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We are approaching a new age of wearable tech; soon we’ll be able to fine tune every aspect of our riding experience with advanced gadgets. Or at least that’s been the promise in recent years, with little more than a series of overhyped crowdfunded projects to show for it. But what exactly can you buy now, and what should you? Join Bikesure, the free-wheeling insurance broker, as we take a look at the current state of wearables and figure out what’s worth wearing and what’s worth chucking.

Total surveillance begins with you

This is the correct amount of cameras

In the world of actually available gadgets, cameras rule the roost.  Aside from being able to record exciting footage of your commute, they can help with insurance claims and perhaps even lowering your premium. While the doughty GoPro is the brand most people immediately think of, there’s a wide range of alternatives.

Some of the better ones include the TomTom Bandit, and the Garmin Virb Ultra,

360° cameras are also coming down in price, if you’re interested in creating VR videos. One thing to bear in mind is the extra power your PC will need to render the videos, especially for high-end units like the GoPro Fusion. Not necessarily the most useful gadgets for your everyday needs but if you’re going touring they will take some stunning videos.

Going blue in the tooth

Even with the foam I’m guessing the wind would make you totally inaudible

Bluetooth headsets add a whole bunch of useful functions, such as the ability to make calls, listen to music, hear GPS directions, and many can operate as an intercom between paired units. Which one is the best for you depends on your make of helmet, first and foremost.

Some manufacturers make kits specifically designed for their products, but obviously, as with any helmet, you should attempt to try in person before you buy to make certain it is a good fit for you.

Some of the features, particularly the intercom, will come into their own if you regularly ride with a passenger or friends. So if that’s the case, choosing the right headset for you and your crew is something that you should decide on together.

Survival tech

As any biker knows you can spend simply absurd amounts of money on pretty much every accessory. While supercool electronic gadgets will improve small parts of your driving experience, it’s the clothes that are really important and will protect you if you crash. While full leather outerwear will provide the most protection if you take a tumble, modern armouring and Kevlar make a good middle ground for urban riders.

Even with the foam I’m guessing the wind would make you totally inaudible

A few well-chosen pieces will undoubtedly help, for example gloves. After head and spine, hands are probably the thing you’ll want to protect the most. Products like Handroid gloves from Knox look straight out of the Cyberman school of design, which is cool in and of itself, but features like the exoskeleton and specially designed sliders will help prevent some of the worst injuries your hands are prone to during high-speed impacts. These are more tuned for racers and anyone else planning on regularly going stupidly fast, and the cost is up there. For racing style gauntlets, anything over £150 should be decent enough.

Jackets are obviously a fairly hefty outgoing, but they should last a long time. If you’re after even more peace of mind, the Helite range of jackets incorporate airbags designed to protect your spine and reduce the risk of whiplash. This is very much a developing market, and alternatives like the Dainese D-air are angling for your cash with consumer versions of products originally developed for professional sportspeople.

Not necessarily an alternative but just as good an idea is the Pinlock Pulse vest, which detects if its wearer has fallen off the bike and activates warning LEDs, making them more visible to other road users and hopefully avoiding the situation escalating further.

Getting tooled up

These quality of life gadgets are all well and good, but if you break down you’ll want something that helps you get back on the road as quickly as possible. Constructing a portable, totally comprehensive toolkit is probably impossible, but you can get close. The main issue you’ll be facing is puncture repair. You can get a comprehensive repair kit for about £30, but these kits won’t have the tools needed for other issues. You can buy something like the Motohansa compact tool kit, specially designed by Dakar champion Simon Pavey, this stores easily on your bike, doesn’t take up much space but still has loads of tools to undertake emergency repairs when off-road.

This is the one you really want, obviously

Compact multi-tools are some of the most useful things you can carry on a daily basis. We’re talking Swiss Army Knives and similar. Probably more useful than a Swiss Army knife is something like a Leatherman. For anyone wanting wearable tools, they produce the Tread, a bracelet that conceals 29 tools within its links. That said, it’s probably not going to be practical for many situations, but it does look exceedingly cool. There’s even a watch version, making it even less practical.

Battery powered pants

Many bikers, especially ones going long distances, know the importance of a good undergirding with thermal underwear. But have you thought to yourself “if only I had to recharge my pants from time to time?” Well, the market has listened, and provided. Gerbing offer a complete range of heated bike-wear, from full outers to various liner style underclothes, each requiring charging every three hours. If you’re looking for gloves with a degree of protection and heating, they’ve got you.

Decades on, the Ready Brek glow is still the best illustration of being toasty warm

Heck, they’ve got everything from jackets to socks, if you feel like spending £85 on some socks. If you really suffer from the cold and have too much money then you could absolutely kit yourself out with a completely heated motorcycle suit, including the various cables and controllers necessary to adjust the heat.

If you’re going that far to keep warm, then you might as well also buy a solar charger to help you keep warm. Products like the Tespack backpack allow you to charge a power bank, which should hopefully be able to keep your entire range of powered gadgets going.

With the importance of smartphones and the ever-increasing power draw a good power bank or subsidiary battery is a handy little thing to have. Something like the Anker Powercore should be enough to recharge your phone seven times before it’s exhausted. Whichever battery pack you chose, check it outputs the correct levels for your devices, otherwise, it may take forever to charge, if it works at all.

What about the helmets?

While we touched on smart helmets or at least making helmets smarter, the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed the overall smart helmet shaped hole in this article. Fear not, we’ll be giving this topic the space it deserves in a full article soon. Until then, if you know any must-have gadgets or top tech tips, sound off in the comments!

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Motor racer Sarah Bennett-Baggs feels quite at home hairing around motor circuits in her pink Porsche but she is racing right out of her comfort zone by taking part in the gruelling Milano-Taranto d’Italia on a 1967 Triumph T100 SS motorcycle.

She will be accompanied on the ride by her husband Mike Thorne who will be riding another fine old British classic motorcycle, a 1967 BSA Hornet.

Milano-Taranto d’Italia – huge test of stamina

At 1,800km (1,120 miles), for Sarah especially, it will be a huge test of stamina. She is an everyday rider but the longest journey she has ever made was the 400km (250 miles) trip from her home in Bristol to Stafford for the Classic Motorbike Show and back – even then the journey was broken by an overnight stop.

Sarah struggled with the multitasking needed to safely ride a classic motorbike and talks with mixed emotions about that first road trip: “I was fumbling my way through a box of neutrals; trying to stop with spongy drum brakes and get used to the pedal being on the wrong side of the bike.

“I had chronic pins-and-needles which comes from the vibration…  all this while constantly looking over my shoulder because I had no mirrors and flapping my arms about for hand signals because I had no indicators.

“By the time we reached Stafford I was tired and emotional. But by the time we got back to Bristol the next day, I had fully embraced the classic biking vibes and was loving it.”

