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San Francisco, CA
United States was created to share my continuing adventure and love addiction to all things involving motorcycles. 

Ridin Posts

Harley Davidson Announces an all Electric Motorcycle

Bryan Burnett

Harley Davidson Livewire

Harley Davidson Livewire

Harley Davidson is widely known for it’s loud, heavy, cruiser style motorcycles, even the name for the stock ticker is “HOG". First founded in 1903 the Milwaukee company recently announced it’s ambitious (ambitious for Harley Davidson anyways) plan to release a fully electric motorcycle called the “Livewire”. Judging from the photos the Livewire could be quite the looker, as well as being the lightest bike in the Harley lineup. With the recent news of Tesla releasing it’s patents for all, the ever growing support for electric vehicles has hit full tilt. HD has constantly been criticized, for being very “conservative” with it’s design and evolution. Or praised depending on which "Wild Hog" you talk to, but as far as specs the Livewire looks to be on par with competitors. A three-phase induction motor with 55kW of power, which equals just under 74hp, and 52 lbs-ft of torque is packing more outright force then both the Brammo Empulse at 54 hp and the Zero SR 67hp. If that’s the good, what’s the bad? Battery capacity, judging by the early numbers the Livewire will have a just over a 50 mile range of mixed city and highway riding. If the announcement of an electric motorcycle from a traditionally “image” focused company like HD wasn’t impressive enough, HD will be looking for customer feedback and setting up demo rides for loyal enthusiast. 

As HD dips its toes in the preverbal water, it gives hope that Americas nostalgia factory is looking ahead and not waiting to die off with an aging generation. For this machine to be successful it will need to at least deliver 100 miles on one charge, a price point under $20,000, and a little more power couldn’t hurt either. 

Here’s a video that HD released.

It was also parodied by this, which is what i would imagine previous Harley owners  would do in attempt of “reliving” that Harley lifestyle.

MX - The Ride

Bryan Burnett

Part of the reason I wanted to get into Motocross more is how  different the experience is from street riding. On a dirt bike you typically don’t have to worry about a car t-boning you or someone on their cell phone crossing into your lane. Also there’s more of a sense of raw wildness, ripping through the mud, popping wheelies, running up creeks, jumping over obstacles. If I were to use a metaphor street riding is more "surgical"  and all about precision,  dirt bike riding is more raw and wild, especially on a two stroke. Another reason was to become a better rider in general, the majority of the greatest racers in the world got their start sliding around in the dirt.  

After riding in the dirt I noticed being much smoother street riding, easier traditions between downshifts and getting on the throttle. That fine line between your wrist and the rear wheel comes into play much more on a dirt bike, give it some gas and feel the rear lose traction. You can do this on a street bike, but unless you’re pro it could result in a nasty high side.

Controlling a two stroke is a little tricky, as the power doesn’t exactly “kick in” but it does have a less then liner power band. A four stroke will provide more toque down low, where as a two stroke makes it’s horse power towards the top. For beginners it’s recommended to ride a four stroke, the liner power band makes learning in the dirt easier. Where as two strokes are appealing because of the cc size to weight ratio two strokes actually makes more power then most four strokes. So roughly a 125cc two stroke will make the same amount of power as a 250cc four stroke. Also where as a modern 250cc four stroke will weigh in around 225 pounds a 125cc two stroke weighs just over 200 pounds. 

Undoubtedly someday I will try to get a four stroke dirt bike, but for now i'm enjoying the nostalgia, simplicity, and smell of my little KX125 smoker. 

MX - My Experience

Bryan Burnett

I rode dirt bikes from an early age, but usually by myself and with little instruction. I learned the basics and mostly did trail riding, the kind of riding that was back dirt roads, creeks and hillsides. By the the time i was old enough to buy my own dirt bike a couple of years ago, a 125cc two stroke, the only other dirt bike I had riding experience on was a DRZ125, which took all the abuse i could throw at it and more, but it’s an small bike and not for an adult. I could slide around, get the bike lent over, ride up hills with proficiency, but when i came to jumps i was woefully inexperienced. Time to learn.

Motocross - A Beginners Journey

Bryan Burnett

One of the best ways to introduce yourself to the sport of riding a motorcycle is by riding a dirt bike. Low speeds, soft-ish landings from a fall, and overall much lighter then any street bike (except super motos of course). Dirt bikes are a great way of learning the basics of riding. Even if you’re a street rider with years of experience under your belt, riding in the dirt can introduce you to the feeling of losing traction. Something that is typically very alarming while riding on the street. Through my post I hope to keep track of my progress over the following months of getting better at my favorite hobby. 

Introducing My New Toy, 2003 KX125 & Getting Back to DirtRidin

Bryan Burnett

My newest motorcycle purchase, a 2003 KX125. To preface I must say I'm instantly in love. I had been searching for a dirt bike for quite some time now, and when I saw this bike pop up after many hours of scouring craigslist I had to respond. What's kind of ironic is my first street bike was a 2003 Ninja 250 with green and black color scheme and my first dirt bike is a 2003 KX125 green and black...

Craigslist can always be a hit or miss ordeal, and it's always best to do your homework before even contacting someone. After awhile of searching on craigslist you develop a sense of which listings are ones worth your while. My first rule is to avoid postings that are in all CAPS, ones with crummy cell phones pics, and if I see a motorcycle, whether it be a street bike or dirt bike that has stickers plastered all over it, I tend to steer clear of. Not that stickers can't be taken off, but owners who have the "Look at these sweet Metal Mulisha stickers bro." are people I don't like to do business with. One last thing is look at is the background, was the photo taken in a driveway? A garage? If a garage was it a cluttered mess? Or maybe you could make out a work bench and well organized shelving. These people, more often then not, are more organized and stick to maintenance intervals recommended by the manual. Now these are just recommendations, not every craigslist ad is created equal, but you can get a sense if the price is too good to be true it usually is. 

For anyone in my position of; you've ridden a street bike for a few year's and like me you are looking to get back into dirt riding or maybe you never have ridden anything off road, I would look at finding a 125 two stroke. The big four Japanese manufactures have all given up on the old 2 stroke engine, and only Yamaha has been keeping the tradition alive, but after this year will be switching over to all 4 stroke machines. Of course KTM will still be providing 2 strokes, but who knows for how long. I don't want to get into a 4 vs 2 stroke debate because there's a lot of opinions and if you do a google search the topic, there's plenty of debate of which is better. To each their own i say! In my situation, a 125 two stroke was going to be cheaper to buy and maintain, which was a big factor for my limited budget and I just wasn't sure how much riding I would be able to do. I've always liked the idea of a 2 stroke bike, after watching old MotoGP races with the 500cc two stroke bikes, and the amount power they make for the size and weight is pretty remarkable. 

There's a helpful graphic of 2 stroke vs 4 strokes at the bottom of the page.

Growing up for family events we would drive out to my Uncle's ranch just on the outskirts of Petaluma, and while out there i would always look forward to riding dirt bikes. It never occurred to me at that age to ask my parents to buy me one, but when we went out to visit it's all i ever wanted to do. So growing up i learned how to ride on a little yamaha 80 and my cousins DRZ125. As i got older I got my first street bike and didn't really look back at dirt. I knew i wanted a dirt bike someday but a street bike was my first priority as I had friends that rode and the shear speed and freedom that having a street bike gives you. All I had to do was walk out my front door to ride a street bike, if I bought a dirt bike I would have to drive 45min to go ride it! Which seemed more daunting for some reason. Fast forward to now, I've had my F4i for almost 3 years now and have enjoyed it immensely, I've gone up and down the northern coast and all the way down to Laguna Seca to enjoy my first live MotoGP event. But now there was a itch riding on the street couldn't scratch, something about getting back out in the dirt was much more appealing now, and not getting run over by cross traffic would be nice… So that left me with two options, track day or dirt bike.

As a rider I have practiced to improve my skills and expand my tool set of abilities, not only for the joy of learning, but to help decrease the risk of everyday street riding. Every so often I still go to the old Jr. High blacktop to practice my figure 8's and hard braking. I knew to take my skills to the next step was to go track riding on my street bike, but there was this lingering desire to get back into dirt. Something about sliding the rear and feeling out of control was always appealing on a dirt bike, but that feeling was much less appealing on  a street bike. I also realized that a lot of the skills I took for granted on a street bike were from when I was a kid riding in the dirt. So I decided if I could find the right bike I would get back into riding in the wet and dirty, or I would save my money for a track day and leather suit. I'm still hoping to do that, but I ending up going to the dirt and I'm loving it. I'm far more fortunate than most people in the fact that part of my family owns quite a few acres of sweeping fields, rolling hills, and some of the best views in the county. So I pretty much have to take advantage of that!

I found the bike about 20 minutes north of where I live, I knew as soon as i saw it, it was the bike for me. It had all the nice little bits, like a FMF pipe, ASV levers with bark busters and stock plastics in great shape. It was well taken care of, 1 owner, and the only thing it really needed was to be ridden. I was lucky to find it for $1,200 but i was even more fortunate that the guy i bought it from was super nice. I had a similar experience when I bought my F4i, sometimes you just know when you see the bike and meet the person. It can be hard to separate your excitement to buy something you want and your judgement of the situation, but for me if I have any lingering doubt in the back of my mind I walk away. Two out of the three motorcycles I've gone to look at from craigslist I've bought, the first F4i I looked at I walked away from. I attribute that ratio to searching for the right ad at the right price, to asking the right questions via email and saving myself the time of even looking in the first place. 

So I bought the bike on the spot, made sure to feel the pipe to see if it was warm, it wasn't, bike started first kick, then the previous owner help me load it into my truck and I was on my way. The first day of riding was just getting use to the bike.  The clutch, brakes, power, were all new to me, and most of all the way you have to change your style to ride a dirt bike. It's a lot more of keeping your upper body straight while bending the bike beneath you, unlike how you would ride a street bike at speed. After the first day of riding I was positive I had made the right decision, and by the the time I went to ride for a second time I started to get my confidence up and was sliding the rear around, getting the front to loft into the air. 

After getting use to riding in the dirt again, it was time to explore. Riding the bike is fun, but my next favorite thing is exploring the property. This time of year it's very green and makes me feel like i'm riding in Scotland. It also gets very cold in the morning, but during the day the temperature hovers in the mid to low 50's so it's definitely tolerable on a sunny or overcast day. 

More updates to come, and a full review of the KX125. Also now that I have a new ride, it's time to get some gear. Helmet, Goggles, and Boots with review sooner rather then later i hope and hopefully some video using the GoPro.

Here's that great infographic of 2 stroke motors vs 4 stroke motors, enjoy.