Articles Posted in Motorcycle News

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Biker stuck in trafficHarley owners and riders love their bikes and the lovely singing pipes that cause people without turning to say … “that’s a Harley.” Some say that having louder pipes might make caged drivers notice you and that is great for safety, but it can’t make your brakes work correctly. The Associated Press reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been hearing from Harley Davidson riders lately, nearly 50 of them now. The federal agency tasked with ensuring vehicle and road safety has begun an investigation into Harley brake failures. Harley Davidson is fully cooperating with the NHTSA. Riders have been complaining to the agency about the brake failures that include both the hand and foot pedals. Apparently, the investigation involves over 400,000 motorcycles. The span of model years is from 2008 through 2011. Five incidents have been reported, three of which resulted in crashes and two in injuries.

Although there is no current recall or other information on the status of the NHTSA investigation for the brakes on bikes manufactured during the noted time-frame, there are things Harley owners can check. It is possible that the brake failures that have been reported are on bikes in which the fluid has not been changed as recommended by Harley. They recommend changing fluid on a two year rotation. This avoids any potential problems with aging fluid corroding valves that are integral to the anti-lock braking system. Some might say that brake fluid should not be corroding a valve and that in itself could be a problem. This investigation might shed some light on that issue. Changing the fluid may not guarantee that the brake issue, whatever might be the cause, won’t happen to more riders. But for sure it is a good practice to check them yourself, or contact your Harley dealer to make sure your brakes are in good working order.

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Motorcycle riders in the sunset.jpgIf you thought you had seen the most beautiful of bikes every created, you might be wrong unless you attended the recent sale reported by Robert Frank in his piece Road Hog: $1 Million Motorcycle Coming Soon. Mr. Frank reports that a Danish custom motorcycle guru has now sold a very very golden bike to the tune of $850,000. But is there even greater gold ahead? Apparently, this same maker has hinted at a new endeavor that will result in a bike that is likely to be sold at One Million Dollars.

First, the bike that just sold which has been aptly named “Goldfinger,” is quite sparkly with not only gold plated parts, diamonds as well. Tough to miss this one on the afternoon ride. Naturally, a private buyer owns this gorgeous piece of bike history. But the identity of the owner and his or her place of residence is not known and will not be revealed unless spotted out on the open road somewhere. Next up, is another custom work of art that will move into the seven figures. Now, that would be some rich ride.

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for iStock_000003222033XSmall.jpgThere are lists and then there are lists that matter. For web-saavy riders, the best of the best in motorcycle blogs would seem to be a matter of focus and content. In fact, the best is a bit tricky to discern because there are many great blogs out there. Although there are several lists of the best bike blogs, looking at the blogs themselves, there is something for everyone and that makes “the best” a moving target. As a Gwinnett County motorcycle injury lawyer, I like to check in with many of these because their content is so diverse and interesting. Here are some interesting top blogs and a bit about their content.

From Phoenix Valley Atlas Rider focuses on motorcycle touring. Motorcycle travel has become more and more popular. Many retired folks are taking to their Harley bikes and getting on the open road. This is a great resource for those who want to travel the open road.

Bikes in the Fast Lane provides interesting news stories in the motorcycle world, including some interesting historical facts. If you are interested in the latest gadgets, you might just find them here. And then there is Knucklebuster which delves into the world of motorcycle customization. You can read the blog and peruse some cool in-progress photos and either weep or get your tools out. Although the blogger isn’t posting as often as he used to, the updates are fun and show a lot of detail about his progress on his latest work.

And now for those women out there who adore their bikes as much as the guys, Rippin Kitten is the place for you (and for the guys too). This blogger gives readers the latest on culture and events … a good place to go for some biking goings-on.

Bike EXIF is a top ranking blog and a great resource for custom bikes. Not only are the photos great, the info is as well and it is updated regularly. If you are looking for lots of content that covers a big space in the biking world, The Kneeslider is a good place for you to be visiting on a regular basis. It is well-written and doesn’t skim the surface. The blogger is not afraid to voice an opinion either.

