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When you first get your motorcycle, the feeling is incredible. It doesn’t matter how many motorcycles you own in your lifetime, the feeling is always the same.

If you’re planning on buying a motorcycle for commuting, or want to start commuting on a motorcycle you already have, you’re in for a treat. However, as with everything, there is good and bad. If you go about motorcycle commuting the wrong way, you can find yourself uncomfortable, frustrated, and ready to go back to driving.

Here are a few quick tips for commuting on a motorcycle.

1. Get A Reliable Motorcycle

This should be obvious, but you shouldn’t commit to commuting on an unreliable motorcycle. Make sure you keep up with the maintenance on your bike, like changing your oil and your brake pads. Simple steps like this can help ensure you have a reliable ride every day.

2. Invest In A Motorcycle-Specific GPS

Unless you plan on only going to and from the same place every day, the benefits of purchasing a motorcycle-specific GPS device are hard to ignore. Unlike your phone, a motorcycle GPS is generally waterproof, easier to see, easier to use, and provides more data, not to mention, it won’t siphon off the battery from your cellphone.

When you’re riding, you need to be able to focus on the road. Using a GPS device that is designed for motorcyclists is a great way to make sure to get where you need to go, while still being safe and aware of your surroundings. (If you want to learn more about these, check out: https://theridersmarket.com/best-motorcycle-gps/)

3. Get A Waterproof Backpack

Another motorcycle commuting essential is a good, waterproof backpack. If you don’t have saddlebags, you’re going to want a safe, dry spot to store everything you need to bring with you.

A good motorcycle backpack will be comfortable, have plenty of storage, durable zippers and be able to resist light rain.

4. Take The Path Less Traveled

Traffic jams are much more obnoxious on a motorcycle than they are in a car. On a bike, if you sit still for too long, it gets hot, your back starts to hurt and if you’re in stop and go traffic, you’re at risk of being rear-ended by someone who isn’t paying attention.

Even if this means adding an extra 5-10 minutes to your commute, find a route that isn’t as busy so you have a more enjoyable ride.

5. Always Stay Alert

The more often you ride, the more likely you are to get in an accident. Be sure to always follow the basics of motorcycle safety. If you take the same path every day, it is easy to get complacent and lazy with your motorcycle safety. Always remember – everyone is out to kill you. Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but you should still act that way! Ride defensively all the time. Ride like everyone wants to hit you. This way, you’re ready to avoid a collision and keep the rubber on the road.

6. A CamelBak Is Great In Warm Weather

If you live in a warm state down south, setting up a Camelbak in your backpack is a game changer. If you do end up getting stuck in traffic or are out longer than you thought, having quick access to a drink can be super helpful.

Make sure you clean your Camelbak every so often. It is easy just to want to fill it up, but it will eventually get the ick if you don’t clean it at least every few days.

7. Check Tires Regularly

Another simple maintenance to-do is to keep an eye on your tires. If you ride through the city, you’d be surprised how easy it is to run over a nail on the road and be none the wiser. Every week or so, check your tire pressure and inspect for any punctures. If you find a leak, make sure you take care of it right away.

8. Bring Music

As long as you can still hear what’s going on around you, music is an excellent addition to your motorcycle commute. It can help pass the time and make your ride that much more enjoyable. If you have speakers that you can mount to your bike, get that set up or invest in some motorcycle-friendly headphones for the ride.

9. Know The Gas Stations In The Area

If you have a small gas tank, it’s easy to find yourself near empty without any idea where the nearest gas station is. Make sure you fill up your bike once you see the low-gas light come on, or once you know you’re running low. You don’t want to be on your way to work and get stuck pushing your bike a mile up the road for some gas.

Remember – Motorcycle Commuting Should Be Fun!

If you’re going to commute, it may as well be on a motorcycle. Life can be numbing. The day-to-day sameness can give life a feeling of dread. Let your commute be your escape. Learn to enjoy the time you spend going to and from your destinations. With this mindset, you’ll look forward to your commute every day, rather than dreading it.

