Monday, March 31, 2008

Babelgum / Toseland launch a dedicated motorcycling community, new interactive web TV portal.

Toseland and Babelgum join forces
London, 26 March 2008 – Babelgum – a free, interactive, alternative TV-quality internet platform – is launching a dedicated motorcycling community. The aim of the community is to allow motorcyclists and motorcycle racing fans unlimited access to some of the best biking footage available from all over the world. Known as Babelgum, the new interactive web TV portal’s goal is to create a global motorcycling community by giving viewers free-to-air access to an unrivalled choice of two-wheeled, broadcast-quality, on-demand television.
The new motorcycling community, which is part of the network, also has the support of Britain’s current Superbike World Champion and MotoGP contender James Toseland, who is teaming up with Babelgum on 28 March in Jerez, Spain, for the official launch of this online community for bikers.
Toseland is carrying the hopes of every British motorcycle racing fan as he contests his first year in the MotoGP World Championship with the Tech 3 Yamaha team. Not since the halcyon days of Barry Sheene have British biking fans had so much to cheer about. Toseland’s appeal goes much further than the racetrack. It is his approachable nature, serious work ethic and media-friendliness that have made him the best choice for an ‘ambassadorial’ role with this exciting new motorcycle television platform, according to Babelgum’s Chief Executive Valerio Zingarelli. “We’re extremely excited to have James on board for the official launch of our global motorcycle TV community. Our goal is to merge the power of the web with world-class television programming to bring viewers the same kind of passion that they would experience while out riding their own motorcycles,” he says.
“James demonstrates this passion, not only every time he gets on his race bike, but also with everything else he does – be it training, testing or playing live music on national television with his rock band. As well as showing many other biking programmes, we’ll be following James’ rookie year in MotoGP closely.”
However, viewers can get early access to this dedicated motorcycle channel now by visiting where, after a simple and quick registration procedure that gives access to Babelgum’s unique media player, users can create and customise their own television channel, join a growing online community of bikers, share favourite clips and watch hours of motorcycling-related television, at any time of the night or day. One person that has already done this is James Toseland, who explains why he is involved right at the early stages of this new venture: “I’m really pleased and honoured to perform this ambassadorial role for Babelgum,” said the 27-year-old. Just like in MotoGP, technology moves fast and if you don’t keep up you definitely get left out in the cold. The power of the internet means that the way we watch TV is changing forever and future generations will find it hard to believe that we all used to sit passively in front of a screen waiting for our favourite programme to start! To be able to watch what you want, when you want, and wherever you want is what Babelgum is all about, so I’m delighted to support the efforts being made to bring dedicated biking television to the masses.” For further formation or to request an invitation to the launch please contact:
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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Is Your Helmet Safe?


It’s clear ... Motorcycle helmets save lives. To help protect the lives of motorcycle riders, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that all motorcycle helmets sold in the United States meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. This standard defines minimum levels of performance that helmets must meet to protect the head and brain in the event of a crash. Each year, DOT conducts compliance testing of a variety of motorcycle helmets to determine whether helmets being sold in the United States meet the Federal safety standard. Because helmets add such a critical margin of safety for motorcycle riders, many States now have laws requiring use of helmets that meet FMVSS 218 requirements. Some motorcycle riders are violating these State laws by wearing unsafe helmets that do not meet FMVSS 218. Most of these helmets are sold as novelty items and circumvent FMVSS 218’s requirements. In some cases, some motorcyclists purchase these helmets in the mistaken belief that they offer protection. However, many people who wear these novelty helmets know that they are unsafe – but wear them anyway. This brochure explains how to identify unsafe novelty helmets as well as how to distinguish unsafe helmets from those that meet the Federal safety standard.

Here is What to Check For:
Thick Inner Liner
Helmets meeting the minimum Federal safety standard have an inner liner usually about one-inch thick of firm polystyrene foam. Sometimes the inner liner will not be visible, but you should still be able to feel its thickness. Unsafe helmets normally contain only soft foam padding or a bare plastic shell with no padding at all.

Sturdy Chin Strap and Rivets
Helmets meeting the DOT safety standard have sturdy chinstraps with solid rivets.

Weight of Helmet
Depending on design, unsafe helmets weigh only one pound or less. Helmets meeting FMVSS 218 generally weigh about three pounds. Become familiar with the weight of helmets that comply with the Federal safety standard. These helmets provide a more substantial feel.

Design/Style of Helmet
The DOT safety standard does not allow anything to extend further than two-tenths of an inch from the surface of a helmet. For example, while visor fasteners are allowed, a spike or other protruding decorations indicate an unsafe helmet.

A design such as the German Army style or skullcap style may be a clue to an unsafe helmet. Unsafe helmets are noticeably smaller in diameter and thinner than ones meeting the DOT standard. However, some German Army style helmet may meet Federal requirements.

You’ll need to check for weight, thickness, sturdy chinstraps, as well as the “DOT” and manufacturer’s labels to make sure the helmet meets the Federal safety standard. Familiarize yourself with brand names and designs of helmets that comply with DOT requirements. For example, a full-face design is a good indicator of a safe helmet. To date, we have never seen a full-face design novelty helmet.

DOT Sticker Helmets that meet FMVSS 218 must have a sticker on the outside back of the helmet with the letters “DOT,” which certifies that the helmet meets or exceeds FMVSS 218. It is important to note that some novelty helmet sellers provide DOT stickers separately for motorcyclists to place on non-complying helmets. In this case, the DOT sticker is invalid and does not certify compliance. Snell or ANSI Label In addition to the DOT sticker, labels located inside the helmet showing that a helmet meets the standards of private, non-profit organizations such as Snell or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) are good indicators that the helmet also meets the Federal safety standard. To date, we have never seen a novelty helmet that has a phony DOT sticker in addition to a phony Snell or ANSI label. Manufacturer’s Labeling Manufacturers are required under FMVSS 218 to place a label on or inside the helmet stating the manufacturer’s name, model, size, month and year of manufacture, construction materials, and owner’s information. A helmet that does not meet the Federal safety standard usually does not have such labeling.
Remember a DOT sticker on the back of the helmet and proper inside labeling do not necessarily indicate that a helmet meets all DOT requirements. Many helmets have counterfeit DOT stickers and a limited few also have manufacturer’s labeling. But the design and weight of a helmet, thickness of the inner liner, and the quality of the chin strap and rivets are extra clues to help distinguish safe helmets from non-complying ones.
Unsafe Helmet Interior
Safe Helmet Interior
illustration of unsafe motorcycle helmet interior illustration of safe motorcycle helmet interior

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