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Who loves murdersickles?

webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,647 ✭✭✭✭✭
Dad was the luckiest man in WWII. When he graduated OCS, Anzio was under way, and the shelf life of a second lieutenant was three weeks -- just enough time to ship over, get to a unit, and get shot because you wore that funny folding hat. Instead of Italy, Dad got sent to the Carribean as an MP. He spent his war in Jamaica, Aruba, Curacao, and Puerto Rico, busting drunks and keeping brothels honest. Rode round in an Indian with a suicide shift and a private in the sidecar. That's why Dad loved bikes

When I was a boy in SoCal, Dad began to buy a succession of wrecked dirt bikes from his buddies at work. Husqvarna, ACE Pabatco, Maico, and such. We'd get them in the garage, trap the handlebars under the rear tire of the Nash Rambler station wagon and grunt until they were good enough, replace clutch levers, drill stripped shifter splines and drop a bolt through, and then fiddle and fiddle with those two smokes -- plugs, carbs, points -- until they'd kick over. About the time the engine would run good enough to idle, Mom would come out of the kitchen, wringing her hands on a dish towel, and moan: "Jim, he's going to wreck that thing!" Dad would replay: "I hope he does." Not one to disappoint, out to the desert I would go. That's how I came to love wrenching on bikes. I usually bring a too-long-parked derelict back to life each Winter and flip it in the Spring; but since the economy fell apart, it's a buyer's market, so I have given that up until things get straight.

I am sixty five this summer. I have maybe driven a car five years in that time. To me, a bike is uniquely a vehicle, not a toy. I don't in the least understand those who call it a hobby or pastime. And even though I have lived in Dull-Aware 25 years now, I still cannot grok the concept of a riding season. Snow scrapes off a seat easier than off a windshield. It's not just a commute -- it's an adventure.

Bikes are like horses: You don't plow with the saddle horse, nor do you pull a buggy with a cutting horse. You get a bike for each purpose. My stable at present includes a big bagger BMW R1200CLC to tote the RedHead to a distant B&B, a BMW K75C for the commute, and a KLR650 to go camping. This is about the perfect selection. I'll probably get a speed bike again, and sell it off again in quick order, then get another, and sell it quick, because speed is nice, but riding in the dog position sucks.

Like horses, you grow an affection for a good bike. That's why I name mine. The big bagger is Annie, because we bought her for our anniversary. The K75 is Ocelot, because she is stealthy, silent, predatory, small, orange and black, and will give you a growl underway, a purr at idle, a jungle cough under decelration. The KLR is Biffy Bullfrog; Biffy because if properly used she will get biffed, and Bullfrog because of her face (see pics).

Just returned from a camping trip to Savage Mountain Forest aboard Biffy. Leaving early next month for a trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway aboard Ocelot. Leaving in September for Idaho Falls aboard Annie.

Biffy Bullfrog:
image

Ocelot:
image

and this sculpture is Annie's tank:
image

I'd love to arrange a bike ride with like minded BOTLs to some distant cigar lounge -- or even better yet, up to the c.com warehouse in Allentown -- some place we could park and burn a few and swap some lies. I think that would make for a fine smoky day.

“It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


Comments

  • ToombesToombes Posts: 4,506 ✭✭✭
    Awesome story and beautiful scoots, brother! I'm currently rebuilding a '58 Sporty and just took possession of a '73 Triumph OIF that I'm going to convert to a trike(partially paralyzed right leg...). My current ride is a slightly tweaked and modified '83 Kawsaki KZ-305. Got a bit of work to do, but there's nothin like a little grease under your fingernails to make the day brighter!
    The Kawasaki. Can't tell in the pics, she has MX bars to get the link out of your wrists. Her name is Isabelle.
    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
    This is the Sporty as it sits for the time being. 2" up/out on the frame, which makes her sit wicked low.
    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    Nice rides and story. I'm thinking of picking up a KLR650 as well for riding the mountains and trails. Is learning to ride something I can pick up at 41? I've done shifting in the desert on quads so I'm not worried about that. And I'm used to vehicles coming in every direction at high and low speeds with little visibility. But getting on the road has me nervous.
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,647 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Oh sure, not to worry. It's like falling off a log. And a KLR is the right bike to learn on. First, it's no sot big that the weight would double cross you. Biggest mistake biker newbs make is starting out on a full dressed half ton electra glide. A KLR is still light enough you can jerk it out of the way if you have to. Second, a KLR is so ugly to start with that you don't mind dropping it. Second biggest mistake biker newbs make is spending seventeen grand on rolling sculpture then biffing it. Buy used for cheap, take it out in the desert, and beat on it. Way to go.

