a product message image
{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade

Page 1

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GET STARTED ON TWO WHEELS! TOP TIPS

DIY BIKE CARE

SIMPLE CHECKS TO STAY SAFE p48

WE’LL HELP YOU PASS THE OPEN ROAD IS WAITING FOR YOU!

p10

THE BEST SAFETY KIT GREAT GEAR AT A GREAT PRICE p44

RIDE SMARTER HAVE FUN, BUT STAY SAFE p29

BIKE CHOOSER FIND YOUR PERFECT BIKE p18

BMX STAR

DE C L A N BROOKS SW

APS PEDAL FO R PETROL PO WER PAGE 32


EXPERIENCED AND DEDICATED BIKE TEAM & INSTANT COVER

OPTIONAL UK AND EUROPEAN BREAKDOWN COVER

SEARCH PANEL OF INSURERS TO FIND YOU THE BEST PRICE

0800 085 2694

h


https://www.motorcycledirect.co.uk Europa Group Limited trading as MotorCycle Direct is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Europa Group Limited Financial Services Register No. 309794. Registered as a limited company in England and Wales No. 3279177. Registered o ce: Europa House, Midland Way, Thornbury, Bristol, BS35 2JX


The aims of the BMF are to pursue, promote and protect the rights of motorcyclists

“Riding with you since 1960” Whether you are a first time rider, experienced rider or simply a motorcycle fan, the BMF are here defending your rights & interests.

RIDERS RIGHTS Safeguarding motorcyclists rights!

The BMF is one of the largest riders’ groups in the world. Our aim is to protect ordinary bikers from unnecessary interference from European, National and Local Government. We are a not-for-profit organisation run locally and nationally, by elected, unpaid volunteers. NG YOU?!!!

WHAT’S BUGGI

CAMPAIGNS Getting your views heard!

WHAT’S BUGGI

NG YOU?!!!

We campaign on issues that directly affect riders’ safety, liberty and security. Whatever Motorcycle you ride, we speak for all bikers at the highest levels in this country and abroad. To make this possible we need your support. For information call 0116 279 5112 or email membership@bmf.co.uk

LEGAL LINE partnered with

BMF members get up to 25% discount on road bike cover

THORNEYCROFTSOLICITORS.CO.UK

Need Legal Advice? We can help!

Call 0800 678 1504 Call 01625 506 697

bmf.co.uk


WELCOME

FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

BMX STAR

WELCOME

MAIN COVER IMAGE: ANDY HYLDON PHOTOGRAPHY

“I

IT’S FAIR TO SAY I’VE been brought up on two wheels of one variety or another. My dad loves his motorcycles and I originally rode motorcycles off road, but pretty soon I made the decision to stick to two-wheelers of the pedal-power kind. I’ve dedicated my life to BMX freestyle and now I’m preparing for selection for 2020’s Olympic Games in Japan, where the sport will make an appearance in the Olympics for the first time. I know I have to work hard to even get a shot of selection, but then my dream is to get a medal too. You have to aim high, right? “There’s a clear link between loving pushbikes, in whatever form, and motorcycles, so it was always a given that I’d get onto motorbikes at some point. “Thanks to Suzuki that day arrived and since taking my CBT on a Suzuki and enjoying a GSX-S125 for a while I’ve now passed my test and am loving every minute of being out on the road on my Suzuki SV650X. “There are a lot of parallels to be drawn between BMX freestyle and riding a motorcycle. Both need lots of preparation,

DE C L N BROOA KS

training, practice and you need to wear the right protective kit too. “And both bring lots of rewards and enjoyment. I know that motorcycling will be a part of my life forever. Why not try it and see if it becomes a part of yours?”

Declan Brooks Team GB, BMX freestyle rider Editor: David Motton Art director: Caroline Creighton-Metcalf Publisher: Richard Storrs Sales director: Russell Whitehouse info@firstcar.co.uk 08451 308853 The contents of this magazine are copyright © First Car Ltd and may not be reproduced or transmitted, in any form in whole or in part, without written consent from the editor. Neither FirstCar Ltd nor its staff can be held responsible for the accuracy of the information herein or for any consequence arising from it. (02/20)

5


FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

CONTENTS WIN

A YEAR’S FREE INSURANCE! TURN TO PAGE 50

You get so much freedom on a bike!

32

DECLAN

BROOKS The BMX star loves two wheels, with or without an engine!


CONTENTS

INSIDE 8 WHY A BIKE?

There are so many good reasons to start biking. Here’s why you’ll find that life’s better on two wheels!

10 GET STARTED CBT TE ST... TH E STA RT OF LIF E ON 10 TWO-W HE EL S PAGE BU YING LO OK ING FOR TH E IDE AL FIR ST BIK E? LE T US HE LP ! PAGE 22

From the CBT to earning your A licence, here’s what to expect, who to learn from and how much you’ll need to pay.

18 BUYING ADVICE

Scooter or bike? Second-hand or new? Getting it right is crucial. Our advice will help you find the perfect first bike.

29 STAYING SAFE

Top riding tips to keep you safe in the saddle and avoid becoming a statistic. Learn without the pain!

40 INSURANCE

To get on the road, you’ve got to get insured: here’s how to find top-quality cover at an affordable price.

44 SAFETY KIT

Check out our rundown of all the essential kit you need to stay fully protected, from helmets to jackets to boots.

48 MAINTENANCE

Simple checks will help keep your machine working well.

49 SECURITY

How to keep your bike safe and beat the thieves. STAY ING SA FE... WATC H OU T FOR EV ERY RIS K PAGE 29

50 WIN A YEAR’S FREE INSURANCE One lucky winner will save hundreds of pounds.

7


FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

! E K I B R ON Y E yo u th e u lt im at e in ve gi s ke bi or ot m B es t of M op ed s an d d to go from A to B. fu n an d ee n u yo en h w free d om u r, m ore e ch ea pe r th an fo ar ls ee h w o to work! tw l, al r co m m u ti n g ti m e u yo n ow d t cu p ca n h el

M

OTORCYCLES AND SCOOTERS ARE fun! You simply cannot beat the sense of freedom and excitement you get from travelling on two wheels. You’re also using one of the most economical forms of powered transport. Research shows that the cost of biking is just about half that of a car: and that’s before you take the price of fuel into the equation. What’s more, bikes and scooters are easy to park – even in a big city – and you can slice through traffic jams too. There are downsides to life on two wheels. First of all you will need specialist clothing to be safe, warm and dry: especially in a British winter. You’ve also got very limited storage capacity on some twowheelers, especially when compared to a car. And, you can only carry one passenger at a time – and only if your licence allows. The biggest drawback is your increased vulnerability on two wheels: government statistics show motorcyclists are around 35 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than car users. While that does sound scary, with proper training and by wearing the right kit you can increase your chances of an accidentfree experience on two wheels.

UN MOREr F passing

“Even afte have kept my car test I ke as I bi or ot m my it di enjoy ri ng so much!” Callum Carty

ER T T E B S I 2 Y H W

SAVE 88% £17

A YEAR TAX

£145 125cc

A YEAR TAX

*ALL FACTS FROM GETON RESEARCH

8

CO2 134g/Km

TH


WHY BIKE

ON THE ROAD QUICKER & CHEAPER 1 DAY

12 WEEKS

SAVE £990 NOW COMPARE

INSURANCE SAVE

£300 £1200 £1500 CAR INSURANCE

AVERAGE TIME

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

48 Mins MOTORCYCLE

GO MUCH FURTHER ON

158.4MPG

OVER THE SAME DISTANCE PER DAY

2Hrs 8Mins

FULLY COMP COVER

MOTORCYCLE INSURANCE

FULLY COMP COVER

ER THAN 4

%

£135 £1125

£10

281 MILES 50.4MPG

91

MILES

WORTH OF FUEL

9

23-YEAR OLD - NEW HONDA CBF125 AND 23-YEAR OLD - 2007 VAUXHALL CORSA

LICENCE, LESSONS & TEST


FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

T E G ’S T E L T B C STARTED

C

OMPULSORY BASIC training, or CBT, was introduced to help reduce the high accident rate among inexperienced motorcyclists. It’s required training for all would-be bikers before they’re allowed on UK roads. Qualified trainers take you through every aspect of riding, so as well as being a legal requirement, CBT ensures you have the skills and knowledge to stay safe. Expect to pay around £130-£150 depending on where you’re based and whether you bring your own bike.

