Archive for April, 2012

Failing To Understand The One Percenter Concept

Monday, April 30th, 2012

The One Percenter Code, by Dave Nichols

The One Percenter Code, by Dave Nichols, presents a life style that seems very contradictory.

Why would people who are self-proclaimed rebels tie themselves in with an organization that demands strict observance of very tight rules? That’s what I don’t get about the outlaw motorcycle clubs.

I’m reading The One Percenter Code: How To Be An Outlaw In A World Gone Soft, by Dave Nichols. This is not a review of the book; I’ll put that up on Examiner.com when I’ve finished reading it. This is just me musing over the things I’ve been reading in this book that make me shake my head and wonder.

The main question is the one I already stated. Nichols, as well as other writers whose work I’ve seen, makes a big deal about how outlaw bikers give a big middle finger to authority. And yet the demands of the clubs themselves are so far stricter than anything society tries to impose. (Before I go any further, I want to make clear I have no first-hand knowledge of these things; I’m just going by what I read. If these writers are full of it your issue is with them, not me.)

So for instance, Nichols says that when the club goes on a ride all members are required to stay with the group at all times. That is so totally opposite of what I want to do when I ride. I’ll stay with the group, but if I want to do something other than what they group does, I’ll just say fine, I’ll meet up with you later. Don’t anybody try to tell me I’ve got to stay with the group!

And becoming a member! Oh man, it sounds like a military academy carried to an extreme. If you’re a prospect you are at the whim of every member who tells you what to do and you do it, period, or else. This is called showing your dedication and commitment. I call it a bunch of bull and I would never be party to any such arrangement. That’s part of the reason I never joined the army, never pledged a fraternity, any of that stuff. I don’t take that crap from anyone.

Then there’s the casual way that Nichols describes any number of ways to get your ass whipped by outlaw bikers if you don’t follow their rules of conduct. Never mind that “citizens,” as we non-club members are called, probably don’t have any idea these so-called “rules” exist. Nichols does note that in public places the club members do cut us citizens some slack, but hey, I don’t buy off on your rules. Don’t think you have some right to pound the crap out of me because I did something that annoyed you. And what’s with the freakin’ violence anyway? I’m not a big guy at all, so just because you can beat the crap out of me doesn’t make you good or right or better than me or anything, it just makes you a jerk.

Now to hear Nichols tell it, violence is a way of life for one percenters, but I suspect it’s not quite that extreme. I’m guessing there are plenty who are actually nice people and they get tarred by bad behavior of the minority. But there are two things that are absolutely clear here: I don’t want any part of the one-percenter life and no one-percenter club wants anything to do with me.

Hey, that works for me.

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Biker Quote for Today

Prison is sometimes referred to as “The House of Bad Decisions.” In motorcycling, that’s the hospital. Don’t go there. — Brian Catterson


Colorado Tour Operator Has Low Cost Rides To Alaska

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Canadian Rockies

You'll be cruising the Canadian Rockies if you take this tour from Seattle to Anchorage.


Dan Patino and I were hoping to ride a couple KLR 650s up to Alaska last summer but we couldn’t swing the financial end of it. This year Dan is definitely going and he’s hoping to find three other people who are interested in a (relatively) inexpensive adventure ride.

As the proprietor of Go 2 Motorcycle Tours, Dan has a need to move a few KLRs from Seattle to Anchorage. In exchange for you helping him get them there, he’ll set it all up and for your $1,300 you’ll get 10 days bike rental, a guide, and a support vehicle. What is not covered is gas, food, and lodging. Of course, it’s up to you to get to the starting point in Seattle, and also to get home then from Anchorage.

Let’s put this in perspective. I don’t know the details but this is all somehow in connection with a MotoQuest North to Alaska Tour that will be making the same ride at the same time. If you ride with MotoQuest your fees cover gas, food, and lodging, but the very cheapest option they offer is $3,400 if you ride your own bike and share a room. It’s $5,600 if you ride their bike and share a room.

That’s making Dan’s option sound pretty enticing, isn’t it?

Well, if you’re interested you have to decide quickly. The ride leaves Seattle on May 17 and arrives in Anchorage on May 26. You can get to Dan through his website or by email at go2mototours@yahoo.com.

Like the song says, “North! To Alaska! We’re going north, the rush is on.”

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Biker Quote for Today

Adventure begins when the pavement ends.


Big Summer in Colorado for BMW Riders

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

BMW S1000RR

If you ride a BMW and want to spend some time with like-minded folks in Colorado, you’re truly in luck this summer.

I was looking through the March 2012 issue of BMW Owners News, which a friend passed along to me, and in the back they have a U.S. map with numbers corresponding to the info, separately, for various events going on around the country. Well, Colorado had four numbers, indicating four BMW events. To put this in perspective, in all of Colorado’s surrounding states there are two events, one in Arizona and one in Kansas.

It would appear that this is perhaps entirely due to the efforts of the very active BMW Motorcycle Club of Colorado, as well as one event put on by the BMW Riders of Western Colorado group. Here’s what’s cookin’.

2nd Annual Canyon Mixer Ride, July 7
Starting out from Northern Colorado Euro Motorcycles in Fort Collins.

41st Top O’ The Rockies Rally, July 12-15
Headquartered in Paonia.

13th Annual Colorado 100,000 Foot Ride, August 4
Route and starting point disclosed in the registration packet. This event routinely sells out, so don’t put it off if you’re interested.

10th Annual Thunder Mountain Rendevouz, September 21-23
Headquartered in Hotchkiss, timed to coincide with the peak of fall color.

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Biker Quote for Today

I’m never lost, I just don’t know where I’m at!


Interesting Dirt Route Como to Salida

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

This is not the first time I’ve said this but I’ll repeat myself: I’ve got to get a dual-sport motorcycle.

Riding dirt from Como to Salida

  Riding dirt from Como to Salida

The trigger this time is a ride I didn’t do, because I didn’t have a dual-sport. I was contacted on Monday by a guy named Milan, who heard of me through Ben at House of Motorrad. Milan told me he works as a ski guide in winter and wants to start doing Colorado motorcycle guiding in the summer. He asked if he could get a link to his site on my site and, by the way, wanna go for a ride?

Milan lives in Telluride and was headed back that way from Golden and proposed taking some dirt from Como to Salida. I said I’d love to, but not on one of my street bikes. He replied, “You could probably take a street bike on the Hartsel dirt- very easy.”

As for me, I replied, “I know better than to take my Concours on anything rougher than hard-packed gravel.”

Milan nudged, “I’ll be leaving Golden area about 9 am. It is a hardpacked gravel.”

I demurred. My Connie does not like gravel, even hard-packed, for very long. So I didn’t go.

Good choice. I heard from Milan today, saying, “You made the right choice by not coming, there was a stream crossing (about 6″ deep) and some ruts in another part of the ride.”

But I was curious what route he took. That’s it there on the map, although there’s no detail at this scale, though it gives you an idea. According to Milan, “I rode 285 to Como, took a right on Elkhorn Road (F.R. 15) to Hartsel. Then took County Road 53 to Forest Road 175 – that dropped me right into Salida.”

So OK, if I ever get that dual-sport I have another route to check out. Some day.

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Biker Quote for Today

After riding in the rain thru Bosnia, I think this newfangled front fender idea wasn’t so bad. I’m not as covered in mud as I usually am. That’s an idea that may just take off in popularity. My chopper still ain’t gonna get one tho.


Get the Buck Off the Road

Monday, April 16th, 2012
Deer on the road

One of motorcycling's deadliest foes. (Photo by Florian Boyd)

I had the opportunity last week to get acquainted with Lisa Price Waltman, of Colorado Springs, who told me of a fun ride she has organized and will be holding for the second time this year. She calls it the 2nd Annual Running of the Deer Ride – “Get the Buck Off the Road” and, as you might suspect, there is a story behind it.

Lisa had grown up riding dirt bikes but had never had a street bike of her own, so she rode pillion for a number of years. Then, in 2009, the bike she was a passenger on hit a deer, they went down, and Lisa was badly injured.

Not one to give up, however, Lisa was back on a bike six months later, and though she says the first 10 minutes were terrifying, after that all was good. So good, in fact, that soon afterward she bought her own bike, a 2010 Harley Softail Deluxe.

Taking lemons and making lemonade, Lisa decided to put together a run on the anniversary of her crash along much of the same route. There’s no sign-up fee, no beneficiary charity. It’s just a ride for fun, and to make a statement of defiance. I’ve listed her run on my Rides and Rallies page; it’s in October, currently the last event listed. You might want to mark it on your calendar.

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Biker Quote for Today

Tuck in behind me, I’ll show you where to crash.


Track Day Opportunity at High Plains Raceway

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Racers at High Plains Raceway

Have you ever whined that you’d really like to see how fast your bike can go but you don’t want to risk the ticket? Stop your whining, here’s your chance.

Erico Motorsports just announced that they are sponsoring two track days at High Plains Raceway, out east near Byers. The dates are June 4 and August 6.

The charge to just go out on the track is $250. For an extra Benjamin Erico offers “a ton of coaching from Team Erico to include classroom time. Yeah, we’re not pros but I’ll bet we can get you going much faster, staying much safer, and having a blast riding your bike how it was intended.”

Of course, you’ve got to have all the gear, and you need to drain your coolant and replace it with water. They’ll be serving breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and the track will be ready to at 8:30.

If you’re interested, you’ll need to contact John at john@ericomotorsports.com. He’s also there to answer any questions you might have and provide complete information.

I did a track day once and I have to tell you, it was humbling. There were the folks who knew they belonged in the beginner group and then some of us who couldn’t conceive that we should be in that lowly position. I went out with the mid-level group and promptly found myself the slowest guy on the track, by a long shot. But I had fun and maybe I learned enough to get at least a bit better. It definitely made me a lot more respectful of the skill those guys have who go really, really fast.

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Biker Quote for Today

Whoever said money can’t buy happiness has never owned a sportbike.


Knocking 55,200 Miles Off My Honda

Monday, April 9th, 2012

broken speedometer

So is it a good thing or a bad thing when you have a 32-year-old motorcycle with only 29,000 miles on it? If you think in terms of using the bike for what it was intended, i.e., riding it, that would be a bad thing. And even if you were selling it, I’m not sure I, as a buyer, would consider low mileage necessarily good. That would raise questions about how gunked up the carbs might be and what else might be ailing from neglect.

Or it could just mean you replaced the speedometer. I mentioned awhile back how the dial on the speedometer on my 1980 CB750 Custom has broken (see photo above) and I needed to replace it. Also, the gears inside were making a high-pitched shrieking that made riding it very unpleasant. And you can’t fix a speedometer. They’re deliberately built so you can’t open them up and work on them; otherwise, anyone could just go in and roll back the odometer and sell the vehicle as having a lot fewer miles on it.

So that meant replacing it. Joel, my mechanic at Mountain Thunder Motorsports, picked up a replacement from Steele’s and on Friday I came by to have the work done. But when Joel brought out the new (for me) speedo it wasn’t the right one. So Joel sent me over to Steele’s to get the right one.

I did, and the new speedo shows only 29,375, compared to the 84,575 miles I had on the old one. Dang, that high number gave me a lot of cred; now it looks like I’m just a wannabe rider. That’s less than 1,000 miles a year. Oh well, I know how to fix that. Ride.

And I learned a couple things. First, Joel put the new speedo on so quickly it occurs to me I could have done it myself and saved what I paid him to do it. And I’m sure Joel wouldn’t have objected to that considering that he bought the wrong one from Steele’s and can’t return it. It’s his. So the whole thing probably comes out a wash for him. Meanwhile I paid for the right speedo and for installation. I guess I need to have more confidence in my mechanical abilities. I’m not averse to working on things, I guess I’m just reluctant to screw with something that might get expensive if I mess up. But how badly could I have messed up replacing a speedometer?

