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If you, or someone you love, is a motorcycle enthusiast and you want to find them, or you, the perfect Christmas gift, I can help. There are a ton of accessories that you can get that will make the motorcycling experience more comfortable, safer, or just plain cooler. 

The list I’ve compiled below includes gifts that are priced for less than $50.00. Take a look and I’ll bet you can find something for everyone on your list, and don’t forget to pick something up for yourself while you’re at it!

1. Head wraps. These handy wraps are made to be worn underneath your helmet. They can help keep your hair in place and keep your helmet cleaner. They come in all kinds of patterns and colors and are machine washable. These cool bandanas cost you anywhere from $3-$5. 

2. Goggles.These come in kids and adult sizes and a ton of different colors. Most models feature an anti-fog scratch resistant lens, adjustable straps, shatter proof lenses, and can be used with glasses. Priced around $13. 

3. Leather saddlebags. Saddlebags that are made from heavy duty cowhide and will last almost forever are a great gift. They can be thrown over the rear fender and can be taken off just as easily. You can adjust them easily to whatever height you need and they won’t get in the way of your passengers leg room. They will run you around $30.

4. Vintage, Half, and German style Helmets. DOT certified helmets in assorted sizes, styles, and colors. They sell for around $45. 

Obviously, this list barely scratches the surface of great gifts for the motorcycle enthusiast on your list, but I hope it will get get you moving in the right direction. Whether your special someone has been naughty or nice, you’ll find a ton of great gift ideas that will make their riding time more fun, and they’ll love you for it!

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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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The Ninth Annual Las Vegas bike fest which ran the weekend of Oct 1- 4 is now a thing of the past. But if you talked to any of those attending the event they would say they had the time of their lives!

Attendance was right on target with last years’ at about 30,000, seems like even a bad economy couldn’t put a damper on the fun.

Cashmen Center was the site of the Artistry In Iron competition where some of the hottest and most innovative bike builders from around the country gather to try to prove who is top dog.

Thunderstruck Customs made off with the top honor ‘Builder’s Choice’ award along with a $10,000 prize check. Their bike was an industrial looking red chopper with an air plane like theme.

Harley-Davidson was on hand to give demo rides on its 2010 models. This was one very popular event over the weekend.

Vegas is always the place to be and when you add in 30,000 avid motorcyclists, let’s just say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!

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The ninth annual Las Vegas Bike fest is scheduled for Oct 1st through Oct 4 2009.

Over 40,000 motorcyclists are expected to descend on Sin City for the four day international event. The bike fest features a $100,000 Poker Run, a custom bike show, Miss and Mr. Las Vegas Bike Fest as well as vendor displays and entertainment.

The Artistry in Iron Master Builders Championship event showcases 25 of the most unique and beautiful custom bikes around. You can meet your favorite bike builders during the autograph sessions Friday and Saturday from noon until 2pm and a second session from 3 – 5pm.

Last year there were over 30,000 bikers in attendance, the expectation is that this year’s festival will top that amount.

The poker run is a 140 mile event that starts at the Sahara and will wind through the Valley of Fire State Park before heading back to the starting point.

There will also be no shortage of musical entertainment. Molly Hatchet will be appearing at the Sahara and the Johnny Cash tribute band, Cash’d Out will be performing at the Hard Rock.

Others that are scheduled to perform are: Randy Travis, Journey, and The Guess Who. AC/DC, who was scheduled to appear as part of their Black Ice World Tour, has had to postpone 6 of its dates, including the one scheduled for October 3rd at the MGM.

The Cashman Center’s Vendors Village will play host to over 250 vendors. There will be daily demo rides offered by Harley-Davidson showcasing their new 2010 models.

The bottom line is that Vegas is the place to be the first weekend in October. There is so much to do you’ll never be able to fit it all in…but think of the fun you’ll have trying!

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The 5th annual 2009 AMA International Women and Motorcycling Conference 
was held in Keystone Colorado August 19 -22. This years theme: ‘Riding to New Heights’. 

There were 1,000 avid motorcyclists in attendance. The event was sponsored by Harley
Davidson and Buell. 

The beautiful Keystone Resort and Conference Center, with the Rocky Mountains in the background, provided the perfect location for four days of training sessions, riding, seminars, riding, speeches, and yes, more riding!

Celebrating the dramatic, and continuing, increase in the number of female riders and the role they will have on the future of riding, this conference was an testament of the AMA’s dedication to representing all riders no matter what, or how you ride. 

The keynote speech by Ashley Fiolek, the defending Motorcross Association National Champion and X Games gold
medalist, who was born deaf and was the first woman to compete on the Honda racing team. 

Fiolek told of her challenges in breaking into such a male dominated sport. She stressed the importance of surrounding yourself with those who believe in you and your dreams and will support you in the pursuit of those dreams. After Fiolek’s passionate speech the crowd, many of whom were moved to tears, gave her a standing ovation. 

Throughout the 4 day event, punctuated by social events such as the Rocky Mountain Barn Dance and the International Street Party, there were many inspirational speakers such as: AMA’s President and CEO Rob
Dingman, newest member of the AMA’s board of directors Maggie McNally, Leslie Prevish the great-granddaughter of Harley-Davidson co-founder William A. Davidson, Jan Plessner Public Relations Manager for Kawasaki, and Leslie Porterfield the land-speed record holder and 2008 AMA Female Athlete of the Year. 

AMA Marketing and Special Events Manager Tigra Tsujikawa summed up the event like this: “The AMA is appreciative of all the speakers, guests and sponsors who helped make the 2009 AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference, presented by Harley-Davidson and
Buell, possible,” “We had an incredible time in Keystone, and I’m sure I speak for all the attendees when I say that I came home more optimistic about the future of
women and motorcycling than ever before.”

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Indianapolis was the place to be this past weekend, August 28-30, as Jorge Lorenzo of Spain took first place at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.

In the last two races this season Lorenzo, crashed. This year his top two competitors, Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi took their turns and each crashed, separately, and allowed Lorenzo to cruise to a decisive victory.

Lorenzo beat second place finisher Alex de Angelis by 9.435 seconds. Nicky Hayden of the U.S. finished third.

The weather this year was a far cry from 2008 with its driving rain and high winds. This year the event had mild temperatures and overcast skies.

To celebrate his win, Lorenzo, popped a wheelie and held it all the way down the straightaway, then he jumped the fence.

Pedrosa, the favorite all weekend after the fastest run in practice on a rain slicked track on Friday and again on a dry track on Saturday, ended his run with a crash in turn 15 after losing control when he dipped too low. His bike skidded into the grass, he retrieved it and ended up finishing in 10th place.

Rossi also crashed, he too lost control on a turn, lost his bike in the grass and retrieved it. But unlike Pedrosa, Rossi didn’t finish the race. On lap 12, complaining of a problem with the throttle, Rossi parked his bike and was out of the race.

The first motorcycle rider at Indy to ever pass the 200 MPH speed was Alex de Angelis. His top speed was 201.3 mph on lap 19 on Sunday.

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A new reality show on Fox called “Househusbands of Hollywood” premiered recently. The show highlights stay at home dads and what it’s like to be married to a famous woman. The show airs on Saturdays at 9/8c

One of the men on the show, Grant Reynolds, is also an avid motorcyclist. Reynolds is married to Jillian Barber of FOX NFL Sunday and Good Day L.A.

In a recent interview Reynolds explained that his love of all things motorcycle came when he was in his early teens thanks largely to living a few doors down from a rider for Honda at the time. After graduating high school he was rooming with other famous riders and was hooked.

He got his first bike, a Kawasaki EX 500, when he was 15 and rode it “so hard and fast, it was scary”. He admits now looking back that his riding style was ‘stupid’ and dangerous.

Reynolds currently owns 6 different motorcycles: a 1973 FLH HD, 1959 BSA A7 Cafe, 2007 West Coast CFL, 1952 Moto Guzzi, 1967 BSA A65, 1952 BSA Bantam which he is currently restoring.

In 2007 Grant purchased a West Coast Chopper, it has a 113ci S&S, Baker 6 speed, 21″ drag bars. He says this is his ‘go to bike’ which he rides daily. He said working with Jesse James on his bike was a great experience because James “gets it” when it comes to designing the bike of your dreams. Reynolds bike was in the 2009 WCC calendar. He says he wants to get another one!

His daughter Ruby is getting the motorcycle bug but his wife Jillian Barber has lost a little interest since the baby was born.

Like all bikers, Reynolds is always on the lookout for another bike, a few new bikes actually.

