Archive for the ‘Motorcycle’ Category

md toll

It is not very often that I have something nice to say about the state due north of my home. Heck, this is the state that taxed rainfall!  {{EDIT: not the state but the state government }}

BUT, I just learned (thank you AMA) that Maryland is undergoing a modernization of its road toll system, to be in place by 2020. As part of that plan motorcycle will be tolled at half the current cost. A 50% reduction for those of that ride!

Now this is not a done deal. The Maryland Transportation Authority board has a public comment period open through the 3rd of October. If you live and ride in Maryland you need to make your thoughts known by going to the Maryland Toll Modernization website and leave your comment. Unless you want to pay higher tolls, in that case please disregard the link above!

The board is scheduled to make final recommendations at the end of November, 2019.

I must also give credit to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. Most politicians whine and state that this is going to cost the state $28 million dollars. The Governor stated that this was going to SAVE the citizens $28 million, that is the correct way to portray the effort.

Bennett's War

It is not very often that we get to see a movie about motorcycle culture on the big screen, Bennett’s War is the first in several years. I went to see this film at our local theater, going in with the premise that this was based on a true story, it wasn’t. No big deal, my assumption on that.

Bennett’s War story opens with two soldiers parachuting into an unknown location along with a couple crates. Turns out there are, what appears to be electric, adventure style, motorcycles in the crates. They had me hooked right there, fictional as hell, but hooked.

Soon Bennett is seriously wounded rescuing his buddy, while riding the motorcycle, by an explosive boobytrap. Waking up in the hospital the doctors tell him that is injury is so bad he is going to be medically retired and will never ride again.

HA! We know that won’t happen!

Soon he is at home and learns dad is going to lose the farm and he goes back to racing to Bennett's warearn the money to save it. From this point on there was lots of race footage, from Glen Helen Motocross track, that look spectacular at times and bit hokey at times, BUT well done.

If you had told me that Hallmark had made this film, it did have the romance and family tension they are known for, I would have believed you no questions asked. Turns out that his film was financed by Forrest Lucas of Lucas Oil Motocross fame! In this age of a downturn in motorcycling I salute Mr. Lucas for putting his money into his passion!

Ok it may be formulaic and predictable but it is also fun. At no time did I go moto-snob and feel like I needed to go pifffffttt. I am giving the Bennett’s War 4 stars and a job well done. Recommend that you go see it while it is on the big screen, it will not be the same on TV.

4 out 5 stars

 

 

recall

Be aware that this motorcycle recall list is for the United States, there is no way I could cover the entire world. But in the world of global manufacturing, if a motorcycle is being recalled in one country there is a good chance it is under recall in others. Also, this should not be considered a definitive list, check for yourself if you have any questions.

If you are US based use the NHTSA website http://www.safercar.gov. Enter your VIN number to see if your motorcycle is affected by the recall.

If you are based in Europe use the Safety Gate website to locate recalls that may impact you. 

 *****

Manufacturer: BMW of North America, LLC

SUMMARY:

BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2019 C 400 X, 2018-2020 G 310 GS, and 2017-2020 G 310 R scooters and motorcycles. The front and rear brake caliper pistons may corrode, possibly causing the piston to stick or drag in the caliper bore.

CONSEQUENCE:

A sticking or dragging brake could affect braking performance, increasing the risk of a crash.

Remedy:

BMW will notify owners and dealers will replace the fort and rear brake calipers free of charge.  The recall is expected to begin October 4, 2019.  Owners may contact BMW service at 1-800-525-7417.

*****

Manufacturer: Harley-Davidson Motor Company

SUMMARY:

Harley-Davidson Motor Company (Harley-Davidson) is recalling certain Touring and CVO Touring motorcycles, including 2017-2019 FLHTCU, FLHTCUL, FLHTK ANV, FLHTKL, FLTRU, FLHTK, and 2016-2019 FLHTKSE, FLHTKSE ANV, and FLTRUSE models equipped with a Harley-Davidson Detachable Tour-Pak Luggage Conversion Kit (Part numbers 53000291, 53000291A, and 53000567). The kit did not include replacement rear red reflectors for the ones that are eliminated by installing this kit. As such, these motorcycles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment.”

CONSEQUENCE:

Without the rear red reflectors, the motorcycle has reduced visibility to other drivers, increasing the risk of a crash.

REMEDY:

Harley-Davidson has notified owners, and dealers will install the replacement reflectors, free of charge. The recall began August 19, 2019. Owners may contact Harley-Davidson customer service at 1-800-258-2464. Harley-Davidson’s number for this recall is 0629.

