Marc KentOk, lets get straight to the point. The primary purpose of this website is for me to share my thoughts, feels and views on all things that are motorcycling. I’m not a journalist, I don’t work in the motorcycling industry and I don’t stand to make millions of pounds from this website.

Again, I love motorcycling. Have done since I was a little kid and if you’re a motorcyclist you’ll probably understand where I’m coming from. I truly believe that motorcyclists are born and not made.

Ok, maybe the fact that my dad had motorbikes helped and thus I was around them from when I was a kid but I don’t think that’s the sole reason why I got into ‘biking’, after all I’m the eldest of 7 kids and only one of my siblings has gone out and passed his motorcycle test.

So, a little bit about my motorcycling past.

I guess I was around 6 or 7 when I first got to swing my leg over a motorbike. I think it was a little trike a Blackpool Pleasure Beach and I think from then on I must have pestered my parents for a motorbike from then on. Eventually my wish came true and I became the proud owner of a Honda MT 50. I was about 10 and considering that this was a full size bike I couldn’t get on or off it on my own. My dad used to take me down the fields and there I used to taz around in first gear until eventually I learned to change gears.

Once I was able to touch the floor I would go out pretty much every night after school. Homework wasn’t something I was interested in. I wanted to be the next Barry Sheene 🙂

Eventually I got my hands on a Kawasaki KX80 motorcrosser. I loved that bike. For me, at the time that thing was a rocket ship and if I had the spare time I would probably get myself another so I go go off down the local motorcross track and relive my ‘yoof’, but that’s another story for another day.

rd 400Road racing was to be my next calling. I pestered my dad’s friend for a long time about starting racing and he eventually said that if I turned up at his house with leathers, boots, gloves, helmet and above all an ACU licence he would get me a bike to do a track day.

My dad’s friend admitted that he thought I was a bit of a dreamer but I soon showed him how serious I was when six months later I had scrimped and saved enough to buy the required items and off I walked to his house to prove my seriousness.

A few weeks later I was booked onto  a track day at Mallory Park. I was 17 years old, had never ridden a road bike and there I was sat astride an cooled two stroke Yamaha RD 250 that was stripped and ready for racing in the Early Stocks Championship for ‘twin shock’ bikes.

So after never having rode a bike on tarmac or ever riding anything bigger than 80cc I was heading out of pit lane at Mallory Park where I nearly flipped it as I exited onto the straight and built up speed as I rounded Gerrards. Now Mallory Park has changed a little since I was 17 and they hadn’t installed Edwina’s chicane and so I’m heading towards the Esses flat out in top without a friggin clue to what to do. Safe to say I panicked, and head butted the gravel trap as i crashed at over 100 miles per hour. I picked myself up, dusted myself down and sheepishly headed back to the pits where a cup of tea was thrust into my hands as the bike was straightened out.

x 7I crashed at the Esses 4 times that day. All told I crashed 4 times at the Esses and it was a bit of a standing joke with the marshals that I held the record for the most amount of crashes at the Esses in one day. Eventually I did manage to make it round the Esses eventually without crashing and I was bitten by the road racing bug. Although the next day my body was battered and bruised from it all.

Anyway, due to a lack of finances and a distinct lack of talent I eventually hung up my road racing leathers and called it a day.

IMG_5899I eventually took my bike test and have been riding on and off ever since. My first “proper” bike post test was a Honda VFR 400 NC. Loved that little thing. I only had it for about six months and had to sell it because I hit some serious hard times financially.

I then went several years without a bike. I that time I removed myself from anything to do with bikes. Didn’t read the magazines. Didn’t watch any racing. But as any biker will tell you, there’s just something about bikes that I personally believe that your born with. I started to get that itch and I had to scratch it.

So I started looking at bikes again and fell in love with the 1998 Yamaha R1. It reminded me of the Yamaha YZR 500GP bikes that Wayne Rainey rode before his accident and so I went on a mission to buy one.

I found a good clean one in a dealership in Plymouth that hadn’t done a lot of miles and I stumped up the cash and because the proud owner of my first litre bike. Admittedly, I think it was too much power too soon. I hadn’t really rode a bike since my test and here I was trying to tame a 1000cc inline four.

