Lowering Kits From M & P (UK)

January 29, 2009

M & P do a fantastic range of ride height adjuster kits if you need to lower your motorbike so it is a better fit for you. 

The kits, which come supplied with full fitting instructions, allow you to modify the height of the machine by either changing the shock linkages or the shock heads. 

Although you can fit them yourself they do recommend fitting by a specialist workshop, especially if you have any doubts about your ability to fit the kit correctly. 

Motorcycle lowering kits are supplied, by M & P for the following motorcycle models

Aprilia

650 (Pegaso), 650 (Pegaso (Fuel Inj)), RSV 1000 (Factory), RSV 1000 (Mille), RSV 1000 (Mille), RSV 1000 (Mille R), RSV 1000 (Tuono), RSV 1000 (Tuono)

BMW

F 650, F 650 (Funduro), F 650 (Scarver), G 650 (XCountry), G 650 (XMoto), F 800, F 800, R 850, R 1100, R 1100, R 1150, R 1150 (Adventure), K 1200, K 1200 (K40), K 1200 (Sport), R 1200, R 1200 (Adventure)

Buell

1000 (XB9R Firebolt), 1200 (XB12R Firebolt)

Cagiva

650 (Raptor), 650 (V-Raptor), 1000 (Raptor), 1000 (V-Raptor), Honda XL 125 (Varadero), XR 125, CBF 500, CBF 500 (ABS), CB 600 (Hornet), CB 600 (Hornet), CB 600 (Hornet ABS), CB 600 (Hornet Faired), CBF 600, CBF 600 (ABS), CBF 600 (Faired), CBF 600 (Faired ABS), CBR 600 (F), CBR 600 (F), CBR 600 (RR), CBR 600 (RR), NTV 600 (Revere), FMX 650 (Supermoto), NT 650 (Deauville), NTV 650, XL 650 (Transalp), VFR 750, VFR 800, VFR 800 (ABS), CB 900 (Hornet), CBR 900 (Fireblade), CBR 900 (Fireblade), CBF 1000 CBF 1000 (ABS,) CBR 1000 (Fireblade), CBR 1000 (Fireblade), XL 1000 (Varadero), XL 1000 (Varadero), XL 1000 (Varadero ABS), CB 1100 (X-11), CBR 1100 (Blackbird),

Kawasaki

EX 500 (GPZ500S), KLE 500, ZX 600 (ZX6R), ZX 600 (ZX6RR,) ZX 600 (ZX6RR), ZX 600 (ZZR600), ZX 636 (ZX6R), ZX 636 (ZX6R), ZX 636 (ZX6R), ER 650 (ER6N), ER 650 (ER6N ABS), EX 650 (ER6F Faired), EX 650 (ER6F Faired ABS), KLE 650 (Versys), KLE 650 (Versys ABS), ZR 750 (Z750), ZR 750 (Z750), ZR 750 (Z750 ABS), ZR 750 (Z750S Faired), ZR 750 (ZR7), ZR 750 (ZR7S Faired), ZX 900 (ZX9R), KLV 1000, ZR 1000 (Z1000), ZR 1000 (Z1000), ZR 1000 (Z1000 ABS), ZX 1000 (ZX10R), ZX 1000 (ZX10R), ZX 1200 (ZX12R), ZG 1400 (GTR1400), ZX 1400 (ZZR1400), ZX 1400 (ZZR1400 ABS).

KTM

640 (Duke 2), LC4 640 (Supermoto), 990 (Superduke).

Suzuki

GS 500, GSF 600 (Bandit), GSF 600 (Bandit), GSF 600 (Bandit Faired), GSF 600 (Bandit Faired), GSR 600, GSX 600, GSX 600, GSXR 600, GSXR 600, GSXR 600, RF 600, DL 650 (V-Strom), GSF 650 (Bandit), GSF 650 (Bandit Faired), GSF 650 (Bandit Faired ABS), SV 650, SV 650, SV 650 (Half Faired), SV 650 (Half Faired), XF 650 (Freewind), GSX 750, GSXR 750, RF 900, DL 1000 (V-Strom), GSXR 1000, SV 1000, SV 1000 (Half Faired), GSXR 1100, GSF 1200 (Bandit), GSF 1200 (Bandit Faired), GSX 1300 (B-King), GSX 1300 (Hayabusa).

Triumph

600 (Daytona), 600 (Speed Four), TT 600, 675 (Daytona), 675 (Street Triple), 955 (Daytona T955), 1050 (Speed Triple), 1050 (Tiger).

Yamaha

DT 125 (R 3MB), DT 125 (RE Electric Start), DT 125 (Supermoto), XT 125 (R Trail), XT 125 (X Supermoto), FZ 600 (FZ6 Fazer), FZ 600 (FZ6 Naked), FZR 600, FZS 600 (Fazer), XJ 600 (Diversion), XJ 600 (Unfaired), YZF 600 (Thundercat), YZF 600 (YZF-R6), 660 (MT-03), SZR 660, XT 660, XT 660 (SuperMoto), YZF 750, TDM 900, XJ 900 (Diversion), FZ 1000 (FZ1 Fazer), FZ 1000 (FZ1 Naked), FZR 1000 (Exup), FZR 1000 (Exup RU), FZS 1000 (Fazer), YZF 1000 (Thunderace), YZF 1000 (YZF-R1), BT 1100 (Bulldog), VMX 1200 (V-Max), VMX 1200 (V-Max US Import), FJR 1300, FJR 1300 (ABS), 1700 (MT-01)

 

Take a look at my other posts concerning bike height

Ride Height Adjustment Kits From HyperPro

Daytona Ladystar (M-Star) Boots – Help For The Vertically Challenged Motorcyclist!

Other Helpful Posts Include

Choosing Your First ‘Big’ Motorbike

Girls and Modern Sports Bikes

Bikes Girls Can Ride

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2009 Motorcycle Road Tax Increases

January 28, 2009

Ok.. there I was, full of righteous indignation at the proposed injustice about to be launched on motorcyclists here in the UK in 2009..

You must know what I mean, the proposed increases in Road Tax!

It was apparently announced in 2008, by Mr Darling, that motorcycle Road Tax was to be doubled in 2009, so the tax on a 125cc machine would go from £15 up to £33.  The blood pressure of motorcyclists all over the country took a huge leap upwards at the news!

I had come across a reminder about a  petition organised against the proposed increase on one of the motorbike forums I frequent. After reading it I decided, ‘Right, time for a blog entry about it’ and off I go, surfing the interweb trying to find out more information, and seeing if I could find the exact rates. 

There are plenty of sites showing the new rates for cars but I couldn’t find anything about the cost hikes for motorcycles. 

BUT…..

Then I came across this..

The 2008 Pre-Budget Report

In this document are the Income Tax, National Insurance, VAT plus other changes for the year 2009-2010.  As well as having this information it also contains the details of the VED (Road Tax) Fees for the year 2009-2010.

And in it, and I quote, are the figures for the Road Tax Fees for 2009-10 for motorcycles.

Vehicle Excise Duty for Motorcycles: 2009-10 rates VED band

Change

2009-10 rate

Up to 150cc

£15

151-400cc

£33

401-600cc

– 

£48

Over 600cc

£66

 And towards the end it also says

“VED rates for motorbikes, Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs), Special Types Vehicles, Combined Transport vehicles and all related vehicles will be frozen in 2009.”

So, it doesn’t look like they are going up after all!!!

Panic over!!


Choosing Your First ‘Big’ Motorbike

January 27, 2009

There are so many things to consider, beyond price, when choosing your first ‘big’ motorbike after passing your test, and I thought the easiest way to do this was to write this from my personal point of view as a female rider.  If there are other ladies out there facing the same dilemma then maybe, just maybe, reading about the things I had to consider may help you in your choice of motorcycle.

I will try and briefly list the points I had to consider when choosing my bike.  Things like the physical size of the bike, its engine size, and the fact I had a restricted license so had to consider how a restrictor kit would affect my choice of bike.  What the seat height was, how wide it was and how much of my feet would be on the ground when at a standstill.  Where the centre of gravity of the bike was and how balanced I would feel on it.  And lastly what type of bike to buy and how old a machine I would get.

The Seat Height
The first thing I considered was the seat height of the bike.  I’m 5 foot 3 inches tall with an inside leg measurement, wearing my bike boots, of 32 inches (odd proportions as over half my height is legs!) and I’m about the 8 stone mark so I’m not exactly well built!  The physical size of the bike was as far as I was concerned rather an important issue. 

