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.

Tag Archives: motorcycle accident lawyer

Common Factors Behind Motorcycle Accidents

motorcycle accident sceneMotorcycle accidents can be tragic as well as upsetting events.

The stats speak for themselves. Serious bodily harm as well as death is often the result of a motorcycle accident. Of the actual motorcycle accidents that do occur, roughly one out of every five motorcycle riders is actually fortunate enough to come away from the experience with just minimal bumps, bruises and abrasions. The lack of a protective buffer around the biker and the road inevitably leaves bikers in a very vulnerable situation. Generally there tend to be many common causes of motorcycle accidents, of which the most frequent, and clearly the predominant cause, is definitely a consequence of other motor vehicle drivers to some extent not seeing and recognizing motorcycles within dense traffic.

A number of reports offer support to this particular claim because they advise that virtually 66 % of almost all accidents involving a motorcycle and another car or truck are a direct end result of the motorist in a vehicle turning into the lane of the motorcycle and violating the motorcyclist’s right of way. It has likewise been advised that motorcyclists are 27 times more prone to die in a collision than are people in the other car or truck and they are also five times more prone to sustain an injury. Anyone can see then, the disastrous effects of car-motorcycle accidents.

Additional causative factors

Generally there tend to be a wealth of additional factors behind motorcycle accidents that occur quite frequently. One in particular can be motorcyclists who are inexperienced and simply do not know the constraints of their machine These brand-new riders push their motorcycles to the limit, which, in many cases, far exceeds the speed limit. This brings about another major reason for motorcycle accidents. Needless to say, speeding is not only restricted to new and young motorcycle riders, as often older and more experienced motorcycle riders have been also guilty of operating their motorcycles past the speed limit. Many motorcyclists really like the feel of the wind blowing through their hair, the freedom associated with the open road and the thrill associated with riding fast just inches from the road however,, traveling over the speed limit can result in dire consequences. A quick slip of the handlebars or an unforeseen obstacle ahead of the motorcycle can easily send the motorcycle reeling out of control. Therefore, speeding can be extremely dangerous and it’s also frequently the reason for many motorcycle accidents.

An additional common cause of motorcycle accidents can be a consequence of the motorcyclist’s carelessness. In cases where the motorcycle accident does not include another car, truck, or vehicle, the failure of the motorcycle rider to reduce speed when making a turn or simply under-turning as well as over braking in the turn are causes of motorcycle accidentrs in some instances. There can to be many various other things that may cause physical harm to the motorcycle rider after the initial motorcycle accident. Fuel leakage and spills in the post-crash phase can introduce a fire hazard and are common within approximately 60 % of all accidents sites.

Be careful out there when riding your motorcycle.

Riding within 5 miles per hour of the speed limit and wearing proper protection as well as a good helmet can make your ride more enjoyable, and increase your odds of survival in the event you are in an accident.

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.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

Riding your Motorcycle around Curves and Turns without Killing Yourself

California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez riding around a curve on Mulholland Highway
California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez riding around a curve on Mulholland Highway

Many motorcycle riders are seriously injured and die each year when they fail to negotiate turns or curves, and either end of in the opposing lane of traffic, or they lose control and crash.

It is unbelievable to me just how many experienced riders sometimes fail to properly negotiate turns or curves on the road, especially when riding canyon roads, or twisties.

What is the main reason for motorcycle riders failing to negotiate curves or turns? Excessive speed is the main reason.

If you ride too fast through a curve or turn, chances are you are going to either end up in the opposing lane, or you are going to crash.

What is the main way to avoid crashing on a curve or turn? Slow the hell down!

Many motorcycle safety courses teach that you should slow down before you enter a turn or curve, and never to brake or downshift while in a curve or turn. I say bullshit.

Look I have been legally riding motorcycles on the road for 32 years, since the age of 16. In my own personal experience, sometimes it is hard to judge if you are entering a curve or turn too fast.

If you have entered into a turn or curve too fast on your motorcycle, you need to do anything you can not to panic, not to cross over the yellow line into opposing traffic, and not to crash.

My rule is that if you are in a curve or turn too fast, do what you have to do to safely get through the turn or curve. If that means hitting the brake, do it. If that means downshifting, do it.

I have ridden with guys who absolutely refuse do brake or downshift in a turn or curve. I have also seen these guys both in front of me, and in my rear view mirror cross the yellow line into oncoming traffic. Thank goodness none of them have ever crossed the yellow line when a car was right there or they would have been a windshield bug splat.

They teach you in motorcycle safety courses that before you enter a curve you should direct your motorcycle to the farthest part of the lane away from the turn so that you can theoretically see around the turn more.

For instance if you are going into a left curve they say you should direct your motorcade more to the right so that you can see around the left curve, and if you are going into a right curve you should direct your motorcycle more to the left so you can see around the right curve.

They teach that you should not look at the road, but that you should look around the curve to where you are going and that your motorcycle will tend to go where you are looking.

Some say that you should put your knees close into the tank to help you get around the curve, and some say that you should concentrate on counter-steering to properly get around a curve.

I say they are all right to a certain extent.

However, when you are actually riding your motorcycle, you will find that you will at times have to look at the road and not just where you want to go when going around a curve, you will find that sometimes it is not safe to go to the farthest part of the lane away from a curve because of oncoming cars or debris on the shoulder, and you will find that concentrating just on counter-steering is sometime dangerous.

In the end the safest thing to remember when going around curves is to keep a safe speed period.

The one thing that will make you panic or feel uncomfortable more than anything when going around a curve whether it be on a mountain pass or on a highway curve is excessive speed.

If you first let off of the throttle, you motorcycle will naturally start to slow down because of the action of friction and the engine.

If you are still going to fast don’t be afraid to apply a little front brake, but not too much because you may lose control. I like to apply both front and rear brakes.

If the turn is wet applying too much rear brake may make you slide out.

If you are still going too fast, downshift into a lower gear if you can safely.

If there are cars or other motorcycles behind me, and I am downshifting into a lower gear to slow down, I also try to tap my brake a bit just so the persons behind me can see my break light so they don’t rear end me.

Even with plenty of practice and riding experience, riding through turns and curves requires current practice and experience.

The worst riders are sometimes the people with the most experience because they think they are the great riders so they sometimes do not exercise the caution that they should.

Riding a motorcycle is not like riding a bike. Each time you are out, you need to exercise caution and ride at a safe speed.

Keep both wheels on the road.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © October 19, 2011

What is up with all these So-Called “Biker Lawyers” all of a Sudden showing up with Booths at All of the Motorcycle Events?

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez
California Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Photo courtesy of the American Bar Association Journal, and photographer David Newhardt

Well with Palm Springs American Heat I have finally had enough with what I think is a disgusting advertising practice by what in my opinion are bottom feeder personal injury lawyers.

In Palm Springs a certain so-called Biker Lawyer group had some scantily clad young girls aggressively coming up to people who were walking by saying that they worked for a lawyer who actually rides, as they tried to force feed passerby’s their business cards, and cheap novelties and trinkets.

I told the girls who came up to me, “Sorry, I am a Biker Lawyer who actually rides.” They kind of had a shocked look on their faces.

You see, I actually ride to many motorcycle events all over the nation. This year was no different.

All of a sudden there are a certain group of the same personal injury lawyers showing up at events calling themselves “Biker Lawyer” and  “Lawyers that ride” at motorcycle events.

To me a Biker Lawyer and a Lawyer that rides, is someone like me who is a lawyer and who also is a biker that rides motorcyles. It is a real simple concept, not some bullshit marketing slogan!

I think that I may have been the first Biker Lawyer to coin that term back in 1997 or so, because I am a lawyer who really rides. Once I started putting it out there on my website and on my blog, all of a sudden I saw other lawyers claiming the same thing.

Well now all of a sudden there are groups of lawyers showing up at motorcycle events all claiming to be “lawyers that really ride.”

It is not that I do not mind competition, hell I think it would be great to find a group of lawyers that actually ride motorcycles, hell I would like to go ride with them and make some new friends.

But what I really think is going on is a marketing gimmick aimed at bikers, and the way I see it, showing up at a motorcycle rally with a booth telling people if they crash their motorcycles, to call them, is disgusting and despicable to me.

In two words it is “Bad Karma.”

