Friday, September 30, 2005

From Leno to Paris...all in one blog!

I wanted to talk about my trip to the metal statue of a Harley erected in honor of William S. Harley's father during my recent trip to England, but there's so much other stuff going on it can wait......

For instance.....

Leno's Harley raises $505,100!
Mentioned in Biker Diaries back on September 10th, Jay Leno's celebrity-autographed motorcycle has raised nearly a half-million dollars for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

For the past four weeks "Tonight Show" guests and surprise arrivals have been autographing the Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The final signers on Thursday were guests Matthew McConaughey and Angie Harmon and surprise walk-ons Jimmy Smits and Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Previous signers have included Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Billy Crystal, Reese Witherspoon, Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres, Denzel Washington, Ben Affleck, Cameron Diaz, Jodie Foster, Mel Gibson, Geena Davis, William Shatner, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Charlie Sheen, Joaquin Phoenix, Jessica Alba, Bill Cosby, Adrien Brody, Matt LeBlanc, James Caan, Heather Locklear, Clay Aiken, Aaron Neville, Nicole Richie, Shaggy, Bonnie Raitt, Tracy Chapman and Dr. Phil.

With the bidding closing on eBay at 5pm on Thursday, the winning bid was $505,100.

But will he be able to auction off Betty Young's Harley?
Prompted by cracks Jay Leno has made on his Tonight Show earlier this year about community colleges, Betty Young, president of Northwest State Community College in Archbold decided to set the record straight with a marathon road trip to NBC's Burbank studios in California. She and others in her entourage dubbed their adventure the "Lessons for Leno Tour."

After a show taping, the college president was escorted on stage to meet Leno, who posed with her for pictures and said he was unaware that his comments had offended community colleges. He also acknowledged that his jokes frequently offend, so take a number. Badda bing.

Read the entire article at the Toledo Blade.

Honda's New European Line
Maybe it's because I was just there, but for some reason I have this urge to blog this.

Honda Europe Motorcycle S.R.L. today announced the new 2006 motorcycle models for the European Market. Honda will exhibit the models at the 'Mondial du Deux Roues 2005', thats the Paris Motorcycle Show to you and me, which begins October 1, 2005.

The models they're rolling out are;

This all-new touring sports model features a water-cooled, 4-stroke, in-line, 4-cylinder, 1000cc engine based on CBR1000RR engine technology. Including both Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) and an air injection system, the CBF1000 offers exceptionally smooth riding from low to high rpm ranges. In addition, its adjustable seat matches the rider for extra riding comfort.

Deauville ABS
This stylish touring model features a water-cooled, 4-stroke, 680cc, V2 engine. Increased engine displacement gives the Deauville ABS extra pep for fun, versatile riding in the city or on the freeway, while the model's many amenities include large fairing-integrated panniers for ample storage space, an adjustable windscreen for superb protection, and dual multi-reflector headlights for improved visibility.

The 2006 CBR1000RR features advanced technology from the RC211V, the bike famous for competition in the world's premier motorcycle road race, MotoGP. An on-road super sports model, the CBR100RR is powered by a water-cooled, 4-stroke, in-line, 4-cylinder, 1000cc engine. Lighter this model year by 3.0kg, the CBR1000RR offers both improved performance and updated styling

Silver Wing 400
With a water-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 2-cylinder engine, this large scooter combines cruising performance and convenience to support both daily driving and extended touring. Related to the Silver Wing 600 (sold in North American and European markets) and previously available only in Japan, the Silver Wing 400 expands Honda's motorcycle lineup for Europe.

Not to be outdone

BMW has finally announced what has long been rumored: a completely new mid-range sports bike. Note the 'S' designation on these motorcycles, which intimates that the motorcycle will have strong performance and good handling.

The F800S is an 800-cc twin which offers lots of character, an excellent suspension and typical BMW properties. The athletic F 800 S sports bike has a dry weight of under 419 lbs. (approx. 441 lbs. ready-to-ride) and is the first model of the new and separate model series.

You can read an article and BMW's entire press release at Web Bike World.

Ending on a somber note
Swedish police displayed the results of a crash where a motorcycle going 155 mph hit a car and killed both occupants.

