Since 1968, 77 East Third Street in Manhattan's East Village housed the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club's New York City clubhouse (and apartments for some of its members). But the building was recently sold and the Angels have purchased new digs, a former church on Long Island. The New Yorker's Sarah Larson stopped by on moving day:
“The parties used to be great,” (neighbor) Nancy said. “Until the explosion.” In 1990, a garbage-can firecracker killed a fourteen-year-old boy. Over the years, the East Village Angels both caused and prevented mayhem. In 1994, the Times characterized this mayhem, part “lore and part police reports,” as “countless decibel-cranking parties, LSD-laced misadventures, drug deals, orgies and random acts of violence against passers-by.” In recent years, parking-space tussles resulted in beatings and a shooting; a woman who pounded on the door, screaming, was badly beaten. In 1978, the chapter president, Vincent (Big Vinny) Girolamo, of plaque fame, allegedly pushed his girlfriend off the roof, to her death. (He died, of stab wounds, before he could stand trial.) Innumerable bad vibes were doled out after unwanted bench-sitting, dog-peeing, and photography incidents. But, from the scuzz era to the N.Y.U.-and-condos era, club members also defended their neighbors; the Angels’ block was considered the safest around.
“I haven’t heard anybody say ‘Good riddance,’” (neighbor) Janet said.
"Moving Day at the Hells Angels Clubhouse" (New Yorker)
image: Beyond My Ken/CC BY-SA 4.0
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This man's reaction when a stranger points out he's wearing his motorcycle helmet BACKWARDS is endearing. Read the rest
Talk about bad sports. Holy cow! Read the rest
Bicyclists who also own motorcycles and motorscooters have come up with some clever ways to mount their human-powered two-wheeler on their motor-powered vehicles. Read the rest
Watch as a gentleman hops up completely amazed to be alive! After losing control of his headshaking bike, this brave motorcyclist slid under a moving semi and shot out the other side!
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Nothing says MOTORCYCLE SAFETY like the Rockford files theme and a British accent. Read the rest
A driver on California's 210 freeway attempted to block and scare motorcyclists out of lanesplitting. Read the rest
Motorcyclists are 27x more likely to die and 5x more likely to be injured than folks in passenger cars. RideApart discusses the dangers of motorcycling in a mature and upfront fashion. Read the rest
Fictiv is a rapid prototyping company that can take concepts or finished designs and farm them out to a network of CNC and 3D printing companies to have your design fabricated, finished and delivered within 24 hours; to demonstrate their new open IoT platform, they've announced an open-source hardware IoT motorcycle kit that you're meant to be able to assemble in your garage in a weekend, and drive off on by Monday. Read the rest
If you've ever played a car racing video game, some of these shapes may be familiar, but Matt Dunlop built on the work of several others to create this fascinating map of the world's famous motorsport courses. Read the rest
Saturday was a tale of one man, one Triumph Scrambler, one multi-tester, and one hidden in-line 7.5a blade fuse. Luckily, after hours of where curiosity turned to frustration and then anguish, the moral of our story is that blade fuses are cheap.
Quick-connect dongles for battery charging systems are fused, I knew but didn't think of that. Sometimes those fuses get tucked behind things and you don't realize they are there. Should that coincide with you deciding your battery must be charged... always check the battery first.
Luckily, big boxes of assorted fuses are cheap and easy to have on hand. They do not give you lost time back, however.
120 Pieces - EPAuto Assorted Car Truck Standard Blade Fuse Set (5 / 7.5 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 AMP) via Amazon Read the rest
While not previously against the law, lane splitting was left up to officer discretion. Now it is state law that the lane splitting is legal. Officers will use their judgement to determine what is safe behavior and what is not.
Via the LA Times:
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Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation by Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) that defines the practice and authorizes the California Highway Patrol to establish rules for motorcyclists on how to do it safely.
Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), a retired state highway patrol sergeant who co-wrote the bill, called the new law a "groundbreaking step."
"This is a huge win for roadway safety,” Lackey said in a statement. "We are now giving riders and motorists clear guidance on when it is safe."
Lane splitting, in which a motorcyclist passes other vehicles by riding between them along the lane line, has long been a controversial issue.
Technically, it has not been legal or illegal, falling in a gray area where it was treated as acceptable by law enforcement agencies. But when the CHP published guidelines on the practice in 2015, a citizen complained that the agency should not be allowed to create public policy. In came AB 51.
Quirk's original bill proposed that lane splitting could occur legally only when a motorcycle was moving no more than 15 mph faster than the traffic around it, and it prohibited the practice at speeds above 50 mph.
Several motorcyclists' groups objected to that, saying the limit was too low. Other groups and individuals, who believe that lane splitting is dangerous regardless of speed, objected to the proposal entirely.
Aerospace corporation Airbus's Light Rider concept motorbike looks a bit like something HR Giger would draw (although his, of course, would be much cooler). In reality, the 3D-printed frame was inspired by skeletal structures that enable its bare-metal frame to weigh just 13 pounds but support a 220 pound rider. From the BBC News:
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To design the bike's frame and swingarm rear section, (Airbus's) APWorks team collaborated with Altair Engineering, a US-based consulting company whose structural-design software works through the principle of "morphogenesis" — which in biology refers to process of environmental forces defining a natural organism's form and structure. Morphorgenetic software is written to create forms that achieve maximum strength with minimal mass, and Altair's system has contributed to the designs of such boundary-pushing machines as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the Volvo Ocean 70 racing yacht, and the jet-powered Bloodhound SSC, which next year will attempt to break the land speed record...
The 3D-printing process employed to produce the Light Rider's frame is a marvel unto itself. The system uses a laser to melt powdered aluminium alloy in thousands of layers, each only 60 microns thick — about the width of a human hair. Airbus Group Innovations, the company’s research arm, developed the frame's aircraft-grade alloy, called Scalmalloy, which it claims matches the specific strength of titanium. The fabrication process — and the strength of the material — allows the morphogenetic software to specify finer and thinner structures than traditional tooling or moulding methods of manufacturing can produce. In fact, notes Gruenewald, the Light Rider’s frame even features hollow branches that hide cables and other components.
Autotrader.ca offers some insight into some odd, observed behaviors of motorcyclists. I've been riding for so long, most of this seems just commonsense to me.
Here are a few:
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Why don’t motorcycle riders ride in the centre of their lane?
The centre of most lanes on most roads is a no-man’s land for bikers. It’s where the oil, fuel and coolant from all the cars, trucks and buses drops and congeals. It’s slippery, and dangerous. The wheel tracks offer much more grip.
Why don’t motorcycle riders stop directly behind me?
You’ve probably noticed that bikers often stop just to the outside of your rear quarter panel at traffic lights. It might look like they’re about to filter (we’ll get to filtering later) but they don’t move. Why? The motorcyclist has set up an escape path for themselves. Bikers are rear-ended far more often than car drivers: this allows us to watch our mirrors and get out of the way.
Why do motorcycle riders rev their engine at stop lights?
Boredom. Mostly. Or because they like the noise it makes. Or to get attention. But mostly boredom. Or as I found out during my test of the 2016 Harley-Davidson Roadster – to stop my teeth rattling with the engine vibration at idle.
The guys at Been there Done That drove around Portland, Maine with some hotdogs wired to the jugs of an Ural motorcycle. Unsurprisingly, the amazing airhead engine is too efficient at dissipating heat, and the hot dogs don't get very cooked.
The story behind IMZ-Ural Motorcycles is also pretty cool, both the Soviet-ization of a BMW R71, and the handwork to keep the factory open and making bikes. If you want a bike with a sidecar, they make some cool ones.
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Of course there is an entire issue of The Airhead, a BMW Airhead enthusiast e-zine, completely dedicated to the most beautiful motorcycle of all time, the R90S.
The term "Airhead" is used to describe the beloved 1970s models of BMWs air-cooled twin cylinder motorcycle, and their loopy owners. There is some great history in the e-zine, and I really enjoy the rider/owner stories. The R90S is a standout in looks, and performance, but comes with the same quirks as the well known line of motorcycle. Quirks seem to be what it is all about.
The guys at The Airhead e-zine had this to say about the issue, and their publication:
This Sample Issue is not representative of the normal content of The Airhead in that it is dedicated to just one bike - the iconic R90S. It is offered here as a thankyou to the members of two R90S forums who helped in many different ways to put this particular issue together.
It will, I hope, give everyone a taste for The Airhead. If you feel that you share our love of all Classic and Vintage BMW's and want to keep these fantastic machines alive and on the roads then we'd love you to join us. We're not a club, we don't do politics, we don't do bullshit and we don't backbite. We just love our bikes!
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Flying Tiger Motorcycles offers this curious "Two Stroke Smoke Candle" that is made from two-stroke oil and "high-octane fragrance" to give your home that singular bike bouquet. It's $20 and comes in a metal can. Read the rest