Monthly Archives:July 2017

The future is electric for Queensland motorists

27 Jul , 2017,
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The future of motoring in Queensland was launched at Parliament House in Brisbane today – and it is electric.

Environment Minister and Acting Main Roads Minister Steven Miles officially kick-started the EV revolution in the State with the launch of the Queensland Electric Super Highway – the world’s longest in one State.

Mr Miles said the super highway will be a series of fast-charging electric vehicle stations which will be rolled out at locations right up the Queensland coast from the Gold Coast to Cairns to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in Queensland.

“This project is ambitious, but we want as many people as possible on board the electric vehicle revolution, as part of our transition to a low emissions future,” Mr Miles said.

“Today I’m announcing the first 18 towns and cities that make up phase one of the Electric Super Highway and will, once operational in the next six months, make it possible to drive an electric vehicle from the state’s southern border to the Far North.

“They will be available for use at no cost for the initial phase of the super highway so we can encourage as many people as possible to start using them.”

Mr Miles said what made the announcement even more exciting was the fact that the energy supplied in the fast-charging stations would be green energy purchased through green energy credits or offsets.

“EVs can provide not only a reduced fuel cost for Queenslanders, but an environmentally-friendly transport option, particularly when charged from renewable energy,” he said.

“The Queensland Electric Super Highway has the potential to revolutionise the way we travel around Queensland in the future.”

Mr Miles said electric vehicle ownership rates around the world were increasing, largely due to significant advances in battery technology and continued cost reductions in EVs.

“The most recent Queensland Household Energy Survey showed that 50% of Queenslanders will consider an electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid or regenerative braking hybrid, when purchasing a new car in the next two years and that majority said improvements to public fast-charging infrastructure would further tempt them into purchasing an EV,” he said.

Behyad Jafari, Electric Vehicle Council CEO said the Queensland Government was to be commended for its national leadership in support of the electric vehicle industry.

“This initial support from government serves as a signal to the market that Queensland is serious about electric vehicles and provides certainty to unlock investment to grow our economy and create new, high skilled jobs,” he said.

“I encourage all governments across Australia to follow suit, particularly as this support will help to provide motorists with increased choice of cars that are cheaper and healthier to operate.”

“The future truly is electric,” Minister Miles said.

*The locations of the fast-charging stations – Cairns, Tully, Townsville, Bowen, Mackay, Carmila, Marlborough, Rockhampton, Miriam Vale, Childers, Maryborough, Cooroy, Brisbane, Helensvale, Coolangatta, Springfield, Gatton and Toowoomba.

Acting Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports
The Honourable Steven Miles, Thursday, July 27, 2017.

Website Link

How to improve emergency braking

26 Jul , 2017,
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Emergency braking causes more confusion and trepidation for riders than anything else, according to Mark McVeigh of the motoDNA motorcycle training course.

  • How hard can I brake?
  • Will the front wheel lock?
  • Will I go over the handlebars?
  • How far can I lean over on the brakes?

As a motorcycle instructor I am continually amazed at how many of our students, who have generally had some training and are licensed, come to us with inadequate emergency braking skills.

It’s super important to understand and regularly practice emergency braking on your bike. Normally I recommend a quiet carpark with a slight up hill.

Maximum grip

tyre pressures Emergency brakingTo understand braking we must first understand grip. The main contributor to grip is the weight or load on each tyre. The ratio between the maximum possible grip and the vertical load is called the co-efficient of friction.

Slide an eraser across your kitchen table. Now try the same thing pushing down hard on the eraser.

This same thing happens when you brake on a motorcycle. The bike pitches forward transferring weight on to the front wheel, increasing front tyre grip. More so with sports bikes, tall with short wheelbase compared to cruisers, which are long and low.

Also consider the significant increase in grip experienced as the front tyre contact patch pressure multiplies due to the load transfer when braking.

To understand this, simply push a tyre with your hand and see how it flattens out. This is happening between the tyre and the road as weight transfers to the front tyre, increasing the contact patch and grip as you brake.

Also, as the brake is applied, torque is transferred through the wheel to the tyre contact patch, which creates a horizontal force at the road surface. The road pushes back on the tyre and equally the tyre pushes forward on the road. You can thank Newton for this mechanical grip; as for each force there is an equal and opposing force.

