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PUBLISHED HERE

Shorter Sunday Rideouts

by Dave Williams

Group Riding and Keeping Up

by Steve Williams

Police BikeSafe

by Mark Gornicki

Tyres! a view from an expert

by Bryn Phillips
Bridgestone Motorcycle Technician

info supplied by

The Fazer Owners Forum
Staying Alive

by Kevin Williams

Many thanks to Kevin Williams
for contributing this article.

www.survivalskills.co.uk

 

 

Riding Bikes is a Skill...No Practice, No Skill

As published in Gwent Group of Advanced Motorists and Cornwall Advanced Motorists Newsletters

As sure as Sunday follows Saturday I was going to become a statistic, it was just a matter of time, the clock WAS ticking. One quiet period of pondering and reflection made me realise the statistic I would become was not one of greatness or admiration but one so many good and decent people become...a percentage of the KSI stats., (killed or seriously injured).

En-route to the IME at the NEC in Birmingham speeds were reached and sustained well into three figures even through southern sections of the northbound carriageway of the M42, a few slips of concentration made by stomach flutter with nervousness...too many close shaves made me finally realise that my days on two wheels were numbered, whether by choice or mistake.

The leaflet and information I had received from the unknown and forgotten face on the Institutes stand at the NEC was foremost in my thoughts as I rode home.

Some two months later I was shaking hands with some ‘ole codger’ who rode a bike which looked older than me, I felt like walking away but was determined to turn a corner and alter my future.

Being somewhat of a perfectionist most things I took on I would aspire at, else I wouldn’t bother, what could this ‘ole codger’ teach me - nothing other than how to get old quick I thought, flat cap, pipe and slipper brigade, oh yes, and a beemer!

I almost resented this individual as he proceeded to inflict his well rehearsed speech onto me. Ignorant to his cause but determined to reap some benefit for my own well being. I’m not a stupid person I’d even go so far as to say I have an above average level of common sense. This guy was making some sense, I felt the urge to know more, the desire to learn and gain reward, but ultimately retain my self preservation. Then came the 15 lb sledge hammer square between the eyes...what’s known in the job as the ‘demonstration ride’.

I followed this ‘ole codger’ through various fairly challenging ‘B’ roads within our district. It was soon very apparent that in order to stay close I was cutting corners, not quite taking risks but certainly riding on my toes. How was this? Because of my level of common sense it soon hit home that there was more to this ‘Advanced’, ‘Safety First’, approach. I was on my toes and the ‘ole codger’ now ‘demigod ‘ was gracefully riding with pace, smoothness and puissance almost effortlessly.

My attention had been fully grasped, my aspirations had changed within minutes. I went on to be recommended for full membership of the Institute and throughout this path of transition I was fortunate to come across other esteemed riders who, in my opinion, were better, smoother and yes, faster than the last. Some strange personalities amongst them it has to be said, even to the point of ignorance but this didn’t matter one iota, if I could reap a small percentage of their ability then it would be worth enduring their personalities.

Another phase of this learning curve came along, the ‘Respect’ phase. Because I was working very hard to increase my ability to ride a bike somewhere near these ‘demigods’ level, I was in fact gaining an ability to equal, and as time went by, further my ability compared to theirs.

I had been noticed or rather my riding ability had been noticed, then these ‘demigods’ sort of switched roles with me. Compliments started to be passed my way, these riders wanted now to go for a ride with me! ‘With me’! Why? Why, because they now wanted to pick up something from my ability in order for them to increase theirs, and yes, we did / do have some very good rideouts. Constantly learning and criticising every manoeuvre in order to fine tune ones riding.

Once becoming a full member you step onto the bottom rung of an endless ladder, too many riders think this is the top rung, there is no top rung. How many members can honestly say that other riders are itching to get out for a ride with them and not for social reasons. How many members have taken it upon themselves to further their skill by Special Assesment, RoSPA, One to One time with Examiners and other Observers or the ‘top dogs’.

I read many times in this publication ‘What makes the perfect rider, practice makes perfect, well almost’. So ask yourself since attaining full membership how much proper constructive practice have you had...be honest!

I will end this article with this simple thought and it applies to a great deal of us. Whether you agree or not, don’t poo poo it!

Your not as good as you think you are!
Do something about it.

By David Elger

 

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FILTERING

There are many great aspects of motorcycling that make it such a fun and fulfilling activity, most would say cornering gives the greatest pleasure but I personally feel that is matched by the potential to make progress through Filtering.

Being snarled up in rush hour traffic during the daily commute to and from work often prompts me to use the bike the following day hence I am able to pick my way through the congestion. There is some reference to filtering in the Highway Code, PYAMT and Roadcraft but it tends to be a guide and cannot clearly state right and wrongs.

We the Advanced Motorcyclists have our own views on how it should be done but what would be the viewpoint of the car drivers (who don't also own a motorbike). More importantly what would be the view of the Insurance companies and the legal standing in the event of an accident whilst filtering?

With that in mind I contacted Tony Carter who often contributes articles in the magazine Motorcycle Voyager, and invited him to provide a balanced view from all sides.

Tony Carter is a highly experienced road safety expert with many years experience as a police patrol motorcyclist. Tony works for solicitors Boyes Turner in it's claims group, specializing in personal injury claims for motorcycle accidents.

Greg Sullivan

 

Filtering, where do we stand?

One of the main benefits of riding a motorcycle is the fact that unlike our 4 wheeled counterparts, when we come upon lines of stationary traffic, we can still make progress and filter through towards the front of the queue. Filtering has been the cause of many a debate over the years with many arguing about the legitimacy of such an action. So what is the legal position?

Well for those of you who are unsure, let me ask you a question! What is filtering? In simple terms it is an overtaking manoeuvre, and in most cases it is perfectly legal provided:

•  You don't cross over or straddle a solid centre white line system.

•  You don't overtake after a "No Overtaking" sign.

•  You do not overtake the lead vehicle within the confines of the zigzags of a pedestrian/pelican crossing as it may have stopped to allow pedestrians to cross.

•  No danger is caused to other road users and no vehicle is caused to alter course or speed.

So in short, providing those 4 conditions are complied with then there shouldn't be a problem, however when it comes to accidents, civil liability can paint a somewhat different picture.

When a motorcyclist is involved in a filtering accident, most insurance companies will try and use the case law of Powell v Moody which dates back to 1966 to mitigate their losses. In that case a motorcyclist was overtaking a line of stationary traffic and was found to be 80% to blame when he hit a car which was "inching out" into the carriageway after a milk tanker signalled to him to pull out. The court felt that the motorcyclist was undertaking an "operation" which is fraught with great hazard and which needed to be carried out with great care.

In the case of Clarke v Whinchurch in 1969, an overtaking motorcyclist (Moped) in similar circumstances was found to be 100% to blame. The judge ruled that he (the motorcyclist) should have realised something was happening up ahead when a bus in a line of slow moving traffic stopped to let a vehicle out from a side road on his left. The car came out quite slowly in front of the bus and was hit by the moped. (If you are ever involved in a filtering accident, you probably won't want to quote this case to the other side).

In more recent cases (Leeson v Bevis Transport 1972) the motorcycle and emerging vehicle were found equally responsible. The court said that the motorcyclist did nothing wrong in overtaking the line of stationary vehicles, but needed to keep an effective lookout, whilst the van driver should have been aware of the possibility of vehicles overtaking in this way.

The most recent case of this kind was in 1980 in the case of Worsford v Howe. In this instance the motorcyclist was in a separate lane intended for vehicles turning right, when he was hit by a car which was intending to cross both lanes of traffic and turn right. The court found once again that both rider and driver were equally to blame and settled 50/50.

In filtering cases, the court when deciding who is to blame will look at:

•  The speed and position of the motorcycle in the road.

•  Whether the stream of traffic was stationary or moving.

•  How fast the other vehicle emerged from the side road or from the line of traffic.

Filtering is an accepted and legitimate practice, and unless there is a case of dangerous or careless driving to answer, or one of the 4 conditions mentioned previously have been breached, then it is very rare that a Police prosecution will follow, but in terms of a civil action, then this is where the real headache can begin.

As it stands at the moment, although some of the most recent cases have found both parties equally responsible, and in some cases they courts have found 100% in favour of the motorcyclist, you have to bear in mind that you could still end up bearing 80% or even 100% of the blame, simply because as the case law stands at the moment, you will probably not recover your damages in full.

So to sum up, filtering in most cases is perfectly legal, is accepted as being a benefit of riding a motorcycle and is something that just about every rider has done at some stage without any problems, but, should you be unfortunate to have a collision whilst filtering, then just be aware of the pitfalls you are likely to encounter until such time as current case law is updated.

Many thanks to Tony Carter for this article on Filtering.

Contact: tcarter@boyesturnerlegal.co.uk

Tel: 01189 527 219

www.boyesturnerlegal.co.uk

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Shorter Rideouts

What about having a slightly shorter rideout on the Sunday, so that the newer members could join in.

One of the possible troubles with the Wednesday rides is that by the time we set out it is late and because of this we cannot stray too far from Edlogan Way.
If we allowed the Associates on the Sunday runs then as long as we have 'two leaders' one that will be at the front with the more experienced people and then the second person leading the Associates - which may not be as quick as the others.
I believe that the Associates would benefit from being with the full  members and learn from their driving. I certainly found it useful riding with the group and picked up a number of useful tips from these runs. For this scheme to be successful, we need to ensure that the run is not too long, so that the Associates are not put off and they still enjoy the rideout.
This brings me on to another thought...the length of the Sunday rideout.  Perhaps the fact that they are long is putting the new full members off.
Perhaps if the ride was short enough so that leaving at 9:00am would mean a return time of 1:00pm, this would allow people to spend time with their family on the Sunday as well as going out on the bike. I'm sure we can think of fairly close destinations to visit that will hopefully encourage more people to join us.

Dave Williams

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Group Riding and Keeping Up

My 2 pence worth

An advanced group rideout should be an event that can be enjoyed by all participants and people in that group should not feel pressured into keeping up, I know from personal experience that the urge to keep up with faster riders is sometimes present.

One of the warning signs is when you find yourself going offline going through corners, i.e. cutting the apex thus reducing your view through the corner. Another occasion when the "got to keep up" syndrome kicks in is when the lead riders have got a couple of overtakes in and you are stuck behind traffic, you find you have 5 bikes behind you and the pressure starts to build because you think that you are holding them up, and that's when the dodgy overtakes could start.

Consider this, we as a group have Rideout Guidelines and have adopted a Drop Off system that should mean that you can ride at a pace that suits you! And you should not feel pressured into riding beyond the point that you feel comfortable.

Steve Williams

 

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Police Bikesafe: 18th-19th September 2004

After several other members of the Gwent IAM Motorcycle group attended a Bikesafe event outside of Gwent previously and found it informative and beneficial, I decided that if

given an opportunity I would attend one. Luckily Gwent Police have started running these weekend workshops, a two day event, and one was to take place in September.

My reasons for doing this were primarily to learn and take on board advice and guidance from very experienced and safe police riders and to put myself and my riding skills under the spotlight, a personal test to see where I am.

Day 1.

The day came and under the dark grey sky I made my way to the centre at Edlogan Way.

Upon arriving I was greeted by the sight of eight police bikes, along with an array of tourers, cruisers and sports bikes. As we enjoyed a cup of coffee the heavens opened with a vengeance and everybody was glad that we were starting with a classroom session. The introductions were made and there was a big range in both experience and age across the attendees. This aspect should be welcomed by all parties since it shows the appeal of Bikesafe to all sections of the motorcycling community.

The Traffic Officer running the event led the first classroom session with a picture - hand drawn - of your typical bend and a discussion about paint!
The aim of the session was information: what is given, where it is and how to use it. It is surprising how much there can be but also what can be overlooked as you are riding. We also watched a bike safety awareness video to round off the classroom work for the morning.

Lunch was kindly provided at Police Headquarters and the weather also took a turn for the better and dried up quite nicely into perfect weather for riding.

The practical sessions then begun, and since one person failed to turn up there was 9 attendees to 8 police riders. Two of the Harley riders doubled up and the rest of us were one-to-one.

This made for a very personal and more focussed course for all the attendees.

With regard to my ride we went through Caerleon, Usk, Gwehelog, Monmouth and onto Chepstow for a coffee break. Tyrone, the police rider commented on the fact that I'd obviously had some advanced training and that he would only need to keep an eye on minor aspects of my riding to help things be a little smoother. We followed some of the route back before turning onto the A449 dual carriageway to assess my riding in that situation, finally returning back to Edlogan Way.


The main point made was to come off the white line a bit more, the police approach to your lane is to divide it into three zones and to ride within those zones as appropriate for the conditions and situation. The other point being to hold my line after a bend rather than return to the white line where it would mean smoother progress into the next manoeuvre.

Day 2.

The following day we were straight out on the bikes and the police riders were looking for improvements or more consistency in the areas identified the previous day. Everyone took slightly different routes but ultimately the run ended up at the services in Sennybridge for coffee. The route we took was via Abergavenny and Brecon, and the way back via Builth Wells, Talgarth and Abergavenny.
At Edlogan Way we had a "slowy" competition before moving on to Police Headquarters. Before lunch we spoke with the mechanic who looks after the Police bikes who offered some tips on checks and bike maintenance.

After lunch it was back to Edlogan Way and more classroom sessions.

The afternoon session was very good with a trained paramedic who was also a bike rider giving basic first aid advice with particular regard to motorcycle accidents, including how to remove helmets correctly. This was followed by security advice from a member of the crime prevention team, also discussed was a new scheme where the Police can issue metallic stickers (the type that are difficult to remove) with a number on them and you can place them on different bits of the bike. Particularly recommended is to place them on your wheels inside the tyre.
When you report your bike stolen, you notify the police of the numbers and if recovered the bike can be traced back to you.

The day was finished with police traffic officer Alan Dunn highlighting the merits of further development with advanced rider organisations such as IAM and ROSPA. Local members of GGAM then introduced themselves with Dave Elger giving a short chat about the group and Greg Sullivan handing out goody bags with information for each attendee to take away.

Finally there was the obligatory certificate of attendance and another goody bag.

What were my conclusions after this course, well Bikesafe is a very good offering.
The classroom aspect is just right and covers the main areas, making you think about the road and environment but especially the first aid section.

The use of experienced Police riders means that attendees get the assistance and benefit of people who "live" on bikes and are trained to the highest levels. Informally it shows the police with a more "human" face and you learn of how the police approach things.

I think that they should be advertised and pushed a bit more, they can also act as a path into advanced training such as that offered by the IAM.

The problem is that in some ways the very people who would benefit from Bikesafe are ones who would never choose to go on it.

The other issue is those riders who have modified their bikes in some way; they wouldn't take their bikes to a course run by a police force no matter what assurances may or may not be given. To even begin to attract these people the courses would have be offered where there is no need to provide your own bike either via increased funding to provide a pool of bikes nationally or via sponsorship deals.

Mark Gornicki

 

Many thanks to club member Mark for giving a good insight into the training available with Gwent Police.

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Tyres Explained

www.bridgestone-eu.com

Bridgestone UK tyre and fitment advice for FZS600 and FZS1000 owners

I've recently been contacted by a couple of visitors to the Fazer Owners Club site. They had been reading the threads concerning tyres and had become confused about which Bridgestone tyres were best for whatever purpose, and also what the difference is between the BT-020U and the BT-020NT for the FZS1000. So I thought I'd send you the full details on Bridgestone UK's tyres for Fazers, along with a couple of other bits of information your visitors may find useful.

As you probably know, there is more rubbish talked about tyres than anyother motorcycle product - I've lost count of the amount of riders I've spoken to who know more about what makes a bike handle than our development riders, some of whom are former GP riders! Some of the threads that I've read on various sites over the years have left me amazed - some of the claims that owners have made for Brand-X tyres in comparison to Brand-Y tyres go completely against all in-house and independent testing that I have the results of. So I thought I'd try and clear a way through the clutter and give you the definitive, official Bridgestone UK line on our motorcycle rubber for Fazers. If you abide by this information you will have no handling problems, if you listen to the bloke down the pub who thinks he knows better, you will have problems. Trust me when I say that if the information the bloke down the pub gives you differs from this information, he does not understand tyres and how they work.

Choose the correct tyre:

I'll start with the one thing that many riders overlook - just because a tyre is available in the sizes to fit your bike it doesn't necessarily mean that it will suit your bike...not all tyres are suitable for all bikes. For details on this see my comment below about the BT-010 and the FZS1000. The BT010 is the UK's, if not the world's, most popular sports tyre, and if we don't approve it's fitment on the FZS1000 there must be a good reason. The same goes for other tyres in our range - the BT-012SS fast road/track day tyre is too "full-on" for the FSZ1000, the new BT-012 gives more than enough grip for this bike, even for track day use. None of the major tyre manufacturers approve the fitting of their entire range of tyres for every bike, and this stands to reason - why should we expect an extreme-performance tyre to offer its best when fitted to a bike that was developed for general all-round riding? It's more important to choose the tyre that best suits your needs and the bike's purpose. E.g. If you're going
on a European jaunt the BT-020 sports touring tyre would be a better choice than the BT-010 or BT-012 sports tyres. If you use your bike for transport as well as fun the BT-020 would again be the best choice. But if all you use your bike for is fun and the occasional track day you should probably choose the BT-010 or BT-012.

Grip:

Don't worry about the grip available from your tyres. This may not be something you're used to hearing, but grip isn't omething you should beworrying about - let us do that for you. The grip level available from the latest sports touring tyres, such as our BT-020, is comparable with full-on sports tyres of just five years ago. So don't worry about grip, we've already got that sorted, concentrate more on what type of tyre suits your purposes, and for that information see above. And don't focus too much on the compound - there's a lot more to how a tyre grips the road than just the compound.

If your tyre slips, don't automatically blame the tyre. Think about where it happened - was the road surface contaminated, was it on a greasy roundabout,was the road surface worn out? If the road surface is not contaminated
modern tyres give plenty of warning before they slide and if you've ignored those warning signs you can't really blame the tyres.

Running tyres in:

Running tyres in takes approximately 100 miles and involves more than simply scrubbing-in the tread surface of the tyre. When tyres come out of the mould they have a smooth surface and to obtain optimum grip levels this smooth surface needs to have it's entire surface scrubbed-in and the best way to achieve this is not to rub the surface with emery paper, but to go for a ride. The first few miles should be spent riding upright so that you have a broad band in the centre that has been scrubbed-in. You can then start increasing your angle of lean while always keeping a portion of the scrubbed-in area in contact with road. Scrubbing-in can be achieved by an experienced rider in as few as 10 miles, but this does not mean that your tyres will be fully run-in. Running tyres in also involves seating the tyre on the wheel, and this is not achieved simply by fitting the tyre to the wheel. Running-in also allows all of the components of the tyre to seat in against one another - by overheating a new tyre you can cause lasting damage that means the tyre may not achieve its optimum mileage. While running-in new tyres you should not subject them to hard acceleration or braking forces.

One final point: Contrary to popular opinion BRIDGESTONE DOES NOT USE RELEASING AGENT ON ITS MOTORCYCLE TYRES. New tyres feel slippery because they are very smooth when they come out of the mould - see above. Riders who crash on new tyres often try to blame releasing agent for the accident, but if we don't use releasing agent how can this be? Actually, very few people crash on new tyres, most riders are conscientious when running-in their new tyres, but the vast majority of those who do crash on new tyres usually admit to leaning their bike over at low speeds - junctions and slow roundabouts are the most popular places. Think about it: when travelling at low speed and leaning over there is very little force acting upon a tyre to help it grip the road. Add in a brand new, smooth tread surface and you have a recipe for a sudden slide.

