Honda invented the fun bike with the introduction of the 50cc Monkey bike. It was brilliant. They put a proven little, over head cam, four stroke motor in a pint sized bike and magic happened. At least every kid in the world wanted one. Many of us are riding today because of these bikes.
Just because they are small does not mean they don’t need respect. They are a little like Shetland ponies. They are small, fun and cute but they can bite you. Case in point, I had just gotten the bike you see in the picture below running well enough to take it for a spin around my ample yard. As I headed for a stop I grappled with the shifter and I got my rather large shoe caught between the foot peg and the ground. The toe of my shoe was dragging the ground and it trapped my foot on the peg.
As I slowed it became evident that I was unable to put a foot down. I did the only thing I could do. I stopped and as I did so I fell over and just layed on the ground for a second taking stock of the situation.
A tiny sense of fear began to take hold of me. “What if I had broken my arm? My wife would kill me and on a toy bike too.” I pulled myself out from under the little bike as quickly as i could. No broken bones. That was good and the fact that no one witnessed my crash was even better. The moral of this story is a little play bike can get you hurt so treat them with the same respect you would a big bike and, by all means, have fun.
A friend of mine sent me this little tidbit and I had to share it with you but first some background. Way back in high school I was the owner of a red Honda 600 Sedan. It was a fantastic car, fun and quick but not very fast. It had a 600cc vertical twin motor much like a bored over CB350. It was so light that my class mates would pick it up a put it in impossible places.
This 1972 Honda N600 is highly modified. It is powered by a liquid cooled V4 from a 1998 Honda VFR800 Interceptor. The car is setup for fast road and autocross use, and the owner spent several years dialing in the build. It features four wheel independent suspension based on shortened Miata components, paddle shifters for the sequential transmission and a 12k RPM redline. This is a quick N600 that is said to be capable of 127MPH and very nimble.
Nimble is the word. At higher speeds, the steering is so quick that I would have to hold the steering wheel steady with my knees to stay in my lane. My little 600 would run a honest 80mph and that was truly frightening. A speed of over 100 would be terrifying. Sounds like fun!
I used to work for a now defunct motorcycle dealership filled with now mostly vanished brands. We used to close up shop and take off on Memorial Day for a three day weekend ride. We would ride all night Friday to Clayton, New Mexico and then spend Saturday and Sunday riding around Colorado. Monday would find us in Albuquerque, NM where we would pick up I40 for the long slog back to Oklahoma City.
On one particular ride we ran into rain while riding across the Panhandle of Oklahoma. It was pretty flat and featureless. The highest points for miles around were the fence posts to our right and the tops of our helmets. It started to rain and the lightning began to rip across the sky. Rex was in front of me by two bike lengths and the rest of the group were some ways back behind me.
All of a sudden there was a bright flash off to the right. I looked and saw a lightning bolt hit the ground less than 20 feet from our position. It looked, to my eyes, to be the size of a small oil drum. Big clods of earth kicked up and at the same time there was a fierce and shocking BOOM. We both wobbled involuntarily. A little way up the road Rex turned into a closed gas station and we drew up beside one another under the awning. I have to say that we were a little shaken. “Did you see that?” he cried. “See it? I couldn’t miss it” I said. Then I asked the question “Rex, have you ever heard of anyone getting struck by lightning on a motorcycle? We are riding on rubber tires.” All he said to me was “Our tires were wet.”
I am older and wiser now. Yes, you can get struck by lightning on a motorcycle. You can even be hurt by lightening striking close to your bike. The rubber tires have no effect on insulating millions of volts from seeking ground. It would be like trying to stop a speeding semi truck with a stick of butter. It is best to get off the road, get inside somewhere until the storm passes. Sometimes this is not always practical but it is best practice.
The rain has moved out and the weather has warmed up. That’s a good thing. Riding is becoming more comfortable when it’s warm but too soon we will be faced with the truly hot days of summer. We spend so much time gearing up for the cold that we forget that it is just as important to be properly covered for hot weather riding.
The human body cools by evaporation of sweat. When water evaporates, it cools down. This cools the skin which cools the blood, which cools down the whole body. In hotter weather, with a rider blasted by hot air, this cooling becomes very inefficient. The higher the temperature, the harder it is for the body to shed this excess heat. Riding in a summer weight jacket aids cooling by slowing the flow of air over the skin. Covering your skin insulates it from the harsh summer sun and traps moisture that aids cooling. It also keeps your skin safe in case of a fall.
A wet bandana around the neck aids cooling of the blood that runs through the major arteries in the neck. Gloves protect your hands and good, sturdy but light weight boots keep your feet comfortable. Above all, drinking plenty of water. Your body can’t stay cool if it doesn’t have the proper supplies. Ride smart and cool this summer.
Whether you are a first time watercraft buyer or an old salt, there are some things you should consider when shopping for the perfect personal water craft. The first thing you will be drawn to is the style of watercraft. Maxim has watercraft from sporty runabouts to family fun type craft.
Seating is important in both comfort and in how many passenger can be carried in safety. Make sure that the boat fits you properly. You will be spending a lot of time in this spot, so if anything feels awkward, that feeling will be magnified later.
Check out the handlebars and ergonomics. Do the controls feel right? Have one of our sales people to show you the adjustments so that your get a good feel for the controls. Also, make sure you take the time to stand up in the footwells. It should feel natural and comfortable with your hands on the handlebar.
Your choice of watercraft will depend on how you will use it. If you’ll be using the watercraft to tow a tube or wakeboarding, make sure you have plenty of horsepower and a good aft-facing spotter seat with grab handles.
If you’re looking for transportation out to your cottage or to get to your favorite camping island, your top selling points might be fuel capacity and storage. Also be sure to ask about convenient amenities like cup holders, easy-to-climb boarding ladders, and soft non-skid decking. At Maxim we want your summer lake experience to be the best. Come in and talk to us. We can show you the wide range of watercraft to make great memories on our Texas lakes.
Last Wednesday I purchased a new Olympia riding jacket from Maxim. I have wanted one of these ever since I saw a group of riders wearing a high-vis yellow jackets. I could see these riders literally from a mile away but the other riders in the group seemed to get lost in the background. I thought “if a jacket makes you that visible I want one.” So yesterday I rode the VFR to Sherman to have lunch with my dad. After lunch I rode over to my mom’s assisted living place to check on her. I walked in and I walked to the dining area to check and see if she is still at lunch. (She was not.) As I walked by a table and one of the inmates asked me “what kind of uniform is that?” I had on my Olympia two piece riding suit with my newly acquired high-vis yellow jacket. “Uniform” I asked? He said “you must work for the highway department or somethin’!”
It has come to my attention that there are motorcycle riders that have never taken their bike on a road trip. There are few things you can do with a motorcycle that are more rewarding than a motorcycle trip. You don’t have to spend weeks in the saddle headed to exotic locations and you don’t have to rough it, unless you want to. Weekend getaways, that include an overnight stay can be just as rewarding as a cross country jaunt especially if it is your first time. Here are a few tips that can make touring by motorcycle safe and rewarding.
If you plan a long day’s ride and aren’t accustomed to riding for more than just a few hours a day, don’t jump right into a road trip. Try taking some practice rides to get used to being on a bike for longer periods of time or cut your travel time down to more manageable bits. The more prepared you can be for how endless six or seven hours is going to feel, the better. Wind protection goes a long way toward making your ride a pleasant one.
Fighting the wind for two or three hours at highways speeds gets exhausting. Five, six, and seven hours into riding, it’s even worse. A windshield helps cut the wind and fight fatigue. Make an investment in comfort. On my VFR I have added a comfy aftermarket seat, raised the handlebars and lowered the foot pegs. These changes do not take away from the handling or the fun of the bike but they make the “sport” riding position a little more neutral. The result is a bike I can ride hour after hour.
Prepare for the weather. You may think it’s hot at home when you leave but will it be the same in the mountains? Clear skies have a habit of developing clouds and dropping rain. Be sure to take something warm along with your riding gear. Layers are best. Also pack a rain suit. A cheap rain suit is better than no rain suit. Trust me on this one. Not only will a rain suit keep you dry it will also keep you warm by keeping the damp frigid air at bay.
Wear ear plugs. Nothing saps your good mood and ruins you hearing like the wind noise droning in your helmet. Rest is as important as riding and making good time. Take some time and stop. A motorcycle trip is not a marathon (unless your are riding the Iron Butt.) Stop and smell the roses, pull over for interesting attractions or just to stretch your legs. Frequent stops will keep you fresh and riding longer.
Technology is your friend. A helmet equipped with Bluetooth, for example, can link you to your phone and not only play music but receive calls, follow GPS directions, and allow rider-to-rider communications. If you have never been on an overnight ride make this the year you go. If you haven’t been trippin in a while make plans to get out there again. You will be glad you did.
