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Archive for November, 2009

Cold Weather Riding

For an avid rider, one of the hardest things to face is the end of summer and the prospect of putting your bike away for winter. But with a little planning you can easily ride longer into the fall, and even the winter. All you have to do to enjoy cold weather riding is to make sure you have the proper gear so you stay warm. If your body gets too cold not only will it be uncomfortable, it could be dangerous since your reaction time will slow down considerably when you’re cold. 

Another potential safety hazard is the icy conditions of the streets. Even if the air temperature is above 32 degrees, you might still have some slickness to deal with so it’s important to remember to slow down a little. Just as you would in a car, allow yourself more room to stop and more time to get to your destination. 

Here are some tips for finding the best cold weather riding gear so you can enjoy your bike for a lot longer than just three months:

1. Dress in layers. If you are going for a long ride you might actually start to get a little overheated as you ride. If you have several layers you can just peel one or two of the layers off as needed. Make sure your base layer is made up of a fabric that will wick sweat away from your skin. We often forget that even when it’s cold out we can sweat. If that sweat stays next to your skin, you’ll get colder sooner. 

2. You may have to make adjustments to your helmet so that it fits properly over your hat. Don’t try to just cram it on, make sure you remove some padding and/or adjust the straps as necessary. It’s important to stay warm but you don’t want to sacrifice safety by wearing an ill fitting helmet. 

3. Hands and feet are very vulnerable to getting overly cold. Make sure you don’t cheap out on gloves. Get high quality insulated gloves. You can also protect your feet by getting thermal booties. Flexing your fingers frequently can help keep the blood flowing and help them stay warm. 

4. If you are going to be riding longer distances in very cold weather you should probably consider investing in some heated riding gear. That way you can really enjoy your rides for much longer distances, and times. 

Just because the holidays are around the corner and the leaves are all off of the trees doesn’t mean you have to put your bike away until spring. Just follow these simple cold weather riding tips and you’ll have a great time long after Labor Day!

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An emotional Eric Buell announced that Buell motorcycles will no longer be built. Known as a trend setter in motorcycle advancements, the Buell brand has been making motorcycles for over a quarter of a century.

Harley Davidson recently announced they were discontinuing all production of Buell motorcycles and accessories. A press release quoted CEO Keith Wandell as saying: “The fact is we must focus both our effort and our investment on the Harley-Davidson brand, as we believe this provides an optimal path to sustained, meaningful long-term growth” after the recent release of HD’s third quarter earnings report which showed a drop of income of 84%.

180 Buell employees are expected to be out of a job by December 18, 2009. The assembly line in East Troy Wisconsin has built over 135,000 motorcycles during their 25 years in business.

If you are in the market for a Buell motorcycle you might still be in luck. All remaining inventory will be sold through regular dealer networks. Harley Davidson has committed to providing parts and service for all Buell motorcycles sold, including all warranty work.

This decision seems to come at an odd time considering the new product introductions and recent racing success Buell has had such as the 2009 AMA Pro Racing Sport Bike Racing Championship.

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Heated Motorcycle Gear

If you live in a colder climate you will be happy to know that you can continue riding even during the colder winter months with the addition of heated motorcycle gear. You can get heated jackets, jacket liners, vest liners,
heated motorcycle gloves
, gloves liners, pants, and socks. These pieces will range in price from around fifty dollars up to a few hundred depending on what pieces you get.

Heated gear works in one of two ways: it is either plugged directly into the motorcycle battery, or it can come with a rechargeable battery that is sewn directly into the clothing. Both of these methods have their pros and cons.

If your clothing is plugged into your motorcycle battery it will last indefinitely…as long as you are on your bike. You don’t have to worry about running out of juice, but the minute you step away from your bike you’ll lose your heat. Battery operated clothing can keep you warm no matter where you go, even if you’re not on your bike, but you will lose the charge and have to plug it in to
recharge, which will usually take about four hours. 

No matter which type of Heated motorcycle gear you get, the kind you plug into your motorcycle or the battery operated type, you will be able to adjust the temperature so that you can stay comfortable. When you wear your heated gear you don’t want to wear it directly next to your skin. Keep at least one layer between you and your gear. You should still wear your leathers over your heated gear, that will not only add another layer of warmth, it will also provide protection if you should take a spill. 

Don’t let your heated gear lull you into a false sense of security when out in the cold. Even with heated gear you want to limit the amount of time you spend out in below freezing temperatures. No matter where you live you can use heated motorcycle gear to extend your riding season. You have a lot of gear styles to choose from, just pick which ones will work best for you and enjoy your bike year long.

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