Archive for the ‘Motorcycle advocacy’ Category

This is the 30th anniversary of the ride to promote the role of motorcycles as an option in the daily commute.  This event originated in the United States but quickly grew into an international event.

By riding to work we demonstrate:

  • The number of motorcyclists to the general public and to politicians.
  • That motorcyclists are from all occupations and all walks of life.
  • That motorcyclists can reduce traffic and parking congestion in large cities.
  • That motorcycles are for transportation as well as recreation.

Some may ask, as we are still in the era of Covid and a large number of folks are still working from home, how can I participate without a commute?  Do as I am going to do….. Ride for 30 minutes before you start your home office workday!

Maybe I should ride for 30 minutes everyday before work?????

RIDE ON, RIDE SAFE

Let us start by assuming you have the motorcycle skills necessary to ride with a passenger.  If you are scaring yourself when you ride, you don’t need a pillion (another term for passenger) to scare as well. You want your passenger, especially if they are your significant other, to want to ride more … not be put off motorcycles forever

That said, I do have some personal rules for my pillion. There’s a big difference between giving someone a ride around the block and your long term motorcycle passenger, but all should be considered when loading up the bike with someone other than yourself.

The motorcycle passenger wears all the gear, all the time

Even in an area without helmet laws you should consider this, especially for someone who has not ridden before. Give them that sense of protection beyond your riding skills.

Hold on to me – not my clothes

I’m sure we’ve all known a person who just wants to just rip the clothes off our body … but doing so while riding a motorcycle is not the right time. Tell your pillion to hold on to you, or the grab rails if the bike has them.

Try hard not to ping

Pinging is when your passenger hits the back of your helmet when the motorcycle slows down. I talk about this with my pillion before their first ride, and the payoff has been dramatic.

Getting on or off the motorcycle

Tell your passenger NOT to mount or dismount the motorcycle unless:

  • you have both feet firmly on the ground
  • both hands on the handle bars, AND
  • you let them know they can now move about the cabin freely.

Sit still at slow speeds

Tell your pillion to really try not to move around during slow speeds. In particular, they should sit still when stopping at, or leaving from, a traffic light. Balance is very important at slow speeds on a motorcycle.

If your pillion needs to talk…

They should tap your shoulder on the side they wish to talk. You can get back to them as soon as you can … please leave a message at the beep.

And if they want to show you something, have them tap on the side they want you to look, and then point.

If your pillion gets scared

Of course, you’re NEVER going to scare your pillion (are you?) … BUT an alarmed pillion should close their eyes, hold on and try not to move. When the event is over they can tap the rider, and ask him to pull over.

And when fully stopped and dismounted, the pillion should proceed to smack the rider (just joking).

Practice power/emergency stops

This is aimed more for your permanent motorcycle passenger then the “once around the block” pillion.  Make sure both you and your pillion know what it feels like to brake hard – very hard – before you really need to.

Practice low speed maneuvers

Similar to the emergency stop, it pays to know how the bike is going to handle with both you and your passenger at slow speeds.

And if you’re going to be packing the bags for a long trip you might want to practice “fully” loaded as well. Some low-speed figure 8s in an empty parking lot will show you a lot about how the fully loaded bike is going to respond out on the road.

Set up the bike for a pillion

While every motorcycle is different, they all need to be adjusted for the additional weight of a pillion.

Check your suspension pre-loads to make sure they’re going to handle properly. Not much is worse than bottoming out over and over again … plus it’s hell on your tires

The motorcycle passenger should be invested in safety

Get your pillion involved in the safety aspects of riding with you. For example, it could be your pillion’s job to check tire pressure before the ride and be part of the Search, Evaluate, Execute (SEE) strategy that you learned as part of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation training.

Talk it over, and decide who’s responsible for what action.

Consider doing a rider’s course two-up

I have not done this myself, but I do think it is a good idea.  I bet I’ll be surprised by what I learn when I get around to it.

That might seem like a lot of rules for riding with a pillion.

But I bet that most of us do at least half of the things on this list without even thinking about it. That just leaves the other half of the list to deal with!

If you have some rules for riding with a pillion, feel free to post them in the comments below!