What is a 360fly action camera? A normal camera, like your point and shoot GoPro or cell phone shoots one picture in one direction. The 360fly Action Camera shoots a panorama around a 360 degree lens. It’s like a single eye recording everything in its field of vision. Mount it on your helmet and you’ll record everything above and on all sides of you and your bike.
Once you capture the video on the 360fly, you send the footage back to the app on your phone. You can view it like a regular video but you can move your phone around to see different parts of the 360-degree capture. The shot and the viewer make it just like being there. For instance, if you hold the phone in front of you can see straight ahead. If you spin the phone around you can see behind you.
You can even use a Google Cardboard Virtual Reality (VR) viewer. Just put the app into VR mode and then, as you move your head around, the screen just shows the point of view you’d be looking at if you were actually there inside the scene.
It is easy to share your 360 videos online using only your phone. You can use the 360fly app to edit your clips and then publish them to Twitter or Facebook.
For deeper sharing, upload your clips to the 360fly website using your computer. The site will automatically generate an embedded code for you, so posting the scene to your own blog is as easy as embedding a YouTube clip, only viewers are given the ability to freely scroll through a scene in full 360 degrees, exploring virtually any point of view.
If you are a GoPro user and you have GoPro mounts all over your bike and helmet then you are in luck. The 360fly takes the same mounting system as a GoPro camera. If you want to take your pictures to the next level or if you want to experiment with VR then you should definitely get a 360fly. You don’t have to go all over town to find one. We have them in stock at Maxim.
In the month of February, Maxim Honda Yamaha has Olympia Airglide 4 jackets and Airglide 3 pants on sale for 30% OFF. This is a great deal and I will tell you why. Summer or winter I live in my Olympia Airglide riding gear. Wearing my Olympia Airglide jacket and pants in the winter is a sure thing. The waterproof liner blocks the wind and keeps me warm but what about the summer? The warm weather is when the Olympia Airglide really shines. With venting and open mesh panels the Olympia Airglide combines the armor protection necessary for great riding gear with the cooling effects of a much lighter pant and jacket. In the hottest Texas summer weather my Olympia Airglide pants are as cool as riding in shorts and oh, so much more practical. The Olympia Airglide gear can take you from just over freezing all the way to temperatures over 100 degrees. That’s a pretty versatile suit if you ask me. I travel with mine and pretty much live in it on the road but it is more than a traveling suit. I can slip it on over street clothes if I need to do that. I can wear the jacket and pants over light undergarments if I want all day riding comfort. Sometimes you can ride over mountain passes and the temperatures drop more than 20 degrees. The Olympia Airglide is perfect for this. I just zip up and I am comfortable. So far I have not had to test the durability of the Olympia Airglide safety features but there are plenty of riders who have. You can check out the testimonials at the Olympia site. Do not wait to take advantage of Maxim’s Olympia Airglide sale. When the current stock is gone the sale is over.
In 1975 a man named Gordon Gerbing decided there had to be a better way to ride a bike in cold weather. He set about developing and perfecting heated thermovelocity gear for riders that did not want to stop riding just because it gets a little cool. Today Gerbing’s tradition of innovation is carried by the Gyde Supply and offered to you by Maxim Honda Yamaha.
They start the process by sewing a Microwire onto a special pad to create the heat. The pads are then sewn into the piece of clothing and surrounded by a microfiber insulation to hold the heat in next to the rider. Currently, the company uses a waterproof nanowire material that is sewn into their clothing and incorporates plugs and connections for a better look while providing optimal heat in cold riding conditions.
Every year Gerbing brings new ideas to life and creates superior products that combine leading technologies with patented materials and designs to form clothing that performs for the wearer. Their latest innovation is the Gyde Thermogauge 12V Bluetooth Controller. This allows you to control temperature with your smart phone!
Gyde has taken the Powered by Gerbing Microwire technology a step further by adding wireless heat control. They have developed the Bluetooth powered Thermogauge adapter plus a user friendly app for your iOS or Android device. Now you can pair multiple 7 volt or 12 volt garments and seamlessly manage your heat at any time and any place right on your smartphone. In short, Maxim Honda Yamaha has the latest heated gear that feature:
- Wireless control of the heat within each garment through four optimized heat settings
- Once temperature is set, the Thermogauge will maintain that temperature throughout use (12V only)
- Compatible with virtually all 12V Motorcycle Heated Products/Brands