Archive for the ‘Motorcycle advocacy’ Category

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Babes Ride Out – Not sure how I missed this from 2015 but this is a nice, short 1487353470530documentary on Babes Ride Out! Babes Ride Out founders Ashmore Ellis and Anya Violet wanted to create an environment where women bikers can come together to share their cross country journeys, triumphs, close calls and disasters on the bike. GoPro Production Artists Tina Marchman and Annemarie Hennes joined these five hundred ladies in Joshua Tree for this women’s only event. See what happens when they hit the open road.

Adventure Bikers Pwned by a Woman Riding a Harley! – LOL not only does she out ride him off road he laments get dirty!!!!  BMW GS owners hang your head in shame or laughter. 

Chasing an Off-Road biker with a Drone –  A very nice video and some fancy drone driving!  This is worth the few minutes to get a different perspective of an off road motorcycle.  

Cops Ram Speeding Motorcycle – On the night of April 21, 2017 the police saw a rammotorcycle that was driving 101km/h (62mph). Police tried to pull over a motorcycle, but motorcyclist ignored and increased vehicle speed to 200km/h (124mph). Speed limit in Tallinn city is 50km/h (31mph). Bad guy, but does be nearly killed for speeding justify the stop? 

Bikers Prank Regular Couples at a Theater – Calsberg Beer hires out every seat prankat a movie theater except for two in the dead center.  Bikers dressed the part fill all the other seats.  Do any of the couples dare take their seats?

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Spring has sprung across the world (in the northern hemisphere), and riders are starting to come back out in force.  Despite my near-debilitating seasonal allergies this is one of my favorite times of year!  Nothing gets me psyched up like the first Sunday that it’s warm enough to ride after winter where I’m pretty sure every person that owns a motorcycle where I live is out!  (Side note:  motorcycles are out in much greater numbers on Sunday compared to Saturday around me, is that true for anyone else?)  The strong sense of community, camaraderie, and kinship I feel on a warm (or at least not cold!) spring day is part of why I love riding so much.

But motorcycling isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.  As we all come out of our winter cocoons to spread our wings on the road, it is important to remember that motorcycling is not without its fair share of danger.  In many parts of the world, four-wheeled motorists still are not properly trained to accommodate us on the road.

TIPS FOR YOU TO KEEP YOURSELF SAFE

Make Sure Your Bike is Properly Maintained

I will probably do a whole post just on this in the future, but motorcycle maintenance is much more frequent than cars and very, very important.  I’m only going to touch on two items today as I feel they are the most overlooked maintenance tasks, and they both pertain to your chain.

Maintain your chain!  That’s a refrain I’ve heard across the internet in regards to proper bike maintenance.  Chain-driven bikes are the single most common type of bike, and the chain is pivotal in making everything work, yet so many people neglect to take care of it.  If you don’t properly care for your chain you could one day find yourself riding down the road on a sunny afternoon one minute and on the ground the next because your chain jumped off the rear sprocket and locked up the bike.  This is a worst-case scenario, but it does happen.  Here are two simple tasks you can perform to help prevent that:

Regularly monitor your chain’s slack.  Slack allows your motorcycle’s chain to adjust as your back wheel bounces up and down on the road.  Every motorcycle has a recommended chain slack, and it’s usually even printed on the bike’s swing arm (if you have a swing arm bike) or somewhere else near the chain.  You want to keep your bike’s chain slack within the manufacturer recommended specifications so your chain has enough slack to adjust as needed, but not so much that it can fly off the sprocket.

Lube your chain.  I’ve heard many people say “I lube my chain and change my oil at the start of every season” not realizing that while that’s fine for your oil, chains need to be lubed much more frequently.  Most manufacturers I’ve seen recommend lubing your chain every 500 miles, but the usual common accepted practice among owners is about 500-1000 miles.  I commute 450 miles a week for work, so I just lube my chain every weekend regardless.  It takes 5 minutes and could save your life.  Finally, lube your chain EVERY TIME after you ride in the rain.  That’s right, every time, even if you just lubed it before riding that day.  Rain cleans your bike, but it also washes all of that sweet, sweet lube right off the chain!

Wear A Helmet

I personally am an ATGATT type of guy, but I get that some people don’t want to go through the trouble of putting on special pants, boots, gloves, and a jacket every time they go out to ride.  Motorcycling is about managing acceptable risk after all.  One thing that I try my hardest to convince every rider that I meet to do, though, is wear a helmet.  Broken limbs can heal, shorn skin can grow back, but a crushed skull is often motorcycle-helmet-after-accidentpretty permanent.  Once again, I intend to do a whole post on the topic of helmets, but for now I want to leave you with this one thought:

A friend once told me “You buy a $40 helmet for a $40 head, and a $400 helmet for a $400 head.”  I really like this, it makes a lot of sense.  What’s not said is you’re unique and regardless of what you think your head is worth, it’s worth so much more to someone else out there somewhere that cares about you.  Every head is at least a $400 head, please protect it.

Pretend You’re Invisible

I feel this too has been said a lot, but it cannot be stressed enough.  In a fight between a bike and a car / truck / whatever, the bike will lose.  Every time.  While it’s important for other motorists to look out for us, we also need to be looking out for ourselves.  Be proactive, before passing someone consider the likelihood of them wanting to get into your lane assafety you pass.  Assume that they won’t see you when they consider their lane switch.  And in this specific example, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about passing other motorists, do it QUICKLY.  Motorcycles are in part about speed.  Speed is fun.  Speed can also be a lifesaving tool if used appropriately.

A note specific to intersections:  intersections are the most deadly place for motorcyclists.  That person in the SUV crossing the other way may have looked you dead in the eye from your perspective, but odds are good they didn’t even see you.  They’re not trained to.  Proceed into intersections with the utmost caution; make sure you are aware of every car within visible distance of the intersection.  And only proceed through once you’re 100% sure no one is going to cut you off, and do it QUICKLY (see the theme here?)

So those are just a few quick tips to stay safe throughout the riding season, but wait I thought this post was about Motorcycle Awareness Month?  That is a very astute observation, and absolutely correct!  Which brings me to the second part of this post…

Put a “WATCH FOR MOTORCYCLES” Decal on Your Car

Bumper stickers and decals are annoying, I get it, but how many random things have you gotten stuck in your head because you were stuck behind someone with one at a stop light?  If you ride a motorcycle you owe it to yourself to put one of these on your car.  This is one decal that could actually save a life.  In the United States, the MSF gives out these stickers pretty often at the end of their courses, (that’s how I got mine) but if you don’t want to go through that, and don’t want to go through the hassle of looking up where to find one, here’s a couple direct Amazon links to both a high-visibility one depicting a cruiser and a standard black and white one featuring a sport bike.  I recommend getting the high-vis, but if you are the type of person who absolutely can’t stand the idea of having a cruiser stuck on your car, I understand.

Talk to Non-Riders About Riding

Depending on who you are this may either be a no-brainer or easier said than done.  Motorcycle awareness starts with you and the people around you.  For some non-riders talking about riding could be difficult as the fact that you ride worries them, and thinking about it makes it worse.  I am writing this tip for those types of people in your life.  Do your best to let them know that if they truly worry, then the best thing they can do is talk with you about it, and learn better how to share the road with motorcyclists.  Every non-rider that listens and learns is a step toward a safer world for motorcyclists.  With any luck that one person will then educate other people when the topic inevitably comes up among four-wheel motorists every Spring.

This second part is specifically for those of you with kids.  I used to always play a game with my friends called “Yellow Car”, which, as you might expect, is played by saying, “yellow car!” before anyone else when you see a yellow-colored car.  As a kid on long trips, my family would try to find as many different states’ license plates as we could before getting to our destination.  These games are silly, but they also teach very important observation skills.  For example, I can spot yellow cars in my sleep now.  So when you’re on the road with kids, play “Motorcycle” where the first person to yell (or say, but it usually turns into excited yelling) “Motorcycle!” as one goes by gets a point!  This will not only keep them entertained, but will teach them a very important skill once they grow up and become licensed drivers:  they’ll be able to spot a motorcycle from a mile away.

Join SyncRIDE

SyncRIDE is actually the inspiration for this whole article!  EatSleepRIDE is hosting SyncRIDE on May 27th to raise motorcycle awareness.  It’s a worldwide synchronized ride. No matter where you are at 10 AM EDT, just turn on your EatSleepRIDE app, (if you have a smartphone) and go for a ride with thousands of other riders!  As long as they continue it next year, I foresee SyncRIDE becoming a annual event for riders with the ability to create some real awareness.

And if you live in the Lancaster, PA area, hit me up at readysetmoto@gmail.com!  I’m trying to coordinate a group ride around here for the event as well!

What other things do you think we as riders can do to raise awareness and create safer motorways?  Let me know in the comments!