 

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I recently attended the 2019 MotoAmerica Championship of Virginia at Virginia International Raceway.  Phil, from The DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio show, and I attended the race with press credentials. Those credentials got us into almost all parts of the race including the starting line and paddock.

The racing has gotten a lot better, to the point where I will state that the racing in MotoAmerica is the best in the world!

I am not saying the talent is better than MotoGP but, MotoAmerica has 6 riders that could win a race and currently has 4 different winners in 6 races. In fact, the winner of the 2nd superbike race was JD Beach who had won an American Flat Track race the week before. As you can see from below, we had a good time while lining ups interviews for the DawgHouse.

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Liqui Molly DawgHouse Ticket Winners

We also spent a lot of time with the fans. MotoAmerica has gone all out to make the race day a family event. From stunt shows to vendors there was something for everyone to do between races. We also met with several DawgHouse fans while we were at the race. We introduced the winners of the Liqui Molly ticket give away to Rick the Liqui Molly representative.

 

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Wayne Rainey, his wife, Chuck Askland and Phil.

If you have been following The DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio you know we have been hard on MotoAmerica. We know that the leaders in MotoAmerica have been listening as we have talked with them on several occasions. I can’t say that anything we said or did had any direct input to them but a lot of what we were asking for is now delivered! 3 time World Champion Wayne Rainey and one of the owners of MotoAmerica Chuck Askland even stopped by to say high! Next time I will get a better picture.

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The folks on Mighty Goods asked me to contribute to an article about preparing for a long motorcycle trip.  So I did!

My content is at the bottom of Mighty Goods article:

8 Motorcycle Tourers Share How They Packed and Prepared for the Big Trip

In the article I mention the motorcycle luggage we use for long trip along with tips that have made those longs days on a motorcycle a little more comfortable.

Check it out along with the rest of the Might Goods website.

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motoamerica-logoMay 4-5 MotoAmerica motorcycle racing is at the Virginia International Raceway in Danville, VA.  I and the rest of the DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio “Pack” will be covering the races.

With press passes from MotoAmerica, we will be all over the event.  Expect MANY posts and “LIVE events” on my IJustWant2Ride Facebook and on my @IJustWant2Ride Twitter account.  Who knows I might just even post to my under utilized Instagram account.

Phil will be posting to the DawgHouse twitter and Facebook pages if you want to see all the things we are up to.

You can count on a FB Live broadcast of the start of the MotoAmerica Superbike race on Saturday, right from the pit lane wall!

From my POV MotoAmerica has the best motorcycle racing in the world this year.  Any of motoamerica live6 riders could win week to week, assuming they hit the setup.  JD Beach won this weeks American Flat Track race, a win with the superbikes would be a true feat!  You can catch both the Saturday and Sunday MotoAmerica Superbike races on Fox Sports 2 (3PM EST) or streaming on MotoAmerica Live +…. you might even see me on TV!

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Be aware that this motorcycle recall list is for the United States, there is no way I could cover the entire world. But in the world of global manufacturing, if a motorcycle is being recalled in one country there is a good chance it is under recall in others. Also, this should not be considered a definitive list, check for yourself if you have any questions.

If you are US based use the NHTSA website http://www.safercar.gov. Enter your VIN number to see if your motorcycle is affected by the recall.

If you are based in Europe use the Safety Gate website to locate recalls that may impact you.

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Manufacturer: Polaris Industries, Inc.

SUMMARY: Polaris Industries, Inc. (Polaris) is recalling certain 2018-2019 Slingshot motorcycles. The driver-seat and passenger-seat seat belt and seat back anchoring bracket may have been improperly welded. Additionally, differences in the seat assembly may prevent proper latching of the seat slider, allowing the driver’s seat to move unexpectedly.

CONSEQUENCE: If the seat belt buckle or seat back detach from the seat base, there would be an increased risk of injury in the event of a crash. If the driver’s seat unexpectedly moves, it can cause the driver to lose control of the motorcycle, increasing the risk of a crash.

