The early 1900’s saw the beginning of America’s love affair with motorcycles, thanks in part to manufacturers like Triumph, Harley Davidson, and the Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Co. They became an integral part of the World Wars, American police departments, and a picture of rebellion among America’s youth in the 1960’s.
Today, the love of the open road lives on with over 7,000,000 registered motorcycle owners in the US. And with so many riders enjoying the highways, it’s important to understand about how to stay safe while riding.
Injuries and Fatalities
The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Administration cites that, “motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to experience a deadly accident on the road than those in passenger cars.” In one year alone 88,000 motorcyclists were injured and 4,810 were killed in highway accidents. Statistics showed that in less than one full decade registrations for motorcyclists grew by 63% while deaths more than doubled. In one year the passenger vehicle fatality rate was 14 per 100,000 registered drivers, and the same year the motorcycle death rate was 73 per 100,000 registered riders.
Causes for Motorcycle Injuries and Deaths
The leading cause of death among motorcyclists is due to head injuries. When a rider is not wearing a helmet they are 40% more likely to die of a head injury than one who wears a helmet. One of the main problems for motorcyclists is when a passenger car makes a turn while a rider is trying to drive straight ahead. This accounts for about 42% of the fatal accidents. There are also reports about these deaths that show recklessness among the riders themselves with 48% of them speeding and 42% of them riding with a high blood alcohol concentration.
Other Obstacles or Concerns for Riders
- Bad weather
- Not using their turn signals
- Trying to drive between cars in two lanes
- Ignoring traffic signs
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Not being seen because of obstructions
How Can Riders Be Safe?
You can never predict and control what you might come across as a rider. Between road hazards like pot holes and debris, wildlife such as deer, and other riders and drivers that can cause you problems, the best you can do is be as prepared as you can for any situation. One thing you can do is to make sure you have a good helmet and as much safety gear on you and your bike as you can, and even brightly colored clothes to make sure you are visible to other people sharing the highways.
You can go to vendors like Adventure Designs and find just about anything you would need for your bike to be a safe rider. It doesn’t cost a lot to be a safe rider, but being unsafe may cost you everything.
Owning a motorcycle can be a fun and enjoyable way to get around. But just because it is fun doesn’t mean it is completely carefree. Take the time to be safe and prepared as a rider for your sake and those around you.
Pabst Blue Ribbon Custom Motorcycle To Be Auctioned Off For Charity
How’d you like to get your hands on a custom built motorcycle, while doing something good for the families of U.S. military veterans? Well here’s your chance!
Pabst Blue Ribbon is auctioning off a big twin motorcycle custom built by Brandon Holstein. Teaming up with eBay for Charity, the custom bike, along with limited edition PBR x Loser Machine apparel & accessories, will be auctioned off to benefit Operation Homefront, a national non-profit that supports military families through difficult periods by providing a variety of programs designed to ensure that short-term needs don’t turn into long-term struggles.
“When PBR came to me with the idea of building a custom motorcycle that would benefit military families, I was honored and excited,” said Holstein. “I have friends and family who have served, or are serving, in the military, so I wanted to build something that represented their strength and fortitude. The end result is what you see here, a full custom, bare bones, little hot rod. It’s a one of a kind motorcycle that will put a smile on the face of whoever wins it.”
The Pabst Blue Ribbon x The Speed Merchant Memorial Day Motorcycle specs include an HD 80″ Evolution Motor, a custom handmade steel exhaust system with a Burn’s Stainless ultra light race muffler, a Chopper Guys retro style frame, Speed Merchant Speed bars, a ribbed Mustang style gas tank, and a hand tooled leather seat by Azteka Customs. It also comes with a PBR logo on the tank and an “Original 1884” badge referring to the year the iconic beer brand was founded.
The custom motorcycle, which has an MSRP of $25,000, will be up for auction from May 20th to May 30th at ebay.com/pbrcustom, with an opening bid price of $1.00. PBR will match the sale price of the bike, and all of the proceeds plus the match will be donated.
So if you’re in the market for a one-of-a-kind killer bike, dig deep and bid generously!
The Vozz RS 1.0 Motorcycle Helmet Does Away With The Chinstrap
Australian company Vozz Helmets is getting ready to introduce a revolutionary helmet design that challenges the nearly century-old pull on-pull off helmet with a chinstrap, and all I can say is that it’s about time!
Riders who wears glasses know all too well the challenges of wearing a full-faced helmet, having to take off your glasses first and then slip them back on through that little opening. The Vozz RS 1.0 helmet solves that problem by splitting vertically in two parts that pivot around a hinge at the top back of the shell. This opening offers ample space for the head to slide into the helmet and then it only takes is a little pressure to reattach the two parts via two locking mechanisms.
