In Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, the author explains that both life and motorcycles can be perceived from either a classic or a romantic perspective. The classic perspective focuses on how life or the motorcycle works, whereas the romantic perspective explores how they feel.
Whether intentionally or subconsciously, riders often fall into one of these two camps when they choose ways to modify their motorcycles. When you are looking for great ways to trick out your motorcycle, first decide whether your focus is how it works or how it feels, then consider some of these options:
Improving Your Motorcycle’s Performance
In addition to maintaining your bike regularly and keeping it in tune, you can make a few modifications that will alter its performance to make it work better.
- Install a mushroom head to increase air intake. A good aftermarket mushroom head will boost your bike’s power and reduce air turbulence with a sleeker design. Make sure you tune the bike to accommodate different airflow.
- Change the bike’s pipes. Many riders install aftermarket exhaust pipes to alter the feel of the ride, but new exhaust systems made with lighter materials can also improve the motorcycle’s performance by allowing quicker acceleration and better harnessing of the engine’s power.
- Switch from stock brake pads to organic or composite pads. Better brake pads will also give you better control over stopping distances and reduced brake fading.
- Shorten the bike’s gearing. Changing the bike’s front and rear sprockets can give you quicker acceleration, albeit with a reduction in the bike’s top speed.
Enhance Your Motorcycle’s Look and Feel
The feel of your motorcycle is connected to both its appearance and the ride that it gives you.
- Vinyl wrap your bike’s stock fairings. You can change the vinyl wrap on your bike every three months to give it a fresh look with no damage to its fuel tank or fairings.
- Add frame sliders to safeguard the engine in a crash. If you need to lay down your bike, frame sliders will disperse the crash impact through the bike’s frame and will protect your engine from serious damage.
- Install smaller taillights with integrated signals, and LED lights and accents. LED underglow lights have gained in popularity, but be careful not to overdo it with this option. Too much lighting can make your bike look tacky.
- Use custom hand grips and with finger warmers. Better hand grips will increase your comfort on longer rides, and finger warmers will prevent your hands from stiffening up in cooler weather.
Hurt on the Road? Call KGG Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in NY & NJ
The Bergen County, New Jersey motorcycle accident attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman appreciate that you take great pride in your motorcycle. We also understand the motorcycle riding culture and the risks that riders take when they are on the road with careless motorists. When an accident happens, we will take on the negligent drivers and their insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve, to help you recover from any injuries, and to repair any damage that your motorcycle suffered.
If you want to get back on your tricked out ride as soon as is possible after an accident, please contact the KGG motorcycle accident lawyers in New Jersey and New York today.
- Rediff.com: 4 Awesome Ways to Improve Your Bike’s Performance. http://www.rediff.com/getahead/report/biking-and-motoring-4-awesome-ways-to-improve-your-bikes-performance/20150607.htm
- Revzilla.com: Sliders: Everything You Wanted to Know and Some Stuff You Didn’t. https://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/sliders-everything-you-wanted-to-know-and-some-stuff-you-didnt
- Bikegearup.com: Best Motorcycle hand Grip. http://www.bikegearup.com/best-motorcycle-hand-grip/
Every generation of motorcycle riders creates its own myths about motorcycle safety, but across generations, a group of enduring myths has continued to be passed down from one group of bikers to the next. At least five motorcycle safety myths have persisted among riders for many years.
Myth #1. Laying Down Your Bike is Better than a Collision
Improvements in motorcycle brake and tire technology have banished the myth of laying down your bike as a way to minimize injuries and damage in a potential accident. Motorcycle safety classes at one time taught riders that they could more effectively slow themselves down and prevent a worse collision by sliding their bike into the ground. Modern brakes and tires now allow riders to stop their bikes more effectively than they could by dropping the bike. Riders can better reduce accidents and injuries by staying alert and relying on their bikes to stop before any collision occurs.
Myth #2. A Helmet Will: Limit My Sightlines/Cause Brain Damage/Break my Neck/(Insert Your Own Myth Here)
Riders might appreciate the feeling of the wind through their hair that helmet-less riding gives them, but research from the National Highway Safety Administration and other sources indicates that helmets reduce the risk of death in a motorcycle accident by 37 per cent. Every generation of riders develops new myths about the purported detriments of motorcycle helmets. Recent university research suggests, however, that relaxed helmet laws have led to an increase in organ donations from riders who did not survive an accident. Riders who are concerned about their safety should always wear a DOT certified helmet while riding.
