Enjoy our articles this month on LED lighting for your bike, Being Prepared, How to get the most out of your Road Guardian membership and Road Guardians at Bike Week in Daytona! Browse the articles then click to view the entire article and leave your comments!
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Road Guardians Make an Impact at Bike Week in Daytona!
By Steve Johnson – Road Guardians, Program Director
It happened that spring has sprung early this year, regardless of what the groundhog did or did not see in February. In early March, the northern states saw temperatures climb to a level that brought most everyone to pull out their bikes. Having traveled to Florida for Bike Week, it did feel a little strange talk to friends at home that had southern like temperatures in the north. It sure was great to be able to enjoy an early start to riding season upon our return.
Daytona was a great time; I always enjoy getting out and talking to bikers from other areas and sharing a story or two. We had many opportunities to spread the word about Accident Scene Management and Road Guardians. We were not even in town thirty minutes and were just getting ready to unload our gear when the unmistakable sounds of an automobile crash rang out with four ASM instructors and a paramedic within feet of the crash. The scene was made safe in short order and the minor injuries were attended to.
Tuesday evening brought a fun informal gathering of Road Guardian friends from around the country at Ponce Inlet – a tradition that I am sure will continue next year in Daytona as well as be expanded to something similar this year in Sturgis. We had a first for the Daytona Rally with the offering of a ASM basic class over two mornings at ROAR Motorcycles for Women; I would be truly missing something if I did not comment on what a great experience it was being around this motorcycle boutique. They may call it a boutique and it may be nicest looking motorcycle showroom you will ever set foot in, but let me tell you – they know their bikes and do some of the nicest custom work from paint to leather and fit that I have seen. I had the opportunity watch them fit a bike to a rider and all I can say is that most everyone in motorcycle sales could learn a lot from how they do things. If you’re in the market for a bike fitted to you as the rider from form to comfort and style this shop in Daytona has it all for you.
The class at ROAR even made into print with a full article in Southern Biker Magazine. It’s always great to see the important message of ASM reaching more people so they know these lifesaving class are available.
To close out a great month, on Friday I was asked to attend Allegra’s 2012 FootPRINT Award Reception in Bloomingdale, IL. Every year, Allegra gives over a dozen non-profit groups from the community a grant of printing services. Allegra’s owners Gary and Cindy Blaski are very involved in the motorcycle couminty and the High Road Riders at Willow Creek Community Church. One of their group’s main focuses is on the rider’s safety. It was a great honor to see Accident Scene Management with a Printing Grant to help us produce our student packets this year. We are very fortunate to have such strong corporate partners that allow us to bring our mission to more people. http://allegraschaumburg.com
Well, ’till next month – keep, like always, an eye out for your safety and do something positive for your community. Giving back is so rewarding and just think what we can accomplish if everyone does a little bit. I hear the birds chirping and the wind calling my name… take care.
written by Wild Prairie HOG Safety Officer – John Garley
Here are two realities regarding our interest in motorcycling: a few motorcycles crash, and motorcyclists are often the first people to arrive on the scene of a motorcycle crash. This is not coincidence, magic, luck or divine intervention; we simply prefer to ride on roads that meander away from towns and involve curves, hills, water, trees, and of course deer (Mother Nature’s Suicide Terrorists). People in cars, on the other hand, are generally on highways or main roads to efficiently get from Point A to Point B while motorcyclists are out sightseeing. So even though motorcycles are in the minority, we may be the primary vehicle on back roads. Now the issue is: what to do if, and when, we encounter a motorcycle crash scene. Boy Scout or not, BE PREPARED is good advice for everyone.
Vicki Sanfelipo is a biker from Milwaukee and she is a Registered Nurse. As such she would hear other cyclists around her say; Oh good, Vicki’s here. Just in case there is an accident, she’ll know what to do. Vicki thought; well yes, if we come across an accident inside a clean building, that has a pharmacy, radiology, limitless medical supplies, an operating room or two, and lots of doctors and nurses near-by, I’ll know just what to do! Vicki’s medical training did little to prepare her to respond to a motorcycle crash two miles from the middle of nowhere and in the ditch. As a result, she developed Accident Scene Management Inc. (ASM) courses to prepare bikers to be of maximum usefulness in those critical first 5-20 minutes.
Every person I know who has taken this training has spoken highly of ASM. Unlike a Red Cross First Aid class or CPR training, Accident Scene Management was created by bikers and for bikers. It all applies to us and our specific situation. Where else will you be instructed in the safest way to remove a full-face helmet from a biker who is not breathing? ASM training revolves around P.A.C.T. which stands for Prevent further injury, Access the situation, Contact help, and Treat the injured. ASM Basic training involves a full day (usually a Saturday) and covers techniques and priorities as they pertain to Prevent – Access – Contact – Treat. Advanced training on the second day (usually a Sunday) largely focuses on Treatment. Basic training is not ASM Lite or elemental in nature, ASM Basic provides a great deal of very useful knowledge and preparation so you can concentrate on the most important things a person should do while waiting for professional help to arrive.
