Archive for the ‘motorcycle myths’ Category

Rear Motorcycle Tire Slide | CSI: MOTO – Crash Scene Investigations

Investigation into how and why a rear motorcycle tire slide can cause a crash, as without two spinning tires, you have less or no steering. Sounds like common sense, but it is a bit trickier than that. I had more fun making this video, despite the fact I was making fun of my injured brother, it was a hoot trying a new format. I hope you enjoy the video.


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Tail of the Dragon – US 129 – The Dragon – Deals Gap

Early morning ride across Deals Gap – The Dragon, May 31, 2019 before all the traffic descended upon this magnificent road. I would recommend anyone that rides a motorcycle make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once, just be prepared when you get there, it may be your last trip.

The WRONG Bike

I have always been fascinated by the idea of “the wrong bike”. Ever since I started taking the wrong bike to the wrong place, I have enjoyed watching other people do the same thing. It also brings up the idea – what makes the “right” bike? Why can’t you ride a cruiser or sportbike down a dirt road, or a trail? Why do you have special bikes for certain types of riding? What makes one bike better than the other? I think the video below illustrates suspension issues that limit the sportbike dramatically, but the guys is STILL have fun on the wrong bike, and it rarely should limit you from taking the wrong bike down the wrong path too maybe?

The Harley-Davidson-Douchebag-Test

Motorcyclists are a tribal, petty people. We make assumptions early in our careers that turn into biases we’ll vigorously defend to anyone ignorant enough to disagree. Luckily, experience and practical knowledge rarely come into play in these discussions; facts are nearly never welcome and typically dismissed as irrelevant. “Look at this asshole… doesn’t he know all Honda’s have been crap since the VFR with the gear-driven cams?” or “synthetic oil is just a huge waste of money”. These statements probably angered or reassured you. There’s rarely middle ground…

As you wade through motorcycling culture, you’ll discover there is no single topic quite as derisive as that of Harley-Davidson. The mere mention of The Motor Company (MoCo as they’re affectionately or sarcastically referred) elicits knee-jerk emotions ranging from unwavering admiration to unbridled scorn. Therein, friends, lies the value of the Harley-Davidson-Douchebag-Test (H-D-D-T).

harley douchebag test

For this test to be of any value, we have to find common ground in that by and large Harley’s are very pleasant motorcycles and there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a pleasant motorcycle. Are they the fastest bike on the road? Not since the 30’s! Do assholes sometimes ride them? You’re damn right, squid! Regardless, Harley makes a machine that’s enjoyable to cruise around on. They’re designed to be easy to ride and a reasonably fun way for people to spend their leisure time or get from A to B. They do this very well. If you can accept this fact, then congratulations! You’ve just passed the H-D-D-T!

However, while self-assurances are always nice, the real value of the H-D-D-T is in speaking with other riders. Curious if a fellow motorcyclist is capable of rational thought and insightful discourse? Mention the MoCo. If their response is anywhere between “absolute trash” or “greatest bike in the world” they are probably a productive member of the motorcycling community and worthy of your attention. If the response is on either far end of the spectrum, you can be pretty sure they’re a douchebag…

Motorcycle douchebags typically fall into one of two categories, each with their respective haunts. The first is the young squid. He’s relatively recent into motorcycling but left his learner bike behind a few years ago for some sort of used high rev’ing Japanese inline 4. The young squid probably wanted a Harley early in his career but fell in with a bad crowd and has been dispensing the vitriol ever since. It’s safe to say he’s probably never ridden a Harley but he doesn’t need to; the spec sheet tells him his 10 year old 600 CC gixer-busa-R weighs 200 lbs less and makes 30 more HP. You’ll typically find the young squid dispensing wisdom on the internet while taking a break shopping for replacement fairings or blowing past you on a curvy road only to slow down/blow a corner a quarter mile ahead… If he survives past 35, odds are very good he’ll grow into a dual sport enthusiast and become a de-facto productive member of the community.

The second type of douchebag is the true believer. Generally firmly into middle age, the true believer has more money than information and is the primary reason why HD dealerships look so damn nice compared to others. The true believer has always wanted a Harley. For his 44th birthday he bought a brand new FLWTF and barely paid over sticker. In the true believer’s eyes, Harley’s are the only real motorcycle. He’ll flippantly dismiss BMWs, Hondas and Ducatis as “jap trash” or how they’re not a real man’s bike. Typically, you’ll find the true believer out in suburbia. He’s rocking his Orlando Harley Davidson shirt and is more than happy to tell you all about his bike and plans to put in some serious miles once the weather is better. Last year, he and a couple of his other riding buddies rode all the way out to the lake and even stopped at Hooters on the back! The true believer loves to talk bikes when you’re in the office or stopped at the gas station. Just be prepared for questions about when you’re finally going to get a “real motorcycle” and comments about full face helmets being unsafe since you can’t see out of them. The true believer will probably have a low speed wreck because he doesn’t understand counter-steering and never ride again. Unfortunately, hope is lost for redemption but the true believer will always be a source of 15 year old, low mileage bikes. Go ahead and low ball him on Craigslist, he’s not getting any other serious offers…

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably thinking “Wow, this guy sounds like douchebag…”Dear reader, you’re absolutely right. I am a motorcycle omni-douche and, as such, I speak from a position of near absolute authority. Café’d Japanese bikes? Let me show you my hacked up CB750! Harleys? Love mine! Dirt? KTM forever! Sumo? It’s the purest form of motorcycling! “I’ve started collecting vintage superbikes… Please allow me to espouse on the genius of Massimo Tamburini!” I even wave at scooters… For the record, I’m not cool nor have delusions of being so. I’m a self-aware middle-aged banker that walks funny when it rains. I say these things to remind us that motorcycling is fun and we should never take it too seriously. Most people already think we’re a little crazy; but as Hunter S Thompson once surmised “being shot out of a cannon will always be more exciting than being squeezed out of a tube”. You wouldn’t ride if you didn’t agree with him.

The next time you meet a true believer or young squid, spend a little time talking to them. Find some common ground and invite them to try something new. We motorcyclists can be a tribal and petty people, and unfortunately our numbers dwindling. If our hobby is to survive the era of self-driving cars and increasing safety regulations we need to recruit and maintain every freedom loving soul we can. Bamarides was founded as a community of riders supporting other riders and promoting the awesomeness that is motorcycling. We’re glad you’re here.

Weekend adventure illustrates two extremes

I love the video below because it illustrates well the two extremes of adventure motorcycles and gear. The whole idea of having a perfect bike for adventure is ludicrous, and hopefully after watching, you will agree. From my experience, there so often seems to be a reluctance to ride without proper tools (bike, gear, tents, etc.) and silly things like a perceived need of all-or-nothing solutions. This video perfectly points out many aspects of each choice that weighs in one direction or the other.  The conclusion the guys come to is that the “perfect bike” is probably somewhere in the middle, while my conclusion is always Run what ya Brung.

The clear illustration presented is that you can have an adventure regardless of the chosen tools, your budget, time or distance.  So the takeaway is get on your bike and ride this weekend……to somewhere new or cool, with what you have.

Loud Pipes Kill Puppies

Since the first time I heard the phrase “Loud pipes save lives” I wondered where someone gathered the data needed to make the claim.  After discussing the concept with several of it’s advocates, I quickly realized the concept was a PR/marketing device – designed to persuade normal citizenry that the outrageous behavior had a positive benefit.   In other words, the narrative is a prima facie example of the stereotypical, narcissistic biker.  Yet no one seems to ever challenge the concept, for some reason?  The lack of challenge motivates me to create my own spin, and develop an equally absurd assertion – Loud Pipes Kill Puppies.

Oh sure, it sounds ridiculous when first read, but in reality, the idea is just as valid.   Saving Lives vs. Killing Puppies.  The numbers do not speak for themselves, but the propositions, spoken often enough, might actually make a difference in perception.  So to counter a ridiculous notion, I present one of my own.   My hope is that a bit of rational thought *gasp* might reverse the trend of Louder-Is-Better mentality.  Perhaps we can reverse the trend and the effect ridiculous noise-makers have on on your ears.  Maybe we can return a bit of the tranquility of living without daily explosions.  So I think the new narrative might discourage rattling the world’s cage, especially when they consider, only for a moment, their impact of destruction – Think About the Puppies!

loud pipes save lives - NOT

 

The Double-Yellow Lesson

After riding last week with some new guys, and watching some common mistakes witnessed on some of the tight, twisty roads we were enjoying, I started wondering – Why are these guys making the same mistakes, over and over? – The answer seemed clear after some thought, and I wished I would have had the chance to share my thoughts with them.  Sadly, I only knew one of the group, and the first day of riding was not that bad, the pace was brisk and the mistakes were few.  Day two allowed me to witness guys in front and in back of me running wide in turns, crossing double-yellows, and in one instance, the rider behind me not only crossed WAY over into the oncoming lane several times, but he missed the turn so bad once he almost left the road.
It came to the point where I almost did not even want to look in my mirrors anymore, terrified of what I might see.  Not sure if any of the other riders addressed the issue, as I am sure at least one of the other riders was following, just not sure what he witnessed.  The next stop is where I said my goodbyes, and headed away from the group – back home.  Now I regret not saying what I should have said then to this rider, and a few others……….

If you are crossing the double-yellow, you are riding beyond your skill level.

You should slow down, or even pull over and assess what is going, what happened, why you misjudged the turn, and what could have happened had you met oncoming traffic.  The most shocking thing was not that this rider made a mistake, we all make them.  Small mistakes where we have lots of margin for error (we are half the size of a car, or smaller, after all) are forgivable on occasion.  Bad lines in the curves, braking too late or too soon, bad throttle control, not paying attention etc., we can all get away with for awhile.  We all make mistakes that hopefully we adjust from, but this one guy was consistently making the same mistake, and seemed like he had no idea how bad his skills, judgment, assessment and everything was that day.  I knew it, and probably should have pulled over, and had a discussion with him about it.  But why did he continue?  Running over the line in ever 3rd or 4th turn?  It was just hard to believe.
On the way home it hit me – there were no consequences – I don’t remember passing a single car coming the other way on 209 – all the way to Hot Springs.  So there was nothing to worry about, we had 2 lanes all to ourselves.  But these roads were SOOoo.. curvy – how could you possibly know if anyone was coming?  He did not – evidence the time he almost left the road completely.  Well the thoughts never left my head, and I was determined to share my story, not to be hollier-than-thou-look-what-a-better-rider-I-am – but to share a bit of insight I should have shared then.

If you cannot keep your vehicle in your lane, you should pull over and think about WHY – before you hurt someone or yourself.

It is a really easy thing to keep in mind, in fact, if my tires even hit paint, sirens go off in my head, I just wonder why they do not go off in other heads?

So I hope this experience helps turn your sirens on when your tires hit the paint – slow down, or pull over and re-assess, figure out why you are riding over your head.

Before you wind up like this guy, who is about to ruin the nice couple’s day: