Greetings and welcome to 2021. I hope everyone had a great festive season and everyone is refreshed and ready for the year ahead. Let us hope it is a good one.
In this report:
- Motorcycle Maintenance
- Motorcycle Parking
- Tasmania Trips
- Steel Wire Barriers
- MRAWA Policy Statements
- MRAWA Constitution
Summer time is great for riding and we see a lot more people out and about enjoying the weather. Now is the time to ensure your bike is safe and road ready.
- Check your tyres. Inflation, wear, scalloping and tyre age are all reasons to replace.
- Check your brakes for wear, damage or leaking hydraulics.
- Pre-start your motorcycle before each trip (or at least once a week). Before a recent ride, I found during the pre-start that one of my two brakes lights was blown. 2 minutes later it was replaced (I always have spares) and I was ready for my adventure.
- Ensure your helmet is a good fit, in good condition and the visor is clean, if not replace.
- Regular servicing by an accredited mechanic to ensure all is good.
New motorcycle clothing safety ratings (jackets, pants and gloves) are being released at regular intervals. Have a look at their website http://www.motocap.com.au to discover how safe your riding gear is. I have been quite surprised at how low the rating of the gloves I own are when they appear so sturdy. If your safety gear fails the test then it may be time to upgrade, after all, what is your life worth to you?
T shirts, shorts and thongs/sandshoes definitely fails the safety test.
I recently received and email from a non-member asking what can be done about a parking fine he received while parking in a car bay near Steve’s Hotel in the City of Nedlands. He stated that was there were no motorcycle bays within a reasonable distance and there was no signage to state that motorcycles could not park there. There are only a few councils out of the 138 in Western Australia that issue these fines.
The MRAWA does advise that all riders should be aware of which local councils will issue a fine for parking in a car bay. The MRAWA has worked over the years to increase the number of motorcycle bays that is more representative to the proportion of citizens who are motorcyclists, however each council will need to be approach individually regarding their parking policy. A big project to undertake.
At this meeting, we should determine a response to the Nedlands council requesting either motorcycles be allowed in car bays or better signage to make their policy clearer.
The Tasmanian government has offered subsided (free) travel on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry until June 2021 (or until sold out) to promote/increase tourism in their state. What a great idea, even though the motorcycle community had to clarify if this offer extended to them as well. For anyone contemplating taking up this offer, the ferry trip is 11 hours overnight and unless you book and pay for a cabin, you will be sitting/sleeping in an airplane style seat.
If you are going to travel east, here are a few tips that I learned from travelling east last October and returning in late November:
- This time of year, the weather is very inhospitable across the Nullabor.
- Camp grounds have been closed due to the decrease in traffic with Covid, this included Eucla.
- Two consecutive road houses had no fuel. These were Mundrabila and Eucla, leaving a 193km ride from Madura to the Border Village roadhouse. In my case I had filled up at Caiguna and had a 349km journey to Border Village, lucky I carried spare fuel to save me the prospect of running out.
- I was caught in a hard lockdown in South Australia with short notice. ie: after midnight you are not permitted to travel anywhere. Fortunately, it was short lived, but it did increase the duration of my stay in SA.
- Returning to WA saw travellers not welcomed in some caravan parks if they came from SA.
- And of course, there is the (likelihood of a) 2-week quarantine on your return.
I am not trying to put you off, just be prepared and make sure you have any required authorisation to travel.
Steel Wire Barriers
Steel Wire Barriers have been a contentious issue since they were introduced. There is no denying the potential for harm should a motorcyclist encounter one. After the fatal accident during the charity ride last December, there have been calls to replace these barriers with something a little friendlier. The Main Roads Department has since announced that fifty million dollars had been allocated to replace aging barriers with concrete on the rail side of the Freeway. I have heard a suggestion that this move is to prevent a vehicle ending up on the train tracks and causing a larger accident. I have not met a motorcyclist who is happy about them but to be realistic, with the number of SWB that are still being installed, we will not see an end to them soon.
MRAWA Policy Statements
Our senior Safety Officer has offered a suggestion that the MRAWA should have policy statements on our website roughly aligned (updated to suit the MRAWA) with those from the Australian Motorcycle Council (AMC). The purpose is to let MRAWA members and the general public know what the MRAWA stands for and how we operate, which in my view will help to advance people’s understanding of us.
To the membership of the MRAWA, please be informed that the Constitution will be upgraded to help better define our governance rules and better protect the organisation from unwanted events, such as a hostile takeover as happened to the Queensland MRA and which was a catalyst for its eventual demise. I will propose amendments over the next month which will be discussed by the committee and a consensus formed and approved. The constitution will them be posted onto our website and the membership will be invited to review.
That is all for now, the next general meeting will be on the 16th February 2021.
The next Committee meeting is scheduled to be held on the 2nd February 2021.
Motorcycle Riders Association of W.A. Inc.
Mobile: 0409 293 320
Ride Like Your Life Depends on It.