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The Rider's Digest

The Rider's Digest Motorcycle Magazine

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Portraits of the TT 2012

on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 | By

It had been 10 years since my first and last visit to the Isle of Man for the TT races, back in 2002 I had just changed jobs, as I finished my training the TT trip arrived and off we set. That year it was Myself, Rob, Des, my brother Hamish and an Australian who I have only ever known as Goatf**cker. That year we camped at Union Mills, it was a fantastic couple of weeks and...

Riders’ Lives – Hazel Drury

on Sat, Mar 9, 2013 | By

1. What was your first motorcycling experience? As a teenager of 14 when my older brother bought an AR50. I thought it was so cool but my parents thought otherwise. I was banned from ownership, and needless to say, bought my first bike (Yammy RXS100) when I left home and went to medical school. 2. What is your current bike? My roadbike is a purple Ducati Monster S2R800. I...

Book Review – What did happen to the British motorcycle industry?

on Fri, Mar 1, 2013 | By

British motorcycles – British iron, or Britiron as it is known by many – possesses a legendary, near sacred, status in my country. The craving for Britiron was once so strong here in the US that it was the third largest import from the UK, after automobiles and whisky. Up to 90% of the motorbikes produced by factories in the Midlands wound up in North America (Canada was...

Riders’ Lives – John Rushworth

on Sat, Feb 9, 2013 | By

1. What was your first motorcycling experience? Picture the character known as Kilroy, Mr Chad in UK or Foo was here, from down under. There I was hands on the bars peeking over the headlamp cowl. Well it wasn’t a real motorbike but my Dad’s scooter. Aged 5, I use to stand on the running boards, between his legs for safety, peaking over the front, wind in my hair...

Riders’ Lives – Nik Samson

on Sun, Dec 9, 2012 | By

1. What was your first motorcycling experience? Umm, think I was about 12. My uncle had a C50 (or 70 or 90, dunno) and he let me have a quick go up the drive of his house in Old Buckenham in Norfolk. Well, that’s what he intended me to do anyway – I actually just disappeared off down the road, sans lid, round the village and came back about 10 mins later to a right royal...

Love & Biking

on Sat, Nov 17, 2012 | By

A love affair with tarmacadam ends in battered souls I’m not on my bike today. I’ve drawn the curtains and wander moodily from room to room – Charles Aznevor plays on the stereo and every now and then I find I’m singing along with tears on my cheeks. It’s the end of a long love affair and the sun shining outside is too strong for this raw soul to bear. “Music I...

Riders’ Lives – Paul H. Smith

on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 | By

1.What was your first motorcycling experience? Learned to ride in the snow and ice on a 1964 Yamaha YG1, without front brakes. Learned a lot about crashing, too.   2.What is your current bike? I have a few, but my main is a BMW R1200GS Adventure. 3.What bike would you most like to ride/own? I currently have the hots for a Ural Gear-Up. I’m also pining for a F800GS...

Riders’ Lives – Mark Williams

on Tue, Oct 9, 2012 | By

1. What was your first motorcycling experience?    Rigid frame BSA Bantam, considering that I learned to ride it around a Northumbrian slag-heap, it was rather unwisely hand-painted white. 2. What is your current bike? Near-mint 1985 Honda CBX750F 3. What bike would you most like to ride/own?  Another Laverda Jota, preferably with a 120 crank. Never should’ve sold...

Book Review – Of Tarmac and Tourists

on Tue, Sep 11, 2012 | By

A young African-American in leathers snaps a photograph of his KTM alongside a Triumph and a Suzuki parked on Jones Street in Greenwich Village. He is probably unaware that he is around the corner from Fourth Street, where positively Bob Dylan once rode his Triumph. This rider is more than a little reticent about why he takes the picture with his smartphone, even to a kindly-disposed,...

Riders’ Lives – Harri Fossett

on Sun, Sep 9, 2012 | By

1.What was your first motorcycling experience? One of my earliest memories was my dad taking me out on his Norton commando. But the first solo rider I had was on a Suzuki RM250 when I was about 7yrs old. Another one of those days I was out with my dad on the back of the bike. I was bombing around the field, chatting away to my dad turned my head to see him and he wasn’t...

From the Editor ~ 169

on Thu, Aug 2, 2012 | By

The floor in our kitchen and all the way through to the back door is a sea of shiny black granite. It was one of the things that attracted us to the house; it looks classy and its smooth surface makes it dead easy to wipe up any spillages. It is also – as I discovered very recently – as slippery as a well-worn manhole cover liberally splashed with diesel, if you happen...

Book Review – Riders and Roadcraft (Part II)

on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 | By

Whenever I examine a book about riding motorcycles, the image of a beginning rider with the book resting on the handlebars comes to mind. When the rider comes to the next problem, he or she tries to stop, look up the answer, and proceed, but can’t, with the obvious humorous results, all suitable for the next male menopause comedy, if that bit of business hasn’t been used...

Riders’ Lives – Dan Walsh

on Mon, Jul 9, 2012 | By

1. What was your first motorcycling experience? Sixteen, pillion on a K75 BMW ridden by Ian, my then-best-girl’s dad, into the Macclesfield hills. It felt impossibly, terrifyingly fast. After ten seconds I was swallowing screams and wanting to get off. After ten minutes I was whooping hollers and wanting us to go on, on, on. He encouraged my giddy teen obsession with...

Book Review – Riders and Roadcraft (Part I)

on Sun, Jul 1, 2012 | By Dave

One of the great pleasures of collecting and reading old motorcycling books are the glimpses into riding in years, if not decades, gone by. The Rudge Book of the Road, for example, was published by Rudge Whitworth Ltd in Coventry between the wars to help buyers of Rudge motorcycles better enjoy their new vehicles. “In presenting this book to you, we hope we shall add still...

Riders’ Lives – Llewelyn Pavey

on Sat, Jun 9, 2012 | By

1. What was your first motorcycling experience? I suppose it was being placed on the front of the seat on my dad’s Honda CRE 250 enduro bike when I was about two. My first proper ride was at the legendary Tommy’s Farm in Mid Wales at three years. I remember I couldn’t turn a corner without falling off and was too small to pick the bike up!  2. What is your...

Book Review – Books and Bikesploitation

on Fri, Jun 1, 2012 | By

Before we begin to ride, we imagine ourselves riding: in the dirt; to a far off place; as fast as we can; or even just across town.  Perhaps it started with the look or a particular marque; the scent of danger and duende or the lure of the unknown and the open road.  Perhaps it was someone we knew: a neighbor or a relative; or a book we read: Robert Pirsig, say, or Hunter...

Riders’ Lives – Plonk

on Wed, May 9, 2012 | By Dave

1. What was your first motorcycling experience? Approx 10 years old on a neighbour’s Frances Barnett on the wasteland near my parents’ home. I later bought it off him and used it until I got my first road bike a BSA C15 250 at the age of 15 years.  2. What is your current bike? Regular daily use bike is a chopped Harley 1340 Evo. Also have a chopped 1948 Harley 45...

Book Review – Spies and Samurai

on Tue, May 1, 2012 | By Dave

Critics and reviewers get asked a lot of questions. The range goes from the absurd – do you actually read the books or see the movies you review? (Yes) – to the ridiculous – how can you pan that show or restaurant and put all those people out of work? (How can you present inferior product at inflated prices and con all that hard-earned money out of your customers?) Somewhere...

The Treble Express

on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 | By Dave

A 2300cc powered wheelchair motorcycle sidecar by Motopodd Ltd. Summary: A custom built motorcycle and sidecar to give a young disabled motorcycle fan the closest possible experience to riding a motorcycle – with his Dad in the riding seat. Full story: It’s a familiar story, your Dad had a bike or maybe your Uncle did, you were just a snotty kid and everyone else was into...