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Safety Nazis & White Knights

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Safety Nazis & White Knights

There’s a group of people out there on the internet who seem bent bound & determined to ruin it for the rest of us, and they seem to be especially vocal in motorcycle pages, forums, and groups. You know who I’m talking about all those Safety Nazis & White Knights that are ever so eager to either protect you from yourself or to protect others from you.

Let me vent a little here, nothing drives me crazier than for someone to post a video or a ride report and say something like, “ I was cruising along on I-20 into Alabama at about 80 plus,” or the video camera catches a glimpse of a speedometer that’s a little north of the posted speed limit. Not because I mind a competent adult driver exceeding an often arbitrary speed limit, but because I know that the next post or two will be some jerk who will write a two page sermon on the evils of speeding and how he or she always drives 1 mph under the speed limit because they are saints, while the rest of us are horrible evil criminals who want chaos to reign, as we meet our end in a fiery blaze of glory leaving our children as orphans and taking as many innocent people as we can straight to hell with us. We do realize that excessive speed on the roads is dangerous but in most places you are much safer to move with the flow of the speeding traffic than to become a rolling roadblock. Quite frankly most of the speed limits in America are lower than they need to be especially on interstates and a lot of highways out in the boondocks, not for any real safety reason but to enhance revenue collection. I could go on and on and yes I will admit there are places where restrictive speed limits are reasonable, and that there is such a thing as driving way too fast. What exactly defines driving way too fast has more to do with road conditions, traffic, condition of the equipment and the skill of the operator, not necessarily some numbers nailed to a post beside the road.

I wear my helmet almost every time I sit down on a motorcycle now. At one time I would not have been caught dead on a motorcycle with a helmet but now when it’s time to mix it up in crazy commuter traffic or hit the road for a long haul not only is a full face helmet on my head, but I’m wearing a full riding suit with boots and gloves even in the heat of summer. At high speeds for long distances it’s actually far more comfortable. Even so I support the right of free adults to make that decision for themselves, and I really don’t care if you agree with me or not. As I said earlier I wear it most of the time, but on the odd Sunday morning my wife and I will take a long slow ride down the rural 2 lane roads that surround our country home without brain buckets. Sometimes we can go 20-30 miles at the time without seeing another vehicle. Yes I know it’s more dangerous than riding with a lid on, with the possibility of wildlife collisions, tire blowouts etc. but it reminds us of what it was like to be young and care free. Don’t preach at me, the kids are all grown, we have excellent health and accident coverage that we pay for and yes life insurance too as do the vast majority of riders that I know. Not to mention my equipment is immaculately maintained and I WORK at keeping my skills up and even improving them. These quiet country cruises we share together actually have very little risk and we minimize it well. Can’t deal with it? That’s your problem not mine.

Sometimes I can be a bit of a Safety Nazi & White Knight myself, on the subject of distracted or drunk driving but I try not to get too aggravating about it except that I’ll say these two things are almost guaranteed killers, usually of some innocent bystander. If you want to take the risk of offing yourself I’m actually cool with that, try to have fun in the process, but don’t take me or any other innocent people with you.  Even with the way I feel about these two things the World Wide Web has introduced me to folks who get so totally unhinged and paranoid about distracted driving that it’s enough to drive me to drink. For example there is one person who inhabits a certain Facebook group and watches for some someone to make a post about GPS, phone, or camera mounts so that he can preach the same stupid sermon over and over. For example when I posted a picture of the Ram mounts installed on the handlebar of one of my scoots, this fool was the second person to see it and he went ballistic on me.

Ram Mounts On Honda Helix
Ram Mounts are the best.

This is a double ball mount that hold my dash camera off to one side for a good view of the road, (I use the Midland XTC btw) and the other side holds my phone or GPS unit at a height where I can read my map and follow the navigation arrows without taking my eyes off of the road. No phone calls or texting while moving, just navigation. I actually regard texting and talking while driving as a hazard but using navigation apps or gear are not as long as you are not programming your route while on the move. In fact it may even make a trip in unfamiliar territory safer because you do not have to scan every single street sign to find out where your next turn is. I don’t miss the paper map in top of the tank bag one bit, the eye level GPS screen is much better and much safer.

