Twas the Night Before Biker Christmas

As we do each year AMERiders gives you the Night before Before Christmas Biker Style, and wishes you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Biker Style)

night

‘Twas the night before Christmas, And not until Spring,
Would an engine be running, not even a Wing.
The bikes are all sleeping, They’re covered and warm
Batteries are tended, nylon covers their form.

My Bros were all nestled snug in their beds,
While visions of new chrome danced in their heads.
And I in my doo-rag, bike jacket, and boots,
Out shoveling snow, and dreaming of scoots.

Then from the horizon, there came such a clatter,
My shovel I dropped, what could be the matter?
Away up the hill, I slogged through the snow,
Looked up at the sky; where’d all that noise go?

A throb from the heavens like straight pipes so hearty,
Gave Summers’ good thoughts, a loud bikers’ party.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a Hog Ultra Classic, Red trailer in rear.

With a little old rider, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than Crotchies his Ultra came on,
And he whistled, and shouted, and sang out this song;

“Now, Harley! Now, Big Dog! On Honda and Beamer!
Now Vulcan! Now Injun! On Vict’ry and Trumpet!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now RIDE away! RIDE away! RIDE away all!”

As small bikes that from the semis do fly,
When they meet with the air blast, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top that Ultra it flew,
With a trailer of goodies, and ole’ St. Nick too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
The rumble and thunder of pipes that gave proof.
I ran to the house, boots thumping around,
And in came St. Nick all bearded and round.

Dressed all in black leather, from do-rag to boot,
His chaps were all tarnished with road grime and soot.
A T-bag of goodies he’d flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His shades — how they twinkled! his do-rag how scary!
With chains intertwined, through skulls that were cherry!
His droll little mouth had done many a row,
So the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
The smoke had a strange smell; it gave him relief!
He had a broad face and a large fat beer belly,
That shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was tattooed and plump, a right jolly old rider,
So I offered a cold Bud, thought what could be righter?
A wink of his eye as he downed that cold beer,
Gave me to know I had nothing to fear.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to my ride,
And fixed it with Chrome, Horsepower, and Pride!
And giving the peace sign with bikers’ good cheer,
Took off for his Ultra rumbling near.

He sprang on the saddle, his gloves on the bars,
A wheelie he threw then off towards the stars!
I heard him exclaim, as my chest swelled with pride…
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good ride!

 

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

Memorial Day

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

and

AMERiders hopes you like our Twas the Night Before Biker Christmas each year.

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.

Is It Merry or Happy Christmas? We Go over the Big Question.

With it being just a few days left till Christmas AMERiders has been asked and has pondered which they prefer to say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or even Happy Christmas. Well, there is a story behind each we will give it to you.

We wish people a ‘Happy Birthday’, and if you’re in the USA in November and December you might say ‘Happy Holidays’, so why do we say ‘Merry Christmas’ more often than ‘Happy Christmas’?!

Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ rather than ‘Happy Christmas’ seems to go back several hundred years. It’s first recorded in 1534 when John Fisher (an English Catholic Bishop in the 1500s) wrote it in a Christmas letter to Thomas Cromwell: “And this our Lord God send you a mery Christmas, and a comfortable, to your heart’s desire.”

There’s also the carol “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen” which dates back to the 16th century in England. It comes from the West Country in England and it was first published in the form we know it today in 1760.

In the English language of the time, the phrase ‘Rest You Merry’ didn’t mean simply to be happy; ‘rest’ meant “to keep, cause to continue to remain” and ‘merry’ could mean “pleasant, bountiful, prosperous”. So you could write the first line as “[May] God keep you and continue to make you successful and prosperous, Gentlemen” but that would be hard to sing!

The comma in the phrase should be AFTER the ‘merry’ not BEFORE it! But it’s often put after the merry which changes the meaning to make ‘merry Gentleman’ and so a ‘Merry Christmas’!

The term ‘Merry Christmas’ might well have been made very popular in 1843 from two different sources.

The first Christmas Card, sent in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole, had this wording on it: “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You”.

christmas
“Firstchristmascard” Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was also published in 1843 and the phrase ‘Merry Christmas’ appears 21 times in the book! Charles Dickens also quoted “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen” in A Christmas Carol, but changed it to: “God bless you, merry gentleman! May nothing you dismay!” moving the comma to before the merry!

However…. there is the war on Christmas about Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays…

So, consider this a primer to help all of us ‘just get along’ during this ‘holiday season.’

chistmasLet’s start with the fact that there are several holidays that fall during December including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice and the newly minted secular HumanLight. They all would like and deserve to be acknowledged and respected.

For example, during the month of Ramadan, I say to my Muslim friends ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ because it shows them that I acknowledge their tradition and wish them well as they observe the holy time in their calendar. This courtesy and respect should be part of what it means to live in a pluralistic society and it is easy for all of us to offer to those to whom we are close.

christmasHowever, if you don’t know the spiritual tradition of a co-worker, friend, or stranger in the elevator but wish to offer them a ‘Season’s greeting’ — a simple ‘Happy Holiday’ is not at all an insult or denigration of Christmas or any other tradition. It is an appropriate and inclusive salutation that recognizes that there are many ways that people are observing the season and you don’t know enough to be specific.

That is the very reason that many stores use Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas because they want to be inclusive and welcome as many dollars, ahem, people, into their stores as possible. So, using Happy Holidays is not anti-Christmas, it is pro-business, and we don’t want to be anti-business do we?

ChristmasSo, let a thousand flowers bloom — let’s have Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs; Kwanzaa lessons, HumanLight celebrations, and Pagan solstice rituals — let’s do it all. It’s so much more fun to cast a wide net where all can celebrate our traditions together rather than strip everything away to protect the delicate sensibilities of some very prickly few.

ChristmasAnd now a special note to my fellow Christians who talk so much about the war on Christmas. I get it, for a long, long time Christianity was dominant in the United States and represented the civic religion of the country. But America is about the people who are here now, and that is a much more diverse group. And that’s good! It is time to stop insisting that everything revolves around us. Instead, let’s join the wider circle of the many traditions that make up our country. Besides, any Christian knows that Christmas is not about displays in shopping malls, or capitols, or schools, it is about a spiritual event that we honor most in our families and our homes.

So, Merry Christmas, Christians; Happy Hanukkah, Jews; Super Solstice, Pagans; Hurray, Human Light Humanists; Joyous Kwanzaa to African Diaspora and to everyone all together — Happy Holidays. See you at the party!

,and now as I promised the last part of our

Biker 12 days of Christmas.

12 days of Christmas

On the tenth day of Christmas, my Old Lady sent to me: A 2-bedroom, 8-car garage house in downtown Sturgis!!!, 9 bachelor parties, $8,000 to pay for her own boob job!!, seven leather jackets, six Kamikazes, five dancing strippers, four icy cold ones, three pairs of goggles, two “Bitch Fell Off” shirts, and the gift of a new bike key.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my Old Lady sent to me: Eleven big old fatties! (not that kind of fatty dude cough, cough, cough, cough) a 2-bedroom, 8-car garage house in downtown Sturgis!!!, 9 bachelor parties, $8,000 to pay for her own boob job!!, seven leather jackets, six Kamikazes, five dancing strippers, four icy cold ones, three pairs of goggles, two “Bitch Fell Off” shirts, and the gift of a new bike key.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my Old Lady sent to me: The greatest gift of all, a promise from the Old Lady, when I ask to go riding, all I’ll hear are two words – “Have Fun!”, eleven big old fatties!, a 2-bedroom, 8-car garage house in downtown Sturgis!!!, 9 bachelor parties, $8,000 to pay for her own boob job!!, seven leather jackets, six Kamikazes, five dancing strippers, four icy cold ones, three pairs of goggles, two “Bitch Fell Off” shirts…

And the Gift of a New Bike Key!!

 

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

christmas

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders give you information on the big question Is It Merry or Happy Christmas?

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.

Ice Riding Really? Guess Those Ice Spikes Need to Be Sharpened.

With the right tires and a frozen lake winter is much more fun. If you like in the snow belt, chances are you put your dirt bike away months ago to wait out the winter, but maybe you don’t have to. Ice Riding Really? Guess Those Ice Spikes Need to Be Really Sharp. Last week it was snow bikes this week, it’s ice riding what’s next? I don’t think I wanna know lol.

AMERiders recently found this video of a couple of guys having a blast riding their summer off-road bikes on a frozen lake, after mounting up spiked tires specifically designed for ice. Redditor “solitudechirs” posted the helmet cam footage of his antics on the frozen surface of Lake Wisconsin and Lake Winnebago.

Take a look.

Those used to driving fast in rear-engined cars will understand the technique because the most important thing on the ice is to stay on the throttle. Quoting from the original poster “It’s a totally different kind of riding, especially with good tires… with properly built, good condition tires, you have more grip than you know what to do with, as long as you’re on the gas. As soon as you let off though, the rear suspension/tire is unloaded and ready to slide around.” If you don’t mind the cold, and love getting sideways, ice riding may be just the winter hobby you are looking for.

We’ve run stories about winterizing your bike if you aren’t going to ride it, and conversely, there are kits that will convert it into a snow bike, but this seems more fun, and less expensive. Why buy a snowmobile, when a couple of tires can make any motorcycle into a four season, all surface fun-mobile? If you consider the cost of a lift ticket, not to mention all the equipment, compared to a weekend skiing a pair of ice tires looks like a total bargain.

ice riding

So bundle up, be sure to wear some armor (ice is a lot harder than dirt), and find yourself a local lake that freezes good and solid, and isn’t overrun with kids playing hockey.

12 days of Biker Christmas continued

On the seventh day of Christmas, my Old Lady sent to me:

Biker Christmas AMERiders Style
Men’s Retro Black Motorcycle Jacket

Seven leather jackets, six Kamikazes, five dancing strippers, four icy cold ones, three pairs of goggles, and with all that consumption I have really, really got to go pee. 

On the eighth day of Christmas, my Old Lady sent to me:

$8,000 to pay for her own boob job!!, seven leather jackets, six Kamikazes, five dancing strippers, four icy cold ones, three pairs of goggles, two “Bitch Fell Off” shirts, and the gift of a new bike key.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my Old Lady sent to me:

A bachelor party even though I’m married, $8,000 to pay for her own boob job!!, seven leather jackets, six Kamikazes, five dancing strippers, four icy cold ones, three pairs of goggles, two “Bitch Fell Off” shirts, and the gift of a new bike key. 

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

Memorial Day

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information Ice 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.

What Goes Better with the Holidays Than Snow and Snow Bikes

The holidays are upon us and in some parts of the country it is snowing, I have friends and family that are getting inches and feet of it. They can keep it I am in the southern part of the US where if it snows we freak out, cause we are not equipped to handle it. Anywhoo, What goes better with the holidays though with snow than Snow Bikes. So AMERiders poses the question…

What do you get when you cross a Street Rod 750, a snow track kit, and the know-how of a couple of ace fabricators? Well, you get a pair of killer Street Rod-based snow bikes like these two beauties right here.  I hear you asking, “But why?” The short answer is, “Why not?” The long answer is that the X-Games are coming up and Harley wants to go play in the snow with the cool kids.

Harley’s took part in the new Snow Hill Climb event at the 2018 X Games out in Aspen, CO. Apparently that wasn’t the only thing The Motor Company had up its sleeve for the event, Scott Beck, and Harley-Davidson’s director of marketing stated that, Along with the customized Sportsters taking part in the hill climb, Harley hired known hooligans and all-around cool guys Aaron and Shaun Guardado from Suicide Machine Company to build the Street Rod Snow Bikes to haul athletes around between events. That’s… that’s pretty rad, Harley.

snow bikes

“Why the X Games?” I’ll be honest, when I think Harleys I think more about lonesome highways and open roads rather than, say, snowboarding and energy drinks. Beck has said that the hill climb event and the snow bikes are all part of Harley’s efforts to attract more people to motorcycling via the power of awesomeness.

”For 115 years H-D riders from all walks of life have expressed their freedom from the seat of America’s favorite motorcycle, so it’s natural for us to continue to blaze trails – this time off the road and in the snow,” Beck said. “We’ve raced the ice and climbed virtually every kind of hill, and the Harley-Davidson Snow Hill Climb is another way for us to grow the sport of motorcycling. We know our riders, and X Games fans and athletes alike share a passion for adrenaline and speed.”

snow bike

That’s great and all, but what you guys really want to know about is the bikes themselves, right? Lucky for you  AMERiders also found out about what Aaron Guardado of Suicide Machine said about the build to find out how these things were built and what makes them tick.

The bikes started off as bone stock XG750 Street Rods, which the brothers received from Harley just before Christmas. That kicked off a frantic search for track conversion kits, a search complicated by the fact that these things are so popular that they’re sold out just about everywhere and Christmas was in a few days. After a flurry of phone calls, they finally tracked down two Camso DTS-129 kits at a dealership in Salt Lake City, Utah, on December 23. The track conversion kits arrived at Suicide Machine’s Long Beach shop on Christmas Eve, delivered by the SLC dealer himself in his wife’s Jeep, but that was just the beginning.

If you don’t know – and AMERiders didn’t know until we got the information – track conversion kits like the Camso units are built specifically for dirt bikes, not street bikes. This meant that both the bike and the track unit itself would have to be modified to make the project work. The guys started by removing the Street Rods’ swingarm, rear tire, and shocks. They then fabricated a pair of struts with quick-release hardware to connect the track unit to the bikes themselves. This was complicated by the fact that the track unit was just a hair narrower than the bike, which threw off the chain alignment. With the help of a machinist friend, the Guardados built a handful of spacers and other adapters to get the drive chain aligned with the bike’s primary drive. Thankfully, since the track has its own integral suspension, they didn’t have to deal with finding a way to spring it as well as mount it.

snow Bikes

Up front, they removed the front wheel and fender to mount the conversion kit’s ski. Using the stock Street Rod axle, forks, and triple trees and some custom machined spacers, they were able to mount the ski with much less drama than the track. It still wasn’t quite right though. See, the skis only come in white, which just wasn’t going to cut it. Since, as we all know, black is the coolest color, the guys had the skis ceracoated black. This improved not only their aesthetics but added an additional layer of protection to keep the skis safe from any debris or obstacles lurking in the snow.

