151 Days to New Zealand
Donna and Graham Beker, our hosts from Beker Motorcycle tours are back in the USA after a very successful riding season in Europe. They took groups through the Alps doing the same tour they hosted for Learning Curves last June and also took a group to Rome for a European-style celebration of the 110th Anniversary of Harley Davidson.
Organized as a family-owned and managed-business in 1903, Harley Davidson will celebrates its 110th Anniversary later this month in its hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was there for the 100th and have a bike of that 2003 vintage. I also have a 2008 Harley, in celebration of the 105th anniversary, which I take on all Learning Curves rides. The 2003 is on the shelf for now and it holds many memories and many miles that are all still cherished.
After spending the next several weeks here in the United States, the Bekers head back down under to New Zealand to prepare for their summer riding season in the Southern Hemisphere. Our Learning Curves Tour that circles the South Island is at the top of their summer agenda and all arrangements are in place. These folks really know how to take care of us and for that, Glenda and I, are most grateful.
They ride with excellence and they serve and host in a way and we at Learning Curves are proud to be under their care with their watchful eye as we anticipate this wonderful adventure in the beautiful rural reaches of the Land of the Kiwi’s.
There are only two spots left. It has been five years since we have ridden in New Zealand and I’m sure it will be that long again before this opportunity comes along in the future! So, if this is something you have thought about doing, just do it now.
Email Angel at Angel@learningcurves.net
We would love to share this opportunity with two more couples.
Most single-vehicle crashes occur on curves. We as drivers and riders do not naturally become defensive on curves. We need to train ourselves to be prepared for the unexpected. As long as we enter the curve at a conservative speed and realize that our field of vision is being limited by the curve vegetation and other obstacles, our chance of trouble is very minimal.
So how do we minimize our risk on corners?
- Anticipate: Accept the fact that there could be something around every corner. Be mentally prepared for a situation that could require you to be at the top of your game and skill level.
- Hair Pins: Tight corner radius turns are a challenge we don’t often find here in the US. In Europe, I remember all too well that almost every turn was of this type. The keys are to choose a conservative corner entry speed; remember the principle of counter-steering; initiate the lean by pressing forward on inside handlebars (press right to go right and vice versa); look well into the turn. Looking toward your exit will direct the motorcycle. Open the throttle to give power to bring you out of the turn.
- Braking in the Curve: This can be problematic and a challenge. Traction is already being used to keep the bike from sliding out while cornering. Any braking while the bike is in a lean can cause the bike to lose traction and down you go. So, you must brake very cautiously, only as much as the tires will allow, gradually braking harder as the bike straightens. Or, you need to straighten the bike and then brake hard. This, of course, requires caution to not enter the opposite lane on a right-hand turn or leave the pavement on a left-hand turn.
So you say you have anti-lock brakes (ABS). This system cannot detect that you are in a turn and if you apply the brakes too hard while in the turn, you can still lose traction during the non-interruption time that the ABS allows the brakes to apply.
So, it behooves each of us, to enter those curves a bit slower and practice leaning and making mid-course corrections so you can be prepared for the unexpected around the corner.
Keep the rubber side down—
As you read this month’s newsletter Glenda and I and our great group of Learning Curves guests are on the on the road to the Sturgis Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota.
As a note of interest in addition to the 2014 Harley Davidson models unveiling, Indian Motorcycles will unveil the all new 2014 Indian Chief.
The Chief was first introduced in 1922 and was the most popular Indian Motorcycle. Several times in the past few years, different parties have made an attempt to resurrect the Indian Brand. This time around, it is Polaris and they have the people and the capital to make it happen. I feel this will be a good thing for all of us who ride and it is an exciting reason to search them out in Sturgis at the 2013 Rally along with 700,000 other people. We will be on the road to see what is new and in the works in our world on two wheels or on three wheels for some of us.
Send an email to Angel today to sign up for one of our rides. Glenda and I would love to share these wonderful memories with you.