At the Las Vegas biker rally a few weeks ago, as we were walking by one of these booths, some guy sitting on his ass in the booth looked at my wife’s hat and said in a smart ass way, “who is the biker lawyer?” (The hat said Biker Lawyer, www.bikerlawyer.net on it) I told him I was. I also told him that I don’t sit at booths at motorcycle rallies; I actually ride to the rallies.

He had a stunned look on his face because I was actually in my biker garb because; yes I was riding, unlike him.

Curious about what it actually takes to be a Biker Lawyer with one of these organizations that has started up in the last couple of years I believe; I contacted one who I think was based in Arizona if I am not mistaken. They sent me a bunch of literature. At the time I contacted them, they had some firm based in San Diego as their only California firm.

In researching them, I saw no indication whatsoever that anyone from the firm listed for California at the time rode motorcycles. Matter of fact, I never even heard of them! Now it could be that someone from that firm actually rode motorcycles, it all seemed fishy to me.

Basically, I was told that if you pay at the time I contacted them, approximately 10k or so yearly fee to the organization I am referring to, you can be a Biker Lawyer with their group.

They would advertise for cases for you, and send you the cases in your territory. Very interesting!

Now the casual person looking at this group would think that it is all the same organization. Well it is not. It is a marketing vehicle that attorneys pay to be a part of.

Nowhere on the application did it ask if you actually ride motorcycles. Further, they hold themselves out to be Lawyers that really ride.

I think this practice is very misleading. I think consumers and bikers should be notified that lawyers pay a fee to be a part of this organization, and I think each of their lawyers should actually ride if they are going to advertise that they are lawyers who ride!

My next question is that most States require you to be licensed in that particular State to practice law in that State. You can apply to represent an individual in Court on a one or two time basis if you are an out of state lawyer, however, you cannot do it all the time.

So I wondered, how do the now 3-5 groups of lawyers that show up at all of the biker rallies, and that advertise in all of the biker rags, actually practice law in all 50 states legally.

The answer is that they cannot. It appears to me that these groups of lawyers that are advertising nationwide either have some kind of fee splitting deal going on with lawyers in the different States so the main lawyer will advertise and get cases for them, and then they will share the attorneys fee with the guy in the State actually doing the case, or they have some kind of marketing scam going on, where the attorney pays a fee like the organization I contacted, and the main attorney will advertise, and then send cases to the lawyers who are paying their franchise fee.

I think this entire practice is misleading, and despicable.

I saw American Chopper last night where even another group that I have never heard of before has popped up. It appears to me to be another marketing setup where they have created a website to target nationwide the “niche” market of motorcycle riders.

After digging deep into their website, it looks like the main law firm sponsoring their “Biker law” marketing campaign is based in Pennsylvania, and they too are claiming that they are lawyers that ride. I have no clue how this site or law firm work, but again, unless they have attorneys licensed in each state, they too must have some kind of fee splitting or franchise type of deal going on.

They do not limit themselves to just one State on their website.

On the TV show, they had a guy who they represented to be an attorney come in and order a custom bike to honor the firefighters or something to that affect. Somewhere it stated that he was the “lead counsel” or “managing counsel” of the biker law end of the firm. What the hell does that mean?

Anyway, at the end of the show there were a bunch of people in t-shirts with the biker law website address on it.

I almost threw up. You got to admit these people are marketing geniuses. They get an hour of TV advertising for what looks to be new operation, and all they had to do is pay (probably overpay) for a custom chopper from Orange County Choppers.

In the end there sits us real bikers. What are we supposed to believe is true?

First, I think that no lawyer should be going to motorcycle events and advertising for motorcycle accident cases. People are at the events to have fun, not to have the fact that they could crash shoved down their throats by a bunch of marketing hacks.

Second, I think that all of these firms should be forced to disclose the truth about their organizations, i.e., whether they are a fee splitting shop, whether lawyers pay them to have cases sent to them, and who in fact is the real biker lawyer in their organization.

I personally know at least two major attorneys in the so-called biker lawyer nationwide marketing scam, and neither of them rides motorcycles. One of them even stated in the Los Angeles Times in an article that he does not ride; because he wants to see his grandkids grow up. The article featured one of their new associates who had just got a Sportser, who had ridden for less than 6 months. (This guy has since left and opened his own bike lawyer shop)

So here I sit a humble real California Biker Lawyer who actually rides motorcycles. I am the friggen real deal. I am not playing some marketing scam on my clients. They know what they are getting when they retain me.

If you are in California and want the real deal call me; 800-816-1529 x.1.

For the rest of you there is a saying; Caveat Emptor, which is Latin for let the buyer beware.

Finally, you can have a say so if you also don’t like these bottom feeders showing up at our motorcycle rallies, simply don’t call them if you have an accident.

With a little research you can find someone like me who actually ride’s and is not part of some marketing operation geared towards bikers!

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

How can you protect yourself financially if you have a Motorcycle Accident?

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

I am a Motorcycle Accident Attorney who handles motorcycle accident cases all over the State of California. Unlike all of the other lawyers out there advertising for motorcycle accident cases, I actually ride motorcycles.

I have a unique incite above all other lawyers who do not ride motorcycles because I am actually a biker like you.

I cannot tell you how sick and tired I am of getting a new motorcycle accident case, where my client has suffered catastrophic injuries, and the person at fault has minimum $15,000 coverage, no coverage, or coverage nowhere close to covering the damages in the accident.

Look let’s face it, we motorcycle riders are far more likely to be seriously injured or even killed in a motorcycle accident, then those who ride 4 wheel cars or trucks. Unlike the person in a car who has a metal cage around them, all we have is the helmet and clothes on our body to protect us. When we hit the ground at speed we tend to suffer more serious injuries.

It is smart and prudent for those of us who ride motorcycles to protect ourselves financially in case we are in an accident.

So you may ask how we protect ourselves financially in case we are in a motorcycle accident.

It is simple; we buy enough insurance to cover the risk of catastrophic injury in case we are in a motorcycle accident.

How do we buy the right insurance? It is simple, in California, most uninsured motorist coverage policies also cover under insured motorist as well. In other states or even California, you want to make sure you have uninsured motorist and under insured motorist coverage in an amount of no less than $500,000 dollars. I suggest that you have at least one million dollar uninsured motorist and under insured motorist coverage for motorcycle accidents.

Uninsured motorist coverage will cover you in case a person who is at fault in an accident has no insurance.

Under insured coverage, covers the difference between what the at fault driver insurance policy limits are and your coverage. It gives you the option of deciding how much coverage you will need.

I also suggest that you maintain high liability coverage limits as well (In case you are at fault) for your passenger in case you are in an accident where you are at fault.

Finally how do you cover yourself for an accident that you are at fault in? You can get comprehensive and collision coverage to cover your motorcycle, rental car coverage to cover your loss of use of your motorcycle, and medical payment coverage to cover your medical bills.

Most policies that I have seen only cover medical payments up to $10,000; however I am sure you can get more coverage depending upon how much you are willing to pay.

So there it is there are no more excuses for not enough insurance coverage to cover you in case you are in a motorcycle accident. Call your insurance agent and get yourself covered.

I do not want to find myself one day trying to explain to you why after you have suffered a million dollar injury, you will only get $15,000 in your motorcycle accident, because the person who is at fault only has minimal coverage, and no assets to pay you a million dollar judgment.

Besides, if you do get a million dollar judgment against an at fault driver, all they have do to is go bankrupt to get rid of the debt to you. The right insurance is almost always the only way to protect yourself financially in a motorcycle accident case.

If you or your family have been the victim of a motorcycle crash, truck crash, car crash, or other motor vehicle accident anywhere in California call us for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or go to http://www.thepersonalinjury.com.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © September 18, 2011

California Highway Patrol Officer Injured in Motorcycle Collision at the 134 and 2 Freeway Junction in Glendale; Maybe the Accident could have been avoided with a Safety Device.

Glendale CHP Motorcycle Accident
Scene of Glendale CHP Motorcycle Accident

A California Highway Patrol officer was hospitalized with major injuries Tuesday afternoon after he was knocked off his motorcycle by another driver during an attempted traffic stop on the 134 Freeway, according to a CHP traffic report.

Officer J.D Fields, 59, an Altadena resident, suffered a broken femur and wrist after the accident, which occurred around 1:40 p.m. near the intersection of the 134 and 2 freeways in Glendale.

