Dont Overload your bike

Dont Overload your bike

01 December 2011
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I daresay at some point you will have come across some documentary or another usually in the far east where there are large of amounts of motorbikes and mopeds loaded up to the hilt and carrying anything from three children, cooking pots and at least a dozen chickens and that is just what they have got strapped across the handlebars !!!!!!!!!

Well here in the UK and Europe we tend to do things a little different and quite frankly with good reason. Overloading any type of vehicle including a motorcycle is and can be extremely dangerous for you the rider and other road users. Notwithstanding it won’t do a lot of good to your precious machine either?

Firstly tyres aren’t particularly cheap, and they’re recommended size and pressures are there for a reason. If you are touring or have carry extra weight make sure to put extra pressure in them to compensate. With too little air pressure you may or can experience the following:

1. The tyre will build up excessive heat and this may lead to failure of the tyre

2. May have an effect on cornering

3. May cause fatigue cracking and increase fuel consumption

4. Tyre shoulder and uneven tread wear

When loading your motorcycle, consult your manual first to provide a guide as to what amounts are recommended to maintain a safe ride. The following may provide some help

if you do not have the information at hand.

Invest in saddle bags/panniers these can either be placed of the motorcycle or specifically fitted. Tank bags can be useful and usually come straps to fit around the fuel tank some even have a clear plastic top pocket in which to place a map for travelling. The fittings usually come with a recommended weight limit.

There is something called mass-centralisation simply put means keeping the mass as near to the motorcycles centre of gravity (CG) as possible. The CG can usually be found around the top of the transmission case.

Don’t forget carrying weight will increase the braking distance and the handling will change so beware. Apart from the tyres, you will also be placing more work on your rear suspension.

It may worth your while getting a back rest and bag if it can be fitted. Or a luggage rack, which will be needed more, is travelling two-up.

Watch out, when fitting any type of luggage holder to make sure it does not catch IE Drive chains or belts. This can happen because the suspension will be lower when the weight is added.

Protect your paintwork which can become scratched or scuffed by a rubbing bag or loose fitting pannier.

Take a few extra straps with you to anchor things down better.