Fulmer flips switch on new blog

Posted in News By Fanatical Fulmer

Jan 26, 2018 1:03:15 PM

@Fulmer Files

I feel like the flip phone of the blogging world.

The reason? Although blogging has been around since the mid- to late-90s, to my knowledge Fulmer has never had a blogger – until now.

My name is Cheryl, and I am a displaced newspaper writer who after 16 years found work as a copywriter and social media guru for Fulmer Powersports, a power horse in the helmet industry for nearly 50 years.

Fulmer has had an unprecedented past, but nearly a half a century later we feel we’ve revved up our commitment to you by offering new, cutting edge helmets and apparel that will knock your socks off. It’s evident in our new Fulmer catalog. If you haven’t taken a look, now is the time: http://bit.ly/2mtisDe.

This blog will introduce you to our products, pass along helpful information and answer any questions you might have. I want this to be an interactive experience.

“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing,” psychologist Rollo May once said.

That’s what I want for this blog. And for you.

Let’s get started!

Born to fly

Posted in News By Fanatical Fulmer Jan 26, 2018 1:03:15 PM

Feb 6, 2018 11:50:55 AM

fulmer learn to fly blog

Back in my late 20s, I decided to get a motorcycle license and buy a bike. The reason I chose a cycle over, say, a scooter, was speed-related. If I was in a jam on the highway and needed to quickly speed up, the putt, putt, putt of a scooter simply wouldn’t cut it. Or so I thought.

My used 250 Honda fit like a glove, and was the perfect vehicle for riding with my boyfriend and his 750 Kawasaki on the winding roads of southwestern Wisconsin. I was only lacking experience.

One day early on, we came to a sharp left curve. Not being able to see around the corner, I took the turn much too wide, didn’t lean - out of fear, and soon found myself driving into and then through the ditch. In terror, I squeezed both breaks simultaneously and became momentarily airborne before landing. My newbie negligence was embarrassing, at best. My boyfriend nearly stroked out as he followed me.

 

According to MCRider.com, the cornering mantra I should have used is slow – look – press – roll. Here are the steps:

  • Slow down before approaching the corner using both brakes to an appropriate entry speed or a speed slow enough for you to be able to roll on and slightly increase throttle throughout the corner.
  • Next, turn your head and look in the direction you want the motorcycle to go.  Point your nose in the direction you want the motorcycle to go.
  • To make a motorcycle lean, press on the grip in the direction you want to go. Press the left grip – lean left – turn left, press the right grip – lean right – turn right. If only I would have known.
  • Finally, roll on the throttle or maintain the grip on the throttle throughout the turn. At the end of the turn roll on the throttle a little more and you are good to go.

­­­There’s a saying by George Morris that “if you’re not going to the hospital, you’re getting back on.” And, I eventually did.

Weighing your options

Posted in News By Fanatical Fulmer

Feb 8, 2018 3:17:50 PM

To some, motorcycles are a luxury - not a necessity. Although I disagree on that point, I do agree that buying a motorcycle, whether new or used, is a serious investment that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Buying the right motorcycle that’s also the perfect fit for your budget is an important process. There are­­­­ several major aspects to take into consideration, according to DMV.org, a great online site I found with a wealth of good information.

Here is a comparison of the differences between buying a new or used motorcycle. The perfect “fit” factor, however, depends on a few differences.

Buying a new motorcycle is best for:

  • New motorcycle riders
  • Those who are not mechanically inclined
  • Those interested in a specific type of bike
  • Those who want the newest technology or model available
  • Those wanting the comfort of reliability with a warranty

Buying a used motorcycle may be a good idea for:

  • Experienced riders or beginners who don’t want to worry about damaging a bike that's not already in perfect shape
  • Those with at least some understanding of motorcycle mechanics
  • Those looking for a good deal
  • No setup fees

No matter which you choose, the decison you make is the right decision for you.

 

Motorcycle vs. Car: Accidents can be prevented

Posted in News By Fanatical Fulmer

Feb 19, 2018 8:23:18 AM

 

In Robert M. Pirsig’s book, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values,” he offers an awesome description of the differences between riding in a car and riding on a motorcycle.

“In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame,” he says. 

“On a cycle the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.”

The sense of danger is also a bit more overwhelming, according to Walter Kern, who offers the following 10 tips to be safe on a motorcycle.

Pretend your invisible: Never assume drivers can see you. Odds are good, they don’t so take it upon yourself to always have an “out” in dangerous traffic situations.

