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Are you one of the many motorcycle enthusiasts who dream of riding across the country on Route 66? This iconic ride is something everyone should do at least once in their lifetime. But the question remains: What do you do when you finally reach the Pacific Coast? Don’t worry. Your epic ride doesn’t have to […] The post Beyond Route 66: The Best Motorcycle Routes on the West Coast appeared first on Biker...
Are you one of the many motorcycle enthusiasts who dream of riding across the country on Route 66? This iconic ride is something everyone should do at least once in their lifetime. But the question remains: What do you do when you finally reach the Pacific Coast? Don’t worry. Your epic ride doesn’t have to end when you see the ocean. In fact, some of the best motorcycle routes in the country are scattered throughout the western United States. Are you ready to gear up and ride off into the sunset? Whether you’re riding with your significant other, your closest friends, or making a solo journey, we’ve got you covered.
In this post, we’ll reveal the best motorcycle rides in each of the three west coast states–California, Oregon, and Washington.
Best California Motorcycle Routes
Did you know that California has almost double the number of motorcycles of any other state? With over 842,000 registered motorcycles, you know the riding options have got to be good! Here’s our pick for the five best riding routes in the Golden State.
1. California State Route 1 (Pacific Coast Highway)
California’s Pacific Coast Highway is another bucket list for many motorcyclists. If you’re going to spend any time on the west coast, it would be a crime not to include at least part of this stretch on your itinerary. Stretching over 650 miles along the California coast (and into Oregon), you can’t beat the views on this epic oceanfront highway. Crashing surf, breathtaking cliffs, and beaches lined with seals and other wildlife await you. What if you don’t have time to ride the whole highway? We recommend the Big Sur stretch from Carmel to Morro Bay (120 miles). Or, if you’re a bridge enthusiast, start in Santa Cruz at the beautiful Bixby Creek Bridge. Head north 138 miles and complete your ride by crossing the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
2. Death Valley National Park
You may envision nothing but wasteland and vultures when you hear “Death Valley.” But the reality is that this national park offers some of the most unique scenery on the planet. Imagine hour after hour of cloudless blue skies and barren desert mountains. You won’t find any forests or water here–just a few hearty bushes and a burst of wildflowers in the springtime. You’ve got a few different options for reaching Death Valley:
Highway 395 (from the east)
I-15 (from the south)
Off NV 95 (from the north)
Because summertime temperatures can be extreme, we recommend riding through Death Valley during the fall, winter, or spring.
3. Highway 38 to Big Bear Lake
What if you’re more into mountains than deserts or coastal roads? This ride is sure to satisfy you!Great if you have limited time but still want fabulous scenery, this ride is only about 60 miles out of San Bernardino. It winds through the delightful San Bernardino National Forest, passing several scenic overlooks along the way. The final leg of the journey winds around Sugarloaf Mountain and dumps you out at pristine Big Bear Lake. To make the return trip, take Highway 18 back towards LA and enjoy the spectacular drop-offs along the way.
4. Montezuma Valley Road (Ranchita to Borrego Springs)
This is another short ride that’s well worth your time if you’re in the area. Start in Ranchita and head east through the stark but beautiful Montezuma Valley. Desert panoramas and endless blue skies await as you traverse the 13 miles across the valley. You’ll descend over 3,000 feet in elevation along the way, with plenty of tight turns to keep you on your toes. Keep your eye out for the Borrego bighorn sheep that like cling to the rocky mountainsides.
5. Woodlake to Sequoia National Forest
For more hairpin turns–and the world’s largest trees–plot a route towards Sequoia National Forest. Start your ride in Woodlake, about 50 miles southeast of Fresno. Take Highway 245 into the park until it merges with Highway 180. Enjoy the scenery as the desert landscape gives way to majestic Redwood forests. Be sure to include a stop at General Sherman, the world’s largest tree (by volume). This 2,000-year old giant stands a staggering 275 feet high and has a base diameter of more than 36 feet!
Best Oregon Motorcycle Routes
Oregon may not be as big or as popular as California, but it has plenty to offer in the way of scenic motorcycle routes.
1. US 101 (Pacific Coast Highway)
If you’re riding the Pacific Coast Highway north out of California, you’ll end up on US 101–Oregon’s coastal gem. From Cannon Beach to Florence (158 miles), this oceanfront road offers spectacular views and much less traffic than its southern counterpart. Enjoy the massive sand dunes and windswept landscape of Nehalem Bay State Park–a perfect spot to camp for the night. Don’t miss the iconic Haystack Rock, too, a prehistoric monolith that towers 235 feet over Cannon Beach.
2. Blue Mountain Scenic Byway
Remote mountain roads, high scenic ridges, and thick temperate forests await you on the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway. Stretching between the towns of Baker City and Condon, this 186-mile stretch of road is perfect for those who want to get away from it all. On the way, you’ll ride along a ridge that sits 2,000 feet higher than the surrounding landscape. There’s also a historic steam train and old gold mines if you feel the urge to stop and explore.