If you like fine writing and are inspired by the grand beauties of the past, check out The Vintagent. The blogger is not only an expert on the valuation of vintage bikes, he has definitely honed his writing chops and it is a great great read. He also writes the online magazine “Oily Rag” which is “dedicated to the unrestored, and more importantly, the original which needs no improvement” … you can check out stories about vintage bikes and auctions as well as stories about machines of old … like the snow crawlers from Yellowstone. Great photos as well.

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Thumbnail image for Motorcycle riders in the sunset.jpgHere’s some news for all riders. The American Motorcycle Association reported earlier this week that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to drop the requirement that consumers purchase a minimum of four gallons of gas when dispensing the new E15 ethanol-gasoline blend. As an Atlanta motorcycle injury lawyer, I am please that the AMA’s effort could protect bikes from damage or lack of fuel efficiency.

The AMA had voiced its opinion to the EPA that the E 15 blend could be placed into motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle inadvertently. The blend contains up to 15 percent ethanol by volume which if placed into these vehicles using a blender pump (the same hose from which consumers would purchase the E 15 blend) could be problematic for bikes and ATV’s. Most motorcycles and ATVs are simply not designed to use E15 fuel.

The EPA’s original position was to require a minimum purchase that would effectively dilute residual E15 fuel in the hose pump, so that it would not impact motorcycles or ATV’s. However, after continuing concerns voiced by the AMA, the EPA has indicated instead of imposing the minimum purchase requirement, it will now “likely require a label on blender pumps that dispense E10 and E15 through the same hose that state the pump is solely for passenger cars and trucks.” And, the EPA says it will also require service stations selling E15 to have a pump that is solely for the E10 blend for use by motorcycles and other vehicles.

The possibility that AMA members and the riding public in general could inadvertently use the wrong gas has been a concern for a while now. As noted by the AMA, due to the size of a bike’s tank, any residual fuel that should not be used could “be detrimental to the performance of motorcycle or ATV engines due to the small size of their fuel tanks and the higher concentration of ethanol that would, therefore, be present in the fuel,” This is serious business as the use of the wrong fuel can not only cause lower fuel efficiency, it could also “possibly cause premature engine failure. Use of E15 fuel voids many manufacturer warranties. In off-road engines, the effects can even be dangerous for users.”

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Motorcycle rider on fall roadway.jpgThe AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame inducted seven new members this past month in Las Vegas. The 2012 inductees are all world class riders with famed histories. The event was hosted by Perry King, actor and motorcyclist. As an Atlanta motorcycle injury lawyer, I wanted to bring you all news about the inductees.

First, the list: Rod Bush, who is no longer with us, but was the KTM North America president and a true visionary within the industry; championship roadracing tuner Nobby Clark; off-road champion Ty Davis; AMA Supercross Champion Jimmy Ellis; renown motocrosser Sue Fish; famed restorer Brian Slark; and the late Al Wilcox, the famed race starter.

At a dinner before the ceremony that was sponsored by Kawasaki Motors Corporation, diners enjoyed good conversation and great food. Sharing memories and stories about the inductees and the best of the best in the biking world.

The inductees enjoyed the usual honors of videos about their careers and highlights of their careers. The ceremony included not only the 2012 inductees, but shout outs to the fine and legendary careers of Hall of Famers, including filmmaker Bruce Brown, director of the 1970 film “On Any Sunday.”

Those in Las Vegas for the ceremonies were also able to visit the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Dave Mungenast Memorial Concours d’Elegance bike exhibit. This amazing show gives attendees a chance to see some of the finest restored bikes and famed motorcycles.

” ‘We’re a community that embraces the past, honors the men and women who have brought us to the present, and races ahead to an exciting future — largely unknown to us now — and we do it all with a zest for life that is second to none,’ ” Mr. King noted.

What a great way to honor and celebrate the joy of the ride.

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Motorcycle4.jpgGeorgia bikers listen up. Heavy metal thunder is music to our ears and it is on the rise. Here’s the latest news about the industry, it’s good.

