Safety & Training

  • New Members Safety & Training (0) January 19, 2017 Welcome aboard new members! Just remember that first you have to do the Safety & Training briefing with us before you can join us on any of our rides. The briefings will be begin at 9:00AM, every third Saturday of the month, the next being 18th February 2017, in the H-D Durban dealership boardroom. The theoretical model will be followed by a short pack ride. So once your'e done with the briefing there will be a pack ride to demonstrate what you've learned in the training session. And note, you would need the Road Captains to sign-off on  3 pack rides first before you get your Rocker! All members who have completed the Safety Training Course and two signed-off pack rides but have not received their Durban Chapter rockers, are urged to make contact with Johan "Money" Erasmus on the H.O.G. e-mail address: hog@harley-durban.co.za Our HOG Diner will be open to offer you a coffee and a damn good breakfast should you need or want it.
  • 2016 HOT Courses (0) May 19, 2016 Are you a H.O.G.® Chapter Officer or would you like to become one? Are you a dealer or dealer staff? Or are you a H.O.G. member who is interested in learning how to collaborate in a H.O.G. Chapter, events & activities. And/or would you just like to network with other Chapter officers, get answers to your doubts and questions, share and learn from best practices? Then you are in the right place!! Come and join the 2016 one full day HOT courses in Cape Town on Sunday, October 16th. and have an entertaining, fun and useful day!! H.O.G. Africa & the instructor team offer different courses for new officers or for those who already attended past years’ courses and would like to have a “refresher”, plus completely new courses for those who have already attended the basic courses from last year. Minimum requirement of attendees is 60 people for “basics” courses and 20 people for “new” courses. There will be a charge of R850 per delegate, which includes conference facilities, training material, coffee breaks, lunch & other shared costs. Please send your pre-registration request through the link below and you’ll receive the registration form with details and information about accomodation available, payment, etc. Pre-registration: http://wp.me/p7x3Bc-4
  • Advanced Riders Course Update (0) June 1, 2015 Thanks to all that attended the Advanced Riders Course, it turned out to be well supported by HOG Durban, with 13 Bikes, well 12 Bikes and a Trike. As usual the fairer sex was represented and to a large extent showed the men that the ladies are just as skilled. Actually it has been said that the ladies do better at these courses than the men do since they actually listen and do exactly as asked by the instructor. GO SHIRLEY !!! It turned out to be a full day of fun, riding and manipulating the big Harley's around the course and tasks set by Hein. The feedback has been positive with everyone commenting on the new skills learned. Well done to all and a big thank you to Hein for arranging the venue and putting together the course. We look forward to the next one.
  • Training 2015: Advanced Rider Techniques (1) April 7, 2015   HOG Durban in association with Hein Jonker is putting together an Advanced Rider Techniques course on 16 May at the Roy Hesketh Race track in Pietermaritzburg. This course is a must, and those of us that have attended the course have derived invaluable benefit from the skills learned. To all the Pillions please do attend, you have no idea how much a pillion can assist the rider during normal riding conditions and even more so in emergency conditions by applying the skills learned on this course. For all the riders that wish to form part of the HOG Durban Officials team this Advanced Skills course is one of the pre-requisites. Please note that we need a minimum of 12 participants, and there is a 10% discount on the normal course price for all active HOG Durban Members. Date, 16 May 2015, Roy Hesketh Race track in Pietermaritzburg, cost R950 per rider, R200 per Pillion - 10% Discount on these prices for active HOG Members, the course fee includes a light lunch and refreshments as this is a full day course. Please contact Charlotte on  hog@harley-durban.co.za, or 0834426150, or Bev on 0832624430 to secure your booking, we will require pre-payment as confirmation of your attendance. See you all there. Len B
  • Advanced Rider Course (ARC) (0) July 15, 2014 Date: Saturday, 26 July 2014 Time: 8.30am to 3.30pm Venue: Roy Hesketh Circuit, Pietermaritzburg Requirements: Own helmet, jeans, shoes, jacket, gloves and own motorcycle. Refreshments provided. Cost: R1000 per Rider (+ R200 for Pillions) Booking Link: http://www.biketalk.co.za/forms/TrainingFormZN.php.
  • Training (0) June 26, 2014 Advanced Riders’ Course on 28 June at the Toyota Test Circuit. Cost: R1000 per rider with a 10% discount for HOG members. Contact Belinda, hog@harley-durban.co.za, to book.  
  • Training 2015: Skilled Rider Techniques (0) May 22, 2014   HOG Durban will be putting together a Skilled Rider Techniques course early in the new year. This is a course incorporating many of the skills demonstrated in the Ride Like a Pro videos. Cost: R1000 per rider non HOG members, R500 HOG members. Contact Belinda, hog@harley-durban.co.za, to book. We need at least 5 riders per course.
  • Training (0) May 6, 2014 Advanced Riders’ Course, 28 June.
  • Africa Bike Week Warm-up Party & Free Skills Workshop (0) April 16, 2014 Saturday 26 April, 8.30am to 1.30pm at the Harley-Davidson Durban Dealership. Hein Jonker, Chief Instructor of Bike Talk and Exhibition Rider for Harley-Davidson S.A., will give a free skills workshop, 9.30am to 10.30am, covering the following: * Mounting and Dismounting the beast * Riding Posture * Fingers on Levers for proper Brake and Clutch operation * Weight Distribution * Basic Steering Methods: Counter Steering and Counter Balance * Picking up a Dropped Bike * Passengers. The course is open to all riders - male, female, potential, new, existing, young, old and passengers. RSVP to Anthony, anthony@harley-durban.co.za.
  • Pack Riding Course (0) April 2, 2014 Saturday 12 April, 9am to 1pm at the HOG Durban Chapter Clubhouse. The Pack Riding Course, which includes theory and practical sessions, reflects the practical-based skills needed to safely operate a motorcycle in a pack formation during Chapter or Group Breakfast Runs, on Rallies and Events. This presentation will help participants to: * Understand pack formations and the responsibilities of officials in the pack. * Understand responsibilities of the riders. * Understand the importance of motorcycle inspection before a trip. * Understand and apply the use of hand signals for communication in a pack. * Understand how to ride a motorcycle in a pack formation in accordance with K53, Legal & Defensive driving requirements. * Understand how to react to emergency situations in a pack formation. Cost: R350. Please book through Hein Jonker, 083 793 7975, or Belinda, hog@harley-durban.co.za.
  • Advanced Riders’ Course (0) April 2, 2014 This will now take place on 28 June, 8am to 3pm at the Toyota Test Circuit. The new price per rider is R1000 and per passenger it is R200. HOG members who register will receive a 10% discount. Contact Belinda, hog@harley-durban.co.za, to book.
  • Advanced Riders’ Course (0) March 18, 2014 29 March, 8am to 3pm at the Toyota Test Circuit. R850 per rider, passengers at R150 each. Contact Belinda, hog@harley-durban.co.za, to book.
  • Advanced Riders’ Course (1) March 12, 2014 This takes place on 29 March, 8am to 3pm at the Toyota Test Circuit. Cost: R850 per rider, R150 per passenger. Contact Belinda, hog@harley-durban.co.za, to book.  
  • Pack rider course (0) February 19, 2014 A pack rider course will take place Saturday 22 February with Hein Jonker. Meet at HOG Clubhouse at 8am. Please use the side entrance. Book with Belinda at 031 -566 5222, hog@harley-durban.co.za.
  • Training – Pack Ride Training (0) February 5, 2014 Pack Riding Training Course : 22nd February at Sun Coast Casino from 08h30 to 13h00 - email Belinda on hog@harley-durban.co.za for booking. Cost: R350.
  • Advance Training (0) February 5, 2014 Here are the details for the next Advance Rider Course: The ARC teaches you how to control your motorcycle at speed of 40 - 120km/h or more, preparing you for various real-life emergency situations and how to avoid them. The course is geared for the rider who wants to get better acquainted with his/her motorcycle and discovering their own abilities and that of their motorcycle at road speeds. Course Type: Advance Rider Course Date: Saturday, 29 March 2014 Time: 8am to 3pm Venue: Toyota Test Cirtuit, Eston KZN (MAP attached) Requirements: Own helmet, jeans, shoes, jacket, gloves and Learner License. Cost: R850/rider (passengers welcome @ R150/passenger)   Bookings: http://www.biketalk.co.za/forms/TrainingFormZN.php Regards, HEIN JONKER | Editor & Chief Instructor   Cell: 083 7937975 | National Call Centre: 0861 245 382 | Fax: 0866 4898 55    
  • A BIG Thank you to Hein for his training & support of Durban HOG Chapter (0) October 24, 2013 Hein is constantly sending thru safety tips & supporting Durban HOG in all our training programmes - Thank You Hein. Remember to complete all 3 training courses to get your Skilled Rider patch - Rider Skills, Pack Riding & Advanced Rider Course. Here is more safety tips & links to useful information. Safety Page – Read More http://www.biketalk.co.za/safety.html Read up on some of the articles to further your knowledge in riding a motorcycle safely.   Safety Booklet – Download http://www.biketalk.co.za/safety/SafetyBooklet.pdf Download, print and share it with others you know who might benefit from it.   Ride Group – Visit http://www.facebook.com/groups/biketalk.dbn/ Feel free to join our Ride Group and our monthly Social Rides.   Hearing Protection – Download http://www.biketalk.co.za/techtalk/hearing_protection.pdf If you prefer to ignore this bit of advice, start practicing saying “HUH” and get used to it.   Facebook – Visit Us http://www.facebook.com/BIKETALK.SA Visit us on Facebook and become part of a great motorcycling community.   You Tube – Visit Us http://www.youtube.com/user/BikeTalkSA View some amazing Motorcycle related clips of Skill and Safety   Until we meet again; be safe and ride your own ride! HEIN JONKER | Editor and Senior Instructor   Cell: 083 793 7975 | Tel: 031 903 8240 | Fax: 0866 4898 55
  • Advanced Rider Course with Hein Jonker (ARC) (0) October 7, 2013 There are 2 available places in the Advanced Rider Course on Sat 12th October with Hein - to book please go onto his web site and book directly with Hein, the next course will be 7th Dec so please book early to avoid disappointment. Go to http://www.biketalk.co.za/training.html or email Hein on hein@biketalk.co.za HEIN JONKER | Editor and Senior Instructor Cell: 083 793 7975 | Tel: 031 903 8240 | Fax: 0866 4898 55            
  • Training – Rider Skills course Sat 2nd November – BOOK NOW (0) October 7, 2013 Here are the course details for circulation among HOG Durban Members: The Rider Skills Course will separate the boys from the men. This is a ‘Finishing Off’ course, designed for riders who truly want to learn how to control their motorcycles in limited or confined spaces with the utmost skill and technique. Curriculum Slow Ride: Strolling Pace Inline Weave: 4-5m U-Turn: 6-8m Circle: 6-8m Off-Set Weave: 4-5m Figure 8 Turn from Stop: 2-4m Intersection: 6-8m Brake & Escape: 4-5m Date: Saturday, 2 November 2013  Time: 8:30am - 2pm Cost: R350/per person - HOG Members only (includes light lunch & refreshments) Booking: Belinda - HOG Secretary : Pay your R350 to secure your booking (email  hog@harley-durban.co.za or phone Belinda on 031 5665222) Venue: Theory - Clubhouse, Practical - Mt Edgecombe Regards, HEIN JONKER | Editor and Senior Instructor Cell: 083 793 7975 | Tel: 031 903 8240 | Fax: 0866 4898 55
  • Safety is everyone’s responsibility … please read (0) July 24, 2013 Everyone on the group ride is responsible for their own safety and will be required to ride in a safe manner. All riders are to attend a safety course and 2 pack rides before they receive their Hog colours. This is essential & new riders may be asked to ride behind the sweep should they have not attended the safety course. The next safety course on Sat 3rd August at 9.15am at dealership. All speed and traffic laws must be obeyed at all times. Always be courteous and give other vehicles every consideration. Upon arriving for a group ride, be mentally and physically prepared to ride. You should have a full tank of gas and have performed a pre-ride check of your bike (T-CLOCK): Tires, Controls,Lights, Oil, Chassis, and Kickstand. Arrive for the ride about 10 minutes early so you don’t miss the riders briefing. At the briefing the Road Captain, sweep and biker buddy will be introduced. If you become separated from the group, don’t panic. Try to catch up, staying within the speed limits. The Road Captain will either pull over, if possible, or slow the group to allow you to catch up. Our chapter rides in a staggered formation. This is the best way to keep the group close and still maintain a cushion of space in which to manoeuvre. The Road Captain will ride in the centre of the lane. The second rider will follow in the left third of the lane with a minimum interval of one second between them. The rest of the group will follow in that order. The sweep rider will be the last bike and ride at the rear position. Hand signals are also a very important part of the group ride and provide a way to communicate without stopping. All hand signals should be passed back by ...
  • Riding during Winter by Hein Jonker (Bike Talk) (0) July 10, 2013 Time for an ice-cold slap in the face! Here are a few chilling safety reminders for the winter months ahead. Not everybody has the luxury of heated grips and a nice snug faring, so keep these points in mind to extend your riding pleasure! Slippery Roads: The first rains of winter fall on roads that have been coated with oil during the summer months. Wet roads offer less grip than dry roads and places you previously rode could have a sheen of oil that now compromises the grip of your tyres. Water Filled Pot Holes: There is an illusion created by pot holes. Appearing like puddles, they conceal their depth…that is until you ride over them. Never assume a puddle is just a puddle! White Lines: The painted surface of white lines gets extremely slippery in the rain. Avoid riding to close to the centre of the road during rain, as these markings collect a lot of fuel and dirt deposits. Add directional arrows and manhole covers to this list of snags! Pedestrians: Be aware that pedestrians in wet weather are always not very aware, especially when running across the road to avoid getting wet! They usually keep their heads down to avoid the rain, so keep yours up to avoid them. Speed and Corners: Make sure the centrifugal forces on the bike are minimised heading into bends. Just ride a little slower and keeping those forces under control. Never sharply brake or accelerate too quickly either! Additionally, gearing down to rapidly could cause a lockup of the back tyre where it normally wouldn’t on a dry road. Tree Gum: Trees overhanging the road get a little over sapped during summer. In the winter rains the mixture of water and tree sap can form a slippery film, the perfect trap for the unwary motorcyclist! Corrosion and Your ...
  • Motorcycle Safety and the importance of continual training by Hein Jonker (0) July 3, 2013 On the Arrive Alive website there are several pages with advice and safety recommendations for our bikers and motorcyclists and we advice them to remain focused on enhancing their skills on the road. We thought that the best way to create additional awareness is to have a discussion with an experienced advanced riding trainer and enquire about his concerns for our bikers. With this in mind we raised several questions with Hein Jonker from Bike Talk. Hein – can you give us a brief overview of how long you have been a biker and how long you have been involved in the training of motorcyclists? - See the article and more Q & A's at: http://www.arrivealive.co.za/pages.aspx?i=3027&page=Motorbike-Safety-through-the-eyes-of-the-Instructor HEIN JONKER | Editor and Senior Instructor BIKE TALK | MOTORCYCLE MAGAZINE, ACADEMY & EVENTS Cell. 083 793 7975 | Tel. 0861 BIKETALK/24538255 | Fax. 0866 4898 55
  • Well done to the HOGs that completed the Advanced Riding Course with Hein Jonker (0) May 29, 2013 In the words of Nick.......  IT WAS AWESOME AND NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN Once you have completed the Pack Riding, Rider Skills & Advanced Ridinng course then you will receive your 'Skilled Rider' patch & pin.   FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: WISEMAN…..MIKE (a new member to be introduced this Friday) … NICK …….HEIN JONKER …….NATI ……..ANTHONY   Here they are in action ! Thank you Hein for the pictures.               If you would like to do the Advanced Rider course please contact  HEIN JONKER | Editor and Senior Instructor BIKE TALK | MOTORCYCLE RIDER MAGAZINE, ACADEMY & EVENTS Cell. 083 793 7975 | Tel. 0861 BIKETALK/24538255 | Fax. 0866 4898 55 www.biketalk.co.za  
  • From our Training Officer (0) May 8, 2013 Hi fellow Hoggers I would like to run a packriding course for those members who have expressed an interest in becoming road officials (sweeps, marshalls, road captains).  I am targeting early June 2013 and will confirm once there is sufficient interest.    Please contact me directly on 082 444 5554 if you are interested.   Shiny bits on top, black bits on the tar! Anthon ANTHON WALTERS | anthon at ws.co.za  
  • Our Head Road Captain on …safe overtaking in a pack (0) May 8, 2013 The perfect overtake is one where you overtake firmly and precisely, with no interference to any other vehicle, keeping well away from the vehicle or vehicles you are overtaking. Keep a steady speed and DO NOT slow down when you have overtaken. If you slow down this causes a ripple effect to the riders behind you and can mean disaster for the last few riders in the pack who in effect have nowhere to go between the last rider who has overtaken and the car that was overtaken. If you cannot slot into the space behind the rider in front of you and the vehicle – DO NOT – rather stay in the fast lane and slowly reduce speed without causing a hazard or drop behind the vehicle you are overtaking to allow free flow of traffic. So the correct procedure when overtaking is; • Watch the road captain AND behind you to see if the sweep has secured the lane and it is safe to overtake. • You then indicate and move in formation into the right hand lane until you have cleared the vehicle you are overtaking by at least 2 vehicles length. • Without causing the vehicle or vehicles you are overtaking to brake. • Then SPEED up to allow the riders behind you space to slot in before the vehicle overtaken. Be safe and happy riding Gillian gillian.scottat paarlmedia.co.za
