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SAM Weekly Newsletter – 19th April 2024

Editorial

What a brilliant Spring Breakfast Meet! Thank you to all those SAM members who made it such a great success. The AGM saw a very humble Editor receive an engraved tankard for services to SAM. Thank you to everyone, I’m very grateful for the recognition and will continue to support SAM as a volunteer. Clive Lewis joins the SAM Committee as Social Secretary. Any other SAM members who can contribute would be very welcome, so why not come and help out.

Rider safety has been a hot topic of discussion amongst members this week. Everyone is generally very pleased with the SAM Club and grateful for the opportunity to ride out with advanced riders. There are a couple of issues we can think about. The first is that members don’t appreciate ‘unsolicited, critical riding advice’. It’s not the way to give feedback on riding performance and it only serves to cause resentment and animosity. You can talk about how YOU would approach a particular riding event and let the listener make up their own mind about how or whether to change their riding. A ‘holier than thou attitude’ isn’t going to achieve anything. The second issue is about ‘chasing the speed limit’. Criticising a rider going 2mph slower than the speed limit again shows an unwelcome ‘holier than thou attitude’. Roadcraft makes clear that a rider’s speed is the rider’s decision on what they consider to be safe. To paraphrase it says that:

‘The only safe speed is the one where the rider can stop safely, on their own side of the road, within a distance they can see to be clear.’ 

It’s time to focus on riding safely. We are in ‘motorcycle blindness’ season. As more bikes get pulled out of the shed, other road users are somewhat surprised to see them. It happens every year, but other road users continue to forget we might be riding by. Vehicle manufacturers haven’t helped. There has been criticism of the over-complicated, confusing and distracting touch screens fitted to vehicles. Another in-vehicle hazard is A-pillars. Kevin Williams, reflecting on a recent near miss coined the phrase: ‘A-pillars = biker killers!’. He also suggests that riders can help themselves. Put yourself in the driver’s line of sight, move position to be seen and sounding the horn might help to avoid ‘motorcycle blindness’. Just a thought.

Electric motorcycles are in the news again. A Lexmoto Insurance survey has shown that, over the past 5 years, enquiries for insuring electric motorcycles and mopeds are up a staggering 1,000%. Google reports that searches, in the last 12 months, for electric motorcycles are up 250% and for electric mopeds up 200%. The global trend is for the electric motorcycle market to grow 10%/year until 2030. Africa and Indonesia are leading the way in market growth. Bajaj, the Indian motorcycle manufacturer has bucked the trend by filing patent applications for a compressed natural gas fueled machine.

Just at a time when we need them the most, some local motorcycle retailers are downsizing and moving premises. They blame the economic climate and Sheffield’s ULEZ policy for a drop in trade. On the 22nd June 2024, Via Moto are moving to an industrial unit in Wombwell (12 Everill Gate Lane, Wombwell, Barnsley S73 0SF). As there would be conflict with other dealers in the area, they will no longer be Piaggio, Aprillia and Moto Guzzi dealers. They will continue to honour warranty, recalls, updates and service agreements for these brands. They will remain Honda, Norton and CFMoto dealers. Staffing will reduce from 8 wte to 1.5 wte staff. 

Some SAM members are still poorly. They continue to need your support. We wish them well with their health struggles and hope they are making the best progress possible. 

Vietnam has had a spike in motorcycle fatalities. They have introduced a new initiative to remind riders to wear helmets. When dealers sell a new bike, the rider will get a free ‘Second Life Helmet’. This is an unused helmet from a rider who has died. It makes you think about what the new bike owner will do.

There are lots more great articles to read and videos to watch via the links in this week’s newsletter. Happy reading.


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 sam-editor@iam-sheffield.bike. 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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