Monday, March 31, 2008

"Borrow a Bike" - New Economic Stimulus Plan

The Department of Transportation released plans on Monday to create a new economic stimulus plan tailored to those who ride motorcycles.

Transportation Secretary, Mary Peters, an avid motorcyclist herself, has been studying the increased costs to the total economy of having motorcyclists continuing to spend money to buy expensive motorcycles and maintain them only to let them sit in garages all over America without being used much.

"The average yearly mileage on a motorcycle is 2000 miles," said Peters. "We have in mind a new economic stimulus plan geared toward helping all our motorcycle friends." read more

2008 Donnie Smith Bike show

The show was great! I need some time to put together a post, and some pictures on Flickr. Will hopefully have ready in a day or so. So please take the time to read the post about "Charity" below.

Donnie Smith to be continued...later,

Mr. Motorcycle

I once knew this girl named Charity.

Just kidding.

I got your attention though.

It seems as if charity is the theme of a lot of bloging, including some of mine.

3-27-08, Thursday night’s episode of American Chopper hosted Mikey and U Of Michigan, doing the lead for a theme bike for an auction for a charity event. This is one of many bikes done this way for O.C.C.
O.C.C., Orange County Choppers is always involved in charity, sometimes indirectly, but still doing charity. It seems every other theme bike they build gets auctioned off for a good cause charity event of some kind.

I’ve seen on blogs lately some of these posts…..

Bikes, Art And Rock And Roll For A Good Cause on


Largest Women’s Only Ride. on

Builders Breakfast Delivers in Daytona on
Inaugural Biker Fusion Event at the Seminole Hard Rock Roadhouse

on my own site, I recently wrote about donating time and or sponshorship monies for the Adopt a Highway Litter Removal Service of America, Inc program.


Non blog related charity events held annually locally where I’m from…

Local Flood Run - Wisconsin / Minnesota for Gillette Children’s Hospital


Lightning Run for Diabetes

Are these all just excuses to ride, gather, party, advertise, gain publicity, get tax right off’s, Etc.???
Maybe they are, maybe they aren't.
Whatever the reason behind the charity event, it still just feels good to be a part of something bigger, to give something back.
What ever the reason behind the reason, Keep it going.

Mr. Motorcycle

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What the Heck is a Balaclava?

I had a Motorcycle Glossary / Dictionary of motorcycle terms on the old site. Those motorcycle terms are also on the new site and I've just revised all 225 of them to cross-reference them and link them to additional explanatory information in some of my articles.

I've even set them up so you can also go from term to term in the dictionary without going back to the index.

The Motorcycle Dictionary has been very popular over the last half-dozen years. I've even had some other motorcycle sites use my definitions on their sites without permission. I guess that means that others find them so useful that they just take them for their own. (I have had to point out these infractions to several webmasters.)

That's also been a problem I've had with some of my more important articles such as You CAN Learn to Ride a Motorcycle and 10 Ways to Be Safe on a Motorcycle. Both those articles started out getting low usage but as time goes on, they are attracting huge numbers of readers.

Well, the Motorcycle Views Motorcycle Dictionary should be on your reading list too. If you have any motorcycle terms that you'd like to see added, just email me (include your own definition).

By the way, a Balaclava is is a thin pull-over head and neck cover with eye slits for winter usage under a motorcycle helmet. Pronunciation: Bal-A-Clav'-A • (noun). Now you only have 224 more motorcycle terms to go.

Not so bright biker stunt

Saturday - Sunday filler (Video of a good stunt gone bad)

By the way (not related to video above) I'm hooking up with a couple of riding buddies this weekend for the Donnie Smith Bike show. I can't enter mine this year as it's still in pieces. I should have her ready to ride soon though.

I hope to have some good Pics from the show. I'll share them hopefully Monday.

Till then, Have a great weekend!

Mr. Motorcycle

Friday, March 28, 2008

Big Bear Choppers Recalls Choppers for Frame Cracks

Big Bear Choppers has issued a recall of certain 2004-2005 Devil's Advocate and Venom Choppers and 2005 Sled Choppers.

Some motorcycles may have inadequate weld penetration between the neck, backbone, and down tubes of the frame. High loads created when riding on rough road surfaces, structural modification made to the frame by owners, and/or failure to maintain the specified torque setting of the top motor mount may cause the affected welds to crack.

