by Catten Ely
I’ll admit right up front that I know I am not the intended market for Harley-Davidson’s “Forty-Eight” (Sportster XL1200X). But I was curious. My first bike is the only cruiser I’ve ever ridden. And the whole H-D attitude … what better way to understand it than to climb on one?
So I made room in the garage for the bike. I was immediately astonished at how small and non-sinister it looked. The 26-inch seat is lower than what I’m accustomed to. It’s quite narrow, too, which led me to underestimate the power under that seat. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
By Guido Ebert
The Scooter Market 101
“Scooter” is a commonly used term for motorized two-wheeled vehicles that can be registered either as mopeds or motorcycles. It’s a moped if it 1) has an engine size of 50cc or less, 2) develops no more than 2 hp, and 3) is capable of no more than 30 mph on a flat surface.
Many new entrants into scootering seek simple surface street transportation, are unwilling to become licensed, and thus are often relegated to small-sized 50cc models. With that said, however, the medium-sized market has grown over past years as existing motorcycle license-holders increasingly purchase these more powerful mid-range models that are priced fairly closely to their more diminutive brethren yet supply greater surface street security due to greater get-up-and-go.
Nowadays, you’ll find scooters ranging from relatively simple 30 mph neighborhood travelers to plush 100 mph models that are as comfortable as an easy chair and worthy of long stretches on the interstate. In fact I have been the maxi-scooterist on the receiving end of a retracted two-finger salute by a FJ1300 rider.
by Catten Ely
This is the second in a series of three articles devoted to First Aid tips specific to motorcyclists. MMM writer Catten Ely has been an EMT since 1997 and is certified as an ASMI lead instructor.
Last time I mentioned that the most likely injuries in a motorcycle crash involve blunt trauma, broken bones, dislocations, and head and spine damage. Even with the best intentions, an untrained person cannot only do more damage to a fallen rider; he might become an unwitting victim himself.
If you see a bike crash, slow down and be as visible as possible to other traffic. Drivers are notorious rubberneckers and we all know how well they see us when their eyes are on the road. If you brake suddenly or make an abrupt lane change, your risk of becoming a casualty skyrockets.
By B.P. Goebel
MMM’s resident engineering geek, Goebel recently had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Erik Buell. Buell, of course no longer associated with Harley-Davidson, is in the process of creating a “higher volume/lower price point” sport bike via his new venture, Erik Buell Racing (EBR).
MMM: Is there a story behind the Erik Buell Racing logo?
EB: The brand is really EBR. The little Pegasus goes way back. That’s actually on my family crest – I’ve always used it. It seemed like a nice logo. This time, we changed the look from before; it’s really aggressive, very modern. The idea being that we are now high-tech and modern instead of the classic look … which fit the Harley because they are more of a classic brand.
MMM: Is the 1190RS a street bike?
EB: It is a street bike. The limited run of 100 we already built are street-legal, California-legal, and legal in Western Europe. But in commercializing the 1190RS in higher volume/lower price point … we are about 75-80% of the way there.
by Bruce Mike
I’m writing this a couple of days after an eight inch snowfall. This is our May issue. Last year at this time I had been riding regularly for a couple of months. I had mowed my lawn three times and our softball team had practiced at least twice. I have to say, this has been the most miserable winter I can remember. I’m sure last year’s ridiculously warm winter has affected my opinion of this one. Okay, that’s it for my weather rant.
My new used bike will be here in a couple of days. It’s a BMW R1200R. This is my first BMW and I’m pretty excited about it. I rode one at the Factory Demo Ride at Moon Motorsports last year and I really liked it. It makes plenty of power, has a good ridng position and it ran twisties really well. I need to add bags and I’ll be ready to go.
by Thomas Day
You have to admit that is a pretty arrogant title for a column like mine. Parental responsibility; as if I know something about that subject.
