Monday, February 25, 2008

Enhanced Riders Scheme - Comments from Simon Weir, Bike Magazine

On Tuesday 19th Febriuary 2008 I took Simon Weir from Bike magazine out on an enhanced riders scheme assessmnt ride. It was a bit cold and the video camera lens gave up due to the freezing fog........

Here is some of his feedback.

I have done an Enhanced Rider Scheme ride... and I'll be writing about it in the mag in the near future.

However, to scoop myself slightly, in a nutshell I'd say it's a good thing. Certainly, anyone doing Direct Access would definitely get a huge benefit from ERS. In fact, it would help most riders I know - and absolutely all of them should benefit from the insurance discount it could lead to (I'm still investigating this aspect of it at the moment, so can say only that it promises a discount for those who complete it).

Will it stop people crashing? Probably not. Is it the last word in advanced riding? Definitely not (I'm a RoSPA instructor so have high expectations). But then, it's not meant to do either. What ERS should do is give people the skills to help reduce the number of needless crashes - particulalry among new riders - and open the doors to further training for those that want to take it further.

Right or wrong, CBT is very basic. Direct Access/the test is less basic but not comprehensive. Now the ERS will give a widely recognised, easily accessed (and, if DSA do it right) heavily promoted way for people to get the additional training everyone says they should be given. Surely this has to be a good thing.

Beach Race for Leukaemia Research 2008 - Simon Lees

Simon Lees here,
I see you still have my link up for raising money for Leukaemia Research. Could I please ask you to update it.

I am again riding the Beach Race for Leukaemia Research, but this year, I am joined by Stuart Holland, and Kevin Harvey in my quest to raise a minimum of £3000. We have again got a shirt "doing the rounds" to be signed by many of the top stars of the motorcycle world, and so far has the signatures of David Knight, Paul Edmondson, and was at the London Supercross last night, so we are awaiting details of who signed it there. Not only that, but we also have a shirt which has been signed by some of the top AMA riders competing in the American Supercross (Chad Reed, Mike Alessi and Grant Langston to name a few) This years addition to the "sponsored ride" is a raffle, for which we so far have 24 items to raffle off (if you wanted to add to that list, please feel free) The website is being updated as we speak, and it lists all items to be raffled off, as well as photos of the items and the signed shirts.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Place available Advanced Motorcycle Normandy tour 2008

One place has become available for the Advanced Motorcycle Workshop to Normandy end of April. Anyone interested please let me know asap......

Saturday, February 09, 2008


BIKERZ TYRE AND PERFORMANCE CENTRE - Fast-Fit tyre centre for bikes, (the only one around for miles!), we quickly responded to the demand for servicing & repairs at a reasonable cost, without having to book weeks in advance, and the need to supply quality parts & accessories.

This has now extended to us investing in a state of the art Fuchs Dyno, allowing us to keep up with the advances in technology such as fuel injection, which is now common place on modern machines.


Now sell motorcycles.......

Brand new showroom at 438 Leek Road, Hanley, Stoke on Trent, ST1 3HU

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Advanced Motorcycle Training - New video site

I have been onto and noticed a very interesting site, where you can create your own video hosting site. So you should know be by now, I have done the same. Here is the link:

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Advanced Riding Course Reviewed by 'Virtual Vic'

Virtual Vic spent a day with Advanced Motorcycle Training, based in the Midlands, to find out how useful a regular series of assessed rides can be.

There are a rising number of two-wheeler accidents in the UK, as more riders aboard large, 600cc+ machines come a cropper on our scenic roads. Although the causes are often hard to establish when there's only bike involved, it is obvious that many riders today simply cannot handle the 170mph motorbikes they own, but vanity prevents them from asking for training tips or guidance.

In a way, that's understandable, as almost every one of us thinks we are `good' riders, but as I found out with a day's ride in North Wales with Nigel Bowers from Advanced Motorcycle Training, there's always room for improvement. The whole rider assessment was also video taped, via an on-bike camera, as Nigel followed me for about 20 miles.

Although the session was simply a `taster' it was just a few minutes before I realised how many potential hazards I was oblivious to, as I merrily rode along the scenic roads near Llangollen. Nigel had his radio linked to an earpiece inside my Arai, so I could hear his running commentary, which identified all kinds of traffic problems looming ahead. He even spotted the address on a foreign registered truck three cars ahead, which was a very subtle touch, as you might expect an overseas driver to make sudden moves, if for example they were lost, or looking for a trading estate.

