Are Sport bike riders, Real Biker’s?

www.injuredbikers.com founder and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez in the Yellowstone National Forest
www.injuredbikers.com founder and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez in the Yellowstone National Forest

During the winter, something occurs with all bikers and motorcycle riders that are located in cold climates called cabin fever. Cabin fever occurs when these bikers and motorcyclists cannot ride their motorcycles because it’s too cold.

With the advent of the Internet and social media, many of these bikers and motorcyclists take to the Internet, and socialize via Internet forums and social media.

Today some guy posted on an Internet forum a question; are sport bike riders real bikers?

Of course, everybody and their mother spewed out their opinion on this social media thread, including me.

The question actually upset me, because to me, anyone who rides a motorcycle is a biker. Those who get on two wheeled motorcycles of any type I consider to be bikers. I not only represent these guys and gals if they are God forbid involved in a motorcycle accident anywhere in California, but I don’t discriminate because someone may ride a sport bike, a Japanese cruiser, or an American cruiser. I have actually owned all types of motorcycles.

On this particular Internet forum, you basically have a bunch of older Harley-Davidson riders that some would consider to be stereotypical bikers, i.e., a bunch of tattoos, longhair, goatee or beard, Harley-Davidson T-shirt, blue jeans, motorcycle boots, with the wallet chain affixed to their belt.

You see these types all over the place at Harley events and other mainstream events like the Sturgis motorcycle rally.

Do you have to dress or look like this to be a biker? Hell no! Just because you dress a certain way does not make you a biker. I have seen many dudes who dress like bikers, who have no motorcycles. Buying and wearing a Harley-Davidson T-shirt does not make you a biker.

To me, what makes you a biker, is getting your ass on two wheels and riding a motorcycle on the street, or even the dirt. All bikers have the same type of thing in common, the need to ride a motorcycle.

I have been in motorcycle clubs for over 20 years until just recently. I was always a bit more clean-cut than most of the guys in my club because of my profession. My appearance did not mean squat. I am a biker through and through.

I will not lie, I have owned a couple Harley-Davidson T-shirts in the past 30 years, but I do not think I have ever worn one of them. Further, I have never used a wallet chain affixed to my belt. I don’t like wearing wallets because I don’t like the feel of it in my pocket.

Now I have been riding for many years all over the country. I have seen some hard-core sport bike riders that could ride the pants off of any standard cruiser motorcycle rider. Just because some of these guys may be more clean-cut, and don’t dress in the stereotypical way, does not mean that they are not hard-core riders and bikers. As a matter fact I think some of these guys are hard-core bikers, more so than any Harley-Davidson rider.

In the end, I do not like some older Harley-Davidson rider claiming that a younger sport bike rider is not a biker. A biker is someone who rides a motorcycle, and loves doing so, no matter what they look like and no matter what they ride.

As the older bagger type of Harley-Davidson/Indian motorcycle riders ages and die out, it will be the younger guys with the sport bikes and smaller and lower cc motorcycles that will take over. They are bikers just like everybody else.

By Injuredbikers.com founder, and motorcycle accident lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

The Biker Law Blog has undergone a facelift

Injuredbikers.com founder Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.
Injuredbikers.com founder Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

As you can see The Biker Law Blog has undergone a face lift.

When I started the blog over 11 years ago, I had no idea that I would still be blogging over a decade later. Many of the people who I met when I started blogging, either stopped blogging, or significantly slowed down. Most are gone. I am glad to still be here.

Over the past 11+ years the Biker Law Blog has had many different looks that have changed over the years due to technology upgrades, platform changes, etc. We have just undergone a new change to how the blog looks and operates, that has been in the planning stages for the past year.

We are still working out some of the kinks, but this will be our new look at least for now.

The Biker Law Blog over the years has become a recognized and respected motorcycle industry publication, with a dedicated and loyal readership. I really appreciate all the people who have subscribed and have kept in touch over the years.

I hope you like the new look of the Biker Law Blog, and that you will give me any feedback as to what you think. Please give it a week or so for all the bugs in case to be worked out.

See you soon, Motorcycle accident lawyer, and Injuredbikers.com founder, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

Indian Motorcycles of Orange County, possibly the worst motorcycle dealership in the country

INTRODUCTION

California biker attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone national forest just after Sturgis 2015
California biker attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone national forest just after Sturgis 2015

** 12-26-17 Update: No one from this dealership has contacted me to resolve the issues I had with service. Check out some of the other negative feedback on Indian Motorcycles of Orange County on Yelp by clicking here. There are probably a whole bunch more victims that got screwed and did not do a review.