By eliminating the need for an opening big enough for the head to slide in, the helmet can be tailored for a closer fit. The tighter fit and more chin coverage means less air can enter from under the helmet, resulting in less aerodynamic lift to the head at high speeds, less noise and better heat insulation in the cold.
And in the event of an accident, the helmet can be separated into two parts by removing the two screws that hold the upper hinge in place, making it possible for emergency personnel to remove the helmet without moving the neck or applying any pressure to the rider’s head.
The video below shows you the Vozz RS 1.0 helmet works:
While pricing hasn’t been announced, Vozz claims that it will be offered at a competitive price. But we won’t have to wait too long to find out, as the helmet goes on sale on December 23rd at www.vozzhelmets.com.
7 Of The Best 600cc Bikes For Under $5000
If you’re planning on purchasing a 600cc bike in the near future, you could do a lot worse than having a look through the following examples. The forecourts of specialist dealers like Metropolis Motorcycles are usually well-stocked with bikes such as these and others, many of which prove a bargain, particularly when you want a reasonably-powerful machine that’s in a good condition, and crucially isn’t going to put too much of a dent in your wallet.
While you may think that a decent 600cc motorcycle will set you back a fair bit, you might be surprised.. And a short test drive on one of these bikes is all it takes to fall in love…
The SV650 is a part of the older generation, so don’t expect to get too much for it when it’s time to sell it, but you can pick one for well under the $5,000 budget, and at the higher end you can often find one in a very decent condition. Treat it right, and you should get a good few years from it.
This bike offers a nice compromise, as it’s both a safe ride for beginners (although newcomers to this engine bracket may find it a bit challenging at first and ought to take it easy until they’re confident with it) with superb handling, and one with just enough power to keep more experienced riders content. As far as downsides go, the suspension isn’t all that great, and there have been complaints about the rigidity of the saddle (although that can be swapped out easily enough). Generally, it’s an excellent value for this budget.
Suzuki V-Strom 650
A mongrel if ever there was one, the Suzuki V-Strom is part cruiser, part sport-bike, part off-roader, and you could probably add a few more definitions if you were thinking about it. A regular feature on ‘Best of’ lists, it has plenty of loyal followers worldwide and is widely regarded as one of the best value 600ccs you can find. There’s nothing particularly special about the V-Strom, but that’s kind of the point – it’s a solid performer in pretty much every category, above mid-table in performance, fuel efficiency, handling, comfort. You can pick up a decent one for well under $5k with a bit of research, and you’ll almost certainly be glad you did.
The FZ6 is extremely versatile – ideal for city commuting as well as longer road trips. Even the older models still hold up well against both time and later versions. It’s a reliable all-rounder that packs a lot of power whilst also handling incredibly well. The Yamaha FZ6 has a sporty look that suits its pverall performance, with a nice smooth acceleration from the lights, and it’s equally fun on country roads. Definitely a smart investment when you budget will only go so far.
Suzuki GSF650 Bandit
What is there to say about the Suzuki Bandit series that hasn’t already been said? The Bandit makes a great introduction to big bikes for the less-experienced rider. Plus points in its favor are that it’s easy and generally quite inexpensive to maintain. If you’re using the Bandit for city commuting or just lazily touring then it’s quite economical on fuel, but it has a tendency to be a bit thirsty if you’re thrashing it. Bandits feel like they’ve been around forever, which is a testament not only to their reliability but also to the type of ride they give – capable, nothing dramatic or flashy, but good solid fun.
To be completely fair, not all motorbikes made in China are terribly good quality. As such, the WK 650i won’t ever win any Best in Show awards, that’s clear. It’s not especially fast or attractive, and you won’t want to be riding it out in the countryside where potholes are more common. But it’s a perfectly serviceable big bike if you’re on a tight budget, and if you’re prepared to spend a little bit of money making some adjustments (like replacing the tires), it will be just fine.
The CBF600 is another bike that seems to be place-holding rather than aiming high, but what makes it worth a look is the fact that it’s a Honda, and so buyers can have some degree of confidence that it’s been put together well and the performance, if not big league, will certainly be more than adequate for most. A good option for new bikers, or those used to a smaller engine size and wanting to move up a step – the CBF600 lacks any real oomph but it comes with plenty of nifty features, and available add-ons, and it feels solid.
At 649CC, it’s slightly out of the range, but you can easily track one down for under $5,000. The ER-6 has a fantastic reputation among riders – it’s got bags of zip, with smooth gear-changing and decent brakes. This bike is comfortable for all but the tallest of riders, it’s excellent value, and you’ll have a lot of fun with this one.
So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of the good weather we’re having, and head out on the open road with the wind in your face. There’s seriously no better feeling..