Archive for the ‘Motorcycle’ Category

I think this is only the 2nd time we had an entire month without a recall!!!

Be aware that this motorcycle recall list is for the United States for the last 30 days, 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 Enter your VIN number to see if your motorcycle is affected by the recall. If you are based outside the USA, use the appropriate website to locate recalls that may impact you

Ride On, Ride Safe

Up Shift – Hydrogen Motorcycle Engines and Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki

The big 4 motorcycle manufacturers have joined forces to push the development of hydrogen engines. Their agreement has some specifics built into it so it may not just be “signaling”.  Each manufacture has specific responsibilities in this effort, for example:

           Honda will lead the research and development of the hydrogen engines.

           Suzuki will work on performance & reliability of hydrogen powered motors.

           Yamaha is to study how to establish hydrogen refueling systems.

           Kawasaki is working on the fuel supply issue.

Also, the way I read some of the different articles on this effort, Toyota is cooperating in this project.

My Take – This is nothing but good news.  These companies are responsible for many of the things we take for granted every day.  With their combined efforts we may get true, real green energy in my lifetime.


Up Shift – Motorcycle Insurance… Which company is best?

What are the best motorcycle insurance companies and what makes them the best?  I recently had an article sent to me that laid out the who and why of the top 5 motorcycle insurers.

This article not only laid out the top 5 companies but also pointed out the pro’s and con’s of each along with the methodology of how they reach their conclusions. I underlined that last bit because, often, that is never included.

Who made the list …. In alphabetical order.   




           State Farm


You can read the article and see who finished in the top spot for yourself.

The study/list was conducted by

My Take: We all have to buy insurance and just like taxes it is a necessary evil. I really like that put this list together ALONG with how they ranked ordered the companies.

Turns out that I am using one of the top 5 to cover my motorcycles and I had to agree with their findings on that company!

Ride on, Ride Safe

Front Royal sets at the northern end of Skyline Drive one of the premier motorcycling destinations on the east coast.  Thousands of motorcyclists pass through Front Royal on their way to Skyline Drive or to parts unknow as they leave the Drive.  At most they spend a night in town before heading on their way.

However, riders should spend a day or two riding in the Front Royal area. There are more than a few great riding roads and routes that will appeal to every motorcycle rider. Adventure bikers, you can check out the availability of roads in the Geroge Washington National Forest as some become open to motorcycles, there is even a Jeep “Trail of Honor” that will put your skills to the test.

Fort Valley was first surveyed by George Washington in 1748. Washington would later make plans for Fort Valley to be his winter retreat, had the revolutionary army been defeated, as it has a lot of natural defensive features.

Between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, the valley was a major source of pig iron for the new nation. During the Civil War the mountains surrounding the valley served as observation post for the Confederate Army, overlooking multiple local battles.

Canyon Carving and Valley Riding

One of the best kept motorcycle riding roads is Fort Valley Road.  A ride that is part canyon carving and chill’n valley riding.  The ride will take about 2-3 hours, depending on how often you stop to take pictures or visit some of the local attractions along the way.

Once you turn onto Fort Valley Road it just a few minutes before you are whipping your motorcycle through a tight canyon.  Rock wall cliffs on one side and a sharp drop into creek on the other will keep you attention very tightly focused.  After a while, that canyon passage will open into a farming valley.

You will ride for miles through a mix of green and amber fields intermixed with forest treescapes. This is part of the ride that will have you setting back and admiring the views of the steep mountains to your left and right and the family farms you motorcycling though. 

But before long you are at the southern end of the valley where you will encounter an unmarked section of the road.  This part of Fort Valley Road is a steep climb out of the valley through twists and tight hairpin curves. As soon as you crest the top of the mountain you will begin a just as steep drop to the bottom of the mountain.  The views of the Shenandoah Valley as you descend can be quite awesome.

Once at the bottom you will leave Fort Valley Road and make your way back to Front Royal via US 340.  You will find that when you get back you just might want to do this loop a second time.

Local Highlights along the ride:

Front Royal Visitors Center

George Washington National Forest

Fort Valley Museum (open irregularly)

Skyline Caverns

The route:

From the Front Royal Visitors Center

Right on Main Street

Right on Royal Street = US 55 and 340

Left on Quadrant Road = US 55 (as you cross the bridge)

Left on Strasburg Road = US 55

Left on Fort Valley Road = VA 678

Straight on Fort Valley Road / Camp Roosevelt Road = VA 675

Left on North Egypt Bend Road = VA 684

Right on Bixlers Ferry Road = VA 675

Left on North Broad Street = US 340

Right on Main Street Front Royal


May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month. It is important to get the word out to your non-riding friends and family!

I don’t own any of these photos about motorcycle safety, but I have gathered them from across the internet. I think “Fair Use” is in full operation in regard to their use.

So, PLEASE, copy and paste any of these motorcycle safety pictures &, memes. Post them up to all your favorite sites. Point them out to non-riders, we riders already get it!

As we are in Motorcycle Helmet Safety Month, I thought we should revisit the proper fitment of your helmet.

Unfortunately, not every helmet will fit every head. Each helmet will have a sizing guide to help you ensure your head is safe and snug inside.

Sizing your Skull

When you measure your head, wrap the tape measure starting about ½ inch above your eyebrow. Next, loop it around your head, at the largest point keeping it above your ears. 

Two recommendations with the tape measure, get a friend to help you you’re your buddy can make sure the tape measure is in the right spot.  Also, measure your skull three times then calculate the average to get a closer measure of your head.

If your melon falls between two sizes of your motorcycle helmet of choice go with the smaller size.

Shape of your skull

This one is a bit harder.  Most motorcycle helmet makers really, truly do not consider the shape of our braincases.

While all human heads are, for the most part, oval, some are more round while others can be more elongated. The shape of your skull impacts how your helmet will fit.

You will have to try on a properly sized helmet to see if it fits your individual dome!

Trying the Helmet On

Does your new candidate helmet feel a little tight?  If so, that is good! Feeling a little tight or a touch uncomfortable is ok but, it should not be inducing any pain to the back of your gourd, your temples, or your forehead. Any hotspots or truly uncomfortable pressure points will be a guarantee of a miserable ride.

If it is feeling tight but not duly uncomfortable (the padding should adapt over time) now, try turning the motorcycle helmet right and left then tilting it forward and back.  If the helmet moves over your skin freely it is too big, try a smaller size.

If it seems to fit well, try to keep it on for at least 10-15 minutes. Does it still feel good? When you take it off are there any hotspots or rub marks?  If not you may 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 working as it should, reach over your head and grasp the bottom/back of the helmet.  Try pulling it up and over your head.  If it comes off, try a different size.

Final thoughts

While these are my recommendations, please do your own research on proper fitment.  There are as many fitment recommendations as makers of motorcycle helmets.

Use these suggestions as a way to get started with getting a good fit.  Never trust just one website, look at as many sources of information 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 your current helmet over and off your head?  Might be a good time to replace your primary safety device.

Ride On, Ride Safe

Example of bad fitment!
Might take some work to remove the dog smell.

With April being Motorcycle Helmet Safety Month, now is a good time to check your lid. Below is a simple checklist to make sure your helmet is still good to go.

  • Is your motorcycle helmet 5 years or older? Most manufacturers state that you should replace your helmet every 3-5 years.  Many folks think that is nothing but a money grab. However, your head is protected by a Styrofoam like substance, called expanded polystyrene foam or EPS, that does degrade over time. You need to be the judge of how your head is protected.
  • Is there any visible damage to the helmet? Did you drop your motorcycle helmet that may have compressed the EPS liner? Is the shell cracked or scuffed nearly through the shell?
  • Does your helmet fit? A proper fitting helmet is critical to its ability to protect the rider. If the helmet moves around or slides back and forth it is a good idea to find a helmet that fits properly.
  • Are the straps and connectors still in good and operational condition?
  • Does the internal padding stay attach and is it in good condition?
  • Remove the padding and look at the EPS foam.  Is it in one piece? Is it cracked or dented?
  • Is your visor still in good working condition? Are there any issues that might obscure your vision?
  • Make sure there are no insects or animals living in your helmet. That is poisonous black widow spider in the picture below.

Ride On, Ride Safe


Be aware that this motorcycle recall list is for the United States for the last 30 days, 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 Enter your VIN number to see if your motorcycle is affected by the recall.

If you are based outside the USA, use the appropriate website to locate recalls that may impact you.


NHTSA Campaign Number: 23V175000

Manufacturer Bombardier Recreational Products, Inc.


Summary Bombardier Recreational Products, Inc. (BRP) is recalling certain 2020-2023 Spyder RT and 2022-2023 Ryker motorcycles. The brake lights may stay illuminated even if the brake pedal is not pressed. As such, these motorcycles fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, and associated Equipment.”

