Techniques and Tips for New and Experienced Motorcycle Passengers

California Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez North of the Golden Gate Bridge
California Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez North of the Golden Gate Bridge

Riding on a motorcycle with a friend is one of the most fun things you can do. It could be a much more enjoyable experience if the passenger understands and follows quick and easy rules. To become the kind of passenger riders wish to ride with, try to remember the advice given below:

Wear clothing that will give you some protection in the unlikely event of crash or accident. At the minimum, you should wear the following to safeguard yourself:

Footwear that protects your feet and your ankles (hiking boots are excellent).

Durable pants–leather is most beneficial; if you don’t have or cannot get leather, you will need to get by with jeans, work pants, or something like that. An abrasion resistant jacket that zips or buttons in close proximity to the neck (again, leather is advisable should you have it; a nylon flight jacket or parka are satisfactory, and a Levis-type jacket will do in a pinch).

Durable gloves.

Eye protection–ideally, the helmet you borrow or own needs to have a face shield for comfort in addition to eye and face protection. If it does not, goggles are excellent, and glasses (dark or prescription) will do.

It’s also wise to make an effort to dress appropriately for any weather.

If you have not ridden as a motorcycle passenger very much, you probably do not realize how hot or how cold it can be on a motorcycle ride. If it is hot, it will feel a lot hotter when you are riding; when it is cold, it will feel a lot colder when you are riding. Ask the rider for assistance or tips on dressing for any anticipated weather conditions. When choosing comfortable attire, try not to compromise your minimum level of protection as described above.

On hot sunny days, one trick would be to wear an extra-large white shirt over your jacket. It’s going to reflect a great deal of heat and help keep you cool. (This is not one of my tips, but it is recommended by other riders) In general, it really is easier to dress safely and comfortably for just a cool day compared to a hot one. Lastly, don’t wear anything loose and floppy (like a long scarf or bell bottom pants) which could get caught in the rear wheel, sprockets, drive chain or belt, or any other moving area of the motorcycle. You could injure yourself, and might cause an accident.

Wear a securely fastened helmet which fits properly. Most riders have extra helmets and will also be glad to loan you one.

A helmet should be a snug fit; it shouldn’t be possible to twist it around on your head. The strap should be pulled as tight as you can get it without choking yourself out. You can try for fit, and also to find out if the strap is tight, by holding the chin bar of your full face helmet, or the side edge of an open face helmet, directly over your forehead, and attempt to pull the helmet backwards off top of your head. In the event the helmet ends up on the back of your head, tighten the strap or get a helmet which fits.

Under no circumstances should you ride with a helmet that will slip easily over your head with the strap on. The rider can instruct you on the best way to put on your helmet properly. If you ride often, you will eventually want to buy your own personal helmet. Just about any motorcycle shop will help you choose a suitable helmet which fits you correctly.

Before you decide to attempt to get onto the motorcycle, make sure that the passenger foot pegs are down. (They fold when not being used, and it is easy for the rider to forget to put them down for you.) If you do not know where the foot pegs are, have the rider point them out to you.

Also, beware of the exhaust pipes. Make sure you know where they are, and do not let your leg or any area of your body touch them when you get on or off of the motorcycle. They can and will give you a severe burn all the way through the heaviest pants if you touch them with your legs or another part of your body.

It is actually customary to get on or off the motorcycle from the left side. Always wait for the rider to inform you its okay to mount or dismount. Should you begin to clamber on (or off) when the rider does not expect it, the sudden motion of the motorcycle can and may be disconcerting to the rider. You might even pull the motorcycle over.

The best way to get on a motorcycle and the method almost all passengers should use is to extend your right leg over the rider’s portion of the seat, and then slide gently up onto the passenger part of the seat. Put your feet on the foot pegs and that’s it.