The rest of the world is catching on to what we already know. Biking is a great way to get around in a recession. As a Gwinnett County motorcycle injury lawyer, I enjoy the passion and adoration my clients have for riding. Now it seems many are joining the ranks of those who love to be out on the open road on a bike or ATV.

Here are the facts. Forbes magazine says that motorcycle and ATV dealers sales rose 16 percent in 12 months in the good ole USA. That is truly an awesome number because most sales are not rising. Even profit-margins are up.

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Four wheels move the body… Two wheels move the soul.

Only a Biker knows why a dog sticks his head out of a car window.

Life may begin at 30 but it doesn’t get real interesting until about 60 mph!

If you wait, all that happens is that you get older.

Midnight bugs taste just as bad as noon time bugs.

Saddlebags can never hold everything you want but they CAN hold everything you need.

It takes more love to share the saddle than it does to share the bed.

The only good view of a thunderstorm is in your rearview mirror.

Never be afraid to slow down.

Don’t ride so late into the night that you sleep through the sunrise.

Sometimes it takes a whole tank full of gas before you can think straight.

Riding faster than everyone else only guarantees you’ll ride alone.

Never hesitate to ride past the last street light at the edge of town.

Never do less than forty miles before breakfast.

If you don’t ride in the rain, you don’t ride.

A bike on the road is worth two in the shed.

Respect the person who has seen the dark side of motorcycling and lived.

Young riders pick a destination and go… Old riders pick a direction and go.

A good mechanic will let you watch without charging you for it.

Sometimes the fastest way to get there is to stop for the night.

Always back your bike into the curb, and sit where you can see it.

Work to ride & ride to work.

Whatever it is, it’s better in the wind.

Two-lane blacktop isn’t a highway… it’s an attitude.

When you look down the road, it seems to never end but you better believe, it does!

Winter is Nature’s way of telling you to polish your bike.

Keep your bike in good repair… motorcycle boots are NOT comfortable for walking.

People are like Motorcycles… each is customized a bit differently.

Sometimes, the best communication happens when you’re on separate bikes.

Good coffee should be distinguishable from 50 weight motor oil.

The best alarm clock is sunshine on chrome.

When you’re riding lead, don’t spit.

A friend is someone who’ll get out of bed at 2am to drive his pickup to the middle of nowhere to get you when you’re broken down.

Catching a yellow jacket in your shirt @ 70 mph can double your vocabulary.

If you want to get somewhere before sundown, you can’t stop at every tavern.

There’s something ugly about a NEW bike on a trailer.

Don’t lead the pack if you don’t know where you’re going.

Practice wrenching on your own bike.

Everyone crashes. Some get back on. Some don’t. Some can’t.

Don’t argue with an 18-wheeler.

Never be ashamed to unlearn an old habit.

A good long ride can clear your mind, restore your faith, and use up a lot of gas.

If you can’t get it going with bungee cords and electrician’s tape, it’s serious.

If you ride like there’s no tomorrow, there won’t be.

Bikes parked out front mean good chicken-fried steak inside.

There are drunk riders. There are old riders. There are no old, drunk riders.

Thin leather looks good in the bar, but it won’t save your butt from “road rash” if you go down.

The best modifications cannot be seen from the outside.

Always replace the cheapest parts first.

You can forget what you do for a living when your knees are in the breeze.

Patience is the ability to keep your motor idling.

Keep the paint up, and the rubber down!

There are two types of people in this world, people who ride motorcycles and people who wish they could ride motorcycles.

Just a little blurb to hold you over. In June I will begin a series that highlights the smaller bike shops and motorcycle related businesses that are around North Georgia. Let’s just say that we love to support local commerce and these people work very hard for your business and deserve the acknowledgement. If you can think of anyone that deserves a shoutout then let us know on Facebook. Friend me. You’ll find me under my name and the avitar is the same as the picture above.

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It’s crazy really. Two guys taking 600cc Supersport bikes and doing things mere mortals could never repeat.

The endos (also known as a stoppie: Stopping the motorcycle with such force that it lifts the rear wheel off the ground) were amazing. The fact that gravity doesn’t exist with Jason or Eric is truly magic.

