Tag Archives: Motorbike advice

Motorcycle Dash Cams: Do You Use Them?

A motorcycle dash cam may be an unfamiliar concept to many motorcyclists, but it’s one that you should know about if you spend considerable time on one.

Dash cams are relatively recent, although they are not new. Riders have been able to buy a decent one online since at least 2010. Among the many benefits of dash cams, perhaps the most important one is the additional evidence and insurance it provides in a collision or dispute.

As the famous saying goes, “There are two types of riders; those who have crashed and those who will.” In the unfortunate scenario that you do end up in an accident, having dash cam footage of the incident will make it easier to claim insurance or settle a dispute in court. At the moment, there are multiple ways you can use a dash cam on your motorcycle, and this article aims to inform you about just that.

What Is a Dash Cam?

Dash cams get their name from the automotive world, where they are typically mounted on the dashboard of a car to continuously record what’s happening outside the vehicle. While most owners attach one just to the front of their vehicle, having one at the rear is a good idea.

A dash cam can come with various features depending on how much you spend on it. For instance, some will also record metrics like g-force, speed, and location.

A helmet mounted camera shot of a rider riding on a unpaved road with trees on either side.
Source: RevZilla

How Can a Dash Cam Protect You and Your Bike?

We’re well aware of the fact that motorcycling can be a dangerous hobby. With the many thrills it returns, there’s an undeniable element of risk that accompanies it. A study in 2020 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that motorcyclists were nearly 28 times more likely to die and 4 times more likely to be injured in an accident than someone in a passenger vehicle.

Unfortunately, these accidents can be from no fault of your own. And without solid evidence, you could find yourself in a lengthy legal battle over whose fault it was, costing you time, money, and other resources. This is where a dash cam comes in.

An image of two crashed motorcycles laying on tarmac, surrounded by debris.

Most modern-day dash cams are capable of continuously recording hours of footage. If the onboard memory does fill up, it will proceed to rewrite footage, ensuring that the latest activities are always captured. This way, in the event of an accident that may not be your fault, you can turn in the recorded footage as video evidence and legally protect yourself.

Recording footage of your ride may come in handy in less severe instances as well, such as avoiding a parking violation or a speeding ticket — given that you didn’t, in fact, break the rules.

What Are the Different Types of Dash Cams?

Generally speaking, there are two ways in which you can record footage of your rides. You can either mount the camera onto your helmet, so your footage is from your POV, or you can mount it somewhere on the motorcycle. Both these choices have advantages and disadvantages, so if you have to choose between them, it’ll come down to what you’re willing to compromise.

Helmet-Mounted Dash Cam

A helmet-mounted dash cam is the more popular choice among riders. One of the advantages of having a helmet-mounted setup is that you can record exactly what you’re looking at. So, if an incident occurs on your side, you can change the frame of recording by simply looking in that direction. This isn’t possible with a motorcycle-mounted dash cam that is usually set up to point in just one direction.

Helmet-mounted cameras, like GoPros, also benefit from being battery-powered and are easier to set up. You simply have to mount the camera onto the helmet and hit record.

The downside to using a helmet camera is that very few options are capable of recording both the front and rear. Plus, a camera like that will have to be mounted on top of your helmet, and this can cause wind resistance and be quite bothersome when you start picking up speed.

Remember that while there are no legal restrictions against mounting a camera to your helmet, it isn’t always the most advisable method. Adding a protruding object to your helmet may cause injury in an accident. In fact, certain countries outside the United States are cracking down on helmet cameras and making them illegal.

Innovv K5 mounted underneath motorcycle headlights
Source: Canyon Chasers

Motorcycle-Mounted Dash Cam

If you want to avoid the risk of injury, you should consider mounting your camera on the motorcycle. With a wide-angle unit at either end, you should be able to record as much as your surroundings at all times. Still, this will leave some blind spots, especially if something happens right next to you.

A motorcycle-mounted system will also require wiring that must be attached to the battery and tucked away under the seat. While this is usually a straightforward process, it isn’t as plug-and-play as a helmet-mounted camera. On the plus side, this continuous supply of power from the motorcycle means you won’t have to worry about changing batteries.

An image of the INNOVV K5 mounted in between the headlights of the Triumph Speed Triple.

What Should You Consider While Buying a Dash Cam?

Video quality is one of the most important factors to consider when getting a dash cam. There are several low-cost options out there, but most of them record substandard videos. Think about it — there’s no point in the footage if it’s so grainy you can’t identify another vehicle’s license plate. Ultimately, you’ll have to spend a little money if you want a dash cam that does what it’s supposed to. But keep in mind that this is an investment worth making and could potentially save you thousands of dollars in the future.

If you decide to go down the helmet-mounted route, cameras like the insta360 ONE X2 feature two 180-degree lenses on opposing sides of the same body, recording everything that happens around you.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a dedicated motorcycle camera, the INNOVV K3 is an excellent option explicitly designed for powersport applications. The unit has two cameras that can record a 120-degree field of view in full HD. It’s fully waterproof, features an external mic, and automatically starts and stops recording along with the motorcycle’s ignition. This way, you can focus on what matters most — riding.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcycle Dash Cams: Do You Use Them?

A motorcycle dash cam may be an unfamiliar concept to many motorcyclists, but it’s one that you should know about if you spend considerable time on one.

Dash cams are relatively recent, although they are not new. Riders have been able to buy a decent one online since at least 2010. Among the many benefits of dash cams, perhaps the most important one is the additional evidence and insurance it provides in a collision or dispute.

As the famous saying goes, “There are two types of riders; those who have crashed and those who will.” In the unfortunate scenario that you do end up in an accident, having dash cam footage of the incident will make it easier to claim insurance or settle a dispute in court. At the moment, there are multiple ways you can use a dash cam on your motorcycle, and this article aims to inform you about just that.

What Is a Dash Cam?

Dash cams get their name from the automotive world, where they are typically mounted on the dashboard of a car to continuously record what’s happening outside the vehicle. While most owners attach one just to the front of their vehicle, having one at the rear is a good idea.

A dash cam can come with various features depending on how much you spend on it. For instance, some will also record metrics like g-force, speed, and location.

A helmet mounted camera shot of a rider riding on a unpaved road with trees on either side.
Source: RevZilla

How Can a Dash Cam Protect You and Your Bike?

We’re well aware of the fact that motorcycling can be a dangerous hobby. With the many thrills it returns, there’s an undeniable element of risk that accompanies it. A study in 2020 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that motorcyclists were nearly 28 times more likely to die and 4 times more likely to be injured in an accident than someone in a passenger vehicle.

Unfortunately, these accidents can be from no fault of your own. And without solid evidence, you could find yourself in a lengthy legal battle over whose fault it was, costing you time, money, and other resources. This is where a dash cam comes in.

An image of two crashed motorcycles laying on tarmac, surrounded by debris.

Most modern-day dash cams are capable of continuously recording hours of footage. If the onboard memory does fill up, it will proceed to rewrite footage, ensuring that the latest activities are always captured. This way, in the event of an accident that may not be your fault, you can turn in the recorded footage as video evidence and legally protect yourself.

Recording footage of your ride may come in handy in less severe instances as well, such as avoiding a parking violation or a speeding ticket — given that you didn’t, in fact, break the rules.

What Are the Different Types of Dash Cams?

Generally speaking, there are two ways in which you can record footage of your rides. You can either mount the camera onto your helmet, so your footage is from your POV, or you can mount it somewhere on the motorcycle. Both these choices have advantages and disadvantages, so if you have to choose between them, it’ll come down to what you’re willing to compromise.

Helmet-Mounted Dash Cam

A helmet-mounted dash cam is the more popular choice among riders. One of the advantages of having a helmet-mounted setup is that you can record exactly what you’re looking at. So, if an incident occurs on your side, you can change the frame of recording by simply looking in that direction. This isn’t possible with a motorcycle-mounted dash cam that is usually set up to point in just one direction.

Helmet-mounted cameras, like GoPros, also benefit from being battery-powered and are easier to set up. You simply have to mount the camera onto the helmet and hit record.

The downside to using a helmet camera is that very few options are capable of recording both the front and rear. Plus, a camera like that will have to be mounted on top of your helmet, and this can cause wind resistance and be quite bothersome when you start picking up speed.

Remember that while there are no legal restrictions against mounting a camera to your helmet, it isn’t always the most advisable method. Adding a protruding object to your helmet may cause injury in an accident. In fact, certain countries outside the United States are cracking down on helmet cameras and making them illegal.

Innovv K5 mounted underneath motorcycle headlights
Source: Canyon Chasers

Motorcycle-Mounted Dash Cam

If you want to avoid the risk of injury, you should consider mounting your camera on the motorcycle. With a wide-angle unit at either end, you should be able to record as much as your surroundings at all times. Still, this will leave some blind spots, especially if something happens right next to you.

A motorcycle-mounted system will also require wiring that must be attached to the battery and tucked away under the seat. While this is usually a straightforward process, it isn’t as plug-and-play as a helmet-mounted camera. On the plus side, this continuous supply of power from the motorcycle means you won’t have to worry about changing batteries.

An image of the INNOVV K5 mounted in between the headlights of the Triumph Speed Triple.

What Should You Consider While Buying a Dash Cam?

Video quality is one of the most important factors to consider when getting a dash cam. There are several low-cost options out there, but most of them record substandard videos. Think about it — there’s no point in the footage if it’s so grainy you can’t identify another vehicle’s license plate. Ultimately, you’ll have to spend a little money if you want a dash cam that does what it’s supposed to. But keep in mind that this is an investment worth making and could potentially save you thousands of dollars in the future.

If you decide to go down the helmet-mounted route, cameras like the insta360 ONE X2 feature two 180-degree lenses on opposing sides of the same body, recording everything that happens around you.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a dedicated motorcycle camera, the INNOVV K3 is an excellent option explicitly designed for powersport applications. The unit has two cameras that can record a 120-degree field of view in full HD. It’s fully waterproof, features an external mic, and automatically starts and stops recording along with the motorcycle’s ignition. This way, you can focus on what matters most — riding.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

UK’s Illegal Bike Chop Shops: Motorcycle Theft and Prevention in 2021

The UK has seen a dramatic drop in motorcycle theft since the start of the pandemic.

A report from MCN  stated a 35% drop in general crime for the 2020 lockdowns, and Police National Computer (PCN) figures suggest as much as a 45% decrease in motorcycle theft in the same period.

While lockdowns have led to many placing their beloved bikes into the safety of pandemic hibernation, the decrease in theft has galvanized people like Bill Taylor from BikeTrac to look a little closer at the current systems used to turn stolen motorcycles into a profitable statistic. 

a motorcycle in danger of being stolen

“When BikeTrac first started ten years ago, we saw more bikes heading towards the ports after they were taken. We either found them in shipping containers or boxed up ready to be shipped, so we knew where they were headed. That route has become much rarer now…We normally recover a bike very quickly after it has been stolen. The thieves will store a stolen machine for a period of time to see if anyone comes for it, and we generally recover it at this stage. But on the odd occasion that the bike is moved on before we get to it, they don’t seem to be heading straight out of the country.”

Bill mentions that they tracked a customer’s bike to a container that, when opened, also contained parts from other bikes that had been stripped – some of which still sported identification and proof that authorities could trace back to other stolen motorcycle cases.

security footage of a motorcycle being stolen

Dr. Ken German, an expert in vehicle crime, also added this useful bit of information: 

“Some bikes certainly make it out in containers, but it’s far more lucrative to strip a bike and sell the parts. There’s much less risk in handling parts than there is if you’re caught with a whole bike.”

A technician checks the possible remaining voltage of a completely burned Lithium-ion car battery before its dismantling by the German recycling firm Accurec in Krefeld

What can you do about it?

Dr. German highlights the benefit of forensic marking systems such as Datatag and how useful they can be in retrieving and tracing a stolen bike. 

“…they can help police identify stripped parts from a specific bike and build up a picture of who has been handling them or selling them on. If the police enter premises and find a seat and mudguard, they will have a hell of a job proving anything. But if they carry covert markings that link those parts to a specific stolen bike, it goes a long way to helping them build a case.”

WebBikeWorld has formulated a list of anti-theft device reviews that you can peruse for bike compatibility. Check them out, and stay safe!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Check your riding partners’ tyre pressures

What started out as a leisurely ride from Brisbane to Tenterfield and back over a couple of days with three friends and family turned into a bit of an adventure simply because one of our riders hadn’t checked his tyre pressures.

I have been banging on about checking your tyre pressures for years. Check out our article on correct tyre pressures here.

In the article we say:

You should check your tyre pressures every time you go out for a ride or it can result in bad handling, increased wear, fatigue cracking, increased chance of a puncture, decreased grip and lower braking performance.”

I probably should add that it is also important to check your mates’ tyres, particularly important when heading off on a longer ride over multiple days with several others.

Sadly, one of our riders had never checked his tyre pressures since he bought his bike and got his licence about eight months ago! 

We were unaware of this before our ride. In fact, I only became aware after the inevitable happened.

I had charted a course that took us over some notoriously bumpy country roads on the NSW/Queensland border ranges and recent floods in the area had made the roads even worse with plenty of unprepared potholes.

My crew didn’t hold back in criticism of the route, either.

So, as lead rider, I kept the pace down on known bumpy sections and unleashed on sections which I knew had been repaired in recent years.

With 20/20 hindsight, I should have kept the pace down everywhere.

Just south of Old Bonalbo where the Clarence Way has been resurfaced in recent years, we went through a lefthand sweeper shaded by a big old gum tree.

Right in the middle of the corner were two massive ruts in the bitumen with jagged edges. It looked like a truck had hit the skids when the tar was still hot and wet!tyre puncture pothole ruts roadworks

I didn’t see the ruts because of the shade, but as I went through I noticed I had luckily ridden right through the middle.

Not so lucky was my riding partner whose back wheel hit a rut which immediately ripped a gaping wound in the sidewall of his KTM 390 Duke’s rear tyre.

Normally if you cop a puncture it can be repaired, especially if it’s a tubeless tyre. Click here for details on how to fix punctures.

tyre puncture
No amount of Tyre Wed will fix a sidewall split

However, there is not much you can do about a 3cm tear and we were at least 50km from the nearest town.

Hours passed waiting for the RACQ/NRMA to send out a tow truck, so we never made it to Tenterfield, instead diverting to Casino overnight.

After the tyre was replaced the next morning, we fuelled up and checked our tyre pressures.

The front tyre on the KTM was 21psi when it should have been 39psi, so we assume the rear tyre may have been similarly low on pressure, causing the impact wth the pothole to split the tyre.

We all learnt a valuable lesson tat not only should you check your tyre pressures before as ride, but you probably should also check your riding partners’ tyre pressures as well!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

‘But Where Do You Put The Patient?’ – A Sydney Motorcycle Paramedic’s Experience

Recently, a reader of MotorBikeWriter reached out to us to share his story titled ‘But Where Do You Put The Patient?’. This novel was written by Paul Riley, a motorcycle paramedic with over 20 years of experience for the Ambulance Service of NSW in Sydney, Australia. 

Paul is a part of a rare breed that it takes to be part of an emergency response team. Most flee from disaster, paramedics run towards it in an effort to save lives. For six years, Paul spent that time as a motorcycle paramedic navigating the narrow streets or traffic-riddled roads of Sydney, to get to those in need. Being on a motorcycle gave him and his patients the advantage of time, as he could get to an accident scene much faster than his four-wheeled colleagues. 

Paul gives his readers the opportunity to see what life is like on the life-saving side of an accident. Aside from the serious, heartbreaking, and painful parts that come with being a first responder, Paul has gathered some hilarious stories over the years as a paramedic. 

Tokyo Motor Show Yamaha Display

If you’d like to ride along with a motorcycle paramedic by getting yourself a copy of Paul Riley’s ‘But Where Do You Put The Patient?’, you can visit his website, where both hardcopy or e-books are available. Paul even welcomes riders and readers alike to keep in touch with him by tossing him an email (found on his website) – this further indicates his dedication to humankind, no matter what.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Best Vehicles for Towing a Powersports Trailer

In most cases, I would encourage you to ride your motorcycle or drive your ATV or UTV to your destination, but sometimes, you can’t. 

Whether you have a designated off-road powersports vehicle and you need to get it out to where you can use it or you just need to bring your motorcycle along with you for some reason, having a trailer and being able to tow your bikes or other powersports equipment around is a serious convenience. 

Having the right vehicle for this is a must. Too often, folks have a great idea to tow a trailer with them only to find out that they don’t own the right vehicle for it. With this in mind, I wanted to take a moment to discuss towing a powersports trailer and what vehicles you should look for when you’re thinking about towing a trailer. Without further ado, let’s dive in. 

Get the Proper Tow Rating

The Chevrolet Silverado’s all-new 3.0L Duramax inline-six turb

Towing a trailer isn’t always an easy feat, but if you have a vehicle that can handle the weight of that trailer, then you’re off to a good start. You need to get a vehicle with the right towing capacity

This is going to be more than your typical passenger car or many of the smaller crossovers out there. Think about it like this: the trailer you pull is going to weigh somewhere between 500 pounds and 1,000 pounds at a minimum. Add to that your motorcycle which can weigh anywhere from 300 pounds to 500 pounds or more, and you’re looking at needing a towing rating of at least 1,200 pounds or 1,500 to be on the safe side. 

If you’re putting more than one bike on the trailer, then you’re only going to add to this need for a high towing capacity. Personally, I’d advise you to find something that can tow over 3,000 pounds at least. That way, you should be in the clear. Even with a couple of bikes on a small trailer. If you have ATVs or UTVs, make sure you calculate the weight properly and have a vehicle that’s equipped accordingly. 

Think About Tongue Weight, Too

The towing capacity isn’t the only figure you need to think about. You should also figure out the tongue weight capacity. The tongue weight is the downward force that’s exerted where the trailer connects to the vehicle. Usually, this is a simple ball hitch. Your hitch will be rated for a specific amount of weight, and you need to be sure not to exceed that weight. 

The best way to do this is to use a commercial vehicle scale. However, you don’t have to use one, especially if you’re pretty sure you’ll be far below the capabilities of your vehicle. Tongue weight should be between 9 and 15 percent of the gross trailer weight. 

So, if you have a 1,500-pound trailer when laden down with motorcycles or ATVs, you’ll have a tongue weight of about 225 pounds. 

Of course, how you load the trailer matters, too. If the trailer is loaded down with everything at the front, it will have a heavier tongue weight than if everything is loaded at the back. Generally, you want a bit more weight on the hitch, because it helps you avoid trailer sway. 

Below is a great demonstration of trailer sway and how tongue weight plays a role. 

As you can see in the video, the more weight you load towards the front of the trailer, the less trailer sway occurs. Make sure to load the trailer evenly, and also ensure you’ll be within the vehicle’s tongue weight capacity, and you should do just fine. 

Now, let’s take a look at some of the best vehicles for towing a motorcycle or powersports trailer. 

Trucks

The Chevrolet Silverado’s all-new 3.0L Duramax inline-six turb

Trucks are going to be most driver’s go-to vehicle type when towing. These machines are designed with towing in mind, and that means that you’ll have trucks of all sizes that can easily tow over 5,000 pounds, sometimes they can tow far, far more. 

There are generally four different sizes of trucks: compact, midsize, full-size, and heavy-duty. All of them will be able to handle a small trailer with some motorcycles or ATVs on them. However, a word of caution. Don’t just assume every truck for sale can tow the weight you need to tow. 

It’s still important to do the math and cross-check that against your particular vehicles’ towing capacity and tongue weight. If you’re shopping for a new truck, then you should talk with the salesperson about your specific needs. Tell them what you want to tow, and they should be able to help you out. 

SUVs and CUVs

toyota 4Runner

SUVs and CUVs, or crossovers as they’re commonly known, are extremely popular vehicles right now, and for good reason. These vehicles are the true do-it-all machines. They have generous cargo areas, plenty of seating, all-wheel drive in many cases, and they sit up a little higher providing a good view of the road and some off-road capability. 

SUVs and CUVs are also good towing machines in many respects. Not every single one on the road is going to be right, but for mild towing duties, you’ll find that even many crossovers do just fine. 

“Many late-model vehicles including numerous small CUV’s and SUV’s, are capable of towing a small trailer easily.” The team at EchoPark Automotive told me. “They’re also great everyday vehicles for when you’re not towing a trailer.” The spokesperson for EchoPark went on to say that many people looking for a good tow vehicle use an SUV without ever experiencing any issues. 

While some are better than others, pretty much all of them will be able to tow at least 1,500 pounds. However, I’d look for a CUV or SUV that’s capable of towing at least 5,000 pounds. The Toyota 4Runner (shown above), for example, can tow that much and is a great option. 

Generally, the bigger the SUV, the higher its towing capacity will be. It’s also worth noting that the body-on-frame SUVs that are based on truck chassis will have the highest towing capacity while the smaller car-based CUVs will have lower towing capacities. 

Vans

2020 Ford Transit Cargo Van

Last but certainly not least are vans and minivans. Full-size vans will have the highest towing capacity and generally be the best towing option. However, you might be surprised to learn that even most minivans can tow 3,500 pounds or so. 

