Monday, December 14, 2009

Link to some great winter motorcycle storage hints.

If your winter looks something like this, and you store your motorcycle like this, you are DOING IT WRONG!

Take a look over at the Total Motorcycle Website for some great winter motorcycle storage and maintenance tips.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Five Motorcycle Riding Leather Care Tips

Proper care for leather apparel used by motorcycle riders is important not only to looks but also durability and level of protection given to the wearer. Old, uncared for leather can be dry, look poor and offer only very limited protection to the rider. With only a few simple tips, leather gloves, chaps, jackets and vests can last longer, provide good protection and look great.

  1. When leather gear becomes wet or soaked, empty the pockets, remove all pins and air dry. Using a hair dryer with the heat turned off is also acceptable. Using heat to dry leather can cause it to shrink and possibly crack.
  2. Routinely treat your leathers to a good leather oil. Do not use leather "wax." This helps keep them waterproof and looking good while replenishing the leather's natural oils. Some good treatments include Obenauf's, Oak Wood Leather Conditioner and a high quality mink oil. Follow the instructions of whatever treatment you choose. Do NOT use saddle soap on your motorcycle leathers.
  3. Oil any zippers with a good quality sewing machine oil.
  4. Watch for fraying or loose thread along seams. If you see any, bring your leather into a leather store to be repaired. Be sure they are familiar with motorcycle leather repair.
  5. Do not simply throw your leathers on the ground, garage floor or generally abuse them. When not being worn they should be hung up.

Royal Enfield Doubling Capacity

According to this article at the Wallstreet Journal, Royal Enfield of New Delhi, India will be doubling it's manufacturing capacity. They hope to sell 50,000 motorcycles in 2009 and estimate their over seas sales to increase 15% over the next four or five years.

Royal Enfield, originally built in Europe is now a global icon of motorcycle simplicity and utility. The machines are simple, parts easy to find and the global rider can find people just about anywhere that can work on these.

Even as other companies are cutting back, closing plants and laying off employees, Royal Enfield expands.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Yamaha HV-X; a True Hybrid Motorcycle

While the Yamaha HV-X is not a production hybrid motorcycle, there is plenty of promise to this experimental bike.

As reported by Cycle Canada, the HV-X is powered by a Lithium high capacity battery and a 250 cc engine. Yamaha has not openly stated whether or when this technology will be released. However, the test ride video does look intriguing.

New Ducati Multistrada

Those Ducati fans out there may already be applauding the announcement (here at Cycle Canada) that a new Ducati Multistrada 1200 will be unveiled at the EICMA 2009 International Motorcycle Show in Milan, Italy on November 9.

According to rumors, the name of this new bike is the Ducati Strada Aperta. Please post any links or information you may have, here.

Harley to Shut Down Buell, Sell MV Agusta

If you want a new Buell, supplies are getting short. When they are gone, there will be no more. As many already know, Harley Davidson, in a cost cutting measure, is shutting down Buell and selling MV Agusta.

With Harley sales down this year, there may be more cuts at the iconic US motorcycle maker. Read more about it here at the New York Times.

Marisa Miller teams up with Harley - Salute Those Who Defend Freedom.

Teaming up with Marisa Miller, Harley Davidson put together a nice 40's style pin-up tribute to our troops. You can browse to the Harley Davidson site for Marisa Miller wallpaper, to enter drawings and help support our troops.

And, by the way, Marisa Miller is not only an attractive young lady. She also rides.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cold Weather Riding Tip - Keeping Your Hands Warm

When riding in cold weather one of the first things to get cold are your hands. Colds hands are dangerous as hell. They control the throttle, clutch and brake; without a doubt, the most important controls on a motorcycle.

So, how do you help keep them warm without breaking the bank, spending upwards of $100 on heated grips? Here are a few hints.

  1. Get a good pair of gauntlet style insulated riding gloves. They should also have some way to cinch the gauntlet tight against your wrists. The gauntlet part of the gloves should be worn and tightened over the sleeves of your riding jacket. This helps stop cold air from getting up your sleeves.
  2. When you take a riding break, and when it is cold you should take plenty, take your gloves off and place them on the cylinders or heads or someplace warm on your bike. Slipping on a warm pair of gloves after your break is really quite nice and refreshing. But, be warned. If your gloves are soaked, they can be VERY hot and burn your skin.
Ride safe and warm, all!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bikers Are Watching You!

