Anytime I see someone riding a motorcycle without gloves, I’m about 98% certain they’re a noob. They probably haven’t ridden long enough to experience what happens when road debris hits the hands, or worse, what kind of damage can be done to the hands in a crash. Think about how important your hands are to your everyday life… then get yourself a good pair of gloves to protect them. Sportbike riders should look for full gauntlet-style gloves that have padded palms, extra padding on the outside of the pinky finger and hardened knuckle armor.
It’s really sad to see something like this accident happen. The passenger was wearing a “novelty helmet” which according to the California Highway Patrol, “…failed in the collision and significantly contributed to her death.” Sometimes called skid lids, novelty helmets are not DOT approved and are technically illegal in California and other states with similar helmet laws. They don’t offer any real impact protection and shouldn’t be worn in lieu of a real helmet.
If you’re new to motorcycling, a good helmet should be your first priority when it comes to safety gear. Make sure to get one that’s DOT and/or Snell M2010 approved because it means the helmet has gone through rigorous standardized testing to ensure the rider has a chance to withstand an impact.
Source article: The Press-Enterprise
I’m a huge proponent of track days. There’s no better way to safely learn what your sportbike was built to do while having a blast. Of course nothing’s ever foolproof when it comes to motorcycles; things happen even when you’ve taken all the precautions. But if you’re a beginner or aspiring sportbike rider, don’t let that scare you.
My bike in the foreground, burnt trees in the background
The ghastly Station Fire in August 2009 devastated huge portions of the Angeles National Forest, making much of the famed Angeles Crest Highway look like a wasteland. It will take decades for the forest to recover, but eventually it will. As for the area’s roads that many of us have enjoyed for so long, they remain under constant repair due to complications arising from the fire and subsequent landslides due to the lack of vegetation. They also remain as dangerous as they’ve ever been.
If you’re a beginning sportbike rider aspiring to take a run on one of southern California’s most famous roads, keep in mind that it’s not a competition out there. I had a great ride up there by myself last weekend, but that same day a fellow rider didn’t make it home. If you’re ever up there, take it as easy as you need to. If faster riders are behind you, let them pass. If the group you ride with starts going “super squid” on you, stay back and ride your pace. The goal is to enjoy the road and make it home safe.
Newcomb's Ranch on Angeles Crest Highway
California’s budget problems will prevent the CHP from receiving a grant that was supposed to help them step up enforcement on and around famed Angeles Crest Highway. That’s not to say they won’t still be up there; they just won’t have the presence they were hoping for. For those of you who live close by but have never ridden it, I’ll be posting a riding guide for Angeles Crest Highway a little later this year.
Source: La Cañada Valley Sun
I haven’t been able to do a lot of riding this summer for a variety of reasons, so when my buddy invited me on a group ride up Angeles Crest Highway last Sunday I was keen to get out there. That is until I was told who else was coming.
I found more California motorcycle accident data from 2004 through 2008. Statistics rarely tell the whole story, but there’s plenty of interesting data to delve into.
If you saw my recent review of the Arai Profile, you know part of the reason I purchased a new helmet was to get one that was compliant with the new Snell M2010 safety standard. Snell’s own website lists the Arai Profile as M2010 certified so I was confident that’s exactly what I was getting when I ordered it. It wasn’t as clear cut as I had hoped.
Arizona House Bill 2475 would make it legal for motorcyclists to split lanes in Maricopa county. The catch? It’s only for one year (2011) and only applies during stopped traffic. It’s interesting progress nonetheless and will undoubtedly spark its own controversy (just check out the comments in the source article). What’s also noteworthy is that if the bill is passed, it will be the first time a state has explicitly allowed lane splitting. California has always tolerated it, but there are no laws specifically allowing or disallowing the practice.
Update: the bill was vetoed by the governor.