351 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.


As I was driving around the other day, I noticed the springtime temperatures we are having here in Minnesota are getting the roadside cleanup crews going. They are picking up litter all over. Many crews are directly affiliated with the nationwide Adopt a Highway Program.

I always realize how dirty our roadsides get when the snow melts off and all the winter’s accumulation of litter accrues. I am greatly thankful to those who join forces to clean up this mess each spring, and follow it through until the snow falls again each year. When I was a kid growing up, they did not have this program, and cities relied almost solely on tax dollars and volunteers like the Boy Scouts, and other organizations to help out.

Needless to say the clean up did not always happen, and I clearly remember driving by trash-ridden streets and highways all the time. The Adopt a Highway Program has clearly made a difference in my mind. Since I ride a motorcycle, & the road & roadsides are my view of the world, it sure is nice when it’s clean. Isn’t this after all one of the reasons we ride is for the spectacular views we get on the open road?

I just wanted to take the time to thank all of those sponsors, and volunteers out there helping to keep America’s roadsides clean and beautiful.

The following website shows how corporate sponsorship can get your company name on road signs for advertisement.

If you dig a little deeper on the Internet, searching “Adopt a Highway”, you’ll find tons of other sites with information on your local adopt a highway program. Many have free programs that work off the basis of volunteers.

A couple of examples are the two quotes from below came that came from the Texas program. En Español

Make a difference: Adopt-a-Highway today!“Personal involvement has proven to be the best way to keep our roads clean. The Adopt-a-Highway program costs nothing for individual groups like businesses and civic organizations to get involved, and in return for their efforts, they gain public recognition.”—Billy Black, Co-Founder, Adopt-a-Highway

Looking for a way to improve your surroundings?The Adopt-a-Highway program gives groups the opportunity to help their communities by collecting litter and beautifying roadsides. This international program originated in Texas, where it remains one of the Lone Star State's most successful public-private initiatives.

En Español

Thanks again!
Mr. Motorcycle

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New Yamaha Mio Limited Edition

Yamaha Mio Limited Edition ,new color and new graphic.

2008 Donnie Smith Bike Show Sat. 3-29 & Sun. 3-30

For those of you who are local to Minnesota, don't forget to check out the bike show!
Biggest show in the Midwest.
Show times Sat 9AM - 7PM & Sun10AM - 5PM
click link for details.

I'll be there and take pics to post!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Pantera motorcycle

I stumbled across these guys. Their bikes sure caught my eyes. It appears as though they have taken the idea of a long and low chopper, & crossed it with a croth rocket to make a highbrid street - drag bike. I love innovation. Looks pretty cool.

Check out their website @

I know their site lists 2006 models. Not sure if they are not in production still, but their web site does say "© Pantera Custom Motorcycle Design 2008".

2006 Pantera Dragster Base Model $44,500.00
2006 Pantera Dragster SP-1 (Package includes 280MEZ rear and 3D Contour Wheels) SP-1 $48,750.00

Prices are in the range of the Big bucks bikes that Beach Cruiser was talking about. See also Beach Cruisers blog post on big buck Bikes.

Mr. Motorcycle

Polaris Recalls 2008 Victory Vision for Ignition Switch Defect

Polaris/Victory has issued a recall of certain 2008 Vision motorcycles.

The electrical contact plate on the ignition switch base may not be properly secured to the ignition switch body, which can cause an unexpected loss of electrical power to the vehicle. A loss of electrical power could cause the vehicle to stall, increasing the risk of a loss of control and a vehicle crash.

1585 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

28 March – 6 Apil 2008 - Bangkok International Motor Show

Presently, mankind has faced with many environmental problems which we are always heard about it, "Global Warming Crisis". The major cause was built by human's need and consumption which included to vehicle and fuel energy. Hence, we should start protecting our earth and developing balance of living among human, vehicle and nature. Think! environment comes first for the better future.

Schedule of Activities
The 29 th Bangkok International Motor Show
  • Mar.29, 2008 - Kawasaki Special Show
  • Mar. 30 - April 03, 2008 - Special show from Honda
  • Mar. 30, 2008 - Scooter Show
  • April 04-05, 2008 - Special show from Yamaha
  • April 05, 2008 - Classical Bike Show ( Euro )
  • April 06, 2008 - Special show from Suzuki

Monday, March 24, 2008

Wicked video - off road moto-cross and monster trucks.