    Now, I must warn you, you will have tons of people advise you to take MSF classes. I am not saying that that approach doesn't make perfect sense. It does. I am only telling you it does not work. Why? That is speculation. The facts are plain. The why is unknown. Logic is contradicted here by empirical evidence. I didn't make it up. I got this from the IIHS. Here is the bottom line: Studies from all over the country and all over the world all agree that these classes do no good whatever. The better studies using larger samples and better methodology agree that they actually increase your chances of an accident. For the long story, read this: http://motorcycleclub.org/safety

    So don't waste your time, just go to the desert on a bike you won't break your heart if you crash, and have fun. In a few weeks, you will be on top of it. After that, simply assume that every brain dead cage driver out there is oblivious to your existence at best, out to kill you on average, and on the fn cell phone, at any given moment.

    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 9,720 ✭✭✭✭✭
    webmost:
    Oh sure, not to worry. It's like falling off a log. And a KLR is the right bike to learn on. First, it's no sot big that the weight would double cross you. Biggest mistake biker newbs make is starting out on a full dressed half ton electra glide. A KLR is still light enough you can jerk it out of the way if you have to. Second, a KLR is so ugly to start with that you don't mind dropping it. Second biggest mistake biker newbs make is spending seventeen grand on rolling sculpture then biffing it. Buy used for cheap, take it out in the desert, and beat on it. Way to go.

    Now, I must warn you, you will have tons of people advise you to take MSF classes. I am not saying that that approach doesn't make perfect sense. It does. I am only telling you it does not work. Why? That is speculation. The facts are plain. The why is unknown. Logic is contradicted here by empirical evidence. I didn't make it up. I got this from the IIHS. Here is the bottom line: Studies from all over the country and all over the world all agree that these classes do no good whatever. The better studies using larger samples and better methodology agree that they actually increase your chances of an accident. For the long story, read this: http://motorcycleclub.org/safety

    So don't waste your time, just go to the desert on a bike you won't break your heart if you crash, and have fun. In a few weeks, you will be on top of it. After that, simply assume that every brain dead cage driver out there is oblivious to your existence at best, out to kill you on average, and on the fn cell phone, at any given moment.

    While I will agree that you should start out small and work up, I will disagree about the MSF classes.
    While I haven't taken them, I do see marked improvement in motorcycle skills from those people who do take them.
    And yes, I ride a Hardly Dangerous.
    In Fumo Pax
    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
  • Roberto99Roberto99 Posts: 1,077
    james40:
    Nice rides and story. I'm thinking of picking up a KLR650 as well for riding the mountains and trails. Is learning to ride something I can pick up at 41? I've done shifting in the desert on quads so I'm not worried about that. And I'm used to vehicles coming in every direction at high and low speeds with little visibility. But getting on the road has me nervous.
    I picked up riding street bikes at 39. Normal to be a bit nervous, it's good to be alert! No problems, I'm comfortable on a bike but still make a big effort to stay alert. I never took the Motorcycle safety class so I cannot comment on the validity of any studies or articles from personal experience. My wife and I both got bikes and got licensed at the same time. We have alot of fun on them. We both have 1600cc HD's and love them. This year will be our 4th trip to Sturgis in 9 years. I rode dirt bikes as a kid, my wife rode daisy her banana bike. I think you'll do just fine :-)
  • KingoftheCoveKingoftheCove Posts: 932 ✭✭✭
    aw man! you're gonna make me dig up old pics and scan them!
    I road from 1971 until 1986.....and then hung it up for good.....went down a few times, nothing serious............owned lots of Japanese and British bikes

