Hein Gericke, Oxford – Update

December 11, 2010

As promised in this post, here is a update on the new Hein Gericke store opening near Oxford on the A40 at the Eynsham roundabout.. It’s open 😀

Here are their contact details,

 

Hein Gericke Oxford, Eynsham Roundabout, Eynsham, Oxford. OX29 4EN

TEL. 01865 883307

E.mail oxford@hg-shop.com

 

Being located where it is, it has brilliant access and apparently has excellent parking facilities.  I shall have to pop down there sometime soon and have a nose round 😀

Here’s an online copy of their latest catalogue, just in case you fancy a nose.. (well, Christmas is just round the corner!!!)

Oh and talking of Christmas, they even do a Christmas Wish List you can print off and give to those closest to you 😀


Motorcycle Test Reported To Be In Crisis

December 9, 2010

Now don’t get me wrong, I know there are fewer people taking their bike test since the new one was bought out but I do have issues with the way this is being reported.  Here is the article as it’s being reported online on the Motorcycle News website.

A crisis hitting the number of people taking the motorcycle test is even deeper than previously feared, latest figures show.

Eighteen months after a new Europe-wide test was introduced, the number of people taking it was still barely half the former level.

When bookings dropped drastically following the changeover last year, the Driving Standards Agency said it was temporary and demand would “settle at usual levels again in 2010/11”.

But new DSA figures point to a long-term decline.

In the 16 months leading up to the introduction of the new exam in April 2009, 130,498 people took the old test, a rate of 8156 a month.

But in the 18 months following the changeover, only 73,508 people completed the new test, 4083 a month and almost half the earlier rate.

The Government is conducting a review of the test, which was originally intended to reach conclusions by autumn.

Roads minister Mike Penning said: “The review of the motorcycle test is a top priority for me because I want to make sure that we have a test which prepares bikers properly for the road.

“We have been working with the motorcycle training industry and others to make sure that we are taking all views into account and we will report on findings as soon as possible.”

My problem is in the way these figures are being presented (sorry MCN).

As a lot of you know, the new test was originally scheduled to start in September 2008 but, because of bungling incompetance, so few of the new test centres were ready for use, the implementation of the test was put back about 6 months.  In the lead up to September 2008 thousands upon thousands of people decided to get their bike licence under the old test regime and so booked lessons and their test.  I should know,  I was one of them!!!  I took one look at the new test and thought “S*d that!!!”

During 2008, riding schools all over the country were inundated with trainees learning to ride, which definately skews the figures somewhat, as in a normal riding year fewer people would be taking their test.  Then the test was put back 6 months so that more of the new test centres could be made ready, and those who thought they had missed the original deadline were given a life line and once again the riding schools were booked solid, even though it was winter

According to the DSA  some 130,498 people took their test in the 18 months leading up to the change of test.  I’m pretty damn certain a sizeable number of those were riders who wanted to take the old style test and not the new one.

Now, since the new test started 18 months ago the DSA say that just 73,508 people have taken it, a drop of almost 50% on the previous figures.

BUT…… Seeing as the figures from September 2007 until April 2009 are hardly indicative of the number of people taking their bike test during a ‘normal’ 16 month period, I don’t see how they can be reliably compared with those from May 2009 up until late 2010.

Unless of course you’re attempting to make things look worse than they are 😉


Hein Gericke To Open New Store Near Oxford :-)

November 30, 2010

I got this info in my email update today Smile

Apparently they have just signed the lease on new premises on the Eynsham roundabout on the A40 here.  The postcode for the new shop is OX29 4EN.

Map

According to the email they are looking at opening in early December sometime and more details are to follow.

If you want to sign up for the email updates click here


Update – May 2010.. Re-Selling My BabyBlade And Buying Her Replacement

September 11, 2010

Well, even after my Ebay selling experience in April I was still determined to sell my BabyBlade and buy a bigger bike, so with no small amount of trepidation back on Ebay she went. The watchers soon mounted up again and bidding was swift, especially towards the end of the auction. She once again made reserve so I was happy with the price.

This time though the buyer actually wanted her and promptly paid the deposit I wanted and plans were soon made for her to come and collect her. I actually breathed a sigh of relief at this point and on the 22nd May my 400 went home with her new owner.  I must admit to being quite cut up about seeing her go, but I felt it was for the best and she was going to a lady rider who had just passed her test and, like me when I bought her, fell in love with her in her photos and decided that this was the bike she wanted…

Once she was gone the hunt for a replacement bike was promptly restarted. I’d kinda given up looking for a new bike after the last sale fell through as I was getting annoyed about the whole thing.

As I previously said I was looking for a 600cc – 750cc bike with fairings to take me to and from work all year round.. While I love my Fireblade, the last part of my journey to work is round some very small country lanes and to be honest the Blade isn’t really the best bike for this kind of road, she like to have her legs stretched on bigger ones. I had a hunt round and kinda decided I wanted a ZZR600. It ticked the boxes, well most of them and seeing as it was going to be my daily ride that was good enough for me.   So the hunt started in ernest to find one.

1997 ZZR600

The only thing with them was I wasn’t particularly keen on the tail section, it just looks wrong in my opinion but as it was to be a daily bad weather bike I thought I could put up with it.. If the worst came to the worst I could always do a few mods and change it.

Then one evening while I was trawling Ebay and Bike Trader (To me there is nothing better than bike shopping 😀 ) I came across one of these…….. And promptly fell in love!

Yamaha YZF600R Thundercat

I swiftly changed all my search parameters on the interweb and the hunt was on..  I reckoned I had up to about £1500 to buy one with, what with the proceeds of the BabyBlade sale and the cash I would be able to add to the pot and this meant I should be able to buy summat pretty good with my money 😀

On the same evening I sold my BabyBlade this popped up on Ebay 😀  manufactured in 1997, imported to the UK in 2002, less than 20,000 on the clock and had a whole shed load of money spent in the last year or so on things like a complete new stainless exhaust system, new tyres, new pads, chain and sprockets, etc.

1997 Yamaha YZF600R Thundercat

I immediately sent a message to the owner asking about a buy it now price, we talked on the phone and one was agreed, with the proviso that if the bike wasn’t as it was described I would not be buying it.. The following weekend saw us driving to Portsmouth with the cash and after seeing the bike said money was handed over and she was mine 🙂

Right from the first ride I knew I had picked the right bike for me 😀 While she is a little higher than my Blade with her tweaked seat, and a little heavier, I very soon got used to her.  The higher bars make her so much better to ride into work and she’s seriously comfortable and as for how well she goes.. Lets just say she is more than capable of making the run to and from work an absolute pleasure 😉

Here she is, still on the truck after getting home in the rain.

'Cat On A Truck

And here she is once she’d been scrubbed and polished 😀

1997 Thundercat

1997 Thundercat

1997 Thundercat


My 33bhp Licence Restriction Ends In February 2010

July 15, 2009

And I’m already window shopping for my next bike 🙂

I had already kinda decided what I wanted next and after sitting on one a couple of weeks ago to see if I fitted ok, I have made my mind up that it is definately the bike for me….

One of these….. 🙂

2002 Fireblade, Red

As far me me fitting on the bike, bearing in mind I’m 5′ 3″ tall, I can easily get the balls of both feet on the floor 🙂 the weight of the big blade is about the same as my CBR400, so that won’t be a problem and it felt very comfortable to sit on 🙂 🙂

Best I start saving up for one 🙂

One thing though, I’m gonna have to do something with the exhaust, as and when I get one… It’s flippin HUGE!!!!!!!!!


Totally Unrelated To Bikes – But Good News Anyway!

July 3, 2009

After 6 months, 2 weeks and 5 days I finally managed to get a job 🙂

To say I’m over the moon is an understatement!  I start on Monday 6th July at 9am and I’m going back to working in an office doing the admin and accounts.

I’m so looking forward to Monday morning now 🙂


New Motorcycle Test Under Fire After Series Of Accidents

May 27, 2009

Motorcycle L-Plate The government and the DSA is under increasing pressure to rethink the new motorcycle test after a series of accidents in it’s first few weeks.

On the very first day one young man, in South Yorkshire, suffered a broken arm after crashing while trying to slow in the wet immediately following the new ‘swerve’ manoeuvre, and since then 14 more accidents have been reported.  There was one additional, as yet unreported, accident yesterday when a young lady training at my old bike school also fell off doing the same manoeuvre.  Luckily she was not hurt but was shaken up and bruised.

Instructors, and bikers who have emailed the BBC, have said that trying to perform such a manoeuvre at 31.2 mph (50 kph), while possibly suffering from test nerves, is dangerous, especially when performed on a wet surface.

While the test would probably be fine when done in the dry, new riders who may be tempted to brake and swerve at the same time are likely to come a cropper when trying to do this in the wet.  Bikers are taught very early on in their training that braking when not going in a straight line is a BAD thing to do, and even though the trainees taking their tests are undoubtedly taught the same thing, test nerves may be getting the better of them.

Dexterity Motorcycle Training in Kent tried the test out two years before it was implemented and had this to say about the swerve manoeuvre

The swerve/avoidance test – just simply getting up to the required speed (as on my first run) will catch some out, others will swerve and brake too soon and too hard simultaneously with the front brake and bin it.

Somewhat prophetic words I think, considering what is happening on the tests now.

Jeff Stone of the British Motorcycle Federation had this to say

“There is no real argument with the actual test, but the DSA really do have to take note of ‘real world’ conditions.

“A brake and swerve manoeuvre on a wet road is fraught with danger for even an experienced motorcyclist, so there needs to be a safer option for inclement weather conditions.”

and Paul Turner of the Motorcycle Action Group added

“We don’t mind improvements in the test which will make for better riders, but putting people at risk during the test is ludicrous.”

Expecting novice riders to perform the manoeuvre at the same speed whether it is sunny or chucking it down is going against the instruction we are given as learner riders.  All riders are taught to ride according to the prevailing conditions, something which helps us to stay as safe as we can out on the roads.  We are taught to slow down in the wet, and increase stopping distances, but the DSA is overturning the training and asking new riders to hammer it coming out of a bend towards the swerve part of the test!

Phil Woolley, 28, of Liverpool, tells how he failed the test after completing the swerve slightly below the required speed.  He reckons the size of the test centre makes it difficult to get up to 50 kph without accelerating unsafely.  He says

“Do it at a controlled speed and you will almost certainly fail,” he said. “Or you just floor it as hard as you can and there is a good chance you will pass, but also a risk you will come off.”

Boy, am I glad I passed my test in February 2008, before the new test came into force.  I wouldn’t want to be tackling the new test.

Original Story