Posted: November 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Mighty ZX11 has left for a new home and greener pastures.

This was not a spur of the moment choice, I had been pondering it for some time.

My wonderful wife Caryn has been watching me ride out on it and seeing me come back refreshed, and she has been starting to feel the slightest tingle of “The Itch”.

So… I took her to the high school parking lot with the Z, and let her idle it around.

Yes, just idle. 550+lbs and 140+ hp are not the suggested ingredients for a newbie to have a good time.

But, it showed her that she could pad around on 2 wheels and didnt have to drop it.

This boosted her confidence, and got The Itch going like mad.

I had some pondering to do now.

At this moment I cant afford to buy another motorcycle… and she is not going to be learning on the Kawasaki.

This provoked a nice bout of bike shop surfing.
We have hit up shops before, but she has never really looked in earnest.

This time, she knew it would be for her as much as me… and not just as a passenger.

I am a huge proponent of dirt bikes for beginners, newbies drop bikes… and these bikes are made to take a drop.

Now, I also need a bike to use on the street… run to the store, go to work, take a trip.

This puts us in the dual sport category.

As a 6’4″ 240lb guy… the big DS category.

In the affordable range we have a Honda XR650L, Kawasaki KLR650, and Suzuki DR650.
New, these are in the $6-7K range.
Also out of my price range.

SO… I put my ZX11 up for trade for a 650cc+ dual sport.
It took a couple of weeks and weeding thru emails, but it finally happened.

My 36,000 mile ZX11 was traded for a 17,000 mile DR650.


Now, we had the bike for her to learn on.

Compared to the ZX, the DR650 is a much more suitable learning tool.
150ish lbs lighter, 100ish less hp.
But, the seat is a bit taller.

Compared to a dirt bike, it is a heavy pig.

With the ZX, you can ease out on the clutch and take off at idle… on the DR, you have to gas it and slip the clutch.
In that respect, take offs on the ZX are easier.

But, that is about all that is easier on it.

Today we took it to a parking lot, time to get some feet wet.

We started off with some easy drills, first up… coasting across the parking lot.
This showed her how it balanced and the sensitivity of the brakes.

Where we were had upper and lower parking lots, connected by a nice downhill run.

Next up, was coasting down from the upper parking lot to the lower one.
More speed, more braking, and now some turning added in.

3 trips down the hill and we decided that she was ready to try it for real.
First things first… she had to start the bike.
Yes, I bought a kick start only bike. 😀

If I remember right, she started it on about the 4th or so kick.
Trust me, these are not easy bikes to kick start… there are tutorials on YouTube explaining how it is done.
And now that these things are 20 years old and no where near factory fresh… they all seem to have their own quirks about starting.

With the bike running, she headed off down the hill.
Clutch out at 10mph, the bikes idle speed, and down into the parking lot.

I was excited!
So excited that I charged down the hill to congratulate her.
Imagine my surprise as she rode around the lot and right back up the hill.


BACK up the hill I trotted to see her turning around up there.

Down and back up 2 more times.
No stalls, no falls.


We called this a success story for today.

Tomorrow, we shall try flatland starts and stops.


Now, to the “Rediscovery” part of this entry.

The last low powered bike I owned was a 1978 Honda CB400T Hawk.
Not this one, but a twin to it.



 Similar weight to the DR, but with a 400cc twin but with about 20 hp less.

I last saw that bike back in 1987.

Since 1994, I have only owned 1100s… the lowest powered one had the engine out of a 1127cc GSXR.

There was a part of me that truly expected to be seriously disappointed while riding the DR, 400ish lbs with around 45 hp.
But something happened on the express train to Dullsville, this Bush Pig was putting a grin on my face that I have not experienced in decades.

I was rolling thru corners at least as fast as on the ZX.
Gearing down before the corner, pinning the throttle on the way out, and banging shifts at the top of each gear.
All the time not getting much over 70mph.

Treat the ZX like that and you are either going ass first thru the trees when the rear tire brakes loose or nose first thru them when you cant slow down for that next upcoming curve.

I was beating on it, whipping its ass from turn to turn… and having more fun than is legal.

I rediscovered something that I lost when I got into monster liter bikes.

Riding purely for the fun of riding.
No fear that I was going to have a slight lapse in attention or talent and The Beast was going to rip my head off.
No fear that if I actually “used” the bike a nice officer was going to shred my license and stuff me under the jail.

No Fear, Only Fun.

The roads around here are ill suited for actually using a Road Eater like the ZX.

As great a bike as it is, it was a bike for me as a youth.
I am no longer that person.

I can be happy and satisfied knowing that my bike isnt the fastest thing out there, I no longer have something to prove… to myself or anyone else.

Now, the only thing I have to prove is that I can have a great time.

Honestly, this is the most fun I have had on 2 wheels since I was a teen.

And guys, Fun is one of the keys to staying young.




It clears your mind

Posted: November 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

Yesterday I went out for a ride.

It was just under 60 degrees and raining.

I put a little over 200 miles on the bike, most of it in the wet.

A lot of riders that I know hate riding in the rain, hate it with a passion.

Me, I dont really mind it.

With some decent gear and on the right bike, i barely mind it at all.

One of the entertaining parts of wet weather riding is the looks you get from people in enclosed vehicles and from clerks at stores.

Most people in cars are upset and inconvenienced that they have to go from a building to their car and may get wet… you are out there riding in it, YOU must have some sort of mental defect.

That is possible, but nothing showed up in the testing.

You have to pay attention, which you should be doing anyway, but wet rides bring me personal entertainment.

I may be slightly simple, but I like to watch the reaction to the rain on my shield as I move my head in the windstream.

Low Buck wind tunnel!!!

The wind, rain, exhaust… it is a blend of sounds that make my troubles seem to go away.

I was irritated yesterday, when I got back I was all smiles… a little damp, but smiling anyway.

At one point, as a novice rider, I honestly feared the rain.

That changed when my father and I got caught riding from Ga to Mo by Hurricane Andrew.

Deep standing water on the roads, high winds.

Stupid to ride in? YEP.

However it is still one of the fondest memories I hold of my dad and me.

It also broke me of having issues about riding in the wet.

Tires… I will never buy tires for a road bike that are not good rain tires.

You can ride wet weather tires in the dry, but I dont advise dedicated “good weather” tires in the wet… just dont do it.

A fairing of some kind is nice, but you dont have to have one… eventually you will slow and stop, and you will get wet anyway.

I may have to plan a trip during the rainy season and record it.

Me yammering away and singing in my helmet as Noah leads the animals into his Ark.

There may be 4-5 people out there that would watch that.




I need a “Touring” bike.

Posted: November 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

This is one of the biggest misconceptions in the 2 wheeled world.

To travel you need a motorhome on 2 wheels… No… no you dont.

“Back in the day” people toured on whatever bike they had.

You had a Honda 360? Well, you strapped your gear on and hit the road.

Now… well, you need at LEAST a sport tourer, but a REAL touring bike is the choice if you plan on humming down the super slab all day.

I call Bull Shit on this.

You know what 2 of my most memorable and enjoyable trips were on?

A 750 ’89 Katana with an 1100 motor swap and a 91 ZX11.

At the time they were considered sport bikes, not hard edge sport bikes… but still sport bikes.

The ZX11 was the fastest bike sold at the time.
I happen to have the ’93 version of it sitting right outside at this very moment.

You know what else?
I would have no trouble strapping on a couple of soft bags, a tank bag and a roll bag on the back seat and heading out for parts unknown.

No, for 2 person touring it is not comfy like a Hondabago.
However, I see most of those with a single rider on them.

Now, if you MUST have your cruise control, CB, stereo, cup holder, 3 places to put your feet, and dont want to be bothered by the wing you are cutting thru… then by ALL means take off with your Honda.
I would suggest an Accord.

Because, to ME, this is not motorcycling.

You ride a bike to be a part of your environment… not to be insulated from it.

Before the Japanese 4 cylinders hit the states, you would cross country tour on a 650cc 2 cyl Triumph or BSA, they were Big Bikes with 45 or so horsepower.

Then the CB750 landed… and it didnt shake like the twins, yes it buzzed, and IT was the new cross country mount.

