Archive for the ‘motorcycle safety’ 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!

When you get your lid out for the 1st time this year, or if you have let it set for while you might want to make sure nothing has crawled in there.  In the 1st photo that is a poisonous Black Widow spider.  How bad would it feel to get bitten at 50MPH?  Oh and in the second pic that is a miniature Mountain Lion, I am sure you can all see the danger in that!!!!

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Check your lid! That is a Black Widow Spider!

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Look! A cat!

 

 

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.

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There’s nothing like setting out for open road in search of a new locale, a different straight of pavement to travel down or a destination you’ve never been to before.  What’s exciting here is the opportunity that awaits in exploring something unique and not knowing exactly where the road might take you.

When preparing for adventure road trips, it’s important to keep a note of certain things. A simple to-do list would help.  From extra layers of clothing to a supply of snacks, there are a number of things that you’re going to need along for your journey.

You obviously not like to spoil the experience because you forgot to carry your riding jacket or stuck on the way for a toolkit. Isn’t it?
Swag for every season

Because there will be nothing between you and the elements, you’ll need to be prepared for every weather condition that strikes you on the way.

Instead of heavy items that will weigh you down and take up extra space, pack synthetic fabrics like polyester or items with wicking properties that will keep you warm and dry.

You’ll want some lightweight shirts, a fleece vest or jacket, a bandana, a set of gloves, and a pair of extra pants.

It’s also important to prepare for rain and cold weather. Pack a rain suit, neck warmer, a heated jacket and extra gloves.

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Toiletries, tools & accessories

Ensure you carry some basics with you. Your ID, insurance papers and phone charger are must. A map would help, if by chance you get off the grid. You must not forget camera and a torch (ed. a Flashlight for us Americans).

Directions would still be handy even when you are fairly aware of the track. You can even install a compass on your smartphone just in case.

Carry some cash but not much. Have your credit/debit cards ready.

Not every time you would find a motel down the highway. Take your kit with essential toiletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, lotion, lip balm and sunscreens, these should all be there.

You cannot ride for hours at a stretch. Your motorbike also needs a bit of rest and maintenance.

Ensure the toolkit is there with all the tools properly greased and working. An adjustable wrench, hex key, screwdriver, and an air pump can be required any time.

Helmet is the first thing that you put on before pushing the ignition button.

Although the helmet visor works well most of the time but sunglasses and night goggles are always a good idea to carry. They are almost a necessity for less predictable journeys.

Motorcycle luggage and saddlebags are other essentials.

You’re almost all bases covered stowing away these items.

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Food, medicine & extras

Items that you’re not going to use will take needless space so carefully decide on what to take and what not.  Let me give you a tip – If you decide to leave something out at the last minute, you’re more likely to need it later. So it’s worth finding some room for it.

Carry a notepad and a couple of pens to note down important events. These will also come in handy when it comes to drawing directions.

Be prepared for any illnesses. It’s not easy to locate pharmacies when out in other places. You should always carry tablets and common medicines. Nausea and headaches are common on a road trip.

When it comes to food, choose snacks that are healthy and keep you fit during the trip.

Dry organic foods can be a good option. Try and pick items that are non-greasy and spill-proof.

Keep some candies and chewing gums in your pocket. They are a great way to keep you alert. Prolonged highway riding can be monotonous. They can make you lethargic and sleepy.

It’s easy to think there will be places along the way to eat, but a few granola bars and some nuts can serve as a great option in quashing hunger.
Final items to check before you start

If you’ve got a heavy load, it’s a good idea to test it out on the road before your trip creeps up on you.

Instead of leaving it until the last minute, take a short ride with your bike packed up to determine if your luggage & racks feel right.

You may also want to give your tools a little bit of a test, especially when you have not used them in a while.

Check for air pressure, oil levels, coolant and also the brakes to avoid any malfunction on the way.

Last but not least, make sure to tightly secure and fasten your load before taking off.

So now, are we not better equipped for our next road trip? Or is there still anything missing?

Sure there would be a thing or two but what’s important is to decide whether it’s worth carrying its weight all the way.

When you’ve got the right gear and all the goods, you’ll be surprised at how limitless the road will seem.
Author Bio
Ashley is a former journalist who quit her job to pursue her wanderlust and meet new people around the globe. She always prioritize motorcycle trips. She tries to pen down her entire travelling experience and has been constant contributor to bboffroad.com.au.

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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

 

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Royal Enfield has 2 new Motorcycles

Royal Enfield launches two new 650cc motorcycles, the upgraded Continental GT 650 and the Inceptor 650.  Both are using the new Royal Enfield parallel twin power plant producing 47HP.  The Continental GT continues the café racer look while the Interceptor looks more like a normal cruiser.  To me the Interceptor looks a lot like an older Honda CB.   Watch a video on the launch at EICMA, Milan.   OH, why has the Royal Enfield Himalayan not yet been released into the US?

A sad account of the human commuter.

A mini-van pulls out in front of a motorcyclist, an accident occurs and no one stops!

A Star Wars Land Speeder Cruises Manhattanz1

A ran across a cool video of a couple riding a land speeder in downtown Manhattan.  Using some well-placed mirrors they really, kinda, pull off the effect.  There is a second video that discusses how they pulled off the land speeder/motorcycle.

Motorcycle Safety Foundation Tip Sheet

Nice little article from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation on “Pretending Your Invisible”.

10 Best Harley Davidson Motorcycles of All Time

While I don’t agree with all the Harley Davidson motorcycles on this list, it is a good effort.  The site is a bit “click-baity” but that seems to be the norm with a lot of sites anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why 9 things on winter motorcycle storage? Because everyone has lists of 10 and 11 is too much work! Hah!  (This post first appeared in November 2014)

Anyway, here in northern hemisphere winters cold fingers are starting to grip and the polar vortexes appear ready to freeze us off our motorcycles. In fact the first snow of the season is right around the corner!

Riding season, depending on what you are willing to put up with, is either over or nearly so. There are thousands of suggestions and tips out there on winterizing your motorcycle, such as putting a teaspoon of oil in your cylinders and filling the tires with nitrogen, so do your own research to find out what works for you with manner and place you store your bike. If it is time for you to store your bike until the spring thaw here are some of the things you need to consider AND an interesting info-graphic from Allstate Insurance.

1. Stabilize the fuel or drain the tank. Almost all gas, especially the ethanol “enhanced” stuff, has a short shelf life. While many believe that draining the tank (and carb system if equipped) is all that is needed to prevent the gasoline from turning to muck, I am not one of them. I just don’t think it is possible to burn all the fuel in the system, small despots will always remain. I prefer to fill the tank and add fuel stabilizer, I then run the engine for at least 15 minutes to work the stabilized fuel through the entire fuel system. After the short ride to get the stabilizer through the system I then refill the tank as much as possible to limit the amount of air in the tank.

2. Change your oil.   Do this as close to your final days of riding as reasonably possible. If you are a do-it-yourself guy consider doing the oil change right after you complete the ride to mix in the fuel stabilizer. Why change the oil before storage? Because changing the oil now removes the sludge, dirt and residual contaminants in the oil that could oxidize during storage. Make sure to run the engine a few minutes to disburse the new oil throughout the engine.

3. Prepare and Protect the Battery. Most motorcycle batteries are lead-acid and should be

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One of the tenders I have used.

kept under a constant charge in order to maintain their life. Be aware there is a difference between a battery tender and a tickle charger. A battery tender is specialized charger that has special circuits to prevent overcharging your battery. You can use a trickle charger but check the instructions carefully; many cannot be used on your battery for more than 30 minutes each day. If your motorcycle will be stored where freezing temperatures will likely occur often, consider removing the battery and place it in a warm dry place. You will still need to keep it charged but he cold will have less effect on the life of the battery.

4. Check your anti-freeze. Harley Davidson riders this now includes a lot of you too. Make sure you have the proper amount and type of anti-freeze in your bike. Depending on what type of coolant your manufacture uses it could be one of several colors. Rules of thumb, if it a light color or clear you need to change the fluid. If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person remember to “bleed” the system to get all the air out. If would be a bad thing if on your first spring ride your bike overheats.