 

Michael Morris is a motorcycle enthusiast living in the middle of Amish Country Pennsylvania.  He runs and owns the motorcycle blog and news site www.ReadySetMoto.com.  When not working on his blog, he loves to interact with fellow motorcyclists on Twitter (@ReadySetMoto) and Facebook (facebook.com/Ready-Set-Moto) as well so drop him a line!

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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!!

 

revolutionary ride

I have just completed reading the latest book from Lois Pryce, “Revolutionary Ride”, recording her solo motorcycle expedition to and through Iran.  The book vividly recounts her story of finding the truth about the “real” Iran while also accounting to why some of the stereotypes of the theocratic regime exists.  All in all a well-balanced story of modern Iran while also a great motorcycle adventure story!

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Lois Pryce at Timonium Motorcycle Show 2017

While I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style and prose in her last book, Revolutionary Rides is even more polished.  At many points in the book I could sense Lois’ excitement of the moment and of the people she met. Her story telling ability also allowed me to feel the palpable trepidation and fear when things went askew. 

Regardless of your affinity for motorcycles this is a good adventure story.  You will be doing yourself a disservice should you not purchase and read Lois Pryce’s latest effort.  I am giving Revolutionary Ride five stars.

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This is the second of her books that I have read.  Check out my review of “Red Tape & White Knuckles”.

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Valerie Thompson,The Queen of Speed”, 7x Land Speed Record holder and motorcycle drag racer seems to always be going full out.  She is currently the World’s Fastest Female Motorcycle Racer (304.263MPH check out the video at the bottom)!

Valerie has been feature in the 2013 file “Why We Ride” as well as TV programs “Mega Speed” and “Bonneville Stories”.  In addition to racing in the National Hot Rod Association Pro Stock Motorcycle drag races she and “Team 7 Racing” are preparing for their next land speed record.

Find out more about Valerie from her website, ValerieThompsonRacing.com 

1)    What is the craziest thing you have done on or to a motorcycle?    

Valerie:  Racing on the street, which I regret. When I bought my first Harley, I wanted to see how quick it really was. Like many new riders, I could not resist the unrestrained power available with a twist of the wrist. After a couple of speeding tickets and the best advice I ever received, I went to the local drag strip to test how good I really was. That started my racing addiction, which I still chase today. 

2)    What is the third most important thing in your life?    

Valerie: Interesting question since it requires an answer to what are the first two things. The most important thing in my life is my family and husband, Ray, who has supported my speed dreams for over 7 years.  Second is achieving my goal of becoming the fastest motorcycle racer in the world with my most awesome Team ”7” Racing.  You don’t have enough time to hear all my other goals, but rest assured, my bucket list is very, very long.

 3)    What “Guinness” type world record would you like to break? 

Valerie: That’s simple — I would like to reclaim the World Record.  I share the same dream with everyone at Team “7” Racing — re-write motorsports history by making the “7” streamliner the world’s fastest motorcycle. To fulfill this dream, we must break the current Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) speed record of 376.363 mph (605.697 KMH) in 2017.  So far we are just 73 mph short of the record.  I’d also like to become the first person over 400 mph on a motorcycle.

4)    What is the longest trip, by motorcycle, that you have taken?   

Valerie: Unfortunately, I don’t have time for long road trips since I’m always on the road traveling to a race or special appearance. My longest trip is riding from Washington State to Oregon.   I don’t know what I enjoyed more … the serenity of riding, the stunning scenery or all the interesting people I met along the way. That’s what I love about riding and racing, you meet the most interesting and passionate people on earth.  

5) Where/what is the number one place you want to visit or ride on a motorcycle?

Valerie:  I’ve been very fortunate to have ridden some of the best cruising roads in the North America and Europe. However, my two favorite bike trips were in Germany and Slovenia, which have some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world.  I always look forward to things I’ve never experienced and as the old saying goes, “There’s one thing I’ve never done and that is have too much fun.”

6) In the movie of your life, who would play you?   

Valerie: I’m not finished with life yet, so I can’t really answer that question properly. I have a lot more goals to achieve, so I have never given it much thought.  If I’m fortunate enough to have a movie done about my life, I can only hope it’s an actress who can convey my dedication to setting new records and ensuring my sponsors are happy. The best film of my life would include sponsors who say, “Valerie over-delivered on every promise she made and it was the best money we ever spent.” Without great sponsors, I could never have achieved what I set out to accomplish. I would truly love for a movie about my life to benefit my sponsors more than me. Without them, there would be no movie.” 

