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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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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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You can have your own MotoGP bike

There are a few other perks to owning the bikes. For the 250K Euros each bikes will come with a set of Pol Espargaro’s race gear and a signed Pol Espargaro helmet. The lucky owners will also have special hospitality from Red Bull KTM Factory Team for the weekend with a paddock tour, pitbox tour, a meet and greet with Pol and Johann Zarco, a set of Red Bull KTM team wear and Red Bull Energy Station access all weekend at a Grand Prix of the buyers choice.

If you’re ‘Ready To Race’ and have 250,000 Euros to spare this could be too good to pass up!

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Latest offers from Carole Nash

Leading motorcycle insurance broker, Carole Nash, is now offering all motorcyclists a £10 cash reward if they are unable to beat the current policyholder’s car insurance renewal quote.

Following extensive research into the road safety of bikers compared with people who only drive a car, the Altrincham-based broker found that car users make 11% more claims on their insurance than motorcyclists who also drive cars. Additionally, over a three-year period, bikers involved in incidents in their cars made cheaper claims, with the attritional net loss ratio 13% higher for car drivers, compared with those who also ride motorcycles.

As a result, Carole Nash approached car insurers to obtain better deals for bikers and has negotiated insurance at a rate lower than the rest of the market. The broker launched the dedicated ‘Drive Like a Biker’ offering at Motorcycle Live, the UK’s largest motorcycle show. 

Encouraging people to ‘Drive Like a Biker’, Rebecca Donohue, Head of Marketing at Carole Nash, said: “It’s no surprise to the biking community that motorcyclists make safer car drivers than those who just stick to four wheels. Bikers are more road aware and I believe have far better reaction times when spotting hazards – they need to. It’s important that we recognise and reward this safety by offering car insurance quotes for bikers that we think will be pretty difficult to beat. 

“We are so confident that we’ll beat bikers’ car insurance renewal quotes, for both current and new customers, that we’re willing to hand over a tenner if we can’t.”

To celebrate the launch of the new campaign, Carole Nash assessed people’s awareness and reaction speeds on a Batak machine at the NEC show. Testing bikers’ reactions to a series of moving light patterns, the game also saw four-time WSBK Champion Jonathan Rea and BSB Champion Leon Haslam compete against professional rally driver Tim Bevan.

And, the biking community claimed the bragging rights on the day – Rea’s 40 points trumped Bevan’s 35 in 30 seconds, with the highest score over the weekend (49) also belonging to a biker.

Carole Nash has launched a dedicated website,, which features safety messages and an interactive quiz for visitors to test their road safety knowledge. 

Visit for more information on the offering.

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Triumph Adventure Experience 2019 riding dates announced

Triumph Motorcycles has announced dates for its 2019 riding courses at the Triumph Adventure Experience.

The courses will run from April through to the end of October 2019 and includes the following experiences:

  • Triumph Tiger Adventure Experience Day (£299)
  • Two day Triumph Level 1 Off-road Motorcycle Training Experience (£499)
  • Triumph Scrambler Experience Day (£299)
  • Two day Gravel Tours Off-road Experience (£649)
  • Two day Triumph Level 2 Off-Road Motorcycle Training Experience (£499)
  • Triumph Ladies’ Day Off-Road Motorcycle Training Experience (£299)

To book a course or to purchase a voucher for the Triumph Adventure Experience, visit –

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Motorcycle Live hailed a success as over 100,000 bikes fans enjoy the show

The event was packed with brand-new metal from over 40 of the world’s leading manufacturers. Much of the 2019 machinery on display had been launched just one week previously at EICMA in Milan, while Kawasaki, Norton and CCM chose Motorcycle Live to unveil never-seen-before 2019 models to the bike-mad crowd. 

The brand-new Moto-Cirque arena debuted with a spectacular live stunt show combining FMX, street bikes, BMX and dance – all taking place in total darkness aside from meticulously-coordinated LED lights and lasers set to an awesome soundtrack.

“What a show, we’ve had an amazing week”, said CEO of Norton Motorcycles, Stuart Garner. “It’s the biggest show we’ve ever done and we’ve had the biggest footfall we’ve ever seen on the stand, so a huge thank you to the organisers for making it happen. It’s been a record show for Norton and we hope everyone has enjoyed it as much as we have.”

“We have broken the European record in terms of sales at shows, so Motorcycle Live has been really successful,” said Peter Riley, managing director of Airvest Ltd/Helite UK. “That is obviously fantastic, but what has been the real joy about this year’s show is the people that have visited the stand to tell us how our product has saved their life. It’s moments like that that make coming to the show absolutely worthwhile.”

Motorcycle Live 2019 will take place at The NEC, Birmingham from 16-24 November – save the date!