Mixing tyres:

There is absolutely no point in mixing tyres on the same bike. e.g. BT-010 front with BT-020 rear.

In the case of FZS600 owners, many did it because the 110/70ZR17 BT-020 was not available until early 2003 and if they wanted to use a BT-020 sports touring tyre on the rear they had no other choice. The problem with fitting this mixed pair on this particular bike is that stability is not as good as with a matched pair of BT-010s or BT-020s. And this just highlights the possible pitfalls when fitting mixed tyres on any bike - if one type of tyre is designed as a smooth handling, totally neutral sports touring tyre and the other is designed as a rapid steering, ultra responsive tyre, why should we expect them to work together? If a bike doesn't handle when fitting mixed tyres it's not going to be the tyre's fault.

But the main reason why riders fit mixed tyres is to supposedly benefit from having a grippier tyre on the front while getting sensible mileage from the rear tyre. Well...we kinda know this. We are, after all, the biggest tyre manufacturer in the world and we really do know what we're doing. We know that the demands placed on a front tyre are different to the requirements of the rear tyre, and that is why the compound of our front tyres is different to the compounds of our rear tyres. So the front BT-020 compound is different to the rear BT-020 compound and the front BT-010 compound is different to the rear BT-010 compound, etc., etc., all the way through our various ranges of tyres. Now that you have this information you can see that it's pointless mixing tyres, Bridgestone is already giving you what you want when you fit a matched pair of our tyres.

Punctures:

Bridgestone approves the repair of it's motorcycle tyres in conjunction with BS159f, which precludes the repair of punctures in Z-rated radial tyres. Punctures are unfortunate and it doesn't help when the vast majority happen in the more expensive rear tyre. This is usually because the puncturing object, which was lying in the road, is kicked up by the front tyre into the path of the rear tyre. I know that it upsets a few riders that Bridgestone doesn't approve the repair of our tyres, but we have valid reasons for this. As soon as an object penetrates the tyre a steady progression of road contaminants starts to enter the hole. By road contaminants I mean diesel, oil, chemicals dropped by farm vehicle and trucks...all of the bad stuff that can seriously effect the construction of the tyre. If, as is likely, these contaminants settle between the tread strip and the carcass, a process called delamination can start. Delamination is the separation of the tread strip from the carcass and the first visible sign is a bulge in the tread. If this bulge is not noticed the delamination process will continue until a catastrophic failure occurs. Unless you're very skilled or very lucky this usually involves crashing the bike as the tyre disintegrates.

If you notice during your regular tyre checks that the tyre has a penetrating object and you decide to have it repaired, do you know how long the object has been in the tyre? If the delamination process has started, plugging the tyre will not prevent it continuing.

If you get a puncture and the tyre gradually deflates as you are riding, the chances are that the tyre is ruined beyond repair by the time the bikes poor handling alerts you to the situation. An under inflated tyre runs very hot and this can lead to invisible internal damage. If the tyre deflates fast enough so that by the time you bring the bike to a standstill the tyre is flat, the sidewalls will have come under such strain that the heat generated will have ruined the tyre.

But just because Bridgestone doesn't approve the repair of our Z-rated tyres, it does not prevent you having your tyre repaired by your local fitter. If you are satisfied that the repair that they make will be good enough then that is up to you. But I have to make it clear that if the tyre has been repaired, Bridgestone will not guarantee any further claim you may make on the tyre and neither will we guarantee the quality of the repair.

Personally speaking I would never repair any motorcycle tyre...my life is worth more than the cost of a new tyre.

Bridgestone Approved Fitments

FZS1000 Fazer

This is the bike that's causing most confusion at the moment, and that confusion surrounds the BT-020 tyre. Firstly I'll give you all of ourapproved options for the bike then I'll explain more about them.
120/70ZR17 BT-012
180/55ZR17 BT-012
Recommended road pressures for the BT-012 are 36psi front and rear.
or
120/70ZR17 BT-020U
180/55ZR17 BT-020NT (U)
Recommended road pressures for this pair are 36psi front and 42psi rear for general riding, which includes solo commuting, motorway work, pillion and/or luggage. For most solo uses these pressures are absolutely fine, but if you're off to have some sporty solo Sunday fun you can reduce them to 35psi front and 36psi rear.

