Sunday, April 12, 2015

Who's There? The Long Painful Road Back To Joy... By Wondermutt

This is the story about me getting back to what riding used to give me, how it used to bring joy, back when I would ride, just for the sake of riding. Not many on this board know what happened to me, back in April, of 2013, I was hit by a woman in a car who wasn't paying attention. It was the type of hit that if I wasn't just around the bend from a fire station, and if those paramedics hadn't gotten me on that helicopter, I wouldn't be here to type this. I lost out on five months of my life, recovering from my injuries, but I also lost that desire that I once had, to just get out and ride, feel the wind, find those back roads and loose myself. I wasn't afraid of riding, the desire to go out just for fun was gone. I still commute on my bike, every day, 50 miles each way, but that's different at least for me, my commute has a purpose, back and forth to work, its something that I do, because I need to, not because I want to.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

DesTination: Alaska Run By JFL & Wayne

This ride was first conceived in 2012 right after the Maggie Valley Rally.  Wayne and I had just started playing around with those “color in the maps” web sites.  We had all the Southern states covered except for South Carolina.  Wayne had the presence of mind to buzz over during Maggie Valley and check that state off the list.  When we got back and colored in the map again, we figured out we could cover every other state we were missing in just two more trips.  Last year we rode through all the states we were missing in the north east on our trip to Nova Scotia. That left one more ride, the longest we’ve ever tried, to check off Alaska, a few other states and the remaining provinces of Canada that boarder with the U.S.A.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

2015 Montreal Motorcycle Show - A Brief Overview

The Sora
Photo © LGM
The last time I was at the Montreal Motorcycle Show I was there working on behalf of Moto-Sport Newman as a sales rep for Kawasaki Motorcycles. Thinking back, really the only memorable motorcycle that I can recall at the time was Quebec's Lito Green Motion (LGM) The Sora. An electric motorcycle (pictured left) that is available via luxury automobile dealerships. Yes, you read that correctly. At $42, 399 per bike, The Sora is Sorta Expensive and probably wouldn't be too well received amongst its two wheeled brethren, not least of all when you have far more affordable and real world electric bikes with similar range like Zero Motorcycles and Brammo Motorcycles. Nevertheless, this year's motorcycle show had promised to be exciting as it featured some of the newest and most interesting motorcycles to have come out in a long time. I was fortunate enough as well to be accompanied by Percy Hart, cigar box guitarist extraordinaire and all around nicest fella this side of Planet Earth!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Coming of Age: A Biker is Born Part Deux!

A Biker Is Born, Part Deux!
I spent the summer of 2013 in the back lot of Moto Thibault working as a motorcycle instructor for Sur 2 Roues here in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Honestly, I don't think I have ever been as happy about work as I was last summer. I was surrounded by motorcycles all day long. The sound, smell and feel of motorcycles on a daily basis was enough to keep me smiling. Hell, I didn't even mind giving Can-Am Spyder Courses! The cherry on top however was being able to give my youngest son his first ride on a motorcycle! One day in August my wife arrived as a surprise with the kids for a pic-nic during our lunch hour. Since my oldest son's coming of age, my youngest son's desire to give it a go had only increased over the last year. For those of you who may not recall, although little J love's motorcycles, he always did so at a distance. Now, for the first time, he felt brave enough to ride one with his old man. I couldn't have been more chuffed.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Breastfeeding Babies - A Dad's View

Photo © Meet The Fockers
Whether you happen to be Robert De Niro donning fake breasts and attempting to breastfeed his grandson in 2004's "Meet the Fockers"or like the majority you are just an average 'Joe' uncertain of what, if anything, you can do to help your wife whilst she is breastfeeding there are nevertheless things that every father should be aware of. There are inevitably two camps about breastfeeding. There are those that think it is not necessary and than there are others who think it is essential. There are hundreds of books available for women and men stating pros and cons to each side. Thus the purpose here is not to reiterate what has already been written so many times but rather, just as importantly, to discuss what YOU as the father can do to help make whatever decision your better half chooses to make as easy as possible.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Who's There? A Word on Rock The Cause By Percy Hart

Understanding Harley-Davidson's Classification System

Photo © BugSpatteredJacket
What makes Harley-Davidson an exceptional option for many motorcyclists is the endless array of parts and accessories available. Harley-Davidson has released over 30 unique motorcycles for 2011 alone. Harley has developed a system whereby each motorcycle is sub-classed into further sections based on a variety of differences between bikes. Although these differences can be subtle when considering bikes from the same family, nevertheless, it is important to ensure you have the appropriate abbreviation for your bike when ordering parts and accessories.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Who's There? Custom Corbin Seat Review By Lucky Devil

Photos © Corbin Motorcycle Seats
Some reviews are just too good to be left hidden on independent forums. This happens to be one of them. Having owned a Corbin seat for my Suzuki Intruder 1400, I have nothing but praise for them as a product. Lucky Devil, a senior member on the Yamaha FZ 09 Forum has one over me when he decided to ride down to Corbin and have his seat custom made in person! As you know, 99% of OEM motorcycles seats are nothing more than after thoughts for manufacturers. Thankfully, there are companies like Corbin, Mustang and Sargent that cater to our rear ends and help make motorcycling all the more enjoyable. As I continue to struggle with my decision as to which bike to buy, reviews like this help simplify things. Cue Lucky Devil's review...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Who's There? Keith McCarthy on Replacing a Speedometer Bulb with LED on a Suzuki Intruder 1400!

All Words & Photos © Keith McCarthy
I put off this job for a while thinking it was going to be difficult or that I'd have a hard time figuring out which LED to use. The delay was unnecessary as this is one of the easiest jobs to do. In fact, it will take longer to create this blog!  I don't know if all years are this easy or not. From the schematic for this bike, it appeared there would be two lights to replace. As you can see from the back of my speedometer, there is only one. Perhaps this changed in different years, I don't know. I ordered bulbs off eBay. 20 LED bulbs for $8, shipped (In the USA). Here is what I ordered off of eBay for cheap. Upon opening the package, I got these! (Pictured Left)

Monday, October 20, 2014

In Search of Mr. T's Replacement! Ramblings of a Mad Biker...

 Photo ©
Having sold Mr. T, my TW200, at the end of the summer I am not going to lie to you, I felt emotionally detached from both the bike and selling it. Don't get me wrong, it's a fun bike, but one thing led to another and inevitably it wasn't the right bike for me. I know, I know... shut up fool! Unfortunately, I am not quite sure what would be the right bike for me! My "mid-bike crisis" seems to be in full swing as I find myself feeling "meh" towards the majority of the bikes that I come across. Making matters worse, working at Sur 2 Roues this summer next to Moto Thibault, I was constantly surrounded by new bikes. Though the smell and the sound of their exhaust notes were intoxicating (likely C02 poisoning...) very few captivated me. Like a school boy, I have been crushing on a few bikes over the last six months. What can I say, I am a picky fekker when it comes to motorcycles and would really like the next bike to be "the one", so to speak. Who knew finding my wife would be easier than finding the right bike? I would like some help and advice. If I haven't mentioned something that you think I should consider please feel free to comment. As you will soon see, I'm all over the place really when it comes to choosing. I am also considering having something made a la ClockWork Motorcycles.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Who's There? North Americas Most Audacious Riding Roads By Dewayne Jasper

All Words & Photos © Dewayne Jasper
As motorcycle owners, it goes without saying that we as a global community share a deep passion for adventure and the kind of life-size turbulence which can only be found through our pursuit. Men and women world-over all have their own reasons for, first off, investing in a bike in the first place, and secondly for showering it with as much love and care as we tend to (or at least should). If you haven’t already, you will at some point (hopefully very soon) one day decide that it’s time to escape the rat race, at least for a little while, and head out on the open road with the sole intention of taking in some of the many, many breath-taking sights, smells and experiences our vast and untameable continent offers to us all. The truth is there is absolutely no better way of seeing the beauty of North America than atop an open vehicle.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

