This might be the first car video we’ve put up here, but don’t worry – we’re not getting soft… it just so happens that this is a nice intro to the fine art passing (without killing anyone). Timing a pass well is not kid’s stuff, it’s a skill of its own. There are plenty of riders who can get around a track briskly but can’t pass slower riders for their lives… The video features passing in the brake zone. This is what you see most often in televised motorcycle racing, but it is not the easiest way to pass (in my opinion) on a motorcycle. What are some other ways are there to pass? Here are three more: Continue Reading »
So you put the bike away for a few weeks, and now it feels different. In aviation, when pilots take a break for a couple of months, they have to get re-certified before they can fly a commercial jet; even after flying for years and having tens of thousands of flying hours… The complex combination of skills and near-automatic responses required to fly a motorcycle can get rusty just as quickly. And it’s much better to admit it to yourself (before you make a costly mistake), than to find out the hard way. So the question is: How do you get your mojo back as quickly as possible? Here are some suggestions, and you can throw in your own… Continue Reading »
New ultra-light rims can cost $2 or $3k. Adjustable rear sets $400-$600. Trick folding bar levers $300. Full exhaust and dyno tuned Power Commander, $1200+. A license plate bracket and turn signals to clean up the rear end, $200. These fairly common upgrades don’t even include the track addicts Ohlins setups (add another 4k or so for the latest cartridge kit and rear shock), and track fiberglass (another grand with a paint job)… and they add up to what it would cost you to buy a respectable used bike on Craigslist. If you see the value in riding a motorcycle pretty much in stock form, I’m with you! If you brake something, like a rim, I can see paying extra to get something better than what you had – but otherwise stock bikes give you the most bang for your buck. BUT… what upgrade is a must-have? What upgrade could you not live/ride without?
Whenever I see a track video like this at Thunderbolt, I play a little game I like to call “faster or slower?” You know how it goes, I hit pause when I see the start line, and do the math to check out the lap times and see how it compares to some of mine. This guy is a good bit faster than me… and (it appears) faster than a bunch of other guys in the blue group. And interestingly he takes slightly different lines than I’ve been using, so maybe I can even learn something from this. How about you? Faster or slower? Thanks to obirt0 for the good vid. Cheers!
When it comes to helmets, it’s really a black art. Even the helmet companies don’t seem to know what makes for the best protection; which is why many high priced top of the line helmets don’t get five star SHARP Helmet ratings (and why some low priced bargain helmets do!) So “new” helmet designs are usually a matter of new vents (oooh!) and new aerodynamic shapes (aahhh!) and new colors (gasp!). But the Shark helmet brand really does have a new idea: instead of solid styrofoam covered with a hard plastic or fiberglass shell, they used finned styrofoam (hence the Shark motif) to help absorb energy in a crash. That’s a neat idea. No wonder their helmets generally fare well in independent testing.
Kawasaki upped their game on their best selling “sport bike” the Ninja 250R, by making it a 300R (with the same parallel twin) along with a slipper clutch, fuel injection (finally!), and ABS. Honda, meanwhile decided to leave their 250 single alone, and instead build an all-new CBR 500R with a parallel twin engine. I haven’t seen this one up close yet, but will it have all that makes a 250 fun, only with some actual punch for real world riding? Or will it have the same problem as Kawasaki’s 500: too heavy for a small bike, too slow for a mid engine bike? As good as this review is, I think only time + a decent test ride will tell. Personally, for all the decent 600′s on Craigslist for under $5k, I don’t know if I could shell out as much for a bike I couldn’t take to the track… But as a first bike that’s worth keeping around? Maybe it’s not a bad investment. What do you think? Cheers!
I don’t think electric motorcycles are ready for prime time. Who wants to get stranded on the way to your favorite riding roads? Plus battery packs are still too heavy for any kind of real performance. If you want to save gas, you can get a 250 supermoto or the Ninja 300 for a fraction of the cost of an electric motorcycle. But…electric Scooters just MIGHT make sense right now. Scooters are absurdly light, so adding a little weight wouldn’t hurt. Scooters are also for local riding around town, so range isn’t as much of an issue. Plus, if it looks anything like this KTM Concept, you just might have a new customer… But what do you think?
[Useful review from MCN. Bottom line: forget about traction control and electronic suspension, the base package is good enough to handle whatever roads you got ahead of you]
If you’re anything like me, you might not know what bike this new model is replacing… BMW has a bunch of sporty GT bikes that go back a long way. They all do okay in the looks department, even when they have cylinder heads sticking out sideways past the pegs. They’re known for being a tad boring to ride, but if you translate that into real world language, boring means capable of handling crappy road surfaces, reliable, and easy to ride. If you’re planning on commuting and going on road trips from time to time, along with quick Costco runs, you WANT something that’s not going to take attention away from your ride and your busy schedule… Forget about the Ducatis and MV’s, this just might be the city bike for you.
Mar 19th, 2013 by CityBiker1
[Sorry ladies, this post is for the guys. But if your situation is reversed and the man in your life doesn't want you to ride, then I guess some of this stuff might apply - but probably not]
Alright men,WE know who the real boss is in your relationship. Sometimes it’s the sign of a real man that you have a woman in your life who’s worth giving in to. But when if riding a motorcycle is your dream, then it doesn’t have to be a losing battle. I’ve seen a lot of guys go about this the absolute wrong way, so here’s a tongue in cheek “guide” to getting your butt on a set of wheels. There are plenty of wives and girlfriends who love their men, and yet are cool with them riding motorcycles: here are some tips on helping her get there… Continue Reading »
Here’s Colin Edwards giving a talk thru and a ride thru of the new COTA in Austin Texas. Have any of you been out there yet on a bike? A nice trackday video in a classic roadster after the jump. Continue Reading »