Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Top Holiday Picks for Last Minute Shoppers


If you're like me, holiday shopping doesn't start until December 15. Every year I try to be more creative than the last, but frankly my creativity can run a little dry when I'm running around the last few weeks of December.

To help my fellow procrastinators, I've put together some ideas for your last-minute gifts.

Harley Davidson Stainless Steel Watch - For the Harley owner in your life, the face on this stainless steel watch looks like an odometer and features the Harley-Davidson logo in the center. Simple, masculine, and classy.

Honda Racing Fleece Pullover - This fleece pullover is officially licensed by Honda and features zip pockets and cool art on the upper right sleeve.

Ducks Unlimited Fender Pack - ATV owners can strap this camouflage fender pack to their vehicle. There are two great things about this gift - first, it has two large compartments and an extra slot to fit a water bottle. Second, proceeds go to Ducks Unlimited's wetlands conversation efforts. Double the goodness in one gift.

Baby Body Teamrider - Do you have a future racer in your family? This onesie track suit is pretty sweet and can fit 9-month and 18-month babies. Parents will be able to spot their baby in the bright orange jumpsuit as they scoot around the house.

To see more gift ideas, visit CycleTrader's Motorcycle Parts and Accessories section. Happy Holidays!
Trader Online Web Developer

How to Buy the Best Motorcycle Gear by Kevin Domino



Good riding gear will offer comfortable protection from the elements without compromising the benefits you get from riding— the sights, the feelings, the smells, and the sounds.

Cars protect the occupants of the vehicle from the elements and other vehicles that motorcycles don’t have; windows, bumpers, air bags, and steel side-impact structures. Motorcyclists protect themselves with what they wear.

Beyond weather protection, you need gear because cars prey on motorcycles and they are out to get us. Car drivers are insulated and distracted from the activity of actually driving their cars by so cell phones, texting and so on. The bottom line: assume every single vehicle on the road is out to get you, and you’ll be right.

Gear Versus Clothes
Motorcyclists need protection from weather, abrasion, impact, invisibility, and bad music. Properly designed riding gear can protect you from the first four. Sun, wind, rain and extreme temperatures are the elements requiring consideration. We’ll need to weigh abrasion protection in your decision, because sliding body parts rapidly along an asphalt or cement surface is an excellent way to remove skin and flesh (which presumably you want to avoid). We all understand the need limit the damage from bouncing against, and getting hit by, stuff.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of choosing riding gear like we choose street clothes. But motorcycle gear is more like the gear worn by fighter pilots or fire fighters; protection should be the first criterion.

Plan to Upgrade
All professionals equip themselves with the latest and best gear available. Professional motorcyclists, too, use the best protective gear available. But your typical riding environment is much different than professional racers—it’s worse! If you consider yourself a serious rider, keep in touch with advances in riding and plan to upgrade your gear, when something measurably better comes along.

Here are the 6+1 motorcycle riding gear essentials.

1) Helmet
A good-fitting, well-designed, DOT or Snell-approved helmet is a great riding companion. Besides the obvious help a helmet provides if you attempt to dribble your melon on the tarmac, it keeps your head dry when it rains, warm when it’s cold, quiet in a 70-mph wind, and even keeps you cooler on hot days by controlling the rate of evaporation. The helmet also protects you from bugs and sand that go “splat” and “ping” on a helmet at 70 mph but could leave a scar on a bare forehead.

2) Jacket(s)
Regardless of the jacket you wear, make sure it has protective armor on the shoulders, elbows, and back. The jacket also needs to be comfortable, but fit tight enough so armor stays put in case of a get off. The armor in your jacket should be designed similarly to a helmet, with a hard outside shell and a shock-absorbing inside, and closed-cell foam that’s soft and pliable when moved slowly but that stiffens right up and provides protection when whacked hard. An alternative to built-in armor is armored underwear that is worn under less-protective jackets (and pants and jeans), if you need to look a certain way while riding.

Choose bright colors with high conspicuity to ensure you’re seen by other traffic. Reflective strips incorporated into the design of the jacket will help. Especially if you ride in high-traffic areas, such as when commuting on your motorcycle, you can take a tip from road workers and wear a hi-viz green vest with reflective strips over the top of any jacket. These vests are relatively inexpensive and easy to stow.

For protection from rain, you’ve got two choices. You can choose to wear a dedicated rain suit over your riding gear. Or you can chose waterproof riding gear that incorporates a breathable inner fabric like Gore-Tex. The disadvantage of integrated gear is that it is typically more expensive than a rain suit. The advantage of waterproof riding gear is that you don’t need to stow, and then stop and change into, a rain suit when it begins to rain.


3) Pants
Pants have the same considerations as jackets—protection from the elements, abrasion resistance, and impact protection—with the additional issue of being comfortable enough in the “seat area” so as not be a pain in the “seat area.”



4) Boots
Leather boots with a minimum 8 inches of height are required by professional racing organizations, and that seems to be a good standard to use for all types of motorcycle riding. Look for impact padding or armor on the inside and outside of the ankle as well. If you will be riding in the rain, get boots that are waterproof and keep them treated to maintain their water-repelling properties.

5) Gloves
It’s easy to take the functioning of our hands for granted, because they are used in just about everything we do. As important as your hands are, the parts and materials of which they are made are easily damaged. You’ll need a variety of gloves to protect your hands for different riding conditions.
6) EyewearTo safeguard your eyes while riding, you need protection from flying debris like dust and bugs, and you’ll need some shading from bright light. Regardless of the specific method you choose, your glasses, goggles, or face shield need to be shatterproof.

7) Windshield
Although a windshield isn’t riding gear, it is an accessory that provides some of the same functions as riding gear such as shielding you from the wind (and wind noise), rain, bugs, and the occasional unlucky or slow bird. And just like riding gear, it’s rare to find one that is right for every size and shape of rider.

There are a wide range of manufacturers and models from which to choose, from small handlebar-mounted screens to large shields integrated into frame-mounted fairings.

ATTGAT
A phrase used by some veteran motorcyclists is ATGATT, which is an acronym that stands for “All The Gear, All The Time.” Even the best gear won’t protect you if it’s at home in the closet. Even if you are going on a short ride, even just to the store, you should put on your protective riding gear.

Because of factors beyond anyone’s control, if you ride long enough, you will need the extra protection of specialized riding gear. No one plans to have an accident, of course, but they happen to even the best riders. Like all aspects of motorcycling, keeping your balance is important. We’re all bound by the same laws of physics and probability. Keep your arrogance and vanity in check, and suit up. Riding is risky enough without tempting fate by riding “naked.”

** The preceding is excerpted from the book, The Perfect Motorcycle: How to Choose, Find and Buy the Perfect New or Used Bike. The information provided here will give you a framework to guide your motorcycle inspections and purchases. Space limitations preclude an in-depth discussion of the subject. You can find out about the book at www.theperfectmotorcycle.com. There are also 18 checklists and worksheets available for download at www.theperfectmotorcycle.com/download-worksheets-and-che.html that you can use to supplement the information in the book.
Trader Online Web Developer

Getting Ready to Sell Your Motorcycle


For some, it can be heart-wrenching to even think about selling your motorcycle. For others, the extra cash can help finance their next motorcycle or another large purchase. CycleTrader helps thousands of people sell their motorcycle every year, so we’ve seen our share of successful sales. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Research what other motorcycles are selling for in your area – Do a search on CycleTrader.com for similar makes, models or types so you can see the market rate. Other resources like NADA or KBB can also help you price your motorcycle according to its condition, year and mileage.

Take good photos and videos (and don’t have a model, your child or your dog posing on or near the motorcycle) – You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take a great shot. Use a good point-and-shoot or a digital SLR if you’re more advanced to take an unobstructed picture of your motorcycle. One of my favorites set of pictures is a ’05 BMW F 650GS from Carrollton, TX.

• Promote Your Listing on Facebook and Twitter – Once you’ve uploaded your motorcycle onto CycleTrader.com, tell your social networks all about it by posting a link to your listing. Use a service like TinyURL, Bit.ly or Owl.ly to help you shrink your links if they take up more than 140 characters on Twitter.
Organize Your Paperwork – Have the title available and prepare a bill of sale before meeting with the seller. If you don’t have a bill of sale template, visit your state’s DMV for more information. The California DMV has a detailed template available on their site, with form fields to input your information and the seller’s information.

When you're ready to sell, CycleTrader has more tips and tricks to help you list your motorcycle effectively. Visit our Sellers' Resource Center for more information.
Trader Online Web Developer

Monday, December 13, 2010

Choosing the Right Helmet to Fit Your Noggin


Last month the National Transportation Board urged states to require federally approved helmets. Only 21 jurisdictions mandate that all riders - adults and children - wear helmets, while 27 states only require passengers and children to wear protective head gear.

Wherever you ride, make sure you read up on your state's helmet laws. When you're ready to select a helmet for you or your riding companion, check out a few tips to help it fit just right:

1. Make sure the helmet isn't too big: When you shake your head or pull up on the helmet, does your head go with it or does it come loose? This is a sign of an ill-fitting helmet, which could cause an uncomfortable or even dangerous riding experience.
2. Make sure the helmet isn't too small: This fit-test should be somewhat obvious since you probably can't even squeeze your head into the helmet.
3. Select a federally approved helmet: Check for the DOT-compliant sticker marked on the back of the helmet with the label DOT FMVSS 218.

Make sure you find the one that fits right versus finding a flashy helmet that won't protect your cranium. Safe riding!
Trader Online Web Developer

Thursday, December 09, 2010

2010 Seattle Motorcycle Show


In less than 24 hours (not that we're counting), we'll be at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Seattle. We hope to see you at booth 684 where we'll be joined by our friends at Renton Motorcycles. While we count down to the start of the show, here are a few things I'm excited to see:

1. Jason Britton and Eric Hoenshell - Jason and Eric will be putting on several heart-pounding shows. Check out one of his shows at Fox Studios here (Copyright: Burbank Pictures):

2. Meet MotoAdventureGal - Alisa Clickenger, aka MotoAdventureGal, returns from her trip to South America and will be speaking to other female riders. The Women Riders booth will be open all weekend to answer your questions, help you try on gear, and sit on bikes.
3. Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Contest - I'm ready to ogle what these custom bike builders are bringing to Seattle. There's no celebrity panel to judge these bikes - winners will be selected by the audience, so make sure you vote for your favorite.
4. The Marketplace - I'm wearing comfortable shoes because I will be stopping by every booth to see new motorcycles, parts and accessories. Who needs exercise when you can walk around the Qwest Center a few times?

Bundle up, bring your camera and get ready for this weekend's show. We'll see you there.
Trader Online Web Developer

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Improved Toolbar to Search Motorcycles


Earlier this fall CycleTrader.com introduced a new refine toolbar that made it easier for you to filter through our 150,000+ listings. (Check out an example of the toolbar with a search for Harley-Davidson motorcycles).

We opened up the lines of communication and many of you have told us what you'd like to see more of and what you'd like to change. Our team put their nose to the grindstone and started working on your suggestions. Here are just a few things we baked into our most recent updates:

* Filter by Dealers vs. Private Sellers - We introduced this feature in the fall, but it was buried at the bottom of the navigation. We've moved it up so it's hard to miss.
* Price and Year Filters - Everyone's got their own way of searching for a particular price or year range, so we gave you two choices. Select between fixed price and year ranges like "Under $5,000" with a set of links, or customize your search with our drop-down menus.

* Homepage Quick Search - Our homepage quick search allows you to easily select a year range, but the drop-down menu was sorted by oldest to newest years. Definitely a no-brainer for us to change, and it's a great feature for you.

So if you're in the market to buy or just want to dream, test drive our changes. We always like hearing from you, and you can drop us a line anytime at novafeedback@dominionenterprises.com.
Trader Online Web Developer

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ask Kevin - A Gift That Can't be Wrapped


One of our readers is chock-full of holiday spirit and has her eye on a gift that's too big to wrap.

Dear Kevin,
My husband has been looking at motorcycles all year, and he’s narrowed it down to the 2010 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic. He test rode it, and he says it’s perfect for him. Do you think it’s a good idea to go the dealership and surprise him with a motorcycle for Christmas?

Thanks!


Dear Reader,
Wow! That you're considering such a thoughtful gift is unusual in most marriages. I know there are some envious readers out there. I'd like to respond in two parts -- the relationship answer and the buying advice answer.

The relationship answer: If your husband likes surprises, and is OK with not discussing a decision that is a large part of the family budget, then a motorcycle would be a great Christmas gift.

The buying advice answer: This is a great time of year to buy a motorcycle. One of the critical phases of getting the perfect motorcycle has been completed by your husband by choosing the style and model of bike. Your job in the next phase is to get a great deal.

I recommend that you find multiple dealers with the same bike available, and check around to see who can give you the best "out the door" price. The "out the door" price is the total cost including all prep, license, delivery, taxes, etc -- the total amount you will pay. This way you are comparing apples to apples. Also, make sure that the dealer you choose knows that this motorcycle is a gift, and talk about your ability to, and the potential charge for, return or exchange if your husband would like a different color, for instance.

If you are financing the motorcycle, use the Motorcycle Loan Shopping Form at www.theperfectmotorcycle.com/download-worksheets-and-che.html to get the best deal on that aspect of the purchase. There are other helpful worksheets at the website to help your shopping efforts as well.

Finally, you should probably get your "honey do" list up-to-date, because you will have a very attentive and productive husband -- at least until riding season starts.