Front or rear or both

2014 Yamaha Stryker Launch Gasolina - South Wharf Melbourne Wednesday 14 May 2014 © Sport the library / Jeff Crow emergency brakingOn a motorcycle, the major braking power comes from the front. Consider how much power the rear brake contributes to a sports bike when the rear wheel can be in the air. Zero.

Other bikes like cruisers don’t pitch as much on the brakes and the rear wheel will not come off the ground. Thus the rear brake has some braking performance. However, the lion’s share remains with the front brake.

The majority of motoDNA students will lock the rear brake in initial emergency braking drills. This can put the machine out of control and the rider will be required to regulate the rear brake to regain control. Why bother with the rear brake if it’s easy to lock up and contributes little braking performance?

It depends on your bike. Good training and practice is the best way to understand your braking performance, your own reaction times and improve your skill.

Shifting

Obviously in an emergency the primary goal is to stop as quickly as possible. However what about the distracted car driver behind texting on their phone? Make sure when you have stopped that you are in first gear and ready to get out of the way of any four-wheeled chaos that might come your way.

Engine braking

Nothing will slow you down faster than the front brake. Make sure you get the clutch in nice and early. Another good reason for whipping the clutch in is the tendency to keep the throttle on in a state of panic. I regularly reassure guilty motoDNA students that as long as the clutch is disengaged this doesn’t matter as the bike will not drive forward.

Trail braking

Kawasaki Team Green Australia's first track-day event is on April 8 emergency brakingTrail braking is a technique which is generally reserved for racers, used to slow the bike as quickly as possible from one speed (on the straight) to another (corner apex speed).

In applying this technique, a racer will approach a turn and at their braking marker apply full braking force, normally with the bike being upright. As they begin to turn in, they reduce brake pressure, easing off the brakes, decreasing or trailing the brake lever force as the bike lean angle increases until they get to the apex when they release the brake and apply the throttle.

Sounds easy enough in theory, but proper execution is complicated because it comes down to feel and remember these guys are doing this seamlessly, every lap on the limit! Trail braking is a handy skill to have and can be useful on the road in an emergency. Get training before you try this one.

Braking and turning

When emergency braking, you are asking a lot from the front tyre. If you need to swerve, best to get off the brakes and on them again. Again this is a highly skilled manoeuvre. Seek training and practise hard.

Ergonomics

I have seen plenty of examples of the front brake lever not properly adjusted or simply too far away from the rider’s hands. This means the rider has to stretch to reach the lever delaying the braking process. This is especially important for women who generally have smaller hands. Make sure your front brake lever is in the ideal position. 

Road surface

Other factors such as road surface characteristics and other elements between the road and the tyre such as water, gravel and oil play an important part in braking efficiency. In the real world it’s a big ask to emergency brake on these surfaces. Experience, skill or ABS will define your outcome. Improve the first two with training. 

Anti-lock brakes

It’s questionable whether anti-lock brakes can out-perform a skilled rider. However on the road, with the unknowns in grip levels, anti-lock brakes are simply one of the best safety additions for riding a motorcycle. 

Real world

CFMoto 650NK Emergency brakingIn the real world you don’t know when you will need to emergency brake.

Thus, your total stopping distance will include a couple of extra elements such as perception and reaction times.

Perception time is the time taken to realise you need to react to a potential hazard. Reaction time equates to the distance travelled from the time you become aware of a hazard until you apply the brakes.

Perception and reaction times can vary with age and are typically 1-2 seconds.

Higher speed equals more distance travelled. At 100km/h, one second equates to nearly 30 metres! That’s almost 60m before you even start braking.

Tips for braking

It’s possible to lock the front tyre by grabbing the brake lever too quickly, before the bike has had time to pitch.

So first get off the throttle and initiate braking; this causes the bike to pitch transferring weight and grip to the front tyre. Then squeeze the front lever progressively until you come to a stop. At the same time you will whip in the clutch, tapping down the gears until you are in first gear ready to escape from following four-wheel hazards, all this while applying light pressure on the rear brake.

It’s best to practice using the front brake and clutch to begin with, then introduce the rear brake and downshifts.

Emergency braking is a must-have skill that motorcyclists should regularly practise. However, what about preventing the need to emergency brake in the first place?

* Improve your riding level and book a motoDNA advanced training course.

MORE CBD PARKING SPACES ADDED

22 Jul , 2017,
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The Brisbane City Council in conjunction with the CBD parking working group which the MRAQ is a member of has now added an addition 17 motorcycle parking bays and continues to work to find and implement options to replace those lost to the Queens Wharf development plus add more to increase the total amount of spaces.
The latest spaces have been achieved in the Ann Street parking zone and now brings the total replaced in the last two months to 82.
There are two other areas currently being investigated to provide even more free spaces as well as consideration of an MRAQ proposal to implement reduced cost paid spaces in some existing facilities.
The MRAQ continues to work collaboratively with all parties for the interests of motorcyclists.
Information on the available free motorcycle parking spaces in the Brisbane CBD is attached.

Brisbane Motorcycle Parking Click Here

“The MRAQ is always working in the interests of motorcyclists.”

Steering Geometry Debunked

20 Jul , 2017,
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The knowledge of how a bike steers and balances are one of the same skill. Since 1985 I have always started my training of a learner or, an advanced rider around this theorem; which delivers results!

With these essential motorcycle skills, you will be able to perform the following:

1)      Know how to stop a bike and make it lean to left or right (essential for a learner with short legs)

2)      Steer motorcycle at all speeds

3)      Apply three different body English

4)      Understand braking, balance and grip

5)      Balance and slow ride a motorcycle

6)      Control rea wheel slides

7)      Control front wheel slides

A rider that has not been trained with the correct steering geometry methods, will experience the following

1)      Poor steering into turns

2)      Run wide on turns

3)      Struggle doing u turns

4)      Struggle in slow manoeuvres

5)      Have trouble balancing motorcycle when stopping

6)      Struggle to balance motorcycle in slow turns

Any truly experienced and knowledgeable motorcyclist

Would think steering geometry is a standard in teaching and education, yet it isn’t. Scary! Some say it’s an advance skill, which it is most certainly not! In fact, there are states in Australia where the learners are not taught how to steer a motorcycle; basic instruction is to just look through the turn. Which is even more scary!

Over my 33 years of training learners and experienced riders, I would say that most riders have just hopped on a motorcycle and winged it!

Some comments made included:

1)       I have never had an accident, so I must be doing something right

2)      I have never used the handlebars that way

3)      I just lean the motorcycle

4)      My mate has ridden all is life and he says steering geometry is a load of crap

5)      Motorcycle turning changes at speed

6)      You steer a motorcycle under 25 kilometres

7)      Shit I didn’t know that

8)      Wow that’s how you turn a motorcycle

 

The photo below demonstrates steering geometry. Watch the video below (steering geometry in action) to really get an understanding of how a bike steers. 

FACT

All motorcyclists and bicycle riders, ride a single wheel track vehicle which requires the use of steering geometry to function.

History highlights what I am talking about. Consider how we have grown from the penny farthing (where lessons were learnt painfully), which had no trail or rake and suffered horrendous handling issues to our modern bicycle. I would suggest that the modern bicycle has trail and rake in the front forks.

Our first motorcycle was nothing more than a bicycle with a small engine; heck imagine an engine on a penny farthing, no thanks!

The problem with most experienced motorcycle riders

is that they have just jumped on a motorcycle and had a crack at learning to ride; self-taught. They learn organically, which means they have learnt by the seat of the pants; they are not sure what they do, they just do it! They do not have the technical understanding, it just happens. Often, they have googled it or received poor information in their early years.

Motorcycle riders are a passionate mob. They love their recreational activities and love to help others get involved and enjoy the same passion. They have good intentions and they don’t mean to give the wrong advice, but unfortunately more times than not, they just do.

Riders lack exposure to a range of variables in the style of a motorcycles mechanical knowledge, the genre of the motorcycle sport and activities, a vast range of weather conditions, road surfaces, low and high-speed activities, understanding learning phases and training program structure; which is what creates the poor knowledge.

The best riders I have met have had a solid grounding and have had a gradual exposure to all of the above.

The videos below show

Steering geometry in action, steering geometry stop/balance and steering geometry stimulation. All vital skills to understand and have, and one of the first things that Top Rider students are taught.

