Posts Tagged ‘Sportbike’

April is Motorcycle Helmet Safety month and the supposed start of the riding season in the Northern Hemisphere. So, if your riding season is just beginning or coming to an end you should check your helmet for any issues that could risk your safety.

What do you look for when performing a safety check on your motorcycle helmet? Different manufactures state similar and different things to check, please referrer to your helmets makers directions for the best information.

However, there are some generic checks you can do that will cover many areas to make sure your helmet is still safe. Here are the a few things you need to look for:

1) Is the shell all in one piece? No cracks or splits?

2) Are the straps and connectors in good shape, no adverse wear or tear?

3) The internal padding is connected and stays in place?

4) Remove the padding and check the foam.  Is it dented or have cracks?

5) While looking at the foam, most companies place a sticker printed with the helmet’s birthday. Is it over 5 years old?

6) Does the rest of the internals look in good operating condition?

7) Check the visor for damage that might obscure your vision, can you see clearly?

8) Are the screws or other visor attachments tight?

9) Make sure that insects/creatures are not living in your helmet, see the photos below! (that is a Black Widow Spider)

Checklist item 5 is the 5-year rule.  Most manufactures recommend that after 5 years you replace your helmet.  While the cynical among us will cite the “more money” theory of why they want it replaced there is evidence that the foam lining (the part that does most of the work in a crash) does deteriorate over time. It is your head, so it is your decision to replace or not if everything looks good.

James Madison’s Montpelier

As noted in in Part 1 of this Quarantine Motorcycle Ride series on the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Byway, had to occur over three seasons.  Part 2 Leesburg to Montpelier occurred last summer.

This leg of the ride started on a cool summer morning.  Blue skies, white puffy clouds, and the local weatherman, promised a comfortable day to ride the motorcycle.

Our eyes and the weatherman were right! Our ride on the Harley Davidson Ultra Limited motorcycle was smooth and sweet.  Great tunes and light traffic made this leg of the Hallowed Ground Byway nothing short of great.

This part of the Byway is packed full of sites that just beg to be stopped and explored as this part of Virginia is packed with history and historical sites.

Getting to Montpelier took us past the following historical sites, and these are the major sites. There are many, many smaller sites in each of the towns you pass through.  This leg of the Hallowed Ground Byway can, by itself, could take a week to work your way though.

Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park | Nova Parks

George C. Marshall’s Home

President’s Monroe’s Oak Hill

Bull Run Battlefield (1st and 2nd Battle for Manassas)

This section also passes though the Northern Virginia wine and brewery corridor.  For example, there are over a dozen breweries and 30 vineyards in Loudon county alone! Just do not drink and ride, of course!

Of course, the destination of this motorcycle ride was the home of President James Madison’s home Montpelier.  Montpelier was the plantation home of the Madison family, including the fourth President of the United States James Madison and his wife Dolly.

Montpelier is both a National Historic Landmark and part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Completed in 2008 a major restoration (by the National Trust), in part to return the mansion to its original size of 22 rooms.

Archeological investigations provided information on African-American life at the plantation. Philanthropist David Rubenstein funded and enabled the National Trust to restore the slave quarters in the South Yard and open a slavery exhibition, The Mere Distinction of Colour, in 2017.

Getting to Montpelier is a wonderful ride through historic lands.  If you are in the area, on the Journey Thorough Hallowed Ground Byway or not, take the time to stop.

motorcycle fail

OK folks…. just FYI….. If you ride a typical cruiser or touring motorcycle the geometry of the motorcycle requires a much flatter load angle. The bottom of the frame will hit if the angle is to high. This video shows it very very well!

Use this fail video as a “WHAT NOT TO DO” when it comes to loading your bike. Find a location to get a flatter angle, it will just work out better in the end!

Have a motorcycle enthusiast (aka Crazy Biker) on your naughty or nice list?  Here are 9 gift giving ideas to make their 2020 holiday a little bit better.

9. A New Motorcycle Jacket – All equipment gets old and needs to be replaced. Look at the condition of your crazy biker’s jacket does it need to be replaced?  I have been using the Viking Cycle Enforcer Motorcycle Jacket for a couple years now and I am quite happy with it.  Check out my review of this jacket.

8. Motorcycle Art – Ran across this a few months ago on Amazon…your rider’s name spelled out, in pictures of motorcycle parts.  I do not own this, but I might just get one from myself. Check out Personalized Motorcycle Name Art – Harley, Indian, and Honda on Amazon

7. New tie-down straps – Another piece of equipment that gets old, but one that is especially important if your crazy biker tows or hauls their bike(s).  Steal a glance at their current straps, look worn or about to be worn out, get them a new set.

6. 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! In particular, look at the ProBeam LED Motorcycle Turn Signals

ijustwant2ride

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.

5. A Gift Card – from their favorite local dealership.  That way they can pick out what they want!

4.  New Motorcycle Gloves – Is your crazy biker’s glove a bet nasty? Now is the time to gift them a new pair. Some consideration, vented for warm weather or waterproof for the rainy day?  Or heated for the cold months?

3. Battery Tender – Winter is here in the northern hemisphere. This gift will help your crazy biker be ready to roll the first chance they get. No recommendation, they are almost all good. Just make sure you get the right connection for their motorcycle.

2. A Branded Hat – cause, you know, helmet hair!

1. Membership in the AMA – That is the American Motorcycle Association.  Membership not only gets discounts on products it also includes emergency towing. The AMA is the largest, but not the only, lobbyist group protecting your right to ride.

Ride On, Ride Safe

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We pulled out of our driveway on a cool, crisp Friday morning for a long weekend motorcycle ride.  By cool & crisp I mean 51 degrees Fahrenheit, a little less with wind chill, of course. We knew it was going to be at least that or a bit less on Skyline Drive.

We had decked ourselves out in appropriate clothing and closed the vents of the Harley Davidson Ultra Limited, so the chill was not very noticeable. Otherwise, the sun was out with blue sky all about and traffic out of town was quite light.

It took us about an hour to get from home to the northern terminus of Skyline Drive in Front Royal, Virginia. I really think that the state could do a bit better job of signage to get people to the park.  I knew where it was but, until you are right upon it the signs are few and far between.

A lot of motorcycles on the road!

Once we were on Skyline Drive the cool air got a bit cooler! There was nearly a 10-degree difference from the valley to the top of the mountain.  While we did notice it, and I turned on the heated grips, the motorcycle seemed to love the cool air and purred as it rolled up, down and around the ridge.

The leaves had not yet started to change colors or drop from the trees, but the greens were awesome to view. I do have another complaint, maybe it is a by-product of Covid 2020 but several of the overlooks really did not overlook.  The trees and bush build up limited the view on some of the stops.   Only a minor disappointment as the day was so nice!

We reached the southern terminus of the parkway late afternoon and headed to our hotel in Charlottesville, VA. The next day we went to some local site like Monticello. Our return tip was via the American BywayJourney Through Hallowed Ground Byway”, which will be documented on another post.

It was our anniversary by the way!

Skyline Drive by motorcycle really shows that the adage “Riding in car is like watching a movie. Riding on a motorcycle is like being in the movie” is absolutely true.

If you live on the east coast this ride needs to be on your bucket list.

Ride On, Ride Safe

We know that in a car or on a motorcycle we will get a tailgater, sometimes several in a single day.  It sucks, but it is going to happen.  So, what is a safe riding motorcyclist to do?

Below are 9 tips on how to deal with tailgating while on your ride. These tips may help you minimize your risk from the tailgating jerk. The #1 tip is, from my personal perspective, the most important to keep you safe.

9. Flash your taillights – A quick blip of your lights might get their attention on just how close they are to you.  Make sure this is just enough to flash your lights, do not slow down as they may not be paying attention. 

8. Draw more attention to your rear end – Consider adding a device to your motorcycle to case your taillights to flash multiple times.  I use a product from Custom Dynamics to draw attention to my rear end. I have received many comments from riders and drivers that have said hey can really see my lights. There is a video at the link that will show you how the different ways the unit flashes.

custom dynamics

7. Check to see if you are the problem – Are you moving with the surrounding traffic?  Are you at the speed limit?  If you are riding your motorcycle to slow for the traffic around you, look for a different route where you will be safe.

6. Move to be seen – We all know that drivers cannot see you even if they see you.  Move from your current wheel track to the other and then back.  Changing your lane position might get their attention and back off.

5. Increase your following distance – Give a bit greater space to the vehicle in front of you.  The idea is not to aggravate your tailgater but to give you and the tailgater more room to slow down or come to a stop.

4. Do not ride faster – Speeding up will not get the tailgater to stop.  They will just ride your tail faster.  You might get a temporary respite but if they tailgated you before they will again. Trying to appease the tailgater, like trying to appease anyone, just does not work.  Ride your ride.

