Motorcycle Views Newsletter

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ducati Recalls Sport Classic for Fuel Hose Problem

Here's a motorcycle recall from Ducati.

Ducati Models Affected:

2007 Sport Classic
2006 Sport Classic

Component: Fuel System, Gasoline: Delivery: Hoses, Lines/Piping, and Fittings

NHTSA Campaign ID: 07V017000 on January 16, 2007 affecting 817 motorcycles

Summary: On certain motorcycles, the fasteners from the fuel line to the fuel filler were not tightened properly. The fuel pump hose inside the fuel tank may separate from the fuel filter. This condition will stop the engine from running.

Consequence: If the engine stopped while the motorcycle was being driven, it could increase the risk of a crash.

Remedy: Dealers will replace the fuel pump to fuel filter hose and fasteners to prevent the engine from stopping. The manufacturer has not yet provided an owner notification schedule. Owners may contact Ducati at 1-800-424-9153.
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For more about motorcycles, visit MotorcycleViews.com

Hyosung Recalls 2006 GV650 for Handlebar Problem

Here's a motorcycle recall from Hyosung.

Hyosung Model Affected:

2006 GV650

Component: Steering: Wheel and Handle Bar

NHTSA Campaign ID: 07V015000 on December 29, 2006 affecting 862 motorcycles

Summary: On certain motorcycles equipped with Edward Park handlebars, the bolts retaining the handlebars are too short.

Consequence: These bolts could loosen causing a loss of steering control, increasing the risk of a crash.

Remedy: Dealers will replace the bolts. The manufacturer has not yet provided an owner notification schedule. Owners may contact Hyosung at 770-447-5571.
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For more about motorcycles, visit MotorcycleViews.com

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Internet Troubles, Puzzles, and Pics of the Week

I'm a bit upset today. One of my Web sites has stopped working. It's the one for the Polar Bear Grand Tour. It's hosted by Netmart.com. I've been with them for a few years but recently they have stopped responding to me when I have a problem -- like nobody can reach my Web site. They don't have email that works. Their phone lines go to answering machines that don't identify themselves. They have an online error reporting system that they never look at. To top it off, they sell you domain names through a third party but they still have the responsibility to service the domains. Since they don't respond to problems, they don't respond to servicing of their domains. Right now I'm trying to transfer two of my domains away from them. One is serviced by Network Solutions. No problem with them. The other domain -- for the Polar Bear site -- is serviced by Netmart. I have no idea when I will be able to transfer this domain. I may have to get another domain name and hope that someday Netmart will get around to allowing me to transfer it.

For the time being, I'm putting Polar Bear pics up at a temporary location.

My Motorcycle Views Newsletter continues to gain subscribers. If you want to stay up-to-date on how Motorcycle Views is progressing, please sign-up now.

I'm adding new content every day to the site. I have my Motorcycle Jigsaw Puzzles available now. These are a lot of fun. Kids (and my grandkids) also love to do them. I have 30 puzzles, all from pictures of motorcycle scenes that I personally shot.

I have just released my Pictures of the Week. These feature one woman and one man and their motorcycles. Now I have to tell you that I need more pictures, especially of men with their bikes. If you have a picture of you and your bike, submit it to the Moto Pic Gallery. The Pictures of the Week are chosen from that gallery.

Tomorrow, Jane and I are taking two of our grandkids (6 and 8) to our monthly GWRRA Chapter NJ-F breakfast meeting. After that, I'm heading out on my trike to the Fort Dix Club for a Polar Bear Grand Tour run where I'll be taking pictures. The pictures can be found no later than Monday on the temporary site I mentioned above. I expect to be testing out my electrics on the Fort Dix run. I tried to fix them this week and this will determine if I stay warm or freeze again like I did last week.

Here's hoping the snow will hold off for another day.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Busy, busy, busy and it all has to do with motorcycles.

On Sunday, I rode my trike to East Brunswick, NJ for the 11th ride on the Polar Bear Grand Tour. It was 20 degrees and I had to ride a total of 44 miles. Fortunately, the sun was out, the wind was nonexistent, and the roads were clear. I thought I was OK since I had my electric vest and gloves hooked up. But, as the ride progressed, I didn't feel much heat and I slowly realized that my battery connection was not working. Same thing happened last week to my wife and I found out that when the battery had been replaced in the spring, the mechanic had not reconnected the leads to the electrics. I was now waiting for a warmer time to strip off the seat and take a close look at the leads on my own trike. I left early after I took the pictures for the day and hurried home to make a 1:30 p.m. staff meeting of my GWRRA Chapter NJ-F. After that, we all went out to dinner together.

When I returned home, I got a burst of energy and decided to trace down the electrical problem with my electrics. It didn't take long to see that the connections to the battery were all OK. Then I noticed that the cap on the fuse in the line had popped off and the fuse was a bit loose. I repositioned the wiring and fuse holder and snapped it back into place. Then, I got heat through my vest when I tried it out. Guess that was the problem.

Last night I was busy working on the Motorcycle Views site when I heard a strong humming, crackling noise from outside and then everything went black. I mean the entire development of 500 homes went out in an instant. I had to feel my way through the house to get my flashlight. After about 30 minutes in the dark, I decided to take the old car out and look for the problem. I drove through my development and found no lights until I got to the very end of it and saw the shopping center in blazing light. I turned down the main highway and headed back toward home. I could see a truck working on the lines about a block ahead of where I finally turned off. About an hour later, the lights were back on. Tonight the New York TV channel 7 had a helicopter report taken last night over the next major intersection where the lights were out and the cops were directing traffic. Anyway, that incident really put a kink in my work schedule last night.

Today, I decided that I wanted to create a newsletter for the site and spent about six hours getting it setup. Now my site has a newsletter subscription box and the software behind it to handle the complete newsletter job. I was able to find a company on the Internet that could do the whole job for a reasonable price. If you intend to stick around with me as I continue to build the Motorcycle Views Web site, please subscribe to the newsletter. I plan to use it to point you to the new stuff as it's created and to hot forum discussions. Some people have told me that they miss my newsletters on the old site because they gave them a reminder to take a look at the site and forums. My new newsletter will continue this reminder service.

So, please look at the Motorcycle Views site. It's changing and growing daily. I've just added a Tattoo Gallery based on the best tats from my old gallery. Got a tat of your own? Send me a picture. Take a look at the Tattoo Gallery. And, don't forget to sign up for the Motorcycle Views Newsletter.

Also, if you have a big site, consider linking to me. Right now I'm competing with my old links on Google and they were very numerous and extensive. It's hard for me, the little guy on a new site, to compete with me, the big guy on the old site. The day is coming when the old site will be taken down and all my links will be gone. It's sad to see so much work go down the tubes but that's life I guess.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Motorcycle Views Web site is Humming

It's been only seven days since I opened the new Motorcycle Views Web site that is the content site associated with this blog. I'm adding motorcycle content every day. That's why I haven't had much time to blog here.

Here are a few things just added:

  • Books - I've added a list of 50 motorcycle books I recommend.
  • Glossary of Terms - 250 motorcycle terms with definitions
  • History of Motorcycles - BMW, H-D, Honda, Victory and Yamaha are covered and each has a 10-question quiz.
  • Motorcycle Types - I define ten types of motorcycles and give pictures.
  • Quizzes - 12 motorcycle quizzes are given.
  • Rallies - An article on the major rallies for 2007 is given along with separate articles for Daytona Bike Week, Americade, Rolling Thunder and Sturgis.
  • Salvage Yards (Boneyards) - Motorcycle salvage yards are discussed and many such yards are listed state-by-state.

I invite you to become a regular visitor to Motorcycle Views. If you have a picture of you and your bike and want it to appear in my Moto Pic Gallery, please use the submissions link.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Bears, Books, How To's, Pics of the Week, and Leo

This is one of those days when my mind is just too full of the events of the day and what I've been doing that I have to compose this post in a somewhat disorganized way. Bear with me...

It was another Polar Bear Sunday, this time to a new destination, The Wearhouse Grill in Lake Hopatcong, NJ. Because of her knee and the rainy, foggy weather, Jane couldn't ride her trike the 160 mile roundtrip. So we took the car. Others did too. Maybe half the riders showed up. I took pictures. The best part of the run was seeing Mack and Karen. Mack is a regular Polar Bear member. He's also a member of my previous forum. Mack met Karen on the same forum. She's from Canada. Today, they both came on the Polar Bear run. Here's their picture taken with Mack's BMW. They're the second couple I know of who met on my forum and formed a serious relationship.

