Tips

New Motorcycle Law for NC Effective October 1, 2013

 

Here is the brand new law passed for failure to yield right of way to motorcycle riders. The governor of NC just signed it on Monday. In another section of the DMV Code, it spells out that violations of this law resulting in a conviction are also accompanied by an assessment of FOUR (4) points against the operator’s driver’s license. The judge also has the authority to increase the fine above the ...minimums specified.

Ø Here is the bill language pertinent to motorcyclists:

PART V. MOTORCYCLE SAFETY
SECTION 5.(a) G.S. 20-154 reads as rewritten:
"§ 20-154. Signals on starting, stopping or turning.

(a1) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section and causes a motorcycle operator to change travel lanes or leave that portion of any public street or highway designated as travel lanes shall be responsible for an infraction and shall be assessed a fine of not less than two hundred dollars ($200.00). A person who violates subsection (a) of this section that results in a crash causing property damage or personal injury to a motorcycle operator or passenger shall be responsible for an infraction and shall be assessed a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500.00).($500.00) unless subsection (a2) of this section applies.
(a2) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section and the violation results in a crash causing property damage in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000) or a serious bodily injury as defined in G.S. 20-160.1(b) to a motorcycle operator or passenger shall be responsible for an infraction and shall be assessed a fine of not less than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00). A violation of this subsection shall be treated as a failure to yield right-of-way to a motorcycle for purposes of assessment of points under G.S. 20-16(c). In addition, the trial judge shall have the authority to order the license of any driver violating this subsection suspended for a period not to exceed 30 days. If a judge orders suspension of a person's driver’s license pursuant to this subsection, the judge may allow the licensee a limited driving privilege for a period not to exceed the period of suspension. The limited driving privilege shall be issued in the
Same manner and under the terms and conditions prescribed in G.S. 20-16.1(b)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), and G.S. 20-16.1(g).
…."
SECTION 5.(b) this section becomes effective October 1, 2013, and applies to violations committed on or after that date.

 

 

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Summer Riding Tips

Riding is the summer brings us several different challanges;

One is the RAIN, it seems like that is all we have had so far this summer.  When it first starts to rain, this will loosen the oils that are embedden in the roads. It is at this point that the roads are the slickest..  So SLOW DOWN and be carefull.  Also make sure that your motorcyle has good tires with plenty of tread, Remember you only have 2 tires and your motorcycle is lighter than your car or truck and you can hydroplane quicker.  Be sure to keep you rain gear packed, and some type of high vis vest or jacket.

If you are forced to pull off of the road, try to pull into a parking lot, gas station, or somewhere safe and away from traffic, if you must stop on the side of the interstate, Stand on the OTHERSIDE of the guard rail, away from the approching traffic.

Another problem can be the HEAT.. Recently I was riding with a group on a VERY HOT afternoon, one of our riders passed out and ran off the road at appr 50 mph and went down an embankment..  Several of us were able to get stopped, call EMS and render first aid, Fortunately he was ok with only a few broken ribs.  REMEMBER TO DRINK LOTS of Water.  When it is very hot and you start to sweat, riding a motorcycle will cause that sweat to evaporate quicker then normal, thus you body may not be able to cool itself down. SO DRINK, DRINK, DRINK -- Water not Alcohol... Save that for later when you are back at the house.

Animals, in the summer,  especially in the early mornings and late in the evenings, the animal will be out, so watch out for the possums, raccons, squirrals, dogs, deer and the bears.

And while riding at night in the summer, especially in the early to late evenings, there are lots of bugs flying.  Remember to keep you mouth shut.......

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Secure Your Luggage !!!

Summer Time is here and it is time to travel. If you are like me you love to travel on your motorcycle, either to the beach, to the mountains or to a distance rally.  Which means in most cases you have to pack extra cloths, rain gear and in most cases, just way to much stuff.  That means strapping on extra luggage, tail bags, roll bags, tents or whatever.

Make sure that your luggage is SECURE.  Make sure that in no way will it come loose.  This week one of our fellow riders was riding down the interstate with a roll bag strapped to the passengers back rest, sitting on the luggage rack. We have all done this right..

Well while travelling down the interstate the roll back came loose on one side, it fell off of the back of the motorcycle and rubbed up against the rear wheel. The rear wheel worn completely thought the leather roll bag, then it sucked out the clothes, pulling the bag and the clothes up into the rear fender and into the drive sprocket and belt, causing the rider to lose control and wreck on the interstate.  He was airlifted to a local hospital with head injuries, but I understand that he is doing well and should recover.

So when you strap on that luggage, check your straps, then double check then, and re-check then everytime you stop.

 

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SPRING Motorcycle Riding Tips

If you are a winter-weary motorcycle enthusiast, good news! Motorcycle season will soon be upon us and you'll soon be hitting the open roads on your favourite two-wheeler. After a long winter in extended storage, your bike will likely need some TLC.

Start the riding season right with the T-CLOCS inspection created by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. The following is a summary of their pre-ride inspection checklist that will help you get your bike ready to ride after a long few months of extreme cold and harsh conditions.

 

T - Tires and Wheels

 

  • Check the air pressure of your tires and inflate to the pressure specified in your owner's manual. Look for wear-and-tear on the treads, cracks, bulges or embedded objects.
  • Check your wheels for roundness, cracks and dents, and bent, broken or missing spokes.

 

C - Controls

 

  • Review the levers and pedals to make sure they're still lubricated, and adjusted and fitted properly. They should not be broken, bent, or cracked.
  • Inspect cables to make sure they are not frayed, kinked, or folded into sharp angles. Also, test to make sure your bike's cables at no time interfere with your ability to steer.
  • Check hoses for cuts, cracks, leaks, bulges, chafing or deterioration. Like cables, hoses should not interfere with your steering or suspension, and should not be folded into sharp angles.
  • Test that the throttle moves freely, does not stick and snaps closed when released.

 

L - Lights

 

  • If you removed your battery over the winter, install it-your owner's manual should tell you how. Check the battery to make sure the terminals are clean and tight, it's properly charged and secured. Check the vent tube to confirm it is not kinked or plugged, and is routed properly.
  • Look over the lenses on the bike to make sure they are not cracked or broken, are securely mounted and do not have excessive condensation trapped within.
  • Make sure the reflectors are not cracked, broken and are securely mounted.
  • Review the bike's headlamp for cracks. Confirm it points at the right height and direction. Test the operation of the high beam and low beam options.
  • Test the tail lamp and brake lights to make sure they work when they should, and they are not cracked. Clean and ensure they are properly secured.
  • Test both of the turn signals - left and right!

 

O- Oil and other fluids

 

  • Check the levels and quality of the engine oil, hypoid gear oil, shaft drive, hydraulic fluid, coolant and fuel. Replace or top-up fluids that need it.
  • Check for leaks of these same fluids.

 

C - Chassis

 

  • Review the condition of the frame, looking for lifting paint, cracks, or dents.
  • Make sure the front forks and rear shocks are properly adjusted.
  • Check the tension of the belt or chain. Lubricate the chain if needed, and inspect the teeth of the sprockets confirming they are not hooked and are properly mounted.
  • Replace broken or missing fasteners and tighten if loosened.

 

S- Stands

 

  • For both centre stands and side stands, make sure they are not cracked or bent and that it springs into place and has the required tension to hold the bike in position.

 

For more spring-ready tips, check your owner's manual. It's sure to have a checklist for getting your particular make and model of bike ready for a summer of riding after a long winter of inactivity. Also, don't be shy to take it into a professional for a spring tune-up if you are at all unsure or uncertain. It will be money well spent.

Now that you, or a professional, has inspected the bike to make sure it's ready for the coming riding season, let's not forget that your riding skills have not been practised in quite a few months. In fact, it's likely you're down right rusty (it's been a long winter after all.) Make your first ride a short one at low speeds. A test ride in a parking lot or around the block will give you an opportunity to get a feel again for the skills required to brake and manoeuvre a bike safely. You can even take a refresher course. After all if your bike needs a tune-up, wouldn't also the rider? There are courses designed specifically for the experienced rider that builds upon existing rider skills.

 

Finally, adjust your motorcycle insurance coverage.. Call us and let us review your coverage to make sure that you and your motorcycle is properly protected

 

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Fall Motorcycle Riding Tips
Hello Fellow Rider, Friend and Customers,

Well Fall is HERE, I don't know about you, but fall is on of my favorite times of the year for Motorcycle Riding. Living in WNC we have some of the best scenery in the county and it is starting right now. The leaves are starting to change, our mountains and roads provide the perfect canvas for these autumn colors, and natures artwork is often best viewed from a motorcycle.

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But Fall does present some unique challanges for those of us that ride. I have listed below some tips and hazards for Fall Motorcyle Riding.

1. It is Deer Season. As crops are harvested, farm equipment is running though the fields, this reduces the area that deer can forage. As hunter are in the woods, this can push the deer into different areas. It is also breeding season for deer, which causes them to be more active then any other time of the year. Typically deer movement will peak at dusk and dawn. Areas that you are most likley to encounter deer are where the woods or crops are close to the road.

Many experts say if you should encounter a deer in the road to remain calm, release the throttle, engage the clutch and squeeze BOTH the front and rear brake being careful not to lock up the tires. Many experts also say not to try to avoid the deer, but instead let the deer move out of your way. Trying to avoid the deer will confuse them and they will not know which direction to run, often increasing the odds of a collision.

Should you make contact with a deer or any other animal, and your motorcycle is damaged.. DO NOT clean or wash the motorcycle, leave the fur and hair on the motorcycle for the claims adjuster to see as this can make a difference in how you claim is coded. ( comp vs collision)

2. Leaves are Falling. When fall begins to set in, the falling leaves can present an unassuming hazard. Many people venture out to see the fall colors, presenting a couple of hazards. Drivers may be a little distracted and not paying attention to the road and further may not see you. Be sure to keep your distance from other vehicles. Also, as the leaves begin to accumulate on the roadway they can be very slick. Whether wet or dry, driving through stacks of leaves can reduce traction, making it difficult to stop. A simple reduction of speed and awareness can make all the difference. AND Remember when you are looking at the scenery, your motorcycle will travel in the direction inwhich you are looking, so don't look to long.

3. Frost. Fall in Western North Carolina brings variable weather conditions. Often midday temperatures may be warm and comfortable for motorcycle riding, while overnight temperatures may be near freezing. It becomes necessary to be cognizant of frost on the roadway in the early morning hours during the fall. Be sure to pay particular attention for frost on bridge decks or other elevated surfaces, railroad crossings, and in shady areas where the morning sun might not have melted the frost yet.

4. Ice. It’s a clear, sunny late fall day. The temperature is below freezing outside, but you have new warm riding gear and the roadways are clear, so you decide to take a ride on your motorcycle. Be sure to watch for ice on the roadways, even if there hasn’t been any rain or snow. Ice can form on the roads very quickly from a number of sources, such as fog, frost, a driver who pours an old cup of coffee or other beverage out the car window, or from leaking vehicle fluids and car exhaust to name a few. Pay attention for ice on the roadways in the center of the lane of traffic and on bridge decks over bodies of water. Also, pay particular attention near intersections. They are the most likely spot for people to pour out liquids and for other fluids to accumulate.

5. Wet Weather. If you ride your motorcycle as much as I do, you are going to get wet. I’m a big fan of the weather channel, but weather is what it is. Riding in the rain can be done safely if you follow a few simple rules. Keep rain gear with you if you have room. Riding while dry will keep you more comfortable and is less distracting. Keep a pair of clear glasses or wear a helmet shield of some type. Keeping the rain out of your eyes is imperative. Adjust your riding speed for the conditions. Keep in mind, when it rains for the first time after an extended dry period, there will be excessive amounts of oil on the road, making conditions extremely slick. Watch for standing water. Motorcycle tires by design are efficient at displacing water but are not exempt from hydroplaning. Remember water will pool in the normal vehicle tracks on the road and most roadways are crowned and, as such, water will be deeper on the right side of the road. Gear up, slow down, create distance, and stay focused.

6. Appropriate Clothing. Don’t get left in the cold. In the fall, temperatures can run the spectrum from warm to below freezing. In most cases, regardless of midday temperatures, the temperature will significantly drop once the sun starts to set. It’s always a good idea to keep cold weather gear with you just in case you get detained or ride longer than you anticipated. Riding while extremely cold can cause a number of distractions. The rider will begin to shiver, get stiff, or ride in an unorthodox position trying to pick up some engine heat. All of these distractions can reduce your ability to control the motorcycle safely, not to mention just being uncomfortable. It’s also a good idea to keep a pair of clear of glasses or a clear helmet shield for riding in low light conditions. You will want to treat them with some form of anti-fogging agent before riding in cold temperatures.

7. Hazard Awareness. Your nice, relaxing ride through the country should be fun, but don’t relax too much. When riding, you have to maintain a constant state of awareness. If you ride with the concept of trying to identify every hazard you see, there won’t be any surprises. When identifying or calling out hazards, there are no wrong answers. Call out everything: driveway, intersection, children, dogs, parked cars, oncoming line of cars behind a slow moving vehicle, blind curve, hillcrest, deer, gravel, construction, potholes, railroad crossing, etc. This exercise will help you prepare for something, but more importantly, it will force you to scan beyond your normal boundaries.


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