3. Wapinitia Highway
This highway makes a big loop around Mount Hood, offering amazing vistas from all sides. Our favorite part of the ride, though, is the 26-mile cut-through between Highway 26 and Highway 97. The road is kept in pristine condition and is fairly straight, with just a few gentles turns along the way. You’ll marvel at the changes in scenery in such a short amount of time. Thick conifer and pines forests give way to the very different look of sage and juniper trees in the high desert plateau.
4. Oregon Outback Scenic Highway
With “outback” and “scenic” in its name, you know this highway has a lot to offer any motorcycle enthusiast.This 175-mile ride begins in the charming town of La Pine, Oregon. Take Route 31 south until you hit Highway 395. If you like, you can follow this road down into California and end up at Goose Lake State Recreation Area. Because it’s located on the “dry” side of Oregon, expect good-quality roads and plenty of high desert scenery. Keep an eye out for antelope, turkey, deer, and even wild horses.
5. Route 218
If you can’t get enough high desert scenery, take the road from Shaniko to Fossil. This 48-mile stretch passes through land riddled with sagebrush, antelope, and deserted “ghost towns.” You’ll also be surprised to see some red rock formations and hidden green valleys reminisce of New Mexico or Arizona.
Best Washington Motorcycle Routes
If you’ve made it all the way to the Great Pacific Northwest, welcome! You’re sure to find delight in exploring these scenic routes.
1. Highway 20 Washington Pass
This is an 87-mile stretch of road between the towns of Marblemount and Winthrop. You’ll find the starting point about 100 miles northeast of Seattle. This is a very twisty, winding mountain road best suited for experienced riders. As you pass through North Cascade National Park, you’ll gradually climb from sea level to well above 8,000 feet. One important note: This pass is only open from April to October.
2. Mount Rainier Ramble
This 70-mile ride will bring you up close and personal with the impressive peak of Mount Rainier.Start in the town of Elbe and head east, following the signs for Sunrise Park. Enjoy the spectacular views of the 14,411-foot peak to your north as the road winds past thick forests and glacial lakes. Although the roads are well-maintained, this ride is best enjoyed in the summer to avoid potentially icy conditions.
3. WA Route 542
If you’re in the coastal town of Bellingham, hop on WA Route 542 and follow it east. Enjoy the view of Mount Baker rising in front of you as you ride the 57-mile stretch of highway. Eventually, you’ll pass north of Mount Baker and end up at a scenic overlook near Mount Shuksan. Aside from the beautiful scenery, experienced riders will enjoy all the hairpin turns along this sweeping route.
Motorcycle Riding Routes and More
There’s nothing like the freedom of the open road. If you’re used to the crowded roadways of the east coast, you’re in for a real treat when you head west. Endless sunshine, salty sea air, and miles of unspoiled scenery await you on these scenic west coast motorcycle routes. But why stop at the west coast? There’s a huge world out there waiting to be discovered–and one of the best ways to do so is from the back of a motorcycle.
Check out our recent post on the world’s best motorcycle routes. From Australia to Norway and Nepal to South Africa, there’s a riding adventure out there with your name on it. Which destination will call out to you?
The post Beyond Route 66: The Best Motorcycle Routes on the West Coast appeared first on Biker Report.
There’s not much better than riding your bike under a blue sky and the warm sun. The only thing is, the summer heat brings its challenges. This applies whether you’re riding on the open road or on a city street. If you can stay cool while you ride, it makes the experience much more enjoyable. […] The post Hotfoot It: 13 of the Best Summer Motorcycle Boots appeared first on Biker...
There’s not much better than riding your bike under a blue sky and the warm sun. The only thing is, the summer heat brings its challenges. This applies whether you’re riding on the open road or on a city street. If you can stay cool while you ride, it makes the experience much more enjoyable.
Sure you may have your mesh jacket and your helmet. However, adding the right footwear will up your game. A good pair of vented motorcycle boots or summer socks is an absolute must. With so many styles and fits to choose from, finding the right pair can be tricky. It’s worth finding out the best boot for you, so you can ride happily all summer long. If you’ve ever wondered which boot to buy, here’s 13 of the best summer motorcycle boots.
1. Bates Adrenaline Performance
The Bates Adrenaline Performance boots both look good and perform well. Made of cowhide and nylon, it can easily move from the bike to an office or casual outing. This is due to the classic design with a low profile that doesn’t shout “I’ve been out on the hog all day”. The material and profile also mean it’s really easy to clean. There’s strong lower leg security on the boot to give you peace of mind. Good ankle protection is one of the best features on the Bates. It won’t let you down.
2. Sidi Gas Motorcycle Riding Shoe
One of a few Sidi entrants on this list, the Sidi Gas Motorcycle features a low cut design. The upper section is ventilated to keep the breeze flowing in summer temperatures. It’s part of the Sidi Design Series that’s produced by outside suppliers from Sidi’s design. Sidi knows you want to get riding right away. That’s why there’s a rear pull strap to get the boot on quickly. Inside, there’s a light inner sole so your feat don’t get too heated. To increase or decrease support, there’s a removable arch support pad.
