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Motorcycle Views Newsletter

Monday, March 31, 2008

"Borrow a Bike" - New Economic Stimulus Plan

The Department of Transportation released plans on Monday to create a new economic stimulus plan tailored to those who ride motorcycles.

Transportation Secretary, Mary Peters, an avid motorcyclist herself, has been studying the increased costs to the total economy of having motorcyclists continuing to spend money to buy expensive motorcycles and maintain them only to let them sit in garages all over America without being used much.

"The average yearly mileage on a motorcycle is 2000 miles," said Peters. "We have in mind a new economic stimulus plan geared toward helping all our motorcycle friends." read more

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What the Heck is a Balaclava?

I had a Motorcycle Glossary / Dictionary of motorcycle terms on the old site. Those motorcycle terms are also on the new site and I've just revised all 225 of them to cross-reference them and link them to additional explanatory information in some of my articles.

I've even set them up so you can also go from term to term in the dictionary without going back to the index.

The Motorcycle Dictionary has been very popular over the last half-dozen years. I've even had some other motorcycle sites use my definitions on their sites without permission. I guess that means that others find them so useful that they just take them for their own. (I have had to point out these infractions to several webmasters.)

That's also been a problem I've had with some of my more important articles such as You CAN Learn to Ride a Motorcycle and 10 Ways to Be Safe on a Motorcycle. Both those articles started out getting low usage but as time goes on, they are attracting huge numbers of readers.

Well, the Motorcycle Views Motorcycle Dictionary should be on your reading list too. If you have any motorcycle terms that you'd like to see added, just email me (include your own definition).

By the way, a Balaclava is is a thin pull-over head and neck cover with eye slits for winter usage under a motorcycle helmet. Pronunciation: Bal-A-Clav'-A • (noun). Now you only have 224 more motorcycle terms to go.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Big Bear Choppers Recalls Choppers for Frame Cracks

Big Bear Choppers has issued a recall of certain 2004-2005 Devil's Advocate and Venom Choppers and 2005 Sled Choppers.

Some motorcycles may have inadequate weld penetration between the neck, backbone, and down tubes of the frame. High loads created when riding on rough road surfaces, structural modification made to the frame by owners, and/or failure to maintain the specified torque setting of the top motor mount may cause the affected welds to crack.

351 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Polaris Recalls 2008 Victory Vision for Ignition Switch Defect

Polaris/Victory has issued a recall of certain 2008 Vision motorcycles.

The electrical contact plate on the ignition switch base may not be properly secured to the ignition switch body, which can cause an unexpected loss of electrical power to the vehicle. A loss of electrical power could cause the vehicle to stall, increasing the risk of a loss of control and a vehicle crash.

1585 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Polar Bears, Bunnies, and Bikes Meet at the Chatterbox

The Polar Bear Grand Tour is winding down. Only three more events this season.

Last Sunday, the ride was to the Chatterbox, a circular restaurant at the intersection of Routes 206 and 15 in Augusta, New Jersey. Easter Sunday would be next weekend so no Polar Bear run would be made next week. That didn't keep the Easter Bunny away from the Chatterbox.

One never knows what to expect at an event like this. The weather had turned a bit cold and rainy and kept the attendance down. Those who did come found good food, an educational display in the center of the restaurant, and a bunny rabbit walking around and handing out candy. The display was the actual car used by the Pixar animators in making the movie, Cars. It was for the character "The King" (Richard Petty). I caught all of this in pictures and videos.

Take a look and listen to pictures and videos from the Chatterbox.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Motorcycle History - Things Your Dad Never Told You

History can be a very boring subject. I think history is best learned when one is an adult. Only then does it make much sense. Memorizing dates and events was the way I remember history classes for me. When I began writing about motorcycles, I was immediately drawn to the history of motorcycles. Wow, history was becoming interesting.

I have a new Motorcycle History subject on my site. This was started on the old site when I attempted to make motorcycle history more interesting by creating a quiz for each history article I wrote. These were fun quizzes with only 10 questions and multiple choice answers. The first such quiz was Harley-Davidson and a Quiz Too. I added four more such quizzes over the years.