- Kevin
Trader Online Web Developer

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Be Your Own Santa This Year


Treating Yourself to a Motorcycle During the Holiday Season: Budget, Insurance and Financing Tips - By Kevin Domino

December is the best time of year to buy a motorcycle. The riding season for most of the US is closing down and most other buyers are distracted by the holidays and other winter activities. A high supply of bikes and low demand drive prices down.

Armed with worksheets available at the book’s website (or better yet, the book itself), you’ll make this a winter to remember.

The best buys from dealers are available now, before the dealer has evaluated inventory, balanced it with wholesalers, put in his order for the newly released models and set his bets on the next year.

Great deals from individual sellers are also available in December. The most common reason individuals are selling their bikes now rather than waiting for spring is because they need the cash, which puts you in a better position to negotiate.

Let’s put the pieces together to get you a new bike.

Your Budget
In October’s post, Uncover the True Cost of Ownership, we discussed the various factors that influence the costs between types of motorcycles. The decision to buy new or used is the first one you’ll need to make before shopping. If you decide to buy a used bike, check out September’s column, Inspecting Used Motorcycles – Ensuring You Get One in Great Condition, for some helpful advice and tools.

To evaluate motorcycle prices, there are multiple resources listed in the appendix (see below). One of the most popular pricing resources is The Kelly Blue Book. The Blue Book provides online trade-in and suggested retail pricing for motorcycles at no charge. Trade-in value is what you could expect to receive from a dealer if you applied your used motorcycle in trade on a new one. Suggested retail is representative of dealers’ asking prices for an excellent used unit.

The book’s appendix listing the resources, as well as worksheets and checklists for TCO, used motorcycle inspection, and more are available at www.theperfectmotorcycle.com/download-worksheets-and-che.html.

Commuter?
Justifying the cost of a motorcycle might be as simple as considering using it as a commuter. Using the worksheets available at www.theperfectmotorcycle.com, you can determine for the true cost of your motorcycle including maintenance, gear and fuel. The worksheets allow you to calculate how much money you will save commuting on a bike versus driving your car (and if you drive a truck or SUV, those savings can be dramatic).

Second Bike
If you already have a motorcycle, consider getting a second bike. There are many good reasons for owning two (or more) motorcycles. If you take this option, total cost of ownership will not double as you might expect. This is because some insurance companies give special multi-bike discounts that do not cost much more than insuring one bike—primarily because you can only ride one at a time. Also, you don’t need two garages, two sets of tools, two sets of riding gear, or double the training. Maintenance and repair costs do not double because your overall mileage for the two bikes will presumably remain the same as if you had bought a single bike.

Other Cost Savings
You can save as much of more on insurance and financing as you can on the motorcycle itself. Regardless of where you shop for a loan or insurance, do not be afraid to ask questions. Loans and insurance are simply other type of products—expensive ones, at that. An excellent resource for shopping for insurance and financing is Cycle Trader’s Research tab of its website at http://www.cycletrader.com/research/.

Insurance
Insurance coverage is no place to skimp. There is too much at stake. No one ever regrets getting too much insurance coverage when they’ve had an accident. However, coverage and cost for premiums are two different things. You can get the same coverage from different companies for different prices. When getting multiple quotes, make sure you are comparing coverage, replacement costs and any overlap with your existing health insurance.

Be sure to ask each provider before making your decision about potential discounts for:
• Completion of an approved rider-training course
• Using a DOT and/or Snell-certified helmet
• Approved theft-deterrent like alarms or Lo-jack
• Multiple vehicles or other types of insurance (life, homeowners, etc.)
• More than one motorcycle insured by the same provider
• Membership in the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA),
American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American
Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
• Installation of an approved security system

Also, ask the company to be considered for their “top-tier” rates, which are their highest discounted rates.

Financing Tips
You should have a good idea of all the expenses that go into buying your motorcycle from the total cost of ownership worksheet found at www.theperfectmotorcycle.com. There are many good free resources to help you with financial matters. For general information on personal finance and consumer rights see the book’s appendix.

Cash is the ideal way to pay for your motorcycle. If you don’t have enough savings for your next bike, installment loans from banks and credit unions are available.

Regardless of where you shop for a loan, some questions to consider are:
• How much will I pay in total in addition to the borrowed amount for the whole term of the loan?
• Can the interest rate change during the loan term?
• What happens if I’m late on a payment or two?
• What are the penalties for early payoff?

Factory and Dealer Financing
Some dealers and manufacturers offer financing. Only borrow money for a bike with an installment loan, and not with revolving credit. If you are considering factory or dealer financing, make sure you know which type they are offering. If you buy a motorcycle with revolving credit, you’ll end up paying too much. A revolving credit line works like a credit card, where you can borrow up to an amount of a credit limit and as you pay down the principal, you can borrow again against the line of credit. Besides the temptation to keep borrowing money for other things against the line of credit (and keep paying interest), the main reason you shouldn’t but a bike this way is that the interest can change before you pay off the loan.

Worksheets for evaluating insurance and financing costs are available at www.theperfectmotorcycle.com/download-worksheets-and-che.html.

Go Get ‘em
Your perfect motorcycle is out there, and at the best prices of the year. Armed with the worksheets (or even better, the book itself), you’ll make this the best winter yet. Please post comments here with the results of your shopping success.

The following is based on material in the book, The Perfect Motorcycle: How to Choose, Find and Buy the Perfect New or Used Bike (www.theperfectmotorcycle.com).
Trader Online Web Developer

Progressive International Motorcycle Show Hits the Emerald City


The Seattle Progressive® International Motorcycle Show, December 10-12, 2010, will be a brand new powersports event experience from the ground up. From a completely new visual design and show environment to more entertainment, product interaction and learning opportunities, and gifts and prizes custom-built for you as a motorcycle enthusiast, the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows will send you home happy. The show promises a completely new and different experience from the time you see the first promotions for the shows, to arriving at your local expo hall and onto the show floor. You will be treated to a 21st century experience unparalleled by any other motorcycle event in the country.

What not to miss:
• New models from major manufacturers
• The Marketplace – aftermarket gear and accessories
• Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show & Competition
• DIY Garage Seminars – step-by-step motorcycle maintenance and repair instructions
• The HUB Seminars – rider educational seminars, plus celebrity interviews
• MotoFlix Theater – Daily screenings from the best motorcycle movies ever made
• Women Ride – all-inclusive community of the show floor for experienced and new women riders
• Jason Britton Team No Limit Stunt Show
• And more

Get your tickets online with promo code SCT and save $3 off each 1-day adult ticket at www.motorcycleshows.com.
Trader Online Web Developer

Monday, November 15, 2010

Why I Ride


By Chad Sydnor, Sales Representative

It was a brisk Friday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, and I had just gotten off of work. I drove my car home, changed clothes, and hopped on my bike. I had to find something, something very important - it was a tailgating spot for my alma mater’s homecoming game.

