A California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer who really rides that you can count on.

If you have god forbid been injured in a motorcycle accident anywhere in California, give me a call anytime 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x.1,  to discuss your case.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez
  • I can get you medical treatment even if you do not have medical insurance,
  • I will send my investigators to you so you do not have to come into the office.
  • I will work to get your motorcycle fixed.
  • I will work to get you all the compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and more.

I am not some marketing scam that you have seen posting flyers all over motorcycle rallies, or biker rags nationwide. I am not “an association of lawyers” who has attorneys paying me money to advertise for them nationwide, and then farms cases out to them. I don’t pass out trinkets and goodies at motorcycle rallies to make you think that I am something I am not. I am not some generic non-riding personal injury attorney who has designed a fancy website to get you to think that they are biker lawyers, which they are not, I am a real deal biker like you. My firm and I handle the actual cases that come in. We say what we are, and are what we say, experts in motorcycle accident cases.

Read my blog below. I am an expert in motorcycle accidents. Like you I am a real biker who rides, and I am an expert in personal injury cases.

Don’t be suckered into signing up with a firm because of fancy advertising, or who do not ride motorcycles, who says they ride just to get you to sign up with them. Don’t be fooled by fancy ads. I am a top rated attorney who rides in the wind just like you.

Enjoy my articles below, there are hundreds of them!

California Motorcycle Accident and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

Category Archives: Reviews

I have switched from Harley Davidson Motorcycles to Indian Motorcycles; Part 1

I have been riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles for quite some time, off and on, for over 30 years. My last bike was a 2008, Harley-Davidson Electra glide Ultra – Classic,

I decided to take a look at obtaining a new motorcycle, partly because I wanted to see what new technology was out there.

I finally narrowed down my search to two possible motorcycles, a 2017 Harley-Davidson Ultra – Limited, and an Indian Roadmaster.

In my research, I discovered that the 2017 Harley-Davidson Ultra – Limited had the new Milwaukee 8 motor, which has water-cooled heads, which means it runs months cooler than the current motorcycle that I have, has 11 more cc inches of power than I have now, a redesigned engine mount which lessens vibrations, a redesigned fairing which is said to be more stable, updated hard saddlebags, and an updated head unit with Bluetooth capability.

Frankly, I did not like any of the color schemes that came with the Harley-Davidson Ultra – Limited. With a motor cycle manufacturer such as Harley-Davidson, I would’ve expected more choices, or even custom options.

If I chose to get the Harley-Davidson, it would basically be getting the same motorcycle I have had for the past 12 years, with an updated engine, fairing, stereo, and saddlebag openers.

In my mind, there is no way to justify paying approximately $30,000 for an updated Harley just because of the few things mentioned above.

When I looked at the Indian motorcycles, frankly I was very surprised to see how far they’d come. The Indian motorcycles in this class have a 111 c.c. motor which is called the ThunderStroke. It puts out 119.6 foot-pounds of torque, and has approximately 90 hp. Although it is air cooled like the old Harleys, and heats up like the old Harleys, this engine is a beast, trust me it has some punch, it is fast.

Further, when I looked at the Indian Roadmaster, I saw many built-in features that would cost thousands of dollars to get on a Harley-Davidson as add on extras.

The head unit on the Indian is incredible, it has GPS built in, a much bigger screen, and shows you all engine functions, including a multi-function display, right on the front bike.

Basically, the Indian Roadmaster is a beautiful bike.

Lucky man that I am, when my fiancé found out that I liked the Indian Roadmaster, she decided to buy one, for me to ride, with the only condition that she be the only female I allow the back. Of course, I said yes 🙂 this lady is about to become my wife anyway.

We went to a dealership locally called “Indian Motorcycles of Orange,” (More on them in part two of this article.)  to look at the Indian Roadmaster.

They had in stock, a black Roadmaster, a black and ivory one, and a red one, however, I wanted the green and ivory color Roadmaster.

