Archive for December, 2008

And Even More Three-Wheelers

Monday, December 29th, 2008

I don’t really have a fixation on trikes these days, but they just seem to be where I am a whole lot lately.

Today I went on the ABATE of Colorado Last Brass Monkey Run, their traditional last ride of the year event. And I even joined, so now I’m an ABATE member. Well, not surprisingly, there were a few trikes in among the hundreds of two-wheelers, but then the really flashy ones showed up. These aren’t necessarily the best photos because the light wasn’t right for what I would have liked to have gotten. But you’ll get an idea of what these things were like.

This first one is one of these guys as he’s arriving, and I only got a grab shot, so missed the front wheel.

motorcycle trikes

Here he is again, where you can see it a bit better.

motorcycle trikes

And here’s one of his buddies. Notice the high-riding passenger.

motorcycle trikes

There was a third but I didn’t get any useable pics of it. Oh well. But then a different three-wheeler showed up. This was the second Can-Am Spyder I’ve seen now. Here she has it in reverse gear, backing into a parking spot.

Can-Am Spyder

Biker Quote for Today

Now go put some miles on that thing!

Beware: Other People Want Your Bike–But You Knew That

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

I reported on LoJack‘s best stolen bike recoveries for 2008 the other day. Now I want to share some of the statistics and information LoJack makes available on their website. It’s ugly.

Kryptonite chainFirst off, they say that in 2006 there were more than 71,000 motorcycles stolen in the U.S., with a value of more than $440 million. Ouch. I know one of those guys. My buddy Bill had his Fat Boy taken from the parking lot of a restaurant where he was eating.

Additionally, motorcycle theft is up nearly 137 percent since 2000. That comes out to one motorcycle stolen every 7.4 minutes. Only about one-quarter of them are recovered.

I assume the numbers LoJack is providing are the latest available, so excuse me and them if they’re a little dated. That said, they say that in 2005 the states that had the highest rate of motorcycle theft were, in order:

  1. California
  2. Florida
  3. Texas
  4. North Carolina
  5. Ohio
  6. Arizona
  7. New York
  8. Indiana
  9. Georgia
  10. Pennsylvania

LoJack also make available on their website a seven-page brochure entitled “Bike Smarts: A Guide to Protecting Your Motorcycle From Theft.” It’s pretty basic information but you might find some ideas that hadn’t occurred to you, so check it out.

One other thing. At the bottom left of many of the pages on their website, LoJack has a link to what they call “Real Stories of LoJack Recoveries.” These are heart-warming stories of how folks like you and me got their bikes back and the bad guys got what was coming to them. Fun to read.

Biker Quote for Today

If you love your bike and it leaves you and then comes back – you’ve probably high-sided.

I Love It When Bike Thieves Get Busted

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Does it make you smile really hard when you hear of some bike thief getting busted? Then boy, I’ve got just the thing for you. This isn’t a commercial for LoJack but it could be interpreted that way.

LoJack logoYou know about LoJack, right? They hide a radio transmitter in your vehicle and if it gets stolen the cops can often locate it quickly and get it back to you. And it’s not incidental that the guys who took it often end up getting picked up, too.

Now, I’ve never used LoJack, and heck, I really don’t think anyone is going to be interested in stealing my 1980 Honda CB750 Custom. It’s the Harleys these guys want. You guys with the bulls-eyes on your bikes know who you are.

Well, apparently LoJack releases an annual listing of the stolen motorcycle recoveries in the past year that they are most proud of. Straight from the press release, here’s this year’s list. Read it and smile.

“Most Arrests Made in Recoveries” – In less than 48 hours, LoJack For Motorcycles helped Las Vegas police and the Southern Nevada Auto Theft Task Force break up two theft rings, which led to the recovery of four Honda motorcycles, a Yamaha ATV and the arrest of 10 suspects.

“Fastest Motorcycle Recovery Leads to Big Chop Shop” – In this recovery, a Yamaha YZR was stolen and recovered in only eight minutes after the system was activated. Through this recovery, Los Angeles Police Department and LAPD Burglary Auto Division also found seven other stolen bikes and bike parts, valued at a total of more than $100,000!

