Archive for the ‘motorcycle safety’ Category

 

custom dynamics

Recently Debbie and I took a 570+ mile round trip to visit the headquarters of motorcycle aftermarket lighting manufacture Custom Dynamics.  If you are a regular to this blog you know that, after buying and installing several of their products, I am a fan of what they produce.

Every now and again I check the Custom Dynamics website to see what new products they are offering.  This time I discovered they have new light for the Harley Davidson Rushmore motorcycles, one that fits into the fairing air vent.  The LED Light Kit for HD Bat Wing Fairing is both a bright running light and turn indicator.

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Debbie talking with Karen

I was just getting to the point of hitting enter on the order button when the “light bulb” (bad pun #1) came on over my head.  I was hoping that I could get a couple blog posts while shining a light (pun #2) on Custom Dynamics.

I contacted Custom Dynamics via their twitter account (Erin) and asked if I could ride down to check out the facility, products and talk to them about the companies’ history and where they are going. After a bit of back and forth we received an invitation to visit.

Arriving at a non-descript building with no signage we were not sure we were in the ijustwant2rideright place at first.  We meet with our point of contact, Karen, who had us ride into warehouse so the technicians could start the work.

While they were working I had an enlightening (pun #3) conversation with both Karen and the techs.  Turns out they have expanded the warehouse, doubling its size, and were now filling the new space. I am not surprised, like I said earlier they make a good product.

Ijustwant2rideTalking with the techs I asked how many installs they do at the different rallies and events that they attend.  This year they have estimate that they have installed over 3000 items and the season is not over yet.

While they were installing the new vent lights they decided to toss in new turn signal lights.  Now I was very pleased with the “Ringz” light I installed a few years ago, but WOW the new “ProBeam” turn signal insert lights seem to be a magnitude brighter. It was at that point Dave, the owner of Custom Dynamics, stopped in.

Talking with Dave I got the impression that he would be a guy I would like to hang out with or have as a neighbor.  We had a good conversation and a good interview about where the company came from, and where it is going…. But you will have to check in for part 2 for the rest of the story.

Click to enlarge but even with that you cannot understand how bright they are!!

Check my post on the Custom Dynamics Tour Pack Flasher kit!

 

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We are on a ride to visit the HQ of Custom Dynamics located in North Carolina.  Custom Dynamics make some very very bright LED lighting for motorcycles of all brands. 

I am a big fan of their products and thought it would be cool to check them out first hand.  Stay tuned for post all about Custom Dynamics in the near future.

BTW the little gnome was guarding Old Dominion Harley Davidson.

 

 

 

May is Motorcycle Awareness month but May 2018 is coming to an end.  Motorcycle awareness should not come to an end.  Please take these Motorcycle awareness pics and post to all your social media accounts.  Lets get the word out all year long!!!!

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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!!

This is a repost from May 2017

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Long motorcycle trips can be very rewarding, with a lot of fun along the way. Whether you are travelling solo or with a companion, there are lots of ways to entertain yourself during those points where the scenery is not so thrilling. For those night stops, you can use these tips too.

  1. Listen to music

There’s nothing like the right soundtrack to make the road feel even more epic. Take care about playlist choice and volume – you can’t skip a track when you’re riding, and you don’t want to block out important noises which could warn you of hazards.

  1. Play counting games

If you start to get bored, you can initiate a counting game. If you’re travelling with someone else, you can make it competitive, but it works alone too. Pick something and count it – like the number of roadside pubs you pass, or so forth. You can also count decorations on houses that you pass around Christmas or Halloween.

  1. Watching films or TV

When you’re at your stop for the night, you can fill in some time by watching TV shows or films on your smart phone or tablet. If you need to download them, make sure to use a VPN connection for safety. You can also download them before you set off so you’re ready to watch.

  1. Listen to a book

A bit like listening to music, only more intellectual. You can load up an audio book on your phone and pop your headphones in to listen to a story which will accompany your journey. A lot of audio books tend to be many hours long, so this will work well.

  1. Film yourself

If you set up a GoPro camera and a microphone in your helmet, you can actually record a travel video while you ride. This is something you can edit down later and use to showcase your journey. You could even start a vlog for this purpose.

  1. Sing to yourself

If you don’t want to fill your helmet with music, how about providing your own? You can sing out loud on a long journey, especially if you’re on a long highway without much variation. It will keep you awake as you try to remember lyrics, too.

  1. Wave at people

If you’re travelling through populated areas, try waving randomly at passers-by. Especially if you spot kids, this is a lot of fun as they get excited! Only do this if it is safe, such as when you are stopped at a light. If you’re riding a long motorway or highway, you might not get a chance.

  1. Write a novel

You won’t be able to write it down, but why not make up your own fantasy world in your head? Make up a story with characters and decide what happens to them. This can be a lot of fun to stretch your creative imagination while you’re trying to find something to grab your attention.

  1. Think about life

Finally, why not use the long journey to think about life in general? You can do some real soul-searching and think about what you want out of life, and how you can get there. This is a time to answer the really big questions. By the time you reach your destination, you might have made an important decision about the rest of your life.

There can be dull moments even on the most exciting motorcycle road trips, and you can find yourself getting sleepy or bored because of the monotony. These techniques will help prevent that from now on.

Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, BizDb.co.nz and Datastical, 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.

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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