The Swedish Police and Road Safety Department displayed the wreckage of this car-motorcycle collision at the Stockholm Motorcycle Fair. The rider, who had recently obtained his license, was estimated to be going 155 mph (250 km) when he hit the car, which was moving slowly through an intersection.

The rider never had time to react at all at that speed. The impact flipped the car and threw it 10 feet from the point of impact. The rider and both occupants of the car, all dead, were found in the car.

Here are pictures to help that throttle in check next time you find yourself on a seemingly open road.

Until Next time....Ride Hard, Ride Free but most of all......Ride Safe!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Going Black Bear Hunting in England...Harley style!!

As you may've seen by the additional pictures I managed to add more pictures to my last blog about England, so Blogger seems to have worked out whatever kinks it had in the system. I'm glad, not only because it saves me from putting my fist through yet another computer screen in frustration, bit more so because it allows me to tell one of my more favorite stories from recent trip to England. (see footnote at the end of this post)

The Hunt Begins
My family have become used to me tracking down any local Harley Davidson Dealers when we go on a family vacation. When in Orlando for my sisters birthday I had a forty-five minute window in our park-filled weekend to buy some T-Shirts. The same happened when my girlfriend and I spent a weekend in Naples. So not only was it expected by my family, but practically demanded that I find the local Harley Davidson dealership on the recent trip to England.

It just happened that the dealership was in Newmarket, the same town I was born in some forty years ago. Coincidence? Irony? Either way it was about forty miles away. Knowing my mother is a rather nervous driver at the best of times I suggested a mother-son day outing on the train.

Stalking the prey

As I said, a quick check on the internet found Black Bear Harley Davidson in Newmarket and further poking around cyber-space gave me the train schedules, which apart from a forty minute wait between connections seemed like a fairly straight-forward ride.

The trip would be quick and effortless as long as we missed the rush hours of the morning and the afternoon that would find the train full of school children making their way between home and school from the various villages up and down the line as well as the other business commuters.

The town of Newmarket is renowned for breeding and training race horses, remaining a mostly quiet place. I was a little taken aback by the small platform the train left us at and a vague map behind perspex mounted on a pole near the exit. Everything left me hoping that the more detailed map I'd committed to memory had the dealership as close as it appeared.

After a quick left and little longer right not only did I hear the sound of a Harley coming up the street but there was Black Bear!

I was surprised at how nicely the store was designed and presented, even better than some Harley stores I've seen in the US. Darker with spots making the chrome on all the new and slightly used bikes seem to gleam even more than you thought they could. Dark wood floors and Harley Davidson paraphernalia everywhere, neatly displayed and organized. You could easily walk around and forget you were in England all together. They had a full range of bikes and this was actually my first chance to see the new Street Bob model upclose. Of course once you took into account the exchange rate between the British Pound and American Dollar all the merchandise became a little expensive, but when would I have the chance to buy this apparel again?

As you can see by the four page color brochure I picked up, the owner gave up selling other lines of motorcycles to focus in on Harley. I did scan it in at some higher resolutions but the size of the file was pretty big and would take too much time for readers of the blog that are using dial-up.

Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at

Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at

Pretty impressive flyer with an equally impressive commitment.

As I said, Newmarket started off as a town to breed and train racing horses and we walked past stables, and what would appear to be the stereotypical cottage, well maybe a little bigger, but certainly nice.

Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at

Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at

But between a late start, waiting at the first connection and the walk to the dealership from the train station and back we had run right into the time all the school children (and school teenagers but we shouldn't talk about that) where riding the trains. The crowd were made thicker by the cancellation of a train just before ours and we ended up fighting for a seat, in a very English and civilized fashio of course.

As a humorous footnote to the day just to show how small this world can be, here I was in England some fourteen years after I'd moved away in a city about twenty miles from where I originally lived on the station platform during working hours and I see an ex-girlfriend I broke up with when we were both twenty-one.

Unlike the Harley store, never got a t-shirt for that excursion!!!!

I'm not sure whats going on with blogger but it seems temperamental with when it'll let me upload photos, if at all!! Between stopping during the upload, saying it has and the photos not on the blog to telling me there was an error during the process, it's becoming a little frustrating.

As you can see by the above photos, I've used my fall back of imageshack, and as good as the service is it's not my preferred choice.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Just a quick post!

