Thursday, November 03, 2005

One hell of a bike...a few times over!

I heard a statistic today that Broward County (the one just north of the county Miami's located in...for those geographically challenged) has a total of 1350 intersections normally serviced by traffic lights. Guess how many of those are actually working?

How about 350?

It's numbers like that which keep the Deuce firmly in the garage and my body in one piece. But it doesn't stop me from thinking about it, trying to put together some sort of route that would be semi-safe. It always comes back to waiting until everything's a little bit calmer on the South Florida roads.

I'm not the only one thinking that! With more stations opening up and consequently no lines for the gas, there are a lot less motorcycles on the road than normal. I guess everyone has the same faith in the average Floridian car driver that I do.

Give the right of way or else!

A bike that would most certainly get the right of way at any intersection is being featured first and foremost as the publicity machine is starting to come into play for the latest comic book to movie project Ghost Rider starring Nicholas Cage.

For those who've never read the comic, the original hero was a motorcycle stuntman who makes a deal with the devil and in return gets to ride a blazing bike and his head becomes a flaming skull. I say original because as with all superheroes his origin has been revamped and changed over the years.

But who cares when you get to ride a chopper as cool as the one pictured?

Speaking of choppers, Captain America himself, Easy Rider's Peter Fonda has a role in the movie. Here's an excerpt from a recent TV Guide interview where the Ghost Rider movie came up. Will there be any homages to Easy Rider in Ghost Rider [in which Fonda mentors Cage's supernatural vigilante motorcyclist]?

Fonda: Well, the chopper in the film is a lot like the design of my Easy Rider chopper, but not the same paint job. The shape, the rake, the high bars and the sissy bar in the back.... It's not a replica, but it's pretty close. It's called Grace and from that I create the Hell-Cycle.

The movie is scheduled to be released in August 2006.

Speaking of nice things to look at...

I bring you the photo only because it directly impacts and enhances a story from the International Motorcycle and Scooter Show.

It was something to do with motorcycles I'm sure....but with a picture like this, does the bike really matter?

I do have to question who would organize a show call the International Motorcycle and Scooter Show, and more importantly, who would be seen going to it:)

Can we mention Harley?
I know there are a lot of people out there that love to hate Harley and as much as I'd like to know why, I really don't.

Either way it would tick off those who do that Harley Davidson won the title of best annual report from...wait for it...15th Annual Triad Annual Report Competition!

I'm not quite sure where that award would go on the wall of fame, or even what it would look like for that matter, but it wasn't a competition that was taken lightly.

All reports submitted (by the contestants) for this year's Triad Awards competition were judged by members of the Chicago chapters of The National Investor Relations Institute, the American Institute of Graphic Arts and professors at DePaul University's Department of Finance. These three leading organizations represent professionals in the fields of investor relations, graphic design and financial analysis, and judges use criteria important to each field in determining the winning annual reports.

And it's not the first time they've done well in this contest, 'Harley-Davidsons dedication to shareholder communication is evidenced by its status as a repeat winner, having won the Triad Award in 2004, 2002 and placed in the Top 10 in 2003'.

Forget the CC's, motorcycle innovation, or even the styling. I think we all know who the big dog on the porch is!

If you really do have a thing against the almight HD, you have unthought of bedfellows. The Domincan Today reports that many in the Dominican Republic are upset at the recent announcement by it's Interior and Police Ministry that they were acquiring seven more Harleys to be used in patrolling twelve barrios of the National District.

Maybe its not too late to mention to the powers that be the advantages of BMW?

Sobering thoughts for ALL riders.
Occassionally you come across articles that really make you look at something from a totally different perspective.

The story in the Daily Bulletin about not only the dangers motorcycle police face, but their eventually consequences.

The freedom of riding and the camaraderie among the two-wheeled camp has an allure that keeps officers on their bikes despite the higher risk involved.

But some officers who experience the downside of riding, losing partners to fatal crashes or getting in too many accidents themselves, reach a point where the risks outweigh the benefits.

The article details accident after accident that puts the police officer in hospital and possibly off the motorcycle. For good.

Some officers and deputies go back into squad cars in the aftermath of serious motorcycle accidents. Others can't recover from their injuries and are forced into early retirement.
It can even affect motor officers who have never been seriously injured. Reggie Autrey left the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department on Dec. 31, in part because he was traumatized by a partners death.

A must read.

The line for this job starts where?
Wanting to leave on a light note, as someone who enjoys the thrill and freedom of riding, what would your dream job be?

How about being paid to put a minimum of fifty miles on every bike sold or serviced at a Harley Davidson dealership? Well stand in line and wait for Walt Lowe to retire. That might be a wait, since he's retired once already!

Retired at age 52, after 30 years in vegetation management, Lowe has spent the last two years on the back of everything from a Sportster to a Road King to a Buell sport bike. He typically works four days a week and puts in seven-hour days. That amount of work accumulates to around 100 hours a month of test-riding time.

During the height of riding season, Lowe may face a row of as many as 15 to 18 motorcycles waiting to be tested as he arrives to work. Labor done on customers' motorcycles has priority over brand new bikes screaming to be broken in.

Lowe climbs on the back of every bike serviced, from general work done to motorcycles requiring a test ride following a major engine overhaul. He works closely with the technicians, who are paid by the job, not the hour. It is typical for Lowe to test ride a motorcycle up to 50 miles in order to ensure all working parts mesh together.

When that's done, he turns to breaking in the new motorcycles and making deliveries to eager customers.

Read the entire story at the Auburn Journal.

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