Full-size vans will be able to tow far more. The Ford Transit Cargo (shown above) is able to tow between 5,000 and 5,800 pounds depending on how it’s equipped. In most cases, that’s more than motorcycle-and-powersports enthusiasts actually need. 

Also, the nice thing about vans is you can take a lot of gear and passengers with you as well very easily. While pickup trucks will beat out vans in terms of outright towing capacity. Vans are sometimes the more versatile vehicle overall. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcycle Security Tips from London

By Arthur Yarwood*

The last few years have seen London struggle to control a huge motorcycle crime wave. At its peak in 2017, 15,497 motorcycles and scooters were stolen in London1, that’s over 42 a day! Crime figures have since been brought down by a concerted Police action, including tactics to ram thieves off bikes and an awareness campaign of preventative security owners should use.

However, thieves are getting ever resourceful, no longer just relying on bolt croppers, today’s tooled up criminals are carrying battery powered angle grinders, freeze sprays to shatter brittle metal and using (previously stolen) scooters to push stolen bikes away.

What can you do to avoid motorcycle theft? 80% of motorcycle theft occurs at home with average thefts taking only 20 seconds!2 So, tool up and invest in the best motorcycle security devices you can buy, follow the tips below on what to look for in heavy duty security for use at home.

Security ChainLondon motorcycle theft

As a minimum, invest in a security chain with 16mm case-hardened links; 16mm is too big to be attacked by big bolt croppers and through-hardened links are too brittle, the whole link will shatter after one side is broken. With grinder attacks so common, larger chains with links up to 22mm are available from the firms like Almax and Pragmasis. Still not 100% grinder proof, but they’ll take considerable longer to cut and put off all but the most determined thieves.

When locking your bike, keep your chain elevated off the ground, it’ll be a lot harder to attack if it can’t be braced against something solid.

Ground Anchor

A chain alone won’t stop you motorcycle being lifted into a van, you need to chain you bike down to something solid like a ground anchor. These are either a hoop design to bolt to a concrete floor (with measures to prevent unbolting) or are a Y-shaped pipework design to be sunken into a fresh concrete hole. The latter are neater and flush to the floor, but more effort to install. Once a good chain is threaded through your bike and the ground anchor, no-one will lift your bike away without a good deal of angle grinder work.

Disc LockLondon motorcycle theft

Essentially a lockable pin clamp to go on your brake disc to prevent your bike being rolled away. Not as secure as a quality chain and often removed relatively quickly with a grinder, either directly or by grinding a chunk out of the brake disc! However, disc locks are still a worthwhile buy due to their portability for when you’re parked up away from home and many are available with a loud alarm. If you’ve got one, use it in combination with your chain and ground anchor at home as well to increase the theft effort.

Cover

Obviously a thin rain cover isn’t going to secure your bike much, but a cover will hide your bike from prying eyes and opportunist thieves. They won’t know if you’ve got a posh Ducati or a tatty commuter hack, what manner of security gear you have in place and are one more thing to slow a thief down. Don’t take my word for it, a bike cover was also a key part of the recent Met Police “Be Safe Lock Chain Cover” campaign3 to raise awareness of motorbike theft in London. Considering the low cost of a cover, they’re well worth using.

Conclusion

Motorcycle theft is a big problem in many cities and should not be dismissed without thought. You maybe insured against theft, but excesses and future hikes in premiums will still hit your wallet. Above are some simple measures and a minimum to protect yourself, more tips are in this motorcycle security guide. Ultimately, there is no single wonder device, use multiple, each requiring more time and effort to overcome.

Bio

Arthur Yarwood | Beginner Biker Adventures – Seasoned London commuter, doing my best to stay rubber side down.

Sources

  1. Met Police (https://www.met.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/foi-media/metropolitan-police/disclosure_2018/february_2018/information-rights-unit—detailed-breakdown-of-statistics-for-motorcycle-theft-in-london-by-borough-for-2017)
  2. National Crime Intelligence Service (NCIS)
  3. Met Police, Be Safe scooter theft (https://www.met.police.uk/police-forces/metropolitan-police/areas/about-us/about-the-met/campaigns/be-safe-campaign/be-safe-scooter-theft/)

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

How to fix a motorcycle tyre puncture

Your motorcycle tyre can cop a puncture just about anywhere, not just out in the country.

Most of the punctures I’ve ever had on motorcycles have been in the city, picking up nails and screws that have fallen out of trade utes. Riding on the road verge can be a particular trap.Motorcycle tyre puncture

If you are lucky, it will not cause an immediate loss of air and therefore traction and control.

Those with tyre pressure monitors, either factory fitted or aftermarket, will get a warning.

If not, you can sense the loss of pressure through the steering and handling which becomes heavy and vague.

On some occasions, my tyre has picked up a screw or nail that blocks the loss of air and I’ve only noticed it when I’ve done my pre- and post-ride checks. That’s why it’s so important to do these checks before and after a ride.

Tubeless Vs tubed tyres

There are advantages and disadvantages in tubeless and tubed tyres.

A tubed tyre will often hold the air better after a puncture, allowing you to ride to safety. A tubeless will often lose a lot more pressure a lot quicker.

It is a lot more difficult fixing a punctured tubed tyre at the side of the road, but it can be done.

Otherwise, you better have good roadside assist!

Queensland Motorcycle Breakdown Service tyre punctures cheap

If it’s just a small tube puncture, you can fix it cheaply and ride on in confidence. There may be no need to buy another tyre. At worst you may need a new tube.

A tubeless tyre may be easier to fix with a repair kit, but it limits the longevity of the tyre. Even though it is not illegal, it may void your insurance in a crash, so you may need a whole new tyre.

How to fix a tubed tyre

Fixing a tubed tyre requires a lot of tools and usually reasonable luggage capacity.

You will need tyre levers, a puncture repair kit, spanners and a compact air compressor that runs off the bike’s battery as a few canisters of compressed air will not re-inflate a tyre from totally flat.

Rarely can you fix a punctured tube without  having to take the wheel off, which makes it extra problematic. In which case, you may need to transport the bike.Transport puncture flat tyre GT10009 move

Popping the bead of the tyre can also be difficult as they are often cemented in place to stop them slipping on the rim.

On one occasion, we had to ride over the tyre with another bike to pop the bead, severely scratching the rim.

Use the levers to get the tyre off the rim to expose the tube.

To find the leak, spit on any blemishes to see if it bubbles or listen for hissing.

Repair kits include a small piece of sandpaper which you use to rough up the area around the whole. Then apply the cement and place a patch over the hole.

Push the tube back in being careful not to twist or pinch it, put the tyre back on the rim and the wheel back on the bike, reattach the chain if it was the back wheel and pump it up.

It’s a lot of work and difficult on your own, but it can be done.

How to fix a tubeless tyreMotorcycle tyre puncture

Most road bikes and even some adventure bikes now come with tubeless tyres.

They are a comparative breeze to fix.

Usually the hole is easy to find as there is still a nail, screw or other object embedded in them.

Take it out with a screwdriver or pliers.

Your repair kit will have a rasp-like tool that you then ream in and out of the hole to rough it up a bit to make a good contact with the cement which you inject into and around the hole.

The kit will also have a tool that looks like a big needle and plugs or sticky rope-like pieces to plug the hole.

I prefer the rope version because it seems to fit into irregular holes better.Motorcycle tyre puncture

Thread it through the “needle” tool and then ram it into the hole and pull it out quickly.

This will leave the plug in place and you can cut off the excess, leaving about 1cm of plug.Motorcycle tyre puncture

You won’t usually lose all the pressure from the tyre as you would from a punctured tube so you may be ale to pump it back up with two or three canisters of compressed air.

It’s important to then ride the bike for at least 15 minutes at about 80km/h to heat the plug so it bonds with the tyre.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Top 10 motorcycles for college students

(Contributed post for our Indian college readers)

Who said that car is the best means of transportation? College students can make a choice in favor of motorbikes that provide the same speed and save you from traffic jams.

Top 10 motorbikes to consider in college

The time you spend in college is probably one of the brightest and enjoyable periods in your life. College is always about fun, parties, meeting new people, vacations, parties again and other entertainment stuff. Of course, you should not forget about studies as it is your primary goal and your future success depends on your academic performance. Being busy or lazy, you can always pay someone to do math homework or take care of your papers choosing a service based on essay writing service reviews.

However, college is the time when we are open up to discovering something new, look for adventures, burst with energy and have an urge to explore our opportunities. Here is when a two-wheeler can become a great companion in this journey due to its mobility and convenience.

