Tag Archives: Uncategorized

Are white line bumps dangerous to riders?

In response to rider concerns about the safety of white line bumps, Transport for NSW conducted tests with a range of riders and found concerns may have been overstated.

The raised bumps of thermoplastic material in painted lines are called audio-tactile line-markings (ATML) and sometimes erroneously called ripple or rumble strips.

Roads and Maritime Services and Transport for NSW claim they alert motorists when they veer out of their lane, reducing fatalities and injuries from head-on and run-off crashes by 15-25%.

Rider concerns

Ripple strips on the Oxley highway bumpsRipple strips on the Oxley highway

In May 2018, riders and the Motorcycle Club of NSW raised concerns about ATLMs in the centre and side lines of two sections of the Oxley Highway, saying they were slippery, dangerous and “madness”.

“They are slippery, wet or dry and will make a motorcycle unstable at the slightest contact,” said a former council member.

Bumps tested

ATLM motorcycle bumps Safe System SolutionsLines being tested at Crashblab

In response, the Transport for NSW Centre for Road Safety invited motorcyclists to ride over ATLMs in a variety of conditions in a study observed by the Motorcycle Council of NSW and facilitated by independent consultant Safe System Solutions Pty Ltd.

The study began last year and involved a pre-test survey, practical session at the Crashlab in Huntingwood, NSW, and post-test survey and discussion.

Five motorcyclists with a range of riding experience rode over the bumps in straight lanes and on curves, in wet and dry conditions, while braking and accelerating at speeds up to 95km/h. First-aid officers were on site.

Each rider was asked about their perception of safety of ATLM before a practical session riding on ATLM at Crashlab, and then again after the practical session.

After the practical session, all of the participating motorcyclists reported higher confidence in riding over the strips.

Their perception of the safety of the strips on a scale of one to 10 went from 6.75 in the dry to 8.6 and from 5.45 in the wet to 7.60.

Be wary

Aussie knowhow helps Thai riders stay safe Safe System Solutions Pty Ltd learn learner novice training licensed licensingDr Tana Tan

Safe System Solutions Research and Evaluations Lead, Dr Tana Tan says riders should still be wary of the road bumps.

“Riders who understand that ATLMs are not as detrimental to a motorcycle’s stability and handling as first thought are still likely to be aware of the presence of ATLMs but perhaps not be as concerned about them as before,” says the Honda VTR1000 rider.

“I would still encourage riders to not ride over them on purpose and treat them as they would any other line marking.”

Ongoing testingATLM motorcycle bumps Safe System Solutions

Centre for Road Safety executive director Bernard Carlon says they will continue to “work closely with peak motorcycling groups” and monitor locations where ATLMs are installed.

“The marking is particularly effective in managing driver fatigue, one of the leading causes of road crashes in NSW,” he says.

As we continue to monitor the locations where ATLM has been installed, all road users, including motorcyclists, can benefit from the marked improvement in safety they offer.”

The requirements for materials of ATLM are provided in the Roads and Maritime QA Specification R145 Pavement Marking (Performance Based)

The performance requirements in R145 are for dry and wet retro-reflectivity, skid resistance, colour, colour change, luminance factor and degree of wear.

Have you experienced any issues with these line bumps on your motorcycle? Leave your comments below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ducati Superleggera V4 is super sexy

We already knew the Ducati Superleggera v4 would be super light and super powerful and now we can see it’s super sexy and super exclusive!

The 159kW (214hp) Superleggera V4, unveiled overnight, is wrapped in exposed carbon-fibre and other exotic materials with a Desmosedici GP19-inspired livery.

It will be limited to 500 exclusive units with no price tag yet announced.  But as they say, if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it.

Super exclusive Superleggera V4Ducati Superleggera V4

Ducati expects this bike will be shipped around the world by its cashed-up buyers to be ridden on some of the world’s most famous tracks.

There they will be able to monitor lap times via the exclusive lap timer that records finish line and split times for five circuits: Laguna Seca, Mugello, Jerez, Sepang and Losail.

These can be recalled at the start of each track day without having to repeat the set-up procedure.

