All posts by Bill Whitman

Another trip around the sun.

I rode my Honda VTX 1800 for the last time today for this season. Put the fuel stabilizer in the tank and a fill-up with petrol.  You’re probably thinking to yourself “what the hell is petrol?” It’s what the chaps across the pond call fuel. I’m trying to expand my readership in the UK. Back on track! Off I went for a nice three-hour ride to work the fuel stabilizer through the system. Yep, she’s done for the season. That’s right “She.” She doesn’t have a name yet. I’m still thinking about that. Goodbye my fake Harley until next summer. I sometimes refer to Honda VTX 1800 as my fake Harley. The final wash, the removal of the battery, roll her in the corner and putting on the cover is all that’s left to do.

The snow, ice and cold weather are approaching fast and will soon over take the landscape here in the state of ILL (Illinois). No place for a motorcycle or for me for that matter. The snow is painful and a telling reminder that another year has gone by for me and the motorcycle. Another trip around the sun almost completed for both of us. Another segment of my timeline in this universe is gone. Everything has beginning and end time line in case you don’t understand what I’m talking about. If you still don’t get the idea, email me and I will send you picture.

I put about 4,000 miles on the digital odometer this season. Digital odometer! Man things have changed since my first motorcycle. This gives me a total of around 12,000 miles so far on that fancy digital odometer. Not a lot of miles for a six-year old motorcycle, but the miles were spent doing something that I like to do. Like is probably the wrong word. It just doesn’t define how I feel about ride a motorcycle. I’m worried a little bit that the word addiction might be a better choice. High on motorcycles. Is that possible?

This year was different from the last five years. I worked two full-time jobs during that time and I was numb or at some level of zombie most of the time. Okay, quick break from the main idea here. I used the word “zombie” to catch the younger crowd. They seem to be spending a lot time watching zombie programs. I don’t get this zombie craze, but I’m trying to create a connection with people in all age groups. Sorry for the delay, back on track, again. I finally retired from one of them. That was the plan! I just have a regular job where I go in and come home without any worries of what goes on when I leave. Working two jobs has interfered with my ability to absorb and interact with the life experiences around me. Did I mention the zombie bit?

Riding the VTX 1800 and the other motorcycles that I own was almost like a brand new experience for me this summer. Almost like I just picked them up from the dealer and was on the very first ride home. A sort of a rebirth for me.  I’ve got to stop here for a second, hang on, trying to picture in my mind this whole rebirth thing. Hmm, not a pretty picture. Okay, let’ try this. A revitalization of my passion for riding motorcycles.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my blog. One of two things is going to happen now. You’ll unfollow me as fast as you can or maybe you’ll start your very own blog. A word of caution if you unfollow me I will find you! Oh, I’m off my meds and the voices in my head are getting louder.  Just want to make that clear before you doing anything rash. Please check out my YouTube channel coolcycledude Also you can follow me on twitter @coolcycledude

Why are all the Aliens such pussies?

Just saw the Cowboys and Aliens movie. It should have been called the Cowboys, Aliens, Indians and a Dog movie. I’m not a big Cowboy movie fan. Went with the wife, going along with the program. Of course I saw all of the Clint Eastwood cowboy movies. I think just about everyone on the planet has seen those movies. I know this isn’t the most important question in the universe, but why not “Cowman?” You have “Snowman, Postman, Batman and so on.” Why do we still use the term “Cowboys”?

I think from now on I’m going to the show liquored or on acid. Things will make a lot more sense. Aliens have the technology to travel vast distances in space, but the Earth always has something they need. Is the Earth the 7-Eleven of the universe? Man I hope you live near a 7-Eleven or you won’t know what in the hell I’m talking about. Trying to make this a regional piece, trying to focus in on my market. Sorry.

The Aliens are here for the gold. Gold! Not to enslave the human race, not to steal our women or water this time. No, just the gold. No gold where they live? Is there a shortage of wedding rings on their planet? Maybe they need something to back up their money, too. It could be that the universe is in a recession and their worried about defaulting on their loans to other Aliens.

It’s good to see Harrison Ford still has an acting job. I wonder if he will draw any Star Wars fans? If you think about it Star Wars, was kind of a space western. I could see Star Wars fans seeing this movie. So this movie should get the people who like Cowboys, Star Wars and Lassie.