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month. It is important to get the word out to your non-riding friends and family! The next set will be about protecting ourselves.

I don’t own any of these photos about motorcycle safety but I have gathered them from across the internet. I think “Fair Use” is in full operation in regards to their use.


So copy and paste these motorcycle safety pictures &, memes. Post them up to all your favorite sites. Point them out to non-riders, we already get it!


Ride On, Ride Safe.

safety

May is motorcycle safety awareness month…here is an idea to help spread awareness to the children.

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 in 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!!

Be aware that this motorcycle recall list is for the United States for the last 30 days, 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 outside the USA, use the appropriate website to locate recalls that may impact you.

*****

Manufacturer Honda (American Honda Motor Co.)

Components STRUCTURE

Summary: Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain 2021 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP motorcycles. The rear cushion connecting plate(s) may have been installed incorrectly, which may cause the plate(s) to break.

Remedy: Honda will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and, as necessary, replace both rear cushion connecting plates free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June 7, 2021. Owners may contact Honda Powersports customer service at 1-866-784-1870. Honda’s number for this recall is KL9.

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Manufacturer Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Components EXTERIOR LIGHTING

Summary: Harley-Davidson Motor Company (Harley-Davidson) is recalling certain 2019-2021 Sportster (XL) motorcycles and 796 headlight assemblies that may have been sold as replacement parts for 2005-2019 Sportster, 2005-2017 Softail, 2005-2017 Dyna, and 2005-2011 V-Rod motorcycles. The glass bulb within the headlight assembly may fail, causing a loss of both high and low beams.

Remedy: Harley-Davidson will notify owners, and dealers will install a headlamp bulb shield, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 12, 2021. Owners may contact Harley-Davidson customer service at 1-800-258-2464. Harley-Davidson’s number for this recall is 0177.

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Manufacturer Ducati North America

Components ENGINE

Summary: Ducati North America (Ducati) is recalling certain 2021 Multistrada V4 S motorcycles. Excessive wear of the valve guides may cause the valve head to break.

Remedy: Ducati will notify owners, and the dealer will replace the entire motorcycle engine with another engine, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 15, 2021. Owners may contact Ducati customer service at 1-888-391-5446. Ducati’s number for this recall is SRV-RCL-21-002.

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Manufacturer Arcimoto Inc

Components ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

Summary: Arcimoto Inc (Arcimoto) is recalling certain 2019-2020 FUV, and 2020 Deliverator vehicles. The electronic drivers in some of the high voltage (HV) contactors may malfunction and overheat, which could cause the battery to shutdown.

Remedy: Arcimoto will notify owners, and an Arcimoto factory technician will replace the contactors and related components, free of charge. The recall began March 29, 2021. Owners may contact Arcimoto customer service at 1-541-683-6293.

*****

Ride On, Ride Safe

Click here for the March Motorcycle Recall List

Your motorcycle helmet is your most important piece of equipment so keeping it clean is important.  Not just from an appearance perspective but as a method to ensure it is still in good working condition. Also, April is Motorcycle Helmet Awareness month so now is a good time to do the work!

While you are cleaning your helmet look for cracks in the shell, that the hard foam is intact and in good condition (this is the part that does most of the work to protect your head) and all the other parts are in good order.  

Before you start… read your owner’s manual on cleaning your specific motorcycle helmet.

1 – Take either a microfiber or paper towels, soaked in warm water and lay across the helmet and visor.  This will moisten any hard dried bugs or grime that might scratch the finish if you first went to scrubbing or rubbing.  Leave the towels on for about 10 minutes and then gently remove the now softer bugs/grime. Remove the visor before step 2.

2 – After the bugs/grime are soft use warm soapy water to clean the shell fully. Rinse, dry and admire your clean exterior.

3 – The visor needs additional attention. The warm towels may have helped get rid of the road grime, but your visor needs special attention. DO NOT use any products that have acid or ammonia! Even products with citric acid can damage the visor (personal experience). Most glass cleaners have some form of acid or ammonia so avoid them as well. Warm soapy water and microfiber cloth is the best way to safely clean your visor.

