Archive for April, 2010

Women Rider

Women Rider\’s Month

She stands outside, wind whipping her ponytail into an unruly tangle. She grabs hold, wrapping the hair around itself and tucks carefully into her motorcycle helmet. Sliding the helmet down over her head, she adjusts the visor, secures the chin strap, and gives her leather chaps one last pull before climbing onto the leather seat. When she swings her leg over the steel beast beneath her, it is not the shoulders of another rider she grabs onto for support. Instead, she steadies herself with the handle bars, finding her usual position on the front seat and stands the bike up. Key turned on, throttle switch flipped, the bike roars to life as she expertly flips back the kickstand, eases down on the throttle, and disappears in a cloud of dust down the highway.

In an industry geared typically toward men, women riders are stepping out of the background and taking their place as the fastest growing segment on the motorcycle scene. Blazing past stereotypes of the typical biker babe, the industry is quickly catching on.

May is the second annual Women Rider’s Month. Choices for women have increased dramatically; there are more resources for women rider than ever before. Leather, helmets, even gloves and other women’s gear are more than just novelty items in a quaint section of the leather shop. More and more, these resources for women riders are designed for the function and comfort for a population of serous riders.

What draws a woman into this world of roaring machines? For many, it is the same as any other rider, the freedom of the open road and the thrill of commanding a working piece of art through the dips and valleys of the highway. The world is just a little more open to the feminine side of the motorcycle world.

Intelligent and driven, these classy chicks nurture their inner divas and carve out a special niche in the biker world. While some still prefer the passenger seat, women riders are as diverse as the rides they love. Professional women and stay-at-home moms alike share the road and blaze the way for their sisters and daughters to follow in the same tracks.

This May, celebrate the women bikers who share a piece of the open road. Cheer on the pink skull caps, the curvy leather clad rider who loves the life as much as her brethren. Slide your left hand down in an enthusiastic biker wave as they blow the cobwebs out of the baffles in a cloud of dust, and pink leather.

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This summer the Harley-Davidson Museum will offer a select group of riders and enthusiasts an exclusive opportunity to become the ultimate Harley-Davidson insider.
The Harley-Davidson Fantasy Camp is an exclusive behind-the-scenes Harley-Davidson experience, offering participants a once-in-a-lifetime chance to immerse themselves in Harley-Davidson Motor Company history, gain entry to the building where bikes are engineered, styled and tested, ride with Harley-Davidson executives, and become the ultimate Harley-Davidson insider.

From June 21-25, 2010, twenty Harley-Davidson Fantasy Campers will be immersed in Harley-Davidson history and culture as well as get to know Milwaukee, Harley-Davidson’s hometown for 107 years.

A sneak peek of what is planned:

•Enjoy VIP guided tours of the Harley-Davidson Museum including an in-depth look at the limited-access archives collection.
•Discover historic Harley-Davidson sites during a never-before-offered city tour of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
•Tour the access-restricted Willie G. Davidson Product Development Center (PDC), where motorcycle prototypes are engineered, styled and tested.
•Learn how Harley-Davidson V-Twin engines work from a Harley-Davidson University instructor.
•Bond with a Harley-Davidson Motor Company executive while riding through Milwaukee’s countryside.
•Experience must-do Milwaukee activities like enjoy a Brewer’s game from the exclusive Harley-Davidson Deck, and check out Summerfest from the private Harley-Davidson Roadhouse.
•Share daily meals with Harley-Davidson staff and other H-D Fantasy Campers.
•Chronicle the trip with plenty of opportunities for photos
The Harley-Davidson Fantasy Camp experience includes hotel, food, and transportation to all destinations – including motorcycles for the ride – and exclusive access to areas not available to the public for $3,000 per person.

To enroll in the Harley-Davidson Fantasy Camp, call the Harley-Davidson Museum Group Tours Coordinator at 414-287-2799. Registration deadline is May 31, 2010.

Company Background
Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit harley-davidson.com.

