Posts Tagged ‘sport bike’

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If you’re a motorcycle mechanic and an enthusiast, you may be thinking of starting your own business. Finding a way to do what you love and still make money is the goal of any entrepreneur. However, there are some things that you should think about before you dive in and get started. Take a look at this list of things you may not have thought of when you were toying around with the idea of opening a shop.

NAME

You may not realize it, but one of the things that can often make or break a business is whether or not it has a catchy name, that people will remember and want to share with others. While it’s not the most important thing to think about, you will want to invest time and a bit of market research into picking the right name.

ZONING

Beware that what looks like a fantastic location might not work out as well as you’d hoped. Local zoning and ordinances can make it very difficult to find a suitable location for your business. Considering that most motorcycle shops tend to be loud, you may find out that options for your shop are limited.

NEIGHBORS

Even if you find a location where the zoning regulations are met, that doesn’t mean that you’re going tod old 4 have an easy ride. Sometimes other local businesses or residents may take issue with the noise, or even the customers. Public perception is often your worst enemy, and many motorcycle businesses find themselves being visited regularly by inspectors, police, and other regulation authorities based on complaints from unwelcoming neighbors.

CUSTOMERS

You probably already have a few folks in mind, but you want to make sure that you will have a large enough customer base to sustain your business. When selecting your location, you want to make sure that it not only meets legal requirements, but also that it will be accessible to your customers.

CAPITAL

Finding the money to start up any business can be hard- finding capital to start up a motorcycle business can be even harder. Because the love of riding is so often not understood by others, convincing bankers and investors to see the value in your company is often difficult. Develop a strong business plan to help potential investors see the value of your business.

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Part of running a solid business is making sure that you aren’t only satisfying the customers you have, but also enticing new ones to your shop. In today’s business environment, building a website and having a strong social media marketing campaign are crucial to increasing revenue and turning a profit.

 

LICENSING/PERMITS

Any business will need licenses and permits to operate. Be sure to fully research an attain any certifications, licenses, and inspections that you will need. Failure to do so can result in your doors closing before you are up and running, essentially wasting any time and resources you’ve put in already.

SEASONAL INCOME

Motorcycle riding tends to be a seasonal activity in many places. Depending on where you live, there win dcan be several months or more of down-time. Carefully consider the months when you may have reduced traffic because of weather or other limiting factors, and make sure that you have the cash flow to cover any lulls in business.

EXIT STRATEGY

One thing that many entrepreneurs overlook is how they plan to wind down their business when the time comes for them to retire. Whether you intend to close down, sell, or pass the business on to an employee, you will want to understand your exit strategy before you begin. Your options may be limited by your business model and your record-keeping throughout the time you are open. Planning ahead will help you decide which option is best for you when the time comes.

Opening any business isn’t something that you want to take lightly. You’ll want to do your homework and be certain you’ve thought out all of the moving parts of a business before you invest your time and money into making it work.

Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb and BizDb.co.nz, an online resources with information about businesses. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.  Her dad was a motorcyclist and he passed that passion on to her. Sarah loves to travel the world on her motorcycle and she hopes that one of her daughters will become her partner in the near future. Sarah guest posted for IJustWant2ride check it out here.

 

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Debbie and I decided to take a quick Sunday morning motorcycle ride this past weekend.  Our ride took us to three national parks in about 5 hours!

Leaving home about 8AM we headed out to the George Washington Parkway (a national park). It took us about an hour to get to the southern terminus which is also Mount Vernon home of George Washington. Riding north on the parkway gives the rider a wonderful, at times panoramic, views of the Potomac River and surrounding country.

Coming abreast of Washington D.C. the view is remains panoramic as well as breath taking. The Washington and Lincoln Monuments clearly in view, the Kennedy Center and the spires of Georgetown make the few minutes you ride past the city quite awe inspiring.  Just past those sites you come across Theodore Roosevelt Island.  This is an often a much under looked memorial to a great president.  Take the time to walk across to the island and view this memorial. We did not stop this time…the parking lot was full, otherwise it would have been 4 national parks in 5 ½ hours.

The second park of this motorcycle ride was the C&O Canal National Park.  If you follow this blog you will see that I am attempting to get to all the motorcycle accessible stops along the canal.  I have knocked out a few but there is a lot of stops remaining.

Lastly we stopped in and took a look at Glen Echo National Park.  Just a short distance from the Clara Barton Parkway (named after the founder of the American Red Cross) this National Park started life in 1891 as a school and in 1911 transformed in to the premier amusement park of the great D.C area.  In 1971, shortly after the amusement park closed the Park Service took over and it is now a national park!  The park is an easy motorcycle ride coming out of or into Washington D.C.

