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Sheffield Advanced Motorcyclists - SAM Club Newsletter 11th August 2023

SAM Club Weekly Newsletter – 11th August 2023


There isn’t a biker that has ridden a bike who doesn’t know the importance of road grip. Those butt-clenching moments when grip is lost, front or back, present – especially if it happens without warning – a heart-stopping moment as you ensure that control is returned to the rider, not the tarmac. This week FEMA have published a technical report on consistent standards for testing and establishing, or re-establishing, road surfaces that are fit to ride on. It gives authorities a benchmark against which they can judge the roads for safe riding. With 33+ million miles of paved highway in the UK to check, it will keep Highway Surveyors busy for a while. It’s also good news for bikers. We will now have a consistent standard by which we can judge an authorities liability in the event of a spill. Read on and you will see why this is important.

There were reports this week that Local Authorities in Scotland give you only a 1-in-7 chance of being compensated if you and/or your machine is damaged by an unrepaired pothole. Glasgow City Council refused 95% of claims for vehicle/road user damage from unrepaired potholes. So, if you are riding north of the border this Summer, watch out for the state of the roads. According to a Times newspaper article (15th May 2023), an average of 75% of claims are rejected and 1-in-5 UK Local Authorities reject 90% of claims. It’s a jungle out there, so ride safe and carry a copy of FEMA’s technical report! 

There has been another call to help rider safety by removing VAT from motorcycle protective garments. This would bring better personal protection and reduce the severity of injury as better quality biker wear becomes more affordable for many motorcycle owners. It would also cut down on the sale of kit giving less protection and make the sale of biker kit without a CE mark less appealing.

Being a small, but very significant, group of road users, bikers need all the representation they can get. It was very sad to read that the BMF (British Motorcycle Federation) have decided to withdraw from FEMA (Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations) and focus more efforts on motorcycling in the UK. However, the UK has much of its legislation aligned with the EU. The ‘bonfire of EU’ regulations was abandoned. The UK seems to be much more in favour of duplication of road safety regulations than having  ‘go-it-alone’ legislative policies. Saving the £12,500/year membership fee may seem attractive and was voted on by BMF’s membership, but being at the meeting is always better than being a spectator. Just a thought.

Noraly, YouTube handle @itchyboots, is a lone traveller videoing her exploits as the journey around the world continues. Her bike is a modest Honda CRF 300 Rally. Noraly is a successful and entertaining motorcycling YouTuber. Well her videos have been seen 363,095,912 times! Across my newsfeed this week came a great video of West African mechanics stripping and repairing the bike. New clutch, airbox, engine strip down, replace brake shoes and a few other repairs. All this was done with a few spanners, wrenches and a cardboard box. No specialist tools, no lift, just the basics needed to do the job. It’s riveting to watch the superb efforts the mechanics go to to remove the broken clutch, completely in pieces inside the engine! All rebuilt to a beautiful purring growl expertly ridden onto the next leg. You can also see Noraly try 5 different cash machines to top up her wallet! 

Closer to home, have you been up the Snake Pass lately (A51)? There are reports this week of bikers on the Snake Pass using it as a race track again. Nobody is happy and it gives bikers a very bad name that we can well do without. The Police are again ensuring that every biker obeys the speed limits, or pays the price of not doing so; now, every rider has been warned. Just in case you see a biker who doesn’t want to heed the warning, tell them there are also reports of another landslip. Bike and rider could wind up very wet AND with a hefty fine! Spread the word.

Automatic or manual drive? There is a debate as to what suits a particular rider. Along with a debate about shaft or chain drive? Each has its point of view in some interesting discussions.

Charity wins again. At the British MotoGP, Two Wheels for Life smashed the record for funds raised at the British MotoGP. Breaking the record was helped by the auction of a superb painting of MotoGP riders on the track. It was signed by MotoGP riders. Two Wheels for Life provides motorcycle transport to help health care workers deliver health care in remote parts of Africa. They are some of the most valuable off-road riders on the planet. You can also support Two Wheels for Life by selling your spare riding kit, plus anything else you’ve got, on eBay and donating the funds raised to the charity.  

Finally, the history slot brings you the story of the son who  undertakes a 15-year restoration project to fulfill the dream of riding his Dad’s bike. The 1926 HRD was used by his father to travel 15 miles to work in the 1930s. Happy reading!

No newsletter next week, I’m off riding!

Helping the Whiteknights Blood Bikes

We are stepping up our partnership with the Whiteknights Blood Bikes. When attending promotional events, the Whiteknights often get people wanting to volunteer to be a Blood Biker. Of course, they always steer them to the SAM Group to complete advanced rider training. The Whiteknights need help from SAM members to explain, encourage and support potential Associates to take up advanced rider training. 

Ways to stay in touch with your Club!

It’s really easy to stay in touch with your Club! We provide emails, a website and use social media accounts for you to contact us. All of which is free of any cost to the Club. If you are not getting the Club information circulated, or simply want to tell us something, just let us know at We’ll be happy to ensure that we stay in touch with you. You can also now sign up for Club emails on the SAM website.

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