They do this one endo trick where they place Monster (sponsors- gotta love them) soda cans on the ground opposite one another at approximately 30 yards apart. They then race toward one another, endo the bikes and twist them around landing their back wheels on the cans crushing them. I know guys that can’t stand at regulation distance (7ft 9 ¼ in) from a dart board and hit a bullseye. These guys are taking 400lbs motorcycles and turning them 180 degrees with the rear wheel in the air and crushing cans. Amazing!

There were so many tricks I can’t even describe them all. They could bunny hop motorcycles like kids do with BMX bicycles. Standing, sitting on tanks, sitting backwards, standing on one side or the other- it didn’t matter the direction of travel. They had incredible balance. I mentioned that you could compare freestyle riders to trials riders. I stand by that description. The difference is- rather than climbing rocks, walls, logs and vertical cliff like trials riders Team No Limits manages all their work on fairly level ground.

They throw in people from the audience and do burn-outs and endos using the volunteers as obstacles. In one trick they set two people up back to back in the center of the stunt area. Then they race like crazy toward them. Jason and Eric endo their bikes right up to the point where the front tires meet between the two volunteers’ legs. Wouldn’t it scare you a bit if two guys came at you around 60mph and then all you saw was the tail of the bike headed toward your head?

There are dozens of tricks that I could barely describe. So, I won’t. I will leave you with pictures to awe over and encourage you to look up Team No Limits or Jason Britton on You Tube. If he or his team every get to a town near you I suggest loading you or the family unit up and going to see them. It’s an incredible show.

All photos are courtesy of Andy Willetts’ daughter: Victoria. While Andy was manning the video Victoria was manning the still shots.

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Moto 1 Techno.jpgI asked a few questions to Cameron Gray of M1 about his post race thoughts.

G2W– What was the attendance per day and total?

CTG– Regarding attendance numbers we do not publish those. All I can say is we exceeded our projections in both spectator sales and camping sales.

G2W– As a promoter how did you feel about how the racing, trophy presentation and fan experience went?

CTG– I felt the racing was great with the Saturday Superbike Race one of the best EVER! Trophy presentation was one of our best and the fan experience far exceeded our expectations.

G2W– Where you worried about the weather? How about that wind Sunday?

CTG– I was terrified about the weather. It is a concern and always will be at Road Atlanta. Sunday wind non issue for us.

G2W– Is there anything you would change for the Miami, NOLA and next year’s Road A event?

CTG– We will go bigger at Miami and New Orleans. Only having 2 and half months to prepare for Road Atlanta not enough time at all. Will be much better next year!

G2W– Did you get any feedback from the vendors?

CTG– All vendors were incredible happy coming back next year and many going to Miami and New Orleans.

I asked Jake Zemke and Benny Solis the same three questions to see where they are with their teams. Jake races the #98 DucShop Daytona SportBike 848EVO and Benny races the #35 Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki SuperSport.

1- From Daytona to Road A what improved with you and the bike?

2- Explain how your weekend went?

3- What did you learn about the weekend, the team and the bike to take into Infineon?

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#98 Jake Zemke:

1- From Daytona to Atl. we changed a fair amount on the bike. I would say that the biggest change was switching to a different set of Ohlins forl internals. This gave me better front feel and allowed me to push harder.

2- The weekend went well as we were able to make progress all weekend and improve in some of the areas that we were lacking.

3- Looking ahead to Infineon we will continue to look at improving the bike, I won’t be happy until we are on top of the box.

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#35 Benny Solis:

1- From Daytona, a lot has improved; not just on the bike but also the relationships between me and my crew. We were a little green at Daytona so we were still learning on how to work with each other and how to understand our info off the bike from each other. So at Atlanta we worked together better and on the bike, we improved on a better feel for the bike and motor. I felt much better at Atlanta and I even got the rear working better than ever before so that’s a big plus. We’re still learning from each other so I know as the year goes on we will be stronger every time.

