Skidmarx have been producing a wide range of aftermarket screens for motorcycles for years now. And they cover a wide range of machines for road and track use. The latest additions to their range are Skidmarx Race Screens for popular track and race bikes including the BMW S1000RR (2015-on), the Kawasaki ZX-10R (2016-on), and the new 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000.
The Skidmarx race screens are made in the UK from 2mm cast acrylic. They’re 33% thinner than the road versions, which not only saves weight, but also means better vision looking through the screen. Which is important when you’re tucked in behind it more often on track. Plus an aftermarket screen will also protect the original version if and when you decide to sell your bike. And you can choose from standard, double bubble, TT Tall sizes, or even get one made-to-measure.
If you’re still using your standard fairings, the race screens can be supplied with 6mm diameter holes to fit straight in. Or you can get them un-drilled if you need to customise them to match a race fairing. You’ll be in good company, as Skidmarx current supply BSB frontrunners JG Speedfit, and road racers including James Hillier.
The other advantage of using a Skidmarx aftermarket screen is the potential cost saving when it needs replacing. Prices for race screens start from £39.95, compared to the cost of a new replacement from the original manufacturer.
There’s an all-new A8 on the way, but it’ll be hard to beat the current version of this high-luxe limo, blogs Road Test Editor Howard Walker.
It’s no secret that Audi will be pulling the silk off an all-new A8 flagship next month. Word has it that not only will the car have a polarizing, love-it-or-hate-it new design, but it’ll pack more computing power than a Google server farm, allowing it to move one step closer to fully automated driving.
One of its multitude of ground-breaking features will be its new Traffic Jam Pilot function that’ll enable the car to legally pilot itself at speeds up to 35 mph in freeway stop-start traffic. Look Ma, no hands. Behind-the-wheel texters, tweeters and Subway foot-long sandwich-eaters, prepare to rejoice!
As someone who regularly beats his head against the dashboard trying to master the complexities of modern-day automotive technologies, the thought of an even-more complex Audi is, to me, about as thrilling as a computer virus. To ready myself for this all-new A8 however, and put its upcoming tech into perspective, I just spent a deliriously joyful week behind the wheel of the out-going A8, in this case a 2017 A8 L 3.0T quattro.
You gotta love a car that lets you enter an address into its nav system by simply scribbling it with your finger on a small touch-pad on the center console. This current version has been around since 2010, so design-wise it’s about as youthful and fresh-faced as Nick Nolte in a police mugshot!
Yet with its stretched, limo-like wheelbase, huge grille and honking 20-inch alloys, it still has a tremendous elegance and huge on-the-road gravitas. Valet parkers will fall over themselves to find a primo spot for it outside the front door.
And to drive it is to love it. The A8L comes with a choice of two engines; a potent 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 good for 450-horsepower, or a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 cranking out 333-horsepower. Want horsepower nirvana? There’s a short-wheelbase S8 Plus with a thundering 605-horsepower version of the big 4.0 V8, though that’s simply a speeding ticket waiting to happen!
Trust me, no one will be disappointed with the performance of the supercharged V6. It’s super-quiet and refined and has no shortage of muscle to punch the lightweight A8 off the line, or surge past slower traffic on a two-lane back road. Part of its eagerness is down to the A8’s magical eight-speed Tiptronic transmission. It responds instantly to calls for kickdown, and shifts from one gear to the next with all the smoothness of hot molasses flowing from a jar.
Through the curves, the car’s standard all-wheel drive quattro setup, shuffles drive between each wheel to ensure optimal traction. The feeling for the driver is one of sublime poise and balance with real agility. It’s arguably the sportiest-feeling big sedan in its class.
While the ride is a little on the firm side for a car so focused on delivering sublime comfort for those inside, it’s in keeping with the car’s driver-focused image. Yet who wants to drive when you can luxuriate in the car’s amazing rear seats? The A8L is five inches longer than a standard-wheelbase S8, with those extra inches going into the back to provide true stretch-out space.
I know, the analogy with biz-jets is a bit over-used, but that’s exactly what sitting in the back of an A8L feels like. Power-up the massage function, recline the rear backrest, crank-up the 630-watt Bose surround sound system, and chill.
This being the flagship of the Audi range, you’d expect quality. But the A8 goes above and beyond, with its glove-soft diamond-stitched leather, a gorgeous mix of satin-and-varnished timber, Alcantara headliner and brushed metal detailing. The base price of a 2017 model year A8L 3.0T is $82,500, but nicely-loaded you’ll pay closer to $93,000. Though I expect that with an all-new A8 landing at dealers towards the end of the year, there’ll be good deals to be had on leftovers.
All I’d say is that the all-new A8 will have to be pretty awesome to outshine this current version.
For more information about the latest luxury-performance vehicles from Audi, please visit https://www.audiusa.com/models#
Yamaha has announced new colourschemes will be available for the Yamaha YZF-R3 and the MT-03 from August 2017.
The Yamaha YZF-R3 was introduced in 2015, with a 321cc twin-cylinder engine. Putting out 42hp, it’s suitable for those on an A2 motorcycle licence (those aged 19 and above) in the UK. And for anyone who fancies a smaller supersports bike with a 112mph top speed, a 167kg weight and a 780mm seat height. And it also comes with ABS, for a recommended price of £5,199.
And this year it’ll come in two colour options. You’ll get the choice of the Yamaha Race Blu and Power Black. Both of which will help to match the larger R6, which is also available in Race Blue, and Tech Black. The new paint is certainly an improvement on the current Race Blu design, and as much as we like matt paint, the current Matt Grey doesn’t necessarily do the current bike any favours.
There are also new colours for the Yamaha MT-03. The naked commuter version of the same Yamaha engine and chassis also keeps the same seat height. But gives you a more upright riding position. Currently it’s available in Race Blu and Midnight Black. But from August, you’ll get the choice of the existing Black paint scheme, plus the new Yamaha Blue and Night Fluo options.
Again, updating the paint scheme means that the smaller A2-friendly bike keeps up to date with the larger motorcycles in the range – in this case the MT-07. And the MT-03 is a fairly practical choice for those wanting something to commute with, or go for short blasts, coming in at £4899.
Pretty simple so far. Although we did spot the R3 images are labelled as 2017, and the MT-03 photos are apparently the 2018 model.
The new colours for the Yamaha YZF-R3 definitely get a thumbs up. And you can’t go too far wrong with plain black for the naked Yamaha MT-03. The Night Fluo always looks better with someone on it. But I really can’t decide if I like the Race Blue or not. The wheels are fine, but the tank and frame combo, plus the sides of the radiator? It’s just a couple of anodised bar ends away from an early-90s streetfighter. Which isn’t always a bad thing, I guess.
It’ll be interested to get some of your opinions in the comments. Especially as I left the 19-23 A2 age group quite a while ago.
Leasing a car is one of the most flexible finance options, as it allows you to change your car every 3-4 years. If you enjoy driving a new car, now is a great time to lease, as from sweet city cars to cool cabriolets, 2017 brings us a variety of amazing deals.
Mercedes E-Class Saloon
Are you searching for a saloon? Look no further! Perhaps the most popular lease car in the saloon market is the classy and comfortable E-Class. This marvellous Mercedes saloon combines supreme interior comfort with a strong and assertive stance. Lovely lines sweep the sides of this vehicle and innovative technology, such as Mercedes Connect, takes pride of place inside the cabin.
mercede e-class 2017
Toyota Aygo City Car
Perhaps you’re after a savvy city car? The 2017 Toyota Aygo might be small and sweet, but don’t underestimate the power in the practicality of this fun and funky city slicker. If you love to stay informed and entertained on the go, you will love the infotainment system on offer in the Aygo. Fantastic features extend to the driving position of this vehicle, with adjustable steering wheel and driver’s seat, enabling you to create perfect comfort.
Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet
Summer is fast approaching, so why not drop the top and stay cool in a Cabriolet? If you love the look of this vehicle, you will be amazed by the AMG lines, sporting wider wheel arches and excellent exhaust pipes. Step inside the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet and you will find that keeps its sleek even with the inclusion of four seats, so we can enjoy practicality as well as style in this cabriolet. Top technology fills the interior of this vehicle and seats standard sport seats are so comfortable. Those of us who love a little style will be pleased to know that 2017 brings us some supreme C-Class Cabriolet lease deals.
If the futuristic feel of the electric car excites you, you will love the all-electric 2017 BMW i3. Power and practicality is not compromised for sustainability in this BMW i3. Proudly, BMW boasts a cool combination of zero emissions and a 0 to 62 mph time of just 7.3 seconds in the BMW i3. The BMW i3 can also travel up to a total of 206 miles on a single charge. The interior is lovely and light, carefully crafted from high strength carbon, an amazing material which is utilised to create passenger safety.