Myth #3. Loud Pipes Save Lives
The myth that loud pipes saves lives has grown out of the more general safety suggestion that a rider should do everything possible to increase his or her visibility in traffic. Loud pipes are presumably a means of alerting motorists that a motorcycle is nearby. Motorists, however, are bombarded with so much aural and visual information that a loud roar of a motorcycle will just be lost in the cacophony of information that they receive. Riders can make themselves more apparent to motorists by wearing brighter clothing, and by making their own bikes more visible with techniques such as the “SMIDSY” (i.e. “Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You”) maneuver, in which the rider slightly wobbles his front wheel and headlamp to give oncoming cars an improved sense of the rider’s distance and speed.
Myth #4. Low-Speed Surface Roads are Safer than High-Speed Interstates
Accidents that occur at high speeds may be more deadly, but National Highway Safety Administration studies reveal that more than 90% of all motorcycle accidents occur at lower speeds on city streets. A rider might feel more relaxed at lower speeds on surface roads, but those roads also present the rider with more limited visibility from trees and buildings and with greater dangers of cars that can pull out from hidden side roads or driveways. Riders that fall prey to the myth of the safety of surface roads might let their guard down while riding on those roads. If anything, those riders need to remain more alert and attentive to risks while riding on city streets.
Myth #5. Big Bikes are Safer
Beginning riders, in particular, might subscribe to the myth that they will be safer on a big machine that weighs 700 pounds or more, inaccurately believing that all of that extra mass will more effectively absorb accident impacts. The reality is that a rider will be safest when the size of the bike matches the rider’s abilities. Inexperienced riders might have more trouble handling a bulky motorcycle in stop-and-go traffic. Larger bikes might also need longer stopping distances. Contrary to the big bike myth, the safest bike for every rider is the size that coincides with the rider’s skills.
Hurt in a Crash? Call the NY & NJ Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at KGG
Need a motorcycle accident lawyer Bergen County, NJ trusts to fight for the rights of injured bikers? The law firm of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer, & Graifman has helped riders that were injured in accidents to recover monetary damages for their losses and injuries when negligent motorists have caused motorcycle collisions. We know that every rider takes motorcycle safety very seriously, and we fight to help riders recover and to get them back on the road after they have been in accidents with other careless drivers.
Call the New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyers at KGG for more information on claiming the damages you deserve when another driver has compromised your safety.
More information on motorcycle safety:
- Motorcyclecruiser.com: 11 Big Motorcycle Safety Myths. https://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/11-big-motorcycle-safety-myths
- Motocynic.com: You Don’t Lay Down a Bike: (It’s Called Crashing). https://motocynic.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/this-is-called-crashing/
- Metro.us: Bikers Want Massachusetts to Relax Helmet Laws for Motorcycles. https://www.metro.us/news/local-news/boston/motorcycle-no-helmet-law
- Huffingtonpost.com: 7 Myths About Motorcycle Safety that Need to Go Away. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/05/02/seven-motorcycle-safety-myths_n_9518206.html
Whether you are buying your first or your fiftieth motorcycle, choosing the right bike for you will require you to balance emotion and logic. Your heart might push you toward a sporty Italian speed machine, while your brain argues for a more comfortable long-distance cruiser. Ultimately, your best choice will be the bike that matches your skills and abilities and that coincides with the kind of riding you expect to do.
These guidelines will help you to choose the right bike out of the many different styles of motorcycles that are now available.
First, Make an Honest Assessment of Your Riding Abilities
Motorcycle riding is safest and most rewarding when you respect your machine and your ability to control it. If you are new to riding, for example, you will likely have a better riding experience if you stay away from sport bikes that have short wheelbases and faster acceleration capabilities. After you have built up your riding skills, you can shift your choices toward a bike with a higher power-to-weight ratio.
Think About How You Will Use Your Bike
Street bikes that are designed for short rides around town will have a different configuration than cruisers that are meant for long weekend rides in the country. A smaller commuter motorcycle might be better for crowded urban environments that have more limited parking. Off-road and trail bikes have higher centers of gravity and more upright riding positions. You can best reduce your fatigue and improve the safety of your riding experiences if you choose a motorcycle that keeps you in a comfortable riding position for the type of riding that you will do.
