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Mad4bikes

Passionate about Motorcycles

  • Sena 20s Dual Bluetooth Motorcycle Intercom

    We have a handful of the Sena 20s Dual Bluetooth motorcycle helmet intercom headsets at a bargain price of £329.99. That is a saving of £150 off the RRP.

    These are brand new, sealed UK stock and carry a full manufacturer’s warranty.

    The Sena 20S state of the art Motorcycle Bluetooth intercom system helps you to enjoy your ride by keeping you in touch with up to eight of your buddies in crystal-clear HD audio, up to 2.0 km (1.2 miles) away, through the Group Intercom™ feature. You can also listen to your music and your sat nav directions.

    Sena’s 20S is the ideal universal Bluetooth headset for your motorcycle helmet, which uses the Universal Intercom™ protocol so it can be used with all Sena and non-Sena Bluetooth headsets on the market.

    Each headset comes with a full set of accessories to suit every helmet application along with a charging lead.

    We used the Sena 20s on two trips this year; one from Milton Keynes to Caernarfon in North Wales and another where we travelled to Bilbao in Spain via ferry and then rode across the Pyrenees down into the south of France. The Sena 20s transformed the ride for me, not only being able to listen to my music and directions from the sat nav but also because I could talk freely with my travel companions. Not only could we comment on the beautiful scenery but we could also relay the road conditions and whether it was safe to overtake the odd slow vehicle in front.

    UK delivery is free at Mad4bikes on all orders over £25.

    If you prefer to speak with someone about your purchase please call our sales team on 01792 653664.

  • Sick ZX6-R Ninja In Da Shed

    It was one of the best sports 600s in its day, now it’s largely overlooked by those wanting a sporty middleweight, but we’ve still got a huge soft spot for the Kawasaki ZX6-R G model.

    The original F model came and went pretty quickly, but when Kawasaki took their second bite of the ZX6-R cherry they created a right blinder. It looked sharp, and even had ram air fitted, it sounds posher than it actually was. Basically it was a couple of tubes of plastic that stuck air inside the air box, it did have another thrill, that was the induction roar it created. It’s pretty big for just a 600, many of the body work panels were identical to its big brother, the ZX9-R C.

    Twenty odd years later and there’s still plenty of these ‘Ninja’ models doing the rounds, this one just rolled up at the Mad4Bikes shed. We keep toying with the idea of a winter project, this might be it? It’s well tidy and there’s no signs of any crash damage, other than a scratch on the tank it’s pretty mint in the bodywork stakes.

    There is a large blue bottle in the ointment though, it’s got a poorly engine, well to me more precise it’s got a sick gearbox. All of the gears are there, it just takes a lot of effort to find them.

    Being a popular model there’s no shortage of used parts out there propping up shelves at either bike breakers or in people’s sheds, with the help of the internet it’s easy enough to find a replacement engine, which would be much less aggro than stripping and repairing this troublesome motor.

    The bike warrants repairing, it’s in good order and there’s even a few nice touches like a carbon rear hugger and a tinted screen. We’ll do our sums, add it all up and see if it’s a cost effective path to tread.

  • There Are Old Riders and There Are Bold Riders, but There Are No Old, Bold Riders……

     

     

     

    The avid reader of my inaugural blog entry may remember that I had booked on a Bikesafe Course to get me restarted on the Tiger in a roadcraft-worthy manner. The idea being that I could pick up some useful information and stay alive in the process. Nothing at all to do with the fact that the course is fully subsidized by local authorities and lunch is included!

    The course is held at a Fire Station just on the northern edge of Swansea. Mid & West Wales Fire Service have been extremely active in the last few years in the Road Safety arena, and quite a few of the Bikesafe courses in South Wales are held at Fire Stations. There were 12 riders there for the course, across all age groups. The course was led by a serving Police Motorcyclist who was joined (just in time for lunch!) by 3 more Police Bikers, who would be doing the afternoon assessments. There were also some RoSPA Gold Riders helping out with the assessing.

    The morning session comprised various videos of different scenarios such as cornering, overtaking, road positioning etc and plenty of discussion on each video. It was quickly apparent just how many of us had read the Highway Code since passing their test! (A clue to how long ago I did my test – the examiner was on foot walking around the block and jumping out every so often to tell me what to do).

