Saturday, December 29, 2007

Pictures of the Week - Kelly (K-man)

Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Web site. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery.

See Kelly on his Honda Gold Wing.

If you'd like to see your bike as Picture of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Polar Bear Grand Tour in the Pine Barrens

Another rainy day! This is supposed to be the Polar Bear season. Even though it's now officially winter, it continues to be more like spring with 58 degree temperatures.

This was our first run to the Sweetwater Casino. It's located in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey in the middle of nowhere right next to the Mullica River. The place is big enough to hold the Polar Bears when we show up in force. They even have motorcycle parking up front on concrete -- this works fine except when the Polar Bears show up.

Here are pictures and videos from this rainy run.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Big Dog Motorcycles Recalls Bulldog, Chopper, K-9, Mastiff, and Mutt for Fender Defect

Big Dog Motorcycles has issued a recall of certain 2005 and 2007 Bulldog models, 2005-2007 Chopper models, 2006-2008 K-9 models, 2005-2008 Mastiff models and 2008 Mutt models.

On certain motorcycles, the rear fender strut attaching bolts can fail allowing the rear fender to detach from the motorcycle. This could occur without prior warning and could result in an injury or a crash.

8061 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Honda Recalls 2006-2007 CBR1000RR for Fuel Leak

Honda has issued a recall of certain 2006-2007 CBR1000RR motorcycles.

Certain motorcycles have an improper welded vent pipe in the bottom of the fuel tank. Due to vibration the improperly welded tanks may crack and drip fuel. Fuel leakage in the presence of an ignition source can result in a fire.

25422 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Top 8 Motorcycle Views Blog Posts for 2007

The top eight Motorcycle Views Blog posts have been selected from a total of 150 posts made in 2007. These eight blog posts were chosen for a variety of reasons.

If you haven't been a regular reader of the Motorcycle Views Blog, you may be missing important information about motorcycling. You might also be missing some of the personal aspects of my life that may give you a chuckle or an insight into my take on motorcycling.

Check out my picks for the Top 8 Motorcycle Views Blog posts for 2007.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Top 10 Motorcycle Pictures of the Year for 2007 from Motorcycle Views

The top ten motorcycle pictures were picked from pictures submitted to Motorcycle Views in 2007. The pictures are not ordered.

They include four pictures of women on motorcycles, four pictures of men on motorcycles, and two pictures of motorcycles only.

The pictures were chosen for a variety of reasons. I looked at each picture, read each description, and picked those pictures that held my interest.

Check out the Top 10 Pictures for 2007.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Triumph Recalls Sprint ST and Tiger for Luggage Rack Problem

Triumph has issued a recall of certain 2004-2008 Tiger and 2005-2008 Sprint ST motorcycles.

On certain motorcycles equipped with an optional accessory luggage rack, undersized washers were used which prevents the sliding carriage from moving as intended. Reduced stability can occur if the motorcycle is ridden with the fitted accessory, exceeded maximum weight, and at speeds far in excess of the 80 mph limit warning, increasing the risk of a crash.

3698 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week - VaRyder

Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Web site. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery.

See VaRyder with his Victory Vision Tour.

If you'd like to see your bike as Picture of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Motorcycles, Medical Problems and Christmas

I've always worn a full face helmet when riding my motorcycle. Of course, living in New Jersey kinda forces you to have this mindset since it's the law here. The only time it gets to me is when I have medical conditions that don't allow me to put the helmet on in the first place.

The first time that happened was when I had a basal cell carcinoma on my right ear that required mohs surgery to remove it. That was a major deal for me that took months to heal. I had to forego riding all that time.

Now, I found out that I have two more basal cell carcinomas, one on my forehead and one behind my left ear. All this occurring during the prime Polar Bear Grand Tour riding season. I happen to run their Web site and I go to all the runs to take pictures for the site. Needless to say, I will probably go another two months without being able to put the helmet on again. Worse than that is that the healing of the one on my forehead is slow with a big black scab that is quite unsightly in public. And, of course, I have so many functions to go to and I have no way to hide the healing. I'm either embarrassed when people see me or find myself constantly trying to explain the medical problems. I seem to be cursed to have all these maladies so prominent on my head and also unable to hide them with a helmet or even to ride my trike. I guess all those years toiling in the sun while I worked in the corn fields nearly 50 years ago have finally come back to haunt me.

Now I find out that after the surgery on the left ear that the pathologist's final report indicates that they may not have got all of it and I have to undergo radiation -- perhaps as many as 20 visits. Turns out that one of the members of my Gold Wing chapter heads a team at my hospital that does the treatments. At least I have someone in my corner.

All this is going on right now but still the Polar Bear pictures have to be taken and I need to be at the runs. I do have a couple of backups who can take pictures and they have come in handy in the past. But, I like to go to the runs as much as I can. This week the run was to Snydersville, PA to Schoch's Harley-Davidson and I was determined to go.

Turns out that many family events were also going on this weekend. On Saturday, we drove to our son's home for a combined birthday party and tree trimming party. I heard that there would be about 10 little kids there to celebrate the second birthday of my granddaughter. I think it was actually closer to 20 kids. After that we drove farther north to my other son's home where we ended up babysitting for the other five of our grandchildren (all under 10) and then staying overnight. The next day, we had breakfast, said our good-byes to all the kids and grand kids and headed down route 80 to Snydersville, PA for the Polar Bear run.

It was a day that was overcast, cold, and threatening rain or snow. We were in the car so we didn't much care. When we arrived, there was a smattering of bikes in the parking lot. As I walked around the parking lot with my camera, I didn't notice as many bikes coming in. Apparently, the threat of bad weather had reduced the attendance. Maybe we got 100 bikes. Normal would have been 400-500. Anyway, I did get some pictures and three videos. Check out the Polar Bear Grand Tour - Schoch's Harley-Davidson/Buell Run for pictures and captions.

After the run, we drove home and had a couple of hours of free time before we had to attend our Gold Wing Chapter's Holiday party. It was fun as usual but I did have the usual set of medical questions. At least I was with friends. I spoke with the member who heads the radiation team at the hospital and he offered me his personal help. That was very comforting and appreciated.

I also had to part company with my 1994 Chrysler today. It's been sitting in my driveway most of the time for the last two years since I bought my new Honda Accord. It was time to use it as a donation to one of my favorite charities, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I had arranged with for the auto donation and the big flatbed arrived this afternoon to cart it away. The end of an era. Getting to be too many of those recently. At least I won't have to worry about hitting it every time I back my car out and I also won't have to move it so I can get my motorcycle trikes out of the garage.

I guess I'm a rambling man today but that's what's been happening. The calendar is almost completely filled with events for the next month. My wife is having physical therapy while I'm going to be busy with radiation treatments. Christmas is coming and I haven't been out doing much shopping or even leaf raking. I was told that retirement meant I would be busier than when I was working. I'm getting that in spades.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week - Harleymike56

Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Web site. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery.

See Harleymike56 on his Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200. Mike is also a member of my Motorcycle Views Forum.

If you'd like to see your bike as Picture of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Motorcycle Santa - The Game

Recently, I mentioned in this blog that I had written five children's stories about a special character, Motorcycle Santa. I have just finished writing the sixth story in this series. It's based on a true incident in my life. I hope you'll enjoy this story of a little girl who is awakened by the arrival of Motorcycle Santa as he is placing gifts under her tree. Santa agrees to open one present for the girl to get her to go back to bed. The girl startles Santa by devising a game that uses the gift in a new way. I hope you enjoy "Motorcycle Santa - The Game."

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Polar Bear Grand Tour Meets the Winter Head-on

A winter storm was approaching the PA, NJ, NY region this morning. Since I was still unable to put a helmet on owing to my two recent surgeries and I also had two of my grandchildren spending Saturday and Sunday with us, I was not going to the Polar Bear Grand Tour run to Montgomeryville, PA.

I had already made arrangements with my backup, Bill, to take pictures at the run. When I got up today, there was a quarter inch of snow on the ground in NJ and the temperature was about 36 degrees. It felt good not going out and attempting to travel the 60 some miles to Montgomeryville. But, I knew that many Polar Bears would be making the trek so I looked forward to receiving the download from Bill later this evening to see just what it looked like over there.

Bill tells me that eight bikes showed up and two were sidecar rigs. The rest were cars, trucks, and SUVs carrying other Polar Bears. See for yourself by viewing Bill's pictures and reading my captions. Check out the pictures from the Montgomeryville, PA run.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week - Jeff

Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Web site. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery. See Jeff on his Harley-Davidson FXRS.

If you'd like to see your bike as Picture of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Motorcycle Daredevil Evel Knievel Dies

The end of an era. Evel Knievel has died in Clearwater, FL.

According to Mitch Stacy, AP, "Evel Knievel, the red-white-and-blue-spangled motorcycle daredevil whose jumps over Greyhound buses, live sharks and Idaho's Snake River Canyon made him an international icon in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 69."

Makes me feel old. I'm also 69. I thought he was older. In recent years his son Robbie has carried on his exploits.

Read the complete story.

Here's a YouTube video of Evel pronouncing his faith -- a different side of the man who lived life on his own terms.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Polar Bear Grand Tour Visits the Hillbilly Hall

I awoke this morning to a 29 degree temperature on the thermometer outside my kitchen window. That was at 7:30 a.m. At 8 a.m. Jane and I were inside the local Old Country Buffet to have breakfast and participate in our Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) NJ Chapter F meeting. We are the treasurers of that group. Today we weren't on motorcycles. I couldn't put on a helmet because I've just had two surgeries to remove basal cell carcinomas, one at the top of my forehead at the hairline and the other just behind the top of my left ear. Wearing a helmet is impossible until healing takes place. That's why today was a series of motorcycle adventures without motorcycles.

After the chapter meeting we drove to Hopewell, NJ for the fifth run of the Polar Bear Grand Tour. History was not kind to Hopewell. It was in Hopewell in 1932 that the Lindbergh kidnapping case occurred. In fact, Lindbergh's mansion is just a few miles from the Hillybilly Hall where the Polar Bear Grand Tour met today.

It was a perfect winter day. Clear skies and brisk temperatures greeted the riders as a seemingly endless stream of motorcycles rode into Hopewell. I got there early today and recorded in pictures and videos what I saw. Take a look.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Motorcycle Santa Stories

I started writing these original stories of Motorcycle Santa in 2002. My wife, Jane, had a large collection of POSSIBLE DREAMS® Santas that had to do with motorcycles. They seem to come out with a few new ones every year so her collection grew correspondingly. I wrote a short fantasy children's story illustrated with pictures of these Santas. I have added a new story each year.

Here are the first five stories. A new one for 2007 will be out soon.

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week - Dragon Rider

Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Web site. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery. See Dragon Rider on his Honda Gold Wing.

If you'd like to see your bike as Picture of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hot Sexy Stars on Motorcycles has an article and pictures about seven well-known stars of TV, music, and the movies who also ride motorcycles. They have some of my favorites including Vanessa Marcil of the TV show Las Vegas. Read the article and view the pictures. I blogged about this three months ago but many may not have seen it. I actually had forgotten that Vanessa was in this gallery and I just saw Keith Urban on Good Morning America today.

Stars have always ridden motorcycles. Check out my article, Famous Motorcyclists, for a few more riders who are not in the news anymore.

Do you know any other famous riders and what they ride? Tell us by leaving a comment, below.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day on the Polar Bear Grand Tour

This morning I woke up and realized that I didn't have my flag out for Veteran's Day. It was about 38 degrees as I retrieved the flag from my foyer closet, made my way down the front sidewalk to my flagpole mount, and affixed it to the mount. We usually have the flag flying every day but had brought it inside a few weeks ago while heavy winds and rain were trying to rip it to shreds. Anyway, the flag is now flying.

This is also the day for the third run of the Polar Bear Grand Tour here in New Jersey. The run was to go to Old Bridge, NJ. This is a short run for us -- 38 miles round trip. It was a bit nippy -- 40 degrees -- as we got on our heated clothing and headed up to get gas. The trikes were near empty from the Polar Bear trip last week to Lewes, DE.

When we pulled into the Knights of Columbus in Old Bridge, we were greeted with a sea of motorcycles saturating the parking lot. There was even overflow into the grassy, weedy, and wooded areas that are usually frequented by wandering animals. Once inside, we encountered lines for check-in, the food area, and even the restrooms. When I see lines, I find something else to do until they disappear. I went outside and took pictures. You'll find the pictures and my captions on the Polar Bear Web site: Old Bridge Pictures

Next week the Polar Bear run is to Port Jervis, NY.

Picture © 2007 Walter Kern

Saturday, November 10, 2007

World's Largest Motorcycle Must Be Seen to Be Believed

I just had to display this YouTube video that shows the World's Largest Motorcycle. I'm not sure why anyone would want to spend $300,000 to create it but this guy thought it worth his time, talent, and treasure to bring it to the world.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Falling Leaves and Motorcycles

I have a great view out the window where I work at home. It's my view on the world. This time of year, the view is pretty spectacular as the final leaves continue to fall. Today, the leaves were falling rapidly and piling up on the grass. I decided that I needed to do a little raking.

I went out to the garage where my two motorcycle trikes are parked and moved the car out so I could get at the electric leaf blower. I told myself that I needed to be careful how I handled the blower. Two years ago, I developed a severe case of arthritis right after I used the leaf blower to clear the front yard. I just over-exerted myself and developed shoulder, knee, and hip problems that caused me no end of grief for the next 18 months. I had only recently got back near normal and I didn't need a relapse.

I hooked everything up and started on the side yard. I grasped the blower with both hands keeping my arms close to my body so as not to put extra pressure on my arms. I had my ear plugs in that I use when I ride my trike. I blew the leaves out to the street and then started on the main yard where I can see the beautiful tree through my window.

I had noticed that the local leaf machine operated by the township was out and about and quite possibly might be by to pick up my leaves if I could get them all to the street. But, I was in no way going to push myself to get the leaves out to the street. I got about half of the remaining leaves to the street when I heard the machine approaching. Then it came into sight and started sucking up my leaves. Well, I still had lots more to do and if I missed getting them all picked up, well, the leaves would just have to wait at the curb until another day. Of course, it was also possible that the two workmen would show me some mercy and make another run around the block.

When they got to the end of my street, they turned around and came down the other side of my street and stopped in front of my beautiful tree. The driver headed across the street toward me and said, "I'd be glad to come back in 30 minutes and pickup the rest of your leaves if you'll show me your trike." That took me by surprise.

"Sure," I said. "You wanna do it now." Then the other workman came over and the three of us headed across the yard toward the garage.

The guy said, "I've seen that trike every year when I'm out on the leaf pickup runs, but this is the first time you had the garage door open so I could get a good look."

"Well, let me tell you all about my trike," I said. "Actually there are two trikes in there."

Thus began a 20 minute break for the two workers as we talked motorcycles. Turns out he had a bad motorcycle accident in 1993 and hadn't ridden since. He had thought about converting his bike to a trike though. I gave him my complete trike story. I think I got him interested in going back into motorcycling. He'll probably tell this story to his wife tonight and she'll try to discourage him. She's done it before, he said.

After he had looked over both my trikes and got all his questions answered, he and his buddy returned to the truck and headed off down the street. That was my cue to get back to leaf blowing and finish getting my remaining leaves out to the street. Just as I finished, he returned and removed the remaining leaves.

The leaves continue to fall outside my window. It takes awhile for the tree to drop all its beauty and then stand naked against the sky waiting for the snow to start falling. Meanwhile, I'm sure I'll be out there raking a few more times trying to stay ahead of the steady downpour of leaves.

Winter is coming. My tree's beauty is fading fast. But, my trikes will be getting used during the winter. The Polar Bear Grand Tour will take care of that. But, maybe the tree and the falling leaves have helped at least one motorcyclist to dream again of getting his own bike back on the road. The leaves have done their job.

Suzuki Recalls GS500 and GZ250 Motorcycles for Electrical Problem

Suzuki has issued a recall of certain 2004-2007 GS500 and 2002-2007 GZ250 motorcycles.

The rear reflex reflector on affected GS500 motorcycles and the rear and side reflex reflectors on affected GZ250 motorcycles fail to conform to the requirements of federal motor vehicle safety standard No. 108, 'Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment.' The reflex reflectors have a reflected light output at some measurement angles that is less than the minimum output required by the standard. It is possible that this could contribute to a motorist's not noticing the motorcycle in darkness, which may contribute to a crash.

28221 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Victory Recalls 2008 Vision Motorcycles for Electrical Problem

Victory has issued a recall of certain 2008 Vision motorcycles.

On certain motorcycles, the voltage regulator/rectifier assembly may have an overcharging condition. An overcharging situation in conjunction with the loose battery connection could cause a stalling condition. An unexpected loss of engine power could cause a loss of control of the motorcycle increasing the risk of a crash.

326 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Monday, November 5, 2007

'07-'08 Polar Bear Grand Tour - Lewes, DE

Yesterday (Sunday) was the second run in the Polar Bear Grand Tour season. The motorcycle run was to Lewes, DE, the destination farthest south of all our runs. Since this is a long run, many riders choose to come down on Saturday and stay for the night. There was a large coastal storm sweeping up the east coast on Saturday. The storm had high winds but was located off-shore. Some riders normally staying overnight chose to cancel their Saturday plans and make the complete round-trip on Sunday. I was in that group.

Jane and I rode our trikes with some new Polar Bear riders from our local Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) Chapter NJ-F group. The run started at 8 a.m. with six bikes in the group and ended for us at 6 p.m. in the dark on the first day that Eastern Standard Time (EST) became effective for the winter. All our communication was via CB radio and our lead and drag riders kept the group together with a minimum of difficulties.

Pictures and descriptions for the Lewes run are located on the Polar Bear Grand Tour Web site. Take a look. The picture, above, shows a bike that was at Lewes and has many special features including footpegs made out of old pistons.

Motorcycle Trikes Becoming Popular

I've been riding a motorcycle trike for seven years. My wife got hers before I got mine. I wrote an article about her experience in getting her trike.

In the beginning there weren't too many of us out there and we got a lot of attention on the road, in parking lots, and especially at gas pumps. I even wrote an article with standard questions I get and my answers.

I also wrote a How To about learning to ride a trike.

Then I created a Trike Picture Gallery.

I spent yesterday on the road traveling to Lewes, DE for the second Polar Bear Grand Tour run. I'll be blogging about that later today. As usual, I was asked at every gas stop about the trike and heard the same questions again.

Today, I see that the Wall Street Journal has a piece about trikes and it has a few pictures too. It's called The Easier Rider: Baby Boom Bikers Defect to the Trike by Jonathan Welsh. Maybe we are becoming mainstream after all. Take a look.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week - Cat Ballou and Ian

Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Web site. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery. See Cat Ballou on her Hyosung Aquila and Ian on his Road King Custom.

If you'd like to see your bike as Picture of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.

Transportation Secretary, Mary Peters, Wants to Lower Motorcycle Deaths

Today, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters has announced new initiatives to support motorcyclists. Peters is, herself, a motorcyclist. According to USA TODAY, she has proposed a new plan that includes:
  • Training. DOT will develop national standards for entry-level motorcycle riders to achieve what Peters calls "a baseline of competency."
  • Enforcement. DOT will create a training program to teach police officers about specific efforts to reduce crashes.
  • Education. Public Service Announcements will feature Peters on the importance of helmets and other protective gear. A "Share the Road" campaign will remind drivers to be alert for motorcyclists.

Check out the complete story and offer your comments on this new plan, below.

Monday, October 29, 2007

2007-2008 Polar Bear Grand Tour - Cape May, NJ

Here are some pictures from the first riding event of the Polar Bear Grand Tour for the 2007-2008 season, the run to Cape May, NJ on October 28, 2007. This event was just before Halloween and some rode down in costume.

Take a look at all the pictures I took, including two short videos.