It’s sturdy too, with double stitching in the higher stress parts of the boot. For night riders, the rear has reflective panels.
3. TCX S-Speed Gore-Tex
The TCX S-Speed Gore-Tex are vented motorcycle boots that will last all season. They’re the perfect combo of waterproofing and ventilation. It could be said they are the ultimate breathable motorcycle boots. The Gore-Tex takes care of the water resistance and allows air to flow. The boots also have mesh for further ventilation. On the exterior, there’s a leather-effect skin. Other cool features include a heel guard and shin plates. Replaceable toe sliders are also included if you need to change them out.
4. TCX Street Ace Waterproof Shoes
TCX takes their unassuming Street Ace shoes and ups the ante. The entire shoe is covered in a waterproof coating. Whether you need protection from summer showers or large city puddles, you’re covered. This is one summer motorcycle boot that’s cool exterior hides the motherload of features inside. The Street Ace could pass for a regular high top sneaker. That’s actually part of the draw for some riders.
The smooth and refined exterior is crafted from calfskin. It integrates a number of features for motorcycle riders in its design. There are sole foot area counters. Both ankles are protected by embeds. The elastic sole is flexible but sturdy. Toe and heel fortifications mean that this is a hard wearing shoe.
5. Alpinestars Oscar Monty
For the more fashion-forward rider, it’s worth taking a look at the Oscar range from Alpinestars. The company describes the range as a merging of innovation and Italian craftsmanship. So you get both modern tech and classic style. This particular style is a throwback to the 1960s and 1970s. Or as the company calls it, the days of the Suzuki RM 370 and the Metisse Desert Racer. The Monty is ankle high and available in either black or brown. The rubber compound soles also come in a choice of black or white. On the ankle, there’s the signature Oscar logo to broadcast your good taste to the world. Its major selling point as a pair of summer motorcycle riding boots is the highly ventilated design. The boots are extremely lightweight, making them even cooler (literally). There’s also an ergonomically designed protector, great for everyday riding.
6. Sidi Roarr
Another Sidi entrant on the list, the Sidi Roarrs are pricey but worth it. In addition to its array of tough features, there’s a venting system to keep feet cool. Though the boots come with armor to protect you, they don’t sacrifice comfort at all. At the same time, the look of the boot is one that wouldn’t seem out of place on an Indy 500 racer. The exterior is a fiber called Technomicro, a thin microfiber. Sidi then lines this with air Teflon mesh. A one-two punch of both abrasion resistance and protection from impact. A heel cup further ups the impact absorption. There’s a fixed shin plate to protect as well, and the slider is replaceable. The boot also protects your ankle with an anti-twist feature.
7. Merlin Aragon
The Merlin Aragon is an affordable waterproof option that doesn’t compromise on protection. You get it all here. A shin protector, and toe, heel, and ankle protection as well. Its upper is made of leather which is resistant to abrasion. The sole is tough, oil-resistant and anti-slip with a good grip. Though they aren’t expensive, the Aragons look elegant enough to wear every day. They also hold up well for touring.
8. Sidi Mag
Sidi’s Mag-1 Airs are made in the company’s Italian factory. So you’re getting top quality materials and craftsmanship. What’s more, many of the exterior bits are replaceable. If you need to fix them up, you can just order them and repair the boots yourself. The space-age Techno 3 magnetic closure is great if you’re tired of velcro or zips. What sets this boot apart the most, though, is the amount of adjustability. You can customize the fit to your exact requirements.
9. Alpinestars SMX-1R Vented Motorcycle Boots
In some ways, the SMX-1R vented boot sets the standard for short summer boots. It’s sporty, sleek, and has a low profile. It looks like it could be designer, but isn’t just a pretty face. It’s got replaceable toe sliders, armor protection, and zip-up and buckle protection. The upper is made of microfiber that is both comfortable and breathable. Not convinced yet? Well here’s a fun fact. The impact protection is to such a high standard that the boot is CE-certified.
10. Joe Rocket Atomic Boot 2014
When the Joe Rocket Atomic Boot first arrived on the scene it was a game changer. Fast forward to now and it’s still one of the most popular choices for lightweight sports boots. It’s great value for its price point. That alone would earn it a place on this list of the best summer motorcycle boots. However, this boot has style and substance. What makes it stand out is its sleek, cool-looking profile. There’s a reinforced shifter zone, zip and buckle closure. Finally, it’s got replaceable toe sliders for your convenience.
11. Alpinestars SMX 6 Gore-Tex
Alpinestars, like TCX, do a sick Gore-Tex boot. The attention to detail is what sets the SMX 6 Gore-Tex apart. The boot also boasts water-repellent soles, as well as accordion flex panels. These are in the back and front, so they are supremely comfortable for riders. There’s also a biomechanical outer bracing system. Like the TCX boot, the Gore-Tex will keep you dry and still remain breathable while doing so. No matter the weather, this boot will ensure you can keep riding.
