Monthly Archives:October 2016

You Might Be a Good Rider If…

28 Oct , 2016,
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Riding tips to make you a better motorcycle rider.

motorcycle riding tips

Rich Lee

Riding tips.

When asked, the majority of motorcyclists consider themselves “good” riders. The problem is that we suck at measuring our own abilities. This behavior is common enough that psych experts gave it a name. The Dunning-Kruger effect describes how average people suffer from the illusion that their ability is much greater than it really is.

To help determine whether a rider suffers from this delusion we need to define our terms. Most people say a good rider is one who displays impressive control skills on the racetrack or in the canyons, can perform a lengthy standup wheelie, or can precisely maneuver an 800-pound motorcycle within tight confines. Sure, these highly developed physical abilities deserve to be recognized, but being a good rider also requires good judgment, sharp visual skills, and effective survival strategies. The best riders also have a humble attitude that allows them to accurately evaluate their abilities.

Good riders rarely experience close calls. This isn’t because they’re lucky but because they don’t let bad things happen to them. They understand that drivers have a hard time seeing motorcycles, so they constantly utilize dynamic lane positioning and other effective strategies to make themselves more visible in traffic.

These riders have a well-developed sixth sense that foresees hazards before they materialize. Developing this sense isn’t that hard, but it requires a high level of alertness to spot the sometimes-subtle clues that warn of an unfolding situation. And when a problem does occur, they resist blaming others because they know that most mishaps can be avoided through their own actions.

Good riders know the limits of their ability, the environment, and their bike and ride within those limits. They never blast through busy areas or enter a corner faster than they can safely negotiate it. They have the ability to place their bike precisely where they want it at anytime. This precision allows them to corner faster than most riders, but they choose to enter curves at a speed that ensures a healthy margin for error. They know that if they enter a turn a bit slower than necessary, they can always get on the gas sooner.

Besides these primary skills, the best riders also strive to brake and accelerate smoothly to preserve available traction and stabilize the bike’s chassis. They’ve learned the language of handing dynamics and tire loading, using them to understand what the bike and tires are saying about the limits of control and traction.

The best riders are eager to learn and practice new techniques and continually hone existing techniques. They seek advice and training from known reliable sources because they understand that there is always more to learn, no matter how long they’ve been riding. Smart riders know that seat time and experience alone don’t make them better if all they’re doing is repeating mistakes and bad habits. Someone might have ridden for 20 years, but too often these riders have one year of experience, repeated 20 times.

No matter how good a rider you think you are, it’s likely you have at least a few skills that could use some work. You probably also have some bad habits, dangerous attitudes, and inaccurate perceptions about riding that can develop over time without you knowing it. And unless you’re actively improving your braking and cornering skills, you’re probably not as good as you think at controlling your bike near the limit.

This description doesn’t constitute a complete list of good rider characteristics, but you can be sure that the best riders possess each of these traits. Do you?

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/you-might-be-good-motorcycle-rider-if?src=SOC&dom=fb

Rail Level Crossing Rural Motorbike Rider Survey

27 Oct , 2016,
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We have designed several innovative models for both metropolitan and rural rail level crossings. We’d like to find out which of the new safety features we’ve come up with are likely to lead to the best safety outcomes. This survey asks you to view some short animated simulations of a road user approaching a rail level crossing. After each animation, you’ll be asked a few questions about that model. At the end of all of the animations, you’ll be asked to answer a few questions comparing the different models.

Investigators

Tony Carden (Chief Investigator, Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems, University of the Sunshine Coast)
Dr Gemma Read (Research Fellow, Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems, University of the Sunshine Coast)
Eryn Grant (Research Fellow, Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems, University of the Sunshine Coast)
Professor Paul Salmon (Director of the Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems, University of the Sunshine Coast)

Background
Crashes at railway level crossings continue to cause significant trauma across Australia. This research will evaluate new design concepts for rail level crossings which aim to improve safety.

Research purpose
To gather the perceptions of all types of road users on several metropolitan and rural rail level crossing design concepts to contribute to the evaluation of the designs and to determine appropriate refinements to improve the concepts.

