So you are getting into (or back into) motorcycling and you want to do it right. You know how to ride or you have taken a class and now it's time to get your motorcycle license. Congratulations on taking this first big step! Here are the steps that you will need to take to legally and legitimately ride a motorcycle in the state of California.
To its critics, GPS navigation is a distraction, eliminates the elemental joy of riding a motorcycle, and has spawned a generation of idiots who might know where they’re going but have no clue where they are. It’s indicative of all that’s wrong in our modern technologically riddled world.
To its defenders, GPS navigation provides directional certainty, greater safety, and an overall more enjoyable motorcycling experience. It has solved far more problems than it has created.
Question: What’s worse than a stranded motorcyclist?
Answer: When that motorcyclist is you.
THREE WAYS TO AVOID ROADSIDE BREAKDOWN
1. Punch T-CLOCS
Sure, you get free Roadside Assistance as a H.O.G.® member. But why use it if you don’t have to? Even with all that help on tap, getting stranded is still a massive pain. One you can avoid with a simple inspection. Yes, we’re talking T-CLOCS – the pre-ride checklist developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Learn it. Live by it.
Tires, Wheels, & Brakes
Carefully inspect tread depth, wear, weathering, bulges, and embedded objects. Check air pressure. Check wheels for loose or bent spokes, or cast wheels for cracks. Check rims for out of round. Check bearings for free play in tires. Check brakes to determine that each brake alone keeps the bike from rolling.
A camera is a tool and a powerful one at that. But taking excellent pictures is not so much about the camera as it is about how it's used. Good photographs require the photographer to slow down, to see, and personally express the world in front of them. This is true, no matter what type of camera you're using.
How do you do this traveling on a motorcycle? The answer, as it so often is on two wheels, is to keep it simple and travel light. It's just like with the toolkit you probably keep on your motorcycle for emergency repairs. A basic set can meet most of the challenges you encounter on the road.
It's the same with your camera. These days, chances are the smartphone you carry comes with a pretty good camera. And if you use it well, that can be all you need to capture memorable images from any journey you take.
Here are a few tips for using your phone camera (or a simple point-and-shoot) to improve your picture taking and capture your next ride.
Women riders are storming the open road and The Litas—a community of women motorcyclists—is leading the charge.
The name, Litas, is a made-up word, says founder Jessica Wise, but the friendships women riders are forming are real.
“Women can be overly analytical and hard on themselves and it leads them to be competitive with each other,” said Wise. “It’s natural for women to throw up walls. Bonding over motorcycles breaks them down.”
Studies show that people subconsciously don’t see things they aren’t in the habit of looking for. Or, maybe they’re distracted by texting, looking at GPS, or checking their hair.
In these situations, a motorcycle’s rider’s best defense is to take active measures to make themselves more visible. Here are a few ways to become more visible while riding your motorcycle.
When you ride long distances in intense, summer heat (say, on your way to Sturgis or Daytona) dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke can sneak up on you before you’re aware of what’s happening.
So, it pays to know the warning signs, how to react when you experience them, and, most importantly, how to prevent them from happening in the first place.
You'll hardly believe you're a stone's throw away from bustling San Jose. Not only is this ride's scenery more reminiscent of the Central California Coast, with its rugged mountains and chaparral landscape, but also this area and these roads are surprisingly unpopulated, even on weekends. The view from the top of Mount Hamilton is spectacular.
Topics: Riding in the Bay Area
One of the greatest joys of motorcycling is riding with friends. But riding in a group presents special challenges – whether your “group” consists of two riders, a dozen, or more.
Group riding connects us in a way that solo riding can’t. As a group of bikes rumble through town or across the countryside, each rider is experiencing the same scenery, the same weather, the same road conditions, etc., even as each individual may experience them in a different way.
This gives gas stops and lunch breaks a whole new dimension, where riders swap stories that are as fresh as a still-too-hot cup of coffee. Fresh perspective is what’s great about group riding.
By learning some of the basic guidelines of group riding, you can help make sure your next outing is safe and enjoyable for all.