Buyers of the Superleggera V4 will also get to ride exclusive Ducati race bikes: the WSB Panigale V4 on the Mugello test track and the Desmosedici GP20 used by Dovizioso and Petrucci, with the close support of the Ducati Corse technicians.Ducati Superleggera V4

As you would expect, there is a host of exclusive details from a solid aluminium radiator cap to a dedicated ignition key with an aluminium insert showing the bike number.

The bike ID number (XXX/500), which matches the VIN, is displayed on the frame, fork yoke and ignition key.

Ducati has not made pricing and full tech pecs publicly available.

However, select Ducati VIPs (that’s those who’ve previously bought their exclusive bikes) have received a e-mail signed by CEO Claudio Domenicali  which has a link to an exclusive page with these details.

Ducati says deliveries will start in June 2020 in Europe at a limited rate of only five bikes a day with all bikes produced this year.

Superleggera customers can also buy an exclusive Superleggera V4 Dainese leather suit with integrated air-bag and an Arai carbon fibre helmet in the bike’s colours and graphics.

Presumably they’re the ones in the photos.Ducati Superleggera V4

Super light

The Superleggera V4 is the world’s only street-legal motorcycle with the entire load-bearing structure of the chassis (frame, subframe, swingarm and wheels) made from composite material.

Ducati Superleggera V4

That helps it achieve a dry weight of just 159kg which is 16kg less than the Panigale V4, resulting in a record power-to-weight ratio of 1.41hp/kg.

But wait, there’s more … or less!

In track kit, power is increased to 175kW (234hp) and weight drops to 152.2kg, raising the power-to-weight ratio to 1.54hp/kg.

Apart from their GP models, this is the most powerful motorcycle ever produced by the Bologna manufacturer.

Ducati says their official tester, Alessandro Valia, took the bike, fitted with the racing kit and slick tires, around the Mugello circuit in 1:52:45.

That’s less than two seconds from the lap time of the Panigale V4 R SBK, winner of the 2019 Italian Motorspeed Championship (CIV) with Michele Pirro.

Ducati claims the lightweight components have been “100% tested using the most sophisticated techniques borrowed from the aerospace industry, such as thermography, ultrasound inspections and tomography”.

The chassis dimensions have been modified for optimised track use by increasing the length of the swingarm.

“The overall result is unparalleled deceleration power, faster leaning down into corners and sharper lines riding out of bends,” Ducati says in its official press release.

They also claim the carbon fibre fairing with biplane winglets has greater aerodynamic efficiency than the current MotoGP bikes.

Superleggera V4 provides downforce of 50kg at 270km/h, 20kg more than on the Panigale V4 MY20 and V4 R.

Super powerfulDucati Superleggera V4

The 998cc  90° Desmosedici Stradale R engine is also lighter and more powerful.

It weighs in at 2.8kg less than the 1103cc V4 and when fitted with the road-legal Akrapovič exhaust produces 167kW (224hp) while the track-only titanium Akrapovič exhaust lifts in the track kit lifts that to 175kW.

The track kit is included in the purchase price.

There is also a dry clutch and an individual manual adjustment of the Desmodromic timing system.

In this mode, riders will see an instrument display similar to that used on the Desmosedici GP20.Ducati Superleggera V4

The Superleggera V4 display was designed with input from Andrea Dovizioso.

Electronic controls are designed for racing nature of this motorcycle with the latest traction controls, up/down quickshifter three reprogrammed riding modes (Race A, Race B and Sport).

For the first time there are five extra modes that can be personalised with the rider’s preferred settings.

Other exclusive items include a lighter Öhlins suspension system, with a pressurised fork and lighter machined aluminium fork bottoms, a titanium shock absorber spring and GP-derived valves for improved damping on road bumps in the initial compression stage.

Brembo supplies the brakes, with an MCS calliper featuring a remotely adjusted lever gap and Stylema R callipers for greater front-brake stroke consistency in long track runs.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Winter Motorbike Maintenance – The How-To Guide

(Contributed Post for our Northern hemisphere readers)

There is no way to sugarcoat it – winter can be very tough on your motorbike. This does not mean, however, that you can’t get it out for a ride every once in a while. That, of course, with the right maintenance, to make sure your bike can stand any challenge that winter may throw its way.

Depending on how though winter gets in your area, you can either park your bike away and protect it from the cold, or if you want to still enjoy a good ride from time to time, ensure you are keeping your bike in prime condition.

No matter if you decide to keep using your bike for the winter, or store it away until Spring is approaching, this article is meant to help you take proper care of your ride, to ensure winter will come and go in a breeze. 

Consider storing it away

Many bikers decide to store their bike away during winter, either because the roads become sort of dangerous when they get all snowy and frozen, or because they don’t want the shine to wear off. If you chose to park your bike away until the weather gets brighter, do keep in mind that there are some things you need to take care of before.

First of all, you need a good place to store it. You definitely don’t want kids or someone else in the family knocking it over or turning it into a storage shelve. If you have a big garage, then you can safely store it away there and put some protective sheets over it, or even build a cover. If you don’t have a garage, you need to find a good parking spot. A good option would be to rent a spot in covered parking. Just like this San Francisco monthly parking service, you can find such options in almost every city.

Once you decided on a place, you need to prepare your ride for the long hiatus. Make sure you plug and cover your pipes, to protect them from corrosion during winter. By spraying a little light oil into the pipe ends and covering them with some plastic bags, you should be able to keep moisture from getting in and give yourself some peace of mind.

If you, do however, decide you want to keep using your motorbike during the winter season, here’s what you need to do:

Check battery health

When the temperature starts to drop, there will be even more strain put on your battery life. Cold starts, lights turned on more often, bar warmers, they all drain your battery life more than they did before. Make sure to periodically check the power, to avoid unfortunate situations, such as being left with 0 life in your battery in the middle of nowhere.

A healthy battery such be above 12.6 v, but cold temperatures can make it drop significantly lower. Especially before a long ride, make sure to charge your battery and check the voltage periodically, to ensure you can enjoy a risk-free ride. Also, if you find your battery draining way too fast, you may want to consider replacing it before you take the bike for another ride.

Check tires before every ride

Tires tend to lose pressure from time to time, especially during the winter, when the air inside gets cold. If you didn’t already, you should get into the habit of checking your tires before every ride, to ensure there is no damage from previous rides, as well as to verify that the pressure is optimal.

Also, you need to make sure you change your tires with winter-ready ones when roads start to get icy so that you don’t encounter grip problems. On snowy or icy roads, summer tires may be too slippery or prevent you from breaking on time. Changing your tires will ensure you don’t run the chance of accidents.

Use a good antifreeze

Liquid-cooled machines need water in their radiator to keep it cool, but we all know what happens with water in cold temperatures – it freezes. This is why you also need to add anti-freeze to the cooling system, to ensure the radiator does not overheat, but to also avoid frozen water in your pipes.

Ideally, you need to use antifreeze or coolant that has a low freezing point, usually down to -68 °F, so you don’t risk it freezing if the motorbike is parked outside. Also, make sure to check the antifreeze level periodically, to ensure it does not go beyond the lower limit.

Don’t forget lubrication

During the winter, ice on the roads is usually melted with salt. The combination of water and salt can get to the chains and make them rusty. This is why you need to make sure you clean and lubricate the chains periodically, to prevent salt or dirt from accumulating and damaging them.

Other moving parts, such as the controls (brake, pedals, and throttle) can also get damaged from ice or salt, so make sure to lubricate them as well.

What’s more, you should also consider changing the engine oil, as it can get dirty over time, which again, creates the perfect environment for corrosion.

Protect from corrosion

Over time, but especially during winter, the metal on your bike tends to accumulate moist. The problem with moist is that it creates the perfect environment for corrosion to damage your motorbike when you least expect it. Washing, drying and waxing your bike periodically will protect it from damage and ensure it keeps its shine even in freezing temperatures.

You can also apply anti-rust spray to the areas you consider vulnerable, to protect them. For better protection, make sure you apply it regularly, after cleaning your bike, so you don’t seal in the dirt.

Also, keep in mind that corrosion can happen if your bike is stored away as well, you remember to take it out for a cleaning session from time to time.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Are helmet attachments now legal?