6 ½) If you could ask yourself an informative, direct, motorcycle related question, what would you ask and answer? Q & A 

Valerie: Why risk your life for world speed record on two wheels?   I thrive on a difficult task and being told, “you can’t do that.”  Life is much more interesting when you challenge yourself to accomplish something that has never been done before. As a good friend once said, “Life is not a practice session, experience all you can while here, we may not get a second chance to swing for the bleachers.” Some people answering this call choose to climb Mt. Everest, my choice is conquering the Salt Flats with my awesome crew at Team “7” Racing for another speed record.

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Wow! 

When I started this blog, and still today, I just write and post about motorcycle “stuff” that is of interest to me and my wife.  Our rides, stuff we try out, motorcycle themed media are just some of the items we post about.

I never really thought that a lot of folks, beyond family and friends, would be interested in our motorcycling adventures. But, we have over 6500 folks keeping up with blog, way more than I would have ever expected!

Now we have been selected as one of the “Top 100 Motorcycle Blogs To Follow”! To say we were surprised by this selection would be an understatement.  Coming in at #69 means that we still have room to improve J !

So what’s next for our motorcycle blog?  Just more of the same, LOL.  But, if you guys have any ideas for what you would like to see just post a comment.

 

THANK ALL OF YOU THAT FOLLOW THIS BLOG!

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With the northern hemisphere motorcycle season just starting several tire manufactures are pushing rebates to get your business.  Appears that if you think you need new motorcycle tires this year now is the time to grab them.

If you are a regular reader of this blog you know I am do a long term test of the Pirelli Night Dragon motorcycle tire on my Harley Davidson Ultra Limited (you can read here for the details).  So, I hope, I will not need new tires until next season. But, if you need new shoes for the bike check out the rebate offers.

By the way, I did not see anything that jumped out and stated in the US only, but you should double check to make sure the rebate applies to you.

Pirelli Announces Special 40/20 Promotion for Motorcycle Tire Lineup – MARCH 1ST 2017 – MAY 31st 1017 – get a $40 rebate for street tires and $20 rebate for dirt bike tires.

Metzeler 88 ON THE 888 promotion – purchase ME888 motorcycle tires before APRIL 30th 2017 and submit for the rebate before MAY 31st to get an $88 rebate other tires might gain you $40.

Dunlop motorcycle tire rebates and offers – wow, Dunlop has so many offers going with different expiration dates you need to check it out for yourself.  On-road, off-road, special packages (oil/batteries/brakes/etc.) and tickets to MotoAmerica are a few of the offers.

If you are need new motorcycle tires, now is the time to pick them up and get a little coin back.

 

motorcycle-helmet-after-accident

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?

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, depending 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.

You can also go to HelmetCheck.Org to get some additional information.

 

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As I cruise around on my bike to events and cruise around the inter-webs on my keyboard I come across interesting motorcycle themed posters/prints.  Here are the nine 2016 winners from the 32 motorcycle posters that I “collected”.  Hope you like them as much as I did.

If you see some cool motorcycle posters while you are cruising about, send me a link and they might make next years list!  Not that the winners get any thing other then a mention here but HEY, that is only a little better then nothing.

BTW here is a link to the 2015 winners.

 

ijustwant2ride.com

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

This week another interesting motorcycle podcast/show.

Dateline Kenya: What do you do if your motorcycle is stolen in Kenya?  Call the local witch doctor!  In this case the guys discuss a recent event where the witch doctor actually comes though and finds the stolen bike…. Or does he?

Dateline Electric Bikes (kind of): It seems we are talking about a new electric vehicle every third show or so, this time Morgan Motors is the latest to offer an electric motorcycle.  Well motorcycle or trike or autocycle, the Morgan 1909 falls in that weird category that that the T-Rex or SlingShot also fills.  One thing for sure is that the Ken and Phil have no love for the appearance of the electric version of the classic motorcycle.

Dateline The Space Age: Graphene is one of the newest “space-age” materials.  Strong, light, heat resistant and able to leap tall building in a single bound, graphene has made it to the world of motorcycles.  The guys talk about MOMO’s attempt to integrate graphene into helmets that are reasonably priced.

Dateline Stupid Rules: In the racing segment Phil brings up the topic of the new rules for World SuperBike motorcycle racing.  It seems that the “participation trophy” generation has come to WBSK.  No one on the show how the lack of achievement will now be rewarded.

In fact we think that there could be fight between the 3rd 4th and 5th place riders to finish 4th….don’t understand?  Listen to the show.


World Superbike rule changes….participation trophies for all!!