When our kids were little, almost 40 years ago, my wife and I were as careless about seatbelts and how our lifestyle affected our kids as any pair of dumbasses ever recorded by history. Yes, on a motorcycle and in my kids’ lifetime, I have always worn a helmet, gloves, boots, and some kind of jacket when I ride, but I am not an AGAT (all the gear, all the time) kind of guy. I should be. I try to be. But I’m not. I often bicycle without a helmet. Sometimes I don’t wear safety glasses when I use power tools. I’ve even been known to tack weld a spot or two without eye protection. I just squint.
My perspective has always been that, “It’s my life and I’m going to live it the way I want to live.” I don’t expect to, or want to, live to a ripe old senile and incapacitated antiquity. As Hunter Thompson once said, “I’d rather be shot out of a cannon than squeezed out of a tube.” Even knowing the end result of the necessary and unpleasant landing after the cannon shot.
While bj is on hiatus we are running an earlier piece he wrote in 2002. I’m sure you’ll agree, it qualifies as a “best of”.
by bj max
I’ve learned that Deal’s Gap is just another fun road as long as you don’t ride over your head. There are threats though but nothing that can’t be dealt with if you mind your P’s and Q’s. For instance, squids on sportbikes can be downright dangerous. For some reason they have to pass and seeing as how Deal’s Gap ain’t nothing but curves, they pass in the curves. Exciting to say the least. Then there’s trucks. Big trucks that take up the whole road as they bellow and smoke and bend themselves around the corners. Meeting one of them in a blind curve is a loads of fun. Another threat that you wouldn’t normally consider is hurricanes. That’s right, hurricanes. Back in ’99 me and a buddy of mine got caught in the remnants of Floyd as it gasped it’s way through the heart of Dixie before blowing itself out somewhere around the Shenandoah Valley. That was fun too.
All these are legitimate threats but all can be managed if you keep your wits about you. But, there are always exceptions. On a recent trip to the Smokies, I learned of another danger one might face at the Gap, one even more ominous than squids, log trucks and hurricane’s. A threat that I had never even considered before.
by Guido Ebert
Boyer Seeks Dismissal
NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer has asked a South Dakota judge to dismiss him from a lawsuit Klock Werks Kustom Cycles in Mitchell filed alleging he didn’t pay for $31,000 of custom work it did on his Harley-Davidson.
Bowyer says he repaid the debt through promotional services as well as a $5,000 payment for paint, The Daily Republic (S.D.) reported. He also says the court has no jurisdiction over him because his agreement with Klock Werks was made in Arizona, the motorcycle was purchased in Minnesota and it was delivered to him in North Carolina, the AP reported.
Klock Werks argues that because Bowyer or his personal representatives contacted Klock Werks in Mitchell by phone, emails and text messages to discuss the motorcycle, and the bike was customized there, the South Dakota court does have jurisdiction, the AP reported.
Cycle Reliability Reviewed
A motorcycle reliability survey by Consumer Reports concluded that Japanese-made bikes are more reliable and have fewer problems than BMW and Harley-Davidson.
The report evaluates models for practical features and identifies specific brands. The motorcycle owners surveyed all purchased their bikes new and reported the repair issues that they required within the initial four years of ownership. Most of the problems reported required relatively low-cost fixes.
Most common problems were in electrics, brakes and fuel systems. Potentially expensive engine and transmission problems were few.
Triumph Motorcycles is recalling certain model year 2012-2013 Daytona 675, Street Triple, Speed Triple, and Tiger 800 motorcycles. Due to a manufacturing error, the turn signal stems on the front and rear of the motorcycle may fracture.
Triumph said it would notify owners and dealers would replace the turn signal stems, free of charge. Owners may contact Triumph at 1-678-854-2010 for more information.
Gerbings Recalls Heated Liners
Gerbings Heated Clothing has recalled about 9,900 of its 12-volt, black nylon heated jacket liners for a defective wire connector that can cause the liner to overheat and pose a burn hazard.
The liners were sold at Harley-Davidson dealerships and other outlets nationwide from April 2011 through December 2012 for between $200 and $240. “Gerbing’s Heated Clothing” or “Harley-Davidson” is printed on the front left chest of the jacket liners.
