Motorcycle Views Newsletter

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More Features on Motorcycle Views

More features have been added to the Motorcycle Views Web site.

  • Motorcycle Makes and Models - Click on a motorcycle make and get a page containing links to all motorcycle articles and features on the site for that make. Also included is a page containing all 2007 models each with a link to the make's official Web site giving all details for that model.
  • Clubs and Associations - Gives links to motorcycle clubs, riding clubs, law enforcement clubs, rights organizations, and motorcycle associations.
  • Classified Ads - Are you looking to buy or sell a motorcycle? Check out these online motorcycle classified ad sites.

I published my first Motorcycle Views Newsletter on Sunday night. It contains up-to-date information on site changes. It also gives links to forum discussions. If you're not yet a subscriber, please sign-up for the Newsletter now. When you sign-up, you'll see a link to view previous newsletters.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Motorcyclists Have Fun With Haiku Poetry

I have just released a new feature, Motorcycle Haiku Poems. These 3-line poems offer a simple way for riders to express their feelings about riding their motorcycles. Here's an example:

summer calls to me
come ride your motorcycle
live without your cage

Haiku is a three-line unrhymed verse with the first line containing 5 syllables, the second line containing 7 syllables and the last line containing 5 syllables. Sometimes the verse has a seasonal theme.

I have 39 original poems by motorcyclists in the collection. Take a look and maybe you'll be inspired to submit one yourself.

Peter Fonda Does Ghost Rider Without a Motorcycle

Peter Fonda, iconic star of Easy Rider, has done over 70 films. He appears in the current Ghost Rider film playing the devil. Peter continues to ride motorcycles as he shortly turns 67.

A piece by Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times, and reported in delawareonline.com discusses Fonda's career and his need for speed. He once went 189 mph on an MV Agusta F4-1000 sportbike. Here's an excerpt:

"I've had this puppy up to 189," Fonda said, not so much boasting as marveling at his own stupidity during a rest stop at Coldwater Canyon Park. "I never want to do that again. One road rut, and I would have been toast."

Read Carpenter's story for all the details.

Also, read my movie review of Ghost Rider as reported here in the Motorcycle Views Blog.

KTM Issues Recall on 950 Series Motorcycles for Brake Problem

KTM has issued a recall of certain 2004-2006 950 Adventure, SuperEnduro, and SuperMoto motorcycles.

On certain 950 Series motorcycles, the rear brake may feel spongy or soft when applying the brake. This could lead to improper rear braking.

2,684 units are affected.

Check out my new Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

New Blue Knights President from my Hometown

Got a Google Alert today from the Daily Pantagraph newspaper in Bloomington, IL about a local retired policeman, Mike Ripsch, who was just elected president of the Blue Knights International Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, Inc. I don't know Mike but Bloomington/Normal, IL is my hometown and I used to work for the Pantagraph when I was in college.

From the Blue Knights Web site:

"The BLUE KNIGHTS® is a non-profit fraternal organization consisting of active and retired law enforcement men & women who enjoy riding motorcycles."

Turns out Mike is the first president from Illinois.

Here's a link to the story.

I hadn't even thought about taking up motorcycling when I left Normal to head east to complete my education and settle in New Jersey. I go back there usually once a year for one thing or another. I've even ridden back the 900 miles on my motorcycle.

Well, I'm happy to see that a local has this new job. The Blue Knights is a respected organization everywhere that motorcyclists go.

Good luck Mike.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Polar Bear Pictures - Bahr's Landing


Both Jane and I had a busy day today. We started out at 7:40 a.m. by riding the trikes four miles up the road to the GWRRA Chapter NJ-F (F- Troop) monthly meeting. We are now the treasurers for the chapter which makes for a busy time during the meeting. Almost don't have time to eat, trying to keep up with continuous requests for reimbursements and taking in moneys from various chapter activities.


From there, we rode 30 miles over to Bahr's Landing in Highlands, NJ for a Polar Bear Grand Tour stop where I took pictures for the group's Web site. This Polar Bear stop is one of my favorites since it's nestled among the water, a bridge, and the Twin Lighthouses (see picture).


We are expecting to see snow late today and tonight. I just wanted to get through the motorcycle activities and get the trikes home in the garage before we saw the white stuff floating down.


