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Blood Bikes Scotland goes into top gear with new additions to its fleet

The new wheels will enable Blood Bikes Scotland – which urgently transfers items to patients and hospitals – to expand its work for the NHS in Lothian, Fife and the Borders.

Aberdeen Standard Investments Charitable Foundation has given £5,000 to the charity, which is entirely self-funded, to aid the dedicated team of volunteer motorbikers to deliver urgent items like donor baby milk, blood samples, equipment and medication for the NHS. The donation has covered one third of the costs of one of the two new motorbikes which have been added to Blood Bike Scotland’s fleet this month.

John Baxter, chairman of Blood Bikes Scotland said: “The Aberdeen Standard Investments donation was amazing to receive. Each bike costs in the region of £15,000 and we’ve purchased two more to enable us to increase our service, thanks to this donation and others, and from other fundraising efforts we have been involved in. It is very timely as it comes at a busy time for our service and will assist us to help the NHS in any way we can.”

The bikers, riding fully liveried motorbikes, get involved to give something back to the community and in support of the NHS. They deliver items such as new prescriptions to District Nurses while they are still in the patient’s home so palliative patients can have changes to their pain medication quicker and reduce their waiting time. Or they may despatch specialist baby milk for premature babies, sometimes collecting expressed breast milk from the donor mother in her home and taking it to the hospital.

Claire Drummond head of charitable giving for Aberdeen Standard Investments Charitable Foundation said:“This band of bikers freely give up their time to courier medical supplies in their area. They can be called upon to transport anything from blood tests to emergency paperwork and through this important volunteering role they are providing an important support service to the NHS and its staff and patients.”

Blood Bikes Scotland was voted Scottish Charity of the Year 2018 and People’s Choice

Charity at the Scottish Charity Awards in Edinburgh. It is seeking new volunteers to join either as a rider, controller or to help with fundraising. More information can be found at

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This New Year is bringing in some changes

As we have grown we’ve not only outgrown the original plan but have also attracted the attention of other motorcycle media along the way – quite a complement for our little team. We had plans to develop the brand and had placed those on hold but with a bit of an external nudge we will be bringing you a whole new look from January 2019.

We will still have the website and magazine but will be bringing in a new look that links all of our communication channels. No longer will you have to jump between apps, browsers and the like for all the news and social media you’re looking for.

Along with this development we are aligning the magazine under the parent company name, 56’N. Anyone that’s looked at navigation or geography will know that 56’N (56 North) is the line of latitude that runs through central Scotland.

So from now on you’re going to see 56’N popping up everywhere focussing on bikes and bikers in Scotland and building a community for you all to interact with.
We do of course have to thank one of the bike magazines south of the border for giving us the final motivation to press ‘go’ on these plans.

Had they not had their lawyers give notice of their concerns of our name we might have left these plans on the shelf until next year and in retrospect that would have been late in the next riding season to make the move. We won’t go into the details of their dispute but here’s a quick thank you to them for the nudge.

You all have a good Christmas and New Year and we will see you all again in 2019 with more riding, more bikes, more news and a while lot more video production too!

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MV Agusta’s Brutalle 1000 Serie Oro

After a bit of back and fore the final choice is the Brutale 1000 Serie Oro. MV’s Brutale was already an excellent bike and an exceptional platform to use in developing a new model.

Taking the Brutale platofrm and borrowing technology fro the brilliant F4 RC MV Agusta couldn’t really go wrong with this one and have developed the fastest naked street bike to come out of the Varese factory. That technology is needed to tame the beast resting within the stunning lines of the Serie Oro.

The 4-cylinder 998cc puts out 208hp at 13,450rpm and 115Nm of torque – when using the race kit – making it the most powerful bike in the class.
The tech package includes 8-level traction control, an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), ride by wire throttle, an up and down quickshifter, anti-wheelie, and launch control.

At the launch of the Brutale 800RR last April we said that the bike was ‘a very refreshing change in the category it competes in.’ The Series oro looks like it is goibg to be taking that a whole step further with a massive power boost and hopefully the same excellent Brutale handling. Claims from MV that the Serie Oro will handle as good as a superbike are very likely to be proven true given the heritage of the Brutale range.

Components you’d likely see on a superbike including Brembo Stylema calipers and 320mm discs, Ohlins electronically adjusted forks, an Ohlins TTX36 rear shock and a steering damper come as standard and, did you notice the wings?

Other bikes may make the new wing style a bit more obviously but MV have crafted these into the lines of the bike. Yet again MotoGP technology is making it to the street this time with MV Agusta – although they currently lack a team in the MotoGP paddock.

You’ll have to be pretty quick to get your hands on one of these though. The last time we checked the plans was to build only 300 Serie Oro bikes.


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The all-new 2019 Speed Twin from Triumph

Its smooth dynamic handling and superb responsive feel established Triumph as the number one motorcycle marque globally for performance and handling, setting the template for all that followed, and earning a global reputation for being the first real ‘riders bike’.

The new Speed Twin carries all of the custom style of the Street Twin adding more premium details. It delivers all the power, torque and technology of the Thruxton R, in an even more accessible modern set-up. It offers the confidence inspiring ride and rider comfort of the Bonneville T120, but with even more engaged ergonomics.

The result, just like its iconic 20th century namesake, is a new performance icon that sets a whole new standard, with the chassis set-up, riding position, braking ability, suspension, and thrilling power delivery of a truly modern roadster.

For 2019, the all-new 1200cc Speed Twin re-introduces this illustrious Triumph name to our Modern Classics line-up, setting all over again a new standard in class-leading handling, and delivering a new benchmark for how a modern custom roadster should ride and feel.

Read more >>>

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Are KTM lining up a Ducati buy?

During an interview with the German motorsport website, Stefan Pierer, owner & CEO of KTM and Husqvarna, expressed his interest in the motorcycle brand Ducati. Asked about the enormous takeover price that current owner Audi will ask for a possible sale, the wealthy Austrian replies that it is not so much the price, but that engine brands might be better prepared for the future through cooperation.

Although the Indian partners Bajaj (49% owner of KTM) had wanted to buy Triumph Pierer said that’s not an option.

I have an emotional relationship with Ducati (…) The only brand that suits us is Ducati, everything else you can forget.” MV Agusta is too small, because of the diesel affair and e-mobility will soon have different priorities than a motor factory. (…) Of course it would be interesting in our group to have such a brand: it is not about the price, but about: when everyone realizes what situation he is in. “New homologation challenges are waiting for us. (…) And there is demographic development in Europe as well – today you have to go to Asia with a motorcycle company, to India If you are not successful there, you are ultimately So it’s not about the purchase price at Ducati, but the question: How can we become stronger together?

Strikingly enough, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess recently mentioned a merger with another brand as a real option for Ducati: “I can also imagine a merger or a collaboration with other brands, Ducati simply as a motorcycle icon within the VW company. is not enough.” 

Will it ever happen? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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Harley-Davidson In The City Motorcycle Festival

2018 was one of the most successful years for the Harley-Davidson In The City (HDITC) motorcycle festival in Brechin. The event drew in over 18,000 visitors and more than 750 motorcycles of all types. The growing popularity of the event has triggered the event management team to look at public safety for future years also taking into consideration site capacity, traffic management and general disruption to residents and retailers in the town.

Taking into consideration feedback from local traders, the public and businesses, the town centre had reached capacity with no options to expand the festival site. Now, after 7 years in the town centre location a change of venue has been decided after consultation with Police Scotland, Angus Council and other relevant parties.

From 2019 the entire festival will be located in the River Street area in order to accommodate the growing numbers visiting the festival and providing all the necessary services in close proximity including parking, camping and caravan facilities, and access for the disabled.

The relocation will also enhance awareness of the scenic area of the town, accommodate future growth with more motorcycles, traders and visitors attending Brechin.

The weekend long event has continued to grow in popularity, with the 40+ mile ‘Thunder Run’ one of the main attractions on the Saturday. Starting from Brechin Castle with the support of Lord Dalhousie the Thunder Run rides through the town and touring Angus and returning to Brechin. There are no plans to change this element of the festival.

Having successfully avoided clashing with other major events in Angus for the past few years the festival was advised it would clash with the Glamis Extravaganza in the years ahead if the proposed dates were left unchanged. Therefore, following discussions with Police Scotland, Angus Council, and Event Scotland, HDITC will now be held on the weekend incorporating the first Sunday in July going forward. In 2019 the event will be held on the 6th and 7th July, in 2020 on the 4th and 5th July, and in 2021 3rd and 4th July.

For further information go to the HDITC Facebook page or their website.

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Teen Challenge North East Scotland Prize Draw

Proceeds from the fundraiser will help Teen Challenge North East Scotland to support men and women break free from drug and alcohol addictions. The draw will be made at Shirlaws’ showroom on Aberdeen’s Crown Street at 12pm on Friday, December 21, 2018.

Ticket price: £5. CLICK HERE TO ENTER.

TERMS & CONDITIONS: The Triumph Bobber presented to the winner will be the demo bike used to promote the Draw. The bike will have approximately 100 miles on the clock.

All entries into the Draw are non-refundable. The Prize is non-negotiable and non-refundable. Should the Prize Winner require delivery outwith Aberdeen City or Shire, the winner will cover all delivery and shipping costs.

Permit No: LOTT/N197 | Approximately 10,000 tickets will be sold | Winner will be notified immediately by telephone. 

Organised by Freedom Challenge Trust (Charity No: SC033414). Promoter: K Ross, Sunnybrae, Woodhead, Fyvie, AB53 8LS. 

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Scottish Six Days Trial News

We’ll be entering four riders in the 2019 Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) running from Monday May 6th to Saturday May 11th 2019 in Fort William. Our four riders will be Allan Adamson, Neil Dawson, Graeme Wilson and Duncan Wood. We’ll be profiling each of the riders and the team in future issues of the magazine.

Riding new bikes supplied by Scorpa the team will be taking on the toughest challenge on the Trial riding calender and will be the first of many groups that we support through the SSDT in the years to come.

The team was selected to pilot what will be an ongoing commitment to bring newer riders into the competition, riders that may otherwise have been unable to compete due to financial or other constraints.

In future years that selection process will be refined change but will focus on bringing newer riders up to this level.

So why are we doing it?

Our first visit to the SSDT came last year when we spent the week in Fort William following the event.

Anyone that has passed through the town and taken time to look at the SSDT can’t help but be impressed by the level of coordination and organisation that has gone into getting the SSDT together and maintain it as the world level success that it is.

We heard stories of riders of all ages and experience levels and couldn’t help but be in awe at this motorcycling spectacle.

We also heard from riders that were not competing, some due to financial concerns and others who seemed to need a bit of a nudge to get their names into the pot. With Motorcycle based sports facing a reduced number of young riders we felt a need to do what we could to make a difference. A look at many of the Club and some National level motorcycle series is enough to see that it is the ‘older and bolder’ crew that make up a lot of the start numbers with few new faces around the paddock.

That isn’t particularly sustainable and in order to develop less experienced and new riders they need the opportunity to compete at higher levels and see a path toward it.

This is our small part to try to move some of these riders up a level and compete alongside some of the best riders in the world as well as getting the message out there to others that might consider joining their local club.
We will be providing all the support and logistics the riders need during the SSDT so that they can focus on their riding. The two less experienced riders in the team will have experienced riders to help them get around the sections and guide them throughout the week.

Over the coming months we’ll be profiling the team letting you know more about them and their experience in addition to bringing you updates on the SSDT plans.

During the event you’ll also be getting a lot more news from us with daily media spots, video and news updates keeping you up to date with the team’s progress and the SSDT standings.

We couldn’t do this without the support of the SSDT Committee so have to give a massive thanks to them for their enthusiasm and encouragement in getting the project together.

Stayed tuned for more…

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Yamaha’s Niken GT

In 2018 the launch of the radical NIKEN 3-wheel motorcycle brought a whole new riding experience to the motorcycle world. Equipped with innovative Leaning Multi-Wheel technology and dual tube upside down forks, the NIKEN is built to deliver the most amazing corner carving experience together with higher rider confidence in all conditions.

With a larger contact patch between the tyres and the road surface, the two leaning front wheels give increased levels of front end grip that is particularly noticeable during cornering and braking, and it is this unique and dynamic characteristic of the NIKEN that makes it feel and handle like no other motorcycle.

Fitted with a range of special equipment, the new NIKEN GT brings added functionality to the 3-wheel concept by offering increased long distance touring capabilities together with elevated levels of rider and passenger comfort. Read more below…