Friday, November 16, 2018

Bikers on Island ride to help children

Nanaimo B.C. (November 15, 2018) -- Motorcyclists who go by Reaper, Skar, Sparky and Skully, wear black hoodies bearing skulls and vests with patches of a clenched fist, are actually riding to help children – they’re members of Bikers Against Child Abuse International. BACA International was created in Utah in 1995 to help child victims of abuse overcome fear and form healthy lives.

The organization exists to “provide aid, comfort, safety, and support for children that have been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused,” according to its website, and now has chapters in 17 countries, including BACA’s Mid Vancouver Island chapter, formed in 2012. BACA deals with children age 2 to 18. The abuse must have been reported to police and it must be the parent or guardian of the abused child that contacts the club for its members to consider becoming involved with the child and the child’s family.

Bob (Sideshow) Parent, Bikers Against Child Abuse mid Vancouver Island chapter vice-president, left, Sarah (Skully) Smith, chapter child liaison and Tom (Motown) Goudreau, chapter president, right, with Boompa, third from right, Skar, Sparky and Reaper. BACA members go almost strictly by their road names to help protect the identities of children they work with. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin 

 “What we do is we work to empower kids that have been through abusive situations, that are feeling fearful in the world that they live in,” said Sarah (Skully) Smith, the mid Island chapter’s child liaison.

When BACA riders work with a child, they seek to become, in a sense, a family of big brothers and sisters to the child. Children under BACA’s watch can call on riders simply to be with them if they feel frightened at home. The riders can also escort children in their neighbourhoods, support the children at court and parole hearings and other situations the child might find frightening or overwhelming. “We’re very careful to make sure that we empower the children to find the strengths within themselves and don’t become their strength because that’s not our mission,” said Tom (Motown) Goudreau, BACA Mid Vancouver Island chapter president. “It’s about find the strength within them and then going forward with healing that comes beyond that.”

Goudreau said BACA riders work with tens of thousands of children worldwide and with all agencies in place to help children dealing with abuse. “Sometimes we’re working in the court system and we’re working with the victim services people … Every agency that’s there to help children, we’re aligned with … On the Island, we have a very active chapter. It’s unfortunate. Child abuse is epidemic in our view and there’s no shortage of children to help,” Goudreau said.

Goudreau, who is a father and grandfather, said he joined the organization because it combines the things he loves, children and motorcycles. He said BACA focuses strictly on the children it helps and is not a “creep catchers organization;” dealing with perpetrators is the job of the police and the courts and none of the club’s concern. “Our mission is narrow enough that we only deal with the children that live in fear,” Goudreau said. “Unfortunately where child abuse is concerned, a lot of them do live in fear … So we’re all about getting that child what they need moving forward to be able to heal and get on with a life and not have the trouble with drugs and alcohol and those kind of things that can happen when you don’t deal with this stuff.”

 Prospective members must pass criminal background checks and undergo extensive training to qualify to ride with the club. He said it’s important that people understand that BACA members are vetted and well-trained.

 “When they get through the criminal background check – and they’ve been around the club for months at that point – we start the training,” Goudreau said. “There are no less than 40 courses right now that everybody gets put through … to train to be around wounded children … We have real strict protocols to protect, not only us, but the children and families that we serve.” Privacy for the children the club helps and its members is paramount, so club members only refer to themselves publicly by their road names. Goudreau, Smith and chapter vice-president Bob Parent agreed to be identified for this article because they want families know they are there to help if needed.

 “We just want our communities around here to know about us, to know that we’re a resource that’s available to children in our area as well,” Smith said. To learn more about BACA International, click here.

SOURCE: Nanaimo News Bulletin

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Girl Power is alive at Thunder Beach, Florida

Pensacola, Fla (November 11, 2018) — Hundreds of bikers rolled into Pensacola for the re-scheduled Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally. Now more and more often, those bikers are women. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council the number of women riding motorcycles doubled between 1998 and 2015.

Christina Billings is a stunt rider, she says she vowed to never get on a motorcycle because they were too dangerous. A friend pressured her to ride on the back of one and she instantly fell in love. Within a month she had her own bike and immediately started practicing stunts.

Now "Chrashtina," as she calls herself, has been stunting for 7 years, traveling the country doing shows. She's also inspiring more women and even little girls to get behind the handle bars. She performed this weekend at Harley Davidson of Pensacola during the Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally.

Thunder Beach is held in Panama City Beach every year, but this year a smaller version of the rally moved to Pensacola because of the devastation left behind from Hurricane Michael.

The rally will move back to Panama City Beach next year.

Source: WKRG

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

[DE]CONSTRUCTED: Premier show features tear down of a 1974 HD Shovelhead

November 6, 2018 -- If you want to get to know something, tear it down. Not in the bullying, find-their-weakness sense. In the careful, solvent-soaked sense. That’s the approach Canadian-born motorcycle mechanic Matt Dawe took with the 1974 Harley Davidson “Shovelhead” motorcycle he recently bought in upstate New York and hauled back to his Brooklyn shop in the back of a friend’s van.

A [De]constructed Harley-Davidson Motorcycle

 In this premiere episode of WIRED’s new original series, [De]constructed, Dawe takes apart the 44-year-old bike piece by piece, starting with the seat. He washes each bit with kerosene to wipe away the grease and gunk, battles with stripped bolts, and only once resorts to the blunt force of the deadbolt hammer. By the end, the only thing sitting on his bench is the Harley’s naked frame.

The result is a 34-minute journey into the heart of the hog, at the end of which you’ll know a whole bunch more about motorcycles than you when the Shovelhead was intact. And don’t worry if you’re not into bikes or can’t keep up with such poetic jargon as “I’m moving the top nuts of the fork tubes so they can slide out of the triple-tree.” The true joy in this video is the lesson that modern machines are terrifically complex things, stuffed with compensator nuts, clutch baskets, derby covers, and more.

And after you’ve finished this one—it’s ok to watch it twice—check out more WIRED on our YouTube page, or on your very own television through our very own OTT channel.


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Harley uses Buell styling with electric motorcycle lineup

York, Pennsylvania (October 31, 2018) -- Harley-Davidson, once strictly a purveyor of gas-powered motorcycles, has decided to go electric. The manufacturer will continue to build internal combustion engines, while diversifying its portfolio with a selection of battery-operated motorcycles.

The first electric offering is the company's Livewire bike, which debuted as a prototype in 2014. Riders around the world were allowed to test drive the concept and their feedback were used to design the real deal.

New Harley-Davidson LiveWire

Full details regarding the production-version aren't available yet. What's known, however, is it will be built at Harley-Davidson's manufacturing facility in York, PA, and sales are set to begin in 2019. The first wave of LiveWire bikes will be offered only in North American and select parts of Europe.

As for the bike's styling, it's somewhere between traditional HD, and the company's sport line, Buell, which closed its doors in 2009.

In additional to LiveWire, five other all-electric bikes are slated for release in 2022. Rumor has it, two will be middleweight, and three will be lightweight (bicycle or scooter-sized).

Livewire's design came straight from Harley-Davidson's Product Development Center in Wisconsin. But to help build its electric onslaught, HD announced it will open a new research and development center in Silicon Valley. The West Coast and Midwest facilities will work together to create the zero-emissions lineup.

"This new facility will serve as a satellite for the Willie C. Davidson Product Development center in Wauwatosa, which is where I'm located," explained Sean Stanley, H-D's chief engineer for EV platforms in an article from SAE. "It will initially focus on EV research and development and it includes battery power electronics, e-machine design, development and advanced manufacturing."

"I will be working directly with the EV-systems team there, establishing an EV architecture and building blocks that can support many of the vehicles that we plan to bring to market. At the PDC in Wauwatosa, we'll take those building blocks — that the Silicon Valley center develops — through the product development cycle to prepare for commercially available vehicles."

Video of the New Electric Motorcycle

Harley Davidson recently celebrated its 115th anniversary, and quite frankly, the company needs something new. Demand for its motorcycles in the U.S. has declined drastically, causing sales to drop 13.3 percent for the quarter compared to last year.

There are various reasons for the drop in sales. In additional to the fact that HD has traditionally attracted an older clientele that's no longer riding, it also faces a new 25-percent tariff imposed by the European Union on U.S. motorcycles.

Despite the fact the company is struggling stateside, it's doing well internationally. Sales overseas are up 2.6, but still, the company needs to do something at home. LiveWire, and the rest of the electric lineup will hopefully stir up some excitement and get younger people riding.

"EV technology has a lot to offer in the area of new experiences and connections to the motorcycle and environment around you. Simplistic, twist and go riding [as] there's no shifting. Reducing the noise to focus more on the experience of riding. The instant torque, reduced maintenance. A bike that's easy to control for novice riders, all the way up to performance that intrigues experienced riders," Stanley states.

Here's hoping the innovative bike will breathe new life into a 115-year-old company.

SOURCE: Future Car
Story By: Mia Bevacqua