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Messages - Bajakirch

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MSP does a regular (maybe annually?) assessment of law enforcement vehicles, and their report is a resource that many agencies use for determining which vehicles they want to add to their fleets. I suspect their connection with Detroit, at least initially, had something to do with that.

A couple of years back I read that year's report; at that time they tested several HD models, a Victory (RIP), BMW's R1200RT-P, and the Kawasaki Concours. IIRC, the top-rated bike was the BMW. I thought the Victory was an interesting inclusion, as I don't think I've ever seen a Victory on the road as a police bike.

In my LEO career, I had the chance to get certified to ride a departmental MC. I didn't do it for 2 reasons:
1. The bike was a 900-lb. HD. At the time, my only experience riding was on my NH 550, and that Harley felt like way too much bike for me.
2. I would have had to purchase all my own police MC gear, which probably would have run me $2k, all-in. I just didn't have that kind of scratch laying around at the time (not like I do now).

I'll soon be moving to a new department that has a dedicated moto unit. They also ride HDs (find me a police department in WI that doesn't) but, once I'm eligible, I may consider giving it a try. If chosen, they'd send me to the official HD police riding academy and pay for all of my gear.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Music video uses some cool retro bikes
« on: January 30, 2018, 07:42:48 AM »
I just stumbled across this video for Castro's 'Automatic', which features some cool vintage bikes:

And the song's not too bad, either.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: Garage Humidity Concerns
« on: January 14, 2018, 07:35:26 AM »
This was a topic of a Cleveland Moto podcast I recently listened to. They gave a couple of inexpensive tips:

1. Buy an inexpensive box fan and put it on a timer so that it runs for a a while every day. Condensation typically happens closer to the ground (as evidenced by the 'sweating' of my garage's concrete floor at times in the winter). Circulating the higher, drier air will help reduce condensation near the ground.

2.  When putting the bike away for winter, spray the entire bike down in a water-repellent solution like WD-40. A related tip was to purchase WD-40 in a bulk jug, then put it into a spray bottle for use -- much more economical. The WD-40 will keep the water from reaching the corrodable surfaces, but can be washed off in the spring with soapy water.

Your Ride Reports / Re: Favorite 2017 Memories
« on: January 11, 2018, 12:21:46 PM »
While I didn't log that kind of 'pants mileage, I still felt good about doing around 6k this year.

I kicked off the season with a belated 50th B-Day present to myself, moving on from my '98 Kawasaki Concours (that replaced my NH) to a '12 Suzuki V-Strom 650.

In June, we had a small gathering of other NHF-ers for our (sorta) annual Wisconsin-Illinois Ride.

A couple of weeks later, I was out on my own, looking to earn my 'Rustic Roads Wisconsin' patch.

In July, I finally got in a trip up to Copper Harbor, MI, on the Lake Superior shore, after 2 prior failed attempts.

August brought my last overnight MC trip. A buddy and I met up for some riding through the Alphabet Roads of southwest Wisconsin, then I peeled off and ran along the Mississippi until I found a good place to lay my head. That turned out to be the city of LaCrosse, where they happened to be celebrating their annual Irish Fest (at the Oktoberfest Grounds).

My last group ride of the season was in October, at the twice-annual (spring & fall) Slimey Crud Run. aycaramba and poligrafovich joined me for a ride through my neighborhood.

While my riding season officially ended in early December (I got a couple of commutes in during the first week), I was able to finish the year well -- I used some accumulated birthday & Xmas gift cards to stock up on some supplies for winter projects:  new front tire, universal oil filter tool, bead seat, angle grinder, and Alpinestar motorcycling socks (not pictured...and yes, there is such a thing).

I can't wait for my new riding season to begin!

I listen to the Adventure Rider Radio podcast; I'm not sure if that's the same one you're referring to. If so, I agree that it's maybe not the most exciting show. But I feel the host, Jim, is a good interviewer and I enjoy hearing stories from the world travelers he talks with.

Some others I listen to regularly:

WheelNerds - My favorite. It's a humorous, yet still informative, show. Chuck and Todd, the hosts, have good chemistry and they've given me a few laugh-out-loud moments over the years. It's a bit raw, so those with sensitive ears may not care for some of humor. Production value is also above-average, based on my experience listening to lots of podcasts.