12. Tour Master Epic Air Waterproof Touring Boot
Looking for a sleek touring boot with full-length waterproof gaiters? Then the Tour Master Epic Air is for you. The microfiber PU upper is abrasion resistant. It beats the heat with breathable mesh fabric as well as front and rear polyester stretch panels. On the sole, you’ve got oil and petrol resistance vulcanized rubber. The boots are easy to put on and off with hook and loop closures and YKK zippers on the side.
13. Speed and Strength Run With The Bulls Moto Shoes
The fit is one of the main reasons that these street bike shoes are popular. The main safety features they have are molded ankle protectors and toe boxes. Both are reinforced. For even more protection, there are also external protectors. The overall look is of a sneaker, but the upper is made of both leather and textile. While the shoe comes with laces, they are barely noticeable due to the Under Cover lacing system.
Find The Right Summer Motorcycle Boots For You
Hopefully, this list will have inspired you to choose the right summer motorcycle boots for your needs. No matter what boot you choose, look for protective features. If you spend a bit more, you’ll get armor and shin guards. However, they will increase the heat on your feet. If you’re looking for the perfect everyday shoes, we can help. Leave a comment below if you have any other boot recommendations for warm weather.
The post Hotfoot It: 13 of the Best Summer Motorcycle Boots appeared first on Biker Report.
Planning your first long-distance ride? Here's everything you need to know for your first cross country motorcycle trip. The post 10 Tips for Your First Cross Country Motorcycle Trip appeared first on Biker Report.
Did you know that 32% of Americans aged 18-29 report owning a motorcycle? Of all these motorcycle enthusiasts, it’s likely that many have considered the journey of a cross-country motorcycle trip.
If this is you, it looks as though you may in for the ride of your life! But, with such a great adventure ahead of you, it’s best to be prepared for anything and everything that can happen in between.
As most seasoned motorcyclists are aware, a trip on your bike isn’t just about getting from Point A to Point B. Instead, it’s about enjoying the journey along the way.
If you’re getting ready to hit the open road, you’re going to want to ensure that you’ve read this cross-country guide beforehand. We’re uncovering our ten best tips for preparing for your first cross-country motorcycle trip.
1. Double-Check Your Bike
First things first, you’re going to want to ensure that your motorcycle and all gear are in optimal condition. This means everything is perfectly functioning from the frame and the suspension to the engine and the transmission.
To be extra safe, you may want to have your bike serviced by and examined by an experienced mechanic. While it may feel excessive, it’s sure to provide you with peace of mind throughout your trip.
You will also want to consider how long you have had your current helmet. Safety guidelines recommend purchasing a new, updated motorcycle helmet every five years. This is especially the case for any helmets that have experienced an accident.
You will also want to pay special attention to the functionality of your tires. You’re going to want to ensure that your bike is equipped with tires that can withstand the long trip. If you feel that your tires may be nearing the end of their lifespan, it’s always best to switch them.
Lastly, be sure to pay attention to the load limit of your motorcycle. The owner’s manual should state the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating and it’s important to stay under the maximum limit.
2. Understand Your Destination(s)
With a cross-country trip, you’re going to be passing through many different states that each have their own set of rules and regulations. From differing interstate speeds and varying rules of the road, it’s best to be prepared in advance for the legalities of each state.
Some states carry refueling laws in which you need a permit to fuel your car. For example, in most of Oregon drivers are not permitted to pump their own gas. In order to comply with the law, it’s important to be aware of the different rules of the road in each state that you plan to pass through.
Some states may also require different forms of identification. To best prepare, ensure that you have a good variety of government identification from health cards to driver’s licenses and a copy of your passport.
If and when stopped by the authorities, it’s always best to have as much documentation as possible.
3. Create a Well-Equipped Packing List
When it comes time to packing, it’s best to be overprepared than to be underprepared. This may lead to carrying extra weight, but you’ll be happy in the end that you chose to include each and every item on your list.
For a general list, be sure to pack the following items:
- Cell phone and cell phone charger
- First aid kit
- Tire repair kit
- Lightweight and reusable Waterbottle
- Portable motorcycle cover
- A physical map
- Laundry pods
- Rain jacket
- List of personal contacts
- Lightweight clothing
- Extra socks
From here, you can add more personalized items to your list to suit your trip. Of course, you will have to ensure that your packing list adheres to the weight restrictions of your particular motorcycle.
4. Download Travels Apps
If you’re going to be staying at hotels or motels, the costs can add up pretty quickly.
In an effort to protect your wallet, try downloading lodging apps such as Priceline and Hotwire. These apps allow users to enter the city in which they plan to reside and will offer discount prices for overnight stays. You can also take advantage of the free continental breakfasts that are often associated with these overnight stays!
You may also want to consider downloading a fuel finder app. These apps reveal the closest fuel stations to your location and with prices. This allows you to compare which stations are in close proximity and offer the cheapest fuel.
After all, fueling stations can be few and far between with scenic routes, so it’s best to note ahead of time the upcoming locations.
5. Have a Reliable Method of Communication
While it may appear unnecessary to request all riders to bring a phone, many riders enjoy the freedom of being unplugged throughout their road trip.
However, for safety reasons, it’s essential to have a reliable method of communication throughout your journey. A working phone in which your service provider is able to provide service in all planned destinations is a must.
If you plan to cross into another country or even some states, be aware that your service provider may no longer operate in that country.
6. Consider a Helmet with Bluetooth
To really make the most of your trip, you may want to consider splurging on a helmet that includes Bluetooth speakers.
This means you can wirelessly connect your phone to your speakers and enjoy music, podcasts, phone calls, etc. It’s safe to say this is a feature that is both incredibly functional and makes for a more safe ride.
Not to mention this will especially come in handy when using a GPS. Rather than having to read the instructions of your GPS, the Bluetooth will be able to feed you the directions through each speaker.
Be sure that whichever helmet you choose abides by the present helmet laws!
7. Pack Earplugs
If you have yet to ride on a long, crowded interstate then you have yet to understand just how loud it can be. The honking, the speeding cars, the sirens -these sounds have the ability to drive any motorcyclist crazy after a long ride on the interstate.
For some stretches of the interstate, you may not desire music or podcasts to drown the sounds. In these times, you can turn to your earplugs to bring a more calming sense of peace and serenity to your drive.
The excessively loud noise of the interstate can also be damaging to your ears. The last thing anyone wants on a road trip is to slowly begin losing their hearing or, at the very least, causing pain to the ears.
At the end of the day, earplugs are minuscule and lightweight making them easy to pack. Even if only used a few times, you’re sure to give yourself a pat on the back for packing these earphones.
8. Avoid Excess Interstate Routes
While interstates may save time, they may not provide for the most scenic of drives.
When planning your route, don’t always opt for the fastest means of reaching your next destination. Instead, why not take back country roads that provide for better landscapes and more peace and quiet?
Nowadays, there are plenty of tried-and-true motorcycle routes available online that have been tested many a time before. These routes are peaceful and avoid long stretches on the interstate.
After all, when it comes to riding your motorcycle on the open road, the trip is about the journey, not the destination.
9. Plan According to Your Experience
When it comes time to plan both your routes and the length of your trip, be realistic in your ability. This means taking into consideration your body and your mind and understanding your limits.
Sure, you may have gone for long rides before. But, consider that back-to-back rides over the span of a road trip will start to take a toll on your body. Be practical when planning how long you will ride each day and the destinations in between.
10. Don’t Press Yourself for Time
The last thing any motorcyclist desires on their road trip is to feel pressed for time and rushed. After all, the journey is about taking a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life and enjoying a new, more slow pace of life.
That being said, give yourself enough time to get from destination-to-destination. This means taking time to stretch your legs, have a snack and water break and relax your back if necessary.
Cross-Country Motorcycle Trip
It’s safe to safe that a cross-country motorcycle trip has the ability to be the trip of a lifetime!
But, checking this ultimate getaway off of your bucket list there are some guidelines that you’re going to want to follow. These tips help to ensure that your trip is as safe and efficient as possible and that you’re prepared for any bumps in the road.
From double-checking your bike and understanding the legalities of your destination to opting for a helmet with Bluetooth and avoiding the interstates, there certainly is a right way to do a cross-country motorcycle trip.
If you’re still trying to plan the perfect route, check out some of our hand-curated lists of some of the best motorcycle routes across the country!
Enjoy the ride!
The post 10 Tips for Your First Cross Country Motorcycle Trip appeared first on Biker Report.
Some people are just born to ride. We're taking a peek into the past to remember the history of motorcycles, their use in the military, and the many people who hopped on and rode their way into history. The post Born to Ride: Motorcycles in History appeared first on Biker...
We are in the middle of a major shift in motorcycle history. Makers are changing out their strategies and coming out with new designs. The 2016 US sales numbers were 371,403, half of what they were a decade before. Don’t be mistaken, this is a good thing for us riders.
Throughout the history of motorcycles, makers have faced challenges. Each time, they innovate and rise above. Those of us born to ride get the benefit with newer and better bikes.
The first motorcycles built were more like steam-powered bicycles. These powered bicycles were like the motorized bicycles we see today. Through the mid to late 1800’s independent builders developed bikes as one-offs. They became so powerful that a bicycle frame was no longer strong enough.
The First Mass Production
The 20th century brought formation of the most iconic motorcycle companies of today. While they have faced challenges, they are all producing motorcycles today.
Royal Enfield was the first to begin mass-producing motorcycles. Triumph began producing motorcycles soon after. Both companies had begun as bicycle builders. Indian and Harley also started production around this time. These first motorcycles had lighter frames than what know today. Their tanks were thin and long. Handlebars were low, wide, and slung back.
War Brought Innovation
Motorcycles, although new technology, took a central role in the war effort. Horses phased out and motorcycles took their place. WWII motorcycles made message communication faster across the battlefields. Military police also found motorcycles as an effective means of transportation.
