Monday, April 30, 2007

My Motorcycle Trike Video on YouTube

I started working on a video about two years ago while I worked on the old site. It was a two-minute video that melded motorcycle trikes and the young kids favorite, Flat Stanley. I never got to put that video up. I just created a much longer -- 9 minute -- video based on that old video but with much more detail. I put the video up tonight on YouTube. Take a look.

Friday, April 27, 2007

1936 Knucklehead Video

I'm experimenting with including a You Tube video in the blog. I already have motorcycle videos permanently embedded on the rightside of the blog. I just want to be ready to include new videos about motorcycles as I see them.

Ducati Recalls 2007 Model 1098 for Two Defects

Ducati has issued a recall of certain 2007 Model 1098 motorcycles.

These recalls are a little different from the usual recalls I report on. The first recall is for 119 units that were already fixed before retail sale to customers. The second recall is for only two units.

Recall 1: On certain motorcycles, the horizontal cylinder head fitting to the thermostat produced a coolant leakage. Coolant leakage over the rear suspension and wheel could cause a crash.

Recall 2: On certain motorcycles, the horizontal and vertical cylinders mobile timing belt tensioner is dimensionally incorrect. The mobile tensioner can come into contact with the timing belt cover which could cause the timing belt to fail and consequently stop the engine increasing the risk of a crash.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Laughlin River Run in Progress

The Laughlin River Run is now in progress. This is the 25th annual Laughlin River Run. This year it's held from April 25-29.

Here's an excerpt from an article by Dominika Maslikowski of The Daily News:

    "Terry Evans roared into Laughlin from Bakersfield, Calif., on Wednesday on a Victory motorcycle, saying he's looking forward to seeing Hoover Dam and the wet T-shirt contest at the Loser's Lounge."

Read the complete article.

The Laughlin River Rally is the second major motorcycle rally covered by my article, Major Rallies for Motorcycles.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Article, Feature, and Subject of the Day

I have created a new daily feature, "Article, Feature, and Subject of the Day," that showcases my content on the Motorcycle Views site (not this blog).

Each day, a new item will be listed for each of these three categories.

Check back daily to see three new items each day. Hopefully, this new feature will assist to make more riders familiar with what Motorcycle Views has to offer.

Articles are stand-alone pieces giving information about some aspect of motorcycling or motorcycles.

Features are not static and grow with either user submissions or additional work on my part.

Subjects are listed on my Main Menu and contain all the articles, features and outside motorcycle links.

Start your day by checking out Article, Feature, and Subject of the Day.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Wild Motorcycle Tales

A popular feature on the old site was Wild Motorcycle Tales. These were user submitted personal stories having to do with some aspect of motorcycling. Most of these were funny. I've re-created that feature here on Motorcycle Views by taking 26 stories from the old site. If you have a motorcycle story about something that happened to you, send it in to be included in the collection. Read Wild Motorcycle Tales.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Motorcycle Road Tests Index

I have just added 10 new motorcycle road tests to my Motorcycle Road Tests Index. This feature lists the various motorcycle makes and models alphabetically on an index page. Clicking on the model of interest takes you to a separate page of information about that bike. This information includes the motorcycle magazine containing the test and the month and year of publication. Information is given so you can order back copies of the magazine. If any electronic magazine articles have been found for the same model, they are also listed.

53 tests are in the index at this writing.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

BMW Recalls F650 GS and F650 GS Dakar for Sidestand Problem

BMW has issued a recall of certain 2006-2007 F650 GS and F650 GS Dakar motorcycles.

On certain motorcycles, the weld between the side stand and the frame bottom section was not positioned properly. The load-bearing capability of the side stand is affected. As a result, the side stand could fail.

If this occurred when the motorcycle was parked, the motorcycle could fall to the ground and injure a person sitting on the motorcycle or a person nearby.

305 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Yamaha Recalls XV19 for Throttle Cable Problem

Yamaha has issued a recall of certain 2006 XV19 motorcycles.

On certain motorcycles, when equipped with a windshield, the throttle cables can kink at the guide bracket located at the steering head when the handlebar is turned all the way to the left. In this position, a kinked cable can cause either a stickly throttle feeling or prevent the throttle from returning to the closed position.

If the rider turns the handlebar to the full left lock during a slow-speed maneuver, this sticky/binding throttle feeling could result in reduced vehicle control, which could cause a crash resulting in injury or death.

8,500 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Last night Lucky Brand Jeans hosted a press reception for the upcoming Legends of the Motorcycle Concours (May 5th), and a few of us rode our bikes to display out front for the evening. These are two of Dave's pix (I forgot my camera!); the lower photo shows a '27 Excelsior which will be up for auction at the event. Bonham's will have an auction on the show grounds in the evening, with quite a few interesting bikes up for sale. The catalog should come out this week with a full description.

Lucky has licensed the entire Johnson's Motors image file and is making some nice retro shirts and jackets with their old logos (Johnson's imported Triumphs, BSA's, etc, in the 40's-70's). They have also licensed the Steve McQueen image file, and had some great blowups of him riding a dirt bike and posing with a helmet.

Present in the top pic are Paul Zell's mkVIII Velo KTT, Red Fred's immaculate blue Indian Cheif, Don Danmeier's beautiful Royal Enfield twin, and John Goldman's little Ducati 175 Sport. My Sunbeam is way in the back. About twenty motorcyclists were present to mix with the journalists, paparazzi, and young hotties (who were likely connected to Lucky). Ed Gilberson (Pebble Beach Concours cheif judge) and Mert Lawill (AMA #1 from the 70's) were also present to add gravity to the event, otherwise the margaritas would have sent us all floating away happily.

The most interesting bike in Lucky was an 1898 Werner-MMC, reputed to be the oldest English motorcycle in the world. I'll scare up a pic - someone was taking photos! It was fascinating in its simplicity, and took me a while to sort out what was ignition, what was carburation, as they were all tubes with taps! The front 'fender' was actually an acetylene gas tank, which had a rubber hose to a brass box on the side of the engine (which sat over the front wheel, btw, and drove the front wheel via a long rubber o-ring). On opening the brass box cover, all was revealed; the rubber hose led to a burner nozzle much like a propane torch, which pointed at a brass rod which presumably went straight into the combustion chamber. Hot tube ignition - first time I had seen one up close. There is no ignition timing per se, but when the fuel/air mixture is compressed enough by the rising piston, the hot tube will explode the mix.

The carburator sat in a cylinder on the front of the gas tank, which must have held a felt wick or fine wire mesh, which, when soaked in gasoline, would have wafted fuel vapor to the engine. The rubber tube from the carb travelled a foot to the top of the handlebars, where it met a 'T' junction in nickel plated brass. The far side of the T held a long lever and butterfly valve on the open end, about 5/8" in diameter, which made for a crude throttle. The center line of the T travelled another 6 inches to the engine, where crankcase depression/vacuum when the piston fell, sucks the mixture through all that convoluted tubing, and passed by an automatic inlet valve (no positive control, just a weak spring holding the valve closed; crankase suction opens the valve to let the fuel mixture into the engine). The exhaust valve was positively moved by an eccentric cam outside the crankcase, connected to the valve by a heavy nickel arm.

I would imagine that this machine would as likely catch fire as actually start, and would be just a devil to get running at all. Still, exciting stuff for 1896.


The focus of this year's display was 'Racing Nortons', in honor of the significant history of these machines in the Isle of Man's centenary year. Top pic shows yours truly atop Paul Adam's '37 Norton Manx GP (they didn't call them 'Manx' until after ww2), which he had just finished restoring, and which was the finest machine present in my opinion. Paul's attention to detail is impressive, and I love the satin chrome finish on all the nuts and bolts - a difficult process to source these days, with environmental regulations on plating by-products (like hydrogen cyanide). Perhaps in the Sierra foothills where he lives, the EPA isn't paying as much attention. You might note that the engine has black crankcases, indicating that they're magnesium; these 'Manx GP' models were the first Nortons sold to the public with this ultra-light material. Previously, only factory racers used mag. I think Paul's bike is one of a handful of survivors of this particular model; I've only ever seen pix of two others. Note also straight exhaust pipe, not a megaphone.

Pete Young and I were the judges of pre-war machines at the show, and awarded the Norton Best in this category. An impressive machine; even my suit is turning green in the photo!

The display of Nortons was perhaps the best 'featured marque' display ever seen at the Clubman's Show, with over 20 compelling racing Nortons, ranging from my '26 TT bike to 70's Commando production racers. Kudos to the show organizers for bringing such a diverse lot together.

Bottom pic shows a couple of attendees in their Rocker finest, admiring a speedway machine with Triumph Tiger Cub engine. There was a great crowd at the show, quite a few Rockers in fact, and I managed to pick up a whole load of Velocette spares for my projects.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Motorcycle Views A-Z List

I have just created an A-Z list for Motorcycle Views. It puts all my original motorcycle content into an alphabetical list.

Check out the Motorcycle Views A-Z List.

Suzuki Recalls VZR1800 for Fuel Leakage Problem

Suzuki has issued a recall of certain 2006-2007 VZR1800 motorcycles.

On certain motorcycles, the fuel hose that connects the two metal fuel delivery pipes mounted on the throttle body may have been clamped at a location on the pipes that is not completely round, which could allow fuel leakage to occur. In the presence of an ignition source, leaked fuel can cause a fire, presenting the risk of injury or death.

12,331 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Paint a Triumph: 15 Year-Olds Get Creative

One of my forum members is an art teacher. She recently had her students go outside and paint various parts of her Triumph motorcycle. I think you'll find the results interesting and quite creative. MotArtCycle Student Work