Monthly Archives: September 2018

Motorcycles Vs Cars: An Ongoing Debate

Although it is difficult to trace the first motorcycle back to its origins, the first prototype motorcycle came into being in Paris in 1867. It was little more than a steam-powered bicycle called a Michaux-Perreaux steam velocipede. Then in 1884, the first commercial design of a motorcycle appeared in England. This was a full two years before Karl Benz, of Mercedes-Benz fame, was credited with creating the first automobile that was powered by an internal combustion engine. It wasn’t until 1894, however, that Heinrich and Wilhelm Hildebran partnered with Alois Wolfmuller to create the first mass-produced motorcycle. It would not be until more than a decade later that the mass production of automobiles began.

There is a lot of information to be found about the development of the various types of engines that were tried before the internal combustion engine met with such great success. It’s a lot more difficult to track exactly how and why contention exists between many motorcyclists and automobile drivers. Even with well over a century of traveling the roadways together, there still seems to be those bikers who think that drivers needlessly endanger them, and there are those drivers who seem to think that bikers behave irresponsibly, not following the same rules of the road that apply to everyone else.

I have been riding a motorcycle for more than 15 years, and I have never had an accident. I understand the risks that I face when on a motorcycle, as well as the potential risk that my actions can pose to others on the road. Unfortunately, there is a small segment of motorcyclists who don’t take these things into account, and an equal number of drivers who consistently fail to provide motorcycles the latitude needed to remain safe.

Typically, motorcycles are faster than cars. This coupled with the sense of freedom that motorcycles afford make them inherently more dangerous than cars. Put someone with an invincibility complex on a bike, stir in a measure of the motorcycle’s added maneuverability, and you often end up with a jackass who weaves in and out of traffic, tailgates, or otherwise engages in reckless behavior.

Then you have to factor in the jackass drivers who often think that anyone on a motorcycle is an irresponsible jerk. This can be especially true for those judgmental drivers who have a skewed perception of motorcyclists who choose to adopt a “biker look.” Sadly, in this day and age of social diversity, there are still those who see some guy on a motorcycle with long hair and tattoos and automatically think, “Criminal!”

The responsibility for accidents that involve motorcycle is probably somewhere in between the two camps. The University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research conducted a 10-year study that found that 60% of accidents that involve a motorcycle and a vehicle were the result of the other vehicle failing to yield the right-of-way. Before you motorcyclists do a little victory dance in your living room, you should keep a couple of things in mind. First, the same study showed that motorcycles have a much higher single-vehicle incident rate. Thirty-four percent of accidents that involve motorcycles occur with no interference from other vehicles. Secondly, a motorcycle doesn’t provide nearly as much protection to its operator as a car or truck offers. A motorcycle accident is 35 times more likely to result in a fatality, and nearly 90 percent of all motorcycle accidents result in injuries. This is 30 percent higher than the amount of injuries sustained in a car accident. Consequently, it doesn’t matter if you are right if you are seriously injured or dead.

These figures exist in spite of rigorous advertising through the use of billboards and bumper stickers to “Look Twice Save a Life – Motorcycles Are Everywhere.” They strongly caution us to watch out for motorcycles, and there is a good reason for that. The State of Florida bears the dubious distinction of having the greatest number of motorcycle fatalities. In fact, of the top seven Florida counties where motorcycle fatalities occur, three of them are right here in South Florida. This is in spite of the fact that State of Florida requires every motorcyclist to take a motorcycle safety course.

Those number aren’t, however, terribly surprising. There are more than a 500,000 motorcycles registered Florida, and thousands more who flock to the state to attend the multiple annual motorcycle enthusiast events held here. With wildly popular state-sponsored events like Biketoberfest@ and Daytona Bike Week, the number of motorcycles in South Florida can increase to astounding numbers thereby increasing the number of motorcycle-related accidents, yet more than 90 percent of motorcycle injuries that occur here involve Florida riders. Although the reasons for this fact are unknown, the message is abundantly clear. Both motorcyclists and those operating cars in Florida need to be more aware of, and more courteous to, each other.

For the record, it is illegal to weave in and out of traffic in every single state, with the exception of California. It may be tempting to try to negotiate through traffic when roasting in the South Florida sun, but keep in mind that if a police officer sees you, you will probably get a ticket for reckless driving which can be a third degree misdemeanor. Likewise, popping a wheelie, which every motorcyclist has done, will also result in a stiff traffic citation and four points against your license. In fact, the consequence of the first offense of popping a wheelie will result in a fine of $1,141 and a second offense will result in a fine that more than doubles that amount. Do it a third time, and you may very well lose your driver’s license.

I am a firm believer in police officers trying to protect John Q. Public, but like those drivers that I mentioned earlier who have a distorted opinion of most motorcyclists, I think that cops and legislators may perceive them in a particular light. These penalties seem excessive, especially when it comes down to just a matter of a bike losing traction. This is not always a matter of showing off just because you are on a motorcycle. There are certain things that a motorcyclist can do to reduce the possibility of getting a traffic ticket or worse yet, being injured. There are also steps that driver can implement to avoid being the cause of injuries or deaths to motorcyclists. First of all, watch out for motorcyclists and bear in mind that they are in a much more vulnerable position than someone in another vehicle. Also don’t forget that whatever your perception may be, that is another human being on the motorcycle next to you and no one wants to live with the knowledge that they have hurt or killed someone else, even if you have the right-of-way.

The Invention of Motorcycles Created a Need For Motorcycle

Is history important? At times, we have the notion that we should leave history in the past. Perhaps we argue that all we have is the present. Maybe we feel disconnected from events that happened years, decades, or even centuries ago. Possibly, we believe that today’s innovations have made yesteryear obsolete. However, a product’s history provides us with a better understanding of, and appreciation for, today’s versions of the product. So before you strap on your Harley Davidson motorcycle boots, remember that without the motorcycle, no need for motorcycle boots would exist!

The “first” motorcycle

When did someone invent the first motorcycle? One could argue that the American Howard Roper achieved that success, in 1867. The reason why his invention was arguably the first motorcycle is that a steam engine powered it, unlike today’s machines.

Roughly two decades later, in 1885, a German named Gottlieb Daimler created the first motorcycle that contained a gas engine. In actuality, Daimler’s invention was technically a wooden bicycle that a gas engine powered. Thus, the motorcycle was actually a four-wheeler!

Training wheels, an engine, and Otto

Besides the first gas-powered motorcycle resembling a bicycle, it also contained two tiny stabilizing wheels. We could compare these wheels to the “training wheels” on today’s children’s bicycles.

Daimler’s invention included an engine that a man named Nicolaus August Otto had created. Otto had named his creation the “Otto Cycle Engine.” Both Daimler and Otto had once worked together as inventors. In fact, Gottlieb had served as Otto’s assistant.

Motorcycle problems and solutions

After completing his gas-powered motorcycle, Daimler would then focus on constructing some of the world’s first automobiles. Thus, other inventors would focus on improving Daimler’s invention, to create a motorcycle with only two wheels. Some issues they addressed included:

o Where they should place the motor
o The quantity of cylinders that the engine should contain
o Whether the engine should feature a two-stroke or a four-stroke construction
o Whether the motorcycle should keep a bicycle’s chain and pedals

During this time, those inventors developing motorcycles and automobiles took two different approaches. Because many of those working on automobiles had backgrounds in the railroad industry, they often focused on creating cars that steam powered.

On the other hand, the developers of motorcycles based their work on the aviation industry. This is not surprising, as riding in motorcycles and airplanes was much less insular than riding in trains or automobiles.

In 1907, Harley-Davidson invented its first “V-twin” motorcycle. As an airplane gradually makes an upward ascent during takeoff, the V-twin motorcycles were renowned for their ability to ascend hills. To show how intertwined the developments of motorcycles and airplanes actually were, until World War I, the speed records of the two were virtually identical!

What Automobile Drivers Should Know About Motorcycles

This article will discuss the characteristics of motorcycles in everyday traffic situations. Automobile drivers, also known as Cagers, need to be aware that a motorcyclist will often slow down their motorcycle by down shifting or by simply rolling off the throttle. What this means is that the brake light is not activated. Given this knowledge, we advise that motorists allow more following distance to give motorcyclists and yourself more room to maneuver. Common sense also dictates that you predict a motorcyclist may slow down at intersections without visual warning.

Motorcyclists use both their turn signals and hand motions to announce a lane change or turn. Some motorcyclist forgets to cancel their turn signals. Although newer models have built in self-canceling turn signals, some beginners and experts may still forget to cancel their signal. So, make sure a motorcycle’s signal is valid.

A motorcyclist will often adjust their position within their lane. This is mainly for better visibility, to avoid debris, and to minimize affects of weather and other vehicles. This behavior should not be interpreted as reckless driving. If anything, it will help you, the Cager, be aware of the motorcyclist.

Since a motorcycle is obviously smaller in size than an automobile, although the rider may be quite large, please be aware that because of its small size a motorcycle may seem to moving faster than it actually is. Also because of this small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection, always predict that a motorcycle is closer than it looks. A car pulling left in front of an oncoming motorcyclist causes the number one motorcycle and automobile accident. Please do not do this; it tends to ruin everyone’s day.

A motorcycle’s stopping distance is almost the same as for a car, but road conditions and rider skill level may affect stopping distance. As always, allow for more following distance when behind a motorcycle.

When a motorcyclist is carrying a passenger, this will complicate all of the motorcyclists riding responsibilities. Stopping distance, motorcycle handling, maneuverability and balance are all affected by the passenger. When you see two on a motorcycle, give the motorcyclist plenty of room.

Keeping a safe following distance when following motorcyclists cannot be stressed enough. From the motorcyclist ability to slow with using the brake, to having a passenger, to having smaller mirrors making it harder to judge the distance of the car following them. We strongly recommend keeping a three or four second following distance and space cushion when following a motorcyclist.

As the weather turns warmer, start to look for motorcyclists, especially when checking traffic at intersections. There are a lot more trucks and cars than motorcycles on the highways. Many motorcyclists do not recognize a motorcycle. They often choose to ignore it. Whether unintentionally or through stupidity because the Cager is busy applying their makeup or talking on their cell phone while drinking their Starbucks coffee all while trying to drive. Please stop and be a responsible citizen and drive your car when you are moving. There will be plenty of time later in the day to use your cell and drink your coffee. Hopefully these tips will keep me alive by making you more aware of the characteristics of a motorcycle in traffic.

Comparing Automobile Vs Motorcycle Gas Mileage

Have you ever tried to drive an automobile? How about a motorcycle? Were you able to know and note their differences? Especially in this times where gas prices now at uprising as if it was like a space rocket that many customers have begun to search for substitute methods of transportation that can help them save money.

It is in here where gas mileage was only one feature or consideration in buying a car. In our present time, where gas prices are still increasing with the fear of breaking its record high, gas mileage factor has turned into the most considered and most important factor in buying a car.

Due to the existing and continuous soaring fuel prices, it’s interesting to note why gas motorcycle sales are flourishing. It is in here where the motorcycle mileage is incredible especially if you want something that can really be of big help in your savings.

In comparison, a gas powered motorcycle can get up to 100 miles of gas mileage per gallon. Seemingly, in a small car, if driven sensibly only gets around 38-43 miles per gallon. It is in here where a lot of trucks and other utility vehicles get gas mileage in the 18 mile per gallon range, with a fill-up estimate over $95. Other vehicles mileage makes motorcycle mileage look like a humorous story. In addition to the number of motorcycles advantages was that motorcycles have small gas tanks that are why it is much better. In fact, it can have a motorcycle mileage at around 100 mpg plus the fact that it can only seize one gallon of fuel; basically, it only proves that motorcycles can drive 100 miles on that one gallon of fuel. Analyze and try to compute for better understanding. Later on, you’ll realize that its sounds incredible cool!

Actually, it is not hard to notice that there is an in demand and boost in terms of motorcycles sales. Many people of today really switched to motorcycles for financial saving reasons. They could ultimately save a lot of money to do and accomplish their day to day activities. One thing to note here is that motorcycles are fun, easy yet challenging to drive.

– Motorcycles are popular and well liked by financial conscious people for basic reasons such as:
– Reduce fuel costs that helped them save more money
– Faster turn around time from office to home and other places.
– Environmental friendly
– Easy to maintain, no hassles and major problems and maintenance fees
– Fun, challenging and easy to drive plus they are one with nature

The environmental savings are also impressive for motorcycles burn and smoke less, aside from the economic factors of owning a motor scooter. Not only will you save money, but you will feel great because you helped the environment in its struggle for better and healthier place to live. You decide, what will you choose to drive? Is it an automobile or motorcycle?

Motorcycles and You

There are few things as freeing as a motorcycle. With a motorcycle, you are in the open air, seeing the country and the city, with nothing between you and the rest of the world. Unlike a car, where you are surrounded on all sides, there is a freedom and an element of danger to motorcycles that appeal to many people. This is especially true in Los Angeles, which has one of the highest per capita rates of motorcycles in the entire country.

A motorcycle is defined as a single-track, two-wheeled vehicle that can be designed for racing, cruising, long distance travel or for off-road riding. They are much more affordable than other modes of transportation, and that makes them very popular. In fact, for many countries, motorcycles are the primary mode of transportation with the world’s largest motorcycle markets being China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. They are so affordable that even with the 2008 downturn of the economy, the motorcycle market still grew by 6.5 percent.

Of course, since there are no air bags or steel shell to protect you like in a car, you have to be very careful when riding a motorcycle. Motorcycles have a higher rate of fatal crashes than automobiles, almost four times as high. While passenger car accident rates have fallen since the end of the 1990s, motorcycle accident rates have increased. In 2007 alone, 495 motorcyclists were killed in California, with 10,000 people being injured.

This isn’t being told to you to scare you. There are millions of people who ride motorcycles in the United States. Many never have a problem. You can ride a motorcycle to and stay safe. All you have to do is learn how to drive and get the proper training, practice defensive driving and ensure that you always drive safe wherever you go. Motorcycles are different from cars and more dangerous, but that does not mean you shouldn’t try riding a motorcycle to experience the true freedom of the open road with a motorbike.

To ensure that you stay safe in case of an accident, make sure you wear the proper protective gear. Wear a helmet at all times to protect your head in case you fall off. Wearing a helmet can greatly increase the odds of you surviving a crash. As well, you should wear leather to help minimize injury due to road rash while riding a motorcycle.

There are few things in life that are as exhilarating as riding a motorcycle on the open road. You can feel the wind across your body, you are much more mobile than cars and you can truly experience what is around you. Some say that driving cross country is not a real road trip until you do it with a motorcycle. Whether you drive a motorcycle or not, ensure you stay safe on the road. Pay attention to those around you and always respect the road and the people who drive on that road. We are all sharing it.