Category Archives: Middle Of The Road

Predictable Mistakes New Riders Make

If you just passed your exam and received your shiny new motorcycle license, welcome to the family! I’m always excited to hear about friends and acquaintances saying they are starting their riding lessons or shopping for a bike—it means the family is expanding. We all have to start somewhere, AMERiders tells you of a few predictable mistakes that some new riders make.

For all the new riders out there, even once you have that little piece of plastic in your wallet proving you are now a legal motorcycle rider, you’re not done learning and you are bound to make a number of predictable mistakes. It’s all part of the process. Some of these mistakes can be avoided and we decided to discuss them with you and give you some advice in the hopes you’ll learn a thing or two.

Mistakes

Motorcycle Lessons Are For Losers

“I’ve been riding bikes since I was a kid, I’ve got this.” Good for you kid, but the problem with that statement is that pacing your little 50cc in your parents’ backyard has nothing to do with real-life riding.

Granted, being at ease in the saddle will give you a clear advantage over someone who’s never ridden: you already know how riding feels and are already familiar with some basic techniques. What sandbox riding doesn’t teach you, however, is everything relating to road safety, hazard avoidance techniques, and overall awareness. Don’t underestimate the purpose of these lessons—being humble while learning to ride is a bigger advantage than being cocky.

I Don’t Need All That Fancy Gear

We’ve all been there: having to dig into our pockets to pay for our first few pieces of riding gear. If you know anything about us, at AMERiders we are active advocates of ATGATT—All The Gear, All The Time. We gladly point and laugh at those assuming that flip-flops, shorts, and tank tops are appropriate riding attire.

We’ve done countless lists of cool and inexpensive gear that will get you started safely. Especially when you are getting started, you are more vulnerable to making mistakes and dropping the bike or falling, so suit up, you’ll be glad you did.

You don’t have to spend $3,000 in Dainese and Shoei gear right off the bat, but a good DOT helmet, a jacket with elbow and shoulder protectors, solid gloves, and boots/shoes that offer ankle support are a good place to start. For the pants, the number of affordable options out there are endless. But yeah, riding is an expensive hobby, so you might want to wrap your head around that.

mistakes

Small Bikes Are Lame; My Dad Is Getting Me An H2 For My Birthday

I read that in a conversation thread somewhere—I don’t know if it’s true, but that’s one of the dumbest things a new rider fresh off the school bench can say. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t actually believe 125 or 300cc bikes are the best beginners’ bikes unless you want to have to change bikes after only a year or two because you’d like something with more gut.

However, there are fantastic and forgiving mid-range bikes that you will be able to grow with and learn from and that won’t feel underpowered once you gain more experience. Big displacement bikes sound sexy and badass—they kind of are. However, thinking you can get away with having 230hp between your knees with your license fresh off the press tucked in your pocket is like thinking you can run before you learn to walk. Patience my young Padawan, learning is a process. If you try to cut the corners, you could end up on the organ donor list.

If My Friends Can Do It, I Can Do It Too

There’s technically nothing inherently wrong with that statement, however, we all know what peer pressure does to us. It makes us do things we’re not always comfortable doing. Sometimes it makes for a good story to tell, sometimes it gets you into trouble. If your buddy is able to take corners at a 45-degree angle and at speeds of 50 mph, or if he is able to tackle any off-road trail in the world, it doesn’t mean you have to as well.

By that I mean don’t ride beyond your level of competence.  As a new rider, you’re still fine-tuning your skills and learning your bike’s limits. If you push too hard, that’s when you make mistakes, either because you went beyond the limits or got scared stepping out of your comfort zone. As you gain experience, you will hone your skills and eventually, you’ll be able to keep up with your more experienced—or hooligan—buddies. There’s no shame in being the last of the pack if it means you are enjoying yourself and not having minor panic attacks at every new maneuver.

mistakes

Cool, Now I Can give Rides To All Of My Friends

Quite frankly, going for rides with friends is a really cool experience, but you have to make sure you are ready for it. First off, you need to be able to communicate what you expect from them (no sudden reactions, hold on tight or else you end up banging helmets all the time, lean in with the bike, don’t try to counteract the motion, etc.). You also have to be ready to maneuver the bike with the extra weight—which you feel mainly when you are stopped or navigating at lower speeds.

As the rider, you are also entirely responsible for your friend’s safety. Do you have extra gear for them? Yeah, taking your friends everywhere is cool, but that means having to have double the gear so that they are protected if you mess up (so if you think gear even just for you is too expensive, you might want to reconsider carrying someone on the pillion).

