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St. Louis Maniac Gets Straight Razor Shave and Haircut While Riding a Harley

By | General Posts

by Daniel Hill from https://www.riverfronttimes.com

For many, the inability to get a proper haircut has been one of the more frustrating parts of the coronavirus crisis so far.

But one local man(iac) has a creative solution for the anxiety that comes with a simple trim nowadays: Get a shave and a haircut while riding a motorcycle.

It makes some sense: Why would one bother worrying about a virus when you’re one pothole away from getting your head cut off?

Steve Jones, a rider with the local Streetfighterz motorcycle outfit, is the subject of a video the group posted to YouTube this week wherein he gets a shave and a haircut from stylist Kurtiss Allen while riding a Harley through the streets of St. Louis.

The twelve-minute long video sees the pair rolling through the streets downtown while Allen uses scissors and a trimmer to cut and shape Jones’ hair and beard. Onlookers at stoplights frequently stop to gawk as the men playfully banter with them, with Jones telling a pedestrian at one point that Allen could shape his hair for him too if he wants.

Then, at about the 8:48 mark, things get truly wild as Allen pulls out the straight razor and starts working on Jones’ beard while the pair ride down Gravois. At about the 9:04 point, with a razor sharp blade to his face, Jones even appears to hit a small bump in the road. It’s enough to make a viewer — this viewer — cringe in terror, but Jones just keeps riding.

In all, the plan seems to go off without a hitch, turning what Jones describes at the top of the video as “this nasty mess that you guys have been seeing for the last few weeks” into a well-styled situation with surprisingly no bleeding wounds.

Watch the video for yourself below, and maybe don’t try this one at home:

 

Seattle’s motorcycle clubs ride free (but socially distanced)

By | General Posts

Nick “Double Tap” Ziehe of Cretin Motorcycle Club stands for a portrait at the crew’s clubhouse in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood, April 20, 2020.

by Agueda Pacheco Flores from https://crosscut.com

Coronavirus has scooter, moped and motorcycle enthusiasts rolling with caution.

Long before he was president of the Cretins Motorcycle Club, Nick Ziehe was just a kid growing up in Renton, fascinated by his dad doing a complete overhaul of a Honda CB350.

The bike was a vintage racer, but one his father heavily modified. Ziehe recalls his dad plopping him on the seat of this “odd” looking bike for short rides on backroads around Lake Washington. In high school, when his friends were getting their first cars, Ziehe got his first bike, which he rebuilt with his dad.

Today, Ziehe, 48, works at Boeing as a manufacturing engineer, and for the past five years has led the Ballard-based Cretins Motorcycle Club (aka Cretins MC Seattle), which he joined 10 years ago. Among members, Ziehe is known as “Double Tap.” The club’s preferred bikes are vintage cafe racers, with an aesthetic hearkening to 1960s London.

The glue that holds the Cretins together is the love of riding. Spring usually marks the beginning of the riding season, when members take group rides and share the feeling of the road rolling out under their feet. But this spring is different.

The global coronavirus pandemic put the group’s planned March 28 spring opener ride on hold. The annual Taco Dash (a fundraiser involving minibikes, silly games and homemade tacos) scheduled for May 2, is up in the air. And the customary, rain or shine, Thursday night dive bar meet-ups (Cretin Nights) have gone virtual, from vroom-vroom to Zoom.

Washington is home to an abundance of motorcycle, moped and scooter clubs. In addition to the Cretins there are dozens of groups, including Jewish riding club The Tribe, the Moped Army’s Seattle branch, Los Gatos Gordos and women-only riding groups. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commision, as of last year there were 237,976 registered motorcycles (this includes mopeds and scooters) in Washington, accounting for 3% of all vehicles registered in the state. Additionally, there are 429,238 people licensed to drive motorcycles.

For many, the longer, warmer days of spring signal a return to the road. Bikers start rolling motorcycles out of garages, and groups convene for scenic rides along highways lined with pines and miles of ocean coast. But Gov. Jay Inslee did not include motorcycle rides on the list of acceptable public activities during the coronavirus stay-at-home order.

“It’s not legally prohibited, but it’s a terrible idea at the moment,” Mike Faulk, Inslee’s press secretary, says by email. “People should limit travel to limit exposure and transmission. This is a legitimate crisis. Adventure can wait.”

Despite the rebellious reputation of motorcycle riders, the Cretins aren’t rule breakers.

“The motorcycle thing is obviously kind of a sticking point for us because we can’t go and ride together,” Ziehe says. “At the same time it’s the human aspect…. I want to make sure that my buddy is good and everything is copacetic. But I can do that online.”

While group rides are off the table, for now, Ziehe and other members still go out for solo rides along desolate stretches of roads to avoid people and practice social distancing as much as they can. A bonus: With traffic significantly down, the roads are more wide open than ever.

“It’s easy for me to hit a backroad and just get lost,” says Ziehe, who now lives in Maple Valley. “Riding a motorcycle is so therapeutic — it’s not like driving a car.”

For bikers, going on rides offers a kind of solitude that people who are socially distancing might not be able to achieve while visiting a park and working hard to stay 6 feet away from the dozens of other people trying to grab their own bit of sunshine.

“You got the wind blowing across you, and you can relax and take everything in,” Ziehe says. “It’s a good way to de-stress from everything that’s going on around you.”

But some bikers are rebels with a cause.

Last week, Doug Davis, president of local Jewish motorcycle club, The Tribe, rode with a small caravan of eight people from Bellevue to Anacortes.

“The truth of the matter is because everybody is homebound and we have a lot of retired and semiretired people, we are riding much more,” says Davis, 66. “If you ask most of us what the number one thing they want to be doing, it’s usually going to be motorcycle riding. You’re out on the road — just you and nature.”

Not all members of The Tribe have chosen to go on rides. But a subgroup of the Bellevue-based posse of mostly 60-somethings have gone out at least twice a week for the past five weeks. And while the group of riders, who primarily own Harley Davidsons, are in an age group that’s considered more vulnerable to coronavirus, Davis says they’re doing everything they can to stay safe.

By Washington state law, motorcyclists are required to wear helmets, which can range from half helmets to full head coverage. Some helmets have face shields; riders in The Tribe who don’t have a face shield wear cloth face masks. (As is customary in biker culture, they also wear leather gloves.) They stay 6 feet apart while on their feet and when out on the road at upwards of 60 miles per hour, they keep two bike lengths between them.

And The Tribe isn’t the only local group that’s taking their chances on the newly empty roads.

Alex Sokolowski owns Magic Touch Mopeds, a full service garage in Seattle specifically for mopeds. He says his business currently has a steady influx of customers, but it’s not nearly as busy as it usually is around this time of year. And when customers do call in for an appointment, some get cold feet when the time comes to drop off their bike.

“We’ve definitely taken a hit because mopeds are generally a social thing,” Sokolowski explains. “Even if you don’t have any problems, the first thing you would want to do when you get your bike running is go visit the moped shop to show it off.”

Sokolowski is also the president of the Moped Army’s Seattle branch, which has 25 active members. As of now, official club business is indefinitely postponed. But some in the moped community, including Sokolowski, meet up for “social distance rides” on Sundays and “moped Mondays.”

“We’ll ride out and then disband at the end of the ride,” Sokolowski says. “Which is different from the way we usually do moped Monday.”

Because the moped’s engines are smaller than those in motorcycles, riders go for shorter distances. And especially now, they are avoiding winding roads.

“It’s obviously not the time you would want to have any sort of incident and visit the ER,” Sokolowski says. Additionally, he says, no one in the club who’s gone out for a ride has exhibited symptoms of the virus. (The CDC cautions that even asymptomatic people can spread the coronavirus.)

“Everybody that I know has been taking the quarantine pretty seriously, and has put a lot of thought into making the decision to go out and socially distance with our moped rides,” he says.

One event still in question is the annual “Mods and Rockers” ride, a June tradition that nods to the historic rivalry between Mods (scooter riders) and Rockers (motorcyclists). Legend has it the two subcultures battled it out on the beaches of Brighton, U.K., in 1964, in a fight that lasted two days. But these days the event is cause for friendly celebration of the two-wheeled lifestyle.

“The Cretins are great. I’ve partied with them many times,” Sokolowski says of the “rocker” club. “They’ve opened their clubhouse to us before and we’ve hosted parties there in the past.”

More than 80 riders on scooters, motorcycles and mopeds usually gather for Mods and Rockers — the mods starting their engines on one side of town, the rockers on the other. After meeting in the middle, the squads join forces and ride to a bar and afterparty.

Ziehe hopes the stay-at-home order isn’t extended into June, so that the Mods and Rockers can take to the road for the commemorative ride.

“We’re just holding out to make that decision to pull the plug on all of our events,” he says. “We’re not the only ones waiting and getting antsy.”

