Hein Gericke UK is back in business!

Panic over, you can buy the wife’s Christmas present at the usual place after all because in a very welcome development in these difficult times for the motorcycle trade, Hein Gericke UK is back in business after a successful bid for the assets by Hein Gericke (Germany) – so effectively the business is back under German ownership and management again.

Stores is Manchester, Stockwell, Southampton, Edinburgh, Farnborough, Gants Hill, Glasgow, Belfast, Maidstone, Preston, Leicester, Braintree, Aberdeen, Hanger Lane, Oxford and Chiswick will all stay open indefinitely and are already receiving new stock.

An introductory discount of up to 30% is being offered, including on this new stock.

Hein Gericke UK – Closing Down Sale

The Administrators of Hein Gericke UK Ltd have announced a Closing Down Sale in which everything is reduced and everything must be sold – which rather implies some good bargains are to be had and that you should take the trouble to pop round to your nearest store to see if something appeals to you.

The loss of such a prominent chain of specialist motorcycle shops is no cause for celebration by British bikers and it bodes ill for future prices and especially the easy availability of motorcycle accessories.

That said, the remaining stock of the 49 stores which the Company has operated in UK is being sold off cheaply and this presents a one-time opportunity for bikers to pick up a bargain or two.

You can locate your nearest store by Clicking Here.

Hein Gericke UK goes into Administration

Hein Gericke UK, which operates 49 stores in UK, went into administration yesterday – another victim of the economic downturn on the motorcycle trade in this Country.

The Administrators are hoping to sell the business rather than shut it down, because of its substantial and loyal customer base, established logistic system and dedicated biker staff.  Let’s hope that happens.

Hein Gericke (the Founder) started his first motorcycle dealership in Germany and it grew rapidly during the 1970s.  He sold the business in the late 1980s, by which time it had spread across Europe and beyond.


Bleeding Clutches – neglect them at your peril

Brian working on his favourite sort of motorcycles

Another lesson was learned the hard way recently, when my clutch packed up as I was leaving for home, rendering the bike un-rideable and in need of expert care.  This was Gloria, my GL1200 Aspencade SEi, which had been ridden less than ten miles on the road to have an MOT Test, having at long last emerged from long term storage, a process which I started over a year ago but which got sidelined for a while, due to other priorities.

But Lady Fortune was on my side and when the clutch packed up, or rather became temporarily inoperable due to air in the hydraulics, it couldn’t have happened in a better place or indeed at a better time.

I heard about Wheelton Garge Workshops, a place of sympathy and understanding for older motorcycles, only about a year ago, despite it being in existence for many years and less than ten miles from home.  I say heard about it and that’s the way I should have learned of its existence, but actually I discovered it on line while searching for alternative places in my area to get a bike MOT done, having had an experience which was less than simpatico at the hands of an MOT examiner whom I would not recommend.  There attention to detail and there’s being a nit picking old woman and when you are trying to get an old motorcycle through an MOT to get it back on the road, you really don’t need the latter.

Not that I want an examiner who turns a blind eye to anything of real safety significance, quite the opposite, but I’d had a bad experience so I was looking for somewhere else.  I’d tried one “new” MOT station when I got Edward, my GL1000 combination outfit tested earlier this year and that had been OK – the examiner had been thorough and had found the odd fault (the sidecar tyre was deformed and needed replacing) but he’d also been positive about Edward’s aged car-type tyres, which he felt were OK for continuing use, continues………

Sudden death of a nearly-new Battery – and a happy tale of excellent warranty service

Buster's Accessories - wide range of products and excellent customer service

Gloria, my 1986 GL1200 Aspencade SEi, had been laid up for a while but I had connected her nearly new and virtually unused battery up and started the engine without difficulty in order to move her to somewhere where I would be able to do some work on the brakes for her MOT test.

I left the engine running after almost completing the move, to check the lights, horn andwhether her various fancy gadgets (such as self-levelling air suspension) were still workings – all very straightforward and normal,so there was no hint of the problems to come.  I had cleared the clutter from the bike lift in the garage and then re-mounted the bike and started the engine again to ride her on to the lift.