My riding group encountered a very bad accident on the Garden State Parkway on the way down to Cape May. I believe it was just before the Toms River toll plaza. Traffic was halted in both directions of the Parkway while rescue helicopters landed and transported the injured. We were within 100 yards of the accident and many people got out of their cars and off their motorcycles to observe. I took a few pictures of that too.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pictures of the Week - Cindy and Michael

Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Web site. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery. See Cindy on her Softail Deuce and Michael with his Road King Custom.

If you'd like to see your bike as Picture of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.

100 Years of Harley-Davidson: A Picture Gallery

Harley-Davidson began selling motorcycles in 1903. In 2003, the Motor Company celebrated its 100th anniversary.

We present here a look at Harley-Davidson models over these 100 years as provided by visitors to the main Motorcycle Views site. A gallery called "100 Years of Harley-Davidson" is provided that gives a picture and description for each model year from 1903 to 2003.

Some years are vacant and await your submissions. Take a look.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

47 Years of Harley-Davidson Sportster: A Picture Gallery

Harley-Davidson began selling motorcycles in 1903. In 1957, Harley-Davidson introduced the Sportster. It has continued in production ever since.

We present here a look at Harley-Davidson Sportster models from the first model in 1957 to the present as provided in pictures submitted by visitors to the Motorcycle Views Web site. A gallery called 47 Years of Sportster is provided that gives a picture and description for each model year from 1957 to 2003.

The gallery is not complete. If you own a Sportster, consider sending a picture and description of it to be considered for inclusion in the gallery.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week - CC Rider and Vicki Gray

Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Web site. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery. See CC Rider on his Triumph Bonneville and Vicki Gray on her Ducati 1098S.

If you'd like to see your bike as Picture of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.

Kawasaki Issues Recall of KL650 Models for Loose Muffler Bolts

Kawasaki has issued a recall of certain 2002-2007 KL650A and 2008 KL650E motorcycles.

On certain motorcycles, insufficient tightening of the muffler mounting bolts could allow the bolts to loosen. If the bolts loosen completely, it is possible for the muffler to separate from the motorcycle and create the potential for a crash.

33365 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Ducati Recalls 2007 Monster S4RS for Cooling Defect

Ducati has issued a recall of certain 2007 Monster S4RS motorcycles.

On certain motorcycles, the water impeller does not turn due to the installation of an incorrect layshaft. Improper operation of the water pump could occur causing overheating of the engine components and possibly engine seizure. If the engine stopped while the motorcycle was being driven, it could increase the risk of a crash.

Only eight (8) units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Women Riders Video

Here's a great visual and musical video called SHOCKING BLUE -HARLEY DAVIDSON/ GET IT ON (69/75). It's all about women on motorcycles. Not to be missed. (See other videos by the same author and read some details about the content of this video by clicking here.)

Be sure to also check out my own Women Riders subject that includes a Women on Motorcycles Picture Gallery.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ducati Recalls 2008 Hypermotard for Electrical Problem

Ducati has issued a recall of certain 2008 Hypermotard motorcycles.

On certain motorcycles, the battery can move side to side inside the fuel tank mounting compartment. This movement could result in main wiring harness damage at the battery terminal. This condition could cause an electrical short consequently stopping the engine. If the engine stops while the motorcycle is being driven, it could increase the risk of a crash.

385 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Vintage, Antique, and Classic Motorcycle Pictures

The Motorcycle Views main site has created many galleries of motorcycle pictures. I'll be discussing a few of these over the next few days. To start off, I'll show you the Vintage, Antique, and Classic Motorcycles gallery.

This gallery contains pictures and descriptions of motorcycles manufactured up to and including 1953. Thus, all motorcycles in the gallery will be at least 50 years old.

I'm lumping antique, vintage, and classic motorcycles into this group without regard to the special distinctions that many people may have on what an antique, vintage, or classic motorcycle is. To me, it's any bike more than 50 years old. Add your own comments on the distinctions among these three classes, below.

The picture shown above is a 1929 BMW R63.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Demystify Motorcycle Specification Terms

On my old forum, people would constantly ask for the definitions of motorcycle terms used in typical motorcycle specifications found on the Internet and in motorcycle magazines. These were usually newbies but not always.

I decided to prepare a set of definitions that could be used by almost anyone to help decipher motorcycle specs.

These definitions of terms should be easier to understand by riders who would rather ride than learn the technical complexities of their machines. Bear in mind that whole books could be written about each term. We are only touching the basics.

Check out my Motorcycle Specifications - Definitions of Terms as contained on my Motorcycle Views Web site.

Go Daddy Founder Saved by Proper Riding Apparel

Somewhat old story but I just saw it. Bob Parsons, founder of Go Daddy, relates his recent experience riding his Ducati when he was forced to severely brake and went down. He attributes his minimal injuries to ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time). Read his account from his own Web site.

Also, be sure to read my Basic Gear for a Motorcycle Beginner for more information.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Motorcycle Road Tests Index

I just added 13 motorcycle road test entries to my Motorcycle Road Tests Index.

These give information about where you can find the actual motorcycle road tests in the major motorcycle magazines. Also given are links to online motorcycle road tests.