At a Glance: 2014 Yamaha Stryker - Hoppy's Last Hurrah

A Very Happy Hoppy
& His 2014 Yamaha Stryker
Mr. Hopkins, aka "Hoppy", strikes me as the kind of man that Johnny Cash would have enjoyed having a drink with. 60 years younger than most thirty-somethings I have met over the years, Hoppy is nothing if not pragmatic about life. Cut from a different cloth altogether his weathered pony tail, 70's chic glasses and worn brown leather jacket tell a tale of a time when men were men and terms like metrosexual, a la Justin Bieber, didn't exist in the English vocabulary. I first met Hoppy at Sur2Roues motorcycle school where he decided to return from a long hiatus from motorcycling. "Being of sound mind with a body that has bin bent, twisted, broke, stitched up, these injuries are all coming back to haunt me. Enjoyment  of physical things done over the years are fast coming to a end. Now I  thought long and hard as to what I could do to put some spice back into  life. The answer came to me with the ice storm of 2013 and a 42 year old plantation flattened MONEY to be made." - Hoppy Cue the 2014 Yamaha Stryker & over ten thousand kilometers later...

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Who's There? A Trip to Dashavatara Temple on a Royal Enfield by Sabya Sachi Ghosh

All Photos & Words © Sabya Sachi Ghosh
Shekhoo Raja and I rode out to Deogarh to see the 1500 year old ruins of Dashavatar Temple (surviving Gupta age structure). We were also told that atop a fort adjoining the temple (fort originally built by Kanishka and later on added upon by others) were a group of Jain Temples.... what we hadn't expected was the vast amount of 1000 years old sculptures some 3000 in numbers standing solitary, silently welcoming us to mingle amongst them...and mingle we did. we cancelled our return to Oorcha and decided to spend the night there. More surprises lay in store for us..... the fort on one side had a 300 feet high cliff that overhang the majestic betwa and on its surface were sculptures and rock cut caves. The view from a four story watch tower was unimaginably marvelous. the jungle below us and the meandering betwa vanishing into the horizon was a sight perhaps ones sees when one looks down from heaven.... a recently discovered group of rock cut Buddha Images were hidden somewhere on the cliff face.... we couldn't go there because the ASI had not yet cleared a pathway through the jungle.... we'll let these pictures describe it all for you....

Monday, July 21, 2014

DesTination: Musée de l'Auto Ancienne de Richmond

Fill 'Er Up
Richmond is a sleepy little town in the heart of the Eastern Townships here in Quebec, Canada. It wasn't the first time I had been there and truthfully, if not for la Musée de l'Auto Ancienne de Richmond I most likely wouldn't have returned. However, as fate would have it, with my father-in-law visiting from the Republic of Ireland, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to visit the museum. The museum turned out to be quite nice, so much so that I do plan on returning again one day with my children. Although I managed to get a few pictures, truthfully, I didn't get a chance to take a picture of every single vehicle there. There is still so much to see and given that the owners change their cars regularly, it promises to be interesting for future repeat customers. Though not as rustic as Mr. P's Emporium, the museum still managed to evoke thoughts of yesterday's forgotten treasures as they have gone through great trouble to add period correct details including mannequins (themselves nearly as old as the cars) dressed in vintage clothing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mr. P's Emporium

Rusty Gold
Worthy of American Pickers and something Canadian Pickers should aspire too my father-in-law and I were off into the Eastern Townships today to visit an elusive scrap yard that I had happened upon only once before whilst taking a "Sunday Drive" with my wife and kids a few weeks back. My father-in-law, who is in fact visiting from the Republic of Ireland, wanted to go exploring for parts for his Toyato FJ-40 Land Cruiser. One thing led to another and we happened upon an old farmstead with not one but several vintage vehicles parked under an old barn. We turned the car around and soon found ourselves knocking at the back door (the front door was sealed off naturally) of a stranger's house a la Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz. That stranger turned out to be Mr. P. An elderly gentleman who is in fact the fourth generation son to be living on the premises. Many of the items your about to see has been a part of the family his entire life. Though he does not officially advertise or even sell most of what he has he was kind and welcoming enough to allow us both to potter around his property and take pictures of his RUSTY GOLD!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

At a Glance: BRP Can-Am Spyder

"The Paparazzi Escape Vehicle"

Since last ensnared in Can-Am's Spyder's Web I am sorry to report that they still have yet to clear up any confusion with regards to licensing requirements. It is true, on the one hand they now state that you cannot use one of their machines to take your motorcycle test. However, they do falsely lead you to believe that you too can ride a Can-Am Spyder without a motorcycle license in Quebec. Which leads me to ponder just how overpaid the folks at BRP actually are given that this is complete and utterly untrue!