Scooter break in again…

My Honda Silvering

Its been a difficult time recently. My scooter was damaged once again in a break in on the car park where I park. I say again because in April 2018 exactly the same thing happened. Less that a year!

In April 2018, the motorbikes were targetted but none were taken, if I remember some other things were broken and taken. However between the chains and locks broken, it was clear they tried to break my steering lock by forcing the handle bars. They slightly twisted but not at the fork level lucky, this still costed about £150 to fix.

This time the motorbikes were targetted and looking at the CCTV images from the different cameras across the site its clear they were only after the motorbikes nothing else.

CCTV in the April 2018 break-in
CCTV cover up in 2018

CCTV in the Jan 2019 break-in
CCTV cover up in 2019


There was some other similarities between the break-ins. The CCTV over looking the motorbikes was covered up in both cases.

They also broke into the car park from the building site next door

Unlike last time however, I spotted 4 men acting very weirdly on the canal side on Monday 14th night/Tuesday 15th morning. They were dressed in black with hoods and scarfs across their mouths and noses. They seemed to be breaking into Islington Wharf Mews by jumping over a wall with a sleeping bag to protect themselves from the spikes on top.

23:49 – Calling the non-emergency number (101) I was put on hold for ages but finally by the time they picked up. The men jumped back over the wall to the canal side, they disappeared from my view.

00:09 – The police took some details and asked where they were now. I happened to catch them breaking into the building site from the road side. Telling the police, they originally said they were going to send someone out. However as I found out later they looked at the public CCTV, which obviously doesn’t point on to the building site plus they were dressed in complete black. Once they looked and saw nothing they closed the logged case

00:45 – Meanwhile I hadn’t noticed but saw later on the garage CCTV a 5th man dressed totally in Black was trying to get into the garage by sneaking in while the roller shutter was coming down after some left or entered the garage. He failed and even got shouted at by residents in a car.

00:48 – I get a short phone call from the police asking if I seen anything else new? I said no.

01:08 – Not long after my original call and 20mins after my call back, some men gain access to the car park via the ground floor car park by breaking the wood slats. I know this for sure because the CCTV confirms the moment they broke through and climbed through.

How they got into the carpark

They headed straight for the motorbikes ignoring all the cars and bicycles. Broke two locks of 2 motorbikes, and damaging my scooter. They are in the car park for 35mins (01:08 – 01:43), All their movements around the carpark are captured on our own CCTV, except the one right above the bikes

01:43 – Finally they leave heading out the car park pedestrian door with 2 motorbikes

Damage to my scooter

0941 – I only found out the next day when I was going to work and saw the damage and the missing motorbikes. This time to tried to get at the scooter ignition instead of trying to break the steering lock. As you can see the damage is pretty bad but the steering is actually fine. I checked all the other locks and chains and they are good.

However 2 other motorbikes are gone and I got lucky. I’ve beefed up my locks and now using my alarm more often now (not just the immobiliser). I also got a crime reference and asked about my early morning call. I’m told the case is on going but police were sent out.

1953 – Later in the evening when I call up again,  I’m told the cases are not connected was closed and the police were not sent out because there was nothing on a CCTV (no idea which one they are referring to)

My problem I see is…

  • The police are not connecting the two cases. Now I understand there is a chance the 4 men dressed head to toe in black on a building site may not be the same 5 people who broke into the garage from the same building site stealing the bikes? Yes it happened with 60 mins of my call but who knows – right? What I don’t understand is why no one was sent out? Even a visit could have prevented a crime. They also lied to me on the phone
  • I don’t get how the building site isn’t partly to blame for it lack of security not just once but twice now. There is a good chance the men stole tools from the building site to break the locks. I certainly didn’t see them carrying anything when getting into Islington Wharf Mews.
  • The police still haven’t looked or requested the CCTV from Islington Wharf, The Mews or the building site next door. Yes they are dressed in black but it could be useful to see where they came from and got to with the stolen motorbikes?
  • Why was I told they will send out a police offer but later told they didn’t? I feel like I was lied to….

I’m doing what I can but its slow going and not being able to get actual CCTV (for good reasons) its kinda impossible to convince the police to follow up. This is partly why I decided to share my frustrations without too much details.

Updated – Evening of Tuesday 29th Jan 2019

I’ve had an update from a few sources and the timeline includes this..

Tuesday 15 January 2019

00:19 – While I see 4 men getting into Islington Wharf Mews, another man also dressed in black from head to toe is trying to gain entry to the Islington wharf car park by trying to sneak in when someone leaves or enters. Unsuccessfully he returns to his hiding position each time. This also explains why 1 of the 4 men I saw kept looking out from their 1st floor position.

