Posts tagged biker
We’ve already looked at iPhone apps for bikers, as well as Android applications for motorcyclists. But that doesn’t cover the whole smartphone market, so we decided to take a look at the Blackberry Appworld, to see what the best apps with a biking connection might be. I’m told that Blackberries, well beloved of serious businessmen for many a year, are now becoming really popular with kids too, who like the instant messaging app. So whether you’re a sixteen year old with a moped or if you’re enjoying weekends away from the office on your Harley, these apps should hit the spot.
Blackstar is a GPS based app that is really designed for hikers and mountain bikers, but the range of features on this little app means that it will come in really useful for motorcyclists too.
With the usual details on your current latitude, longitude, direction speed and altitude, as well as distance to your destination, the app also keeps track of geocache locations in your vicinity (if you’re into that). There are links through to your mapping apps and the latest weather, which keeps everything you might need handy.
For me, though, the killer feature is what the makers call Track Management functionality. With this, you can record, save, and export your rides, perfect for recording and sharing a rideout with mates, organising a trip or just to check where you’ve been.
N.B. Not all Blackberries have GPS, and some of those that do won’t let apps access it, so if you don’t have one of those, this app will not work as intended.
Don’t be put off by the name! Sometimes it can be hard to remember where you’ve parked your bike too, whether you’re at a crowded meet, or if you just need to find your way back to your parking spot in an unfamiliar city.
This free app does just what it says in an intuitive way, and you have the option of using a compass/radar type arrangement, or Blackberry Maps overlay to help you accomplish your mission.
Again this app relies on your phone having built in GPS, so check that it does.
Yelp is an app that helps you find the best places to hang out, and track down local businesses with ease, wherever you might be. This app is also available for Android and iPhone, which means that the userbase is pretty big, and therefore more useful, given that it is user powered.
Find a cafe nearby that’s open right now and has favourable reviews? Easy. Find the nearest petrol station when you’re running low? No problem. And, of course you can write a review of the biker-friendly pub you visited last week, to help others find it too.
Another free app, and another that requires GPS.
Everyone is trying to save fuel these days, and this app, which sells for $3.99 will help you to keep track of how often you’re filling up, as well as how economically you are riding. You can track up to 20 vehicles at once, so if you have more than one bike, you can compare your fuel efficiency across all of them, as well as your car.
Another app that comes at my favourite price – free. This app will save you from being unnecessarily distracted while you are riding, without missing any important messages.
As your text messages and emails come in, Drive Carefully will read them out loud, over your Bluetooth helmet set.
Gaming fans are quite well catered for on Blackberry, and there are a few bike racing games available. This one scores for its variety of options, you can choose from bikes including Ducati, Honda, Suzuki, & Kawasaki models and race around a variety of circuits.
The final app I want to share is not currently available for the UK, but it should be, and Canadian or American users should download this app right away. Typically, the app is aimed at car users with barely a thought to the fact that the same functionality is useful to any road user.
This app does so much that the best I can do is reproduce the blurb, but the short version is that this app will make sure that, if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a minor accident, you can take care of everything with a minimum of fuss.
While we hope you are not one of the millions that experience an accident Help I Crashed My Car? provides you and your family with access to almost everything you need if you are ever involved in an accident!
Help I Crashed My Car?s provides you and your family with a one-click automated emergency communication system that contacts up to 3 family members, your insurance company, and your preferred body shop. It will even send your shop a map of your accident location so they can respond immediately!
Because of its GPS location technology Help I Crashed My Car? makes it easy for you to locate and contact the closest Police department, Ambulance service, Hospital, Towing Company, Rental Car Company, or auto body shop.
Help I Crashed My Car? also provides you with important information on What to Do if You are Involved in an Accident, What to Look for in a Repairer, and what your Consumer Rights are after you have been in an accident.
Help I Crashed My Car? even provides you with the ability to complete an Accident Report and take, store, and send photos from the scene of the accident. You can then send the accident report to your insurance company and garage!
Best of all, it’s free. Someone please do a UK one!
Summing up, it’s clear that although Blackberry may not have the range of apps available to Apple or Android users, but there is certainly a lot of quality where it counts, so there’s no need for Blackberry users to feel hard done by.
If you have a Blackberry, and think we’ve missed a great application, please do let us, and our readers, know via the comments.
After our exploration of iPhone apps for motorcyclists, we decided to check out some of the many apps available on the Android platform. After all, being a biker is not about fitting in, and who wants the same phone as EVERYONE else!
Although I’ve called it a top 10, the apps are not listed in any particular order, and it is important to note that, since I have written this from a UK perspective, in some cases, equivalent apps may be more suitable if you live somewhere else. If no price is mentioned then the app is free, and in some cases there are free versions of the paid-for app mentioned, albeit missing a useful feature or two.
In case you have not seen them before, the funny black and white blocks are QR codes aka 2D-Barcodes. If your phone has barcode reading software, you can scan these and you will be taken directly to the download. If you are reading this on your phone, the links for each app will likewise take you to the marketplace download. OK, let’s crack on.
