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Posts by mattjware

Dirt Quake IV: weird, wonderful and a shorn Guy Martin

We promised a bizarre mix of fun, adrenalin and chaos at the Bikesure-sponsored Dirt Quake IV – and boy, did it deliver!

A Belgian in a feather boa racing a Yamaha R1 around the Adrian Flux Arena, a pizza-delivering turtle riding a Lambretta, an incredible motor-cycling limbo act, plus ace racer Guy Martin and bike-mad TV presenter Charley Boorman adding some celebrity stardust.

And all accompanied by the sounds of classic 1970s TV theme tunes…

A freshly-shorn Martin, free of his familiar shaggy mop of hair, won both the Harley Davidson and Chopper classes on his Krazy Horse custom, while Boorman, famous mostly for his travel documentaries, earned a podium finish in the Street Tracker class riding his Kawasaki W650.

The Inappropriate Road Bike class provided the laughs, with a host of unusual bikes, and equally unusual costumes, lighting up the speedway track in “run what you brung” racing at its best.

Dirt racer Alan Birtwistle provided one of the spectacular highlights with a gravity-defying slide round a corner and beneath a 1m-high limbo bar, sending sparks off the track and the crowd into raptures.

Here, we’ve collected some of the best images of the day, courtesy of Paul Bryant from Sideburn magazine, and one or two from the Arena staff. Enjoy, and see you next summer!

Bikesure staff urged to get on two wheels in Ride to Work Week

Riding a motorcycle to work can cut journey times, ease congestion and save money, according to insurance broker Bikesure.

And the Norfolk-based company is backing national Ride to Work Week by encouraging staff with bikes or scooters to swap four wheels for two – and offering two free training courses to would-be riders.

Ride to Work Week, from Monday, June 15 to Friday, June 21, is organised by the motorcycle industry and sponsored by Get On, an industry group that helps new motorcyclists get on the road.


Gerry Bucke, general manager at Flux and its Bikesure motorcycle insurance brand, said the start of the summer was the perfect time to encourage existing and prospective bikers to leave their car at home in favour of the joys of motorcycling.

“Summer motorcycling is not only great fun, but your journey will be much cheaper – and potentially quicker – than driving a car to work,” he added.

“They are the two big motivations of Ride to Work Week – the enjoyment and sense of freedom of riding a bike, and the reduction in congestion on the roads that has seen journey times in cars increasing over many years.”

Flux will enter anyone who rides to work during the week into a prize draw and allow them to wear casual clothes, as well as giving away two compulsory basic training (CBT) courses to non-riders via a raffle.

The evidence that switching to two wheels saves time not only for the rider, but for other motorists too, is compelling.

A study by Transport and Mobility Leuven modelled the traffic for one of the most congested roads in Europe.

It found that when 10 per cent of drivers swapped to a bike or scooter, congestion was reduced for all road users by 40 per cent. When 25 per cent of drivers swapped, then congestion was eliminated entirely.

And the Confederation of British Industry predicts congestion will increase by 50 per cent within a generation, while the TomTom UK Traffic Survey 2014 also recorded increased congestion in most of the busiest cities in the country.

For information about learning to ride visit Get On or contact your local dealer or training school.

Six reasons to get on a bike:

Save money: Road tax starts at just £16 a year for smaller motorcycles and parking is generally free. Add that to lower fuel bills and you’re laughing.
More flexibility: No more waiting for overcrowded and delayed buses or trains. Just get on and go when you’re ready.
More friends: There are 1.3 million motorcycles on UK roads. That number’s risen by 75 per cent since 1995, easily the fastest-growing type of vehicle.
More fun: How many commuters do you know who get off the bus with a big smile every day?
Less congestion: 85 per cent of commuting car drivers are alone in their car. If just a few of them switched to a scooter or motorbike it would mean fewer cars in the morning and evening rush hours and everyone could keep moving.
Less fuel burnt:  Smaller motorbikes and scooters can do over 100 mpg. That means less exhaust fumes for everyone else to breathe in, too.

Guy Martin lined up for spectacular Dirt Quake IV

Bike racer and TV presenter Guy Martin will be the star attraction as the world of alternative two-wheeled racing returns to King’s Lynn this summer.

Martin will join riders from across the world at the fourth annual Dirt Quake event, a spectacular celebration of motorcycles of all shapes and sizes racing on the oval circuit at the Adrian Flux Arena.

The event, and the bikes, are a world away from the more regimented speedway meetings normally held at the track, with everything from Harley Davidsons and classic Triumphs to scooters and tiny monkey bikes surging round the oval.

Martin, who took part in and won the event for the first time last year riding a Harley chopper, described it as one of the highlights of the year.

Guy Martin having fun with the chequered flags

Guy Martin having fun with the chequered flags

“For me, it’s what motorbiking’s all about – cool motorbikes, different, not conformist,” said the man who has 15 Isle of Man TT podium finishes to his credit.

“There’s people racing around of twenty quid motorbikes. I’m sure some people would pay for some of these bikes to be taken away, and they come out and race them.

“I turned up in my leathers and I thought ‘I haven’t got my back protector on’ – and then the man next to me, he’s in a short-sleeved t-shirt with his gardening trainers on.”

Martin ready to race with steely-eyed determination

Martin ready to race with steely-eyed determination

Gary Inman, editor of organisers Sideburn magazine, said it was that cavalier spirit that has seen Dirt Quake, sponsored this year by Bikesure, become such a success, not only in the the UK but in America too.

“It’s just great fun – bike racing for genuine enthusiasts who come here for the simple joy of riding,” he added.

“First-time spectators will see a type of racing they’ve almost certainly never seen before – last year we had racers dressed as Mario and Luigi, wearing furs, viking costumes and riding crazy bikes that were never intended to race round a dirt track.”

A Harley chopper on a dirt track? OK...

A Harley chopper on a dirt track? OK…

Gerry Bucke, general manager at Bikesure, added: “Having this event in King’s Lynn is a real treat for local motorbike fans and we can’t wait to see the array of machines racing this year, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

“We think of ourselves as an enthusiast’s broker, able to cover pretty much anything on two wheels, so this event is right up our street.”

The event takes place on Friday and Saturday, July 17 and 18, with a full DTRA racing programme on the Friday evening and the main Dirt Quake event the following afternoon

As well as the thrills and spills of the racing, there will be plenty of other attractions, including the world famous Ken Fox Wall of Death, a children’s BMX race, a custom bike display, live music from Dream Themes, plus a bar and DJ.

Tickets are priced from £15 adults, £5 under 16s with an adult, available from Sideburn mag. | Specialist Motorcycle Insurance

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