The Moto Machines Blog
Moto Machines is pleased to announce it is the new representative for Scorpion Exhausts in the United States. The addition of Scorpion Exhausts to the range of brands represented by Moto Machines is part of a growth plan focused on premium quality products for discerning riders. Scorpion Exhausts is a world leading performance brand handcrafted in England near the Donnington...Read more...
Electric motorcycles have been in the makes for years now and are just starting to catch the eyes of traditional motorcyclists. New models of electric motorcycles are being introduced left and right, and quite frankly, we can’t keep up with them. Here is some further information about electric motorcycles.Read more...
The next big upgrade in the motorcycle world is here and motorcyclists couldn’t be more excited. Smart Helmets are being developed by many distinct brands such as Intelligent Cranium Helmets, Sena, and Reevu Smart Helmets. These helmets are advancing in technology and this is just the beginning. So, what are so special about these helmets and what makes them smart?
Smart Helmets often vary with the unique features that come with them, but mostly all have built in Bluetooth to connect your mobile phone to the helmet. With this connection, it allows the rider to be able to listen to music/podcasts in their own head space, listen to the GPS guidance from the mobile phone, and will also allow the wearer to talk on the phone through the helmet. This ensures the rider does not touch their phone while in the middle of a trip, which would be a huge step in the safety category.
One of the most helpful features in smart helmets are the built-in speakers and mics. This allows the user to take phone calls from their mobile phones without having to pull over. Another feature that comes with the built-in mics are voice command. With the Bluetooth connection, you could command your mobile phone to do all sorts of things such as change the music, answer a phone call, and send a text. All without getting off the bike or having to pull over!
The biggest feature to make note of is that most helmets come with ‘dash’ cameras installed into the top of it. With this feature, in the event of an accident or crash, the rider could go back and look what happened and how it happened. This would help the rider review and save the clip to prove they were not the cause of the accident and could also help learn from their mistakes.
The future is bright for the motorcycle world with the development and improvements to smart helmets. Screens on the helmets will soon have HUDs on them for the rider to see their speed, GPS directions, and the time. Also, with the innovative technology coming out, riders will be able to get a 360-degree look to ensure their safety from the vehicles around them. At Moto Machines, we believe that this is the way of the future. As the technology increases in these helmets, so does the safety. Smart Helmets, and all helmets, have a main priority of protection and safety of the rider. So, with all these new gadgets being reveled in the helmets, the companies number one priority is safety and that will never change.
Here at Moto Machines, most of our products are geared towards the touring motorcyclist or adventurer going for more than just an hours trip. We sell strong, durable, and rugged luggage made by Hepco and Becker that mounts onto your bike being large enough to store half of your house, almost. In addition you can find a windshield from Ermax or Fender Extender from Pyramid Plastics. If you are thinking about taking a trip soon, read on down about some of our favorite spots.
Skyline Drive, VA
Since our company is located in Northern Virginia, we felt that it was right to start locally. Skyline Drive is a beautiful road alongside the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park. This drive is about 105 miles long and has gorgeous views the whole route. There is no challenge to this road, and the speed limit is a constant 35 mph. At some points you can kick it up to 50 mph, but you might miss out on one of the seventy different overlooks. With the Shenandoah Valley to the west and the Piedmont to the east, this route is chock-full of beautiful scenery and several types of wildlife.
San Juan Mountain Skyway, CO
Let’s head west to another stunning route located in Colorado. The San Juan Mountain Skyway route goes through sections of the Rocky Mountains that will give you amazing views for the whole trip. This route is a loop that goes for 225 miles, passing through towns like Ridgeway, Telluride, Rico, Dolores, and many more. You’ll ride through old mining towns, couple national parks, and even a ski resort! The road is a bit more challenging though, as there are many sharp U-shaped turns and switchbacks. Also, this route has many scenic pull off points so make sure you stop and enjoy the surroundings!
Beartooth Pass, WY
This route is as challenging as it is stunning. Filled with hills going up and down, you’ll pass through every scenery possible. From mountains to rivers and everything in between, this route has little to no guardrails and will put your riding skills to the test! Best part about this route is that trucks and campers tend to stay away giving you more space to enjoy the ride. There are so many amazing routes in the United States for motorcycles to ride and many more to be discovered! At Motomachines, we love to learn about new routes that fellow riders are discovering. We have the products that motivate riders to pack some clothes and hit the road, whether that be a top case or side cases. Hepco & Becker create the most durable and affordable motorcycle luggage that is perfect for hitting the open road and sightseeing.
Last year, I had the opportunity to get my motorcycle license. This has been something I wanted to do for years as I have been around motorcycles most of my life. I live in Virginia, and I know that my states rules and regulations will differ from other states. I wanted to provide insight on my experience completing the required steps for my license. In Virginia, there are a few factors that will affect the ways you will get your license. The main deciding factor is age. For someone over 19, the process is a bit easier. If you are at least 19 years old and already have a driver's license in Virginia, you can bypass the permit and any DMV testing. This means, finding and completing a program that is listed on the DMV website is all you will need to be licensed. For those under 19, you will need to pass a knowledge test which allows for you to get a permit. And then a skills test orchestrated by the DMV will need to be completed.
There are plenty of official programs available, once completed, will officially license the new rider through the DMV. They vary by price and even quality of education it seems, but in the end you will get your license once completed. Even the local Harley Davidson dealer has a course available for all of those up and coming Harley fanboys. The course I took was through Apex Cycle Education. They were highly rated and I figured I would want to be as comfortable on the bike as possible when I finished the course.
The course lasts a whole weekend consisting of in class education, riding, and a final test. The total cost is $350, which is pretty expensive for a motorcycle course. But, I truly felt like I would learn a lot which would contribute to my riding skill and safety. Afterall, I felt comfortable enough to start my first ride on public roads without any more practice on my own, so I did just that. Friday night was the first meeting and completely in class which lasted a few hours. The instructors went over all of the motorcycle riding and safety basics. The class was interactive and a good learning experience. The next 2 days were riding only with about 4-6 hours per day on the bikes. All you needed were gloves and glasses. They graciously provided helmets! With the written test completed, they literally hand you your license and a card saying that you completed the course. The paper license is good for 30 days and they say to make sure to go to the DMV before the 30 days is up. I arrived at the dmv on the 29th day and waited a while. Once I got to the desk, the process was simple. They took my picture to replace my horrid original and after paying 32 dollars, that was it. I was finally legally allowed to ride a motorcycle! Waited about a week to get my updated licence with the coveted “M2” rightfully printed on the plastic. Overall, I had a great experience with getting my motorcycle license!
The BMW R NineT is an undeniably special motorcycle. And in my opinion, It will no doubt become a classic. On top of that, the Racer version is quite possibly one of the most beautiful bikes out there.
Motorcycle luggage shouldn’t be a hard decision. It also shouldn’t be a status symbol either. Soft bags aren’t just for vagabonds and rebels. Hard luggage isn’t just for pansies or first class travelers. You should choose based on your travel needs.
Taking the Lead
Yamaha may have dominated the early long distance races of the1980s, but after the debut of the NXR750 in 1985, Honda swept four consecutive Paris-Dakar rallies. The Honda NXR750 Africa Twin winning in 1986 and 1987. This was the first ever water-cooled motorcycle to win the desert race. An upgraded model, the NXR800, went on to win in 1988 and 1989.
Inspired by the success of the NXR750, Honda developed a production model for long distance touring. Something that could handle difficult terrain. Enter the Honda XRV650 Africa Twin (and later XRV750).
Painted up in racing colors, the Africa Twin became an iconic bike for those seeking a little adventure. And more recently, National Geographic premiered a show Riding Morocco: Chasing the Dakar, which retraces the treacherous journey across mountains, deserts, and gorges celebrating the glory of the Dakar Rally and the Africa Twin.
Not familiar? The original Africa Twin was never imported to the US, and production ceased in 2003. But Honda revived the Africa Twin line last year with the CRF1000L, and this time it’s available in the States.
A compact alternative to the trending oversized adventure motorcycle models, the new Africa Twin CRF1000L model features a 998 cc, 2-cylinder engine up to 94 HP, 7500 RPM, and 248 miles per tank (5 gal).
Customizable and Tough
An adjustable, ergonomic seat makes it easy for riders to find a comfortable height to reach the ground. It also comes with a choice between a standard six-speed manual gearbox or the Honda exclusive automatic six-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), plus two primary balance shafts for minimal vibration and a smoother ride.
