Oct 062017


I changed bikes a few weeks ago. I traded my much loved Triumph Tiger Sport 1050 for a Yamaha MT-10.

Last year I let my 16yo self interview me regarding the Tiger – it went about as well as you would imagine. So I thought it would be fun to do it again with the new bike.


16yos: ugly bike dude, what the hell is that ?

It is a Yamaha MT-10 .

16yos: I mean, what the hell is it ?

Technically it is called a Hyper or Super-Naked. It is something close to a Yamaha R1 with less plastic, less top-end rush and way more mid-range oomph. Think of it as a 1000cc sports bike that is road relevant.

16yos: So it is a streetfightered R1 – do you crash it, or is it supposed to be that ugly ?

It actually comes like that, it is much more comfortable than an R1, faster on real roads. Trust me on this, it is way more road-relevent than an R1, much more comfortable and it makes more sense at reasonably legal speeds.

16yos: How fast is it ? Continue reading “Yamaha MT10 – The new bike” »

Aug 102016

A Squid

In motorcycling terms, a squid is the name given to bad rider that wears minimal protective clothing and rides a bike way beyond their abilities.

The term ‘squid’ refers to the way that they look after they have been scraped up off the road.

Sadly, motorcycle licensing in the US is very bad. A license is obtained simply by completing a safety course which contains no street riding and no speeds beyond about 25mph.

Other than a small insurance discount for having passed a test, there is pretty much no incentive. You can simply walk into a dealer and buy the fastest bike on the planet and ride out. Obviously a riding buddy can teach you all you need to know in a few minutes because riding a motorcycle is dirt easy. Right ???

Sometime a wannabe rider will ask experienced bikers for their opinion on a good starter bike. Almost without fail the conversation goes like this.

Q. Hey guys I’m looking to start riding, I’m thinking about getting a Kawaduci 1000RRR as a first bike, is there anything (sic)  I need to know ?

editors note: The more R’s in a bike model name, the more it is aimed at racing use rather than street use. Additionally, 1000cc bikes make 150-200hp and are absolute spaceships, our wannabe rider here is aiming way too high.

Continue reading “Squidly Mc.Squidface” »

Feb 242016

Leader of the Pack.The working title for my game is ‘Lane Splitaz’.

The game itself is fairly simplistic, you are the rider of a moped and you have to split the lanes of traffic under a variety of conditions against the clock….

Level 1 – The easy intro.

Bike – 50cc scooter, no mirrors.
Traffic – Entirely stationary cars
Gaps – about 2M wide

The only difficult section here is that you pretty much have to be totally flat out the whole time to reach the end of the course.  Continue reading “I have this idea for a video game….” »

 Posted by at 10:16 am
Feb 202016

My office is abHeathcliff out 37 miles from home.

If I take the train, it takes about an hour and a half. Assuming everything all works out beautifully. Which is pretty much never the case, because this is the train net and this is England. The station is about ten minutes walk away, the train to Stratford takes about 52 minutes, then it takes about five minutes to walk to the DLR, then about fifteen to twenty minutes to reach Canary Wharf.

The problem is, there are several places that a delay is introduced, the trains are often a few minutes late here and there, or they stop outside Shenfield for a while for reasons that appear to be entirely random.

An hour and half is really a very good trip.

Coming home it is even worse, the trains run every ten minutes or so, in theory. But during January, I was delayed more often than not and I failed to get a seat for about 30% of the trips back, at least for the first 40 minutes or so.

There are other options.  Continue reading “Trains, planes and Automobiles.” »

 Posted by at 4:30 pm
May 182011

As I write this, I am sitting on the sofa watching the F1 race from Monaco, there are about 18 laps to go and unless a car breaks or crashes or some technical problem intervenes then the result is set.

The top ten has been set for something like the last fifty laps.

Initially there was a great deal of ‘fun’ when Alonso, who started in the pit lane, picked off car after car and pulled the same move on several cars, before a safety car session allowed him to jump up the order and create a Ferrari-McLaren-Ferrari sandwich. Given that Alonso is one of the absolute best drivers in the world and he is was in arguably the most expensive cars on the grid he really struggled to get by cars that are several seconds per lap slower. Typically he would catch a car that was five seconds or more up the road in a single lap than spend two laps trying to find his way around it.

The safety car sessions gave Alonso probably as much as thirty seconds back at one time.

Continue reading “Monaco F1” »

Apr 202010

This evening as I made my way home through the ‘rush hour’ traffic, an hour which i feel I need to point out lasts for ‘several hours’ and is completely impossible to rush through, I spotted an extreme Hokey Kokey motorcyclist.

As he pulled up to the (red) traffic lights in front of me he had both feet off the pegs and he sort of dragged his heels for a good twenty yards before finally wobbling almost to a halt a few yards short of the line.  He then accelerated, sort of, by slipping the clutch in what sounded like 5th or 6th gear and almost stalled the bike.

When he finally stopped, still short of the line, he wobbled a little to the left and mashed the back brake (right foot) pedal and stuck his left leg down.

Then he put his right leg down.

And lifted his left leg and mashed the gear lever up and down for a while and found neutral.

So he put his left leg down.

and his right leg up (brake)

and took his hands off the bars.

The engine died with a jolt, it seems that he had a false neutral.

Both hands on bars (both hands in ?)

Clutch and brake pulled

Right leg down

Left leg up, shake and find neutral.

Start motor – both hands in.

Left leg down

Right leg up (brake)

Both arms off (out) and he started the usual bum scratching routine.

The light changed to green. Continue reading “Doin’ the Hokey Kokey” »

 Posted by at 4:06 pm