Welcome to "Black Swan"
Formerly, the Class 2B local training division of
FRIDAY NIGHT BIKERS
Background:We are a non profit independent team of ride organisers, kopitiam engineers and family men who hop on our motorcycles every Friday or Saturday evening to burn petrol, makan, and improve our knowledge of motor vehicle technology.
While our platoon and company commanders reserve the right to hand-pick the core fleet of vehicles and riders/drivers for each occasion, admission is free and newbies can sign up with us at any time.
While some of us have up to 30 years or rider or driver experience plus extensive overseas road trip expertise, we do not discriminate between new or old riders regardless of engine capacity.
Operations:Thanks to unique route planning and vehicle team tactics developed 'in the field' on Singapore and Malaysian roads over the past year, we are able to integrate a wide variety of 2/3/4 wheeled vehicles into the same convoy at a comfortable pace for all.
We use military style tactics to deploy a core force of light cruisers and choppers to navigate the route, escorted by a squadron of fast sports bikes and backed up by heavy cruisers and "battleships" - in this manner the navigators (Honda Phantoms) concentrate on picking the correct route to avoid congestion, helping the heavies (Can Am Spyder, Intruder 1800 etc) progress through traffic while sportsbikes sprint ahead to secure the next rally point.
The main objectives of this "multiple platoon" format are diversity, minimal stoppages and everyone's personal skill contributing to performance of the entire team. The company commander always has the option of splitting the convoy into multiple formations when heavy traffic is encountered, enhancing safety and average speed while preventing the road from being obstructed by the large convoy.
We are also a one of a kind band of riding kakis in that we allow and encourage 2B license holders and new members to have a go at leading the convoy (or a "platoon" thereof) when it is safe to do so - horsepower and tactical skill are instruments with which to protect our leaders in training, so in future you will be seeing many more independently planned outings and many more convoy leaders / route marshals on this forum.
Finally, while many of our riders have told us that they are initially nervous to join large gatherings due to the fiercely regulated rules and high traveling speed, there is no such thing as a "dictatorial" style of management here. All outings are planned for the SLOWEST and NEWEST member of our group, and it's the job of veteran riders to use their higher experience to defend and nuture new riders.
So yes, this is more or less the only time you'll see superbikes in formation with 2B bikes. Superior speed is used to secure a safe cruising route, but in heavy traffic the smaller Class 2B machines are of great utility being the eyes and ears of the convoy.
What is all the above in text? Boring!
Here are some of our trademark videos filmed as we were fine tuning our convoy tactics in June - July 2011: -
The "Spyder Battlegroup"
1. First, a Spyder joined our team in June. We had no idea how a trike fits onto Singapore's congested roads, so we got an idea to form a "Battlegroup" around it. Most of our regular riders then were SAF Armour veterans, but ironically we ended up with a naval line of battle instead.
2. The Spyder worked really well as a "battleship" accompanying that HUGE Intruder 1800, but how does it handle twisty rural roads? Very well! It has awesome stability and traction control.
3. And we sign off the Spyder's integration into our team by posing it against the rising sun... at 100kph.
We even get the timing for this moving shot perfectly right (deliberately late so the sun is "in the air"). Would you believe that the convoy leader @palzzz for that day had no prior experience leading a motorcycle convoy? :3
4. Now we refine our convoy strategies to a fine edge through weekly rides. And we have not one but three outings in a week, organised by our various platoon leaders.
Convoys are run every Friday night from 9.30pm till late by default.
We also conduct "special vehicle operations" such as the Dawn Patrol (5.30am), weekend "kopitiam engineering" to teach motorcycle maintenance and performance tuning skills, as well as Malaysian road trips for new riders.
On demand, we also conduct "road traffic familiarisation" outings for very new license holders who are nervous about commuting. We will teach you some key technical and vehicle handling skills, give you a few good references and we'll set you on the right track to learning about motorcycling the safe way.
We do not have a fixed convoy leader, since we encourage regular riders to bring their own group of friends to large gatherings and manage their arrival times independently of the core "battle group". Here is a general list of our "Platoon leaders" as at August 2011:
@spyder@sg - Can Am Spyder, "Battle Force" (heavy cruisers and other large vehicles). Also provides logistics and "combat engineering" support from his Spyder's internal storage.
@tankee1981 & @Metal_Heart - Honda Phantom and Super Four, "Scouting Force Command" in charge of route navigation and 2B sportsbike control
@gutripper - Kawasaki KRR, These lightweight pocket rockets are our preferred "Scouting Force" equipment, scooting ahead to mark the next turning point and supporting Scout Command.
@jx87 - Ducati Monster S2R, "Third Platoon" with super- and exotic bikes who are given no direct orders, they are experienced riders who can assign themselves to any convoy position to best suit the tactical situation.
@BLACK COMET - Suzuki DR200 - Automotive technology consultant & Anime IC (yes, for real.)
@willtam - "Tame Racing Driver"
So now, the all important question:
When is the next outing?
We currently practise "community oriented" outing planning where everyone can propose and contribute to route planning / event management on Facebook.
For platoon commanders and event managers, you can add me on FB as well:http://www.facebook.com/#!/carmen.alexandre1
Our website is in my signature and contains a link to our old Friday Night Bikers support webpage as well (FnB does not coordinate with us for event planning).
Disclaimers and Producer's Notes:
1. We are not a commercial entity nor are we interested to become a major touring group
2. Our members are obliged and encouraged to showcase their individual preferences, no discrimination is tolerated, be it with engine capacity, race, gender, etc. Remember, this is a gentlemens' motorcycle club, not a "dating" outing. Desperate bachelors should go to Geylang for that. (We have had certain bad experiences last year with "certain other" groups who make lewd gestures and comments at ladies at neighbouring tables / walking past. Once they got on the road, they didn't watch for traffic, they admired pedestrians while riding. Definitely not an example to encourage).
3. We do not practise "number plate censoring" in our photos and videos as we have absolutely no guilt whatsoever for going out and burning petrol in the interest of fun and education. Riders are individually responsible for their motorcycle's legality and handling their vehicles (and/or vehicle teams) in a safe, responsible manner.
4. As commercial vehicle enthusiasts, we acknowledge their drivers' long working hours and difficult working conditions, thus we look out for and offer right of way to taxis, lorry drivers etc who appear to be in a hurry. The same goes for car drivers who are in a hurry, who knows, they might be on a mission of mercy.
(Some of our mothers were rushed to hospital this way just before we were born...)