Category Archives: Middle Of The Road

We Give You 8 Reasons Why Motorcycles Are the Best Drug

Drugs rot your mind and body. But, people use them for a reason. They get you high, they take away your worries and they’re, well, addictive. So are bikes. If you’re going to take up an addiction, it may as well be this one. Here at AMERiders, We Give You 8 Reasons Why Motorcycles Are the Best Drug.

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1) Motorcycles Are Legal

Want to get into motorcycling? Just walk your way down to the DMV, apply for a learner’s permit and sign up for a class. A few weeks later, you’ll be handed a license and getting your jollies in a legally-sanctioned manner. All 50 states allow the recreational use of motorcycles and you can even take yours across the border to Canada. You can’t say that about the legal recreational use of any drug.

…Sorta

Who would you rather deal with, a shady drug dealer in a dark alley or your “friendly” local motorcycle dealer…wait, don’t answer that.  You see, the deal here is that, so long as you aren’t bothering other people, the cops will sometimes leave you alone. But, riding a motorcycle may impact the way you’re treated at the hospital if you hurt yourself on one…argh. Our legal system may also discriminate against you for using them. OK, let’s just say the counterculture element can be part of the fun.

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2) Motorcycles Are Safe

The high you experience from motorcycles has not been conclusively shown to clog your arteries, impair your brain function, shut down your heart or collapse your septum (wait, ignore the last one… that can happen in certain ways…)

…Sometimes

But, it’s one of the most statistically dangerous things a person can do in this modern age. A lifetime of motorcycle abuse has left me with metal body parts, hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, months of pain, significant scarring and permanent hearing loss. But, the feeling you get from overcoming that danger is also a part of what makes riding worthwhile.

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3) Motorcycles Make You More Appealing To The Opposite Sex

Leather jacket? Check. Dirty jeans? Check. Confident swagger? Check. Devil-may-care attitude? Check. There’s a reason bikers are one of the most iconic images of the American male in his prime — women dig us. Are you a female? Do you ride bikes? Can I have your number?

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4) Motorcycles Make You Confident

Somehow, using nothing but your wits to overcome danger has a way of making more mundane problems like a difficult job, a crazy boss or striking up a conversation with a pretty girl just pale in comparison. What other people consider scary, we simply scoff at.

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5) Motorcycles Come With Friends

Is there any family more closely-knit, as immediately welcoming, as endearingly awkward or as ready to help out its members than that of the biker? I know there’s not one that involves more spooning.

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6) Motorcycles Expand Your Consciousness

The sights you see will become more intense. Nature isn’t just a vague concept, it’s something we feel and smell and something which causes us both intense pain and intense pleasure. And in a way, outsiders will never get to experience. Motorcycles change your perspective on life, they expand your horizons and they alter the way your mind is wired.

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7) Motorcycles Make You Forget Your Problems

Did you have a Bad day at the office? Girlfriend dump you? Is there any more life-affirming experience than just hoping on your bike and going for a ride? I don’t think so. It make you focus on nothing but the ride and, by the time you’re done, all those problems just don’t seem so big anymore.

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8) Motorcycles Justify Their Cost

Drugs? Money down the drain. But a motorcycle? It’ll likely cost you less to buy and own than a boring old car. You’ll save money on the purchase price, you’ll save money on gas and you’ll never sit in traffic or pay for parking again as long as you live. Heck, you could likely sell your car today and use the proceeds to fund an entire year of riding, a decision that will actually improve your life.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

drug

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on 8 Reasons Why Motorcycles Are the Best Drug.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

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How You Balance Motorcycle Tires After You’ve Changed Them

We all know that wobbly wheels Suck and in our, last article, we covered How to Change a Motorcycle Tire I covered how to remove and replace a motorcycle tire. If you are replacing your own tires, you probably will be interested in balancing them yourself as well. In this article, AMERiders and I will guide you through the process of How To Balance Motorcycle Tires. Like mounting your own tires, balancing is easy to do and requires only minimal tools.

I will cover a technique known as “static balancing” which relies on gravity to find the heavy spot on your wheel. Most people are more familiar with the other balancing technique referred to as “dynamic balancing” which uses a machine to spin the tire at high speeds to determine balance. Unless you are planning on opening a tire shop, you probably will not want to spend the money on a dynamic balancing machine or devote the floor space to one for just changing your own tires.

As you can see from the picture, there isn’t much to a static balancer, just a frame and a horizontal shaft for the wheel to rotate on. If you like doing a little bit of light fabrication, you can certainly build one yourself and can even use your own axle for a perfect fit. For everyone else, you can pick up a factory made stand for ~$100 online. These factory-made stands are made “universal fit” by using a small diameter shaft with two cones that fit into the axle sleeve on either side of the wheel. Once the cones are locked down to the shaft with a set screw, the wheel is centered on the shaft and ready to be balanced.

Since you typically only balance motorcycle wheels after installing new tires, I’ll assume you already have the wheel off of the motorcycle and go straight into the balancing process.

Step 1: Make sure that your balancer is sitting on a very stable surface and the shaft is perfectly level. I find that a standard 9″ magnetic level makes this process a whole lot easier.

Balance Motorcycle Tires

Step 2: Remove one of the cones from the balancer’s shaft before sliding the shaft through the axle sleeve on the wheel. Then slide the cone back onto the shaft (narrow end first) and firmly tighten the set screw to lock it in place. It is important to make sure that both cones are fitting inside the axle sleeve if not the wheel will not be centered on the shaft and that can affect the balance of the tire.

Balance Motorcycle Tires

Step 3: Thoroughly wipe down the rim with a good degreaser. This is important for two reasons: first, you don’t want any globs of grease throwing off your balance and secondly if you are using adhesive wheel weights you want to make sure that they stick on well. Also, if there are any remaining weights from previous tire balancing, make sure to remove them.
Balance Motorcycle Tires

Step 4: Gently spin the tire and let it come to a stop on its own. Gravity will cause the tire to stop spinning with the heaviest portion at the lowest point. Take a piece of masking tape and mark this point on the rim. Simple Green is an excellent way to clean off any dirt, grime or grease from your wheel.

Balance Motorcycle Tires

If the heaviest portion of the wheel is at the lowest point, then it stands to reason that the lightest portion of the wheel is at the highest point. Therefore you will be adding weights to the top of the wheel, directly across from the heaviest portion. Adding a piece of tape makes it easy to remember the location of the heaviest point on the wheel. If you are using a non-spoked rim, your best option for weights is the adhesively backed variety that just sticks to the rim. These are cheap and easy to use and allow you to spread the weight out on either side of the rim. If you are using a spoked rim, you also have the option of spoke weights with a crimp to the spokes or are held to the spoke with a set screw. These tend to be more expensive than the adhesively backed weights, but they do have the advantage of being reusable and less likely to come off.

Balance Motorcycle Tires

Step 5: Add a few ounces of weight to the lightest portion of the tire. If you are uadhesive-backedacked weights, use tape to hold them in place temporarily. Adhesive backed weights come in strips that can be cut apart to achieve the desired weight. Spoke wheel-weights come in various weights and can be stacked if needed.

Balance Motorcycle Tires

Step 6: Rotate the tire until the lightest portion and the heaviest portion are located equal distance from the work surface and gently release the wheel. Again the wheel will naturally rotate to a position where the heaviest portion is at the lowest point. Typically this will be the same point that you determined was the heaviest portion of the wheel initially, which means you need to add more weight to the lightest portion. Alternatively if the portion you just added weight too is now at the lowest point, then you added too much weight and need to remove some. Using double-stick tape or masking tape to temporarily hold the weights in place during this process.

Balance Motorcycle Tires

Step 7: Continue to repeat Step 6 until the wheel no longer rotates on its own when released. A properly balanced tire should stay still when released as there is not a heavier portion to pull the wheel around. When you think you have the balanced correctly, try rotating and releasing the wheel (using the tape as a guide) at the 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 positions.Balance Motorcycle Tires

Step 8: If you are using spoke weights, you are now finished balancing your wheel and can remove it from the balancer. If you are using adhesive backed weights, use a piece of tap to mark the edge of the line of weights before removing whatever is temporarily holding the weights in place. Then simply remove the backing paper from the weights and press them firmly onto the rim to hold them in place. A balanced tire should stay still when released no matter what position it is in.

Balance Motorcycle Tires

One thing to keep in mind is that it is pretty tough to get your wheels perfectly balanced since wheel weights come in fixed sizes that may not add up to the weight you need. Of course, you could file the weights down to achieve the exact weight, but I don’t think you’ll notice much difference on the road to make it worthwhile unless you plan on running at high speeds in a race type scenario. At that is left now is to remount the wheel as per the manufacturer’s instructions and go out for a test ride.

~And as always….

~Live Free Ride Hard~

Memorial Day

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information How You Balance Motorcycle Tires After You’ve Changed Them.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

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AMERiders Answers the Question: How To Change a Motorcycle Tire?

The rise of online motorcycle parts retailers has meant a substantial drop in prices for virtually everything you need for your motorcycle. And for those that don’t mind getting their hands dirty, tasks like mounting your own motorcycle tires can now be down cheaper in your own garage than at the local dealership. So we here at AMERiders Answer the Question: How To Change a Motorcycle Tire?

This also can be a necessity for owners of older machines that some dealers may not want to service due to inexperience with vintage motorcycles. Whatever your reasoning, the tools needed are minimal and the knowledge of being able to change your own tires could help get you out of a jam somewhere down the road, so it is worth learning how to do yourself.

Step 1:  The first step is obviously to remove your tire (front or rear) from the motorcycle.  You’ll need to refer to your owner’s manual for the specific details, but generally, you need to lift the motorcycle off of the ground and remove the axle so that the wheel can come free of the motorcycle.

 

motorcycle tires
Whenever you are lifting a motorcycle off the ground, make sure to secure it properly once it is in the air.