10

There’s a lot to take in during the CBT but you’ll enjoy the experience!


GETTING STARTED

BEFORE YOU START Compulsory Basic Training is exactly that and is the bare minimum you need to get on the road to stay legal and safe

PROVISIONAL Before you can even think about taking any form of motorcycle training, you need to ensure you have a provisional licence with ‘Category A’ provisional motorcycle entitlement. You’re able to apply for this online at

gov.uk/apply-firstprovisional-drivinglicence, where there’s further information on how to apply: the licence will cost you £34. Anyone who passed their car test before 1 February 2001 will automatically have ‘Category A’ entitlement, which means they’re already eligible to undertake the CBT.

RIGHT GEAR Wear clothes suitable for riding – don’t turn up in shorts and a T-shirt – even if it’s hot. Also, avoid wearing trainers or soft shoes. A decent jacket, boots, gloves and jeans are the minimum, along with a helmet,

which is in good condition and meets BSI 6658 and ECE 2205 standards (there should be a sticker indicating this) although many training schools can hire you helmets, gloves and a highvis bib.

VISION

FINDING A TRAINER

The best way is to choose a Motorcycle Industry Accreditation Centre (MCIAC) approved training school. The MCIAC is endorsed by the DVSA and their accredited Approved Training Bodies (ATBs) have exceeded the basic levels of training and are considered suitable to supply higher levels of instruction. Go to: www.mcia.co.uk/en/mcia-ride

Before the CBT course can start you’ll be given an eyesight test. You must be able to read a number plate at a distance of around 20 metres. You’re allowed to wear glasses or

contact lenses if you normally wear them, but if you fail the eyesight test the course will not continue.

11


FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

WHAT’S INVOLVED? THE COURSE

1

Currently, there are five key sections. There’s no time limit; 6-8 hours is normal, but it can be spread over two days. A classroom-based introduction spells out the legal aspects of riding (see tinyurl.com/ qcf3tjk), checks you have a licence and roadworthy bike with tax, insurance and MOT (if applicable) plus L-plates front and rear. Most centres will rent you a bike with insurance. After the briefing, the practical on-site training begins where you’ll learn: ■ Basic controls & checks ■ Starting/stopping the engine ■ Using the stands ■ Wheeling the bike ■ Using the brakes

12

2 GET RIDING You’ll then move onto an off-road area to start riding. Here you’ll learn: ■ Using the clutch & gears ■ Riding in a straight line, circles and figures of eight ■ Slow, controlled riding

■ Emergency stops and how to deal with skids ■ Dealing with turns and junctions A classroom-based briefing follows on the Highway Code, staying visible, road signs and riding defensively.


GETTING STARTED

3

ON THE ROAD You’ll next ride for at least two hours on various roads that take in traffic lights, junctions and roundabouts. When your instructor feels you’re safe to ride solo, you’ll be issued with the DL196 (CBT) Certificate. This is valid for two years and entitles you to ride on the road with L-plates but not carry a pillion or ride on motorways. You’ll need to re-take the CBT if you don’t pass both the theory and practical tests before the CBT Certificate expires.

13


FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

WHAT’S NEXT?

Your instructor will always be by your side , so don’t worry!

CBT gets you on two wheels, but to experience biking at its best and be a safer rider, you need your full licence

THE RIGHT PATH TO THE RIGHT BIKE! Earning the right licence for the type of bike you want to ride can be confusing. Your current licence category, your age, and whether or not you have passed your CBT and hold a theory test certificate all make a difference to the next steps you need to take. Honda has launched an online

14

service to help you find the path to the licence you need – and the bike you want. Log on to justride.honda.co.uk and answer a few simple questions about your age, the type of licence you have, and whether you have passed your CBT and theory test. Next select the type of bike you’re most

interested in riding, from a scooter to a super sports machine. Then Honda sends you a personalised plan, showing what you need to do next, as well as suggesting some Honda bikes you’ll be able to ride once you have completed the plan.


GETTING BEYOND CBT STARTED

KA ASA KI RIDERW TRAIN IN

G KRTS can way from take you all the C test right th BT and the theory roug riding cou h to advanced quality Ka rses and all on wasak Go to: www i machinery! .kawasakikrts.co.uk

GO CLUBBING! Biking is best shared, so join your local club or riding group. The best club is the BMF – the British Motorcyclists’ Federation. Not only do they have lots of branches across the UK and lots of activities happening all-yearround they also fight for scooterist and motorcyclists’ rights in parliament. Why not join at www.bmf.co.uk?

DI R

EC T A HE ROUTE CC E S S Aged TO getting your 2 4 o o r lder? full motorcycle T fast ro ake this licence can be a confusing u full lic te to a one. Many people can ence! be unsure of the exact process, so to help you negotiate the minefield that is getting your motorcycle licence, check out our routes to riding chart on page 16, to see what tests you need to take and what you can ride when you’ve passed them.

T

ROOKIE TO RIDER IN A WEEK BMW runs its own ‘Rookie to Rider’ training scheme, where prospective bikers can use BMW machinery as they take a just a week to gain their full licence from being a complete novice. Check out the deal, as you could find

yourself with a brand-new G 310 R along with all the riding kit you need for just £99 a month, following a £650 up-front payment as part of their New Rider package. For more go to: www. bmw-motorrad. co.uk/en/offers/ rookietorider.html

WHAT WILL IT COST? CBT and any further training costs are dependent on the approved training body you use: budget £130-£150 for your CBT and around £100 per half day for any further training you require to pass the Module One and Module Two sections of your full licence test. EXTRA COSTS: ■ THEORY TEST - £23.00 ■ MODULE ONE - £15.50 ■ MODULE TWO - £75.00 WEEKDAYS OR £88.50 AT WEEKENDS/EVENINGS


GETTNG STARTED

FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

ROUTES TO RIDING

All new riders must complete CBT; it’s valid for two years.

AGE: 16

AGE: 17+

You can now ride any 50cc moped restricted to 28mph and fitted with L-plates. You can’t carry passengers and you’re also not allowed on motorways.

You can now ride any machine up to 125cc as long as it is fitted with L-plates. No passengers are allowed and you’re also not allowed to ride on motorways.

THEORY TEST You must hold a valid motorcycle theory test certificate before you take your practical tests.

LYS ONK E A T MINS 30 O SIT T ORY THE

PRACTICAL TEST Two-part test MODULE 1 - off road MODULE 2 - on road

CB O N LTY VA L I FO D Y E ARR2 S

AGE 16

AGE 17-18

AGE 19

AM - MOPED LICENCE You can now ride a 50cc moped restricted to 28mph. No need for L-plates and passengers are allowed, but you can’t use the motorway.

A1 LICENCE You can now ride an 11kw (14.8bhp) 125cc bike. There’s no need to have L-plates and passengers are allowed. You can now use the motorway.

A2 LICENCE You can now ride any bike up to 35kW (46.6 bhp). No L-plates need to be fitted, and passengers are allowed. You can use the motorway.

YOUR OPTIONS NOW. . . ■ Keep riding a moped (limited to 50cc). ■ At 17 years or over, take a motorcycle test so you can graduate to a larger, more powerful machine.

YOUR OPTIONS NOW. . . ■ Keep riding a 125cc motorcycle. ■ At 19 years or over, you can now take your category A2 test and ride a bike of up to 35kW (46.6bhp).

YOUR OPTIONS NOW. . . ■ Keep riding a motorcycle of up to 35kw (46.6bhp). ■ After 2 years, or on reaching 24 years of age, you can take a Category A motorcycle test to ride any machine you like.

16


FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

G N I Y BU ADVICE 18


BUYING ADVICE

TOP TIP

Budget your buy: include insurance, servicing and consumable costs when you do your sums for a year of biking. Also, buy a bike that suits you: if you plan to commute then often a sports machine isn’t the best option.

HOW TO BUY Whether you’re buying a brand-new machine or snapping up a second-hand bike or scooter, there’s lots to consider before making your choice. Here’s how nail the best deal for you, first time round.

