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Monday, 27 February 2012

World SBK kicks off 2012 racing season in style

This weekend saw the 2012 motorcycle racing season kick-off with Round 1 of the World Superbike Championship in Phillip Island, Australia, and what better way to start than with two exciting races seeing five different riders on the podium!

Motorcycle News: Checa celebrates Race 2 win

It was Max Biaggi who celebrated the first victory of the new season onboard his Aprilia Racing machine, beating second place BMW rider Marco Melandri by an astonishing seven seconds. Popular Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli put in a surprise performance to take the final spot on the podium, securing him a great start to the season.

Motorcycle News: Biaggi building up 7 second lead in Race 1

Race 2 saw current World Champion Carlos Checa, return from a high-speed exit in race one, to reassert his dominance on his Althea Racing machine to claim the top step on the podium. Race 1 winner Biaggi claimed an impressive second place after running off the track on the first lap. Tom Sykes broke his spell of bad luck from last season, with a dramatic pass on Jonathan Rea on the final lap securing him his first dry-weather podium for Kawasaki.

Motorcycle News: Marco Melandri on the grid for BMW

All in all an exciting start to the championship and a promising insight into what lays ahead in the 2012 racing calendar.

Visit for more and follow @sbk_official for updates.

Don't forget to check back for future race round-ups!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Get a grip on winter with Oxford HotGrips

For true 'all-weather' bikers, there is nothing more daunting than tackling the cold British winter without the proper equipment in place. That's why we got in touch with Oxford Products to see if they could help us cure the common cold finger complaint amongst bikers.

Motorcycle News: Oxford heated grips make winter riding more bearable

Happy to oblige they sent us down a set of their Original HotGrips for us to review. Luckily we got them fitted to our GSX-R test bike just in time, as the weather took a turn for the worse with many parts of the UK experiencing snow, or at least icy conditions.

Being as dedicated as we are, the freezing conditions didn't stop us from venturing out for a few trips to put the heated grips into action. The grips are very simple to use, with a handle-bar mounted control unit giving you the options to turn the heated grips on and off and also allowing you to increase or decrease the heat setting.

Motorcycle News: 3 buttons, it's not exactly rocket science!

For the ultimate test we ventured out in summer gloves and turned the grips straight up to 100%. Within just a couple of miles of riding there was noticeable warmth being generated by the grips, instantly making the riding experience that much more comfortable. If you're doing a lot of town riding, the 100% heat setting can be a bit much and needs to be knocked back a couple of settings.

Equally though if you are doing motorway miles, even on the full power setting the HotGrips don't quite cancel out the wind-chill factor on the back of your fingers and hand (although there is a noticeable improvement compared to not using the grips).

All in all the HotGrips come highly recommended for the brave sportsbike riders and particularly the hardened sports-tourer commuters out there. If you're concerned that the original HotGrips might not fit, then Oxford also produce Cruiser, Sports and Light versions of the HotGrips, or if you're not keen on the idea of removing your standard grips, the HotHands offer a quick slip-on alternative!

We imagined that these great little grips would be especially effective when used in combination with a set of bar muffs (also available from Oxford) to create a toasty little pocket for your hands, avoiding that frost bite feeling in your fingers!

We should also mention that the heated grips come with decent fitting instructions and all the fittings you need to get them on your bike. Suitable for the basic DIY mechanic or alternatively could be fitted by your local bike dealer.

For more information on the Oxford Hotgrips check out

Thanks to Henry and Natalie at Oxford for sorting the heated grips.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Challenge 125 - YBR125s from London To Misano

Fresh from their successful Viva Valencia adventure, Yamaha dealer Steve Keys and his buddy Danny John-Jules have announced their new project for 2012, called Challenge 125.

Motorcycle News: Could it be you joining Danny and Steve for Challenge 125?
The duo have set themself the tricky task of riding from London to Misano in Italy, for the San Marino MotoGP round on Yamaha YBR125s! If that wasn't epic enough, they are setting themselves a budget of just £125 each for the trip, meaning that every mile will have to be ridden cautiously!

This year the duo have teamed up with Get-On and are running a competition which could see you involved in the trip, as one lucky winner will be put through their motorcycle test and teamed up with Steve and Danny for the ride of a lifetime.

Steve said: ‘I feel privileged to be part of this exciting initiative to launch somebody's biking journey. To be able to see them go from doing their CBT through to getting their full licence is going to be a real pleasure.’

The winner will also get to keep the custom painted bike and riding kit, plus an extra ticket for a friend to join them at the famous MotoGP event in Misano.