A friend shared this with me, and since I thought it was so cool, I had to share it with you. Turn up the volume. Done to AC/DC For Those About To Rock. These guys are insane. I salute them!

Sneak preview of my new paint

On my right side banner area, I did some Flickr flash photos of my new paint job. One set is showing the tins still in taped out phase, and one unmasked. There are two pics in the unmasked set where it show the tins actually clear coated. These pics don't do justice as they are close ups of ghost. They show the ghost flames change from charcoal on black to black ghost flames on charcoal racing stripe. Hope you like. I'm getting really stoked to put them back on my bike and ride. Just gotta wait for that weather now.

Mr. Motorcycle

rock and roll

I designed, fabricated, and custom painted a "one off" guitar body for my son. My son, who plays guitar did scalloped frets, and finished the neck of the guitar. The paint is pearl white, metallic grey, and black. This was a long term project that I'm glad to see come to completion. I'm pretty happy with the results.
Mr. Motorcycle

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Polar Bears, Bunnies, and Bikes Meet at the Chatterbox

The Polar Bear Grand Tour is winding down. Only three more events this season.

Last Sunday, the ride was to the Chatterbox, a circular restaurant at the intersection of Routes 206 and 15 in Augusta, New Jersey. Easter Sunday would be next weekend so no Polar Bear run would be made next week. That didn't keep the Easter Bunny away from the Chatterbox.

One never knows what to expect at an event like this. The weather had turned a bit cold and rainy and kept the attendance down. Those who did come found good food, an educational display in the center of the restaurant, and a bunny rabbit walking around and handing out candy. The display was the actual car used by the Pixar animators in making the movie, Cars. It was for the character "The King" (Richard Petty). I caught all of this in pictures and videos.

Take a look and listen to pictures and videos from the Chatterbox.

Friday, March 21, 2008

What kind of effect will skyrocketing prices of fuel costs have on the motorcycle industry this year?

I wonder it will have a positive, or negative effect.

Will the prices cause more sales, and more riders, looking for better fuel economy than what a cage on wheels provides?
Or will it cause a plummet in motorcycle sales, parts, and services as the price of fuel is driving the cost of everything else up. Since everything costs more, will the motorcycle industry be forced to charge more as a direct result of the cost of doing business? Will this in turn have a domino effect on potential bike buyers who now have less as a direct result of everything else costing more? Will it make it a double- edged sword for those looking to purchase a motorcycle?
How will the rising cost of business in general affect motorcycle sales, parts sales, motorcycle clothing sales, merchandise sales, repair shops, custom paint, etc.?

I feel fortunate because I can still afford to continue to ride, and those who are hardcore would find a way to continue to ride no matter what. It is our passion in life. It is after all, a way of life. For many, and I’m guessing most, we feel life without a ride, is not life at all. Is this not why the saying goes ride to live, live to ride?

Mr. Motorcycle

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Motorcycle History - Things Your Dad Never Told You

History can be a very boring subject. I think history is best learned when one is an adult. Only then does it make much sense. Memorizing dates and events was the way I remember history classes for me. When I began writing about motorcycles, I was immediately drawn to the history of motorcycles. Wow, history was becoming interesting.

I have a new Motorcycle History subject on my site. This was started on the old site when I attempted to make motorcycle history more interesting by creating a quiz for each history article I wrote. These were fun quizzes with only 10 questions and multiple choice answers. The first such quiz was Harley-Davidson and a Quiz Too. I added four more such quizzes over the years.

I also wrote some motorcycle history articles that were related to motorcycle books that I had read or motorcycle books that I had reviewed for the site. An example of one such history article was Indian Motorcycles. An example of a book review was The Harley-Davidson and Indian Wars - A Book Review.

Well, maybe history will never be on the top of my "must read" list but I had a lot of fun creating these motorcycle history articles, book reviews, and quizzes. Take a look at the Motorcycle History subject and judge for yourself.

By the way, my Dad was never a motorcycle guy. He was into cars. However, the things he never told me could fill a book.

"The Scotchbrite look by MeanStreet" is what started this post today.