The CRF1000L is the first adventure bike with a DCT, making long journeys more accessible to riders with conditions that make shifting via foot or hand difficult. It’s also the most affordable 1000cc touring bike on the market. This leaves no room for excuses. Get out there.
Go Wherever You Want
Whether you’re shopping for a new touring bike or riding an older model, the Africa Twin has an impressive history and proven reliability.
Prepare for your journey with Hepco and Becker engine guards, hard cases, and windscreens. Moto Machines carries premium accessories for all Africa Twin models.
Riding across country sounds like an item that should be on every riders bucket list. I have been to countless motorcycle shows and heard all sorts of stories about going cross country. It was about time I had my own.
The bike I chose for the trip is a 2017 Triumph Bonneville T120. The bike has been decked out with a lamp guard, crash bar, and luggage from Hepco & Becker. I chose the Hepco & Becker 30 liter Xplorer cases in black and 45 liter top case to go with. These cases are 100% water proof, top loading, and most importantly; lockable. I chose to add the Hepco & Becker top bags to the cases which provide additional storage on top of the cases. Even though these top bags are not lockable, they do provide added storage.
The 45 liter Xplorer top case was used to house a DSLR camera along with other items that we wanted quick access to such as additional layers, rain pants, and bike locks. The top bags on the side cases were used to store less expensive items such as clothes in case they did get stolen. The side cases were used to hold clothes and an iPad.
Riding Two Up
Riding across country sounds like a dream in its own right; the only thing that could make it better is sharing that experience with somebody else. The first step to this dual person trip was to make sure the passenger would be comfortable on the bike. The solution for this was to install a backrest on the top case. In addition to this, the top bags on the side cases acted as a sort of armrest which was of course envied at times. Now that the passenger was set; it was time to head off.
The route started off from Moto Machines in Sterling, VA with an arrival in San Clemente, CA. The default route for Google Maps as most map applications was to put you on the fastest route to destination with no regard for being on a motorcycle. Because of this, the route was adjusted to include more back roads and less of the heavily trafficked American highways.
From previous experience, riding on a motorcycle takes a considerable amount longer than being in car because of added stops for stretch breaks and of course; photo ops that only a motorcycle can offer. As a general rule of thumb, we added an additional 20% for the amount of time Google told me it would take to reach the destination. I mounted an iPhone to the handlebar using the secure Rokform mount and adjusted the route on the fly for motorcycle favorable roads. Roadsideamerica.com was used to find points of interest along the way such as a larger than life statue of Buffalo Bill and slightly out of place Windmills.
The very first day consisted of traveling through WV and making it to Charleston, WV where we decided to take cover from a fast approaching storm. The next stops consisted of Louisville, St Louis, Kansas City, Denver, San Diego, and then San Clemente. The trip took 10 days where 2 day stops were taken to explore new found cities. This trip is something I would recommend to any rider and let me wondering why this trip was not made sooner.
Find out what we have to offer for YOUR cross country trip!
Pyramid Plastics is a trusted brand within the motorcycle industry. Founded over 30 years ago in the UK, Pyramid Plastics has been making and distributing accessories for most motorcycle makes and models. Their range of products offer protection while subtly improving the look of your motorcycle.
Extenda Fenda is the most popular item offered by Pyramid Plastics and is available for countless motorcycle models. It’s difficult to argue against its value and functionality as it is only beneficial to the rider and his/her bike. Extenda Fenda modifies the front fender lowering it more than stock, no longer allowing road debris to bombard the fairing, radiator or oil cooler. The small investment of a Extenda Fenda will greatly increase protection the motorcycle while not drastically changing the clean lines of the bike. It could save the rider from future repair headaches. For these reasons, the Extenda Fenda is a well known and trusted product in the motorcycle community.
Pyramid Plastics offers other accessories that benefit motorcyclists in the protection of their precious bikes. In addition to the Extenda Fenda, the brand also makes rear huggers, belly pans, and rear spray guards. All of these products are made to deflect and protect against road debris that can batter a motorcycle, while also adding to the bikes look. Frame end caps are a fairly new product that really aid to clean up the look of a motorcycle by capping the holes in frames. All of these items can be purchased through the Moto Machines website.