General

Motorcycle Mastery Has Completely Changed — It's the Same

Kicking the Wordpress Logo as if it were a football Take a look at the blog. Notice anything different? I bet not. Yet, I have spent the last month or so working feverishly to completely alter the way Motorcycle Mastery is produced.

This is going to be a short departure from scooter-related material, and it’s going to be just slightly technical. However, I thought my readers may like to take a look into the world of producing blogs, and some of the technical issues involved.

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Helmet Use Reduces Risk of Spine Injury in Crashes

Motorcycle Helmet It should come as no suprise that a site dedicated to motorcycle safety would be in favour of helmet use. One of the often-cited arguments against them (together with freedom of choice and limit of vision), however, is that they offer no protection against Cervical Spine Injury, or CSI. Some claim that they even exacerbate this problem.

A team of researchers in Wisconsin recently set about investigating these claims. They reviewed the charts of 1,061 patients who had been injured in motorcycle crashes and treated at a single Level 1 trauma center in Wisconsin between January, 2010, and January, 2015. They found that 323 (30.4%) of those patients were wearing helmets at the time of the crash and 738 (69.6%) were not. At least one CSI was sustained by 7.4% percent of the riders wearing a helmet and 15.4% of those not wearing one.

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Are You Ready for Three Wheeled Motorcycles?

Come on, let’s admit it. Us bikers can be a bit old-fashioned, resistant to change, leery of new concepts.

I’ve heard it all so many times:

“Automatics? Pfft. Not a real bike.”

“ABS? Not for me. I like to be in control.”

“Traction control? As long as I can disable it.”

“Electric bikes? Ugh. Just get a Prius.”

Well, if any of that sounds like you, you may wish to turn away now, and work out some frustration by kick-starting your 500cc thumper (don’t forget to turn on the fuel tap, and give a tug on that manual choke). For I’m going to make a bit of a bold prediction here: I think we’re going to see an uptick in three-wheeled motorcycles.

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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.

That 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.

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Yamaha Resonator Concept

Among 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.”

The single-cylinder, 125cc fuel-injected engine is conventional. Less conventional, however, is the styling, which includes wood panelling on the sides of the tank, and brass detailing. A decidedly modern instrument cluster belies the otherwise retro—even caf feel of the machine. Some people may not know that Yamaha was originally (and still is) a musical instrument manufacturer. Their famous logo is, after all, three tuning forks. Yamaha say that the wood inlay is the same as used on their guitars, and the brass engraving produced by the same techniques they use on their brass and woodwind instruments.

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Deer - It's a Four Letter Word

Deer Strikes. Lessening the Odds

Would you like to know the two things that make me most uncomfortable as a motorcyclist? They’re both four-letter words: Deer and Text. Sadly, they’re both things that we—as motorcycle riders—know only too well. Today, I’d like to talk a little about the former.

As I sit here, looking out over the trees, I see the first signs of fall here in the North Georgia Mountains. Glorious summer is preparing to give way to spectacular fall. It’s a bittersweet sight for me. There are still plenty of good riding days ahead, and mother nature is preparing to give us her yearly swan-song of glorious colour to further enhance our rides. Along with that, though, comes the knowledge that colder weather is on its way, leaves are on the ground, and that we need to be even more watchful for the enhanced danger from our wood-dwelling fauna—most notably the deer.

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