Tag Archives: rider safety

Alpinestars gloves score top safety rating

Alpinestars GP Plus R2 motorcycle gloves (pictured) have become only the second pair of gloves to be awarded a full five stars for safety by MotoCAP.

The internationally awarded safety and thermal comfort ratings system for motorcycle clothing has added 15 more gloves to its list of tested gear.

The Australian safety intitiative, launched in September 2018, is the first of its type in the world.

It has now rated 201 items of clothing, including 50 pairs of pants, 90 jackets and 61 pairs of gloves.

Of those gloves, only the Alpinestars costing $225 and Ducati Corse C3 ($442) – both racing-style gloves – have scored a full five stars.

Ducati Corse C3 glovesDucati Corse C3 gloves

Only three others scored four stars, five got three stars, 20 received two stars, 23 got one star and the rest were awarded just half a star.

No comfort ratings

While MotoCAP also supplies thermal comfort and waterproofing on jackets and pants, it does not provide a comfort rating for gloves.

That is despite some of the gloves tested having perforations for airflow.

However, they do test for waterproofing.

Comfort is a big factor among baby boomers when selecting gloves, according to a Canstar Blue customer satisfaction survey that also found Millennial riders buy for style.

Transport for NSW says that to measure for comfort a large square of fabric must be obtained.

“There is not enough material in a glove to obtain a sample for the thermal comfort measure,” they say.

All gear rated so far has been obtained through a secretive buying system to guarantee integrity.

Click here to find out how products are selected for rating in secret.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

How motorcycles can safely overtake trucks

Passing long trucks can be easy for motorcycles with their rapid rate of acceleration, but there are several dangers you can encounter when you overtake a truck.

Here are our four safety tips for passing a truck.

1 Beware the blind spots

Goldwing Facebook page warning photo

When passing a truck, you need to be aware that they have a lot of blind spots that can swallow a small motorcycle.

The Goldwing World Facebook page published the photograph above warning of the extent of these blind spots claiming that all the bikes in the photo are in the truck’s blind spots.

Note that the photo is American, so the positions are reversed for left-hand-drive countries.

Remember, not all trucks, buses and other big vehicles are the same. Fixed vehicles such as vans and buses/coaches have different blind spots to B doubles or prime movers with trailers. There are also extra blind spots for trucks with hoods (eg Mack) rather than cab-over trucks (eg Hino) with flat fronts.

For fixed vehicles, the worst blind spot is close on the inside (left in RHD countries and right for LHD countries) of the vehicle. Most heavy vehicles have blind-spot mirrors, but fast-accelerating bikes can zoom into view so quickly on a slow-moving vehicle, the driver may not have had a chance to see them.

Prime movers also have the problem that when they turn, their mirrors, which are fixed to the prime mover, show only a view of the trailer on one side and a wide view on the other, creating a massive blind spot area.

For trucks like Mack with a big bonnet, almost everywhere from the mirrors forward is a blind spot, especially by the inside fender. Drivers say riders can slip into the gap in front of a truck without them seeing the bike, which could result in a rear-ender as they approach a red traffic light.

2 Overtake quickly

Motorcycles accelerate quickly so passing a truck can only take a couple of seconds.

Despite it being illegal to speed, I always overtake quickly to spend as little time beside the truck as possible.

The above video was recorded in 2016 on the Logan Motorway in Brisbane, but it could happen anywhere.

Just look at the amount of truck tyre debris on our roads. Any one of those tyre blowouts could easily have claimed the life of a rider.

When passing a truck, it’s probably better to risk a speeding fine and ride by quickly than to sit alongside, or if a truck decides to overtake you on a multi-lane road, either speed up or slow down.

Also, take a wide berth by moving into the furthest wheel track of the adjacent lane.

Be aware that the rear trailer on a road train can suddenly wag sideways by a couple of metres.

Road safety crash accident motorcycle overtake
Way too close!

3 Prepare for the blast

Trucks have a lot of wind resistance creating “dirty air” or turbulence that can unsettle a small motorcycle at highway speed.

The worst are not the closed-in trailers, but open trailers such as car carriers and livestock trailers. (Another tip: Don’t follow livestock trailers too closely unless you want to be showered in sh*t!)

Closed-in trailers tend to create “still air” as you pass, then you suddenly get hit by a blast of wind.

So be prepared as you pass, lean forward, hold on tight and power through.

Lane position automated vehicles tailgater blowout
Riders steer clear of trucks

4 Don’t cut in

Don’t cut into the truck’s lane as soon as you pass.

For a start they may not see you and drive right over the top of you at the next set of traffic lights.

Also, if you have to brake suddenly, the truck will have a lot less stopping power than you and will simply drive straight over the top of your motorcycle.

5 Show courtesy

They are bigger than you and they deserve respect.

Also, if you show a little courtesy, truckies will show some back. Many even flash their indicators to show you when it is safe to pass.

That’s handy as they have a high view and can see a lot further ahead.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MotoGP airbag vest for everyday riders

Last year MotoGP made airbag race suits mandatory and now Dainese has produced an airbag vest for everyday riders that goes under a normal jacket.

Versatile vest

Many riders have different jackets for summer and winter.

It would be expensive to buy an airbag jacket for each season, so this idea of an airbag vest underneath seems handy for those who want extra protection.Dainese airbag vest

However, we wonder just how baggy your jacket would need to be to accommodate the vest.

Not only do you have to fit the vest under you jacket, but also allow enough room for if/when it inflates!

The extra layer could defeat the purpose of a ventilated summer jacket, but it is ventilated.

We wonder how it might limit movement, but Dainese says it is light and flexible.

It’s not cheap at $US699 and replacement components after it has deployed will add to the cost.

Although what price do you put on safety?Dainese airbag vest

Dainese says the airbag vest is seven times more protective than the usual back protector.

The vest is also waterproof and abrasion resistant.

How it worksDainese airbag vest

The vest uses seven sensors including GPS, accelerometers and gyroscopes to detect a crash such as low and high-sides, collisions and even being hit from behind when stopped at the lights.

All that tech depletes the batteries which need t be recharged after 26 hours of use.

After it’s exploded, you then have to take it back to the shop to get a new airbag system. Apparently fitting is a quick operation.

It arrives soon in six sizes for men and women.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Watch as Volvo driver blasts by rider

This video of a Volvo driver blasting through a rider’s buffer zone to undertake traffic on a multi-lane road is a good example of how frustrated motorists are a danger to riders.

Canberra rider Alistaire Foard was riding home on his 2018 Yamaha MT-07, on Gungahlin Drive, when the incident happened.

The video shows he is doing a responsible and cautious job of owning his lane yet leaving a buffer from the right lane, keeping a safe distance from vehicles in front and frequently checking his mirrors.

But no amount of defensive riding could have prepared him for the Volvo driver’s tailgating and dangerous undertaking manoeuvre.

It was probably caused by the driver’s frustration with discourteous right-lane traffic that didn’t move to the left.

Volvo incident

“The Volvo came up very fast in the right lane behind the red hatchback,” Alistaire says.

“The right lane started to slow down and then he came in behind me quite close as seen in the rear vision mirror.

“We were in an 80km/h zone in traffic but it was flowing quite well.

“I slowed after the Volvo came in behind me because the red hatchback also put their indicator on to merge but I guess I was too close for them to do so.

“The Volvo dropped back a little and came past in the right hand lane when there was a gap but he left it a bit late in my opinion and had to cut in front of me very close.

“I didn’t see any indicator on the Volvo when he passed and actually thought he would stay in the right lane because the gap between myself and the green car was closing as the traffic sped back up to 80km/h.”

Alistaire’s Yamaha

Alistaire was lucky he was not knocked off the road.

The dangerous passing manoeuvre was to no avail, anyway, as Alistaire caught up with the Volvo at the next set of red lights.

It could have escalated into road rage, but Alistaire kept a cool head.

“We exchanged some dirty looks, but nothing else,” he says.

“I thought his driving was really aggressive, especially considering the time of day and traffic flow.”

Cautious rider

Alistaire says he is “a little hesitant” on a motorbike these days as he wrote off his 2014 Ducati Monster 659 in November and needed surgery on a badly broken wrist.

“So I tend to stick to the left lane and keep a decent gap to the vehicle in front,” he says.

“I am not saying I am a perfect rider but his driving was unnecessary and dangerous.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com