Participant experience
The study involves completing an online questionnaire which is expected to take about 20 minutes. You will be asked to view video animations and still images of rail level crossings from the perspective of a road user. You will be asked questions about your preferences for various safety features of each rail level crossing design option. You will also be asked some information about your main mode of road use. If you think you may experience any distress by thinking about the road safety issues covered in the survey please consider declining to participate in this study. Your participation is voluntary and you may withdraw from the study at any stage by closing the survey window.

Risks & benefits
There are no specific risks involved in your participation in this research. The information you provide will assist efforts to reduce the incidence of traumatic injuries and fatalities at rail level crossings. On completion of the survey you will have the opportunity to enter a prize draw to win an iPad.

Confidentiality & results
Your responses to this survey will be anonymous and no member of the research team will know who has participated. The results of this research may be published in academic journals and presented at conferences. Your consent to participate in this research is implied by completion of the survey. The data may also be used in future associated research projects. No results that could potentially identify an individual participant will be published. If you would like to receive a summary of the results please contact Tony Carden (acarden@usc.edu.au).

Complaints / concerns
If you have any questions or complaints about the way this research project is being conducted you can raise them with Tony Carden email: acarden@usc.edu.au, telephone 0427 533 187. If you prefer an independent person, contact the Chairperson of the Human Research Ethics Committee at the University: (c/- the Research Ethics Officer, Office of Research, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC 4558; telephone (07) 5459 4574; email humanethics@usc.edu.au).
Both the research team and the University of the Sunshine Coast sincerely thank you for your assistance in investigating this important area.

Click on link to fill out survey
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZH5655V

Motorcycle Adventure Dirtbike TV changes for 2017

23 Oct , 2016,
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Motorcycle Adventure Dirtbike TV changes for 2017 to full length adventure movies in response to audiences turning to Youtube Remote to watch MAD TV in their lounge rooms with the bigTVs.

Crashing with ABS – Survey Time!

22 Oct , 2016,
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European/Global – ABS – Anti Lock Brakes – Advanced Braking Systems, whatever you wish to label them, are certainly marked out in the realms of ongoing motorcycling technical innovations as something that improves rider safety.

Any challenges about the ability of ABS not to stop in corners, on loose road surfaces while keeping the rider upright,  has faded away as practical and “paper” research debunks any dissent, putting forward evidence that ABS saves riders lives.

As ABS moves technically forward, linked to more advanced electronics and other handling systems, some riders are still “fighting” about the technical cost aspects to riders, but the fact remains that ABS is here to stay.

At this present time any new type approved motorcycle that is over 125cc, to be sold in Europe, must have an ABS system fitted.  This decision was taken by the European Union institutions, and eventually voted on and passed in 2012 for introduction this year (2016).

This introduction of the fitting of ABS on motorcycles is a foregone conclusion as the European Commission and Parliament in 2011 argued that ABS would reduce casualties by 20% over the next 10 years.

As yet mandatory ABS (in Europe) applies to those motorcycles or scooters over 125cc however the Commission has considered expanding their application to smaller PTWs (Powered Two Wheelers).  At this point in time they have yet to make that decision.

While ABS is considered a panacea of technical ability to reduce motorcycle collisions and injuries and  make a difference in ALL braking situations, rather than stop the motorcycle safely in specific scenarios, research to determine what happens when riders crash with ABS on their bikes is still very limited.

In other words, these braking systems on motorcycles are known to stop the brakes on a bike from locking.

But the information to tell us what the dynamics are in a crash scenario, remain hazy and limited.

For this reason, researchers in Europe (Italy, Greece, Austria and the UK) are looking to find answers by surveying motorcyclists who have experienced a crash with ABS between 2010 and 2015.   The design of the survey – Dynamics of PTW crashes using ABS – has had the support and input of James Ouellet, a motorcycle accident analyst from Los Angeles.

This study aims to identify the dynamics of crashes between Powered Two Wheelers (PTWs: motorcycles or scooters) that have Advanced/Antilock Braking Systems (ABS) – and another vehicle, object or road/side.

To understand the specifics of the impact of the motorcycle with ABS and how this affects the rider in terms the trajectory of the rider post-impact and the type of possible injuries sustained by the rider.  It doesn’t matter if there was only slight damage to the bike – any information from wherever you are that can help to understand what happens is very important.

The survey will be expanded into multiple languages, but for the time being the survey will be circulated in English only. The objective is to find out from riders, their experiences which will eventually be used to provide information to improve training and the technical development of future ABS.

All information is confidential and no personal identifying questions regarding the rider or the motorcycle/scooter will be asked.

If you require further details regarding the study, please contact Dr Elaine Hardy, the author of this survey – email

Survey at – Dynamics of PTW crashes using ABS

Source – www.motorcycleminds.org

Previous research by Dr Elaine Hardy – www.righttoride.org.uk

Crashing with ABS – Survey Time!

Drivers/Riders in Queensland to get fine notices via email or text from police

20 Oct , 2016,
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Drivers/Riders in Queensland could be issued with infringement notices via email or text message with new e-ticketing technology being used from today.

The e-ticketing option being launched by Queensland police is a voluntary option providing an alternative to receiving a fine through the post.

The tickets should be issued almost instantaneously and allow a faster review if there are discrepancies.

Acting Inspector Gavin Raison said it was a voluntary option that would only be offered to motorists who are stopped by a traffic officer.

“If you don’t have an email address or an MMS or don’t want to provide those, then the fine will be issued to you via Australia Post,” he said.

“So if you do receive a fine via email or MMS and you haven’t actually been intercepted by a police officer in Queensland, then we’re asking you to contact your local police station or Police Link.

Acting Inspector Raison said it was about making the process more efficient.

“It’ll reduce administration tasks that take in relation to managing fines,” he said.

“It’ll reduce duplicate entries, improve our data quality, and most importantly, provide a better and more contemporary service to the community of Queensland.”

The RACQ has been in consultation with Queensland police about the system.

RACQ spokesman Steve Spalding said for some people, emails and texts are better.

“It will be of a convenience to some motorists, specifically those that are often away from their home address – whether it be long stints at work in another location or they’re continually moving around – so they may well find it much easier,” he said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-20/driver-qld-to-get-fine-notices-via-email-text-police-officers/7949022

Changes To Queensland Motorcycle Licensing – Common Questions Answered

9 Oct , 2016,
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As the dust begins to settle after some of the most significant changes to motorcycle licensing ever in Queensland, plenty of people are still confused about where they stand with the new licensing system.

The new laws came into effect on Saturday,1st October, 2016.

In the lead up to the changes, there was a massive spike in the number of people wanting to get through the licensing process. Many made it through, but a large number found themselves unable to book a spot on a course as all schools were inundated with students.

That has left some people very unsure about what they have to do next, so we will endeavour to answer some of the most common questions for you.

If you didn’t get a learner’s permit before the 1st October, 2016:

  • You must now complete a 2 day learner’s course with a Q-Ride provider, and then pass a motorcycle knowledge test.
  • This applies even to people who have prior riding experience.
  • You must hold that learner’s permit for a minimum of 3 months before being allowed to complete an assessment for an RE class licence.
  • During that minimum of 3 months you are allowed to ride on the road as long as you display an L-plate and ride with a supervising rider who has held an open licence for the class of motorcycle you are learning to ride for at least 1 year.

If you did get a learner’s permit before the 1st October, 2016 but couldn’t do a Q-Ride assessment in time.

  • If you are capable and confident to ride a motorcycle on the road you don’t have to hold your learner’s permit for any minimum time and can go straight to an RE class assessment. It is a full day course.
  • If you are a beginner with no experience, then the two day learner course is for you.
  • If you have some experience but still don’t feel confident to meet the requirements of an RE assessment, then consider the two day learner course or at least some private training with an instructor.
  • You will come under the new laws and have to hold an RE class licence for 2 years before being eligible for an R class licence.

