Archive for the ‘Motorcycle advocacy’ Category

May is Motorcycle Awareness month but May 2018 is coming to an end.  Motorcycle awareness should not come to an end.  Please take these Motorcycle awareness pics and post to all your social media accounts.  Lets get the word out all year long!!!!

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

Air jets to keep you from crashing your motorcycle?  Bosch think this is a good idea!  Phil does this after every Taco Bell run.

A reference to Deadpool 2 from an earlier show.

Moto2…. yawn….. MOTOGP, well Marquez looked good!

Motocross ….. Is Eli Tomac running a 650?

Flat Track…do we even know what happened?  Tune in to find out.

Oh and some silly season stuff from MOTOGP.

Please check out our PODCAST HERE!

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                                        May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

As we all know all the safety gear we wear and all the safety tech on our motorcycles are just not enough at times. Awareness of motorcycles by drivers of cars and trucks is as important as everything we do.

So to help improve the awareness of others (and therefore ourselves) we need to start teaching children to watch for motorcycles. That is why the idea of teaching kids to count motorcycles instead of “punch bugs” is so important. If they are watching for motorcycles as kids they will have an easier time seeing them when they start to drive. Thus our safety as motorcyclist is improved. The payoff is in the future but let’s invest now.

Make a game that has a small reward when they spot “X” number of motorcycles. Ask your non-riding friends to do this with their children. Mention it at events and gatherings, just get the word out. You know when a 6 year old yells “motorcycle” that their parent is going to see it to!!

This is a repost from May 2017

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 This past weekend I attended the Virginia International Raceway stop of MotoAmerica.  Phil and I drove, 4 hours, to check out the action of this year’s motorcycle race.  This is the first time I have attended a professional motorcycle race in person.  I had a great time and learned a few things along the way.  In no order ….bp 10 

1.  The track is a lot steeper in person then on TV.  Wow the elevation change on the back side of the track had to be at least 300 feet top to bottom, with a couple “S” turns tossed in.  There was not many attempted passes in that section, it would take super skill or brass ones to pull it of downhill at 130MPH. 

2. Phil may still be “persona non-gratia”.  If you listen to DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio you know Phil has been hard on MotoAmerica over the last year.  Not for the motorcycle racing but for the seemingly lack of effort to entice fans to the events.  More on that below.  But anyway, I put in for media credentials for both Phil and myself, I got the “hard card” ID like badge and Phil got an armband and they misspelled his name.  LOL 

3.  The “Air Wall” works as advertised.  Hayden Gillim crashed right in front of us coming out of turn 3, sliding right into the bp 2Air Wall. I would guess he was going 80-90MPH when the motorcycle slides out from under him.  Hayden got up and walked away, though the spectators, not sure that would have been the case with a stack of tires.  

4.  When you are standing near the motorcycles when they launch off the starting line it is faster and louder than on TV. 

5.  Fox Sports 1 must get better ratings for a regular season baseball game then the Championship motorcycle race for SuperCross.  Baseball pre-empted about 20 minutes of SuperCross and that made us cross. 

6.  Virginia International Raceway is a great facility for racing.  In addition to the track there is a small hotel and condo on site.  The view of the track is good, except where they had to put up advertisements for the TV cameras, but that is money and money is why they have a good facility.  

7.  MotoAmerica is getting better.  There was a lot going on at track between races, stuff for kids, bp 6scattered corn hole games, the WALL of DEATH, vendors, and the spectacle of the race bikes getting worked.  It is a lot more then there has been in the past.  BUT, there seemed to be a more than a few cars from the DC, Maryland area based on no advertising in the Washington DC region.  What would they get if they actually tried to recruit fans to VIR? 

8.  My phone and sunlight do not mix.  I tried to do a few Facebook Live events during the weekend and then came of OK at best.  I will have to take OK as I could barely see my screen and at times had no idea if the recording was on or off!  Oh well. 

9.  The visceral feeling as the race started or flew by.  TV, at least for now, just cannot replicate that feeling as dozen high powered motorcycles scream off the line or through a turn just 25 yards away.  WOW

 

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Long motorcycle trips can be very rewarding, with a lot of fun along the way. Whether you are travelling solo or with a companion, there are lots of ways to entertain yourself during those points where the scenery is not so thrilling. For those night stops, you can use these tips too.

  1. Listen to music

There’s nothing like the right soundtrack to make the road feel even more epic. Take care about playlist choice and volume – you can’t skip a track when you’re riding, and you don’t want to block out important noises which could warn you of hazards.

  1. Play counting games

If you start to get bored, you can initiate a counting game. If you’re travelling with someone else, you can make it competitive, but it works alone too. Pick something and count it – like the number of roadside pubs you pass, or so forth. You can also count decorations on houses that you pass around Christmas or Halloween.

  1. Watching films or TV

When you’re at your stop for the night, you can fill in some time by watching TV shows or films on your smart phone or tablet. If you need to download them, make sure to use a VPN connection for safety. You can also download them before you set off so you’re ready to watch.

  1. Listen to a book

A bit like listening to music, only more intellectual. You can load up an audio book on your phone and pop your headphones in to listen to a story which will accompany your journey. A lot of audio books tend to be many hours long, so this will work well.

  1. Film yourself

If you set up a GoPro camera and a microphone in your helmet, you can actually record a travel video while you ride. This is something you can edit down later and use to showcase your journey. You could even start a vlog for this purpose.

  1. Sing to yourself

If you don’t want to fill your helmet with music, how about providing your own? You can sing out loud on a long journey, especially if you’re on a long highway without much variation. It will keep you awake as you try to remember lyrics, too.

  1. Wave at people

If you’re travelling through populated areas, try waving randomly at passers-by. Especially if you spot kids, this is a lot of fun as they get excited! Only do this if it is safe, such as when you are stopped at a light. If you’re riding a long motorway or highway, you might not get a chance.

  1. Write a novel

You won’t be able to write it down, but why not make up your own fantasy world in your head? Make up a story with characters and decide what happens to them. This can be a lot of fun to stretch your creative imagination while you’re trying to find something to grab your attention.

  1. Think about life

Finally, why not use the long journey to think about life in general? You can do some real soul-searching and think about what you want out of life, and how you can get there. This is a time to answer the really big questions. By the time you reach your destination, you might have made an important decision about the rest of your life.

There can be dull moments even on the most exciting motorcycle road trips, and you can find yourself getting sleepy or bored because of the monotony. These techniques will help prevent that from now on.

Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, BizDb.co.nz and Datastical, an online resources with information about businesses. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.  Her dad was a motorcyclist and he passed that passion on to her. Sarah loves to travel the world on her motorcycle and she hopes that one of her daughters will become her partner in the near future.

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With April set as Motorcycle Helmet Safety Month I thought I would write a few different posts on the subject.  I am going to try and cover several different areas around helmet safety just for us to think about.

FITMENT

I am not going to try the case of wearing or not wearing the helmet.  But if you do wear a helmet you should make sure it fits properly.

The first thing, in my opinion, you should do is look at the sizing guides for the helmets you are most interested in. Every motorcycle helmet manufacturer has a slightly different way of sizing your head both in measurements and shape.

Sizing your skull

When you measure your head, wrap the tape measure starting about ½ inch above your eyebrow, loop around your head (at the largest point) keeping it above your ears.  I recommend that you have a friend help you with this to get the correct measure.  I also suggest doing it three times and then averaging the three to get the size of your noog’n.

If your melon falls between the two sizes, go with the smaller size.

 

 

Shape of your skull

This one is a lot tougher to deal with.  Most motorcycle helmet makers really, truly do not take into to account that our brain-cases are the same shape.

While all heads, for the most part, are oval some are rounder then others while some are more elongated.  The shape of your skull will impact how the helmet fits.  You will have to try on the helmets you are interested in to see how they fit your dome.

Trying the Helmet On

Does your new candidate helmet fill a little tight?  That is good!  Feeling a little tight or slightly uncomfortable is ok but if it should not be inducing any pain to the back of your gourd, your temples or your forehead. Any hotspots or uncomfortable pressure points will be a guarantee of a miserable ride.

Now try turning the helmet left and right and tilting forward and back.  If the helmet moves over your skin freely it is to big, try a size smaller.

If it seems to fit well, try to keep it on for at least 10-15 minutes.  Does it still feel ok?  When you take it off are there any hotspots or rub marks, if not maybe you have a winner.  If you are having comfort issues the helmet just might be the wrong shape for your head.

Try to Pull the Helmet Off

Last step, if everything else seems to be a-ok.  Reach over your head and grasp the bottom/back of the helmet.  Try and pull it over and off your head.  If it comes off, try a different size.

While these are my recommendation please do your own research on the fitment of motorcycle helmets.  There are many other suggestions out there, these are just the ones that I use. Just use these suggestions as a way to get started on assuring a good fit.  Look for other suggestions/recommendations on fitment of helmets.  Never trust just one website, look at as many as you can to make sure you fully understand. 