Fields had seen a vehicle pulled over on the side of the road and moved into the right lane, put on his lights, and slowed down to approach the car.

A woman driving a 2010 Nissan vehicle was behind him and failed to see him slow down, according to the report. She veered quickly out of the lane and then “for unknown reasons,” moved back into the right lane and hit Fields’ motorcycle, the report states.

Fields was thrown from the motorcycle and onto the road. He was transported to the Huntington Hospital shortly after the accident.

The cause of the collision is still under investigation, according to the report.

This crash brings to mind a safety feature for motorcycles that I think should be implemented; a brake light that triggers with sudden deceleration of a motorcycle.

Let me explain. We, who ride motorcycles, tend to downshift to decrease our speed on most if not all occasions, before we hit the brakes.

If a car traveling fast behind us, does not see brake lights when we downshift to slow down, they do not know we are slowing down, and they rear end us.

I think that is exactly what happened in this rear ender of Officer Fields.

I have been on rides and seen motorcycle on motorcycle rear end collisions due to the same reason.

If there was a sudden decoration device on our motorcycles that triggered the brake light, I think we could save many a biker and motorcyclist lives.

For you inventers out there, maybe you can come up with something. Maybe a device like this should be mandatory for motorcycles.

It would appear that Officer Fields in the accident mentioned above, not only has a Workers Compensation case against the California Highway Patrol, and a separate Personal Injury case against the woman who hit him from behind.

The law in California is that a person driving behind another person, has a duty to maintain a safe distance from the car or motorcycle in front of them, so they can stop in case the vehicle in front of them stops. It appears that the woman is at fault in this case.

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

Because I can!

It seems like every good Rock & Roll song I hear these days brings back certain memories. This song reminds me of one hell of a time I had with a biker gal named Brandy on a couple of thousand motorcycle trip to Colorado some years ago.

Where has all of the good rock & roll gone? The new so called music that is out really sucks!

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California Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Accident Attorney

California Highway Patrol to crack down on bikers and motorcyclist along Ortega Highway in Riverside County

Overhead Image of the Ortega Highway in Riverside County
Overhead Image of the Ortega Highway in Riverside County

Riverside County – California

Motorcyclists committing traffic violations on the Ortega Highway in Riverside County will be the target of a six-month enforcement campaign by the California Highway Patrol, it was announced Monday.

From April through the end of September, the CHP’s Temecula office will ramp up patrols on a 33-mile stretch of state Route 74 to catch unsafe motorcyclists, according to Officer Ron Thatcher.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “Motorcycle Safety Coalitions” grant will provide the funds necessary for overtime and special operations geared to motorcycle riders, Thatcher said.

CHP data from January 2007 to December 2008 indicate there were 75 motorcycle collisions from where the Ortega Highway begins in San Juan Capistrano to Green Avenue in southwest Riverside County. Twenty-five of the accidents resulted in injuries, and all were connected to speeding.

“Taking a turn too fast, a motorcyclist is likely to find himself in over his head,” said Capt. Ernie Sanchez, commander of the agency’s Temecula office.

“This stretch of highway demands concentration and caution on the part of the rider,” he said. “With this grant, we’re hoping to not only raise awareness and educate motorcyclists, but ultimately save lives and reduce the number of riders injured every year.”

The Temecula CHP will coordinate with local law enforcement agencies to conduct enforcement operations and advance public awareness efforts, according to Thatcher.

I am very concerned when I hear that law enforcement is going to single out bikers and motorcyclist for selective enforcement, especially in California.

I would like to hear from anyone who is the subject of harassment as a result of this announced policy by the CHP.

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.

Ortega Highway Motorcycle Accident Attorney

The Ultimate Motorcycle Ride

Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Yosemite National Park in California (picture edited to cover back-patch)
Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Yosemite National Park in California (picture edited to cover back-patch)

I was recently thinking about all of the motorcycle rides I have done on my motorcycle over the years, and what rides I would like to do in the future.

Sure it is fun riding to events like the Laughlin River Run each year, but in the end, it is always the same each year.

I was thinking, what would be the ultimate motorcycle run.

 I have read a couple of books by guys that have ridden around the world, however, why ride around the world just for the sake of riding around the world. Besides with the current political climate, and the fact that we are now in 3 wars, (Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya) it would probably not be possible to do a round the world motorcycle run, especially with the whack jobs around the world not liking American’s right now.

So what would be a great motorcycle run? Then a thought came to my mind; one of the best rides I have ever done in my life was through Yosemite, then down the Tioga Pass south to north, then up to Carson City, NV, and up to Lake Tahoe in one marathon 19 hour day.

I have also ridden through some other National Parks as well, not really as a goal, but to get to another destination. Every one of those motorcycle runs was a great ride.

I wonder what it would be like to ride to and through if possible, each National Park in the United States? That would be some great riding right?

Why not ride to each National Park in the United States of America?

Due to my being a personal injury attorney and biker lawyer, there is no way I could do it in one run, let alone during one riding season, because I have to work.

However, if I made it a goal to ride to and through every National Park in the United States of America if possible, I could probably do it over a matter of years.

So there it is; one of the items on my bucket list of life is to ride to and through every National Park in the United States of America.

You have to understand, I came up with this idea this weekend, (March, 19-20, 2011) while looking out of my window at the rain coming down.

I have just decided that instead of always doing the same repetitive motorcycle runs every year, that riding to and through every National Park in the United States would be a great life experience; something that you could write a book about.

I have not even begun to plan or map out how to achieve my goal. I found a website that is simply called National Parks, located at http://www.us-national-parks.net/ that lists all of the national parks, and has website links to each. This is a private site, but it looks pretty good.

Here is the listing of National Parks on that site with their respective website link:

Acadia
American Samoa
Arches
Badlands
Bandelier
Black Canyon
Big Bend
Biscayne
Bryce Canyon
Cabrillo
Canyonlands
Capitol Reef
Carlsbad Caverns
Channel Islands
Crater Lake
Cuyahoga Valley
Death Valley
Denali
Dry Tortugas
Everglades
Gates of the Arctic
Gettysburg
Glacier
Glacier Bay
Grand Canyon
Grand Teton
Great Basin
Great Sand Dunes
Great Smoky Mountains
Guadalupe Mountains
Haleakala
Harpers Ferry
Hawaii Volcanoes
Hot Springs
Isle Royale
Joshua Tree
Katmai
Kenai Fjords
Kobuk Valley
Lake Clark
Lassen Volcanic
Mammoth Cave
Mesa Verde
Mount Rainier
Mount St. Helens
North Cascades
Olympic
Organ Pipe Cactus
Petrified Forest
Point Reyes
Redwood
Rocky Mountain
Saguaro
Sequoia / Kings Canyon
Shenandoah
Theodore Roosevelt
Valley Forge
Virgin Islands
Voyageurs
Wind Cave
Wrangell Saint Elias
Yellowstone
Yosemite
Zion

I figure that this summer I can knock out all of the California National Parks, and maybe even get in the Nevada and Arizona National Parks. I may even be able to do more!

I will be in Hawaii in September so I can knock out the Haleakala, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Parks. Obviously, I will need to rent a Harley while on the Islands.

The national parks in Alaska will probably be the biggest challenge; we will see.

So there it is; I think that I may have found a way around the dull drum of riding to the same events every year.

I will let you all know more about my plan to ride to and through each United States National Park as it comes up. I will report in detail on each ride. I will also take pictures and shoot video as much as possible.

See you on the road.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, © March, 20, 2011

A Simple Friday after work Motorcycle Ride to the San Andreas Fault, California

San Andreas Fault California
San Andreas Fault California

I am sure all of you bikers and motorcycle riders know what it is like to get a bug up your ass to take a ride after work at the end of the week.

Well on Friday, June 18, 2010, 2 days before my 47th birthday, I decided to take my Harley Davidson Electra Glide out for a little ride after work, to the world famous and infamous San Andreas Fault.

If you do not know what the San Andreas Fault is, it is basically an earthquake fault that runs the length of California. They say that in a few million years, Los Angeles will pass San Francisco on this fault. The experts also predict “the big one;” a catastrophic earthquake that is overdue on this fault, that could destroy Los Angeles. Anyway…

Being a native Southern California boy, I know places to ride where I can literally be alone in or near a geographic area where millions of people live.

That is what I decided to do after work on June 18, 2010.

I am sure that many of you in all over the United States can also find great places to secret yourself for a little solo motorcycling without any other traffic interfering with your ride, however, if you are in Los Angeles County, you better know where you are going, otherwise you are not going to find solitude, that is for sure.

San Andreas Fault 2 California
San Andreas Fault California

Now I do not mean to brag, but I will anyway. I literally have some of the best motorcycle riding roads in the world right in my back yard. I can go from desert, to sea, to alpine mountains with a flick of my throttle wrist.

My motorcycle ride on Friday took me from the foothills, to the desert floor, to the base of the north side of the Angeles Forest. It was one hell of a nice Friday after work little ride.

No women, no friends, just me, myself, and I, and my Harley Davidson Electra Glide.

As you can see by the videos here, I wore my Gopro helmet cam for the ride.

Since I did not even get to Pearblossum Highway until 7:30pm or so, it was already just after sunset when I started filming. However, I still got some good video.

Since Youtube.com only allows up to ten minute videos, I had to drastically edit the videos down to 3 clips, but you can still get the effect of the ride I am sure.

Video 1 and 2 are shot with my helmet camera, except for a surprise just past the middle of video 2, and video 3 was shot by me with a standard HD camcorder at the actual San Andreas Fault.

You will notice on this ride going from the Mohave desert floor to the foothills of the Angeles Forest, Joshua Trees and cactus, turning into chaparral and scrub brush.

It was dark by the time I finished the ride.

You will notice when I am leaving the San Andreas Fault in video 2 of 3, that I got on my motorcycle quite quickly. Well up in the area where I was riding there are animals such as Rattlesnakes, Brown Bears, Mountain Lions, Coyotes, etc. As it was getting dark, and I was parked next to the San Andreas Fault sign, I heard a big animal stirring up the brush behind me. Hell I have camped in these parts and had nothing with me on this ride except for a 3.5 inch folding pocket knife.

I could sense that I needed to get the hell out of there. I am not stupid enough to wait around until a mountain lion pounces on my ass. It is amazing how sometimes you can sense danger. Only a stupid man waits around to see what is going to happen when he senses danger, has no weapons so to say, and you just know a big animal is in the brush behind you as it is getting dark. Get the picture?

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I got my ass out of there, and pulled over about a couple of hundred yards down the road so I could put my gloves on and zip up my hoodie.

All in all it was a great after work Friday ride. I only wish I got there earlier so the video would have had more sunlight.

By California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Attorney, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

I Replaced my Harley Davidson Advanced Sound System with a state of the art Sony Stereo System; Here is My Review.

Biketronics Harley Davidson Sony Stereo System on Motorcycle 1
Norman's Sony Stereo - Biketronic's setup

See Video Review Below!

Background

I am a long distance motorcycle rider. This summer I am not only planning on riding to the Sturgis motorcycle rally which is a 2700 mile round trip plus ride, I am also planning on doing other rides, not to mention the 2000 miles I have already put on in the last couple of months. I wanted a state of the art stereo on my motorcycle with built in MP3 for my music collection, a built in High Definition receiver, and the ability to have built in Satellite reception for when I am in the middle of no where. I want to listen to CNN in the middle of the Western Desert!

In 2005 I switched to a Harley Davidson Electra Glide motorcycle from a traditional cruiser motorcycle. Before 2005, I had never ridden with a stereo system built into a motorcycle before, hell a windscreen was luxury to me back then. Since 2005, I have become spoiled. I will probably always ride baggers from here on out. Once you get used to luxury it is hard to turn back.

My Harley Davidson Electra Glide came with the Harley Davidson Advanced Sound system installed in the bat wing fairing, which in of itself has done its job quite well over the last 5 years, but the technology is outdated, even on the new units.

On my unit, there was a built in CD player, minimal AM/FM presets, built in weather band, and a sensor which increased volume as I would increase speed on the motorcycle. There was also an auxiliary input which allowed me to plug in an external MP3 player so I could listen to my music collection. The system worked with my OEM hand controls so that I could virtually control the entire stereo via my OEM handlebar mounted hand controls on the Electra Glide. The unit is great, but it is old technology. If all you want is a standard CD, a few AM/FM presets, and weather band, this unit is perfect for you. I am a tech geek, I wanted more!

Over the years I have plugged in an I-Pod, a smaller MP3 player, and I have also used my Garmin GPS to serve music to the Harley Davidson Advanced Sound System via a cable plugged from the device to the auxiliary input of the Harley Davidson Advanced Sound System. It worked, but to be frank, there was no real control of the tunes being played unless I dangerously tried to skip tracks while I was riding because the external device was controlling what was being played rather than the head unit. There were issues with the volume of my MP3 device having to be cranked up to full volume to sound good through the auxiliary input, and each device sounded different through the stock stereo.

Furthermore, the cable plugged in from my GPS, or a device in my pocket looked like crap, it flutters in the wind, and the quality of having an external connection is not as good as it could be. Not only that, but everytime I got off the motorcycle, I would have to unplug my external MP3 player, turn off the external MP3 Players, etc. If the battery wore out on my external MP3 Player, I was shit out of luck. Lately using the GPS solved many of the problems, but I had no real control of the tunes being served to the Harley Davidson Advanced Sound System. When I got back on the motorcycle, I would have to plug everything back in, and start the MP3 player before I started riding, a real hassle; I am sure you get the picture, because many of you are doing this right now!

For short trips, rather than plugging in my external MP3 player, I used one of my home burned CD’s in the OEM system, which I have probably listened to over a 100 times now. It gets old if you know what I mean.

Let’s face it, with MP3, standard CD’s are obsolete, even CD units which read MP3’s, and other digital formats are obsolete because you can only fit so much on a disk, and most of these units have a limit as to how many tracks can be on a disk even if you buy the more expensive DVD format units.

Modern technology allows you to literally have every song ever made on one thumb drive, or standard USB disk drive now. There is no reason to ever have to switch CD’s anymore. Most of you including me don’t have every song ever made on disk, but my collection is almost 4GB and growing weekly.

There was an MP3 option for the Harley Davidson Advanced Sound System, but it is an external unit that mounts to the handlebars and it is ridiculously expensive for what they give you. Plus you are severely limited to memory on Harley Davidsons MP3 option. On top of that, the new Harley Davidson Advanced Sound Systems need to be programmed at the dealer. If the unit goes dead, it can only be revived by a dealer reprogramming it. How much would that cost everytime? No thanks, I love Harley Davidson, but the reason I am upgrading is to go state of the art. Their solution is not state of the art.

The Biketronics Article and Review Continues below the two videos.

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One good thing about the Harley Davidson Unit is that it was as reliable as a beast. It is basically waterproof. I have ridden through rain storms, and washed my motorcycle many times, and the stereo kept working no problem.

Well recently, I decided to upgrade my stereo to an aftermarket non OEM stereo so that I could have modern electronics on my motorcycle the way I wanted it, and not the way Harley Davidson wanted it.

Research

My first dilemma was to find a stereo system (head unit) that would work with the existing hand controls on my Harley Davidson Electra Glide, and that would mount in the faring without having to modify the OEM wiring. I wanted a plug and play solution.

I found two companies which allow you to adapt aftermarket stereo systems to the motorcycle, using the OEM wiring, and your existing Harley Davidson Hand Controls. One of the companies is called Biketronics, and the other one is called Hawg Wired. Each of these companies sells adapters and units which allow you to mount an aftermarket stereo into a Harley Davidson Cruiser without having to change any of the wiring, and let’s you use your hand controls, just like you would with a Harley Davidson Stereo.

A negative note with upgrading the stereo unit with an aftermarket solution is that replacing the head unit will disable your built in CB, and intercom if you have it on your motorcycle. I myself have an FLHT Electra Glide Standard that had the Advanced Sound System installed by the dealer upon pickup of the motorcycle. I did not have the CB or intercom option installed because I don’t use them.

Let’s be frank, at highway speed on a Harley Davidson, a CB or intercom are virtually useless because of the wind noise anyway, so it is a feature I did not waste my money on.

Furthermore, even if I did have the CB or intercom installed on my Electra Glide, I would willingly disable them anyway in order to have a turnkey state of the art stereo on my motorcycle, that I could upgrade in the future for a nominal cost, as technology advances. There are Bluetooth headsets out there now that mount to your helmet that can be used to replace the CB or intercom if you absolutely have to have those options. The tradeoff depends on you. For me the decision was a no brainer.

Biketronics Harley Davidson Sony Stereo System on Motorcycle 2
Norman's Sony Stereo - Biketronic's setup

After much research, and a lengthy telephone call, I opted to go with the Biketronics setup, because of the good reviews I read about them on the internet, (their units have a lifetime warranty) and their units seemed to be more straightforward to me. I must note that many guys said good things about Hawg Wired as well.

A Biketronics tech support guru spent at least a half an hour on the phone with me before and after my purchase. You can tell that they are bikers themselves, and are really into their product. They know what they are talking about.

The guy from Biketronics highly recommended a Sony Marine Unit that they sell because they are waterproof. However, my Internet research showed that guys without the Marine Units who wash their motorcycles, and ride through rain, have ridden for years with a standard unit with no problems at all. Furthermore, the Sony Marine Unit did not have all of the features that I wanted, which was the whole reason for upgrading anyway. I wanted my stereo to be state of the art, the way I wanted it to be!

Another factor that was a deal maker for me was that Biketronics stated that if you use a Sony head unit, their adapters were plug and play, including the mounting unit they sell, and the clear plastic cover they sell for their mount as well to protect the unit from rain or water. This is what I wanted; plug and play, no hassles.

My next issue was which stereo system to buy. Biketronics sells a complete kit including Sony Stereo, Hog Tunes speakers, all of their adapters, a clear plastic splash cover, and a powered in fairing antenna. The cost of this package which includes the basic Sony CDX-GT640UI was $509.88 with free shipping. Biketronics also sells a couple of other Sony Head Units, including a waterproof marine version. The other Sony Head Units will add an additional $10-$40 dollars to the cost of the package I mentioned above.

To put this in prospective, a Harley Davidson Advanced Sound System is around $1,000.00 and does not include the Hog Tunes Speakers or the powered in fairing antenna, and the Harley Davidson Stereo is obsolete compared to the Sony Stereo.

Since I have already previously installed Hog Tunes speakers and a powered in fairing antenna when I installed a Premium Tour Pak with the removable bracket, I did not need either, so why pay for them in a complete kit?

Further, I wanted to be able to buy the Head Unit that I wanted rather than going with only the head units that Biketronics sells, plus I did not want to put all of my eggs into one basket.

For Stereo (head unit) research online, there is one vendor that I know and trust, and that is Crutchfield Electronics. They are the car and home stereo experts online. They have a huge selection of stereos, they have all of the features, specs, pictures, and options, online, and they are reputable. You can speak to them 24 hours a day and they honor warranties and have a generous return policy. I previously purchased my powered in fairing antenna from them for $19.00 which is around $20.00 cheaper than the Biketronics version, and it appears to be the same thing!

I went one step further; I wanted to look at all car stereos and not just the Sony’s.

Biketronics and Hawg Wired both sell kits to adapt to non Sony units that work with your OEM wiring, and OEM hand controls, but based upon what I read, the install might be a bit more dicey for non Sony systems, rather than just settling for a Sony which is guaranteed to work with the Biketronics. The caveat is that whatever stereo I chose must have a plug in for the steering wheel controls, which is how both Biketronics and Hawg Wired adapt the Harley Davidson Hand Controls to the stereo system.

I looked at many different stereo systems. I spent days looking at systems. I finally found the Sony CDX-GT700HD which you can see by clicking here, for $179.00 with free shipping. This unit is only $20.00 more than the base unit that comes with the Biketronics Kit, and the biggest difference is that it has a built in High Definition Digital Receiver on top of the standard Analog AM/FM receiver. None of the other stereos I looked at had the built in HD receiver. On the others you need to buy an HD Receiver Adapter for an additional $150 or so. This included the Pioneer’s, the Alpine’s, the JVC’s, and other stereo’s I looked at.

Another big feature is that this unit has a front slide covered plug in USB port, and auxiliary port. I realized that I could plug in a thumb drive into the front with my entire music collection on it, and that the stereo would control it digitally without having to convert from Analog to Digital like I used to have to do with my Harley Davidson Advanced Sound System with the auxiliary port.

The Sony CDX-GT700 HD also has a XM or Sirius direct Satellite radio tuner option that installs right into the unit, so that I would not have to worry about having an external satellite receiver plugging into the Auxiliary port of the stereo, or using FM from a separate Satellite receiver to transmit to the head unit. I could control the Satellite directly from the Head Unit while on the road. This is what I am talking about!

Another feature for a stereo that I was going to mount on my motorcycle is that I wanted a removable face plate that I could make non removable if I wanted, and I wanted the CD plug in to be behind the faceplate to prevent dust and dirt from going into it.

Now the Sony stereo which has unparalleled sound quality, has so many features and specs that there is no way that I can cover them here. All I can say is that it is like having an iPod with full control right from the head unit with all of the features of a State of the Art Stereo.

I could not find any other stereo that surpassed the built in features of the $179.00 Sony CDX-GT700 HD, not even the real expensive ones. Many of the high end units require an external HD tuner, most had the CD slot open in the front, (more appropriate for cars) and many had the USB, and Auxiliary ports in the back of the unit rather than the front. This kind of setup would require you to open the faring and run wires everytime you wanted to change what was plugged in the darn thing, or run a live wire to somewhere on your motorcycle such as your saddlebags, etc. No thanks! I wonder what would happen if those live wires get wet.

I even looked at the units which have actual motorized screens that pop out of the unit, and allow you to have GPS on the Screen, and be able to Watch DVD’s, and even have a rear mounted camera view on the screen from your motorcycle.

These systems seem fantastic, but the guy from Biketronics told me that anytime you have a unit with a moving motor, such as these units which have a motor to drive the screen out, that the vibration on a motorcycle usually make them go bad quickly. Not only that, but the units I looked at were in the $1,000 range, and they also did not have the front USB and Auxiliary connections that I wanted, plus they did not seem practical for a motorcycle solution.

Although I have seen some guys with these units installed on their motorcycles, they look cool and the bling value is there, I need turnkey functionality, not bling!

I was again brought back to the Sony CDX-GT700 HD again and again, no matter what I looked at, so there it was, I decided on the Sony CDX-GT700 HD from Crutchfield Electronics, this is what I wanted. Here is a link to the actual system I purchased.

Now going back to the Biketronics kit which would allow me to install the system, I decided to buy the components I needed, rather then the complete kits they sell. I got the best Sony stereo that I could find, plus the whole thing would be cheaper for me than buying their whole kit.

I purchased the following from Biketronics to install my Sony CDX-GT700 HD into my Harley Davison Electra Glide:

(1) BT 1000 – 1998-2005 Sony Radio Install Kit, $199.95 (free shipping)
(2) Sony Harness w/Connector, $14.95 (free shipping)
(3) BT Splashcover, $19.95 (free shipping)
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Total Price from Biketronics = $234.85, (free shipping), No tax.

I purchased the following from Crutchfield Electronics:

(1) Sony CDX-GT700 HD, $179.95 (free shipping)
(2) SoundKase DFC1X Black, $9.99 (free shipping) This is a case you put the faceplate into when you take it off of the motorcycle.
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Total Price from Crutchfield Electronics = $189.90, (free shipping), No tax.

Total Price of Radio Upgrade Project: $424.75

The total price of my radio upgrade project was around $45.18 cheaper than buying the complete retro radio kit from Biketronics with their stereo included, and I got a much better stereo than comes with their kit. As stated above, I already previously purchased the Hog Tunes speakers, and a powered in fairing antenna. Now for guys that have an FLHT without a stereo, and are installing the stereo from scratch the Biketronics kit is just a tad more expensive.

After my order, the Biketronics kit arrived within a couple of days. The Crutchfield order took about a week to arrive.

Biketronics Harley Davidson Sony Stereo System on Motorcycle 3
Norman's Electra Glide with front fairing removed

Installation

First off, I got my tools out, unpacked the Biketronics Kit, and the Sony Stereo. I read the instructions for each before I began. It looked like it would be a very easy installation.

First, I removed the Sony stereo from the mounting cage that it comes with out of the box, and discarded the cage because it is not used in this application.

