Bikesure and Adrian Flux are proud to be sponsoring Rye House’s inaugural Malossi Piaggio Ape 2013 World Championship
If you are 16 or over and fancy going Ape and becoming a motorsport ‘World Champion’ (or should that be ‘World Chimpian’?) then this must be one of the most enjoyable ways to do it, and you don’t even need to travel any further than Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire to do so.
The iconic Piaggio Ape (apparently pronounced ‘ah-pay’ in Italy, which means ‘bee’) has been a low-cost form of transport for over 60 years, and its quirky design and friendly nature has now been tuned into the racing vehicle it was never expected to be, courtesy of scooter-warmer-uppers Malossi. It promises to offer great fun, close, exciting low cost racing and a sight to behold as drivers of all abilities scrabble for the best line around the infamous Rye House circuit. Low cost motorsport doesn’t get any more fun, close and crazy than this… especially with a night race planned for early September!
Backed by Piaggio Commercial UK, the championship will begin with a bang on Sunday 9th of June and will consist of four 2 hour races over Summer and Autumn, with each Ape’s neck being wrung by teams of between 2 and 8 drivers around the challenging kart circuit where Lewis Hamilton honed his skills. If you can’t wait until June to have a go there will be a 2 hour open test on Sunday 21st April.
For more information about taking your place in Piaggio Ape history, or just to see this for real, contact Steve at Piaggio on 07803 341824.
Whether you own an Ape, Bike, Car, House, Van, something else or all of these, Adrian Flux and Bikesure are Piaggio Commercial UK’s recommended insurers. With over 35 years’ experience in specialist insurance they offer policies for anything from humble scooters up to custom superbikes, and any road-legal car you care to imagine. For more information, visit www.adrianflux.co.uk or www.bikesure.co.uk
Ps Nicola (shown in the photograph) will not be racing… well, you wouldn’t want her to beat you, would you?
Motorbikes and chefs may not seem a conventional match, but on television they go together like bread and butter. Bikesure, the freethinking motorcycle insurance broker, takes a closer look at this intriguing combination and more importantly, the bikes they ride.
The Two Fat Ladies, starring Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson, was one of the first shows to successfully blend cooking and motorcycles. It ran from 1996-1999, with four six-episode seasons. As the title suggests, their recipes were not for dieters, more often than not oozing in butter, lard and dripping. Still, they consistently used high quality, fresh ingredients, promoting the pleasures of cooking and eating good food. The ladies drove a Triumph Thunderbird motorcycle with a sidecar.
Following in their tracks, the Hairy Bikers have been very successful, with popular shows such as Meals on Wheels and the Hairy Bikers Food Tour of Britain. The Hairy Biker’s official site has regular updates and newsfeeds and an extensive recipes section. They usually ride a BMW R1200GS or a Triumph Rocket III, “the world’s largest capacity production motorcycle”, according to the Triumph website.
While his shows hardly revolve around bikes in quite the same way that our previous two entries do, Gordon Ramsay is a keen biker. He owns a rare Ducati Desmosedici, and recently sparked a minor-media storm when seen test-driving a Ducati Monster 1100 in Los Angeles. We liked Guy Procter’s reflection, from Motorcycle News.com, on this news: “it’s always amusing to see how the nationals handle a story involving something so foreign and mysterious as motorcycling”.
Jamie Oliver is also something of a Biker Chef… if scooters count. The Aprilia Mojito Custom 50 he often rode in his original Naked Chef series is a neat little thing. When Oliver auctioned it off in 2003 to raise money for his Fifteen restaurant project, it sold for a staggering £44,500.
Hopping over the pond, American TV Chef Alton Brown has done an entire cooking series involving motorbikes. His popular series, Feasting on Asphalt, was all about “road food”. This term describes the kind of food travellers will find at the various food establishments scattered across US Highways he discovered while riding a. The DVD is only available as a region one import, but his book of the journey he made up the great Mississipi River, Feasting on Asphalt: the River Run, is more widely available.
With the season of goodwill fast approaching, what better way to celebrate than by giving one lucky person the chance to win £100 in vouchers for motorcycle accessories?
All you have to do to be in with a chance to win is to head on over to our competition page and answer the question by leaving an insightful comment or opinion.
Rural Rides: hazards that lurk in the lanes in autumn and winter.
On bright autumn and winter days there are few things better than blowing out the cobwebs by blasting out of town and onto the UK’s high roads and by roads. However, rural routes require handling with care by motorbikers – especially if you’re more used to smooth city surfaces and fast A roads.
