Sat, 25 November 2017
Hello and welcome to Front End Chatter 67, the Shakey’s Racing Age episode, ably supported by our friends at www.bikesocial.co.uk who are in turn supported by bike insurance bods Bennetts.
This week we natter about the small matter of a race in Valencia, some racing in Wales that actually looks like it might happen, some more gossip about the Motorcycle Live bike show they had last week (including how manufacturers cheat on seat heights), and answer a veritable raft of your emails on subjects as wide ranging as what bike you should buy.
Thanks again for your continued ears, and please spread the word of the words we speak.
You can find on Twitter – @SimonHbikes & @Mufga – and you can download this on iTunes or from www.frontendchatter.com – but we’d much rather you listened at www.bikesocial.co.uk, not least because you can lose yourself for hours browsing the library of all sorts of archived biking stuff.
Fri, 10 November 2017
Hello and welcome to Front End Chatter E66, supported by our good friends at www.bikesocial.co.uk and Bennetts, the bike insurance specialists – and who better to insure your gleaming new, 2018 motorcycle?
Plus we have a brief natter about the forthcoming final MotoGP showdown at Valencia, and answer a few of emails (but not all – more to come!).
Thanks again for listening, and please email your thoughts, questions and comments to us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or catch us on Twitter:
Fri, 20 October 2017
Hello and welcome to the long-awaited (well, about a month) Front End Chatter Episode 65 – supported as ever by our magnificent colleagues, pals and beneFECtors at www.bikesocial.co.uk and Bennetts, the bike insurance specialists.
This week FEC bangs on about subjects as wide and varied as:
PLUS! words of gossip about what we know about 2018’s new bikes (or do we?) including
PLUS! listeners’ questions, including:
Thank you for listening and putting up with us – and please email any biking questions (or any questions you like) or comments to
or get us on Twitter
And don’t forget to check out www.bikesocial.co.uk and get your bike insurance with Bennetts.
Tue, 12 September 2017
Hello and welcome to a special, John McGuinness Front End Chatter Episode 64, supported by our good friends at www.bikesocial.co.uk, supported by Bennetts, the bike insurer par excellence, bar none.
... the jewel in FEC64’s crown is the audio version of BikeSocial’s interview with TT legend John McGuinness, in which he talks about:
Hope you enjoy, please say nice things and spread the word, and please email any and all questions, comments and ideas to email@example.com
Fri, 25 August 2017
Hello everybody and welcome to Front End Chatter #63, brought to you by the definitely-not-primates at Bike Social (that's www.bikesocial.co.uk where, as well as all the latest news, views and reviews of all things motorcycling, you'll also find a handy link to the superb insurance services of Bennetts). In this not-especially-numerically-significant episode of Britain's best biking podcast, Simon and Martin chatter about:
Thank you very much for listening (hopefully through www.bikesocial.co.uk if you'd like to kindly support the folk who kindly support us). We are, as ever, @SimonHbikes and @Mufga on the Twitter, and eagerly await your thought, opinions, questions and ponderings arriving on email via firstname.lastname@example.org (yes, literally anything).
Ta-ta for now!
Thu, 10 August 2017
Hello everybody and welcome to Front End Chatter, the semi-regular spoken word salad that refuses to stray into nostalgia (other than to remember when nostalgia was better than it is today). Episode #62 continues to be supported by the wondrous website known as Bike Social (that’s www.bikesocial.co.uk) where you should definitely go to check out all the latest motorcycling news and reviews. And get an insurance quote. Go on.
In this 90-minute natter extravaganza, Simon and Martin discuss:
Plus all of your emails covering everything from a little-known but much-loved Australian bike-gang film, recalling recalls and more GS stanchion shenanigans, the exceptional machines of Honda’s golden period, overlooked V-twins, bargain sports-tourers, the value of ABS, a reason to speed, the blame game, and the best bikes we’ve crashed.
Thank you very much once again for listening. If you’d like to chatter back, email us on email@example.com or find us on the Twitters – he is @SimonHbikes and he is @Mufga
And if you’re going to fire up your interwebsitebrowser, don’t forget to point it towards www.bikesocial.co.uk !
Fri, 21 July 2017
Hello everybody and welcome to Front End Chatter – Britain's best biking podcast, powered (and empowered) by the wondrous two-wheeled website known as Bike Social (that's www.bikesocial.co.uk – and you should definitely check them out).
It's episode 61, which as everybody knows is the **must remember to search Google for an obscure name of somebody who once raced a motorcycle with number 61 here** episode. Which, ironically, has very little racing at all, being mostly composed of:
To chatter back to us, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Twit us on @SimonHbikes and @Mufga
And, of course, go take a look at Bike Social!
Sun, 9 July 2017
Welcome to Front End Chatter E60, sponsored as always by our good friends at www.bikesocial.co.uk and backed by Bennetts, the bike insurance boys and girls. And what a scandal-laden FEC we have this week:
• despite a truncated MotoGP/racing section we still manage to disrespeculate on Lorenzo’s future at Ducati and compare his debut season so far to Rossi’s disaster in 2011...
• get into the financial fall-out from the shambles formally known as the Circuit Of Wales...
• details of the new Ducati V4 replacement for the Panigale, after the Final Edition – which, it turns out, might not be so final after all, and will be available from September this year and will cost £35,000...
• ...and why the V-twin is the most versatile engine layout ever built
• BMW’s service campaign to check all R1200GSs and GSAs built between late 2013 to date, to make sure the forks aren’t about to fall off – and why we should or shouldn’t be alarmed by it
• and how Honda’s blighted 2017 FireBlade, both base and SP versions, stands up at a Mallory Park track day – a Bennetts Mallory Park track day, no less – against Suzuki’s new GSX-R1000R
@SimonHBikes & @Mufga
Sun, 25 June 2017
Welcome to Front End Chatter E59, brought to you in association with our good friends at www.bikesocial.co.uk, sponsored by Bennetts, the bike insurance specialists.
AND! What an episode we have!
