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MO Survey: What Kind Of Helmet Do You Wear?
Apr 13, 2016 - 3:26 PM - by Motorcycle.com

A DOT approved helmet is the most important piece of safety gear that a motorcyclist can wear. Still, the range of legal helmets covers (or doesnít cover) a wide range of protection. Since weíre street-wise enough to know that not everyone shares our belief in the importance of protective headgear.

Lend us your voice, oh MOrons! What is your preferred style of helmet?
Take the MO Survey: What Kind Of Helmet Do You Wear? at Motorcycle.com.
0 Replies | 187 Views
Skidmarks: Flight Of The Dirtbag
Apr 12, 2016 - 3:57 PM - by Motorcycle.com

Did you see the 1965 film Flight of the Phoenix? Itís the adventures of a group of oil workers who crash their cargo plane in the Libyan desert. To fly to safety, they build another plane from the wreckage. Itís a good flick, and pretty realistic ó famed stunt pilot Paul Mantz died during filming. Any gearhead will identify with the struggle to build something just good enough to barely get the job done.

The closest thing the motorcycle community has to Flight of the Phoenix is San Franciscoís Dirtbag Challenge, now in its 13th year. The rules are simple: build your bike in 30 days, donít spend more than $1,000, and no Harley-Davidsons. The icing on the cake of custom-show unorthodoxy: To qualify for the judging, contestants must first ride their creations 100 miles.

Itís no surprise that this is not a custom hot-rod show. Itís not an event where you eat hotdogs while strolling along row after row of shiny, chromed, stretched-out showpieces with expensive paint, custom parts, and hand-tooled leather. This is about celebrating all kinds of enthusiasts, enthusiasts with mechanical aptitude ranging from NASA to nada. The process is chaotic, as is the resulting event.

Nobody knows when the event will be held until an email is fired out announcing the date 30 days prior, starting the clock. Participants can revive old projects and solicit donated parts, but they canít spend more than a grand on the bike. Itís not like Price and Waterhouse are going to come in and audit but event organizer Pol Brown and the other judges will know if youíve been cheating.

As you may expect, the result has been some of the most dangerously unrideable deathtraps known to motorcycledom. You will see things that would give an AMA event official a massive aneurysm. Motorcycles with steel utility poles made into frames, tricycle contraptions with barely functioning brakes from a 1932 Model A Ford, or a double-decker CL350 that I wonít post a photo of because youíll accuse me of photoshopping it (yes, it finished). Chopper builders are criticized for building unrideable showboats. Dirtbag buildersrevel in their machines being comically unrideable.

Take my good friend Alan Lapp, a man who is so into comfort and practicality that he owns many, many pairs of overalls and what may be Californiaís largest collection of Airhawk inflatable seat cushions. He enlisted the help of his friend, an inventive fabricator, and designer named Julius Farnum and built his oddball contraption, a DR650-powered thing with an alternative front suspension. Itís as close to unrideable as you can get and still be rideable, reported Al. His bike is bizarre, tough on the eye and so loud and impractical it might as well be an ornithopter, not that Al needs any more ideas.
Read more about the Skidmarks: Flight Of The Dirtbag at Motorcycle.com.
0 Replies | 195 Views
Ed March Ė Around The World On A 30-Year-Old Honda C90
Apr 11, 2016 - 2:05 PM - by Motorcycle.com

When we read about people riding motorcycles around the world, the vision that often comes to mind is of big adventure touring bikes, packed to the gunnels with necessary supplies. This image has been fed to us by Long Way Round and other well-heeled and well-documented travels.

What if we were to tell you that there is a guy who is traveling around the world on a 30-year-old Honda C90 and having a blast doing it? Sounds like madness, right? Well, when Ed March told his friends that heíd been inspired by the UKís Top Gear trio touring through Vietnam special and wanted to fly his C90 there and ride it back, they didnít just say he was crazy; they said, 'That is stupid. You canít ride a Honda C90 around the world.'

Donít ever tell March that something he wants to do is stupid because then the gauntlet has been thrown down, and he has no choice. Heís going to do that stupid thing Ė which is exactly what heís spent the last few years doing. For his first trip, March shipped his bike to Malaysia and rode it 14,500 miles back to England over eight months. For his next adventure, he upped the ante, riding through the Arctic Circle in winter, up to the northern motor point in Norway in February Ė about 4, 000 miles 'give-or-take,' he says.
Read more about the Ed March Ė Around The World On A 30-Year-Old Honda C90 at Motorcycle.com.
0 Replies | 178 Views
Motorcycle Adventures In Northeastern Ontario
Mar 16, 2016 - 2:33 PM - by Motorcycle.com

Almost every year I make a motorcycle pilgrimage up from the U.S. to Canada, and the reason is simple Ė unbeatable riding. The Eastern United States has some incredible riding, to be sure. Thereís the famous Tail of the Dragon in North Carolina, and also the state-straddling Blue Ridge Parkway. Even in my home state of Ohio we have the infamous and snaky Triple Nickel OH 555. Yet as incredible as each of these roads are, there is a wildness, an openness, and ever-surprising element to Canada, in this case specifically Ontario, that canít be beat.

