All posts by alan

Harley Davidson to Offer Free Motorcycle Training to Military Personnel in 2016

Harley Davidson and FlagToday, in the U.S., it is Veterans’ Day. It is therefore a good today for Harley Davidson to announce that it will be offering free motorcycle training to current and former members of the U.S. Military throughout 2016.

Earlier this year (May through September), Harley Davidson ran “Mission Open Road”, during which 6.500 military people took part in free training at Harley Davidson dealerships.
Following the success of that programme, they have decided to extend the offer for the entire year of 2016.

The offer is aimed at new riders seeking their motorcycle license. If the classes are not available in your area, Harley Davidson will issue a gift certificate for the cost of the certified motorcycle safety program.

Motorcycle safety is a particular concern for the U.S. Military. During a thirteen-year period ending in 2012, over 1,000 members of the U.S. Military were killed in motorcycle crashes. Military personnel often seek “high-octane” pursuits such as motorcycling when they are used to the risks and camaraderie of service. Men aged 20 to 24 have historically been the highest at risk.

“There have been so many veterans, coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, killed on a bike because they didn’t have rider training and they thought they were invincible, immortal and indestructible.”, said Christian Walters, U.S. managing director and a former U.S. Army officer.

Military personnel currently deployed outside the United States can submit a form by Dec. 31, 2016, to receive a voucher for free motorcycle safety training good through 2017 when they return home.

For more details on Harley Davidson’s military assistance, click here.

Share

Small Bikes. Big Fun.

Forgive me a little trip down memory lane. Like many people of similar age, I started my motorcycle journey young, and on small motorcycles. Back in England, when I was sixteen years old, the biggest bike we were allowed to ride were 50cc mopeds. Given this restriction, I was faced with the very real and terrifying prospect of inheriting my father’s step-through moped—a Puch MV50 in British post office livery—and I wasn’t happy about it. Puch MV50That machine sufficed for when I was fourteen or fifteen. I would play truant from school and take it out of the shed while my parents were at work, and gun around town—mercifully disguised behind a helmet. License? Insurance? Old enough to even have a license? Pfft. Mere details. I was nearly old enough to ride. It was fun and it beat the hell out of my bicycle, but that kind of machinery wasn’t going to cut the mustard when I reached the heady age of sixteen. Oh no. Continue reading Small Bikes. Big Fun.

Share

Yamaha Resonator 125 Concept

Yamaha Resonator 125Among the other concept vehicles showing this week at the Tokyo Motor Show is this little gem. It’s the Yamaha Resonator 125 concept. It is Yamaha’s vehicle aimed at capturing the attention of “young people who have not yet discovered the joys of motorcycling.”

Continue reading Yamaha Resonator 125 Concept

Share

Thank You for Riding a Motorcycle

Us motorcyclists know only too well the benefits to riding a motorcycle. These benefits extend to other people and the environment as well as ourselves. Rarely, however, is this acknowledged by others—least of all a politician! It is for this reason that I was so happy to see this video from Australian Senator David Leyonhjelm saying a simple “thank you” to motorbike riders.

Senator Leyonhjelm (New South Wales), who rides a BMW S1000RR, gave this speech to the Australian parliament recently, and we applaud his speaking out for the many benefits (for all) of our two-wheeled transport choice.

Share

Motorcycle Cornering. Positioning for Safety – Part 1

Dragon1-1024-1024If you’ve been following along with my blog posts, you will have seen Positioning – Part 1, Positioning – Part 2 and Positioning – Part 3. These posts were mainly discussing positioning your motorcycle for maximum view and visibility while riding in a straight line. I purposely did not cover positioning on corners because it is a subject which deservers a post of its own. In fact, it deserves three! This is part one of that series on motorcycle cornering. Remember, to be informed as new posts are made, you can subscribe here! Continue reading Motorcycle Cornering. Positioning for Safety – Part 1

Share

Zero Motorcycles Expand Range of Electric Motorcycles for 2016

Zero Electric MotorcyclesElectric motorcycles. Love ‘em or no? While I can get as excited as the next guy (or gal) about being projected along the road by a series of explosions, internal combustion isn’t the reason I ride. Heck, you could even relieve my left foot of gear shifting duties, and I’d be just as happy. So I follow the exciting developments of any alternative methods of propulsion in the motorcycle world. One doesn’t talk about electric motorcycles for very long before the name “Zero” comes up. Continue reading Zero Motorcycles Expand Range of Electric Motorcycles for 2016

Share

Dainese to Introduce Airbag Jackets

Dainese Airbag JacketI’m sure I’m not the only who has been told this by a cosseted cager: “Man, you need some airbags on that thing!” Some have even tried. The thing is, of course, that in the unfortunate event of a “get off” we most often… well… get off! It is of little use watching an airbag inflate in your peripheral vision while you’re tumbling down the road as you and your bike part ways.

Now, however, Dianese have come up with what they believe is the perfect answer. Airbags in your jacket!

Dianese Airbag JacketThe new D-air© system jackets contain everything to detect the necessity to deploy—GPS, sensors and electronics inside the back protector of the jacket. The system uses six sensors located in the back protector to monitor the dynamics of the jacket (and rider) 800 times a second. Upon deployment, the rider immediately gains 5cm (about two inches) of protective bulk specifically designed to protect the rider’s collar bone, chest and back as well as limiting excessive strain to the neck.
The road version of the jacket is slated to be available from November.

Of course, didn’t someone come up with this before?

The Michelin Man

Share

Passing/Overtaking on a Motorcycle

Overtaking and passing. These are both terms meaning the same thing — depending on your local lexicon, but they both refer to the act of getting past a vehicle that is going slower than you intend to ride yourself.

For consistency, I will use the term “passing” in this chapter.

Passing is arguably one of the most dangerous things we do while riding, yet, executed with care and planning, it is not something to be feared or unnecessarily avoided. Indeed, sometimes we find that the safest place to be is in front of some hazards.

So, with that said, let’s take a look at how we can make passing the safest activity we can. Continue reading Passing/Overtaking on a Motorcycle

Share