I wanted to place one more reminder that this blog has moved here (http://nwroadrat.blogspot.com/). I’m going to start migrating content over soon. It will take some time, but when the migration is complete. I’ll probably delete this blog. I’m doing that to avoid the search conflict with one live blog competing with a dead one.

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This blog is in the archives.

I’m moving my blogging home over to Google’s Blogger. I know, I know…that’s often considered a step backwards. However, features on WordPress (free edition) are no longer doing it for me. So now find me here.


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Winter Motorcycle Agenda

I’m usually an all season rider. This winter is being extremely harsh. We just had one of the coldest days we’ve had in three years.

Without being able to even occasionally ride, I’ve decided to catch up on maintenance. I’ve also decided to treat myself to some new accessories. This way my bike will be ready to go for spring.

My to-do list has been (some of it is already done):

  • Oil Change
  • Scheduled Service Check
  • Battery Health (just had to replace)
  • New Accessories
  • Setting up with a quality smart charger
  • Check tire health

You don’t have to forget about your bike during the cold. I don’t. If you give your bike attention during the winter months, your bikes heath and your personal safety for spring riding will be exponentially increased.

If you do need to let it set for awhile, here’s what I would do.

  • Setup your battery with a smart charger.
  • Store your bike in a somewhat heated garage. (At least out of the weather)
  • Drain the gas tank. (or at least use no ethanol fuel for storage, and/or pour in a QUALITY fuel treatment like Startron)
  • Every 2-3 weeks move your bike. (So the tires don’t develop bad spots)
  • I also might occasionally start it and let it idle for awhile (fyi, some bike won’t charge the battery with this kind of idling)
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Be the Grinch

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I hope we’re finding you well. My motorcycle is getting a break from all the spring to fall riding. I still ride in the winter, but I select days I know favor temperature and traction.

If you live in certain parts of North America, now it’s a lot colder. It’s also wetter. The colder it gets the more likelihood of snow or ice. Dealing with just the rain and cold, colder temperatures reduce your brain and body’s ability to respond. The traction and visibility issues with rain should be self-explanatory.

Every year I run into the one rider that wants to know if you’re a “real motorcyclist.” I’m talking the one who rides in rain, cold, and I’ve even know one that rides in the snow sometimes. The worst conditions imaginable, they’re out there.

What I find concerning is sometimes they haze, manipulate, coerce or put other kinds of pressure on riders who aren’t doing the same. You know the drill. Often because you’re the “nice” guy, they want to ride with you. Even in summer, they’re still seeking you out for a ride.

They complain about how nobody wants to ride with them. They’re riding alone for a reason. Word is out on them by riders who know how dangerous this type of individual is.

Going against the Christmas spirit of charity, I would implore you to be the Grinch. Don’t ride with them. They’re riding alone for a reason. Leave it that way. Don’t you get snookered in by them doing something you wouldn’t otherwise normally do.


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Rise of the Scooter

Honda Ruckus

The scooter has always been here, but not in the numbers I’m seeing today. It’s crazy. They are all over the place, sometimes including the sidewalk! Fuel prices and needing cheap transportation are probably some of the big reasons.

Looking at the accident section of the local paper, it’s devoid of a lot of scooter accidents. I’m talking the two wheeled kind. I find that odd considering the chaotic and untrained way many scooter operators ride.

Unless its just my area or scooter accidents being unreported, what are bicyclists and motorcyclist doing differently that’s getting them tagged by automobiles?!

Remember Grace Jones?

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Riding in the Rain Clinic

I just got done attending a free “Ride in the Rain” clinic. It was sponsored by Eagle Leather, Washington Motorcycle Safety Training, and Puget Sound Safety. The purpose was rider safety when traveling in less than optimal conditions. I have to say that I’m reassessing my skills. I don’t want to ever be at a point where I stop wanting to learn.

I consider myself an all season rider. The conditions I don’t like to ride in are down pouring rain (if I can help it), extreme cold, ice and snow. I know some may claim that you aren’t a “real motorcyclist” if you don’t ride in unsafe conditions. Personally, if your uncomfortable in certain conditions, don’t ride in them! I sure don’t, but getting caught in the rain is going to happen.

We covered proper braking, common braking errors, proper lean angles, ABS brakes and group riding. I know the real purpose for Eagle Leather (in Lakewood, WA) sponsoring this is to sell gear. I have to give credit where credit is due, they are the best motorcycle gear store I have experienced for fitting gear. They are one of my go-to recommendations for helmet fitting. They’re one of the rare stores that have a staff that can actually fit you a helmet!

While the clinic was free, Eagle Leather deserves our patronage. If you live in the Puget Sound area, their stores are found Lakewood and Auburn.

Lakewood Location:

10222 South Tacoma Way  Lakewood, WA 98499

Auburn Location:

1407 Auburn Way So. Auburn, WA 98002

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Avinton Motorcycles is born?

Roadster – Avinton Motorcycles

A while back I wrote a brief blog post on Wakan Motorcycles. To summarize a refresher, Wakan is and was a French motorcycle start-up. The approximate cost of one of their bikes in USD was $47,000. Then all went quiet.

I titled my post with a question mark. I did that because I’m making a lot of assumptions without verification. It appears Wakan Motorcycles has now been re-branded Avinton Motorcycles.

The former Wakan website now goes to Avinton. The bikes are almost the same in design. I’m have no idea what prompted the name change. The website has a limited English and Spanish language option.

One thing that separates the three models offered is handlebar placement. There’s probably more but I haven’t done a detailed study of the specs. For now…enjoy!

Avinton Motorcycles (English)

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