Sarah’s fabulous day on a 1957 Triumph Street

Sarah has extended her classic biking skills with a “fabulous day” out on the road with bike racer David ‘Spike’ Abraham.

“He gave me some sound advice and top tips for road positioning and cornering. I spent the day riding around the pretty north Cambridgeshire countryside on his 1957 Triumph Street  – now I am feeling much more confident in my own riding ability.”

With renewed confidence, Sarah is all set for the 32nd Milano-Taranto organised by the Motoclub Veteran San Martino. The event was originally held in the 30’s and then resumed in 1950 but authorities put the brake on all motorcycle road racing in Italy in 1957 after a series of bad accidents.

In 1987 a group of classic bike enthusiasts decided to organise a commemorative run along the original route and to celebrate the classic machines that used to ride along it. It has run every year since.

Milano-Taranto d’Italia bikes must have been manufactured in 1967 or before

The Milano-Taranto d’Italia is no longer a race but an endurance event over six days with riders completing around 200 miles per day. The bikes taking part are all classics which must have been manufactured in 1967 or before.

Mike has an eclectic mix of classic motorcycles – including classic trials and pit bikes, a 1960s Malanca moped, a Monkey Bike, an Indian built Royal Enfield and a GS1200, which is his daily ride, but he and Sarah bought the two 1967 bikes in December specifically for this event.

They are confident they will stay the course. Both bikes have had a major service but, apart from the fitting of indicators and rear view mirrors, the bikes are both true to the original production models.

Sarah is well known in the motoring world as editor of the Auto Addicts magazine and website and she had been racing cars since 2004 when she won a place in the all women championship, Formula Woman.

Before that she had many media and marketing jobs working on automotive accounts, running track days around Europe, and managing a Porsche racing team.

Her exploits on the race track led to a sponsorship deal with the Adrian Flux insurance group, of which Bikesure the motorcycle insurance expert, is a part. Out of interest, and ideal for touring events such as the Milano-Taranto d’Italia, Bikesure offers cover for 180 days European travel (90 days per trip), as standard for most policies.

Sarah still has her pink Porsche 911 SC

She said: “Since starting racing I have raced every year since 2004. My partnership with Adrian Flux started in 2007 with support for endurance races in a BMW E36 M3 and grew from there.

“Since then I have been lucky enough to have raced a BMW E46, BMW Z4, Porsche 911, Aston Martin GT4, but these days I stick to racing classics. We have a Healey 100, and Healey 3000 and I still have my pink Porsche 911 SC.”

Despite her experience on the track with four wheels she has had to do a great deal of prepping to get road ready on two wheels.

“I have been riding around Bristol to increase my road miles and I went out with a local IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) Roadsmart instructor to learn some defensive riding techniques –  I have been noticing all sort things I didn’t notice while driving a car, even very familiar landscapes feel totally new on a bike.

“I generally think bikers make safer car drivers – you become more aware of what is going on around you on a bike.

“Often car drivers are wrapped up in their own little heated world and they can be blissfully unaware of other more vulnerable road users.”

“I sold my Honda S2000 sports car to buy a Suzuki SV650”

Sarah has only been riding motorcycles since 2008 when she sold her Honda S2000 sports car to buy a Suzuki SV650. Now she loves motorcycling and enjoys “the connection you get with the scenery” from being in the saddle.

She feels very at home on the Triumph but she was very close to repatriating an Italian machine for the tough Italian endurance ride.

“It seems a Moto-Guzzi is the one to have, they won many times in period. They’re fast, reliable and (apparently) don’t have the vibration of English bikes.

“We were planning to hire one, but the Milano-Taranto d’Italia organisers were so overwhelmed with entries they moved the entry criteria back to 1967 and this was a 70s bike which suddenly became ineligible.”

Frisky 51-year-old Milano-Taranto d’Italia bikes are barely run in

There are 200 bikes registered for this year’s event and among the earliest are a BMW R57 from 1929 and a 1937 BMW R5 500cc. In comparison, Sarah’s Triumph and Mike’s BSA, the pair of frisky 51-year-olds are barely run-in.

The ride will take in the beautiful scenic routes of 10 regions – Lombardy, Veneto, Tuscany, Marche, Umbria, Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Basilicata and Puglia.

Each stage will include four daily stops, providing an opportunity to relax and enjoy the specialties of regional gastronomy, assuming of course, Sarah and Mike aren’t stranded on the roadside making running repairs to their bikes.

But they remain optimistic:  “I think we’re as ready as we are ever going to be.

“Both bikes have had a full service, new head gaskets, new cables, new carburettors, new batteries, fresh oil, new tyres, new clutch, a brake check and fresh fluids. We have a box of spares cables and bits and we will both be carrying a few spanners and bulbs, so fingers crossed!”

The Milano-Taranto d’Italia kicks off at midnight, from Idroscalo in Milano, on July 8, and the arrival is scheduled for July 14 at Lungomare Virgilio in Taranto.

Are you off on an adventure with your motorbike this season? Email Louise Hepburn at louise@totheend.co.uk.

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Picture the scene: you’re in new leathers on your shiny bike, gliding through rolling countryside or perhaps along a glistening coastline with not a care in the world. Sounds nice doesn’t it? For some people, reality comes crashing down at the point they get a quote for their motorcycle insurance. Why is it so expensive? How will you make your dreams come true when the premium is so high?

If this scene sounds familiar, don’t give up just yet. There are plenty of factors that comparison sites don’t take into account and that insurers don’t routinely ask about on online insurance quotes. And there is plenty of scope for you to bring down the cost of your bike insurance. Our top money-saving tips are below.

Choose your bike carefully

Many bikers are caught out by high premiums because they didn’t check the possible cost of insuring their new bike before making their purchase. So, if you’re yet to buy a motorbike, consider this – the smaller, older or cheaper your bike is, the lower your premium is likely to be. Your heart may be pulling you in the direction of a TRON Light Cycle replica, but you may need to listen to your brain. After all, a Dodge Tomahawk or Ducati Desmosedici may fit the fantasy perfectly, but if you can’t cough up the cost of the insurance cover, you won’t be able to ride it anyway.

As a general rule, try to avoid bikes with modifications that are made to enhance speed, such as engine modifications, performance exhausts and turbo charging. That said, not all modifications will affect your premium, so don’t discount a potential bike simply because it has cosmetic modifications or custom paint work. Just make sure your insurer knows about all modifications – failing to declare them could invalidate your policy.

Of course, the bike’s make, model and mods could be the one thing you’re not willing to compromise on. And why should you, if you’ve been looking forward to this purchase for years of your life? Specialist insurance providers offer modified insurance policies, which will cater specifically to your needs.

Multiple bikes? Get a policy to cover all your bikes

One mistake that some motorbike collectors make is trying to insure each of their bikes separately. If you have two or more motorbikes, look into multi bike insurance – it can make a huge difference. By insuring each motorbike separately, the specialist insurance company assumes that you may ride the bike at any time. Multi bike insurers like Bikesure, know that (obviously) you can only ride one bike at a time! This fact is reflected in a lower cost-per-bike premium.

Track your mileage

How many miles are you planning to do on your bike in the next 12 months? 3,000? 8,000? 15,000? It can be hard to guess. You don’t know what your priorities and commitment will be, or whether your biker mate finally says yes to the annual rally you’ve always pestered them about. As such, you probably estimate the mileage for your general commitments – travel to work, visiting family, annual holiday – and then add a bit on top ‘just in case’. That’s fine as well, but it may not reflect the reality, and it may mean you’re paying a higher premium than you need to.

Instead, start accurately tracking your mileage. Take a note or photo of the mileage meter on your bike at the start of your policy, and review it each month. If you’d predicted 12,000 miles per year and have only done 3,000 after six months, let your insurer know. It may be able to reduce your premium from that point. Even if it can’t, you can certainly use the information you’ve collected the next time you renew your policy. Don’t forget though that you’ll probably be riding more between April and September than you will between October and March, so take that into consideration as well.

If you ride rarely or only for short distances, you could consider capped or limited mileage insurance. These policies are specially underwritten for bikers who ride less. You will be asked to sign mileage declarations, which will be checked in the event of a claim – as always, honesty is the best policy.

Park your bike somewhere secure

One factor that your bike insurer will take into account when offering you a quote is where you keep your bike when you’re not riding it. This is because there is a higher risk of it being stolen, tampered with or hit by passing traffic if it is left in public sight, for example on the road outside your house or in a public car park while you’re at work. Simple measures such as keeping it in a locked garage or off-road could therefore result in a lower premium.

Don’t have a garage? You could rent one – there are plenty of services online – although depending where you live, this may not be cheaper than your insurance quote. Or you could buy a secure bike shed for it to stay in at night. Whatever measure you can take, it could protect your wallet too.

Make your bike more secure

If your bike is bigger than your garden shed or your partner has vetoed bringing it into the house, there are other ways to make your bike more secure. Even if you do have private parking at work or a garage at home, fitting certain pieces of kit could still save you money. Here’s equipment to consider buying.

  • Tracking devices, particularly systems that are Thatcham Category 5-approved. These are fitted to your motorbike and can monitor the vehicle’s whereabouts if it has been stolen.
  • Alarms and immobilisers are a great deterrent to potential thieves and usually come as a combo package. Having one installed on your bike will mean that the ignition will only start if an encrypted digital key is present.
  • Chain locks, or cable locks, are similar to the locks you see used on push bikes. The lock is threaded through the wheels or frame of a bike and onto an immovable object like a lamppost, or a ground or wall anchor. In fact, Almax Security Chains Limited make some of the strongest, heavy duty chains available on the market.
  • A disc lock is nicely portable and locks through the holes in the brake disc to immobilise the bike. It can be easy to forget they’re attached so use a reminder on your ignition to spare your blushes as you try to ride off with it still in place!    

The best way to secure your bike is to use all five security measures. Look for items that are “Sold Secure Gold” approved as many insurers will require this if they are to agree a discounted premium. Alternatively, check with your insurer for which makes and models it approves before you make a purchase.

Improve your riding skills

Your insurance company wants to know that you’ll be riding your bike safely. One speeding conviction could bump up your premium by around 10 %, but two may cost you up to 25 % more. If you have a conviction for riding uninsured, it can increase your premium by 50%.

On the other hand, if you can prove to your insurer that you are a skilled and sensible rider, it may result in a lower premium. A great way to show this is by taking an insurer-approved advanced riding class.

The government runs an Enhanced Rider Scheme, comprising an initial ride to assess your skill level and a bespoke training plan. Upon completion, you’ll be awarded a DVSA Certificate of Competence, which will secure you a discount with most insurance companies.

Alternatively, there are plenty of organisations offering advanced riding classes, including the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM). Instructors are often serving or ex-police officers, and there is usually a focus on confidence in different riding conditions and on different roads.

The cost of the motorcycle training course may seem high, but think of it as an investment – you’ll be saving on insurance premiums for years to come. You’ll probably save on your fuel consumption too.

Pay annually

Paying your insurance in monthly instalments can seem like you’re saving money, because monthly is what you’re used to. If you work, you’re probably paid monthly and other expenses such as phone bills are usually paid each month as well. But if you can get the lump sum together, paying annually can save you money with many insurers.

Insurance companies prefer you to pay annually for several reasons because they don’t need to worry about overdue or missing payments – this makes you a safer investment. On the other hand, paying monthly is basically a credit agreement with your insurer. You have committed to a 12-month contract of service with them but aren’t paying for it up front. This means that you’ll pay interest each month as you pay back the service you have technically already purchased.

Increase your excess

An excess is the amount you agree to pay for any repairs or other costs when you make a claim against your motorcycle insurance. For example, if you have an excess of £200 and an accident causes £300 worth of damage, you can only claim £100 towards the cost of repair. The excess can  usually be recovered if there is evidence that the damage caused was not your fault.

A compulsory excess will be set by your insurance company – the amount may depend on your bike and your experience, with newer riders having a higher excess as they are deemed a higher risk. On top of this, you can also add a voluntary excess, which will be for an amount determined by you. For example, if the compulsory excess is £200, you may decide to pay an additional £100 on top of any costs against a claim.

In general, the higher your voluntary excess, the less your insurance company needs to pay in the event of a claim and the lower your insurance premium will be. Using the examples above, if you have £300 worth of damage and a combined excess of £300, the insurance company won’t need to pay you anything for your claim. They will therefore charge you less for your annual policy. Just make sure you can afford to pay the excess if you do need to make a claim before committing to the amount in your policy.

Another possible option is to buy an “excess protector” policy that will cover your excess and usually costs less than the discount you’ll get for taking a higher voluntary excess. It’s certainly worthwhile considering and looking into.

Buy temporary cover

If you only ride your motorbike during summer or to a few rallies, you may save money by buying a short-term policy, rather than insuring your bike for a full 12 months. Be aware, however, that you must complete a statutory off-road notification (SORN) any time your motorbike is uninsured – even if you intend to ride it again in the future. This may seem like an unnecessary stress, but it can save you money. Not least because you can also cancel your vehicle tax and get a refund for any full months’ tax that you won’t be using. Plus, once you roll back around to summer, taxing your vehicle will automatically cancel your SORN – no extra paperwork!

Alternatively, you can buy laid up motorcycle insurance for the times you’re not using your bike. This covers your bike in case of theft or fire, but without the need to pay for full rider cover.