By the way, for any readers who don't already know, a "Scotch-Brite® " is a course pad designed for scuffing parts prior to painting them for good adhesion, used in place of sand paper, usually for hard to reach areas, etc., or also for scrubbing dishes, etc. Being someone who does custom paint, I use Scotch-Brite® scuff pads often. Anyway, to give proper credit: The name "Scotch-brite® " is pattented & from the creators at 3M. They are made with different purposes in mind, I've probably only touched on a few, The scuff pads however, come in varying degrees of abrasiveness. I also know that Scotch-Brite® has a line of many other products.

I was doing my blog reading this morning, and went to I read his post from March 19th" The Scotchbrite Look By MeanStreet. " which is about a scratched up look on aluminum parts. The look is similar to brushed nickel. You should see his site if you want to see a picture of it, and want to read more about Mean Street. MeanStreet is who is producing some of the parts now with this type of "Scotch-Brite®" finish.

I commented on the post on his site, and I cut and pasted it here as follows:

"I don’t believe the idea is very original. Look at how many “brushed nickel, bronze, copper” finishes you see just going to Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, etc., in the faucet areas, and bathroom hardware. The finish is very similar. However, I think it is a great idea to bring it mainstream into the motorcycle world. What a better way to open up one more way to help us make our bikes a little different than everyone elses. I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan of never having anyone say to me “Hey I know a guy with a bike just like yours!”

Thanks for sharing this with us Cyril.

Mr. Motorcycle. "

Let me know what you think about the finish.
Several others commented about it too on his site. I'm kinda a fan of it myself.

Why do they call them Scotch-Brite®, when they make things dull?
Maybe 3M should change the name to Scotch-Dull.

Mr. Motorcycle

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Don’t be afraid to step out of the box.

When I decided I didn’t want stock handlebars anymore, I started shopping around for something different. I already had the Harley (somewhat drag bars), and I was tired of my shoulders, and neck being stiff from riding in the semi crotch rocket riding position. I felt that everyone else either changes stock handlebars out to drag bars, or ape hangers. O.K. maybe “everyone else” is a bit exaggerated, but I’ve seen enough. No offense to anyone who has either kind and loves them. Most of my riding buddies have one or the other. To each their own. However, anyone who knows me and has seen anything I’ve ever owned knows I’m not a huge fan of anything stock, or anything called “custom” that’s mass produced and then mass used. It all starts to look the same to me. I wanted something truly different.

I went to Stormy Custom Bike Works for a peek at what he might have in stock for me. He said He was building a Chopper for a guy, and he had some bars he was going to use on it but the guy decided he didn’t want them on his bike because he thought the rake of the bars didn’t match nicely with the extreme rake of the forks on the chopper. So here they were, waiting for my dime. They were the weirdest looking things. I’d never seen anything like them before. And when I saw them hanging on his wall at first, I didn't even know tell they were bars, let alone how the hell they go on a bike. He said they might look cool, so we held them up to my bike. Lo and behold they did look really cool. So there you have it, many dollars, and many hours later, they are on my bike. I get looks everywhere I go with the new bars. Hopefully they're good ones. Try something different!

Giving credit where credit is due:

The bars are Chica “Flying V” handle bars from Chica Custom Cycles.

I’ve linked Chica Custom Cycles on my page permanently, and here also.

Scott Storms, A.K.A. Stormy, did great work on my bars. This is, by the way only the beginning of the mechanical work, and other custom work done at Stormy Custom Bike Works on my bike, and many others. He works on all makes.
Call the shop at (763) 785-1600 or stop by and Check em out for yourself at 10501 Central Ave NE, Blaine, MN 55434.
There's a great similar article that you must read about "one offs" and "innovation" and "copy cats" on Custom Motorcycle Talk by BeachCruiser Custom motorcycles - Your one stop resource! The article I refer to is called The Greatest Compliment Of All
Mr. Motorcycle

I woke up this morning and said WTF?

I woke up to snow, and lots of it. Can't it be spring already?

Very pretty, But.........

Mother nature is putting a damper on my spring fever. I thought this snow was going to be south of us. I want to ride so bad I can taste it. I know there are lots of people who ride snowmobiles in the winter to replace the obsession of riding motorcycles when the weather permits, and I've done both. I can say I don't think sledding compares to riding a bike. I don't even own one, cause it holds that much of a lack of interest for me.

I don't think God cares about my ridin weather either, but it can't hurt to pray for warmer weather.

Hopefully soon it'll be ridin time. .....(sighs)

Mr. Motorcycle

Monday, March 17, 2008

What do you call a brand new motorcycle? .........A starter kit!

The above 3 cartoon pictures are from: The ORIGINAL Illustrated Catalog Of ACME Products

If you are planning on buying a bike and want something custom, and you are planning on making it that way yourself, why buy a new bike?
It doesn’t make much sense to me to spend the money on brand new stock parts to turn around and discard them for brand new custom parts. I started my favorite bike project on a low budget.

I had to sell my pick up truck to drive a used "paid for" Saturn for a while to help me afford the economy Harley to begin with. I drove My used stock Harley for about a year before I could start the customization process. Even with a used bike, Cursing Mama could not understand why I needed to take off perfectly good stock parts and exchange them for new custom parts. If you understand biking, no explanation needed. I believe after seeing what I'v created, from what I started with, She sees the picture. If you read my post from March 11th, you'll see I'm in the process of doing my bike yet "again". I've included a sneak preview picture of the gas tank in process. It is taped out here. There is more to it than it looks like in this photo. The real magic will happen when it is cleared. More will pop out that you cannot see in the photo. When it is all done, and bike is put back together, I'll share more.
Mr. Motorcycle.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Kawasaki Recalls 2008 EX250J8F and EX250J8FL for Brake Hose Defect

Kawasaki has issued a recall of certain 2008 EX250J8F and EX250J8FL motorcycles.

The front brake hose may be damaged over a long period of use. The brake hose tends to deflect forward during suspension travel. This allows the brake hose to contact the edge of the front fork outer tube. Over time, this contact could damage the brake hose causing the brake fluid to leak and resulting in a lack of front brake performance. This can create the risk of a crash.

1526 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Men on Motorcycles - Picture Gallery

We present here a picture gallery of male motorcycle riders and their motorcycles as submitted by male visitors to the Motorcycle Views site. The gallery is called Men on Motorcycles.

The vast majority of motorcycle riders are men. Of course, over the years many women have also ridden motorcycles. In recent years, with the availability of training from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), more women than ever have learned to ride and now constitute more than 10 percent of all motorcycle owners. See our gallery, Women on Motorcycles, for pictures of women and their motorcycles.

We need your help to grow this new gallery, Men on Motorcycles, so please submit a picture of you and your motorcycle along with a description of your bike.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Get Yer tickets here!

I love stories about other people getting tickets, as I've surely had my fair share.

This one I know is true for certain, 'Cause it's about a good friend of mine. He was coming over a hill crossin state lines, and just as he started downhill, he saw Smokey at the bottom with radar in hand. He knew he was busted as the lights came on right away. He was doin about 100 MPH. He immediately hit the brakes when he saw the cop and pulled over. When the cop arrived at his bike he said that he asked if he knew how fast he was goin. He stated "No". "I clocked you doing over 87 MPH IN A 55 MPH zone." He said "I was slowing down!". This believe it or not got him a warning. I should be so lucky. He asked "How fast is that thing anyway?". "Almost fast enough to outrun a Motorola Radio.".

Another of my Faves. is the Biker who was speeding through South Dakota on his way back from Sturgis doin about 90, and a Smokey radars him and pulls him over. Says, "Son, Ive been waitin here for Ya all day!" Biker replies, "I got here quick as I could." True of not? Don't care. Still love it.

See ya

Mr. Motorcycle.

Triumph Recalls Speed Triple for Rear Suspension Problem

Triumph has issued a recall of certain 2008 Speed Triple motorcycles.

The rear suspension unit (RSU) damping performance is controlled by a mixture of gas and oil contained within the unit. This mixture is kept inside the unit by control oil/gas seals. If the seals become damaged, the mixture will escape. Once the mixture has escaped the RSU, the rear suspension will lose its damping ability. The rear suspension will be controlled only by the action of the coil spring also attached to the RSU.

265 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Kawasaki Recalls 2006-2008 Vulcan 900 Models for Fuel Leak Defect

Kawasaki has issued a recall of certain 2006-2008 Vulcan 900 Classic, Custom, and Classic LT motorcycles.