Step 2:  Once the Motorcycle Tire is off, you’ll want to deflate the tire completely.  The best method is to remove the valve stem core from the valve stem.  This is removed with a special tool that is picked up from your local auto parts store for just a few dollars, so don’t try and remove it with pliers and risk damaging your valve stem.

motorcycle tires
The valve stem core removing tool comes in multiple forms, including this one that doubles as a valve stem cap.

Step 3: Now you need to break the bead that holds the tire to the rim. If you have a fairly narrow tire, you can get away with just using a benchtop vise to break the bead. For those with larger tires (especially the rear wheel), you’ll need a special bead breaker. The Motion Pro BeadPro Aluminum Tire Bead Breaker is a good choice as it also has integrated tire spoons, which you will need for the next step. Never try to break the bead by beating on the tire with a hammer, you’ll more likely to damage the rim than loosen the Motorcycle Tire.

motorcycle tires
The bead can often be tough to break and require putting pressure on the tire at multiple points to work it loose from the rim.

Step 4: Once the tire bead is broken, you can start levering off the first side using a set of tire spoons. Some motorcycle tool kits come with a set of small spoons, but a longer spoon will give you more leverage, which will make the whole job a lot easier. The basic operation is to first slide the spoon between the Motorcycle Tire and the rim using the “hooked” end to grab the edge of the tire. Then you pull the end of the tire iron towards the center of the rim which will pull the edge of the tire up and over the rim.

motorcycle tires
The edge of motorcycle tire will not just stay in place once it is levered up, so you’ll need to use multiple spoons with some just holding the portion of the tire already levered past the rim as you work your way around the tire.

Step 5: If you are running a spoked wheel with a tube, you’ll need to remove it next. Unbolt the valve stem from the rim and carefully slide the tube out between the rim and the tire.

motorcycle tires
Tubes are relatively cheap, so replacing them along with the tire is always a good practice. This one is loaded with rust from the rim, so it is going straight into the trash.

Step 6: Using the same technique as in steps 4 and 5, lever off the other side of the Motorcycle Tire.

motorcycle tires
At this point, you should be getting the hang of the tire spoons and if you didn’t invest in a long spoon you’ll be regretting that decision…

Step 7:  Inspect the inside of the rim for rust and debris. It is important to clean the inside thoroughly, especially if you have steel rims, which are prone to rust. A wire brush and a cordless drill can make quick work of clearing away the rust.  I also recommend using a lightweight spray-on corrosion inhibitor on steel wheels after they have been wire brushed.

motorcycle tires
Do not paint the inside of the rim once the rust is removed unless you remove the spokes first. Otherwise, the paint will seal the nipples in places making it hard to true the wheels in the future.

Step 8:  Coat the edges of the new tire liberally with bead lube to help it slide onto the rim.

motorcycle tires
You can substitute hand soap or hand sanitizer, but the real deal bead lube is slicker and stays on better.

Step 9:  If you are running a spoked wheel, make sure you have a rim strip installed (a thin band of rubber that covers the spoke nipples to protect the tube).

motorcycle tires
Line up the notch in the rim strip with the hole for the valve stem in the rim.

Step 10:  Using the fork spoons, lever on one side of the tire.

motorcycle tire
Your knees make for a good set of tools for holding the new tire in place.

Step 11:  For tubed tires, insert the tube between the tire and rim making sure it is not twisted or kinked.  Also, make sure to push the valve stem back through the hole in the rim.

motorcycle tire
If you look carefully, you can just make out a dot of grey paint above the serial number on the sidewall. Many tire manufacturers mark the lightest point on the tire which should be lined up with valve stem as it is usually the heaviest point on the rim.

Step 12:  Carefully lever the other side of the tire onto the rim using the tire spoon.

motorcycle tire
If running a tube, make sure you do not rest the edge of the tire iron on the tube (which can puncture it) or get the tube pinched between the rim and the tire.

Step 13:  Reinstall the valve stem and inflate the tire until it seats completely on the rim.  This may require inflating the tire past the recommended riding pressure.

motorcycle tire
Inspect both sides of the wheel to verify that the tire is seated against the rim all the way around.

Step 14:  Remount the wheel on your motorcycle and verify that it has the correct air pressure.

motorcycle tires
Double check that all fasteners have been installed and tightened before attempting to test out your new tires.

When it is all said and done, the hardest part of the whole process is usually removing the wheel from the bike.  Unless the tires are extremely old and hard, removing them should be relatively easy with a good set of tire spoons and the new tires should go on much easier with their more pliable fresh rubber.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

Memorial Day

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on How To Change a Motorcycle Tire.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

Flying Flea Honored by Royal Enfield with New LE Model

AMERiders brings to you a bit of history today with information about Royal Enfield and what they are doing to honor the historic Flying Flea. They are drawing on their historic roots with the introduction of the Classic 500 Pegasus Edition.

A huge part of Royal Enfield’s identity is tied to its historic roots which date back over a century. For this reason, it’s unsurprising to see the company highlight some of its historically significant offerings when trying to sell its modern wares. Royal Enfield recently achieved this through the release of a limited edition version of the Classic 500 honoring the RE/WD 125 “Flying Flea”. The Flea was utilized by British paratroopers during WW2 where the bike was routinely dropped behind enemy lines.

