Wildfire Recalls Hybrid Bike/Car For ABS Warning Light Issue

 WILDFIRE IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2009 WF650-C MOTORCYCLES, MANUFACTURED FROM APRIL 2008 THROUGH JANUARY 2009 FOR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 122, “MOTORCYCLE BRAKE SYSTEM.” AS BUILT, THESE MOTORCYCLES HAVE A SINGLE BRAKE FLUID RESERVOIR WITH A SINGLE FILLER OPENING AND LACK THE REQUIRED RESERVOIR LABELING. WARNING LAMPS INDICATING BRAKE FAILURE ARE ALSO ABSENT.
Consequence:
  WITHOUT THE REQUIRED BRAKE RESERVOIR LABEL, OPERATORS MAY IMPROPERLY MAINTAIN THE BRAKE SYSTEM. WITH ONLY A SINGLE BRAKE FLUID RESERVOIR FOR THE ENTIRE BRAKE SYSTEM AND NO BRAKE FAILURE INDICATOR LAMP, IN THE EVENT OF ANY BRAKE FLUID LEAK, THE ENTIRE BRAKE SYSTEM COULD FAIL WITHOUT WARNING, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.Remedy:
  WILDFIRE WILL CONTACT OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL CORRECT THE MOTORCYCLES, FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING MARCH 2012. OWNERS MAY CONTACT WILDFIRE AT 740-283-6540.

Daytona Bike Week Info

We hear the bartenders have been known to have crappy attitudes...

Daytona Beach, Florida: Bike Week 2012 Roars In To Daytona Beach: The 71st Anniversary of Daytona Beach Bike Week will be held March 9th through March 18th as motorcyclists from all over the country roar into the Daytona Beach Area. This year’s event is Presented by Harley-Davidson Insurance and was moved to one week later than originally planned due to the Daytona 500 being rescheduled to one week later in calendar. The new position in the calendar will remain for the foreseeable future.

This year’s event will again be highlighted by the continued resurgence of the historic downtown area, as Harley-Davidson Motor Corporation stages their new product show in Riverfront Park in Downtown Daytona Beach. Activities in Riverfront Park will include live bands, motorcycle stunt shows, food, vendors and manufacturer’s displays. In addition, the park will again host the Official Bike  week Headquarters.

Also back after a 7 year hiatus is the much loved Bike Week Community Appreciation Parade! Once an iconic event for several decades, the Bike Week Parade was sidelined in 2004 when the Daytona 200 was moved from a Sunday to a Saturday event. But the parade is back and expected to be better than ever. All interested participants should congregate at the staging area in the south parking lot of the Ocean Center on Saturday, March 17th beginning at 6:30 AM entering from Main Street on Oleander Ave. At 9AM the Parade will leave the Ocean Center with an escort of Daytona Beach Motorcycle Police on the way to Daytona International Speedway!

Additionally, the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce is proud to offer the latest version of the Bike Week App for Bike Week Daytona Beach 2012. Because it is produced by the managers of Bike Week in Daytona Beach, the app can provide everything a visitor needs to know not only about Bike Week in Daytona Beach but the entire county of Volusia. Included in the app is information on the Official Calendar of Events, the ability to create events within the system, a list of bands and concerts, area restaurants, attractions, bars and clubs, local weather, news and a Bike Week photo gallery. And so much more! Just visit the app store for our latest version and stay tuned for a version for Blackberry and Droid.

The Bike Week Treasure Hunt also returns in 2012 and promises to be a big hit with our visitors. Participants will have their “passports” stamped at 10 different locations throughout the Daytona Regional Area culminating in a visit to the Official Bike Week  headquarters in Riverfront Park where they will turn in their completed passport to receive their Bike Week
2012 Commemorative Coin. Only 300 coins will be printed. New this year, visitors can enjoy some of the finest dining in Volusia County all at one location! On Friday, March 16th 11:00am – 10:00pm on Manatee Island in Riverfront Park the 1st Annual Volusia Palooza™, will showcase local restaurants and all the food and beverages they have to offer. Also enjoy live music from local bands all day in the amphitheater. You won’t want to miss this opportunity! $5 admission includes one free beer and the inaugural Volusia Palooza™ Bike Week poster. Racing activities at the Daytona International Speedway will kick off on the new Daytona Flat

Track on Thursday, March 15th and Friday, March 16th. The Daytona Supercross, America’s toughest and most demanding Supercross event will be held on Saturday night, March 10th. This year’s Bike Week will also feature the 71st Daytona 200, the prestigious season-opening event to the AMA Pro Racing season and the most historic motorcycle race in America on Saturday, March 17th. The Speedway will also feature free demo rides and displays from top manufacturers, overnight camping, food and live  entertainment.

