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Motorcycle safety foundation helps prepare riders for Arizona’s roads

By | General Posts

Kimberly Chapman was known as the “ultimate motorcycle enthusiast,” earning a national reputation for being a motorcycle community advocate.

The 55-year-old was killed in 2011 when she collided with a vehicle that pulled in front of her at a Phoenix intersection.

Months later, some of Chapman’s friends spearheaded the creation of the Arizona Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for safer practices for motorcyclists and eliminating distracted driving in the state.

“She was heavily involved in the motorcycle community,” said Mick Degn, the foundation’s executive director.

“I’ve been a motorcycle rider and been involved in motorcycle organizations and we just felt that there wasn’t anything that was really being done to help be preventive in regard to motorcycle crashes. So myself and seven other folks formed AMSAF.”

“As we spent time looking at what we wanted to accomplish, our biggest thing was to help reduce crashes and fatalities and promote motorcycle safety and awareness,” Degn added.

In Arizona, 150 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in 2018, a decrease from the 161 killed in 2017.

In Tucson, fatalities doubled from 7 to 15 from 2018 to 2019.

The foundation, which primarily focuses on educating riders of all levels, used a pilot scholarship program to reduce the cost of motorcycle training, an expense reaching upwards of $300, according to Degn.

By 2014, the foundation’s mission expanded to allocating monthly scholarships.

So far, more than 3,500 Arizona riders have been trained.

The foundation’s statewide effort has received support from the Arizona Governors Office of Highway Safety, the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Arizona Trauma Association and various organizations in the medical and law enforcement fields.

“We’ve seen an increase in motorcycle registrations — there’s 400,000 plus people registered, but at the same time we also see that even though they’re registered motorcyclists at the end of the day, they’re not trained,” said Alberto Gutier, director of the highway safety office.

“One of the issues that we have with motorcycles is the lack of what I call mutual respect. Motorcyclists need to respect the vehicles and follow the rules of the road and cars also need to have some respect for the motorcycle community.”

In November, the governor’s office provided a $50,000 grant for the foundation’s efforts.

It’s being used to fuel the foundation’s newest effort of operating the state’s first helmet scholarship program for motorcyclists.

“Arizona is a choice state on wearing a helmet, but if you’re going to wear a helmet we want people to wear a good helmet, a department of transportation helmet that’s going to protect them,” Degn said.

The foundation has helped more than 100 riders get discounted helmets, working with five vendors in the state, including RideNow Powersports and Cycle Gear in Tucson.

After applying for the scholarship and giving a $50 tax-deductible donation, the foundation provides $125 off a helmet. The sellers tack on an additional 25% discount.

“You wouldn’t believe the number of phone calls I get from parents who want to get their kid a motorcycle, but they want them to take a motorcycle course first and they want to get them a good helmet,” Degn said.

“We help them in both ways … we’ve been able to save them money in both areas and now they can help their child.”

The scholarship saves riders hundreds of dollars for a full-coverage helmet, which could cost nearly $600.

While “safety is hard to sell,” according to Degn, the foundation’s future includes finding partners with large Arizona employers and organizations as they continue to promote their mission.

“That’s why we have to continually talk about distracted driving, sharing the road, meaning looking out for each other, looking out for the two-wheeled vehicle and the four-wheeled vehicle down the road,” he said.

Major traffic switch headed to I-10 near Ruthrauff: Construction crews are shifting traffic on Interstate 10 near Ruthrauff by the end of the week.

On Friday, all westbound I-10 lanes will shift to the westbound frontage road and all eastbound lanes will shift to the westbound I-10 lanes by Saturday.

Crews will work from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., reducing I-10 to one lane in each direction.

The Sunset Road exit ramp from westbound I-10 will move to the southeast, ADOT says. This exit will provide direct access to westbound I-10 frontage road businesses.

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.

Why A Car Tire On A Motorcycle Is A Bad Idea

By | General Posts

by Justin Hughes from https://www.rideapart.com/

They call it the “dark side” for a reason.