On the performance side, the Guardados chose to give the bikes a light tune and fancy-pants new clutches. Each one got a Screamin’ Eagle pro street tuner, Screamin’ Eagle intake, and Screamin’ Eagle exhaust. The latter needed a bit of fiddling to get it to fit since the stock mounts were removed when the track was installed. To improve power delivery and make these frankenbikes easier to manage, the brothers switched out the stock clutches for Radius X auto-clutches from Rekluse. These things consist of an auto-clutch assembly and a custom clutch pack and allow a rider to start, stop, and shift without ever touching the clutch lever. Aaron said that the Rekluse clutches make the Street Rods respond to throttle input more like something with a CV transmission than a standard gearbox, therefore making them easier to control in the snow.

Snow Bikes

Once all the machining and fiddling and finessing was done, it was time for the Guardados to test their new creations. Sadly, there was no snow because, you know, California, so the bikes were just fired up on the bench and tested in the shop. Everything looked okay, so the bikes were loaded up and shipped out to Aspen for their shakedowns. Once the bikes were in the snow, they really showed off their potential. The Street Rods proved surprisingly well suited for the snow bike conversion, and with the engine tune and Rekluse clutch, they powered through the drifts like they were built for it. At one point during all the screwing around in the snow serious testing, Olympic snowboarder Ben Ferguson showed up with fellow snowboarder Jack Mitrani. After oohing and aahing over the bikes for a bit, they snagged one and started towing each other through the snow while kicking up serious rooster tails. This was, without a doubt, the perfect way to test them.

Aaron said that despite the stresses of building these bikes over the holidays with such a tight deadline, that he was really proud of how they came out. He felt that the project stretched the boundaries of not just the brothers’ skills as builders and fabricators, but the capabilities of the Street Rod as well.

snow bikes

I gotta say, these snow bikes are extremely rad. They’re such a departure from the usual Harley-based customs, and they really show off the versatility of the Street Rod platform. I mean, whoever would have thought to make a Street Rod into a snow bike? If you’re going to be in Aspen this weekend, or are just enjoying the X Games from the comfort of your warm living room, keep an eye out for them zipping around the event grounds.

Here is a great video of the Harley Snow Bikes.

Now as promised our next part of 12 days of Christmas Biker Style.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my Old Lady sent to me: Four icy cold ones in a new bike cooler, Three pairs of goggles, two denim shirts, and the gift of a new bike key.

snow bikesOn the fifth day of Christmas, my Old Lady sent to me: Five dancing strippers, Four icy cold ones in a new bike cooler, Three pairs of goggles, two denim shirts, and the gift of a new bike key.

snow bikesOn the sixth day of Christmas, my Old Lady sent to me: Six colorful Face Masks, Five dancing strippers, Four icy cold ones in a new bike cooler, Three pairs of goggles, two denim shirts, and the gift of a new bike key.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

Memorial Day

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on the 2017 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

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.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

Memorial Day

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on Harley Davidson’s New Snow Bikes.

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.

Stories Behind Christmas Carols and Traditions & 12 Days of Biker X’mas

The holidays are upon us and Christmas is just around the corner 12 days to be exact and today is our tradition of starting the Christmas 12 days of Christmas and (we do a few at a time) and telling you exactly what the 12 days of Christmas actually are and some of the traditions that go with them. This year AMERiders will be giving you the Stories behind Christmas Carols and Traditions, as well as the 12 days of Biker Christmas and our usual closing out with our Night before Christmas Biker Style.

History of Christmas Carols

Carols were first sung in Europe thousands of years ago, but these were not Christmas Carols. They were pagan songs, sung at the Winter Solstice celebrations as people danced round stone circles. The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, usually taking place around 22nd December. The word Carol actually means dance or a song of praise and joy! Carols used to be written and sung during all four seasons, but only the tradition of singing them at Christmas has really survived.

Christmas CarolsEarly Christians took over the pagan solstice celebrations for Christmas and gave people Christian songs to sing instead of pagan ones. In 129, a Roman Bishop said that a song called “Angel’s Hymn” should be sung at a Christmas service in Rome. Another famous early Christmas Hymn was written in 760, by Comas of Jerusalem, for the Greek Orthodox Church. Soon after this many composers all over Europe started to write ‘Christmas carols’. However, not many people liked them as they were all written and sung in Latin, a language that the normal people couldn’t understand. By the time of the Middles Ages (the 1200s), most people had lost interest in celebrating Christmas altogether.

This was changed by St. Francis of Assisi when, in 1223, he started his Nativity Plays in Italy. The people in the plays sang songs or ‘canticles’ that told the story during the plays. The new carols spread to France, Spain, Germany, and other European countries. The earliest carol, like this, was written in 1410. Sadly only a very small fragment of it still exists. Traveling singers or Minstrels started singing these carols and the words were changed for the local people wherever they were traveling. One carol that changed like this is ‘I Saw Three Ships’.

When Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans came to power in England in 1647, the celebration of Christmas and singing carols was stopped. However, the carols survived as people still sang them in secret. Carols remained mainly unsung until Victorian times when two men called William Sandys and Davis Gilbert collected lots of old Christmas music from villages in England.

Christmas Carols
Photo by Pat Barcas

Also, at this time, many orchestras and choirs were being set up in the cities of England and people wanted Christmas songs to sing, so carols once again became popular. Many new carols, such as ‘Good King Wenceslas’, were also written in the Victorian period.

New carols services were created and became popular, as did the custom of singing carols in the streets. Both of these traditions are still popular today! One of the most popular types of Christmas Carols services is Carols by Candlelight services. At this service, the church is only lit by candlelight and it feels very Christmassy! Carols by Candlelight services are held in countries all over the world.

The most famous type of Carol Service might be a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, where carols and Bible readings tell the Christmas Story.

And now we know the story behind Christmas Carols.

The 12 Days of Christmas are now most famous as a song about someone receiving lots of presents from their ‘true love’. However, to get to the song there had to be the days to start with!

The 12 Days of Christmas start on Christmas Day and last until the evening of the 5th January – also known as Twelfth Night. The 12 Days have been celebrated in Europe since before the middle ages and were a time of celebration.

The 12 Days each traditionally celebrate a feast day for a saint and/or have different celebrations. Since some of us don’t celebrate it that way or haven’t known about it like that and only knew the lyrics to the song we usually have just played with it starting on the 12th and going to the 24th so we will do that as we do every year. And as usual, we will do it Biker style.

12 days of Christmas Biker Style (1st section)
2019 HD Street 500

On the first day of Christmas, my Old Lady gave to me: The gift of a new bike key. 

(Isn’t that 2019 Street 500 Harely a beaut? Who wouldn’t want that on Christmas Morning?)

Christmas Carols
Heavy Duty Full Finger Riding Gloves

On the second day of Christmas, my Old Lady sent to me: Two Pairs of Gloves and the gift of a new bike key.

(Who doesn’t always need an extra couple pairs of gloves one for each season. I know I do.)

Christmas Carols
BIKER SUNGLASSES-Amber Lenses

On the third day of Christmas, my Old Lady sent to me: Three pairs of Sunglasses, two pairs of gloves, and the gift of a new bike key.

( I am always, losing, sitting on scratching dropping my glasses or something… need a new pair every month or so… yeah this would be great.)

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

Memorial Day

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders give you information on the Stories Behind Christmas Carols and Traditions & 12 Days of Biker X’mas.

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.

Why is Buying Quality Kids Riding Gear Hard? It Shouldn’t Be!

How do you buy good quality kids riding gear that is not junk or made for motocross? Buying Quality Kids Riding Gear is hard and It Shouldn’t Be! AMERiders gives you a bit a show of how it hard it is. of We talked about ladies gear before, and how 19% of them of all riders are women. Now we need to talk about our children and how to keep our tikes safe when they ride with us and they do.

With the Holidays around the corner buying quality kids riding gear for riding with us or by themselves on a motocross bike is important. How do you find good riding gear for an eight-year-old that’s not motocross stuff or cheap novelty junk with not protective qualities? It’s hard to do. Yeah, I know what the title says but the cheap motocross stuff isn’t what you want when looking for kids riding gear you want the quality stuff if that is how they ride. I have also thrown in pics of our gear throughout the story to show you our gear.

Being limited to motocross gear and novelty items sucks and here’s why

Here is a story from someone about him and his daughter looking for gear (It is a true story but we are leaving out who it is, and were they went as to not have that store feel like they don’t help anyone that has kids. No it is not us and we have changed names as well.) Just for a note, we have kids riding gear that fits in our store. We will tell you about it after the story.

kids riding gear
Measure Twice Fit Once

2018 has been a big year for my eldest daughter. She turned eight, started karate, made her first trip unaccompanied to the corner store with money and a list (and did very well I might add), and even did her first stint home alone for a few minutes while I ran her sister to camp. That’s some serious big-girl stuff right there. It’s also the year that she gets to ride a motorcycle for the first time. Well, in a sidecar anyway, but the point stands, and since she needs some kid-sized gear to ride in that sidecar, we set off to find something safe and relatively stylish (and fun) that would fit a pocket-sized eight-year-old.

Guys, shopping for kids’ gear is infuriating. Our day started with a drive down to a local and relatively new bike shop down in the city that sells quality riding gear and does a little bike customization on the side. That was opened late last year in an effort to serve the woefully underserved motorcycling communities in the city, and so far John’s done a hell of a job. I’ve been talking to him on and off for a while now about kids riding gear but hadn’t really come up with anything I liked for the kid.

kids riding gear
M&M Licensed Red Full Face Motorcycle Helmet

It was all either motocross stuff—which I think is all ugly as day-old sin and not appropriate for street riding—or no-name Chinesium helmets and novelty lids. None of this would do for my angel, so I figured we’d try on the smallest adult gear we could find and see what happened. Since she didn’t have camp today and I had some time off from work, the kid and I headed off to try on some gear.

Once we got there and told John what the story was, we got right to work finding something for the kid. We started off by measuring her head. As we suspected, she’s got a small melon. Smaller than a typical small or XS adult helmet, but we were not deterred. After talking about options for a bit, John let the kid try on some new helmets.

First, we tried a Custom 500 three-quarter for the size. The Custom 500 in small was just too big for her, which was a pleasant surprise. It wobbled a bit too much when she shook her head, but she couldn’t pull it off over her head with the strap cinched up so that was a good start. Then we tried a sparkly silver in small to see how she dealt with full-face lids. It fit pretty much the same as the Custom 500 and she was fine thankfully, no freaking out or claustrophobia or anything. Since the Small helmets mostly fit her, we figured an extra small would do the trick. What helmet to get, though?

kids riding gear
Kids Leather Jacket

After some hemming and hawing, we settled on an adults size extra-small helmet. Not a bad looking helmet, safe enough, and pretty affordable for something she’s going to grow out of in less than a year. After we settled on the helmet, we went for jackets. Much like the helmet situation, there aren’t any good options for kids that aren’t motocross stuff or junk made out of garment leather.

After a bunch of pawing through stock, we found the smallest jacket John had in stock—an extra-small Warrior Princess by First Mfg. The jacket looked fantastic, was made really well, and even had spots for add-on armor, but it was sadly way too big for the kid. Well, shoot. It was worth a try though.

kids riding gear
Kids Leather Chaps With Front Pockets

John and I spent another twenty minutes or so going through catalogs looking for something, anything, that might both fit her and meet our needs. No luck. Any company that has a “youth” line is making motocross stuff, and we don’t want that. Anything else that’s not motocross is hot garbage with no protective qualities whatsoever. In the end, I had to get her the smallest adult helmet we could find and it’s still not a hundred percent. You know what? That sucks.

Why is this so hard? Why isn’t there any good kids gear for street riding?  I mean, we did get a helmet, but we’re still sans jacket and gloves. We have time since the Ural thing is still a few weeks off, but I shouldn’t have to scour the Earth for a good jacket for my kid. Also, yes, I know that there’s all sorts of stuff I could have found online and I could have driven out to hell’s half acre the far suburbs to go to other, bigger bike shops, but I’d rather shop small and local.

kids riding gear
Kids Brown Leather Vest with Side Laces

Where and how I choose to shop is beside the point, especially since John was able to order me what he could. The point is that If we want kids to ride and we want them to be safe, gear companies need to give parents more options. There’s plenty of opportunities here for both branded and non-branded gear for the grade school set. I shouldn’t have to by extra-small adult sizes and force them to fit my kids just to get the kind of protection I like and the styles they like. Gear companies need to get on it, man. There’s an untapped gold mine out there for, say, Batman-themed helmets and legit Hello Kitty jackets. Come on guys, get with the program.”

 

Many of us got the first taste of riding in our systems riding on a bike with one of our parents, or even maybe a small street bike. Regardless it got in our blood and since then we want to ensure that our children start off with the right gear. Which is why at AMERiders, we have top of the line Motorcycle Apparel For Kids that will make your little one look like a true biker they are. We have amazing leather Jackets, Vests, and Chaps for your little one, to help keep them protected while riding.

We expect this category to grow with more items as interest in children’s motorcycle apparel grows.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

Memorial Day

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on Why Buying Quality Kids Riding is Gear Hard and It Shouldn’t Be!.

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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Women Riders Make up More of a Percentage of Riders Than You Think

We women riders are riding more and more are on our own these days. We are taking up motorcycling for ourselves more than ever, rather than being content to sit on the back with our men. AMERiders does want you to remember, however, that if we are to make sure our ladies look good and we do want to increase that number we need to buy them great gifts for the holidays.

According to a Motorcycle Industry Council survey, the number of woman riders has doubled over the past decade, from one in ten in 2009 to one in five today, making the percentage of lady bikers about 19%.

Notably, the vast majority of this increase comes from the younger end of the spectrum—you know, the millennials that are supposedly killing motorcycling. Among Generation X, 22 percent of riders are women, while that number increases to 26 percent in GenY.

Another factor is that Baby Boomers are aging out of motorcycling in greater numbers. Back in the day, motorcycling was considered strictly a man’s activity. As bikers from that era stop riding, women from generations where it was more acceptable are filling in the ranks. Today, a full 66 percent of women riders say their family and friends have a positive attitude toward motorcycles and scooters.

Manufacturers should take note of this demographic change. According to the survey, women motorcycle owners spend, on average, $574 a year on tires, routine repairs, maintenance, replacement parts, and accessories and modifying equipment, compared with $497 by men. Some might say this is because men are more likely to get their hands dirty and work on their own bikes than women. I know women who are far more capable with a wrench than some men, though. Companies should be chomping at the bit to get into this rapidly growing market, and indeed some are by offering riding gear designed specifically for female body types.

women ridersAlong those lines, booth babes and other pretty models who know nothing about bikes are an outdated marketing technique, particularly among this demographic. Contrast this with Harley-Davidson’s highly female-positive demonstration of picking up a dropped bike at IMS, where a woman taught everyone, men and women alike, the proper technique for getting your bike off the ground and back on two wheels. Harley gets it. This is the direction motorcycle companies need to be going to attract, or at least not alienate, a rapidly growing group of potential customers.

AMERiders Anti Gift Guide for Your Motorcycle Friends or Family

Last year and this year, we here at AMERiders have provided you with some great suggestions for gifts to buy the motorcyclist in your life. Today, however – in a selfish move for those of us that do ride – we’ve put together a list of what we motorcyclists call an anti gift guide and don’t want. Here are the gifts we and some of our friends and family that ride are tired of getting from relatives, co-workers, and in-laws. If by some odd chance you and those riders you know actually do want some of this stuff, we’ll provide links as well.

Ugly Sweaters

anti gift guide
Jolly to the Bone Ugly Christmas Sweater at Jet 

There seems to be a whole industry dedicated to making motorcycle themed items that have nothing to do with actually riding. The Christmas sweater is just one example, but at least that might keep you warm when worn under actual motorcycle gear. And Motorcycle themed Christmas sweaters made it to our Anti Gift Guide.

Gift Baskets

anti gift guide
He’s A Motorcycle Man Gift Basket from Hayneedle

Sure, we all love snacking on cheese and crackers, summer sausage, and flavored popcorn, and you get a coffee mug and a ceramic motorcycle-shaped picture frame, too.

But at $90, I think most riders would rather you just load up a cart at the nearest grocery store and forego the useless basket and theme. (which is another reason this made our anti gift guide) Even if this contains the fanciest of treats, it easily has a 100-percent markup because it is in a basket. Also, it contains Harley-Davidson cheese, made with only a hint of gear oil.

Cuckoo Clock

anti gift guide
Freedom Choppers Motorcycle Garage Cuckoo Clock at Bradford Exchange

Can you even fathom who would want this, and where they would hang it? It’s a bit too twee and fancy to hang in your garage, but do you really want a clock that makes chopper revving sounds every hour in your living room? The only place for is then is a room that is “biker themed,” or possibly the assisted-living room of someone too old to ride who needs to be reminded what bikes sound like every hour. And one big reason that we added it to our anti gift guide.

Perhaps the worst thing about this is that it is not an officially licensed Harley-Davidson product. H-D knockoff items may be the worst thing you can give a person. Bradford Exchange has more than 100 bad ideas for the bikers on your list (and a few cool things, like a 1:6 scale 1920 Indian Scout).

Biker Couple Salt and Pepper Shakers

anti gift guide
Biker Couple Salt and Pepper Shaker at Christmas Tree Hill

Sure we all need salt and pepper on our food, and though it makes economic sense stealing packets from the local fast food place does get old. These seem like they belong on the kitchen table of whoever has the cuckoo clock above. I don’t know that person.

Ugly Sweater Themed T-Shirts

I sort of understand the absurd, ironic enjoyment of ugly Christmas sweaters (like the one at the top), but why anyone would want a Christmas-sweater-themed T-shirt is beyond me.

anti gift guide
Biker T-shirts by TeeMazing and Spreadshirt

It isn’t really a sweater, it is just a strange mashup of 8-bit graphics, Christmas colors, and motorcycle related imagery. Some of them even say “braaap!” yet have pictures of sports bikes (not shown), meaning they could only have been designed by Hollywood sound effects guys. Yeah met our Anti gift guide easily.

Harley-Davidson Cutting Board

anti gift guide
Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Cutting Board at Amazon

An H-D branded cutting board, made of some sort of flexible material, that can be packed into a saddlebag for cooking on the road wouldn’t be a bad idea. This is not that. This is a tempered glass cutting board for your kitchen with “Harley-Davidson Motorcycles” printed on it – twice, in different fonts – and riveted metal handles on the side to collect bacteria and a spot in our our anti gift guide.

Motorcycle Gear

Last in our reason that we added it to our anti gift guide list is Gear. Motorcycle riders are very particular about their gear. Some only like certain brands, some only like a certain style (and there are lots of styles, three of them pictured above). That said, people who ride certainly do want and need gear though, so a gift card to a big multi-line local dealer or a chain, or one of the many online retailers is a great idea. Unless you really know the person well, say it is your husband or your wife or your surprising them with a bike and want to add a jacket with it. I would stay away from this and go for the gift card.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

anti gift guide

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders give you our Anti Gift Guide for Your Motorcycle Friends or Family.

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 Heated Bike Gear: ‘Cause We’re Not All Built for the Cold

When it’s wet and cold and windy, the last thing you want to worry about is being cold, but some of us wanna keep on keepin’ on, even when the weather gets a wee frightful. However, nothing ruins a good road trip much more than chattering teeth and frozen fingers so AMERiders wants to review our guide to heated bike gear, ’cause we all know we’re are not built for the cold.

Choosing what heated bike gear you need

Before we get to official gear, remember that the best way to start the warming trend is to layer up. Thin technical base layers can be purchased at outdoor outfitters, and that includes technical socks. If you are dedicated to enjoying the ride, even when it gets icy, start by investing in what’s closest to your skin. Wool, cashmere, and silk are dependable natural fibers that stay warm even when they’re wet. Then there are synthetic solutions that wick moisture away. Cotton might feel nice at first, but it neither wicks nor stays toasty when temperatures drop.

Heated bike GearAlso, if you didn’t realize just how cold it was but are determined to keep going, you should be able to pop into just about any store along your way and buy disposable warmers. They are now designed to fit not just inside pocket of all kinds but can be comfortably installed in boots, gloves, backs (that works nicely). You could probably stick them inside your helmet, although warning, that can be surprisingly hot.

 

If you thought of it ahead of time, there are also rechargeable pocket warmers. They aren’t as versatile but they last a lot longer and have temperature control.

BODY

Heated bike GearKeeping your core warm will go a long way to circulating heat out to your extremities, so let’s start here for our heated bike Gear.

A heated vest will add less bulk but, well, your arms are on their own. If you tend to overheat, this layered over a thermal shirt and covered over with a windbreaker, might be sufficient. If not, get the fully heated jacket. Most importantly, you’ll want to make sure that the jacket comes up nice and high so that the wind doesn’t sneak in past your neck.

HANDS

Heated bike GearThe main concern when it comes to your hands is that you need to be able to feel the controls and not lose too much in the way of protection. It’s the reason that heated grips might be the best choice for you, although opinions are equal on both sides. Many riders mention that heated gloves do more to keep the entire hand warm than heated grips, but your mileage may vary.

Honorable mention goes to bark busters for your hands and, for the rest of you, windscreens and full fairings. Anything that protects you from the bone-chilling wind is good, but that’s another article, so let’s get back to the electric clothes.

LEGS

Heated bike GearYour legs tend to stay quite still when you ride and they’re farther away from your core. Keeping them (and your feet) warm takes pressure off your heart to circulate heated blood around. Heated pants will definitely do the trick, but a couple layers and windbreakers will go a long way, especially if you’ve got heated soles and a radiating middle-section.

FEET

Heated bike GearYou’ve got options: heated socks, heated soles, and heated boots. Like all the other gear, it’s good to find out if its water “proof” or resistant—especially the socks. It might seem like a great idea to get cheaper heated bike Gear of any kind until you find out that it might electrocute you in a heavy downpour, or you can’t ever wash it. Which leads us into the last part of this discussion. 

POWER SOURCE

There are advantages and disadvantages to each system. If you’re commuting shorter distances, battery-powered gear might be a nice idea, since you might be wearing the gear off your bike as well, and might enjoy the added heat source.   If you’re going the distance, gear that’s hooked up to your bike might make more sense.

Heated bike GearBattery-operated power sources need to be recharged, have a shorter “life”, and don’t get as warm. Additionally, the elements that are wound into your gear are necessarily smaller. Also, remember that the battery pack will be taking up a pocket or adding bulk somewhere.

When you hook your clothes into your bike’s charging system they’ll deliver unlimited heating, offer larger heating elements, and the potential to hook up various elements to the same charging unit. However, they do require advance set-up and, once you’re off the bike, you’ll need to find another source of warmth. That said, there ARE dual-powered options

BUMPING IT UP A NOTCH

Variable controllers allow the rider to maintain your various parts at different levels of warmth, and some versions use come with Bluetooth control through your phone.

CONCLUSION

Though it takes extra effort and additional investment to ride in the colder months, the advantages are many. Fewer tourists, less traffic, no bugs, spectacular sunsets, and kaleidoscopes of colorful leaves are just a sampling of reasons why it is worth gearing up and getting out, even when the going gets tricky.

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~

Heated bike Gear

 

 

 

 

~AMERiders

and

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with A Guide to Heated Bike 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.