Monday, November 10, 2014
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Are You A Motorcyclist?
Tuesday, November 04, 2014
Ride to Vote, Vote to Ride!
Friday, October 24, 2014
Motorcycle lane-splitting study
|Photo: Randall Benton/Sacramento Bee|
A recent California study has arrived at the rather obvious conclusion that lane-splitting on a motorcycle becomes increasingly riskier as the speed differential increases. Last year, the California Highway Patrol published guidelines suggesting riders should not travel more than 10 mph faster than surrounding traffic, and should not lane-split at all if other vehicles are traveling faster than 30 mph. That isn't law, but seems like a common-sense suggestion. As you may know, though it's common in civilized places like Europe, California is the only US state in which lane-splitting is expressly permitted. Many states, such as mine, do not expressly prohibit lane-splitting, but it's an uncommon practice and a lane-splitting rider is subject to LEO interpretation of whether the maneuver constitutes a violation of "catch-all" traffic laws such as careless or reckless driving. In my neck of the woods, a lane-splitter may also expect to get clothes-lined, cut-off, or have a driver's door opened by a disgruntled/jealous motorist. Frankly, it won't be worth the risk around here until driver attitudes change. I've only done it a handful of times, and then only while traffic is stopped, in order to get around extremely slow-moving vehicles such as farm equipment, street sweepers, etc. What are your thoughts and/or lane-splitting experience?
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Vintage Trials this weekend!
|(Click to enlarge)|
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Rumor Central: Yamaha FJ-09
Monday, October 20, 2014
2015 Motorcycle Shopping List
|Honda Crossrunner, a VFR 800 based strictly-street "ADV" bike.|
|Suzuki V-strom 650 XT, a somewhat more dirt-capable Wee; still a street bike really.|
|Revamped Kawasaki Versys 650, now with tidy luggage option|
|BMW R1200R replacement. Hope it has windscreen & luggage options.|
Monday, October 13, 2014
Snell M2015 Standards
Friday, October 10, 2014
Throw-Back Thursday: My First Motorcycle
Santa somehow managed to get a brand spankin' new Yamaha TY80 down the chimney on Christmas Eve, 1974. The TY80 was essentially a shrunk-down version of the TY250 and so was a competition-ready trials bike: very low gearing (with neutral at bottom), super-slim, high ground clearance, super-light weight, soft and springy suspension, and massive steering lock. The engine was capable of chugging along in first with no throttle without stalling, and could loft the front wheel at will over obstacles. It came with plastic fenders, which were just starting to show up on pure dirt bikes, but the fuel tank was still steel. Though most kids my age (13) were zipping around on 70-80cc MXers or "enduro" bikes, a trials bike offered a great platform to learn some of the finer points of motorcycle control that I still use today, such as traction and momentum preservation, body positioning and "English," and smoothness. I also cut my mechanical chops (such as they are) on the little two-smoker, though it was so tough and reliable I don't remember having to do much other than normal maintenance. I did learn how to unclog a carb jet while out in the woods, but that wasn't so rare 40 years ago. This scan of a textured print (remember those?), likely shot with my trusty Kodak 110 Instamatic, hides a lot of detail, but I see some patchy ice in the foreground -- yup, even back then I didn't have the good sense to quit riding when it got real cold. #TBT
Thursday, October 02, 2014
Adventure Motorcycle Calendar 2015
The annual Adventure Motorcycle Calendar is back for 2015. I love these calendars; I'm staring at the 2014 edition as I type this, and the 2015 version will be proudly displayed immediately upon completion of Earth's current orbit. Published by Octane Press, this year's edition features images by professional photographers from around the world, including the stunning photography of Gregor Halenda, a commercial photographer and adventure motorcyclist. His work takes you to some of the most interesting portions of the United States including; Copper Center, Alaska; Moab, Utah; and Rollins Pass, Colorado.
The calendar also features shots from other photographers that explore the wilds of Russia winding through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, as well as the Himalayas, remote corners of Alaska, and the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia.
The world is your oyster when you own a motorcycle, and the Adventure Motorcycle Calendar 2015 celebrates the fabulous places and fascinating people who adventure out to see the world on two wheels. The calendar is available for purchase at Octanepress.com and wherever books are sold.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
A Quick Post, Just Bee-cause
Related Post: What's That in my Tailpipe?
