Monday, June 30, 2008

My weekend in review

This weekend held no major riding for me, as I happily committed myself to breaking my eldest nephew into the fine art of burping, farting, and fishing. We invited him to his first "Man" outing. He is five years old. Myself, my son, father in law, brother in law and his 5 yr old went camping. Needless to say, we all had a blast. It was well worth forgoing a weekend ride.

Just to scratch the itch, I did hop on the bike for a cruise around the neighborhood (literally) last night.

So since I don't have much else to leave you with today, I give you ... "one liner biker wit"....

Loud pipes drown out the voices in my head.

Friday, June 27, 2008

New Honda wave 125i - PGM Fi System

New Honda wave 125i - PGM Fi System

New Yamaha Spark 135i - 135 cc

New Yamaha Spark 135i - 135 cc

Got Cake?

Yesterday evening, I was watching Food T.V., and caught an episode of the Ace of Cakes. I am glad I have DVR or I wouldn't have been able to stop the T.V. show, and get my digital camera, and rewind to capture these pictures.
Being an artist, I can really appreciate some of the stuff these folks create on this show with cake. Duff and his crew made a Harley Davidson Electra Glide Motorcycle cake!
Friggin cool! Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Please excuse the poor quality, these are pictures of my television , not pictures captures from the Web.





Thursday, June 26, 2008

Vetter Fairings

On Tuesday 6-23-08, Doug Klassen of Fourty Years on Two Wheels had a great post about his past, when he was a news film courier. Take a moment to read it, then pop on back here to finish reading this post.

He has a picture of the old BMW he used to ride. I love nostalgic bikes. I also get a kick out of the Vetter fairing on it. I've never seen one on a BMW before. It just goes to show you learn something new all the time.

Anyway, This reminded me instantly of when I was a kid. I remember sitting in the livingroom on the floor, watching the great big old console style television. There was a commercial that I used to see frequently. This commercial is one of the things that sparked my love for motorcycles. It was (I believe) a Honda commercial. They showed a Motorcycle cruising really fast on a curvy road and it had a Windjammer fairing by Vetter. Heck, I went on for a few years thinking that Windjammer was actually the name of the Honda motorcycle that I coveted so much. L.O.L.! It's kinda like hearing a song when you are a kid, or even an adult, thinking you know the lyrics, only to find out you've been singing them in your head wrong for quite some time.

Several motorcycles into my beginning to be a real biker, I picked up a 1981 Honda Goldwing GL1100. This was the old style with the Windjammer Vetter fairing. Cooincidence? I wonder.
Anyone who has followed my blog might be wondering, sooo...If you were wondering, the answer is Yes, I customized it too.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

non biker related joke

This not biker related, but a friend just shared this with me, and I felt I should pass it along.

Ben Franklin once said: "In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria." In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli,(E. Coli) - bacteria found in feces. In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop. However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer or tequila, rum, whiskey, (other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting. Remember: Water = Poop, Wine = Health Therefore, it's better to drink wine and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of shit. There is no need to thank me for this valuable information. It is my duty as your friend and also because of my deep concern for your health.

Glider Rider's response to yesterday's post is really F'n funny!

Lady Rides a lot, A.K.A Glider rider to yesterday's post with the three stages in a man's life. Really Funny!
Got to check it out. LMFAO!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Three things I know about women.

Joker recently posted Quote" I'd be home bonding with my two boys. I also missed a ride up to Bub's Barbecue this morning. Some times you just have to take one for the team - if you don't want to find all your stuff scattered all over your front lawn and driveway anyway."End quote.

I comment Joker for this, but it reminds me of the three things I know about women.

1) If she is happy, I am happy.

2) If she aint happy, aint no one happy.


3) If she aint happy for a really long time, I aint happy with half my sh*t!

But seriously, I make time for my family and give up riding time quite oftern because as much as I love motorcycles, riding and the biker brotherhood, I love my wife, kids, and family more than anything in the world.

O.K., I'm done being mushy now.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Tech. tip #6....Saving your scratched paint.

Before you spend money on a paint job for a minor scrape or scratch, have a shop look at it to see if they can wet sand and buff out the scratch on the paint. Don’t be afraid to try wet sanding and buffing before paying for that new paint that someone is trying to sell you. You have nothing to loose.

When I used to work in a body shop, I did wet sanding and buffing all the time to get rid of scrapes and scratches. Plus, I usually did it for free. I was honest about it if I thought I could get out the scrape or scratch without burning through the clear coat. This was a great future sales technique, because a satisfied customer would always come back when they done F’d up their vehicle good in an accident. It was an almost guaranteed comeback to have their collision work done at the shop.

Try a detail shop if you don’t trust the body shop to be honest. The detail shop has nothing to gain by burning through the clear, as you would not have to pay for the job, or shouldn’t anyway if they did burn through your clear coat, where as the body shop does have something to gain, a paint job. However, I know lots of body shop guys who do the same thing I did when I was in the shops still. They too solicit free work on small jobs to gain a bigger future sale. Sometimes the small scratch wet sand and buff job isn’t even worth their paperwork, as it can take only a few minutes to get them out. You just have to feel the shop out, and go with your instincts to see if they are going to really try to help you, and not try to get a sale for paint by burning through the clear coat deliberately. Just like anything, there are honest shops, and not so honest shops.

Sometimes the scratches are just too deep, and that can’t always be found out without trying to wet sand and buff out the scratch. So if you find an honest shop and they try, they’ll be up front with you and let you know it is a 50/50 shot.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Buell Recalls 2008 1125R for Transmission Defect

Buell has issued a recall of certain 2008 1125R motorcycles.

These vehicles can experience 5th gear galling on the clutch shaft due to lack of lubrication. This condition can allow the gear to seize to the shaft, resulting in rear wheel lock-up. This could result in a crash, which could cause injury or death to the rider.

1579 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

2008 Can-Am Spyder Roadster Road Test

On the Motorcycle Views Forum there has been a discussion of the Can-Am™ Spyder™ Roadster. This is a so-called reverse trike with two wheels in front driven by one wheel in the back. I decided that I would test ride a Spyder™ at Americade 2008 at Roaring Brook Ranch (RBR) and report on it here.

The Spyder is made by a Canadian company, Bombardier Recreational Products, Inc. (BRP), located in Quebec. Another of their products is the Ski-Doo® snowmobile. In fact, I had commented before in the forum discussion that the Spyder looks strangely like a snowmobile.

The Spyder was launched in February, 2007 and has managed to strike a chord in many riders. It appeals to riders wanting to go to a trike but wanting more power, traction, and sportiness.

I hadn't realized just how devoted to safety the Spyder is. It has a Vehicle Stability System (VSS) that includes an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), a Traction Control System (TCS), and a Stability Control System (SCS) all integrated to keep the Spyder flat footed and stable at all times. They make you watch a video before you go out for the demo ride that demonstrates the VSS. It's a system you can't turn off. However, for purposes of the video, they did turn off the system and then ran through some cornering and swerving maneuvers -- some in the rain. For the most part, these non-VSS maneuvers resulted in disastrous results with wheels coming completely off the road and the rider having little chance to stay in his lane. When the VSS was re-activated, the performance was rock solid with the rider in no trouble at any time.

The riders' meeting held before the demo ride was a complete run-through of all the controls with special emphasis on how the Spyder steers. It may be a motorcycle but it does not countersteer. No push-right go-right for this baby. You have to steer it like a car, except it doesn't have a steering wheel. It steers using the standard handlebars. Now this requires a temporary rewiring of your brain to make steering the Spyder work. I know from experience that you have to reprogram yourself to go from a two-wheeler to a three-wheeler. Otherwise, the first time you have to make a quick correction to avoid another vehicle, you'll think countersteering instead of steering. That usually takes you right into the object you're trying to avoid.

The Spyder also uses a variable power steering system. At low speeds, it provides more power to help you turn the handlebars. As speed increases, the power effect diminishes so you have near normal road feel.

They also require that you pass a simple road test before you join the group to go out for the demo ride. You have to pull forward and swerve around a traffic cone either right or left depending on a direction indicated. You had to then stop next to the stop sign stationed there and then pull forward and swerve around the next cone and stop. Then this was repeated one more time until you could pull forward and join the group. They just wanted to make sure you knew how to steer the Spyder.

Also, as part of the riders' meeting, the complete safety card was covered. This card is built into the top of the dash. You pull it out to read it and we were read every word on the card. One of the last words on the card was how you start the Spyder. If you only know how motorcycles start, you might never figure out how this thing starts. Most everything in the start up procedure is the same as a motorcycle except you need to release the side emergency hand brake and then press the "M" button on the dash to start the machine. There is an initial system start up process that you view on the dash.

There is no front brake lever. All brakes are controlled by a right foot brake.

The engine is a Rotax® 990cc, liquid cooled 106 hp V-twin.

I found myself slumped slightly forward in the seat. I understand that there are some accessories that allow for a more straight up seating position.

As we traveled in a group around the interior road at RBR, we were encouraged to steer right and then left to move the bike back and forth across the road much like the Indy cars do to warm up their tires. Our purpose, again, was to get used to the steering before we hit the highway.

On the last stretch of interior road there is a particularly bad, uneven, section that I always have trouble with when I ride my traditional trike. With my trike, I feel every bump and jolt, some very violently. With the Spyder, I felt only a very smooth ride even though I was weaving across the road and hitting every bump with force. I was impressed with the ride.

When we hit the highway, the speeds quickly rose to 45-55 mph on a two-lane road. I was soon aware that the high speed power steering was just a bit too fast for me. I wasn't getting the road feel I had expected. I guess one could get used to it though.

The Spyder handled very well. I did feel that I was sitting a little high on the machine. I also had a very low windshield. I'd call it a fly screen. Twice at speed I was hit smack in the middle of the face shield on my full face helmet by a large bug. On my own Gold Wing trike with the standard windshield, that never happens to me. I found out later that taller windshields are available.

The gas tank for the Spyder is under the seat. You have to release the seat and it rises up so you can reach the filler.

There is a storage compartment in the front. It opens forward to contain two full size helmets with a little room left over. The headlight hits the top of the opened compartment and shines down so you can see inside. Handy.

There is a full-gear reverse on the bike activated by a lever on the left handlebar grip.

The Spyder sells for $15,000-$17,000 depending on who you talk to.

With the popularity of the Spyder, I'm told that a touring model is being planned. When I was at Tour-Expo, the vendor area of Americade, I noticed a Spyder in the Corbin area. It had a tall windshield, hard saddlebags and other storage areas, and a two-person Corbin seat. I thought I was looking at the new Spyder Touring model. When I asked the Corbin rep, he said, "Nope, it's our accessories all integrated together to turn the bike into a tourer." Once again, Corbin was ahead of the curve. See Corbin website. They even give a demo that shows how I got hit by the bees.

At the end of the demo ride, the Can-Am folks take your picture as you sit on a Spyder and make it available to you in two days on the Internet. Here's my picture. Note the slightly forward riding position.

While waiting for my Spyder demo ride, I took a short video of another returning Spyder demo ride group as they sped by me on the corkscrew road leading to the Spyder demo area.

Most everyone taking the demo seemed very impressed with the Spyder, as was I.

See Americade 2008 - Day 7 for all the rest of my activities on the day I rode the Spyder.

My complete activities for Americade 2008 may be found on Americade Motorcycle Rally Day-by-Day Blog for 2008.

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week - Little Miss Bobber and CaptBlack

Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views website. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery.

See Little Miss Bobber on her 2005 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Bobber and CaptBlack on his 1991 Honda ST1100.

If you'd like to see your bike as Picture of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Consumer Reports and Motorcycles

Well, I've been a subscriber to Consumer Reports (CR) for longer than I can remember. I even pay for subscriptions for my three adult children. Today, I saw that CR is now possibly getting into the business of evaluating entry-level motorcycles and scooters.

Here's an excerpt from an article Motorists Move to Scooters and Motorcycles to Save from the Consumer Reports Blog:

    "Consumer Reports is researching this segment and is looking into developing a test protocol to evaluate scooters and entry-level motorcycles. We approach these products with grave concern for rider safety and caution readers against a hasty decision to move to two-wheeled transportation without proper training and safety gear."

Motorcycles and Consumer Reports. I can hardly believe it, but I'm happy at the same time. Let's hope they spend lots of time talking about Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) training and wearing proper apparel. We certainly don't want a whole new segment of riders who are only riding to save on gas money.

Trials Motorcycle Invades British Mansion

Well, since this video is making the rounds, I thought I might as well show it here too.

If you've seen motorcycle trials riders before, this may not seem so unusual but the setting is. Dougie Lampkin, 12 times world trials champion, invades a British mansion on his bike and proceeds to take it room to room, even up a spiral staircase. The occupants, with British aplomb, barely notice he's there even when the engine comes right next to their heads.

Obviously, a bit of planning was necessary here. Dougie did scout the place beforehand and plan a route that he could get through.

Certainly an entertaining video that I recommend.

Biker joke (Warning) "mildly explicit"

Three men, a Doctor, and Lawyer, and Biker were sitting at a bar drinking, and shoting the sh*t.
They got to talking about what they got their wives for their last anniversaries.

The doctor took sip of his martini and said I got my wife a diamond ring and a Mercedes. That way if she didn't like the diamond ring, she would know how much I love her because of the very expensive car I bought her.

The lawyer took a sip of his scotch and said I got my wife a pearl necklace and a trip to the Bahamas. That way she would know how much I love her, even if she didn't like the necklace.

The biker took a big swig of his beer, farted, and burped, and said I got my wife a Harley t-shirt, and a vibrator. That whay if she didn't like the shirt she could go "F" herself.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Just because you can doesn't mean you necessarily should.

I, being a custom painter an all by ex trade, love all things custom. I do like some stock stuff too, but almost, (O.K.) everything I've ever owned, has practically been customized in some way. I used to not know when to quit. I couldn't always judge when enough was enough, and more was too much. My wife has been great at pointing out when I've reached this point over the years, and has helped me find subtlty in customs. This makes for a classy custom look, rather than loud and what I consider gaudy custom. I've been working on perfecting this over the years, and have actually started getting a reputation for subtle custom paint that some folks have noticed, and even commented on.

This brings me to, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you necesarily should."
I've been a fan of customs as long as I can remember. I do even love customs that are not subtle, however, I've seen some stuff out there that makes me wonder why? Again "Just because you can, doesn't mean you necesarily should."

