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May 2010 Vol 10 - No 5 PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 18 May 2010 08:21
Article Index
May 2010 Vol 10 - No 5
Bike of the month Contest
ISRA News: Two new Constellations aboard!
Motorcycle Diaries: Lakes & Mountains
Tech Talk: Loud Pipes
Globalizer: Sao Paulo Star Riders of ISRA
Pic of the Month: Guided by Rainbows
All Pages

Editor’s Letter: Pull back the Curtain

 

By Anton Popov,

Star Cruiser Co-Editor,

Star Riders Russia

 

On April, 19 I came back home to Moscow from a business trip to South Korea. I was scheduled to arrive three days earlier, but was delayed by the eruption of the volcano in Iceland (I could never spell it’s name and it is so long it does not even fit into the copy/paste buffer J). So I spent three days hopping between airports: Seoul, Beijing, Abu Dhabi and Cairo as the organizers of this trip did their best to get us home. Flights to Moscow were cancelled one by one, airports were in complete chaos, people were confused and annoyed…

 

I love travelling, but for various reasons this was one of the few occasions I wanted to get home ASAP. Still, after a while I decided to stop being nervous and to use this unique opportunity to watch so many people in a difficult situation. There they were: Americans and Arabs, Japanese and Chinese, Russians and Nigerians… All packed in the airport halls, all trapped in uncertainty, starving, thirsty, sleeping on the terminal floors next to each other…

 

The thing that stunned me most was that all these absolutely different people handled this mess in an absolutely similar way. They learned to be good neighbors, to be polite and helpful even when they could hardly understand each other’s languages. “I lived most of my life behind the Iron Curtain”, my Grandfather told me one day. – “But you, boy, are so lucky”. Indeed, there is more than the Soviet Iron Curtain at work most of the time. Curtains stronger than iron lie deep inside our minds: pride and prejudice, blame and disbelief… you name it. Seeing those curtains break, even under tough circumstances, makes me feel real lucky. Because global family is what we are – be it ISRA or a crowd of tired people in the airport terminal.

 

Let us just remember that.


Bike of the month Contest

 

By Ben Harper

 

I have some exciting news for every member of the ISRA!

 

Beginning this month, May, the ISRA will hold a “Bike of the Month” contest. The winner each month will receive a limited-edition ISRA designer belt buckle from the Council, in recognition of your efforts on your bike.

 

Contestants will need to send in a short description of their bike, with pictures, and a list of any modifications that don’t show: performance modifications, suspension upgrades, etc. You don’t need to be a writer, just send in the facts and we’ll write it up.

 

Non-winners will “roll over” to the next month, so if you don’t win, you will be re-entered. Also, if you submit your bike, and it doesn’t win, and you make further changes in your bike, then re-submit the upgraded bike, so we can judge your bike as it is.

 

We hope this will encourage more members to submit their machines for consideration. So if your bike is stock-  almost-stock or heavly modified, we want you pictures. If you have a good story to accompany your bike send that in too. So, members of ISRA, send us your pictures and your stories; everyone has a chance to win.

 

Here are the rules -

 

1) One picture per member. Picture should be no larger than 800 pixels wide and in .jpg format.
2) Email your pictures to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it containing the following information.
Senders full name, ISRA membership number and home mailing address. A short story about the bike, info to include if it is stock or not. A list of any modifications, paint, chrome, engine etc. The picture will not be entered into the contest unless the info is provided.
3) Pictures are to be submitted during the first 14 days of any month to be eligible for next months Bike of the Month award. Example - pictures received within the first 14 days of May will be eligible for June Bike of the Month. Any pictures received after the 14 day period will be eligible for the next following edition.
4) Submissions will be voted on by all I.S.R.A. Council members and the winner notified by email.
5) All pictures submitted that don't win Bike of the Month will be eligible for the next months contest so you don't have to enter more than once.
6) Winners of Bike of the Month will receive a Limited Edition Belt Buckle and their story posted in Star Cruiser E-Zine. LE Belt Buckles are limited in supply. Once the supply is gone, another prize will be awarded at I.S.R.A. Councils discreation.
7) All pictures submitted for Bike of the Month contest become the property of the I.S.R.A. and may be used in any promotional material as needed with appropriate credits of owners name and membership number.

 

 


 

ISRA News: Two new Constellations aboard!

ISRA Connies emerge in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Pennsylvania, USA

 

On April 20, 2010 the Council of the International Star Riders Association approved the Charters for two new Constellations. One is Sao Paulo Star Riders of the ISRA and the other is Steel City Star Riders of the ISRA, located in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Western Pennsylvania, USA respectively. Both new Constellations received a unanimous positive vote and a welcome from the Council. The ISRA Council members said that creation of two new Constellations makes a valuable addition to the global ISRA family and would hopefully trigger even more Connies emerging in different parts of the world.

 


 

Motorcycle Diaries: Lakes & Mountains

A ride in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, USA

 

Submitted by the Western Star Riders of the ISRA

 

Our first ride is to Mount Evans, located in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Starting in Denver, we meet at Coyote Motorsports, the sponsor for the Western Star Riders of the ISRA and a truly wonderful supporter of the ISRA. If you find yourself in the Denver area, stop in and say hello. The owner, Dave Wagner, is a longtime Yamaha enthusiast and employee, and is always ready with a welcoming hand and plenty of information about Star motorcycles.

 

From there, it’s a brisk ride up the winding interstate, I-70, which stretches from Southeastern Utah to the city of Indianapolis, home of the Indianapolis 500, an historic car race. This is a fast ride through winding curves at speeds that test the bravest street rider. At 75 MPH, you get a thrill in every turn, and it is indeed relaxing when you finally exit the vast expanse of tarmac.

 

On the way out of Idaho Springs

 

At the Idaho Springs exit, you turn off the interstate onto State Route 103, Also known as Chicago Creek Road, the winding road that leads to Echo Lake, one of the many beautiful mountain lakes with which this area is blessed.

 

At Echo Lake, there is a quaint store that offers food, drink, and souvenirs, a good place to stop and take a rest. The scenery is breathtaking; be sure to take a heavy coat, because the temperature drops precipitately as you go up in altitude.

 

EchoLake

 

From there, the road goes into tight twisting curves, narrowing and winding up the mountain. At over 12,000 feet, you approach Summit Lake, a crystal clear pond as cold as ice. It sits at the foot of Bristlecone Trail, a pretty, short walk in crisp mountain air.

 

SummitLake

 

Bristlecone Trail (a stroll at 12,000 ft)

 

Leaving Summit Lake, The road becomes narrower and even more twisty, finally turning into a lane-and-a-half, dirt road that challenges even the most experienced rider, dodging tourists who are also having problems with the high altitude, the thin air, and the narrow road. Beware the family from the flatlands, in an RV (motor home), driving in the middle of the road and too frightened to move out of your way. You’ll find a way to keep going, but it will be a little hair-raising.

 

Last stretch to the summit

 

Summit Lake, 12,478 ft., and cold as ice…

 

Perseverance pays off though, as you finally approach the summit. This is truly and awe-inspiring sight. At over 14,000 ft., you can literally see for miles in all directions.

 

Mt.Evans is one of the many majestic mountains that make up the Rocky Mountains. Here you start slowly working you way up to the summit, which stands at 14, 264 ft. Bring oxygen if you get altitude sickness, and you will if you don’t live at a mile in the air, like us…

 

Mt.Evans Summit, 14, 264 ft.

 

The view from the summit is truly awe-inspiring, with vistas stretching literally to the horizon. On a clear day you can see Denver, some 45 miles away. For those of you unaccustomed to mountains, this is a unique experience. Colorado boasts 52 of the 56 mountains on the North American continent that are over 14,000 ft., but only a few of them have summits that are this easily conquered.

 

What a view! (I can see for miles and miles…)

 

As usual, the return trip is almost the same as the approach, although as usual the scenery is subtly different, being seen from the opposite direction. In Idaho Springs, we stopped at a pizzeria called Beau Jo’s, which boasts a quite unique creation called a Mountain Pie, consisting of a very thick crust and piled with ingredients. Most pizza connoisseurs would wince at the idea, but things are a little different in Colorado, where the average altitude is 3500 ft.

 

The trip back to Denver is uneventful, and we completed our sojourn at the dealership. We parted from our friends with promises to call upon safe arrival at home, one of the blessings of riding with our ISRA brothers and sisters. Time to clean up, reflect on our wonderful day, and plan for the next time our ISRA family can ride together.

 


 

Tech Talk: Loud Pipes

Asocial Sound vs. Social Responsibility

 

By Ben Harper,

Star Cruiser Co-Editor,

USA

 

Most people are aware that our planet is becoming ever smaller, with increasing population and urban density. With that knowledge come certain realities that sometimes seem arbitrary or unfair. For those of us who ride motorcycles, recent decisions by the courts have often appeared to be onerous and restrictive, with little benefit to us or society in general.

 

One of those decisions involves the restriction on loud exhaust pipes in urban and suburban areas. Although many among us disagree with these restrictions, we often have only ourselves to blame.

 

When the only motorcycles with loud pipes were of the American brand, there were, quite frankly, not enough loud motorcycles to cause unrest in neighborhoods across America. With the advent of metric cruisers, and the resounding popularity of aftermarket accessories, we now face the fact that there are many more motorcycles on the road, and much more noise from those motorcycles with aftermarket exhaust pipes.

 

There are basically two issues here. The first, and most bothersome to citizens, is the basic free flow of the exhaust system itself. Most aftermarket pipes are not legal on the street, being more appropriate for racing or other off-highway purposes. This is because most pipes are much louder than stock pipes, and contributes to the increase in noise.

 

The other issue is exclusively the fault of riders themselves. When I hear a loud bike, it is usually because the bike is running at a higher RPM than is necessary, and is therefore louder than it needs to be. Rather than upshift to make less noise, it is often preferable to ride in a lower gear and make more noise.

 

This is not to say that everyone must ride with stock pipes to prevent the incidents of loud exhaust noise, citations, and fines. In most cases, responsible riding techniques will abate the complaints about your particular machine. I myself was notorious for having the fastest (and noisiest) Road Star in my small Colorado city (population 90,000). I rode responsibly, and never had a complaint from any neighbor.

 

But times are changing, and we must all look to the future if we want to continue our pleasure in riding. Most countries other than the USA already prohibit aftermarket pipes, and soon America will do the same in a nationwide manner. If we want to keep our freedom to select aftermarket exhaust systems, we must learn to ride in a manner that does not intrude on others. After all, everyone has a right to enjoy their lives without interference, just as we do.

 

So, if you choose to use loud pipes, ride responsibly, don’t annoy the police or your neighbors, and do your best to be a good neighbor. You are either part of the solution, or you are part of the problem. As an ISRA member, your behavior reflects on the Association, and hopefully that is a good reflection.

 


 

Globalizer: Sao Paulo Star Riders of ISRA

Sao Paulo, Brazilforms a new Constellation

 

Submitted by Tiago Feliziani

 

The ISRA welcomes a new Constellation in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and a new Constellation President. We are pleased to announce the election of Tiago Feliziani as Constellation President of the Sao Paulo Star Riders of the ISRA-Brazil.

 

Sao Paulo Star Riders of the ISRA on a beautiful days’ ride

 

“Like all good solutions, the idea for the creation of a Constellation in Sao Paulo emerged from a need to organize a movement of the admirers of the Star Line in Sao Paulo a region of Brazil where the roads are very good, and owners of Star motorcycles are numerous”, says Tiago.

 

This creation had the enthusiastic support of the Brazil Star Riders and the help and encouragement of Shark, International Secretary of the ISRA. Began in early March, and with the guidance of Barry Herbert (ISRA Vice-President), the International Council approved the charter for the Sao Paulo Star Riders of the ISRA on April 20, 2010.

 

Sao Paulo members preparing to depart

 

Tiago tells us he rides a Drag Star 650 (good bike, Tiago) and that he lives in Sao Paulo, and Jr. Grosso lives in Sorocaba, approximately 100 km from Sao Paulo. Tiago says that they already have 80 members who live in the towns in the surrounding area.

 

A few members, wouldn’t you say?

 

Tiago gives credit to Shark for his efforts in beginning the presence of the ISRA in Brazil, and he plans to build on Shark’s dream of a large ISRA membership in Brazil.

 

A few friends gather for a group picture (smile, everyone!)

 

So here’s a big round of congratulations to the Sao Paulo Star Riders of the ISRA and to their President, Tiago Feliziani. Good luck in your endeavors, and we hope to hear great news from you in the future.

 


 

Pic of the Month: Guided by Rainbows

Luck and faith on the way to Estonia

 

By Anton Popov,

Star Cruiser Co-Editor,

Star Riders Russia

 

Do you see rainbows often? I do. Once (that was on Canary Islands and on a 150-cc scooter, I guess) I even rode through one… what a feeling and what a view! And I always stick to the old belief that rainbows bring luck. And I also believe it’s a sign that you do something right.

 

I met those guys back in 2008 here, on the ISRA forum. They were from Estonia – a neighbor country, which was part of the Soviet Union together with Russia along with the other 13 now independent republics. They invited me to join them at Jygevatreff – the biggest and oldest (held annually since 1992) bike fest in Estonia. The guys sounded so enthusiastic and friendly that I did not hesitate for a moment and took the 1,000-km ride northwest. I will tell more about that trip someday, because Estonia is beautiful and unique place, but this story is about something different.

 

Relations between Russia and its former Soviet neighbors were never easy after the fall of the Empire. So summer 2008 was yet another “hard time” for Russia and Estonia. Our governments had some controversy once again – stupid and senseless as usual. The propaganda machine was working at full throttle, tensions were growing… And for different reasons (which were personal rather than political) all four or five fellow riders that wanted to join me on this trip had to quit. So I found myself out on my own.

 

I wouldn’t say I was worried or something. I was just prepared that it wouldn’t be the warmest welcome in my life – with the words “Star Riders Russia” written in capital letters on the back of my vest. But as soon as I crossed the border, I saw this rainbow stretching up to the skies from somewhere close to my destination. From that moment on I felt absolutely relaxed – and for a good reason. This trip proved to be one of the best in my life: Star Riders Estonia gave me THE warmest welcome, the country turned out to be beautiful and the locals treated me without a single sidelong glance – despite my being so obviously Russian.

 

This year it will be the third time I’m going to Estonia. So the conclusion of this little story is obvious: be guided by rainbows and life will show you its best side. No matter how strange or unfriendly it might look at the first glance.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 21 May 2010 12:45
 
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