I strongly encourage riders of all brands to sign up for ASM training. Chances are that ASM classes are only offered once a year in your area, so jump at the chance to sign-up. If you need Continuing Education, each day of ASM training provides 6.0 CEs.
As a Certified Road Guardian, I wish everyone on my rides attended at least ASM Basic. ASM Advanced is one of the prerequisites to become a Certified Road Guardian and certainly will Advance your knowledge base. Even if I would not have completed the Advanced training in my quest to attain Certified Road Guardian recognition, I’ve gained a great deal of confidence and satisfaction knowing that I’m prepared in the event that I (again) come upon the scene of a motorcycle crash. Please give ASM training serious consideration. In all likelihood, one or two bikers that you know or even have never met may be very grateful that you did.
The Low Down on LED Lights
In the part one of this article series we talked about what an LED is and how they are much more efficient than any bulb. We also discussed a few of the different options available to choose from when selecting the style of colored LED accent lights for your bike. People have been asking me a lot about LED lights for bikes, seems every one wants to know my secrets and how to do an install on their own. So I thought I would try to “shed some light on the subject”, okay, that sounded cornier then I thought it would.
If you have a basic understanding of 12 volt D.C. and know your way around a toolbox you may be able to light up your own bike and save a bundle. I have seen booths at rallies charging 700 bucks or more to light your bike, yikes! I wonder what you are getting for $700?
Now, some pointers for any one who is thinking of doing an LED light install on their own bike at home. I must put out a word of caution though. This is not an easy or a quick installation. It will involve some dismantling of your bike and a good understanding of your bike’s moving parts and how they work. There is no way I could possibly cover every aspect of every install on every bike out there. Each time I do an LED install on a bike it is like starting over, as every bike is different and there are so many add on accessories that people can install on their bikes that have to be considered. Patience is key when doing this kind of work.
That being said first thing you need to know to do a proper 16-pod install on a bike is you will need time. I have been installing LED lights for years and it still takes me about 4 hours minimum to do a proper install. More pods means more time spent doing the install, however the bike in the picture for this article has a 16-pod kit that I installed and as you can see it is plenty bright enough. If you have a bagger it will take more time then a Dyna because of the extra hardware on the bike. So as a first timer plan on spending an entire day or better yet an entire weekend to light up your bike properly.
You need to know that all LEDs are polarity specific. This means they will only work when the positive wire is hooked to a hot wire, and the negative wire is hooked to a ground. If they are hooked up backwards they will not light up, and can be permanently damaged. So plan on using a multi-meter and checking the polarity before you apply any power to your LED lights.
Next, consider the tools you will need to complete a proper install. You will need your basic tool kit (screw drivers, sockets and drivers, Alan wrenches, Torx bits, box wrenches, etc) all in standard and metric sizes to take off parts of the bike (seat, bags, covers, etc.) to gain access to the battery and other areas of the bike. You will also need rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs to clean any surfaces that you intend to stick a pod to. And don’t forget your basic electrician tools like wire strippers, multi-meter, electrical tape, solder and soldering iron etc. Depending on what kit or brand of LED pods you are installing you may or may need things like a weatherproof switch, a fuse, crimp on connectors, shrink wrap, and some extra wire to do the install. It helps to take an inventory before you start your install to avoid making several trips to the local hardware store.
Before you start your installation, take a good look at you bike and decide where you want to put your lights. Each pod will have wires that will need to be kept clear of moving parts on the bike to avoid pinching damage that will cause short circuits. Hot surfaces like the engine and exhaust system will also melt and destroy wires and pods. After considering the possible wire routing considering the moving and hot parts on the bike, I connect a nine-volt to each LED pod (one at a time) to find the best mount locations getting the most out of the pod’s light.
The hardest part of doing an accent LED light install is hiding and connecting all the wires. The only tip I can offer here is take your time and do a good job, believe me you will not want to have to get done with all this work just to re-do it.
If all else fails you can always have a professional do the install. Just be sure that you are getting your money’s worth, do your homework, ask questions and if the person or place does not take the time to answer your questions, they probably won’t take the time to do a good job. Remember, the only dumb question is one that does not get asked.
In the next part of this article series I will talk about LED turn signals, add on LED brake lights and motorcycle mirrors with LED running lights and turn signals built into them.
-Ride smart, Biker Chad
Did you know that the Road Guardian members area has a forum feature? To access, log in at www.roadguardians.org on the right sidebar. Once you are logged in, visit the Road Guardian Members Area which is located under the “Connect” tab. In the Member Discussion forum I have started a survey with some questions to help us better serve you. If you log in and answer, you could win an annual renewal to your membership! Winner will be drawn at random and announced in the April newsletter. While you’re there, why not start a topic?
Road Guardian members receive 20% off all purchases at Timberland. Get your coupon code by logging in at http://roadguardians.org/ and checking out Smart Savings in the discounts area.
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