I'm not going to pick on any one bike builder/artist, because without pushing the envelope on going to extremes, all things would remain stagnant, however, while pushing extremes, can't you look at the bike-paint job, etc. and go, O.K., that's enough, lets call it good before it goes to the point of being just plain rediculous. Who wants to ride this Sh*t anyway? And if it's just for show, What a waste. O.K. Done ranting. Thanks for listening to me. This post was inspired by a rediculous custom that I saw recently. Great bike builder known for Extremes.

Honda ICON Modifies for EURO 2008

Honda ICON Modifies for Football EURO 2008 by Thai modifies shop

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

2008 Vectrix All-Electric Maxi-Scooter Road Test

This is a review of the 2008 Vectrix All-Electric Maxi-Scooter. It's based on a demo ride I recently took at Americade 2008. The Vectrix is made by Vectrix Corp. a company started in Europe in 1996 and now expanded into the USA.

If you remember the futuristic vehicles on the Jetson's TV show, you'll feel right at home on the Vectrix. This is a Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV). It uses no gas and no oil.

It looks like a regular size motor scooter. It's designed with safety in mind. To start the machine, you raise the kickstand, turn on the ignition, squeeze the left hand brake and the right hand brake and then you notice that the instrument panel comes alive as it performs an initial system check. Finally, you see a big GO appear on the panel and a number indicator that counts down the miles before the battery needs to be recharged. So far, you have heard no sound at all.

The scooter will go up to 62 mph and has a range somewhere between 50-60 miles depending on how hard you ride it and how steep the terrain is. It has a 30 inch seat height. It takes 3-5 hours to recharge the batteries.

I went out with a group for the demo ride. I was riding behind the leader. Now, I have been riding a trike for over eight years and haven't ridden much on two-wheels so I wasn't too sure about taking this demo in the first place.

In order to get out to the highway, we had to go up the corkscrew drive at Roaring Brook Ranch (RBR), follow it around through the other demo areas and then head down the exit drive to the highway.

The corkscrew drive is one on which you do not stop. You have to keep going or risk a pileup behind you as other riders also try to stop. Fortunately, there are Americade volunteers with Walkie Talkies stationed on the curves to keep you going.

Anyway, I whipped the Vectrix out of its display area hearing only a slight electric motor sound, went up the hill, around a quick uphill left followed by a quick uphill right followed by a sweeping left that led around the property. The scooter responded beautifully with no hesitation. I just couldn't hear much running -- just the faint whining electric motor sound.

When the leader pulled up to the stop sign at the highway, I realized that I also needed to stop. Stopping the Vectrix is done in one of two ways. You can use the left and right handlebar brakes or you can forget about the brakes and use regenerative braking. We were told to use the regenerative braking. To make it work, you twist the throttle away from you and magically, the scooter slows down. It is engine braking that serves the purpose of also charging the batteries. This regenerative effect extends your range by up to 12%. After awhile, you forget about the regular brakes and simply twist the throttle toward you to speed up, and away from you to slow down. Neat!

When I realized I needed to stop that first time, I stopped way back and put my feet down. Then I realized I needed to be closer so I had to move closer to the stop sign. There was a cop there directing traffic. The leader pulled out on the cop's signal and I followed up the hill. The Vectrix shot ahead like a rocket as I caught up with the leader.

We proceeded to take a series of tight uphill and downhill twisties. I was leaning the bike quite a lot on the corners. Trikes don't lean so I had to remember what vehicle I was riding.

I didn't have to concern myself with shifting. There was none. Basically I just kept leaning the bike as necessary while I used the right throttle grip to either go faster or slower.

There was one thing that annoyed me as we returned to RBR to end the demo. I kept hearing a slight beep-beep-beep sound from somewhere. I must be doing something wrong. When we finally stopped at the Vectrix booth, the leader came over to me and I asked him what that noise was. He reminded me of one of his instructions at our riders' meeting before the demo. "If you forget to turn off the turn signals, it will keep reminding you by a beep-beep-beep sound," he said.

"Oh yeah, now I remember."

The Vectrix is built in a plant in Wroclaw, Poland. The headquarters for the USA is in Middletown, RI. The engineering and test facilities are in New Bedford, MA. A dealer network is now expanding across the USA.

I was told the price was about $11,000 but I saw a range from $8,800 to almost $12,000 from various other sources online.

There also appears to be a 3-wheel version much like the Piaggio MP3 scooter. In fact, there seems to have been some sort of deal whereby Vectrix purchased the rights to the Vespa MP3 design. I didn't see the 3-wheel version mentioned on the website but did see it in this Jay Leno's Garage video where Jay checked out the Vectrix.

The company is heavily promoting the scooter especially to cities that are trying to reduce pollution.

The Vectrix maxi-scooter seems to be filling a need to find a way to replace conventional fossil fueled vehicles. It's attracting buyers who are able to fit its capabilities into their lifestyles.

To attract more customers, the Vectrix probably needs to have a higher top speed to fit freeway conditions and a longer commuting range without recharging. However, the Vectrix is proving popular with those who have seen it and as the price comes down and the speed and range go up, this could be a big winner.

The following is a short video I took of another Vectrix demo group at RBR returning from a demo run. The group is followed by a conventional Harley that's making the sounds you hear near the end of the clip. They are the sounds of gas and oil being depleted while that rider's billfold is getting thinner with each fill up.

See Americade 2008 - Day 7 for all the rest of my activities on the day I rode the Vectrix.

My complete activities for Americade 2008 may be found on Americade Motorcycle Rally Day-by-Day Blog for 2008.

Just a phase... Yeah right!

And your parents thought it was just a phase!

Boy did they get that one wrong!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

2008 Thoroughbred Stallion Road Test

This is a review of the 2008 Thoroughbred Stallion trike. It's based on a demo ride I recently took at Americade 2008. The Stallion is made by Thoroughbred Motorsports whose parent company is Motor Trike. I currently own two Motor Trikes. I converted my 1998 Gold Wing 1500 to a Motor Trike for my wife in late 1999. I then bought another Gold Wing for myself and converted it a Motor Trike in late 2000. My wife's trike currently has 53,000 miles and mine has 38,000 miles.

After Motor Trike created the Stallion and formed a separate company to manufacture it, we saw it at the Americade rally several consecutive years. It was more of a prototype then. This year the Stallion was at Americade in force. A Stallion fleet was located at Roaring Brook Ranch (RBR) where most of the other demos took place. I decided to take a test ride and convinced my wife to go along and ride pillion.

When we arrived at RBR for the demo, the Stallions were all lined up by the side of the exit road ready to go. They looked very sharp. From the back, they look like small cars but then there is that small roll bar just behind the pillion seat.

It can be a bit of a struggle to get into the Stallion. Our guide was CEO, Jeff Vey, who gave us the tips necessary to easily get in and get seated. Seating is similar to that on a regular motorcycle, with the passenger seated directly behind the rider.

Once inside the Stallion, I didn't feel like I was on a motorcycle anymore. There were no handlebars, only a steering wheel. There was no open space in front of me as in a car. My left leg was on the left side of a raised tunnel where the transmission and drive train was. There was a brake pedal down there. My right leg was on the right side of the tunnel. There was an accelerator down there. On the far right of the cockpit was an automatic shift.

Underneath the sleek body work was a Ford Motor Company supplied 2.3 liter 4-cylinder engine developing 150 hp. All the running gear was Ford. The body, frame, and suspension was Thoroughbred designed, engineered, and manufactured. Since it has three wheels, it's classified as a motorcycle. To add doors and a roof would push it over the edge and turn it into a car, having to then meet all the government standards imposed on cars. This kinda looked like a sports car convertible but in reality it was a more sophisticated motorcycle trike built without the usual motorcycle platform.

The steering wheel column had a place for windshield wiper controls as in a car. For a moment I looked for the wipers but there were none. This is a motorcycle, I reminded myself.

There are two switches that have to be used before you start off. First is an air pressure control that allows you to set the pressure in the Air Lift suspension system to match the load in the Stallion. The other switch controls the brake and accelerator distance away from your feet. Just decide where you want your feet to touch the pedals and push the control until the pedals move towards you the correct amount.

I was told that the power disc brakes can be a bit sensitive and that I should try them a few times before we got on the road so "I wouldn't throw the pillion rider out over my head" -- a bit of Stallion humor I guess, since I had no trouble with the brakes.

There was a slight misty rain as we moved out for the demo ride. We hadn't bothered to put on our rain suits. I had no trouble seeing out the tall wrap-around windshield.

This vehicle also has heat and air conditioning for both rider and passenger but I didn't have time to test either.

There was no problem with the power steering other than it was a little quick at times.

The engine noise was much greater than I'm used to on my Honda Gold Wing Motor Trike. I thought maybe they had a modified muffler but was told later that it was stock.

The transmission has a way of shifting when you least expect it.

On the slick surface it was especially easy to spin the tires when starting off. The rider in front of me did just that on a quick left hand turn from a stop sign. I tried to watch my own performance after that to ease the throttle on gradually. I'm told that the Stallion has almost sports car performance on dry surfaces.

It was easy to drive the Stallion. You can pretty much forget all the controls you have on a motorcycle. The brake pedal controls all the brakes. There is no shifting. Just put it in Drive. There is no clutch. There are no handlebars, just a steering wheel.

I found the side view mirrors to be slightly hidden by the sides of the vehicle. Maybe that could have been adjusted.

The ride was a little rougher than I'm used to with my trike. Again, the air pressure adjustment for the Air Lift suspension might have corrected that.

The trunk capacity was 7 cubic feet, about half of what I have in my 2005 Honda Accord 4-door sedan.

The fuel cell holds 9.5 gallons. The EPA mileage rating is 35 MPG City / 45 MPG Highway.

For the die hard touring motorcyclist, the absence of a CB for group rides is a problem.

My wife once hit the back of her helmet on the roll bar when I started up a bit too quickly.

She did say later that the prospect of having heat and A/C in the Stallion would be a great selling point if she were buying it for herself. She doesn't tolerate heat on hot summer days.

I enjoyed my test ride on the Stallion and so did my wife, Jane.

I did see one Stallion around town and took its picture to show in this review.

The Stallion is being shown across the country in rallies. Check out its rally schedule and go take a demo ride yourself.

The Stallion lists for $32,995. That's comparable to buying a Honda Gold Wing 1800 for $22,000-24,000. and having it converted to a trike for an additional $10,000.

The Stallion is a new kind of motorcycle trike from the same people who continue to bring you the Motor Trike. It's a trike that will appeal to many who don't ride motorcycles at all. Also, licensing requirements may vary depending on where you live.

If you belong to a Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) chapter and want a Stallion, you will find that you suddenly become an associate member since members are supposed to ride Gold Wings or Valkyries. Perhaps if the Stallion really catches on, GWRRA will make an exception.

See Americade 2008 - Day 8 for all the rest of my activities on the day I rode the Stallion.

My complete activities for Americade 2008 may be found on Americade Motorcycle Rally Day-by-Day Blog for 2008.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Been gone for awhile

Sorry about my absenteism on my comments last week, but I was on the North Shore on a camping trip with the wife and kids, and no computer service up there.

I brought back some pictures to share.

Cool lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse

Gooseberry Falls running with high fast water

More Gooseberry Falls

North Shore in the Gun Flint

North Shore in the Gun Flint

I collect knives, So I had to bring home this souveneir!

I checked my google reader. Over 100 and some blog posts unread!
I'll never get caught up!
Nice to be back.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Motorcycle Pictures of the Week - TRIX on his BMW K1200LT Trike

Here are my Pictures of the Week as displayed on the Motorcycle Views website. These are taken from the Moto Pic Gallery.

See TRIX on his 2000 BMW K1200LT trike. There is no female winner this week. Please submit your picture to be considered for Picture of the Week.

If you'd like to see your bike as Picture of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.

BMW Recalls 2006-2008 R1200 Series Motorcycles for Improper Front Brake Line Routing

BMW has issued a recall of certain 2007-2008 R1200R, 2006-2007 R1200GS and 2007 R1200ST motorcycles.

Due to the current routing of the front brake lines, it is possible that during riding, the brake lines could be under strain. If the vibration/strain is significant, the brake lines could split and start to develop a leak. If the leak became significant, brake fluid could escape. If this happened, the level of fluid in the reservoir of the front brake system could drop. If fluid level drops significantly, the front brakes could fail increasing the risk of a crash.

3248 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Ducati Recalls 2007-2008 1098, 1098S, and 1098 Tricolore for Rear Drive Sprocket Failure

Ducati has issued a recall of certain 2007-2008 1098, 1098S, and 1098 Tricolore motorcycles.

The rear drive sprocket can fail. If the sprocket were to fail while the motorcycle is being driven, it is possible that the motorcycle will experience a sudden loss of power and/or the chain may become entangled with the chassis. This can result in a crash without prior warning.

3614 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Suzuki Recalls 2008 GSX1300R Model for Improper Routing of Ignition Switch Wiring

Suzuki has issued a recall of certain 2008 GSX1300R motorcycles.

Improper routing of the ignition switch wiring harness can cause a bent portion of the wiring harness to flex rather than slide when the handlebar is moved from right to left or left to right. Repeated side-to-side movement of the handlebar, and flexing of the bent portion wiring harness, can eventually cause the ignition switch lead wires to become cut or broken. This can result in intermittent or complete loss of electrical power, which can result in loss of lighting and/or stalling of the engine, increasing the risk of a crash.

9109 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

BMW Recalls 2008 K1200GT and K1200S Models for Front Disc Brake Mounting Problem

BMW has issued a recall of certain 2008 K1200GT and K1200S motorcycles.

The fasteners used to secure the front brake-disc may not be long enough to ensure a secure mounting. Over time, these fasteners could loosen. If that happened, the brake disc would no longer be securely mounted. Failure to observe the following precautions, in conjunction with traffic and road conditions, and the rider's reactions, could increase the risk of a crash.

75 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

BMW Recalls 2007-2008 F800S and F800ST for Fuel Tank Breather Hose Problem

BMW has issued a recall of certain 2007-2008 F800S and F800ST motorcycles.

Due to the routing of the fuel tank breather hose, pressure equalization inside the fuel tank is possible only to a limited extent. Consequently, at high ambient temperatures, the fuel tank can deform. If this happened at the point where the fuel tank is shaped to provide clearance for the rear wheel, then, in combination with a large payload, the bottom of the tank could rub against the rear wheel. If this occurred, it is possible that a leak could develop in the tank. Fuel leakage in the presence of an ignition source could result in a fire.

1980 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

BMW Recalls 2008 K1200GT and K1200S Models for Oil System Problem

BMW has issued a recall of certain 2008 K1200GT and K1200S motorcycles.

A set screw may not have been installed at its specific location within the oil duct. Consequently, an adequate supply of oil may not circulate within the engine. It is possible that connecting rod and crankshaft damage could occur. If this happened, the engine could seize. If the motorcycle was in gear, engine seizing could result in lock-up of the rear tire, increasing the risk of a crash.

39 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Americade 2008 - Pictures

This year I'm publishing highlights of my activities at the 2008 Americade Motorcycle Rally, day by day in a blog. Americade is scheduled for June 2-7, this year. The blog will also include my preparation in getting ready to take the ride to Lake George, NY, my observations while there, the ride home, and getting back to normal.

The trip will now also include intermediate stop-offs at at our son's house in Boonton, NJ (three grandsons) and daughter's house in Middle Grove, NY (grandson and granddaughter). Our daughter made a move to the Saratoga Springs area last year after Americade. Since her house is now 25 miles south of Americade (and on the way), we now have a fringe benefit of making the trip.

I have finally processed 96 pictures taken throughout the Americade journey. Take a look.

I also promised you road tests for the three demo rides I took. That should be happening within the next week.

Read the blog each day for further reports.

An evolving blog index to these Americade 2008 blog entries is also available.

A beautiful picture from my ride today

I was on a back country road takin in the scenery, and had to take a picure as it was such a breathtaking road.

Figured I'd share it with you.

Isn't it beautiful?
I did have to watch closely for sheep though. I didn't want to hit one with the bike!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Americade 2008 - Days 12-14

This year I'm publishing highlights of my activities at the 2008 Americade Motorcycle Rally, day by day in a blog. Americade is scheduled for June 2-7, this year. The blog will also include my preparation in getting ready to take the ride to Lake George, NY, my observations while there, the ride home, and getting back to normal.

The trip will now also include intermediate stop-offs at at our son's house in Boonton, NJ (three grandsons) and daughter's house in Middle Grove, NY (grandson and granddaughter). Our daughter made a move to the Saratoga Springs area last year after Americade. Since her house is now 25 miles south of Americade (and on the way), we now have a fringe benefit of making the trip.

I'm going to describe Day 12, 13, and 14 together. The trip home was a scorcher. The temperatures were in the high 90s and Jane does not tolerate heat.

After the parade, we rode from Lake George to Saratoga Springs (35 miles) without too much discomfort. We found out that our daughter's long driveway was being repaved to fix a drainage problem. That meant we had to park the trikes on the street and carry our "stuff" up to the house. Later we were allowed to park the trikes near the house just before the new section that started at the garage. We covered the trikes with the full covers. Later that day the winds started and blew the cover on my trike completely off onto the ground. That had never happened before. I folded up the cover and used my lightweight black cover which had five tie-down spots and remained in place.

On Day 12, Sunday, we all went to see a movie, Kung Fu Panda, that the grand kids wanted to see. I thought the first 20 minutes was a bit boring but the action started up after that and it got funnier and funnier.

After that Jane and I took our grandson to buy his own birthday present. This was his 10th birthday. He picked out a Wii game.

When we got back to the house, we had supper and our grandson got to choose his favorite meal. We had cake afterwards and he blew out the candles.

Our grandson got a lot of presents and he and his sister, in a remarkable spirit of cooperation, proceeded to work together to build a complicated structure.

On Day 13, Monday, we packed the trikes early and headed to Boonton, NJ to stay the night with our son. The heat was brutal!

We stopped for gas about 120 miles down I87. We also went inside and had a quick lunch and some cool drinks. We had 65 miles to go. The heat got unbearable after we got back on the road.

When we turned off at Boonton we got caught on a street with a fast cycle traffic light. It was letting about five vehicles through and to top that off, there was a crossing guard working both directions at the corner where we wanted to turn. We couldn't figure out why the crossing guard was even there. It was only 12:30. We found out later that the schools had been closed early because of the heat. Jane and I sat there for close to 20 minutes in the 95 degree heat inching along. Over the intercom Jane said, "I'm going to pass out if we don't get moving." When she says that, I know we are in for some troubling times.

We did finally get through that intersection and followed the GPS to our son's house.

We arrived and Jane slumped over the handlebars. I got her a drink of water out of my water bottle. She still wasn't moving very well. I went into the house and yelled for my son's wife. No response. We figured she wasn't home so we went in and made ourselves comfortable. We got some soda out of the refrigerator and some cookies to munch on. We sat at the kitchen table and rambled on for 15 minutes about politics and finally heard my son's wife yelling from far off in the house. I figured that she knew we were there and it would only be a minute or two before she popped in to the kitchen. But time passed.

After a while she did appear and seemed to have just been on the phone with our son. She had found out from him that we would be visiting. She hadn't known we were coming at all.

That evening we all went out to supper and afterwards we went to a place that has indoor batting cages. Our 11-year-old grandson would be practicing for an hour. I had never been to such a place where a machine throws balls at you at whatever speed you program in. Once when my son left the batting cage to speak to another coach, my 5-year-old grandson decided he would operate the machine while his 7-year-old brother batted. I saw the first pitch come sailing by and quickly informed my son what was going on. Both he and the owner of the place were quickly inside the cage to get the 5-year-old off the machine. That was close!

