Tag Archives: Tips/training

Do you hold the clutch lever at lights?

Does it damage the bike’s clutch to keep your motorcycle in gear with the lever pulled in while waiting at traffic lights and is it safe?

RACQ technical officer and Triumph Bonneville rider Steve Spalding says the mechanical issue largely depends on the type of clutch your bike has.

“Most bike clutches are wet which means they run in oil ( usually the same oil as the engine and transmission) but some, such as many old BMWs, use a dry clutch that’s essentially the same as a car,” Steve says.

Steve Spalding RACQ voidSteve Spalding

Clutch wear

“Either way, there is still an element of additional wear by holding in the lever for long periods.

“With a dry clutch the thrust bearing (or sometimes called a throw-out bearing) rubs against the pressure plate fingers while on a wet clutch a rod pushes against the clutch pack – the purpose of both types is to separate the friction plates.

“Both types add unnecessary wear if the clutch is held in for prolonged periods. It’s also holding the clutch cable and linkage under tension.  

“Also, with a wet bike clutch there is always a level of drag because wet friction plates never fully separate. That’s why most bikes have a firm clunk when first gear is selected.

“This drag is friction and therefore wear, it also places additional stress on the oil and tension on the chain.

“So it’s better for mechanical reasons to put the bike into neutral.”

Safety issue road rage tailgate tailgating rear-ender motorcycles BMW S 1000 RR lane filtering lane splitting gap

For safety, it is advisable to leave your bike in gear at the lights, at least until you have a couple of cars pulled up behind you to avoid a rear-ender.

The reasoning is that you are ready to take off in case the driver behind you (and sometimes the driver behind them!) doesn’t pull up in time.

Leaving the bike in gear in this crucial stage means you are ready to move away and avoid a rear-ender, which is one of the most common types of motorcycle accidents at intersections.

Keep an eye on your mirrors for a vehicle about to rear-end you and plan where you can go in an emergency.

You should have your right foot on the rear brake and your left foot on the ground for a quick getaway.

Once the line-up of cars behind you is stationary, you can pop the bike into neutral if the traffic light sequence is long.

You can also filter and sit between the lanes of traffic for further protection.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

DIY advice for self-isolating riders

If you’ve responsibly chosen to park your bike during the pandemic, then you may be considering using the time to do some valuable DIY maintenance.

We love a bit of DIY bike maintenance, but there are a few pitfalls that can trap the unwary home mechanic, warns RACQ technical officer and self-confessed mechanical “trainspotter” Steve Spalding.

“I like to know where, how, why things work on my bikes, how the models differ and spec changes, oil specs, servicing schedules, workshop tools to do DIY maintenance etc,” says Steve.

Steve Spalding RACQ voidSteve Spalding RACQ

However, he says there can sometimes be variances between recommended replacement parts and what actually fits your bike.

He recalls replacing his chain and sprockets on his Bandit in a working bee with some friends: “I probably drove them nuts when I spent around 30 minutes using Vernier callipers to measure the right amount of ‘crush’ on the joining link so as to not damage the ‘O’ ring seals.”

“The sprocket sizes quoted by the bike shop for my bike were wrong. They didn’t believe me at first.”

He says he has also found the online and in-store manuals listed different oil filter fitments. He now uses a different model and brand from what is recommended in the manual.

“You’ll find there is a necessary close working relationship between parts people and mechanics. It comes down to the part number versus the application,” he says.

“The spare parts staff rely on manuals and part numbers to supply a part. However, the mechanic determines if the part will actually fit correctly. And the buck stops with the mechanic if they get it wrong.

“Therein sometimes lies the tension as both are experienced at what they do.” 

Identifying the correct part

Steve says motorcycle manufacturers change or modify parts or specifications during model runs. That can make it difficult to identify the correct part.

He advises a VIN number is necessary with original parts. 

“I think most mechanics rightfully rely on, and respect, parts people for getting them the right parts when needed,” he says.mechanic tools maintenance servicing lemon laws diy

“So the message to DIYers is do take advice from the parts suppliers. However, it’s always good practice to make careful observations when removing old parts or preparing to do a job. That will reduce the risk of getting the wrong part.

“And, most importantly, be absolutely satisfied the supplied part is correct before attempting to force-fit. 

“The other advice is use quality parts and oils, and only do repairs and servicing you are competent at doing.

