Sunday, March 30, 2008

Colin Edwards Amazing Save!

Colin Edwards loses the front end and somehow doesn't crash during qualifying for the MotoGP at Jerez yesterday. He managed to crash properly during the race today though.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Deal of the Day: Set-Up "Sunrise" Boots

Set-Up "Sunrise" waterproof boots; I believe it's the 2006 model. Set-Up is made by famed Italian bootmaker Sidi as a "value line"; now discontinued due to the US dollar's decline. Looks like they'd be good for touring, sport-touring and commuting. NewEnough has some left in its Bargain Basement for $79! If you fit Euro sizes 39 thru 45, you're set up ("set up"; get it? Is this microphone on?) Clicky here to go directly to this sale.

As a service to my fellow motorcyclists, I've begun posting information on sales and closeouts on quality motorcycle gear. I get this information via subscriptions to email notices and newsfeeds of some of my favorite vendors, and I also stumble across this information during my daily travels on various online forums, etc. Unless otherwise noted, I haven't used or tested this gear; I am simply giving a "hey, lookee here!" on what appears to me to be a good deal on quality stuff from a good vendor. Be an informed consumer and research before buying.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Motorcycle Bloggers International Riders Choice Awards 2008

The Motorcycle Bloggers International "Riders Choice" Awards 2008 for the best and worst motorcycle products and ideas from 2007 have been determined by vote of both the MBI membership, and many non-members who choose to weigh in. I'll give a quick peek, but you should jump over to MBI's awards page for a complete listing that includes the runners-up, and links and photos of the products and things at issue. So, without further ado (was that ado I was a-doin'?): the winners (and losers) are (drumroll):

Best concept motorcycle or scooter: Honda Evo 6
Best manufacturer’s website: BMW
Best new motorcycle: Triumph Street Triple 675
Best new scooter: Piaggio MP3 400
Most environmentally friendly motorcycle: ElecticMoto Blade XT
Object of lust: Ducati Desmosedici RR
Thumbs up: Ewan McGregor/Charlie Boorman
Wish we’d thought of that: KTM Toaster
Women riders booster of the year: Lois Pryce

Most disappointing new motorcycle: Suzuki B-King
Thumbs down: "Loud Pipes Save Lives"
What were they thinking?: Babecage
Worst manufacturer’s website: Motoport/Cycleport

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mr. Happy Puppet by Aerostich

"Move on; nothing to see here, especially an expensive GPS...nope, definitely not a GPS...I mean, what idiot would employ a furry little piece of yellow fleece to protect an easily-nicked GPS? Go on, move it along buster!"

What does your Mr. Happy Puppet do for a living?

Friday, March 07, 2008

Ephrata "First Sunday" Rally season opens!

The "crowd" was just a little smaller than usual. But parking was easy!

Last Sunday, March 2nd, I rode up to Ephrata, Pennsylvania for the first "First Sunday" ride-in/rally/breakfast event of 2008. It was cold, but not unbearably so during the nice twisty back roads course of about 65 miles from my home in Newark, Delaware. My thermometer read between 22F - 24F most of the way. Unlike last March, when I arrived to find an empty parking lot, there were already 12 - 15 bikes in the lot when I showed up at about 0830. More importantly, the "coffee ladies" were set-up in the lot, too. By the time I left around noon, maybe 70 or 80 stalwarts had made appearances. Among the attendees were two fellow regulars from the Sport-Touring.Net forums ("ejworthen" and "JamminJere") who'd ridden over from the Pottstown, PA area, and Gerry from the ScootLancaster blog, who arrived on his new Kawasaki Versys (first one I'd seen in person; pic is below); it was great to meet folks in "real life". Though the usual varied types of motorcycles were in the lot, a much higher than usual percentage were sport-tourers -- does that make we S-T'ers hardy, hardly sane, or merely hungry? I also decided to switch my American Legion membership from my current post in Delaware to the Ephrata post that puts on this "First Sunday" event. It was close to 50F on my twisty 61 mile loop home; any warmer and I would've had to shed some of my "serious cold" gear. Great fun all-in-all and a terrific start to the "Ride to Eat" season!

A nice row of sport-touring machines!

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Motorcycling in March

In my neck of the woods, March can be tough on the ol' motorcycling psyche. Blacktop roads are potholed and crumbled from freezing, and won't be repaired for months. Clumps of road salt residue and sand dot the roads. On the back roads, gravel and mud, washed out of the gullies by heavy rains and snow melt, have a nasty habit of accumulating on blind corners. Unlike the peak of Summer or dead of Winter, it's difficult to get into a rhythm, either on the road of off. Just gearing up properly can be a tough decision as the weather can vary wildly. I've ridden 5 of the 6 days of March so far, and I've already dealt with temperatures from 22F to 62F, and from snow flurries to rain showers to beautiful dry, sunny conditions. I'm not whining (well, not much) mind you: that which many motorcyclists consider obstacles to riding are seen as challenges to die-hard (or crazy; you choose) year-round riders. Although, while overcoming challenges is satisfying, I'll be a lot happier in about six weeks when the challenges will be more about the broader riding experience and much less about merely surviving the weather and road conditions.