This is part 2 of my write up on how I switched from riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles to Indian motorcycles in July 2017. You can read part one by clicking here.

In part 1 of my story, I discussed looking at new motorcycles, narrowing my decision down to two motorcycles, and ultimately choosing the Indian Roadmaster motorcycle. I also discussed how my fiancé went about buying the motorcycle, and a problem that I had with the motorcycles cruise control on the way home after picking it up.

Now this is where the story gets interesting. I have been riding motorcycles for over 40 years. I have been dealing with car dealerships and motorcycle dealerships for approximately 37 years.

The worst experience I’ve ever had with any dealership was last week at Indian Motorcycles of Orange County California,  I recommend that nobody purchase any product there, or obtains service from them.

Let me explain what happened.

Within a day or two after riding my fiancé’s new Indian Roadmaster home from the dealership where it was purchased in San Jose California, I called the local dealership where we live, Indian Motorcycle of Orange, to inform them that I wanted to bring the motorcycle in for 500-mile service, and to fix the cruise control problem on the motorcycle.

We are talking a $35,000 motorcycle that was less than a week old.

Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Sturgis
Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Sturgis

When I got to the dealership everything seemed normal except that there was a female salesperson there that gave me the silent treatment when she found out that we purchased the motorcycle from another dealership. (See part 1 where I discussed why we purchased the motorcycle different dealership)

I took it in stride, because I was dealing with the service department.

I explained to the service manager that I wanted a 500-mile service, that the cruise control did not work and it was a brand-new motorcycle, and requested that they install 2 locks that go on the lower fairing compartments.

We never discussed the cost of service, but I assumed it would be around the same as I was quoted from my dealer in northern California, approximately $200 and some change. I was told in northern California that it was about an hour and half of labor.

Before I left, I talked to the sales manager who was mentioned in my part one story, and explained to him that since I had not heard back from him, I purchased the bike in San Jose at Spirit Motorcycles. He told me he had found one for me locally, but part 1 of my story speaks for itself. You can it read here.

Later that day, after dropping my motorcycle off, I called the service department for a status, and was told that my 500-mile service was done, the 2 lower fairing compartment locks were installed, but that there was nothing they could do on the cruise control issue until they contacted the manufacturer directly for assistance.

Continue reading “Indian Motorcycles of Orange County, possibly the worst motorcycle dealership in the country”

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 :-)?

Continue reading “I have switched from Harley Davidson Motorcycles to Indian Motorcycles; Part 1”

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 Biker Law Blog has been named 1 of the top 100 motorcycle sites and blogs for motorcycle riders in the world

The Biker Law Blog has been named 1 of the top 100 motorcycle sites and blogs for motorcycle riders on the planet by Feedspot.com .

Some of my competitors appear on the list as well, frankly I do not know why, there’s much better content and pictures on my site 🙂

all kidding aside, I have been so busy with litigation lately they haven’t been putting a lot of content on here, that soon will change. The biker Law a is getting a minor makeover to make it compliant with the new standards, and so that will be much easier to read with a cell phone.

I would like to thank Anuj for bestowing this honor to the Biker Law Blog.

By California motorcycle accident lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez.© March, 2017

After 18 years in operation Victory Motorcycles is no more

Polaris Industries, the parent company of Victory Motorcycles announced yesterday that they were ceasing operations as a January 9, 2017. Victory Motorcycles is no more.

The CEO of Polaris industries, Scott Wine, stated that it was a difficult decision for the Board of Directors and he, but Victory Motorcycles despite significant investment by Polaris industries, was never profitable.

The last few years Polaris Industries shifted much of its attention to getting Indian Motorcycles restarted to compete with Harley-Davidson. Some believe that this shift was responsible for the demise of Victory Motorcycles.

Victory Motorcycles was one of just a few American motorcycle brands on the market today.

I know this news will be a shock to many people who have gone out and purchased a Victory Motorcycle. I personally thought that the victory motorcycle was a good concept, but never actually rode one.

On a personal level, it is kind of upsetting to know the Victory Motorcycles did not make it. I think Victory put Harley-Davidson on notice that they had to make changes to make their motorcycle more competitive on a technological basis.

Goodbye Victory Motorcycles. What we have left is Harley-Davidson, and Indian Motorcycles with respect to American brands.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Motorcycle Lawyer.

A new helmet mounted wireless braking light is coming out!

Visibility is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to the hazards of riding a motorcycle, however a new product introduced at the Consumer Technology Association (CES) 2017 promises to solve that problem while adding even more passive features.

For the first time, there is now a smart helmet accessory that provides the first wearable brake light linked to smartphone application.

Developed by a French startup that are experts in the development of interconnected objects for motorcycle safety, it is called the Cosmo Connected.

The device has a straightforward as well as clever design, which can fit on all kinds of helmets using an adhesive and a special clip-on support so that you’re able to attach it to your helmet, and conveniently remove it if not required, it can also be worn on an additional helmet.

The Cosmo Connected emits a red signal light at visual eye level towards the driver of the vehicle behind the biker for additional visibility while braking. When not decelerating, the device continues to flash so the rider can be seen.

The braking light will switch itself on even when slowing down without having utilizing the brakes. We all know how dangerous it is when we downshift on our motorcycles when there are cars behind us, because even though we are slowing down by using engine braking, there is no brake light. Maybe in the future motorcycle manufacturers will design the brake light on a motorcycle to come on during deceleration, this is a critical feature.

Produced from durable plastic to withstand all-weather conditions, the gadget weighs in at no more than 200 grams and is designed to easily detach from the helmet in case of an accident.

On the subject of accidents, the Cosmo Connected will through your smart phone app call rescue personnel within 3 minutes, giving them the emergency alert plus, the GPS coordinates from the rider’s location, as well as the rider’s health profile. As a possible option, the app can be set-to alert friends or family in case of accident as well.

This device will have the ability to hook up with your smartphone through Bluetooth and will give low-power notifications once it is time to recharge the battery. If all works out, the Cosmo Connected will be on sale as of May 2017.

Below is an advertisement video from the company.

As a longtime motorcycle rider who rides thousands of miles per year, if this device is a simple and inexpensive as I think it will be, I will be the 1st one to buy this device and attach it to my helmet. Even with a ½ helmet, or a beanie helmet, this device could not hurt at night.

I am excited about some of the new things I’m seeing on the motorcycle market these days.

By California motorcycle accident lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, January, 2017

My first attempt at Virtual Reality, 360 Degree Video

** 12-26-16 Update: In order to experience this video in wvirtual reality, 360 degree, you must view on Youtube, to do this click on the white title text within the frame of the video below, or click here now.

I recently acquired a virtual reality camera, and experimented filming my 1st motorcycle ride in virtual reality on December 17, 2016.

Since this was my 1st attempt, I screwed up the settings on the camera, and had the camera set for time lapse photography. Unfortunately, it condensed the 35-minute ride from Malibu California to Neptune’s net on Pacific Coast Hwy. in California, to just over 4 minutes.

I promise the next time I will do better.

If you look at the posted video on a cell phone or tablet, you will literally be able to move your cell phone or tablet and see anywhere in the video.

You can look at my passenger and I, you can turn and look at the front of the motorcycle, you can look to the side, and you can look up and down. Basically, it’s like you were in the driver seat, except for you can actually see better than me it’s a 360° sphere.

If you have virtual reality goggles, you simply need to click on the goggle icon on the bottom of the video, and you will take a time-lapse ride with me in virtual reality on my Harley-Davidson Electra glide. On a desktop you will just see it all at once without the virtual reality experience.

I will be producing many virtual reality movies in the future. Stay tuned.

Please feel free to comment below and let me know what you think about the video.

By California biker lawyer and founder of www.injuredbikers.com, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. December, 2016.

My trip to Rome, Florence, and Venice Italy, December 2015

This is a Movie showing Italy in pictures, produced and directed  by California Personal Injury Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, http://www.thepersonalinjury.com  .

Attorney Fernandez is an amateur  photographer and journalist who took almost 2000 pictures and put them into a Ken Burns style photo movie showing Rome, Florence, and Venice, Italy.

His movie show detailed pictures of the  museum, The Colosseum, the Forum, Victor Emmanuel II Monument, Arch of Titus, Arch of Septimius Severus, Piazza del Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery, Arno River, Ponte Vecchio, SAINT MARK’S SQUARE, SAINT MARK’S BASILICA, THE DOGE PALACE, THE GRAND CANAL,. The movie features the music of Beethoven and Mozart as it shows detailed pictures of some of the greatest art in the history of mankind.

This is not your normal biker style movie, but enjoy anyway!

By Biker Lawyer and Producer of the Italy Movie, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

I will make an exciting announcement in the next month!

DSC01254I know many people do not like surprises, but I have a big surprise that’s coming that will revolutionize the way motorcycle accident cases are handled nationwide.

As many of you know I have been utterly disgusted at the marketing tactics that have been directed towards motorcycle accident victims by 2 outfits in particular that in bad taste plaster motorcycle rallies in advance with a bunch of their advertisements.

Who the hell wants to go to a motorcycle event to have a bunch of non-riding personal injury attorneys posing as motorcycle lawyers bombarding them with advertisements every single place they look. I sure the hell don’t.