I had learned on a cruiser style 125cc and after riding that and being so low to the ground I was convinced, when choosing my next bike, that I would be happier being able to get all of both feet on the ground.  So I was looking out for a bike which wasn’t too tall. 

Being able to get all of both feet on the ground isn’t necessary.  Some people aren’t bothered by it, while others are.  I just found it made me feel that little bit more confident, especially when moving the bike around with the engine switched off, for example getting it in or out of the garage.

Don’t forget you can lower a bike if your heart is set on it.  Check out my posts on Ride Height Adjuster Kits to see what your options are in that respect.

The Width of the bike
The width of the seat and bike can be an issue as well.  If the bike is wide then obviously your legs will be further apart when sitting on it.  Sorry ladies but it is true!  You may find that sitting on a wide bike will have you on tiptoes where as a narrow bike of similar height will enable you to flat foot.

The Weight Of The Bike
This was rather important to me as well, being small and slim.  I didn’t want to have a bike I would need help moving around, it would be very annoying (and possibly a tad embarrassing!) if I needed help moving it round all the time!  Once you are used to riding a larger bike the weight will become less of an issue, as it has with me.  

The Centre Of Gravity
How low or high the bikes centre of gravity is may be an issue.  With a lower centre of gravity the bike may feel more stable for you.  Where as one with a high centre of gravity can feel top heavy.  When I first sat on the GSX-R750 I realised how high its centre of gravity was and was afraid if I leant it over the weight might catch me by surprise and I would drop it, and that wouldn’t be a good thing to do! 

Yes, more considerations! This bike-buying lark is a minefield! 😉

The Engine Size
As I have previously mentioned on this blog I passed the UK restricted motorbike test on a 125cc bike.  This basically means that I am restricted for two years from the date of my test as to what output any motorcycle I ride can have.  Any bike I buy must have a power output of less than 33bhp, or be restricted to that by other means. 

So when looking for a bike I checked the list of ones with power less than 33bhp and decided I didn’t want any of them!  So the next step was to check which bikes could have a restrictor kit fitted so they were under the 33bhp.  I soon found that there are loads of bikes which can be restricted! 

So there were plenty I could choose from, but when you consider my previous points the field was narrowed down again.  I had to choose a bike that would take the restriction happily, after all what’s the point of buying a small, light, narrow 1000cc bike and then restricting it? None as far as I could see! So a bike with a 400cc-600cc engine seemed the way to go, the choice of which model depended on all the rest of the issues I have already mentioned. 

New Or Older Bike
As much as I would have loved to ride out of a dealer on a brand new bike I decided that this was really something I didn’t want to do.  My first big bike was going to be the one I carried on learning on, the learning curve just doesn’t stop once you have passed your test!

Chances are you will at some point drop your bike, and which would you swear about more.  The brand new bike you have just bought or the 15-year-old one which already has a few dings?  I would really swear at both but, in all honesty, if it was a new bike the swearing would be more profane and a whole lot louder!

Me? I went for the older bike..

Lastly.. 😀

What Type Of Bike
Cruiser, Tourer, Dual-Sport, Commuter, Sports?

This seriously comes down to personal choice.  I personally love the sports bikes (and the old Z650’s) but my new baby had to be a sports bike.  The best advice I can give is to go to as many bike dealers as possible, see what sorts of bikes ‘float your boat’ and make sure you sit on as many as possible until you find the one which feels just right. 

Following advice from my nearest and dearest I settled on the Honda CBR400RR.  Easy to restrict to 33bhp, small enough that I can reach the ground very easily, light enough that I can move her around and a low center of gravity which means she corners like she is on rails.

Am I happy with her, and my choice, after almost a year?

🙂 You bet I am! 🙂  

You may also want to take a look at these posts which contain more advice and tips.

Bikes Girls Can Ride

Girls And Modern Sports Bikes

Daytona Ladystar (M-Star) Boots – Help For The Vertically Challenged Motorcyclist!


Fantastic Deals On Motorbike Jackets For Girls!

January 25, 2009

I have found some great deals on closeout for female riders who may be looking for a new jacket. Just click on the photos for more details of the offers available.

First up the Women’s Tour Temp TX Jacket by Fieldsheer. 

MSRP $219.99 now $149.99

I personally like this jacket, probably because red is one of my favourite colours 🙂

Fieldsheer Women's Tour Temp TX Jacket

Jacket Details 

Super abrasion resistant 1000 denier Teflon® coated Maxtena® outer shell.
Anatomically fitted for the riding position.
Removable CE approved armor in back, shoulders and elbows.
Removable Thermo Pilot Liner that can be worn separately as a jacket.
SP Memory Foam® in high impact areas.
FS Rain Guard® 100% waterproof/breathable membrane.
Ram Air® ventilation system, 2 front vents, 1 large back vent.
Reflective Phoslite™ for high visibility, spot reflective high abrasive material in side panels.
Velcro adjustable, micro fiber lined collar with padding.
4 step unique adjustable sleeve volume control, in upper and lower sleeves, keeps the armor snug for small and large arms with or without the liner zipped in.
Velcro adjustable waist strap and stretch bar design.
Pockets included: 2 zipped front hand warmer, 2 upper chest, 1 zipped map, 1 inside Velcro, 1 mobile phone.
8″ waist zip connector and universal snap belt connector (attaches to pants)

Teknic Women’s Venom Jacket

MSRP $299.99 now $199.99

Teknic Women's Venom Jacket

Jacket Details

Short cut ladies specific jacket with pre-curved arms
Form fitting Cordura® Stretch Panels
1.2-1.4mm Brazilian cowhide
Stretch Cordura® in arms, and sides
Airtex™ anti-bacterial, non-allergenic nylon lining
Zip out 5oz polyfil quilted vest liner
KNOX® CE Shockless elbow armor, in Advanced Armor Pocket™
KNOX® CE Shockless shoulder armor, in mesh lining pocket
Armorshield dual density foam spine pad
KNOX® CE TP2 spine guard
Full circumference & 8” zipper, plus snap belt loop connectors
2nd layer of Cordura® in elbows & shoulders
Seamless Full Motion™ arm stretch system
Teknic® Reflective rear logo
Ultra low racing collar, with rolled Neoprene edge
Hook ’n’ loop adjustment waist belts

Shift Racing Women’s Airborne Jacket

MSRP $99.95 now $69.99

Shift Racing Women's Airborne Jacket - 2008Jacket Details 

100% mesh main body fabric
Women’s specific, articulated design
Removable CE approved EVO-Lady shoulder and elbow armor
Ballistic nylon panels for additional protection
Integrated back padding for additional protection
Reflective piping for added visibility
Integrated pocket for a back protector

There are loads more really good offers on the site.  Just click on one of the photos and have a nose round their closeout section 🙂

You won’t be disappointed!

But don’t leave it too long.. Once the stock is gone, thats it!!


Massive Savings At CycleGear.com

January 23, 2009
At cyclegear.com there are absolutely massive savings to be had in their ’09 Midwinter clearance Sale at the moment 🙂

For example, this Frank Thomas Sprint 2 Aqua jacket has $100 off.

The list price is $199.99 but you can grab it for just $99.99!
frank-thomas-sprint-2-aqua-motorcycle-jacket1

Frank Thomas Sprint 2 Aqua Motorcycle Jacket

Features and Benefits

  • Sportier, short-waist length
  • Hypertec nylon outer shell is abrasion resistant for long-lasting durability and protection
  • Aquapore waterproof/breathable membrane provides complete weather protection while allowing internal evaporation for all-conditions comfort
  • Full-size 100% polyester liner is removable for maximum temperature flexibility
  • Double-zipper storm flap seals out wind and water
  • Compression straps on arms have two snaps to prevent the sleeve from rotating in the event of use
  • Internal pocket great for cell phone or mp3 player
  • Keyring fob with mesh pocket
  • CE-approved armor in the shoulders and elbows for superior impact protection
  • Quarter zipper to attach jacket to leather or textile pants 
  • Available in Men’s and Women’s sizes!
  • Choice of 5 colours; Black, Grey, Blue, Red and Yellow

And as well as that great offer there are a whole host of others available until 10th March 2009

  • ALL Hoodies and Fleece, 30% OFF!
  • ALL FIRSTGEAR Heated Apparel, 10% OFF!
  • ALL Backpacks Under $80, 20% OFF!
  • STREET FX ElectroPods Power Distribution Module, FREE! with purchase of STREET FX ElectroPods LED Complete Motorcycle Kit
  • ALL Toys, 40% OFF!
  • ALL Back to School Products, 20% OFF! ALL 2009 Calendars, 50% OFF!