Then, I took the heavy vinyl that comes with the Biketronics kit. I removed the backing to expose the sticky surface, and placed it on the top of the Sony Stereo where indicated, and down the sides. I trimmed off the excess from the sides and back. It is obvious that this vinyl is stuck on to protect the stereo from dirt, debris, and water. No problem at all with this process.

I than removed the seat from my motorcycle, and disconnected the battery, negative first. The last thing you want to do is install something like this with the motorcycle battery connected. You could cause a short and do serious damage to your electrical system. Don’t be a fool; take a few minutes to disconnect your battery.

Then, I removed the outer Bat Wing Fairing. I am not going to describe how to remove the fairing here. If you are interested in how to remove the outer Bat Wing fairing, I previously wrote an article about removing the faring when I installed the Hog Tunes speakers which you can read here.

I then unplugged the Antenna from the Harley Stereo, and the two large connectors that plugged into the back of the stereo.

I proceeded to unbolt the 4 hex bolts which hold the stock Harley Davidson into the bracket where it mounts. I used a basic hex wrench squeezing it in inside the bracket to get the bolts off. My fingers were too big for this process but I got them out. It was a bitch.

I knew there must be a better way to remove and install these bolts, and realized it would be almost impossible to get the bolts back in if I used the reverse method of how I removed them. I decided to look in my factory service manual. The manual recommends using a long socket hex attachment that goes in through holes on each side of the bracket. Damm some times looking at the factory service manual helps. I could have got the damm attachment from Wal-Mart and had the stereo unbolted in seconds, but instead, I found a long standard hex wrench in my tool kit, put it in through the holes on the side of each bracket, and it worked like a charm. It took a few more seconds than using a socket attachment, but I saved a few bucks and time driving to Wal-Mart. If you are doing this install and you don’t have longer hex wrenches, just go to Wal-Mart and buy the socket attachment for $10.00. You can return it when you are done!

The instructions then said to lift the back end of the Harley Davidson system up, and pull out. Well I did this a few times, and the Stereo was not coming out. I was pissed off. I got on the internet and went on a few forums to confirm that you were supposed to just be able to pull the stereo out from the front. (Not the tank side of the stereo, but the front headlight side) Everyone responded that it should come right out.

One guy recommended that I remove the bolts from the vertical fairing stabilizer bracket to give more room for the stereo to come out. When I went to remove the bolts I discovered that I had the dreaded broken vertical fairing stabilizer bracket on the left hand side, and my horizontal bracket under the speaker was also broken. I was truly pissed off at this time. (This is a known bug on this motorcycle; I will discuss this issue on another article.)

My stereo was not coming out and as I tried, it was bending the inner fairing. I was worried that I would crack or break the inner fairing that is how bad this was. Here I am looking at my motorcycle all taken apart, and I could not get the damm stock stereo out. I decided to try again, and to use more pressure. Either the stereo was going to come out or I was going to break something.

I finally felt a bit of a pop and the stereo came out. It turns out that I got lucky; the asshole that installed the stereo in my motorcycle thought it would be a good idea to put what looked like rubber cement on the top and bottom of the front of my stereo where the front bezel meets the fairing, when he installed it. This is not standard. I guess he thought that it would stay in my solid that way. It sure did stay in solid, even when unbolted it would not budge. I almost destroyed the fairing getting it off.

Now I could finally install the new stereo.

First, I slid on the front black mounting piece that comes with the Sony Stereo and snapped it in place on the front of the unit. I then slid on the black bezel that comes with the Biketronics kit. The bezel is what goes against the fairing to seal the stereo from the inside of the fairing.

I then bolted on the two blocks that mount to each side of the Sony stereo which allow the stereo to be bolted into the Harley Davidson stereo bracket inside of the fairing. I did not over tighten the bolts as indicated.

I then lifted the back of the stereo and pushed it in and down into the fairing so the bezel was flush with the front of the fairing, and then bolted the stereo into the fairing bracket using the same screws that I took off of the stock stereo. It was easy to bolt on because I went through the sides as described in the service manual. You do not need the service manual to do this but it helps. All you need is the long hex wrench and then bolt in through the holes in the bracket on each side.

At this point I was not sure if the front bezel was flush with the front of the fairing, so I removed the Sony and reinstalled it. I discovered that I had it right the first time, but it was no big deal.

The Sony is much smaller and lighter than the stock unit which took some time to get used to. It is newer technology.

Now that I had the Sony mounted, I plugged in the Antenna. I then took the Harley Davidson wiring harness, and plugged it into the Biketronics retro radio kit. I then took the Sony wiring harness and plugged one end into the Biketronics retro radio kit, and took the other side and plugged it into the back of the Sony Stereo. I plugged in the connector for the hand controls into the stereo making sure that the plug was facing up as stated in the instructions.

Everything was ready to be tested per the Biketronics instructions. I installed the battery, and put the starter into the auxiliary mode. The stereo powered up, but there was no sound at all. I tried to fidget with the sound controls but nothing. I could tell that the speakers were not getting any juice at all. The Sony Stereo has a feature where when power is turned off, it beeps a few times to remind you to remove the faceplate. There was no beeping.

I went into the fairing and discovered that my speaker’s wires routed to a separate plug, and that there were also speakers wires routed to the back of the bike under the seat which went to the same plug. My stock stereo had two big plugs, one for the power and hand controls, and one for the speakers. The Biketronics kit only had one plug which was supposed to accommodate everything so they say.

At this point after all of the above hassles I went through I was pissed off. I thought Biketronics sent me the wrong adapter. I had to wait for the next day to talk to them. Their tech support told me that I had a unique setup on my motorcycle. It looks like it was set up for an amplifier on my motorcycle. They told me my wiring was non standard and they had only seen this issue once before.

To be frank, my Harley stereo had two big plugs, one of which was for the speakers. I cannot see how this is non standard if the stereo had the separate plug. The guy from Biketronics insisted that I had a non-standard setup.

We mutually agreed that the easiest and best solution would be for me to manually wire the speakers to the Biketronics Sony Adaptor. This would prevent me from having to cut into the Harley stereo plug harness. All I would have to do is unplug the stereo speakers, and run separate wires to the Biketronics Sony Adaptor Plug. It was basically 1 2 wire connection for each speaker. It sounds like a bitch but it is really no big deal. Any of you who have wired up a home stereo know that is real easy to wire up two speakers.

My only complaint was that this thing was supposed to be plug and play, and now I would have to manually wire the speakers to their harness.

I went to Wal-Mart and got a universal wiring kit with spade lugs and a crimper so I could do the job right, plus I got some wire. Turns out the spade lugs in the kit did not fit on the Hogtunes speakers, and the wire was too large of a gauge to work with. I went to Auto Zone to get thinner wire. To make a long story short I spend I significant amount of time trying to make my own spade lug wires, etc. but the connections were no good. I then tried to solder the wires directly onto the speaker lugs but they would not stay on.

Finally, I opted to just use the factory wires which I cut half way down and connected to the Biketronics Sony Harness and then wrapped real well with electrical tape. Again, it sounds like a nightmare, but it was only 4 wires total.

I then put the starter switch on Auxiliary, and wholla, I had tunes. However, I had to fix the broken fairing stabilization brackets before I could button the motorcycle up. I will discuss this in a later article.

I then buttoned everything up. I did have a minor issue while tie-wrapping the Biketronics module into the fairing. The kit did make my fairing tighter than before. I am sure that I could have done a better job tie-wrapping the unit into the fairing, but I had done some other work to the motorcycle and I was tired. I got it in, and the fairing buttoned back up.

Biketronics Harley Davidson Sony Stereo System on Motorcycle 4
Norman's Sony Stereo - Biketronic's setup

Testing and Operating the Stereo

I am not going to go into much detail here because this stereo has many features and options. The manual is pretty extensive. If you want, you may read the Sony stereo installation manual by clicking here, and the operating instructions manual by clicking here.

First I tested the AM/FM/HD reception; it works and sounds fantastic. Local HD stations tune in just fine, and give you a display on the radio face of what artist is playing, etc. This is the first time that I have heard my favorite station in Los Angeles; 95.5 KLOS in HD sound. There is absolutely no sound or static at all. The stations transmit in digital HD. HD reception never has static like FM- Frequency Modulation (Analog), or AM-Amplitude Modulation (Analog) stations. I am going to have more fun with HD as I ride with the motorcycle more.

I burned a CD on my computer with about 300 MP3’s on it. This would be a backup music option in case I did not have my thumb drive music collection, my I-Pod, or another MP3 player with me. The CD worked flawlessly and sounded great. The stereo does have to be turned on to feed a disk into it. The artist and song info displays on the face of the radio like it is supposed to while playing.

It was then time for the biggest test of all, my entire music collection copied onto a USB thumb drive.

I copied my entire MP3 music collection, excluding full albums onto a 4GB thumb drive and plugged it into the front USB port on the stereo.

I was kind of worried beforehand that the vibration and wind of a motorcycle ride on the road would cause the thumb drive to dislodge and fall out on the road. One of the reasons I got the stereo in the first place was so that I could simply plug a thumb drive in without any cable, and that I could have my entire music collection play on the stereo without any cables or external players.

My worry was not a problem. I have now ridden at speed for many miles with the thumb drive plugged in, and it has not come loose at all, nor has it come out, or even come close to falling out. Believe me; I have ridden at speed on the freeway as well.

The ability to plug in a thumbdrive direclty into the Sony Stereo from the front, is the biggest feature of the stereo by far in my opinion. The feature gives me the ability to have my entire music collection on a miniture thumbdrive, plugged directly into the head unit, with pure digital music going directly into the stereo by way of the USB, and then having the Sony’s electronics convert it into excellent sound.

As I stated above, by plugging into the Aux port on the old Harley Davidson Advanced Sound System, you are using an external MP3 device to convert the digital to analog for you, and then the headphone jack is used to plug into the Harley system with a cable. With this method there is some signal loss at the Aux jack no matter what you do, plus there is no real safe way to control the tunes while riding.

I was able to hear some of my songs (my music collection is so big that it would take about 3 days to hear every song) as clear and as good as can be. Plus I was able to read the artist and song info on the faceplate which is something I could not do before with the Harley system. On top of that, I could also toggle through my collection while riding using the Harley Davidson stock right Hand Control.

There is another feature in the stereo that makes finding tunes much easier when riding, it is called the Quick-BrowZer Mode. When the button for this feature is pushed it basically plays about 15 seconds of each song in your collection, when you reach a song you want to hear you just push the big select button, and the stereo then starts the song from the beginning.

I have used the stereo for many hours now and the sound quality blows away the stock Harley Davidson stereo system.

Although the Sony stock head unit only puts out around 17 watts per channel, for 4 channels without an amplifier, which is around the same output as the Harley Davidson Advanced Sound System, this stereo is better sounding and louder than the stock Harley Davidson stereo.

Since I am already running Hogtunes speakers on my motorcycle, I get no distortion at all when the stereo is cranked up.

Future Options

This stereo is setup to accept XM or Sirius satellite with a quick plug and play option. I did not order this option initially because I wanted to make sure that I was going to keep this new setup. I am probably going to get the satellite option for this stereo in the very near future, especially before I go to Sturgis.

I am also contemplating getting an amplifier for my system. Although the stereo is already loud now, I do not want to really have to crank it up at highway speeds. Let’s face it, when you are rolling at 80mph with a full face modular helmet on, and ear plugs, any stock stereo system will be very difficult to hear, even if it is cranked up. I know that with a nominal amplifier, I can get the stereo loud enough to hear even at highway speeds.

I am sure that if I removed my ear plugs, or if I only wore a beanie helmet or no helmet, I would be able to hear the stereo just fine, even at highway speeds. However, due to my tinnitus which has been caused by many years of riding without hearing protection, I do not want to damage my already damaged ears.

Biketronics and Hawg Wired each sell amplifiers; however I feel that each of their solutions is too expensive. I think the minimum price of their solutions is $399 plus. I can get a cheap two channel amplifier from Crutchfield for around $99 that will probably do the trick.

Why pay $399 plus if I can do the same thing for $99?

One big issue for me will be to get an amplifier that is small enough to mount in the fairing above the Sony stereo that does not generate too much heat and one that does not drain too much power. A motorcycle electrical system is not as strong as a car electrical system, so any amplifier I get will need to work on the Harley Davidson.

If I find that the Crutchfield cheapo solution does not work to my satisfaction, I will buy an amplifier from either Biketronics or Hawg Wired.

Rap Up

Bottom line, I cannot believe I waited so long to upgrade my system. I can think of countless trips I have taken that would have been much better had I been able to have a system like this on my motorcycle.

Like you I wanted to keep everything OEM. However, I got sick of using obsolete technology, or being extorted into paying Harley Davidson’s high prices to not get everything I wanted.

Now I have almost everything I want. I would recommend that everyone upgrade their Harley Davidson Sound System to the latest and greatest aftermarket solutions. There is no need to stick with obsolete technology anymore.

Just a side note, none of the vendors mentioned on here provided me with any product or compensation in return for this review. I wrote this review because I know that many of you out there are contemplating this type of upgrade or installation.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

Motorcyclist dies during motorcycle stunt; This did not have to happen

Victorville California Motorcycle Accident Scene
Scene of fatal motorcycle accident in Victorville.

VICTORVILLE – California

A motorcyclist died Monday afternoon (11/9/09) after he lost control while doing a wheelie in a residential neighborhood and slammed into a tree in front of a home, officials said.

The rider was westbound in the 16200 block of Nisqualli Road around 1 p.m. when he hit a curb, lost control and veered in and out of the street, according to witnesses and Sgt. John Emmens, of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Victorville station.

Ramiro Barbosa Jr. said he saw the rider pop a wheelie at Fourth Avenue and Nisqualli Road. He attempted a stand-up-wheelie but failed. He tried again, but on the second try he popped up and lost control, Barbosa said.

The motorcycle went into a “speed wobble,” ejecting the rider who was hurled into a tree head-first. The Kawasaki Ninja sport bike then struck a chain link fence causing the vehicle to cartwheel before coming to rest four houses away, witnesses said.

Witnesses reported the 23-year-old man was traveling anywhere between 75 to about 100 mph.

Officials closed Nisqualli Road between Fourth and Sixth avenues as the Major Accident Investigation Team looked into the crash.

Resident Gabriel Madrigal said he had seen the same motorcycle doing stunts along the street on almost a nightly basis. Others stated the man lived in the neighborhood, but his identity was not immediately released.

Madrigal and neighbor, Ray Williams, heard the loud crash while they were in Williams’ garage. They came outside to find the motorcycle in Williams’ neighbors’ driveway.

“It didn’t hit anything but that chain link fence,” Williams said. “It’s pretty amazing.”

Sport bikes make up 14 percent of the total number of registered motorcycles in California for 2008, but account for 38 percent of all motorcycle-related deaths on the state’s highways, according to the California Highway Patrol.

I have said in many articles that if sport biker motorcycle riders want to do stunts on their motorcycles, they should take it off public roads and onto private property. Had this young man not been doing wheelies on the street he probably would still be alive.

Not only did this young man die, but I wonder how many of the people who either witnessed this accident or heard about it now have a negative view of bikers and motorcyclist as a result?

This did not have to happen!

Victorville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Attorney

A Horrible 30 Motorcycle Pile Up Accident in Oregon Injures Many Bikers.

massive 30 motorcycle accident in Oregon
scene of massive 30 motorcycle accident in Oregon

Yes you heard that right. On Saturday there was a massive accident involving almost 30 motorcycles on the I-5 in the State of Oregon. I read about this accident just before I was about to ride my motorcycle to Lompoc, California for a Karate tournament.

The injured bikers were members of a motorcycle club who were riding together in standard two column (side by side) or “coffin” formation.

From the news reports that I have read and watched, it appears that one or two SUV’s in front of the motorcyclist either intentionally hit their brakes with no traffic in front of the SUV, or suddenly hit their brakes because of slowing traffic in front of them.

This caused a chain reaction pile up accident, or domino effect as the bikers apparently had no time to stop or get out of the way.

Many of the bikers were injured, and two were critically injured and were airlifted out.

From the news reports that I read, there were motorcycles scattered all over the freeway.

I have ridden in many packs of motorcycles, and what happened in this accident is everyone’s nightmare scenario. If the witness reports turn out to be true, and the SUV intentionally hit its brakes, then this would be attempted murder as far as I am concerned.

