Motorbike portal site shines - BikeBiz

Motorbike portal site shines

Bicycle web portals should check out madaboutbikes.com, launched yesterday. It's a brilliant mix of content, commerce and community. Despite the title it's aimed not at cyclists but at the new breed of motorbike and scooter owners.
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The press release for the launch is below. Worthy of note is the fact the site is powered by some extremely clever and pliable user-defined databases (SmartGroups), has some major backing not just in cash but in kind (Freeserve is one of the site's partners) and is operated by an insurance company that "has grown from 4 people and no policies in 1997 to 140 staff in 4 call centres, and 25% of the UK new bike market today," (could it do the same for bicycle insurance?)


April 17th 2000 -- madaboutbikes.com, the UK's first

online biking community, launched today. The new website is aimed at

all bikers, whether they own a scooter, a sports bike or both!

There has never been a better time to launch a website for bikers, with

a massive boom in bike sales throughout the country. The new W-

registration figures for the first 10 days of March show a 22.2 %

increase over the same period in 1999. Scooter sales are even more

impressive, with over twice as many sold than last year.

With more women getting onto bikes than ever before and the BBC

broadcasting the British Superbikes 2000 Championship as part of Sunday

Grandstand, it's clear that the old image of a biker as a greasy,

overweight bloke down the pub called 'Spider John' is a thing of the

past. Today's biker is just as likely to be a professional urban type

with clean hair, high levels of disposable income and a successful

career in management - in fact, the kind of person most likely to have

access to the internet!

madaboutbikes aims to power biking into the 21st Century with it's own


'chapter' of leading edge features:-

Insurance - Quotes available online from launch, and madaboutbikes will

be the first website to offer real-time, online insurance from May.

Shopping - e-tailer with a huge range of accessories, bargain prices and

72 hour delivery guaranteed anywhere in mainland Britain. Bikes will

also be sold online through selected dealers. News/Sport - Editorial

from leading motorcycle journalists, including bike tests and other

product reviews. madaboutbikes will be sponsoring the legendary

'Rocket' Ron Haslam's comeback to British Superbikes this year.

Community - Revolutionary community web-tools powered by SmartGroups.

Users can set up their own clubs and other groups and vote, organise

meetings, send group e-mails and store shared files. Interactive Tools -

a suite of specially developed biker applications, including BikeFinder,

Route Planner, Weather and Advice.

Will Howells, Director, Interesource says, "The launch of

madaboutbikes.com is really exciting; we carried out a great deal of

research into what is available on the web against what people actually

required. madaboutbikes is truly a site by bikers and for bikers -

there's something for everyone as long as they love bikes! The latest

software from SmartGroups enables users to control how they use the site

and gives us a real point of difference."

For further information please contact Illy Jaffar or Nikki Lunt at

Barclay Stratton, Telephone +44 020 7544 6000; Facsimile +44 020 7544

6290 or email illy.jaffar@barclaystratton.co.uk

Notes to Editors

* madaboutbikes is a joint venture between Interesource - one of the UK's

largest new media agencies - and Motorcycle Direct, the UK's fastest growing

and most innovative insurance intermediaries.

* The site's affiliate partners include The Magazineshop (online magazine

subscriptions), HPI (bike history check), Clyst and Rattle, H and C

Travel (bike holidays) and the British Motorcycle Federation

* Freeserve recently acquired SmartGroups - the provider of community tools

for the madaboutbikes site, for GBP60m. madaboutbikes is one of a handful of

websites in the UK to pioneer this technology.

* Interesource recently won its second Revolution New Media Award for best use

of new media for business to business marketing, and are 'incubating' several

other dot com ventures. Some examples of its work can be found at the following

URLs - www.magazineshop.co.uk, www.honda.co.uk, and www.space2.com.

* Motorcycle Direct has grown from 4 people and no policies in 1997 to 140

staff in 4 call centres, and 25% of the UK new bike market today.

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