Bumps, pot holes & puddles: the size, variety and sheer number of lumps, bumps and potholes on back roads are a huge danger to the motorbiker. Be especially careful of routes that take you down lanes that are little more than tracks, which are probably seldom used (and then only by country folk in 4x4s or tractors). But it’s not just the tracks: there are plenty of relatively busy rural roads with real pothole issues. Fill That Hole is a cycle-based site but it’s aimed at everyone and worth checking out: it features maps and a simple way to report potholes.
Mud: city bikers are unlikely to be used to mud. At least, not in the quantities you may find on rural roads near fields. Despite campaigns and laws to clear up the stuff, (the Farmer’s Guardian points out that leaving mud on the road is an offence under the Highways Act) farm vehicles tend to drop the brown muck all over the place, making roads highly slippy and dangerous – never more so than during the sugar beet harvest (September to Christmas). So take extra care and go slower, especially on the back lanes.
Sun…: that low winter sun is a blinder so even if it’s cloudy when you set out, be prepared with decent shades for just-in-case. RX Sport offers a selection of good quality eyewear, including prescription sunglasses. Remember the sun can blind drivers, too, so ride with your lights on to be more easily seen.
… and Rain: Be especially careful in the rain on a rural ride, when relatively innocent looking puddles could hide nasty holes. Mud on the road is going to contribute to its slipperiness, too. Winter weather is unpredictable, so always have rainwear to hand. GetGeared offers a good selection of biker rainwear for men and women.
High hedges: the high hedges and banks on narrow lanes are a common and significant hazard. Not just for bikers, but also for the pedestrians and animals that share the road with vehicles. So take care and try to anticipate potential dangers – for example, slow down and toot the horn at blind corners.
Map it: even if you plan your route, even if you have satnav, it’s worth taking a good old fashioned map of the area so that when you get lost, you can have a better idea of where you are. Dash4it sell a wide range, including the OS Explorer Active maps, which are large scale (4cm to 1km) and weatherproof.
Bikesure has a long history of working with some of the fantastically hardworking and seemingly tireless groups of volunteer bikers who give up their spare time to carry blood, organs and crucial medical supplies between our hospitals.
This crucial work frequently goes unnoticed, and even the patients who receive the benefit of the super-speedy, traffic-dodging deliveries would in all probability never know the part that this network has played in their recovery.
Aside from working with groups across the UK, such as the Severn Freewheelers, we were particularly pleased to hear that a local scheme was starting in Norfolk, and were more than happy to offer help with funding for their West Norfolk bike.
SERV (Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers) Norfolk are here to help the medics at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn get their vital supplies of blood and plasma without having to rely on expensive private couriers or taxis. They have a team of 81 volunteer riders, who sign up for shifts. The service currently operates two powerful motorcycles, a BMW 1200 RT and a Honda ST1300 Pan-European, and provides cover from 7pm to 6am.
We know the value that this provides, and bikers appreciate more than most the medical professionals that they know they may one day rely on, so I was pleased to see that Honda had made a little film celebrating the Blood Bikers across the UK.
An excellent cause, so well worth finding your local organisation and offering of your time or money if you can.
Greatest Road app for iPhone or iPod touch (http://greatestroad.com/) helps bikers worldwide find, rate, share and comment on sweet roads. Open the app, move and zoom the map to an area you’re interested in, and the app shows road stretches nearby. All roads and comments are added by other bikers. You can email directions to other bikers with iPhones, or send a gpx file to yourself or others to install the route on your dedicated GPS device.
Daniel, the creator has got in touch to let us know of some exciting new developments with the latest version, Greatest Road 2.0, which integrates with Apple’s Notifications so that at various points in the app you can keep track of what’s happening with the routes you like.
Customers get an alert whenever a comment or rating is added to a favorite route, one they’ve commented on previously, or one they’ve added.
He says “Now that we have the app wired up with Notifications we’ll be experimenting with other ways to strengthen the “speaking with your buddies” feel.”
You can get the app through iTunes via http://bit.ly/GRgetit and the app is available in English, German, Italian and French.
But that’s not even the best bit, because, for a limited period, the app is being offered completely free of charge. This is the kind of app that the biking scene could really do with, and it needs a thriving user community to do well, so if you like the idea of exchanging great ride-outs with other bikers, and you have an iPhone, you need to download the app now!
I just wish there were an Android version…
Here are some more details from their press kit
Greatest Road helps motorcycle riders find and stay updated on the best roads based on recommendations from other bikers. Pick an area on the map and see all the good stretches right in front of you. Other bikers provide comments and star ratings of the road based on criteria such as Fun, Scenic, Curves, etc.
Add your own route in minutes or add comments or star ratings to what’s already there. Post your favorites on Facebook. Email the ride to friends with iPhones, iPads, iPod touches or even just standalone GPSes. Export *any* route to TYRE or other computer software that uses GPX!
Want to find a new place to ride this weekend? Going on a road trip? Visiting other parts of the country or world? This app works anywhere you can see a map and get directions in the built-in Maps app worldwide.
When you’ve picked a stretch to ride, a single tap switches you over to the built-in Maps application to help you navigate along the way. Support for other navigation apps will be added over time. Greatest Road is not a competitor to the great, in-motion, navigation apps available on the App Store. It is complementary, helping you to choose the right place to go before hitting the road.
If you are into trials bikes in any way, you’ll probably already be a massive fan of Dougie Lampkin. The legendary enduro and trials rider must have one of the largest trophy cabinets in the world, but he is not averse to showing off a few stunts, and has teamed up with his sponsors, Nissan, to promote their van range.
Nissan are presumably aware of the high correlation between van drivers and bikers. What they may not realise is that van drivers who ride bikes tend to be an excellent risk. We can speculate as to why – they need their license for work, so they ride sensibly – and as bikers, they are more conscious of vulnerable road users. Whatever the reason, as part of the Adrian Flux group, Bikesure customers qualify for an additional discount when they buy van insurance from Adrian Flux.
Fellow geeks of my own age will remember the original TRON movie with a great deal of fondness, and if they are anything like me, will be itching to see the new TRON:Legacy movie, which is hitting cinemas about now.
I watched the original TRON again just the other day, and was pleasantly surprised at how well the effects have held up over the intervening 28 years – the abstract, high concept graphics force you to take them on their own terms.
Without doubt the highlight of the original were the amazing lightcycles, which streaked across the computer grid in a beautiful and deadly race.
They appear again in Legacy, and now, for the right price, you can get your very own.
That price being $55,000. And you’ll have to go and get it from Florida.
Parker Brothers Choppers have taken the awesome V-Twin engine from a Suzuki TL1000R and mounted it into a steel and fibreglass body which faithfully recreates the lightcycle aesthetic. It even required an innovative braking system to maintain the look.
According to the makers the ride is comparable to any other sportsbike, although your posture is very much ‘superman’.
In keeping with the futuristic theme, you can opt to have your instrumentation displayed via an iPad docked into the bike.
Every so often we are reminded of the inherent good natured cameraderie found between bikers. And when the shared love of motorbikes brings a whole family together, beautiful things can happen.
This heartwarming video shows how two brothers steal their dad’s beaten up Norton Commando, fix it up without his knowledge, and give it back to him for Christmas. Just as well their dad didn’t start an insurance claim, or there may have been some explaining to do.
If you fancy doing this, don’t forget the classic bike insurance.
We’ve been asked to pass on some info about this year’s Get On events taking place at dealers up and down the country. This free event is aimed particularly at first time bikers, or those who are considering their first steps into the world of biking, but seasoned bikers will get something out of the day too, as there is tons of great info and offers on some top kit available from the participating dealerships. Newbies get the opportunity to have a ride for free.
The date for your diary is Saturday 19th June, and the motorcycle industry is hoping for Britain’s largest ever biking open day at showrooms across the country. The aim is to encourage bikers and non-bikers alike to find out more about riding and will offer them the chance to win a variety of amazing prizes. Any biker who brings along a non-biker friend will be entered in to a draw to win some great prizes such as on and off-road riding holidays in Italy and Spain as well as kit from top brands Arai, Weise and BKS.
For those that have never ridden before, they will have the opportunity to find out more about motorcycling and sign up to Get On’s free one hour taster session to experience riding for real. Anyone who signs up will be in with the chance to win a selection of iPads, iPod Nanos and digital cameras.
The National Dealer Open Day is being run by Get On which aims to get more people out on to the open road on two wheels. It offers free rides to anyone over the age of 16 who can register and sign up on their site www.geton.co.uk. 65 dealers across the UK are taking part in the day offering prizes and motorcycling information.
In today’s economic climate, and with increasing traffic congestion and environmental concern, travelling by bike and scooter makes sense for more and more people, so events like this are a great way of helping people consider whether they can swap their metal box for the freedom of two wheels. And with some extra special moped and scooter insurance rates available for new riders from Bikesure, there’s every reason to take someone along and change their outlook on life.