I don’t think I’ve ever made a New Year’s Resolution, probably because I lead so nearly perfect a life. But since it’s my turn to do the “Top 10” list this week, I’ll make an exception. The experts say the best way to stick to resolutions is in small chunks. So bite off a few of these morsels and see if anything sticks, why not?
Well, duh, but this was the number one suggestion among Facebook friends consulted. Everybody’s always got too much to do to ride their motorcycle. One suggestion, if I may: If your bike doesn’t have storage, get some. Then you can ride your motorcycle instead of taking the car when you need to carry a thing or two. Also, having a riding suit that goes on over your normal apparel (Aerostich again!) greatly expands your riding envelope. Are there any jobs left that require a professional appearance other than football commentator?
Speaking of Ride More, keeping a scooter tied up out front of your dwelling is way handier than you’d ever imagined if you’ve never owned one. Instead of firing up the four-wheeler or the big motorcycle every time you need a gallon of eggnog or a bag of Cheetos or to pick the sprog up at school, you just hop on the scooter and get a mini-blast of fresh moto-thrill at slightly reduced speed. Terribly convenient, dog head-out-the-window refreshing, remarkably economical. Rig up an electric vest plug and some hippo hands if you live where it’s cold, and quit whining. You’re only going a few miles anyway.
Oh damn. A 22-year old man was beaten when he parked his delivery truck in front of this HA HQ in Manhattan, according to this story in The Daily Mail. Hunter S. Thompson had a similar experience. People can be really unreasonable. Best to just steer clear of all these groups of ne’er-do-wells as much as possible unless your, like, Mom, is already a member. And be careful even then.
A lot of people who’ve orbited the sun more than a few times have reached a stage where they have too many motorcycles, believe it or not. If you’re lucky enough to be one of them, it’s time to consolidate. Get rid of the ones you don’t ride on Craigslist; sell them cheap to those less fortunate. Pay it forward. Spread the wealth. And get yourself one nice new motorcycle with the proceeds. Win/win.
If Joe Gresh wills it, it must be a good idea. Seeing the USA in your Goldwing-a is always good, but lots of us just don’t have the time and/or money. The explosion lately of great ADV and dual-sport bikes gives us all the chance to have the same kind of blast while leaving behind a more compact carbon footprint. Maybe better yet, depending on your mechanical skills, an old beater. There’s a reason why it’s called recycling.
Blather on all you want about what a failed state Kalifornia is, but it’s the only one in the Union where you can legally exercise your right to ride through lanes of backed-up four-wheelers to get where you’re going with more safety, way more swiftly, and with much more sanity in reserve when you reach your destination. If I lived in a big city in a freedom-loving warm state like Texas or Florida, I’d definitely be in touch with my Congressperson on a weekly basis telling them I demand my right to f#@*&ng lanesplit! And probably also with the AMA, the MIC (Motorcycle Industry Council), and the CIA. What do you people do all day? If the world would listen, I wouldn’t have to repeat myself.
Maybe you can’t afford a couple of days at RiCKdickulous Racing School, but every racing body in the country offers some kind of new rider instruction to get you started, if pavement racing is your thing. Heck, there are a bunch of great offroad schools too, use your Google. If you just want to be a better, faster and more in-control all-around rider, it’s tough to beat sliding around on Yamaha TT-R125s. Rich Oliver and his Mystery School, and Colin Edwards’ Texas Tornado Boot Camp are both standing by to show you how it’s done. Both head instructors are walking, sliding proof that mastering the minibike translates directly to controlling more powerful machinery. See also American Supercamp. See also spinning laps around a couple rocks in a vacant lot on Joe Gresh’s Yamaha.
I’m terrible at the wheelies, but noticed I was hoiking some reasonably horn monos on a few of the bikes at our last couple of Superbike Shootouts out of the slower corners at Laguna Seca and Auto Club Speedway. It’s all about the Wheelie Control that powerful modern bikes with IMUs have up their sleeve of electronic tricks. The bike won’t allow itself to loop. In theory. At the upcoming Ducati Hypermotard launch later this month, I shall attempt to finally become a wheelying god. Maybe. Depending on how big an ass I feel like appearing that day.
Speaking of modern electronics, many of the new ADV bikes equipped with them are a blast, but they need those electro-nannies to protect people like me from ourselves. Also, most of them are still just too large to throw around and too vulnerable to expensive damage when things invariably go horizontal. Now that Honda has finally introduced its new street-legal CRF450L to compete with the defending champ KTM 500EXC, who’ll be next? It’s suddenly easy to roll out of your garage and into the outback on a serious lightweight performance machine. Or even out to yon MX park. I suggest sticking to the vet track like Ryan Burns, seen here, but that depends upon your skill level – which will get higher quicker if you ride around more off-road.
Let’s face it, the more money you have the more moto-fun you can achieve. Our Isle of Man correspondent and BFF Andrew Capone just got back from a great ride around Chianti – not a straw-covered bottle, but the region in Italy. Our other BFF Kaming Ko is constantly spanning the globe to send back images of roosting around Jerez and Laguna Seca with Kenny Roberts and others on his new Panigale V4 and various other Petronases and things. Listen, if President Trump can be rich, anybody can. Quit your job and start your own business.
As a matter of fact, the Motorcycle Industry Council just reminded us of its Gas Tank program to help motorheads do just that: The Motorcycle Industry Council invites powersports entrepreneurs to enter for a chance to win one-on-one mentoring from an industry veteran, plus a trip to Columbus that includes booth space at the 2019 American International Motorcycle Expo and the opportunity to present your business plan to powersports leaders and media. AIMExpo presented by Nationwide brings industry, press, dealers and consumers together in a single arena. It is the single most important event of its type in the North American market. The Motorcycle Industry Council’s 2019 Gas Tank Competition is open to individuals and groups, women and men, anyone with a new product or service idea.
Do it! Good luck, and happy 2019.