I told Indian Motorcycle of Orange County that my fiancé was a cash buyer, and we wanted to buy a new motorcycle within a week.

The sales manager told us that he would call around to his other dealer friends, and if anybody had one, he could have it within a couple of days.

I figured that the dealer would be very excited to have a cash deal on their most expensive motorcycle, and that he would have jumped right on it trying to find the motorcycle that we wanted.

I called him the next day, and he told me that he had not had a chance to check yet, but that he would, and that he would get back to me.

3 days later I still had not heard back from him, so I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I went online and looked at the inventory of all of the local dealerships myself. I discovered that only Spirit Motorcycle of San Jose California had the motorcycle I wanted in stock, the green and ivory motorcycle. Unfortunately, it was 450 miles away.

I called and talked to the owner, Martin, who was very helpful, and we worked the deal out over the phone. Within 2 days, I was on a plane to San Jose to go pick up the bike.

Ironically, the day I was about to leave to go pick up the bike, Indian Motorcycle of Orange called me and left a message, but it was already too late, the deal was already done with Spirit, and I was on my way to San Jose to pick up the Indian Roadmaster.

Had Indian Motorcycle of Orange called me back sooner, they would have gotten the deal.

If you are a motorcycle dealer, I doubt you are so busy that it would take you days to find a unit for a customer, or at least call them back to let them know you are trying. It took me less than 15 minutes to find the motorcycle I wanted.

If you snooze, you lose. More on Indian Motorcycle of Orange below, and in part 2 of this article.

When I got to San Jose, they picked me up at the airport, brought me to the dealership, you can see from the pictures here that this is what I picked up. It is the most beautiful motorcycle I have ever rode I think.

The dealer sent his expert out to teach me everything I needed to know about the motorcycle before I took off on it, I had the service department install infinity Highway pegs on the motorcycle before I left.

This dealership bent over backwards to make sure I was happy. Since I did not bring a helmet with me, I purchased an Indian DOT meanie helmet with the built-in visor for the road.

How many of you have obtained a brand-new motorcycle and then rode it 420 miles plus home :-)?

When I got the bike on the road I discovered that the floorboards seem to sit a little bit higher than the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra-Classic that I have, and because this motorcycle has a rider backrest installed, I could look not lean back as much. It was a riding position I was not yet used to. However, It took all of 5 minutes to get used to it 🙂

Even though this motorcycle has stock exhaust, due to the size of the engine, it still stock makes a loud low noise that lets you know you have one hell of machine between your legs.

I was told that the 1st 500 miles on this motorcycle is a break in. The 1st 100 miles you’re not supposed to give it more than ¼ throttle, or keep it at the same speed for too long of time. After 100 miles, no more than one half throttle, and after 400 miles, no more than three quarters throttle.

I broke it in riding it home from San Jose.

The only complaint I had about the motorcycle was that I could not figure out how to get the cruise control working. I stopped and read the manual while taking a break on the road, and discovered it worked just like the Harley-Davidson cruise control. You first turn it on, then hit set, it appeared my cruise control was not working, a little upsetting on a brand new 35k bike, but I was not worried because I have a five-year warranty. Turns out I have a lot to worry about. See my write up on Indian Motorcycle of Orange in part two of this article.

With respect to riding the Indian, here are my impressions. It is one hell of a fast motorcycle. The pickup and go on this stock motorcycle will blow away most of my Harley riding friends who have had serious custom worked on their motorcycles.

The motorcycle does not vibrate like the Harley-Davidson which is actually a pleasure. On the Harley-Davidson when you’re at a stop light, at least with my 2008, the whole damn thing is vibrating like hell. The Indian is smooth as a button.

The handling on the Indian is about the same as on my Harley, except my Electra Glide has a much tighter turning radius than the Indian. The Indian does have fatter tires.

Above all, the Indian is as far as I’m concerned, is a far more advanced motorcycle when it comes to rider amenities.

The stereo is mind blowing, it comes with the 200 W, 4 speakers, Bluetooth enabled, advanced head unit built-in, with a cell phone holder above it, and allows you to plug your cell phone into the motorcycle and charge it.

The Indian also has remote control locking and unlocking of the tour Pak and saddlebags, as well as keyless starting so long as your key fob is close by.

There are way too many other amenities that I have not included. I absolutely love my Indian Roadmaster.

I’m going to write another part 2 article about the horrendous and outrageously priced service I received for my 500-mile service, and my attempt to get the cruise control fixed, at Indian Motorcycle of Orange soon. This is the same local dealership that did not timely call me back when I tried to buy a motorcycle there.

The reason I’m going to write this article is to warn you all of you about this local dealer, who treated me very poorly, and to I strongly recommend my Biker Law Blog readers not to patronize.

A final word of closing for now, I still love Harley-Davidson don’t get me wrong, but I am now an Indian rider, and I think that many of you once you go check it out will also be an Indian rider. This competition is good because now it will force both manufacturers to produce better motorcycles.

By Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, July 2017.

Viking Motorcycle Sissy Bar Bag, a review.

Viking motorcycle sissy bar backpackI recently acquired a Viking Motorcycle Sissy Bar Backpack, from Vikingbags.com. Here is a link to the actual bag: https://www.vikingbags.com/viking-motorcycle-sissy-bar-backpack

In the past I would’ve loved to of had a bag such as this when I was running with a motorcycle that had a sissy bar, but since I have a tour pak on my current Harley-Davidson motorcycle, I personally cannot not use the bag right now.

I have a brother in my motorcycle club named Andrew T., who I knew was considering getting saddlebags, I knew he had a sissy bar, and no way to carry anything on his bike.

I decided to give him the bag for personal use on the condition that he review here on the Biker Law Blog.

The following is a synopsis of Andrews review:

Andrew Trujillo
Andrew Trujillo

The bag is big and has plenty of room. It easily fits over the sissy bar, and it’s probably best to secure it down with the included strap buckles, rather than just leaving it placed over the sissy bar. It is lockable, and durable. It looks like it’s waterproof as well. It is really easy to put on and take off. This bag can be used as luggage for your motorcycle. I highly recommend this bag to others.

Since Andrew used the Viking Bags motorcycle sissy bar backpack personally, and recommends it, I will also recommend as well since my brother vouched for it.

Below is also a video about the backpack.

In the past I have used many types of sissy bar motorcycle luggage. Most of the ones I previously used, or a hassle to strap on and to take off, especially in the dark.

Further, most motorcycle luggage is that I purchased in the past were over $200. This simple $99 bag looks to me to be a very good solution if you need something to carry her stuff around, motorcycle luggage, and something that’s easy to put on and take off.

I recommend getting one!

By motorcycle accident attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, April 2017

The birth of a Custom Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer Part 2

Enclosed Motorcycle trailer with Phase 1 upgrades done
Enclosed Motorcycle trailer with Phase 1 upgrades done

You may remember reading about my enclosed motorcycle trailer project that you can get to by clicking here.

Phase 1 included adding a 2’ by 12’ strip of diamond plate from the length of the trailer all the way down the ramp door and small ramp, which is about 20’ of diamond plate. I also had the floor surface sanded and had multiple coats of Urethane brushed onto the wood to protect it.

I also had a Biker Bar strapless motorcycle towing system installed in the trailer, and a wheel chock. With the Biker Bar strapless towing system, there is no need for straps to hold the motorcycle in, and the wheel chock is not really needed as well. I added it just in case.

You can see the end result of the phase 1 customization in the pictures in this article. When I go to Sturgis, I will film me riding the bike into the trailer and securing it into the Biker Bar strapless towing system. I think it is totally cool. I am actually going to meet the expert on the Biker Bar over in Sturgis at Black Hills Harley.