I also wrote some motorcycle history articles that were related to motorcycle books that I had read or motorcycle books that I had reviewed for the site. An example of one such history article was Indian Motorcycles. An example of a book review was The Harley-Davidson and Indian Wars - A Book Review.

Well, maybe history will never be on the top of my "must read" list but I had a lot of fun creating these motorcycle history articles, book reviews, and quizzes. Take a look at the Motorcycle History subject and judge for yourself.

By the way, my Dad was never a motorcycle guy. He was into cars. However, the things he never told me could fill a book.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Kawasaki Recalls 2008 EX250J8F and EX250J8FL for Brake Hose Defect

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

The front brake hose may be damaged over a long period of use. The brake hose tends to deflect forward during suspension travel. This allows the brake hose to contact the edge of the front fork outer tube. Over time, this contact could damage the brake hose causing the brake fluid to leak and resulting in a lack of front brake performance. This can create the risk of a crash.

1526 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Men on Motorcycles - Picture Gallery

We present here a picture gallery of male motorcycle riders and their motorcycles as submitted by male visitors to the Motorcycle Views site. The gallery is called Men on Motorcycles.

The vast majority of motorcycle riders are men. Of course, over the years many women have also ridden motorcycles. In recent years, with the availability of training from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), more women than ever have learned to ride and now constitute more than 10 percent of all motorcycle owners. See our gallery, Women on Motorcycles, for pictures of women and their motorcycles.

We need your help to grow this new gallery, Men on Motorcycles, so please submit a picture of you and your motorcycle along with a description of your bike.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Triumph Recalls Speed Triple for Rear Suspension Problem

Triumph has issued a recall of certain 2008 Speed Triple motorcycles.

The rear suspension unit (RSU) damping performance is controlled by a mixture of gas and oil contained within the unit. This mixture is kept inside the unit by control oil/gas seals. If the seals become damaged, the mixture will escape. Once the mixture has escaped the RSU, the rear suspension will lose its damping ability. The rear suspension will be controlled only by the action of the coil spring also attached to the RSU.

265 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Kawasaki Recalls 2006-2008 Vulcan 900 Models for Fuel Leak Defect

Kawasaki has issued a recall of certain 2006-2008 Vulcan 900 Classic, Custom, and Classic LT motorcycles.

Model year 2006 VN900B6F, VN900B6FL, VN900D6F, VN900D6FL, model year 2007 VN900B7F, VN900B7FL, VN900C7F, VN900C7FL, VN900D7F, VN900D7FL, and model year 2008 VN900B8F, VN900B8FL, VN900C8F, VN900D8F and VN900D8FL motorcycles are in the recall.

The fuel hose may not be properly connected to the fuel injector delivery pipe. Continued use of the motorcycle can result in the fuel hose coming off, increasing the possibility of a fuel leak which could result in a fire or explosion.

31,789 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

BMW Recalls 2007 G650X Challenge, Country, and Moto Motorcycles for Fuel Leak

BMW has issued a recall of certain 2007 G650X Challenge, Country, and Moto motorcycles.

The fuel lines may have been damaged during production, and could develop a leak. The leak could occur either through the fabric inlay at the end of the line, or, through a crack in the actual line. Fuel leakage, in the presence of an ignition source, could result in a fire.

1391 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

58 Years of Indian Motorcycles - A Picture Gallery

Indian began making motorcycles in 1901 as the Hendee Manufacturing Company. The first production model was in 1902 and 143 units were produced. In 1903 376 motorcycles were sold. It continued production through 1953 when it no longer made the classic Indian. In 1999 Indian motorcycles were again produced, this time by the Indian Motorcycle Corporation. This was not the same company but it did have rights to the Indian name and trademarks.

I have re-created a gallery of Indian motorcycles that I had on the old site. I take a look at Indian models from the first model in 1901 to the present as provided in pictures submitted by members of the old site and some new members from my Motorcycle Views site. A gallery called "58 Years of Indian Motorcycles" is provided that will eventually give a picture and description for each model year from 1901 to 2003.

I want to update this gallery with pictures of Indian motorcycles. If you own an Indian motorcycle now or had a family member who owned one in the past, please consider submitting a picture and description of it for the gallery.

Take a look at 58 Years of Indian Motorcycles.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

BMW Recalls 2007 G650X Challenge and Country Motorcycles for Wheel Bearing Problem

BMW has issued a recall of certain 2007 G650X Challenge and Country motorcycles.

The motorcycles may have had the wrong circular clip installed on the left hand side of the rear wheel bearing guide. This circlip can rub against a spacer bushing, creating metal shavings which may enter the wheel bearing, causing it to fail and the ABS may malfunction although this would be indicated by illumination of the ABS warning lamp. If this happened, the brakes would remain fully available to slow and stop the motorcycle increasing the risk of a crash.

744 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bikes and Beetles in Unsnowy New Jersey

I joined the Polar Bear Grand Tour back in 1992. I wanted to continue riding my motorcycle through the winter and this tour was my way to achieve my goal. Originally, I thought I'd be doing it alone as I didn't think my wife would be the least bit interested in riding in 20 degree temperatures with even lower wind chills. I was wrong. She couldn't wait to get started.

That was at about the same time we both took up skiing. Jane's brother-in-law, Jack, got us started skiing and even came out from Illinois to supervise our first steps down the hill on skis. Jack was also the first to push us in the direction of learning to ride a motorcycle.

We went out skiing about a dozen times that first year. But when the motorcycle bug struck and we started doing winter motorcycle riding, the skis were put away, permanently.

The winters in New Jersey are totally unpredictable. There were some years with heavy snows that almost shut down our winter riding. Then there were years like this one where snowstorms were rare and the temperatures just high enough that we got rain and wind instead.

In this state, we seem to have two distinct climates. North Jersey usually gets snow while South Jersey either gets rain or nothing at all. That makes our Sunday winter rides quite interesting considering that we often traverse the state from south to north.

This last polar bear ride was to Long Valley, New Jersey, about 52 miles north of our house. On Saturday, the entire east coast had a massive coastal rain and wind storm that was never-ending. It dumped huge amounts of rain everywhere, saturating the ground. Then the winds approaching 60 mph at times blew against the trees, uprooting many and causing numerous power failures. We were continuously watching the weather reports trying to determine what the weather would be like for Sunday. Of course, to add more confusion, Saturday night was also the time change to Daylight Saving Time.

On Sunday, I got up early to check the weather and it seemed to be OK but there were some road closings and high winds were anticipated. I was going alone since Jane had one of those nasty colds going around and was in no condition to brave the cold and wind.

I tried to program my GPS but it wouldn't accept the address where I would be going. I could go many ways and I didn't know what path I'd take until I got on the road. I wanted to see how bad the wind was. Turns out it wasn't bad at low speeds but at 65+ mph, it tossed me around a lot. That made me leery to try to go over the Driscoll Bridge on the Garden State Parkway. I opted to head north via Route 18 through New Brunswick. That route was uneventful except for all the potholes and construction. When I finally got to I287, I had the option to head west on I78 and traverse country roads in a northerly manner until I got to Long Valley. However, I might encounter streams that had overflowed their banks or possibly trees across the roads. I decided to continue north on I287 and pick up Route 206. That turned out well as the speeds were lower and the winds less objectionable.

The last 10 miles were enjoyable as I climbed in elevation and the temperature lowered. The mountains and trees were all around me and I was comfortable in my electrics nestled behind my full windshield. It was a good polar bear day.

As usual, I arrived and immediately started taking my pictures and short videos that I place on the Polar Bear Grand Tour Web site each week. You'll find them on the Long Valley page.

While taking pictures I saw a nice 1974 Volkswagen Beetle in the middle of the motorcycles. It had a "QQ" plate. Here in New Jersey, the "QQ" plate designates a car at least 25 years old. I had a 1933 Chevrolet once with a "QQ" plate. I couldn't just drive the car anywhere. It had to have limited mileage and be used for educational purposes. The 1974 I saw was the same year VW I once owned. The owner, a polar bear rider, had recently bought it completely restored. He had driven the car today instead of riding his bike since he had a bad cold. It was my good fortune. He showed me the car. It was beautiful. I took pictures and a couple of videos. You'll find them on the link above. I once wrote an article about the three VW Bugs that I owned including my own white 1974. That article was written when I was the Motorcycles Guide at About.com. I had joined with all the car Guides to write about the VW after the last VW came off the assembly line in Mexico.

On the way home, I decided to ride through Princeton, New Jersey. The trip was stop-and-go down Route 206 but I was in no hurry. After I got to the Route 1 traffic circle, I found the road closed. There was some storm damage beyond. I quickly turned around the circle and headed north on Route 1. When I saw a familiar crossroad, I turned off, pulled over to the side of the road, and switched the GPS to "Home" to get myself un-lost. Thank God for the Home button. It gave me a neat country ride over a road I had never been on and then suddenly pointed me to a familiar road that took me home without a hitch.

All in all, it was a good riding day. I survived the wind and cold another day even though I only saw a couple of clumps of snow over the 104 mile route.

I'm hoping the remaining winter is kind to me. I don't expect to see any more snow, in keeping with the way things are this year. On the other hand...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

AMA to Sell Pro Racing Rights to Daytona Motorsports Group

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) announced Friday that the Association has entered into an agreement in principle to sell the sanctioning, promotional and management rights for its AMA Pro Racing properties to the Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG), based in Daytona Beach, Florida. Their press release states:

    "Led by Roger Edmondson, the founder of the CCS motorcycle racing series and currently the President of the Grand American Road Race Series LLC, and Jim France, Vice Chairman/Executive Vice President of NASCAR, DMG will assume responsibility for the AMA Superbike Series, the AMA Motocross Series, the AMA Flat Track Series, the AMA Supermoto Series, the AMA Hillclimb Series and ATV Pro Racing. The agreement in principle does not include the AMA Supercross and AMA Arenacross Series, the rights to which are held by Live Nation. Daytona Motorsports Group will license the use of the AMA name and trademarks to promote their motorcycle racing activities."

Read the complete press release.

Friday, March 7, 2008

81 Years of BMW: A Gallery

BMW began selling motorcycles in 1923, long before any BMW automobiles were even thought of.

I have re-created a gallery of BMWs that I had on the old site. I take a look at BMW models from the first model in 1923 to the present as provided in pictures submitted by members of the old site and some new members from my Motorcycle Views site. A gallery called "81 Years of BMW" is provided that gives a picture and description for each model year from 1923 to 2003.

I want to update this gallery with new pictures of BMWs. If you own a BMW motorcycle, please consider submitting a picture and description of it for the gallery.

Take a look at 81 Years of BMW.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

29 Years of Honda Gold Wing - A Gallery

Honda began selling the Super Cub motorcycle internationally in 1958. In 1975, Honda introduced the Gold Wing. It has continued in production ever since.

I have re-created a gallery of Gold Wings that I had on the old site. I take a look at Honda Gold Wing models from the first model in 1975 to the present as provided in pictures submitted by members of the old site and some new members from my Motorcycle Views site. A gallery called "29 Years of Gold Wing" is provided that gives a picture and description for each model year from 1975 to 2003.

I want to update this gallery with new pictures of Gold Wings. If you own a Gold Wing, please consider submitting a picture and description of it for the gallery.

Take a look at 29 Years of Honda Gold Wing.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Daytona Bike Week -Videos and Information

I was at another Polar Bear Grand Tour run yesterday to the Firehouse Eatery in Rahway, NJ. I ran into two riders who were set to start down to Daytona Bike Week after the ride. One of these riders was the third owner of my wife's 1990 Honda PC-800. He had attached a gigantic trailer to the PC (see picture). See my article, Daytona, for more information about this rally.

This morning I saw a link from OrlandoSentinel.com that had a story and some videos from Daytona Bike Week. It had short videos about 1) accessories for disabled riders, 2) an airbrush artist, 3) the Spyder Roadster trike, and 4) a 125-mile setup by a Harley dealer to let you see the sights in central Florida. Take a look.

There have also been reports of deaths at the the rally. That's not unusual considering the huge number of bikes concentrated in a small area. Rallies, especially Daytona, are meant for motorcyclists to gather on their bikes, look at and talk about bikes, buy accessories and chrome, eat good food, check out the scenery, and have a good time in the sun. I pray that the rally continues to fulfill these objectives with no more accidents. Be Safe.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week - tommoffitt88

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

See tommoffitt88 with his Yamaha V-Star 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.