2020 Triumph Tiger 900 / GT / Rally | First Look Review

2020 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro and Tiger 900 Rally Pro
For 2020 Triumph has thoroughly updated its middleweight adventure platform, now called the Tiger 900, with a larger engine, a new chassis, new technology, new styling and more. The lineup includes five models; shown on the left is the Tiger 900 GT Pro and on the right is the Tiger 900 Rally Pro.

For the 2011 model year, Triumph launched two all-new models – the Tiger 800 and more off-road-oriented Tiger 800 XC, both powered by a 799cc in-line triple – in what was then a much smaller and less competitive middleweight adventure bike segment, with competition coming primarily from BMW’s F 650 GS and F 800 GS.

2020 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro engine
The 2020 Triumph Tiger 900 platform is powered by a larger 888cc in-line triple that makes more power and torque than its 799cc predecessor.

Adventure bikes have been a rare bright spot of growth in
what has been a stagnant decade in terms of motorcycle sales since the Great
Recession. And where there’s growth, competition flows in like the tide in the
hopes of raising more boats. We’ve seen a proliferation of new models and new
technology in the segment, with adventure bikes all but displacing traditional
sport- touring motorcycles and some offering nearly superbike levels of power
and specification.

2020 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro
2020 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro in Korosi Red

Triumph added a 1,215cc triple-powered Tiger Explorer for 2012, it updated and expanded its Tiger 800 lineup to four models (XR, XRx, XC and XCx) for 2015 and it rolled out no fewer than six Explorer models for 2016. By the time the 2018 model year rolled around, both the Tiger 800 and Tiger 1200 (formerly Explorer) families were comprised of six models each – XR, XRx, XRx Low Ride Height (LHR), XRT, XCx and XCA – offering varying levels of specification and on-/off-road worthiness.

2020 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro wheel
All 2020 Triumph Tiger 900 models feature top-of-the-line Brembo Stylema monoblock front calipers. Wheels, ABS/TC, suspension, ride modes, etc. differ by model.

Triumph decided to simplify things somewhat for 2020, with five middleweight Tiger models: Tiger 900, Tiger 900 GT, Tiger 900 GT Pro, Tiger 900 Rally and Tiger 900 Rally Pro. If you’re keeping tabs on the progression of model designations, the Tiger 900 and Tiger 900 GT/Pro models replace the more street-oriented XR models, and the Tiger Rally/Pro models replace the more off-road-oriented XC models.

2020 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro
2020 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro in Matte Khaki

The Tiger 900 lineup is powered by a larger 888cc, DOHC, 4-valves-per-cylinder in-line triple that makes a claimed 94 horsepower and 64 lb-ft of torque, with more midrange power and 10% higher peak torque than its 799cc predecessor. Widening the triple’s bore from 74 to 78mm (stroke is unchanged at 61.9mm) yielded an 89cc increase in displacement. The updated engine gets a new 1-3-2 firing order for more character, and Triumph says the Tiger 900 offers class-leading acceleration and a distinctive soundtrack.

2020 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro cockpit
The 2020 Triumph Tiger 900 has a 5-inch TFT display, whereas all other models (such as the Tiger 900 GT Pro shown) have a 7-inch TFT display.

Triumph revised the Tiger 900 platform from the ground up,
with a new modular, tubular-steel main frame and a bolt-on subframe, top-of-the-line
Brembo Stylema monoblock front calipers, new bodywork and new LED lighting.

Other new features vary by model:

2020 Triumph Tiger 900
2020 Triumph Tiger 900 in Pure White

Tiger 900

  • Cast wheels, 19-in. front, 17-in. rear
  • Marzocchi 45mm USD fork, non-adj., 7.1-in. travel
  • Marzocchi shock, adj. for spring preload, 6.7-in. travel
  • Seat height: 31.9/32.7 in.
  • Standard ABS
  • Ride modes: Road, Rain
  • 5-inch TFT display
  • Fuel capacity: 5.3 gals.
  • Dry weight (claimed): 423 lbs.
  • Color options: Pure White