If you aren’t able to do that because you are a small person or perhaps a child, this method may work: put your left foot on the left passenger foot peg, lean your whole body all the way over the motorcycle, and gently step-up until you can swing your right leg over the seat and ease yourself down. You need to keep yourself low and lean over the center of the motorcycle as much as possible when you jump on, to help the rider keep the motorcycle balanced. The extra weight of your body, if it’s too far out of line with the weight of the motorcycle, could pull the bike over.

A person reasonably in close proximity to a normal size (man or woman) should never need to use this method to mount a motorcycle, and a heavy person should not attempt it under any circumstances.

It’s all a matter of balance; the rider may not be sufficiently strong enough to hold a large motorcycle upright should you cause it to get out of balance.

To dismount, just reverse the process you utilized to jump on. After some practice, getting on and off will become second nature.

Once you are on the motorcycle, plant your feet on the passenger foot pegs and keep them there under all circumstances. You do not want to bring your foot into contact with the ground, rear wheel, drive chain, belt, or the hot muffler.

Never make an attempt to assist the rider to hold the bike upright when it’s stopped by putting your foot down. Keep the feet safe by keeping them on the foot pegs at all times.

Place your hands on the rider’s hips. This is the best way to keep hold of the rider, and it keeps you in touch with the rider’s movements. Keep your weight centered over the motorcycle. Try not to move around any more than is necessary, particularly when the motorcycle is stopped, because it affects the balance of the motorcycle.

Motorcycles turn by leaning (banking like an airplane), not by steering like a car. So don’t be alarmed when the motorcycle leans over to go around a corner.

To set yourself into the right position perfectly for any turn, just look over the rider’s shoulder towards the turn. When the motorcycle is turning right, look over the rider’s right shoulder; when it is turning left, look over the rider’s left shoulder. You don’t have to do anything else; looking naturally over the rider’s inside shoulder will automatically put your weight exactly where it belongs in a turn. Keep your body in line with the rider’s body to prevent the motorcycle from leaning greater than the rider intends. (When going straight, it does not matter which shoulder you gaze over.)

Never lean beyond a turn; you could cause a crash that way.

When the rider applies the brakes, it creates a forward weight transfer on the motorcycle. In the event the rider is forced to brake hard, as in an emergency, this forward weight transfer will be very apparent to you; you’ll be forced up against the rider, and you will begin to slide forward on the seat.

Don’t panic. Try to keep back, off of the rider. Resist sliding forward by pressing your feet up against the foot pegs; make use of your thigh muscles to manage your position on the seat. Should you slide forward, you may force the rider forward, decreasing the rider’s control of the motorcycle. Additionally, it moves the weight distribution of the motorcycle forward, reducing the weight on the rear tire and therefore the traction of the rear tire, which makes it much more likely that the back tire will begin to skid. Obviously, none of this is desirable. Try to keep yourself from jamming up into the rider by using your foot pegs and your thighs.

You will be an active participant in the ride by staying alert and being prepared. Help the rider search for potential danger, and stay prepared to hang on and hold yourself back in the event you anticipate a need for sudden braking.

Likewise, in the event the rider is forced to swerve the motorcycle in order to avoid a hazard in the road, you have to be prepared for a sudden lean and change of direction.

It’s also possible to assist the rider by scanning for animals that may run into the street. Dogs and deer are particularly unpredictable, and you might see a deer on a hillside above the road, or perhaps a dog in somebody’s yard, before the rider. (After all, the rider is concentrating primarily on the street.)

In the event you spot a hazard of any type that you think the rider is unaware of, rap the rider on the appropriate shoulder, and point at the hazard in a manner that brings it to the rider’s attention.

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 Website

Riding Your Motorcycle in Cold Weather Can Be Deadly.

cold-weather-ridingI knew that the title of this article would get your attention.

With winter and cold weather either here for some of us, or almost here for the rest of us, there are things about riding your motorcycle in the cold that you need to know.

Riding your motorcycle in cold weather can be deadly because of something called hypothermia.

Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature.

Normal body temperature is around 98.6 Fahrenheit. Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature passes below 95 Fahrenheit.

When your body temperature drops, your heart, nervous system, and other organs can’t work property. Left untreated, hypothermia can eventually lead to complete failure of your heart and respiratory system, and to death.

As the temperature falls, the body shunts blood away from the skin and exposure to the elements. Blood flow is increased to the vital organs of the body including the heart, lungs, kidney, and brain.

Hypothermia most often occurs because of prolonged exposure to cold weather. Inadequate clothing for conditions may not provide enough insulation for the body to prevent heat loss.

Many of you may know that riding your motorcycle in cold weather can cause hypothermia.

I must admit, when I was younger, and did not know so much, I rode around in cold weather all of the time. Many times I was so cold; that my hands were numb, my feet were numb, and my crotch felt like it was frozen. No one ever told me about hypothermia, I just thought I was butt cold.

Luckily I live in an area that has yearlong riding, however, because of this I sometimes take it for granted, and ride in cold weather that I should not ride in, or I get stuck on the road, and am forced to ride home in very cold weather.

Coming from Southern California, I sometimes ride to other areas or States where it is much colder than it is here.

The trouble is that when you ride in cold weather and you’re not dressed properly, your body senses as well as core temperature start to drop, your decision making abilities start to slow down, and just like an intoxicated person, you start to have problems with simple tasks such as clutching and braking because your hands and feet start to go numb.
Many of you may be saying to yourself “why is he writing this, I already know about hypothermia.” Well I had heard about hypothermia as well.

However, in the past when I was freezing my ass off while riding my motorcycle, I never even had any idea that I could be suffering from hypothermia and that my life was at risk.

There is another risk when riding in cold weather as well, frostbite, however, let’s just stick to hypothermia.

wind-chill chartJust to show you how fast temperatures can drop at certain speeds while riding, I am attaching a wind-chill chart here which you can click to read.

Take a look, if you are riding at 60 miles per hour in 40 degree temperatures, the wind-chill factor is 25 degrees. You could get hypothermia in a matter of minutes without the proper riding attire on.

The point of this article is to make you aware of the danger.

There are many solutions out there for cold weather riding, from electric vests, gloves, pants, and insulated riding attire, to standard riding gear.

What is best for you or what is out there for cold weather riding, I will let you research on your own. There are many websites out there dedicated to this one subject.

The next time you are freezing your ass off on a motorcycle ride and you feel your hands and feet becoming numb, you will now think about this article and hypothermia, and maybe stop in a warm restaurant of motel somewhere to get your body heat back and to recover.

Yes it may be a hassle, but it is better to live to ride another day.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © October 10, 2011

An Example of Extreme Weather Riding, Reno 2011

A nice view from the Go Go Bar, Reno Street Vibrations 2011
A nice view from the Go Go Bar, Reno Street Vibrations 2011

My old lady and I just completed a run up to the Reno Street Vibrations Biker Rally this past weekend.

It was around a 450 mile run each way from our home, and sure was an exercise in extreme weather riding for us Southern Californians, who are used to mild temperatures.

The route we took was from the 14 freeway to Highway 395  to the 80, and to our hotel in Reno.

The day we rode up to Reno, Friday, September 23, 2011, started out to be a mild day. The weather was calm at 5:30am when we left our home, around 75 degrees.

As we started riding north, the weather got hotter and hotter, cooled off, and then got hot again as the day went on.

You see highway 395 took us through the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, past Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in North America, up around 8,000 feet and higher, then through Carson City (Lake Tahoe is just above Carson City), and then to Reno which is basically in the Nevada Desert.

I usually wear a light long sleeve type of t-shirt on hot days to protect my skin from the sun, and blue jeans. I know I should wear an armored fabric type of jacket, and I am in the process of trying to find a good one.

My old lady also wears long sleeves, and usually always wears chaps as well.

On Friday, due to traffic conditions, an accident in a bad spot where a biker went down due to a defective road under construction, the heat, and the extreme traffic in Reno again due to construction and the fact that lane splitting is illegal in Nevada, Liz and I were totally spent by the time we got to Reno.

A view from the Reno Street Vibrations 2011
A view from the Reno Street Vibrations 2011

My new Electra Glide Ultra got so hot that it almost cooked that day.

We tried as best as we could to hydrate along the way, but I think that we over did it on Friday. We both almost suffered severe heat stroke by the time we got to Reno. We were both dizzy and sick upon arrival.

I was in such a rush to get to Reno; I ignored my basic riding principals!

In the future, I will make sure we take more breaks, hydrate more, and give ourselves more time to get to a long destination.

450 miles in one day riding two up, is a very long ride under any circumstances. In heat it can be tough.

On the way back from Reno, it was warm when we left, but soon, when we got up into the mountains, we suffered severe weather. There was lighting storms, rain, hail, and cold. Imagine going from warm to very cold in just a few miles.

I let Liz use my chaps since she left hers with a friend by mistake, I put a sweatshirt on, my leather jacket, my gauntlet gloves, and we proceeded through the severe weather.

Upon reaching Lone Pine, we stopped to get some food at the Mt. Whitney Restaurant. (A great local restaurant with damn good food.)

Lone Pine is a tourist town along the 395 which caters to people on their way to see Mt. Whitney and Yosemite.

When we walked into the restaurant to eat, we were all bundled up in leathers and more, all of the locals were in t-shirts and shorts. I took my jacket off and sure enough it was at least 80 degrees outside.

We went from warm in Reno when we left, to cold lighting storms, back to warm again, all within a 300 mile stretch.

I proceeded to take my leather jacket and gauntlet’s off again, and switch to light gloves, and then we got on the road again.

There was a 30 mile stretch after Lone Pine, just before Mohave and the 14, where I never was so afraid in my life while riding a motorcycle.

Out of no-where we hit cold, and 60-70 mile per hour wind gusts or more that literally almost knocked my bike over while we were riding.

The wind was hitting us from the side going north to south. When a gust would hit us it caused my head to jerk hard to the left. It also caused the bike to jerk violently, and I have a very heavy bike.

Liz and I had our intercom hooked up, and she was freaking out. I had to tell her to be quiet and not panic. The wind was so bad that I knew if I slowed down and tried to pull over there would be no way I could hold the bike up. I knew the wind would knock us over.

I knew the forward energy and centrifugal force of the tires turning made it safer for us to keep riding than trying to stop.

I was genuinely afraid like I have never been before in my life while riding. It was a horrible experience, especially in the pitch dark of the Mohave Desert.

When we got to a 76 truck stop in Mohave where the 14 hits the 395 we pulled over to get our bearings back. It was then that another couple pulled in on a motorcycle in a panicked state.

They were on a Harley Davidson Road Glide, they each had beanie helmets on with clear glasses on for eye protection, and they were even more panicked than we were.

The women got off of the back of her old man’s bike and literally hugged him and would not let go.

We discussed the fact that it was by the grace of god that we all made it through unscathed.

I put my leather jacket and gauntlet’s back on and we rode off watching the woman from the other bike hugging her old man like there was no tomorrow.

Moral to the story; when riding a motorcycle, be prepared for any weather.

I can’t wait for next year 🙂

Keep Both Wheels on the Road!

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

Police to hold DUI Checkpoints in Stockton, California

Police to hold DUI Checkpoints in Stockton, CaliforniaSTOCKTON – California

The Police Department will hold checkpoints tonight and Saturday to catch drunken drivers.

The checkpoint starts at 6 p.m. and continues until 2 a.m. It will be set up in the area of Roosevelt Street and Wilson Way. On Saturday, the checkpoint will be at March Lane and Holiday Drive during the same hours.

Staffing at the checkpoints is paid for by a grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety.

Police earn grant for traffic patrols

STOCKTON – California The Police Department again this year has been awarded a grant for special traffic enforcement, which will be carried out throughout the year.

The $352,000 grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety is to fight alcohol and drug-impaired driving, and to reduce fatal and injury collisions resulting from both.

This year, the grant will fund additional enforcement of motorcycle safety. In 1998, 204 motorcyclists in California were killed in traffic collisions; that number rose to 560 in 2008.

The Stockton Police Department’s efforts will include additional patrols and strenuous enforcement of traffic violations associated with collisions involving motorcycles.

Stockton California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer

Breaking News- Anaheim, California – DUI Checkpoints and Patrols Scheduled for Today, Saturday, October 17th, 2009, and Sunday, October 18, 2009, and more!

Anaheim dui checkpoints and rousting bikers and motorcyclistThe following is directly from a press release from the Anaheim Police Department. It was not written by me.

### Beginning of Press Release.

The Anaheim Police Department host a total of 6 Sobriety and Drivers License checkpoints, starting with one on Harbor Boulevard near La Palma Park on Saturday, October 17, 2009 from 8:00 PM to 3:00 AM Sunday, October 18, 2009. In addition to checking for DUI drivers, officers will be checking those driving with suspended licenses. Safe driving pamphlets will be handed out to drivers screened at the checkpoint. Checkpoints are designed to bring DUI awareness to the most number of drivers.

The Anaheim Police Department has been awarded a DUI enforcement and awareness grant to combat DUI for a total of $205,115. Funding for this program is provided through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This funding will supplement the departments’ overall commitment to lower DUI related traffic collisions. These additional monies will fund additional sobriety checkpoints, DUI patrols and other efforts to help bring about a zero level of DUI in the city of Anaheim.

The additional saturation patrols funded by the grant will increase the number of officers in the field to help assist the program “Report Drunk Drivers: Call 9-1-1”. With the grant’s funding, Anaheim Police will add 4 additional officers to the field nearly every weekend during the next twelve months. These additional officers will be able to respond quicker to 9-1-1 calls by those reporting erratic drivers on our streets. New this time is the addition of the OTS Motorcycle Safety Campaign.

The Anaheim Police will conduct four Motorcycle Safety and Enforcement programs over the next year. The department will take to the streets and focus on the motorcycle rider. Officers plan on working with motorcycle shops, clubs and dealers in the area to first educate the rider and then ensure they are in compliance with the law. DUI and the proper use of helmets will be the first on the list as these are the primary causes of death and serious injury to the motorcycle riding public.

For any media questions, contact Sergeant Rick Martinez at (714) 497-6608 or email him at Rmartinez@anaheim.net

## End of Press Release.

Notice the part about the motorcycle safety and enforcement programs. It looks like the writing is on the wall in Anaheim and they are going to start rousting bikers, motorcycle riders, and shops. If this occurs, I say boycott Anaheim. We have a right to be on the street too.

California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Attorney

Let’s Talk Real No B.S. Motorcycle Riding Safety; The Two Most Important Safety Items.

Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.
California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez on the road.

First off let me start off by stating that I do not advocate mandatory helmet laws or anything like that. I feel that each motorcycle rider should have the right to wear whatever they want to wear while riding. The advice I am giving in this article is just that, advice. You can and will ultimately do whatever the hell you want to do. However, if this article helps someone be safe while riding a motorcycle, then so be it.

I personally think that the two most important things you should wear while riding a motorcycle are; a good helmet, and a good leather jacket. Let me explain.

Now I know that there are other what I consider to be mandatory motorcycle safety items that should be worn, such as gloves, boots, leather or heavy jean pants, etc., however, this article is about what I consider to be the two most important safety items.

I am a California motorcycle accident attorney. I handle motorcycle accident cases, and other types of personal injury cases for a living. I also happen to be a biker and a motorcyclist who rides a significant number of miles each year on my Harley Davidson Electra Glide.

I have seen a marked increase in the number of motorcycle accidents, and a substantial increase in motorcycle deaths in the past decade. Furthermore, it has been reported by many different sources that there has been a tremendous increase in the number of motorcycle accidents and motorcycle accident deaths in recent years. I am sure these all have to do with an increase in the number of motorcycle riders on the road.

Knowing this, I can think of a couple of things I would not like to happen, god forbid if I do go down. I would like to keep the grey matter between my ears inside of my skull instead of being splattered all over the road, I would like to keep my face, and rather than having all my skin rubbed off by the pavement, I would rather a leather jacket be the one that gets the brunt of the punishment.

Look we all know that wearing a helmet is mandatory in California and some other States. I for one don’t care if there is a law or not, I wear a full face modular helmet when I ride, and I suggest that you do the same. This is not rocket science; it is about surviving a motorcycle accident. It does not take a genius to figure out what happens when your head or face meets the pavement at 70 miles per hour; the pavement wins.

There is virtually nothing better to protect your upper body from a fall than a good heavy leather jacket. If you go down, it may still hurt, but the leather will take the brunt of any road rash. They even sell lightweight armor that can be worn under the jacket or inserted into the jacket. I know, sometimes it is too hot to wear a jacket, or you want to look cool. Well it is not cool to have permanent road rash scars all over your body just because you decided not to wear the jacket, or suffering as your skin heals from road rash.

We who ride motorcycles know two things, it is not a matter of if we are going down, it is a matter of when; and we sure the hell do not want to go down. I myself have been down 3 times in the past. God was with me, all of my mishaps were minor, and I only suffered minor injuries in two of them.

I have been involved in numerous close “scary” calls while riding, and if you are a motorcycle rider, you have been too. It is just the nature of the beast.

Once at the Palm Springs Biker Rally in 2000, I was only wearing a sleeveless T-Shirt, when I went down at low speed. It hurt, and caused some minor road rash on my left side where I laid it down. That small amount of road rash hurt like hell. Imagine what losing multiple layers of skin feels like; I sure don’t want to feel that. Wear a friggen leather jacket.

You can take this article as you will. Unlike some other poser fake biker lawyers, and motorcycle accident attorney’s out there advertising that they handle motorcycle accident cases, when they don’t actually ride motorcycles, or have any clue whatsoever about the issues related to riding a motorcycle and being a biker, I am the real deal. I, just like you, am a biker and a motorcyclist.

I will be here for you if you need me after a motorcycle accident; however, I would prefer to see fewer injuries because you were smart and were wearing proper safety equipment.

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

This Luckiest Guy on Earth or is He Plain Dumb.

I am posting a video of a motorcycle accident that happened in Greece, below. It is amazing footage of an actual motorcycle accident. Based upon what I am seeing in this video, the guy is lucky to be alive. He could have suffered massive internal injuries, broken bones, brain injuries, or death.

I cannot tell for sure from the video, who was at fault in the accident, because the video does not show the status of the traffic lights or other factors. However, I think it is safe to say that the guy on the motorcycle probably had a green light and was nailed by a cager who ran the red. If there is anyone on here who can decipher what is being said in Greek, please post a comment and tell us what is being said.

I am not posting this motorcycle accident video just for the sake posting it. I am posting it to show you what as a biker lawyer and motorcycle accident attorney I hate to see more than anything, a rider who does not ride with proper attire. What is this guy thinking? He has no leathers on; he is riding his motorcycle while wearing tennis shoes, shorts, t-shirt, and no helmet. He should have denim jeans or leather on, including a jacket, boots, gloves, and if it were me, a helmet.

You be the judge.

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

My Fiance and I Were The Victims of a Road Rage Incident Today!

Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses a road rage incident against himMy fiancé and I had a great time riding with some of my club brothers and friends Sunday. It was a great Sunday. A friend and I decided to take off and ride to Angeles Crest from Marina Del Rey.

We rode the 10 freeway, east, to the 110 north, to the 5 north, to the 2 north, headed toward the 210 and the Angeles Crest Highway.

Some idiot for some odd reason seemed to intentionally almost hit me from behind. Maybe he does not like bikers? It happened so fast, the only thing I could do is turn my head to give the guy a stare. I was wearing a full face modular helmet, with my sunglasses on underneath, but I am sure the way I zipped my head around this guy knew that I knew what he was doing.