Cleveland Moto - A recent addition, and I'm working my way through back episodes at this time. I'm a bit iffy on this one. On one hand, they talk a lot about vintage bikes, Phil's a halfway-decent master-of-ceremonies, and they are (generally) proponents of ATGATT, which I enjoy. But there's usually 4-5 participants and it's hard to listen when multiple people are talking at once. And the other off-putting item is that they regularly and frequently talk about drinking and riding/driving, even laughing about how drunk they were on recent trips. I guess it could be argued they're doing this for 'entertainment value'. But it all just rings a little too true to me, and I'm very much opposed to that sort of thing.

Cafe Racer - Don't be fooled by the name -- they typically talk about all varieties of bikes. I'd say this one is as close to The Pace as I've heard, though it falls a little shy of that standard, to me. The addition of Steve as a co-host definitely brought the quality up. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the near future, as the other host (Chris, or 'Crash') is active-duty Air Force and will be away from the podcast during an upcoming deployment in 2018.

General Motorcycle Discussion / 'The Pace' to return in 2018...supposedly
« on: December 30, 2017, 05:37:01 AM »
I'm an avid podcast listener, and subscribe to several motorcycle-themed 'casts. I was disappointed when one of my favorites, The Pace, essentially went dark without much explanation over a year ago.

I liked The Pace because of it's relatively no-nonsense approach to the format; I've heard it referred to as "the NPR of motorcycle podcasts". The general tomfoolery of WheelNerds or Cleveland Moto can be fun, but sometimes you just want to hear stuff straight-up.

On the last episode of WheelNerds, they had James from The Pace on as a guest and he stated that the show went into hiatus primarily because his co-host, Chris, took a new job that was causing him to work crazy hours, leaving no time to record -- much less edit -- a regular show. According to James, they have a plan to bring it back in 2018, using a slightly modified format that will fit better into his co-host's busy schedule.

I have my fingers crossed...

De-tuned Ninga 1000 motor that is bullet proof.

Hmmm...where have I heard that before?  hmmmm2

Oh yeah -- on the Concours. Only one of the most successful marques in Kawasaki's history. I like the Versys 1000LT suggestion.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: You'e got $5k...what do you buy?
« on: December 02, 2017, 09:56:31 AM »
Two Nighthawk 750's, one in great shape and one for parts.  ridn2

What are you going to do with the other $2,000?

General Motorcycle Discussion / You'e got $5k...what do you buy?
« on: December 01, 2017, 02:23:10 PM »
I heard this topic on an old episode of a MC podcast, and thought it could be a fun forum topic.

If you were gifted $5,000 and had it spend it something motorcycle-related, what would it be?

The rule is that you don't magically get anything else -- no more space in your garage, no more time to ride, etc.

For me, I think I'd actually put the money into building a heated shop in my garage so that I could more comfortable work on my bike during our mandatory maintenance season.

I don't necessarily think I'd put the money into another bike because A) the V-Strom does pretty much everything I want a bike for (distance touring, mild off-road, commuting), and B) I don't use (nor, honestly, maintain) my current bike as much as I want to, so having another bike in the garage isn't necessarily an advantage.

I've been mildly interested in the FJ-09 since it hit the market. When I first sat on one I thought it was too high, but I have to admit that I've become much more comfortable with a taller bike since I've been riding the V-Strom. I now consider myself a master of the 'cheek-sneak' to get one foot down.

That being said, the FJ-09 and its 2018 descendant are both way out of my price range for now.

Now, as to Royal Enfield, I was excited when I heard they were opening their US office a little more than an hour away from me. Since I've been job search for the last year, I had a dream plan of going to work for a MC company. Not wholly unrealistic in my neck of the woods, as HD and, until recently, EBR & Victory, were all within what I'd consider 'remote employee' distance. But I have heard nothing but lousy reviews on their last US offering, the Continental GT. I know of around 4 people that purchased them because they were so affordable and appealed to the retro crowd. Every person sold theirs off, citing poor build quality in most cases.

I'd sure like to see RE make a go of it here in the US, but I think they have a long way to go to be a real player in our market.

Your Ride Reports / Re: Better Late Than Never
« on: November 29, 2017, 09:25:56 PM »
I'm sorry I just saw rode practically through my back yard. HOTR is only 15 miles from my place.

If you're up this way again, let me know and maybe we can ride together for a bit once again.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: Bumblebee?
« on: October 07, 2017, 06:21:46 PM »
Great to hear from you again, Bee.

Ever since moving on to a V-Strom, I've been listening to the Adventure Rider Radio podcast, and your attitude is reflected in a lot of the long-term 'travelers' out there...and who knew there were so many?

How do you intend to go -- 4 wheels, 2 wheels or by foot?