A Bit of the Flying Flea’s History

During the Second World War, the War Department in the UK ordered some 4,000 Flying Fleas, many of which were dropped via parachute within protective cages in order to give military units better mobility in places a larger vehicle might otherwise struggle. Flying Fleas were even famously used on D-Day, as well as during 1944’s Operation Market Garden.

“The story of the Flying Flea is both remarkable and inspiring, and it has a history like no other motorcycle,” says Siddhartha Lal, chief executive of Royal Enfield.

flying flea
The Royal Enfield Classic 500 Pegasus Edition is a cosmetically modified version of the existing Classic 500
The Limited Edition Bike

As an homage to the Flea, Royal Enfield has produced 1,000 examples of what it’s calling the Classic 500 Pegasus. The new limited edition is essentially a military-themed version of the regular Classic 500, sharing the same 27.2 horsepower, air-cooled, half-liter, single, along with the same chassis, and suspension and brake hardware. Of the 1,000 units produced, one quarter will be sold in India, while the rest will be sold in the US, UK, and Australia. For some unknown reason, the model won’t be released in Italy, Germany, or Japan.

Flying flea
Each Classic 500 Pegasus Edition’s tank is adorned in the bike’s respective serial number

Royal Enfield is offering the Classic 500 Pegasus Edition in two colors; Service Brown and Olive Drab Green. Certain regions, however, are limited to just one color, like India which is only getting Service Brown. Making the liveries that much color is the fact each bike boasts a unique serial number stenciled onto the gas tank, mimicking the Enfields used in The War. Furthering the Flying Flea theme are Pegasus emblems—symbols used as the official Parachute Regiment insignia—which adorn the tank and the canvas panniers. Finishing off the military aesthetic are brown handlebar grips, a leather strap with a brass buckle across the air filter, and the silencers, rims, kickstart lever, pedals and headlight bezel have all been blacked out.

Flying flea
The Royal Enfield Classic 500 Pegasus Edition comes in two colors; Service Brown and Olive Drab Green

Pricing is not yet available but we’ll update you when we hear something. Until then, Royal Enfield put together a legitimately cool little promo video for the new model that AMERiders highly recommends giving a quick watch.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

Memorial Day

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders bring you information on Royal Enfield and the Flying Flea.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

Source: Forces.Net
Photos courtesy of Royal Enfield

Lane Splitting Tech Coming Soon Thanks to Ford Manufactures

AMERiders figured since we looked into Just How Dangerous Are the Motorcycles We Love to Ride, on Wednesday that today we would check out part article. Lane Splitting. We found out that Ford has patented a new three-camera system that senses motorcycles approaching the car from behind. This is going to be great for drivers of both two and four wheels I personally think.

Over the next decade, self-driving car tech will become increasingly ubiquitous on public roads. With auto manufacturers, shipping businesses, and tech companies investing in the self-guided technology at an ever-accelerating rate. The era of semi-autonomous driving is here, but despite the enormous sums of money being poured into self-driving car development, motorcycles have largely been left out of the equation. Until now that is, Ford just filed a patent for a new system for self-driving cars to detect motorcycles and their lane splitting.

While lane splitting may seem like a foreign concept in Ford’s own backyard in America—with California being the only exception—millions of riders split lanes every day all over the planet. With a sizeable chunk of Ford’s market overseas in countries where lane splitting is the norm, the investment in this technology makes sense.

lane splitting

Ford’s new patent utilizes three rear-facing cameras connected to a central controller that patches into the car’s other advanced driver assistance (ADA) features to alert the autopilot system to brake or steer when an approaching motorcycle is detected between lanes. This technology could obviously be extremely useful for manually operated cars as well, adding to the growing electronic assist features that modern cars are equipped with.

Back in the summer of 2016, a Norwegian motorcyclist was rear-ended by a Tesla Model S that was on autopilot. Fortunately, she survived the collision, but this raises some glaring concerns considering Tesla’s self-driving tech is widely accepted as some of the very best on the market.

Not too long ago a myriad of cars from different manufacturers had their FCW (forward collision warning) systems tested to see how accurately said systems could identify a motorcycle and some 40 percent of the time the FCW systems failed to detect the presence of a motorcycle. When these same tests were run on a midsize sedan, the four-wheeler was recognized by the cars’ FCW systems more than 95 percent of the time, suggesting a lot more work needs to be done on the motorcycle side of self-driving vehicles.

One very real concern is that once self-driving cars became the norm, motorcycles could be banned from certain roads, (which of course some of us are saying hell no too) so it’s great to see Ford invest in a technology that considers us two-wheels enthusiasts.

~And as Always

~Live Free Ride Hard~

lane splitting

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with lane splitting information.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

Just How Dangerous Are the Motorcycles We Love to Ride?

