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The Euro K Club Lounge / Pragmasis ending production...
« on: June 29, 2024, 09:48:38 am »
I had an e-mail from David at Pragmasis saying that they are about to go under due to everything from hugely rising costs (heat treatment alone has resulted in a 40% increase in their electricity costs) to the loss of a key worker (its a very small family business) and David somehow not getting any younger.

As the supplier of probably the best range of chain, locks and other amazing security stuff like the Anti-pinch Pin and the amazing Shed Shackle, all of which I have or have had in the past, this is not good news.

All Pragmasis products are way better than anything Almax sell and as for the big Squire lock, Almax and Pragmasis are the only two companies who are licensed to order keyed-alike A440 keys for the Squire and Almax have never shown any inclination to provide that service. In fact I bought my first Squire from Almax and even when I wanted a second one he would not supply it keyed-alike. David at Pragmasis had no such problem so he got the order for the Squire and a whole lot more.

Production has currently ceased so if any of you need any more stuff from Pragmasis I would get a move on as its first come, first served.

Sad times indeed.

The Euro K Club Lounge / Am I the only one who doesn't do this?
« on: May 31, 2024, 10:25:18 am »
By 'this', I mean closing the throttle on the way into a corner...I mean, slow in, fast out by all means. But closing the throttle?


The Ducati bit is 5 minutes in and no, I didn't get any further than that... :)

The Euro K Club Lounge / Tasty see!
« on: May 05, 2024, 11:18:08 am »
Spotted by Jon...

...and not a spot of rot to be seen. Is it the unicorn K?

The Euro K Club Lounge / Double double vision vision.
« on: May 02, 2024, 09:44:41 pm »
Those of you who bothered to follow the sorry tale of my double vision whilst straightening out some of Wales' best bends, especially those foolish enough to ride with me, you will be glad to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, it could just be the headlight of the oncoming express but hey, progress is progress.

It all began on a day run out on the Welsh Wramble back in 2022 when the world suddenly seemed to tilt on its axis heading into a tightening right hander. Luckily, being tail end Charlie, when I stood the bike up on the brakes while I tried to decide which of the two roads I should take, there was no one behind to collect the black K shaped roadblock.

And then it cleared and on I went. And then it came back and went and came back. Eventually we all stopped and I decided to head back to the B&B. Well, we were sort of on the way back anyway but I bimbled back on my own.

Lots of debate and phaffing around with specs and helmet produced no tangible results and I put it down to a combination of old age, tiredness and a shortage of alcohol.

But next day, even after a couple of bottles of red with supper, it came back again.

Since then I have tried, not in any particular order, changing the prescription for my glasses, twice, changing the frames, ordering new padding for the Schuberth C3 and then cancelling it and buying a Schuberth C5, using plenty of Optrex and maintaining hydration, the latter two on the advice of my optician.

Still no results but lots of evidence to say it happens with all four of my helmets and both of my bikes with about four different pairs of glasses whilst the longest ride before it happens is about an hour and half and the quickest onset was 20 mins on the wee Honda. And there are no other symptoms; no headaches, no flashing lights in the eyes, no nothing else.

The optician is baffled and has finally made an appointment at the hospital ophthalmic department for early June with the warning that they may be forced to tell DVLA about the problem which could result in me losing my motorcycle entitlement or even, at the whim of some working-from-home 17 year old bureaucrat, my entire licence. OK, that's serious. But so is the problem.

I have always been in doubt about the fit of my C3, well, both of them to be honest, together with the ancient BMW System 4 (made by Schuberth) and even the brand spanking new C5. And the C5 isn't nearly as comfortable as I remember it in the shop. So last week I actually measured my head which I got to be 58cm whilst all my helmets are 56/57 Mediums.

Despite buying my C5 and both C3's from Helmet City, I decided to reach out to Chris at Motolegends to see if he would check out the fit of the C5. I explained the problems I was having and he told me to get my arse into the shop as soon as possible. That was Tuesday. I presented myself bright and early on Wednesday, had a couple of coffees whilst I waited to be admitted to the inner sanctum and then it all went slightly pear shaped.

