CAMP VC - TATTOOIST BOSHKA GRYGORIEW- ALVY

 
 

At Camp VC this August we're very lucky to have the incredibly talented Boshka Grygoriew- Alvy  of Good Times Tatoos coming to site with her pop up tattoo shop where she's lining up some specially designed flash for all you ladies. Boshka will be booked up fast as its first come first served so jump in there quick to avoid disappointment! All the details of the incredible flash that Boshka is drawing up for the event will be released ahead of the event in the run up on our facebook & instagram  but in the meantime get to know Boshka & her incredible work from when she chatted with us recently. 


My name is Boshka Grygoriew-Alvy & I work at Good Times Tattoo,  in Shoreditch, London. 

Where are you originally from & where are you based now ?

B: Born in Warsaw, Poland. Been living in UK for over 10 years, currently in London.

 

What inspired you to start tattooing? 

B: Many things inspired me I think. People, art work, culture... Since I started getting tattooed Ive always loved traditional and Japanese styles of tattooing. Alot of the imagery itself made me want to paint and tattoo, however the person that introduced me to the world of tattooing is my husband Liam Alvy who still inspires and motivates me massively. Ive been tattooing for almost 5 years now.

 

Can you tell us a little bit about your journey to your current tattooing style? What kind of stuff did you start out doing?

B:  It was always a matter of trying things and making something timeless yet original, since the very beginning for me. However you don't always get to do what you want at the start of your career in tattooing and that's probably a good thing... It's all about being patient and hard working. But I would say that I've done mostly stuck to a traditional style of tattooing through out the years but with many different influences. The way I tattoo is traditional with alot of bold lines and block colour however a lot of various imagery in my flash comes from Tibetan & Japanese culture but also from various folk art. 

 

So you'll be designing some special flash for Camp VC!! So freaking exciting! Any hints about what you've got in store?

 I want it to be fun and reflect the camp and the people themselves. So it will most definitely be themed around the event! There will be lots to choose from and all traditional in style. I always think that spontaneous tattoos are most fun so it'll be great to give that experience to everyone but Im keeping the details secret until revealing the designs couple of weeks before the event on the VC instagram! 

 

So you just recently started riding motorcycles! What made you want to start? 

B: Once again I would have to say my husband was a big reason behind it. I didn't want to sit on a back of his bike anymore! To be fair, riding always seemed to me like a fun thing to get into but I actually never had time to get going with my license until now. 

 

What made you want to get involved with CAMP VC? 

I just simply thought that being part of the event will be lots of fun and will allow me to meet bunch of girls with same interests. For sure the tattoo and motorbike worlds are male dominated so it's absolutely amazing for the ladies to have their stand within it! Im so excited to be involved! See you all there!

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Boshka will be around all weekend at CAMP VC with her pop up tattoo studio ready to ink your beautiful selves.... Remember ladies, if you want a tattoo at Camp VC its a first come first come basis so when you get site sprint on over to Boshkas tattoo tent asap to book in for a banger!

In the meantime follow Boshka on instagram & watch out for her special flash designs dropping on our instagram & blog before the event ;)

Ready.... set....  go!

VC X DOCKLANDS RIDERS DIRT DAY

Yesterday we held the first  VC X DOCKLANDS RIDERS DIRT DAY over at Docklands riders, East London & man was it a blast. 

A huge thanks to Docklands Riders & to everyone involved for coming down & making it a great one.....Maaaaaaan I'm aching today.

Cant wait for the next one!

VCC TEAM TALKS

The girls over at VCC have been working like crazy over the last few months on this amazing project & its finally ready!  Check it! 

 

- TEAM TALKS -

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A project sparked by conversations with the everyday pioneers that are at the heart of what we do at VCC.  

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Bold women influencing a next generation, from racers, adventurers, groundbreakers in extreme sports, motorcycle builders & women travelling to war zones to the unsung heroes, friends, collaborators & creators we at VCC live our lives around every day, coming together to talk about their lives & the incredible things they do.

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We'll be releasing our team talks week by week at www.vcclondon.com in the run up to our live VCC TEAM TALKS this summer at CAMP VC over at the VCC tent - With conversations & Q&A's between some of these amazing women joining together across their different disciplines to share their stories & discuss their experiences, kickstarting a series of worldwide conversations between women from all walks of life to inspire others to step out on the road less travelled. 

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CLICK HERE

to see the first conversation in the series at www.vcclondon.com

 

 

GLAMOUR MAGAZINE 2016

Thinking of coming to CAMP VC & want to know more about what its gonna be like heres a flash back to our last years Babe Ride Out UK event written by the lovely Lindsey Kelk for Glamour magazine!

CAMP VC TICKETS ARE ONSALE NOW!!

Join us at Camp VC for a ladies only weekend of motorcycles, ride outs, beginners moto lessons, dirt biking, skating, talks, tattooing, camping, live entertainment & partying on a hill top 16th century farm site in the Breacon Beacons, Wales from August 4th- 6th 2017!

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FOR ALL THE EVENT INFO & TO BUY TICKETS CLICK HERE!

We're giving FREE GIFT BAGS for the first 50 ladies to sign up full of some rad stuff from our sponsors!

We're also limiting tickets to just 250 for our first year so don't snooze ladies !

CAMP VC IS PROUDLY SPONSORED BY HONDA, VANS, DMD, RED WING SHOES, VCC, BLONDIES BAR, THE DTRA, PISTONHEAD LAGER, SAILOR JERRY RUM, THE SHOP CUSTOMS, NEFARIOUS SKATE CREW, BABES RIDE OUT, THE GRAND HOWL ROASTERY & WINE & RIND

 

 

CAMP VC - TICKETS LAUNCHING THIS SATURDAY!

Tickets launch this weekend of our CAMP VC event & damn we got some amazing stuff in store!  From August 4th- 6th 2017 were headed to wales for some dirt biking & enduro to free yoga classes, a skate ramp & 125cc beginner classes, it gonna be one hell of a weekend.

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TICKETS DROP THIS SATURDAY 1st April & are limited for our first year so stay up to date with all the details on our INSTAGRAM HERE & sign up to our mailing list to be the first to know when they drop to avoid disappointment ladies!

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We have 125cc beginner riding lessons onsite 

We have 125cc beginner riding lessons onsite 

We're proud to announce CAMP VC is supported by HONDA - IMAGE BY @VELVET DESPERADO

We're proud to announce CAMP VC is supported by HONDA - IMAGE BY @VELVET DESPERADO

CAMP VC - SAVE THE DATE

We've been cooking something up over the last few months & we're stoked to finally tell you all whats been going on & release the save the date for our event this summer Camp VC!

Set in a 16th century farm site on a hilltop above the Welsh valleys at the edge of the incredible Brecon Beacons National Park, Camp VC is a womens motorcycle camp out &outdoor adventure weekend with dirt bikes riding, ride outs, camping, moto riding lessons from 125s to dirt & flat track , talks from women in moto sports, skate boarding, live entertainment & free booze (and thats just the tip of the iceberg). This is an event open to all no matter what you ride from those who already ride to   those who want to start!

Follow the events page HERE on Facebook for updates & follow VC London on instagram for all the event news! ...... Its gonna be big!


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More details coming this weekend! 

Get it in yer diaries ladies!

VCC IS A GO!

Its finally here! VCC was launched this week. From fully kevlar lined jackets you can ride, cycle & roll in to racing moto x jerseys, these girls got the stuff you need! 

Get yourselves over to their website for a look at whats new & follow them on Instagram now-

www.vcclondon.com

@v__c__c


Inspired by the gap for hardwearing womenswear for those who wander, VCC is tough wearing design, made here in England, for wherever you go, whatever you ride, whatever the trip, without having to forego style for safety.

 

BUILDS - MANON HACHE & HER HONDA CB125 CHOPPER

Over the coming weeks we'll be  featuring some bikes & builds we love from all over the world & the women who ride, design & build them. First up is absolute mega babe Manon Hache & her incredible Honda 125cc custom chopper. 

Ever since she popped up on our instagram feed (thanks to the ever amazing Dice Magazine who's next issue she'll be gracing the pages of next month with her chop) we've been pretty obsessed with the awesome bike she built with her dad & brother at home in Belgium. With another build already on the go for this winter  (this time a 79' Harley Ironhead) we had a chat to her all about her first bike build & her ideas behind it, chopper shit &  her dream road trip.

Enjoy! x

GEMMA: So where are you from?

MANON : I'm a 24 years old girl from Mons, Belgium, EU. My dad is Belgian and my mom is Italian from Sardinia. 

G: How did you first get into bikes? 

M: My dad and my brother run a garage. They work on cars and bikes, mostly on Harleys and choppers. That's where my love for choppers comes from. 

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 "I spent my all days with him learning and helping him in the garage. That's the best part of building a bike- the memories and hours spent in the garage together"

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My Honda is my first bike. I decided to start with a 125 to be comfortable on the road beforebuying a Harley. When I bought it, I knew I wanted to build a chopper:  A Tall sissy bar, ape bars, super tall fishtail pipes and colour would be orange. Those are the first things I was sure about. My brother @mauro__hache always has good advice - he decided about the line of the bike, also the seat was his idea, fender too, and he also did the all paint. He's the master of paint of this house! My dad did everything else, by hand: The sissy bar, pipes & the electrics.  The ape bars are from a good friend of ours @alexdew. Apart from that everything was made with old parts we had at home. My dad disassembled and rebuild everything. I spent my all days with him learning and helping him in the garage. That's the best part of building a bike- the memories and hours spent in the garage togheter. I'll say it's really the result of our 3 minds. Dad, Mauro and I made my dream lil bike come true. Now I've got an original 1979 Iron head which we're staring to build this winter. Fun time again! 

G: How long did it take to build from start to finish? 

M: We just did it when dad had a bit of free time in the garage so we didn't work on it everyday. We started like 6 months ago.

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 " That's the funny thing. Your bike ends up looking like you and your personality. The end of 60s - 70s is my favourite era for just about  everything i'd say."

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G: So what made you go for this model of bike & what made you go for a chopper style rebuild?

M: Choppers are my favorite style of bike. My first influences about choppers was definitely from my brother and my Dad. I start to get into it a few years ago then really wanted to start my own project. I'm always searching for vintage pictures of choppers. I'll say I had my idea of my dream bike in my head before to start the project, but when it came to real life, it's even better than what originally I had in my mind. I was the happiest girl in the world when the bike was finished, and I am still.

To me if you own a chopper, you can make your bike very personal. That's the funny thing. Your bike ends up looking like you and your personality. The end of 60s - 70s is my favourite era for just about  everything i'd say. Choppers, music, fashion, furniture, style, womens liberation. I was born too late! 

G: Whats your dream bike?

M: I've got a little preference for Panheads. But I'm pretty sure i'll own a knuckle too one day. 

G: If you could go on any dream motorcycle trip where would it be?

M: I'd like to travel America on a bike. I will one day. I'd love to be lost in the mountains in the middle of nowhere and thinking: damn, i'm at the other side of the world and I'm so happy and free. We did a lot of EU bikes shows this year so it was an amazing summer. I love meeting new people who have the same interest. I can't wait for next summer!

G: Favourite thing to wear when you ride? 

M: My everyday to go outfit: flares with a band or printed t-shirts from small businesses . Also my vegan leather jacket customised by pins and patches from small business too. My favorites brands for the coolest t-shirts or the best vintage custom are places like @Shopbadrevival  @Shopthecreatures  @Shophellbound  @Backbite_    @Velvetcaveclothing  @Bornabadseed and so many others....Go girls! 

G: Favourite helmet? 

M: My Biltwell Gringo full face. Ride safe!

G: Tell us about your business - Le rendez-vous vintage!

M: Le rendezvous vintage is my vintage shop that I opened 2 years ago. It's my dream job! I need freedom in my life. I could never wake up every day & do something I'm not happy with. I wake up with a smile everyday thinking how lucky I am to be an indenpendant women who loves her life and work. 

Go follow Manon on instagram HERE & checkout her vintage store Le Rendez- vous Vintage on facebook HERE 

A big thanks to Manon & Dylan Mura! Go see more from Dyan on insta HERE

MY FIRST SUMMER ON A MOTORCYCLE - GEORGIA SHERLOCK

Loving all the people that you can see taking their first steps to 2 wheeled adventures lately! Your first summer riding is something that stays with you for sure... Whether its full of roadside breakdowns, stalling & running out of petrol or friendships, road trips & ride outs its something you don't forget in a hurry.

Our good friend the lovely Georgia Sherlock just started riding this summer & so we asked her to write all about her tips, road trips, cbt stuff & her first summer on 2 wheels.

Thanks G!
x

GEORGIA: 

This summer I made the massively excited but mildly apprehensive step into the world of motorcycles. At first glance it seemed like an exclusive world, dangerous and arguably aggressive but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only have I learnt a new skill, but Ive also managed to meet some amazing people, all of us connected by an engine and two wheels. 

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"Whether it’s to clear your head, meet some mates, or just a way to spend your time, the experience is incomparable. "

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So what made me want to start riding? When I was little my dad had a bike (he still does) and I always kinda thought he looked quite badass. He also used to race cars so anything with an engine sort of makes sense to me (sort of). By no means am I a mechanic but it isn't a totally alien world in some ways. I must have been about 10 when I had my first memory of being on a bike was clinging onto my dad and he’s very ugly Triumph Tiger.

So with a wobbly start and a couple of very helpful spins around a car park with the lovely Gemma of the VC, I got my act together & managed to pass my CBT in torrential rain with a bunch of aspiring Deliveroo drivers. The prospect of getting on a motorised, two- wheeled machine with minimal practice was a pretty nerve wracking thought but for anyone interested in the idea please don’t be deterred - you can all do it with yer eyes closed! My main advice would be to take it on a scooter, these are automatic and only 50cc. Get legal and then get your ass on a geared bike, there’s no rush with these things but the most important thing is that you can legally cruise the roads!

For my first bike I chose a Yamaha SR 125. I wanted something older and of more vintage style so I trawled through millions of Ebay listings and stumbled across the bike I now own. Luckily the woman selling wasn’t quite aware of the market and the bike was an absolute steal. The appeal of something older was the idea of customising it and the vision of a little cafe racer, however that’s yet to happen (but in the pipeline). After getting my bike I just rode and rode and rode, everywhere, anywhere, nowhere. It didn’t matter the occasion, or why, the liberating feeling of being sat on a motorcycle trumps any other. Whether it’s to clear your head, meet some mates, or just a way to spend your time, the experience is incomparable. 