Whatever. At least now I can see how fast I’m going and I don’t have that horrible screech. And hey, it’s riding season! Hot dang!

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Biker Quote for Today

You know you’re becoming addicted to riding when you leave your car in the garage in favor of riding your bike to work on a 36 degree morning


Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum To Celebrate 20 Years

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

I’ve noticed a very surprising thing recently, which is that there is almost a total dearth of motorcycle events going on in Colorado in April. Ever since I put this website up more than 6 years ago I have listed upcoming events on my Rides and Rallies page and this is the first time that I have had to search and search and search to find anything at all to list for April.

Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum anniversary flyer

The Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

I did finally find one event, and it’s a good one. It’s something that needs to get more publicity. The Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a big open house on Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They’ll have a small lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., they’ll be handing out door prizes, and there will be a bike show if the weather permits.

If you’ve never been to the museum you really do need to get down there. Actually, I need to get down there because I haven’t been back to it since they moved into larger quarters. They used to be in the small building just in front of Pikes Peak Harley-Davidson, but now they have moved inside the dealership and have more space.

The place was great before, so I have to assume it is even better now. Jerry Manka is the director and curator and trust me, Jerry is as much an attraction as the bikes. He’s a character.

And oh, the bikes! They definitely have some nice ones. A lot of Indians and old Harleys plus a bunch more.

Of course, the last part of the complete name is “and Hall of Fame.” I’m betting the Hall of Fame gets a bit more space now than was possible before.

So April 21 would be a good day to go, but if you don’t go then, go some other time. It’s worth it. You won’t be sorry.

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Biker Quote for Today

I like my bike because I can overtake 4x4s down farm tracks with a week’s worth of shopping on the back.


Colorado’s Mark Bruckner Nominated To Motorcycle Hall Of Fame

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

I have to admit to ignorance here, but in the last half hour I’ve been learning a lot about Mark Bruckner. That’s because the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) just released their list of this year’s nominees to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame and Bruckner is the first name on the list.

Mark Bruckner has been nominated to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame

Colorado's Mark Bruckner has been nominated to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Of course, what they said about him in the announcement was guaranteed to catch my eye: “National/international motorcycling rights advocate, past state coordinator for ABATE of Colorado, past board member/president/chairman of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.”

Oh wow, and until I read that I’d never heard of him. So he’s a previous state coordinator for ABATE of Colorado. I know Terry Howard, the current state coordinator, very well, but I’ve never met Bruckner. Turns out he was in that position from 1991 to 1994. After that he went on to the MRF, as stated above.

Currently Bruckner is Executive Director of BIKEPAC of Colorado. I get to show my ignorance again here. I’m not familiar with BIKEPAC of Colorado. Turns out it is a political action committee (PAC). Here is what it says about its mission.

As the organization’s resources grow, BIKEPAC will contribute to candidates running for office in the State Senate and the State House of Representatives. BIKEPAC may also contribute to Gubernatorial candidates. BIKEPAC will not contribute to candidates for office at the federal and local government levels. BIKEPAC believes that the most effective way to protect motorcycling in Colorado – and to best utilize our resources – is to contribute to the campaigns of pro-motorcycling candidates at the State Senate and House level. BIKEPAC employs a full-time lobbyist. Unlike many lobbyist who represent multiple clients at the State Capitol, the lobbyist for BIKEPAC represents only one group – the motorcyclists of Colorado.

Except that maybe this info is outdated. The link I tried to follow to the website doesn’t go there, and on a lobbying site I found it listed the organization as being registered through 2006. I have more digging to do. I’ll put up more as I learn more.

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Biker Quote for Today

Bikes are better than women because you don’t have to talk to your motorcycle after you ride it.