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Things to Do at Daytona Bike Week

9 Awesome Things to Do at Daytona Bike Week

Ok, so you missed it.. Well it’s better without the crowds so here are some things to keep you busy in the heat. I’ll tell you what, there are a lot of chicks down there so plan for a good time.

March is here, and you know what that means – Daytona Bike Week.

And, with the 79th-annual rally set to kick off Friday, March 6, the “World’s Biggest Motorcycle Festival” is set to draw hundreds of thousands of bikers for the 10-day event.

We’ve been attending rallies for years, so we asked our resident rally experts for advice on what to do while at Daytona Bike Week.

Our list of must-do Daytona Bike Week activities

Hit the 23-mile white-sand beach

Daytona is home to America’s most famous beach.

And, whether you’re looking to get a tan or see the famous sea turtle hatchlings, 23 miles of beach await. It also has designated traffic lanes for bikes and automobiles, lending a unique riding experience over hard-packed sand. Your bike or classic car will love the salt.

Check out the rules, take a virtual beach ride and get inspired for your own travels here.

Daytona International Speedway

So, maybe this one isn’t such a surprise, but it still has to make the list.

Daytona International Speedway stems from the days when racers took to the beaches of Daytona to chase land-speed records. Now home to the iconic Daytona 500, it’s not just millionaires going around in circles on a track all day. You can find a mountain of activities on and off the track during rally week.

Top motorcycle manufacturers such as Royal Enfield, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Harley-Davidson and Indian offer free demo rides throughout Bike Week on the property.

Stop by Thunder Alley to enjoy live music, drink specials and contests.

Rockefeller’s Ormond Beach Home

On the Eastern Bank of the Halifax River lies the winter home of John D. Rockefeller.

“Neighbor John,” as he preferred to be called, took part in many community activities in the area and entertained such guests as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone.

Having multiple functions until it was left unoccupied for many years, the City of Ormond Beach purchased the home in 1973 and completed restoration in October 1979.

Today the home serves as a museum, offering tours and exhibits throughout the massive home and grounds. Get more information here.

Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse

Just a short way down South Atlantic Avenue you will find another hidden treasure – the historic Ponce Inlet Lighthouse.

Climb 175 feet to the top of the tallest lighthouse in the state and experience world-famous views of the world’s most famous beach.

Find maps and more info on making this part of your trip here.

Daytona Beach - You need to check this place out!! I go every year. Chicks everywhere.

Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier

Who doesn’t love shopping?

The Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier is a combination of entertainment, shopping and dining options accompanied by scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Among the entertainment options are indoor and outdoor rides. Racing enthusiasts (right here!) can enjoy a self-guided tour of commemorative plaques along the boardwalk.

Florida roads under the tropical shade bushes (trees).

The Ormond Scenic Loop & Trail

The Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail is a 33-mile loop traversing the natural scenery of northeast Florida.

Leave the Daytona Bike Week festivities for a few hours and ride this scenic loop with ready access to the Atlantic Ocean, state parks and trails. Make a pit stop and enjoy boating, hunting, fishing and hiking.

During migration season you can even find whales, turtles and dolphins. If you’re an outdoor lover like me, this is a must-do.

Learn more about the Ormond Scenic Loop & Trail, including maps and directions, here.

Daytona Bike Week means excellent seafood

What better place to enjoy fresh seafood than right next to the Atlantic ocean?

With more than 75 seafood restaurants to choose from, there is no shortage of fresh sea life and picturesque settings in which to enjoy it. The Ocean Deck Restaurant and Beach Club is situated right on the ocean and offers a relaxing environment with everything from fresh seafood to wings.

Looking for somewhere right on the water? Try Off the Hook at Inlet Harbor Raw Bar and Grill. Chances are you catch an awesome Florida sunset and maybe even see a manatee or two while enjoying your meal worm.

Cape Canaveral

For those looking for more of a journey than a jaunt, consider taking a ride from Daytona Bike Week to Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Located 75 miles south of Daytona, Cape Canaveral is home to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and the dreams of millions fascinated by outer space.

If you plan accordingly, you’ll arrive in time to witness a rocket launch.

There’s so much more to see and experience in Cape Canaveral, you should check out their website and make a day or two out of it.

The sun always shines at Daytona Bike Week (hopefully)

Let’s face it – for those of us struggling to get through another long, cold winter up north, Daytona offers a chance to soak up the sun and enjoy some warm weather. Simple as that. The Daytona area offers no shortage of opportunities to put winter behind you for a few days.

So, there you have it. Be sure to stop by the AMSOIL booth at the Welcome Center. AMSOIL oil changes and product sales will also be available at Daytona International Speedway. You can also buy products at Destination Daytona.

If you’re stuck at home, like me, and can’t make it to the rally, tune into Facebook , Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date on all things rally related.

5 Tips for Your Next Adventure Bike Trip

5 Tips for Your Next Adventure Bike Trip

I recently completed an adventure bike trip with my father during which we rode the Continental Divide from south to north. The purpose of the trip was to document the ride as a father-son duo and to show what the Great Divide Ride is all about.

Check out the video to see how our ride went.

I’ve ridden motorcycles for many years, and my father has been riding right beside me the whole time. My passion for motorcycles took hold when I got my first bike – a 1976 Yamaha DT250. Since then, I’ve gravitated toward more dual-sport riding. I’ve had lots of good times at the track on my Supermoto, and countless other rides with friends.

 


Until recently, I’ve never considered myself an adventure bike rider. Prior to riding the Divide, I had never taken a bike trip of more than a couple days.

Maybe you’re in the same boat. Maybe you’re yearning to leave your familiar territory and take a long adventure bike trip yourself. Before you embark, check out this list of things (in no particular order), I wish I had known before my trip. I am by no means a professional, so take it all with a grain of salt. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to riding.

1) Do your research

Educate yourself. Your level of research may change based on skill level, familiarity with your motorcycle and your planned route. But it’s imperative you don’t overlook this step. When preparing to ride the Continental Divide, I cannot count the hours I spent researching.

Understand everything you can about your motorcycle.

  • What are the known problems with the bike, if any?
  • How much money do you need to spend to prepare the bike?
  • Are you capable of fixing things if (when) something goes wrong?

Know your route, too:

  • What have other riders experienced on the route?
  • Where can you find maps and route notes?
  • How difficult will the riding be?

It’s crucial that you learn as much as you can before diving in headfirst. But, if you’re the type to just dive in, skip ahead to number 3.

2) Prepare yourself and your bike

Admittedly, I underestimated the importance of preparation.

For some people, this might be the easy part, but I am not the most mechanically inclined person. I tend to worry about causing some catastrophic failure if I make even simple changes to my bike.

Because of my lack of mechanical knowledge and my tendency toward perfectionism, prepping my motorcycle for this trip took longer than I anticipated.

With the help of my father and a local motorcycle mechanic (Roger, you’re a heck of a guy and a wealth of knowledge), we managed to address all of the known issues with both of the bikes. This helped us immensely when forced to make repairs along the trip since I knew the bike like the back of my hand.

Preparation also includes packing. I neglected to pack and repack my bike before the trip to ensure everything had its place. Pack it, unpack it, repack it and then take half of it away because you don’t need it.

And don’t forget to check the fluids and change them as needed before embarking. On a long trip, change the motor oil before you go. Use a good synthetic to protect your expensive engine no matter the conditions you encounter. Check the brake and clutch reservoirs, too. Make sure the coolant is in good condition and topped-off as needed.

Amsoil 15W-50 Synthetic Metric Motorcycle Oil

Buy Metric Motorcycle Oil

3) Get some seat time on your adventure bike

I always forget this tip. Just get out and ride – seat time is king. If you want to improve your riding and feel at home on your bike, spend time on it.

Also, anytime you change something on your motorcycle during preparation, test it out to ensure it was for the best. You don’t want to get 100 miles into your journey and notice a problem that a little seat time beforehand would have revealed. What would have been a simple fix back home then becomes a daunting task to fix on the trail. I have experienced this and don’t wish it upon anyone.

While planning this ride, I let time get away from me and we didn’t have the bikes fully assembled and ready to ride until two days before departure. Needless to say, I lacked adequate seat time to feel comfortable on the fully loaded bike when we finally did leave.

4) Convince a friend to join you

This can be the most difficult task to complete. While there is something to be said for the solace of riding solo, an epic journey is best with a friend (or friends).

Some of the best times on a trip aren’t those spent riding, but gathered around a campfire at the end of the day, sharing a couple cold ones and recounting the day’s events.

If your buddy is a city person, start with a one-day glamping trip, not a full-on, live-off-the-bike, no-showers, month-long expedition.

You’ll know which of your friends is best suited to each journey. Your friends may resist, but when they return from the trip, they won’t have any regrets.

I’m grateful that I was able to take this trip with my father. He’s no spring chicken and I know trips like this will be more difficult for him as time passes. This was a once-in-a-lifetime ride for us and I don’t take that lightly.

5) Don’t hold back – just go

In the end, know that all the work and preparation will be worth it and just get up and go. Pack up your bike and embark on your journey.

I’ve brushed off making the time for this kind of adventure countless times, and I’ve always kicked myself for it. There are millions of beautiful and unique places to go on your adventure bike. I bet you already have a few places on your riding bucket list.

Whether it’s a ride around town with friends or a ride around the globe, do whatever is required to put your kickstand up and roll down the road. Any effort it takes is worthwhile and the memories you make will last a lifetime.

Five reasons to use motorcycle oil in your bike

You can use Car Motor Oils in your Bike if you Add Two More Wheels.

You wouldn’t want to buy a used bike if motorcycle oil wasn’t used.

Impressive performance happens when you are using the right oil in the right application.

Len Groom | TECHNICAL PRODUCT MANAGER, POWERSPORTS

The results of a study from lubricant additive manufacturer Infineum caught my eye recently. A survey of 1,000 bikers revealed that fewer than 60 percent are using a motorcycle specific oil in their motorcycles. Interestingly, more than three quarters of respondents think they’re using a motorcycle oil. Clearly there’s confusion in the market that requires clarification.

Let’s start with why you should always use motorcycle oil in a motorcycle engine. I’ll boil it down to five key reasons.

1) Motorcycles run hotter

In general, automotive engines are water-cooled. A typical automotive engine can reach 235ºF (113ºC) during operation, which is plenty hot. Motorcycles, however, run even hotter, particularly big, air-cooled V-twins, like your average Harley Davidson. They rely on air flowing across the engine for cooling, which is inherently less efficient at dissipating heat. This configuration poses additional challenges in stop-and-go traffic when there’s little airflow, particularly on hot summer days. In fact, testing of a 2012 Harley Street Bob in our mechanical lab demonstrated an average cylinder head temp of 383ºF (195ºC).

Heat that intense causes some oils to thin and lose viscosity, which reduces wear protection. High heat also hastens chemical breakdown of the oil (called oxidation), which requires you to change oil more often. In extreme cases, the bike’s temperature sensors can shut down the engine if it gets too hot.

2) High rpm destroys lesser oils

Motorcycles tend to operate at engine speeds significantly higher than automobiles. Your average metric sport bike easily eclipses 10,000 rpm. Some have even pushed 20,000 rpm. Your car or truck’s redline doesn’t even come close. The hydrocarbon chains get ripped to shreds.. You can feel the after-effects through the peg and handle bars.

High rpm places additional stress on engine components, increasing the need for wear protection. It subjects oils to higher loading and shear forces, which can rupture the lubricant film and reduce viscosity, both of which increase wear. High rpm also increases the likelihood of foaming, which can reduce an oil’s load carrying ability, further inviting wear.

3) Increased power density = increased stress

Motorcycle engines produce more horsepower per cubic inch than automobiles. They also tend to operate with higher compression ratios. Increased power density and compression lead to higher engine temperatures and increased stress. This places greater demands on motorcycle oil to fight wear, deposits and chemical breakdown.

4) Must also protect transmission – prevent viscosity loss

Many motorcycles have a common sump supplying oil to both the engine and transmission. In such cases, the oil is required to meet the needs of both the engine and the transmission gears. Transmission gears can shear the oil as it’s squeezed between gear teeth repeatedly at elevated rpm, causing some oils to lose viscosity. Many motorcycles also incorporate a wet clutch within the transmission that uses the same oil. Motorcycle wet clutches require a properly formulated lubricant that meets JASO MA or MA2 frictional requirements.

5) Storage invites corrosion

Whereas automobiles are used almost every day, motorcycle use is usually periodic and, in many cases, seasonal. These extended periods of inactivity place additional stress on motorcycle oils. In these circumstances, rust and acid corrosion protection are of critical concern.

While a good passenger car motor oil (PCMO) hits many of these performance areas, it doesn’t get them all.

PCMOs usually contain friction modifiers to help boost fuel economy. Furthermore, PCMOs don’t meet JASO MA or MA2 requirements. If used in a motorcycle, they can interfere with clutch operation and cause slippage. And no rider wants to deal with a slipping clutch. Likewise, motor oils have no natural rust or corrosion resistance. Instead, corrosion inhibitors must be added to the formulation, and typical motor oils don’t contain them.

AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oil is designed for the unique demands of motorcycles. It’s formulated without friction modifiers for precise, smooth shifts. It also contains a heavy dose of corrosion inhibitors to protect your engine against rust during storage. And it’s designed to resist viscosity loss due to shear despite intense heat and the mechanical action of gears and chains.

Ensure your customers are using AMSOIL synthetic motorcycle oil in their bikes for the best protection this riding season.

And people who use car oil in their bikes probably use the term “drive” when referring to riding.

Don’t Let Extreme Heat Sideline Your Motorcycle

An Oil to Resist Thinning from Extreme Heat and Mechanical Activity

Extreme summer heat combined with slow-moving rally or parade traffic can pose big problems for you and your motorcycle.

As heat intensifies, motor oil loses viscosity and becomes thinner. The oil can become so thin that the engine loses oil pressure, causing the oil-pressure gauge to bottom out. You may hear increased valvetrain and gear noise as parts clatter together. A good rider knows not to ride with no oil pressure, so he or she will shut down the bike and sit alongside the highway (or push the bike) until the engine cools enough to restore oil pressure.

Decreased airflow stresses oil

Air-cooled V-twins get plenty hot on their own, but riding in slow moving traffic makes it worse. Crawling along barely above idle doesn’t generate enough airflow to cool the engine. Add to that the blazing sun reflecting off the asphalt, and it’s a recipe for trouble. In extreme dyno testing designed to create heat, we’ve seen cylinder temperatures in a 2012 Harley-Davidson* Street Bob* as high as 383°F (195°C).

It’s up to the motor oil to protect the engine despite the intense heat; however, oil becomes thinner as it heats up. If it becomes too thin, it can fail to form a lubricant film of enough thickness and strength to prevent metal components from contacting during engine operation and wearing out. Once the lubricant film fails, it falls on the anti-wear additives to prevent wear. They form a sacrificial layer on components to keep them from contacting. But additives are designed to deplete with time and use. Once they wear out, your engine isn’t protected in this scenario.

Heat breaks down oil faster

The rate at which oil oxidizes, or chemically breaks down, doubles for every 18°F (10°C) increase in lubricant temperature. Oxidation occurs when oxygen molecules attack oil molecules and result in a chemical reaction that leads to harmful byproducts, like sludge and varnish. The faster the oil oxidizes, the sooner it wears out and requires changing.

Ride Hard. Run Cool.®

AMSOIL Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil uses high-quality synthetic base oils that naturally resist thinning due to extreme heat and mechanical activity better than conventional base oils. As a result, it forms a thick, strong lubricating film on engine components despite the intense heat. Although any oil will become thinner in extreme heat, riders who use AMSOIL Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil won’t see their oil-pressure gauges bottom out, providing the confidence they need to keep riding after others have shut down their bikes and started pushing.

Find AMSOIL Products for My Bike

*All trademarked names and images are the property of their respective owners and may be registered marks in some countries. No affiliation or endorsement claim, express or implied, is made by their use. All products advertised here are developed by AMSOIL for use in the applications shown.

Should I Warm Up My Motorcycle Before Riding?

Should I Warm Up My Motorcycle Before Riding?

As soon as you crawl out of bed tomorrow morning, try this experiment: run outside and sprint down the street. Aside from embarrassment over your jammies (or lack thereof), how do you suppose you’ll feel?

Your motorcycle likewise needs to warm up a bit before hitting the street. Many folks at AMSOIL love anything to do with an engine, including motorcycles. So to get the technical details explaining why, I consulted a few of our resident bikers. They provided two main reasons for letting your bike warm up before riding.

1) Help avoid piston scuffing

Metal expands when it’s heated, and anyone who’s sat astride a motorcycle knows they make serious heat. Subjecting a cold piston to extreme heat and friction without first allowing it to warm up can cause rapid piston expansion and scuffing.

John Skuzinski, AMSOIL Mechanical Test Development Manager, says this:

“Optimal parts ??clearances inside the engine are not achieved until normal operating temperatures are reached. If clearances are less than normal due to low engine temps, and the throttle demands the engine goes to work spontaneously, internal temperatures can rise very rapidly. Most frequently the pistons will heat-up and expand well ahead of the cylinder bores. The chances of clearance-related scuffing and seizure are thereby increased proportionally.”

Translation? Something might break.

AMSOIL Director of Facilities and Maintenance, Rollie Everson, agrees. “I like to get them [engines] warm before putting any type of stress on the mechanical components. This makes sure components expand at a gradual rate when they are cold.”

2) Ensure the oil circulates properly

Another reason to warm up your bike is to circulate the oil. Here again John Skuzinski has some good insight. “Cold oils inhibit pumpability and flowability, making it more prone to thin-film and hydrodynamic-wedge breakdown. Under extreme cold-oil conditions, it is possible that the oil won’t be able to flow into the oil pump, leading to bearing and journal damage and wear.”

Translation? Again, something might break, this time due to lack of oil.

Of course, a good solution to poor cold-flow is to use a high-quality synthetic that flows quickly to engine parts despite cold temperatures. AMSOIL laboratory chemist Dale Beck explains:

“The highest chance of wear should be under the initial startup when the oil has yet to be circulated to all the components in the upper end. AMSOIL motorcycle oils have very good pumpability at cold tempatures, definitely colder than I enjoy riding the bike at, so I don’t worry much about the oil not being circulated enough. Our oils also have very good protection for cam wear, relating to initial startup, so unless you are redlining the engine after startup there shouldn’t be any worries about other engine parts.”

How long should you warm the engine?

About one minute is plenty of time to allow the piston and other parts to gradually expand and ensure good oil circulation to the upper end. Most riders start the engine and spend a minute or two putting on their helmet and preparing to ride. Once they’re ready, so is the bike.

“I warm mine up so I know everything is running well. I usually do this while I put on my helmet and make final adjustments before departing on a ride.” – Patricia Stoll, AMSOIL Trade Show Manager

“I usually let it warm up while making my last adjustments (ear plugs, gloves, glasses, etc.). This takes about a minute or two.” – Jim Swanson, AMSOIL Trade Show Representative

“I would guess that mine only warms up for around a minute. I usually start it just before putting on my helmet and gloves. In my opinion, anything more than a few minutes is a waste of fuel and can lead to deposit formation on the spark plugs and exhaust.” – Dale Beck

To wrap it up, warm up your bike for at least a minute before heading out. Just use the time to buckle your helmet, slip your gloves on or finish other preparations. That way you’re not wasting time – and you’re likely saving your engine from wear.

Find out why our Co-President & CFO loves V-twins.

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