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Wow, I sign up on SBW only two days ago and I get to pop the cherry on a new forum :)

Well, since I have the soap box, I would just like to say that I was in England 2 weeks ago and loved it. Really nice winding roads and really good weather. There is an amazing amount of motorcyclists on the roads, much more than I would see on an average day in S. Florida..even with our biking weather. Almost all the riders I saw wear full leather gear, which was a bit odd to see, again coming from a warm weather climate.

I visited a few bike dealers and the whole attitude surrounding the dealers (garages) was very positive. Friendly, helpful staff and a selection of bikes we never see in our showrooms. Almost half the sales floor was stocked with accessories and clothing/helmets, good stuff too, not just a few dusty bottles of BelRay oil and some cheesy hand grips :). When was the last time you saw a motorcycle dealership that had fitting rooms, full length mirrors and shoe measuring devices?. It was all very impressive.

Some of their bike prices may seem high, but the prices listed on the bikes, and in the ads we see in the brit bike mags are out-the-door prices, no sneaky dealer prep and other BS. Most of the prices on bikes there are very close to what we would pay in the US (list prices), with the exception of my bike. They sell brand new RSV Milles for $3,000 less than what we pay :( . Their bike prices include 3 years warranty and in some cases roadside service/towing . They also have a demo bike for just about every model they sell!.

Well that was my European (England really) "biking" experience. Looking forward to hearing from any European riders out there that can expand a bit on the biking scene there.

Take care,
Gregory
 

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Birdman said:
So how did your day go after you woke up?:D ;)
You don't believe redtwin ? Well he isn't bullshitting. I can confirm that a high percentage of dealers in the U.K. do offer all that he said. We're not so fortunate here in Northern Ireland as being a small place there isn't many big shops. But as the last few years have been hard on the official importers due to other firms bringing in paralell & grey imports which can save you alot of money, the off. dealers have improved their service to the paying punter. they also know that when someone comes in to spend good money on the latest bike they want new kit to match. Hence the clothing and accessory end of the market. Britian is a small country with a large population which means shops have to compete for business. And good service is good business. So birdman, come on over & see for yourself. And redman, if your ever over again, come over to N.I. and see the twisties that we have (plus some pure road racing that will make your eyes pop), I'll even put you up. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Uk

Hey smeghead, thanks for the invite, I really appreciate that. The closest I got to Ireland was sticking my hand in the Irish Sea while at Blackpool :cool:.

The whole motorcycle culture in England is much more accomodating than in the US. When you consider the size of the country compared to the US and then look at their bike mags compared to ours. They seem to have far more dealers and services. And they are not greasy little shops, well not the ones I visited. Look at their race attendance compared to ours. Granted being a smaller country means less travel to get to them but I think this past WSB race had well over 100,000 people!!.

There are a some US dealers that do allow demo rides. The place where I bought my Mille gave test rides and if it were not for that impressive test ride I may not have bought it. I asked the salesman how far I could go and he said " Give it a good workout, take it on the highway and check out the top end and try a few on-ramps to check the cornering, if we don't see you in an hour, then we will know you bought it (as in purchased) and we will send you the bill".:). Still can't get their 3 year warranty and roadside service though.


Take care,
Gregory

p.s "punter" as smeg mentioned means a consumer/buyer in case anyone was wondering :)
 

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Just came back from England myself...

I'll echo everything Red Twin said. We had 14 sunny days out of 16, hows that for good luck. Great beer and better riding. I'll add that track day riders over there are quite mad! I've never seen that many nice bikes thrown into gravel as I did in the 3 track days I had. Another note is the fact you can rent any number of bikes for track days from a couple of different companys. Haven't found that in the states yet other than riding Freddie's or Keith's bikes. You can rent bikes from VTR1000s to full blown 2000 TZ 250s. I ended up renting very well setup R6s. Very pleased with the experience, only wish more places had rentals.

Red Twin mentioned WSB at Brands. Great racing, parking a freakin nightmare and useless lines for everything. Glad I did it for the experience, never do it again. Brands Hatch couldn't organize a childs birthday party. They need to take lessons from Laguna Seca.
 

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Re: Just came back from England myself...

kneedrag said:


Red Twin mentioned WSB at Brands. Great racing, parking a freakin nightmare and useless lines for everything. Glad I did it for the experience, never do it again. Brands Hatch couldn't organize a childs birthday party. They need to take lessons from Laguna Seca.
There are some things we need to work on !! :rolleyes:
 

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Woooo!

Living in England I have to say that you guys suprise me. England is great for biking, but always figured that America would be pretty cool too, what with the mountainous roads and the great weather. We do suffer from lengthly periods of bad weather at times, and as you know, it always rains when you want a scratch.

Police can be a bit over the top here though, esecially to the kids on their 125's. IT seems that if you have a bigger bike and te full gear to go with it then they will leave you alone, if you have an old TZR 125 and a are wearing jeans and a paddock jacket then you're guarenteed to get pulled and told off for looking at them in a funny way!

So, England (from an Englisgmans point of view).......

Good roads, crap police :D
 

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This makes interesting reading, Living on the south coast of England i would tend to agree with most of what's been said however i've never been into a motorcycle shop and been allowed to test ride a bike before purchase yet, I've always read up in mags about a bike and tried to talk to as many people who own a certain bike before buying one.. When you were over hear redtwin did'nt you find that there were so many speed camera's everywhere or were you travelling so fast you did'nt see them ??? ha ha.. I have to agree there are alot of bikes on the road over hear when the weather is good but the weather is crap alot of the time... I'd like to spend 6 months or so in the states with my bike with almost constant sunshine being able to go for endless rides through the canyons that i read about so often on this site.. Surley there is no comparison to bikeing in the states than hear in the cold and wet UK........
 

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having been in Europe, one of the things that I think give them an advantage is that the cage drivers actually expect to see motocycles on the road. Out here its like they're surprised everytime they see one.

As for where the best roads are, Europeans often haven't a clue as to some of the distances involved out here. On a map, Edmonton looks close to the Rockies, but the truth is they're 3 hrs away, without a curve in the road for 50 mi (80km). You want to talk boring, drive across the prairies/ great plains.

My dream trip would be Amsterdam-Rome- Switzerland. Can U say Autoban??
 

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oldgixer said:

As for where the best roads are, Europeans often haven't a clue as to some of the distances involved out here.

My dream trip would be Amsterdam-Rome- Switzerland. Can U say Autoban??
I know from my best mate (who has toured in the states a few times) that there are long distances to travel in the states but I guess that's part of the journey. If I want to go see my chum it involves a boat sailing, then 410 miles just to get to his house and all done in one day. But then the FUN begins !!:D
 
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