June 1st 2010

‘Size matters’

Cracking weather we’ve been having…just waiting for the inevitable hosepipe ban!

Hope you’re all well and enjoying the roads, big increase in two wheels out there at the moment and that will increase no doubt as summer progresses.

Got a first glimpse of the new BMW litre bike at the weekend and I must say it’s impressive to look at in the metal. I reckon that’ll be a big seller even with it’s price tag.

Pleased to say i was successful at completing the TVP SEG (Special Escort Group) course and I’m now a member of the SEG which I’m quite proud of. The role of the SEG is a hard one ensuring Royalty and important dignitaries get from A to B with as minimal disruption to them and the public.Two weeks of classroom and practical road riding is quite intense but the role is important and not easily filled so 100% effort and concentration needed. For those that live in Newbury apologies if we caused a stir according to your local paper!

Finally got back to patrolling last week and didn’t take long to start seeing the T-shirt and shorts brigade on two wheels. It makes me shudder just thinking about it, the amount of RTC’s I attend involving motorcycles is frequent and I expect it will rise over the coming months (unfortunately) however injuries can be reduced if the right safety gear is worn. Now I know motorcycle kit is inherently expensive but what price is your safety?

Whatever you wear when you ride is down to CHOICE. Police can only make you wear a crash helmet the rest is down to you (unless you ride naked then we’ll be stopping you for that as well!)

Needless to say, good jackets,trousers and gloves go a long way to decreasing injury and having come off myself at 70mph I’m glad i was wearing the right kit.

Gravel rash at the speed that skin and bone wears down when in contact with tarmac is a nasty,nasty injury -whizzing about with shorts and t-shirts on really won’t help.

Stopped a young lady on a really good condition ZZR600, with one small problem -the number plate was a ‘Letterbox’ (one line) style and about 5″ x 2″!

Now, I know this is a BIG gripe for a lot of you, nearly every motorcycle forum you visit will have a post/thread regarding an individual who was stopped for a small plate and felt hard punished by the stopping officer. The law states, quite clearly, what the dimensions of your plate should be and more recently regulations have been tightened.

We know that there are a large number of you out there that have smaller plates purely for vanity or cosmetic reasons, but the line has to be drawn when the plate cannot be read from a distance of more that 5ft.

20.5 metres is the required distance to be able to clearly read a plate, and if your plate can be read clearly from that distance then you should be fine. Anything smaller than that is going to draw attention from the Police so think wisely before you remove the original plate (which I agree often resemble a sail from the ‘Cutty Sark’) and replace it with a smaller one.

However stick a letterbox style plate on your bike, even if it’s bigger than the bike, will get you a tug, think wisely!!

Another very good website to try out this week is www.londonbikers.com although primarily for London based riders it has a lot of home counties members and is a very informative site with lots going on -go take a look!

If you have any websites that you think can benefit us riders please let me know…

Usual addy derek.ingram@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk

Right you lot…take care and keep upright!