Three tips to help you prepare the right way for your driving test in UK

Over the years, road quality has improved, driving regulations have been perfected and vehicles are well-equipped with state of the art safety and navigation features; making driving a much simpler task than years gone by. All of these aid in the process of driving, however, passing your driving test takes a lot of dedication and practice. Even the most safety-conscious drivers can still fall short come test day and have to repeat the process. The only way around this is to prepare as much as possible with the help of intensive driving courses before you book your driving test. Here are three tips to help with your preparation for your driving test.

intensive driving courses uk

Drive as much as you can in as many different conditions as possible

Whist there are loads of online simulations you can use to practice, nothing beats actually getting out on the road to fully prepare you. It may be uncomfortable and scary at first, but try driving in every type of weather condition including snow and rain if possible. That way, no matter what the weather on the day of your test; you will be as prepared as possible. Read More

The Advantages of Motorcycling

Everyone has their passion in life, and the source of this can be the most unlikely thing imaginable. Some people love to play video games and others enjoy gambling online and through the pandemic, these would have proved critical in keeping peoples’ spirits up as the world tried to navigate through the unprecedented landscape it found itself in. For many, motorcycling proved to be a great way in which they could escape the confines of their homes and enjoy the open world in a way that is not possible with other activities or indeed other transport.

There is no doubt that motorcycling is a dangerous activity. But so is driving, and most other activities that involve moving at high speeds. This general opinion of the hobby can be applied to many other things, and once this is overcome, the advantages of riding a motorcycle are evident. To motorcycle enthusiasts, riding their bike is more than just a transport method, it is a way of life – or a passion. Those people who have been interested in getting into the scene but are not sure about motorcycles or even scared of them might find this guide useful in deciding whether to take the plunge. Read More

A Guide To The Greatest Race: The TT

The Isle of Man, a tiny little island off the mainland of the United Kingdom, midway across the Irish Sea punches above its weight in a lot of different arenas.

Known as a tax haven and home to the wealthy, well known for it’s casinos and known internationally for being the home of the TT – the most famous motorcycle race in the world.

In our opinion, no trip to the United Kingdom would be complete without making the hop over to the Isle of Man, possible in just 45 minutes by air from London, the capital city – even quicker from Manchester.

Aside from the TT, which we’ll talk about in great detail in a moment, there’s a wealth of activities to enjoy whilst on this ‘oh so well to do’ little island.

Whether you’re making a visit simply to enjoy a walking holiday, taking in the abundance of green countryside, planning to test out your cycling endurance on a hired road bike or taking it easy in any of the islands wide range of hotels – you’re sure to find an enjoyable way to pass the time on the Isle of Man.

An exciting place to end a day is the Palace Hotel Casino, this Best Western hotel (a well known chain in the UK and the neighbouring Isle of Man) offers fantastic accommodation on the central promenade in Douglas in addition to the chance for you to try out your luck on all the usual casino games you’d expect – for bingo fans, we’re pleased to say that this hotel is also home to Palace Bingo, a fantastic bingo hall where you can enjoy some fast paced bingo. Read More

To The Top Of Pikes Peak On A Motorcycle

Pikes Peak is known as America’s Mountain, the peak that inspired Katherine Lee Bates to write “America the Beautiful.” It stands 14,114 feet high and the road to the top twists and turns its way along 19 miles of jaw-dropping vistas and teeth-clenching drops over the side of the mountain, with few guardrails. It is also home to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, an annual race of cars and motorcycles that has been going on since 1916.

So on a tight, twisty road like this, with a distance of 12.42 miles to cover (the race doesn’t start at the very bottom), how fast do you suppose the record time is to the top? Maybe 20 minutes? That would be an average of around 60 mph on a road with numerous switchbacks and posted speeds of 20 mph or less in a lot of places. Pretty dang fast, right? Well, what kind of rider are you?

No, the record that the real hot-shots aimed for years—and finally broke last year—was under 10 minutes. That’s right, an average speed on this road in the neighborhood of 120 miles an hour! Yikes! And the record currently sits at 9:51.278 minutes. Now, that’s in a car. The fastest speed to date on a motorcycle is a measly 11:11.32, also set last year.

So what kinds of bikes do they run in this race? There’s a variety. Just looking at the 450 Pro division, in 2011 the top bike was a Kawasaki KXF. Winners other years in other divisions include the likes of the Yamaha YZ 250, the Suzuki RM250, and a ton of others. Read More

Las Vegas: Motorcycling in the Red Rock Loop and Mount Charleston

When you first think of Las Vegas, the first thing that comes to your mind won’t be motorcycling, it will be the vast colours of neon lights, beautiful hotels, theatres, tourist attractions, retail shops, bars, clubs, and the numerous casinos.

However, most people don’t know this, but Las Vegas is a fantastic way to get some speed, this place has some of the best motorcycle routes in America and we look at the best route possible, therefore, do something different and experience something unique while staying in Vegas.

Visiting Red Rock Loop and Mount Charleston as a Motorcyclists 

Although both Red Rock Canyon and Mount Charleston are open all year, we recommend visiting during the cooler months of Spring and Autumn. You can expect sunny, mild weather without the sweltering heat of July.

These seasons give bright skies with little possibility of precipitation in Red Rock, while there may be some ice left over on some hikes in the spring. Even in the height of summer, Mount Charleston has milder temperatures, with average high of 70s Fahrenheit (25 C). Read More

Motorcycle Repair: Battery

It could happen to anyone. You’re out on a ride somewhere, or stuck in traffic, and your motorcycle’s battery dies. You’re stuck and you can’t get it started.

