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Updated: 7 min 28 sec ago

Single-layer Saint denim jeans review

Sun, 05/02/2017 - 5:00pm

Australian company Saint has been instrumental in helping develop a single-layer denim to protect motorcycle riders from abrasion injuries.

Their “Unbreakable” range of riding jeans, jackets and gloves is made from a special blend of 34% cotton and 66% Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWP) that now meets CE standards for six seconds of abrasion resistance or the equivalent of up to 75m of sliding.

We have reported before on Saint Unbreakable jeans which cost $300 to $700, but were unable to provide a verdict.

So Saint of Melbourne asked us if we would like to review a pair of their top-of-the-line Unbreakable 6 jeans.

Lighter than most

The first thing I noticed was how light they felt.

Many pairs of the riding jeans I have in my cupboard feature up to three layers – denim, a protective layer (usually kevlar) and then a microfibre lining to protect your legs from the scratchiness of the protective layer.

These jeans are just one layer, so of course they are lighter.

Besides, UHMWP may be stronger than steel, but it also floats.

The saint black jeans arrived on one of the hottest, most humid and uncomfortable days of a Brisbane summer, so I was somewhat reluctant to put them on and go for a ride.

However, we Queenslanders are a bit stupid from all this heat, so put them on and headed out for a ride.

As soon as I slid my legs into the tapered jeans, I was surprised at how cool they felt. Not cool in a style way (although hipsters would argue that they are), but cool to the touch.

The material looks like regular denim on the outside. But thanks to the special counsel warp-beam weave (whatever that is), they look like white plastic inside.

Cool-feeling jeans

The interior also feels cool like plastic does even on a hot day.

I didn’t expect that feeling would last once I got out in the summer sun and started riding around in traffic, but I was amazed at how cool they stayed.

Sitting in the hot sun at the traffic lights, the black attracts the heat which makes your thighs warm, but the material is breathable, so you don’t get sweaty and clammy.

And more importantly, they never get prickly in the heat like most other riding jeans.

The hipster shape of thin lower legs, baggy thighs and saggy bottom might suit some people’s style, but not me.

However, it works on a motorcycle. The tight lower leg means they don’t flap around in the breeze and the baggy thigh and bum sections mean they don’t uncomfortably bulk up at your knee or hip joints.

That’s also thanks to the thin single layer material.

These really are riding jeans you can ride in all day without feeling uncomfortable and that is exactly what Saint sought.

Crash claims

As for their crash resistance, we cannot make any assessment without crashing in them and we have no intention of doing that.

However, they feel substantial and strong with double sticking throughout and triple-stretched “felled” seams.

Some critics claim the material has a low melting point and although it may not burst open on impact, it could melt on to your skin in a slide.

However, the melting point of UHMWP is quoted as around 130°C, which seems pretty high to us.

There is no provision inside for hip or knee CE protectors. That would ruin the fit and style of the jeans, I suppose, so you would have to weigh up your level of safety.

However, riders should feel confident about abrasion protection considering it is right throughout the jeans, not just in the most crash-prone areas as in some other brands.

Hipster cool! Stylin’ up

These slim-fit Saint Unbreakable jeans are designed to be worn with the cuffs rolled up – ‘50s rocker or millennial hipster style – which reveals a bright orange reflective material at the back of the ankles which is a nice safety feature to alert following traffic.

However, I kept mine rolled all the way down so there was plenty of length to cover my ankle motorcycle shoes.

The jeans come with five pockets like most jeans, including a coin pocket which is big enough to even get gloved fingers into.

Since the Saint jeans have arrived I haven’t worn anything else. It’s simply too hot to think about sliding my legs into any other riding jeans.

The post Single-layer Saint denim jeans review appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Ariels sold for German Kettenkrad bike

Sun, 05/02/2017 - 6:00am

A British motorcycle collector is selling his 30-year collection of 30 unrestored Ariels to fund his other passion for the German World War II Kettenkrad (pictured).

Clive Pearson, 68, wants to locate and restore a German Kettenkrad war motorcycle (pictured above) which he has restored in the past.

The motorbike has tank tracks and is surprisingly road legal as they have rubber treads in the metal track.

“In first gear they can pull down a house and in top gear they can do 50mph,” says Clive.

“Once I pulled a 13-ton beer truck out of the mud at a festival with my Kettenkrad after a Land Rover made no headway. We ended up having free beer all weekend.”

Clive will sell his Ariel collection, which includes parts, at several H&H Classics auctions this year, starting with one at Donington Park on February 22, 2017.

Unrestored Ariel collection

Mark Bryan of the H&H motorbike department says it is a unique collection.

“Ariel stopped producing four-stroke singles in 1959 in order to compete with the Japanese motorbike invasion and produced two stroke bikes, the Ariel 250 Leader and latterly the Arrow, Arrow Sport and Arrow 200,” Mark says.

“But the competition proved too stiff and they ceased trading in 1967.

“Ariel Motorcycles acquired an image and a level of respect that was perhaps greater than the number of bikes sold.

“But always robust and considered reliable for their time, they were well rated machines of the period, as they are even more so today given the level of collecting interest.” 

Clive says his passion for the Ariel started when, against his parents’ wishes, he bought one for £10 because he was so taken with its “futuristic look”.

His ambition was always to own an Ariel Supersport Golden Arrow which at the time cost £79 and ten shillings but his parents would not sub him.

Years later when his father was 90 he told Clive that having said no all those years ago he would now relent and buy one for him.

This bike is still Clive’s pride and joy and is not a part of the collection being sold.

A foundry pattern-maker by trade Clive’s knowledge of bike engines and structure is profound. He says that what he really loved about Ariels was their fantastic ability to corner, outperforming 650cc Triumphs easily round bends thanks to a leading link in the bike’s front fork which gave it its cornering ability.

After many years of collecting German WW2 machinery included the kettenkrads he returned to his first love and built up this wonderful collection of Ariels.

“I searched out those bikes that were going to be broken up for scrap and rebuilt them. My idea was to save them for posterity.”

The post Ariels sold for German Kettenkrad bike appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Far Cairn Rally postponed again

Sat, 04/02/2017 - 5:00pm

The 2016 Far Cairn Rally was washed out and postponed to March so organisers are keen for a good roll-up to raise money for the Motorcycle Accident Rehabilitation Initiative (MARI).

The ninth annual rally is organised by the BMW Touring Club of NSW which has so far raised about $30,000 for MARI.

The MARI program was established by St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney to support the long-term physical injuries, and social and emotional problems encountered by motorcycle crash victims.

Since then, the Dr Wings Bike Force was established to do the volunteer work of MARI (Riders Caring For Riders Programme) throughout Australian hospitals.

Postponed twice

Club president Alan Peters says the original Far Cairn Rally date was September 18 last year, but torrential rain forced its cancellation.

“So we postponed it to March 25 then got a call just before Christmas to say it clashed with the Tottenham Ag Fest, so we changed it again to the following week (March 31-April 2).

“So this year it will be in autumn instead of September so it should be warmer,” Alan says.

“I think we will still have another run in September.”

He confirms that entry is still valid for anyone who has already paid their $25 entry fee for the rally, and refunds are available for those who cannot make the new date.

The Far Cairn Rally is held at Tottenham Racecourse, about 120km north of Condobolin and 120km west of Dubbo.

Rally highlights

The highlight is a ride out to the Centre Cairn monument 33km out of town which marks the centre of NSW.

Alan says that although the rally is organised by the BMW Club of NSW, it is open to all motorcyclists who “enjoy a relaxed ride into country NSW”.

Tottenham is accessible by sealed roads, as well as dirt roads for adventure riders, from several directions.

There is limited accommodation available at the Tottenham Hotel, but plenty of camping at the racecourse about 3km from the town’s centre. It features a grassy paddock with hot showers and some under-cover space.

Riders meet at the pub on the Friday night and Saturday night includes video presentations, raffles and a bonfire.

Saturday night dinner and Sunday breakfast will be a barbecue cooked by the local Lions Club. Breakfast is included in the entry cost along with a rally badge.

To donate to M.A.R.I Australia Incorporated:

                   Account Number 1045 5574

                   BSB 062-318

                   Westfield Shoppingtown Tuggerah

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10 police tips for avoiding traffic offences

Sat, 04/02/2017 - 7:00am

There is no guaranteed method for avoiding traffic offences except not committing them.

However, you can use the following “expert” guide to lessen the impact, cop a lesser fine, prevent copping extra fines (such as being pulled over for speeding and ending up with vehicle defect notices as well) or, occasionally, get out of traffic offences.

These 10 tips for motorcycle riders are all gleaned from current and former police officers in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and USA as well as a psychologist who also works with the police.

They are based on the fact that all officers have discretion in handing out fines based on a number of factors. However, zero tolerance crackdowns are diminishing the patrol officer’s ability to make judgments for the good of the community.

1 Breathe. Your pulse will now be racing with feelings of anger, injustice, fear, indignation and more. You need to get in control of your feelings because you will need all your wits about you for the next few seconds and minutes. Take a few deep breaths, be positive and tell yourself that this does not have to be as bad as it seems.

2 Sit. Do not get out off your bike or out of your vehicle. This can be seen as a threat to police. Also, don’t go reaching inside your panniers or jacket for your wallet at this stage. Remember, officers are taught operational skills and tactics to look for visual queues of threats. There is currently a heightened state of alert in Australia and police are more aware of their safety than ever. However, you should remove your helmet so the officer gets a good look at your kind and innocent face.

3 Be nice. Police officers have been instructed to be nice and most start out that way with a “Good morning sir/ma’am”. However, what you say next could be the difference between the officer being nice or being nasty. Return the pleasant greeting and smile. Do not swear, argue, or be rude or sarcastic. If you are, then you could end up with more than the fine you were stopped for!

4 Admission. The cops have got you and you know it, so there is no harm in admitting it. This will make the police officer feel more at ease that he doesn’t have to argue with you or face a day in court. However, if you don’t believe you have offended, be careful how you answer their loaded question “Do you have a reason for speeding/running that red light/failing to give way/running over that pedestrian?” If you say no, then you’ve just admitted that you did it! Instead, say “I don’t believe I did (whatever you are accused of)”.

5 Apologise. If it’s a fair cop, apologise, telling the officer it will never happen again. Tell them you had a momentary lapse of reason, judgment or attention.

6 Traffic record. At this time you may also alert them to your impeccable driving record. But don’t lie, because they have computers that will check your driving record in seconds. If your record is good, they may take that into account and lessen the fine or just give you a stern warning.

7 Cry. If you are capable of being emotive, this can and has worked. But you will need a genuine reason to cry. It could be that you have just broken up with your girlfriend, been fired, lost a loved one or are about to cop a massive fine and demerit points you can’t afford! Even if you can’t cry, the officer may view your genuine distress as a mitigating factor.

8 Danger. If you are being chased by crazed maniacs, road ragers, or your crazy landlord, tell the officer. Don’t invent anything. However, you may have been led to believe that those youths in that souped-up Supra had evil intentions toward your bike and you were just trying to get away.

9 Public interest. Remind the officer that yours is a victimless crime and although you know your offence could have caused harm, no one was hurt in any way. Tell them it’s a fair cop, it’s the first time you have done it and that you will never do it again. Police use two tests before deciding whether to issue an infringement notice – the “Sufficiency of Evidence Test”  and the “Public Interest Test”. They need good cause to suspect or have evidence to satisfy a court beyond a reasonable doubt that you have committed an offence. Mere suspicion that you have committed an offence is not enough. The Public Interest test is also applied. Take for example, an elderly person detected travelling at just over the speed limit. If they haven’t had a traffic ticket for many years, it could be argued that it is not in the public interest to issue an infringement notice in this case.

10 Recording. All police now have recorders on their uniforms so you are being recorded. If you have a problem with how they conduct themselves, there will be an official record that you can access. You probably also have an action camera recording the incident. Legal experts say you are allowed to video the proceedings, but out of courtesy you probably should advise the officer that you are recording and ask if he/she would like you to turn it off. Tell them you have the camera for “safety reasons”. However, you should also note that if an officer sees the camera is on, you are definitely getting a ticket, so you may consider switching off before the officer gets out of their car or off their bike.

If you really think they’ve got the wrong guy or their equipment is genuinely faulty or they have not conducted themselves properly, you have the right to make a formal complaint about their conduct.

All complaints against police are investigated. If your complaint is upheld, the officer will be disciplined and your fine may or (more likely) may not be revoked. Police keep extensive records of every officer’s “complaint history” and senior police are well aware of officers who gather a lengthy complaint history regarding allegations of incivility and take action to deal with these officers.

As in all walks of life, there are some rogue police. But statistically, most officers do the right thing. They have a difficult and sometimes dangerous job to do. They see the tragic results of traffic crashes on a regular basis, so it’s little wonder that they might start lecturing you.

They are often subjected to verbal abuse, obscene language and even violence. So when they deal with a decent, honest citizen like yourself, they will appreciate it. Being polite, respectful and calm is your best defence.

These are only tips gleaned from people who should know; they guarantee nothing. And, as one officer told me, if it’s a career traffic cop, almost none of the above applies!

(First published January 2015)

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Motorcycles and trucks convoy for kids

Sat, 04/02/2017 - 6:00am

The third annual Camp Quality Victory Convoy of motorcycles and trucks on April 30 hopes to raise $150,000 to give 150 Victorian kids the opportunity to attend camp.