2- Over all at the end of the weekend, we all realized that we didn’t do bad at all. Although I crashed out of 3rd in the first race and finished 9th in the second we were still happy with the info we got off the bike. We know we have the pace to run up front but we crashed out because of a mistake i made. And in race two, we struggled because of a small issue with a change we made on the bike. We know what we did wrong which is good because now we know what to avoid. Now we are working on being at the fast pace a little earlier in the weekend and being more consistent throughout the rest of the weekend.

3- We learned what changes work and which didn’t work on the bike with certain things we wanted to improve. So I have ALL my notes from every change and session and for Infineon I’m confident every change will be a positive one since we know what didnt work before. We’re hoping out first set up is strong right off the bat so we can be up front right away and then just work up from there to be at the top. It’s still my first season is DSB so it’s tough but we know what we can do with what we have and we’re sure we can podium and possibly win some races this year.

Pictures are courtesy of Graham Crosby

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Georgia On Two Wheels did their very first “event” and we picked the Big Kahuna of them all to kick off our vendor experience.

Thursday 04/19/12: We loaded in at 6:00pm. Upon arrival we found Bob. Bob is M1’s point man on vendor row. We had to load in the G2W tent and Foremost’s tent. Since Larry Pegram (Superbike racer and team owner) was our contact for the Foremost tent he told us to look for “Texas Bob”. Much to our surprise “Texas Bob” and our Bob are the same Bob. Funny thing about “Texas Bob” is that he’s from Boston, owned a Texas steak house and lives in Colorado. Weird, huh? Vendor row was pretty slow on Thursday but the load in was uneventful and that’s a good thing.

Friday 04/20/12: We showed up late because “real” jobs had to take place. We set up the rest of our SWAG (free stuff) and watched the campers trickle in. When you are a vendor you can tell immediately if you will have a good weekend at a race track if the campers show early. They did. We found it amazing the number of tent campers at the track. When you have a weather forecast that is “iffy” at best tent campers are your best barometer of how the weekend will go. After the track went silent for the evening the promoter opened up the stage for emcee to get the fans going. They gave away all kinds of stuff, had an autograph session that many racers attended and the Cigar Store Indians played a bunch of rock-a-billy for the crowd.

Saturday 04/21/12: At 7:30am we were on the track getting ready for the day. The weather was overcast and the feeling of showers was in the air. Thankfully, that never happened. The fans were pouring into the track early and the racing wasn’t going to happen for hours. It was a good sign. By 10:00 am the Café Racer Village (vendor row) was pretty packed. We were giving out kickstand coasters and other swag at a pretty good clip. By noon we actually had to slow down the rate at which we were giving things away to make sure we could get to at least 2:00pm Sunday. The PA was pumping out the race play by play and it kept the fans engaged without having to watch every moment. M1 did bring out the “big screens” for the fans. At turn 6, 10 and vendor row people saw the tack action. The vendors were from all types of backgrounds. Bobcat was there with a little excavator and letting people pick up basketballs and place them in buckets. The Custom earplug guys were there and if you are a fan of Café Racer T.V. show they showed up with Dime City, Grease Monkey and Fuller Customs. Triumph had a pretty cool tent, as well. Jason Britton did his “freestyle” show and Ricky Gadson was there with the ZX14 dragbike and simulator. They had monster truck rides for fans, a chiropractor that gave $10 adjustments and after the racing the Cigar Store Indians played again.
Sunday 04/22/12: 8:00am we tied weights to the tent because the forecast was for 40mph gust. The morning started a little slow. The campers must have stayed up a little late on Saturday. About 10:00am is when the vendors started seeing signs of life. Fans were starting to flood in. The wind had yet to blow things away and our response to our free stuff was incredible. The rate of the give-a-ways was much better than I had anticipated. The EBR (Eric Buell Racing) tent and Café Racer T.V. tent were selling stuff like crazy. It was pretty cool so see all the vendors doing so well. In the end, all our SWAG was gone by 2:00pm just like we planned and we were able to go watch the Daytona SportBike race and the Superbike race.

In all, an incredible first outing for G2W from a vendor perspective. Stay tuned for a Jason Britton update, racing updates and little mini-interviews. I will post pics but will leave a link in one of my post of the photographer’s photobucket page. Next up: A word with Benny Solis: SuperSport racer

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