top of page

Motorcycle Headlines

December 2022

7SHG3DGYV5HBVGIV2UADNH5SQE.jpg

Organ donations see increase during motorcycle rallies

(CNN) – A new study is showing a strong link between organ donation and motorcycle riding.

Researchers analyzed more than 10,000 organ donations and 35,000 transplantations from 2005 to 2021.

They found that, in areas where motorcycle rallies are held, there were 21% more organ donors and 26% more transplant recipients per day during rallies compared to the four weeks before and after the rallies.

The study notes motorcycle rallies often come with a surge in trauma cases at local hospitals, and bikers are much more likely to die in a crash compared to those inside vehicles.

The study’s lead author said this shows the need for increased safety measures during these events, especially when it comes to helmets.

Bikers who aren’t wearing helmets are three times more likely to become organ donors than helmeted bikers, primarily due to head injuries that trigger brain death.

Credit: CNN

PS  Sign up here for L2R World Newsletter

636278d560dab.image.jpg

Open road leads to better community: Motorcycle group aids veterans

The history of the bond shared by America’s military and motorcycles is quite a story. Harley Davidson and Indian — America’s first motorcycle company — manufactured thousands of cycles at the behest of the U.S. War Department during World War II, according to the History Channel. Additionally, it was returning World War II vets who helped establish the nation’s many biker clubs.

Some of those clubs have notorious histories. However, many motorcyclists who proudly celebrate their status as active and retired members of the U.S. armed forces steer their bikes toward the path of altruism.

“They play an important role,” said George Owings, Maryland’s veterans affairs secretary.

“There is nothing like the open road,” said Owings, a Calvert County resident, Marine and Vietnam veteran who participated in the first four Rolling Thunder (Run to the Wall) motorcycle rallies in Washington, D.C., initially held in 1988.

Owings said many motorcycle groups with military ties enjoy “a sense of freedom” when they travel and visit older comrades at places like the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.

American Legion Harry White Wilmer Post 82 in La Plata has been represented by a riding group for the past seven years.

On a sunny Saturday morning nine members of the group, without their motorcycles, gathered for several hours of work on a cabin they maintain at Lions Camp Merrick in Nanjemoy. The 320-acre camp, which overlooks the Potomac River, is primarily used as a summer camp for children between the ages of 6 and 16 who have health challenges.

With their stewardship of the large cabin, the riding group is able to facilitate retreats for various armed forces veterans at the camp.

According to Jamie Zayas, he and another veteran, Kevin Kling, were Charles County residents who “were looking to join a riders’ group, but we couldn’t find one in Waldorf.”

The two then went to speak with Buddy Hindle, who at the time was commander of the La Plata American Legion Post.

Hindle, Zayas recalled, “was very accommodating,” and the riding group became part of the post as the American Legion Riders.

Zayas, a recently retired Air Force sergeant who was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base for nearly 30 years, told Southern Maryland News that American Legion Riders is not a nationally recognized group, although that status could change.

Nationally, the legion riders “have been raising lots of funds. We control ourselves, but we work with other families at the post,” Zayas said.

Randy Markley, an Army veteran, noted that the camaraderie sparked by a motorcycle riding group can serve as an ideal way to recruit new legionnaires.

“Nationally, a lot of legionnaires are getting old,” said Markley. “How do we get younger people to join? A riding group brings them together.”

While bringing in younger members is a huge focus, some of the older members are indispensable.

David “Doc” LeJeune was a master diver for the U.S. Navy and served on submarines. His file of “war stories” he can share includes the supervision of the grim recovery operations in the wake of the Air Florida Flight 90 disaster, which happened up river near Washington National Airport on Jan. 13, 1982.

He earned the moniker “Doc” from 13 years of service as a cardiac rescue technician.

LeJeune told Southern Maryland News he started to ride a motorcycle in 1967 and was a daily rider for about eight years. He said there followed “a hiatus of 40 years.”

A few years ago, while LeJeune was considering buying a car from a dealership in St. Mary's, "I met a legion rider who invited me to a meeting," he recalled. "I decided it was time to get back on."

Like a bicycle, the learning curve for resuming riding a motorcycle wasn't too challenging, he indicated, adding, “The learning curve was on the weight and balance.”