5. Clean your bike. Whether you kept your bike clean all riding season or you only give it a bath once a year now is the time to do it (again). All that evil road krap (dirt/sand/salt/oils/road kill) attaches to your motorcycle’s metal surfaces and will begin to corrode those parts. A good cleaning before storage will make that much harder for the forces of evil to work their powers on your bike. If you bike uses a chain, now is the time to clean it as well.

6. Wax, polish and Lubricate. After the good cleaning I think it is important to put a nice coat of polish on the paint and chrome. This will help protect the surfaces from any condensation that might occur during storage. Lubricate the chain as described in your owner’s manual. Lube all moving parts such as cables and your side stand pivot. Use a metal protectant spray on the underside of the frame and drivetrain, I prefer to spray it on a rag and wipe it on that way I can also get some of the dirt I missed while cleaning the bike. These actions will help you combat rust on any areas exposed from pitting or scratches.

7. Put a sock in it. When I was a kid I was helping a friend start his bike in the spring and shortly after starting we heard a lot of rattling in the exhaust. A few moment later out shot a handful of lightly roosted acorns that some chipmunk had hidden there. Depending on the area you are storing the bike cover your exhausts or insert exhaust plugs to protect yourself from critters.

8. Check your Tires. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Now I am not sure about this step but, many folks recommend that you let some of the air out of the tires, to allow any condensation to escape. Of course you need to add more air to the tires after you bleed them. Also many folks think you need to get the tires off the ground if you are going to be letting them sit for long periods to avoid “flat spots”. I am not sure I concur with this thinking and I have read in several places that Harley Davidson does not recommend this as it places stress on the front suspension. Check with your manufacture if this is something you are not sure about.

9. Cover your motorcycle. Even when stored inside, your bike should be covered while stored. Use a cover that can breathe don’t use a plastic tarp. Moisture should not be allowed to become trapped under the cover on your bike’s metal surfaces.

That’s the bare basics to storing your bike. Remember winter is also a good time to take care of those bike projects you have been thinking about… for me it will be installing a removable tour pack.

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A mashup of GTA and some home footage!  Made me smile!  Make sure to watch to the end…the giraffe seems to be sad that the ride was over.

 

 

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Fern Pass (elevation 1212 m) is a mountain pass in the Tyrolean Alps in Austria – Just a neat video of a Motorcycle riding through the Alps

42DFE03400000578-4750914-image-a-22_1501610476940Instagram biker Olga Pronina dies in crash in Russia – Olga Pronina was a 40-year-old Instagram star who went by ‘Monika9422’ online with over 160,000 followers died in a terrible motorcycle crash.  Olga was “internet famous” due to her pictures and videos riding/stunting on her motorcycle while wearing skimpy clothing.

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Guy on a scooter breaks the wheelie distance record – Masaru Abe rode over 500KM on a Yamaha Jog scooter, taking 13 hours to accomplish the record. The previous record was 331KM.

Ducati developing jet technology for motorcycles! – We are not talking jet engines but jet exhausts!1486066461417Driver gets 6 years for Motorcyclist’s Death – Motorist Darla Jackson has been sentenced to six years in prison for the 2015 killing of a motorcyclist Zach Buob in a road rage incident.

 

 

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Well, I don’t normally do this but, I like their products so much I thought I would pass this along.  Custom Dynamics has a new and much easier to use website.  Something that was long overdue.

If you are not familiar with Custom Dynamics they create lighting replacement and accessories for nearly all cruisers.  I have purchased two of their products so far and I am very happy with both.  I first purchased their LED Turn Signal Inserts (5 Stars from me) and then their Magic Strobe Brake Light Flasher (5 Stars from me) for the tour pak.  I wrote a blog review of the flasher not sure way I did not do one for the turn signals.  You can read my post on the flasher here 

The new Custom Dynamics site is a vast improvement over their old site. Now you can more easily search for products by brand.  I particularly liked their “new products” section and because of that I am now interested in their vent lighting.  SIGH… will this bike ever be finished?!?!