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London Mayor blaming motorcycle manufacturers for huge bike theft rates is ridiculous!

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Blaming manufacturers for bike theft is like blaming cutlery makers for knife crime.

Motorcycle crime makes for a rather depressing read but the more it is in the news, the more likely something positive will come out of this. Stick it out; maybe light is at the end of the tunnel.

The statistics involved with Motorcycle theft or Motorcycle enabled crime in London are staggering. An average of sixty-four crimes a DAY are committed using motorcycles and Fourteen thousand bikes were stolen last year just in London. There is a world outside of London but these figures are worrying for just one city.

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan held a summit yesterday in City Hall, London in a bid to tackle the crime rates. Khan, invited representatives from Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, BMW and Piaggio to meet with the Met Police to discuss the issue.

The Mayor released this statement:

“Motorcycle-related crime is reckless, frightening, intimidating and will not be tolerated in the capital.

“I have tasked the Met with stemming the increase, and they have responded with targeted intelligence-led operations, increased arrests and new tactics. But this is a problem that cannot be solved with policing alone.

Isn’t this a blatant example of merely passing the buck?

“Today I am bringing manufacturers and partners together to help us stamp it out once and for all.

“It is essential that the manufacturers step up to help us tackle this problem at the source. Put simply, the design of motorcycles make them far too easy to steal and this must be dealt with head-on at the point of design if we are to rid our streets of these crimes.”

Met Territorial Policing Commander Julian Bennet said, “We welcome any initiatives that make stealing these vehicles as hard as possible to curtail the criminal actions of these offenders. This includes working with industry, manufacturers, insurance companies and the motorcycle industry association to identify what can be done to prevent theft and to see what theft prevention measures can be designed into these vehicles for the future.”

Isn’t this a blatant example of merely passing the buck?

Motorcycle crime isn’t the fault of the manufacturers; let’s just correct the Mayor on that one.

Blaming motorcycle thefts on the manufacturers is the same as saying knife crime happens because the knives are too sharp!

Yes motorcycles are easy pickings to a well-equipped thief but you can only protect your bike so much. I commute into London on my bike and always in the back of my mind during the day I’m thinking; will my bike be there come home time? I fit three different aftermarket security devices to maximise the protection. What more can I physically do? Apart from electrifying the bike so if anyone touches it they will get fried.

Most bikes are fairly lightweight; so two thieves will be able to lift any bike into a van if not secured to a fixed object. All disc locks, chains, D-locks and ground anchors will be defeated by an angle grinder. Bike firms will not be able to ‘design out’ motorcycle theft because the end product would be a heavier less agile vehicle, a car.

Manufacturers would have already introduced more secure features if they were readily available. The steering lock is the most basic of defences but even if this were beefed up, there would still be a way round it.

The problem lies with actively stopping the perpetrator before they get close to any bike. Give the police full backing to tackle this mess head on and the statistics will start to decline. If this means harsher tactics and rough justice then so be it. The police should be able to give chase without thinking about health and safety policies.

It is now time for the Mayor to ‘Step up’ and sort out this mess. He has to task all available sources to end this epidemic otherwise someone will be killed due to the actions of motorcycle enabled crime.

It’s not all doom and gloom! Although it’s hard to think of much happiness at the moment, so here’s a picture of a dog in a sidecar instead.

Source: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/mayor-working-to-end-moped-related-crime

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James has been riding motorcycles for 4 years, commutes to his day job on his trusted Yamaha Fazer and loves anything Modern-Retro and customised.

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One Year On: Remembering Nicky Hayden

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The news that Nicky Hayden passed away was devastating to the whole of the motorsport family.


This article first appeared on Motofire on May 22nd 2017. We’ve republished it here today to commemorate the anniversary of Nicky Hayden’s passing.


Nicky was a champion to his core; from the way he raced to his fierce devotion to his family and the way he made time for everyone. He fought for every single position on every lap of every race and never once gave up. He was firm, leaving no room for doubt on track, but he was always fair and he was one of the hardest workers you’ll ever know, even in a world that includes nothing but riders who push themselves to the limit constantly.

In every way, Nicky was a shining star; images of his tear-stained face when he won his championship in 2006 will forever be ingrained in the collective MotoGP memory, his joy was so tangible that you could have wrapped yourself up in it. And that was Nicky, always inclusive. Whether it was a quick-witted remark in that wonderful Kentucky drawl that we’ll miss so much, his easy manner that made him a friend of everyone who knew him or the way he never turned someone away when they wanted a photo or an autograph. Nicky came from a racing family and he became an integral part of an even larger one.

Losing anyone is always heartbreaking but the loss of a rider when they were out training, doing something as everyday as cycling, makes Nicky’s death at just 35 years old even harder to comprehend.