Range Rover Evoque
Spacious SUV’s are sought after by many and we’re in luck, as 2017 offers excellent Range Rover Evoque lease deals. Drivers of this compact SUV love the generous and comfortable cabin, with height above your head and space at the sides. As well as ultimate upgrades to the interior, drivers of the 2017 Evoque also enjoy excellent engine efficiency with the introduction of the new family of diesel engines. So if you love the look of these stylish SUV’s, then why not check out the Range Rover Evoque lease deals on offer at All Car Leasing.
The motorcycle race season is now well underway. World Superbikes and MotoGP have already started their seasons. And possibly the best national series, the 2017 British Superbike championship, kicks off at Donington on Friday, March 31st.
The entry list includes multiple champion Shane Byrne and team-mate Glenn Irwin on the Be Wiser Ducatis. Leon Haslam and Luke Mossey are on the JG Speedfit Kawasakis. Honda will again field Dan Linfoot and Jason O’Halloran. And Tyco BMW riders Christian Iddon and Davide Giugliano will both be capable of running at the front.
Then there’s the returning Josh Brookes on the Anvil Hire Yamaha, John Hopkins on the Moto Rapido Ducati, James Ellison and Michael Laverty on the McAms Yamahas, and the Bennetts Suzuki team of Sylvain Guintoli and Taylor Mackenzie. And also the debut of Bradley Ray on the Buildbase Suzuki.
Basically, out of a field of 25 riders, you wouldn’t bet against about 17 of them having a chance of winning.
What’s the Donington Park British Superbikes Timetable?
The weekend kicks off at 9am on Friday, March 31st. Free practice for all classes takes place throughout the day, and there are qualifying sessions for the KTM RC Cup at 3.45pm, and the Ducati TriOptions Cup at 5.45pm.
On Saturday, the morning is largely taken up with qualifying sessions and the final free practice for the BSB boys.
For entry, gates open at 7.30am
12.30: Ducati performance TriOptions Cup 8 Laps
13:00: Pirelli National Superstock 1000 2 x 18 laps
14:30: British Motostar Championship 10 laps
15:05: KTM RC Cup 8 laps
15:35: Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup 10 laps
16:02: BSB Qualifying and Superpole
17:20: British Supersport Championship Sprint Race 10 laps
Sunday is race day, with all the competing classes getting a morning warm up session. Then racing begins at 10:30am. There are also Suzuki Donington 40th Anniversary parade laps taking place during lunch at 1pm.
10:30: KTC RC Cup 8 laps
11.05: Ducati TriOptions Cup 10 laps
12:35 National Superstock 600 14 laps
13:30: British Superbikes 20 laps
14:15: National Superstock 1000 16 laps
14:55: British Motostar Championship 14 laps
15:40 British Supersport Championship Feature Race 18 laps
16:30: British Superbikes 20 laps
17:15: KTM RC Cup 8 laps
How much does Donington British Superbikes 2017 cost?
Advance ticket sales have now ended, so it’s full price on the gate. Children age 13 and under are free, and parking is free for the British Superbikes. Plus you can get 50% off adult entry for the Donington Park museum on the day.
The paddock will be open. And disabled spectators access is located at Coppice Corner with an elevated viewing and parking area. You’ll need to be displaying your blue badge to get in.
Ticket prices for the weekend are:
£25 – race day only
There are a few limited camping spots left for those deciding to stay at the last minute. Weekend admission with camping starts at £75 for those over 14 years of age.
How to Watch Donington BSB 2017 on TV:
Not able to make it to Donington Park? Here’s how to watch on TV and online.
15:45: Live Qualifying and Supersport Sprint Race (Until 6pm) – Eurosport 2
21:00: Qualifying and Supersport Sprint Race Highlights – Eurosport 2
Sunday April 2:
13:00: Live British Superbikes (Until 6pm) – Eurosport 2
21:00: Race Highlights – Eurosport 2
22:00: British Superbikes Extra – Eurosport 2
Monday April 3:
13.15: Race Highlights – Eurosport 2
14:15: British Superbikes Extra – Eurosport 2
17:30: Race Highlights – Eurosport 1
Eurosport is available via Sky, Virgin Media and BT TV. Or online via the Eurosport Player, which is £5.99 for a one day pass, or £29.99 for access until December 31st, 2017 (Which also includes World Superbikes). That’s a special offer running until April 30th, 2017.