However, BMW will have a new look for 2018 with the release of their new riding gear range. (Prices and availability are not yet available.)
There is no mention yet of the head-up display helmet they have been developing for the past couple of years.
BMW HUD helmet
The HUD helmet will allow riders to see vital information such as GPS directions, speed and various motorcycle functions on a screen in their periphery vision so they don’t have to take their eyes off the road.
BMW says it may also display real-time information for future vehicle-to-vehicle communication to prevent crashes.
Meanwhile, their latest System 7 Carbon helmet weighs only 1590g and can convert into an open-face helmet via the quick removal of the chin section without tools.
BMW System 7 Carbon helmet
Its double-glazed visor is anti-fog on the inside and scratch-resistant on the outside and there is an integrated sun shield with continuously variable adjustment.
The helmet can also be fitted with BMW’s communication system.
BMW Rallye suit
The latest generation of their ubiquitousRallye suit has a new look and new material. It is made of ProTechWool, a mix of polyamide and wool with a carbon finish.
It is compressed under pressure and heat to make it abrasion resistant. There is no European specification available yet.
The elbows and knees have additional protection with ceramic dot prints. The Rallye suit is fitted with removable NP2 protectors and a bigger NP Pro back protector.
The button-in waterproof jacket insert can now also be worn over the top of the suit.
GS Dry suit
BMW GS dry suit
The GS Dry suit is now made of a new high-strength mixture of Cordura 500 and polyamide developed specially by BMW Motorrad.
They claim the fabric is breathable, extremely dense and has “significantly increased abrasion resistance” thanks to a PU layer with ceramic particles to reinforce certain areas.
It has waterproof-bonded zips at the chest and back, opening not just the upper material but also the membrane to allow air to circulate.
It features the long version of the new NP Pro back protector.
BMW Atlantis suit
This all-weather leather touring suit Atlantis also has a new look.
It is made of “breathable” nubuck leather which looks and feels like suede.
The 1.2-1.4mm thick leather comes from young pasture-raised bulls in the Alpine region.
BMW claims it offers a high degree of elasticity and abrasion resistance.
During manufacturer, a special hydrophobing is applied to make it water-repellent while retaining the leather’s natural breathable properties.
The rate also includes gloves, lifestyle gear (shorts, wallets, belts, etc) and a Dainese airbag jacket and vest.
However, we are unlikely to get the airbag gear as Dainese does not service them in Australia.
Do you know what you should look for in a leather jacket, pants or suit? We’re not talking about style, but protection.
Is cow or roo leather best? Should the gear have triple stitching? What do the EN numbers mean? What armour should it have? Do perforations make it weak?
We asked Brisbane leather exert Andrew Smart of Ricondi Motorcycle Apparel for his tips on what customers should look for whether they are buying a leather jacket for the road or a suit to go racing.
Andrew Smart of Ricondi
Here are his tips:
Andrew says leather thickness does not equate to quality.
Leather hides are split into layers and the toughest is the outside layer, or “top grain”.
It is difficult even for some experts to tell top-grain leather from lower layers, he says.
So you may simply have to trust the label if it says “top-grain leather”. Typically cheap products use cheap leather.
Usually it feels more supple, has a rich natural grain ad doesn’t have a plastic-sheen look.
However, Andrew warns that some manufacturers run their hides through a roller that imprints a false grain.
Both kangaroo and top-grain cow hides are good quality and many racers these days choose kangaroo.
Properly tanned roo hides are stronger at a thinner thickness which can make a garment lighter, more supple and more comfortable.
Andrew Smart of Ricondi with roo leather hides
Andrew calls Roo the “carbon-fibre of leather” because of its low weight and high resistance to abrasion and tearing.
Kangaroo hide should be 0.9mm to 1mm thick and cow hide needs to be 1.1-1.3mm, Andrew says.
Make sure the jacket has CE-approved labelling and features the latest softer impact reactive armour in the elbows, shoulders, knees and back.
Avoid old armour that used to consist of a plastic shell with foam underneath. The plastic tends to crack on hard impacts.
Modern armour is softer to absorb the impact and disperses the energy.
To test it, Andrew put some armour on his concrete floor and hit it hard with his fist to show how it absorbs the impact force.
How effective is motorcycle armour? - YouTube
Look for the armour’s European approval number. EN1621-1 is for shoulder, elbow and knee armour and EN1621-2 is for back protectors.
Sometimes they will also indicate a number to show protection levels. Level 2 has a higher impact rating than level 1.
“The main thing with the armour is that it should fit properly and not move around in the jacket or suit. The best armour in world is no good if it’s not being held in place with a correct fitting jacket or suit,” Andrew says.
That means it will stay in place if you fall off. No point having armour if it falls out of place when you hit the ground.
Some race suits also have armour on the outside, usually with a made from PU and or a metal slider such as titanium.
Spokesman Jason Hallett says BMaD consists of bikers, friends and families who meet weekly throughout South East Queensland organising events, and feeding and supporting the needy. They also work with other community groups.
“Our purpose is to help those less fortunate from making a young disabled child smile to providing items and food directly to the homeless on our streets,” he says.
“We encourage others within the biker community to help us help others, so far the support and contributions to our group from others has been overwhelming.”
2018 Blank Run
2017 Brisbane Blanket Run for homeless
Last year’s Brisbane Blanket Run collected more than 300 blankets and attracted 170 bikes.
“This year we hope to have over 200 bikes and have invited custom cars along to the event,” Jason says.
“We have changed it up a bit this year by adding new socks to the appeal as they are a much needed item for the homeless to keep them warm and dry during the cooler months.
“This year a portion of the donated items will be sent to more regional areas of south east Queensland where the needy are often not given necessities like they are offered in the city.”
In summer, BMaD also organises a thong appeal to raise hundreds of pairs of thongs to be distributed to the homeless.
One in 200 people in Australia is homeless, according to the 2011 census, which was up 17% on the previous census in 2006.
Homelessness can be caused by a number of factors including unemployment, gambling, addiction, divorce, poverty and a lack of affordable housing.
Like Uber, the service is based on an app which customers and riders use for bookings.
The app is still being tested and optimised with plans to go live in April in Melbourne with about 50 riders.
They say Scooti will develop “as quickly as interest gains momentum”, with plans to launch in Sydney within the next 12 months.
Riders and their bikes or scooters will be tested and approved by Scooti and riders will have to provide their own insurance. However, Scooti has back-up insurance in case the rider’s insurer fails, such as going into liquidation.
Scooti COO Brett Balsters, CMO Eva Krane and CEO Cameron Nadi
Riders must also provide their own approved helmets and hair nets.
Scooti boss Cameron Nadi says the main advantage of Scooti is getting where you want to go sooner.
“Two wheels has a distinct advantage in busy traffic,” he says.
“It’s more cost-effective than other chauffeur-driven ride sharing options and creates less emissions than most other public or shared transport options available.”
Nadi says Scooti promises benchmark pay rates and rewards, and a commitment to have a female driver available for women who want to ride with a female driver.
“Our checks and balances go beyond the likes of an Uber and involve practical assessments of scooter skill and common sense,” he says.
The Scooti service follows the launch in 2016 of UberEATS in Melbourne.
Spokesperson Megan Smith says Uber Eats has been “overwhelmed by the positive response from local residents who’ve truly embraced the app as a new way to get the food they love, delivered to their door at Uber speed”.
However, she could not disclose how many riders or deliveries they do “for competitor reasons”, not how much riders earn.
“Earnings vary depending on the time or day our delivery partners choose to work,” she says.
“UberEATS also offers delivery partners a flexible way to make money on their own schedule.
“Delivery partners can go online when they want, and choose how they want to deliver, with motorbikes being an efficient option.”
A Parisienne UberEATS cyclist
While these peer-to-peer services are escalating around the world, there are a few hurdles for riders.
Carrying the right size helmet for all passengers;
the varying standards of safety gear passengers wear; and
the cost of insurance which is already high for motorcyclists. Imagine how much higher it would be if you are using your bike or scooter as a taxi service!
Meanwhile, Uber has suspended testing self-driving vehicles in North America after one of their self-driving cars hit and killed a woman crossing a street in Arizona.
It is the latest incident involving autonomous vehicles being tested.
A lane-splitting rider was hit by a GM self-driving car in San Francisco, a Tesla Model S on autopilot crashed into a parked fire engine in Los Angeles and a female motorcycle rider was rear-ended by an automated Tesla S under test in Norway.
They say their CE EN13595 certified single-layer stretch denim is tested by two different European protection standards agencies: Dolomiticert in Italy and Satra Technology Centre in the United Kingdom.
Sub-par roadworks at Mt Glorious a sticky mess of tar
Road maintenance issues are paramount for riders who are particularly vulnerable to potholes, bumps and loose gravel.
Motorcycle Council of NSW secretary Steve Pearce has welcomed the RMS initiative and called for a phone app for riders to record and report road conditions.
“Regional road infrastructure is being placed under more pressure from interstate transport and the growing number of grey nomads, and with real estate prices in capital cities more people are likely to look for regional lifestyle which means more travel and road transport,” he says.
“MCC has access to motorcyclists across the state, who by nature and their mode of transport are more likely to see and experience poor road conditions than most other road users. We would like to see a phone app developed as a recording tool for road condition around the state which we could look at endorsing.”
The RMS is calling for submissions to address a number of core areas – such as inspections, surveying, safety, vegetation clearance, etc.
The MCCNSW rider app would be a worthy submission.
The Royal Enfield Bullet has the longest production run in the world and the 350 model is the biggest selling bike in the world over 1124cc, so it is no wonder the Indian-owned company’s bikes turn up in the news.
Here is the latest from the world of Royal Enfield.
India army bike stunt - YouTube
This video shows a rider displaying his banking cents and patriotism.
The unidentified riders performs the stunts on the 350cc model at highway speeds and at te end seems to have finally been caught by the law.
While the stunts are illegal and dangerous, they do display the bike’s legendary stability thanks to its weight and single-cylinder engine with a big flywheel.
A Royal Enfield Bullet 350 covered in thousands of crystals has gone on display at the Heritage Transport Museum in India.
This modification was done to celebrate the huge demand that REs enjoy even after several years of existence.