00:45 – They tried to gain entry again but a resident closes the shutter too quickly. 3mins later I get my call from the police, but still no one shows up.
On the building site they break a padlock on a tool box, giving them access to stronger tools

01:08 – They break into the car park via the ground floor through the fence using the builders tool.

01:18 – They send 2 of them for an initial scope out of the carpark and then after all 5 of them go into the car park. Breaking two locks of 2 motorbikes, and damaging my scooter. They are in the car park for 35mins

01:43 – One of the Residents tried to drive in to the car park and when the roller shutter goes up they run away pushing the motorcycles.

Updated – Morning of Wednesday 30th Jan 2019

At 8:30am I received a phone call from the special operations police. They had read my email and were slight shocked at how I’d be treated through this investigation. He massively apologized and agreed based on the research I had done, the cases are linked. Then finally at 1300 they did go and review the footage from the flats and are using it in their ongoing investigation along with other CCTV footage.

Case not closed!

Another Honda Silverwing but in Blue

Honda Silverwing 600

Finally part-exchanged my Honda Silverwing 600 which I have had for 13 years for another newer model Honda Silverwing 600 (600cc with ABS). Its a great bike and although I looked for other higher CC maxi-scooters, but decided the Silverwing still has the edge on price, reliability and years on the market. I test rode the Honda NC700D Integra (700cc) and BMW C 650 GT (650cc); but decided the Integra along with a motorbike, lacked everyday storage; the BMW was too expensive with few on the 2nd hand market.

I been to many places on the old Honda Silverwing but it was old and I’ve been told multiple times its going to start costing more to fix than to get another one.

Pretty happy with the bike so far, especially since my old Givi top box, fits the rack and I replaced the horrible Givi black box (one for ebay I think). That and I’m having to work out the fitted alarm which didn’t come with instructions but I found online easily enough.

Just a shame the weather has been so rubbish this weekend, at least tomorrow I get to ride work on it.

Ride down to Bristol via Snowdonia

At end of my journey

In a previous post I talked about driving to Bristol via Snowdonia. Well I’m happy to say I made it! Yeh me! 400+ miles completed.

I know most of you are saying, so what? But I have never driven so far on my Silverwing scooter before. I use to drive between London and Bristol on the A4 when I moved to London and it use to be a very long trip (4hours). Main reason it took so long is because I was on a 125cc scooter and it was going flat out most of the journey. I couldn’t use the motorway with my L plates and 125cc bike. Such a journey I would need to nap for a hour or so straight away afterwards!

I recorded the journey using my tracks as usual but unfortunately turned it off when stopping at Aberystwyth. I also forgot to turn it on a couple times, hence some small gaps in the journey.

Here is my ride from Manchester to Liverpool to Llandidno to Llarwst to Blaenau Ffestiniog to Barmouth to Dolgellau to Machynlleth to Aberystwyth. Blaenau was impressive, I wished my camera still had enough battery because you swing around a mountain down a beautiful valley into this clearing. The clearing is a mine site with a village in the middle. Barmouth was a mistake because when looking at google maps, I thought the line across the river was a public bridge but it was actually a train bridge. I actually thought I missed it but ended up going back on myself towards Dolgellau. I did stop at Llandidno and try and go around the Great Orme (the wrong way it seems). I also tried to pay at the mersey tunnel but realised it was free for bikes.

Then I stayed at the Queensbridge hotel on the seafront where I got told I was being moving to the Four Seasons in town. Didn’t really matter because it was pretty much the same.

After a sleep and breakfast I headed out again. From Aberystwyth to Rhayader to Talgarth to Abergavenny to Newport to Bristol. The travel across the 2nd seven bridge cross was free, and I somewhat forgot this. Also got stuck in a bit of traffic around Newport and Bullth Wells due to the Royal Wales festival.

The camera clamp actually held all the way through the journey, I was very impressive and thought it was bound to fall off somepoint.

I think I might have connected the two parts together using Google Maps Engine. I tried to do it with a non-native XML editor but KML is a odd format which I don’t really get the schema.

So having that ride under my belt and the weather looking to hold while I drive back. I may avoid Birmingham and the Motorway to drive up through Wales again.

Who knows… Maybe I’ll drive down again and Ireland is calling me too. I always knew the Honda Silverwing was a touring scooter being the little sibling of the Honda Goldwing.

My planned long drive to Bristol


View Drive Snowdonia in a larger map

This week I’m on holiday. Unlike most people, I won’t be travelling to some new destination full of sunshine and hot sand. Instead I’m going to drive through Wales down to Bristol.

