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28th May 2017
Use our top tips to take some great photos with your machine
- Are you a tortoise or a hare?
26th May 2017
Wells Classic Motorcycle Club asks: on June 4, will you be a tortoise of a hare?
- ID required for sailings
24th May 2017
For all those heading out to The Island..... Read more...
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22nd May 2017
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- Timeline Photos
18th May 2017
If you are a club and are sending delegates to either an ARM or the NOMC Forum, please remember to get a delegates form from the BMF Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) fill it in and...
- BMF Annual Regional Meetings 2017
11th May 2017
Don't forget upcoming BMF Annual Regional Meetings happening in your area. Dates have now been confirmed for Region 5 (London), Region 6 (South) and Region 2 (North East).
9th May 2017
- What to take with you on your motorcycle tour
4th May 2017
Planning to tour with your motorcycle this summer? Take a look at our touring checklist to make sure you have everything you need
- Welsh roads safer for bikers
2nd May 2017
Statistics show Welsh roads are the safest they have been for motorcyclists in five years
- BMF Technical Notice: Tyre Safety
1st May 2017
Success! A collaboration between BMF, Avon Tyres and an affiliated club has highlighted and resolved a tyre safety issue. If you're using Avon Tyres Road Rider range, be sure ...
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30th April 2017
Meet the 300mph electric bike - with sidecar
- Timeline Photos
28th April 2017
Calling all affiliated clubs! We want to hear about your upcoming events. Let us know the when, where and what you will be doing, plus how to find out more information. We’l...
- General Election 2017 – something to consider
25th April 2017
Anna Zee reveals her thoughts about the future of motorcycling and the General Election
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24th April 2017
- Meet Police Scotland’s motorcycle safety camera
12th April 2017
Have you heard of Police Scotlands latest safety camera? It's a motorcycle!
- Norwegian motorcyclist tells her story after a cra...
7th April 2017
Remember the Norwegian girl who got hit by a Tesla? Great interview with her, video on FEMA site here Read more...
POWERS: a quick way to keep your bike in check
Mike Dall offers some great tips for all motorcyclists to keep them and their bikes safe
Many years ago, I learned this helpful mnemonic or aide-memoire: POWERS. I run through it every time I plan to take my bike out for a ride. It’s a simple and effective routine which you can easily learn and adopt. Each letter indicates an item or an area or system of the bike that you should physically check. It is best to take a good long look over that particular system, wherever its components are visible. Running a thorough check like this well in advance of actually setting off on a long trip or tour, will definitely bring to light any deficiencies in plenty of time so that you can attend to them prior to your journey. It’s a bit like giving your bike a mini MoT and it keeps you in touch with its current condition and safety.
P is for Petrol
Undo the filler cap and have a look inside the tank. How much have you got? Check the tank unions, fuel-tap (if there is one) and pipework for security. Turn the tap on if it ’s off. Check that the throttle twist-grip is free to open and that it snaps shut when you let it go. Turn the bars from lock to lock and check this at each extremity. I like to fill my petrol tank at the end of each journey. That way I’m always fuelled for the next journey.
O is for Oil
Check the oil-tank level. Check the cold level. This ensures that you are checking that there is adequate oil in the tank to safely run the engine. The true level should be checked with the engine oil hot after the engine has run for a while and can be topped up if necessary. Check over any of the external oil lines running to and from the engine crankcase for leakage. Have a quick squint under the bike for evidence of leaks.
W is for Water
Check the radiator header-tank level and run your eye over the visible radiator hoses checking for condition and the radiators themselves for anything blocking air-flow.
E is for Electrics
Switch the ignition on and check the warning light display and read the various icons. Check ‘N’ for neutral. Start your bike up and make sure the icons now all extinguish as the systems self-test and operate. ABS-equipped bikes will maintain a yellow ABS icon until the wheels revolve. This motion switches the test routine off if all is well with that system. Check your front and rear brake light operation using each control lever in turn. Check pilot, head and tail-lights and main and dip on headlights. Check left and right indicators and hazard switch. Check horn once you are rolling.
R is for Rubber
Take a good look at the condition of your tyres. Check the tread depth and take some time to look for the possibility of shards of glass, nail heads etc. becoming embedded in the tread area of your tyres. Look at the sidewalls for cuts or bulges. Check your wheel rims have no dents or bends and are in good condition. Check spoke tightness. Check your tyre pressures when they are cold and adjust them to suit for added luggage or a pillion. Check that the valves have dust-caps fitted. While you are down here, take a good, long look at the condition of the brake system. Look at the brake disc rotors and the callipers and pads. Check out the flexible brake hoses and associated pipework for security and to ensure it is all leak free. Follow the brake lines up to the control levers and fluid reservoirs and check these out too. Also, where visible, look at the ABS signal cables. Make sure that everything is in good, safe serviceable condition. Give your brake controls a little squeeze for ‘feel’ to ensure they maintain a good pressure. Once riding, as soon as it’s safe to do so, give them a little squeeze-test too in order to test their operation.
S is for Self
Check yourself out. Are you fit to ride? Are you up for this today? Is your head clear? Are you ready to concentrate? Are you focused? Are you fit and healthy and wide awake? Is your riding kit in good condition? Will you be warm enough? Remember it’s usually more convenient to remove a layer or two than it is to add them on – especially if you forgot to bring them with you! Is your visor or other eye protection clean and free from grazes and cracks? Have you got spare clear-lensed goggles should you need to ride in the dark? Spare gloves if you get very wet? Waterproofs?
If you are happy, comfortable and ready… what’s stopping you? Let’s ride!