Finally named my Kawasaki Vulcan Classic …

Nora

after the fabulous silver screen star Myrna Loy in her roll “Nora Charles” from The Thin Man.

Myrna Loy

I see the similarities …

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Check your helmet!

“Beware of “Carbon Fiber” helmets made in China or India” is the warning on the website for Advanced Carbon Composites helmets.

But this company’s American-made helmets have been recalled so many times by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the agency has demanded the company never make another motorcycle helmet.

The owner, Mr. Kim L. Davis, has agreed to the agency’s demand that Advanced Carbon Composites stop designing, selling, or manufacturing motorcycle helmets, and that no company that he owns 3% or more of may design, sell, or manufacture motorcycle helmets.

Here’s what happened:

In 2005, the company notified the agency that during testing, it found that its EXT 001 helmet did not provide enough protection to meet safety standards.

As part of its recall effort, the company changed the interior of the helmet, which it designated as a new model, calling it the EXT 002. Then, rather than replace the defective EXT 001 helmets it had already sold, Advance Carbon Composites modified them, a move approved at the time by the safety agency.

But the modified and recalled helmets still did not meet safety standards. Neither did the EXT 002. So in 2007 the company agreed to also recall the EXT 002.

The company then modified the construction again, called that helmet the EXT 003 and retrofitted the recalled EXT 002 helmets.

Those helmets still didn’t meet the safety standard. The company agreed to another recall in 2009, this time of the EXT 003. Once again it modified the design of the helmet, but that didn’t work, either.

About five years after the first recall, N.H.T.S.A. undertook a civil enforcement action against the company, leading to the consent order. Under that order, the company has agreed to refund the purchase price of those helmets, and N.H.T.S.A. says “under no circumstances” is the company to try repairs. The company will also pay fines totaling $10,000. If the company does not comply, the case will go to federal district court, according to the consent order.

Meanwhile, about two weeks after the consent order was completed, Advanced Carbon Composites notified N.H.T.S.A. that its model EXT 004 didn’t meet federal safety standards, either. The company says the owners of those 645 helmets will get a refund, not a repair.

Note from NYC Hog Director on HOT

And from the NYC HOG chapter’s Director, Little Al, on the trip to Milwaukee for HOT:

Hello fellow HOGs,
I just want to give you all a brief summary of the officers training in Milwaukee last week.
Six of us went: Tony, Bill, Mike, Nick, Postman and me. 3 of us rode, 3 flew. I won’t say who did what but those of us that rode went from temps in the 80’s to temps in the 30’s on the ride out. We also had about 3 hours of freezing rain in Ohio, 2 hours of light snow in Indiana and topped it off with 30 minutes of hail in Illinois. Yep, it was a fun ride, lol
This was the best training so far, less focused on the rules and guidelines we operate under (the National Chapter Charter and the HOG Handbook) and was really about the nitty gritty of chapter operations. We all learned a great deal on how to make the chapter better and most importantly, more fun for all of us.
Personally I was thrilled & proud to represent our chapter among the 24 countries represented at POT (Primary Officers Training) in Milwaukee. For the first time ever chapters around the world were invited to attend POT here in America, previously they had their own training in Europe. We met HOG members from all over the world and even gained a few members, from France, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Scotland & Lebanon. The world’s greatest HOG chapter in the world’s greatest city just got a little bit better!
I had the opportunity to sit down and talk one on one with Benny Suggs (General Manager of HOG, their top dog) and National HOG has some exciting announcements they’ll be making over the next few months. I also got the chance to have a face to face with the CEO of Harley Davidson, Keith Wandell. Although Keith wouldn’t let me in on any new products or major changes (damn!) he did tell me that we can expect some big changes for the better over the next few years. Still, even when pressed, he wouldn’t give a clue on when water cooled motors would be hitting the showrooms. I also talked to both these guys about something that may bring HD to New York City later this year in a unique way and I expect to hear from one or both of them over the next weeks. If it turns out to be a go I’ll spill the beans, lol
Anyway, I was glad to go and learn about how to make our chapter better and more fun and was honored to be there as director of our very own New York City HOG Chapter!
PS: I know it’s a few weeks away, but please plan on being at the next monthly meeting at the Dealership on Wednesday May 5th at 7 PM. We’ll be having two special guests you won’t want to miss in addition to a few important announcements including our chapter’s critical participation in a Nation-wide event in June for the Military (nope, not Rolling Thunder) and the final details on BABC.
See you all there & hopefully before…
Little Al Panzella
Director – New York City HOG
Road Captain, Tail-Gunner

Harley Officer Training

This is from my dad, William “Cryovac” Perley, on his trip to Milwaukee for the Harley Officer Training for HOG officers. My dad rides an ’05 H-D Dyna Wide Glide:

I think that Little Al, our Director, said it very well. The second day Thursday April 8 began at 7:30 am in Pennsylvania and ended in Milwaukee, WI at 9:30 pm. Toughest run I’ve ever done. By the time we stopped for gas in Indiana we had been running for over 10 hrs through cold, wind, snow and a little hail. I was shivering from my toe nails to my hair follicles. Al and Rich sent me inside the fast food pavilion and after 15 minutes I was warm enough to be convinced to go the last leg through Chicago and on to Milwaukee. We ended up in a traffic jam in Chicago. Creeping in 1st gear, clutching, braking – you know  the workout. My left thumb hurt the whole next day from hanging on to the handle bar I also had a headache, fro the tension, no doubt. The POT (Primary Officer Training) has been re-named HOT (Harley Officer Training) and although I can’t remember learning anything super-significant, it was quite a production. Alot of Dealer hype. But there were 1200 people attending from all over the world as Al describes and it was fun sitting around tables sharing classes with them. Less than 50 people road their bikes there. We three were among the maniacs.
Anyway, the ride back was a little cold. I still used the heated gear, but the weather was dry but overcast. No more rain, thank God. Rich and I grabbed a motel (with a pool and hot tub) just across the Pennsylvania from Ohio. We had covered 525 mi. and it was starting to get dark. Had a dip in the tub and the pool and found a very nice restaurant for dinner. The final 360 mi back home were a breeze. A very nice day. The only wrinkle was a little oil spit in the area of the oil filter. Never needed to add oil, but it’s at the dealer now to get the problem fixed. No worrys, I’ll have it ship shape for you. That’s about it for the trip. Quite pretty. Interstate 80/90 all the way to Chicago. The forests were cover with a kind of coral pink mist (new growth) with an occasional puff of white from an odd tree, Dogwood or fruit tree maybe. that’s it. Adios

I think that Little Al, our Director, said it very well. The second day Thursday April 8 began at 7:30 am in Pennsylvania and ended in Milwaukee, WI at 9:30 pm. Toughest run I’ve ever done. By the time we stopped for gas in Indiana we had been running for over 10 hrs through cold, wind, snow and a little hail. I was shivering from my toe nails to my hair follicles. Al and Rich sent me inside the fast food pavilion and after 15 minutes I was warm enough to be convinced to go the last leg through Chicago and on to Milwaukee. We ended up in a traffic jam in Chicago. Creeping in 1st gear, clutching, braking – you know  the workout. My left thumb hurt the whole next day from hanging on to the handle bar I also had a headache, fro the tension, no doubt. The POT (Primary Officer Training) has been re-named HOT (Harley Officer Training) and although I can’t remember learning anything super-significant, it was quite a production. Alot of Dealer hype. But there were 1200 people attending from all over the world as Al describes and it was fun sitting around tables sharing classes with them. Less than 50 people road their bikes there. We three were among the maniacs.    Anyway, the ride back was a little cold. I still used the heated gear, but the weather was dry but overcast. No more rain, thank God. Rich and I grabbed a motel (with a pool and hot tub) just across the Pennsylvania from Ohio. We had covered 525 mi. and it was starting to get dark. Had a dip in the tub and the pool and found a very nice restaurant for dinner. The final 360 mi back home were a breeze. A very nice day. The only wrinkle was a little oil spit in the area of the oil filter. Never needed to add oil, but it’s at the dealer now to get the problem fixed. That’s about it for the trip. Quite pretty. Interstate 80/90 all the way to Chicago. The forests were cover with a kind of coral pink mist (new growth) with an occasional puff of white from an odd tree, Dogwood or fruit tree maybe. that’s it. Adios

GoPro Hero Cam – North Oshawa Circuit

Yesterday I went for a cruise along my North Oshawa Circuit and thought I’d turn the goPro Hero Cam on. The following is a vid I cut together of the highlights of the route:

Music is DJ Shadow – “Building Steam with a Grain of Salt”

GoPro Hero Cam – Airport Rd at Dusk

Last year I bought a GoPro Hero Helmet Cam (standard definition, 3mp I believe) while shopping at an outdoor gear store. I never got much chance to use it … until now.

On April 5th Buck and I headed up to one of our favorite rides north of Toronto, dubbed the “Airport Road Ride” (see previous post here). Because of work we couldn’t get up there till dusk, so the light was fading. We pulled over quickly at the start of Hockley Road, turned the camera on, and started to ride.

Unfortunately, the video on Mono Centre Road – debatably the more interesting road to drive – didn’t turn out so well because the sun had set and we were facing east.

The goPro Hero Standard Definition Camera definitely works better with a lot of light – I mean, a lot of light. Like a clear sunny day, at noon. (Check out the first few test videos at the end of this post).

Then again, I am using a standard def model that is two years old and they don’t even make anymore – I’m sure the new high-def models are much better. I’ll have to wait to get my hands on one to test it out …

The Airport Road ride

This is a great ride that Buck and I are fond of. Whenever we get the chance we head up there for some great turns, some great hills, and some awesome scenery. The Mono Cliffs Provincial Park is right in this neighbourhood. There have been some routes added to the iPod/iPhone app “Greatest Road” (see our “Useful Apps” post) in the area, so I’ve compiled a new route map to incorporate them.

I give you the Airport Road ride: