Is 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds fast acceleration? How does it compare to common sport cars/motorcycles?

It’s quick – about half the time of an average car nowadays.

Motorcycles can get down close to 3 seconds, which on road or race bikes is limited as the bike will flip over backwards.

Drag bikes have extended swing arms which allows them to accelerate even faster.

It’s a square law, you need 4 times the power to reduce the time by a half.

What does a camchain problem sound like on a motorcycle?

It’s usually a rattling from the top of the engine at tickover.

It’s a common problem on some models due to a worn chain, tensioner or guides.

You’ll need to look online for the likely solution on your model.

Sometimes a new or manual tentioner can be fitted, occasionally it’s a new chain of guides that is required.

How long can I ride with blue grey smoke coming out of my exhaust.

It depends if it smokes all the time, or just on the overrun – when you close the throttle.

If all the time, it is burning a significant amount of oil, so if this isn’t topped up every few hundred miles, it will run out of oil and be wrecked.

If just on the overrun, it will need topping up less frequently.

Also, you are producing a high level of pollutants.

It is also unlikely to pass your yearly MOT test.

The piston, rings and probably cylinder bores are worn and need replacing

Should I buy another motorcycle?

Difficult question to answer.

I assume you are looking at returning to motorcycling after a break, which many do later in life when the family has grown.

Firstly you have to be aware of the risks.

You are 66 times more likely to have a fatal collision than driving a car, and you will take a while to get used to riding again, so you need to be very careful.

The DVSA launched ERS a special training scheme aimed at ‘born again bikers’ some years ago, due to the extent of the problem.

But, there is nothing quite like riding a motorcycle, the experience is life affirming and intense, and for many well worth the risk. There is an overwhelming sense of freedom for many, for some strange reason, which is addictive.

Be prepared for it initially to be quite scary and not as you remembered, until your competence returns with a little practise. Then remember to always be alert.

Consider taking some advanced training, or using a local bike school for a refresher.

Take care.

Patricia Stiemke, one of our customers writes:-

I still remember deciding to get back into motorcycles after a near to 30 year absence. Being completely ignorant about what kind of bike I should have, I went and bought a Deauville, one of those 240 kg beasts. The dealer was a very kind man and he explained everything and then went away as he realised I was super nervous. I sat in that parking lot for nearly 20 minutes before I actually felt able to ride the bike off it and into general traffic. I was a bit on the wobbly side for quite a while and yes, I did realise I would need help so I started with our local BikeSafe, which in Essex, is called FireBike and is, as the name implies, run by the Fire Department. I joined an advanced motorcycle group and started training for the ROSPA test and I signed up for a coaching track day. That last experience sealed my fate because I had found exactly my style. Challenging bends and being comfortable at speed. I have not looked back and the Deauville got traded it pretty quick for a ’99 ZX-6R. 🙂

Why aren’t motorcycles electric

Because the current battery technology means that batteries are very heavy and the range very limited.

Also, at the low capacity end of the market, they are far too expensive.

Electric vehicles are probably just a partial short term help, the future is probably hydrogen powered vehicles, which produce water vapour as exhaust gas.

Current internal combustion engines could be converted relatively easily to run on hydrogen – many cars have been converted to run on both petrol and LPG.

Changes to The Highway Code: hierarchy of road Users – January 2022

You now should give way to people crossing, or waiting to cross, and cycling straight ahead priority when turning in and out of junctions

The Highway Code has been changed to improve safety for people walking, cycling and horse riding. Check the changes, let’s keep each other safe. #HighwayCode

The Highway Code has been changed to introduce a hierarchy of road users. Irrespective of how you travel, those who can do the greatest harm have the greatest
responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others.

How does the master cylinder piston size affect how my motorcycle brakes?

The smaller the bore size, the less effort is required for the same braking force, so you can apply more fluid pressure and brake harder.

However, a certain amount of fluid has to be displaced to bring the brake pads back into contact with the discs, which depends on how many ‘pots’ there are in the brake calipers, and their diameter.

The amount of travel of the lever is key, as you need a good safety margin between the lever and the bar, which reduces with a smaller master cylinder piston size. More lever movement is needed to displace the required amount of fluid.

A smaller master cylinder tends to give more feel as well, a larger cylinder makes the brakes seem ‘wooden’ and solid.

If you’re going to fit a smaller master cylinder, again make sure there is a good safety margin between the lever and the bars. Also make sure that the master cylinder piston retracts enough to allow fluid back into the reservoir, otherwise the brakes will lock on.

Modern motorcycle brakes are very powerful anyway, and capable of easily locking the front wheel on braking (although ABS will stop this happening), so it is probably only some old bikes or racers who would benefit from a smaller master cylinder.

Fitting a larger diameter master cylinder will likely adversely affect the braking.

Always check with a mechanic, if you have any concerns, as a front brake failure can be fatal.

Answer to If motorcycle inverted shocks are so great, why were they not implemented ages ago? by Michael Abbott

Because of cost.

Inverted shocks are more expensive to make, and although they are better by design, as they are more rigid and have less unsprung weight than conventional forks, it’s marginal.

They give a slight advantage on competition bikes against the higher cost, but the vast majority of riders would probably not be able to discern the difference, and tell which type of fork was on the bike without looking.

2022 Yamaha R7

We’re taking bookings for training days for 2022 including an R7 hire bike for £499. See our booking page for details.

We tested the new Yamaha R7 at Blyton Park in November with Bennetts. A really nice bike to ride, works really well at Blyton. We played around with the adjustable front suspension, and found 12 clicks and 3 bands of preload really stiffened up the front end sharpening the handling for the track. I took my old 1999 R6 for comparison, which was an iconic bike in it’s day. Wonder if the R7 will be another classic Yamaha in time? The R7 is really all you need for a fun track bike, and I think despite its modest power, it will embarrass a few 1000cc riders with the right pilot on board on the twistier circuits.

Have you had a motorcycle crash with no injuries?

Yes, but only at low speed or off road, thanks to wearing good quality, full protective gear.

Everytime I’ve crashed at any speed on tarmac I’ve had scratches, bruises, friction burns, dislocations or damaged tendons, some taking many weeks and intensive physiotherapy to repair.

I’ve had two high speed crashes whilst racing, which took a few months to heal.

Very fortunately I’ve never broken any bones.