Biker-Mate, a post crash cushion used overseas to protect motorcyclists from dangerous post and pole type road side hazards, was first talked about in August last year’s issue of Road Rave. To see if this new safety product would be of use on New Zealand roads, CSP Pacific engaged consultant Dennis Davis from Saferoads International Ltd to project manage a demonstration of the product in New Zealand.
Dennis was asked to seek a suitable installation site for Biker-Mate, monitor the benefits and obtain feedback on its effectiveness. On reviewing several locations around the country Dennis approached the Porirua City Council (PCC) and worked with them to install a Biker-Mate on Paekakariki Hill Road in Wellington. “It is very narrow and has utility posts very close to the edge of the road,” explains Dennis. “It is also a very popular motorcycle route so we thought it was the perfect location for the first demonstration of Biker-Mate in New Zealand.”
After six months of monitoring the installed Biker-Mate crash cushion, inspection showed evidence of an impact. “It is not clear as to what hit the Biker-Mate but what it has done is proven that this particular pole is in a vulnerable place – especially for motorcyclists who would come off very badly if they impacted it without any protection. We are happy Biker-Mate is doing its job and so are PCC who are now looking at installations in other vulnerable locations.”
Biker-Mate’s energy absorption components are intended to reduce the intensity of the motorcyclist’s initial impact energy. Testing and analysis shows it smoothes the speed at which the motorcyclist’s body slows down, thus reducing injury. In addition tests have shown that Biker-Mate can redirect the impacting motorcyclist, further mitigating the impact energy generated upon collision.