We all have our own perception of risk and danger and riding a motorcycle is one of the greatest pleasures you can experience in life.  Yet only a minority of people in the auto-obsessed world actually ride. This can be explained partially by the perceived danger of riding a motorcycle. Whether the severity of that danger is real or just a misconception is debatable, but let’s unpack some facts and figures about the risk factors involved with riding, and review some of the ways we can avoid becoming another National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistic. AMERiders wants to sit down and let us ask ourselves, Just How Dangerous Are the Motorcycles We Love to Ride?

Let’s stop and think about a few things

dangerousArguably, motorcycling requires more focus and brain function than driving a car. The act itself is both more physically and mentally draining than driving anything with four wheels, with the exception of F1 cars and the like. There are more variables and therefore more opportunities for error. It’s not like Murphy’s law is synonymous with riding, but when things go wrong on a motorcycle, consequences can be exponentially worse.

There’s no way to remove risk from the equation entirely, so there will always be an element of danger involved with riding and even living in general. Like cars or guns, when used irresponsibly they can be incredibly dangerous. Like other dangerous items, in the hands of a properly trained and mature user, sometimes fatal accidents still occur. Proper training and responsible use make a massive difference. But how objectively dangerous are motorcycles?

Objective Danger

dangerousAccording to some statistics, the NHTSA reported 4,976 people were killed while riding in 2015 in the United States, which is up 8.3 percent from 2014 (which saw 4,594 fatalities). This is out of a reported 8.6 million private and commercial motorcycles on the road in 2015. While that’s more than a 1 in 1,728 chance, there are some other statistics that do point to motorcycles being objectively dangerous. The fatality rate per registered vehicle for motorcyclists was six to seven times higher than the fatality rate for “passenger car occupants” in 2014. Motorcyclists in 2014 were also 27 times more likely than “passenger car occupants” to die in a crash per “vehicle mile traveled,” and nearly five times as likely to be injured.

In 2015, the NHTSA reported that 33 percent of riders killed were a “direct result” of the rider speeding. Some 40 percent of the riders killed in 2015 were not wearing a helmet. And it tends to be the case that riders who had a blood alcohol content level in excess of the legal limit also made up a large chunk of the total rider fatalities – especially in states like Texas, Florida, and California, where riding can be a year-round pursuit. The statistics point to a number of proactive steps that can be taken to make riding safer: Wear a helmet, don’t ride drunk or high, receive proper training, and don’t speed.

Risk Factors

dangerous
Terrain like this can be deceiving. It’s mostly packed dirt and sand.

There will always be riding hazards out of our control, like bad weather, gravel or sand, potholes, and bad drivers. But there are a lot of things for riders to be alert to.

Roads collect oils over time and a first rain can bring those oils out and make the roads particularly slippery. Salt on the road is common in freezing conditions and can negatively affect traction. Fatigue and lack of sleep is another risk factor. Sunlight and glare can blind drivers and riders, which can easily lead to an accident. Never assume a driver will see you.

Group rides, unfortunately, are a common place for accidents, for a number of reasons. Group riders will sometimes fall into the mindset of simply doing whatever the person in front is doing. Riders pushing themselves beyond their skill level also jeopardizes safety. Knowing and staying within your limits can help keep you safe.

Related to the above, even outside of a group you should be alert to your personal abilities. Picking a bike that’s within your skill level can lessen the chances of an accident. In the United States, as soon as you even have a motorcycle permit you’re allowed to ride as large and powerful of a bike as you want. In places such as the United Kingdom, riders often have to start on smaller displacement machines and work their way up.

Lane Splitting

dangerousWhile it may appear to be dangerous to those who have never lane split, studies have actually shown that when done at a safe speed (in relation to the speed of traffic) it’s quite safe. It also happens to help cut down on bikes overheating and traffic/congestion for vehicles overall. People I know do it on a daily basis, riding at a safe speed in relation to the speed or lack thereof of traffic around them. This is something done every day all over the world and has positive outcomes for everyone on the road.

Cars

Getting hit by a car is, as you might suspect, no fun. It’s a good rule of thumb to assume the cars around you do not see you and ride accordingly. Don’t rely on others to drive well for you to remain safe. And remember that it’s better to be safe than right: regardless of whether an accident is your fault, you’re the one who will suffer the consequences.

Minimizing Danger

dangerousHaving established that riding a motorcycle can be dangerous under the wrong circumstances, it might be worth exploring a few ways to lessen the physical risk posed by riding. Before even throwing a leg over your bike there’s a lot that can be done to help keep you safe(r). Wearing quality protective gear, especially armored gear, (that fits properly) will make a world of difference in the event of an accident. Hi-Viz (high-visibility) gear will help keep you more visible to other drivers on the road.

Moving on to the bike itself, sporting a set of good tires will give better traction. Upgrading brake elements such as the brake line, calipers or pads will help you stop faster. Anti-lock brakes and other electronic aids certainly don’t hurt, regardless of what the old fogies say. Keeping the bike operating properly via regular maintenance is another no-brainer.

dangerousThe Insurance Institute For Highway Safety published a 2013 report titled “Effects of Antilock Braking Systems on Motorcycle Fatal Crash Rates” (by Eric R Teoh). The report examines how bikes with ABS differ in safety with non-ABS models in the event of an accident. They did this by taking 13 motorcycle models that were available with and without ABS, and tracking accidents for both vehicles, then analyzing the differences. They concluded that bikes with ABS “were associated with” a 31 percent decrease in fatal accidents per 10,000 registered vehicles.

Accepting Our Role

Decide whether you are willing to accept the potential consequences of riding. Fatal accidents do happen, injuries even more. You’ll often hear riders say “There are two types of rider, those who have gone down and those who are going down.”

There are all kinds of different riding disciplines to be enjoyed, and some come with much lower risk factors than others. For example, if you feel one or the other is safer, there’s nothing wrong with being unwilling to accept the danger posed by riding on the street and keeping your riding limited to the track or off-road.

I have friends who’ve been in several accidents since I’ve met them. Some have been struck head-on by an oncoming car that turned out in front of him while making a left. It resulted in severe back injury, which flared up in his next accident. He has chosen to continue to ride still to this day. The consequences from riding can be dramatic; don’t think, “It will never happen to me,” because it can.

Though riding a motorcycle can be dangerous, it’s worth noting that it’s an activity that can be practiced responsibly, and despite ominous cliches about the likelihood of an accident there are a number of riders out there who have never experienced a serious incident. The safety added by proper gear, training, and constant awareness can dramatically improve your enjoyment of the ride, and your chances of getting home without any issues.

Almost everything in life requires some level of risk or danger. Every time we step out our front door there’s a chance something can go wrong; thousands of accidents occur every year in showers but that shouldn’t keep you from showering. I personally feel we shouldn’t treat our lives like their dress-rehearsals. Motorcycles can be dangerous but can be ridden responsibly, so ride safe and ride far. I hope this has enlightened you some.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

dangerous

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

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Let AMERiders give you food for thought on Just How Dangerous Are the Motorcycles We Love to Ride?.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

A Guide to Sharing the Road with Cars or How Not to Die

AMERiders would like to give you an elementary look at one of the biggest threats to motorcyclists and examine what we can do to try and prevent becoming another fatality statistic. Hence why we have titled this A Guide to Sharing the Road with Cars or How Not to Die Riding.

Editor’s note: This story makes a lot of statements and states a lot of crash statistics. If you’d like to read more or see the sources on these, please check out the “sources” links at the bottom of the story.

More than 40 percent of motorcycle collisions involving cars are the result of said cars making a left-hand turn into the oncoming path of a motorcycle. In nearly 80 percent of car-motorcycle collisions, the bike is hit from the front. Being aware of what situations on the road are the most dangerous is invaluable. With more than half of all motorcycle fatalities stemming from collisions with cars, it’s pretty clear that cagers are a very real hazard out on the road. So what can we do as riders to bolster of chances of staying safe?

The term “SMIDSY” (short for “sorry mate, I didn’t see you”), is well known for good reason. A huge number of car-motorcycle collisions occur when the driver simply fails to see a motorcycle. A study from a while back examined this unfortunate phenomenon and determined SMIDSY incidents occur because drivers are reportedly looking for the absence of other cars, and not the presence of motorcycles when checking mirrors, changing lanes etc.

Though the solution may sound obvious, it’s nonetheless worth stating; always ride defensively. I don’t just mean frequently check your mirrors or ride at a safe speed. When you ride, you should assume every single car on the road doesn’t see you, and every car on the road is about to turn into/in front of you or your lane. Whenever I see an oncoming car waiting to make a left turn, I always anticipate said car pulling in front of me and I act accordingly. Assume every car (or 18 wheeler) is going to run a red-light or stop sign. The vast majority of the time it won’t be necessary, but it only takes a single accident to change your life forever.

riding

While that’s the meat and potatoes of it, there are dozens of other supplementary techniques that can be utilized to decrease the likelihood of a crash. Study driver behavior; look for indications that a car is about to turn such as blinking signals or pointing its wheels. Be aware of car’s blind spots and stay out of them. Be aware of your placement in relation to other cars on the road. Are you potentially riding in a hazardous formation? For example: if you’re exiting the freeway and are riding parallel to a car on your left, you’re asking for trouble. Often cars will jerk the wheel to exit the freeway at the last second, and if you’re riding alongside that car it’s game over man.

Lastly, wear quality protective gear and make sure you can be seen. I personally think my black riding suit, gloves, boots, helmet (and bike) look pretty cool, however wearing this at night is an obvious recipe for disaster. Drivers are less likely to hit you if they can see you. (I know, crazy right?). Whether or not we’re legally at fault, we’re still the ones who bare the physical consequences of a crash. Take the extra time and ride defensively.

Can you think of other tips for new riders to avoid collisions? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: NOLO.comOhio.com

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

riding

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with A Guide to Sharing the Road with Cars or How Not to Die Riding.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

10 Safety Tips and Expert Advice for First-Time & Returning Motorcycle Riders

Motorcycles are fun and fuel efficient. That’s not news to anyone who’s ridden one. But neither is the fact that they’re also way more dangerous than a car. The cold reality is that motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a crash than people in a car, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). And nearly half of all motorcycle deaths are the result of single-vehicle crashes. AMERiders has decided to give you 10 Safety Tips & Expert Advice for 1st Time & Returning Motorcycle Riders.

Don’t buy more bike than you can handle.

Motorcycle RidersIf you’ve been off of motorcycles for a while, you may be surprised by the performance of today’s bikes. Even models with small-displacement engines are notably faster and more powerful than they were 10 or 20 years ago.

When shopping for a bike, start with one that fits you. When seated, you should easily be able to rest both feet flat on the ground without having to be on tiptoes. Handlebars and controls should be within easy reach. Choose a model that’s easy for you to get on and off the center stand; if it feels too heavy, it probably is. A smaller model with a 250- to a 300-cc engine can make a great starter or commuter bike. If you plan on doing a lot of highway riding, you might want one with an engine in the 500- to a 750-cc range so you can easily keep up with traffic.

Invest in antilock brakes. 

Now available on a wide array of models, antilock brakes are a proven lifesaver. IIHS data shows that motorcycles equipped with ABS brakes were 37 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than bikes without it. “No matter what kind of rider you are, ABS can brake better than you,” says Bruce Biondo of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Motorcycle Safety Program.

The reason is simple: Locking up the brakes in a panic stop robs the rider of any steering control. That can easily lead to a skid and crash, which can result in serious injury. ABS helps you retain steering control during an emergency stop, and it can be especially valuable in slippery conditions.

This critical feature is now standard on many high-end models and adds only a few hundred dollars to the price of more basic bikes. You may be able to offset some of the cost with an insurance discount. Either way, we think it’s a worthwhile investment in your safety.

Hone your skills. 

Motorcycle RidersAs Honda’s Jon Seidel puts it, “There is nothing we could say or advise more than to go find a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) riding course in your area. That’s critical, absolutely critical.” An MSF course or similar class can teach you the basics, as well as advanced techniques, such as how to perform evasive emergency maneuvers. The cost ranges from free to about $350. An approved safety course may make you eligible for an insurance discount and, in some states, to skip the road-test and/or the written test part of the licensing process. Some motorcycle manufacturers offer a credit toward the cost of a new motorcycle or training if motorcycle riders sign up for an MSF course. The MSF website lists about 2,700 locations for such courses around the United States.

“It is absolute insanity to repeal helmet laws,” says Orly Avitzur, M.D., a Consumer Reports medical adviser.
Use your head.
Motorcycle Riders
HJC SY-MAXIII MATTE BLACK FULL FACE MODULAR HELMET

Yes, helmets are an emotional topic for some riders. But the facts show the risk. Motorcycle riders without a helmet are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a crash and are three times more likely to suffer brain injuries, than those with helmets, according to government studies.

When Texas and Arkansas repealed their helmet laws, they saw a 31- and 21-percent increase in motorcycle fatalities, respectively. “It is absolute insanity to repeal helmet laws,” says Orly Avitzur, M.D., a neurologist and a Consumer Reports medical adviser. “Because helmets do save lives, it is insanity to expose the skull and the brain to potential trauma that could be prevented or at least mitigated.”

Motorcycle RidersA full-face helmet that’s approved by the Department of Transportation is the best choice. (Look for a DOT certification sticker on the helmet.) Modern helmets are strong, lightweight, and comfortable, and they cut down on wind noise and fatigue. Keep in mind that helmets deteriorate over time, and may not be safe even if they look fine. The Snell Memorial Foundation, an independent helmet testing, and standards-setting organization recommends replacing a helmet every five years, or sooner if it’s been damaged or has been in a crash. Beyond potential deterioration due to aging and exposure to hair oils and chemicals, Snell points out that there is often a notable improvement over that time in helmet design and materials.

Wear the right gear. 
Motorcycle Riders
Protective gear info diagram

Jeans, a T-shirt, and sandals are recipes for a painful disaster on a bike. Instead, you want gear that will protect you from wind chill, flying bugs and debris, and, yes, lots of road rash if you should slide out. For maximum protection, go for a leather or other reinforced jacket, gloves, full pants, and over-the-ankle footwear, even in summer. Specially designed jackets with rugged padding and breathable mesh material provide protection as well as ventilation for riding in warm weather. You’ll also want effective eye protection; don’t rely on eyeglasses or a bike’s windscreen. Use a helmet visor or goggles. And keep in mind that car drivers who have hit Motorcycle riders often say they just didn’t see them, so choose gear in bright colors.

Be defensive. 

A recent study by the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research found that in collisions involving a motorcycle and a car, car drivers were at fault 60 percent of the time. So, you need to be extra alert, especially in this age of epidemic phone use and texting behind the wheel. Keep an eye out for cars suddenly changing lanes or pulling out from side streets. And don’t tailgate; keeping a safe following distance is critical, both to ensure you have enough stopping distance and so you have time to react to obstacles in the road. An object that a car might easily straddle could be a serious hazard when on a bike.

Avoid bad weather. 

Motorcycle ridersSlippery conditions reduce your margin of error. Rain not only cuts your visibility but reduces your tires’ grip on the road, which can make cornering tricky. If you need to ride in the rain, remember that the most dangerous time is right after precipitation begins, as the water can cause oil residue to rise to the top. And avoid making sudden maneuvers. Be especially gentle with the brakes, throttle, and steering to avoid sliding. When riding in strong side winds, be proactive in anticipating the potential push from the side by moving to the side of the lane the wind is coming from. This will give you some leeway in the lane, should a gust nudge you.

Watch for road hazards. 

A motorcycle has less contact with the pavement than a car. Sand, wet leaves, or pebbles can cause a bike to slide unexpectedly, easily resulting in a spill. Bumps and potholes that you might barely notice in a car can pose serious dangers to Motorcycle riders. If you can’t avoid them, slow down as much as possible before encountering them, with minimal steering input. Railroad tracks and other hazards should be approached as close to a right angle as possible, to reduce the chances of a skid.

Be ready to roll.

Before each ride, do a quick walk-around to make sure your lights, horn, and directional signals are working properly. Check the chain, belt, or shaft and the brakes. And inspect the tires for wear and make sure they’re set at the proper pressure. Motorcycle mechanics we’ve spoken with say they routinely see worn-out brakes and improperly inflated tires that greatly increase safety risks. When tires are under-inflated, “handling gets really hard, the steering gets hard, and the bike doesn’t want to lean,” says Mike Franklin, owner of Mike’s Garage in Los Angles.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

Motorcycle safety tips

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders keep you up to date Safety Tips & Expert Advice for 1st Time & Returning Motorcycle Riders.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

From All of Us at AMERiders Happy Memorial Day

Remembering those that are lost in action or that are Prisoners of War is something we all should do! AMERiders wants you to remember to Honor of Our Fallen Brothers and Sisters During This Memorial Day! However, what does this mean? Memorial Day is way more than just BBQs, burgers, and beer, but that doesn’t mean we should feel guilty for joining friends and family for a great weekend. By all means, be with your loved ones, and raise a glass.

We Here at AMERiders just wanted to take a bit of time out of spending time with our families to tell you…

AMERiders

~And as always….

~Live Free Ride Hard~

AMERiders

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

and

From All of Us at AMERiders Happy Memorial Day.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.

The Meaning of Memorial Day and What Bikers Do on It

We have gone over this before in a previous post but we thought it might be a good idea to reiterate it again about what Memorial Day actually is and what the day means. AMERiders observes Memorial day and takes time out of our busy schedules to honor our fallen brothers and sisters as well as those that are lost in action or that are and have been Prisoners of War is something we all need to do. As Motorcyclists, we often do this with Rides each year to Memorial walls and many other different activities. We would like to explain to you the meaning of Memorial Day and explain some of the things Bikers Do for This Day.

Remember: Memorial Day is way more than just BBQs, burgers, and beer, but that doesn’t mean we should feel guilty for joining friends and family for a great weekend. By all means, be with your loved ones, and raise a glass.

What is Memorial Day
Memorial
Arlington National Cemetery

Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women who died in any war or military action.

It was originally known as Decoration Day. The current name for this day did not come into use until after World War II. Decoration Day and then Memorial Day used to be held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, on which it fell. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends. This meant that that, from 1971, Memorial Day holiday has been officially observed on the last Monday in May. However, it took a longer period for all American states to recognize the new date.

What Do People Do?

MemorialIt is traditional to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

Now it has become less of an occasion of remembrance. Many people choose to hold picnics, sports events and family gatherings on this weekend. This day is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season for cultural events. For the fashion conscious, it is seen as acceptable to wear white clothing, particularly shoes from Memorial Day until Labor Day. However, fewer and fewer people follow this rule and many wear white clothing throughout the year. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades.

How Bikers Remember

memorialYou will find that a lot of bikers take Memorial day very seriously and participate in rides to memorial walls and hold many different types of Memorial day events to help educate, raise money and more for different organizations that are affiliated with Memorial day. Such as Wreaths across America, Gold Star Mothers, Rolling Thunder (who have a large ride at the Pentagon each year) and many others.

Memorial
MENS POW/MIA VEST

They wear different items of clothing showing their support as well, most of these items they wear all year long as well. Some of these items are POW/MIA items similar to our Men’s POW/MIA Vest is made from top grade leather showing the unimaginable quality of workmanship of this garment. There is no comparison, this is a great addition to the riding lifestyle. Displaying the white POW logo on the front and back. It shows that you respect people who put their lives on the line for freedom. Everything with this vest just shows that it’s fitting, slim and comfortable. Giving you 2 inside pockets and 2 front pockets, you’ll have space to spare.

We all know that Memorial Day is a time to honor members of the military who have fallen in during service to the United States. Both Men and women throughout history have died on battlefields, making the ultimate sacrifice during combat operations in support of the mission, their allies, and their brothers and sisters in arms.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

Memorial

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

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Let AMERiders help you remember what it Memorial Day Means.

And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures, and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM  and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.

Like what you just read? Share it on social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram) with others and let them get the information and benefit from it as well.