The Motorcycle Blog Page....
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PRIOR CONTENT (duplicated & most likely updated at MotorcycleAnchor.com):
Welcome to the motorcycle blog & thought process... This is where I throw things that really have no place in the bigger scheme of things, because they're not HCS and they weren't from the road and it wasn't an upgrade, but it was still motorcycle related some how.
21 June 2003
Early 80's Cycle Magazine Ads...
I stumbled across these ads from the early 80's for cycle products (although I guessed 1969 thru 1979 when I was looking at them) and didn't know where else to put them, so I just shoved 'em in here. Here's a half-size sample:
The Rain Brings Insanity...
Or then there's the fact that I want to whine about the 7 inches of rain that hit our area in the last 4 days (fucking hell!) -- and the next 7 in the coming day or four, all resulting in floods and intersections turning to recreational water complexes with buried cars... But I really won't permit myself because in Florida there are still a few ridable hours in any 24 hour period -- even if they happen to fall into the middle of the night... although I'm nuts that way -- I rode through a hurricane on a Honda Shadow 700 once (leaning about 35 degrees to go straight) because I didn't hear that the university campus had been closed for the storm and wasn't going to miss an engineering calculus II exam. Life gets easier in some senses with time.
You Will Wreck in Your First Year on Two Wheels...
Oh, and in case no one else is smart, honest, clear enough to say this to you: the first
year you ride a motorcycle, you will have at least one accident (here's some real world statistics of why, how, etc.).
WORD TO YOUR MOTHER: WEAR A FULL-FACE HELMET YOUR FIRST YEAR, EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO BY LAW. Actually, you should always wear one, but that first year is the most important time...
A lot of it is about three-dimensional awareness to a further boundary than
normal, and the zen of precausation, or just having "the force" be with you (as all those
star wars junkies might call it); it's the ability to know ahead of time what can endanger
you. If you drive in a highly populated area filled with old fucks who have no reaction speed and
almost perfect tunnel vision, you'll learn fast one way or the other (with or without an accident). A car
driver worries about certain range of issues -- about 10 to 15 feet to the left and right, plus a hundred
feet in front and perhaps 20 feet behind. And that doesn't yet include reductions because of distractions induced by answering a cell phone (or
worse yet, dialing it), eating a hamburger, applying make-up, reading the morning paper, shaving, calming the dog/baby/lover/husband,
trying to win the radio give-away, etc.
So I'm working my arse off to make sure that my other half's first year (this is her first
year -- hell, this is her first month of real riding) goes off with only a dropped bike
accident and not her catapulting into something hard. She attended the Beginning
Rider's Course (BRC) at state certified school (big thanks to them for scaring the
shit out of her -- really!), and we picked her up an used first year scratcher bike in
good shape (a '94 Ninja EX500D, both small enough to train on and big/fast enough to ride
for a year or two without whining, really loud aftermarket exhaust for her safety). They
taught her the raw basics and the low-speed stuff that generally gets people into
30 June 2003
Just a few remembrances...
My other half got out and rode on the interstate for the first time (just about a mile and
a half, from one exit to the next), and exited straight to the nearest parking lot.
Watching her shaking quite a bit with the nervousness (not excitement -- I must not get
confused), I realize it's sometimes hard for an eighteen-year veteran rider like myself to
remember just how scary the learning process can be. Moreover, she's not the 19 year old
fearless male I was; she's not prone to such things as riding just to gain miles under the
belt, prone to getting up in the middle of the night to go on a full-moon ride (I think
the phrase is "she's night blind"), riding to the store, work, play, everywhere.
3 July 2003
Because we share the road with idiots...
14 July 2003
Rumors abound of a new Blackbird to Dominate
The desire for a new cycle, something different, more powerful, faster than the Katana has been biting at the back of my mind for months now, although honestly said, the Katana is about as much motorcycle as I truly need on a regular basis. The desire to be able to lift the front wheel into the sky with a twist of the throttle is tempting, but at the same time, the knowledge that the Katana won't do so, instead applying all it's power to the pavement, is reassuring from a stability stand-point. I'm still trying to get the suspension on the new one ironed out into what I want it to be (mental debates on whether the stock tires & seat are contributing to my poor perceptions -- as verses to the previous Katana's perfection -- or if the rear shock / front forks are actually crap from some abuse or an overweight rider in a previous ownership). Meanwhile, the temptation towards something more is still nipping at my heels.