I've also been putting in a lot of time preparing content for my Motorcycle Views Web site. That's NOT this blog. It's the site I launched on my birthday, January 11, 2007. I just finished a book section containing 49 books that I recommend. I also wrote book reviews for many of these books. I have every single book linked to Amazon.com so that each can be purchased online. I found out that I have some valuable books. My Art of the Motorcycle book is out of print and people are offering their own copies for sale at prices up to about $2000. Wow!

I completed a set of 24 motorcycle How To's for the site. Newbies want to know things like "How to Start a Motorcycle" or "How to Shift Gears on a Motorcycle."

I also started my Pic of the Week for a man and a woman rider. That was an extremely popular feature on my old site. Here's Ginger and Ken.

At the Polar Bear run today, I spoke to Leo, a 90-year-old rider, about to turn 91 in the next week or so. Leo usually leads his group of riders but chose to drive them all today since one was having back problems. Leo is one of the oldest riders in the country. He's been riding longer than I've been alive, having started back in 1932 I believe. He's an inspiration to me. He was the oldest rider at the Americade rally in 2006. On the back of each of his two Honda PC-800s is inscribed: "Recycled Teenager."

Maybe I'll be more organized tomorrow. Then again ...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Kawasaki Recalls 2004-2007 Ninja EX250 for Fuel Leak

I found another motorcycle recall from Kawasaki for their Ninja model that quite a few people may be interested in. This one could cause a fire. Not a good thing.

Kawasaki Models Affected:

2007 EX250 F7F, F7FL
2006 EX250 F6F, F6FL
2005 EX250 F19, F19L
2004 EX250 F18, F18L

Component: Fuel System, Gasoline: Storage

NHTSA Campaign ID: 07V003000 on January 2, 2007 affecting 29,559 motorcycles

Summary: On certain Ninja motorcycles, the fuel tank may have been punctured or weakened by a fairing mounting screw or manufacturing operation.

Consequence: Fuel leakage in the presence of an ignition source could result in a fire.

Remedy: Dealers will inspect the fuel tank and replace the tank if necessary. The recall is expected to begin on or about January 12, 2007. Owners may contact Kawasaki at 1-866-802-9381.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

New "Motorcycle Views" Web site

I've been working to create a small Web site to contain much of the important articles and features that I have authored over the last seven and one-half years. The beginnings of that site are now available.

I have named this content-site "Motorcycle Views" and fully realize that most people will be a bit confused by having both a Web site and a blog with the same name.

At dinner tonight with members of the GWRRA Chapter NJ-F (F Troop), I mentioned what I was doing and immediately found people who didn't even know what a blog was. I tried to explain but got glassy stares back. Even my wife couldn't quite keep straight that there was a difference between my "Motorcycle Views" Blog and my new "Motorcycle Views" Web site.

To minimize the confusion (I hope), I have a link on every page of the new "Motorcycle Views" Web site that leads back to this blog. I also have a link on the new site to the new forum where most of my previous forum members are hanging out. I've also asked them to take a look at the new site and give me feedback regarding any problems they encounter in using the new site.

Right at this moment, the site is tiny but I have plans to grow it rapidly with articles I already have. I just wanted to get the structure up and running and let a few people take a look at it. I do value your opinions.

So, please take a look at the new Motorcycle Views Web site that has the domain name of motorcycleviews.com. I hope you will Bookmark it or add it to your Favorites.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

License Renewal After 9/11




In New Jersey, the Motor Vehicle Commission, has been under fire since 9/11 because two of the Sept 11 hijackers were reported to have had counterfeit New Jersey driver's licenses. Therefore, the rules have changed. Now applicants must present three of four forms of identification, up from one, a Social Security card. Citizens must provide two forms of approved identification, such as a birth certificate and student ID, as well as a copy of a current bill, such as an electric bill, to prove residence.

This was my month to renew so I gathered together a pile of documents to take with me. The picture shows everything I took with me.

It was nippy as I drove my old 1994 Chrysler to the agency. Since it was still early in the month and a Tuesday morning, I was hopeful that I wouldn't have to stand in a long line. Also, I had never obtained a digital driver's license with my picture on it before so I expected the worst.

I took a deep breath as I approached the front door to the agency, grabbed the door handle with authority and pulled the door open. I was lucky. Not too crowded.

There was a greeter there who herded me to the far right table for my first encounter with MVC personnel. They had a long table setup with four women seated facing you. In front of each woman was a line. The idea was to go to the far right person who checked your application. After she scratched something on it, she said, "Get in line at the next station." I felt like I was in the "Soup Nazi's" restaurant on the Seinfeld TV show. I didn't see any bread though.

So I moved to the left into a short line in front of the second woman. When I got to the front, she checked my birth certificate and compared it to the other documents including my expired passport. (Expired passports are OK if not expired more than three years.) Then I learned something that had never occurred to me before.

The woman said, "Did you know that your name on your birth certificate is different from your name on your other documents?" Well, my Dad and I had the same name so he was called Sr. while I was called Jr. I had always used a Jr. after my name. She continued, "Your legal name on the birth certificate doesn't have a Jr. in it. Do you want me to strike the Jr. from your driver's license?" Big pause.

"Well, I guess that would be a good idea," I said.

This whole subject of my name is an even longer story which wouldn't even come close to fitting in this blog entry so I'll leave it for another time. If you see me, ask me.

When I finally was shifted to the last station, all the papers were in order. The objective of this identification game is to get at least six points where points are assigned to each form of identification. I already had at least eight points after they approved my birth certificate. They then motioned for me to go to the cashier's station. That took me away from the table.

At the cashier's station, the woman noticed that I would soon have a birthday on the 11th. She also asked, "Are you still riding motorcycles?" She was referring to the "M" endorsement on my old license.

"Oh yeah," I said. "What good is a license if it doesn't allow you to ride a motorcycle." She wasn't amused.

"Sign your name on this electronic tablet," she said.

I almost forgot and put a Jr. on it. She flashed the signature up on a computer monitor and said, "How's that?"

"Looks good to me," I replied.

"Now, stand back a couple of feet. I want to take your picture," she said.

I took off my coat, stood as tall as I could, and flashed a smile as the camera's flash went off.

"How's that?" she said as she pointed to the monitor again.

"Looks good to me," I repeated.

She had me sit for a couple of minutes as she processed all the components onto the license and then called me over and handed me the nice shiny digitized, holographic license guaranteed to be a perfect license for the next four years.

"You know, you'll have to go through this same process in four years," she cautioned. "Except the new license is good for four points itself so you won't need as many forms of ID next time. Of course, no telling what laws may be passed in the meantime to make the next renewal even harder than this one."

Well, I got through this whole process in about 20 minutes, much shorter than I had expected. I didn't get any soup but I did get a plastic card that will enable me to keep riding my motorcycle for four more years. Now if only my arthritis will cooperate.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Polar Bear Sunday


This was the ninth Sunday for the Polar Bear Grand Tour. The run was -- for us -- a total of 146 round-trip miles to Vineland, NJ. It was to be the first long ride for Jane who had her total knee replacement exactly two months ago.


It has been quite warm in the East. Yesterday it was over 70 degrees. Today, the temperature dropped a full 20 degrees. That meant wearing electrics for the ride. We started out on a fretful note when we stopped for gas. With two trikes, I usually pull in first, fill up, lay the hose down on the ground, get on the trike, move it ahead a trike length and return to fill up the second trike. This time, we had a problem.


The gas filler door on the Gold Wing is opened using the bike key. For some reason, the key wouldn't fit in the keyhole and wouldn't open the door. I had visions of not being able to take the trip because I couldn't get any gas in the trike. Then Jane pulled at the top edge of the door and it popped open. Turns out that the key isn't really necessary. Just push up the upper border of the door and pry it open with your fingernail.


We got about 50 miles down the road when Jane starts complaining about a lack of heat. We pull off into a side street and I check all the connections and only find one a bit loose and tighten it. We head off again and she says that the heat is back. Then after another five miles, she is again cold from lack of heat.


When we got to the destination, I ask again about the heat and she pulls her glove off and says, "Feel my hand. It's cold." Turns out when we did finally get back home this afternoon, that the battery connection seems open. Either a fuse or a bad connection. I'll look at it when it gets a bit warmer.


While at the destination, I take pictures that will go on the Polar Bear Grand Tour Web site, as I always do. While walking around in the parking lot, I see a trike going by with a wheelchair folded against the backside. Inside, I hear that the rider is from Maryland. He can't get upstairs to sign in because he has no legs. I'm promised some pictures later.


There was a big turnout. The parking lot was filled. I noticed a bike with a big "RN" painted on the gas tank. Underneath it said Registered Nurse. It was ridden by a registered nurse who worked in an ER.


I tend to observe things that no one else sees. I found two groups of riders who had different ways of getting back on the road to return home. One was a group of BMW riders. The other was a group of Harley riders.


The BMW riders pulled out of the parking lot and moved across to the side of the road in a straight line. They waited until their whole group had done the same thing and all the riders were lined up parallel to the road. Then when it was clear, the lead rider pulled out and all the riders pulled out behind him. The Harley riders had another way.


They all pulled up to the road together in a row. Then when it was clear, they all moved out together making a left hand turn and ending up in a line on the road.


At least that's my recollection of what happened. I could be wrong.


Jane realized today that her knee isn't ready for riding much longer than 50 miles. For awhile, she intends to use the car for Polar Bear runs. Hopefully, she will be getting back to the trike and increasing her distance. Otherwise, going the 275 miles to the Americade rally in June is going to take a long time if we have to stop for the night after only 50 miles.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

I Report Motorcycle Recalls Too

I used to compile Motorcycle Recalls in my former job. I liked to get them on the site as soon as they appeared in the NHTSA database. I can't do that anymore and it bothers me. I did keep track of the recall numbers that I was unable to post. Since some of these are pretty serious, I just felt compelled tonight to tell you about them:

2007 H-D Sportster XL1200C, L, R; XL50; XL883, XL883C, L, R

Recall # 06V476000 on December 14, 2006 affects 18,758 motorcycles.

Summary: On certain motorcycles, as a result of a greater body thickness than used in previous model years, the voltage regulator may contact the front fender under certain conditions. In some cases this contact may allow the front fender to catch on the top side of the regulator body which could impede the operator's ability to steer the vehicle.

Consequence: This could result in a crash which could cause injury or death to the rider.

Remedy: Dealers will install an intermediate mounting bracket that will relocate the voltage regulator to a position which provides more clearance from the front fender. Harley-Davidson has not yet provided an owner notification schedule. Owners may contact Harley-Davidson at 1-414-343-4056.

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2006 Ducati ST3, ST3 ABS

Recall # 06V485000 on December 11, 2006 affects 468 motorcycles.

Summary: On certain motorcycles, the fuel sending unit wiring cables installed during production could be routed incorrectly possibly coming in contact with the exhaust.

Consequence: This condition will burn out the cables insulation and cause a possible electrical short circuit stopping the fuel pump and consequently stopping the engine. If the engine stops while the motorcycle is being driven, it could increase the risk of a crash.

Remedy: Dealers will inspect the fuel sending unit wiring cables and reposition them if necessary. The recall is expected to begin during January 2007. Owners may contact Ducati at 1-408-253-0499.

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2006 BMW R1200GS and GS Adventure

Recall # 06V486000 on December 8, 2006 affects 144 motorcycles.

Summary: On certain motorcycles, the tire inflation valve hole in the rim of the cross-spoke wheel which is equipped with the optional tire pressure monitoring system (TPM) was incorrectly manufactured. A leak may develop at this location possibly causing sudden deflation of the tire.

Consequence: If this happened, motorcycle handling and control would be compromised, increasing the risk of a crash.

Remedy: Dealers will temporarily deactivate the TPM system, remove the corresponding valves and integral TPM sensors, and then replace them with standard valves. When a permanent repair is available, owners will be notified to bring their vehicles in for reactivation of the TPM system and replacement of the integral TPM sensors and valves. The recall is expected to begin during late December 2006 or early January 2007. Owners may contact BMW at 1-800-331-1117.