Check out the following links, just added:

2008 Models: H-D Rocker C, Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS, and Kawasaki KLR650

2007 Models: Benelli TnT 1130, BMW F800ST, Ducati 1098S, Ducati Multistrada 1100S, Kawasaki Z1000, KTM 450 EXC, Kymco Xciting 500, Moto Guzzi Norge 1200, Suzuki Bandit 1250S ABS, and Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Friday, October 5, 2007

BMW Recalls 2005-2007 K1200R Sport Motorcycles for Front Brake Problem

BMW has issued a recall of certain 2005-2007 K1200R Sport motorcycles.

On certain motorcycles, during long periods of riding at sustained high engine RPM, vibration within the brake fluid reservoir can cause the brake fluid to foam. This could allow air to enter the front brake system which could lead to a loss of front braking efficiency. Air in the brake system can lead to a loss of braking capability, increasing the risk of a crash.

510 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

How to Start and Move a Motorcycle

Beginners can start and move a motorcycle.

This feature gives descriptions and pictures of the steps required to move a motorcycle or start a motorcycle. I'm not talking about shipping a motorcycle. I'm talking about simply moving a motorcycle a short distance. An example might be a case where the rider of a bike has parked it in the garage amidst considerable adjoining boxes, crates, ladders, and other accumulated stuff that might be contained in a garage. Let's say the rider is out of town or even serving in the armed forces and the spouse needs to move the motorcycle to complete a repair to the house. The rider cannot be reached. The job must be done. What is the spouse to do?

Another case might be a new rider who has just purchased a motorcycle and wants to get to know the motorcycle better. Now, bear in mind that I highly recommend that such a rider enroll in a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course and learn the fundamentals the correct way. That's certainly the way I learned, but I did have my own motorcycle at the time which I did not know how to ride. I also wanted to get to know the motorcycle better before I took the course. I had all the basic questions all newbie riders have. I wanted to know how to start the motorcycle, get it in gear, and ride short distances in first or second gear -- at least to the end of my driveway and back.

This article gives you a 10-step procedure to move a motorcycle without the need to start it. The article also gives you a 10-step procedure to move a motorcycle by pressing the start button, putting it in gear, and moving it under its own power.

Remember at all times that a motorcycle is a machine that responds quickly to human commands made by the hands or the feet. You should learn basic operations slowly and safely. These are best left to the experts as they teach you in the MSF course.

Steps given here are done at your own risk. There is always the chance that the motorcycle will fall over or you will not be able to control it.

10-Step Procedure to Move a Motorcycle By Starting It and Putting It In Gear

10-Step Procedure to Move a Motorcycle Without Starting It

Honda Takes Steps to Provide an Automatic Transmission for Motorcycles

Honda Motor Co., Ltd, Japan, has unveiled a new automatic transmission, the Human-Friendly Transmission (HFT), a new automatic transmission system for motorcycles using Honda’s own infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission.

Motorcyclists have ridden with standard transmissions for over 100 years. Although there have been some automatics along the way, they never proved popular with riders who want to make their own gear changes. Scooters come with automatics and they seem to be popular with some riders.

Could this be the next big breakthrough in motorcycling? Read this news release from Honda for all the details.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Motorcycle Left-Turner Accidents - Don't Be a Statistic

I've been harping on safe riding for years. I even wrote 10 Ways To Be Safe on a Motorcycle. Apparently, even with my audience at, I didn't reach enough riders. Another rider just lost his life only two miles from my house. He struck a left turning driver.

Please read my article and pass it on to your friends, even those who don't ride. We need to save a few lives and it all starts with you.

Reading a newspaper account of an accident like this always leaves the reader with questions about just what were the conditions under which the accident occurred. We've all heard reports that the driver didn't see the bike at all. Well, there are conditions where the sun is in your eyes and blocks out the rider. Or, some part of the structure of the car blocks your vision. I know this happens. I have to move forward, back, and side-to-side sometimes to be sure I can see the complete roadway when I'm waiting to turn in my car. And the small profile of a motorcycle coming at you is hard to see even under good conditions. Of course, these days, the possibility of the driver having a cell phone in their ear doesn't help at all.

I don't want to leave the motorcycle rider out here. We, as riders, don't always look out for ourselves. We know that we need to consider ourselves invisible to other drivers (and motorcyclists). That means always riding with space around us and constantly practicing defensive riding. Anticipate what a driver will do and allow space in case they do what you expect.

In the case of trying to prepare for a left-turner in front of you, always make sure you don't ride close to the car in front of you. A left-turner will see the car in front of you but you may be blocked from their view. The left-turner sees the car in front of you pass and makes a sudden left turn and you smash into them.

I heard of another accident where a car waiting to make a left turn did nothing wrong except they had their wheels turned left anticipating the turn when a vehicle behind them crashed into them and forced their car into the oncoming lane killing a motorcyclist. Folks, I thought everyone knew that you never turn your wheels at rest while waiting to turn. Always keep them straight ahead. If you're hit, you won't go into the oncoming lane.

I guess one could go on and on about left-turners and how to prevent motorcycle fatalities. However, I know these accidents will keep happening. But we all can prevent a few from happening. Reading my 10 Ways To Be Safe on a Motorcycle will help to put a few ideas in your head that may save your life. And really, all I'm trying to do is save you and keep you riding and riding and riding until the day you choose to stop riding. Hopefully, that day will never come.

If you have any comments on how to be safe on a motorcycle, leave them below.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Motorcycle Pictures

My Motorcycle Pictures Gallery is growing. Unfortunately, all the motorcycle makes and models are dispersed throughout the gallery. So, I added a new page, Motorcycle Pictures by Year, Make, and Model. That makes life a little easier.

Now, we need your help. Send in a picture of you and your motorcycle and help us grow the gallery.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ducati Recalls 1098 for Engine Stalling Problem

Ducati has issued a recall of certain 2007 1098 models.

On certain motorcycles, the electronic control unit (ECU) ignition timing and idle mixture were improperly set during production causing the engine speed to drop and stall the engine when the temperature of the cooling system exceeded 180F. If the engine stops while the motorcycle is being driven, it could increase the risk of a crash.

1516 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Are Motorcycles Safer than Horses?

The old motorcycle helmet debate may be shifting to the equestrian world where many horse riders are being seriously injured since they don't wear helmets or protective apparel. Here's a quote from

"Hour-per-hour in the saddle, more riders are seriously injured riding horses than motorcycles.

That is the surprising revelation of a new study from researchers at the University of Calgary.

Equally surprising is that those being hurt and killed are not rookie equestrians but, in large part, veteran riders." -- ANDRÉ PICARD

Read more.

Offer your own comment below.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

10 Motorcycle Riders Create Art by Burnout

Last Monday, an unusual art exhibition was held at the Seventh Regiment Armory in New York City. It involved 10 motorcycle stunt riders who rode for seven minutes on 288 panels of painted plywood. So much smoke was expected that a special test run was done with smoke machines to confirm that the air would still be breathable. Here's a quote from the New York Times article by Carol Vogel, entitled, "After Test Runs, an Armory Is Ready to Declare, ‘Artists, Start Your Engines’ ."

"Look, it’s going in the right direction,” said Doreen Remen, a founder of the Art Production Fund, a nonprofit organization that presents unusual public art projects. With her co-founder, Yvonne Force Villareal, and the artist Aaron Young she gazed upward with relief as the smoke began filtering out the open windows along the rafters."

At the actual show played to 500 invited guests including members of the Hells Angels, art history was made. Read more.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Two Motorcycle Worlds

This week finds me somewhat between two motorcycle worlds. A few days ago I received the new riding schedule for the 2007-2008 Polar Bear Grand Tour. It’s my job to convert this schedule into something readable on the Polar Bear Grand Tour Web site. Then when the season starts, I take pictures at each run and post them on the site. The season doesn’t start until October 28th, the last Sunday in October. However, over 500 participants will be looking for the new schedule shortly so it’s important that not a lot of time goes by before it’s posted. Unfortunately my wife and I were scheduled to attend a state rally here in NJ for the GWRRA (Gold Wing Road Riders Association) so all work on the schedule stopped.

As I’m thinking about winter riding again with the Polar Bears, I see many riders in the north starting to think about slowing down their riding and putting their bikes away. Of course, most riders will prolong this until riding just gets too cold. The Polar Bears see no benefit in putting their bikes away and so don heavy protective clothing, most opting for electrically heated vests, gloves, pants, and even socks as the temperatures drop into the 40s, 30s, 20s, and lower.

Meanwhile, the GWRRA rally turns out to be a pretty late rally falling this year on September 6-8. That’s after Labor Day so people have stopped thinking about vacations and are now concentrating on school and jobs. That means it’s hard to attract people to attend. Next year, this rally will be held in early August.

The GWRRA gathering we attended was small and most of the participants knew each other. Although the organization is divided into chapters located across the state and nation and even internationally, there is considerable interaction of members among chapters. That makes many GWRRA gatherings seem like family reunions to outsiders. That’s what outsiders have remarked after seeing so much hugging and kissing going on as member couples run into each other at functions. Often it’s difficult to go from point A to point B without getting stopped by other couples for lengthy conversations. After one conversation ends you almost immediately run into another couple which starts another conversation. And so it goes.

Of course, historically, GWRRA tends to attract husband and wife riding couples who ride two-up on the same motorcycle. Lately, however, in the last five or six years, I’ve seen a steady increase in the number of women riding their own bikes. Thus, where ten years ago, almost no GWRRA women rode their own bikes but instead chose to ride pillion, now many GWRRA couples have two bikes, a Gold Wing for the husband and a separate bike (not necessarily a Gold Wing) for the wife. The couple concept remains except one bike has been replaced by two in some cases.

There has also been an increase in the number of riders preferring to ride motorcycle trikes. Again, within GWRRA the Gold Wing motorcycle is the basis for the trike with the rear wheel removed and replaced by two automotive wheels and an automotive rear end. The trike part has extra trunk space needed since the normal saddlebags have been removed. Again, in keeping with the need in some cases for both the husband and wife to ride their own motorcycle, some couples have opted to ride individual trikes. Such is the case for my wife and me.

