It can be easy to get in the habit of jumping on the motorcycle each day for the commute or each weekend’s ride without actually checking the motorcycle out before leaving. But, when it comes to vehicles, a small problem on the bike can equal a painful or deadly experience.
Before going out, there are a few items that can be quickly checked on the motorcycle. Each thing only takes a few seconds to check and is well worth spending the time.
Some tires lose pressure very slowly, and it can be easy to miss this with the naked eye. That is why it is important to have a pressure gauge nearby. If checking the pressure before a ride, keep in mind that it is the cold pressure, and the tire pressure will expand during a trip. Tire pressure should be checked regularly as over or under-inflated tires will cause handling and stability issues.
It is always a good idea to check the engine oil regularly. Most motorcycles aren’t set up like cars: there isn’t a dipstick to pull out. Motorcycles have a small window which provides a view of the oil levels. When checking the oil, be sure to set the bike level to the ground to get an accurate reading. According to certified motorcycle technician Steven DuParc, try to keep the oil level just below the highest tick mark. If the oil goes above that mark, it can get into the air box.
Brake fluid can also be easily checked on a motorcycle. The front brake reservoir is usually on the handlebars with a window and guideline. The rear brake reservoir is towards the rear side of the bike and can sometimes be under a cover, but should also be checked regularly.
Check both the front and rear turn signals on each side to be sure they are working. When checking the brake lights, be sure to check using both the handbrake and the foot break separately. A trick if checking lights in bright light is to hold a hand in front of it. The light will reflect off the hand, making it easier to see.
The chain tension doesn’t need to be checked before every ride, but a quick visual inspection can be performed to verify it’s not too loose or tight. The chain should be checked for tension at each recommended maintenance interval.
When it comes to cleaning and lubing the chain, it is also a good idea to do it after returning from a motorcycle ride. At that point, the chain is warmed up, and it will be easier to remove the grime and dirt on it, and the heat will allow the new oil to seep in better. Plus, by lubing the chain after a ride, it will be ready to go before the next one.
Overall Visual Inspection
Take a quick rundown of the motorcycle. Look at the engine or the ground around the bike. Are there any leaks visible or drops on the ground from something that might indicate a problem? Does it appear that anything has loosened or dropped off since the last time the motorcycle was taken out? Since most motorcycle components are readily viewable, by doing just a quick walk around the problems can be found and fixed before starting up the bike.
A quick walk around inspection of a motorcycle is a task that should only take a few minutes to do. Checking the tires, fluids, lights, and chain can be done visually and easily remedied before each ride. A check-up can assure a rider that there is one less thing to worry about while cruising down the road.
It’s time for a severe reality check: It can be super-overwhelming to enter a place such as a vitamin aisle in a drugstore. From bright colored gummies that are closer in taste to candies to giant, chalky pills, there are so many forms and formulations of vitamins that all of them together can make it impossible for you to figure out which one is the best option for you, let alone knowing whether swallowing one will actually bring you any kind of health benefit.
This has been perceived as a wonderful new business opportunity by some companies who are attempting to disrupt this powerful and super-profitable vitamin industry. Their solution – offer more convenient and personalized vitamins that will find appeal with the consumers. You won’t find these super brands sitting on the shelf at a neighborhood drugstore but are likely to pop-up on you while you are busy scrolling your Instagram feed.
Do we need multivitamins in the first place?
Though the research is still very much out on this one, most of the research points toward a negative answer. No evidence has yet been found of the health benefits from a regular intake of vitamin supplements. However, certain other studies have established that vitamins when taken in the right setting by the right people to lead to improved health. This has made a personalized vitamin sound like a good strategy.
What are the benefits of taking personalized vitamins?
While a vitamin supplement would be advisable for almost all people, the vitamins in question and amount of their intake will vary between individuals depending on their health, diet, and lifestyle. Even those on a healthy diet are probably falling short of certain nutrients somewhere, and they are not also aware that such a shortfall is taking place. Therefore, everyone taking the same thing does not provide any kind of solution to start with.
This is where personalized vitamin providers come into the picture. They will ask you specific questions and consider various factors to determine which vitamin and in what quantity should be prescribed to you as a supplement.
Your choice of lifestyle and basic health, as well as your health goals, play a role in determining which vitamins are right for you. Gender is also an important parameter that needs to be taken into consideration. The nutrient needs for women are usually unique across various stages in their lives. They typically require more iron compared to men since a lot of this mineral is lost during their regular menstrual cycles and during pregnancy. They also have greater calcium requirements owing to a faster cell turnover as compared to men.
Probiotic is a helpful supplement that can be obtained from a personalized vitamin pack. They can help women in having better digestion which will absorb key nutrients into the diet. Vitamin D is another nutrient many tend to be deficient in without even realizing this problem. Folate is a must for women trying to conceive and not enough of this can be found in a generic multivitamin drug. Choosing a personalized vitamin will help hook you up with any or all the necessary nutrients based on the kind of shortfall you are experiencing at present.
Where do personalized vitamins fall short?
Many health experts are of the opinion that such persona quizzes are no more than a marketing strategy that does not really produce any end-result for the consumer. While it is a great initiative to conduct micronutrient research for offering specific solutions, especially when it comes to addressing women health issues, there is a fear that many of the recommendations will become generalized over time. There is also the possibility that these companies will only recommend those vitamins that will bring them the maximum profits.
There is also the issue surrounding a lack of awareness when it comes to side-effects of certain herbal supplements. Finally, buying supplements based on the recommendations of anyone other than your physician is ill-advised since these too have side effects and risks that need to
Some personalized vitamin companies to be aware of:
There are numerous companies looking to sell personalized vitamins online, and it can be overwhelming to know which ones to work with. Not all of them will make it big; some will simply fall by the roadside and close before you even know it. Here is a look at some of the trusted names in this industry. In addition, you can also check the review of the best personalized vitamin companies on the internet to get hands-on information on the safe vitamin supplements.
This company will ask you a series of questions based on your lifestyle habits, health goals, and basic stats, before building a personalized pack of daily vitamins that will address your specific needs.
Available in a pretty design, these pills aren’t quite personalized. However, it is believed that they contain only those nine nutrients that are most essential for a woman’s wellbeing. They are also vegan and gluten-free while having a peppermint flavor to give it a millennial-friendly touch.
MBSF, short for Mind-Body-Soul-Freedom is not only a place where you can buy personalized vitamins, but they will give you a lot of valuable information on which products are best suited to your daily needs. If you want any other information on what is trending in the health & wellness industry, this is the place to be.
• Goop Wellness:
Backed by star Gwyneth Paltrow, this wellness site offers supplement and vitamin protocols for the four major health issues prevalent in most modern women. Carefully sourced and tested ingredients are used for preparing their range of products.
This site will make you take a health quiz to collect data on your lifestyles, health goals, and diet, before cross-checking with scientific information to recommend an optimal plan of nutrition. The vitamins will be delivered every month right at your doorstep.
Most people exhibit alarming levels of ignorance while purchasing multivitamin supplements. The personalized vitamin supplement companies provide them with a better alternative by targeting specific vitamins in the right quantity that meet their nutrition needs. A few weeks into the use of these products, you will experience the difference and be glad that you chose to make the switch.
Have you ever dreamt of flying a plane? If so, your dream of becoming a pilot can take the real flight now with aviation industry booming with more and more people affording to fly than before. The data indicate that by 2030, more than 6 billion passengers will be flying and that is approximately four times more than the present count. With such promising numbers, it’s the perfect time to become a pilot.
However, the decision to become one isn’t an easy drill. The process can be confusing and requires time, money and dedication. So, it is advisable to take up the aviation course and understand everything about the duration, flight school and other nitty-gritty details needed to become a professional.
There are different types of pilot courses, and the licenses are available as per the career choice. This guide will help you to discover what exactly you need to become a full-fledged pilot, with the information on training courses, eligibility, costs, build hours and more. Whether you want to be a commercial pilot or a private jet pilot, your flight starts here.
Now to start with, the first question would be would you be flying for your career or a hobby?
In case you want to make a professional career in flying, you require CPL (Commercial Pilot Certificate) recognized from FAA and to fly a commercial airline; you would be required to complete the training and additional hours to gain ATP (Airline Transport Pilot certification). Without this certificate, you cannot fly an aircraft and will be offered other jobs like banner towing, etc.
On the other hand, if you just want to fly for the love of flying, you have an option to opt for PPL (Private Pilot License). There is no compensation for this type of flying, but you get hired by private companies for charter services, you can earn from flying private jets as well. The Private Pilot License is recognized all over the world and allows you to travel with your friends to any location.
Eligibility for PPL Training
The very first step to research flight training schools. Compare the programs offered by different flight schools and pick the one that matches your requirement on fees, course and future career prospects. Once you find the school, the next step would be to apply based on the eligibility criteria. For PPL, students need to be:
– at least 17 years of age to fly gyroplanes, helicopters, and jets
– able to speak, read, write, and understand the English language
– holding the 3rd class medical certificate or above
– able to do basic math
The student will also need to pass in a practical exam that includes flight test and verbal exam.
Choosing the Right Private Pilot Training Program
There are many flight schools where one can undergo private training as per your need. Start by going through the training programs in your area. The private pilot training programs are available in many of the colleges, universities and most airports. Always select FAA certified programs as these courses guarantee good instructors and good quality facility. FAA approved flight school meets high standards for their staff, equipment, and curriculum. You need 35 hours for FAA approved course and 40 hours for non-approved flight school.
Start by making a list of important attributes that you want to learn. If you want to work full time, you can choose the course with a flexible schedule. Talk to experienced pilots, read the magazines and visit the program manager to understand more about a well fit course. The pilot training courses are expensive, but you need to make sure you receive high-end training. Revise your checklist and chose the course that meets all your personal standards
Obtaining a Student Pilot Certificate
Once you get the aviation medical certificate, you will need to obtain a student pilot certificate at the same time. There are two ways to get the pilot certificate:
- You can get your pilot and medical certificate together when you visit an aviation medical examination office as the document given by the examiner after completing the medical exam would be an all in one student certificate and medical certificate.
- Another way is to visit FAA FSDO (Flight Standards District Office) and submit the application for the certificate.
How Does the Program Work?
While getting trained for PPL, there are different elements such as ground training, flight training, and examinations. You have to start by finding the right school and instructor. If your nearest airport offers FBO (Fixed-Base Operation), take that option and get a good flight instructor to teach you. The process includes:
Ground Training: The ground training lasts for 35 hours and covers different theoretical topics related to airplane system, meteorology, principles of aerodynamics, and federal aviation rules.
Flight Training: The flight training is around 35-45 hours and cover topics like pre-flight tasks, aircraft control, traffic rules, landing and take-offs, and emergency operations. Approximately 10 hours are spent in supervised solo flights and 5 hours in cross country flying with two stop landings at aerodromes.
Examinations: Finally, the student should be able to pass and complete the FAA Written Exam. The test has nine subjects including Aircraft system, Basic Aerodynamics, Rules, Flight Equipment, Airport operations and Procedures, Weather service, En-route flight, Communication, and Navigation Procedures and Aircraft Performance. Students are required to score 70% and above to pass the written exam before taking the final practical exam.
Depending on the intensity of your work, qualifying the exams can anywhere between 2 weeks to years. It is advisable to qualify the exam as early as possible to retain all the information and learning. Flying would be easy when you have extensive background knowledge.
Once you clear the written exam, you will need to learn the flying. You will start by learning the basic knowledge such as climbs, takeoff, turns, descents, and landing. The primary focus would be how to fly and land the aircraft and then you will also need to know about emergency procedures, communication channels on radios, etc. After the solo flight, you will have to work on a cross-country flight with little difficult maneuvers. After these two solo flights, you can fine tune your skills for the final practical flying exam.
Get Your Pilot License
After the successful completion of the FAA test, the examiner will help you complete the paperwork online. You will be handed your temporary private pilot license to use while you permanent official FAA certificate will arrive in the mail.
Though getting a Private license doesn’t offer a lot of career opportunities. While you can split the operating cost with other passengers, the license doesn’t allow you to charge other for the services. But after getting PPL, you are eligible to get training for FAA CPL (Commercial Pilot Certificate).
Private Pilots are well trained to fly a small airplane by themselves through country’s airspace. During the training, pilots learn to maneuver aircraft, emergency, navigation tips and all the possible learning they need to fly a plane. So, next time if you see planes leaving from LAX airport, you would realize the amount of time, money and intense training that goes behind learning to fly an airplane. Flying private jets gives you the opportunity to share a very personalized experience and better chances to fly to the destinations that commercial airplanes don’t fly to. Finally, you can turn your dreams into a reality!
There are many similarities between motorcycling and camping – the feeling of freedom, the idea of exploration and the appreciation of one’s surroundings – yet few think of combining the two. Recently, though, more people are learning to appreciate the simplicity of motorcycle camping, both on their own and with a group of fellow riders.
Of course, there are tradeoffs when you plan a camping trip around your motorcycle – space and weight being the biggest limiting factors. If you are thinking of giving motorcycle camping a try, here are some basic tips to get you started on your adventure.
The number one rule when it comes to motorcycle camping – pack light. Even the largest touring bikes have a finite amount of space and carrying capacity, and if you are camping with a smaller dual sports motorcycle or a sportbike, options may be further limited.
The upside of a motorcycle’s limited luggage capacity is that, in the true spirit of camping, it forces you to bring only what is necessary for the adventure. The downside, though, is that it can be difficult to decide exactly what those ‘necessary’ items are.
Shelter, of course, is a primary concern. Although there are a few hearty souls that use nothing more than a tarp and a few lengths of twine as a makeshift shelter, there is no reason you cannot travel with a tent-like any other camper; companies like Eureka, The North Face, REI and many others make ultra-compact tents that can fit in a saddlebag.
Likewise, MSR, JetBoil, and Coleman make one-person stoves with small fuel canisters in a variety of styles – so you can even bring food with you on the road. A quick trip to the local outdoor store will reveal plenty of options for portable cookware and utensils.
With careful planning, it is possible to bring many of the everyday items you would expect to find at a campsite: a tent, sleeping bag, food, cooking items, clothes and rain gear. You have to choose compact items, and give up a few of the extras you might normally think of taking.
It can be difficult on your first trip to know exactly what to bring, but a helpful tip is to keep a master list of all items you bring on your motorcycle adventures. Not only will this list make it easier to pack for subsequent trips, but if you make a note of items that you find are not necessary and can be eliminated, then the list will help you pack lighter and more efficiently.
How to Pack your Motorcycle to Go Camping
So now that you have decided what you are going to take with you, how do you get it all on the bike?
Bungees, backpacks, bags, and nets have all been used at one point or another to transport items on a motorcycle, but there is no question a set of saddlebags and a top case are invaluable for the motorcycle camper.
Many touring motorcycles come from the factory with hard-sided cases that attach to the bike, while cruisers are commonly found with leather or canvas bags. If your motorcycle does not already have saddlebags or a top case, there are many aftermarket options available, even for sportbikes.
The most useful companion for saddlebags is compression sacks. Made out of canvas or nylon, they can compress a sleeping bag or clothes into a more compact size and shape, allowing for easier packing. Compression sacks are usually inexpensive, and widely available at outdoor stores or the local Supercenter.
No matter how you plan to carry your camping gear, there are a few basic guidelines that are good to follow when packing a motorcycle. Because weight can hurt a bike’s handling, heavier items should always be as close as possible to the center of the bike – packed low in the saddlebags. Lighter objects can go in the top case or lashed to the pillion when riding solo.
If you expect inclement weather (or even if you do not), remember that not all bags are water-resistant. Bring along a few bungee cords and plastic to protect your gear in the rain. Garbage bags can be convenient for this task – they slip right over bags, can store equipment in a pinch, and you can use them at the campsite to pack out the garbage.
It is also a good idea to plan out before-hand what items will be packed in which bag or case – that makes weight distribution consistent between trips, in addition to making it far more difficult to accidentally forget something.
Planning for Emergencies
As with any road (or off-road) adventure, you want to be prepared for anything, so leave a little extra room in the saddlebags for emergency gear.
If your motorcycle came with a toolkit, make sure it is comprehensive enough to cover common problems the bike might encounter on the road. If not, be sure to pack a supplementary kit. A repair manual can be helpful to bring, as well as a tire repair kit and a small motorcycle air pump (learn how to use them beforehand, if possible).
A cell phone is another must-have item, and if your camping adventure will take you far off the beaten path, then a personal locator beacon such as a Fast Find or a SPOT Locator is another option to notify friends or authorities in case of an emergency.
Of course, the most important tool you can take with you is a well-maintained motorcycle and proper safety gear. Make sure the bike is checked out before a long trip, and that the rider is fully protected and mentally ready to ride.
These are just a few tips to help you plan, pack and head out on a motorcycle camping adventure. Unlike more traditional forms of camping, motorcycle camping allows you to have a complete experience from start to finish – not just when you are at the campsite.
Before you set out on the road, you need to know a little bit about how a motorcycle operates. First, some super simple physics.
Did you ever wonder how a motorcycle can stay upright when it’s moving? Everyone knows that sitting still, a bike (and its rider) will fall over unless they have support. But a moving motorcycle somehow stays up without a lot of effort. Weird.
The technical answer involves some complicated physics about angular momentum and torque. But let’s skip all that and take an everyday example. Hold a bat, heavy end up, in your palm. It will tend to fall over. It’s statically unstable. But wiggle your palm to keep it continually right under the heavy end, and the bat will stay upright. It’s dynamically stable. Something similar works with motorcycles.
When you drive forward friction and your small balancing movements constantly adjust the center of gravity of the bike and rider. The result is similar to the upright bat. The bike and rider stay upright.
Over the decades there have been several different designs, but today most motorcycles have standard operating configurations. The steering mechanism is a simple lever. Other types, like steering wheels, joysticks, and others have been tried.
The right handle grip contains the throttle. The original meaning of ‘to throttle’ is ‘to slow down or hinder’. Here, it has the opposite meaning. Twist it back toward you and the engine gets more gas. With the brakes off, you’ll go faster. Common knowledge.
On the left handle grip of the handlebar is the clutch. Pull it in to change gears, then release – not too fast, not too slow. Also fairly well known. Not too many motorcycles have automatic gear changing mechanisms, but they exist.
Beneath your left foot is the gear shift. Squeeze the clutch lever, ease off the gas, and move the gear shift up or down. Then release your left hand, push the throttle and go.
The front brake lever is attached to the right handle grip. The front brake supplies most of the friction needed to slow down the bike. In some cases, as much as 80%. Pulling it too hard and too fast can flip the bike (and you) over, especially on downhill angles.
Near the foot peg on the right side is the rear brake lever. Push it down with your right foot, and the rear brake mechanism is engaged. Usually, the front and rear brakes are used simultaneously. Feathering the front and rear can cause undue wear on one or the other.
Some bikes have linked braking systems. Pressing the rear brake engages part of the front brake. Synchronization is key to smooth, safe stops. Most rear brakes today are disc type – one or a pair of pads squeezes against a metal disc in the center of the wheel and friction slows the bike to a stop.
Most bikes today have a ‘kill switch’. Sometimes reaching for the key to turn off the motor can cause the bike to become unbalanced. Sometimes you fall off and have to shut off the engine in a hurry. In either case, using the kill switch to kill the motor fast provides a safety backup.
There are lots of variation beyond the basics. Some bikes have an old-fashioned, but still frequently used, kick starter. Others have a push button starter. Some have sidecars, custom suspension, electronic de-fogging mirrors, mileage and GPS computers… the list is endless. But they all have the necessary components discussed above. If they don’t, your bike is busted.
New York’s Central Park is the most popular destination in this city for picnics, trail walking, and trail biking. Although its opening times is not 24 hours, it still enjoys a lot of visitors all year round.
Mind you, Central Park is not any other park that you can just walk around in one day. It features 800 acres full of lush greenery, artificial lakes, picnic areas, restaurants, outdoor gym equipment, and playgrounds. There are so many things to do around Central Park, and it can be a challenge if you intend to explore the entire place. It is easy to get lost, too.
When walking, it will take you weeks to go on and off the park to explore its entirety. However, with biking, traveling becomes manageable. You get to visit more sites in a short amount of time, and you are given more freedom to explore given that you can bring your bike anywhere.
If you intend to bike Central Park, which route should you take? Do you need to sign up for Central Park bike tours available in the area? If you can do it yourself, why not!
Before we get to the recommended route, let us first give you a rundown of the basic rules in biking around New York.
New York’s biking rules
1. By law, children under 14 years old must wear their helmet at all times. However, for safety reasons, it is highly advisable that everyone must wear their helmet while biking.
2. When biking, always go in a counter-clockwise direction.
3. Always use the bike lane; never go biking on pedestrian lanes.
4. The road must be shared with cars where cars are allowed.
5. A bike is considered a vehicle. Therefore, pedestrians always have the right of way.
Now that we’ve given the basic biking rules, here is a route you can take when biking around Central Park. There are other routes available, but this is an excellent choice for first-time explorers of the park:
1. Start your ride at the Grand Army Plaza entrance. It is an attractive area to retrace your steps back to because it is a prominent site in the park.
2. Ride towards East Park Drive which allows you to get into one of the loops of Central Park.
3. Connect to Park Drive where you get lovely views of the park. Go along this route until you get to 110th St.
4. It is going to be a bit of an uphill along this route, but continue cycling until you get to the northern end of Park Drive.
5. Since by law you have to bike in a counterclockwise direction, turn to the south until you get to the west area of the park.
6. Continue along this route which provides a pleasant reprieve from the uphills you’ve experienced at Park Drive.
7. You will reach the Grand Army Plaza at this point, and you’ve now finished your bike trail.
Without stopping, this route takes 2-3 hours. However, it is a waste to just pass by all the stops if it is your first time exploring Central Park. Feel free to get off your bike to grab a snack and drink, take pictures, and visit sites. It is going to be a fun activity even if you do it alone, with your family, or friends. And also, if you get lost just ask for the Grand Army Plaza, and you will, for sure, trace back your way.
Every person that owns a motorcycle is probably aware of all the dangers that come along with it. But, some people may not know the actual statistics of injuries and deaths.
It is a necessity to wear a helmet on a motorcycle, but even though some motorcycle riders wear helmets that does not necessarily mean he or she can get in an accident and walk away without any injuries. Motorcycle statistics have not been updated in a few years, but there are some interesting statistics on riding motorcycles.
- Since 1997, there has been an 89% increase in motorcycle fatalities. This is simply because more people are purchasing motorcycles. Obviously, with more motorcycles on the road, there are more chances for accidents.
- Drivers between the ages of 20-29 are targeted for the largest percentage involved in fatal motorcycle crashes. For the most part, these accidents can put the blame on speeding. So many young people are less experienced, and when that is put together with speed it does not create a nice ending.
- Although the percentage rate has dropped in the last ten years, the largest percentage of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes have been over the legal limit of alcohol. It is dangerous enough driving a car with more than a .08 blood alcohol content, so why would it not be more dangerous on a motorcycle?
- 72% of motorcycle drivers in the age range of 40-49 have been alcohol-related.
- 70% of all motorcycle fatalities have occurred on highways that are undivided. Always make sure to polish up motorcycle skills before driving on any road, especially highways!
Lessen the Chance of Motorcycle Injuries
Even though motorcycles are dangerous, there are a few ways that injuries can be prevented. The obvious way is to drive safely and watch out for other vehicles.
- A motorcycle safety course is always a good preventative for accidents and injuries. All states require a driver to have a motorcycle license, especially if it is the person’s primary vehicle. However, Texas does not require a driver over the age of twenty-one to wear a helmet if they have taken a safety course.
- Wear the correct attire. Always wear jeans and comfortable shoes with a helmet. On top of that, it is a great idea to wear a riding jacket. If an accident occurs, the jacket will protect the arms from road rash, and the jeans will protect the legs.
- When wearing a helmet, be sure there is a safe and stable face shield. Many motorcycle drivers wear goggles or protective sunglasses, but others have face shields.
- It is very common for other cars not to see the motorcycles around them, so always be courteous to other drivers and pay attention!
Again, just because a helmet is worn on a motorcycle does not mean injuries will not occur. Always take every kind of precaution while riding a motorcycle, and remember the popular saying: Support life and put a helmet on!
The question is whether motorcyclists should wear helmets, not whether there should be helmet laws. It’s okay to “agree” that riders should wear helmets and still “disagree” that helmets should be mandatory by law! Whether or not one wears a helmet should forever be the individual’s choice. This article states that helmets are a good idea and hopefully makes a few points regarding why wearing a helmet makes sense. Facts, figures, and available research on helmet use can be construed to argue for or against, so the following is just one person’s opinion.
Reasoning that people should wear helmets while motorcycling is similar to the question of whether seat belts should be worn in a car or truck. Although on rare occasions a seat belt may cause harm in a crash, chances are far greater than the seat belt will save the person from more severe injuries or death. The probability that a helmet worn in a motorcycle crash will save a life is far greater than the likelihood that the helmet would cause harm. I’ll side with possibility on this one. As for the common excuses for not wearing helmets, read on:
Limited Vision and Hearing
If your helmet is limiting your vision, then you’re not wearing the right one. This is based on personal experience. For years I wore a full face helmet, and my limit of visibility was that I needed to turn my head farther to check blind spots and to back up my bike. To back up the bike, I found myself turning to the point that I needed to turn my shoulders also to see directly behind me, making it hard to maintain balance while pushing the bike backward. I accepted this difficulty as being worth it for the protection I was getting from the helmet. After many years of riding, on the recommendation of a safety class instructor, I tried a half-helmet and found it solved my backing problem and made it easier to check the blind spots when riding. The full face helmet may offer better face protection in a crash, but in my case, it’s a personal choice and finding a balance between head protection and visibility. Each person is different. The point: helmets are available in a wide enough variety of styles to suit a wide variety of individual requirements. The same answer applies to the “impaired hearing” concern.
Although quality helmets are made with vents to help with this, there’s no denying it can still get sweaty under there. Again, I choose to deal with the occasional sweaty head and “bad hair” for the payoff of protecting my head in a crash. If I’m ever in an accident where my head hits the pavement or another object, I’m more comfortable with the thought of sweaty head and possible concussion as opposed to an air-cooled head with a smashed skull.
Helmets Don’t Look Cool
I’m willing to sacrifice looks for safety because I value living far more than I care about someone else’s opinion of whether I look good or not. If you’re riding only because you want to look cool, then you’re missing the point of riding. Again, there are so many styles of helmets available that not looking good is, let’s face it, a lame excuse.
Isn’t that like saying you can’t afford the maintenance for your car? Consider it cost of ownership. You can afford the motorcycle; you can afford the helmet. Although a quality helmet can range in price from $80 to $300 or more, that’s still in many cases less expensive than a leather jacket or just one of the many “accessories” we buy for our bikes. Think about the value and how “expensive” the helmet is, if a day comes when that helmet saves your life or prevents a permanent brain injury.
I’m not going to be in an accident: that “it won’t happen to me” attitude is unrealistic. Even the most experienced and advanced riders will encounter flat or blown tires, road hazards, mechanical problems and other drivers who cause accidents. There’s always the possibility of something happening that’s beyond your control. Again it’s a matter of protecting yourself against the probability of a crash no matter how good of a rider you may be.
If you decide it makes sense to wear a helmet, keep in mind that helmets work better when they fit correctly, are DOT/and or SNELL approved to meet established safety standards, and when they’re worn on the head as opposed to riding on the helmet lock or elsewhere on the bike. Helmets should also be replaced regularly. There are resources available everywhere for those who want to learn more. All the above points are simply a helmet advocate’s point of view, written with respect for the right of a person to choose not to wear a helmet, no matter the reason. A person of sound mind and mature age should have the right to choose whether or not to take this safety precaution while riding.
When comparing cars and bikes/scooters, there can be many things which can be considered but one of the most important things is their efficiency, or you can say contribution towards the environment.
Cars are the most common means of transport these days, and so, there are millions and billions on the road today. However, scooters or bike accidents are less. Riding a motorcycle or scooter requires a useful skill and one should be more careful while riding because these are on two wheels. Yes, that is true but, if considering the fuel efficiency and environmental alternatives scooters play an essential role in keeping the greenhouse gases low in the atmosphere.
