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May Club Night Mick Extance Off road Enduro Rider

Eastham Ferry Hotel Ferry Road Eastham CH62 0AU

Issue No 195

May 2014

W I R R A L A D VA N C E D M OTOR C Y C L I S T S Group Council 2014 Web Site

IAM Group 5115


Tim Brown

Vice Chairman

Ken Smith

Honorary Treasurer

Lindsay Boston


Nina Jeffries

Associate Coordinator

Derek Jeffries 07957341692

Honorary Secretary

Rob Cooper 0151 648 4503

Events Organiser

Dave Spotswood

Newsletter Editor & Minute Secretary & WebMeister

Peter Lovatt

Group Shop

Martin Titley 0151 632 3570

Gift Aid Coordinator

Rob D’Cruze

Ride Out Coordinator

Rob Tutchings

Other Council members Ian Roberts Nicole Rigby Carl Mason Cliff Evans



Rob Cooper Coopers Upholstery The Old Bank Everton Valley Liverpool L5 0RH

Distribution: Magazine Dispatchers and the Post Office!

Editor: Peter Lovatt Duplication: Martin Titley


Welcome to the May edition of the WAM magazine. Almost half the year has gone already, where does the time go? The first FLC has finished, and we should be getting some test passes soon. Thanks to everyone in helping out on this course, and the FLC 2 will be starting next month. So to this month, and it’s a slight change of guest speaker, it’s now going to be Mick Extance, who runs his own off road enduro courses. He has also been a competitor in several Dakar rallies so please turn up for this one as it promises to be a very interesting evening, and informative too. Last month we had Rob Cooper provide the main entertainment, and it proved to be an interesting evening. Thanks to Rob for this. Here everyone is absorbing what Rob is saying, and we got some discussion at the end. Going back to March and the first Official ride out went ahead, unlike last year where it was snowed off, Rob T guided the intrepid riders around Cheshire and Wales in the direction of Lake Vyrnwy. Rob’s ride out will be to somewhere different for May - that being the Brecon Beacons. At the time of typing this up, my official run to RAF Cosford has yet to happen, so I may get some pictures into next months magazine. Don’t forget that there are informal runs out on most Sundays too. And there will be some Thursday evening ride outs as well, both from the Tudor Rose car park. Keep up to date on these, no not on the Official forum, but the WAMbikes one…. Talking of the WAM magazine, this one has Tim’s second instalment of his Bali trip, and also we have permission to reproduce some Bike magazine articles. The ones chosen are on bike control and riding skills. So see you all soon, either on Club nights, ride outs, or on the FLC’s Pete

STOP PRESS Sunday May 11th Ride out to the Blind Veterans Association, Llandudno. Blind Veterans is Wirral Advanced Motorcyclists nominated charity Ride out details to be confirmed nearer the time. 3 website and both forums! Keep an eye on the WAM

The Road to Bali 2014 (continued from last issue) A rider on a small bike, with a huge cage fixed to the back, full of small, colourful tropical birds tried to sell me his wares. {See photograph right}. I explained that the tiny creatures would not be allowed into England nor would they survive the winter cold I had left behind. In February in Bali the temperatures are in the high 20’s or low 30’s. Humidity is high and there are violent thunderstorms where sudden, quite high gusts of wind can develop along with a noticeable, but temporary, temperature drop. After visiting Singaraja I was feeling quite saddle sore and my arms, back, shoulders and wrists were tired. It really was necessary to RIDE the bike over the mountains with numerous clutch actions and switching of body weight to safely negotiate the numerous steep and tight bends. I am in my 62nd year on this Earth now and many in Indonesia are quite surprised that I still like to ride a motorcycle, preferring it to a motor caror simply resting up at home. {My Brother in Law was able to retire on a Government pension at 56 years old. As part of the retirement planning provided by his Employer he could have gone on various courses such as farming or mechanic training!}. None the less Bali has a cure for the weary-popular with both the locals and visitors-the spa/beauty salon. At these numerous establishments, often seen by the roadside, {see photographs right}, one may obtain a relaxing hour long massage, {as well as other treatments such as facials & waxing}, for around 80,000 Rupiah typically. There is nothing whatsoever “seedy” or improper about these places. They are used by both sexes, of all ages. Often Balinese Gamelan music is quietly playing in the background, whilst joss sticks burn scenting the air in a calming manner.