I'm sending out the first edition of my Motorcycle Views Newsletter tonight. If you're not on the list please subscribe to keep current with what's happening on the Motorcycle Views site, Motorcycle Views Blog, and Motorcycle Views Forum. Here's a newsletter sign-up.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ghost Rider - Movie Review

The number one movie this week was Ghost Rider starring Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes. Ghost Rider is based on the Marvel Comics series. I hadn't heard much about this flick except through watching the trailer and TV interviews with the stars. I was definitely going to see it.

I took my wife along and although she loves motorcycles, she hates action/adventure/science fiction/fantasy. She's also the type who wants to know the ending before she sees the movie. I was worried about what her reaction would be.

Not to worry. She liked it.

Here's my review of Ghost Rider.

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week


Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Web site. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery. See Alicia with her Ducati S2R and Ed on his Honda Shadow ACE. Both riders are members of my new Motorcycle Views Forum.


If you'd like to see your bike as Pic of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

How To Start and Move a Motorcycle


I have just completed an article that gives step-by-step procedures to move a motorcycle.


This article gives a 10-step procedure to move a motorcycle without the need to start it.


The article also gives a 10-step procedure to move a motorcycle by pressing the start button, putting it in gear, and moving it under its own power.


These are procedures for people unfamiliar with the operation of motorcycles. Examples might be people who have to move a motorcycle that's stored in a garage and new riders who have just bought a bike and have little experience in its operation.


Of course, the movement of a motorcycle is best left to its experienced owner but sometimes the owner is not available such as while stationed overseas in a military operation.


These two procedures, illustrated with pictures, help to present the basics of motorcycle operation as well.


Steps given here are done at your own risk. There is always the chance that the motorcycle will fall over or you will not be able to control it.


Yamaha Recalls XV1700 Motorcycles for Stalling Problem

Yamaha has issued a recall of certain 2002-2007 XV1700 Road Star Warrior motorcycles.

The lead wires for the pick-up coil can break while the engine is running, causing the engine to stall and be impossible to restart.

18,000 units are affected.

Check out my new Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Motorcycle Views Forum - New Feature

After I left the old site, there was a certain amount of confusion among the members of the motorcycle forums that I hosted at the time. All the moderators had been shutout and no one was in charge. Of course, some members liked not having anyone in charge. Fortunately, no trolls have arrived and no heavy SPAM has occurred so the old forums are still relatively sane.

It must be mentioned that the old site and forums have been unguided for two months now. Also, the site is still being advertised to find a new Guide. It could be many months before a new Guide is found, trained, and allowed to build the site from scratch. That's right, the old site will disappear and a new site will be constructed from scratch. The forums may be allowed to stay the same, or some forums may be deleted, or the forums may start from scratch. No one really knows.

However, many hundreds of the forum regulars departed and attached themselves to two existing forums and one newly created forum. The latter forum is now being run by a former "corner host" and the vast majority of the regulars have set up housekeeping with that forum.

In the beginning, I was happy to see that the regulars were attached to a forum that would stay around. Many were worried that the plug might be pulled on the old forum and everyone in the community would lose touch with each other. The new forum solved that for the most part.

I was also not ready to be responsible for another forum when I was trying to establish the new Motorcycle Views Web site. I first created this Motorcycle Views Blog. Then I established the Motorcycle Views Web site. Next came a Motorcycle Views Newsletter. I'm currently getting subscribers for the newsletter from a sign-up form on the site. After I had established a huge number of articles and features for the Motorcycle Views Web site, I started thinking about creating a forum.

The Motorcycle Views Forum is now attached to the Motorcycle Views Web site. It can be reached from any page of the site. Having the forum allows me to stay in touch with a very large community of riders, both experts and beginners. I can now run Polls in the forum and link to them in the newsletter. I can also provide links in the newsletter to important forum discussions as I used to do in my former newsletters. I can also put links to forum discussions in my articles to enable people to discuss important points in the articles.

The net effect is that I finally have back the major pieces of the old site and that's a good feeling.

I hope you will visit the Motorcycle Views Web site and the Motorcycle Views Forum and also subscribe to the Motorcycle Views Newsletter. Together, we will all continue to learn more about motorcycling and develop a great motorcycle community. It all depends on you.