Regardless of the rules, Ziehe expects there will probably still be some riders who say, “I’m going to put on my leathers,” and do a solo ride on June 1 to honor the clash of cultures. But it isn’t the same.

“It’s such a group dynamic; that’s what makes it — that belonging,” Ziehe adds. “You’re never going to get the feeling [elsewhere] like when you’re actually at an event or riding with your fellow riders. You can’t replace it.”

BMW F900 XR review

By | General Posts

by Geoff Hill from https://www.mirror.co.uk

Same engine, frame and brakes as the F900R, but a very different bike

Small changes can make a huge different to a machine and the adventure version of this middleweight Beemer proves it by being much better than the naked roadster version, says Geoff

Sometimes small is big.

And before you think I’ve come over all Zen and am sitting on the stone floor of a hut halfway up Mount Fuji contemplating my hara and coming up with koan riddles, I mean that even small changes to a motorbike can alter its character completely.

This can be a good thing, such as when Triumph moved the bars back on the Rocket III, and the pegs back and down very slightly, to create the Roadster.

It was only a matter of an inch or two, but it made for a much sportier ride.

It can also be a bad thing, like when Ducati moved the footpegs forward on the Diavel to create the XDiavel, effectively emasculating a brilliantly macho machine.

Which leads me, naturally, to the BMW F900 XR. I’d just got off its stablemate the F900 R, which was good but not memorable, and although the XR has the same engine, frame and brakes, it feels like a completely different bike.

Whereas the F900 R is a naked roadster, the XR is an adventure tourer and it feels like it from the moment you sit on it, with wider bars, and a more upright and neutral position, which not only means all-day riding comfort, but better visibility all round, including a better view in the mirrors.

The TFT screen is the same simple but effective model as on the R.

Riding off, it feels right from the start, with perfect low speed balance which on the road translates into sweet and neutral handling, with less of a nudge needed on those wide bars to get it tilting into corners with aplomb than on the R version.

Whereas I’d ridden the top-of-the-range SE version of the R, with quickshifter and four riding modes – Rain, Road, Dynamic and Dynamic Pro – this was the base model of the XR, leaving me with the unbearable hardship of using the clutch to snick through the slick six-speed gearbox.

It also had only two riding modes, Rain and Road, and after a good seven seconds of Rain, I got bored and switched to Road, which changed progress to sporty without being too aggressive, with a nicely linear power delivery for effortless cruising, but a satisfying rush at the top end of the power band for some happy hustling through some twisties.

If you want even more excitement, go for the top-of-the-range TE model, with Dynamic and Dynamic Pro riding modes, and semi-active Electronic Suspension Adjustment which, at the touch of a button, changes the suspension from plush Road mode to more sporty Dynamic.

The heated grips are just as good as on the R, to the extent that even on a freezing day I had to turn them down from 3 to 2, and with a bigger tank than the R, the range is about 200 miles compared to the 130 or so of the R.

There’s also an A2-compliant version for newbies who want a big bike but are limited to 47bhp.

So although it’s over a grand more than the R, for me, it’s no contest. The XR is a much more enjoyable machine.

Bike supplied by BMW Motorrad Belfast charleshurstgroup.co.uk/bmw

Organizers cancel Memorial Day motorcycle ride in Washington

By | General Posts

By NIKKI WENTLING from https://www.stripes.com

WASHINGTON – A motorcycle rally in the nation’s capital, designed to replace the popular Rolling Thunder event, won’t happen on Memorial Day weekend because of the coronavirus pandemic, organizers announced Tuesday night.

AMVETS took over plans for a motorcycle ride through Washington after Rolling Thunder organizers announced that 2019 would be their last event. Rolling Thunder, a 32-year-old tradition, attracted hundreds of thousands of participants every Memorial Day weekend.

AMVETS planned a similar event, Rolling to Remember, for the weekend of May 23.

“As always, the health and safety of our riders and the veteran community is our top priority,” AMVETS said in a statement. “Due to the federal and state restrictions on public gathers and the guidance of the public health officials amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Rolling to Remember motorcycle demonstration will not take place in Washington, D.C.”

The goal of the three-day event was to focus on raising awareness for prisoners of war and troops still missing in action, as well as the issue of veterans suicide.

Instead of the in-person ride and rally, AMVETS asked motorcyclists to ride 22 miles on May 24 in their local communities, while following social distancing guidelines. The 22 miles recognizes an often-cited statistic that 22 veterans die by suicide every day. Participants can download a phone app titled “REVER” to track and share their ride.

The weekend Rolling to Remember activities were expected to kick off May 22 with “Blessing of the Bikes” at the Washington National Cathedral. AMVETS was working with the National Park Service to have a stage on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with speakers and other programming. Then, on May 24, motorcyclists were scheduled to ride past the White House, the Capitol Building, around the National Mall and stop at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

The estimated cost of the weekend event, which was free for participants, was $400,000.

AMVETS said they would continue planning an event in Washington for 2021.

“We appreciate your support and flexibility during an unprecedented time in our nation’s history,” AMVETS said. “We look forward to coming together, even stronger than before, to continue this important tradition in person in 2021.”

Riding Triumph’s Rocket 3

By | General Posts

by Dries Van der Walt from https://www.wheels24.co.za

As promised during the local launch of the new Triumph Rocket 3, Triumph South Africa allowed me to ride the beast on Wednesday, March 25, beating the national coronavirus lockdown by just two days.

It was a bitter-sweet experience because while riding the open (and already noticeably quieter) roads in the Hekpoort area of Gauteng, I was keenly aware of the fact that this would be my last leisure ride on a bike for quite a while.

I was joined on the trip by Triumph South Africa CEO Bruce Allen and a colleague from another publication, and the conversation over brunch was predictably dominated by our shared concern about the effects that the looming lockdown, as undeniably necessary as it was, would have on the country’s already brittle economy.

But all of that did nothing to distract from the experience of riding the world’s biggest-capacity production bike. At 2500cm³, the Rocket 3’s engine capacity exceeds that of most cars – almost double that of the popular B-segment hatchbacks that are ubiquitous on South African roads. Housing an engine of that size dictates the design approach, and the Rocket 3 presents a squat motorcycle that is not likely to be mistaken for anything else.

Intimidating at first

Despite being not very tall, the sheer bulk of the bike is somewhat intimidating at first sight. This feeling is not dispelled once you swing a leg over, because that’s when you realise how wide the frame actually is. That said, as soon as the wheels start rolling and your feet are on the pegs, the intimidation factor dissipates with the realisation that, despite its bulk, the Rocket is really well-balanced.

It carries its weight low in the frame, and the size seems to melt away as speed picks up, so that by the time you reach the first traffic light, you’ve forgotten that you are sitting astride a machine of decidedly unusual proportions.

Sandton’s streets are not the place to explore the limits of the Rocket’s prodigious torque, but it did allow me to develop an appreciation for the remarkably smooth quick-shifter. Working both up and down, shifts are immediate and jerk-free, even at lower revs. With a bike that can be ridden in top gear most of the time, a quick-shifter may seem unnecessary, but this one worked so well that I found myself running up and down through the ratios for the sheer fun of it.

We soon hit the highway, and with the relative lack of traffic, I could start playing with the throttle. The torque was everything I expected, and then some. Twist the throttle wide open in any gear, and the Rocket takes off like the proverbial scalded cat leaving your body caught between the twin sensations of your arms being wrenched from their sockets and your hands strained to their utmost to maintain a grip on the handlebar.

Zooming past

On the other hand, if you give the twist grip the respect it demands, the torque is exhilarating but manageable. Overtaking becomes a non-event – you edge up to whatever is in front of you, wait for a brief gap in the oncoming traffic, twist the throttle and zoom past it in the blink of an eye.

Highway gave way to some twisty backroads, and I found that the Rocket is not averse to brisk cornering. At this point on the route, I was on the Rocket 3 R, the “sporty” naked version with footpegs almost directly underneath your hips. This gave me the opportunity to adopt the usual weight-forward riding position, and I could attack the curves with confidence.

While no sportbike, the Rocket remains stable through the twisties, making it once again easy to forget how big and heavy it actually is.

After brunch, I switched to the GT. On this version, you get a welcome windscreen, and footpegs set more forward for a relaxed riding position. I’m not a cruiser person, but to my great surprise I found that I preferred the GT to the R. The small screen was remarkably helpful in preventing my body from acting as a drag chute, and the footpegs weren’t so far forward that I was forced into the dreaded C-shaped riding position.

Ideal for long distance

Although these slight changes to the identical frame shared by the two variants made the GT feel like a different bike altogether, it retained the sure-footed handling of the R, leaving me to enjoy the twisties on the way back as much as on its sibling.

The new Rocket 3, aimed mostly at the US market where long, straight roads and low-speed limits are at the order of the day, is without a doubt a niche bike. As such it is unlikely to appeal to a broad audience locally, but one thing is for sure: if I were offered one for a trip down to Cape Town, I would grab it with nary a second thought.

SPECIFICATIONS:

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION 
Type: In-line three-cylinder, water-cooled, DOHC
Capacity: 2458 cm³
Max Power: 123kW @ 6000r/min
Max Torque: 221Nm @ 4000r/min
Final Drive: Shaft, bevel box
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate hydraulically operated, torque assist
Gearbox: six-speed

CHASSIS 

Frame: Full aluminium frame
Swingarm: Single-sided, cast aluminium
Front Wheel: 17 x 3.5in cast aluminium
Rear Wheel: 16 x 7.5in cast aluminium
Front Tyre: 150/80 R17 VRear Tyre: 240/50 R16 V
Front Suspension: Showa 47mm upside-down 1 1 cartridge front forks, compression and rebound adjuster. 120mm travel
Rear Suspension: Fully adjustable Showa piggyback reservoir RSU with remote hydraulic preload adjuster, 107mm rear wheel travel
Front Brakes: Dual 320mm discs, Brembo M4.30 Stylema 4-piston radial monobloc callipers, Cornering ABS
Rear Brakes: Single 300mm disc, Brembo M4.32 4-piston monobloc calliper, Cornering ABS
Instrument Display: TFT multi-functional

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTS 

Width (handlebars): 889mm
(w/out mirror): 1065mm
Seat Height: 773mm
Wheelbase: 1677mm
Dry Weight: 291kg
Tank Capacity: 18L
Fuel Consumption: 6.82-l/100km (claimed)

New York City’s motorcycle community is riding to save lives

By | General Posts

from https://www.wmay.com/

The orders were straightforward and immediate: pick up the supplies, ride through the streets of New York City and make the deliveries.

There would be no detours, no diversions. The clock was ticking.

On March 21, Ryan Snelson and three other motorcycle riders geared up, divided up the supplies and took off from Montauk, New York, to meet their receivers in Tribeca and Queens. The supplies strapped to their bikes would help protect the doctors, nurses and other health care professionals battling the deadly novel coronavirus pandemic. New York City hospitals were running out of personal protective equipment (PPE) as the number of sick grew each day. The masks, gloves and gowns Snelson and his crew were in possession of could save patients’ — and doctors’ — lives.

Snelson, a longtime biker, took action against the virus the only way he knew how: by calling on his fellow bikers to join him in the cause.

“We’re just regular people who have bikes and have regular jobs in the city,” he told ABC News. “The motorcycle community is very active in New York.”

Snelson was intrigued after learning about Masks for Docs, a grassroots campaign that was started two weeks ago by Chad Loder, a computer security researcher and entrepreneur in the Los Angeles area. Masks for Docs, which is in the process of being recognized as a 501 (c) charity organization, connects people who have PPE with hospitals and health clinics around the country. Donors and receivers fill out an online questionnaire and Masks for Docs then shares the info with its local volunteer chapters to verify the applicants and distribute the supplies quickly to the requisite facilities.

“We’re getting photos from doctors and nurses who are wearing trash bags and bandanas [for protection],” Loder told ABC News. “We’ve had hospitals say they cannot accept donations but doctors are privately reaching out to us. We have to move faster than the virus.”

Individuals can donate surgical, construction and N95 masks, hand sanitizers, hazmat suits, disposable scrubs, face shields and gowns on the Masks for Docs site. Loder said local chapters are given guidance on acceptable donations as well as safety precautions when picking up and dropping off the PPE.

More than 60 riders have joined the New York “moto squad,” according to Snelson, and supplies have been delivered to all five New York City boroughs as well as northern New Jersey.

“It all happened so fast,” Snelson noted. “We’re figuring it out as we go … and we can start and stop based on our schedules.”

Meredith Balkus, who joined Snelson on the group’s first mission, recalled how eerie and still the city’s streets were that Saturday night, a “surreal” experience for the riders involved, she said.

“When this opportunity came up I was so excited,” she told ABC News. “We all understand the gravity of the situation and it’s really rewarding to help doctors who are on the front lines. It’s really dire in New York and there’s a lot of hunger out there to help.”

At least 776 New Yorkers have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, and more than half of New York state’s cases, or 33,768, are in the city. Nearly 8,500 state residents are currently hospitalized. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned Sunday in an interview on CNN that hospitals have only one week’s worth of medical supplies.

Snelson said his team is cognizant of the infection risks and closely adheres to the safety guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are so smart every step of the way,” added Balkus. “We’re wearing a full face helmet and a mask underneath. We always stay six feet apart from each other.”

Moto squad’s riders will do whatever it takes to stop the outbreak and slow down the rate of transmission, Snelson said.

“The motorcycle community will help — always,” he said.

World’s Longest Motorcycle Ride With No Hands Is on a Pair of Harley-Davidsons

By | General Posts

by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

Sometimes, the biggest ideas come about in the most unexpected ways. Such an example is Shelton Foster and Mike Brick’s decision to set a new world record for the longest motorcycle ride with no hands.

In March 2015, Marcello Sarandrea set the record in Rome, Italy, riding a Yamaha Tricker 250 for 137.94 miles without touching the handlebars. At the time, Foster and Brick didn’t even know such a record existed, but they were already riding hands-free for fun.

Shelton “Big Red Machine” and Foster Mike “Brick” Wall from Dry Prong, Louisiana, are the current holders of that record title, beating Sarandrea’s feat on May 9, 2017, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. They were able to ride in sync for 185 miles, 857 feet and 5 inches without touching the handlebars, at the MSR Speedway in Angleton, Texas.

The new record was set on a pair of Harley-Davidson Electra Glides with no modifications, and verified by Guinness through extensive documentation submitted by the two riders and witness accounts, as is standard procedure. The history behind that record title is just as interesting as the accomplishment itself.

Shelton is President and Wall is VP of the Red River Chapter of the Reguladores Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, an MC whose name needs no further explanation. They both work as correctional officers and are war veterans, and have chosen to dedicate their Harley passion and their work to raising awareness and money to an array of charitable causes, most of which focus on vets dealing with PTSD and domestic violence.

The idea for the record, which they dubbed the “Jesus take the wheel” record, came about after Wall was pulled over by a cop for riding without hands. He was eventually let go with a warning after promising to never do it again. Back home, he looked into Louisiana law to see whether there was an explicit mention on how hands-free riding was illegal, and found none.

What he did find was the previous record set by Sarandrea. Foster came up with the “Jesus take the wheel” name after a random chat in traffic with a car driver.

“I was riding in the back seat of my bike [with no hands], pulling Eva [his service dog, which was riding in a trailer],” Foster explained in an interview with Town Talk. “A gentleman pulled up next to me and rolled his window down and hollered, ‘Hey, who’s driving the bike?’ And I pointed up to the sky and said, ‘Jesus is.’ That inspired the name of the record.”

Once the decision was made, they started looking into what was needed to have the record recognized. They say their motivation for it was doing something they would be remembered by but, most importantly, knowing they would reach a bigger platform from which they could help their favorite causes. They dedicated their feat to DART (Domestic Abuse Resistance Team), Heels for Combat Boots, and Brothers and Sisters in Arms.

Most of the training was done on the open road, as befits a Hog. The first attempt was foiled by bad weather, but the second was a success. With donated SENA cameras mounted on the helmets and bikes, and help from local sponsors (including Renegade Harley-Davidson and MSR Houston), the two rode in tandem at the MSR Speedway outside Houston, completing 228 laps without once touching the handlebars at a constant speed above 30mph, which is the limit for engaging cruise control.

To further prepare, the two went on a lighter diet in the days leading up to the world record attempt, in anticipation of riding non-stop for some five hours. Getting hunger cramps while riding hands-free would have been counterproductive, obviously.

They also packed plenty of water in backpacks and other easily accessible places. Eva, Foster’s service dog, which has been trained by a Brothers and Sisters in Arms to detect when he’s about to have an anxiety attack, was at the track but did not accompany her human on the Harley.

Both Foster and Wall claim to be experts in riding without hands, and they insist it’s actually safer than you might think, as long as you’re taking extra cautions. These include not driving in heavy traffic and paying very close attention to the road, as the smallest pebble can throw you off.

“You have to pay attention to everything around you all the time, every intersection, every piece of debris on the road, every vehicle that’s texting while you’re driving, every vehicle that’s not paying attention and is swaying back and forth,” Foster explained in the same interview.

“It takes a lot of hyper-vigilance” Wall added. “You’re being more responsive to everything around you. You’re paying a lot more attention.”

As of the time of writing, the record set by Foster and Houston stands. Footage shot at the scene is available here.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6IsNQW8_p_NGS9Rqozuhtw

Is It Safe To Ride My Motorcycle During The Outbreak?

By | General Posts

by Sabrina Giacomini from https://www.rideapart.com

The fun type of social distancing.

UPDATE: Note that there could be lockdowns and “stay at home” orders in your city or your state as the situation evolves and we don’t recommend you overlook them because “riding is seemingly safe”. We’re not your mom, but we recommend you follow your local authorities’ recommendations.

Some readers also pointed out that I didn’t discuss about the possibility of crashes since the question was focused on the virus but I thought it was a good point to touch on. Going for a ride has its risks, whether it’s coming in contact with the virus or getting into a crash. The streets are quieter but it doesn’t mean there’s no risk of making a mistake or of being hit by someone.

Remember that medical facilities and staff are strained at the moment. While riding is relatively safe from a contagion perspective, there’s still the usual risk of an incident that could require you go to the hospital—and this is not a good time to go to the hospital. Keep that in mind.

As we wrote already, the better we cooperate, the smarter we go about this,the sooner we’ll get to go back out there without restrictions. Stay safe everyone!

Is it safe to ride during this outbreak? Are my full-face helmet, gloves, and other apparel able to protect me? Are motorcycle riders risk-free? Just question to exercise our riding knowledge. – Ancarlos

Hi Ancarlos! Thank you for asking your question, I’m pretty sure you’re not the only one wondering about that. Please note, however, that though we like to think we know a lot of things at RideApart, we’re also not doctors. If you have any real concerns or are considered a potentially vulnerable patient, asking someone who is an actual doctor is the one way you’ll get reliable answers. This goes for anyone reading this.

I can, however, give you a few pointers. As “social distancing” is on target to become Merriam-Webster’s 2020 term of the year, riding a motorcycle checks a lot of those “distancing” boxes. See, the great thing about riding a motorcycle is that you get to do it alone and it isolates you in a certain way—provided you don’t head out in a group. After all, everyone else around you is over six feet away, right?

The riding itself doesn’t technically pose a problem but the small things we do when we get on and off the saddle might. Where riding a bike might present a risk of exposure is when you stop in crowded places like at a gas station or in coffee shops, for example. Fuel nozzles are pretty nasty, to begin with, and considering the current situation, they could be carriers for the bug.

Consider bringing a few cleaning wipes or a pair of disposable gloves, just in case you need to fuel up. Even a plastic bag to handle the nozzle is a good alternative to putting your hand directly on it. Once you’re done, be extra safe and wash your hands.

If you do end up using your riding gloves to pick up the nozzle, keep in mind that certain sources suggest that the virus can stay on soft surfaces like clothes (and gear) and its lifespan on different surfaces and materials has yet to be confirmed. If your riding gloves have been in contact with a potentially infected surface, avoid touching your face with them—including that pesky itchy nose!—and throw your gloves in the washer once you’re home. If the gloves are made of leather, you can find a few easy tips to disinfect your leather safely online.

Medical Grade Gear?

To answer your question about gear, keep in mind that motorcycle gear isn’t made from medical grade materials. It’s designed to protect us from bad falls and impacts, not from microscopic bugs. So no, I won’t say that your gear will protect you from the novel coronavirus. It creates a barrier against the elements, that’s true, but it’s permeable, so don’t think that you become invincible by wearing a motorcycle helmet and a jacket.

If you avoid crowds and enjoy the ride by staying on your bike, then you are following the social distancing recommendations. So in summary, yes, riding a motorcycle should be safe—just remember that, as with any form of outing at the moment, there’s never a 100-percent guarantee that you won’t get in contact with the bug. The smarter you go about this, the lower the risks.

You can check out the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations and updates on the situation here. If you present any symptoms or have been in contact with someone who presents them or who has recently traveled, then postpone your ride for a while (14-day self-isolation recommended) for your own benefit and everyone else’s. It’s a small price to pay to make sure a normal riding season (and life) resumes sooner rather than later.

The Harley-Davidson Ride Home Is How You Properly Celebrate Freedom

By | General Posts

by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com/

Ask anyone about Harley-Davidson and probably the first word you’ll hear out of their mouth is “freedom.” This is what the Ride Home is all about.

Even for those who don’t ride or have little knowledge of the Harley-Davidson brand (or bikes in general), the image of the Harley-Davidson rider is that of a man’s man (or woman’s woman, in the case of female riders). Throughout the years, the brand has cultivated this image of the rugged outlaw, of the rebel who forsakes the urban environment for the open road and the sense of ultimate freedom.

While the “outlaw” image has been turned into a cliché by the Hollywood machine, the rebel label still holds water. And it’s for and by these rebels that the big Ride Home was born into reality. The most recent edition, the 2018 one, solidified the event as the biggest of the kind in the world – and Harley-Davidson’s status as a leader in the biker community.

All motorcycle groups and gangs have that brotherhood / sisterhood approach, but it is only Harley that can boast such a loyal following as to go on a cross-country pilgrimage every 5 years, just to honor the Harley-Davidson spirit.

The Ride Home is a tradition that started in 1988, when the company celebrated its 85th anniversary. To mark the occasion, management rented out the front half of the Milwaukee SummerFest grounds, and the city of Milwaukee welcomed bikers from all over the world. They had no idea what to expect or how this event would snowball into something this impressive.

As you probably know, Harley-Davidson was founded in 1903 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by the Davidson brothers and their friend William Harley (with some help from another friend, Henry Melk). It is one of the two American motorcycle companies to survive the Great Depression (the other being Indian), and a legendary brand that, though it’s taken several financial hits in recent years, remains a leader in the industry.

That first year, bikers from across the U.S. rode to Milwaukee to celebrate the milestone together, and they have been doing so every 5 years since then. As noted above, the 2018 edition was the biggest ever, with Harley-Davidson really pulling out all the stops to turn it into a memorable experience. Not that it wasn’t memorable before then.

However, for 2018, Harley-Davidson got more involved and organized 4 separate rides (from Seattle, San Diego, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Portland, Maine), virtually helping bikers from all 4 corners of the country to get to the Mecca of biking. For those still feeling rebellious but on a smaller scale, organized tours by Harley-Davidson authorized dealers were put together, offering anything from overnight accommodation to guide tours and special events. Imagine going on a cruise, but way more awesome because it’s on a Hog.

Also in 2019, the oldest existing Harley-Davidson club held a separate celebration in their hometown of Prague, the Czech Republic, drawing over 60,000 bikes. It paled in comparison to the 500,000 bikers that descended onto Milwaukee and partied over Labor Day weekend.

Every edition, the Ride Home culminates with special Harley-Davidson events (a visit to the official, local Harley-Davidson museum, rides through biking county, meetings with dealers and custom bikes shows), parties, gatherings, cookouts, vendor demos and other outdoor fun activities, which is why it’s also called Harleyfest. Some also refer to it as HarleyMania because of the Harley chaos it brings into town for the duration of a weekend.

However, the Ride Home is really about the ride. Sure, riders love bonding with like-minded individuals and sharing their passion for Hogs with people who can relate to what they’re saying one hundred percent, but the highlight is the thousand-miles ride.

As one rider explains in the video below, you ride in a group but are alone with your thoughts. You move fast but get to take in everything around you through all senses, with nothing in the way. Whatever hardships may (still) come Harley-Davidson’s way and whatever faults it can be found guilty of, this is one thing it has managed to deliver, short-lived as it might be: that near-impossible feel that you can have it all.

Riding a Harley-Davidson Can Help Fight PTSD, Veteran Group Ride Planned

By | General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com/

In the first month of of 2019, Harley-Davidson released the results of a research that showed just how beneficial riding a motorcycle can be for the mental well-being of humans. As it seems, motorcycling is even good to treat more serious conditions.

Back in 2015, Harley started supporting the efforts of an organization called Wounded Warrior Project. The group provides services and programs for war veterans post-9/11, and among these programs there is an idea called Rolling Project Odyssey.

This Odyssey is centered around bringing together soldiers and help them heal their mental scars through adventure-based learning. And that includes riding Harleys in groups, just as a Harley should be ridden. This type activity has been found to be beneficial in cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), among other things.

The Harley research we mentioned earlier, conducted by scientists at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, showed that riding a motorcycle for 20 minutes can increase the heart rate by 11 percent, reaching a level similar to that achieved while performing a light exercise.

That in turn increases alertness, and helps decrease hormonal stress biomarkers by 28 percent. The study’s findings were based on data taken from 50 experienced motorcyclists that were made to ride their own bikes on a 22-minute route.

“Rolling Project Odyssey was a life-changing experience for me,” said in a statement Jonathan Goolsby, an Army and Rolling Project Odyssey veteran.

“The experience has taught me many things that I have been able to implement into my daily life, like finding my center and keeping my cool when things start to get tough.”

This year’s Rolling Project Odyssey kicks off at the beginning of next week starting in Jacksonville, Florida, and going through Daytona, where the Bike Week marks the start of the riding season on the American continent.