Usually there is a chiller cabinet where one may select a cool drink after the massage and a shower. I chose iced tea on the day. Part of the pleasure for me is chatting to the locals, who are all interested in where you are from and details on the family etc. etc…The young men, in particular, have a good knowledge of football, especially the English Premier league. MU, {Manchester United}, seem to be the most well known, but Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City-as well as a few top European clubs have a large following here as well. Generally the language used is Indonesian, although Bali has its own language too. English is sometimes understood, but often not well spoken. The rapid rise of the internet means that Western ideas, phrases and new words are quickly gaining currency here. After the massage, and feeling refreshed, I rode Westwards along the North coast thru’ the tourist area of Lovina to the town of Seririt. I then turned left, Southwards, back over the mountains, down towards Denpasar and home. My whole ride was 194km and including stops, I was away for 10 hours. I always plan to be at my overnight destination before it goes dark. I try to avoid being out on the road at night as there are too many potential hazards which may not be seen, vehicles without lights, loose dogs, sudden deterioration in road surface, uncovered chambers/manholes, road subsidence and the like. Much of the street scene in Bali can appear chaotic, untidy and disordered. One frequently comes across magnificent statues in unexpected places, which is compensation of a sort. {See photographs right}. Sadly these statues are often seen behind a jumble of overhead cables and in locations which are difficult to safely access for closer, considered inspection and photography. A pleasant way to see Bali is by bicycle pedal power, especially for the shorter journeys around home. Brawa Beach is around 6km away. An early morning visit to the beach is therapeutic as the waves, quite large in the onshore wind at this time of year, break on the black sand. It’s not really pleasant or safe to swim near the beach due to the strong currents. Fishing boats are launched with great difficulty. Timing is essential to push the boats out without their being overwhelmed by the water. Some experienced surfers may venture further out in the


hope of picking up the big waves before they break. Traders are out early. As usual they manage to arrive with all manner of items secured, {hopefully!}, to the back of their small machines. {See photographs right and below}.

The character of traditional Balinese areas is quickly changing as more and more areas are given over to tourism and the construction of villas-which are rented out to visitors. At Brawa Beach I noticed that a traditional stone Balinese building had been demolished to make for a new development. A beach which used to be something of a backwater is becoming more and more like Kuta. New villas are being built in the rice fields. {See photograph right}. One can understand why it may be tempting to sell land for development at say 400,000,000 Rupiah an are - {10mx10m}, when growing rice is such backbreaking work. With typical local wages of say 1 to 2 million Rupiah a month the sale of any land locals own could greatly ease their life. The serious downsides to this action though are that nothing remains to pass on within the families and local control and interest may be lost forever. Also the very features that make the rice fields attractive to developers-the views over the green “sawah� will inevitably be lost. It is somewhat akin to killing the goose that laid the golden egg-as told in Aesop’s Fables from the slave story teller in Ancient Greece.


New roads may be opened up in the rice fields to cater for the new villa construction. Often these are raised up so that they are not flooded by the water irrigating the growing rice. Most do not have a footway or any edge protection. Sometimes the street lighting seems to have been forgotten about initially and then planted in the middle of the road-as an afterthought! {See photograph}.

So-Bali in 2014. As a rapidly developing and changing South East Asian Country -the I in the Indonesian mint {along with the other MINT countries of Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey-populous nations with good economic growth potential} a lot is happening in Bali. It plays to a World stage in attracting tourists and conferences. It needs a good basic infrastructure. This can make the roads more attractive for road biker enthusiasts. There is however an inevitable loss of Balinese culture as a more international and bland feeling begins to permeate the Island. The inherent beauty of the place remains overall and it makes an interesting alternative location in which to ride motorcycles. As for the off road enthusiast I think that some of the larger outer islands of Indonesia, such as Sulawesi, Sumbawa and Flores, would be more unspoiled and exciting-although these are rapidly changing too and adapting to the modern World. Selamat jalan! Timothy J Dishman February 2014

