Thursday, March 31, 2011

Renewing your motorcycle insurance - It pays to shop around.

Well it was a good job I was sitting down today when the insurance renewal came through for the motorcycle fleet, well the BMW R1200GS i use and the BmwR90S and Honda ST70 Dax in the garage as classics.

The renewal quote was £419.37 an increase of 48.5% on last year - This was claimed by Carole Nash as the most competitive quote.  I don't think so.

Wel  onto the internet and the compare sites and I came across CIA: and whilst I was filing the quote on line, they phoned me and I spoke to Ed.  I never like these type of calls, but he was not 'pushy' so we went through the figures etc.  Well by splitting the bikes on the insurance policy, although I was paying a bit more excess on the R1200GS it came in at £201.12 with protected no claims.  The classic motorcycles came back as £115.00, agreed value with £50.00 excess.  So that was a saving of  £103.00.

That you Ed from CIA Motorcycle Insurance

Feedback from rider who viewed Youtube Clip

paula4u has made a comment on Rider lack confidence on the bends:
Your video's are very informative, I try to go at my own pace, Its 18months ago I passed and hope to do advanced training this year.. I used to lack confidence on bends but now I go at the speed I feel my bike is safe. My life , My bike, My safety. I envy the go faster guys, but I only have one life.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fitting a Remus Header - Exhaust down pipes to a BMW R1200GS

A couple of months ago, a friend of mine sent me some photographs of an exhaust system he had bought and fitted to his BMW R1200GS.  He had replaced the OEM and done away with the 'Cat'. Well he got me thinking and you guessed it searching on the interner - E Bay started.  I only wanted to replace the headers (Down pipes) and was very tempted towards a product made by Remus.  New were around £370.00, so when this one appeared on the UKGSER forum for £156.00 a deal was done.

All I need was to order some head gaskets and they arrived within 24 hrs from Motorworks and then it was on the some more forums to see how I could remove the Lambda sensors.  Some said twist the wires and others said they were screwed on......

The Remus headers arrived and my friend wanted some photographs of it fitted, having been communicatining together on Facebook.  Well I decided to do a blog instead, so here goes:

I am very lucky as I fitted a hydraulic hand operated work bench in my garage and when not in use it is sunk into the floor.

First things first, check all the bits are all there, brackets etc.... and then make sure exhaust is cold.

Time for the tools, well not that many really:
Small screwdriver to release the Lambda sensors
The Torx style socket set for the silencer and removal of the bash plate
22mm spanner for the Lambda sensors
10 mm spanner for the bracket on the left hand pipe to secure to header
Sockets - 12mm, 13mm and 14mm
Allen key for bracket under engine - not shown

Right ready to  start and first remove the exhaust silencer :

Can be a be fiddly but with a bit of twisting and pulling, it does come off.  Remember to keep the BMW bracket.

The BMW is equipped with two Lambda sensors and the connections are a bit fiddly. However they clip together in the small plastic holder which you slide towards the rear of the BMW .... With the small screwdriver ease the plastic connector and the whole thing comes apart.
Next take 22mm spanner and remover sensor.  Repeat on other side.
Picture shows one plug disconnected.

Having removed the sensors loosen the bracket under the rear of the engine, so the exhaust will pull forward but not drop when you release the exhaust:
With the exhaust pulled forward and you have the weight, the bracket under the engine can be removed and exhaust taken off.  Here is a comparison of the two:
Remus header in the foreground.

Next step is to offer the Remus Header up to the engine, having removed the left hand pipe, which is held in place with a bracket.  Fit new exhaust gaskets.

With the right hand pipe loose fitted and the weight of the exhaust been taken up with the bracket hanger under the engine, offer up the left hand pipe.

With the left hand pipe in place, loose fit the exhaust.  With everything lined up tighten up everything.  Then refit the Lambda sensors.  The left hand one was easy to fit, but with the Remus header I have, the sensors are further forward so on the right side a few problems.  Found the answer - the oblong plastic connector is only a spacer, and the sensor plugs push in from both ends.  So for the right side, fit the connector first under the cylinder head and the push in the sensor plugs after.  On newer Remus headers the position for the sensors are in the OEM position.

Fitted and time to start the engine up and check for leaks......None found......Will see how it performs the road:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The power of the internet - Rider from Normandy joins training weekend

Through the power of the internet, I had an enq about about advanced motorycle training in Normandy, via the web site.  It just so happens we are over in Normandy in April, so I have asked him he he wants to join us.  Well he said YES and this his his place....
La Tringale

Looks like our first tea stop .......

Friday, March 11, 2011

The definition of Advanced Motorcycle Training

Advanced Training
"Advanced Driving is the ability to control the position and speed of the vehicle safely, systematically and smoothly, using road and traffic conditions to make reasonable progress unobtrusively, with skill and responsibility. This skill requires a positive but courteous attitude and a high standard of driving competence based on concentration, effective all round observation, anticipation and planning. This must be co-ordinated with good handling skills. The vehicle will always be in the right place on the road at the right time, travelling at the right speed with the correct gear engaged and can always be stopped safely in the distance that can be seen to be clear."

Just done a talk to a local RoSPA Advanced Motorcycle Group

I was invited to do a talk on the role of the RoSPA advanced motorcycle examiner at a local RoSPA motorycle group.  I was very warmly welcomed by all the members and really enjoyed the experience.