I was hoping beyond hope that they would all roll about on the floor in fits of laughter, calling everyone from the office and the warehouse, to come see this daft twat who has been wearing a headshrinkingly tight helmet for the last 20 odd years and in which I have ridden to Athens, the med twice and one half, and all the Wrinklies till the problem started.

But no! To my utter dismay, Chris and various other members of staff declared the C5 to be a perfect fit for my somewhere between 57 and 58 head, other than perhaps sitting a little too low on the brow ridge, a feature about which they could do little in the case of the Schuberth to which I had already added the thinner back head pad.

By this time I had steeled myself to having to spend money on something but better that than a lifetime of taxis and I knew that Chris was going to try to persuade me to go over to the dark side and try a Shoei with the all-singing, all-dancing Personal Fitting Service (only by booking in advance) guaranteeing a perfect fit for a mere £50, refundable on purchase of said Shoei. And that is what happened. Sort of. But not quite.

I really wasn't prepared for the level of genuine concern and care that everyone at Motolegends showed to me when they heard about the problems I was having but when Chris called down his chief FPS consulting guy and told him to fit me up at no cost I was more than a little overwhelmed, but then, the cynic that I am thought it might just be a great marketing tool.

We spent about 20 minutes putting what seemed like a combination of dozens of different bits of foam and padding into a Neotec 3 mule helmet until we got what I felt was a comfortable fit, way different from the Schuberth and with me relying heavily on the Shoei tech and the skill of Rob the fitter. When we had what we both felt was the best possible fit Rob went and got a brand spanking new Neotec 3 in sublime gloss white and transferred all the bits and bobs from the mule into the new one. And with that Chris handed me a returns label and told me to take it away on a sale or return basis and try it for a few days. 'Don't take it to Scotland but Wales is fine...' were his actual words. OK, so he charged me full RRP of a beer under £600 for the privilege but let's face it, he is in business and knows me not from Adam.

And so I drove home with two brand spanking new top of the range gloss white helmets on the back seat of the car (I wasn't riding 120 miles on the bike with double vision, c'mon).

I hated the Shoei from the get go but I got togged up as soon as I got home at 5pm and went out for a couple of hours in the rain. It was actually two and half hours and no sign of double vision. I was impressed. And relieved and went to bed in a slightly better frame of mind than many a night in recent months but tomorrow would be the ultimate test, a day spent hooning around in Wales. I had put a route of sorts into MRA which took me to Newtown and down to Crossgates and thence to the Elan Valley for a blat around the dams before heading back to Crossgates for tea and medals. That would have given me a good three hours with the helmet on if all went well.

I was really pleased when Richard offered to ride over and babysit me and so, all togged up cos the unforecasted rain was spitting and splashing, I rode out to Worcester to meet up. We set off for Leominster and Knighton with Richard in the lead and all was well despite not really knowing how any of the foreign-to-me controls on the Neotec actually worked; such as a lock for the visor which needs a button push to release it...

We swapped over in Leominster and I led out to Knighton before taking the wonderful B4355 Teme Valley road up to Newtown, shadowing the Wales / England border and ignoring the ever increasing signs that insisted the road was closed and there was no entry to Dolfor. There was and so we headed south on the fabulously winding A483 into Crossgates where we decided to stop for tea and brunch and where we were the only bikers present, at least for the first 15 minutes.

I had been wearing the Shoei, which I was hating less as the miles went by, for over 3 hours by then and there was still absolutely no sign of the double vision returning and for the first time in two years I was feeling ever more confident in the hope that it might just have been cured. I do love that winding road but we were both glad to stop at Crossgates.

Fed, watered and refreshed we decided to head back into England rather than pushing on to the Elan Valley as I had declared the helmet test to be a success and so we enjoyed the fast but occasionally over-policed A44 back to Leominster before going our separate ways.

What a relief. No more double vision. No more threepenny-bitting bends trying to decide which was the real road and no more discomfort in the head department after a half day in the saddle, not that I noticed it too much in the C5 in the early days but began to more recently.

