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Posts Tagged ‘motorcycles’

Silver City New Mexico
Silver City, New Mexico

When I enlisted in the Marine Corps Infantry, I was surprised with the responses I received when others learned the news. Most, probably envisioning me marching away to war, expressed concern for my safety, a handful indicated they were proud of me, and the vast majority tried to relate: “hey, I have a cousin in the Army. He says he likes it, I guess.” A few, however, blurted that I was going to get myself killed. Thankfully, that reaction (a disconcerting one) was rare. But when I purchased a motorcycle, it was the norm.

 “So you just got a motorcycle, huh? Well, you’re gonna crash and die.”

 An incredible number also felt compelled to tell me about specific incidents where that had happened, too. It was always somebody distant to them, like the husband of a cousin’s neighbor’s niece. Invariably, something horrible had taken place. That, too, was disconcerting. It was always bad news…

  “You got a motorcycle? Yeah, I just had a patient who ground his entire lower body to a nub when he skidded off his bike doing 100mph on a back road. Have fun riding.”

 “You got a motorcycle? Our prayer requests in Bible study yesterday were for the surviving family of a man killed when he was riding his motorcycle on his farm.”

 “Motorcycle, huh…..you ever seen that video of Evil Knievel hitting the pavement after his jump? I think he broke every bone in his body – at least twice. It was heinous. He looked like a rag doll.”

 “Yeah, my cousin bought a bike, but he crashed it on his first ride and now he’s in a wheelchair.”

 “One of the neighbor’s kids used to ride, but then he wrapped himself around a tree and died. I think he was about 20.”

 “Well, bikes are neat, but I’m too afraid to ride. I’m terrified that somebody will open a car door and I’ll go flying off. Have you seen that movie where there’s this scene….the guy landed in an intersection and got run over. It was pretty cool. But I don’t want to ride a bike, though. Too risky.”

I even had one person offer to pay me NOT to purchase a motorcycle. Naturally, I declined.

 Yes, it may be dangerous, but so is life itself. Besides which, there are number of measures one can easily take to mitigate the risks – beginning with a motorcycle safety course, leathers, and a motorcycle helmet. Furthermore, most other risks can be drastically reduced if riders set aside their pride, ignore the compulsion to exceed the speed limit, and simply enjoy the road. That you have a bike – a sleek, powerful beast with lots of shiny parts – is showing off enough. Respect it, be hyper-vigilant, and you’ll be just fine. You have a greater risk of injury riding a horse (according to the Hughston Sports Medicine Foundation).

In looking back on the whole ordeal, I’ve reached the conclusion that the first thing that comes to mind with a non-rider is the dangers of motorcycling. Thus, that’s what comes out of their mouths. For a rider, however, is the freedom, the road, the roar of the pipes inside your helmet, and the known fact that people in their boring little cars are staring at you with envy. All their kids are waving, too, much to the horror of their mothers. Maybe everybody’s a killjoy because they’re jealous that I’m going to have a lot of fun and they’re not. 

And here’s the best part: Now only two years after purchasing my first motorcycle, nearly every person who said something negative about riding has since gone riding with me and thoroughly enjoyed it – to include the person who offered to pay me to not buy the bike. At least one has purchased a bike of his own, and several more have expressed interest in buying them in the future. I win, folks. Well, motorcycles win. (I will note that one passenger kept peering over my shoulder to monitor the speedometer, but I think she still had fun.)

 There’s something about a motorcycle that’s almost universally appealing. Something about the way it hugs the road in curves and bolts up the long inclines that cars struggle to climb. Or the deep rumble as you cut through tunnels and under overpasses. Maybe it’s the subtle statement that, “I can go fast if I want to, but I’m happy just relishing the ride.” All you naysayers, we’ll win you over yet. And then, we’ll see you out there on a bike of your own. You can’t help it; it’s just fun.
About Ben Shaw, the author

Motorcycle Trip Planning-To Plan or Not To

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A motorcycle trike is exactly what it sounds like: a three wheeled motorcycle. These new forms of motorcycles are really starting to gain in popularity, what used to be novelty is becoming common place. 

There are many reasons for the increased popularity of these machines. For many people the added size and stability gives them an increased feeling of safety. For others the bigger size provides a more comfortable ride and additional storage. For some people they simply want to be able to continue to enjoy the ‘wind in your hair’ feeling of a motorcycle but have some physical limitations that prevent them from riding a two wheeled motorcycle. 

Because of the added stability of having three wheels a trike is easier to learn how to ride. Many people can be intimidated learning on a two wheeled motorcycle. Riding a trike is different from a two wheeled motorcycle since you don’t lean in corners, you just steer, more like a car. 

Any motorcycle can be converted to a trike, Honda and Harley-Davidson are two of the most common conversion packages. The price to convert your motorcycle to a trike will vary depending on the type of bike you currently have as well as the particular conversion kit you choose. 

There are different finish levels available which will determine the final price. Just ask your favorite motorcycle dealer or accessories shop for a referral. 