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Despite what people might think you can do some serious mileage on a 125 as I did this summer. From Kent to London - Wales & all through the Brecon Beacons Ive made some pretty amazing memories in my first summer on two wheels.

A ride out to Kent with a motley crew. - It was a Sunday, the sun was shining. Rachel Billings  and I fancied a BBQ and a river to swim in so a group of about 10 of us rode on down. We cruised along some picturesque A-roads and tried to delay the inevitable Sunday blues as much as humanly possible. We all managed to avoid swallowing rat shit from the dodgy looking river, however we did not manage to avoid partial nudity from some of the guys…

"Asides from the ride itself taking a healthy 10 hours for many of us it was our first time out on the country roads"

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Babes Ride Out UK, Wales - Friday 5th August, a group of brave and perhaps slightly mad motorcyclists met at The Bike Shed in Shoreditch. The sun was shining and coffee and croissants were being consumed as we prepared to embark on our ride to Wales for Babes Ride Out UK. Asides from the ride itself taking a healthy 10 hours for many of us it was our first time out on the country roads; hearing your bike, smelling the fresh air and absorbing the scenery was a blessing and the freedom we felt was like no other. When we eventually arrived we were greeted by a group of some of the most awesome women I’ve met. Asides from the cold beer and relief of climbing off our bikes my overwhelming sense of respect for these ladies was very real. It takes a lot of courage and confidence to organise such an amazing event, the girls behind VC London are carving the way for women in a traditionally male world and bringing Babes Ride Out to the UK is just the beginning of a very long legacy.

IMAGE BY THE COSTA SISTERS

IMAGE BY THE COSTA SISTERS

"We arrived in the pissing rain but our spirits weren't dampened."

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The Trip Out, Bedfordshire - Summer was coming to a close but there was time for one final hoorah as a bunch of us descended upon a farm in Bedfordshire. The ride up there was quick and easy…proves what a little practice and experience can do to your riding (confidence had grown since the 10 hour adventure to Wales). We arrived in the pissing rain but our spirits were not dampened. Cracking a beer, ditching the bike and watching the sun go down surrounded by a spectacular array of choppers was certainly a pleasant experience. With a well stocked bar, live music and awesome people there was very little to complain about. Differently to other events this was less about riding and more about displaying. The variety a motorcycles encountered in one weekend was an entire experience in itself and as a newbie to the scene it was quite a spectacle…

TRIP OUT IMAGES FROM SUBSCULPTURES BY JONNY WILSON

 

So at the end of my first summer riding my best advice to anyone wanting to get on two wheels would be to just do it. If you’re interested and the idea of a bike gets the heart racing then book a CBT and get legal. It would be a lie to say the CBT wasn’t nerve-wracking but take it easy and take your time, anyone can do it and once the certificate is in your hands jump on a bike asap. A big car park, industrial estate or quiet country road, as long as you have space and someone with experience and patience to guide you through the gears and getting your balance you’ll be cruising about in no time.

Anyway enough from me but all I’ll finish on is the totally positive outcome of my fairly impulsive choice to hop on a motorbike. It’s a decision I’ll never regret and if you love it the rest comes naturally. 

G x

IMAGE: HEIDI ZUMBRUN

IMAGE: HEIDI ZUMBRUN

ALLS GOOD IN THE HOOD....

We went to catch the last of summer one evening with the lovely peeps of Goodhood recently for their Girls Love Good Hood campaign.

Beers, BBQ & a burn around East London docklands..... We don't want summer to end. Oh well, more of a chance to work on the bikes over winter.

Thanks to Jo, Kyle & everyone at Goodhood for the rad pics...Check out Goodhood for all things awesome.

THE BASICS......

How do I look after my bike & what are the basic maintenance steps I need to do?? ARGH!

I found that I learned alot when I was practicing for my theory test as alot of this info is included in there but before that on just a CBT it took me a while to learn the basics about my bike & how to maintain it. Alot of people have been asking us about basic moto maintenance recently so we thought we'd do a quick run down of the basic stuff you can learn to keep to your wheels & before a ride out which you'll only need a basic set of tools & a bit of noggin to do! ..... Its not the be all & end all in terms of moto maintenance but enough to get you started & not always having to rely on others.... Enjoy!  


FIRST UP........

Firstly, before anything else, get on over to HAYNES & grab a workshop manual for your model of bike. These things are worth their weight in gold as they have every setting, tips & breakdowns of different bits of your bike. even just a good read in general to get to know whats located where & what bit does what..... usually the manual will also list the tools you'll need to do the job. 

Number two: Good quality tools do what they say on the tin. They are totally worth the money to invest in (just a basic set at first & then you'll find you collect a few more along the way when you come across jobs where you need specific things... thats where I started apart from knocking from friends & my other half... ). Halfords do a pretty good starter set thats pretty good quite for the cash.