“Mechanics have years of experience, access to manufacturer training, workshop special tools and technical data that most home DIYers don’t have.

“With experience, it’s better to spend more time researching and learning before taking on a new repair task. Then you will spend less time becoming frustrated with a job that goes from difficult to disastrous.” 

Steve says there is a lot of helpful advice online, but he also warns about owner forums and YouTube “how-to” videos.

Online DIY tips:

  • Be careful in where you source motoring advice. It is usually well-intended but not necessarily accurate;
  • Manufacturers, dealerships and local repairers are credible sources of advice, forums and social media less so;
  • Be extra careful about seeking or accepting  ‘legal advice’ such as for traffic infringements, crashes etc from forums and social media;
  • Just because a thought keeps appearing on blogs or social media, doesn’t mean it accurate. It could be that it’s just being repeated from one incorrect source; and
  • If you take advice from unreliable sources and causes damage to your bike or makes things worse, there’s not much chance of recourse. You wear the cost of incorrect advice.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

4 Most Dangerous Motorcycle Routes in The World

Contributed post (Image: Pamir Highway, Tajikistan)

Any two-wheeled journey needs to be treated with care. We all know the truism that statistically you are most likely to have an accident within a few miles of home. That said, some roads in the world need to be treated with much more respect than your mum on Mother’s Day. 

Below we are going to look at four of the most dangerous motorcycle routes in the world. Not the roads that are statistically most dangerous but the ones that that will reward you with life-changing views and experiences but could also lead to life-ending injuries should you get things slightly wrong.

The Canning Stock Route, Australia

Canning Stock Route dangerousCanning Stock Route

Stretching for 1,850 km from Wiluna to Hall’s Creek in the Kimberley Region, the Canning Stock route follows the historic trial of what was once the longest cattle driving route in the world. 

If you’re imaging cowboys driving cattle along dusty trails, then you have it exactly right. The Canning Stock route remains exactly that, only without the cattle or cowboys. It’s now just a dirt track through some of the most barren and unforgiving terrain Australia has to offer. 

Over two to three weeks of hard riding, the route passes through not one, but three, deserts, the Gibson, Little and Great Sandy. Don’t expect any roadside cafes on the way, the most you can hope for is that the century-old wells you need for survival won’t be dry when you arrive. 

With stretches without fuel as long as 665km this is not a route to tackle solo and not a route for the faint-hearted. It not only requires incredible bike-handling skills, but it also demands in-depth mechanical knowledge, a great deal of logistically nouse, a hell of a lot of mental fortitude and cojones, big ones.  

The Pamir Highway – Afghanistan, Tajikistan & Kyrgystan

Known officially as the M41, and colloquially as the “heroin highway”, the location of this road should be a bit of a giveaway as to why it’s so dangerous. Any road that weaves its merry way through Afghanistan and Tajikistan isn’t going to a walk in the park. And while kidnap, robbery and corrupt police and army officials are a big problem on the Pamir Highway, the biggest danger is the road itself.

The road has its roots in the millennia-old silk road that linked ancient China with Central Asia. It is the second-highest altitude international highway in the world, but calling it a “highway” probably gives it more credit than it’s due, for most of the route it is more pothole than road. 

This is definitely not one for beginner drivers, you guys have enough to worry about and these motorcycle safety tips can help you. 

Landslides, erosion, earthquakes and extreme cold are all factors any brave rider will have to contend with on the Pamir Highway. In return, however, motorcyclists are treated with some of the most mind-boggling vistas the world has to offer and the chances of meeting other tourists are almost zero.

North Yunguas Road, Bolivia 

Chances are you may know this road already or at least seen it on tv. It’s often referred to by the far catching and dramatic title of the “Bolivian Death Road”.

The North Yungas road connects the world’s highest capital city, La Paz (3,660 metres in altitude) with the low-lying Yungas region of the Amazonian Rainforest. The route itself is less than 70km long but by some estimates in its heyday it was claiming up to 300 lives a year. Eek! 

The road was build in the 1930s by Paraguayan prisoners of war and is a feat of spectacular engineering. The route, which at some points is only 3 metres wide, is cut into sheer rockface with drops of over 600metres into the rainforest below. If you suffer from even the slightest vertigo, this is one to avoid.

A newer, and thankfully safer highway was now been build that sees most of the regular Peruvian traffic but the Death Road is still open for any brave two-wheeled adventurer who wants to put their skills against one of the most notorious routes in the world. 

Manali-Leh Highway, IndiaRoyal Enfield Himalayan on test in the Himalayas

Open for just four months a year when the melted snow allows it, the Manali-Leh highway connects the historic capital of India’s Ladakh province with the state of Himachal Pradesh. Stretching for 490km the route can be tackled in as little as two or three days.

However, like the Pamir Highway, one of the unforeseen risks to many riders taking on the route to Leh is rapid changes in altitude. Going up and down too quickly when you are at an average altitude of 3,000 metres plus can lead to increased chances of altitude sickness. And feeling drowsy and struggling to breath whilst trying to drive a motorbike is no fun whatsoever. 

Road conditions vary from good to not so good, to very very not good. And getting a hang of the road surface is the ever-present danger of overloaded Indian buses and their less than orthodox driving style, which often involves overtaking on blind hairpin bends. 

Well, there you have it adrenaline fans, four of the most dangerous and rewarding motorcycle routes in the world. If you have conquered one of these roads then you can truly call yourself motorcycle adventurer. Enjoy and good luck!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

How to hibernate your bike during pandemic

If you haven’t already decided to self isolate, you may soon be forced off the road by government bans, so you should think about how to hibernate your bike for the months ahead.

Various sources are telling us the lockdown measures will be in place for anything up to six months!

In that time, your bike can deteriorate just sitting in the garage.

The tyres can go flat and out of shape, the fuel can spoil in the tank and the battery will run flat.

Riders in climates where they have to hibernate their bike during the winter will already know the drill.

But for the rest of us, it’s all new territory.

So, we have put together this guide to help you hibernate your bike safely.

At the end of the lockdown, click here to find out how to get your bike ready for riding again.

How to hibernate your bike

SERVICE

Even if you are a few thousand kilometres short of the next service, it is advisable to have your bike serviced before laying it up. Some bikes require an annual service, even if you haven’t done the required kilometres, and that service may fall due during the lockdown. As a minimum, you should think about changing the oil and filters. The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries advises that automotive brands and networks will remain open to provide sales and service support to customers.  In fact, TeamMoto stores and MCA stores at Penrith, Caringbah and Campbelltown are actually offering free pick-up and delivery when you get your bike serviced so you don’t even have to leave home isolation. (Restrictions on distance apply.)

BATTERY

If you don’t have one of the new-age lithium or anti-gravity batteries, you should put your motorcycle battery on a trickle charger. Others prefer to take the battery out and jump-start it later on. If you do, you will then need to ride the bike for at least half an hour on constant throttle to re-charge the battery.

FUEL

Don’t drain the fuel out. If moisture gets into a metal tank, it can cause corrosion. Instead, leave some fuel in the tank, but add fuel additives (often called preservatives or conditioner) such as Motorex’s Fuel Stabiliser. It can save you the heartache of the fuel degrading and blocking up the injectors or carburettor jets.

TYRES

Leaving your bike sitting in the one spot for several months can ruin your tyres. As they gradually lose pressure, the sidewalls distort where they touch the garage floor. If you leave them that way, it can cause permanent damage. First thing to do is pump your tyres up high and check them every few weeks. However, it is better of you put the bike on a centre stand or a paddock stand which will take most or all of the pressure off the tyres. We like the Dynamoto stand. If not, move it around every few weeks.

Dynamoto Motorcycle StandDynamoto motorcycle stands

RUST NEVER SLEEPS

Had to use that heading, courtesy of Neil Young! Corrosion can get into your bike over the damp winter months unless you keep it dry. Rather than using a bike rain cover, try an old sheet or blanket which is more likely to soak up moisture. Before covering your bike, give the metal parts a liberal spray with a corrosion inhibitor such as Scottoiler’s FS365 or WD40 which repels water. Try to store your bike in a warm and dry spot such as next to a hot water system.

RIDING GEAR

Don’t forget about your riding gear as well. Never put your riding gear away dirty. Give it a good clean and store it in a dry cupboard to prevent mould. Put your helmet in its helmet bag, perhaps with some naphthalene to repel moisture. Store your boots with some newspaper inside to soak up any moisture and prevent them collapsing and going out of shape.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

How to avoid hitting other riders

Two recent crashes involving riders running into each other have prompted us to investigate multi-motorcycle accidents and provide tips on how to avoid them.

In one recent accident, two riders and a pillion were injured when two motorcycles collided head-on (pictured above) and in the other, two riders travelling the same direction collided and one rider crashed and sadly died.

We publish these crash reports to remind riders of their vulnerability, make them aware of different types of crash scenarios and offer safety tips. Click here to find out more.

Multi-bike crashes rare

On a brighter note, multi-motorcycle crashes are actually very rare.

In fact, Queensland University of Technology road safety researcher and Triumph Street Triple rider Ross Blackman says that in Queensland they represent just 1% of all crashes and about 4% of motorcycle crashes.

Ross Blackman QUT road safety researcherRoss and his Street Triple RS

“Of course they’d be much more common in countries with high levels of motorcycle/scooter use,” he says.

“Same-direction collisions are obviously different from head-ons.

“In the former it seems to raise the question of whether they were travelling too close together.”

Same-direction crashes

This can lead to riders banging bars or running into the back of another bike they are following too closely.

Some ride groups enforce a staggered formation as they say it provides greater braking distance to avoid rear-enders while keeping the group together and not strung out.

However, it means a pack of riders are travelling closely together. So if one crashes, it could involve another.

Or in the case of a crash at Kyogle in northern NSW last October, one rider tragically died and three others were injured when a Kias Rio on the wrong side of the road ploughed into their pack. Police have still not charged the driver.

Car ploughed into riders monthKyogle crash aftermath (Image: Seven News)

Group riding tips

We have previously offered tips on group riding which you can find by clicking here.

One of the tips is to appoint a tail-end Charlie.

Myrtleford Police Sgt Paul Evans says a Harley-Davidson rider who recently plunged 20m off a cliff in the Victorian Alps only survived because the group had appointed a tail-end Charlie who noticed he was missing.

It still took them about 90 minutes to find him.

SES RescueSES rescues rider who plunged over cliff

How to avoid head-on crashes

How many times have you almost been taken out head-on by a rider cutting a corner or running wide out of a corner?

To avoid cutting a corner or running wide, you need to have a wide entry to the corner with a late apex. Click here for more details.

If all riders practise this, t will help avoid head-on crashes in corners.

Another dangerous riding behaviour that can lead to a head-on is dangerous overtaking.Overtaking overtake

Many riders sit too close to the vehicle in front, which obscures their vision of what’s ahead.

That makes it difficult for riders to see an approaching car, let alone a motorcycle which has a much smaller silhouette.

And riders shouldn’t assume that an approaching rider will simply move over and let them overtake a vehicle because motorcycles are narrower.

Remember, the approaching rider might not be able to see you if you are too close behind the vehicle you are about to overtake.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Top 10 reasons for riding solo

Any excuse is good enough for a ride – whether it’s with the pillion-in-a-million, a couple of friends, a dozen club members, a hundred shop riders, or a thousand toy runners – yet solo riding is our favourite.

And in these days of social distancing, it may be the preferred way to go.

There are many reason why we love riding solo.

But here are our top 10:

  1. Zen: It’s a good time for peace and meditation, away from the mindless chatter and banter of friends. Solo riding can be a cathartic experience where you “blow out the cobwebs”, cleanse the mind of the week’s built-up minutiae and think about nothing else but the manual task in hand – clutch, throttle, brake, steering.
  2. Peer pressure: There is none when you ride solo. You can choose your own pace. Go on, race that HSV Holden if you like, tag on to the back of a bunch of sports bikes or just wave them past and continue to ride at a relaxed pace. If you race and win, you can congratulate yourself. If you race and lose, then there’s no one judging you.

    Riding soloWave faster riders through

  3. No pressure: Apart from a lack of pressure to go racing, there is also no pressure to stay together in a pack which can put pressure on you to make some silly errors, radical passing manoeuvres or run “very amber” lights.
  4. Stop: Yes, you can actually stop to take a photo, absorb a view, go to the toilet or grab another cup of coffee without being berated by a friend for slowing down the herd.

    Riding solo CFMotoStop and go when you like

  5. Go: No need to wait around for one of your group to use the toilet, pay for their latte by American Express, have a cigarette or fix their “classic” bike. Just go when you are ready!
  6. Idiots: You probably don’t ride with idiots, but usually a group can have one person who isn’t as talented as the other riders or makes rash decisions. Riding solo removes this dangerous element from your ride.
  7. Change your mind: There is no set agenda. You are allowed to change your mind, destination and route as often as you want without causing anyone grief or upset.

    Riding soloTake a sidetrack

  8. Explore: Groups have a rigid route and arrival time, but riding solo allows you to explore side roads, go a different route to normal or even head up a dead-end just to see what’s there. And no one will mind!
  9. Bench racing: You can’t fool yourself, so there is no point in lying to yourself about your escapades. However, when you catch up with your friends on another ride, you can “embellish” all you like as there are no witnesses!

    Riding soloElectronic gadgets make solo adventuring possible

  10. Safety: Riding solo, especially on lonely country roads or trails is not very safe in the event of a crash or breakdown. However, these days there are mobile phones, distress beacons, GPS trackers and other electronic gadgets you can use to improve your safety, even if you are out of phone signal.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

How to Safely Transport Motorcycle During a Move

(Contributed post)

If you’re preparing for a long-distance move, something that you’ll want to consider is how you’re going to transport your motorcycle. A long-distance move is typically any move that is outside a 50 to 100-mile (80-160km) radius.

While any move is challenging, long-distance moves come with the additional challenge of not being able to easily get back and forth between your old home and your new home. This means you have to pack everything at once since you’re not likely to be able to go back and get it in a reasonable time.

One of the items you’ll need to think about is your motorcycle.

In a perfect world, you would be able to ride your bike to your new home! But, very likely, you’re going to find yourself in a situation where you either need to drive your car or take a plane.

So, what exactly are you supposed to do with your motorcycle? Is selling your only option available? The good news is that it is actually fairly easy to move a motorcycle!

Here are some possible solutions that will help you safely transport your bike.

Moving in a truck

If you have a large pickup truck with a flatbed, it is possible to safely secure your motorcycle on it. To do this, all you need to do is get the motorcycle onto the truck and secure it to the truck using tie-down straps. Make sure you use tie-down straps that are specifically meant for motorcycles. These straps can be purchased online or from your local motorcycle retailer.

If you’re traveling a long distance, you’ll also want to cover your motorcycle up with some sort of tarp. This can help prevent debris, such as pebbles or rock, from hitting and damaging your motorcycle.

If you’re planning on renting a pickup truck to move your motorcycle, make sure that the moving company will allow you to put a motorcycle on the truck. It is also important to note whether the truck can handle the weight of the bike.

Moving in a trailer

Another way to transport your bike is by renting some sort of enclosed trailer or some sort of utility trailer. Trailers are some of the safest ways to transport motorcycles long distances. This is because the trailer can be attached to your moving truck or to another vehicle. They also sit lower to the ground than flatbed trucks, which makes getting the motorcycle onto the trailer easier. 

No matter if you’re using an enclosed trailer or a utility trailer, you’ll want to use motorcycle tie-down straps to secure the bike to the trailer. If using a utility trailer, you should consider covering your motorcycle with a protective tarp.

Some moving companies may even have specific trailers that are meant just to transport motorcycles. If you’re working with a company for your move, ask them for their recommendations. You’re not the only one who has ever had to transport a motorcycle!

Using a transport serviceTransport puncture flat tyre GT10009

Another safe way to transport your motorcycle during a move is to hire a transport service. Some companies specialize in moving motorcycles.

Most companies will help you figure out a way to safely ship your motorcycle to your new home. Other companies may use trailers to tow your motorcycle. Another benefit of using a transport service is that most of them offer some sort of insurance. If your bike is damaged in the move, they’ll cover the costs.

These transport services are specially trained to transport motorcycles safely. Of course, you’ll still want to do your research before committing to one. Make sure to check several websites, get quotes, read reviews, and talk to representatives.

While using a transport service can be expensive, this is one of the best ways to transport your bike.

Move it on a jet ski trailer

If you’re in a pinch, you can also use jet ski trailers to transport motorcycles. Most jet ski trailers don’t have a supportive floor, so you’ll need to get creative and build a wooden floor for your motorcycle to rest on. This will allow you to strap your motorcycle down in a similar way that you would if using a traditional trailer.

You’ll also want to make sure the trailer itself can handle the weight of the bike. If the jet ski trailer is too lightweight, the weight of your bike could cause the trailer to bounce around too much.

You should really only consider a jet ski trailer as the last resource. However, if you really love jet skiing, you’ll at least be able to use it again in the future. Make sure to check out this ultimate jet ski accessory guide to learn about other jet ski accessories.

Getting bike on to truck or trailer

If you do decide to move forward with using a truck or trailer, you’re going to have to figure out a way to safely move the bike onto the bed.

Most trailers will already have some sort of ramp. Some ramps will allow you to wheel your motorcycle onto the trailer, while other ramps might lift the bike onto the bed.

Trucks are a little more challenging. You’ll want to make your own ramp out of wood to get the motorcycle onto the bed. Take your time when moving a motorcycle onto a truck. Of course, once you have the motorcycle on the truck or trailer, you’ll want to use the tie-down straps to safely secure the bike before moving the vehicle.

Final thoughts

If you’re planning a long-distance move, now is the time to start considering how you’re going to move your motorcycle.

If you feel comfortable transporting your motorcycle by yourself, consider whether or not your truck can handle the weight or if you would need to buy/rent a trailer.

If you’re not comfortable with transporting the motorcycle by yourself, look into a professional transport service. They will handle the logistics for you so that you can remain focused on other aspects of the move.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Riding motorcycles makes you happy

Riding a motorcycle not makes you so happy some women can even orgasm while riding.

With the Black Dog 1 Dayer rides for depression awareness on 15 March 2020 and International Day of Happiness on 20 March, psychologist and reborn rider Sharon Ledger suggests going for a ride to feel happy.

She says it’s all got to do with chemicals in the brain.

“There are more than 10,000 chemical reactions going on in the brain every second,” she says.

“The chemicals that make you feel happy – oxytocin, dopamine, endorphin and serotonin – are produced by the endocrine system.

“Not all of these chemicals are released at the same time and each has a different outcome.

“However, more of these chemicals are produced when we look forward to doing something we enjoy, we get up early, we go outside in the sunshine and fresh air, we challenge ourselves, we meditate, we concentrate on an activity that requires skill and generally do things that motivate us.

“That pretty much sounds like motorcycling to me,” she says.

Sharon Ledger - divorce - born - happySharon Ledger

Happy signals

“So when you get up early anticipating a good ride, already dopamine is starting to send happy signals to the brain.”

Different combinations of the chemicals come into play as you ride, she says.

“Add a bit of adrenalin and it’s like a happy cocktail for the brain.”

Sharon says an increase in serotonin can also reduce depression.

“You can increase your serotonin levels with fresh air, mild exercise and even morning sunlight, all of which you get on a ride.

“It won’t cure depression, but will help people cope.”

Riding can not only make men and women happy, but also make women feel sexy.

Sex on wheels

- powerHarley-Davidson Forty-Eight - power - happySex on wheels?

American dating service, BikerKiss, says Harleys, in particular, can even give women an orgasm!

The Southern California online dating service asked about 3000 members (1900 men and 1100 women) “is Harley your favourite motorcycle brand” and 31% of women said yes, compared with 19% men.

The most common answer to the question was that Harley motorcycles are “gorgeous and expensive”. One dating club member said: ”I love it when I am on a Harley. It gives you all the attention you want.” Another said: “it’s not about being pretentious or anything, or like I’m doing it out of vanity. I just love it deep down.”

But here’s the thing that Harley-Davidson and makers of big-twin motorcycles will love the most: some women are able to orgasm while riding a bike with a big twin-cylinder engine because of the bike and seat vibrations.

Could you be any happier?

Black Dog Ride 1 DayerSunshine Coast Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer

The annual Black Dog Ride’s iconic annual 1 Dayer on 15 March aims to start a national conversation about depression and suicide prevention.

Click here to register for one of the 38 rides in all states and territories.

Black Dog Ride claim one in five Australians experience a mental health condition each year; three million Australians live with depression or anxiety and eight Australians take their lives each day.

The ride aims to build a community culture of awareness, inclusion, acceptance and breaking down the barrier of silence around mental illness.

If you are experiencing mental issues, we suggest going for a ride, joining the Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer, or calling Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, or Lifeline Australia on 131114.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

What motorcycle suits women best?

I’ve read several articles that advise what motorcycle suits women best, but they all reach different conclusions.

Really, the best bike for a woman is … every bike!

Women come in different shapes and sizes with different interests in racing, adventuring, off-roading, commuting, cruising, etc.

So why should women be restricted to one type or model of bike? 