More riders can now wear helmet cameras and bluetooth intercom attachments and fit tinted visors after South Australia joined the ACT in formal acknowledgement of 2015 changes to the Australian Road Rules (ARR).

That leaves Victoria as the only state where police have an issue with these attachments, although we have not heard of any recent fines.

It has never been an issue in Western Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory or Queensland where a former Police Minister actually encouraged helmet camera use for evidential reasons.

Australian Motorcycle Council Protective Clothing sub-committee chair Brian Wood says their advice from the NSW Centre for Road Safety is that cameras and communication devices are legal provided the helmet manufacturer approves their use.

“I’m not aware of anyone in NSW being booked for having a camera or communication device on their helmet for a couple of years,” Brian says.

Attachments legal

South Australian Ride to Review spokesman Tim Kelly says the state accepted their submission to accept the ARR.

Hew says it means the requirements for adherence to a helmet standard “become point-of-sale only”.

“This means helmet attachments will become legal, tinted visors will become legal and MX sun visors will become legal,” he says.

The only amendment to the ARR was the inclusion of a reference to a helmet being in good repair and proper working order and condition.

Rider warned

Confusion grows on on helmet attachments jail cameras
Eric Aria (Photo courtesy Channel 7)

In 2017, Adelaide rider Erica Aria went to the Sturt Police Station to submit video of drivers cutting him off in traffic but instead received an official warning for an “illegal helmet camera”.

The police said he could cop a $450 fine if he was caught again with the camera.

Eric has now welcomed the changes to the state rules.

“At least now people know if they can legally wear them or not and there’ll be no double standards with police wearing them and not the riders who genuinely need the camera for safety and insurance reasons,” he says.

Safety testing

Brian says the NSW Centre for Road Safety did some “oblique impact testing” at Crashlab several years ago on the effect of helmet attachments.

It has been suggested that they can rotate the rider’s head in a crash, causing neck injuries.

However, the Centre’s report on this testing is yet to be released.

“It should eventually be released, we just don’t know when,” Brian says.

The Centre told us they had completed three sets of tests on attachments fitted to motorcycle helmets:

The final series of tests were completed earlier this year.  The results and recommendations from the tests are currently been reviewed and a report is expected to be published in 2020.

Brian points out that in the ACT it is legal to have a camera or communication device on a helmet provided that the mount is ‘frangible’ which means it easily breaks off in a crash.

“What constitutes a frangible mount is not defined,” Brian says.

“Hopefully, the CfRS report will give guidance on this. 

The NSW Police wear cameras and communication devices on their helmets.

“I believe they have done their own oblique impact testing at Crashlab. They use a 3M product called Dual Lock. 

I believe Dual Lock was part of the CfRS testing. However, there are several versions of Dual Lock. I don’t know which one or ones have been tested.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Guy Martin attempts Great Escape jump

Former TT racer and all-round larrikin daredevil Guy Martin will attempt the failed Steve McQueen jump from the 1963 film, The Great Escape.

His attempt will be aired on the UK’s Channel 4 at 9pm next Sunday (8 December 2019).

He won’t be doing it on a Triumph TR6 like in the original movie stunt, but on a new Triumph Scrambler 1200.

Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE jump
MBW Practises his own escape!

Jump mystery

The movie stunt, which is one of the most famous in movie history, remains a bit of a mystery.

We know it was not done by McQueen – not because he couldn’t do it, but because the filmmaker’s insurance company wouldn’t let him.

Many believe it was done by his friend and bike fettler Bud Ekins who died earlier this year and has been honoured with special edition T100 and T120 models.

However, there remains some doubt.

Several endurance riders who were competing nearby at the European motocross championship were invited by McQueen to visit the filming.

Tim Gibbes The Great Escape Triumph TR6 Steve McQueen
Tim Gibbes

They included Australian Tim Gibbes and another unnamed Aussie rider who had a go while the cameras were rolling, so it is not clear which take was used.

Some home movies of the filming shot by Tim have recently been unearthed.

Guy’s jump

Guy will jump a reconstructed Nazi wire fence to simulate the leap to freedom in Switzerland.

