Supermoto can seem weird to the uninitiated. A dirt bike with street tires? It’s not until after you’ve ridden a supermoto bike that you understand. They’re incredibly light bikes that you can flick with ease, making them amazingly fun in tight turns and the genesis of photos with riders purposely fishtailing into corners. If you’ve never ridden one but want to learn how, you do what I did — go to Socal Supermoto at the Adams Kart Track in Riverside, California and have Brian Murray show you what it’s all about. Continue reading “Supermoto School: Where Racers Learn”
I just saw this today at Newcomb’s Ranch, which is about 26 miles up Angeles Crest Highway from the nearest gas station. It’s probably the result of some burnouts, but then the rider was dumb enough to ride it through the canyons. I’m at a loss for words.
The road I ride most often is Angeles Crest Highway in Los Angeles, and that typically means a stop at Newcomb’s Ranch to hang out, grab a bite and chat with fellow riders. What surprises me is the number of people drinking beer and other adult beverages at 9:00 AM, some of them having arrived on their motorcycles.
Riding a motorcycle requires balance, coordination and concentration well beyond what’s required to drive a car, so adding alcohol to that equation is a terrible idea. Not to mention on a twisty canyon road like Angeles Crest Highway, you need to be sharp so you don’t end up over a cliff or hitting another vehicle head-on.
Save the beers and bloody marys for when you’re not riding.
u/zetrhar on Reddit just posted some photos on imgur of his trip across the Canadian Rockies aboard a Kawasaki Ninja 300. It’s arguably the best starter bike around, and makes an awesome distance bike as well. Check out his pics and definitely make sure the Ninja 300 is on your short list if you’re looking for a starter motorcycle.
Test rides are rare when it comes to motorcycles, so when I found out Ducati was giving free test rides nearby I jumped at the chance. I test rode the original Hypermotard several years ago and have been eager to test the newer and better 2017 version. Continue reading “Ducati Hypermotard 939: Fun, Tall, and NOT a Beginner Bike”
One of the joys of motorcycling is riding to a friendly biker hangout, getting some greasy food, meeting other riders and checking out the other bikes. This can be a little intimidating though, especially if you don’t know anything about the place and what kind of people hang out there. Here are some tips for making it happen. Continue reading “How to visit the local biker hangout”
Hearing protection is one of the most overlooked safety precautions when it comes to motorcycle riding. It’s not uncommon to meet older bikers who have tinnitus or have suffered some sort of hearing loss due to the constant wind noise while riding. Ear plugs have two distinct benefits for beginner riders:
1. The noise reduction is very calming while learning. It wasn’t until my 2nd week of riding that I tried them out, and they made the learning process much less stressful. I didn’t realize how much the wind noise was bothering me.
2. It’s a good habit to start using them early, and they will save your hearing in the long run.
I prefer the long mushroom shaped plugs; they’re easier to remove from your ears. The brand I buy has a 33 decibel noise reduction rating, which I equate to riding inside of a newer car with the windows rolled up. You can still hear sirens, your own bike, other vehicles around you, etc.
With winter officially behind us, it’s time to dust off your motorcycle again and start enjoying the dead bugs on your helmet. Just a few reminders for those of you new to riding:
- Check your tires if you haven’t ridden in a while! Check air pressure and make sure the rubber isn’t too old or cracking.
- Take it easy – you’ve got all spring, summer and fall to get in some great rides.
- Be careful if you’re riding the canyons or mountain roads; if it’s been raining a lot in your area, the roads may still be dirty.
It’s time to list the best beginner sportbikes for 2017, the best model year we’ve ever seen for aspiring sportbike riders to pick a new motorcycle. Let’s get started.
If there’s one place where you can sit on all of the motorcycles you want to check out without a salesperson breathing down your neck, it’s the International Motorcycle Show. More manufacturers have brought their bikes to the show than ever, so it’s definitely worth the trip if you can make it. It’s a beginner’s dream, as bikes like the Yamaha R3, Kawasaki Ninja 300 and KTM RC390 are all there waiting for you to throw a leg over the seat.