NoCo IMRG Informer Newsletter (April 2024)

Northern Colorado IMRG Informer Newsletter


The Hurt Report was a motorcycle safety study conducted in the United States to identify motorcycle cause factors and to identify countermeasures. The study was initiated in 1976 and published in 1981. The report is named after its primary author, Professor Harry Hurt.

The Hurt Report documented a bizarre incident: a station wagon broadsided by a functioning, but seemingly “riderless” motorcycle. Despite a bustling intersection full of potential witnesses, no one could explain the riderless motorcycle. Authorities found the bike, but no owner, passenger, or trace of an operator. The “ghost rider” incident remains unsolved.

While this may seem like a spooky tale, it serves as a stark reminder that motorcycles are inherently dangerous, and require respect to handle their power. The “ghost rider” might be a mundane mystery, but it sparks the imagination nonetheless.


There’s a rumble in the motorcycle community, and it’s not coming from a V-twin engine. It’s the grumbling of old guard riders griping about a perceived softening of the biker spirit. Let’s examine the accusations.

Comfort Creep

Heated grips and seats? Windshields? Electronically adjustable suspension? Navigation and other smart technology built into dashboards? These newfangled amenities might make for a plush ride, but some say they dilute the raw experience of riding a motorcycle. It’s too windy, it’s too cold, it’s too hot, or it’s too rainy will label you as a fair weather rider if you don’t ride in these conditions. Back in the day, you fought the elements, not pampered yourself!

Think of it this way, if you’re battling numb fingers and wind fatigue, are you really present in the moment, enjoying the sights and sounds of the ride? Modern amenities allow riders to focus on the journey, not just enduring it. Being a motorcycle enthusiast isn’t about proving your toughness. It’s about the joy of the ride, the satisfaction of conquering a challenging route, and the thrill of exploration. Technology allows us to experience more of that joy, more of that freedom. It may be a badge of honor for some to ride in less than ideal weather conditions, but being labeled as a “fair weather rider” really isn’t bad. It’s about maximizing and getting the most out of your ride experience on your motorcycle. There’s a whole world out there to explore, and the more you can explore it in comfort, the better.

Safety Features

Modern bikes are often equipped with advanced features such as electronic stability control (ESC), and anti-lock braking (ABS) systems. While these innovations enhance safety and performance, some purists argue that they detract from the raw, primeval experience of riding a motorcycle. They see these advancements as a crutch, diminishing the need for honed skills and connection with the machine.

However, safety features don’t eliminate the need for rider competence. They simply provide a buffer, allowing riders to explore their capabilities with more confidence. New riders can benefit from the security of ABS and ESC, while experienced riders can utilize them to conquer new challenges.

Lemon Law Lament

Motorcycle manufacturers take a hit for supposedly churning out faulty bikes. Long gone, they say, are the days when you could wrench on your own machine in the garage and diagnose a sputtering engine with a screwdriver and a can of carburetor cleaner. Modern motorcycles are undeniably more complex. Now, everything’s computerized and requires a small fortune at the dealership. Fuel injection systems have replaced carburetors, and a tangle of wires and sensors snake through the chassis, which makes troubleshooting a challenge for the average rider.

Contrary to what some believe, these advancements have resulted in generally more reliable machines. Modern fuel injection delivers smoother power and better fuel economy, while complex engine management systems keep things running efficiently. Diagnostics have also come a long way. Dealerships now wield sophisticated tools that can pinpoint problems quickly and accurately, saving time and money in the long run.

Dealership Deceit

The relationship between dealerships and riders can be a contentious one. Some riders firmly believe dealerships have become profit-driven, strictly prioritizing sales quotas over genuine customer service. The camaraderie of yesteryear, where mechanics shared knowledge and riders received personalized attention is said to have vanished. In its place, some lament a culture of “hard sell” tactics and unnecessary “upselling” of parts and services.

Social media amplifies these frustrations. Stories of dealerships allegedly ripping off customers, perhaps installing overpriced aftermarket parts with questionable performance, spread like wildfire online. These experiences can wrongfully breed distrust and paint dealerships with a negative brush.

Thin Skin of Bikers in Social Media

Social media has become a double-edged sword for the biker community. While it fosters connection and information sharing, it can also amplify a culture of defensiveness. A critical comment about a beloved bike or modification, once shrugged off with good-natured ribbing in a barroom setting, can now ignite an online firestorm. An online civil war can simply be started by asking a question that might otherwise be answered by looking in an owners manual.

Yes, social media can amplify negativity and defensiveness. But it can also be a powerful tool for building a stronger biker community. Learning to ignore the negatively of the online trolls will connect you with a wealth of knowledge from other fellow bikers across geographical boundaries. Sure, there might be a few impatient folks who scoff at questions easily answered with a quick Google search. However, even basic inquiries can often spark valuable conversations. They foster a sense of shared experience and problem-solving, leading to a deeper understanding of different approaches within the biker community.

So, have bikers become soft?

It depends on who you ask. The biker world is multifaceted, with room for both comfort seekers and thrill chasers. There’s no doubt that motorcycling has changed over the years. Technology offers undeniable safety and convenience benefits. It’s important to acknowledge that both motorcycle manufacturers and dealerships are operating in a competitive marketplace. However, the idea that they’re intentionally creating inferior products or ripping off customers is a generalization.

The rise of social media has provided a place for some to use as public sounding boards for disseminating misinformation, or to publicly complain, or to criticize others. But filtering out this noise, it’s a great platform for riders to share their adventures, connect with like-minded enthusiasts, and dispel misconceptions about motorcycle culture.

The core elements of freedom, independence, and a love for the open road still seem to be alive and well. Motorcycle rallies and touring groups remain a strong presence, attracting riders who enjoy the camaraderie and sense of community that comes with the biker lifestyle.


Senator Nick Hinrichsen, introduced lane filtering legislation in Colorado, which was passed in the 2024 Colorado General Assembly legislative session in March after several revisions. The original bill was modeled after Montana’s lane filtering statue. Here’s the summary of the bill:

The bill authorizes a two-wheeled motorcycle to pass another vehicle in the same lane if:

  • The overtaken vehicle is stopped;
  • Lanes are wide enough for the motorcycle to pass safely;
  • The motorcycle is driving 15 miles per hour or less; and
  • Conditions allow the motorcycle to pass safely.

The bill prohibits a motorcycle from overtaking or passing a vehicle:

  • On the right shoulder;
  • To the right of a vehicle on the farthest right-hand lane if the highway is not limited access; or
  • In a lane of traffic moving in the opposite direction.

This lane filtering bill is now headed to the Governor’s desk to sign into law. Once signed, the law will become effective later this year. The Colorado Department of Transportation will conduct a study on the effectiveness of this statute and submit a report in January 2027. The report will be used to modify or repeal the current lane filtering bill, which is set to end in July 2028.

Lane Filtering vs. Lane Splitting

Lane filtering is when a motorcycle moves between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic, typically at an intersection or a traffic jam. Lane splitting refers to riding a motorcycle between lanes of traffic that’s still moving, but at a slower speed than the motorcycle. This is common around the world, but in the U.S., it’s only legal in California.

Interestingly, California allowed lane splitting for years before officially legalizing it in 2016. Their law lets riders travel between cars going up to 40 mph, as long as they stay within 10 mph of the surrounding traffic. Utah legalized lane filtering in 2019. Montana and Arizona legalized lane filtering in 2021 and 2022 respectively. Missouri allowed lane filtering starting in 2023. Hawaii allows motorcycles on the shoulder during traffic congestion, offering a similar benefit to lane filtering.

Why Lane Filter?

For motorcyclists, crawling in stop-and-go traffic is a double threat. A rear-end collision from a car, even at low speeds, can have devastating consequences. Lane filtering, where riders navigate between slow-moving or stopped lanes, offers a potential escape route. This maneuver aims to reduce a rider’s vulnerability to rear-end impacts, potentially increasing safety in congested conditions.

What Colorado Motorcyclists Will Likely Encounter

Two years after legalizing lane filtering in Montana, a significant knowledge gap remained among drivers. Many motorcyclists report being blocked (“squeezed out”) from lane filtering, or experienced road rage incidents, including objects being thrown, physical assaults, and spitting. The lack of awareness about the legality of lane filtering is likely a major contributing factor. While motorcycle fatalities in Montana have decreased in recent years, analysts cannot definitively link this trend to lane filtering.

watch a short summary from News 9, shared by Dawn Carroll about this new bill:


A safety tip from Paul Carroll

Have you ever thought about your riding strategy? A strategy is a framework for making decisions about how you will ride. Before you jump in the saddle of your bike, there are some basic strategies to consider.

First, is your equipment; both bike and gear. I’ve talked about T-CLOCS (tires, controls, lights, oil, chassis, stand) and the importance of the pre-ride checklist. If you haven’t put this simple procedure in your pre-ride you need too. It’ll only take one time of being stranded or a tire blowout to get your attention. Simple pre-checks can prevent a disaster on the roadway. Then there is your equipment. If you wear a helmet, how old is it? Is it time to replace it? How about riding jackets, boots, chaps, riding pants, gloves? Are they worn, torn and need replaced? Remember, not all equipment has an unlimited service life. If something needs replaced, now is the time to do it.

Second, is taking the time to warm up, both mentally and physically before getting out on the road. Go to your nearest parking lot and dial yourself in by practicing turns from a stopped position. This will help with head and eye positioning; slow speed operation to get your handling of the friction zone fine-tuned; and a few threshold braking drills to get the muscle memory of those mechanics fresh and active.

Third, when you are out on the road be actively aware of your lane position and refining that position to maximize the conspicuity to other vehicles around you. The old adage, ride like you’re invisible applies. More importantly, ride to maximize your visibility to others around you is more appropriate.

Fourth, have a survival mind-set. I talked about this in a previous Safety Tip. Bottom line, take charge of your destiny, do not let someone do it for you.

Last, but not least is training. The more competent you are in handling the bike, the safer you will be out on the road. If you haven’t considered taking additional training courses to improve your technical riding skills, I would highly recommend it. At least come out to a Chapter skills session where you can practice. I have always said, you will leave that session a better rider than when you came.

Until next time, Ride Safe!


Hey motorcycle adventurers and road warriors! Have you been itching to feel the wind in your face and experience the freedom of the open road? Last year we hit the asphalt and conquered some incredible routes while capturing it on camera. Well, buckle up because we’re bringing you along for the ride.

Glenwood Springs Loop Ride | Day 2. On this day, we travelled 206 miles from Red Cliff to Yampa. We woke to a quiet and deserted Red Cliff, packed our bikes, and set out to Leadville for breakfast. As we left Red Cliff, we rode under the Red Cliff Bridge historic steel arch bridge. For breakfast, we ate at the Golden Burro Cafe, an old-school diner located on the main street in Leadville. After breakfast, we eagerly set out for Glenwood Springs. . After passing through the historic village of Twin Lakes, we climbed the challenging switchbacks over Independence Pass where we were surrounded by amazing views of mountains and valleys. After descending Independence Pass, we rode in a lush forest of aspens until we arrived in the town of Aspen. Next we arrived in Glenwood Springs, the westernmost pivotal point of our adventure where we would hang out for a while. Leaving Glenwood Springs, we made our way to Yampa on yet another very scenic road through more of the Rocky Mountains. Upon arriving in the small rustic town of Yampa, we ate dinner at Antlers, an old saloon and stagecoach stop, before turning in for the evening.

Thermopolis Road Trip | Day 3. On this day, we traveled from Red Lodge back to Thermopolis. Our intention was to cross over Beartooth Pass since we were unable to the day before due to weather. However, as fate would have it, we had to forgo crossing Beartooth once again and change our route to avoid a heavy incoming rainstorm.

As we departed Red Lodge, we felt the crisp Montana air against our faces. Heading toward Cody, we soaked in the scenery with stunning views of the mountains in the distance, which provided us with a constant visual treat. Rainstorms could be seen rolling over the mountain tops, validating that we were smart about avoiding Beartooth pass on this trip.

The road continued through golden grasslands dotted with grazing cattle. Arriving in Cody, we took a short break. To avoid the incoming rainstorm, we headed west out of Cody to Greybull where we would then take a southerly route to Thermopolis. It appeared we would not be able to avoid the rain much longer.

The skies continued to darken, and we could see faint outlines of falling rain in the distance. We stopped in Greybull to put on our rain gear before heading onward. When we reached Worland, the sprinkles started turning into larger rain drops, which inevitably turned into a steady downpour for the remainder of our ride into Thermopolis. We were disappointed about not being able to ride over Beartooth pass due to the inclement weather, so we vowed to come back and try Beartooth on another road trip.

Durango Rendezvous 2023 | Day 2. We started with breakfast at the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio before going on our 280-mile excursion. The air was crisp with a kaleidoscope of parked motorcycles gleaming in the sun as we departed the parking lot.

From Durango, we snaked our way towards Molas Pass. The air grew noticeably cooler with each switchback, a stark contrast to the sun-drenched valley floor. Climbing higher, the warmth continued to be stolen from our faces and replaced with snowflakes that soon intensified into a stinging sleet shower. The ride became an immersive experience where we connected with the outdoor elements and the raw beauty of the Colorado Rockies.

At the summit of Molas Pass, a world unfolded that left us breathless. Standing at the overlook, we were greeted by a panorama of majestic mountains with their snow-capped summits. Next, we started riding the 25-mile portion of highway considered to be the “Million Dollar Highway” stretching between Silverton and Ouray. After crossing over Red Mountain Pass, the crown jewel of the Million Dollar Highway, we stopped at Bear Creek Falls, plunging 200 feet down a rugged cliff underneath the Highway.

Ouray was just ahead, and earned the nickname, “The Switzerland of America.” Though the Million Dollar Highway had vanished from our rearview mirrors, the San Juan Mountains remained our constant companion. Our lunch stop was Telluride. On this day, despite the rain, the town was especially crowded due to a bluegrass festival. Refreshed from a well-deserved rest, we saddled up and pointed our bikes south towards Dolores. Just outside of Dolores is Memorial Rock, an 8.5-million-pound giant boulder that tumbled down the mountain in 2019 and required the highway to be rebuilt around it.

Arriving back at the resort, we replayed the day’s journey with twisting mountain roads, crisp air, and jaw-dropping vistas going through our minds. There was a deep sense of accomplishment from conquering the miles and mountains.

Northern Colorado IMRG Year 5 Highlights | July 2022–August 2023. Our 5th year as a Riding Group was remarkable. Despite the many weather challenges, we rode 3,400 miles together. We experienced day rides, lunch rides, dinner rides, overnight rides. We had motorcycle skills training sessions and social events. All the while forging friendships through the love of motorcycles.

Our 5th year started with another excellent Motorcycle Road Survival Skills training session from Paul. It was a fun time helping the Indian Motorcycle of Fort Collins and the corporate demo truck with demo rides at the Realities Rally. We rode some of the usual routes like Rist Canyon, Horsetooth and Carter Lakes, and the Peak-to-Peak. The Snowy Range Mountains in Wyoming were awe inspiring. It was a humbling experience laying wreaths on veteran’s graves for Wreaths Across America. We made new friends with the Rocky Mountain IMRG who visited us at a Chapter meeting.

There were plenty of laughs and good times at our Chapter meetings throughout the year. We completed an epic flat lander ride to Wray and back to visit the Beecher Island battlefield. For International Female Ride Day, we rode to Laramie where we took a chilly and windy ride across Happy Jack Road to Cheyenne where we had lunch at the Bunkhouse. There was lots of riding at the Durango Rendezvous going over the San Juan mountains and the Million Dollar Highway, down to Chama, NM and over to the four corners. It was a beautiful scenic ride to Dowdy Lake where we had a picnic lunch. The NoCo IMRG helped the Dealership with the Indian Motorcycle Great Summer Cookout event. We grilled hotdogs and hamburgers, providing lunch to all that came by the Dealership.

It was a grand adventure on our Glenwood Springs Loop road trip where we went through Rocky Mountain National Park and over Trail Ridge Road, and made our way to Red Cliff via Leadville to spend our first night. The next day took us over the switchbacks of Independence Pass and on to Glenwood Springs, and then continued our ride to Yampa. The return home to us over Rabbit Ears and Cameron Pass.


Easy Rider, a 1969 counterculture masterpiece, follows two bikers, Wyatt and Billy, played by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, on an odyssey across America. After a successful drug deal, they set out eastward from Los Angeles on their choppers, aiming to reach New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Their journey becomes a symbolic exploration of freedom and disillusionment.

Wyatt, adorned in American flag iconography, embodies a search for a simpler, more authentic American experience. Billy, the more volatile of the two, represents a wilder streak of rebellion. As they traverse the vast landscapes of the Southwest and South landscapes, they encounter a range of characters, from communal hippies to wary small-town folks. These interactions expose the deep cultural divides within the United States at the time.

The film doesn’t shy away from portraying the harsh realities faced by those living outside the mainstream. Violence and prejudice punctuate their trip, forcing them to question their ideals and the possibility of finding true freedom on the open road. Easy Rider remains a powerful and complex portrait of a bygone era, capturing both the hope and disillusionment of the late 1960’s.

The Easy Rider route isn’t exactly a precisely defined path, but rather the general westward journey taken by the film’s protagonists, Wyatt and Billy. While the exact route they travelled may not have been perfectly documented, it’s generally understood that they travelled along a combination of highways, including interstates and the legendary Route 66.

MrZip66, an avid fan of the movie, and co-author of a book about the movie has led guided tours of the route, and has a detailed write-up and map of the movie’s path.


Her Diary:

Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a nice restaurant for dinner. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact I was a bit late, but he made no comment on it.

Conversation wasn’t flowing, so I suggested we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn’t say much. I asked him what was wrong, he said, ‘Nothing.’ I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said he wasn’t upset, and it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it. On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving. I can’t explain his behavior …I don’t know why he didn’t say, ‘I love you, too.’ When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there quietly, and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent.

Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep–I cried. I don’t know what to do. I’m almost sure his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster!

His Diary:

Motorcycle won’t start…can’t figure out why.

Ride. Seek. Explore.