See more and find out how to enter at

Monday, 13 February 2012

John Hopkins injured at WSBK Phillip Island test

Cresent Suzuki team rider John 'Hopper' Hopkins has broken his hand in a nasty pre-season testing crash at Phillip Island today. The injury could see Hopper miss out on the World Superbike season opener in Australia in less than 2 weeks time on 26th Feb.

Motorcycle News: Hopkins looking doubtful for WSBK season opener
The injury came in only the first offical day of testing, as he high-sided his Suzuki GSX-R1000 on corner entry. Although the track was slightly damp, Hopper insists the weather was not to blame, and instead points to his worn rear tyre on what was probably going to be his last lap of the day anyway.

The Californian rider will return to the USA tomorrow to see his hand surgeon, Doctor Chao, with whom he is well aquainted after nasty hand injuries towards the end of his BSB season last year.

Team manager Jack Valentine insists that Hopper won't be returning until he is fully recovered and fighting fit, suggesting that the Phillip Island round is already looking unlikely.

One possible replacement could be Team Suzuki Australia rider Josh Waters, who is highly respected in Australian Superbikes and also had a wildcard ride at the Phillip Island round of the WSBK championship with Suzuki in 2011.

For more details keep your eyes on and

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Street wise finance deals from Yamaha

Yamaha has just announced that their "Street Wise" finance campaign has been given a boost with new models added and the offer being extended until the end of June.

Motorcycle News: Yamaha extend street wise finance deals

The manufacturer has delivered some great news for sports bike fans, with all 2010 and 2011 model R1 and R6 machines coming with 0% finance over 36 months. The dealer stock of those models are already available at discounted prices, so be sure to act quick if you fancy one.

If the 36 month 0% option isn't realistic for you then the firm are also offering some great rates on longer payment terms, so just ask your nearest dealer what's available.

Models added to Street Wise at 4.9% representative APR

If a sports machine isn't for you then Yamaha are also providing low-rate finance with a 25% deposit on the FJR1300A, XJR1300, XT1200Z Super Ténéré and the XVS950A.

So make the most of the extended finance offers check out the Yamaha website and Facebook page on the following links:

When looking for motorcycle insurance have a look at some insurer's websites directly such as . Sometimes you can find much better deals online than you would otherwise.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Win a free bikers Valentine’s Day hamper

To enter the competition just 'like us' on Facebook and post this on our wall: "Something different for a bikers Valentine's day!".

Bikers aren't typically considered the type for romance, but we disagree, a riders love for their motorcycle can't be matched! When it comes to your partner, whether they ride themselves or just go pillion with you, we think that deep down you'd like to show them your appreciation too!

Motorcycle News: Even bikers celebrate Valentine's day!

That's why we've teamed up with MotorCycle Direct Bike insurance to give you the chance of winning a great solution for Valentine's day. Rather than the traditional gifts of cards, chocolate or flowers, we've got something a bit different in the form of a luxury gift hamper.

The hamper we have to giveaway is worth over £40 and includes:
  • Charlemagne Rose Sparkling (5.5%) 75cl
  • Marshmellows for Fondue 175g
  • Guylian Belgian Chocalate Dip 150g
  • Maximacs Indulge Yourself Butterscotch CVlusters 90g
  • Traou Mad de Pont-Aven Savoury Mini Crepes with Mozzarella & Bacon 60g
  • Pink Champagne Candle in Tin

To enter the competition to win a Valentine's Day hamper just 'like us' on Facebook and post the following sentence on our wall: "Something different for a bikers Valentine's day!". You can get to our Facebook page by clicking here

All entries must be received by 9th Feb, winner will be picked 10th Feb and hamper will be sent the same day. For full details get in touch via the contact us page.

Thanks to MotorCycle Direct Bike insurance for the great prize.

Celebrate 20 years of the Fireblade at the Excel

Honda are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their world-famous Fireblade at the London Motorcycle Show at the Excel this week, with examples of each of the 20 models on display for visitors to see.

Motorcycle News: Honda celebrate 20 years of the Fireblade
From the very first CBR900RR in 1992 right through to the latest 2012 Blade the Fireblade’s history at the forefront of the superbike class will be celebrated throughout the show, which runs 2nd-5th February.

The firm will also be displaying their iconic race bike, the Honda ‘Six’ RC174, which saw Mike Hailwood take the 350cc World Championship title in 1967. For those that make it to the show, Honda will be starting it up for a special ‘singing’ performance once each day.

Honda will of course be taking along the rest of their 2012 range and are also offering visitors a chance to enter their latest competition.

For more details, check out