~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Reminder: 23rd Annual Antique and Classic Motorcycle Show

Just a reminded that this excellent event is coming this Sunday, and to tempt you, some pictures below that I took last year. Event flyer is at the bottom.

(Note: I'm playing around with Blogger's image upload feature so that you can click on the images and see a larger version.)

1930 Indian 4 with sidecar

1939 Indian bobber with nose art paint.

Forgot to get the details on this very nice '60s vintage Norton. I confess I'm not a Norton guy so I won't hazard a guess on the exact model and year.



Friday, March 23, 2007

Commitment Issues


I sold my Kawasaki KLR650 last Saturday morning so I did the only logical thing and spent the rest of the day shopping for another bike. My wife was out of town visiting her dear 'ol mum so what better opportunity to get into motorcycle mischief?

The KLR had just arrived in December but if you've been reading 40on2 for any length of time you'll know that I change motorcycles more often than I go to the barber. My neighbor Jim keeps bikes and cars until the odometer shows six numbers at least twice over and is a psychologist of good reputation. I suspect that he views me as having "motorcycle commitment issues" but I'm not going to ask him. I have this long standing fear that someday I will discover that I am "Subject A" in a published study entitled "Eccentric Motorcycle Behavior of Middle Aged Men Who Lived Alone Too Long."

I have been thinking about replacing the KLR with something more dirt worthy like a used DRZ400 but have also thought about buying a big touring bike so the wife is more comfy on rides. For some reason she doesn't find my Aprilia Caponord comfortable. Go figure. Anyway, I ran across two bikes at good prices that caught my eye, an '05 DRZ400SM (super moto version) and an '01 BMW K1200LT luxo touring barge with less than 18k miles on it. Could there be two more different machines?

I managed to walk away from the 400SM as I could not think of any actual use for the bike beyond doing wheelies and sliding around corners on the way to work. Come to think of it, those are perfectly good reasons to buy it.

My next thought was to do what any red blooded motorcycle guy would do and buy them both.

Tuesday the wife and I and I took the big LT for a ride and it was nice enough although lacking in power compared to our now departed Honda ST1300. The Mrs. felt there was too much vibration in the passenger's part of things and I was put off by some minor points but over all enjoyed the ride. I've done a bit research now on the BMW Luxury Touring web site and found that there have been a large number of final drive failures (over 100) in '99 - mid-'02 LT's, enough of a problem that I'm not willing to risk $ on a specific bike with no record of having the final drive bearings upgraded to the newer design parts that BMW finally released. So the LT is a no-go also and I'm kind of disappointed, really.

With H-D well off the list because of vibration, price, and a refusal by me to be part in any way, shape, or form, of their silly "lifestyle," the ST1300 gone for assorted comfort and low speed handling reasons, and the BMW K1200LT now shot down, once again I'm back to Gold Wings.

Funny thing is that when I was looking at the ST1300 in '05 the wife and and I had just start dating and I thought she might be more comfortable on the 'Wing but I didn't really WANT one and knew that if I bought one she'd dump me for some reason and I’d be stuck with a new Gold Wing I didn't want. So I bought the ST1300, the ST didn't work out, and now many thousands of dollars later I'm back to the 'Wing. I really do better, at least with motorcycles, when I follow my instincts. I probably should have bought that DRZ400SM last Saturday. I wonder if it's still there?

Monday, March 12, 2007

MotoHistory Interviews Cook Neilson



Over at Ed Youngblood's always excellent MotoHistory web page Ed has snagged an interview with former Cycle Magazine Editor Cook Neilson. As I noted elsewhere in 40on2 I had the good fortune to know Cook briefly back in the early 1970s and even talked him into an attempt at hang gliding one Sunday afternoon.

When it comes to motorcycle magazine journalism Cook Neilson set the standard that others still strive to reach (if they are smart). If you enjoy reading motorcycle magazines today it's worth learning about the guy who changed everything and then walked away while he was on top. Zip on over to MotoHistory and read Ed's interview with Cook and get a peek into the history of what was and still is the best motorcycle magazine ever.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Coming Up In Phoenix: 23rd Annual Antique and Classic Motorcycle Show



I've been going to the Arizona Antique and Classic Motorcycle Show for about 20 of it's 23 years. It's nearly always been an excellent show with interesting bikes and interesting people in attendance not to mention a pretty good swap meet will all manner of interesting bike stuff set out for your browsing pleasure.



Last year besides the usual gaggle of old H-D's and Indians there was a nice selection of British bikes like the Scott Flying Squirrel and all the way through late '70s Japanese classics. Also, if you have an interesting older bike and don't feel confident about entering it or it doesn't quite meet the cut-off date of 1978, just ride it to the event. Each year the club hands out "parking lot awards" to interesting bikes they find in the parking lot. Someone rode there very nice Honda CBX SuperSport to the event and went home with an nice souvenir.



I highly recommend that you set aside April 1 to attend the event as it will be a day well spent. The event isn't as big as some events in other states but the turn out of machinery for the Arizona event put on by Arizona Antique and Classic Motorcycle Enthusiasts' organization really is extensive in the eras and types of bikes that show up. A good turn out of spectators means that the event is sure to grow each year so support the event and have a great time in the process. I will be there taking photos so look for the guy in the Bultaco hat with a Nikon 8800 stuck to his face and say "hi."

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"When my mood gets too hot and I find myself wandering beyond control I pull out my motor-bike and hurl it top-speed through these unfit roads for hour after hour." - T.E. Lawrence



An Important reminder from the past:
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." - James Madison