Page 1 of 4

AMA Women and Motorcycling Conference

Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:44 am
by coffee_brake
Hello ladies, I'm starting a new topic to hopefully tie up what we know so far.
There isn't much information yet, we know Harley/Buell are going to be the big hitters this time again but remember it's all makes/models type of conference and you'll meet riders the likes of which you've never seen.

I camped this area for a rally last summer and the accomodations for tenting campers were kind of...meh. BUT I'm willing to do it again because the conference is THAT COOL and worth attending.
The nearest camping for many miles is the state campground at Heaton Bay and it has no showers, you have to ride 1.5 miles to the recreation center in town and pay them $6 to use the shower. No big deal really, just extra time. Nice showers, though.

The hotels in this ski area are expensive. Cheapest I found was still $100/night. Camping is $20/night and a shower is another $6.
LionLady said she's getting a room, and there was talk of sharing rooms. Considering the price of camping plus a shower every day, going in on 1/2 or 1/3 or even 1/4 of a room is definately an option. Plus it can be a lot of fun and you get to know some more riders.

My vacation dollars are small but I've been saving for a long, long time for this conference and I'm planning on going.
Is anyone interested in sharing a room/campsite (2 can share a campsite)?

And, is anyone from the Southeast interested in riding out together (sharing a room or campsite and covering maybe 450-500 miles/day)? If you want to roll into Augusta the day before we all leave, I will have room for three in the house and many in the back yard, of course I'll provide dinner and breakfast.

So...anybody else?

Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:41 am
by blues2cruise
I've been checking the website but there doesn't seem to be any info yet......I clicked to get on the email list, but have received no news so far.

Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:14 am
by coffee_brake
Blues you are right, there is hardly any information.

For the last conference, I had a really wonderful and educational time. But what has changed that this time, there is hardly any information at all? I hope they jump on it soon, people are making vacation plans now!

Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:27 pm
by Lion_Lady
As I recall, there was little detailed information on the website (or anywhere) until Spring before the event. And then, it wasn't complete. Details were filled in as the date got closer.

I guess vendors, etc held off until they were "sure" the event was gonna be a win for them.


Posted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:13 pm
by MZ33
I am interested in sharing a room more than a campsite, but I could be convinced either way. I'm up in Columbus, Ohio, and I, too, could host travelers passing through.

Ahh, my husband and I go back and forth on me riding out there.
  • 1) I've never done a day-long ride yet, let alone a series of them to Colorado and back. Of course, I plan to rectify that come riding season.
    2) I experience a lot of hand vibration on the V-Star, although I might be able to address that with a thingamajig I saw on a website.
    3) The time investment is considerable and we have sooo much on our plate right now. (Which is why I have been absent from this site for so long--I'd rather ride or talk about riding than re-do the bathroom or remove adhesive from a hardwood floor, or paint, or . . . you get the idea. So I had to swear off all things motorcycle for a while.)
    4) He's very nervous about me going, even if I find a group to ride with. He believes he has put his foot down on my traveling solo--which I let him believe because I'm not sure I want to go solo for such a long ride, yet I am also worried whether I would hold up a group of more experienced riders if I were to tag along. I wouldn't think twice about driving there, but there's a lot more to it when riding.
And yeah, it's a little frustrating to have to wait for AMA to be forthcoming with more information. I want to test ride a whole bunch of bikes there, and I imagine I'll have to sign up in advance for that, won't I?

But I really, really want to go. And I want to go by bike. Thank goodness they aren't holding this in June; I have a lot of wrinkles to iron out in order to make this work!

Posted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:19 pm
by Lion_Lady
Yay!! MZ33!!

You've got time to "feel out" hubby as to his REAL worries about you riding solo. Could he simply be a bit jealous/worried that you don't need him? :wink:

My hubby has NO interest in going. I'll be hanging with my bikergal buds and he'll be a fifth wheel. Guess he's right.

As of now, I'm riding with an as yet to be determined assortment of friends - maybe only 2-3 others, maybe more than a dozen. Time will tell, along with vacation allotments, etc.

The current (still very fuzzy) plan is about 400-500 miles a day, each way. Four days of riding, from Baltimore, MD. We're not making any en-route hotel reservations. Will pick as we ride, based on how we feel.

Columbus is on our way...

When I took my daughter to the last rally, we were on our own, but kept in touch with another gal who was travelling from MD, as we went, via text message.


Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:38 pm
by MZ33
Thanks, LionLady!

