Riding Blog

This weblog at mikeuhl.com is the personal web site of Michael "Mike" Uhl. Entries to this weblog and web site represent my personal opinions. The site is not owned, operated, or affiliated with my employer or any organizations other than those owned and operated by Mike Uhl.

Photo (right): That's Lisa and me stopped along US 550, "The Million Dollar Highway," in southwest Colorado on our way north into Silverton, July 2017. 

Entries are copyright (c) Michael A. Uhl, as of date of posting.

You are welcome and encouraged to participate in the discussion on this site. Comments are owned by the poster. I reserve the right to remove any irrelevant, inflammatory, or otherwise inappropriate comments. Questions may be directed to me using the "Post a Comment" feature available on every blog page.

FYI: I ride a 2015 Harley-Davidson FLHTK Ultra Limited Special Edition.

Thank you and please enjoy my site!


Ouch! A $1160 Repair Bill This Week

Broken air filter bracket 3 sm

I finally got my bike back after about 16 days of it occupying space at J&D Custom Cycles in Morrisville. Between diagnosing multiple problems and waiting for parts to come in, it was a longer-than-usual wait for me. Losing the use of my precious machine in the middle of August began to hurt my psyche. And then I got the bill, which really hurt my bank account!

Photo at upper right: The mounting bracket for my air filter was cracked all the way through on one end.

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What tends to wear out, or break, and when

When you put a lot of miles on a bike, stuff wears out and breaks. Sometimes it just breaks, even before it wears out. I'm OK with parts wearing out due to normal wear-n-tear, but I get mighty irritated when parts fail because they were designed badly. You can also wear parts out prematurely by doing things you're not aware have an adverse impact, such as overloading the electrical system even by just a little.

What wears out normally and when varies based on the year and model of the bike, riding behavior of the owner, and how well the owner maintains the bike. I'm a bit obsessive-compulsive when it comes to taking care of my machines, so keep that in mind as I make my lists of what typically fails and when.

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Riding on US interstate highways: safer than other roads?


Riders have expressed to me a wide range of feelings over the years regarding interstate highways. Most riders I've met are willing to ride them but prefer the "back roads." Some riders have told me they simply hate riding on interstates and avoid them whenever possible. They often tell me they hate them because "they're boring," but will often later admit the higher speeds also make them very nervous.

Search across various motorcycle riding forums and you will find arguments from pro and anti-interstate riders, with a few in the middle, happy to ride either. I've always argued that riding interstates and other limited-access highways is actually safer than riding on full access roads, which have cross traffic and variable speed limits. However, it occurred to me that my argument is based on my experience and others I've spoken with. Likewise, the arguments I see in the forums are also based on the riders' relatively limited experience and deductive reasoning.

NHTSA 2009 Crashes data sm

What we need here is data. For that, we can turn to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) National Center for Statistical Analysis (NCSA).

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Maintaining on your own bike

You've probably heard the old adage, "It's hard to find good help these days." Well, it's especially hard to find competent, reliable motorcycle mechanics, or "technicians" as some of them liked to be called. And it's not just a matter of cost or convenience; it's one of safety as well. Doing the work yourself can improve your chances of getting the work done properly and enhancing your safety on the bike. (Of course, if you have no clue what you're doing and attempt to go it alone on the brakes, front end, etc. you could end up killing yourself.) Here is a strategy for learning the basics of maintaining your bike. Follow these steps in the order listed:

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Key West, Florida - Part 4

Racoon as pet smThis week I'd like to wrap up my posts on the Key West ride. As you might recall from the first post, we used five days for the trip: two days to get from Raleigh to Key West and three days back.

Photo at left: This fellow in Gainesville tried to convince us that raccoons make great pets…as long as they're "fixed."


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