Make sure your policy reflects your usage

There are four main ‘classes’ of motorbike insurance, which are based on the main reasons people ride their bikes:

  • Social, domestic and pleasure covers holidays, travelling to the shops, running an errand, taking a weekend ride etc.
  • Commuting is for when you ride your bike for pleasure and  to and from your regular workplace.
  • Business use is for any time you use your bike for pleasure and work purposes, but not to a regular place of work. For example, if you ride your bike to multiple places of work, in connection with your business or to a training course or conference, or to a meeting.
  • Courier and delivery is for riders that use their bike to routinely deliver or collect goods.  

Social, domestic and pleasure tends to be the cheapest policy, although commuting is unlikely to make a big impact on your premium. However, business use and courier and delivery could be partly responsible for your high quotes. It’s therefore worth reviewing how you actually use your bike, and whether you can make any compromises to save money. For example, you may find that an occasional taxi to an out-of-office meeting is cheaper than adding business use to your annual motorbike policy.

Build up a No Claims Bonus

A No Claims Discount is applied when the policy holder has a No Claims Bonus (NCB). This simply means that they haven’t claimed against their policy, showing that they are a lower risk to the insurance company. Make sure that the insurance company you choose offers a NCB. If you’re changing insurer, you’ll be required to show proof of your NCB which is usually accepted in the form of a renewals letter from your previous insurer, stating the years of NCB that you hold.

Unless you’re eligible for a No Claims Discount and have forgotten to account for this in your current insurance quotes, there is no instant way for a NCB to reduce your premium. But over the long term, it can save you – lots! In fact, these savings can be as much as 30% after one year, then rising annually up to a maximum of 70%.

If you make a claim during your policy term – unless the damage isn’t your fault and the full costs can be recovered from the third party – you’ll lose your NCB (or some of it) and will have to start building it again. However, many insurers also offer a NCB protection as an optional extra on their standard policy. Having this means that if you do make a claim, it won’t affect your NCB. It may be an additional cost, but it could still potentially save you hundreds. Bikesure have policies that allow you to protect your no claims bonus from one year onwards, the industry standard is usually four years no claims before you can protect it.

Shop around!

One mistake that many people make, when getting any kind of insurance, is to accept the first quote they get. Each insurance company differs in terms of what they offer and the premiums they charge. For example, you may find that two insurers offer the same quote, but that one includes legal cover and the other doesn’t. Or you may find a really cheap quote, only to discover that its policy terms don’t match your needs.

Shopping around for quotes is essential to understand what you can get for your money. You could use insurance comparison sites. This is a quick way to get an overview of what’s available. But don’t rely solely on these services. Not all insurers will be listed, and depending on the information you input, the figure you’re quoted may not be the final premium you end up paying.

The best way to get the lowest quote that matches all your needs is to contact multiple insurance companies. Many insurers have online forms that you can complete, but calling means you can explain your specific circumstances, get immediate answers to your questions and haggle. Of course, just because you can haggle, doesn’t mean you’ll get a..

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Peugeot has launched an integrated car and folding electric bike to make that daily commute a little bit easier.

The aluminium-framed eF01 electric folding bike weighs just 18.6kg, is fitted with a battery and a motor with enough charge for up to 25 miles at a top speed of 12.5mph.

New Peugeot comes with folding electric bike

The electric folding bike comes with the all new Peugeot 5008 SUV and aims to address a recent survey that showed 36% of UK motorists commute to work, but parking difficulties mean many still have to find another way to complete the last mile of their journey..

The issue is even more of a problem in London, with 46% of the capital’s drivers concerned about parking.

Peugeot’s fold-away electric bicycle integrates neatly into the boot space of the all-new 5008 SUV with a mobile charging dock.

The electric bike has been put through its paces by no less than BMX star, Kriss Kyle and 2016 Ladies FIA European Rally Champion, Catie Munnings, who took to the streets of London to try it out.

eF01 folding electric bike provides “door to door” solution

Gilles Vidal, Director of Peugeot Design, said: “The all-new 5008 SUV has been a huge success – selling 42,000 in Europe since launch in 2017 and almost 3,000 vehicles in the UK since launch in January 2018.

“Spacious, versatile and packed with the latest technology, we felt the Peugeot 5008 SUV was the perfect vehicle to pair with our first electrically assisted folding bike.

“Together, the 5008 SUV and eF01 electric bike combine two modes of transport to create a complete door-to-door solution, no matter what your destination might be.”

BMX champion Kriss Kyle: “The eF01 is a fantastic bike to ride”

Kriss Kyle, BMX champion, said: “The eF01 is a fantastic bike to ride – it’s great fun and practical.

“I was delighted to be a part of this project and I think it’s brilliant that Peugeot have created a solution for the last mile, which means people have the option to drive their car and cycle their bike.”

The eF01 electric bike can be charged on a mobile docking station in just 60 minutes and can be folded and unfolded in less than 10 seconds.

Bikesure offers bespoke insurance for electric bikes meaning your two wheel transport can be protected as much as your four.

As part of the UK’s largest specialist insurer, Bikesure has over 20 years experience providing the best available insurance options. We have now teamed up with our panel of insurers to create what we believe are the very best electric pedal cycle insurance policies on the market.

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More than 50 mint condition classic motorcycles will go under the hammer at a bargain price when the legendary Dutch Den Hartogh collection is sold by Bonhams on June 23, 2018.

The classic motorcycles – and Den Hartogh’s collection of 200 Ford and Lincoln motorcars and commercial vehicles – will be auctioned without reserve by Bonhams at the museum near  Amsterdam.

Den Hartogh collection: 1928 BMW 482cc R52 valued at £11,000-£16,000

50 classic motorcycles complement car collection

The museum was set up, funded and curated by Piet Den Hartogh, who initially collected pre-50s Fords after being inspired by the old trucks used by his father’s transport company.

He bought his first Ford in 1956 and the collection grew rapidly and now includes a number of ageing Lincolns too.

He then branched out further and started growing his impressive collection of classic and vintage motorbikes.

Two-wheeled exhibits now range from beefy BMWs, Enfields, BSAs, and Nortons through to equally collectable models produced by Puch, Ariel, and Sarolea.

Den Hartogh collection: 1954 Royal Enfield 250cc Clipper valued at £2,000-£2,800

Japanese classics for sale alongside vintage British bikes

There’s Japanese interest too with pre-60s models from Yamaha, Kawasaki and Honda also going under the hammer.

Den Hartogh exhibited for more than two decades but for a private owner costs were extraordinary. The museum fell on hard times and inevitably it was forced to close in 2016. Now the owners have been forced to liquidate their high octane assets.

Into your classic bikes? Check out what classic motorbikes are on offer at the Bonhams Den Hartogh motor museum sale.

And once you have picked yourself a classic motorbike at a bargain price, check out some classic motorcycle insurance at a bargain price too.