1

WHERE TO BUY ■ Franchised dealer: These have an agreement with a manufacturer to sell their motorcycles. You should be able to get a decent test ride and quality service, but you’ll pay the highest price for the privilege. However, there are often many finance options to choose from. ■ Independent dealer: Some specialise in certain makes or types of bike, while others have a huge stock of different machines. You should still expect good back-up including warranties, finance and the option to part-exchange. Bikes are likely to be slightly cheaper than at a franchised dealer, as are servicing costs.

2

TEST RIDE Bring your driving licence and ID if you want a test ride. Major retailers will have demonstrators, but other dealers may have a used model you can test. The longer the test ride the better.

3

DOING THE DEAL Haggling to get the price down is part of the process, so make a lower offer. Check that you are negotiating the On The Road (OTR) price, which includes all those little extra charges. Ask about what extras they can give you – luggage, a new helmet, clothing or security products. You could walk away with lots of extras if the salesperson needs a sale.

4

PAPERWORK You don’t need an MOT until a motorcycle is over three years old, but you’ll get the V5C registration certificate (log book). Check its details match with the motorcycle you’re getting, especially the registration, make, model and year, VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and engine number. You’ll also get a handbook, warranty registration card and bill of sale.

19


FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

G N I Y U B ND A H D N S E CO TOP TIP

Ask to see the bike’s history including bills/ receipts and when it was last serviced. Go to hpicheck.com to check if the bike has been stolen or is on finance.

20


BUYING ADVICE Buying a used scooter or motorcycle is a great way to get more for your money, but buying second-hand can mean dodgy dealers, criminal cloners and unscrupulous private sellers. But don’t worry, we’ve put together this essential checklist which will help you buy with confidence.

1

ARM YOURSELF WITH INFO Learn as much as you can about a bike before viewing. Magazines, websites and internet forums can give you information about common issues and what to look out for. Find the

INSURANCE Remember to budget for insurance cover. Third party is the minimum, with fully comprehensive the best but most expensive option. New riders will usually

cost of consumables for that model, such as tyres and chains: it’s all haggling power if they need replacing. Check the going rate for that model and age by comparing it to similar bikes for sale online to be sure it’s fairly priced.

2

TWO’S COMPANY Take a mate, or an experienced family member to inspect any potential purchase. It’s easy to fall in love with a bike and overlook problems.

3

USE YOUR EYES Always view a secondhand bike in good weather and in natural light to have

face high premiums, but this will drop as your experience and noclaims bonus increases. Sporty bikes will also attract higher premiums, whereas cover for scooters and commuter bikes is usually more affordable. Be sure to declare everything

the best chance of spotting any issues. Take your time to inspect every area of the bike. If anything looks wrong, it probably is.

4

FIRE HER UP Check the engine and exhaust for warmth, which could mean the seller started the bike up before you got there, hiding any starting issues. Once started, look for excessive engine noise or smoke. Check the operation of all lights, gauges, gears, brakes, and the horn. Push on the bars and seat to see if the suspension settles properly. Take your time and don’t rush in!

when applying so you’re definitely covered in the event of a claim. To get the best insurance ring around or check online to find the most competitive deal. Search for bike insurance specialists to be sure of covering all the bases.

21


FIRST BIKE MAGAZINE RIEJU MTR 50 SM Powered by a hi-tech two-stroke engine and with a six-speed gearbox, this is a big bike with plenty of street presence.

F £3 ROM 39 9

VESPA PRIMAVERA Classic class shines through this Italian scooter, albeit with some thoroughly modern features.

FR £28OM 99

F £2 ROM 69 9

50CC BIKES

Your first step on the road to a full licence is full of some cool choices, including two-strokes and four-strokes! PIAGGIO TYPHOON Super-cool urban scoot is aggressively-styled but comes with kudos and frugality built-in!

APRILIA SR50 R Super-cool and even super-quick for a 50cc twostroke!

22

OM 9 FR204 £


BUYING ADVICE FR £ 1 7 OM 49

PEUGEOT KISBEE 50 Capable of 108mpg but still looking oh-so-cool, the Kisbee comes in standard or the sporty ‘RS’ version in grey.

MASH ROADSTAR 50 Mash motorcycles have a dash of French flair as well as ‘old school cool’. PIAGGIO NRG POWER 50 The NRG is packed with Italian style and with a disc brake front and rear.

OM 9 FR264 £

OM FR1899 £

APRILIA RS50 If you want a sports 50cc that shares direct DNA from Aprilia’s World-title winning racers, then look no further!

FR £40OM 99

23


FIRST BIKE MAGAZINE KAWASAKI NINJA 125 The Ninja 125 has the kudos of the Ninja H2-style trellis frame which is wrapped around its responsive and flexible motor.

FRO M £4 37399

KAWASAKI Z125 The latest member of the ‘Z’ family is this aggressively styled street naked, which packs a punch from its A1-friendly motor.

125CC BIKES

This capacity is your next step on the road to freedom! 125cc motorcycles and scooters give you a wealth of choice from sports-bikes, commuter machines, classics and naked street bikes.

FR £3 O M 59 9 HONDA SH125I Honda’s practical scooter has been revised for 2020, with more storage space, an improved ride, and better fuel-efficiency.

F £ 4 ROM 49 9

OM 9 FR 339 £

24

KTM RC 125 KTM’s RC 125 takes all of their on-track know-how and distils it down into this race-replica street machine.


BUYING ADVICE HERALD BRAT 125 The Brat eats up urban terrain with its rugged build and styling and modern motor and suspension!

FR £ 29O M 99

HONDA MSX125 The MSX125 (Mini Street X-Treme 125) was developed for a new generation of young riders and now has a cult following around the globe.

OM FR3389 £

YAMAHA YZF-R125 Updated last year, the new YZF boasts an all-new motor for power and efficiency and a MotoGP look but packed with R-series DNA.

OM FR3699 £

SUZUKI BURGMAN 125 The smallest of the Burgman family is actually big on features, has plenty of storage space and boasts a linked brake system.

FR £ 4 6OM 74

25


BUYING ADVICE

FIRST BIKE MAGAZINE

FR £49OM 99

KAWASAKI Z400 Kawasaki’s ‘real’ Z-Series machine, this is one powerful ‘super-naked’ bike, perfect for the urban jungle!

FROM £4670

BMW G 310 R With a 313cc single-cylinder engine and ‘big BMW bike’ looks, the G 310 R is equally at home in the urban sprawl or out on the open road.

250-400CC BIK

ES

This is where you w ant to more fun! Even with be: more power, more presence and an A2 licence there’ s plenty of choice F £4 ROM 29 9

OM F R5 5 47 £

YAMAHA YZF-R3 Updated last year, the R3 now features MotoGP-inspired looks, a high-revving 321cc motor in a race-derived chassis.

HONDA CB300R A distinctive, pared-back street bike with minimalistic styling, the CB300R is an urban retro renegade.

26

F £4 ROM 57 9

SUZUKI GSX250R Here’s a machine called ‘the everyday sportsbike’: it’s both practical and purposeful and gives the rider maximum fun!


The Brat 125 eats up the urban terrain and turns it into your own personal amusement park. Designed in the UK by the team at Herald, it has an attitude to match its unique rugged looks. Available in military green, iron grey or copper.

DON’T BE anti-social #heraldriders www.heraldmotorcompany.com

NEW AD 02.2020 210x148.indd 1

19/02/2020 10:28:05


BUYING ADVICE

FIRST BIKE MAGAZINE NQI GT/GTS This cute little electric scooter comes in a number of versions, including a zippy ‘Sport’ version.

FR £31 OM 96

M FRO985 £3 SUR-ON LIGHT BEE If you want your two-wheeled action offroad, then look no further: the Light Bee has the torque of an off-road dirtbike and the agility of a mountain bike.

E L E C T R IC B I K

ES

Electric scooters and motorcycles are ge They can often b e pricey, but offer tting more popular! zero-emission ri ding… ZERO FXS

Fun and funky, this comes in both standard and 11kw (A1 licence) forms and performs brilliantly.

F £1 ROM 7,9 90

OM 0 FR11,49 £

RIEJU NUUK 45 So named as it can do 45kmh (28mph) the Rieju Nuuk is now sold in the UK: fast charging takes just over an hour!

28

ZERO SR/F An electric bike that really plays with the big boys: crafted in California, this is the electric bike you’re aiming to ride when you pass your test.

FRO £619M 9


MOTORCYCLE SAFETY

FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

TY: MOTORCYCLE SAFE

U N DE

IDENTITY PARADE

You need to recognise the hazards you’re facing out on the road: here they are... POTHOLES Very dangerous to two-wheelers: look well ahead and adjust your speed on poorly surfaced roads. Puddles can often hide potholes! OIL OR DIESEL SPILLS Spills can be as slippery as ice and are hard to spot, so keep an eye out for rainbow-coloured markings on the road. Often you can smell diesel spills too! MANHOLES AND DRAIN COVERS You shouldn’t have an issue with riding over drains and manholes in the dry – but in the wet they can be very slippery. Try to alter your line through a corner to avoid them where possible but, if it’s unavoidable, slow your speed and keep the bike as upright as you can. MUD Mud on the road can be a danger, especially if you need to brake or turn. Plan to slow or take avoiding action if necessary and recognise where mud on

the road is likely to be encountered, on country lanes, exits from fields or building sites, etc. GRAVEL Loose stones on the road surface reduce grip, so slow accordingly. Gravel can also build up on the outside of roundabouts or near kerbs, so keep an eye out. STANDING WATER Riding through standing water can be a hazard for a biker as it can obscure your view of the Tarmac beneath, hiding more dangerous hazards. It also has a big impact on braking distances.

TYRE

D OU T

Dealing about s with hazards is all but if yo kill and judge m their be ur bike’s tyres ent, st, are pas t save yo no amount o f skill w u. Make ill sure yo are in g ur ty oo plenty o d condition, w res correct f tread and at ith the pressure depend s. Your life s on it.

R PR E

S SU R E

Riding the fun with friends is p o but it c arts of moto ne of peer pre an increase th rcycling, others, ssure! When e risk of tru rid Quicke st your own ju ing with r r id e rs are n dgement. safer or ot a be your ow tter riders! Sti lways ck with n li m it in s pressure a d into g nd don’t be oing fas than yo ter u fee the con l is safe for ditions. BLACK ICE Black ice is almost impossible to see as it takes on the colour of the underlying road. Found under shaded areas on cold days, try to keep the bike as upright as you can through any bends and reduce your speed. PAINTED AREAS Can be a hazard, especially when wet, so avoid riding on them if you can. ROAD REPAIRS Some repairs and ‘over-banding’ may not be smooth and level and can upset the balance of your bike: they can also be very slippery in the wet. ANIMALS Animals running into the road can lead to serious accidents. Cutting speed in areas where animals or wildlife may be present can give you valuable time to react.

29


FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

TOP TIPS ON...

STAYING SAFE Riding a bike is exhilarating, but comes with real dangers. Here’s how to enjoy riding while staying safe

I

T’S A SOBERING statistic, but motorcyclists make up just 0.8% of the total traffic on the UK’s roads, but account for around 20% of the total numbers killed or seriously injured each year. Despite the millions of pounds spent developing safer systems on motorcycles such as anti-lock brakes and traction control, motorcycle riders do not have the luxury of side impact bars or crumple zones and only one motorcycle – Honda’s

1

Gold Wing – has ever been fitted with an airbag system. That’s why the best way to stay intact on a motorcycle or scooter is not get into a dangerous situation in the first place. This is why motorcyclists need even greater awareness on the road of their own actions, their surroundings, the road surface and the behaviour of others around them. But don’t worry – you can cope with it all. Here are some golden rules to help you stay safe.

FE STAY SEEN, STAY SA

Visibility isn’t just about how well you can see the road ahead, but it’s also how easily other road users can see you. The Police Rider’s Handbook (Roadcraft) says that a third of drivers involved in a daylight collision with a motorcyclist claim to have not seen the

bike or scooter before the crash. At night that figure rises to half. Part of the reason is that bikes can be hard to see from head-on as they are relatively small compared to most other road traffic, making it difficult for the driver to assess their speed and distance.

Also, if the road is very busy, then motorbike and rider can all too easily get lost against a cluttered background, often with disastrous results. This is why you need to make yourself as conspicuous as possible when you are out on the open road.

Statistically, junctions can be a big hazard. Make eye contact with the driver and watch their wheels as they creep out from the junction

30


MOTORCYCLE SAFETY

2

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

Defensive riding is all about staying one step ahead of the game, riding in a style and with a mindset that puts you in the safest position to deal with anything that the road – or other road users – can throw at you.

1

LOOK UP The further you look up the road ahead, the more you’ll see. Move around in your lane if you need a better view and scan the upcoming road conditions a few car lengths ahead, to the road’s ‘vanishing point’. ‘Situational Awareness’ or knowing everything that’s going on around you is key to avoiding dangerous situations.

3

2

ANTICIPATE PROBLEMS The more time you have to react to a hazard the more likely you are to deal with it safely. Police riders recommend commenting aloud on an upcoming hazard, detailing what you intend to do as it gets closer. Try it.

3

PREDICT HAZARDS A bus stop or parked cars can mean pedestrians; a bouncing ball in the road means children at play; a bare, open road means crosswinds. Experience can help you predict hazards before they appear. Search for the clues and plan accordingly.

of mo ing to an in tor -d comm cycle crash epth study o n accide es, the mo failing n s t count o negotiate ts involve t ry A-ro bends junctio ad, co llisio on a ns overta , collisions ns at while king of con and loss trol!

4

CHECK YOUR BLIND SPOTS Your rearward safety check can save your skin – hence why it’s known as the ‘lifesaver’.

5

GIVE YOURSELF SPACE Staying a safe distance behind the vehicle in front gives you a better view ahead and room to stop in an emergency.

5 STEPS TO CORNERING SUCCESS For each corner you take on two wheels, keep these five tips in mind!

G O I NG 1 ROUND THE BEND Losing control while going round a bend is one the biggest causes of accidents involving motorcycles. Left-hand bends present a bigger danger, because if you lose control here, you generally end up sliding into oncoming traffic.

DANG ER Z O NES Accor d

INFORMATION Consider all the information available in front and behind you, turn your head and use those mirrors! Allow for changes in the road surface and the impact that weather conditions have on the road.

2

YOUR POSITION Your position on the road needs to keep your risk to a minimum and your vision of the bend ahead to the maximum. Be ready to change position in your lane if the situation changes as

you go through the bend.

3

YOUR SPEED Are you going too fast for the corner or your skill level? Ensure you adjust your speed for the bend ahead before you enter it.

4

CHOOSE YOUR GEAR On a bike the correct gear ratio gives you better control and allows the use of the throttle to react to any situation that may occur.

5

STOPPING DISTANCE Can you stop in the distance you can see ahead? What if anything is in the road? Plan ahead and have an escape route if possible.

31


FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

E

VEN FROM A YOUNG AGE, DECLAN Brooks was on or around two wheels of some description, even if the early signs showed football as a possible sporting passion… “Well, I spent my childhood years at motorcycle race tracks,” recalls Declan. “My Dad loves bikes, he raced and he was gently pushing me onto motorcycles, but I was never really into it, as I was scared of the noise of the bikes back then! I was a bit of a timid child!”

32

Fast forward some years and things had changed and Declan, who comes from Portsmouth, had even dabbled with some off-road motorcycling, but then the Eureka moment. Declan says: “By the time I was 11 I was playing football quite a lot and Dad wasn’t too keen on me being a footballer, so he got me a BMX and it kicked off as a hobby, but when I got to 15-16 and I was leaving school I realised I could take this further as a career.” And what a career! Declan has been 3rd in the


CELEBRITY INTERVIEW

2020 TEAM GB BMX FREE STYL E RIDE R

DECLAN

BROOKS

Declan Brooks is a hopeful for this year’s Olympics as BMX freestyle makes its debut at the Tokyo Games. And he’s also a keen motorcyclist!

European Championships and by the end of last year he got a 2nd at the BMX Freestyle World Cup and a 10th place finish at the world championships – and all after coming back from a big injury. “It was about two years ago,” says Declan. “It was just two days after signing with British Cycling who had just gotten behind the BMX freestyle movement when it was announced it would become an Olympic sport. I’d not long returned from Saudi Arabia and the FISE 2018 World Series where I’d

Declan on the road!