And so, having consigned an 800 mile old C5 to the scrap bin of history along with its integral SC2 intercomm system, I now just need to ride back to Motolegends to get them to supply and fit the Sena SRL-03 integrated system into the Neotec. What's yet another £300 compared to giving up riding.

I will still be heading off to see the eye doc because this came out of nowhere with nothing having changed since the previous day and we may still need to get to the bottom that; my optician helpfully said it could be a brain tumour. More anon.

Oh, and if you know anyone in the market for a nearly new Schuberth C5 and /or an SC2, you know who to call.

The Euro K Club Lounge / RADAR controlled cruise control....
« on: April 26, 2024, 09:39:30 am »
...erm, well, maybe not so daft on a motorcycle when ev's are stopping quite agressively in front of you without showing a brake light.

It's long but good. And if you think this stupid stuff is only in the good ole USofA where confusing brake and turn signals seem to be the law, the EU are also in the same pickle. Minute 22 talks about how 'we' have almost got it right, but not quite.

At least the RADAR bit knows the vehicle in front is doing a hard stop without brake lights, even if you don't and it puts you over the bars for not paying attention.

The Euro K Club Lounge / Bloody hell...
« on: March 19, 2024, 07:46:58 pm »

All things considered, I reckon he got off lightly.

The Euro K Club Lounge / Honda plans Cross-Wind Assist...
« on: February 14, 2024, 09:33:37 am »

Cross-wind assist? Have these peeps got nothing better to do? The planet is in chaos, the world is at war, Trump might yet be the next US most wanted criminal President and they want to foist cross-wind assist on us...

Three times in 60 years on two wheels (OK, more [times, not wheels] if you count the bicycle) have I thought 'Hey Zeus' that wind is strong.

Once, I failed to make exit 12 of the M4 when I physically couldn't get the bugger across three lanes of traffic cos the wind was suddenly gale force.

We had to park up for a couple of hours at a services on the A6 Route du Soliel north of Lyon in the mega gales that flattened the south of England in 1986(?) after being blown across all three lanes and onto the hard shoulder at silly speed.

I narrowly avoided ending up in the Forty Foot Drain crossing the flat Fens on a Wrinklies trip many moons ago when I clearly saw the face of St. Peter blowing a hooley, reflected in the water below.

In none of those circumstances would cross-wind assist have done anything other than induce a high-side or at least a heart attack.

They'll be inventing ABS, Anti-Wheelie and Traction Control next.

Bah humbug I say.

The Euro K Club Lounge / Ten years ago tonight...
« on: December 31, 2023, 11:52:00 pm »
...someone shut down the original EuroKClub on the stroke of midnight.

So, ten years on, the bills are paid for another year, so if it all goes base over apex, it's enemy action and not my fault.

Here's hoping you all had a great 2023 and wishing you an even greater 2024. Brian

Even typing this is a struggle. So what happened?

Well, OK, I cut the end of my left thumb on a sharp gold pin while taking the TomTom off it's bloody, literally now, stupid mount on the little Honda.

Was about to dash into Hereford for a pie and a pint with a mate and had to go by bike as I'm too tight to pay to park the car and for some reason they let bikes park for free. Fairly sure that the rad is leaking on the K as it overheated on its way back from the MoT a week or so ago and that is all of 2 miles so decided to give the wee Honda an outing.

Went out to grab the TomTom to find the car park in town and that's when the bloody thing bit me; cold flesh, sharp bit of nonsense and bleeding like a stuck pig.

The things you can't do when you have a dolly on your thumb:

Type things on the sat nag
Pull my over trousers on
Pull up the zip on the boots
Hold the Halvarssons Horse Blanket while I struggle into it
Get the zippers to align properly
Hold it all while I struggle with the zip

By this time the plaster was soaked in blood and now it was all over my brand new, paint-peeling Schuberth helmet and I still had to get into my gloves...

More things I couldn't do:

Hold the helmet while I wash the blood off
Get the helmet on
Do the strap up

Rip the blood soaked plasters off, staunch the blood and go get two more plasters, but getting them out of the fiddly packet is another thing you can't do with a bloody thumb.

Manage to get the dollied thumb into the oversize BMW winter gloves and then have to put the rest of the plasters in my pocket to phaff around all over agin when I take the glove off.

Then more incapacitation:

Can't indicate properly
Can't cancel the indicator even when I remember to do so
Can't open the visor with the left had
Keep slowing down lifting the visor with the right hand

As you can tell, it was a good day, and that was before even more paint fell off the new, new chin bar of my new Schuberth C5. And before the stupid new SC2 intercom system kept telling me it had failed every couple of miles.

On the upside, I couldn't get my wallet out of my pocket in the pub...

The Euro K Club Lounge / Too old to ride, too idle to work...
« on: November 19, 2023, 10:55:55 am »
Only partly related to bikes and not related to each other.

Having decided to change the Honda for something else from the Honda stable, I popped into the Gloucester branch of Thunder Road Motorcycles on the off chance a few weeks ago. Had a mooch round the showroom, upstairs to the off-road bit and was about to leave when a salesman actually looked up and asked if he could help. Well, I needed a sit down after the shock and so I accepted his off of a coffee and a chat. Told him the story and he agreed with all my gripes about the Honda and was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the mods I have made to improve the bike.

Have you seen the new CRF300L? Well, not in the flesh!

Out we pop to see the one I had ignored on the way in. He took a towel to wipe the seat dry and wheeled it out from between its mates so I could try it for size. I was amazed at how much lighter it was than mine and I had explained that I wasn't looking for new one but he said I could still test ride it to see if I liked it. I was in the car and loaded down with clobber and hadn't planned on a test ride anyway but then he looked a bit sheepish and said...

'Could I just ask how old you are?' When I told him he said he was amazed and that I didn't look that old (so why did he ask?). 'Only, we have an age limit of 74 for test rides.' He was as gobsmacked at this policy as I was and said especially for the big tourers, that it was a real problem as most of their customers were getting on in years.

Anyway, didn't want a test ride anyway, but how do they expect to sell bikes to folks with deep pockets if we can't do test rides. Strangely, there is nothing on their website, nor Honda UK site about this limitation.

So, obviously, half of this forum is getting to be too old to (do a test) ride (on a Honda).

On to the idle buggers and swimbo is looking for a newer car and has been searching for probably a decade, with nothing fitting her needs which are overly restrictive...

However, one came up in Reading Audi and as she has never actually driven an TT we decided to take a drive and have a test drive.  I recounted my tale of age-related woe in Honda and, being older than me, panic set in about turning up, drivers licence in hand and politely being refused a test drive. How embarrassing...

I'll phone up and check says I. Phone goes to answerphone. Bugger, a bit early perhaps. Ring back later and discover that Reading Audi and indeed all Sytner Group dealerships nationwide only work 6 days a week.

What is the world coming to? One realises that folks need days off but all these big players seemingly have legions of salesfolks to ignore you whilst browsing their stock. Inchcape group sales are all open on Sunday, as are Jardines and most of the others. So, of the 2 days in the week that honest, hard working folks have off to go buy another car, Sytner are closed for one of them.

Now of course, Audi wouldn't close on Sundays if they had customers banging on their doors so one assumes that they don't. So when do those honest, hardworking folks buy their cars? Well, seeing as most of them are probably working from home they obviously do it during the the firm's time.

As for today, Audi's potential customers in Reading are in the BMW, Jaguar or Volvo dealers which are all in business to do business and are obviously looking to do more.

Meanwhile, aged riders in Honda dealerships are being told they are too old for playtime.

The Euro K Club Lounge / How fast is fast enough for you?
« on: November 08, 2023, 11:29:19 am »
How about 800mph? These guys are looking for a new driver...

...with about £12bn backing.

It's on tour from today around southern England, or at least a replica is. More info at bottom of linked article.

I reckon any half decent rapid motorcyclist could manage a few kilometres at the helm before boredom set in...