Do Not Neglect Cost Considerations
The up-front cost of the bike is only one element in your cost of owning it. Call your insurer to get a quote for motorcycle insurance for the type of bike you are considering. Research maintenance and repair costs, particularly if you are buying a used bike. You can quickly sour on riding your motorcycle and you might even compromise your own safety if you spend your entire budget on purchase costs and you neglect regular maintenance.
Talk to Other Riders
Motorcycle riders are a tight community of people who enjoy riding together, sharing experiences, and bringing new riders into their fold. Take advantage of the experiences of other riders, who often give the best advice on the right motorcycle for you.
Know the Laws of Your Own State and the States Where You Will Ride
Different states have different laws, rules, and regulations on matters such as helmet requirements and lane splitting. Those laws may well affect your choice of motorcycle, as well as how and where you will ride your bike. Riding a motorcycle outside of the boundaries established by applicable laws can come back to haunt you if you are in an accident on your bike.
Hurt in a crash? Call the Ny & NJ Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at KGG
Need a motorcycle accident lawyer Bergen County NJ relies on to fight for the rights of bikers and their families? The attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman have represented scores of motorcycle riders who have had accidents throughout New Jersey and New York. From our many years of experience, we believe that choosing the right motorcycle is a key to minimizing riding risks and to deriving the maximum enjoyment from your bike.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents do happen, often times because an inattentive motorist failed to see a motorcycle in traffic. If you are in a riding accident, contact us today. All initial consultations are free, and we charge no fees unless we win money for you.
- Artofmanliness.com: How to Buy Your First Motorcycle. https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/how-to-buy-your-first-motorcycle/
- DMV.org: Choosing the right type of motorcycle. https://www.dmv.org/how-to-guides/choosing-a-motorcycle.php
- AmericanMotorcyclist.com: Six types of motorcycles for new riders. https://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Riding/Story/six-types-of-motorcycles-for-new-riders
New Jersey is a great state for motorcycle day trips. Once away from the main highways, the natural beauty of the state can reveal itself. Here are three of our favorites for weekend get-aways.
The D&R Canal, Central New Jersey
The Delaware and Raritan Canal in central New Jersey runs for a long portion beside the canal, which is cool and green and shady on summer days. The D&R Canal was built to connect the Raritan and Delaware Rivers in the earlier part of the nineteenth century. Now, it’s a favorite destination for hikers and bikers.
Do be aware that this runs part of the way on narrow rides, so use caution and yield the right-of-way.
Take State Road 623 (Canal Road) in South Bound Brook to Weston Canal Road. Make a right onto Weston Canal Road. This continues along the canal.
After this, the road will turn sharply to the right and leave the canal. Stay on the road to the next right, which is Metlars Road. Make a right onto Metlers and follow Metlers to Amwell Road. Make a right onto Amwell Road. Follow it just a bit until you see the firehouse on the right.
Make a left turn across from the firehouse onto Market Street. Take Market Street to the end and make a right turn on Canal Road. Then you’re on the home stretch. Follow Canal Road to Griggstown and make a right onto State Road 632.
Take 632 over the river and make a right onto River Road. Follow River Road to Amwell Road and make a right onto Amwell Road. Take Amwell Road to Elizabeth Avenue and make a left turn onto Elizabeth AVenue. Follow it to the end. You will have reached the same point you started at in South Bound Brook.
Skyline Drive, Northern New Jersey
Skyline Drive is a beautifully scenic wooded mountain road. From 287 Skyline Drive in Oakland to 8 Germantown Road in West Milford is a 22-mile loop through the green heart of it. Twists and turns, but very safe.
Lambertville/New Hope, PA
Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA are sister cities across the Delaware River from each other. New Hope has been an artistic get-away for decades; Lambertville has been one for about 15 years. Both have plenty to do in terms of galleries and music and are at the end of a scenic ride as well.
One route from norther New Jersey is Route 278 from Oakland. After crossing I-78, take U.S. Route 202 south to New Jersey State Route 12 and County Route 523. Route 523 is very scenic and will lead you to State Route 29, which will lead you straight to Lambertville. From Lambertville, you can cross the road into New Hope.
If You Need a NJ Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Please ride safely on your trips through New Jersey. Sometimes, despite all the best precautions, accidents happen. If you believe your crash or collision was the result of another party’s negligence, or if you have any questions about your legal rights in the wake of an accident, please call Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, or fill out the form on our website. We have years of experience successfully litigating motorcycle accident cases in New Jersey and fighting for the rights of the injured.
We will be happy to meet you at our Rockland County, NY or Bergen County, NJ offices. The consultation is complimentary, and you owe us nothing unless we win money for you. Speak with an experienced NJ motorcycle accident attorney today and see how much your case might be worth.
Additional Resources on the Best New Jersey Motorcycle Routes:
- Dahse, Kenneth W. A Kool Kruise to a Hip Town: New Hope, Pennsylvania. January 15, 2017. Rider Magazine. http://ridermagazine.com/2017/01/15/a-kool-kruise-to-a-hip-town-new-hope-pennsylvania/
- New Jersey Motorcycle Events. http://www.njmce.com/rides.html
- Nice New Jersey Motorcycle Rides. Scenic Roads for Motorcycle Riders. http://www.rider.com/motorcycle_rides/maps/maps-newjersey.html
Motorcycle riding is a popular pastime in the northeastern corridor, especially during warmer summer months. While a fun and cost-effective means of travel and exploration, motorcycle riding is not without dangers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle accidents were responsible for nearly 5,000 deaths in 2015, marking a 8.3 percent uptick over the previous year.
Traffic safety officials blame inexperienced riders, lax helmet laws and driver inattention/impairment for the escalating number of motorcycle accident fatalities. Here’s a look at some alarming statistics about motorcycle crashes and deaths in New Jersey and New York.
New Jersey motorcycle accident statistics
As the temperature rises, so does the number of bikers on Garden State roads. Recent crash data from state police indicate a rash of motorcycle accident-related deaths this past year. In the summer months, many of these fatal crashes have occurred near the Jersey Shore.
- More than 13,000 motorcycle crashes were reported in New Jersey between 2010-2015
- 90 percent of riders involved in crashes had no formal motorcycle safety training
- 2006 had the highest number of motorcycle fatalities with 99 deaths in NJ
- Over the past decade, the number of fatalities has varied from year to year
- In 2014, 62 fatal crashes involved motorcyclists
- In 2015, 50 motorcyclists died in accidents (an 8.7 statewide decrease)
- Primary cause of motorcycle accident crashes and fatalities were reported as: alcohol impairment, unsafe speeds and rider distraction
Motorcycle fatalities in New York on the rise
In New York, statistics paint an equally dire picture when it comes to motorcycle accidents. More than 15 percent of all fatalities from vehicle-related crashes in the state involve motorcyclists. According to New York’s Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, 75 motorcyclists have died in Rockland, Putnam, Orange, Westchester and Dutchess counties since 2012.
- In 2012 and 2013, there were 164 motorcycle riders killed in crashes
- In 2014, 146 motorcyclists died in crashes
- In 2015, New York state motorcycle fatalities were tallied at 154
Data compiled by the Institute for Traffic Safety and Research found that people in their 20’s accounted for more than a quarter of all New York motorcycle accident fatalities and alcohol involvement in other drivers was apparent in 2 percent of all reported accidents involving serious injury and death.
Both New York and New Jersey have laws requiring all motorcycle operators and passengers to wear a protective safety helmet when riding. Research has shown that motorcyclists (and their passengers) who do not wear helmets are three times more likely to sustain a brain injury in an accident – a leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes.
Legal advocacy for injured motorcyclists
Pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death claim following a motorcycle accident requires the knowledge and skills of an experienced attorney. Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman offer aggressive representation and a long track record of impressive case results. Protect your rights to fair compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering and a reduced quality of life by partnering with a motorcycle accident lawyer Bergen County trusts.
To arrange a free, confidential consultation, please contact our Bergen County or Rockland County, NY offices today.
Additional NY & NJ Motorcycle Accident Resources:
- New Jersey Dept. of Law and Safety, Motorcycle Safety Resources http://www.nj.gov/lps/hts/motorcycle/
- NY State Dept. of Health, Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Statistics: New York State Residents https://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/prevention/injury_prevention/traffic/county_of_residence.htm
- Insurance Information Institute, Motorcycle Crashes Data http://www.iii.org/issue-update/motorcycle-crashes
- New Jersey 101.5, Will recent motorcycle deaths increase NJ fatality rate? http://nj1015.com/will-recent-motorcycle-deaths-increase-nj-fatality-rate/
- LoHud, Parkways pretty but deadly for motorcyclists http://www.lohud.com/story/news/investigations/2016/08/10/motorcycle-deaths-speeding/88304512/
A man was seriously injured in an eight-vehicle crash on southbound Interstate 684 on 14th Oct that closed two lanes and backed up traffic for miles.
A Carmel man riding a motorcycle was involved in the second crash, state police said. He was transported to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla and remains in critical condition. Police did not release any further information about the motorcyclist because his family has yet to be notified.
Motorcycle accidents are a very common problem on the roadways. Motorcyclists are very vulnerable to their surroundings due to the motorcycle’s size, and lack of protective enclosure. These accidents are completely preventable. The majority of the time they are mishaps due to carelessness and lack of attention to the road. With the proper education and safety precautions, both riders and automobile drivers can share the road in harmony.
The way liability is decided in motorcycle accidents is through the law of negligence. This is the act of an individual behaving in a reckless or careless matter, resulting in injury to another party. If a driver is not reasonably careful and aware of the other people on the road, they are found liable of the accident. More often than not, the automobile driver is found guilty of negligence in such cases, due to the fact that it can be very difficult to see motorcycle riders due to their size and their speed. However, motorcycle riders have also been found guilty in these cases due to abrupt lane changes, reckless riding, and riding under the influence. Sometimes the accident may not be the fault of any particular party, but of the motorcycle itself. Such instances can be due to a manufacture problem, or a dangerous bike design. The attorneys at KGG law can help in the event of any of these situations, and are experienced in giving the proper representation.
If you or someone you know is involved in a motorcycle accident it is crucial to take appropriate action, as they can be deciding factors in your case. First and foremost it is important to record anything you can remember about the accident; the more details the better. Next, it is of utmost importance to document any injuries to your medical provider, as well as taking pictures of any visible injuries as soon as you find them. It can also be helpful to record any conversations you had regarding the accident, especially with the opposing party, to prevent any grey areas that could arise without conversational evidence. It is also a good idea to take photos of all aspects of the accident, including your motorcycle or vehicle damage, and various angles of the scene of the accident if possible. Finally, contact any witnesses who saw what happened, and record their stories while the information is still fresh in their minds.
Contacting an experienced personal motorcycle injury lawyer to represent your case will also be key to making sure your rights are preserved, and insuring that you receive what you deserve. Kantrowitz, Goldhamer, and Graifman P.C. have taken many of these types of accidents under their wing, including one just a few weeks ago involving a deadly motorcycle crash in which a young boy was ejected from his motorcycle.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident contact the attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer, and Graifman P.C. They have the extensive experience and professional reputation to get you the results you deserve. Call today for a free consultation at (800) 711-5258.
As the beautiful weather continues to bring people outside, remember to be on the lookout for motorcyclists on the roadways.
Motorcycle accidents are on the rise in New York and New Jersey, and the state transportation agencies are trying to educate the public about safety. These accidents can occur for a number of reasons including negligent drivers who may be distracted, speeding, following too closely or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You should avoid all of these things, as they could contribute to a motorcyclist’s wrongful death or catastrophic injuries.
According to NorthJersey.com, there were three fatal motorcycle accidents in the span of a few days from July 19 to 21 in the Bergen County area. The website reported that the body of one man, 53, who lived in Newfoundland, was found along the side of Union Valley Road on July 21 after police responded to the report of an accident. The accident remains under investigation and no further details have been released.
Additionally, two residents involved in separate motorcycle accidents died on July 19. According to reports, one man was killed in a crash on Route 17 between A&S Drive and Midland Avenue, when he was thrown from his motorcycle after he stopped to avoid four-car crash. Police are continuing to investigate the crash to determine why he was ejected from the motorcycle, although several people have been charged with careless driving relating to the crash.
In the other crash, a man was killed when his Yamaha motorcycle struck a tractor-trailer on Route 80s westbound lanes, according to NorthJersey.com.
What Should I Do If a Driver Hits Me on my Motorcycle?
People on motorcycles are 37 percent more likely to die in accidents than drivers and passengers of cars, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This occurs because motorcycles offer less protection than other vehicles on the road.
Our NJ motorcycle accident attorneys represent people who have suffered serious and disabling injuries, as well as the family members of fatal motorcycle accidents. Contact us today so that we may review your case and seek out damages.
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. – Bergen County Injury Lawyers
KGG’s Corner: In New Jersey, an estimated 21 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involve excessive speeds.