After a much needed tea stop, we stopped to review the footage and chat about the ride's highs and lows, along with Andy Gralton, who was a relative novice at motorcycling, but keen to learn techniques which could save his life one day.

It was useful to get another opinion on my riding style, along with some good advice on positioning the bike for maximum view around corners, instead of taking a `racing' line sometimes. Nigel also spotted that I got too close to the back of vehicles in front, which restricts your view - not good when you need maximum vision ahead to plan overtaking moves.

Andy had completed a series of rider assessments with Nigel and his scoresheet at the end of the day reflected the good progress he had made. Andy comented at the Ponderosa café that he ` felt much more confident with bike now, more relaxed too.'

The day made me think harder about `reading' the traffic, and the road `furniture' far ahead in the distance, which is the key to anticipating dangerous situations, instead of just reacting to them. The type of riding we were doing was brisk, not fast, but it was a million miles ahead of the urban pootling about that most riders do on a motorcycle test, or the training leading up to that test. My own feeling is that every rider needs some extra tuition after passing the bike test and one day, the government will make this a legal requirement before you can ride a bike which makes more than 100bhp.

But before that day arrives, you could do yourself a favour and learn to think ahead, plan your ride, become smoother through the corners and - most important of all - acquire the skills you need to overtake traffic safely and quickly, which is where many accidents on 60mph A roads occur. The day's assessment was impressive stuff

Tips on motorcycle tyres - By Ted Foreman

This is a short article designed to give some basic tips on motorcycle tyre maintenance and safety.

The tyres on your motorcycle are an engineered component, for example did you know each tyre is assembled from up to 30 component parts? each part is designed to perform a specific task, and different rubber compounds are used in each part of the tyre 20 to 30 different rubber compounds can be used in a tyre. These rubber compounds are reinforced with materials such as steel, nylon,rayon,polyester,and kevlar. So whilst tyres appear round, black and boring they are in fact the most important components on your machine.


As a general rule most motorcycle tyre manufacturers recommend that you stick with the original sizes of tyre as specified by your machines manufacturer, this is because a great deal of testing takes place before any motorcycle manufacturer decides on tyre sizes for a particular model. Whilst it is often possible to fit alternative sizes, this should only be done after consulting the motorcycle manufacturer.


Without doubt the most important factor with regards to tyre safety and life is inflation pressure, it is the air inside the tyre that carries the load so always use the inflation pressures as quoted by the motorcycle manufacturer. Check the inflation pressures when the tyres are cold, this is because tyres warm up in use and inflation pressures which are correct when the tyre is cold can increase by 10% when the tyre is hot. So setting the tyre at the correct cold inflation pressure when the tyre is hot will result in an under inflated tyre.


Always make sure you have valve caps fitted, whilst they may seem small insignificant items, valve caps perform a vital function, they prevent road dirt entering the valve stem and damaging the valve core. A damaged valve core will allow the tyres inflation pressure to leak out.

By far the best type of valve cap to fit is a high pressure one, these are usually of metal construction and have an internal rubber seal. The advantage of a high pressure valve cap is that it will retain inflation pressure, even if the valve core is damaged. This extra margin of safety is well worth having


You should inspect your tyres regularly for adequate tread depth and obvious signs of damage, such as cuts and bulges.


The minimum legal tyre tread depth for Motorcycles over 49cc is 1 mm, however this should be treated as a bare minimum and many motorcyclists replace their tyres at 2 mm.

Some motorcycle manufacturers recommend that tyres are replaced long before reaching the minimum legal tread depth, for example Kawasaki say that tyres on their GPX600R and GPX750R should be replaced at 1 mm front and 2 mm rear for operation at speeds up to 80 MPH (130KPH) and 1 mm Front and 3 mm Rear for speeds above 80 MPH (130 KPH).

All tyres have a number of tread wear indicators placed in the tread around the circumference of the tyre. The indicators are set at 1.6mm and serve as a guide to the degree of wear in the tread, the idea is whilst you are inspecting the tyre you look to see if the tyre is worn to this level, if so you know that tyre is ready for replacement

You can find the tread wear indicators on your tyres by looking for the letters "TWI" in the shoulder area of your machines tyres, on closer inspection you will see that there is a slightly raised area in the base of the tread groove at this point.

Tread wear indicators serve as a quick and simple aid to checking tyre tread depth if you don't have a tyre tread depth gauge available.


Tyres can sometimes be repaired, but care has to be taken, firstly the standard for tyre repair in the U.K is British Standard BS AU 159F. This standard lays down in great detail the way tyres should be repaired, the amount and type of damage that can be repaired. As you can imagine the standard is very detailed and as the purpose of this article is to give you some tips on tyre care, so I will sum up the main points you need to be aware of.