  • The Advanced Rider Course has been postponed to May25th – HEIN JONKER (0) March 27, 2013 Hi all, I should've foreseen this, that training on a long weekend will be a problem for most. We've had a number of cancelations now which results in the number of attendees dropping well below our required minimum of 10 to justify the cost of the venue and other expenses. Only 5 of the 12 booked are able to make it. The course for this Saturday is herewith cancelled and moved to Saturday, 25 May 2013. Toyota is unable to give us a date in April, apart from the fact that April is full of events already: - Bike Talk Tour around Lesotho (5 - 7 April) - Africa Bike Week (25-29 April)   Regards, HEIN JONKER | Editor and Senior Instructor   BIKE TALK | MOTORCYCLE RIDER MAGAZINE, ACADEMY & EVENTS   Cell. 083 793 7975 | Tel. 0861 BIKETALK/24538255 | Fax. 0866 4898 55   Website: www.biketalk.co.za Facebook: www.facebook.com/BikeTalk.SA Twitter: https://twitter.com/BikeTalkSA YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/BikeTalkSA  
  • Automatic Crash Reporting for Your Smart Phone (0) March 13, 2013 For a few years now people wandering about the planet unattended have been able to carry GPS emergency locating devices.  Should something bad happen they can push a button on the unit and the system will send an emergency message to the appropriate people.  The draw back was/is that units are in the $100 and up price range and require an annual a subscription service.  Now there is a free alternative for those with an Android based smartphone. The excellent people at ActionXL, who create Android operating system applications for business, have created a free app for Android phones.  The app, called CRADAR, uses your smart phone's motion sensor to sense a jarring movement, like say, oh, a motorcycle crash.  The app then sends a text message complete with GPS coordinates to whatever phone number you've specified.  For those of us who ride alone and often in rural or remote areas, CRADAR provides a degree of security should things all go wrong. I wrote my brother:  "If you don’t mind, I’m going to put your phone number in there for the text message. I’m going to use the app when I'm riding so if I take a fall you’ll know and can quickly fly to Arizona and help me pick the bike up or call 911, whichever is easier." If you have a smart phone using the Android operating system you'll find the app in the Android Market Place.  A big tip of the helmet to the folks a ActionXL for providing a great safety tool for motorcyclists, bicyclists, hikers, and others out and about. Source: http://40on2.blogspot.com/2012/01/automatic-crash-reporting-for-your.html ANTHON WALTERS | anthon at ws.co.za
  • Counter Steering part 2 – The no BS Machine (2) November 23, 2012 Hi fellow Hoggers, Neville Stevenson found this rather interesting article w.r.t. counter steering and forwarded to me. I decided this was rather too important not to share as it clears up some mis-conceptions that are still floating around this elusive riding concept. Please read it. It might just save your hide one day. View the no-BS bike in action. You will need Quicktime movie player for this.   The Correct Brothers It shouldn't be alarming to me that riders still question how to steer their motorcycles but it is. Apparently, even after 90 years when it was first observed by the Wright brothers some confusion remains on this subject . Yes, their first engineering attempts were as bicycle manufacturers. The very observant brothers, determined that tandem-wheeled (one wheel in front of the other) vehicles counter steer. That was and still is correct. Sources of Confusion It is easy to see how confusion arises on the subject of steering for anyone of us who started their riding on pedal bikes. The steering is so light on a bicycle that riders have difficulty in separating the shift of their body mass (leaning into it) with the slight effort it takes to counter steer. Further confusion arises from word of mouth advice on riding. I have even seen articles in usually credible national magazines extolling the virtues of body mass type of steering. Body Steering as it is called. I have surveyed thousands of riders on this point. Most riders still believe that some of the steering is being done with their body mass or weight shift or pressure on the motorcycle's tank or pegs. Their estimates on how effective these are in getting the bike to turn range anywhere from 10% to 90%, some believe all of it is weight shift. Swoopy Steering If it weren't so grim, it's almost comical to ...
  • Rider Skills Course 3 November – Marius Booysen (2) November 16, 2012 After a few attempts and the weather - Gods having a say in the matter - we finally managed to present the riders skills course on Saturday 3 November 2012. Five individuals learnt the art of riding their Harleys with a little bit more confidence. It is easy to ride at speeds of 25km or more but try and manoeuvre on a busy Saturday morning through traffic at speeds of 10km/hr or less. Staying in the “friction zone” has taken on a new meaning but one realizes the value once you master it. I have often wondered how Harley riders manage to balance their heavy bikes so well at low speed” said one of the rookies. It in fact is not about balancing the bike but using well researched methods and centrifugal forces that makes it look so easy. Turning in tight spots and learning not to “duck walk” your Harley was part of the program. We were warned that it is not as easy as it looks and some riders tends to drop their bikes on this course. It was recommended that you come prepared and some people really listened to this advice. Ken Dyson (hopefully with the permission of his wife) decided that he had better use for her exercise matt which ended up as pads for his bike. (he did not need it in the end). But Eric Rae would have liked to have had an exercise matt on the side of his Harley on Saturday!! We had great fun and Anthon, Lenn and Astrid really went out of their way to make it enjoyable. At first riding through the cones course seemed so difficult and doing a slow race sounded strange but wow have we learnt some nice tricks! Like most things you are taught the skill but ...
  • Counter steering – Anthon Walters (7) October 12, 2012 Quite surprising how many riders still gets confused by the term "counter steering". Some still believe the only way to "steer" your bike is by leaning it into the curve, "balancing" it while making the turn or some other concocted method of getting your bike to move into another direction. Let me clear up this myth for you. The ONLY way to make your bike go into another direction at speeds above 15 / 20 kph is to "counter steer" it. If you have been on a motorcycle for several years and never heard of this, you are probably doing it subconsciously already. If you are a new rider you might find the idea of turning the handle bars in the opposite direction of your intended travel quite disconcerting at first. Let me assure you, there is nothing to it. First, a quick definition. Wikipedia defines counter steering like so: When riding your motorcycle, counter steering is a method of initiating a turn by a small, momentary turn of the front wheel, usually via the handlebars, in the opposite (counter) direction. Its a good definition, but I like Ian Johnston from www.obairlann.dot.net's definition better - counter steering is the act of turning a two-wheeled cycle in one direction by momentarily steering the front wheel in the opposite direction. Note that there's nothing in there about steering into a turn. You will obviously need to, especially at low speeds, but that's just steering, and is no longer counter steering. Don't confuse counter steering with steering where you want to go. As long as the bike is balanced, steering is something you have to do at speeds below 15 kph. Why should I care? You may ask. As I have mentioned above, it is the only safe, sure way of controlling your motorcycle. Shifting ...
  • Riding in the Rain – Anthon Walters (2) September 28, 2012 Most riders get used to riding in the rain by accident.  They take off on an all day ride when the sun is shinning and by afternoon they realize they're going to get their first taste of wet asphalt, like it or not.  Those who accept it, soon find themselves venturing back into the rain, sometimes at their own will.  After a few years you come to realize the only reason why you are not riding in the rain is probably because of the necessary cleaning process afterwards. Regardless of whether you find riding in the rain tolerable (note the lack of any form of excitement in my tone) you are going to get wet at some stage. Many never ride in the rain the first year they're up on two wheels.  They're timid about it the second year, feeling more confident by the third and by the forth year some will be asking the question - "What Rain?" So suppose you're thinking about getting on a wet road for the first time, or perhaps you've done it a few times, or perhaps you do it so much you're not thinking about what the hazards are. Here's a list of critical rain hazards I like to watch for. Build your own list as riding in the rain is a hazardous affair. Buy the right gear- Here's what you'll want to make sure you have on any particular outing/trip: High quality rain suit (you get what you pay for, good ones are hard to come by). Waterproof boots that cover your ankles (so water doesn't seep in from above). Harley makes a good set of Gators. Waterproof gloves, if all else fails get yourself a XL pair of dish washing gloves. Not only will they keep your pig-skin gloves dry, the bright yellow gloves will be more visible. Make ...