Finally if you dont feel 100% confident dont be afraid to ask someone for help! Two heads are always better than one when problem solving, even when you're experienced with bikes. Ive learned everything I know so far (and by the way I'm no expert) from trying to solve stuff with other people around our shop or helping out mates with their bikes.

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TYRES

 

TOOLS: A good quality pressure gauge

I know its a no brainier but its something that you should always remember to do. Its a pretty vital part of your bikes handling as under inflated tyres massively affect handling & braking. You can also overinflate them (this can result in a lack of grip when braking) so its worth getting a good quality pressure gauge to get it right. This is when your manual comes in handy as it'll tell you correct pressure for your bike & in which circumstance e.g. you may need more pressure if you're regularly carrying a passenger or heavy stuff. Try to check it once a week & also before any long trips. It's also worth checking the condition and tread depth of the tyres while you're at it.

TIP: Always check your pressures when they're cold!

 

IMAGE: HEIDI ZUMBRUN

IMAGE: HEIDI ZUMBRUN

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CHAIN

 

TOOLS: A torque wrench

Incorrect chain tension can result in sprocket and gearbox wear, unsmooth gearshifts, snatchy transmission, hamper your bike's rear suspension travel and reduce the life of your bike's chain so its pretty important to check this regularly.

Check your manual for how to adjust your bike's chain to the correct tension. Remember to set the tension with some load on the bike (something heavy or with someone on it) as the chain will tighten up once a you have a passenger on board.  Your manual will also tell you the correct torque settings for each bolt - how much force to use when retightening each bolt. This is when you'll need your torque wrench to do this properly. 

TIP: Its a good idea to also lubricate the chain while you're at it, as this will help it last longer! Its also a good time to check the condition of your back sprocket for teeth missing or wear & tear. These can be easily replaced & you can find replacement parts pretty easily at places like WEMOTO

IMAGE: DAMIAN PAJAK

IMAGE: DAMIAN PAJAK

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BATTERY

 

TOOLS/ SUPPLIES:  Manual & battery acid (if needed)

If a battery is allowed to run dry or drop into a deep state of discharge then usually it kills it, so you should try check it out regularly to see what state its in.

Ideally, remove the battery from its holder before carrying out any work. Remember,  batteries contain strong acid, which can be harmful if it comes into contact with your skin so wear gloves & watch out where you get it.

Check the acid level in your battery by placing it on a level surface. If the level's low then top up with de-ionised water before placing the battery on charge, using a car or motorcycle charger. Remember not to overfill, as acid will drain out the overflow pipe when you're on the move. Many moden batteries are sealed, so you won't be able to top them up, meaning you'll have to buy a new one. Again WEMOTO is a great site to grab one from or if you're going custom a fancy lithium racing battery can take up half the space & fit nicely under the seat but you'll need to fabricate a new holder or battery box for this probably. 

TIP: Greasing your bike's battery terminals before placing the battery back in the bike will help avoid corrosion build up. Just remember not to touch both terminals at the same time or else ZAP!

IMAGE: HEIDI ZUMBRUN

IMAGE: HEIDI ZUMBRUN

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COOLANT

 

Checking you coolant only takes a few minutes to do but again its a pretty vital bit of maintenance. Not all bikes are liquid cooled. Some are also air-cooled (see here for a good guide on the differences)

First of all check out your manual to locate your bike's 'expansion' tank (if it has one); high and low levels should be marked on the outside of the translucent tank. Alternatively, remove the radiator filler cap to check the level. Only do this when the water is cold. And while your at it, think about changing the coolant altogether. Another easy job that takes about 30 minutes. Here's how it's done:

- When the radiator's stone cold, remove the cap the bottom rubber hose, allowing the old coolant to drain into a bucket. You may need to undo a drain plug situated near the water pump to extract all the liquid. Check your owner's manual for how to do it.

- Once the system's drained, reattach the bottom hose and replace the drain plug before making up a new batch of coolant using a 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and de-ionised water.

- Fill to the correct level ensuring no air is trapped in the system. This can be alleviated by squeezing the radiator hoses to expel unwanted air. Check the level again after your first test ride.

IMAGE: BROTHER MOTO

IMAGE: BROTHER MOTO

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OIL

Changing your bikes oil is all part & parcel of keeping it in good knick. Some bikes need it changing more often than others (dirt bikes need oil changes every few hours of riding time where as road bikes need it alot less) all you need are the right tools, decent oil and the correct filter.

Check your workshop manual for a detailed explanation of how to do this very specifically on your bike. Also consider asking a mate to oversee progress from start to finish.

TIP: Always check your oil levels when the engine is warmed. Go for a quick spin then let the bike sit for about 15mins before checking. Also, always make sure your bike is upright (on the centre stand if you have one, or held up by someone else) to make sure you're reading the levels right.