33


FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

I would love to represent my country and I would love to get a medal

BMX freestyle is new to the Olympics

34


CELEBRITY INTERVIEW gotten 2nd and I was practising some new tricks. Basically I tried a jump a few times and got one wrong and it snapped my tib and fib.” As bad as it sounds, suffering the break after being signed to British Cycling meant that Declan was going to be well looked after. “They really helped me through it,” he says. “It was a bad break and I was back within six months and it wouldn’t have happened so quickly without all their back-up and without help from the British Cycling physios and sports conditioning coaches. I still feel the injury to this day when in cold conditions, but I’m back and that’s what counts.” Declan is now in the running to be selected later this year for the Olympic Games in Japan in July/ August, but nothing is for certain yet. “It’s hard for us guys at the moment,” says Declan. “There are three or four of us who could go but only one of us will be selected and that decision will be made in June. That means I will either have a very busy, or very empty summer! I would love to represent my country and I would love to be able to get a medal. To even get there means I have to practise hard, learn new tricks and try not to injure myself doing so. It’s why we use foam pits and ‘resi-ramps’ (landing ramps made from foam layers, overlaid with a rubber mat) to cut down the chance of injuries, but – as proved by what happened to me – it can still occur!” Declan admits that it’s going to be a nervy few months as he waits to find out if he’s

been selected. This is the culmination of years of competition. This has been made up of thousands of early starts, working as a paper-boy as a kid, practising day in, day out at his then-local skatepark of Southsea, then later working as a plasterer to support himself and even having to relocate to Corby in Northants to be nearer his training centre of Adrenaline Alley. He’s now putting in around four to five days a week training on the bike in addition to visiting the gym four times a week to get in the best shape of his career: “It’s all intense on the body, but the work has to be put in.” It’s a very hectic life: “I’m just back from two days training and then off to Australia for a three-week training camp before moving on to Pennsylvania for a further two weeks before a World Cup event in Japan come April. That’s when we get to see the Olympic course and then we get to have our test just before heading out to the Games themselves.” So what exactly is BMX freestyle? “It’s like gymnastics on push bikes,” explains Declan. “We have to try all these crazy tricks, stunts and jumps like a gymnast would but we have a 20 kilo bicycle between our legs. Your mind is always working and you’re prepared for the next trick so you

TEAM TA

LK

Declan ha s backing o the f Cycling an British d be selecte hopes to d for Olympic G 2020’s ames in Japan!

35


FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

Pedal or petrol power, Declan loves riding bikes

have to be ahead of the bike, ready to execute the next trick. Precision is the key.” He adds: “In competition, you’ve got a 60-second run and you plan it all meticulously before you drop in and then you get a score out of 100, judged on a variety of criteria including style, flow around the course, height and consistency. It’s fast-paced and will make good TV for the Olympics. You can often do 20 tricks in a single 60-second run as – in the air – you may be able to do four or five tricks and you’ve around 20 different ramps you can hit. We don’t know the course yet, but we will at the preview event. Until then I keep practising to put the best run together I can…” The backing from British Cycling has been huge for BMX freestyle and Declan has said that their support was a career-saver when he broke his leg. He says: “We now have a big team which includes managers, physios and even mechanics for the bikes.” With cycling so popular in Britain, let’s hope Declan can make it to Japan in the summer. “That said, I’m still only 23,” he says. “So I hope I have at least another one or two Olympics in me!” For Declan, training to pass his motorcycle test has almost been a relief from the BMX training. “I have to admit the first time on a motorcycle was a bit scary,” says Declan, “which is ironic when you consider what I do. I was actually surprised at myself and how quickly I got to grips with it, I guess riding

36

on two wheels every day helped in a way. The best thing is that (now I’ve passed my test) I love it so much. You get so much freedom and it’s completely different from driving a car and so much more fun. I didn’t start until I was 20 but wish I had tried sooner, now!” With backing from Suzuki, Declan could enjoy riding his GSX-S125 for a few months before taking his test on a SV650 machine. He now rides the SV650X. “The X-model is the cool, café racer one – it is old school and I love it!” Declan can also see the similarities when it comes to wearing the right safety kit. “This is so important,” he says. “We have lots of kit: helmet, gloves, kneepads, ankle protection and gum-shields. We don’t have full-face we have half-face helmets, so I’ve knocked a few teeth out in my youth! But, it is part of the sport: you have to pay to play!” With things coming full-circle, surely it’s time to get out with ex-racer dad? “I’d love to,” says Declan, “But I’m up in Northants training and he’s down in Portsmouth still, but I do head down there to see the family and stuff so I’m sure it will happen.” For Declan, this is the start of his motorcycling life. “Suzuki has said they want to put me on a track day at some point but not this close to the Olympics and selection as British Cycling isn’t very keen – understandable really. That said, I never go crazy on the roads as often it’s not what you do, it’s everyone


CELEBRITY INTERVIEW

else that you have to look out for! Training helps with that…” Whatever happens for Declan this summer, he has a great year to look forward to on push or powered two wheels: “A gold medal and my first Olympic Games would be nice and my first choice,” he grins. “I’ve never had an Olympic dream before, but now my sport and I have one. This just used to be mainly for fun, but when my career is done I want to inspire

kids to ride BMX freestyle and chase their dreams. We are trailblazers at the moment. “As to motorcycling, I know this will be part of my life from now on and I’m grateful Suzuki gave me the push they did! I was lucky enough to do my CBT with Bradley Ray – last year’s FirstBike cover star – and to be honest, I’d rather be 20 feet up in the air doing a back-flip than going around a corner on a track at 120mph! I feel safer!”

37


FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

TaIbP r P O T choose ikkeinog out

c r Neve efore che ce: it is a l rb an r e t u o s o r initia in sc st of ge of you tell o c e th nta orget’ to s e perce ‘f large y. Do not any chang la out rs about ns to the e insur odificatio ither. or m chine e ma

IT’S A COVER U Insurance is costly, but riding without proper cover is not only INSURANCE AND THE LAW Keep your bike insured and you’re legal; fail to, and the cops will catch up with you sooner or later. When they do, if you can’t prove you’re insured, your bike can be seized and you’ll get 6-8 points on your licence. RIGHT KIT = MORE CASH Aside from the safety benefits of wearing proper protective equipment if you have an accident, it could also help you financially. That’s because if suitable protective equipment was not in use at the time of claim, a personal

40

injury award may be reduced by 10-25%, so as well as being injured, you may also be out of pocket. EXCESSES The excess on your policy is the contribution you must make in the event of a claim. Excesses for young riders tend to be around £500 or more, but you can raise or lower this figure if you wish. This will have an impact on your premium – a higher excess usually equates to a lower premium and vice versa. Always ask what your excess is going to be.

NO CLAIMS DISCOUNT Once you’ve got your policy sorted, for every year you insure a bike without making a claim, you’ll earn a year’s no-claims bonus (NCB) or noclaims discount (NCD), usually up to a maximum of five years. How much this is worth depends on your insurer, but it’s not unusual for a five-year NCD to cut your premium by up to 60%. If you have a crash, do the maths and make sure it’s worth claiming for, as you’ll lose your no-claims discount if you do, and could end up with much higher premiums for years to come.

daf


INSURANCE

COMPARE & CONTRAST!

R U P!

only

It is possible to get a great deal on your scooter or bike insurance and one of the best ways is to use the popular price comparison websites, but do keep your wits about you! You will simply enter your personal details – along with what make, model year and value your bike or proposed bike is – and then the site will compare quotes from many different insurers and brokers. Do be honest when it comes to the questions as anything wrong – even if it’s a genuine mistake – could see you out of pocket if it comes to a claim. When you get the quotes do not presume

that the best quote for you is simply the cheapest one: specialist motorcycle insurers sometimes have a range of add-ons that can be attractive, such as free membership of motorcycle groups or discounted clothing. Be wary of the small print: a voluntary excess of £500 may still see you having to accept a further compulsory excess. You have been warned! For the best deals do check out the dedicated bike insurance brands who sometimes offer better deals if you go to them direct, such as Bikesure (www.bikesure.co.uk), MotorCycle Direct (www. motorcycledirect.co.uk) and Lexham Insurance (www.lexhaminsurance. co.uk).

daft, it’s illegal

THE TRUTH HURTS Always inform your insurer of any changes from standard that your bike has. Niall (17) didn’t tell his insurer that he had fitted a non-standard braking system to his bike. When he crashed, the assessor could see the bike was not as insured and the insurance company refused to pay up! Be honest!

