Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Occasional Roar

It has been over 5 years since I last posted on this blog. Now the fire has dimmed to a pleasant glow as I do most of my riding on the 16 mile round trip to Capital Casino and back. It's a mission to engage in tournament Texas poker and I am fairly addicted to it...winning just often enough to keep a small poker stash and remain fairly even with Lady Luck.
Current ride: Badass IV
Pimped 2008 Street Glide
Loaded on Sturgis Trip

I have also turned into a fair weather rider in the past few years. I like to avoid the extremes of Mother Nature...extremes like rain and hot weather, especially hot weather as it seems we are getting more and more of it in the Sacramento area.

Nonetheless, I still get a kick out of punching that starter and hearing those badass loud Freedom Performance pipes on the Harley Street Glide. Plus, let's not forget I have written two editions of a book, "Badass - The Harley Davidson Experience" and posted more than 50 blog stories about my times on a Harley. That's the kind of love (read-fanaticism) most riders recognize.

My "prettiest" Badass III,
2003 Road King Classic
The last couple of years I have thought about buying my "last" Harley as the look and technical advancements on newer models are getting damn fine in my estimation. Yet, I know my pal and bride of almost 49 years would strongly disagree as I am getting to the age where she would prefer that I not ride at all.

Another, just as compelling reason to not buy a new one is that I have dialed my Street Glide in and it fits me damn near perfect. I have changed the seat twice and sent the latest one away to get custom fitted with more gel for comfort. I have lowered the front end to match the back and let me stand flat footed while the bike is stationery. This limits my cornering ability and I scrape the floorboards more often but I am much more comfortable at stoplights now.  I have changed the handlebars to give me a little more height and a more comfortable reach. I have added small aftermarket wings to the front fairing and below the seat for more temperature control. I have changed the mirrors to give me better, wider rear vision. I have more and brighter lights to make it easier for cage riders to see me. And to top it off, I have done a ton of cosmetic stuff. I have received a lot of compliments about the looks and in response I like to say "Yeah thanks, I have pimped it to the max".  But....but I really love the looks and technology on the 2017/28 Road King Special so look out folks, the Fat Lady hasn't sang yet!

Badass II - 2000 Road King Classic
at Mark Twain's cabin
on Jackass Hill Road in Calaveras County.
I got her in Sturgis
and put a ton of great miles on her.
Now this may be my last entry on the subject as the passion ebbs. However I would not want that to happen without first mentioning how grateful I am to Julieann Marie for encouraging me to "check one out" over 20 years ago and then putting up with the worry about my safety as I logged easily over 200,000 miles indulging my admitted childhood fantasies. I really appreciate the generosity of Art Jensen, my sister-in-laws brother for letting me use his Heritage during the 1998 Sturgis rally - that hooked me forever. 

I am also grateful to have the best riding pal, Al "Coyote" Mungia along for my significant rides. Al and I are world's apart politically but when we are on a ride we are handlebar-to-handlebar riders with complete trust in one another. It's a rare thing I believe and I appreciate it.

To those who may stumble across this entry and fancy riding Harley's, or any motorcycle for that matter, I have three suggestions:
  1. Learn how to ride a dirt bike, in the dirt if possible - there you can learn instinctive moves such as getting away from the bike when you inevitably crash and how to counter steer...things that will keep you safer on the street.
  2. Take a motorcycle safety course, mandatory in many states.
  3. Go for it!  

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