Archive for the ‘Motorcycle’ Category

I though I would try my hand at video recording my travels.  This ride I wanted to “shoot the gap”, the southern gap of Skyline Drive.

There are two places along Skyline Drive where you can ride your motorcycle under the parkway, after going up a twisty mountain road and of course back down the other side.  I had never ridden the southern gap so now was the time.

As you can see in the video it was a wonderful day to ride a motorcycle.  Setting out from my home in Front Royal with a clear, bright, blue sky and a cool but comfortable temperature just made for a perfect journey.  Low traffic in the Shenandoah Valley provided little impedance, except for the deer and her three fawns.  I had to stop and let them cross, woe is me riding in the country. 

So why 150 in 9?  This was a 3-hour ride, but my batteries died after 2 ½ hours.  NO ONE wants to watch a 150-minute ride with no commentary, I have not figured that one out yet, so I set it to fast forward and got the whole thing down to 9 minutes.

Hope you enjoy.

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Ride on, Ride Safe

If you have be reading my sporadic posts (I really wish I cold do this instead of making money to feed and clothe myself and motorcycles) you know I recently attended the Pennsylvania stop of the International Motorcycle show.  It was an outdoor event that my wife and I enjoyed!

While I was there, I met Meredith Loza, Marking Director of the Powersports Group with Informa Markets. She is the one charged with making sure there are folks coming to the Show. For a Friday afternoon I would weigh she did a pretty good job at it!

Did you know that the International Motorcycle Show (or IMS) is 40 years old… I did not!

I only had a short time with her as she was running the show’s events and I wanted to see everything that I could see.  But I did get to ask some questions, hope they are informative for you.

Why did you go outdoors?

Progressive IMS Outdoors represents a revamp of our tour’s nearly 40-year history that will not only transition IMS from the traditional convention center setup to a new open outdoor experience but will also provide a festival-like atmosphere that promotes enthusiasts of all ages and levels to come together to better engage with products, each other, and the industry. 

In serving the Powersports market, our approach always has been to evolve with the times by paying close attention to the interests and needs of our attendees, industry professionals, and OEMs. In doing so, our shows have become more interactive over the years. IMS Outdoors will serve our attendees with larger venues allowing for more demo rides and interactive activities.

The new outdoors format will support the growth of the Powersports community by offering a unique experience the industry has yet to see. 

Is this a permanent move?

Yes, IMS Outdoors is replacing the traditional International Motorcycle Shows that used to happen from November through February. Just like the previous indoor events, attendees can rest assured each stop will showcase hundreds of the latest street bikes, dirt bikes, cruisers, scooters, and ATVs for new and experienced riders, and will give enthusiasts the opportunity to check out the latest gear and aftermarket accessories, as well as hours of entertainment. 

Transitioning to an experience-forward event series has been very well-received by both our attendee and exhibitor community, a model everyone is excited to continue. This new and improved layout mirrors the Powersports lifestyle by providing a fun environment for enthusiasts to reconnect after so many months apart and demo product of interest, from on-road motorcycles and off-road Side by Sides, to the latest e-bikes on the market.

How is COVID impacting industry?

Amidst the difficult circumstances, the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a renewed interest in outdoor-based activities including the Powersports industry. In fact, earlier this year, the MIC reported a double digit jump in new motorcycle sales increasing to 18.4% and sales in off highway motorcycles spiked, reaching 46.5% growth year-over-year. These are all trends we’ve seen reflected at IMS Outdoors as we’ve introduced demo opportunities for on and off-road enthusiasts for the first time ever, plus demo opportunities within complementary lifestyles such as electric bikes and side by sides. We’re excited to play a foundational role in keeping this renewed momentum going and building a stronger base of enthusiasts.    

And anything else you would like to share with me.

Excitingly, we recently revealed our Southern California venue which will be held at the OC Fair & Event Center from November 19 through 21. We look forward to returning to our flagship market this Fall. Tickets are available at www.MotorcycleShows.com

And is there anything else you would like to share with the readers/riders? Excitingly, we recently revealed our Southern California venue which will be held at the OC Fair & Event Center from November 19 through 21. We look forward to returning to our flagship market this Fall. Tickets are available at www.MotorcycleShows.com

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Ride on, Ride Safe

I am just now getting around to writing about our trip to the 2021 International Motorcycle Show. Life and work have been pushing against riding and writing for a couple months now thus the reason for fewer posts.  I hope that is changing for the better, fingers crossed.

For us this year’s show was held at the Carlisle, Pennsylvania Fairgrounds, which is about a two-hour trip for us.  That was not much more than the trip into Washington, DC.  The trip into the city, while 100 miles closer, could often take hours as well.

The fairground was mostly flat with only a small hill to get to the Kawasaki display I had no issues with the choice of the venue. It was easy to get to food and product vendors as you walk around taking in the sights.  Parking was ample with separate areas and entry points for car and motorcycles.

The fact that the International Motorcycle Show was outdoors, was a surprise. While there I meet a member of the show team and spoke to her about why they moved outdoors.  I will write a separate post on her response to that question, it was interesting.

As far as the show and motorcycles went it was pretty much on par with the indoor show with one major exception, there were a lot of test rides available.  Every major manufacture had something on hand for a test ride! This was not the case with the indoor DC show typically held in January. DC in January is not an opportune time to test ride a motorcycle.

This year, as I noted in earlier post, the motorcycle show folks had the Direction Wide Open team there to talk about traveling the RV/Caravan lifestyle with motorcycles. Lucinda and Will Belden provided an interesting and lively discussion on how you can take your motorcycling in a different direction with the use of an RV. It was quite fun listening to their stories and answers to the attendees’ questions.

J&P Cycle was again sponsoring the custom motorcycle show and contest next to the tent holding the vintage bikers’ rides.  Walking between the two was like a time travel event! But, in each tent there were fabulous motorcycles that made me want to hit the lottery so I could have my own set of tents.

So, all in all I would deem the Outdoor International Motorcycle Show a hit.  Would I go if it were raining?  Well, if you have read this blog for very long you know the answer to that question, of course I would.  But would the attendance be as great, of that I am not sure.

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 http://www.safercar.gov. 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.

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Manufacturer Ducati North America

Components STRUCTURE

Summary: Ducati North America (Ducati) is recalling certain 2019 Hypermotard 950 SP motorcycles. The side stand may be improperly welded, potentially causing the stand to break.

Remedy: Dealers will install a new side stand, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed October 22, 2021. Owners may contact Ducati customer service at 1-888-391-5446. Ducati’s number for this recall is SRV-RCL-21-011.

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Manufacturer Honda (American Honda Motor Co.)

Components SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC

Summary: Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain 2019-2020 CB500X and CBR500R ABS motorcycles. Excessive grease in the ABS modulator may collect debris, which can get stuck in the check valve and cause a brake fluid leak.

Remedy: Dealers will inspect the lot number on the ABS modulator, and replace the modulator as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed October 29, 2021. Owners may contact Honda Powersports customer service at 1-866-784-1870. Honda’s number for this recall is KM6.

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Manufacturer KTM North America, Inc.

Components SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC

Summary: KTM North America, Inc. (KTM) is recalling certain 2022 Husqvarna FE 350s and Husqvarna FE 501s motorcycles. The brake pad retaining clips on the front brake caliper may have been mounted incorrectly, which could result in loose front brake pads.

Remedy: Dealers will inspect and repair the brake pad retaining clips, as necessary, free of charge. Owners are advised to not ride their motorcycles until the repair has been performed. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed September 20, 2021. Owners may contact KTM customer service at 1-888-985-6090. KTM’s number for this recall is HTB2108.

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Ride On, Ride Safe

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Not a long motorcycle ride, about 120 miles, takes us from Front Royal, VA to Lost River State Park, WV and back home.  As we pull from the driveway it is an unusually cool summer morning but bright and sunny. The weather app stated that there was zero chance of rain with highs in the upper 70s, a great day for taking the motorcycle out.

By LOST I mean we rode through Lost, WV, along the Lost River and visited the Lost River State Park. So, we had a LOST motorcycle ride!

Similar to the ride I made a few post back “Motorcycle Ride to No Where In Particular” we headed out Route 55 towards Strasburg.  This time we stated on Route 55 with the motorcycle pointed to the West Virginia boarder. Soon we were out of Strasburg and the Shenandoah Valley and climbing into the mountains.  I love riding my motorcycles on mountain roads!

Route 55 took us through the small town of Wardensville, WV.  On an earlier motorcycle ride we rode through Wardensville, years ago.  I remember stopping at the Kac-Ka-Pon restaurant for what I recall was a good “down home” meal.  We did not stop this time as it was only about 10AM and we had breakfast before leaving the home.

Just a bit past Wardensville we stopped the sign for Lost River State Park.  Turns out neither Debbie nor I had been to this park, so a left turn onto State Route 259 gets the motorcycle pointed in the correct direction.

