Monthly Archives: November 2009

Things to wear before you ride your motorbike

motorbikeProtecting yourself while riding is the first and most important thing, whether you think it’s too hot out, or gear costs too much, or you just don’t feel like it. No excuses are enough not to wear the required things said by ‘Jeff Cobb’ when you ride, see details as described below:

A helmet (and optional ear plugs) protects you from hearing loss, or being pelted by debris, insects, rain, hail, and it could one day save your life.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates helmets improve your odds by 37 percent. That is, for every 100 riders killed not wearing one, 37 riders could have lived had they all been wearing helmets.

There are several standards – U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Snell, and some European standards. While the Snell Foundation says its standard is superior, this is open to debate.

Based on several studies, we recommend at least the federally mandated DOT standard. Identified by a label on the back of the helmet, the DOT standard means the manufacturer says it will pass specific tests for impact protection, penetration, staying on your head, and more.

There are “half helmets,” partial coverage, and full face. A full face provides the most protection.

Jacket and pants
Well-designed rider clothing keeps you protected from windburn, sunburn, exhaust burns, and is a comfortable first line of defense.

Some riders wear a motorcycle jacket, but complete the outfit with street pants. Fact is, your legs are very vulnerable so why not protect them just as well?

In a crash, cotton dungarees tear through in less than one second. Shorts, khakis or sweat pants offer negligible safety value. Fashion leather may shred as instantly as cloth. If you choose leather, make sure it’s suitable for motorcycle use.

According to Dana Grindle, owner of Bates Custom Leathers in Signal Hill, Calif., while certain textiles can do a good job, especially when combined with built-in armor, high-tensile cowhide still offers the most abrasion resistance and tear-through strength.

For the heat of summer, manufacturers offer perforated leather or abrasion-resistant mesh. There are also several brands of textile jeans, if you absolutely don’t want the fully kitted look.

Whatever you wear, make sure it’s protective, said Rae Tyson, an experienced rider and NHTSA spokesman.

“Some of the worst crashes I’ve seen have been with people who fell off the motorcycle who were wearing short sleeves, or shorts, or a tank top, etc., and it’s not a pretty sight,” Tyson said, “Last time I checked your body was never designed for that.”

And Grindle concurred, adding motorcycle clothing can cost significant money, but if you crash once, you will not question whether it was worth it.

“Do you know what 20 mph does to your skin,” Grindle asked, “Oh my God, it can take it to the bone.”

This may sound dramatic, but she’s not kidding.

The skin covering your joints – knuckles, elbows, hips, knees, ankles, and shoulders – is especially easy to damage, and a crash can remove it, and even flesh, and healing can take a year or longer.

Built-in armor, or strapped-on armor under your clothing at these points is highly recommended!

Some gear comes with European-standard armor, rated “CE” level I (good), or level 2 (best).

Motorcycle clothing sold in the U.S. is not required to meet any certification, however. So be wary, but understand some premium American manufacturers have crash tested their armor and found it as good as or better than otherwise certified armor.

Boots and gloves
The hands and feet are intricate mechanisms made of many delicate bones. They can be crushed or broken far too easily. Boots should be heavy-duty leather with hard armor around the ankle, and ideally padding too. Leather gloves with long gauntlets should likewise have impact protection on the knuckles and palms, and even wrists.

Jeff Cobb

Gas pipeline to Myanmar likely to be revived

bangladesh_gas_fieldTalks for a gas pipeline from Bengal to Myanmar via Bangladesh are likely to be revived as Dhaka has renewed its interest.

However, the pipeline is unlikely to figure in the agenda of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her first visit to India next month after being elected with an overwhelming mandate in December 2008, a leading English daily “The Telegraph” said in a recent report.

Telegraph said, during her visit, Hasina is expected to wrest some trade concessions as well as ink a transit deal that will give Bangladesh access to Nepal and Bhutan by road and rail, while opening up the port of Ashuganj for Indian goods meant for the Northeast.

In the project, gas produced by Indian Public Sector Units in Myanmar will be transported to India, and the negotiations will be tri- partite.

After years of stalling on negotiations, the Bangladesh government, which does not enjoy the best of relations with Myanmar, has sent signals of its willingness to talk business – it will allow the pipeline in return for a royalty in hard currency for giving passage, the report further said.

The pipeline could cost India about $600 million, of which 60 per cent would be invested in Bangladesh. The South Asian nation would also earn nearly $100 million as carrier fee every year.

Officials said, the talks, which are still to take off, did not envisage the evacuation of Bangladesh’s gas to India.

“We are very clear that India only wants to evacuate gas from the gas fields in Myanmar through Arakan, Bangladesh and into Bengal to feed industry in eastern and northern India. We have no plans to seek gas from Bangladesh. Rather, Bangladesh could, if it so desires, buy excess gas from our fields.”

Opposition legislators of Bangladesh are against sales to India. In January 2005, energy ministers of the three countries had met in Yangon to discuss the construction of the pipeline, with a total length of 950km, and signed a draft memorandum of understanding.

The pipeline was expected to enter Bangladesh at the Brahmanbaria border and Bengal from Rajshahi.

Officials said, the pipeline could help evacuate gas from the Shwe gasfields as well as from new finds, in which Indian firms participate.

In June, ONGC Videsh Ltd, GAIL (India) Limited and South Korea’s Daewoo had announced the discovery of a huge field in Block A-3, offshore Myanmar.