Most bikes have a small storage compartment under the seat, ideal for essential kit for them tricky emergencies. You probably already have the factory supplied mini tool kit in there, so here I’m going to go over other useful kit you should pack on an every day basis. Some I’ve found useful myself, some I’ve been recommended by others.
A chilly morning and just cleaned the bike. As recommended, I used cold water to not accelerate rusting, but damn my fingers are numbs now! Why cold water? Well hot water provides more activation energy for the oxidisation process, thus increasing speed of corrosion. Chemist geeks can read up on the details of reaction temperature dependency and the Arrhenius equation that governs it.
Uh-Oh. Right hand heated glove stopped working half on route home. Appears I may have another loose connection in the controller wiring, again. 🙁 At least I have a spare now…
Stumbled across this excellent YouTube video today. Certainly not for the faint hearted, but there’s some definitely lessons to be learnt from the unfortunate accidents shown. Not easy viewing, but do try to avoid repeating their mistakes on the road yourself.
A large number of these accidents are down to aggressive filtering, often on the inside and general lack of perception and anticipation of upcoming hazards. It may be easy to spot these errors watching the video, but many of the riders had too much speed for the conditions/hazards around them, leaving them no time to react. There’s also an awful lot of riders seriously lacking protective clothing – they’re really gonna be hurting!
On the back of the excellent BikeSafe course I did on Saturday, already I’ve found one of the tips covered useful and prevented a potentially hairy situation.
Riding home in the dark, along a quiet tree lined avenue, I spotted up ahead the nose of a car protruding from a junction. Its indicator was flashing to turn right across my path and was slowly creeping out. I changed position, moving out towards the centre of the road, to make myself visible around the tree. The car hit the brakes and waited for me to pass.
It was a simple trick, being aware the tree was blocking the line of sight between myself and the car driver, and changing position accordingly. But had I not moved out the car driver would not have seen me until much later, and likely would have pulled out in front of me.
So, tip of the day, position yourself to be scene. Consider what may obscure you.
Today, I attended the BikeSafe day over in Romford, run by the local traffic police. After hearing many good reports in the course and its benefits, I decided to give it a go.
Haynes manuals are currently running a great competition to win Gold or Silver VIP Moto GP 2013 passes (for two people). Pop over there now and get your entry in. Best of luck!
Check out your local Lidl store next week, they’re doing a bunch of biker gear cheap. Lids, boots, gloves and thermal base layers. The Lids, gloves and boots look a bit cheap and probably only worth bothering with for occasional pillion use. However the thermal base layers look decent. Although the worst of the winter is over, it’s still pretty chilly out there, so will still be useful before next winter. Offer starts Feb 28th, but be quick, once the stock has gone, that’ll be it.
Distinctly frosty and foggy this morning. But once wrapped up warm, it was a good ride into work. So glad I’ve got my heated gloves and Pinlock visor. I do like riding into London on a foggy day, coming in past Canary Wharf, with just a sun blinding glint coming out of the fog where some skyscraper is hidden. The Shard (pictured) was particularly dazzling as it poked out above the fog, and just the top most floors visible and catching the sun.
This shot of the Shard was taken from just off Bermondsey Street.
When planning to take to the road on two wheels, novice motorcyclists should realise that motorbikes vary considerably in size, power, weight and handling. No beginner should hop on a Kawasaki 2012 ZX-14R, which packs a 1,441cc engine and can reach speeds of up to 186mph (or higher with the limiter removed), generating 11,000rpm, 192bhp (over 200bhp with a modified exhaust) and 113lb.ft of torque. The ZX-14R is certainly no bike for beginners, but some of the models listed below may be suitable.