Rick Warner has a deep passion for motorcycles, and he’s now ready to share that passion with the East End community.
Warner, 42, has been riding with his friends regularly on the East End since 1995, but it wasn’t until about four years ago where they were able to organize a group of motorcycle enthusiasts. The group, called Long Island Enduro Riders, or LIER, had been operating out of Warner’s heating and air conditioning business in Quogue. But LIER has gotten big enough now that it rents out a shop on Quogue Plaza Trail in Quogue.
“I just want people to know there is a group of people who are really into motorcycles, and it’s right here,” Warner said. “There are people who know what they’re doing. We’re not going out with loud pipes—there aren’t 45 people ripping out to Montauk drunk.
“I’m pretty passionate about it—it drives who I am,” he added. “If it rubs off on other people, great.”
LIER isn’t your run-of-the-mill biker club. While owners of Harley Davidsons and the like wouldn’t be turned down, Warner and his crew are looking for more street, dirt and/or track bikers. The season will usually dictate where the group will go. During the summer months, LIER will stick to the streets and go on long rides, like on Sunday morning, when the group went to East Hampton and Montauk.
LIER has done joint rides with a number of other organized groups, such as the Berkshire Trail Riders Association (BTRA) in Massachusetts and New England Trail Riders Association (NETRA). Both groups are recognized under the American Motorcyclist Association. Riding groups such as NETRA also do adventure riding, which is done along very long routes.
Warner did one adventure ride, the Trans America Trail, last year by himself. It’s an organized, mapped-out route that started in North Carolina and finished in Oregon, and it’s mostly on dirt and mountain roads.
“You’re out with not a lot of resources,” Warner explained. “Just the bike and whatever you can carry if something goes wrong. That’s adventure riding.”
Shawn Barron, 42, of Hampton Bays has known Warner since 1999. The two share a love for motorcycles, but he said that common street riding on the East End is becoming unsafe and is forcing many people to go to tracks. There are a number of tracks people go to throughout the Northeast, but none currently on Long Island—something Warner and his crew would like to change.
“This area has a rich motor sports history, and it’s gone. It’s completely effing gone,” Warner said. “If we had a track or something where we could rip around, that would be nice. We have to travel to road tracks.”
LIER tends to ride on tracks during the colder months. Warner said you can get the full potential of a bike on a track.
“Tracks let you put it all together,” he said. “My street riding is dwindling, because it’s not safe anymore. You’ve got deer that can fly out of nowhere, people making U-turns right in front of you. Tracks are where you can really see the limits of what you can do, without breaking any laws.”
Peter Noyes, 56, of Sag Harbor reiterated the fact that LIER does everything the right way. He is all about safety on the road. “Roads out here for bikes are terrible,” he said. “There is no shoulder on a lot of these roads. You have to be careful and be respectful. We don’t want people to hate us. We try to be good.”
Warner is hoping that one day the shop in Quogue can be a mecca for bikers, where he can hold seminars, such as one on buying bikes on Craig’s List, and which ads are safe and which ones aren’t. He’d also like people to be able to come down and buy and sell parts, even trade bikes.
Warner is currently working with the Polish Hall in Riverhead to hold what would a first-of-its-kind swap meet at the end of October or in the beginning of November. Although a concrete date has not been nailed down just yet, Warner recently stated his case in front of the board of directors of the Polish Hall and was approved to hold the meet. He is now working on marketing the event.
“I think there’s a ripe, huge contingent of riders on Long Island who like going to swap meets,” he said. “eBay and digital, that’s fine, but people like going to swap meets. I’ve been to a lot of them and I like to go down and touch the parts, haggle right there. All of my guys have parts to sell, and if we could just have one central place, with decent stuff like good beer and decent food, easy access off the highway, I think it’s going to be a hit.”
Those interested in joining LIER or get more information on the swap meet can contact Rick Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org.