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About the time the warm spring winds finish the job of blowing out the rest of the winter chill, restlessness takes root in the heart of every motorcycle rider. Spring has sprung; it’s time to ride.

Typically, enthusiasts tend to focus on the driver enjoying the thrill of curve hugging rides through open country. The feel of raw power in the throttle hypnotizes motorcyclists across the globe. But, there is one point of view not often written about. It is the view from the rear seat.

True enough, there is a scintillating thrill that shoots up the spine when that V-twin roars to life. For the rider, the experience allows for a unique view of the road. Settled comfortably against the sissy bar, feet planted securely on the foot pegs, the sky looms wide and unrestrained. The rider is free take in the beauty of the ride with a freedom not afforded the motorcycle driver.
As with any aspect of motorcycle riding, safety is the number one consideration for the driver and rider as well. How does the back seat motorcycle rider contribute to the safety of the ride? The following tips are a good place to begin..

Learn the Moves
Learn to lean with the driver on corners. If the driver veers left, the rider should veer left as well, matching the movement of the driver. Basically, the rider’s actions ought to mirror that of the driver. A sudden shift in weight throws off the balance of the bike causing the driver to struggle to keep it on the road. At a high rate of speed, a shift could be devastating.

Keep distractions to a minimum. Riding is a solitary event. Unless there is something pressing that cannot wait, resist the urge to tap the driver on the shoulder. Chances are he will not be able to hear anyway. The tap may be distracting and cause an unfortunate jerk on the steering. It is a good idea to discuss pit stops before climbing on the back of the bike.

Group Etiquette
There is an unwritten code among bikers to keep an eye out for other riders. When riding in groups, the lead bike has a responsibility to keep an extra watch for debris and other hazards in the road. When he spots something, the universal sign for danger consists of pointing a free hand down at the road, signaling the object. As a passenger, mirror this move. This will give the riders bringing up the rear an added indication to watch out for the danger on the road.

Dig out the helmets; dust off the leather. A long ride down the open road is the perfect initiation rite to usher in the springtime. For some, the seat behind the driver is the best seat in the house.

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motorcycle repair cleaningIt’s a weird thing, but many riders don’t mind the hassle of getting their bike ready for the riding season nearly as much as they do when getting ready to store their bike for the winter!  When spring rolls around and you have to get your bike ready for another riding season it’s just one of those tasks that you actually enjoy. The anticipation is almost too much to stand!

One of the first things you should do is read over your owners manual to refresh your memory on some of the maintenance issues you will have to deal with after a long winter in storage.  Every bike is unique and you want to address the things specific to your make and model.

Here is a quick list of things that will need to be checked out for most models, this can be a great starting point:

1.  Make sure the battery and the terminals are in good condition.  You can use baking soda and water to clean off the terminals if they have a lot of corrosion. Charge and install the battery or buy a new one if needed.

2. Check the oil and all lubricant levels.  Top up when necessary.  Depending on the last time you changed our oil, now may be a great time to do that too.

3.  Inspect all cables and treat with whatever product your owners manual recommends.  If any cables are damaged either replace them yourself or take your bike into the shop and have them do it for you.

4.  Check tires for excessive wear and replace if necessary.  Also check air pressure and add air if necessary.

5.  Check all lights and replace any broken lights or burned out bulbs.

6. Check out brake pads and shoes for wear and replace as necessary.

7.  Apply leather treatments to seats, saddlebags, etc. Repair or replace damaged items.

8.  Inspect the drive belt, chain or shaft and repair as necessary.

9. Clean your motorcycle helmet, inside and out.

10. Thoroughly clean and polish your motorcycle and all the chrome.

11. Make note of your mileage.

12. The last step is to take your bike out for a ‘practice’ spin.  Sure, I know you’re an experienced rider but the truth is that we all get a little rusty when we haven’t done something for a while so taking your bike out for it’s ‘maiden voyage’ in the spring will be a good way for both you and your bike to get into the swing of things.  A short jaunt is all you need and it will help you find out if you’ve missed anything on your maintenance inspection.

Have fun and enjoy your riding season!

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