Motorcycle Views Newsletter

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Vespa Recalls 2757 GTS Motorcycles for Brake Problem

Vespa has issued a recall of certain 2006-2007 GTS motorcycles.

On certain motorcycles, the graphite exhaust bushing, which seals the connection between the exhaust pipe and the muffler, must be replaced each time the muffler is removed and reinstalled. If the exhaust bushing is not replaced, exhaust gases may be permitted to leak past the bushing. The rear brake hose may be impaired or melted, increasing the risk of a crash.

2757 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Moto Guzzi Recalls 1044 EV Motorcycles for Fork Yoke Defect

Moto Guzzi has issued a recall of certain 2003-2004 EV motorcycles.

On certain motorcycles, the lower fork yoke could fail. A crack can form around the lower fork bearing.

1044 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Moto Guzzi Recalls 232 Griso Motorcycles for Fuel Pump Defect

Moto Guzzi has issued a recall of certain 2006-2007 Griso motorcycles.

On certain motorcycles, a fuel pump hose may swell and change dimensions, thereby loosening its fit around the fitting at the fuel pump. The fuel pressure could drop. This could cause erratic motor operation, difficulty in starting the vehicle or stalling, increasing the risk of a crash.

232 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Day You Went to Work - Motorcycle Safety Video

Check out this short YouTube video. Don't ever let down on motorcycle safety.

Will Honda Buy Harley-Davidson?

Just reported in the press:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070623.RTICK23HARLEY/TPStory/Business

http://www.forbes.com/markets/2007/06/22/harley-davidson-honda-markets-equity-cx_er_0622markets19.html

There was recent speculation that H-D would acquire Ducati but the new speculation regarding Honda is waaay bigger.

It brings back a big piece of my 2007 April Fool article. Before that article I had written another about frame cracks in Honda Gold Wings and that came true.

So far no comments from either Honda or H-D.

What do you think. Leave a comment.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Harley-Davidson Recalls 2007 Models for Oil Leak Problem

Harley-Davidson has issued a recall of certain 2007 FLSTC, FLSTC Shrine, FLSTF, FLSTF Shrine, FLSTN, FLSTSC, FXST, FXSTB, FXSTC, FXSTD, FXSTSSE, and Softail motorcycles.

Certain motorcycles were built with a condition that permits the positive battery cable to contact a weld bead on the oil tank. This may cause the weld bead to abrade through the insulation on the cable and cause an electrical short from the battery through the oil tank and oil lines. This could lead to an oil leak and/or possible fire, which could result in injury or death to the rider.

52240 units are affected.

I regret that I am reporting this late. It was reported on 04/20/2007. Either I totally missed this as I reviewed the daily reports from the NHTSA or the NHTSA database was updated after the end of the month.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

KTM Recalls 2007 950 and 990 Motorcycles for Chain Slider Guard Defect

KTM has issued a recall of certain 2007 950 Superenduro, 990 Adventure, and 990 Adventure-S motorcycles.

On certain motorcycles, during use the chain slider guard mounting bolts may become loose and possibly fall out. This could result in the possibility of the chain slider guard to become detached. Subsequently, the chain slider guard could become caught in the drive chain which may lead to a crash.

1092 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Kawasaki Recalls 2007 KLX250S for Faulty Weld

Kawasaki has issued a recall of certain 2007 KLX250S motorcycles.

On certain motorcycles, the top mount for the single rear shock is spot welded in position during frame manufacture, then is supposed to be completely welded to the frame in a subsequent operation. In a small number of frames, it appears this subsequent welding operation was not performed. The welding may become loose while the motorcycle is in motion increasing the risk of a crash.

155 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Triumph Rocket III - Funny Video

Take a look at this short video from Triumph.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Americade 2007 - Day 6



This year I'm going to try publishing highlights of Americade 2007, day-by-day in this blog. This is the 25th year for Americade. It's scheduled for June 4-9 this year. The blog will also include my preparation in getting ready to take the ride to Lake George, NY, my observations while there, the ride home, and getting back to normal.

Blog for Friday:

Yesterday, we had eaten breakfast at a new place on Canada Street. They had a bakery. In the bakery they sold huge cinnamon rolls. They were all gone by the time we got there for breakfast so Jane put her name on a list to get a couple of rolls later that day to bring back to the room. The picture shows the roll next to my new Nolan helmet. I couldn't eat the whole thing on Thursday so by Friday, I had to heave half of it out. It was time to begin the trip back to New Jersey.

We were on the road by 9 a.m. with our full jackets and liners in place. It was a sunny day expected to have a temperature jump from 55 to 94 degrees as we rode south. It had been so cold at Americade this year. Starting off rainy it continued to rain on and off and the evenings were cold. We had forgotten what warm was.

At the first stop, the liners came out and the jacket vents were opened. By the second stop, we put on the cool vests we brought. The windshield vents were then opened along with the helmet vents and the front zippers to the jackets. We were still roasting, especially as we entered New Jersey and headed down I287 toward Freehold.

We had been told that a cold front was moving in from the west and should bring heavy thunderstorms in the late afternoon. That forecast was changed to occur after the Yankee game. In actuality, we never saw any thunderstorms at all -- just a lot of hot temperatures.

We arrived home about 3:30 p.m.

We had started our trip by riding 250 miles in a steady rain. We finished our trip by riding 250 miles in a steady sweat. Love that Americade weather.

This was the end of our 14th Americade. Over the years we've changed what we do at Americade. You can't do everything. We used to go on two guided tours, attend a boat ride with dinner, do demos, attend Tour Expo, and hit many seminars. After we did that for a few years, we stopped doing the guided tours and boat ride and demos. We concentrated on Tour Expo, seminars and talks, getting together with friends for dinner, walking Canada Street, and taking our own self-tours. That's the rut we're in now and we enjoy it. We cut back from six days to four days. Next year we'll go back to five days.

Each person has their own way to do Americade. Be sure to read my 10 Ways to Enjoy Americade. Hopefully, you'll find your own special ways to enjoy Americade and keep coming back just as we will be doing next year.

Americade 2007 - Day 5


This year I'm going to try publishing highlights of Americade 2007, day-by-day in this blog. This is the 25th year for Americade. It's scheduled for June 4-9 this year. The blog will also include my preparation in getting ready to take the ride to Lake George, NY, my observations while there, the ride home, and getting back to normal.

Blog for Thursday:

Today was my day to walk up and down Canada Street and take a few pictures. You have to remember that there are really two rallies at Lake George: Americade and un-Americade. The first is the official rally that you have to register for and pay money to get in free at Tour-Expo, attend seminars, hear world famous riders speak like Fred Rau, go on organized tours, take demo rides on new bikes, enter your bike in various shows, attend the fireworks display, etc. The un-Americade rally has come to be known as Lake George Bike Week and there are plenty of T-shirts that say just that. The two rallies come together on Canada Street with bikes both parking on the side of the street and cruising back and forth.

I like it on Canada Street. I get to see bikes up close and I get to watch them go by and hear them run. I get to smell the exhaust too. I also take pictures and videos.

This evening, we took one trike up to Roaring Brook Ranch (RBR). Jane rode pillion for a change. We left her bike back at the motel to hold a parking space. We wanted to hear Fred Rau speak. His subject was to be a compilation of his Americade talks over the years.

On the way to RBR, I setup my camcorder on my new handlebar mount and let the camera record the trip up and back.

We got to RBR a little early but the place was packed with activities. It was like a 7-ring circus with nearly simultaneous seminars, light shows, demo rides, balloon glows, fashion show, 3-course dinner, and stunt show. I had to make two loops of the place to find a place to park my trike.

Before the light show was over, we decided to leave and got applauded as we rode the trike over the same section of road that the official light show entries did.

When we got back to the motel, a party next door had filled the back of our parking space with guest bikes. I had to yell for someone to move his bike so I could slip my trike into the space behind Jane's trike. We then walked up town for ice cream at Bob's.

Packing came next in preparation for leaving tomorrow.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Americade 2007 - Day 4


This year I'm going to try publishing highlights of Americade 2007, day-by-day in this blog. This is the 25th year for Americade. It's scheduled for June 4-9 this year. The blog will also include my preparation in getting ready to take the ride to Lake George, NY, my observations while there, the ride home, and getting back to normal.

I missed publishing yesterday, so here's my blog entry for Wednesday.

We are getting a lot of pollen here. It gets all over the bikes. Here's a picture of Jane with her duster, cleaning the trike.

After Jane bought her new Nolan helmet, she and I tried to communicate over the CB -- Didn't work. I could hear her but she couldn't hear me. We tried all sorts of switches of components but nothing worked. We even got lots of help from the "sidewalk mechanics" here at the motel. I couldn't keep up with all their suggestions, none of which did any good. I was frustrated. We decided to wait until today when Valerie would join us for breakfast at the Lone Bull Restaurant. We could see if she could communicate with Jane.

When Valerie arrived, she was immediately able to talk to Jane over the CB. I still couldn't. I decided it was time for me to get a new helmet. Maybe it wouldn't help the situation, but at least, I really needed a new one.

I headed out to Tour Expo and went straight for the same helmet vendor where Jane bought her helmet. The lady waiting on me was the owner and a rider herself. She answered all my questions. I tried on the same model Jane got except in a large. Her medium size was way too tight for me. The large was perfect. I really needed a red helmet with earphones and a microphone. My luck was good because she had one in the back. I tried it on and bought it on the spot.

We decided to take Jane's Mini-Tour. This is a special downhill twistie tour that Jane likes to take every time we come to Americade. It would give us a good chance to try out the new helmets and CBs. We asked Valerie to go along since she had also purchased another Nolan helmet (different model). As soon as we fired up the bikes to start out on the tour, every one of our CBs was working perfectly -- even mine!

We committed a cardinal sin by failing to start out with every bike having a full tank. Valerie's bike had less than a quarter tank but we fully expected to find a gas station shortly. Unfortunately, every place was either closed, out of business, or overflowing with long lines of bikes. One gas station referred us up the road, but there was nothing "up the road." Finally, the low gas indicator came on Valerie's Gold Wing 1800 and then we began to sweat.

Jane announced that she thought there was a gas station up ahead where I87 intersected the road. She was right. We limped into the station with hardly any fuel left in the tank.

That night we walked over to Mario's for supper. We've gone there almost every year and they know Jane when they see her. We had a great meal and then walked downtown. It was so cold. It was a sea of black since everyone had on their riding jackets to keep warm. It was so cold that we didn't even stop for ice cream!

Tomorrow, we will be heading over to Roaring Brook Ranch to hear Fred Rau speak. Then we'll be riding back through town and all that bike traffic. I expect to have my camcorder running both going and coming.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Americade 2007 - Day 3


This year I'm going to try publishing highlights of Americade 2007, day-by-day in this blog. This is the 25th year for Americade. It's scheduled for June 4-9 this year. The blog will also include my preparation in getting ready to take the ride to Lake George, NY, my observations while there, the ride home, and getting back to normal.

I missed getting my blog entry in for yesterday so here it is.

Tuesday is always the day we go to the Tour Expo vendor area. It opens at 9 a.m. and if you're registered, you just walk in by showing your armband. Others pay $10 a day.

We approached the parking area and noticed that everyone was lining up and parking on the side street instead of entering the big grassy field. We continued on ignoring the crowd. We soon realized that the grass was wet and many of the bikes, especially with co-riders, didn't want to take a chance on spilling their $20,000 bikes ($25,000 with full chrome). We were all on trikes so it didn't matter what the surface was. We were waved in and parked very near the end of the grassy area near Tour Expo.

We walked the quarter mile down to Tour Expo and flashed our armbands to get in. Jane headed for the helmet vendors while I went to Cycle Gadgets to look for a camcorder mount to put on my trike.

Jane needed a new helmet and finally decided on a fancy Nolan N102. It had a flip up front, sunshade, and fog eliminator feature. It also contained a headset and microphone to hook up to the trike's radio and CB.

I had already found the components I needed at Cycle Gadgets and decided to walked back to my trike and see if they would work with the existing mount I got two years ago for my Garmin 2610 GPS. Half way there, I got a cellphone call from Jane wanting me to come back and look at the Nolan before she bought it. So I walked back and essentially agreed that it looked like a good helmet. The only possible problem was the hookup cord. Would it mate to the trike's existing connection? I said I'd walk back to the trike and bring the cord back -- just to be sure. So I took another half mile jaunt to fetch the cord. It matched.

Jane wanted to go over to the other side of town to the second part of the Tour Expo called The Forum. I said I wanted to try out my new camcorder mount so We went in separate directions. I walked back to the trike and put my camcorder in the new handlebar mount, started up the trike, and turned on the camcorder. I left it on for the whole trip back to my motel -- maybe 8 minutes of video. That worked great, with no shakiness.

We got a bit of rain today -- big surprise. We also got a big drop of pollen from the trees that covered everything including us and our bikes. We even got a rainbow out of it that appeared low over Lake George. See picture, above. While downtown all of a sudden we got a 50 mph wind that came out of nowhere and lasted about 20 seconds. Then it got real cold. Did I mention that the weather is totally unpredictable at Americade?

Tomorrow (actually today), we will be heading up to the Lone Bull Restaurant for breakfast and then back to Tour Expo. I am beginning to see a new helmet in my future.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Americade 2007 - Day 2

This year I'm going to try publishing highlights of Americade 2007, day-by-day in this blog. This is the 25th year for Americade. It's scheduled for June 4-9 this year. The blog will also include my preparation in getting ready to take the ride to Lake George, NY, my observations while there, the ride home, and getting back to normal.

We watched the weather reports and finally reconciled ourselves to having to get on the trikes and ride in the rain from tropical storm Barry. I don't mind riding and having it start to rain. Usually, you can ride through storms like that. This was different.

We started out at 9:15 a.m. to ride four miles up the road to meet Valerie. We pulled in and looked for Valerie. No Valerie. She ended up arriving a bit late because of slow traffic in the rain. It was still raining as we pulled out with three riders. We rode up Route 9 to the Garden State Parkway and over the Driscoll Bridge and onto 440 leading quickly to Route 287. Last year Jane and I got separated on the Driscoll Bridge. (Check last year's blog.) This year we had already made a test run to the Jersey Shore to check out the CBs. The squelch had not been set correctly. That caused the communication problem last year that resulted in us getting lost.

We picked up Marion at a rest stop near Morristown. It was still raining as the four of us headed back out on Route 287. We rode on to our only stop at the second rest area on the NY Thruway. It was still raining.

We completed our trip which, for us, was 250 miles and it had rained the entire time sometimes so heavy that I had to stand up regularly on the pegs and look over the windshield to see what was ahead of me.

We arrived at registration about 4 p.m. and there was no line at all -- an advantage of arriving late.

We had dinner with NJ members of the GWRRA. It was still raining.

We are hopeful of a bit less rain tomorrow as we expect to have an early breakfast and hit the vendor area about 9 a.m. We are told that we may actually see the sun tomorrow although a thunderstorm with high winds is forecast for the afternoon.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Americade 2007 - Day 1

This year I'm going to try publishing highlights of Americade 2007, day-by-day in this blog. This is the 25th year for Americade. It's scheduled for June 4-9 this year. The blog will also include my preparation in getting ready to take the ride to Lake George, NY, my observations while there, the ride home, and getting back to normal.

This will be the 14th consecutive Americade rally that Jane and I have attended. I think we're in a rut.

I had bad arthritis last year at this time. For some reason, it seems to be greatly relieved this year.

Jane had knee replacement surgery on Election Day 2006. It took awhile for her to get back to a point where she could ride but she set riding goals and achieved them all. This trip of 270 miles will be the longest distance she has traveled on her trike since her surgery.

Today, we are getting packed for the trip to Lake George. We will be leaving at 9:30 a.m. Monday morning. Unfortunately, tropical storm, Barry, is bearing down on us and promises heavy rain this afternoon and tomorrow morning. That could make the ride semi-miserable.

Jane is the sunshine lady in our Gold Wing chapter. She announces birthdays and anniversaries and also has a remarkable record of making the sun shine when the chapter takes a ride somewhere. Right now, she's driving home on the Jersey Turnpike after attending a birthday party for our granddaughter in PA. The storm is right behind her pushing her north. She needs to somehow steer it to the right, out into the Atlantic Ocean to clear the way for our trip. Go Jane Go!

This afternoon we will be packing up and loading the bikes.

We will be meeting another female rider about four miles north tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. and then picking up another female rider near Morristown, NJ about an hour or so later. We'll have three trikes and one Gold Wing two-wheeler (could be a Valkyrie) in the group.

Next year, our daughter and her family will be moving from PA to Saratoga Springs, NY. That's only 20-some miles from Lake George and right on the way for us. We probably will be tacking a few days on the beginning and end of our Americade tour from now on to visit with them.

Tomorrow, we take the trip to Lake George. Rain, rain, stay away.