Inside of enclosed motorcycle trailer after phase 1 upgrades
Inside of enclosed motorcycle trailer after phase 1 upgrades

Phase 2 is about to begin next week. Originally phase 2 was going to encompass me installing cabinets and racks into the trailer. I will not have time to install everything I want for phase 2 before Sturgis. I have also added a diamond plate trailer tongue box to phase 2. This will be installed next week.

The trailer tongue box will allow me to carry all of my straps, motorcycle cleaning supplies, and other things inside of the box without having to put it in the trailer or the motorhome.

If you look at the stock trailer pictures here, you will see all of the room on the trailer tongue that is where to box will be mounted.

Phase 2 also includes mounting a spare trailer tire inside the trailer, however, I will not order the tire until next Monday.

Next week phase 3 of the trailer project will begin as well which is a custom wrap of my law firm advertisement onto the trailer.

Things are coming along well. I will get as much done before I leave for Sturgis in 10 days.

By California Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © July 20, 2013

A Review of the Trinity 3-Rail Motorcycle Trailer

My Trinity 3 motorcycle trailer
My Trinity 3 motorcycle trailer with my Electra Glide on it in South Carolina

This review is long overdue, I am now finally able to share it.

Last year in July 2012 I purchased a Trinity 3-Rail Motorcycle Trailer from Theusatrailerstore.com .

You see I have never trailered any of my bikes ever, but when I planned my epic around the country motorhome trip, I needed a trailer so I could bring my motorcycle along.

I researched all different types of trailers. I looked at the Motorcycle Trailer in a Bag, the Kendon Trailers, Enclosed Trailers, and every type of trailer you can possibly imagine. I put a lot of time into finding the right trailer, at the right price.

I was almost set to pull the trigger on a used Motorcycle Trailer in a Bag, when I found the Trinity 3, from theusatrailerstore.com .

I contacted them through their website, they contacted me right back. The head guy gave me his phone number and I gave him a call. As it turns out, this company if located back east in the South, but they had a local distribution center right here in Southern California.

My Trinity 3 trailer with Electra Glide
My Trinity 3 trailer with Electra Glide on it behind my RV in South Carolina

They offered me a brand new Trinity 3 for around $1,375, plus another $75 for a chrome spare tire. After all was said and done, this trailer looked a lot more beefier and safer for my new Electra Glide Ultra Classic than the Motorcycle in a bag, I told him I would come the next day to pick up the trailer.

At this time my motorhome was in the shop getting customized and I had nothing to pull the trailer with, so I rented a pickup truck for $75 plus tax so I could go pick up the trailer and pull it home.

When I went to pick up the trailer, it was literally brand new and just assembled at the distribution center. It was beautiful. To my surprise, the trailer folded up and could be stored upright like a Kendon, but it did not have the casters like the Kendon. This was ok with me since I was saving at least $2,000 right off the bat by getting this trailer.

This trailer was rated at 2,000 pounds, whereas the single Kendon was only rated at 1,000 pounds. My Electra Glide Ultra Classic is almost 1,000 pounds without rider or passenger.

This trailer also came with 3 Wheel Chocks. The owner even offered and shipped to me 3 lowered wheel chocks to accommodate the low fender on my Electra Glide.

My Electra Glide on the Trinity 3 trailer
My Electra Glide on the Trinity 3 trailer in South Carolina

The manufacturer says that you can fit 3 small bikes, 2 medium bikes, or 1 bagger on the trailer at the same time. All I cared about was my Electra Glide.

Another issue I had was that on my trip I would need to load and unload my motorcycle from the trailer by myself, and I wanted to be able to ride my motorcycle up onto the trailer, since it was going to be only me, and my now ex on the trip, and I knew she was not going to be able help me getting it on and off.

Like Kendon, the Trinity trailer comes with its own ramp that is secured to the bottom of the folding part of the trailer by wingnuts. However in looking at it, I knew I would need a larger ramp just to make sure I could load and unload my motorcycle onto the trailer.

I ended up buying a beefy ramp I found on Amazon for about $200 that was rated at 1500 pounds and that was really wide, and had no holes for my feet to go through.