A few years later you could buy a Suzuki GS1100, it was a backroad scratcher, a drag racer, a touring machine.

Personally, I think motorcycles are too specialized now.
You have sport bikes, town bikes, sport touring bikes, touring bikes… and every now and then… someone releases a do anything “Standard” or Naked bike.

And… since the population is now used to the specialized bikes, these do anything bikes dont sell.

And we, the motorcycle lovers, are diminished by this.

The ZRX1200R, KTM 990SM-T… these are amazing bikes that can fill many roles and take up spots in the garage that would otherwise be filled by different specialized bikes.

People need to step back and evaluate their purchases.

Lets take the 990SMT as an example.
It can follow on the heels of a sportbike on public roads, and actually show many of them the way.
You can commute on it to work and back… to the store to pick up supper.
Toss some clothes in the bags and head out for the weekend.

A true multi purpose do it all bike.

Riders need to buy more of these… so we get more options in this category.




Getting there…

Posted: November 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

I am a Traveler.

For me, the trip is OH so much more important than the destination.

I like traveling by car and truck, especially if I can avoid the interstate and run the 2 lanes thru the back country.

I dislike commercial airline travel, it bypasses my actual traveling and deposits me at my destination.

Now, travel by motorcycle… THAT is where it is at.

Rolling thru the countryside and actually experiencing the place and time that you are at.

I have a motorcycle, a big black rocketship of a ZX11.

But I am actually having second thoughts on it being the “right” bike for traveling.

It eats up huge slabs of interstate, and doesnt do a bad job of hustling thru the 2 lanes.

This country is not just paved byways… and off of those paved roads are some of the most amazing sights that you will ever see.

I have been watching a lot of world touring videos… deserts, dunes, tropical marshlands, towering mountains, rocky coasts, sandy beaches, amazing rock formations, different cultures, and a wide variety of people.

For a traveler… it calls to you.

Here is where I am lucky, I can experience all of these things without needing a passport or crossing an international border crossing.

This great nation has all of that and more.

You want to drive just the border of the country? You will have gone well over 10,000 miles. At an easy exploration pace of 300 miles a day of smelling the roses… that is a nice chunk of time.

Fancy some dirt under your wheels?
The Trans America Trail will give you a 5,000 mile run.

For seeing this country… for REALLY seeing this country, you dont need a 2 wheeled Hondabago, you need something manageable… that can handle all kinds of terrain and conditions.

Go out and look at a dual sport, an enduro, an adventure bike.

Save up your Starbucks money, skip buying that pack of smokes, brown bag it for lunch.

Buy a tent and some riding clothes, hop on that tall bike with the aggressive tires… and hit the road.

Shoot pictures and video, you will want something to show those who can’t bring themselves to try it.
You also want something to help tempt your children and grand children to ride with you on future trips.

As great as traveling is… it is even better when you have people to share the experience with.




The Hot Rod starter kit

Posted: October 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

When I was a youth, it seemed that the most popular car for the younger generation to grab and start modifying was the humble Chevy Nova.

Mainly the third, 1968-1974, and fourth, 1975-1979, generation versions.

This was the 1980s-early 1990s. Novas were cheap and they were everywhere.

They were a good size, not to small and not to big. You could also stuff about any engine you wanted under the hood with minimal effort.

They were everywhere and I hated them for that, the same thing everywhere I looked.

Jacked up stink bug stance Novas with huge meats on the rear and young rednecks behind the wheel.

I had the wrong attitude about them.

They were a great gateway into the world of Rodding.

That is something that was… and still is needed.

Low priced canvas for the young artist with little money to start expressing themselves on.

I find myself actually looking at the 4th gen ones now.

Just because they are fun and easy builds.

Maybe we do get wiser as we age.




And so goes the night…

Posted: September 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Like many people, from time to time I find myself on the night shift.

With my job it isn’t uncommon to work a couple of shifts the same day, but for the past couple of months… most of my time at work has been on the night shift.

Now, I am not complaining here. 3rd shift here is as laid back as you will find in a big company.

As long as my work gets done… No Worries Mon!

