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Friday, December 23, 2011

new years resolution

carry my camera around, and update the blog MUCH more frequently
happy holidays everyone...see you in 2012

Friday, October 21, 2011

Social Media Outlaws

with the rise in social media in the motorcycle world, I have noticed a dramatic increase in what I call Social Media Outlaws.  These are the people that have a biker nickname either as their screen name or between their first and last names, change a profile picture daily to represent some aspect of being a biker, post pictures of wild bikes and shows (even if they are not their bikes or they have not been to the show) and prattle on about bikes constantly.
What you don't seem to hear from them is about actually riding.  Seems they are constantly going somewhere in their car or truck, and can't really ever be on their bike.  Now these Social Media Outlaws proclaim to know it all regarding bikes, and the biker lifestyle, but why aren't they riding?
Want to be an expert?  participate.  Know what the tips and tricks are to riding in teh rain, carrying unusual objects on a bike and how to commute on your bike for any type of occasion.  Live the life, don't talk about the life.
Me? I have moved across the country twice in order to live where I can ride all year long--for me it is a way of life, i just don't talk about it all that much...

Monday, October 17, 2011

How much time are you saving?????

Been out of it lately and not posting, but for five months now I have been seeing a sign for the alifornia Toll Roads.  Its banner says  How Much Time Are You Saving? and then it goes on to advertise the toll roads--a unique freeway system here in So Cal that cost a fortune.  Its 2, 3, 5, 7 and even 9 dollars to be on these toll roads at different times of the day.  Sure they save you time, but they are pretty darn pricey.
So i started thinking of how much time i save taking my bike instead of my car. 
Its 32 miles each way to my office.  I leave my house at 725 and roll into my office parking lot at 8 thanks to the carpool charge for tolls.  Conversely, I get in my car and i have to be driving at 7:00, the latest 7:05 to make it to work at 8.  That's 20-25 minutes.  basically the same going home, so lets say 45 minutes each day, times five mans i save almost 4 hours a week in commuting time. and i pay no tolls

why don't you ride to work each day?

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Marcia and I don't talk about it much....because she had her office in the Twin Towers and was on her way to work that morning. A single hour difference and we may never have met....I know the horrific event changed her life forever. So many people she knew from working at the mayor's office lost...she planned and produced Prayer for America, but never really talks about it. Each year that passes the media cranks up the hype and we pull away from the media and discussions more. We can't ever for get the tragedy that was 9/11, but for those that survived it, I sure hope the media let' s go and people like Marcia can move forward from it

Friday, August 26, 2011

New Camera--I don't think so

a few friedns are telling me that my old Canon 20d needs to be replaced...saying I need to upgrade for newer technology...i don't think so....these pics were done with it and i think they look great....

but hey, what do i know....?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Star Wars--truth

can't help it--i think this is motorcycles, but who cares.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Los Angeles Times refused this as an Op-Ed....

Dear Fellow Vehicle Operators,

I left California for six years to ride my motorcycle and drive my car

in the Midwest. Upon my return I was greeted by such irresponsible

vehicle operations, I am scared to be on the freeway with you. First

to the motorcycle riders.

1- loud pipes will not make you safer or more visible. The sound from

your exhaust is going behind you, cars in front of you--at highway

speeds have no clue you are there. If you want to be more visible,

trade in the black leather and black t-shirt for something a little

brighter, like say yellow or orange. That will get you noticed when

someone checks their mirror.

2 - it is a car pool lane, not a drag strip. When I had a discussion

with a very nice CHP officer on the side of the 5 Freeway some years

ago, he said, lane splitting, or lane sharing, is not illegal, but

also not really legal. The guidelines he offered me to prevent a

discussion on the side of the road again was, "split lanes at no more

than 10 mph greater than the flow of traffic and never exceed 45 mph".

Thus, if the traffic is going 65-70, there is no reason for you to

blast past me on my bike at 80 in the car pool lane. Not only is it

stupid, it's illegal, the speed limit is 65.

3 - about lane splitting. Don't be an ass when you do it. The worse

of an image you create getting through traffic, the more bitter those

car drivers are when someone else needs to lane split.

I am not only targeting motorcycle riders in this commentary, Southern

California car drivers are not innocent by any means.

1 - you are not really fooling anyone by holding your cell phone three

inches from your face and using the speaker. In fact I think it makes

you more distracted.