The owner of theusatrailerstore.com told me that I should take off the rubber caps from the wheel axels and lube them every 5,000 miles, however, in extreme heat, I should lube them every 3,000 miles.

He showed me how to hook up the trailer and the safety cables, and the electrical and I was off.

I learned on my own that when backing up with a trailer if your trailer is going left you need to turn left to straighten it and visa versa. I learned that the speed limit in California for persons hauling trailers is 55.

Another view of the Trinity 3 motorcycle trailer with my Electra Glide
Another view of the Trinity 3 motorcycle trailer with my Electra Glide on it in South Carolina

The owner of theusatrailerstore.com told me to keep my speed down as much as possible.

When I first got home with the trailer, I backed it up my driveway, unhooked it, found a space for it in the garage, then lifted it so that it was upright and not taking up too much space in my garage. When the lowered wheel chocks arrived, I installed them by unbolting the original ones, and bolting on the new ones.

When it was time for my trip on July 16, 2012, I hooked up my beefy ramp to my new trailer and rode my motorcycle up onto the trailer. When my front tire engaged the wheel chock, the motorcycle was locked in place. I was now able to get off and strap my motorcycle down.

I did my research before the trip so I knew exactly what to do. I purchased some Kuryakyn tie down brackets and installed them onto my front forks where the front fairing mounts to the forks. They are custom made for Electra Glides and give you place on each side to strap you bike down with.

I strapped the back two straps onto each hard luggage bag guard.

I had previously purchased the most expensive and heavy duty straps I could find, hell I was driving around the country, not just across country, so I only wanted the best. I got the 440 lb. 2” wide by 6’ long Ratchet with snap hook kit. The kit also came with soft covers and soft loop straps. I paid around $100 for the whole kit which came in its own plastic case.

Trinity 3 Folding Motorcycle Trailer
Trinity 3 Folding Motorcycle Trailer

The first few times I strapped the motorcycle on and off of the trailer it took a while, but after my almost 2 month trip I became a pro and could do it real fast.

I had one major snafu in New Orleans when I was putting the motorcycle on the trailer. I was on a wet lawn, I had basic thongs on which become real slippery when wet. When I went to put the motorcycle on the trailer my thongs slipped and I dropped the bike halfway on the trailer and the ramp.

Thank god the bike did not fall off of the trailer or there would have been some real damage. After getting the motorcycle upright, I was shaken, but shocked to find literally no damage whatsoever on the motorcycle, the engine and luggage guards did their job.

The next few times putting the motorcycle on the trailers I was much more cautious.

The trailer did exactly what it was supposed to do with no problems whatsoever for over 8,600 miles on the trip. The tires held up, the trailer help up, no problem whatsoever.

The only real issues I had was because Camping World installed my new infrared back camera on the RV behind the stock Plexiglas housing, I became blind at night because the infrared reflected off of the Plexiglas.

Trinity 3 Motorcycle Trailer in the Folded Position
Trinity 3 Motorcycle Trailer in the Folded Position

This became a major problem on a couple of areas on the trip because there was no way to see my small trailer at night without the camera behind a 35 ft. motorhome. My ex and I had walkie talkies and did our best when we had to.

I used the trailer on a few other major trips to the Las Vegas Bikerfest, the Laughlin River Run, etc. The trailer gave me no problems whatsoever, and was solid.

I give the Trinity 3 trailer and solid 10 out of 10 and highly recommend it to anyone who has a need to tow up to three motorcycles, and has limited space. The trailer folds and can be stored upright so it can be put into a small place in the garage.

Let it be known that I was not compensated, comped or paid anything for my review of this trailer.

POSTSCRIPT – I recently sold my Trinity 3 trailer for $1250, because I decided to get an enclosed trailer for the upcoming Sturgis Motorcycle rally. So in the end I basically paid $200 for my trailer and got around 10,000 miles out of her.

