Monthly Archives: March 2015

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Road tax for motorcycles over 400cc increased

Category : Biker News

Road tax for motorcycles over 400cc increased

2014 VED rates

2015 VED rates

VEHICLE Excise Duty (VED) on motorcycles over 400cc will increase slightly from April this year, according to the government’s new spring budget.

The document shows any motorcycle over 401cc will cost an extra £1 to tax for 12 months, compared to last year’s rates.

Annual road tax for motorcycles between 401-600cc will now cost £59, or £32.45 if paid in six-month installments.

Motorcycles over 600cc will cost £81 for annual road tax, or £44.55 for six months.

Three-wheeler riders will have to dig deeper this year too, with 12-month VED rates for tricycles up by £1 also.

The new vehicle tax rates will come into effect on April 1, 2014. 

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Source: Road tax for motorcycles over 400cc increased

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Guintoli in the mix at Buriram

Guintoli in the mix at Buriram

Sylvain Guintoli was sixth fastest on overall times after today’s practices for round two of the 2015 World Superbike championship at the Buriram United International Circuit in Thailand.

The reigning world champion made a change to his Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP after this morning’s extended FP1 at the 4.554km Buriram circuit which is hosting a WSBK event for the first time. The 32-year-old French rider went almost one second faster in temperatures of 36°C this afternoon, closing the gap on the morning’s fastest rider Jonathan Rea.

With British rider Alex Lowes setting the pace this afternoon, Guintoli’s Pata Honda team-mate Michael van der Mark was unable to improve his lap time in the hotter conditions and, despite feeling good on the bike, remained in 12th place on combined times.

However, the 22-year-old Dutch World Superbike rookie is confident that he and his team can identify specific areas for improvement in tomorrow’s two practice sessions ahead of the afternoon Superpole which will finalise grid places for Sunday’s two 20-lap races at Buriram.

Sylvain Guintoli – P6, 1m35.570s 

We made some good improvements after the morning session so that was a positive this afternoon and the bike felt much better. We need to carry on working there but I’m enjoying the track and we’ve closed the gap. I’m trying hard now and feeling a lot better physically than I did in Australia. That’s the main thing from today, so that’s nice because I suffered a lot in Phillip Island. I can still feel the injury but it’s a lot better and I’m a lot more focused and more hungry here. We can’t do damage limitation every race so we need to try to step it up a bit now. It was funny this afternoon because I was supposed to come in to try some different tyres but, as I was coming into pit lane I was thinking about the lines through sector three and missed my garage entry! I went st raight out again and saw that the session was nearly finished, so there wasn’t much point coming in for new tyres. So, although I didn’t plan it, I ended up doing the whole session on one set of tyres. We’ll try the soft option tomorrow!

Michael van der Mark – P12, 1m36.218s 

There was no real problem today and it’s strange because I felt good with the bike on this new track, but the lap time is not there, which is a bit frustrating. I’m sure the guys will find something on the data tonight so I’m not too worried. I’m losing a lot of time in the second sector so we’ll check everything later to find out what it was. I rode the laps, feeling good on the bike in the heat, but each time I crossed the line I was like ‘Where’s the lap time?’ I think a good night’s sleep will help me relax for tomorrow. It’s an interesting track because the first part is long and fast and the second is a combination of smaller corners, but we’ll work hard tonight to try and go a little faster around it tomorrow.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator 

Sylvain is in much better physical condition than he was in Phillip Island and this is helping. But we struggled a little in sector two with both riders and kept changing the bike, continuing in to the afternoon session. Sylvain was able to improve and was running second at one point which was a good step. At the end of the day it’s looking a lot better than Australia – there’s room for improvement sure, but it’s not so bad. Michael struggled a little in sector two this morning and that continued this afternoon. We’ll look into everything in details a bit later but I’m quite sure there’s better things to come tomorrow.

Source: Guintoli in the mix at Buriram


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Mechanic competence question

Category : The Workshop

Mechanic competence question

I’ve just had a second hand engine put into my 99 Transalp in Spain. I was originally told that it would cost about 150 euro for labour (6 hours x 25 euro).

He ended up looking for 285 for the labour (which I’ve paid for now) saying that it took longer than he expected (which I know it did). His reasoning is that because a different mechanic took the first engine apart, that it ended up taking him much longer to do. I would have thought that that would be irrelevant if he’s putting in a new second hand engine. Is it?

He’s not trying to rip me off in the sense that I know it did take him 11 and a half hours, but it seems to me he just didn’t know what he was doing (more used to 125 cc’s and mopeds) and it took him twice as long because of that.

In which case I’d presume that the logic should be that it should be his cost, not mine, if it took him longer than the norm

For what it’s worth, the engine was from (I think) a 92 model and the bike was a 99.

Also, in case you’re going to give me a "foreigner in Spain" lecture, I’ve lived out here and he knows I’m in a position to negatively effect his business (if he’s in the wrong and doesn’t give me money back).

Are there some dynamics between the different year engines and a different mechanic taking the initial engine apart that could reasonably account for the time?

Source: Mechanic competence question

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Isle of Man TT star McGuinness’s bike on display at the museum

Isle of Man TT star McGuinness’s bike on display at the museum

John McGuinness at the museum

He raced bike between 2009 and 2013

Record lap 131.671mph

Exhibition includes other memorabilia

A motorcycle ridden by TT star John McGuinness is being shown at the Manx Museum in Douglas.

His Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade is now on show in the social history gallery as part of Manx National Heritage’s TT display, which also includes other memorabilia, notably a set of Carl Fogarty’s leathers, Dave Molyneux’s 2004 TT winning garland, the fairings from Jock Taylor’s 1980 TT race win and a pair of Steve Hislop’s gloves.

Trophies on display include some of Mike Hailwood’s replicas and Bob McIntyre’s 1957 Junior TT trophy.

McGuinness raced the bike between 2009 and 2013, winning the Superbike TT from the same year as well as his double race victories in 2011 and the 2012 Superbike TT.

It is also the bike that he raced in the 2013 meeting, finishing third in the Superbike race before memorably triumphing in the Senior TT.

As well as the five TT victories, it is the bike on which McGuinness set a new Senior TT lap record in 2009 at 131.578 mph and a new Superbike TT lap record in 2013 at 131.671 mph. It holds the Senior TT race record at 128.943 mph from 2013.

The bike was built by Honda in 2009, specifically for John McGuinness.

The chassis was specially developed for the TT races and has full factory Showa suspension front and rear from HRC.

It was set-up by McGuinness at a Castle Combe Pre-TT test with Showa suspension factory staff. The brakes are Brembo full World Superbike specification. The engine was built with HRC Pistons and Cams, plus HRC Gearbox and Ignition. It revs to 14,500 rpm, produces 210 bhp and has a top speed of 200 mph.

The bike will be on display from March 2015 to March 2017, which will include both this year’s and next year’s TT and Festival of Motorcycling. Other bikes on display in the museum include Mike Hailwood’s 1979 Senior TT winning Heron Suzuki, his last race on the island, Carl Fogarty’s 1992 0W01 Loctite Yamaha bike from the memorable Senior TT race of that year as well as Frank Whiteway’s 1970 production TT winning Suzuki.

After his 2013 Senior TT win, McGuinness said of the bike:

‘Brilliant, just fantastic. If you were to choose a race to win, it would be the Senior… The bike was awesome, the pit stops great and we saved one of the best races till last. It was incredible action.’

Matthew Richardson, curator, Manx National Heritage said:

‘We are very grateful to Honda Racing for loaning us such a prestigious bike with such a strong TT history. It will undoubtedly be of great interest to visiting and resident bike fans, and will complement our other TT memorabilia.’

Source: Isle of Man TT star McGuinness’s bike on display at the museum


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Motorcycle airbag deployment Helite Turtle review

Category : Biker News

Motorcycle airbag deployment Helite Turtle review

WANT one? Take a look at Helite’s website.

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Lowes heads Rea as day one in Buriram draws to a close

Lowes heads Rea as day one in Buriram draws to a close

After the second Free Practice session of the day held in temperatures nudging 39 degrees Celsius the man at the head of the combined standings of the eni FIM World Superbike championship after the opening day of on-track action was Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki).

Almost immediately times began to tumble as Chaz Davies (Aruba Ducati SBK) showed no ill-effects of his FP1 crash to improve by 4 tenths of a second,. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Alex Lowes and reigning Champion Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda WSBK Team) also improved by several tenths in the opening 7 minutes.

As the session progressed the focus for many riders was on potential tyre choice for Sunday’s races with many opting to string together several longer runs.

With a little over 5 minutes to go, and with all the riders pushing for a place in Tissot-Superpole tomorrow, the timing screens were illuminated with personal best sectors and potential best laps but as the chequered flag was waved, it was Alex Lowes, who grabbed first position overall after posting a sub 1.35s lap with 4 minutes to go.

Rea tried hard to retake the top spot, closing to within 0.066s of his British rival with his final lap, the pair comfortably ahead of the chasing pack.

Chaz Davies, Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), Tom Sykes and Sylvain Guintoli rounded out a top six that saw 5 manufacturers represented and separated by only 0.885s.

The remaining top ten riders in the overall standings were Troy Bayliss (Aruba Ducati SBK), Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati), Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) and David Salom (Team Pedercini).

The reigning and former FIM Superstock 1000cc Cup winners Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing) and Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia) were locked together in 11th and 14th respectively after two encouraging sessions. The pair were split by Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda WSBK Team) and Randy de Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) with former 125cc GP World Champion Nico Terol (Althea Racing Ducati) 15th.

After suffering a technical problem with both machines in FP1, Niccolo Canepa and Larry Pegram (Team Hero EBR) were able to take part in the afternoon timed period, completing the opening day in 18th and 23rd.

The final Free Practice session that will decide the Tissot-Superpole qualifiers is scheduled to take place at 9.45am local time.

Source: Lowes heads Rea as day one in Buriram draws to a close


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New Kawasaki scooters planned

Category : Biker News

New Kawasaki scooters planned

Kawasaki J300 Special Edition

KAWASAKI has filed trademarks for a J125 and J500, suggesting new models could be on the way to join the J300 in the firm’s maxi scooter line-up.

Given that Kawasaki’s J300 is essentially just a rebranded Kymco Downtown 300i, there’s a good chance a J125 would be based on Kymco’s Downtown 125i.

Although a Downtown 500i doesn’t exist, an Xciting 500 Ri does. It’s not sold in the UK, but it has ABS brakes, a 38hp liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine, and could easily form the basis of a Kawasaki J500.

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Source: New Kawasaki scooters planned