Remedy Depending on the model, dealers will replace the brake light switch, adjust the brake light switch, and/or add a spring to the brake light switch, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 18, 2023. Owners may contact BRP Customer Service at 1-888-272-9222. BRP’s number for this recall is 2023-6.


 NHTSA Campaign Number: 23E021000

Manufacturer Ducati North America

Components EQUIPMENT

Summary Ducati North America (Ducati) is recalling certain Ducati Performance Desert X Soft Side Bags Kits with part number 96781971AA, designed to fit 2023 DesertX motorcycles. The right-side bag may contact the exhaust during motorcycle use.

Remedy As an interim action, dealers will provide owners updated assembly instructions. Once parts are available, dealers will install a new right-side bag frame. Repairs will be performed free of charge. Interim owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 13, 2023. Second letters will be mailed once the remedy is available. Owners may contact Ducati customer service at 1-888-391-5446. Ducati’s number for this recall is SRV-RCL-23-001.


NHTSA Campaign Number: 23V146000

Manufacturer Triumph Motorcycles America, Ltd.


Summary Triumph Motorcycles America, Ltd. (Triumph) is recalling certain 2023 Bonneville T120 and Bonneville T120 Black motorcycles. The left-hand side (LHS) brake disc may be improperly secured and can detach.

Remedy Dealers will install a replacement damper and also replace the disc bolts, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 20, 2023. Owners may contact Triumph’s customer service at 1-678-854-2010. Triumph’s number for this recall is SRAN 606.


NHTSA Campaign Number: 23E016000

Manufacturer Harbor Freight Tools

Components EQUIPMENT

Summary Harbor Freight Tools (Harbor Freight) is recalling certain Central Hydraulics High Position Motorcycle Lifts with part number 99887. The lift welds or tubing may break, which can allow the lift to fall or drop the motorcycle.

Remedy Harbor Freight will provide a refund in the form of a Harbor Freight gift card. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 28, 2023. Owners may contact Harbor Freight customer service at 1-800-444-3353.


Manufacturer Royal Enfield North America Limited


Summary Royal Enfield North America Limited (Royal Enfield) is recalling certain 2017-2021 Himalayan motorcycles. The salt used to treat the roads in the winter may corrode the brake calipers, causing a decrease or total loss of brake function.

Remedy  Dealers will replace the front and rear brake calipers, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a schedule for recall notification. Owners may contact Royal Enfield’s customer service at 1-866-600-1122. Royal Enfield’s number for this recall is SC-31.


NHTSA Campaign Number: 23V123000

Manufacturer BMW of North America, LLC


Summary BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2023 S 1000 RR motorcycles. The motorcycle hand brake lever may not function correctly, reducing brake performance.

Remedy Dealers will replace the hand brake lever fulcrum pin, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 18, 2023. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.


NHTSA Campaign Number: 23V106000

Manufacturer Polaris Inc.


Summary Polaris Inc. (Polaris) is recalling certain 2022-2023 Slingshot R, Slingshot S with Technology Package 1, Slingshot SL, Slingshot SLR, and Slingshot S motorcycles. The alternator may have been improperly heat-treated during manufacturing.

Remedy Dealers will replace the alternator, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 8, 2023. Owners may contact Polaris’ customer service at 1-855-863-2284. Polaris’ number for this recall is T-23-01.



Down Shift – Cardio Packtalk is now subscription based.

Cardio, one of the leaders in motorcycle helmet to helmet and helmet to device communications has made a MAJOR change to how their product works.

The Bluetooth communications and intercom maker now has “Packtalk Custom” to allow you to “customize” the way you connect. The device itself sells for about $250US.

So, what do you get out of the box?  The ability to connect to nothing.  You must subscribe to the Silver Package to connect to your phone OR navigation system, NOT BOTH.

Subscribing to the silver package for $3 dollars per month gets you:

  • Music sharing
  • Three audio profiles
  • Speed dial

Subscribing to the gold package for $5 dollars a month allows you to “expand your capabilities with Bluetooth intercom and a 2nd device”.  The full gold package gives you:

  • Universal Bluetooth Intercom (to allow you to connect to other brands of intercom)
  • Bluetooth bridge
  • Second channel connection (allows you to connect an additional device – without it, you can only have your mobile phone OR sat-nav OR bike’s dash).
  • Music sharing
  • Three audio profiles
  • Speed dial

Subscribing to the Platinum package for $7 dollars a month enables:

  • Voice commands
  • Eco mode (up to 20% longer operation)
  • Universal Bluetooth Intercom
  • Bluetooth bridge
  • Second channel connection
  • Music sharing
  • Three audio profiles
  • Speed dial

My Take – WOW, why would I pay $250 dollars for something that I cannot use out of the box?  I will not be purchasing this device that is for sure.  IN FACT, I THINK THIS IS STUPID!