In the film, McQueen jumps the first 5ft (152cm) fence, but fails to clear the 8ft fence (244cm).

Steve McQueen in The Great Escape
Steve McQueen in The Great Escape

That’s why Guy has chosen the much more powerful and better suspended Scrambler.

Even the stock the suspension has been bolstered for the attempt.

Obviously most modern MX bikes could easily do the jump, but after all, this is showbiz!

And Triumph has done its best to exploit this particular moment in cinematic moment for many years.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MV Agusta rush out Rush 1000

The MV Agusta Rush 1000 has been unveiled just days after the company revealed their 2020 range led by the sexy new Superveloce 800 and the return of the Brutale 1000RR.

But don’t get too excited. The Rush 1000 is basically a limited-edition version of the Brutale 1000 RR, so expect it to cost an arm and a leg.

MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR model
MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR

To us, it’s an exercise in over-styling. Too much is simply too much.

MV has simply thrown every bit of carbon, titanium and CNC machining at it that they have in their arsenal.

At its core, the Rush 1000 is a Brutal RR which has 208hp output from the four-cylinder engine.

MV Agusta Rush 1000
MV Agusta Rush 1000

We can’t afford a Rush 1000 and we don’t even want one, but it’s interesting to look at.

MV Agusta Rush 1000 tech specs

Engine 16-valve 998cc 4-cylinder
Bore x stroke 79 x 50.9mm
Compression 13.4:1
Power 153kW (208hp) @ 13,000rpm
Torque 116.5Nm @ 11,000rpm
Transmission 6-speed, cassette style
Wheelbase 1415mm
Length 2080mm
Width 805mm
Seat 845mm
Clearance 141mm
Fuel 16.1L tank
Suspension (front) electronic adjustable USD Öhlins Nix EC
Suspension (rear) Öhlins EC TTX shock
Brakes (front) 320mm discs, Brembo radial calliper
Brakes (rear) 260mm disc, Brembo radial calliper
Wheels 3.50” x 17”; 6” x 17.6” alloys
Tyres 120/70 – ZR17; 200/55 – ZR17
Economy 6.7L/100km
Emissions 153g/km

When the Italian company unveiled its 2020 model range over the weekend, they also promised to improve their sadly lacking delivery of spare parts.

Here is the rest of the 2020 MV fleet.

Superveloce 800

MV Agusta Superveloce model
Superveloce 800 in red

Their solo-seat Superveloce is not a new platform, but based on the F3.

It will come in two models: the Superveloce 800 in red or white and a limited-edition Serie Oro (gold series) with delivery of the first 300 units expected in March 2020.

MV Agusta Superveloce
Superveloce 800 in white

The 798cc triple in both delivers 108kW of power and 88Nm of torque and they have the same Marzocchi forks, Sachs rear shock and Brembo brakes.

However, the Oro has different paint, serial numbers and lots of carbon fibre and CNC parts.

MV Agusta Superveloce Serie Oro model
Superveloce Serie Oro

It’s been years since the Italian company has released an all-new model while it has struggled with financial difficulties.  Earlier this month, new Russian boss Timur Sardarov promised new “premium and medium-capacity” bikes under a new five-year plan.

Superveloce 800 Serie Oro will be available in Australia for $49,990 ride away and $54,990 in New Zealand. There is no word yet on the Superveloce 800 price.

Overnight, the company released a short press release, tech specs and a lot of very attractive model photos.

There was no mention of the long-term deal signed in July 2019 with Chinese industrial giant Loncin Motor to build a four-model “all-new family of MV Agusta products in the 350-500cc displacement”.

Unedited official 2020 model press release:

Quality, technology, performance. But also quick delivery of spare parts and professional service. There’s more: expansion and improvement of the dealers network to offer clients timely, impeccable assistance. These are the short-term guidelines for MV Agusta, which has just set off on a growth path clearly envisioned by its CEO, Timur Sardarov.

Brutale 1000RR

MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR
Brutale 1000 RR

To mark the company’s determination in pursuing the 2020 objectives, production of the Brutale 1000 RR, the four-cylinder naked Superbike replica, has started in Schiranna. 208hp maximum power, advanced chassis and suspension as well as leading-edge aerodynamic solutions all make the four-cylinder Brutale a defining example of MV Agusta’s excellence in motorcycle manufacturing. As core priorities of the brand,  these values are reinforced today by the attention and the investments in Research and Development.

Superveloce 800

MV Agusta Superveloce
Superveloce

From the production line to dealers showrooms: Superveloce 800 Serie Oro and Superveloce 800 bring MV Agusta’s timeless fascination to the roads, with their intoxicating curves, classic and contemporary at the same time. The engine and the chassis are the pinnacle of engineering that position the Superveloce 800 among the most fascinating and dynamic sports bikes on the scene.

Brutale and Dragster

MV Agusta Dragster 800 RR model
Dragster 800 RR SCS

Beauty and functionality, exciting and confidence-inspiring riding:  Dragster 800 RR SCS and Brutale 800 RR SCS both feature the revolutionary SCS 2.0 (Smart Clutch System) for clutch-free starts and stopping. A technical innovation that allows to stop and restart without touching the clutch lever, making the most out of the in-line three-cylinder engine mated to a counter-rotating crankshaft. All of this with only 36g weight increase compared to a traditional clutch.

MV Agusta Dragster 800 RR
Dragster 800 RR SCS

The magic and technology of MV Agusta, at a competitive price. Thanks to the rationalisation of the production process and to efficiencies gained in the engineering phase, MV Agusta proudly presents its new Rosso Range, made up of Brutale 800, Dragster 800 and Turismo Veloce 800. The Rosso Range models stand out for their bright red livery and their comprehensive outfitting, despite a price tag that is lower than that of the models they derive from.

Vision, futuristic technology, and the pursuit of a dream: these are the values behind the creation of a new Concept Bike that will be revealed at EICMA as world premiere and which production is due to start in the coming months. The irreverent spirit of American drag races was the inspiration for a project that elevates the performance of the bike it derives from in the most daring of interpretations.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Fatal crash highlights group riding risk

The death of a 61-year-old West Rockhampton man in a crash involving four motorcycles on the Moonie Highway yesterday highlights the risks of riding in a group.

Several riders were travelling west on the highway, about 20km west of Westmar, when one motorcycle collided with two others around 1.30pm.

Queensland Police says their preliminary investigations indicate a fourth motorcycle, which was also travelling with the group, crashed as the rider attempted to avoid the initial crash.

The West Rockhampton man was transported to St George Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

A 50-year-old woman and a 69-year-old man were also transported to St George Hospital where they remain in a serious condition.

Our sincere condolences to families and friends and our best wishes for a full and fast recovery for the two injured riders.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

Quote this reference number: QP1901726246

Group riding risks

The incident is similar to a group riding crash in July in the Lockyer Valley west of Brisbane.

Police said one rider ran into a vehicle while overtaking another and the four other motorcycles crashed while taking evasive action.

Click here for tips on safe overtaking in a motorcycle group.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Higher speeding fines for the rich?

Is it time for Australia’s speeding fine system to be overhauled so the rich don’t get away with comparatively light fines while working Aussie motorists pay among the highest fines in the world?

According to British website GoCompare, Australians rank sixth in the world with the highest fines and 10th in relation to their average wage.

Ours is supposed to be an egalitarian and fair society, but how can it be fair for a motorist on a low wage to pay the same fine as a millionaire?

The average Aussie speeding fine for 21km/h over the limit is $401. South Australia leads with $771 fine, followed by NSW ($472), Queensland ($435), Western Australia ($400), Victoria ($332) and Tasmania ($163).

Top 10 fines for speeding 20km/h+

  1. Norway $1028
  2. Iceland $750
  3. Estonia $626
  4. United Kingdom $595
  5. Sweden $412
  6. Australia $401
  7. Switzerland $362
  8. Israel $282
  9. Netherlands $278
  10. Canada $275

Rich cop higher fines cops speed speeding radar fast speed camera licence rich

Several countries, such as Britain, Finland and Switzerland, have a system where speeding fines are linked to their wages.

The UK has just introduced a system where fines for excessive speeding have increased to 150% of their weekly income. It is capped at £1000 ($A1770), or £2500 ($A4435) if caught on a motorway.