How come Aliens don’t wear clothes? Don’t Aliens have any fashion sense? Not even one Harley-Davidson tee shirt among them. Doesn’t it seem odd that an advanced race of Aliens can build spaceships, but can’t make any clothing? Really think about it. How does that happen?

Or, maybe, just before they land they smoke some alien wacky weed. If we’re doing it here on Earth, you know they’re doing it on the other side of the universe. Don’t kid yourself. So one of the stoned aliens says, “Hey dude, when we land, dude, let’s take off all of our clothing and run around naked.” Another stoned alien replies “Cool, dude, that should scare the shit out of them.”

Okay, let’s talk about the plot of the movie.  Some Aliens come to earth and BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH and then they get their asses whooped. Why are the all of the Aliens such pussies? They always have the best weapons, biggest spaceships, but still they manage to get their butts kicked. Do they have a bunch of MBA’s running the show?

Chuck Norris should set up school for Aliens. Or better yet the Aliens could steal some of Chuck’s DNA and combine it with their DNA. That would have made a better movie. The Aliens come to earth and try to take some DNA from Chuck. Whoop, there it is more Aliens getting their asses kicked.

Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you weren’t in the process of solving the world’s problem and started reading this. Again thank you very much for reading my blog post. Please check out my You Tube channel coolcycledude and follow me on twitter @coolcycledude. Enjoy your life and be safe.

That Vmax is going to get me into trouble one day

I was riding north on a certain road in the state of ILL on my Vmax when some meatball on Harley Davidson blows by me in my lane. We meet up at the next light, he looks over at me and with cigar hanging out of his mouth and says “Japanese piece of shit.”  I thought to myself “Okay MOFO, game on, bitch.”

I turned my head toward him to get a better look at my new best buddy. I could see without doubt he was a product of damaged DNA. Probably a neutrino escaping from the sun collided with the DNA sequence used to make brain cells. Leaving him a few billon short. Looked in my mirrors to see his two chimp friends behind us on their HD’s. This is going to be fun I thought.

He had just about every HD promotional product on his body. He had the boots, shirt, vest, gloves and his scarf helmet. Included in his ensemble was a couple HD tattoos on his arm. I don’t know about you but if I wore all that stuff I would want to be paid for it. I know people buy this stuff to feel a sense of belonging. To me buying all this crap just helps the Chinese economy.

The light changes to green and I crack the throttle wide open. Two things are now in my sight, the tachometer needle flying across tachometer and the stupid look disappearing from his face in my mirror. After that it was just shift light flashes and gear changes. I slowed down so we could meet at the next light.

When he got to light, I looked over at him and told him “nice motorcycle.”  No response for him, kind of hurt my feelings. I tried to communicate with him again “nice paint job” I told him. He didn’t even look at me. His cigar was now missing from his mouth.He just didn’t look the same without it either. I hope he didn’t swallow it. Gave him one more glance to see if the communication path was open. No, not much to say. He was watching the traffic light like his life depended on it.

The light turned green, off he went laying rubber on the pavement. I started counting, one thousand, two thousand and three thousand. I think his HD buddies were confused with my delay. I turned the throttle and held on.  I think my Vmax realized it was behind and got angry. Like some thoroughbred race horses do when they are behind. I didn’t look at the tachometer this time just the shift light. I passed him like he was standing still.

The rush of all of that speed made me forgo the thought of damage to myself or anyone else. I’m pretty sure I would have continued to increase my velocity if it wasn’t for the speedometer. 137 mph, “oh shit, OH SHIT.” 137 mph in 45 mph speed zone! My non-damaged, but slow, brain quickly did the math. 137 divided 45 equals good-bye drivers license for a long long time. Which means the wife would be driving me around for the next 10 years. I know she would be looking forward to that.

Thank you very much for reading my blog post. Please checkout my You Tube channel coolcycledude and follow me on twitter @coolcycledude. Enjoy your life and be safe.

