The Motorcycle Blog


Motorcyclists either like wearing helmets or they don’t.

I like helmets, always have.  In fact I like helmets as much as my wife likes shoes and I probably have as many.  The graphics of my helmets fit my personality and I never ride without one.

As much as I like helmets there, are those who would rather ride without one and feel that it should be their right to do so. 

Should a rider have the freedom to choose to ride without a helmet? 

That question is coming up again in one of the 3 states that don’t have some form of mandatory helmet use law, Illinois.  Proponents of mandatory helmet laws will argue that helmets save lives, reduce long term or permanent brain damage and reduce the health care costs associated with motorcycle accidents.  Opponents will argue that it should be their choice to wear or not wear a helmet.  They don’t want government dictating what they do.

Here are some numbers to consider first.

People who wear helmets will still die in motorcycle crashes.  Lets face it, getting on a motorcycle and mixing it up with all the cages on the roads isn’t that safe.  You’re sitting your ass on, not in, something that’s going as fast as the cages and a crash in any form isn’t going to do your health any good.

RIP Uncle Dave

On January 15, 2010 my Uncle Dave passed away after battling a form of oral cancer for several months. 

Uncle Dave was my mother’s youngest brother and was the one who got me into motorcycles.  I can vividly remember riding in front of him, hanging onto the cross bar of the handlebars, as we rode the dirt roads that covered the hills around the family farm.  He would spend hours taking his son and I on rides at the end of the day.  Uncle Dave, along with my grandfather, was also responsible for purchasing my first motorcycle, a Yellow Yamaha Mini-Enduro.  My cousin, Uncle Dave’s son, got a red Mini-Enduro and together we rode them every chance we go.  According to my grandfather, years later, the motorcycles were the easiest way to get us to do our chores and they kept us out of his way at the same time.  We were never bored!

Uncle Dave was an adventurer at heart.  He loved hunting, guns, good whiskey and things that when fast.  Motorcycles, especially.  Unfortunately some of his vices were partially responsible for his death, but he did live life his way and to the fullest.

My New 2006 Yamaha Star Roadliner

2010 started out great.  I bought a new motorcycle, finally.  After almost a year of research and riding a lot of different motorcycles a decision was finally made.

During 2009 I had the pleasure of test riding motorcycles that ranged from the Kawasaki Ninja 650R and Yamaha FZ6R, both entry level and very fun to ride motorcycles, to the ultra powerful Kawasaki Ninja ZX14.

I put several hundred miles each on the Harley Davidson Road King Classic and Harley Davidson Ultra Classic, The Motor Companies flagship touring motorcycle.  Of the two my favorite was the Road King Classic.  I loved the style of the motorcycle and found it very comfortable in standard trim.  Both motorcycles were excellent.

I also had the opportunity to ride some of the most powerful production motorcycles built.

The Kawasaki ZX14 is one of the craziest motorcycles I’ve ever encountered.  It’s smooth, scary fast and has more power then you will ever need off a drag strip.  It also performs and “legal” speeds, even in town. 

2009 Maui Ride

Maui is “my happy place”.  Every time I visit this wonderful island I feel relaxed and time seems to slow down to “Maui Time”.  Nothing moves quickly on Maui and after spending a few days in this environment most wonder why it can’t be that way everywhere.  The scenery is amazing as well.  From the blue waters of the Pacific to the steep peaks of the West Maui Mountains, Maui has just about everything.

If you like to ride motorcycles, Maui has some great roads to explore that most tourists never experience because they never leave the confines of their condo or resort.  It’s easy to rent a motorcycle on Maui if you have your motorcycle endorsement on your license and a credit card.  While it’s best to reserve in advance, most places that rent motorcycles can fit you in for at least a day if your schedule is flexible. 

On this trip, I rented through Cycle City Maui, which is the Harley Davidson dealer on the island, as I wanted to test out a 2009 Ultra Classic which they had available.

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