Route 259 runs in a small valley between two ridge lines. Wonderful views and a smooth road made this for a nice ride.  It is moments like this where I just can’t grasp why more people do not ride motorcycles!  The clean air, wonderful weather wow.

The Park itself was very clean and beautiful. Lost River State Park is nearly 4000 acres for those looking for a secluded get away and hiking. After a quick snack and getting a new scented candle, it was time to mount up.

Quick Note….. The Park is mostly hillside, make sure you park your motorcycle in a way that will allow for an easy get away. I did not and it was a bit of struggle to get it off the kickstand and underway (no I did not drop the bike LOL).

The return trip was just as much fun as getting to the park.  We rode the motorcycle along Wolf Gap Road, Stoney Creek Road and Fort Valley Road among others. This loop had plenty of opportunities to get lost, but we made it home.

All in all, it was a wonderful day for a lost motorcycle ride.

Ride on, Ride safe

White Sands New Mexico

Five years ago, I didn’t own, ride, or predict seeing my future self on a motorcycle.  Not that I didn’t like motorcycles, they were just not on my life’s blipping radar.  I was a cruise agent with six grandkids, a brick-and-mortar home and, well, I did have a nice little convertible.  Transport yourself to the future ‘now’ and you see me riding 5-6 hours a day, many days in a row…and on a sidecar no less.  I rode it on the Tail of the Dragon, Twisted Sisters, Talimena Scenic Drive and so many other ‘famous’ road.  I’m full timing it in an RV working and riding.  Icing on the cake – I’m making a living at it.  How the heck did I get here!

  • Step one:  Your spouse suggests you guys buy a bike and take motorcycle lessons.
  • Step two:  Two-upping isn’t enough, you get your own ride.
  • Step three:  Life sneaks up and kicks your ass – you decide how to respond.

I didn’t take naturally to riding a motorcycle.  I failed my first class.  I went out and bought a bike anyway and practiced in a parking lot for months before I could get up the nerve to take the class again.  I passed with a perfect score.  About a year into riding, I was in a motorcycle accident (mechanical failure), the bike totaled.  Broke my kneecap and nose and was in physical therapy for 9 months.  What did I do while I was laid up?  I bought a new bike and helmet. 

On a cross-country road trip, I dropped my bike at a corner with my weak knee.  It took me an hour to feel like I could get back on the bike, but I found I had messed up the gear shifts.  My spouse and I two-upped it the rest of the trip.  On this trip I decided two things – riding a motorcycle wasn’t for me, not riding wasn’t an option either.

Mounting up for another day of riding!

Idea!  How about a sidecar.  A new journey of resistance, not on my part but for every inch I tried to step forward, something or someone was shoving me a foot back.  The first sidecar builder I found botched the job – the wheel fell off at 60mph going down the interstate.  The wheel well kept it from flying off and I was able to pull over.  At least 10 other things went wrong in this journey until I found the sidecar builder who helped me change my life (to him I will forever be in debt). Thanks Texas Sidecar Company!

I have put over 20,000 miles on my sidecar in less than two years.  And like this whole path, I continued to forge forward following my new passion.  My spouse and I started RVing so we could ride new places.  I had written a couple of articles for Ride Texas Magazine.  The editor found out and mentioned it might make a good story.  Like everything else, I took it to the next level.  I now write a series called Direction Wide Open on our RVing and motorcycling experiences for Ride Texas Magazine which will culminate in the first ever RV-Motorcycle Rally in the U.S end of September 2022 – hosted by ‘Me’.

I looked for new ways to share my excitement about riding and RVing and found several more magazines who would have me.  I submitted a short motorcycle story to Continue the Ride which is a series of rider stories that showcase the diversity and shared passions in motorcycling.  My story was in the first round picked up and the only one with the unique combination of RVing and motorcycling full-time around the United States.  A few months later Progressive reached out to me to present my experiences at the national Progressive IMS Motorcycle Shows across the U.S.  As an introvert, I now find myself center stage at six major cities presenting on RVing and motorcycling five times per weekend.

RV’ing at Iron Mountain

How did I get here?  Well, I don’t think I was planning on a shift from being a work from home cruise agent grandma to a RVing, sidecar toting, riding, grandma writer and speaker.  But here I am.  This has been the best ride ever!

We have been moving from our former home in Leesburg to a new “temporary” home in Front Royal, VA.  The reason, I thought we were at the top of a sellers’ market and wanted to cash in before it faded.

So now being in Front Royal it is time to get out and discover new roads on my motorcycle.  We live about 3 miles from the northern terminus of Skyline Drive Parkway but that was not my destination this time.  I wanted to try something new.

Leaving my new neighborhood on a cool, for a dramatic change, morning I turned west and headed to Strasburg on State Route 55. The morning light dappled through the tree cover creating a crazy show of shadows and light. It was a quite and very uneventful ride to Strasburg.

The road into Strasburg proper is a mess right now, I don’t know what they are trying to do but watch yourself on the uneven and rough road up to the traffic light at the intersection of 55 and 11.

Strasburg seems to be a pretty cool town with a brewery, antiques and art boutiques mixed in with the normal main street business. Murals seem to adorn, what was, every blank wall giving the town a renaissance feel. I had hoped to find a diner for some breakfast, but I did not, which given everything else on Main Street seemed odd.

Taking State Route 11 out of town I was now headed down the Shenandoah Valley.  Passing though the small towns of Toms’ Brook, Maurertown, Woodstock (not that Woodstock), and Edinburg.  I admired the views from the valley, mountains rising from both the left and right framed the valley and the small towns in a way you can’t get from inside a car.

When I reached Mount Jackson I decided to turn around and head back the way I had come.  There were other ways to make it back to Front Royal but there were places I wanted to stop and take photos.  For my first motorcycle foray into Shenandoah region, I was quite happy.  I look forward to more local trips in and round Front Royal.

An older Skyline Drive motorcycle ride post – 2015

Typically, I attend the “Big” International Motorcycle Show series that feature all the major manufactures which, normally, occurs in winter in my region of the world.  This year I will attend not only that show, but also the IMS Outdoor event as well. One reason is how starved I am for in person motorcycle events but also because a friend of this blog is going to be a presenter.

Progressive IMS Outdoors motorcycle shows are offering presentations on “RVing with motorcycles, sidecars, and trikes”.  Lucinda Belden is the new presenter, and her sidecar will be on center stage for a half hour show two times per day at each event.  From August – October she will be covering six event locations nationally talking about how RV and motorcycles work together.

Lucinda is the proprietor of “Direction Wide Open” or DWO. DWO is Lucinda’s, and her husband Will, place to share their RV and Motorcycle adventures with family, friends, and future friends.  They are two full-time RVers and avid motorcyclists, sidecarists (is that really a word?).

Lucinda is the proprietor of “Direction Wide Open” or DWO. DWO is Lucinda’s, and her husband Will, place to share their RV and Motorcycle adventures with family, friends, and future friends.  They are two full-time RVers and avid motorcyclists, sidecarists (is that really a word?).

I can’t congratulate Lucinda enough; it is always tough to get a break into any industry but through her and Will’s hard work she is going to be telling a story many of us will want to hear.

Please go to the International Motorcycle Show Outdoors website and if an event is near you check it out.

Each year I post my top 10 weird motorcycle list, you can see last years winners here.  As crazy as some of the “modern” motorcycles are, our forefathers built some crazy stuff too!

Check out the following “vintage” or “old school” wild and weird motorcycles. If you have more or better please pass them along in the comment section.

ijustwant2ride.com

Hey guys, I am in a middle of a move and have not provided as much content as normal lately.  Please stand by for a bit while I get back to normal… what ever that is!

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Hitting Neutral – Certified Pre-owned Harley Davidsons – Somewhere along the line I missed this news item.  Back in November 2019 Harley Davidson started a new program to the “Certified Pre-Owned program

This program will, if you buy from an authorized US dealer, provided used motorcycles that have been through a 110 point inspection and certified by Harley. If you buy a certified pre-owned motorcycle, you will get a 1-year warranty and roadside assistance.

These bikes will have under 25,000 miles and must have fully stock powertrain. So, no straight pipes as part of this program! See Harley Davidsons website for more information.

My Take – My first thought “why have they not been doing this for years”? Then, “This might help some folks make that decision to buy a bike”. Then, “Oh well, moving on”.   

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Up Shift – One of the fastest men on a motorcycle does not have a license to ride on the street! – If you have won 6 straight World Superbike championships, and the front runner for #7, one would think you have had motorcycle licenses most of your life, right?

Apparently not, but even world champion Jonathan Rea must take the official course to get the licenses.

My Take – LOL… to funny.  But I am glad he is doing this it will help show folks that everyone is on the same playing field when it comes to safety.  You can check out how well he does on his videos.  

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Ride On, Ride Safe

Click here for previous motorcycle news post