Duck Motorcycle season is open in the UK. Motorcyclists in the county of Essex in the United Kingdom have been warned. They will most likely be picked up from the sky if they ride dangerously.
Distinctive signs have been placed at strategic location on the roads in Essex warning riders. Police helicopters have been equipped with a special Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) device, that coupled with the a digital speed radar can detect motorcycle traveling in excess of the speed limit from as high as 700 feet above the ground.
The helicopter is equipped with high tech GPS, thermal imaging hardware and a set of loudspeakers that would make Mick Jagger proud.
Initially used for cars, the Police force has now turned their undivided attention towards bikers. Since there are more and more motorcycles on the road, bikers have become easy targets.
According to Norman Hume, Chairman of the Essex Casualty Reduction Board ”We are seeing accidents in Essex dramatically reduced in as a result of our intervention and education campaign but we need to make more of an impact on motorcycle accidents. There is a perception that it is sometimes easier for motorcyclists to evade detection of offenses because of the speed they travel at. We feel that signs warning of the likelihood of detection by air will be an extra incentive for particularly motorcyclists, but all motorists, to drive safely and help us to reduce accidents further.”
Traffic Management Officer from Essex Police, Adam Pipe, said: “Use of the force helicopter will enable officers to obtain video evidence of offenses including excess speed plus support specific Road Safety Operations providing information and intelligence to officers on the ground in addition to the helicopters ability to disrupt and detect traveling criminals.”
So now we’re traveling criminals? What’s next... Gunships against motorcycles?
The applause-worthy teenagers with diplomas in their hands are Zaid Sako and Phillip Georgiadis, who just took part at the official launch of their DVD.
Students at Hume Central School (Zaid) and Sunbury Secondary College (Phillip), the two worked closely together with Career Connections – Kangan Batman TAFE, Honda Australia (HART) and Red Cross Australia to create a training DVD. Subject of choice: safety on all kinds of two-wheeled machines.
The project was launched today at Kangan (...) > Full story
Rejoicing news was released today by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation according which motorcyclists are more and more interested in attending basic safety courses. This trims the scale as car drivers who abandoned the steering wheel for the handlebars were claimed being the cause of the increasing number of motorcycle accidents that often involved fatalities.
It would be interesting to see if the numbers of bike crashes reduce in the near future as an effect of this smart action. Hopefully they will, because gas isn’t getting cheaper and more and more bikers will be interested in this solution.
Because of the ingenious design implemented on bikes these days and of the fact that brake and indicator lights are often perfectly blended into the bike’s rear end, car drivers have difficulties noticing when the rider either brakes or expresses its intention of changing direction or lane (note that in this last case, most motorcycle accidents happen).
It has been found that, usually, car drivers look at the back of the rider (or even worse, in front of him) so in order to counteract this bad habit, companies positioned an extra brake light on the helmet.
Considering that as not being enough, Israeli Rahamim Levi introduces “My Backup”, a harness featuring motorcycle brake and indicator lights. Designed to be worn over the motorcycle jacket, it receives the signal through a wireless signal so it doesn’t create any discomfort by needing to be connected or disconnected each time you get off the bike to pay for gas, let’s say.
It has the great advantage of being able to be worn while riding any kind of two-wheeled machine, from scooter to super sport motorcycles. On a scooter, tourer or cruiser, the upright riding position allows the lights to be spotted by traffic participants, while on a sports bike the rider will also straighten up while braking so that the air flow will contribute at the slowing down process. Because there are many chances that the braking will take place before a corner, the signal light will also be easily spotted.
Expected to be marketed for approximately $100, the device will surely be a success as it doesn’t require anything else but to be worn and it gives back so much.
Winter months are the happiest for bikers, but this is also the time when due to the high temperatures outside, some of us simply quit wearing protective gear, something that could show the way to the first destination in the title. So what would you prefer, being hospitalized or sweated?
It is also a fact that when losing their skin and toes (in a happy case) there are no chances for those riders to get back in the saddle (something that we don’t wish). On the other hand, a conscious person that cares about its corporal integrity will keep on riding after making a trip at the local riding gear shop.
So which is your destination this summer in case you crash?
High tech gizmos aren’t limited to the motorcycle itself. Yes, it’s great having the latest injection systems, engine management, LCD display, USB cards for telemetric data, you name the technology. But for the riders, improvements have been made as well. One of them is the use of wireless transmissions. Bluetooth is a wireless transmission standard created for the PC world. It allows peripherals to communicate with each other. Keyboard, mouse, pointing devices can all talk to each other without wires.
Using the same Bluetooth technology, helmets can communicate as well. In the old days, if you wanted to talk to your pillion passenger, either you shouted, or you carried an intercom that consisted of bits of wire, either connecting the rider with the pillion, or via a central hub mounted to the motorcycle.
You could often see a motorcycle ride up to a gas station, and the pillion dismounting and walking to the service area, forgetting that he/she was tied to the motorcycle or rider. Ouch!
Those days are over. By installing a Bluetooth helmet kit, you can now not only talk to each other, but also listen to music, GPS instructions and even talk on your Bluetooth equipped mobile phone.
The first versions of Bluetooth had more limitations. Version 1 of Bluetooth, drew more power (therefore your batteries could not last that long), the sound was in mono and the reach limited 10 meters).
Along came A2DP, a standard that allows for full stereo sound. The most used Bluetooth version is currently 1.2, but version 2 and 2.1 are more and more widely available. Version 3 is in the works, and will give less power usage and more range.
Range can play an important role, since it could allow you to talk to your riding buddy who is also equipped with Bluetooth. Typically, the range is 150 meters for those that have that capability. It will therefore function as a bike-to-bike communication system without the need of a walkie-talkie. Communication is secure, since no one can hear you, or interfere with your communication.
Fitting the Bluetooth kit on your helmet shouldn’t take too long, since most kits have stick on, or screw on mounts (not permanent). Once fitted, you need to introduce the Bluetooth gear to each other (called “pairing”). The only downside is that you need to use the same manufacturer’s gear, you can’t mix & match.
Usually, the Bluetooth gear is intelligent. If you’re talking to your pillion, and the phone rings, it will interrupts the intercom and switch to the phone. The same is applied to GPS instructions.
A wide range of equipment is now available. Helmet manufacturers are selling helmets pre-fitted with Bluetooth (BMW, Schuberth, Nolan, Vemar, NZI, Momo, Givi, Dainese, Airoh and Caberg to name a few).
If you already have a helmet, or want a communication unit that can be moved from helmet to helmet, a growing list of third party manufacturers exist. Some use the same equipment but sold under different labels (such as CellularLine Interphone, Blueant and SuperTooth), other have their own (Albrecht, Scala Cardo, IMC, JM, Motorola, Spyball and Voltronic).
There are also Bluetooth equipped units that do not function as intercom. For example the Parrot SK4000 is a wireless unit that functions as radio, mobile phone interface and MP3/iPod interface. But it can’t be used to talk to your pillion.
At the top of the range are the hub & spoke units. They consist of a central hub mounted to your motorcycle, and Bluetooth receivers fitted to your helmet. The hub interfaces with a wide range of products, including walkie-talkies. Manufactures include AKE, Baehr and Dimton.
Not all units can communicate with all sorts of devices, you need to check carefully. Motorcycle GPSs like Garmin Zumo and TomTom Rider are equipped with Bluetooth, but have in the past proven unreliable with communication links dropping. Always make sure that you have the latest firmware installed in your GPS if you want to use it with your Bluetooth communicator.
But then there are a lot of rides out there who don’t want to be bothered by the pillion, a mobile phone or music. They just want to hear the wind and engine roaring.
PEDCO. LLC is a Atlanta, Georgia based company which has recently teamed up with Mugen Denko for completing a common goal: marketing Hit-Air motorcycle jackets and vests in the U.S.
The time couldn’t be better as gas prices lead to a record number of motorcyclists on our streets today and the risks grow directly proportional with those numbers.
At its base, the idea is very simple, but must function impeccably. An apparently normal motorcycle jacket integrates an airbag system (...) > Full story
No comment to this one guys! There are many changes this scooter girl hasn’t been riding for long, but it sure read all those articles about motorcycle safety and how important it is to wear your helmet. But what she apparently missed is the “helmet positioning lesson” as it fits the helmet completely wrong. See for yourself.
Did you ever happen to buy something and have no inner piece until you put that product to the test? That is exactly what these guys are doing with the MotoAir Motorcycle Airbag Jacket and they actually prove a point.
Notice that the tests were highly benefic as at first there was no deployment and the problem could only be solved with support from the manufacturer. But once up and going, this jacket showed its life-saving potential.
Due to the increased risks that British Troops take whilst on operations, they find it difficult adjusting to the risk thresholds of normal civilian life, particularly when on the road where they drive faster and more recklessly. In fact they are twice as likely to die on the road as civilians. Consequently, the British Army commissioned Golley Slater to create a campaign in an effort to alter the behaviour of British troops when they return home from active service.