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  1. Product Spotlight: Tunebug Helmet Sound Generator
    From Tread Life Installing speakers in a helmet often involves modifying the comfort liner or the protective EPS liner itself. Neither is an ideal solution, since the first method can affect the helmet's fit and the second its safety. A company called Tunebug has come up with what it believes is a better way?instead of putting speakers in your helmet, turn your helmet into a speaker.The Tunebug Shake connects to audio devices using Bluetooth, and the Vibe uses a standard 3.5mm plug. Both are designed to be attached to a helmet, the shell
  2. Incident At San Jose
    From Tread Life I?ve always had an aversion to watching races from the grandstands, and in my youth I was adept at finding ways to get into the infield and take the kind of photos I just couldn?t get from the nosebleed seats.On July 7, 1974, I had weaseled my way into the San Jose Mile and was standing outside turn three, behind the waist-high wooden rail fence that along with a row of moldy haybales was the state of the art in track safety. Turn three was a great place to shoot.
  3. Harley of the Future?
    From Tread Life There isn?t much to be cheerful about in Milwaukee these days. Harley?s sales are down, its stock is weak, and judging by the introduction of the new Fat Boy Lo (that?s not a typo), things are so tough the company is even cutting back on silent letters.But this ought to get them laughing at H-D. It?s concept bike by designer Miguel Cotto, who has the foresight/chutzpah to suggest this might be what Harleys look like in 2020. It has hubless wheels, and presumably some sort of suspension, although none is
  4. Flashback Friday
    From Tread Life In late 1974 or early 1975, Erv Kanemoto?who went on to tune for Freddie Spencer, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Gardner, and others?slid a 750cc Kawasaki H2 three-cylinder two-stroke engine into a Champion frame in an attempt to poke a finger in the eye of Harley-Davidson, whose XR750 was nearly unbeatable in AMA Class C dirt-track racing. Kanemoto built two bikes, one for Don Castro and another for Scott Brelsford.In this photo he?s jetting the carbs on one of the bikes at the San Jose Mile in, I think, 1975*?I wasn?t big
  5. A Re-Volting Idea
    From Tread Life This is the Roehr eSuperbike. It makes a claimed 96 horsepower and 210 foot-pounds of torque. It also doesn't exist yet, although Roehr says it will by the middle of this year.It seems like everyone's talking about electric motorcycles, but few people are talking about the big problem with them, which is long recharge times. No one wants a bike they can ride for 100 miles and then have to park and plug in for the next 12 hours.I think I've figured out how to get around this. I doubt
  6. Product Spotlight: Lee Parks DeerSports PCi Gloves
    From Tread Life I prefer heated grips over heated gloves because I don't have to string cords through my sleeves every time I go for a ride or stop and take my jacket off. Also, I can wear thinner gloves and still have warm hands. But when it gets colder, I have to switch to heavy gloves to keep the backs of my hands warm. Heavy gloves, however, usually have insulated palms that partially block the grips' heat. What I really need is a glove with more more insulation on the back than
  7. Product Spotlight: Aerostich Electric Warmbib
    From Tread Life Heated riding gear can't be beat in the winter, but if you ride a bike with limited alternator output, a typical electric vest can put a strain on your electrical system that could leave you with a dead battery when you need the spark the most. The Electric Warmbib from Aerostich covers just the front of your torso, and draws a mere 30 watts/2.5 amps, which should be well below the maximum juice available from even a single-cylinder dual-sport. It packs small in a built-in zippered pouch, and comes in
  8. Inside Lines: Drivers To Become Even More Distracted
    From Tread Life We motorcyclists are already familiar with the consequences of driving while using a cell phone, or texting, or applying makeup, or eating, or fooling with the sat-nav. The most worrisome consequence involves becoming a hood ornament on the cars being driven by people engaged in one or more of those activities. While the government is trying to make the public aware of the downside of DWD, car manufacturers are hell-bent on offering more attention-diluting features in their new models. Jalopnik, a very fine and refreshingly snarky website for car (and
  9. Tread Life Is Making A Pit Stop
    From Tread Life It?s been a year and a few days since I tripped and fell face-first into the blogosphere. Before then, I wouldn?t have used the word blogosphere; now I have a summer house there.I started this blog because the market in the print media for my kind of work is shrinking. I?ve already written about how the very medium through which you?re reading this is largely responsible for that, so I won?t try to reanimate the dead horse. Suffice it to say I have seen the future, and is it virtual.Tread
  10. Why Are Motorcycles So Hard To Work On?
    From Tread Life I drove into town this afternoon to the Honda shop to pick up a bottle of coolant so I can finally put the V-Strom back together after the Great Valve-Adjustment Fiasco of ?09. While I was there I went around back to talk to the mechanic, who has done all of the work on my bike that I haven?t done myself, despite him working for a Honda shop and me riding a Suzuki.He was sitting on a stool beside a lift on which sat the filthiest old quad I?ve ever
  11. Motorcycling Lessons Learned
    From Tread Life On one of the forums I visit now and then, someone started a thread by asking for responses to the question, ?How old are you and how has your riding changed, or has it??I jotted down a few things that came to mind right away, then the more I thought about it, the longer the list got. This was my answer:I'm 57 (for a couple of months more), and I?ve been riding for 41 of those years.Yes, my riding has changed.I no longer ride at night.I no longer have to
  12. Lord of the Ring-Dings: Return of the King
    From Tread Life No Elves or Orcs in this version, but a Wizard does battle with a shrieking, fearsome, and deadly fast four-cylinder beast from his past.
  13. Inside Lines: Loud Pipes Equal Terrorism?
    From Tread Life "'Instead of honoring noise terrorism, our representatives should protect us from the awful noise of Harley riders,' said George Atwood, a Noise Free America member from Milton, Wis."Here inside the spacious Tread Life compound, the roar of Harleys on the highway down the hill can be heard clearly, and loudly, and often. It's annoying as hell, it turns the non-riding public against all the motorcyclists who don't have crippling inferiority complexes, and there's no real excuse for grown men and women to behave like a pack of five-year-olds whose clueless
  14. Alex Zanardi, Roll Model
    From Tread Life On September 15, 2001, Alex Zanardi, a veteran Formula 1 and Champ Car driver, was merging onto the track after leaving the pits late in a race at the EuroSpeedway Lausitz in Germany when his car spun and veered onto the racing line. The car driven by Alex Tagliani T-boned Zanardi?s car, splitting it in half and severing both of Zanardi?s legs above the knee.After a long recovery, Zanardi continued to compete in cars specially equipped with hand controls until the end of the 2009 World Touring Car Championship season,
  15. Reevu Helmet: Eyes In The Back Of Your Head
    From Tread Life With the stock mirrors on most bikes falling somewhere between marginal and useless, seeing what's going on behind you is a challenge. Here's the most promising take on increasing rearward vision on a bike since the Visor-Vu. Read more about it here.
  16. V-Strom Valve Adjustment: Welcome To My Nightmare
    From Tread Life I make it a habit to do all the work I can on my bike using only the tools in the toolkit. If there?s a routine job I need to do that requires a tool I don?t have, I buy the tool and add it to the kit.Some jobs, however, render that plan impractical. For example, I?m in the middle of a valve adjustment on my V-Strom. By ?in the middle? I mean I just completed the rear cylinder, and am ready to tackle the front one tomorrow.To do this
  17. Speed in Super Slow Motion
    From Tread Life The problem with speed is it happens so fast you can't see how neat it really looks. This video shows cars and bikes going really fast, really slowly. Nice soundtrack, too.
  18. Harry Hurt, 1927-2009
    From Tread Life "He was a bulldog at finding the facts and making them public even if some people were unhappy when the facts he reported didn't support their pet theories."Read more here.
  19. A Lifeline for Buell?
    From Tread Life From a press release dated November 20:ERIK BUELL ESTABLISHES ERIK BUELL RACINGNew Venture Will Build Buell 1125R-based Racing Motorcycles and Supply PartsMilwaukee, Wis. (November 20, 2009) - Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE:HOG) announced today that following the company?s recent decision to discontinue the Buell motorcycle product line, Erik Buell, Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of Buell Motorcycle Company, will leave the company to establish Erik Buell Racing, an independent motorcycle race shop.Erik Buell Racing will specialize in the supply of race-use-only Buell motorcycle parts and race preparation services for engines and motorcycles,
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