Archive for the ‘Motorcycle advocacy’ Category

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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

ijustwant2ride.com

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 

 

 

Ijustwant2 ride.com

You may or may not have heard that Harley Davidson has a plan to release 50 new models in the next 5 years and 100 in the next 10.  One or two of those new models are, for sure, going to be electric motorcycles.  They have made statements that their new electric bikes will be out by the 2020 model year (which would be next summer/fall). 

Also, recent reports indicate that that Harley has filed for trademark protection on the name “H-D Revelation” for batteries, chargers and powertrain.  It would not take a great leap to think that this could also be the name of the electric motorcycle. 

If you listen to the DawgHouse podcast you will know that I have issues with electric motorcycles.  Most of those issues are around range and luggage.  I have nearly a 90-mile (round trip) commute that includes crossing two mountain ranges. Tie that into the fact that I tend to be heavy on the throttle makes me concerned that without a 200 mile “normal conditions” range I might not make it home.  I also need saddlebag space to hold a backpack of “stuff” that I transport to and from work.  Both of those concerns would need to be filled before I would even consider an electric motorcycle.

But Harley is bringing something to electric game that other motorcycle manufacturers, with the exception of Honda, can’t. Harley Davidson has nearly 1000 dealership in the US to serve as recharging points.  I include Honda as they could leverage their car dealership in any electric recharge station count.

As yet, no real clues have come out on what the production model will spec out with or its Ijustwant2 ride.comappearance.  While it could be polished version of the prototype “LiveWire” Harley Davidson electric motorcycle (which I got to ride, click here for my post on the LiveWire) I would be disappointed if that were the case.  Disappointed unless there was the sport bike with the “LiveWire” look and a cruiser styled bike.  This is from my selfish POV, I could no longer ride a sport bike as a daily commuter.

At this point in time I would be surprised if the design(s) were not completed.  In order to meet the 2020 deadline they would now have to be in the process of building out the assembly line tool/robots/jigs etc.. 

So it true HD is going to bring an electric motorcycle to market.  That alone states that electric motorcycles are now legit! 

As for the rest of the 50 in 5, I am hoping that the recently trademarked name “Pan-American” is for a new touring class motorcycle with a V-4! 

 

 

 

ssr 1I knew this film existed but I did not know it was part of my Amazon Prime subscription.  What is Sit Stay Ride? “The Story of America’s Sidecar Dogs is a delightful and inspiring documentary film about motorcyclists and their beloved canine co-pilots.”  To see it on Amazon Prime (if you have that) click here. (It appears to be on HULU as well but we do not subscribe to HULU so I cannot confirm.)

My wife and I were very pleasantly surprised with Sit Stay Ride.  Not only was it well shot it was well told.  It was also quite inspiring, to the point that Debbie stated “almost makes me want to go buy a sidecar!”ssr 3

Enough people must have watched the film to inspire a sequel.  Sit Stay Ride 2 appears to be in production and has a kickstarter campaign underway.

We enjoyed this film and can highly recommend that you do a search on your Amazon Prime account and watch it yourself.  Unless you hate dogs, you will not be disappointed.

4 out of 5 stars.

4 out 5 stars

www.ijustwant2ride.com

As I write this post Harley Davidson is recalling over 200,000 motorcycles worldwide for a brake issue, and that is on top a master cylinder issue a couple years ago.  What is the going on here?

It is not just Harley Davidson, over the last couple months there has been recall after recall of motorcycles for brake issue.  Here are just a few:

Aprilia (4 models) – US NHTSA Recall Campaign Number: 17V811000

Ducati (5 models) – US NHTSA Recall Campaign Number: 17V812000

Victory (26,182 motorcycles) – US NHTSA Recall Campaign Number: 17V64700

MV Agusta (2 models) – The US NHTSA Recall Campaign Number is 17V839000

Over the past 5 years there seems to have been an ongoing issue with motorcycle brakes.  I would hope the industry is not trying to kill us as we are their customers.

MY PRESPECTIVE (totally uninformed and completely speculative) is that it is a lack of quality control by the parts supplier.  Which is compounded by a lack of a good inspection process by the builder.  Brembo and Harley both had issues with parts in the master cylinder, did it result from buying from the lowest bidder?

I think there is a real story to be told by some real motorcycle journalist out there!

With the volume of recalls out there I cannot keep up and thus do not post about recalls.  But I do suggest that you follow this suggestion, create news alerts on the make/model of the motorcycles you own with the word recall.  That way when a recall, that affects you, occurs you will know about it pretty quick.

Also, if you are in the US you can go to Safercar.Gov, enter your VIN number and see if any recalls affect your motorcycle.

ijustwant2ride.com

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

THIS is hard to believe! Phil wants to punch his man-crush, JD Beach, in the face! Phil is upset that Jiggy Dog did not race in the Oakland Supercross. Which he would have totally won had he entered!
There is going to be a World Superbike Race in Ireland for 2019. Does that mean that they are going to drop another race or just add another stop?
Supercross finally gives us what the DawgHouse has called for, an early start to a west coast race. It was so early that Warren missed the early heats! Big P, Aaron Plessinger and Jason Anderson take care of business while Eli Tomac still struggled

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE SHOW!!!!

 

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Victims of road rage know that it can be very worrying to get caught in a situation like this. You want it to be over – and you want to make sure it doesn’t happen again. How can you deal with road rage in a safe way and take action while on your motorbike if necessary? Follow the steps below. (Editor -While the post is geared for Australia, the spirt applies to anywhere you may ride – WSM)

1. Stay Calm and Don’t Engage – First off, don’t engage the person who may be yelling at you, approaching you, or even acting in a violent manner. When you stay calm and keep out of it, they have nothing to fuel their rage and it will die out. If you engage them, things may escalate, and you may even get into trouble for your own actions.

2. Find a Safe Place – You may not wish to continue riding while you are anxious and recovering from the situation, as you may be shaking or feeling distracted. However, if a motorist has stopped to shout at or threaten you, it may not be safe to stay there with them. Rather, calmly ride on until you can find a safe place to stop away from them.

3. Take Details – Take as many details as you can from the moment the incident begins. Deliberately look at and take in their face, their vehicle, what they are wearing, and their number plate if possible. This will be easier if you have a passenger seated behind you, since your attention may well be taken up with the task of driving, but notice what you can.

4. Let Them Go – Let the other motorist go by you if possible. You don’t want to have them driving alongside you or behind you for a long distance, so keep to a safe speed and let them go past. If they deliberately slow down to keep pace with you, then you should continue to drive in a manner which complies with the Australian laws of the road  (or the laws of your country/local) and also keeps you safe.

5. Make Detailed Notes – Once you are able to stop for a longer period of time, make sure that you write everything down. Make notes about what happened, including exactly what was said if you can remember it. The number plate, car make and model, and description of the other person are all very important. The quicker you get it on paper or typed into your phone, the less chance you will forget it.

6. Make a Report – If the incident was a serious one, call the police. If it was not as serious or you think you may be partly responsible for what happened, consider calling a lawyer first. They will be able to tell you whether you should make a police report and what kind of things to say if you do.

7. Seek Advice – Now, you should seek advice about what to do next. In some cases, you may be able to press charges against the other motorist, or seek damages for what they have done. In other cases, you might not be able to take it any further. Wait until you get the advice of an expert to see if there is anything you should be doing next. 

Road rage can be very serious, and even if you get away with nothing more than a shaken feeling, you should consider talking to someone in a legal capacity. Someone who gets away with road rage on a motorcyclist such as yourself may turn up the violence next time and end up seriously hurting someone.

 Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, BizDb.co.nz and Bizset.com, 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. Sarah has published other articles on IJustWant2Ride: 

Travelling Australia By Motorcycle. Guest Post By Sarah Kearns

9 Things to Consider Before Starting a Motorcycle Business Guest post by Sarah Kearns