Posts Tagged ‘motorcycle safety’

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I have decided to do something a bit different ….. towards the end of each month I will scan the recalls and post the new ones to the blog.  Will that be helpful?

 

Manufacturer BMW Motorrad / TVS Motor Company

Summary: Prolonged use of the kickstand the section of the frame that houses the kickstand bushing could sustain damage or possibly break. Consequently, the rider and/or pillion could face injuries

Consequence: If the kickstand bushing should fail the rider and/or pillion could be injured.

Remedy: Owners of the affected models will either be contacted directly by BMW, or may voluntarily bring their rides back to the dealership for inspection. The defect involves the kickstand’s section of the chassis, on the current G 310 platform.

Manufacturer: Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

SUMMARY: Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (Suzuki) is recalling certain 2018 Suzuki DR-Z400S and DR-Z400SM motorcycles. During assembly the resin that fills the rear brake stop lamp switch may have adhered to the internal contacts, which can prevent the brake lamp from illuminating.

CONSEQUENCE: If the brake lights do not illuminate, it can increase the risk of a crash.

REMEDY: Suzuki will notify owners, and dealers will install a new stop lamp switch assembly, free of charge. The recall began on July 16, 2018. Owners may contact Suzuki customer service at 1-800-934-0934. Suzuki’s number for this recall is 2A84.

Manufacturer: Indian Motorcycle Company

SUMMARY: Indian Motorcycle Company (Indian) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Indian Scout, Scout Sixty, and Scout Bobber motorcycles. The Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) may have air left in the system after the assembly process.

CONSEQUENCE: Air in the brake system can reduce brake effectiveness, increasing the risk of a crash.

REMEDY: Indian will notify owners, and dealers will bleed the front and rear anti-lock brake system, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in July 2018. Owners may contact Indian customer service at 1-877-204-3697. Indian’s number for this recall is I-18-07.

Manufacturer Ducati North America

Summary:  Ducati North America (Ducati) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Ducati Supersport, and Supersport S motorcycles. The Airbox blow-by and fuel tank overfill hoses may be routed too close to the exhaust manifold, which may cause the hoses to melt.

Remedy: Ducati will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the hose routing and correct as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin August 11, 2018. Owners may contact Ducati customer service at 1-888-391-5446.

May is Motorcycle Awareness month but May 2018 is coming to an end.  Motorcycle awareness should not come to an end.  Please take these Motorcycle awareness pics and post to all your social media accounts.  Lets get the word out all year long!!!!

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                                        May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

As we all know all the safety gear we wear and all the safety tech on our motorcycles are just not enough at times. Awareness of motorcycles by drivers of cars and trucks is as important as everything we do.

So to help improve the awareness of others (and therefore ourselves) we need to start teaching children to watch for motorcycles. That is why the idea of teaching kids to count motorcycles instead of “punch bugs” is so important. If they are watching for motorcycles as kids they will have an easier time seeing them when they start to drive. Thus our safety as motorcyclist is improved. The payoff is in the future but let’s invest now.

Make a game that has a small reward when they spot “X” number of motorcycles. Ask your non-riding friends to do this with their children. Mention it at events and gatherings, just get the word out. You know when a 6 year old yells “motorcycle” that their parent is going to see it to!!

This is a repost from May 2017

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With April set as Motorcycle Helmet Safety Month I thought I would write a few different posts on the subject.  I am going to try and cover several different areas around helmet safety just for us to think about.

FITMENT

I am not going to try the case of wearing or not wearing the helmet.  But if you do wear a helmet you should make sure it fits properly.

The first thing, in my opinion, you should do is look at the sizing guides for the helmets you are most interested in. Every motorcycle helmet manufacturer has a slightly different way of sizing your head both in measurements and shape.

Sizing your skull

When you measure your head, wrap the tape measure starting about ½ inch above your eyebrow, loop around your head (at the largest point) keeping it above your ears.  I recommend that you have a friend help you with this to get the correct measure.  I also suggest doing it three times and then averaging the three to get the size of your noog’n.

