Motorcycle Views Newsletter

Friday, November 30, 2007

Motorcycle Daredevil Evel Knievel Dies

The end of an era. Evel Knievel has died in Clearwater, FL.

According to Mitch Stacy, AP, "Evel Knievel, the red-white-and-blue-spangled motorcycle daredevil whose jumps over Greyhound buses, live sharks and Idaho's Snake River Canyon made him an international icon in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 69."

Makes me feel old. I'm also 69. I thought he was older. In recent years his son Robbie has carried on his exploits.

Read the complete story.

Here's a YouTube video of Evel pronouncing his faith -- a different side of the man who lived life on his own terms.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Polar Bear Grand Tour Visits the Hillbilly Hall


I awoke this morning to a 29 degree temperature on the thermometer outside my kitchen window. That was at 7:30 a.m. At 8 a.m. Jane and I were inside the local Old Country Buffet to have breakfast and participate in our Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) NJ Chapter F meeting. We are the treasurers of that group. Today we weren't on motorcycles. I couldn't put on a helmet because I've just had two surgeries to remove basal cell carcinomas, one at the top of my forehead at the hairline and the other just behind the top of my left ear. Wearing a helmet is impossible until healing takes place. That's why today was a series of motorcycle adventures without motorcycles.

After the chapter meeting we drove to Hopewell, NJ for the fifth run of the Polar Bear Grand Tour. History was not kind to Hopewell. It was in Hopewell in 1932 that the Lindbergh kidnapping case occurred. In fact, Lindbergh's mansion is just a few miles from the Hillybilly Hall where the Polar Bear Grand Tour met today.

It was a perfect winter day. Clear skies and brisk temperatures greeted the riders as a seemingly endless stream of motorcycles rode into Hopewell. I got there early today and recorded in pictures and videos what I saw. Take a look.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Motorcycle Santa Stories


I started writing these original stories of Motorcycle Santa in 2002. My wife, Jane, had a large collection of POSSIBLE DREAMS® Santas that had to do with motorcycles. They seem to come out with a few new ones every year so her collection grew correspondingly. I wrote a short fantasy children's story illustrated with pictures of these Santas. I have added a new story each year.

Here are the first five stories. A new one for 2007 will be out soon.

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week - Dragon Rider


Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Web site. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery. See Dragon Rider on his Honda Gold Wing.

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hot Sexy Stars on Motorcycles

Glam.com has an article and pictures about seven well-known stars of TV, music, and the movies who also ride motorcycles. They have some of my favorites including Vanessa Marcil of the TV show Las Vegas. Read the article and view the pictures. I blogged about this three months ago but many may not have seen it. I actually had forgotten that Vanessa was in this gallery and I just saw Keith Urban on Good Morning America today.

Stars have always ridden motorcycles. Check out my article, Famous Motorcyclists, for a few more riders who are not in the news anymore.

Do you know any other famous riders and what they ride? Tell us by leaving a comment, below.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day on the Polar Bear Grand Tour


This morning I woke up and realized that I didn't have my flag out for Veteran's Day. It was about 38 degrees as I retrieved the flag from my foyer closet, made my way down the front sidewalk to my flagpole mount, and affixed it to the mount. We usually have the flag flying every day but had brought it inside a few weeks ago while heavy winds and rain were trying to rip it to shreds. Anyway, the flag is now flying.

This is also the day for the third run of the Polar Bear Grand Tour here in New Jersey. The run was to go to Old Bridge, NJ. This is a short run for us -- 38 miles round trip. It was a bit nippy -- 40 degrees -- as we got on our heated clothing and headed up to get gas. The trikes were near empty from the Polar Bear trip last week to Lewes, DE.

When we pulled into the Knights of Columbus in Old Bridge, we were greeted with a sea of motorcycles saturating the parking lot. There was even overflow into the grassy, weedy, and wooded areas that are usually frequented by wandering animals. Once inside, we encountered lines for check-in, the food area, and even the restrooms. When I see lines, I find something else to do until they disappear. I went outside and took pictures. You'll find the pictures and my captions on the Polar Bear Web site: Old Bridge Pictures

Next week the Polar Bear run is to Port Jervis, NY.

Picture © 2007 Walter Kern

Saturday, November 10, 2007

World's Largest Motorcycle Must Be Seen to Be Believed

I just had to display this YouTube video that shows the World's Largest Motorcycle. I'm not sure why anyone would want to spend $300,000 to create it but this guy thought it worth his time, talent, and treasure to bring it to the world.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Falling Leaves and Motorcycles


I have a great view out the window where I work at home. It's my view on the world. This time of year, the view is pretty spectacular as the final leaves continue to fall. Today, the leaves were falling rapidly and piling up on the grass. I decided that I needed to do a little raking.

I went out to the garage where my two motorcycle trikes are parked and moved the car out so I could get at the electric leaf blower. I told myself that I needed to be careful how I handled the blower. Two years ago, I developed a severe case of arthritis right after I used the leaf blower to clear the front yard. I just over-exerted myself and developed shoulder, knee, and hip problems that caused me no end of grief for the next 18 months. I had only recently got back near normal and I didn't need a relapse.

I hooked everything up and started on the side yard. I grasped the blower with both hands keeping my arms close to my body so as not to put extra pressure on my arms. I had my ear plugs in that I use when I ride my trike. I blew the leaves out to the street and then started on the main yard where I can see the beautiful tree through my window.

I had noticed that the local leaf machine operated by the township was out and about and quite possibly might be by to pick up my leaves if I could get them all to the street. But, I was in no way going to push myself to get the leaves out to the street. I got about half of the remaining leaves to the street when I heard the machine approaching. Then it came into sight and started sucking up my leaves. Well, I still had lots more to do and if I missed getting them all picked up, well, the leaves would just have to wait at the curb until another day. Of course, it was also possible that the two workmen would show me some mercy and make another run around the block.

When they got to the end of my street, they turned around and came down the other side of my street and stopped in front of my beautiful tree. The driver headed across the street toward me and said, "I'd be glad to come back in 30 minutes and pickup the rest of your leaves if you'll show me your trike." That took me by surprise.

"Sure," I said. "You wanna do it now." Then the other workman came over and the three of us headed across the yard toward the garage.

The guy said, "I've seen that trike every year when I'm out on the leaf pickup runs, but this is the first time you had the garage door open so I could get a good look."

"Well, let me tell you all about my trike," I said. "Actually there are two trikes in there."

Thus began a 20 minute break for the two workers as we talked motorcycles. Turns out he had a bad motorcycle accident in 1993 and hadn't ridden since. He had thought about converting his bike to a trike though. I gave him my complete trike story. I think I got him interested in going back into motorcycling. He'll probably tell this story to his wife tonight and she'll try to discourage him. She's done it before, he said.

After he had looked over both my trikes and got all his questions answered, he and his buddy returned to the truck and headed off down the street. That was my cue to get back to leaf blowing and finish getting my remaining leaves out to the street. Just as I finished, he returned and removed the remaining leaves.

The leaves continue to fall outside my window. It takes awhile for the tree to drop all its beauty and then stand naked against the sky waiting for the snow to start falling. Meanwhile, I'm sure I'll be out there raking a few more times trying to stay ahead of the steady downpour of leaves.

Winter is coming. My tree's beauty is fading fast. But, my trikes will be getting used during the winter. The Polar Bear Grand Tour will take care of that. But, maybe the tree and the falling leaves have helped at least one motorcyclist to dream again of getting his own bike back on the road. The leaves have done their job.

Suzuki Recalls GS500 and GZ250 Motorcycles for Electrical Problem

Suzuki has issued a recall of certain 2004-2007 GS500 and 2002-2007 GZ250 motorcycles.

The rear reflex reflector on affected GS500 motorcycles and the rear and side reflex reflectors on affected GZ250 motorcycles fail to conform to the requirements of federal motor vehicle safety standard No. 108, 'Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment.' The reflex reflectors have a reflected light output at some measurement angles that is less than the minimum output required by the standard. It is possible that this could contribute to a motorist's not noticing the motorcycle in darkness, which may contribute to a crash.

28221 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Victory Recalls 2008 Vision Motorcycles for Electrical Problem

Victory has issued a recall of certain 2008 Vision motorcycles.

On certain motorcycles, the voltage regulator/rectifier assembly may have an overcharging condition. An overcharging situation in conjunction with the loose battery connection could cause a stalling condition. An unexpected loss of engine power could cause a loss of control of the motorcycle increasing the risk of a crash.

326 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Monday, November 5, 2007

'07-'08 Polar Bear Grand Tour - Lewes, DE



Yesterday (Sunday) was the second run in the Polar Bear Grand Tour season. The motorcycle run was to Lewes, DE, the destination farthest south of all our runs. Since this is a long run, many riders choose to come down on Saturday and stay for the night. There was a large coastal storm sweeping up the east coast on Saturday. The storm had high winds but was located off-shore. Some riders normally staying overnight chose to cancel their Saturday plans and make the complete round-trip on Sunday. I was in that group.

Jane and I rode our trikes with some new Polar Bear riders from our local Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) Chapter NJ-F group. The run started at 8 a.m. with six bikes in the group and ended for us at 6 p.m. in the dark on the first day that Eastern Standard Time (EST) became effective for the winter. All our communication was via CB radio and our lead and drag riders kept the group together with a minimum of difficulties.

Pictures and descriptions for the Lewes run are located on the Polar Bear Grand Tour Web site. Take a look. The picture, above, shows a bike that was at Lewes and has many special features including footpegs made out of old pistons.

Motorcycle Trikes Becoming Popular


I've been riding a motorcycle trike for seven years. My wife got hers before I got mine. I wrote an article about her experience in getting her trike.

In the beginning there weren't too many of us out there and we got a lot of attention on the road, in parking lots, and especially at gas pumps. I even wrote an article with standard questions I get and my answers.

I also wrote a How To about learning to ride a trike.

Then I created a Trike Picture Gallery.

I spent yesterday on the road traveling to Lewes, DE for the second Polar Bear Grand Tour run. I'll be blogging about that later today. As usual, I was asked at every gas stop about the trike and heard the same questions again.

Today, I see that the Wall Street Journal has a piece about trikes and it has a few pictures too. It's called The Easier Rider: Baby Boom Bikers Defect to the Trike by Jonathan Welsh. Maybe we are becoming mainstream after all. Take a look.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week - Cat Ballou and Ian


Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views Web site. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery. See Cat Ballou on her Hyosung Aquila and Ian on his Road King Custom.


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

Transportation Secretary, Mary Peters, Wants to Lower Motorcycle Deaths

Today, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters has announced new initiatives to support motorcyclists. Peters is, herself, a motorcyclist. According to USA TODAY, she has proposed a new plan that includes:
  • Training. DOT will develop national standards for entry-level motorcycle riders to achieve what Peters calls "a baseline of competency."
  • Enforcement. DOT will create a training program to teach police officers about specific efforts to reduce crashes.
  • Education. Public Service Announcements will feature Peters on the importance of helmets and other protective gear. A "Share the Road" campaign will remind drivers to be alert for motorcyclists.

Check out the complete story and offer your comments on this new plan, below.