Be an island: Leave space from other vehicles in front, back and to both sides of your bike when you’re out riding. Staying away from traffic gives you more time to think and respond to situations.

Predict your future: Anticipate trouble before it happens to avoid accidents.

Left turners: The No. 1 cause of death to motorcyclists is oncoming motorists turning left in front of them at intersections. Slow down before you enter any intersection, stay visible and have an escape route planned.

Ride your way: Don’t keep up with friends or ride faster than you are used to. Know your own personal limits.

Curves ahead: Take extra caution when taking curves that you can’t see around.

Road rage doesn’t help anyone: Calm down, slow down and collect your thoughts before reacting to a stressful situation.

Save tailgating for football: If someone is following you too closely either speed up or let them pass. Likewise, don’t tailgate the car in front of you. Oncoming drivers can’t see you.

Blinded by the light: Try not to ride your bike into the glare of the sun. Slow down, pull over, shield your eyes and look for an alternate route.

Don’t ride at night: Late Saturday night and early Sunday are the times drunken drivers are making their way home from the bars. Likewise, don’t drink and drive your bike. Find a designated driver.

Riding a motorcycle may the best thing in the world, but staying safe and protected is the only way you’ll be doing it well into the future. 

Say “Ah” – Spring is on its way

Posted in News By Fanatical Fulmer

Mar 5, 2018 10:59:13 AM

If you’re anything like me, you go in for a physical every year to find out what you did right, and mostly, what you need to improve on in regards to your health.

Just as we have a yearly check-up, our motorcycles also need a tune-up each season to increase the life of the bike, as well as to keep you safe on the road. It doesn’t matter if you ride long distances or simply use your bike for transportation.

Here’s a checklist of some of the things to examine on your motorcycle before giving it a clean bill of health:

✔ Wheels and tires: First, exam your tires for any cracks or other damages. Check the tread for depth. If your treads have worn down to the wear bars, it’s time to replace them. If the tread looks OK, check tire pressure and inflate tires according to your specifications. Also take a look at the valve stems to make sure they’re intact, and inspect your rims for dents or embedded items. Spin the wheels to make sure the bearings feel and sound good.

✔ Brakes: Check brake pads to make sure they are not too worn, or worn on one side. It’s best to replace them now. Make sure your rotors don’t have any signs of heavy grooving. They may also need to be replaced.

✔ Chain and sprockets: Check the tension of the chain. If it feels too loose, tighten it up. Keep the chain lubed up for a smooth ride.

✔ Fluid levels: Check the levels and quality of the engine oil, gear oil, shaft drive, hydraulic fluid, coolant and fuel. Replace or top-up fluids that need it. Likewise, check for leaks of these same fluids.

✔ Battery: Check the battery for corrosion. If you have any, it may be a good idea to get a new battery. If the old one looks fine, charge it up.

✔ Air filter: A clean air filter is a happy one. If it’s a stinky mess, replace it.

✔ Lights / signals: Try out the headlight, brake and turn signal lights to make sure they’re good to go. These precautions could save your life.

Finally, make sure your riding gear is up to par, with your helmet being most important. If you’re looking to replace or improve on your helmet, need gloves or a new jacket, give us a call and we’ll hook you up with a dealer.

My Chariot Awaits

Posted in News By Fanatical Fulmer

Mar 12, 2018 11:24:36 AM

I recently saw a quote on the movie site Fandango, that read: “Chariots are like the motorcycles of the ancient world: They’re lean, mean, tricky to control, and people look pretty epic riding them.”

I loved the quote, and typed it in to see who said it. Instead of finding that, I found multiple sites telling the story of motorcycle chariot racing, where people drove chariots with motorcycles taking the place of horses.

Chariots rolled through the Middle East for more than 1,000 years, but never did I imagine there was a sport that tied together motorcycling and chariots back in the 1920s and 1930s.

The make-shift chariots were constructed of wine barrels with automobile wheels attached. Motorcycles were attached in front. Ben Hur wannabes dressed in full roman-inspired garb were at the reins.

The first chariots used a single motorcycle manned by a driver. As the sport grew, chariots added multiple bikes and no longer used drivers.

Two or more motorcycles were connected to each another with a metal frame resembling the yoke that originally connected the chariot to the horse. The front forks were tied together with a steering linkage that shifted back and forth by the leather reins held by the driver. Changing gears was impossible.

I’m not sure if anyone still holds these types of races, but it would be awesome to see. As for being the helmsman of a chariot, I’ll leave that to the Ben Hur wannabes. Two wheels is all I need.

CycleFish: A biker-friendly website

Posted in News By Fanatical Fulmer

Mar 20, 2018 8:10:46 AM

From the Spring Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally in early May in Panama City Beach, FL to the 40th Annual Wing Ding at the end of August in Knoxville, TN, CycleFish has all the details you need for a great road trip to an awesome motorcycle event.

If you’re looking for a biker-friendly bar, a repair shop or a dealer you can trust, or even make friends, CycleFish can also help with that. It’s a one-stop biker and motorcycle network that’s available at the click of a button.

The site was founded in 2002, by Ron “Lucky” Schaefer, as a hobby website. “I have been riding a motorcycle my entire life, and really enjoyed attending as many motorcycle events as possible,” Schaefer said. “The problem was I could never find a complete list of motorcycle events - so I started one with CycleFish.com.”

In its infancy, CycleFish was no more than a list of events Schaefer and his wife found and listed as a resource for other riders. In 2009, the couple sold their share in the internet marketing company, and Schaefer became a home-based consultant.

“At that point, I gave CycleFish a complete makeover turning it into a social network for all bikers, riders and motorcycle enthusiasts as well as the resource it had become known as. Because of my internet marketing background, within the first six months CycleFish had become so popular that it became a legitimate business and my full time job, as well as for several other people.”

CycleFish allows users to meet other riders in their area and across the U.S. “They can share stories, humor, photos and more either publicly or with just their ‘friends’ here on CycleFish. Users can also post and promote their motorcycle events in our very popular motorcycle event calendar.”

Business users can post and promote events as well as list their businesses in the new Biker Friendly Places locator (Check out Fulmer’s new listing), and leave reviews and share photos. “In addition to our user generated content we do have editors who are constantly adding events and businesses, as well as helpful tips and news related to motorcycles,” Schaefer said.

Although you don’t have to be a member to access all the site’s great information, there are advantages to membership. A very large number of visitors use CycleFish as a resource and not a social network.

“The benefits of being a member include being able to share and socialize with other members, post events, join events, post in our forums, share reviews and photos on businesses, receive newsletters and more,” Schaefer said.

With more than 55,000 members, they are obviously doing things right. But they are not resting on their laurels, Schaefer said.

“We are constantly working on our site, improving it to make it more useful to the motorcycle community. We have several partnerships in the works as well as some great new features that will be released over the next couple of months.”

As for the name “CycleFish,” it’s the result of Schaefer’s inability to draw, and his most-often asked question.

“I wanted a name that, once heard, would be remembered and not easily confused with what I knew would eventually be a lot of motorcycle sites,” he said. “At the same time that I was thinking of a name I was also working on a logo. I was attempting to hand draw a cartoonish version of a custom bike I had in the late 70s that had fish-tail exhaust pipes and a bold front fender. A friend looked at my attempts and said, ‘that looks like a ‘fish cycle,’ and hence ‘CycleFish’ was born!  Of course I had a real artist turn my ‘fish cycle’ drawing into the logo you see today.”

CycleFish can be found at cyclefish.com.

 

 

Corners are the reward of riding

Posted in News By Fanatical Fulmer

Apr 9, 2018 1:00:44 PM

As a former driver and now motorcycle rider, I’ve always been both intrigued and scared of cornering. After all, my husband is no Valentino Rossi - a guy that can corner with the best of them. I’m in constant amazement how professional road racers like Rossi touch their knees to the track as they corner and not have the bike slide out from under them.

Back in the real world, the steps to successful cornering, according to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation are as simple as Slow – Look – Press – and Roll or SLPR.

Slow

As you’re approaching a curve, slow down using both brakes. What’s the right entry speed? It’s best explained as the speed that is slow enough for you to roll through the curve. All curves are different so it’s impossible to have a set speed. It’s something you develop and get a feel for.

Look

This may seem simplistic, but now’s the time to turn your head and nose and look in the direction you want the motorcycle to go. (Check out the attached picture as a reference.) Easy, but oh so important.

Press

To make a motorcycle turn, press on the grip in the direction you want to go. Press left grip – lean left – turn left. It’s really a very simple process.

Roll

The last step is to roll on the throttle throughout the corner. Wait until the bike is at the lean angle you want and pointed in the right direction before you start rolling on the gas. Make sure to do it as soon as possible once you have the bike turned. Every moment you wait in rolling on or maintain throttle throughout the curve and getting to the recommended 40/60 weight distribution, reduces your average speed through the turn and lessens your control and handling.

Applying and practicing this technique will give you a smooth, controlled ride that’s safer and more enjoyable.