If you want to upgrade to an R class (unrestricted) licence:

  • If you got your RE class licence before 1st October, 2016 you can upgrade to an R licence after holding you RE class licence for 1 year.
  • If you get your RE class after 1st October, 2016 you must wait 2 years before being eligible for an R class licence.

If you were part way through the assessment process, but were “not yet competent” in some areas:

  • You will now need to complete the entire new assessment course for the class of licence you are applying for IN FULL.
  • For those attempting an RE class assessment, that will be a full day course.
  • For those attempting an R class assessment, it will be a 3.5 hour course.

More details are available on the Transport and Motoring section of the Queensland Government website.

The specific rules that apply to Learner and RE class licence holders can also be found at:

Differences also apply to people in country areas or those who live more than 100km from a Q-Ride training area.

If you have any specific questions or concerns, we suggest you contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads, your nearest Q-Ride provider or leave us a comment below and we will do our best to answer your question or point you in the right direction.

Changes To Queensland Motorcycle Licensing – Common Questions Answered

Your Vision and Riding Motorcycles

8 Oct , 2016,
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Vision Ins and Outs

“You go where you look,” and, “Look where you want to go,” pretty much sum up the basic visual skills a motorcycle rider needs; ignoring them leads to many common faults. Once the continuous, unbroken flow of information about the road ahead coming through the eyes is fractured by some visual hiccup, riders experience an altered and warped sense of time, their location in space, and their speed. Overactive scanning, target fixation, and tunnel vision are the three major causes of a world of common errors and problems. But there are other factors to consider, and one of them happens so fast that if you blink you miss it.

Blinking is necessary to lubricate and clear the eyes, but a quick calculation of an average blink reveals what’s missed in that instant when your eyes are closed. The average eye blink lasts 300 to 400 milliseconds (0.3 to 0.4 second), not really a problem when you’re sitting still watching TV. But when you blink while riding a motorcycle, simple math shows you what you’re missing out on: At 60 mph you’re traveling 88 feet per second, meaning each blink blanks out 35 feet.

But it gets worse. Blinking is connected to one of the more fascinating functions of the brain, one that can be dangerous for a rider at speed or one dealing with heavy or constantly shifting traffic. That’s because not only does the physical blink take time, but there’s also a phenomenon called masking, during which your vision is shut off briefly by the dropping of an internal brain-blanket over what’s in front of you. Not only are you blind during the moment your eyelid is shut, but your visual control center can also mask vision just before the blink begins and keep doing it for a short time after your eyelid is fully reopened. The whole process can easily take half a second or longer, or 44 feet at 60 mph.

What happens during that half second and in those 44 feet can make the difference between riding in a controlled and confident manner and having a control-panic attack and grabbing the front brake or locking up the rear because you missed the car’s brake lights flashing on. In racing, top speeds of 180 mph are common at many tracks; 180 mph equals 264 feet per second or 132 feet of blinked-out space in that same half second. You could argue that blinking as you approach that brake marker at the end of the straight could be a hidden reason for braking errors.

“At 60 mph you’re traveling 88 feet per second, meaning each blink blanks out 35 feet.”

What’s the purpose of masking? Research suggests that it helps suppress the perception of visual displacement, meaning you don’t notice that things have moved during your blinks provided they haven’t moved any great distance. But when you’re riding, you really do want to know if things have moved, even a little, in case you need to respond to, for example, the tiny initial change of direction that foreshadows a car swerving into your lane.

One study noted that an average of 17 blinks per minute across all age groups increases to 26 during conversation; nearly half of that minute is blanked out. Although you can’t stop blinking altogether, you might try stringing together two or three blinks in rapid succession on a hot, dry day in urban traffic, or on that fun and twisty section of road, or anywhere you have the potential of a life-and-death riding situation. In any case, don’t blink too much–—you might miss something.

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/your-vision-and-riding-motorcycles

SKIDBIKE – “It’s About Grip Not Slip”

6 Oct , 2016,
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United States – Popping up in our news feed recently, are reports of the technological and practical motorcycling training aid – the SKIDBIKE™ described as a “Disruptive Training Technology”, revolutionising the rider learning process.