Triumph benefited during this time. They sold 30,000 units of the Model H. The Model H was 499 cc and air cooled. The single cylinder side valve engine provided all the power. This was the first Triumph without pedals. Military motorcycles were workhorses with larger, longer tanks. The fat nobby tires provided traction in the worst conditions.
During this time Indian came out with a rear suspension system. This added maneuverability and comfort to the ride. Indian dedicated almost its entire production abilities to the war effort. This ultimately hurt the company. After the war, Indian struggled to position itself as a civilian vehicle.
It was during this time the Harley V Solo rose to dominance. Over 50% of Harley’s production abilities went towards the war effort by the end. This popularity only continued to rise after the war as veterans came back home. American veterans coming come wanted to keep riding the Harleys. Motorcycles to replace the excitement, danger, and camaraderie they felt while at war.
The Rise of Clubs
As war veterans came home and began to ride more, they started organizing into clubs. This trend inspired movies like The Wild One starring Marlon Brando.
The Japanese Invasion
By the time the 1960’s came around, Japanese manufacturers had taken over the industry. Honda was now the force to reckon with.
It was around this time that motorcycles went from practical tool to fun toy. Motorcycles were now a carefree recreational vehicle of the youth. The across the frame-four engine setup designed by Honda came to the American market. This paved the way for bigger and faster bikes.
British presence faded away during this time. Harley and BMW had to face Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Yamaha.
Japanese makers were able to build better quality motorcycles faster. They were affordable and stylish. British builders couldn’t keep up. BMW struggled but managed to save themselves with the redesigned Slash-5. Harley survived thanks to a unique product, tariff laws, and a strong sense of customer loyalty.
The Market Shifts
By the 1980’s BMW jumped back in the game with their own innovations. They came out with an “adventure touring” bike. This created a whole new crossover category of bike. They were also the first makers to put anti-lock brakes on their bikes.
Americans and Italians started gaining market share back with their own innovations. This is due to the diversification of motorcycle styles.
Once the Japanese bikes were on the market, the competition for power started heating up. The first superbike hit the market in 1969 from Honda.
The Honda CB750 was their first attempt at making a bike designed for the American market. It was so popular that it remained in production until 2003.
Eventually, a “gentleman’s agreement” among major manufacturers formed in 2000. They agreed to limit their machine’s speed to 186 mph. The agreement came about after the 1999 Hayabusa exploded onto the market. It’s production speed and power beat previous records by leaps and bounds.
Industry folks feared that if the competition continued, people would start dying. They did not want the bad press of 200 mph plus street racing. Superbikes like the Kawasaki zx14 came with a built-in limiter. In 2005 the zx14 could do 0-60 in 2.5 seconds, but wouldn’t go over 186 mph.
Leave it to the Italians in 2007 to decide they were done with the agreement. They came out with the F4 R 312. Following in suit BMW came out with the BMW S1000RR. Ducati was next to break the agreement.
They came out with the 1199 Panigale R where the speedometer simply went blank after 186mph. Today the fastest production bike is not street legal.
The Kawasaki H2R can reach speeds of 206-249 mph. There is a street version with less power than the track version.
Today there are two large distinct motorcycle markets. The speed and handling focused sportbikes and the more laid back cruisers.
Other smaller niches have formed. This includes crossovers, adventure, trikes, and street fighters. These days, there is a bike for every style.
Brands that had previously gone defunct are experiencing new life. Riders of today appreciate the history and look of the older bikes. This is most easily seen with the Indian and Triumph brands. Both companies have gone defunct and come back.
Indian embraces their roots with pastel colors. Their bikes feature tan leather saddlebags with plenty of fringe.
Triumph embraces the hipster movement. Their bikes are for the bowtie-wearing gentleman rider who doesn’t want to get dirty.
Electric & Battery
The future of motorcycles is electric and battery powered. Traditional motorcycle makers like Harley have made attempts at it.
The Zero is the leader in innovation for this technology. While they still face major issues, they are are developing. Battery powered bikes will grow in popularity as price decreases and range increases. For now, they are great for inner city commuting.
Famous People Born to Ride
Today motorcycles hold a special place in Hollywood’s heart. Many celebrities love riding motorcycles like Tom Cruise, Justin Timberlake, and George Clooney riding. Famous for his car collection, Leno has also amassed a large motorcycle collection. His more notable bikes are a 1933 Indian Four and a 1946 Harley WR.
They can say thanks to the rebel movie stars of the 60’s for cementing their popularity. Hollywood’s shift to feature the bad boy rebel brought on a love of motorcycles for youth.
Before Brando was famous, he would take his motorcycle for nighttime rides in New York City. Once he became famous, motorcycles were an outlet for him.
Just like all us enthusiasts, he’d hop on his bike and cruise. He’d often go Southwest. Cruising through the desert with no particular destination was a favorite pastime.
The Rebel Without a Cause star first started riding at the age of 15 on a 1947 CZ 125-cc. His nickname growing up was “one speed Dean” and his one speed was “wide open.” He owned many motorcycles in his life including a Royal Enfield, Indian, and Triumph.
