Northern Colorado IMRG Informer Newsletter (Mar 2023)
MARCH CHAPTER MEETING
If you get uncomfortable and sore in the saddle and ache to get off after putting in a few short miles, then having your seat customized to your shape may be very worthwhile. For our March 18th, Chapter meeting we will be joined by Steve Gowing of Gowing Custom Motorcycle Seats, located in Fort Collins. Steve will be our featured guest speaker to talk about custom motorcycle seating. Being in the upholstery business for 30+ years, Steve specializes in modifying motorcycle seats that are tailored to your physique so your ride is much more comfortable and enjoyable. His philosophy is to listen to the customer, and then build a custom seat shape or backrest that truly fits their needs, which will provide greater value than the one size fits all custom seats.
Also, for our March Chapter meeting, members of the Rocky Mountain IMRG will be coming up from Littleton for a meet and greet with us at the Fort Collins dealership (weather permitting). They are sponsored by the Grand Prix Motorsports motorcycle dealership.
The plan is to do a joint “flat lander” ride (keeping it flat since mountain roads can be unpredictable this time of year, and for many, this may be the first time on a bike after a few months and may be a bit rusty, so want to keep it safe) after our meeting. We’ll be following a rural scenic route to Frederick, to have lunch at Georgia Boys BBQ!
Come out and say Hi! to our Rocky Mountain friends, and join us for a group ride!
PEACE OF MIND
We will soon be riding the open roads on our two (and three) wheel motorbikes. As avid riders, we keep our bikes mechanically sound through routine maintenance. We make sure our tires have good tread and are at proper pressure. We wear riding gear and helmets. We practice our motorcycle skills. When going on rides, we carry our rain gear, medical kits, and basic tools. Sometimes we even carry tire pumps and battery jumpers.
We do these things to help assure we make it to and from our destination. These things minimize risk, and help to take away worry and stress when we ride. Particularly when the journey takes us far from home. We do it for peace of mind, and to help make sure we will enjoy ourselves and the time we are on the road.
However, you can’t control everything while you’re out taking in wind therapy. You may never have experienced a mechanical failure on your motorcycle while away from home, and your motorcycle may never break down.
With any luck, your bike will never have to ride on a flatbed truck, or in back of a trailer due to a mechanical breakdown.
But what if luck is not on your side one day while on an epic journey that has taken you many miles from your backyard? Wouldn’t it be nice to have peace of mind knowing how you can easily get help should your bike have a mechanical breakdown, and not have the stress and worry of trying to figure out how you’re going to get your bike off the side of the road?
Having a motorcycle towing service in your back pocket is yet another important preparation that you can do to create more peace of mind while traveling on your bike.
If you don’t have motorcycle towing through your insurance company, or some other membership (e.g. AMA), you might want to look into Motorcycle Towing Services, LLC (mts-towing.com). They have a network of thousands of towing companies across the US and Canada, and in the event of a breakdown, they can dispatch one of their experienced professional providers to your location. MTS also offers Indian Motorcycle Riders a discount!
Pricing for Indian riders:
- Premier Plan ($300 coverage) -> Regular rate: $95. Indian rate: $35
- Deluxe Plan ($150 coverage) -> Regular rate: $55. Indian rate: $20
- Emergency Service Plan -> $75
Sign up at the link above using coupon code: IMRTOW.
DOES YOUR HELMET REEK!?
After lots of riding in the sun and hot weather, the inside of your helmet is bound to smell and have that not so fresh feeling even if your liner looks visibly clean. The bacteria from your scalp reacting to sweat ultimately creates odor coming from the liner of your helmet. To help prevent odor and to keep your helmet fresh and healthy, periodically clean your liner. Right now is a great time while you have some down time from riding. While you frequently clean the outside of your helmet, don’t neglect the inside.
Most helmets these days have removable liners. This allows you to pull out the liner and cheek pads from your helmet for a more thorough cleaning. To clean, you just soak the pads and lining in a large container filled with warm water and mild soap, such as baby shampoo or dish-washer soap. Soak for 30-45 minutes and rinse. Don’t be shocked by the discoloration of the water–your helmet liner collects a lot of grungy stuff from your head (don’t gasp, you know it’s true). You may need to soak and rinse a few times. After cleaning, it’s best to let your liner and pads dry out naturally, which will take some time. If you must rush the drying process, you might use a hairdryer at its lowest setting. Using a clothes dryer isn’t advisable as it is likely to get too hot and damage the plastic parts. Also, don’t forget about the helmet straps. You can use a toothbrush and soapy water to scrub and clean the straps. Take a wet cloth and wipe down the inside of your helmet, and dry before replacing the liner and pads back inside.
To help keep the inside of your helmet as fresh as possible and odor free while between liner cleanings and while out on the road, frequently wipe the inside of your helmet with a cloth to remove residue sweat. The less sweat your helmet absorbs, the less of an odor causing reaction. You may also want to use a helmet freshener with an FDA compliant antimicrobial that can be sprayed in the interior of your helmet to help kill odor causing bacteria and to make your helmet smell fresh.
Jim was the lucky winner of this helmet refresher product made by Molecule Sports at the February Chapter meeting for coming the closest in correctly answering a trivia question. Molecule Helmet Refresh spray is specifically formulated to deodorize helmet interiors using an FDA compliant antimicrobial ingredient.
NORTHERN COLORADO IMRG’S NEW ASSISTANT PHOTOGRAPHER!
Joni Whaley was recently elected as our official Northern Colorado IMRG Assistant Photographer. Joni’s role will be to assist Nate with taking group photos and capturing our amazing moments together. Joni has a keen eye for detail. She has captured some wonderful photos while on our journeys.
Nate has unselfishly taken photos of us throughout the Chapter’s existence. Because he’s been the person behind the camera, it’s rare for anyone to catch a photographic glimpse of Nate enjoying himself with the rest of us.
With the support of an Assistant Photographer, Nate will have now more time to kick-back and enjoy participating with the group instead of worrying about being ready for the next photo shot all the time.
Of course we also welcome any photos that you have taken and don’t mind sharing. And, we may still ask for a backup member to take pictures from time-to-time.
A FOLDING INDIAN SCOOTER?
This is a strange one–the Indian Papoose. It started out as the Welbike, a British folding motorcycle produced during World War II by Excelsior for the Royal Army paratroopers. It was designed to be parachuted in a cylinder container with other supplies. Paratroopers would then retrieve the bike once they and the supplies container were all on the ground. After the war, the British Army sold their remaining stock of Welbikes, most of which ended up with farmers in the U.S.
The Welbike original designer later updated the design for a more civilian-friendly machine by making the frame heavier, updating the gas tank, adding rear and front brakes, adding fenders, and adding a headlight and taillight to make them road legal. This updated scooter became known as the Corgi, and started production in 1947 and was built by the Corgi Motorcycle Company.
Brockhouse, a holding company, owned both Corgi and Indian at this time. The civilianized Welbike, now Corgi, was painted red and had the Indian badge slapped on it and was introduced as the Indian Papoose in the U.S. in 1947. At 98cc it had a top speed of around 30 mph, and it could go roughly 120 miles on a tank of gas. About 30,000 Indian Papooses were produced. The Papoose sold for around $230. Sadly, the Papoose ceased production in 1954.
DON’T BE THIS GUY!
Riding season is fast approaching, which means we will soon be hitting the pavement on our two and three wheelers for some amazing group rides together. We look forward to enjoying the sights and smells of the great outdoors with our knees in the breeze. We anxiously await the camaraderie with one another, and the harmony played by our pipes as we roll along.
Don’t spoil the day’s ride by being “that guy.” You know – the one that is ill prepared and holds up the group. The one that arrives late just as everyone is about to leave, doesn’t have ample gas in their tank, or decides at the last moment they need air in their tires. When coming on a group ride, make sure you come prepared.
Basic ride readiness includes:
- Arrive well in advance of kickstands up (KSU)
- Arrive with a full tank of gas
- Arrive with an empty bladder
- Make sure your motorcycle is in proper working condition
- Be sure your tires are properly inflated
- Have your emergency contact information at the ready (for ride waiver)
- Come with proper riding attire, and be prepared for climate changes
- Come with rain gear if there is a chance of rain
- Bring water to stay hydrated, and snacks to stay nourished
Learn more about riding with us at Going on NoCo IMRG Group Rides on the Chapter’s website.
Remember… You can download and fill out your waiver ahead of time using the website link above to avoid waiting in line at the pre-ride while others complete and sign their waivers.
THE MOST EXPENSIVE MOTORCYCLE EVER SOLD AT AUCTION
At the Mecum Las Vegas 2023 auction in January, a 1908 Harley-Davidson sold for a record $935,000! The most expensive motorcycle to ever be sold at an auction.
This HD motorcycle is known as a Strap Tank due to the straps used to suspend the fuel and oil tanks from the frame. Surviving Strap Tank motorcycles are very rare. This bike had many of its original parts which made it even rarer.
At the same auction, this 1927 Indian Ace Four sold for $214,500. This is one of only 260 ever built.
This bike represents the early integration of Indian’s acquisition of Ace, and is a rebadged Ace at heart. The motorcycle featured an Ace’s 78 cubic-inch (1,278cc) inline four-cylinder engine with a 3-speed gearbox.
MOUNTING YOUR BIKE: LOW OR HIGH?
How should you mount your motorcycle… insert your own humor here… From the low side, or from the high side? This is a fairly simple question that can lead into some fisticuffs if debated too long, much like discussing what oil to use in your bike. There are those with strong feelings supporting the low side as well as those who support the high side. And of course there are those free birds who are happy to mount from either side.
The ambidextrous biker will mount from either side depending on which is closest as they walk up to their bike. They will do what is most convenient for them in the moment and whatever saves them from having to walk around the bike.
Mounting from the high side or low side has some of the same arguments: That’s how I was taught and have always done it; This side is easier for me; This side is easier on my hip; or It’s easier to lift my leg on this side.
Some old-timers will mount from the high side out of habit from the days when they had to kick start their bike (kick starter being on the right side).
A low side reason often stated is that, the proper way to get on a bike is from the left side (kickstand side) just like a horse. Most basic training and instruction manuals teach riders to get on from the low side.
Motor officers are trained to mount and dismount from the right (high side) to stay out of traffic’s way. Mounting from the high side will help keep the bike from falling over on you in the event of a kickstand failure.
Another case for high side mount is to lessen the chance of scuffing your saddlebag.
When mounting from the high side, you will typically lift your leg high enough to clear the right side and will have already cleared the left side as you bring your leg down. When mounting from the low side, you may clear the left side but under estimate your height as you swing your leg across toward the high side and accidentally scratch the saddlebag or seat.
Watch this video from Robert of “Be the Boss of Your Motorcycle” YouTube channel. He takes a slightly different approach to high-side mounting -> Mounting & Dismounting Your Motorcycle.
STRUGGLING TO READ YOUR MOTORCYCLE DASH?
Do you have trouble reading the console or gauges on your motorcycle? Stop squinting. Bifocal motorcycle sunglasses may be the answer for you. Motorcycle bifocal sunglasses have a magnified area at the bottom of the lens so when you look through this bottom area, your gauges and console screens come more into focus. When you look straight ahead, there is no magnification. Essentially you have built in readers for when you look down on your motorcycle instrumentation. A nice advantages of bifocal motorcycle sunglasses is you don’t need to carry your traditional readers around.
Do a Google search of “Bifocal Motorcycle Sunglasses” and you will find all sorts of brands and vendors for these distinct riding glasses. You can find fairly low cost options from Global Vision (Hercules), and Pacific Coast KDs (made popular by the Sons of Anarchy series). Bikershades.com has lots of low and mid-range priced options. And on the higher end of the spectrum, 7Eye and Wiley X are popular brands.