While some states are taking steps towards making motorcycle helmets mandatory, others, on the contrary, are taking a step back and relaxing their laws for the sake of “freedom”. Besides that what is better than the tallest motorbike in the world, how bout a really tiny motorcycle, AMERiders rounds this out for you with some Camping Essentials we made sure to pull that one out since Sturgis is just around the corner.
Missouri Motorbike Helmet Laws Repealed.
Despite the overwhelming evidence that helmets can make a difference between life and death in crashes, some riders prefer feeling the wind (and the dust, and the bugs, and the gravel) on their face above all.
On July 14, 2020, Missouri became the latest U.S. state to repeal its helmet law and modify the regulations. At the end of the summer, Missourians will be allowed to jump in the saddle of their bikes without a helmet—provided they meet a list of criteria.
After months of debate over just how much freedom people should be allowed, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed House Bill 1963 that, among other things, now allows motorcycle riders to hit the road without a lid. Before rushing out to take advantage of this newly-legalized freedom, don’t get too excited—you have to meet certain requirements to be allowed to ride with your head al fresco.
According to the new law, only riders aged 26 and older with a full riding license and proof of health insurance are permitted to leave their helmets at home. Riders with a learner’s license must still wear their lids.
This sounds like a semi-reasonable way to go about repealing a 52-year-old motorbike helmet law, right? Except for the fact that the bill also states that law enforcement isn’t allowed to pull motorbike riders over only to check whether they meet the legal requirements. Guess there will be an increase in speed traps after the law takes effect.
If you check all the boxes, starting August 28, 2020, you will now get to experience what all the “hype” is about. We don’t encourage it but mommy says you can, so it’s all up to you.
Would you want to ride the smallest motorbike?
Suppose you’re an investor who set your first Guinness World Record by building what was, at the time, the world’s tallest rideable motorcycle. What do you do after that? Swedish inventor Tom Wiberg’s 1999 record-setting Big Toe is a tractor-tired, Jaguar V12-powered, 3,600-pound beast. So, how do you top it?
Easy, Wiberg thought. Why not make a motorcycle for ants? Thus, we’re pretty sure, the Smalltoe was born—or some sequence of events to that effect. Amazingly, in 2003, Wiberg managed to set yet another Guinness world record on his newest ride. By contrast, it weighs just 2.4 pounds, has a seat height of 65 millimeters, (or 2.55 inches), and can go at a top speed of about 1.24 miles per hour. No brakes. No suspension. It’s a motor-powered cycle and that’s it.
Is it a prime example of “just because you can doesn’t mean you should”? That’s a totally subjective statement. What we do know for certain is that Wiberg’s world record for this bike still stands to this day, some 17 years after the fact. He wore special boots with metal lugs that slotted into place on either side of the bike, so that he could ride it for a total of 32.8 feet and set that particular world record. At the time, he said he’d have ridden it further if a container wasn’t in the way.
Sure enough, in the video (seen below), you can see that it looks like he’s going to barrel straight into the corner of that thing. Once again, just because you can go well in a straight line doesn’t mean a bike’s handling is good at turns, amirite? It’s unclear what has since happened to this eensy bike that fits in the palm of your hand. One thing we do know is that it didn’t go on to fetch $88,000 at a Barrett-Jackson auction in 2011, unlike the Big Toe. Guess a V12-engined ridiculous motobeast that requires training wheels to operate had a more serious draw for a certain buyer. Hey, everyone likes what they like, right? Right.
Easy Packing Motorbike Camping Essentials
We thought since Sturgis is 22 days away (at the time this article was written) we would give you some easy packing motorbike camping essentials ideas for your trip.
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
- Weight: 4 pounds
- Size packed: 6” x 17”
- Price: $104.73
Available from ALPS Mountaineering
While camping doesn’t absolutely require that one carries a tent with them—some riders are perfectly happy sleeping under the stars—a little shelter does add a bit of comfort to the whole moto camping experience. That’s when single-person, lightweight tents get a chance to shine.
Tents like the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx are convenient to carry with you on a bike because they’re compact and lightweight. This particular model is freestanding and installation is straightforward with your run-of-the-mill two-pole support system. It also features a weatherproof cover in case the going gets wet and even has a little vestibule to stack up against your gear.
Tracker 5 Short 0 Degree Ultralight Mummy Sleeping Bag
- Weight: 3.75 pounds
- Size packed: 8″ x 14″
- Price: $59.99
Available from TETON Sports
A sleeping bag is possibly the single most important piece of camping gear you’ll travel with. You only have to unroll it anywhere you wish to stay for the night and get a decent night of sleep. To some, gear like tents, mattresses, and chairs are superfluous—all they need is a comfy pouch to marsupial their way through the night.
Mummy sleeping bags in particular are great because if the temperatures dip, you are protected from head to toes and kept warm without having to wear a hat and a scarf to sleep. This TETON Tracker 5 packs easily and keeps you warm in temperatures as low at 5 degrees.
Thermarest ProLite Sleeping Pad
- Weight: 1 pound
- Size packed: 5.8″ x 11″
- Price: $94.95
Available from Thermarest
If the thought of sleeping with rocks and twigs poking in your back is enough to deter you from camping altogether, fear not—sleeping pads are coming to the rescue. Models like this Thermarest ProLite is inflatable which means once you’re ready to pack up and go, it easily rolls into a compact cylinder slightly bigger than a bottle of water.
In addition, this model can be patched up if you somehow manage to poke a hole in it and the one-way valve makes inflation of the mattress even with your mouth, an easy business.
Helinox Folding Chair
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Size packed: 3.5” x 13.5”
- Price: from $99.95
Available from Helinox
Of course, you can find a rock or a log to sit on—it does limit the amount of gear you carry along on your motorbike. However, if you’d rather sit someplace clean and dry, then there are some foldable chairs out there that fold into a compact and easy-to-pack bag, like the Helinox Chair One.
Don’t be fooled by its size—it can support a person weighing as much as 320 pounds.
DragonFly Multi-Fuel Camping Stove
- Weight: 1 pound
- Size packed: 4″ x 4″
- Price: $184.95
Available from MSR Gear
Unless you plan to wrestle a couple of dry branches into submission to turn them into firewood then test your prehistoric instincts by attempting to start a fire from scratch, you can make your life much easier by carrying a little camping stove with you.
One as compact as the DragonFly won’t add much weight and bulk to your motorbike luggage and it offers the perk of running on any type of fuel you can find along the way, including unleaded gas and diesel (yep, the same stuff bikes and cars run on!) Here’s one easy way to get a little fire going and enjoy a warm meal on the road.
SEA TO SUMMIT X-Set 11 Cookset
- Weight: 316 grams
- Size packed: 6″ x 6″
- Price: $59.95
Available from Sea To Summit USA
If you plan to test your cooking skills out in the wild or even just if you want to enjoy a nice cup of coffee before hitting the road, then a collapsible cookset is a great addition to your kit.
A collapsible kettle will boil water but will also allow you to cook meals of all genre, whether you go down the dehydrated pack path or opt for something a little more creative with ingredients you have at hand. This set includes a 1.3L kettle and two mugs which can double as bowls should you need them to. Once you’re done, they neatly collapse and nestled into one another to form a compact, easy-to-carry disc. Now that is what I call a great packable essential for camping on a motorbike.
Hydaway Collapsible Water Bottle
- Weight: 150 grams
- Size packed: 1.5”
- Price: $25.00
Available from Hydaway
One crucial step of self-care while traveling includes staying hydrated, especially if you’re traveling in desertic conditions or in the middle of the summer. Access to water can sometimes be restricted so carrying a water bottle in your luggage definitely has its advantages.
When space is limited, however, bottles can be bulky. That’s where collapsible bottles come in handy. Bottles like this Hydaway model allows you to carry a standard 17 ounces of liquid with you and folds into a compact 1.5-inch disc once it’s empty.
Leatherman Wave+ Multitool
- Weight: 241 grams
- Size packed: 4”
- Price: $89.95
Available from Leatherman
Whether you’re camping or not, keeping a multitool in your bag is never a bad idea. You never know when you’ll need a screwdriver, a blade, or a set of pliers. It becomes even more useful to keep one close when you plan to live in the wild for a couple of days. A multitool like a Leatherman is pretty much like a Swiss Army knife on steroids.
While Leatherman is one of the most popular name on the multitool scene, you can find similar gear from other manufacturers at a more affordable price.
Biolite Rechargeable Headlamp
- Weight: 69 grams
- Size packed: –
- Price: $59.95
Available from BioLite Energy
If you’ve ever hung out outside at night, you understand how useful a headlamp can be. Whether it’s to get up to find the bathroom—or whatever bush will be your natural restroom—or to dig something out of your poorly lit tent, bag, or sidecases, having a readily available lamp you don’t have to hold with your hands is certainly a must.
We opted for this Biolite model because it’s rechargeable so you won’t have to buy new batteries along the way and because it offers several settings—including a red floodlight to avoid blinding everyone if you have to use it in the middle of the night.
Solar Power Bank
- Weight: 564 grams
- Size packed: 3.7” x 6.9”
- Price: $42.99
Available from Amazon
Even in the wild, we tend to rely on technology, and even in the wild, charging can be an issue. Unless you plan to navigate using a map, chances are you’ll be using a GPS or even your smartphone to get an idea of where you are heading next. To be fair, having a phone with you is also a must in case of emergency (provided there’s service).
To keep your device of choice in tip top shape, you will likely need to give it a little power boost at some point. If you’re technology reliant, then a power bank becomes a necessary tool to keep in your bags.
This model in particular can be charged using a standard outlet—in case you stop at a coffee shop somewhere. If you don’t have that “luxury”, then it can also use solar power to charge up and provide you with a power boost. Note that as in any solar charging system, getting a full charge will take several hours but if you truly are in the middle of nowhere, then it’s a good way to get a charge without relying on the grid.
So if your headed out to Sturgis 2020 try out some of those essential camping ideas they may help you this year.
We have brought you a wide array of things today from repealed lid laws and a tiny motorbike to some great camping essentials you could use for Sturgis this year we hope you have enjoyed today’s blog, stay safe out there.
~And as always…
~Live Free Ride Hard~
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