Looking at Motorcycles in Movies [Infographics]

Movies have used motorbikes as certain pieces of props or the centre of the entire film. In this infographic, the value of these motorbikes in films, along with their appeal, speed, iconic status and screen time, is broken down in full.

What’s obvious here is that there’s lots of motorcycle abuse going on in films. Are you listening? Film directors?

3 Motorcycle Safety Tips for New Riders

Motorcycles are fun and fuel efficient. That’s not news to anyone who’s ridden one. But neither is the fact that they’re also way more dangerous than a car. The cold reality is that motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a crash than people in a car, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). And nearly half of all motorcycle deaths are the result of single-vehicle crashes.

Below are some more tips to help you stay safe on two wheels.


Don’t buy more bike than you can handle. If you’ve been off of motorcycles for a while, you may be surprised by the performance of today’s bikes. Even models with small-displacement engines are notably faster and more powerful than they were 10 or 20 years ago. When shopping for a bike, start with one that fits you. When seated, you should easily be able to rest both feet flat on the ground without having to be on tiptoes. Handlebars and controls should be within easy reach. Choose a model that’s easy for you to get on and off the centre stand. If it feels too heavy, it probably is. A smaller model with a 250- to 300-cc engine can make a great starter or commuter bike.


Invest in antilock brakes. Now available on a wide array of models, antilock brakes are a proven lifesaver. IIHS data shows that motorcycles equipped with ABS brakes were 37 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than bikes without it. “No matter what kind of rider you are, ABS can brake better than you,” says Bruce Biondo of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Motorcycle Safety Program.


The reason is simple: Locking up the brakes in a panic stop robs the rider of any steering control. That can easily lead to a skid and crash, which can result in serious injury. ABS helps you retain steering control during an emergency stop, and it can be especially valuable in slippery conditions. This critical feature is now standard on many high-end models and adds only a few hundred dollars to either way, we think it’s a worthwhile investment in your safety.


Hone your skills. As Honda’s Jon Seidel puts it, “There is nothing we could say or advise more than to go find a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) riding course in your area. That’s critical, absolutely critical.” An MSF course or similar class can teach you the basics, as well as advanced techniques, such as how to perform evasive emergency manoeuvres. The cost ranges from free to about $350. An approved safety course may make you eligible for an insurance discount and, in some states, to skip the road-test and/or the written test part of the licensing process.


Still, many enthusiasts enjoy a lifetime of riding without injury. The key to optimizing your odds is to be prepared and avoid risks. Keep in mind that 48 percent of fatalities involved speeding, according to the IIHS, and alcohol was a factor in 42 percent. Eliminate those factors and you’ve dramatically reduced your risk.


Actions to Make You a More Experienced Rider

Becoming an experienced rider doesn’t happen automatically, or by accident. It’s more than a simple accrual of years or miles. It’s a conscious and continual process, one that is carefully nurtured to maturity, and then maintained.

Variety – In the flying community, they say that there’s a difference between flying for a thousand hours, and flying one hour a thousand times. The lesson contained there is that if you only do the same thing over and over again, it’s unlikely you’ve learned much of anything. Plodding along on your bike for your daily commute is a fine thing, but it won’t make you an expert, if that’s all you do. Experienced riders seek out all sorts of different riding challenges, from twisty mountain roads, to long open stretches, to drag strips and road courses, to city traffic. They expose themselves to different bikes, riding styles and disciplines, to round out their skill set. Disciplines like riding on dirt can greatly improve bike control and let you know what it feels like to slide a tire.


Practice – This goes back to being humble. Veteran riders know that skills can get rusty, so you’ll find them practicing, periodically. They’ll be out in a big parking lot doing max braking drills, slow, tight figure eights and the like. All the things they taught you in your MSF course, if you have taken any, needs to be revisited from time to time. I’m not just talking about the beginner course either, MSF offers well over a dozen courses for varying skill levels. Better still, go to a local track day, and practice everything at once.


Study – Experienced riders study everything relevant to their sport. From their bikes, to their gear, to riding technique, you’ll find them devouring everything they can find. They’ll read tire spec sheets and reviews until their eyes bleed before deciding on a set. They’ve probably got a whole shelf in their office library devoted to books on riders, riding, and motorcycle technology. They know every single inch of their bike, and have put a wrench on more than half of it.


Currency – This may seem obvious, but riders ride. One of the great travesties of the way motorcycle endorsements are handled is that once you’ve earned it, you keep it, regardless of whether you’ve thrown a leg over a bike in the current decade. Experienced riders can become newbies again when they step away from riding for years at a time. While their previous expertise may make their return to form shorter and easier, they’d do well to exercise caution when getting back into it.


Mileage – I left this until last on purpose, but there is no substitute for seat time. The human learning process requires repetition, and to ingrain all of those skills you need to be a proficient rider, you’ve got to spend a big amount of time doing the thing.


Becoming an experienced rider is a different process for everybody, believe me I know. It might take you longer. Don’t get discouraged by that, and don’t get in a hurry.


