Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Motomarathon Motorcycle Long-Distance Rally Schedule for 2010

Motomarathon may be the long-distance motorcycling event for we mere mortals.  "Aluminum Butt Rally" maybe?  According to the Motomarathon Association's website, motomarathon is about riding as many twisties as possible during an event. Routes are kept secret until the night before each event. Instead of a traditional LD points system based on grabbing bonus locations, the goal is to complete as many checkpoints as possible.   Accumulated yearly and lifetime checkpoint data is maintained by the association. Similar to traditional LD events, riders document checkpoints by photographing their assigned badges with the checkpoint location in the background. The association claims that the routes will allow plenty of time to complete all checkpoints at posted speed limits, and even time for leisurely lunches and sightseeing.  Barring major mechanical or navigational woes, it appears riders will be able to stop each night and get a decent amount of sleep without having to check into the fabled Iron Butt Hotel (i.e. sleeping on your parked motorcycle).  The association also invites its members to create their own motomarathons using the same basic format.  This year's schedule follows.  I usually attend the Retreads Mid-Atlantic Rally that same week in May, but that New England event looks mighty tempting....

2010 Motomarathon Schedule:
Southern California Motomarathon -- March 26-29
New England Motomarathon -- May 13-16
Centopassi Motomarathon -- June 25-28
Colorado Motomarathon-- September 17-20

Image courtesy of Motomarathon Association

Friday, February 19, 2010

Easy Way to Change an Arai Shield (Visor)!

Psych! Made you look! There is no easy way to remove and/or reinstall an Arai motorcycle helmet visor. I loved the discontinued Arai Signet, and I like its replacement, the Profile (being the only lids that so well fit my "long-oval" noggin), but I hate the practical Arai continues to play on we poor saps. C'mon now Arai: I rebuilt the top end of a 4-stroke motorcycle engine at age 15; I spent 8 years as a technician on one of the world's most advanced jet fighters; I even have a working understand of the Copenhagen Theory of quantum mechanics; yet, I struggle with a bloody Arai helmet visor that has less than one moving part! Fortunately, some others have it figured out.  Check out these instructional videos and pick the technique that works for you: Service Pavilion's "How to Change an Arai Shield"; "How to Change an Arai Visor"; "How to Change the Arai Helmet Shield"; and, "Arai Helmet Visor Shield Replace".

Friday, February 12, 2010

State of Emergency? Time for a Ride!

One of the wickedest snowstorms to ever clobber this part of the country didn't prevent fellow Rounder member "BadKarmaPa" from riding his Kawasaki KLR 650 to work last Friday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylsvania.  He followed that harrowing commute by another snowy ride this Tuesday.  Read about his rides here. Just another installment in a series regarding motorcyclists who make me look like a wuss.
Traffic jam on I-79.

(Images by BadKarmaPA, used by permission. Click to enlarge.)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Frozen Butt Tour

I consider myself a "year 'round" motorcyclist, but that comes with certain qualifications -- chiefly, that the roads are mostly clear of ice and I believe there's a 99.9% likelihood of not dying of exposure.  That makes me a huge wimp compared to nutso motorcyclist, tour guide and author Paul "Iceman" Mondor, who had already crossed Canada twice in the winter before deciding to lead a group of motorcyclists on a trip from Baie-Comeau, Quebec to Goose Bay, Labrador, and back, in the dead of winter

Mondor (BMW F650 Dakar), a select group of 3 other riders (F650 GS, F800 GS and a KLR) and a support truck departed on February 1st for the 1,800+ mostly ice-covered mile journey to Goose Bay and back.  When all arrived (mostly intact) back in Baie-Comeau on February 7th, having survived temps as low as the negative 20s F, I'm sure they were warmed a little by the fact that had become the first group of motorcyclists known to have ridden the Trans-Labrador Highway in winter.  They are also the first motorcyclists to ride certain portions of the frozen Atlantic Ocean.

Read the entire story on the Frozen Butt Tour forum.  Mondor's Feb. 7th post says this was the first and last Frozen Butt Tour, but one has to wonder if the call of the (frozen) wild will again beckon...perhaps after he thaws out a bit, anyway.

(All images courtesy of Paul Mondor.  Click to enlarge.)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Ethanol-Free Gasoline Stations

 Yes, one can still find good ol' 100% gasoline, but it ain't easy.  Fortunately, has begun cataloging stations in the US and Canada that sell ethanol-free gasoline.  Also check out Fuel Tester's table of ethanol-labeling laws. If your motorcycle is like mine, it appreciates the pure stuff more than the corny fuel, so this is all very useful info.