Gerbings has received two reports of the jacket liners overheating, causing minor dime-sized burns to consumers’ backs, resulting in blisters. Consumers are asked to stop using the liners and to contact Gerbings, LLC for a free repair or replacement.
Stop Motorcycle Checkpoint Funding Act
On May 6, U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) intends to introduce the Stop Motorcycle Checkpoint Funding Act.
Sensenbrenner’s legislation (H.R. 904) would 1) prohibit the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) from providing funds to state and local authorities for the purpose of creating motorcycle-only checkpoints, 2) prohibit the DOT from providing grants to a state to enforce helmet laws, 3) prohibit the DOT from interfering in state matters with federal funds, and 4) require highway safety plans to include programs that “prevent accidents in order to reduce injuries and deaths resulting from accidents involving motor vehicles and motorcycles.”
“Historically, the enforcement of helmet mandates has siphoned away scarce funds from effective crash prevention programs such as rider education and motorist awareness,” the AMA wrote in an opinion. “This bill is critical to ending the discriminatory practice of MOCs and saving motorcyclists’ lives.”
Another Suzuki …
Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (SMAI) has been announced as the sole distributor of Suzuki motorcycles, ATVs, outboard engines and auto parts and service in the continental U.S. and Alaska following the restructuring of American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC).
Based in Brea, Calif., SMAI is owned by Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), which supplies 147 distributors in 201 countries.
Suzuki has a 49-year history in the United States. U.S. Suzuki Motor Corp., a direct sales subsidiary of SMC, opened in Los Angeles on Aug. 16, 1963, and by 1964 was retailing seven models of motorcycle.
ASMC was formed in 1986 by the merger of U.S. Suzuki Motor Corp and Suzuki of America Automotive Corp (launched a year earlier with the introduction of the Samurai 4×4).
Küryakyn Keeping Busy
Küryakyn plans to make appearances at more than 60 events in 2013, including rallies, dealer open houses and trade shows, with multiple semi trucks that showcase the company’s full product line and offer on-site parts & accessories installation by factory-trained technicians.
“Talking face-to-face with our customers and dealers is one of the best ways for us to get feedback on products and really build one-on-one relationships,” said Marc Wolfram, Küryakyn’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Küryakyn’s full 2013 Event Schedule can be viewed online at Kuryakyn.com.
ZARS Dates Filling Up
The Zalusky Advanced Riding School (ZARS says its early season training and track day dates are filling up fast.
Riding School Schedule: April 26, May 4, 5 and 18, June 2, 9 and 29, July 14, 19 and 28, August 10 and 18, and Sept 8, 28 and 29.
Track Day Schedule: May 17 at Brainerd, May 27-28 at Road America, June 30 at Brainerd, July 12 at Road America, and September 2 at Brainerd.
Additionally, ZARS is offering a new punch pass system that’ll earn you a free riding day after the purchase of 10 paid rides. Your first punch can be retroactive from a 2012 ride, just bring proof. Exclusions do apply so contact ZARS for details at www.ridezars.com.
BMW Partners with TVS
In a move borrowed from KTM and Bajaj, BMW Motorrad plans to enter the below 500cc market via a new partnership with India’s TVS Motor Company, one of the largest motorcycle manufacturers in India with an annual production volume of some 2 million units.
The cooperation agreement involves the two companies each offering their own vehicle derivatives, which will be sold through their own distribution channels in India and across the globe.
BMW’s in-house IT department reportedly barricaded itself in company offices in Munich.
Christini Offers Cash to Clubs
Christini AWD Motorcycles intends to give riding clubs $500 when an active club member purchases a production Christini All Wheel Drive motorcycle factory direct.
Once the bike has been built, shipped from the factory and delivered to the club member’s door, Christini AWD then sends a $500 check made out to the appropriate organization.
Learn more about the Christini Club Cash program at www.christini.com.