Camp Quality Victoria spokeswoman Jo McKeown says the event started in 2015 with 252 participants and grew to 374 trucks and 40 motorcycles last year, raising more than $100,000.

“We’d really like to see bikes represented more strongly this year,” she says. “We are aiming for 200 bikes and 500 trucks to raise $150,000.”

Convoy history

The unusual combination of motorcycles and trucks in a charity convoy began in 2005 with the Illawarra Convoy in NSW. It attracted 100 bikes and 110 trucks, raising $47,978.70 for the Illawarra Community Foundation and Camp Quality Illawarra.

Last November’s Illawarra Convoy raised an astounding total of $1.8 million and attracted 1020 motorcycles and 720 trucks.

That gives hope to the organisers of the Victorian Convoy that the event will continue to grow each year.

The Victorian Convoy brings together the local transport industry, motoring enthusiasts and families from across Victoria for a common cause.

Camp Quality

Camp Quality delivers essential services to local Victorian kids and their families living with cancer.

Jo says participation is usually driven by a family who have been touched by cancer.

“Our optimism and resilience-building camps are life-changing experiences for kids whose young worlds revolve around hospital and treatment,” she says.

“We are calling on all Victorian truck drivers and motorbike riders to get on the road to help us make these camps happen and help kids growing up with cancer be kids again.”

The motorbikes and trucks will depart from Avalon Airport on April 30 to travel in convoy to Tabcorp Park where a Family Fun Day for the whole community will be held.

Last year more than 3000 people attended the Family Fun Day and spectators lined the streets to wave on the convoy with flags. 

The event’s auction of Lead Truck is a highlight, with trucks fundraising to become the leader of the convoy and have their truck featured in prominent display at the Family Fun Day.

To register and for more information, click here.

The post Motorcycles and trucks convoy for kids appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Honda and Ducati plan turbine futures

Fri, 03/02/2017 - 5:00pm

Honda looks like following Kawasaki and Suzuki into a forced-induction future with turbocharged motorcycles while Ducati is also using turbine technology.

Patent drawings have surfaced on the internet which show a Honda (pictured above) with a supercharged engine and a Ducati with a turbine in its exhaust system.

Ducati with turbine exhaust

However, it should be noted that the Ducati turbine system is not designed to boost power to the bike. Instead, it is possibly to meet stringent emissions regulations and/or as a wheelie control to modulate power deliver to the rear wheel.

The only forced-induction motorcycles currently on sale are the four-cylinder supercharged Kawasaki H2 and track-only H2R.

2017 Kawasaki H2 Carbon

However, Honda’s drawings appear to be of a small, possibly single-cylindered motorcycle.

Forced induction of small engines is the more likely direction for future production bikes because it means manufacturers will more easily meet emissions and fuel consumption regulations while also appeasing customers’ need for power.

That’s the course Suzuki is likely to take.

Although Suzuki is yet to release a turbo-powered bike, the company unveiled its turbo-charged 588cc parallel twin “Recursion” concept sportsbike at the Tokyo show in 2014 and the following year filed patents for several small turbocharged motorcycle engines.

Suzuki Recursion

Kawasaki and Suzuki won’t move the motorcycling world to turbines, but the biggest motorcycle manufacturer on the planet, Honda, just might.

All Japanese manufacturers had a short turbo period in the 1980s, including Honda with its CX500 and CX650 turbo versions.

Honda CX 650TC Turbo

In those days, turbos were big and clunky with sudden power surges that made them difficult to ride. They were also unpredictable and unreliable.

The car world has led advances in turbo technology over the past dozen years with compact low-boost units that make them reliable, drivable and desirable.

That technology will surely flow through to motorcycles in coming years as authorities impose more and more stringent emissions and fuel economy regulations.

The post Honda and Ducati plan turbine futures appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Harley-Davidson execs meet President Trump

Fri, 03/02/2017 - 7:18am

Harley-Davidson executives have ridden motorcycles to the White House to meet with President Trump in what can only be seen as a risky and controversial move for the American company.

Trump was scheduled to visit Milwaukee on Thursday, including a visit to the Harley Museum, but the trip was cancelled.

After social media criticism and planned protests, Harley quickly moved to say no invitation had been issued to the President.

Both Harley and White House sources say the trip was called off because of the planned protests.

There’s an old saying: “If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.” But that’s probably an inappropriate analogy in this situation!

However, Harley executives, including the supreme boss Matt Levatich, did ride to the White House to meet with the President and Vice-President Mike Pence.

Matt meets the Don

It makes for great vision, but is it a politically dangerous move for the company?

Harley-Davidson is suffering from a domestic sales slump and is pinning its hopes on international sales as stated by Matt just a couple of days before.

READ THE HARLEY PROFIT STORY HERE.

Bikers for Trump

Trump claims he had a lot of support from bikers during the campaign and a Bikers for Trump group was formed and attended most of the rallies.

There seems a lot of biker support domestically for the Don and the Republican Party.

Harley claims “nine out of 10” of their American customers support Trump.

Many rider groups attended Trump rallies and the states with the highest motorcycle ownership – mainly the mid-west – are Republican states. Donald Trump Jr is also a motorcycle rider.

And it has to be remembered that Harley owes a lot to Republican President Ronald Reagan for increasing tariffs against imported motorcycles. Maybe they are hoping for more of that same tariff protection.

The White House meeting appears a rather strange move given Harley has, for the past few years, claimed its sales growth will come from reaching out to Black African Americans, women and Hispanics.

As part of their plan to increase international sales, Harley has also just opened a new dealership in Jakarta, Indonesia, the world’s most populated Muslim country.

While there may be big support at home among white Americans for Trump, none of those outreach groups, nor Muslim or other countries, would be expected to be a big Don supporter.

The White House South Lawn meeting looked pleasant enough and no big business was obviously addressed in the three minutes they were there.

Trump said at a later sit-down meeting with Harley execs and union officials: “”Harley-Davidson is a true American icon. One of the greats. You’ve given me tremendous support, your workers in particular.”

However, in the past few years, Harley has started building Street 500 and 750 models in India and bought a large parcel of land in Thailand where it is rumoured they will build an assembly plant. 

Harley has also handed over its IT department to Indian company Infosys. The Indian tech company has been criticised for employing highly skilled immigrants instead of Americans and is facing class action over discriminatory employment practices.

The post Harley-Davidson execs meet President Trump appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Riding with arthritis and other chronic pain

Fri, 03/02/2017 - 6:00am

Riders like to think of themselves as tough and will ride through pain, heat, cold, rain and other adversities to do what they love – riding!

But chronic pain such as arthritis is sidelining more and more riders as the average age of riders continues to grow each year.

In recent years I’ve been sidelined on occasions by injuries and various aches and pains from my advancing years.

However, a recent knee replacement and subsequent sciatic nerve issues made me realise just how unprepared I was for chronic pain and how it would interrupt what I love doing.

Most times we just ride through it, or take more frequent breaks to stretch or massage aching body parts.

However, there is more that can be done and we asked the Ulysses Club for mature-aged riders to supply some ideas.

After all, they have long been supporters of and fundraisers for research into rheumatoid arthritis of all types.

National Coordinator for the Ulysses Club Arthritis Research Fund (UCARF) and past National President Kim Kennerson eagerly replied with the following list of tips that not only apply to rheumatoid arthritis but many other chronic pain issues.

Ulysses tips to avoid pain while riding
  • Always test-ride a motorcycle for comfort. Seat design and height, handle bar design and height, sitting position and ease of mounting and dismounting are all important considerations.

    Consider handelbar height

  • Riding posture – Three basic postures include Standard, Sport and Cruiser. Standard – back is straight and the neck is in a neutral position. Shoulders and elbow are comfortable on the grips. Sport – the body is leaning forward and can cause trauma. The feet are behind the knees and the head is extended. Less comfort. Cruiser – slightly reclined position. Feet are usually forward of the knee, the head is upright and the hips and pelvis are relaxed. This posture is comfortable.
  • Cruise control – allows the rider to rest/reposition one hand at a time.
  • Handle grip palm rests – allows the rider to rest the hands in more comfort.
  • Softer foam handle-grips replacement – relaxed throttle grip with less pressure on the fingers.

    Soft grips (Photo courtesy Gary Warner, Ulysses Club Riding On editor)

  • Minimise weight on the upper body – e.g. riding with a backpack.
  • Motorcycle backrests – supports the back, provides more comfort and less fatigue.   
  • Highway pegs – allows the rider, particularly those with knee arthritis, to reposition and rest the legs. 
  • Motorcycle fairing – non fairing causes the rider to lean forward at higher speeds due to increased air pressure to maintain grip on the controls, this in turn causes fatigue.
  • Frequent breaks – avoid fatigue.
  • Quality shock-absorbing suspension.

    Upgrade your suspension

  • Maintain prescribed anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Physical activity – stretching, aerobic and strengthening exercises are recommended.
  • Recommended arthritis diet plan.

Some great tips there, but we can see a few issues some may disagree with:

  • Cruisers may seem the most comfortable, but those with lower back pain may find the short-stroke rear suspension sends shocks straight up their spine. It also puts all your weight directly on your tailbone. Highway pegs accentuate that pressure. Some may also consider them dangerous as your feet are away from the controls.

    Concern over highway pegs

  • We’ve tried throttle palm rests and find they get in the way. Only use them for long-haul rides. The same goes for mechanical throttle locks. Electronic cruise control is the best option.
  • Backrests can provide good support, but a physiotherapist rider told me they can also detrimentally affect your posture if you don’t sit in them properly.
  • She also says that without a backrest you develop your core muscles more by gently resisting the wind. Stronger core muscles will help ease lower back pain.
  • We also suggest a bike with a heel shifter to relieve foot and lower leg pain.

Do you agree or disagree with the above tips? We would love to hear how you are beating chronic pain such as rheumatoid arthritis. Leave your comments below.

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Triumph recall over sticky throttle issue

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 4:00pm

Triumph Motorcycles has issued a worldwide recall of the new water-cooled Bonneville T120 and T120 Black motorcycles with heated grips due to possible sticking throttle issues.

Triumph says the heated hand grips on the T120 may expand, causing the throttle to stick, which can increase the risk of a crash.

The notice issued by the ACCC says:

The air-gap between the end of the throttle twist grip rubber and the handlebar end weight on heated handlebar grips may be too small. This could cause the grip (when heated) to expand beyond its air-gap and make contact with the handle bar end weight.

If this occurs, the throttle will no longer return as intended to its positive stop via spring force only, but will require some manual intervention to close the throttle.

Triumph Australia spokesman Dale McBride says there are “no reports of the issue to date”.

Consumers are asked to contact their nearest authorised Triumph motorcycles dealer to arrange for the inspection and repair of their motorcycle.

Dealers will install a spacer free of charge to prevent the throttle from sticking.

The recall has been announced in the USA to take effect from February 20, but it is effective immediately in Australia.

T120 Other recalls

The recall for the new model follows a recall in November 2016 over a fault in the fuel tank wiring which could cause a fire.

Models affected are the 900cc Triumph Street Twin, Bonneville T100 and Bonneville T100 Black, as well as the 1200cc Bonneville T120 Black, Thruxton 1200 and Thruxton 1200R models.

Thruxton R

To identify whether your bike is affected, check this VIN (Vehicle identification number) list.

VIN list: Fuel Tank Subharness Fault Models Affected Vin Range Production Dates From To Beginning Ending Bonneville T100 759204 794799 20/5/16 6/10/16 Bonneville T100 Black 765369 794585 27/5/16 5/10/16 Thruxton 1200 743684 793611 15/12/15 28/9/16 Thruxton 1200R 740405 794605 24/1/16 6/10/16 Street Twin 731919 794789 7/9/15 4/10/16 Bonneville T120 Black 741136 794575 2/12/15 3/10/16 Thruxton R, Street Twin and Bonnevile T120 Black YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS ON SAFETY RECALLS

To check whether your motorcycle has been recalled, click on these sites:

• Australia

• USA

• UK

• New Zealand

• Canada

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50 new Harley-Davidson models planned

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 1:00pm

Harley-Davidson will introduce 50 new models in the next five years to counteract stalling sales, including an electric bike, says boss Matt Levatich.

“I’ve never been more excited about our product pipeline in my 22 years here at Harley-Davidson,” he says.

The Milwaukee motorcycle manufacturer released its 2016 fourth quarter results this week showing a slow domestic market offset by a 2.3% increase in international sales.

Australia is one of those international markets performing well with sales up 5% to 10,282 to make the company the top seller in road bikes.

Matt says they will add 200 more overseas dealers by 2020.

While Matt wouldn’t reveal anything about the 50 new models they are planning, he points to the success of their big projects over the past few years – LiveWire (electric motorcycle), Rushmore (Touring range), Milwaukee Eight engine and their new suspension system.

Project Rushmore

“If people were excited about the projects I just named, they haven’t seen anything yet,” he says.

So 50 new bikes sounds like a lot, but they have introduced about 25 new or upgraded models since Matt told us in 2013 that they planned learner and electric bikes.

He’s a straight-talking, long-time Harley worker and he doesn’t seem to lie or embellish.

Matt adds that they will reinvent product segments and push into new ones.

Matt Levatich

In June 2016, Harley said they would start producing an electric motorcycle within five years, so that’s obviously one of the new sectors.

Matt’s plan for the future also involves increasing its learner rider program, which may also indicate more learner bikes like the Street 500.

“We do not just build motorcycles, we build drivers, too. We are focusing on the next generation of riders,” he says.

There is also a hint that the new 107 and 114-cube Milwaukee Eight engines in the 2017 Touring range will be soon be introduced to other models.

Matt says last year’s launch of the engine was “a sign of the innovation we have in place”.

“We are confident our 2018 line will also help sales. I have never been more excited about the products in our pipeline,” he says.

Trump trip called off

Meanwhile, Harley has dodged some political embarrassment when a planned trip to Milwaukee by President Donald Trump was called off.

Harley-Davidson museum in Milwaukee

The President’s organisers were planning to visit the Harley Museum which prompted Harley to deny they had invited Trump.

Anti-Trump activists were already planning a protest at the museum when they heard of the possibility of his visit.

Harley said no invitation had been issued to the President.

Instead, Harley executives visited the President at the White House.

While a motorcycle group supporting Trump attracted a lot of riders during his Presidential campaign, the last thing Harley needs at the moment is to add divisive politics to their business.

It is an interesting move Harley considering is targeting Black African Americans, Hispanics and women for sales growth and none of those groups is a big fan of the Donald.

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Are cars noisier than motorcycles?

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 6:00am

There are more cars with loud and faulty exhausts than motorcycles, yet the media has demonised riders in reports on the issue.

The Environment Protection Authority Victoria released data in December showing that 5000 noisy vehicle notices were issued since January 2014.

Ok, about 12% were for motorcycles which is about three times the proportion of motorcycles to all vehicles.

But the media reports that followed only concentrated on loud motorcycles, particular Harley-Davidsons which were a significant 75% of the noisy bikes fined.

Damned lies and statistics

We tried to dig a little deeper into the figures and approached the EPA, transport departments and police in each state for figures.

The only response we got was from the NSW EPA which showed a slightly different story and how you can interpret statistics differently.

For example, motorcycle registrations are the fastest-growing vehicle sector, yet the number of bikes receiving inspection notices has dropped 35% from 716 in 2014 to 562 in 2016.

In the same time, cars dropped only 22% to 644.

Meanwhile, EPA advisory letters sent out to motorists based on reports about their noisy vehicle rose 50% from 107 to 160 for motorcycles from 2014 to last year, while cars increased 67% to 808.

So who is the real culprit here?

Also, it seems that motorcyclists who receive advisory letters are more likely to fix their vehicles than car owners.

The number of penalty notices actually dropped from 25 in 2014 to 19 in 2016, while cars remained around the same level of 126 last year.

Perhaps that is because motorcyclists can fit new baffles, re-insert the baffles they removed, or replace the original mufflers a lot easier before having an official inspection than drivers can with their cars.

Do loud pipes save lives? Buy your “Loud pipes save lives” keyring now!

While there is no empirical evidence that loud pipes save lives, only anecdotal, there are enough riders who believe it that there should be more noise dispensation for riders than drivers.

Read how this barrister reckons aftermarket exhausts are not illegal.

Meanwhile, riders can avoid copping the ire of the EPA and other authorities if they exercise a little more care with their noisy exhausts.

I’d complain too if an inconsiderate neighbour started his Harley fitted with Screamin’ Eagle pipes and allowed it to idle for several minutes on a Sunday morning while I was trying to sleep in.

Modern EFI engines don’t need any warming up. Turn them on and go, without revving and driving your neighbours mad.

Read about warming up your engine.

Also, stop blipping the throttle in the suburbs or while riding past farms where you may startle livestock.

Behave and enjoy your exhaust noise in tunnels which were invented just for that purpose!

The post Are cars noisier than motorcycles? appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

BDR founder resigns, but ride goes on

Wed, 01/02/2017 - 5:00pm

Black Dog Ride founder Steve Andrews has resigned from the mental health charity after facing up to his own issues with depression and anxiety.

In an open letter printed below, Steve says has succumbed after a four-year legal battle to Trade Mark the brand, plus social media criticisms and the deaths of three people on BDR events.

The BDR Board of Directors has expressed its appreciation for Steve’s work which started when he rode solo around Australia in 2009 to raise funds and awareness of mental health issues after the suicide of his mother.

The following year he started the annual ride to the centre of Australia, then one-day rides, a lap of Australia, a trip across America and raised more than $2.2m for mental health charities across the nation.

“Whilst this is a considerable sum, the work of Black Dog Ride stretches past raising money,” a letter form then board says.

“What it has created in the community by way of awareness and understanding is a testament to its success.

“We are sure all those associated with Black Dog Ride join with the Board in thanking Steve for his service and congratulating him for what he has been able to achieve for Black Dog Ride.”

The Board expects to appoint an interim CEO to cover the March 1 Dayer rides and the national ride, this year going to Tasmanian for the first time.

Meanwhile, they are looking for a permanent replacement.

Steve Andrews Open letter to the Black Dog Ride Family from founder Steve Andrews:

When I embarked on the inaugural Black Dog Ride around Australia in July 2009 I had a simple mission – to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention. Having lost my Mum and a dear friend to suicide this was a very personal crusade, one I hoped would help prevent others from suffering such tragic loss.  I had no idea my 15,000km, 26 day, solo journey would have such an impact on so many people, including me, in the following 7 years.

During that time Black Dog Ride evolved from one man’s mission into a National Charity which started thousands of conversations, altered people’s prejudices towards mental illness and most importantly, changed and saved countless lives.

But there was a problem. Whilst I was out there encouraging help seeking behaviour across Australia and more recently in the USA, I actually didn’t look after my own mental health. I’d never had depression or anxiety, nor suicidal thoughts – I was resilient. I thought I was lucky to have dodged the mental illness bullet which had been fired through numerous members of my family. Bullet proof! Wrong!

Towards the end of 2016 I finally realised that I was not mentally well. I visited my GP who diagnosed me with anxiety and depression and recommended I undertake a Mental Health Care Plan.

With the recent help of sessions on the Psychologist’s couch I identified what I think was the turning point for my mental wellbeing – when my resilience started to be chipped away. In late 2012, an organisation I had been instrumental in raising nearly $500,000 for, along with considerable national exposure, turned on me. I was gutted! A 4 year battle ensued for our brand, the flag we ride under, Black Dog Ride. Finally, late last year, we were granted our Trade Mark. A victory of sorts but it was a sad and hurtful chapter in the BDR story and it took its toll on me.

Winston, the Black Dog Ride mascot doll

During those four years, tragically 3 of our fellow riders, including my friend Les James, died on Black Dog Rides. A number of riders have also suffered life altering injuries. Whist I don’t feel personally responsible for these accidents, they happened on my watch and have caused me considerable trauma. During Ride time I live in dread of those phone calls from our Ride Coordinators advising of another accident or even worse, another death.

I have lost count of the number of riders and supporters I have “counselled” over the years when they were suffering with a mental illness or had a friend or loved one struggling. There have also been many conversations with people who were at risk of suicide or were grieving from losing someone to suicide. I do not have the professional boundaries a Doctor or Psychologist has to be able to deal with these emotionally draining conversations and without me knowing, they impacted on my own state of mind. My Psychologist asked me “why do you feel you have to carry this burden on yourself?” After considerable thought I came to the realisation that it may be me trying to save everyone else because I couldn’t save my Mum from taking her life.

Throughout my Black Dog Ride journey there have been a few detractors and that’s fair enough, it’s human nature. I know I’m not perfect and that BDR isn’t perfect but criticism of the organisation and character denigration via social media does, at best, no good for anyone involved and at worst, can be divisive and cause great harm.

I share my personal situation with you because I feel I owe you an explanation about why I am leaving something I am so passionate about and because I hope my story will be further reinforcement of the Black Dog Ride message that it’s ok to talk about your mental health and that it’s ok to reach out for help. Perhaps in my case I left it a little longer than I should have but thankfully not too late!

I feel privileged to have met, ridden with and worked with so many wonderful people and organisations during my time at Black Dog Ride. Many will remain friends for life. Thank you, it has been an amazing 8 years which I will never forget.

I would also like to thank the dozens of individuals and companies who have so generously sponsored and supported Black Dog Ride. I hope you will continue to do so.

Where will the road take me now? Hopefully to a full recovery and then who knows where? But I hope to see you on it one day.

Thank you. Steve Andrews Thanks from Motorbike Writer

It’s not been an easy road for Steve Andrews.

Put yourself in his saddle: dealing with legal issues, the possibility of crashes and deaths, heading up a multi-million-dollar charity, being constantly confronted with people suffering mental health issues, being attacked for his efforts …

Quite frankly, we don’t know how he managed to do it for so long!

BDR is a major success story and it must continue.

We sincerely hope there is someone out there with the talent and guts to take on the task of CEO.

Meanwhile, Steve should be nominated for a suitable award. Not that we believe for a second that he is motivated by such.

We wish him well and thank him for his courage and effort.

  • If you are in crisis, or know someone who is, please call Lifeline 24/7 on 13 11 14. You can find more crisis support services on the Black Dog Ride website here.

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Australia gets Kawasaki H2 Carbon bikes

Wed, 01/02/2017 - 1:00pm

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Only 120 limited-edition Kawasaki H2 Carbon models will be released worldwide this year and Australia may get almost 20 for customers.

Kawasaki Motors Australia marketing co-ordinator Milo Dokmanovic says they already have orders for the limited-edition supercharged Carbon model.

“Unfortunately I cannot divulge pricing until this model is officially released, which we anticipate will be in the near future,” he says.

The supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2 and track-only H2R were unveiled in 2014 and arrived in Australia in 2015 at $33,000 for the standard and $60,000 for the H2R.

H2 Carbon

The 2017 Kawasaki Ninja H2 Carbon has a similar carbon-fibre cowl, mirror-finish paint and green frame to the track-only Ninja H2R.

It also gets Ohlins rear suspension, an up and down quick-shifter, bank angle display and a serial number plate.

The H2 has 147.2kW (200ps/197hp) of power at 11,000rpm and 133.5Nm of torque at 10,5000rpm, but the supercharger boosts that to 154.5kW (210ps/207hp) and 140.4Nm.

The powerful track-only Ninja H2R has 228kW of power (310ps/305hp) at 14,000rpm and 165Nm of torque at 12,500rpm. With maximum ram air, power literally blows out to 240kW (326ps/321hp).

In July last year, four-time World Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoglu reached 400km/h (249mph) on the Kawasaki H2R.

The Turk reached the speed in just 26 seconds on the closed Osman Gazi suspension bridge, about 50km southeast of Istanbul.

Watch the video here. Check also buy Instagram Followers.

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Wristband alerts riders to speed cameras

Wed, 01/02/2017 - 7:30am

This leather wristband could be the biggest money saver for motorcycle riders as it alerts the rider to upcoming known speed camera locations.

After a successful crowdfunding campaign, the Italian-made WOOLF wristband will launch in the northern spring (southern autumn) and cost €139 (about $A200).

It may seem expensive, but if it saves your licence and speeding fines, it will quickly fund itself.

There are dozens of apps available for car drivers that use GPS to detect speed zones and send an audible alert. Riders can also use them if they have a Bluetooth helmet intercom.

However, the WOOLF works without the need for an intercom, sending an alert to the rider via a vibration in the wristband. The vibration intervals increase the closer you get to the speed zone, becoming continuous with 50km/h of the speed camera.

WOOLF co-founder Federico Tognetti says their app is based on SCDB.info, “the leading service in global mapping covering also Australia” which shows where speed cameras are usually located.

Its data base has more than 100,000 fixed and mobile and red light cameras in more than 66 countries and is updated daily.

The WOOLF wristband is not a radar scanner or detector, which is illegal in Australia and some other countries. So it’s perfectly legal.

Some of these radar alerts can be annoying, activating quite frequently because of known radar locations, even though they are not always being patrolled.

Perhaps the vibration in your wrist may be a nuisance for some.

WOOLF says the attractive water-resistant leather wristband is very thin, adjusts to all wrist sizes and should fit under “the tightest gloves”.

Federico tells us they “aim to improve further the performance”.

The wristband connects via Bluetooth to both Android and iOS phones and includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

Federico says recharge time is about three hours and you can get about two hours of use a day for 15 days.

 

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How many more Ducati Scramblers coming?

Wed, 01/02/2017 - 6:00am

Ducati Scramblers have doubled in number since they were unveiled in 2014 with four models … and there could soon be 10 models!

Last year Ducati expanded the model range with the Flat Track Pro ($15,490) and learner-legal 400cc Sixty2 ($11,990).

This year they will add the Cafe Racer, which is as its name describes, and the more off-road oriented Desert Sled, cheekily named after Steve McQueen’s Triumph racer.

That brings the model range to eight, but there could be more to come.

Ducati has unveiled two custom models from Italian design houses at the 2017 Motor Bike Expo, in Verona, Italy.

While these weren’t designed by Ducati, they give a clue to the company’s intentions to squeeze every last drop out of the popular range that now outsells the Multistrada family and any of their famous sports bike models!