If your melon falls between the two sizes, go with the smaller size.

 

 

Shape of your skull

This one is a lot tougher to deal with.  Most motorcycle helmet makers really, truly do not take into to account that our brain-cases are the same shape.

While all heads, for the most part, are oval some are rounder then others while some are more elongated.  The shape of your skull will impact how the helmet fits.  You will have to try on the helmets you are interested in to see how they fit your dome.

Trying the Helmet On

Does your new candidate helmet fill a little tight?  That is good!  Feeling a little tight or slightly uncomfortable is ok but if it should not be inducing any pain to the back of your gourd, your temples or your forehead. Any hotspots or uncomfortable pressure points will be a guarantee of a miserable ride.

Now try turning the helmet left and right and tilting forward and back.  If the helmet moves over your skin freely it is to big, try a size smaller.

If it seems to fit well, try to keep it on for at least 10-15 minutes.  Does it still feel ok?  When you take it off are there any hotspots or rub marks, if not maybe you have a winner.  If you are having comfort issues the helmet just might be the wrong shape for your head.

Try to Pull the Helmet Off

Last step, if everything else seems to be a-ok.  Reach over your head and grasp the bottom/back of the helmet.  Try and pull it over and off your head.  If it comes off, try a different size.

While these are my recommendation please do your own research on the fitment of motorcycle helmets.  There are many other suggestions out there, these are just the ones that I use. Just use these suggestions as a way to get started on assuring a good fit.  Look for other suggestions/recommendations on fitment of helmets.  Never trust just one website, look at as many as you can to make sure you fully understand. 

Also, you can use these fitment techniques as a starting point to determine if your current motorcycle helmet is still good to go.  Can you pull it over and off your head?  Might be a good time to replace your primary safety device.

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Example of bad fitment!

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Here in North America and in many other parts of the world, our motorcycles are coming out of their winter hibernation.  Along with the all of our riding accessories including helmets.

So what does that mean to you and me, the average motorcycle rider?h7

It means that you need to perform the safety checks for your motorcycle (tires, brakes, etc.).  You also need to check the condition of your helmets.  Some ideas on checking your motorcycle helmet:

  • Is the shell all in one piece? No cracks or splits?
  • Are the straps and connectors in good shape, no adverse wear or tear?
  • The internal padding is connected and stays in place?
  • Does the rest of the internals look in good operating condition?
  • Make sure that insects/creatures are not living in your helmet, see the photos below!

While your helmet might look clean and shiny it does not mean that it not ready for replacement. Worse yet, a single drop to the ground might be enough to cause you to consider replacement, according to the manufactures.

Here are some industry guidelines regarding your helmet:

  • Helmet manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet every 3 to 5 years, h6depending on use, to ensure optimal protection.
  • Over time, UV rays, internal adhesive and component aging can deteriorate a helmet’s protective qualities by degrading the interior protection layer.
  • Exposure to gasoline, insect repellent, cleaning fluids, exhaust fumes and excessive heat can degrade helmet materials.
  • If a helmet has been dropped or suffered an impact, it should be replaced immediately.
  • A helmet is designed for only one impact, even a small one. An impact may fracture its outer shell as well as compress the inner liner, neither of which may be visible.

Now it is your head so you need to make the decision, but you should at least check out your lid to make sure there are no major issues.

When you get your lid out for the 1st time this year, or if you have let it set for while you might want to make sure nothing has crawled in there.  In the 1st photo that is a poisonous Black Widow spider.  How bad would it feel to get bitten at 50MPH?  Oh and in the second pic that is a miniature Mountain Lion, I am sure you can all see the danger in that!!!!

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Check your lid! That is a Black Widow Spider!

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Look! A cat!