Take Proper Gear With You

For many people, riding a motorcycle is done in fair weather, and often time’s it’s hot, so being stuck out in the sun and heat can be dangerous. There are a few things you can take with you to help keep you safe. (Note that these items are only for a dead battery. There are several other items you should always take with you on a motorcycle ride)

  • Cell Phone
  • Drinking Water
  • Jumper Cables

You’ll want a cell phone to summon help and possibly to let people know you will be late arriving at your destination so they won’t worry about you. You’ll also want drinking water with you in case you are going to be stuck in the heat for any period of time. Finally, you’ll want a set of Jumper Cables.

Restarting the Motorcycle

There are several ways to start a motorcycle with a dead battery. If you’re not familiar with them, you may want to print these tips out and keep them in a safe, dry place on the motorcycle along with your jumper cables.

Jump Start The Battery From Another Motorcycle

  1. Position the two motorcycles so the batteries are close enough together to facilitate the length of the jumper cable. Ensure the motorcycle with the good battery is NOT running.
  2. Connect the RED clamp of the jumper cable to the positive (+) terminal on the dead battery.
  3. Connect the BLACK clamp of the jumper cable to the negative (-) terminal on the dead battery, or to a grounded item on the motorcycle, such as the frame.
  4. Connect the BLACK clamp of the jumper cable to the negative (-) terminal on the good battery, or to a grounded item on the motorcycle, such as the frame.
  5. Connect the RED clamp of the jumper cable to the positive (+) terminal on the good battery.
  6. Start the motorcycle with the good battery and wait a few minutes.
  7. Start the motorcycle with the dead battery
  8. Remove the RED cables first from the good battery, then from the bad battery.
  9. Remove the BLACK cables from both batteries.
  10. Leave the motorcycle with the bad battery running until you reach your destination and/or find a suitable place to re-charge the battery with a battery charger.

Jump Start The Battery From A Car

The procedure to jump start a motorcycle from a car is the same as it is for jump starting it from another motorcycle except for item (6). A car battery has more amperage, and the charging system for a car is much more powerful than that of a motorcycle. When jump starting a motorcycle from a car, DO NOT START THE CAR’S MOTOR because the extra power from the charging system will possibly destroy the motorcycle’s charging system and could cause a fire. The car battery should have enough power to start the motorcycle without the car’s motor running.

Compression Start The Motorcycle

Some times it may be easier to compression start the motorcycle, also known as a bump start or push start. It’s possible to compression start a motorcycle by yourself, but it’s easier if you have a couple of friends to help you if you’re on flat ground.

  1. Turn on the ignition, turn on the gas, and make sure the Kill Switch is turned to the RUN position.
  2. Pull in the clutch and put the bike in second or third gear. (First gear may be too hard to turn the motor and may jerk the drive train too hard a may cause motor-mount failure.)
  3. Coast the bike down a hill or have your friends push you.
  4. Once you reach about 5 to 10 MPH, quickly release the clutch.
  5. Apply a little throttle to maintain control and pull in the clutch.

The bike may not start on the first try, so repeat if needed. Also, a motorcycle with a completely dead battery may not start using the compression method.

Call For Help

Finally, if jumping or compression starting the motor isn’t an option or does not work, your last resort is to call for help. AAA offers motorcycle road-side assistance, and if you ride a lot this may be a good option for you.

You may be near friends with a truck or motorcycle trailer who you can call for help. Calling for help will usually be the longest wait time, and this is why you should carry a bottle of water with you.

Essential Items to Pack for a Motorcycle Road Trip

Whether taking a motorcycle road trip in North America, or to sparsely populated areas around the world, it will be made easier with good planning and forethought. The items included in this packing list are ones that my husband and I have found to come in handy if traveling through even rural and lesser populated areas. Read More

My Love Affair With a Motorcycle: Triumph Bonneville

I’ve had several loves in my life but few to equal my 2004 Triumph Bonneville; Emma Peel Out. Named after the fabulous female super spy from The Avengers Emma and I started hanging out in the fall of 2004.

How My Crush Started

Ever since watching Steve McQueen in the Great Escape ride a TR6, jumping and crashing border fences between Nazi Germany and Switzerland, I’ve dreamed of owning British Iron. I’m surely not alone here and this scene probably inspired millions of kids to start riding. Speaking of kids, these days, riding a Bonneville is a great way to meet guys in the 57 to 70 year old age bracket. Read More

History of Hodaka Motorcycles

With oddly named motorcycles like the Dirt Squirt, Combat Wombat, and the Road Toad, Hodaka managed to create a good looking dirt-bike with a cult-like following. Hodaka only manufactured motorcycles for about 10 years as a joint venture between a Japanese and U.S. Company. Even in that small amount of time, they left behind a recognizable legacy.

The Beginning of Hodaka

In the early 60’s, Pacific Basin Trading Company (PABATCO), a subsidiary of Farm Chemicals located in Athena, Oregon was looking to export its products outside of the U.S. At the same time, Yamaguchi Motorcycles was looking to follow on the success of Honda and begin importing motorcycles into the U.S. market. Read More

History of Norton Motorcycles

Norton is an iconic brand of the classic café racer styled motorcycles made famous in the 50s and 60s. Like many British companies that were big around that time, they were hit hard in the U.S. market by the Japanese manufactures and bad management, eventually having to close their doors. Yet thanks to individuals who refused to let the brand die, Norton has made a comeback and is now finding a new generation of fans and followers for its classic motorcycles as well as lovers of a new generation of Nortons.

The Early Years

Originally founded in 1898 by James Lansdowne Norton, the Norton Manufacturing Company produced bicycle parts. Yet, with a level of engineering savvy, James quickly moved into the motorcycle market. In 1902 Norton began manufacturing motorcycles. The first motorcycles used an aftermarket engine made in France and Switzerland. Then in 1908 they began using an engine of their own, and Norton was on its way. Read More