If you crash when insured then you’re covered! Don’t let it be more than just physical pain when you crash!

41


INSURANCE

FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

TOP INSURANCE TIPS! If you’re a first-time rider and bike insurance buyer, you’re unfortunately at the bottom of the ladder and insurance could well be more expensive as a result, but FirstBike has some top tips to help you get the best deal on your insurance! GET EXPERIENCED! Insurers love it! You may be young, but the sooner you go and get some advanced training the better… it all helps reduce your premium!

3 MAIN TYPES OF INSURANCE THIRD PARTY ONLY (TPO) This is the minimum of cover. It only covers you from claims by a third party for damages or injuries caused by you. THIRD PARTY FIRE AND THEFT (TPFT) This extends the TPO cover with cash if your bike is stolen or damaged by fire – but not if you damage it yourself. FULLY COMPREHENSIVE Covers you and your bike against fire, theft, crash damage plus your liabilities to third parties for damage/injury: but do check the small print for details!

42

READ THE SMALL PRINT CAREFULLY Using a comparison website? We all do, but don’t think the first quote is the best… do check the details, what extras are on offer? What is the excess? And don’t think that Third Party Only will be the cheapest option. Also, a higher agreed voluntary excess often results in a lower premium. BEWARE OF GHOST BROKERS Don’t fall foul of fake brokers selling fraudulent insurance policies. Brady Hoines from Bennetts says: “Make sure

you only ever buy insurance from a company that is on the financial services register and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority – you can easily check this online. Be careful of unusual sources of insurance quotes and trust your instincts – if something doesn’t feel right then don’t make any commitments without getting the reassurance you need. Lastly, once you have purchased an insurance policy, you can check that your bike is actually insured by going online and looking on the Motor Insurance Database.” WANT IT CHEAP? THEN KEEP IT SAFE! Keep your two-wheeler safe and secure to lower your premium! Lock it, immobilise it and keep it garaged if possible.


& & & R R R E E E T T T O O O O O O C C C S S S & & & R R R E E E T T T O O O O O O C C C S S S E E E L L L C C C Y Y Y C C C R R R O O O T T T O O O E M E M E L M L L C C C Y Y Y C C C R R R O O O T T T O O O E M E M E M L L L C C C Y Y Y C C C R R R O O O T OTT R O MO M M E E E C C C N N N A A A R R U U U S S S N N IN IIIIN E NCCCEE N AAN URRRA U NSSSU IN S

S S ST ST ST LI LI LI IA IA IA EC EC EC SP SP SP ER ER D ER D D RI RI RI G G N G N U N U U S S YO S YO ST YO & ST & ST LI & LI LI IA EW IA EW IA N EW EC N EC N EC SP SP SP ER ER D ER D D RI RI RI G G N G N U N U U S YO S YO S ST YO & ST & ST LI & LI LI IA EW IA EW IA N EW EC N EC N EC SP SP SP S S ER S ER ST D ER ST D ST LI D RI LI RI LI IA RI G IA G IA N G EC N U EC N U EC SP U SP YO SP YO ER YO & ER & D ER & D D RI EW RI EW RI G N EW G N N G N N U N U U YO YO YO &&& EW NEW NNEW ss s ped ped ped Mo Mo Mo ss s ped ped ped Mo Mo Mo ss ss ss ped ped ped Mo Mo Mo ped ped ped Mo Mo Mo

rsrsrs ote ote ote Sco Sco Sco rsrsrs ote ote ote Sco Sco Sco rs ote ote ote Sco Sco Sco rs rsrs rsrs ote ote ote Sco Sco Sco

ers ers eel ers eel eel Wh Wh ee eeeeWh Thr Thr Thr ers ers eel ers eel eel Wh Wh ee eeeeWh Thr Thr Thr ers ers eel ers eel eel Wh Wh ee Wh ee ee Thr Thr Thr ers ers eel ers eel eel Wh Wh ee Wh ee ee Thr Thr Thr

eseses Bik e Bik e eBik enc enc Lic enc Lic Lic A2 A2 A2 eseses Bik e Bik e eBik enc enc Lic enc Lic Lic A2 A2 A2 es Bik Bik e Bik e e enc enc Lic enc Lic Lic A2 A2 A2 es eses eses Bik Bik e Bik e e enc enc Lic enc Lic Lic A2 A2 A2

’s’s ’s 125 d 125 d d125 are are Ge are Ge Ge ’s’s ’s 125 d 125 d d125 are are Ge are Ge Ge ’s 125 125 d 125 d d are are Ge are Ge Ge ’s ’s ’s ’s’s 125 d 125 d d125 are are Ge are Ge Ge

eseses Bik e Bik eBik etur tur tur ven ven Ad ven Ad Ad eseses Bik e Bik eBik etur tur tur ven ven Ad ven Ad Ad es Bik Bik e Bik e tur e tur tur ven ven Ad ven Ad Ad es eses eses Bik e Bik eBik etur tur tur ven ven Ad ven Ad Ad

rsrsrs ote ote ote Sco Sco Sco ssic ssic ssic Cla Cla Cla rsrsrs ote ote ote Sco Sco Sco ssic ssic ssic Cla Cla Cla ote ote ote Sco Sco Sco ssic ssic ssic Cla Cla Cla rs rsrs rsrs ote ote ote Sco rs Sco Sco ssic ssic ssic Cla Cla Cla

eseses Bik Bik Bik ssic ssic ssic Cla Cla Cla eseses Bik Bik Bik ssic ssic ssic Cla Cla Cla Bik Bik Bik ssic ssic ssic Cla Cla Cla es eses eses Bik Bik Bikes ssic ssic ssic Cla Cla Cla

ads ads ads Qu Qu Qu ads ads ads Qu Qu Qu ads ads Qu Qu Qu ads ads ads Quads Qu Qu

lesles les Cyc Cyc ic icCyc ctr ic ctr ctr Ele Ele & &Ele lele&le Cyc Cyc Cyc lesles les Cyc Cyc ic icCyc ctr ic ctr ctr Ele Ele & &Ele lele&le Cyc Cyc Cyc les les Cyc Cyc ic Cyc ic ctr ic ctr ctr Ele Ele & Ele & le & le le Cyc Cyc Cyc les lesles les Cyc Cyc ic Cyc ic ctr ic ctr ctr Ele Ele & &Ele lele&le Cyc Cyc Cyc

rsrsrs ote ote ote Sco Sco ic icSco ctr ic ctr ctr Ele Ele Ele rsrsrs ote ote ote Sco Sco ic icSco ctr ic ctr ctr Ele Ele Ele rs ote ote ote Sco Sco ic Sco ic ctr ic ctr ctr Ele Ele Ele rs rsrs rsrs ote ote ote Sco Sco ic Sco ic ctr ic ctr ctr Ele Ele Ele

lesles les cyc cyc tor cyc tor tor Mo Mo ic icMo ctr ic ctr ctr Ele Ele Ele lesles les cyc cyc tor cyc tor tor Mo Mo ic icMo ctr ic ctr ctr Ele Ele Ele les les cyc cyc tor cyc tor tor Mo Mo ic Mo ic ctr ic ctr ctr Ele Ele Ele les lesles les cyc cyc tor cyc tor tor Mo Mo ic icMo ctr ic ctr ctr Ele Ele Ele