Leaving Glen Echo we returned to the Clara Barton Parkway and headed west towards home.  All in all…a great day for a motorcycle ride!

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Designing a motorcycle garage is an important task for an avid bike owner, but it’s not something that you can accomplish easily on your own. There are many considerations to make, and it’s best to talk with an experienced garage contractor that can help walk you through the different decisions to be made. Give the process some consideration and consult with a professional to help you think of all the different decisions that must be made.

Get a Heated Space

One of the best investments that you can make for a productive motorcycle garage is on heat and cooling. Wrenching occurs in the cold winter months as well as the heat of summer, and it’s nice to have permanent heating and cooling systems in place to make working on your bikes more enjoyable overall.

Focus on Plenty of Lighting

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When hiring a contractor to take on your lighting tasks for your garage, make sure there are plenty of overhead lights, as well as some switch outlets that you can use to put in even more lighting. The lighter the better when it comes to working on some specific areas of bikes, so spending a bit more money here is essential and a good solid investment.

Invest in a Capable Ventilation System

Whether you want to paint up that new ride to give it a more attractive look, you’re stripping away old paint with a strong solvent, your sanding down your bike and creating lots of dust and debris, or you’re just building a new tool rack out of wood, ventilation is important. Invest in a powerful ventilation system that’s going to remove the particles from the air and keep your space nice and fresh, and you can enjoy tackling more jobs in the comfort of your bike garage, and avoid taking them outdoors.

Get the Proper Amount of Space

bike garageMotorcycles are small, so many people don’t make a spacious enough bike garage. Those people only think about the bikes themselves, not all the tools and machinery necessary to work on them. That could be a mistake, because there is a lot of equipment that’s nice to have. Lifts, parts cleaners, air compressors, work benches and a whole bunch of other tools will probably find their way into your space. It’s best to make sure you have the space to accommodate them all. That’s why you should add on extra space that you don’t believe you will use when coming up with the details of your space with the contractor. You will use the space, trust us.

Building the ideal motorcycle garage takes time, but with help from a contractor you can get just the right space for your needs that you’ll be happy to call your own. Take the time to consider everything that you’ll want inside, and then make sure everything is included at the time of building for best results.

Jason has a couple other posts on IJUSTWANT2RIDE including please check them out!

Products to Lock Up Your Motorcycles to Keep Them Safe! 

Motorcycle Riding in Paradise; Costa Rica

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WELL…. Pulling out of the B&B and heading south on the Maine coast in a blue sky morning was just a picture perfect motorcycle vacation, too bad it did not last. With Boston and New York on the horizon we were not thrilled with the thought of the traffic that lay ahead.  Our intention was to ride around Boston on I495 and then head south west toward New York. 

Those plans did not really hold hard due to a series of rain storms.  With rain drops the size of small birds smacking me in the face and my glasses fogging up repeatedly we decided to pull off early and find a room… HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!  It seems that every hotel along the I95 corridor was sold out!  WARNING….do not travel on the I95 corridor during the summer vacation season if you are free-styling (i.e. no real plan). 

Luckily for us our daughter jumped on the computer and started looking for a hotel while we were riding.  During one of the stops, attempting to hide from the rain, she called and told us we had a room….in Rhode Island. The hotel was about 50 miles away and it was raining hard, sigh.  BUT (insert a choir of angels going AHAAAAAA) all of a sudden the clouds cleared and the rain stopped.  According to the weather radar that was not what was supposed to happen.  Not looking a gift horse (Trojan horse) in the mouth we quickly remounted our steed and took off.  The rain, and some hail, resumed almost as soon as we were checked in.  I really did not ride faster than my guardian angel could fly! 

WP_20170628_09_09_30_ProSeveral band of storms later we woke up to another beautiful morning and the weather radar showed that there was no rain anywhere!!!!!!!! Our new plan was to ride cross county to Hartford, CN then down to Danbury then on to Orange County Choppers headquarters in Newburgh, NY.   

The stop at Orange County Choppers was a blast.  Regardless of your thoughts on the WP_20170628_16_02_47_ProTeutul’s, the bikes they produced during the run of their show are just so cool to look at in person.  Too soon it was time to get back on the road.  Making it to Scranton, PA we stopped for the night.  The next morning we made the push for home. 