After all, a rich pro footballer, celebrity or wealthy aristocrat would not be deterred by the average UK speeding fine of £188 ($A333).

Meanwhile, the UK has retained their minimum speeding fine of £100 ($A177) and motorists can chose to reduce that further by attending a speed awareness course.

Switzerland and Finland are much tougher on their rich speeders.

Finland uses a “day fine” system of half the offender’s daily disposable income with the percentage increasing according to their speed over the limit.

In 2002, former Nokia director Anssi Vanjoki copped a $A190,000 fine for riding his motorcycle 75km/h in a 50km/h zone.

But that’s not the world record speeding fine which was handed out in Switzerland in 2010 to a Swedish motorist caught driving at 290km/h.

He was fined 3600 Swiss francs per day for 300 days which worked out to almost $A1.5m.

Click here for our tips on riding in Europe.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Speed enforcement causes herd mentality

Years of rigid speed enforcement have created a herd mentality that could be just as dangerous as having high-speed lunatics in our midst.

Over the past 20 years, traffic in our nation has been beaten into submission by the heavy handed use of speed cameras and police patrols.

The road safety rhetoric has changed from the dangers of hooning to the dangers of even being 1km/h over the limit.

The latest Queensland Transport road safety campaign is about driving “smarter” not faster.

It says that “half of all speeding crashes happen at just 1 to 10km/h over the limit”.

Of course most accidents happen at that speed, because most people now drive within 10km/h of the speed limit!

Herd mentalityHow to ride safely in heavy traffic lane filtering herd

With everyone driving within 10km/h of each other, it takes vehicles ages to pass slower traffic.

We also have a breed of arrogant motorists who think it is ok to hog the right lane because they are doing the maximum legal speed.

Consequently, our highways and major multi-lane roads have a constant herd of motorists travelling in all lanes at roughly the same, legal speed.

But has it created an even and orderly flow of traffic that delivers motorists safely to their destination?

No.

The road toll is still too high, traffic snarls are getting worse while road rage and motorist frustration levels are through the roof (if you have one!).

Riders at most danger

How to ride safely in heavy traffic lane filtering peeved commuters lip automatic brakes
Brisbane traffic

While motorcyclists can now avoid some of the snarls and frustration by legally lane filtering, they are also the most vulnerable vehicles in this deadly mix.

Hemmed in by motorists who won’t move over, motorcyclists are in danger of becoming invisible in the traffic.

Clearly the continuing road safety strategy of greater adherence to strict speed limits and frequently changing speed zones is not working.

These strategies only serve to force us to gaze at our speedos instead of the road which means drivers can easily miss a motorcyclist darting through the traffic.

Lane discipline

One effective safety strategy is more lane discipline on multi-lanes roads as practised in Europe.

Why don’t police patrol for drivers illegally hogging the right lane?

And why aren’t trucks (vans, caravans, etc) restricted to the “slow” lane as they do in Europe?

The answer: Because it is easier to deploy speed cameras which generate millions in revenue.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

How to Find the Best Motorcycle For You

(Sponsored post for our North American readers)

Buying a motorbike is an investment, so you want to get the best motorcycle for you!

“On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair…” The Eagles knew what they were talking about.

Motorcycles are a symbol of freedom, of masculinity, and of dreams coming true.

The US Motorcycle Industry Council (or MIC) says that households owning motorcycles rose from 6.94% in 2014 to a record of 8.02% in 2018, which is an increase of more than 1.5 million homes.

Buying a motorbike is an investment, so you want to get the best motorcycle for you! Keep reading to see how!

Your First Step to Being a Motorcycle Owner

Before you can think about which motorcycle you’ll soon be straddling, riding down the highway with the wind in your hair, you need to focus on a few other important things.

You need to learn how to ride. Now assuming you’re not a seasoned rider, this may sound obvious but it’s true. Consider taking a few lessons if you’ve never truly been behind the handlebars of the beast.

