Now You See Me, Now You Don't.

Now that the days are getting shorter, and the evening falls much earlier I've been looking for ways to be more visible to cars (aside from my bright yellow helmet). I keep my luggage on the bike (top and side bags) to add size and therefore visibility to the bike, and if I ever put it down it's one more layer to skid on before I become the puck. I wanted to add daytime and nighttime visibility so I added these red and white reflective trailer warning stickers. I think they look pretty good, plus they're kind of Christmas like so maybe I'll look jolly too. I can tell I'm old now, when the safety of the bike takes precedence over how it looks. Then again, because I've been a safe (and lucky) rider I get to grow old.

BMW Changes Turn Signal!

(Blog post from Hell For Leather magazine. LOL description of a situation I've been in a few times while test driving BMWs)
To date, attempting to signal the direction of your intended turn whilst riding a BMW precipitated the following sequence of events: Horn honk; confusion induced wobble; signal in the wrong direction; confusion induced wobble; horn honk; turn while signaling in wrong direction; horn honk; signal in correct direction post turn; horn honk; continuing to signal; signal cancelled. But no longer, the company has finally brought its indicator switch mechanism in line with that of every other manufacturer.
We actually kid. While certainly unique, we never had a problem with BMW's old system and fear that it's fallen victim to the increasingly endemic Companies Listening to Old Fart Journalists Syndrome. You see, tasked with not only stuffing themselves with all the free food and drink they can fit in their surprisingly large stomachs, motorcycle journalists also find themselves needing to review multiple bikes after spending only a few minutes in the saddle of each. Afraid of actually criticizing the machines themselves for fear of loosing their access to those free meals, the old fart journalists instead find silly little niggles to complain about. The BMW indicator switches were one of those niggles. Just like iDrive, if you employed a small fraction of your brain's capacity, you could figure them out in about 30 seconds. But that 30 seconds of time was enough to spoil the day of many a crotchety old man, so now BMW riders will have to switch on their indicators just like everyone else.

Rainier Beer Motorcycle Ad

Chrome, Not Just for Google Anymore

Wow. That's a lot of chrome. Kind of turns into Wonder Woman's invisible plane though.

2009 BMW K1300R

Add the new 2009 BMW K1300R bike to the list of bikes that I'd love to have, for no other reason than to own and ride a work of art. This bike, with it's industrial Ugly Betty loveability has just never found wide spread appreciation. I can understand, as it's not much more than an engine wrapped in engineering and no real touring talent or even commuting skills to speak of. All that aside, the last time I was able to throw a leg over the older version of this machine I was supprised how light and accurate everything on it felt. Thanks BMW for keeping ojects of lust like this in production and forgoing your German instinct for only the practicle.

Aprilla Zen Master

Kudos to the dude on the Aprilla RSV making the wet street left turn in front of me today. RSV dude was threatened by a car trying to turn in front of him, aka not seeing him, and did everything right. He passed me as I crossed the street in back of him, his eyes were moved on to the car at the corner. He was locked on to it in an impressive display of looking ahead. Rightfully so, said car started to pull out and cut him off, and he was able to drop on foot to the group as he came to a near full stop as the car slammed it's breaks. Well done Aprilla dude.

Middle Aged Bat Bike from Honda

Once again, kudos to Honda for thinking creatively. I'd have to see it in person to really know what I think of it, but the new Honda DN-01 is radical, and bold. I'm all for the evolution of the motorcycle, and this is clearly a step toward the new, but will it appeal to enough riders to get traction? For me, and this is an uncool admission, I'm excited to see the CVT come to market as I've long felt that bikes should have the perks that autos have had recently, if only to make them more simple to operate and therefore accessable to a wider audience. I'll watch this one close, and probably make the pilgramage to the dealer to thow a leg over one, just to see what it's all about.

Alternative Transport Rumor Du Jour

So is it Honda's turn, again, to innovate on two wheels? While we've seen rumors of electric bikes on the horizon, this is the first authoritative mention of a hybrid bike, this time from Wired. I'd be surprised if it were to take the shape of the Interceptor here, but you never know. Maybe a better speculation is why wouldn't they put it in the high brow ultra tech show piece bike? Time will tell.