If you're a bit low & need a change or top up: Get engine warmed through, remove the bike's oil filler cap, place a tray under the bike and remove the sump plug. Make sure you're 100 sure you're removing the right bolt; it should be the biggest one on the sump, usually on the bottom or on the side.

- Once the oil's drained, remove the filter, either by hand or using a filter removal wrench. 

- Replace the sump plug, tighten to the correct torque setting as recommended in the owner's manual before spinning on a new filter. Smear the rubber filter gasket in clean oil before tightening by hand. Nip it up half a turn with the filter wrench. 

- Refill the engine with the correct amount of new oil. Start the bike up, check for leaks, stop the engine Give it five minutes for the oil to drain back into the sump before checking the level again. Add oil if necessary.

 

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SPARK PLUGS

TOOLS:  Socket wrench with a spark plug extension

Unlike some of the other jobs changing your bike's spark plugs isn't a job that usually needs doing regularly but its a good check to do to avoid any breakdowns as a result of blackened or dirty plugs, making it difficult to start the bike. You can consult your manual for how often in should be done.

On most small or old bikes checking or changing the spark plugs can take a matter of minutes. Firstly make sure you have the correct plugs for your bike; the code number on each one will differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Check the owner's manual for the correct gap; you'll need feeler gauges to set it correctly.

TIP: Remove the plugs one at a time to avoid mixing up the HT leads & try not to over tighten them! Best way to do this is to screw them in by hand and nip them up a quarter-turn with a plug wrench.

IMAGE: DAMIAN PAJAK

IMAGE: DAMIAN PAJAK

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BRAKES.... PADS OR DRUMS

TOOLS: Good spanners, sockets or Allen keys of the correct size to fit the caliper retaining bolts; some brake cleaner spray; a rag or old toothbrush; a large flat-headed screwdriver, copper grease, a torque wrench, a pair of pliers and brake fluid (of the right grade).

Firstly, does your bike have drum brakes (common on older bikes) or disc brakes?? . Click here for a good guide to the difference between drum brakes & disc brakes.  If you're bike has disc brakes a good way to check them is: 

  • Start by checking the pedals and handbrakes.  You want to make sure they’re firm and not soft or spongy.
  • Visually inspect both the front and rear brakes looking for wear on your brake pads.
  • Make sure there is at least 3mm of pad left.  If the pads wear down less than this, you’ll get metal-on-metal grinding between the brake and the rotor. 

Checking & replacing your bike's brake pads sounds fairly intensive but is actually a pretty straightforward job although first time I'd ask someone experienced to give you a hand.

There are so many great video guides on you tube for this that its kind of pointless for me to put it into words but basically you'll need to remove the caliper from the fork leg, take out the retaining clips, followed by then pins and springs. The pads should then come out with ease. 

TIP: Use an aerosol brake cleaner to smarten up the job when you're finished and remove any unwanted grease as this is very dangerous around disc brakes.


GOOD UK WEBSITES FOR REPLACEMENT PARTS

 

WEMOTO

MOTORCYCLE PRODUCTS

M & P

PATTERN PARTS

DTL X GEMMA HARRISON OF VC LONDON

 

DtL: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the VC Collective?

Gemma: My name is Gemma Harrison and I run VC LONDON, a motorcycle collective made up of myself, and my friends Mai & Namin. There is also a network of other riders who we’ve taught to ride or have met through a shared passion for motorcycles, skating/whatever else we get up to. It’s not a club or a gang.. in fact its very non-definitive. We like it that way as it encompasses many things from events and The Shop Customs (our shared motor workshop and studio) to the VCC clothing line. Basically it’s just us having fun!

DtL: When/how did you first discover your passion for motorcycles?

Gemma: I was a latecomer to motorcycles by a lot of people’s standards. I’m not someone who started riding when they were 3 years old or anything like that. I grew up mostly around cars as my dad restored classic cars – but I suppose the roots of something maybe started there…

My husband bought a small motorcycle with our wedding money 6 years ago which quickly got passed down to me. From there I started to learn about mechanics and building bikes and I thought I would try and find other women who also shared this passion (it wasn’t easy at that stage as there weren’t many women into the same type of custom bikes as I was getting into back then). After meeting VCC co-founder Namin Cho through work, and Mai through her then-boyfriend who was into bikes, we started to ask ourselves why there weren’t more women into what we were into in the UK. We also travelled to Joshua Tree for the Babes Ride Out event last year (an event where 1000 women ride out to camp and party in the desert every year) and saw how many women in the US were getting into motorcycles. We thought if there wasn’t a scene already here in the UK then we would help grow it! We put out a post on Instagram asking if any women wanted to learn to ride and we had a huge response, so it all just went quite organically from there for the VC.

IMAGE: JAMES GRANT

IMAGE: JAMES GRANT

DtL: How do you find being a female in an industry that is heavily dominated by males? Have you ever experienced prejudice/stereotypes/sexism because of attitudes towards your gender?