And it just wouldn’t be Bike Week in Daytona Beach without the tradition of the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales once again parading down Main Street during two showings on Saturday, March 10th and Sunday, March 11th. Both appearances are scheduled for 2 PM and are expected, once again, to draw large crowds of enthusiastic onlookers.

More after the poll

Bike Week Festival Task Force Co-Chairman Bob Wilson voiced his enthusiasm on this year’s event, “We are delighted to welcome our visitors back to the 71st running of the World’s Largest Motorcycle Event ®. There has never been more to offer our guests, from the historic Main Street and Beach Street Area to Biking on the Boulevard, Destination Daytona, Daytona International Speedway, Riverfront Park in downtown Daytona Beach and, of course, the World’s Most Famous Beach.”

Additional information on Bike Week in Daytona Beach can be found on the Official Daytona Bike Week Website at www.officialbikeweek.com . A Calendar of Events is online as well as lodging information, The Loop Ride (with map), vendor information, a history of Bike Week, Official Licensed Merchandise, area business searchable database, Welcome Center and the
largest Bike Week photo gallery on the net!

Restaurant and attraction details are also listed at www.daytonachamber.com for those wishing to make the most of their visit. For accommodations, check out www.bookingdaytona.com For information on any aspect of Bike Week 2012, contact the Daytona  Regional Chamber of Commerce at 386-255-0981.

How Will Self Driving Cars Affect Our Motorcycle Use

Will motorcycles be banned from public highways in our near future?

Over the last two years Google has been quietly, (and some say illegally) testing a fleet of autonomous vehicles that navigate the highway without any direct input from human drivers.   Sebastian Thrun, director of Google’s autonomous vehicle research program, wrote that the project had achieved 200,000 miles of driving without an accident while cars were under computer control.

This week the State of Nevada finalized a few modifications to its rules of the road that will allow robotic driven vehicles to be driven legally on its highways.

Several automakers are deploying sensor based safety systems that help prevent accidents.  Some simply alert the driver, and others go so far as to correct drivers actions, or inaction.  Adaptive cruise control and emergency braking help prevent collisions.  Blind-spot detection, adaptive headlights and night-vision assistance systems are also offered in a number of 2012 models.  However, what Google is doing makes these advances seem as rudimentary as the improvement from bias ply to radial tires.

Ask any motorcyclist who has a few miles under his or her belt, and they’ll tell you they’ve had someone turn left in front of them which either caused them to wreck or resulted in panic braking.  Once this technology becomes mandatory, and most vehicles on the highway are auto driven, accidents involving human error will plummet, making it safer to ride a motorcycle.

One of Google's auto-pilot vehicles

But, as the saying goes, there’s the rub.  Human error accounts for almost all the 33,000 deaths and 1.2 million injuries that now occur each year on the nation’s roads.    The financial impact is staggering.

In 2008, AAA did a study and estimated traffic accidents cost Americans an estimated $164.2 billion dollars annually.  Those costs are borne by each of us in the form of auto and health insurance premiums,  emergency and police services, property damage, lost productivity and quality of life.

Vehicles that drive themselves will be able to avoid 99% of all accidents,  eliminating those costs, saving us all money, reducing stress, and giving us back hundreds of hours that is now unproductive time spent behind the wheel.

But, hold on a minute.  If cars, trucks and buses are all on auto-pilot, that leaves only a small minority of road users, namely the motorcycle community with the free will and distracted driving capabilities to throw a monkey wrench into the system.

That leaves only one conclusion.  Just as Henry Ford did to the horse-drawn carriage with the Model T, Google’s auto-pilot technology signals the (beginning of the) end of the motorcycle as a transportation vehicle on our nation’s highway.

With a financial incentive in the billions of dollars, the insurance lobby of the future will ultimately pressure the federal government to enact laws that restrict where “self-directed” vehicles are allowed.  (more after the poll)

Sven A. Beiker,  executive director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford University told National Public Radio, on NPR’s Morning Edition, there are “significant issues” to overcome before anyone can accurately predict a future when we will see completely autonomous vehicles.   Right now the computers and cameras cannot recognize a police officer, or highway construction worker who is directing traffic to proceed in a way that is illogical or counter intuitive to the best route input into the computer’s guidance system. Then there is the vulnerability of the guidance systems, global positioning satellites, to jamming by hackers and cyber terrorists.

