Words of wisdom...


Donating Member
Found this on another site. It is a bit long but a lot of good info in there...

A small literary widget about riding..

Postby KZBob on Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:11 am

Written by an old friend who passed on a few years back, AmbergrismOoOn
we called him, lived, breathed ate motorcycling...

So hopefully it's ok to post this, and I hope you all enjoy a good read..

The Boneyard holds many treasures...

When you do something for 40 years you take for granted that you learn some important things. The problem is…. when you do something for 40 years it also means you have probably forgot some of those things you learned or some of the OTHER things you did over those 40 years nuked those brain cells that stored the important things you learned. So at the risk of sounding like a blithering idiot here are the things I remember that are important when……..oh yeah …when riding motorcycles. See?

Helmet use is the sign of an intelligent life form and by using one you will probably stay that way. Of course you had to be one to stay one in the first place. Do you know that commercial on TV that smashes an egg then fries it saying "This is your brain on drugs!"? Multiply that message 10,000 X and now it says "This is your brain with a little bad luck and no helmet!". But… I fully support your right to be VERY stupid. Helmet Laws Suck... so do brain injuries!...you do the math!!

You should not start on a 120 horse power Eddie Lawson Replica, a 1800Gold Wing, a Road King or a V-Max. The power and size of these bikes are too much for any beginner. The real fact is you may never be ready for a 120 HP Kenny Lawson Replica unless your name is Eddie Lawson. The odds are good that this bike is going to lay down. Hopefully not at speed but just dropped. Your bill will be much greater with one of these bikes. Not to mention that you will probably need help just to pick it up again. Get a middle range bike with real useable power. I guarantee you will love the experience of useable power. 120hp on a 500lb machine is not useable power. Been there done that! I am a very big man and 50-80 hp makes for a nice gas mileage and enough power to blow most 4 wheel skates away!

Leather is great. Just ask a cow. Maybe not in 90+ degree heat but you would be surprised how cool it can be. But the best thing about leather is it stands up to the road. It is funny how fast the road can grind through our largest organ (skin). Skin seems to have no chance when sliding down the road at anything over 0 miles an hour. Skin also has a ridiculous amount of nerve endings just under the surface. Tick those nerve endings off by sanding them down with road and my friend you will beg for morphine. Synthetic material has come a long way and can be cheaper but against road rash there is no better than leather. The next level is armored riding apparel. If that is your choice, then never mind, I guess you are Eddie Lawson.

Learn to countersteer! Learn to countersteer! Learn to countersteer! Learn to countersteer! Learn to countersteer! Learn to countersteer! There are many articles about this in publication in books, magazines and on the web. THIS COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE!!!! FIND out about it and practice it!

Good eye protection will make it less necessary to be a pirate every Halloween from here on. Of course I cannot help you if you have a peg leg and an affinity for Rum. There you are. Chugging down the road about 45 mph when WHAM! A Kamikaze June Bug replaces that squishy thing in that hole in your face. Just take a Ladybug off the cheek at this speed and your looking for that damn kid with the BB gun. My friend took a Blackbird off the helmet and almost passed out before he could get the bike stopped. Imagine if he took it in the face? Also, think about those big SUV's on the road today with those stone throwing deep tread tires. For my first 30 years of driving I never had a broken windshield. In the past 6 years I have had 6 windshields replaced. Eyes cannot be replaced. At least functional ones cannot.

Use both brakes but never use your front brake on a slippery surface. (Grass, Ice, Painted surface, Whipped Cream, KY, ). Be especially careful of those painted lines and the direction arrows they paint on the road surface. They are slipper critters indeed and especially when a little wet with dew or mist.

They are called junkyards or boneyards and they hold riches beyond a motorcyclists dreams. They are also becoming far and few between but if you are luck enough to have one near you be prepared for the ultimate Easter Egg Hunt. Around here they are owned and operated by mighty curious people. People who curse and carry sidearms like they were born swearing and shooting. But give them the evil eye right back and they usually get the clue you are alright and let you browse. Be careful!!! There are a lot of things that can cut and tear at a careless you sending you for stitches or a tetanus shot at the least. Most shops will show you a sign stating you are on your own and at risk. Once you do it once you will most likely become a regular. It will give you ideas for projects and save you some money on your project. Rule of thumb around here is you are expected to hassle over price but if the owner thinks you are looking to take him for a ride he will kick you out and never let you back. So know your prices before you go or if you see something go home and research it before making the initial offer. It’s kinda like a dance that you both take turns leading but I you step on his toes he will bite. It can be a lot of fun either way! So get thee to the boneyard and find some booty, yer pirate!!!!!

E-Bay is a great thing. Many classic motorcycles are available there and great deals on parts can be had. When first opened E-Bay was a world of deals. Now with power sellers you have to know the product. I have seen may items on there that cost more than OEM right from a dealer and caution should be exercised, make sure to check the feedback of the seller, but I have saved hundreds of dollars using e-bay.

This tip is one you may question but always ride a little faster than the other traffic. Of course there are always those Richard Pettys who will challenge you, but ignore the ignorants (Is that a word? Well it should be!). Anyway, by going a little faster than the traffic your main problems will be in front of you and easier to deal with. It is almost impossible to deal with a problem on the side of you or overtaking you from behind.

If you run a yellow light it is time to sell the bike and get evaluated for mental impairment. Get a Playstation III and a motorcycle game. You are da man! And you’re alive to boot! It’s like taking the center square for the win…and getting it!!

A bike with bald, old or weathered tires, non-working brakes or lights will quickly put a hurt on you. Find a big cement mixer toss in some asphalt chunks, rocks and branches crawl in and hit the mix button. If you like what happens next disregard what I said in the first sentence.

Never kick a object from a moving motorcycle. A friend of mine kicked a dog that came after him at about 30mph. He broke his leg and never rode again. While we are at it if a Kamikaze Squirrel decides to play dodge-em let the squirrel get out of harms way. Do not swerve and do not hit the brakes. The guy behind you might make you into a unique hood ornament. Believe me 99% of the time the squirrel will live and 100% of the time you will too. Great odds! Think about it! But, deer, moose, cow, dog or Brontosaurus and your odds drop dramatically. Try a little harder not to hit these critters. Be alert and learn to countersteer!

If you are going to wear tinted glasses get a pair of clear or amber for twilight and night driving. Make sure you get Polycarbonate Lenses so they are shatterproof.

Oil changes cannot be done frequently enough. Your clutch is most likely a wet clutch and constantly fouling the oil. Fouled oil messes up all kinds of important things like transmissions. Your bike will love you for oil changes.


Donating Member
"Mothers Aluminum Polish/Carnuba Wax/a Good detailers wax and Never Dull are the 4 gods of bright. Be very careful not to get anything on the brake rotor or on the tires themselves.

Learn to countersteer! Learn to countersteer! Learn to countersteer! Learn to countersteer! Learn to countersteer! Learn to countersteer! Just making sure your still paying attention. But if you haven't found out by now what it is, STOP! bookmark this site...go look up "motorcycle countersteering" using Google or whatever search engine you want to use. Then when you are a countersteering fountain of knowledge come back here and read my other gems. GO!

Tinfoil and wire are the missing things in toolboxes. Tinfoil to make TEMPORARY fuses and wire to hold things together. Unfortunately tinfoil is still pretty easy to get on the side of roads in the form of cigarette packs. Better to have a nice clean wad of real tinfoil. If you do have to use the tinfoil trick keep an eye on things when riding home. A wire harness re-install is not a fun project. Any smoke or smell shut it down and get a trailer. Once you get home FIND & FIX the problem! Do NOT keep the foil for a fuse or the next bike on the road with a real flame paint job rolling down the road could be you!

Try not to ride in the middle of a lane and never try and stop in the middle. This is the area where most vehicles drop oil and antifreeze. It is the slickest especially when wet. Tunnels never get washed off so they are the Slip n' Slide kings. Ride where their wheels go.

Splitting lanes will get you tickets AND punch your ticket. Never assume someone is going to turn even if they just turned on their blinker. Little old ladies have x-ray vision, actually much better than Superman's. They can look right through you and usually do. Assume no one sees you. You are on stealth mode and you don't want to be! Be especially wary of the cell phoners. You're just another bug for the windshield to them. Learn to countersteer!

I don't know about too many other states but this is Rhode Island and we have pot holes that will swallow motorcycles whole. They will make your lungs and kidneys change places. Learn to countersteer! And if you like a little brisk riding watch out for black ice or where they threw some sand on some ice and the ice melted. Lately around here anal homeowners have been sweeping the sand and blowing leaves in front of their houses into the road. If you encounter one of these idiots keep in mind that it is illegal and if you have the misfortune to go down because of it contact a lawyer and take possession of their house. I'm not fond of frivolous lawsuits but this is understandable. Above all just remember sand is not your friend. BAD SAND! BAD!
Aliens kidnap more motorcycle riders than ordinary people by more than 16%. Most are taken from lonely dark roads.

It is good to ride with someone else or someone should know your expected travel route. Motorcyclists can go off the road and be pretty hard to find in the country. If you are going to ride in a pack space yourselves. I have seen far too many bike pile-ups and they are not pretty.

The aliens thing I mentioned before was intentionally made up and should in no way scare anyone away from motorcycle riding. Besides the real figure is more like 7%. And most are returned intact with the right amount of internal organs.

Always do a pre-flight inspection. Only takes a second and can save a lot. Sticky throttle, bad clutch cable or gas leak will ruin your day! Taking a spare plug doesn't hurt either. And make sure you have a toolkit.

When you get your bike get a Clymer or Hayes Repair Manual too. Read it, at least go through it and get a feeling of what your motorcycle is. And the bonus is that you can do what a $60 an hr mechanic does a lot cheaper. it's really not that hard. Read the book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". It will not tell you how to fix a motorcycle but you need to read it! Trust me.........

Motorcycles are very hot after being ridden. Do not let kids or pets near them till they cool. Never drape anything over a hot motorcycle. I know a guy who hit a plastic grocery bag blowing across the street. It blew up onto his exhaust pipes and melted. Turned some nice looking pipes into trash in 1 second. Also, I used to have a moon scar on my ankle that I burned at least twice a year on my exhaust. PAIN! SEARING PAIN!

On a hot day a kick stand on tar will wait until you are at least 20 feet away before suddenly sinking into the tar and dropping $100 right out of your wallet!!

Do not park under trees (sap, bird turd and lightning). Caught in rain or HAIL? Find a bridge, tunnel or barn. Caught in tornado? Get a faster bike next time... if there is a next time. Caught in hurricane?...What the hell were you thinking?

If you tie something to the back of your seat or on a luggage rack make sure it is secure with no dangly parts and no possibility of one happening. A friend tied his jacket to his seat on a hot day and experienced an sudden unrequired panic stop when the sleeve caught up in the rear tire. He had to put Preparation H on his eyes to get them to shut so he could sleep that night. A new jacket was in order too!

Put a little Silicone Sealant /Adhesive on your license plate fasteners threads. This will stop them from vibrating off. It's easy to get it off when you want to.

Use antiseize on bolts in aluminum. Use special formulated antifreeze in water cooled aluminum motorcycle motors. Get a torque wrench and start using it. Check fluid level in you master brake reservoir make sure it is clean and full but be sure to be careful, any dropped fluid can ruin a paint job in a heartbeat. Check the fluid in your battery at least once a month. Adjust your chain or check the final drive fluid if you have a shaft.

Be careful in the summer with loose necked shirts or muscle shirts. Bugs that hit you sometimes survive and are not happy with the situation. I once rode down a park road beating my chest like King Kong cause a hornet got down my shirt. At first I thought I was having a heart attack. And if you are allergic to bee stings be advised it does happen and and fast. Between the helmet and your face is also a good place for a hornet to wedge. If you are allergic make sure to wear a full shield or windshield.
If you ride in the cool or cold, make a neck/face warmer out of an old sweatshirt sleeve. Or Mr. Warbucks you can always buy one from J.C. Whitney or Dennis Kirk the catalog kings! I got a killer clown one from Kirk. Lots of fun pulling up beside some kiddie in a car!

Most motorcycle engines are high performance engines. They love to rev. Do NOT short shift them. They want to pony up. That does not mean redline them and only in the lower gears. Just don't drive them like an old truck or like a 1/4 miler. You know what I'm saying. Neither one does these engines good. And I know at least one person who will argue with me and you know who you are, but I will not put economy fuel in a motorcycle. You'll get better gas mileage and a better running bike. I don't use top shelf either. Maybe I'm thinking back in the days of leaded gas but it gives me piece of mind. The running better could be my imagination too, but I get along good with my imagination as well.

Put your bike in neutral before starting it. Your clutch will thank you. It most likely is a wet clutch. Clutch spinoff is a major contaminator of the oil in your bike and that can lead to shifting or tranny problems.

Never hang a heavy set of keys in an ignition. You will loose your keys and your ignition. Your temper and your mind will soon follow! It could be too late for your mind. Also never hang anything over a motorcycle. This week my brother heard a bang from his shed and went to investigate, Turns out a luggage rack from a old Suzuki decided it had hung around long enough and let go of the nail that had been holding it securely for three years. Unfortunately my bro’s 82 KZ750 LTD was there to break it’s fall. It put a hole and a good sized crease in my brothers custom painted gas tank. My brother’s reaction to this event are un-publishable.

Learn to countersteer! Learn to countersteer! Learn to countersteer! Learn to countersteer! Learn to countersteer! Learn to countersteer! Just this one last time!! Learn to countersteer Some of these tips are common sense and some are personal lessons. I cannot say I do them all every time I ride but they do get covered sooner or later. Enjoy your ride but remember. You didn't get here by yourself. In the years you have been on this earth you have made friends that would love to see you stay healthy and breathing. Don't disappoint them. If you ever take your bike or ability to ride for granted drop the kickstand and walk away. The alternative is unimaginable. Things have a tendency to happen very fast on a motorcycle....be ready! If you are going to respect the bike and know your ability, a motorcycle is a soul stirrer.

Be Well
(Learn to countersteer! I lied, so sue me!)"


Nice read. Good things to remember. Every time I ride I practice smooth maximum performance braking and counter steering. Good stuff to know.


I am all that is BACON!
Donating Member
Ok, so im going to show a little noob here. why the stress on countersteering? correct me if im wrong, but you have to learn that before you can even turn on a sportbike right? comes naturally dont it?


Counter steering is counter intuitive when you most need to turn... It is probably a new riders biggest technical short coming. They don't even know they have this skill gap because they can ride fine in optimal conditions. Not understanding intuitively the physics of a 450+ lb bike with semi-tractor trailer encroaching on your lane, on a curve and inducing target fixation could a be potential disaster and deadly!

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