Archive for the ‘Motorcycle advocacy’ Category

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DOWNSIFHT: Norton Motorcycles May Not Last Much Longer – Norton has gone into norton“administration” which from an American view appears to be like bankruptcy. They have a £300,000 tax bill to the Queen; orders they can’t fill and internet rumors that they were taking parts off bikes in for service to put on the production line.
There was a lot of high hope for Norton Motorcycles recently with the introduction of Atlas and Ranger 650 parallel twins as well as a new V4. But the new plant for the 650s is not finished and may never be completed now.
MY TAKE: Is this yet another sign of the decline of the motorcycle industry? Sells are down even where the economies are good. Norton has been struggling but unless something starts a turn round, I think we will start seeing other manufactures closing shop as well.

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dakarUPSHIFT: An American Wins the Dakar Motorcycle Rally – Riding a Honda CRF 450 Ricky Barbec finished the 11-day, 5000-mile rally in 40 hours and 2 minutes! The rally was held within the boards of Saudi Arabria this year. Starting in Jeddah, Barbec took the lead in stage 3 and never gave it up.

MY TAKE: WOW and I never heard or saw it on TV or in the news. Sad

best poster 2019

A few years ago, I started to “collect” motorcycle themed posters/print, a few are even in real life. This year I added 21 individual motorcycle prints/posters to my collection.

With that said I award, with nothing but that fine badge and a mention on this blog, the top 9 motorcycle posters of 2019! I wish they all had the artist information on them so we could recognize their talent.

If you see some cool motorcycle posters while you are cruising about in real life or cruising the interwebs, send me a link and they might make next year’s list!

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Recently my wife and attended the International Motorcycle Show (IMS) in Washington DC. This is around or fifth or sixth IMS in a row and about eight altogether. It has always been a good time and we enjoy going.IMG_20200112_105512279

This year though there were a lot of missing manufacturers. Some of the smaller companies Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Royal Enfield were missing, not necessarily surprising in the current market. But KTM was a no show, Ducati, Husqvarna were represented by local dealers and Honda, Harley Davidson and especially Indian were quite downsized.

The number of smaller vendors was about the same as was the crowd. Although I will say it felt as if there were fewer people because the alleys between vendors was much wider than in the past.

As side entertainment there was a motorcycle stunt show, little kids riding electric bikes and adults riding Electric Zeros. There was also a vintage motorcycle. There was also the annual J&P Cycles touring custom motorcycle show, there were a bunch of hot bikes to look at.

IMG_20200112_110022565The two most intriguing items for me were the new KLIM airbag vest and the fact that Harley Davidson had their new Pan American and Bronx motorcycles “under glass”. The KLIM airbag vest, selling for $499 is, I think, the cheapest vest, by a major maker, on the market. It has piqued my interest and if I find an extra $500 I might be in the market to purchase one.

The Harley motorcycles under glass was interesting. Both bikes were getting a lot of attention and I heard folks stating that they like the styling on both. The glass, however, made taking photos difficult, as you can see below. Harley also had their Live Wire electric motorcycle on display as well as an opportunity to “ride” it on a dyno like roller.

So, what did I come away with from this years IMS? I was reinforced that the motorcycle industry is in general decline and I really like the styling of the new Suzuki Katana! While my back can no longer take riding a sport bike, man that Katana is hot!

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In 2019 there were just not a lot of good motorcycle memes. I had a total of 20 in my memes folder to chose from. Last year there were nearly double that to choose from and the selection of the final 9 memes for last year was difficult

This year the down selects went quick it took less than 5 minutes to pick the 9 best motorcycle memes from 2019. So, enjoy!

Which one is your FAVORITE?  Let me know in the comments below.  I like the dinosaur one the best!

Why the 9 Best Motorcycle Memes? Because everyone does 10 and 11 is to much work.

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Are you struggling to think of an idea for a gift for your motorcycle riding friends and family? Well here are 9 ideas for you to consider some are classics that I have recommend in the past and some are new for this year.x1

9) Got a Harley Davidson fan, try a framed set of Harley Patents. Something to spruce up the garage, apartment or basement.

8) A branded hat. Not sure what kind of motorcycle they ride? Peak in the garage and then find a hat that is the same brand.

x27) BugSlide all in one cleaner, polish and bug remover. I discovered this stuff about 2 years ago. I think it is awesome sauce between major bike baths.

