Archive for the ‘New riders’ Category

Guest Post: Join the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Riders Club and Share the Beauty of Colorado

Thursday, November 28th, 2013
group of motorcycles on the road

Riding with a group makes motorcycling a social event.

If you’re looking for people to ride with in Colorado, then one of the most open and friendly groups you can try is the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Riders Club. It’s an organization designed to welcome any model and age of bike. Really, it’s a club that’s concerned with combining a love of motorcycling with beautiful and adventurous treks around all of Colorado.

Founded in 2004, the Rocky Mountain Riders Club has been continuously active ever since its inception, now boasting more than 90 members. And, its open door policy means that anyone can join for a trek around Colorado, with guests also welcome. It also boasts a large number of female riders, proving that its welcoming atmosphere doesn’t split along gender lines.

Not only this, but the club also accepts any experience level, meaning that you can find some interesting routes and build up your experience with this diverse posse. And, with a lack of snobbery about the kind of bike you own, you can pick up any motorbike for sale and ride with the pack.

The great thing about joining a motorcycle club, generally speaking, is that, while you can still plan your own routes, it’ll be much easier to find new places to journey, and the added company can really enhance the riding experience.

The opportunity to meet other riders who know the lay of the land can be invaluable and it’s almost inevitable that you’ll make some friends as you journey through the mountains and forests of the surrounding area.

There’s an inherent beauty to trekking all around Colorado, with the wondrous mountain ranges at either side of you as you career through vast forest lands, eventually ending up in one of the bustling cities or by the wide open space of its many lakes. It’s always worth a ride through this diverse state.

And, with a pack of 90 members to help you on your way, there’s a much better chance that you’ll be able to appreciate all that you can from this varied and beautiful area. Everyone will have their favorite spot, motel, or diner that they can share with the rest of the group and broaden the knowledge pool of the club.

Where to find a meeting
Meetings generally take place on the first Thursday of every month at the Piccolo Restaurant, 3563 South Monaco Parkway, Denver, which is a great place to eat before a leisurely ride.

Offering Italian and Mexican food stuffs, there’s plenty on offer at Piccolo, with the Italian roasted chicken coming highly recommended. It’s certainly one of the most appetizing meals available, and is rich in the taste of olive oil and herbs. It makes the mouth water just to think about it.

The rides themselves are dotted regularly around the calendar and are perfect for the biker with a day to spare and a predilection toward good company on their ride.

But, for the rider with a little more spare time in their back pocket, some journeys can span multiple days, so if you’re looking to take in all of Colorado’s agricultural and urban beauty, you can set aside a few days for a trip with the club.

Essentially, the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Rider’s Club is an ideal way to learn the finest biking routes of Colorado and, with a single annual membership setting you back a mere $25, it’s not going to set your wallet alight.

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Biker Quote for Today

It’s not who dies with the most toys. It’s who wears out the most toys.

AMA Staff Put Heads Together, Offer Their Experience

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

bikers at Yosemite

Most of us have learned a lot of lessons in motorcycling by doing things that make us say, “Oops, I guess I won’t do that again.” It’s called experience.

Well, the folks who work for the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) have between them an awful lot of experience. And somebody got the idea for them all to collect the tips they have picked up along the way and offer their wisdom to all riders. The result is the Rider Resources page on the AMA website. It’s worth a look.

The page has three sections, Riding, Wrenching, and Learning. Each section offers a variety of articles on different topics. For instance, under Riding they offer “33 Secrets for Smart Touring,” “Tips for Crossing the Border,” and “Keeping Warm.” Under Wrenching the topics include such as “Used-Bike Buying Checklist” and “The Bike Stopped. Now What?” “Books We Love to Read” and “Riding With Disabilities” are two of the topics under Learning.

A lot of the info is sure to be stuff most of us already know, though newbies will find it very helpful. A lot is not such common knowledge. For instance, among the 33 touring tips are some jewels like this: If you’re nearing the end of your riding day and want to set yourself up for a quick getaway in the morning, consider riding to the far side of the next city you reach before you stop for the night, eliminating urban traffic the next morning.

At the same time, I find it amusing that the piece on what to do if the bike stops on you doesn’t mention what is probably one of the biggest reasons for this sort of occurrence: the kill switch. Who among us hasn’t had the experience of the bike either dying or failing to start and after beating our heads against the wall for . . . how long? . . . realizing it was just the kill switch. It happened to me one time when I reached over to engage my throttle lock and inadvertently hit that switch. I was stopped there by the side of the road for 15 minutes before it dawned on me.

That shortcoming aside, however, a whole bunch of riders offering their best advice has to have something of value for just about any rider. Take a look and see what you can learn.