2982.6 miles from Virginia to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Niagara Falls to Lake Placid, Bar Harbor and back.  Even with all the rain we endured this was a great motorcycle vacation.  If you have not stepped up to long distance motorcycle touring it is something you should consider for your future.  What you feel, see, and hear while riding your motorcycle is so much more intense and impactful then riding in a car. For me it is being in the movie not watching the movie through your windshield.

 

This year Debbie and I chose not to ride into the city to partake of the Rolling Thunder main event.  We had went for several years so there was no great interest in doing it again this year.  BUT I did attend a pre-Roling Thunder event and assisted our local HOG (Harley Owners Group) chapter with the marshalling of motorcycles for the police escorted ride from Frederick to the Pentagon. 

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Saturday was the pre-Rolling Thunder event at Washington Harley Davidson.  Not only is it a collection of vendors of all types (t-shirts, food, parts and accessories) it is the site of the official Harley Davidson Owners Group Pin Stop.  Harley Davidson Pin Stops are a half dozen or so events in which Harley Davidson gives out commemorative pins to the HOG members.  Each one is different for each event.  If you follow my FaceBook page each week I post one or two dealer or other pins and several of the pin stop pins are pictured.   

While this is only a SWAG I think there were more motorcycles at this year’s v. last year’s pin stop. The parking lots were mostly full when I arrived and, unlike last year, still full when I left.  The ride to the event was a Frederick Harley Davidson HOG club ride. 

STORM CHASER POWERS ACTIVATE!  About 15 bikes left that morning from

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STORM CHASER!

the dealership under misty, overcast conditions, within 15 minutes the mist turned to full rain and stayed on us for more than half of the ride.  Guess what!  On the ride back we left a partial cloudy site and again got wet, although for a much shorter frame. Some days, when I ride my motorcycle, I just seem to attract bad weather.  

Sunday morning I rolled out of my warm bed, shared by my wife, our dog and myself, and was out the door before 5:30AM.  The HOG chapter was assisting the Frederick Harley Davidson dealership with the staging and marshaling of motorcycle going to Rolling Thunder. 

ijustwant2ride.comThere are two groups of motorcycle riders who participate in Rolling Thunder.  Those that go to the Pentagon (the starting point for the parade) and those that do not go to the Pentagon.  That second group seems to always be nearly identical in size to those that go to the Pentagon.  This group typically rides into the city and then parks along the parade route to watch the motorcycle pass by. 

By ten minutes after 8:00AM all the bikes were out and on their way to the either the Pentagon or somewhere else.  There were just at 300 bikes assembled at the dealership.  Nearly every bike brand was represented, I saw Triumph, BMW, Indian, Victory, Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki, there may have been others but those are the ones I recall. 

It took just a bit over 5 minutes to get all those bikes on the road (see video below).  A short while later we have all the signs, coffee, doughnuts and other stuff gathered and put away.  The parking lot looked like nothing had ever happened.  365 days until the next Rolling Thunder.

Last year I posted my 9 Weird Motorcycles for 2015 and there were some real strange ones on that list.   This year there is just as many wild ones.  I just stumble upon these as I fool around on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit.

A few days ago I posted that I have found so many weird motorcycle candidates this past year that I need to post some of the runners up.  Even with the 3 runners up and the 9 “winners” there were another 10-15 that did not make the cut.  It is likely that those will be sprinkled around the IJUSTWAN2RIDE Facebook page.

So without further ado I present the 9 Weird Motorcycles for 2016!  Which one is your favorite?

Last year I posted my 9 Weird Motorcycles for 2015 and there were some real strange ones on that list.   This year there is just as many wild ones.

I just saved the pictures of the weirdest, custom motorcycles though out the year from Facebook, Twitter and where ever else I ran across them.  The list of candidates for 2016 weird motorcycles was very large so I decided to post about the top “runners-up” in this category.  I will post the weird winners in a few days.

If you have any candidates you would like to submit for the 2017 list of weird motorcycles, just let me know!

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So why 9?  Because everyone does 10 and 11 is too much work.

First of all this list is not for one of those around the globe motorcycle adventure trips.  I will not be mentioning things like lion repellant, spare tires or satellite phones.  These tips are more for that multi-day to couple week trips via normal roads/interstates motorcycle trips.

These tips are primarily based on our own experiences and may or may not be fully applicable to you.  However, Debbie and I are not any different then you guys so I hope that the tips get you to at least think about a particular item.

