Archive for the ‘Motorcycle Rides’ Category

IMG_20190622_153026911_HDR

I was recently able to test ride the 2019 Harley Davidson FXDR.  While the styling of this motorcycle does not work for me the performance was ridiculous!

Yes, I know that I am not the target demo for this motorcycle and that is great thing!  Harley has stated that they were going to produce 100 new models in the next 10 years.  The FXDR is one of those new models and the styling is, I think, aimed at folks that don’t ride Harley Davidson and are under 30 years old.  Nothing wrong with that.

Harley states that the 114 cubic inch (18,68cc) Milwaukee V-Twin, the heart of the FXDR, produces 119-foot pounds of torque. Although Harley does not state it officially the FXDR reportedly produced 100 HP. It gets over 40 miles to a gallon with a 4.4-gallon tank.

OK, Acceleration was ….. HOLY KRAP!!!!!!…. The gearing can’t be the standard Harley Softail setup as it was a monster off the line.  While I did not time it officially my calibrated ass would say a sub 3 second 0-60 MPH. If it was in the 2.5-2.7 range I would not be surprised.

Shifting from 1st to 2nd gear with a heavy twist and the motorcycle wants to rip itself from your hands!  Three disc brakes (the front has 4 pistons each) do a great job of taming this beast!

Handling was an area that I thought was going to be poor at best.  With a 240 rear tire I expected to be stood up on any tight turns.  Well, it is not a street bike but, it handles much better than I expected and better then it should.  The route I took for the test ride did not have a lot of twists and turns but it did have a traffic circle with pretty much zero traffic.

With stated lean angles of over 32 degrees for both sides I can attest that even with that big rear tire you can take it all the way down.  With no traffic I rode around the traffic circle getting lower and faster with each pass until I scrapped the left peg.  I did not feel unsteady at any time!

If I was under 30 and looking at power cruisers, I would consider this motorcycle.  Until I realized one thing, no passengers allowed!  Come-on, really, if you are aiming a men under 30 of course they want a spot for the girlfriend, geez.  I would have to replace the tiny trunk with a seat cushion to make it viable.

I am not going to give it a star rating as this motorcycle is way out of my “likes”.  The styling is just not for me, the performance is to much for me (as a daily bike) so it would not be fair.  As I noted above I am not the target of the Harley Davidson FXDR.

 

bikes and breakfastWe recently discovered a motorcycle meetup called “Bikes and Breakfast“.  So we decided to take a ride to the nearest event to check it out.

In our area there are three events each month:

Bikes & Breakfast Virginia- second Sunday of each month at The Pub in Clifton, VA.

Bikes & Breakfast Maryland-the first and third Sunday of each month at The Watershed Cafe in Poolesville, MD.

As it was the first Sunday and Poolesville is not far away we decided to visit that one first.  From the pictures I think you get the idea that the turn at was not to bad. During our hour there over 100 motorcycles pulled in and out of the parking lot.IMG_20190707_101549346_HDR

Almost all makes and all brands were represented including 3 electric motorcycles. A Zero SR/F and DSR (both of which I recently test rode) and an EGO, I had never heard of EGO electric motorcycles.  The EGO bike was pulling out when I walked up so I did not get to check it out.

If you live in this area you should check out Bikes and Breakfast at least once.

Oh, and there is one in New York too:

Bikes & Breakfast New York-the first Sunday of each month at The 9W Market in Palisades, NY.

ijustwant2ride.com

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

Want a chance to win tickets to WBSK and MotoAmerica? Listen to the show and email Phil.

Ben Spies v. MotoAmerica…. really Ben?

Motocross from “THE WICK” …. Ken Roczen does not want to win!

MotoGP Yamaha sucks and wins at the same time!

Flat Track WOW…. now that was the best race of the weekend!

Sorrow on Pikes Peak as a rider dies.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE SHOW!!!

 

IMG_20190621_105526343_HDR

I recently got to test ride a couple of Zero motorcycles. The Zero SR/F and the DSR. The Zero SR/F is their sport bike motorcycle and the DSR is more along the line of an adventure motorcycle.

Riding the SR/F first, I was impressed with the motorcycle! Fit and finish seemed spot on and the styling was better than many of the other sport bikes on the market, at least to my taste.

With torque rated at 140 and horsepower at 110 the SR/F is an awesome bike off the staring line…not that I tried anything like that.IMG_20190621_111105207_HDR

The route we took for the ride did not truly allow for an assessment of the motorcycles handling but swinging between potholes and road debris leads me to think that the SR/F might be a well handing machine. It comes with Bosch’s Motorcycle Stability Control and several modes of operation including “sport” which maximizes the performance of the motorcycle.

At 161 mile “city” range (200 with the “power tank”) and an optimal charge time of 80 minutes it seems right for the urban commuter. On my commute I would have grave range anxiety and there is no recharging station at work. It is something I would like to try although, a SR/F with saddle bags on my commute for a couple weeks would be intriguing.

On this limited test ride I give the $19K Zero SR/F motorcycle a BIG THUMBS UP!!! (can’t give it a start rating due to the limitations of the test ride)

The Zero DSR with torque rate at 116 and 70 HP rode quite comfortably on our potholed road test. I intentionally road across and trough the bumps to get a fell for the suspension of the motorcycle. I was pleasantly surprised, it is not a $20K BMW adventure bike but, it was a quite a smooth ride.

IMG_20190621_111209428_HDRThe DSR’s range is 163 city and 78 highway. Again, not something I would trust my commute on but for an afternoon of backroad travels, I would love to give it a try. Charging time for the DSR ranges from 2.5 to 12 hours depending on configuration and options.

I don’t feel I can give this motorcycle a thumbs up or down based on the limited test ride. It seems fun and agile, but I can’t tell for sure.

As a point of comparison…. I have, on one other occasion, got to test ride an electric motorcycle, the Harley Davidson Live Wire prototype. Of the two Zero bikes I rode the SR/F was the closest to the Live Wire.

The Harley Live Wire is a very cool motorcycle and the Zero SR/F is a very cool motorcycle. But at $9k price difference I would lean towards the SR/F.

Special THANK YOU to Motorcycles of Dulles for hosting this test ride!!!

Ride On, Ride Safe

z14

Overcast, light rain and thunderstorms, that was day one of the HOG Curves to Cores motorcycle rally. There were no guided rides and with those weather conditions I decided not to do any of the self-guided rides. Instead I did the poker run and apple hunt. I still had a lot of fun!

Day Two of the rally was sunny but not hot, perfect motorcycle ride weather! I had signed up for the “Acting Like a Good Ole Boy” guided ride.

z16This was a 127-mile, well crafted, ride across the Blue Ridge Mountains and down the Shenandoah Valley. Some SPECTATUCLAR scenic views and some cool riding. I was unable to get pictures from the motorcycle as my co-pilot and backseat photographer had to work

The mid-point of the motorcycle ride was a stop at “Cooter’s Garage and Dukes of Hazard Museum”. Those of us of a certain age will remember the Dukes fondly as it was a lot of fun to watch. Today it is “politically incorrect” but then it was fun.z17

When we pulled into Cooter’s Garage, we were only folks there but, before we left there was at least one other group of about 10 motorcycles and then the Can-Am Spyder section of the Women’s Mid-Atlantic Riding Tour pulled in the parking lot.

The last time I saw that many Spyders in one spot, my wife sent me to the store for a can of bug spray! (now that is comedy)

From Cooter’s Garage we rode to lunch and then back to home base in Winchester. The return trip was just as scenic.

Day Three was supposed to be a ride to Summit Point Raceway to ride our big Harley Davidsons on the track. I did not make this ride as I had an offer to test ride the new Zero electric motorcycle. Stand by for a post on that event.z13

Day Four of the rally and the weather, once again, was perfect for riding motorcycles. This day my wife was able to attend and we had chosen the “For Whom the Road Tolls” guided ride.

At 80 miles this ride followed the first toll road in what would become the United States, Snickersville Turnpike. This was another well run ride. I want to praise our road captian Peter for an outstanding job on a ride with lots of intersections and stop signs!z6

This ride was through some of the most rural parts of northern Virginia. Beautiful farms and landscapes abound though out the ride. We passed though multiple small towns founded in the mid-1700s, a lot of pre-United States and Civil War history was ridden through this day.

Day four was also the closing of the rally. Held at Groves Harley Davidson of Winchester they had several event prizes to give away, of course I did not win anything! Bummer.

All in all this was a great event, setup and executed very well. We are going to another HOG rally later this year, it will be hard pressed to outperform the Curves to Cores rally.

Ride On, Ride Safe

ijustwant2ride

I recently attended the Harley Owners Group (HOG) regional motorcycle rally. This year it was held in Winchester, VA.  Winchester is only an hour from my driveway there was no way I could miss this event.

The “Curves to Core” motorcycle rally organizers which put the event together really did a nice job. Why “Curves to Cores”?  I think the curves is self-explanatory, and the “Cores” is about a defining industry in the area.  This part of the Shenandoah Valley is a big apple growing area, providing a large part of the apples used in products across the North IMG_20190620_062955720America.

The organizers put a lot of work into making this event a success.  40+ motorcycle rides documented turn by turn AND with a memory stick full of GPS directions.  About half of this rides had an option for a guided tour version.  There were also scavenger hunts, poker runs and off bike events open to all attendees.

I chose 3 guided rides to participate in:

“Acting Like a Good Ole Boy”- A 130-mile ride crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains twice with a visit to “Cooter’s Garage and Duke’s of Hazzard Museum”.  If you are of a certain age you will remember the TV show following the daily troubles of Bo and Luke Duke.

“10 Turns of a Big Ole Yeee Haww” – A 90-mile loop ride with a stop at Summit Point Raceway. The highlight of this ride would be getting your Harley Davidson on the race track and letting it loose, so long as you did not run out of talent or floorboards (I have rubbed some of mine off and I had not been on a track).

“For Whom the Road Tolls” – A 80-mile ride on Snickersville Turnpike, the first toll road in America. Luckily it is no longer a toll road but it is a very, very quiet and scenic motorcycle ride though back country Virginia.

Unfortunately I was not able to do the track day ride.  I got an offer to test ride the Zero electric motorcycles.  Watch for a post about the Zeros in a future post.    IMG_20190619_102816460_HDR

I really enjoyed the other two rides and I will write about the rides in another post.

One of the day one activities was a scavenger hunt for large apples.  I called it apple picking.

We are currently scheduled to attend a second regional HOG rally in September, the “Hills and Hollows” rally in Johnstown City, TN.

Ride On, Ride Safe

 

RTW Button Art [Converted]

The 28th annual International Ride Your Motorcycle to Work day is fast approaching.

The goals of this event are:

A day of rider unity.

     Highlight the positive aspects of motorcycling

     Arouse the curiosity of coworkers as they see a lot of motorcycles in the parking lot.

    Allows us to bring up important motorcycling related items such as distracted driving, E15 fuel, lane splitting, etc..

This event is always the third Monday in June!

Learn more and get free propaganda at the RIDETOWORK.ORG

Ride on, ride safe!

z1

When you first get your motorcycle, the feeling is incredible. It doesn’t matter how many motorcycles you own in your lifetime, the feeling is always the same.

If you’re planning on buying a motorcycle for commuting, or want to start commuting on a motorcycle you already have, you’re in for a treat. However, as with everything, there is good and bad. If you go about motorcycle commuting the wrong way, you can find yourself uncomfortable, frustrated, and ready to go back to driving.

Here are a few quick tips for commuting on a motorcycle.

1. Get A Reliable Motorcycle

This should be obvious, but you shouldn’t commit to commuting on an unreliable motorcycle. Make sure you keep up with the maintenance on your bike, like changing your oil and your brake pads. Simple steps like this can help ensure you have a reliable ride every day.

2. Invest In A Motorcycle-Specific GPS

Unless you plan on only going to and from the same place every day, the benefits of purchasing a motorcycle-specific GPS device are hard to ignore. Unlike your phone, a motorcycle GPS is generally waterproof, easier to see, easier to use, and provides more data, not to mention, it won’t siphon off the battery from your cellphone.

When you’re riding, you need to be able to focus on the road. Using a GPS device that is designed for motorcyclists is a great way to make sure to get where you need to go, while still being safe and aware of your surroundings. (If you want to learn more about these, check out: https://theridersmarket.com/best-motorcycle-gps/)

3. Get A Waterproof Backpack

Another motorcycle commuting essential is a good, waterproof backpack. If you don’t have saddlebags, you’re going to want a safe, dry spot to store everything you need to bring with you.

A good motorcycle backpack will be comfortable, have plenty of storage, durable zippers and be able to resist light rain.

4. Take The Path Less Traveled

Traffic jams are much more obnoxious on a motorcycle than they are in a car. On a bike, if you sit still for too long, it gets hot, your back starts to hurt and if you’re in stop and go traffic, you’re at risk of being rear-ended by someone who isn’t paying attention.

Even if this means adding an extra 5-10 minutes to your commute, find a route that isn’t as busy so you have a more enjoyable ride.

5. Always Stay Alert

The more often you ride, the more likely you are to get in an accident. Be sure to always follow the basics of motorcycle safety. If you take the same path every day, it is easy to get complacent and lazy with your motorcycle safety. Always remember – everyone is out to kill you. Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but you should still act that way! Ride defensively all the time. Ride like everyone wants to hit you. This way, you’re ready to avoid a collision and keep the rubber on the road.

