Posts Tagged ‘motorcycle riding’

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Wow! 

When I started this blog, and still today, I just write and post about motorcycle “stuff” that is of interest to me and my wife.  Our rides, stuff we try out, motorcycle themed media are just some of the items we post about.

I never really thought that a lot of folks, beyond family and friends, would be interested in our motorcycling adventures. But, we have over 6500 folks keeping up with blog, way more than I would have ever expected!

Now we have been selected as one of the “Top 100 Motorcycle Blogs To Follow”! To say we were surprised by this selection would be an understatement.  Coming in at #69 means that we still have room to improve J !

So what’s next for our motorcycle blog?  Just more of the same, LOL.  But, if you guys have any ideas for what you would like to see just post a comment.

 

THANK ALL OF YOU THAT FOLLOW THIS BLOG!

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ijustwant2ride.com

Viking Enforcer Motorcycle Jacket by MotorcycleHouse.com

MotorcycleHouse.com  has asked me to review one of their jackets, the Viking Cycle Enforcer Jacket.  Below is the unboxing and first impressions video.  Over the next few weeks I will be wearing the Cycle Enforcer jacket and will provide a full review in the near future.

 

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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.

ijustwant2ride

Waking early for our 630AM kickstands up we rolled out of bed and got dressed for the day.  Our first stop was the Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, NC.  The store is a great example of the old time general store and has been in operation since 1882.  It is still the local store, post office and community gathering place.  This was a very cool stop, make sure to ask about the “chicken chute” when you visit to see how people bartered for goods “back in the day”.

Ijustwant2ride.com

Mike got a lot of mileage from these simple wax lips!

We also swung by the Mast Candy Store.  The store focused on old school candy like wax bottles and lips, Bit’O Honey, caramel chews and pretty much any type of candy from your childhood.  Of course we had to buy back some of our childhood, one of our new friends (Mike) bought some glossy red wax lips and proceeded to scare and delight riders the rest of the day.

Rolling out of Valle Crucis we hit the Diamond Back! Our route took us about 2/3rd of the length of this snake.  This 38 mile diamond shaped loop includes NC 226A, US 221, Toms Creek Road, NC 80 and the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Riding through Little Switzerland on our way to the Mountain Gateway Museum (and lunch) was one of the highlights of the day.  One of the low lights of the day was zipper of my Kevlar pants blowing out (as well as a pocket).  The rest of the day the crew we were riding with (Mike, Dale, Stacey, Tori and Don) would occasionally call me McFly….sad day indeed!

ijustwant2ride.com

1 of 30+ machines

The next stop was the Mountain Gateway Museum where I found out there was a Spanish Fort in this area well before any English or French outposts, very interesting.  After lunch at the museum we rode to Asheville to check out the Pinball Museum. If you are into classic to modern pinball games or 1980s video games that are fully playable this is your place.  I had a lot of fun playing a vintage 1978 KISS pinball machine then jumping over to an 2015s KISS machine was completely awesome!  I could have spent hours in there…sad that I don’t but glad I don’t live in Asheville I would spend a lot of money at the pinball museum.

Back on the bike we rode a little more than an hour to the Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum. Debbie and I visited Wheels Through Time last year when on vacation.  It is an awesome facility that every motorcycle enthusiast must have on their list of sites to visit.  This time, because we were part of the HOG rally, we got to spend more time with the owner Dale as he told us stories about how he acquired several of the very rare bikes in the collection.

This time we also got to hear the story of the Traub motorcycle, a one of kind bike found sealed behind the wall of an apartment building.  I will write a separate post on this story.

After Wheels Through Time we rode on to our hotel in Hendersonville, NC.  We met our new friends for drinks and laughs and then off to bed.  Day 7 brings the Dragon.

To see what happened on day one check out that post!

 

 

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Today’s HOG motorcycle tour started early.  We were on the road a couple minutes after 7AM (tomorrow will be earlier).  Pulling out of the motel parking lot we headed towards Natural Chimneys State Park, the first stop of the day.  

It took us a few days to figure this out but this HOG event is really an unstructured structured event.  You can go to as many of the stops as you want or none of the stops. You can follow the pre-planned routes or set your own.  We all just start and stop at the same location each day.  This day we chose to skip the State Park and go directly to the second stop the Museum of the Confederacy. 

On the way we had multiple animals try to kill themselves by throwing themselves at our motorcycle.  A rabbit, a squirrel, a blue bird, yellow bird, robins and a couple other critters all threw themselves at us, luckily they all missed by quite a bit.  

WP_20160620_10_45_40_RichThe Museum of the Confederacy is laid out in a fashion that walks you through from what leads up to the succession to the aftermath of the civil war.  In addition to the main museum there are several outdoor features including a “log cabin” built in 1832 and used as a home up until the 1960s. 

From there we headed to Lynchburg Harley Davison.  The Lynchburg HOG chapterWP_20160620_23_08_39_Rich was hosting us for lunch and we had to be there between 12 and 1.  I enjoyed the brat’s and thanked the HOG crew for their hospitality.  By the way, I now have yet another dealer pin for my collection. 

After lunch we remounted the Ultra and headed towards the National D-Day WP_20160620_13_18_32_RichMemorial.  The memorial honors all the soldiers, from twelve nations, that participated in the invasion of Europe in WWII.  As a retired soldier I can say the memorial was quite impressive and provide a poignant reminder of the cost of that invasion.  If you are in the area a few minutes of your time to visit this site would be a good idea. 

Debbie and I skipped the next stop, Foamhenge.  Turns out I wish we had not. Apparently the display will be removed in a couple months.  Oh, well. 

The last stop on this leg of the motorcycle rally, and our hotel, is the Natural Bridge Park and Historic Hotel.  The Natural Bridge is really a bridge with traffic running across the top.  Down below you can hike under the bridge and admire the vista in the same manner as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.  As part of our package we also got to view a light show projected upon the face of the cliffs.  About 10PM we were in our bed with dreams of the  next day.  

To see what happened on day one check out that post!

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One of the road hazards in Costa Rica… don’t expect them to sprint out of your way!

Costa Rica is well known for its white sandy beaches, laid back atmosphere, heaps of wildlife and pleasant climates.  It is no wonder that many want to take a vacation and ride across Costa Rica.  If you are one of those this is a guide to help you make your dreams a reality in paradise.

The first question to ask yourself is, what to ride? Should I ship my motorcycle to Costa Rica? Should I rent a bike in Costa Rica? Should I ride to Costa Rica?  Most likely shipping is out of the question but we are talking about riding your own personal bike so get a quote, you never know and you might decide to never go home.  Riding from USA to Costa Rica can be dangerous, despite what you have probably heard about Mexico it is an amazing country to ride and mostly safe just like Guatemala and Nicaragua but Honduras is the country that you mostly have to worry about.

Many people have made the overland trip with no problems and if you’re the adventurous type then it can be a challenge to accept.  But for many people this may be out of the question, especially if you don’t speak Spanish.   Renting a bike is a great option, you can find many different makes and models, from touring motorcycles to street legal dirt bikes.

costarica_roadmapThe most dangerous part about riding a motorcycle in Costa Rica is dealing with the bad drivers, especially in the capital San Jose (which is no different then most capitals).  Other than that and the odd sloth on the road the country is incredibly safe.  The dry season is the best time to ride, between mid-November thru April the climate is perfect for riding.  You definitely won’t need any under layers along the coast and cruising in your t-shirt will feel so refreshing.  During the day the temperatures in the mountains will be around 68 degrees F.

The country is relatively small, only 19,730 square miles and there is a mere 155 miles of road separating the Caribbean coast from the Pacific.  The prices of gasoline are known to be some of highest in Central America but not out of reason.  The roads are mostly windy with the speed limit is set to around 40 miles per hour, but there are some straight stretches where you can hold back on that throttle.

The government in Costa Rica is doing a very good job of improving the out dated roads but like most things in Latin America it is a slow process, some of the new roads are outstanding but you will definitely have some potholes to dodge.  It is important to know that you do need a motorcycle driver’s license in Costa Rica, your out of country  license is good but will only be valid for 90 days.  If you are willing to rock a scooter under 50cc you don’t need a bike license, just a regular driver’s license.

If you spend 2 weeks in Costa Rica you can visit all sides of the country but once get here you will want to take some time to relax at each destination so plan for a longer trip if possible.

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The view of Jaco

From the bright blue Caribbean waters of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to the small party beach town of Jaco this must do trip will offer a little bit of everything within 200 miles. The Caribbean side is much like Jamaica where you will find Rasta men smoking on the beach mon. No matter where you go in Costa Rica you will notice that everyone is so laid back and happy, in fact it is known to be the happiest place to live in the world.  The mountains between these two beach towns will be a nice break from the heat of the coast and the views will take your breath away.  Once you get to Jaco you can unwind with a little party and hit the casino if that’s your thing.  You can find many adventure tours in Jaco and there is even a motocross track to ride.  You will want to make your way up Miro Mountain to enjoy the views from the abandoned hotel/restaurant project up on the hill.

From Jaco head south to the bio diverse secluded nature land called Osa Peninsula and be sure to stop by at Manuel Antonio National Park and hang out with the monkeys on the beach, this is the most visited park in Costa Rica for good reasons.

When most people visit Costa Rica they think about the beaches but if the cooler mountain climates are more your style then you will have many options for mountain rides.  From Dominical head up to the fastest growing city in central America San Isidro de General and beyond up to Chirripó the highest peak in the country at 12,533 feet, you will only be able to ride your bike to about 3300 feet and if you want to make your way to the peak you will need to hike.  From San Isidro the back route # 2 towards San Jose will test your abilities with steep grades and sharp switchback corners.

Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano

Within 2 hours on San Jose you can ride to several other beautiful mountain escapes such as Poas Volcano, Monteverde, La Fortuna where you can visit the Arenal Volcano and make your way around the splendid Lake Arenal.  Atenas is known to have the best climate in the world but don’t forget to escape to the northern beach towns of Playa Del Coco and Tamarindo.

Most people never think of Costa Rica as a riding destination but with all there is to offer, maybe they should!  The often used quote “I don’t ride a bike to add days to my life. I ride a bike to add life to my days” truly applies to Costa Rica!

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.

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Neat short vid on “meaning of motorcycle motorcyclist freedom, relaxation & the biker wave”

 

Adaptive corner headlights for motorcycles

 

Check out some really nice MOTORCYCLE ART!

 

The original IRON BUTT Rider

 

The beauty of the Atlas mountains in Morocco on Motorcycles

not sure who to credit, but a cool pic.

Not sure who to credit, but a cool pic.

Unfortunately winter is here in North America, which means I have put one of the motorcycles to bed for the season.  This week our local weathermen are speaking of horrible weather coming this weekend.  Anything from 3 inches to over 30 inches of snow is in the forecast….so who knows! 

I put the Army Bike under the cover last weekend after following my “9 Tips” to preparing the motorcycle for winter storage. The blue bike is still “unprepared” for winter but I have hopes for some “warmish” winter days.  Never know when we might be able to sneak in a quickie.

Well the blue bike is not completely unprepared, the tank is full and I put some stabilizer in it to help with condensation/water.  The battery is on a tender and I checked the anit-freeze. So it went through an abbreviated preparation process.

I really do need to look somewhere a little further south…I am ok with 3 seasons of weather…as long as one of the three is not winter.   🙂

Ijustwant2ride.com

Down for the winter!