As it was my only mode of transport so I rode it everywhere, heading out on day trips as often as I could. Heading to Lands End, Stonehenge and a great weekend in Scotland were the most memorable journey’s.

The Scotland trip more than any other trip highlighted just how much much I had to learn about riding on the roads. I was always in the wrong gear. My positioning for corners was poor. I’d turn in too early. It would leave me lots to do and to be honest it was exhausting.

My mates all had 600’s and they said I should get one and to build up my confidence. Kawasaki had just released the 2005 ZX-636R which I was drawn to. I booked a test ride. Part ex’d the R1 and I had two great years with the little Ninja.

I really started to learn to ride on this bike. It turned, it stopped and it did everything that I wanted it to which massively built up my confidence.

It was on this bike that I discovered the roads in Wales. The roads in Wales are a bikers dream. Everything that you can imagine on mostly well maintained and clean surfaces. If you haven’t been then you are missing out.

I had the 636 for two years until Kawasaki updated it. A test on the 2007 resulted in me PX’ing the

wedding 2282005 model for the new one. It just did everything a little bit better.

I didn’t do a massive amount of miles on this bike as I was out of the country a lot with work. The miles that I did manage to do were always fun come rain or shine with trips to Minehead along the A39 being a regular blast.

The 2007 Ninja was a great bike and served me well, but our relationship was short lived as I had to sell her after 12 months as I had left my full time job and was setting up my own business and wanted to have a bit of cash in the bank as a back up.

It was now 2011 and I’d been bike-less for three years as I’d been busy working my socks off building up my business. I hadn’t really been thinking about getting a bike when a trip to Lynmouth changed all that. I had just parked the car when my eyes caught this black bike about 50 metres away. “What the fug is that?” I thought. It was like nothing I’d seen before. Upon closer inspection I saw the BMW badge on the fairing. I didn’t believe it. BMW built tours with weird engines and front suspension and here’s me looking at what I could only think of as the Bat Bike.

IMG_0392I wanted to know more. Google is always on hand with a smart phone and a quick search told me where my local dealer was. A phone call later and my test ride was booked. The rest is history. The 2011 S1000RR started my journey with a manufacturer that I never thought would build bikes that would appeal to me.

I absolutely loved being on that bike but the three years without the bike had left my skills a little rusty. So I started to read about better riding. A couple of trips to Wales massively helped and a more “grown up” approach to my riding.

I probably wouldn’t have parted with the 2011 RR but a trip to the dealer for it’s service had me chatting with the sales man as I looked at the motorsports painted 2013 model. I went out on a two hour test and then it was a case of “when can you get me one?”

A couple weeks later I pick it up from the dealers. Throw on a double bubble screen and a tail tidy and I was all set for some epic adventures.

It was on the 2013 S1000RR that I really started to put my riding together. I’d done 3 consistent years of riding and I decided to join RoSPA in 2014 after one of my mates had nagged me about going for ages.

In my work I’m always looking to improve my knowledge and skills and this attitude  has carried over to my motorcycling. So I joined RoSPA and my riding came on leaps and bounds and I continue to refine my riding skills every time I’m on the bike.

So, 2015 came around. The new S1000RR was on sale and I wasn’t really interested in a new bike. I’d been to Motorcycle Live at the NEC to check it out and I didn’t like the look of it. I got an email from the dealer, which I ignored. Then a voicemail saying that I should come and have a test ride. I ignored that too.

BMW S1000RR 2015Then one day I thought “sod it, lets check the hype” and I was blown away by it. I still wasn’t overly sold on the looks but I was bitten. I needed a new fix and so I ordered one and have done several thousands happy miles on my current steed.

Will I keep it?

For now yes, but who know’s what the future holds.

As you have seen, my road bikes have always been sports bikes but I don’t use the road as a race track and just try to get out and enjoy a decent ride as often as I can. Which brings me back to another reason for setting up this website. I plan to film as many of the rides I get out on so that;

A: I can watch the footage back and learn from it and thus improve my own riding and

B: Hopefully inspire you to ride some of the routes that I’ve taken.

So, thanks again for checking out the site and reading my story. Please feel free to leave a comment but please keep it clean as anything that is offensive will be deleted. I am a family man after all and I don’t want my kids reading it 😉

Safe riding,