  • Motorcycle Braking Q&A’s – Anthon Walters (1) September 11, 2012 1. Which brake is the most effective? The front brake is the most effective, giving between 60 & 80% of the bike's stopping power in hard stops, depending upon surface conditions. This is because most of the weight of the bike and rider transfers forward onto the front wheel when the brakes are applied. A common example of weight transfer is when you trip on a gutter - your feet stop but momentum keeps the top of you going and you fall flat on your face. The weight transfer that takes place under braking on a motorcycle pushes the front wheel onto the ground and makes it grip very well. 2. Is the front wheel likely to skid if you apply the front brake hard? No. The front wheel is likely to skid uncontrollably and bring you down only if you jam the front brake on hard. If you apply the front brake in a staged (progressive) process, the front wheel may skid but that skid is normally quite controllable. If your bike have ABS brakes you are one of the lucky ones not to have to worry about your front wheel skidding at all. 3. Is the rear wheel likely to skid if you apply the brakes hard? With most of the weight being on the front wheel, the rear wheel tends to be light under braking and will therefore lock up and skid very easily. 4. How do you control a rear wheel skid? Control of a rear wheel skid is easy. Just keep your eyes up to the horizon and look where you WANT to go (not necessarily where you are actually going) and the bike will skid in a controllable manner with a minimum of fishtailing. Basic and advanced braking techniques are best learnt under controlled conditions rather than when a truck pulls out in ...
  • Rider Fatigue by Anthon Walters (0) August 23, 2012 Given that our clubs next endeavour is a 'power' ride all the way to Gauteng and back with a party half way through to boot, I believe it to be apt that we share some information that will become prevalent for those who have not attempted long rides before. Experts say that fatigue contributes to between a fifth and a sixth of all car accidents. Now that may not be true in motorcycle accidents across the board, but fatigue is definitely an issue for riders on long, full day trips. It's something that you need to consider and prepare for. If you are riding with other people, it is an issue that you should discuss and accommodate as you plan your trip. Different riders will have different requirements for rest, and if the trip is to be a safe one, all members of the group should be willing to accommodate each other. Fatigue The true cause of many fatigue crashes is sleep deprivation. It's not merely a case of how long your trip is, it is also a case of how much sleep you have had in the nights leading up to the ride and the time of day you are riding. Riding without sufficient sleep can be like riding intoxicated. Fatigue impairs your ability to perform critical functions of riding: Slower reaction times - fatigue affects your ability to react quickly in the same way that alcohol does. In fact, being awake for 17 hours has the same affect on your driving ability as having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05. Lack of concentration - your short term memory, and ability to process information is significantly decreased as drowsiness increases. This means that errors in calculating speed and distances are more common. Reduced vigilance - fatigued riders are more likely to try to avoid hazards, ...
  • Motorcycle Gear for Staying Safe – Anthon Walters (0) August 1, 2012 Picture this, the door swings open, you strut through in your black leather jacket and boots, doing your best to conjure Marlon Brando in the Wild One.  Everyone turns; you are clearly the coolest person in the room. There is clearly no better reason than that feeling to buy motorcycle gear. Well, except this one – safety.  The clothing we choose to wear during riding is the only thing between our skin and the road and it is incredibly important. A study done in Munich in 1986 found that motorcyclists wearing protective gear (heavy jacket, gloves, boots etc.) could expect a reduction in injuries of 30% or more. ("Modern Armor", Motorvike.com) So what do you need? Jacket The head, arms, and legs are the most often injured in a crash. We have already covered helmets so lets have a look at the rest of our gear.  To protect your arms, you need a good motorcycle jacket. A good jacket will be made of leather, Kevlar or lately ballistic nylon and be well constructed.  Check out the seams at any of your sharp points (elbows, shoulders, etc).  The stitching should be strong and enforced at these points.  Also, a good jacket will include heavy padding on the elbow, spine (yes, that's very important!) and the shoulders.  Additionally, if the jacket is nylon or Kevlar, it should include reflective stripes. Whether it means going to a store or ordering a couple of different jackets to try, the first time you buy a jacket, you need to try it on and make sure it fits.  An ill-fitting jacket might result in injury if the protective parts of the jacket shift during a fall or accident.  But it can't be too tight, make sure you have room for a sweatshirt or vest on cold days. Also, sit on your bike with ...
  • From our Training Officer – Rider Skills Course 14th July (1) July 19, 2012 Hi fellow Hoggers, Thank you to the seven riders (Ken, Brenda, Mim, Ots, Wiseman, Eugene and Ina) who participated in the Rider Skills Course on the 14th of July.  My sincere hope is that these new skills will make your riding much more satisfying and safer. A special thanks to Dolores Hollins who so graciously supplied all the riders and Hein and myself with Baguettes worth more than the course! To Astrid my sincere thanks running up and down getting everything ready for us, its much appreciated. The break to participate in the Air Show parade was great fun too and did cause the course time to be overshot by an hour but it was well worth it. In the end we only got wet going home and not during training. All in all it was a splendid day. Well done to that persistence ... Now remember to practice at home. Until next time, keep the shiny bits off the tar! (Eugene, Brenda....) ANTHON WALTERS | anthon at ws.co.za
  • Rider Skills Course – by Otto Gerhardt (2) July 19, 2012 Well, here goes with yet another absolute must to add to your already thrilling “Harley” calendar………. We attended Hein and Anthon’s rider skill course on Saturday the 14th July and were all pleasantly exposed to a great day of learning, enhancing and fine tuning our already existent / non-existent rider skills. Unlike most stressful learning environments, the course took on a totally relaxed, fun filled experience, jam packed with new and refresher rider skills topped with good quality “Harley” time out. The course caters for riders of all levels and I have no doubt that even the most skilled rider would leave with value to enhance their current riding experience. Not to shadow the trainers training abilities, a definite mention would be the lunch……….. mean salad rolls prepared by Dolores followed by a carrot cake of note put together by Astrid. I would encourage you all to diarize and participate in one of the forthcoming courses. OTTO GERHARDT | ots at gns.co.za
  • What is the “Friction Zone” – a practical look – Anthon Walters (1) July 11, 2012 The following is some practical guidelines to assist in manoeuvring your Harley at slow speeds. I would strongly urge everyone to participate in the Rider Skills Course where we take these techniques and hone them till you can successfully manoeuvre your Harley in a typical parking lot without putting your feet down.  For those who just don't have the time - look at these techniques and practice them whenever you have the time. These techniques are a learned skill which means anyone, regardless of size and strength has the ability to master them. Also for those who has already mastered them, remember they are perishable skills. If you don't practice, they will soon be gone. THE FRICTION ZONE The friction zone is the area of the clutch between completely open and completely closed. Pull the clutch in and put the motorcycle in 1st gear. Put your right foot on the brake, begin by letting the clutch out and begin feeding a little throttle and stay in the friction zone. You should be feathering the rear brake so that it holds the motorcycle back slightly. You now have 3 ways to control your motorcycle, the clutch, the throttle and the rear brake. You must keep power to the rear wheel and stay in the friction zone and feed a little throttle. LEARNING TO LEAN THE MOTORCYCLE AT SLOW SPEEDS: Remember, the further you lean the motorcycle, the sharper the turn you can make. Start by making circles in a parking lot, try to find a lot with lined spaces. At first try making a 9 metre circle to the left. Remember, stay in the friction zone, feather the rear brake and keep your head and eyes up. Do not look down. NEVER touch the front brake while making these circles. If you do, it will ...
  • How to react to Marshalls…- Gillian Scott (0) July 11, 2012 We had our first official marshal-led ride at Duma rally and most of the pack had not experienced this before.
  • Awarding our latest Skilled Riders! (0) July 4, 2012 On Friday night at the New Members evening, some distinguished HOG members received their certificates, patches and pins for doing the HOG Rider Skills Training Course on Saturday 24 March 2012 with Anthon who was assisted by Hein and Deon.  "I come from a riding background and this course made me more confident to ride my Harley.  I would like to encourage everyone to do this course" said Dave van Rensburg on receiving his certificate. Charlotte and André Marx specifically came all the way from Pietermaritzburg for the event.  Craig Porter on receiving his certificates said: "I want to give a big thank you to Anthon.  The course was well organised and it was clear to see that a lot of effort went into it.  Without him this would not have been possible." The other people receiving their certificates, patches and pins were Len Barnett, Craig Hepburn and Astrid Walters.  Johan Erasmus could not be present.  Eric ended by requesting everyone present to do this course to enhance their own skills and thereby ensure not only their own safety but also the safety of the rest of the pack riders.  The next Rider Skills Training will be on Saturday 14 July 2012 and Anthon can be contacted directly on  - 082 444 5554 - to book your place.      
  • In the zone…..the Friction Zone!! (0) July 3, 2012 That is basically where we were at this past Saturday, us five ladies who'd signed up for the Rider Skills Training course.  This course is all about s.l.o.w. riding, an aspect of being on our Harley's which us ladies find far more challenging than our male counterparts, who are blessed with more strength and stature than us delicate dames.  Luckily we don't have to rely on brute strength to handle our cherished chariots which weigh 300kg more than we do, as there are a set of skills to enable us to  handle the slow riding situations more confidently and safely, and this is what we were there to learn. As Anthon impressed upon us in his well-presented theory part of the course, this is not an  inherent talent, but a learned skill, and a perishable skill...so must be practised to perfect. Ahh  homework!  Anthon passed on many pearls of wisdom of what we needed to achieve using clutch and back brake. The Friction Zone. This was a course in slow riding so the front brake was not invited! After this thorough and informative presentation, we followed Anthon to the training site which had been well-set up by Len and Astrid, to put this theory into practice.  Exercise by exercise, our wonderful instructor briefed us, then demonstrated on his bike what was to be done, making it look as easy as it sounded in the lecture.  Then it was our turn. One by one we attempted the manoeuvres. Not that easy, but we were eager to master the tasks set out, and the ever professional and polite Anthon displayed an enormous amount of patience and respect to us each and individually as he coached us through the exercises, having us repeat them over until he felt us ready for the next challenge. Remembering all the techniques whilst leaning, counterbalancing and urging our bikes through the turns was tiring for us, and demanded a lot of our bikes which soon need ...