If you drive a car or truck, bikers are watching you.

There is no subversive intent, they simply want to know what type of hazard you may be. This is not a case of motorcycle rider superiority, just hazard awareness and avoidance. Here are a few things motorcyclists may look for:

  • Car Damage: Rear bumper or trunk area - This typically means little to a rider because damage to these areas is typically not caused by the driver.
  • Car Damage: Right or Left sides - This is of some concern. This type of damage could be caused by the driver moving into an occupied lane, hitting a stationary object while moving or not being attentive enough to see someone else merging into their lane. Riders usually make note of this and may avoid coming close.
  • Car Damage: Front - This is of great concern. Damage to the front of a vehicle is nearly always avoidable and indicates the driver may be quite inattentive. Riders usually notice this right away and purposely avoid coming near these vehicles.
  • Young Drivers - These drivers can be inexperienced and are more apt to be doing things that are distracting like talking on cell phones, texting or messing with their radio.
  • Older Drivers - Older drivers can have slow reflexes and less than sharp decision making skills.
  • What Is The Driver Doing- This is an important one. Driving while distracted is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Drivers texting, talking on a cell phone, reading, adjusting their radio, using their computer or even watching a video raise big red flags to motorcycle riders.
So, if you drive a car or truck and notice motorcycle riders looking closely at you and your vehicle while driving down the highway, don't worry. They are simply assessing a potention hazard.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Honda Sells Flex-Fuel Motorcycle in Brazil

Called the CG150 Titan Mix, this little 150 cc class motorcycle is not only inexpensive (about $2,700 USD) and interesting to look at, but it is one of the first flex-fuel capable motorcycles. Honda optimistically hopes to sell over 200,000 of these per year.

Unfortunately they are only being offered for sale in Brazil.

Article on
Article on

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Don't chew on that battery terminal, Tommy!

Making its way around many motorsport oriented internet e-mail groups is the news that some small dirtbikes may be banned due to lead content of some components. According to this TriCity Hearald article, off-road vehicles with 100cc engines or less that are intended for riders under twelve years old have been banned.

Apparently the concern is regarding potential exposure to lead battery terminals and other items that potentialy have lead in them. Is this a well intentioned law that had some unintentional side effects or is this the government trying to "protect us from ourselves" and attempting to get a foothold into a hobby and lifestyle that many view as dangerous?

In the words of Scott Shackford from the Desert Dispatch, "Eating your all-terrain vehicle may be hazardous to your health."

And what better way to protect that younger brain?

That younger brain deserves some protection.

Maybe this rider thought that riding without a helmet was cool. Maybe he thought they are uncomfortable. Maybe he had delusions of invincibility.

Regardless, this is the result of an accident without a helmet.

Riding without a helmet, in many places throughout the world, is legally allowed. Many in the United States feel it is their right to decide whether to don this life saving protection or ride with the wind in their face, blowing through their hair.

Yes, it is a choice. Anyone making such a choice should know the potential consequences.

Thanks to Bolty for her post.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Riding for a Younger, Better Brain!

Yes, that's right! Not only does riding motorcycles help keep the brain agile, but also helps keep them young!

In a recent study by Yamaha and Tohoku University, daily motorcycle riding is likely responsible for higher scores in cognitive function tests. This increase is believed to be caused by the heightened awareness necessary to ride.

So, what are you waiting for? Take a safety class, get a license, get a bike and ride! Not only will you be saving gas, helping the environment and having fun, but you will be helping yourself stay young and keeping your brain functioning at a higher level that non-riders.

The entire article about this study can be found here, on Redorbit.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

From the Bad Idea File

From our Bad Idea file... ... ...

A 22 year old Mesa, Arizona man (all allegedly, of course) arrived at his apartment complex to find his parking spot occupied by a motorcycle. He didn't do what most would, like park somewhere else and call the apartment complex's management office.

This fellow had a real bad idea.

He retrieved his sawed off shotgun and shot the motorcycle lock. After that brief bout of stupidity, he hid the firearm in his car.

The motorcycle shot was heard by the bike's owner who came out to see what was going on. The two entered into a heated argument and the shooter tried to flee when the motorcycle owner called the police. The rider tried to prevent the gunman from leaving, so, what does this idiot do? He gets his shotgun out again and aims it at the motorcycle owner and threatens to shoot him.

Luckily, the police did arrest the shooter before any blood was spilled. You can read of this idiocy here at AZCentral.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Free Motorcycle Safety Training in Pennsylvania

If you want to ride a motorcycle and live in Pennsylvania, here is a golden opportunity to become a better and safer new rider. Whether you want to ride a cafe racer, cruiser, sport bike or dual-sport, safety is of utmost importance.

The Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program will be offering classes free of charge for beginner riders. More information can be found here at the Progress News and here at the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program website.

Triumph Delivers a New Thunderbird

While other motorcycle companies are cutting back, Triumph will be delivering their new Thunderbird to US shores earlier than planned. According to Triumph North America, dealers are now accepting deposits on motorcycles scheduled to begin delivery in late June.

Sporting the classic styling of a cruiser and a less than common 1,600cc parallel twin engine, this will be one unique machine. Anyone interested in this unique ride can receive a personal review at Daytona Bike Week where four have been shipped for public display.

Yamaha to Cut Motorcycle Production

According to Yamaha Motor Co, Tokyo, Japan, production of new motorcycles will be slashed by 24% this year. Reasons for this cut include poor global economy and rising inventories.

These cuts will effect manufacturing in Japan, the Americas and Europe. Asian production will likely not change due to the stronger demand for smaller motorcycles in that part of the world. More information can be found on Reuters.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Good Year for BMW Canada

While Honda, Yamaha and other motorcycle companies have been been suffering with the rest of the economy, BMW Motorrad Canada celebrated their best sales year ever.

Congratulations to BMW Canada!

Nevada Motorcycle Deaths Up

According to the Las Vegas Sun, fatal motorcycle accidents in Nevada have raised 11.8% in 2008. But, the news isn't all bad. 2008 brought a 15% decline in overall traffic fatalities and Clark County (Where Las Vegas is located) enjoyed a decline in motorcycle fatalities by 14.6% Hopefully the insurance rates will go down here!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

DIY Squee - Keep Your Visor Nice and Dry!

Moisture on motorcycle helmet visors is not just pesky, it is down right dangerous! If you don't want to part with $15 plus shipping for a commercial Squee to keep your visor clear, take a look at this great article from Bolty about making your own Squee. Great job!

Two Wheel Drive Diesel Motorcycle?

With a price tag of nearly $20,000 USD and producing a somewhat minimal 50 bhp, this may not be an ideal motorcycle. But, this Dutch bike is a little different and if you have the money, and transportation to get it to you, it may be worth a second look.

Other diesel motorcycles have been offered and do poorly in the marketplace. But this one is a work-horse of a bike. By using a CVT (constantly variable transmission) and a front wheel hydraulic drive system, it may not only be a simple ride, but secure on and off the road. There is more info here at the VisorDown website.

30th Annual Dakar Starts in Buenos Aires

Off road car drivers and motorcycle riders from far flung corners of the world, have just started the 2009 Dakar Rally in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Typically held in the rough out-back of Africa, after the event was canceled last year due to terrorism fears and security concerns, the rally was moved to the relative safety of South America.

Even though this auto and motorcycle rally has been relocated to an entirely different continent, the competitors are not discouraged. They seem to take the relocation in stride, and as adventurers, accept it as another challenge.

The 2009 rally consists of 14 stages with a total distance of nearly 6,000 miles. The rice will likely end on January 17; giving the competitors only 14 days. That's roughly 425 miles per day, at times riding nothing that comes close to resembling a road. The Dakar is the sublime icon of endurance in the motorcycle riding world. Whether you ride or drive the Dakar, whether it is in Africa or South America, it is not for the timid or faint of heart.

You can read more about the Dakar here, here at The Earth Times, and here (with standings) at Fox Sports.