But I do get a bit of free time. I don’t have to worry about finding busy work so it doesn’t look like I am slacking off.

Like I said, as long as my work is up to date… everyone is happy.

This gives me a bit of time to sit outside and enjoy the night.
Or, do the brakes on my truck, change out a bad tire, catch up on youtube vids… you get the picture.

The nights here are usually quiet, in a town of 2,000 or so people this is not a surprise.
Now and then there is a group of youths walking around being loud, or a drunk out stumbling around.

The other night it seemed like every emergency vehicle in the county went blasting by in the middle of the night.

My coworkers and I proceeded outside to see if we could find out what the festivities were.

Initial report was 2 guys were out riding around and got hit by a train.

Video from the train shows that the car was parked on the tracks to be hit… one guy climbed into the car when the train came to a stop… guy number 2 laid out next to the track like he was ejected from the car.

I know what you are thinking… if a couple of guys were in a car hit by a train, would they be a bit banged up?

Yea, that is what I was thinking also.

Here is the kicker… the car was stolen..

Now, I dunno about you… but if I were to try and stage an accident and “presumably” profit from the RR insurance, I don’t think I would use a stolen vehicle.

I would also possibly try and look like I had actually been IN the car when it was hit.

Sometimes I think people get dumber by the day.

Now, this is just local scuttlebutt. I don’t have any proof at the moment.

But, after interacting with many of the locals… I can believe it.

My money is on Lil Wayne playing in the car when it was struck.
Only way to drop the IQ down enough to make this plan seem like a good idea.

Now, back out into the night.
The children of the night… what music they make.
“Imma tell you WUT bitch… I even SEE you lookin at my man and you gonna go home without yo weave!”

My immersion in Culture continues…




Yet another job change.

Posted: August 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

Almost 2 months ago I changed companies, as a telecom contractor this is a regular thing.

You go where the work is, where the pay is, and where the Respect is.

With the last company, I was not getting that last one.

Right about the time I was getting fed up with the lack of Respect, a company I worked for in the past… and have a VERY good relationship with… called me up and asked how things were going.

They had a non traveling position in the middle of nowhere southern SC, and they had trouble keeping people on the job… because it was in the middle of nowhere.

Now, I am a guy who likes being away from masses of population.
I see no problem with having a half hour drive to get to a town with some shopping and fast food.

It saves me money and may help with waistline control.

I have not had a non traveling job in oh… about 5 years.

This should give me the chance to have a “normal” family life again… and I have been missing that.

I am used to getting home every couple of weeks, but it doesnt mean that I like it.

However, a man has to do things he doesnt care for sometimes to support his family.

So, yea… to do that I am in a small town, 2,000ish people, living in a motel a mile from my job site.

It is a small cheap place, but it is clean and people dont bother me.

That is high up on my list for motels.
If I dont want service I put out a note and I get left alone.
Everyone there speaks English… or a version of it.

But, I want my family with me… and it is a goal I am shooting for.

With any luck I should have it in a couple of months.

So yea, that is what is going on.

New/old company, no company truck, no gas card, no credit card… no reimbursements…

But I am happy.

I am appreciated, interact with the same people in the same office, and get to build up a relationship with coworkers… not just cycle a helper thru every couple of weeks.

I am happy and content. I am in my kind of area and should have my family with me before too long.

Life is good.




I have received this question a few times.

Since my teens I have been a 1911 guy.

I am one of the guys who could be accused of praying at the alter of John Moses Browning.

However, lately my firearms purchases have strayed from that pass.

No, I hold the 1911 in no less regard than I ever have. I just have admitted to myself that there are other handguns out there.

I LOVE a good steak, but I also like other foods.

To deny yourself is a sad thing.

My 1911s are now a little off the beaten path, if I had to use one to defend myself or my family it would be confiscated by the authorities.
Even if I get it back, it will possibly have case info etched into the steel.

They are also guns that you dont run down to the local gun store and replace.

My Glock, that IS something I can replace anytime I feel like.
In fact, I may get another as a back up… you know, just in case.

These poly guns tend to cost less and well… honestly are a little more forgiving.

Parts for them are also drop in.

They have no soul, but they shoot well and so far have gone BANG anytime I have pulled the trigger.

Soul is a wonderful thing… but it wont save your life.

So, there you have it, I have NOT given up on my 1911s… if anything I may accumulate more in the future.

But, I HAVE added more tools to the toolbox.

And as any wrench bender will tell you, having the right tool for the job makes your day go a lot smoother.




Zimmerman Verdict

Posted: July 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

Over the weekend the jury gave its verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial.

Mr Zimmerman was found Not Guilty on all charges brought before him.

And people lost their damn minds.

Everyone is suddenly a law expert, of course they are letting their emotions set what their version of the law is.

Hey, I am a father. I have 3 boys I am proud to call my sons… 19, 17, and 16. So yea… right at Trayvon Martins age range.

I have heard a few times… “WHAT IF IT WAS YOUR SON?!”.

Now, I love my kids. I like to think that they know right from wrong.

I also know that they are their own people and will follow their own path.

If they were involved in a situation exactly like the case that was just settled… I would mourn for my son.

However, from the evidence that was submitted… and from things that were discovered and NOT allowed, I would not call for action against the person that pulled the trigger.

Bad things happen to people, sometimes it is because you make bad decisions.

I dont see 17 years old as a child… as many seem to.

At 17 you can have your parents sign for you and become one of our Fighting men and women.
You can go into training to serve in the military of this great nation.

That is not the job of a child.

One of my sons is 17, he is not a child. He is a young man ready to go out and hit life head on.

Instead of raging about the verdict and calling for more violence… why not talk to your children and friends.

Help them make good decisions… attacking people who are following you is NOT a good decision.
Call out to that person, see what they want.

In my job I have worked in many different neighborhoods.

I have been observed and followed many times.

Call out and explain who you are, what you are doing.

Yes, be ready… in case your follower has ill intent in mind.

There is a good chance that this whole even could have been stopped by one of the 2 involved just calling out to the other… “Hey, what are you doing around here?” “Hey, why are you following me?”

Interact from a safe distance. Your first response shouldnt be to swing on another person or pull out a weapon.

Be READY to use whatever means you need… but dont do it as a first resort.

Of all the weapons out there… your mind is the first one to use.


Stay safe,




Yet another trade…

Posted: July 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

I posted a while back that I had gotten myself a Glock 20 10mm.

The gun was great, powerhouse but easy to shoot.

About the only thing that it didnt do well was conceal.

In my day to day life now, I have to think a lot more about concealment than I used to.

Currently I am living in SC and there is no open carry here.

The G20, even in a SF model, is a tank of a pistol.

Big, bulky, and blocky… so it rode as a truck gun for a while.

I have a few guns that can be truck guns, this is a big fighting gun.

So… I do what I do when I have a carry gun that I am not carrying.

I traded it.

For what? Well, for the handgun that people that I have much respect for in the gun training and gun use world carry.

I got myself a Glock 23 .40 S&W Gen4.

Yea, I now have owned 2 Glocks… and a total of 5 poly pistols. My how times have changed.

Wont be going into great detail on it, anyone reading this more than likely knows all about Glocks… and this one is bone stock, other than polishing some of the metal trigger parts and a few drops of Slipstream.

But, since I have a picture I will put it up.

You want a better picture google it, there are millions of pics out there.

We spent the 4th of July with our friends Louis and George… and Georges wonderful family.

While there George took me to try out the new pistol, I like it… I like it a LOT.

I may have to renounce my Glock hating ways.

From standard encounter range I was in the stop zone, in the pump or in the brainpan were no problem.

Currently I am still carrying the RIA CCO from my last post.

I have a great holster for it, can hit where I want… and well, I dont have a good holster for the G23 yet.

George is working for G-Code holsters now, and I like to support friends when I can also get a good product.
So, I will be getting an Incog for this pistol.

When that happens I will transfer over to Glock carry, I grudgingly have to admit that the idea of a gun that I dont worry over my toxic sweat rusting apart appeals to me.

And if I did have to use it in defense… I can easily get a replacement while waiting to get it back from the authorities.

Now… to get to a class and learn to properly “Run the Gun”.