6) Battery Tender – Over the long winter break batteries tend to die.  This motorcycle gift will help your motorcyclist out and make sure the bike is ready to go on the first day of riding season.  I don’t have a recommendation for a specific brand, they are almost all good.  Just get one that comes with the ends that connect to motorcycle batteries.

5) Helmet – Is your bikers helmet more then 5 years old?  If so ask some sneaky questions to find out what they like in a helmet.  Full face, modular, open face, there are so many possibilities… maybe a gift certificate for a helmet might be better.

4) New gloves. I seem to wear out riding gloves every 18 months or so. I also go through many because they are not as comfortable after a few hours as I thought. Give a new pair of gloves to your rider, I bet they will like the thought.

3) Kevlar lined pants, shirts or jackets. Can get pricy but, your motorcycle rider will love you for it.

2) Custom Dynamic Motorcycle Lights. They make super bright, eye catching lighting for WP_20150617_19_22_10_Proa lot of different types of motorcycle. I have several sets on my bike. Take a look at their ProBeam LED Motorcycle Turn Signals, I can’t recommend this product enough.

1) Membership in the AMA – That is the American Motorcycle Association not he medical association (or the version of the AMA in your area).   Membership not only gets you things like emergency towing it gets you a voice in Washington DC.  The AMA is the biggest (but not the only) motorcycle lobbyist group trying to protect your right to ride.  This is, most likely the most important motorcycle gift idea on the list!

American Motorcycle Association

Motorcycle, motorcycling, Harley, Harley Davidson, café racer, café motorcycle, motorcycle safety, motorcycle advocacy, congress, Motorcycle Ride, motorcycle riding, hog, hd, custom motorcycle, harley owners group

Straight Winter Road

not sure who to credit, but a cool pic.

Damn, it is getting cold again in the northern hemisphere again. One would think that this is an annual event! Here in Virginia we have already had our first snow, it did not stick but it SNOWED! I hope to get a few more days riding my motorcycle before the end of the year, maybe.

Sigh… Riding season, depending on what you are willing to put up with, is either over or nearly so.

Unfortunately, it is time to consider storing and winterizing your motorcycle. There are thousands of suggestions and tips out there on winterizing your motorcycle, such as putting a teaspoon of oil in your cylinders and filling the tires with nitrogen, so do your own research to find out what works for you with manner and place you store your bike.

If it is time for you to store your motorcycle until the spring thaw, here are nine things you need to consider. Why 9 things on winter motorcycle storage? Because everyone has lists of 10 and 11 is to many!

  1. Stabilize the fuel or drain the tank. Almost all gas, especially the ethanol
    ijustwant2ride.com

    E15 can kill your motorcycle

    “enhanced” stuff, has a short shelf life. While many believe that draining the tank (and carb system if equipped) is all that is needed to prevent the gasoline from turning to muck, I am not one of them. I just don’t think it is possible to burn all the fuel in the system, small despots will always remain. I prefer to fill the tank and add fuel stabilizer, I then run the engine for at least 15 minutes to work the stabilized fuel through the entire fuel system. After the short ride to get the stabilizer through the system I then refill the tank as much as possible to limit the amount of air in the tank.

  2. Change your oil.   Do this as close to your final days of riding as reasonably possible. If you are a do-it-yourself guy, consider doing the oil change right after you complete the ride to mix in the fuel stabilizer. Why change the oil before storage? Because changing the oil now removes the sludge, dirt and residual contaminants in the oil that could oxidize during storage. Make sure to run the engine a few minutes to disburse the new oil throughout the engine.
  3. Prepare and Protect the Battery. Most motorcycle batteries are lead-acid and should be kept under a constant charge in order to maintain their life. Be aware there is a difference between a battery tender and a tickle charger. A battery tender is specialized charger that has special circuits to prevent overcharging your battery. You can use a trickle charger but check the instructions carefully; many cannot be used on your battery for more than 30 minutes each day. If your motorcycle will be stored where freezing temperatures will likely occur often, consider removing the battery and place it in a warm dry place. You will still need to keep it charged but he cold will have less effect on the life of the battery.
  4. Check your anti-freeze. Harley Davidson riders this now includes a lot of you too. Make sure you have the proper amount and type of anti-freeze in your bike. Depending on what type of coolant your manufacture uses it could be one of several colors. Rules of thumb, if it a light color or clear you need to change the fluid. If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person remember to “bleed” the system to get all the air out. If would be a bad thing if on your first spring ride your bike overheats.
  5. Clean your bike. Whether you kept your bike clean all riding season or you only give it a bath once a year now is the time to do it (again). All that evil road krap (dirt/sand/salt/oils/roadkill) attaches to your motorcycle’s metal surfaces and will begin to corrode those parts. A good cleaning before storage will make that much harder for the forces of evil to work their powers on your bike. If you bike uses a chain, now is the time to clean it as well.
  6. Wax, polish and Lubricate. After the good cleaning I think it is important to put a nice coat of polish on the paint and chrome. This will help protect the surfaces from any condensation that might occur during storage. Lubricate the chain as described in your owner’s manual. Lube all moving parts such as cables and your side stand pivot. Use a metal protectant spray on the underside of the frame and drivetrain, I prefer to spray it on a rag and wipe it on that way I can also get some of the dirt I missed while cleaning the bike. These actions will help you combat rust on any areas exposed from pitting or scratches.
  7. Put a sock in it. When I was a kid, I was helping a friend start his bike in the spring and shortly after starting we heard a lot of rattling in the exhaust. A few moments later out shot a handful of lightly roosted acorns that some chipmunk had hidden there. Depending on the area you are storing the bike cover your exhausts or insert exhaust plugs to protect yourself from critters.
  8. Check your Tires. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Now I am not sure wp_20161015_09_51_15_proabout this step but, many folks recommend that you let some of the air out of the tires, to allow any condensation to escape. Of course, you need to add more air to the tires after you bleed them. Also, many folks think you need to get the tires off the ground if you are going to be letting them sit for long periods to avoid “flat spots”. I am not sure I concur with this thinking and I have read in several places that Harley Davidson does not recommend this as it places stress on the front suspension. Check with your manufacture if this is something you are not sure about.
  9. Cover your motorcycle. Even when stored inside, your bike should be covered while stored. Use a cover that can breathe don’t use a plastic tarp. Moisture should not be allowed to become trapped under the cover on your bike’s metal surfaces.

That’s the bare basics to storing your bike. Remember winter is also a good time to take care of those bike projects you have been thinking about. I have not yet decided just what my winter motorcycle project will be this year.

 

 

 

 

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To all the current, past and future veterans “I salute you”!  As one myself I know the levels of hardship that can come with that lifestyle.m 10 8 4

Many service members will take their motorcycles with them each time they move, or sell their current bike to buy a new one at the other destination.  I like to think that this motivation is something that crosses international boundary’s. I can imagine a soldier in India riding or pulling his motorcycle to the next duty station just like an American soldier.

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Soldiers can sleep anywhere!

Veterans and motorcycles have had a long term relationship that still goes on today.  In the US there are a multitude of clubs formed by vet’s from the recent wars.  Whether or not they rode motorcycles as a duty or only when off duty, bikes are a way of life for many.

Below is a video on how WWII US Army dispatch riders trained.

 

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. 

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Manufacturer: Honda American Honda Motor Co

SUMMARY: Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain 2019 CRF450L motorcycles. The horn mount may break, allowing the horn to detach from the motorcycle.

CONSEQUENCE: An unsecured horn may interfere with the motorcycle while driving, affecting handling and control, or it may fall off and become a road hazard. Either of these scenarios can increase the risk of a crash.  

REMEDY: Honda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the horn and horn mount, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 2, 2019. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-866-784-1870. Honda’s number for this recall is KK4.

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Manufacturer: BMW of North America, LLC 

SUMMARY: BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2020 S 1000 RR motorcycles. The oil cooler hoses may not be attached properly to the oil pipes, possibly resulting in an oil leak.  

CONSEQUENCE: Leaking oil may drip in the path of the rear tire, increasing the risk of a crash.

 REMEDY: BMW will notify owners, and dealers will replace the oil cooler assembly, including the hoses, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin November 27, 2019. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.

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Manufacturer: Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. 

SUMMARY: Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Can-Am Ryker motorcycles. The wheel nuts may crack, causing the wheels to loosen.  