Let me explain further before you readers from the States call me a traitor and try to revoke my passport. Just across that invisible border north in Ontario there is riding comparable to the roads I mentioned in the previous paragraph, but not just that. On my trip this year I found roads also comparable to those in the western United States. Roads you think you could only find in the Redwoods or Moab or Colorado. Roads that transcend highways to dirt trails.

On this yearís trip I set out from Toronto switching back and forth with my riding partner on two different BMW adventure motorcycles, an F800GS and a G650GS. The bike type is important here because it allowed for both on-road and off-road riding. This gave us twice the road options and twice the fun. This was my first time in Ontario where I got to let a bike off the pavement leash and get a little dirty.

Toronto is an exciting multi-cultural metropolis, but my goal was to get out of it as fast as possible and do some real open-road riding. One thing to know about riding around the Great Lakes area is the weather is entirely unpredictable and only a fool doesnít bring rain gear and layers. We ended up getting doused by sheets of rain in fairly heavy weekend traffic for about 200 miles on our way up to North Bay via ON-400 north and ON-11 north. This is the toll you pay the boatman to get up to paradise.

The next day we headed north roughly 90 miles to Temiskaming on ON-11. This is when the roads started opening up, the weather started clearing, and the traffic started subsiding. You get your first taste of the thousands of lakes and lush scenery in Ontario on this easy rider stretch. This stretch goes by pretty quickly, but there are several surprises waiting for you once you reach Temiskaming Shores.

The Temiskaming area holds more than 250 miles of trails, and having brought adventure motorcycles, we were grinning ear to ear upon arrival. We unloaded at the hotel, picked the first dirt road we saw and started getting dirty. Where the asphalt ends the adventure begins. There is such an abundance of well-kept dirt trails I cannot recommend a single one, but I can tell you there are few feelings like riding through the Canadian wilderness on a dirt trail. This was the riding I was waiting for.

When we were done playing in the mud, we took a ride around part of the massive Lake Temiskaming and worked our way through some campgrounds and down some dirt roads to get to Devilís Rock. After a short hike into the forest you will find a striking cliff face hanging a
... [Read More]
0 Replies | 377 Views
How To Adjust Throttle Free Play And Why
Mar 14, 2016 - 11:39 AM - by Motorcycle.com

One hallmark of a skilled rider is the ability to precisely deliver the right amount of throttle at the right time. Smooth transitions on and off the throttle play a vital role in keeping the chassis stable in a corner. Since the throttle cables are still, for the majority of bikes, the direct link between your hand and the butterfly valves in the mixers, minimizing slop in the system will pay big dividends.

To check the throttle free play, hold the grip between your fingers and roll it back and forth until you begin to feel the pull of the cable. Pick a spot on the grip and watch it to measure the free play. If you have trouble visualizing the measurement, hold a metric tape measure up to the grip. Most factory manuals will tell you that 2Ė3mm is the correct amount of throttle free play.

Once youíve determined if the free play needs adjustment, loosen the cableís locking nut(s) near the throttle grip. Some bikes will only have one adjuster. For two-adjuster models, loosen the nuts until there is plenty of slack. Next, tighten the deceleration adjuster (the cable that pulls the grip into the throttle-closed position) so that there is no slack when the throttle is held closed. Tighten the deceleration locking nut. Now, adjust the acceleration cableís adjuster until the desired amount of free play is present in the grip and tighten its locking nut. Ensure that there are plenty of threads (at least three) engaged in the adjuster body.

If you canít get the proper amount of free play with the adjusters, youíll need to take up some slack down by the throttle bodies. So, set the adjuster back into the middle of its range before making any changes by the throttle bodyís bell crank. The lower cable adjustment involves loosening the cableís lock nut, making the change to the adjustment nut, tightening the lock nut back in position, and rechecking the throttle free play. Fine-tuning can take place with the adjuster by the grip.
Read more about How To Adjust Throttle Free Play And Why at Motorcycle.com.
1 Reply | 492 Views
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