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Fact or Fiction? We explore common motorcycle myths

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We all know a guy who knows a guy who’s said one of these at some point in the past, but how many of these motorcycle myth are true?

Motorcycle myth #1: Multi-density foams are pointless

This is an old one from back in the day when helmets were a single layer of foam, a thin shell and a bit of see-through plastic to the front.

Dual and Triple density foam liners are designed to reduce the transmission of force directly to your head in the event of an impact.

helmet foam
A very simplified diagram of how dual density foams can disperse and lower the impact on a rider’s head.

Multi-density liners work in a straightforward way. Effectively it’s some squishy foam to absorb the initial impact, but they have a second layer of denser foam designed to prevent the force from travelling through the helmet to your brain.

So yes, dual and triple-density liners are a bit of a marketing term but they are a vital feature in modern helmets.

We made a guide for 2020’s new helmets

Vozz helmet
The Vozz helmet adds a new aspect to motorcycle helmets with its unique “clam shell” opening/closing method.

We hear so many people saying that wearing a helmet saved their life, so part of this has to be down to the construction and materials of the helmet.

Motorcycle myth #2: ABS brakes are worse than regular brakes.

ABS prevents the wheel from locking, and under normal conditions, ABS works well and is never usually an intrusion. We have been there and tried it; it takes an awful lot of effort to activate ABS.

When ABS does kick in, it does every slightly reduce braking effort, but the added stability it gives will often lower the braking distance. ABS is also great to have during adverse weather.

This was investigated by a team of scientists who found that ABS stopping distances were significantly shorter than vehicles without ABS.

ABS stopping distance

You can read the research here

For the average day to day ride, ABS won’t make a difference, but when you need to suddenly hammer on those brakes, the ABS will kick in.

The problem is, if you brake hard without ABS, this risks locking the wheel. This can lead to less braking power and full-on skidding where you have less control over the motorcycle, and it becomes increasingly dangerous as traction is significantly lower.

We see this being more of a problem on the track, where it is frequently seen for bikes to have an ABS delete kit. This also saves some weight, makes it less of a pain to bleed the braking system but also people say they get more lever feel.

We personally think that if you have it, use it. It will come in handy, (even on track) unless of course, you are seriously good on the brakes!

Ever considered an advanced riding course?

Motorcycle myth #3: Track tyres are better than road tyres

Michelin tyre range
The michelin tyre range

Well, a track tyre will be better than a road tyre, on the track. Conversely, a road tyre will be better than a track tyre on the road. Track and road tyres are vastly different and produced using various compounds of rubber. Each tyre will have a unique mixture of internal chords tread pattern and profile for its intended use.

Sure there are some great tyres that are road legal but will also love the track, but running trackday tyres on the road can be an expensive task, for little to zero benefit. A track-focused tyre will be harder to get warm on the road, due to slower speeds, so a more road-focused tyre will provide more grip as it will get warmer.

Designed for track use, the Michelin Power Slick 2 will give you great grip on the track. BUT the lack of tread means they are not road legal, and will also be terrible in wet conditions. For this myth, we simply recommend running the best tyres you can afford, which suit your style of riding.

Motorcycle myth #4: Scrub your tyres in underinflated

Just no. Tyres are meant to run between specific pressure ranges, after all the manufacture will design to this tolerance.

Scrubbing in tyres on a seriously underinflated tyres may “logically increase the contact of the tyre to the road”. The tyre wasn’t designed to run underinflated, and the feel, profile and general use of the tyre will be lower. We can’t support this one, we understand a few PSI is personal preference but running seriously low is just dangerous.

Michelin Road 5 review after 4000 miles

Not to mention the big difference in handling, feel, and responsiveness you’d get when running tyres below pressure.

Remember that temperature is also a significant factor in tyre pressure. An underinflated tyre will heat up faster, increasing the internal air temperature and the pressure inside.

tyre inflation
we like our tyres inflated

Motorcycle myth #5: Riding in full gear is too hot

Dress for the slide!

Whilst dehydration can be a serious problem on the road, so can be unprotected. Much the same as riding in winter, where layers are important to keep warm, layers are also important in summer. The idea is a lightweight under material which will wick sweat away from the skin, but also be well ventilated. This layer, (we normally use sports compression tops) is worn under leathers, textiles or jeans, which provide ample protection.

Find out how a set of leathers held up after an unplanned get off

It’s important that we all ride properly protected during a ride as anything can happen whilst on the road. It is often said to dress for the slide, not the ride. We take the stance of it’s better to be safe wearing gear, but a little warm than be in the hospital after a nasty slide.

If while geared up you get hot, open vents, stop and have a rest and take time to cool off. Grab a cold drink and rehydrate. Take it from somebody who has fallen off that wearing gear is a must!

There are plenty of options out there to stay stylish, protected and remain cool on the road; there’s no excuse for not being protected whilst riding.

Hood Infinity K7 jeans provide protection, ventilation and style

Motorcycle myth #6: If you don’t ride a _______ everybody will hate you.

horseshoe pass
Doesn’t matter what you ride, you’ll always find a group to ride with.

Bikers are one of the most welcoming groups out there. As long as you don’t ride like a knob, you are respectful to other riders, and you give the nod or a wave now and then, you’ll be fine.

I mean, even Harley riders make friends, and whilst they are the butt off a lot of jokes, no matter what you ride, it has a stereotype. This isn’t hate, and it mostly just constitutes banter

There’s a stigma from outside the motorcycling community because they don’t understand that motorcycling is a brotherhood and we look after everyone where we can.

Don’t fall for this myth, bikers, are great people, always up for a chat and do a massive amount for charity and good causes.

Motorcycle myth #7: Motorcycles are cheap

Cheap bike myth
If it’s got wheels or pistons, it’s going to be expensive.

There’s no such thing as a cheap motorcycle; it’s either not cheap, or cheap because it needs work and money spending on it.

Occasionally a unicorn comes along, and it actually is cheap, however, you really can’t bank on these turning up.

Even if you find a cheap bike, fixes and modifications to your purchase can add up. There are so many possible maintenance costs, like oil service, brake pads and new tyres can add up, making that cheap bike not so cheap. That is before we get started on rare or exotic models where parts can be expensive and hard to come by!

Motorcycle running costs can be cheaper, and of course, we all know motorcycles are more fun, but just be careful of that cheap project bike.

Check out our latest cheap project bike