I was manoeuvring to line up to do this when the engine suddenly cut out – just as if I’d stalled or the kill switch had been thrown.  Except that the kill switch was still in the run position – and there was no response to pressing the start button again either, which I did semi-automatically, thinking I’d stalled the bike.  Indeed absolutely everything was dead, even the LCD clock display on the top shelter, which is always active if a battery is connected to the bike, even when the ignition switch is turned off.  What on earth could have gone wrong?

I put the bike on the side stand and started scratching my head to work out the options but I could reckon the situation up at all.  I thought about fuses and the like and checked those, including the strap fuse close to the positive terminal of the battery – and I also checked the battery with a voltmeter, which read what seemed to be a healthy 12.8 volts.  I scratched my head for a bit longer but I couldn’t work it out at all.  Nothing could account in my mind for the sudden death of everything electrical on the bike while a fairly new and seemingly healthy battery was still connected.

So I rang my Classic GoldWing Guru Graham, whose very first suggestion was that continues………

Knutsford Motorcycles is being taken over by J&S Accessories


Google Earth view of the new location at Delamere on the A556

Knutsford Motorcycles, formerly Knutsford Honda and before that, some years ago, GoldWing International, is closing its doors today prior to relocation.  The business, including its GoldWing Accessory stock and mail order business, having been taken over by J&S Accessories of Northwich.

The doors at their High Legh Site on the A50 close to business today in order to start the relocation, while things are quieter, to a new J&S site which is being developed about 10 miles away at Delamere, Sandiway.  This is a large site on the A556 and used to be occupied by a caravan and motorhome dealer.  It has large showroom and other buildings including a well equipped cafe.  There is also a Pub right next door.

The idea is to recreate the open and accessible display of GoldWing Accesories which was so attractive to Wingers in the Knutsford Showroom in its own section of what will be a very large showroom indeed.  J&S have been trying to expand within Northwich, the town where the business started up, for some time but when this site became available moving their headquarters from Northwich to the A556 at Delamere (allowing expansion to incorporate the Knutsford Motorcycles business) became a more attractive option.

For Wingers it was disappointing to lose Knutsford Honda, which owners Eric and Bridget Warburton tried very hard to build up as a GoldWing specialist Honda Dealership but it was not successful and after unsuccessful efforts to get HondaUK to loosen its corsets and give them a chance to develop a viable business model as a specialist dealership, they dumped the franchise. continues………

Survey Result – How much is it worth to buy a GoldWing from a Honda Dealer?

This was my first attempt to use the Blog to conduct an opinion survey and so it was something of an experiment.  Hopefully the results will stimulate some discussion.

I asked Blog Readers to assume they are about to buy their next GoldWing, have two equally suitable bikes, one being sold by a Honda Dealer, the other one by a non-Honda dealer.  There are no differences in part exchange or guarantee and it didn’t even matter whether the bikes are new or used, the only difference was the price – the Honda Dealer was asking more because he feels he’s offering a better, quality-assured service.

The question you Readers were invited to answer was:  How valuable is it to you to buy a GoldWing from a franchised Honda Dealer, in other words how much extra would you pay for your next GoldWing for the benefits of buying from an official Honda Dealer, compared with any other motorcycle dealer?

The response rate was low in relation to the Blog’s readership numbers and this certainly needs to be taken into account when interpreting this result.  Respondents could very easily be a biased sample, for example because only those who hold strong feelings (for example of personal disappointment) about Honda bothered to take the survey.

Having said that there is at least a suggestion from this Survey that a surprisingly large proportion of GoldWing owners attach little or no value to buying from a franchised Honda Dealer.  Why could that be? continues………

Opinion Survey – How much is it worth to buy a GoldWing from a Honda Dealer?

A conversation with a Honda Dealer sparked the idea for this opinion survey; he was telling me about a Winger who was considering buying a new GoldWing from him who seemed to attach little or no value to buying from a franchised Honda Dealer.