     

    The afternoon session was practical with observed rides with regular stops for feedback. The Bikesafe course is not formally assessed, but they do provide feedback during the rides, and then a written assessment after. Its then up to the rider if they want to go on higher-level courses and obviously further improvement. I was lucky enough to be 1 to 1 with my observer, but some were 3 riders to 1 observer.   We headed North and ultimately covered about 90KM on the ride, with a (free) lunch stop at the Owl’s Nest Tea Stop in Llandovery (a VERY biker friendly café), and then back towards Swansea over the Black Mountains. (See route on map). Lots of different types of roads covered, and lots of thinking was carried out!

     

    The whole idea of the training is to be in the right place, in the right gear at the right time. It’s all about making smooth, safe progress and avoiding the hazards of modern driving (e.g. other drivers). It certainly makes you think. There is quite a bit to take in, and it definitely has helped me feel more confident. I also recognize that you never stop learning so once I have got a few more miles in I will be looking to try the next level of training which includes a formal assessment and grading that is recognized by DVSA. It can lead to cheaper insurance, but even if it doesn’t I like the fact that I’m reducing my risk of being in an accident in the first place.

    Rich

  • This weekend we're heading off for a jolly to the Stafford Classic Bike Show

    This weekend we’re heading off for a jolly to the Stafford classic bike show.

    As shows go its one of the better ones on the yearly list of biking events.

    The thing that we enjoy is the auto jumble, who doesn’t love rummaging through old bike parts that are rusty, greasy or sometimes both! Then only to discover that seller wants an eye watering amount for them.

    The art of having a haggle lives on at the auto jumble, though these days the fun is often short lived when traders say that’s their best price. I’d get more on Ebay.

     

    Away from the pleasure of the jumble fields there’s all of yesterdays sat inside, think of any bike from the 70s, 80s and 90s and the chances are you’ll find one inside, each one polished and sat there like an animal at the zoo. From FS1-Es to Z1300s they’ll all be inside in the warm.

     

    The people who own these bikes are dead friendly, they are keen to discuss the pleasure and pain of their classic bike ownership.

     

     

    Here’s a few essentials to take with you if you fancy a Stafford mooch.

    Let’s start with the important stuff, food!

    Take a packed lunch and some drinks. The pros will have a flask and fancy sandwiches within their multitude of Tupperware tubs, the rookies will have a carrier bag that contains some energy drinks and a tube of Pringles. Try and aim to be somewhere in the middle, avoid heavy items, it’s a long day, and you’ll be carrying it around! 

    Money - Sounds an obvious one doesn’t it? With most traders wanting cash for their wares make sure you grab some bucks before going. Besides, have you ever tried to haggle with a Switch card? It’s awkward. Cash is king. 

    Pace yourself - There’s so much to see so don’t spend too long jibber jabbering with people on stands, etc. Just when you think you’ve seen it all you’ll find another hall to explore.  

    Get there early - Another obvious statement, but take notice. Car parking can create tail backs on the main road to the show ground, it’s not unheard of to be squared wheeled for an hour or so, or you could just go on your bike.

    We will be taking our camera, so look out for updates on our Facebook page!

  • Mad4Bikes Essential Biking Kit, XCP Professional chain lube

     

    Chain lubes all pretty much do what they say on the tin, and that’s to lubricate the chain on your motorcycle.

    XCP might be relative newbies to the motorcycle market, but since 2010 they’ve been winning over motorcyclists with their XCP Professional chain lube.

    The 400 ml aerosol can comes with a purpose made applicator that sits in the lid of the can. The short applicator allows you to point and squirt the lube exactly where you need it, which is directly on the links of your chain. Unlike some lubes that splatter their way from the tin, we’ve all experienced those ones! XCP use the thinnest and oiliest lube out there in this competitive area of the market. The combination of these factors mean the lube doesn’t get wasted at point of contact, and even better it stays on the chain. There’s nothing worse than trying to wash a rear wheel that’s soaked up more lube than your chain. It even smells nice!

    We’ve stuck a tin in the Mad4Bikes shed, and from previous experiences we know any visitors will want to try it for themselves. Priced at only £9.99 check out our website to get your tin of XCP Professional chain lube.

  • XCP Professional Fast Drying universal parts cleaner

     

    What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than killing a few hours in the Mad4Bikes Shed.

