AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST MAY 2020

Letter Of The Month

Sharing Some Thoughts

March was a stellar issue! I especially enjoyed the Donald Green article, “What Causes Motorcycle Crashes?” We, as drivers of single-track vehicles in a twin-track world must be twice as good as the cagers or we risk serious injury or death. Continual skillset improvement has to be a part of our growth as motorcyclists to offset advancing age and the decline of reflexes.

The article about Bosch developing moto driver assistance technologies was interesting and informative, but nothing can replace the driver/machine interface that happens inside our own cranium.

Lastly, for Rob Dingman: Why on earth would you sacrifice a perfectly nice little Nighthawk project on the altar of sidecar worship? It’s a lot like trying to herd cats. Thanks for all you do for us.

P.S. I have an article in mind for your guest column. What are your requirements and how would I make a submission?

Steve Whitmore | Reno, Nev.

Thanks Steve. Readers interested in submitting an article or guest column should email submissions@ama-cycle.org.


 

The Role Of The Rider: Another View

My wife and I are both certified MSF Instructors emeritus and although it is anecdotal evidence, the only motorcycle crash we ever experienced was when a 16 year old piloting a pick-up truck blew through an intersection stop sign, violating our right of way, and taking out both of us, reinforcing our belief in [Harry] Hurt’s findings and challenging Mr. Greene’s [“What causes motorcycle crashes?” March issue] endorsement of the notion that the most significant cause of motorcycle crashes seems to be the riding habits and behavior of the motorcyclist.

Chuck Esposito | Gainesville, Ga.

Gas Disposal

In the March 2020 issue there is an article on “Getting Your Bike Ready For Spring” in which it mentions draining old fuel from carbs and fuel tanks. My question is, how do we properly dispose of spent fuel?

Tony Andreoli | Bayside, Calif.

Thanks for asking Tony. There are a number of websites offering guidance on fuel disposal, such as handyman Bob Villa:

Check the appearance and smell of the gasoline to determine its usability.

If the older gas isn’t contaminated, dilute it with fresh fuel for reuse (optional).

Locate the nearest hazardous waste disposal in your area.

Transfer gasoline to a government-certified container.

Speedily and thoroughly clean up any gasoline spills.

Transport gasoline to disposal center.

Also visit www.epa.gov/hw/household-hazardous-waste-hhw.

Sidecar Dreaming

Per Rob Dingman’s dreaming about getting a sidecar, I have a 2013 Ranger sidecar on my 2005 Heritage Springer Softail. And yes, they are a whole different animal to ride and control. There are books you can get, as I did, to help you get accustomed to riding a bike and sidecar. Things that happen as you ride, with and without a passenger, also give you insights on things to watch out for. And even though a lot of two wheelers don’t like your slower pace on a group ride, they should remember the adage “ride at your own comfort level, ride your own ride.”

I have been to Americade in Lake George a few years now with my Springer and sidecar on display on the side of the AMA tent (that I have been helping out in for quite a few years now) and a lot of people stop and look at it and ask me if they can buy it. And of course, I say no.

As for safe riding, [such as] an AMA-approved safe riding course, it’s always good to take advantage of these courses.

Christopher Williams | Albany, NY

Thanks Christopher. While the AMA does not formally approve riding courses, we strongly encourage riders to enroll in research-based programs. View the AMA’s position statement on rider education at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/motorcycle-rider-education.

Good Gear Matters

I am the third generation in my family to ride. I’ve been riding a little over 50 years without a scratch and have worked at Sonoma County Harley-Davidson for 24 [years]. I have always worn a Bates two-piece custom made racing suit, helmet and boots. Last October, I was hit by a car, and I am now recovering. My riding equipment saved me from worse injury. I cannot say enough about how they did their job. When I see photos of riders wearing tennis shoes and a t-shirt, no matter how hot [the weather], I wonder. As a life member of the AMA and HOG, need I say more?

Walter Kettler | Santa Rosa, Calif.

Corrections

The political affiliation of the governor of Missouri was listed incorrectly in a story in the March 2020 issue of the magazine. Gove. Mike Parson is a member of the Republican Party.

A story in the March issue (2020 Can’t Miss Road Rallies) misidentified the location of Johnstown, Pa. The city is about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh.