NORTHERN COLORADO IMRG UPCOMING EVENTS
Saturday, February 17th—Monthly Chapter Meeting. We’ll be meeting next at 9:30 a.m. at the Indian Motorcycle of Fort Collins dealership. Chapter meetings are a great way to mingle, socialize, and catch up with one another. The meetings offer a sense of community, and everyone is so welcoming and friendly, and it’s easy to make new friends. Hope you will make it to the meeting and hang out with other motorcycle enthusiasts, have some fun!
For up-to-date information on all Northern Colorado IMRG rides and events, visit our Events Calendar.
SAFETY TIP: PROTECTING THE EYES
A safety tip from Paul Carroll
I think all of us take for granted our eyesight. It’s not until your vision starts to diminish that you appreciate the times when your vision was better. Protecting your eyes is a requirement by law in our state (Colorado) while riding a motorcycle. How many of us actually do thorough research on our protective eye-wear? If you’re like me, you may prefer one brand only and think as long as it’s that brand, we are good to go. Well, here are some things to consider when purchasing your next pair of protective lenses:
- Select glasses or goggles with poly-carbonate lenses. While no lens is shatterproof or unbreakable, these lenses are impact resistant, shatter resistant, and filter out 100% of UV light. Long term exposure of the eye to UV light can result in medical issues with your eyes.
- Choose greater lens curvature. More curvature maximizes side protection against sun, wind, and impact. Wrap around lenses sometimes work best because they block light coming in from the sides. In addition, larger lenses may be more effective because they cover more of the eye.
- Make sure they fit correctly. Rubberized grip points keep the eye-wear in place with rapid movements.
- Hydrophobic lenses can be helpful. An invisible coating easily sheds sweat, rain, sunscreen, skin oils, dirt, and dust.
- Polarized lenses can help with glare. Polarized lenses reduce the blinding rays of glare reflected off flat surfaces; however, they are not recommended for riders who rely on an LCD instrument panel.
There are many brands to choose from in the eye-wear industry. I believe you get what you pay for with protective lenses. So be cautious when being offered a great deal on “riding glasses.” Do your own research, then decide.
Until next time, Ride Safe!
WHEN COMFORT LEADS TO COPS
Imagine this, you’ve been riding your motorcycle for a while and numbness creeps in stealing your focus from the asphalt and the potential hazards before you. Knowing the gyroscope motion of your spinning wheels will keep your bike upright and stable, you momentarily rise up on your pegs to alleviate pressure and to escape your seat’s tyranny. Comfort and alertness returns, but the rear view mirror flashes red and blue. With nowhere to go other than a gravelly shoulder, you are careful not to grab the front brake and risk a dirt nap, and coax your bike to the edge of the road. You luckily come to a safe stop. The officer’s rational for the traffic stop–standing up on your pegs was not a safe operation of a motorcycle and is considered an unlawful operation of a motorcycle. You remain respectful and non-argumentative, and are soon back on the open road enjoying your ride.
Is it illegal to stand up on motorcycle pegs while riding on the road?
While it was far more precarious trying to pull over safely to the side of the road than briefly lifting one’s butt out of the seat to regain comfort and focus on the road, whether it’s illegal to stand up on motorcycle pegs while riding depends on your location.
Most states don’t have a specific law directly prohibiting standing on motorcycle pegs. However, they often have laws requiring motorcycles to be operated in a safe and responsible manner. Even without a specific law, a police officer could argue that standing on pegs constitutes “improper operation” of a motorcycle, citing issues like reduced control, visibility, and braking ability. In some cases, standing on pegs might be considered reckless driving, especially if done in traffic or at high speeds. Some states may have regulations or statutes that indirectly address standing on pegs, like requiring the rider to be properly seated or have both feet on the ground at stops.
Here in Colorado, according to CO 42-4-1502:
(1) A person operating a motorcycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached thereto, and such operator shall not carry any other person nor shall any other person ride on a motorcycle unless such motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person, in which event a passenger may ride upon the permanent seat if designed for two persons or upon another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle at the rear or side of the operator.
(2) A person shall ride upon a motorcycle only while sitting astride the seat, facing forward, with one leg on either side of the motorcycle.
From this, it certainly sounds like Colorado believes we are to have our asses firmly planted in the saddle at all times. But the statements do not explicitly state we are to actually be seated 100% of the time. Some states and providences specify in traffic codes that you must be attached to three points at all times while operating your motorcycle–butt, hands, and feet.
Most every biker has experienced some degree of numbness or aching in their back-side during extended rides. On long rides, riders will occasionally stand to help with blood circulation, to stretch muscles, and to give relief to pressure points caused by the saddle. Rising off the seat in these circumstances, of course, should only be done when there is a large safety margin where you have good visibility, and there is no likelihood of needing quick braking or a swerving maneuver.
Many motorcycle training classes, and police officer guidelines advise to stand on pegs in certain situations such as to occasionally stretch and stay loose, or to use your legs to help absorb the shock while going over obstacles like bumps or rough road, railroad tracks, transitioning between uneven road surfaces, etc.
“Stunting” on the public road is dangerous. These traffic rules are essentially written in a fashion where standing can be considered as stunting, and allows a way to fine and prosecute street stunters. As a responsible rider, you will likely never be cited or warned for momentarily standing on your motorcycle to stretch.
Obviously you are going to occasionally stretch as mentioned. Just be smart about when and where. Use common sense and always prioritize your safety and the safety of others. Avoid standing on pegs in situations where it could impair your control or visibility. And as an added caution, maybe keep a lookout for a black and white before taking that much needed stretch on your bike.
RECALL: 2023-2024 INDIAN CHIEFTAIN, ROADMASTER, SPRINGFIELD MAY STALL
There is a safety recall affecting certain 2023 and 2024 Indian Chieftain, Roadmaster, and Springfield motorcycles. Here’s the gist:
Issue: These motorcycles may have been built with an improperly routed crankshaft position sensor. This sensor could rub against the front head pipe, potentially causing it to fail and leading to the engine stalling unexpectedly while riding. This increases the risk of a crash and serious injury.
What to do if you own an affected motorcycle:
- Do not ride it: Indian Motorcycle issued a Stop Sale notice for all affected bikes, both new and used.
- Contact the Indian Motorcycle dealer: They will inspect your motorcycle to see if it’s affected and, if necessary, replace the crankshaft position sensor free of charge. The inspection takes about 20 minutes, and the sensor replacement takes about 40 minutes.
INDIAN MOTORCYCLE SWAPS ICONIC MEDIA HEARTH FOR MODERN DISPLAYS
As everyone knows by now, Indian Motorcycle Corporate has mandated the replacement of the iconic media hearth with a contemporary display in the showrooms of the dealerships. There should be no doubt this minimalistic “modernization” of the showroom display will push hesitant customers towards the purchase of an Indian Motorcycle. Here’s a breakdown of the different perspectives:
- A sprawling state map stretching across the wall with a marker pinning your current city location–in case you somehow forget where you are during the time you walk from the parking lot into the showroom. It happens, right!? This way you will be reminded of where you are.
- Showroom visitors can now spend less time admiring the display and more time looking at the bikes.
- The media hearth was a unique and iconic feature of Indian Motorcycle dealerships. The removal of it is a loss of tradition and history.
- The media hearth, with its fireplace look and feel created a warm and inviting atmosphere in dealerships. The new sterile display is impersonal, forgoing the brand’s heritage.
- While some will appreciate the modernization of the display, which is supposed to attract a younger demographic, many will miss the traditional media hearth and its warm atmosphere. It will likely take some time for visitors to adjust to the change, and become acclimated to the “new” dealership showroom experience.
While some will appreciate the modernization of the display intended to attract a younger demographic, many will miss the traditional media hearth and its warm atmosphere. It will likely take some time for visitors to adjust to the change, and become acclimated to the “new” dealership showroom experience.
TURN FROM A STOP
Mastering low-speed maneuvers is crucial for any motorcyclist. Many riders run wide turning from a stop. This controlled practice exercise, done in a spacious parking lot, will equip you with developing the skills and confidence to navigate tight 90 degree turns from a stop in a smooth and safe fashion out on the road.
Begin with your motorcycle positioned at a 90-degree angle to the parking space (as shown in the diagram below), and with your clutch lever pulled in. Turn your handlebars and head in the direction you’ll be turning. As you initiate the turn, ease the clutch out smoothly through the friction zone while gently leaning the motorcycle slightly towards the turn, and all the while maintaining a smooth, controlled motion. A slight, steady pressure on the rear brake can help maintain stability and prevent over-steering. Keep your eyes focused on the intended exit or finish point.
- Turn your handlebars in the direction you want to turn before pulling out.
- Turn your head and look in the direction where you want to go (look further ahead than the Finish point).
- You can use slight pressure on the rear brake to control your speed.
- Take wider turns initially if you need to with the goal of completing the turn in a single parking space.
- Turns are wide: Do not start with your handlebars pointing straight. They do not have to be in full lock position. Turn them slightly in the direction you want to go. Fix your gaze on your exit point. Don’t fixate on obstacles or the immediate curb—focus on where you want to be!
- The motorcycle feels like it will fall over when turning: Gently let more clutch out to give more power to the rear wheel. Use slight pressure on the rear brake to control your speed. DO NOT pull the clutch in as this will disengage power to your rear wheel, increasing the risk of dropping the bike.
Being smooth is key. Once you’re moving, avoid abrupt clutch movements and focus on maintaining a steady throttle and body position through the turn. If needed, use a light touch on the rear brake to manage your speed as you release the clutch. This helps prevent jerky starts and gives you more control. Remember, practice makes perfect!
TWO WHEELS, ZERO TOLLS: COLORADO EXPRESS LANES OPEN UP FOR MOTORCYCLES
Get ready to leave the gridlock in your rearview mirror and enjoy the open road, because the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has some sweet news for you. Motorcycles can now cruise for free in designated HOV lanes on several stretches of highway without needing an ExpressToll account or pass.
That’s right… Two wheels. Zero fees!
If you’re zipping around on any of the US 36, Central I-25, or North I-25 Express Lanes, you can now cruise past the traffic jam blues without needing an ExpressToll account or pass. Previously, only carpools with three or more riders and buses enjoyed this perk, leaving solo motorcycle riders stuck in the slow lane. Now, you can join the HOV club and reap the benefits of quicker travel times.
This move isn’t just about saving you time (although, who doesn’t love that?). It’s also about promoting fuel efficiency and reducing congestion. Plus, with more motorcycles using the Express Lanes, overall traffic flow improves for everyone.
This policy change applies to several key Express Lanes, including:
- US 36 Express Lanes: Between Boulder and Denver.
- C-470 Express Lanes: Between I-25 and Wadsworth Blvd through Highlands Ranch.
- Central I-25 Express Lanes: Between US 36 and downtown Denver.
- Central I-25 Express Lanes: Between US 36 and E-470.
- North I-25 Express Lanes: Between Berthoud and Fort Collins.
- South I-25 Express Lanes: Between Monument and south of Castle Rock.
- Central 70 Express Lanes: Between Denver and Aurora.
Here’s what you need to know:
- No pass required: Just hop on your motorcycle and enjoy the open lane.
- Not all lanes are equal: This policy doesn’t apply to all Express Lanes. Keep an eye out for signage. This perk doesn’t apply to I-70 Mountain Express Lane, Northwest Parkway, or E-470.
- No pass needed: Just hop on the Express Lane and enjoy the ride. No account? No worries!
Visit the Colorado DOT website for more details on Express Lanes.
UNVEILING THE FLAVORS OF FRIENDSHIP: A PROGRESSIVE DINNER ODYSSEY
Progressive dinner rides offer a unique blend of fun, friendship, and excitement, making it a popular Chapter ride event. They seamlessly blend the enjoyment of a group motorcycle ride with the social experience of a multi-course dinner party. You get to experience the thrill of the ride, the camaraderie with friends, and the deliciousness of a shared meal, all in one.
A progressive dinner ride combines two fantastic activities–riding motorcycles and savoring delicious food. We ride together to a different member’s home for each portion of a meal–appetizers, soup or salad, main course, and finally dessert. Each stop offers a new environment and menu, adding variety and intrigue to the dining experience. It’s like a mini culinary tour within our own community. These rides are perfect for bringing together motorcycle enthusiasts and fostering a sense of community. Sharing meals and conversation creates deeper connections and lasting memories. We get to spend quality time with fellow riders, catching up, making new friends, and sharing stories.
Our last Progressive Dinner Ride was in September. A band of hungry adventurers gathered at the Indian Motorcycle of Fort Collins for this flavorful odyssey. Our motorcycles rumbled with anticipation as we rolled out of the parking lot. This would soon be a journey etched in laughter, friendship, and a symphony of flavors.
First, we navigated winding roads toward Randall and Karen’s welcoming abode in Loveland. Their home was a haven of warmth, cozy and inviting, where platters laden with an array of appetizers awaited. Each bite was a tiny concerto of taste that awakened our palates and set the stage for the following acts to come. With satisfied smiles, we remounted our trusty steeds and set off for Fort Collins, our hearts warmed by the hospitality and deliciousness we’d just experienced.
With rain looming in the air, we rode posthaste toward Fort Collins. Yvonne and Scott’s cozy home, nestled in the quiet Quail Hollow community, soon unfolded as our next port of call. We were treated to a heartwarming soup and salad course. Yvonne’s laughter and Scott’s wit mingled with the clinking of utensils and bowls, creating a symphony of contentment that resonated across the patio.
Our tasty odyssey continued. Wheels churning forward towards Greeley, where David’s inviting residence beckoned. As we entered, a scene fit for a king unfolded before us: a platter piled high with juicy steaks, accompanied by garlicky mashed potatoes and sautéed green beans. David, a true cooking maestro, regaled us with tales of his delectable exploits, each word punctuated by the tasteful mouthwatering main course.
But fate, like a whimsical chef, had one final surprise in store. As we readied ourselves for the final leg of our journey, towards Dawn and Paul’s charming place in Fort Lupton, the heavens opened. Donning our rain gear, we transformed into warriors of the culinary storm, battling wind and drizzle with unwavering smiles. The rain on the road became a thrilling obstacle course, each twist and turn adding a dash of adrenaline to our already-exhilarating adventure.
Finally, we arrived at Dawn and Paul’s haven, greeted by a vast selection of confectionary delights for as far as the eye could see. Inside, laughter and tales of the road weaved a tapestry of camaraderie, a delicious counterpoint to the sweetness of the desserts. The rain outside, like a defeated villain, faded into the background, unable to dampen the warmth of our shared experience.
As the late afternoon came upon us, we dispersed, not just full of delicious food, but overflowing with the warmth of fellowship, the thrill of adventure, and the satisfaction of an unforgettable journey.