Also, you can use these fitment techniques as a starting point to determine if your current motorcycle helmet is still good to go.  Can you pull it over and off your head?  Might be a good time to replace your primary safety device.

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Example of bad fitment!

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Here in North America and in many other parts of the world, our motorcycles are coming out of their winter hibernation.  Along with the all of our riding accessories including helmets.

So what does that mean to you and me, the average motorcycle rider?h7

It means that you need to perform the safety checks for your motorcycle (tires, brakes, etc.).  You also need to check the condition of your helmets.  Some ideas on checking your motorcycle helmet:

  • Is the shell all in one piece? No cracks or splits?
  • Are the straps and connectors in good shape, no adverse wear or tear?
  • The internal padding is connected and stays in place?
  • Does the rest of the internals look in good operating condition?
  • Make sure that insects/creatures are not living in your helmet, see the photos below!

While your helmet might look clean and shiny it does not mean that it not ready for replacement. Worse yet, a single drop to the ground might be enough to cause you to consider replacement, according to the manufactures.

Here are some industry guidelines regarding your helmet:

  • Helmet manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet every 3 to 5 years, h6depending on use, to ensure optimal protection.
  • Over time, UV rays, internal adhesive and component aging can deteriorate a helmet’s protective qualities by degrading the interior protection layer.
  • Exposure to gasoline, insect repellent, cleaning fluids, exhaust fumes and excessive heat can degrade helmet materials.
  • If a helmet has been dropped or suffered an impact, it should be replaced immediately.
  • A helmet is designed for only one impact, even a small one. An impact may fracture its outer shell as well as compress the inner liner, neither of which may be visible.

Now it is your head so you need to make the decision, but you should at least check out your lid to make sure there are no major issues.

Here in the US, as well as many other places, motorcycling appears to be in a major decline. Most motorcycle manufactures are selling fewer bikes, industry aftermarket companies are facing hardship, publications are reducing output or closing shop. The economy may be rebounding which gives me hope that our avocation is just lagging and all will be better soon enough.

But if not, is it our fault? There have been many articles, post, opinions shared about how the younger generation (those dang whippersnappers, get off my grass) appear to have no interest in motorcycling. Or that they can’t afford motorcycles, or they are afraid of motorcycles, etc. etc..

Harley Davidson appears to be the most hurt by this apparent trend. They also appear to be the one company attempting to change that trend as well. They are spending a lot of money and capital on coming out with new products and promotions. Heck, they were the corporate sponsor of a new Winter X-Games event, the snow hill climb. But, their efforts are all about the company not motorcycling in general, as it should be.

The reason I ask the question “Is it our fault?” is what are we, the current crop of riders, doing to promote our passion to the next generation(s)? Do we hang out with the same bike loving groups? Do we ride with the same group of friends?

Because of this I am challenging myself and you to get out of the 2-foot rut in which you

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The Grandsons out on the motorcycles

are riding. Find ways to talk with non-riders about what it is to ride, on-road, off-road it does not matter. Spread the gospel of motorcycle and see if you can convert, even one, to the world of riding. If only 50% of the riders out there can get someone up on two wheels in the next 5 years, we would have a 50% growth in the industry.

Here are a few ideas on getting non-riders involved, add yours to the comments:

* Take a non-rider out for several motorcycle rides (and don’t scare them).
* Going to the dealership? Take a non-rider with you to acclimate them to bikes.
* Have a stack of motorcycle magazines? Give a few to a non-rider, again acclimation.
* Have a track nearby? Take your non-rider to a race or event at the track.
* Know some young kids? Buy them any of the motorcycle themed video games out there.

Well that is my 2 cents on this discussion of the decline of motorcycling. The motorcycle brands can do a lot, but so can we. Don’t make it our fault.

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Some expert motorcycle taxi riding in the Philippines!

3 Years living on a motorcycle!

Japanese Motorcycle Special Teams At Training with Kawasaki KLX250

How much will a MOTOGP Rider make in 2018

Going to North Carolina or Tennessee to ride this year, check this out!

motorcycle-life-badge

Looks like Motorcycle GPS & Gear thinks that IJustWant2Ride is one of the 22 Best Motorcycle blogs.  Looking at the list of other blogs they recommend I am very pleased to be placed in that company.

If you have a few minutes check out their list of Best Motorcycle Blogs as well as the rest of their site.  The list of recommended motorcycle GPS devices is worth the stop alone.

Some other mentions on Best Motorcycle Blogs:

Top 200 Motorcycle Blogs by Feedspot

Top 15 Motorcycle Blogs by Test Facts

Top 100 Motorcycle Blogs to Follow by 10 Selects