I will be at the annual Laughlin motorcycle rally at the end of this month, and I am quite positive I will see the same BS marketing outfits bombarding bikers with their advertisements.

The fact of the matter is yes sometimes motorcycle riders do get into accidents, sometimes motorcycle riders need the assistance of an experience motorcycle lawyer to get them help.

I have been riding motorcycles over 30 years, I have been in motorcycle clubs, I have ridden motorcycles all over the world, and I have done many motorcycle cases all over the state of California. I have put thousands of miles on motorcycles of various types. I know what goes on out there on the street and on the freeways. I am known in the motorcycle community nationwide, and I have finally had enough of looking at these outfits basically sucking the blood of motorcyclists of who have been in accidents.

There is another sort of generic personal injury attorney that advertises for motorcycle cases as well. These are simply generic personal injury law firms that take all types of personal injury cases, and do not have any specific expertise related to motorcycle accident cases other than them applying general personal injury theory to your motorcycle accident. How the hell is this type of attorney going to know what happened in your case if they can’t even describe how the gears are shifted, what counter steering is, or explain to a jury why you have a right to be on the road with cars?

The new organization that I’m starting is going to be a premier motorcycle accident resource nationwide. There will be a lot of hoops that I will have to jump through to get this thing going, and I am jumping through them now. I have been contemplating doing this for many years, and I am finally now doing it.

I am hoping to partner with some of the largest entities in the nation so that we can provide real value to you motorcyclists and bikers out there, my people, because I am one of you, and I want to help you if God forbid the time comes when you have an accident and you need help.

I will be attacking these entities had on and exposing them for what they are, and above all I will be the go to resource for motorcycle accidents nationwide.

In the meantime, if you a motorcycle accident, or any other type of accident in the state of California, continue to give me a call at 800-816-1529 and I’ll take care of you.

Soon, this will move to a nationwide set up for motorcycle accident cases.

By California biker lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, © April 8, 2016

The dangers of following too close while riding a motorcycle

Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Sturgis 2015
Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Sturgis 2015

I have been a personal injury attorney for almost 20 years. I have been riding motorcycles over 40 years. The one thing I can say for certain is that a motorcycle with 2 wheels, has much less traction than a car with 4 wheels.

Further, a motorcycle wheel has much less traction than a car wheel, because the motorcycle wheel is rounded, whereas a car tire l is flatter and has more area of rubber on the pavement.

With that being said, it’s very important for motorcycle riders to not tailgate, and to keep a safe distance and speed from the car in front of them, so they can stop in case the car comes to a sudden and unexpected stop.

I know of many instances where individual riders, groups of riders, and even motorcycle clubs have had mass accidents, because the people in the front are tailgating or riding to close to the cars in front, the car suddenly braked, causing a chain reaction crash.

I just gave a consultation to a gentleman who in his mind thought he was not at fault, when he had to lay his motorcycle down on a freeway on-ramp because the car in front of him came to a sudden stop.

Apparently there was a crosswalk on the on-ramp, and a pedestrian was within 20 feet of the crosswalk when the car stopped. In the biker’s mind, the car should not have stopped for the pedestrian. It never occurred to him that he should have kept a safe distance from the car in front of him so that in case the car stopped he could stop.

I had to tell him that it was he, the motorcycle rider, that was at fault in that instance.

Not only do motorcycles take more time to stop in an emergency situation than a car because of less traction area on the pavement, but the consequences of crashing can be catastrophic to motorcycle riders.

Basically it’s not worth your life. I know guys who tailgate when they ride. It drives me crazy to ride with these guys, and I absolutely will not stay with them, I will stay back so that in case the cars brake they’re going to eat the back of the car not me.

Ensure that you keep a safe distance and speed from the car in front of you, and anticipate that the car may slow down or suddenly stop. If you ride with this in mind you will be a safer motorcycle rider.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © February 2, 2016

My trip to the 75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally. July 30, 2015 through August 12, 2015

California motorcycle accident attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the 2015 Sturgis motorcycle rally
California motorcycle accident attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the 2015 Sturgis motorcycle rally

I always look forward to my annual trip to the Sturgis motorcycle rally. For the last 4 years I’ve taken my RV, and trailered my motorcycle. This year was no different.

However, what was different this year, was that because it was the 75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally, everything was completely sold out months in advance.

I usually stay at the Glencoe campground. However, this year, all they were offering for $1200 was an RV site with electrical hookup, and water, but no sewer. If you wanted to dump your RV, you’d have to notify them and wait for them to come.

