The 2018 Northern Ireland Motorcycle Festival (MotorcycleFest) ran at the Eikon Centre, Lisburn from Friday 2nd February 2018 – Sunday 4th February 2018. The event has been running at the Eikon Centre since 2016 and seems to be going from strength to strength.
Rumours have been rife since late 2017 that John McGuinness could find himself on top of a lush silver Norton in 2018. However with this weeks earlier announcement of Josh Brookes on the 2018 Norton – and that was it – it seemed that the rumour of John McGuinness as his team mate had died a death.
Breaking news : John McGuinness to get a seat on a 2018 #Norton! (Not actually breaking – I just made it up but I’d happily place a moderate wager on it). @iom_tt#waitandsee
Disclaimer : Having completed the Wild Atlantic Way in under a week I thought a reasonable time period to complete the North Coast 500 would be two days. However you will notice that this ride report actually covers four days – so what’s that about? Well it’s simply about travel. One day to get to the start and one day takes me home. So really it’s a four day trip to Scotland, during which I completed the NC500 in two.
Day 1 : 29/07/2016 : Two of us set off on this journey, myself on my 2014 BMW F800GS Adventure, my mate on his Kawasaki ZX10R. Yep an adventure bike and a sports bike are heading to the Highlands.
The day starts of at Belfast heading to Cairnryan on the 07:30 am ferry. At 07:30 am the most important thing is breakfast and at £10.00 for a fry I am expecting a great breakfast. Nope – not great at all. It tasted alright but the portions were beyond miserable. The beans consisted of 3 lonely individuals drowning in a sea of watered down tomato sauce. One good point is that if you buy a cup of tea / coffee your refills are free. Maybe the £10 fries subsidise the hot drinks bill?
Here are a few tips for this ferry :
1. Get a McD’s breakfast on the way to the boat.
2. Sit in the bar – not the restaurant. FIFA on an xBox was in the bar.
3. Find someone a bit secluded on the boat – the bodies (by the time you move off) will be strewn about everywhere, the noises are like when zombies fall asleep with a sinsus infection. People really need to try sleeping the night before their journey!
On a plus note through the weather was glorious! My fingers were crossed it stays this way!
The Iron Butt Association (IBA) is a US-based organization dedicated to endurance motorcycle riding with a claim of over 60,000 members worldwide who tout themselves as the “World’s Toughest Riders.” One of its more popular slogans is “The World Is Our Playground.”
The IBA does have membership in a traditional sense. There are monthly newsletters sent to subscribed members. There are no mandatory yearly dues, although members can voluntarily pay an annual fee to become a premiere member. Premiere members receive occasional news and information from the IBA staff, early notice of some events, additional chances to enter some events, discounted entry fees for some events, and access to special areas of the web-based discussion board.
The IBA is a loose-knit organization with only one way to earn membership: ride one of the several rides the IBA certifies.
All that sounds pretty accurate. You can check out the official IBA Websites here :
I think pretty much every motorcyclist now accepts that hearing protection is an essential piece of kit.
For years it was a very neglected part of motorcycle safety, however now we are well aware of the dangers of prolonged exposure to loud noises. In fact some reports state that a mere 30 minutes of exposure to motorcycle engine noise is dangerous enough to potentially cause long term damage to a person’s ears.
Being honest though I came a little late to the hearing protection idea.
However since starting using hearing protection I have been using or rather trying out a lot of different options, from disposables to a pretty expensive custom fitted set of ear plugs and struggled to find my ideal set. I found the disposables pretty good – however they tended to work their way out of my ear over a pretty short period of time. Comfort wise I found them spot on, but there isn’t much point in wearing something that doesn’t stay in your ear.
Then take the custom made ear plugs. I got these in work so didn’t personally fork out for them – thankfully. I have no doubt they offer top class protection however they are so uncomfortable that they actually verge on painful – and that pain comes quickly, maybe after an hour or two my ears and head are thumping.
Then I have tried numerous reusable options -which all have a similar look to this reviewed product :