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Motorcycle Views Newsletter

Friday, February 29, 2008

Harley-Davidson Recalls Police and Escort Motorcycles for ABS Brake Fluid Leaks

Harley-Davidson has issued a recall of certain 2005-2007 police and escort motorcycles.

Harley-Davidson is recalling certain FLHP, FLHPI, FLHTP, FLHTPI, FLHPE and FLHPEI police and escort motorcycles equipped with anti-lock brake systems (ABS). Inconsistencies in the routing of the brake lines can cause abrasion of the brake lines and hoses. In some cases, this condition has caused brake fluid leaks.

5947 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Honda to Stop Making Motorcycles in the USA

Honda has been making motorcycles in the USA since 1979. Today Honda announced that they will stop manufacturing motorcycles here to concentrate on automobile production.

Here's an excerpt from DaytonDailyNews.com:

"Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. announced today that it will discontinue production of motorcycles in spring 2009 as part of what the company calls 'a global strategy that will focus on its leader role in Honda's North American automobile operations.'"

Read more.

Here's another story from detnews.com.

Here's what Honda says on its Web site.

Definitely the end of an era.

What do you think? Leave your comments below.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Motorcycle Tattoos - Art or Ego?

I have a Motorcycle Tattoos Gallery that is quite popular. I make it a requirement that each person submitting a tattoo must be a motorcyclist and must state what bike they currently ride.

Now some think that tattoos are done impulsively without much thought. Others create whole galleries of tattoos on their bodies to reflect their own outlook on life or to characterize their experiences. Still others view tattoos as art -- motorcycle art.

What's your take? Leave your comments below.

Have you got a tattoo to place in our Motorcycle Tattoos Gallery? Send it in and see your art on our site.

Ural Has Recalled 6 Models for Transmission Defect

Ural has issued a recall of certain 2007 Gear-Up, Patrol, Retro, Tourist, Tourist LX, and Wolf motorcycles.

On certain motorcycles built with a sidecar and equipped with Herzog transmission gear sets, the transmission main shaft is outside of acceptable tolerance due to incorrect manufacturing of transmission main shaft and specific retaining clips. The main shaft and retaining clips may be defective.

308 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week - Jim Finlayson

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

See Jim on his Yamaha V-Star 1100 Classic.

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.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pictures of the Week - Jim

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

See Jim with his Honda Gold Wing in picturesque Helen, GA.

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.

Ducati Recalls Hypermotard for License Plate Problem

Ducati has issued a recall of certain 2006-2007 Hypermotard motorcycles.

On certain motorcycles, the license number plate holder support bracket posts can crack. The license plate can fall off the motorcycle.

865 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Cam-Am Spyder Roadster Recalled for Front Brake Problem

Cam-Am has issued a recall of certain 2008 Spyder Roadster three-wheel motorcycles.

On certain passenger vehicles, there is a presence of an abnormal quantity of air in the hydraulic circuit of the front brake. The brake pedal may go almost to the floor when depressing. A driver may be unable to stop the vehicle as expected increasing the risk of a crash.

476 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Hyosung Recalls GT650 and GV650 Motorcycles for Fuel Tank Leaks

Hyosung has issued a recall of certain 2005-2007 GT650 and GV650 motorcycles.

These motorcycles were built with fuel tank cap gaskets that prevent proper tank ventilation. This could result in vehicle stalling which could result in a crash and/or fuel leakage which could result in a fire.

3292 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Kawasaki Recalls 2008 Ninja EX250 for Tail Light Failure

Kawasaki has issued a recall of certain 2008 Ninja EX250J8F and EX250J8FL motorcycles.

The tail light bulb may prematurely fail. Inappropriate lighting could reduce visibility creating the possibility of a crash resulting in injury or death.

532 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Daytona Bike Week - March Madness on Motorcycles

The 67th anniversary of Daytona Bike Week is being held February 29 - March 9, 2008 in Daytona Beach, Florida. The start of Daytona Bike Week is often announced on the morning TV news shows. You know, where somebody sticks their face in front of the camera and announces: "We're at the opening of Daytona Bike Week. Good Morning America," and then you see a whole line of bikes roar off in front of the camera. Unfortunately, most of the remainder of Bike Week will not be seen by non-motorcyclists.

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 sometimes 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 rallies that I like. Of course, your views may be different -- this is Motorcycle Views after all.

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, especially if you're taking two bikes. Double gas, double tolls. 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.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday on a Motorcycle Trike

I'm thankful that I have at least one day a week during the New Jersey winter when I can take a ride on my motorcycle. Of course, my motorcycle is now a motorcycle trike and that ride is to one of the destinations on the Polar Bear Grand Tour.

I look forward to these rides since I take all the pictures and videos to update the Web site each week. I created that Web site myself back in 1996 when the Internet was new. This is my twelfth year of updating the site and I've taken, processed, and published over 6000 pictures of Polar Bear activities. In recent years I've begun publishing short videos each week as well.

The ride last Sunday was to the Exchange, a restaurant in Rockaway, NJ. Now it just so happens that my son lives less than five miles from there in Boonton. Jane and I thought that it might be nice to add an overnight visit to our son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren to precede the Polar Bear sign-in. So we rode up on Saturday afternoon.

It was a 75 mile ride to our son's house. He lives in a wooded, secluded area north of Route 80. We pulled up to the front door, blew the weak Gold Wing horns and out popped three male grandkids all under the age of 10. Of course, we were dressed in our finest black apparel with heated vests and gloves and Nolan flip-up full-face helmets. The helmet colors matched the color of the trikes. We pretty much looked like a cross between Darth Vader and the Frankenstein monster to Jordan, Jayson, and Ian but our voices gave us away as they shouted in unison, "Hi Grandma and Poppy. Can we go for a ride?"

"Later," I said. We had promised them that we would take each of them for a short ride up and down their extensive driveway sometime before we left. But right now, we were too tired for that.

Our other son also came up with his wife and our granddaughter, Andi Jaye, 2. We were also going to kinda celebrate a milestone birthday of mine. Andi would not be getting a motorcycle ride.

We pulled the trikes over into their 3-car garage and left them for the night.

We had a great visit with the family and a good night's sleep.

The next day we planned to ride to the Polar Bear destination at Rockaway starting out at 10:45 a.m. We got all the gear on and I backed my trike out of the garage to try to program my GPS with the destination. Now, it was only five miles away over a simple course but I wanted to try to setup the route anyway. First off, I couldn't get a satellite signal in the isolated area surrounded by trees. Then when I tried to enter the address of the Exchange, it accepted the town and the street number, but it balked on the street name and proceeded to freeze up. I tried it again and got the same result. I rebooted the GPS and got the same result. Even the map would just sit there and jiggle back and forth. All the usual GPS controls also stopped working. After five minutes of this, Jane was on my case so I just forgot about the GPS and rode over to the destination with no problem getting there.

When I arrived, the GPS was still not working. One of my buddies suggested I pull out the internal card and reinsert it. That did nothing. It still wouldn't work.

We signed-in and I took my usual pictures and videos. After about an hour, we decided to call it a day and got back on the trikes and headed back to our son's house. I almost missed a turn going back because the way going was different from the way coming back. Don't you hate that?

By the time we got back to our son's house, the GPS had mysteriously started working again. (And it worked flawlessly all the way home too.) I felt like my trike had just spent a few hours in the Boonton Triangle. Strange things seem to happen in those woods.

As we pulled up to our son's house we expected to find the three grandsons all lined up for the motorcycle rides, but no one was there. I went into the house still with full gear on and yelled for the kids. They were not ready to go at all. So we sat there waiting for all to be ready and for them to find their helmets.

The 10-year-old was ready first and took a seat behind his grandma for an extended trip down the third-of-a-mile driveway and back.

The six-year-old wanted to ride with me on my red trike. I had to make sure he was firmly seated and holding onto the side handles next to the pillion seat. I cautioned him before every turn what I was going to do and to "hang on tight." He did. Near the end of the loop, I blew the horn twice and then dropped him at the front door.

Then I took the four-year-old on my trike. He's a tiny guy with a wide smile. I took him on the same route and blew the horn twice as I had for his bro. Kids like to be treated equally.

After that, we had lunch and then departed for home about 3 p.m. The trip was speedy and uneventful. We listened to the Super Bowl pre-game show on the trike's radio as we each rode home. As usual, Jane and I communicated with each other over the CB.

We pulled into our garage about 4:30 p.m., unloaded the trikes, phoned the kids that we had arrived safely and awaited the Super Bowl XLII game between the NY Giants and the New England Patriots. We all know how that came out. It was the perfect end to a perfect riding day.

Take a look at the pictures and videos taken on the Polar Bear run to Rockaway, NJ on Super Bowl XLII Sunday.

Motorcycle pictures courtesy of Steven M. Kern.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

More Efficient Motorcycle Trike Engine - It's About Time

I got an email from a company in Australia that makes GTM trikes. I was not familiar with GTM but am interested in trikes.

It seems that GTM has been making trikes for awhile using VW engines and has just signed a deal with another company, Revetec, to provide them with a new type of engine called the X4v2.

The X4v2 provides much higher torque than the VW engine, especially in the lower RPM ranges. This results in much greater acceleration and increased fuel economy. That caught my attention. I was beginning to wonder if anyone out there was even thinking about engine efficiency to help us poor riders try to beat the high price of gasoline.

I know when both my wife and I take out our Gold Wing trikes we end up getting killed with double gas cost as well as double toll costs. Our governor here in New Jersey is now proposing a plan to help pay off the state debt by raising tolls 800 percent! To even manage my costs I may have to go to a single trike, take the back roads more often, and try to trade the trike in on something that gets more than 28 mpg.

I don't know if the Revetec technology will pay off in Australia but I thought maybe you'd like to take a look at a video of the trike in action. Maybe someday, we can get some more efficiency out of our own trikes. I'm not holding my breath.

Take a look at what I currently have on trikes. If you own a trike, send me a picture of it and I'll put it in my Trike Gallery.

The picture above is courtesy of Revetec Holdings Limited.