 

 

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Victims of road rage know that it can be very worrying to get caught in a situation like this. You want it to be over – and you want to make sure it doesn’t happen again. How can you deal with road rage in a safe way and take action while on your motorbike if necessary? Follow the steps below. (Editor -While the post is geared for Australia, the spirt applies to anywhere you may ride – WSM)

1. Stay Calm and Don’t Engage – First off, don’t engage the person who may be yelling at you, approaching you, or even acting in a violent manner. When you stay calm and keep out of it, they have nothing to fuel their rage and it will die out. If you engage them, things may escalate, and you may even get into trouble for your own actions.

2. Find a Safe Place – You may not wish to continue riding while you are anxious and recovering from the situation, as you may be shaking or feeling distracted. However, if a motorist has stopped to shout at or threaten you, it may not be safe to stay there with them. Rather, calmly ride on until you can find a safe place to stop away from them.

3. Take Details – Take as many details as you can from the moment the incident begins. Deliberately look at and take in their face, their vehicle, what they are wearing, and their number plate if possible. This will be easier if you have a passenger seated behind you, since your attention may well be taken up with the task of driving, but notice what you can.

4. Let Them Go – Let the other motorist go by you if possible. You don’t want to have them driving alongside you or behind you for a long distance, so keep to a safe speed and let them go past. If they deliberately slow down to keep pace with you, then you should continue to drive in a manner which complies with the Australian laws of the road  (or the laws of your country/local) and also keeps you safe.

5. Make Detailed Notes – Once you are able to stop for a longer period of time, make sure that you write everything down. Make notes about what happened, including exactly what was said if you can remember it. The number plate, car make and model, and description of the other person are all very important. The quicker you get it on paper or typed into your phone, the less chance you will forget it.

6. Make a Report – If the incident was a serious one, call the police. If it was not as serious or you think you may be partly responsible for what happened, consider calling a lawyer first. They will be able to tell you whether you should make a police report and what kind of things to say if you do.

7. Seek Advice – Now, you should seek advice about what to do next. In some cases, you may be able to press charges against the other motorist, or seek damages for what they have done. In other cases, you might not be able to take it any further. Wait until you get the advice of an expert to see if there is anything you should be doing next. 

Road rage can be very serious, and even if you get away with nothing more than a shaken feeling, you should consider talking to someone in a legal capacity. Someone who gets away with road rage on a motorcyclist such as yourself may turn up the violence next time and end up seriously hurting someone.

 Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, BizDb.co.nz and Bizset.com, an online resources with information about businesses. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.  Her dad was a motorcyclist and he passed that passion on to her. Sarah loves to travel the world on her motorcycle and she hopes that one of her daughters will become her partner in the near future. Sarah has published other articles on IJustWant2Ride: 

Travelling Australia By Motorcycle. Guest Post By Sarah Kearns

9 Things to Consider Before Starting a Motorcycle Business Guest post by Sarah Kearns

 

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Spring has sprung across the world (in the northern hemisphere), and riders are starting to come back out in force.  Despite my near-debilitating seasonal allergies this is one of my favorite times of year!  Nothing gets me psyched up like the first Sunday that it’s warm enough to ride after winter where I’m pretty sure every person that owns a motorcycle where I live is out!  (Side note:  motorcycles are out in much greater numbers on Sunday compared to Saturday around me, is that true for anyone else?)  The strong sense of community, camaraderie, and kinship I feel on a warm (or at least not cold!) spring day is part of why I love riding so much.

But motorcycling isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.  As we all come out of our winter cocoons to spread our wings on the road, it is important to remember that motorcycling is not without its fair share of danger.  In many parts of the world, four-wheeled motorists still are not properly trained to accommodate us on the road.

TIPS FOR YOU TO KEEP YOURSELF SAFE

Make Sure Your Bike is Properly Maintained

I will probably do a whole post just on this in the future, but motorcycle maintenance is much more frequent than cars and very, very important.  I’m only going to touch on two items today as I feel they are the most overlooked maintenance tasks, and they both pertain to your chain.