Nicky holds a place in the MotoGP Hall of Fame, his status as a Legend firmly cemented long before he left for World Superbikes. But he holds something even more valuable; a spot in the collective heart of the entire motorcycle racing family.

His accent will forever raise a smile, at least for me, and his own superstar grin will now bring with it an indescribable sadness. But remember Nicky as he would’ve wanted; that fierce big-hearted champion who pushed himself and everyone around him to be their very best and as that young man who brought so much joy and who left us far too soon.

My thoughts are, of course, with all of the Hayden family, Nicky’s fiancee Jackie, his friends and his teams both past and present.

Now, I’m going to wipe away the tears and watch Valencia 2006 again. I hope you join me to remember Nicky Hayden; a champion, a gentleman and a star that can never truly be extinguished.


This article first appeared on Motofire on May 22nd 2017. We’ve republished it here today to commemorate the anniversary of Nicky Hayden’s passing.

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Custom of the week: ‘V09’ BMW R80 by Vagabund Moto

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BMW AIRHEAD CUSTOMS are like AC/DC songs: after a while, it’s hard to tell them all apart. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because the style is usually pleasing to the eye.

But no one could ever accuse Vagabund Moto of following a conventional formula. Their approach is unique and their bikes buck the mainstream trend. So it’s ironic to learn that the owner of this razor-sharp R80 asked Vagabund to replicate the style of a custom R80 they finished two years ago.

Not surprisingly, builders Paul Brauchart and Philipp Rabl weren’t keen on the idea. “We don’t like to remake bikes we’ve done before,” Paul tells us. “So we suggested sketching out a concept that related to the V05—while adding some special parts.”

Paul and Philipp do their wrenching in a workshop in Graz, Austria, and do as much work as possible themselves. “We’re trying to stay a two-man operation for as long as possible,” says Paul. “We’re good friends and perfectionists. It’s hard to think about trusting someone else, or giving up our awesome workshop relationship.”

The pair started out with a relatively fresh classic tourer: a 1992 R80 RT with only 25,000 km on the dial. And thanks to BMW’s historically good build quality, there wasn’t much engine work needed.

“We took apart the engine and carbs, checked everything, and replaced the not so good parts. And then blasted and painted it.”

Getting the striking Vagabund ‘look’ meant ditching the bodywork though, apart from the fuel tank—but even that’s not quite original. The back end of the tunnel has been closed off, where the gap would normally be blocked by the bulky OEM seat.

Just behind it is a svelte new perch. Vagabund designed the tail hump digitally, then got it 3D printed. It means they could pack a ton of detail into a small space—from the multi-faceted upholstery by Christian Wahl, to the sculpted recess under the tail that hides an LED back light.

Everything sits on top of a custom-made subframe, and the main frame’s been liberated of any unneeded mounts. The rear’s now propped up by a new YSS shock. The wheels are stock, but the rear’s clad in a pair of glass fiber-reinforced plastic covers.

Up front, Vagabund shortened the forks by 60 mm, milled and powder coated the lower legs, and added a pair of fork boots. There’s a custom-made top triple clamp too, playing host to an integrated Motogadget speedo.

The handlebars are from LSL, and have been trimmed down. They wear a Grimeca master brake cylinder, a Domino clutch lever, and custom switches in a 3D-printed housing. There’s a small headlight out front, and a pair of Motogadget bar-end turn signals.

The rest of the bike’s been treated with equal consideration. It’s sporting a set of Continental ContiRoadAttack tires, K&N filters, and a Supertrapp muffler attached to the modified stock headers. And then there’s that striking livery, quite unlike any other we’ve seen, and expertly applied by Graz neighbors i-flow.

But it’s what’s missing that’s just as important: there’s no mess of wires vying for your eye’s attention. The bike’s been totally rewired, with a new diode board and two tiny Ultrabatt lithium-ion batteries, hiding under the tank.

“It’s very important to take care of every cable and braking line, and so on,” says Paul. “Even the handlebars are as clean as possible. It’s one of our biggest jobs to do a totally minimalist wiring setup, and we put a lot of work into parts that nobody ever sees.”

Despite the sano approach, this BMW is completely street legal in Austria. On top of the usual lighting, there’s a license plate bracket at the back that holds a pair of tiny Motogadget turn signals—with just the right amount of visibility to check legal boxes.

“It’s really difficult,” says Paul. “Every light has to be ECE-approved, and has to be mounted at the right angle and position. We have to examine all our builds and every point of customization with a civil engineer before we‘re able to (hopefully) pass the vehicle license authority.”

Titled ‘V09,’ this BMW leaves us thunderstuck. It hits the mark with its stance, proportions and finishes—so we’re counting it as another win for the Austrian duo.


This article first appeared on Bike Exif; It’s republished here with permission.

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