Now let’s move on to another despicable creature that tends to inhabit the various for sale groups and websites on the internet, the White Knights protectors of the innocent consumer. Any time someone posts a price for any item that they feel is even a dollar too high the White Knights swoop in like a pack of vultures to fresh carrion to savage the seller and tell the whole world what a crook he is and try to besmirch his or her online reputation by telling everyone who will listen what a crook the seller is. In the last year a couple of the assholes have come after me for ads that I’ve posted to the point that I will not use any Facebook sale pages to sell any motorcycle or parts. Unfortunately the keyboard sociopaths dwelling in their parent’s basements or the unscrupulous online seller trying to shut down his competition by making them look bad will hammer the hell out of you. Here are 2 real stories that happened to me.

Example number one the Sportster; I bought a 65-70% complete Evo Sportster basket case. The complete engine was all there including the carb, along with frame, triple tree, miscellaneous, except for the wheels one fork leg, and sheet metal. At the time of purchase I took a bill of sale from the owner stating that the bike was an 883. So when I got home I took some pictures and posted it online for $1200 bucks. Yes that was high but I fully expected to be negotiating that price, nobody in their right mind would pay asking price for a project bike or parts pile. Too bad that time I posted it, a bunch of those pesky assholes pounced, posting that I was a rip off artist and a bunch of other crap so I got tired of their shit and pulled the ad. Over the next few days I got the paperwork straightened out and the bike turned out to be a 2002 XL1200, and I sold it to a coworker for a most excellent price far below $1200. It took him about 2 months to put it back together and now he rides it to work 2 or 3 times a week. So next time you see one of these “White Knights” giving an online seller hell, jump on his ass tell them if they want to buy, make an offer otherwise SHUT THE FUCK UP. Somebody out there missed a sweet deal on a 1200 Sportster from me because of these assholes.

Another time I bought an engine side cover for a Honda CT70 from an online seller but then traded the project before using it. My purchase price was 65 dollars plus shipping. The part is still in the original packaging, so I figured no problem right? Wrong! Some asshole who is an online parts dealer specializing in Honda Mini Trails, used his personal FB account to state that I was asking way too much and then he provided a link back to his aftermarket dealership website showing the same part for $50 and basically insinuating that I was trying to rip people off. Screw assholes like that, I paid $65 for it (from a real Honda dealer) and was simply trying to get my money back, and not a penny more. BTW I still have the left engine side cover that fits on a Honda CT70 and yes I will sell it to you for $50 plus shipping. It’s not correct for the early models but it will work if you are just fixing a rider. Next time one of these so called “White Knights” gets online and tries to slander me I think I’ll sic a lawyer on them even if it costs me 20 grand to do it just to teach them a lesson.

It would be possible to go on and on but even if I do expect to recoup my investment in motorcycles and parts every once in a while but this is mainly about having fun doing some things that I love to do. Since I don’t make my living doing this anymore I don’t have to put up with assholes.

Until next time I wish you happy riding, wrenching, & horse trading.

 

 

 

 

 

Scooter Mania & Other Afflictions

First there was an old 70cc Passport.

It all started out innocently enough, a guy I know just happened to post a picture of a dilapidated 1982 Honda Passport for sale on Facebook, and I thought that would make a great pit bike to putt around on at giant events like the Barber Vintage Motorsports Festival. So we worked out a trade and I dragged it home one night and with the help of my beautiful assistant got it running. Little did I know that it was just the first step to developing Scooter Mania.

We got it going and got all the paperwork straight and made it safe for the road so it could be thoroughly checked out. With my 230 pound self in the saddle it topped out at 41 mph, just a little above moped territory. Once it was determined that it was in great condition for the long haul, this little Honda C70 became a full blown restoration project. Here’s a shot of how it looks right now as I type this.

82 Honda C70 Passport frame

Next step to Scooter Mania came as a Honda Helix 250…

A short time later, the second more serious stage of Scooter Mania snuck up on me without warning. It started out innocently enough, with me listing my Suzuki TS185 for sale on Craigslist. Almost immediately, I got a message from someone offering to trade me a 2001 Honda Helix 250 for it. My initial reply was let me think about it a few days. Another scooter was not what I had in mind, in fact cash was the objective, partially to finance the restoration of the Passport but mainly so that I could purchase this cool 1/8 scale Redcat Racing RC dune buggy and mount my video camera to it for a future project that I have in mind.

After 3 or 4 day of irritating low ball offers and what seemed like a thousand scammers posing as U.S. military personnel, I sent the Helix owner a message & told him that I’d trade & we agreed to meet at a public location between his place & mine. The plan was never to keep the Helix, but to try and flip it on Ebay, but I made two mistakes. Mistake number one was that I rode it. Mistake number two was taking Mrs. Psyco out for a nice long ride on it. When we got back home she said that it is far more comfortable than any of my motorcycles. So I replied, “I guess we should make this one a long term adoption,” to which she replied yes. Now it’s sitting in the shop on brand new tires, and I’m waiting for the Ram mounts for the camera & GPS to get here. In the past it had crossed my mine that a maxi-scooter would make a fine touring rig, but a 650 Burgman or a Silverwing was what I was thinking of, not a Helix. Scooter Mania strikes again!