1. Some high speed rated tyres cannot be repaired at all. This generally applies to tyres with a speed rating higher than H (130 MPH). This is because tests have is because tests have shown that repair materials will not work in these highly stressed tyres.

2. All penetrations should be plugged to prevent the ingress of moisture into the tyre structure.

3. Tyres should not be repaired with sealants. On this latter point it is my personal opinion that sealants of both the prior and post puncture type are nothing short of dangerous, and you are much safer pushing your bike home than using them.


Bridgestone and other tyre manufacturers recommend that you "Run in" new tyres for approx. 100 miles before they are used to their maximum.


This may seem a subject that has nothing to do with tyres at first but it is vital that you prevent your tyres coming into contact with any petrochemical such as Oil, Diesel , Gunk or other propriety degreaser for any length of time. This is because oils are used in the manufacture of tyres, infact synthetic rubber is produced from oil and oil based products will attack the rubber compounds used in tyres.

Rubber which is exposed to oil based substances for any prolonged time will change from a hard to a softer "spongy" texture, the result can be a lack of grip or failure of the tyre structure. So if like me you use a degreaser to clean parts of your machine, take care to prevent any coming into contact with your tyres, and if by accident any should find its way onto the tyres wash or wipe it off immediately. For the same reason take care at filling stations around Diesel pumps, there always seems to be a degree of spillage onto the forecourt try to avoid riding over these areas.

There you have it I hope this guide has been interesting and informative, I have tried to cover the main points in tyre care. If you need any further help you can always contact any of the leading tyre companies, they all operate technical help line which provide advice on tyre availability, selection, and application.

Edward (Ted) Foreman.

Taking a pillion on a Suzuk Hayabusa 1300

A review by Ivy Bowman,
Welcome to the web site of speed. So you want to find out what it is like to ride pillion on a Hayabusa.

You want to experience speed, but you don't want to be the one up front. Well which bike would you choose. I chose the Hayabusa being a bit of a speed freak. The first thing that I did was to find an experienced rider or should I say 'pilot' as these bike do seem to touch the road, they seem to 'fly'.

My 'pilot' for the day was Nigel. Nigel is not just any rider, he is police trained (ex bike cop), he is also an Advanced Riding Instructor.

Nigel arranged to loan the Hayabusa on the following Thursday from D & K the motorcycle specialists for Stoke-on-Trent, what more could I ask for ?. Thursday came and I thought ''what have I done ?''. I had arranged to meet Nigel at D & K at 10 am, I didn't sleep very much the night before, couldn't keep it off my mind what it would be like to fly without wings. Parking up my bike, I turned around to see Nigel with a beaming smile on his face and by his side a black & red Hayabusa. I knew then that I had made the right choice. Nigel asked '' well are you ready to ride ?'', the sky was overcast and there was a threat of rain. We stopped to pick up some petrol and then headed off onto the open road.

Nigel tried me out at first on some shallow bends and then when he'd got used to the way that I rode pillion, he went for it on some of the more sharper bends. We took some tight bends which would have been bad enough on a track, but with cars coming at you sometimes over the centre line could be horrendous, nevertheless Nigel took it all in his stride. Well he should, I have not mentioned so far that Nigel is an advanced riding instructor. I could not see the speedometer, but I don't think we broke the speed limit, it just felt on the back as though we were going twice as fast.

He made a pit-stop and discussed the ride so far. I made a remark that it was the first time that I thought that I should have been wearing knee sliders. Nigel just laughed and said that we still had the return journey to make. By the time we started off on the return journey, the roads had become wet and greasy however the bike took all that we could through at it. It just purred like a big cat and seemed to be saying ''what would you like me to do next ?''.

When we returned to D & K, Nigel still had not ceased to surprise me, he rode the Hayabusa through the garage between rows of parked bikes with the isles no wider than the Hayabusa and I just closed my eyes, for the first time that day. After parking the bike Nigel asked ''Well did you like that'' , what could I say, I replied ''Yes and when can we do it again''. Which bike next ! Thanks Nigel.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Advanced Motorcycle Training - Webbikeworld

For a number of years now I have been using a web site in the United States as a source of information on all times motorcycle. The webmaster Rick, kindly reviewed one of my promotional DVD's and now he has put a video page onto his web site Web Bke World.

Couple of things: Have a look at the site and Rick keep up the good work.....

Link to site:

Video page: