Safety and training; two words that tend to elicit a yawn or an eye roll from most people. Motorcycling, though definitely not the safest activity you can choose, is pretty exciting and challenging, yet for the most part, the safety training associated with our sport is quite boring.
Riding around a parking lot, MSF style, is not particularly difficult, and does a terrible job of emulating real world threats. Track days, though fun and offering the chance to push the limits of your motorcycle in a controlled environment, don’t typically present the kinds of dynamic threats we need to see in order to stay safe on the road.
So if parking lots and tracks don’t offer the training environment you want, how do you get the training you need? Well, over a recent weekend, I had the opportunity to attend Stayin’ Safe Advanced Rider Training.
Stayin’ Safe is owned and operated by Eric Trow. A motorcycle training professional with over twenty years of experience, Eric offers on-street rider training.
Part training and part tour, Stayin’ Safe offers courses from two to three days through some of the nicest riding areas in the country. I had the opportunity to take the Southern California class which lasted for three days.
I’ll just say up front, this was a great experience and I learned much more than I thought I would.
California just moved closer to codifying lane-splitting in its vehicle code, as California Assembly Bill 51 (AB 51) just passed the California State Senate Transportation Committee, with a 11-0 vote.
This means that AB 51 now will go before the State Senate Appropriations Committee, before it can be presented to the Senate floor.
For those who don’t recall AB 51, the bill aims to codify lane-splitting into the California Vehicle Code, and the bill expressly permits state actors, like the California Highway Patrol (CHP), in developing and teaching educational guidelines for safe lane-splitting.
Episode 23 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast is out for your audio pleasure, and it covers a range of topics that we think you will find interesting. First off, Quentin and Jensen cover the spectacle that is the Isle of Man TT, talking about this iconic road race, some of racers who compete in it, and what the TT needs to grow in the future.
This discussion then evolves into a conversation about flat track racing, which has already seen a bump in popularity, and seems to have additional momentum to grow in the coming years. This is of course aided by Harley-Davidson’s renewed interest in the sport, with the Bar & Shield brand releasing its first flat track race bike in 44 years, the Harley-Davidson XG750R.
The guys then turn their attention to lane-splitting in the USA, a topic that is fueled by the recent news that California is looking to codify the practice, which is already legal permissible in the Golden State. That codification process has consequences for riders outside of California as well though, and the guys talk about those in the show.
Overall it’s a very informative look at three hot topics in motorcycling. We think you will find it both enlightening and entertaining.
As always, you can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well. Enjoy the show!
Riding a motorcycle in California is pure bliss. Motorcyclists benefit from the state’s perpetual sunshine, its gold-kissed coasts, and of course lane-splitting for two-wheelers. Lane-splitting in California, from a legal stand-point, is sort of awkward though.
There is no law that grants motorcyclists the privilege of lane-splitting, but that doesn’t really matter when it comes to the California Vehicle Code (CVC), since there is also no provision that prohibits it.
I wouldn’t say lane-splitting in California is legal only by a technicality, but the Golden State would benefit from some more formalized words on the practice, beyond the CVC’s default that all motorists should operate their vehicles in a “safe and prudent” manner.
That might change this year though, as Assembly Bill 51 (last year’s attempt to codify reasonable lane-splitting rules) is getting an update. This is both good and bad news.
Things are brewing around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, as SCRAMP and ISC have agreed to seek a deal together from the County of Monterey.
According to RoadRacing World, the proposed idea would see ISC getting the long-term concession agreement from the county, with SCRAMP then being hired by ISC to operate to facility, as the event management company.
This move is an interesting one, as it wasn’t too long ago that SCRAMP and ISC went toe-to-toe over the future operations of Laguna Seca.
This past weekend, nearly 3,000 motorcyclists descended on the Quail Lodge and Golf Club in Carmel, California.
They didn’t go to the Quail to golf; rather, they went to see the 8th annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering. With roughly 400 motorcycles of all genres and years on display, the Quail offered something for everyone.
Unlike last year, this year’s event offered a lot more sunshine and warmer temperatures, and featured the 40th Anniversary of the superbike and a tribute to pre-1916 motorcycles.
Additionally, there were display categories for motorcycles from all parts of the globe. The quantity and quality of the machines on display was impressive.
Are you waiting for a 2016 model year motorcycle that hasn’t arrived yet? You might have Volkswagen to blame.
Asphalt & Rubber has been contacted by several motorcycle manufacturers who have said that their new-for-2016 models are being held up by mountainous paperwork requests, both from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
The paperwork requests seem to be an across the board effort by the EPA and CARB to check for emission irregularities in the filings from automobile OEMs on their new models, an effort which has included motorcycle manufacturers as well.
But why the fine-toothed comb? The answer is because of the Volkswagen diesel emissions fiasco from last year, the desire not to have another “Dieselgate” scandal.
The speculation about RevZilla and Cycle Gear can stop now, as the brands are finally talking about their plans together for the future.
In a letter posted to RevZilla’s in-house publication, Common Tread, RevZilla CEO Anthony Bucci announces that RevZilla will be acquired by a new holding company, which will also own Cycle Gear.
The holding company’s board of directors will include Bucci, and his fellow RevZilla founders Nick Auger and Matthew Kull, as well as the private equity firm J.W. Childs, which bought Cycle Gear back in 2015.
While Bucci’s letter to RevZilla customers states that the two brands will only be “sister companies” that will operate independently of each other, his FAQ on the subject leaves the door open for collaborations between the two brands, which would be the obvious benefit of their new ownership structure.
Respected newswire Reuters is reporting that Cycle Gear is close to finalizing the purchase of motorcycling e-commerce giant RevZilla. Citing a source “familiar with the matter” at hand, Reuters suggests that the deal could close in the next coming days, with the new venture worth between $400 million and $500 million.
If true, this acquisition would mark a titanic shift in the motorcycle retail space, with America’s largest brick and mortar chain combining with the industry’s most prominent online parts and apparel purveyor.