Second, do some homework on your safety gear. Consider taking a motorcycle safety course. And then prioritize buying the right gear. You’ll need:

  • Helmet
  • Motorcycle jacket
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Pants or chaps
  • Boots
  • Safety Vest

Depending on the type of motorcycle you purchase, you might also want to add elbow and knee guards, a chest armor plate and a few other odds and ends. Your motorcycle salesman will be able to help you with additional pieces of safety gear should you need them.

Narrow Down Your List

You’re ready now to tackle the overwhelming task of finding a motorcycle that both fits your needs and that you will treasure for years to come. Choosing a type of motorcycle will mean the difference in speed, power, weight and your ability to ride that model.

There are various types of motorcycles in the market, these can be narrowed down and briefly described as follows:

Cruisers 

2018 Harley-Davidson Softail Breakout pace
Harley Breakout is a top cruiser

Cruisers are built for comfort. They’re the motorcycles you most often see where riders look stretched out and relaxed while they ‘cruise’ past you on the highway.

Cruisers are generally lower to the ground, making it easier for new riders to handle.

Sport Models California Superbike School BMW K 1200 S track day - simple

Sport bikes are built almost purely for one purpose: speed. They’re made to go fast and they’re made to handle the road well.

They tend to be higher off the ground.

Standard Bikes 

Kawasaki Z900RS worth every cent cafe motorcycle seat - crosby
Kawasaki Z900RS

These are bikes that are created as replicas of what motorcycles were before they got all fancy and modernized. They’re commonly referred to as ‘naked’.

They offer comfortable positions for the rider.

Adventure Bikes action photos

Adventure motorcycles are made for longer trips and are generally bigger and higher off the ground than other types of motorcycles. They’re built with off-road and on-road capabilities.

You Have to Shop Around

Looking at motorcycle catalogs, directories and images can have you sitting on the internet for days on end. The colors, types, models, engine sizes, capabilities can be sincerely overwhelming.

The best motorcycle shopping tip: you have to sit on it.

Yes.

Motorcycle seat heights differ drastically from brand to brand and make to model.

You may overestimate the reach of your legs, or how high you would be able to stand while still holding a motorcycle up right when you need to stop at a red light or park your bike.

Sit on them, feel them out, you should have a good idea of what you’re comfortable with by the end of it.

Best Motorcycle

Each type of motorcycle has the best in its categories.

The best beginner motorcycle you can get is one you’re not afraid to drop, as a beginner you’re likely to do so. Consider a used bike as your first beginner motorcycle. Browse the dealerships for the best deal, such as this Ford dealership.

The best touring motorcycle would obviously be for a more seasoned, experienced rider. This type of rider will most likely already have a brand preference and know their limitations. If a touring motorcycle is what you’re after, there are also great used options out there.

The Ultimate Motorcycle Shopping Tips

Set a Budget

No matter whether you’re searching for a vehicle or a motorcycle, having a budget is paramount. A salesman will generally sell to his customer what he thinks his customer wants at whatever price.

Give yourself a maximum budget. Include your safety gear and monthly insurance costs in this, you don’t want to get caught by surprise with unplanned costs.

Dealers Mean Peace of Mind

First-time buyers should definitely consider dealership purchases. Especially since you can possibly include a warranty package with the purchase of your motorcycle, which you won’t have through private purchase.

They will facilitate paperwork, applications and the entire sales process for you.

Ask Questions

Find out about all the usual things that add to the running cost of a motorcycle.

Ask what the fuel economy is on the model that you have your eye on. Ask what a tire might cost if it needs replacing. Ask about service costs.

Make sure you’re informed on the upkeep of the motorcycle.

A Confident Purchase 

Take your time to make a confident purchase. Don’t be rushed, don’t make a hasty decision to simply get your hands on the motorcycle you think is right for you. Especially without having looked into all your options.

If you take your time, do your homework and shop confidently, you’ll make a decision you’ll more likely be happier with for a long, long time.

As Easy As Riding a Bike … Or Buying One

If you’ve spent time researching, read the tips, made a list and saved some images. You’re halfway there.

Now, you need to go out and sit on a few seats, stretch out your legs and see how it feels. If you’ve found a motorcycle you like, see if you can find more information on it here.

Buying a motorcycle is mostly about being informed, but it can also be “love at first sit down”.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com