I could’ve went to many ordinary RV parks in and around the Sturgis area that provided full hookups, but as in previous years, I wanted to be in the middle of the action, and in an RV park that offered concerts, recreation, and other amenities.

California biker lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez and friend that the 2015 Sturgis motorcycle rally
California biker lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez and friend at the 2015 Sturgis motorcycle rally

I found that the Broken Spoke Campground was advertising a full hook up RV site without sewer just like Glencoe was advertising, but their price was only $899. You would also have to purchase a $200 wristband per person if you were to stay at the broken spoke campground, whereas Glencoe was charging $300 for the wristband.

Basically sites like the Glencoe, Broken Spoke, and others, have premium concerts every night, so they charge for wristbands on top of the charge for the actual RV site.

I ended up choosing the Broken Spoke Campground because it was approximately $800 cheaper than Glencoe. It turned out to be a big mistake see below. The total price was approximately $1400 including the wristbands.

This year I purchased a new RV 3 months before Sturgis. The damn thing was constantly in the shop up until a few days before Sturgis. There were still a few bugs with the unit that were not fixed prior to leaving, oh well.

California motorcycle accident lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Mount Rushmore, 2015 Sturgis motorcycle rally
California motorcycle accident lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Mount Rushmore, 2015 Sturgis motorcycle rally

As in previous years it was kind of hectic getting ready for the trip. For the most part I think it’s all a mental thing. I, and I’m sure a lot of other people get so excited before the rally, that just preparing to leave is exhausting.

It is very hard to find people that can take a week to 2 weeks off work to travel with you to the Sturgis motorcycle rally. Many guys plan trips like this years in advance. Last year I went with a friend to Sturgis, she was able to do the entire trip with me. This year my new female friend was unable to do the drive with me due to work, but was able to fly in on Tuesday night, and then fly out on Sunday night, September 9, 2015 the last night of the rally.

Although I like to travel with friends because it’s much better, I’m the kind of guy that is no problem packing up and going across country by myself. Done it many times, no problem.

California motorcycle accident lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez and friend having fun on the Black Hills scenic by way
California motorcycle accident lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez and friend having fun on the Black Hills Scenic Byway

I love the drive to the Sturgis motorcycle rally, it’s the excitement that gets you. Many moons ago before I got into the RV scene I would traditionally ride to events like this on my motorcycle. There’s something to be said about doing either. I love riding don’t get me wrong, but 1700 miles each way wears on you a bit. At my age, I prefer taking my RV. At motorcycle rallies the big party happens in the campgrounds anyway.

I have done this drive many years in a row, so all the sites along the way are becoming familiar to me now, almost like old friends and landmarks. This year it took me a bit longer to get to the rally because frankly I was burnt out on the 2nd night of driving and stopped at a rest stop in Wyoming to sleep for a few hours.

Sturgis, South Dakota was about 150 miles from the rest stop. Excitement was in the air in the morning. In years past I went through this area at night, let me tell you the drive from the Wyoming to the South Dakota border was beautiful. Coupled with the fact that there were thousands of bikes on the road made it even better. You could just tell that this year was going to be special.

The view from our table at Mount Rushmore Sturgis 2015
The view from our table at Mount Rushmore Sturgis 2015

Ordinarily every year I get off of the freeway and drive on the main drag through downtown Sturgis to go to the Glencoe campground and set up. This year it kind of sucked because as I pulled off the traffic was much worse than any previous year that I’ve seen. It took me an hour to get from the freeway to near the Glencoe campground. It was bumper to bumper motorcycles the entire way. Being in a big RV above the action was kind of cool because I could see all the action but the traffic was horrible.

This year because I was staying at the Broken Spoke Campground, I passed the Glencoe campground for a couple miles then made the turn off to the Broken Spoke Campground. It was on the way to the Broken Spoke that I became concerned. I was basically in the middle of nowhere and there is barely any motorcycles on the road.

Biker lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez in Custer national Park, Sturgis 2015
Biker lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez in Custer National Park, Sturgis 2015

Finally about 15 miles down the road, the Broken Spoke arose out of the country rolling hills. It was exciting, and it was packed.

I was directed into the check-in area and proceeded to go from my RV to the check-in area. This is where my nightmare began.

The girl at the Broken Spoke campground check-in immediately told me that they had no spaces with water, and that if I had a problem with that I could go online and request a refund. I told her “what are you talking about, I paid for a full hook up space, and my RV is almost that of water.” She told me that there is nothing that she could do, and that if I placed a certain flag in front of my RV there would be somebody coming around to pump water. Imagine, all of Sturgis was sold out this year. I was pissed.

I thought to myself this is complete bullshit. I would’ve never stayed at this place had I known there was no water for the RV.

California motorcycle accident attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez Sturgis motorcycle rally, Sturgis 2015
California motorcycle accident attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez Sturgis motorcycle rally, Sturgis 2015

I’m not going to waste a bunch of space in this article to talk about what bullshit the Broken Spoke Campground was and how it almost ruined my trip this year, but I will say that after wasting 2 days of the rally there, I found another RV Park with full hookups in Deadwood, South Dakota, for $600 thank god, and high tailed it out of the Broken Spoke Campground as soon as I could. I felt sorry for the poor shmucks stuck there waiting for water for 4 days. Screw that.

The Broken Spoke Campground was a dustbowl in the middle of nowhere. I am sure if it wasn’t so crowded it might’ve been an okay place to be, but they grossly oversold it knowing full well they didn’t have enough spaces to accommodate what they were selling. I was able to get a refund of a thousand dollars from them via PayPal a week after I got home. I will give them credit for that they did refund me for the campground part of the trip. I never did recover the cost of the wristbands and lost $400 on that deal because I never went back.

Biker lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez with friend in Sturgis 2015
Biker lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez with friend at Mt. Rushmore, Sturgis 2015

Suffices to say I will never stay there again, I highly recommend that you find another place to stay if you are ever at the Sturgis rally. Now if they come to me and make me an offer I might give them another chance but right now I am highly pissed off at them still over a month after the fact.

I went and stayed at a place called Whistler’s Gulch in Deadwood, South Dakota which is about 16 miles from the main drag in Sturgis. I love this place, but it is a bit of a drive to and from Sturgis.

As far as the rally this year went, frankly, it sucked compared to previous years. The Broken Spoke Campground nightmare was part of it, but also it was a sausage fest, meaning there was at least 4 to 5 guys for every one gal at the rally and most of the gals of the rally were not hotties like I am so used to seeing at motorcycle rallies. There were only a few hot gals there. Seems like every guy in the country and their friends decided to go to Sturgis this year and left the gals behind. It was a complete sausage fest.

California motorcycle accident attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez with friend 75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally
California motorcycle accident attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez with friend 75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally

Further, the traffic was so bad that it was horrendous. I did ride about 3000 miles on my bike during the rally. I’m not the bar going type of guy. I’m a rider. When I get into the Black Hills and start riding, which is my passion. I rode my ass off this year as in previous years.

I rode my old favorites, Mount Rushmore, Custer National Park, all through the Black Hills, the Black Hills Scenic Byway, Crazy Horse, and many places off the beaten track. As usual I found hidden places to ride for many miles on dirt roads with my gal riding shotgun on the back. As usual we found a couple secluded spots to enjoy each other as well, which is kind of tough in the Black Hills because there are really are no places to hide.

Staying in Deadwood this year definitely changed the ambience of the rally for me. It was a lot mellower this year than in previous years, because in previous years I would’ve been at the concerts every night until 2 in the morning. Hell last year after the concerts ended I went to the only gym in town to work out in the middle of the night.

California biker attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone national forest just after Sturgis 2015
California biker attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone national forest just after Sturgis 2015

Now this rally totally sucked compared to all the other rallies I’ve been to in the past at Sturgis. The main culprit this year was just flat-out shitty weather. It was cold and rainy over 50% of the rally this year. Just flat-out shitty weather. The rain caused many people to leave after a couple days, and by the end of the rally the place was pretty much empty. You can’t do anything about Mother Nature. This year the weather really sucked. In previous years there was rain for one or 2 days at Sturgis, but nothing as bad as this year.

I definitely got some good riding in, and had some good times, but this year was definitely not worth the time and effort as in previous years. I’m hoping next year will kind of calm down a little bit. What may sound like a sacrilege is I may not even go to Sturgis next year. It remains to be seen. I’ve always wanted to ride Alaska during the summer, so I may take my rig and do an Alaska trip will see.

My lady friend and I had a good time on this trip. She was the one good thing about the rally other than the great riding. We had some good times between each other as a man and women do, which I’m not going to describe here but I’m sure you can let your imagination run amok.

Motorcycle lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez of the 75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally
Motorcycle lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez 75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally

Rallies like this are about adult pleasure. If you go by yourself without a woman to a rally like this the chances of actually hooking up with a woman at the rally or are almost impossible, because most of the women are hooked up with men. So all these guys showing up with all their buddies just kind of ruin it.

On the last day of the rally, Sunday, I struck Camp and drove my RV through town to the Rapid City Airport to drop my lady friend off who had to fly back home to be at work the next day. It kind of sucked to watch her go but they get then again I was excited, because I was now headed towards Cody Wyoming and Yellowstone.

I should’ve just parked the RV when it got dark and camped out for the night but I figured if I was able to get to Cody straightaway I could spend 2 days riding Yellowstone instead of just one day. That’s exactly what I did. I rode my 36′ Class A motorhome with 12 foot trailer, total length of about 50 feet through the Greybull National Forest which goes up to about 90,000 feet in pitch darkness.

75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally
75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally

I had an accident 4 years ago where I lost the brakes on my motorhome in the same forest and almost got killed, see the article about that experience by clicking here.

I Rode the same exact route, and actually stopped in the middle of the night at the spot where I had the accident 4 years earlier just to contemplate what happened. Let me tell you something, it’s eerie in the Greybull National Forest at night, there was nobody else on the road with me. If anything would’ve happened nobody would’ve discovered me until probably the next morning. The time I got to the Yellowstone highway through Greybull, I was spent and could barely keep my eyes open. I got to the Walmart in Cody, parked the RV and crashed out.

When I woke up the next day and went to the Yellowstone Valley campground set up camp, got my motorcycle out of the trailer, and rode the Yellowstone national forest. I was able to ride Yellowstone for two days before heading home. This article is not about my ride through the Yellowstone national forest, but I will just say that I’ve done it every year after Sturgis and I love it.

I definitely had a good time riding Sturgis this year but it was not as good as previous years. Nothing is perfect, but I had a good time.

By California Personal Injury Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2015

This summer is turning out to be a real meat grinder

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez in Yellowstone National Forest
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez in Yellowstone National Forest

As a personal injury attorney who is an expert in motorcycle accident cases, I get reports of motorcycle accident cases from all over the country on a daily basis.

This particular summer, seems like the worst summer for fatal motorcycle accidents that I’ve ever seen. Many of the motorcycle accidents are caused by negligent cars and cagers, but many are caused by drugs and alcohol, or excessive speed, on the part of the motorcycle rider.

Here are examples of some of the reports I received within the last 21 hours:

Uncasville man dies following Friday motorcycle crash

An Uncasville motorcyclist died at the hospital following a Friday afternoon crash in North Stonington, according to state police. Alexander Morales, 61 …

Police ID man killed in Fair Lawn motorcycle crash

Elgendy’s Harley Davidson motorcycle was traveling northbound on River Road, he said, with the Ford F-150 pickup truck, traveling southbound, …

Man injured in South Berwick motorcycle collision

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — A collision between a motorcycle and car sent one man to the hospital Sunday morning, according to a dispatcher with …

Ramp Was Closed After Deadly Motorcycle Crash

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The ramp from State Route 104 to U.S. 33 southbound was closed after a deadly motorcycle crash late Saturday afternoon.

Two seriously injured in motorcycle crash

County police summoned to the scene at Ritchie and Cedar Hill Lane at about 9:37 p.m. found that a southbound Honda motorcycle had struck the …

Lenexa man dead in motorcycle accident, Shawnee woman hospitalized

Police on Saturday released the name of the driver of a motorcycle who died Friday evening in a crash in the 19100 block of Prairie Star Parkway in …

Police say Bigelow man killed in motorcycle crash

Associated Press, news source 8:17 p.m. CDT August 15, 2015 … Arkansas State Police say a Bigelow man has been killed in a motorcycle crash.

Sheriff: Speed, alcohol factors in fatal motorcycle crash

Speed and alcohol appear to be factors in a crash that killed a motorcyclist in Green County Saturday night, according to a release.

2 Charleston County motorcycle deputies involved in accident

Shortly before 12:30 p.m., two of the motorcycle deputies from the Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit collided with each other while on a special event escort …

Above is just a small example of the motorcycle accidents that have taken place over the past 21 hours. It is hard to fathom how many motorcycle accidents occur on a daily basis.

California Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
California Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

I have been riding motor driven two wheeled vehicles since I was a kid. I have been riding street motorcycles since I was 16. I have been in motorcycle clubs, I have been riding clubs, and ridden with thousands of people over the years. I ride on my motorcycle thousands of miles per year. I can tell you from personal experience the things that will make you most safe riding.