WAM Bali Chapter 7

Tim also sent me some additional pictures Pete

Here are 3 bonus pix from yesterday's ride out to East Bali-gives a flavour of the culture and all the colours here. Note the School run - something like a WAM rideout!!!! Rode out today up to about 1500m on a volcano-cooler and cloudier up there. Cloudy at the top & there was a police check near the summit. Luckily no problems for me with the International Drivers' Licence and number plates in order. Cheers Tim



Dear Pete, These pix were not available at the time of the Report, but I could not resist sending them anyway. In one, I went down into the Batur Caldera at Kintamani in NE Bali. There was an eruption on the floor of the caldera in 1974. I ventured on to the lava flow with the Tiger. {Quite slippery & very sharp, hard, volcanic rock}. Got caught in a massive tropical rain storm too. Yesterday, back at home in Denpasar, it's time to shampoo the bike & give it a good clean and service. Have to return to UK next week. Will miss the warmth of Bali. Cheers Tim


Nice to see a Tiger off road. And it’s not a white one either!!!

Blimey, how much shampoo do you need to clean a bike??!!! Worse than me and my Tiger! Pete



Diary of Events *************************

May 13th Club Night - Mick Extance - off road Enduro rider 11th Ride to Blind Veterans Association - Llandudno See latest details on website and Forums 18th Official Ride out *************************

June 10th Club Night - North Wales Advanced Motorcyclists 22nd Official Ride out *************************

This is the link for the WAM Official Forum, set up for Members of Wirral Advanced Motorcyclists ONLY. It is a forum for Associates, Observers, and members of WAM to discuss Official Group Rides out, riding techniques, FLC matters, and similar topics. To join you MUST give your name and Postcode when you Subscribe. Group name: WAMOfficialForum Group home page: http:// Subscribe: to subscribe to the group send a BLANK email to Unsubscribe: to UNsubscribe to the group send a BLANK email to Once your 12 can then post emails. submission has been approved, you

On the Sunday 18th May 2014, 9.30a.m. The 3rd 2014 Official IAM Wirral Group (5115) Organised Club Ride Out in accordance with IAM Policy, (Medium Pace) starting at the Tudor Rose Car Park, Two Mills, Parkgate Rd, Wirral CH66 9PD. The Briefing will be at 9.30am

Please be prompt with a full tank of fuel.

To The Brecon Beacons National Park: Ride leader will be Robin Tutchings using the drop off system, and the ride will be medium paced, but progressive covering a substantial mileage. Route: Wirral – Brecon Beacons: TR, A540, TL A5117, TR A41 & cont to Waverton, TR towards Saighton and Aldford, TL B5130 via Farndon to A528, thro Ellesmere to B4397 & TR, cont through Baschurch. TL A5, TR onto A488, past Bishops Castle, thro’ Knighton to the A44. TR to Crossgates café & fuel stop. Continue along A44 & immediate left onto A483. In Llandrindod Wells TR A4081 and then keep left onto B4358, right & left thro Newbridge to Beulah. TL A483 and right on unclassified roads via Llangammarch Wells, Tirabad and Llandulas up and over Epynt to Sennybridge. TL A40, TR A4067 onto A4215 to junction with A470. TL to A40 & Brecon. Optional extra loop: TR, south on A470 to go left on unclassified road around Pen -y-Fan, the highest mountain on the Brecon Beacons, and past Pontsticill and Talybont Reservoir to B4558 to A40 / A470 junction: Brecon Beacons – Wirral: from A40 /A470 junction at Brecon, cont north on A470. TR B4594 and left on B4567 in Llandeilo Graban to Llanelwydd, TR A481, TL A44 to Crossgates, refuel and rest halt. Continue along A44 & immediate right onto A483, thro Newtown, past Welshpool and continue to Chester, via A5, part, in Chester TL ring road A5268, TL A540 to Two Mills and The Tudor Rose, Wirral. Please note: This a long distance ride. Each section taking 90 - 120 minutes. For I.A.M. Insurance reasons this Ride Out is for full members and Associates. This is also a great opportunity for non members wishing to join WAM. They are permitted one Official Group Organised ride out per year following an initial assessment, provided they are considering joining the IAM group to complete the Skills For Life Course! Anyone requiring to be Observed please bring it to the attention of one of the ride out team on the day. If numbers are large we may have to have more than one group in which case there will be one further group with a leader and sweeper. The tail rider, probably Dave will be riding at the back looking after the rear of the group! If any other Full members are interested in leading another Group Organised Ride Out or have good ideas for future ride outs please contact: WAM Ride out leader: Rob Tutchings 07950 626622. Lead Bike. © RT. 13