Den Hartogh collection: 1956 Puch 248cc SG valued at £2,500-£3,100

Bikesure have years of experience insuring classic motorbikes

Bikesure have many years experience of offering classic bike insurance.

With fantastic prices for all classic motorbike enthusiasts Bikesure offers a complete low-cost, high quality service, tailored to the biker’s precise needs.

And, as a specialist broker, Bikesure can offer classic motorbike insurance cover whatever the bike and no matter what modifications you may plan to make.

Den Hartogh collection: 1930 BSA493cc S30 Sloper valued at £3,400-£4,400

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2018 is the 80th birthday of a location that holds a central position in the mythology of the UK’s motorcycle culture – The Ace Café, one of the adopted homes of the rockers, and the spiritual workshop that helped to create the café racer. Join Bikesure, the free-wheeling insurance broker as it dives deep into the world the Ace helped create.

Origin story

The location of the Ace before development (picture from britainfromabove.org.uk)

The Ace Café was built in 1938, at the north side of the North Circular road on the edge of an area between the Grand Union Canal and Stonebridge train depot that had begun to be developed a few years before. By the time Hugo “Vic” Edenborough opened his café, a number of factories had been built to help supplement the custom the road brought.

These included the Bontex knitting mill, Zip French cleaning, aerial photography experts Aerofilms Ltd and Rizla, who moved into a triangular Streamline Moderne building, which is one of the few buildings from this period to remain to this day.

The original building

The original Ace Café was smaller than the current building. Open 24 hours a day, it was a thoroughly modern building with a Smiths Electric clock and a neon sign. At the time this was a relative rarity for a business of this size, neon being more associated with giant adverts.

Naturally some of its original clientele would have been motorcyclists, attracted by the empty new road orbiting London.

In 1939, with the café established, Vic extended the site opening a petrol station, with a car wash, repair shop and showroom. The other thing that happened this year was the start of World War II, which would have a number of effects on the area. The Ace’s immediate neighbour, the Bontex mill, was requisitioned by the Special Operation Executive in order to produce radios for agents.

War damage

Then, the Ace was badly damaged by a high-explosive bomb during the Blitz in late 1940. The café reopened in a temporary building, but it wasn’t until 1949 that Vic had a new purpose built structure.

Make do and mend

The new Ace was larger than the first version, with huge glass windows and an even larger clock in a purpose built tower, and even more neon. Where the old building looked like a cottage, the new Ace was a confident statement of post-war intent. Britain was rebuilding itself, and everything was about to change.

Bigger and better

Teenage rampage

By the time the new and improved Ace Café opened, Britain was starting to come out of its post-war funk. As the 1950s kicked off, the first shoots of modern youth culture began to appear, aided by the increased spending power of thousands of young people entering the depleted work force. At the same time, cars were becoming more affordable, which resulted in a glut of second hand motorcycles. They were the perfect form of transport for young people, or teenagers as they were beginning to be called.

London teenagers were particularly well served for entertainment back then, with dancehalls, cinemas and a burgeoning number of coffee bars with a wide range of entertainments including the hottest jazz and the latest hip musical import, skiffle.

Bikers were somewhat limited in where they could hang out, partly down to the practicalities of needing space to park and partly by the reputation for both rowdiness and their ability to make one cup of tea last a long time.

Their hangouts weren’t the hip espresso bars of Soho, but a handful of transport cafes that welcomed – or at least tolerated – them. These included the Ace, the Busy Bee in Watford, the Dugout in Golders Green, the stall on Chelsea Bridge and the Queen of Hearts in Hounslow.

British society at the time was incredibly conservative, with anyone stepping outside the rigidly defined norms generally looked on with a combination of fear and ridicule. Teddy boys, the first home grown youth culture, got it simply for wearing slightly larger suits, so kids copping to the style of the emerging American outlaw biker scene were bound to attract similar attention. When rock and roll hit the UK in 1955 it accelerated the process, with the press whipping up a moral panic about crazed youngsters.

Preparing for or recovering from doing the ton. Note the giant earth bank, now gone

Most of the riders who found themselves congregating at the Ace were more interested in tinkering with their bikes in order to squeeze out as much speed as they could out of them. “Doing the ton” was the Holy Grail, with the North Circular providing a natural race-track for them to demonstrate their abilities. Rock and roll played a part in this, with impromptu races using songs on the Ace’s jukebox as timers – Put on a song, drive up through the rail bridges to the closest roundabout and back before it finished. Tougher than it sounds when most singles hovered around the two minute mark!

There was also a chance that you might get to meet some of the emerging British rock stars at the Ace, stopping on the way back from a gig for a late night cuppa and a plate of egg and chips. Johnny Kidd and the Pirates were regular visitors, and it’s rumoured that the Beatles dropped in at one point. Noted Raving Loony Screaming Lord Sutch was a regular too, due to being an enthusiastic biker. In 2012 a blue commemorative plaque was unveiled at the Ace.

59 varieties

The sixties arrive, and everything starts to get a little strange. There was a new youth cult on the scene, the modernists. Defined by their love of the latest styles, music and most importantly scooters, there was quite the rivalry between the two tribes. The rockers fashion vibe was very much about giving the impression that they didn’t care about fashion, while Mods were rare and generally unwelcome visitors to the Ace. Police visits, were regular and also unwelcome. They were either responding to complaints from the public or, in some cases, seemingly just because. The Rockers were rowdy, as any group of teenagers is, and undoubtedly scary looking to a public who were incredibly conservative with a small c.

Nobody was expecting what happened next, when in 1962 vicar and motorcycle enthusiast Father Bill Shergold who helped run a youth group in Hackney Wick called the 59 Club, managed to overcome his media-stoked concerns about these near bestial youngsters and dropped in to the Ace Café.

Speed-crazed bestial youth, singing a hymn

His plan was to invite these social pariahs to the church, and despite having to drive past the café a few times before summoning up courage, he was pleasantly surprised to discover they were basically polite young boys and girls who were eager to speak to him. Father Shergold was even more surprised when the kids showed up to the service he’d organised, which included a specially written biker’s prayer and blessing of the motorcycles. Capitalising on this, he invited them all to the 59 Club which quickly became a haven for the Rockers. Shergold and his colleagues, including Father Graham Hullett, were more than happy to accommodate the youngsters, transforming the youth club into a more motorcycle oriented organisation. By 1965 they claimed to have 7000 members (which had to be confirmed by visiting the club’s office) and by the following year expanded to an astonishing 13,000. They were arguably the largest motorcycle organisation in the UK, and very possibly the world too.

Ace on film

Almost unfeasibly long hair by 1963 standards

Anyone looking for an authentic look at what it was like to visit the Ace has a few choices. Countercultural hero and photographer John “Hoppy” Hopkins took some amazing photographs collected in a book or scattered about the internet.

In 1969, the Ace Café finally closed its doors. And that was that.

Until….