Hond Helix with a C70 Passport Scooter Mania
I hope this is not the start of another collection.

Of course the only downside is that scooter riders get no respect around here even though the Helix is larger and longer than most motorcycles, the first words out of every idiots mouth is moped. They don’t have a clue that there’s a whole lot more to the world of scooters than 50cc Chinese whiskey cycles. What’s really fun is when you are passing someone on a four lane highway and see the look on their faces as they realize that you are on a scooter. The really great thing about being the age I am now is that I no longer give a shit what anyone else thinks of what I ride, but am still young enough to enjoy it.

Helix compared to a motorcycle
The Helix is bigger than a CB650

This doe not mean that Motopsyco’s Asylum will become a scooter blog, fine vintage motorcycles will always be my first love, late model stuff and ATVs will continue to be covered as well, just think of the scooters as one more cool thing we can have fun with! Just watch out, Scooter Mania can be very contagious.

 

 

The 2015 National Bikers Roundup

Last weekend one of our local county council members & I took in a visit to the Darlington Dragway, our goal was to get an overview of the 2015 National Bikers Roundup and show all of the locals who were unnecessarily anxious about the presence of a large group of African-American bikers in our community. Folks, even at the Memorial Day Bikefest, the bikers are not the problem. The National Bikers Roundup organization, rented the venue, got all of the necessary permits, coordinated with local law enforcement, and had more than adequate event staff on hand to keep everything rolling smoothly. We had a blast check out the video & the pictures below!

I’m not going to write a lot in this post as I’d just be repeating a lot of what I’ve already said in the video.

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Peace Y’all

The 2015 VJMC National Rally Day 2

It is the end of the second day of the 2015 VJMC National Rally, and a little rain is falling  from a passing thunderstorm this evening but for most of the day the weather was beautiful and the group rides went off without a hitch.

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We all had a great time on a various rides to various different places in the mountains. My wife and I actually followed the tiddler group up to the Sugarland visitors  center, after a brief visit to the museum we proceeded to the Metcalfe Bottoms picnic area where we had a nice lunch.
In the meantime the convention center continues fill up with an ever increasing assortment of nice bikes as people rolled in.

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It turns out I’m not the only one who brought a 185 Suzuki.

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Above is an entire row of classic Kawasakis.

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Here’s a nice original XS500

After a great BBQ supper we listened to a presentation from Pete Boody the owner of Pistol Pete’s services who is restoring the prototype Goldwing serial number 2. Pete gave us a good run down of the early history of the development of the Goldwing and the difference between the prototypes, the pre-production units and  the final production units.

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It has been a terrific day and I do have some video footage from the ride that is up on YouTube.


Peace Y’all

AmyTracker The November 2014 Website of the Month

One of the great things about the internet is the huge variety of interesting people you run across in the various motorcycling forums and in the blogging community. Amy & Kevin are two such people. I’ve never met them, but have thoroughly enjoyed reading about their adventures online. Take a look at the map below, this is the route the two of them rode on their latest motorcycling adventure tour.

<2014-NC to Alaska-route>
I first learned of Amy’s blog while reading her ongoing ride report for this 2014 trip to Alaska over at the advrider forum. So I started following her blog and reading the posts as they came up on WordPress reader. She has a great style of writing & the photos taken by her and Kevin are terrific especially if like me, you really love the natural beauty of the great outdoors.

<Ducati Multistrada>
on the Denali Highway

So if you really like great pictures and interesting adventures go check out amytracker.wordpress.com
Like so many bloggers she started this blog as an online personal journal, but it has grown into a great source of entertainment & information for those of us who find ourselves chained down to a desk full time & are too timid to break free & go ride!

<at the arctic circle on motorcycles>
So go check out Amytracker & if you like it let her know.
Peace Y’all
‘Psyco

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride! September 2014 Website of the Month!

<distinguished gentleman's ride>

Did you know that about 500,000 men die annually of prostate cancer? Or that globally more men are affected by prostate cancer, than women by breast cancer? I didn’t either. Now we’ve all seen the pink ribbons that say save the ta-tas, in fact you can hardly swing a dead cat anywhere without hitting a “Warrior in Pink” attempting to raise awareness of and/or funding for breast cancer treatment research. Now this is a very good thing because I really love ladies, some more than others, but still love them all & wish nothing but the best of health for them and their boobies.

