Traffic = Sore Hand

Planning to be stuck in traffic has become part of my morning routine.

It seems that the Alex Fraser Bridge is greatly intimidating, add in to this a merge beforehand that also makes you turn at the same time and a mass parking lot is the result.  I left an hour and 15 minutes early for work today, knowing traffic was going to be worse than normal since it was raining (seriously, this is Vancouver area, get used to driving in rain people) and I still got to work 10 minutes late.  This is on a route that should take only 20 minutes total.

So, while I had such ample time to bond with my beautiful Tiger and think, I thought about a new blog post.  And shockingly, it has to do with riding in traffic.  I have a few tips of my own of course, and I have some that I have gathered from doing a bit of research and harassing my fellow co-workers.

 

1)       Friction Zone.  The sweet zone of feathering your clutch and throttle to enable you to creep forward at a snail’s pace.  Note to self: work on balance.

2)      Covering Brakes.  Keep a finger or two on the brake lever, this allows for fast braking when required.

3)      Low gear.  Always try to stay in a gear lower than you should be in to allow for a power getaway if needed.  This also only applies if you can get out of first gear.

4)      Scan Everything.  Constantly scan the drivers and cars in your view.  This means behind, beside, in front, and the ones just coming into view.  It will allow you to see the impatient driver that might jump into the same spot as you.

5)      Watch Hands/Heads.  Watching the hands and heads of drivers in cars might display their intended lane change/turn even when they didn’t.

6)      Mirrors.  Use your mirrors, but don’t fully rely on them.  Exercise your neck muscles and swivel!

7)      Left or Right.  Always try to stay to the left or right of the vehicle in front of you.  This will allow a getaway if needed, and you shouldn’t run over anything that they drive over and dodge.

 

In general, if you are stuck in traffic, try not to be in a rush.  The 10 seconds you might gain by zipping around someone could end up with your bike and you getting hit.

MV Agusta Dragster Review

Tuesday I delivered a Dragster 800 to her new owner.  We had the pleasure of her being at our dealership for five days.  A whole five glorious days, two of which we were closed.

999822_755063401185628_1682087653_n

She arrived in a box, a well-constructed box.

1970779_755165537842081_891624220_n

Said box included tie downs to keep her pristine lines unmarred during shipment from Italy.

10153111_755165571175411_509000967_n

Our Service Department had to inspect her, and ensure she wasn’t damaged at all.  It took the entire department to give her the once-over.

For the full review from her owner, Sam, please visit his website.

 

 

 

Buying Your First Bike

Every day we speak with someone who is starting the exotic adventure of becoming a motorcycle rider.  Every day we offer advice from lessons we learned at the School of Hard Knocks, whether the advice is adhered to or not is up to the individual.

I ventured around our dealership today getting a general consensus of the top three things that would be on a tip list.  This questioning session went from our General Manager to our handy-man-do-it-all guy, and the responses were pretty much even across the board.

1)      Gear.  Spend the money on the correct gear for whichever style of riding you choose.  You only have one head, protect it with a helmet that fits your head.

2)      Safety Course.  Devote the time and money to a quality safety course.  They will teach you things that you may never learn otherwise; regardless of how awesome your friends are or how many miles you have under your belt of hanging with the cool crowd.

3)      Unique.  Every person is built differently, as is every motorcycle.  What may fit me like a glove won’t fit you in the same way.  Test motorcycles out, meaning sit on them.  You will know when one fits you; it will just feel “right”.

4)      Engine.  Don’t dismiss a motorcycle because it has too big of an engine.  Take into consideration the power-to-weight ratio.  A 1000CC cruiser that weighs 700lbs is going to act entirely different than a 1000CC sport bike that weighs 400lbs.  Plus, the center of gravity is drastically different between the two.

5)      Size.  Both of your feet don’t have to be flat-footed when sitting on the motorcycle.  If it feels comfortable to you, go with it.  Your friends might feel most comfortable with both feet like that, but they aren’t you.

6)      Friends.  Buy what you want.  Bring friends along if it makes you more comfortable, but do your research as well.  Your friends might strictly be race bike folks, venture into your own world.  You are joining the motorcycle club, which means being an “outlaw,” so start with your first step if necessary and break away from the expected.

7)      Longevity.  Buy a motorcycle that you will ride for a year or more.  You can grow into a motorcycle, but you can’t grow a motorcycle.  A 250cc is fun when learning in the school of your choice, but when you are on your own and on a highway, the 250cc is scary.

Buying a motorcycle can be a daunting process for a beginner.  Think about what kind of riding you will be doing the most of.  Are you going to be doing mostly city-driving?  How about long trips on the weekend?  Will you be navigating a lot of tight, busy parking lots?  What about logging roads?

 

Springing into Rain

With the weather pattern of the last few weeks, or as long as I’ve been a resident of our great Lower Mainland, it seems that riding in the rain is required if you want any time on your motorcycle.

I’ve always been a fair weather rider due to two main reasons; 1) rain hurts and 2) cleaning my old bike for hours takes away from riding time when the weather is good.  But then, I bought a dual-sport and the proper gear for riding in any weather condition.

So, now that I have the gear and a bike that frolics in any type of weather it’s time to venture into this wet stuff falling from the sky.

Well, shoot, lets cover a few things of what do I need to watch out for riding in the rain?

1)      Rainbows.  I’m all about the bright colors, and glimmering goodness of rainbows.  If they’re in the sky, on clothes, stickers, etc that is brilliant.  On the road or near stop lights, I avoid them like the plague because they indicate a slip-n-slide for your tires.

2)      Relax.  It’s easy to tense up when riding in wet weather because you have 12 bajillion more things to watch out for, but don’t.  Or at least try to remain as at ease as possible.

3)      Tires.  If you’re determined to get every last kilometer of wear out of your tires, don’t ride in the rain.  Slick tires are of no use to stay on two-wheels in wet weather.

4)      Puddles.  We all love puddles, or at least did at one point or another.  Try to avoid them if you don’t know what lies beneath.

5)      Railways.  Take railroad crossings as direct as possible.  The metal is wet.  Wet metal is extremely slippery.  Don’t go sliding on wet medal, its bad.

6)      Braking.  Try to not brake severely or suddenly.  Also, attempt to use your rear brake more than your front brake.  If a sudden need for brakes is required and you start to slide, it is easier to recover from a rear slide vs. front.

7)      Gear.  Waterproof gear is essential if you want to stay dry.  A breathable material like Gore-Tex is highly recommended, since it also keeps water out.

8)      Helmet.  Full-face. Rain hurts.  It really hurts when hitting your face going 80kmh.

9)      Space.  Don’t tail-gate.  It irritates you in good weather; it’s just more dangerous in bad weather.

10)   Lightning.  If it starts streaking from sky to ground, or sky to sky, hide.  But please don’t hide under a tree.  This would be a good time to stop for a rest and to grab a bite to eat or a coffee.

If you love motorcycles and live in the Pacific Northwest the chances are high that you will ride in the rain.  Just relax and take your time.  Enjoy the ride!

2014 SEASON START

Thursday March 20, 2014 6pm to 10pm

The BMW Motorrad 2014 SEASON START event will unveil the new R1200RT,
the R1200GS Adventure, the R nineT, the S1000R and in select areas the K1600GTL Exclusive.

There will be food, fun, and excitement as we kick off the riding season. It will be time to awaken our bikes and get the RPMs and our pulses rising!