A Short History Of The Motorcycle

Todays motorcycles are everywhere and there are lots of different classes or kinds of motorcycles as well. But the motorcycle, like the automobile, is a relative newcomer to the world stage.

The first motorcycle ever assembled was built by the German inventors Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in 1885 in Bad Cannstatt in Germany. They were actually focusing more on the motor that was installed to power the two-wheeled contraption and not so much on creating a new kind of vehicle, but the resulting impact on motorized travel would be tremendous. There were earlier versions of steam powered bicycles, but this was the first petroleum powered motorcycle.

Not long afterward in 1894 the very first production motorcycle went on sale as the Hildebrand & Wolfmüller motorcycle. It wasn’t long after that before several of the bicycle companies of that time got into the act and started selling versions of what was essentially motorized bicycles. However, as horsepower increased, the engines started to outgrow the bicycle frames that were used as their carriage.

The most popular motorcycle company before World War 1 was Indian motorcycle. After the war, Harley Davidson took over the number one spot until 1928 when DKW became the leading motorcycle manufacturer in the world. For a few years after World War 2 BSA took over as the largest motorcycle producer until 1955 when NSU Motorworks who had started out as a knitting machine company in 1884 became the dominant manufacturer for the next couple of decades.

Then in the 1970s the Japanese companies Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Suzuki made their entrance into this field, changed the face of the industry, and quickly became the dominant motorcycle suppliers to the world from then on. Since the 70s Honda has held the title of the world’s largest motorcycle maker. Today, the big four motorcycle makers have penetrated practically every motorcycle market in the world, and they are highly regarded as makers of high quality motorcycle products.

In recent years some of the older motorcycle brands like the Indian have regained popularity with Harley Davidson being the most successful by far.

The Importance of Regular Home Improvement

Home improvement, by definition, is making changes to one’s home by making improvements on the house’s looks. Home improvement is usually done by professional contractors, handymen, and even the house owner himself. Home improvement is important because real estate’s value appreciates more if a property is well-maintained. Home improvement is seen by many as unnecessary cost. However, losing value of a real estate is usually caused by neglect in a property’s maintenance. Therefore, in the long run, regular maintenance is crucial for the property’s value to appreciate.

Regular home improvement jobs and renovations will surely make your current living conditions more favorable. People do not easily notice that some areas of the house need improvement. In the long run, regular maintenance will reduce the serious structural damages to your property. It is also important to note that there are different maintenance schedules for different areas of your house. For instance, plumbing should be checked monthly. Ovens, heating systems, smoke detectors, and the like should also be checked monthly to prevent unfortunate disasters. The garden area should be maintained regularly and should undergo rigorous maintenance every four months. This is to prevent insects and termites infestation which can cause significant damage in infrastructure. The landscape of a house should also be in good appearance to help preserve your property’s value. Refrigerators should be checked every three to four months. Check for faulty or loose wiring and avoid energy overload. The roof, on the other hand, should be checked at least every six months. Check for shingles and leaks and take care of them right away. Watch out for blocked gutters as this can lead rainwater to go inside your house. If your house is made mainly of wood, have a regular termite exterminator team visit your house.

Aside from these standard areas in the house that need improvement, remodeling or renovating is also a good idea. It can also add value to real estate. Remodeling can be as simple as changing the paint color in your living room or laying a different color of carpet in your bedroom. Something this simple can make significant changes in your house’s ambience. Renovating can be as major as tearing down the common wall of two rooms to make them one big room. Tearing down walls creates a bigger space which can be used for many purposes. Additional extensions can also be done. Additional space that can be used as garage space is useful. Home improvement tasks that require massive construction should be done by professional contractors. Make a list on what you want changed inside your homes and consult with a team of contractors. This way, you will have an idea on the costs that will be incurred as well as the extent of the repairs and improvements you can do.

Home improvement is important because essentially, it is considered taking care of your home. Aside from the additional value it gives your property, preventive maintenance and remodeling is always good to decrease future damages in your property.

Living in the Philippines – Best "Passive" Businesses to Start

For those OFW’s and foreigners wishing to start a business, but not wishing to involve themselves with the stress of a business involving day-to-day operations, employees, landlords, inventory, and so forth, there are several available opportunities for foreigners living in the Philippines. Buy fixer upper properties, improve them, then rent or sell them.

1. Buy Fixer Upper Properties, Improve Them, Then Rent or Sell Them. This is a great business for those of you who have experience in your home country in buying, fixing up and renting or selling properties. Over the past 10 years, a lot of people got involved in this kind of business in their homeland.

With the overall economic problems in the world the past couple of years, the Philippines has not been immune, and there are a lot of properties in a state of disrepair, as well as lot of distressed and foreclosed properties.

2. Build An Apartelle. An Apartelle is an apartment building where all but one of the units are rented out long term, and you are left to operate on a nightly or weekly basis, like a hotel – hence the combined name of apartelle. These are common in the Philippines.

This business will require a heavier capital investment, yet with the right property and by focusing in the more rural areas or smaller cities, you can construct a small 4 unit apartment building for Peso 3,000,000 – not counting cost of the land.

You would want to rent out 3 units on a long term rental basis, and keep one for short term rentals – for the many traveling salesmen that frequent the countryside. They like booking into such short term apartelle units rather than the much more expensive hotels in the area.

3. Condotels. I have not given this business my “thumbs up” in all instances. Condotels have been heavily touted and promoted the past several years and there have been many, many new condominiums built in Manila, and now even in Cebu and starting in Davao.

