Thursday, September 24, 2009

Below is the column of grief! I spent ages cutting the steering lock from the column fitted to my car. Then I found out that IVA required either a mechanical or electronic immobiliser. The original IVA manual stated that electronic installations need to be certified. No way was I going to pay to have someone fit an immobiliser to the car so I decided to go the mechanical route. Trouble was finding a Sierra column with keys. Anyway I managed to obtain one. Trouble is the steering lock operates on the steering wheel. My Mountney boss has no provision for this. Then I find out that the requirement for certification has been dropped and I can install an electronic immobiliser! Anyone need a Sierra column with key?
This is work in progress. The headrests in this position would not pass IVA. There must be less than 50mm gap between the top of the seat and the bottom of the headrest.
I know some builders don't like exposed fixings on their cycle wings. However I prefer a solid mechanical attachment. I chose to drill and tap the stays.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


2 things have been causing me grief. The first one is immobilisation, the second, headrests.

The IVA manual was updated on 29/06/2009. The requirement for an electronic immobiliser installation to be certified has been dropped. This is great news as I was going to fit a new steering column incorporating a working ignition switch and steering lock. It would have meant cutting a big hole in the dash and altering the wiring.

I have been looking at the Cobra 8510 Cat 2 immobiliser. It is a touch-key dual-circuit unit. I can install it on the front bulkhead isolating the fuel pump and starter. All for £30.

Next issue, headrests. One has to be careful when fitting headrests, the IVA manual has very specific requirements. The headrest size must be 85 mm wide each side of the vertical centre line of the seat and at least 100mm high. So what happens if your headrest is round like mine? The top of the headrest must be no less than 753mm above the seat squab and there must be no more than a 50mm gap between the top of the seat back and the bottom of the headrest. I have a set of the Sylva / Intatrim seats. Next time I'm the workshop I'll measure them up and let you know!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

On Monday I passed my Direct Access bike test, completing Module 1 and 2 at the Lee on the Solent test centre. Its been quite a journey; CBT, theory and hazard perception tests followed by Module 1 and Module 2.

There has been a lot written about the off-road Module 1 test, specifically the high-speed avoidance / swerve test. The issue is not with the swerve, but attaining the required 50kph. Anyone doing Direct Access will have no trouble at all. However I have witnessed poor souls attempting it on 125 bikes and really struggling. On a DAS bike, go round the corner in second, as soon as you exit the curve, give it full throttle. As soon as the timing device has been crossed, roll-off the throttle and perform the swerve. When the bike is upright, break hard, don't hang around the stop-box comes up very quickly. I did not attempt it on my 125 but I saw an instructor do it. He put the bike into third after the corner and revved the nuts off it. I was lucky as it was dry. No allowance is made for the increased braking distance in the wet, your front wheel must stop inside the box.

Thanks to Steve at ADT for being patient.

I must also mention that my sister Mary also did Direct Access with me. The first time she got on a a bike was 4 days before the test! She did incredibly well, managed to attain all Module 1 speeds but put her foot down in the U turn. She will pass Module 1 next Monday I'm sure. Respect!