*****

Manufacturer: Piaggio Group Americas. Inc.

SUMMARY:

Piaggio Group Americas. Inc. (Piaggio) is recalling certain 2016-2018 Moto Guzzi Audace 1400 and Eldorado 1400, 2017-2018 Moto Guzzi California 1400, 2017 Moto Guzzi MGX 21 Bagger, 2013-2014 Aprilia Mana 850, 2014-2016 Aprilia Dorsoduro 750, 2018-2019 Aprilia Dorsoduro 900, and 2018 Aprilia Shiver 900 motorcycles. Due to a problem with the front brake master cylinder, the front brakes may drag or apply, causing the motorcycle to unexpectedly slow down or stop completely without activating the rear brake light.

CONSEQUENCE:

Unexpectedly slowing down or stopping while driving with no warning to following traffic can increase the risk of a crash.

REMEDY:

Piaggio will notify owners, and dealers will inspect, and if necessary, replace the front brake master cylinder free of charge. The recall began August 16, 2019. Owners may contact Piaggio customer service at 1-212-380-4433. Piaggio’s number for this recall is PA2ZZQ1904.

*****

Manufacturer: Darsan Trading Co.

SUMMARY:

Darsan Trading Co. (Darsan), dba as Helmet City, is recalling certain HCI 100 matt black motorcycle helmets in size XL. These helmets may not adequately protect the wearer in the event of a head impact during a motorcycle crash. Additionally, the helmets do not list the month and year of manufacturer. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 218, “Motorcycle Helmets.”

CONSEQUENCE:

A helmet that does not adequately protect the wearer from an impact can increase the risk of injury in the event of a crash.

REMEDY:

HCI will notify owners, and will provide replacement helmets or give the consumer a credit for a replacement helmet, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in August 2019. Owners may contact Helmet City customer service at 1-888-550-3731.

Ride On, Ride Safe

safety 1

I ran across this list of dangerous states to ride motorcycles quite by accident. I was looking for something about riding in Virginia and up this popped on page 2 of the search results. The article was published in May 2019.

Interesting to say the least. Based on 2017 data QuoteWizard used the following methodology:

“We looked at 2017 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) fatality figures in each state and compared it with 2017 Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) motorcycle registration data to find which states had the highest rate of fatalities per registered motorcycle. Below is a ranking of all 50 states, with 1 being the highest rate of fatalities and 50 being the lowest.”

Below are the 5 worst and 5 best states to ride motorcycles. You can find the entire list here!

5 Worst                                                 5 Best

Mississippi                                           Montana

Texas                                                 South Dakota

South Carolina                                     Alaska

Florida                                                New Hampshire

Arizona                                                Minnesota

The 5 best also look among the top coldest too…… humm

 

Ride on, Ride safe

five

If you go to Sturges look up the Indian motorcycle with a sidecar BBQ grill built in. Read more here!

Stealing motorcycles from a blind man?!?  Read more here!

New Indian motorcycles and new Indian powerplant!  Read more here!

Monster Energy Supercross Cup.  3 tracks in one!?!  Read more here!

The man who killed 7 motorcyclist was high!  Read more here!

 

recall

For the first time since I have been doing the recall lists, there were no recalls! As of July 28 (I try to post recalls on the 28th of each month) everything is good!        But….

Be aware that this motorcycle recall list is for the United States, there is no way I could cover the entire world. But in the world of global manufacturing, if a motorcycle is being recalled in one country there is a good chance it is under recall in others. Also, this should not be considered a definitive list, check for yourself if you have any questions.

If you are US based use the NHTSA website http://www.safercar.gov. Enter your VIN number to see if your motorcycle is affected by the recall.

If you are based in Europe use the Safety Gate website to locate recalls that may impact you.

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.

boom

The headset that came with my 2014 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic had a short that made it useless.  Because I could no longer hear her, my wife bought me the new “Harley Davidson BOOM Audio Music & Communications Headset”.  Hummm was it realy for me?

I have had the new headset for about a month now and can say that it is better then the one that came with the motorcycle.  The sound quality is better and it stays in place a little better.  The new BOOM headset came with some rubbery parts that were suppose to aid in retention.  They are uncomfortable to me so I am not using them.

The sound for phone calls are good according to the people that I have called.  The GPS lady sounds good and music is good but not great.  Overall I give the new Harley Davidson Headset 4 out 5 Stars.

4 out 5 stars

 

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.

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