Motorcycle News Roundup for 10.3.14

by CAbiker on October 3, 2014

We’ve had a bit of a lull, but we’re back on track and rounding up the top stories relating to motorcycles from over the past few weeks. Here’s what was being written about while we were away:

Cyclists should be well aware that HOV lanes are fair game when on a motorcycle, but what about the FasTrak lanes? The LA Times answered the question in a thorough fashion. Short answer: it depends on where you’re riding. Read the article for specifics.

In “well that’s unusual” news, a stolen Harley-Davidson is being returned after 42 years. The 1954 Harley-Davidson Hydra-Glide motorcycle was taken from a North Carolina residence back in 1972 and was only recently reunited with the son of the original owner.

Not surprisingly, it was an electric motorcycle that won the recent Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge. Zero Motorcycles’ 2012 Zero S electric motorcycle covered 172 miles at a cost of only $2.29, or approximately 1.3 cents per mile.

Speaking of Zero Motorcycles, the LA Times featured a quick preview of the electronic bike manufacturer’s 2015 lineup.

Also on the new bike front, Forbes took a look at the new Ducati 2015 Scrambler. The bike should be available in dealerships by January 2015.

Lastly, the iconic bike from Easy Rider is up for auction later this month. The motorcycle is expected to go for as much as one million dollars, so start scrimping together some change now and you’ll have a shot at the winning bid when it goes up for sale on October 18th.

That’s it for now, but if we missed any major news let us know. And, as always, ride safe!

Motorcycle News Roundup for 8.29.14

by CAbiker on August 29, 2014

Here are some of the top motorcycle related stories being written about online over the past two weeks:

The LA Times offered up a profile of the typical California motorcycle rider. On the whole, they’re old (and getting older), usually married, and generally in well paying professions. In terms of demographics, it would seem your average rider is a whole lot closer to Wild Hogs than Sons of Anarchy.

On a more rugged note, Harley Davidson has released its product lineup for 2015. According to Uncover California, “the 2015 product lineup will witness the return of two touring motorcycles – the Road Glide and Road Glide Special motorcycles.”

When it comes to bike safety, Long Beach Police have been doing what they can to reduce motorcycle accidents by enforcing and encouraging safe behavior. As pointed out by the Orange County Breeze, “California collision data reveals that primary causes of motorcycle-involved crashes include speeding, unsafe turning, and impairment due to alcohol and other drugs.” Yes it seems obvious, but try to avoid all three of those unnecessarily risky activities.

As far as motorcycle gear is concerned, BoingBoing featured a quick writeup on what might just be the only motorcycle pants worth wearing. Who says fashion and function can’t mix?

Lastly, Cycle World took a look at the new 2015 Yamaha SR400. Fans of retro designs should have plenty to get excited about, and the review features full specs and plenty of photos.

That’s all for this batch of news, but if we missed anything be sure to let us know in the comments below.

Motorcycle News Roundup for 8.15.14

by CAbiker on August 15, 2014

Here are some of the top motorcycle related news stories from the past two weeks:

There’s been plenty written about how self-driving cars are on the horizon, but now reports are coming in that Google is testing an autonomous motorcycle.The bike, named Ghostrider, is capable of traveling to a predetermined location without the aid of an actual rider. However, you won’t be seeing these riderless drones on the streets anytime soon, as Google is currently petitioning the state of California to allow testing.

Riderless bikes are impressive, but what if I told you there was a bike powered by bacon? Well, a pork fat fueled future is finally here! As part of a guerrilla marketing campaign by Hormel Foods, the swine-centric company has retrofitted a T800CDI diesel motorcycle to run on a custom biofuel converted from pure bacon grease. It might not be remotely practical, but it’s still kind of cool.

The battle surrounding lane-splitting is raging on as the American Motorcyclist Association launched a petition to reinstate the California Highway Patrol’s lane-splitting guidelines. As discussed a few weeks back, the guidelines were removed following a complaint that the CHP’s lane-splitting guidelines were an endorsement allowing “reckless behavior on the road.” Since then, SF Gate has also published an opinion piece arguing that lane-splitting benefits drivers and motorcyclists alike.