Google watchers and those with inside knowledge of the technology believe auto-pilot vehicles will first be deployed as delivery vehicles, taxis, and buses.  How quickly the technology transitions from utility vehicles to personal vehicles is anybody’s guess at this point, but the sad truth is that once a tipping point is reached, say 75% of vehicles are running on auto-drive, the push to rid the highways of “dangerous self driving vehicles” will begin in earnest.   In the NPR report, the author even alludes to a “future ban” on human operated vehicles.

When that happens, so will your ability to pick a destination on a map, load up the motorcycle and head out across this great country with your only worries being rain, bugs and that distracted driver who turns left in front of you.

 

 

 

Ducati Recalls 900+ Because of Potential Fuel Line Problems

DUCATI is recalling 913  certain model year 2011-2012 HYPERMOTARD AND MONSTER MOTORCYCLES Manufactured from  JUNE 25, 2011, through  NOVEMBER 30, 2011. The fuel lines contain micro-cracking due to insufficient drying of raw materials prior to extrusion.  This issue could cause a leak which could in turn cause a fire and expose the rider to injury or death.

Motorcycle Land Surfing

From the files of, “Let’s try something dangerous and stupid just so we can put it on YouTube” comes this daredevil, dumbass, or whatever you want to call him… land surfing behind his motorcycle, while operating it using thin wires or thin ropes…  You might think he’s an idiot but you gotta give him his props…he pulled it off.

Barber Motorsports Park Hooligans – Jason DiSalvo, Ernie Vigil, Nick Apex

We’re not crazy about the first 1:46 of this video, mostly because the makeup is cheesier than a high school one act play, but you can’t take anything away from these guys when the rubber meets the road.  Let’s just hope Vigil and Apex some coaching before any real movie gigs come along.  But, who are we to hate on ‘em..we’re sitting at a computer, wishing we were somewhere else!

The Highway Is For Lovers

View From The Rear
 By:  Sylvia Cochran

Love is what legends are made of, and it’s the number  one ingredient in a good motorcycle relationship. To millions of women, there’s nothing more appealing than a summer day’s ride with a good looking man on a motorcycle.  I probably didn’t realize just how desirable motorcycle men are until I’d been in this business for a few years. I started noticing that more and more of my divorced single female friends and acquaintances would ask, “Don’t you know any single good looking motorcycle guys you can hook me up with?” If I paused, they would almost always continue with “heck, they don’t even have to be that good looking!” What I suspect these women really want is a companion who isn’t “dull and boring.”

Valentine’s is the day we celebrate love and there’s nothing we motorcyclists love more than sharing the highway with the people who are closest to us.  How many of you have been on a ride where everything seemed perfect. The day was warm, but not too warm. There was hardly any traffic, and the road was so smooth that you felt nothing but the breeze. Maybe you stopped for lunch in a little diner beside a bubbling stream, or sat underneath a tree on the side of a mountain soaking in the warmth of the sun. If you’re like me, these little moments are the flowers that add fragrance to our lives. The phrase, “stop and smell the roses” means much more when you take it in the context of motorcycle riding.

At Devil's Tower near Hulett Wyoming

That’s why so many of us “love” our motorcycle trips and especially our motorcycle men. This year I will celebrate being married to my best friend for a quarter of a century. (When you say it like that it seems longer than it really is.) My relationship with Sweetie Pie became richer and more adventurous after he brought that first motorcycle home.

I still remember the first year he rode to Sturgis, without me. We had school age children at home and there was no way I could go. I wasn’t a happy camper those ten days while he was gone, and he admitted he didn’t enjoy it as much without me. We’ve been a dozen times since and I never tire of riding in the Black Hills. I hope this year to return with a close friend who has always wanted to go. It will be fun sharing the trip with someone who is seeing it for the first time.

I’m still looking for those diamond earrings, and I’m sure one of these Valentines Days my Sweetie Pie will surprise me. But I’m not complaining. As long as we get the opportunity to take a long, leisurely motorcycle tour each summer, I’m more than satisfied.
After all, diamonds are pretty to look at, but motorcycle memories are much more fulfilling.

Riding the beach at Daytona

HARLEY-DAVIDSON SEVENTY-TWO™ REVIVES A LEAN LOOK

Dark Custom Gets Some Color – A New Narrow Sportster in Sparkling Metal Flake Paint

MILWAUKEE (Feb. 1, 2012) – The Harley-Davidson® Seventy-Two™ motorcycle is a metal flake dream machine, a Sportster® on a trip back to the days when the cool kids rode a Sting-Ray and the big boys parked choppers in a row on the curb. Those motorcycles were long and lean; candy-apple color and gleaming chrome shimmering in hazy summer sunlight. From its Hard Candy Big Red Flake paint and ape bars to its narrow whitewall tires, the Seventy-Two is a respectful nod to that era, and to the influence of the custom culture that still percolates today along Whittier Boulevard, the legendary cruising street in East Los Angeles also known as Route 72. A new generation of custom builder is tapping into that era and making a fresh statement, not just in California but in garages across the country, even around the world.

 “In creating the Seventy-Two, we were also inspired by the vibe of the early chopper era,” says Frank Savage, Harley-Davidson Manager of Industrial Design. “Those bikes were colorful and chromed, but also narrow and stripped down to the essentials. You look at period examples and they are almost as simple as a bicycle. It’s a custom style that’s very particular to America and that California scene.”

 Metal flake, an iconic design element of the ‘70s, appeared in everything from dune buggy gel coat to vinyl diner upholstery, and on custom motorcycles. Harley-Davidson brings the sparkle back on the Seventy-Two with Hard Candy Big Red Flake paint. This new finish is created by applying a black base coat, followed by a polyurethane system that carries hexagon-shaped flakes that are more than seven times the diameter of metal flake used in typical production paint. Each flake is coated with a thin aluminum film and then tinted red. Four applications of clear coat, combined with hand sanding, create a smooth finish over the flakes. more after the poll

 

 “The final touch to the Hard Candy Big Red Flake paint is a logo on the tank top and pinstripe scallop details on both fenders,” says Savage. “Each was originally created by hand, and we recreated that art in a decal for production, so they still have the appearance of hand-applied graphics in that they are not exactly perfect. The graphics are then covered with a final clear coat application.”

A solo seat and side-mounted license plate bracket leave much of the chopped rear fender – and more of that paint – exposed on the Seventy-Two. The powertrain is finished in Gray powdercoat with chrome covers and a new round air cleaner with a dished cover. A classic Sportster 2.1-gallon “peanut” fuel tank adds a final period touch to the motorcycle.

 Key features of the 2012 Harley-Davidson® Seventy-Two™ include:

  • Air-cooled Evolution® 1200cc V-Twin engine with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI), rated at 73 ft. lbs. peak torque at 3500 rpm.
  •  Powertrain is finished in Gray powdercoat with Chrome covers.
  •  Paint color choices include Hard Candy Big Red Flake with period pinstripe details on fenders and fuel tank, Black Denim, and Big Blue Pearl.
  •  Classic 2.1-gallon peanut fuel tank.
  •  Dunlop® white side wall 21-inch (MH90-21) front and 16-inch (150/80B16) rear tires.
  •  Chrome Laced wheels.
  •  Ten-inch mini-ape handlebar mounted on a two-inch high riser.
  •  Chrome, eight-inch round air cleaner cover with center screw mount.
  •  Chopped rear fender exposes rear tire.
  •  Side-mounted license plate bracket.
  •  Chrome, staggered, shorty dual exhaust with slash-cut mufflers.
  •  Solo seat with black textured vinyl cover.
  •  Handlebar-mounted speedometer with chrome cup.
  •  Chrome rear fender struts.
  •  Chrome coil-over pre-load adjustable rear shocks.
  •  Forward foot controls.

 

Another Solution For a Non Problem

A group of unemployed engineers at NASA have just discovered a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

With flair and creativity, the engineers put considerable effort into designing a futurist transportation device that effectively protects motorcycle police officers from the inherent risks of riding an exposed motorized two-wheel mode of transportation in city traffic, and they were able to include a passenger compartment so officers could ride two up, or it could double as a canine unit.

They added a third wheel and wrapped a steel cage around it all.  Brilliant!  (you can recognize sarcasm can’t you?)

The only problem with this invention is it solves a problem that doesn’t exist, and motorcycle police officers will hate it. If you don’t believe me, watch the video below where the news show cuts the officer off when he says, “Will my officers ride it…? ”  but you can pretty much tell he doesn’t think much of it.  Tell us what you think in the poll at the end of this story

In fact, we’d be willing to be most of the motorcycle riding public will think it’s butt ugly; even for a trike, which is what this frankencycle really is.

I hate to be too hard on the NASA engineers. They are unemployed, after all, and just trying to help but they missed the mark on this one.