October 2010

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Allstate Motorcycle Insurance
Visit the Allstate Garage and sign up for their free newsletter by clicking above!

In this issue:

What's New?

Survey Winner is....

1. A word from the Director: Vicki Sanfelipo

2. Featured Partner: Sevenish Law Firm

3. Tech Tip: Chris Holland

4. All Over The Map: Leading a Group Ride Part 2: John Garley

5. Motorcycle Mouse House: Jim Shutes

6. Link to us

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Survey Winner

AndiIn the words of my teenagers, my first attempt at incorporating a survey in our newsletter was an "epic fail". I had not thought about how to actually collect the participants' name and email. In addition, it required the user to select every answer whether or not it was correct.


So.... I am here to apologize. I have to do a little more testing before we give it another whirl.

What's New!


Allstate’s Quote Donation Revs Up Motorcycle Safety
Company pledges $5 to Road Guardians for every new motorcycle insurance quote

NORTHBROOK, Ill. (October 11, 2010) – Motorcyclists are about 37 times more likely than car occupants to die in a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,. Allstate is helping bikers stay safe on the road by donating $5 to Road Guardians for every person who calls for a quote for motorcycle insurance.

“I believe Allstate’s coverage for cyclists is the best there is. But, we know that regardless of insurance coverage, a rider has to take personal steps to ensure safety on the road,” said Chuck Paul, vice president of Allstate’s emerging businesses. “Anyone who gets a quote for their bike through Allstate is helping their fellow riders stay safe at the same time.”

Allstate’s quote donation program with the Road Guardians will run through December 31, 2010. Road Guardians provides safety and education resources to cyclists, including a first responder-based curriculum that teaches riders how to start proper & effective emergency care at the scene of a motorcycle accident until help arrives. To date, nearly one-third of the students who’ve received Road Guardians first-responder training have used their skills within three years of instruction.

“The funding from Allstate will be used to help train and educate road riders to be there for their fellow cyclists when they need it most,” said Vicki Sanfelipo, president of Road Guardians. “We’re working with Allstate to help save lives by offering on-the-road training to help prevent and respond to crashes.”

Riders who are interested in getting a quote from Allstate that benefits Road Guardians can call 877-871-0500 for a motorcycle insurance quote. For every completed quote, $5 will go to the Road Guardians.

DISCLAIMER: No purchase necessary. Program applies to motorcycle insurance. For each quote received, $5 will benefit the Road Guardians. Maximum Allstate donation is $100,000. Program donations limited to quotes received beginning now and ending December 31, 2010. This promotion is not available in AL, AK, ME, MA, NC, NY AND UT. The Road Guardians name and logo are used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, expressed or implied, of any product, service, company or individual.

About Allstate
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®” slogan, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help more than 17 million households insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Consumers access Allstate insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, as well as via www.allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®.

We're Moving!!

Come check out the open house on October 23, 2010.

Fliers available in PDF and JPG

Open House


Vicki SanfelipoA word from the Director
by Vicki Sanfelipo

As I write this month’s article I am so filled with emotion! This is an exciting time for Road Guardians as we settle into our new home in Big Bend Wisconsin. We have brought many volunteers together and through our partnerships we are creating a Road Guardians compound, a place for bikers to gather where they can socialize and learn. Click on this link for our Oct. 23rd Open House information and come see what is sure to become a “destination” for bikers! Our products and seminars/classes will support the six areas of motorcycle safety outlines in the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety. We will encourage life long learning in a fun full service environment. I am also concerned. It seems that no matter how many opportunities we provide for bikers to take a moment of their lives to be “better bikers” they find so many excuses not to attend educational seminars that I am left scratching my head… Can’t attend because __________ (fill in the blank). I challenge each one of you to plan to attend 1-2 educational activities each year even if it means that you have to give up a breakfast ride or another charity run that has nothing to do with motorcycling. We do so much for others, taking 10% of our time/finances to support our own and reduce injuries and fatalities to bikers should be a goal everyone tries to achieve. The negative impact on the motorcycling community as a result of motorcycle crashes affects us all and there is much that each one of us can do to lessen that impact! I am eagerly anticipating 2011 to see how opportunities that Road Guardians is going to be able to offer as we partner with Allstate Insurance to bring this message of six areas of motorcycle safety to the motorcycling community! We have partnered with Allstate to give talks at all Allstate Garage major motorcycle rally events, Cash for quotes ($5.00 goes to Road Guardians – just call 877-871-0500 for your no obligation quote and help us!!!!), we are working with Allstate’s ONE campaign to urge car drivers to “Look Twice” and we are hosting or annual Biker’s Betterment Conference (BBC) in Chicago the last weekend of March so mark your calendars!!!

Featured Partner: Sevenish Law Firm

This month we are featuring Indiana personal injury firm, Sevenish Law. Randy Sevenish and his wife, Regina, are avid motorcyclists.

Excerpted from sevenishlaw.com: "The attorney and staff of Sevenish Law Firm know the dangers a motorcyclist faces, because we ride too. We ride, we understand motorcycle injury law, we understand bikers and bikers trust us. We've encountered near misses ourselves and handled so many motorcycle injury claims that know the questions to ask:

-Was the other driver impaired by alcohol or drugs?
-Was the other driver distracted? (Driver inattention is the leading cause of Indiana motorcycle accidents - 23 percent.)
-Were they obeying traffic laws? (unsafe speed, failure to yield, improper turns, and crossing the center line are major factors in many cycle crashes.
-Did an object (e.g., dead animal) or hazard (pothole, uneven pavement) lead to the crash?"

Motorcycle Accident Information


Tech Tip
by Chris Holland

Question of the Month

Lynne: Chris, I discovered a splatter of grease coming from my turn joint of my frame. I took my bike in for its 20k maintenance and they tell me this is not uncommon for the grease to warm up on a hot day– long ride– and spooge out. So in other words they say nothing is wrong. Is this a correct assessment?

Chris: Well, Lynn this is indeed correct and it is quite normal. It does this so that when heated it can still stay pliable inside and not hinder movement. I hope this answers your question. Thanks a lot.

Chris the Mechanic

Let Chris answer your burning bike questions via our blog:


John GarleyAll Over the Map
by John Garley

Leading A Group Ride: Part 2- Safe Practices and Habits J. Garley

Habits formed when we ride solo need to be altered when leading a group. Accelerating from a stop sign for example; within 5 seconds, the lead bike can easily be moving at 40 mph while the last half of the group still has their feet on the ground waiting to proceed. This is a major cause of the slingshot/slinky effect that results in riders at the end of the group exceeding the speed limit just to catch up. I hold my speed at 20 to 25 mph for as long as it takes until I see the Sweep bike clear the stop sign, then I accelerate slowly. The same is true for slowing for a stop sign; the lead may begin to slow down while the last half of the group continues at highway speed, which forces them to sharply brake (causing riders to want a long gap in-front of them). Well ahead of the stop, slightly use your brakes long enough for your brake light to be noticed by the group. Remember, with the exception of the first bike behind you (on your right), the group sees bikes and bikers; they probably do not notice the stop sign ahead.

Leaving a parking lot involves most of the above slow acceleration, but with a significant difference. Make eye contact with each rider in the group to be assured they are ready to roll. Even bikes that are running might have riders looking for their gloves or changing glasses. It’s much better to wait an extra minute in a parking lot for the last rider than riding slowly in traffic (or stopped along the side of the road for that extra minute).

Parking the group relies on the idea of gently slowing down. It is vital that you approach and enter the parking area slow enough to account for all the cars, trucks, people, etc. that are stopped and /or in-motion. Figure out how to loop the group around so all bikes are in the parking lot before any of them need to stop. The idea is to get the last bike in the group off the road before the bikes ahead of them come to a stop.

In my opinion, hand signals are over emphasized. Most involve the left arm, and most of those appear identical (or fail to convey the intended information) when used by riders. Due to the fact that all hand signals involve letting go of the handlebar, I prefer to minimize their use to the following: Left Turn, Right Turn, and Single File/Staggered Formation. Everyone who went to a competent grade school knows Left Turn and Right Turn. These hand signals are a good addition to turn signals because they confirm the onset of a turn rather than a turn signal initiated by mistake. In pre-ride meetings, stress an extended arm vs. a raised arm against the helmet is the difference between a Right Turn hand signal and Single File/Staggered Formation hand signal. Once in single file, do not forget to signal a return to staggered formation. The group should not have to determine this for themselves; you are the ride-leader.

