Tag Archives: Tips/training

Bali motorcycle crash is a lesson for all

A British rider who crashed while riding without a helmet in Bali now faces medical bills estimated to be almost $A100,000.

It’s a good lesson in not doing as the locals do — not wearing a helmet when riding — and in getting relevant travel insurance.

Reuben Armstrong, 27, was riding a motorcycle in Denpasar when he lost control on a corner and ran into a wall.

He was not wearing a helmet, so his travel insurance company has refused to pay for his medical bills.

Bali
Reuben in Bali

Reuben suffered a fracture to the left side of his skull which could affect his speech.

Doctors had refused to operate until £12,000 in medical bills were paid.

So his family set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay his medical bills which they estimate to be almost $100,000.

Click here to help Reuben.

They have raised more than half already from more than 400 supporters.

Riding in Bali

Bali is a popular place for Brits and Aussies to holiday and a fantastic place to ride a motorcycle as most of the population do.

However, one Aussie tourist dies every nine days in Bali, typically in a drunken scooter crashes. Reuben was not drunk at the time of his crash.

While most locals don’t wear helmets when riding, it is an offence to ride without a helmet in Bali and offenders can cop an on-the-spot fine.

Bali scooter crash
Bali is a beautiful place to ride … but dangerous

If you try to bribe an officer, you could cop an extra fine.

Yet many tourists choose to flout the law and run the risk.

We suggest that all riders heading overseas take extra care to acclimatise to the traffic and learn the roads and the road rules.

Road rules and traffic behaviour can be radically different to what you would be used to.

Riders should also ensure they have adequate travel insurance to cover them in case of an unfortunate accident.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Defences to a Lidar speeding fine

Speeding fines based on Lidar or radar readings are difficult to defend, but not impossible, says NSW traffic and criminal law specialist Chris Kalpage.

The Ducati-riding solicitor has previously provided our readers with tips on what to do when pulled over by police and defences to speeding fines based on a police officer’s estimate or “check speed”.

Check out his tips on defending a Lidar or radar speeding fine:

Chris Kalpage evidence pulled lidar
Chris on his Ducati at the track

Lidar readings

Lidar speed readings are potentially more accurate than “check speeds” and police estimates which were covered in my previous article.

So they need more careful analysis prior to any court hearing.

“LIDAR” stands for Light Detection and Ranging which means it uses pulsed lasers of light.

Police aim the hand-held Lidar device at an object and a laser beam of light bounces back and forth to measure changes in the distance over time.

It is the most accurate form of speed assessment.

Radar devices work the same way, but use radio waves instead of light.

Calibration

However, like any measuring instrument, these can be compromised depending on calibration and manner of use.

Failure to produce a S137 Road Transport Act certificate at a hearing could call into question the reading obtained.

We also consider whether the device has been properly calibrated. The prosecution would have to produce a certificate signed by the police officer at the start and end of their shift certifying the device was tested over a measured prescribed distance of 25m and 50m.

Each Lidar has a prolaser testing book, which is completed and signed off when the tests are done.

Lidar use

LIDAR Low speed threshold a danger hidden demons lidar
LIDAR is used around the world

We also consider the use of the Lidar on a motorist.

  • Was there a clear line of sight for the officer during the duration of the test?
  • Was the required three-second observation and testing likely, based on available distance for the test and the alleged speed? For example if the maximum sighting distance from the officer is 30m and you are meant to be travelling at 30m/second they only have one second to conduct the test which is insufficient time.
  • Was there excessive movement of the unit?
  • Is there the potential for the laser to be reflected back from another surface?

Radar devices

If the radar device uses a Doppler beam, we again consider calibration.

However, there are other contentious issues with a Doppler beam as they are much wider than a Lidar beam.

The old Silver Eagle Radar used to have a beam of about 20x20m for every hundred metres of projection.

This creates confusion over which vehicle provided the speed reading.

I have run cases where a small vehicle such as a motorcycle was traveling in front of a speeding four-wheel drive and may not be the vehicle giving the speed reading.

Police always argue that if there are multiple vehicles in the beam then an error reading should show on the device but that is subject to question and scientific challenge.

We also consider whether there were multiple vehicles in the beam and whether there were many vehicles of a similar size. This raises the question of identity of the offending vehicle.

Use of mobile radars in areas where traffic isn’t sparse raises the issue of target identification.

Use guidelines

LIDAR radar speed gun pulled
LIDAR radar speed gun

Guidelines for the use of Lidar and radar have previously contained prohibitions such as at the bottom of a hill or within 50m of a change in speed zone sign.

Those restrictions on police have now been considerably eased in many jurisdictions, despite public criticism.

However that information may be relevant in a defence or in a plea of guilty.

Also, keep in mind that both these devices can be used in approaching or receding mode, which means they can hide in the bushes and activate the device once you have gone past them and shoot you from behind.

When defending these cases, especially the Lidar, some magistrates wish to have scientific evidence from the defence supporting the basis of the challenge to the instrument.

Disclaimer

This article is for reader information and interest only and is based on New South Wales law. It is not intended to be comprehensive, and does not constitute and must not be relied on as legal advice.

Please be aware that every case is different and the matters raised may not be of specific relevance to your situation but may have a general application. You must seek specific advice tailored to your circumstances. Chris is happy to talk to anyone needing clarification. He can bet contacted on 0418 211074.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Does Lane Splitting Make Motorcyclists Safer?

(Sponsored post on lane splitting for our North American readers)

Lane-splitting is the act of riding a motorcycle between the lanes of traffic on a freeway or city road. It’s a controversial topic in motorcycle safety, with a variety of opinions and different laws on whether it benefits motorcyclists or puts them in more danger. Many riders advocate for lane-splitting, out of fear that they’ll be sandwiched between two vehicles in a rear-end accident in stop-and-go traffic. They claim it’s safer to travel between lanes, and eases traffic during a busy commute. Those against it argue lane-splitting increases the likelihood of a crash if a driver isn’t paying attention, and doesn’t notice the rider along his or her side.

Motorcycle injury attorneys at Cannon & Dunphy, S.C. claim motorcyclists face a greater risk than any other vehicle on the road. If involved in an accident, riders are are also more likely to suffer serious or catastrophic injuries. Lane-splitting has come up a lot in legislation about motorcycle safety, with a lot of gray area in different parts of the nation. So what is safer, splitting lanes or staying within the lines? A study at UC Berkeley suggests splitting reduces the likelihood a motorcyclist will be hurt in a crash, and the findings could change motorcycle laws across the country.

Lane-Splitting Increases Safety

The study, shared by the American Motorcycle Association, showed that riders who split lanes were significantly less likely to be struck from behind in a crash. Researchers reviewed nearly 6,000 motorcycle-involved collisions between 2012 and 2013. In 997 of those cases, the motorcyclist was splitting lanes at the time of the crash. Overall they found riders who split lanes were 6% less likely to suffer a head injury, 10% less likely to suffer an injury to the torso, and 1.8% less likely to die in a crash.

A few significant findings include:

  • Lane-splitting motorcyclists are less likely to be rear ended than those that don’t lane split, from 2.6% to 4.6%
  • Riders who lane split are 14% more likely to wear a full-face helmet and proper protective gear
  • Lane-splitting is safe if the rider travels at 50 miles per hour or less, and no more than 15 miles per hour above the flow of traffic

Authors of the study cite stop-and-go traffic as the main reason motorcyclists are in danger on the road. The American Motorcycle Association agrees, stating,”reducing a motorcyclist’s exposure to vehicles that are frequently accelerating and decelerating on congested roadways can be one way to reduce rear-end collisions for those most vulnerable in traffic.”Lane filtering lane splitting

Which States Allow Lane-Splitting?

Despite being a common practice on other continents like Australia, Europe and Asia, only California has legalized splitting for motorcyclists. California passed a bill known as AB-51 in 2017, ensuring that the practice is legal across the state.

After the bill was passed, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association released data showing an almost 30% decline in fatal motorcycle accidents since lane-splitting was legalized. The data failed to highlight a specific trend across the United States, with numbers ranging from a 66.7% decrease in Washington D.C. to a 175% increase in fatal accidents in Rhode Island. However, the national average dropped by 8.6%, 30 states saw a general decline in fatal motorcycle accidents, and there were decreases of more than 20% in 14 states.

Other states are working on their own legislation, but no other states have fully legalized lane-splitting like California. Utah has passed some legislation in May 2019, legalizing lane splitting with specific modifications for lane-filtering”. Oregon, Washington, Connecticut, DC, and Maryland are currently considering new lane-splitting legislation as of October 2019. Many states don’t have any specific mention of lane-splitting within their legislation, meaning it’s not necessarily prohibited by law. This list includes Montana, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, and North Carolina. All other states have laws in place to specifically prohibit lane-splitting for motorcycle riders.

As more information begins to come out about lane splitting safety, it will be interesting to see if more states choose to legalize the practice in hopes of keeping motorcyclists safer.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Video lampoons loud pipe machismo

Do loud pipes really save lives or is it more about machismo and attention-seeking behaviour?

This hilarious video lampoons the latter theory.

Loud pipes theory

I won’t be popular for this, but “Loud Pipes Saves Lives” is a theory, not a proven fact.

I’m sure many readers will provide examples of how they reckon a loud motorcycle exhaust saved their lives.

But let’s look at this scientifically.

Supporters of this contention say that loud pipes alert motorists that there is a bike somewhere about.

In a situation of impending collision, the bike is approaching the vehicle it is about to collide with, right? It’s not going in the opposite direction, is it?

They may be approaching from the side, from in front or from behind, but they are not riding away from the vehicle with which they are about to collide.

So the noise of the bike really needs to precede the bike to alert the impending collider, right?

But exhaust pipes don’t face forward. They face backward with the bulk of the noise trailing behind, not going out in front of them.

High frequency sounds are easy to discern direction. However, low frequencies such as exhaust noise can be omnidirectional.

That makes it difficult for a driver in an air-conditioned cabin with the radio on to discern where the noise is coming from.Loud pipes save lives keyring - motorcycles EPA cars exhaust machismo

Guilty driver

I have been guilty of driving a car and having no idea that a motorcycle is rapidly riding into my blind spot. Not until they are alongside or already past do I actually hear their exhaust pipe.

Just how loud would exhaust pipes have to be for people in front to hear them clearly and be a truly effective safety alert?

Rather than adding to the already cacophonous state of our urban traffic, wouldn’t it actually be better and safer for riders to alert traffic with a short blast on the horn?

If you are riding along a street and see a car sitting at an intersection and you are not sure they have seen or heard you, wouldn’t it be more effective to give a couple of quick taps on the horn to gain their attention?

A horn blast surely has more of an alert tone than the gradually increasing rumble of an exhaust pipe facing the wrong way. (Be aware that in some jurisdictions, blowing the horn may be illegal, except for emergency warnings.)

There are other things you can do to get yourself noticed such as changing speed and moving around in your lane. (Dare I say, bright riding gear may help, but certainly not your machismo.)

All these proactive safety measures are much better than the ingrained and misguided trust in the safety values of a loud pipe.

In fact, reliance on a loud pipe could be hindering your active safety avoidance measures and placing you and your machismo in greater danger.

Machismo note

Road names motorcycles Triumph Street Scrambler machismo
MBW’s Triumph Street Scrambler has an aftermarket pipe that is not illegal

Don’t get me wrong, I love the sound of a baritone exhaust note. Not that gets my machismo going! That rumbling sound is music to my ears and motivation to my soul.

My Triumph Street Scrambler has a legal aftermarket exhaust pipe that is not annoying, but has a lovely, musical note.

However, I detest those barking, angry pipes that give me a headache and only serve to upset most of the population.

In fact, noise (barking dogs, traffic, trains etc) is the most complained about issue in suburban life. Do we really need to attract more anger against bikes and bikers?