Just in time for the Assen MotoGP race this weekend, Front End Chatter recaps the previous round at Catalunya (apologies for the delay, delay, delay and don’t worry, because it was so long ago we keep it brief) – and it’s worth reminding ourselves what a hilarious, thigh-slapping sit-com of a race weekend it was with riders using the wrong track (but still in Spain), other riders falling over things and some riders falling over themselves.
We also cover – unusually – a cracking World Superbike race from Misano and find it a rewarding experience. Which is more than can be said for Ducati’s Charles Davies.
We’ve a bit more race goss, including a possible return to racing for former WSB champ and ex-Yamaha MotoGP star Bens Pies, Iannone moving from Suzuki to Aprilia, why it would be cool to see Jonathan Rea switching from WSB to jump on the MotoGP Suzuki, why tyres ‘spin’ on the rim, the latest British Superbike round from Knockhill, and who is Jake Dixon and is he in the RAF? Plus a bit of natter about Hutchy’s awful Senior TT crash. Yikes.
We also read out a few of your emails, including:
We think that’s quite enough controversy for one episode, so if you enjoy FEC please
a) tell your mates,
b) email us with a question or a topic for discussion,
c) insure your bike with Bennetts and
d) buy RiDE magazine. We may be bought and paid for, but at least we’re honest about it.
Fri, 9 June 2017
Hello and welcome to Front End Chatter Episode 58, supported by www.bikesocial.co.uk and sponsored by Bennetts – and a very special, fully employed episode it is too; featuring, as it does:
1) Mugello MotoGP goss including
2) TT goss including – in fact almost entirely – semi-informed speculation about the travails of Honda, the 2017 Fireblade, and riders Guy Martin and John McGuinness – with an attempt to understand the connection between their accidents and the road bike (if there are any)
3) Loads of your emails, on wide-ranging subjects from the health of World Superbike and a few ideas on how to make it better, cheap motorway bikes, Husqvarna Nudas, more best-looking non-sportsbikes, and tons of other chattering.
As ever thank you very much for listening, and thank you even more for downloading it from the top folk at Bike Social (that’s still www.bikesocial.co.uk). Please email us on email@example.com or get us on that there Twitter using @SimonHbikes and @Mufga
Sat, 27 May 2017
Hello and welcome to Front End Chatter episode 57, which is really episode 69, powered by the mighty online juggernaut of two-wheeled infotainment that is Bike Social (that's www.bikesocial.co.uk).
This time round Martin and Simon chatter in their front-endy style about:
Sun, 14 May 2017
Hello and welcome to Front End Chatter, and episode 56 brought to you in association with our pals at www.bikesocial.co.uk.
This week, between blackbird interruptions, we look back at the fallout from the spectacular Jerez MotoGP race – which isn’t the same as the Corby Grand Prix – including:
Plus – a re-evaluation of Ducati’s SuperSport, the merits of A2-licence friendly inline fours or parallel twins, and news of Avon’s new Spirit ST, their ‘hypertouring’ tyre.
Plus – some of your emails, including more of your best-looking non-sportsbikes, is speeding as socially unacceptable as drunk driving, who is General Zarco, what is the Kuiper Belt, is an MOT really necessary, what is defensive riding, how to fix a heavy throttle, and how to spot an idiot bike seller.
Thanks for listening, please support our friends at www.bikesocial.co.uk, and please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Tue, 25 April 2017
Welcome to Front End Chatter episode 55, powered by the good people at Bike Social (www.bikesocial.co.uk), where Simon and Martin discuss:
Thanks for listening, and please:
- Visit our current official home at www.bikesocial.co.uk
- Catch us on Twitter at @SimonHbikes and @Mufga
- Send any thinkings, feedback, complaints, abuse and self-serving compliments you like to email@example.com
Mon, 10 April 2017
Hello and welcome to Front End Chatter E54, brought to you as is our wont, by our friends at www.bikesocial.co.uk.
• MotoGP from The Hot Springs Of the River Hondo circuit in Argentina – who won, who fell off, who thought they should've won, how many miles per gallon Cal Crutchlow gets from his RCV, and a whole bunch of nerdy stats including some so nerdy we can't actually work out what they mean
• World Snoozerbike from Aragon where <mumble>
• British Superbike from Donington Park
• plus some bikes we've ridden including a thorough review of KTM's revamped 390 Duke, and a less coherent mention of Honda's new Rebel, CB1100s and CBR and CB650F
• plus your emails, which is easily the best bit, including why no-one makes 750 sportsbikes, why Rea could become the most winningest rider ever in WSB this year, and why swapping a Daytona 955i for a Versys 650 is a good idea.
@SimonHbikes and @Mufga
Sat, 8 April 2017
Welcome to Front End Chatter 53b – made possible by www.bikesocial.co.uk; go check them out! – and it’s a special FEC dedicated to answering, or failing to answer, your emails. Topics up for Front End Chattery include:
Thank you very much for continuing to listen to our ramblings and thank you even more for contributing with your emails, thoughts and questions – all are welcome; if anything pops into your head, or if we can help, or you disagree with us, please write and tell us at:
Twitter: @SimonHbikes and @Mufga
Visit our shop: www.tshirtstudio.com/marketplace/front-end-chatter
And don’t forget, click on www.bikesocial.co.uk – then go buy insurance from Bennetts!*
Fri, 31 March 2017
Welcome to Front End Chatter Episode 53a, powered yet again by our friends at www.bikesocial.co.uk – and yes, it’s the first of two FECs; 53b will be along shortly. Or at least soon.
In the meantime, feast your ears on the will they, won’t they two-wheeled soap opera of Qatar MotoGP – including:
We also say farewell to Sir John Surtees, have a quick tour around Suzuki’s new and rather wonderful V-Strom 650, the less new and less wonderful V-Strom, and chatter about the launch of the least powerful, least torquey, most heavieriest and most expensive Yamaha R6 ever which neither Martin or Simon attended, but about which they have an opinion anyway. Typical.