Maintain your chain!  That’s a refrain I’ve heard across the internet in regards to proper bike maintenance.  Chain-driven bikes are the single most common type of bike, and the chain is pivotal in making everything work, yet so many people neglect to take care of it.  If you don’t properly care for your chain you could one day find yourself riding down the road on a sunny afternoon one minute and on the ground the next because your chain jumped off the rear sprocket and locked up the bike.  This is a worst-case scenario, but it does happen.  Here are two simple tasks you can perform to help prevent that:

Regularly monitor your chain’s slack.  Slack allows your motorcycle’s chain to adjust as your back wheel bounces up and down on the road.  Every motorcycle has a recommended chain slack, and it’s usually even printed on the bike’s swing arm (if you have a swing arm bike) or somewhere else near the chain.  You want to keep your bike’s chain slack within the manufacturer recommended specifications so your chain has enough slack to adjust as needed, but not so much that it can fly off the sprocket.

Lube your chain.  I’ve heard many people say “I lube my chain and change my oil at the start of every season” not realizing that while that’s fine for your oil, chains need to be lubed much more frequently.  Most manufacturers I’ve seen recommend lubing your chain every 500 miles, but the usual common accepted practice among owners is about 500-1000 miles.  I commute 450 miles a week for work, so I just lube my chain every weekend regardless.  It takes 5 minutes and could save your life.  Finally, lube your chain EVERY TIME after you ride in the rain.  That’s right, every time, even if you just lubed it before riding that day.  Rain cleans your bike, but it also washes all of that sweet, sweet lube right off the chain!

Wear A Helmet

I personally am an ATGATT type of guy, but I get that some people don’t want to go through the trouble of putting on special pants, boots, gloves, and a jacket every time they go out to ride.  Motorcycling is about managing acceptable risk after all.  One thing that I try my hardest to convince every rider that I meet to do, though, is wear a helmet.  Broken limbs can heal, shorn skin can grow back, but a crushed skull is often motorcycle-helmet-after-accidentpretty permanent.  Once again, I intend to do a whole post on the topic of helmets, but for now I want to leave you with this one thought:

A friend once told me “You buy a $40 helmet for a $40 head, and a $400 helmet for a $400 head.”  I really like this, it makes a lot of sense.  What’s not said is you’re unique and regardless of what you think your head is worth, it’s worth so much more to someone else out there somewhere that cares about you.  Every head is at least a $400 head, please protect it.

Pretend You’re Invisible

I feel this too has been said a lot, but it cannot be stressed enough.  In a fight between a bike and a car / truck / whatever, the bike will lose.  Every time.  While it’s important for other motorists to look out for us, we also need to be looking out for ourselves.  Be proactive, before passing someone consider the likelihood of them wanting to get into your lane assafety you pass.  Assume that they won’t see you when they consider their lane switch.  And in this specific example, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about passing other motorists, do it QUICKLY.  Motorcycles are in part about speed.  Speed is fun.  Speed can also be a lifesaving tool if used appropriately.

A note specific to intersections:  intersections are the most deadly place for motorcyclists.  That person in the SUV crossing the other way may have looked you dead in the eye from your perspective, but odds are good they didn’t even see you.  They’re not trained to.  Proceed into intersections with the utmost caution; make sure you are aware of every car within visible distance of the intersection.  And only proceed through once you’re 100% sure no one is going to cut you off, and do it QUICKLY (see the theme here?)

So those are just a few quick tips to stay safe throughout the riding season, but wait I thought this post was about Motorcycle Awareness Month?  That is a very astute observation, and absolutely correct!  Which brings me to the second part of this post…

Put a “WATCH FOR MOTORCYCLES” Decal on Your Car

Bumper stickers and decals are annoying, I get it, but how many random things have you gotten stuck in your head because you were stuck behind someone with one at a stop light?  If you ride a motorcycle you owe it to yourself to put one of these on your car.  This is one decal that could actually save a life.  In the United States, the MSF gives out these stickers pretty often at the end of their courses, (that’s how I got mine) but if you don’t want to go through that, and don’t want to go through the hassle of looking up where to find one, here’s a couple direct Amazon links to both a high-visibility one depicting a cruiser and a standard black and white one featuring a sport bike.  I recommend getting the high-vis, but if you are the type of person who absolutely can’t stand the idea of having a cruiser stuck on your car, I understand.

