Frequently Asked Questions

Club Policies
These are the rules.

You can find the club constitution in the "About Us" section of the menu at the top of the page.  Here is a shortcut.

  • Lane splitting is currently legal.  Some laws and guidelines clarifying this and making other road users aware of this would reduce the number of cases where motorists deliberately block motorbikes trying to lane split.
  • Lane splitting or filtering if done responsibly and properly is probably the safest place for a motorcycle in heavy traffic.  Advanced rider training to teach riders how to do this safely should be provided.
  • Motorbikes are more visible when lane splitting and a motorist seeing a motorcycle is important. Bikes don’t take up the same space in a mirror unless they are in the center of it.
  • Lane-splitting prevents vehicles from mistaking the space the motorbike would be occupying in the normal traffic flow as a gap.
  • An orange head light lens stands out much more intensely during the day and late afternoon into early evening. It highlights the fact that there is a motorcycle behind you especially when looking in the mirrors and seeing a sea of head lights. These lenses are removable for night time. In spite of the traffic roadworthy regulations stipulating that headlamps may be white, orange or yellow, there are still cases of people being fined for having a front facing orange light.
  • Lane splitting allows motorcyclists to observe much more in traffic as they have a clearer view of everything around them.
  • Lane splitting at red traffic signals allows the bike to clear the traffic once the signal is green, thereby reducing its risk. It is also much safer to lane split here between stationary vehicles.
  • Being rear ended in traffic is a huge risk for motorcyclists as they have no protection what so ever. Besides a head on collision, it is probably the worst accident to be in.
  • If each motorcycle on the road was to take up the same space as a vehicle, it would negatively impact on the already bad congestion.
  • Many motorcycles will simply overheat if made to stand in traffic for extended periods of time due to their tiny radiators and cooling systems.
  • We are aware that there are absolute cowboys out there who take their lives and other people’s lives in their hands every time they get on a motorcycle. Then again there are just as many cowboys in fast cars and taxis, not to mention the cell phone brigade which is a really big problem, make-up artists and the host of drivers who seem to think that an orange signal means floor it to get across, no matter how far you are from the stop line.
  • We are of the opinion that the minimum engine capacity on highways should be reviewed upwards as well as the maximum engine capacity for riders under 18. Some scooters and motorcycles on the N1 and N2 shouldn’t be there as their maximum speed is somewhere between 60 and 80kph which puts them at risk from behind with cars continually passing them.
  • The law that restricts under 18 riders to a maximum capacity of 125cc e xcludes many very easy to ride and safe 200cc and 250cc four stroke motorcycles.  Especially considering that a 125cc two stroke usually has a quite a bit more power, acceleration and top speed than a 250cc four stroke engine.

BMW Club Rides Rules and guidelines

  1. The rider in front is responsible for the rider behind him or her. Thus If you cannot see the headlight of the bike behind you slack off until you do. Stop if necessary. This will have a knock-on effect eventually the leader will be stopped.
  2. Only the ride captain will search for stragglers unless he/she appoints another rider to do so.
  3. Consider all road-users, all the time and watch your wing mirrors all the time.
  4. Never fall behind the sweeper.
  5. Always ride in a staggered formation unless conditions make it unsafe to do so, bike number 2 will always be on the left as the leader may move from left to right to try and observe the rest of the riders on occasion. Number 2 must maintain the left hand position to avoid continual weaving behind the leader. You may pass bikes to find ‘your slot’ but try to stick to your position.
  6. On passes, ride in single file, never abreast, and give yourself room to react to the bike in front’s antics. Only pass a bike on the right hand side. Faster riders may overtake to enjoy the pass, but must wait on the other side of the pass to regroup.
  7. Only the leader and the last rider (sweeper) will ride with high beams, the rest only driving lights.
  8. If the group is larger than 10 riders an additional ride marshal will be appointed, if needed the group will be split.
  9. We will not exceed the speed limit; going 10km faster per hour in the front in bigger groups will force the tail-enders to ride nearly 30km/h faster to keep up.
  10. If you stop to take a photo, the sweeper will also stop and wait.
  11. Do not leave the group unless so arranged with the leader and sweeper.
  12. Rider briefing will be 10 minutes before we set off, please don’t be late.
  13. Please inform the ride captain discreetly if you are on medication or any medical condition that may affect your riding ability (Diabetes and Epilepsy in particular).
  14. For longer rides we will leave earlier, not ride faster.
  15. Be vigilant for the 'superbike' coming up fast from behind. give way and let it pass.