They can go as much as four times than cars while consuming same quantity of fuel. Secondly, the amount of gases produced by these two-wheelers is much low because of their engine capacity and power.
Scooters and motorcycles take less space and hence are less prone to get stuck in traffic. They help in reducing the traffic jams. Also, riding a scooter can be much more fun than a car.
Riding a scooter or a motorcycle is almost an exercise. Riding requires:
- Controlling weight
- Weight transfers
- Concentration on road
.. all this is an exercise. According to a survey, riding is good for health. The rider is not bound or confined within four walls or in a small room.
In the end, it can be said that riding can be much more enjoyable, fun, good for health and a substitute for cars while considering urban and environmental problems.
We do not expect that this guide will turn you into an expert overnight. We have made every attempt to be accurate and easy to read. But we cannot impart the gifts of skill, experience, and common sense. If after reading these pages you feel inclined to carry out alterations to the braking system of a bike we will not accept responsibility for what happens next. You are responsible for your actions, and this guide has been placed online to only offer an introduction into the braking system and to hopefully give you a more significant background into how things work, what effects changes may have and what different parts of the system do. We will obviously be happy to answer any questions.
Fact is that the most powerful part of your motorcycle is not the engine – it’s the brakes. For example, a GSXR1000 can do a standing quarter mile in 10.8 seconds with a terminal speed of 138mph. Yet, the brakes can do the same amount of work, but in reverse, in just 6.8 seconds.
The name hydraulics comes from the Greek word ‘hydro’ meaning water and ‘aulos’ meaning pipe. The basics of any hydraulic braking system are as follows. For a hydraulic system to function it must be closed and full of fluid and leak-free. No fluid can be allowed to leave, and no air can be allowed to enter.
In a closed, sealed hydraulic system as outlined above the following laws are true Fluid cannot be compressed to a lesser volume, no matter how high the pressure Pressure is equal over all surfaces of the containing system The things that concern us most with brake hydraulics are the following :
It is a constant in the hydraulic system. If you put ten psi into a system hydraulic laws, state that this ten psi will act on all surfaces within the system equally. Pressure In = Pressure Out.
A 1 square inch master cylinder with 10 lbs. of force applied to it will produce 10 lbs. of force per square inch or 10 psi. If the calipers have a surface area of 10 square inches, then the force here will be 10 x 10 lb which will mean the calipers produce 100 lb of force. The pressure acting on the system is the same, in this case, ten psi, but the force can be altered by changing the surface area of the calipers.
If our one square inch master cylinder travels forward 1″ then the amount of fluid it displaces will be one cubic inch. If this fluid is then spread over the 10 square inches of the caliper, the calipers will only be able to move 1/10th of an inch. You will have a huge force (100 lbs.), but the caliper pistons may not move forward enough to grip the disc tightly and so give a weaker brake. This can be seen to happen on some motorcycles which have a small master cylinder piston and two pot calipers. If the two pots are exchanged for six-pot calipers, then the surface area increases and the force increases at the caliper, BUT the small master cylinder only moves a small amount of fluid which in turn equates to a lower movement of the caliper pistons.
Lever Pivot Point
Any effort you apply with your hand should push the pads against the disc. But your hand isn’t that strong. To make the point grab hold of something and squeeze it hard – do you think that’s enough pressure to stop 270kgs of bike and rider from 180mph? Initially, the brake lever itself gives you an advantage by multiplying the force at your hand through the lever. For instance, the distance from the lever pivot point to the middle of the lever (where your fingers are) might be 130mm. And yet the distance from the pivot point to the point where the lever acts on the master cylinder might only be 20mm. So, roughly speaking any force applied to the lever will be 6.5 times greater at the master cylinder (130mm/20mm = 6.5).
QUESTION – Can you use any fluid in the braking system?
No, you cannot. The fluid in the braking system must be a designated brake fluid which meets with certain specifications – DOT3, DOT4, DOT5 or DOT 5.1 are the most common and your owners manual will inform you of the fluid used as a standard in the system. Don’t use aircraft hydraulic fluid (even if you can get hold of it) – it isn’t the brake fluid equivalent of Avgas and do not use the mineral based fluid formulated for Citroens either
QUESTION – What types of brake fluid are available?
There are two types of fluid: glycol-based and silicone-based. You can use one or the other but NEVER mix the two fluids. If you want to use a different fluid than the one in your system ( glycol to silicone/silicone to glycol), then you will need to flush the system before changing. Brake fluid is available in different specifications to meet American Department Of Transport (DOT) requirements. These DOT regulations are occasionally updated but primarily the higher the DOT rating, the higher quality, higher boiling point and more expensive the fluid. DOT3 is the basic brake fluid. DOT 4 is a higher standard, and both of these fluids absorb water – they are hygroscopic, but DOT4 fluid contains additives which prevent water affecting the performance of the fluid to the same degree. DOT 5 was originally formulated for silicone based brake fluid although there is now a new DOT5.1 standard for glycol-based fluid which has some of the desirable properties of silicone fluids. Both types – glycol based and silicone have different pros and cons though.