Instead of backing off, he kept coming. Mind you, my friend and his old lady were behind the car at this point and could see everything. My old lady was riding shotgun on the seat behind me. I moved to the extreme left part of the lane to avoid being hit by this asshole.

He then proceeded to pass me “IN MY LANE.” I looked over and saw what I think was a Korean guy. He proceeded to “stare me down” while he was in my lane and I was in the extreme left portion of the lane.

I knew if I kept staring this guy down, he would have probably swerved over and taken my old lady and I out. This asshole basically assaulted us with a deadly weapon. I am quite positive that under the circumstances, I could have used deadly force against this asshole because he almost killed us, and he used his car as a deadly weapon against us.

I slowed down, and he accelerated and took off. I tried to get his license, but I could not. He was in a Black Lexus.

If any other bikers near the 5 and the Glendale Freeway have been the victim of an Asian guy driving a Black Lexus, let me know.

I have been riding motorcycles on public streets for around 28 years, and have never had such a bizarre incident happen to me before while riding. Especially when I have my old lady on the back of my motorcycle.

My fiancé and my friend probably do not realize how close this asshole came to taking us out. Lesson learned and reiterated; motorcycle v. car = motorcycle losing. Thank goodness, I kept a cool head and simply let this asshole pass.

My friend’s old lady was not feeling well so they went home. My old lady and I ended up freezing our buts off on a ride up to 8,000 feet and Newcombs Ranch, for a late lunch next to their fireplace, alive to ride another day thank god!

By California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, © 2009

Riding your Motorcycle in the Rain; Don’t do it unless You Must!

California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses the dangers of riding your motorcycle in the rain.This is my first article of the New Year 2008. As I write this article California is enduring extraordinary rains which we are not accustomed to.

I was out yesterday riding my cage in the rain, and I saw a guy riding his motorcycle with normal street clothes on, tennis shoes, and a half helmet. I could not believe it. I would not ride in normal conditions wearing what this guy was wearing in a constant downpour of rain. He must have been soaked to the bone and very cold. Not good to say the least!

I have said many times in my articles that I do not ride my motorcycle in the rain unless I have no other choice. There have been many instances where I have been on the road and have had to ride through storms to get to my motel, or a safe place to wait out the rain.

Some of these instances of riding through the rain were severe, such as in Durango, Colorado, and in San Francisco, California. One time riding through the Arizona desert I literally ran into a thunderstorm out of no where that was so violent that it left welts on my face from hitting the rain at the speed I was riding at. Anyway…………..

If it is raining outside, it is probably a better idea to drive your car than ride your motorcycle. We have had a bad drought here in Southern California for the past couple of years, and when the rains come, the oils that have built up on the roads come to the surface of the road and make them slippery.

Since we only have two wheels on a motorcycle, a slippery road can mean disaster if your motorcycle slides out from under you.

Secondly, hydroplaning can make your ride a disaster as well. Hydroplaning occurs when water gets between your tires and the road surface. A layer of water builds between the rubber tires of the vehicle and the road surface, leading to the loss of traction and thus preventing the vehicle from responding to control inputs such as steering, braking or accelerating. It becomes, in effect, an un-powered and un-steered sled. Hydroplaning on a motorcycle with only 2 wheels in a heck of a lot different than in a car with 4 wheels, on a motorcycle it can mean disaster.

If you absolutely have to ride in the rain, my advice would be as follows:

(1) Wear full protective gear, including water proof boots, full face helmet, leather jacket, gloves, etc;

(2) Wear a good rain suit that is preferably designed for riding motorcycles in the rain;

(3) Do not accelerate or brake fast, take it easy;

(4) Leave plenty of room between you and the cars around you. Try to keep a very good distance between you and the cars or trucks in front of you because their spray will impact your visibility, and as you know on a motorcycle we do not have windshield wipers; and

(5) Take turns or curves very slowly and cautiously. It only takes a split second to eat asphalt if your motorcycle looses traction and goes out from under you.

Above all, do not ride beyond your comfort level. If it does not feel right, it probably is not right! In other words if you are riding in the rain, and you do not feel comfortable in the conditions, pull off and wait it out at a restaurant or some place like that if you can. I have been stuck in conditions which left me no choice but to ride or leave my motorcycle in the middle of no where. I chose to ride, but I rode cautiously!

One of my worst experiences was on the 101 freeway south of San Francisco when I got stuck in a torrential downpour at night. I did not have rain gear on, and the rain came out of no where. It was so bad that I could barley see anything and there were lots of cars doing 70mph plus. There was no safe place to stop or pull over. I had to ride it out. Luckily I made it to my hotel in one piece.

Do not let your friends or others assert peer pressure on you to ride your motorcycle in conditions which make you feel uncomfortable. I am not afraid to say “I do not ride in the rain unless I have to.”

Take it easy out there folks. It is supposed to be raining for the next few days here in California. Cage it if you can.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, © 2008

A Review of the Pro Pad Mini-Beast Air Horn; Thumbs Up!

Pro Pad Mini-Beast Air Horn Package *** June 8, 2009 update below the main article. Check it out!

I just installed the Pro Pad Mini-Beast Air Horn on my Harley Davidson Electra Glide and all I can say is this little beast is truly LOUD!

You can check out the Mini-Beast Air Horn at the Pro Pad website by clicking here now.

This self contained unit will fit on most Harley Davidson motorcycles, and can be fitted to metric and other types of motorcycles. The most unique feature of this air horn which sets it apart from other air horns is the fact that the air compressor and horn are all contained in a stainless steel cover that is not much bigger than a stock Harley Davidson cow bell horn cover. This horn uses the stock horn button, which is to be expected on any aftermarket horn! I would never buy or install an aftermarket horn which did not use the stock motorcycle horn button.

Other types of air horn systems require you to mount trumpets or some other sounding device on the motorcycle somewhere, and then run an air hose from the trumpets to an air compressor. You then have to find a place on the motorcycle to mount or hide the air compressor, which is a hassle.

The Mini-Beast air horn is self contained in the stainless steel cover. Easy!

The other systems I looked at were also much bigger and take up too much room on the bike. I like the fact that the Mini-Beast not only fits in the stock horn position, but it actually compliments the looks of the big V-Twin engine in the Harley.

A rear view of the Pro Pad Mini-Beast Air HornYou may ask why I decided to put an air horn on my Harley; simple; stock motorcycle horns are basically worthless, especially at highway speeds. A loud air horn gives motorcyclist a LEGAL way of getting a cagers attention even with their windows rolled up, and even when they are on the phone. This is a way of getting noticed without having deafening and illegal loud open pipes on your bike.

I will tell you what, at 128 decibels this Mini-Beast will not only legally get cagers attention; it will shock them! Did I say this thing is loud……….

The installation of the Mini-Beast Air Horn was basically no problem at all because everything I needed to install the horn was contained in the package. The package contained the horn itself, which was pre-mounted in its own stainless steel cover, a wire harness, and large and small tie wraps.

Continue reading “A Review of the Pro Pad Mini-Beast Air Horn; Thumbs Up!”

Inspect your motorcycle Before Each Ride!

Norman Gregory Fernandez's MotorcyclesBefore each ride, you should visually inspect your motorcycle to ensure that nothing is loose, and that there is no visible damage. Unlike in a car where you can simply pull off to the side of the road when you have a malfunction, on a motorcycle there in many cases are no second chances. A tire blowout could be catastrophic, or a loose bolt could result in disaster.

A simple cursory inspection of your motorcycle before each ride, could mean the difference between life and death.

If you find the loose bolts simply tighten them. If you find a nail in your tire, or visible damage to your tire, ensure that you get the problem fixed before you ride.

Do not take chances and ride your motorcycle when you know that there are problems. It’s not worth risking your life for.

Norman Gregroy Fernandez, Esq. is a Biker and Motorcyele Lawyer based in California. You can reach him through is website by Clicking Here.

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