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If you are in the market for a new or pre-owned motorcycle, and you are not too fussy about the model, colors and options, the time to buy a new bike is now.

Since most people stop riding their motorcycle during the winter, many are longing for a new ride the next year. So they will try to offload their motorcycle now, raise the cash, and then in spring buy a new model.

Snowed-In-Motorcycle for sale

In other words, many bikers will be trying to sell their bikes, and the longer it takes, the cheaper the motorcycles become. Many bikers don’t think about buying a motorcycle when it snows, so the demand is low, but the offers are quite plenty.

Check the local newspaper listing, or check the on-line web sites like eBay or Craiglist. You’ll be sure to find some interesting motorcycles for sale at very reasonable prices.

If you are more into a new motorcycle, but you don’t really need next year’s model, now is the time to go through the doors of your local motorcycle dealer. They will be desperate to get rid of this year’s inventory, often giving big discounts.

Maybe you’ll not have the latest model, but in the end, do you really need that extra little gadget, or those 2 extra horsepowers the manufacturer has managed to squeeze out of the engine in next year’s model?

You will have less choice in terms of colors, usually your discounts will be limited to what is in stock. But you will not beat the price. And remember to negotiate. Don’t take their first offer, they need to get rid of their stock if they are getting new models for next year’s riding season.

The only problem you will most probably face is getting the bike home, especially if it’s snowing.

Happy hunting.

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Like any group of likeminded people, we have our own quotes and sayings. They can be what you will find in one of the many discussion forums, in books & magazines, t-shirts or on a bumper sticker. But wherever you find the saying, more often than not, the saying makes sense. There’s usually a lot of truth behind them.

One of the most popular sayings is “Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul”. And as will be the case with most quotations, the author is unknown. It’s just a term that grew. But in a simple phrase, the author summed up what riding a motorcycle is all about. Another one pitting cars (cages) against motorcycles is “only animals belong in cages” from an unknown author.

About the ride

If we do want a quotation from a known author, how about “faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death”. That quotation sums up what often happens when riding. The author was none other than famous book author Hunter Thompson. On the same term, but from the other side of the coin comes this saying from an unknown author “never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly”., or how about “if you ride like there’s no tomorrow, there won’t be”, also from an unknown source.

Another beautiful one is “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey”.

About bikers

Another famous one with an unknown author is “only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out of a car window”. And I always thought it was because a dog couldn’t stand the smell of the humans in the car ;) How about this one about bikers “you don’t stop riding because you get old, you get old because you stop riding” (unknown author). Another saying which is derived from the aviation industry is “there are drunks bikers, there are old bikers, but there are NO old drunk bikers”.

The difference between old and young bikers can be summed up with “young riders pick a destination and go, old riders pick a direction and go”.

About our gear

From an unknown author comes one about our leathers: “people are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it’s safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs”.

A quotation that mentions two of the most used items for a biker “it it moves and it shouldn’t, use duct tape, it if doesn’t move and should, use WD-40”.

About our motorcycles

Other very popular sayings are “keep the paint up, and the rubber down”, or just “keep the rubber down”, or “keep the shiny side up”, all from unknown authors. Another one you’ll see often enough from an unknown is “work to ride and ride to work” (or “live to ride, ride to live”). In the same category, that of riding to work, comes this one, also from an unknown “life is too short from traffic”.

As we all know, motorcycles sometimes leak oil, but according to this unknown author “bikes don’t leak oil, they mark their territory”. Another saying that is often a hot debate issue is “loud pipes save lives”.

This is only a very small sample of all the sayings and quotations you can find in the motorcycle world. There are hundreds of them. But they are all enjoyable. We’ll part with the last one, a safety quotation from unknown source “sweat wipes off, road rash doesn’t”.

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All bikers need motorcycle gear, even if it’s the minimum, and not all of us have the money to spend on top-of-the-line equipment. But that doesn’t mean that we have to do with bad equipment. It’s very possible to buy gear at low prices without sacrificing quality. Because quality is what we’re after when selecting stuff that will save our lives, not cheap and dangerous gear.

Just because a helmet or jacket is low in price does not necessarily mean it is bad quality. Not all manufacturers have enormous marketing & advertising costs, so their product quality is very good, but their street price remains low. Obviously you will need to look carefully when selecting gear on a budget. It’s tempting to buy something that is cheap just because it’s cheap. Make sure it’s cheap AND reliable.

The last thing you want is to buy gear that is cheap, both in price and quality.

For example, when buying a helmet – the essential safety equipment – low cost does not mean bad quality. One quick way of finding out if a helmet is to be trusted, is to check the English Government’s SHARP site. The British government does laboratory testing on many helmets, and will rate them according to predefined methods. Here you can see if the helmet you want is to be trusted, no matter which price. Even very expensive helmets can be of worse quality than cheap ones. There are other sites that test helmets, but this one is the most extensive and the most neutral testing organization.

UK SHARP site

Another way to find out if the helmet or other gear is to be trusted are reviews by web sites and discussion forums. Although individual reviews do not necessarily mean they are accurate (there may be biases or commercial incentives involved), if the product you are looking into on average gets good marks from reviewers, then you can be assured it’s a good product. The internet is your friend, use it to your advantage.

Take the webBikeWorld site for example. This web site tests a lot of gear every month and publishes detailed reports, often comparing the product with other ones in the same category. It will allow you to make a good informed purchase decision. They are not the only site, just Google reviews to find out how many, but as sites go, they are very extensive.

webBikeWorld

The other way to buy quality gear for a good price is a question of timing. If you can wait and have the time to buy your gear, why not wait for a) sales or b) a new updated model of the gear you want comes along.

Sales

Almost every store and on-line site have sales, sometimes several per year. That is when you can buy really good and upmarket gear for big discounts, often half price.

Check the major sale times at on-line stores, usually the holiday seasons like Halloween, Christmas etc. On-line stores are usually cheaper since their infrastructure costs are a lot lower than brick & mortar stores.

Model Updates

Manufacturer have to make new models or update older ones on a regular basis. It’s like sharks need to keep swimming if not they’ll die, manufacturers need new models if not they’ll disappear. And when they do bring a new or updated model, the current stocks of older models need to be gotten rid of quickly. So keep an eye on the motorcycle press, written or on-line. If a new model of whatever gear you need is announced by a manufacturer you like, you can bet your bottom dollar that within weeks you’ll find the old gear being discounted.

Check on-line stores which have closeout sales. That’s your best bet for find good quality gear at a lower price.

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Respect – David Barr

Riding a motorcycle on its own is difficult enough. Anyone who is just starting to learn how to ride one will know that. Even under the easiest of circumstances, you need to have a good control of your body in order to properly control your bike.

You can then imagine how difficult it is if you are someone like David Barr. David, a former professional soldier, lost both his legs when his car went over a mine in Angola. In order to save his life, the South African doctors had to amputate both his legs. But despite the fact that he no longer had any legs, David went back to active duty until his contract ran out.

When he returned to the USA, he took out to his “old” motorcycle, a 1972 Harley-Davidson Panhead which he bought just after returning from Vietnam in 1971. He restored to Harley, fitting it with devices that allowed him to ride his motorcycle with his prosthetics. He also fitted it with an electric starter, since there was no way he could start the heavy bike otherwise.

After getting used to the bike, he set out doing something that only a few people have done before him – all of them with no disabilities. He went and took his Harley around the world!

David Barr in China

During 3 1/2 years, David took his Harley-Davidson on an 83,000 miles journey around the world, often riding under extreme conditions and the most dangerous roads.

David finally returned home in 1994, and wrote a lengthy book about his ordeal. Called “Riding the Edge”, he describes, supported by many photos, his trip and all the memories.

In 1996, David finally put his trusty ride to rest, with 250,000 miles on it. He then set out in the same year on a new Harley-Davidson Sportser 883 with a sidecar, from France into the Siberian winter, traveling through a desolate Russia. The trip resulted in another book, called “Riding the Ice”.

David’s incredible adventures have earned him 2 Guinness World Records, and an induction in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2000.

With several books to his name, documentaries and worldwide recognition, David is now on the lecture circuit as a motivational speaker.

Click here to go to David’s website where you can read more about him and buy his books and/or DVDs.

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This week sees one of world’s biggest and largest motorcycle exhibitions take place in Cologne, Germany. Called Intermot, this once-every-two-years event alternates with the French motorcycle expo.

The show, since that is what it really is, starts for the public on October the 3rd. Specialists recon it’s second to the Italian expo Eicma in size and visitors.

