Motorcycle Rider Basics

Famous Geezers who ride!

180px-Lawrence_of_Arabia_Brough_Superior_gif Famous Geezers are baby boomers or older than baby boomers, famous and infamous, whenever I hear about some old person who is famous and rides a motorcycle, I get one of those half-smiles. You know, the one that says "But of course!"

But of course it is only natural that someone who has become an icon (and survived to become a living baby boomer or older) amongst us mortals, should ride a motorcycle. But of course!

2006 HD Wide Glide Oil Change

My 2006 Wide Glide has 27,623 miles on it and the last time I had it serviced was at 20,000 miles. I missed the 25,000 mile service and it is overdue. Up until recently I have been an absolute fanatic about service every 5000 miles. I've been dragging my feet because I just didn't want to spend the money to take it to the Harley dealer. Also my extended service plan recently expired so there will never be any more warranty work performed by the dealer.

I said it's time to start doing my own service. What the heck, when I was riding as a teenager I did everything myself so now that I am older and wiser, it's time to get out the tools and go back to work. I would like to say that this decision is based upon my burning desire to be immersed in all aspects of my motorcycle, but the fact is that this is a purely economical decision. I just don't want to pay 75 bucks an hour to have somebody change the oil in my motorcycle.

Best Beginner Motorcycles: So what kind of bike should I buy to start?

EasyRider SAC 2007_117 This only applies to someone who wants to ride a cruiser, specifically, a Harley cruiser. All of you BMW and sport bike folks can just move onto the next interesting post.

Ride Within Your Ability

FG Riding Statistically, a lot of motorcycle accidents are lone rider accidents. No car involved, just a lone rider crashing. Riding beyond your ability results in things like;

Overshooting the curve because you came in too fast and are unable to correct without going down. You end up on the wrong side of the road riding right into the traffic or off the edge of the road.

Inexperienced at splitting lanes and just generally riding too aggressive for your skill level can bring you down in traffic with disastrous results.

Baby Boomers Ride Again!

FG 6-15-08 A couple of years ago I was the local Harley shop checking out the new bikes. I was talking to a salesman, an older guy, whose sales technique was very laid back. He was not pushy, just giving me information. Just the kind of salesman that I like.

We were going from bike to bike and he was telling me about the pros and cons of each different model. When we came to a new Wide Glide, he commented that he has been riding this particular motorcycle back and forth to work every day for the last week.

Stuck at the Red Light…forever!

Traffic Light If you have not yet been stuck sitting in a left turn lane red light, don't worry, you will.

Everyone gets stuck some time or the other. When it happens to you, here's what you can do about it.

But first, what's happening anyway? why doesn't the light change? Well, as we all know (and if you don't, go sit in the corner for ten minutes - time out) there are wires under the road which detect the presence of cars and trucks waiting at the stop light. These wires feed data to the traffic light controller which actually turns the light red, yellow and green based upon the presets and the presence or absence of vehicles.

Motorcycle Rider Basics: Test Your Knowledge

clip_image002Have you ever said to yourself, Wow, I wish I would have know that years ago, what a difference that would have made? I have. I hate re-inventing the wheel. Here are ten questions that will test your motorcycle rider basics.

Scooter Schmooter

Burgman Scooters, hey, I thought this blog was about motorcycles, not scooters.

Scooters have come a long way, baby. My 1960’s “Nifty, Thrifty, Honda 50” has migrated into today’s super class of scooters like the Suzuki Burgman. This Suzuki Burgman has a 650cc, fuel-injected motor and electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission scooter. It weighs 518 pounds and is a freeway machine with a top speed of 115 mph. It will set you back over $10,000 brand new.

Motorcycle Safety: They Can’t Hit You If You’re Not There

clip_image002Well, Duh Frank, of course they can’t hit you if you're not there but I have to ride in the real world and they are there, all of the time. I share the road with cars, trucks, buses, bicycles and anything else that happens along.

I understand, but what I mean is to keep yourself (and your bike) positioned out of the danger zone. You always have choices.

It's the same as riding too close to the car in front of you. If you are too close to the car in front of you and that car makes a sudden stop, you are going to hit it.

If you ride in blind spots, you are going to increase your "close calls" and eventually, get hit by a vehicle whose driver didn't see you there.

Look Where You Go & Go Where You Look

MadMax BadGuy Understanding this concept is another critical piece of the riding puzzle. Go where you look means that, when riding, you (and your motorcycle) will go to wherever you are looking.

The formal term for this is “Target Fixation”.

Here are three examples;