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Published: 2013-01-21 00:00:00

A Hamilton motorbike rider is the winner of new Michelin tyres in a Waikato Regional Road Safety Education Group promotion to improve motorcycle safety on the region’s roads.

From left:Waikato Regional Council road
safety coordinator Monique Haines, Waikato
road policing manager Inspector Marcus
Lynam, Michelin tyre winner John McArthur
and John Amor from Boyd Motorcycles.

Bike maintenance is one of six top tips promoted in the regional ride safe campaign, which ended last month and also gave Waikato-based riders the chance to win a set of tyres, thanks to Michelin. 

For Hamilton man John McArthur, who rides a Honda VFR750, the new tyres he has received at Te Rapa’s Boyd Motorcycles were timely. 

“Last week I went to get a new warrant for the bike and found that my front tyre needs replacing soon. I do check the bike but hadn’t really noted that the front tyre was getting worn, so the new tyres have come at just the right time,” Mr McArthur said. 

The 60 year old first rode motorbikes as a student and in the early days of his marriage, and has returned to riding in the past 6 to 7 years. 

“I have fallen off a bike, in the old days my habits were perhaps a little more risky. But when I came back to it I was deathly aware that old blokes on motorbikes can kill themselves quickly, so I made a point of being extremely cautious.” 

Mr McArthur prefers to ride alone in the countryside, averaging 10,000 km a year. “With bikes you’ve really got to be thinking and planning your corners. It’s more technically demanding than driving and therefore there’s a degree of challenge in riding.” 

Waikato Regional Council’s road safety coordinator and motorcycle enthusiast Monique Haines said a well-maintained, regularly serviced and well set up bike is essential. 

“Careful checks which include tyres, brakes, liquids and the chain should be performed before each ride, because it may help to prevent a crash,” Mrs Haines said. 

It’s recommended that riders:

  • check the tyre pressure and tread depth
  • ensure the chain is oiled and check its tension
  • check that panniers and top boxes are properly secured
  • check both back and front brakes
  • check fuel, engine oil and coolant levels. 

Waikato road policing manager, Inspector Marcus Lynam, said 8 of New Zealand’s 45 motorcycle fatalities last year were on Waikato roads. 

“It may not always be the motorcyclists at fault in a crash, but they will be the ones to come off worst,” Inspector Lynam said. 

He encouraged riders to wear riding gear that makes them as visible as possible. “Riders are more vulnerable than many other road users because they’re less visible, have less protection and less stability than most other road vehicles. While riders need to be aware of the traffic around them, other motorists also need to be alert to motorbikes on the road.” 

Mrs Haines said: “Motorbike ownership has been on the rise over recent years and it has been really fantastic over spring and summer to see increasing numbers of riders wearing fluorescent vests to make them more visible to other motorists.”

The Waikato Regional Road Safety Education Group is led by Waikato Regional Council, working in conjunction with other regional safety stakeholders including the NZ Transport Agency, NZ Police, ACC and councils.

For more information about the group’s work visit www.reducetherisk.co.nz.