Monday, February 14, 2011

Two Wheeled Riding Withdrawals

Two Wheeled Riding Withdrawals

Anyone who has been addicted for any length of time to riding on two wheels, specifically motorcycles, and has been denied access to that mount, may come down with Midlife Motorcycle Madness.  With Mistress down for repairs I have been acutely aware of the symptoms and peculiarities of this disease.

Riding on two wheels is akin to an alcoholic or drug high. You just can’t seem to get enough of it. Several things start to happen when not being able to ride, mostly just substitution. One is that you be spending a lot of time working on your bike performing upgrades, maintenance or repairs. You will probably spend every other free moment reading everything you can find about motorcycles in hard or electronic copy. You may also be spending a lot of time on forums & social media discussing everything two wheeled related.

When not doing these things you may develop some other peculiar symptoms of the disease. You will find yourself being a lot more sensitive to the sound of a v-twin or sport bike revving, even in the distance and it will draw your attention directly to it. Your right hand occasionally will twist like it is time to accelerate, usually right after a left foot shift twitch. You might find yourself driving along the far left lane of the freeway hugging the left stripe to see around the traffic in front of you. You may also find yourself wandering around the house leaning yourself around the corners.  Don't ask me how I know.

Truthfully there is only one cure and that is riding a motorcycle on the open road and the open road is optional! The acceleration, adrenalin, twisties and wind take away all the bad side effects. See you on the road soon.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Motorcycle gear

There is some great looking motorcycle clothing on the market these days, but believe me not all of the motorcycle clothing offers as much protection as you think. In Europe, for motorcycle clothing to be lawfully sold as “safety" clothing, it has to pass a series of European standards, which are pretty lengthy but are available on my website. The standards cover the clothing’s performance in abrasion, tearing and impact tests, and when they have passed; they are sold with the CE mark. However, no such regulation is available in the USA, so what should you look for?

Protection in the right places…

Not many people realise that most motorcycle injuries occur below the belt. Your legs and feet are extremely vulnerable, so make sure that you wear a decent pair of high boots and some protective pants. The pants should be reinforced at the knees and hips; ideally they should attach to your jacket by a zipper. Boots should be thick leather, with a sole that can flex with the foot but has a resistance to crushing across the foot.

Traditional material for motorcycle clothing is leather, but thick nylon and other synthetic materials work well too. Kevlar reinforced jeans are better than normal jeans .Normal jeans last 0.6 seconds in the European standard abrasion test, while protective motorcycle pants will last 5 seconds or more. You don’t really want to be ripping your skin open within less than half a second of falling of your bike do you? Thought not.

Same principles apply to jackets. Make sure they are hardwearing, if they are leather make sure it is thick leather not fashion leather like some jackets. Stitching should be uniform with no dropped stitches, and all your “sharp bits”, your elbows and shoulders should be reinforced, ideally with some impact protection included.

A decent pair of gloves is a must; your palms will be at risk in an accident; you instinctively put out your hands palm side down to stop yourself in a slide, so the palms of your gloves should be reinforced with patches. Knitted Kevlar is especially good for this kind of abrasion resistance, but reinforced leather works well too.

Impact protection can be bought separately like back protectors and so on, but remember where your most vulnerable areas are. And make sure if you buy impact protection you actually wear it! If you have any doubts it may be better to go for motorcycle clothing with a degree of impact protection included so that you know when you put on your jacket and pants, the protection is always going to be there.

Last but not least, pick out a helmet you can wear and wear it always. You may have a greater chance of getting injured below the waist in a motorcycle accident, but the consequences of being involved in an accident without a helmet just don’t bear thinking about….

So, next time you are shopping for motorcycle clothing, give a bit of thought to the level of protection it offers before you buy it. You never know it could save you a lot of unnecessary pain!

Thanks Honda

Scorpion XDR

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A day of deals ?

What a day we have here in the great white north,-6 Degrees Celsius and snow on the ground, not much to do so when went for a cage ride to Barrie Ontario to take a look if there was any great deals or accessories that may be needed for the upcoming bike season.

Needless to say there was none.


This is Just Wrong ....

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

10 Best Things About Motorcycling in the Cold

1. No bugs.
2. Fewer tourists (and no squids) on back roads.
3. Frosty auto windshields provide increased opportunity to practice avoidance maneuvers.
4. Amish buggy "exhaust" is no longer slippery (it is, however, bumpy).
5. No muscle spasms from reaching around to open jacket vents on the fly.
6. Lessened danger of getting caught in your zipper (guys only).
7. Corn is harvested, providing increased sight lines for cornering or Bambi-spotting.
8. Opportunity to assess blood-flow to extremities.
9. Battery Tender?  Don't need no stinkin' Battery Tender!
10. OK, I only came up with 9. Help me out!