Gemma: The motorcycle world is actually really supportive of women in my experience, just as it’s supportive of everyone. It’s a great community. The only bad experience I’ve had was very recently after almost 6 years of riding; I was on my 66′ Triumph Chopper and a guy on a scooter stopped alongside me at some traffic lights. He leaned across and said he liked my bike. I thanked him and looked away…he then went on to tell me that I should obviously be riding his scooter and really he should be riding my bike, me being a woman and all! Luckily the lights changed and I left him for dust…so it obviously still exists but that’s honestly the only time I’ve ever encountered it. It’s a very small, old fashioned demographic that believe motorcycles belong strictly in a man’s world.

At the workshop we share in London (The Shop Customs) we work in a really mixed environment; both girls and guys work there and we support one another and share our skills. We never feel like our gender separates us – that’s something we really believe in and try to instil in others – I’m not just a woman who rides; I’m just another rider, irrespective of my sex.

 

IMAGE: JAMES GRANT

IMAGE: JAMES GRANT

DtL: Our research revealed that 35% of teenage girls believe their gender will have a negative impact on their career. What advice would you give to young girls who want to pursue a hobby or career in an area which is largely male-dominated?

Gemma: Growing up, I was never the kind of girl who wore much make up, I’m not the shy and retiring type and I constantly have a colourful array of bruises all over me from whatever I’ve been doing that day. I’m not exactly what you’d call a ‘shrinking violet’, but on the other hand I can still be feminine when I want to be. Having this personality means everyone around me (my husband, my family and friends ) have always accepted and encouraged me to pursue anything I've wanted to do, whether they its considered masculine or feminine. I hate labelling people and personalities and I don’t believe in stuff like the “tomboy” pigeonhole. I’ve always had quite a dominant personality; it wasn’t until after years of being labelled ‘bossy’ by every school report, that I realised that boys were never called bossy! Qualities like that in men don’t seem to be frowned upon….in fact they are encouraged and referred to as ‘leadership qualities’! That’s when I started to accept that I am who I am and it’s done wonders for me in my career, and also what I do at VC. Having a strong personality means I can use my confidence to support and encourage others.

The world is changing; women can do absolutely anything they want to do. I’ve never felt held back by being a woman and neither should anyone else.

TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE

BABES RIDE OUT UK BY THE COSTA SISTERS

SAT AT THE SHOP, LOOKING OUT OF THE WINDOW AT THE BUSY LONDON TRAFFIC OUTSIDE & FEELING THE BLUES 3 WEEKS AFTER BABES RIDE OUT UK & THEN AN EMAIL DROPS INTO YOUR INBOX FROM THE VERY TALENTED COSTA SISTERS THAT TRANSPORTS YOU RIGHT BACK TO THERE .....

HAILING FROM CARDIFF, JUST HALF AN HOUR FROM THE BABES RIDE OUT UK SITE, THE COSTA SISTERS CAUGHT THE VIBE PERFECTLY WITH LOTS OF MOTOS, SMILES & FRIENDS NEW & OLD  IN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SETTING YOU COULD IMAGINE.

YOU NEVER KNOW THERE MIGHT EVEN BE A VIDEO ON THE WAY SOON ;) STAY TUNED...

STAFF BABES RACHEL & SOPHIE

STAFF BABES RACHEL & SOPHIE

THE BEST CHASE VAN IN THE WORLD

THE BEST CHASE VAN IN THE WORLD

SAMI GRAYSTONE OF THE MEATHOOK

SAMI GRAYSTONE OF THE MEATHOOK

805 BEERS READY & WAITING AFTER THE LONG RIDE FROM LONDON!

805 BEERS READY & WAITING AFTER THE LONG RIDE FROM LONDON!

JODIE DEVANEY & AUDREY

JODIE DEVANEY & AUDREY

THE 125 CREW ARRIVE...

THE 125 CREW ARRIVE...

IMG_1387.JPG

RIDE OUT

THE 125 CREW ROLLING INTO BRECON

THE 125 CREW ROLLING INTO BRECON


 GOOD TIMES ,GOOD FRIENDS, 2 WHEELS

A MASSIVE THANKS TO STANCE SOCKS & RED WING !

A MASSIVE THANKS TO STANCE SOCKS & RED WING !

A MASSIVE THANKS TO THE AMAZING COSTA SISTERS FOR THE BEAUTIFUL IMAGES & A HUGE THANKS TO ANYA & ASHMORE OF BABES RIDE OUT, ALL THE US TEAM,  ALL THE INCREDIBLE BRANDS & SPONSORS WE HAD SUPPORTING THE EVENT &  EVERYONE ,FROM OUR AMAZING STAFF BABES TO THE RAD PEOPLE WHO CAME AND PARTIED WITH US. YOU MADE IT A WEEKEND WE'LL DEFINITELY NEVER FORGET.

