Archive for May, 2003

How many other people got it?

While at line at Lowes this afternoon, I saw a girl walk by… she was wearing a “Cleveland Steamers” team jersey. I nearly choked laughing. She had to know right?

Direct Marketing: 1 hit, 1 miss

In today's mail:

Catalog for Phantom Fireworks

Catalog for Black Expressions Book Club


That's the sound my credit card is making. Deb's suprise interest in 2 wheeled transport means 2x as much gear to buy. There is additional pain in buying women's gear… low demand, few choices, low supply = $$ for something nice.

I did happen upon New Enough, a fantastic motorcycle apparel vendor. They specialize in closeouts, older stock, and back it up with solid customer service. Most importantly when shopping for clothing over the internet, no re-stocking fees. Nice people.

I'd try to buy from local vendors… but they carry very little street gear and what they do carry tends to be overpriced. They do have a fair selection of dirt bike gear… I guess all the kids riding liter bikes in T-shirts just don't have the cash for proper safety gear.

I'm trying to be practical in my gear selections while trying not to look like a Power Ranger. So that means a lot of black. On it's way:

For me:

Fieldsheer Sonic Air Jacket and Titanium Air Pants
Teknic Violator Pro Gloves
Nolan N100 Flip-up Helmet, flat black, with Dark Smoke shield
Teknic Defender Waterproof Boots

For Deb:
Alpinestars Downtown 4W textile jacket
Olympia Ladies Gloves

I still need to find a lid for deb. She'll probably get the Nolan too. The Flip-up full face helmets are just so damn handy. Especially for those with glasses.

Expect some reviews once we get a chance to put some miles on the gear.

On it's way

I mastered the possibilities, and now there is a white scooter with Deb's name on it heading to the dealer. Can't wait to pick it up (5-7 days.)

I didn't see that coming

Taking some ideas from the Bush administration playbook (i.e. how to sell an idea that only benefits you…), I spent the last 2 months carefully planting and growing the the motorcycle idea. It seemed to work pretty well (although my wife is naturally very cool.) No real friction was generated, and I'm now just counting down the days (26) until I pickup my bike.

I must have been more persuasive than I thought. While we were out shopping for motorcycle boots, a little scooter caught Deb's attention. I could see a familiar look in her eye as she circled it like a vulture. She had bike lust.

We spent the next few hours talking about it, and reviewing scooter info on the web. This is where I shine… obessively researching a new topic. By the end of the day I knew what was availible, and I think what we wanted. Deb would take anything “as long as it's cute.” I wanted something that: a) I didn't have to work on. b) had enough power to be safe and c) didn't cost a fortune.

The used market is pretty disappointing. Even shabby examples were commanding a healthy price, and the selection was very limited. So, I was forced to consider a new scooter. I've never purchased a new vehicle in my life, and now it looks like Deb's first will be showroom new. It's not fair.

I think I want her to buy the Bajaj Chetak. It's a 150cc 4-stroke, enough power to reach 60mph. More importantly it has enough power to safely climb the local hills, and to keep up with traffic on the side roads. It's made in India, and is relatively inexpensive, thanks to mass production and a simple/efficient design. I believe they make about 750,000 units per year. That's a lot of scooters. Price is around $2,000. (Still a bit steep if you are comparing price/performance with motorcycles… but they aren't in a friendly package, and that's what Deb needs.)

Maybe it will keep me busy till the end of May gets here. Maybe I'll take my motorcycle test on it too.

Stickers that make a difference

See what Type-R can do for you in this dramatic side-by-side “Type-R shootout”

UPDATE: The wanker hosting this parody got pissed about people “wasting his bandwidth” and took down the link and replaced it with a nasty message.

Hey Dumbass, don't put shit on the web if you don't want people to look at it.

I hate school anyway

I called to register for PA's Motorcycle safety program. They are booked solid for most of the summer anywhere nearby. Oh, well, time for plan B.

Plan B: I've got a friend's Suzuki GS500E in my basement. It needs new tires, fork seals, a battery, a chain, and some general cleanup, but it should be an ideal bike to take the test on. Ya! another vehicle to work on. *sigh*

At least I don't have to sit through that class. The last one I went to, featured a film with an animated talking motorcycle. “Hi, this is my throttle…”

Wheels in Motion

So I've decided on a bike, a 1999 Triumph Daytona 955i. Similar to the following, but red and with a conventional (not underseat) exhaust.

I'm still find the Ducati 916 one of the best looking bikes ever made… but looks aren't everything. Especially when I'm planning on this:

A 6000+ mile cross country tour, later this summer. With the Daytona's ergonomics it will at least be possible. In a uncharacteristic move I deferred the purchase until the end of May (after another pay period.) This makes much more financial sense, but I know this is going to feel like a very long month.

In the meantime I have lots to keep me busy. The first of which is getting my sorry ass in shape. I'm not nearly as fit (although I'm significantly stronger) than I was 8 years ago (when I took my road trip.) I've also got to whip my other vehicles into shape.

Oh yeah, and I've got to get my motorcycle license. I have about 25,000 miles of riding experience, all on a permit. The motorcycle test in this state (like in many others) is even more idiotic than the driving test. It's performed in a parking lot at under 10mph. Ride in a straight line, ride through cones, come to a stop, don't fall over… That's it except for the last retarded test. You have to ride a figure 8 at about 5mph inside some painted lines. I can't remember the dimensions, but small enough to be literally impossible on my FZR400. I demonstrated to the officer by walking my bike around that at full lock my FZR could not turn tight enough to make the 8 inside the box. His reply: “Well, I guess you're going to fail then.” Arrrggh! What the hell does a figure 8 have to do with safely riding a motorcycle!?!!? How about the fact I always wear a full face helmet, with leathers, gloves, boots… or that I safely rode my god damn bike to the test in the first place… Surely a better test than a parking lot.

Since I don't have a friend with a put-put bike to borrow to make the test easy. I've decided on the considerably more boring route of taking the Motorcycle Saftey Program. It's a free school where bikes are provided, and upon graduation you receive your class M license. The bitch is that it takes 15 mind numbing hours to complete. Imagine high school Driver's Ed, but with bikes. *yawn*. I've managed to sit through half of one before, but this time I guess I'll stick it out.

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