Well…it wasn’t long ago that I returned from an all expense paid vacation to Iraq and Afghanistan. I took time to reunite with friends and family and enjoy life. Since my return I have moved to some of the best motorcycling country in the US. Southern AZ. I do have a deep seeded love for Mt. Lemmon Road. It was where I really first started riding. Since arriving to Tucson I purchased a new project. My new to me 1977 Honda GL1000…or as it is more commonly known…a Goldwing.
I had the fork seals replaced and all the fluids replaced. The bike seems to run pretty good with the exception of an off-idle stumble that I need to sort out. It is 35 years old after all and it has 4 carbs. I am running some Sea Foam through the fuel system in the hopes that it is just a little dirty and a cleaning will do. It brakes fine although I will probably update the pads soon. And the transmission shifts fine. It is a 5 speed tranny. The only aftermarket parts on the bike so far as I can tell is the floorboards and the heel/toe shifter. I am not sure if I like it or not and am currently on the fence as to whether or not I will return it to stock.
I rode Mt. Lemmon on the bike on Sunday morning around 0600. To the top and back down. The bike performed well. I am not quite happy with the throttle response from steady throttle transitioning to a more open throttle as it feels like it sometimes surges. This could be a matter of adjusting the throttle cables. Or it could be a carb sync issue.
The best thing is that the bike only has 52K miles on it which is barely broken in for a Goldwing! Stay tuned for pictures.
I am glad to be back!
Some of these have been around for a while…but maybe you haven’t seen them. Comments are always welcome!
Watch out for that deer!
Not for the faint of heart. A compilation of crashes…
Okay…the first one is a good example of a little too much front brake application when leaned over in a curve. I wonder how many people crashed due to the Chippy being in the outside of that corner? Guy leans over in the curve, comes through to the point he can see the CHP and then grabs a handful of front brake. Good thing he is okay…but at that point folks…you are caught either way. You aren’t going to out-brake the radar or laser.
The second one is a couple of fellas on the east coast. I won’t ruin this one for you by providing any details but it is impressive. Volume on for this one for maximum effect.
Let me know what you think. Comments are welcome!!!
Okay…so you already know about deer and other wild critters that can be active at night. Hopefully you also know that your shouldn’t out ride your headlight (if you don’t know what that means please ask). But here is a scenario I saw one night coming back from San Jose to Monterey.
I was heading south on Hwy 1 in the middle of three lanes. A good ways ahead of me and in the slow lane was a car. Following the car in the slow lane was a cruiser style motorcycle. He was maintaining a good following distance and a sane speed. He appeared to be doing everything right. I glanced in my rearview mirror to see another car fast approaching behind the motorcycle in the same lane. The car literally had to lock up his brakes to avoid hitting the guy on the motorcycle (and for the record, I don’t think the guy on the motorcycle ever realized it). Why did this happen? Well, the motorcyclist was static in the right third of the lane he was in. To the driver of the car, the motorcycle appeared to be the tail light of the car that was much further ahead. An optical illusion if you will. Luckily the car driver realized it in the nick of time but it was very, very close to ending badly.
I offer this up because it was something I never thought about in the past. I am not saying you should weave like a madman at night so cars can see you…that would draw the ire of law enforcement. But a gradual but deliberate adjustment of lane position isn’t a bad idea. And remember…check your mirrors!
So it isn’t really a motorcycle license test…but the skill is undeniable!
Thanks to Eric Popham on finding this.
If you have ever thought about adventure touring, here is an article about some of the best bikes on the market:
So I moved to Monterey, CA in 2007. At that time I still had the Triumph Daytona 675. I decided I didn’t want to have a bike payment at that time so I returned the Daytona to stock trim and sold off all the goodies seperate and the bike as well. I got more of my money back that way.
As luck would have it, my friend Maurice Flores was the service manager at Moto Italiano in Santa Cruz and he had heard that I was looking for a Honda Hawk GT. He had just had a customer in a few days prior looking to sell his. Fate!
The bike had about 20k miles on it and came with a nice Alpinestars jacket, a bike cover and a ton of spares.
Around this time as well I made a couple of friends out here in California and both of them were Rider Coaches with the MSF. One was actually the site manager for 2 sites. I inquired about becoming a RC. Long story short, the whole affair went on for about a year and I had basically written off the opportunity due to never hearing back from the company. It was about 30 days after that when I got a call asking me if I wanted to become a RC! This was 2008.
I went through the RC Prep course in November 2008 and have been teaching BRC and BRC2 (ERC) ever since. I have to extend a personal thanks to Ian Martinez for getting me started!
I loved my Hawk GT but it wasn’t the greatest bike for highway commuting. Great in the twisties, but the small tank and lack of wind protection got old quick. That led me to sell the Hawk GT and buy the 2008 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS. Stellar wind protection and gobs of power made my commute quick and easy!
When the housing market really took a nose dive and the economy went down with it, enrollment was low at the site I was teaching at. There were more RCs than shifts at one point and work wasn’t consistent like before. A large corporation won the contracts to teach motorcycle safety for the Army and Navy and I was hired on by them in late 2009. In late 2010 they sent me to Washington state and I went through the Military Sportbike Riders Course (ARC-ST) certification course.
Between my work with these two companies I have taught over 1000 students in the past 2 years. Between my work with the US Air Force and my work with these two companies, it is rare that I have a weekend off. I have went 2-3 months straight without missing a day at times over the past 2+ years. But I enjoy what I do so it hardly seems like work!
Because I work all the time…I rarely rode the Connie for pleasure. It was only used to commute to work or to commute to work 99% of the time. I couldn’t stand to see her sit in the carport and I couldn’t justify the payment when I wasn’t realing using it for its intended purpose. I posted an add looking for a payoff of the banknote and a KLR 650 for my Connie. I got the deal I was looking for!
This was just a couple of months back. I went from 150hp to 45hp. A 4 cylinder to a single cylinder. The bikes are really polar opposites. In the next week or so I am going to write my impressions of the KLR. The KLR has been around relatively unchanged for a couple of decades so there are a ton of review out there…but this will be mine!
Check back for the write-up.