Best bikes to afford in college

Delegating your assignments to reliable writing agencies that can be found looking through top essay services reviews (pay special attention to speedy paper reviews as one of the best in this field), you can devote your spare time to planning trips and increasing your popularity in college due to your new two-wheeler friend. Motorcycles are agile, convenient and very fast when it comes to speed so they can become a great solution for those who don’t like spending hours in traffic jams. Besides, they are light on pocket and can be affordable for an average college student. Just look at these models:

KTM 250 Duke and RC 250KTM 250 Duke and RC 250

  1. KTM 250 Duke. A lively and quick model, this bike comes with 24 Nm of torque and 248.8 liquid-cooled engine that allows you to handle confidently. This is a good choice if you buy a motorcycle for the first time;
  2. KTM RC 200. This model is designed specifically for those who want to become popular with the help of a motorbike. It looks gorgeous, has a perfect riding position and is also a great choice when it comes to paying off the bill. You can count on its 25.4 bhp power and 19.2 Nm torque;
  3. Yamaha YZF R 15. This is one of the most good-looking and affordable bikes when it comes to the combination of speed and money. Its version 3.0 comes with a 155 liquid-cooled engine, braking stability and 14.7 Nm torque which allows you to have an exciting ride;
  4. Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X. For a student’s budget, this model fits perfectly. Due to the blacked-out engine, it looks almost mean and aggressive and it is well contrasted with white and red colors on the fuel tank. It has assertive braking and air-cooled motor with 346cc;

    Jawa Classic Legends revivalJawa 42

  5. Jawa 42. A well-known Czech brand, Jawa is made in a neo-retro style with the matte paint scheme and complemented by the high quality with minimum chrome use. It is powered by 28 Nm torque and 293 cc engine;
  6. Bajaj Dominar 400. It is probably one of the most powerful motorcycles an average student can afford (at least, at the moment of publishing of this article). Compared to the previous models, it is not only more powerful and affordable but also faster and eats less fuel;
  7. Royal Enfield Classic 350. It can offer a loud exhaust, retro look, high quality and enjoyable rides based on the five-speed gearbox and 346 cc engine;

    Royal Enfield Classic 350Royal Enfield Classic 350

  8. Suzuki Gixxer SF. Say hello to this model as your future companion in adventures. Its design is based on older and more powerful models but it still looks good and is built with quality;
  9. Yamaha FZ-S FI (version 3.0). This model is often called the king of the streets and we are not exaggerating. The overall body of the motorcycle tells people about its power and speed and 12.8 Nm torque proves this statement;
  10. TVS Apache RTR 160 (version 4). This model can offer you enough speed without burning a hole in your wallet. It has an aggressive look and a powerful engine for all your college trips.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Dry cleaning your dirty motorcycle

By dry cleaning your motorcycle we don’t mean sending it to the dry cleaners! We are talking about cleaning your motorcycle without using water.

It’s especially an issue during this prolonged drought.

Dry cleaning is also handy for those who live in apartments and can’t get access to a hose and have to clean their bike in a garage.

If your motorcycle is covered in mud and grit, you shouldn’t attack it with anything that might scratch paintwork.

In that case, it’s best to rinse your bike and give it a good old wet wash.dry cleaning washing wash

Click here for our top 10 tips on washing your motorcycle.

And if it’s caked in mud after a big adventure ride, you might want to check this article on the correct use of a pressure washer.Washing freight export import transport condensation

But if it’s just covered in some dust, road grime and a few bigs, a dry wash might be all you need.

Dry cleaning products

There is a variety of dry cleaning products you can get for cars that will work.

However, we like products from French motorcycle company Motul, distributed in Australia by Link International, which make cleaners and lubricants specifically for motorcycles.

They make a Wash & Wax Spray in a 400ml trigger bottle or aerosol can for $14.90 that will remove light grime.

Use a clean rag and do small areas at a time, wiping off while the spray is still wet on the surface.

It leaves a waxy surface that protects the paint.

Once you have cleaned the bike with the spray, you can shine it with Motul’s Shine & Go Spray which also comes in 400ml trigger or aerosol versions for $17.90.

Dry cleaning

It has a silicone-based formulation that enhances the colours and gives it a great shine.

Make sure to always use a soft, microfibre cloth and never let it drop on the ground as it can pick up small amounts of grit that can scratch your paintwork and chrome.

Motul says the silicone formula also protects the paintwork from water and dirt.

Use these products in a well-ventilated area, never use them on hot bikes that have just been running or sitting in the sun and keep the products away from naked flames and sparks.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com