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SAM Newsletter 12th April 2024


Sometimes, even the most well respected motorcycling commentators can say things that are just plain idiocy. This week it’s the turn of Ryan Kluftinger, fortnine on YouTube. In a well-crafted video he says that motorcyclists’ body armour, shoulder, elbow, hip and knee pads, are not effective at their job. There was an immediate backlash from the motorcycling community and insurance companies, but the best comment I read was from a surgeon and a biker:

@Felipechiota As an orthopaedic surgeon (and a motorcyclist) I can say that it’s easier (and got better results)  to fix lower Energy fractures than higher energy fractures… So, the benefit of using this gear may not protect you from having that fracture in the first place, but may shield you from months of rehabilitation and permanent pain and limitation.”

…and a fellow biker:

@paulh6591 No gear necessary at all, if you don’t crash.  If you do, you’ll be grateful for  every scrap of gear you’re wearing, even if it’s an extra  bit of padding.  My armour pieces are staying in!”

SAM advocates ‘All-the-Gear-All-the-Time’. Despite his poor analysis of the value of motorcycle armour, Ryan didn’t change our view at all! Ride safe, wear it!

Onto more productive updates and it involves YOU! There are 3 million licensed motorcycle riders in the UK. The last two UK Government petitions got signatures from less than 4.5%. In my experience, bikers generally hold strong opinions, but it is just hot air if you don’t support the issues under discussion. The latest consultation is to, by default, allow motorcycle riders to use bus lanes. If you need convincing, then read the article later in this newsletter. There are less than 10 questions and you can show that your opinion counts, or is it just hot air?

Spring has arrived and it’s very wet. It’s a time when other road users seem to have developed even more ‘motorcycle blindness’. This tragic phenomenon happens throughout the year, but in Spring, perhaps because many bikers have been hibernating, there seem to be more biking accidents. Other road users, having ‘forgotten‘ that bikers also use the roads, pull out or step out in front of the biker. It is often too late to stop, or take avoiding actions. The pile of biking bits and broken bodies doesn’t look pretty. The blame game starts. Everybody denies they were at fault. What can we, as bikers, do about it? Recognise that it is more likely to happen and expect the unexpected. Easy to say and hard to do, but with all other biking problems we face perhaps we can be ready for these hazards. It might also be a good time to refresh your advanced rider skills with an Observed ride. Just a thought.

Some SAM members are having a really difficult time at present. Big Steve is still having treatment. Shirley Clayton is very poorly in hospital. John Sprigg is also still in hospital. There may be other SAM members having a difficult time. Please know that we are thinking of you and wishing you the best progress possible. Reach out if you need any help eating the grapes!

We hope that everyone knows that the SAM Club was very badly let down by the Spring Breakfast Meet sponsor. As agreed we provided a list of SAM members’ choice of sandwich only to be told that the business ‘was not a cafe’ and could not honour the promises made. We rapidly looked for alternatives and are very pleased to tell you that the SAM Spring Breakfast will still take place on Saturday, 13th April 2024, at 9.30am at The Moorlands. Complete the booking form so that we have an idea of numbers. Remember: No membership paid = No Breakfast, so make sure that you pay your SAM Club fees. Thank you for your continuing support. Let’s make it the best Spring Breakfast Meet ever!

There is a lot more interesting information in this week’s newsletter. Happy reading!

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