Thank You - Stafffordshire Advanced Riders

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Advancedbiker meets Michelle Leonard

I have been very fortunate in my life, wearing the many hats and this time as a school governeor on a school visit to Germany.  I had the pleasure of meeting the sister of one of the teachers.  She turned out to be Michelle Leonard, a Pop Star......who had just released a new album 'Fragile'.  Over a couple of drinks in the bar one night in Koln she agreed to let me use some music on my video clips... So here is the clip:


Tuesday, March 01, 2011

How was Advancedbiker trained for Advanced Motorcycle Instruction ?

Well I started riding when I was about 12 years of age on a farm, on an old Francis Barnet motorcycle and had to wait 4 years before I could ride on the road.  Then it was time to purchase my first road machine, a Honda SS50 Moped, I had for a year before training upto a Suzuki TS100 Trail Motorcycle in 1975.  I passed my motorcycle test when I was 17 yearsof age in 1975.  Then it was onto a Yamaha RD400, before my trusty Honda CX500.  In the meantime, in March 1977 I joined the Police Service, with an ambition to become a Traffic Officer. So in 1978 I went onto my first Police motorcycle course, 3 weeks riding a CZ 250.....I passed the course and in 1979 joined Traffic with my car qualifications as an advanced car driver.  I pursued my passion for motorcycles and did an intermediate cousre, 3 weeks again, this time on Bmw R80's, but sticking to speed limits.  Passed that course, so went onto the Advanced course, another 3 weeks on the BMW's, this time no speed limits to adhere to outside the towns.  This was in the 1980's before speed cameras and Health and Safety..  Well passed that course as a Grade One Police Advanced Motorcyclist and went on patrol as a Polcie Traffic Motorcyclist.  An opportunity arose and I was fortunate to to do a 6 week Advanced Motorycle Instructors course, which I passed.
That is me - 15 weeks of Police training over a period of 10 years, supplemented with 17 weeks of car courses, the last one being an Advanced Car Instructors Course.
Almost forgot, the voluntary motorcycle training I started in 1978 which eventually turned into a business venture in 2002.

Who is Nigel Bowers - Advanced Motorcycle Instructor Part 1

Nigel Bowers
Motorcycle Instructor
Police Grade 1 Advanced Motorcycle Instructor
Police Grade 1 Advanced Car Instructor
VIP escort trained
NVQ 3 Training and Development certificated in Advanced Motorcycle Training
BTEC in Motorcycle Training and Instruction (Advanced)
ROSPA examiner for both cars and motorcycles
I.A.M. Senior car and motorcycle observer
DSA accredited Post Test Motorcycle Trainer. Enhanced Rider Scheme ( ERS ) (RPMT - Trainer 800026) - Check tested June 2008 - Passed
In 1980 Nigel joined the Traffic Division of Staffordshire Police as an advanced car driver, but opportunities presented themselves and he was soon able to attain further driving and instructor qualifications.  In 1984 he obtained the highest pass (Theory and practical) for my Advanced Motorcycle Course and was awarded the Tunnicliffe trophy. In 1987 he spent 12 weeks at the number 4 Regional Driving School where in October of that year completed an intensive 6 weeks Advanced Motorcycle course and qualified as a Police Grade 1 Advanced Motorcycle Instructor. Earlier in the year in March he qualified as a Police Grade 1 Advanced Car Instructor. Once qualified he spent time at the regional Driving School at Stafford applying his new skills. 
During his time on traffic Nigel was lucky enough to be trained as a motorcycle escort rider for the 'Tour of Britain, cycle race and also VIP escort work. This included arranging and escorting Royalty when they visited Staffordshire.
He left traffic in 1990 after being promoted to Sergeant, and decided to join a local motorcycle training group where he reorganised the Advanced section, using his skills as an Advanced Police Motorcycle Instructor. 
Nigel Bowers
Since 1990 he has been directly responsible for training in excess of 400 riders, and the training provided was recognised by a number of insurance companies. In 2000 he provided a comprehensive presentation for the Prince Michael Road Safety Awards. He got to the final stages, but didn't win..
Nigel's involvement in motorcycling has given him an interest outside of the Police service and it has enabled him to develop his skills throughout the years.  He sits on a number or committees and is involved in promoting Motorcycle Road Safety in Staffordshire, taking an active role in Bike Safe 2000+, the IAM, ROSPA, Bikesense Staffordshire and SMUG.  (Stoke on Trent Motorcycle User Group – Council steered).
Despite the fact that he is highly skilled in a number of areas Nigel has no recognised qualifications, so in 2001/2002 he was successful in obtaining a NVQ 3 Training and Development certificated in Advanced Motorcycle Training, as well as a BTEC in Motorcycle Training and Instruction (Advanced) through Edexcel covering the following skill areas, Advanced Riding, Advanced Coaching, Advanced Assessing and Advanced Training.  In 2004 he became a member of RoADA and a ROSPA examiner for both cars and motorcycles.  In 2005 renewed his membership with the I.A.M. and is now registered as a car and motorcycle observer.  He am also a National Registered RoSPA approved professional motorcycle instructor.
Nigel retired from the Police Force in March 2007 having done his 30 year contract.
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has developed a voluntary scheme whereby motorcycle instructors who deliver post-test training can apply for DSA accreditation. In January 2008 he was successful with his application and is now a DSA accredited Post Test Motorcycle Trainer. (RPMT).No longer a a trainer, too much money to re reggoster for the amount of riders enquiring......