    One day this teenage girl made a left turn in front of me............I was on my BSA Victor 441.............I had no chance, I ended up fishtailing past the rear-end of her sedan at about 40mph....missed her by 2 or 3 feet, seemed like inches.................she was as shaken up as I was, she simply didn't even see me!
    Lost my nerve after that.........kept thinking every on-coming car was going to turn in front of me...... :-(

    So I sold the Victor and two Hondas I had to a local cop, and that was that....summer of 1986.
    If I ever move out of this tourist town, I just might take up bikes again.....................always wanted a 60s Triumph Tiger 500..................I did own a 72 650 Tiger and it was sweet......but got to ride a friends 500 a long long time ago and fell in love....................someday....................maybe.......
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,647 ✭✭✭✭✭
    King, it's all different now. The girls who didn't see you before are now all on their cell phones. On the other hand, **** and German bikes all have incredible double disc four pot brakes. Also, the tires they use these days have compounds as sticky as contact cement. Finally, in a word: ABS. Even big Annie will stop on a dime and give you eight and a half cents change. It is physically impossible to fishtail a bike with ABS. If you get a beemer with a telelever, you can't even make the front end dive. Incredible control. Of course, I am speaking here of **** and German bikes. HD sells shine and noise, so they are overweight and undertech and don't stop worth a crap compared to a rice rocket or especially to a beemer. I've not owned an English bike since way back, when a Triumph followed by a BSA gave me cussin repair fits. The point is, handling has improved dramatically.

    Add to that the fact you were probably ogling that teenage gal back in 86, and imagining... well, looking over rather than looking out. These days you'd be three times as careful.

    Listen: You can pick up a used bike for a song these days and insure it for a joke. The gas savings alone will pay for the thing in a few thousand miles. Take Ocelot, for instance. A 1990 BMW K75C. An old feller had run into health probs and parked her ten years. I paid 1500 for her, spent 500 to get her back on the road. Tires, battery, cleaned injectors, fuel lines and fuel pump, that was about it. All three bikes combined cost me 180 a year to insure. So getting Ocelot on the road did not cost much. Gets 43 mpg (least of my 3 bikes). Makes commuting a pleasure. Ocelot does not have ABS (many 1990 K75s do, though) and yet she will stop in the twinkle of an eye.

    Summertime. Get out and ride.

    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • KingoftheCoveKingoftheCove Posts: 932 ✭✭✭
    webmost:
    King, it's all different now. The girls who didn't see you before are now all on their cell phones. On the other hand, **** and German bikes all have incredible double disc four pot brakes. Also, the tires they use these days have compounds as sticky as contact cement. Finally, in a word: ABS. Even big Annie will stop on a dime and give you eight and a half cents change. It is physically impossible to fishtail a bike with ABS. If you get a beemer with a telelever, you can't even make the front end dive. Incredible control. Of course, I am speaking here of **** and German bikes. HD sells shine and noise, so they are overweight and undertech and don't stop worth a crap compared to a rice rocket or especially to a beemer. I've not owned an English bike since way back, when a Triumph followed by a BSA gave me cussin repair fits. The point is, handling has improved dramatically.

    Add to that the fact you were probably ogling that teenage gal back in 86, and imagining... well, looking over rather than looking out. These days you'd be three times as careful.

    Listen: You can pick up a used bike for a song these days and insure it for a joke. The gas savings alone will pay for the thing in a few thousand miles. Take Ocelot, for instance. A 1990 BMW K75C. An old feller had run into health probs and parked her ten years. I paid 1500 for her, spent 500 to get her back on the road. Tires, battery, cleaned injectors, fuel lines and fuel pump, that was about it. All three bikes combined cost me 180 a year to insure. So getting Ocelot on the road did not cost much. Gets 43 mpg (least of my 3 bikes). Makes commuting a pleasure. Ocelot does not have ABS (many 1990 K75s do, though) and yet she will stop in the twinkle of an eye.

    Summertime. Get out and ride.

    ha! - well no, I wasn't oogling her at all, she was in oncoming traffic. Didn't even know it was a girl until I went back to the gas station she turned into cause I was gonna kick somebody's a$$, only to discover a numb, crying, shocked little bimbo who thought for sure she was gonna get t-boned by a motorcycle.........and btw.......I wasn't oggling teenagers in 1986.....that would have been in the early/mid 70s......