Just click on the image below to be taken to their website and see what is on offer for yourself.. Don’t miss out on some great bargains 🙂


Shop Cycle Gear's Mid-Winter Clearance Sale

Daytona Ladystar (M-Star) Boots – Help For The Vertically Challenged Motorcyclist!

January 21, 2009

Are you riding round on a motorbike wishing you could get just a tiny bit more of your foot than your tip toes on the ground when you come to a halt? Aside from buying a short bike in the first place what other options do you have out there to help?

There are several things you can do.

Shave some of the foam out of the seat.

Soften the suspension a bit so that the bike sinks down a little more when your bum is on it.

Physically lowering the bike with a height adjustment kit (see the posts in the Ride Height Adjustment Category).

Unfortunately both of the last two options will affect the handling in one way or another, even if only by a little bit, and you will have to do it to every ‘tall’ motorcycle that you may buy in the future!

What if I was to tell you that there is another option, which does not involve any kind of adjustment to your bike? If anything it adjusts you!! And that is to treat yourself to a pair of Daytona Ladystar Boots.
daytona-ladystar-boots

Daytona Ladystar (M-Star) Boots

Now, for those not in the know, these are absolutely brilliant for the vertically challenged amongst us, and yes at 5 foot 3 inches that does include me too! The boot’s sole incorporates a built in 2.5cm lift as well as a 1cm thick sole! So put these babies on and you are immediately 3.5 cm taller! How cool is that? 🙂

Wearing a pair of these may just make all the difference between a costly tip-over and a good save if your bike starts to unexpectedly go over with you on it.  And the best part of it is that they look just like a regular pair of boots and so no one will know you need help to be able to touch the floor more on your bike.

Now I know that there are short guys out there that may struggle with riding some motorbikes due to the seat height, but please don’t feel left out. The larger sizes of the Daytona Ladystar boots are know by the masculine sounding M-Star, so even the vertically challenged guy can wear them without affecting their masculinity 😉

The boots start at a European size 35 and go through to a size 43. They are only available in black, no bright colours (or pink in the case of the guys sizes) on these babies. A comfortable fit is achieved with both zip and Velcro closures on the legs and with Gore-Tex ™ waterproofing your feet will stay dry as well as warm.

The heels and ankles are armored and will provide protections from abrasion and impact. They also have a reflective patch on the heels, which may help the inattentive drivers around you see that you are there. And for when it rains they have a built in shower proof edging at the top of the boot.

Now the only complaint I can honestly see with these boots is the price. At about the £250 mark they aren’t the cheapest pair of motorcycle boots out there on the market BUT if buying a pair means you can ride the bike of your dreams then surely they are worth it.

Plus.. You may well find that the cost of the boots is less than it would be to have your bike adjusted to fit you!

Plus.. As and when you change bikes they go with you!

Ok.. I know I am really extolling their virtues but they are quite simply a brilliant boot and if you are tired of having to replace bent levers as your bike tips over too easily on you, then maybe, just maybe these are the answer you are looking for.

Check your local dealer, or favourite online store, for details about pricing and availability.

You may also want to take a look at these posts which have more information about choosing a bike and the kinds of bike girls are riding.

Bikes Girls Can Ride

Girls And Modern Sports Bikes

Choosing your First ‘Big’ Bike


Moto-Racing.Co.Uk Offering 10% Off Parts For The Honda CBR600F/CBR600RR

January 19, 2009

I came across this promotion today, Moto-racing.co.uk are offering a brilliant 10% discount on parts for the Honda CBR600F/CBR600RR motorcycle range as a part of their New Year Sale 🙂

Honda CBR600RR

Honda CBR600RR

Click here to visit moto-racing.co.uk to purchase items.

The promotion was originally set to expire on 4th January but has now been extended until the 31st January 2009.

So if you are in need of brake pads, discs, or chain and sprocket sets for your beloved CBR600 motorbike then click on the link below and have a browse round their site.  They stock literally thousands of items.

Simply enter the disount code New Year Sale at checkout under additional information and instantly get 10% deducted from your purchase.

PLUS… Plus if you either have or register for a customer account receive a further 2.5% back in loyalty reward points.

Click here to visit moto-racing.co.uk to purchase items.