I also sold my beefy motorcycle ramp for $150 since my new enclosed trailer has a ramp door on the back and I did not need it.

By Biker Lawyer and California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © June 30, 2013

The Laughlin River Run 2013, a Good Time for Most

Oatman, AZ on the last day of the Laughlin River Run 2013
Oatman, AZ on the last day of the Laughlin River Run 2013

I attended the Laughlin River Run 2013 this year as I do most years. The Laughlin River Run is billed as the largest motorcycle and biker rally on the west coast.

This year’s motorcycle rally was different than most past years rallies because the turnout appeared to be smaller than past years rallies, motorcycle club patches and soft cuts were not allowed anywhere near the strip, and there were a gaggle of what I call fake biker lawyers with booths set up at the event just waiting and hoping for those in attendance to refer their motorcycle accident cases to them.

I had for the most part a great time at the event. This was the second major motorcycle rally I have attended in many years, where I drove my motorhome to the motorcycle rally and trailered my motorcycle behind on a motorcycle trailer.

In the past when I rode to motorcycle rallies like this, I basically just rode my motorcycle to the event.

I will tell you that I have learned a valuable lesson in why it is better to take an RV and trailer the motorcycle to major motorcycle rallies. I no longer have to pay $200 a night for hotel rooms and hotels that just wait to poach money off of bikers, I put more miles on my motorcycle at the event than I ever have in the past, and there is much more fun happening at the RV parks than the hotels! I no longer have to worry about squeezing a weeks’ worth of toiletries and clothes onto my motorcycle; it all goes into my RV now.

This year I arrived at my RV Park in Bullhead City, AZ on May 24th, 2013 and proceeded to set up camp. I put up my Star Spangled Banner, California Republic, and POW/MIA flag above my RV, took the motorcycle off of the trailer, unrolled the awning, and we were ready to rock and roll.

The first thing I saw when I rode my motorcycle to the strip which was just across the river from Laughlin, NV, was an electronic sign stating that no this was a no MC Colors event, soft cuts not allowed, and bait motorcycles were being used to catch thieves.

I do not mind going after motorcycle thieves but I certainly did not like the fact that a major event such as this managed to ban all motorcycle patches from the strip. I think it is a violation of the 1st Amendment right to Freedom of Speech.

Notwithstanding the affront to motorcycle club members, this year’s event was a great time. There were plenty of fine looking ladies all over. Obviously there were guys for all the gals as well. There was the usual full line up of good bands and plenty of booze all over the place.

Those that know me know that I do not drink alcohol or use drugs. I would rather ride than sit around watching a bunch of bikers get shit faced at the bar.

Ride is exactly what I did throughout the entire event. I put on almost 1000 miles during the 6 days I ended up staying in Laughlin/Bullhead City. I found a road that is off the beaten track near Oatman, AZ called the scenic byway. My companion and I literally owned this road on Sunday. You are basically in the middle of the desert with no contact to the outside world for many miles. It was a great and hot ride.

During the ride in the desert I kept thinking I hope nothing happens to my motorcycle because here I would be up shit’s creek without a paddle. I opted to take a more populated route back to the RV on the way home since it was getting dark.

I managed to win over $70 dollars as well on this trip where ordinarily I always lose at the casinos.

On a down note one of my friends was arrested on Friday night /Saturday morning for Disorderly Conduct and another charge. They were transported from Bullhead City to Kingman, AZ to the county jail there. There was a weekend judge on duty. Suffice is to say I got almost no sleep on Friday night / Saturday morning, and I had to go bail them out on Saturday afternoon and give them a ride back to Bullhead City. Saturday night was spend crashed out in my RV recovering from helping my friend out.

Aside from bailing my friend out and losing Saturday night, I had a good time this year at the Laughlin River Run Motorcycle and Biker Rally. I will be going to many rallies this summer including Sturgis, Las Vegas, and Palm Springs.

See you on the road.