Tiger 900 GT

  • Cast wheels, 19-in. front, 17-in. rear
  • Marzocchi 45mm USD fork, adj. for compression & rebound, 7.1-in. travel
  • Marzocchi shock, adj. for spring preload & rebound, 6.7-in. travel
  • (GT Low Ride Height: 5.51/5.95 in. travel)
  • Seat height: 31.9/32.7 in. (GT LRH: 29.9/30.7 in.)
  • Radial front master cylinder
  • Cornering ABS and traction control with IMU
  • Ride modes: Road, Rain, Sport, Off-Road
  • 7-inch TFT display
  • Illuminated switches with a 5-way joystick
  • Electronic cruise control
  • Heated grips
  • Secure mobile phone storage with USB charging port
  • Fuel capacity: 5.3 gals.
  • Dry weight (claimed): 428 lbs. (GT LRH: 426 lbs.)
  • Color options: Korosi Red, Sapphire Black and Pure White, all featuring premium tank badges and contemporary new decals
2020 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro
2020 Triumph Tiger 900 GT Pro in Korosi Red

Tiger 900 GT Pro

  • Cast wheels, 19-in. front, 17-in. rear
  • Marzocchi 45mm USD fork, adj. for compression & rebound, 7.1-in. travel
  • Marzocchi shock, electronically adj. for spring preload & rebound, 6.7-in. travel
  • Seat height: 31.9/32.7 in.
  • Radial front master cylinder
  • Cornering ABS and traction control with IMU
  • Ride modes: Road, Rain, Sport, Off-Road, Rider-configurable
  • Triumph Shift Assist (up/down quickshifter)
  • 7-inch TFT display
  • Illuminated switches with a 5-way joystick
  • Electronic cruise control
  • Heated grips
  • Heated seats
  • Tire-pressure monitoring system
  • LED auxiliary lights
  • Secure mobile phone storage with USB charging port
  • My Triumph Bluetooth connectivity
  • Fuel capacity: 5.3 gals.
  • Dry weight (claimed): 437 lbs.
  • Color options: Korosi Red, Sapphire Black and Pure White, all featuring premium tank badges and contemporary new decals

Tiger 900 Rally

  • Spoked tubeless wheels, 21-in. front, 17-in. rear
  • Showa 45mm USD fork, fully adj., 9.5-in. travel
  • Showa shock, adj. for spring preload & rebound, 9.1-in. travel
  • Seat height: 33.5/34.3 in.
  • Radial front master cylinder
  • Cornering ABS and traction control with IMU
  • Ride modes: Road, Rain, Sport, Off-Road
  • 7-inch TFT display
  • Illuminated switches with a 5-way joystick
  • Electronic cruise control
  • Heated grips
  • Secure mobile phone storage with USB charging port
  • Fuel capacity: 5.3 gals.
  • Dry weight (claimed): 432 lbs.
  • Color options: Matte Khaki, Sapphire Black and Pure White, all featuring contemporary new decals and a distinctive white frame inspired by the Tiger Tramontana rally bike
2020 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro
2020 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro in Matte Khaki

Tiger 900 Rally Pro

  • Spoked tubeless wheels, 21-in. front, 17-in. rear
  • Showa 45mm USD fork, fully adj., 9.5-in. travel
  • Showa shock, adj. for spring preload & rebound, 9.1-in. travel
  • Seat height: 33.5/34.3 in.
  • Radial front master cylinder
  • Cornering ABS and traction control with IMU
  • Ride modes: Road, Rain, Sport, Off-Road, Rider-configurable, Off-Road Pro
  • Triumph Shift Assist (up/down quickshifter)
  • 7-inch TFT display
  • Illuminated switches with a 5-way joystick
  • Electronic cruise control
  • Heated grips
  • Heated seats
  • Tire-pressure monitoring system
  • LED auxiliary lights
  • Secure mobile phone storage with USB charging port
  • My Triumph Bluetooth connectivity
  • Fuel capacity: 5.3 gals.
  • Dry weight (claimed): 443 lbs.
  • Color options: Matte Khaki, Sapphire Black and Pure White, all featuring contemporary new decals and a distinctive white frame inspired by the Tiger Tramontana rally bike

The 2020 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally and Tiger 900 Rally Pro
will be available in March. The Tiger 900, Tiger 900 GT and Tiger GT Pro will
be available in April. Pricing for the Tiger 900 starts at $12,500; pricing for
the other models is TBD.

Check out more new bikes in Rider’s 2020 Guide to New Street Motorcycles

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Claudio Domenicali Is The New President Of Motor Valley

Ducati CEO to lead the Association that brings together all the “Motor Valley” brands of Emilia-Romagna.