The people at SKIDBIKE™ say that it, “Is the safest technology ever offered in the history of motorised 2‐wheel training. Many accidents that occur on training ranges across the globe daily can be prevented or eliminated with SKIDBIKE. Not only does it make motorcycle training safer, but also reduces the required time commitment for student understanding.”

What is SKIDBIKE™ and what does it do?

The SKIDBIKE™ takes an ordinary motorcycle and modifies it with the fitting of a set of “training wheels” – safety wings – patented Traction Control Device (TCD) – that use an electric ram to simulate a wide variety of dangerous real-world encounters to both front and rear wheels.

It achieves this by being engineered to adjust tire grip through the electric ram and independent dual carriage system. The safety wings that control the pre‐determined maximum degree of lean angle between 0 and 35 degrees are connected to an attachment bracket, which is mounted to the frame.

Through loss of the coefficient of friction, speed and road conditions are simulated. The G’s and speed are lowered so that if the rider fails to control the bike and “crashes”, the safety wings inhibit the fall, stopping the event before the rider can hit the ground or be thrown from the bike.

Additionally, the Instructor operated SKIDBIKE Controller can cut engine power at the push of a button.

This allows learning of not only the basics of motorcycle control techniques, but also to provide future exposure to new technologies like ABS (Anti-Lock Braking Systems), traction control and Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC).

In addition, removal of both TCDs with the safety wings still attached allows for training full lock, full lean turns without the fear of falling in real world situations such as slippery or wet roads.

The Crash Without The Rash

SKIDBIKE™ comments, “Second only to vision, most professionals agree that braking is the most important component for rider safety.”

Threshold braking and the rider experience of tire lock up can’t be safely experienced in a training environment without SKIDBIKE™. What SKIDBIKE™ does is to allow the learning of proper front and rear braking techniques without the hazard.

The system balances the bike with both front and rear loss of grip, it showcases how important front wheel grip is with life‐saving, and practical exposure which SKIDBIKE™ says has never before been SAFELY available in rider training.

Imagine you are sliding sideways, but now the front is losing grip. What do you do?

Another element SKIDBIKE™ can streamline is motorcycle control operation – Friction zones, gear change and neutral selection, front and rear brake activation, switch operation, and more, can be learned statically without moving an inch.

Low speed turns and figure 8 exercises which are critical for the new rider to understand can be learned in complete safety with students experiencing the fail, but not the fall. Mistakes that are made that normally would cause a rider to fall to the ground.

Who’s it for?

SKIDBIKE™ offers professional motorcycle training schools, academies, and dealers a tool for training vital safety concepts and techniques to all riders.

From being an unequalled crowd pleaser at promotional events to successfully building confidence in those riders with little experience, the SKIDBIKE offers an abundance of exercises that extend well beyond “basic” beginner curriculum.

For new riders the system lessons include:

Balance
Vision
Front brake control
Rear brake control
Dual brake control
Gear selection
Clutch activation
Friction zone concepts
Leaning

Experienced Rider practice exercises include:

Balance
Vision
Front brake control
Rear brake control
Dual brake control
Gear selection
Clutch activation
Friction zone concepts
Leaning
Threshold of lock up, Front Brake
Threshold of lock up, Rear Brake
Counter‐steering techniques
What causes a Low Side
What causes a High Side
Low Side management and control
High Side Management and control
Proper rider body positioning
Throttle control – On/off throttle, handle bar straight – Throttle control, handle bar pushed

From what we can see, the SKIDBIKE™ offers safe practical training on a real motorcycle, this offers a real life experience of how the motorcycle reacts, how a rider reacts physically and emotionally (oh no I’m going to crash) which cannot be obtained fully in simulation systems.

Plus it looks like massive fun without sacrificing any of the educational benefits.  The SKIDBIKE™ certainly grips the riders attention!

SKIDBIKE™ is manufactured by Cedergrens Mechanical in Klintehamn, Sweden and is imported and distributed in the Western Hemisphere exclusively by SKIDCAR SYSTEM, INC., a Nevada, USA Corporation.

SKIDBIKE – “It’s About Grip Not Slip”