The ultimate king of cool and the first person most people think of when it comes to famous motorcycles. Long before he was famous he was racing his used Harley in weekend tournaments.
He eventually built a collection of over 100 motorcycles. His favorite being Indian. McQueen helped bring motorcycles into modern culture. He was the ultimate symbol of cool.
Throughout the 60’s and 70’s Evel Knievel was famous for daredevil stunts. He attempted more than 75 motorcycle jumps in his career. The use of helmets was greatly influenced by him. He supported the use, crediting them with his life.
Ultimately the state of California used him as the walking example of the importance of helmet laws. In 1999 the Motorcycle Hall of Fame inducted him.
Motorcycles Are Here to Stay
As long as there are people who are born to ride, the motorcycle makers will be there. Today’s riders have a wider variety of power and styles to choose from. The humble beginnings of steam-powered bicycles are no more. Japanese and Italian makers dominate the sportbike industry with superbikes.
American and British makers dominate in the cruising market. Retro military motorcycle styles like the scrambler are coming back in vogue. Just like their long history, the future promises innovation, and power.
The only question that’s left, where will you ride yours? Let us know in the comments below.
In order to ride right, you need some essential accessories for motorcycles. Check these awesome gadgets that will transform the way you cruise! The post 15 Accessories for Motorcycles That Are Worth It appeared first on Biker Report.
While the motorcycle may be the main star, the accessories for motorcycles are the backup singers. They help motorcycle owners customize their ride and they can even aid in protection during an accident.
But where to start? There are so many things on the market these days, it can be difficult to know what kind of motorcycle gadgets are worth your time. The list below will take you through all of the top motorcycle accessories that will bring your riding experience to a whole new level.
1. Touchscreen Gloves
With the world becoming more and more accustomed to touchscreens, you’ll want the ability to use your phone even while riding. The problem is that most motorcycle gloves require you to take them off before you can use the touchscreen. This is an extra step no one wants to take while riding on their favorite route.
That’s why getting gloves that have touchscreen pads on the fingertips is the best way to go. Not only do you get the protection for your hands, you also can use your motorcycle gadgets with no problems. If you can’t find specific gloves that allow this, you can always find stickers to put on your favorite gloves yourself.
2. Waterproof Tank Bags
Using your motorcycle as a mode of transportation means that sometimes you have extra personal belongings to bring with you. Unlike a car, there’s no handy trunk available to stash away your things.
That’s where extra bags are a life savior. They’re easy to attach and they come in a variety of sizes so that you can customize your bag with your needs for the day. Make sure to get a bag that is waterproof in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. You don’t want your precious items to get damaged along the way.
3. Stash Pegs
If you’re not one for carrying much with you when you go for a ride, then these kind of stash pegs are the perfect match. They look like normal pegs but are much more than that. They allow you to store away some extra money during a long ride.
They also work well for any small object you want to keep stashed away. Attach them to your bike and you’ve got yourself a hideaway compartment. No one would ever know.
4. Airbag Jacket
You might think that a jacket with an airbag would be bulky and strange. But this special type of jacket is an ingenious way of protecting yourself during a crash, all while still looking sleek and cool.
No one would know you’re wearing an airbag unless you told them yourself. This is the kind of motorcycle riding accessory that no biker should go without. It would turn out to be your best friend if an accident were to occur.
5. Multi-Tools with Sockets
Another accessory you should always have on hand is a set of multi-tools, complete with sockets. Sometimes small adjustments or fixes are necessary on the road. If you have no tools of your own, you could be stranded on the street for a long time.
With this sort of tool-set stashed away, you’ll have everything you need for small repairs or the like. That means less time on the sidelines and more time revving up that engine.
6. Smart Helmet
There’s a lot that goes into picking the perfect helmet. These days, however, it goes beyond picking only for safety and appeal.
The option to get a high-tech smart helmet is something a lot of bikers are turning towards. A lot of them can connect to your phone and allow you to interact with things like phone calls and music without fumbling with a small device. It allows you to ride with all of the added perks you could ever want.
7. Heated Clothing
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of wind rushing past as you drive fast. However, the chill it creates can shorten the length of an enjoyable ride.
That’s where heated clothing comes to play. It keeps you toasty and comfortable even in the cold of the night. Not only does it feel luxurious, it also helps you stay out on the road for as long as you’d like.
8. LED Modifications
These special LED lights are one of those cool motorcycle accessories that everyone dreams of adding to their bike. They look futuristic and vibrant even in the middle of the day.
But during the night is when they look the best. They bring your motorcycle to a whole new level of beauty that you can’t achieve anyway else. Plus, they’re helpful in keeping cars aware of your position at all times, aiding in your safety during nighttime driving.
9. Security System
It’s an unfortunate fact that thieves can make off with a motorcycle a lot easier than other vehicles. That’s why getting a security system for your bike is vital.
There are a variety of different systems that each have their own perks and advantages. A high-strength disc lock with an alarm, for example, can be the difference between a stolen bike and a bike that no thief would dare touch. Every extra bit of security helps, so make sure to invest in a system as soon as possible.
Adding reflectors to your motorcycle gear isn’t the most stylish motorcycle riding accessory. But they are important in keeping you safe during your rides.
Apply the reflectors in interesting shapes and sizes. This way, you incorporate these necessary safety helpers into a cool new look. You could even start a new trend. All it takes is some experimenting.
11. Accident Protection
There are a variety of different ways to add protection to your bike in case of any accidents. No one wants to think of getting into a crash, but it’s better to prepare ahead of time than to be in denial.
Modifications such as bar ends, frame sliders, and swingarm spools, can all make a huge difference during a crash. They take the brunt of the impact and damage during most crashes, saving your motorcycle in the process. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to replace these extra protections than it is to repair the motorcycle itself.
12. Extended Mirrors
There is no such thing as having too much awareness of your surroundings. The more you know, the faster you can react to unpredictable situations. This, in turn, protects you from a lot of accidents and other problems during a ride.
Adding more substantial mirrors to your motorcycle will give you the best amount of visibility to everything going on around you. If you feel like your standard mirrors are lacking, don’t hesitate to switch to something more specialized. It could make a big difference in feeling confident during your rides.
13. Throttle Stabilizer
This motorcycle riding accessory is similar to cruise control on an everyday vehicle. It keeps the throttle in place, allowing you to take your hand away from the grip while maintaining a constant speed. It also helps with giving you a more consistent ride, saving on gas.
It can feel relaxing to have this kind of freedom. For immersive longer rides, you’ll notice how much it helps as you can keep going while giving your hand a rest. No more cramps to worry about or fluctuations in speed.
Don’t worry. Like cruise control, you still maintain optimal control of the bike even with the help of these stabilizers.
14. Adjustable Windshield
The rush of wind speeding past is something we all love to feel. It’s one of the great pleasures of riding a motorcycle. At other times, it can be an annoyance or even a hindrance. Some of us want to go fast without dealing with a neck strain.
For this, a windshield will become your new best friend. This motorcycle riding accessory gets installed on your bike and will protect you from the worst of the wind. They adjust to fit your personal needs and circumstances, as well.
Not only do these protect your hands, they also protect any delicate controls that sit in the same area. Fast winds alone can do a lot of damage over time on sensitive electronics.
By installing handguards, you’ll be adding an extra layer of protection against the wind and any kind of tip over that may happen. They can add to your motorcycle’s aesthetic, too. Handguards often come in a wide variety of different colors, so they won’t drag down the style of your bike in any way.
The Best Accessories for Motorcycles Look Great and Keep You Safe
We all want to look our best while still being safe on the road. When it comes to accessories, you don’t have to choose one or the other. You can have both.
With these accessories for motorcycles, you’re getting the best of both worlds. All of them enhance your ride in one way or another and they come in hundreds of varieties to match any style.
There are many advancements in motorcycle technology every day, so take advantage of them. Have another accessory you can’t live without and would recommend to other riders? Let us know in the comments section!
Are you headed to Sturgis, SD soon for the 2018 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally? ChopperExchange is offering a way to recoup some of your gas money, other trip-related expenses, or really whatever you want to do with the prize money. They launched a contest in July that begins by giving away branded shirts to motorcycle riders. […] The post ChopperExchange Contest for Bikers Headed to Sturgis, SD appeared first on Biker...
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Are you headed to Sturgis, SD soon for the 2018 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally? ChopperExchange is offering a way to recoup some of your gas money, other trip-related expenses, or really whatever you want to do with the prize money. They launched a contest in July that begins by giving away branded shirts to motorcycle riders. The people who share photos of themselves wearing the shirts in Sturgis, SD on social media have the change to win prizes ranging from $50 to $200.
The contest is billed as the ChopperExchange Sturgis, SD Photo Contest. The social media contest will award three lucky riders who document their journey to Sturgis, SD wearing a ChopperExchange shirt. They will also accept photos and videos taken at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that feature their branded shirt. The 2018 rally in South Dakota will run from August 3rd to August 12th. To win you need to make sure you post your images or videos on Facebook using the tag @ChopperExchange or the hashtag #CXSturgisContest.
If you’d like to enter, you just need to email your name, address and shirt size to email@example.com. While supplies last, ChopperExchange will send you a free shirt to use in the contest. They will be judging your shared photos based on creativity and incorporation of the ChopperExchange shirt in your post. They’ll be accepting entries up until the end of Monday, July, 23rd, 2018.
The contest will have three winners that will be chosen around August 17th, 2018. The first place winner will receive a $200 Visa gift card. The second place winner will get a $100 Visa gift card. And the third place winner will receive a $50 Visa gift card.
If you’d like to enter the contest, you need to reside in the United States and be 21 years of age or older. You can find more detailed instructions on ChopperExchange’s Facebook page. Or check out the official contest rules on their blog at: ChopperExchange Sturgis, SD Photo Contest Official Rules.
The post ChopperExchange Contest for Bikers Headed to Sturgis, SD appeared first on Biker Report.
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