6. A CamelBak Is Great In Warm Weather

If you live in a warm state down south, setting up a Camelbak in your backpack is a game changer. If you do end up getting stuck in traffic or are out longer than you thought, having quick access to a drink can be super helpful.

Make sure you clean your Camelbak every so often. It is easy just to want to fill it up, but it will eventually get the ick if you don’t clean it at least every few days.

7. Check Tires Regularly

Another simple maintenance to-do is to keep an eye on your tires. If you ride through the city, you’d be surprised how easy it is to run over a nail on the road and be none the wiser. Every week or so, check your tire pressure and inspect for any punctures. If you find a leak, make sure you take care of it right away.

8. Bring Music

As long as you can still hear what’s going on around you, music is an excellent addition to your motorcycle commute. It can help pass the time and make your ride that much more enjoyable. If you have speakers that you can mount to your bike, get that set up or invest in some motorcycle-friendly headphones for the ride.

9. Know The Gas Stations In The Area

If you have a small gas tank, it’s easy to find yourself near empty without any idea where the nearest gas station is. Make sure you fill up your bike once you see the low-gas light come on, or once you know you’re running low. You don’t want to be on your way to work and get stuck pushing your bike a mile up the road for some gas.

Remember – Motorcycle Commuting Should Be Fun!

If you’re going to commute, it may as well be on a motorcycle. Life can be numbing. The day-to-day sameness can give life a feeling of dread. Let your commute be your escape. Learn to enjoy the time you spend going to and from your destinations. With this mindset, you’ll look forward to your commute every day, rather than dreading it.

 

 

h1 (3)

April is Motorcycle Helmet Awareness Month so we are doing a series of posts to try and do just that… provide awareness! This post is about “things” you should consider in order to make your helmet last and protect you longer.

1 – Keep the exterior clean. After your ride take a moment to clean the helmet shell of bugs and road grit. If you use an open face helmet also brush your teeth.

2 – Keep the interior clean. Yup sometimes your helmet can get funky. BUT you must be

h1 (5)

Might take some work to remove the dog smell

careful about cleaning the interior. Follow your owner’s manual on cleaning the inside of your helmet.

3 – Don’t use odor masking or sanitizing sprays on the interior of your helmet. Some sprays can degrade the foam under your padding, which will degrade its ability to keep you safe.

4 – Clean your visor. You must see right, so follow your brands instructions on cleaning the visor. But, be careful when working on the inside of the visor, most come with an anti-fog coating that needs to be properly handled….. DO NOT USE PAPER TOWELS on either side of your visor.

5 – Don’t grab or carry the helmet by the visor. Yes, we all know not to do this, but we all have. Really, try not to do this as it will damage the visor and possible the hinge point.

6 – Don’t hang your helmet from the mirror. As you should know the main part of the helmet that protects your head is the foam liner. Hanging your helmet from the mirror can cause the foam to compress where it sets on the mirror. Also how are your going to admire yourself with only one mirror.

7 – Keep your helmet ventilated. No, do not drill holes to get better air flow LOL. After you ride store your motorcycle helmet in a manner that will allow a good air flow to dry things out. Don’t just toss it in the helmet bag and into a closet…. Let it breath like a good wine!

The last two I had never thought about until researching this post.

8 – Don’t store your gloves in the motorcycle helmet. A couple sites stated some obvious things like….The gloves will restrict ventilation and not allow the padding to dry. Also the gloves will add their own “STINK” to the lining.

9 – Don’t slide your arm though the eye hole. The idea is that if you do this a lot, in order to free your hand for a task, your motorcycle helmet will get worn faster. That your jacket sleeve will cause undue wear an might also damage the inside of the visor.

 

Have any additional ideas on how to make your motorcycle helmet last longer? Add those ideas to the comments below.

five

Vintage BMW Motorcycle in Legos!!!  A “Lego Master” from Taiwan creates a brick masterpiece.  He created a 1967 BMW R60/2 with working suspension, steering plus all the hoses and cables.  It took 3 months and over 700 bricks to create this wonderful piece of art.

Another Electric Motorcycle Manufacture Runs Out of Power. Sad to report Alta Motors is closing its doors.  Their Red Shift looked to be an awesome machine, winning a bunch of races.  It had a deal with Harley Davidson that fell though, which may have had some impact. 

Speaking of Electric Motorcycles…Really? $120,000? Comes with an Iron Man style HUD helmet and a haptic (physical) feedback system built into the matching jacket. Oh and you get a high performance motorcycle too.

The other Milwaukie Motorcycle.  Did you know that Royal Enfield has it’s US Headquarters in Milwaukie?  Nothing like looking at the big boy down the block!

The Best Driving (riding?) Roads in the UK.