Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Nothing is ever easy

The coldfront that swept across the US managed to reach as far south as sunny South Florida clearing the roads of all but the most hardened bikers. The definition of hardened for the rest of the country has a different standard than with the sunshine state I'm sure, but the end result of no motorcycles and lots of sweaters was the same as it would be for our northern cousins.

It is surprising actually that with the lack of cold weather in this state that not only do Floridians own sweaters, they're fairly trendy! Yep, we could be on the cover of Vogue and GQ with our leather elbow patch V-Neck sweaters.

Always the way
I stopped by the Harley dealership to price some of the work being considered for my Deuce's 1st birthday. I've been to this particular dealership quite a few times for all the stuff we bikers apparently absolutely have to have to ride. T-shirts, different types of gloves and all the other things that lead to the adage that its not how you ride, but how you look when you ride.

When I had to pick up my windshield the person behind the parts counter was less than helpful, trying more to get me out of the store rather than give assistance. My girlfriend had bought the windshield for my birthday and left it at the dealership to be picked up, but this kid couldn't find it. From out of the back an equally young, but obviously smarter and certainly more motivated kid came back from a break. Even when he recommended looking in places the original salesperson may've stored the purchased product, my guy shuffled around repeatedly suggesting it wouldn't be there. Finally the helpful guy took over and not only found the windshield but worked out the paperwork, which as straightforward as it appeared to be, needed coaxing through the Harley Davidson computer system. It's just as well they design motorcycles and not software.

Here's my dilemma. When I went to price the makeover, the incompetent guy was the only one at the counter. I even stood there while two others were served, hoping someone else would come out from the back. But no.

No sooner had we cracked open the Screamin' Eagle catalog when the one who had actually helped during what shall come to be known as the windshield episode, came out. I knew I was really in trouble when smart guy started telling my guy what page to look on and which pipes to recommend. When my guy knew how much I was going to spend, not only was he keen on helping he asked that I called him when it was time to bring the bike in so he could book it into service!

This leaves with having to call the dealership and ask for the 'young guy with glasses and tattoos' (no I didn't get the smart guys name) and try to avoid Mr. Useless when I take the bike in. After all, we know how the lazier people in any job always manage to find that energy they lack for every other part of their job except when it's time to complain.

What did come out of the conversation was deciding on a set of Screaming Eagle 16 gauge pipes, some chroming and ruling out the Harley saddlebags (not easily removable and too small). So now I need to find a set of bags I like and throw them on with some ghost brackets.

Not a good trend
Last Wednesday in Biker Diaries I mentioned an article from the Raliegh News and Observer about the US Military's concern over the growing number of soldiers surviving the war in Iraq and Afghanistan only to die in motorcycle accidents here at home when they return.

Unfortunately, two stories hit the papers over the last fews days further re-enforcing this trend. On February 12th the Arizona Daily Star reported that a 26-year-old soldier was killed Saturday night when his motorcycle went off the road and he was thrown from the vehicle. Then on the 13th the San Diego Union Tribune covered the death of a 22-year-old Marine who was riding his motorcycle north on Interstate 5 just near the Border Patrol checkpoint in California.

It has to be ironic that we can train these young men to kill someone in so many ways, but can't send them to a three day motorcycle safety course.


KT Did said...

Nothing is easy when it comes to the Harley Nordstrom syndrome!!! I have to rely on them to tell me what I need and don't need (although I think now I am getting a little savy).. I am not a wrencher. I walked out of Harley yesterday and saw some guy ride on on a new Deluxe with louder pipes than me...With my mouth wide opened, I walked right up to him and hit him with a hundred questions. He bought Vance & Hines pipes...looks good and sounds great. I bought screamin eagles on the advice of Harley.... so $$$ cha ching cha ching cha ching... ughghghghg!! I will have to wait awhile on that exchange!!

Vinod said...

I just visited your blog after a long time and noticed that you had put in a link to my blog ( coincidentally titled Motorcycle Diaries). Thanks!

I'm eagerly awaiting the end of winter to get my bike out of storage and start riding again. In the meantime, I'm living vicariously thought the adventures of my fellow motorcycle bloggers!

Gymi said...

Now ya know a little what it's like for us up here in the great white north. For your new pipes, may I be as bold as to suggest looking at some Sampsons. I know several people who have them. They sound GREAT!!! not too loud not too quiet. If you didn't purchase the S.E. you may want to give em' a listen.

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