I had been debating between the GSX1300R (Hayabusa) and the GSX1000R, comparing handling, maintenance, running costs, top end, acceleration, as well as every review I could devour from all over the planet. Have to know what I want before I can decide whether to obtain it. I had come to the conclusion that the Honda CBR1100XX Blackbird was probably the wiser choice -- more civilized and still horridly fast, infinitely more comfortable and more of a real-world day-to-day bike for an all weather rider like myself. But I was still having problems resolving the balance between the lesser performance of the Blackbird and the fact that it is sold at the same basic price-point as the other two contenders...
Now rumors which had been flying around for almost four years that
Honda would get off their duff and give the Blackbird the going-over
to make it competitive with the Hayabusa (especially now that the
Kawasaki 12R or whatever it's called is up in that class too), but it
all seemed to be just rumors, wishful thinking and what-if's. I dug
around on the web searching for some sort of pre-release media
information on the possibility of a radical change in any of the
three models (including Honda's media site), when I stumbled across
MCN's preview info for the new CBR1200XX due out for the 2004 model year. Finally, a
reliable source saying "hey, we know for sure, and it
really does exist, and is slated for production, and will be
available." OK, granted that even their article was filled with some
speculations (they said Honda hadn't committed to whether they were
incorporating the VTech cams into it or not, and their photo was a
computer-enhanced artist's rendition -- but they still said it's a for-sure
thing). See links:
Reliable sources at Bike (UK) also said that there was a major revamp in the works for the coming model year for the Blackbird, citing it as a way of haggling prices downwards on the current models with dealers looking to clear out their current inventory before the new model arrive in the fall.
Side thought: new inventories arrive in the fall, just in time for people not to buy in the colder weather climates. By the time they get to ride, us Floridians have already put 6 months on the newest of the new. Why would any motorcycle magazine be in a place filled with snow?
Other rumors (from other sources, most far less credible) said Honda hadn't committed to whether they were planning on using an inline 4 or a v4 or v5 layout, possibly adapting the V4 style layout from the ST1100 in a larger displacement. Honda has not announced their 2004 fall sport-touring line-up officially yet. Still, if the price doesn't suddenly bounce out of the stratosphere compared to the others, and it's performance is up there while retaining the comfort that gave it the real-world edge over the others in the same power category, guess who wins in my book? Even the ST1100 or ST1300 might have been a contender (albeit, a very large one), but the pricing keeps it from being a serious consideration...
It might be interesting to note that the first motorcycle I ever rode, as well as the first two I owned, were all Honda's, and I appreciate their engineering and build-quality over the competition (the valve-adjustment features of those older bikes were a huge selling point with me -- the concept of loosening a bolt at idle, waiting 60 seconds and then retightening to do a valve adjustment was something I wish all bikes had).
PS - got Paula out on the road again this past weekend, and she did quite well, although she still needs to learn to either keep up with traffic on the interstate, or at least use the slow lane... She drove 70 - 75 in the slow lane, but only 60 - 68 in the center lane... consistently!
19 October, 2003
Annoyances with Leather Protesters...
OK, it's been a while since I posted here, and in-between was a wonderful 10 day ride up to the Dragon's
Tail (NC) that saw good weather and miserable, plus my other half dropping her bike once coming off
a stop sign (ouch to the bike) and a second time in coming into a turn on US-19 a bit hot, braking
too hard and hitting a patch of gravel (that really hurt -- her and the bike). So, now that we're
caught up, I stumbled across this via a strange series of links:
So, what's the problem here? PETA's recommended alternative is Pleather, a vinyl product. Well, I can think of at least half a dozen reasons to prefer leather...
The problem I have with PETA isn't that they aren't supporting something that may well be considered a viable and compassionate platform, but that they aren't advocating intelligent choices as leather alternatives for the motorcycling enthusiast -- ballistic nylon, kevlar, amarid and a dozen other fibers that can offer similar abrasion resistance and protection. In all honesty, however, no one has yet found a "better" leather substitute for all the benefits of leather for the riding community (such as flammability resistance and abrasion properties that rapidly shed speed). And this is why leather still rules on world motorcycle racing circuits as the protection clothing of choice.
Three Perfect Examples of Why To Wear Leathers & a Helmet:
Copyright 2001, all rights reserved. Material on this page may not be used or reused without express written permission from the copyright holder. For information on licensing, contact the webmaster. Marc Glasgow is a Macintosh "Mac" Consultant serving the Tampa Bay area since 1990.