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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

memorable motorcycle moments....

going way back in time....I was on my way home to my rent controlled Santa Monica apartment.  In retrospect i never should have left that place, huge 2 bedroom, 2-bath at 6th and Ocean Park, with 2 parking places that sucker was just $800 bucks a month.  if you leaned really far out on the balcony you could see the ocean....ahhh a simpler time...anyway, i was riding home from the hallowed Motorcyclist offices on a Ducati 888. 
It was my first day on the bike and the sounds it made were getting me pretty pumped up to do something stupid.  I figured out what on Olympic boulevard.  There is an area where it is fairly open, mostly businesses and fairly straight. I decided to do a wheelie--but this turned out not to be just any wheelie, but one of the best I had ever done.  I just kept going and going and going.  Now remember this was back when doing long wheelies was a talent (not back patting here, just making a point) that you either had or you didn't.  there was none of this stunter set up with huge rear sprockets, no air in the tires and taller bars to help pull the bike up.  This was just pure balance point and throttle control--old school wheelie. 
anyway, i went for what seemed like forever, looking around the fairing and hand grip to see where i was going and i noticed that a traffic light a few blocks down was about to change. so i reeled it in, dropped the wheel back to the ground and stopped at the light.  Inside my Shoei helmet I was giggling like a school girl...the bike was damn near perfect.  Well the day got just a touch better when a pickup truck pulled up next to me.  I had passed the truck on my way down wheelie lane.  the driver and his passenger spoke for a second, she turned to me and flashed an amazing set of boobs at me as he called out, "nice wheelie dude"...i was much too stunned to reply--they were really nice boobs...
That has not happened to me since, probably never will again, but it was a great memory from way back.....

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Barnett's bikecraft magazine

I am pretty excited.....a few weeks ago, David Edwards--former cycle world editor for seemingly ever-- asked if I wanted to put something together for Bikecraft, a new magazine he and Mark Barnett are creating. I was stoked as I really have not done any magazine writing for years. I was rusty, it took a number of start overs, but I think I came up with a cool story about the Harley 48.....soon as I know when it will be published I will post it, but for now, I am just pretty pumped about writing again... Thanks David......

Friday, January 20, 2012

lane splitting...not me but a good video of it

some time ago, i had a very in-depth conversation with a member of the CHP who explained lane spliting (lane sharing).  we had this chat on the side of the 5 freeway and he took plenty of time .
he said...
no more than 10mph faster than the flow of traffic and never over 45mph. i have always listened and gauged my behavior by that.

this is a good video showing what lane splitting is like...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Burnout contest? Against a wall?

There is a trend out there now to like the bikes of the 60s and 70s.  Skinny bikes, minimal sheet metal, a few inches over on the fork tunes, sissy bar, best described as spindly. Cool bikes for the period.  But they are popular now, and showing up all over the place.  There is another trend to take these bikes (and others) and do burnouts against a wall or guard rail in a burn out pit...yawn.

when i had access to the archives of street chopper and hot bike magazines, you never saw shots of guys doing burnouts against a wall.  they either rode their bikes, did wheelies or launched rally hard and spun the tire.  No beating up the driveline against a wall.

In my time doing stuff on motorcycles for pay, i did two burnouts against a wall.  Once in Myrtle Beack on a Titan--15 feet up in the air on a platform that i still loosened the straps and started swaying the bike side to side and at a Hot Bike show where i ran my Buell up into 5th gear sliding side to side and pretty much smoking the crowd out.

i prefer to do burnouts that show control.  standing next to the bike, off the bike and twisting it in a circle.  Once i even stood in front of a Buell x1 and reversed my hands to do a burnout backwards and still in a donut.  control, not just drive line abuse against a wall.

no front brake? that's a topic for a whole other rant....show controls.  Show class. i promise, no matter how hot you think your bike engine is, you are not going to push that building your front tire is up against.....

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Be careful out there

Once I come off the freeway I have about three miles of surface roads to my office each day. I lane split up to the front of the lights because I don't trust people in cars to know what they are doing...ever. I rolled up on a light and because of the way a truck was half way in the lane I couldn't quite get to the front, so I was next to a guy in a really clean Chrysler 300. He was fascinated with his smart phone and either frantically texting or emailing. Anyway, he saw a flash of movement or his Brian disengaged, but without looking up, he just stepped on the gas and plowed into a Camry in front of him. It wasn't a bumper touch, it was a bumper destroy. The 300 packs a punch with its weight and 5.7 hemi under acceleration. What freaked me out, is as I was approaching the intersection, I could have been in front of the 300 if I didn't lane split. That two ton Detroit monster could have plowed me and my bike to nothing...all the while it's driver focused on his phone. I can't stress it enough that riding is a dangerous thing and there is not really a time you can relax and let your guard down. Especially with the latest greatest phones that do everything but drive a car for people. Pay attention, regard each car as lethal and pray that gas prices get so high that everyone starts to look at motorcycles and scooters as something more than a Sunday morning toy.....and go take a rider training course just to be safer

Friday, January 6, 2012

thinking about some on bike protection

In the last week i have almost been hit by three cars in three seperate incidents.  all of these took place on the freeway where all you have to do is drive in a straight line. Between phones, ipods and whatever else people do in their cars, three people have simply changed lanes and almost run me over.

yesterday was the worst one...on 5 north the carpool lane is two wide leading up to the 5/405 split.  Some jackhole in a Lexus decided he needed to play slalom racer between cars and not even look if anyone NOt in a car was around.  i grabbed a BIg handful of brake at 80mph and watched his bumper slide past my front tire.  My arsenal consisted of me giving him a one finger salute and his wife or girlfriend yelling at him.  But it deserved more.  a lot more. i am thinking paintball gun, with pink pellets. i am also think 3/4' ball bearings that i can toss. 
need to give it some thought but, for now, i am arming myself with even more caution on the roads in California.  Car drivers suck...... 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

1/2/2012

when i first moved to California i used to head to the mountains and the beach on Christmas and New Years day.  sort of the marvel of living in CA, see snow and oceans in one day. Now that i live so far south in OC, and seem eternally busy, I modified my ride to hit the mountains close to home and then Laguna Beach.  Stopped off at Aurora's Tacos in Laguna Niguel.  Definitely recommended....