3. Let them pass – If they are tailgating in order make a pass at the first opportunity, let them.  If you have been in a slow zone and now you are in faster zone, let them go by, don’t speed up!

2. Pull over – Find a safe place to move your motorcycle off the road and let them by.  Make sure to signal early your intent, use both your lights and arm signals. It will only be a few minutes before you catch up to them as they are tailgating the next guy.

1. Do NOT get ANGERY –  If you get mad you may not be paying attention to your situation. Stay cool and safe!

Have any tips of your own? Put them in the comments below!

Ride On, Ride Safe

r2w

The 3rd Monday in June is International Ride Your Motorcycle/Scooter to Workday.  This year that is the 15th of June for the calendar challenged out there. 😊

Assuming you are allowed to ride, or you have work to actually ride to.

I have been working from home, so my plan is to ride around the neighborhood a few times before I start my day.

Ride on, Ride Safe

Spring is springing! Your motorcycle is calling you! Your friends are tired of hearing you say, “I just want 2 ride!”. But before you hit the road you should perform a few tasks to make sure you are safe, and the bike is prepared for the riding season.

b4I am going to avoid some of the more obvious stuff like T-CLOCS and try to hit the things you might have overlooked or not thought about. Of course, you REALLY should do the T-CLOCS, with a much detail as possible, but there are dozens of articles out there about those tasks.

Sooooo, what makes my list of things to prepare for riding season.

1 Check your gear – Your riding gear has been setting around as long as your bike. It might have been stuffed in your saddleback for months. Get your gear out and clean it up. Run it through the wash or clean it by hand. Apply water repellant or waterproofing after you have cleaned your gear for a little more protection, unless a rainstorm is your preferred method of cleaning your gear.

2 Check your helmet – Yes, your helmet is part of your gear, but I am calling it out separately as it deserves special attention. First clean the exterior, those bugs from 2019 should be dry and easy to remove by now. Next remove and clean the interior padding, according to the manufacturer’s directions. Also, check out all the nooks and crannies for SPIDERS (and not the Can-Am species by the way).

3 Replace Gear – I know that many of you, just like me, try and stretch your money as far as possible but now is a good time to take a good look at your own gear. While this is really an inherent subtask of the first two items on the list, I wanted to call it out as YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY. Is your helmet still good to go, are your gloves still in good condition? If something is not right, then get it repaired or replaced before the season gets into 5th

4 Give your motorcycle a colonoscopy – If you did not do a good job preparing your bike for winter you should peek up your tail pipe. It is not uncommon for “critters” to climb into the exhaust to hide food or make a nest.

5 Give your bike a rub down – Happy ending optional. Give it a good wipe down to clean off the dust and debris that has adhered to your bike over winter. This way you might avoid the stinky smells from all the dust and dirt burning off as the engine heats up.

6 Restock your saddlebags – If you pack a first aid kit replace what you used last year or what is now expired. Sunscreen and chapstick….might what to swap them out for new. That candy bar you had for an emergency snack go ahead and eat it now and put a new one in its place.

7 Review the owner’s manual – Get yourself reacquainted with the bike.

8 Check your insurance – Did you stop or reduce your insurance on the motorcycle over the winter? Give a quick call to your agent to get your insurance up to date.

9 Remind yourself about PANIC STOPS – Find an unused bit of road or parking lot, get up to speed and BREAK HARD! Get that feeling on what you and your motorcycle will do when you must do a sudden stop. Often ride with a passenger? Then run this exercise with them on the bike as well. It is best to know how it feels in a controlled environment before you really need to do it. OH, check your breaks before you do this to make sure they are good to go.

best poster 2019

A few years ago, I started to “collect” motorcycle themed posters/print, a few are even in real life. This year I added 21 individual motorcycle prints/posters to my collection.

With that said I award, with nothing but that fine badge and a mention on this blog, the top 9 motorcycle posters of 2019! I wish they all had the artist information on them so we could recognize their talent.

If you see some cool motorcycle posters while you are cruising about in real life or cruising the interwebs, send me a link and they might make next year’s list!

19 (3)

In 2019 there were just not a lot of good motorcycle memes. I had a total of 20 in my memes folder to chose from. Last year there were nearly double that to choose from and the selection of the final 9 memes for last year was difficult

This year the down selects went quick it took less than 5 minutes to pick the 9 best motorcycle memes from 2019. So, enjoy!

Which one is your FAVORITE?  Let me know in the comments below.  I like the dinosaur one the best!

Why the 9 Best Motorcycle Memes? Because everyone does 10 and 11 is to much work.