UPDATE : 05/12/2018 : I have managed to bring my image count to under 1000 on the Flickr platform. That should mean the rest of the galleries are safe, however I will be moving them all off Flickr. Their unbelievable greed has made them a non-entity of a platform to me. Good luck to all who continue to use it, but honestly there are alternatives!
First it was Photobucket – now Flickr has went down the pay to use model and has DOUBLED its prices from its previous Pro Option.
That puts it out of my price band – and means I need to find an alternative.
Remember this is not a commercial blog and is funded from my own pocket.
After a couple of days of testing and setting it up I believe I have got it so that I can link Google Photos Galleries into my posts. Hopefully. Please Google – stay blog friendly! Please!
Motorcycle Live 2018 ran this year from 17th – 25th November, so now that is over I can post up a few photographs along with my thoughts on the show and what I saw this year without having to issue a spoiler.
This year saw 4 halls filled with the current (and upcoming) offerings of 40 manufacturers along with a chance to test ride numerous machines both on the road and on the ever popular Adventure course where you can test on the most popular adventure bikes on a well thought indoor track. It’s not taxing, not difficult at all, but it is fun.
The Live Arena was also present and what was previously a showcase for Arena Cross this year was taken over by Moto Cirque and what these guys can do on such a small stage really is spectacular. If you get that the chance to see their show in full, take it.
Other than that it is all about the bikes and I have composed a gallery of over 100 photos for your viewing pleasure but first I am going to point out a few of my highlights…
Have you ever thought that you fancy trying something other than the usual Sunday run out on the bike, along the same route, with your head down and bum up?
If so have you ever considered long distance motorcycling?
That is what the Iron Butt Association is all about. Safe, enjoyable long distance motorcycle riding that gets you out and about to places you probably haven’t seen before, or take routes or challenges that you probably had never even thought of before.
“The 60,000+ members of the Iron Butt Association are dedicated to safe, long-distance motorcycle riding. Although based in the United States, we have thousands of enthusiastic members throughout the globe! One of our more popular slogans is, “The World Is Our Playground.”
Having been a member of the Iron Butt Association for a few years now I thought I would give their 2018 Photo Rally a go.
The info on their site sums it up pretty well :
The locations are spread all over the island of Ireland and the route between them amounts to many thousands of miles.
I’m sure you could plan a route and tackle every location across a few days (reducing the mileage), but personally I used my free time over the summer months and probably took about 5 or 6 individual day trips to gather up all the checkpoints.
Some of those days trips were very long. For example my final trip took in the far west and south west of Ireland coming from Northern Ireland that specific trip, which took in 4 bridges started at 7.00am and finished at 1.30am and consumed about 780 miles.
But long mileage is all part of the Iron Butt Challenge, so if you enjoy full days in the saddle, seeing parts of the country (world even) that you probably didn’t even know about Photo Rallies are a good way to go about it and there are plenty of them about. Most motorcycle clubs, and the bigger Internet forums all offer Photo Rallies, so now that winter is here have a good look about and see what may take your fancy for the next year.
Seiko recently announced three new limited edition “Black Series” Prospex dive watches, which were released in the first quarter of 2018.
These three Prospex watches take existing vintage designs and redo them in a modern and popular black scheme – a design idea that is unlikely to fail.
Aggressive, legible, and handsome, the black dials, tan hour markers, and white & orange hands (done in Seiko’s Lumibrite) keep from messing up the original aesthetic of the pieces.
Seiko state that the Black Series watches are inspired by night diving and are designed to achieve maximum legibility.
With a reported (but unnumbered) sole batch of 300, these limited editions are sure to be much sought after by any Seiko collector.Some have reported a mere 30 items were initially made available to the UK – that however I can not confirm.
Another glorious day on the Isle of Man. So it was off to the course to have a few runs round the Mountain Road before heading to a new vantage point to watch the evening’s qualifying / practice sessions.
The first thing I noticed was the iconic house that I knew as the ‘PokerStars House’ was now the ‘Honda House.’
Missing getting over the mountain in 2016 I watched the session from this park – it is a good viewing area if you ever visit.
If you look towards the house you will see lots of bikes parked up. That’s because the Mountain section was closed due to a collision, unfortunately this year this was an all too common occurrence.
My trip over to this year’s (2018) Isle of Man TT Races got me there just in time for the final race session from the Billown Circuit, – the Pre-TT in Castletown. This session is generally held on the Monday at the start of practice week however this year it has been moved to the Sunday (one day before). This works well as it means you can sit relax and enjoy the racing without having to worry about getting to your chosen spot on the TT Circuit for the Monday night practice.
Also the Sunday night of practice week was traditionally a bit slack, with very little going on. That has now all changed as we now have racing all day and evening.
The Pre-TT runs in Castletown, Isle of Man on the Billown Circuit on the Friday, Saturday (1st Day of Practice) and Sunday. This year that was 25th – 27th May but to be sure you keep up to date subscribe to the TBNI.Blog Road Racing Calendar – it automatically updates so you will never miss another meeting! http://tbni.blog/road-racing-calendar/
The Southern 100 series markets itself as ‘the Friendly Races’ and ‘Road Racing’s Biggest Secret’ and that’s a pretty fair representation.
This muti bike start meeting covers classics, junior and senior as well as classic suberbikes and sidecars.
The crowds are not massive (they deserve to be) – the people are friendly the pits are wide open with the riders all working hard and happy to interact with the spectators.
If you like a grandstand there are a couple near to the start / finish line where seats start at the princely sum of £1.00!
Drinks, food, refreshments, souvenirs etc are all there and all reasonably priced – all in all this is a great meeting, very akin to any of the Irish / Northern Irish National meetings and although the crowds weren’t huge it has a very loyal following with plenty of visitors coming from the Emerald Isle (and all over) purely for this meeting and the heading home before the TT proper even gets underway. That in itself is a fine testament to this meeting and it really should make it onto everyone’s to do list.
Check out the results of the 2018 Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races here :
After a glorious and incident free Thursday night Saturday Race Day had a lot to live up to!
It did live up to it and then some!
With a reported 120,000 visitors to Northern Ireland’s North Coast the sun came, it was scorching – the crowds came – they were loving it – and the racing came – with the world’s best road racers putting on a show the like the North West hadn’t seen for years.
It was a true spectacle, road racing at its finest and – incident free. Only one red flag, new comer Nadieh Schoots came off at University and thankfully only suffered a badly bruised leg.
This was exactly what the NW200 needed after a few less that perfect years and was a real testament to everyone involved coupled with a little luck (weather) – but we all need a little luck sometimes!
Thursday night’s racing was sun-kissed, fast, contested and incident free. A superb night on Northern Ireland’s North Coast and I am happy to bring you a full gallery covering all the action from the evening’s three races. It was the perfect set up for the 2018 NW200 Race Day Saturday…
(For info these photographs were taken on the Portrush side of the Juniper Hill Chicane – about 300m before the chicane.)