Lastly, a California investor has purchased the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Phoenix for a reported $5.97 million. The property is leased by the Universal Technical Institute, and acts as a private technical training school for auto mechanics, marine technicians and NASCAR techs. The sale is not expected to impact the day to day operations of the Institute.

As always, enjoy the weekend and happy riding!

Motorcycle News Roundup for 8.1.14

by CAbiker on August 1, 2014

Here are a few of the top motorcycle related news stories from the past couple weeks:

The California DMV and California Highway Patrol have removed online safety guides specific to motorcycle lane splitting. Although lane splitting is legal in California, the guides were removed due to fear of having the resources and suggestions misinterpreted as enforceable laws. Lane splitting will continue to remain legal, but for recommendations on how to do it safely, riders will now be forced to look elsewhere.

Popular Mechanics took a test drive through Malibu on the flagship cruiser from Moto Guzzi.

Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle cross country tour was in San Diego this week, where riders were given the opportunity to take the bike for a spin. You can see footage of Harley’s newest offering in the short video below:

Also on the electric motorcycle front, The American International Motorcycle Expo will be showcasing the high performance electric bikes of California based Zero Motorcycles.

And, lastly, one of our sister sites put together a pretty thorough overview of how to select a helmet. It’s a must read for anyone remotely interested in basic safety.

That’s it for this week. As always, have fun and ride safe!

Motorcycle News Roundup for 7.18.14

by CAbiker on July 18, 2014

Here’s some of the motorcycle news that was being written about over the past couple weeks:

Motorcycle USA took a first ride on a couple new bikes, offering their initial impressions on the 2014 Suzuki Burgman 200 and the 2014 Honda VFR Interceptor.

An irritated rider sounds off about unnecessary motorcycle noise. In a rather opinionated North Country Now submission, the cyclist asserts that he’s been riding motorcycles for 30 years without incident and it’s “dumb to think that motorcycle noise does anything but annoy people around them when it’s too loud.”

Utah and gang activity aren’t usually two things most people associate with each other. However, it appears the number of motorcycle gangs operating in the state of Utah have increased by 300 percent over the past five years. As one police official put it, “It’s like a gold rush. Everybody is trying to get here and establish dominance in the state so they can run a variety of their criminal activities and make their money in the state.”

And lastly, as usual, summer weather means increased police patrols out on the highways. Both Redondo Beach PD and Napa Police are reporting they’ll be out on the streets enforcing motorcycle safety over the weekend. Redondo Beach has experienced 16 motorcycle collisions over the past 12 months and so far Napa has already tallied 9 motorcycle accidents in 2014 alone.

As always, have fun and stay safe out there.

Motorcycle News Roundup for 6.27.14

by CAbiker on June 27, 2014

Here are a few of the top motorcycle related blog posts and stories from the past two weeks:

Harley Davidson’s first electric motorcycle grabbed headlines last week with articles from Wired and Time Magazine. Wired even went so far as to say that it “surprisingly doesn’t suck,” and declared the bike, “Actually pretty cool.”

Image via Harley Davidson

Image via Harley Davidson

Also in electric motorcycle news, Forbes took a look at the ZERO SR Streetfighter, “the latest from the Tesla of motorcycles.” Unlike Harley’s new entry, ZERO has been specializing in electric bikes for the past eight years.

With the start of summer, California Highway Patrol launched a motorcycle safety campaign. The new CHP program is, “designed to increase and enforce motorcycle safety throughout the area.”

And lastly, if you’re looking for a bit of culture this coming week, the Forest Lawn Museum is presenting an exhibit titled, “Vroom: The Art of the Motorcycle.” The exhibition promises to “offer an in-depth look at the dynamic history of motorcycle culture, spotlighting the impact and influence of the West Coast and featuring some of the most striking, modern, historic, rare and collectable vintage motorcycles.”

As always, have fun and stay safe out there.

Motorcycle News Roundup for 6.13.14

by CAbiker on June 13, 2014

Here are a few of the top stories from the past couple weeks:

The number of motorcycle thefts declined over the past year, with a slight drop of 1.5 percent from 2012 to 2013. However, California led the country with a total count of 6,637 reported motorcycle thefts. You can see a more thorough report here.

The California Highway Patrol is phasing out some of their BMW’s and replacing them with Harley-Davidsons. Officers will be riding custom-fitted 2013 Electra Glides, 121 of which have already been delivered.

For anyone interested in EnduroCross, spots are still available for the Sacramento Rookie Class that will be taking place on Friday, June 20th. The event is open to any riders who have not raced an EnduroCross event, and allows for all brands of motorcycles. Amateur, Vet and Women riders are welcome to participate. More information is available at Motorcycle USA.

And lastly, Cycle World offered a first look at the 2015 EBR 1190SX. Although details are still scarce, and MSRP is not yet set, Cycle World is guessing the bike will retail for somewhere between $16,995 and $17,995.

Motorcycle News Roundup for 5.30.14

by CAbiker on May 30, 2014

Here are a few of the top motorcycle news stories from over the past two weeks:

Cool Hunting offered up three pieces of spring motorcycle gear. See what they recommend when it comes to gloves, glasses, and jackets.

Engadget covered a first look at the augmented reality motorcycle helmet designed to give riders a more complete awareness of their surroundings. It’s still a ways off from production, but the concept is certainly worth getting excited about.

Cycle World broke down Moto Guzzi’s California 1400 Touring and Honda’s CTX1300 with a pretty thorough reviews of the two new bikes. It’s retro versus futuristic and both motorcycles bring plenty to the table. As summarized near the end of the review, “These bikes are both fun-to-ride anti-Harleys dripping with sophisticated goodies…”

Business Insider reported that motorcycle gangs have invaded Disneyland. Well…not really, but they have inspired an interesting new trend at the “happiest place on earth.” It’s possibly the least cool thing inspired by motorcycle culture since the release of Wild Hogs.

Lastly, the Clovis Police Department launched a motorcycle safety enforcement campaign that will run through mid-July. The goal of the operation is to reduce crashes and educate riders, so be aware that police are out there, and as always, ride safe.

Motorcycle News Roundup for 5.16.14

by CAbiker on May 16, 2014

Here’s your biweekly dose of motorcycle news from across the internet:

A new report shows that motorcycle fatalities in California have declined 13% since 2012 and by approximately 7% nationwide. However, The LA Times is reporting the decline may be the result of harsh winter conditions that limited riding throughout some of 2013.

Park Labrea News Beverly Press warns motorcyclists of an LAPD crackdown during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Be sure to stay under the speed limit, as officers will be ticketing motorists and riders alike in an effort to lower deaths and injuries.

Two Wheel Mania breaks down everything you need to know about modifying the exhaust on a California Bike. From sound limits to emission standards, their blog post has got you covered.

For the second consecutive year, motorcycle tire sales are down. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, Q1 wholesale tire sales have dropped 12.7% when compared with last year.

Lastly, for anyone who needs affordable motorcycle insurance, a new website is trying to simplify finding the cheapest rates in California. You can read the full press release for Discount Motorcycle Insurance if you’re interested in learning more.

As always, be careful and enjoy the ride.

Motorcycle News Roundup for 5.2.14

by CAbiker on May 2, 2014

Here are some motorcycle news highlights from the last couple weeks:

The Huffington Post reported on a ridiculously modified Honda Gold Wing, now dubbed the Jet Cycle. The part motorcycle, part fighter jet, is both street legal and 100 percent real. You can see it threatening to take off in the video below:

Staying on the topic of unique bikes, Honda has greenlit two different electric motorcycles. The PES1 and PED1 electric motorcycles both debuted at the Tokyo Auto Show last year and will begin production in 2016.

Wired featured a stylish new motorcycle jacket that actually manages to look cool AND offer protection. The Eclipse jacket retails for just under $1,200.

Lastly, in case you haven’t heard, May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the California Highway Patrol is reminding the state’s 1.3 million licensed motorcyclists that, “safety comes first.” Use common sense and stay safe out there.