Monday, June 29, 2009

"A little traveling music, please......."

"California, a prophet on the burning shore
California, Ill be knocking on the golden door
Like an angel, standing in a shaft of light
Rising up to paradise, I know Im gonna shine...."

Well, Part-timer Steve and I are riding out of here (Denver) tomorrow morning for L.A. A nice 1000 mile jaunt. Steve is going to ride his chopper that was in the Street Chopper Fall issue this trip. With his skinny-minnie gas tank, I can't wait to hit that 112 mile section of I-70 between Green River and Salina, Utah that doesn't have any services. That's OK, I did it when I was young, he'll have extra gas on his bike. Plus, I'm taking the Geezer Glide (Road Glide), so I got the Loctite and tools, HAHA!

Last trip out, we hit Las Vegas in the morning, and it was already 105 degrees. By the time we got to Baker, CA it was 115. We gassed up there, and I pulled under an old gas station's overhang for a little shade. Steve rides up next to me and parked, then he says....
Steve: Do you know where we are?
Me: Yeah, sure, we're in Baker...there's the world's largest thermometer, it says 115.......
Me: OK, where are we?

I think he was delerious.....I thought I'd have to do like John Wayne did to Robert Stack in The High And The Mighty, when Stack was blowing it, and The Duke had to slap him back into reality again. That's when Stack uttered those immortal words "Thanks, I needed that!" But, Steve got it together after we had a TCBY sundae, and I didn't have to slap him after all.

This time around, Steve also plans on capturing a bunch of the trip on video and photos and as we go, and I'm going to take some snapshots as well - something I don't usually do on motorcycle trips anymore. This should be interesting.....if it goes well, Steve has this new wiz-bank program for editing all this stuff together. We might put some of it up on YouTube, with links from here. Who knows, if it goes really well, we might burn some DVD's with the whole trip.

We're gonna hang out in Burbank for a couple days with Frank Kaisler first. Frank has it all set up for me to interview Mike Parti on Friday the 3rd, and I'm really looking forward to that. Then we're gonna hit Bob's Big Boy in Toluca that night. Then from there, probably the NoHo Diner for a late night snack. Who knows, sometimes there's porn stars hanging out in the NoHo at that time of night.

Saturday We'll probably spend the afternoon with Superco Trev, then head down to Long Beach/Westminster for The Sinners July 4th party (hey that's the main reason for the trip!). Sunday we don't have any plans, and we'll hit the road for home Monday morning, and we'll wander around a little and get back here on the 9th.

So, if you see Steve and I at any of these places, don't be 'skeered to come up and say hello to us, OK?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

34 years ago.......

I wrote a letter to Easyriders Magazine, and voiced my opinion on some of the ads they were accepting in their Choppershopper section back then. I hadn't thought about this letter in a long time, but I was reading something the other day that reminded me of it. It's the letter entitled Down On Ads below.

What really struck me as funny, was that the people who placed the ads were clever enough to come up with a scam like that, pay a $.30 per word investment on the idea, and then wait 60 days for the ad to print and start paying off. In that time, they could have used the cost of the ad to buy a paper, go thru the want ads, put gas in their car, and find a place where they could use their smarts and clever wits to make a living at a real job, and pay their own way on a bike to ride - like everybody else did, and still does.

You'll notice that Easyriders responded in part that they didn't think anybody would actually send money to the people who were placing the ads, so they ran them. I bet those ads collected a good return on the initial investment. You know who's born every minute, right?

Monday, June 15, 2009

OK, this is quite possibly.........

.......the dumbest fucking "tough biker guy" Tshirt I have ever seen, and I've seen a bunch. I think this is the motorcycle equivalent of the "kick me hard" notebook paper you used to stick on somebody that fell asleep in high school algebra. Only this time it's self-inflicted.

You might as well have "Hey boys, I'm a Homo - do me a favor... and please kick my ass!" written on there.

It's in the new J&P catalog, in case you wanna get stocked up for Summer. They're only $16.99

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sturgis, 1986

In 1986, the Evolution engine was 2 model years old. In Sturgis, Harley used to set their demo ride up in the area of where 14-A turned into Lazelle, across the street from Black Hills Texaco. I don't think they moved to The Rushmore Civic Auditorium in Rapid City until '90. You could go over there and ride a 5 mile stretch of the service road along I-90, make a U-turn at the barricade, and ride back again.

You could do this all day long - all you had to do was show your drivers license when you went into the demo area, get in line at the model you wanted to ride, and take it out. When you got back, you just went and stood in the next line for the model you wanted to ride next. You would wait maybe 5 min., Harley had about a dozen of each model they made, and every year they'd have the brand-new debut models for the coming year there to demo - in this case it was the '87's.

I was still riding my '79 ElectraGlide Classic, and I took out the Softail (didn't like it), the FXRSP (loved that bike!), the FXRT (ehhhhh....), and the Electraglide Classic (REALLY like this one!). That Evolution and the 5 speed, and the air suspension/anti-dive made my FLHC Shovel seem like an old tractor. Plus it had a KILLER (for the time) 40 watt AM/FM/cassette player.

Anyways, to make a short story long, when I got back in town, in front of Gunners, I ran into Guinea Colucci, who had just bought a red FXR right before he left for Sturgis. He had gone thru 2 ignition modules on the trip, and when I told him I was planning on trading in my Shovel on a new Evo, he told me to keep the Shovel, and wait a couple model years to"... let Harley sort the electrical shit out". I didn't wait, when I got home I went down and bought a new '86 FLHTC on a year end closeout. I put 96,000 relitively trouble-free miles on that bike.

Anyways, I just ran across these pictures from Sturgis '86, and I thought you'd like to see some of what the HAMC was riding in Sturgis that year. Guinea was kind enough to let me take these close-up shots, and I remember his warning: "Sure, shoot away, but you know.....NO LICENSE PLATES!"
Jim "Guinea" Colucci, Sturgis '86 - RIP
A couple things here.....2 of the 3 HAMC bikes in the picture are Evolution engines. The other thing of note is that of the 3 bikes, the one on the left is a Evo FXR, and the one on the right is a Softail. Again, this is 1986.
This bike was pretty interesting. It was an '86 FXSTC. The fatbobs are gone, and in their place is a king sporty tank. Also, the factory 21" spoked wheel is replaced with a 19" cast factory mag. My only guess was so the owner would have two tubeless rims on his road bike (the rear was still the original factory spun aluminum disc wheel). Check out the radar detector mounted above the speedo.

I really wish I knew who did the paint and lettering on this bike, as the owner wasn't around, and Guinea wasn't positive on who it was. Check out the shading and fine outline on the lettering.

Look behind the letters, and you'll see a Death Head, hand-striped behind them in dark grey.

A more perfect example of a Frisco gas filler relocation is hard to find. Whoever did this got it, right down to the "flat" area where the old filler was located, a style detail that makes or breaks this modification.

It's hard to see the intricate hand-painted details in the gold leaf feathers, and the subtle shading and color highlighting that the skull has from this now 23 year old photograph. You'd have to see it in person to appreciate it fully. Lots of pride and craftsmanship in this tank.

Road test, 1974

Bob Greene at speed, lighting up a smoke, as he puts a 1974 ElectraGlide thru it's paces for a road test article. How cool is that?

Don't tell me that if you had the opportunity, you wouldn't blast this FLH just as it's pictured above, coast to coast right this minute?

Be there........