2 - if your kids are blasting Barney or Lord of the Rings so loud in

the backseat entertainments system that you are getting annoyed, have

them shut it off. As an annoyed driver you are much more dangerous to

me on my motorcycle. Think back to the time when kids sat in the back

of the car and listened to whatever their parents wanted on the radio

and got yelled at for acting up. It's ok, they don't need to be that


3 - turn signals come standard on your car for a reason. If, between

the cell phone and coffee cup you can't manage to reach the lever,

stay in your lane until you can.

4 - I recognize that traffic is bad in SoCal, but if you miss your

exit, turn, driveway, etc. Go around the block and get to it on your

second pass. Slamming on your brakes and waiting for the lane to

clear so you can get into the store is not only dangerous, it's plain


I am sure my credentials need to be brought out to support this

commentary. Start with 41 years of motorcycle riding experience in

total with 33 on the street. I spent almost five years as a

California Motorcycle Safety Program instructors and 12 years working

on nationally published motorcycle magazines as a test rider/editor.

By no means am I a perfect rider/driver, but I practice what I preach

and am always complimented on my smooth riding and very relaxed

driving attitude. I want to enjoy riding my motorcycle to work each

day, not go at it with a fear for my life. If you see a 2009 Kawasaki

Concours piloted by a guy in a full riding suit with a tie showing

through the top of the jacket, please give me the courtesy of the road

that I will give you. Then, if you give it to everyone else,

driving/riding in SoCal may become fun again.

Howard Kelly

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday ride

So, in the three months we have been back, Marcia has not been on a ride. With the new house in laguna Niguel, we decided to ride to pacific coast highway and see how close it is. Less than 7 miles...way cool! So we head north on PCH with nowhere special in mind. I encounter a bunch of people on bikes....some that really scared me. There was the couple on the gsxr 600, both in shorts, her with flip slips, him with racing gloves and a tshirt........a full face, gloves and shorts...oh man. Next there was a little guy on a bright yellow Honda shadow who kept blipping his throttle at the lights...I like the sound of bikes and it was annoying me...imagine what the car drivers thought...then there was a group of three Harleys, who if I really thing about it, tried to race me away from a light...I never broke the speed limit...but I got there so fast in first gear, I wasn't sure if they were really racing because I couldn't see them anymore.
But then there was the guy on the yamaha f1 going through Huntington beach. It's Sunday and it's the middle of the afternoon..lof course there is going to be traffic in surf city, so lane splitting was mandatory. But this idiot kept blipping his throttle and then racing his engine when cars wouldn't move over for him. God, I was on the concours, two up with saddlebags and I wasn't having a problem...but this idiot had to piss off all the cars wonder people hate motorcycles
I know I am just being cranky...but as motorcycle riders, we need to create a positive image for each other so cars respect us more...not try to kill us more

Friday, July 29, 2011

CA DMV...Some bad OK person

Yesterday was DMV appointment day for me...register the bike and switch my license over.  used the online appointment system for a 4pm appointment.  Showed up five minutes early and walked up to window 20.  There i was instructed to take my bike for a visual inspection.  I asked about my license and was told, we will take care of that off to the inspection are.
a woman comes out after 20 minutes of me sitting there and looks at my steering neck tag...
DMV person "can you read that she says?  The fairing is in the way"  
Me...nope...but i have the title right here
DMV...I need to see that tag
Me...well i dont have the tools to take the bike apart--and why would i this is a stock bike
DMV..well if i cant see it, you cant be inspected
me..Then YOU have a problem...i made an appointment for this and it didnt say take my bike apart
DMV...wait..i will get someone younger that can see it

so after a few minutes of PURE BS i am given paperwork.  its now 25 past 4 and i get sent to a window to do my registration.  I ask about my license and get told, yup, right after this.  So i pay my 300 freaking dollars to register the bike in Ca and head to the license window.  There i am told I will have to come back tomorrow as it is too late to take the written test...I look at the clerk and say, i suggest you get a supervisor because the next words out of my mouth are not going to be nice.

Meet the supervisor at window four and he says, nothing we can do, testing is closed.  I calmly explain that his computer system set the appointment, his attitude laden inspector took 20 minutes to come look at my bike and i am not leaving without everything i came for.

so at 450 i walk into the test area. cant possibly finish the car and motorcycle written tests in 10 minutes
me...i need three minutes
DMV...its impossible
me..its impossible if you keep wasting my time, give me the forms
DMV...hmmpphhhhh re done?  that was like three minutes
Me...great...grade them please
DMV..oh my, you only got one answer wrong... i guess i pass?
DMV..yes, but now you need to go get your picture taken

I run across the office to the picture area and get a shot done.  then i run back to testing to give her the slip that says i had a picture taken.  she gives me a temporary license and says, "wow, nothing has ever happened in the DMV that fast in the whole time I have worked here"  I said, "imagine if you actually did that all day?'" People wouldn't hate this place.

Then i got to stand in line at window one for 5 more minutes to get my plate for the bike....
Welcome to California...ughhhhhh

Friday, July 22, 2011

RIP Courtney Halowell

A great guy passed yesterday.  He was the best at making people laugh, ven if it meant humiliating himself in the process.  The time we worked together was a pretty amazing time...sad thing, really sad

Thursday, July 21, 2011

That magazine that USED to be focused on home built bikes

won't stop talking about me.  weird. i left the bike industry in December of 2008 and yet, they still talk about what i did in the magazines, still talk about me when i pop up on a website posting something. 

It doesn't make sense.  they took a concept started by otherr people, and spun it off in a semi misleading way to the people who loved the original magazine.  they lost their home built focus when they went searching for ad dollars--by the way, when i was in charge of the S&S ad budget they had nothing but pleasant references to me in the mag and on their website--but now they take shots at me.  can they really be that jealous of what i accomplished in the magazine world?  it has to be the only explanation.

What i don't get is i never went after them, publicly (until today) or in print.  I let them do their thing, acting like they started a revelation in the magazine industry, when all they did was take a title that died and bring it back in a semi-consistent way. and the best part is they think it is an original approach.

as i have always said, look back at the harley magazine world prior to my time at Hot Rob Harleys/Bikes and Hot Bike and Street Chopper.  the only shots of people riding were reader submissions in gallery pages.  I mandated that all bikes featured--and road tested--had to be ridden.  other mags were doing road tests with static images of bikes.  yes i over did it on wheelies and burnouts, but it started something.  all of the mags started doing it and all of a sudden there was excitement on the pages, and things heated up in the mag competitions.  yes it is arrogant to say it, but i am damn proud of that period in time because i was just doing what came natural on a bike--riding it to its potential, not looking at it

i don't get what their obsession with me is--and honestly, now that i said it here, i don't care.

I hope their microcosm in the bike industry stays healthy and they get some new readers and stay in business.  i have not seen a copy since i left S&S but I hear about it each time they mention me.... 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

pics from the LA Calendar show....

The winning bike....

My nephew enjoying the show

Suzuki...drool....I wish i owned this

Motus in the house...

Clean little knucklehead...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Make memories everyday

Maybe it is my age, maybe it is that I have acquired some wisdom along with the age, whatever, it is something. You have a finite amount of time to make memories. Do something every day. Make it memorable. That doesn't mean it has to be illegal or dangerous, just memorable. Maybe you help someone out. Maybe you go home from work on a different route. Pay for someone's coffee in the line in front or back of you. Whatever it is, do something so that everyday carries a reward when the time comes to evaluate your life

This past year I have squelched a lot of issues I had with people from my past. It occurs to me that I had been mad at some people for longer than I had been friends with them. Can't hold onto the good memories when you are blocking everything with bad issues.

Philosophy 101 is over...heading to the calendar show in long beach....might even take a few pics for the blog

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Been too long since i posted an update

But a lot has been going on. Looks like we finally found a house and will be able to move in at the very end of this month....whew! It will have a proper three car garage, so I am pretty stoked. It's in Laguna Niguel and when I come off the 5 freeway after work there is a great s turn that leads away from the freeway and to the entrance to our street...great as i have been able to touch the pegs down in both directions, so that will be a great start/end to my day each day.
Been taking the bike to work 3-4 times a week. It's a boring ride, but it's still being out on the bike. I knock about 5 minutes off the ride to work versus the car and an easy 10 on the way home, so that counts. The new house adds about 10 miles each way, but still on the same freeway. Curious to see how much different the times will be on the bike versus the car.
Getting a new rear tire next year and a month since I put it on...and there was a long Wisconsin winter in that I must be riding a lot...
Eventually I will be settled in at the new house and will start posting some pics again, but for now it's just time for my ramblings.....