Riding A Motorcycle Is Like Driving A Car

No. No, it’s not. If you think that, refer back to the first point and take your lessons, then we can talk. The only similarity is that laws apply to both car drivers and motorcycles riders—and even then, not all laws are the same for both groups.

You are much more vulnerable on a motorcycle than you are in a car—and much, much more invisible. Most drivers expect to see another car in their mirrors or in their blind spot, not all of them notice when there’s a motorcycle instead. Your level of awareness needs to be tenfold—you almost need to think for the others around you and drive in a much more defensive way than you would in a car. You always have to assume people don’t see you, so don’t hang out in people’s blind spots and keep your distances.

The road conditions can also have a bigger impact on you (potholes, tram rails, wet surfaces, etc.)

The silver lining is that as riders, we get to benefit from a few perks, depending on the area. Free parking for motorcycles is a thing in some cities, so is lane filtering and splitting, things cars are not allowed to do. So pay attention and do make the predictable mistakes that everyone expects you to make.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

Mistakes

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on Predictable Mistakes New Riders Make.

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.

Take a Tour of Keanu Reeves Bike Collection & His Advice to New Riders

Normally, when we at AMERiders talk about motorcycle-riding actors, our go-to is Tom Cruise. The high-octane actor is well known for making his own stunts, leaving CGI and motion capture behind. Keanu Reeves, on the other hand, is a low-key badass who has shown some serious action chops, especially thanks to the John Wick movie series. Plus, the guy can ride! He’s not only had the chance to show what he got in movies—more recently in John Wick: Parabellum, but he’s also co-founded his own motorcycle brand. Now, you get a look at his collection and spin the Arch Motorcycle garage.

He starts off his GQ interview by asking how many bikes you need to own to be called a “collector”. In my opinion, “more than you can ride at once” is a good place to start, so two bikes and over is the start of something truly wonderful if you ask me. If we stick to that very personal definition, that makes Keanu Reeves a legit motorcycle collector. He has two pretty special bikes.

The first one he discusses and shows us around is his black 1973 Norton Commando 850 MKA2, which he said he bought in 1987. He explains that he grew up loving Nortons—can’t blame him! The second bike he owns is of course The Matrix Reloaded dark green 2004 Ducati 998 Reloaded Edition—a color specially prepared by the manufacturer in honor of the movie franchise.

During the interview, he lists some of movies he’s had a chance to ride in, including Chain ReactionMy Own Private Idaho (in which he rides on a yellow Norton), and, of course, John Wick: Parabellum. I recent trailer shows that a fight between good and evil will take place in the saddles of a fleet of Yamaha MT-09.

As the proud co-owner and co-founder of Arch Motorcycle, a motorcycle-oriented interview with Keanu Reeves wouldn’t be complete without a few words about his motorcycle brand. He explains how what started off as the customization contract for a Harley-Davidson Dyna Wide Glide with Gard Hollinger’s shop turned into the prototype of what would turn into Arch Motorcycle’s KRGT-1 bike. He discusses how the company itself builds over 200 machined aluminum components for the bikes and how other components including the suspension, exhaust, and engine are sourced from different other manufacturers. He then introduces us to the Arch 1S, a sportier iteration of the GT with a slightly more aggressive riding posture.

Finally, Reeves shows us the Method 143 concept bike that uses a carbon fiber monocell chassis, a striking futuristic design. What’s on his motorcycle bucket list he has yet to do or own? Reeves lists owning a 1955 Vincent Black Shadow, and a Brough Superior of some sort as part of the list, as well as the experience of riding on a MotoGP bike. Now we feel like we just want to hang out with the guy.

Psst… the chase is at 2:00.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

Keanu Reeves

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with Keanu Reeves Bike Collection & His Advice to New 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.

Gloria Struck, Proof That Your Never to Old to Ride a Motorcycle

If you’re a fan of documentary movies about motorcycles, you’ve probably seen an interview with Gloria Struck. She is currently 93 years old (94 in July), and has been riding motorcycles since she was 16 years old, in 1941. She is still riding motorcycles with no plans to give it up. AMERiders gives you the skinny.

Since I am an epileptic I can’t ride “drive”, however, I rode with my father when I was a child in the 70s and 80s, and even now with my husband since the late 90s. That is not to say I don’t know how to ride a motorcycle I do my husband taught me how before the docs took away my license because of my epilepsy. So if I ever get it back i’ll be riding “driving” a motorcycle again instead of just being a passenger.

