Riding a motorcycle in the rain is an acquired taste, since it demands a lot of attention and the careful application of throttle, brakes and steering input. In other parts of the world, like China, riding in the rain is a necessity, not merely an inconvenience. Still, with proper gear like a decent rain suit, you can arrive at your destination in reasonably dry condition. Read More…
Having logged over 100,000 miles in the saddle of various motorcycles, I can tell you that if I had one way in which to travel that this would be it. Those that don’t ride will never understand the feeling of freedom, exhilaration and pure connection to the road that riding offers. The fact is that most people are afraid of motorcycles. They hear of horrid accidents and think that most riders have a death wish, when in fact it’s totally the opposite. Ever hear the phrase, “Live to Ride, Ride to Live”… well, it’s 100% true. Motorcycles make you feel alive. They bring to light every sense in your body and offer an almost out of body experience when your cruising down the road on that perfect sunny day. Sure there’s an element of danger in riding, but hell, that’s part of the fun. If you’ve never ridden a motorcycle then please do yourself a favor and try it just once. If you don’t like it, then fine, however don’t simply dismiss it because of what others say as you’ll be missing out on one of the greatest experiences of a life time.
If you were to ask me what I missed most about racing and riding motorcycles, I’d have to say it would be the feeling of true freedom that they provide. They’re marvelous machines that stimulate the body, mind and soul in ways that can’t be explained. For those that ride, you get it. For those that don’t, you should. Are they dangerous? Absolutely, but f*ck it, so is crossing the street. What I’m getting at is that it doesn’t matter whether you’re riding a hot pink 50cc Vespa, a tuned 200 mph sport bike or a high flying dirt bike. All that matters is that you’re out there riding. The below video was done by Jmills Entertainment and captures exactly what I’m talking about. Now I’m not saying to go out there and start trying to land triples on your first outing, but experiment. By an older bike, learn the basics and experience what guys like myself and Kurt have known for years – motorcycles are good. Click through for the vid.
I’m a huge fan of vintage motorcycles and scooters. They have a look and feel that’s unique, and for some reason take us back to a time that was a bit less complicated. In major cities like London and Rome scooters were and still are very popular. However here in the United States, they’re simply not all that common. Stop and think about it for a moment and you’ll soon realize that scooters are one of the fastest and easiest ways to get around a large metropolitan area. They’re quick, compact and can be parked in the smallest of spaces. The downfall – you can easily be flattened by motorists or cab drivers that can’t see you. The video below shows us how scootering got its stride after WWII, and in the process gave way to an entire new industry. With its goofball narration it’s definitely a bit hokey to watch, however if you’ve got a spare 8:05 in your schedule then press play as I think you’ll enjoy it. Read More…
While the majority of the country prepares for winter, we here in Florida are preparing for the best riding season of the year. The temperature is down, reducing the likelihood of spontaneous human combustion at a traffic light. Most of the bugs are bedding down for the winter, which means you can actually complete a ride without burning through a hundred tear-offs. Finally, the snow birds are returning to their winter homes, which adds an element of challenge to your daily ride. Rolling chicane, anyone?
Sure, cars have an advantage over bikes in a lot of areas. Cars keep you dry when it rains, they keep you warm in the cold, they keep you from roasting alive in the summer time, but they also eat a little bit of your soul each and every time you get behind the wheel. Here are five reasons why bikes are better than cars:
Smaller Radar Profile
I was out for an morning ride last weekend, somewhere north of the speed limit, when a Florida State Trooped stepped out of the shadows, pointed at the car behind me, and waved him down. A second trooper motioned to me to slow down, but didn’t wave me over. It was, perhaps, divine intervention, or karmic payback for some past good deed. More likely it was the fact that a bike has a very small radar profile and a car has a very large one. Whatever the reason, the net result was this: in a car, I’d have been waved to the side of the road while the nice officer wrote me up for fifteen over in a construction zone. On a bike, they waved me off with a clear and understood warning to slow down. Motorcycle FTW.
Economy Car Price, Sports Car Performance
Bikes are amazingly affordable, and even the cheapest bikes accelerate, stop and (generally speaking) turn far better than the ordinary car. It was this very economic justification that got me into bikes in the first place. For the price of a ten year old Plymouth Champ, I bought a low mileage Suzuki GS750, which went like stink, attacked canyons with relative competence and didn’t break the bank on insurance.
Bikes Sip Gas
You can look at this from two different perspectives: either bikes are good for the planet because they use less gas than cars, or bikes are good for your bank account because they use less gas than a car. My BMW K1200RS gets around 40 MPG without really trying, but it also makes about 130 horsepower at the crank and gets from zero to sixty in less than three seconds. Every time I whack open the throttle, I feel like I’m doing my part to save the spotted owl or the polar bear, and it makes me feel all fuzzy inside. Or maybe that’s just the thrill of acceleration.
You’re Part Of The Environment, Not Isolated From It
When I lived outside of Boulder, Colorado, there was a hill I needed to cross on the ride home. Cool, dense air settled at the foot of the hill, and the air would warm up and dry out as I climbed the hill. After a long day at work, it was one sign that I was close to home, close to cracking a beer and close to calling it a day. You see things on a bike, smell things on a bike and sense things on a bike that you miss entirely in a car. If life is a journey, isn’t it better to take that journey with your eyes open?
Bikes Fit Places Cars Don’t
No matter how tight parking may be for an event, I’ve never had a problem finding a spot to put a bike. I can’t fit more than two cars in my garage, but I can easily fit a bike or two, without significantly impacting usable space. Even better: if traffic is jammed up bumper to bumper, bikes give you the ability to navigate through or around traffic that you just don’t have in a car. I rode to my college graduation, with my roommate on the back of my bike, in a cap and gown. Traffic parted to let me through like I was Moses and they were the Red Sea; in a car, I’d have been just another lemming.
I’m not going to start spouting “cagers suck” rhetoric on you, so don’t worry. I’ve still got as big of a car jones as I’ve ever had, and that’s not going away anytime soon. Cars are necessary, cars are good and cars can be entertaining as well. They’re just not bikes.
In case you haven’t been following the development of fuel saving, emission reducing features on upcoming cars, one such measure is “Start & Stop” technology. The details vary by manufacturer, but the premise is simple: when the vehicle is left idling for a period of time longer than a few seconds, the motor shuts down and goes into an ‘instant-start’ mode. When the accelerator is pressed, the motor re-fires and the car can be driven as normal, all within about a half second. In automobiles, this feature can yield a noticeable increase in fuel mileage and a significant decrease in tailpipe emissions.
Blinded by love for his scooter, Chang wouldn’t listen when his friends said it wouldn’t end well.
You’ve got to have a brass set of jewels to throw a leg over a 1,000 hp HEMI powered trike. The creators of this monstrosity are none other than the guys at Blastolene, the same guys who created Jay Leno’s Blastolene Special utilizing an M47 Patton Tank V12 engine. This obscene creation is called the Rocket II and is owned by a gentleman named Tim Cotterill. It features a blown Hemi, stainless body and independent rear end. In the video we see the speedometer climbing upwards of 160 mph. If this is true or not I have no idea, but I would think that with that much power and enough road the big Rocket II super trike would be more than capable of hitting those speeds. I would just recommend having an ambulance near by, but that’s just me.
Intelligence, as seen in the previous post, is a commodity that is becoming harder and harder to find these days. Fortunately for us though there is no shortage of teenage boys, which means our content stream for automotive mishaps is seemingly endless. This piece of quality footage is brought to us courtesy of the guys at Streetfire.net. I think you know how this will end…