Walt

How Do Motorcycles Work?


I developed a feature on the old site called "How Do Motorcycles Work?" I did most of it five years ago but kept expanding it. It's a complex of about 60 files so I have been putting off converting it for the new Motorcycle Views site -- until now.


I spent the better part of two days redesigning the feature to present the material differently. The result is a new feature, "How Do Motorcycle Parts Work?" This is an expandable feature with plenty of room for growth.

Polar Bear Motorcycle Run to Hooters


On Sunday, I made one long run via car to attend a GWRRA Chapter NJ-H meeting near North Plainfield, NJ. I used to live up there when I first got married so it was nice to see the area again with all its changes. After the meeting we headed farther north to Wayne, NJ so I could take pictures at the Hooters destination for the Polar Bear Grand Tour.


It was a cold day and the turnout wasn't that great, maybe 100 bikes spread over a couple of hours. I still got a good set of pictures including the requisite pose of our Chairman, Bob, with two Hooters girls. Bob does enjoy that.


We have seven more runs before the end of the season.


Meanwhile, I continue to work on the new Motorcycle Views site. That's the subject of my next blog entry.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Motorcycle Trikes - A Gallery


I've have just released a new Motorcycle Trikes Gallery. The initial release includes the best of my Trikes Gallery from the old site. I know there are a lot of trike owners out there since both my wife and I have been riding trikes for seven years and have watched the steady increase in trike ownership. So, if you have a trike, submit a picture and description of it and become part of the Motorcycle Trikes Gallery.


Don't forget to read my trike articles too. They give you a flavor for what it's like to own a trike and also let you in on my experiences in buying a trike and learning to ride it properly.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Motorcycle Choppers Picture Gallery


I have just completed a new Motorcycle Choppers Gallery similar to one I had on the old site. Of course, its growth depends on you. If you own a chopper, send me a picture and description and I'll place it in the gallery. I also have an article, Choppers, that gives the history of the chopper.
I recently reviewed the newest book by the OCC guys, Orange County Choppers: The Tale of the Teutuls. It traces their rise from obscurity to the top of the custom chopper heap. Whether you like these guys or not, their book is interesting reading and may change a few opinions.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Motorcycle Recalls - New Feature

I have just released a Motorcycle Recalls feature on the Motorcycle Views site. This feature lists motorcycle recalls obtained from the NHTSA database of recalls for 2006-2007 motorcycle models. It will contain all future motorcycle recalls as they appear in that database. Since recalls sometimes stretch back over past years, I will be including those years as well.

Daytona Bike Week

Daytona Bike Week is coming up March 2 - 11, 2007 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Check out my article, Daytona, for details.

Here in the frigid Northeast, I hear plenty of people talking about going to Daytona. Some are riding down with friends. Riding usually means riding in a car and towing a trailer with the bike on it. After all, the 1500 miles down with uncertain weather conditions has left many a rider stranded in a snow storm or Nor'easter. After that happens to you once, you tend to be a little more cautious the next time you go.

Maybe you want to skip Daytona and concentrate on planning to go to some smaller rallies this year. Be sure to read my article, Motorcycle Rallies, where I discuss rallies and give you information about the Top 20 rallies that I like. Of course, your views may be different.

I just got my registration information for the Americade Motorcycle Rally. That one is my favorite and I've gone every year since 1994.

It can get expensive going to lots of rallies. You just have to pick and choose what appeals to you most. Motorcycle rallies are a lot of fun. If you've never attended a rally, you owe it to yourself to go. You just might find a rally or two that you'll want to go to every year, just like I go to Americade, regardless of the weather.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Pics of the Week and Polar Bear Pics



Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Web site. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery.


If you'd like to see your bike as Pic of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike. Note that this week we only have a Woman of the Week. That means that there are no new men's pictures in the gallery. Please submit a picture of you and your bike.


I was out on a Polar Bear Grand Tour run today and I took pictures. I got carried away this time. You be the judge.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Motorcycle User Reviews - New Feature


I have just introduced a new feature to the Motorcycle Views site, Motorcycle User Reviews. Help other riders determine what their next ride will be by submitting a User Review of your own motorcycle.


