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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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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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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Loud Pipes and Irony

I changed out the stock pipes on my bike for another set. The new set is much louder. I’ve had a post partially written about it, but it’s not finished. I want to rush this out because an incident again happened today.

My new pipes

I’ve since moved. Where I’m living now the traffic is thicker and more intense. It’s almost unforgiving during the morning commute and the trip home. Sudden lane changes by vehicles right into you, without warning or signal, can happen faster than a speeding bullet.

I’ve often ignored some advice from rider training clinics. It’s like having someone tell you all about how to do something, while the teacher has done little of it themselves. “Loud pipes save lives!” was one of the early tenants preached.

It’s hard to say how many lives have been saved by having a louder motorcycle. The problem is tracking the successes. I don’t know how you do it, but we can track the failures.

I added the new pipes to due to my present living location and the intensely thicker traffic. Personally, I do think they help but the conditions have to be right. What I mean is, if I’m not in the right spot for them to hear my bike, or their stereo is blasting (…boom, boom boom), or they’re distracted in some other way, they transport their car right into you. I’m talkin lane changes with no signal no warning. I try to keep my position staggered, but it’s hard when there’s little room.

You do what you must, which is be mentally prepped when the traffic is this thick. It happened yet again today. Another lane change right into me with no signal or warning. About two minutes later I rolled up behind the offending vehicle at an intersection. Another rider, if you can believe it, rolls up on a quiet Harley-Davidson. He saw the whole thing. We both open our helmets and the conversation goes like this…

Laughing he says: “a-Hahaha, I saw that! Man, people just don’t look.”

Me: “Well, fortunately I was awake and ready.”

Him: “I saw, they didn’t look, didn’t even turn his head!”

Me: “I couldn’t believe that. I hit my horn and he just kept going.”

Him: <he’s still cracking up>

Me: “Watch out for that one!”

The light turned green, waving we went our separate ways.

I think during rush hour traffic when people are making quick ill informed decisions, keeping up with the flow and staying out of the way has been a good strategy. Putting your trust in other things to do the job has mixed results. Now, if we want to talk about how louder pipes open your bike up for more power, now we’re talkin’. :twisted:

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I’ve decided to record and keep track of my training. It’s not to rave, but more to help me remember. I like looking back and it might be useful and a resume of sorts.

One day when I’m older and my work isn’t so consuming, I may consider being a rider coach. I say older because I want years of experience riding. Not just a “few” years. I also want additional experience on different types of bikes.

I think being a rider coach would be fun. For most, managing the controls on a motorcycle can be learned. The harder aspects are controlling fear and understanding blind spots. Training has made me a better rider and driver!

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