For the 2010 model year, Harley-Davidson has two styles of 3 wheelers available. They are introducing these models because they are seeing an increased demand for the 3 wheelers. 

For licensing and insurance purposes trikes are classified as a motorcycle and all state and federal laws, such as helmet laws, still apply. You aren’t as exposed as you are on a motorcycle, but you still are exposed, that’s why you have to wear all the same safety apparel that you would wear when riding a motorcycle. 

So if you’ve thought about either getting your own trike or converting your existing motorcycle to a trike with a conversion kit, you’ll gain a lot of stability and storage without losing any of the joy of riding a motorcycle.

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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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I’m wearing my Pistol Pete premium leather jacket, 5-pocket leather pants and Milwaukee classic harness leather boots from Jafrum in the photo of me standing by the Lone Bald Overlook sign note: I didn’t even read the writing on the sign when the picture was taken…noticed later while reviewing the pictures of the day how ironic this particular photo was ;-) Both photos taken on the Blue Ridge Parkway south of Asheville, NC on April 22, 2009. Temperature was sunny and in the low 30’s! I was toasty warm and very comfortable. (I’m 6’4” and 250 lbs) Bike is a 2003 Honda Valkyrie pulling an Escapade trailer. (That’s ice on the rocks! Bike picture was taken facing across the road from the Lone Bald Overlook picture) Jim R , Florida Bald Overlook riderMotorcycle

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It had to happen sooner or later: Harley-Davidson has always been the object of desire for many who for whatever reason didn’t take the plunge and buy one. Now the fantasy can be even more realistic with a help of a little technology. The story carried by Motorcyclebikes.org follows:

Activision gives gamers the chance to stop dreaming and start riding in Harley-Davidson: Race to the Rally available now for the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. Charge out on the highways and byways across America on fully upgradeable classic and late-model Harley-Davidson motorcycles while facing outrageous road challenges.

“Harley-Davidson: Race to the Rally” takes gamers from coast to coast across America exploring classic rides centric to “Harley-Davidson” and the biker lifestyle such as Big Sur, historic Route 66, and the Badlands. Each of the 20 authentic Harley-Davidson motorcycles including the Dyna, Softail, Touring, and Sportster are fully customizable and upgradeable with licensed parts and accessories, so there are thousands of possibilities on which to perform the gravity-defying jumps, and high-speed turbo boosts in this game. Plus, it features a soundtrack that captures the attitude of “Harley-Davidson” with tracks by George Thorogood, Heart, Poison, Great White and more.

Anyone who enjoys games and motorcycles will be in seventh heaven with this Playstation 2Race to the Rally. The rendering of the Harley-Davidson motorcycles is so realistic, after playing this game for a while the urge to own and ride a motorcycle may be too difficult to resist.

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The word is out for the millions of automobile drivers who are looking for a way to beat the skyrocketing gas prices. They are finding that for just a few thousand bucks they can get a motorcycle or scooter that will give them 50 miles to the gallon or better.

They are discovering what many bikers already know: you may not be able to ride it across country, but a scooter can sure be a cool cruise around town. Business is booming all over the country for motorcycle and scooter dealers which has a whole lot of people are smiling these days.

Nationwide, sales of scooters are up more than 23% just in the first quarter of this year. And Kymco, says its business has doubled in the Washington State region alone. In the motorcycle division, Q-link Legacy 250 has reported that the sales for their automatic motorcycle are up by 35%.

With gasoline at $4.00 a gallon and prices still rising, many drivers who are looking for a more economical way to navigate their daily commute are buying new scooters. Scooters start at a couple of thousand dollars new, and head north from there.

But scooter fans say you can quickly make that up in fuel savings, some owners report saving as much as $2500 over the last three years.

For those drivers who prefer to own a road hog, used motorcycle can be found in the $3000 price range and sales of bikes are also rising due to increased new rider safety awareness programs that are driving the point home to start with a low powered bike until they become experienced.

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Mark your calendars and get ready for a real treat at 8pm on Tuesday, June 24th. SpeedTV’s fascinating American Thunder motorcycle series has become hugely popular and this week’s episode puts the spotlight on Ridley Motorcycles.

Filmed during Myrtle Beach Bike Fest the show will feature an interview with Jay Ridley, son of Clay Ridley who started the company that has revolutionized motorcycles.

Clay Ridley has led a life full of innovation and the pursuit for excellence continues. Ridley Motorcycles is a privately held company founded in 1995 and has become synonymous with automatic motorcycles. Great care and precision in design goes into the production of these high quality machines which are tagged: “America’s Automatic Motorcycles.”

This program shows you the power and performance that many find hard to believe comes from a motorcycle that has automatic control. Motorcycle fans will get a close-up view of the “0eight Auto-Glide Chopper” pictured here, when the host of the show, Michelle Smith takes it for a spin. Ridley’s new “Auto-Glide Trike” will also be reviewed.

Michelle travels the country attending motorcycle events for SpeedTV, the number one channel for motorsports, so don’t miss this exciting episode. Check your local listings for channel and programming information.

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