At these small GWRRA gatherings, the standard rally activities occur such as seminars, bike contests, people games, bike games, organized tours, self-guided tours, vendor sales, light parade, entertainment, and awards dinners. There’s plenty of time for socializing, admiring bikes, and eating too. The gathering we attended was heavy on ice cream, birthday and anniversary cakes, laughter, fun, eating, and picture taking. There wasn’t much drinking except for soda, tea, and coffee. That may be the reason that you won’t find many underweight Wingers. Along with all this socializing, the Wingers are very safety conscious taking skill improvement courses all the time to learn how to be safe on the road.

I’m not giving away any inside stories here. If you want to participate in all this fun, you’ll have to join your local GWRRA chapter and go to a rally on your own. However, what happens at GWRRA gatherings can be pretty tame. It’s certainly family oriented. I saw quite a few children who attended with their parents and even two girls who appeared to be about 9-10 years old who won youngest passengers arriving on a motorcycle.

Now, I’m back from the rally and need to get back working on that Polar Bear schedule. Of course, all 500 of us Polar Bears are continually having to explain to outsiders that we don’t go in the water on New Year’s Day. That’s those “other” Polar Bears.

Polar Bear picture by Walter Kern. Cake picture courtesy of Barbara Malone.

Got any comments about your own motorcycle gatherings? Post them below.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Motorcycle Camping

In order to enjoy your camping you have to pack your bike to the nuts with all the things you may need to make life comfortable. Saddlebags, trunk, and a tank bag can accomodate a lot of your stuff, plus you can pile more on top if need be. Thats where a good supply of bungee cords or cargo netting strap comes in handy.
When planning for motorcycle camping, smaller is better and most camping outlet stores have smaller items that are perfect for motorcycle camping. One burner stove, small lantern, folding fry pan, pots with folding handles, paper plates and plastic cutlery will all do the job for you. Think small and buy accordingly and you can pack everything you need.

I even manage to carry a fold up camping chair with me, because one my pet peeves is that when you arrive at the campsight the only place to sit is on the ground or at the picnic table.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Logan Pass-Going to the Sun Highway

[Click on pictures for full size version]
Ian, Darcy and I met up at Grants house in Calgary and started our five day-three-state-two province tour which would include Logans Pass, also known as "The Going To The Sun Highway".

With fresh faces and no lasting hang overs, we assembled the packed and ready bikes and crew for the obligatory line-up and photo op. Seems to be some one missing, never mind he is taking the photo.

We burned a lot of rubber heading south out of Calgary on Highway 2 heading for our lunch stop at Fort MacLeod. I held the big Silverwing back and took up the rear riding position as I expected to have to stop and pick up Yamaha and Harley parts along the way.

Nanton was our first breather stop where we could stretch our legs, scratch our butts and take a picture of an airplane on a stick.

After crossing into Montana, which has some of the best motorcycle roads on earth, we stopped to load the bikes with cheap beer, gas and smokes.

We entered Waterton National Park from the eastern side, stopped and had another photo op, after paying the $12.00 entry fee. I must have intimidated the attendant at the gate as he over charged me outrageously and then had to refund me twice.
The first few miles of the park are rather tame, but a scenic ride none the less.

This stopping point over looking the lake is your first hint of what is to come.

Lots of curves and twister's along the way but the amount of traffic thru the park curtails any canyon carving.

The road that was first blasted thru the mountains in the thirties slowly descends along some sheer cliffs and even the local mountain goats get nervous.

Lots of bike traffic carving its way past the tunnels and waterfalls along the route. Even if you had the road to yourself you would be going slow gawking at the marvelous scenery.

Lots of little pull offs to take a peek over the edge and shoot some pics.

Had a little construction delay that only amounted to about 10 minutes. Had to curtail my nasty smoking habit as there was a fire ban on with a no smoking in the park policy and the cruiser behind us looked ready to enforce the law.

Even the construction stopping spots offer up a great view. They were rebuilding some of the retaining walls.

Logans Pass has to be one of the most scenic rides you will find anywhere, with deep gorges and towering mountains.

After the pass and a night in Kalispel, we headed west towards Libby and Bonners Ferry, Idaho where we consulted the map and looked for the most scenic route.

Great stopping spots along the Thompson Lakes region on Highway 2, Montana.

North of Newport Washington where we found a great little road that took us back up to Canada. Highway 41 north is not a very heavily used road but it was a surprise to us as what a great motorcycle road it turned out to be, if you get the chance check it out.

We wimped out when we made it to Fernie B.C. and stayed in a motel for the night rather than taking a camping spot. In the morning a photo op presented itself and we indulged.

After getting back into Canada the ride to Creston B.C. was another great motorcycle road.

Last day heading home we stopped for a break, some were reluctant to come this route through the Crowsnest Pass as the last time we were thru here in September we were stopped two days in a motel with no power because of an early snow storm. Thankfully this year there was no snow and we made it through.

Just short of Longview Alberta we stopped to suit up as it had been threatening to rain and the low dark clouds ahead had lots of rain in them. We ended up riding the last two hundred miles home in a steady down pour.