Hubby isn't the jealous type--of anything. It's more worry about safety than anything. To be honest, if he were to attempt the same thing, I'd worry, too. (Especially since he's even more newb than I am :wink: )

Y'know, depending on your crowd and accomodation preferences, I can host some or all of you, or help you find a place to stay. And of course, you and your crew are invited to dinner (or whatever food time-of-day it is) at our humble abode. Heck, the neighborhood bikers would be thrilled to have the Ladies rumble in. One of our neighbors, Brian, actually does bike design/engineering. Rides Ducati. Eddie has a Sportster, 2 dirt bikes, and a Royal Enfield that is patiently waiting restoration efforts. And then there's Drew and Katie, with the Newfoundlands "Harley", "Norton", and a new pup with a bike name that I cannot recall. (Pretty sure it isn't "Moto Guzzi", though. :D ) They have a biiig Harley Tourer.

Even if I end up not able to go, the hosting offer stands. In a worse-case-scenario, and I don't have a riding group go with me, if you would be willing to be my contact so that there is someone within a half-day's ride or some such, that would be most reassuring. If I can keep up with you, I'll be thrilled. And I plan to join MoTow or whoever it is through AMA, just in case.

Boy, if I listen to me, it sure sounds like I'm going, doesn't it!! :laughing:

And, if you're coming my way, coffee, the offer applies to you, too!

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:45 pm
by SCgurl
Man, I wanna go-but I'm in the same boat as MZ. I'm still a newb. And the vibrations above 60MPH are a killer on the S40.

Heck, I haven't even taken the road test yet for my full license. That is coming up shortly though.

And BF is doing the same freak out thing about me riding that far solo. Although I definitely think there's a touch of jealousy going on.

This is not a hard sell, but I need to find a way to dampen the thumper vibrations to make it more tolerable....

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:34 pm
by MZ33
Well, SC, if I find a thingy to dampen handlebar vibrations, I will let you know. I know I came across one once, but I guess I didn't bookmark it. It had rubberized mounts, or something.

I'll probably look into the local Women On Wheels chapter, to see if anyone is going.

I mentioned my plans to guys at the mc shop that does most of my work, and got a very definite "no" as a response. I thought they meant that my bike won't go the distance, but they were concerned about riding through Kansas. They said it is 8 hours of droning flatness and steady winds that can get up to 50mph for a couple of hours at a stretch. They recommended that I trailer my bike to the border, find someone who will keep my truck & trailer, and then ride to Colorado from the Kansas border. It's a thought.

Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:03 am
by blues2cruise
MZ33.....I rode my 650 V-Star for 12 days on a road trip all the way from Vancouver BC to San Francisco Ca via the Oregon Coast and then back up inland via Crater Lake near Bend and then back through the Columbia Gorge, Olympia Wa and then home again. The bike was also loaded with all my gear.

I recommend a throttle rocker for the long highway stretches. You could also try a pair of gel palmed gloves to see if they would help reduce the vibrations you feel.

I have never had a problem with the vibrating unless it gets to a speed I have no business getting to. :mrgreen:

Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:46 am
by Lion_Lady
Feh. :roll: We don't HAVE to ride through Kansas. We don't have to do the interstate through Kansas. However, the interstate will get us through the quickest. I'll admit that that stretch is the one that I'm a bit concerned about. But I've ridden in TORRENTIAL rain on the highway, with my daughter on the back of my bike. It's about being aware and prepared. Mental toughness is probably the key. Don't let it freak you out, and you can do it.

Just because the guys don't think its a good idea... who cares? Probably won't be a lot of fun. But getting through it, and looking back, having DONE it, is priceless.


Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:31 pm
by MZ33
Yeah, I'm not really going to let Kansas stop me. But it does remind me that I want to prep for that kind of thing. "That kind of thing" being my eloquent reference to the nitty-gritty considerations that, being a novice to riding in general and distance in particular, I may not think of on my own.

On the hubby front, I believe he is now on the page with me. I could see him put his problem-solving hat on as he considered how to address our ignorance about such matters as the winds of Kansas. Also, the 2nd bike in our family, yet to be purchased, will take these kinds of trips into account.

As for my vibrations on the V-Star, Blues, I wonder if a) the narrower tire on the Custom makes any difference than your Classic, b) my bike has a mystery history as I bought it used from a dealer who got it from his Florida dealership, so it may not be in the best shape, or c) I'm just really sensitive to vibrations and the like in my hands. I was not expecting it, because almost no one complains of that type of problem in riding. But, after an hour or more out on the expressway, it really bothers me. Maybe it is a fatigue issue. I already have a throttle rocker.

I will work it out, somehow. Even if not for Colorado, for all the other trips I want to take!!

Posted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:09 am
by coffee_brake
As per vibrations in the hand grips:

I truly believe it gets better as you become more relaxed and don't grip the bars so tight. The single-cylinder Savage is definately going to vibrate more, but a throttle rocker ($11) and a pair of gel gloves will help a lot. And so will willing yourself to not grip the bars so hard. It doesn't help, you know, it only makes the steering more stiff and difficult because you're fighting your whole upper body when you clench the grips like that.

I did it too, it took a good while of riding to stop doing it. Even now if I'm worried I grip. Like tonight, it was pea-soup fog and my back and arms are tight from a 20-minute ride because I was on high alert the whole time and didn't relax at all. Yes yes yes, be aware always but you gotta not tense up like that.

I'm pretty sure the SV650 should not be causing pain in the hands. About all that's left (and these are easy to check) is, are there rubber dampers holding the handlebar clamps, that need to be replaced? Or, are the wheels balanced properly? unbalanced wheels will vibrate through your hands like that. Easy to check, cheap and easy to fix.

Thank you MZ! Let's see...does Ohio get me out of going through Kansas again? :wink:

Kansas is nothing to freak out about. It's really beautiful in the East part, off the freeway.
In sprintime it was, anyway, when I crossed it. I was mostly on the freeway and yes it was tiring, but I had some music in the helmet and there *is* stuff to look at, but by the time you reach it, you've been looking at it for 30 minutes!
I just took a few breaks, drank water and ate lunch throught the helmet, and moved around on the saddle a lot, as usual. My big Concours is a veritable sailboat of a bike. But the wind was no trouble. Really, the flat dull part of Kansas is only what, 6-7 hours? Not even a whole day.

Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:14 am
by MZ33
Thanks, coffee-brake! I kind of doubt I grip too hard--used to ride horses a lot, and you get over that in a hurry, especially if they are young or well-tuned. But, someday, ages from now, when the weather improves :( , I'll review. And when I take the ERC, I'll ask the instructors to keep an eye peeled for it.

I'm interested in the rubber dampers. I will check them as soon as she comes back. The roads cleared briefly on Friday, so I took her down the the guys at the shop, who will clean the carbs, inspect the valves, stuff that the 8,000 mile checkup need.

And Sunday, I went and sat on the new 950 V-Star. Perfect, perfect, perfect. If this weren't it's first year of production, I'd give it serious consideration. Ah, well. I'm still interested in getting the 650 "right." Once my husband rides a little more, maybe he'll take it out for longer distances and see if the vibration bothers him at all. That'll be a clue.

Thanks so much for all the help, everyone!! I've started my AAA Triptik, and am investigating bluetooth thingies as well. :D (Me singing: "I'm going to Colorado, I'm going to Colorado!!)

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:59 pm
by Lion_Lady
Okay. It looks like I'm the only one nuts enough to plan to get 1700 miles in 4 days. The other ladies I'd figured on joining me on the trip are either spending 7 days to get there (I don't have vacation, have to take time off from work) or not going at all.

So. I may be riding solo. I can't expect any of you new riders to keep up with me, but I'll surely welcome company if I can get it.


Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:00 pm
by coffee_brake
Sheesh, that's only 425 miles per day, a good easy pace. Maybe I can meet up with you on the second day or something and finish it out with you...if you can stand to be seen with a lowly Kawasaki!


Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:23 pm
by SCgurl
Kinda OT:

coffee_brake, thanks for the gel glove/throttle lock suggestion! The gel gloves actually helped me to relax my hands and arms a bit more, as I think I was gripping too hard due to the vibrations (feeling like I would lose my grip). I had to wait for the weather to clear enough to get out for a few hours to try it!

It's still not comfortable over 60, though. The vibrations kinda work their way up my spine. BF was concerned about a trip that long without having done a decent-length run alone regionally, so I decided to try an I-26 run towards Columbia. That's when I really started to feel the limits of the bike (speed limit is 70, and traffic tends to move much faster). I got as far as Ridgeville before it just got to be too much.

I swapped rides with a bunch of really wonderful friends for the same run (Sportster, '75-ish BMW, Meanstreak, Road King, C50T, etc.). They all said the same thing about the vibration-it's not just me. It's great for commuting in the city, but not so much for the interstate. And I noticed a HUGE difference on the other bikes.

Without getting too long-winded, I think I'm going to skip the AMA women's conference this year and wait until I've got another season under my belt before I try a cross-country trip. I think we're doing the OBX bike week as a start :D

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:46 pm
by Lion_Lady
coffee_brake wrote:Sheesh, that's only 425 miles per day, a good easy pace. Maybe I can meet up with you on the second day or something and finish it out with you...if you can stand to be seen with a lowly Kawasaki!
I don't care what yer ridin, Hon!! :laughing: It will be nice to have company!


Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:38 pm
by dr_bar
SCgurl wrote: That's when I really started to feel the limits of the bike (speed limit is 70, and traffic tends to move much faster). I got as far as Ridgeville before it just got to be too much.
Sorry to interupt here, but have you thought of bar dampeners? the link below is an example...

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:56 pm
by Johnj
The Bar Snake wrote:The Bar Snake eliminates harmonic resonate frequencies that eminate from cyclic engine vibrations that are transmitted through the vehicle frame to the handlebars. The Bar Snake damps out these resonate vibrations because the polymer of the Bar Snake has a low hysterisis factor, which means that the polymer doesn't transmit vibrations.