While loud pipes may not necessarily save any lives, they most assuredly are bad PR for a minority group that gets enough bad press as it is.

Let’s be honest, the people who advocate loud pipes love the sound of the pipes and/or love people hearing them and being intimidated.

Just go back and watch the video again.

While I’ve never witnessed a loud pipe saving my life or anyone else’s I have witnessed loud pipes causing dogs to start barking and horses to run into barbed wire fences.

Favourite noise

MV Agusta Brutale 800 RR Pirelli now sole supplier to MV Agusta machismo
MV Agusta Brutale 800 RR “organ pipes”

My favourite bike noise is actually the roar of the bike inhaling, rather than exhaling. The MV Agusta Brutale has beautiful “organ pipes”, but it’s the induction roar that is absolutely glorious.

And best of all, it sounds like a Singer sewing machine when it goes past pedestrians, motorists, dogs and horses. That’s because the induction sound is cleverly pointed at the rider and not the passerby.

Motorcycle and car manufacturers have been spending millions of dollars on research into how to best channel these “good” sounds toward the rider/driver rather than at the passing scenery.

This has mainly been forced on them by increasingly stringent noise limitation laws, but the byproduct is that we get more entertaining motorcycles to ride and we cheese off fewer motorists, pedestrians, dogs and horses.

What do you think about loud pipes? Leave your comments in the box below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

World’s ‘biggest’ motorcycle crash payout

A North Carolina Harley rider has been awarded $US4m (almost $A6m) after a crash with a driver who failed to yield right-of-way in what is believed to be the world’s biggest motorcycle crash payout.

The 29-year-old rider was travelling about 15mph (about 24km/h) when he was struck by a vehicle that accelerated away from a stop sign without seeing the motorcycle.

America is renowned for its excessive compensation payouts, mainly due to high medical costs.

According to a study by US Jury Verdict Research, the average motorcycle accident verdict is about $A560,000 and the median verdict award just over $US70,000.

Crash payoutRoad safety crash accident motorcycle scam payout

In Australia, payouts for motor vehicle crashes are a lot less and rarely over $1m.

In July this year, NSW lawyers Gerard Malouf and Partners secured a personal injury about of $800,000 for a motorcycle rider after a crash.

The claim not only included rider’s injuries, but also the pain and suffering of his family.

In the North Carolina case, Attorney Mark Jetton of Jetton & Meredith lawyers claimed for physical injuries, medical expenses and lost wages.

The young rider needed to be airlifted to hospital where he spent six days and now requires on-going therapy and medication.

Compensation claims

Compensation can be determined by a number of factors, such as physical and mental injuries, the rider’s age, hospital expenses, on-going medical costs, pain and suffering, motorcycle damage and loss of earnings.

Big payouts are rare in Australia and vary from state to state based on third-party insurance regulations.

Riders should ensure they have adequate insurance cover and seek professional legal aid after a crash.

Click here for tips on what to do after a minor crash.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcycle mods don’t have to be illegal

A new motorcycle is a blank canvas that you can personalise and modify without making it illegal to ride, says RACQ technical and safety officer Steve Spalding.

He recently bought a 2010 Triumph Bonneville SE (above) that he has been gradually “reworking” to his own tastes.

“Motorcycles aren’t a one-size-fits-all product,” he says.

“Modifications can be made for a wide range of reasons from re-padding the seat to full customisation that ends up nothing like the bike it started as.

“However, modifications need to be thought out carefully because it’s easy to spend a lot of time, and even more money, making changes that don’t deliver what the rider hoped for.

“If done well, a modification should result in a noticeable improvement without causing unintended drawbacks.

“Done badly, a modification will fail to deliver a benefit, disappoint the rider and quite likely be a detriment to some other aspect of the bike such as performance, handling, comfort or compliance.”

Avoid illegal mods

To avoid turning your bike into an illegal vehicle, click here to read about the major rules that apply to motorcycles modifications.

Rules regarding motorcycles, mopeds, scooters and trikes vary depending on the Australian Design Rule (ADR) category and the date of manufacture.

If you are unsure about the standards and ADRs applying to your bike, you should consider seeking professional help from the transport department or automobile association in your state.

“We have a couple of advisors who are particularly knowledgeable on motorcycle technical matters – plus can give useful advice about buying wisely,” Steve says.

Contact RACQ Advice on 07 3666 9748.

Best advice

Steve Spalding DIY bike maintenance Easter safety message duty easter pulp ulp premium illegal
Steve Spalding

“The key to achieving a successful modification is getting good advice from the start,” Steve says.

“More importantly, don’t act on well-meaning but often inaccurate information or opinions.

“Online forums are one such source where riders need to be careful about the accuracy of what’s being put forward as information.

“There’s no doubt that a collection of owners will build a good bank of knowledge over time about modifications and be keen to share with other owners.

“However, it’s also the case that advice offered might not be correct or relevant to what the forum visitor is trying to work out.

“The best advice is the right advice, and it requires careful judgement to separate these two out.”

Mechanical mods

Gazi motorcycle suspension illegalWhile some ownership problems are relatively generic and a common solution might work, others less so. Replacing shocks is one such example, says Steve.

“Everyone has a different idea of what is the right balance between comfort and handling and each shock on the market will meet those individual requirements differently,” he says.

“So good advice might be to scan what others are saying, but a conversation with the supplier is also invaluable.

“And, an important question is will the non-OEM shocks actually make the bike better and the rider happier? If they won’t, then it’s possibly money wasted.”

Compliance issues

Modifications affecting compliance is another problem area, Steve says.

“Compliance differs depending on the market the bike was sold in, so an online forum could be generating discussion about what’s allowed, or not allowed, in another region,” he warns.

“Again, the reader needs to probe a bit more before hitting the online ordering button or tampering with their bike.”

Exhaust modsAftermarket exhaust peeves enemy resale illegal

One of the most common modifications on a bike is the exhaust muffler.

Steve says it is rare to see a standard pipe.

“Increased noise, or claims of more power, are the usual reasons given for swapping the muffler,” he says.

“Exhaust noise is subjective; some like more noise and others don’t.

“But how does a rider know if there is actually a power increase? And even if the supplier offers power charts to show the difference, is it noticeable on the road?

“One thing that will quite likely be affected though is compliance.

“Different states and transport authorities apply different noise standards and to stay legal requires the rider to do some additional checking.

It doesn’t mean a legal pipe can’t be found; it just requires extra research.”

Modifying emission controls presents a similar issue that could make your bike illegal.

“Emissions standards are also region-specific so to stay legal be cautious of relying on online forums.

“A non-compliant bike might not bother some but it can be a pain when the owner comes to selling it or it’s due for a roadworthy check.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Writing While Riding Your Motorbike

(Sponsored article on writing and riding)

Writers are always filled with a sort of wanderlust that always keeps them moving from places to places to calm their exasperating inside. They create lines while moving between dwellings and capture ideas of their head in a better way. If you intend to write down your ideas while moving around, there is nothing better writer companion than a motorbike. A motorbike ride takes you in the air without an air ticket, but the big question is, how one can you write while being on a bike as both hands are busy in handling the balance of the bike?

No, you do not need another person to drive the bike while you sit at the back and write. There are two problems in this situation; first of all, it’s hard to get thrilling ideas and secondly, no one is will always be free to take you on a bike ride every time you need to write. So what do you do?

No no, you also don’t need to give up riding a bike for writing when you can do both things hand in hand. How? Here are some ways by which you can write while riding a motorbike

1 Use Your Smart Phone as Writing Tool

X2 phone mount
X2 phone mount charges your phone while riding

The first thing that comes handy is your smartphone. All smartphones have recording features that can be used with or without videos. ? I am not asking you to make Vlog, my point is, record your thoughts, word to word, in your smartphone. These will later come handy to draw the picture of your story on paper. You need a hands-free or earpieces, a well-working mic, fully charged battery, and a holder tool to put mobile phone while riding a do not. These recorded pinpoints will help you, and you will not forget the actual bike ride story you were struggling to write.

2 Take Pauses on The Way While Driving a Bike

Keep your eyes on the road and do not flow too profoundly in your words while recording and riding a bike. It can cause accidents. Therefore, you need to use your eyes to see, drive with your hands, and your voice will be your writer for the day. When you also find a place that is will not be comfortable, stop your bike and record the things you want to write. Try to find a place that’s less noisy for voice recording. If you want everyone to feel that you were writing while exploring the world on your bike, you can get help from professionals at Bid4Papers.com..

3 Talk To Your Writing Partner on Phone during Bike Ride

Being a writer,it is always essential to have people in your acquaintances who write or simply your writing colleagues. Whenever there is something more exciting on the way, call your writing partner and tell them about the things you are seeing. Tell them to write down your ideas in their own words to give your story a new and fascinating script. You will be able to create a masterpiece in this manner and that also while driving a motorbike. Get the best essay writing services from Bid4Papers.com.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Roadkill Reporter app may save riders

Riders are being urged to use a mobile phone Roadkill Reporter app to record roadkill in an effort to identify hotspots and help save lives.

The latest Austroads Guide to Road Safety Part 5: Road Safety for Rural and Remote Areas found that motorcycles are significantly over-represented in crashes with animals.

It cited Australian insurance data that found more than 80% of animal crashes involved kangaroos. Other common animal strike crashes involved wombats, dogs, cats, and cattle.Riders are being urged to use a mobile phone app to record roadkill in an effort to identify hotspots and help save lives. Roadkill Reporter app

“The majority of animal/vehicle collisions in Australia occur on regional and remote roads and most often take place around dawn and dusk or during the darker hours,” it found.

However, Austroads also noted an underreporting of animal-related crashes.

Roadkill Reporter app

Roadkill Reporter appTo help identify hotspots for roadkill crashes, all Australians are this month asked to download the free Roadkill Reporter app for Android and Apple iOS which was developed by wildlife scientist Bruce Englefield.

The app allows users to take a photo which is GPS and time stamped that is then logged online with authorities.

Data is then used to “mitigate” roadkill crashes in hotspot areas with remedies such as over- and under-road crossings for animals, signage, fences.

A 2016 study by Californian non-profit science and medicine research communication hub, PLOS, found that fences were the most effective measure, reducing roadkill by 54%.

Misreported crashesRoo kangaroo roadkill animals hazards

Independent Riders Group spokesman Damien Codognotto says animal-strike crashes can often be mis-reported as single-vehicle crashes.

“No carcass, blame the rider. Tick ‘lost control of the bike’,” he says.

“Riders hit, or are hit by, animals on Australian roads; the rider goes down; the animal goes into the bush to die.

“VicPol turns up quarter of an hour later and an officer, probably with no scientific training, gets out an electronic device and ticks digital boxes.

“VicPol, do not record roadkill in the crash reports of far too many collisions.

“VicRoads concludes motorcycles are dangerous and roadkill is not a major hazard.

“Victoria’s crash stats are unreliable and often misleading. Then VicRoads multiplies the hazard by fencing run-off areas with kilometre after kilometre of roadside barriers that keep frightened wildlife on the tar.”

Cow livestock roadkill crash horses horn
Cows also have right of way in Queensland!

He urged all riders around the nation to download the app and start recording areas with roadkill and known crash sites.

Animal strikes are a very serious threat to all road users, especially motorcycle and scooter riders,” he says.

“It is also a horrible thing to lose so much of our wildlife each year.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Life on the Open Road Doesn’t Mean Leaving Your Life Behind

(Sponsored post on life on the open road)

If you haven’t taken some time out from life to explore the vast expanse of our world, you’re missing out. There’s something extraordinary about packing up some essential belongings, jumping on your bike and cruising off into the sunset.

OK, that’s slightly too romantic a setting, but can you see how relaxing an adventure on the open road can be? Sure, switching off and taking a digital detox can be incredibly relaxing.