    With the radio tuned to some local station that doesn't play music aimed at kids I'm finally ready to reach for the next can we're adding to our shed essentials.

    Today it's a 400 ml can of XCP universal parts cleaner. If it is good enough for the Honda BSB racing team then its good enough for us.

    A quick read of the blurb on the can reveals just how universal this product is. It's suitable for many tasks that you might tackle on your bike. These include engine parts, electrical components and general mucky jobs like removing grease and grime.

    Like the XCP chain lube we've already used there's a stumpy nozzle located in the lid, simply pop that in the nozzle and we're ready for action.

    One of the bikes in the Mad4Bikes Shed is a 21 year old Kawasaki AR50, perfect for testing the XCP product on. I take aim and spray the air cooled 49cc motor, no real technical approach, just aim, squirt and stand back.

    Unlike other general cleaners that come in aerosol form this product drys very fast. The can boasts it drys fast; I defo would upgrade that to very fast.

    With some fresh rag I get rubbing between the fins on the cylinder head, my effort is rewarded with plenty of grubby residue over my clean rags. Like other XCP sprays there's a nice whiff with this one, there's also real force when you press that nozzle, this stuff means business.

    First impressions are what we base our judgement on and after listening to Ed Sheeran banging on about some Irish Lass on the radio I realise I've given the whole righthand side of the AR motor a birthday, and even tried to clean up the carb.

    This is worthy addition to our Shed Essentials and once I finish writing this I'm going to spruce up the other side of AR50s engine.

  • Mad4Bikes Fazer 1000

    After picking off a few more annoying stickers I was ready to rumble. The Fazer only needed a brief taste of choke to catch its breath and fire into life. It’s one of my ‘things’ not to let bikes idle on choke, I’m much more of a jump on and knock it off as quickly as possible.

    First rides of a new bike can often be a disappointment, thankfully that wasn’t the case with the Fazer. Other than wasting time trying to set the mirrors to a point where I could see what was happening behind me, it was a straight forward maiden voyage.

    The engine dominates this bike, not only visually but also in your experience. A retuned R1 lump is never going to be a slouch, but that doesn’t prepare you for the ‘whoosh’ when you kick it down a cog and send the needle on the analogue around to the red part of the dial. There’s around 140bhp lurking between my legs; that’s a lot of horses all running for the gate. So far, so good.

    Stopping is equally important as propelling myself towards the horizon. Another refugee from the R1 are the brakes. The Fazer uses the same discs and the now famous blue spot calipers. Then why are the brakes on my bike not impressing me? They aren’t bad, just not overly brilliant. The calipers might be R1 spec, but the master cylinder isn’t so meaty, and without checking I’m guessing the pads aren’t the raciest compound available? Perhaps the biggest factor is the Fazer weighs much more than the skinny latte R1.

    There’s defo room for some improvements in the braking department. Braided lines are also something that I need to invest in, those original hoses are now 13 years old.

    Having worked out I could go fast and stop I headed off for the lanes of Cambridgeshire to see if there was anything else I could learn. Mile after mile of empty lanes with varying road surfaces did nothing to upset the Fazer and its rider.

    Stopping for some fuel I gathered my thoughts and with the tank brimming I went to pay. Before I’d even got to the door of the garage I was already looking back at my bike, that’s always a good sign, its part of bonding with your machine. That poxy carbon can thankfully was on my blindside, the moment was rom com perfect.

    With a tank of unleaded and remembering to tax it online, I’m set to get some miles on those retro dials.

  • Yamaha Fazer 1000 ‘The Moochers Machine

    Yamaha Fazer 1000 ‘The Moochers Machine’

    Riding everyday calls for a bike that’s a Jack of all trades. There’s no shortage of contenders on the market, but chuck in the need for decent value for money and the field starts to shrink.

    My needs meant that I required a 750cc plus bike, so I started a search. I also had a self-imposed budget of £2,000 to find a bike that ticked all of my boxes.

    I obviously was not going to land a new bike, and I have no interest in PCP plans, so it was off to the small ads for a rummage.