“Best Bust Reflecting the Trend of Selling Stolen Bikes Online” – In this recovery, thieves advertised a bike online and, as soon as they got an interested buyer, stole a bike matching the one they had advertised. The thieves then delivered the stolen bike to the buyer, thus limiting the time they were in possession of the stolen item. Fortunately, the bike had LoJack For Motorcycles and its signal was picked up only 10 minutes after system activation – 75 miles away from where it was stolen.

“Bike Stolen – and Recovered – Four Times in Nine Months” – A Tucson resident discovered his 2007 Suzuki GSX-R 600 missing from his apartment, reported it stolen to police and just 14 minutes later, a police helicopter and ground vehicle tracked down the bike. This was the fourth time since August 2007 that the owner’s bike was stolen and recovered with LoJack For Motorcycles.

“Best LoJack Early Warning Recovery” – LoJack Early Warning notified the owner of a Yamaha YZF-R6 that his bike was moved without permission from the parking lot of his apartment. Police activated the system and within 20 minutes received the silent signal from the bike, which indicated it was on the move on a local interstate highway. Police then picked up a strong signal and did not see a bike, but rather a Chevrolet cargo van driving nearby. As the police passed the van, the signal’s directional arrow reversed, which indicated that the bike was inside the van. The police stopped the van, discovered the bike (plus two other stolen motorcycles) and arrested two suspects.

Is that sweet or what?

Biker Quote for Today

Sleep with one arm through the spokes and keep your pants on.

A Gift for the Harley Lover on Your List

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Harley-Davidson stock certificateWe all know people who are fanatics about their Harley. And most of them have very strong feelings about the company that makes their beloved machines.

Well, here’s the perfect gift.

How about a framed, personalized Harley-Davidson stock certificate? They’ll be an owner of the company, and hey, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Harley pays dividends. Right now they’re paying $1.32 a year per share. Your loved one can look forward to padding his wallet with that cash!

The place to go to make this happen is Oneshare.com. You can pick the frame, the matte, the engraving–heck you can even pick the stock. It doesn’t have to be Harley-Davidson.

You pay the price for the share, a $39 transfer fee, and whatever the frame, matte, and engraving you select costs. Figure around $104 for a Harley share right now, or higher if you want to get fancy.

So, just wanted to pass that along as a gift idea–doesn’t have to be Christmas, could be birthday or any other–that you probably hadn’t thought of. You’re welcome.

Biker Quote for Today

Ride like you own the road…and…someday the road will own you.

Motorcycle Trailer in a Bag

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Trailer in a bagHave you ever needed to haul your bike around but don’t have the space to keep a trailer? This may be just the thing you need.

Discountramps.com is now offering a motorcycle trailer that can be assembled without any special tools. When not in use, disassemble it and store it in its bag. It weighs 140 pounds and, they say, fits easily into the trunk of your car.

Here’s the list of specs:
Can carry wheelbases up to 71″

  • Tongue Weight: 120 – 160 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 2000 lbs
  • Product Weight: 140 lbs
  • Wheel Distance: 60 inches
  • Hitch Class: any
  • Heaviest Part: 33 lbs
  • Longest Part: 42 inches

They also sell a trailer that can carry two bikes.

Now, I’ve never used this thing, and I would want to be really sure it is going to be stable and solid before plunking my money down. But if I needed to haul my bike(s) around I’d sure look into this because there is nowhere that I would have to store a regular trailer. Oh, and the price is a little over $1,000. The two-bike rig costs more than twice that.

Biker Quote for Today

Bikes vs. Women: It’s always OK to use tie downs on your motorcycle.

Three-wheelers Keep On Coming

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

F3 AdrenalineAnother three-wheeled motorcycle has entered the fray. The F3 Adrenaline, produced by TriRod Motorcycles, is claimed to be “the world’s first production performance three wheel motorcycle.” And as with so many of these new bikes, it looks a heck of a lot different than anything we’ve ever seen.

Here’s what TriRod says (immodestly) about their creation:

Out of TriRod’s workshop has emerged possibly the most disruptive technology to hit the motorcycle world in decades. We’ve taken the most advanced technologies from Formula One racing, aerospace, and custom motorcycles and combined them into the hottest street rod motorcycle ever.

Our passion for motorcycles and the addiction to speed induced adrenaline rushes has led us to develop this radical motorcycle trike platform. This all new three wheel motorcycle is like nothing that has come before it. It is a machine built for performance, born and bred on a race track with a thrill factor that is through the roof. Trikes will never be the same.

TriRod: ride it like a motorcycle, corner it like a race car. The best of two very intriguing worlds.

This bike has a dry weight of 750 pounds, 120 cubic inch engine, six speeds, and chain primary drive. It has optional frame-mounted hard bags and uses both hand and foot controls. Gosh, just like a motorcycle!

I don’t know what you think of all these three-wheelers; I know some people say they’re not really motorcycles. What I do know, though, is that my aging buddies speak every now and then about the time when they’re going to have to quit riding. I’m not aging as fast as they are, it seems, but I know that even for me the clock does not stand still. Maybe in another 30 years or so I’m going to be glad to have choices like this so I can continue to feel the wind in my face and smell the smells that cagers miss.

Biker Quote for Today

Never try to race an old geezer, he may have one more gear than you.

Even More Tales of Flying Object Encounters

Monday, December 8th, 2008

What’s the strangest thing you ever hit, or almost hit, while riding your bike? I love this thread on the Adventure Riders forum, and I’m here today with another batch of tales. Read and cringe.

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my garage door – when my ex partner put it down on me as i rode through it…

was really happy that day

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A buzzard
A Cow
A dead brown christmas tree (in August)

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I was hauling a friend on the back to get his bike and hit a concrete block in the middle of the road at about 70 mph. Shoulda seen it and all that but things happen fast. This was back in the sixties and we were not wearing helmets. The bike did a sorta flip thing and when we hit the road I landed on top of him. Here we were sliding down route 92 out of tampa at probably 65 or so and he keep yelling “get off get off.” I swear I tried my best to roll off of him but we end up getting into the median first and doing some ground gymnastics before coming to a stop.Cars stopped and we both got up and picked up the bike. Straightened the forks a little, got back on the bike and went to the hospital. He didn’t want to go but, man, he really had to. When they got done with him he looked like a mummy but other than a ton of pavement rash was okay. Bad day but he still kids me about wanting to ride him out to keep from sliding on the road myself.

**********
I had a close encounter with a hawk. I was riding down I-70 towards the lake of the Ozarks from St. Louis on my brand new R1100 and a hawk took flight from the median.

Damn thing hit my windshield dead center, broke through it, hit me square in the center if my helmet and knocked me onto the highway doing 70 mph. I was AGATT and glad of it. First thing that hit was my head on the pavement and I rolled I don’t know how many times before ending flat on my back and sliding off the highway.

Good thing too, an 18 wheeler ran over the bike shortly after I cleared it.

I was only bruised and sore for a month, nothing broke, nothing cut.

**********
Birds, yeah, birds.
Two bird stories:
1) Had a bird hit me in the chest one time and I just about dumped the bike getting off the road gasping for air. Not good.
2) Following a friend, Richard, and his wife, Miriam, up rt192 here in Pa. They were on their sidecar rig. I saw a big bird up ahead coming in from the right and darned if it didn’t hit them. Man, feathers instantly all over the place. Richard weaved back and forth a little and then pulled off the right side of the road. He jumped off the rig and ran to the sidecar. I pulled over thinking maybe his wife Miriam was hurt, got off and ran up to the rig. To my surprise Richard was laughing pretty hard and so was she. Then Miriam held up a tube of lipstick with feathers all over it. She was just fixing to put on some lipstick when the bird hit and like I said feathers were all over the place. No damage except to the bird….kinda goofy.

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A motorboat.
Night on I95 in VA. Came over a rise and there it was. Across both lanes.
How do you say SWERVE?
Missed it(!) somehow.
A couple hundred yards ahead is a car with an empty boat trailer in tow parked on the shoulder and two guys standing there apparently trying to figure out what to do next.

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A few nights ago I was riding around midtown in Manhattan. Bitterly cold, below freezing, Friday night, me with under 300 miles on my bike…perfect night for ride! Anyway, I made a left onto a side street from 5th avenue…I had the green light but noticed that there were about 3 cars in front of me, most of them honking, some yelling in unrecognizable accents…so I stood up to see what the hell was going on. Turns out some yahoo in an escalade thought it might be a good idea to stop in the middle of the street, with a green light, and just go ahead and start pissing. So he uh, zips up, and gets back in his blinged out land monster just before the light turned red. A few cars managed to get through, but I missed the light, and as I was waiting for the next one I look down and low and behold I am standing in some beefed out Jersey boy’s pee.

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I hit everything from bugs to dump trucks. I’m glad I was young when I T-boned an LTD and ran into the rear of a dumptruck.

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I was on a KLX 650 w/ my brother on a tiger in Dinosaur Nat’l Park, Yampa River bench road. an eagle hears us coming and lifts off but isn’t gaining enough elevation so it drops the HUGE rabbit that it was feasting on from about 15 feet into the air right (almost) into my windshield. A dead HUGE rabbit falling from the sky! My little bro laughed and laughed. I could see the look in the Golden Eagle’s eye!

____________

OK. Enough fun for now. You’ll find the other flying object posts here:
Motorcycles and Flying Objects
More Flying Object Tales
Latest Tales of Flying Object Encounters

Biker Quote for Today

Who cares? I’m riding…….

Winter Is Not a Time to Just Park Your Bike

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Franktown, Palmer Lake, Sedalia loopOh man, winter is really here. It’s colder tonight than it has been since last winter. And we had a real snowfall last week.

I admit, I’m not one of the real hard core. I haven’t been on either of my bikes in almost three weeks. This weekend, however, I will be on one or both of my bikes without question as long as there isn’t ice and snow on the streets. ‘Tis the season to be opportunistic–you never know when a blizzard will strike and keep you off the bike for weeks. You have to grab the moment when you’ve got it; tomorrow can easily be too late.

And where do I ride when the weather gets bad? Well, first off, I stay down here on the flatlands. It’s a whole other climate up in the mountains. We might have 50 degrees and sunshine down here but you head up to Georgetown or Estes Park and all of a sudden it’s 25 degrees and there are patches of snow and ice in the portions of the road that are in shadow. And if there’s no snow and ice you can bet the road is covered with sand from the last snowfall. That makes for better traction in a car but it makes your motorcycle ride much more of an adventure than you would prefer.

So with the mountains ruled out, where to? Well, there’s one really nice loop that I’ve taken many times and it comes complete with your choice of biker bars to stop at for some socializing and refreshment. Going counterclockwise, I head south on US 85 to Sedalia, turn west on CO 67, go a mile and then turn south on CO 105. This is a very nice ride that takes you down to Palmer Lake, and you then reach I-25 at Monument.

Continue east on CO 105 until you get to CO 83 and head north. This takes you past Castlewood Canyon State Park, a nice stop, to Franktown, to Parker, and the back to Denver. The whole ride, if you end up back where you started, is about 90 miles.

Places to stop include the Stagecoach in Franktown, in Sedalia you’ll want to hit the Sedalia Grill, and in Palmer Lake, O’Malley’s Pub is the place to go. Black leather is definitely the fashion in these places, and the food is good, too.

If you up on the north side of town and don’t want to head all that way south, my favorite place is Jerry D’s in Dacono. Again, black leather is the fashion. You’ll feel right at home.

It has been said that winter is nature’s way of telling you to polish your bike. That may be, but it’s no reason not to get in some good riding when the weather permits.

Biker Quote for Today

Young riders pick a destination and go. Old riders pick a direction and go.

Get Your Motor Running

Monday, December 1st, 2008

SteppenwolfI had this song in my head and I’ve never known or been able to understand all of the words in the lyrics. So I had this sudden thought that there are probably quite a few people just like me out there, and that it could be a real service to print the lyrics.

Not that anyone who is interested can’t look them up on umpteen websites, but until now I never had. So if you have wondered but never bothered to look, and you’re here now, I just saved you the trouble.

Here they are, the words to “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf.

Words and music by Mars Bonfire
© MCA Music (BMI)

BORN TO BE WILD

Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space

I like smoke and lightning
Heavy metal thunder
Racin’ with the wind
And the feelin’ that I’m under
Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space

Like a true nature’s child
We were born, born to be wild
We can climb so high
I never wanna die

Born to be wild
Born to be wild

By the way, if I’m violating any copyright restrictions by printing this I’ll gladly take this down. But considering the number of other sites out there with these lyrics posted I can’t believe it’s a terribly serious offense.

Biker Quote for Today

I like smoke and lightning, heavy metal thunder