Archive for the ‘motorcycle safety’ Category

St. Michael is the patron of paratroopers. Bikers have a bit in common with people who jump from planes, so maybe another candidate?

2cyclepaths.com

The Patron Saint of Motorcycle Riders?

 Who should be the patron saint of motorcyclists?There are a lot of saints in the race for this honor!

 We can start with Elijah the Prophet who was taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot. Although a friend of mine says Elijah was taken up in Triumph! (Maybe a Triumph Trident!) Regardless, they didn’t have Harleys in those days so he had to settle for something else. But I can still picture the dude doing this! Can you? Now imagine him on a CVO Harley Road King screaming with locomotive type clout in top gear.

Another candidate is Saint Frances of Rome who was declared the patron saint of automobile drivers by Pius XI.  There was a legend that an angel used to light her way with a lantern when she traveled, keeping her safe from hazards like deer and pagans. I’m pretty…

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I have decided to do something a bit different ….. towards the end of each month I will scan the recalls and post the new ones to the blog.  Will that be helpful?

 

Manufacturer BMW Motorrad / TVS Motor Company

Summary: Prolonged use of the kickstand the section of the frame that houses the kickstand bushing could sustain damage or possibly break. Consequently, the rider and/or pillion could face injuries

Consequence: If the kickstand bushing should fail the rider and/or pillion could be injured.

Remedy: Owners of the affected models will either be contacted directly by BMW, or may voluntarily bring their rides back to the dealership for inspection. The defect involves the kickstand’s section of the chassis, on the current G 310 platform.

Manufacturer: Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

SUMMARY: Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (Suzuki) is recalling certain 2018 Suzuki DR-Z400S and DR-Z400SM motorcycles. During assembly the resin that fills the rear brake stop lamp switch may have adhered to the internal contacts, which can prevent the brake lamp from illuminating.

CONSEQUENCE: If the brake lights do not illuminate, it can increase the risk of a crash.

REMEDY: Suzuki will notify owners, and dealers will install a new stop lamp switch assembly, free of charge. The recall began on July 16, 2018. Owners may contact Suzuki customer service at 1-800-934-0934. Suzuki’s number for this recall is 2A84.

Manufacturer: Indian Motorcycle Company

SUMMARY: Indian Motorcycle Company (Indian) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Indian Scout, Scout Sixty, and Scout Bobber motorcycles. The Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) may have air left in the system after the assembly process.

CONSEQUENCE: Air in the brake system can reduce brake effectiveness, increasing the risk of a crash.

REMEDY: Indian will notify owners, and dealers will bleed the front and rear anti-lock brake system, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in July 2018. Owners may contact Indian customer service at 1-877-204-3697. Indian’s number for this recall is I-18-07.

Manufacturer Ducati North America

Summary:  Ducati North America (Ducati) is recalling certain 2017-2018 Ducati Supersport, and Supersport S motorcycles. The Airbox blow-by and fuel tank overfill hoses may be routed too close to the exhaust manifold, which may cause the hoses to melt.

Remedy: Ducati will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the hose routing and correct as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin August 11, 2018. Owners may contact Ducati customer service at 1-888-391-5446.

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Photos do not do the Pro Beam Light Pipes justice.

 

Took me longer then I had planned to post part 2 of our motorcycle trip to Custom Dynamics.  Life, work and poor video editing skills are to blame!

One of the most illuminating parts of the trip was a conversation with Dave Pribula the owner of Custom Dynamics. Dave walked us from starting his business, literally, in his garage to moving out of the garage then out growing their first location, moving to a second and having to expand on that location.

We talked about the new “Pro Beam Light Pipe” technology.  I got to see a light pipe tail light on a Harley Davidson Softail and WOW!  The light pipes work as running lights and when you hit the brakes BAM!  If the driver behind you can’t see these lights they need to be tested for blindness! (yes a lot of !’s in this paragraph but I can’t express enough how much of an impact these new lights made on me).

{BTW – They make lights for more then just Harley}

At the end of the video you should listen to what Dave has to say about his approach to customer service!  If other companies would adopt this model things in general would be a lot better.

After the interview it was time to head back home to northern Virginia.  We were dreading this ride as it involved I95.  Turns out this trip had the least amount of traffic I have ever experienced on I95.  We made it home in about six hours, with stops!

Interview with Custom Dynamics CEO Dave Pribula.

 

 

 

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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 Populationof 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.

 

 

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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.

ijustwant2ride

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!