Begin press release:

A press conference has been held at the Ducati Auditorium in Borgo Panigale to officially announce Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali’s new role as President of the Motor Valley Association. The event was attended by delegates from the district’s companies and international race circuits, Regional Institutes and the media.

The Association unites all the car and motorcycle brands from Italy’s “Motor Valley”, in Emilia-Romagna. Motor Valley – a concentration of brands, private collections, international race circuits and specialized training centers like no other on the planet – works alongside the Region to make the very best of this heritage in terms of tourism.

“Motor Valley brings together a series of brands that are unique, renowned and appreciated around the world for their design, technology and performance, all of them located within a radius of just 150 km. As Ducati, we take pride in being part of this association, just as I am personally proud to take on the Presidency. For me, accepting this role is an act of responsibility and recognition towards an extraordinary part of Italy that has given me so much”, stated Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati and President of Motor Valley. “This Region enjoys an unparalleled academic culture and unmatched motoring and technological skills. It’s also a magnet for enthusiasts, new talent and businesses and as such deserves our wholehearted support.”

Motor Valley encapsulates Made-in-Italy automotive and industrial excellence: it’s a project that highlights the area’s capacity to network and make the most of internationally unique qualities. It concentrates on the car and motorcycle industry, the beating heart of the Region’s economy, on its excellent universities and its truly global appeal.

Dallara, Ducati, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Pagani are just a few of these Motor Valley brands, loved by fans all over the world. Motor Valley also includes 15 specialized museums (such as the Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena, the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, the Automobili Lamborghini Museum, the Ferruccio Lamborghini Museum, the Ducati Museum in Borgo Panigale and the Horacio Pagani Museum in Modena), 16 private collections and 4 racetracks (the “Riccardo Paletti” circuit in Varano de’ Melegari, the Modena racetrack in Marzaglia, the “Enzo e Dino Ferrari” circuit in Imola and the Marco Simoncelli Misano World Circuit at Misano Adriatico).

“Emilia-Romagna’s Motor Valley is a concentrate of talent, know-how, flair, design, industrial prowess, craftsmanship, innovation and research, making it unlike anywhere else in the world”, points out the Region’s President, Stefano Bonaccini. “Its dream brands fly our Region’s flag internationally, attracting visitors from all over the globe. It does so thanks to the effective teamwork between local institutions and private companies that has allowed us to build a fascinating association of 4 international racetracks, 6 specialized training centers, 6 world-leading car and motorcycle makers, 11 museums, 16 collections, 7 key industry players and 188 sports teams that combines culture, entrepreneurship and speed. It’s a district that – together with Food Valley, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the beauty of the Apennine Mountains and the Po Delta – is a global magnet for tourists. It’s also a district that provides work for thousands. It’s intertwined with the Region’s higher education and university network, as highlighted by MUNER – the Motorvehicle University of Emilia-Romagna that offers international automotive-dedicated degree courses, co-organized by the four universities of Emilia-Romagna and its deep-rooted car and motorcycle manufacturers – which is attracting many motivated, exceptional young people to our region from all over Europe and, indeed, the world. Today we welcome an enlightened, forward-thinking entrepreneur to the Presidency, a man whose experience and vision will do much to enhance this unique concentration of passion and expertise even further”.

The Osservatorio Turistico of Motor Valley – a study run by Unioncamere Emilia Romagna, Trademark Italia and Mailander – shows how Motor Valley attracted, in 2018 alone, 1.2 million overnight visitors, injecting over 300 million euros into the local economy (through revenues generated by events at the Imola and Misano race circuits and visits to company museums). Total visitor numbers to the district were about 1.8 million, of whom 44% were Italian and 56% foreign, with 1,190,000 overnight stays by visitors to museums and collections and spectators at racetrack events.

In Emilia-Romagna – Italy’s third most important region in the national car and motorcycle industry, preceded only by Lombardy and Piedmont – the automotive supply chain involves 16,500 businesses and over 66,000 employees, or 10% of the entire national supply chain.

Yet Motor Valley also – and above all – plays a strategic role. A role that sees companies and universities committed at every level. A role that focuses on technological innovation, specialization, research and development, with project members working closely alongside each other.