Pay at the Pump
Find petrol stations with pay at pump facility, so you can save time and not have to strip off your gear – plus avoid being mistaken for an armed robber when you forget to take off your lid on the way into the kiosk. This is aimed at the UK market, and won’t work too well elsewhere, but there are other apps available that cover other countries.
Fuel Prices UK
Everyone needs fuel, and no-one likes to pay more than they have to. This app will help you save money on every petrol stop. It is powered by Experian, which collects data from all the fuel card transactions fleet drivers use, so the data should be pretty accurate. The data comes on an annual subscription, with £4.99 and £9.99 variants, the dearer app gives more details on exact prices. Assuming a 2p per litre saving on each fuel stops low mileage scooterists might struggle to break even, but if you ride a bigger bike, and especially if you run another vehicle too, this app should more than pay for itself. Incidentally, this is blatantly the same app (same developers) as the identically priced AA Fuel Prices iPhone App, but without the annoying AA branding.
The ultimate road trip app. Winner of the travel category in the 2nd Android Developer Competition. Use Trip Journal to record and document your travel experiences and share them with friends and family. You can track your route, record waypoints and photos and geotag everything with Google Maps and KMZ Export. The full version is well worth the €1.99, as it adds Facebook, Flickr and Picasa support as well as a useful backup facility.
This app helps you remember where you parked, and as well as cars, you can obviously use it to find your bike. Parked up at Box Hill on Easter Monday, and can’t remember exactly where you left your ‘Blade? Looking around you can see about 20! This app will guide you right to yours using your phone’s GPS. If you are in a Multi-Storey, you can set the Level, Section and Colour too. Finding your car is simple, with a choice of map or radar view. The paid version at $0.99 removes ads and adds a parking meter feature, so you know when your time is nearly up.
This app is an awesome way to share your own routes with mates. If you have a favourite ride out between two points, it may (unsurprisingly) not be the route Google Maps chooses. And giving directions doesn’t always work out the way you think. But this app goes beyond this, as you can integrate photos of custom waymarkers, (e.g. turn left at this pretty white cottage) and tag points of interest.
Geotag a meeting point and send it to your mate. Then you can go and get a cuppa while you wait for him to turn up. When he arrives, you get a message telling you he’s there.
Motorcycle theory test preparation
This app will be a great help to new bikers who are preparing for the theory test. Saying that, those of us with more experience could do worse than to brush up on our Highway Code knowledge. $4.99 (but don’t worry it is for the UK test). There is a car version too.
Ultimate gps speedometer. speed, max speed, ave speed, pace, altitude gain and loss, odometer, map, replay, charts. A pro version adds live tracking…
Augmented Views 2.0
There are plenty of traffic applications out there, and the RAC, Transport Direct, and some independent folks have decent apps, and you really should have one of them on your phone. But this app shows the future of real time traffic info. This free app takes your regular traffic info and supplements it with some unbelievable extras – live feeds from nearby traffic cameras, traffic and travel related tweets from users near you and speed trap warnings. It speaks to you as well, so you can use it on the move. For when you are not on the road, there is also an augmented reality view that orients you relative to local cameras and alerts. Some features are only available in certain areas, so you’ll need to check out what’s available for you. Incredible stuff, and the UK is fairly well covered, especially around London and Glasgow, along with various North American cities. In its current form, I would use it in combination with a more regular traffic app. The live pictures could really help you decide if it is worth carrying on and filtering, or if you would be better off making a detour.
Finally, time for some relaxing fun. An entertaining game with a motocross theme. Costs $1.99 and has a pleasingly retro feel to it.
I hope you have the opportunity to try some of these apps for yourself. On Android phones, if you delete a paid-for app within the first 24 hours you get a full refund, so there is nothing to lose by trying them out.
If you have an Android phone, and you have found another app that is useful for bikers, please let me and everyone else know via the comments.
Like many of you last Wednesday I went and bought my weekly copy of MCN and out fell a leaflet advertising something called UTAG.
Now like the beautiful Suzy Perry, I think this is a MUST HAVE PIECE OF KIT.
As bikers we all know that we take our lives into our own hands every time we go for a ride, be it from lorry drivers who leave diesel on the roads, idiots using mobile phones while driving or local government agencies using steel cables as crash barriers.
While most of us carry our drivers licence with us as ID and also perhaps are registered as organ donors but what about emergency contact details or important medical information.
The UTAG looks like a set of dog tags, but with modern USB technology also contains important medical and contact details that you wish to put on including, Personal details, Picture, Emergency contacts, Doctors contact details, Medical information and all this can be read in 7 languages. All for the grand price of £19.99
Now personally I think these make sense, so I’ve all ready ordered mine.
Now I’ve got to admit probably like most of the bikers I know I like my food, I don’t care if it’s a decent bacon and egg roll at a rally or even that Madras curry that seems like a fantastic idea on the way back to the tent at silly o’clock in the morning.