  • Helmetless biking is good – for organ recipients (1) June 21, 2012 In a recent article in the Miami Herald, journalist Fred Grimm had the following to say: " "Okay, okay. I was wrong about motorcycle helmets. Back in 2000, when the Florida Legislature revoked its mandatory helmet law for motorcyclists, I ridiculed biker arguments that getting rid of protective headgear would save lives. As it turned out, getting rid of helmets, indeed, has saved lives. Just not the lives of motorcycle riders. Researchers from Michigan State University discovered an unexpected, life-saving benefit when Florida and five other states jettisoned their helmet laws. “Our central estimates show that organ donations due to motor vehicle accidents increase by 10 percent when states repeal helmet laws.” Good news for folks in need of a heart or liver or kidney or other coveted organ. Bareheaded bikers have become so disproportionately generous with their innards that the medical community has dubbed their machines 'donorcycles'. Other news for bareheaded bikers has not been so rosy. The Centre for Disease Control reports that while motorcycles account for about 3 percent of the registered vehicles, they now account for 14 percent of the traffic fatalities. While overall traffic fatalities have fallen to the lowest rate since 1949, biker deaths are going the other direction (up 4 percent in Florida.)" Now in our own country we never had this common sense notion that wearing a helmet is good for you, tested in the courts. Maybe because us South Africans has got that little bit more of 'common sense'? (hmmm, let me think a bit more about that statement for a while...) My focus would then rather be on wearing the right helmet. Too often we (especially in our Harley community) let fashion or statement dictate our safety gear. I'm not just talking about colour coded 'piss pot' helmets. I have seen mohawks, horns and ...
  • How to keep warm on chilly rides – Gillian Scott (1) June 13, 2012 Keep Your Core Warm - The trick to keeping your body warm for a long period of time is to keep the core warm. You can do this by wearing a warm synthetic liner or long vest. Tuck it into your pants to keep it close to your body. Keep The Wind Out– You’ve heard the term ‘wind stopper,’ but just what does it mean? If the wind gets into your gear it will rob you of your precious body heat. Put On Your Rain Gear – One surefire way to keep the wind out is rain gear. Rain gear works as a wind stopper and does wonders for maintaining your core temperature. Let’s Eat – Okay, so while we’re on the subject of keeping your core warm, what’s the most natural way to do it? By eating of course. Filling your tummy full of food turns on the digestive apparatus generating heat while it’s processing the food. If you’re cold on your ride it may be time to park and get a bite to eat – hence a hearty breakfast on a Sunday morning ride. Gillian|gillian.scott at paarlmedia.co.za
  • Pack Riding Course – Easier said than done – Desiré Vosloo (0) June 13, 2012 It is so much more difficult than it looks – reality check number one.  Being a Road Captain is definitely not just about riding in front.  It is about split second decisions, taking the responsibility of the safety of everyone in the pack, judgment calls and ultimately ensuring everyone reaches the destination safe and sound.  After 10 of us (Deon and Anthon excluded) had a quick KFC Coffee just to ensure our alertness - being early Sunday morning (after the Springboks won England) - Deon did a short introduction about the attributes of a Road Captain, such as leadership skills, ability to focus, time management and conflict resolution abilities.  Then Anthon presented the theory in a workshop fashion where everyone participated, sharing scenarios and experiences, receiving guidance and gaining insights about handling of difficult situations.  Needless to say that many examples were accompanied by bouts of laughter, and then more seriously followed by joint attempts to find solutions to certain general problems experienced in our pack riding.  Then it was time for the practical tests, where each of us had the chance to display and apply the theory in either being a Road Captain, Sweep or Marshal.  I was up first and proudly took the front position as RC in my neon yellow ‘marshal’ jacket with Dave my sweep and Len the Marshal.  Besides the fact that I totally forgot to ‘brief’ my pack, as we entered into Umhlanga Rocks Drive, everything I thought I knew just disappeared into a fog of concentration.  Firstly I could not slow down enough to get the whole pack over the first traffic light (easier said than done) and then I pulled off next to the road to wait for the rest of the pack – only to find out afterwards that it was the wrong ...
  • Ride with Skill and Confidence – Hein Jonker (0) June 7, 2012 Riding is something most people don’t have to do, but rather feel compelled to, for a wide variety of reasons ranging from passion to practicality. One of the most distinct things about riding is that nothing feels quite like a motorcycle; the thrill of being at one with a two-wheeled machine that weighs only a hundred and something kilograms is one of the purest ways to get from point A to B, and the risks involved sometimes even heighten that enjoyment. Perhaps Robert Pirsig said it best in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: "You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.” If you're a rider you know all about "the wave," the pointed finger or wave of the hand that acknowledges another rider as he or she passes. Motorcyclists often feel like they belong to a big community, and that sensation gives us something in common; we share a bond that sets us apart from the rest of the motoring world. In spite of the fact that motorcyclists are a part of a big group, we also tend to be more individualistic than the next person. Whether that's expressed through our personal style or the way we trick out our bikes, motorcycling can be an outlet through which we can reveal our personalities. There's something about motorcyclists, isn't there? When a guy or a gal walks into a restaurant with a helmet under arm, they invariably radiate a sense of cool that just isn't the same as rolling up in a car. Whether or not you're looking for the Peter Fonda or Brad Pitt effect, motorcycles take you one step closer to cool. What better way to escape than on a motorcycle? The sense of freedom feels more ...
  • Advanced Riders Course with Hein Jonker – Brenda Daniels (2) May 30, 2012 I made my way to the Toyota Test Track in Eston on Saturday 26 May with a group of eight Harleys to attend Hein Jonker’s Advanced Riding Course. We were joined by seven other bikes (Super Bikes, Yamahas and some others I can’t remember). Our first test came on the approach to the test track in the form of 200m of gravel roadway. I travelled fairly slowly in third gear for the distance, didn’t apply my brakes once and arrived without incident (and without breathing). Once the training officially began we started on the top test track. Task number one was to do a controlled stop. In my fervour I thought Hein had told us to do an emergency stop. So I tore along the strip and came to a screeching halt next to Hein. I was wrong. Once I got it right I was quite pleased to have learnt to use my back brake far more often and more firmly than I have been doing, and to stop with only my left foot on the ground, leaving my right foot free to use the brake. We then did straight line weaving and offset weaving, using the technique of pushing and pulling the handlebars. I loved that! It brought back memories of bicycle riding in my youth. Other tasks set for us involved riding in a straight line, training the eye to look ahead, and riding over a rope-strewn roadway which simulated riding on gravel. After a lunch of delicious sarmies provided by Hein’s wife, we made our way down to the bottom test track. Here we were to do similar tasks, but at speed. Emergency stops, emergency stop and go, straight line weaving – at 120km/h. You must be joking, I thought. I could never do that. Well, I ...
  • Riding at Night – Anthon Walters (0) May 30, 2012 Contrary to what you may believe, night riding can be one of the most enjoyable experiences you will encounter on your motorcycle. However, night time motorcycle riding can also be an extremely dangerous activity as it is difficult for some motorist to see you and respond by avoiding you. This article includes helpful hints that can make your night motorcycle riding safer and more enjoyable. Safety comes through increased road presence. While your bike is quarter the size of a typical car, there are some steps you can take to increase your visual road presence to something much larger. Larger vehicles are easier to see and avoid. With the steps herein, you can greatly improve your road presence and help avoid an accident with another motor vehicle. Motion induced blindness is much more prevalent at night time. Try this link for size (courtesy of Neville Stevenson) http://www.msf-usa.org/motion.html The most common cause of accidents and death for motorcyclists is a motorist turning right and into the pathway of the biker. Other types of common accidents is at intersections and rear end collisions. Add reduced visibility to the mix and the incidents sky rocket. Step one - Wear bright clothing. Those black leather jackets look good in the day, but for the night, you might want to consider wearing something that reflects light. Consider adding a fluorescent highlights on the back of your jacket, a smart message maybe. Your helmet is also a nice place for the same. Step two - Motorcycle Lighting: Good lighting is a crucial factor in your safety. In the quest for stylish lighting, many manufacturers use undersized brake lighting and most will aim the headlight lower to the street than the legal angle allows. Your first step is to examine your front and rear lighting. If you have a tiny brake ...