On Day 14, Tuesday, we packed up the trikes again and left Boonton for our destination. The temperature was near 95 degrees as we traveled the last 80 miles. I could tell that Jane wasn't doing well. We arrived home and she was pretty much out of it for the rest of that day and the next day too.

Today, Thursday, she was feeling much better. The heat is not a friend of Jane's. Maybe that's why we enjoy our Polar Bear Grand Tour riding so much in the winter.

Today, I spent most of the day opening our pool. It was a series of problems and right now it looks like I have every tool from my work bench out there.

We're back from Americade. We look forward to next year but hope that it will be cooler. The pool is open and running. Summer is approaching. Jane is feeling good again. That's always my objective.

I'll have one more installment of this blog to show you a set of pictures taken at Americade. I also promised you road tests for the three demo rides I took. That should be happening within the next week.

Pictures to follow. Read the blog each day for further reports.

An evolving blog index to these Americade 2008 blog entries is also available.

New Suzuki Revo 110 cc

New Suzuki model Revo 110 cc

New technology in elcetric motorcycles

I hear there is a more powerfull longer lasting battery coming in the market that will make electric motorcycles the wave of the future.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Joker of Harley Davidson Mystique, recently did a political post called Obummer.

Well here is my custom painted gas tank version:

This is one of my friends at the bike shop washing sand out of a really nice custom bike's gas tank.

The owner of the bike must have really pissed someone off!


Monday, June 9, 2008

Derbi bike

This little gem is called The Derbi DH 2.0: a little emotion-producing factory.
This would be really fun to own.

It's taking its direction of the minimum to achieve the maximum. The name Derbi comes from “DERived from BIcycle” – this new creation, born in the ideas laboratory of the Catalan brand, was inspired in the downhill category, from which its gets its name (DH = Downhill, taking it to a new level: 2.0)

Read more:

All information from this post has come directly from the DERBI site.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Americade 2008 - Day 11

This year I'm publishing highlights of my activities at the 2008 Americade Motorcycle Rally, day by day in a blog. Americade is scheduled for June 2-7, this year. The blog will also include my preparation in getting ready to take the ride to Lake George, NY, my observations while there, the ride home, and getting back to normal.

The trip will now also include intermediate stop-offs at at our son's house in Boonton, NJ (three grandsons) and daughter's house in Middle Grove, NY (grandson and granddaughter). Our daughter made a move to the Saratoga Springs area last year after Americade. Since her house is now 25 miles south of Americade (and on the way), we now have a fringe benefit of making the trip.

Saturday was Parade day at Americade. We got up early and loaded the trikes. We would be leaving today after the parade. I moved my trike out to Canada Street and backed it in to the curb so I could later sit on it to view the parade. Actually, I wouldn't be doing much sitting but rather I would be taking more pictures and videos from several positions off the trike.

We walked over to the restaurant that used to be Wegars for our last breakfast this year at Americade. Every time I've gone in there, I've been looking for donuts. They're supposed to sell them. That was my first question. Unfortunately, no donuts today. Maybe next year.

The parade begins at 10 a.m., sweeps down Canada Street to just past Mario's Restaurant, and then makes a 180 degree turn in the street and goes back the other direction. The effect is that you get to see the parade twice and parade participants get to see the parade too.

It gets very quiet just before the beginning of the parade since the side roads are blocked and all traffic stops, except for the parade.

Here are some pictures and videos.

Jane also moved her trike next to mine and relaxes before the parade begins.

I'm on my trike and shortly will be getting off to take pictures and videos.

Police motorcycles start the parade.

The largest group at Americade, the Knights of Fire.

Parade participants have balloons tied to their bikes.

This was a stunt rider in the middle of the parade. There was a special vehicle filming him as he performed at many points in the parade. I wasn't able to catch any video of this. See the official Americade video.

Marriages occur at Americade.

The parade has looped back on itself.

Santa goes to Americade too.

There goes Santa in the other direction.

Parade gridlock.

Coors Light Envy.

Customs make it to Americade as well as touring bikes.

Note: These short videos (less than 15 seconds) may be slow to load. Just let them complete in slow motion and then replay them.

The sound of a fire whistle is heard in the parade. Look at the center of the first few frames of this video to see the stunt rider doing wheelies.

Both sides of the street are filled with the parade in this video.

The music of the parade is heard in this video.

The parade rushes by.

After the parade, we rode up to the Northway and headed south to the Saratoga Springs area where I let the Garmin GPS take over and lead us to our daughter's house via a scenic tree-shaded route. We will be staying there until Monday when we will start the journey back to New Jersey in 96 degree heat. We expect many stops since Jane does not tolerate heat well.

More to follow. Read the blog each day for further reports.

An evolving blog index to these Americade 2008 blog entries is also available.