Now I’ve known a few Australians in my time and all have been some what tapped BUT the most excellent party people ever but this takes the biscuit this can only be what happens if you buy an Australian biker the Hairy Bikers Cook Book,
This was spotted by the CGU Safety and Risk Services ( sounds like the same people that tell kids not to play conkers as it might have there eye’s out), Now this was taken on a long weekend to celebrate Australia Day and the food loving aussie was on his way to a Barbie,
All I can say is thank god he was not on the way to a hog roast.
Remember drink driving kills,
Cooking and cruising also not so cool.
It seems that these days, it’s hard to find a policeman when you want one. But here at Bikesure, we’ve found what we think is the fastest and easiest way to distract a copper from his latest doughnut and turn up at your house.
Yes, simply upload a video of your bike travelling at high speeds and overtaking dangerously to your favourite video sharing site, and a member of Her Majesty’s Constabulary will be despatched to take a statement, as soon as they’ve conducted a thorough and wide-ranging nationwide investigation.
That’s what this chap did,
and now he simply has to wait for the police to complete their investigations into who he in fact is, and his next knock on the door will likely be the entire South Yorkshire force.
Say the police:
“We will do everything we can to identify these riders.”
Bikers: Don’t ride like a muppet (that overtaking was shocking), and if you do, don’t film yourself doing it, and if you must, don’t post the film onto the internet.
Police: Here’s a free tip: instead of scouring the internet looking for dangerous road users, who you then can’t find without a lengthy and extensive investigation, why not look for them on the roads, where they actually are, in real life, and what’s more you might actually catch and stop them in the act?
Another biking virgin gets a taste of two wheels, courtesy of Bikesure. Well, we think that as a bike insurer, all our staff should understand how bikes are different from cars, and, crucially, get some experience in the saddle, so we pay for their CBT training. Here’s Grant’s experience, in his own words:
Now i was a little nervous going into it in the first place as the only time I have ever been on a bike was on the back of a Yamaha WR250 on a field doing 90mph ( all legal of course ) about 7 years ago, so my bike experience was about as relevant as Pat Sharp’s Mullet!
I pulled up to the CBT place in my car and saw the mean machine of a Suzuki GS125 that i would soon mount. We went through the pre-match run of safety and laws and so on. Stuck a helmet on and one of those ear pieces that makes me look like a bouncer, yea all 5’9″ of me and a protective jacket.
Now i always had assumed that we spend the first part of the test in a playground or car park getting to know that bike and how it handles…did we….did we bugger!
Right follow me says the instructor. I’m sorry!? Follow you? What…on the road??? “How does this bloody thing work?” I asked myself, but before I knew it we were off. It was brilliant, I felt awesome, I thought I was going so fast, wind blowing, engine screaming… all that at 30mph.
Then comes our first set of traffic lights. They go red… i wait… they go green… I STALL!!
“S**t!” I said, I’m turning the keys, pressing the horn, phoning the police – everything – and then my ear piece suddenly perks up and I hear “Just press the electric start.” Oh yeah.
“Right!!” I said, “I’m not stalling this time.” By now, the masses of cars are behind and then a bus pulls alongside and everyone is looking. I couldn’t really hide with fluorescent yellow jacket. So now I had a crowd all waiting to watch me pull off with ease (ed: To watch you what?!) So the lights go green, I rev up and dump the clutch, I swear the front wheel was about 2cm off the ground. Oh yeah! My first wheelie and the crowd in the bus went wild!!!
Next we were taken to a car park and asked to do a figure of 8. I thought I was going to fall off, but managed OK and even did an emergency stop! I thought I was the bo^*ox right now!
Anyway, 2 stalls later, we were doing 50mph down country roads I was loving it, though I did get told off for leaning into bends with my shoulder. “Lean with your hips,” I was told over the airwaves, little sinister laugh!
We did a lot of town riding and kept getting cut up by taxis. Those guys!!!! That started to get annoying but our instructor was already one step ahead. I finally realised one of the best things about bikes was the ability to overtake taxis in a traffic jam. It was the best feeling ever – sad I know – but just sailing past the cars kicked ass!!
So we pulled back into the CBT place and it was over. I loved it. I really wouldnt mind getting a bike – I mean £15 for tax and a much cheaper alternative to short little trips in a car. I only have to convince “the wife” that its a good idea, but it’s opened my mind a little more to the world of bikers and I liked it.
So next time you see a learner stalling at traffic lights, when you have finished laughing, spare a thought!
Grant “ring me for a quote”, “cheese on toast” Varnham
A biker (probably from Harleys of God) was riding on a highway along a California beach when suddenly the sky clouded above his head and, in a booming voice, the Lord said:
“Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish.”
The biker pulled over and said: “Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can ride over anytime I want”.
The Lord said, “Your request is materialistic, think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking. The supports required would reach the bottom of the Pacific! The concrete and steel it would take! It will nearly exhaust several natural resources. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things.
Take a little more time and think of something that would honor and glorify me.”
The biker thought about it for a long time. Finally, he said, “Lord, I wish that I could understand my wife. I want to know how she feels inside, what she’s thinking when she gives me the silent treatment, why she cries, what she means when she says nothing’s wrong, and how I can make a woman truly happy.”
The Lord replied, “You want two lanes or four on that bridge?”