    I really can't imagine how much technology has improved bikes as far as handling/stopping....maybe someday I'll revisit.
    Besides, I have a "motorcycle"! It's a 1993 Suzuki 1000cc 3 cyl............but it has 4 wheels.......it's more commonly called a Geo Metro! But it gets 51mpg on the freeway, and 42mpg in town - almost as good as many bikes! heh heh!
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,647 ✭✭✭✭✭
    "........and btw.......I wasn't oggling teenagers in 1986...."

    LMAO
    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 5,705 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My family will tell you I'm insane about motorcycles, I think I'm just an enthusiast. My last two have been Harleys, but I love them all! Dam n, I'm going to have to learn to post pictures.
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as another person's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    webmost:
    "........and btw.......I wasn't oggling teenagers in 1986...."

    LMAO
    Reminds me of this, lol. Can't post videos to save my life.

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/2dgN3N24PXk
  • jsnakejsnake Kansas CityPosts: 5,800 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Fantastic story. Thanks for sharing. I for one do not ride and never will. I have lost too many friends and as a cop found too many bodies lying somewhere near a wrecked out motorcycle. Motorcycles are fun and I have ridden on several when I was younger. It isn't generally the motorcyclist who causes the accidents. All those people driving while eating, texting, doing hair/makeup, or just having their head up their *** take out way too many motorcycles.
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 6,647 ✭✭✭✭✭
    jsnake:
    Fantastic story. Thanks for sharing. I for one do not ride and never will. I have lost too many friends and as a cop found too many bodies lying somewhere near a wrecked out motorcycle. Motorcycles are fun and I have ridden on several when I was younger. It isn't generally the motorcyclist who causes the accidents. All those people driving while eating, texting, doing hair/makeup, or just having their head up their *** take out way too many motorcycles.

    True. Guy ran a red light just today and came within a foot of plowing into me. I have three texting bimbettes a week try to kill me. But here's the deal: Every last thing truly thrilling in life is dangerous. Everything worth doing you might not get through in one piece. Without exception. Anything yet discovered which makes the day memorable you might just break a collarbone if nothing else. If nothing else, you might get her pregnant. So you have a stark choice: boredom or danger. There is no third option. Danger is the spice of life.

    Helped a friend with his motorcycle today. He just returned from crewing a sailboat from one of the Virgins to Panama. Did he recount tales of cool calm nights under the stars? Did he brag about balmy breezes and eating spam from a can? Did he tell me how much fun he had going to the airport? No. What he remembers, what he brags about, what spreads a broad grin across his mug is when he recounts five days of gales. Truth is, that what he went for: adventure.

    Pick your poison. Safety is over-rated.

    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)


  • ScramblerScrambler Posts: 746 ✭✭
    I've been riding a Triumph Scrambler (like the one in my avatar) for about 5 years. I wasn't much of a Harley fan, but I picked up a Dyna Defender, ex-police bike, real cheap not too long ago. I stripped off a lot of the cop stuff, and I plan on painting it matte green and replacing as much of the chrome as possible with matte black parts. I still much prefer the Scrambler for riding around town, but the Dyna seems to fight the wind a lot better on long highway rides.

    I also have a 1996 Triumph Trophy 900 that my dad rode, but it's been sitting for a couple years, and a 1972 Triumph T25T that I picked up just because it looked cool.
  • ScramblerScrambler Posts: 746 ✭✭
    image
    Here is my Scrambler in front of the Mississippi.

    image
    The Dyna Defender. It came with giant hard plastic saddlebags, tall chrome handlebars, and a big comfy single seat. I've made a couple more changes since this pic, like changing out the passenger boards I added for black ones. The black pipes are sitting in a box next to my toolbox back home.

    image
    And the fun little T25T
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 9,720 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My bike and the shop cat taking up his post as sentinel.
    And for anyone who wants to know, this is what a 30lb siamese looks like. LOL!

    image
    In Fumo Pax
    Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy cigars and that's close enough.

    Wylaff said:
    Atmospheric pressure and crap.
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