Road trip 101

Posted in News By Fanatical Fulmer

Apr 13, 2018 9:15:05 AM

Have you ever been on a road trip when you see “the perfect picture,” only to later look at your smart phone and realize you totally missed the shot? I have. So I turned to Fulmer photographer Eric Miller for some advice. Eric has been a professional photographer for 35 years, and a member of the team here for nearly 3 years.

Eric’s first suggestion is to take a moment or two to look at all the angles of the scene you’re interested in shooting. “If you don’t want your pictures to look like everyone else’s, take time to look at what you are photographing before you photograph it. Find that spot that shows everything you want to show others. Don’t be afraid to lay down, kneel, tiptoe. Remember you are telling a story to the people who look at the finished product. What is it you want to say?”

Capture those moments by including friends and family who may be travelling with you in the shots. Don’t be afraid to take some photos spontaneously when they aren’t looking directly into the camera, Eric said.  “Planned and composed shots are nice, but natural smiles and reactions are often better when photographing people.”

Speaking of photographing people, try to have the light at their side, Eric said. “That way they won’t be squinting with full sun in their eyes or be a silhouette if the light is behind them.” He also said that the last couple hours before sunset and the first couple hours of daylight offer some of the best light for taking photographs - whether people or landscapes.

Use the rule of thirds for better composition. You don’t have to place your subject(s) dead center in every frame like a rifle scope. Try moving the subject to one side or the other. This will add depth to your images. –Also remember that you can take photos both vertically and horizontally. Turn your camera to get the best fit and composition.

Also, don’t be shy about taking shots. You traveled all that way, so take tons of pictures. You can later delete the ones you don’t like, as well as duplicates.

Finally, Eric said if you don’t need something in the photo, don’t show it. “Keep an eye open for branches sticking out of people’s heads or garbage cans in front of that beautiful view. Sometimes moving just an inch or two can make all the difference.”

I’d love to see some of your favorite shots. Maybe we’ll feature them in an upcoming article.

(Photo credit: Eric Miller)

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Mother Nature puts riding on hold

Posted in News By Fanatical Fulmer

Apr 17, 2018 12:12:03 PM

This past weekend in Green Bay, WI we experienced a blizzard – the biggest blizzard in 130 years, plopping 24.2 inches on the ground. It’s the largest total from a single event since 29 inches of snow fell in Titletown in 1888.

I never thought much about Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions in the past, mainly due to the fact he’s only correct about 39 percent of the time, according to Stormfax Almanac. But predicting on Feb. 2 that we would only be subjected to six more weeks of winter was just plain cruel. No wonder he hides out in a hole.

Although we received a dumping of snow, I’m not here only to dump on Phil. It’s mid-April, folks. It’s time for bonfires, finally putting away winter sweaters and as Chris Farley would say, for the love of God, riding our motorcycles!

Here in Wisconsin and other snow-drenched Midwestern locales, digging out may take a bit longer than anticipated, but there are a few things motorcyclists can do now to be ready the instant the first good riding day shows up. Dairyland Auto & Cycle Insurance offers these tips:

Plan

“It’s not as simple as pulling off the cover, turning the key, and taking off,” Dairyland says. “Planning starts with accessing your motorcycle riding readiness.”

The three main areas to evaluate include your motorcycle’s condition, your riding skills and knowledge and the condition of your riding gear. That way you’ll know where you stand and what needs to be done to get ready.

Schedule

Pull out your calendar and schedule a spring tune-up or repairs, if you’re not doing them yourself, and, if necessary, reserve a space in a rider education course.

 

Inspect

Give your motorcycle a thorough inspection, Dairyland says. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends a T-CLOCS Inspection before any ride, but especially after a motorcycle has been hibernating during a long winter. It includes:

  • Controls
  • Lights and electronics
  • Oil and other fluids
  • Chassis
  • Stand

It’s also a good time to check out the condition of your riding gear to see if it’s still safe to wear, and if it fits and is undamaged. If your helmet is damaged or is more than five years old it needs to be replaced, as recommended by the Snell Foundation, a leader in helmet safety in the United States and around the world.

Refresh

Even riders with years of experience will need to refresh their riding skills after a few months out of the saddle. Give yourself some time to get reacquainted with your bike. 

“Depending on how early you’re hitting the road after the snow is off the road, road conditions could be quite rough after a winter of freezing and thawing,” Dairyland says. “Ride with caution, watch your speed, and wear protective clothing in the event something unfortunate does takes place.”

Here in Wisconsin, I predict snow will be off the ground around May 1.

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