How To Avoid Close Calls On Your Motorcycle

Most riders get into trouble because they fail to foresee the unfolding of a bad situation until it’s too late. The result is a lot of close calls and crashes. In contrast, the best riders have a knack for recognizing often-subtle indicators of developing trouble by continually scanning the visual “screen” for hazards and then acting as necessary to stay ahead of the danger. One way these riders accomplish this feat is to think about their ride as a sort of game where they score points when they predict hazardous situations before they actually develop.

To illustrate how this might look, imagine yourself stuck in traffic on your way out of town to enjoy some twisty roads. As you move from one traffic light to another, you see a white minivan up ahead whose driver is drifting and then abruptly correcting to stay in his lane. You figure he or she is probably texting or messing with the SatNav. Just ahead of the van is a fellow rider who seems oblivious to the bogie on his six because he is too busy checking out the hottie in the car to his right.

The situation is about to get more precarious when the traffic light ahead changes from green to yellow. The biker comes to a smooth stop, but the distracted minivan driver continues to speed toward the intersection. Having not checked his mirror, the stopped rider has no clue that a minivan is closing fast from behind.

To avoid getting caught up in the impending calamity, you immediately check your mirrors before slowing and moving to the far side of your lane. Luckily, the driver slams on his brakes and swerves just in time to avoid creaming the oblivious rider. Give yourself 100 points for noticing the “body language” of the distracted driver and another 100 points for creating a safety cushion between you and the danger. As for the other rider, you can deduct 200 points from his score for not recognizing the potential trouble.

With the traffic chaos far behind, you can now concentrate on enjoying the curvy rural roads. You’ve only been on this route a few times before, so you approach each corner with thoughtful consideration, consciously looking for specific clues that help you predict the direction and radius of approaching corners. This is challenging because the tarmac tunnels through a thick coverage of leafy green and dense undergrowth that obscures the character of each curve.

Approaching one particular blind corner, you notice the pavement appearing to drop away around the bend. For whatever reason there is no highway sign warning of a sharp curve, but the solid curtain of foliage dead ahead and the tree line cutting hard to the right strongly indicate a tight downhill hairpin. These visual clues tell you to slow down, so you decelerate and squeeze the brakes early, maintaining light brake pressure as you round the curve in case you need to slow more. As predicted, the road spirals down into a decreasing radius deathtrap for the unaware. Score 100 points for reading the road correctly.

But don’t pat yourself on the back just yet because there is a patch of sand and gravel strewn across your lane! This development certainly gets your attention, but because you are trailbraking into the curve, you simply apply a little bit more brake force before getting off the brakes and standing the bike upright as you pass over the debris. Once clear, you countersteer the bike back into a lean to stay in your lane and continue on your way. Reward yourself with another 100 points. But stay alert because the ride isn’t over yet!

These are examples of how you can avoid close calls by being aware of the subtle clues that help you predict hazardous situations. This ability is critical if you ever hope to win at motorcycling.


I have a bad feeling about this!

OK, if you do not know it, I am a huge Star Wars fan. I still remember my dad taking me back in 1977 and how amazed I was when I saw it. I knew what I liked at 5 yrs old.

Back in 1999 I got to do this again. Difference, I was the dad and my son got to be amazed at the age of 5. Both of us enjoy the Lucas Saga.

Now bring on Rogue One. My to boys and I watched this one with amazement. That brought back that old feel of the original Star Wars. I counted at least 6 characters from the original movie. It is funny because 2 of the characters you will laugh your ass off and it isn’t even a funny seen. You better watch yourself!

A couple others just never seemed to age. The Droids you are looking for make just a brief cameo but those 2 are the only characters to have made it into every single Star Wars movie.

Now that 2 characters that blew my mind was Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin. He looks exactly like his did in 1977. Not bad considering he died in 1994. The other is Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. Again she looked like she did in the original. The CGI was amazing and done only where it needed to be. It is not over done like in the prequals.

Oh yeah story line. The story is good to. You got to see how the Rebel Alliance gets their hands on the plans for the Death Star. I do not believe there will be a sequal for 2 reasons. The first reason is the movie ends pretty much where the original Star Wars starts. The second reason was explained in the original movie. Pretty much everyone dies in the end.

We enjoyed the movie and if you are a fan you will to.



Hearing Protection Act

In 2011, the American Suppressor Association formed with one primary goal in mind: remove suppressors from the purview of the National Firearms Act. For years, we have quietly worked behind the scenes in Washington, D.C. to set the stage for Rep. Salmon’s Hearing Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 3799).

As we fight for our right to shoot quietly, we need your help to make sure our voice is heard loud and clear on Capitol Hill. Please take the time to fill out the form below so that you can send an email to your Representatives and Senators to let them know that you support the Hearing Protection Act.

The path to victory will not be easy, but if we work together and make our voices heard, we will ultimately prevail. We look forward to the day when we are no longer taxed to protect our hearing while exercising our Second Amendment rights at the range, and in the field. Together, we can ensure that future generations of sportsmen and women will no longer have to sacrifice their hearing.

Beat the winter blues




Winter for most of us brings thoughts of Christmas, the festive holiday and weather that is about as appealing as another Xmas jumper from the in-laws/granny. For us riders it also means appalling road conditions. Winter road salt is, at its best, a decent enough way to prevent chronic icy roads; at its worst it is hygroscopic and the resulting soggy, dirty mess sticks to anything and that includes our bikes.


Salt is corrosive and that’s why aluminium, steel and other alloys corrode. So while some of us can’t bear the thought of seeing our pride and joy being eaten by corrosion and instead garage them, spare a thought for those of us who ride our Harley-Davidsons through thick and thin of winter. But don’t think for an instant we will allow our bikes to weather. No, not at all. Keeping a hosepipe or bucket of water with mild detergent on standby after every ride is part and parcel of bike ownership, and in winter a good scrub down after every ride with salt on the road is a necessity.


With the bike washed down and dried, apply the wax or resin-loaded polish to every bit of paintwork. For the metalwork, polish it too with the same Harley product used in summer. As an extra barrier against winter’s worst, application of a corrosion inhibitor spray is worthwhile. Scottoiler not only makes a brilliant chain lubing system – which doesn’t help us Harley-Davidson owners with our brilliant belt drive systems – but it also produces a water-based inhibitor called FS 365 that is good. Remember though, not to polish, lube or spray anything onto braking systems like discs and calipers.


For anyone who beds down their bike for winter, the most important thing to do, after making sure it is warm and dry and covered to protect from damp, is to maintain the battery. This is particularly true of older bikes where the battery cell plates will have started to break down with age. Plus cold conditions also affect batteries. The biggest problem is with permanent ‘live’ accessories wired directly to the battery which causes it to run flat.


There is a simple way to avoid a flat or indeed a ruined battery because of the winter lay-off. Harley-Davidson lists in its Genuine Parts & Accessories catalog a battery charger that comes with the correct leads to hook directly to the bike’s battery by the auxiliary charging lead already in place on the bike. There will be some bikes that will need access to the battery to connect the charger. The real beauty of the Harley charger unit is it only charges when it needs to by monitoring the battery charge level, and when charging automatically supplies the required current.


For all your Harley-Davidson needs, including chargers, cleaning and polishing products, lubricants etc, call in to Harley-Davidson of Kokomo.