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2007 H-D FXDWG and 2006 H-D FXDWGI

Recall # 06V474000 on December 12, 2006 affects 10,397 motorcycles.

Summary: On certain motorcycles, the internally wired handlebars have a potential to crack at the hole where the wires exit the handlebars between the handlebar clamps.

Consequence: Should these cracks progress to the point of breaking the handlebar into two pieces, a loss of control could result which could cause a crash which could cause injury or death to the rider.

Remedy: Dealers will replace the handlebar with one with a greater wall thickness and with a wire exit hole that has a shape that reduces stress concentration. Harley-Davidson has not yet provided an owner notification schedule. Owners may contact Harley-Davidson at 1-414-342-4680.
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There. I feel better.

Friday, January 5, 2007

My Life is Mostly Motorcycles

I think it was yesterday that I saw on TV that a local resident found a strange rock lodged in a wall in her house. Apparently it came from a meteor shower and just decided to crash through her roof and cause almost instant neighborhood commotion as TV trucks, cops, and firemen converged to help figure it all out. Guess it could have been my place. It was very close. Ever think about getting hit with a falling rock while riding your motorcycle? Man that would've hurt!

Yesterday, I saw a story about motorcycles on World News Tonight with Charlie Gibson. It was a piece about the Patriot Guard. They showed the bikes rolling into town and the bikers lined up with flags to both protect the family of the fallen soldier and to honor him as only bikers can. The news reporter lady said, "The bikers were all dressed like ... like bikers." It was moving to see these tough looking motorcyclists offering their support to our country's greatest heroes and their families. I know a few Patriot Guard riders from the previous forums that I hosted. Many of these Guard members are former military too. I'm happy to see riders giving of themselves to help their country. It's just what we do.

I'm happy to report that the majority of the regulars from the old forums have found their way to a new forum being hosted by a former "corner host" of mine, Carrie. Everyone seems happy there although most of us do look in the window at the old place from time to time to make sure no one has made a mess over there. The new forum is called Still Cruisin The Curves and it has the same moderator I used to have. Do stop in sometime and get to know the greatest bunch of riders you'd ever want to meet.

I went out in the garage today and hooked up the Battery Tenders on my two trikes getting ready for a Polar Bear Grand Tour run this Sunday. It's a 70 mile ride down to Vineland, NJ. My wife, Jane, wants to ride but it's only been two months since she had a total knee replacement of her left knee. She did take a short ride before Christmas on a Polar Bear Toy Run but that was only three miles from our house. I'm not sure about her taking such a long ride on her trike but maybe I'll give in if it doesn't rain.

Oh, the wonders of the Internet. The street light just outside my window keeps cycling on and off every 30 seconds. I found a form on the Internet to fill out to get it fixed. I got an email today saying they now had a work order to fix it. Still waiting to see if it actually gets done.

My wife and I are co-treasurers of our local GWRRA chapter this year. I didn't know it was going to be so much work. I told them in November that the only job I would consider was the treasurer's job since I was working so hard on my Motorcycles Web site then. Little did I know that by Christmas that job would be gone and I would be off to seek my third career. Well, you are seeing the beginnings of that third career here. It's progressing nicely but my previous work load has mysteriously returned as I get deeper into this. I'm feeling much better than I did just a week ago. It must be the effects of the New Year.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

A New Beginning

I have spent the better part of the last seven and a half years building the Motorcycles site on About.com. I enjoyed it immensely. But, the editorial focus of the site underwent so many changes in direction that I thought it was time to go it alone.

So, I'm starting small by first publishing this blog. Next, I plan to open a new Web site that will contain some of my original content and I will be developing new content, all on the subject of motorcycles. I won't have to answer to anyone except my readers so do provide comments to keep me on a reasonable path.

My picture shows me sitting on my 2000 Honda Gold Wing SE with Motor Trike conversion. I'm on Canada Street at the Americade rally. Sometimes I like to just park the trike on the street and sit there watching the motorcycling world go by. I can clear my mind of all the other daily distractions and think only of motorcycles and the people who ride them. I get a good view of motorcycling, hence the title for this motorcycle blog: "Motorcycle Views."

I hope you will come along for the ride.