Thanks for listening, your emails will be answered in FEC53b, and please please please get in touch via:
email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter – @SimonHbikes and @Mufga
Facebook – Front End Chatter
And, of course, please listen to FEC from our new home at www.bikesocial.co.uk
Chatter again soon!
Wed, 15 March 2017
Welcome to Front End Chatter, episode 52 – and it’s a very special episode of Britain’s least regular but much-loved motorcycling podcast because this is the first to be brought to you by the lovely people at
Front End Chatter is a podcast spoken at length by us, a right pair of motorcycle writers called Martin Fitz-Gibbons and Simon Hargreaves, and we chatter about every and any subject with two wheels and an engine: racing, news, new bikes, old bikes, and the issues that effect you, me and him (like what bike should you get next, how to ride, what kit to wear, and generally why things are the way they are). We don’t know all the answers (in fact we hardly know any of them) but we now people who do.
Bike Social – and if you’re not reading this on their website, WHY NOT? – is Britain’s most comprehensive biking website, packed with road test, new bikes, old bikes, features and news. It’s like a bike magazine, but on the web, created by Bennetts, the bike insurance people. Did I mention you can find it here: www.bikesocial.co.uk
And if you’re a Bike Socialist, it means FEC will be brightening-up your browsing experience. We may even have a few other bits and bobs about the place after a while.
This episode may contain nuts:
• World Superbike, on the other hand, is underway and the burning question is: can the WSB racing from Thailand live up to the craziness of the opening Supersport 600 race from Phillip Island a few weeks ago?
• more news on the Honda Africa Twin heated grip saga
• The best waterproof textile jacket and trouser combo for £400, with buying advice help from www.sportsbikeshop.co.uk
• why covering your bike in aftermarket tat isn’t the smartest idea
• why photochromic visors don’t go black faced with car headlights (it’s obvious)
• your five dream bikes
• why MotoGP bikes don’t have vacuum die-cast frames. Or do they?
Please send you questions and comment to: email@example.com
You can follow us on Twitter:
Or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FrontEndChatter
Thank you for listening, thank you for your support, please listen to us and download from Bike Social at:
Sat, 4 March 2017
Say hello to Front End Chatter Episode 51, a numerically insignificant episode that nonetheless contains much chatterage about:
And there’s more:
We read out your lovely emails on subjects as wide and wonderful as:
As ever, we remain humbly grateful for your continued ears. Thanking youse!
And please email firstname.lastname@example.org with whatever thoughts stray across your mind
Buy merch at www.tshirtstudio.com/marketplace/front-end-chatter
Thu, 9 February 2017
Welcome to Front End Chatter Episode 50 – yes, you’re not imagining it, it’s really real, and only a week after Episode 49.
Anyway, with next to no racing to chatter about, we’ve finally got round to answering all your emails (at least, the ones that had a question) – some from as far back as last September; sorry about that.
Thanks for enduring this one – it’s a monster – and look forward to some exciting news regarding Front End Chatter in the near future.
Fri, 3 February 2017
Welcome to FEC49, finally – at least in the sense it’s been a long time coming, not in the conclusive sense. And, despite no actual racing to talk about, we find enough to fill half a podcast:
• Why testing is a pointless guide to the outcome of the season, but it’s worth taking notice of because it’s some motorbikes going round a track
• Crazy new World Superbike rules
• How BSB should fill a Supersport-sized gap with naked bikes and Moto2
• Who will be the busiest Aussie racer in 2017
• Why this year’s TT will be the best ever
• What that crazy Guy Martin has been saying about his TT comeback and why modern bikes are rubbish
PLUS! We have a few mini-reviews of some 2017 bikes, including:
Thank you for bearing with us always, please keep emails coming, and we’ll read them out in FEC50...
...WHICH WE’RE RECORDING NEXT WEEK, WE PROMISE!
Thu, 17 November 2016
Hello and welcome to Front End Chatter E48, which you'll be pleased to hear has no racing at all apart from a brief discussion about the merits of being called Danny Kent but not actually coming from Kent, unlike Danny Webb who does come from Kent.
Thanks for listening, hope you like it, and see you at Motorcycle Live at the NEC.
Tue, 8 November 2016
Hello and welcome back to Front End Chatter E47 - it's been a while, so we've come back with an episode purely about racing – who's won what, why, how, and what will happen next year – and we introduce a new word to the English language: disrespeculation.
Thanks for bearing with us – more episodes will follow soon, about 2017 new bikes, and reading your emails and answering your questions.
Thu, 18 August 2016
Welcome to Part Two of FEC's Summer Special, featuring your emails and assorted chatter about:
• the ethics of washing bikes and bikinis
• the truth about new tyres
• how best to listen to music while riding
• is the future electric?
• have electronics spoiled racing?
• is Ducati's new Supersport a Monster in drag with the wrong engine?
• what's the best adventure bike for a tall Hamburger?
• why buying a Crossrunner is a good, good, good thing
• why sportsbikes might not be the best idea for people with little self-control
• what's the best bike to strap to the back of a motorhome?
Thu, 18 August 2016
Hello, and welcome to Front End Chatter, Britain's original... most original... oh, whatever. It's a podcast mostly about bikes, with added swearing.
Mon, 11 July 2016
Welcome to Front End Chatter E45 featuring not much racing, shock, partly because there hasn’t been much since E44 but mostly because we didn’t actually watch what there was. Which, as it turns out, was a wet Assen MotoGP (always a pleasure, never a chore). So we talk about a race we didn’t see, plus wings they aren’t going to use for a safety concern (or issue) they may or may not have. It’s just like actually being there, only with your eyes closed and with fingers in your ears.
We also find time to chunter about:
And you can purchase Front End Chatter merch here:
Thu, 23 June 2016
Welcome to Front End Chatter #44, in which Mufga and SiH talk about a couple of MotoGP races that happened ages ago – and including the tragic loss of Moto2’s Luis Salom at Catalunya, the slightly unedifying fallout, the race itself with torpedoes and last lap thrills, and a very necessary handshake to cap it all off.
