Archive for the ‘motorcycle touring’ Category

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Babes Ride Out – Not sure how I missed this from 2015 but this is a nice, short 1487353470530documentary on Babes Ride Out! Babes Ride Out founders Ashmore Ellis and Anya Violet wanted to create an environment where women bikers can come together to share their cross country journeys, triumphs, close calls and disasters on the bike. GoPro Production Artists Tina Marchman and Annemarie Hennes joined these five hundred ladies in Joshua Tree for this women’s only event. See what happens when they hit the open road.

Adventure Bikers Pwned by a Woman Riding a Harley! – LOL not only does she out ride him off road he laments get dirty!!!!  BMW GS owners hang your head in shame or laughter. 

Chasing an Off-Road biker with a Drone –  A very nice video and some fancy drone driving!  This is worth the few minutes to get a different perspective of an off road motorcycle.  

Cops Ram Speeding Motorcycle – On the night of April 21, 2017 the police saw a rammotorcycle that was driving 101km/h (62mph). Police tried to pull over a motorcycle, but motorcyclist ignored and increased vehicle speed to 200km/h (124mph). Speed limit in Tallinn city is 50km/h (31mph). Bad guy, but does be nearly killed for speeding justify the stop? 

Bikers Prank Regular Couples at a Theater – Calsberg Beer hires out every seat prankat a movie theater except for two in the dead center.  Bikers dressed the part fill all the other seats.  Do any of the couples dare take their seats?

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Recently the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company stated that they were going to introduce 50 new models in 5 years. From my perspective there are now 49 models still on the delivery line now that the “Street Rod” has hit the road. 

Ijustwant2 ride.comOver the last few years Harley Davidson has put out a lot of new stuff that appears to have been setting the stage for this 50 models in 5 years effort.  The electric motorcycle prototype “Live Wire” (which I got to test ride), the Street 500/750, the water cooled 104 and Milwaukee 8 engines are what I think are the underpinnings of this 50 models in 5 years push. 

So with 49 motorcycle models still to go what can we expect? Harley Davidson has already stated that there is going to be a production electric motorcycle by 2020.  In my mind that would be two additional models, one a variant of the Street line and one a cruiser (maybe based on the Dyna?).  Which gets the 50 models in 5 years down to 47 unknown bikes.   

NOW for question.  Just WHAT would you like to see in that list of 50 models in 5 years?  We spoke on that during the show #401 of the DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio show a while back.  One of my ideas would be a true sport touring motorcycle.  Something that would push back on the BMW and Triumph sport touring motorcycles.  Harley Davidson did have a sport touring motorcycle in the past, the FXRT which, seemed to have good reviews.  I just never remember seeing one. 

If you were charged to creating one of the 50 models in 5 years what would it be?

Struggling to decide where to ride or tour on your motorcycle in the coming season?  How about the two following websites to help generate some ideas. 

The first site is a repeat of one from an earlier post. A few years ago I wrote about a website that could help you plan some cool motorcycle tours.  This site by the Federal Highway Administration (can you believe that the federal government got a website right?) is called the American Byways.  America’s Byways is an interactive, map based, website that will provide you a listing of each of the 150 different roads.  Those roads are comprised of the National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads. You can select the road from a national or state map to see basic information on the road (length, average time to travel the road and historical background) as well as route maps, directions and photos. 

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Interactive map of American Byways

The second website to help you pick some motorcycle rides or destinations is “Only in Your State”. With this website you can find some out of the way or quirky places that you may never even heard or read about near your home.  For example, here in Virginia, this website recommends the “Southern Virginia’s Donut Trail Is Everything You’ve Dreamed Of And More”.  So the saying “Ride to eat. Eat to ride” fits in well.

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There are a lot of other websites like this out on the ‘ole interwebs.   If you have one that you like to use when it comes to finding a destination for motorcycle ride, tour or destination please share in the comments below!!!