  1. Wear proper motorcycle riding gear. This means good helmet, good jacket (armor plated jackets are readily available), denim pants, good riding boots, and gloves. I see too many idiots on the road riding in shorts, tennis shoes or flip-flops, and even with no shirts on. When you go down the only protection you have is what you are wearing.
  2. Always anticipate that the cars on the road do not see you. If you ride as though the people you are on the road with do not see you, you will be much safer. It is a documented fact that most people riding in cars, trucks, or other motor vehicles, do not see motorcyclists. For some reason the way human beings are wired, they are not looking for motorcyclists. We can literally be right in front of them, and they do not see us. Another issue is the ubiquitous use of cell phones and texting drivers now, which is an epidemic. If you act as though you are invisible, you will ride safer.
  3. Do not ride fast. Speed is the number 1 enemy for motorcyclists. It will kill you in an accident that is not your fault, and it will cause accidents that are your fault. If the speed limit is 80 miles an hour that does not mean you should be riding 80 miles an hour on the freeway. Unlike people in cars or trucks who have 4 more wheels to stop with, to balance with, and to turn with, motorcyclists have two wheels only. We have a lot less tire area, and friction between the pavement to work with. Riding slower will give you more time to stop, to take turns more safely, and allow you to identify potential hazards. To be frank it also makes riding more enjoyable.
  4. Do not tailgate. I not only ride with people who tailgate, but I see many motorcyclists tailgating behind cars. These people are idiots. I never tailgate on a motorcycle. What do you think is going to happen if you tailgate a car and the car suddenly stops? A few years back an entire motorcycle club in Oregon was taken out by an SUV that stopped suddenly in traffic. The same thing happened in Arizona when multiple members of motorcycle club were killed when they hit a truck. I know of many instances where entire packs of bikes have gone down because one or two riders in the front deciding to tailgate behind vehicles. California law requires that vehicles keep a safe distance between them and the car in front of them. It is just common sense only for motorcyclists but for cars and trucks as well; do not tailgate.
  5. Do not use drugs or alcohol when riding your motorcycle. This is not just a cliché or saying. When you are on a motorcycle you need 100% mental function, and even then sometimes you get yourself in dangerous situations. If you use drugs or alcohol you exponentially increase your chances of wrecking your bike. Do not do it.
  6. Keep your motorcycle in proper working order. There was recently a Harley-Davidson recall on 2014 touring models for an improperly placed brake line, that in time could cause too much pressure to be put into the brake line and that could cause the front wheel to lock up. If the front wheel locks up on you on a motorcycle 99.9% of the time you are going to go down. One idiot from a major motorcycle magazine was making fun of the recall saying that in the old days a real biker would not have to take their motorcycle back to the dealer simply to get a tie wrap placed around the improperly placed brake line. He went on to say there was an unwritten contract between the biker and the motorcycle manufacturer, that the motorcycle manufactured can put out crap, and it was the biker’s responsibility to fix it. This guy is a moron. He is one of those types of guys who does not think that an injured person should go to court to get compensated for their injuries. This guy is so out of touch, he should not be writing for a major motorcycle magazine. The bottom line is you as a rider, have a duty to inspect your motorcycle to make sure the tires are properly inflated, have proper tread, and that basic maintenance is done on the bike, so that when you are riding at 40 mph plus, your engine, transmission, or wheels don’t suddenly lock up, or blowout. Unlike in a car, the situation what a mechanical malfunction occurs is much more dangerous. It is up to you to make the probability of this happening less likely by proper preventive maintenance. However, it is also the responsibility to take your motorcycle in what any recalls occur.
  7. Do not ride your motorcycle when you’re in a bad mood. You definitely do not want to be a road rager on a motorcycle. If you’re in a bad mood or pissed off, it’s better to calm down before you get on your motorcycle.
  8. Do not ride in bad weather unless you have to. Yes I know there are a lot of Midwesterners and East coasters who have very bad weather to contend with compared to me here in Southern California. These people always badmouth us Californians for being sissies when it comes to riding in bad weather. I don’t care how much of a badass you are, when the pavement’s wet, your tires have less traction. Hydroplaning on 2 wheels is much worse than hydroplaning in a car or truck that has 4 or more wheels. Taking a turn on wet pavement on a motorcycle is much more perilous than on dry pavement, especially at high speed. Unlike in a car, truck, or other motor vehicle, we and motorcycles do not have windshield wipers. If you have a car, you should ride your car on rainy and wet days. If you absolutely have to ride in bad weather, make sure you have a good motorcycle rain suit, a full-face helmet, keep your speed down, and anticipate that you will lose traction.

There are many more safety tips I could give you about riding motorcycles. I’ve learned many of these from personal experience, and from observing. I welcome you to make comments with your own safety suggestions.

I am a real deal expert in motorcycle accident cases. If God forbid you a bit of an accident anywhere in the state of California give me a call at 800-816-1529 extension 1. I will personally talk to you about your situation and we can discuss together what to do.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2015

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