WE'VE GOT SOME BIG PLANS ALREADY IN THE WORKS FOR 2017 AT VC & WE CANT WAIT TO SHARE THEM WITH YOU ALL ;)

VC x

 

GO FOLLOW THE COSTA SISTERS ON INSTAGRAM HERE & CHECK OUT THEIR OTHER WORK ON THEIR WEBSITE


WAS IT ALL A DREAM? ......

VANS X VC LONDON HEAD TO WALES FOR BABES RIDE OUT UK BY VIVIANA GOMEZ- MORALES.

Dreamy blue skies, green fields, perfect sunsets, babes & the sound of motos everywhere.. That was Babes Ride Out UK & Vivi Gomez captured that weekend perfectly... Dream on dreamers.........

To read the full article on the VANS WEBSITE click HERE!

ALL IMAGES BY VIVIANNA GOMEZ- MORALES

Our heros...... The 125cc crew !!

IMAGE : GEORGIA SHERLOCK

IMAGE : GEORGIA SHERLOCK

Round at Rebekahs boyfriend Chris's moto workshop one day, whilst Rebecka was working on her new 125cc Honda CG build, we got to talking about the impending Babe Ride Out UK event ... " You could put your bikes in the back of a van & drive them there if you don't want to ride all that way on a 125cc" I said. "No way! I want to ride there!" said Rebecka. It's not called Babes RIDE out for nothing.... And ride out they did. A mix of 125cc (and few bigger ones too)  motorcycles with riders both seasoned & literally just passed their CBTs braved the journey all the way to Wales, starting off on the morning of Friday the 5th August from The Bike Shed in east London.

They arrived tired with some sore bums but with some stories they'll remember forever & a new group of moto friends. Leader of the pack Georgia Sherlock wrote all about their adventure... Hats off to this ballsy band of nut cases!! You're our heros!


Friday 5th August, a group of brave and perhaps slightly mad motorcyclists met at The Bike Shed in Shoreditch. The sun was shining and coffee and croissants were being consumed as we prepared to embark on our ride to Wales for Babes Ride Out UK.......

 

When the lovely Gemma Harrison, co-founder of VC London heard we were thinking of organising a 125cc ride out to the Brecon Beacons she was all for it! She organised us a free breakfast with the wonderful people at The Bike Shed and sent us on our way; little did we know what was to come…

The ride itself took us 10 hours but what an awesome 10 hours they were. We cruised through London and almost made it to Oxford before our first stop. For many of us it was our first time out on the country roads; hearing your bike, smelling the fresh air and absorbing the scenery was a blessing and the freedom we felt was like no other. Drama struck when Katy and her pocket rocket (Honda cg125) broke down but thanks to her organisation skills and know-how following the Sailor Jerry ride last month, she had arranged for a support van with our honorary mechanics Siobhan and Von Leadfoot who saved the day. 

By the time we got to Oxford it was lunchtime. The service station didn’t know what had hit them when twelve lovely ladies and their equally lovely bikes rolled in. We ate and dreamt of cold beer but we still had a long way to go! With Katy’s bike back up and running we were soon on the road again, cruising through winding lanes and enjoying the rolling hills of the Cotswolds. 

VIDEO: DAVID HARTLEY AT INCOMING CHAOS

Eventually, we arrived in Cheltenham and the Welsh border felt within touching distance. Unfortunately, at this point, Rebecka and her custom built Honda ran into a few minor problems, so the decision was made to chuck it in the van. It’s important to mention that Rebecka had only been riding her bike for 3 days before the trip so massive respect goes out to her (I wouldn’t have got that far!).

 

Having stocked up on snacks, cigarettes and avoided the temptation of beer, we hit the road again and powered our way to the Welsh border. As the sun was setting and the breeze turning colder, the sense of achievement began to set in. A massive amount of team work was shown by all and I’d particularly like to thank Jennie who held us together from the back, picking up anyone with problems and generally supporting the group - you were ace!

Come 7pm we’d crossed the border and were climbing the Welsh hills, I think it’s fair to say we were all stunned by the landscape. It was the only part of the trip where we actually enjoyed getting stuck in traffic purely so we could appreciate the break-taking surroundings. We spent just over an hour tackling the Welsh bends, when eventually we arrived.

IMAGE : GEORGIA SHERLOCK

IMAGE : GEORGIA SHERLOCK

We were greeted by a group of some of the most awesome women I’ve met. Asides from the cold beer and relief of climbing off our bikes my overwhelming sense of respect for these ladies was very real. It takes a lot of courage and confidence to organise such an amazing event, the masterminds behind VC London are carving the way for women in a traditionally male world and bringing Babes Ride Out to the UK is just the beginning of a very long legacy.

Thank you Gemma, Mai, Namin and everyone else involved! Until next time!

Georgia x

IMAGE : GEORGIA SHERLOCK

IMAGE : GEORGIA SHERLOCK