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Most years the wife and I take a long motorcycle trip or tour to somewhere.  Last year we went to New Orleans via the Harley Owners Group Rolling Rally.  The year before we went on a long ride that passed through Myrtle Beach, SC then through the mountains of Tennessee. At other times we have rode the motorcycle to Atlantic City and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

So one would think we would have this the planning process for motorcycle trips and tours down by now.  Well we do, step one we decide on a destination.  This year is being a bit problematic, we really can’t agree on where or what to do.  We have had a dozen ideas but none have really hit a cord.  The northeast, Niagara Falls, Canada, Harley Davidson HQ… who knows.  And that indecision is the peril as I have to schedule vacation and if we what to see anything that requires preplanning time is running short.

I am sure we will do something… I just do not know what yet!

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So why 9?  Because everyone does 10 and 11 is too much work.

First of all this list is not for one of those around the globe motorcycle adventure trips.  I will not be mentioning things like lion repellant, spare tires or satellite phones.  These tips are more for that multi-day to couple week trips via normal roads/interstates motorcycle trips.

These tips are primarily based on our own experiences and may or may not be fully applicable to you.  However, Debbie and I are not any different then you guys so I hope that the tips get you to at least think about a particular item.

9.  Carry a few tools.  Yes, this is dependent on the type of motorcycle you ride.  A sport bike is not going to carry as much as a touring bike.  At a minimum get a multi-tool that is appropriate to your bike.  By that I mean, if your multi-tool has a hex tool but your bike has Torx screws, it is not going to be of much use.   Here is what I carry on the Harley Davidson Ultra Limited:

Multi-tool that came with the motorcycle, which turns out is quite limited based on our summer 2015 trip.

Mini screwdriver and ratchet sets with Torx, hex and standard bits in the sizes I need for my motorcycle.

Stop n Go tire Repair kit.

8. The weather is going to change, be prepared.  No matter what you think is going to happen, plan on getting wet or cold or both.  Again what you can carry is dependent on the motorcycle you ride.  At a minimum you should carry rain gear.  You need to stop and put on the rain gear as soon as you know that it is not a tiny little shower, especially if you are in the mountains.  It sucks to put on your rain gear after you are soaking and then the temp drops.b1

7. ATGATT  All The Gear All The Time – Every time I see or hear this I can’t help but think of the green Martians from the cult classic movie “Mars Attacks” (ack ack).  But what it should mean is good boots, motorcycle pants and jackets that are armored and abrasion resistant and a full face helmet.  I know that I do not do this all the time myself, it is something that we all know we should do!

6. Start Early End Early – This one is more from personal experiences with longer motorcycle trips.  After so many years in the army I still wake up early.  Because of that I get on the road early and, depending on where you are riding, that can get us out before traffic gets heavy.  It also allows you to beat the heat in the summer months, for a while anyway.  By ending early you have time to get your motorcycle unloaded and prepared for the next day, give you time for a shower and a bit of rest before dinner.  I like to be kickstand up no later than 7AM and stopped for the evening no later than 5PM.  This also helps with any bickering or sniping with your passenger because you are both tired or hot or cold.

5. Get in a Routine – Load and unload your motorcycle the same way in the same order.  Do your post ride checks in the same way at the same time (after diner). A routine of this nature will help ensure you do not forget anything while loading and unloading.  It will help to ensure that you perform your ride checks and preparation.b4

4. Inspect your bike at night – As part of your routine, do your T-CLOCS before you close down for the evening.  Wipe down the grime on your windshield/faring and if you have room to carry one, cover your bike.  Performing these activities on your motorcycle each night, I like to do mine after dinner, will allow you to be on the road little quicker in each morning. Do it in the evening or in the morning, but on all long motorcycle trips you need to do it every day.  Things become loose or need attention, better to find out when you are parked.

3. Snack Smart – Eating a big turkey leg at noon and then riding on the interstate might cause you get a bit sleepy.  Snack smart is just a tip to make sure that you can operate your motorcycle in the best manner possible.  Drinking soda or coffee might not be the best option over water or a sports drink on those days where heat might be a concern.  If you are on one of those rides where you only stop for gas consider adding a cup holder or hydration pack to your ride kit. Additionally, consider what you eat, would a banana be better for your riding or do you really, really want that turkey leg!!!

