Thursday, 29 January 2015

Rebel X Yamaha WR450F Rally UK importer: Moto Rally Services

UK company Moto Rally Services are delighted to be the sole importer for the UK of the Rebel X Sports Yamaha WR450F Rally. Developed in conjunction with Rebel X Sports, Manuel Lucchese, MST Italy and Yamaha, Moto Rally Services are able to supply new, finished bikes in the UK which are eligible for full FIM events (including Dakar).

For more information, please visit the Moto Rally Services website at

Moto Rally Services
71 Gorsey Lane
United Kingdom

Tel. 01704 229 014

Monday, 19 January 2015

Race prep and training weekend

I set out this weekend, determined to get some practice in on the bike before the upcoming Snowrun enduro. What I hadn't bargained for, was the freezing temperatures and snowfall!

I decided I'd spend Saturday morning doing some more maintenance, so I got up nice and early and set about completing a few jobs:
  • Replaced the rear wheel bearings
  • Replaced the chain link
  • Cleaned the air filter
  • Replaced the gearbox oil
  • Re-fitted the bash plate
  • Checked all over the bike for loose bolts
  • Checked the spoke tension
  • Fitted some clubman (yellow) backgrounds
  • Adjusted the handguards
  • Bled the front brake
  • Tested the circuit for the electric roadbook
All of which ended up taking me most of the day in actual fact! But I was enjoying myself, tinkering with the bike is something I find quite satisfying, especially when I do a good job of fixing something.

Anyway, by the time I'd finished, it was starting to get dark, so I decided to leave the training until the next day.

On Sunday morning I got up early again and looked out of the window...everything was covered in a nice 2 inch thick layer of snow and the ground was frozen solid with plenty of ice everywhere too. I went out at 9am to check the temperature and it was -3C. Still, it was a really nice, clear day and I like a bit of snow riding, so I thought I'd go for it anyway and get in a decent training session!

I was out riding for about 20 minutes, then my fingers got really cold and I had to stop to warm them up. You know that intense burning sensation you get when they are really cold and start to warm up? I had that for 5 minutes (it felt like a lot longer) and then got back on the bike and carried on.

In the end I managed to train well, I rode for about 2.5 hours and was happy with how I rode, especially in those conditions. The new tyres made a big difference, I have to say.

I deliberately stopped early, because I knew I'd have to spend a while cleaning the bike before I put it away. The pipes were frozen outside, so I started off by washing the bike (by hand) with buckets of hot, soapy water. Then I thawed one of the hose pipes from outside and got the pressure washer going. With the aid of some Muc-Off, she was looking smart again! That whole process took me an hour and a half though.

Then I decided I wasn't happy putting it away as it was, so I set about drying all the essential components with a heat gun - first time I've ever gone to so much trouble to clean a bike, I hope she remembers that at the Snowrun and is kind to me! Then I did my usual re-greasing routine and all is good to go for the race in just under 3 weeks time.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Io Racing hits 10K views

It's great to see that the Io Racing website has now received 10,000 page views since it first launched in November 2013!

I hope that people find the content interesting and useful and continue to return to the site. There will be a lot of exciting news in the coming weeks and months, so I'm looking forward to sharing that with everyone.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions, and thank you very much for your support!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

2015 ET James Welsh solo enduro championship

Registration has opened for the 2015 Welsh enduro championship sponsored by ET James & sons motorcycles, Rhaeadr. I've already submitted my registration for the clubman class!

If you are interested in finding out more, you can download the flier here. For any other information please check the Facebook group or contact either Sue Davies (email address available on request) or Andrew James from ET James.

"A competitor must be of proven Welsh birth, either or both parents of proven Welsh birth or have been continuous resident in Wales for a period of not less than three years prior to the 1/1/2015."

Championship events:
  • 8th February - Snowrun enduro (WTRA)
  • 15th March - Jack Frost enduro (Rhayader DMC & LCC)
  • 5th April - Drovers enduro (WTRA)
  • 16th May - Caio enduro (Dyfed DBC)
  • 25th & 26th June - Welsh 2 Day enduro (Mid Wales Centre)
  • 1st & 2nd August - Knighton BEC (CWAC) [Not Sportsman round]
  • 15th & 16th August - Hafren BEC [Not Sportsman round]
  • 6th September - Jacko enduro (CWAC)
  • 13th September - Aberystwyth enduro (ADMCC)
  • 18th October - Fowlers enduro (MWDT & QC)
  • 1st November - Bwlchciliau enduro (Builth Wells MCC)

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Io Racing 2014 bloopers video

Well as you all know, things don't always go to plan...Here are some of the "bloopers" from my season of racing in 2014. There's everything from the usual crashes to my chain coming off and getting stuck in a peat bog!

I hope you enjoy the video and I apologise in advance for the profanities - in the heat of the moment I can't control my tongue apparently! ;)

Monday, 12 January 2015

Planning the nav gear wiring

I won't pretend to be an electrician - I am very much a DIY enthusiast when it comes to wiring! I like to try my hand at everything though, and having re-wired two bikes in the past, I have a rough idea of what I'm doing.

You know what they say though, Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Poor Performance (or whatever it is). Anyway, the point being that I'm designing my circuit before I start splicing wires and connecting things up. For me, that process starts on paper! I've come up with a plan, so now I'm going to start collecting some parts, ready to test the circuit.

Very exciting stuff - especially since I'm well and truly in "Dakar" following mode at the moment! Can't wait to get a roadbook together and go out for the maiden navigation ride.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Happy 3rd birthday!

My little KTM was 3 years old the other day, so it was time for her first MOT! Having gone through without any problem, I had some new tyres fitted ready for the Snowrun enduro. Thanks again to ET James for getting my bike sorted.

Michelin enduro competition III and IV are my favourites - out of all the different tyres I've used throughout my racing, they're the best performing in all conditions for my riding style. Oh and while I was at it I got a new front mousse as well (Michelin BIB mousse, obviously), the old one had a split in it about 2 inches long and half an inch deep. The rear mousse is just about perfect though, how about that for quality? I've done a whole season's racing, training and trail riding on that mousse and it's still great!

I still have a few things I was too lazy to do over Christmas though:
  • Gearbox oil
  • Chain link
  • Rear wheel bearings
  • Fit some yellow backgrounds for the Clubman class
  • Navigation gear setup
I should be able to sort the first 4 in a morning's tinkering, and I'll leave the last one until after the Snowrun - I need to gather some bits together first anyway.

By the way, I'm having loads of fun following the Dakar Rally - never a dull moment! If you're not sure how best to follow the action, see my earlier post.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Following the 2015 Dakar Rally

It's underway! The Dakar Rally started on the 4th of January from Buenos Aires, Argentina and will travel through Chile and Bolivia, crossing the Atacama Desert, before returning to the Argentinian capital some 8000KMs later.

To me it is without doubt the most fascinating race in the world and one that I dream of competing in one day.

Our British riders this year are Sam Sunderland (KTM) and Christopher "Corky" Cork (HUSQVARNA). There are a couple more familiar faces from the UK off road scene as well - Simon Pavey (BMW Off Road Skills) and his son Llewelyn are riding on their KTMs.

At the sharp end, it's already looking as though a great battle is on between several manufacturers, but as we all know, a hell of a lot can happen in the next couple of weeks, we're only on Stage 3 so far! Anyway, I wish every competitor the very best of luck and I'm excited to keep track of the race.

If, like me, you are one of those people who just can't get enough of the Dakar and want the very latest news, here are some useful links for following the action from the comfort of your armchairs!

Monday, 5 January 2015

Introducing ioTube

The Io Racing YouTube video channel will now be known as ioTube! Many thanks to Emlyn Whittick for his artistic flare as well as the usual enthusiasm and support for my racing.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Moving up a class

I always told myself that as soon as I knew I was capable of winning the Sportsman class in an enduro that I would move up to Clubman. I took my first ever class win in 2014 at the Powys Enduro, so I'm looking forward to the bigger challenge of competing in the Clubman class in all enduro events in 2015.

From what I've heard, the WTRA Snowrun enduro is far from easy, being billed as an "old-school" event (read difficult)! It'll be a real test of fitness, but it's what I need to kick-start my season. This will be my first attempt at the Snowrun too, so I'll be concentrating on finishing.

As far as the ATRC classes go, I moved up a class and rode in the Good Experts at the Cambrian Rally and got on well, so I will stick with that class in 2015.

I don't know how the class structure will be defined for the RallyMoto Cup as yet, but assuming it's similar to the ATRC system, I'll enter as Good Clubman or Expert depending on how much roadbook practice I've been able to get in before the first event.

Meanwhile in South America...THE DAKAR RALLY 2015 IS UNDERWAY!!!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Happy new year!

Welcome to 2015 everyone! I hope it'll be a great year for everyone, not just on the racing front.

The first event of 2015 for me will be the WTRA Snowrun Enduro on the 8th of February. I got my entry in this morning in the Clubman class, best get prepared for the onslaught!

Lastly, I'd like to send a get well soon message to one of my riding buddies Kev Price. Hope you're back on the bike ASAP.