The group takes to the road on a regular basis, putting smiles on the faces of older vets and raising loads of money for good causes.

This past June, Post 82 riders participated in the Gold Star Legacy Run, a trek that raises money to aid families of soldiers killed in action since 9/11. The La Plata group alone tallied $34,000, top in the state.

That money stayed in Maryland and provided a Gold Star Scholarship to a child of a veteran who plans to attend college and study engineering.

Locally, the riders provide veterans home residents with a springtime ice cream social. Zayas said the group contracts an ice cream truck that provides the residents with a scoop of nostalgia, reminiscent of the Good Humor man.

“We pay the bill,” Zayas said.

The riders also help out at the legion’s bingo nights and raise additional funds with their popular spaghetti dinners.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is a time to team up with another veteran, Santa Claus, as the riders will conduct their third annual Toys for Tots Run on Nov. 26 starting at 9 a.m.

Old soldiers, sailors, flyers and Marines, their families and underprivileged children are not the only ones aided by the riders.

The group has also aided the Ddamian Project to provide a home for service dogs. According to its website, the Ddamian Project is on a mission “to provide a forever home to our nation’s fiercest canine heroes.”

Zayas said a member of the La Plata riding group is currently over in the Ukraine helping to rescue service dogs.

The La Plata American Legion Post notes the riders programs, which number over 400 nationwide, are one of the fastest growing programs in the nation.

Ready to ride? Members of the American Legion can learn more about the La Plata Riding Group at alpost82.org.

Credit: MARTY MADDEN

PS  Sign up here for L2R World Newsletter

p221025eng_02.webp

Honda sets up the first motorcycle battery swap station for its mobile power packs

Honda delivered a new battery swapping station in Tokyo that’s looking mighty similar to the one Gogoro makes. The automaker’s new power pack exchanger lets electric motorcycle riders easily flip their depleting batteries for fresh ones instead of needing to wait around for a charge.

The Honda power station itself looks very similar to Gogoro’s: like a vending machine with a grid of battery packs that slide in and out of slots.

Honda’s “Power Pack Exchanger e:” station can be expanded to accommodate a whole lot of batteries in busy parts of cities.

You can access fully charged batteries by interacting with the touchscreen, pulling one out, and popping in your discharged ones to charge up for use by the next rider. Honda’s system is authenticated via IC cards that get distributed to customers who sign up. The stations are also expandable to accommodate higher-usage corridors in cities.

The very first “Honda Power Pack Exchanger e:” station has now been delivered to Gachaco Inc., a joint venture with Japanese oil and energy company Eneos, as well as motorcycle manufacturers Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki. Gachaco is based in Tokyo and receives support from the city government as it has a 2035 goal to de-gasoline all new motorcycles to meet.

The standardized recyclable battery specification agreed upon by all the manufacturers is Honda’s Mobile Power Pack e: (MPP e:), which comes with a capacity of 1,314Wh and takes about five hours to fully charge. Eneos contributed the Battery as a Service platform (BaaS) it’s built on, with the idea of using these racks to store energy during peak production times and discharge electricity back into the grid when demand spikes.

A single charged sell can also power the power pack exchanger station if the power is out — helping commuters not get stranded. And if the rack looks a bit plain, that’s apparently on purpose, with an eye toward creating an “unimposing cabinet design” that fades into the background of public spaces.

An IC card can be used by commuters to access the batteries.

Gogoro’s been pushing this idea for years; now, Honda and this assortment of mobility giants are taking them on. “One of the things that was pretty obvious to us was the growing need that these mega cities would have for energy — better energy consumption and distribution,” Gogoro CEO Horace Luke told The Verge in 2015. Since then, the company has installed over 2,300 battery swap stations, according to recent CNBC reporting.

Honda is also following Gogoro into India, where the automaker set up a subsidiary company to help push electric bikes and rickshaws. Last year, Honda said it was investing $45 billion in R&D to make rockets, robots, and electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOLs).

Credit: UMAR SHAKIR - The Verge

PS  Sign up here for L2R World Newsletter

motorcycle-safety.png

The Top Motorcycle Safety Tips You Need to Know

Did you know that 42,915 people died in automobile accidents in 2021? Research shows that 13 percent of those people were motorcycle riders.

What is it that makes motorcyclists more susceptible to accidents? What can a new or experienced rider do to avoid crashes?

That’s why we’re here! Keep reading for our top motorcycle safety tips to maximize your riding experience.

Get a Regular Motorcycle Inspection

The best motorcycle safety tip to follow is to get a regular motorcycle inspection even if you have a new motorcycle. By ensuring that your bike is in good working order, you can help avoid motorcycle accidents and serious injuries. Before each ride, take the time to check your tires, brakes, and lights.

Also, be sure to inspect your bike for any loose bolts or other damage. If you find any problems, have them fixed before heading out on the road.

Keep Your Eyes on the Road When Driving

Another motorcycle safety tip you must not miss is to keep your eyes on the road. This means being aware of your surroundings and looking ahead for potential hazards.

It also means not being distracted by things like your phone or other passengers. If you can keep your focus on the road, you’ll be much less likely to get into an accident.

Look Out for Blind Spots

When you are out on the open road, it is important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. One of the most dangerous things you can do is underestimate the importance of blind spots. Whether you are driving a car or riding a motorcycle, blind spots can be deadly.

When you are changing lanes or making a turn, always take a moment to check your blind spot. If you see a car or motorcycle in your blind spot, do not proceed until it is clear. It is better to be safe than sorry.

In addition to checking for cars and motorcycles, also be on the lookout for pedestrians and animals. These are also potential dangers that can be easily overlooked. By being aware of your surroundings and taking precautions, you can help to keep yourself and others safe on the road.

Use the Right Motorcycle Safety Gears

If you are new to motorcycle riding, or even if you have been riding for a while, it is important to know what the best motorcycle safety gear is. There are a few key pieces of gear that will help keep you safe while riding.

First and foremost, you need a good helmet. A helmet is the most important piece of safety gear, and it should be worn at all times when riding. It is also a good idea to invest in a good pair of motorcycle boots and gloves.

These will help protect your feet and hands in the event of a fall. Make sure you have a good motorcycle jacket and pants. These will help protect your skin in the event of a spill.

Know the Day’s Weather

If you’re like most riders, you check the weather forecast before heading out on your motorcycle. But what many riders don’t realize is that the weather can change quickly, and what appeared to be a beautiful day can turn out to be rainy and cold. That’s why it’s important to always know the current conditions and be prepared for whatever the weather may bring.

So make sure to know the current weather conditions and plan accordingly. If the forecast calls for rain, dress appropriately and be prepared for slick roads. If the forecast is for warm weather, make sure you have plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Drive Defensively

If you’re like most motorcycle riders, you understand the importance of being cautious on the road. You know that driving defensively is the best way to stay safe while enjoying the freedom of the open road.

But what exactly does it mean to drive defensively?

Simply put, defensive driving is all about anticipating hazards and being prepared to react accordingly. It’s about being aware of your surroundings and being proactive instead of reactive.

The best way to practice defensive driving is to always be on the lookout for potential hazards. This means scanning the road ahead for obstacles, staying aware of what other drivers are doing, and being prepared to take evasive action if necessary.

Don’t Race With Others

One of the top motorcycle safety tips you need to know is to not race with others. Racing with others can be incredibly dangerous because it increases the chance of motorcycle accidents.

Additionally, if you are racing with someone who is not as experienced as you are, they could make a mistake that could cause you to crash. If you are racing with someone and they make a mistake, it is not worth risking your life to try and win the race.

Respect Other Motorcycle Riders

When you are sharing the road with other motorcycles, it is important to be aware of their position and give them plenty of space. Be especially cautious when passing other motorcycles.

They may be less stable than you and more likely to be involved in an accident. If you ride with respect for other riders, you can help make the roads safer for everyone.

Otherwise, you’ll end up facing an accident case which will require a lawyer to defend you in court. This lawyer can help you, but it’s best to prevent road injuries than spend your time with an accident case.

Make Motorcycle Safety a Priority While You Are On the Road

It is important to make motorcycle safety a priority while on the road. Wearing the proper gear, being aware of your surroundings, and following the rules of the road can help to keep you safe.

If you are ever in an accident, be sure to seek medical attention and get your accident lawyer right away. By following these simple tips, you can help to keep yourself safe while enjoying the freedom of the open road.

Credit: Lindsay Benson - News Anyway

PS  Sign up here for L2R World

Newsletter

Kawasaki-EV-Prototype-1_1.jpg

Kawasaki EV Prototype Previews Its First Electric Motorcycle

Kawasaki has previewed the first electric motorcycle that it will soon bring to the market.

Unveiled in prototype guise at the recent Intermot motorcycle trade fair in Cologne, Germany, the EV prototype will hit the market before the end of the year and forms part of Kawasaki’s plan to offer more than 10 electric and hybrid electric motorcycles by 2025.

The EV prototype will be the electric equivalent of a 125 cc motorcycle when it hits the market and has a simple design that doesn’t scream, ‘Hey, look, I’m an electric bike!’ Indeed, one could be fooled for thinking it has a small-capacity combustion engine that has been hidden under some black body work. Indeed, the design of the EV Prototype is very similar to the Kawasaki Z400 and has the same frame.

With this in mind, the bodywork, tail, headlight cluster, and front suspension setup of the EV appear identical to the Z400. One obvious change is the smaller hump that Kawasaki could design due to the bike not needing a traditional gas tank. Motorcycle reports that the brakes and wheels have been borrowed from a Z300 or Ninja 300.

Technical specifications about the prototype, or the production model that will follow, are not yet known and probably won’t be announced until the road-going bike is unveiled before the end of the year. The production bike is expected to look virtually identical to the EV Prototype.

Kawasaki Motors Europe managing director Masaya Tsuruno spoke about the company’s plans at Intermot, stating that it will present three electric vehicles globally by the end of 2022. He added that while Kawasaki is developing electric bikes, it will not yet abandon internal combustion engines and is considering the use of e-fuel and biofuels.

Credit: Brad Anderson - Car Scoops

PS  Sign up here for L2R World Newsletter

cold-weather-riding-3-of-3-660x440.jpg

Cold-Weather Motorcycle Gear: 10 Products to Keep You Riding This Winter

Are you pouring fuel stabilizer in your tank and locking your bike up in the shed for the season? Wait! With this gear, you can keep riding in the cold, wet, dark months ahead.

Being cold while riding a motorcycle is utter misery. But there’s another issue altogether; even if you’re (wo)man enough to brave the cold, do you really feel safe? Are you in top form for quick maneuvers if necessary? Is your brain working properly?

Our top 10 product list for the best cold-weather motorcycle gear can help extend the riding season safely and comfortably. We’ll assume you have the basic essentials already, like a riding jacket and pants with protection from crashes, cold, and wet weather, and build out your winter riding system from there.

REI Co-op Midweight Base Layer Half-Zip

 

Cozy up to some quality base layers. Layering is the building block for keeping you warm all day long. In colder months, always keep cotton away from your skin. If cotton gets wet from sweat or the elements, it can chill you to the bone and actually set you on your way to hypothermia. The best solution is a synthetic or wool base layer.

A favorite of mine, which has lasted many years, is the REI Co-op Midweight Base Layer Half-Zip ($60). I like these half-zip models because if I ride aggressively off-road or hike to a point where I am warming up, the zippered portion by my neck allows for ventilation. If I do sweat, the moisture is wicked away from my skin to keep me dry and comfortable.

Get the matching REI Co-op Midweight Base Layer Bottoms ($55) to keep your bum and legs cozy as well.

Aerostich Windstopper Electric Vest

A heated vest (or jacket) is a must-have cold-weather motorcycle gear addition for keeping your core warm. A tried and true heated vest that has been popular for decades is the Aerostich Windstopper Electric Vest ($197).

One reason your fingers and toes get cold is that your body is trying to keep your core at a survivable temperature. When your core stays warm, your blood keeps circulating and your circulatory system works in regular mode rather than survival mode. Put another way: a warm core means more warmth (through blood flow) to your extremities.

Hippo Hands Motorcycle Hand Covers

 

Want a low-tech solution for keeping your hands warm and dry? Hippo Hands Motorcycle Hand Covers are just that. With Hippo Hands, your hands are sheltered from the elements while still giving you access to your controls.

I tested the Backcountry Model ($129) and was very impressed with how well they worked, even while standing on the pegs. They also offer other models for on-road motorcycles that give even more coverage.

Patagonia Micro Puff

 

If your riding jacket didn’t come with a zip-in insulated liner, you’ll need to come up with a midlayer to help hold in core warmth or opt for the heated vest above. Hands down, my favorite is the Patagonia Micro Puff ($280).

This jacket is my go-to for all of my outdoor activities. It stays warm if it gets wet, is extremely lightweight and compact when stowed, and is comparable to down in terms of keeping you toasty.

Remember this winter riding rule: You can always take layers off and put them in a pannier or backpack if you get too warm, but if you don’t have it with you when it gets cold, well, you’re going to be cold.

Apollo Heated Grips From Koso

 

If you’ve ridden on cold days, you know the very first thing to get frigid is your fingers. Many times I’ve had to pull over and warm my hands by the muffler to get feeling back enough to use my brake and clutch. That’s true desperation.

The Apollo Heated Grips from Koso ($145) offer a solution to this problem. These heated grips are a nice piece of gear for cold-weather motorcycle rides. They have an integrated switch built into the grip. That means your hands remain in place while you turn on the grips or adjust the heat to one of five different temperature settings.

Hydro Flask 24oz Standard Mouth

 

(Photo/Mathew Sturtevant)

Why not stay warm from the inside during cold weather? There is something truly comforting about remembering you have a hot beverage waiting for you at your next rest stop, wherever you may be. The 24oz Standard Mouth insulated bottle from Hydro Flask ($40) will keep your hot cocoa hot and ready to serve for up to 6 hours. These bottles are made of durable stainless steel and last for years.

Merino Fleece Neck Warmer by Buff

 

The space above your jacket collar and below your helmet is a vulnerable area for the cold to sneak in. Wrap it in a Merino Fleece Neck Warmer by Buff ($42). These neck warmers are great cold-weather motorcycle gear because of their versatility.

You can even pull it up over your nose if your face is cold. Or, wear it like a hat when your helmet is off or you’re in a sleeping bag. Merino wool is not itchy and is actually quite soft to the touch, not to mention warm.

Klim Badlands GTX Long

 

I can’t stress the importance of keeping your hands warm and dry. After trying several gloves that eventually soaked through or weren’t very durable, I was thrilled to find a solution that really stood out among other options.

The Klim Badlands GTX Long ($250) gloves offer durability in a gauntlet-style glove that extends over your jacket sleeves. Because they feature GORE-TEX, you can rest assured they are waterproof. These gloves are not cheap but are worth every penny on those wet, miserable days.

Smartwool Classic Extra Cushion Socks

After cold hands, another problem area can be cold feet. Smartwool Classic Extra Cushion Socks ($24) can help keep those little piggies toasty.

Wool has been used for decades because of its warm-in-wintertime properties. It has durable fibers that stay fresh and insulated under miserable conditions, plus thick socks create an air gap in your boots that your body warms through circulation.

In addition to keeping you warm, if they get wet, the natural wicking fibers have the benefit of keeping odors to a minimum — nice when you share a tent or hotel room after a long day of riding.

Grabber Excursion Pack

 

Sometimes simplicity is a beautiful thing. Let’s say your bike broke down or you had electrical issues that rendered your heated grips or heated vest useless. Chemical hand/toe/body warmers from Grabber are a smart idea to keep as a backup plan in your tank bag just in case you need them.

The Grabber Excursion Pack ($25­­­­) gives you eight of each of their Hand Warmers, Toe Warmers, and Peel and Stick Body Warmers. The heats generally last up to 12 hours, according to the company’s website.

Warmth isn’t just about comfort while riding — it’s also a safety issue. When you’re cold, you tend to stiffen your muscles, especially your arms and shoulders. That can be problematic when trying to control your bike in trickier sections or emergency situations. It can also lead to fatigue, another unsafe riding condition.

Staying warm means riding safer and more comfortably, no matter the temperature. Buying specific cold-weather motorcycle gear can be a godsend.

Note: With all this plug-and-play gear, you’ll want to be careful you’re not overloading your bike’s battery. Make sure to turn everything off and unplug items from outlets when your motorcycle isn’t running.

Now get out there and ride warm!

Credit: Mathew Sturtevant - Gear Junkie

PS  Sign up here for L2R World Newsletter

bottom of page