REMEDY: Polaris will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the seat belt bracket and seat back welds, and the seat slider latching function. If the weld is missing or incomplete, or if the slider doesn’t latch properly, the seat bases will be replaced, free of charge. The recall began on March 25,2019. Owners may contact Polaris customer service at 1-855-863-2284. Polaris’ number for this recall is T-18-01. Note: this recall is an expansion of recall 18V-195.

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Manufacturer: Triumph Motorcycles America, LTD

SUMMARY: Triumph Motorcycles America, LTD (Triumph) is recalling certain 2019 Speed Twin motorcycles. Improper routing of the coolant hose may cause it to contact the exhaust header pipe, damaging the hose and resulting in a coolant leak near the rear tire.

CONSEQUENCE: Loss of coolant near the rear tire may cause a loss of traction, increasing the risk of crash.

REMEDY: Triumph will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the coolant hose routing, rerouting the hose and replacing it if necessary, free of charge. The recall began April 15, 2019. Owners may contact Triumph customer service at 1-678-854-2010. Triumph’s number for this recall is SRAN563.

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Manufacturer: Ivolution Sports Inc. (Motorcycle Helmets)

SUMMARY:

Ivolution Sports, Inc. (Ivolution) is recalling certain IV2 HY808 helmets, part number Hy808, in sizes S, M, L and XL. These helmets may not adequately protect the wearer in the event of a head impact during a motorcycle crash. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 218, “Motorcycle Helmets.”

CONSEQUENCE: A helmet that does not adequately protect the wearer from an impact can increase the risk of injury in the event of a crash.

REMEDY: Ivolution will notify owners and provide a full refund for the helmets. The recall is expected to begin in April 2019. Owners may contact Ivolutution’ s customer service at 1-951-852-6327. Ivolution’s number for this recall is HY808-XL.

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Manufacturer: BMW of North America, LLC

SUMMARY:

BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2013-2018 BMW C600 Sport and C650 Sport and 2013-2019 C650 GT scooters. Repeated turning of the handlebars to the left most position may cause the front brake hose to crack and leak over time.

CONSEQUENCE: A brake fluid leak can reduce braking ability, increasing the risk of a crash.

REMEDY: BMW will notify owners, and dealers will replace the brake hose, adding an additional protective sleeve that will cover the hose connection fitting, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 22, 2019. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417. Note: This recall includes scooters previously recalled under 15V-738.

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Manufacturer: Indian Motorcycle Company

SUMMARY: Indian Motorcycle Company (Indian) is recalling certain 2019 Indian Scout, Scout Bobber, and Scout Sixty motorcycles equipped with Anti-Lock Brake Systems (ABS). After the manufacturing process, air may remain trapped within the brake system, possibly reducing brake performance.

CONSEQUENCE: Reduced brake performance can increase the risk of a crash.

REMEDY: Indian has notified owners, and dealers will perform a brake fluid bleed of the front and rear ABS to evacuate the air, free of charge. The recall began March 7, 2019. Owners may contact Indian customer service at 1-877-204-3697. Indian’s number for this recall is I-18-07.

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A new study has just reveled that Virginia is the worst state for phone distracted drivers.

I also live right next to another top ten worst states, Maryland. Based on my personal experience I am surprised Maryland was not at the top of the list.

Zendrive’s study ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia on distracted driving and calls out “phone addicts as the primary cause.

This study was based on 160 billion miles driven by 60 million drivers.

You can check out the study for yourself here!

NOW DO NOT GET YOUR HOPES UP, this was not a study to help motorcycles, quite the opposite.

Zendrive, in a very cursory review, is a proponent of “Vision Zero” and “Road to Zero”. Both efforts are to reduce traffic deaths/injuries to zero. The only way you can do that is to get rid of motorcycles.

Getting rid of motorcycles was even a tenant of the early Vision Zero leaders until they got to much heat.  Several of those “safety leaders” have made multiple statements suggesting that motorcycles and Vision Zero could never find a real consensus.

Now almost every state and most countries have Vision Zero political organizations advocating to politicians about “saving the children”.  Do your own research and come to your own conclusions.

ijustwant2ride.com

The DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio…The #1 Motorcycle Show in the US

Supercross was in Denver and it snowed during the qualifications.

WorldSBK was in Assen was it still the Bau Bau show?

MotoGP and MotoAmerica were at CotA.  The best racing was NOT MotoGP!!!

Click Here to listen to this weeks show.

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April is Motorcycle Helmet Awareness month so how about an air conditioned helmet?

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The EPA Wants to VIOLATE your WARRENTY! The EPA wants to hep you do just that. – On March, 12, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it would makes regulatory changes to allow year-round sales of E15 fuel. This action would put the owners of millions of motorcycles and ATVs at significant risk because the dangers of this fuel are not clearly identified at the pump, E15 can cause engine and fuel system damage to machines not designed for its use and use of E15 may void the manufacturers’ warranty.

The American Motorcyclist Association opposes the proposed change and we are urging you to take advantage of the public comment period for this regulatory change and tell the EPA to reconsider this move and protect American motorcyclists from this unsafe fuel.

I you want to help fight this you need to join the AMA or Motorcycle Riders Foundation

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Suzuki’s radar reflector – An interesting idea to hep motorcycles fit into the world of auto-piloted cars.

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Even a Rolling Stone can get robbed. Keith Richards, still alive BTW, was robbed of some classic off-road motorcycles including 1977 Maico 400.

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Motocross racer breaks his motorcycle in half landing a jump.

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Normally I put this list of motorcycle helmets together in January or early February. But, but this year I forgot and when I did remember thought that the Motorcycle Helmet Safety Awareness moth of April would be a good time to publish the list for 2018.

Not every year has a list of weird motorcycle helmets, sometimes there are not enough to get 9 good ones. If you are interested in checking out previous years “Winners” you can click these links:

2015                 2017

 

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April is Motorcycle Helmet Awareness Month so we are doing a series of posts to try and do just that… provide awareness! This post is about “things” you should consider in order to make your helmet last and protect you longer.

1 – Keep the exterior clean. After your ride take a moment to clean the helmet shell of bugs and road grit. If you use an open face helmet also brush your teeth.

2 – Keep the interior clean. Yup sometimes your helmet can get funky. BUT you must be

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Might take some work to remove the dog smell

careful about cleaning the interior. Follow your owner’s manual on cleaning the inside of your helmet.

3 – Don’t use odor masking or sanitizing sprays on the interior of your helmet. Some sprays can degrade the foam under your padding, which will degrade its ability to keep you safe.

4 – Clean your visor. You must see right, so follow your brands instructions on cleaning the visor. But, be careful when working on the inside of the visor, most come with an anti-fog coating that needs to be properly handled….. DO NOT USE PAPER TOWELS on either side of your visor.

5 – Don’t grab or carry the helmet by the visor. Yes, we all know not to do this, but we all have. Really, try not to do this as it will damage the visor and possible the hinge point.

6 – Don’t hang your helmet from the mirror. As you should know the main part of the helmet that protects your head is the foam liner. Hanging your helmet from the mirror can cause the foam to compress where it sets on the mirror. Also how are your going to admire yourself with only one mirror.

7 – Keep your helmet ventilated. No, do not drill holes to get better air flow LOL. After you ride store your motorcycle helmet in a manner that will allow a good air flow to dry things out. Don’t just toss it in the helmet bag and into a closet…. Let it breath like a good wine!

The last two I had never thought about until researching this post.

8 – Don’t store your gloves in the motorcycle helmet. A couple sites stated some obvious things like….The gloves will restrict ventilation and not allow the padding to dry. Also the gloves will add their own “STINK” to the lining.

9 – Don’t slide your arm though the eye hole. The idea is that if you do this a lot, in order to free your hand for a task, your motorcycle helmet will get worn faster. That your jacket sleeve will cause undue wear an might also damage the inside of the visor.

 

Have any additional ideas on how to make your motorcycle helmet last longer? Add those ideas to the comments below.