Tuesday, January 10, 2017

One piece riding suits

It is time for a brief post about that miracle of the two-wheeled world. That extra hide we often use for many different situations. They have made them as over-suits for businessmen who need to wear a suit to work. They are made for road racing and high speed protection. However, the type we would like to talk about today concerns riding through the chilly stuff.
                                                                         

Did you know we sell this First Gear thermosuit for just $199? You can put on your regular warm clothes, and step into the wide leg panels, zip this baby up and ride in comfort down into the 20-30's easily. If you add electric heated gear underneath you can easily add another 20 degrees to what is comfortable.

We have been riding 12 miles to work almost every day on our trusty Lance Cabo by wearing a warm layer and adding this suit. The electric gear was still in the closet until this weeks morning rides. We don't expect all our customers to ride in this kind of weather, but by saying that some of us do. It should be EASY to get the right gear and ride on 40 degree days in the dry. We can't go all winter without a ride.

There are far more complex suits for more money (and we sell those too), but we just wanted to show what can be done with just an extra $200 for the right gear. You can easily extend your riding season a month or more on each end with just a few pieces of gear. Those days that always happen in the winter? When it hits 56 degrees in January and it feels GREAT? Grab a Thermosuit, zip it on, and go for a ride!

Monday, January 2, 2017

To a two-wheeled New Year

      Here is to the start of a wonderful new year. We just wanted to take a moment and thank all of our customers for a wonderful 2016. We will be here for 2017 to help with your two-wheeled needs.

      We will be planning riding events here, and will make sure to include any local riding events to keep you out there. If you are putting on, or know of rides, please send them to us. We want to support your local group of riders, be it off-road, scooters, road-riding, or anything else in between. So, help us help you by sending the links and flyers to YOUR rides. The more we all ride; the more fun we have ( and the more parts we get to sell :)  ).

      Currently (once we get some cold days ) our 4th Annual Shrinky Dink is up and running, and we will have our open house for it February 4th at the shop. Be sure to stop by, see the new models, grab some free food, and hear some bad stories about the rides through the winter.

      We are looking forward to a good year for business, and as much riding as we can squeeze in. If you couldn't tell; we do this because we love it. We have over 70 years combined riding experience at the shop, and we love to share why and how we do it.

                                                                               

Monday, December 19, 2016

Riding two wheels in winter conditions?

   We often discuss winter gear, and staying comfortable in the winter months. How often do we talk about where a normal bike can go? Not a metal studded knobby on a full blown dirt machine, but a regularly driven street machine.
    We would need a proper place to test our machines. Thankfully, nature provided the perfect spot when it decided to cover our driveway in ice. At about 600 feet long and seriously uphill it has become impassable for a few days to everything except 4 wheel drive vehicles. Would a scooter make it up the ice monster?
                                                               

   Coming down was it's own challenge. We chose our trusty Lance Cabo 150 and a Genuine Roughhouse 50 for our test mules. The two bikes had slightly different tires discussed in an earlier blog here.
                                                                   

   We did manage to make it down, we purposely didn't lower the air pressure or do anything special to the scoots. We wanted to see if we could climb the hill without any special modifications.
                                                                         
                                                   So yes, we did make it, several times. To be fair, both riders are experienced dirt bike guys and willing to throw the bike at the hill with aggression. We don't recommend this for everyone. As you can see from the video, there was quite a bit of slipping and sliding going on, but if you kept your momentum up you could make it. That was just to the first turn on the driveway ( maybe a third of the way), but we did ride up repeatedly without a fall. So, with experience and willingness these bikes continue to impress with the places they will take us.

    We have plans to ride both of these machines through the winter. So, stay tuned for more miles, smiles, and torture testing.
                                                                             

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Shrinky Dink 4 begins December 21

Welcome to the 4th annual Shrinky Dink Ride. This is just a simple bit of fun to keep the hardy/ foolhardy riders enthused through the cold months of the year, and provide some fun to the others who want to watch the rest of us freeze.
      Challenge:  ride out in the coldest weather you can stand. Then ride as far as you like, and provide proof that you did.   Repeat.   Often.

Post your results on our Facebook page. Make sure to post every ride; no matter how short. The winner last year squeaked out the points in the last few days by riding to work almost every day. A short commute adds up quickly if the temps are low.
                                                     
                                                                     



The rules are pretty simple and loosely followed at best. 
1) BE SAFE! You all know your limits, but don't risk life and limb, too much, for a good result. This is supposed to be FUN.
2.) The challenge will start on December 21st and run through March 20th.
3.) The ride will have two classes. Motorcycles and Scooters; if you have one of those wierd in between bikes we will make it up as we go. DON'T WORRY! We have this covered; just ride SOMETHING!
4.) This is pretty simple, the coldest temperature wins, sort of. TRY to take a pic in front of a temperature sign somewhere. We realize this isn't always possible, so you CAN use your phone in a pinch. NO CHEATING! We are putting you on your honour to be fair.
5.) The ride has to be 5 miles or longer to count (total length). The longer the ride the more points it gets. We have a formula worked out for this. It's math stuff, don't worry we have that under control. So, if you do 11 miles in -2 and some nut does 80 miles in 3 degrees. He/she MIGHT just beat you. There are extra points for stupidity (just remember rule #1)
6.) This contest is open to residents of the U.S. only.
7.)If you think it is too warm where you live? Do it anyway, remember points are awarded for originality, stupidity, and bravery. This is supposed to be FUN. The first year the Shrinky Dink was won by a southern rider who got lucky on a cold snap in the south.
     That's it for the rules we think. Ride. Post your pics on our Facebook page. We will post a few for fun, but will save the results till the end. There will be a chat about the ride during the event. Also feel free to post comments here.
Yes, there will be prizes. They may or may not be amazing. Ride now. ride often.
   There will be an open house at Carlisle Cycle and Scooter on Saturday February 4th.  It is part of our winter riding contest There will be some snacks and lots of warm beverages to keep you toasty. IF the weather is decent some folks will ride in. If you want to arrive on 4 wheels that is just fine,too. Stop by and enjoy the people riding in. There will be lots of shenanigans, and some short rides around the block as well. The sidecar rig will be out and running no matter what the weather (we have snow tires). The shop will be staying open late; stop by, laugh, ask questions, talk bikes and scooters. There will be movies later in the evening on the projector if you would like to stay.
    The weather hasn't cooperated yet, but it is coming. Remember, BE SAFE out there, and have fun. Remember, you don't have to win for this to be fun. It is all about the ride!
    A little tip: If its over 32 degrees it doesn't count. But you can ride anyway. Be sure to post ALL of your rides below 32. They all add up.

The get together at the shop Mid-event will be February 4th



Monday, December 5, 2016

Lance Cabo 150 long-term test

     We were already SYM dealers when we received our first few Lance scooters arrived in the showroom. When our rep, Mike, informed us of SYM partnering with Lance; we were impressed by the upgrades and price. It looked like a line we might want to carry in our shop.
        One of the first few models we decided to get was a Lance Cabo 150 ( now replaced by the 200i). Our daughter was a new college student in need of a good commuter vehicle.  The cabo150 was a new bike to us, we decided to run it through its paces.
     After a quick 175 miles to break it in and change the oil; we headed on a 700+ mile trip with the Cabo. Operation Malted Falcon was to be the new bikes trial by fire. There were 360 mile days, 90 degree temps and a relentless 260 lb. rider.
                                                                     

The Cabo reached Ocean City, MD. with no worries and no problems. The seat was getting a bit old after 300 miles in a single day, but I have ridden on FAR WORSE on some much larger motorcycles. After 362 miles in one day, that was my only complaint with the 150cc terror.

The next few days were a bit less frantic a pace, but we were still covering 200 miles a day with breakfast stops included. 

Arriving safely back home after 3 hard days of riding. We did another quick oil change at 1,000 miles and then loaned the bike to a good friend for his 900 mile adventure.

He proceeded to ride the bike for several days, laden with gear and covering the miles in upper Pennsylvania and New York. 

So, we finally get the bike to my daughter for her college use with about 2,200 miles on the clock. A well broken in, proven scooter. She rides it to class often. Some days in the rain, and not always the warmest of days either. The Cabo always fires right up and gets her where she is going. She has the right gear to wear and started at an early age, so she isn't afraid of the nasty weather.

So, now the bike lives an easy life in the hands of a young college student? Not so fast, she still has a brother and a dad who swipe her beloved scooter whenever they get the chance.

Is it pampered? only ridden in warm weather? Don't think so.

Well, we do keep it out of the dirt trails and abandoned roads, correct?

Well, at least it stays out of the water?

Okay, it's at least not really ridden hard though, right?



                                                                           

The Cabo is now sitting at 5,000 miles. Those miles have been more grueling than most of our customers would see. We have had ZERO problems with our Lance.

We run top quality Spectro oil, and have done the changes on regular intervals. We did a valve clearance check as scheduled, and have put on new tires. The stock tires did wear rather quickly. We decided to burn the stock rear off at 3,200 miles. However, we may have had something to do with the premature tire wear.

The 12" wheels do handle light off-road work well. This is no dirt bike, but it can easily get you down your favorite little dirt road to the fishing hole. Just as easily as it will take you hundreds of worry free miles down secondary 2 lane roads. 

Overall a very good experience so far. We will be checking in again at 10,000 miles. However, till then, we can pretty much say you will be happy with your purchase of a Lance scooter, and should have some worry free miles. The fun is up to you, but the Cabo will do its part.








Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How do we do it? (Riding in the cold)

    Wow, you guys must be tough!
                                                               

You guys are some kind of Neanderthals !

You guys are just crazy! (Okay, THAT may be true)


But, the question remains, how do we DO IT? Well, it is true that a positive mental attitude is key to riding in the cold. A well maintained bike with proper tires, a good battery; all those things are important as well. The NUMBER ONE trick to riding in the cold? THE RIGHT GEAR.

The ugly white stuff hasn't even started yet, so lets be prepared shall we?

So, just what do you need when the temperature starts to get cold?
Surprisingly, not much between 60 and 32 degrees. Start at the top.
A good full-face helmet is the best way to keep your face intact.

If the wind is sneaking in past that, a wonderful device known as a balaclava does the trick.

 We are snobs, and carry these in silk, chamois, and polar fleece. Thin, and easy to carry in a pocket at all times. We have one in each of our riding jackets.

Next, of course is a good undergarment. Pick your poison here. We prefer silk or polar fleece, however there are too many choices to go into here. Just remember the first rule of cold weather gear cotton kills. If it is made of cotton you need something better.

A good jacket ( again there are a million choices). We are dealers for CorazzoTourmasterCortechAlpinestarICONZ1R, FLY,  Firstgear, and Riverroad just to name a few. Purchase as good a jacket as you can afford and go from there. None of us started with the best, so don't worry. We can help you no matter what the budget.
    Cold weather coats don't have to be boring; they range everywhere from mild to wild.

Next of course is a good set of winter gloves. We have choices from $29 to $150 in the cold weather glove area. You can ride to amazingly cold temps with a good $50 pair of winter gloves.  We know what works and what doesn't.

Are your legs cold? There are items way beyond a simple pair of chaps these days ( though they still work). There are full overpants that zip over your existing pants to keep you warm, and zip off when you get where you are going. 

We even have scooter capes from Cheeky Seats for your legs and lap. They work REALLY well.

Lastly, don't forget a good set of proper boots. The trick really is going from top to bottom and making sure the wind (and cold) doesn't get in.Not too hard with a few of the right pieces of gear.

Now, when the temps drop below the freezing mark. We expect most to leave their rides in the garage. If you decide to venture out below those temps. We have electric heated gear, and snowmobile one piece suits. We ride All winter and know how to make these work properly. If you want to ride that cold, PLEASE come see us. We would love to help. We even have a winter Shrinky Dink contest for those who do. Complete with prizes for the ones willing to go hardcore. Watch for that to start on December 21st

We even have gear to outfit the bike itself for cool weather.

Heated grips, wind skirts, and hand protectors are just a few of the tricks we have up our sleeves.

So, to sum up. We don't expect everyone to ride in the 20's. However, with just a small investment in riding gear, you can extend your riding season 2 months on each end easily. Now isn't THAT a good idea? With good gear, a 50 degree day in January feels wonderful. 
Don't be nervous, peek your head out, and let us show you how to have fun.









Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Scooter Jousting take 2

   Our only private event of the year, our 2nd annual scooter joust was, once again, a success. The first year went so well; why not do it again? The weapons had evolved a bit, the hand to hand combat was improved, and still we all went home in one piece.

      Some folks showed up early to say hello, test out the equipment, and perhaps get a little practice time in.

There was training.

This year we we had young and old riders both prepared to take the field.

We had some young squires, but still ready to do battle!

Some were even armoured for protection. ( Cute ain't he? )

The spectators were lining up. I think they were expecting some sort of mayhem. Some of them may have helped create some themselves.

Once the jousting started it was all smiles ( with maybe a few bruises ).
We used soda bottles attached to the helmets with Velcro. The object? Remove the soda bottle from your opponents helmet in ANY manner you see fit.

                                                 That hammer packed quite the wallop.



Just a small sample of the action. Proving that size doesn't matter, well, sort of.
video

This went on for hours, the bikes were battered beyond belief, but with a few mechanic interventions they managed to stay running all day.

Later, once it got too dark to joust. It was time to fire up the grill, and have some food. We even squeezed in a birthday cake somewhere.

 There was firewood that needed to be burned as well.

We didn't use our SYM scooters for the jousting, but we can use the shipping crates to stay warm at night. Besides, they sure do burn nicely.

As people slowly headed home, a few of us took up residence around the fire for the evening. Warm stones, and plenty to burn staved off the chill into the night.

Until next year!. Keep your eyes here or our Facebook page for our next event.