Several motorcycle brands have tried to make bikes suit female riders, which is an admirable sentiment.

Harley-Davidson has been addressing perceived issues such as seat height, bar grip diameter and weight.

And BMW Motorrad embarrassingly built the lightweight, low-powered, low-seat F 650 Scarver which came in “feminine” colours such as “gold orange” and “azure blue”.

BMW Scarver suits women?BMW Scarver in azure blue

It also had a “tank” compartment where women could put their purse!

It was a dismal failure and was deleted from the line-up.

Suits yourself

Seat height is one issue that women actually bring up themselves. But then, so do many men.

Having a low seat height is not necessarily a women-only issue.

In fact, the two biggest motorcycle markets in the world, China and India, have very short average heights.

China is 1694mm (5′ 6.7″) for males and 1586mm (5′ 2.5″) for females, while Indians are 1653mm (5′ 5″) for males and 1653mm (5′ 5″) for females.

It’s not as big an issue in Australia where the average height of an adult male is 1784mm (5’10.2″) and women are 1639mm (5’4.5″). American men are slight shorter (1782mms) and women are slightly taller (1641mm (5′ 4.6″).

Besides, there are several methods of riding a tall motorcycle safely and for picking up a heavy motorcycle if you happen to drop it.

What annoys women more is not necessarily a seat height that suits their stature, but the fact that low-seat options often cost extra.

Why?

Shouldn’t they be the choice of the rider at purchase and therefore part of the bike price?

It’s this sort of attitude, plus the very fact that manufacturers think women need special bikes that is probably preventing them from accessing potentially 50% of the market.

And with only 12% of Aussie riders being female and about 20% in the USA, they are missing out on a huge potential growth area.

For women, as for men, we recommend simply picking a bike that suits you and sets your heart racing!

Happy International Women’s Day next Sunday (8 March 2020) to all our female riders.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

World’s most Instagrammed road trips

Australia’s Great Ocean Road is the second-most Instagrammed road trip in the world behind the famous Route 66, according to new UK research.

Click4reg.co.uk collected 15 of the best-known roads and journeys around the world and analysed the number of hashtags for each road trip with #name and #name + road trip.

Route 66 and the GOR were the only road trips to have over a million tags.

Instagrammed road trips

Road Trip

Location

Tags

Route 66

USA

1,708,620

Great Ocean Road

Australia

1,291,178

Pacific Coast Highway

USA

325,917

Valley of Fire

USA

219,333

Ring Road

Iceland

154,230

Ruta 40

Argentina

108,666

North Coast 500

Scotland

88,315

Trollstigen

Norway

85,933

Cabot Trail

Canada

76,840

Death Road

Bolivia

44,587

Causeway Coastal Route

Northern Ireland

35,423

Romantic Road

Germany

28,369

Route 62

South Africa

28,234

Atlantic Road

Norway

28,008

Snake Pass

England

12,343

While these may be the most Instagrammed road trips, they are not necessarily the best motorcycle road trips.

For example, Route 66 really no longer exists and where it does it’s in disrepair. It is also largely flat and straight as it was designed so cars could travel from Chicago to LA without having to go over the Rocky Mountains.

While the Great Ocean Road is a wonderfully twisty road with spectacular ocean scenery, it has largely been ruined by reduced speed limits and heavy police patrols.

And then there are the international tourists who dawdle, drive on the wrong side of the road and stop in dangerous places to take photos.

Big Sur Harley-Davidson touring USA America california rules dead-end route InstagrammedBig Sur

I would prefer the Pacific Coast Highway or “Big Sur” from LA to San Francisco with its similarly spectacular views, smelly sea lions on the beach, smooth road surface, wide pavement for easy overtaking, twisty and challenging contour and light police presence – at least I’ve never seen a cop on that road in the three times I’ve done it.

Europe has been revealed as the continent with the most Instagrammable road trips, claiming seven of the top 15 within the list.

England’s Snake Pass was the lowest tagged road trip with just 12,343 hashtags.

Of course there are many other great road trip routes that could have been included, but may not be Instagrammable.

Hear the Road Tours Stelvio Pass InstagrammedStelvio Pass

For example, the Stelvio Pass from Italy to Switzerland is our favourite road of all. But stopping to take photos for Instagram is a bit difficult because it is so narrow.

What is your most Instagrammed route? Leave your comments below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com