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 isâ€¦. 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 whenâ€¦â€¦..oh yeah â€¦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!". Butâ€¦ 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. Itâ€™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 youâ€™re alive to boot! Itâ€™s like taking the center square for the winâ€¦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.