Of course nothing ever really ends. While many of the Rockers who frequented the Ace eased off their motorcycling habit with the passage of time and the imposition of adult responsibilities, legends of the Ace were kept alive and passed down to the next generation. While the Ace had shut up shop, organisations like the 59 Club continued and a steady stream of 50s revivals kept the spirit alive.

Mark Wilsmore indicates how big his plans are

The Ace itself went through several incarnations as different businesses. By the early 90s it was a tyre shop. In 1993, a guy with a love of motorcycles called Mark Wilsmore decided to organise a meet up to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Ace’s closing. The number of visitors at the event in 1994 was estimated at 12,000, regardless of the real figure it was definitely enough to indicate there was still a demand for the Ace or something very like it. It eventually reopened in 1997, and since then has gone from strength to strength acting much as it did back in the day. With a packed schedule of events covering every area of car and bike culture, it has re-established itself as a prime meeting spot for petrolheads, lovers of old time rock and roll and much else besides. And beyond that, they’re opening Ace Cafes around the world, from Barcelona to Orlando and many more in the planning stages.

The future’s looking bright

Do you have fond memories of the Ace? Sound off in the comments!

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Businesswoman Carla McKenzie has combined her love for motorcycles with her commitment to giving back and on the way discovered a passion for green laning through the British countryside. From road bikes to dirt bikes, her collection is one to be admired. Here’s Carla in her own words…

As a third-generation biker, I have had a lifelong passion for motorcycling. My grandad had bikes and growing up, my father was a Thames Valley Police motorcyclist and my mum had a Triumph Bonneville with a sidecar. My brother and I would travel to various places in the sidecar, including to the airfield where we’d go gliding – another family passion! We also went to the Isle of Man TT in the 1960s in the sidecar – I was only a toddler – and that fostered a love of racing too.

My first bike, which I started riding as a learner (you could start in a 250 in those days), was a Yamaha RD 200 two-stroke twin. It represented the ultimate freedom to me and was my primary mode of transport.

Carla pictured with her motorbike collection.

In the last 10 years, I’ve been involved in charity work through biking. Back in 2009, at Motorcycle Live in Birmingham, I discovered the charity Bike Tours for the Wounded (BTFTW) and learned about their trips to take wounded soldiers across the USA as pillion passengers. This was at the height of conflict in Afghanistan and the stories I heard were horrendous. I had to do something and it was a worthwhile way to contribute to the cause.

I went on my first group charity ride the following year. It was quite an experience. The soldiers were only six months from their time on the front line and still coming to terms with their physical and mental wounds. Some had conditions that were terminal and it rocked my very insides to hear what they had been through.

For the soldiers, the value was not just in the feeling of freedom that riding gave them, but in the relationships they formed with the rest of the group. It gave them and me an opportunity to celebrate what can be achieved in spite of adversity. I’ve been on four rides and I have learned a lot and made unbreakable friendships.

Carla gets involved with charity work with her biking.

After this, the BTFTW came up with the idea of a trailbike charity ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End (JOGLE) using as little tarmac as possible. At the time I said ‘yes’, I knew nothing about trail riding and had no idea what it would entail.

I joined the Trail Riders’ Fellowship, and after my first few rides – and several tumbles – on the Wiltshire byways with local members, I began to grasp what I had let myself in for. Once I understood the enormity of the challenge, I wondered: ‘Is a fat, 50-year-old female novice trail rider capable of this journey?’

Riding on the dirt is one of the best ways to learn to ride a motorcycle. Many dirt riders start when they are young so when they ride as an adult, the balance and safety required are second nature. Those skills can be usefully applied on tarmac, but it doesn’t work the other way around! Riding off-road is completely different – it is so unforgiving, and you have to move your body far more to maintain traction and balance. You truly need to believe in yourself because momentum is all important: if you lose confidence, you can scare yourself off the bike; if you keep your confidence, you can get through all sorts of obstacles.

In the event, I was the only BTFTW rider who completed the whole distance (but I was fortunate that two of my new Trail Riders Fellowship friends accompanied me the whole way.)

I’m now preparing for an electric road challenge later in 2018. I plan to follow some of the pioneer routes of earlier rides and highlight new, green technology.

You can learn more about Carla and her JOGLE trail-riding adventure on her blog.

Introduce us to your collection

Carla’s 2017 Zero DSR.

Make and model: 2017 Zero DSR

Power rating: 52Kw (72bhp)

It’s an electric bike so while this may not sound impressive, it’s the monstrous amount of torque – 157 Newton-Metres – that counts. It has more torque than a Suzuki Hayabusa 1300. And it’s all available from zero revs!

The most important thing to know about this bike

Lack of range and charge time are the main concerns compared to a petrol bike. Range varies massively depending on the speed you’re going, it can do about 80 miles with a five-hour charge time from a standard domestic socket.

What makes it a highlight for you?

It’s fantastic fun to ride – wonderfully smooth and civilised, but with instant ‘oomph’ for overtaking. I believe I am the only female Managing Director in the UK to own a Zero electric motorcycle, and maybe the only one in Europe! I run a business that specialises in low carbon-footprint catering and designing green kitchens for commercial use. So, I use the bike to help me market those services – motorcycling interests meet work interests.

Poignant moments with this bike

When you ride an electric bike, you need to organise charge points on your route. I have been lucky enough that the Bishop of Litchfield once allowed me to charge my bike at Litchfield Cathedral, right under the cross in the grass by the entrance. I have also charged from one of the cockpits at the Vulcan Bomber Trust, Crich Tramway Village and The Heights of Abraham cable car station at Matlock Bath.

“I have actually had three of these in the last 18 months…”

Make and model: BMW R1200GS Adventure (watercooled twin)

Power rating: 125bhp

How did you come to acquire the bike?

I have actually had three of these in the last 18 months. After my charity JOGLE ride, I found it a struggle to get back into travelling by car for work. I tried riding a CCM GP450 and Ducati Scrambler but they didn’t suit my work requirements. When I got the BMW, I did 13,000 miles in the first two months so, because I was on a personal contract purchase, it made sense to move on to a second. That one got slightly damaged in a motorway spill and again, it made sense to move on to my third GSA.

What makes it a highlight for you?

It is so well-balanced and flexible. I use it for 10 months of the year for work, and it’s also off-road capable meaning I can take it on trails (if I’m feeling bold.)

Poignant moments with this bike

I do long journeys for work on this bike, staying on the road for a week or so at a time – the panniers and top box are fully loaded with clothes and work stuff. I have been from Harrogate to Scotland to the west coast to Ireland to Wales, all in one trip. The enjoyment I experience on those long rides provide the perfect break from the pressures of work.

“This is my latest trail bike…”

Make and model: Husqvarna FE 250 (four-stroke single)

Power rating: 37bhp

How did you come to acquire the bike?