We also natter about TT racing – and in our excitement over the difference between letting a MotoGP bike race in the Superbike class but chucking out a rider for coated cam buckets in another, completely neglect to offer condolences to the family and friends of lost riders Dwight Beare, Ian Bell, Paul Shoesmith, Andrew Soar and Dean Martin. Which we do here.
Mufga and Si also discover the joys of Bluetooth headsets, muck about in Wales on BMW’s GS Challenge, ride KTM’s 1290 GT (for the next issue of Bike magazine) and chunter about BMW’s R1200 GSA v KTM’s Super Adventure v Triumph’s new Explorer v Ducati’s new Multistrada Enduro (check it out in a forthcoming issue of Ride magazine). No spoilers. Ok, maybe just a couple.
Mon, 9 May 2016
Welcome to Front End Chatter E43, brought to you in association with the enjoy-while-it-lasts British summer. In this episode, Simon and Mufga chatter about:
• results and matter arising from Jerez and Le Mans MotoGP including Brad Binder's hooky software issues in Moto3, Rossi's lauded flag to flag win, Lorenzo's flag-to-flag win that no-one cares about, synchronised crashing, more wings and things, being beaten up by a tangerine, and even more about who goes where, and who's talking about who's going where, in 2017. And why. And are you Team BTSport or Team MCN/MotoMatters?
Fri, 8 April 2016
I dunno, you wait ages for an episode of Front End Chatter, and then two come along at once.
• why a 2 x British world champ is doing a bit of half-naked Turkish oil wrestling on TV but isn't coming across as a nob
• choosing between a BMW R1200RT and a Suzuki GSX1250FA
Thu, 7 April 2016
We're back! After a prolonged absence, which we find is the best kind, Front End Chatter returns with post-Argentina MotoGP gossip – and, let's face it, it had the lot: tyres, crashes, more tyres, boo-ing, early silly season, and some highly ill-informed nonsense about reverse-spinning cranks.
Fri, 19 February 2016
Episode 40 of Front End Chatter, the Finger On The Pulse episode, comes not so much hot as slightly tepid with gossip from MotoGP testing (at Sepang, Malaysia, not Phillip Island). Fortunately, the big issues are still the same: will Casey race in 2016? Will the new Michelin tyres and retro-spec ECU mix results up this season? Will Lorenzo win the title by mid-season? When will someone first say ‘silly season’?
There’s also plenty of FEC-ing tittle-tattle about:
Please email questions, comments and/or abuse to: email@example.com
We're also on Android podcast apps.
Fri, 22 January 2016
HelloAndWelcomeToEpisode39OfBritain'sFavouriteBikingPodcast! And breathe...
In the first FEC of 2016, Simon and Martin discuss:
- The Dakar Rally, who's winning, who isn't, and who's paying any attention?
- All the new rules for MotoGP, whether we can predict anything before anything has happened, and whether that feller who said he doesn't want to race again will, in fact, race again.
- What's going on with WSB's barely comprehensible new format, and whether it will detract from what otherwise has the potential to be a pretty great year.
- Who in the BSB paddock recently failed a drugs test, who will be making a welcome return to the BSB paddock, and who in the BSB paddock has just made a pretty dramatic career change.
- Plus loads and loads (and loads) of your emails frantically read, mumbled, debated and, in a few cases, answered.
It's a busy one...
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thu, 17 December 2015
Front End Chatter E38 looks back at 2015: the best bikes, the best races, the best racers, the biggest losers, and Martin and Simon's personal fave moments – plus the absence of British world champs on BBC Sports Personality Of The Year and FEC's New Year Resolutions.
Have a merry Christmas, you FECers!
Thanks for listening, and please get on touch on email:
...and try our Youtube channel!
Thu, 26 November 2015
Welcome to Front End Chatter E37 in which, now the dust has settled, Martin and Simon discuss the ramifications of that race from the point of view of someone who was in the grandstands at Valencia, and someone who had the benefit of replays on the TV (*SPOILER ALERT* hardcore Rossi fans probably shouldn't listen to this). Oh, and there's something about the NEW BRITISH WORLD CHAMPION... but we sort of forgot to mention it at the start...
Wed, 28 October 2015
Welcome to Front End Chatter, Episode 36 – the Scoop/Meltdown episode – in which Martin and Simon reveal details of Triumph's 2016 range of Bonnevilles, Thruxtons and Street Twin – what they are, why they are, why they've taken so long and why there's no Scrambler.
Visit our shop
Subscribe on iTunes
Twitter us at @SimonHbikes and @Mufga
And try FEC visual treats on YouTube
Thu, 15 October 2015
Welcome to Front End Chatter E35, which contains details of Kawasaki's forking-great 2016 ZX-10R, BMW's gravity-defying G310 concept bike (and why, if it really does break the laws of physics and hover, it also breaks the law in Britain), the ramifications of the technology-sharing pact between Honda, BMW and Yamaha, and the usual wild MotoGP speculation and gossip.
Wed, 7 October 2015
Front End Chatter E34 – the Less Than Honest Episode – in which:
• Martin and Simon get their riding assessed and ride very sensibly – almost as if their livelihoods depend on it (which they do)
• VW are caught cheating on US emissions tests, but are bike manufacturers doing the same?
• details of Ducati's 2016 models are accidentally revealed online, by the same US emissions board who 'outed' VW (who own Audi, who own... Ducati)
• Suter release a Grand Prix replica two-stroke, with an engine based on a late 1990s V4 500 motor but which mysteriously turns out to be 576cc
Mon, 21 September 2015
Back to scotch rumours of its (not our) demise, Front End Chatter E33 sees a lucid Martin and hungover Simon cover a wide range of two-wheeled gossip including:
Tue, 21 July 2015
Coming to you fresh out of last week and looking all the way into next year, Front End Chatter #32 covers:
- Speculation, rumour, gossip, semi-educated guesses and, in a few cases, actual established facts about the new motorcycles we can expect to see in 2016 (and 2017).
- Whether BMW's new hi-tech flashing brake light gizmo is really such a bright idea.
- MotoGP recap from Sachsenring, the battle for championship points still to fight, and the battle for focus Martin found himself fighting during the race.
- Plenty of talk ahead of British Superbikes' crazy £50,000 scheme at Brands Hatch, including what it all has to do with Hulk Hogan.
- Plus all your Tweets, emails, faxes and telegrams including two-strokes, racing at Daytona in the 1970s, racing at the TT in your 50s, the future of the 300cc sports class, and plenty more.
Be a part of Britain's best motorcycle podcast by emailing your thoughts, opinions, feelings or questions to email@example.com. We're also on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FrontEndChatter); Twitter (@SimonHbikes and @Mufga) and iTunes (bit.ly/iTunes) - where you can subscribe or download old episodes FOR FREE. And, of course, good old-fashioned www.frontendchatter.com.
No animals were harmed during the making of this podcast. Apart from one dog.
Tue, 30 June 2015
Britain's original motorcycle podcast is back once again with a hundred minutes of talk, discussion, argument, ill-informed rumour, shameful name-dropping and awful impressions covering:
– Everything that happened at the Isle of Man TT races, including asking the question NOBODY IS EVER ALLOWED TO ASK!
– All the last corner antics from the Assen round of MotoGP, including Rossi vs Marquez and Niklas Ajo vs his knees.
– Whether getting the ’80s and ’90s GP band back together in Spain is a race we'd want to see in Britain – and whether it's really a race at all.
– All the excitement surrounding Honda's absolutely staggering RC213VhyphenS. It's Márquez's race bike on the road! Well, apart from the engine. And the frame. And the suspension, brakes, wheels, tyres, petrol tank…
– What it's like to take on 241 other BMW owners at the UK round of the BMW GS Trophy qualifying event. And, indeed, exactly what any of that actually means.
– Plus all your questions and emails answered, or at least read out loud.
Thank you, as always, for downloading us, subscribing to us on iTunes, liking our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/FrontEndChatter), following us on Twitter (@SimonHbikes and @Mufga), and telling everyone you know who rides a bike about the veritable audio feast that is Front End Chatter.
Sat, 30 May 2015
Front End Chatter, Britain's best motorcycle podcast, celebrates its 30th episode with a Q&A special. This time we've passed the handlebars over to you, dear listener(s), as Simon and Martin spend a full hour finding, inventing, and in some cases, actually knowing, answers to your questions. Topics include:
- Why many riders find life gets in the way of riding, often for years at a time
- Are bikes getting taller? And does size (of a bike's seat height) really matter?
- Is the Ducati Scrambler "completely wanky"? (Not our words...)
- 10 (or so) great roads to ride in Europe (and one in Wales...)
- The invention of the British SuperCeleb championship, where Hollywood (the culture) meets Hollywood (the baker) at Hollywood (the corner)
- Are the DVLA being sneaky buggers, or are some people just not paying enough attention?
- Plus an ex-pat makes us all feel better by bursting a few bubbles about the reality of riding in Australia
Thank you for downloading and, hopefully, listening. All questions, comments, replies and general communication is welcomed to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find us on Twitter at @SimonHbikes and @Mufga or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FrontEndChatter
Subscribe to Front End Chatter for free on iTunes (bit.ly/FECiTunes) or find us direct at www.frontendchatter.com
Wed, 20 May 2015
After six weeks of sponsored silence, Britain's least-consistent motorcycle podcast is back. In episode 29, Simon and Martin discuss:
- Why watching MotoGP racing is a bit like watching two walruses fighting, or a Shakepearean play, or something.
- Will Valentino win the title, will Ducati win a race, and will Melandri win a point?
- The North West 200 race that was won by a movie star.
- The new Honda Africa Twin, and whether it would have been much, much better or much, much worse if it was more like a Varadero.
- Why Royal Enfield have bought Harris (not Rolf), and whether there are any warnings to be learned from Hero investing in EBR
- The passing of Geoff Dukeobe (sorry, Duke OBE) and whether TT spectators in the 1950s got better value from slower racing.
Thank you very much for listening. If you like, or at least tolerate this, check out all our other podcasts at www.frontendchatter.com or search for Front End Chatter on iTunes - and subscribe! Email email@example.com with questions, comments and anything else, or find us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FrontEndChatter) and Twitter (@SimonHbikes and @Mufga).
Thu, 2 April 2015
• discuss the drama of the 2015 season-opening MotoGP race from Qatar
• preview (just) the upcoming 2015 season-opening British Superbike race from Donington
• interview BSB Series Director Stuart Higgs in the back of a van and talk about what’s in store this year, why BSB is a success, whether the rules on electronics and the Showdown are a good thing or a bad thing, and what he regrets most after seven years in charge
• ruminate on Dani Pedrosa’s poorly wrist and Casey Stoner’s unlikely MotoGP comeback
• and read out listener’s emails on subjects such as Marco Melandri’s performance, why the law is an ass, the current status of Front End Chatter’s T-shirts and what we think of the current BT Sport MotoGP line-up.
Hope you enjoy it; please send in your questions (verbal or written), subscribe via iTunes or Android, like our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/FrontEndChatter) and talk to us on Twitter
Sat, 21 March 2015
Front End Chatter, Britain's best motorcycle podcast, considers joining The 27 Club and contains:
- A 30-minute preview of the 2015 MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 seasons with respected journalist and racer Mat Oxley (@matoxley), including: whether Ducati really has turned a corner in turning corners; whether Jorge Lorenzo will fit into his leathers; why Moto2 isn't as exciting as it was; and why the young Spanish rider who could dominate Moto3 is slightly less Spanish than MFG thinks.
- All the two-wheeled excuses that have got in the way of us making podcasts recently, including: BMW F800GS, Ducati Multistrada 1200, Suzuki GSX-R750, Honda NSR250RSP MC28, Triumph T595, Ducati Monster 1200S, BMW R1200R, Triumph Street Triple Rx and the Ducati Scrambler.