A tangible example is the MUNER (Motorvehicle University of Emilia-Romagna No Profit per Education) project. In 2017, the four regional universities (Bologna, Parma, Ferrara and Modena-Reggio Emilia) and the industry’s eight top companies, including Ducati, Ferrari and Lamborghini, created the Università dell’Automotive. It holds two courses that aim to train the automotive engineers of the future.

“Global competition is no longer between individual businesses but regional systems” underlined Andrea Pontremoli, CEO of Dallara and President of MUNER, “and regional systems consist of businesses, training facilities and institutions”.

Motor valley simply has to be experienced. And next year will offer a golden opportunity to do so in the form of the second Motor Valley Fest, to be held from 14 to 17 May in the heart of Modena.

The post Claudio Domenicali Is The New President Of Motor Valley appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

Arai Awarded First-Ever FIM Gold Medal As Maker Of Safety Equipment For Motorcycle Riders

It’s a little interesting that this is the first time the award has been given to someone in the field of motorcyclist’s safety.

Begin press release:

Mr. Michio Arai was awarded the Nicolas Rodil del Valle Gold Medal and praised for meritorious service by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM; English: International Motorcycling Federation) as president and representative of Arai Helmet, Ltd. a manufacturer of rider helmets based in Omiya City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan.

The FIM is an international organization standing as the head of supervising motorcycle sports in more than 80 countries around the world. Based in Switzerland, the FIM is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as well. This special gold medal, first presented in 1983, was awarded to persons with significant contributions to 2-wheel racing activities and management of businesses and was awarded only in the case where there was a qualified person. The FIM awarded Mr. Arai this medal for “achievement in contributions to the safety of many riders and numerous advancements to motorcycle sports over many years”. Furthermore, while Mr. Arai is the 23rd person awarded this gold medal, he is the first ever awarded as a maker of rider safety equipment.

Understanding the reason for this award, Arai Helmet continues to make helmets without compromise for the sake of rider protection since the company’s founding as the first motorcycle helmet manufacturer in Japan. It’s not an exaggeration to say these contributions are recognized around the world by the granting of this award. Mr. Arai received the award directly from the FIM on November 30th in Monte Carlo, Monaco at the 2019 FIM Awards Ceremony General Meeting.


The post Arai Awarded First-Ever FIM Gold Medal As Maker Of Safety Equipment For Motorcycle Riders appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

Regulation changes: testing, wildcards and wet race starts

The Grand Prix Commission has made some changes across all three classes for the 2020 season

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Paul Duparc (FIM), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA), in the presence of Carlos Ezpeleta (Dorna), Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting), Corrado Cecchinelli (Director of Technology), Danny Aldridge (Technical Director), Mike Webb (Race Director and Franck Vayssié (CCR Director) in a meeting held in Madrid on 27th. November 2019, made the following decisions:

Sporting Regulations – Effective Season 2020

Testing Regulations

Currently, teams have only been allowed to test not contracted riders at tests by replacing their contracted rider for injury or another reason.

Furthermore, as there is no longer private testing in the MotoGP™ class, (only allowed for manufacturers with concessions) it makes it difficult for the rest of the MotoGP™ manufacturers and teams to test other riders for the future.

The Grand Prix Commission has approved a change to the regulations as follows:

All classes:
Teams may substitute their contracted rider for all or part of a test, provided that the maximum number of test days is respected, and that the substitute takes the place of the contracted rider, i.e. both cannot be on track at the same time. Such substitute riders must be approved the Selection Committee.

Moto3™ and Moto2™ classes:
Any replacement or substitute rider is deemed to be the original rider for the purposes of counting test days, so test days accumulate for both rider and team (that is, a team cannot have more test days by changing riders and a contracted rider cannot have more test days by changing teams).

The effect of these changes is that teams will have the opportunity to evaluate the competence of non-contracted riders for future use as a substitute or replacement rider. It also gives the opportunity for teams, and the selection Committee, to assess the performance of riders who might be proposed as contracted riders for subsequent seasons.

Wild Cards – MotoGP™ class:
Currently, MotoGP™ class Manufacturers are not permitted to nominate wild card entries for consecutive events.

The Commission have agreed that this restriction should be removed for those manufacturers who benefit from concessions. Such manufacturers are permitted a maximum of six wild card entries and scheduling applications for events that are not consecutive has proved difficult, particularly when some riders are also committed to other Championships like MotoE™.