By California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © May 1, 2013

American Chopper, the end of a 10 year Saga

American-Chopper-Cast
From left to right, Paul Sr., Mikie, and Paul Jr. of American Choppers

Well tonight the last episode of American Chopper was aired and after a 10 year run, the show is finally over.

On August 13, 2012 I paid a little visit to Orange County Chopper and you can read a little post about it by clicking here. I will post extensive video on my trip to OCC later on.

The gist of this article is about the American Chopper show.

I will admit, I have watched the show for the past 10 years and have written several articles about it here in the Biker Law Blog. If you want to read my previous articles go to the search box on the top of the right sidebar and type in American Chopper. A list of the articles I have written will appear.

No matter what you or I think about the motorcycles Orange County Chopper and Paul Junior Designs built over the years, you have to admit, these guys out lasted most of the bike builders that I have become familiar with over the past decade. There is a long list of motorcycle builders including Jesse James who basically disappeared, all the while, Orange County Choppers and American Chopper continued plugging along.

I am not sure if the show was cancelled or the players did not want to be on the show anymore, it seems to me that their entire operation revolved around the show. Who knows if Orange County Choppers and Paul Junior Designs will survive without American Chopper? Maybe the Discovery Channel will do some kind of spin-off.

I am going to miss watching these guys build bikes. What is ironic is that I am I am sure all of you have gone though many things over the 10 years that American Chopper had its run.

I think that the years 2000-2010 consisted of one hell of a biker and motorcycle popularity craze, which the bad economy and other factors has ended. I have seen many acquaintances that I have ridden with over the past 10 years die in motorcycle accidents, disappear, or quit riding motorcycles.

So at least to me with American Choppers going away, it also signals an end of an era to me in my personal life and so on.

The good news is that the biker and motorcycle scene is still going very strong, albeit not as strong as years past. I am going to miss watching America Choppers and the dysfunctional family behind it building funky motorcycles. I am sure they made a small fortune over the past 10 years while entertaining us all.

Good by American Choppers.

  • If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident anywhere in the State of California, call the real California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, © December 18, 2012

Long Distance Motorcycle Riding; how do you Carry What You Need?

One of California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez's motorcycles all packed up for trip to 4 corners rally in Durango Colorado
One of California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez's motorcycles all packed up for trip to 4 corners rally in Durango Colorado

I have been a serious long distance motorcycle rider for many years now. You may ask what is a long distance motorcycle rider. To me a long distance motorcycle rider is someone who rides 800 or more miles on a motorcycle trip multiple times a year.

So according to my definition, even a first time rider who does a few 800 mile or more motorcycle trips per year would qualify as a long distance motorcycle rider.

I regularly do trips of 1000 miles or more like they are no big deal.

I know many guys who are bikers, and what some would consider to be hardcore bikers, that literally do nothing but bar hop on their motorcycles. To them doing 300 miles in a day is unheard of. Further, many of these guys have motorcycles that are in no way set up to do any serious mileage.

Most of these guys do not have saddle bags, and brag about how they do not need wind screens.

I am not going to knock these guys that are basically local bikers, but they really have no clue what it is like to be a long distance biker.

There are also what I call your ubiquitous trailer queens. These are guys that trailer their motorcycle to events, and then unhook them and ride at the actual event, making it appear that they rode to the event. This article not about packing up your car, it is about packing up your motorcycle.

Unless you are doing an Iron Butt Ride which is 1000 miles in a 24 hour period, (basically nonstop riding except to stop for gas and quick meals) a 1000 mile or more motorcycle trip will be a trip that is at least a 2 days or more.

I have done runs that last a week or more.

The big issue for me on long distance motorcycle trips is; what should I carry on the trip, and how should I carry what I need on the trip.

For me what to carry with on long distance motorcycle runs is almost automatic. I carry:

Water
Sunscreen
Flashlight
Small Tool Kit
Knife
1 Quart of Oil
Flare
Lighter
Sunglasses, and clear night glasses
Warm weather and cold weather gloves.
Leather Jacket
Leather Chaps
Spare clothes
Tennis Shoes
Emergency Contact Form
Cell Phone
GPS
Fine cotton cloths
Spray Wax
Plexus windshield cleaner
And whatever else I may need.