Talk to Non-Riders About Riding

Depending on who you are this may either be a no-brainer or easier said than done.  Motorcycle awareness starts with you and the people around you.  For some non-riders talking about riding could be difficult as the fact that you ride worries them, and thinking about it makes it worse.  I am writing this tip for those types of people in your life.  Do your best to let them know that if they truly worry, then the best thing they can do is talk with you about it, and learn better how to share the road with motorcyclists.  Every non-rider that listens and learns is a step toward a safer world for motorcyclists.  With any luck that one person will then educate other people when the topic inevitably comes up among four-wheel motorists every Spring.

This second part is specifically for those of you with kids.  I used to always play a game with my friends called “Yellow Car”, which, as you might expect, is played by saying, “yellow car!” before anyone else when you see a yellow-colored car.  As a kid on long trips, my family would try to find as many different states’ license plates as we could before getting to our destination.  These games are silly, but they also teach very important observation skills.  For example, I can spot yellow cars in my sleep now.  So when you’re on the road with kids, play “Motorcycle” where the first person to yell (or say, but it usually turns into excited yelling) “Motorcycle!” as one goes by gets a point!  This will not only keep them entertained, but will teach them a very important skill once they grow up and become licensed drivers:  they’ll be able to spot a motorcycle from a mile away.

Join SyncRIDE

SyncRIDE is actually the inspiration for this whole article!  EatSleepRIDE is hosting SyncRIDE on May 27th to raise motorcycle awareness.  It’s a worldwide synchronized ride. No matter where you are at 10 AM EDT, just turn on your EatSleepRIDE app, (if you have a smartphone) and go for a ride with thousands of other riders!  As long as they continue it next year, I foresee SyncRIDE becoming a annual event for riders with the ability to create some real awareness.

And if you live in the Lancaster, PA area, hit me up at readysetmoto@gmail.com!  I’m trying to coordinate a group ride around here for the event as well!

What other things do you think we as riders can do to raise awareness and create safer motorways?  Let me know in the comments!

 

Michael Morris is a motorcycle enthusiast living in the middle of Amish Country Pennsylvania.  He runs and owns the motorcycle blog and news site www.ReadySetMoto.com.  When not working on his blog, he loves to interact with fellow motorcyclists on Twitter (@ReadySetMoto) and Facebook (facebook.com/Ready-Set-Moto) as well so drop him a line!

ShareTheRoad-pr  

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month.  It is important to get the word out to your non-riding friends and family! 

I don’t own any of these photos about motorcycle safety but I have gathered them from across the internet.  I think “Fair Use” is in full operation in regards to their use.   

So copy and paste these motorcycle safety pictures &, memes.  Post them up to all your favorite sites.  Point them out to non-riders, we already get it! 

Ride safe.

 

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May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.  

 

As we all know all the safety gear we wear and all the safety tech on our motorcycles are just not enough at times.  Awareness of motorcycles by drivers of cars and trucks is as important as everything we do. 

 

So to help improve the awareness of others (and therefore ourselves) we need to start teaching children to watch for motorcycles.  That is why the idea of teaching kids to count motorcycles instead of “punch bugs” is so important.  If they are watching for motorcycles as kids they will have an easier time seeing them when they start to drive.  Thus our safety as motorcyclist is improved.  The payoff is in the future but let’s invest now. 

 

Make a game that has a small reward when they spot “X” number of motorcycles. Ask your non-riding friends to do this with their children.  Mention it at events and gatherings, just get the word out.  You know when a 6 year old yells “motorcycle” that their parent is going to see it to!!