9.  Carry a few tools.  Yes, this is dependent on the type of motorcycle you ride.  A sport bike is not going to carry as much as a touring bike.  At a minimum get a multi-tool that is appropriate to your bike.  By that I mean, if your multi-tool has a hex tool but your bike has Torx screws, it is not going to be of much use.   Here is what I carry on the Harley Davidson Ultra Limited:

Multi-tool that came with the motorcycle, which turns out is quite limited based on our summer 2015 trip.

Mini screwdriver and ratchet sets with Torx, hex and standard bits in the sizes I need for my motorcycle.

Stop n Go tire Repair kit.

8. The weather is going to change, be prepared.  No matter what you think is going to happen, plan on getting wet or cold or both.  Again what you can carry is dependent on the motorcycle you ride.  At a minimum you should carry rain gear.  You need to stop and put on the rain gear as soon as you know that it is not a tiny little shower, especially if you are in the mountains.  It sucks to put on your rain gear after you are soaking and then the temp drops.b1

7. ATGATT  All The Gear All The Time – Every time I see or hear this I can’t help but think of the green Martians from the cult classic movie “Mars Attacks” (ack ack).  But what it should mean is good boots, motorcycle pants and jackets that are armored and abrasion resistant and a full face helmet.  I know that I do not do this all the time myself, it is something that we all know we should do!

6. Start Early End Early – This one is more from personal experiences with longer motorcycle trips.  After so many years in the army I still wake up early.  Because of that I get on the road early and, depending on where you are riding, that can get us out before traffic gets heavy.  It also allows you to beat the heat in the summer months, for a while anyway.  By ending early you have time to get your motorcycle unloaded and prepared for the next day, give you time for a shower and a bit of rest before dinner.  I like to be kickstand up no later than 7AM and stopped for the evening no later than 5PM.  This also helps with any bickering or sniping with your passenger because you are both tired or hot or cold.

5. Get in a Routine – Load and unload your motorcycle the same way in the same order.  Do your post ride checks in the same way at the same time (after diner). A routine of this nature will help ensure you do not forget anything while loading and unloading.  It will help to ensure that you perform your ride checks and preparation.b4

4. Inspect your bike at night – As part of your routine, do your T-CLOCS before you close down for the evening.  Wipe down the grime on your windshield/faring and if you have room to carry one, cover your bike.  Performing these activities on your motorcycle each night, I like to do mine after dinner, will allow you to be on the road little quicker in each morning. Do it in the evening or in the morning, but on all long motorcycle trips you need to do it every day.  Things become loose or need attention, better to find out when you are parked.

3. Snack Smart – Eating a big turkey leg at noon and then riding on the interstate might cause you get a bit sleepy.  Snack smart is just a tip to make sure that you can operate your motorcycle in the best manner possible.  Drinking soda or coffee might not be the best option over water or a sports drink on those days where heat might be a concern.  If you are on one of those rides where you only stop for gas consider adding a cup holder or hydration pack to your ride kit. Additionally, consider what you eat, would a banana be better for your riding or do you really, really want that turkey leg!!!

2. Tweak don’t Twerk –  Move around on the seat to stay comfortable and avoid saddle sores on a long motorcycle trip.  This is easy on a touring bike, with larger seats, highway pegs and large footboards the touring motorcyclist has it easy over the sport bike riders.  But, either way, you have to remain a comfortable as possible.  If you plan on lots of long distance riding, look into getting a seat that really fits your seat.

1. Stop and smell the roses! – Yes we all know we need frequent breaks but, if your breaks are only gas stations you are likely missing out.  If you see something that peaks your interest check it out!  Even if you have to turn around and go back to get the picture with the giant roller skate do it.  You might never know what you are missing…. maybe dinosaurs! b-2

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Premiering tonight at 9PM EST on The Esquire Network (formerly Spike TV) is the latest entry into Motorcycle TV “Wrench Against the Machine”.

According to Esquire’s web site Wrench Against the Machine is:

“The country’s most prestigious motorcycle builders put their reputations on the line in the ultimate test of creativity and craftsmanship. Each episode pits two teams in a head-to-head battle, with only three days and $3,000 to transform basic stock motorcycles into rowdy, riding, works of art.”

So from my POV an updated, bearded, DIY, “Biker Build Off” mashup with “Junk Yard Wars” or “Trading Spaces”.  This motorcycle TV sounds interesting to me so I hope to see it in the future.

Now, I do not get The Esquire Network as part of the “packages” on my TV provider but I am hoping that it will be part of the providers “On-Demand” offering.  Check out the “sneak peek” video below.