In 2010, Intermot saw some 195,000 visitors visiting the 110,000 square meters (some 131,558 square yards) of space, divided into 6 different halls. The exhibition is not a “German” event, it’s truly international. 1,106 exhibitors from 40 countries are present in this event, with large representation from Asia (particularly China), Europe and North America.

Intermot Halls Layout

2010 Exhibitor Countries

This year should be a bumper year, since most main motorcycle manufacturers will be launching many new and updated motorcycles for 2013. BMW on their home turf will be showing their best-selling and new all-round motorcycle, the GS. But in contrast with previous year’s models, this boxer engine will have liquid cooling, an enormous step for the Bavarian manufacturer.

Ducati should be splitting their new models between Intermot and Eicma (their home turf), but the internet has already leaked information on their new dual-purpose 1200 Multistrada, so it’s not going to be a surprise.

The same will apply to Kawasaki with their 300 Ninja and the ZX-6R. Information has been circulating on the web about their much expected new models. Many other manufacturers are known to have new models ready for launch; Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and even harley-Davidson.

But it’s not only motorcycles that are shown here. Accessories, helmets and clothing are everywhere. From traditional manufacturers, to even the smallest shops in India can be seen here. Often you’ll find the latest gadgets meant for riders anywhere being exhibited.

Intermot (and their Italian counterpart, Eicma) are two exhibitions that any true motorcycle lover should visit at least once in their lifetime. A bit like a pilgrimage to Mecca, it shows what is being done in the world of motorcycles globally. A must!

Source: Intermot

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Unfortunately, recalls happen all the time. No matter how good the motorcycle manufacturer is, things slip through quality inspection at the factory, and motorcycles get recalled to rectify the problem.

The problem lies in the notification of the recall. Usually the manufacturer will contact the press, and sometimes the press will actually print a small story stating models and problem, but often this is not the case.

So in many cases vehicle owners do not know that their motorcycle or ATV has been recalled. And this can be a big, and often dangerous problem.

Robert Guthrie was one of these people. His Kawasaki ATV got recalled because of a problem with the front wheel that could result in the eventual loss of steering control. And that was exaclty what happened to him. He crashed his ATV, resulting in severe and permanent injuries. So he’s seeking $20 Million in damages from Kawasaki in a lawsuit.

Guthrie’s complaint is that Kawasaki was negligent in warning him that his ATV was not longer safe.

And that’s where the problem lies. Manufacturers often rely on the media to warn users, but as far as news goes, it’s just not interesting enough to print.

Manufacturers have enormous databases with the client lists. They send out mailers offering new models and services all the time. But they rarely involve these mailing campaigns for recalls.

And what happens when you sell your vehicle? The manufacturer will not know who has your bike. So the big question is why manufacturers have no access the DMV databases. There they can quickly scan who has what vehicles, and send a mail recalling the vehicle. It would be the safest way of ensuring that all vehicles get recalled. But that takes time & money, and already the manufacturer is out of pocket running a recall of thousands of motorcycles.

In the USA, there is a government web site with all recalls (Recalls.gov), but this means that the owners need to go and check themselves, and not many people will do that. The responsibility lies with the owner in this case, while it’s should be on the manufacturer’s.

But maybe there’s no choice, and it should become mandatory for all manufacturers. If the DMV doesn’t want to hand over the files, then they should do it. It’s safer, and this way anyone who has that model can be ensured that they get a recall notice.

Also, often the manufacturer will know of a problem, but will only recall when things get really bad, preferring to leave things as is.

Source: DealerNews

 

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Last time we looked at biker specific terms, the lingo used by bikers allowing you not to stand out in a crowd of bikers. But it’s not only this general terms that you’d need to know, but there’s also a bunch of terms related to motorcycles.

Here are several motorcycle-specific terms:

ABSAnti-lock Braking System (ABS) is a safety system that allows the wheels on a motorcycle to continue interacting with the road surface as directed by biker steering inputs while braking, preventing the wheels from locking up (that is, ceasing rotation) and therefore avoiding skidding.

Ape Hangers - Ape hanger handlebars rise far above the mounting location so that the rider must reach up to use them, hence the name. They are popular on chopper motorcycles. They are available in heights up to 20 inches. Some jurisdictions have regulations on how high the handgrips may be above the seat.

Bagger – A motorcycle equipped with saddlebags and other touring amenities.

Beemer – BMW

Rice Burner – Japanese sportsbike

BHP – Brake horse power. A unit of measurement for engine power output.