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: Father's Day Rides?
« on: October 07, 2017, 07:53:44 AM »
I came back from a business trip this week to find something in the mail for me from our state Department of Transportation.


Even though it's promoted as a 'patch' program, they actually sent me 2 stickers. Which, for me, is fine -- I don't have anything to attach patches to anyway. But I could see some people being upset if they actually wanted true patches.

This will be the first sticker to go on the V-Strom. Hopefully there'll be more to come.

Your Ride Reports / Sliimey Crud Run - Fall 2017
« on: October 03, 2017, 06:00:52 PM »
It was a beautiful day for the fall rendition of the twice-a-year Slimey Crud Run, and aycaramba and Poligrafovich joined me for the day.

Here are a few shots from our outing.

aycaramba came in the day before and stowed the NH before the beers started flowing.

Poligrafovich (left) and aycaramba (right).

The crowd at the start of things in Pine Bluff.

Poligrafovich gassing up the VFR.

Taking a break and a stroll in Leland.

The Wee chillin' for a bit.

A final shot before we all went our separate ways.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: New Bike Hauler
« on: September 23, 2017, 09:09:10 PM »
It tows 3,500 lbs and has enough room for me to sleep in the back.  That s all I really need.  I'm used to trailering, so I chose the ability to sleep in the back over having a truck bed.

You know, that's a valid point. Over my many years of SUV ownership, I often did that as a more convenient option than pitching a tent.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Tryin' to help a bruthuh out
« on: September 17, 2017, 09:59:29 AM »
Driving into work today, I came across a motorcyclist stranded on the roadside. I've had people help me when I've been the stranded one so, with some available time before I had to be at work, I decided to pay it forward and extend a helping hand.

The rider explained his front tire went flat and he was looking for a ride to a nearby gas station, where he'd already confirmed they had some Fix-A-Flat in stock.

I gave him a lift, waited for him to buy the FAF, and then drove him back to the bike. Unfortunately, after emptying the contents of the can into the tire, it was still quite flat.

I offered to give him a lift somewhere else so he could arrange to get the bike picked up, or help him move it to a nearby parking lot if he wanted to stay with it (though I didn't think he had to be too worried about someone stealing his '83 Yamaha LTD).

But he told me he decided that he could "baby it" and ride it back to the gas station, where he would try airing it up enough to get home.

Ummm...okaaaay...  whaaaat3

I advised him that I wouldn't recommend trying to ride the bike with a flat front tire, even on the shoulder at slow speed. At best, he was likely to destroy the tire. But he was resolute and, with a shrug of my shoulders, I left him to fend for himself.

Some people I just don't get.

Your Honda Nighthawk / Re: tool storage box?
« on: September 06, 2017, 10:43:16 PM »
My '83 550 was missing the cover when I got it. Once I learned it was supposed to have one, I went to ebay and found one for, I think, $30.

It was only after I received and replaced it that I learned the things were considered darn near unobtainable. Guess I just got lucky.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: New Bike Hauler
« on: September 06, 2017, 10:32:32 PM »
Which reminds me...I have some brush that I need to dispose of

Not until I get the spray on liner pants recommended. Running boards are also on the hot list...thought it's fun watching 5'2" SOQS crawl up into the cab.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: New Bike Hauler
« on: September 05, 2017, 07:40:29 PM »
I'll always have a truck because it doesn't make sense to have two vehicles with the same purpose.  Especially with a crew cab truck.  For the most part, I've loved my Sierra.  No vehicle is without its flaws, but mine has done pretty well.

This was always one of my arguments for having an SUV -- our other vehicle was usually a little econo-box...not the sort of car that was nice for a dress-up night on the town or longish drives. But now that my wife has her Buick, we have a vehicle with creature comforts, a bit of style and decent mileage (her Verano averages around 34 mpg). With that in the stable, there wasn't as much of a need to have an SUV too. And, like you said, getting a 4-door model -- mine is the 'double cab', rather than the slightly roomier 'crew cab') means I can transport 4 people in relative comfort; 6, if we're really good friends.

Here's a question I have related to truck ownership:  Another reason I used to convince myself I didn't need a truck was that I own a 4x8 trailer. If I need to haul anything, I have the means. With my Silverado's full-size bed, I believe I can fit my V-Strom in with room to spare. While I've always been one to ride to my MC destinations, NOT having to tow a trailer, and simply stowing the bike in the truck bed is a distinct possibility. Though I know there  can be issues with loading/unload a bike from a truck bed.