Wet Race Start Procedure for Moto3™ and Moto2™:
To bring this procedure into line with similar regulations that involve a delayed start. The Commission has agreed that the restarted race will be 2/3 of the original race distance.

Fancy keeping up with all the 2020 preseason testing action and the 2020 season proper? Look no further than VideoPass!

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here

Buriram tops 2019 spectator billing

Buriram, after claiming 2018 Grand Prix of the season, again hosted a spectacular weekend of MotoGP™ action that saw 226,655 fans descend to see Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) claim his eighth World Championship, compared to 222,535 in 2018. Le Mans welcomed 206,323 supporters this year, 294 less than 2018, with the Sachsenring getting over 200,000 fans through the gate for the first time since 2016 – 201,162 visited the German GP this season.

Source: MotoGP.comRead Full Article Here

Team America announced for 2020 Island Classic

Team America for 2020 International Challenge announced

Team America have thrown down the gauntlet to defending champion Australia ahead of the 2020 International Island Classic, which will run at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit this coming Australia Day long weekend (January 24-26).

Island Classic RCimage Larry Pegram
Larry Pegram – Image by Russell Colvin

America’s 12-rider squad for the International Challenge teams’ event not only boasts three riders who finished in the top six of the individual standings in 2019 – Josh Hayes, Larry Pegram and Michael Gilbert – but it’s now also added seven-time Canadian superbike champion Jordan Szoke and former AMA front-runner Taylor Knapp to its ever-strengthening roster.

Island Classic RCimage Josh Hayes Race
Josh Hayes #4 – Image Russ Colvin

Team America also boasts the first woman to take part in the International Challenge – Melissa Paris, who made her professional debut in the 2009 and has world supersport, world endurance, AMA and Spanish CEV experience on her vast CV.

Melissa is the wife of Josh Hayes and said on her inclusion in the US squad, “After hearing what a great time Josh had last January I’m so pumped to go this year!”

Husband Hayes is expected to be a powerhouse for Team America, and the four-time AMA superbike champion – and second on the all-time race winner’s list behind Aussie Mat Mladin – will have fond memories of winning the fourth and final International Challenge race in 2019 on his Yamaha FJ1250.

Josh Hayes

“In the first race of 2019 I was quite taken back by the level of competition on these classic era bikes. Even got my feelings hurt a few times!” said Hayes of his 2019 Island Classic debut. But when I was able to win the 4th and final Challenge race, and returned to our pit to find the captains of all the other teams there to celebrate alongside us, I knew this was a special event, more about 2 wheel passion than business, and something that I wanted to continue to be a part of. In 2019 I was able to test the Mojo Yamaha a handful of times.

Island Classic RCimage Josh Hayes Profile
Josh Hayes – Image Russ Colvin

“Also, I rode in MotoAmerica’s Supersport races at seven events; racing for my wife’s MP13 Racing Yamaha, with her also as my crew chief. The 2020 Island Classic is going to be a family event for me this year with my wife, Melissa, and my 2yr old son, Hawk, joining me. Even better is that Melissa will be riding a Mojo Yamaha TZ-750 in the International Classic races. With her experience of riding all types of motorcycles, and all over the world, I think she will be a strong asset for the American team. For her and Hawk to get to experience Australia again with me also, is just icing on the cake.”

Island Classic RCimage Josh Hayes Metcher
Josh Hayes #4 – Image Russ Colvin

The final race victory of 2019 catapulted Hayes to third in the individual standings on a countback ahead of Aussie Shawn Giles, while Pegram and Gilbert were fifth and sixth.

Dave Crussell will once again captain the American squad, and also on his roster are Jorge Gurero, Joe Pethoud, Brian Filo, Bruce Lind and Robert Ruwoldt.

2017 Island Classic - Dave Crussell
2017 Island Classic – Dave Crussell

The bike of choice for the majority of the team will again be the Yamaha based CMR FJ 1250, while the Americans also have three potent Yamaha TZ750 at their disposal.

America finished second in the 2019 International Challenge behind Australia and ahead of New Zealand, but the addition of Szoke, Knapp and Price could cause some real headaches for Australia which is shooting for its 13th win in 16 starts.