2. Tweak don’t Twerk –  Move around on the seat to stay comfortable and avoid saddle sores on a long motorcycle trip.  This is easy on a touring bike, with larger seats, highway pegs and large footboards the touring motorcyclist has it easy over the sport bike riders.  But, either way, you have to remain a comfortable as possible.  If you plan on lots of long distance riding, look into getting a seat that really fits your seat.

1. Stop and smell the roses! – Yes we all know we need frequent breaks but, if your breaks are only gas stations you are likely missing out.  If you see something that peaks your interest check it out!  Even if you have to turn around and go back to get the picture with the giant roller skate do it.  You might never know what you are missing…. maybe dinosaurs! b-2

 

wp_20161015_09_51_15_proA few months ago I bought Pirelli Night Dragons for the Harley Davidson Ultra Limited.  We have run these tires all summer, just over 5000 miles.  They have been run through the mountains (including the Tail of the Dragon), in the rain and the hot concreate of the interstate highways in mid-summer.  So how did they fair to date?

Very nicely, is how they performed!  In the mountains I could feel the grip as we rolled though the twisties. On the rainy days I never felt that we had any slippage and the high temps never seem a problem either.  In comparison to the Harley Davison OEM tires I can already state I prefer the Pirelli’s.  That preference is not due to the grip in the mountains but due to their performance in the wet. I truly felt more in control in wet conditions with the Night Dragon’s v. the OEM tires.

So far, tire wear seems to be on par with the OEM, but with only about 5000 miles on the tires it is a bit early to tell.  At about 10,000 miles I will have a better handle on this particular issue.

Soooooo, I cannot give these tires a grade yet and most likely won’t until it is time to replace them.  But, I can say if you are not comfortable with the wet weather performance of the OEM tire you can truly consider the Night Dragons.

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

This week on DawgHouse Motorcycle News Rants & Racing show #383

10 Awesome roads to ride from around the world!  These are not the normal rehashed and rehashed set of roads (well mostly).  The #4 road on the list is the Iroha-Zaka in Japan which looks just unbelievable. Check out this map view of the road….d1

In an earlier show (DawgHouse 373) I discussed the possibility that motorcycles may not be allowed on the road as to dangerous to the riders. The framework that is working in Europe now is called “Vision Zero”, the Zero is for zero deaths.

Ken now has to admit I might be right!  Recently the US government has introduced a discussion of a version of Vision Zero and guess what was left out of that discussion…. MOTORCYCLES!  The AMA is worried that the reason the Federal Government left out motorcycles from it future planning is that they want to ban motorcycles.

In racing news…. MotoAmerica’s 2017 season schedule is out and there are some new tracks!!!! They have added Pittsburgh International Race Complex and Sonoma Raceway (and Ken again has to admit Warren was right). AND… Phil likes the change!!!!

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This year September 11th, in addition to being a national day of tragedy here in the US, it was also the day the 2016 Motorcycle Cannonball Run leg 2 began in York, PA.  York is only about 90 minutes from my home so it was a no brainer to go and check it out. 

For those of you unfamiliar with this the Cannonball Run it is a timed cross county event of 100 year or older vintage motorcycles.  So this year the run is with motorcycles built before 1917. Starting on

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Every motorcycle over 100 years old

the 10th of September The Cannonball Run is going from Atlantic City to San Diego. If you go to their website you can get a lot more detail, in case you are interested in running the next event in 2018.  

Phil, from the DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio show, and I arose early (3AM for him 4AM for me LOL) in order to be there before the motorcycles began departing. BOY am I glad we went to the event.  We got to see vintage bikes that you might only see in a museum, if ever.  For example, I saw two motorcycles that I had not seen in person before a Shaw and a JAP.   

By 10AM all the bikes that were going to make the start were on the road.  Attrition on this ride is high. In talking to some of the participates we learned that about 90 of these vintage motorcycles departed Atlantic City the day before but nearly 30 were unable to make the time hack in York.  That group included one bike that burned to a crisp shortly after the start.   

ijustwant2ride.comYou can also tell by the pictures below that there is a lot of maintenance that occurs.  One of the motorcycle mechanics said that they begin the preparations for the next day as soon as the bikes are cool enough to touch.  He also said that while the vintage motorcycles in the Cannonball Run might be easy to work on, there is not really that much in spare parts and a lot of creativity is required to keep them running.