Model year 2006 VN900B6F, VN900B6FL, VN900D6F, VN900D6FL, model year 2007 VN900B7F, VN900B7FL, VN900C7F, VN900C7FL, VN900D7F, VN900D7FL, and model year 2008 VN900B8F, VN900B8FL, VN900C8F, VN900D8F and VN900D8FL motorcycles are in the recall.

The fuel hose may not be properly connected to the fuel injector delivery pipe. Continued use of the motorcycle can result in the fuel hose coming off, increasing the possibility of a fuel leak which could result in a fire or explosion.

31,789 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

BMW Recalls 2007 G650X Challenge, Country, and Moto Motorcycles for Fuel Leak

BMW has issued a recall of certain 2007 G650X Challenge, Country, and Moto motorcycles.

The fuel lines may have been damaged during production, and could develop a leak. The leak could occur either through the fabric inlay at the end of the line, or, through a crack in the actual line. Fuel leakage, in the presence of an ignition source, could result in a fire.

1391 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Doing the Can Can (no not the dance)

I must admit, Cursing Mama and I are a bit "green". We're not complete tree huggers or anything like that, but we are very conscientious about protecting the planet so its as nice for our children, and grand children as it is for us today today. We try to use less plastics, try to recycle as much as possible, waste as little water as possible, etc. You know the usual, that I think more and more people are doing to these days. I think we recycle 2/3Rd's more than we throw away.

Enough about us. I bring this up as I believe strongly in recycling, etc... But is there not a point when you've gone way too far?

I see this guy 5 days a week as I drop off Princess to St. School each morning during the week. He is, I would guess in his late 60's. He wears a goofy ass bike helmet, and rides his bike to the school every morning, rain or shine, snow or sleet, 100 degrees F., or 50 degrees F below. It just does not matter. He goes into the school, and digs through the trash, then proceeds to go outside and dig through the dumpsters for aluminum cans and then puts them into the aluminum can collection trailer that the Boy scouts have parked in the back to deposit his findings. Usually he only gets 3-5 cans I'd guess by the small size bag I see. Not only do I find this odd, I find it disconcerting as he is going into a school, where children are. I've expressed this to the Guy who watches the kids when I drop Her off, and he said he would bring it up to the principle. I don't think he did, or the guy wouldn't still be hanging around right? Am I nuts for caring?

I think I should bring it up to the Principle myself. I Know this guy comes in before the principle arrives.

58 Years of Indian Motorcycles - A Picture Gallery

Indian began making motorcycles in 1901 as the Hendee Manufacturing Company. The first production model was in 1902 and 143 units were produced. In 1903 376 motorcycles were sold. It continued production through 1953 when it no longer made the classic Indian. In 1999 Indian motorcycles were again produced, this time by the Indian Motorcycle Corporation. This was not the same company but it did have rights to the Indian name and trademarks.

I have re-created a gallery of Indian motorcycles that I had on the old site. I take a look at Indian models from the first model in 1901 to the present as provided in pictures submitted by members of the old site and some new members from my Motorcycle Views site. A gallery called "58 Years of Indian Motorcycles" is provided that will eventually give a picture and description for each model year from 1901 to 2003.

I want to update this gallery with pictures of Indian motorcycles. If you own an Indian motorcycle now or had a family member who owned one in the past, please consider submitting a picture and description of it for the gallery.

Take a look at 58 Years of Indian Motorcycles.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

BMW Recalls 2007 G650X Challenge and Country Motorcycles for Wheel Bearing Problem

BMW has issued a recall of certain 2007 G650X Challenge and Country motorcycles.

The motorcycles may have had the wrong circular clip installed on the left hand side of the rear wheel bearing guide. This circlip can rub against a spacer bushing, creating metal shavings which may enter the wheel bearing, causing it to fail and the ABS may malfunction although this would be indicated by illumination of the ABS warning lamp. If this happened, the brakes would remain fully available to slow and stop the motorcycle increasing the risk of a crash.

744 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bikes and Beetles in Unsnowy New Jersey

I joined the Polar Bear Grand Tour back in 1992. I wanted to continue riding my motorcycle through the winter and this tour was my way to achieve my goal. Originally, I thought I'd be doing it alone as I didn't think my wife would be the least bit interested in riding in 20 degree temperatures with even lower wind chills. I was wrong. She couldn't wait to get started.

That was at about the same time we both took up skiing. Jane's brother-in-law, Jack, got us started skiing and even came out from Illinois to supervise our first steps down the hill on skis. Jack was also the first to push us in the direction of learning to ride a motorcycle.

We went out skiing about a dozen times that first year. But when the motorcycle bug struck and we started doing winter motorcycle riding, the skis were put away, permanently.

The winters in New Jersey are totally unpredictable. There were some years with heavy snows that almost shut down our winter riding. Then there were years like this one where snowstorms were rare and the temperatures just high enough that we got rain and wind instead.

In this state, we seem to have two distinct climates. North Jersey usually gets snow while South Jersey either gets rain or nothing at all. That makes our Sunday winter rides quite interesting considering that we often traverse the state from south to north.

This last polar bear ride was to Long Valley, New Jersey, about 52 miles north of our house. On Saturday, the entire east coast had a massive coastal rain and wind storm that was never-ending. It dumped huge amounts of rain everywhere, saturating the ground. Then the winds approaching 60 mph at times blew against the trees, uprooting many and causing numerous power failures. We were continuously watching the weather reports trying to determine what the weather would be like for Sunday. Of course, to add more confusion, Saturday night was also the time change to Daylight Saving Time.

On Sunday, I got up early to check the weather and it seemed to be OK but there were some road closings and high winds were anticipated. I was going alone since Jane had one of those nasty colds going around and was in no condition to brave the cold and wind.

I tried to program my GPS but it wouldn't accept the address where I would be going. I could go many ways and I didn't know what path I'd take until I got on the road. I wanted to see how bad the wind was. Turns out it wasn't bad at low speeds but at 65+ mph, it tossed me around a lot. That made me leery to try to go over the Driscoll Bridge on the Garden State Parkway. I opted to head north via Route 18 through New Brunswick. That route was uneventful except for all the potholes and construction. When I finally got to I287, I had the option to head west on I78 and traverse country roads in a northerly manner until I got to Long Valley. However, I might encounter streams that had overflowed their banks or possibly trees across the roads. I decided to continue north on I287 and pick up Route 206. That turned out well as the speeds were lower and the winds less objectionable.

The last 10 miles were enjoyable as I climbed in elevation and the temperature lowered. The mountains and trees were all around me and I was comfortable in my electrics nestled behind my full windshield. It was a good polar bear day.

As usual, I arrived and immediately started taking my pictures and short videos that I place on the Polar Bear Grand Tour Web site each week. You'll find them on the Long Valley page.

While taking pictures I saw a nice 1974 Volkswagen Beetle in the middle of the motorcycles. It had a "QQ" plate. Here in New Jersey, the "QQ" plate designates a car at least 25 years old. I had a 1933 Chevrolet once with a "QQ" plate. I couldn't just drive the car anywhere. It had to have limited mileage and be used for educational purposes. The 1974 I saw was the same year VW I once owned. The owner, a polar bear rider, had recently bought it completely restored. He had driven the car today instead of riding his bike since he had a bad cold. It was my good fortune. He showed me the car. It was beautiful. I took pictures and a couple of videos. You'll find them on the link above. I once wrote an article about the three VW Bugs that I owned including my own white 1974. That article was written when I was the Motorcycles Guide at I had joined with all the car Guides to write about the VW after the last VW came off the assembly line in Mexico.

On the way home, I decided to ride through Princeton, New Jersey. The trip was stop-and-go down Route 206 but I was in no hurry. After I got to the Route 1 traffic circle, I found the road closed. There was some storm damage beyond. I quickly turned around the circle and headed north on Route 1. When I saw a familiar crossroad, I turned off, pulled over to the side of the road, and switched the GPS to "Home" to get myself un-lost. Thank God for the Home button. It gave me a neat country ride over a road I had never been on and then suddenly pointed me to a familiar road that took me home without a hitch.

All in all, it was a good riding day. I survived the wind and cold another day even though I only saw a couple of clumps of snow over the 104 mile route.

I'm hoping the remaining winter is kind to me. I don't expect to see any more snow, in keeping with the way things are this year. On the other hand...