But, you can still balance having a relaxing trip with staying in touch with the world. Since we’re all so connected thanks to the smartphone surge, connecting with our loved ones is only seconds away through the likes of Facetime, Skype, WhatsApp and the addictive social media channels.

Hell, there’s also new betting sites you can try while you’re on the move if betting is your thing. With mobile networks and WiFi hotspots stronger than ever, placing bets and watching live streams online is much easier now.

The fact is, apart from the rigmarole of daily life pressures, you can explore the likes of Mary River Valley without feeling stressed about putting life on hold.

How? That’s for us to know, and for you to find…

No, we’re kinder than that!

Work Flexibly

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We understand that not everyone can be mobile when they’re working. However, with such a massive shift in employers’ recognising that staff want more flexibility in working hours and work locations, how much is there to stop you from working on the road?

Imagine a world where you can cruise around on your bike, stopping off in a coffee shop to attend a conference call and catch up with the team while supping on your favourite bean-brew of choice. It’s possible, it really is.

How? Well, people are already doing it, so follow them!

Bloggers Are Leading the Way

Freelancing and blogging sit in their isolated niche away from the office and factory-binding jobs that make you feel like you can’t ever break free. Even if you can’t take your work away on your bike, perhaps you can extend your work so you can entice your employer to be more flexible.

What if they let you have some time out over and above authorised leave for a trip on your bike, in exchange for you to blog about your employer?

Or, in exchange for snapping some photos of your travel, the company can do a spotlight on their employees and what they get up to in their spare time?

This is just one example of how breaking the status quo can lead to a life more open and explored.

Stagnancy is the route of all Evil

You know that feeling of doing the same thing day in, day out? It’s awful, isn’t it? If McGregor and Boorman can inspire millions, why can’t you? If you want to make a drastic change, it’s up to nobody but you.

The thing is, you don’t even need to do it alone. If your spouse, ankle-biters or mates fancy a trip with you, memories could be created for life for all involved, not just you. That way, you won’t feel like you’re being selfish for packing your saddles and riding off.

Just because you’re on “holiday,” it doesn’t mean that you step out of one life and into another.

Take your iPads, smartwatches and phones. Crikey, even take your portable games console if you want to.

Plan way in advance and tell people what your intentions are. That way, there’s no surprise factor when it comes close to your trip.

There are very few things that you can’t get while on two wheels. The exception to this, of course, is if you head out into the true wilderness. Even so, with a boost to 4G coverage in the outback, you still might not be as isolated as you once thought.

What Are You Waiting For?

For some, it’s not so simple to pack up and ride away. Life commitments get in the way, and it’s not good to sack off your mates for a better option. But, if your boss says it’s no dramas to take some holiday at short notice, and it’s a feasible option otherwise, what’s stopping you?

We know, it’s you! We wild humans tend to find a reason to NOT do something instead of going wild and just doing it.

Even if you’re looking to grab your first motorbike or need an upgrade, start to look for a new one before you get the opportunity to go away. That way, you remove the barriers before they begin to imprint in your life and stop you from channelling the open road.

Make a plan, and it’ll become more of a reality than a dream.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Legal defences to a speeding fine

If you have been fined for speeding based on a police officer’s estimate or “check speed”, there may be several defences, says NSW traffic and criminal law specialist Chris Kalpage.

The Ducati-riding solicitor has previously provided our readers with tips on what to do when pulled over by police which expanded on our article “tips on what to do if pulled over by the police” and even these tips from the police.

Chris Kalpage evidence pulled Legal defences to a speeding fine
Chris on his Ducati at the track

Now, Chris follows up with information a lawyer seeks when defending a rider on a speeding fine based on an estimate:

Collecting information

As I stated in my previous article, photographs of where the incident occurred are a great help as it provides information about what may have obstructed the proper tracking of the vehicle.

Distances will also enable the calculation as to the distance over time and therefore the potential speed.

We usually attend the police station to see the police in-car video (ICV). That video will show in many cases what the officer could see and what you may have said when pulled over.

