2017 racing action kicks of with World Superbikes in February. Here’s our lowdown on what’s new and what you need to know.
The Musts of Biker Safety Products
Bikers can be difficult to spot on the road, making them vulnerable road users – as a result, motorcycle safety should not be ignored. Although it is the responsibility of the motorcyclist to ride a bike with caution, it is also important for other drivers to look warily for bikers. Motorbikes can’t be spotted as easily as larger vehicles, especially if the biker occupies a drivers ‘blind spot’.
As a result, those that ride a bike should endeavour to be fully equipped with the appropriate road safety gear before getting on two wheels. As well as the standard protective gear, leathers, helmet, gloves and so on, we have put together a few examples of products out there that can give you that little extra protection when you’re out on the road.
The RealRider app is a great new app for Smartphone’s and Androids and ultimately it can be a life saver. The RealRider app has been designed using Smartphone motion sensors and algorithms and can detect whether a biker has been in an accident or thrown from their bike. (You must have the app turned on and on your person for it to work effectively.) If the app believes you have had an accident, it then triggers a 90 second crash alert that appears on your screen. If you are OK and do not need the emergency services, then simply press the button and the app knows you are ok, if these 90 seconds pass and you do nothing – potentially due to the fact that you have come off your bike and you are unconscious, then it alerts emergency services. They then receive a message with your location, using your phone’s GPS system, and any medical information that they may need to assist you on site. This is the only app that alerts the emergency services directly. I think you’ll agree, this is technology at its best!
Helite air bag jackets are great form of protection of you do ever get thrown from your bike. They are valuable and innovative bit of kit that act as an individual inflatable air-bag, giving a motorcyclist that added security and confidence on the road and best of all, it’s re-usable! How it works; the Helite airbag technology uses inflated air cushions to reduce serious injury to the body as a result of an accident. The airbags are placed at the neck, down the spine, on the lower back, at the hips and on the chest and are designed to absorb the shocks that are sent through the body when thrown from a bike, and to protect you from abrasions, impact and puncture damage. You simply wear the jacket as your main motorcycle jacket or you can wear a sleeveless one over your usual jacket and then clip the cord from the gas canister to your bike. When thrown from your bike, this cord then detached from the gas canister, which is then triggered to inflate the air bags, all of this happens within 80 milliseconds. After a period of time, the jacket then automatically deflates, allowing for it to be used again, simply insert another gas canister and you are ready to go.
Volo Lights, a brake-less deceleration indicator, is a relatively new innovation and is designed to bring safety to braking motorbikes. Brake lights on a vehicle weren’t really designed with motorbikes in mind, as often bikers slow down by downshifting or simply by taking their hand off the throttle and allowing the bike to naturally slow, so brakes and therefore brake lights aren’t always used by bikers to slow down. As a result of this, drivers aren’t always aware of a bike slowing or of the rate that the bike is slowing, as bikes tend to slow a lot faster than the average car. Volo lights are able to alert drivers to a slowing bike much faster by flashing a red light at different frequencies to alert a driver behind that the bike is slowing down, this flashing light has been proven to capture the attention of drivers who were otherwise not fully attentive. The clever part of Volo Lights is that this attention grabbing flashing occurs not just when the biker uses the brakes, but when the bike is simply decelerating, whether this is due to natural deceleration by not using the throttle or due to downshifting. The rate of flashing is also synced with the urgency of slowing, if a slower deceleration is taking place, the red light flashes less in comparison with a more urgent deceleration, in which the Volo Light flashes at a much faster rate. A great product that keeps others aware of your actions on the road.
Alpine MotoSafe are the number one earplugs you can buy to protect your hearing from motor and wind noise, as well as allowing for heightened concentration. When reaching speeds of up to 62 miles per hour, the wind noise under your helmet is reaching 94dB, and with this noise, it only takes 15 minutes of unprotected noise to damage your hearing! Alpine Motosafe aren’t your standard ear plugs, with their dual technology they use two different filters, green and yellow, that decrease wind noise and can be done so at a standard or higher rate, depending on bike and or wind speed. Optimal protection is guaranteed, however, communication and hearing are still possible, with surrounding traffic and the noise of your bike remaining clear. Helmets often do not offer hearing protection and so this product is a must to reduce damage to your hearing when out on the roads.
Whether you are newly qualified or an experienced biker, staying safe on the road is vital, especially as bad habits are easy to pick up along the way. Safety equipment will help to keep you and your bike on the road for longer, so check out these products, you never know, they could save your life.