Just a quick nod to some housekeeping and updates:
- Had a chance last night to go through and correct some spelling and typo's (how do those things creep in?)

- Added a great blog called Motorcycle Diaries

- and thanks to the author of that blog came across this funny video! Check it out!

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Too funny!!!

Monday, September 26, 2005

I think all the good news happened while I was gone!

Don't get me wrong, there's still some interesting news worth sharing, but I read so many articles while in both England and Atlanta that I would've love written about on bikers diaries.

Oh well.

Maybe it's because I'm still a little ticked Blogger is being cantankerous about not letting me post all of my English pics on my last blog so lets start off with something a little dark, but inevitable and work our way to happier stuff!

The CC don't matter at that point
The modern day motorcyclist is often compared to a cowboy from the old west. Sticking with that theme and thinking of the old saying that cowboys wanted to die with thier boots on the Pantagraph reported an interesting venture springing up all around the country. Motorcycle hearse funerals.

Gary Simko, 54, a retired LaSalle County sheriff's detective sergeant, is now in the business of giving ardent motorcycle fans an appropriate farewell with a hearse coupled to his three-wheel motorcycle. "When a Cadillac just won't do," advertises Simko on his business card for Midwest Iron Horse Funeral Coach Service.

His dress is a tuxedo shirt, blue jeans, black leather vest and highly-shined boots with a single spur. The spur is an old cavalry tradition for taking deceased horse soldiers to the cemetery.

Read about it in the Pantagraph

And with more motorcycles on the road...
ABATE in South Carolina is trying to save some unfortunate souls from needing the above services from Mr. Simko by urging drivers to look out for the motorcycle.

Nationwide, motorcycle dealerships are reporting sales increases of 25 to 60 percent over this quarter last year. When asked why they are interested in purchasing a motorcycle at this time, more and more customers are indicating that rising fuel costs has lead to their decision to purchase a motorcycle.

"ABATE of South Carolina is asking that people drive their vehicles with the constant thought that a motorcycle is nearby, whether the driver can see the motorcycle or not. We need drivers to remain vigilant because motorcycles are everywhere. We're asking drivers to find the motorcycle, to see the motorcycle, and to save a life. But we cannot do this alone. That's why we're asking the media to help us get this message out."

More from the press release at the US News wire.

If it's too hard to catch the crooks, make it legal!
The government in Bangkok decided to stop chasing the street racers and instead, give them an official place to compete. Under the watchful eye of paramedics motorcyclists as young as 11 years old bring their bikes to Bangkok Drag Avenue in Pathum Thani to race.

"We feel this sort of venue makes racing safer for bikers like us, although it won't necessarily reduce the number of illegitimate bikers on Bangkok's streets," Anuwat said. "But we commend the action taken by (Social Development and Human Security) Minister Watana Muangsook to make it happen.

Watana, who has faced a barrage of criticism over the government-sanctioned event, yesterday agreed that bringing bikers to the race circuit is not a practical solution to illegal racing on the streets.

Read about it in the Nation, Bangkok's Independent paper.

And they'll certainly have enough bikes to race
Staying in Thailand, it was reported in the Bangkok Post that new Chinese Motorcycle manufacturing companies are opening factories there to keep up with asian demand.

According to Ittisak Phatcharasin-Olarn, chief executive officer of KMB Inter Business Co, his company has agreed to link up with Jialing Motors, the biggest motorcycle producer in China, to set up Sky Wing Motor (Thailand) to build a plant slated to be finished next year, with annual production capacity of 100,000 motorcycle units. The capacity is expected to be increased to 500,000 units within the next five years, with 20% of the output to be exported to the Asean market.

Riders will have to do a lot of tweaking if they want to race the motorcycles produced out of this plant since only the 125 cc models are expected to be manufactured.

A charity bike run with a difference
The Fourth Annual Swamp Roar Motorcycle Rally will hit the open road in Suffolk VA on Saturday, Oct. 8 to raise funds and awareness for education and signage programs, as well as habitat restoration for the Great Dismal, one of North America's few remaining wildernesses.

If you want to join them you can find more details here.

Not funny! Well, maybe it is!
I'm glad I was back in the USA and have a solid alibi.

