06th

Riding Tips May 2017

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By Diane Ortiz – President and founder of the Big Apple Motorcycle School

It was a lovely Spring Day…

On Saturday we were out running a few errands on our motorcycles. It was a lovely Spring day and my friend and I wanted to take advantage of the good weather.

I am still very new to riding – only 650 miles under my belt. Well, while we were on the highway my bike lost total power. I was following my friend and had no way of letting him know my bike died. (Continue Reading)

May 06th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
11th

The Helmet Controversy

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The Helmet Controversy

By Diane Ortiz – President and founder of the Big Apple Motorcycle School

On Facebook and other social media there is still controversy over helmet types and use. There are some that swear by the minimum “skid lid” saying that they feel confined by a full-face helmet. Others, myself included, wear a full-face, high-quality helmet all the time and feel naked without it.  Both sides often feel strongly that their choice is the best. So what influences a person’s choice regarding helmet use?

Risk is an ever-present element of motorcycle riding.  It’s a given. Life is also a risk and we do things every day, often without a second thought, to minimize that risk. We wear appropriate clothing when it’s cold out, brush our teeth to avoid cavities, don’t drink and drive, wear our seat belts and keep our vehicles in good running condition. Head injuries are still the number one reason motorcyclists die in crashes.  Wearing a helmet is still the number one way to minimize that risk. But often riders wear helmets that have very little crash protection or don’t wear any at all in states that don’t require it. (Continue Reading)

Mar 11th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
07th

Group vs. Solo Riding

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_Ortiz Big Apple Motorcycle SchoolBy Diane Ortiz – President and founder of the Big Apple Motorcycle School

Group vs. Solo Riding

On a recent cross-country trip with a large group, many riders decided to divide up into smaller groups or even ride alone. The multiple large groups sometimes swelled to 20-25 riders, plus lead and tail riders. We also had a ride leader in the middle if there was one available. This worked out pretty well for the first few days. But then we found that people were asking for alternate routes to the daily destination so they could go on their own and meet us there at the end of the day. I asked them why they wanted to go alone, or in a smaller group and got a variety of answers. (Continue Reading)

Feb 07th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
10th

Endless Possibilities

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_Ortiz Big Apple Motorcycle SchoolBy Diane Ortiz – President and founder of the Big Apple Motorcycle School

This month I was going to write about new beginnings, New Year’s resolutions. As you read this the holidays are just about over and we’re left with a few months to contemplate what we did or didn’t do last year and what we want to accomplish in the year ahead. For those interested in adventure the possibility of motorcycling in Cuba is available to almost everyone.  There are now regularly scheduled flights direct from New York, or through Miami. No need to piggyback with a charter or educational group. Just hop online and buy a ticket. A number of touring companies have scheduled trips there as well including Women’s Motorcycle Tours who have scheduled a 9-day trip in March including bike rental for women riders led by professional women tour guides. (Continue Reading)

Jan 10th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
07th

It’s Your Choice

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_Ortiz Big Apple Motorcycle SchoolBy Diane Ortiz – President and founder of the Big Apple Motorcycle School

This month’s column was supposed to be a happy holidays, upbeat article. Instead I can’t stop thinking about how very tenuous life is. Last month a very talented, smart, much admired and dedicated former colleague died in a motorcycle crash. He was in his early seventies. The local paper reported that he “lost control of his bike for an unknown reason and was thrown from it after the vehicle left the roadway.” (Continue Reading)

Dec 07th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
10th

Get a Grip

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_Ortiz Big Apple Motorcycle SchoolGet a Grip

A frequent complaint of riders is forearm fatigue and other hand/wrist/arm discomfort. There is a medical explanation for this according to the Mayo Clinic. “Hand numbness is usually caused by damage, irritation or compression of one of the nerves or a branch of one of the nerves in your arm and wrist.” (Continue Reading)

Nov 10th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
07th

5 Things you should buy for your new bike

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_Ortiz Big Apple Motorcycle SchoolThe First 5 Things you should buy for your new bike

So you finally took the plunge and bought a new bike. Congratulations!  There are hundreds of accessories you can buy to make it your own. But there’s no need to go “hog-wild” buying everything in sight right away!  Buying too much now might mean restricting your flexibility later (those orange flames really don’t go with everything).  However, there are a few must-haves every new rider should add to their shopping list. (Continue Reading)

Oct 07th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
10th

Creating a Pre-Trip Journal

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Creating a Pre-Trip Journal

High on the bucket list for many riders is a cross-country motorcycle trip, either alone or with a group of friends. Usually the envisioned route includes specific, meaningful-to-you destinations like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, Ohio, historic U.S. Route 66, etc. Whether this is a ride you are planning to take in the next few weeks or sometime in the future, a great way to start enjoying and preparing for the adventure right now is to create a pre-trip journal and/or folder to gather relevant info. (Continue Reading)

Sep 10th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
07th

How to Choose a Touring Windshield

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_Ortiz Big Apple Motorcycle SchoolWith the upcoming Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle Ride the opportunity came up to install a touring windscreen on my bike for the trip, which took off from Brooklyn, NY on July 4th. I’ve owned many bikes over the years and most of them have been “naked” with minimal or no windscreen, which was fine with me. I always wear a full-face helmet and liked the breeze, but lately I’ve been finding that at higher speeds the constant buffeting by the wind has become annoying and noisy. (Continue Reading)

Aug 07th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
10th

Extended Motorcycle Trip

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_Ortiz Big Apple Motorcycle SchoolGetting ready for an extended motorcycle trip can be daunting. As a Ride Leader for the Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle Ride, I need to stay comfortable with minimum hassle for about three weeks as we travel from Brooklyn, NY to San Francisco, CA. Unlike Adeline and Augusta Van Buren, who traveled cross country on heavy, Indian Powerplus motorcycles in the summer of 1916 with a minimum of equipment, men’s aviator-style gear and heavy Indian Powerplus bikes (see www.sistersmotorcycleride.com). (Continue Reading)