4 – Make sure you clean out the visor mechanism. Keeping the mechanism clean will help make sure it works as designed.

5 – Clean the sun visor in the same manner you cleaned the visor. No ammonia or acid-based cleaners!

6 – Now that the outside of your helmet is clean how about the inside? MOST helmets allow you to remove the interior padding. Look at your instructions and pull the lining out. Some motorcycle helmet manufactures allow you to put the padding in a washing machine, others recommend hand cleaning in warm soapy water. If you use the by hand method, I recommend a baby shampoo.

7 – If your helmet’s padding is not removable follow the instructions your helmet manufacture provided.  BUT, in my opinion only, dunking the entire helmet into soapy water is not the way to go. It takes forever to dry; it can mildew, and I am always unsure if it may have damaged the underlying foam. My suggestion is to use a motorcycle helmet sanitizing spray.

8 –Check the vents to make sure they are clean and open.  A shot of compressed air, from the inside, might dislodge dried road grimes and bugs.

9 – Put it back together, following the instructions if you still have them. 😊

Ride On, Ride Safe

As April is “Motorcycle Helmet Awareness Month” I thought I would pull this post from 2018 back to the top. Sarah’s words still are valid.

Whether you’re just replacing one helmet due to age or degradation, or if you’ve found a stack of old helmets in your Dad’s garage, figuring out what to do with them after they’ve outlived their usefulness can be tricky. Motorcycle helmets can’t be resold or given away for future use as their safety can’t be guaranteed. So what can you do? Here are a few possibilities for dealing with old helmets.

Donate to Emergency Services

Perhaps the best way to dispose of an old motorcycle helmet is to find an emergency services department that might be interested in using intact helmets for training. They can use them to teach first responders how to safely remove a helmet from an accident victim who may be injured. Removing a helmet from a patient who might have a head, neck, or back injury can be difficult, as helmets are heavy and unwieldy. Emergency personnel responding to an accident need to learn to remove helmets without risking further injury to patients. However, there may be more helmets available than they need, and if you can’t find a department in need, there are still several other options.

If you aren’t donating the helmets to such a group, you should immediately cut the chin strap off completely to prevent someone from fishing it out of the trash and attempting to use it. Used helmets can be dangerous to use.

Upcycle as Decorations

Some creative types have found creative ways to use helmets as decorations. You can set up a decorative display of your old helmets on a wall, especially if they were custom painted. Others have taken motorcycle helmets and turned them into flower pots and planters for the garden. You can also buy a lamp kit and turn your old helmet into an interesting desk lamp or outdoor lantern

Check with Local Recycling Center

You can call your local recycling center to see if they accept motorcycle helmets for recycling. Don’t be surprised if the answer is “no.” Due to the different chemicals and materials used in manufacturing safe and sturdy helmets, many recycling centers are not equipped to process them. Those that are may request that you disassemble the helmet before recycling, so be prepared to pull out the padding and foam before you drop if off.

Dispose in Regular Trash

It’s not ideal, but if you have no other options, you can dispose of the helmet in your regular trash. Just make sure that you bag it appropriately, and that you have destroyed it before you do. In addition to cutting off the chin strap, you can also cut it in half with a saw or have some fun with your friends and try to beat it up with an axe or sledgehammer. Just be warned that trying to break a helmet with sheer force is sometimes impossible. After all, they are designed to withstand traumatic impacts at highway speeds.

Haul Away Service

It’s probably not cost effective if you have just one or two helmets to get rid of, but if you have a collection, you could call a rubbish removal service to come and pick them up. This is especially useful if you’ve discovered the helmets while cleaning out an old garage or barn; there’s probably a mess of other stuff you need to get rid of as well, and these services will pick everything up, and then they will do the work of sorting the items for recycling and proper disposal.

Perhaps someday there will be an accepted standard for what to do with used motorcycle helmets, but we’re not there yet. In the meantime, any one of the above methods is an acceptable way to dispose of an old helmet that is no longer safe to wear.  

Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb and Population of an online resources with information about businesses and demographic statistics of world population. 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.

April is Motorcycle Helmet Safety month and the supposed start of the riding season in the Northern Hemisphere. So, if your riding season is just beginning or coming to an end you should check your helmet for any issues that could risk your safety.

What do you look for when performing a safety check on your motorcycle helmet? Different manufactures state similar and different things to check, please referrer to your helmets makers directions for the best information.

However, there are some generic checks you can do that will cover many areas to make sure your helmet is still safe. Here are the a few things you need to look for:

1) Is the shell all in one piece? No cracks or splits?

2) Are the straps and connectors in good shape, no adverse wear or tear?

3) The internal padding is connected and stays in place?

4) Remove the padding and check the foam.  Is it dented or have cracks?

5) While looking at the foam, most companies place a sticker printed with the helmet’s birthday. Is it over 5 years old?

6) Does the rest of the internals look in good operating condition?

7) Check the visor for damage that might obscure your vision, can you see clearly?

8) Are the screws or other visor attachments tight?

9) Make sure that insects/creatures are not living in your helmet, see the photos below! (that is a Black Widow Spider)

Checklist item 5 is the 5-year rule.  Most manufactures recommend that after 5 years you replace your helmet.  While the cynical among us will cite the “more money” theory of why they want it replaced there is evidence that the foam lining (the part that does most of the work in a crash) does deteriorate over time. It is your head, so it is your decision to replace or not if everything looks good.

By now most, if not all, motorcycle enthusiasts know about the new Harley Davidson Pan American adventure bike.  I am not going to go over specs or stuff like that. 

Most of the “big time” motorcycle sites have stated that this Harley is going to give the BMW GS a run for the money.  That maybe true as on paper it seems the Pan American has a slight edge, according to those “big time” sites. 

If you want to see for yourself then now is the time.  Harley is taking the Pan American for an on/off road demo tour across the United States. Here is the link for you to SIGN UP for the demo if you interested.

Here are all the sites that the demo tour will stop.

4/16/21 – 4/18/21 – Dallas TX

The Bartonville Store, 96 McMakin Rd., Bartonville, TX, 76226

4/23/21 – 4/25/21 – Albuquerque, NM

Thunderbird Harley-Davidson, 5000 Alameda Blvd NE, 5000 Alameda Blvd NE, NM, 87113

4/30/21 – 5/2/21 – Phoenix, AZ

Westgate Entertainment District, Lot 9, next to Aloft Hotel, 6751 N. Sunset Blvd., Glendale, AZ, 85305

5/14/21 – 5/16/21 San Jose, CA

Metcalf Motorcycle County Park, 300 Metcalf Rd. , San Jose, CA, 95138

5/21/21 – 5/23/21 – Lake Elsinore, CA

Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park, 20700 Cereal St., Lake Elsinore, CA, 92530

5/28/21 – 5/30/21 – Sacramento, CA

Harley-Davidson of Sacramento, 1000 Arden Way, Sacramento, CA, 95815

5/7/21 – 5/9/21 – Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas Harley-Davidson, 5191 S Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV, 89119

7/30/21 – 8/1/21 – Madison, IL

World Wide Technology Raceway, 700 Raceway Blvd, Madison, IL, 62060

7/9/21 – 7/11/21 – Idaho Falls, ID

Grand Teton Harley-Davidson, 848 Houston St , Idaho Falls, ID, 83402

8/13/21 – 8/15/21 – Pittsfield, MA

Ioka Valley Farm, 3475 MA-43, Hancock, MA, 01237

8/6 – 8/8 – Coal Township, PA

Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area, 4100 PA-125, Coal Township, PA, 17866

9/10/21 – 9/12/21 – Brighton, UT

Brighton Ski Resort, 8302 S Brighton Loop Rd, Brighton, UT, 84121

October 22nd – 24th, 2021 – Southern NY/NJ/CT

Check back soon for more information

October 29th – 31st, 2021 – Loudon, NH

New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 1122 NH-106, Loudon, NH, 03307

Ride On, Ride Safe

Women have been riding motorcycles from the start.  While men my dominate the motorbike culture, women have always been there having fun and enjoying the two wheel life.

I am not here to give you a play by play of the women who have sent motorcycle records, but I thought you might enjoy some pics from times past and the women who were there…. On their motorcycles.