Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Learn the easy way

Motorcycle education is good.  It helps keep you alive while having fun.  Usually, it seems to entail taking some big, intimidating step - like doing a track day or conquering a challenging road on your full-sized, powerful street bike.  Or at least that's how I've approached things thus far.

But one recent weekend, I had the pleasure of giving all I had to a Honda CRF 50F - a children's 50cc dirt bike with 3 speeds and no clutch.  And let me tell you, guy - it was more fun that anyone should be allowed to have.

This was the first dirt bike I had ever ridden, and by the end of the weekend I was throwing the bike into turns, rear wheel spinning all the way through the corners.  I had 2 major wipeouts that resulted in no pain to me or damage to the bike.  You can practically ghost ride these little machines into the woods and pick them up with no major damage (one of us sorta did that, actually).

Low risk, big fun, and a better rider at the end.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hand guards



We dumped our good-times MR2 to become a one-car family.  One of the biggest reasons was to dedicate a parking spot (of which we have 2) to the motorcycles.  Then we wouldn't have to move a car to get a bike out.  So we moved both bikes to the new, vacant parking spot and times were good!


But there's another side to this coin.  We only have one car, which means someone's going to have to drive a motorcycle through the winter (which is beginning to settle in).  I'm all for the challenge, but it's been a while since I commuted through the winter on a motorcycle.  So on a few recent, frosty mornings, I was clearly reminded of the 1st body parts to go numb - my fingers.


I decided to give hand guards a try, and a wee bit of research led me to believe that OEM hand guards for the V-Strom 650 (DL650) would fit our 2007 SV650.  I hit Ebay and snagged a DL650 OEM hand guard kit and waited for USPS to bring me my box.  The delivery happend, and under an hour later the black hand guards were installed!




Installation was surprisingly easy.  I thought I was only buying the guards, but it turned out to be a kit with all hardware included.  I had a bit of trouble with the bar ends because of the rideitmoto aftermarket, bar-end mirrors.  But things worked-out in the end - just like they did for this guy.



They're pretty in-your-face.  Big, black body work that surely takes away from the SV's nakedness.  But whatevs - small price to pay for less-than-freezing digits.


I've so far used them in moderate temperature, rain, and cold (but not below freezing).  In the warm temps, you notice the wind isn't hitting your hands.  In the rain, your gloves clearly stay dryer longer.  And in the cold, it's pretty clear that your hands get colder much slower.  But the temperature still finds its way in.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


So I finally discovered #motochat - an organized topic on Twitter where motorcyclists talk it up on Fridays at 2pm EST.  The details are available at the motochat web page.

It's neat to talk it up with a bunch of riders who all seem to take the activity pretty seriously.  I mean, you can find this kind of motorcycle discussion on your thread-based forum of choice - but there's something different about the real-time chat.  And the participants seem far more friendly than those I've found at the __fill_in_the_blank__ forum.

This weekly event has led me to a few internet personalities with interesting blogs about motorcycling, so I recommend jumping into a #motochat or two.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fog prevention

It's November, and it's cold.  You know what that means, don't you?  Time to get the warm gear out, zip the liners back in, grab the turtle furs and clavas, and start licking your glasses.


That's right - I've searched high and low the last few years for ways to ensure my glasses don't fog up when I'm sitting at traffic lights or stop signs in the cold.  And can you guess which solution I've found?  Spit.  I'm far from the 1st to realize this - head over to altavista and search the netz.  You'll see all kinds of tweeps recommending spit to prevent your glasses from fogging-up.

There are products of all kinds out there, but don't waste your $$$.  Wet your finger, lick your lenses, or project your saliva - however you do it, rub it in afterward and enjoy miles of clarity.  There is nothing more debilitating than steering a motor vehicle while blind.