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All posts by Clint Lawrence

6 Tips for Helping Drivers, Motorcyclists and Bicyclists Get Along

Rider Insider

Danny Reyes

Danny Reyes, Shipping Specialist, rider advocate, Angels fan and tailgate warrior. [email protected]

 

 

Sharing the Road: 6 Tips for Helping Drivers, Motorcyclists and Bicyclists Get Along

We all know that sharing is caring, but sometimes sharing the road can feel like learning to share your toys in kindergarten all over again. There’s often no love lost between drivers, motorcyclists and bicyclists, and thousands of lives are lost each year to traffic accidents involving bicycles and motorcycles.

Clearly, awareness and caution need to increase on all fronts so that vehicles of all types can share the road. How can we make America’s roads kinder and gentler for cars, motorcycles and bicycles alike? It’ll take a lot of understanding and patience, but it can be done—and these six tips will help us get there.scooter sharing road

  1. Put down the phone.

 The age of the smartphone has put us in a permanent state of distraction, even when driving. That just won’t do when you’re on the road, no matter what kind of vehicle you’re operating. The answer is to put down the phone and concentrate on the road.

If you really have to take a call or adjust your GPS, voice commands and Bluetooth headsets can help you do it without taking your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel. For motorcyclists, a motorcycle headset communicator allows you to answer calls and change music using a voice activated Bluetooth helmet intercom so you can keep your hands on the bars where they belong. 

  1. Follow the rules.

This one sounds like it should be incredibly obvious, but we all know that there are plenty of folks on the road who think the rules don’t apply to them. If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us can even admit that we are those people sometimes, so a better road starts with everyone making a commitment to play by the rules.

Traffic laws can be annoying, but they exist for everyone’s safety. So, don’t take them lightly and remember that the rules of the road apply to everyone, including bicyclists and motorcyclists. You can start by making sure you come to a complete stop at stop signs, obeying speed limits and slowing down to stop at yellow lights rather than gunning it to beat the red.

It can be particularly tempting for bicyclists to break or bend these rules, but when a bicycle is on a road designed for cars, it needs to operate according to the state’s rules of the road for bicycles. For their part, cars also need to respect bike lanes and not use them as passing or turn lanes. 

  1. Watch for pedestrians.

Drivers, motorcyclists and bicyclists all have at least one thing in common: They can seriously injure or kill pedestrians if they’re not careful. That’s why it’s so incredibly important to pay close attention to crosswalks and other pedestrian safety features and to watch for pedestrians at all times when you’re operating a vehicle.

Keep in mind that pedestrians won’t always follow the rules, such as crossing at designated crosswalks. While it’s certainly annoying to have to stop for someone who’s jaywalking, the fact that you’re driving the larger, faster and heavier vehicle puts the onus on you to look out for pedestrians even when they disobey the rules.motorcycle sharing road autos

  1. Maintain awareness in challenging conditions.

 There are many sources of distraction that have nothing to do with smartphones, including plain, old-fashioned inattentive carelessness, and they’re the source of many accidents. The following situations all demand particular care to avoid getting into an accident:

  • Opening a car door into traffic
  • Operating your vehicle in heavy traffic
  • Maneuvering around large vehicles such as tractor-trailers
  • Operating your vehicle in rain, snow or other adverse weather conditions

These are also the times when it’s most important to pay attention to other types of vehicles on the road and remember that other types of vehicles may need to deal with these conditions in different ways than you do. Car drivers, in particular, may want to temporarily turn off the radio and ask passengers to hold their conversation until they’re comfortable again. 

  1. Don’t let road rage get the better of you. 

Never challenge an aggressive driver on the road in any way. The moment you start to escalate the situation, you make it far more dangerous for yourself and everyone else on the road. You never know what an aggressive driver’s mental state might be or how they might respond to your actions, so don’t return any rude gestures, follow them or make eye contact.

If someone is driving in a threatening manner toward you, such as repeatedly tailgating you or pulling up next to you and gesturing, try to move away from them as quickly as you safely can. If they continue, pull over in the nearest crowded public place that you can find and call 911. 

  1. Be predictable and signal your intentions. 

Nobody likes a surprise when they’re on the road. No matter whether you’re piloting a car, truck, motorcycle or bicycle, the best course of action is to be as predictable as possible and to let people know what you’re doing well in advance.

The simple and easy act of using your turn signals will make everyone’s experience considerably safer and more pleasant, and bicyclists should learn to use bicycle hand signals to communicate their intentions. In general, it’s always best to avoid erratic behavior like suddenly changing lanes or accelerating or decelerating out of nowhere. Bikes and motorbikes will sometimes have no choice but to weave to avoid obstacles, but it should be avoided whenever possible. 

Best practices on the road can be a little bit different depending on what kind of vehicle you’re operating, but there are a few common principles that apply to everyone: respect, empathy, tolerance and caution. Base your actions on these principles when you’re on the road and you’ll be doing your part to create the culture of compassion we all need.

 

 

Your Motorcycle Wants To Ride Hawaii, Too

Posted By

Matt Ellis

Matt Ellis, Motorcycle Shippers Brand Ambassador. Armed with a laptop and camera, he can be often be found at the race track with friends and family. Motorcycle Shippers

 

 
So you’re planning a trip to Hawaii? The beauty, the culture, the twisty roads with scenery unmatched anywhere … you can’t wait to experience this with your spouse, but don’t you think your bike would like to enjoy it, too?

Sure, you could fly to paradise and rent a bike to see the yellow hibiscus in full bloom, or hear the call of the nēnē, but what would that be like? Rattling around on a clapped-out, underpowered, two-wheeled equivalent of some bad carnival ride, trying to find position in the uncomfortable cheek-indention of the last 100 riders?

No. You love riding. You love your bike. And let’s face it … you’d love to ride your bike in Hawaii.

Fortunately, we can make that possibility a reality!

We know that you’re a great rider, but building enough speed to hydroplane the Pacific is pretty unlikely and the chances of actually jumping a shark like Fonzie are slim, so we’ve created an easy means of shipping your motorcycle straight to Honolulu, so that your bike will be there waiting when you arrive!

Our 3-step process is easier than getting yourself to the islands, (and you don’t have to wait in lines). Simply give us a call, toll-free, at 1-800-730-3151 and we’ll give you an all-inclusive quote for getting your bike safely to the Aloha State. Then, when you’re ready to send her, we pick up the bike at your door pop up motorcycle crate wrapped readyand take it all the way to the port in Honolulu. Yep, it’s that easy!

 

The Process

We’re riders, too. We love our bikes and we know you love yours … after all, you’re taking it on a Hawaiian vacation!

With this in mind, we created our patented Pop-Up Crate that provides a Perimeter of Protection® and includes soft straps, to keep your ride safe during transport. We ship the ultra-lightweight, (just 120-pounds), crate ahead of time, so that you can secure your bike with your own, personal touch of care.

Once your bike is safely tucked-in, our team arrives with a specially-equipped, air-ride transport truck that is fitted with a motorcycle-friendly lift-gate to give your motorcycle a first-class lift to paradise!

We’ll transport your steed to the port in So-Cal, then further protect her within a fully-enclosed steel crate and load that into a steel shipping container so she can safely enjoy her cruise to Hawaii! (Okay, it’s a cargo ship, not a cruise line. Admittedly there won’t be any sunbathing or shuffleboard, but your bike will be very-well protected against the harsh elements while on board).

 

And Now, To Ride …motorcycle riding hawaii

 That’s it! The entire process takes roughly 25-days and you’ll enjoy a lifetime of memories with the wind in your hair as you take in some of the most breathtaking scenery this planet has to offer, while riding your motorcycle through Hawaii!

While there, you might consider one of the many options for island-to-island transport so that you can ride out to see the best scenery! There are a few spots we’d definitely recommend visiting throughout the state …

Be sure to check our Waimea Canyon, also known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” This beautiful gorge is over 10-miles long, 3,600 feet deep and it’s covered with lush greenery! There’s plenty of opportunity for hiking and off-saddle sight-seeing, so bring a picnic lunch and your hiking gear! Part of the Koke’e State Park, there are lots of things to see and do, including the Pu’u Hinahina Lookout that will leave you mesmerized! Oh, and don’t forget your camera!

If you get out to the Garden Isle of Kauai, you’ve gotta check out two spots that will forever remain etched in your memory and call you back again. Ke’e Beach has an amazing view of the virgin wilderness of the Na Pali coast and is teeming with wildlife – both on shore and beneath the waters! This is also the entrance to the Kalalua Trail, which is 11-miles of the most beautiful, (and most dangerous), hiking in the world, so be prepared to be adventurous, but use caution!

Also on Kauai, you’ll find some of the most beautiful waterfalls anywhere in the galaxy. (Well, at least on this planet). For those old enough to remember Herve Villechaize’s character “Tattoo” yelling out, “De Plane, boss! De Plaaaaane!” at the beginning of the 1970’s TV Show Fantasy Island, you’ll instantly recognize Wailua Falls. This majestic waterfall is a 173 foot high cascade located on the South Fork of the Wailua River near Lihue. With walking trails leading to the pool at the base, this fall was used for generations of Hawaiian natives as a death-defying leap to prove their transition into manhood. (Some still do, although it’s illegal, so we don’t recommend it!)

And, of course, a trip to Kauai isn’t complete without reliving the opening of the 1993 Steven Spielberg hit movie Jurassic Park by visiting Manawaiopuna Falls in the Hanapepe Valley. Granted, this is a privately-owned fall, so unless you’re tight with the owners, (check your contacts list!), you won’t be able to splash around in its waters, but this 400-foot tall fall that was featured in many shots of the classic dino movie is a heart-stopping sight from many places throughout the valley!

And, should you decide to splurge on one of the many available helicopter tours on Kauai, you’ll experience this fall like nothing else! With at least one of these tours, you hear the recognizable movie soundtrack begin to play in your headphones as you slowly fly over the edge of the fall and descend next to it’s 400-foot shower, experiencing the arrival to Jurassic Park first-hand, just as Jeff Goldblum did in the movie! (Sadly, your motorcycle will have to remain parked at the heliport pad).hawaii botanical garden

Lastly in this very abbreviated list of Hawaii “Must-Sees,” there’s really no point in taking your bike to the isle of Maui, if not to experience what National Geographic referred to as a Drive [Ride] of a Lifetime on the Road to Hana. Make sure you top-off the tank first, because you’re about to experience over 50-miles of breathtaking scenery; wind through more than 600 twists and turns; and cross close to 60 bridges; all of it packed with waterfalls, exotic wildlife & flora and amazing views of the Pacific whispering with her waves at every corner!

And while you ride this amazing stretch of wonder, be sure to save time for a few stops along the way. Grab some fresh pineapple or other locally-grown indigenous fruits at the Twin Falls Maui Farm Stand before walking out to witness the Twin Falls Maui Waterfall. Stop at the Garden of Eden Arboretum & Botanical Gardens to feel even more of Jurassic Park, seeing the setting for much of the movie’s backdrop, (but watch out for the T-Rex … we hear she can be rather cranky). Honomanu Bay is also a must as you let the ocean’s gentle waves pull the sand from between your toes and, if waterfalls are your thing, make sure you stop at both the Upper Waikani Falls and Hanawi Falls to get the most of your adventure in paradise!

Back to the Grind

Don’t worry, you don’t need to sell off your motorcycle in Hawaii! Just bring it back to the port at the end of your Hawaiian adventure, load her back into your Pop-Up Crate and we’ll do the rest!

Rules and Stuff

There is, of course, a size restriction for motorcycles shipped to Hawaii. As long as your bike is a maximum of 90” long X 50” Tall X 31” wide, she’ll fit just fine, but please measure your bike prior to booking your order. (There is an additional charge for oversized bikes, just contact us for more info).

Your bike will remain fully-crated throughout her journey to the islands for your protection, AND we provide $7,000 of zero-deductible valuation coverage with every shipment. (If you’ve got one of those high-dollar custom rides, you can also purchase additional coverage for just $7 per $1,000 valuation). How’s that for peace of mind!

The pick-up address of origin must be tractor-trailer accessible, but if you live on a really tight street, or in a treehouse or something, you can always drop off your bike at one of our terminals for shipment, or have it shipped from a friend’s house or even meet us at a business location, (uh, a business you own or work at – or at least have permission in advance, otherwise things can get a little awkward).

The entire process to Hawaii takes about 25-days, so be sure to call us in plenty of time and give your bike an extra hug before she leaves. She’ll miss you, but considering the destination … well, let’s just say it’s more than worth the wait!

Plus, when all is said and done, the Pop-Up Crate is yours to keep to use for a future shipment! I mean, once you take your bike on a Hawaiian vacation, it’ll never let you go anywhere without it again. But then, that’s what we’re here for.

The Top Motorcycle Technology at CES 2020 [Video]

Posted By

Clint Lawrence

Clint Lawrence, founder of Motorcycle Shippers. Helping give riders more freedom to enjoy the bikes they love. [email protected]

 

 


Motorcycle safety. Electric motorcycles galore. “Smart” helmets with features you never knew you needed. As usual, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 was filled with thousands of innovative products—more than a few geared toward riders. Whereas CES 2019 was just starting to whet our appetites for electric motorcycles and connected rides, this year’s brands went “all in” to elevate the riding experience—or complicate it, depending on where you fall in the “tech enthusiast” spectrum. We love to follow the innovation  and took a couple photos while were there.


Whether you’re one of the 176,000 people who flocked to Vegas for CES 2020 or a rider who wants to stay up to date on new motorcycle technologies, here’s our list of the top motorcycle innovations from this year’s biggest consumer tech show.
Already a leader internationally in the electric scooter market, NIU made a show of force at CES 2020 with the debut of its first electric motorcycle. With two removable Panasonic batteries totaling 6.5 kWh, a range of 80 miles and a top speed of 100 miles per hour, this urban commuter bike is already being hailed as the future of motorcycles. But does it live up to all the hype?

In terms of technology, the Niu RQi-GT doesn’t disappoint. This e-motorcycle comes equipped with 5G IoT connectivity and a full TFT dashboard display. Its Bluetooth and GPS connectivity gives it a leg up in the anti-theft department. The Niu RQi-GT also comes with a slick app that allows riders to track diagnostics in near-real time, lock and unlock their motorcycle, and access customer support on the go.

It’s too soon to tell whether the RQi-GT will get a major U.S. release. But given its press at CES—and the presence of NIU’s electric mopeds in key U.S. markets—we won’t be surprised to see this electric motorcycle hitting headlines long after the CES buzz wears off.

Segway-Ninebot Apex

Yes, we’re talking about that Segway. Despite the company’s reputation for awkward tourist transportation, it has invested big in electric vehicles under the leadership of Ninebot. One result of the acquisition? The Apex line, which includes an e-motorcycle that can reportedly go from 0 to 100 in just 2.9 seconds.

Generally speaking, the Apex line garnered a lot less buzz than the company’s new self-balancing electric wheelchair. Journalists report that the S-Pod was a ton of fun to ride—that is, until it crashed into a wall.

Damon HyperSport

Elsewhere in CES’ electric motorcycle land, the Damon HyperSport was busy stealing the show. There’s  a reason why the motorcycle took home the show’s Best in Innovation Award: its 360 degree advanced warning system alerts riders of danger through integrated LEDs on the windshield, the handlebars and an “always on” rearview camera. Riders can switch from “sport” to “commuter” mode with the push of a button—making the HyperSport ready to tackle both stop-and-go traffic and the high-speed open road.

Oh, and it’s not too bad in the maneuverability department, either. With 200 horsepower and 0 to 60 mph in less than three seconds, the Damon HyperSport is one seriously powerful electric motorcycle. It gets a 200-mile range on one charge.

Still have an appetite for more CES motorcycle products? Check out the NAWA Racer, an electric motorcycle that boasts the world’s first “hybrid” battery system, and the Invoxia Anti-Theft Tracker, which riders are already using extensively over in Europe.

Pop-Up Motorcycle Crate Saves Time and Money [Video]

Posted By

Matt Ellis

Matt Ellis, Motorcycle Shippers Brand Ambassador. Armed with a laptop and camera, he can be often be found at the race track with friends and family. Motorcycle Shippers

 

 

The Perfect Gift For the Love of Your Life

Well, Valentine’s Day is upon us and you’re once again searching for that perfect gift for your sweetheart? You’ve looked at the jewelers, the florists, even travel agencies, but nothing feels exactly right?

Ahhh, it’s an age-old dilemma shared by both men and women. You want something that they’ll appreciate, but at the same time, roses wither and die, diamonds leave you in the poor house and gift cards are … well, let’s just say that they aren’t scoring you any real points.

Fortunately for you, we at have the perfect solution!

Pop-Up motorcycle crate assembled before wrapping

Pop-Up motorcycle crate assembled before wrapping

The Pop-Up® Motorcycle Crate!

That’s right! You don’t have to be planning a shipment; you can purchase our patented Pop-Up® Crate anytime and have it delivered right to your garage door!

And, if you think about it, it’s the perfect Valentine’s gift! There’s no better way to protect and transport your true love; whether you’re taking her to the track or shipping her across the country! (And, it’s a must-have for dealers, collectors, moving companies and trade show vendors!)

Each crate is designed to let you safely transport your heartthrob in First Class fashion at Coach prices! With an assembled size of 90” Long  X 31” Wide X 50” Tall, most bikes will fit comfortably and snugly. Sure, some big bikes might have to shed their mirrors or bars for the trip, (but then, we could all lose a few pounds). And, since size definitely matters – in freight, at least – we’ve designed this crate to keep shipping costs as low as possible, no matter where you’re off to!

Pop-Up Motorcycle Crate Collapsed

Pop-Up motorcycle crate collapsed

We also help keep your garage clean, since our crate folds down to a mere 9” high, allowing you to easily store it in a closet, under a workbench, against a wall, in the rafters or even under your bed! (Hey, you never know).

As if that’s not enough, each crate also comes with 6 Soft Cinch® Tie Downs, which is like giving yourself a Valentine’s gift, too!

Each strap combines the ease of a ratchet strap with the safety of a soft loop that allows strategic strapping in tight areas. The self-tightening soft loop squeezes firmly to help reduce movement during the bumpiest of rides and the Grade A, extra soft, premium nylon helps to protect your bike’s fragile finishes.

2 Soft Cinch Motorcycle Tie Downs

Soft Cinch Motorcycle Tie Downs

With a 5’6” overall length and 4,500 lb. test nylon webbing; 1” wide heavy-duty ratchet; 800 lb. rated assembly and 1,000 lb. hook rating, you’ll be able to use these high-quality, bike-protecting straps for safely securing your ride to our crate, as well as when open-hauling in pickups, trailers, horse-drawn wagons or however you want! You can even use them to haul around other high-value items, like the safes full of cash that you’ll be saving by using our crate for your next shipment!

Each Pop-up® Motorcycle Crate includes 8 anchor points to easily secure your two-wheeled soulmate for safe transport. They’re made of sturdy, steel construction; yet amazingly-lightweight – only 120 lbs.! And, the crate is quick to assemble, (just pop it up), easy to store, re-usable and it will expedite shipment when you’re ready to take your baby with you to ride at Bike Week, Sturgis, or even a move across the country!

And for even more value-added benefits, you can put a piece of plywood on top to use as a workbench; drape it with a blanket to make a handy fort for the kiddos; or, easily pop-it-up to support a coffin for your Halloween display! Add a glass top and it can even double as a rather nice sofa back or entryway table! That’s right, our crates are multi-talented!

Plus, with FREE shipping to your door anywhere in the US, this is one gift that even your spouse won’t complain about! (Of course, they might be jealous if you don’t get them an equally-cool Valentine’s gift!)

For one, surprisingly low price, you’ll get …

  • Our patented, 90” X 31″ X 50” Pop-Up® Motorcycle Crate
    • Sturdy, steel construction that folds down to just 9” high!
    • Comes with 8 tie-down anchor points to ensure that you have just the right place to attach ties to keep your bike safe during transport.
    • Fits many motorcycles without bar removal and keeps shipping costs to a minimum!
  • 6 Soft-Cinch® brand Holding Straps
    • 5’ 6” overall length
    • 4,500 lb. test super-soft Nylon Webbing!
    • 1” wide Heavy-Duty Ratchet with 800 lb. Rated Assembly
  • FREE Shipping to your door, anywhere in the U.S.

Order your Pop-Up® Motorcycle Crate, today. Trust us, your bike will appreciate this way more than a box of chocolates!

9 out of 10 Riders Prefer Riding over Waiting for their Bike

Posted By

Matt Ellis

Matt Ellis, Motorcycle Shippers Brand Ambassador. Armed with a laptop and camera, he can be often be found at the race track with friends and family. Motorcycle Shippers

 

 

9 OUT OF 10 RIDERS PREFER RIDING THEIR BIKE AS OPPOSED TO WAITING FOR IT TO ARRIVE VIA SHIPPER

Okay, truth be told, we didn’t really survey any riders about this. We didn’t have to, since we’re confident that the real numbers would be 10 out of 10. Would you really want to ride with the guy whose answer was, “waiting?” (He’s probably that one dentist that didn’t recommend sugarless gum in the old TV commercials).

The fact is, we’re riders, too. And while our business is shipping motorcycles, we know that our service isn’t the part of your riding trip that you look forward to. What we offer isn’t part of the fun – it’s the necessary step leading to the fun. What you want from us is a fast motorcycle shipping, a reliable service that is easy to use and ensures that your bike is there to ride when you arrive at your alternate location.

Not long ago, we we thinking about the process of shipping motorcycles; both from our point of view as your shipper, as well as from your perspective as our customer. We realized that the industry requirements left us both with some challenges and that’s when we came up with an idea to add on option to our standard solution and take the head-scratching process of properly protecting your motorcycle during shipment off of your shoulders. In the process, we realized that this would cut transport times by more than half and ensure exact, all-inclusive quoting without any add-on fees! Make way for our new..

7-Day Motorcycle Shipping Service!


The Crate …

What we designed is called the Pop-Up® Crate. It’s basically something from a Transformers movie – a sturdy motorcycle shipping crate that comes to you folded down flat. You simply raise the sides, push your motorcycle inside and secure it, (using the included 3 sets of Soft Cinch tie downs!), then call us to pick it up! 7-days (or less) later, your motorcycle arrives at it’s destination and you can take off on a new adventure! It really is that easy!

Sure, there’re a few stipulations. For one, you’ll need to have a quarter-tank or less of fuel, which of course means another excuse to go riding! (“Sorry honey, I have to run another quarter tank out of the bike!”)

But hey, we’ve eliminated the need for you to worry about shipping an uncrated bike, or playing engineer to build your own crate out of whatever wood you’ve got lying around the garage.

Plus, there’s just something fun about un-crating your motorcycle when it arrives. It’s like unwrapping a present and let’s face it … we all love unwrapping presents! Oh wait.. there’s more.. you get to keep the crate for future use ($490.00) value. Save it for your next move, store your bike in it for the winter, or make give man’s best friend a new home, it’s your decision.

The Quote …

As I mentioned, this new Pop-Up® Crate has also enabled us to streamline the quoting process, since everyone’s bike meets the same standards and dimensions. That means that we can quickly supply you with a shipping rate for your motorcycle that is not only very attractive, but also includes all the extra stuff that you can get hit with out there.

No worrying about surprise “Residential Delivery” fees, unexpected “Fuel Surcharges,” “Lift Gate” fees or other sneaky stuff! We’ll provide you with a reliable, competitive quote that will be the same amount on the day we estimate it, as the day we deliver your ride!

 

The Peace of Mind …

Finally, there’s the peace of mind in knowing that your bike is shipping in a well-designed crate, protected from damage, as well as against damage, should anything actually happen to it! With our 7-Day Service, we include up to $7,000.00 of valuation coverage with ZERO DEDUCTIBLE at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE!

“But my bike is custom! 7-grand barely covers one tire!”

Well, that’s fine, too! We cover the first $7,000.00 with your 7-day transport quote and you can purchase additional coverage for just $7 per $1,000 of additional valuation! So, even if you’re riding a solid gold, diamond-encrusted full-dresser inlayed with Mom’s collection of your baby teeth, there will still be valuation coverage available to protect that. (That is, assuming you can place a monetary value on your baby teeth).

 

Planning a Safe Motorcycle Group Ride: Your 2020 Guide

Posted By

Danny Reyes

Danny Reyes, Shipping Specialist, rider advocate and Angels fan. [email protected]

 

 

8 Things to Keep in Mind When Planning Your Next Big Ride

Group riding is some of the most fun motorcycle enthusiasts can have together. Taking a typically solitary activity and making it communal can completely change the way you experience your bike and the wide, open road. And if you’ve been in the game for a while, you already know that few things in life are quite as enjoyable as talking bikes with your fellow riders. But, whether it’s a two-man haul across the country or a charity rally across town, the rules are a bit different when riding as a pack. Here are some key things you need to keep in mind when you’re joining a group.

  1. Communicating Can Be Challenging—Sending a message from one rider to the next is one of the most valuable components of group riding. You’ll be able to alert one another to what’s ahead, whether that be a traffic jam, a thunderstorm or a hazard in the roadway. Those old-school hand signals are still important to know, but it’s not enough to rely on them when you want to report to your lead rider from the core of the pack. One of the best ways to stay in touch with other bikers is to invest in a motorcycle intercom system so you can talk to one another as you ride.
  2. You Need to Have a Plan Upfront—Don’t just show up in a parking lot with a bunch of your buddies and throw together a big group ride. You need to plan out a route beforehand and, depending on the size of your group, maybe even let the local authorities know. On an individual level, make sure to show up to any rally raring to go. That means you’ve got a full tank of gas and a full belly! Remember, pulling off for refueling isn’t as easy when there are several other riders to consider.riders together at a rest stop
  3. You Need a Leader and a Follower—When you’re embarking on your first group cruise, it helps if you designate a leader (the lead rider) to cruise at the head of the pack and a follower (the sweep rider) to serve as the final member of the group. These two riders serve as the bookends of the crew and help maintain a reasonable distance between your guys and the rest of traffic. They will also help deliver any important messages to the core. For these reasons, it’s important that you pick two of your most experienced and confident riders to serve as the lead and sweep riders.
  4. The Staggered Formation Is Ideal—One of the first things you’ll come across when researching safe methods of group motorcycle riding is the staggered formation. This formation requires riders to stagger in a zigzag pattern across a single lane, leaving a two-second space (when riding at highway speeds) between you and the rider directly in front of you and a one-second space between you and the rider diagonally in front of you. This will help ensure that everyone has enough room and time to react should a hazard come about.
  5. It’s Vital to Know Everyone’s Experience Level—Try to position riders based on their experience level. The first few bikes should be operated by your top dogs—the riders who have logged thousands of miles over a dozen or more years—while the core of your group should be made up of newer riders who are prepared to fall in line and learn as they go. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to get your entire group together before you actually kick off for your journey.
  6. Keep it Small, Especially at First—You don’t have to host a Sturgis-level ride every time you get your buddies together to cruise. In fact, it’s better if you don’t. For optimal safety, we recommend sticking to between two and six riders at a time. The smaller the group, the easier it will be to communicate with one another and to make adjustments based on traffic, weather, etc. It’s also nearly impossible to keep big groups together on longer journeys, so keep it small at first. If you have more than six riders, consider breaking off into smaller groups.
  7. Designate a ‘Breadcrumb’ Rider—In group riding, separations are inevitable. When this happens, it helps to designate a drop-off rider, also known as a breadcrumb, to help keep the group together. When riders become separated but the group must change course—such as make a turn or pull off an exit—the drop-off rider will stay behind to let the others know which way to go. By following this strategy and leaving “breadcrumbs” along the route, everyone will remain together until the very end.riders enjoying the view of a sunset
  8. Keep it Slow and Follow Traffic Laws—This is one of those times when you need to abide by every single traffic law, as it’s one of the things that keeps you safely together when you’re motoring as a pack. Think about it like this: Traffic laws can actually help keep you in sync, since they keep everyone traveling at roughly the same speed while also keeping your whole group on the same stop and go schedule. Remember: Communal rides are not the time to speed, showboat or practice your latest tricks. If you want to get invited back, go slowly and follow the leader.

 

Don’t let a little planning deter you from getting out and hitting the pavement with your mounted brothers and sisters. Group motorcycle riding is one of the most rewarding activities out there for both newbies and seasoned gearheads, and it’s a true rite of passage for all dedicated bikers. As long as you follow these helpful tips, you can be sure every group cruise will result in fun memories!

27 Hacks that Take the Hassle Out of Moving Your Stuff – Your Motorcycle Included

Posted By

Clint Lawrence

Clint Lawrence, founder of Motorcycle Shippers. Helping give riders more freedom to enjoy the bikes they love. [email protected]

 

On the spectrum from “best day ever” to “unimaginable frustration”, we all know where moving falls. Maybe that’s why the percent of Americans moving has hit the lowest record since the Census began: just 11% of us moved in 2018. But although many of us avoid changing our abodes at all costs, in some cases, relocating is inevitable. Just as the 5.5 million Americans who did move last year.

If the thought of uprooting your entire existence leaves you feeling overwhelmed, use these moving hacks to stay organized, expedite the process and keep your frustration to a minimum. (And for the riders out there, we’ve included some tips of the trade for making moving your motorcycle a snap.)

At your old place

  • Get rid of what you don’t want: Have a yard sale. Donate to charity. Call friends and family to see if they want anything. Put it on sale Craigslist. Throw it away. This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many of us hold on to things we don’t even know why we own in the first place. (Case in point? Just ask Marie Kondo, who has amassed a mountain of revenue simply by inspiring people to declutter.)donation box
  • Cruise the Craigslist “free” section: You can often find boxes and other moving supplies here. Uhaul has a spot at their locations where people can leave their used boxes for others to use for free! Just and ask the store manager if they have boxes available, and please do the same for the next mover. Enter in your zip and city here.
  • Take photos of the back of your electronics: Take a photo of the back of your TV, computer and other electronic devices now to save hours of frustration when it’s time to reattach all those wires. (Want a better way to keep your cords from getting tangled and mangled? Use toilet paper tubes to pack them.)
  • Make rubber bands your friend: Use rubber bands to attach lids to your pots so you can load them up with items like potholders, utensils and the likes to make better use of space.
  • Defrost your fridge in advance: Just trust us on this one. Doing this in advance will save you all kinds of trouble when you’re finally ready to bid adieu to your abode.
  • Stack plates dishwasher style: There’s a reason why dishwashers are designed to hold plates and bowls vertically. Your dishes are a lot less likely to break if you pack them vertically rather than in a horizontal stack. Use kitchen towels or Styrofoam plates between your dishes for extra padding.
  • Leave clothes on the hanger: If you’ve ever moved, you already know how long it takes to unpack all the clothing you stuffed in boxes. Here’s a hint: it also takes a long time to pack clothes into boxes when you’re moving. Cut straight to the finish line by leaving your clothes on their hangers. Simply wrap a garbage bag around your jackets, pants and other clothes as they hang in your closet, rubber band the hanger tops together and pat yourself on the back for saving yourself some serious time.Clothes on hangars wrapped in trash bags
  • Wrap stuff in your stuff: Use towels, blankets and sheets to wrap your breakables. And when it comes time to pack your kitchen knives, reach for an oven mitt instead of bubble wrap. Put the knife blades inside the mitt and then pack the entire bundle into a box. (Closely related to this hack is the art of packing stuff inside your stuff. Wheeled suitcases make it easy to move things that would otherwise be a heavy lift—literally.)
  • Wrap your mattress: Cover both sides of your mattress with fitted sheets before putting it into a moving truck or van. The sheets might get dirty, but your mattress will stay clean—and that’s exactly the point.
  • Wrap your wine with pool floaties: Maybe you don’t have kids’ pool floaties lying around. But if you do, wrap them around your open wine bottles to keep them from spilling during your travels from Point A to Point B.
  • Pack liquids in zip lock bags: Don’t want to toss out that half-used bottle of sauce or shampoo? Temperature and altitude changes can create enough pressure to pop the tops and create a huge mess. Wrap them in gallon-size zip lock bags before moving to keep them from spilling.
  • Label everything: This is another one that might seem obvious. But if you’ve ever been in a rush to move, you know how tempting it is to just throw stuff in a box and get out the door. This will not save you time in the long run. Get some stickers or a Sharpie and label your heart out—on the side of the box, not the top. If you want to go really crazy, you can even color code your boxes so you know where they go in just a quick glance. And as you’re sorting and labeling your boxes, remember to put all your daily essentials in a box together. There’s nothing worse than winding down after a long day of moving and having to search for your toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Preschedule your utility “disconnect” date: Call your utility companies in advance to ensure that your electricity, water and Internet are turned off exactly when you need them to be—not a few days before or after.
  • Keep your important documents with you: Don’t put your Social Security card, birth certificate and other important papers inside a box never to be seen again. Keep them with you just in case.
  • Have snacks ready on the other side: Don’t underestimate how tired and hungry you’ll be after a long day of moving. Keep snacks easily accessible so your energy doesn’t take a nose dive.
  • Re-stickify your tape: Have your masking and painter’s tapes lost their stick? Put them in the microwave for a few seconds to restore them to their former glory.

 At your new place

  • Calculate your moving expenses: Some of them may be tax deductible if you are a member of the armed forces.
  • Measure your door frames: Will that extra-wide couch or California king mattress really make it into the room where it needs to go? Measure doors, hallways and stairways beforehand—not when a heavy piece of furniture is in your hands.
  • Preschedule your utilities: There’s nothing worse than getting to your new place and realizing the Internet—or worse, the electricity—hasn’t kicked on yet.installing internet
  • Change your address with the USPS: Mail forwarding takes seven days to kick in. By getting the process started early, you can skip the lag time and jump straight into action at your new place.
  • Update your insurance: This isn’t the most exciting hack on the list, but it’s a fact of life.
  • Reserve the service elevator: If your place has a service elevator, you’ll likely need to use this to move your stuff rather than the passenger elevator. Reserve it in advance to avoid snags on moving day.
  • Unpack your kitchen first: Between silverware, plates, spices and everything else, your kitchen will undoubtedly take the longest to get set up. Knock this room out first.

For your motorcycle

  • Pack your papers in a place you’ll remember: Keep your title, registration, owner’s manual and other motorcycle documents together in one place—one that you’ll be able to find easily once you get to your new home. Have a forgetful streak? Write the location in a note on your smartphone.
  • Update your insurance: This is especially important if you’re moving to another state. But even if you’re simply moving a few blocks down the street, call your insurance agent to make sure your policy is updated accordingly.
  • Make room in your new garage: It might be tempting to store your boxes of non-essentials in the garage until they’re unpacked. Don’t forget to leave room for your motorcycle; that includes a clear path to lets you get your bike in and out easily.
  • Plan ahead: When your move is approaching, decide whether to move your motorcycle yourself or hire a professional motorcycle shipping service. Before you decide to go it alone, calculate all the costs of moving your motorcycle yourself: gas/fuel, wear and tear, tie-downs and other materials, and your time. Not sure if you need help shipping your ride? Want to make sure your motorcycle arrives safely at your new place? Contact the team at Motorcycle Shippers so that we can provide a no-hassle quote and walk you through our process beginning to end.

 

And when moving day is finally behind you, take your motorcycle out for a ride to celebrate. You earned it—even if you did use these moving hacks to make the process as painless as possible.

8 Unwritten Rules of the Road Every Motorcyclist Should Know

Posted By

Ed Merati

Ed Merati, Director of Logistics at Motorcycle Shippers, lifetime motorcycle enthusiast and garage guru. [email protected]

 

What are the rules for riding a motorcycle?

Just like any sport or hobby, riding a motorcycle comes with two sets of rules—the written and the unwritten, and it’s a lot easier to learn the former than the latter. Unfortunately, there are no classes, guidebooks or seminars on the unwritten laws of riding. Oh, and you definitely won’t be tested on them when you go to get your motorcycle license. Learning the rules of the road and biker culture takes years of cruising and interacting with other two-wheel enthusiasts. But the following list can help you get a glimpse into what you’ll learn when you start to master the road.

