Thursday, July 31, 2008
"EASY RIDER San Remo, Italy, Jun 17 After dining with friends, Keanu Reeves dodges overeager fans on his motorcycle"
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
We rode in three groups, each with a leader and drag rider. Most members communicated via CBs to keep the groups together and informed.
I had seen the guys from OCC in June, 2004 when I was at the Americade Rally in Lake George, NY. At that time they were becoming well known through their TV show, American Chopper.
The motorcycle community was split as to whether they were amateurs who got lucky or genuine biker craftsmen who knew how to create a masterpiece chopper. I think that most were amazed that they caught on so fast and made a bundle of money doing what backyard mechanics had already been doing for 30 years.
Sometimes when I attend a motorcycle rally, something unexpected happens. At Americade 2004, I found out that the Orange County Chopper (OCC) cast from the Discovery Channel's American Chopper (now on The Learning Channel), was going to be in the area. This was not an official Americade event. It was thought up by the town fathers of Bolton Landing, a town 10 miles north of Lake George. They felt that they needed to do something to attract some of the 60,000 or so Americaders and get them to spend some money in their town. Turns out that a few emails and a phone call did the trick and the whole cast of Orange County Choppers (OCC) showed up for a 4-day run to meet with their fans and sell a few autographed T-shirts.
The Teutuls: Paul Sr, Paul Jr, and Mikey have to choose carefully their visits to rallies to allow them time to build the theme bikes required on their TV show. They skipped Laconia that year and instead did Bolton Landing where they brought 20 of their most popular theme bikes. Here's a picture of Paul Jr signing my OCC T-shirt. My wife, Jane, stood in a long line to get these shirts signed.
The Teutuls were just getting started then. They still had a small shop but millions of fans were watching them on TV every week to see that next theme bike being built and to hear the yelling and screaming as Paul Sr and Paul Jr clashed.
Years passed and they built a bigger and bigger reputation. Now they were in a huge building in Newburgh, NY that contained a showroom of their merchandise and products. Tucked in the back of the building is a small factory where their choppers are built in the glare of TV lights and multiple cameras taping everything going on in the creative process including the antics of the Teutuls and their employees.
Many motorcyclists now visit the facility. It's almost a motorcycle mecca. In fact, our group from New Jersey was only a small part of the riders present that day.
I took a few pictures of the new digs for OCC. The place is quite impressive. I have written descriptions and captions for each picture. Take a look.
If you'd like to know more about choppers, take a look at my Choppers article, my Chopper Gallery, and my Choppers subject. I also wrote a book review, Orange County Choppers: The Tale of the Teutuls - A Motorcycle Book Review.
If you decide to take a trip to Orange County Choppers, you won't be disappointed. Just don't expect to see any of the Teutuls there on Sunday, the day we chose to visit.
First picture ©2008 Jane Ann Kern; second picture ©2004 Walter F. Kern
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
There are Trekies, and there are Star Wars nuts.
My son is a Star wars nut. He has Star Wars collectibles, and ALL of the movies. He's got multiple sets, special editions and so on. Although I don't really get it, I did enjoy the movies, and I can appreciate them.
When my son found out that the Science Museum here was having a Star Wars exhibit, he was dying to go. So, Mrs. M. and myself got tix to go and brought the young ens with.
We started out with an Omni theatre movie about movie magic, and technology, primarily based on star Wars, but not exclusively. Got to see ton's of stuff blow up. That was cool. The movie screen is Ginormous, and round so you feel like you are watching everything around you literally.
Kinda can make you motion sick if you aren't careful.
Then we went onto the exhibit portion where they had actual characters, costumes, and real props used in the Star Wars movies.
All in all, we had a great time. I especially like spending time with my family doing stuff like this, even if I'm not the Star Wars freak that my son is. I know it made his Universe, at least for one day anyway.
Here is a mix of photos that I took of things I thought were cool. I didn't want to post them all, as I took a ton of them, and barely caught everything they had.
Excuse some of the quality. I had to shoot through glass.
USE THE fORCE!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
See Jimi with his 2005 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic. Jimi is shown with his daughter. For details, see Motorcycle Pictures 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.
Friday, July 25, 2008
If you already have them, let us know what you think (or contact us if you need another set for a gift, or second bike!)
If you haven't yet tried Desert Dawgs but only seen them on someone else's engine guards, these high quality, thick vinyl, leather-look chaps keep your feet warm and dry.
You don't need to be a cross-country rider to appreciate how nice it is to keep a cold or wet wind from blowing up your pant legs, running down into your boots and then pooling up in your socks.
Best of all, Desert Dawgs are perfect for keeping your toes dry and warm during those sudden downpours or those long, rainy hauls.
Already have a pair of Desert Dawgs? Drop us a line and let us know what you think!
And we believe in American made products, and Desert Dawgs are 100% made in the USA!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I was really torn about whether I should buy a touring bike or go for one of the snazzy next to new cruisers. But in the end when I saw the ad for Deon's bike on the Internet, the deal was done.
I came home for lunch on Monday, sat down to check the latest motorcycle listings on Kijiji and spotted the bike which had only been posted in the last hour.
Breathless and excited I phoned the number and inquired about the bike and asked a bunch of silly questions and laid out a few scenarios on how I could make it to Edmonton (I live three hours away) before the bike was sold, and if we could load it into the back of my truck. The seller, Deon was very patient and tried to answer all of my breathless questions as I was starting to dither bad and was unsure what to do next.
Deon told me that when I finally decided what I was going to do to phone him back.
I paced furiously about the house trying to decide if it was worth the effort to race up to Edmonton to look at the bike, only to have my hopes dashed if someone closer decided to buy it before I could get there.
Dinner was on the table, but all I could think about was the bike. And if you have seen my girth, you would soon notice I haven't missed many dinners. Dinner would have to wait.
It was a no-brainer, this was the bike I had wanted, I would take a chance and jump in the car and head to Edmonton.
I phoned Deon back told him I was coming and much to his credit Deon told me others were coming later in the day to look at the bike but if I was to take the three hour drive to look at the bike, he would wait for me.
I told him I was only going to stop at the bank, grab the cash and maybe have to stop for gas somewhere along the road but I was on my way.
I must have smoked twenty cigarettes on the way to Edmonton constantly fretting about whether the bike would be there when I arrived or if some one else would snatch this Goldwing from my grasp.
Deon gave me some great directions over the phone as I neared his house, and when I walked up his driveway and into the garage I was sold. Deon was there and the bike was there.
Asked if I wanted to take it for a test drive I could only blurt out that if the bike started, I would buy it. Deon cranked the Wing to life and the deal was consummated.
Last week I lamented on the fact that buying a bike should be easy, and so it was, with the help and kindness of the seller. Deon waited for me to make the three hour drive to look at the bike while his phone was ringing off the hook from other buyers, he made it easy for me, for which I am grateful.
I had more help the next day as friends postponed a trip to their Mothers birthday lunch, to drive me up and pick up the bike. I wanted to buy them dinner when we arrived back at Castor but another friend who was happy that I had finally bought a Goldwing fed us for free.
Deon wasn't there when we arrived to pick up the bike, but his wife Cory was and with her help we put on my plate and I was ready to ride. Deon was a half hour away but I was so excited to get on the bike I never waited to thank him again for his help and kindness.
Its a great bike at a great price but the best part is the great people who helped me to be back in the saddle again.
Be honest. No exaggerations.I'm going to use this in a future post with your permissions of course.
I have my reasons.
Me, 110 MPH (Aprox.) but I'll say 110. I was not clocking myself. Someone else said I was doing that.
To Mrs. Motorcycle. Disclaimer...If you are reading this, It was a very long time ago, and I NEVER ride like this anymore!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Harley-Davidson hasn't made a trike since the Servi-Car that started out as a vehicle that could be attached to a customer's car so a mechanic could deliver the car and then use the Servi-Car to return to the garage.
Later the Servi-Car had other uses mainly for police use. Here's a YouTube video of a 1954 Servi-Car now owned by an enthusiast. He shows off the trike with the siren blaring.
Servi-Cars were made from 1932-1973. 35 years have elapsed since then without a trike in the product line -- until now.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has an article by Rick Barrett that gives more details about the new Tri Glide trike. Here's an excerpt:
"There’s a Harley-Davidson coming for those of us seeking more comfort or who have a fear of falling. Harley-Davidson Inc. has introduced a motorcycle for those of us with a taste for comfort or a fear of falling. The Tri Glide Ultra has three wheels and a brand-new chassis design. It retails for $29,000. The maker of Fat Boy and Softail bikes has sized up its customer base and found that many riders would rather be on three-wheelers than two-wheel behemoths that are too tall and too heavy for some people. Starting in the next few weeks, Harley will begin offering three-wheel touring bikes called trikes." -- Rick Barrett
Here's what Harley-Davidson has to say about the Tri Glide in a Press Release on its Website.
It appears that trikes are now more than just kits added to an existing motorcycle. They have attained a new level of acceptance as Harley-Davidson embraces them in its product line and, more importantly, backs them up with Harley-Davidson service.
I've been riding a motorcycle trike for eight years. My wife got hers before I got mine. I wrote an article about her experience in getting her trike.
In the beginning there weren't too many of us out there and we got a lot of attention on the road, in parking lots, and especially at gas pumps. I even wrote an article with standard questions I get and my answers.
I also wrote a How To about learning to ride a trike.
Then I created a Trike Picture Gallery.
Maybe trike riders are becoming mainstream after all. Thanks Harley-Davidson. Let's hope that Harley's 42 year run of Servi-Cars will be surpassed by a 50 year run of Tri Glides.
Picture ©2008 Harley-Davidson