Road Debris is pointed out using the left or right leg and should only by used when debris is within the lane. It doesn’t make sense to point out road kill or tire treads in the ditch or on-coming lane because we don’t ride in the ditch or on-coming lane. Do not go overboard however. A couple of years ago, my leg persisted a little too long and I hit the debris with my foot. Trust me, it hurts a lot, it hurts immediately, and it causes you to wonder if you screwed-up your ankle so bad that you cannot use the rear brake or kickstand.

Split group at stoplight will occur, and when it does, riders tend to run a red light rather than be left behind. We don’t need to discuss why this should be avoided. During the pre-ride meeting, stress the need to obey traffic signals and drive defensively. After you pass through the green light, you can monitor the signal light in your rear view mirror and if necessary, scout-out a safe place to drive very slow, pull into a large parking lot, or pull over and stop on the right shoulder. If you choose to stop (generally a lousy choice), make certain you signal Single File, and make certain you have a sufficiently long shoulder for the whole group, not just the bikes that made it through the light. Remember, those at the light may also need to use the shoulder while you wait to confirm the group is back together and then wait for a break in traffic to get the group moving again.

When approaching stoplights, be aware of how long the light has been green. It may be best to slowly approach a green light to deplete its cycle and have the whole group wait at a red light. Then your group has the benefit of the full green light cycle. If you know the light cycle to be short (especially true for left turn arrows), and if there are two lanes available, by all means indicate to your group that they should use both lanes.

Lane changes on highways are unavoidably awful in a large group. Long strings of bikes will almost always get split-up, riders will likely be pressured to take risks beyond their skill or comfort, riders will undoubtedly cut-off the slow vehicle once they pass and return to the lane. Trucks need a lot of room ahead and truck drivers have very strong opinions regarding folks who squeeze-in.

Don’t even think about passing on a two-lane road with a large group of bikes.

Lane changes, the slingshot (or slinky) effect, and stoplights are three compelling reasons to use multiple ride leaders (and sweeps) to minimize group size. In my opinion, safety is degraded as a group gets larger. The exception to this is when you have the benefit of police escort.

Without question, the most effective tool to lead a ride is for the lead bike and the sweep bike to have a CB Radio. There is no substitute for communication and feedback regarding the group, rider’s ability to keep-up, the completion or interruption of stoplights, breakdowns, etc. Yup, CB typically means Ultras, Wings, Royal Stars, Voyagers, etc. which may sound elitist. But there is no doubt in my mind, it is the safest and most satisfying way to lead a group ride.

© 2010 John Garley


Big Bird
Motorcycle Mouse House
by Jim Shutes aka Big Bird

Motorcycle Mouse House
reprinted with permission


A few years ago, I bought a very clean 2002 1800. The previous owner, who was meticulous in having almost all his maintenance done by a local Honda dealer, had the 20,000 mile scheduled maintenance performed at about 19,000 miles, just before I bought it. I then enjoyed adding 5,000 miles (mostly commuting and business), and decided to do my own 24,000 scheduled maintenance. (I’m an FAA licensed aircraft mechanic, and enjoyed working on my Harley.) Because the bike has a Honda extended warranty, for proof of maintenance, I take lots of pictures of my procedures, use only genuine Honda parts and fluids, and keep meticulous records. Imagine my surprise when it came to changing the air filter. (See attached photo.) Found the air box filled with the previous owner’s home insulation, presumably by an animal! Couldn’t tell this from a lack of performance (which was great all along). Going to recommend to the dealer and to Honda that the air cleaner be routinely viewed more frequently (as soon as I can find a convenient way to view it).

Mouse House

This brought to mind that it may be advisable to cover over the air inlets and tail pipes before storing the Wing for extended periods. (Remove the pockets for easy access.) I cover with two plastic bags, with a layer of aluminum foil on top on each inlet and exhaust, held on with heavy rubber bands. I’m told like humans, critters don’t like to chew the aluminum foil. And, you may not want the aluminum foil in direct contact with chromed tail pipes. (I’ve also heard of little critters even getting into cylinders through open valves.) Of course, be sure to remove the covers before starting the engine! Also, I’m trying to figure out how to see into the 1800 air inlets to occasionally check filter condition between filter changes. Perhaps I’ll find something that may be rented, such as a very small TV camera or flexible borescope. Or, I’ll make my own.

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Riding to enjoy another day,



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