What’s plopped on to our doormat?
Hi PB! The mag is still a great read after all these years. This sticker (right) is on the inside of my Fireblade fairing from the Cadwell Park Frenzy in 1996. I was just wondering if anyone who went to the weekend is still at the mag? It was unreal and I was just remembering what an awesome time that weekend was. Are you ever going to ever run a weekend like that ever again? Keep up the great work... Mark Carroll CN: No permanent staffers remain, but a few of the old dogs are still in the vicinity, contributing in between emptying catheter bags and so on. We’re leaving Frenzies in the past, though – they were a brilliant product of their time, and trying to replicate it now wouldn’t work, and probably do the name a disservice. Treasured memories to be left alone, we think.
Moon on a selfie stick
A thought occurred to me when watching BSB at Brands earlier this year. I was watching the live timing on my phone, for a more interactive experience, and started thinking how this could be expanded. Imagine if we could bring up the onboard view from the racing live. Or if we could choose the rider who was maybe catching the leaders. There must be loads of other areas that could help immerse you in the action and draw people in. Gavin Hogg
A little help?
I’m 47, have been riding sportsbikes since I was 14, and been an avid reader all this time. But I’ve recently had to sell my beloved R1 5VY. I am waiting on a double transplant of a kidney and pancreas which has left me financially unable to maintain my bike and hold down a full-time job.
My question is, do you know of any charities that hold bike days for people such as myself as I am missing not riding and don’t have the funds to do trackdays. My condition leaves me tired but not unable to ride, and the thrill and freedom of riding is such a loss to me after all these years. Mickey Hunt CN: Not something that rings a bell with us, we’re afraid. If anyone can help Mickey, drop us a line and we’ll pass it on to him.
Rock off, and don’t come back
So the news has come out that Rockingham is to close its gates after 17 years. I’ve read online posts about the resulting job losses, and for those people that is never nice. Finding work is hard and I wish them all the best. But, from a customer point of view, the closure of the track certainly doesn’t fill me with sadness. I’ve always left there with the same negative feelings: the place has no soul, the facilities are passable at best, and the surface is ghastly, especially in the wet.
Built in 2001 in an attempt to kickstart a European NASCAR series that never took off, riding to the circuit is like riding through some sort of wasteland. I always have expect a roving gang of bandits to attack me as I cross the vast expanse of dusty gravel parking spaces. What an awful place to put it, too; you don’t see a grubby steel works right next to Brands Hatch, Snetterton, Oulton or Silverstone...
One of the biggest reasons circuits like Cadwell, Brands and Silverstone are so enjoyable is because you are riding on the same tarmac as the greats. You can watch BSB at the weekend and a week later be tackling those same corners. Rockingham never had that allure. It was a grand idea and was supposed to herald a new level of investment, but really it was a massive white elephant.
Rockingham never provided anything better or even different to the circuits closest to it. Silverstone and even Bedford Autodrome are far superior. No, Rockingham was an experiment that failed, and as a rider’s circuit it never was any good. Matt Brown
FAO John McAvoy: thank you for a neat, concise, absolutely spot-on summary of the R1 in your BMW long-termer update in the September issue. You encapsulate in a few words exactly how I feel about my R1; as an ownership experience it is absolutely sublime. It doesn’t bother me one bit if it’s a second or so behind another bike in a lap of some racetrack or other, because those seconds are more than compensated for when I open the garage door, look at the bike, start it and ride it. I’ve been surprised to see it being somewhat dismissed in recent issues, but your write up restored my faith that I wasn’t going mad. James Brown JM: It’s superb, but as much as I love it, the BMW is more useful to me and just as good to ride. We’ve not dismissed it as such, but were disappointed Yamaha didn’t do more with the 2018 update. It’s better, but not enough to get the attention of ’15-’17 model owners, as you’ll see on p16.
15,000 PB readers, one demolished beer tent. They were the days...This sticker instantly doubles the value of your bike. Fact
Live onboard cameras from BSB races? Whatever next, sanitary toilet facilities?
Rockingham, pictured at the height of its BSB attendance