The Road Safety team want you to have great fun at TT 2013 ...
... we also want you to return home safely.
The following top tips may help you prepare for your visit to the Isle of Man and keep you safe until you leave.
Even though the machine may have been retired last season in good working order and may still retain a current MOT, a thorough check of the bike is essential. Pay particular attention to the following:
- Brakes and fluid
- Tyre condition and pressures (checked when cold)
- Fork seals
- Chain and sprockets
A road-worthiness check by a reputable dealership can be well worth the money.
If you do under the mileage for a yearly service consider a service at this time of year anyway.
Without fail the following checks are essential affecting your tyres and brakes.
It should be borne in mind that brake fluid has a life and it is recommended that the fluid is changed on a frequent basis. If you are not mechanically minded this job is best done at a dealership. Tyre condition is of prime importance. If a machine is not in regular use the tyres deteriorate at an alarming rate. Tread depth is one thing but cracks in the tyre walls will render a tyre useless. If you have any doubts in this area please seek advice from a main dealer or tyre supplier. As mentioned above a full service at the commencement of the riding season should iron out any problems before they are likely to manifest themselves.
Ensure that you thoroughly check your safety equipment before putting it into use for this riding season. Pay particular attention to helmet webbing and scratched visors. Damaged helmets or helmets with worn webbing or straps must be replaced. Your helmet is without doubt your most important piece of equipment. It is essential to look after it. Scratched visors affect your vision when riding especially at night or in wet weather. They can usually be replaced for a few pounds and this is money well spent.
If you have protective motorcycle clothing - wear it even if your intended journey is only short.
Incidents can and very often do happen close to a journeys start or end.
Loading and Accessories
Use common sense when loading your machine or fitting additional accessories. Use only accessories recommended by your machines manufacturer. When loads are carried you should travel at a much lower speed than normal.
Tyres pressures should be adjusted, as recommend by manufactures, for passenger or load carrying.
Like any other activity to be proficient you need to respect that preparation is essential. The human brain performs tasks most efficiently when they are practiced. Human expectations most often fall short of actual ability.
- The rider needs to regularly practice machine and road management skills
- He/she should initially consider riding an appropriate route on their own, avoiding group riding is strongly recommended until correctly prepared and organised
- Don’t take on too long a journey too soon – avoid demanding routes or speeds until experience has been regained
- Re-familiarise yourself with the controls and handling of the bike
Attitudes And Behaviour
Remember, risk taking is amplified by poor preparation. Historically, lots of fatal and seriously injury collisions take place early in the biking calendar. This may suggest that riders skills are still rusty following a long winter break. It would be wise to remember that it may take a few weeks back in the saddle to resume a competent skill level and even longer to recover the skill attained at the end of last years riding season.
It needs to be accepted that riding, whilst giving an extremely high level of pleasure, is still a vulnerable activity and comes with great responsibility. Think of your quality of life and how easily it could be destroyed, not to mention the people around you that need you to come home safe.
Taken from Top Tips For Spring Riding by PC Paul Cheshire North Wales Police, www.BikeSafe.co.uk