Safety Web Page.
Life can be hard when you are slidding down the road on your
ass with gravel being forced under your skin and the friction
ripping you apart to the bone, and in slow motion you watch the
telegraph pole getting closer and closer, you feel and hear a
cracking crunching noise as the collision happens pain quickly
turns to blackness. Hazyness, a familiar face, strange noises,
waking up in intensive care, broken ribs, legs and pelvis, lucky
to have lived at all. Months pass slow in traction.
Condition and Maintenance
maintainance and cleaning of your motorcycle my seem a
troublesome and tedious task but a sensible motorcyclist will
keep their bike clean and in good mechanical order. A motorcycle
which is not regularly maintained will become unsafe. Older
machines with high mileages will require more regular attention.
It is best to follow the manufacturers routine checklist on a
regular basis so that some points are not overlooked. The maker's
handbook will tell you what needs done and how often. Books such
as the Hynes manuals are an invaluable aid to servicing your bike,
but be warned. Do not attempt jobs that are out of your league
which would require a trained dealership mechanic. These may need
specialist tools and tuning / balancing equipment. Note the
following as a checklist for maintaining your bike. Note
to prolong the life of your engine you should change the oil
twice as often as recommended using the best quality synthetic
oil and change your oil filter with each oil change. If you have
bought your bike new it is still good practice to run the engine
in for at least 1600 Km.
The best of British
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- Reflectors and number plate are clean.
- Head lamp, break lights, indicator lights and number
plate lights are clean and work. Always carry spare bulbs
as vibration can have an adverse effect on bulbs causing
them to have much shorter lives than would be expected.
- Oil, brake fluid, water and battery acid are not leaking.Top
up as required.
- Flexible brake pipes are not cracked or bulging.
- All control cables operate smoothly. look for signs of
rust, broken strands and nipples pulling off the cable.
Make sure none are trapped or pinched. Lubricate as
- Brakes are working properly.
- Tyre pressure is set to the recommended setting for the
machine, remembering that the pressure will need to be
adjusted when carrying a passenger.
- Tyres are not damaged by stones in the tread, or cuts and
bulges in the side walls. A burst tyre could cause a
fatal accident. Make sure that the tyre has at least
1mm of tread over 3/4 of the tyre width and throughout
the entire circumference of the tyre and is free from
- Make sure the drive chain and sprockets are not worn and
that the chain is not stretched. Also ensure that the
chain is lubricated at least weekly.
- There is no undue play in the steering head, and that
there is free movement from lock to lock.
- The wheels are true (not out of alignment) and there is
no play on the bearings. Be vigilent for loose spokes.
- The horn works.
- The front forks are not leaking oil from the oil seals.
Test the suspension by pushing down on the machine.
Adjust the rear suspension to suit your weight or when
needed to suit carrying a passenger.
- The swinging arm bushes are not worn and grease as
- All nuts and bolts are tight and that spilt pins are in
place in both front and rear wheel spindles.
- There are no fuel leaks.
You should buy the best clothing that you can afford. It
should be well insulated to keep you warm and provide waterproof
protection. You clothing should be highly visable. Buy bright or
fluoresent clothing with reflective patches alternatiively you
can wear a reflective belt and sash combination or fluoresent
reflective over waist coat. Good motorcycle clothing must be able
to stand up to the abrasion caused by falling off you bike
- Your helmet. must bear BSI kite mark (BS 5361 or 2495).
Make sure it is of a good tight fit and do not paint or
cover with stickers.
- Your visor must comply with (BS 4110XA, YA or ZA). Keep
clean. Replace if scratched. Visability is paramount. Do
not use tinted or coloured visors as these are illegal in
the U.K., But wear dark glasses if you wish, as these can
be removed at dusk. If you need glasses to see distant
objects, you must wear them at all times.
- Many good makes of gloves are available. Obtain a pair
that are strong, waterproof and warm.
- Leathers, should be strong and waterproof. A waterproof
over jacket can be bought to wear in winter.
- Boots should be long enough to protect your ankles and
should also be strong,waterproof and warm.
In many of the collisions involving cars, the drivers claim
not to have seen the motorcyclist. This applies equally in the
day light as night time. It is easy for a motorcyclist to be
obscured by a tree, lamp post or padestrians from a driver coming
out of a junction. Therefore:
- Stay well back from the vehicle in front to give better
visability of the road ahead and to allow other road
users to see you.
- Use the new European road legal, Blue Xenon bulb in your
headlight and dipped headlights at all times. See the
Philips Web Site at the following http://www.eur.lighting.philips.com/automotive/indexflash.html
- Wear bright/fluoresent or reflective clothing.
- Make sure headlamps tail lights and indicators are clean.
- Wear a white or brightly coloured helmet.
Apply brakes gently except in an emergency. Apply front brake
first fractionally before applying the rear brake, this gives
more stability, control and stopping power
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