8 8 8 4 4 4 3 3 3 9 9 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 0 0 0 8 8 8 4 4 4 3 3 3 k 9 k 9 .u k 9 .u .u co 0 co 0 e. co 0 e. 0 e. nc 0 nc 0 nc 4 ra 4 ra 4 ra su su 3 su in 3 in 3 in 3 am 3 am 3 am 3 xh 3 xh 3 xh .le .le w .le 000 w w k w k w .u k w .u w .u co co e. co e. e. nc nc nc ra ra ra su su su in in in am am am xh xh xh .le .le w .le w w w w w .u w .u co e. e. nc nc nc ra ra ra su su k su in kk in .uk k in .uk am .u.u co am co am xh e.co co xh e.co xh e.e. .le nc .le nc w .le nc ra w ra w ra w su w su w su in w in in am am am xh xh xh .le w.le wwwwww.le

to to tocall call rate call rate nal rate nal natio anal a natio natio athan than than more no more more no cost no cost ers cost ersers numb numb 03 numb to to 03 03 Calls to Calls Calls ority. ority. Auth ority. Auth uct Auth uct uct Cond Cond cial to to Cond call cial to call cial Finan rate call Finan the rate nal Finan the by rate nal the by calls. natio nal a by lated calls. natio 02 a lated calls. natio 02 than a and Regu lated 02 than & and Regu 01 d than & more and as Regu 01 d & more no as 01 orise d way more no as orise cost way no Auth orise cost way same ers Auth cost same ers Auth the same ers in the innumb numb the 03 tes in numb to 03 tes minu totes 03 minu Calls to ive minu Calls ive Calls ority. ive inclus ority. inclus any Auth ority. inclus any Auth rds uct any Auth rds uct towa uct Cond trds Cond t towa towa Cond coun tcial to to cial coun tocall Finan and call coun rate Finan ercial and call the rate Finan er and nal by rate er numb nal thethe by calls. natio numb nal 02 by lated calls. a02 natio numb or 02 lated calls. a02 natio and or 02 Regu lated 01 than a02 &01 and or 01 an than dRegu &an and as 01 01 than dRegu &an as 01more more no dorise asway orise more no way Auth cost orise no way same Auth cost ers same Auth the cost ers same in the to to ers numb call in the to tes numb call 03 in rate tes numb call to 03 minu rate tes nal to 03 minu rate ive nal Calls to minu ive natio nal Calls a ive natio inclus Calls ority. a natio inclus ority. than any a inclus Auth ority. than any rds Auth than uct more any rds Auth uct more no towa trds uct Cond more no t towa cost Cond no towa coun tcial cost Cond ers cial coun cost and Finan coun ercial and ersers numb Finan the er and numb 03 Finan by er numb numb to thethe by calls. numb 02 to 03 03 by lated calls. numb 02 or 02 Calls to lated calls. 02 or 02 Calls 01 and Regu lated 02 or Calls ority. an &01 and 01 dRegu ority. 01 &an and as dRegu Auth ority. &an as 0101 dorise Auth uct asway orise Auth way uct Auth orise way same uct Cond Auth same Cond Auth the cial same Cond in the cial in the cial Finan tes in Finan tes the minu Finan tes the by minu ive the by calls. minu ive by lated calls. 02 ive inclus lated calls. 02 inclus and Regu lated any 02 & inclus and Regu 01 any rds &d and as 01 any rds &dRegu as 01 dorise towa way rds t as orise towa way t Auth orise towa way same coun t Auth same coun Auth the and same coun in the er and in the tes er and in tes er numb minu tes numb 02 minu ive numb or 02 minu ive or 02 01 ive inclus or 01 an inclus 01 any inclus an an any rds any rds towa trds t towa towa tcoun coun and ercoun andand er er numb numb 02 numb or or 0202 or 01 an 0101 an an


FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

SAFETY

ESSENTIALS

You need to wear the right gear when riding a scooter or motorcycle. We’ve got all the kit you need right here

HELMET A helmet is your most important piece of safety equipment and a legal requirement, so keep a large proportion of your clothing budget aside so you can get a good one: it could save your life!

Helmets sold in the UK must either adhere to British Standard 6658:1985 or UNECE Regulation 22.05: a label inside or on the shell should confirm this. If you want to find the best-performing helmets in safety tests – from budget lids to expensive race replicas – then go to sharp.dft. gov.uk. SHARP (Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating

Programme) is an independent body that test helmets and gives them a rating out of five stars. Almost 500 helmets have now been rated, so there’s a pretty comprehensive database of test results. This LS2 Rapid Ghost offers good protection, it’s stylish, has a quick-release visor and it’s a brilliant budget option, too! www.ls2helmets.com COLOUR Choose bright colours as these help other road users to see you coming.

EYE COVER Wear a visor or goggles with an ECE, CE or BSI approval mark. In daylight a tint of up to 50% is okay; a clear visor must be used after dark.

WHAT IT’S MADE OF A helmet is made of several protective layers: a thin hard, outer shell typically made from plastic or a composite material, then an impact-absorbing inner, followed by a soft, inner liner for cushioning, often removable for cleaning.

IC E PR 9.99 £5

HELMET BUYING TIPS FIT Always try a helmet on before you buy, as sizes can vary. It should feel snug around the cheeks (if full-face) and hug your head. If it moves when you move your head, it’s too big.

44

COMFORT There should be no tight spots or pressure points. Wear the helmet for several minutes in the store before you make a purchase, as you won’t be able to take it back afterwards.

LOW NOISE A noisy helmet can damage your hearing. Noise can be influenced by the fit, the number of vents, your riding position and the style of bike you ride: buy earplugs!


SAFETY ESSENTIALS

IC E 9 PR 69.9 £2

JACKET Your jacket needs to shield you from both impact and abrasion – the most common causes of injury. And it needs to keep you warm and dry if the weather takes a turn for the worse Traditionally, leather has been the choice of most riders, but advances in textiles means that you now have options such as Cordura and Gore-Tex, which are abrasion-resistant and waterproof, as well as armoured denim. Ensure your jacket has CE-approved armour in the vulnerable areas, such as your elbows, shoulders and back. Finally, make sure it’s comfortable when you’re sat on the bike and remember you can buy heated layers for underneath. The Weise Outlast Frontier Jacket is a tough, waterproof jacket and features CEapproved shoulder, elbow and back armour. www.thekeycollection.co.uk

TYPES OF JACKET MATERIAL MATTERS Jackets can be made of leather or a textile such as Cordura; all should be at least double-stitched and have integral CEapproved armour in the most ‘at-risk’ areas, such as elbows and shoulders. Often, back protection costs extra.

JACKET BUYING TIPS

LEATHER JACKETS Leather should be at least 1.2mm thick. Too thick and it’ll be uncomfortable and restrict your movement. Some leathers are treated to make them as waterproof as possible.

A GOOD FIT Your jacket should feel comfy and fit well, without being tight. Make sure the arms are long enough and the shoulders let you move within the jacket.

INTEGRATED BODY ARMOUR This is common and should enhance protection at the elbows, back and shoulders. It should also carry a CE approval label.

TEXTILE JACKETS

DOUBLE STITCHING Stitching should be double or triple and should be sealed as well, either with a leather overlap or otherwise a plastic coating.

SAFE ZIPS Zips shouldn’t lie directly against the skin, as this will transmit heat from friction if you have a slide and a serious burn could result.

Cordura gives protection from the elements, while the thermal and waterproof linings are often removable to allow for use in the spring or summer – they provide body armour too and are often multi-adjustable.

45


FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

TROUSERS Shorts and tracksuit bottoms are real no-nos when it comes to riding safely, as they offer zero protection in an accident. Jeans are slightly better, but can still wear through in under a second

TOP TIP

The best kit isn’t cheap, but riding in regular clothes could cost you a lot more. Search ‘Highways England YouTube Distressed’ to discover the true price of biking in normal clothing.

AIRBAG ASSIST!

Many modern suits/jackets have airbags which protect you in a fall – or you can buy a stand-alone airbag jacket to wear over your bike gear. Check out: www.airvest.co.uk

46

should the worst happen. A better option is to opt for a pair of jeans that are reinforced with Kevlar. Prices start at around £90 for a pair. The ultimate in protection, however, is a pair of dedicated leather or textile trousers featuring double or triple stitching, plus CE-approved armour in the knees and padding on the

MATERIALS Just like jackets, trousers can be made of either leather or a textile, with leather being the best for abrasion resistance and textile topping the tree for waterproofing and comfort. Make sure any in-built armour is CE-approved.