<we all love boobies>
Don’t forget we need to save the guys too.
Gentleman’s Ride.com

Let’s face it, people love titties, men love them, babies love them, and women love them too. So while you are writing out the check for breast cancer research take a moment to see if you could spare some change for a less attractive body part. Sure the prostate is not up in your face drawing attention to itself the way a nice pair of knockers will, but prostate cancer is still a deadly killer. My own father has & is still dealing with this evil scourge & its lingering effects, we are still waiting for the resolution of his treatment and hopefully he will be in complete remission soon.

Please take a moment and check out the website for The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, and sign up for an event, or just make a donation to the cause. I would love to see a 100% cure developed for this in my lifetime.

Get yourself looking good for the ride!
Get yourself looking good for the ride!

Mark your calendar for September 28th 2014, there will be 235 rides in 56 countries, so no matter where you are there is bound to be one near you. Check out the Gentleman’s Ride website for the location nearest you.

The organizers did ask me to remind everyone that this was an event for Classics, café racers, bobbers, trackers, customs, modern classics, classic scooters & undefinable 2/3 wheeled machines. So break out the good vintage stuff, and leave your plastic fantastic, crotch rockets, and your big inch, late model, fuel injected cruisers at home please.

<distinguished gentlmans ride check 4 cancer>

P.S. If you are past a certain age, don’t forget next time you get a checkup, to be sure you get a PSA (prostate antibodies) blood test, and if necessary an actual physical exam. Trust me it’s a lot less painful than dying from the cancer.
Peace Y’all

 

 

 

 

Mercury

<Mercury a motorcycle short story>

It was a crisp cool morning, 65 degrees made it feel more like October than the middle of August. The gravel crunched beneath my tires as I traversed that last half a mile before reaching the asphalt. To my left just peeking over the trees a huge brilliant sun was shining like a cosmic blow torch burning away the foggy mist that lay gently on the forests & fields that surround my Carolina country home. Stopping at the end of the dirt road, I made sure the choke was completely off, and checked my surroundings before pulling out onto the empty back road of the kind that I love so much.

After a quick run up through the gears, it was time to weave back and forth leaning the old Honda to the left and the right as far as I could without leaving my lane to warm up the tires a little and clean the sand off of the sides of the treads. So far, so good, the road is still empty so I ride on stepping up the pace a little, confident that all is well with my steed.

Then I spy a nicely banked sweeping curve that is followed by a nice long straight running down through the pine trees, so I lean forward a bit and twist the exhilarator a little bit more. While swinging through the apex of this gentle curve, I peer down the road ahead and note that it’s completely empty for at least the next 2 or 3 miles that I can see.

Exiting the curve I simultaneously lean over & reach down, wrapping my armor plated leather fist around the top of the left fork tube, while my right hand twists the throttle all the way to the stop, and my heart pounds as the devil may care grin on my face stretches from ear to ear. In that moment all is perfect, a curious mixture of calm serenity, and the heart pounding excitement of the illusion of danger. In this moment it seems that I am thundering down the back straight at the Indy Mile aboard the legendary RS750, as the crowd goes wild. Hitting the red line in fourth I shift into fifth and screw it on for just a few seconds more.

<Real Honda Dreams the RS-750>
Real Honda Dreams

Before you know it, it’s over, it’s time to let go of the dream and the throttle. Up ahead there are houses with driveways & cages, filled with prisoners, their cell phones in one hand, breakfast in the other, and a cup of coffee between their legs as they attempt to navigate through the commute that they regard as a waste of their life. To them the road is just an obstacle course to be run, a linear prison where they are held against their will, and driving is a form of punishment. God help the innocents that get in their way.

Turning onto the multi-lane roads heading into the city, two fingers on the clutch & two on the brake crawling through traffic at forty or fifty is far more dangerous than any amount of ludicrous speed on the back roads. You watch every car & truck like a hawk, trying to anticipate any bone headed moves that might punt you into the emergency room or the morgue.

Knowing these things why do I still ride? Even sensible motorcycling is still far more enjoyable than being stuck in a box isolated from the surrounding environment, you see, hear, feel and smell what is around you. But the best times for me, are the rare moments like this morning;

I was Mercury, my feet had wings, and I could fly!

<mercury flying through the sky>

 

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