Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Harley Fat Boy Knee Dragging.

Well Ok the title does stretch the truth a little bit. BUT this morning at my now famous stop light and freeway on ramp, I finished pre-race qualifying in second place. So in second place I was able to line up of the outside lane of the two lane starting spot for the race. I waited patiently, slowly and loudly revving my Fatboys engine. I had just barley got it warmed up, remember my commute is very short. (lucky me.) Well anyway the Christmas tree jumped from red, to green and I was off. No delays today, I am very comfortable on my Fatboy, I leaned hard into the turn as I walked the gears up to third in a thunderous roar under the massive bridge of the freeway above me. At about mid range into third gear I was completing the final stage of the turn, SCRAPE!!!!!!, I was dragging my floor boards, I do this from time to time. Every time I just about jump out of my seat when I hear that sound it scares the daylights out of me. No harm no foul I just kept pouring on the gas, fourth, fifth, 75, and a clean merge into traffic. Then I sat back and thought about how much I love this bike and how comfortable it is to ride. I was also thinking I gotta ride it and burn all the winter gas out of it. Then replace it with some nice clean summer fuel. Maybe that will help it start better. Then I gotta upgrade the engine to the biggest one I can put in the frame, and paint some serious flame on the tank, and chop the front end, and still find time to ride like the wind.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The 2008 Sturgis Bike Week Dates

The 68th Annual
Black Hills Motorcycle Rally, AKA Sturgis Bike Week

August 4th - 10th, 2008

In case anyone out in Motorcycle Land does not know the official dates for this years Sturgis South Dakota Bike Rally. Mark August 4th on your calendar and be sure to be there.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The first tank of gas goes through "The King"

I bought a new used 2006 Road King a few weeks ago. I have now dodged the weather enough days in the past 2 weeks to ride it 300 full miles. It's raining again today in case anyone is wondering. So back to the first tank of gas in the 2006 Harley Davidson Road King. I filled it up on Wednesday morning 4-23-2008 when it was cool, and like I said Wednesday. The reason I mention this is I read these tips on any one of the 100 how to save gas articles floating around right now. When it's cold out you get more gas than when it is warm and mid week gas is cheaper as gas prices tend to rise in cost over the weekend. Well anyway the gas was $3.29 a gallon in Draper Utah, and I needed 4.3 gallons to top of "The King". The trip odometer read 161 miles and the fuel gauge was just entering the red marks near E. These miles were a combination of one long freeway trip of 60 miles and the rest around town stop and go and my 3 mile freeway sprint down the on ramp each morning. Do the math 161/4.3 = 37.44 MPGs. This is not too bad, I was hoping or expecting it to be about 45-50 miles per gallon but this was the first tank and my first 300 miles to really test out the bike so I was riding it hard most of the time. When you have a new bike you have to goose it at most all stops signs. Well more to come on this great gas debate.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day, how I saved $5867 and 37,699 lbs of carbon from being added to the air.

Earth day 2008

I was thinking about Earth Day this morning as I got on my Motorcycle and headed down the road for my daily short drive to work. I was trying to make sure I felt good about myself, being earth friendly and that riding my motorcycle does make a difference in both my carbon foot print(check out those earthy buzzwords), and my pocket book.

Since I bought my Motorcycle in 2000 I have ridden it 58,000 miles so I did a few calculations.

58,000 Miles on my Harley Davidson FatBoy and I get 44 miles per gallon so I have burned:

58,000/44 = 1318.18 Gallons of gasoline in the past 7 years. At a today's cost of $3.29 dollars a gallon.

1318.18 * 3.29 = $4336.81 I would have spent.

To compare this to my Diesel Dodge Cummins 4x4 Truck that gets 18 miles per gallon.

58,000/18 = 3222.22 Gallons, At $4.09 per gallon for today's price of diesel. That would have been a total cost of:

3222.22 * 4.09 = $13,178.88.

So the savings in Gas vs. Fuel costs for the same miles traveled is: $8,842.07, and a saving of 1904.04 Gallons for Fuel.