HondaUK would like us to share their confidence that all franchised Honda dealers can provide good sales and after sales support for all their motorcycles, including GoldWings, and that theirs is a better and therefore more valuable service than we can get elsewhere.  It is however possible to buy new as well as used GoldWings without going to a franchised Honda dealer in UK,  so I thought it would be interesting to ask Wingers how they feel about the value of franchised Honda dealerships these days.

I haven’t tried doing an opinion survey on the Blog before so it’s also something of an experiment so please spare me a few moments to take part.  The more responses we get the more reliable the survey will be.  There is only this one question to answer and you won’t have to identify yourself any way unless you want to.  The results will be published in due course, once I have had a decent number of responders, hopefully fairly quickly.

Let’s assume for purposes of this survey that you are about to buy your next GoldWing and you have found two equally suitable bikes, one being sold by a Honda Dealer, the other one by a non-Honda dealer.  There are no differences in what they will offer as part exchange and the guarantee is the same, so ignore those factors.  It doesn’t even matterwhether the bikes are new or used, the only difference is the price – the Honda Dealer is asking more because he feels he’s offering a better, quality-assured service.

This Survey is now closed and the result will be announced shortly.

The questions was:  How valuable is it to you to buy a GoldWing from a franchised Honda Dealer, in other words how much extra would you pay for your next GoldWing for the benefits of buying from an official Honda Dealer, compared with any other motorcycle dealer?

AwingAway offers fixed-price servicing at lower prices

Dave Partridge

Dave Partridge, who offers mobile servicing for GoldWings , under the trading name of AwingAway, based on Staffordshire, has just come up with some very tempting prices for servicing – including the opportunity to get your MOT done free of charge providing it’s done at the same time.  You get a free 10-point safety check on the bike even if an MOT is not required.

That strikes me as a staggeringly good offer and reason to get your MOT done while Dave’s at it, even if it’s not yet due, so that you can get yourself synchronised for next year.  Giving your bike an annual service and safety check is no bad thing regardless of the mileage you have done and doing it every year at the same time makes it easier to remember to do it.  Dave might even send you a  reminder next year!

Obviously this doesn’t include the cost of any additional work which might be needed, but it’s a fixed price for the service and the fixed prices are very keen at that – substantially lower than you would pay probably elsewhere.

Dave is a qualified motorcycle technician and a GoldWing owner himself.  He’s also th technical Editor of the Federation of UK GoldWing Clubs and you can pick his brains, free of charge, about any GoldWing technical problem you might have by using the Technical Enquiry Service on the Federation’s Website.

I’ve heard nothing but glowing reports of Dave’s work and can therefore thoroughly recommend him.  He will travel reasonable distances to do servicing work, which could also be attractive to you.  Dave is offering an innovative service to Wingers which is proving very popular.

You can contact Dave on 07795 095043 or by email to dave©awingaway•co•uk

You can also view a leaflet about Dave’s services which details his prices by clicking here.

Arai’s UK Distributer – very helpful people

John Wakefield (left) a very helpful man

I was wandering past the Arai stand at Northwich Thundersprint last weekend and noticed that there were two men working busily on bikers’ helmets, indeed there was a bit of a queue of bikers forming.

They seemed to be fitting stick-on inner “double glazing” lenses as visor attachments which prevent fogging and they were obviously making a very thorough job of cleaning and servicing the helmet visors while they were at it.  I’ve since discovered that this product is called Fine Vision and is available for self installation on almost all helmets, ie any manufacturer.

I wear an open face Arai which is very comfortable but the right hand side visor hinge has been popping off from time to time (since I dropped the helmet on to it if the truth be told) and I couldn’t work out why.  Bring it along and we’ll look at it for you, the man said.

This was late morning and the sunshine had arrived, and with it the crowds were building up too, so it was a bit of a bun fight to work my way to the bike and back with the helmet, but I made it and joined the queue.

Watching the Arai Man handle a helmet was a treat to the eye. His practised dexterity was impressive continues………

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