When I go on long distance motorcycle runs at least for the past 11 years or so, Elizabeth has been with me. Therefore inevitably, I also have to carry her purse, gloves, jacket, chaps, and whatever else she might want to bring as well which always includes her makeup and cloths.

In the past when I just had a softail or regular large cruiser motorcycle and no bagger, (see the picture above, the motorcycle is packed up to the brim, with tents, chairs, and everything for a full motorcycle rally.) my solution to accommodate all of the stuff that I like to carry, was to first to buy soft saddlebags, or a locking rigid saddlebag system, install a luggage rack behind the sissy bar, and buy a T-Bag soft luggage system that sat on the luggage rack behind the sissy bar, and then secured around the sissy bar.

The locking saddlebag system, called Leatherlykes Bags, was better than soft saddle bags, because they were bigger, and  I could lock the bags and walk away without worrying about being ripped off.

I used the soft T-Bag motorcycle luggage system on a couple of my motorcycles. After a few years, I switched from the T-Bags, to something called the Kuryakyn Full Dresser Bag, when they first came out. This bag had a rigid plastic shelving system in it, held more stuff then the T-Bags, and actually looked better as well. Not only that, but it had a wheel system on it like conventional luggage so when I got to a destination, I could lift it off, and wheel it in.

I used this system a few times on my FLHT Electra Glide Standard when I got her, but once I put the removable Tour Pak on; there was no room for the Full Dresser Bag.

For 6 years with the Electra Glide we would use plastic bags to fill up the side hard Harley Davidson Saddle bags, and the Tour Pak. We would also utilize the luggage rack on top of the tour pak to bungee tie our leathers as necessary.

I eventually went back to T-Bags and got a Dakota bag which is specifically designed to fit the premium luggage rack on a Harley Davidson Electra Glide Tour Pak.

The Dakota Bag is so big, that it pretty much holds everything we need. Obviously there are some items that will not fit in the Dakota, so we continue to keep small plastic bags in the hard side saddle bags.

The Future

Liz and I are talking about riding cross country this summer. I figure on a cross country run we are not going to want to have to constantly lift the Dakota Bag off everytime we stop, and we are not going to want to have to park in a place where we can see the bike everytime we stop so someone does not rip off our Dakota bag.

So after doing some research, I have found a motorcycle tow behind cargo trailer solution that I may purchase and use for our cross country trip on the Electra Glide.

I can get a cargo trailer that holds anywhere from 18 cubic feet of stuff, up to 25-26 cubic feet depending upon how much I want to spend, or how big I want the trailer to be.

I would need to install a motorcycle ball hitch onto my motorcycle for the trailer to hook onto, and rig up a wiring harness for brake and signal lights on the trailer.

It looks like there are many off the shelf trailer solutions for my Harley Davidson Electra Glide.

A cargo trailer at least to me would be the optimum way to travel cross country on a motorcycle, because we can just throw everything we want to take in the trailer, plus there will be room to store souvenirs if we decide to buy any along the way.

The trailer will take away the fun of trying to cram everything into a few small spaces on the motorcycle.

Even with a full Harley Davidson Electra Glide Custom Ultra, things can get tight real quick.

On a cross country trip I want to be able to enjoy the ride and the sights, without worrying about having to wash clothes every couple of days on the road.

There are many out there that say towing a cargo trailer behind a motorcycle is dangerous. Based upon my research, it can be done safely so long as you get used to it and take it easy just like anything else.

In closing, I have found that rigid saddlebags, a nice luggage rack mounted soft or rigid motorcycle luggage system, tour paks, and cargo trailers, all will allow you to carry the things you need on a long distance motorcycle run. What you do is really up to you.

Keep Both Wheels on the Road.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © November 13, 2011

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