Archive for the ‘Motorcycle advocacy’ Category

motoamerica-logoRacing

Over the last few years MotoAmerica motorcycle racing has been improving bit by bit, in the racing arena.

That was true until this season when the 2019 racing, in almost every class, became WOW.

In the superbike series there were multiple winners all though the season, on any given

bobby Fong

@bobbyfong50

week any one of six riders could end up on the top step.

Both the superbike (Cameron Beaubier) and sport bike (Bobby Fong) championship went down to the last race weekend. AND emerging champions like Alex Dumas, Andrew Lee

and Rocco Landers only add to the level of talent in MotoAmerica. As far as the racing goes…

MotoAmerica had the best racing in the world in 2019!!!! No doubt, hands down, the best racing in the world!

TV coverage

It was not only in racing that MotoAmerica improved.

The premier American motorcycle racing series moved from BEIN Sports to Fox Sports 2 tripling the number of homes that could see the races. Fox Sports 2 showed all the superbike races live or same day, with an encore showing later in the week for 45 hours of coverage. As for the other races like the Liqui Moly Twins Cup, many folks have been critical of the lack of coverage on TV. I say “dude” it is a building process, geez!!ma nbc

AND if that was not enough MotoAmerica had an hour long spot each week with NBC Sports Network. “Inside MotoAmerica” was a show that highlighted the races and provided interviews and features from the previous week’s races. Each show was repeated once for 22 hours of motorcycle racing coverage. I though “Inside MotoAmerica” was well produced.

Steaming

If you could not get Fox Sports 2 or you wanted to watch all the race action in every class, then you could have bought into MotoAmerica Live+. As part of The DawgHousemotoamerica live Motorcycle Radio show we have been calling for this for a few years, along with dumping BEIN. I know they have been listening to our show as Wayne Rainy and Chuck Askland stopped by and talked with us while we covered the races at VIR and Pittsburgh. Do we take credit for the steaming… but of course!!! ILMAO

Silly season

The MotoAmerica schedule for next year is set, Utah and Sonoma are out and “The Ridge” and Indianapolis are in for 2020. Looks like The DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio might get to go to 3 races next year (yes, we could go to NJ, but no way we are driving there from Virginia…Indy might be longer but so much easier)!

Is fan favorite JD Beach going to return next year, does not sound like he is. While there has been no official notice, the race announcers have stated, on live TV, that he is not returning. So, I assume we will get to see him full time riding American Flat Track.

Garrett Gerloff has rumors that he will be racing in World Super Bike next year. I hope he lands a contending ride as we really need a MotoAmerica alum to do well to attract more attention to the series.

Looks like factory Yamaha is pulling out of the series sponsorship. Sad but Yamaha is having a rough time financially in the US. They even recently moved their HQ from California to Georgia to save money.

Wrapping it up

I really enjoyed MotoAmerica’s 2019 motorcycle racing season. Between seeing racing live at the track, on Fox Sports, NBCSN and the streaming package I could not have asked for much more. All I have to say is things are looking up for motorcycle racing in the US.

I would like to give a special thanks to the folks over at Liqui Moly US for providing The DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio tickets to give away to fans of both our show and MotoAmerica!

 

recall

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. 

 *****

Manufacturer: Indian Motorcycle Company 

SUMMARY:

Indian Motorcycle Company (Indian) is recalling certain 2019 Chieftain motorcycles. The tail lights may be too bright, exceeding the maximum light output allowed. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment.”

CONSEQUENCE:

Due to increased brightness, other drivers may have difficulties discerning the brake light from the tail light, and thus may be unaware that the motorcycle is braking, thereby increasing the risk of a crash.

REMEDY:

Indian will notify owners, and dealers will update the engine control module software to correct the rear tail light’s intensity, free of charge. The recall began September 18, 2019. Owners may contact Indian customer service at 1-877-204-3697. Indian’s number for this recall is I-19-04.

 

RIDE ON, RIDE SAFE

md toll

It is not very often that I have something nice to say about the state due north of my home. Heck, this is the state that taxed rainfall!  {{EDIT: not the state but the state government }}

BUT, I just learned (thank you AMA) that Maryland is undergoing a modernization of its road toll system, to be in place by 2020. As part of that plan motorcycle will be tolled at half the current cost. A 50% reduction for those of that ride!

Now this is not a done deal. The Maryland Transportation Authority board has a public comment period open through the 3rd of October. If you live and ride in Maryland you need to make your thoughts known by going to the Maryland Toll Modernization website and leave your comment. Unless you want to pay higher tolls, in that case please disregard the link above!

The board is scheduled to make final recommendations at the end of November, 2019.

I must also give credit to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. Most politicians whine and state that this is going to cost the state $28 million dollars. The Governor stated that this was going to SAVE the citizens $28 million, that is the correct way to portray the effort.

Bennett's War

It is not very often that we get to see a movie about motorcycle culture on the big screen, Bennett’s War is the first in several years. I went to see this film at our local theater, going in with the premise that this was based on a true story, it wasn’t. No big deal, my assumption on that.