Scrambler R/T Special

The Ducati Scrambler R/T (Road and Track) Special is based on the 400cc Scrambler Sixty2 and, like the Desert Sled, it’s an off-road version. (The number 53 is how many days it took designers Anvil Motociclette to build it.)

If the Desert Sled does well, there is no reason why Ducati wouldn’t also do an off-road version of their 400cc engine which could look something like this.

It may be closer to the original Ducati Scramblers like the ones ridden by the villains in this 1974 Italian-Spanish film, “Watch Out, We’re Mad” with Terence Hill and Bud Spencer.

Ducati Scrambler Essenza

If the Cafe Racer is also a success, there could be a 400cc version of that, too!

However, the other Scrambler concept at the Expo is based on the 800cc engine, not the 400cc.

It’s the very essence of the cafe racer and that’s why it’s called the Essenza (Italian for essence).

It was built by South Garage Customs, of Milan, and basically consists of bolt-on parts, rather than frame-altering customising.

That makes it even more likely Ducati could build a slightly more radical cafe racer like this one with its bubble fairing and wild exhaust bend.

Bubble fairings could be the next big trend as BMW has introduced the bubble-faired R nineT Racer and Triumph has an accessory bubble fairing for its new Thruxton.

There is no word yet from Ducati Australia on when the Desert Sled and Cafe Racer will arrive or pricing.

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Easy-to-fit Vear motorcycle rain pants

Tue, 31/01/2017 - 5:00pm

The biggest problems with putting on wet-weather pants is having to sit down on the side of the road to pull them on and/or take off your boots.

Now, a Denmark company has invented Vear pants which you can put on while standing up and with your boots on.

And when they are on, they don’t look like two full garbage bags. They are quite slim-fitting and there is an adjustable waistband for a perfect fit.

Company spokesman Milos Milenkovic says they plan to start producing and delivering them in March after a successful Kickstart crowdfunding campaign.

But they’re not cheap at $US199 (about $A260).

Easy to fit and remove

They appear quick and easy to put on.

Just stop at the side of the road and hook the zip on one side, put them around your waist, attach the zip at the other side, then pull both zips down to the bottom.

No need to sit down and pull them over your pants and dirty boots, or to even take your boots off.

And, of course, they are just as easy to take off!

The seam-taped pants come in two versions, one for light rain ($US150) and the “performance” motorcycling version ($US199) made from Sympatex with reinforced knee sections.

Milos says they have tested it on a motorcycle at low and medium speeds and they “were perfect”. 

“It would be irresponsible for us to claim that the results will be the same when riding a motorcycle at 110+km/h,” he says.

“We will run complete tests in those conditions and give our official performance results.”

Vear pants features

Vear claims the material is windproof, yet breathable, so you shouldn’t sweat in a hot summer storm.

They feature waterproof YKK zippers on the sides and in the pockets. The back pocket doubles as a pouch to store the pants and there is a carabiner to hook them to your bike, backpack or luggage.

Even though they look plain black, they have special black reflective panels so you can be seen at night. No fluoro here!

Because they have a tapered-leg design, they shouldn’t flap around in the wind.

However, bands underneath your shoes would be a good idea to create a tighter waterproof seal over your shoes.

There are also shoe covers available, but they don’t look very secure for motorcycling.

Vear pants are being made in Europe and will be shipped worldwide from the end of March.

The company claims the pants are so light, they are suitable for many outdoor activities such as cycling and hiking.

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Fred Hollows Ride becomes annual event

Tue, 31/01/2017 - 1:00pm

The inaugural Fred Hollows Ride to Bourke on the Australia Day weekend was so successful it will help fund sight-restoring operations for a “jumbo jet full of people”.

Organisers, Mike and Denise Ferris from World on Wheels (WOW) motorcycle travel company says 30 riders and pillions raised more than $12,000.

The money goes to the Fred Hollows Foundation which raises funds for 20-minute sight-restoring operations that cost as little as $25 each.

“That means that a jumbo jet full of people who are currently blind will be able to see,” says Denise.

“Fifty percent of funds donated go towards helping indigenous Australians and 50% towards people, families and communities in Laos.”

They say the ride was such a success, it will become an annual event.

Riders head to Bourke

Riders set off from Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia to meet in Bourke, Fred’s hometown, where they were met by the Mayor.

Bruce and Carol Fox were among the first to arrive in Bourke

“The inaugural ride was a great success, thoroughly enjoyed by all who braved the rain, the cold and the heat to ride to Bourke and back,” Denise says.

“We were so warmly welcomed by the community of Bourke.  The Mayor Barry Hollman and GM of Bourke Council both turned out to welcome all the riders in and then joined us again at The Ride dinner to present the awards. We can’t wait for next year!”

The ride concluded on Saturday with an early morning ride out to the Fred Hollows rock (nine tonnes of specially sculpted granite carved as Fred’s tombstone in the local Bourke cemetery), before riders dispersed and headed for home.

Fred Hollows memorial Incentive prizes

Incentive prizes were provided by sponsors including a $100 gift voucher for the new Motorbike Writer online shop. The prize was won by Peter and Liz Waggott from Ballina.

WOW conduct nine motorcycle tours a year on four continents, often in countries where people do not have access to advanced medical services.

“So for such a small amount of money, to be able to support a simple, short sight-restoring operation and give the gift of sight to some is just – WOW! – life changing for them and also for their families and the communities in which they live,” Denise says.

“In many remote villages and places this means the person whose sight is restored can then be a full participant socially and economically which can take them from being dependent on their family for support to being a contributing member.”

Put a date claimer now on the 2018 Australia Day weekend and take a ride to Bourke to make a difference!

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Typical motorcycle rear-ender crash

Tue, 31/01/2017 - 8:59am

This video shows a British courier driver hitting a motorcycle from the rear while waiting to give way at an intersection, a typical rear-ender scenario for motorcycles.

The problem is that the van driver may have seen the rider, but then turns his head to the right to look for oncoming traffic. He obviously doesn’t look in front again to see if the rider has moved off.

Instead, he expects the rider has moved off, so when he moves forward, he hits the bike.

It’s happened to me at a stop sign when a fellow rider rammed me from behind. We were in a queue of riders going around the corner. While looking to the right for oncoming traffic he assumed I had dribbled through the stop sign instead of coming to a full stop.

How to avoid rear-enders

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself at an intersection from motorists who don’t look.

Move your motorcycle as far left (or right in some countries) as possible at an intersection. This rider is fairly far left but just another few centimetres and he might have avoided the rear-ender.

While looking for approaching traffic at an intersection or roundabout, also keep your eye on your rear-view mirrors.

Remain in gear and if you see a motorist approaching from behind who has not seen you, get ready to let the clutch out.

You may not have to dangerously ride out into oncoming traffic to avoid the rear-ender if you are close to the kerb; you may be able to just slip safely around the corner.

Read more here about avoiding rear-enders.

Road rage driver

In this particular incident which happened in June last year, the careless DPD courier driver appeared unconcerned about the damage he caused to the learner’s bike.

He also seems to take offence at an eyewitness, kicking at him.

Furthermore, he seems to drive off, along with his colleague in a following DPD van, without supplying any insurance information.

Luckily the rider had a helmet camera to capture all the evidence he needs.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for DPD says the driver “was identified immediately and his contract with the company terminated on the spot”. 

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Hi-tech motorcycle helmet keeps you cool

Tue, 31/01/2017 - 6:00am

A hi-tech motorcycle helmet with cooling fans, cameras, electronically adjustable-tint visor, noise-cancelling sound and other hi-tech features is nearing the end of development.

The Encephalon (Brain), from Nand Logic in the USA, is about to go to a crowdfunding campaign with the developers expecting the price to be under $US1000 (about $A1300) when it is produced at the end of 2017.

Spokesman Daniel Stevens says it will be both DOT and European-approved, which means it will be legal in Australia.

“All of the electronics on board including the fan and the LEDs can fit in the palm of your hand,” he says.  

The carbon-fibre Encephalon helmet is expected to weigh about the same as a Shoei GT Air (1750 grams or 3lbs, 14oz.

Tinted visor tech

One of the most interesting features is the visor which can automatically adjust the light conditions via an electrochromatic film. 

“The transparency of the visor is controlled electronically by an algorithm running in the embedded system,” Andrew says.  

“Through this algorithm and the sensors onboard we can control the light penetration which allows us to adjust the transparency of the film hundreds of times per second to match the user’s needs for different lighting conditions.  

“We also allow the user to control the transparency manually if they do choose.”

Fan-forced

Riders in hot climates will also appreciate the climate control system which automatically switches on fans in the vents when the helmet reaches a certain temperature.

Riders will be able to select the temperature and humidity thresholds at which the fans activate.

Safety first

Safety has been considered in several features of this helmet.

If the helmet senses you have crashed, it calls an emergency number and not only provides GPS co-ordinates but also your stored medical information (allergies, blood type, etc) and crash details such as impact via the G-force sensors so first responders will have an idea of the crash severity.

It also features LED lights embedded into the back of the helmet to make the rider more visible.

They operate via sensors so they get brighter the faster you go and flash brighter and more rapidly under emergency braking to alert following motorists.

Nand Logic claims the LEDs are embedded into the helmet structure so they “enhance the structural integrity”.

The helmet is made of a mixture of high-density EPS foam, antimicrobial microfibre materials, closed-cell memory foam and comfort inserts, all within a lightweight carbon-fibre shell.

Another claimed safety feature is the ratcheted visor and chin bar which open like a modular helmet. They claim it is important for emergency access.

It also has a ratchet chin strap rather than a double-D clasp.

Hi-tech features

Other features include Bluetooth connectivity for music, making phone calls, in-built GPS and communicating with other riders within a range of 500m.

While most Bluetooth helmet systems transmit data and media on the same channel, Encephalon can handle multiple streams of data so you can perform several functions at once and change settings while still listening to music, GPS instructions or making a phone call.

The sound should be good quality, too, with noise-cancelling to filter out unwanted wind and road noise.

However, as a safety feature, it clarifies and intensifies important sounds such as sirens and engine noise from surrounding vehicles.

There are also two cameras set into the helmet – front and rear – which can shoot both video and stills. They can be manually operated separately, or in auto mode where they record at high speeds or high G-forces.

There is also a data-logging system that captures speed, latitude, longitude, altitude, pitch, yaw, roll and G forces which you can view later on a 2D graph or on a map. (Beware that this information can be used in evidence against you.)

All functions will be controlled via a smartphone app.

However, riders will be able to leave the system in automatic or choose various modes that have their own settings for all functions according to whether they are commuting, stunting or racing!

Crowdfunding

The Nand Logic crowdfunding campaign will start in the northern spring with production following in six to nine months, Daniel says.

“Keep in mind we are at the preproduction prototype stage. What that means is once we have the funds to begin the initial production run we will be in production,” he says.

“There is nothing more to designed or develop, we are that close.”

Helmets for cycling, longboarding, etc will also be available and include an LED headlight and indicators.

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The simple keys to riding faster

Mon, 30/01/2017 - 5:00pm

One of the simple questions many novice and advanced riders ask is how they can ride faster. The answer can be just as simple.

However, the question can be a little vague.

Does the rider want to get to their destination quicker, do they want to reduce their lap time at a track, do they want a faster bike, do they want to negotiate a series of corners faster or do they simply want to break the speed limit?

If it’s the latter, the simple answer is wind the throttle further and pay the consequences.

However, you can still ride faster while staying legal and safe and that is the question we want to answer.

You can buy this t-shirt now at our online shop Getting there quicker

If you really just want to get to your destination faster, then the simple answer lies with a former Iron Butt rider who said “Stop less often and for shorter times”.

It seems like a silly answer, but it’s true.

Most time is lost on motorcycle trips waiting for lunch orders, frequent toilet stops and waiting on others in your group.

So the simple answer is to ride solo and do all your stops – fuel, food and toilet – in one hit and don’t hang around.

An extra 10-minute stop will take an hour of riding 12km/h above the highway speed limit to make up the time.

Read our tips here for riding long distances quickly.

Fast touring means stopping less Reduce lap times

The simple answer is to go to a track and take a course.

No point doing endless laps making the same mistakes. Get professional tuition to find out what you are doing wrong.

There are many great professional track courses available.

MBW leads the pack at the California Superbike School Faster motorcycle

Making your motorcycle go faster is not about power or torque.

Most production bikes have more power and torque than many riders can handle.

The weak point in most production bikes is the suspension.

The simple answer to making your bike faster is to improve your suspension. It will improve acceleration, lateral grip, stopping power and cornering ability.

Check out our suspension myths.

Otherwise, simple and cheap motorcycle maintenance can make your bike quicker. A simple example is having correct tyre pressures.

Faster through corners

If you just want to be a little faster through a series of corners where you always seem to lose ground to your mates, again the answer is simple.

Look further around the corner.

The problem with corners is usually a lack of confidence in lean angles and lateral grip.

That’s because we often think we are going too fast for the corner

We think we are going too fast because we have shortened our vision. We tend to look at entry, apex and exit points in a corner, rather than evaluating the whole corner.

If you looks sideways out of a car window, the scenery is a blur, even at low speeds. Look forwards and it doesn’t look like you are going near as fast.

Look as far around a corner as you can and you will not only ride faster through the corner, but also safer as you will see potential hazards sooner.

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