Thursday, 20 August 2009

ROAD TEST: 2007 Mazda MX5 Roadster 2.0 Coupe

Re-introducing a sports car that has been a firm favourite with enthusiasts around the world for the last decade is a design brief that takes careful consideration. With the new folding hard-top and several engine options available, Mazda, with their stylish new MX5 Roadster Coupe seem to have all bases well and truly covered.

The first thing that strikes you is the muscular new body design, with bulging wheel arches, wider 17 in. wheels and lower sports suspension. The larger fixed headlights and the excellent folding hard-top takes just 12 seconds to fold neatly away. Any preconceptions of the MX5 resembling a ‘hair dressers car’ are rapidly dissolved.

By opting for the snug, heated leather seats the new MX5 provides a sophisticated all weather cabin. In the glove compartment there is a handy docking point for your MP3 player. Finished in understated black, the dashboard and steering wheel highlight the level of quality materials used throughout this car, making for a pleasing place to while away the miles.

But this is a sports car, and sports cars should provide a thrill. The range-topping 2.0 Sport Coupe model, with a 4 cylinder, 16v engine produces a healthy 158bhp at 6700rpm. The car is nippy and light on its feet, soaking up the bumps extremely well for a compact sports car and whilst happy to cruise at motorway speeds, darting along country roads reveals its front-engined / rear wheel drive sports car pedigree.

Accurate turn in and crisp steering add to the overall quality of the package, whilst the multi-link rear and excellent 6 speed gearbox ensure the power strikes the perfect balance for this iconic convertible.

You’ll also be pleased to hear that the faultless folding roof does nothing to compromise the boot space, nor does it dent the pure driving experience famed by the original MX5.

At £19,210, the MX5 Roadster Coupe Sport is a desirable and practical sports car that has matured since the introduction of the original. Proving that convertibles are not necessarily the soft option when it comes to providing driver thrills, the MX5 possesses a distinctive handling balance and sports car pedigree at a price that few of its competitors can match.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

ROAD TEST: 2004 BMW 1200 GS

First impressions of the famed 'Round The World Bike' centre around its size. This is a big bike, I'm nearly 6"2 and throwing your leg over is still a tricky yoga move. Once aboard though, BMW have mastered a near perfect riding position with the GS. Wide, thin gauge bars provide such a delicate feel when seated that at first the GS belies its 200kg dry weight. The wide protruding cylinder heads remain distinctive but also add to the wind protection on offer.

The hand controls retain the BMW quality but still lack imagination when it comes to innovation (except the love 'em or hate 'em indicators), at this price.

Pulling away on a light clutch and selecting second rewards with a positive and reassuring clunk, and as the revs rise the 105hp flat twin immediately catches your attention with a torque rich surge through every gear all the way to illegal speeds. In fact, no matter what gear you happen to be in, a firm twist of the throttle sees you hunkering down and searching out the next planet to conquer.

Sheltered behind the adjustable windscreen, the effect of wind buffeting is highly reduced which in turn allows the innate ability of the GS to carry the rider at speed over less than perfect surfaces with consummate ease. The thought of riding the big BMW day after day is a pleasant one, which for me explains why this bike has been so popular. A bike famous not only for it's TV appearance but because it takes you places you never thought you could reach.

Thursday, 6 August 2009


Freelance motoring writer with a passion for cars and bikes. I also have a strong interest in vintage and retro machines. I am available for freelance reviews and full time motoring magazine editorial roles.


I have gained editorial work experience at the following magazines:

iMotor Digital Magazine
Auto Express Magazine
Autocar Magazine
Car Magazine

I am currently working at Dennis Publishing with the iMotor team which provides me with an insight to how a digital, online magazine is produced. I am responsible for writing daily motoring web news and magazine copy, covering photo shoots and assisting in driving duties. I also help review the long term vehicles.


Working on the busy news and features desk I was responsible for monitoring daily motoring news and researching related feature topics. I replied to readers' letters and contributed to the Motor World section. This role required quick thinking, strict deadlines and the ability to learn house style very quickly.

Alongside the web team, I was mainly responsible for writing and researching
daily news for the website. I also assisted on Autocar's famous and stringent road tests which included photo shoots and driving responsibilities. Whilst testing the Peugeot 3008 I also thoroughly enjoyed meeting motoring writer, John Simister.


ecuring a position at Bauer Media gave me the opportunity to work for the first magazine I ever bought. Way back in 1989 Car covered a head-to-head with the high tech Porsche 959 versus the road racer Ferrari F40. As the magazine that invented the group test and defined the term supercar, my introduction to motoring magazines was set.

Working alongside Tim Pollard and Chris Chilton, I was given news stories to write and upload, along with other research tasks and photo sourcing responsibilities. I was also taken on the group test shoot for the first Nissan GTR in the country alongside Audi's R8 and the Porsche 911 Turbo.

Click below to view my published news stories and images I took during the roadtest.

pproximately a month after the two weeks I worked for Car, I was offered freelance assisting and driving work by Tim Pollard to join Ben Barry, contributing writer on a shoot in central Wales for a comparison road test between the new Impreza WRX STi and the Honda Civic Type R. I thoroughly enjoyed driving the cars for tracking shots and helping the photographer setting up stills. Here are some images I took during the day.

I be
gan working in publishing for Merrick Media, Bath in Feb 2007 writing news stories and editing web content with the main obligation of improving Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and attracting more viewers. The site supports the magazine aiming to help readers with all their overseas investment, property and relocation needs.

News pieces covered all topics that affected overseas investors looking to relocate or buy homes abroad. I learnt the importance of constructing accurate, key word rich, web friendly articles to be used as primary features for the front page. I enjoyed editing copy, researching news stories and manipulating the site. I also learnt photo resizing skills, web editing programs and content management software.

As an unpaid intern I worked for 6 months having articles published and gaining very valuable experience of website management and editorial content. I enjoyed the freedom I was offered in this position and achieved increased viewings on Google News and keyword searches. The site has undergone significant changes in the last two years and my archive work is now removed.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009


"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

Enduro Himalaya Images. India Sept2008

A trip to Northern India with my father, from Shimla to Leh by Royal Enfield motorbike. We also rode some of the highest roads in the world, the breathtaking Rohtang La and Baralacha La passes, a truely unforgettable experience..

Vietnam Feb 2009
Earlier this year my girlfriend and I visited Vietnam with the aim of exploring the Central Highlands by motorbike. We wanted to learn more about the country's history and how the area suffered from the war against commionism nearly forty years ago. Shortly after watching the BBC Top Gear episode where the presenters travelled the length of the country by motorbike, I was keen to taste adventure again and sample the amazing food from this part of S.E. Asia. We hired small 100cc semi-automatic Honda Dream Scooters and our guide, Phil Phuc of The Dalat Easy Riders, took us to some of the remotest parts of this quite beautiful country.

Welcome to my

Welcome to my Blogspot

As you surf your wave of interest, this particular site maroons you in motoring and adventure. Some say it's a great place to be, others, that it can isolate you from reality, both sound interesting if i'm honest.

Reality is, to find out more about what I like to put as 'my interests', apart from bikes, cars and adventure, you need to ask. It's easy.