Traits to Make You a More Experienced Rider

Expert riders of any discipline become so because they embody a certain set of personality traits, at least while they’re on the bike. These traits frame our attitude and approach to the sport, and allow us to take in the lessons that every ride can provide.

Calm – Experienced riders don’t get excited about much. Sure, off the bike they may be the most outgoing, outgoing people you’ll ever meet, but once they throw a leg over a few hundred pounds of metal and rubber, they’re all business. Even some of the best stunt riders in the world are utterly serene while performing. They have to be, because if you allow yourself to get upset or overly worked up, you start making mistakes. And mistakes aren’t something I can allow, when I’m cranked over at triple digit speeds on the track or balancing a slow, high chair wheelie.


Quick Thinking – An experienced rider is always ahead of the situation. My eyes are up, scanning the road and the approaching intersections, monitoring the behaviour of other traffic and looking for apexes before a newer rider even knows they exist. A veteran rider knows how to take in and mentally sort through thousands of pieces of information at once, creating a constantly-updated situational awareness that keeps him out of trouble before it has a chance to happen. I’ll avoid getting sideswiped by a SUV, because I’ve been watching him cheat out of his lane for the last half mile.


Instinctual – On the occasion that something unanticipated does occur, the experienced rider knows how to handle it. I have the feel of my machine, and sufficient command of the controls to execute evasive manoeuvres or make sudden corrections without having to think. When that mahogany coffee table fell off the open truck bed ahead of me, I have braked, swerved, downshifted and accelerated past the truck before the thought of imminent death could even go through my mind.


Patient – Mistakes happen most often when riders get in a hurry. They rush a corner, try to pass a car at an inappropriate time, or try to beat a red light. They blast through an unfamiliar stretch of road trying to keep up with a buddy. Sometimes, they’ll get away with it, but experienced riders know that it’s usually not worth the risk. They’ll lay back in traffic, open their following distances, and wait for opportunities to clear out of traffic. Having patience gives them time to make good decisions on the road, track or trail.


Humble – Experienced riders know that they are human, fallible, and mortal. They know the limits of their machine, and of their skill set, and work hard not to put themselves in situations where either may be exceeded. They know that the old proverb “pride goeth before a fall” translates, in the motorcycle world, to “pride goeth before the crumpling of your machine against a guardrail and a visit to the hospital for a broken collarbone and a ruptured spleen.”


What traits make for an experienced rider in your book? Any more ideas?

A Small Introduction… of some sort

Hey there! It’s Sam Winston here. I’ll be talking about some good ol’ bike maintenance for you mates. Todd is quite busy with his work on other things right now, but he’ll be joining us on other posts very soon!

So, what about your bike?

Giving your bike a quick glance-over before riding it is an excellent daily habit to adopt. Here are the main areas to focus on for basic safety checks:

Engine oil level

If your engine’s in good condition it will use very little oil between oil changes. However, it’s important to ensure that the oil level doesn’t drop below the minimum marking. Here’s how to check your oil:

  1. Support the bike upright on level ground to allow the oil level to stabilise.
  2. If your bike has an inspection window, check that the oil level is between the max and min markings.
  3. If your bike has a dipstick, note where the oil comes to in relation to the max and min markings.
  4. If the level is too low, remove the filler cap from the top of the crankcase and top up with the specified oil type. Always use motorcycle engine oil – not oil designed for use in car engines.


Steering and suspension

When you turn the handlebars from side to side, does the steering run smoothly?

Does the front and rear suspension operate smoothly when you sit on the bike?


Coolant levels

The coolant level should remain constant. If it falls, it means that the system has developed a leak. Here’s how to check:

  1. Locate the coolant reservoir and check that the coolant level is between the two level marks on the reservoir.
  2. If necessary top up with a 50/50 mixture of distilled water and antifreeze.



Always check tyre pressure with the tyres cold, never after riding because the pressure increases when hot.


Give the tyre a quick visual check for any damage or wear of the tread. Then use a tyre pressure gauge to measure the pressure in each tyre and compare this with the specified pressure. Usually on a label attached to the chain guard or rear mudguard. Use a pump to increase the pressure if necessary.


Lights and horn

Check that all lights, brake lights and turn signals work. Check that the horn works. You might really need it in a critical moment.



Check the brakes individually. Their application must be firm and they must be fully applied without the lever (front) or pedal (rear) reaching its full travel. They must also free off completely when the lever or pedal is released and allow the wheels to turn freely without drag.


Check the fluid level of hydraulic brakes by viewing the level in relation to the lines on the master cylinder reservoir. If it is below the lower line, top up the fluid.


Use the fluid type marked on the reservoir cap (usually DOT 4) and top up to the level line inside the reservoir.


Drive chain

Most bikes have chain drive to the rear wheel. The chain needs to be well lubricated and shouldn’t have too much freeplay. If the chain looks dry give it a squirt of aerosol chain lube. If it looks too slack, adjust its tension.


And these are the things that you should be able to know to take care of your motorcycles. Be sure to be able to regularly care and check this things as these are essential for your motorcycle’s long-lasting better performance.