As I was riding through the streets of Norfolk, VA on the way to Old Dominion University, I was thinking about all the good times I had in college and the old friends that I would run into because it was homecoming weekend. Just as I parked my Honda RC51 and pulled out my phone to text my friends that I had found the perfect spot, I heard a voice call my name, “Chad, is that you?” I turned around and saw Brandy, one of my good college friends. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought finding a tailgate spot a day early was a good idea. We talked for a while and caught up on what we had been up to the last five years and how work was going until she asked me a pretty good question, “Is that your bike? Why do you ride a motorcycle?”

Without even thinking I shot out an answer that I think summed it up pretty well, “Because I love it. It’s the most freeing feeling you can have legally!” She laughed, and we talked for a few more minutes before going our own separate ways. On the way home I was thinking about my answer and how many people felt the same way. So tell me, what’s your reason to ride? Is it for the freedom, because you think it’s cool, or is it something else?
Trader Online Web Developer

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pink-ify Your Gear for Breast Cancer Awareness Month




Many of us have known someone - a friend, a wife, a sister, or a mother - with breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, over 192,000 new cases are expected to be diagnosed this year alone. The motorcycle community has come out strong, with hundreds of events sponsored by clubs and dealerships throughout the year.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we found our favorite pink accessories and bikes to support the 2.5 million survivors nationwide.

Icon Women's Hella Street Angel Chaps - Part sweet and part sassy, these adjustable white chaps with a pink stripe are specifically designed for women.

3/4-Sleeve Hot Pink Arctic Cat Tee - Match this 100% cotton, pink t-shirt with jeans on the weekends. The screen-printed Arctic Cat logo even makes it look like a vintage baseball tee.

Airframe Street Angel Helmet - The Airframe Street Angel Helmet is pretty sweet-looking. The airbrushed design is a piece of art, but it's outfitted with some great features too. With a fully-removable HydraDry(TM) interior, you can wash and dry your helmet lining to avoid that locker-room smell.

Altimate Wild Cat Series Women's Boot - Looking for a more subtle way to rock pink? Check out this pair of black women's boots with pink stitching and laces. Standing 9" tall with fur lining and Thermolite(TM) insulation, the boots help keep your ankles and shins safe and toasty.

2010 Limited-Edition Pink Vespa LX 150 - Buck's Motorsports in Akron, NY is selling a limited-edition, cotton-candy pink Vespa. What better way to show your support than with an all-pink scooter?

2009 Yamaha FZ6R - I like the pairing of hot-pink with the flat-black finish. Road, Track and Trail will even ship this motorcycle anywhere in the Continental U.S.

We tip our hats (and helmets) to all of you who support the search for a cure.

by Nedie Recel, CycleTrader.com Marketing Director
Trader Online Web Developer

Uncover the True Cost of Ownership


By Kevin Domino, author of The Perfect Motorcycle and CycleTrader.com contributing blogger

So maybe you found a great deal on a motorcycle, but your perfect motorcycle is perfect only if you can afford it.

Once all the costs to own a motorcycle are examined, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is different than most people expect—both higher and lower—even to veteran riders. For example, you can save as much, or more, shopping for financing and insurance as you can on the purchase price of the motorcycle.

One-time costs are ones that you pay once regardless of whether or not you ride use the bike. These costs include the cost of the motorcycle, riding gear, tools, financing charges, sales tax, and depreciation. Ongoing costs include the recurring costs like insurance and vehicle license, and the variable ones that change based on how much you ride, such as fuel costs, new tires, and maintenance costs.

The free downloadable worksheets further categorize the expenses into two sections for your convenience. The first, named “Motorcycle Rider Dependent Costs,” covers costs of things you’ll need regardless of your motorcycle choice, like riding gear, resources, tools and ongoing rider training. The second is named “Motorcycle-Dependent Costs” and covers the bike-related expenses.

As you will find when you complete the worksheets, the cost of the motorcycle and its fuel mileage are important factors, but they play only a part in how much you will spend on your riding activities. A motorcycle that has a higher purchase price than the one you’re considering can actually cost you less to own in the long run, especially when considering resale value. For example, something as seemingly innocuous as the recommended service intervals for valve adjustments, and even the type of valve train in the engine, can make a big difference in your overall operating expenses. Valve adjustment on some bikes is an easy do-it-yourself project for the mechanically inclined. Some motorcycle valve trains are Space Shuttle-complex and really difficult to get at. That’s where some research and completion of the following worksheets help shine a light on the cost of various aspects of motorcycle ownership.

Feel free to play with all the variable amounts, especially the amount of miles ridden and the number of years owned, to see how those values affect the total cost of ownership. A factor you might not consider fully is your tires. Tires on motorcycles do more, work harder and wear out faster than those on cars. Therefore, tire expense per mile is typically higher on a bike than a car. Depending on the type of motorcycle and type of riding you do, the amount you spend on tires is around what you spend on gasoline. But, because those air-filled rubber donuts around your motorcycle’s wheels do so much and are critical to the safe operation of your bike, don’t be tempted to cheap-out. Always use premium tires.

A couple of summary figures are listed at the bottom of the motorcycle worksheet: “yearly total cost of ownership” and “cost per mile.” These totals are also valuable to use to balance your household budget. The calculation “motorcycle sale price as % of yearly TCO” is provided to show how much of an impact the cost of the motorcycle itself has on the total you spend on motorcycling. Remember, sometimes a more expensive motorcycle costs you less to own.

If you currently have a motorcycle that you will be replacing, you can’t count both the value of your current bike and the resale value of your new bike in the calculations to accurately evaluate the cost of ownership—that’s double dipping. Only enter an amount in the section labeled “sale of currently owned bike” if you a buying another bike to replace your current one.

To decide between selling your bike and trading it in, you need to judge if the time you will likely spend selling the bike is worth the difference between the projected selling price and the trade-in value. It’s generally a good idea to sell the bike yourself. That difference is the profit margin a dealer will earn to sell your trade-in (the dealer thinks it’s worth their time).

Remember, you can save as much of more on insurance and financing as you can on the motorcycle itself. Regardless of where you shop for a loan or insurance, do not be afraid to ask questions. You are not afraid to ask questions when you are looking at motorcycles. The same applies here. Loans and insurance are simply other type of products, expensive ones, at that. An excellent resource for shopping for insurance and financing is Cycle Trader’s Research section.

Ask questions like:
• How much will I pay in total in addition to the borrowed amount for the whole term of the loan?
• Can the interest rate change during the loan term?
• What happens if I’m late on a payment or two?
• Are there any penalties for early payoff?

Never skimp on insurance coverage, but be sure to ask each insurance provider before making your decision about potential discounts for:
• Completion of an approved rider-training course
• Using a DOT and/or Snell-certified helmet
• Approved theft-deterrent like alarms or Lo-jack
• Multiple vehicles or other types of insurance (life, homeowners, etc.)
• Membership in the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
• Also, ask the company to be considered for their “top-tier” rates, which are their highest discounted rates.

You can’t know all the possible expenses that will come up, but this will get you started toward making an informed decision. Feel free to modify and add your own categories as you learn more, to form an even clearer picture of your overall riding costs. Armed with the data, you’re well on the way to your perfect motorcycle.

** The preceding is excerpted from the book, The Perfect Motorcycle: How to Choose, Find and Buy the Perfect New or Used Bike. The information provided here will give you a framework to guide your motorcycle inspections and purchases. Space limitations preclude an in-depth discussion of the subject. You can find out about the book at www.theperfectmotorcycle.com. There are also 18 checklists and worksheets available for download at www.theperfectmotorcycle.com/download-worksheets-and-che.html that you can use to supplement the information in the book.
Trader Online Web Developer

Eden’s Chopper Class Triumphs at the Donnie Smith Chopper Class Challenge


The future of motorcycle building begins with the younger generation and Jaybrake is a proud part of the next era of builders. The 2010-2011 school year marks the fourth year of Jaybrake’s continued support of Eden High School’s Chopper Class.

Photo Credit: Steve Jones, Eden High School
Eden High School students built their first bike in 2007 and the following year the Chopper Class was formed. The class was made possible because of the guidance and vision of Steve Jones, Eden High School Technology teacher.

“In 2004/2005 I had a group of students in my practical engineering class that planted the seed in my mind. I did some research and found that there was a venue, thanks to my buddy and fellow Technology teacher Kevin Baas, to showcase our kid’s talents at the annual Donnie Smith Bike Show out in Minnesota,” recalls Jones.

By the end of the 2005/2006 school year, with the help and support of Jaybrake and other sponsors, the Chopper Club was realized. “Sponsors are our life blood, period. The district does not financially support what we do with the Chopper Class. Therefore, we must be self-sufficient in terms of securing raw material, motorcycle parts, etc.. This program would simply not exist without our sponsor’s direct assistance,” says Jones.

Jaybrake’s participation has gone beyond just donating money and parts to the club, they have also donated their time. Jaybrake’s owner, Karl Horschel, Manager of Sales and Marketing, Keith Horschel and Jay Brainard, Director of Research and Development have gotten their hands dirty with the Eden club, providing lessons on brake assembly. The Jaybrake team also takes the bike on the road with them to motorcycle shows to promote the club.

The Eden Chopper class has done more than just build bikes; they have taken their talents to the “superbowl” of high school building shows, the Donnie Smith Chopper Class Challenge. From the very first year the club entered the Donnie Smith bike show Eden has been fortunate enough to bring home the Overall award twice (2008 and 2010) and the Peoples’ Choice Award (2009).
Photo Credit: Steve Jones, Eden High School
“The very first year we traveled to…compete in the Chopper Class Challenge is the most memorable moment. I can’t describe how proud I was, and still am, of each one of my students,” Jones says of the experience.

The club has elicited welcomed involvement from the community. Local organization, The Rueben Brown Foundation, has gotten involved with the Eden Chopper Club. In 2010, after the build was completed, the Foundation raffled off the completed bike to offset the Chopper Clubs costs for the build.
 
“Not only does the community support what we do in the Chopper Club, they help determine the next direction the Class will move. We operate within and because of the community that our school is located in. The best way to describe it is ownership,” says Jones.

Most recently one of the club’s members won an essay contest through the International Master Bike Builder Association. Alex Bednarz traveled to Sturgis and had the honor to build a custom bike on stage with Vagabond Chopper owners, Athena and Rob Ransom. Alex and two other young ladies, who also participate in similar programs, were all on stage as Athena sparked the bike to life on stage at The Broken Spoke Saloon. 
Photo Credit: Steve Jones, Eden High School
Eden’s Chopper Class begins this year's campaign with a very young and enthusiastic group of new student researchers, designers, and fabricators. The Alumni of the club have set the bar high and established a tradition of hard work and craftsmanship over the last three years. This combination of energy and ownership could be the catalyst for some of the kids to truly push the envelope in the next few years. Only time will tell where each students’ mechanical creativity will take them, but it will certainly be an interesting ride watching them get there.  

- Laura Ferguson, Jaybrake Marketing Assistant and CycleTrader.com Contributing Blogger
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Friday, October 08, 2010

It's Not Summer Anymore



This past weekend, after a few days of rain, I was finally able to get back in the saddle and take my motorcycle out for a ride. “Heather,” my 2004 Honda RC51, had been trapped inside the garage and begging to be taken out. I was more than happy to oblige.

As I rode towards the city of Virginia Beach my gas light came on. “Time to take an exit and fill her up,” I thought. As I pulled into the BP gas station, I noticed two fellow riders gassing up and talking. I coasted to a pump beside them and said hello. The response I got kind of took me by surprise.

“Cold out here today, huh?,” one of the two asked me.

I responded with, “Yeah, a little bit, but look at what you’re wearing!”

He was dressed in a thin long-sleeved Virginia Tech shirt, shorts, sneakers, and no gloves.

“You know how it is. I just wanted to get a ride in before the weather changed on us,” was his comeback.

After that little exchange we chatted for a bit and soon they were on their way. After paying for my four gallons of petrol, so was I. As I continued on my way, and during the ride back home, I couldn’t stop thinking about what this guy was wearing. The thought that kept creeping back in my head was, “Come on dude, it’s not summer anymore!”

Most of you know to dress for safety as well as the weather, but this guy was dressed for neither. Shorts and a thin t-shirt are not going to protect you from a fall or the elements. In this type of weather, riding without properly dressing for the occasion is a bad idea for one good reason - IT’S DANGEROUS!

Dressing for a day on the beach while on your bike, with a little chill in the air, is a major distraction that puts you, and the rest of us at risk. You will spend more time concerned about how cold and uncomfortable you are, than about safe riding. It only takes a split second for something horrible to happen.

As my brother told me when I first started riding, “Chad, wear your helmet, jeans, boots, gloves, and jacket or just drive your car!” Sound advice that I think we should all take.

Ride safe.

- Chad Sydnor, CycleTrader.com Sales Consultant, Biker since 2008

Chad's 2004 Honda RC51
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Friday, September 24, 2010

Watch out for Multi-Tasking Mini EV Scooter Riders


BMW is set to debut a new Mini EV Scooter at this year's Paris Motor Show according to FastCompany.com. The new electric two-person scooter houses its electric motor in the rear wheel and lets riders dock their iPhone into the handlebars. Forget the days of lugging your iPod, GPS and cell phone with you along your journey - the Mini lets you do it all here. I just wonder, will my iPhone drain the Mini Scooter's battery?