Jordan Szoke IMGBrianCouture
Jordan Szoke – Image by Brian Couture

The Australian team for the International Challenge features David Johnson, Shawn Giles, Jed Metcher, Craig Ditchburn, Aaron Morris, Scott Webster, Cameron Donald, Steve Martin, Beau Beaton, John Allen and Alex Phillis.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom returns to the Interactional Challenge arena in 2020 with a new-look team, which will be announced next week.

Grab your 2020 Island Classic tickets today

The Island Classic, is now in its 27th year, is the largest historic motorcycle racing event in the Southern Hemisphere. The weekend honours a century of motorcycling in three action-packed days, with the International Challenge just one element of an event that celebrates the splendour of historic racing across all levels.

Island Classic RCimage Larry Pegram Metcher Pack
2019 Island Classic – Image by Russell Colvin

As well the International Challenge, the Island Classic includes 52 other races for machines across the six historic racing categories: Veteran (up to 1919), Vintage (1920-1945), Classic (1946-1962), Post Classic (1963-1972), Forgotten Era (1973-1982) and New Era (1983-1990).

Individual accolades will also include the Phil Irving Perpetual Trophy, awarded to the rider who accrues the most points outside the International Challenge races, for the highest scorer in the non-International Challenge events.

IIC Phillip Island Rob Mott Sunday Start Aaron Morris Steve Martin
2019 Island Classic – Image by Rob Mott

Qualifying will begin on Friday for all classes, followed by a full program of racing on Saturday and Sunday. For more information and tickets, visit www.islandclassic.com.au (link). Pre-purchase and save on general admission and camping tickets, with children under 15 free.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Alpine MotoSafe earplugs just got better!

A tiny little piece of plastic has just made universal-fit MotoSafe earplugs from Dutch company Alpine Hearing Protection even better.

With the new minigrip they are now just that little bit easier to pull out, extending the life of the earplugs.

We have written on many occasions about the importance of earplugs. Basically they make you more relaxed, less weary, more alert and save your hearing, all at the same time.

We’ve tried many different earplugs, including personalised moulded plugs which are very effective, but can leave you feeling disoriented like you are underwater.

MotoSafe plugs are cheaper, more convenient (no need for a fitting because they fit all ears) and more comfortable, even when riding all day with a tight helmet. Since there is no silicone in the material, they also don’t get sweaty or itchy.

Most importantly, they filter out the damaging wing noise. And that’s why we sell them online.Alpine Motosafe earplugs

MotoSafe safe

Turbulence generated at high speeds can reach 103dB which is why all racers wear foam plugs to block out all sound.

The filter in MotoSafe blocks damaging high-frequency wind noise, but still allows you to hear important sounds such as sirens, horns and screeching tyres.

Meanwhile, it still allows you to hear “pleasant sounds” such as your music, phone conversation, GPS turn prompts and your bike’s exhaust note!

However, we have damaged a couple of sets in the past trying to pull them out.

They come with a small black plastic applicator which you use to push them all the way in until you hear an air seal. (Make sure to wet the plug first!)

To remove them, reverse the applicator and dig underneath the plug to break the seal, then grab the filter and gently pull them out.

The previous plug design had a short filter and you sometimes had to twist them to get them out, breaking the filter in the process!

Alpine MotoSafe earplugs make riders safer
Old MotoSafe earplugs without the mingrip

Now the minigrip prevents that issue and makes them just that little bit better.

They come in black (Tour) which reduces noise by 27dB or red (Race) which provides 30dB of noise filtering. I use the red ones all the time; even when just heading out to the shops.


In Australia, about four million people have hearing loss. In the UK it’s 10 million and in the US, some 48 million have some form of hearing loss.

While hearing loss is a part of the natural ageing process, it is increased by prolonged exposure to excessive noise and riders are more than likely to experience greater hearing losses in their senior years.

I not only have profound hearing loss, but, like about 30% of the population, I also suffer from tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

These conditions have developed from years of motorcycle riding, as well as playing in rock bands, going to concerts and listening to loud music.

The ringing is so bad it sometimes wakes me at night.

It’s not actually motorcycle exhaust or engine noise that cause the biggest problem, but wind noise, according to the American Industrial Paramedic Services.

That’s why riders should have some form of hearing protection whenever they ride, especially on long trips. Any earplug is better than no earplugs.

How long can you ride without risk of hearing damage?