Running with the pack

Got a chance to take a nice long ride on my Honda VTX 1800 last weekend.  Spent about 7.5 hours traveling across the state of Illinois. Or the state of ILL as I like to call it. Stopped a few times to fill up the fuel tank and leave some fluids.  Didn’t stop to eat anything, kept riding. I rode with some members from the Jersey Pine Cruisers.  They’re located in Des Plaines Illinois. A lot of Goldwing riders, but anyone with a motorcycle is allowed to join in on the rides. Certainly they are a cast of characters, no doubt about that.

My VTX is about 6 years old now, almost one dog year.  Honda stopped making the 1800cc version of the VTX in  2008. Although, they’re still making the 1300 cc version of the VTX. This motorcycle was Honda’s first salvo at trying to increase their market share in the cruiser market. This is a very completive sector of the overall motorcycles market. In reality this was a pretty lofty goal to try to gain market share in this sector.

Honda was aiming to take away from Harley Davidson. Like I said, a pretty lofty goal to say the least. Harley Davidson really has lock on this market. They should. They have created a culture that has crossed race, gender, age and just about every other barrier known to the human race.  Maybe, Harley Davidson should be given a grant from the Federal Government to solve world peace. Just an idea, couldn’t hurt.

Back on track, my ride on my VTX 1800. This motorcycle seems to fit me like glove. Not like the OJ glove either. It’s like the motorcycle and I are like Lego blocks. I just snap in and go. Lego blocks are those things you played with as a kid and step on as an adult. Looking down at your foot right now and thinking “Shit, I haven’t stepped on one of those damn things in a long time.”

There was a time when my VTX 1800 was more of a torture device then a motorcycle. Couldn’t ride it to long before I had a lot pain, everywhere. I rode it for about 2 years before I decided to change the seat. I just had to get rid of the stock seat. Replaced it with a Mustang seat.  The funny part about this is how quickly the new seat changed my riding experience. They first thing that went through my mind was, “Why in the hell did wait so long to do this?” Old dog, new tricks would be the correct answer.

It was perfect day to ride a motorcycle. Not hot or windy, just a beautiful day. One day that I will remember for a very long time. Pushing my motorcycle through the turns. Cracking the throttle full open to hear the engine roar. Watching the gas tank shake as the RPMs increase. Seeing the digital speedometer display 90 MPH and thinking to myself “Man, this is just too fun!”

Only downside was I couldn’t stop to take any pictures or videos. Had the digital camera and the Flip video camera with me. These guys don’t like to stop for anything but fuel. Saw a lot of things that I would have liked to take pictures or video of. Oh well, one day I will make the trip by myself. But still I’ve got the mental pictures and videos in my brain. Plenty of space in there. Just worried about the refresh rate.

Thank you very much for reading my blog post. Please checkout my You Tube channel coolcycledude and follow me on twitter @coolcycledude. Enjoy your life and be safe.

The New Transformers Movie

A lot of stuff gets blown-up-real-good. It looks like most of downtown Chicago got destroyed. I’m not completely sure, but the building I work in may have fallen victim to the giant robots. Good thing I wasn’t in it during the attack. This movie theater was jammed with people. I guess people really like to watching giant robots destroying things. Don’t get it, but going along with the program. I know my wife @heidithorne sure does. I should probably analyze my wife’s thirst for giant robots destroying things one day. Why can’t robots come to earth and cure cancer or create world peace. Why not giant Gandhi robots? Probably not too many people would want to see 2.5 hours of  giant Gandhi robots. Of course you never know. There could be a giant evil Gandhi robot if that’s possible.

This may sound odd, but do these giant robots need to go to the bathroom. I know I sure did after sitting there for 2.5 hours. I was about ready to pee in my pants. Which is not uncommon for me. So if I have to go, they must too. Maybe giant robot bladders can hold a lot more then ours. I can see the comments already, “Of course they can, they have bigger bladders, they’re giant robots. You sure are dumb coolcycledude, don’t you know anything about giant robot physiology. “Well I mean, they might have bigger bladders even for giant robots. Think how funny this would be. Picture this in your mind.  The giant robot just finishes destroying a building. Building parts scattered all over the place. Just like a giant robot would do. The giant robot walks over to another building, turns his robot head right then left to make sure no one looking and then takes leek on the other building. I know what you’re thinking, coolcycledude, you should be writing movie scripts for a living. I couldn’t agree more with you.