IC E PR 99.99 2 £

FIT AND COMFORT Make sure your trousers fit well and are comfortable when you’re sitting on the bike, allowing you a full range of motion and letting you operate the bike’s controls easily.

hips. As with jackets, leather provides the most abrasion resistance, while textiles such as Cordura are waterproof and warmer, so they can be used all year round. These Furygan Raptor trousers have D30 protectors on the knees, while the hip areas benefit from additional foam padding. www.nevis.uk.com


SAFETY ESSENTIALS

GLOVES & B O OT S You need to adequately protect your hands and feet when riding a motorcycle: that goes without saying! A pair of leather, armoured gloves will help take the sting out of a fall. Lighter gloves

are available for summer riding with insulated options for winter, but all-season gloves can be worn all year round. These Keise Heated G601 Gloves are designed for winter use, and feature battery or bike mains power to heat your hands. www.keisapparel.co.uk With 19% of all hospital admissions for biking injuries involving broken bones in the lower leg, proper protective boots (not trainers

or work-boots) are vital. Modern bike boots feature support for the ankle area as well as leather or Lorica construction for abrasion resistance and strong soles. Like gloves, you can buy lightweight summer boots or waterproof insulated winter boots. These Duchinni Europa boots feature a fullgrain leather/textile upper, a waterproof lining and oil resistant soles. www. thekeycollection.co.uk

PROTECTION Your hands are vulnerable in a crash and you can easily lose a finger, so always wear specialist motorcycling gloves – a strong protective layer is essential.

E PRIC.99 9 9 £

QUALITY COUNTS Boots should ideally be made from good quality leather and be waterproof too. Some models come with additional armour areas in vulnerable spots such as the outer toes, ankles and shins.

E IC PR200 £

GLOVE BUYING TIPS GOOD FIT Both gloves and boots should be a good fit and comfortable. Don’t rely on sizes, try before you buy! KEEP CONTROL Gloves shouldn’t be so padded that they prevent you moving your hands and fingers and boots shouldn’t be so bulky as to make operating the brake pedal or gear lever difficult.

FLEXIBILITY Boots will get softer and more comfortable with use, but if a boot is too rigid it may lead to discomfort. Test their flexibility by hand as well as trying them on. CUFF UP Winter gloves, particularly, should have cuffs that extend over the end of your sleeves, to prevent wind and rain getting up your arms.

STITCHED UP Quality stitching is important on both boots and gloves! WRIST STRAPS Check for straps around the wrist of a glove. Your skin will thank you. If a glove can be pulled off easily without undoing a fixing or strap, they’ll come off just as easily in a crash. You really don’t want that to happen in a high-speed spill.

47


SIMPLE CHECKS

! T U O T I K C CHE

ks be fore each ride to ec ch e pl m si e es th Do ng safely and reliably keep your bike worki

1 - OIL

6 - RUBBER

Check the oil level by using the dipstick or ‘spyglass’ in the side of the engine. Get the bike on its centre-stand or get someone to sit on the bike to keep it vertical. Never overfill your oil tank!

Check the pressures when the tyres are cold because the pressure will read higher when they’re hot. See that the tread depth of both tyres is greater than 1.0mm, as this is the minimum for motorcycle tyres in the UK. Clear out any small stones from within the tread and ensure there’s nothing penetrating the tyre.

7 2

3

4

7- ELECTRICS

6 5

2- PETROL

1

8

4 - COOLANT

It’s not only important to check that you have enough fuel for your journey, but also, if you decide to lay your bike up for a long period of time, be sure to either brim your tank with fuel or drain it completely, or risk engine damage.

If the coolant level is low don’t use tap water! Always top-up with a mix of distilled water and anti-freeze (50% of each). Anti-freeze not only keeps the coolant from freezing in the winter, but also helps to stop your bike from overheating in the summer.

3-DAMAGE

5- DRIVE CHAIN

Check for damage when cleaning your bike, such as loose wires and bolts and cracked light lenses.

Check the tension of the chain; it should have around an inch of slack. Clean and lubricate the chain regularly.

48

Check your bike’s lights before each ride, including indicators front and back. Remember to check that both the rear and front brake pedal/lever operates the brake lights and give the horn a quick toot. If you’re planning to lay the bike up for a while, invest in a battery maintainer to keep that in good condition until your next ride.

8- BRAKES Wheel the bike along and feel for resistance or pulsing at the lever, indicating binding calipers or warped discs. Check the brakes’ bite when you squeeze the lever and that the pads have plenty of wear left. Make sure the level of the fluid in the brake reservoir is within the marked area.


BIKE SECURITY

FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

SE C U R I T Y

TOP TIP Make things difficult for thieves: use multiple locks, keep the bike covered and alarmed with chains off the floor so they’re difficult to break.

s and scooters Thousands of motorcycle don’t panic! are stolen every year. But e thieves Here’s how you can beat th

AT HOME

1

KEEP IT OUT OF SIGHT Don’t leave your bike on show: put it away in a locked garage or sturdy shed. Anything that removes it from view helps!

your bike, making them hard to defeat and make an excellent deterrent. Look for systems with Thatcham approval as this means they’re thoroughly tested.

2

4

CHAIN IT UP Wherever you leave your ride, chain it to an immovable object such as a large tree or lamppost. Or a ground anchor, if in your garage!

3

IMMOBILISE IT An alarm and immobiliser are often required by insurers. They cut the ignition to

GARAGE SECURITY Improve the security of your garage or shed by fitting door anchors, extra locks, ground anchors and an alarm. Security lights are good too!

OU T A N D A B OU T

1

PARK SENSIBLY Park in a public place that’s well-lit at night and is within sight of plenty of passers-by. Dedicated motorcycle bays with fixed locking points can be found online at www. parkingforbikes.com.

2

LOCK IT UP Invest in a good quality chain or D-lock, which can be carried safely on the bike. A disc lock is a good lightweight option.

3

SECURE YOUR LID If you can’t take your helmet with you, buy a lockable helmet bag or stick it under your scooter’s seat.

4

TRACKER This can track your bike if it’s stolen: the more expensive may come with an annual fee, so shop around.

5

DATATAG / ALPHA DOT / SMARTWATER These microdots, markings or transponders contain owner details that thieves can’t remove. They cost from £25 to £90 and often lead to insurance discounts.

49


FIRSTBIKE MAGAZINE

WIN

A YEAR’S FREE

INSURANCE Motorcycle Direct has teamed up with FirstBike to give one lucky reader the chance to win one year’s insurance policy* for FREE!

Motorcycle Direct was born out of an enthusiasm for bikes. Whether you’re using your bike for commuting or social reasons we understand the importance of ensuring you have the correct cover for peace of mind while you’re out and about on your bike. One winner will receive one full year’s insurance policy absolutely free*. The winner will be selected in August 2020. Enter online at Firstbikemagazine.co.uk. (*to the maximum of £1000, if the premium is over this amount additional funding is required by the winner).

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, GO TO... WWW.FIRSTBIKEMAGAZINE.CO.UK Terms and conditions: This prize draw is run by Firstcar Limited and MCD (Europa). Entries must be received by midnight on 16 August 2020. The winner will be randomly selected by the promoters. For full terms and conditions see firstbikemagazine.co.uk.

50

firstbikemagazine.co.uk

IN ASSOCIATION WITH:

Europa Group Limited t/a MotorCycle Direct is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Europa Group Limited’s Financial Services Register number is 309794.


BROUGHT TO YOU BY FIRSTCAR

PRIZE DRAW

HOW TO INSU RE WIT H MOT ORC YCL E DIRE CT It’s quick and easy to insure with Motorcycle Direct. With over 20 years in the industry we understand bikes aren’t just a means of transport but a way of life.

Our industry knowledge and extensive coverage allows us to search our panels of insurers to find you our most competitive rates. Our dedicated and

expert team are here to help you find a policy that best suits your riding needs. To find out more and run a quote today visit www. motorcycledirect.co.uk.

firstbikemagazine.co.uk

51


The CB125R is a part of a new breed of motorcycling, Neo Sports CafÊ. Striped back to what matters ; a fun, free-revving engine with real-world performance, an agile chassis featuring 41mm USD forks, and a powerful four-piston front brake caliper. The aggressive looks and premium features like full LED lighting and LCD screen – ensure that owning the CB125R is a total pleasure.

Visit your local dealer to find out more.

honda.co.uk

0345 200 8000

Profile for James Evans

First Bike Q1 2020  

First Bike Q1 2020  

Profile for firstcar
Advertisement