Posts Tagged ‘Harley Davidson’

It is that time of year again. Time to think about holiday gifts for your beloved motorcyclist (or crazy biker). This year I looked at what I would want for ME! Lucky for me they are quite applicable for any biker, rider!

9. Clear lens glasses – When it starts to get dark sunglasses are not the best thing to be wearing, been there, did that, did not like it. Having a second set of clear lens glasses or transition glasses will help your motorcyclist a lot.

8. Heated gear – We all “Just Want 2 Ride” right. The gift of heated gear will extend the riding season weeks or months depending on where you live.

7. Bike manual – The shop manual for your motorcyclist’s specific make and model. He or she may never use it for doing the hard work but knowing what is needed is always helpful before taking the motorcycle into the shop.

6. Lip balm/Suntan Lotion – Now how long has that stick of lip balm been in your biker’s pocket or saddlebag? If anything like what is in my bags…..2 to 4 years old, LOL Get them a replacement.

5. Handlebar Cell Phone Holder – There are a LOT of different types of phone holders out there. Some work better with certain phones so make sure you know what your motorcycle rider uses before buying the handlebar holder.

4. Frame them – Frame a nice picture of them with their motorcycle.  Simple and cheap but you might have to snoop on their phone to find the best one! 

3.  Helmet – Is your biker’s helmet more than 5 years old? If so, ask some sneaky questions to find out what they like in a helmet.  Full face, modular, open face, there are so many possibilities… maybe a gift certificate for a helmet might be better.

2. Custom Dynamic Motorcycle Lights – Custom Dynamic makes SUPER bright, eye catching lighting for motorcycles.  I have several sets on my bike and wish I had more! Look at the ProBeam LED Motorcycle Turn Signals.  These turn signal lights are really DIY

If I could get a commission on every purchase of Custom Dynamic lights I have influenced, I would never have to pay for this website again.

1 – Membership in the AMA – That is the American Motorcycle Association not he medical association (or the version of the AMA in your area).   Membership not only gets you things like emergency towing it gets you a voice in Washington DC.  The AMA is the biggest (but not the only) motorcycle lobbyist group trying to protect your right to ride.  This is, most likely the most important motorcycle gift idea on the list!

           American Motorcycle Association


Ride on, Ride safe

Why 9 tips on winter motorcycle storage? Because everyone has lists of 10 and 11 is to hard! Hah!

The first heavy frosts have already stuck in the northern Virginia area of the United States.  While I am sure there more than a few good riding days left …. Those days are going to be leaving us soon.  It is important to make sure your motorcycle is well taken care of in the winter so it will be ready to roll in the spring!

Riding season, depending on what you are willing to put up with, is either over or nearly so. There are thousands of suggestions and tips out there on winterizing your motorcycle, such as putting a teaspoon of oil in your cylinders and filling the tires with nitrogen, so do your own research to find out what works for you with manner and place you store your bike. If it is time for you to store your bike until the spring thaw here are some of the things you should consider.

1. Stabilize the fuel or drain the tank. Almost all gas, especially the ethanol “enhanced” stuff, has a short shelf life. While many believe that draining the tank (and carb system if equipped) is all that is needed to prevent the gasoline from turning to muck, I am not one of them. I just don’t think it is possible to burn all the fuel in the system, small despots will always remain. I prefer to fill the tank and add fuel stabilizer, I then run the engine for at least 15 minutes to work the stabilized fuel through the entire fuel system. After the short ride to get the stabilizer through the system I then refill the tank as much as possible to limit the amount of air in the tank.

2. Change your oil.   Do this as close to your final days of riding as reasonably possible. If you are a do-it-yourself guy consider doing the oil change right after you complete the ride to mix in the fuel stabilizer. Why change the oil before storage? Because changing the oil now removes the sludge, dirt and residual contaminants in the oil that could oxidize during storage. Make sure to run the engine a few minutes to disburse the new oil throughout the engine.

3. Prepare and Protect the Battery. Most motorcycle batteries are lead-acid and should be kept under a constant charge in order to maintain their life. Be aware there is a difference between a battery tender and a tickle charger. A battery tender is specialized charger that has special circuits to prevent overcharging your battery. You can use a trickle charger but check the instructions carefully; many cannot be used on your battery for more than 30 minutes each day. If your motorcycle will be stored where freezing temperatures will likely occur often, consider removing the battery and place it in a warm dry place. You will still need to keep it charged but he cold will have less effect on the life of the battery.

4. Check your anti-freeze. Harley Davidson riders this now includes a lot of you too. Make sure you have the proper amount and type of anti-freeze in your bike. Depending on what type of coolant your manufacture uses it could be one of several colors. Rules of thumb, if it a light color or clear you need to change the fluid. If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person remember to “bleed” the system to get all the air out. If would be a bad thing if on your first spring ride your bike overheats.

5. Clean your bike. Whether you kept your bike clean all riding season or you only give it a bath once a year now is the time to do it (again). All that evil road krap (dirt/sand/salt/oils/road kill) attaches to your motorcycle’s metal surfaces and will begin to corrode those parts. A good cleaning before storage will make that much harder for the forces of evil to work their powers on your bike. If you bike uses a chain, now is the time to clean it as well.

6. Wax, polish and Lubricate. After the good cleaning I think it is important to put a nice coat of polish on the paint and chrome. This will help protect the surfaces from any condensation that might occur during storageLubricate the chain as described in your owner’s manual. Lube all moving parts such as cables and your side stand pivot. Use a metal protectant spray on the underside of the frame and drivetrain, I prefer to spray it on a rag and wipe it on that way I can also get some of the dirt I missed while cleaning the bike. These actions will help you combat rust on any areas exposed from pitting or scratches.

7. Put a sock in it. When I was a kid I was helping a friend start his bike in the spring and shortly after starting we heard a lot of rattling in the exhaust. A few moment later out shot a handful of lightly roosted acorns that some chipmunk had hidden there. Depending on the area you are storing the bike cover your exhausts or insert exhaust plugs to protect yourself from critters.

8. Check your Tires. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Now I am not sure about this step but, many folks recommend that you let some of the air out of the tires, to allow any condensation to escape. Of course you need to add more air to the tires after you bleed them. Also many folks think you need to get the tires off the ground if you are going to be letting them sit for long periods to avoid “flat spots”. I am not sure I concur with this thinking and I have read in several places that Harley Davidson does not recommend this as it places stress on the front suspension. Check with your manufacture if this is something you are not sure about.

winter tires

9. Cover your motorcycle. Even when stored inside, your bike should be covered while stored. Use a cover that can breathe don’t use a plastic tarp. Moisture should not be allowed to become trapped under the cover on your bike’s metal surfaces.

That’s the bare basics to storing your bike. Remember winter is also a good time to take care of those bike projects you have been thinking about… for me it will be installing a removable tour pack.


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Ride on, Ride safe

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

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.

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

ijustwant2ride.com

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

Up Shift Entire Family to Race at the Amateur Championship – The entire Rau family is going to the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s motorcycle complex! This is the first time that a mom, dad, and son have pulled this type of hat trick.

Mom and dad (Tressa & Justin) qualified for the Senior (40+) and son (Jett) made the cut in the Mini-E Junior (4-6) class.

My Take – This is one of those, “Isn’t that cool!” items.  Congratulations to the Rau family and I hope they all make the podium for another amateur motocross racing first!   

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Up ShiftNew Harley Davidson Sportster – If you did not see this coming, I don’t know what to say to you.  The ever changing and tightening emission standards is slowing ending the air-cooled era of motorcycling. Lament if you wish, but the old engine just could not compete in this modern world.

The 50+ year old Sportster name continues at Harley Davidson with an all-new motorcycle. The new Sportster brings the Harley Revolution Max engine and 121 horses (from 1252cc) as a major upgrade to the name.   

To help tame that horsepower the new Sportster has lean-sensitve Antilock brakes, wheelie control, traction control and “Drag Torque Slip Control” to reduce rear wheel lockup during engine braking.

My Take – At first glance this new Sportster looks a like the FXDR from a few years ago.  A lot of styling points from that bike made it to the Sportster.  I do like the styling; I do like the performance upgrade, and I understand why Harley Davidson had to make the change to old bloodline.  I have not yet had an opportunity to ride this motorcycle, but I will make the time to do so.  At a $15,000 US starting point it seems to align with many of its competitors.

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Ride on, Ride Safe

Click here to see the last news update.

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

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