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Golden Rule of Buying a Used Motorcycle


Last week we introduced you to Kevin Domino, author of The Perfect Motorcycle. Kevin is back this week to share more advice on avoiding lemons:

The Golden Rule of inspections is document everything! Write down the answers to the questions the seller is giving you, and everything you notice about the bike, the seller, and your reactions. Not only are you gathering valuable data for review later, you are much more likely to receive truthful answers if the seller sees that you are documenting their answers.

Another helpful hint: Bring a friend. Bringing someone along on your inspection can be very helpful for two reasons. The most important reason to bring someone along is as a witness. Having someone else along will help coax the seller to be more honest in the presentation and put you more at ease. When you ask the most important question, “Is there anything wrong with this bike?” having a witness is important to corroborate the seller’s representation, if you find defects that show themselves after the sale and if you need to take corrective action.

The other reason to bring someone along is that another perspective is invaluable. If your inspection teammate is knowledgeable about motorcycles, you can review your findings with them. If they don’t know about bikes, they can serve as a good sounding board for you and offer insights into the seller and surroundings that you might miss by being focused on the bike. It’s important that the person you bring along doesn’t distract you, though.

Performing inspections will serve multiple purposes.
1. The information you collect will give you a good reference point to compare different bikes for the rest of your riding career.
2. You will strengthen your negotiating position with the seller by demonstrating your expertise.
3. An inspection will also predict work and parts required to bring the bike to safe riding condition and highlight the costs to doing so, in the negotiations.
4. As important as the inspection is to determine the condition of the bike, you’ll be face-to-face with the seller to evaluate their motives and trustworthiness as well.

- Kevin Domino

Don't forget to visit www.theperfectmotorcycle.com for 10% off his book and a free digital download. Enter CT092010 at checkout.
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Electric Motorcycle Manufacturer Brammo Announces Strategic Partnership


Electric Motorcycle Manufacturer Brammo is ramping up production of their line of electric bikes.

Photo Credit: Brammo

Brammo recently announced a strategic partnership to rapidly scale its manufacturing production in order to meet growing international demand, selecting Flextronics as its global manufacturing partner for the production of plug-in electric motorcycles and components.

“As Brammo pursues its international growth strategy it is critical to our success that we continue to build our strong reputation for quality, reliability and serviceability,” stated Craig Bramscher, CEO and founder of Brammo, Inc. “Flextronics is focused on providing a high quality end-to-end solutions approach to leading global companies, including automotive, and this is why we have selected them as our strategic manufacturing partner. We can now scale globally with the demand and the rapid evolution of this growth industry.”

Source: Brammo
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Memorial Ride and Poker Run in Huntersville, North Carolina This Saturday to remember Logan Stroud and Nick Bussie



There is a memorial ride and poker run in Huntersville, North Carolina this Saturday to remember Logan Stroud and Nick Bussie.

The ride starts and ends at Easy Eddies at 12125 Statesville Road in Huntersville, NC 28078.

Registration begins @ 9:00 AM. Contact Kris Stroud @ 704-305-1683 or Connie Bussie at 704-932-6364.
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Part 1: Inspecting Used Motorcycles – Ensuring You Get One in Great Condition



By Kevin Domino, author of The Perfect Motorcycle and CycleTrader.com contributing blogger

 Inspecting used motorcycles can be daunting, especially for new riders. The following is excerpted from the book, The Perfect Motorcycle: How to Choose, Find and Buy the Perfect New or Used Bike. The information provided here will give you a framework to guide your inspections, but space limitations preclude an in-depth discussion of the subject. For a complete picture of the process, check out the book’s website listed below.

One of the keys to finding the perfect used motorcycle is evaluating whether or not the bike you are looking at has been well-treated and is mechanically sound. The best way to determine the fitness of the one bike you want to buy is a three-pronged approach. You will 1) interview the owner, 2) inspect the machine, and then 3) go home and review what you have learned. Do all of this before you make an offer.

You can save time and money by interviewing the seller by phone or email before you look at the bike in person. You will learn which bikes are worth scheduling and taking a trip to go see, and which ones you can take off your list of possibilities. And afterward, it’s important to objectively assess the facts about your inspection away from the motorcycle with a post-inspection review.

There are forms available for download at www.theperfectmotorcycle.com/download-worksheets-and-che.html that you can use for phone or email interviews, in-person inspections, and a post-inspection review. When you arrange for face-to-face appointments, remember to bring along the completed interview form to verify the previous answers to the questions.

Take special note: The inspecting stage and negotiating stage are separate. By separating the stages, you will be in a much better position to get a great bike at a lower price. Do not negotiate with the seller in this inspection stage of the process! If you can separate the looking and the negotiating into two discrete activities, you are also less likely to shade your purchase by the infatuation factor (falling in love with the motorcycle you’re currently looking at). If you need to get a bike quickly, separate the inspection from the negotiating with at least a coffee break to review your findings, away from the seller.

It is also important to mention that during the motorcycle evaluation, the data transfer needs to be one-way only from the seller to you—not the other way. Don’t share what you are looking for or what you find with the seller. You are simply gathering information objectively about the seller and the bike, and recording your reactions to them. You’ll see later how this one-way communication strengthens your negotiating position.

Contributing blogger, Kevin Domino, is offering an exclusive offer just for
CycleTrader.com customers. Enter CT092010 into the discount box to get 10% off The Perfect Motorcycle and a free eBook.
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Friday, September 03, 2010

The New CycleTrader.com Refine Toolbar Narrows Down Searches For Pre-owned Motorcycles - From Sportsbikes To Harleys



CycleTrader.com has always listed a wide selection of used motorcycles, but in August we made it easier for enthusiasts to find a pre-owned bike.

If you're in the market to buy but can't make the investment in a new motorcycle, CycleTrader.com's new refine toolbar on the left-hand side of search results helps you narrow down a variety of pre-owned motorcycles.

HOGs can find over 12,000 used Harley-Davidson motorcycles, while sportbikers can find almost 7,000 used sportbikes. Maybe the old cliche really holds true, "One man's trash is another man's treasure."
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Are Women Motorcycle Riders Getting Respect From the Motorcycle Industry?



Women riders are a fast growing segment of the motorcycle audience, but how are they being served by the motorcycle industry? Are motorcycle manufacturers and equipment makers reaching out to women with an equal level of respect that they do to male riders?

A recent post on Clutch and Chrome asked about the needs of women riders when buying bikes and helmets. Some bikes and helmets are designed with women in mind, but do they have to be “feminized” as well? For example, are pink or black the only color choices for women’s helmets?

According to comScore web site statistics reveal that about nearly a third of daily visitors to CycleTrader.com are women.

What do you think? Leave a comment and tell us!
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Monday, August 23, 2010

What do you Bring on an Eight Month Long Motorcycle Trip? Motorcycle Blogger Bill Dwyer Shares his Packing List


Ready for a few months on the road with your motorcycle? You'll need more than just your toothbrush.

Motorcycle blogger Bill Dwyer shares on YouTube the items he is taking on an eight month long motorcycle trip to Argentina.

Cycle Trader talked to Bill a few weeks ago about his upcoming trip. This video shows item by item what he's planning to bring. His gear includes clothes for the range of weather in South America to zip ties for quick bike repairs.



You can visit Bill’s blog at AtlasRider.com or follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/AtlasRider

Source: Bill Dwyer
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Cycle Trader's Parts and Accessories Page Offers Arai Helmets and More


Photo Credit: Arai Helmets

Cycle Trader offers more than just new and used motorcycles.

The Cycle Trader Parts and Accessories page offers a wide selection of cycle parts and riding accessories, including Arai’s VX-Pro3 off-road helmets featuring the "Akira" design, named for motocrosser Akira Narita.

According to Arai, the VX-Pro3 was introduced to unprecedented rave reviews from the entire off-road publishing world, some even calling it "the best helmet ever tested."

The Pro3’s design also features a unique rounded chinbar shape with less forward protrusion. The shape's design intent is to make the chinbar less likely to catch and snag a crashing rider than longer, more pointed chinbars.



What sort helmets do you like? Do you like simple designs or a helmet with wild colors? Let us know and leave a comment.

Source: Arai Helmets
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Smart Cycle Shopper Reviews the 2011 Ducati Monster 796


Photo Credit: Ducati

CycleTrader.com has a link to a review of the 2011 Ducati Monster 796 provided by SmartCycleShopper.com.

According to Ducati, the Monster 796 was the first of the 2011 Ducati’s to land in North America and represents an upgrade from the Monster 696.

SmartCycleShopper is one of the first motorcycle web sites to take the new 2011 Ducati Monster 796 for a ride.

Source: CycleTrader.com and SmartCycleShopper.com
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Q and A With Motorcycle Blogger Bill Dwyer of AtlasRider.com and his Upcoming Ride To Argentina


Photo Credit: Bill Dwyer

Motorcycle Blogger Bill Dwyer is about to embark on a an eight month Latin America solo motorcycle journey. Cycle Trader contacted him to find out how he'll manage to keep blogging on his trip and some of his motorcycle riding history.

Cycle Trader: What was the first motorcycle you ever owned?

Bill Dwyer : 2006 Kawasaki Ninja 650r


CT: Why did you start blogging?

BD: To preserve my experiences for myself and to also share with others.


CT: Where do you sleep on the road?

BD: I dislike hotels, so I prefer camping. I'll find a campground, otherwise I'll "stealth camp" and find a secluded place to pitch my tent or hang my hammock.


Why did you pick Argentina as your destination?

BD: Because Argentina was the farthest contiguous path I could take. I wanted the journey to last as long as I could, so I pick a far away destination. There's nothing special to me about Argentina that swayed my decision.


CT: How will you find an Internet connection on the road to give us updates?

BD: In major cities there are wifi-cafes all over the place. The world is online, and there are plenty of ways to get online if you need to.


CT: Any plans of what you will do next when you get back?

BD: Save up for my next trip :) I'm thinking about south east Asia. That's years away, so we'll see.


You can follow Bill Dwyer on his blog Atlas Rider or on Twitter at Twitter.com/AtlasRider
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Friday, August 06, 2010

Motorcycle Blogger Bill Dwyer Riding From America to Argentina


Photo Credit: Bill Dwyer

AtlasRider.com is the blog of Bill Dwyer, an avid adventure motorcyclist and blogger for 3 years. He has built up an audience from all walks of life and continues to entertain, educate and inspire them to take the plunge and seek out adventures of their own.

On August 15th Bill Dwyer sets off for an eight month trip that takes him from America to Argentina, spanning over 20 countries and 25,000 miles. Without a cellphone, and infrequent internet access he will no longer always be "connected" or "on the grid." He travels alone, but brings along a virtual audience for the ride through documenting his journey on YouTube.

Photo Credit: Bill Dwyer

As a software developer, Bill grew weary of his corporate job. He sold most of his belongings and headed for the open road. Food, gas and shelter will be his only concerns.

We wish Bill as safe trip and we will be keeping track of his journey and giving you updates here on Cycle Trader Insider. You can also visit Bill’s blog or follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/AtlasRider

Photo Credit: Bill Dwyer

Source: Atlas Rider.com/Bill Dywer
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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Harley-Davidson Brings New 2011 Bikes to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally


Harley Davidson will be along for the ride with the thousands of attendees of the 70th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this August, bringing their new bikes for 2011 to show off and for demo rides.

Photo Credit: Harley-Davidson

Highlights of the 2011 Harley-Davidson line include:

Photo Credit: Harley-Davidson

The new SuperLow, featuring a new solo seat with a deep, bucket shape and soft filler for support and a 25.5-inch height make it possible for many riders to put feet securely on the ground when the bike is at rest.

Photo Credit: Harley-Davidson

The new XR1200X is Harley-Davidson Sportster offers adjustable front and rear suspension, floating front brake rotors and the surging power of a high-compression 1200cc Evolution V-Twin engine.

Photo Credit: Harley-Davidson

The new CVO Road Glide Ultra features a Road Tech zumo 660 GPS navigation system, upgraded Harman/Kardon Advanced Audio system with BOOM! Bigger speakers and an 8GB iPod nano and dock, and a two-up suspended touring seat with dual heat controls.

Source: Harley-Davidson
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Celebrates 70th anniversary August 9th through the 15th


Photo Credit: Chris Heald

The famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally celebrates its 70th anniversary this year and runs August 9th through the 15th. Officials estimate that 442,163 attended last years rally.

The web offers information and resources about Sturgis if you plan to drive out to this year’s rally, or just want to know more about its history.


A good first stop is the official site for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, featuring details on events, locations, and lodging information. The official site also features a calendar of events.

A timeline and history link has details the first Sturgis rally in 1938, called the Black Hills Classic back then, and featured a race with nine participants.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has been held every year since then, with a break during World War II because of gas rationing, and evolved into its present seven day event in 1975.


There is more about the history of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally at Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. The museum is open year round to visitors and offers a collection of vintage motorcycles on display.

While Sturgis does have a reputation for rowdiness, all participants are expected to observe local motorcycle safety laws. Sturgis.com has a list of laws motorcycle riders must obey, such as helmet and headlamp requirements. There’s even a list of penalties and fines if you wind up on the wrong side of the law.

For some Sturgis Motorcycle Rally attendees, the ultimate motorcycle event is also the perfect time for matrimony. There were 72 marriages performed at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally last year. If you want to get married at the rally, Sturgis.com offers a list of requirements and resources.

Are you going to Sturgis this year, or did you attend a past rally? Tell us your story and leave a comment.

Sources: Chris Heald, Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame, Sturgis.com
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Monday, July 26, 2010

The Brammo Empulse can go up to 100 Miles Per Charge and is Ready to Race in the e-Power Championship.


Photo Credit: Brammo

Zdnet.com features a story on Brammo’s new Empulse electric motorcycle. According to Brammo, the Empulse is the electric motorcycle to feature water cooling and can run 100 miles on a single charge. Brammo also says that their motorcycles are eligible for the recently passed 10% federal tax credit for plug-in vehicles.

How do electric motorcycles compare to four-wheeled electric vehicles for range? Electric motorcycles don’t have dual power from gas engines and batteries like the Toyota Prius, so there is no fossil fuel backup if you start running low on charge.

Photo Credit: Brammo

Hell For Leather reports that the Empulse can get up to around 100 miles on a single charge, but you can extend the range up to 130 miles if you lay off the speed.

Photo Credit: Brammo

The Empulse won’t be taking a casual ride anytime soon. Asphaltandrubber.com reports the Empulse hit the track at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California for the e-Power Championship on July 25th.



Source: Brammo, Zdnet.com, Hell For Leather, Asphalt and Rubber
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

The 2010 Carlisle Bike Fest to be held July 23 - 25 at the Carlisle Pennsylvania Fairgrounds


Photo Credit: Carlisle Bike Fest

The 2010 Carlisle Bike Fest will be held July 23 - 25 at the Carlisle Pennsylvania Fairgrounds and will host more top names in the motorcycle industry than ever before. Kawasaki, Yamaha and Victory will be offering on-site demos of their latest models, and local dealers will also be in attendance with thousands of inventory and consignments. On top of the new models and apparel, Bike Fest will host companies offering installations, service work and product giveaways. The photos are from the 2009 Carlisle Bike Fest.

CycleTrader.com had an special Q&A with Carlisle Bike Fest’s Chris Hann, Director of Creative Services & Technology, and Ed Scholly, Associate Director of Business and Event Development:

CT: How did this show get started?

Ed Scholly: Carlisle Bike Fest started in 2002 as part of the Summer Carlisle event held annually in July. We had and still have a number of riders on staff here at Carlisle. We invited regional Harley-Davidson, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Ducati, Honda, BMW, Suzuki and regional Custom V-Twin builders to Carlisle to explore their interest in starting a motorcycle event. They all jumped in and have been a part since.

Photo Credit: Carlisle Bike Fest

In its first year, the event was a success with over 38,000 attendees. Motorcycles quickly overran the car side of this event and established it as one of the region's premier motorcycle destinations.

CT: Are any motorcycle manufacturers planning to have exhibits or bike test rides?

Ed Scholly: The beginning to end action starts with industry participation. Despite uncertain economic times, Bike Fest will host more top names in the motorcycle industry than ever before. Kawasaki, Yamaha and Victory will be offering on-site demos of their latest models. Appalachian Harley-Davidson will also be at Bike Fest with over 15,000 square feet of Harley-Davidson goods and motorcycle consignments. On top of the new models and apparel, Bike Fest will host companies offering installations, service work and product giveaways.

Photo Credit: Carlisle Bike Fest

The Manufacturers Midway, the focal point of the Carlisle Bike Fest vending area, will once again host the “Largest Motorcycle Road Show on the Planet”, the Küryakyn traveling rig. Küryakyn is an innovator in the world of motorcycle customization and a regular at the largest motorcycle rallies in the U.S.

Bike Fest will be the home of three judged bike shows. Saturday’s “Ride-In” Bike Show will host over 25 classes for owners of V-Twin, Metric and Sport Bikes. Bike Fest will also bring back two judged shows that were introduced in past years with a sub-group of the motorcycle mainstream in mind. Carlisle Fighter Fest presented by Karns Performance is one of the first Street fighter events in the USA. A Street fighter is a customized sport bike that follows the design trends and functions of European riders with aggressive riding options: wide handle bars, short tails and stripped or mean looking fairings.

Photo Credit: Carlisle Bike Fest

The Carlisle Rat Rod Revival like Fighter Fest was also introduced in 2008 with a sub-group of the motorcycle mainstream in mind. Rat bikes and rat rods are machines that are built using just about anything the builder can find. By pushing the engineering and design limits, the builders of these awesome machines come up with an innately hard look that comes with building with scraps. Both rat bikes and rat rods are invited to take part in the Carlisle Rat Rod Revival, taking place on Sunday of Bike Fest.

In addition to the industry participation, test rides and judged competitions – Carlisle Bike Fest hosts two motorcycle giveaways along with an overwhelming amount of special guests, live music, stunt shows, charity rides and family activities taking place throughout the weekend.

CT: What percentage of your attendees comes from out of state?

Ed Scholly: Our strongest pull is within a day’s ride to Carlisle, PA and back. Motorcycles park free, and riders are charged an admission of $8 for the day with the ability to ride and see the beautiful scenery around the Carlisle, PA Fairgrounds.
Photo Credit: Carlisle Bike Fest

The ride to the Carlisle Bike Fest in Carlisle, Pennsylvania just south of the state’s capital in Harrisburg is ALMOST half the fun of the weekend. No matter which direction you come from, there is a tour ride that will be loaded with plenty to see in the way of scenic mountains, farms, orchards and battlefields.

Carlisle is located less than two hours away from Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC and under four hours from New York and Pittsburgh. Coming up from the Washington DC area you ride through the apple orchards and battlefields of Adams County. From Philadelphia, it is the Amish Country of Lancaster County that separates you and your bike from Carlisle. Coming from the north or east you will have to climb and zigzag through the Appalachians or Poconos.

The reason we say that the ride is ALMOST half the fun of the weekend is because the weekend itself and Carlisle Bike Fest is filled with so much activity that no matter how great the ride is, it is the destination in this case that you look forward to the most.

When you ride into Carlisle, you will be astonished by the number and variety of bikes (V-twins, choppers, sport bikes and metric bikes), the hundreds of vendors, the bands on stage all weekend, the stunt shows spread throughout the 102-acre fairgrounds facility and everything a major motorcycle event could possibly offer in one place. It’s like the slogan from this year’s show says, “Bikes, Bands, Shows and Giveaways;” what else could you ask for? The best part about the combination is that the bikes remain the number one priority and focus; in Carlisle everything else is just an added bonus.

Photo Credit: Carlisle Bike Fest

CT: As a rider, what are you most excited about seeing?

Ed Scholly: There are a lot of niche interests in the motorcycle market. Sport Bikes, V-Twins, Harley-Davidson, Metric Customs, Moto-Cross and more. We have been able to bring so many of those interests together at Carlisle allowing all of them to share their niche with all others. For anyone that has grown with motorcycles or has an interest in owning or riding, this show offers a wide variety of opportunities to learn and experience motorcycles. Entertainment, stunt shows and an accessible place to ride to make this a great event, day or weekend.

Source: Carlisle Bike Fest
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