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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the spot to be on August 28-30 for the 2nd annual Red Bull Indianapolis GP. This year also marks the 100 year anniversary for the IMS.

The last weekend of August will be like a dream come true for any racing fan. This event offers something for everyone. Three action packed races, a pit walkabout, question and answer session with the greatest riders in the world, a marketplace, and even a concert by Crash the band fronted by MotoGP racer James Toselands.

Defending champion Valentino Rossi along with other superstars such as: Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo, Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards will all be there for you to see.

Friday and Saturday is ‘Motorcycles on Meridian’ During this event the street will be closed off to regular traffic. You can cruise your bike or just park it and admire all the other bikes.

Friday there is a pitwalk and motorcycle stunt riding competition in downtown Indianapolis between Pennsylvania and Meridian streets.

There will also be a live question and answer session with the riders on the 6th Street stage. Every rider will have their own time slot for answering fan’s questions. The event is scheduled from 9:45-12:30 on Friday.

On Saturday from 2-4:40p.m. there will be a Moto2 demonstration on the 2.621 mile road course. The 600cc engines of Moto2 will take the place of the 250cc final class to MotoGP beginning in 2010.

A rider gear check will be available at multiple locations during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP where visitors can safely store their gear in plastic bags and pick it up when they leave the event.

On Sunday Kevin Schwantz will take his race winning Suzuki RGV 500 on demonstration laps. The demonstration will start at 2:15pm, before the MotoGP race. This is the restored bike that Schwantz used to win the 1993 500cc World Championship. Schwanz has amassed 25 victories during his Grand Prix career.

And last, but not least, the main event: the 28 lap Moto GP race will start at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Whether you’re a motorcycle fan, a racing fan, or both, Indianapolis is the place to be the weekend of August 28-30!

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Unfortunately, for many, when they think of riding their motorcycle they are thinking of being free and looking sexy and not about their own safety, which is why so many motorcyclists end up severely injured every year.
You can’t control what the other drivers on the road will do, but you can take some simple precautions to make sure you have a good shot at walking away if you are in an accident. 

Motorcyclists rarely come out on top when in a collision with a automobile so it’s essential that you protect yourself by using motorcycle protective gear whenever you ride.
Just stop and think for a minute what it would feel like to slide across a roadway at 55 MPH without adequate protection for your head and body. Not good. 

Whether you’re riding across town or across the county always wear protective gear, that’s the best way to insure you will be riding for many more years to come.
Here is a brief list of some of the absolute essentials in motorcycle protective gear , and don’t worry, a lot of it looks cool too:

Motorcycle Helmet – When buying a helmet you have a lot of choices in style and price, just make sure the helmet you choose has DOT certification. This means your helmet has passed strict safety tests. You also want to make sure you have the right fit. You want your helmet to be snug on your head, it shouldn’t slide back and forth. You also don’t want it to be too tight or have uncomfortable pressure points. 

Motorcycle Jacket and Long Pants
– We all love long hot summer days but riding a motorcycle is not the time for shorts and tank tops. Cover up. Keep your skin where it belongs, not on the pavement. 
A thick, well made jacket (textile motorcycle jacket/ leather motorcycle
jacket) can help protect you from abrasions and ‘road rash’. And don’t forget about your legs, always wear long pants, preferably leather, to protect yourself from head to toe.

Motorcycle Boots – Always wear heavy, over the ankle, boots or shoes. Do not even think about wearing open toed sandals or flip flops. 

– Bugs, dirt, dust, road debris – this is just a short list of some of the things that can cause severe eye damage when riding your motorcycle. Don’t risk your eyesight. Buy and wear full coverage, impact resistant eye protection whenever you ride. 

Motorcycle Gloves – Again leather is the preferred choice. But anything is better than leaving your skin exposed. 

High Visibility Indicators – It doesn’t matter if you wear a neon vest or a brightly colored helmet do everything you can to make sure other motorists can see you. This is the time you want to draw attention to yourself. 

For anyone who has ever ridden a motorcycle on the open road you know what a fantastic feeling of freedom it can bring, but you also know that since we are sharing the roadway with other much larger and heavier vehicles it can also be dangerous.
There is no reason to take unnecessary risks. Enjoy the freedom of biking but protect yourself at the same time. Use motorcycle protective gear every single time you ride. Don’t take foolish chances with your safety. Protect yourself. And hey, leather pants can be pretty hot, too!

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