Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Why is it that when the temperature is in the 30s and I’m on my motorcycle, I shiver at red lights, but I’m actually warmer/more comfortable when I’m moving? I'm no geophysicist or anything, but shouldn’t the wind make me colder?

Inquiring minds want to know…

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Moto Love

So, on my way home from work today, I was thinking about how lucky I've been with this bike, reliability-wise (I've had some real lemons in the past), and how much I really like it, love it even. Without even thinking, I reached down and patted the tank like you would a horse's neck. Is that weird?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

MC member stickers

Motorcycle Boots For Sale

I'm trying to sell a pair of boots, slightly worn. I've had them about a year and a half, but they're barely broken in.

These boots are the Combat Lite Touring boots sold by Aerostitch/Rider Wearhouse. Here's a link to the catalog entry on their website: http://www.aerostich.com/clothing/footwear/combat-touring-boots/aerostich-combat-lite-boots.html

Check them out, and read the user/customer reviews.

You can see from the site that these boots are priced at $297.00. They're made of very thick, sturdy leather, using as few pieces as possible to limit the amount of stitching required. This results in a sturdier boot, since the stitching would be the structural weak point. The few seams and thick leather combine to make these boots very water resistant. Aerostitch makes no claims that they're water proof, but if you read through the customer reviews, you'll see that with a little oil or other leather treatment, they become waterproof. In my limited experience, I'll agree that they are very sturdy, and definitely water resistant. I haven't had occasion to wear them in anything more than a light shower, but my feet stayed completely dry.

I'm selling these boots because they're just too much boot for my needs. They're fairly heavy, they're stiff, and they chafe my heel. Part of the reason for this is that I have issues with finding footwear that fits me properly in the first place – heel slippage is common. So I wouldn't hold it against the boot. Also, my riding is done on streets, highways, and back roads. I commute by motorcycle, so I also need to stand on a concrete floor for 8 – 10 hours a day. I was attracted to the boots because of the water resistance. I used to have “daily wear” boots, and a pair of waterproof touring boots (that just weren't comfortable for daily wear), but I wore out the waterproof ones, so I thought with these I'd get two in one. But they're really designed for the adventure touring rider. Someone who'll ride until the pavement stops, then ride cross country.

These boots are excellent for the adventure rider. The thick leather will protect from underbrush and rocks thrown up by the front tire. They have speed laces (I had to replace the laces, because I trimmed them too short, but this doesn't affect the "speed"), and a buckle on the outside at the ankle to keep them securely on your feet. The water resistance part is nice, too. They also have a nice wedge sole for traction.

There is a little wear. You can see where folds/creases have formed from being worn, which is of course perfectly normal for leather boots. There are some scuffs on the toes, especially the shifter toe. There's minimal wear on the soles.

The boots are made by Sidi exclusively for Aerostitch, so you can't get them anywhere else. They should last you years, maybe the rest of your life. Aerostitch sells replacement laces, buckles and soles.

These are labeled European size 43, but I've looked at more than one conversion chart online, and there doesn't seem to be a lot consistency in the conversions. Looking in the print catalog, I probably ordered a size 9. I just bought a pair of Red Wings work boots that are size 8 ½, though, so there may be a problem with the conversion. My problem is that I tend to fall between sizes, especially with shoes made in Europe or the UK. I had a pair of Dr Martin's that never fit me exactly right, either.

I'm asking $200.00, because really, these should last a lifetime. The price includes shipping UPS. If you have a Post Office Box, we'll negotiate from there. I'd rather not ship internationally, but if you're willing to negotiate shipping costs, we can discuss it.

If you're interested in the boots, contact me through this blog, and we'll exchange email addresses and go from there.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Party In Austin

Please check the link in the flier to the JW Rock Foundation. They do great things.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dream On

Honda Dream from the East Side Classic bike show.

On a side note, the first ride I ever had was straddling the gas tank on my uncle's Honda Dream. I was too young to even remember it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Oily Hands, Soapy Hands

Here's a tip for those who do their own maintenance, but need to have clean hands for work. (For example, I spend all day unpacking and sorting books - no one wants to pay $28.99 for the latest Stephen King if it's got 10W40 smudges on it). Sometimes it seems like no matter how much and how hard you scrub your hands, there's still grease left on your finger tips and in the creases of your knuckles. I read something somewhere a while back, and now I'm sharing it with you after years of field testing. Before you go out to the garage or driveway, or wherever you're going to change your oil or strip down your carburetor, dump a couple of drops of liquid dish detergent in your hand, and rub it all over your hands and fingers, coating everywhere that's about to get dirty. Give it a few minutes to dry, and it's like a liquid glove.

When you're done with the work, use Go-Jo, Fast Orange, or whatever your preferred hand cleaner is, and you should be left with completely clean hands.

