AMA’s 33 Secrets for Smart Touring

It is that time of year, touring season is upon us and there is nothing like loading up your bike and heading out on a long road trip across country with your fellow riders!  The next big thing is knowing that your safe and secure and ready for the road ahead.

The trial and error process of touring and remembering what wrong and what you can do better next time can take years, so our friends over at the American Motorcyclist Association have put together a short quick list of “33 Secrets for Smart Touring”.  These are tips and tricks for all motorcyclists out there that are getting ready for the touring season.

Feel free to check them out, we promise you’ll learn something:

  1. Eat at weird times. Everyone and their dog eats around 8 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. To get in and out of restaurants in a hurry, don’t be hungry then.
  2. A short metal cable with loops on both ends (like those made to keep people from stealing bicycle seats) is perfect for securing a jacket and helmet to your bike’s helmet lock.
  3. Carry a spare key. Hide it somewhere on your bike with a zip-tie or duct tape, or better yet, trade spare keys with a traveling companion.
  4. Portable weather radios are now in the $20 range, and the first time one saves you from running right into a massive storm, you’ll wonder why you ever traveled without one. Find one at accessory companies like Aerostich or Radio Shack.
  5. On high-mileage days, you’ll feel a lot better if you carry eyedrops and use them every time you stop for gas.
  6. If you’re nearing the end of your riding day and want to set yourself up for a quick getaway in the morning, consider riding to the far side of the next city you reach before you stop for the night, eliminating urban traffic the next morning.
  7. Take a tip from off-road riders: carry a backpack hydration system so you can drink while you ride. A must for arid weather.
  8. Going on a long, complex trip? Keep yourself organized with the envelope system. Before you leave, prepare one envelope for each day on the road. Mark the dates and locations on the outside, then stuff things like hotel reservation info and lists of things to see inside. Instead of juggling your entire stack of literature to find the information you need, you can just open up that day’s envelope.
  9. A simple map case attached to your bike’s tank (we’ve used a Rev-Pak version that has been available through www.whitehorsepress.com for years) can keep you on course without the bulk of a tankbag.
  10. Keep your stuff dry in saddlebags by using trash compactor bags as waterproof barriers. They’re thicker and more durable than standard garbage bags.
  11. Use earplugs to help reduce wind noise. You can get them from most mail-order shops or dealers, or in bulk from safety-equipment supply houses.
  12. Don’t forget that pack-and-ship places are just about everywhere these days. They’re perfect when you spot that antique umbrella stand you’re dying to buy hundreds of miles from home.
  13. Don’t forget a small towel or rag for wiping dew off seats, windshields and mirrors, and even for doing a quick whole-bike cleanup. Synthetic chamois cloths work particularly well.
  14. Pack extra bungees and zip-ties. ’Nuff said.
  15. Go ahead, buy that GPS you’ve always wanted. They’re perfect not only for finding yourself, but also for allowing you the freedom to get lost in the first place.
  16. You’ve heard it a million times, but we’ll say it again: look over your bike carefully every morning on the road. Checking the simple stuff—air pressure, oil level, loose or missing fasteners—can save you from big trouble.
  17. Sign up for AMA Roadside Assistance. To sign up, call the AMA at: (614) 856-1900.
  18. Stash a little hidden cash somewhere on the bike or on you, so you can make something happen when all else fails.
  19. Before you take off from the hotel or campground in the morning, double check every strap on tankbags or soft saddlebags, and every latch on hard luggage.
  20. Wear a dog-tag with your name and contact info, especially if you’re riding alone. You can get them lots of places, including your local army surplus store.
  21. Take a look back at where you were parked every time you leave someplace. You’d be amazed at what you find.
  22. A cellphone can be a lifesaver in an emergency. You can dial 911 for help anywhere you find cell service, but you’ll need to tell a dispatcher where you are. Keep track of route numbers, interstate exits, towns you’ve passed, mileposts—anything that can save emergency officials time in getting to you.
  23. Good motorcycle gear really is worth it. Waterproof, breathable linings in boots and jackets will transform the way you think about bad weather. A number of companies offer materials that work well, but always test your gear on a rainy day at home before facing a storm on the road.
  24. Do routine maintenance at home with your bike’s toolkit, so you’re sure you have what you need along the side of the road.
  25. On a long tour, plan for at least one day every week of doing nothing. Time is the ultimate luxury, and can mean the difference between a vacation and an endurance run.
  26. Be realistic with your daily mileage. In really scenic areas, 150 miles may make a very full day. Don’t assume you can achieve freeway mileage on good back roads.
  27. Guidebooks can be invaluable, but these days, an internet search can add spice to your trip by revealing special-interest locations most books fail to include. One of the sites we’ve used is www.roadsideamerica.com. World’s largest concrete bison, anyone?
  28. It is possible to use a kit to make emergency repairs on tubeless or tube-type tires alongside the road. But before you count on this as your safety net, practice using the kit on an old tire in your garage.
  29. A packable motorcycle cover not only keeps your bike clean and dry overnight, it also discourages thieves. And don’t forget a stout lock of some kind for the bike itself.
  30. If you can afford it and are short of time, you could always ship your bike somewhere cool and ride it back. Call the Federal Companies at (800) 747-4100, ext. 217 or 218, for details.
  31. If you call a hotel–even if you’re two blocks away–you can often get a better rate than if you just walk in. And if you have access to a computer, there are some spectacular Internet-only deals available these days. Either way, do yourself a favor and have a reservation by 4 p.m. You never know when a convention will take over your destination city. Remember that AMA members get a discount at several hotel chains including Choice Hotels (call 800-258-2847 or go to www.choicehotels.com, click on “Enter Special Rate ID” and use discount code 00947556) and Motel 6 (call 800-4-MOTEL6 or go to www.motel6.com and use discount code CP540176).
  32. A nap can do wonders on a long day.
  33. If you’re traveling east or west, schedule your breakfast or dinner times near sunrise or sunset so you don’t have to stare into the sun when it’s low on the horizon.

Where are YOU headed to next?!

Riverside Harley-Davidson Tattoo Marathon

Here at Riverside Harley-Davidson we decided to have a Friday the 13th Tattoo Marathon!  We had Vetoe and Archie from Zombie Tattoo come down and tattoo any customer who wanted a $13 lucky tattoo with a $7 good luck tip, or if they wanted to get a Riverside H-D one, it was on us!!  Lets just say it was definite hit!

From 2pm-7pm there was a line of 10-12 people deep throughout that time frame.  We were able to get pictures of some of the tattoos were done, but some we had missed!  Check out some of them below and i’ll fill you in on a little secret, we may be doing one again next time a Friday the 13th rolls around!

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**if you got a tattoo here and we missed a photo of it, please post it to our page or tag us in it!!

Daytona Bike Week

Daytona Beach Bike Week has been a tradition since January, 24th 1937 and since the inaugural running of the Daytona 200.  The very first race took place on a 3.2 stretch of beach and a road course, located South of Daytona Beach.  Ed Kertz was the very first winner of the Daytona Beach motorcycle race, he averaged about 73.34 mph.

The race was discontinued because of World War II but even though the event was “officially” called off, people and motorcycle enthusiast still showed up in Daytona Beach for an “unofficial” party called “Bike Week”.  In 1947 the famous motorcycle race resumed and was promoted by Bill France.  During that year the race featured a record 176 riders, local townsfolk were asked to open their homes to visiting motorcyclists because all the hotels and camping areas were filled to capacity.

Sometime after 1948, the rally began to take on a rugged edge, while the motorcycle races on the beach were organized the events surrounding the race were not.  After the 1986 event the relations between the town and the task force became organized and the magnitude of the event grew larger.

Today, Daytona Bike Week has been transformed into a 10-day festival that expands throughout Volusia County.  There are hundreds of events that motorcyclists can enjoy and Daytona Bike Week now welcomes hundreds of thousands visitors annually.

Ed Kertz the first winner of the Daytona Beach Motorcycle Race in 1937

Ed Kertz

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Bike Nights Are Back!

It is that time of year, bike night season is back and this season is going to bigger and better than ever!  We are going to have a little change this year that is different than last.  Riverside Harley-Davidsons Bike Nights will be on THURSDAYS instead of Fridays!  They will still be from 5pm-9pm and though the day changes our nights will still be filled with good food, $1 beers, live bands and tons of game and prizes!!

The Bike Night season will be kicking off THURSDAY, March 12th from 5pm-9pm at our March Mayhem Bike Night!!  We will be having the LIVE drawing to find out who the winner of our $2,015 giftcard is, a free throw tournament for someones chance to win a $100 RSHD giftcard, live classic rock music by Bodie and more surprises in store!

Just like last years season, you will have a chance to ENTER TO WIN A 2015 HARLEY-DAVIDSON.  We have yet to reveal which motorcycle exactly, so be sure to come down March 12th to find out and get your first raffle ticket of the season filled out! Which bike do you think we will be raffling off this year?!

West Coast Thunder Is Quickly Approaching

It is that time of year again! West Coast Thunder is right around the corner and will be rumbling through the streets of Riverside on May 25th 2015!  This will be West Coast Thunders 16th Anniversary and we hope you can be a part of it!

If this is your first time hearing about it or your first time taking part in the epic ride here is a little information about the ride!  Every year the street infront of Riverside Harley-Davidson is lined and packed with upwards of 7,500 motorcycles.  The streets begin to be blocked off at midnight the night before to make way for the ride to head from Riverside Harley-Davidson to the Riverside National Cemetery and then onto Soboba Casino.  Once reaching Soboba there is always a concert, vendors, food and more!  This years performance will be by non other than Big & Rich!!

All proceeds collected benefit the Riverside national Cemetery Support Committee, which in turn help build monuments and provide ancillary support resources for the Cemetery.

Please visit http://www.westcoastthunder.com to register for the ride! Registration has begun, so be sure to go get your spot in this historic ride!

If you missed out on last years ride, take a look at the picture below to see how many riders take part.

This photo may or may not do it justice.

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Mardi Gras Tradition – “Find the Baby!”

With our Mardi Gras Weekend fast approaching here this weekend we decided to dive into a little Mardi Gras tradition and find out what makes this tradition, a tradition for all New Orleanians!  This tradition is that of the infamous King Cakes!  This weekend on Saturday and Sunday we are actually going to have King Cakes, delivered straight from New Orleans here for all our customers to taste…and hopefully find the baby!! Curious as to what in the world we are talking about? And who in the heck would bake a plastic baby into a cake?!  Well continue reading and you will find out all about this tradition!!

First, lets start of with Epiphany, which is celebrated in all European countries, which marks the coming of the wise men who brought gifts to the Christ Child, it is celebrated throughout the world by exchanging gifts and feasting.  One of the most popular that is celebrated is the making of the “Kings Cake” which represents the three kings that brought gifts.  A plastic baby is baked inside the King Cake and the tradition is whoever receives the baby in their piece of cake must buy the next King Cake or throw the next party! The King Cakes are a cinnamon filled dough and is shaped in a hollow circle.  The cake is iced with a glazed topping with three colors: Purple (representing Justice), Green (representing Faith) and Gold (representing Power).  That is how King Cakes started, now I am sure you are asking, “Why in the world is a plastic baby baked inside?!”

Well, this tradition begins on Kings Day, at the start of Mardi Gras season.  It celebrated that the person who “got the baby!” is now seen as the King or Queen of the party being held!

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So be sure to come down this weekend, try out some King Cake, find the baby for your chance to be the King or Queen of our Mardi Gras party and get a $100 RSHD giftcard!! **for your safety please be sure to check for the baby before you eat the cake! We do not want any choking hazards!  It’s all about the fun!!

Steel Toe Tour

Some of us here at Riverside Harley-Davidson recently were able to go visit the Vehicle and Powertrain Operations Headquarters for Harley-Davidson in Kansas City, Missouri.  We were able to take the “Steel Toe Tour” which took us on a 2-hour behind the scenes look at what goes into building an American Legend, which we all know as a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle.

At the Kansas City location, these employees build and produce the Sportster®, Dyna®, Street™ and V-Rod® families of motorcycles along with select Softail® models.  During the Steel Toe Tour they took us behind the scenes onto the factory floor where we were able to see the fenders and fuel tanks being formed by sophisticated robotic welding technology.  We were able to see newly painted frames hanging on the line and were able to see the assembly line where motorcycles were put together starting from the frame all the way down to the completion of the bike.

Some things that we found interesting were the fact that only certain employees were allowed in the room where the fuel tanks were painted.  These employees were not allowed to wear make-up, cologne, certain kinds of deodorant because of the chemicals that could get onto the paint and damage the fresh coat.  We learned that each employee on the assembly line work in teams of 2 and only have about 3 minutes to put together their piece of the motorcycle.  Each motorcycle as it goes through the assembly line, has their “birth certificate” which is color coated based on the country the motorcycle will be getting shipped out to.  California of course is its, “own country” because of our admission laws.  All motorcycles built and produced in the Kansas City plant have already been purchased by a dealership and are ready to be displayed on showroom floors around the world.

Once they have a finished motorcycle there are specific employees that take them for a quick spin on there in-factory test run, if everything works properly, from the horn, headlight, down to the braking and engine it is ready to be packaged and shipped out to its designated Harley-Davidson dealer.  If there is something wrong it goes into the “Harley Hospital” where a mechanic goes over the bike with a fine tooth comb to make sure this bike is ready for customers.  They then place the bike with yellow dots on the parts where something went wrong and place them into the employee breakroom for 24 hours, here employees and managers can see which department dropped the ball that day.  Managers go through the bike and figure out how that department will not make that same mistake the following day.

Needless to say this was one of the coolest experiences a Harley enthusiast can check out.  Below are some of the photos that we took in the lobby of the building.  Unfortunately due to confidentially there were no pictures allowed to be taken in behind the scenes on the factory floor.  We encourage everyone that does get the chance to take this tour, to do it!

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Recap of our 2nd Annual Hawaiian Luau Weekend!

If you were unable to come to our 2nd Annual Hawaiian Luau Weekend and missed out on all of the fun we had and our incredible Island Show put on by Islanders Catering and Events, well here are some photos below to make you feel as if you were here!

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Thank you to everyone who came to our 2nd Annual Hawaiian Luau Weekend and If you missed out this year BE SURE to come next year!! We promise, it is always a good time!

Custom Bike Build

We brought the idea of the custom bike build to life in our dealership, on our showroom floor for the first time in November 2014.  Customers seemed to enjoy coming down and checking out what usually happens “behind the scenes” when customizing a bike.  We had customers come down, take a seat and ask our Master Technician questions about what exactly they were doing.  You may have been able to see that customized part you have been eyeing for months in person, on a bike just like yours or you may have been able to hear that exhaust system you’ve always wanted in real life before you decided to purchase it.

The past two bikes we have chosen were two of the biggest selling models from the touring family, the Street Glide Special and the Road Glide Special.  This time we went around to our employees and asked what bike they would like to see customized next.  The votes were tallied and we have decided to do a 2015 Dyna Street Bob!

Now, since we have decided on the bike, we would like to hear what some of our customers would like to see done to the bike!  What kind of customization would you do to the 2015 Street Bob?  Or, if you have already customized yours, feel free to share a photo of your bike.  Com’on…give us some ideas!

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2nd Annual Hawaiian Luau Party

With our big 2nd Annual Luau Event Weekend coming up here in just a few weeks, us here at the dealership are getting excited about it and want all of our customers to get excited too!  We wanted to take a look back at some of our favorite moments at last years Luau.  Between the $1 beers, free tropical drinks, free food AND a pig roast…we just don’t know how we are going to top it this time around!  (psst…keep reading for more details!)

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Be sure to come out January 23rd for our Aloha Bike Night to kick off our Hawaiian Luau Party!! We will be having free food, $1 beers, hula dancers and a Samoan Chief, along with island music! Also, our famous DICE ROLL is back!! This time, spell “HARLEY” and you could win the Road Glide Special we have been customizing on the showroom floor! It all continues all weekend with our Luau Event Weekend on Saturday and Sunday the 24th and 25th!

So come down and get your hula on and be sure to wear your best Hawaiian t-shirt and get lei’d!

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