  1. Don’t Ask to Ride Someone Else’s Bike

    Referred to as The Natural Law of Motorcycling, this is one of the rules you’re going to want to take seriously if you’re new to the community. Asking to take someone else’s motorcycle for a spin puts them in the position of having to say no, so just don’t do it. No one wants to loan another rider his or her bike because it’s a big liability, and riders have things just the way they like them, not the way a random borrower might. Plus, it’s just bad manners all-around.

  2. Always Alert Fellow Riders of Hazards

    Many of the unwritten laws of riding come down to the same concept: look out for one another. Whenever possible, keep your fellow bikers in the know about what’s ahead—a speed trap, a particularly gnarly pothole, a traffic jam, deer—either via motorcycle Bluetooth communication if you’re cruising with a group of riders you know or through old-school hand signals (see below) to keep strangers in the other lane safely clued in to what’s ahead.

  3. Know Rider-to-Rider Communication

    Even if it’s your first day as a licensed biker, you already know that there’s a secret language that goes on, bike to bike, out on the road. But you may not know that there are both written and unwritten hand signals you need to know. Of course, there are the ones you learned in driver’s ed, such as a straight, extended arm to signal a left turn or a folded-down arm to signal a stop. But then there are the ones you learn through years of communication with fellow bikers, like a tap on the helmet to alert your fellow riders of a cop or speed trap ahead.

  4. Wave at Your Fellow Riders

    Another important hand signal to know? The wave. Legend has it that the bike-to-bike wave started back in 1904 when William Harley and  Arthur Davidson (yes, that Harley and Davidson) passed one another and gave a friendly wave. There are many variations on the biker’s salute, with the most common being two or three fingers pointed downward at a 45-degree angle, but there are tons of unique and regional versions out there. The motorcycle wave is all about showing solidarity and forging a connection among your fellow riders.

  5. See a Rider in Need? Stop

    Many of the unwritten rules of the road for bikers center around helping each other and forging a sense of community. You always want to make sure you stop and assist a fellow biker—or, any motorist, for that matter—in need. If you see someone who may be in distress or if you’re traveling through a dangerous area, such as a steep mountain pass or a rural road where there’s no gas station for miles in either direction, you may want to flash a thumbs up or down to make sure other travelers know you’re okay and vice versa.

  6. Respect the Road and Fellow Motorists

    As bikers, we know we stand out from the typical commuter rocking his grocery getter, but we shouldn’t be at odds with him. Always practice defensive driving and make sure to give other cars and motorcycle riders plenty of room, but don’t hesitate to help them out by letting them in or waving them ahead of you, either. Just remember that drivers may have trouble seeing you or staying out of your lane, so definitely ride defensive and remain visible whenever possible.

  7. Group Riding? Whenever Possible, Stay in Formation

    This is one situation where a biker-to-biker headset really comes in handy. When you’re riding as a group, you need to stay in a safe, roomy formation—ideally, in a staggered line with a two-second distance between you and the rider directly in front of you—in order to keep everyone together without crowding or encroaching on the rest of traffic. It can be difficult to maintain a neat formation when you’re going for longer group rides, but knowing your hand signals or having a reliable Bluetooth system can go a long way in this situation.

  8. Bikers Are Upstanding Members of the Community

    Know that you can rely on your fellow riders, that they’re generally not dangerous gang members and that many motorcycle clubs spend a ton of time and effort raising money for charitable causes in the community. Most importantly, remember that by simply mounting a bike, you become an automatic member of that community, and that comes with a responsibility. Follow laws, be courteous of others and help your fellow rider and you’ll be a welcome addition to any region’s motorcycle community.

The Most Important Rule? Learn as You Go

 One of the biggest mistakes young and novice riders tend to make is pushing themselves too far beyond their limits too early. This applies to everything from taking hairpin turns at high speeds to learning the best way to convey important information to other riders on the highway. As you enter the world of riding, keep your ears and eyes open so you pick things up as you go and never find yourself in a dangerous, awkward or uncomfortable situation.

 

2019 Motorcycle “Lane Filtering” Law, Explained

Posted By

Clint Lawrence

Clint Lawrence, founder of Motorcycle Shippers. Helping give riders more freedom to enjoy the bikes they love. [email protected]

 
The State of Utah usually brings to mind Mormons and mountains, but the most recent legislative session has added a third “m” to that list: motorcycles. Since May 14, 2019 motorcyclists in Utah have been given the ability to legally practice “lane filtering,” thanks to a new bill signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert back in March.

At a basic level, “lane filtering” occurs when a rider moves between two lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic to get to the front of the intersection. The Utah Highway Patrol is being proactive about the new law, launching an awareness campaign to inform motorists a month and a half ahead of the change. The Utah Department of Safety released this video explaining the reasoning behind the law—allowing motorcycles to get out from in between traffic so they can avoid rear-end collisions—and how it should be applied. But despite these efforts, there has been considerable confusion about the new rules of the road. (This viral video sums up a lot of the questions surrounding how exactly riders should lane filter safely.)

Whether you’re living in the Beehive State, getting up to Tahoe sometime soon or want to keep up on the latest laws that affect riders, read this quick rundown on Utah’s lane filtering law to get some clarity.

Is Lane Splitting Legal in the US?

Utah is now only one of two U.S. states that allow motorcycles to bypass slower lanes of traffic. California, the state with the most riders on the road, allows motorcyclists to “lane split” by going between cars while moving at freeway speeds as traffic slows down on the roadway. Utah’s law differs from California’s approach, stating that motorcycles can only “filter” to the front of the intersection when cars are stopped. The confusion over the lane filtering law is understandable.

(Side note: Like Utah’s regulation, the California lane splitting law elicited confusion from the public. In one instance, the California Highway Patrol issued guidelines on safe lane splitting but had to remove them a few weeks later after someone complained that it didn’t have the authority to post the guidelines in the first place. If you’re interested, you can see the CHP’s response here.)

The new Utah law also lays out additional rules that motorcyclists must adhere to when lane filtering. According to the Utah Highway Patrol, motorists:

    1. Can move to the front of a traffic light on roads where the speed limit is 45 mph or less and there are two or more adjacent traffic lanes in the same direction of travel
    2. Can only move to the front when vehicles are stopped
    3. Can’t filter lanes at more than 15 mph

The law also states that maneuvering around lanes has to be done safely, which leaves some ambiguity about what exactly constitutes “safe” lane splitting. In the video mentioned earlier in this article (here’s the link again, just in case), the Utah Department of Public Safety attempts to show what safe lane filtering looks like. UHP Sgt. Nick Streets is optimistic, telling KSL, “I hope they use due diligence and care not to try to do it where they’re really going to be threading the needle to where they have a lane that’s wide enough to accommodate if their bike has saddlebags or longer handlebars. If you take off a car’s mirror, that’s on you. You’re going to have to stop, talk to the police and file an accident report.”

Is lane splitting safe?

According to state statistics, more than 1,200 motorcyclists in Utah were rear-ended between 2011 to 2017. By the beginning of September 2018, there were

motorcycle lane splitting speed chart

Image courtesy of University of California Berkeley study

already more motorcycle deaths in Utah than in all of 2017. The majority of these occurred during the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer,” the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  Rear-end accidents often involve serious injury and, in some cases, even death.

The American Motorcycle Association has long held that lane splitting makes roads safer for riders and relieves traffic congestion, a view based largely on the successful use of the practice in California and a research study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley. Led by the university’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center, the UC Berkley study found that lane filtering can be a safe practice if traffic is moving slower than 50 mph and riders aren’t moving more than 15 mph faster than the other vehicles on the road.

What do you think, should more states allow lane splitting? And as a rider, how would you define “safe” lane splitting?

Three Ways to Locate Your Motorcycle Barn Find

Posted By

Danny Reyes

Danny Reyes, Shipping Specialist, rider advocate and Angels fan. [email protected]

 

 

It’s every vintage motorcycle enthusiast’s dream: opening an old shed or garage and finding a perfectly preserved classic motorcycle, long forgotten or tucked away by its owner for safe-keeping. As vintage motorcycles command record prices at auctions and more riders gravitate toward the design style of decades past, the allure of the ever-elusive “barn find” is greater than ever. A quick search online will lead you to countless forums where passionate rummagers share their latest motorcycle finds–the good, the bad and, well, the just plain strange.

When you hear the words “barn find,” what comes to mind is likely something out of Indiana Jones or National Treasure. And it’s true that some finds are indeed worthy of the record books. Take, for instance, the French entrepreneur who dreamed of opening a classic car museum in the 1950s—until, that is, his finances didn’t pan out. What did he do with the 200-odd cars he had already collected to put in the museum that never was? After selling 50, he kept the remaining 150 in shacks and garages scattered around his family’s home. When someone found his stash decades later, it was a literal and figurative gold mine. A Ferrari 250GT SWB California Spider hidden under piles of old magazines sold at auction for more than $16.3M. In all, the sale broke 10 price records and included many other ultra-rare classic cars.

And you’ve likely heard similar stories about the greatest vintage motorcycle “barn finds.” (Check out this American Pickers video, where the pickers find, among other rides, a 1972 cherry red Triumph in good running condition.)

It’s no secret that vintage motorcycles are a coveted ride. Fully restored vintage and classic bikes can fetch top dollar, driving some people to scour the four corners of the Earth in hopes of finding old and forgotten treasures tucked away in storage somewhere. For others, it might be more about the thrill of the hunt—which, given the rarity of finding a vintage bike in mint condition, is a mindset that will set you up for a lot less frustration. But no matter your reason for hunting down that ever-elusive “barn find,” use these tips to make sure no stone is left unturned.

RIDE

One of the easiest ways to stumble across “barn finds” is to do what you got a motorcycle for in the first place: ride. Hit the open road and keep your eyes open; you never know what you may find. Motorcycles with “For Sale” signs. Signs for farm auctions. Even an open garage filled with some old bikes in a residential area. For the serious barnstormer, these are all opportunities worth investigating.

As you’re riding, don’t forget to explore areas outside of your typical route. As many deal hunters will tell you, it’s often down quiet country roads or off the beaten path where you spot the best finds.

What happens if you do, in fact, strike gold as you ride along those country roads? Make sure to take photos of what you find, which can act as a reference if you need to do some research to negotiate a possible purchase price.

Using the “get out and ride” strategy won’t deliver a “barn find” every time. But if you keep your eyes open and aren’t afraid to pull over when you spot a lead, you’ll almost always come back with a story—or, at very least, a great ride.

TALK

Barnfinds.com outlines two rules for motorcycle barn finding (which, if you think about it, is really just one rule): talk about old motorcycles with everyone and anyone you come across. Any person you meet could be a potential lead. This may sound more like a business networking pitch than a “barn find” strategy, but the beauty of the “barn find” is that you never know when or where they’ll come up. Mark Bryan, whose profession is to scour the globe for vintage motorcycles for H&H Classic Auctions, echoes this advice. He says part of his luck is “being in the right place at the right time.” But there’s also another part of the equation, he says: “Getting out to as many bike nights and weekends as my family will allow.”

In the world of “barn finds,” one man’s trash literally is another man’s treasure, and you’ll never know who might have an old motorcycle stored away somewhere until you ask. Talk to the person who comes to repair something at your home. Chat about your new hobby with your coworkers at the office. Beyond local riders and riding groups, connect with shop owners and other people who know your area well. The more people they know, the more likely they are to connect you with a solid lead on your next “barn find.”

SURF

If you’re reading this blog, you already know that the Internet can drastically open the range of your search from the comfort of home. There are a number places to start: Craigslist, The Greensheet, Facebook marketplace, eBay and a growing number of resell apps like LetGo and OfferUp. There’s also NextDoor, which gives you the bonus of scouring listings from people you know—and posting a message telling people in your neighborhood about your hunt for motorcycle “barn finds.”

But don’t let the wide scope of the World Wide Web trick you into overlooking the power of good old-fashioned newspapers. Some people do still read newspapers, and placing a classified ad in print and also online makes sure your bases are covered. The website 50states.com has links to more than 3,300 local newspapers in the U.S. (If you want to expand your search internationally, start by seeking out foreign auctions and global websites like barnfinds.com, which has an international user base.)

What happens if you uncover your first “barn find” in another state? Motorcycle Shippers is here to get your motorcycle from Point A to Point B safely, in less time and with less hassle. And whether or not you need to ship your “barn find,” share a photo and your story with our rider community on social media.