Some of you may be thinking that stuff like this does not happen, well it does. I had a client report to me today that a car load of what looked to him like street gang thugs, tried to hit him in the head with a baseball bat as he was riding his motorcycle in Los Angeles a few days ago. They were in a truck.

Hell, as I was riding yesterday, splitting lanes just before Santa Barbara going north on the 101, some asshole big rig truck driver must have saw me riding up, and purposefully moved his rig left to close off the center lane just so I could not pass. Had I been next to him, he would have taken me out. Other motorist saw what he did because they honked and one guy flipped off the big rig truck driver. It took me about 30 seconds before I could finally pass the guy. He was glaring at me as I looked up at his rig. What was this asshole thinking?

For some reason, some motorist do not think that bikers and motorcyclist have the right to ride on the roads, as everyone else, and they seem to get off on trying to take us out.

Now I do not know why the SUV’s braked in the case of the 30 motorcycle vehicle accident which is the subject of this article and op. ed. , but if it was on purpose to cause an accident, the drivers should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

What can be done to ensure safety while riding your motorcycle in a pack like this? The main thing that can be done is to ensure that the Road Captain, or the one leading the ride, makes sure that there is enough distance between the pack, and traffic in front of the pack to stop in case the vehicles in front suddenly stop. I wrote an article on group riding which you can read by clicking here now. My main rule is that the lead riders should not under any circumstances tailgate cars or other vehicles in front of the pack. There needs to be ample room. I have been in packs where the Road Captain was tailgating, and I just sat there waiting for the car to hit their brakes. I hate to be in the middle of a pack, I would rather be in the front, or rear, preferably the rear!

In a tight pack, everyone must use hand signals so that the people in back know what is going on to prevent just this type of scenario.

I am not saying that this accident could have been prevented, especially if the SUV purposefully hit the brakes to cause this accident, but there are things that can be done to make rides safer for riders in a group.

If you want to read a story about this accident that does not seem to be biased about the club members in this accident you may click here now to read it and watch a video about the accident.

May god be with the injured bikers and motorcyclist who were involved in this accident, and their family members. Bikers and Motorcyclist are human beings and deserve respect just like anyone else.

By Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, © 2009

Motorcyclist killed on Uvas Road in Morgan Hills, CA Identified

California biker lawyer and motorcycle accident attorneyThe Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office Tuesday identified 52-year-old Scott Hudson as the motorcyclist killed in a fiery collision southwest of Morgan Hill, California on Monday afternoon.

Hudson was traveling north on Uvas Road, just north of Little Uvas Road, when a speeding Honda Accord heading south crossed the double yellow lines and collided head-on with Hudson at about 3:40 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Hudson, of Los Gatos, was ejected from the motorcycle and died at the scene.

The motorcycle burst into flames, spreading to the Accord and then to nearby trees, the California Highway Patrol said.

Michael Eazana, the 22-year-old driver of the Accord, was not injured in the crash and was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and booked into the Santa Clara County jail. Eazana’s passenger, a 20-year-old Morgan Hill man, also was uninjured in the collision.

The crash closed Uvas Road for three hours as Calfire put out the fire and the collision was cleared.

This is a horrendous accident that killed a biker and motorcyclist, and could have been prevented if the driver of the Honda Accord obeyed traffic laws. The driver of the Honda if found guilty should be sent to prison for killing a biker.

I send my condolences to the family of Scott Hudson, may he rest in peace. He was simply riding his motorcycle when the Honda crossed the double yellow and hit him head on.

If you or your family have been the victim of a motorcycle accident, or wrongful death anywhere in the State of California, give me a call for a free consultation at 800-816-1529 ext. 1., or you may go to my website at www.bikerlawyer.net and submit your case online for a free consultation.

Morgan Hill Motorcycle Accident Attorney

NEVER LEAVE THE SCENE OF ACCIDENT; THE REQUIREMENT OF THE EXCHANGE INFORMATION

Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.California Law requires that all persons involved in a motor vehicle accident to exchange drivers license, Vehicle Registration, and insurance information with each other at the scene of an accident.

If you are physically able, you must also provide your drivers license, vehicle registration, and insurance information to any other persons involved in the accident.

Never leave the scene of an accident without exchanging information. You could be charged with hit and run which is a felony and a crime in the State of California.

Do not ride down the street and then stop. We highly recommend that you leave your motorcycle where it is until the police arrive so that they can observe the position of the motorcycle and do their report. I recommend moving your motorcycle out of traffic only if you must, to the side of the road or medium of a freeway. ONLY MOVE YOUR MOTORCYCLE IF YOU HAVE TO FOR SAFETY REASONS! In any case, never move your motorcycle to a location where it can be construed by someone that you fled from the scene of an accident!

Unfortunately many persons in the State of California drive illegally without automobile or motor vehicle insurance. It is for this reason that we always tell our clients to carry uninsured motorist bodily injury, and uninsured motorist property damage insurance coverage.

You may find out while exchanging information with the other motorist you had an accident with that they have some sort of excuse for not having a current proof of insurance card, or they may not even have a drivers license. If this is the case, it is more likely than not that the other driver does not have insurance or a drivers license. We do not recommend arguing with the other driver. Arguing can lead to physical violence. It’s bad enough that you just had an accident, the last thing you need is to go to jail for fighting with the other driver, or being physically assaulted. Use your brain! Get whatever information you can from the person even if they provide proper documentation.

When provided with the things mentioned above, write everything down in detail, i.e., Full Name, Address, Drivers License Number, Date of Expiration, Date of Birth, Hair Color, Height, Weight, Restrictions, Insurance Company name, address, and telephone number, Insurance policy number, date of expiration of insurance, Year, Make, Model, License Plate, Vehicle Identification Number, and Color of all vehicles involved in the accident, Registered owner of vehicle, address, etc.

In other words, write down every piece of information from each of the items given to you by the other driver. It will only help us to prosecute your case!

Here are some things that you might try to write down aside from the required information mentioned above:

Were any of the parties involved in the accident driving a commercial vehicle, truck, van, and/or working at the time of the accident?

Any statements made by any of the persons involved in the accident.

A full description (race, height, age, weight, hair color and style, clothes, etc.) of each driver involved in the accident.

Whether any persons in the accident were wearing eye glasses or sun glasses.

Whether any persons involved in the accident appeared to be intoxicated.

Passenger information for all vehicles.

Whether the windows of any of the vehicles tinted.

Whether any persons involved in the accident talking on the cell phone at the time of the accident. (their cell phone records can be obtained by us through subpoena if we are forced to litigate)

The facts of the accident as you understand them.

All witness names, addresses, telephone numbers, vehicle types, license plate numbers, etc. (sometimes witnesses will offer to help at the scene of the accident, but then become unavailable or refuse to return phone calls or mailings after the fact. Getting detailed information from them including their vehicle information may help us to locate them if necessary or they become non-cooperative.)

Try to contact level headed relatives or friends to come to the scene of the accident. They can not only help you to obtain information, but they can also act as witnesses to statements made by persons involved in the accident, property damage, and your injuries. Witnesses are always a good thing, especially if they are helpful to your case! They can also assist you in removing belongings from your vehicle if necessary, and give you a ride if you motorcycle needs to be towed.
By Biker Lawyer and Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. Copyright 2006

The Biker Law Blog is published by California Motorcycle Accident Attorney & Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

The Moy & Fernandez Law Group are real bikers helping other bikers. Unlike some other so called "fake" motorcycle accident attorney's who do not ride motorcycles, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. actually rides a motorcycle.

We are experts in dealing with motorcycle accident cases.

We handle motorcycle accident cases, motorcycle passenger injury accidents, and other personal injury cases all over the State of California. We are real bikers and motorcycle riders who represent bikers and motorcycle riders who have suffered injuries due to motorcycle accidents and crashes. We handle Motorcycle Accidents, Motorcycle Passenger Accidents, Dangerous Conditions on public roads which cause motorcycle accidents, defective motorcycle cases, Cruiser Motorcycle Accidents, biker rights, criminal law, Car Accidents, Uninsured Motorist Claims, Wrongful Death, Torts, Cager and/or Car negligence, personal injury and Other Injury Cases. We have locations in Southern California and Northern California. We handle personal injury, and motorcycle accident cases in all over California including: Southern California, Central California, and Northern California.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or any other motor vehicle accident, you may call us 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or submit your case online here.