Motorcycle Maintenance Evening Classes – Edinburgh

I missed a comment from May from David mentioning motorcycle maintenance evening classes and asking about the Edinburgh area.

It would seem that evening classes mirror the school and college semesters so it is a good idea to keep an eye out for schedules as the summer holidays draw to a close and autumn starts coming in.

Edinburgh Council ran a Motorcycle maintenance evening class in Autumn 2014 from Boroughmuir High School and the new schedule may include similar when posted from 12th August 2015

West Lothian College in Livingston have a basic Motorcycle braking, steering and suspension course starting on 2nd September 2015 and on 3rd February 2016 their course on Motorcycle Electrics take place http://www.west-lothian.ac.uk/courses/basic-motorcycle-Electrical-trasmission

I don’t see anything listed in the Borders College prospectus for August 2015.

Looking farther away, North East College in Aberdeen have a motorcycle maintenance course starting 26th April 2016

These are all evening class “adult education” i.e. more recreational than career oriented. There are other day-release and full time courses that are better set up for a career in motorcycle maintenance but you never know!

Motorcycle Maintenance Evening Classes – Edinburgh

EICMA 2012–The Show

I’ve posted the story of how I chose to go to the EICMA show last year, and having got through the turnstiles the plan was to get to the BMW stand as soon as possible to see the new R1200GS. The show is huge and was quite different to our regular fare at the Scottish Bike Show.

As soon as we got in there were folks handing out fisherman’s friends. Yes you read right, and I still can’t quite believe it. If you don’t know these are menthol cough sweets made in Feetwood, Lancashire. And they were handing them out in Milan, Italy…

It was a long long walk to the BMW Motorrad stand through about three halls and by the time we got there the goody bags had run out, but the scale had to be seen to be appreciated. The stand was very large and there were several hundred people there.

The new GS looked excellent (in the ugly GS way) and my favourite would be the one with the satnav integration, the off-road pegs and the rallye seat to give a bit more height. Unfortunately I didn’t have the scoop on seeing the bike as my pal Joe had seen it at the international dealer launch in Cologne a few weeks earlier, but I was to get a slight scoop in that there was one of the few running GSs at the show – in the car part being thrashed by Chris Pfeiffer. Personally it wasn’t until April 2013 that I would get a ride on the new GS, and that would be on knobbly tyres and mainly off road. I’ve since had a brief ride on road and in Dynamic mode the new bike is quite a step up from the previous model – really likes to rev.

I’ve not been to the Birmingham show so I can’t compare scale but EICMA was huge and very busy, MrsL took a rest at one stage and I wandered around a few of the stands and it was great to see the size of the main manufacturers. They were strategically apart in different halls and this meant that I missed Yamaha completely, managing to see BMW (of course), Honda and others like KTM and Triumph. Of course Ducati was well represented, as were the scooter manufacturers. Wandering around I found the World Superbike stand with two guys called Tom Sykes and Carl Fogarty being interviewed – this was quite hilarious with them being interviewed in Italian – think banal on banal interview questions. The crowd loved it.

All the accessory dealers were there, and Touratech had a big stand – I now have their catalogue in Italian!

Huge and busy is how I would sum it up. Out the back was a show by Chris Pfeiffer which was an unexpected result – he was demonstrating on his usual F800R and a new R1200GS, and there was also a supercross stage which was well impressive. All in all there was too much to see in a day – an excellent result.

Like I mentioned before it is a proper trade show, so you will not find anything to buy – it is open to the public but there is a lot of trade networking going on with new model launches and nothing being sold on the stands. If you like to go to Motorcycle shows to see stuff (but perhaps not buy) then I would go.

EICMA 2012–The Show

EICMA 2012 from Edinburgh

Further to my previous post here is a shorter summary post on our Itinerary.

How we got there

We flew EasyJet from Edinburgh Airport to Milan Malpensa with one item of hold luggage. The Winter schedule is quite light midweek so watch for this adjustment. In hindsight we would travel with proper full size hand luggage and use that instead to be quicker and save the extra cost.

I bought return tickets for the Malpensa Shuttle from Malpensa to Central Rail Station. You can buy tickets on the EasyJet flight for the same amount of money as online. Almost everyone from the flight caught the shuttle so it is very easy to find if you follow the crowd.

To get to the show from Milan we used the Metro Red Line and used the Porta Venezia station direct to the RHO Fieramilano. There is a special zone ticket for 5 Euro Return. The  ticket machines in the station are multilingual and take notes, so simply switch the display to English (or your language of choice). The journey is fairly long but it was great to see the train fill up with people going to a Motorcycle show, fantastic. Again at the RHO Fieramilano follow the crowd; there is a huge underground passageway that takes you from the platform to the entrance to the show.

At the show

The show was very busy when we got there, fortunately I had my ticket already. MrsL was handed a ticket as soon as we found the queue, and streamed to a turnstile specifically for the visiting “Ladies”. This was a bit hard to see in the scrum at the entrance but look for it if it applies. I joined the rest of the males in the big crown going through, as it was busy I sent MrsL through and she had a chat with another visitor from France who had also left her husband to queue up too.

The show is very very big and we literally stumbled on events and parts of the exhibition, we popped out for some fresh air and found Chris Pfeiffer doing a show. We completely missed Jorge Lorenzo on the Yamaha stand. It is a tough call to cover in a day but worth the research. It is a proper trade show so as far as I could see you can’t buy the stuff you see, and in a way it was similar to work trade shows in terms the variety of large and small companies.

Where we stayed

We stayed at the Ibis Milano Centro and I bought the cultural package online to get breakfast. Breakfast was a continental buffet arrangement and it was interesting to try and guess who else was going to the show. The event is that big and there were at least three groups that I reckon were at the show based on their branded clothing. The front desk staff were great in accommodating me by speaking English and very helpful. Unlike British hotels you don’t get tea & coffee making facilities.

In terms of the locale, the bits we used were:

  • We used the Porta Venezia metro station on the red line. This got us both to the show and to the metro nearest to the start of the City Sightseeing Tour.
  • The Ice Cream shop we visited was Grom on Corso Buenos Aires. There are a few of these shops around Milan. They have several chocolate flavours.
  • There is a Supermercato Punto around the corner in Via Lazzaretto which opens late and is great for grabbing supplies.

Where we eat

This was a short stay and on the cheap so don’t expect posh:

  • The local McDonalds right beside Porta Venezia had the usual expected fare plus a few local twists, and they have an espresso bar which had fantastic tiramisu.
  • We eat breakfast at the hotel, this was a continental buffet with cold meats, cheeses, croissants and other pastries, fruit juice machines and coffee machines to help yourself to.
  • We had lunch at brek San Babila which is a middling walk from the Duomo but slightly tricky to find – it is behind the main street and seems to sit in the middle of a parking area. From the Piazza del Duomo follow Corso Vittorio Emanuele II then slight right across to Via Borgogna and it is on the left through a passageway. There are all sorts of different dish types on offer which you pick up then pay for. It can be busy (good sign) but is reasonably priced and there is a big seating area down the stairs.
EICMA 2012 from Edinburgh

i2i motorcycle academy facebook

You will know from previous posts that I have used i2i Motorcycle Academy in the past (and hopefully will in the future) to acquire machine control training. i2i have had a website at http://www.i2imca.com/ for a few years now and have also been represented on social media for a couple of years. The i2i motorcycle academy Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/96903591330/

i2i motorcycle academy facebook

Off Road Skills Level One–April 14th and 15th 2013–Conclusions

The quality of instruction and course content of Level One at Off Road Skills are excellent and I thoroughly recommend it. I would also recommend the R1200GS as the bike of choice but I might be biased because of my size. My hope is finances permitting (I did go and buy a new R1200 GS Adventure this year) that I will be able to do Level One again next year. It is longer than helpful from a learning perspective but we all have to live within the limitations we have.

Things I took away:

  • The R1200GS is the easiest bike for me to ride (ok well I haven’t tried the F800GS to properly support that statement).
  • Shifting body weight on the pegs is essential for turning off road.
  • Keeping my legs straight most of the time cuts down fatigue (and later quad muscle pain).

Things I would like to achieve by going again (and again):

  • Not slipping the clutch – just dipping it when needed.
  • Being comfortable with counterweighting and the slow speed techniques.
  • Relax Relax Relax.
  • Better machine control so I can do a complete run of momentum.

I would also thoroughly recommend the package arranged by Motorrad Central  – it is a new idea from them to support the opportunity for their customers to attend the ORS events without the considerable effort to bring ORS to Scotland. The travel and accommodation costs are a given, so being able to share these with others makes great economic sense and also brings the support of a group for the learning experience. I paid £649 which compares favourably to the base cost of Level One with ORS of £479. Big thanks goes in particular to David Brown who both looked after the group on and off road and did all the driving.

Off Road Skills Level One–April 14th and 15th 2013–Conclusions