- Your questions and, in few cases, some answers to them, including: whether you're a twat if you film yourself crashing while attempting a wheelie, and whether that makes you enough of a twat to deserve a suspended prison sentence; what new riding kit to buy if you leave your old riding kit on a train and blame it on a podcast; and what one single motorcycle you'd pick to ride for the rest of your life.
- A surging (and unexpected) response to a casual request for Young People to get in touch, and the revelation that they may in fact be a lot like People.
Thank you, once again, for listening. You can email Front End Chatter about anything motorcycle-related on firstname.lastname@example.org, get in touch with Simon and Martin on Twitter (@SimonHbikes and @Mufga), and now visit FEC's shiny new Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FrontEndChatter
You can download (or stream) every episode of FEC for free at www.frontendchatter.com and/or subscribe to us (also for free) on iTunes or, indeed, any Android podcatchy software. Now #goFECyourself
Wed, 25 February 2015
Episode #26 of Front End Chatter includes:
- Britain's best motorcycle podcast celebrates its one-year anniversary by being ignored at the London Motorcycle Show. And Martin finally fulfils a four-year promise.
- World Superbikes recap from Phillip Island, including the record-breaking (not in a good way) return of Troy Bayliss, why the podiums resembled the setup to a rubbish old pub joke, and the frank confessions and bruised buttocks revealed by social media.
- More intrigue from MotoGP pre-season testing, where Ducati appear to have successfully turned a corner (for once), Melandri appears to need a montage, and scooters appear to be influencing race bike design.
- Simon discovers how much MotoGP riders earn, where in the world they take it home to, and what the sponsors who fund the whole shebang do aside from taking up space on the side of 200mph race bikes.
- Getting righteously indignant at the politics behind the Donington/Silverstone/CircuitOfWales fiasco, then even more righteously indignanter still at proper politics when it turns out the political party that seemed to be the nice guys really don't like motorcycles at all, and really don't want you riding them either.
Plus plenty more. Well, a bit more. Regardless, thank you so very much for listening. If you enjoy it, you can check out our first year of FECing on www.frontendchatter.com; subscribe for free on iTunes; send us an email to email@example.com; and Twit us on @SimonHbikes and @Mufga.
PS - If you spot the not-as-deliberate-as-we-wish-it-was mistake, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Sun, 8 February 2015
Episode 25 of Front End Chatter, Britain's best and most superlative biking podcast, returns from a lengthy absinthe to discuss the first stirrings of a MotoGP season from testing at Sepang, Malaysia, and whether anything can be inferred from said performances other than some bikes and riders will definitely be on the grid at the start of the season, and some will be faster than others (the chances of a dead heat involving the entire field in every race are slim). Episode 25 also features the FEC Pointless MotoGP PR podium, a celebration of banal soundbites and talking nonsense, in which Alvaro Bautista is showing great pre-season form...
Front End Chatter also nearly breaks a Yamaha press embargo on the new VMAX Cartoon... sorry, Carbon... and notices Suzuki's best-value bike, the GSX1250 FA, now comes with full luggage in its £7999 price, which is great until remembering the standard bike (without the luggage) was on sale for £6865 six months ago. FEC#25 also worries about biking getting older (it's a proper Saga) and wonders where the new blood is coming from (if there is any), why kids don't ride mopeds, whether Triumph should put a Tiger 800 motor in Street Triple chassis and slap a half fairing on it, the pros and cons of riding in winter, and marvel at the eccentric life of Maurice Seddon, the man who cooked his supper in his panniers and 'invented' heated clothing for bikers.
Sun, 25 January 2015
Episode 24 of Front End Chatter does not, sadly, contain Kiefer Sutherland defending the world from a series of increasingly improbable terrorists. Instead, Simon and Martin discuss:
- The two-week, 5000-mile Dakar Rally compressed into 10 minutes
- A pre-pre-season preview, as MotoGP prepares to start testing, World Superbikes prepares to start racing, and the internet prepares to start using the c-word about Casey Stoner
- Why the 2015 Isle of Man TT has turned into the world's fastest group test (and why a Kawasaki H2R might appear after all...)
- Why things are looking up if you're in the business of selling motorcycles
- The Frankenbikes we would build given an imaginary angle grinder and welder
- The events to get in your 2015 diary, from London to Barcelona to Coventry
And finally, to find out if reports of Superbike magazine's death have been greatly exaggerated, we speak to editor John Hogan (@JohnatSuperBike) about the title's past, present and future.
Thank you very much for listening to Britain's best biking podcast. If you enjoy it, subscribe for free on iTunes, and check out all of our previous episodes (which would take more than a day of non-stop listening to get through). You can also play or download every episode free from www.frontendchatter.com
Talk to us either on Twitter (@SimonHbikes and @Mufga) or send us an email about anything you like to email@example.com
Mon, 12 January 2015
The first Front End Chatter of 2015 covers such diverse subjects as:
- Simon enters a race through a village on his FireBlade, only to find out that's it's not really a race.
- The first (and last) Front End Chatter 2014 Manufacturer Countdown, pop-pickers.
- Listeners' problems solved (or at least answered), from trials clubs to tourism advice.
- Does racing sell road bikes?
- Do tall-rounders make sportsbikes look silly?
Plus, Front End Chatter's off-road correspondent JP (@Jonpe23) returns to discuss the ins, outs and upside-downs of the Dakar Rally, including:
- Who nearly didn't even make the start line this year.
- What the words "mousse", "liason" and "fesh-fesh" mean.
- Why you don't necessarily want to finish first (but to finish first, first you have to finish...)
- Was the Dakar better when it actually went to Dakar?
Thanks very much for listening. As ever, please subscribe (for free) on iTunes or elsewhere, check out our previous 20-odd episodes (for free), and spread the word by telling friends (and strangers) about Britain's best biking podcast.
You can also shape future episodes by emailing comments, suggestions, questions and observations to firstname.lastname@example.org or by getting us on Twitter on @SimonHbikes and @Mufga.
