basic bikes

I love hipsters……  Not because of their beards, lumberjack shirts or Pabst Blue Ribbon obsession; but because of what they have done for the motorcycling world.

You most likely, unless you’re living under a rock, noticed that motorcycles are simple again.  No longer are we raking the front forks out, putting on ‘ape-hangers’ or spending a house payment on a paint job.  I love that hipsters value the beautifully simplistic nature of motorcycling.  It’s not about what you ride, just that you ride.

Looking at some of the big manufacturers offering up some pretty awesome bikes to the world is blessing.  The Star Bolt, H-D Iron 883, BMW R nine T, etc.  These are beautiful, simple, elegant machines.

Two wheels, a heart and a desire.  It’s like a love story, forged in metal.

 

Rubber side down.

what bike should i get????

I get asked that question daily…….

I’m known by most people as, “that motorcycle guy.”

People come to me for input on all things two wheels.  The most common question I get is what bike should I get?  Typically people answer that question with a proposition.  It’s usually something like, “I was thinking of a Harley Street Glide” or “I was thinking of a Hayabusa.”

While there is nothing wrong with either of those two answers, they both point to one thing.  They both are typically based upon what the person asking thinks will make them look cool.  The one they think people will see them riding and think to themselves that; “This person is a total bad-ass.”

Pump the brakes, turbo.

The question you should be asking is; “How am I going to use this machine?”

I ride a BMW K1600 GT.  I am 32 years old.  Those two things don’t typically go together.  In fact, when I bought mine the salesman didn’t think I was being completely serious when I said I was interested in that bike.  There is no chrome on my bike, it is not a sport bike, it is primarily marketed to middle aged men.  How did I come to own one?  The answer is simple…..  I stopped thinking about what would make me look cool, or ‘fit in’ with the crowd and got what would make my soul happy.  Essentially, that is what motorcycling is.  No other form of transportation has weekends of racking up miles and miles to never actually go anywhere…..  Just journey….The journey is greater than the destination.

So, when it comes time to pick out your next or first bike, don’t follow the crowd or advertisements…  Follow your soul, imagine yourself somewhere and what machine is in that thought.  For me, I knew I wanted something comfortable, smooth, agile, able to eat up long miles on an interstate with ease, fast, lots of weather protection for all season riding and easy to perform maintenance myself.  That was a no brainer.

Some people prefer backroad riding for an hour every other weekend in the summer.  That might be more suitable for an H-D.  Others want to trailer their bike and value the ‘eye-candy’ factor more than anything.   Maybe a custom chopper is more your style.

No matter what bike you get, always get the one you want for your lifestyle.  I’ve seen far too many used bikes sitting on showroom floors with practically no miles on them. Somebody bought a bike based upon what their friends did or how they thought it would make them look.  (Hint:  If you’re not a cool person to begin with; the bike will not fix that.) They didn’t enjoy riding the bike and the bike sat in a garage….  Don’t waste your time and be turned off to a lifestyle because you bought something that wasn’t for you.

 

 

Hope it helps!

 

Rubber side down.

2 Wheels + motor

Living in Central Ohio has its perks.  One of those perks is that I am always close to the American Motorcycle Hall of Fame and Museum.  If you haven’t been there, you should.  It’s full of amazing things including Dave Barr’s motorcycle that he rode around the world on as a double amputee…..  Talk about guts and glory.  It’s a struggle just to get me out of bed sometimes.

Anyways, currently they have the 2 Wheels + Motor art exhibit.  It’s a great marriage of things.  Motorcycles and artwork.  I highly encourage you all to check it out.

Information here.

 

Rubber side down.

Dam, Ice.

imageimage

Yup, sometimes when you only have a day, you can still get out and ride to some interesting places. Don’t ever fall into the; “I don’t have anywhere to go” trap.

I took a few hours and rode to some of our area metro parks and enjoyed the scenery. Just watch out for ice in the parking lots. I love it when I get weird looks for riding in the cold.

The images here are from Hoover Dam in central Ohio.  As you can tell from the images, it’s still mostly frozen over.

Rubber side down.

Road Reading

After a long day of riding around in sometimes less than ideal conditions, it’s best to put things into perspective.  I highly recommend Neil Peart’s book ‘Ghost Rider’.  One man, one motorcycle, 55,000 miles.  It’s a great read from the drummer of ‘Rush’ as he takes his bike on the road to healing after tragically losing his daughter and his wife within months of each other.

 

You can use a search engine of your choice to download or purchase the book online.

Is it cold out there? #PolarRide

January 17, middle of Ohio, Interstate 71, 11:37 P.M.

Gas light comes on.  I’ve been monitoring my fuel consumption trying to hurry home.  There is an ice storm blowing in from the northeast and I’m trying to beat it before the roads get slick.  The freezing rain is pelting my helmet, I can feel the temperature dropping as I ride into the dark.

I pulled off into a gas station at an exit that was situated in the middle of open fields and wind.  As I’m pumping gas a man approaches me.  He is wearing full Carhart gear.  He asks me if it’s cold out.  I’m shocked because he is clearly dressed for the cold.  I get it though, nobody knows how to start a conversation with the motorcyclist in the middle of January in the early stages of an ice storm.

More than likely he is thinking to himself; “What an idiot.”

His obvious question must be somehow a test of my mental stability.


 

That brings up a common question from people when they spot me out.  How do you ride in cold weather?

Most motorcyclists know that it is an option, just prefer not to do it.  If you haven’t experienced being the only motorcyclist out on the road during cold spells, I highly encourage it.  The coldest weather to date that I have ridden in was 7 degrees in the middle of the night traveling home from some friends house an hour away from home.  I’ll post some gear ideas and special considerations in the near future for all of you looking to experience the Polar Ride.

 

In the meantime, get some heated gear specifically made for motorcycling.  Lightweight, plugs into the bike itself, wear it under your clothing.  Within 5-seconds you’ll be experiencing the warmth of 130 degree micro-wires.

Rubber side down.

Music to move

I’m on a Mission to Move

Everytime I prepare for a trip I can’t help but think to myself; “What for?”

We we all have our reasons to travel.  Some just want to see the world. Some to be with family. Others it’s a form of escape (Neil Peart).  For me, it’s to experience.  For me, being on two wheels is freedom. You are free from the daily distractions of life. No work, no phone, no text. Just you, machine, elements.

When I ride I tend to build playlists up on my iPod for the trip. Each song speaks to me in its own unique way. Depending on what I want to experience on the trip will dictate what songs are on my playlist.  A song that our band wrote really speaks to me on a personal level. “Mission To Move” from the same titled album.   As I’m in the planning stages of a big trip, this song popped into my head. It seems like it was crafted to accompany me. And so it shall.

 

Rubber side down.