Reproduced with kind permission of BIKE magazine 15

The Art of Slow When were you last stressed about dropping your bike?

Riding on gravel Why do it? To get across car parks, ride up posh drives, and safely tackle ill maintained lanes What are the risks? The stress of riding across this low friction wasteland can cause your vision to drop until you end up looking just in front of the front wheel. Keep doing this for long enough, and you’ll have to steer or brake abruptly to stay on course which brings us onto….. Sudden changes of direction or speed are more than likely to cause one or both tyres to lose grip. This could result in a sick -to-the-stomach near crash or indeed a sick-to-the-wallet crash. Technique tips Smoothness on the controls is essential. If you brake gently, turn gently, and let the clutch out gently the tyres will not lose traction unless you are on a steep slope and to get to this smoothness you must……. Look up and focus where you want to go. Sadly staring at the gravel just in front of you will not cause it to have more grip. Planning ahead is critical on dodgy surfaces because you haven’t got te luxury of being able to sort things out quickly.

Feet up U-turns Why do it? Well, the vanity aspect is undeniably important but there is also small safety advantage, you reduce the time you are exposed to danger flailing around in the middle of the road. Also if you ride in town and get lost a lot, being able to do fast u-turns will save days of your life. What are the risks? Not checking over your shoulder before doing the turn. Not turning tightly enough and end up pointing at the opposite kerb. Falling over in the middle of the road. Making it round, but having been so petrifies of dropping the bike, you never want to ride again. Technique tips Look where you want to go, roll in slowly, drive out, and keep all inputs smooth Don’t just look at the halfway point of the turn, twist your body and look all the


way round to the exit. Besides making jerky steering inputs all but impossible your upper body twists so you turn the bars more. Throttle and clutch procedure should be: 1. Go slowly on entry and play the clutch around the bite point to stop the engine stalling. 2. Keep your speed steady, let the bike lean gently. Lean to turn , just don’t twist the bars. 3. As you feel the bike drop in, add drive via the clutch to keep the lean angle steady – an increase in speed will pick the bike up. 4. If you want a tighter turn, just slow down a fraction and the bike will lean in more. Control the tightness of the turn as much with the clutch as the bars. 5. Keep looking as you exit (and beyond) and keep the bike driving by playing out the clutch. With all slow riding sensitive clutch control is all.

Push your bike around Why do it? That’s obvious enough. The real question is why do it properly? To which the answer is: because you’ll save time, dignity and your back.

What are the risks? Dropping the bike. Ricking your back. Dropping the bike onto yourself after ricking your back. Technique tips Don’t park facing downhill, unless you are a smart arse with a Wing or other behemoth with a reverse gear. Roll back into the parking space saves pushing.. it sounds obvious, but if you keep the bike upright, it won’t fall over. If you lean it towards you more than a fraction while you push, you’ll soon be trying to hold the bike up with the nearest handlebar and won’t be able to steer properly. And you will be sweating like a fool. Concentrate on keeping the bike upright and cover the front brake to control the speed if you are on a slope. If you are pushing forward, stand on the left so you can kick the side stand down when you stop. Don’t keep the stand down when pushing, it may feel like a safety net, but it’s more likely to trip you up or snag on something in the garage. If it’s uphill, start the engine and feather the clutch to save effort, or just ride it. If you are pushing backwards, its easier on the right. That way you can have your hand on the bar covering the front brake, while your back hand pushes from somewhere around the pillion area – could be a grab handle, seat hump or the pillion seat itself.

Riding up a kerb Why do it? To get onto convenient motorcycle parking areas, take shortcuts in


multi-story car parks, and take advantage that most bikes can do this and most cars can’t. Also if you can confidently tackle pavements, there are a few slow speed road based obstacles that will unnerve you. What are the risks? You stall the engine when you have got the front wheel up on the kerb. When you put your feet down, the ground isn’t where it should be because the front wheel is 6” higher than the rear. Cue tippy toe flailing…… If the height of the kerb exceeds the distance from the floor to the bellypan or rear suspension linkage, by an inch or so, you will scrape the bikes undercarriage. If this scraping is aggressive enough and the bike grinds to a halt you may start tippy toe flailing……. Technique tips Momentum is important, but your approach speed should not be fast, walking pace is quick enough. Hitting the kerb at right angles is best, but don’t be too fussy. Thirty degrees either way is fine unless its slippy. Once the front wheel is up the kerb don’t throttle off or yank the clutch in. Keep the engine driving forward smoothly to make sure the rear follows suit. Unless you are an experienced off-roader, stay sitting down. If you are standing, when the front wheel hits the kerb it can throw you forward, you’ll sit back down again, move your right wrist down, which opens the throttle which will fire you into Mrs Miggins begonias on the other side of the pavement. Keep your feet on the pegs. They are no use flapping about and you can cover the back brake just in case. Don’t be tempted to lift the front up with a little wheelie. Yes, trials types do this on YouTube but they are generally trying to ride over logs the size of Transit vans.

Feet up at traffic lights Why do it? Because it exudes quiet class and turns tedious town rides into machine control practice. Plus there is a guaranteed audience sitting in their boxy armchairs with nothing better to do than admire the way you trickle to the front of the queue feet up (obviously feet up) stop, balance, then surge away as the lights turn green. What are the risks? Very few, aside from a clumsy dab as you finally lose balance while stationary at the lights. Technique tips Timing is important. You don’t want to be trickling at 0.2mph half way down the queue when the lights go green. Look as far ahead as possible and aim for minimal speed for the last car length unless you know the lights stay red for ages. The 18

key to very slow riding is clutch control, but this doesn’t mean continually slipping the clutch everywhere. What you are trying to do is roll along slowly with the clutch a fraction away from the biting point, then smoothly add a smidge of drive by letting the clutch out slightly when you start wobbling to get you moving again, then pull the clutch in again a small amount to remove drive and let you roll. Use you back brake for any major speed adjustments – it’s gentler then the front. Static balancing is much easier with a squared off rear tyre at 20psi. (have a look at the back tyre on my ER-5, to see what ‘squared off’ really means!! Pete) However, any cred and smugness gained by balancing for 20 seconds at the lights will be negated by the crash at the next roundabout.

Getting on and off Why do it? To escape from/return to marital bliss What are the risks? There are many and hilarious ways to drop a bike while getting on it. Just lifting one leg off the ground in order to swing over it can be enough to destabilise you, or you can hit the tail unit with your foot as you swing over the bike and fall onto it, or perhaps you would prefer to catch your trouser leg on a loose cargo net hook on the pillion seat and then hop about briefly before collapsing under the bike. Getting off a bike offers the sae potential for comedy pleasures, except in reverse. Technique tips Turn the handlebars away from you and lean the bike slightly towards you before you swing a leg. Because of the bikes steering geometry this will marginally decrease the seat height. Every little counts. Bend your swinging leg at the knee rather than doing a straight legged sweep. Besides keeping your centre of gravity closer to your grounded foot, so making you more stable, this also lessens the chance of a Kung Fu kick to the top box sending it across the garage forecourt. Don’t look down at the bike as you swing a leg over. Without a horizon in your eyeline, your balance suffers. If you are on solid ground, leave the bike on the side stand, put your left foot on the footpeg and climb on before pushing the bike upright. This is handy with fully loaded Adventure bikes. Article courtesy of Bike Magazine



The articles published herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Institute of Advanced Motorists Ltd, or the Wirral Group of Advanced Motorcyclists. They are the opinions of individual contributors and are published with the view that free expression promotes discussion and interests. So you have been warned. Interested in doing the Advanced Car Test? Wirral Advanced Motorists are the people to see. Go to

May 2014  
May 2014