for improved visibility.

The range-topping XS35 features a large roll-top main compartment with a removable waterproof liner for keeping your kit dry. The main section will easily swallow a laptop and A4 sized folders. With plenty of pockets, padded straps and a removable 1.5 litre drink compartment it is quite possibly the perfect motorcycle back pack.


For more information and prices visit www.oxprod.com and www.motorcyclelive.co.uk

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

End of summer ride-out to Auto Tweet Up

In a last ditch effort to add to my 2-wheel mileage count for the summer, i called on the GSX-R at the end of September and persuaded a fellow biker to join me on a ride-out to the first Auto Tweet Up meeting in Kent.


Leaving the office at 6pm with a 75 mile trip ahead of us, we challenged ourselves to arrive before sunset at 7.30ish. Starting off with beautiful Sussex country roads, we made a promising start as we sliced through the countryside.

The warm, dry, mid-week evening provided plenty of heat in the tyres as we weaved our way around the rural racetrack, by the time we reached the motorway we were settled on the bikes.

The 30-mile cruise on the M23 and M25 gave me a chance to reflect on my new kit, the TCX S-Race air boots are now well bedded in and are without a doubt the comfiest and coolest looking boots i've had the pleasure of wearing. The Richa Bib Reflex textile trousers, with lining added back in for the evening, were also comfortable and wind resistant which let me concentrate on the ride.

Although we missed the motorway junction and added an extra 20 miles on to our trip we arrived at the 7 Hotel Diner in Sevenoaks just as the sun was setting.


The first Auto Tweet Up networking event (organised by www.autotweetup.co.uk) was full of motoring journalists and bloggers, as well as some notable manufacturers with some impressive machinery, such as Lexus with their LFA supercar.


With good food, petrol head banter, lots of twitter activity and even a goody bag the event was well worth a visit. With our bikes parked out front, and some riders from SERV Kent (serv-kent.moonfruit.com/) we were proud to add a two-wheel representation to the event.

Leaving Kent at 10pm we had nothing but open roads ahead of us, making for a record breaking time home and a chance to improve night riding skills with the 750's full beams illuminating the tarmac ahead. Tucked up safely in bed by midnight, the ride-out to Auto Tweet Up was smashing entertainment for a school night.

For details of the next Auto Tweet Up check out www.autotweetup.co.uk

Monday, 3 October 2011

Ducati relocate to new offices at Silverstone

Ducati UK has just released details of their new offices at the iconic British motorsport venue, Silverstone Circuit.


The official unveiling of the new purpose-built offices was hosted by Tim Maccabee, Managing Director of Ducati UK and Gabriele Del Torchio, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding. The day began in true Ducati style with a track session at the circuit where guests had the opportunity to try out the entire Ducati range. Riders taking to the track included BSB stars Michael Rutter, Chris Walker and Scott Smart.

After the track session guests made their way to the new Ducati UK premises where they were joined by other guests who had arrived for the official opening ceremony. The new 8,000 square foot premises includes offices, a warehouse, dealer training rooms, a workshop for the press and demonstrator fleets and the potential for a retail outlet for Ducati merchandise.

The new Ducati UK premises is situated close to the Silverstone Innovation centre on the outside of Woodcote corner. Tim Maccabee commented on the imminent move to their new HQ, ‘The relocation to Silverstone will enable Ducati UK to work with Silverstone on customer events as we did recently with Ducati Days, making the best use of our demonstrator fleet in an appropriate local environment. Ducati is synonymous with Motorsport and to be located at Silverstone is the perfect fit for our brand, Silverstone is going through some exciting times and we are delighted to be a part of it.’


Derek Warwick, President of the British Racing Drivers’ Club and Gabriele Del Torchio then performed the ceremony of unveiling the opening plaque after which festivities commenced in the new warehouse turned nightclub!

For more info on Ducati, visit www.ducatiuk.com

Checa and Ducati wrap up WSBK title

The season long hard work of Carlos Checa and the Althea Ducati was duly recognised this weekend as the team secured the series title at the penultimate round of the 2011 World Superbike Championship in Magny-Cours.


With victory in Race 1 of the French round of the championship, Carlos Checa celebrated his first World Championship title and brought Ducati's list of Riders' titles to an incredible 14. Completing the historic day for Ducati, the Italian brand also secured their 17th Manufacturers Championship title.

Spaniard, Carlos Checa, secured his title aboard the Team Althea Racing Ducati 1198, his convincing and championship-winning victory in Race 1 being followed by an equally spectacular win in Race 2. His world-beating form this year has produced 6 pole positions, 14 race wins and 20 podium places and he now moves on to the final race of the year in Portimao, Portugal on 16 October with 107 points advantage in the standings and the title won.


Starting Sunday's race from the front of the grid, Carlos Checa needed only to extend his championship lead by 3 points to secure the title, but soon controlled the race from the front, took the win by 2.2 seconds and won his World Championship in style. With the pressure off for Race 2, Checa maintained his cool, staying with leaders in the early part of the race before stretching a 1.2 second lead and taking the double win.

"I'm so happy to win my first world title and so happy that I did it aboard a Ducati," said Carlos Checa as the newly crowned 2011 World Superbike Champion. "My sincere thanks go to Team Althea Racing and everyone at Ducati who has worked hard to help me get these results. Together we've done a great job this year, immediately starting the season well against fast riders on very competitive bikes. From mid-season we started to think about the title, but when the pressure increased we never lost our concentration and now we're here. It's a great feeling! We're still looking forward, though, and now we're concentrating on a big finish to the season at the final race in Portimao."

Read more about Magny-Cours and the final championship round at www.worldsbk.com for more information on Ducati see www.ducatiuk.com