Atlanta Motorcycle Schools

Ken and JoAnna Murray
January 1, 2010


Greetings Fellow Motorcyclists!

We are in the coldest time of the year. Taking extra precautions when riding is of the utmost importance… Wearing the best gear you have and shortening the length of your ride will help to insure your well being.

Some of our best riding is during the colder months of January and February. The leaves are off the trees—you can see through the curves better. There is less traffic on the roads. And the motorcycle seems to run a little better in the colder temperatures.

Wear the proper gear, stop more frequently, and know the roads you are planning to ride. Overnight freezing temperatures can linger through part of the day and reduce thawing of the ice spots out there. Watch for the black ice and give your tires a bit longer to "warm up" before any hard leans, acceleration, or braking.

You can dehydrate in cold temperatures as well has hot, so drink plenty of water. If you drink coffee, do so sparingly as the caffeine is not so good for you! And above all avoid alcohol—which you should always avoid when riding…

If you would like to discuss any of this with JoAnna or me, call/email us…

Bad News or Bad Statistics?

Some time ago CNN was broadcasting the latest gloomy news from the National Transportation Safety Board, which in essence points out that although motorcycles only account for 2% of U.S. vehicle registrations, they account for about 10% of the US motorized highway fatalities. This appears to be another negative rerun statistic published by the negative media.

We can only keep in mind that while the total number of crashes is going up, the overall number of motorcycles in use has been increasing with nearly double digit growth for the past 14 years.

The Wall Street Journal shortly after the CNN broadcast published a story noting that new motorcycles are: "Bigger, faster, and deadlier". While this may be only partially true, the statement misses a couple of key points when regurgitating an insurance industry study. Later, the article completely misses the mark by claiming "superbikes" are killing people, only to contradict themselves in the conclusion: "in 2005, riders age 40 or older accounted for 47% of motorcycle fatalities, compared with 24% 10 years earlier. In the same period, the fatality percentage for riders younger than 30 years of age fell to 32% from 41%." Riders over the age of 40 are more likely killing themselves on cruisers!! As much as the media would like to place the blame on younger riders (under 30), the sportbike fatality rate has actually been declining despite the rapid growth in that group!!

This lack of balanced reporting by the media doesn't mention the number of GPS, cell phones and other electronic devices that are providing numerous distractions and becoming more and more prevalent with our drivers.

A partial answer to the increasing crash rate might be to make more quality education and awareness available to the motorcycle riders and automobile drivers. Quality on-street motorcycle education is severely lacking in this country and should be addressed. Only two schools come to mind that provide this much higher level of motorcycle education. These are Atlanta Motorcycle Schools ( and Stayin' Safe (

International Motorcycle Shows

The International Motorcycle Show schedule is as follows. Some of you may have attended the show in Greenville last January.

Greenville, SC January 8-10, 2010
Washington, DC January 15-17, 2010
New York, NY January 22-24, 2010
Cleveland, OH January 29-31, 2010
Daytona Beach, FL March 3-7, 2010


Notice that the IMS has returned to Daytona in March after a long absence… Hurray!!!!!!!!!!

And don't forget to attend Georgia's own Motorcycle Show in Norcross.

The Great American Motorcycle Show

January 22-24, 2010 Georgia's biggest and only indoor show. Over 12,000 S.F. of new cycles for 2010, plus parts, accessories, and everything you need to get on the open road at great show prices!

North Atlanta Trade Center ( (770) 279-9899

Continuing Education

As a reminder, we always recommend continuing education and the path to not only maintaining good rider skills but increasing our level of riding.

Courses we recommend include:

Accident Scene Management -
Atlanta Motorcycle Schools -
Stayin' Safe -
Motorcycle safety Foundation BRC and ERC -
Red Cross 1st Aid and CPR courses
Reg Pridgmore's CLASS -

You may notice that "track days" are NOT on our recommended list. If you care for our take on "track days", call JoAnna or me at 770 573 9902.

Handgun Classes Coming Soon!

Our next NRA Basic Handgun classes will be scheduled for February and March of this year. If have been considering purchasing a handgun or have just received one during the recent holidays, or even simply need to refresh your skills; contact JoAnna and me for more information to enroll in one of our earlier classes.

Avoiding Deer and other Critters

Cooler temperatures and shorter daylight hours bring increased activity and the arrival of the deer breeding season. With the change from daylight savings time, you need to remind yourself when driving to take extra care to avoid hitting deer - as bucks begin aggressively looking for does this month.

Hunting season has begun in many states and the presence of hunters in the woods will also increase deer activity. Pay close attention when riding in the low-light conditions of dawn and dusk.

Each year there are usually more than 50,000 deer/vehicle collisions just in the state of Georgia. Sometimes you not only wreck or damage your car or motorcycle but you may even be injured.
Remember to slow down when driving in areas known for holding deer. Watch for those deer-crossing signs, and use your high beams in these areas.

Tips to avoiding deer collisions:

Use one long blast of your horn to alert the deer to your approach. We have found this works well with other critters, birds, etc.
Brake slowly to reduce your speed, and don't swerve, as this may confuse the animal.
Be aware that deer generally travel in groups; if you see one deer, there are probably more very close by.

Plan Ahead

As riding skills refresher education is always a requirement to keep up our skills (mental and physical), we would suggest that you consider planning to schedule in the early spring (late February, March and April) for one or more of our street courses. More will be mentioned in next month's UPDATE.

Two Wheel Tuesday—Link Correction

Last month we gave a link to one of the motorcycle groups we enjoy in north Georgia. Unfortunately, there was an extra character which caused this link to work incorrectly. And then the site moved to a new address this month. The current, correct link is Enjoy!

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year in 2010!

Ken and JoAnna


As always, we encourage you to submit observations, evaluations, and experiences relating to the benefits of appropriate rider gear, good street education, and skill enhancement opportunities. Email your thoughts, comments, questions, and ideas to Ride smart, ride safe, ride home! As always, feel free to call us at (770) 573-9902.

Visit Atlanta Motorcycle & Gun Schools and Mary Kay websites:

Atlanta Motorcycle Schools (
Atlanta Motorcycle Schools Handgun Classes (
Shop with JoAnna ANYTIME at