While I am sure that there are people who will do this, I would hope the vast majority of people will go to other brands.  We should not have to pay additional fees to be able to use the product we just bought. As is, you will need to pay $5 a month just to use what I consider basic features.

Ride two up…. an extra $7 per month to be able to talk with your passenger and do the normal stuff like phone and nav.

This subscription thing is a trend I have been seeing in other areas including cars and trucks and I hope that people are smart enough to not buy into this or otherwise it might spread. 

I can easily imagine a day where if you wanted 5th gear you would have to pay a fee.


Up Shift – International Female Ride Day 2023

The 17th International Female Ride Day falls on May the 6th this year.

For 16 years the IFRD has “shined a spotlight on women riders and females in the motorsports arena!”

Nearly 20% of riders are women and that number has been growing over the years and I do not expect that growth to end anytime soon. Coming out of the pandemic more people and especially women are feeling empowered to do the things that they really want.

The goals of the event are:

  • Highlight the number of women who ride.
  • Encourage other women to take up the activity.
  • Raise awareness about women’s equality in motorsports.
  • Celebrate women’s advancement in motorsports and powersports.
  • Ride for accelerated gender parity.

My Take: Anything that gets folks out and riding is a great thing!  That this team has been encouraging women to mount up and ride is just awesome.  I hope that we can grow the number of women riding from 20% to 30% in the next few years.

Ride on, Ride Safe

The Moment Collector is an anthology of short stories from motorcyclists traveling the world. The collector of these stories is Sam Manicom, himself a world traveler on two wheels.

Sam collected twenty tales from intrepid motorcycling travelers. As with all anthologies some stories are more engrossing than others, some writers are better than others. Yet overall, I enjoyed the book greatly.

I was familiar with a few of the authors, Tim Notier for example, but most were new to me. Mr. Manicom provided each writer’s social media information with their stories. A subtle but impactful touch that allowed me to see more about each of them.

As noted above, it is difficult for any collection of stories, or moments, to have every tale a hit. I am giving this book a 4-Star review because it is an anthology and not all the stories were great.

However…. It should be part of your motorcycle book library!

Ride On, Ride Safe

Other books of Sam Manicom I have reviewed: Tortillas and Totems

Full disclosure Sam authored a guest post on this blog, and I paid for this book and was not paid for the review.

Down Shift – National Motorcycle Museum is closing.

Sadly, the National Motorcycle Museum will close its doors in September. The museum in Anamosa, Iowa, was opened 22 years ago by the owners of J&P Cycle John and Jill Parham. John passed away in 2017.

Their notification stated, “We have struggled for several years to cover wages and utilities partly due to low visitations.”

The museum states that it will auction its collections to pay outstanding bills. This auction will include both motorcycles and memorabilia that the Parham’s collected over their many years in the motorcycle industry.

My Take Just another sad note reflecting both the results of the pandemic and the state of the motorcycle industry in America.  Also, I am not sure that Anamosa, Iowa is a destination for a lot of folks. I would not be surprised if more “niche” museums closed their doors in the near future.


Up Shift – Moto Guzzi Experience

Moto Guzzi motorcycles are sponsoring 3 events around the USA.  The first up is in Bozeman, MT (June 28th-July3rd 2023).  The second is in the Smoky Mountains starting in Knoxville, TN (August 30th-September 4th). The third Moto Guzzi Experience runs October 18th – 23rd in the Ozark Mountains around Bentonville AK.

All these events include tour leaders and support vehicles, and you can rent a Moto Guzzi if you do not want to ride yours to the event. Base costs? $2,500 if you rent a motorcycle, $1,500 if you bring your own and passengers cost $1,000. That cost includes hotels, full board (minus alcohol), the tour leader and support vehicle.

Folks who attend the event will get a discount on a new V100 Mandello or a V85TT afterwards.  Discounts of up to $1,250 on a new bike is never a bad thing.

My Take: I am assuming these events are going to be similar to what the Harley Owners Group does with their annual rallies If that is the case it should be a lot of fun. In fact, we were at one of the HOG rallies last year in the Smokey Mountains. If you attend of these Moto Guzzi events let me know I would like to hear how it turned out.


Ride on, Ride Safe