A gallon of gasoline weighs 6.2 pounds, consisting mostly of carbon, plus a small amount of hydrogen and a few impurities. Through combustion each carbon atom combines with two atoms of heavier oxygen atoms, resulting in 19.8 pounds of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. http://www.greenuniversity.net/Green_Economics/carbondioxide.htm

So to be totally earth friendly, on happy earth day, Here is a really good feel good thought. In the past 7 years riding my motorcycle I have not release 1904.04 gallons * 19.8 lbs = 37,699.92 pounds of carbon into the air. Yeippie for me. I am such an earth lover.

Now back to costs, what about the extra cost of insurance and tires, and maintenance for my bike v.s my truck. Let's calculate insurance first. My bike if $250 dollars a year to insure, my truck $600, but I must have my truck, so I will just count the cost of the bike Insurance. In 7 years * $250 = $1750. Now how about tires, My truck wore our about 1 set of tires in 60,000 miles, My motorcycle needs a rear tire every 10,000-15,000 miles and a front every 20,000. So lets say I have replaced the rear 4 times and the front 3 times in the past 58,000 miles. For a cost of 150.00 each. I do the work myself and buy the tires on line so the cost is less than $150.00 but I don't mind rounding up. 7 * $150.00 = $1050. I will now consider oil and maintenance for the motorcycle. I know for this discussion the I am considering the Motorcycle as all extra costs v.s just driving my truck. I changed the oil in my Harley once a year at 3 quarts and a filter. $10.00 for oil, $12.00 for a filter, after all you must buy expensive oil and a Chrome filter. So 25.00 bucks a year * 7 years = $175.00

Going back to the gas savings of my bike versus truck was $8,842.07 – $1750 (insurance) – $1050 (tires) – $175.00 (oil) = $5867.07

So that about sums it up, for close to 6,000 dollars saved in fuel, 37,700 pounds of carbon not released into the air, and my Smile from ear to ear for every single mile spent with the wind in my face.

One last thing to Note, This doesn't cover the purchase price of the Harley, but It may come close to covering the cost of a smaller more economical bike. It also doesn't consider the depreciation of my truck versus my bike. How much less would my truck be worth with an extra 58,000 miles on it versus the depreciation of my Harley now it has 58,000 mile on it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Once Again the On-Ramp..

April 18th. Zoom Zoom It's warm and pretending to be summer outside. The sky is clear the wind is blowing around but it's good biking weather. I got to ride this morning and I also took a minute to go for a short ride at about 11:00 am. I'm very hopeful that warm weather will be here to stay, but nope raining and windy for the weekend. Bummer, I was gonna wash the bikes and put on some more miles.

Well anyway for those of you following along. I hit the on ramp this morning and once again had a fantastic ride around the turn. I approached it right before it was going to turn yellow, so all the cars were clear and I was full on the juice approaching, I leaned into the corner and let off the revs enough to let the bike layover and in and around the corner without brakes and without gas. As I completed 80 percent of the long sweeper I put the coal to it. A perfect ending to a nice long lean. Then the road ahead was plugged with all the boxes that were in front of me, so I dropped the blinker on and cross a couple lanes for my 2 exit cruise.

During this time I was thinking about how much I like riding the bike and how much I am saving in Diesel fuel and money. I want to do a full and on going comparison this summer. With diesel at $4.10 a gallon and Gas $3.25 a gallon. I know I am saving money, and gas but am I really saving money v.s. just driving my Truck considering all the costs. The calculation will go something like this. The truck goes about 450 miles on 100 dollars, the bike will go the same distance on how many dollars? I am guessing 2 or 2.5 tanks full which is probably 30 dollars. So I need to figure our how many times I save that 70 or so dollars a month. I am guessing that the saving will cover the costs of insurance and tires on the bike. But look at it the saving I have in air pollution gases, and therapy. I'm not going to say global warming, as I think that is a farce, but saving gas and pollution is a good thing to do, It reduces demand so gas prices can come down. As for therapy, a full twist of the throttle and unleashing all the horses from the Fuel Injected 88 Twin in a few second of acceleration is all the therapy I need.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

“Super Batman Fast"

Sweet Monkey Mullet Batman. So for all of you following along today. I just got back from lunch today and everything is brighter. The Sun is warmer, the Temps are up to the high 50's and I am Jazzed. Guess What? Yup you guessed it, I got into Pole position at the freeway on ramp traffic light again. So once again close you eyes and Follow along with this visual. (Unless you are driving, which if you are driving and reading this great blog you got other issues.) I was more prepared and more excite this time. It did seem like the light took forever to turn Green. But when it did, I was off. Zoom, I was into the middle of second and starting to really lean The King down, when I knew I could go harder and lean more, I hesitated and stayed on the cautious side. I'm not in the mode to toss the King, just yet, but it was only a slight hesitation and I straightened up a bit and poured it on, all the way past 5th, well ok into 5th remember I was wishing for a 6th gear earlier, and onto the freeway. Fun fun fun, like my kids tell me, Make it go “Super Batman Fast Dad” I think we are getting close boys.

Fast freeway on ramp fun

Today is April 17th, two day past the sting of April 15th which as we all know is TAX HELL day. Or at least it was an expensive tax day for me. Let's just say I had about 3000 reason to complain this year. Well anyway the weather has been nuts this week, Monday the 14th it was 80 degree and sunny and warm. Tuesday the wind and a storm and stow blew in, it was freezing. I did get a chance to ride into work but I left the bike at home at lunch. Good thing too, It snowed and blew like crazy. Two guys at the office got caught and parked their Motorcycle in the Lobby of our building. That was cool looking.

Well any way like I was saying today is April 17th and the sun is out. It's a bit cold but I did ride to work this morning. It was almost 40 something like 38.79 degrees, warm enough when I left the house. And now for the fun part, the freeway on ramp. The intersection is one of those fancy new cross over 4 way fancy jobbers. It has a big two lane traffic light that stops all traffic, when the light turns green the two lane make a big turn and then a three lane on ramp meets the freeway. I was in the front of the line at the light and in the far left lane. When the light turns green I get to go left through the intersection and then left up the big long on ramp and merge left onto I-15. Translation a big wide long sweeping turn that starts out with my Harley making a bunch of echoing noises under the bridge that is the freeway above. The goal in mind of reaching 75 MPHs as fast as I can go.

Now close you eyes and follow my vision here. (But don't close your eyes if you are driving.)

The light turned green, I revered 88 cubic inch fuel injected monster to about 4000, and let out the clutch as far as I could and left the revs near the yellow line. Zoom, zoom, first, second, third, I leaned that big new Road King into the Sweeper and just let it all hang out. At the top of third, and the top of the on ramp, I looked down to see 75 MPH's on the speedometer and about 75-100 feet of clean road behind me. I hit 4th and made a nice clean merge across 3 lanes, and settled in at about 80. Then I thought 5th, I have 5th gear too. I dropped into 5th and wished I had a 6th gear, as the bike settled into a nice smooth cruse. I enjoyed the ride for about 3 minutes, and slowed down and got off the freeway. That was it, two exits and I'm at work. But it's was some of the funnest freeway riding that I can do. fast on, settle in, and get off. The bike doesn't really get a chance to really warm up or stretch it's legs but that's ok, I will get to ride the open road all day soon enough.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I found picture of myself with Indian Larry

Indian Larry, Chopper Shaman

Ian and Indian Larry

Here is a copy of a post I made a month or so ago. It has a couple of links to Books about Indian Larry.

I thought I would revist this post, Just a few minutes ago I was digging through my Pictures and I found a picture I had taken with Indian Larry at Strugis a few years ago. Man that was a fun day. Indina Larry and Billy Lane doing a biker build off and Just hanging out with Fans.
I talked to Indian Larry Shock his hand, had. I told what I thought of his Bikes. Great Craftsmanship.

Well anyway checkout this book about Indian Larry, For the real Chopper man this is a good book to read and digest. Like I said am really glad I had the chance to meet Indian Larry and talk to him, examined his bikes, get a picture with him and he signed a custom Indian Larry shirt for me. Good Memories for a guy who died way to soon in life.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Ralley, here we come!

110 days until The Sturgis 2008 Black Hills Motorcycle Rally. Sweet Mullet, I can't wait. Now that spring is starting to almost make it's way to Utah, we are planning and I mean making big plans to head for the "Buffalo Chip" Campground and plop down at Sweater Vest Hill. Once again the center of the trip will be KID ROCK!!!!! at the Chip, I will not go see him in SLC, but I will drive 750 miles in the wind, rain, sun, and fun to see him rock the stage at the Chip. Kid Rock is Monday night August 4th. We will also see Puddle of Mudd, and Alice Cooper. YES!!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hog Harley Owners Group

HOG - Harley Owners Group

As the owner of a Harley Davidson motorcycle, you have the opportunity to become a member of an elite group. This group is known as HOG - Harley Owners Group. Currently, there are more than 1 million HOG members around the globe who have united to display their passion for Harley Davidson motorcycles.

Members of HOG attend activities presented by local hog chapters. Activities fall into three categories :

- Closed events - conducted primarily for the benefit of HOG chapter members. Some closed events allow members to bring one guest.

- Member events - only open to HOG members.

- Open events - chapter events open to HOG members and other guests.

There are three types of HOG membership :

- Full membership - Entitles members to all the benefits and services of the Harley Owners Group organization.

- Associate membership - Designed for passengers and family members of full HOG members. Associate members must be sponsored by a full member in order to participate in HOG events.

- Life membership - Available as a full life membership or as an associate life membership. Special benefits and recognitions are available to life members.

Members of HOG receive many benefits besides the camaraderie of fellow Harley enthusiasts. HOG members receive :

- Subscription to Enthusiast magazine; the oldest continually published motorcycle magazine in the world.

- Subscription to Hog Tales; the official publication of the Harley Owners Group that keeps members up - to - date on hog happenings around the world.

- HOG Fly and Ride membership. This program allows hog members to fly to locations throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia; pick up a Harley - Davidson motorcycle from a local dealership; and tour in style without any hassle or delay.

- HOG membership manual to help members get the most out of their hog membership.

- Access to the HOG "Members Only" website.

- Copy of the official HOG Touring Handbook; a guide filled with maps, dealer location, riding laws, and much more.

Women who own Harley Davidson motorcycles are privy to the Ladies of Harley (LOH) membership. LOH is the group of female Harley Davidson enthusiasts who promote activities and adventures from within a local HOG chapter. The members of LOH run their own meetings and sponsor activities that both women and men can participate in.

HOG events include national and international rallies, state rallies, touring rallies, open houses, pit stops and pin stops where members can pick up HOG pins and other memorabilia.

Every hog chapter reflects the passions and personalities of its members. No matter where in the world you go, HOG members can always feel at home when they attend hog meetings and events.

While each chapter offers a variety of events, each being unique to the chapter, the focus is to have fun and share your passion for HOG and the Harley - Davidson lifestyle. HOG chapters include a variety of fun and "good deed" events including dinner rides, parades, observation runs, toy runs to provide toys to sick or needy children, charity events, safe rider programs and more.

Becoming a HOG member will open up the doors to life with a Harley and present you with many opportunities to make good friends and be part of an exceptional group of fun - loving, kind and caring individuals.


This article reprinted from



Monday, April 7, 2008

Should You Buy A New Harley Davidson

Buying a new motorcycle is easy, right? You just pick a model, go to the nearest dealer and pay for it. Okay maybe not, especially if this will be your first motorcycle.

Owning a Harley Davidson motorcycle is like owning a legend. A new Harley is an investment, not just a purchase. They are also expensive, so knowing what you want, what you need and what you can handle is very important before you fork over the cash.

Before you purchase a new bike, do some research. Not all Harleys are suitable for cruising. Just because a bike looks good doesn't mean it's right for you. You want to find one that runs well, is comfortable to ride, and that you can handle. If you are just starting out you may want to start with a smaller bike until your skills improve.

Touring bikes are the heaviest of the Harley machines. A new touring bike ranges from $16, 000 to over $20,000 without customization. Models include the FLHR Road King, the FLHRS Road King Custom, the FLHRC Road King Classic, the FLHX Street Glide, the FLTR Road Glide, The FLHT Electra Glide Standard, the FLHTC Electra Glide Classic, and the FLHTCU Ultra Classic Electra Glide.

Slightly smaller and faster are the VRSC models. They include the VRSCAW V - Rod, the VRSCD Night Rod, the VRSCXD Night Rod Special, the VRSCX, and the VRSCR Street Rod. These sweet rides range from $14,000 - $20,000.

The next lightest models are the Softails and start at around $14,000 to just under $18,000. These models include the FXST Softail Standard (a barebones model), FXSTB Night Train, FXSTC Softail Custom, FXSTD Softail Deuce, FLSTF Fat Boy, FLSTN Softail Deluxe, FLSTSC Softail Springer Classic, and the FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic.

Next up are the Dyna models. They sell for between just over $12,000 to just under $17,000. These models include the FXD Dyna Super Glide, the FXDC Dyna Super Glide Custom, the FXDB Dyna Street Bob, the FXDL Dyna Low Rider, and the FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide.

The lightest new Harley you could buy, both in weight and price is a Sportster model. These gems are available for between $6,500 to just under $10,000 for a special 50th Anniversary limited addition model. Sportsters include the XL**# Sportster 883, the XL883L Sportster 883 Low, the XL883C Sportster 883 Custom, the XL883R Sportster 883, the XL1200N Sportster 1200 Nightster, the XL1200C Sportster 1200 Custom, the XL1200R Sportster 1200 Roadster and the XL1200l Sportster 1200 Low.

Some riders consider the Sportster the most difficult to ride despite its lightness. This is due to the high placement of the gas tank and the bikes center of gravity. Try it out first; don't just assume you will like the ride.

Whichever model you choose, you should try it before you buy it. Get on a new bike, start it up, and listen to the engine. Feel the vibrations. Take the bike for a ride. You may need to test - ride several models before you buy a new Harley. There's nothing wrong with that.


This article reprinted from



Sunday, April 6, 2008

Harley Touring Bikes, stylish fact or fiction?

I just read a opinion that:"you trade style for comfort (with a Harley touring model). They aren't as stylish or flashy as a cruiser or chopper, but they are more comfortable.''

I agree and disagree with this statement. Harley touring models are stylish in there own right. The style is all different. When you see a Harley Bagger sitting at the traffic light, your first thought may not be wow, look how cool that is. I know my opinions wanders to I like that, and I would like to go 14 hours on that to Sturgis next year. Imagine how comfortable that would be to ride all day long. So in my mind it's a completely different style and or type of coolness. It appeals to me because I do like the long days on the open road making miles and watching the sky and the world slowly pass by.

Harley Davidson touring bikes are made to go long distances without stopping. From the factory they are Quieter and larger than other bikes. But as well all know a nice set of slip on mufflers will fix the factory quiet. A Road King or Electra Glide will easily hold two riders and are built with comfort in mind. Like all bike many accessories are available like storage compartments, radios, CD players, GPS systems and intercom headsets. All the things need to make a long day cross-country road trip fun and relaxing.

So don't dis the styling of a Bagger, give it a second look and if you get a chance jump on a touring bike and see for yourself.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Custom Motorcycle painting.

So I have decided that I need to learn how to paint custom cool kolors on my bike. I have done some basic painting over the years but nothing every really cool and custom. Like flames or lizards, or ghost flames or even two tone layers. In order to learn I started to look for a few books and videos to get started. Here are two book that I am very seriously considering getting. I guess I should go ahead and then after I have read and reviewed then I can give an honest review here.

How to paint flames. This is exactly the book I need to get hold of. Once I get it I will let you know how I do. If you can paint flames or if you have any other books to recommend then please let me know. How to paint your Motorcycle, and How to Custom Paint you motorcycle, I may buy the whole group, so stay tuned for an update soon.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Harley CEO gets a big Raise, but his overall pay falls.

MILWAUKEE WI Harley town USA. Harley-Davidson says it paid, gave cash and food stamps to its CEO of about $4 million last year. Chump change for a big guy.

A government mandatory regulatory filing shows that's a four percent decline from the previous year. a 4 percent decline, sorry pal I lost 70 percent on the Harley Stock I bought.

James Ziemer's compensation included a salary of more than $875,000, Plus a free lunch once a week plus stock and options awards.

The Harley Davidson Motorcycle maker's proxy statement filed with the SEC the Stock Police or Securities and Exchange Commission shows that's an increase from the base salary of nearly $825,000 he received in 2006, when his total compensation was valued at about $4.25 million. But wait the guy did get a 50,000 dollar raise, WOW, I think I got a 50 cent per hour raise.

The company's filing says no executives received bonuses because they didn't meet performance incentive targets. NO BONUSES that's really kinda sad when you think about it.

The company's profit fell about 10% in 2007. Well maybe they can lower prices a bit to spur new sales.