Blinkers - Turn Signals

Bob, Bobbers, Bobbed or Bobbing – A bobber is a custom motorcycle that usually has had the front fender removed, the rear fender “bobbed” or made smaller, and all superfluous parts removed to make it lighter This was all part of the early customizing done by the returning WWII fighter pilots.

Brake horsepower - Brake horsepower (bhp) is the measure of an engine’s horsepower before the loss in power caused by the gearbox, alternator, differential, water pump, and other auxiliary components such as power steering pump, muffled exhaust system, etc

Cafe Racer – A cafe racer, originally pronounced “kaff racer” is a term used for a type of motorcycle, as well as the motorcyclists who ride them. Both meanings have their roots in the 1960s British Rocker or Ton-up boy subculture, although the type of motorcycles were also common in Italy, France and other European countries. The term refers to a style of motorcycles that were and are used for fast rides from one coffee bar to another.

CC - Cubic centimeters. A 1000cc engine = 1000 cubic centimeters in volume

Center of Gravity – The point in or near a body where the force of gravity appears to act. If a body is balanced at any point on the vertical line through it’s center of gravity, it will remain balanced. The center of an object’s mass.

Chicken Strips – The tread remaining on the sidewalls of a motorcycle. How much of this there is (or isn’t) is how some bikers size each other up. The less chicken strips, the more angle you will have used when taking curves.

Chopper – A chopper is a type of motorcycle that was either modified from an original motorcycle design (“chopped”) or built from scratch to have a hand-crafted appearance. The main features of a chopper that make it stand out are its longer frame design accompanied by a stretch front end, or increased rake angle.

Crotch Rocket – Sports motorcycle

CruiserCruiser is the term for motorcycles that mimic the design style of American machines from the 1930s to the early 1960s, including those made by Harley-Davidson, Indian, Excelsior and Henderson.

Dirt Bike – Off-road motorcycles that are not legal on the street.

Dresser – A motorcycle set up for long distance touring.

Dual Sport - A motorcycle made for both on and off the road travel.

Duc or Duck- A Ducati motorcycle.

EnduroEnduro is a form of motorcycle sportrun on courses that are predominantly off-road. Enduro consists of many different obstacles and challenges

Fairing - The plastic body panels that protect the rider from the wind and rain and from other debris.

Gixer – Suzuki GSXR Series motorcycles

Goose - A Moto Guzzi motorcycle

H.O.G. – Harley Owners Group – but it also relates to the larger Harley models.

Hack – A term for a motorcycle sidecar.

Husky - Husqvarna motorcycle.

Kwak – Kawasaki

Moped – A motorized bicycle, often with pedals still attached for human power assistance, usually legally defined in states and provinces as having fewer than 50cc and not be capable of propelling the moped over 30 MPH (50km/h) on level ground.

MotocrossMotocross is a form of motorcycle racing held on enclosed off road circuits.

Naked Bike - Motorcycles with no or a very small fairing; allowing you to fully see the engine.

OEM – “Original Equipment from Manufacturer,” refering to parts or components.

Pasta Rocket - Italian Sportbike (Ducati, Aprilia, MV Agusta, Benelli).

Pipes – Exhaust System.

Rat Bike – Motorcycles made from several different parts of different motorcycles and kept on the road using as cheap as possible and usually painted matt black. Often dirty and shoddy.

Rev(s) - See Revolutions Per Minute (RPM). A term used to describe how fast an engine is spinning.

RPM – “Revolutions Per Minute “. The number of revolutions the engine makes in a minute.

Rice Rocket - Japanese Sport Motorcycle

Sissy Bar – The backrest put behind the pillion part of the saddle.

Sled - A motorcycle.

Street Fighter - A bare bones sportbike (or any bike that originally had fairings) stripped of all extraneous bodywork. Also called a hooligan bike.

Stock – A motorcycle set up to OEM specifications with no alterations.

Super-motardSupermoto or Supermotard is motorcycle racing on a circuit that alternates between three types of track: flat track, motocross and road racing, using motorcycles designed for that purpose.

Trials Bike – For competition over radical, rough terrain. Trials motorcycles are designed to be extremely light, minimalist off-road specialties with low gear ratios, high ground clearance and a control layout suited for a standing rider .

Trike – A three-wheeled motorcycle with no sidecar.

Trumpet – Triumph motorcycle.

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