In a hearing, the officer may produce a transcript of what you said which is another reason to be wary of saying anything.

If it is an in-car radar breach, it provides us invaluable information of what speeds were registering, the time between observation of the vehicle and locking the speed, and any other matters that could potentially affect the Doppler beam or the reading on the radar, in addition to the patrol speed of the police vehicle. 

Check speed

A “check speed” fine is based on the speed the police vehicle was travelling.

In this case, examining the ICV will show whether the officer had the ability to maintain a consistent distance and speed to provide an accurate reading.

In many of these cases I have observed the highway patrol (HWP) vehicle being baulked by slower vehicles that the smaller, lighter and more nimble motorcycle has been able to get around unaware they are being followed.

When the HWP vehicle gets around the obstruction, seconds have gone past and the police have to accelerate hard to catch up.

In the heat of catching up, it has, on occasion, been that the speed alleged is the speed of the HWP vehicle and not that of the bike.

Similarly, if the HWP vehicle is parked on the side of the road and the officer has to accelerate in pursuit, there is often a degree of hard acceleration involved.

The ICV may also show whether the officer was able to view the bike consistently during the test or lost sight of the vehicle, which would put the check speed or estimate in question.

Example case

lLegal defences to a speeding fine
A rider on the Old Pac (Image: YouTube)

I ran a case on the Old Pacific Highway where the officer passes the bike and the radar showed the bike was travelling at the speed limit of 80km/h, as shown in the ICV.

The bike pulls into Pie in the Sky cafe and a number of minutes later the HWP vehicle pulls in. The officer gets out and starts yelling at the rider and charges him with speed over 45.

When I examined the ICV it showed the bike had travelled past the HWP vehicle at 80km/h but more importantly the police vehicle had done a u-turn and did not see the offending motorcycle until it was pulling up.

So how was an estimate or check speed of more than 45km/h made in the absence of seeing the vehicle?

More importantly, why had the HWP been unable to catch up to the bike, which was the other issue, relied on by police seeing the PV had been hitting speeds of 140-150km/h.

On closer examination of the video it was seen that the HWP vehicle was held up when doing its u-turn by several cars pulling out of Brooklyn, including a learner driver who held up the police by a considerable amount of time.

As many riders are aware, if you give someone a 15-second rolling start at the track, it takes a long time and a lot of speed to catch up. We obtained scientific calculations relating to this, which established that the bike could not have been travelling at the speed alleged. Our client was successful at the hearing.

Chris Kalpage defences
Chris Kalpage sets up for a track session

Officer’s estimate

A police officer’s estimate is the least reliable assessment of speed.

Observing the ICV may give us information as to time and distance that the officer had to make their assessment.

I ran a case where two bikes crested a hill on the Putty Rd at the same time as a police vehicle travelling in the opposite direction. The officer saw the bikes and locked on to their speed within a second.

They did not allow for three seconds of observation and testing with the radar, nor did they allow for multiple vehicles in the beam.

When that was challenged, the officer relied on his estimate which was dubious because of the short observation time as the bikes went past.

At the hearing, the officer conceded a lesser speed and our client retained his licence.

The longer the observation, the greater the accuracy of the estimate.

If an officer is coming around the corner as you are tipping in going in the opposite direction we have to challenge the speed estimate over the length of observation time.

Often it is based on a momentary snapshot and preconceived ideas based on the rider’s posture on the bike, noise, etc, not hard facts. Therefore, it is subject to challenge.

Technology

Potentially more accurate forms of speed assessment such as lidar and radar needs more careful analysis which will be covered in a future article.

Disclaimer

This article is for reader information and interest only and is based on New South Wales law. It is not intended to be comprehensive, and does not constitute and must not be relied on as legal advice.

Please be aware that every case is different and the matters raised may not be of specific relevance to your situation but may have a general application. You must seek specific advice tailored to your circumstances. Chris is happy to talk to anyone needing clarification. He can bet contacted on 0418 211074.

 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com