Roland Grimm's rare Honda ST70 has again been snatched by joyriders from outside his home in Hilltop Road. The bike had been stolen three times before but was returned each time following a poster campaign offering a reward for its recovery.Mr Grimm said the bike dates back to 1972 and could fetch up to 1,000 english pounds.

This begs the question of course, why does he keep parking it where it can get stolen?

The is a little bit more of the story at the Wood and Vale newsite.

Another date to add to the calender
AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days will be held July 28-30 2006 and will return as usual to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course near Lexington, Ohio.

VMD, which attracts an estimated 40,000 enthusiasts each year, has typically been scheduled for the middle of July, but scheduling of other sporting events during the summer of 2006 prompted what is expected to be a one-year departure from the traditional dates.

The show will benefit the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum and include exhibits of classic motorcycles and memorabilia, the all-brands AMA Swapmeet, bike shows as well as a full slate of American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA) racing.

For more details, keep an eye on the AMA website at

The Helmet Debate
It has been a few weeks since this subject came up and in the space of a week nearly every aspect has again been covered in the media.

Police are investigating the deaths of three motorcyclists who have been killed in traffic accidents during the annual Street Vibrations motorcycle festival in Reno, Nevada. The fatalities happened even though the riders wore full gear. goes a little more in depth than the report at KRNV, but in both rider error is blamed.

KTVO used the helmet debate to kick of their new series 'From the Heartland' on Saturday night.

Laws in the Heartland are split. Iowa and Illinois are among only four states nationwide that have no motorcycle helmet laws. Missouri has a universal helmet law, requiring all riders to wear helmets. Its an issue that has sparked strong feelings from both sides of the debate.

"If Iowa passed a helmet law, I'd move. I feel that strongly about it," said John Uchtman, an Oskaloosa, Iowa resident and member of ABATE of Iowa, a motorcycle rights organization.

The Winston Salem Journal took the helmet debate and refocused it on motorcycle safety training, with more attention to the older, 'born-again' riders.

Survey data from the Motorcycle Industry Council shows the median age of motorcycle riders in 2003 was 41, up from 27.1 in 1985. And more of them crashing those bikes, according federal and state data analyzed by the UNC Highway Safety Research Center.

In a 2004 study for the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, the center speculated that increasing fatality and accident rates may be partly blamed on older riders.

The St Petersburg Times covered Florida's State Governments move to make motorcycle safety training mandatory.

The growing popularity of motorcycles in Florida has led to more fatal accidents, and that has some officials suggesting bikers be required to pass a safety course and carry insurance.
Gov. Jeb Bush and the Cabinet on Thursday backed a proposal that bikers must take 16 hours of safety education, a requirement that now applies only to cyclists under 21.

Citing a dramatic rise in motorcycle registrations, state highway safety director Fred Dickinson included the changes as part of his 2005 legislative package. He said growing numbers of baby boomers in their 50s are buying their first motorcycles.

Dickinson told his Cabinet bosses that in the past two years, no motorcycle fatalities have occurred among the riders who took a safety course. Bush called that "phenomenal."

Not sure about all the numbers from the different studies being quoted by officials as well as in the article, but it's certainly a debate to keep an eye on.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Unpacked, repacked and endless time on planes

Arrived home from England on the 17th only to turn around and spend a week in Atlanta on business. I literally unpacked my vacation clothes from England and repacked my business attire, driving to the airport the next day. Managed to sneak in a ride on the Sunday afternoon before I flew out again though. Nice to be on the bike again.

Got back from Atlanta Friday night and was on the bike by 3pm the next afternoon, 'just while the clothes washed', I told myself. Five hours later.......

So now here I sit at my computer, still washing clothes getting back settled in, that is until I pick up my girlfriend at the airport who timed her European trip perfectly to start at the end of my English vacation. Consequently, we haven't seen each other in three weeks. Hmmmm.

Have just enough time to post some pics from my English trip though!

On the ride from the airport.

Just after I saw a group of Harley riders in a small village, I spotted this Heritage at a roadside restaurant.

Nice bike......look how bundled up they are!

Day Five

Went to a seaside town about twelve miles from my families house and didn't get to see many motorcycles at all.

But then found some riders...but wheres the bike???

By mid-afternoon I found the seemingly unofficial official meeting spot for riders as one bike after another turned up and strangers became friends.

Nice turnout for a midday during the week.

What do english bikers talk about???? How bloody cold it is to ride around there!!!!

Arriving to the party...

notice the three-quarter helmet....

Riding around a warm day in Hunstanton, known locally as 'Sunny Hunny' (usually said sarcastically) in matching leather.

Doesn't ANYONE own a cruiser here?

Riding in traffic

In case you were wondering what our English counterparts deal with on the road, heres a picture of a sports bike riding on one of the most major road types at around 3pm on a weekday.

Not many bikes, some trucks and a lot of tiny cars!

BMW making a showing on Englands A-roads...

Spotted a small CC biker, obviously his main form of transport....

Look at the size of his's bigger than the bike!

Outside a grocery store. Bear in mind its a beautiful summers day with everyone wearing short sleeved shirts...except for the biker that is!

My brothers hand-painted leather motorcycle jacket he hasn't worn (since he hasn't ridden) in about six years.

Day Ten

Found the area where the bikers that use their motorcycle as the main form of transport actually park.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

This is the England I remember!

All the best laid plans were made a little wetter with the English summer becoming, well an English summer. With all of my family having their different plans the rain came, steady and stayed for most of the morning and on into the afternoon.

Remember the customer service I mentioned? Looking for a Vintage Military Vehicle show we were told by an employee of a historic attraction who was co-hosting the event that it was 'just outside'. A mile and a half later in the pouring rain and on foot we found it, with the rain stopping as soon as we got there!

My brother did mention that the fair-weather bikers only enjoy riding weather for about six weeks of the year and since he spent a few years on the back of a small cc bike as his main form of transportation, I have to believe him. What a shame.

So with this weather imposed break from sight seeing, I thought I'd share a few news items I found passing the day away on my Mum's computer.

Are you or aren't you?
It was reported in the Economic Times on September 1st, 'Harley Davidson to rock Indian streets'. The big boy from the world of biking is revving on the passage to India. America's cult bike brand Harley Davidson is exploring the opportunity of riding into the burgeoning Indian motorcycle market through the direct import route.

"We do not have a presence in India yet and are keen on entering this market. We are now exploring the opportunities for our entry into India," Harley Davidson Inc vice-president Timothy K Hoelter told The Times of India.

This was understandable since India is among the few motorcycle markets in the world that's growing at a fast pace with various manufacturers ramping up production to keep pace with the sales.

But then the Hindu Business Line quoted the same Timothy K Hoelter, on the same day as saying, "We are not ready to enter the Indian market right now. The high customs duty and the unique emission standards which are not easily applicable to bikes manufactured outside India are major constraints in entering the market", on the sidelines of the SIAM annual convention.

Mr Hoelter said as such their bikes were very expensive and with the high import duties, the company was not sure how these would fare in the Indian market.

"At present we are closely studying the Indian market and we don't want to commit mistakes by hurriedly introducing our products here," he said.

Alrighty then.

It's not only here, but autographed!
Thankfully this same confusion isn't surrounding the harley being signed by the guests on Jay Leno's The Tonight Show and expected to be auctioned on eBay.

From September 6th, his guests have been signing a 2006 touring motorcycle which will be placed up for bid with the proceeds going to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina and it's aftermath.

Harley-Davidson also announced that it'll make a further $1 million donation from the Harley-Davidson Foundation to the American Red Cross Hurricane 2005 Relief Fund.

Keep the drugs, we just want the T-shirts
I bet some vendors wish they were feeling the same kind of love as the American Red Cross.

It was reported in the Daily Times, 'Del Marva' that ten Ocean City Boardwalk businesses had merchandise seized from their stores for allegedly infringing upon trademarks held by B Line Inc., an event promotions corporation responsible for DelMarva and Ocean City's Bike Weeks, schedule to run September 15th through the 18th.

Items seized included T-shirts, shot glasses, heat transfer decals, jewelry and novelty items.

What would Jon and Ponch think?
For decades, Whittier Police Department motorcycle officers drove Kawasakis, just like the bikes Jon and Ponch rode on the old TV show "CHiPs."

Last week, the department received two new Harley-Davidson police motorcycles, complete with creamy white trim and a logo on the air coolers that reads: "Harley-Davidson - Police."