As a mechanic, race engineer and rider on dirt and road, I have had to understand steering geometry and chassis set up. I know how to make a motorcycle chassis into a cruiser or a sports bike by changing the steering geometry and chassis set up. I also understand all the trade-offs in regard to changes that affect the steering geometry, steering efficiency, grip and the effects on braking biases.

At Top Rider, we offer 39 training products and have always trained and showed our customers the whole package. Over the last 33 years I have been a: learner trainer, sports trainer, coach and mentor, so I have a great understanding of what motivates riders. I also understand the effects when a rider lacks required knowledge and skills. These riders, learners and elite, are all humans. When confronted with difficulties or worse, a life-threatening situation, they will simply close down mentally; leading to panic, irrational thoughts and/or even tunnel vision.

I can assure you that if you let your partner, family or friend, ride without receiving all the information you are placing their life at risk of serious injury or even worse. If you are learning, make sure you are taught steering in your first phase of learning as it is extremely vital!

A tip for you!

There are three handlebar directions used, with three different body English inputs, that create five different systems of control; that are applied for different shaped corners and wet and dry conditions. Please learn to use your bars as it is lifesaving!

Steering Geometry Debunked

UPDATE OF THE DIESEL SPILL ON MT TAMBOURINE

10 Jul , 2017,
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UPDATE OF THE DIESEL SPILL ON MT TAMBOURINE from the Department of Transport and Main Roads (Queensland)
Thanks to the MRAQ for providing further details about the location of the diesel spill. As a result of your message of 7 July 2017, TMR investigations have identified that the spill had occurred on Tuesday 4 July 2017 on Tamborine Mountain Road, near Thunderbird Park, and was inspected and cleared the same day by Emergency Services and Scenic Rim Regional Council.
In order to promptly attend to incidents, I encourage you to call the department’s traffic management centre hotline on 131940 which is available 24/7 to report hazards, pot holes, signal faults and seek assistance should you become involved in a minor incident or breakdown on Queensland roads. Once incidents are reported, they will be posted on the department’s traffic and traveller information website www.QLDTraffic.qld.gov.au to alert road users.
Thanks.

Vision – Improve Your Motorcycle Riding Out Of Sight

4 Jul , 2017,
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Steer the bike with your eyes!    You go where you look!

How often have we motorcyclists heard these phrases?

Looking where you want to go obviously relates to vision, an important sense for everyday life, however when we introduce motorcycles, the importance of vision increases dramatically, not just as an essential tool for high performance riding and racing but also for survival on the road.

The fact is most of us are damaging our vision, namely our peripheral vision with our modern lifestyle of sitting in front of TV and computer screens. Compared to our ancestors, our visual field has narrowed dramatically.

 Use It Or Loose It

If we get into the habit of looking directly at objects while restricting the awareness of our surrounding field of view, it’s comparable to not fully using other areas of our body. For example if we routinely only bend our knee ten degrees, you could imagine this bad habit of restricted movement would ultimately lead to poor function, soreness and long term damage.

It’s safe to assume that our vision also follows the familiar “use it or lose it” rule that is evident in other areas of our body.In other words, if we only use one part of our visual field, the rest of our visual circuitry will begin to go inactive.

So how important is peripheral vision to our riding and what can we do to increase our visual performance?

 Peripheral Awareness  – Essential For Survival

Peripheral vision is the part of vision that occurs outside the main focus of gaze or the means to know what’s happening around you without turning your head. The loss of peripheral vision is commonly referred to as ‘tunnel vision’.

The role of peripheral vision is to spot the predators that lurk around us, originally tigers and nowadays more like cars and trucks or other riders and hazards that can do us harm. On the track, peripheral vision is a mega important skill essential to cutting fast laps, on the road its essential for survival.

Peripheral awareness is also linked to balance, movement, reaction speed, reduced mental fatigue and believe it or not intelligence. Its powerful stuff and improving our vision and, with training, our riding is there for the taking.

Information from the peripheral retina goes directly to the centre of the brain rather than to the brains visual centres. This means that your reaction speed is increased by using your peripheral vision. Boxers and martial artists know this. They don’t look directly at their opponent’s fists or feet, and can react quicker as a result.

Photo 28-09-2014 11 43 00 am

 Target Fixation

Good peripheral vision increases optimum awareness of your overall visual environment. The more aware we are of our surroundings the easier it is to move around.