Speed Average volume of wind noise under a helmet              Maximum time without risk of hearing damage
100km/h 94dB 15 minutes
120km/h 98dB 7 minutes
140km/h 102dB 3 minutes
160km/h 106dB 90 seconds

Helmet protection?Loud music wind noise earplugs

If you don’t think you can get hearing loss or tinnitus from riding because you wear a full-face helmet, you’re wrong.

Dutch magazine Promotor tested the noise levels in 10 different “system” (modular or flip-up) helmets at varying speeds and found some startling results.

The best result was 86dB at 50km/h which proses a risk of permanent hearing damage after just two hours of riding.

At 100km/h, the same helmet registered 100dB which is more noise than a hammer drill at 95dB.

At the other end of the spectrum the worst performing helmet registered 92dB at 50km/h which is comparable to a train speeding past.

At 100km/h it registered 106dB, which is louder than the noise of a chain saw or a disco.

While full-face helmets are quieter, they are not substantially quieter, especially if you ride with the visor open on hot summer days.

Technical details

Alpine MotoSafe earplug filters reduce noise at different levels for different frequencies.

For the technically minded, the Tour plugs reduce bass sounds around 63Hz by 6.6dB and 8000Hz treble sounds by 16.12dB which is wind noise at 50km/h.

The maximum amount of protection is in the harsh and harmful midrange of 2000-4000Hz where the noise suppression is 23.8-18.5dB.

The Race plugs drop bass frequencies 15.7dB, midrange by 26.1 and treble by 19.7dB.

Reduction in noise may vary from ear to ear, depending on fit, with a variation of 2.8 to 4.4dB.

This data was tested according to European standard EN 352-2: 2002.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Electric corner signs alert riders

Signs that light up and display a safety alert and message if you are riding too fast for the corner are being trialled in the UK.

British company TWM Traffic Control Systems have developed the LED signs that include a radar sensor.

Be alert, not alarmed

But don’t worry! The smart alert signs are not designed to issue speeding tickets, says TWM spokesmen Chris Rayner. At least for now!

“It’s purely advisory,” he assures us.

“It’s to aid riders or drivers and alert them to the potential dangers ahead. What you can do is have a function to record the activity along the road, traffic counts, speeds etc.”

The sign will display the rider’s speed and an alert such as SLOW DOWN, or CRASH SITE and flash amber LEDs.

When the vehicle then slows down and the speed falls below the secondary threshold limit, the sign displays THANK YOU with the real-time speed.

Warning signs

It’s similar to speed alert signs used around Australia and a Texas University project that developed stop signs that light up as a vehicle approaches.

Safer stop signs alert
Texas electronic stop signs

The TWM signs may help riders handle dangerous decreasing radius corners, but we wonder what they consider a safe corner speed for each vehicle.

For example, a motorcycle could easily handle a corner at a higher speed than a sports car which would be better than an SUV which would be better than a truck…!

Chris says the signs would allow the authorities to monitor the impact of approach speeds.

“The averages and 85th percentiles will all be calculated so further measures can be put in place if needed,” he says.

Our concern is that this could lead lower speed limits!

“We have been doing similar signage for various dangers, hazards and speed indication since 2002,” Chris says.

“I’m a biker myself and we have been supplying Isle of Man with some of our DayBright units for enhanced pedestrian crossings … I’m speaking to them to see if the crash site (sign) is something they could utilise as well.”

While the signs may be advisory now, we wonder how long before authorities use them to issue speeding tickets!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Black Dog Ride marks 10 year anniversary

Riders will return to the Red Centre in 2020 to celebrate 10 years since the establishment of the first Black Dog Ride in 2010.

This year’s Around Australia Ride celebrated founder Steve Andrew’s solo ride around Australia in 2009 to raise awareness for mental health issues.

Black Dog Ride around Australia 2014 Steve Andrews founder boss FUTURE
Black Dog Ride founder Steve Andrews

His epic ride was followed in 2010 by the first Black Dog Ride to the Red Centre.

Limited registrations are now open for the 10th Red Centre ride.

Richard Brown of Black Dog Ride Australia says they are “focussing heavily on making sure that people who come on the ride feel very welcomed, and that they have fun”.

“Positive social connection/social relationships are very important when it comes to maintaining our mental health,” he says.

“We want this experience to be a good example of the spirit of mateship for all who participate.”

10 years onHOG Rally - Black Dog Ride

Brian says the 10-year celebration dinner in Alice Springs should be “a real hoot”.