OK, so you have decided Garmin have taken the pith onthe too many times and thrown it out and have decided MyRoute App is the way to go, on an iPhone perhaps...

Well, it works fine for me apart from one little niggle...capacitive touch screens which are not as user-friendly on phones as they are on sat nags.

That is easily fixed on the move by using touch-sensitive gloves or like me, stick-on capacitive fingerprints. Well, OK, not fingerprints but fingerprint sized bits of capacitive stuff from Oxford Products. I also keep a touch-sensitive stylus tucked into the tankbag cos using that is often easier than getting a clumsy gloved finger to touch the right spot for waypoints etc. and much better than having to take your gloves off. Oh joy!

My device of choice happens to be an iPhone 6S (which is an iPhone 11 or 12(?) in an iPhone 6 case). Great, lovely, super...except I can't unlock the bloody thing even with the touch-sensitive bits on the gloves because of the TouchID feature which needs a human touch on the 'dead' Home button to wake it up.

Well, the touch-sensitive fingertip comes to the rescue there to wake it up, but then I need my fingerprint to unlock it. I could turn the TouchID off in settings but then I have to remember and use the passcode every time which is why I use TouchID in the first place. And then I came across the greatest hack of all time...

Simply put your glove on and using the finger with the touch-sensitive tip, add that as a new fingerprint on the phone.

REALLY? No, really! Apple doesn't need a human fingerprint touching the Home button apparently and so with my summer gloves and the touchy-feely pad on the index finger, I merely went through the 'Add a fingerprint' rigmarole and voila, I can get into my phone with my gloves on with one touch and without having to use the passcode.

Of course, perhaps anyone can unlock my phone with my gloves on...

Makes you wonder who it is who spends all day trying to work these things out.

Ride Out Reports / A nice day for a ride, but...
« on: October 30, 2023, 06:17:49 pm »
...only if your brakes don't keep locking on!

So a short notice meet up with Richard in Broadway, halfway twixt his and mine, for a Cotswold jaunt. The last time the bike was out it was a stinking hot day and today was most definitely not, so it was out with the winter gear and away with the summer stuff, zip in the waterproof liners, stow the summer gloves just in case but wear the waterproof all-season ones and, seeing as we are most definitely not getting an Indian Summer, I might as well bolt the BarkBusters handguards on to keep the pinkies warm. I didn't remember the big gap between the end of the grips and the BarkBusters but it was a year or so since I last fitted them so meh...

And so, all wintered up, off I set. It was only after meeting up and downing a coffee and a huge lump of choccie cake in Broadway that we set off into the bright sun but with the threat of rain always there. We had probably gone about 20 miles when, slowing for a cross-roads, my front brake seemed to lock and the lever went solid on me. I was only doing about 15mph and it was slimy and wet so did the ABS just kick in? I mentioned it to Richard and after the cross-roads I did a couple of brake tests but all seemed fine...and then it did it again at speed, only momentarily but it was a bum-puckerer for sure. And then again! OK, pull over and set fire to it...

We had a quick look at the front pads and compared the temps on my bike and Richard's but there was no clue to be found. And then, whilst fiddling with my lever while I was getting the kindling and matches out, Richard discovered that the front brake lever was fouling the spine on the right BarkBuster on a full pull and would stay 'pulled' after it was released.

Oo'er missus! Out with the tools and adjust it out of the way and all was fine and dandy so I stowed the kindling for another day and we set off once more whilst trying to find out why my MRA navigator wasn't talking to me. We never did and by this time I needed fuel so we diverted into Cirencester and then headed back out toward Burford to continue the jaunt.

What with the rain and the various stops the day was wearing on so we decided to dive into Burford Garden Centre for more tea and cake.

We obviously missed more heavy rain as we supped and scoffed and by the time we were ready to set off again we realised it was going to be getting dark rather soon, what with the clocks having gone back yesterday and so we decided to head off in different directions and try to beat the rush hour traffic.

A nice run despite the rain and puddles and shite all over the roads and after my front brake returned to normal service.

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