Friday, 20 April 2012

In Memory: Francisco Hernández

It was with very great sadness and distress that I learned yesterday of the passing of Francisco Hernández “Topopaco”. Barely in his mid-forties, he succumbed to a massive heart attack. He leaves behind a wife and a young son.

Francisco Hernández "Topopaco" (right of picture)

Paco wasn’t a famous name in Spanish motorcycling but despite that, he was known to countless motorcyclists throughout Spain. He was the moving force behind the Spanish Triumph Owners’ Club and did more than his fair share to promote the Triumph marque in Spain. And, true to his nature, he did all this for the sheer pleasure of it. [...]

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Stop Messing Around!

I’m sure that many of you will have heard that Norton will be present at this year’s Isle of Man TT races with a V4-powered bike. And those of you who, like myself, are Brit-bike enthusiasts will have been most excited at this news.

However, as I gathered further information about this bike, my enthusiasm turned to indignation. Quite simply put, this motorcycle does not deserve to bear the famous Norton name on the flanks of its petrol tank. Yes, I can already hear those of you at the back muttering “yet another bloke who can’t see beyond a ’71 Commando”, but it’s not that at all. I have a fondness for V4 engines born of many a ride aboard various examples of Honda’s VFR 750 (by the way, I’m still angling for a ride of the fabled RC30 – if there are any kind-hearted owners out there who wish to oblige in return for a full write up in The Thruxtonian, please make yourselves known!). But I digress. [...]

Thursday, 12 April 2012

A Personal Appeal

No, I’m not going to do like the fellow from Wikipedia and ask you for your money (though if you do want to give me some dosh I certainly won’t say no! And I promise to put it to good use!). In fact this is on behalf of a friend of mine.

He is the very proud owner of a Bimota YB9 SR. However, during a track day last weekend, his front mudguard came to a grisly end. Now here in Spain bodywork parts for Bimotas are more rare than rocking horse droppings.

Therefore if any of you have a front mudguard for a Bimota YB9 SR lying around, please leave a message in the comments section with contact details and I’ll pass them along (the comments are moderated, so your contact details will not appear publicly on the blog). Or if you know of somebody who might have such a part, or if you see a classified ad for such a part, please give me a heads-up with the details of the ad.



Tuesday, 10 April 2012

MotoGP: Qatar

 Today is the day after the first round of the MotoGP World Championship [article written 09/04/12 - Ed.]. This season sees another engine size change and the arrival of the CRT (Claiming Rule Teams) bikes, which are an expansion of the Moto2 concept: an engine derived from a street-legal 1000cc sportsbike placed in a bespoke chassis. These CRT bikes have been heralded as a means of bringing more bikes and, it is to be supposed, more excitement to the racing. The combination of the CRT bikes and the change to 1000cc capacity for the full-on MotoGP machines is aimed at making the category more interesting and less of a snooze-fest. So what does it give in practice?

After all the hype about this new MotoGP season I decided that it was my duty to watch the race and see for myself. The CRT bikes do indeed look like slightly bigger versions of the Moto2 machines, with styling that looks rather bland compared to that of the “pukka” MotoGP bikes; like the Moto2 machines, they look as if they were pencilled by small-time designers or design students who aren’t’ familiar enough with motorcycles to be able to draw a bike that looks like it means business. If a manufacturer unveiled designs like that for its next litre superbike, most punters would laugh it back to its drawing boards. The engines are heavily-modified powerplants taken from the latest bevy of road-going litre sportsbikes – for example, Colin Edwards’ bike has the lump from a BMW S1000RR – and have power outputs and top speed figures that are pretty much in the same league as World Superbike Championship machines. [...]

Monday, 9 April 2012


This isn’t the first time my blog has stumbled and required a jumpstart. There are various reasons at play here. First of all, my day job. Much as I would love it, my blog does not earn me any money, and as such it has always been clearly and deliberately subordinated to my workload. But having made the firm decision to expand my professional domain to motorcycle journalism and writing, it is clear that this blog can be of great strategic value to make my work and myself known – a sort of organic, living and breathing business card, as it were. Of course that depends upon whether or not anybody in the motorcycle writing and journalism sector – or in the motorcycle industry in general – actually knows of and reads this blog. But that is a gamble that I am ready to take.

Secondly, over the past year or so, my personal life has impinged upon my will to take interest in my blog, but as the expression suggests, that is a personal aspect that is not germane to this blog so I shall say no more on the subject.

So anyway, The Thruxtonian is back. And this time I really want to make it work. And to do that I’d be very grateful for your feedback: don’t hesitate to comment on the articles that I publish, so that I know if I’m doing things right. Of course all comments to the blog are moderated, so I shall only retain and publish those that I think provide constructive and relevant opinions, or those that can lead on to an interesting subject of debate.

Ride safe,