Bennett’s War story opens with two soldiers parachuting into an unknown location along with a couple crates. Turns out there are, what appears to be electric, adventure style, motorcycles in the crates. They had me hooked right there, fictional as hell, but hooked.

Soon Bennett is seriously wounded rescuing his buddy, while riding the motorcycle, by an explosive boobytrap. Waking up in the hospital the doctors tell him that is injury is so bad he is going to be medically retired and will never ride again.

HA! We know that won’t happen!

Soon he is at home and learns dad is going to lose the farm and he goes back to racing to Bennett's warearn the money to save it. From this point on there was lots of race footage, from Glen Helen Motocross track, that look spectacular at times and bit hokey at times, BUT well done.

If you had told me that Hallmark had made this film, it did have the romance and family tension they are known for, I would have believed you no questions asked. Turns out that his film was financed by Forrest Lucas of Lucas Oil Motocross fame! In this age of a downturn in motorcycling I salute Mr. Lucas for putting his money into his passion!

Ok it may be formulaic and predictable but it is also fun. At no time did I go moto-snob and feel like I needed to go pifffffttt. I am giving the Bennett’s War 4 stars and a job well done. Recommend that you go see it while it is on the big screen, it will not be the same on TV.

4 out 5 stars

 

 

safety 1

I ran across this list of dangerous states to ride motorcycles quite by accident. I was looking for something about riding in Virginia and up this popped on page 2 of the search results. The article was published in May 2019.

Interesting to say the least. Based on 2017 data QuoteWizard used the following methodology:

“We looked at 2017 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) fatality figures in each state and compared it with 2017 Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) motorcycle registration data to find which states had the highest rate of fatalities per registered motorcycle. Below is a ranking of all 50 states, with 1 being the highest rate of fatalities and 50 being the lowest.”

Below are the 5 worst and 5 best states to ride motorcycles. You can find the entire list here!

5 Worst                                                 5 Best

Mississippi                                           Montana

Texas                                                 South Dakota

South Carolina                                     Alaska

Florida                                                New Hampshire

Arizona                                                Minnesota

The 5 best also look among the top coldest too…… humm

 

Ride on, Ride safe

five

If you go to Sturges look up the Indian motorcycle with a sidecar BBQ grill built in. Read more here!

Stealing motorcycles from a blind man?!?  Read more here!

New Indian motorcycles and new Indian powerplant!  Read more here!

Monster Energy Supercross Cup.  3 tracks in one!?!  Read more here!

The man who killed 7 motorcyclist was high!  Read more here!

 

recall

For the first time since I have been doing the recall lists, there were no recalls! As of July 28 (I try to post recalls on the 28th of each month) everything is good!        But….

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.

 

bikes and breakfastWe recently discovered a motorcycle meetup called “Bikes and Breakfast“.  So we decided to take a ride to the nearest event to check it out.

In our area there are three events each month:

Bikes & Breakfast Virginia- second Sunday of each month at The Pub in Clifton, VA.

Bikes & Breakfast Maryland-the first and third Sunday of each month at The Watershed Cafe in Poolesville, MD.

As it was the first Sunday and Poolesville is not far away we decided to visit that one first.  From the pictures I think you get the idea that the turn at was not to bad. During our hour there over 100 motorcycles pulled in and out of the parking lot.IMG_20190707_101549346_HDR

Almost all makes and all brands were represented including 3 electric motorcycles. A Zero SR/F and DSR (both of which I recently test rode) and an EGO, I had never heard of EGO electric motorcycles.  The EGO bike was pulling out when I walked up so I did not get to check it out.

If you live in this area you should check out Bikes and Breakfast at least once.

Oh, and there is one in New York too:

Bikes & Breakfast New York-the first Sunday of each month at The 9W Market in Palisades, NY.

IMG_20190621_105526343_HDR

I recently got to test ride a couple of Zero motorcycles. The Zero SR/F and the DSR. The Zero SR/F is their sport bike motorcycle and the DSR is more along the line of an adventure motorcycle.

Riding the SR/F first, I was impressed with the motorcycle! Fit and finish seemed spot on and the styling was better than many of the other sport bikes on the market, at least to my taste.

With torque rated at 140 and horsepower at 110 the SR/F is an awesome bike off the staring line…not that I tried anything like that.IMG_20190621_111105207_HDR

The route we took for the ride did not truly allow for an assessment of the motorcycles handling but swinging between potholes and road debris leads me to think that the SR/F might be a well handing machine. It comes with Bosch’s Motorcycle Stability Control and several modes of operation including “sport” which maximizes the performance of the motorcycle.

At 161 mile “city” range (200 with the “power tank”) and an optimal charge time of 80 minutes it seems right for the urban commuter. On my commute I would have grave range anxiety and there is no recharging station at work. It is something I would like to try although, a SR/F with saddle bags on my commute for a couple weeks would be intriguing.