Sun, 21 December 2014
This year's final episode of Britain's best biking podcast comes to you from the jungle... no, Andorra... no, Benidorm. And Sicily.
In this hour-and-a-bit, Ant and Dec - sorry, Simon and Martin - cover:
- Is Britain officially in love with Foggy once again (the stats suggest so), or did he just surf a wave of cult nostalgia (the stats suggest so...)?
- Marquez moves out of his parents' house, cries, then proves he's the greatest rider on the planet even in the off-season. Plus, a review of his new biography.
- Reports from the launches of the new BMW R1200R (a simple bike that's incredibly high-tech), Kawasaki Versys 650 (the small bike trying to be a big bike) and Versys 1000 (the adventure bike that wasn't really an adventure bike and definitely isn't an adventure bike any more).
- Front End Chatter discovers what it's like to ride a Kawasaki H2.
- Plus your emails answered, some light bickering, and much more.
If you enjoy this (for free), you can subscribe to Front End Chatter (for free), check out our past episodes (for free), tell a friend (for free) or shout about us online (for free).
Send us an email about anything (email@example.com) and find us on Twitter (@Mufga and @SimonHbikes).
Thank you very much, and we'll be back in 2015.
Sat, 6 December 2014
Welcome to Front End Chatter episode 21 v2.0 (apparently the dog ate episode 21 v1.0). This week Martin and Simon visit Motorcycle Live and wave a microphone at Kawasaki’s H2R, use the word ‘artisan’ twice, dissect Carl Fogarty MBE’s stellar performance on a reality TV show and whether drinking a puréed kangaroo testicle really is tougher than winning four World Superbike titles, discuss air-bag protection, lament the passing of the thrust curve, and Simon reveals how talking out loud while you’re riding, recording it and putting on YouTube is problematic. But only to him.
Thank you very much for listening, please spread the word, subscribe, and come and read other Chattersome nonsense at:
*if you’re only interested in the Carl Fogarty bit – and who can blame you? – it starts around 42m 30s.
Fri, 14 November 2014
Front End Chatter, Britain's best (and original) biking podcast celebrates its vigintennial anniversary by remembering about the good old days. Actually, it doesn't. Instead, it gets totally lost in the seemingly bottomless pool of brand new bikes and their impenetrable acronyms. Opinion and analysis abounds, including attempting (or not) to answer:
- Might Kawasaki's new H2 be a tiny weeny bit of a porker?
Feedback or topic suggestions actively welcomed by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Twitter (@SimonHbikes and @Mufga).
Thanks very much.
Sun, 26 October 2014
Front End Chatter, Britain's best (and original) biking podcast, returns for an hour of fun and games (literally) including:
- What Ducati's latest high-tech acronym actually does
Plus all the usual talk about racing, your emails and plenty more too.
Download Front End Chatter via www.frontendchatter.com, search for us on iTunes, or find us through any other Androidy apps. We're even still on SoundCloud. If you enjoy FEC please subscribe, tell your friends, check out old episodes, and email feedback to email@example.com
Oh, and Twit us on @SimonHbikes and @Mufga
Fri, 17 October 2014
Britain's best and... hang on, have to stop you there. Anyway, this week's/month's/insert-random-time-interval's episode of Front End Chatter is all about new bikes – Kawasaki's supercharged H2R, BMW's S1000RR and R1200RS, Suzuki's GSX-S1000F and Ducati's Hipster, sorry, Scrambler – and a newly-crowned MotoGP Wold Champ, which is like a World Champ only from Lincolnshire, not Spain. There's some other stuff too. We hope you enjoy it, and please spread the word, subscribe via iTunes or an Android thing, leave a review, or Tweet us at @SimonHbikes and @Mufga (or get Simon on FB, but not Martin).
Fri, 12 September 2014
Front End Chatter, the UK's finest biking podcast, goes all supercharged this week, in honour of Kawasaki's much rumoured, substantially teased and probably very exciting new sportsbike, the H2 (although it turns out your level of excitement depends on your promiscuity, gullibility and general willingness to indulge in fantasy). We also talk about the other noteworthy 2015 bikes likely to debut at the forthcoming Intermot bike show in Cologne, why sportsbikes may or may not be making a comeback, a bit of MotoGP chat, why Donington is nicer than Silverstone (apart from the toilets), and take a serious moment to discuss the ethics of watching bike crash videos on Youtube.
From physics to metaphysics, only in Britain's favourite biking podcast.
Mon, 1 September 2014
Welcome to Front End Chatter episode 16, brought to you live, in the sense we're breathing, from Silverstone MotoGP – or is it?
Wed, 27 August 2014
Front End Chatter hits the big one-five chattering about Marc Marquez crashing (or not), new bike news including Suzuki's big naked, Yamaha's semi-naked and BMW's wish-it-was-completely-obscured, why Welsh taxpayers may end up paying Silverstone (not in Wales) to host a Grand Prix in 2015, and lots more ill-informed chit-chat about this and that on two wheels (guaranteed to drive anyone who knows anything about bikes to distraction). We hope you like it, but have sympathy with those who don't.
Mon, 4 August 2014
If you like quantity over quality, then the longest-ever episode of Front End Chatter, Britain's best (and only) biking podcast is for you.
Simon and Martin return with nearly 90 minutes of words, covering:
- Cal Crutchlow's last-minute change of heart. And employer
Sat, 26 July 2014
After two months of radio (or, indeed, not-radio) silence, Britain's best (and only) biking podcast is back with episode 13. But what happened to episode 12, you ask? You'll have to listen to find out...
Front End Chatter #13 also covers:
- Who's going (or staying) where in MotoGP, and should they?
Find us on The Twitter on @SimonHbikes and @Mufga
Thanks, and tell a friend. Or just spam your email address book.