As a motorcycle trainer, I see limited peripheral vision linked to a load of riding errors on motoDNAs advanced motorcycle training courses like target fixation, getting lost in turns, inconsistency, running wide, disorientation, mental fatigue, etc

Most riders also don’t look far enough ahead; however you can also look too far ahead; getting lost in the turn, hence peripheral vision is only part of the equation. You also need to understand how to apply it to your riding.

 Your Minds Eye

Fortunately, we can improve our peripheral vision by practising certain exercises, however, how many of us actually practise or exercise appropriate vision techniques to develop this much overlooked skill?

Next time you are riding down the highway, use your peripheral vision or your minds eye to look at the vehicles around you whilst keeping your eyes looking ahead.

You will be surprised by what you are able to see with your minds eye, different colours, and different types of vehicles and also look out for an important benefit – a slower sense of speed. If you are on the track, you may want to use more advanced vision enhancement techniques such as light reaction training to improve reaction times and enhance peripheral fields of vision.

 Practise Makes Perfect

Vision, is a dynamic process that involves combining skills of aiming, tracking and focusing, along with a bunch of other mental and neurological processes. So how does peripheral vision help us on the track or road?

To figure this out, let’s consider the elements needed to negotiate a corner, elements known as reference points (RP), these guide us and are vital to help prevent getting lost in the corner. Typical reference points include, braking point, turn in point, apex point and exit point.

The trick is to look ahead, but not too far, and lock in these reference points with your eyes then use your peripheral vision to judge distance and track your motorcycle between those points. On the road you will be scanning too, looking for potholes, oil spills, gravel, etc

John Pace

There’s so many ‘experts’ online these days, so its super important to learn the correct techniques and then do lots of practise, ideally in a controlled environment to reduce the risk from small mistakes.

So make a plan, get training and improve your riding out of sight.

LEARN MORE  

BOOK TRAINING

The National Transport Commission is asking for submissions

Jul , 2017,
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The National Transport Commission is asking for submissions rest assured your MRAQ will be making a submission. You as riders can also make your submissions by reading below for details thanks for taking the time. They want to change our filtering road rules and control of vehicle road rules, Please take the time to look into this by reading their information and make your voice heard by writing a submission just follow the links.

Thank You….

Australian Road Rules 12th
the Amendment Package Type of report
Information Report

Public Consultation
Purpose To support the public consultation process for the Australian Road Rules 12th
Amendment Package
Abstract
This report explains the proposed amendments to the Australian
Road Rules and attaches the draft legislative changes. We
are seeking feedback on the draft changes that will be considered by Ministers for approval in November 2017.
Submission details

Your feedback is sought about what proposed legislative changes
should proceed or not. If you have concerns about progression of any proposed changes please outline the reasons for them.
Your feedback on the amendment package will inform the
recommendations we present to ministers at the Transport and
Infrastructure Council meeting in November 2017. Any individual or organisation can make a submission to the NTC. To make an online submission, please visit www.ntc.gov.au and select

‘Submissions’ from the top navigation menu.
Alternatively you can post your comments to:
Att: Legislative maintenance team
National Transport Commission
Level 3/600 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Australia

Where possible, you should provide evidence, such as data and
documents, to support your views.
If you have any questions about the submission process, please
email
enquiries@ntc.gov.au
.
The public consultation period is open until
11 August 2017.
Feedback may be submitted
online at www.ntc.gov.au

Below direct link to Submissions page

Submissions
By considering your views we can deliver the most effective reforms possible. We welcome submissions from any individual or organisation to help us improve the productivity, safety and environmental performance of Australia’s transport systems. https://www.ntc.gov.au/submissions/

MRAQ Progress on “Parking spaces being replaced.

Jul , 2017,
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MRAQ Progress on “Parking spaces being replaced

Since the loss of multiple motorcycle parking places due to the commencement of the Queens Wharf redevelopment in the Brisbane CBD the MRAQ has taken the lead in engaging with the Brisbane City Council and some other parties to find replacements for as many of the lost places as possible and to attempt to add even more.

The latest addition has been 70 new spaces added at North Quay which is 38 more that was originally planned is an example of what is underway.

Further places and alternatives are currently being worked through with the hope that all that were lost can be replaced plus additional alternatives can be implemented.

The MRAQ is always working in the interests of motorcyclists.”

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