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My sister asked me recently what kind of motorcycle Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) I would recommend. She doesn't ride, but her 80+-year-old father-in-law still does – he's logged 500,000 cross-country miles the last eight years on his Harley Ultra Classic.

I loved the question. I'm a firm believer that all bikes should be equipped with this life-saving technology. I've represented numerous clients who experienced catastrophic tire failure due to slow tire leakage that started during a ride. Many of these people checked their tire pressure religiously and some had even checked the tire pressure within 100 miles of the tire failure. Slow leakage can arise from a tire manufacturing defect, a leaky valve stem, small cracks in the rim, or picking up road hazards such as a nail. The only defense against such a scenario is TPMS.

I went on the internet so I could send her a link to my favorite system, made by Orange Electronics and installed on both my Harley and Suzuki, but I found it's no longer available. So I researched what else I would recommend.

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It's dangerous out there! Just in case you need proof, here are the latest available statistics on motorcycle crashes. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS):

  • In 2009 (the latest year data are available), 4,281 people died in motorcycle crashes, down 16 percent from 2008 but still accounting for 13 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2009.
  • 56 percent of fatally injured motorcycle drivers were wearing helmets.
  • People over 40 now account for over half of all motorcycle deaths (54 percent).

Causes of motorcycle crashes

It's important that motorcyclists understand the causes of most motorcycle accidents, so he or she can watch for these situations and take special precautions to reduce their level of risk. We also note some liability issues involved with different accident causes.

  • Crashes between motorcycles and other vehicles account for 56% of motorcycle accident deaths. Nearly 80% of the time, the car strikes the motorcyclists head-on or from the side. Only 5% of the time does the car strike the motorcyclist from behind.
  • The single most dangerous situation for a motorcyclist is when cars are making a left- hand turn and 1) the motorcycle rider is going straight through an intersection, 2 is) trying to pass the car, or 3) is trying to overtake the car. Usually, it's the driver who is found at fault for not noticing the motorcyclist. However, if the motorcyclist is speeding or in the wrong lane, he or she legally may share the blame.
  • Motorcycles try to pass cars within the same lane, which can startle drivers.
  • Splitting lanes (driving between lanes of cars), which greatly reduces maneuverability of the motorcyclist and surprises drivers. If an accident occurs, liability depends on whether that state permits lane-splitting, what the police officer and judge think about lane splitting, and what the vehicle and the motorcyclists were doing right before the accident occurred.
  • Motorcycle speeding & alcohol use is involved in about half of all motorcycle accidents. A motorcycle rider who has been drinking or speeding will find it hard to argue that anyone else was at fault in an accident.
  • Collisions between motorcycles and fixed objects account for about 25% of motorcycle deaths.
  • Supersport and sport motorcycles both tend to attract younger drivers, who also tend to have more accidents. The death rate among riders of supersport motorcycle accidents is four times that of riders of conventional motorcycles. The death rate among riders of sport motorcycles is two times that of conventional motorcycle riders.

Motorcyclists are far more vulnerable to serious injury and death than anyone in a vehicle. We urge you to take these simple steps can help reduce that risk:

  • Do not drink and ride
  • Do not speed
  • When approaching an intersection, stay out of the left-hand lane
  • Approach cars as if you were invisible to them
  • Focus attention 100% of the time on what is around you (which means, don't ride when you are tired, angry or distracted)
  • Take a defensive driving course for motorcyclists every few years to stay sharp

Posted on in Motorcycle News

Year

Make

Model

NHTSA Campaign IDs

2013Can-AmSpyder RT13V386000
2013Can-AmSpyder ST13V386000
2012Cam-AmSpyder RS12V582000
2012Cam-AmSpyder RT12V582000
2011Cam-AmSpyder RS12V582000
2011Cam-AmSpyder RT12V582000
2011Can-AmRoadster Spyder RT SM511V081000
2010Cam-AmSpyder RS12V58100012V582000
2010Can-AmRoadster Spyder RS SE510V232000
2010Can-AmRoadster Spyder RT12V159000
2010Cam-AmSpyder RT12V582000
2010Can-AmRoadster Spyder RT SE510V23200009V473000
2010Can-AmRoadster Spyder RT SM509V473000
2009Cam-AmSpyder GS12V58100012V582000
2009Cam-AmSpyder Roadster09V162000
2009Cam-AmSpyder RS12V582000
2008Cam-AmSpyder GS12V58100012V582000
2008Cam-AmSpyder Roadster09V16200007V561000

Posted on in Motorcycle News
NHTSA Campaign IDComponentManufacturerRecall DateUnits Potentially Affected
16E008000EquipmentHelmet City, Inc.2/04/2016900

Defect Summary

Helmet City, Inc. (HCI) is recalling certain model 100 motorcycle helmets, sizes Medium and X-Large, both in Gloss Black, manufactured from December 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013. The affected helmets may not be strong enough to adequately protect a user's head in an impact. As such, these helmets fail to comply with the impact attenuation and penetration requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 218, “Motorcycle Helmets.”

Consequence Summary

The wearer of the helmet may not be adequately protected in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of serious injury.

Corrective Summary

HCI will notify owners and will provide a replacement model 100 helmet, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact HCI customer service at 1-888-550-3731. HCI's number for this recall is 100 XL/M (Dec 2013).
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