A while back, Kate discussed the perils and pitfalls of using a car tire on the back of your motorcycle, a practice known as “the dark side.” A video just came across a Facebook group I’m on demonstrating, clear as day (the daylight you actually see under the tread), why this isn’t good.

Where The Rubber Meets The Road:

What it comes down to is simple. Bikes lean. Cars don’t. OK, yes, cars do lean a little due to weight transfer and suspension loading and unloading. I autocrossed for years—I get it. In the car world, though, we fight against this lean as much as we can with stiffer springs and sway bars. We’ll even dial some negative camber into the alignment so that when the car goes around a corner at full tilt, the tire is straight up and down for maximum grip. A car tire has its maximum grip when its full tread width is in contact with the road.

Motorcycles, on the other hand, need to lean in order to turn at any speed faster than walking. It’s the fundamental way that bikes work. Motorcycle tires are made to lean. Their profile is round, not square like a car tire. In most cases, you’re either going to drag hard parts while leaning hard or chicken out before you lean hard enough to get onto the tire’s sidewall.

Here, though, we have a perfect view of a car tire on the back of a Honda Valkyrie. On the surface this may seem like a good idea for such a big, heavy bike, especially if it does a lot of highway travel where it doesn’t lean much. Here, though, it’s on the Tail of the Dragon, a stretch of US 129 on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee with 318 curves in just 11 miles. It’s a twisty paradise for motorcyclists and sports car drivers, but the worst-case scenario for a car tire on a motorcycle.

I encourage you to watch the video, but even the thumbnail says it all. When the bike is leaned over, that car tire is on its edge, with only about one-third of the tread contacting the road. This is the exact situation that autocrossers strive to avoid. Even worse, the harder you turn, the more you lean, and the less tread contacts the road precisely when you need grip the most. In particularly hard turns, the car tire rolls up onto the sidewall, which is never intended to contact the road. I’ve had road debris puncture tires on my cars without much difficulty. You don’t want to vastly increase the chance of this happening by placing the sidewalls directly on the road.

If the only riding you do is long stretches of highway with no turning at all, I suppose a car tire could work. They do last much longer than motorcycle tires, though if you’re leaning hard through the turns the edges of the tread will wear extremely quickly. Ask this former autocrosser how I know. Personally, I find the turns to be the most fun and challenging part of riding. If I’m going to attack the twisties, I want a back tire that’s designed for the job, and that won’t give up its grip right when I need it most.

 

Going electric could help revive the motorcycle industry

By | General Posts

by Peter Valdes-Dapena from https://edition.cnn.com/

Motorcycle sales, particularly in the United States, have been struggling ever since the Great Recession. As older riders lose interest, or simply become unable to ride any longer, the younger generation hasn’t been showing the same kind of enthusiasm.

But the industry is hoping that electric motorcycles — with a quieter, simpler experience — might be the key to attracting new riders.

For one thing, electric motorcycles are easier to ride. With an electric motor, there’s no need to shift gears. To experienced riders, that’s no big deal, but most Americans today have become accustomed to automatic transmissions and don’t know how to shift gears.

“It’s just a lot easier learning curve,” said Susan Carpenter, a writer and radio host specializing in motorcycles. “You just hop on and twist the throttle. If you can balance, you can go.”

Another benefit is that electric motorcycles are much less noisy than gasoline-powered motorcycles. To many veteran riders, the roar of the engine is part of the excitement. But a lot of other people would prefer to enjoy their surroundings much more peacefully. The bikes also don’t have hot engines and exhaust pipes that can become burn hazards, especially when parked around kids.

Electric motorcycles also qualify for federal and state tax credits, similar to those for electric cars, although in smaller amounts.

There are tradeoffs, of course. Electric motorcycles have the same disadvantages as electric cars, namely cost and range. Motorcycles can only accommodate small batteries so they have a lot less range than gas-powered bikes. And that range diminishes greatly during high-speed highway riding because the bike’s electric motor has to compensate for increased wind resistance pressing against the rider’s not-so-aerodynamic body.

Hoping to get the attention of a new generation of riders, Harley-Davidson introduced the LiveWire electric motorcycle earlier this year.

But with a starting price of nearly $30,000 — more than three times the cost of an entry level motorcycle — it’s unlikely to attract many novice riders. With its extreme performance capabilities — it can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in just three seconds — the LiveWire doesn’t appear to be for first-time riders. (The bike does have selectable performance modes so it can be set up for less aggressive riding.)

“LiveWire sets the stage and sets the tone and is designed and priced to be a halo vehicle,” said Harley-Davidson spokesman Paul James, explaining that the LiveWire is aimed at establishing an image for the brand’s electric offerings rather than being a big seller. “And we’ll quickly follow that up with other form factors and other electric two-wheelers that will be in various price points and aimed at different customers.”

Harley-Davidson (HOG) wanted this bike to get people used to the idea of a motorcycle that doesn’t have the brand’s signature engine burble, said James. The LiveWire does make its own distinct sound, though. It comes from the gears that carry power from the electric motor to the belt that spins the back wheel. Harley-Davidson engineers spent time specifically tuning the naturally occurring whirring sound, much as they would the rumble of a gasoline engine.

For the real novices, Harley-Davidson offers the IronE, which targets tiny riders aged three to seven. The teeny off-road bike is powered by a small detachable battery similar to ones used for electric power tools and starts at around $650. Harley-Davidson has also shown pedaled e-bikes and scooters as concepts.

California-based Zero offers electric motorcycles like the Zero FX ZF3.6 for around $9,000. That bike has an estimated 27 miles of riding range from a small battery that can be easily changed for a fully charged one when it runs low on power. For about twice that amount, or around $20,000, bikes like the Zero SR/F can get about 123 miles in combined city and highway riding. (That compares to the 95 miles Harley-Davidson estimates for the LiveWire.) Buyers can also add battery power using a “Power Tank” accessory.

Zero’s bikes are used in a program called Discover the Ride, which introduces novice riders to motorcycle riding and takes place at Progressive International Motorcycle Shows across the United States. Riders demonstrate their basic two-wheeler skills on an electrically-assisted bicycle, then they are offered a ride on a Zero electric motorcycle.

Cake, a Swedish company, has models starting at a slightly more affordable $8,500. For that price, a buyer can get Cake’s ultra-minimalist Ösa+ model. Its design was inspired by a workbench and it looks like it. With detachable clamps, the owner can quickly customize the bike with cargo racks or an additional seat. The Ösa+ has a top speed of just 60 miles an hour. It’s intended as an urban workhorse.

Cake also makes the slightly faster and pricier Kalk& with a more traditional, but still distinctively spare, design.

With their emphasis on light weight and simplicity, Cake bikes take the idea that electric motorcycling should be different from riding a gas-powered bike to an extreme. The models are particularly popular with new riders, according to a company spokesman. After being available in the US for a little over a year, there’s a three-month waiting list for the bikes, Cake claims.

Riding in the Rain on Motorcycle: What To Remember?

By | General Posts

When the rain comes, most of the motorcyclists store their bikes in the garage, and close the riding chapter until the sun shines in the following spring! Such abstinence indeed keeps them free from risks associated with motorcycle riding in the rain.

But unfortunately, they cannot understand that by doing this, they are depriving themselves of one of the best motorbiking experiences! They can never feel how thrilling a motorcycle ride can be in the rain staying inside the garage!

So, move on the roads in the rain, but never forget the risks associated with it. What to do then? We shall discuss in the ongoing lines how should you ride and what should you do while riding a motorcycle in the rain to get the most out of it and still stay risk-free.

But you should not forget one thing – unless you are an expert and confident enough at riding a motorcycle under challenging conditions, you should not take the risk for fun only. The safety measures and safety accessories can safeguard a confident, careful, and expert guy, not a novice. Anyway, let’s go to our main points:

Get the Right Gears

Choosing the right gear for rainy conditions is your first task. A good piece of waterproof rain-suit, boots, gloves, and a vest (obviously electric) will make you equipped for a rainy drive. They will help you keep warm, and especially the vest will act to prevent the colder wind soaking you. These should be good enough to keep you warm and protected. Still, if you want something more, you can consider wearing extra layers, especially some of your clothes, e.g., instead of one thick undergarment, multiple thin undergarments.

Another crucial component for your rainy ride is an appropriate helmet, which should be safe and have features, including breath guard, anti-fog visor or fog-defrosting visor, and a clear shield for more excellent vision.

Whatever gear combination you make, consider that they are comfortable and helpful for your riding. You cannot choose anything that gives you extra comfort and warmth but creates a riding obstacle at the same time. For instance, a neck warmer will provide you some extra warmth, but it may limit your head-turning capacity when you need a shoulder check, which is a risk for sure. That means whatever you do, you have to make the right balance at the end.

Stay Calm and Ride Smoothly

As the tires of your bike cannot grip the road as it does in a non-wet road condition, so you must try to ride with calmness to ensure a smooth ride. Don’t be in a hurry, and do things smartly. The way you used to adjust the throttle must be smoother. Apply small increments and lean angle throttle adjustment. Apply the brakes slowly and gradually, but do not forget to get the breaking done earlier instead of stabbing your brake lever at the last moment.

Pass Intersections, Manhole Cover, and Pavement Sealer Carefully

In intersections, where autos come to and stop, you will find a higher amount of oily stuff, which gets worse due to rain. You may not be capable of handling this at high speed, and the risk of accidents goes higher than anticipated. So, it is better to reduce your speed when you arrive at the intersection until you cross it.

Careful about manhole covers and pavement sealers. They highly reduce the traction of tires of a motorbike and increase the risk of slip or accident if drove without caution. Try to locate if there is any manhole cover or pavement sealer in front of you and avoid them. If you find space around them, go that way; otherwise, be slow and smooth over them.

Get a Dry Line

Do not be one of those riders who get a dry line on the pavement/road but go through the wet part for fun or ignorance. Doing such a thing increases risk. You should prefer the comparatively dry line your way as we know it offers more traction and maneuverability.

But it becomes tougher when you go through an off-road track. We suggest you not using off-road biking when it is quite wet. But even if you do this, that will need some extra expertise and control. You should also have some extra safety measures and gear, including head safety.

Last Words

Riding in the rain is an excellent source of joy and thrill, which you can never enjoy non-wet weather. But, you must follow enough precaution as explained above to get the best out of it safely.

READ THESE AND MORE TRAVEL TIPS IN THE CANTINA

Ducati partners with Lenovo for designing superbikes

By | General Posts

The bike manufacturer will use a Lenovo high-performance computing cluster that will help the company to drive rapid innovation.

Ducati Motor Holding has joined hands with Lenovo for the design of its superbikes.

The bike manufacturer will use a Lenovo high-performance computing cluster that will help the company to drive rapid innovation.

As the brand says, it is continually looking for innovative ways to make its vehicles faster, safer and even more attractive.

Konstantin Kostenarov, Chief Technology Officer at Ducati, said, “Our HPC environment is the engine that drives the development and design of our road and racing bikes.”

He also added, “We use advanced aerodynamic and fluid dynamic modelling tools to calculate how a particular design or bike feature will react in different riding conditions. We don’t just do this for the superbikes that we sponsor on the racecourse, but for our road models too, so all bikers that choose Ducati enjoy an exceptional riding experience.”

Previously, Ducati used its own HPC infrastructure for the design process, but recently, it found that is no longer delivering the performance, reliability or flexibility which is needed in order to test new designs within tight deadlines. Hence, Ducati decided to use Lenovo’s HPC infrastructure.

Stefano Rendina, IT Manager at Ducati, said, “Previously, we had to transfer the results of our models and stress tests from the HPC environment and then use an entirely different workstation to transform this data into easy-to-understand visualizations. The process of transferring data in this way was both time-intensive and expensive—slowing down research and development.”

News Source https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Riding in the Rain on Motorcycle: What To Remember?

By | General Posts

It’s all about Zen, Treachery and Survival
By Isabella Katee

When the rain comes, most of the motorcyclists store their bikes in the garage, and close the riding chapter until the sun shines in the following spring! Such abstinence indeed keeps them free from risks associated with motorcycle riding in the rain.

But unfortunately, they cannot understand that by doing this, they are depriving themselves of this motorbiking experiences and bragging rights! They can never feel how thrilling, spine-tingling a motorcycle ride can be in the rain!

So, move onto the roads in the rain, but never forget the risks associated with it. What to do then? We shall discuss how should you ride and what should you do while riding a motorcycle in the rain, to get the most out of it and still stay risk-free, which is impossible.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FEATURE ARTICLE IN THE CANTINA

Hundreds of drunk scooter riders lost their licenses at Germany’s Oktoberfest this year

By | General Posts

21 September 2019, Bavaria, Munich: “NO E-Scooter” is on a sign on the way to the Oktoberfest, next to it there are E-Scooters parked. The largest folk festival in the world lasts until 6 October.

by Zac Palmer from https://www.autoblog.com

Drinking and riding carries the same penalty as drunk driving

Oktoberfest just wrapped up in Munich, and surprisingly, there’s some pretty alarming transportation-related news coming from it. Ride-sharing scooters and drunk party-goers don’t make for a good combination, but that’s exactly what German police had to fend with throughout the 16-day-long event.

According to German news outlet Deutsche Welle, and picked up by The Drive, local police say they caught 414 people riding scooters while under the influence. Of those, 254 riders had their driver’s licenses revoked on the spot. Germany treats scooters the same as cars, so there are serious consequences for not following the rules of the road — similar to America, there are repercussions for drunk driving. What remains unreported is how many accidents or injuries occurred as a result of all the drunk scootering.

German police were on high alert when it came to the scooters, as they were just unleashed on the public in June this year. The numbers are slightly better for folks who were driving an actual car in the city of Munich during the festival. Police found 315 drunk drivers and forced 215 of those to give up their licenses immediately.

Millions from all over the globe attend Oktoberfest every year. Beer is consumed in copious amounts in massive beer glasses known as steins — the only size of beer served in the beer tents amounts to 33.8 ounces. Drinking tasty German beer and singing all day may have given some folks a little too much confidence to pilot an E-scooter home rather than walking like the rest of the crowd. Police did a great job of keeping the scooters from entering onto the Oktoberfest grounds, banning their use during the festival itself.

We’ll leave you with a few fairly obvious words of advice: Don’t drink and scoot at the same time. Traveling at the pace of a brisk jog is not worth losing your driver’s license.

5-Ball Leather Photo Shoot Next Week

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Our new leather Bandit’s Bedroll.

I need to organize the photo shoot for next week. We have several new products that need to be featured on the web site.

New Male full sleeve Jack shirt
Details: New collar, collar snaps

5/8 Jak shirt details (just showing the new softer leather)

Women’s Hoodie Racy Jacket
Details: The hoodie, the pockets and external pockets

Woman’s Pit Crew Vest
Details: Basic details

Make brown trimmed Pit Crew Vest

Two Bandit’s bed rolls
Details: pockets, tool flaps.

One leather Bandit’s Dayroll

Speedway leather shirt sleeveless

I’m going to be busy with Markus Cuff, my grandson, Frankie, the lovely EM famous tattoo artist, Imogen, from the Great Frog Jewelry, and Maxine my granddaughter.

— Keith ‘Bandit’ Ball

CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BEST RIDING GEAR – Shop Now