Monday, October 17, 2005

Surprises, frustration and plain ol' resignation....Interesting Weekend

It was my birthday this weekend.

I know, your card is still in the mail. Can't tell you how many times I've heard that one over the last few days. I really have no qualms about getting older, it's forty-one in case you wondering and the main reason I've always been at ease with my age is that I've managed to do so very much, all the while having a much better time than anyone could've ever asked for.

Not going into a mini-biography here since this is a bike blog, the reason I bring this up is because my girlfriend decided to score major brownie points and not only buy something for my Deuce, but buy something really nice for my Deuce. Without any prompting or hinting, she presented me with a piece of paper that'd allow me to pick up my brand new windshield from one of the local Harley Davidson Dealerships.

I was so impressed that she wanted to a) spend that kind of money and b) wanted to spend that kind of money on something she really doesn't like. Since her years of youthful dirtbiking has left her with more than a slight fear of riding, I actually consider every ride she takes with me as a type of mini-gift. So when I had the idea of using what money she'd spent on the windshield and upgrade to a pair of saddlebags, it was handled delicately and most diplomatically. Well, right up until the point that she said no. Soon I realized that not only does begging and pleading not look that good on a grown man, it doesn't work either.

It wouldn't have mattered really. The only saddlebags HD sells for the Deuce are $575 plus another couple of hundred for hardware and an indicator relocator kit, making it a little too expensive this close to christmas.

It was on the heels of not getting my own way that I nearly didn't get my own windshield, thanks to traditionally high level of customer service (sarcasm) we're blessed with in South Florida. During the thirty minutes of deciding whether or not I was telling the truth about taking the item when it was originally purchased to realizing after continued questioning that there were other places to look for the said missing windshield, I had the chance to talk to one of the guys there about the options for saddlebags in the Deuce. There weren't any.

It was really expensive and they were really hard to put on. That was my option. I could always get a sissy bar and the luggage designed to take advantage of it, but that wasn't the convenience or the look I was hoping for.

To be fair, he did offer to hunt around the internet and check out other options, so we'll see when I call back towards the end of the week. Later in the weekend I asked the readers of TMW Motorcycle Forums for any ideas and they recommended Saddlemen Bags and hardware options of either Ghostbrackets or Easybrackets. This left me with a much better feeling.

Using only rubberbands and chewing gum
Over two hours later I single-handedly installed the windshield using only a plumbers wrench. Okay, I'll admit it was a smaller wrench, but still the tool thats used more for banging on pipes than putting together a detachable Harley Davidson windshield. It's not that I'm some masochist trying to make things harder in life, but down to keeping the bike at my buddy's garage who happened to be out of town. The wrench was all I could find lying around, so the windshield was in fact assembled with a bulky worn tool, a few swear words and a lot of frustration. Afterwards, finally getting to wash my bike (which was still filthy from last Monday's ride) was a welcomed pleasure. I guess it's all relative.

I was still admiring my clean, shiny Harley when the gas nozzle at the local station went crazy and sprayed all over the gas tank and seat. Obviously I'd used up all my swearing and frustration on the plumbers wrench and windshield, without a second thought I gave the bike a quick wash down again and it was time to try out the new windshield out on the open road.

Before and after.

As unsure as I am about the look of the windshield, it did cut down the wind pushing against my body and whistling past my ears. It looks like it'll stay on for now, but I might take it off for the next local ride, just to see.

News that is News!
If I decide to enter the Red Bull-Last man standing competition the windshield is definitely coming off! After all, there are some big names already entered in the competition representing the best of various off-road racing series across the country, including such notable riders as current seven-time AMA National Enduro champion Mike Lafferty and nine-time AMA Trials champion Geoff Aaron. Former Baja 1000 winner Jimmy Lewis and select additional wildcard riders from Canada and the World Enduro Championship series also plan to compete in the inaugural event being held on November 12th later this year.

Feel like taking your bike off-road? Read more about the multi-stage, off-road elimination event near the Texas-Oklahoma border at Dirt Rider magazine.

Riders don't let riders......
Beginning this week, Georgia will host a statewide pilot project to confront the problem of riding while intoxicated through a program in which motorcyclists will hear the message from a source they trust the most, other riders.

"Research shows that alcohol contributes to a much higher percentage of fatal motorcycle crashes than it does for any other type of vehicle. In Georgia, 111 people died on motorcycles last year."

Even a little alcohol can pose a big threat to riders. Because of the special skills it takes to operate a motorcycle, Director Bob Dallas of the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety says it's not surprising that a higher proportion of riders killed in crashes are at lower blood alcohol concentrations than drivers of other vehicles. Mistakes made while riding on two wheels can be much less forgiving. Impairment sufficient to threaten a rider's life can occur well before that rider is visibly intoxicated, Dallas said.

If you ride in Georgia and would like to help out with the project, read the entire press release.

They're nice guys...really!
Just to prove that everything is not what it seems, the Hells Angels are having 'the man' not only stand up for them, but also publicly taking on federal prosecuters in Arizona.

It seems back in July 2003 federal agents and Valley police raided Hells Angels' homes, businesses and chapter houses, arresting 16 club members and associates under a federal grand jury indictment for murder, gunrunning, drug-dealing, racketeering and other crimes during an undercover probe known as Operation Black Biscuit which netted three Hells Angel chapter presidents in the state. Agents seized 600 firearms, plus stolen vehicles, drugs, club records and paraphernalia.

You would think that this would be enough to put some people behind bars for quite a few years, but defense attorneys have complained about misconduct by undercover operatives in the Arizona case, and about the prosecution's failure to disclose evidence that must be shared under federal justice rules. So Judge David Campbell called for a hearing on Friday in a sharply worded order suggesting that indictments against members of the biker organization might be dismissed if the U.S. Attorney's Office fails to abide by due-process rules.

Interesting twist! Read the entire report at

Riding just became a lot more expensive
You may be soon regret getting your better half into the world of riding, well if G-Line has their way.

With the tagline of 'If we waited for men to design gear for us, we'd still be waiting' the website specializes in riding gear designed 'by women, for women'.

You might want to check out the site before your girl does!


Gymi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gymi said...

Laurence, could you tell you girl friend my birthday is February 9th, my wife never buy's me anything for my bike.