On this limited test ride I give the $19K Zero SR/F motorcycle a BIG THUMBS UP!!! (can’t give it a start rating due to the limitations of the test ride)

The Zero DSR with torque rate at 116 and 70 HP rode quite comfortably on our potholed road test. I intentionally road across and trough the bumps to get a fell for the suspension of the motorcycle. I was pleasantly surprised, it is not a $20K BMW adventure bike but, it was a quite a smooth ride.

IMG_20190621_111209428_HDRThe DSR’s range is 163 city and 78 highway. Again, not something I would trust my commute on but for an afternoon of backroad travels, I would love to give it a try. Charging time for the DSR ranges from 2.5 to 12 hours depending on configuration and options.

I don’t feel I can give this motorcycle a thumbs up or down based on the limited test ride. It seems fun and agile, but I can’t tell for sure.

As a point of comparison…. I have, on one other occasion, got to test ride an electric motorcycle, the Harley Davidson Live Wire prototype. Of the two Zero bikes I rode the SR/F was the closest to the Live Wire.

The Harley Live Wire is a very cool motorcycle and the Zero SR/F is a very cool motorcycle. But at $9k price difference I would lean towards the SR/F.

Special THANK YOU to Motorcycles of Dulles for hosting this test ride!!!

Ride On, Ride Safe

recall

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.

*****

Manufacturer: Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

SUMMARY: Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (Suzuki) is recalling certain 2018-2019
GSX250R motorcycles. Water intrusion may corrode the rear brake light switch causing the rear brake light to fail to illuminate or remain illuminated continuously when the brake is not applied.

CONSEQUENCE: A failure of the brake light to illuminate, or continued illumination when the brakes are not being applied, can increase the risk of a crash.

REMEDY: Suzuki will notify owners, and dealers will replace the rear brake stop light switch, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June 28, 2019. Owners may contact Suzuki customer service at 1-800-934-0934. Suzuki’s number for this recall is 2A90.

*****

Manufacturer: Honda (American Honda Motor Co.)

SUMMARY: Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain 2019 CB300R, 2018 CBR300R, 2018 CRF250L, 2018 CRF250L Rally, and 2018-2019 CMX300 motorcycles. The circlip, on the transmission’s main shaft, may detach allowing for gear misalignment.

CONSEQUENCE: A misaligned gear can shift the transmission from neutral into gear during engine start, potentially resulting in unexpected motorcycle movement or seize the transmission and rear wheel while the motorcycle is in motion. Both conditions increase the risk of crash or injury.

REMEDY: Honda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the transmission main shaft, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June 28, 2019. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-866-784-1870. Honda’s number for this recall is KK3.

*****

Manufacturer: Ducati North America

SUMMARY: Ducati North America (Ducati) is recalling certain 2018-2019 Panigale V4, Panigale V4 S, Panigale Speciale, and 2019 Panigale R motorcycles. Excessive pressure in the fuel tank may cause fuel to spray when opening the fuel cap.

CONSEQUENCE: Fuel spray can increase the risk of injury and a fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source can increase the risk of a fire.

REMEDY: Ducati will notify owners, and dealers will update the fuel cap venting system, provide an updated page for the owner’s manual, and affix a warning label decal to the fuel tank, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin July 13, 2019. Owners may contact Ducati customer service at 1-888-391-5446. Ducati’s number for this recall is SRV-RCL-19-001. Note: This recall includes motorcycles that may have been previously remedied under recall 18V-238 for a similar issue.

*****

Manufacturer: Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

SUMMARY: Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (Suzuki) is recalling certain 2018-2019 Burgman 200/UH200 scooters. The rivet connections may fail and allow the movable driven face (drive plate) of the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) to break.

CONSEQUENCE: If the drive plate breaks, the scooter will lose power to the rear wheel, increasing the risk of a crash.

REMEDY: Suzuki will notify owners, and dealers will replace the drive plate, free of charge. The recall began June 5, 2019. Owners may contact Suzuki customer service at 1-714-572-1490. Suzuki’s number for this recall is 2A89.

*****

Manufacturer: Indian Motorcycle Company

SUMMARY: Indian Motorcycle Company (Indian) is recalling certain 2014 Chief and Chieftain motorcycles. Due to a problem within the Vehicle Control Module (VCM), all of the front lights, including the headlight, may go out while riding.

CONSEQUENCE: The loss of lighting can reduce visibility, increasing the risk of crash.

REMEDY: The remedy for this recall is still under development. Owners will be informed of the safety risk beginning in June 2019. Owners will receive a second notice when the remedy becomes available. Owners may contact Indian customer service at 1-877-204-3697. Indian’s number for this recall is I-19-02.

*****

Manufacturer: Strategic Sports, Ltd.

SUMMARY: Strategic Sports, Ltd. (Strategic Sports) is recalling certain Zox Sierra ST-560 helmets, sizes XS, S, M, and L. 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: Objects may penetrate the helmet during a crash, increasing the risk of injury.

REMEDY: Strategic Sports has notified owners, and instructed them to return the helmet, for a full refund. The recall began April 30, 2019. Owners may contact Strategic Sports customer service at helmet.recall.info@gmail.com or 1-619-861-8110. Strategic Sports’ number for this recall is OA-218-170423.