How Your Motorcycle's Clutch Works

February 29 2012 by Jason Fogelson
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iStock_000017360225XSmall.jpgI'm no mechanic. That's been proven to me many times, in most unpleasant ways. But, I still think that it's important to understand how my motorcycle works. That way, I can recognize small problems before they become catastrophes, and I can work with my mechanic to make things work properly. This week, I decided to look deeply into my motorcycle's clutch to unravel its mysteries.

The job of the clutch is to temporarily disconnect the engine from the transmission. This disconnection is essential to safe operation of a modern motorcycle. Otherwise, you'd have to turn off the engine at every stop, and you'd never be able to change gears. Your car has a clutch (or more), even if it has an automatic transmission. Even your electric drill probably has a clutch. On a motorcycle, we pull in the clutch lever in order to disengage the transmission, then slowly let the clutch lever out in order to engage the transmission gears with the engine -- and the bike moves under power. But what's happening inside the clutch when we pull and release that lever?

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Best Spring Travel Destinations

February 28 2012 by Claudia Kunkel
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iStock_000016972379XSmall.jpgSPRING HAS SPRUNG!!!! How great is that?! I don't think it matters where you live, the 'spring feeling' has to be world-wide phenomenon. I also believe that the best spring travel destinations kind of depend on where you live and what you like.

For me personally, living in Arizona now, my favorite spring travel destination is southern California. Did you know there are more than 26 Best Westerns in the greater San Diego area? Including Coronado Island! I love walking around the Gaslamp Quarter, wandering the streets of Coronado, golfing for a few rounds, and of course hitting the beach!

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Super Bowl 2013

February 27 2012 by James West

iStock_000013986668XSmall.jpgNow that the Super Bowl has come and gone, we can reflect on the event as a whole - and you can't ask for a better Super Bowl than having it come down to the very last play of the game. Whether you were cheering for the New York Giants or the New England Patriots, you got an exciting game! A special congrats to the champions, the New York Giants, on a well deserved win. So... now what?

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NASCAR Visits Phoenix - contest

February 27 2012 by BW Innsider
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Predict the Winner!

What an exciting start to the 2012 NASCAR season! It continues in the Valley of the Sun in Phoenix this Sunday. Correctly predict the race's winner and you could win big!

Leave your guess of who you think the winner of Sunday's race will be in the comments below before the start of the race. We will select one random winner from all correct guesses to win a $25 iTunes gift card!

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Book with our Race Fan Rate® for exclusive discounts at Best Western hotels!


Don't forget to check back before every race to play Who's Gonna Win!

Entries must be entered before the start of the race on 3/4. Winner will be announced on 3/5. Limit only one entry per person. Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the US or Canada to be eligible to win. Winner will be randomly selected from all correct answers posted in the comments below.

Visiting Black History

February 24 2012 by Mike Mason

iStock_000018400488XSmall.jpgSince being named Black History Month in 1976, the month of February has accomplished a goal set by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a historian, who dreamed of seeing Black History recognized in mainstream America. February is a significant month in Civil Rights history, including birthdays of both President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation that ended slavery and Frederick Douglass, born into slavery, managed to escape and became a great advisor to President Lincoln during the Civil War.

Whether you chose to visit Black historical sites as part of a winter getaway or as a trip in itself, it will be something unforgettable for anyone who has a desire to learn about the events and people who have shaped the United States to be the place it is today. Here are three relaxing cities to instill civil rights history into anyone.

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Weekly NASCAR Contest for 2012

February 23 2012 by BW Innsider
Comments (196)

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The 2012 NASCAR Season is Here!

Our popular "Who's Gonna Win" weekly NASCAR contest is back for the 2012 Sprint Cup Series! Each week will pose the question, "Who's Gonna Win" the Spring Cup Series race that week. Your job is to simply predict the winner. We will randomly select one winner from among all correct predictions to win a prize! Throughout the year, we will give away gift cards, NASCAR gear and even some signed items from Michael Waltrip!

We're kicking the year off right with the exciting race in Daytona! Leave your guess of who you think the winner of Sunday's race will be in the comments below before the start of the race. We will select one random winner from all correct guesses to win a $25 Best Western Travel Card!

Follow Us on Twitter I Become a Facebook Fan

Book with our Race Fan Rate® for exclusive discounts at Best Western hotels!


Don't forget to check back before every race to play Who's Gonna Win!

Entries must be entered before the start of the race on 2/26. Winner will be announced on 2/27. Limit only one entry per person. Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the US or Canada to be eligible to win. Winner will be randomly selected from all correct answers posted in the comments below.

Business Travel Outlook 2012

February 23 2012 by Bryson Forbes
Comments (2)

iStock_000018353611XSmall.jpgEarlier this month the Conference Board of Canada and The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) released their annual co-branded Canadian Business Travel Outlook Report, which takes a look at corporate travel expectations.

The study, now in its 5th year takes a cross section of companies within Canada who have an annual travel budget that exceeds one million dollars.

Three key findings jumped out at me and I wanted to try elaborate and share my opinion about what the impact will be on you if they are indeed accurate.

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Reopened State Parks

February 21 2012 by Mike Mason
Comments (4)

iStock_000018187182Small.jpgWhile traveling I've always enjoyed exploring the natural wonders to be seen in the area. One of the best ways to do this is through state parks. They are well maintained, with basic amenities and offer the best landscapes each state has to offer. Unfortunately whether for updates or as a result of natural disasters, many parks have to close to clean up and update the park. Here are a few reopened parks available for adventure.

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Yay for President's Day!

February 20 2012 by Claudia Kunkel

iStock_000009217209Small.jpgPresident's Day is here! And who doesn't love President's Day? I know, most of you hear "President's Day" and immediately think of sales - everything from cars and refrigerators to old Christmas blow-outs. But Presidents Day is more than fighting for parking spots, finding the best deals, waiting in lines to check out.

Did you know that Presidents Day was originally created to honor George Washington's birthday? In fact, some states still refer to it as that. For me, President's Day makes me think of a 3 day weekend and where I can travel next. On this President's Day it seems only appropriate to consider Washington DC as a travel destination. And while DC may be the seat of our federal government, that is only one VERY small part of what makes the city so great.

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Celebrating Family Day

February 17 2012 by Bryson Forbes
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iStock_000015546136XSmall.jpgThis coming Monday, February 20, I'll be celebrating my fourth Family Day. It's a holiday that is not necessarily widely celebrated but still a day I like to enjoy with my family. This year, I plan to make Family Day more of a priority just like we do for Good Friday, May 2-4 weekend (Victoria Day), Canada Day and Labour Day.

Family Day was first celebrated in Alberta in 1990 to highlight the values of family and home that were important to Alberta's founding pioneers and give workers the opportunity to spend more time with their families. Family Day was introduced in Saskatchewan in 2007 and Ontario in 2008.

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Daytona Beach Bike Week 2012

February 16 2012 by Jason Fogelson

iStock_000003119442XSmall.jpgGentlemen, start your engines! Even though this winter has been very mild throughout much of the United States, it's always great to see the first signs of spring. For me, spring means Daytona Beach Bike Week, and this year that's March 9 to 18. Actually, that's more than a week -- it's 10 days. But who's counting?

Every year since 1937 (that's 75 years), Bike Week has been held in Daytona Beach, Florida, coinciding with the Daytona 200 motorcycle race. The race was suspended for a few years during World War II, but the party continued. The Daytona 200 is held at Daytona International Speedway on March 17, and is the first race of the AMA Pro Racing season. Tickets for the race start at $30, a bargain for a great day of racing.

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Don't Be a Scam Victim

February 15 2012 by Sam Lowe

iStock_000014983644XSmall.jpgA recent newspaper story noted that seniors are susceptible to scammers and con artists because, according to the writer, we are "gullible." Although I find this a bit insulting, I'm also aware that as we grow older, we tend to become more trusting. And nicer. Unfortunately, that makes us targets for those who prey on people of our age.

Many of the scams center on travel. And, since many of us travel, we inadvertently become victims. This one surfaced recently:

Families show up at a residence, frequently a large house in an upscale neighborhood, expecting to spend their vacation living in high style. But they're greeted by the homeowner, who has no idea of who these people are and why they're there. When they say they have rented the house for their vacation, they are informed that the house has never been for rent. Even worse, they're probably not going to get their up-front money back.

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Romantic Road Trips for Valentine's Day

February 14 2012 by Claudia Kunkel

iStock_000018681437XSmall.jpgGentlemen (and Ladies) - start your engines! It's not too late to plan a romantic road trip with your favorite sweetheart this Valentine's Day. This year, forget the box of chocolates and flowers and surprise your loved one with planning a romantic weekend for two by hitting the open road. The possibilities are endless! You can pack your bag with clothes for every occasion and see where the road takes you or come up with a detailed itinerary with a planned destination in mind. Personally, from a woman's perspective, I would like to know where I'm headed so I can pack too many outfits, 10 pair of shoes that I will never wear and everything in my cosmetic drawer! Of course, this itinerary all depends on what part of the country you live in. Here are a few suggestions along with several great Best Western hotels to help you enjoy your romantic Valentine's Day:

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Best Western Business Advantage

February 13 2012 by Bryson Forbes

Best Western Business Advantage 2012.jpgBest Western has launched a fantastic new program called "Business Advantage" which is aimed at small and medium (or SME) companies in Canada. I will get into the details shortly, but before I do, I wanted to share a few staggering numbers that jumped out at me as I started to dig into this SME group.

Industry Canada defines SME's as those companies that employ less than 500 people. To my astonishment that includes a whopping 80 to 90% of all companies in Canada. Stats Canada goes on to tell us that this group makes up 64% of the total private sector workforce, which is 6.8 million employees in Canada.

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Desert Adventure Video

February 13 2012 by Jason Fogelson

More New Harley-Davidson Models for 2012

February 10 2012 by Jason Fogelson

HD1.jpgNever a company to rest on its laurels, Harley-Davidson has announced two additional motorcycle models that will join the lineup for 2012: The Softail Slim and the Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two.

Based on the Softail platform that includes the Fatboy, Blackline and Heritage Softail Classic, the new Softail Slim is a back-to-basics stripped-down old school motorcycle. "It's time to make the engine the focal point of the motorcycle," says Harley-Davidson Senior Designer Casey Ketterhagen, "so we put a Softail on a diet to get the proportions back in check. Scale down the rear with a narrow tire and chopped fender and the heart of the bike, the motor, once again becomes the focus."

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Choose Companions Wisely

February 9 2012 by Sam Lowe

iStock_000018926441XSmall.jpgMy wife, Lyn, and I have used a variety of travel methods, including tour groups, senior-oriented junkets, solitary trips all by ourselves, and making arrangements with other couples. There are upsides and downsides to each. Fortunately, the good times have vastly outnumbered those that were not so good.

Since we are madly in love with each other, there are never any serious problems when we go it alone. And tour groups are always large enough so it's relatively easy to avoid those who talk too loud, those who have been everywhere and want everyone else to know about it, and those who crack their chewing gum. But traveling with another couple, or a couple of other couples, presents some situations that can often turn into problems so big that they can terminate friendships.

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Are you hiring?

February 8 2012 by Chris McGinnis
Comments (3)

iStock_000002144669Small.jpgDid you know that small businesses employ more than half of all US workers? These all-American companies are poised to hire even more as economic and employment trends in the US begin to brighten.

For example, medium-sized businesses added 72,000 new jobs in January, and small businesses added an astonishing 95,000 new employees, according to new data from ADP, a payroll processing company. In the same month, large companies in the US added only 3,000 jobs.

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Desert Adventure, Day Six: San Diego, CA to Los Angeles, CA

February 7 2012 by Jason Fogelson

_MG_8621.jpgToday's our last day on the road. We linger over breakfast at the Acapulco Restaurant, adjacent to the BEST WESTERN PLUS Hacienda Hotel Old Town. The hot breakfast buffet is included with our stay, and it's a really great start to the day. The views from the dining room across Old Town and to modern San Diego beyond are quite spectacular, and it's a perfect Southern California day today. San Diego may have the best weather in the United States. It's never too hot, never too cold, with less than 12 inches of rain per year. It has only snowed in San Diego five times in the past 125 years, so it's pretty safe to bet that you'll get good weather here if you hang around for a few days. We've hit a sweet spot in January, an absolutely clear, beautiful morning.

After breakfast, I go back to Old Town to look around before the crowds arrive. I get a chance to read the plaques, explore the buildings and soak up the vibe without bumping into people. Because it's San Diego, runners and dog walkers power through while I stroll with my camera. Fitness is like a religion here.

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Desert Adventure, Day Five: Yuma, AZ to San Diego, CA

February 3 2012 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (1)

_MG_8547.jpgWe eat a quick breakfast in PJ's Cafe and Bar at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Inn Suites Yuma Mall Hotel & Suites. A hot buffet with eggs and sausage - yum. We're going to explore Yuma a little bit before we ride back into California.

I'm not sure why prisons are such an attraction. I hope never to be incarcerated, but I love visiting old jails and prisons, and hearing the stories about the men and women who lived in them. Back in the day, working at a prison was almost as bad as being a convict. Guards and inmates shared conditions, and an isolated jail was as much of a hardship on the employees as it was on the prisoners.

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How Do We Know When Spring Has Sprung?

February 2 2012 by Mike Mason

iStock_000009115074XSmall.jpgNow that I am past the mad rush of the holidays, my mind turns to the next really big thing. Not Valentine's Day (I don't really like chocolate). No...for me it is GROUNDHOG'S DAY!!! I know. It seems a little "off," but where I grew up (in Massachusetts) it meant that spring was finally coming! It meant that sooner or later, hopefully sooner, the snow piles would melt, street sweepers would come, and I could put my jacket, mittens, hats, boots, and snow pants away.

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Desert Adventure, Day Four: Tucson, AZ to Yuma, AZ

February 1 2012 by Jason Fogelson

_MG_8507.jpgOur stay at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Royal Sun Inn & Suites includes breakfast at the adjoining Royal Sun Restaurant & Lounge. We have a nice hot breakfast, and spend some time planning our day's ride. We have some distance to travel, and plenty of things to see along the way.

Looking at the map, I'm continually surprised to realize just how close we are to the U.S./Mexico border. Nogales, Mexico is just 70 miles south on Interstate 19. We're not going to cross the border on this trip, but it is possible to cross into and out of Mexico with ease. You and your passengers (including children) need to bring your U.S. Passports, and it's a good idea to purchase Mexico vehicle insurance before entering the country -- your U.S. policy will probably not cover you in a foreign country. It is also advisable to check the U.S. Department of State's website for up-to-the-minute information about travel to Mexico. Mexico is a beautiful, amazing country, but there are some definite dangers for tourists. Forewarned is forearmed.

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