It was a wonderful morning walking around looking at these 100+ year old vintage motorcycles and seeing what goes into them to keep them running.  I have a new respect for all those folks that participate in this event!

 

 

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Debbie and I had a, nearly, 200 mile motorcycle ride this past Sunday.  We left quite early in the morning as it was supposed to be over well over 95F by early afternoon.  Our plan worked as it was 94F as we made it back to the house about 1PM. Hot and muggy, but we beat the worse of it.

Pulling out that morning we really did not have a true destination in mind other than to ride through the towns of Lisbon and Damascus.  We wanted to hit those locations to add to our “Great Cities” motorcycle tour! With no real plan this was just going to be one of those “it’s the journey not the destination” rides.

After rolling through Lisbon we decided to just ride north.  Riding through small towns and rolling farmland made for a wonderful morning.  Toss in some light fog here and there it was just one of those rides were you just love the fact that you ride a motorcycle!

After about an hour we turned the motorcycle towards the west until we ran into US Route 15 which runs right by our home. Heading south we rode the motorcycle into Frederick, MD to stop for lunch and a quick stop at the Frederick Harley-Davidson shop.  The stop at the dealership was to take a quick peek at the new 2017 motorcycles and see for myself how the new engine looks.

A bit later we pulled the bike into our garage with about 192 miles on the trip meter.  All in all just another good day behind bars (motorcycle handlebars)!

(This is the 2nd post by Jason. Check out his other post Motorcycle Riding in Paradise!)

You can chose to ship your motorcycle overseas. This can be an excellent choice if you do it right.j1

Before you get your bike crated and ready to ship (the photo is an example of a typical shipping crate) there are some steps you must first take. You must determine where and how you will ship your bike. Additionally, you must go through a process to ready your bike for its boat its trip.  In the sections below, we’ll go over some of the details of what you need to know before shipping your bike overseas.

Having your bike transported by boat is more cost effective than air freight, though both are relatively affordable. Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when having your bike shipped to another country are the laws and regulations of that region.

Depending on where you’re shipping to, prepping your motorcycle to ship overseas can be tricky. In certain Latin American Countries like Brazil, Bolivia and Chile you can expect steep import taxes and tariffs, while shipping your bike to Nepal will require an import license.

To learn more about these laws and taxes, and how they will affect vehicle imports in particular countries, this PDF has some helpful information.

Crating & Insurance | Overseas Shipping Considerations

After you determine the specifics for where you would like to ship your bike, you have some options as to how you ship your bike. The most cost effective method is to have it crated and shipped in the cargo area of the ship. Some transport carriers are equipped with a special docking area for bikes that keeps them secure during shipping, but crating is the most typical method.

You are encouraged to consider purchasing marine insurance to assure that any damages to your motorcycle are covered. Insurance does come included as part of any transport agreement, but if you have a high-value or vintage bike, it’s a consideration worth making. It should be noted that your current insurance may also offer some coverage during shipment–check with them to see.

Now that you’ve determined where and how, you must start getting your bike ready.

  • First you must clean your bike, making sure the wheels and tires are spic and span.
  • Next, take inventory of any previous damage to the body. It’s a good idea to document any preexisting damage with pictures.
  • Reduce gas level to a quarter tank. Most shippers will require it.
  • Locate the battery and disconnect it. Remove negative cable first, then the positive cable.
  • Check your fluid levels and tire pressure.
  • Remove anything that is not attached and store them safely as items may come loose during shipping.

Check with your international shipping company for any company specific requirements. Once you’ve crated and strapped down your bike, take a picture of it before leaving it in the care of the shipping company to prove that you in fact did deliver the motorcycle should damage or theft take place.

 

Jason Mueller is an entrepreneur living in Costa Rica with family from Canada.  After graduating from high school and getting his pilot’s licence he lived to travel the world looking for adventure.  He is currently working with A-1 Auto and is the owner of Jaco Ropes.