Monday, September 15, 2014
Philly & Balto Ride for Kids raises $149K
MOTORCYCLISTS CONTRIBUTE $149,000 TO HELP KIDS WITH BRAIN TUMORS
More than 300 riders attended the events in Ellicott City, Md., and Phoenixville, Pa., to honor our Stars, local children with brain tumors: Althea, Elizabeth, Emily, Gabriel, John, Maggie, Nick, Olivia, Paige, Ruxy and Yosef.
“Because of you all, we are finding inspiration which is leading to progress and hope,” Dr. Chetan Bettegowda of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine told the crowd. “There used to be dozens, now we have hundreds and thousands of people around the world working on research for pediatric brain tumors.”
Philadelphia Ride for Kids Star Emily is grateful that motorcyclists support this cause. “I have been fighting since I was 4 years old and I am okay now,” she said. “After 13 years I looked at my X-rays and there was no tumor. I am on the stage because people like you came out and cared about us."
Making life better for Ride for Kids Stars is the reason motorcyclists across the country ride for the PBTF, which funds medical research and family support programs to help eliminate the challenges of childhood brain tumors.
Read more about the rides here:
The events are still collecting donations online at www.rideforkids.org. Fundraisers will receive incentive credit through Oct. 14.
ABOUT RIDE FOR KIDS
Ride for Kids is a national series of motorcycle charity events that raise awareness and funds for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, the world's largest nonprofit funder of research into one of the deadliest forms of childhood cancer. The Ride for Kids program also funds free educational resources and college scholarships for brain tumor survivors. More than 28,000 children in the United States are living with the diagnosis of a brain tumor, and 13 more cases are identified each day. American Honda is the presenting sponsor of Ride for Kids. Other national supporters include GEICO and Cycle World magazine. To ride with us to cure the kids, call 800-253-6530 or go to www.rideforkids.org.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Product Review: Chase-Harper 950XM Tank Bag
I'm a tank-bag whore; I always have at least 3-4 on hand from which to choose. I've used the CH 650XM for a couple of years as my primary bag, which is nearly identical to the 950XM except for the 950's expansion zipper, red interior, and slightly shorter outside mesh pockets (which work great for holding a toll-both transponder.) On both bags, I cut the backpack straps out so I can use that pocket for extra storage. I also cut the strap for the headstock strap as I've never had a magnetic bag that actually needed one. This doesn't come with a rain cover, which for me is no big deal because I've learned over the years that the best method for keeping a tank bag's contents dry (and negating the need to stop) is to use a repellant/UV protector spray on the bag, and forego rain covers in favor of using Pelican cases, Loksaks, zip-loc baggies, etc. Most rain covers are a PITA to install, flop around at speed, and cover the map case. Speaking of which, this bag comes with a double-sided map case. It also has plenty of interior and exterior pockets, a key clip, a shock-cord web on top, and four extra mounting points on the outside that could be used to strap something down. The magnets grasp the gas tank with limpet-like strength. All in all, a well-designed, feature-filled, top-quality bag.
Update: Chase Harper's customer service and warranty support are sub-par. After using the bag only 2-3 times, one of the elastic cord loops that secure the map case broke, and 2 of the remaining 3 look like they'll break soon, too. Chase Harper tells me it will repair the bag at no cost (though not to like-new condition; it will only "top stitch" the cords onto the bag, which were originally sewn into a seam) but the full cost of shipping the bag from Delaware to California will have to be borne by ME. I fail to understand why I should have to pay a single penny when I was sold a bag with a clear defective design or manufacturing defect. The best motorcycle-product vendors I deal with would likely simply send a replacement ASAP, or send one when the defective bag was returned.
Labels: Product Reviews
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Calendar Alert: AMA Hillclimb
Tuesday, September 09, 2014
Pics from Ephrata, September edition
|Water buffalo in very good, unrestored condition.|
|Grimli would ride a Grom methinks.|
|Not sure, but may be ~1959 Valiant model. There may have been an engine shroud originally.|
|Check out the brake details on the new EBR|
|Nice street tracker; check out the headlights.|
|One of the original Japanese sport-tourers.|
Friday, September 05, 2014
A New Era in AMA Road Racing?
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Ride Report: Union Hotel, Port Deposit, Maryland
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Tomfuelery at the pump.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Throw Back Thursday: The flightless bird who traveled around the world
|Taking the hand-off from the Pennsylvania lead rider.|
|The bird distracted this officer long enough for him to forget to ticket us for the totally illegal parking job we did in order to secure the photo below.|
|Meeting the Delaware state bird, a Blue Heron.|
|Meeting some strange old birds.|
|Found a lady friend along the way.|
|So this is where your state politicians "work"?|
|Handing-off to the Maryland lead rider near Chestertown, MD.|