Complicating matters is the fact that one can rent a dedicated MC trailer from U-Haul for $15/day. I did that when I drove down to pick up my Strom and I have to say it worked like a dream, and I would always choose that option over using my own trailer (which is old, doesn't have a ramp on the back nor a front wheel chock).

So, for transporting the bike:  Truck or Trailer?

General Motorcycle Discussion / New Bike Hauler
« on: September 04, 2017, 08:48:45 PM »
My cage for the last 4 years has been a 2007 Nissan Xterra, an SUV I chose because it had enough towing capacity (5000 lbs) for our boat.

I bought the Nissan used and, right from the get-go, it started to have fairly significant mechanical issues. After replacing the clutch twice, brake issues, valve issues and more, I was about done with it. Then the 'Service Engine Soon' light came on and my mechanic advised that it needed a new catalytic converter. At about $1000, that was the straw that broke the camel's back. I started looking for a replacement for the Xterrible.

Long story short, my wife found a sweet deal on a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado LT at the dealer where we bought her Buick. I reached out and, within a few days, we came to a deal:

I've talked for years about getting a truck, but the practical side of my brain always took over and I ended up with SUVs. But now I'm officially a truck-boy, so we'll see how it goes. I'm digging it so far.

Your Ride Reports / Re: Mississippi River Run
« on: August 21, 2017, 09:05:52 PM »
That's a great road Baja.  Have you been to Wildcat Mountain State Park?  If not, next time you are out in that area take a detour to the area, it's unique albeit short ride.

Sure have, even camped there once. Lots of nice roads in that area too.

Your Ride Reports / Mississippi River Run
« on: August 13, 2017, 10:55:16 PM »
A friend and I planned to take a weekend trip over to the Mississippi River and ride the Great River Road as far north as we could get in a day, then come back down the other side on Day 2.

The best laid plans of mice and men...

The day before departure, my friend let me know that he wasn't going to be able to do the overnighter and had to stay within about an hour of home (he just listed his house on the market and had to be able to head home if an offer came in). So we modified our plan:  We met for breakfast, road a bunch of the Alphabet Roads in southwest WI for the rest of the morning, then had some lunch before he split for home and I headed over to the River.

Unfortunately, I don't have time to write up a full ride report. So here are a few photos I took on my outing.

Lunch stop at the Red Rooster Cafe in Mineral Point, WI

Lunch was a 'pasty' - basically a Cornish pot pie.

One of numerous river towns.

Shoreline, scenery, curvy road, blue skies -- not much more to ask for on a ride.

Lots landslide evidence from recent heavy rains.

About the last hotel in La Crosse, WI, with an available room.

La Crosse's Oktoberfest grounds taken over for the weekend by Irishfest.

When in Rome...

Enjoying a great performance by Skerryvore; I guess I'd call them Celtic country-rock.

Finished up Saturday in a classic Wisconsin tavern watching the Brewers win a good one.

A foggy, misty start on Sunday.

The road to and from the Cut is the closest we have to switchbacks in these parts.

Used the 'curvy' route option on my Scenic nav app for the way home and came across this ski jump in the middle of nowhere.

I made it back home by 12:00; enough time to get some projects done around the house.

One thing of note about this ride -- the incredible number of bikes out on the roads. I don't know if it was the weather, the area, or what, but I literally got tired of doing 'the wave'. I don't think I'd be exaggerating to say I probably came across around 500 other riders.

Stablemates / Re: After 11 years, I got a new bike.
« on: August 13, 2017, 10:07:34 PM »
My new ride (as of March) and I applaud your choice:

Over 5,000 miles in already, and no issues at all.

The hardest thing I've had to get used to is the snatchier throttle response at low RPMs (below 3k). But once I got a little better at feathering the clutch, that became less of an issue.

One of the motorcycle-themed podcasts I listen to is the Cafe Racer Podcast. The latest episode features an interview with a custom builder that used a '91 NH as the base. Beware, purists, as not much of the original bike remains. But it's not a bad looking result, in my opinion.

General Motorcycle Discussion / Re: Scariest ride ever
« on: August 03, 2017, 05:32:38 PM »
And my alpinestars Apex drystar gloves are also pretty close.  However, once you take them off when it's wet, it's very hard to put them back on as the insulation grabs your dampened fingers.

I had a pair of the Drystar gloves that a fellow forum member sold me on the cheap many years ago. I agree -- good rain protection. Sadly, my pair was a casualty when I crashed the Concours a few years back.

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