Whittier is catching up with a trend running throughout the country: Ninety percent of police motorcycles in the country are Harleys. Los Angeles Police Department officers also are trying out these models, said Bob Laidlaw, owner of Laidlaw's Harley Davidson Sales in Baldwin Park, which leased the new motorcycles to the Whittier department.

But it seems the LAPD doesn't need much persuasion since they already have seventy-five Harleys and are buying one hundred and ten more this year.

If you happen to see any of these officers of the law riding their bikes, it's not just the police training that makes them seem so smooth when they ride. The bikes are customized with an anti-lock braking system so officers can come to quick stops without skidding or being thrown over the handlebars.

Read the full story and how excited the Whittier Police are about the new bikes on the SGV Tribune website.

As with yesterdays post, I'll end with examples that riders hearts are bigger than the size of their bikes. Steele Angels motorcycle club presented a $700 check and $100 worth of gift cards to the Elizabeth Cashwell Elementary School in Raliegh, North Carolina on September the 9th.

News 14 Carolina's website reported that The Steele Angels also brought boxes full of supplies like pens, binders, and book bags. The school's principal teared up as she brought the boxes in and called the whole experience heart-warming.

You can read about how the Steele Angels raised the money and the presentation on their own blog!

In yesterday's blog I mentioned the efforts being made by Diane Sherwood of Luvurne, Minn to help with the 9/11 rescue workers' medical bills.

News channel 5 Akron, Ohio reported that an estimated 100 motorcyclists from northeast Ohio will leave for a three-day trip to commemorate Sept. 11. The riders departed from Century Harley-Davidson in Medina after a special ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday.

They will first travel to Shanksville, Pa., where a memorial stands for Flight 93. On Sunday, they'll join several thousand motorcyclists at the Pentagon.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Day Five of my English Trip

Still in England visiting family, enjoying fish and chips as well as some unusually nice weather. It's been fairly rain free getting into the upper-seventies, that is after I do that annoying conversion from celcius (or centigrade) to farenheit. Even with the cloudless skies and beautifully warm sunshine a quick hand out the window as we're driving along tells me that leathers and warm gloves would be needed to ride over here.

And it would be beautiful riding indeed. I'm staying in the north part of Norfolk, a farming county in the mid-eastern part of England with lucious rolling hills and fields of various shapes and colors. Unlike anything I've seen anywhere else, nothing is regular or landscaped giving you the feeling you're looking that the same countryside someone two hundred years ago would see. Minus the cars and tractors of course, but I think you get the idea.

I've managed to see a few bikes, nowhere near the groups I saw on the ride from the airport last sunday. My family tells me that 'a lot' of them meet in the local seaside town Hunstanton just thirteen miles from here every Sunday afternoon. That would the same Sunday afternoon I have to be at my mothers house for an open house so all our relatives can come and pay grace to my sister, her kids and myself. Kissing of the ring-fingers optional I guess. Regardless, I'll miss the motorcycle crowd in favor for the aunt that refuses to shave before she kisses.

I do have some pictures of the gorgeous countryside that screams to be ridden on two wheels, the few motorcycles I've seen (mostly sports bike of course) and some interesting things that could only be appreciated by eyes of someone who doesn't live here. I just have to get them from my storage card in my camera onto a disc at one of the camera stores in town. Patience, everything moves that much slower here, including as I've discovered what little customer service there is.

Funny bits in the news though, and I wanted to bring these to you while they're still fresh like this little ditty about air-bags on bikes.

Gold Wing riders are proud they own the cadillac of motorcycles and Honda's 2007 models are going to bring them that much closer to an automobile. Japan Today reports Honda Motor Co will install its new motorcycle air bag system on the Gold Wing motorcycle in 2006. The system, which Honda says is the world's first air bag system for mass-produced motorcycles, will help reduce the severity of injuries caused by frontal collisions. It comprises of an air bag module which includes the air bag and the inflator, crash sensors which monitors acceleration changes, and an electronic control unit which performs calculations to instantly determine when a collision is occurring.

I didn't say they could do it
Not motorcycle related but awfully funny, some local police officers are in serious trouble because they let fire and rescue cut the roof off of a brand new patrol car!

Police have had to scrap a £20,000 ($40,000) patrol car after the roof was cut off by firefighters to reach a crash victim. The young driver had walked freely to the police car after a minor collision in West Lynn on Tuesday, but it was ripped apart on the advice of paramedics when he started complaining of back pain.

Lynn's (the local) fire station manager Richard Dromey, who was at the scene, said: "The well-being of the injured person must always come first in any accident. In this instance, the risk of permanently damaging the injured person very clearly outweighed any other consideration."

It's so important that the condition of the young driver isn't known. Read the entire story at the Lynn News and Advertiser.

Is the suntan lotion included
Always happy to hear anyone's getting a new ride I read with interest how the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) is getting three new motorcycles. The pictures in the Caymen Net News article is a little unclear but they look like Harleys!

Speaking with Cayman Net News, Motorcycle Officer, Ian Yearwood explained: “The RCIPS always had motorcycle police officers. Prior to Hurricane Ivan the fleet was up to five. However, we lost 2 motorcycles in the hurricane."

Just to prove that it's the same everywhere, they have a shortage of women who want to ride on the police force in the Caymen Islands as well!

And finally, once again bikers are proving what big hearts we really have with two charity events coming up.

Don Hylland and friend Christina Raidl are the organizers of the Born to Be Wild Motorcycle Run, now in its third year and happening this Sunday. It benefits the Palm Shores hospital which treats 3,800 wildlife patients each year, many of which are victims of cars, pets or human development according to Florida Today. Com.

A Minnesota woman is organizing a series of motorcycle rallies across the country this weekend to raise money for Sept. 11, 2001 rescue workers. WCCO reported that Diane Sherwood of Luverne, Minn. said respiratory problems are common among workers who were at Ground Zero. She said 12 "Remember Rally" events are scheduled in 10 states Saturday. Two events will be held in Minnesota, in Hastings and Luverne. Money raised will to go New York to help with medical expenses.

That's it from me in merry ol' England, so if you'll excuse me while I brew up a spot of tea and put some cream on my crumpets I'll wish you a good night!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

England Bound

It had finally come.

Time to take the great adventure across the pond to England. It started with absolutely miserable weather on the rive down to Miami, as if the State was ushering me out of the country. First with the darkening skies, an amazing but ominous display of lightning streaking down in jagged slithers and the height of the storm depositing drenching amounts of rain, slowing traffic on I-95 to about twenty miles per hour.

The growing frustration was was broken by by the appearance of a sports bike cimong up on our passenger side, splitting the lane fast enough to outpace the cars but still keeping a safe speed for the conditions. He was an atypical crotch-rocket rider with gear of a full face helmet, bulky jacket, waterproof pants and riding boots and all matching. I smiled knowing that if he'd been on a cruiser the half-helmet, leather vest and jeans wouldn't have quite made the cut in the current conditions.

I wasn't the sudden appearance of the bike that broke the mood inour car, but seeing another car pull in front of us from the same side as the rider just as the motorcycle reached the front quarter of our car. It was only the riders reflexes and safe speed that saved an accident from happening right in front of our eyes. I wasn't sure what to scream out first, my annoyance with the car or how well the biker handled the emergency.

As I shook my head in disgust I noticed I was in peferct time with the rider shaking his. Interesting.

He of course, looked into the car as he passed on the drivers side, using as little of the highway's shoulder as he safely could. I would've loved to hear the comments bouncing around that helmet.

This wasn't a great thing for my girlfriend to see since she's already nervous about riding on my bike as it is. Whether it was us being apart for the next three weeks or she was as relieved as I was the rider was okay, she never tried to relate what just happened to me and my bike. Quite frankly, that was as close of a call as the one we'd just seen.

This trip is different to all the others I've taken to England in a few ways. Although I lived there for a total of sixteen years, having only started riding in the last year this'll be the first tripI see England through the eyes of a biker. Also, I became an American citizen since my last trip and have to now enter the country of my birth as a foreigner on my American passport.

Had to smile though when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a Harley Davidson (UK) ad on Virgins Inflight system. Wow. Only caught the tail end showing the famous Harley Davidson logo and british branding of the American legend so I'm not sure what bikes they were advertising.

So I'm here and looking forward to whatever motorcycle adventures and mischief I can get into.

Of course, willing to share them all!