Its a long ride (300miles!) and I will be stopping over somewhere in the middle (lets hope I don’t end up in a B&B with dogs!). And I’ll be honest I’m a little scared, but I got plenty of time and don’t need to be in Bristol till Wednesday afternoon to meet good friend Claire. I’ll then head over to my parents afterwards.

This is part due to my new years resolution about driving in a different country. I know Wales doesn’t really count but its a big test run for Scotland, Ireland or France. I also saw Graham Hughes again at TedxLiverpool (which I’ll write about later maybe) his world record visiting every country on planet earth without flying is incredible and inspirational. My old colleague Matthew Cashmore drove to Russia on his motorbike but to be honest I’m not certain my scooter would survive such a ride, hence I’m signing up with the AA just in-case.

I’m hoping to film as much of the ride as the battery will allow using my helmet mounted HD camera (you can see a snippit here). But I will be recording the journey with my tracks on my Nexus 5. May just bring the work phone just in-case of emergencies.

Weather looks to be good throughout, wish me luck!

Visiting the lake district


View Larger Map

While most people, this weekend were watching the tour de france in Yorkshire. I decided it was time for a ride further a field to the Lake District. Very nice ride with the sunshine beaming down all day… Of course I captured most of it with my head mounted camera and the autographer.

First time ever been to Kendal or the Lake district actually…

A long ride out to sheffield and back

Ride across the Peaks

So this time I went through the mountains of the pennines along the woodhead crossing, stopped in Sheffield and then back through along the forever talked about Snakes pass.

To be honest Snakes pass, wasn’t as scary as I imagined. But there certainly were some corners which I can totally see someone less aware getting caught on. I think I prefer the woodhead crossing for its pure speed and pleasure of driving on top of the mountains but I can see why Snakes pass is a heck lot quicker.

I was amazed at the lake in the middle of the pennines, from my brief look, it seems like there is a pebble/rocky beach too. I might be wrong, I imagine its maybe all just sinking mud and thats certainly not the place to get caught out.

Hope valley is next on my list, but if the weather gets any worst I certainly won’t be driving around the pennines. It was pretty treating when I went out on Saturday, cant even imagine what its like in rain and in the dark!


View Larger Map

For some reason, my phone went a little nutty in the middle, so I ended up with 2 KML files, using Oxygen XML I was able to put the data together. You can’t beat side by side view…

Documenting a ride

HONDA SILVERWING

I now have my scooter (Honda Silverwing) back on the road, thanks to Matt.

I have been on a few longish journeys around but not anything major. So today I went for a long ride in the mountains (well there officially the peaks  but…). I keep meaning to go down the famous Snakes Pass. But there seems to be a number of different routes which are interested rides through the peak district.

Using my tracks on my phone I was able to create a map of where I had gone complete with all the riding info. I was surprised to find you could easily export it to Google Drive and therefore easily something/somewhere else.


View Larger Map

Time to fix up the scooter?

Honda Silverwing

Saw this picture and started thinking its about time I fixed my scooter to either use it or sell it… I do believe it will get warmer and there is almost nothing better than riding around in the summer breeze.

Now I just need to find a decent motorbike repair shop somewhere near the centre of Manchester? Any pointers would be useful…

To the scumbag(s) who stole my scooter top box

Had a wonderful day hooking up with friends and ex-students from Ravensbourne. Our lecturer John Durrant was retiring from his role at Ravensbourne and Lisa setup a get together through Facebook and email to celebrate his clean break from Ravensbourne. Anyway it was going so well till I went to get my coat and a baby play rug from my scooter.

I walked the short walk to my where my scooter was parked and noticed from a far something was wrong. Yep some fucking loser had stolen my top box from the back of my locked silverwing scooter. I couldn't believe it and started swearing out loud before checking my scooter for any damage. The rest of the scooter was fine, they had not even tried the ignition.

I don't know what it was but I've never had a top box stolen from my scooter before and I've parked it over night in places like Kings Cross and Euston. Maybe it was because I decided to put my helmet out on the top of the scooter (it was hot and sweaty, so I wanted it to cool down in the natural air. Anyway it was gone, so I checked the local bins and asked a couple of women from a close by bar. I figured anyone carrying a large black and red box would be easily seen. Unfortually they didn't see anything so I called the Police and they ran me though the criminal reference stuff.

Generally I'm pissed off because I had my scooter coat, gloves, bungy net and baby play matt in the back box. SO when the thief/thivies open the box, there going to be pretty pissed off.

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