The foot bone is connected to the ankle bone,.... is connected to my wallet.

Most bikers learn early on, that just about the time you try to do one thing custom to your ride, that you rarely can do just “one thing” without it directly affecting something else. For me anyway, it usually amounts to about two to three times the cost I initially thought I was going to end up spending for just the one thing. Thus, my title the foot bone is connected to the ankle bone, connected to my wallet.

I've been doing a lot of bodywork and painting on motorcycles lately. I used to custom paint for a living, but I've scaled back to doing it as a side job and or hobby. I am currently doing my 3rd bike now for about the 3rd or 4th time. I suppose you can say I'm never content with one paint job for very long, as I have the ability to do bodywork and paint myself. Plus, this way it’s a little easier to swallow the cost of the new paint. However, it never comes without a price. There is still a lot of expense and time involved. I usually end up picking up another paint job for a paying customer to help pay for my habit. So needless to say I've been busy lately. I must thank my wife and kids for putting up with my lack of being around lately as I have spent many hours away in the shop.

The cause of the problem to start with was that I put in a larger motor, which decreased clearances that I used to have with the smaller motor. I ended up "having" to do my bike again because I had a crack in a gas tank weld, caused by one of my lower gas tank brackets hitting one of the rocker box covers, which was caused by the motor heating and expanding the jugs under the rocker box cover, thus pushing it upwards into the bracket. This caused a lot of unwanted vibration on the gas tank, thus cracking a weld. (Bracket bent upward, clearance given, welded crack, problem averted). Since I cracked the weld in the gas tank, bodywork and paint was necessary. I also broke my drive belt due to having a small weak stock belt that was not suited for the larger motor. Since I am doing bodywork and paint, and need a new belt, this means the rear fender needs to come off to. Since I'm doing the gas tank and rear fender, I'm already painting two thirds of the main painted parts, so why not paint the front fender and change out the custom paint to a whole new paint job. While it is apart and in the shop, why not change the fluids. I also have easier clearance to change brake pads now, so I may as well do them too.

The larger motor is connected to the gas tank, is connected to the belt, is connected to the rear fender, is connected to the front fender, is connected to the brakes, is connected to the fluids.
Thus "the foot bone is connected to the ankle bone, connected to my wallet."

I’m getting that spring fever thing goin on here, since we’re climbing into high thirties. Did I mention I’m in Minnesota? Hopefully, soon it’ll all be over and I'll be happily picking bugs out of my teeth again.

Keep the shiny side up!

Hope to see you in the wind come springtime.

Mr. Motorcycle

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Saturday, March 8, 2008

AMA to Sell Pro Racing Rights to Daytona Motorsports Group

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) announced Friday that the Association has entered into an agreement in principle to sell the sanctioning, promotional and management rights for its AMA Pro Racing properties to the Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG), based in Daytona Beach, Florida. Their press release states:

    "Led by Roger Edmondson, the founder of the CCS motorcycle racing series and currently the President of the Grand American Road Race Series LLC, and Jim France, Vice Chairman/Executive Vice President of NASCAR, DMG will assume responsibility for the AMA Superbike Series, the AMA Motocross Series, the AMA Flat Track Series, the AMA Supermoto Series, the AMA Hillclimb Series and ATV Pro Racing. The agreement in principle does not include the AMA Supercross and AMA Arenacross Series, the rights to which are held by Live Nation. Daytona Motorsports Group will license the use of the AMA name and trademarks to promote their motorcycle racing activities."

Read the complete press release.

Friday, March 7, 2008

81 Years of BMW: A Gallery

BMW began selling motorcycles in 1923, long before any BMW automobiles were even thought of.

I have re-created a gallery of BMWs that I had on the old site. I take a look at BMW models from the first model in 1923 to the present as provided in pictures submitted by members of the old site and some new members from my Motorcycle Views site. A gallery called "81 Years of BMW" is provided that gives a picture and description for each model year from 1923 to 2003.

I want to update this gallery with new pictures of BMWs. If you own a BMW motorcycle, please consider submitting a picture and description of it for the gallery.

Take a look at 81 Years of BMW.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

New Suzuki STEP 125 (Ver.2008)

New Suzuki STEP 125 cc. motorcycle version 2008, new color and alloy wheel.