Motorcycle News You Can Use: Aug. 29-Sept. 4

by Liz Jansen

motorcycle news you can use

This week’s News You Can Use provides practical tips for getting out of a mechanical bind, whether it’s going through the checklist of Top 10 things to do when your bike won’t start, or dealing with being stranded at the side of the road—and enjoying it!

Mechanical failure brings with it all sorts of positive possibilities, even for the solo traveler. It forces you to engage with other people, who are almost always glad to help—and often invite you for in for a meal. Whenever I hear someone talk about being afraid of being stranded in the middle of nowhere, I think of Carla King. She’s traveled the globe on unreliable motorcycles and welcomes it. Read her book American Borders and you’ll see how to handle them!

It’s not enough to trust your body to anyone. Body Armor Comparison is a great resource that allows you to make an informed decision on the protection you’re actually getting when you purchase gear. I have super armor to thank for minimizing the extent of my injuries.

Lastly, the No Brakes Exercise will change your perspective on the relationship between speed and braking. It’s not as clear as it seems.


The Perfect Motorcycle: Know  Yourself to Know your Bike

John L. Stein, Cycle World

“The Japanese have a term, “jinba ittai,” which translates to, “the rider and horse as one.” Some years ago, Mazda picked this up to describe how it wanted the MX-5 Miata driving experience to feel. But the concept really is more suited to motorcyclists, who should absolutely choose the correct “horse” for their type of riding. Imagine André the Giant flogging a race-kitted Vespa LX 50 through the Carousel at Sonoma Raceway. That obviously doesn’t make much sense, nor does the vision of 4-foot-8 Snooki caning a Triumph Rocket III along the Tail of the Dragon. Borrowing from Chevy Chase in Caddyshack, “To be one with the horse, you must be the horse, Danny.””

Top 10 Things To Do When Your Bike Won’t Start

Evans Brasfield,

“You know the old saying: There are motorcyclists who have gone down, motorcyclists who are going down, and motorcyclists who are going to go down again – down to their garage only to find that their bike won’t start. Even with today’s improved batteries, if it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will. So, before you pull out your phone and call Uber or your buddy with a pickup truck (You have one of those, don’t you? Every rider should have a buddy with a pickup truck.), check these 10 common causes to assist you in troubleshooting your no-go woes.”

Because Breaking Down With Your Riding Buddies Can be Fun Too! | Megaphone

Aaron Frank, Motorcyclist

“Even though we spent as much time on the side of the road turning wrenches as in the saddle twisting wrists, it proved one of the most memorable weekends any of us had ever spent on two wheels.”

Body Armor Comparison: Just Between You and the Road

Gary Illminen, RideApart

“Not so long ago, motorcycle riding gear only had leather as the main material for body armor. Occasionally, there was leather in layers, or a little padding here and there to provide impact and abrasion protection for key areas like the joints.

Now, there are way more options and not only are they affordable, but they are also tested for effectiveness against an international standard. But even though their performance is tested against a common standard—CE EN1621-1: 2012—their designs are not standardized. There are some important differences.”

The No Brakes Exercise | Code Break

Keith Code, Motorcyclist

“It sounds counterintuitive, but experiments with pro racer Joe Roberts showed that you can learn a lot about proper braking technique by riding without using brakes.”

Liz’s note: This exercise is done only at a qualified track day or race school. As an every day road rider, what I liked about this article was the insights it gave me on understanding the relationship between proper braking and speed judgement. Read the article. You’ll see what I mean. 

photo credit: Skull Keychain via photopin (license)

I’d love to hear from you. What were your favorite articles of the week? Follow me on Facebook or Twitter where I help you see that by mastering motorcycling, you can master anything. To receive my weekly newsletter with updates, tips, and resources, Subscribe Here.


Author, writer, student and motorcycle aficionado Liz Jansen combines her artistic mediums to create stories that inspire readers to embark on their own journey of self-discovery. No helmet or jacket required.

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