  • Overtaking safely – Gillian Scott (0) May 30, 2012 When passing a vehicle on a two-lane road, each rider should pass in order, preferably in single file. One of the most dangerous situations I have observed occurs when one or more riders tries  to force the issue of keeping up.  They overtake on a blind rise  or without allowing a safe margin regarding oncoming traffic or enough space in front of the car being overtaken to fall into the pack. The Road Captain will slow the pack down if you are left behind and wait for you to pass safely. Never sacrifice safety to the ideal of keeping the pack together. Gillian|gillian.scott at paarlmedia.co.za
  • Target Fixation – Hein Jonker (0) May 30, 2012 Target Fixation demonstrates pretty convincingly that your motorcycle goes where you’re looking. But why? Your eyes, after all, are not holding your handlebars and you frequently scan directions other than the one you’re traveling in without your bike wandering all over the road. Is it magic? The idea that your motorcycle will go where you’re looking is merely a shorthand way of thinking about a phenomenon that virtually all drivers (of any kind of vehicle) have experienced before: that if you turn your head you tend to STEER in the direction you’re looking. In fact, it might be clearer to simply acknowledge that it is HARD to steer in any direction other than the one you are looking at. ALL of your prior experience has taught you how to steer your vehicle where you want it to go. So, if you look where you want to go, you kick in all that prior experience and AUTOMATICALLY steer in that direction. There is no magic here nor is there a hidden law of physics involved. Your bike TENDS to go in the direction you are looking because, via experience, you have taught yourself to steer, more or less subconsciously. To take advantage of that phenomenon you merely need to actively look in the direction you want to go - away from danger. The rest is virtually subconscious reaction. Of course it takes more than a turn of your eyes or even your head. You still need to steer away from danger. Since it is HARD to steer away from what you’re looking at, and easy (almost automatic) to steer in the direction you are looking, surely it makes sense to look where you want to go. But, you say, there are many times when you look in directions other than the one you want to ...
  • Tires: Inflation vs. Suction – Anthon Walters (1) May 15, 2012 "Crashing," a wise old motorcyclist once observed, "sucks." To avoid this form of suction, you can hone your skills, learn to anticipate threats in traffic, dress to make yourself conspicuous to other drivers and keep your motorcycle in peak condition. The last two strategies require the least effort, but surprisingly, motorcyclists seem to adopt them less frequently than the others. Most motorcyclists swaddle themselves in basic, hard-to-see black, and cruiser riders seem particularly enamoured with the black-is-beautiful fashion philosophy. But that's not the point of this article. The other neglected safety strategy is motorcycle condition. Two critical items that seem to be most ignored are the front and rear tires. The only equipment problem that shows up at any extent as a factor in motorcycle accident statistics is tire deflation or failure. Users of tube-type tires, found on most cruisers with wire-spoke wheels, increase their chances of experiencing the thrill of a sudden tire deflation, but it can happen with tubeless tires as well. If you have ever experienced a rapid tire deflation, usually called a blow-out, you know how exciting it can be, even if you don't crash as a result. If you are moving at highway speeds, you are suddenly riding a bike that is horrifically unstable and doesn't steer very well at all. Just trying to get to the shoulder—and stay there as you roll to a stop—can be quite a challenge. If you are in heavy traffic or a corner, things could be quite grim. If its a front tire blow out I suspect it's even worse. Everything a moving motorcycle does relies on those two little hand-print-sized patches where the rubber meets the road. If your tires are not in peak condition, your motorcycle can't steer, stop or accelerate as effectively as it should. The tires on our bikes are ...
  • The Flip Flop Faux Pas – Psycho Syd (0) May 10, 2012 All was going well in the Safety Lecture until Psycho's brand new flip flop fractured, finishing his fulminations on feeble footwear and flinging him face  forward.  And Psycho, still delicate and dry mouthed after downing dessicants the night before in an attempt to become a friendly and interesting person, was having a torrid time of things. One hand clutched his only legitimate child - the Lady Fathima (aka "The Fear" ) having rewarded his brief escape from Penile Servitude (aka 'Marriage", to the single HOGS ) with Punishment Duty consisting of babysitting duty, slap bang on top of his safety lecture. This of course delighted the new members, primarily Paul Wilson, who had had to explain the previous night that he and Peter Wilson (also a new member) were in fact unrelated, and not married as suggested by Psycho and his cronies.  It was clear too, that there was a new hooligan in town in the form of Shirley Winkler (husband Hans is no relationship to Heinz but she says he has his uses)  and it would be a good idea, Psycho pondered whilst rubbing his coccyx (not as rude as it sounds), to keep a close watch on that woman!    Fortunately Vikesh had brought his own little kiddy, also being a long suffering babysitter, and promply signed up by Psycho with vague promises of payment.  "K.C." Cele kept a dignified silence and Petrus was clearly the strong silent type despite having endured Psycho's company at the bar the night before. But the remaining new members Robert and Spiros were left looking bemused as they were lectured with little toy bikes and an elderly laptop model (not from Anthon's last secretary), Psycho's technophobia being an undisputed fact. Sanity was restored when young Mikhail slammed his yoghurt down on the boardroom table with a look that said ...
  • Is it Balance or Trust when leaned over in a turn? – by Hein Jonker (0) May 10, 2012 It seems to me that even the most experienced motorcyclists believe that their sense of balance is what allows them to maintain control of their bikes, particularly in a turn. I say that balance is almost an insignificant aspect of controlling a motorcycle. Regardless of where you are sitting on your seat (or off it) you can cause the bike to turn in the direction you want it to go - indeed, counter-steering is steering input that tells the bike how far to lean and how fast to adopt that posture and 'balance' is hardly a part of the equation. The front-end design of your motorcycle allows the bike to exhibit self-correcting behaviours. Without any steering input whats so ever a bike that is moving faster than you can run, will attempt to find vertical and drive in a straight line. When in a turn your only steering input is maintenance of pressure on the inside grip in order to continue (without any wobble at all) your course. The bike 'finds' the perfect balance point between centrifugal and gravity forces and you are merely going along for the ride. Indeed, any additional steering input from you is what accounts for 'going wide' or 'fighting' the bike. Shifting your weight to 'help' the turn invariably results in having to make additional adjustments and is fairly described as 'over-correcting.' Rather than balance, I state, the proper input to support counter-steering is Trust. The only time that balance plays a significant part in the control of your motorcycle is when you are travelling at slow speeds (about as fast as you can walk.) HEIN JONKER | hein at biketalk.co.za
  • Riding in Sand – by Anthon Walters (2) May 3, 2012 Even though we hate taking our Harleys Off Road, it invariably happens that sometimes we have no other choice than to take our 300kg plus machines on a dirt track to get to a nice breakfast spot, a good photo opportunity or following some other crazy riders to a cool destination. We may even have to (like this past weekend) cross a sea of thick sand on occasion. How do you safely do it and prevent landing up on your arse next to your bike? Riding a motorbike is often an exercise in defeating ones own instincts. Riding a bike in thick sand is a good example of this. Instinct says go slowly when approaching anything threatening; however, going slowly on a bike is a sure way of having an accident, more so when riding in a threatening situation. When approaching an area of thick sand FOCUS on the direction of intended travel, don't fixate on the area directly in front of the bike. Choose your line and stick with it. It is best to slow down while approaching, then gently accelerate upon reaching the sandy patch.  Motion is what gives stability to any bike, be it a bicycle or a motorbike. With a motorbike, this stability is especially linked to the back tire's grip on the ground. Applying too much power will cause the back wheel to spin, thus losing grip, causing the bike to either fall over or dig its back wheel into the sand. Instinct is going to tell you to close the throttle fast when the bike starts fish-tailing. Rather keep the gas on. That will keep the front end lighter and on top of the sand in turn allowing you to guide the bike in the direction you wish to travel. If the sand is particularly thick, fine, or ...
  • Your first passenger – by Hein Jonker (0) May 3, 2012 Though not all, and perhaps not most, motorcyclists carry a passenger from time to time, there are occasions when you might wish to do so.  It often happens when you wish to share the freedom of being on two wheels with your lady or she has decided that she would like you to give her a ride on that motorcycle. The problem is that you might not have done it before and wonder how to get experience before trying it the first time for real.  My advice is simple:  Your first passenger should be an experienced motorcycle rider. Your lady is the wrong person to be your first passenger. (Your CHILD is an even worse choice!) The passenger should know the risks involved and should be depended upon not to cause problems while you are learning how to handle your bike with a passenger aboard. YOU yourself need to experience the total lack of control and dependence a passenger has on the rider before even thinking about allowing a passenger on your bike!!! Meet your passenger at an abandoned open parking lot - that is, you do NOT travel on city streets with your first passenger in order to get to a practice range - and with that passenger on the back you MUST practice mounting, dismounting, starting, stopping, backing up, and low speed turns. You must NOT leave that practice range with your passenger until your stops are ALWAYS smooth (and without foot 'hops') and you can make 90 degree slow speed turns without (ever) a need to slap the ground with your down leg to keep the bike upright. Putting an inexperienced person on the back for your first passenger will most likely cause that person to NEVER get on a motorcycle again. You don’t want that do you? – www.biketalk.co.za HEIN JONKER ...
  • Hein’s Advance Rider’s course – from our Training Officer (0) April 25, 2012 Hello fellow Hoggers, Hein's Advance Riders Course was a great success with 9 Harleys attending and 3 other devices with two wheels and an engine in the middle.. (:>p) Myself being one of the course goers this time around just brought back the realisation that one is never to old to learn. The saying, "You cannot teach an old dog new tricks" is pure rubbish.  I'm glad to say I honestly benefited from the course and would recommend it to anyone who hasn't done it before. Its amazing what habits we pick up while riding our bikes over the years. The course drilled in some basic skills we all need like travelling in a really straight line (emphasis on really as weaving of the straight and narrow resulted in some heavy shaking of parts we don't really want shaken), counter steering we all need but with the ability to actually practice them at high speed, some really fast in-line cone weaving and some bone shattering, tyre squealing  emergency stops - all just to hone those necessary life saving skills.  The course was run expertly with great safety in mind and the only injury was my bruised ego when I dropped my bike during lunch time practising figure of eights for the upcoming ABW. (Which had nothing to do with the course itself so as to not ruin Hein's stats on incidents over the years ;>) ) The day ended on a sadder note when Hein's Honda beat Craigs souped-up Sporty on the 400 meter drag, I'm still trying to figure out how Hein cheated here Craig, don't worry. ;>) View the Drag Race. Anyways 13.2 seconds over a 400 meter run is truly impressive. As always PLEASE put your name on for a course here, it makes life so much easier when planning the next ...
  • Counter-steering is only Half of the Story – by Hein Jonker (0) April 25, 2012 To my mind there is entirely too much confusion about the transition point between steering and counter-steering. You really should UNDERSTAND what is happening at that time. First, you NEED to know that when your bike is moving faster than 15km/h you can ONLY counter-steer. It is not optional. It is not a decision you get to make. Physics determines what happens when you push on one grip or the other, not you. In other words; above 15km/h to go RIGHT you push on the right grip and to go LEFT you push on the left grip. That's counter-steering. What 5 in ten riders don’t realize or understand is that using your front brake at below 15km/h in a turn your bike will fall DOWN, but at above 15km/h using your front brake wisely, without trying to stop the bike, your bike will come UP!!!!! Further, at below 15km/h if you use your brakes when in a curve you will SHORTEN the curve and at above 15km/h you will WIDEN the turn. Counter-steering is only half the story! Get your head around the idea that at faster speeds YOU DO NOT LEAN YOUR BIKE, IT LEANS ITSELF through counter-steering! At faster speeds when you use your throttle your bike increases its lean angle while at slower speeds, using your throttle will make your bike come up - it is how you 'save' a bike that is about to fall down in a slow-speed turn. If you want to lean farther into a fast turn you increase throttle and maintain the same radius, which is exactly the opposite of what you do at slow speed. The dynamics of your motorcycle reverse at about 10km/h and counter-steering is an important part of that. HEIN JONKER | hein at biketalk.co.za
  • The Deadly Dozen: 12 Motorcycle Safety Myths and Misconceptions (1) April 18, 2012 When science  meets urban legend and imperfect logic, some of the "facts" motorcyclists think  they "know" about motorcycle safety, crashes, and riding turn out to be  dangerous myths and misconceptions. Get a group of motorcyclists talking about crashes and safety, and you will  almost certainly hear some of them—popular misconceptions, incorrect  assumptions, urban legends, and intuitive explanations about motorcycle safety  that turn out to be wrong when you actually check out the facts. The problem is  that believing these misconceptions can increase your chances of being involved  in an accident or getting hurt when you do crash. Maybe you know BS when you hear it, but maybe you have heard some myths  repeated so often or by people whose expertise you respect that you think they  are actually true. Unfortunately, there are a lot of motorcyclists who do  believe them. We thought that some of these fallacies should be brought out into  the light of day so that riders have the right information upon which to make  informed riding-safety decisions. We also hope it will keep more motorcyclists  from repeating such misconceptions to riders who turn to them for  advice. These are the Deadly Dozen, the motorcycle safety myths and urban legends  ones that we hear most frequently. Myth 1: Other Drivers Don't Care About Motorcyclists It may seem hard to believe at times, but other drivers almost never actually  want to hit you. Most of those near-misses come about because they don't always  know you are there, even when you are right in front of them, seemingly in plain  view. You can be obscured or completely hidden by glare, by other things on or  along the road, by the cars roof pillars, the handicap hangtag, or by other  traffic. Of course, not all drivers "think bike" and make the effort to  look that ...
  • Pack Riding continue – Gillian Scott (0) April 18, 2012 There are several advantages for riding in a pack; a group is more visible  than a solo rider; other vehicles can predict what a rider in a group will do because all members generally maintain fixed positions and fixed intervals between riders; in case of a mechanical problem or an accident, help is available immediately to the rider. A member of the group may carry a cell-phone. Usually some riders in a group are trained in First Aid and CPR. They are often aware of safety information and accident management procedures that non-riders may not know -- for example, not to remove the helmet of a downed rider unless breathing is inhibited, how to manage an accident scene to prevent complications, etc.; and it can be a lot more FUN! And you may just get your breakfast paid for by HOG.
  • From our Training Oficer – The Sweep (0) April 12, 2012 Hi fellow Hoggers, Not much interest in training this past week I see. Must be the holiday spirit....(I hope). Well the holiday spirit has also taken its toll here, so not much news this side. I still need assistance in judging interest and planning the few courses we need to run this year,  so this is an appeal to plea go to the booking website and select the course you are interested in. Please sign up for the Pack Riding Course, no charge - just free knowledge. A reminder that all is still on track for the Advanced Riders Course next weekend on the 21st. After the very interesting article Hein Jonker published last week Astrid and I took the trouble of visiting the Hearing Institute at Gateway Umhlanga. We met a young audiologist that truly opened our eyes with regards to hearing and the modern age. Did you know that the current young generation could already at the age of 35 start experiencing hearing problems purely because of the use of technology such as iPods and in-ear games? The wind noise in especially our cruiser style open face helmets has exactly the same effect. Needles to say we ordered our 'MotoEars' right there and then as the 800 bucks just seemed a pittance against the 18k ones my mother wears, not to speak of the discomfort of carrying them around all day. Michelle (the young audiologist) offered to come chat to us one Saturday morning and maybe take a few moulds (some purple cement stuck into your ear which results in an odd looking statuette of something resembling artificial purple dog poo when it hardens) of those interested in protecting their hearing while riding. I think its well worth it. Karen, maybe activities can run with it? Sweep This week I'm going to stand still briefly on ...
  • More tips to make pack-riding fun – Gillian Scott (0) April 4, 2012 If any rider feels that the group pace is too fast for comfort, then he/she should motion the following bikes to pass until the only one left following is the sweep.  Then ride at your own pace until the next stop; when you should inform the Road Captain that you are uncomfortable with the pace.  It will then be up to the RC to either separate the ride into two groups, or go at a slower pace so that all members of the group feel secure.  Group riding should not be, and is never, a race! If a rider in the formation needs to pull out for any reason, the group will close up the gap from behind and never cross from left to right.   The Sweep will aid the rider who has pulled over.  He will also communicate (via radio) with the Ride Leader so as to apprise him of the situation.  The biker buddy then becomes the sweep until the sweep returns to the group.
  • From our Training Officer – Road Captain (0) April 4, 2012 Hi fellow Hoggers, The month of April is leaving us with very little time to manoeuvre but I'm sure everyone will gladly accept all these public holidays (unless of course you are the one thats paying for them). I promised a pack riding course this month but would like to put the ball in your court this time around. All those interested please contact me on 0824445554 so we can judge the interest and get the most accommodating Saturday or Sunday to run it. This is a free safety course that counts towards the "Harley Skilled Rider" program and is also the entry towards the "Riding Official Training Program". So, all those prospective Road Captains, Sweeps, Pack Leaders or even if you just want to know what to do and where to do it please give Gillian, Deon or myself a call. Or use our new "Book Now" function on the blog site. Karen Dean has graciously enquired with ER24 for a custom First Aid course for our club. The idea is to cultivate the capability to help ourselves in case of an emergency until the paramedics arrive. Hopefully this will turn out to be just good background knowledge that will never be needed in real life but then we are not ostriches so lets not keep our heads in the sand. Any interest please let me know as well or use the "Book Now" function on the blog site. You must be tired of this by now but remember the Advanced Training Course on the 21st of April. There is about three spots left if you are still interested. Book now. Road Captain This week I would like to briefly stand still on the tasks and functions of this official. Contrary to popular belief this poor mammal is not just our guide to get ...
  • Hearing Protection – Hein Jonker (0) April 3, 2012 It’s not hard in this country to lose your hearing. In the 80’s everyone blamed it on the Angola war; today we blame it on cheap helmets, loud pipes and vuvuzelas. Rule of the thumb is that anything over 80db for more than just a couple of minutes will begin to tear away at your hearing ability. Most riders have already had plenty of this battering and many are already 25% deaf or worse just from everyday life on the road. The solution is simple. No matter how much hearing you have left, beam yourself over to the nearest Ear Institute and invest in a set of custom-made ear plugs. There is no law against using ear protection when operating a motorcycle; the fact is, once you put your plugs in, you will be able to hear most of the same sounds you would hear if you were driving a car with the windows rolled up. Your visual perception will be stronger because your senses won’t be processing so much audio information. It’s really quite a treat once you get your plugs in and start riding; you will no doubt be able to ride more because you’ll be less tired mentally and faster because you will not feel intimidated by the wind noise in your helmet. Oops, did I say faster? I recently tested my Interphone F4 Headset (took a phone call) while wearing my Moto-Ear plugs and riding at above legal speed; it completely eliminated the high frequency wind noise in my helmet but still allowed me to have a normal conversation with the caller while riding. Furthermore, the faster I was going the more noise I expected but NO! With the Moto-Ear the experience was quite the opposite, the faster I was going the more effectively the ear-plugs worked! Awesome stuff, ...
  • Rider’s Skill Training – Johan Erasmus (1) March 28, 2012 OH ......  It’s so very EASY !!  All you have to do is discover the 3 x techniques – friction zone, feathering of the back brake and know how to use the throttle on your Harley Machine and you have it waxed. “Whiskey throttle” is then something of the past and your own safety is no longer at risk ........ however it all has to come together at once and you have to also discover “the magic” of looking in the direction of intended travel – only.  If you are going to look on the ground you will fall – as per our instructor Anthon – so look everywhere else and not on the ground and you will be safe and a fall obviously not even a consideration – but ........ please allow me the privilege to inform you that whatever the instructors tell you is not an exact science and the reality is in most instances different from the textbook guidelines. But please don’t forget – as per Anthon - practice makes perfect and do not look on the road ..... only in the direction of intended travel and you will be OK and deemed an advanced Harley Davidson rider. This riding skills course that I attended last weekend was outstanding advanced riding skill tuition and I would recommend it to anyone with the passion and drive to ride motorcycles in considering doing the course. An extended scope of work is covered by the very professional and highly qualified instructors that treat everyone with patience and respect. The riding course group is small emphasising very much an ‘individual’ approach. Each participant gets individual attention which is key to confidence building and helping the tougher aspects become easier. Safety in riding is the one element that takes precedent throughout the course which certainly ...
  • From our Training Officer – Our first Rider Skills Course (1) March 28, 2012 Our first HOG Rider Skills Training done and almost dusted. My sincerest thanks to all who participated, Jimmy for the food, Hein and Deon for the assistance. I believe it went very well with some minor tweaks necessary (like perhaps splitting the theory to another day as was suggested). It was a tough day for the riders and everyone was a star well knowing that they were the first guinea pigs. The day started somewhat delayed with noticeable fear from Charlotte that she might be in a position to damage her bike. Glad to say that nothing that bad happened. Shortly after the presentation Deon took the pack to Sugar Mill Casino's abandoned parking lot where 9 riders started their training. Putting the theory to practice started off with words such as "its not so easy as it looks" but pretty soon everyone started mastering the techniques and the exercises started coming together very nicely. Concepts and techniques such as ‘the friction zone’ and ‘three way control’ started to make sense to all. At the end of quite a tough day (yes we did drop three bikes, no damage though) everyone could congratulate themselves on a job well done. My wish for everyone who participated to find these newfound skills useful in their day to day riding. Remember, these are perishable skills, that means if you don’t practice them, they will disappear. Please chat to Len, Craig, other Craig ( ;>) ), Dave, Stuart, Charlotte, Andre, Cathy and Astrid about the course. I'm pretty sure everyone will find it enriching. Hein showing off his perfect form Keep the shiny bits on top and the black parts on the tar.   ANTHON WALTERS | anthon at ws.co.za  
  • From our Training Officer – Pack Riding (0) March 22, 2012 Hi fellow Hoggers, the week for our first 'Rider Skills Course' has arrived and it looks as if interest is high. We have (6 of the 8) all slots filled so be quick if you would like to participate this weekend (Sat 24th) otherwise catch the next one. I would now like to use this opportunity to kick off the "Officials Training Program'. We are hoping to launch the first course somewhere in April as the need for Road Captains and Sweeps are great. Please speak to Gillian or any of the committee w.r.t. program as we seriously need your help. Again a reminder about the Advanced Rider Course on the 21 of April, there is still space available. Pack Riding This week I would like to briefly stand still on the issue of do's and dont's when riding in a pack. Very often we share a ride with fellow riders mostly under the assumption that we all know what to do and what not to do as we all did the safety briefing. The truth of the matter is however that we are all human and we forget. We all interpret facts in different ways and we all prioritise issues not always in a similar fashion as our fellow rider. Some had their briefings done when motorcycles were nothing but bicycles with engines and some of us are still trying to figure out when to and when not to use a hand signal. The point I'm trying to make is that knowing what to do and what not to do cannot be left to assumption when 15 or more motorcycles are travelling down a road at 120 kph a second apart. Whereas this sounds dangerous it often can be done in safety by just abiding by a few simple rules: Comfort - ...
  • First Aid Training – HOG (1) March 14, 2012 The HOG committee would like to thank Paramedics Kayle Dean & Warwick Marlin for giving up their well-earned time off coming thru to Harley Umhlanga to give an ER24 presentation. The HOG committee, road captains & safety officers were fortunate to be able to attend a presentation given by paramedics from ER24. The main aim was to make sure that if there was ever was an emergency on a pack ride that we have the necessary procedures in place, to provide temporary assistance until competent medical assistance arrives. Warwick explained that it is better to know first aid & not need it than not to know it at all. He explained what should be in the first aid kit carried by our safety officers & road captains. What should be the first thing to do? Well the first thing not to do apparently is PANIC! Remove anything that could be dangerous to the patient or yourself. Call for Help (ER24 084-124) Check for ABC – Circulation, Airway & breathing. Wait for SAPS, Metro or Ambulance Meanwhile to help prepare the paramedics…. Basic assessment Responsiveness Talk to them, where do they feel the pain, where are they. Tell them not to move Injuries DO NOT REMOVE HELMET Do not move the patient, if necessary move the bikes around the injured & make sure that someone is slowing down the on-coming traffic. If excessive bleeding or vomiting to turn hold c-spine as demonstrated holding the neck in place. For bleeding use direct pressure, dressing, elevation & pressure points. For burns use a non-stick sterile moist dressing (burn shield) Splinting can be done to reduce pain & prevent further damage The most important is Call 084 124 and give: Correct address with intersecting roads Name and contact details (to phone back & give ETA’s) What happened Number of injured persons Condition of the injured A big word of thanks to Kayle and Warwick - we appreciated the input so that ...
  • From our Training Officer (1) March 14, 2012 Good day fellow Hoggers, Our attempt at our first Harley Advanced Rider Course (ARC)  didn't materialise mostly because we needed 3 more riders to complete the numbers. I'm happy to say that it looks as if we will not have this problem next time round. The lesson learnt here is that we have to plan this weeks in advance due to the difficulty to book the Toyota Test Track. If there is riders that would like to participate this time round, please book and pay your fees on Hein's website here http://www.biketalk.co.za/forms/academy.html as we do have some space left, help us out, the more riders that wants to do the course, the easier it will become to find enough available for a specific date. We can only confirm once the actual fees are paid. Previous participants will automatically be registered for the next course once he or she confirms their availability. We only have one lady....c'mon girls, there is nothing that needs testosterone to participate here. The Test Track is available for the following dates, 31st of March, 8th of April and the 21st of April. Please contact me with the date best suited to all, we really need to book the track rather quickly. The cost for this course remains R675-00 for HOG members and R750-00 for non-members. For the "Rider Skills" course to tentatively take place on the 24th of this month, please can you contact me on 0824445554 to reserve a place. As mentioned before we can only accommodate 8 riders for this one. Not to worry, we will run this course as frequently as what is necessary to help everyone interested as fast as possible. There is no limitation to the amount of riders for this course to make it happen. Sorry to mention money again but this experience will cost you R350-00 ...