I was not alive in 1941 but I can imagine that the reaction of the general public to Gloria riding her own motorcycle–even with other people–was orders of magnitude more extreme than today. I grew up in a household where “girls don’t ride motorcycles,” though that was starting to change. When Gloria was young, the entirety of US society believed that “girls don’t ride motorcycles.”

Gloria Struck travels around even today, to speak to women motorcyclists at events, and to promote the book she just wrote: Gloria – A Lifetime Motorcyclist: 75 Years on Two Wheels and Still Riding (available on Amazon here). She was a (very) early member of the Motor Maids, an all-women motorcycle riding club that has been around since its establishment in 1940. Everyone refers to her as a “legend.” She lives in New Jersey and has made annual trips to the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota, and the Daytona rally in Florida. She was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2016, and was named to the Sturgis Hall of Fame in 2011.

Gloria Struck does not trailer her motorcycle but rides absolutely everywhere. She estimates a lifetime mileage somewhere around 650,000 miles over her 75 year career on eleven different Harley-Davidsons and three Indian motorcycles.

Apparently, Gloria Struck’s next goal, when she reaches 100 years old, is to do a cross-country ride. She’s planning to attend, and speak at, the Mid-Atlantic Women’s Motorcycle Rally in Front Royal, Virgina in June of 2019. If you’d like to meet this woman, talk to her about her life’s story and have her sign your copy of her book, here’s your opportunity!

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

Gloria Struck

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on Gloria Struck, Proof That Your Never to Old to Ride a Motorcycle.

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: MAWMRGrowing BolderFox NewsAmazon

Mandatory Helmet Laws Across the U.S, Where You Can & Don’t Have To.

The 50 states have a hodgepodge of very different helmet laws. Let’s straighten that out.

Helmet laws are a bone of contention for many riders. Without a national law saying that helmets are or are not required (despite the CDC’s efforts), we’ve ended up with a seemingly random set of laws that are different in whatever state you’re in. If you wear a helmet you’re always covered (literally and figuratively), but if you like to feel the wind in your hair it’s hard to know where you can and can’t do it legally. AMERiders helps straighten that out.

Some say every rider, everywhere, should be required to wear a helmet, for their own safety and to reduce the burden on our health care system. Others say helmets are good, but it should be the right of the individual to choose whether to wear one or not. Still, others say there should be absolutely no helmet regulation at all. A friend who lives on the border between Massachusetts (a universal helmet law state) and New Hampshire (with no helmet laws at all), Sees motorcycles stopped at the state line. Northbound riders would be taking their helmets off, and southbound riders would put them on. If you’re going to make the choice to remove your brain bucket, you should know where Johnny Law will allow you do it.

Helmet laws fall into four general categories: required for everyone, required for everyone under 21, required for everyone under 18, and not required at all. Many states have their own special stipulations for passengers, engines under 50cc, or the amount of health insurance a rider must carry to go without a helmet. Here’s a listing of who has to wear a helmet, in alphabetical order by state.

Alabama: Everyone

Alaska: Under 18

Arizona: Under 18

Arkansas: Under 21

California: Everyone

Colorado: Under 18 (riders and passengers)

Connecticut: Under 18

Delaware: Under 19

Florida: Under 21

Georgia: Everyone

Hawaii: Under 18

Idaho: Under 18

Illinois: No helmet law

Indiana: Under 18

Iowa: No helmet law

Kansas: Under 18

Kentucky: Under 21

Louisiana: Everyone

Maine: Under 18

Maryland: Everyone

Massachusetts: Everyone

Michigan: Under 21

Minnesota: Under 18

Mississippi: Everyone

Missouri: Everyone

Montana: Under 18

Nebraska: Everyone

Nevada: Everyone

New Hampshire: No helmet law

New Jersey: Everyone

New Mexico: Under 18

New York: Everyone

North Carolina: Everyone

North Dakota: Under 18

Ohio: Under 18

Oklahoma: Under 18

Oregon: Everyone

Pennsylvania: Under 21

Rhode Island: Under 21

South Carolina: Under 21

South Dakota: Under 18

Tennessee: Everyone

Texas: Under 21

Utah: Under 21

Vermont: Everyone

Virginia: Everyone

Washington, D.C.: Everyone

Washington (state): Everyone

West Virginia: Everyone

Wisconsin: Under 18

Wyoming: Under 18

It may surprise some people to see that only 19 states, plus Washington D.C., have universal helmet laws. Older riders may be particularly surprised since in 1967 the federal government required states to enact helmet laws to qualify certain federal safety programs and highway construction funds. Nearly all states had such laws by the early 1970s, but as the decade went on states managed to stop the Department of Transportation from denying funds over helmet laws.

Still, only three states — Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire —have absolutely no helmet laws whatsoever. The majority of states have laws requiring helmet use for younger riders (and, in Colorado, younger passengers). Some states require riders to carry a minimum amount of health insurance coverage to go without a helmet. The qualifications are different in every state and constantly changing. Texas, for example, currently prohibits law enforcement from stopping a helmetless rider for the sole purpose of verifying that their insurance coverage meets the requirements, but the government is trying to change that.

We got our information for this list from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which keeps an up-to-date list of helmet laws on its website. If you’re taking a ride through several states and wish to go bare-headed, check this list before you go so that you know where you can and can’t do this legally — at least, for this week before the laws change again.

Source: IIHS

New Off-Road-Friendly Bullet Trials Are Being Launched by Royal Enfield

After a healthy amount of speculation and a teaser that gave us a taste of what was to come, Royal Enfield has finally unveiled its new scramblerized Bullet Trials. The brand introduced the two new variants of the well-known model in March the 350 and the 500. AMERiders gives you the scoop.

Though Royal Enfield has a knack for a perfectly good retro look with modern trimmings, the company hasn’t fallen for the “café racer” or “scrambler” gimmick as hard as other brands have. Last summer, spy shots of what was seemingly a new Royal Enfield scrambler spotted at an Indian dealer leaked and sparked the rumor that there was potentially a new model was in the works. Then more recently, we got a quick peek at what was actually in the works in a very “splashy” video. That’s when we learned that “Trials” rather than “scrambler” was the path Royal Enfield had taken.

bullet trials

We finally got to have a proper look at the new Bullet 350 and 500 Trials as the company officially unveiled the new models. In this case, “trial” is used not to refer to the seat-less type of motorcycle used in interior obstacle courses, but rather to the original sense of the term adopted in the 1960s and referring to extreme off-roading courses.

Appropriately, the Bullet Trials come equipped with the necessary features to be more off-road friendly than their standard counterparts. The base for the Trials is the same as the standard models—the frame, 346cc/499cc powertrains, and output numbers remain unchanged. Design-wise, they borrow the gas tank and side plates of the Bullet lineup.

bullet trials

Where the Trials differ in styling is in the headlight design, the higher-set handlebar, the shorter wheel guards, the upswept muffler, a spring-mounted saddle, and a luggage rack replacing the passenger pillion. Both the 350 and the 500 receive a 19-inch wheel at the front and an 18-inch wheel at the back, paired with a set of Ceat tires. The 350 receives a contrasting red tubular frame while the 500’s is painted green.

Because these are Bullet variants and the model isn’t offered on the North American market, there is no say whether we’ll get to see the models over here at all. We can always hope a Trials version of the Classic is heading our way. In the meantime, we get to appreciate just how cool they look!

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

Bullet trials

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on the Off-Road-Friendly Bullet Trials by Royal Enfield.

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.

Sources: Autocar IndiaMotoroids

What is the difference between Lane Splitting and Lane Filtering?

It is all a question of speed! Over the course of the past few weeks, a number of States have kickstarted 2019 by opening discussions about the possibility of making motorcycle lane splitting or filtering legal. Utah officially became the second state after California to pass a bill allowing riders to engage in some form of lane sharing maneuver. However, while California has been allowing lane splitting since 2017, Utah has instead passed a law allowing lane filtering.  While “lane splitting” has been a widely accepted term in the US to refer to most of these maneuvers, there are actually subtleties that differentiate them. So, what’s the difference between lane splitting and lane filtering anyway? AMERiders dives into the explanation.

Lane splitting, the more flexible option
Lane splitting

The State of California defines lane splitting as “A motorcycle ridden between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane including on both divided and undivided streets, roads, or highways.” If we’re going to oversimplify it, it’s pretty much turning the dotted line into a temporary, miniature express lane for motorcycles.

Of course, there are conditions to lane splitting and contexts in which it represents a safe maneuver. In California, for instance, riders should not lane split faster than 10 mph above the speed of the surrounding traffic, adding that a higher speed differential represents a safety hazard. Lane splitting is discouraged when the flow of traffic is faster than 30 mph and it is recommended that riders white-line between the first and second lane (left and middle lanes of a three-lane highway) as this is usually where drivers are the most aware of the presence of motorcyclists. The lanes furthest to the right see a higher volume of lane-changing vehicles because of on and off ramps, among other things.

Lane splitting becomes a fuel-saving, rider-protecting maneuver especially in instances of stop-and-go or rush-hour traffic. While in California, lane splitting is allowed on all roads, some states that are currently considering legalizing the practice have an additional clause regarding the type of road the maneuver will be legal on. For instance, the State of Oregon recently submitted a bill that suggests lane splitting be allowed on roads with a posted speed limit of 50 mph and above.

Lane filtering, the stop-light solutionhttps://youtu.be/1SX0ouGKoWE

Utah recently passed a bill that allows riders to lane filter in very strictly described conditions. The State of Utah now allows “lane filtering if a motorcycle is overtaking a vehicle that is stopped in the same lane of travel and there are two or more adjacent traffic lanes in the same direction of travel.” For the State of Oregon’s recently submitted bill, lane filtering is allowed when “Traffic is stopped or has slowed to a speed of 10 miles per hour or less.”

Unlike lane splitting that allows a motorcycle to navigate between rows of vehicles circulating at regular speeds, lane filtering allows the motorcyclist to trickle down between rows of stopped/slow-moving vehicles. This maneuver is usually observed at stop lights and allows riders to navigate towards the front of the line, which in turn allows them to take off swiftly and safely without being sandwiched between two vehicles.

Lane filtering is usually forbidden between an ongoing traffic lane and a row of parked cars or a curb. Each State has its requirements and its definition of lane filtering (for instance, Utah clearly states the vehicles have to be stopped while a wider definition of the concept also suggest slow-moving vehicles.)

The difference between splitting and filtering all comes down to the speed of the surrounding vehicles and the context in which they are best practiced (rush hour traffic versus intersections). In both cases, it is up to the rider to analyze the situation and engage safely.

A rider needs to make sure they have enough space between the vehicles to travel without ripping off mirrors along the way, and it is their responsibility to travel at a speed that affords them enough time to react should a car suddenly change lane in front of them. A rider is not obligated to lane split or filter if he doesn’t feel at ease doing so. 

Lane splitting and filtering are privileges, not God-given rights, so use these advantages wisely and above all, be safe doing so! Happy riding.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

This Spring

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information about the difference between Lane Splitting and Lane Filtering.

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.

Sources: Motorcycle Legal FoundationNSW Center for Road SafetyMotorcyclist Confederation of CanadaUtah State LegislatureOregon State Legislature

Four Military Veterans Ride “Where the Road Ends” Across the Continent.

Four Military Veterans Ride Their KLRs from Alaska to Argentina

You’ll often hear folks who ride say riding a motorcycle itself is a form of therapy. The feeling of being “in the zone,” concentrating on nothing but the motorcycle under you and the road ahead of you; these are the times that peak our consciousness and ease our anxieties. In an upcoming movie documentary, four military veterans ride to “Where the Road Ends” for all those reasons and more. AMERiders give you more information.

The group of vets approached it as a mission. The four of them, with several great sponsors and all on Kawasaki KLR 650s, began their route in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Lest you think that was the easy part, they did it in November. In order to cross the Darien Gap at all, they had to time their arrival with the dry season, otherwise, they’d all be stuck in a mud pit.

That was why they timed their departure from Alaska on Veteran’s Day, November 11. They bolted custom sidecars to their KLRs and rode through heavy snow and freezing temperatures. They endured electrical failures on one of the bikes, and their tires spat out their studs on the road. They screwed new studs in, fixed their electrical problems, and kept going.

The Four Veteran Riders

One of them was hit by a passenger car in a snowstorm in Canada but continued on. They unbolted the sidecars in Oregon, and continued the rest of the way on two wheels instead of three.

They rode from the top of the Earth to the bottom along the Pan-American highway. Their trip concluded in Ushuaia, Argentina. They fought their way through the Darien Gap in the process; the “no-man’s land” between Colombia and Panama and one of the most dangerous jungles in the world.

In his blog, the team leader Wayne Mitchell says, “We set ourselves to the task of being the first motorcycle riders to travel from Deadhorse, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina by land through the Darien Gap in one continuous expedition. In reality, we would realize that that claim, that title, would be pointless. Merely surviving the Darien Gap would be our true accomplishment.”

The group had support vehicles and a team medic, but the five-month trip was still a serious challenge. There are several episodes of their journey on their YouTube channel (the first episode is linked above). If they release a full movie of it I for one would definitely watch it! So I will be sneaking a peek at the website every so often to find out if and when they will.

The team of vets included : Wayne Mitchell, Richard Doering, Mike Eastham, & Simon Edwards. You can find our more about the WTRE team here.

We also found the teaser for you as well for when they started their trip shows what they were going to go through before the long trip started.

This is something I don’t know if I could ever do, might be fun but I am not built for the cold. Hubby tells me I get cold in the summer in 110 degree weather if the wind blows the wrong way. He may be right but still I don’t do snow is why I live in sunny Florida.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

Four Military Veterans Ride

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on the documentary of Four Military Veterans Ride “Where the Road Ends” Across the Continent.

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: Where The Road EndsRev’It BlogYouTube

Wanna Play in the Dirt, Here Are Some Tips for Off Road Riding


If you’ve tried your hand (or tires) at riding off road, you know this already, but going off the beaten paths and tackling the roads less traveled can be a lot of fun. Out in the open, in the middle of nowhere, where you get to make your own rules. AMERiders gives you some tips for your off road riding experience.

We might be stating the obvious here, but part of the thrill and also of the challenge is that the surface you face isn’t the same as the one you deal with on the roads. This means the way you behave and react should change as well. We’ve come up with some tips to get you ready to ride off road.

Come prepared

Off Road Riding bring tools
Bring Tools when you go off road riding

It might sound a little over-enthusiastic, but do not neglect what getting stranded in the middle of the woods or of the desert might represent. Chances are wherever you get in trouble, cellphone reception will be down to -3 bars—that won’t be the time to think of that stuff you “should have brought”. Be prepared. Bring tools, parts, an extra jerrycan, a tire patching kit, etc. Basically, it’s all the same stuff you take when you are going on a trip just a few extras and make sure they are in there and maybe a few other things. It’s best to be over prepared than not enough. It might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of stranded people who could use a little extra fuel you can come across on your journey.

Adjust Your Clutch Lever For Two-Finger Operation


Throttle and clutch control go hand in hand when heading off-road.

Throttle and clutch control go hand in hand when heading off-road. To simplify clutch control especially since you will be standing in the footpegs most of the time, adjust the clutch lever to be operated using only your middle and index fingers. That allows you to operate the clutch without altering your grip on the bars, which makes your responses faster and smoother. It also facilitates a finer level of control than simply employing it as a blunt on/off switch. All that’s especially important at low speeds and while tackling challenging obstacles.

In Sand/Silt/Deep Stuff, Speed Up And Lean Back

On the road, you learn to slow down for safety. On big, heavy bikes, around bigger, heavier cars, that’s just the best approach. Off-road, on a light bike? You’re actually far more stable when you apply some speed. The gyroscopic force of the wheels will keep you upright, momentum will carry you over or through tough terrain like deep sand. Moving your weight backward has the combined effect of adding traction to the rear wheel, where the power is being applied and taking the weight off the front, allowing it to deflect and ride over the stuff that it’s hitting.

To Turn, Push The Bike Down

This will be counterintuitive if you’re coming from street riding. Off-road, lean angle is your friend; to turn you want to push the bike down as far to the side as possible, while keeping your body upright, on top of it. This makes full use of the knobs on dirt tires and allows you to easily control the slides that make off-road riding so much fun.

Stay Off The Front Brake In Turns

A dirt bike’s front brake can be used hard in a straight line, so slow down before the corner, push it down, then power out. Or, use the terrain to your advantage, employing berms or similar to catch your speed and redirect you.

Look Where You Want To Go, Not Where You Don’t

I mean, we learn that for street riding of course, but it becomes even more crucial when off-roading since you tend to want to look down at the terrain in front of you to avoid pointy rocks or pointy cliffs and choose the best lines to tackle an oncoming obstacle. Just like on the road, consciously force yourself to look up and focus on where you want the bike to go, not on the cow/cliff/boulder you don’t want to hit. Your body will follow your head and the bike will follow that. Practice this to the point where it doesn’t take deliberate effort.

Stand Up In the Foot-pegs

If you started riding off-road, this may seem overly simple, but most street riders are surprised to learn that standing up actually lowers their center of gravity; by standing up, most of your weight is now in your feet rather than on the seat. Pinch the tank with your lower legs and knees and keep your legs bent; they make great shock absorbers.

Shift Weight On The Outside Peg

Want to take a right turn? Push down on the outside (left) peg, and shift your weight to the left—this acts as a counterweight to the natural shifting of the gravity center towards the inside of the turning radius. Applying more weight to the outside peg balances things out, improves the grip, and keeps the rider perpendicular to the ground.

In Corners, Sit As Far Forward As Possible

off road

Completely the opposite from tackling jumps, obstacles or deep sand, in corners you’re going to want to get as much of your body weight as possible over the front wheel. More weight equals more traction equals more corner speed. Shifting your weight off the rear also makes it easier to initiate a slide.

Lead The Person Behind You

off road

When riding in a group, it’s your responsibility both to warn the person behind you of obstacles and to make sure they don’t get lost or separated from the group. If everyone follows this rule, then everyone gets warned of obstacles with enough time to react and nobody gets left behind. Even if you’re the second-to-last guy and you have to slow down to let the slowpoke catch up, this rule should mean the guy in front of you also slows and the guy in front of him too; it keeps the whole group together.

Signal Your Group Number

Come up on someone riding the opposite way on a trail? It’s incredibly important to let them know how many bikes are coming up behind you, so they know when it’s safe to get back on the throttle. Hold your left hand up and raise the number of fingers of the number of guys behind you. The final rider in your group should hold up a closed fist to signal “all clear.” This way, there’s no head-on collisions at speed.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

Off Road

Let AMERiders give you tips for Tips for Off Road 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.

It’s That Time of Year That You May Need to Replace Some Riding Gear!

Spring is rolling in and that means that it may be time to replace some riding gear. For us, at AMERiders it also means inventory as well, not just counting old but receiving new and exciting items in for you as well. When Spring rolls around it is time to check not only your bike and get it ready to ride for spring. But to do a check-up of your gear as well.

Start with your Head

When checking your gear out for Spring make sure to go from Head to Toe. Start with that Helmet make sure that if your (lid, brain bucket, or whatever you call your helmet) is older than 5 years, replacing it is something you might want to consider doing.

Most of the helmet manufacturers will tell you that glues, resins and other materials that are used in manufacturing a helmet can break down over time. Things like hair oils, body fluids, and cosmetics, as well as normal “wear and tear” can all be contributors to this breakdown. Plus, every five years there are great advances in materials, designs, production methods and the standards that go into making and manufacturing helmets.

Also, there is the if you drop it you need to replace it bit. You may have heard some of your brothers and sisters say….”I heard that if a helmet hits the ground, it should be replaced.” This old biker’s tale isn’t necessarily true, but it isn’t really false either and it can get expensive. If you dropped your helmet on the garage floor don’t break out your wallet yet. You don’t necessarily need to replace it. Look at the manufacturer’s specs. If it says to replace it, follow instructions.

However, a common practice with today’s helmet technology is that if it’s not visibly cracked after it’s been dropped, then you don’t need to replace it. The problem with that is that you can’t see what is on the inside. If you are worried take it to someone you can trust to have it checked. If your reliable someone says to replace it then there is your first cllue that you may be on the road to Replace Some Riding Gear this spring.

Next your Chest and Hands

A good Jacket is especially important you want it to fit a bit loose in caseyou want it to fit over heavierr clothes and there are many other things that go into choosing a jacket. Check out our Jacket post here for information on that.

Replace Some Riding Gear

The amount of protection a jacket will give you is also relevant to how well it stays put when coming in contact with a road surface. The best solution to this problem is to purchase a jacket with any type of adjust-ability in the waist area, like a belt or zippers, and if possible, “gaiters” on the sleeves — that allow you to tighten them against your arms.

Your hands are just as important as you are, you know this as of you don’t have your hands you can’t ride the bike. Gloves are so much more than “something bikers wear to look the part.” In spring, finding the right motorcycle gloves to start your season is important. The type of glove is important whether Summer or winter gloves will depend on how chilly your Spring actually is in your area of the world.

Replace Some Riding Gear

Your hands are delicate, and fragile even, and anyone that has either broken, burned or had something happen to a hand knows that not being able to use that hand until it heals really sucks. So ensuring that your hands are protected by a pair of leather gloves even fingerless ones (which some guys prefer) is important.

Gloves are very important, you can also think of it this way… Anyone that is military or that has a military background will know if you are injured in the leg, of course, you can’t stand but you can still shoot your weapon. Arms and hands that are injured can possibly impair you from firing said weapon, essentially becoming combat ineffective. read more here.

Legs

Replace Some Riding Gear


The battle lines are drawn. More often than not Americans will don chaps, however, European and Japanese motorcycle fans seem to wear full riding pants. Is that the only difference? If you throw your leg over a Triumph cafe bike, do you have to only wear leather riding pants? Or if you’re on a Road King, is your only option chaps?

Replace Some Riding Gear

No, course it isn’t it’s your bike it is your choice in what you wear on your legs. When Spring hits, it may be a bit chilly so you’ll naturally have gear. But as the weather warms, you might be inclined to shed the layers. There’s no law against not wearing chaps or pants, but keeping safety and of course comfort in mind. Chaps and riding pants are definitely a safety choice when it comes to riding.

Last but certainly not least

Replace Some Riding Gear

Boots! Your feet are what help you hold the bike up. They need to have good soles and great tread and needs to at least be waterproof as well as come up over your ankles in case the bike does go over they help to keep your ankles from being totally crushed.

The Bottom Line

As spring blossoms, your gear will help keep you warm and safe. Be sure to prepare for changing climates as well as finding your personal style. AMERiders has plenty of all of the above available for you here. Questions that you do need to ask yourself before you set out on your ride. Do your gloves need to be replaced? How is the tread on your boots? How old is your helmet and how many times has it been dropped? Think about these things and more before you set out on your ride. This is why we remind you to Replace Some Riding Gear.

OHHHH and ……..

In the next coming weeks we will be adding in our new stock of items for you so keep looking to the blog and front of the site to see what we have added. We’ll let you know what has been added and where and we are not going to spring it all on you at once. But give it to you in little pieces this year.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

Replace Some Riding Gear

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on new items incoming and a reminder of you might need to Replace Some Riding Gear.

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.

How Early Can I Start Riding My Bike This Spring? Is There a Too Early?

It’s that time of year again. All of us who live in climates where winter is a rotten snowy, icy thing, are currently chomping at the bit to get out and ride again (if we haven’t already). But when is your official start of the riding This Spring? AMERiders answers our readers questions.

Some localities have laws about when motorcycles can and cannot be on the road. Other places leave it up to the rider–if you want to ride all winter, more power to you!

I know someone that purchased a Kawasaki KLR 650 in 2010 specifically to use as their “winter beater” bike and rode it year round for three seasons. During the spring of the fourth, he realized his front brake was, at best, decorative. He dismantled everything to find the pistons seized in the calipers due to pitting and oxidation. While he had been careful only to ride when the streets were dry, he didn’t adequately rinse the bike and the dry, powdery road salt got into his brakes and wrecked them.

So when someone asks us, when is the right time to blow out the mothballs and take your bike out for the spring, our answer is, it depends!

How tolerant are you of rust and pitting on the shiny parts of your bike? How dedicated can you be to rinsing the bike off after every salty winter ride with a desalinization rinse? Are you OK with more regularly replacing or rebuilding parts like brake pistons? Do you have good cold-weather gear? Can your bike power heated gear without too much effort?

Black Friday Clearance Event

There are definitely other considerations for those early spring rides. You may get out for a nice afternoon ride, but have you looked at the weather report for the coming hours? The temperature often plummets in the evening and you don’t want to be caught out with inadequate protection. Keep an extra layer, a neck gaiter and maybe a very warm pair of gloves with you just in case.

While you’re on main roads the pavement may be clear, but lower-speed back roads can hang onto one heck of a coating of sand. Take it very easy turning onto your favorite back road in the early spring.

Does your municipality maintain its roads well, or are there crazy potholes to avoid? Remember that potholes hide in puddles, so even if it’s not raining or cold, those puddles can have some nasty rim-damaging surprises.

Also, how is your gear? Did anything need replacing last season that you didn’t get to? How old is your helmet?

motorcycle

Also, how is your gear? Did anything need replacing last season that you didn’t get to? How old is your helmet?

How is your head? Spring is a perfect time to get out and practice any skills that may have gathered winter rust. Get out to an empty parking lot and practice your hard braking and evasion skills–but check for sand on the pavement first!

Friends, what else do you look out for, on your first few rides of a new season?

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

~AMERiders

and

This Spring

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on How Early Can I Start Riding My Bike This Spring.

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.