You can thank me later when you're waiting tables and don't gross out your customers.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

One Hot Motor

I saw a bike in the grocery store parking lot today. It looked different, so I went to check it out. Small displacement vertical twin cruiser. From the styling, I'm guessing a Yammie, but I wouldn't say so under oath.
A few years old, but not exactly "classic" age - maybe five to ten years old, but all the logos and insignia lost to time, use and rust. I respect that.

I also respect modifying a bike to make it yours. Cosmetically. Structurally. Even modifying the engine is cool, if you know what you're doing.

But here's the problem.

There were two hoses leading down from the neck area of the frame, and they were capped off, with the metal pieces welded to the frame. There's only one reason I can think of for hoses like this to be routed up from the motor area to the neck region, then back down in front of the downtubes. A radiator. Now, there are good reasons to modify many parts of an engine, but I can't think of a single reason that makes it a good idea to remove a radiator from a motor designed to run with it, then use that motor in Central Texas in the summer.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Ain't Superstitious

This is what my trip meter said when I parked at work last Friday. Yeah, I parked and went in, anyway. But it did make me wonder what the day held in store.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

East Side Classic XS650

Another photo set from the East Side Classic bike show.  If I'm wrong about this being an XS650, please message me so I can fix it.

Just about the coolest mirror placement I've ever seen.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

East Side Classic ATX 2012


East Side Classic ATX 2012, a set on Flickr.
More from the East Side Classic bike show in Austin, TX 2012.

I'm playing around with using Flickr to post photos. The posting seems to be easier, but I'm not sure how I feel about how it posts. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Heavily Customized Metric V Twins

I recently went to the East Side Classic bike show in Austin, TX. Unfortunately, it was way too hot for my kids and my lady, so we couldn't stay as long as I would've liked. Fortunately, I was busy with the camera the whole time. I'll be posting some bike pix I took there. I think both of these kick-ass customs are Honda Shadows. If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me in the comments section.

Cool-As-Shit fender struts.

Evidence that I do indeed drag my kids out in the heat so I can ogle purdy bikes

Monday, June 18, 2012

Attention Custom Bike Builders and/or Riders

I follow several bike blogs, and see a lot of custom stuff. Most good, some not so good. Some just not my taste, but probably good anyway.

Then, there are some real head-scratchers. Things that make ya go "Huh?"

Can someone please tell me what the current fascination is with the narrow-ass handlebars? Some of them aren't as wide as an old school peanut gas tank. It doesn't look like you'd have much leverage, and if you have any shoulders at all, it just seems like you're gonna look like you're grabbing hold of a pogo stick when you ride.

Seriously. Someone please explain it to me.

Friday, June 8, 2012

RUB Rallly

Well, it's 9:30 Friday evening, which means the party is in full swing in downtown Austin. They have 6th Street blocked off to any traffic other than foot or motorcycle. Yup, R.U.B. Rally R.O.T. Rally has begun.

Now, don't get me wrong - I have nothing against the R.O.T. A lot of my brothers and sisters do, because the smaller rallies/runs we go to tend to support a charity, where the R.O.T. is purely for profit. I don't mind that - hell, bike shops, bars and liquor stores are all operated for profit, too, and we spend enough money there.

No, my problem with what many Austinites have come to refer to simply as "The Rally" is something different. It's the element it attracts. You know; the wrong crowd. Yes - R.U.B.s - Rich Urban Bikers.

They're not the only ones who show up, of course. There are a few who actually ride motorcycles more than to go to Bike Night or to official dealership sanctioned events. It's just that so many RUBs are here.

My problem isn't with their money and success. It's not with the "urban" part, either. My problem is the fact that so many people think they can spend $30,000 on a bike, add a bunch of chrome, buy some Harley Davidson "apparel", and suddenly, they're "bikers". As if you can buy a lifestyle. They typically spend more time polishing their bike than riding it.

And what's with calling everybody "Bro"? Because they heard  bikers say it in some movie? We do that for a reason. Bro is short for brother, and if I call a man Brother or a woman Sister, that's my way of saying "Whatever you need, if it's in my power, I'll provide it, and I know I can count on you the same". In other words, I'm calling him family. Real bikers don't take the word so lightly.

I know not everybody can be "hard core", and believe me - I know many would say I'm not. But I don't pretend to be anything more than what I am, and that's all I ask of others. If you own a bike, and you just like to ride it when the weather's nice on a weekend afternoon, there's not a damn thing wrong with that. But it doesn't make you a biker. Just be yourself. You'll be accepted and respected a whole lot more for it.

So, two lessons:
1) Don't bro me if you don't know me.
2) 20,000 dollars and 20 miles don't make you a biker.