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

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Yes, we do get snow in the desert here in Arizona, not often but it does happen. Above is a shot of the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix a couple of years ago. Click to see the larger image.

Merry Christmas to all of my twelve regular readers. If you can't go for a motorcycle ride on Christmas Day then do the next best thing and spend time with friends or family and eat lots of things that are bad for you but tasty.

- Doug

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bereft Of Ideas I Shall Take The Easy Way Out

...and post a couple of pictures from a 2008 charity run.
Yipes, Stripes!

Imo's Bike

(click to see the full size images)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Volkswagen and Suzuki Do The Deed

I don't usually comment much on the motorcycle news stuff, there are other blogs that specialize in that so why duplicate the effort? However, Volkswagen AG and Suzuki Motor Corp. announced today that VW are buying a chunk of Suzuki and since I spent the best part of three decades laboring in the trenches for VW in the USA and once or twice have owned a Suzuki motorcycle I am then, of course, perfectly qualified to comment on the VW+Suzuki tie up -- or at least more qualified than most of the dunderheads who leave comments in various automotive forums and news sites.

The "Why?" of the VW purchase most likely has to do with VW's desire to use Suzuki's strong presence in the Asian and Indian markets to VW's advantage and to leverage Suzuki's small car (low cost) expertise. What Suzuki gets is some expertise in how to build a car with an interior that isn't crap plus assorted other technological insights. I could offer more thoughts on all that, even rant a little, but this is a motorcycle blog, not a car blog.

I doubt that the motorcycle aspect of Suzuki's business holds any significant interest for VW beyond the fact that some of VW's top management, including Dr. Ferdinand Piech, who are motorcycle enthusiasts could more easily get Suzuki motorcycles, probably for free. Since Dr. Piech is a billionaire and owns a chunk of Porsche SE, getting free motorcycles may or may not be important to him.

I believe Dr. Piech is a Ducati fan and the other VW people of various levels that I have talked with over the years seem to prefer either Ducati or Japanese sport bikes. Those home grown BMWs seem not to be favored when I've brought them up and still retain their slang name "Gummikuh" or "rubber cow" to the folks with whom I've spoken. Now, BMW have moved well beyond their "rubber cow" handling and performance days but I believe the perception that the Japanese and Italians make better performance bikes still persists. The new BMW S1000RR sport bike may change that though.

Dr. F. Piech, Chairman of the Board of VWAG ponders
the hidden benefits of buying 20% of the Suzuki Motor Corp.

So don't look for a VW badged motorcycle any time soon or a Suzuki cruiser with a VW engineered 1800cc TDi diesel V-twin engine in it either. I wish it were going to happen because VW has a great sales and lease programs for it's employees and retirees and I'd love to be able to get a new bike every year without actually having to buy and sell the darned things myself at my usual huge loss.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Gettin' Old Ain't for Sissies

The title of this entry is a quote from my old friend Keith. He's a few years ahead of me on the highway of life and I think we're having a race to see who's body falls apart first and I think I'm winning.

The poor Kaw 900 has been sitting for three weeks now while I have once again been brought up short in my meanderings by something called adhesive capsulitis, or as we laymen call it, a screwed up shoulder. In short, I have not been able to bend my right arm around behind me enough to put on a jacket let along heft on my old fashion heavy weight leather jacket.

Right in the heart of the best Fall riding weather I can't get my leather jacket on, even putting on a windbreaker is painful. Oh, I could get the leather jacket on if someone pushed my arm far enough around for me but then I'd have a hard time getting on the bike when I was passed out on the floor from the pain. A few years ago I had the AC thing in my left shoulder and got over it with a trip to the doc, a needle full of cortisone in the shoulder and a few weeks of some self-inflicted and painful physical therapy. Working on curing the right shoulder now but in the mean time the bike sits. One more trip to the doc next week and I'm going for a ride no matter what. It sucks getting old.

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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