This is my latest trail bike and I use for almost all my green road riding. My local dealer has been supportive of my move to trail bikes and suggested I try the Husky and see what I think. I have been riding it ever since!

What makes it a highlight for you?

I am a volunteer director of the Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF) and ride my Husky whenever I can get out on the trails and byways. A principle of the TRF is to conserve and preserve green roads throughout the UK.

There are only a few Ducati 888 Superbike’s registered in the UK

Make and model: Ducati 888 Superbike

Power rating: 104bhp

How did you come to acquire the bike?

I had one when they first came out in the early 1990s – they were the hottest bikes around! I always loved its engine and handling, so decided to buy one again a few years ago.

The most important thing to know about this bike

This is a rare bike for two reasons:

  1. There are only a few left still registered in the UK
  2. It has a desmodromic valve gear instead of valve springs, which is a signature aspect of Ducati engines and unique in current production motorcycles.

On my specific bike, the tank is signed by World Superbike rider Giancarlo Falappa.

What makes it a highlight for you?

I only use this bike occasionally, but it’s iconic; a pin-up bike, one to be cherished. It offers a completely different riding experience to my other bikes because the V-twin engine is so distinctive and addictive.

Whether your collection includes off-roaders, electric motorbikes or something completely different, you can get a quote from Bikesure for a multi bike insurance policy that’s tailored to your needs.

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There were no bikes in my family when I was growing up. It wasn’t until I was about 12 that I became interested in them. I used to spend a lot of time at the Southport YMCA, and one day, bike racer Colin Phillips turned up wanting to teach kids how to ride motorcycles. And so, a gang of children, myself included, started to meet to repair, maintain and ride bikes.

I remember that the dad of one of the lads had a coal wagon. We used to load the bikes onto the wagon and take them into a field to ride. It was great fun. That’s where my love of motorbikes started. From then on, my bedroom walls became covered with pictures of Easy Riders, Choppers and other exotic bikes.

Howard Morris and wife Julie with their collection.

Now, my mum was happy for me to ride the bikes round fields, but the idea of riding on the road was a big no-no. It took a lot of pleading for my mum to finally give in. I remember once being stopped by the police for riding a friend’s Ducati. I got a fine for not having L plates, insurance or a license. I think this was one of the things that made mum realise I had oil in my veins and she wouldn’t stop me riding.

I was 18 when I got my first legal road bike – a Yamaha DT250. I travelled to Manchester to get it and brought it back on the train. As soon as I was able to ride it, there was only one place I wanted to go: to my then ex-girlfriend’s house. Julie’s dad raced bikes. When I stopped outside, she looked at me out of her bedroom window, grabbed a helmet belonging to her dad and off we went. The bike brought us back together and we have now been married 32 years.

Howard, with wife Julie.

Since then I have always had bikes. Julie and I went over to the Isle of Man TT on the 250 and spent hours in a hotel that was taken over by Yamaha. That’s when I discovered the Yamaha XS1100. A few months later I had one and it was great! I’ve had a few Yamahas, a Honda CBR1000RR, five or six BMWs and a few other bikes of little significance. But it’s the American custom bike that I always wanted but never dreamed I’d ever own. It’s these ones that I have an emotional attachment with; I love everything about them.

They are ridiculous to some but to me they are works of art and you get the pleasure of riding them thrown in for good measure. I have even built an American roadhouse to store them – after all, they are the dream bikes from my bedroom walls all those years ago.

Introduce us to your collection

Howard with his American Ironhorse Texas Chopper.

Make: American IronHorse Model: Texas Chopper

Engine spec: 1800 cc

How did you come to acquire this bike?

We had come to the end of a family holiday in the USA but weren’t able to fly home – it was when the volcanic ash from Iceland grounded so many flights in 2010. My youngest daughter was going crazy just waiting around so we just decided to start another holiday.

We ended up in Bruce Rossmeyer’s in Daytona Beach. I had never seen as many custom bikes or Harleys in one place bikes. The Texas Chopper was there, looking radical and beautiful. American IronHorse had gone bust a few years earlier so the bike was rare – and very expensive! Nevertheless, I made a bid and before I knew it, I’d bought the bike. I transferred the cash, shipping it to Manchester and got it made legal in the UK. The process took a few months but was well worth it.

“I love to ride this bike. It is incredible, magnificent – there’s nothing like it.”

What makes it a highlight for you?

I love to ride this bike. It is incredible, magnificent – there’s nothing like it. And the experience of buying it in the States and shipping it home makes it all the more special.

Any poignant moments with this bike?

The first time I took it out for a ride. It had been in the garage for weeks while I got an MSVA (Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval.) This is a bit like an in-depth MOT, and you need to do it for foreign bikes that don’t comply with British standards. A local specialist did all the mods that were needed, so that was the first hurdle jumped. Then I had to find a specialist insurer to cover it (that’s where Bikesure came in!)

As soon as the insurance, registration and plate all came through, I went out on the road. It was quite an experience. On the ride, a police officer passed me on his BMW in the opposite direction, did a U-turn and pulled me over. I started to say that it was fully legal but he just wanted to look at it! He hadn’t seen anything like it before.

Howard’s Bourget Model: T6 Retro Chopper

Make: Bourget Model: T6 Retro Chopper

Engine spec: 117 cubic inch (about 2080 cc)

How did you come to acquire this bike?

I was in Daytona Beach again and saw it at a dealership. I did some research and discovered that only 12 of these bikes had ever been built and, as it was a production, it would be easier to get legal in the UK. I saw it again a few days later. It had been sitting in garage in Miami for years and only had 1,200 miles on the clock.

I believe the Chopper sold for over $90,000 when it was first built, but the price had come down over time as there wasn’t much demand. I bought it at a fraction of the original price, shipped it over and made it legal.

“You really need to know what you’re doing on this bike. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I love it to bits.”

What are the most important things to know about this bike?

The frame is made from aircraft-grade aluminium, there is no oil tank (the oil is stored in the frame) and it has big 300 tyres on the rear. It is a rigid so there is no suspension at the back, and it has a springer front end. Its length makes it a nightmare on roundabouts. You really need to know what you’re doing on this bike. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I love it to bits.

Bourget are still in business, and after I contacted them for a rebuild kit for a brake calliper they sent me the original paperwork and build sheets. They couldn’t have been more helpful and the builder is a genius as far as I’m concerned. Considering the fact that the whole bike is aluminium and not easy to weld, the quality of the welding is stunning.

“Considering the fact that the whole bike is aluminium and not easy to weld, the quality of the welding is stunning.”

Any poignant moments with this bike?

When I first turned the ignition it sounded like the roof had come in. I spent a few hours riding it around Daytona Beach in a t-shirt and sunglasses. Nothing will beat that.

Howard’s Harley Davidson Model: Fat Boy 2003

Make: Harley Davidson Model: Fat Boy 2003

Engine spec: 1,340 cc

How did you come to acquire the bike?