Sun, 8 June 2014
Front End Chatter episode 11 is here and contains, for your aural pleasure, Simon and Martin chattering about the following:
Sun, 25 May 2014
The tenth episode of Britain's best (and only) biking podcast is bursting with astounding revelations, such as:
- Marc Márquez isn't the fastest rider in MotoGP
- Bike racing isn't the same as football
- One city has more bikes than the whole of Europe
- Two genuinely interesting electric bikes are launched in the same week
- Ducati make lots of money by selling very expensive sportsbikes
And some other stuff too.
Twit a twit on @Mufga or @SimonHbikes, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscribe to Front End Chatter on iTunes, download us on Soundcloud, or find us through any old bit of podcasting software you like.
Enjoy, tell a friend, and thank you very much.
Wed, 14 May 2014
After a two-week hiatus (that's a posh word for slacking off), Britain's best (and still only) biking podcast is back to cover all the goings on, in, over and under the two-wheeled world.
There's talk about whether MotoGP's getting dull now Marquez has won every race (it isn't); how long Marquez can win every race for (not long... probably); and whether we should all be watching World Superbikes instead (we aren't, but why not?)
Then there's stuff about a bike with a small-capacity engine (Yamaha's MT-125), a bike with a big-capacity engine (BMW's S1000R) and a bike with a zero-capacity engine (BMW's C evolution).
All that plus Martin busts an MOT myth, and Simon talks about his helmet.
If any of this makes you want to say something, you're welcome to say it to email@example.com, @Mufga and @SimonHbikes
Oh, and thank you.
Sun, 27 April 2014
The eighth episode of Britain's best (and only) biking podcast spreads its wings wider than ever, with irreverent (who said irrelevant?) discussion of road bikes' past (Kawasaki's KR-1, which Simon has just ridden), present (Suzuki's GSX1250FA, which Martin has just ridden) and future (electric bikes, and does anybody want to ride them?).
There's also the usual racing rambling, including our attempt to work out a religious building based heirarchy for circuits around the world. And Front End Chatter welcomes its first studio guest, www.dirtbikesportnews.com editor Jonathan Pearson. Fresh from winning at Britain's toughest enduro, he explains how to use other riders as grip...
As ever, emails are welcomed to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Twit us on @SimonHbikes and @Mufga.
Subscribe to Front End Chatter on iTunes, or find us on Soundcloud.
Sat, 19 April 2014
Welcome to Front End Chatter, Britain's best (and only) biking podcast. In this week's shambles of an episode, the gun-slinging Magnificent Seventh, Martin and Simon chatter about last weekend's stunning (or not) MotoGP race from Texas, interviewing TT racers (or not), putting the entire Japanese motorcycle industry to rights (or not), a new, road legal, two-stroke V4 (or not), why Honda's new CB650F isn't very good (or not; neither of us have ridden it).
Contact us at: email@example.com
Sat, 12 April 2014
In the sixth episode of Front End Chatter, Britain's best (and still only) biking podcast, Simon and Martin look back at the fact-filled career of Colin Edwards, preview this weekend's racing action in both Texas and Aragon, explore Simon's mid-biking-life crisis at the Yamaha Off-Road Experience, and discuss the stark differences between BMW's new R1200RT (which Simon has ridden, but didn't realise) and Honda's not-so-new VFR800 (which neither of us have ridden). Plus, our tribute to Massimo Tamburini and why his legacy deserves to be far greater than two gorgeous bikes, even if they weren't quite so lovely to ride...
As ever emails are welcomed to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Twit us on @SimonHbikes or @Mufga
Thanks again, and moo.
Mon, 31 March 2014
In the fifth episode of Front End Chatter - still Britain's best (and only) biking podcast - Simon and Martin discuss the opening MotoGP race from Qatar, new bike news, riding a pair of new V-twins in the shape of Ducati's Diavel and Erik Buell's new EBR 1190RX sportsbike, plus some other stuff including a review of James Toseland's new album.
We hope you like it, despite a passing jet about halfway through.
If you're a Twitterist, we're on @Mufga and @SimonHbikes. Emails to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or absolutely anything you can think up @frontendchatter.com
Sat, 22 March 2014
After the naive first episode, a difficult number two, the critically panned and self-indulgent third episode, Front End Chatter, the UK's best (and only) biking podcast, returns after a week away with a stream-lined, sleek, punchy fourth episode: FEC the 4th.
Hope you like it! Please email us at email@example.com or get us on Twitter: @Mufga or @SimonH_on_bikes
Sun, 9 March 2014
In the critically panned third episode of Front End Chatter (the UK’s best, and only, biking podcast), motorcycle journalists Simon and Martin road test Yamaha’s new MT-07 and talk about Ducati’s new Diavel. Plus, there’s gossip about ludicrous last-minute MotoGP rule changes, the re-opening of Mallory Park and bike manufacturer’s sales figures.
FEC E03 also features a special Guess-The-Engine competition (with the chance to win a Front End Chatter mug. Or two) and a musical interlude during which a cocktail of high-calorie refreshments will be available in the foyer.
Podcast also available on iTunes and at www.frontendchatter.com
All emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter: @SimonH_on_bikes or @Mufga
Fri, 28 February 2014
In the difficult second episode of Britain's best (and only) biking podcast, Martin and Simon discuss the World Superbike racing from Phillip Island and interview Voltcom Crescent Suzuki boss Paul Denning, discuss MotoGP test times and 'a bit of politics' from Sepang, Simon gets hot under the collar about BMW's S1000F (whether it exists or not) and gets a completely noncommittal answer from BMW themselves. Plus Yamaha’s new Super Ténéré, what Martin and Simon really think about BMW’s R1200GS, Martin’s knees and Simon’s empty stomach.
Sun, 23 February 2014
In the very first episode of Britain's best (and only) biking podcast, we discuss the new Yamaha MT-07 (which we haven't actually ridden yet) as well as the Ducati Monster 1200S and MV Agusta Dragster (which we have); analyse BT Sport's new MotoGP presenter line-up while trying to work out what it takes to watch it on TV; look at supercharging, including who's likely to do it, who's already doing it and who did it ten years ago; and Simon explains why he's bought a 1996 Honda FireBlade.