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By Fowlers News
By Fowlers News
By Fowlers News
By Fowlers News
Close to 400,000 UK motorcyclists are wearing crash helmets that ‘need to be replaced’, according to industry experts and new figures from Carole Nash.
Based on the responses of over 1,000 active UK riders, the survey data commissioned by the motorbike insurance brokers shows that 41% of the nation’s bikers are wearing helmets that have been in use for five or more years.
The consensus across helmet manufacturers and independent safety experts, like the Snell Foundation, is that bikers should replace their lids every five years.
This is due to degradation in the glues and resins used in production, along with normal wear and tear, that reduces the performance of seemingly undamaged helmets.
However, the data shows a startling disconnect between UK riders and this safety advice.
A massive six in ten (62%) motorcyclists said that they wouldn’t buy a replacement helmet unless they had been involved in an accident, with an additional one in five (22%) stating that they would not buy another while their current one still ‘looked fine’.
The research also shows six out of ten (63%) bikers would continue to use their lid after having dropped it, risking the possibility that it has suffered internal damage that cannot be seen.
Pete Horton, an online Product Supervisor for over ten years, comes into contact with thousands of bikers each year and emphasises the importance of heeding this guidance. He said: “As the single most important piece of safety equipment a biker wears, it’s obviously vital a helmet’s integrity isn’t compromised in any way to ensure it can provide as much protection as possible. Due to the inevitable degradation of the materials used in their construction, we recommend that helmets be replaced after five years of use.”
The data also revealed that, while nearly half (45%) of bikers will initially spend more than £200 to purchase a safe lid, safety is being compromised when choosing the style of helmet.
Four in ten (38%) motorcyclists said they chose a fashionable – but hard to spot – black as their helmet colour, ahead of more visible options such as blue (14%) and yellow (6%).
Rebecca Donohue, Head of Marketing at Carole Nash said: “While it’s encouraging to see that bikers are making an initial investment in their lids, we urge them to not see this as a one-time expense. While the costs of a replacement may feel eye watering, why run the risk of the worst happening? With premium manufacturers like Arai offering free helmet checks to their customers, we would even recommend bikers who have just dropped their helmets to get them checked out. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
To find out more head over to the Carole Nash website, Click here
The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) and the Bicycle Association of Great Britain (BA) have become concerned that some sellers are unaware of, or ignoring, the rules surrounding high powered electric bicycles. Both associations are fielding enquiries regarding the exploitation of a perceived ‘grey area’ – whereby high powered bikes are bought for ‘off-road use’, in the mistaken belief that this makes them exempt from existing rules.
“The vast majority of the industry understands its obligations and is highly professional in the way it sells electric bicycles, but it’s vital all sellers understand there is really no ‘grey area’ when it comes to when an electric bicycle must be treated as a moped.
Steve Garidis, Operations Director of the BA
At Fowlers we take our responsibilities very seriously, so for the benefit of our customers we’re keen to help the MCIA and BA clarify the exact regulations regarding these three distinct classifications. They stipulate:
To recap, for an e-bike to be treated legally as a bicycle in the UK
Anything else is treated in law as a moped. ‘Speed pedelecs’ are currently treated in UK law as mopeds, with no exemptions from moped requirements. Anything over 250W and intended for off-road use only is classified as a motocross machine, must be on the FIM competition list and can only go where regular motocross bikes are legally permitted to go.
When intended for road use, an electric bicycle or ‘speed pedelec’ over 250W and not over 4kW is classified as a moped (L1e-A or L1e-B) – speed pedelecs fall into the L1e-B category. Any such vehicles must meet all the requirements that a moped and moped rider need to comply with, namely that the owner/rider must:
E-bikes over 4kW intended for road use are motorcycles and must comply with the rules which apply to motorcycles of a similar output.
If you’d like any advice or assistance in choosing the right electric bike for your needs, or need to know how these regulations apply to you, our sales teams are fully conversant with all the rules, as well as having up-to-date and in-depth knowledge of the best electric machines in each classification, available from leading manufacturers.
For expert, personal advice call us on 0117 9770466 and ask to speak to our specialist electric bicycle department for road bikes, our Scooter department for electric mopeds, or Fowlers Off-Road Centre for off-road and motocross E-MX machines.
The most recent guidance notes from the Department for Transport on electric bikes are available at: http://tinyurl.com/zxvka5p
Machines over 250W intended for on road use need to be ‘type approved’ and registered for the road. It doesn’t matter how briefly a rider will be on the public road, an e-bike over 250W is a moped and needs to be registered as such.
Type approval is now also required for the sale of new e-bikes with a ‘Twist and Go’ throttle (i.e. the motor can operate up to 15.5mph without the rider pedalling) but which are otherwise below the 250W rated power and 15.5mph assist speed limits. Like other e-bikes in use, these machines are still treated in UK law as bicycles, except that the rider must be 14 or over.