He says they don’t have the money for a “lavish” dinner, but participants will feel “a great sense of accomplishment for having made the journey”, formed “some really nice relationships” and “feel part of something really special”.

The following ride groups will join the Red Centre Ride:

  • The NSW/ACT ride group will travel through inland New South Wales, south through South Australia, and up the centre to Alice Springs. 
  • WA and SA ride groups will both travel through their respective states, then meet up in Port Augusta to travel the rest of the way to Alice Springs as a combined group.
  • The Vic/Tas ride group will be travelling north through inland New South Wales and Queensland, then across to the Northern Territory and south to Alice Springs.
  • The Qld/NT ride group will travel through inland Queensland, then across to the Northern Territory, picking up Territorians before heading south to Alice Springs.

To register, go to the Black Dog Ride Red Centre 2020 page and click on the state or territory group you’d like to join.

Primary focus

Black Dog Ride indian scout bobber
Black Dog Riders head north

“Our primary purpose is raising awareness of depression and suicide prevention, so we plan to focus heavily on this,” Richard says.

“That means riding into towns and either attending a pre-organised community events, or simply parking down a main street and talking with community. Often people wandering by will ask ‘what’s this all about?’ or ‘what’s with the stuffed dogs?’

“So our participants literally get talking about mental health. Between all our state groups there will be just over 160 different town stops along the way.”

There is no fundraising target and participants are not required to raise extra funds.

Over the past 10 years, more than $3million has been raised by Black Dog Ride with finds passed on to organisations such as Lifeline, Mental Health First Aid Australia and the Black Dog Institute, as well as many many small community based volunteer groups and not-for-profits.

Richard says they have new destinations in mind for future years, so 2020 could be the last opportunity to ride to the Red Centre for several years.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Number plate theft and cloning on the rise

Number plate theft and cloning of plates is on the rise, resulting in riders receiving speeding and parking fines and unpaid toll notices.

The National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council says number plate theft can also be used to commit crimes such as petrol theft, robberies, house break-ins and drug trafficking.

Police are also reporting an increased detection of cloned plates with offenders using vehicle sales websites to find a vehicle matching their bike or a stolen vehicle.

Offenders are even cloning the number plates on laminated paper.

Cloning plate scam not new

Police and transport departments in several states say the cloning plate scam is not new, but are unable to supply statistics for speeding fines waived or offenders who can be charged with both criminal and traffic offences.Fixed speed camera Victoria - fines suspended virus plate scam

Police say motorists wrongly fined would need to provide photographic evidence to prove the vehicle in the speeding offence photo was not theirs.

It is recommended that private sellers blur their number plates when they advertise their vehicle online.

In Victoria, Victoria Police, VicRoads, Department of Justice and Regulation, Fines Victoria, the Crime Statistics Agency and the NMVTRC are investigating the misuse and theft of number plates.

The NMVTRC says about a third of all stolen plates are taken from vehicles parked on the street and 10% were from vehicles parked in a car park.

About 85% are stolen from metropolitan areas.

Unpaid tolls

The scammers have also been using tollways with the video recognition fee going to the registered owners of the plate.

Last year we reported on Kingaroy rider Paulette Devlin who copped a $10.78 fee for an unpaid $2.28 motorway toll when her Kawasaki Ninja 250 was parked in her garage more than 200km away.

plate scam
Tollway photo of Paulette’s plate on another bike

She bought the Ninja in July 2017 through Gumtree.

We contacted Queensland tollway company Linkt who confirmed they had waived Paulette’s toll.

Linkt is owned by Transurban which also owns CityLink in Melbourne and six tollways in Sydney.

(Click here to find why tunnels are the top traps for speeding fines.)

In fact, they also waived a second unpaid toll after they found the same number plate had been used on a different bike.

plate scam
Second tollway photo (they take two photos, one from in front and one behind)

They confirmed that “some people who complain regarding this are being investigated”.

Linkt would not reveal how many are being investigated.

Motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable to this plate scam where tollways use video pate recognition for motorcycles instead of a transponder.

Riders should check their next toll statement to ensure that all toll fees are legitimate.

If you find an incorrect charge, email the Transurban customer resolution team at: resolve@transurban.com

Do not simply fail to pay the fee as the charges will rise even more.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Skip to toolbar