    Every ride

    1. We will try to include at least one mountain pass, more if the route allows.
    2. Routes to the venue will be limited to 100km or as close as; longer rides will leave earlier.
    3. After breakfast riders can choose their own routes back home or follow the ride captain.
    4. Depending on the group size and ride distance we will stop more or less often to break and take photos.
    5. New riders and novices will get preference and dictate the pace.
    6. On the road tips will be provided to those who ask.
    7. Reckless riding will not be tolerated.

    Newcomers' ride

    As required and if there is sufficient interest we will dedicate a ride to the newcomers, these rides will be shorter and include more stops and on-the-road training will be provided if requested.

    Old Hats' Ride

    Depending on demand 1 or 2 rides will be planned for the old hats, wake up real early, put on your leathers, grit your teeth and we are off. These rides will not be suitable for novices.

    Promotion of your own business on this website, via shameless posts or over-large signatures or other means, is forbidden unless you are a paid up banner advertiser on this site. The webmaster's decision as to what constitutes an infringement of this rule is final.

    The club, in order to fund the costs of running its website, will allow companies or individuals to advertise on the website subject to the following conditions:

    • Cost is R250 per month, or R200 per month if you pay for the year in advance (ex VAT).
    • Advert displayed in top right banner of every page, randomly rotated with other advertisers
    • Advert size is 200x150 pixels
    • Gif animation or static JPG suitable
    • The advert can click through to your website, or to a page on the BMW site if you don't have a website

    On average, an ad is displayed 1000 times a day.

    1. Having an advert on display means you can make posts on the forum advertising your products and services without being blocked for soliciting customers.
    2. To keep administration down, we prefer payment annually in advance (hence the lower cost). Also, if you take the annual option I will build your advert for you free of charge.
    3. If you provide the artwork we can put together the advert for you. If you have any questions, please contact the webmaster.

    Club Policy regarding Adverts

    1. the club reserves the right to accept or reject advertisements, and the right to terminate an advertisement at any time (with a pro-rata refund).
    2. advertisements must be in the interest of the club and its members, and in keeping with the ethics of the club. This means that adult content, gambling and items irrelevant to motorcycling are expressely rejected. Companies or individuals that give our members poor service, or behave unethically will be rejected.
    3. advertising space is sold annually in advance (to reduce overheads of administration).
    4. advertising copy, graphics and design need to complement the website design. Flashing graphics, dynamic objects like Java Applets, Active-X and Flash, and colours that ruin the appearance of the site, will not be accepted.
    5. a company in need of design work for their advertisement can have it designed and created by the site webmaster, on payment of a design fee.
    6. adverts will be placed 'above the line' on selected pages.
    7. adverts may be rotated with other adverts on a random basis, in proportion to the cost of the advert.
    8. the sale of advertising space is for the privilege of displaying the advert, and the cost is determined by the views of the page and the target audience. There is no click-through fee, pay-per-view fee, and there is no click-through tracking from the club website. The club will provide only web statistics of the number of views of a given page in a given period.
    '''NO REFUNDS WHATSOEVER''' shall be given for any payment or deposit made by any person who paid any monies, in respect of any Trip / Tour/ Event, organised directly or indirectly by the BMW Motorcycle Club Cape or Organisers acting on their behalf, unless the Trip / Tour/ Event is cancelled by the said BMW Club / Organisers. In certain exceptional cases, and only once the consent of the said BMW Club / organisers has been obtained, participant(s) may find a suitable substitute(s), and the said participant must then obtain payment from the said substitute directly.
    Joining the Club
    Questions related to joining the club
    1. Petrol money: You fill up at the departure point and depending on the trip will not need to fill up again. Trips are planned to accommodate the bikes with the shortest range (if they start with a full tank).
    2. Breakfast money: Breakfast prices depend on the venue and vary from R50 to R100 (if you include extras and the tip).
    3. Protective Gear: You need to cater for rain, cold, or heat. But, being a fairly conservative and safety-conscious group, you should wear (as far as possible), proper motorcycle safety gear:
      1. Helmet (obviously) - preferrably full-face
      2. Jacket, made of abrasion-resistant tough fabric and with padding at impact points. Some of us wear leathers, but by far the minority.
      3. Pants and boots - either protective enduro pants, or kevlar jeans. Sturdy motorcycle boots
      4. Gloves. Believe us, the first thing you hurt in even a standing fall will be your hands.
    Posting Articles
    All questions relating to adding content to the website

    This article will describe how you can get a video to display in a playable box in your posting on this site.

    The process is as follows:

    1. Create the video, and render it for web (some editors even have a 'YouTube' format option.  This is what you want.)
    2. Upload the video to YouTube (or a similar streaming video site).  You will need to open yourself a free account on the site in order to do so.
    3. Once the video is uploaded - or even if it is someone else's video you want to share, click the 'share' button on YouTube, and choose the 'embed' option.  You will get a box with some code in it, that looks like '<iframe...'.  Select the code and copy it (ctl-a, ctl-c).
    4. In your post on this forum, click in the post where you want the embedded video to appear.  It is useful to put new lines before and after the place where you click.
    5. Now click the icon in the toolbar that looks like a piece of film clip.  It is in the top bar, second from the right, next to the 'Image' icon.  You will get a box where you can paste the code you copied from YouTube.
    6. Click OK and enjoy.

    To make a clickable link that will take you to another page, you have two options:

    1. Just put in the link as it stands, e.g. http://www.bmwmotorrad.co.za, and the system will turn it into a link, or
    2. If you want to make some text become a link, highlight the text with your mouse, then click the little chain link (chain link - geddit?).  In the URL box of the dialog that pops up, put the web address you want to link to.

    Tip:
    I find the link in my browser (in a separate tab or browser window), copy it (ctl-c) and then select the text I want to turn into a link, click the chain link icon, then paste (ctl-v) the URL into the URL box.

    A story is just an article with a teaser. Right now the site isn't completely set up for stories, but it boils down to tagging the story as relating to certain categories, and possibly putting it in a menu. Our aim is to have stories under the 'Articles' section. The Articles page will be similar to the home page, with lists of recent content and indexes into articles about biking safety, riding techniques, the physics of motorcycling, etc. Also consider the 'Book' content type. It allows you to add pages with prev/next, and up/down links, so you can write an article with 'chapters' and 'sections' and you can move bits around as appropriate. These content types will still have the option of 'comments' so people can discuss the content, but the intention is that this is much more for reference and as a resource than a fireside chat like the forum content.
    Put 2 single quotes around the text you want emphasized (italicized), '''''''like this'''''''.
    Netiquette is '''etiquette''' for the inter'''net''' - the rules and manners that apply when you do things on the internet. A lot of it is just obvious good manners, but some of it is not obvious (especially to beginners), and some is specific to a given community. ===General Forum Netiquette=== # Do not '''hijack''' threads. This is the same as interrupting a conversation in polite company, except worse: ## The threads in a forum are designed to allow others to find the information they are looking for easily. If you post content in a thread that is not related to that thread, you not only make the thread irrelevant, you also make it impossible to find whatever information you contributed. ## If you need to post something that is not related to other existing threads, create a new thread with a meaningful title. # Do not use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. In web-speak this is the same as shouting. It is considered poor form if you couldn't be bothered to type properly (this goes for SMS-style spelling, consistently bad spelling in general, and failure to structure your content using paragraphs, proper sentences, bullets and headings. If you don't care, why should we care about what you have to say? ===BMW Motorcycle Club Forum Netiquette=== This is specific to our website (i.e. these are our rules and if you don't like them go somewhere else): # Keep it clean - the occasional expletive may be tolerated when used entertainingly, but gratuitous swearing, blasphemy or poor taste will not be tolerated. Many companies and homes have content filters on their web browsers that will block pages perceived to be inappropriate. If you put such language into your posts you are guaranteeing that very few people will be able to see it. # Keep it useful. ## What seems witty and clever in the heat of the moment may look childish and stupid in the cold light of day a few weeks from now. Before you post, ask yourself whether your contribution is adding to a magnificent site, or diluting it with noise. ## For comments that are directed at a small audience and that do not contribute to the site and other users in general, consider using the [http://bmwmotorcycleclubcape.co.za/messenger Messenger] in the right menu bar. # Keep it friendly. Remember, the web is forever. Many prospective employers will scan the web for information on candidates - if you would not want your post to appear on your CV, don't do it.
    The table below shows the shortcuts (acronyms) you can use to put smileys in. Even though all you will see while you are editing is the shortcut, when it gets displayed the system will subsitute a picture.
    SmileyAcronymsDescription
    Smiling:) :-) :smile:Smiling
    Eye-wink;) ;-) :wink:Eye-wink
    Sad:( :-( :sad:Sad
    Laughing out loud:D :-D :lol:Laughing out loud
    Evil}:) }:-) :evil:Evil
    Sticking out tongue:P :-P :tongue:Sticking out tongue
    Shocked:O :-O :shocked:Shocked
    Puzzled:? :-? :puzzled:Puzzled
    Cool8) 8-) :cool:Cool
    Jawdropping!:jawdrop:Jawdropping!
    Barf!:sick: :barf:Barf!
    Cheers with a beer:beer: :)BCheers with a beer
    Angry frown:cross: :angry: >:(Angry frown
    Thumbs up smile:thumbsup:Thumbs up smile

    Please Note: All the images in this answer can be opened larger, in a new popup window, by clicking on them.

    Inserting Images into a Post 

    At the top right of the text box where you type in the article is a little image of a camera. Put your cursor in the text box where you want the image to appear (1.), then click on the icon (2.). 

    Click the camera icon (top right)Click the camera icon (top right)

     

    Click the 'Image Upload' buttonClick the 'Image Upload' button

     

    You need to click the '''upload''' button to get to the image upload screen. Now you will get a pop-up window that allows you to enter a title for the image and choose a file off your PC hard drive.

    Enter a title for the picture and click the Browse buttonEnter a title for the picture and click the Browse button

     

     

    The image must be on your PC so that you can find it here and upload it to the website. Also make sure it has a filesize of less than 800kB. Click 'Browse' to go and find the image.

    Find the file and click saveFind the file and click save

     

    Then click OK or 'Open' on the 'find file' window, so that it closes and the name of your image file is left in the text field next to the 'Browse...' button.  You should end up with a screen that looks like this: 

    Confirm you have the right file and click saveConfirm you have the right file and click save

    Confirm you have the right file (8.), and click save (9.).

    You will get to the last screen where you can adjust the image title and description, and adjust the advanced display properties if you wish.  The default properties are the best option in almost all cases.

    Adjust the image title and description and click 'Insert'Adjust the image title and description and click 'Insert' 

    All you need to do is click the 'insert' button.

    Tips

    1. Put blank lines above and below the place where you want to put the image, before you insert the image.  This makes it easier to insert text above or below the image, and prevents the case where text below the image ends up bold and centered.
    2. Choose your image titles and descriptions so they work as a slideshow when the user clicks on an image and then clicks the 'forward' and 'back' buttons on the enlarged images.
    Using the website
    General questions about the website

    You need to have been assigned the right permissions to be able to send newsletters.  Usually only committee members have this permission.

    Steps:

    1. Click "Create content"
    2. Select "Newsletter issue"
    3. Enter title
    4. Choose Newsletter database
    5. Enter the newsletter content
    6. Set the Calendar dates (or not)
    7. Set the Newletter to "published" if dates are set for an event.
    8. Save
    9. Send

    Notes:

    Newsletter Title

    • Keep it short(ish) with only relevant content.
    • Avoid special characters (& especially)
    • Don't put in "BMW Club" or similar, as the system adds "BMW MCC Cape" to the title already.

    Newsletter Databases

    There are 3.  Only one of them is current (BMW MCC Cape), unless you take steps to update one of the others (BMW MCC Ladies or BMW MCC Members).

    The BMW MCC Cape database has all forum members, and all who have subscribed to the newsletter via our website.  People can unsubscribe via a link in a newsletter (at the bottom), or via their account settings on the forum.

    The procedure for sending the newsletter to current members only is to

    1. Unsubscribe all from the members newsletter DB,
    2. get a CSV list of the emails of current members from the member admin system, and to
    3. bulk subscribe them to the Members newsletter DB.

    Newsletter Content

    Keep it concise and don't put in large images or file attachments.

    Bear in mind that the content, if set to published, will end up as a event on the site calendar.  Think about where you want questions, comments, registration or discussion to happen.

    Typically, if the newsletter is for a trip, the full content of the trip announcement is on the forum under "Trips and Tours", and you want all comments and discussion to happen there.  So, at the bottom of your newsletter, put in a link to the trip announcement and mention that this is where updates and discussion must happen.

    Calendar Dates and Publishing

    In the "Publishing options" at the bottom, immediately above the "Save" button, you can set the newsletter to be published.  If you do this, it will add the newsletter content as an event in the calendar.  The dates of the event need to be set by you, otherwise they default to the current time.

    Saving and Sending

    After you have saved the newsletter, you will see tabs along the top above the title.  One of these is "Newsletter", and on that tab you can choose to send the newsletter (which you must do otherwise it won't go out).  You do have the option to send a test email which you might want to try if you are unsure about something.

    Yes, just put in the link to the photo, with no tags or decoration, starting with 'http:' and ending with the filename of the photo like 'charles.jpg'. But, do remember that it is not necessary to upload your image to photobucket or flickr in order to display it on our site. You can just follow these instructions to upload the image directly onto our site. This has the advantage of automatically resizing the image to the same size as all the others, with a link that displays it fullsize if you click on it.
    Use the search bar on the top right of the page. For example: * you want to find the discussion about steering head bearings where somebody mentioned that they were not greased enough. Enter '''steering bearing grease''' in the search field and click 'Search'; It is most effective if you use words that are fairly unique to the topic you are looking for, and use a few words that narrow the search down. Otherwise, use Google to search the BMW Motorcycle Club Cape site by entering the following for e.g. 'steering bearing grease site:bmwmotorcycleclubcape.co.za'
    Put 3 single quotes around the text you want bold, like this ''''''text you want bold''''''. Of course the single quotes won't show, but the text will be bold.
    Unlike forum (or bulletin board) software, this site allows contributions and content in a variety of formats and places. In order to find new contributions you need to use the tools provided by the site, described below. On the [http://bmwmotorcycleclubcape.co.za/ home] page, you have: * a list of recent posts to the forum, and * a list of recent comments to content throughout the site. On the menu on the right, click on [http://bmwmotorcycleclubcape.co.za/tracker All New Content] link, to get a list of all content, with the most recent first.
    To receive notifications of new or updated content, you need to '''subscribe''' to various categories or types of content: In the menu bar on the right is an item called 'My Subscriptions' - that is where the 'notify me' stuff is done. (It is also in the 'My Account' section). At the top of the page are 4 tabs: # '''threads:''' lets you subscribe or unsubscribe to various forum threads... # '''categories:''' lets you subscribe to events, posts, articles or images that are categorized by location, forum section, trip type, and FAQ category. So, for example, you could subscribe to the ''offroad'' trip type, and you would be notified any time an article, trip-report or event is created or updated that is classified as ''offroad''. # '''content-type:''' lets you subscribe to updates of any given type of content. For example, you might want to know about all trip reports, or images, or events. It's your choice
    Your first ride with the Club
    Questions first-timers might have before coming out on a ride with us
    The club always rides on the road in '''staggered formation'''. The ride captain rides in front with a bright yellow bib, close to the RHS of the lane. At a following distance of 1 second, the next rider rides in the same lane, but close to the LHS so that he is not directly in line with the rider in front. Then the pattern continues, with each rider 2 seconds behind the rider in the same path as them, but only one second behind the rider in the other path. We do this so that each rider has enough stopping distance in front of them, and no bike to the side so that they can swerve when necessary. And the whole group does not become too spread out. The rider at the back often also wears a bib so that the ride captain can see that the whole group is together. When we enter a pass, the bikes spread out a bit so that they can use the whole width of the road to negotiate turns. Nobody overtakes the ride captain.

    Just pitch up at the Pick n Pay in Plattekloof Road about 20 minutes before the advertised departure time. You will find the riders gathering and they will invariably introduce themselves to you and talk about your bike. When we depart on the ride we phone ahead to give the numbers to the restaurant.

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    Liability

    Motorsport is inherently dangerous.  As per paragraph 9 of the club constitution, the club shall not be held liable for any loss, injury or death of any member or guest, howsoever arising.

    The BMW Motorrad Club Cape cannot be held responsible or liable in any way for any actions or decisions you make as a result of the information posted on this site.  Although this site is enabled and used by the BMW Motorrad Club Cape, posts are made by members, non-members, advertisers and guests and none of it is vetted by the club before posting.  This is the internet and Africa - you are responsible for yourself.

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