Jul 10th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
09th

GPS for Motorcycles

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_Ortiz Big Apple Motorcycle SchoolFinding Your Way Using GPS for Motorcycles

By Diane Ortiz – President and founder of the Big Apple Motorcycle School

I have a very bad sense of direction. My claim to fame is getting us lost in 2 blocks on a Poker Run many years ago. Things improved when I started using my Smartphone as a navigation system. I kept it in my jacket pocket, but the phone got hot and the battery would drain quickly as it searched for wifi connections along my route. I thought I’d solved the problem by hooking up an elaborate system on my 2014 BMW F700GS to connect my phone to the bike battery by way of the BMW plug on the tank, but the complicated, multiple-plug hookup soon became a chore. What to do! (Continue Reading)

Jun 09th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
09th

Learning to Ride

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_Ortiz Big Apple Motorcycle SchoolBy Diane Ortiz – President and founder of the Big Apple Motorcycle School

Your friend, a non-rider, goes with you to a local motorcycle dealer to get some parts you need. They know nothing about bikes but think riding is “cool.” While you’re there, he (or she) decides to buy a bike on the spot. They’ve never ridden before and know very little about motorcycling except that they know you ride. They buy a bike like yours, and expect you to teach them everything you know! You find this out after they buy the bike. Then you tell them they better get some training because you’re not teaching them to ride on their (or your) $20K, 1300+ cc, 800 lb. motorcycle. (Continue Reading)

May 09th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
07th

Riding Tips April 2016

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_Ortiz Big Apple Motorcycle SchoolSpring is here! And so are the motorcycle rides that benefit a myriad of charitable organizations and clubs. There are so many of these events that you could probably schedule one for every free day you have available! These can be a fun way to meet other riders and as a bonus, contribute to a good cause. Many beginning riders are drawn to these events for just that reason and may not realize the high level of skill that is needed to successfully and safely ride with a large group. (Continue Reading)

Apr 07th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
05th

Riding Tips & Tricks March 2016

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_Ortiz Big Apple Motorcycle SchoolBy Diane Ortiz – President and founder of the Big Apple Motorcycle Schoo

The Challenges and Adventure of Long Distance Travel

Imagine what it would have been like to go cross-country one hundred years ago. Think of the difficulties you would have encountered then! There was no system of paved roads and interstates like we have today. No GPS to map your route or show you where you are and where to go. (Continue Reading)

Mar 05th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
08th

Women Riders

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Diane Big Apple SchoolMake Way For Women Riders!

By Diane Ortiz – President and founder of the Big Apple Motorcycle School

Motorcycle ownership by women has doubled in the past decade! Today there are more female riders than ever according to the latest Motorcycle Industry Council owner survey. Women account for 14 percent of all U.S. motorcycle owners, well up from the 8 percent reported in 1998. (Continue Reading)

Feb 08th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
09th

What Does Your Brain See?

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_Ortiz Big Apple Motorcycle SchoolBy Diane Ortiz – President and founder of the Big Apple Motorcycle School

What Does Your Brain See?

The off-season is a good time to work on your perception and cognitive skills. Visual Perception is the ability to interpret information from the effects of visible light reaching the eye. We see images as a whole rather than in parts. However, images can be broken down into their visual elements: line, shape, texture, and color. These elements are to images as grammar is to language. Together these elements allow our eyes to see full images and our brain to recognize them. (Continue Reading)

Jan 09th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
10th

Holiday Gifts for Motorcyclists

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_Ortiz Big Apple Motorcycle SchoolBy Diane Ortiz – President and founder of the Big Apple Motorcycle School

Santa often needs a bit of help this time of year finding just the right gift for the motorcycle enthusiast. Here are a few suggestions to put on your list (hint – casually leave list in a conspicuous spot for Santa to find). We’ve used the $ to indicate price range, similar to the ratings used in restaurant reviews. One $ means inexpensive (under $50) to $$$ (over $400) (Continue Reading)

Dec 10th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
11th

Finesse on a Motorcycle

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_Ortiz Big Apple Motorcycle SchoolFinesse

Finesse on a motorcycle is the hallmark of MotoGP racers Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. They maneuver smoothly and seemingly effortlessly through a series of increasing and decreasing radius turns at speeds of more than 100 mph, often with other racers in close proximity. These pros are at the top of their game and consistently win races. Their polish, skillfulness and artistry are honed to perfection. (Continue Reading)

Nov 11th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
13th

What’s Your Comfort Zone?

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_Ortiz Big Apple Motorcycle SchoolBy Diane Ortiz – President and founder of the Big Apple Motorcycle School.<

There are those who covet the latest and greatest and those who prefer to stay with the basics. A simple helmet (full-face, but no Bluetooth or radio), good basic motorcycle gloves, protective jacket/pants and motorcycle boots and they’re off. (Continue Reading)

Oct 13th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading
10th

Conquering Your Fears

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_Ortiz Big Apple Motorcycle SchoolBy Diane Ortiz – President and founder of the Big Apple Motorcycle School.

Cloverleaf entrances and exits off major roadways can be challenging, even for the experienced rider. It’s hard to judge where to position yourself if you can’t see around the curve. If you’re too far to the inside right on an exit ramp that curls and banks upwards, you’ll have to make a sharper turn. Taking the middle track may be better at least until you can see through the turn, but probably a better position would be further to the outside left of the lane. You should avoid getting too close to the shoulder where there could be debris. (Continue Reading)

Sep 10th by Full Throttle NY NE Magazine Continue Reading