QUESTION – What are the boiling points of brake fluids?
Brake fluid works in a harsh environment being close to the heat generated by the braking system the fluid heats up and under extreme conditions such as racing this can lead to the fluid boiling. These manufacturers found that by increasing the boiling point, the fluid performed better in use as when fluid boils it leads to cavitation within the system and loss of braking pressure. The boiling points are as follows :
|Minimum Specification||Good Brand Min Spec|
|DOT 3||205 Deg C||140 Deg C||220 Deg C||150 Deg C|
|DOT 4||230 Deg C||155 Deg C||260 Deg C||170 Deg C|
|DOT 5||260 Deg C||180 Deg C||270 Deg C||190 Deg C|
|DOT 5.1||260 Deg C||180 Deg C||270 Deg C||190 Deg C|
Wet figures above show the drop in performance when the fluid has a specific water content (less than 3%). For example, when DOT 5.1 is contaminated with 3% water (which is considered a lot) performs almost as well as basic DOT 3 in prime condition. The most important thing to do is regularly change your fluid – we suggest every three months, but manufacturers suggest at least once every twelve months. After six months use a typical DOT 3 fluid may have had it’s boiling point lowered from 205 degree’s C to about 165 degree’s C
QUESTION – What are the pros and cons of fluids?
DOT 3 and DOT 4 are hydroscopic – they allow water to be absorbed into the fluid. This means that when heated up a fluid with water in it will boil more quickly (water boils at a lower temperature than brake fluid) which will lead to cavitation. DOT 5 does not absorb water and will not strip paintwork but as the water is not absorbed it merely sinks to the bottom of the system which is usually the caliper where operating temperatures are very high. Water in the caliper is bad as it can cause corrosion within the caliper although silicone fluids contain corrosion inhibitors and as water has a lower boiling point than fluid (100 Degrees C), there is more chance of boiling under relatively light braking. Glycol based fluids can strip paintwork whereas silicone based do not. Silicone fluids also have a very long life which is why it is used in military vehicles which may be stored for years without use but be expected to be ready for action at a moments notice.
QUESTION – Do -02 lines give more pressure than -03 lines?
No – the fitting of the smaller dash two hoses sold by some manufacturers makes NO difference to the pressure produced at the caliper as is commonly believed. There are no substantial benefits associated with the use of dash two hoses except that the manufacturer can charge you more for them. The only way to increase pressure coming out of the system is to increase the pressure going into the system. 500 psi in equals 500 psi out – Fluid cannot be compressed to a lesser volume, no matter how high the pressure and Pressure is equal over all surfaces of the containing system.
QUESTION – What is the difference in performance between two full-length front lines and an over-the-mudguard line kit?
Nothing except for the way the system looks. Both systems operate in the same way and give you the same performance. As the system is a closed hydraulic system without air in it when the fluid moves at one end the same movement takes place at the other end. Because they have different lengths doesn’t mean that the system will work slower at one end than the other. Imagine pushing two sticks away from you which are both 6″ long – the ends both move at the same time. Now imagine pushing two sticks – one is 6″ and the other is 36″ – the ends still both move at the same time. So the over the mudguard gives the same performance as the two full length – it’s just which you prefer.
QUESTION – What’s better – three front lines using the OEM splitter, two full-length fronts or 2 fronts with one over-the-mudguard?
As we have said above the three systems, give the same performance, but the three-line front has an additional two possible leak points in the system, is heavier and harder to bleed than two front lines. It is easier to fit though as you follow the OEM setup. Another thing to remember is to do you race or use the bike on track days? If so go for the two full-length front as in the UK one of the ACU rules state that you are not allowed an over the mudguard system unless it is an original system.
QUESTION – Friction
Friction is resistance to sliding. Any two objects in contact with and trying to move relative to each other have friction. This can be low or high depending on the types of surface in contact. If two surfaces in contact are sliding, the friction produces heat. In braking systems, friction is used to produce heat.
The process of creating this heat stops the motorcycle. The amount of friction between two surfaces depends on the materials and their roughness.
The amount of friction is described by a number called the coefficient of friction. This number is obtained by Friction Force being divided by the Perpendicular Force. To make matters more complicated, the coefficient of friction has two different values. It is higher when there is no sliding, but as soon as the surfaces start to move relative to each other, the friction coefficient drops to a lower number.
This is why it is harder to start something sliding than it is to keep it sliding. After sliding starts, it is called dynamic coefficient of friction. The higher the number, the higher the amount of friction and the lower the number, the lower the amount of friction.