    EBay was my first port of call and a few things caught my eye. This included a few Bandit 1200s and a Blackbird 1100XX. I’ve owned both of these models in the past, and although I know they’re both solid options I fancied something different. Ploughing through some Facebook pages I stumbled upon a Fazer 1000 for sale, it was local-ish and belonged to an old friend! His asking price was above my budget, but I struck up a conversation anyway. If you don’t ask, you don’t get? Right…

    After ping pong via messenger I had charmed him down by £600 and into my £2,000 kitty!

    A virtual handshake was made and a few days later it was delivered to me.

    Buying blind can be a gamble, we’ve all had that sinking feeling when the transit doors are flung open and you get a first glimpse of your ‘new’ bike. It always reminds me of child birth, watching a bike roll from the darkness of the van down the plank and into my life. Before both tyres have touched the ground I’ve checked it to make sure that all of its fingers and toes are present. I smile, I like it.

    For a 13-year-old bike it looks fresh, it’s done 22,000 miles, there’s no service history and only one key, a typical used bike transaction. Both tyres look new, the chain is hooked up to newish sprockets and the paintwork looks great. I immediately peel off some Rossi inspired stickers and stand back to admire my bike. The blue anodised tat isn’t to my taste, so that’ll be whipped off at some point. I am also not overly keen on carbon cans, so that will be going to. Beyond that I’m more than happy, there’s even half a tank of unleaded inside the tank!

    With my dinner going cold the Fazer is pushed inside the garage, my first ride can wait until the morning.

  • Grabbing a Tiger by the Tail...

    Grabbing a Tiger by the Tail…

    It has been 20 odd years since I owned a motorbike, and for the last 9ish of those I have been working in the bike industry. Living in a flat with nowhere to keep a bike safely was the major concern, apart from lack of funds.

    After a few significant changes recently someone asked me why I didn’t have a bike; and it started to occur to me that there wasn’t actually a good reason. This opened up a whole world of questions; what bike? New or used? Where would I go? Am I still able to ride? Is there as much cake involved as there is in cycling? Can I get a helmet on and wear my glasses?

    I started looking at all the manufacturer’s websites, as well as looking to see what extra bits I could get from the brands we work with at Mad4bikes. There is a lot to choose from these days, along with some very tempting finance deals. I decided I would like something in the adventure style, and narrowed it down to the BMW F800GS or the Triumph Tiger 800. A visit to my nearest dealer for each brand on a wet Tuesday afternoon did not see me greeted or even spoken to by anyone. I must have looked like someone who shouldn’t own a motorbike!

    Thankfully, having a few friends in the trade led me to a very helpful Triumph dealer and a deal was struck for the Tiger 800XRx. I had seen the rumours of an imminent new model, but I figured it was unlikely to come with a better deal.

    So I’m now the proud owner of a lovely shiny new Tiger 800. Insurance was pleasantly reasonable, proving there can be an advantage to the more mature years (just need to find another one). I have the added bonus of a set of chunky panniers to put “stuff” in when I need to, or just to potter around town looking like I could cross the Andes at a moments notice. Remember folks image is everything.

    Having spent quite a lot of the last 20 years cycling, I think my observational skills are well honed (unlike every other driver of course) but nonetheless a bit of refresher training can’t do any harm. I have therefore booked myself on a Bikesafe course with the added bonus of it being funded by the local authority.

    For now though my biggest concern is what do I want to get for the bike? A top box…but which one? A taller screen perhaps so I can cross the Andes in comfort (or at least get to Aldi)? Should I get an alarm or a tracker? Some spot lights in case its dark when I leave Aldi? Engine bars to protect the bike (mainly from me)? The list goes on, as do the options for each of the bits I have thought about.

    Watch this space folks. If anyone reads this, I may be coerced into writing more….

    Rich

  • Welcome to the Mad4Bikes virtual shed

    Welcome to the Mad4Bikes virtual shed; there’s a massive clue in our name that we’re mad for bikes.

    So, we’ve created our own corner on our website to talk about the bikes we own, would like to own and the products we use to keep them on the road and looking good.

    We’ll be blogging about what we get up to, the places we visit and the tinkering we do.

    We will also use as many products from our website as we can, from everyday items through to more dedicated kit.

    We’ll be creating the Mad4Bikes shed and kitting it out with workshop essentials.

    We are all very excited about the plans ahead and we would also love to hear from our customers on what items you find your motorcycle experience is enhanced by using.

    Keep an eye on our website for regular blog posts from the Mad4Bikes squad.

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