When we were developing our original equipment (OE) tyres for the FZS1000 we quickly discovered that a steel belt rear tyre construction was the only one that offered the high-speed stability we were looking for - at that time all of our tyres used a Kevlar belt construction. The steel belt rear tyre that we developed for the FZS1000 became known as the BT-020U (same designation for front and rear tyres). Because of the performance advantages the rear BT-020U gave us, we decided to test the tyre on a wide variety of bikes that had "standard" BT-020 approval. In every case the BT-020U outperformed the "standard" tyre. Because of this we took the decision to stop production of the "standard" BT-020 and to make the BT-020U the new "standard" tyre. At the same time a decision was taken to use the new steel belt construction in four other rear BT-020 sizes so that owners of bikes like R1150RS, GSF600 Bandit and VFR750 could also benefit from the performance gains - all of these sizes now carry the suffix letter U to indicate that they are constructed with our new steel belt. Because we now had a range of five
BT-020U steel belt rear tyres we decided to re-name them BT-020NT (New Technology), and this is where the confusion arises. The BT-020U rear and BT-020NT rear are the same tyre - BT-020NT appears on the label and BT-020R Radial U appears on the sidewall. The BT-020NT is the tyre that everyone is currently asking for because it has recently appeared in MCN and the monthly magazines, gaining rave reviews from every journalist who attended the launch on the roads of Sardinia. I know, I know...with a little more forethought we could have made it a little easier to understand, but when we initially developed the BT-020U for the FZS1000 we could never have guessed that it would perform so well on such a wide range of other bikes.

The NT name only applies to the rear tyres, the range of BT-020 front tyres remain unchanged. So the front tyre for the FZS1000 is still called the BT-020U and it differs from the "standard" front BT-020 by being 4mm narrower and having a slightly sharper crown radius that enables the tyre (and so the bike) steer and turn more nimbly.

You will notice that the BT-010 is not approved for use on the FZS1000 and there's a very good reason for this. The BT-010 uses a Kevlar construction and does not give us the high-speed stability we are looking for. I am not saying that the BT-010 gives poor stability when fitted on the FZS1000, it's just that it doesn't give the high level of stability we require. The BT-012 that is approved for the FZS1000 uses a steel belt construction and so gives the stability we require. The BT-012 is our new performance sport road tyre and was launched at the same time as the BT-020NT earlier this year. It runs alongside the BT-010 in our line-up, but is not interchangeable with the BT-010. And neither is it to be confused with the BT-012SS fast road/track day tyre that was launched in 2002. Anyone looking for a high performance
tyre for the FZS1000 and who would normally choose the BT-010 should go for the BT-012. The BT-012 builds on the performance of the BT-010 by having increased high-speed stability in straights and corners as well as having a lighter and quicker steering response.

Thanks for allowing me to take up your time.

Bryn Phillips

Bridgestone Motorcycle Technical

 

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Observations

Advanced Motorcyclists are encouraged to use observations and anticipation on which a riding plan can be based. Our IAM publication “How to be an Advanced Motorcyclist” and also “Motorcycle ROADCRAFT” goes into great detail on the subject emphasising how the information stage of the “system of motorcycling” is constant throughout all other stages.

Informative articles on Advanced Motorcycling can sometimes be found in other publications that make the same point but express them in another manner. It is encouraging to see such articles in motorcycle magazines and newspapers and those that take on board such advice can improve their riding and make themselves much safer on the road, and may even become interested enough in the subject to join an organisation such as ours.

StreetBiker, the Journal of the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) recently published an excellent article by their resident road safety instructor Kevin Williams, offering advice on avoiding those intersection accidents by staying in the picture.

Many thanks to Kevin Williams for contributing this article.

Greg Sullivan

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