I started off this new feature with some previously submitted User Reviews from the old site that have never been processed and probably never will be processed. Four of these User Reviews come with pictures. Yes, you can submit a picture to go along with your User Review.


So, take a look at what we have to launch the feature and then get busy and send in your own review by filling out our User Review submission form.


Please bear in mind that these User Reviews are for information only and also meant to provide a bit of entertainment. These reviews express the opinions of those riders who have taken the time to compose a review. Some reviews are detailed and useful. Some provide extremely negative opinions. Some are thoughtful while others are cursory. All have been edited. You should never assume that your experience with the same bike will be similar.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Motorcycles Hit the Screen for 2007

Every year I hope for some decent movies or TV shows about motorcycles. Last year I liked The World's Fastest Indian about the life of Burt Munro. That one starred Sir Anthony Hopkins. I also liked the TV show, American Chopper, about the adventures of Paul Sr., Paul Jr. and Mikey Teutul of Orange County Choppers. I've watched almost every show in the series and observed their success as they built their world-wide fan base. I realize that American Chopper doesn't appeal to a lot of bikers, but I enjoy it and apparently so do millions of other people. Here's a review I did of their latest book, Orange County Choppers: The Tale of the Teutuls.

What about this year?

There are two major motorcycle-related motion pictures being released soon. There is also one Reality TV series that should be released as well.

The first movie is Ghost Rider starring Nicholas Cage and Eva Mendes. It's based on a Marvel Comics character and set to be released on February 16, 2007. Here's the Ghost Rider Web site that also gives a trailer.

The second movie is Wild Hogs starring Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy, and John Travolta. It also stars Jill Hennesy and Marisa Tomei. The four main characters are now making the talk show circuit. I saw them all on Oprah just yesterday. This is a story of four guys in a mid-life crisis who decide to take a road trip on motorcycles. Along the way, they encounter a few real bikers and that's good for a few laughs too. This movie will be in the theaters March 2, 2007. Here's the IMDB Website that will lead you to a trailer.

Finally, there appears to be a Reality TV series about a biker build-off of metric bikes. 22 builders have been chosen to create their own custom metric bikes and a winner will be chosen. This series has been looking for a network and now seems tied to ESPN2 for a release in the second quarter of 2007. Their information says that the first show will appear on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. EST on March 31, 2007. Now since the beginning of daylight saving time is starting early this year on March 11, please check your local schedules to get the correct start time. Here's a link to the Metric TV site with as much information as is available. The link to the trailer is at the very bottom of the page.

Do you know of any other new movies or TV shows with a motorcycle theme? Please leave a comment, below.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Polar Bear Sunday Meets Super Bowl Sunday

Almost everyone is thinking about Super Bowl Sunday which is today. The game is scheduled to start in about one hour and 20 minutes. I don't have much planned for the big game. Jane has some snacks in the freezer and the usual assortment of dips and chips. I'm just about thawed out from taking my Polar Bear Sunday ride. That's my excitement for the day.

It was about 15 degrees out this morning and the weather people were saying that the wind chill would be near zero. Of course that's at walking speed. I was scheduled to ride my 2000 Honda Gold Wing Motor Trike 65 miles to Rockaway, New Jersey at 65 mph speeds. God only knows what the wind chill figures out to be under those conditions but I was about to find out.

I have an electric vest, electric gloves, and electric socks to keep me warm on severe winter rides. I haven't worn the electric socks for maybe 10 years and I was thinking seriously about wearing them for the ride this morning, that is until I tried to get my boots on.

I wanted to wear two pairs of socks with the electric ones on the outside. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my boots on. So, I settled for a pair of ski socks followed by a pair of regular socks -- that left room for my foot to fit in the boot. However, I know that my feet are always the coldest on a trip of this kind so I was a bit worried.

My attire for the trip was: tee shirt, turtleneck, long silk leggings, jeans, ski-type overalls and bib, jacket lining, electric vest, outer Kilimanjaro jacket, double socks, leather boots, glove silks, electric gloves, balaclava, and full-face helmet. Oh, and I wear foam earplugs to reduce riding and wind noise.

