Welcome to perhaps the most action-packed edition of Ride On evah! We knew it was going to be a big month but it has turned out to be overwhelming. First, there’s the launch of a new motorcycle gear assessment and rating system Ride Forever has developed with Aussie partners–a world first. Then we finally got clearance to release data on the effectiveness of Ride Forever training (spoiler alert: it’s very effective), another world first. Plus a refreshed version of the Ride Forever website is on its way. There’s news of a further expansion in Ride Forever training and a look ahead to the Ride Forever NZ Motorcycle Show. Okay, so it sounds like it’s all about us, but these are exciting times at Ride Forever Towers. And we do have a couple of fun stories too. Hope you enjoy.
Introducing MotoCAP gear ratings
Ride Forever has partnered with road safety authorities across Australia to introduce a world-first in motorcycle clothing. MotoCAP is an assessment and rating scheme for gear, independently tested by Deakin University in Victoria and launched this month across NZ and Aus. Many riders think that the EN-1621 labels they see attached to motorcycle gear show a European standard for motorcycle clothing. They don’t. The EN-1621 standards apply only to the armour inserts. MotoCAP tests abrasion resistance, burst strength and comfort of the actual garment, as well as impact resistance, applying a rating up to five stars. The first ratings are online now and more are in the process of being tested.
BikeBOX on display in its home country of Germany
Theft-proof shelter or gift wrapping?
We came across what, on the face of it, looks like a good idea in the shape of the ‘BikeBOX’, a temporary structure in which to park your bike. Protection from the elements and from the predation of thieves are given as the chief advantages, but closer inspection raises a few questions. The manufacturer claims no building permit is required because it’s not a fixed structure. But if it’s not fixed, what’s to stop the thieves taking the box with the bike in it? Also, if you look closely at the video, the bike clips its mirrors on the way out, and that’s a low-riding Harley Fat Boy. Wonder how it would go with a KTM Adventure?
Ride Forever’s coaching programme has been going for several years now, and getting bigger all the time. But inevitably people ask, is it working? After all, it was a tough call getting the whole coaching programme off the ground; some people were sceptical that it would do any good. There wasn’t a lot of credible statistical proof and one rather sketchy academic paper from the 1970s suggested in might make matters worse. Ride Forever, of course, is the first nationally-available and certified advanced rider training programme in the world. So measuring its effectiveness has been a preoccupation since the beginning. And, at long last, we’ve been able to get the nod to release results. Top line: on a like-for-like basis, riders taking Ride Forever training are 27% less likely to have a crash than those who don’t and the cost of their claims to ACC is 45% less (so the crashes they do have are on average less severe). We’ll have a fuller rundown on the stats in our News section soon.
As if there wasn’t enough on our plate, September is also Motorcycle Awareness Month. It’s the time of year when motorcycling shoots up in popularity, so the aim is get drivers and riders more aware of the potential hazards. A fun part of it is the ‘helmet yourself’ meme on Facebook with the chance to win $500 of riding gear.
Ride Forever coaching expands again
With the effectiveness of Ride Forever courses well and truly proven, the pressure is on to expand provision of the training even further. Over 16,000 riders have taken at least one course to date, and we’ve been doubling the numbers undertaking training pretty much each year since we started. This year’s figure alone should approach 6,000 but next year’s target is 10,000! So we have been carefully evaluating new training providers to add to the roster, and that will mean more coverage around the country with more choice of provider, availability and so on. Keep an eye on the website (which is undergoing a refresh) for more.
Look, no stand: autonomous GS in action at Miramar test circuit in France
Riderless bikes. Why?
Looking like it comes from the ‘our engineers have too much time on their hands’ department is the new ‘autonomous’ BMW R 1200 GS. But there may be method in their apparent madness. The real purpose isn’t to develop self-driving motorcycles but to improve safety systems that can detect problems and help get riders out of trouble when they might have run out of ideas themselves. Of course we’ve seen a riderless bike before in the shape of Yamaha’s ‘Motobot’ that famously raced one V. Rossi Esq., and lost.
The Ride Forever New Zealand Motorcycle Show
It’s back: New Zealand’s biggest two-day motorcycle show, taking place over the weekend of 24th and 25th November at ASB Showgrounds. Once again, Ride Forever is name sponsor and we’ll be manning our huge stand just inside the main entrance. Incorporating all the Classic, Custom and People’s Choice awards that have been a feature since it started, this year’s show is going to be bigger and better than ever. Off-road bikes will be getting the attention they deserve; all the major manufacturers will be there; there will be draws and competitions aplenty. Plus some very special offers for visitors to our stand. Free parking for bikes. See you there!
Catch up next time
Riding season is well and truly under way so book yourself in for some Ride Forever coaching to make the most of it. Before you know it, the Motorcycle Show will be on us, we’ll be looking forward to summer and Shiny Side Up events, and all the rest. We’ll have more stories for you next time. Until then, remember you can share Ride On with your mates or, better still, get them to sign up.