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SAM Weekly Newsletter – 9th December 2022

Editorial

Well the SAM Club Christmas Party was a great success. A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to ALL the SAM members who turned out on a cold December night to enjoy all the fun. The massive raffle was enjoyed by everyone, so special thanks go to Janis Conway for all her efforts in choosing what to buy.

In your SAM Club newsletter this week, the wholesale petrol price falls but consumer prices stays up. Sweden has a great recycling programme in which 80% of a scrapped motorcycle’s parts are recycled. Now that initiative is worth introducing here. 

As more motorcycle manufacturers begin to make electric vehicles, Vitesco, a German company, is developing a hybrid powertrain kit. Aimed initially at 125cc machines, it is claimed to reduce motorcycle emissions by 75%. The retro-fitting kit has a limited mileage range of 18 battery miles when riding at, or below, 37mph, you can then manually switch to the normal ICE (internal combustion engine) engine running. It is aimed at the urban commuter market. Going fully electric, Royal Enfield, having highest sales of all motorcycle brands, now has a prototype built and is testing it. It aimed to be on sale in late 2023. If you are still unsure about transitioning to an e-motorcycle, read ‘5 ways to hack the transition to e-bikes’. A fascinating discussion on attitudes and culture in the biking community. I always love reading the reader’s comments at the end of the article. They are very insightful into what will help and hold up any progress to getting rid of ICE machines. 

Onto improving biker safety now and the airbag has finally reached the top of the head. Whilst its current design may not give protection for the common ‘twist’ and ‘shear’ injuries, it seems a step in the right direction. Now let’s hope they turn their attention to the lower half of the body where the more common lower limb injuries are sustained.

A further development in airbag technology is the airbag in a backpack. Aimed at the many riders who, rather than fitting a top box, carry their possessions in a rucksack, this development is under active testing and might be an alternative to the very expensive products around at the moment. 

FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) actively looks to harmonise standards of helmet construction with a single certification. With all the current standards of certification it might be an uphill battle to get motorcyclists to accept and use the new certification. However, FIM has been successful in getting the standard adopted in motorcycle racing so let’s wait and see how this initiative develops.

Now to my favourite hate, e-scooters. A French start-up company has developed an e-scooter with a wide platform and a secure locking mechanism for manual wheelchair users. It’s a cheaper alternative to the motorised attachments currently available and is aimed, initially, at the one million manual wheelchair users in Paris. We’ll see how well the e-scooter performs in daily use on crowded streets. If it’s anything like the mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs currently in use it may add a further hazard to travelling in public, rather than a safer solution.

‘The Sidecar Guys’ have teamed up with the Adventure Travel Zone to bring their unique perspective to adventure travel by motorcycle. The round-the-world record holders will be able to relate how to complete a motorcycle adventure when you are sat at the side of a bike to take in the view; and, keep the off-side wheel on the ground. All good fun. 

Finally in your SAM Club Newsletter this week, 10 things every motorcyclist should avoid and a nice article about the women despatch riders of WWII; along with lots more stuff. 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. Paul Conway
Editor & Webmaster, Sheffield Advanced Motorcyclists

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