I started out at 9:30 a.m. and rode a mile to the gas station that was on the way. People do look at you like you're crazy when they are all snug in their cages and you're exposed to the elements on a motorcycle. I'm used to it since I've been riding every winter for the last 15 years. I wasn't sure what route I was going to take. I had programmed my GPS with the address of the destination just so I'd have the companionship of that GPS voice telling me "Off Route!" every time I'd make a turn she didn't like. Also, I am wont to get lost at times and she has saved my hide more than once.

After I had ridden nearly 10 miles, I began to realize that I was still very cold at high speeds, especially my feet. If I kept going to the Parkway and Interstate, most of the trip would be at 70 mph. I decided to slow things down and take a more direct route that would hit the state highways and back roads and quite a few traffic lights. That meant I would be slowing down and stopping at times and warming up. That's what I did. Unfortunately, the GPS voice was really talking incessantly now as I continued to reject her suggestions for turns.

The trip went well except for the coldness in my feet. When I got to the destination, I took a few quick pictures and then hurried inside to sign-in and warm up. I spent maybe 20 minutes trying to get my feet to realize that it was now warm. They weren't cooperating but I had to get back on the road to make the 65 mile trip back. I went outside and took more pictures and finally got all my protective gear on, started up the trike, and pressed the GPS "Home" button.

When I got home, I turned on the gas fireplace, made myself a hot chocolate, and settled down to warm up my feet while I watched Super Bowl preliminaries and sipped my drink. When I felt almost normal, I processed the pictures I took today and updated the Polar Bear Grand Tour site. Here are the pictures. I hope you all appreciate the sacrifices I make to bring these pictures to you. Now the Super Bowl Sunday game is only 25 minutes away. I've almost forgotten my Polar Bear Sunday ... until next week when I have to travel 70 miles to the next run. Maybe it'll be spring by then.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Pics of the Week


Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Web site. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery.

If you'd like to see your bike as Pic of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.

Friday, February 2, 2007

GoDaddy OCC Bike, Moto Terms, Pics, Forum Talk

I was watching American Chopper last night and found out they were building a chopper for GoDaddy.com. That was interesting since I have my Motorcycle Views Web site on GoDaddy.com and have been quite happy with their service so far. I was amused to see the CEO of GoDaddy.com, Bob Parsons, as he invited the OCC guys to his Customer Service area. Seems Bob likes to award his group with bonuses by letting each person spin a wheel with dollar amounts around the outside and then giving them the amount the wheel stops on. Fortunately, Mikey was standing next to the wheel and made sure each person's wheel landed on $500 and Senior had a pile of cash that he kept doling out to the winners. Everyone seemed happy and apparently Bob Parsons runs a pretty happy shop. I know I had a few problems when I started up my site and I called GoDaddy. I expected minimal help but instead got a very nice young lady who walked me through a 30 minute process and answered all my questions.

I continue to build the Motorcycle Views site. I had all my motorcycle terms and definitions in five files but wanted to separate out each term into its own file so I could link to definitions directly when I'm writing articles. So, I spent the better part of three days creating over 200 files and the result was worth the effort. I also created my top 20 terms based on stats I got from the old site. Here are my Top 20 Motorcycle Terms. Some of these terms are Crotch Rocket, Naked Bike, and Ride Bell.

I'm actively looking for submissions to grow my Moto Pic Gallery. I need pictures of you and your motorcycle. This was a popular feature on the old site.

I'm also looking for pictures of your tattoos for my Moto Tat Gallery. Send them in today.

While you're on the Motorcycle Views site, please take a moment to subscribe to my Newsletter.

Finally, I'm going to be providing links to current discussions going on in the "Still Cruisin' The Curves Motorcycle Forum." Most of the regulars from the old place are now posting there. Here's an excerpt from a discussion by PHIPSD entitled, "What do you look for in a bike?":
"When you go shopping for a bike what features or design elements do you look for? For me the most important by far is comfort and the ergos. In my 50s pain doesn't go away like it used to. Next would be good lighting. The eyes, especially with my night vision, don't work as well either. Third is brakes. Modern traffic and inattentive drivers make this more of an issue every year. Nothing more needs to be said. What would be your list of must haves on that new ride?"
Read the complete discussion