Ride On newsletter - December 2017
In this issue we find out how an everyday Suzuki stands up to high mileage, review the SWM Superdual, and update you on Ferg's preparations for his world land speed record attempt.
Well that's the year pretty much all over, Rover. And after a wet winter and spring we've enjoyed some great riding weather in November and into December. Long may it continue.
What won't be continuing much longer is our Spring Promotion. You've only got until 18 December to get a free checkover of your bike at selected dealers around the country and get any Ride Forever course absolutely free. So get cracking!
In other news, we find out how your ordinary, everyday Suzuki stands up to high mileage, we review the latest Adventure bike from a little-known Italian manufacturer, and there's an update on our mate Ferg's Bonneville being prepared for a world land speed record attempt. Plus dates for the Shiny Side Up events, now happening in four places around the country. Enjoy.
A lot of people are wary of bikes with high mileage. However, we recently borrowed a V-Strom with close to 80,000kms on the clock.
It's a bike we tested new when it was launched in 2014, so how does a Strom feel and ride after the years and miles have taken their toll?
And what was required by way of fixing and replacement to get it there? The bike in question has been used by one of our most senior instructors as his daily hack, hence the high Ks.
As it turns out, the old girl stood up well to its hard life, covering track days, long-distance trips (including a run to the Burt and back), everyday stop-start riding when coaching and pretty much everything else you can imagine.
Our website has gone though some big changes, including a new online coaching section.
That's right, you can complete online coaching modules that share new skills and knowledge you can use in your riding.
Plus, of course, there's plenty of great advice, easy ways to select and book on-road coaching, and loads of great motorcycling articles, road tests, gear reviews, etc.
The chassis parts are back from stove enamelling, the engine is stripped with the top and bottom halves away at their respective fettlers, and Ferg is about to bring together the Bonneville's rolling chassis. With 20kg of lead shot in it.
We caught up with would-be world land speed record holder Fergus Mayne for another update on progress, and an interview on how he came to be doing such a thing.
Back in the 1970s SWM was a front-running brand in Motocross, before going belly-up in 1984. But now the Italian company is back, under the leadership of Ampelio Macchi (ex-Cagiva, Aprilia and Husqvarna) and with backing from China's Shineray group.
The latest addition to their range is the 650 Superdual, an Adventure bike based on Husqvarna's TE630 Enduro, and we've had one on test. Although a few things are what you'd expect of a low-volume producer, its cheeky character won us over. As did its surprising capability.
Spain's Toni Bou has dominated the world of trials riding in recent years, eclipsing even Dougie Lambkin's achievements with 20 indoor and outdoor World Championships to his name. To understand why check out:
Our cousins across the ditch are preparing legislation to make ABS mandatory on all new motorcycles sold from 2019 onwards. Of course anything can happen in parliament but it seems likely to go ahead.
The legislation proceeds from a discussion paper issued at the end of 2015 and it seems to include exemptions for bikes primarily used off road, and allow switchable ABS on such things as Adventure bikes. Pretty much as per EU regs, then.
The discussion paper has some interesting data in it, including reference to a whole series of studies internationally that show a reduction in crashes of between 33% and 39% for ABS fitment, and a German study that concluded ABS would have avoided or reduced the severity of a crash 93% of the time.
It seems like only yesterday that the first Ride Forever Shiny Side Up bike fest was being organised on the Kapiti Coast. Then Auckland was added. And now there are four events scheduled in Nelson and Waikato for 2018!
So, put the following dates in your diary and get your mates together for an epic day out celebrating all things motorcycling: 25 February, Southward Car Museum, Paraparaumu, and 4 March, Alexandra Park, Auckland.
If anyones stuck for gift ideas for the rider in their life, send them over to our Facebook page. Theres a discussion on the best gift ideas under $50, and if you have any suggestions yourself add them to the comments. Contributions so far range from inspired to LOL.
Don't forget, you only have a few days left to grab those free Ride Ready offers. Make sure you book in some coaching with us: not only will you have a great time on the day, it will give you skills that will make every ride more enjoyable. Enjoy the summer, have a great Christmas and New Year, and we hope to see you at one of the Shiny Side Up events.