CONSEQUENCE: Loose wheels may cause a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash.  

REMEDY: BRP will notify owners, and dealers will replace the wheel nuts, free of charge. The recall began October 17, 2019. Owners may contact BRP customer service at 1-888-272-9222.

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Manufacturer: BMW of North America, LLC 

SUMMARY: BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2017-2020 K 1600 GT and 2018-2020 K 1600 GTL and K 1600 B motorcycles. Certain transmission parts may not have been produced to the appropriate hardness level. This could affect the function of the transmission, possibly causing double engagement of two gears and/or the damage of transmission parts.  

CONSEQUENCE: Double gear engagement or transmission damage can cause the rear wheel to lock up, affecting the vehicle stability and increasing the risk of a crash.

 REMEDY: BMW will notify owners, and dealers will replace the shift forks, the selector sleeve of 5th/6th gear and the gear wheel of 6th gear, free of charge. Interim letters notifying owners of the safety risk will be mailed November 8, 2019. A second letter will be sent once the remedy is available. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.

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Representatives of Viking Cycle reached out to me and asked if I were willing to perform a review of one of their products. I asked them if they were willing to take the review that the product deserved would they still be interested? The answer to that question was yes so here you go, a review of one of their motorcycle gloves!

The Viking Cycle Tactical Half Finger Textile Motorcycle Gloves are, in my opinion, pretty darn nice even if the name is crazy long. I have never used fingerless gloves so I was pleasantly surprised how well they felt. And the fact that you can fasten your helmet with gloves on was a cool bonus.

I have used these gloves while riding my motorcycle this past summer at times when the temperature was over 100F and in the rain. The ventilation of the gloves was excellent, at no time did I think of how hot my hands were, which if you are not thinking about something like this means it is working. Nor did the die leak out of the gloves due to sweat or rain.z2

The little air vents on the fingers forced air into and under the armored knuckles. The armor feels substantial and while I did not have an occasion to test their ability to protect my hand, I think it would do well.

After 500 miles I took a close look at the wear and tear on the Viking Cycle Tactical Half Finger Textile Motorcycle Gloves. The elastic was not stretched out, all the stitching was in good order and there was no undo wear anywhere.

For $20 US, at the 500-mile mark, I must give these gloves 5 stars. They work as advertised and have held up well. I could find no fault in the Viking Cycle Tactical Half Finger Textile Motorcycle Gloves. Once I get somewhere near 1500 miles on these gloves, I will provide you with a long-term review.

5 star

 

Some links to Viking Motorcycle products:

Viking Cycle USA, https://www.vikingcycle.com/collections/womens-motorcycle-jackets)

Viking Cycle UK, https://uk.vikingcycle.com/collections/mens-motorcycle-jackets
Viking Cycle AU, https://au.vikingcycle.com/collections/mens-motorcycle-gloves
Motorcyclehouse UK, https://www.motorcyclehouse.co.uk/leather-motorcycle-jackets-for-men.htm

Motorcyclehouse AU, https://www.motorcyclehouse.com.au/motorcycle-saddlebags-panniers.htm

Viking Bags USA, https://www.vikingbags.com/dirt-bike-luggage-bags

american byway

Interactive map of American Byways

A few years ago, I wrote about a website the federal government got right, their “America’s Byways” website.

What I did not know, at that time, was that the authorization for identifying and creating new byways had expired in 2012. From 1991 until 2012 nearly 150 roads were defined as an American Byway or an All American Road.

Now, it turns out, that both the House of Representatives and the Senate have passed the “Reviving America’s Scenic Byways Act” and it is now with the president to sign. And who said that they could not work together to make something happen.

This act requires the Secretary of Transportation to seek nominations for and eventually make a decision of those roads that can be added to the list. This program also provides resources to those communities along the roads to help further improve the byways.

plan a motorcycle ride

American Byways info page

This website is a great source in helping plan a future ride. We have used it and have rode several of these byways ourselves including: The Highland Scenic Highway, George Washington Heritage Trail, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Northwestern Turnpike, Skyline Drive and the Natchez Trace among others.

For those of us that like these roads a special thanks must to go out to the American Motorcyclist Association. The AMA is part of the coalition that has gotten us to the point of renewing a government program that actually works.

plan a motorcycle ride

American Byway map page