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Why I ride

There are thousands of instances that reinforce my love for motorcycling, but yesterday as I was getting on 5 south at Magnolia, I was reminded again. There was a kid in a Mitsubishi eclipse with chrome wheels, lowered, exhaust that sounded like a swarm of angry vacuum cleaners and a stereo heard above it all. The light went green for us to make the left onto the freeway entrance...he hammered his car in a blaze of noise and stereo bumping. I waited with a slow one, two, three count, let him get halfway down the ramp and gave the throttle a nice to the stops twist. Clicked second and passed him at about 90 or so, slowed to match the freeway speed, put on my turn signal and cruised home.
Dumb? Probably. Prove anything? Probably not. Make me smile the whole way home? Yup

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hey are invisible to a car in front of you

It's more than a month that I have been back on the socal roads...and I have to tell you, there are a lot of riders that will not make it to the next year of doing so.
In my car and on my motorcycle I watch riders on all types of bikes weave in and out of traffic as if they own the road. Couple things here...currently cars have stereos and insulation good enough to not be able to hear you when you are right next to them, and these cars now have phone systems built into the radio soa driver can be having a conversation while driving. You they don't care about--or even recognize you exist
When I started riding on the street the older riders used to tell me to ride like the cars were out to get me...which 30 Years ago was probably true. Now I don't want too see anybody get hurt, but when I am rolling in the carpool lane on my bike and you fly up behind me at 20-30mph over the flow of traffic and slip between me and the cars to my right, well I have little regard for you. It would seem you have little regard for you as well...So, in my semi mentor role, riders, make pretend the cars are out to get you and be visible, make your presence known and show some respect for the traffic flow. That way the cR driver you piss off isn't out to get me next time

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

is it counter culture if all the kids do it

so...i was in the car coming back from some house shopping the other day leaving Santiago Canyon.  In front of me was about 15 guys on various bikes all decked out to look rustic, handbuilt or chopperesque.  In other words Sportsers with ape hangers and sissy bars, triumphs with same and a few older hondas done the same way.  in addition to the matching bike styles, all of the riders had a version of vans on their feet, dickies or jeans with the cuff rolled up and a requisite flannel shirt and a 3/4 helmet--vintage or scuffed to look old.  a very indiuvidual look for one guy, but not 15. 

so i ask, if all the kids are doing it, is it counter culture?  I mean these are the same people that rag on the hog members for wearing macthing vest and an over dose of motor company clothing, right?  same thing, just shopped for in different stores.

i have seen at least a dozen more solo riders that are in this club...and, well it just is not counter culture anymore, its mainstream.  wonder what will be next?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

200 plus miles yesterday

And it was for work...we needed something dropped on in Ventura County by a certain time. So I volunteered to ride from Irvine to Ventura, knowing it would mean leaving around the 8 am rush hour. I have not lane split in 6 years, so it was bound to be good.
Started out north on the 405, hit the car pool lane and enjoyed the morning ride. About the time I hit the LBC area, traffic started backing up. Took me a few miles to get used to moving 45-50mph in the car pool lane with stopped traffic next to me. Soon enough bikes were passing me on the white line as I was still moving with the flow. At the lax area it got bad and I decided to split the traffic. Took a few minutes to get used to sliding the big Kawasaki through the cars, but lane splitting came back to me...if the mirrors fit, the saddlebags will also. By the time I hit west la there was no more carpool lane and I was back to full blown splitting. Turns out A semi was stalled in the middle of the freeway causing the traffic. Crested the hill in the valley and hit 101...smooth rolling until thousand oaks where a car on it's roof was affecting traffic. Considerably. During that lane splitting session I saw not one, but two macerates, at least six porsches and a Ferrari on a flatbed for good measure...apparently there is still plenty of money in ca
Going home I went through downtown la....much more lane splitting. All told just over 200 miles and I loved every second of it

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Settled...sort of

Back in California since Friday night. We drove out, 1900 miles in each car, dogs with issues. The house in WI is for sale and soon enough we will be Cali house shopping.
Rode my bike Sunday after helping the movers unload our stuff into the storage lane splitting yet...didn't have a need, but there is always this coming weekend.....

Friday, April 22, 2011

Goodbye Wisconsin...hello California ...again

Well, it is time. Marcia and I are moving back to socal...we loved the Midwest experience, but we will be more comfortable back in the OC. So, if you see a white dodge challenger and a black BMW x3 caravanning southwest out of Wi starting on 5/5.....that is us
See you soon Ortega highway, Latino canyon, Angeles crest, stunt road and my favorite, Palomar mountain road.....we have a lot to catch up on

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

introducing the dogs...

RIP Cocoa...the best dog ever

Then GiGi...a cool little dog...

and now Vader...the new Dark Lord of the house....

Thursday, March 10, 2011

my old softail....Project Softail

built entirely out of catalogs...the most fabrication was trimming the fenders
had every cool gadget from the time...first air ride suspension...mirrors with the gauges built bike.  handled well for a softail too

if you look closely you will see I am wearing a very limited edition Jesse James El Diablo T-Shirt...i think it was the only subtle design JJ ever did....

Friday, March 4, 2011

I hate the end of winter

Especially in Wisconsin where it refuses to end...I need to go riding so's going to end, it's going to end...just have to keep believing....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A burnout against a wall--big deal...

This is going to sound a little egotistical, but I guess I am allowed to be that way once in a while. For the last few years I have been noticing burnout contests and pictures in magazines of guys doing burnouts with their front wheel locked against a wall...big deal. Really. I have seen a lot of motorcycles in my life and NONE of them had the ability to push a wall out of the way....
You want to do a burnout? Prove that you can control the bike. Here is the bragging part...I had done burnout pics in the mags until it was I found new ways to do them...there is a pic of me doing a burnout standing next to a brand new HD CVO bagger....only my right hand touching the bike...there was a pic of me doing the same with a Buell S1....then when that got boring (and I will find the mag and scan the pics because it was a cool sequence) I stood in front of a Buell X1, hands reversed, and did a burnout that went into spinning a donut.
Bikes that didn't have a front brake capable of holding the bike back? I did rolling burnouts. The only time I ever did a burnout against a wall or barrier was at a bike show in Orange County on my yellow Buell S2.....and in Myrtle beach on a lifted platform 15 feet in the air.....both were boring. I dig burnouts, wheelies and parts dragging on the ground in corners..probably more than most people, but putting the front wheel against a wall and rowing through the gears, takes no skill, exhibits no motorcycle control...just abuses the machinery....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Some reasons why motorcycles are better than people

1- the only time a motorcycle lets you down is if you neglect it.  it never does it intentionally
2- motorcycles are inherently fun--all the time
3- you can trust a motorcycle
4- expressing your feelings never insults a motorcycle
5- motorcycles are always happy you are around

any others?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Factory customs?

I am really struggling with my feelings on new bikes. I don't want to come across as one of those guys that constantly my day we did this and we did that to our bikes, but it's getting that way.
Harley and victory have a line of factory customs--dark bikes I think. Really, what is custom about lots of black paint--flat at that. When I was a kid, when I was a teen, when was in my 20s, 30s you did what you wanted to do to your bike to make it yours.
Are we becoming such an instant society that we need our motorcycles customized for us? My last Harley , a dyna fxdxt, started out as a blank canvas. I made it into what I thought a sport touring bike bike should be. Better brakes, better suspension, much more powerful engine and then....I took off the majority of the black trim and added chrome and cool paint. There was no way anyone mistook my bike for another fxdxt.
I guess I am just a rambling fool today, but where is that with today's motorcycles? You buy a bike and it is exactly what you want--even my new Kawasaki's perfect. The most I could do to make it more mine was upgrade the seat and windshield so Marcia would be more comfortable. It's fast, handles great, stops great and looks pretty good. I could see painting it in the future...but even that would be forced...
Anyway..I am just rambling...but I sure hope the industry doesn't specialize itself right out of anyone doing their own thing to a bike....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Feel like writing--new bikes are exciting--what about new riders

It has been a while since i felt like writing, but the mood is on me.  I have been caught up in how many great new bikes are out there.  It is amazing what some of the new machines will offer, the new ZX10, the Yamaha Tenere, the GSXRs are back!  it is just a great time to be a bike fan, and even better if you are a new bike shopper right now.

But, these new bikes are all big dollars--especially for a younger rider looking at coming into our world.  not that a new rider should buy a zx10...but it makes my point.  We are getting older and the newer riders seems tobe fewer and fewer.  Somehow we all need to make it OK to ride a 350 or a 500 and not make it a bad thing.  There are literally hundreds of thousands of used bikes out there that are perfect beginner bikes, we just have to help the kids understand they are cool too. 

I remember being 16 and drooling over my 1975 Suzuki TS 125--because it was my street transportation.  A two stroke 125 that had trouble going 70mph, but it was my ticket to freedom.  I graduated to the big leagues when i bought a GS400.  Two thundering cyclinders of four stroke magic meant i was able to go on rides anywhere.  That bike was competent enough to carry me and a passenger all day--anywhere.  It was also a UJM, so if i had to run down a dirt road to get to point B, it could handle it.  It was tiny and underpowered by todays standards, but it seemed to do everything i needed as a high school student. 

I am not sure the solution, but i know the problem is there.  We need to get more people riding and make them understand its cool to be on a bike--any bike--and maturing your riding skills as you increase bike size is the right way to do it.