I got this in Manchester, I soon found a few other Harley riders and we made a lot of great memories together riding the bikes. And I made some terrific friends, I owe a lot to this bike I’ll definitely have this one forever – I’ve had too many good times on it.

“… I owe a lot to this bike I’ll definitely have this one forever…”

What makes it a highlight for you?

It’s an easy bike to ride, it looks cool and it does the job it’s supposed to do. You can’t fault this bike, everyone loves a Harley – even those that say they don’t like them stop to admire it when no one’s looking.

“It’s an easy bike to ride, it looks cool and it does the job it’s supposed to do.”

Poignant moments with this bike

I took the Fat Boy over to Killarney, Ireland for a rally in a group of about nine. We rented a large house for our stay and the lady whose house it was got a bit of a shock when nine Harley Davidsons turned up!

On the way home we missed our ferry and headed to Temple Bar to kill some time. A pub landlord came out of his front door and beckoned us over to park outside on the pavement. The sight attracted other bikers to the bar, which was decorated with motorbikes hanging off the walls and other memorabilia.

When it was time to leave the owner asked that we do a burnout together. The noise was off the chart and he loved it! A great memory.

Julie’s own Harley Davidson Black 883 Iron

Make: Harley Davidson Model: Black 883 Iron

How did you come to acquire the bike?

It’s actually my wife Julie’s bike. When she reached 50, she said that she really wanted a bike of her own, so we bought it for her birthday.

When we go to America on holiday we usually hire a bike for a week. In 2008, we went to Leesbury Bikesfest, which is a bit like Daytona Beach Bike Week. There we got chatting to two women bikers in their 70s, one of whom was the Sheriff’s mum. We bumped into them again two years later. I think this was the catalyst for Julie to get her Harley.

“It’s nice to have the opportunity to ride our bikes together.”

What makes it a highlight for you?

It’s a cracking little bike and it’s nice to have someone to ride with that shares my passion. Julie and I often go out on the bikes to get breakfast at the local Harley dealer. It’s nice to have the opportunity to ride together.

And lastly, what’s the odd one out from your collection?

The odd one out of the collection: BMW GS Adventure

Make: BMW Model: GS Adventure

Engine spec: 1,200 cc (liquid cool)

What makes it a highlight for you?

I have had a number of GS BMWs. They are a world away from my American custom bikes, but it’s a motorcycle that can do anything. It’s very forgiving and well-put together. It has everything: sat nav, Bluetooth, anti-lock brakes, traction control etc.

“They [BMWs] are a world away from my American custom bikes, but it’s a motorcycle that can do anything.”


Poignant moments with this bike

I’ve had a lot of great times on this bike and made some great friends too. We used to plot routes to Scotland with Southport Superbikes. Once, we were in a group of about 15 people, riding down country roads, and a police car pulled us over. He just told us to calm down a bit, but I think he was surprised by our age when we took off our helmets! Another highlight was riding the GS with Julie over the Millau Viaduct in the south of France – good times.


Whether your collection includes choppers, BMWs or something completely different, you can get a quote from Bikesure for a multi bike insurance policy that’s tailored to your needs.

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Isle of Man TT legend John McGuinness has announced he will not ride for the Bikesure-sponsored Norton Motorcycles team in this weekend’s festival.

McGuinness is some weeks short of full fitness after breaking his right leg, four vertebrae and ribs in what was described as a “horror crash” in Ireland last May.

He had anticipated being fit enough to race but there was a complication when a crack appeared on the healing leg break which put back his recovery.

In his column in Motorcycle News, McGuinness revealed he will travel across the Irish Sea from his home in Morecambe to enjoy the TT festival but he definitely won’t be getting in the saddle to race, though he does hope to complete some gentle parade laps.

Much of his time will be spent on promotional work with Norton Motorcycles, Dunlop tyres and with the Manx government but he said he was also looking forward to enjoying the roar of the bikes, the spectacle of the racing and the odd seaside ice cream with family and friends.

In his column, McGuinness explained: “I absolutely love watching at the TT. It blows me away and even after all these years it gives me that unreal feeling as I hear a motorbike coming in the distance absolutely flat-out. It’s unique.”

He added he knew it would be difficult being there but not racing. 

He joked that he wished he could down the Isle of Man ferry to delay this year’s event for a couple of weeks, by which time he is confident he would be fit for the road.

McGuinness qualifies as a true TT legend having claimed 23 wins in the big race. Since 2013 a bend on the A3 Snaefell Mountain Course has been named in his honour in recognition of his incredible TT record.

Josh Brookes, whom in 2013 became the fastest-ever TT newcomer clocking an average lap speed of 127.726 mph, is now stepping up as lead rider for the Norton team.  

Here’s more about Bikesure’s partnership with Norton Motorcycles and the offers available for owners.

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Norton Motorcycles is delighted to announce a new sponsorship deal with specialist motorbike insurer Bikesure.

The partnership means Bikesure becomes the approved insurer for Norton Motorcycles, and will also sponsor the iconic British motorcycle manufacturer’s star-studded 2018 Isle of Man TT team.

Riding for Norton Motorcycles this year will be TT legend John McGuinness, who has 23 island wins under his belt and Josh Brookes whom, as a newcomer in 2013, set a then record lap time of 127.726 mph.

Norton Motorcycles – hand built British motorcycles

John McGuinness will be riding for Norton Motorcycles at the 2018 Isle of Man.

In late 2008, Stuart Garner purchased the global trademark portfolio from Norton America LLC and returned it back to the UK.  

In 2009 the re-birth of the 961 Commando sold out very quickly and ever since Norton continue to manufacture their iconic motorcycles with a blend of iconic styling combined with modern components, cutting edge engineering techniques and craftsmanship. The bikes are hand built British motorcycles made in the finest tradition at Donington Hall.

Approved insurance partner of Norton Motorcycles

Bikesure is now the official insurance partner of Norton Motorcycles.

Robert Balls, Bikesure Sales Manager, said: “We’re thrilled to have been selected by Norton to be their officially approved insurance partner. To be trusted with their customers, their bikes and their reputation is a huge responsibility.

“Norton is an iconic British motorcycling manufacturer with so much heritage and prestige. The company sums up the entrepreneurial spirit that has been returning to the British motorcycle scene over the past 10 years.

He added: “Norton make stunning bikes and show that they can still lead in design, innovation and crafted engineering.”

Bikesure also plans to develop products for the entire range of Norton motorcycles, which are among the most exclusive and valuable motorcycles on the road.

Robert Balls added: “We’re looking forward to working with a team which is as passionate about motorcycles as we are.

“Both companies see this as a long term partnership where the emphasis is looking after riders and their machines.”

Find out more about Bikesure’s partnership with Norton Motorcycles and the offers available for owners.

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