We're all assaulted with it. Our world isn't a quiet place anymore with all types of media coming at us from every imaginable direction. As if the world of cyperspace sitting on our desks with immediate access to worldwide news isn't enough, internet pop-up ad's try to fool us with every click, real world paper memos are passed across our desk, text messages bring our cellphones to life and guerilla advertising is hidden in plain view everywhere we turn.
Its with this barrage of our information sensors that one has to wonder what would possibly make us voluntarily go out and seek even more stuff to read and learn. Yet we do, giving birth to RSS feeds, email news alerts and cellphone services that bring everything from Wall Street stock numbers to sports scores.
Call it literary masochism. Information suicide. Whatever it is, we're all guilty and I'm right there with the masses, following all the other lemmings over the cliffs of knowledge. As matter of fact, I poke around in so many places for news about stuff I couldn't even remember where I found the link to order what was waiting for me in the mailbox this morning.
My free Star Motorcycle promotional DVD.
I knew you were wondering when this biker blog would actually get to heaven forbid, motorcycles.
In case you haven't heard, Yamaha is rebranding it's motorcycle line under the new image of 'Star' with the Roadliner leading the charge. Needless to say this was the focus of the short but well produced DVD. But it wasn't the slickness that caught my attention.
With the same enthusiasm they showed when revolutionizing the motorcycle market back in the late 1960's and early 1970's, the Japanese manufacturers are paying new attention to the growing interest in cruising the USA with a big V-Twin between your legs.
I'll admit that to many I'm considered a new age biker that'll never know the hardships they faced in their early years of riding. You know, the hardened bikers who refitted entire engines using no more than a can opener while they were broken down in the middle of a desert with temperatures of 120 degrees when they toured america with only a blanket strapped to the bike and twenty dollars in the pocket. Yes, I'm spoiled with fuel injection and push button starters that brings to life one of the most successful engines Harley Davidson ever designed. Is it my fault that modern motorcycles no longer need to be retopped with oil every rest stop, or the engine rebuilt after 5000 miles?
I make these frustrated confessions to preempt what impressed me most about the new Yamaha...I mean, Star Motorcycles, which may or may not be mechanical standards for modern motorcycle production.
Because I'm obviously in an information vacuum, I've read in various motorcycle magazines about how Yamaha uses lightweight frames and staggered power pulses in it's beefed up V-Twin to deliver smooth power with that raw feel.
It wasn't so much the impressive mechanical specifications that caught my attention, but the care and attention to detail which went into coming up with the very distinctive art-deco look. As I mentioned above, I'm not privy to how a mass manufactured motorcycle is built, but I wouldn't think having a master wielder on the production line to get the smooth flow to the look of the gas tank the designers wanted is a standard practice. The DVD also claimed that the chroming, finishing of certain engine parts and caliber of production was found only in high performance or racing motorcycles.
Sure, the DVD is meant to sell the different Star Motorcycles, but it made me realize that maybe there's been more to my lingering looks as the various models of the Roadliner series rode by.
That banging at my front door right now has to be Harley Davidson coming to rip the H.O.G patch of my leather vest.
There were a few parts that made me feel they were trying maybe a little too hard. For instance, I was surprised to see all of the nameless staged riders wearing, gasp, half-helmets!!!
I thought it was only those obnoxious, show-off, posing Harley Davidson riders that did that!
A large part of the DVD was spent looking at accessories and 'metric motorcyce customizers'. Okay then.
If you'd like to order your own DVD click here and complete the form. The website says nothing about a limited time offer, however you do have to be a US resident (excluding Hawaii). Check it out and see if you agree with me.
No Harley was (permanently) harmed in the typing of this blog, and the author has recieved no incentive to say all these nice things that probably threatens his life with fellow HOG riders.
Has he had enough lashes yet?
You may remember I wrote about shock jocks from San Francisco's 105.3 who encouraged drivers in traffic jams to open their doors on passing bikers who were legally lane-splitting (towards the end of the blog). For those not in the know, because it's not legal in all states, this is when a motorcycle rides along the white lines in between vehicles during a stopped traffic flow (or traffic jam to you and I).
Bearing in mind I didn't hear this broadcast with my own ears, here is a transcript offered by some upset riders that did.
Woody: Nothing would make me happier than to watch somebody, and I actually seen this one time, somebody open a door and take you out as you're trying to squeeze through people who have been sitting in traffic for 45 minutes.
Tony: If it didn't rip my door off I'd probably do it.
Woody: Now I don't want to see anybody get hurt, honestly, but I mean you just get so mad so frustrated that you're like you know what I hope you... It's kind of like those guys that haul "O Ring" past you on the freeway... going like 160 mph on their crotch rocket, and I'm like, you know what, I hope you crash.
Raify: It's like, I look forward to seeing youup ahead...
Woody: Just for being an A-hole, right?
The DJ's tried to downplay what they said after some annoyed calls came in from bikers, but not enough to stop the forum boards from cooking. Both TMW Motorcycle Forums and Bay Area Riders Forum had a lot posts and complaints which continued until several days later the DJ apologized for his remarks and tried to make peace with the riding community. He even went as far to offer to take a Motorcycle Safety Course to better understand bikers.
This wasn't enough with some still crying for a pound of flesh and finally the DJ posted a written apology in the same forums screaming for his head.
OK, finally this is working. I've been trying to log in all day with no luck.....which is why I sent my last post to Dennis (Budman) in the first place.
Not sure when and where I'll be taking the safety course yet....but when I do, you'll know.
I know there are some people here who will never forgive me no matter what I say or do at this point......but what can you do.
For the record.....at this point I've only made ONE really bad comment during all this......which is the initial one on the 12th....as bad as it was, no denial. SINCE then, realizing how stupid that was (I'm not beyond making mistakes obviously) I've given considerable airtime to clarifying that road rage in any form is wrong and that screwing with bikers on the roads is bullshit.
I would hope that if someone is shallow enough to blindly listen to some morning radio DJ making dumb comments for guidance, that the repeated retractions and clarifications would repeal their thought process.......what little there is to begin with.
Like I said, I'm more than happy to continue to help you in your mission to raise awareness of "moto" related issues (ie: lane splitting), and the reasons to appreciate the benefits of bikes on the roads means to us "cagers."
To the people who are still full of "pee" and venom, unwilling to even let me make good on my promises.......I hope you never make a mistake in your life, because when you do, and you honestly in your heart of hearts regret it, you'll hope that people can find it in them to give you another chance.
Yes, I'm new to California....but so are lots of other people here in the Bay Area. This is a transient city.....many outsiders moving in who aren't aware on the ins and outs of the community and its local laws. I can help you. Live 105 can help you. Honestly, the people at Live 105 are good people, unlike most in this business. They do lots to help the community and give back. They've been serving the Bay Area for MANY MANY years.......don't let one comment, as bad as it was, by one DJ (Me) ruin the good. Let me worry about making this good. Live 105 will support me in whatever it is I want to do.....they're just like that. Not much at this station comes from the top.....one of the reasons I decided to come work here.
So you can see what I mean here. The past is the past, and all I can do is worry about the future. By the way.....I didn't appreciate the one poster who said that I was calling for people to open doors on bikers, take a picture of the carnage, and then send it in for a prize? Holy hell? Who's got a bigger problem, me? or you for even blowing that up like that? What's the matter, the statement as is (joking or not) wasn't extreme enough for you? If that's the case I'm surprised you didn't try to lump kids in there somewhere........my god!
OK......I've been typing for a while. If anyone has any other questions, or suggestions (other than you're an "O Ring" Woody, go "fudge" yourself) you can email me at WTRLive105@aol.com
To the people here who are giving me another shot......I appreciate it. I'll follow through on my word.
To the others.......don't know what else to say. OH.....and sorry for the form letter....I couldn't figure out how to post on here, and the emails were coming in like mad. I wanted to get back to everyone and figured SOME type of response was better than hearing NOTHING back at all. ........now I'm out....
Woody Live 105
Rather than say anything imflammatory or being reduced to name calling, I'll leave Woody and this arguement with a wise saying (paraphrased of course), "It takes a lifetime to build a reputation, but only a few seconds to ruin one".