NoCo IMRG Informer Newsletter (May 2024)

Northern Colorado IMRG Informer Newsletter


We’ve all been there. Riding on two wheels while some cage pilot cuts you off like you’re invisible. It’s enough to make you want to unleash your inner rage monster and yell obscenities that would make a sailor blush. While it’s understandable to feel irritated by certain behaviors, it is crucial for motorcyclists to recognize the futility of giving in to road rage. Instead, adopting a better-prepared mindset, having a strategic approach, and being aware that cars may not always see motorcyclists can contribute to a safer and more enjoyable riding experience. Here’s the thing – on a bike, you’re exposed. There’s no metal cage to protect you from the consequences of a road rage flare-up. Not to mention, the odds are stacked against you in a turf fight with a car. So, what’s a rider to do? Instead of letting frustration cloud your judgment, channel that energy into proactive strategies to help keep you safe.

Understanding the Dynamics

Motorcycles and cars have a unique relationship on the road, often marked by misunderstandings and misperceptions. As motorcyclists, we are more vulnerable due to our smaller size and lack of protective barriers. The truth is, sometimes car drivers genuinely don’t see you. Blind spots are a major culprit, especially on larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs. Distracted driving is another big issue – a driver texting or fiddling with the radio might miss you entirely. Even experienced drivers might not be familiar with how quickly motorcycles can maneuver, leading to misjudged lane changes. It’s crucial to understand these dynamics to develop effective coping mechanisms and avoid the futility of road rage.

The Pointlessness of Road Rage

Engaging in road rage is a futile exercise that only worsens the situation. Reacting with anger and hostility towards car drivers not only puts our safety at risk but also adds to the overall tension and negativity on the road. Expressing rage may provoke aggressive responses from drivers, escalating the situation further. Instead, channeling our energy and focus towards proactive strategies can provide more tangible solutions.

The key to motorcycle bliss is staying calm, even when some yahoo cuts you off. Getting mad just clouds your judgment and makes you more likely to have an accident. Being prepared, aware of your surroundings, and defensive riding are your best tools on the road.

Being Proactive: Developing a Road Strategy

Rather than getting caught up in road rage, motorcyclists can benefit from adopting a proactive and strategic approach to their road journeys. This involves prioritizing preparedness and anticipating potential risks and hazards. Being aware of traffic patterns, considering alternate routes, and planning for potential obstacles can significantly contribute to a smoother and safer ride.

To better prepare, motorcyclists should also ensure their bikes are in optimal condition, regularly inspecting and maintaining them. It’s equally important to equip ourselves with the appropriate safety gear and ensure it remains in good condition. By being proactive and prepared, motorcyclists can prevent unnecessary frustrations on the road.

Heightened Awareness of Vulnerability

Accepting the reality that cars may not always see motorcyclists is a key aspect of ensuring our safety. Rather than being surprised or dismayed by drivers’ lack of awareness, we should focus on enhancing our coping mechanisms. Adopting defensive riding techniques is crucial. This includes anticipating potential hazards, staying vigilant to the changing traffic conditions. Stay way back from other vehicles, ride like you’re invisible (because sometimes, to car drivers, you are), and use clear, obvious signals to significantly reduce the chances of being overlooked or involved in an accident. By embracing a defensive riding mindset, we can largely mitigate the risks associated with others’ negligence.


As motorcyclists, we have the choice to embrace a more constructive and effective approach on the road. Channeling our energy away from road rage and towards strategies like being well-prepared, having a road strategy, and acknowledging cars’ limited awareness of us can greatly enhance our riding experience. By remaining disciplined, calm, and aware, we can prioritize our safety and foster a more positive riding community where frustration and road rage are replaced with camaraderie and mutual respect. So, let’s take the high road and ride with preparedness and composure.

Safe travels!


Purpose of This Exercise

  • Develops sharper low-speed maneuvering skills
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Enhances focus and visual acuity
  • Teaches counter-steering technique

How to Do It

  1. Set Up: Find a clear, open space with a flat surface. You’ll need cones (around 5-6) spaced out in a straight line. Beginners can start with wider 18-20 feet gaps (note: parking spaces are generally between 8.5 and 9 feet wide) and gradually decrease them as skill improves.
  2. Body Position: Sit upright with a relaxed posture. Keep your gaze focused ahead, and not down at the cones.
  3. Speed: Maintain a slow, steady pace. You should be comfortable using the clutch to control your speed in the friction zone (the point where the clutch starts to engage). Use only slight pressure on the rear brake to help control speed.
  4. Counter-Steering: This is key. As you approach a cone, gently push the handlebar grip in the direction you want to turn. So, to weave right around a cone, push the right handlebar grip slightly causing the bike to lean right.
  5. Body Weight: Maintain an upright body position and let the motorcycle lean beneath you to navigate the turns. Avoid leaning your body with the bike.
  6. Smoothness: Focus on smooth, controlled inputs with the handlebars and clutch. Avoid jerky movements that can destabilize the bike.
  7. Practice: Start slow and gradually increase speed and decrease cone spacing as you get comfortable.

Correction Tips

  • The motorcycle is jerky when weaving: Don’t try to control the speed with the throttle. Use the clutch in the friction zone and feather the rear brake to control speed.
  • Feeling wobbly: Try picking up the pace a bit. It might seem counterintuitive, but a little more speed can actually help you find your balance. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can gradually slow down and focus on smooth, controlled riding. In the beginning, prioritize good technique over going slow.

Remember, safety first! Perform this exercise in a controlled environment free from obstacles or traffic. Increase the difficulty gradually as your skills improve.

Tip: Cut tennis balls in half and put them down to mark out patterns as a substitute for orange traffic cones. Also, avoid using the cheap plastic low profile cones as these like to blow away on pavement, and slide easily when ridden over, which can cause the bike to slide.


So, you’re out on a ride and suddenly the heavens open up. Don’t panic! Riding in the rain can be a challenge, but with the right preparation and approach, you can navigate wet roads safely. It does require a little extra care and caution if you want to continue to ride your motorcycle in the rain.

Gear Up for the Downpour

Waterproof protection is your best friend in the rain. Invest in a good quality rain suit that will keep you dry and comfortable. Look for bright colors or reflective materials to maximize visibility. You are already hard to see in good conditions, and when rain is added, it makes you that much harder to see. Think about purchasing high-visibility rain gear–at least for the rain jacket.

Seeing Clearly Through the Spray

Watch out for reduced visibility. Rain can limit your sightlines, so be extra cautious and stay alert for potential hazards. Visor maintenance is key. You want to keep your visor clean and apply a rain repellent for better visibility. Cracking the visor open slightly can also help reduce fogging. A foggy visor can be a real hazard. Make sure your helmet has an anti-fog insert or Pinlock visor.

Smooth Operator: Master the Art of Gentle Control

Slow and steady wins the race in the rain. Reduce your speed significantly compared to dry conditions. Be extra smooth on the controls. Apply throttle and brakes using a gentle touch. Abrupt and jerky movements can easily upset your balance on a slippery surface.

Loosen Up for a Smoother Ride

Tension is the enemy of motorcycle control, especially in the rain. Relax your upper body, focusing on loose shoulders, elbows, and hands. Not only will this make you more comfortable, but it will also translate to smoother control of the bike. A tense grip fights against the bike’s movements, making it harder to steer, brake, and corner effectively. Relaxation lets you absorb bumps and imperfections in the road, keeping your upper body calm and collected. Take a few deep breaths, loosen your grip, and focus on smooth inputs for a more confident ride.

Road Strategy in the Rain

Beware of painted lines and metal surfaces. These can be especially slippery when wet. Maintain a more upright position, and avoid excessive leaning when cornering, especially on unfamiliar turns.

Increase your following distance. This will give you more time to react to hazards and allows for smoother braking. If you normally give yourself 2 to 3 second following distance in ideal riding conditions, consider 5 or 6 seconds following distance in rainy conditions.

Scan the road well ahead of you for the potential of standing water in the road. Avoid riding through standing water because it’s deceptive on how deep it is. You want to give yourself enough time to adjust your lane position to avoid it.

Another good tip is to ride a safe distance behind a car in front of you in one of its tire tracks. Using the car’s tire tracks is going to slightly increase your traction on the road as it’s going to move some of the rain out of the way.

Know When to Pull Over

If the rain is coming down too hard or visibility is severely compromised, it’s best to find shelter and wait it out. Never attempt to ride through flooded areas. The depth can be deceiving, and the current can easily knock you off balance.

When it hasn’t rained in a while, oil and grime accumulate on the road surface. This creates a slippery condition, especially during the first 15-20 minutes of a rainfall. The harder the rain, the faster it washes away these contaminants. Lighter rain might take longer to clear the road, making it slicker for a while. As such, you might want to wait for a little while to give the rain time to wash some of the stuff off the road before riding.

Motorcycle Safety Features

For enhanced safety in rainy conditions, consider adding auxiliary lights to your motorcycle. These lights will increase your visibility to other drivers, making it easier for them to see you on the road.

In the market for a new motorcycle? Prioritize ABS and traction control for rainy and slick conditions. These electronic aids supplement your riding skills and provide a significant safety advantage in low-traction situations. Many bikes now offer adjustable riding modes, including a rain mode that detunes throttle response and braking for smoother control. Utilize these features when the weather turns nasty.

Remember, even the most advanced motorcycle technology can’t replace skilled riding. Apply these rain riding tips and hone your overall road strategy to stay safe and upright in any condition.

Embrace the Adventure

Riding in the rain can be a unique experience. With the right preparation and a cautious mindset, you can build your confidence and become a more well-rounded rider. So, next time the rain starts to fall, put on your rain gear, ride smarter, stay relaxed, be extra smooth on the controls.

Remember: Safety first! If you’re not comfortable riding in the rain, don’t hesitate to pull over and wait for the weather to improve. There’s always another sunny day for a ride!


Motorcycles: they rumble, they roar, and they give you a sense of freedom that cars can only dream of. But beyond the biker image and adrenaline rush, there’s a world of surprising facts lurking beneath the chrome. Gear up for a ride down the quirky side of motorcycles, where you’ll discover trivia so useless it’s awesome. Ready to impress (or confuse) your friends with some truly unique and pointless motorcycle knowledge? Let’s fire up the engine on a list of random and utterly useless motorcycle trivia!

  1. Motorcycles have actually been around since the late 1800s. They were originally designed as motorized bicycles when two German inventors Daimler and Maybach created the first internal combustion motorized bicycle in 1885.
  2. Motorized bicycles were not called motorcycles until 1894. The German company Hildebrand & Wolfmüller became the first to market the term “motorcycle” and the name stuck.
  3. Steve McQueen’s famous 65-foot motorcycle jump in the movie The Great Escape was actually performed by Bud Atkins and he did it in one take
  4. Lawrence of Arabia died in a motorcycle crash that led to the invention of the motorcycle helmet. While riding his motorcycle, Colonel Lawrence swerved to avoid two boys who were riding their bicycles, and he died as a result of an injury to his head. This led to a study to determine if the death could have been avoided and resulted in the motorcycle helmet that we know today.
  5. The longest road trip on a motorcycle lasted 10 years. Emilio Scotto left Argentina and toured 232 countries a total distance of 457,000 miles on a 1980 Honda Goldwing GL 1100 named the black princess. It was considered a single Journey because he left his home country and did not return for 10 years.
  6. The world record for the longest backward motorcycle ride is 126 miles. It took four hours and 47 minutes all while sitting backward on the motorcycle.
  7. The world’s longest motorcycle was 86 feet long. In 2014 the builder rode the elongated motorcycle 330 feet in distance to prove that it was roadworthy.
  8. As a company, Yamaha produced pianos long before they ever made their first motorcycle. Yamaha produced their first piano in 1887 and didn’t start producing motorcycles until 1955.
  9. The longest distance a motorcycle has ever been ridden in 24 hours is 2116.5 Miles. That feat was performed by Carl Reese in order to raise awareness for motorcycle relief project which raises money for veterans suffering from PTSD.


The Indian 741B was a completely new model developed for World War II. It was a lightweight motorcycle intended for use by military personnel as a nimble reconnaissance and dispatch vehicle. The 741B was based on the civilian Scout model, specifically the 30.5 cubic inch (500cc) version known as the “Thirty-Fifty.” The 741 frame was adapted for rough terrain. It was made to be lighter and with longer front forks. Ground clearance was increased, and a steel skid plate was placed under the engine to protect against rocks, etc. To cope with the low-octane gasoline often found in war zones, the engine was de-tuned by lowering the compression ratio, changing the valve timing and restricting the breathing capability. A large oil bath air filter was used to enable the motorcycle to operate on dusty roads, sandy beaches, desert, mud, and drifting snow.

The motorcycles were painted in olive drab for camouflage, allowing them to blend in with their surroundings. The longer front forks increased ground clearance and provided a location for a gun scabbard and ammo box. Leather saddlebags were hung from a heavy-duty rear carrier with capacity on top for carrying other field kits. A perforated shield was fitted to the engine’s right side to cut down on radio interference from the ignition system. It was equipped with Firestone rough terrain tires. Crash bars were mounted in front to protect the engine if overturned.

Engine performance was about 15hp @ 4,800rpm and had a top speed of around 65 mph. The ignition was operated by battery and coil (the B in the model designation points to battery /coil ignition). The transmission was 3-speed and hand change lever.

The little twin proved to be very durable and reliable and ultimately some 35,000 were produced in a three year production span, mainly for the Allies. While the US military did consider the 741B initially, production in 1942 saw a significant portion of these motorcycles shipped to Commonwealth forces in Canada and Great Britain. These countries found the 741B’s strengths in navigating rough terrain and its ease of handling to be more valuable assets than the raw power favored by the US.


A safety tip from Paul Carroll

I’ve been asked this question quite often by riders, so I figured it probably ought to be a safety tip for all to read…

Braking a motorcycle under ideal conditions seems rather simple. Emergency braking, a little more complex; requiring lots of practice. But braking and bringing your bike to a safe stop when a tire fails is a whole different animal.

When a tire fails, and they don’t very often, the most important thing is to get the motorcycle stopped as soon as possible. The longer the wheel with the deflated tire spins, the increased chance it will come off the rim. The first action is not to panic. Immediately roll off the throttle and quickly, but gradually, get over to the side of the road. No drastic steering inputs. If you do, you WILL lose control. Use the opposite break of the deflated tire; so if it’s a rear tire flat or blowout, utilize the FRONT brake only. If you apply pressure to the lever controlling the deflated tire, you will dramatically increase the chance of the tire separating from the rim. Downshifting would be okay if it’s the front tire that is effected, but if it’s the rear tire, downshifting will apply the same type of forces on the rear wheel as the brake.

All in all, it’s a bad day when this type of event occurs. By conducting risk-mitigation measures, you can greatly reduce your chances of having tire failure. Utilize the proper pre-ride inspection (T-CLOCS) to ensure there are no foreign objects stuck in the tires or significant damage to the tire. Make sure you check and adjust air pressure in the tires accordingly.

Until next time, Ride Safe!


Follow our adventure home from the Glenwood Springs Loop Ride last July.

We left Yampa early in the morning, eager to begin our journey home. We decided to stop in Steamboat Springs for breakfast at Freshies, a restaurant we had visited exactly one year ago during our Steamboat-Craig overnighter. We reminisced about the delicious breakfast we had then, and our anticipation for this meal grew. After savoring a hearty breakfast, we headed over Rabbit Ears Pass, winding our way through the scenic mountain landscape.

The views were incredible, and we admired the beauty around us as we rode. We continued our journey to Walden, a familiar town where we often visit. After a brief break, we set off again, crossing Cameron Peak and heading into Poudre Canyon. The canyon was lush and green, and the river flowed alongside the road. As we approached the end of our road trip, the sky darkened and ominous clouds gathered overhead. We knew a rainstorm was imminent, so we made a quick stop at the gas station at Ted’s Place near Highway 287 to bid each other farewell.

With a wave and a smile, we sped off towards our homes, feeling grateful for the amazing memories we had created on our road trip.


With warmer weather and more motorcycles out on the road, it is the time to raise awareness, promote safety and reduce motorcycle crashes on our roadways. In 2023, 134 motorcyclists were killed in the state. While motorcyclists represent just 3% of the state’s roadway users, they account for a staggering 19% of all deaths.

Here’s another startling statistic – half of the motorcycle riders killed in 2023 were not wearing a helmet. Head injuries are the leading cause of death, and a helmet can reduce the likelihood of fatality by 37%, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Alcohol impairment and speed are also major contributing factors – in 2021, 30% of motorcyclists killed in a crash had alcohol in their system, and 34% of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in 2020 were speeding.

The good news? We’re in the rider’s seat when it comes to reversing these concerning trends by prioritizing caution and safety on the road. You can drastically reduce the odds of being a statistic and ride with an acceptable low risk.

CDOT offers the following tips and reminders to motorcyclists:

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Do not ride if you’ve been drinking or taking any drugs.
  • Be predictable – signal your intentions and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Ride defensively – be prepared for other drivers to make mistakes.
  • Invest in your safety by taking a motorcycle safety course. Visit to find courses offered through the Colorado State Patrol.
  • No lane splitting – it is illegal in Colorado. Late filtering becomes legal on August 7, which allows motorcyclists to ride between stopped vehicles.
  • Wear high-visibility personal protective gear such as boots and gloves.
  • Observe all traffic laws and obey the speed limit.

Let’s reflect on the 134 motorcycle riders who left behind shattered hearts last year. They left their loved ones with a sentiment no one ever wishes to express: “Wish you were here.” By riding and driving responsibly, we not only safeguard ourselves but also spare our loved ones from heart-wrenching consequences. Ride and drive safely — for your own sake, and for the cherished souls who long for your return.

Ride. Seek. Explore.