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Motorcycle Story From My Vet

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

You never know when you’re going to hear a good story to pass along. We took the household critters to the vet two days ago and in talking with Doug, our vet, he had this one.

dirt bike in the airDoug is from Wyoming and he has always ridden motorcycles, mostly dirt bikes. Some time ago he picked up an old 350cc Honda dirt bike cheap. His partner at the vet clinic, whose name is Jeff, I believe, had never ridden so he came out to Doug’s one day to give it a try.

Doug went through the controls with Jeff, showing him the clutch, the gearshift, the brake, and explained one down, four up. Jeff responded, “Where’s my clutch?” That was probably a hint.

He turned Jeff loose in the pasture and Jeff putted around a bit, getting the hang of it. After awhile, Doug was standing up on the bank of a dry pond and motioned to Jeff to come over there. Doug figured he’d pull up and stop. Wrong.

As Jeff picked up speed coming up the embankment Doug signaled to him to slow down but Jeff launched over the bank into the air. “I could see him in mid-air pushing away from the bike.”

They both hit and slid, and the bike’s throttle did not disengage, so it ended up doing circles on its side in the dirt. I don’t recall how Doug said the bike got back upright, maybe a bump that lifted it up, but it hit the fence and with that for support it just kept going down the fence line until it hit a telephone pole. That finally put an end to its ramblings.

The old bike wasn’t in very good shape to begin with but it was in a lot worse shape after all this. Doug didn’t say whether Jeff has any more inclination to ride. But hey, you know, it’s all about the stories.

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Now What, an OFMC Auxiliary?

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Dennis just traded his Gold Wing for a Harley and a couple days later another email came from Johnathon: He bought a new bike.

Felicia on her RebelThat’s it in the picture. It’s a little small by OFMC standards, but then so is his wife, Felicia. That’s her on this Honda Rebel 250.

Johnathon said it was his bike, but gosh, it’s just too small for him, “so I guess my wife can have it.” That makes Felicia the first of the OFMC wives to ride her own. But I don’t guess she’ll be joining us on our summer trips, so does that make her OFMC Auxiliary? If women find that concept offensive these days don’t tell her I said it.

Felicia is a good one to have her own bike. She likes taking trips with Johnathon, but more than that, she’s a gutsy rider. The two of them went to Costa Rica and on their return we heard from Johnathon how they rented ATVs for a day and she smoked him blasting down the jungle paths. He’s an experienced biker but she rode that thing like she was born to it.

So good for you Felicia. Come join us on the next day ride, but even though I’d like to take the Rebel for a test ride I don’t think I’ll be offering to swap bikes. She’s only about 5 feet tall, you know. I don’t think I’d want her on my very tall Concours.

Biker Quote for Today

My favorite ride? Tomorrow’s!

I’ll See Your 25 MPG and Raise You 60

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Man oh man! Gas for $4 a gallon! Sure would be nice to get, oh, about 80 miles per gallon. Well, some people do. But you can bet they don’t do it in a Hummer.

On the other hand, take that little scooter next to that green Kawasaki in the photo below. That person is getting around 80 MPG. And probably having more fun getting to and from work than they ever have before.

Motorcycles and scooters ridden to work

Even better than that, Yamaha claims that their Vino 125 gets 96 MPG, and the Yamaha C3 is rated at 115 MPG. Now you’re talking saving real money!

Of course, there are some trade-offs. Those two little Yamahas don’t have much speed and you can’t take them on the highway. However, some bigger scooters don’t cost a lot more than those and can hit top speeds of 75 or more. It’s always a matter of trade-offs.

So, what kind of gas mileage does that Kawi guy get? On a sportbike like his (or hers, you never know) he’s surely in the 40-50 MPG range. The fact is, most motorcycles will get mileage in that approximate range, even the bigger ones. For example, I get around 45 MPG on both my Honda CB750 Custom and my Kawasaki Concours. A Honda Goldwing, one of the biggest bikes on the road, can get up to 40 MPG, although it does have six cylinders and therefore is not as efficient as the more common one-, two-, three- or four-cylinder bikes.

Another big road bike, the Harley-Davidson Road King, is rated at 54 MPG on the highway and 35 in the city. The Yamaha FJR1300A delivers around 40. Honda’s Shadow Spirit 1100 is rated at about 48 MPG on the highway and 38 in the city. (Sorry I don’t have city/highway splits for all these bikes.)

The mileage you get on a bike generally depends on the same three things that determines a car’s fuel efficiency: weight, your driving habits, and engine size. The big six-cylinder bikes eat more gas than a V-twin, but any bike with six cylinders is also a heavy bike. For a smaller bike, around 1,000 cc’s, you’ll get pretty much the same mileage with a V-twin or an inline four.

And then, as the city/highway splits show, speed matters. While I normally expect 45 MPG from my 1,000-cc Concours, riding easily on curvy mountain roads has at times given me as much as 55 MPG from the beast.

Do the math. A lot of other people already have. There are a lot more people joining us on the roads on two wheels. Welcome to the club.

Biker Quote for Today

Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.