The problem is that although the developers offer great down payment terms (usually around 30% down financed over 3 years) and in some cases carry back the mortgage and finance for perhaps 10 years, the interest rates are incredibly high, and the split of rentals with the management team runs around 50%/50%. There is also always a nominal monthly maintenance fee.

What looks like “cheap” entry point and cash flow out each month, in many cases simply becomes a bet on long term property appreciation – finding someone willing to pay you more for it than you paid for it.

This is because with all the inventory on hand, there is a surplus of condos which have been into hotel type rental pools, but not enough visitors to rent them all.

Consequently, what an investor thought would be a good positive cash cow, turns out to be a continuous negative cash flow – not what a new retiree to the Philippines is looking for to supplement his pension or annuity! This type investment will only drain you pension.

However, having written all this, I HAVE FOUND the past several month two exceptional condotel investments which DO meet my criteria of creating good ongoing rental income.

4. Farming. The likely cessation of the Agrarian Land Reform Program (CARP) will give the rural sector renewed confidence to invest in agricultural production capacity. CARP has held back investment in both production capacity as well as farm acquisition. An end to CARP will mean higher land prices since land will be valued for its higher income producing potential.

However, higher land prices are simply a “serendipity”, an added value, to the type of farming business I am writing about. I have found an extremely unique business opportunity, which will generate a great ROI (return on investment) and is completely passive. It has been structured by the developers (all foreigners) to be a one turnkey investment price. The price includes cost of the land, plus all

Clearing, planting, cultivation and harvesting for the first 5 years.

The business has been priced to fit the capital investment budget of the average foreigner retiree, and all landowners will be members of a cooperative which will share the farming equipment (tractors, equipment shed, and others). The farm will be “farmed” by the developer’s management team

The hottest trend now is in organic farming, and yet it is only in its infancy stage in the Philippines. There is one export product in particular which has caught my attention – the pili nut. The Philippines is the ONLY country with which produces and processes this nut in commercial quantity.

The current status of the pili is equivalent to that of the macadamia some 30 years ago. It has huge potential to develop into a major industry. They are in demand not only in Hong Kong and Taiwan but also in Singapore, Korea and Austria.

6 Things You Must Consider Before a Canadian Motorcycle Ride

If you plan to cruise the highways and drive a motorcycle in Canada the following information will be useful to consider both for your own safety, and for your own piece of mind.

Canadian Highways and Rural Roadways

Whether you decide to rent a motorcycle or drive your own, Canada has a massive system of well managed city streets and highways which will bring you just about anywhere you want to go.

The main highway through Canada is the Trans-Canada Highway, which goes coast to coast. The distance from the east coast to the west coast is about 8000 km or around 4,900 miles. You could go on a Canadian motorcycle ride for weeks and never get to see everything.

Motorcycle Rentals

Renting a motorcycle in Canada may be something you want to consider. Canada has several motorcycle rental companies found near the major cities and towns. Rates vary depending on the season, type of motorcycle and length of rental. The minimum age to rent a vehicle in Canada is usually anywhere from 21-25 years old. If you plan to travel through the western provinces on your motorcycle you might want to look into the many popular tourist attractions, and the great roads to travel.

In order to rent in most cases you will need to have a major credit card. Requirements may vary from each province. Be sure to reserve your motorcycle ahead of time during peak travel times, which are usually from mid May to November.

Camping With Your Motorcycle

Most Canadian provincial and national parks, private campgrounds and other conservation areas allow you to camp with your motorcycle.

All of the Canadian provinces have a government agency that is responsible for tourism. You should check their websites or call for information to get get maps, and possible promotional offers, and maybe even some more Canadian motorcycle information. If you plan to stay in a campground near a popular park like Banff, Whistler, and Fundy National Park you should book in advance.

Driving Laws- Canadian Motorcycle Driving

In Canada the road laws are very similar to the rules in most US states. Most road safety laws and regulations are determined at the provincial and territorial level, so make sure you know the particular rules for the province you plan to be visiting. One rule for motorcyclists throughout all Canadian Provinces is that you must wear a motorcycle helmet if you are driving a motorcycle in Canada.

Other things to consider while driving through all the Canadian provinces on a motorcycle are that you are allowed to make a right turn on red lights in most cities through the country after coming to a complete stop. Be careful because because in some areas of Quebec you are not allowed to do this. For more information, check with the Government of Quebec's website.

In all Canadian provinces pedestrians have the right-of-way and you must yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. The speed limit on the most rural highways is usually around 90-100 km / hr or about 55-65 mph. Speed ‚Äč‚Äčlimits are enforced primarily by the RCMP in rural areas, and municipal police in most major cities throughout Canada.

If you are rolled over by a police officer you must provide proof of insurance, driver's license and registration.

Weather

Many people who are not from Canada picture the country as having vast piles of snow and snowmobiles as the main mode of transportation. Nothing could be more false. In most provinces you can ride a motorcycle 8-9 months out of the year. In Vancouver British Columbia and other western cities and towns, people drive year round. The summer months can get very humid in Canada, and there are many Canadian motorcycle events held across the country on an annual basis.

Motorcycle Insurance Canada, Driver's License and Permit

If you plan a ride a motorcycle through Canada and you are from the United States., Your driver's license is valid in Canada. Be sure to bring proof of motorcycle insurance by talking to your insurance company for a free Non-resident Inter Provincial Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card before you leave, or carry your policy itself.

If you're driving a borrowed motorcycle, you should bring a letter signed by the owner that says you are allowed. Also for a rented motorcycle, carry a copy of the rental contract.