I love riding and I would love to get better at it but even in my dreams, I don't ride this well!
If you visit Hefei, capital of Anhui province, don't be surprised if you see an elegantly dressed woman on the back of a dilapidated motorcycle ridden by a bruiser. Very likely, she just could not get a cab.
Traffic congestion is well documented in first-tier cities such as Beijing, where the average commute from home to work takes 52 minutes.
It is only 28 minutes in second-tier Hefei, but when cabs are stuck in traffic, people who need to get somewhere quickly are stymied.
Enter the freelance motorcycle taxi, which can zip between cars idling in the clogged traffic lanes.
ABS issues aside, how much fun would this be!?
Motorcycling is primarily a solo activity, but for many, riding as a group -- whether with friends on a Sunday morning ride or with an organized motorcycle rally -- is the epitome of the motorcycling experience.
Here are some tips to help ensure a fun and safe group ride.
"Cars lie to us and tell us we're safe, powerful, and in control. The air-conditioning fans murmur empty assurances and whisper, "Sleep, sleep."
"Motorcycles tell us a more useful truth: we are small and exposed, and probably moving too fast for our own good, but that's no reason not to enjoy every minute of the ride."
The American Motorcyclist Association has taken nominations and votes on where the best motorcycling roads in the United States are located. With over 100 roads were submitted, the organization’s 230,000 person membership voted on the entries via the AMA’s website (although were not told how many actually voted). With the tallies finally in, the AMA has chosen 15 routes in all, with some honorable mentions as well.
With an equal showing of roads in the west coast, Rocky Mountains, and southern states, the AMA’s list also includes roads in the midwest and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, seemingly leaving not region unaccounted for in the results. Did your favorite road gain the top spot as “The Best Motorcycling Road” according to AMA members?
Watch this video and think about how *you* would have prevented it from happening:
Two amazing vehicles. If given the choice, I'd be hard pressed to chose (or afford!) either one. Fun video but check out the lame justification at the end.
Michael Lock is something of a rock star in motorcycle circles.
The former chief executive of Ducati North America grew the small Italian sportbike brand from a niche player in the U.S. market into a powerhouse synonymous with sleek and sporty sex appeal.
Lock recently left to take over marketing duties for Think, a Norwegian EV maker that will soon start selling plug-in electric cars in the U.S., and stopped by The Times to chat about his new venture.
The Times took the opportunity to pick his brain about the U.S. motorcycle market, which continues to experience declining sales.
1) Mt Hood is even more beautiful from on top of a motorcycle
2) A Harley Road King is maneuverable - if you've already had 36k+ miles "practice" on a Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe :)
3) When it's hot out, windshields, black armored jackets and jeans suck
4) It's really easy to hit the rev limiter on a Harley Road King...what is redline on that thing - 5K rpm!? :)
5) Riding soothes my soul, calms my mind and makes me happy
6) A Harley Road King is not a Yamaha FJR 1300 - and that's fine
7) The vibration of a Harley Road King at a stop light makes me painfully aware of where my fat lives.
8) Whacking the throttle open on a Harley Road King *really* gets the attention of the guy in the car next to you
9) Kids and pretty girls still wave at me
10) 2 hours on a bike isn't long enough
11) I got comments, waves and thumbs up from people who would ignore me on the Yamaha
12) The floorboards on a Harley Road King are *really* low
13) I can't quick shift a Harley
14) Even if the Harley's owner says the brakes are grabby, don't believe him - test and verify
15) Harley brakes are *nowhere* near as "grabby" as an FJR 1300 :)
16) Ergonomics are *hugely* important on a motorcycle - for comfort, for safety, for fun
17) People still don't see motorcycles - I was almost hit once and had at least 5 other close calls in only 2 hours of riding :(
18) My riding self preservation skills are still intact
19) A helmet left in a box for a year is a little "aromatic"
20) I really want another motorcycle :(
Choosing the top 10 bikes of all time is a little bit like picking the top 10 movies all time; no matter how judicious your choices, someone is going to disagree.
Pick the Honda CB750 as the most significant Japanese bike and some Kawasaki fanatic will take you to task for rating it over the Z1. Choose the Triumph Bonneville as the seminal British twin and the Norton aficionados will be up in arms. Rally around pre-war bikes and you're an old fart; pick a bunch of modern motorcycles and you're a shallow dilettante. There really is no way to win.
So, knowing I am sure to lose or at least to be corrected, here is my top 10 list of motorcycles of all time.
Leaked docs show Motorcyclist caved to advertiser pressure, fired editor
A series of email exchanges published earlier today by MC24.no appear to indicate that Motorcyclist fired Dexter Ford, a contributing editor who had been with the magazine for three decades, after a story he wrote for The New York Times angered the magazine's advertisers.
The emails, which Ford confirmed for us are the real thing, include an apparent assertion by Motorcyclist editor-in-chief Brian Catterson that major helmet makers threatened to withdraw advertising in his magazine due to Ford's New York Times piece. That same email then quotes Catterson as saying, "Iʼm getting serious heat over this, to the tune of threatening my job unless I do something about you." (September 30, 2009 at 4:21 PM)
If true, the emails raise troubling questions about a potentially unethical relationship between advertising dollars and editorial content at the popular magazine, one that stretches beyond mere motorcycle reviews and appears to include reporting on the safety of children's helmets.
After a decade of steady increases, motorcyclist deaths nose-dived last year, possibly due to bikers watching their budgets in a sour economy.
The study, set for release Thursday, indicates a 16 percent drop in U.S. motorcycle fatalities through the first nine months of 2009 compared to the same period in the previous year. It projects at least a 10 percent decline in fatalities over the entire year, or about 530 fewer deaths.
The 5,290 motorcyclist deaths in 2008 was the highest ever.
There is nothing in the data to indicate the cause of the sudden decline, but it is most likely due in part to a cutback in recreational driving by motorcyclists, Hedlund said in an interview.
Leslie Porterfield has officially entered the Guinness World Records books as the fastest woman on a motorcycle.
Porterfield’s speed of 232.522mph, set in the 2008 BUB Speed Trials at the Bonneville Salt Flats on a 2002 2000cc Turbo-charged Suzuki Hayabusa, nudges the female motorcycle dealer into the spotlight as the fastest woman-ever on two wheels.
The always informative Captain Crash wrote this post on the Beginners Bikers Forums. I think it should be mandatory reading for *everyone* thinking of becoming a motorcycle rider!
So. One day, you are in your car and you look up and ZOOOOoooommmm, a motorcycle zips by. As you watch the chrome twinkle and fade you look out over the hood of your non-denominational crud coated car and think to yourself, 'I want to do that.' Which slowly becomes, 'I can do that, I mean really? How hard can that be?'
PRESTO-DIGITALIS! You've decided to become a motorcyclist. Later, after dinner and a relaxing beverage, you decide it's time to tell your--(circle one please) Wife-Husband-Girlfriend-Boyfriend-Companion-Longtime Companion-Passed Out Roomie-Stray Cat That Snuck in the Window-Jay Leno (he'll understand!)--that you're gonna get a bike.
'Not on your life!' Spits a finger waggling Stray.
'But I'll take a class!' Says you (wondering how a pizza thieving tabby became your "In Case of Emergency" contact).
'What are THEY gonna teach you?' Says the Stray as it rifles through your empty pizza boxes and all those Jack in the Box wax papers you've nibbled a little past wax to get all the cheese.
Good question! What are THEY going to teach you?
Allow me to illuminate.
The good ol' pull-the-tablecloth-off-the-table-without-sending-dishes-flying routine. The oldest trick in the book? Possibly, but BMW has taken it upon themselves to update the classic demonstration in a major way.
How 'bout upping the ante with 24 complete place settings around a giant rectangular table? Yeah, that'd do it.
I am a race fan. Even though I’m not be able to rattle off a litany of stats it doesn’t diminish the feeling I get when I’m watching those bikes speed around the track.
Two very vivid memories come to mind when I realized I would become a fan -
In April of 2008 I rode down, alone, to the Honda Superbike event at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL. Of course, I knew people raced motorcycles but this would be the first one I would watch up close. Pulling into the main drive, I looked over my shoulder and saw this…
How many times have you wished you knew the weather ahead of time on a planned route?
Well, the folks at Weather Underground might have a solution for you.
Their new "Road Trip" web page annotates the weather directly on a route. While it's not perfect, it is one more thing we riders can use to plan the Perfect Trip.
The family of a Dallas police officer who died in a crash two years ago while escorting then-presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton in a motorcade has sued her, the city of Dallas and the maker of the helmet he was wearing.
Sr. Cpl. Victor Lozada-Tirado's widow and children filed the lawsuit in state district court Monday, saying the city did not give him proper training for escorting a motorcade. It also accuses Clinton and her campaign of not giving timely notice for motorcade assistance, and claims the helmet was defective.
(Shawn's Comment: I'm very sorry the officer died but, while I understand (kinda) a lawsuit against the city and the helmet manufacturer, why sue Clinton?)
Sure, it feels fantastic to traverse the vast stretches of the best roads in the world via adrenaline pumping speeds. How about a complicated road, one that twists and turns, or has downright congested traffic, or unforgiving terrain? They might give you a headache, but it sure feels good when you’ve conquered them. Here is the list of the world’s most complicated and dangerous roads.
His groundbreaking research published in 1981 continues to form the basis of many of the country's motorcycle safety programs and is credited with saving countless lives.
Harry Hurt, one of the world's foremost authorities on motorcycle crashes and their causes, has died. He was 81.
Hurt suffered a heart attack Sunday at Pomona Valley Hospital. It was a complication of back surgery that he had a week earlier, said his eldest son, Harry Hurt III.
Hurt was the principal investigator of the Hurt Report, an in-depth, on-scene investigation of 900 motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles from 1976 to 1977.
Published in 1981, his groundbreaking research continues to form the basis of many of the country's motorcycle safety programs and is credited with saving countless lives.
Riding hundreds of miles can be fun. Riding hundreds of miles on twisting roads can be sublime, provided those curvy roads are navigated with the proper mount. And in our modern motorcycle kingdom one genus has evolved to best tackle this task – the Sport Tourers.
The hybrid sport-touring niche bridges the gap between the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink touring approach of the Gold Wing crew (you know the guys with the trailers) and the ergonomic masochism of long-distance rides aboard a production supersport.
An inherent compromise between performance and comfort, the sport-tourer is a tricky concept to master, and it’s a relatively small segment. Most manufacturers produce only one purpose-built ST bike and some do it better than others. That’s the purpose of our fourth Sport-Touring Shootout, so let’s introduce this year’s contenders.
It’s ironic that while our machines are practically one step removed from Star Wars technology, the culture surrounding their use is one step removed from the Wild West.
The American approach to safety for motorcyclists and scooterists – that is, our attitudes and practices – is essentially a world of anything goes; each person must choose amidst a culture fraught with mixed messages and conflicting agendas.
Helmet? No helmet? Full face? Half helmet? Head-to-toe gear? Leather jacket and jeans? Shorts and T-shirt? A little training? A lot? None?
Today about 21 states require full-time helmet use and most require eye protection. Other than that, if you want to tour the country on your turbo Hayabusa in a Speedo (or realistically, jeans, T-shirt, no helmet), have at it. Or, if you want to wear head-to-toe armored gear, you can do that too.
Try exercising the first option in Germany.