The big question I have about the giants robots is why do they need humans as slaves? To rebuild the their planet that they blew up. Oh, okay, wow, it all make sense to me now. I don’t want money back now, go ahead and keep it. Couldn’t they just build robot slaves? Imagine the logistics of managing 3 billion human slaves. Think of all of the code violations that would occur when they start rebuilding. Who’s going to feed all of these people? Will they have health care? Hopefully the giant robots don’t use Blue Cross Blue Shield as their insurance provider. How do you move all these people around ? After a few days of managing 3 billion human beings.They would get their giant robot asses in their robot spaceships and get as far away from earth as they can. Might even erase earth from their space maps.

Another question I have, is where did the robots learn to speak English. Did they use a Rosetta-Stone language course. Is English a required language in their education system? Or, maybe as they were all driving to earth they were swapping the Rosetta-Stone CDs or DVDs in and out of their robot computers.What would happen if they would have made mistake and landed in Japan. Maybe they have the whole series of Rosetta-Stone language courses on the robot spaceships. One other quick question. Do you think Rosetta-Stone will send me a free language course after mentioning then 4 times in this blog? Oh, if you know someone who works for Rosetta-Stone, please tell them about this blog. Sorry, but I like free stuff.

Wasn’t there motorcycles that turned into robots in the last Transformer movie? That would have been so cool to see a robot-motorcycle or a motorcycle-robot. Talk about product placement. It would have surely helped the motorcycle industry. That was one of the reasons I went to see the movie. Maybe, I have my giant robot movies mixed up. You know, the giant robots in these movies are all starting to look alike to me. I know that sounds racists, I just call them as I see them.

Thank you for reading my blog. You know, you could have used your time to wait in line to buy tickets to see a giant robot movie. Please check out my You Tube channel, coolcycledude. Ride your motorcycle and enjoy your life.

Turn the Throttle and Take Your Chances

Riding a motorcycle is a risky endeavor, that’s a fact, no getting around it. If you ride motorcycle, you’re a risk taker, period, that’s who you are. You’re gambling with your well-being when you choose to to ride a motorcycle. You would be much safer driving around in a car than riding a motorcycle. If you don’t understand that you’re taking risk when you ride your motorcycle you should sell your motorcycle.

But those of us who ride motorcycles are willing to take the risk. We’re willing to trade a risk for an experience. The actual experience could be different from person to person, or the same, I don’t know. I just know what I get from riding a motorcycle. This experience is powerful enough to make me take the same risks over and over again.

Motorcycle manufactures have spent millions of dollars trying to nail down the experience of riding a motorcycle to market their products. Trying to focus on your hot buttons to get you to take risks and purchase their products. One manufacturer has been very succesful creating a culture to get you to buy their products, all of their products. But, their vehicles are just as risky as the others.

So with that said, take the time to manage your risks when riding your motorcycle. Don’t leave anything that you can control to chance. Do everything, and I mean everything, you can to put the odds in your favor. Insurance companies are always managing their risks to make sure they’re positioned correctly in the event there’s problem. Why shouldn’t you be doing the same?

How do you reduce your risk when you ride a motorcycle? Safety equipment, going through a motorcycle riding course, maintaining your motorcycle and thinking ahead comes to mind. One of the unseen expenses of owning a motorcycle is all of the safety equipment. From now on in motorcycle ads they should have the motorcycle and pile of safety equipment right next to it. Maybe spread the safety equipment all over the floor like the motorcycle had its own bedroom.

Take a motorcycle riding course. Sometimes they’re free! State grant monies are sometimes used to promote motorcycle rider safety. In some cases if you complete the course, insurance companies will give you a discount on your premium. Read a couple of books on riding and maintaining your motorcycle, it couldn’t hurt. Watch videos on YouTube, they’re free.

Maintaining your motorcycle is very important to your safety. Change the tries when they’re showing signs of wear. Don’t be the first person to try to put a 100,000 miles on a set. Make sure there’s brake fluid in reservoir. Imagine your surprise when pull the brake lever and nothing happens. Surprise, surprise, surprise! Check the brake lights to make sure they work when you operate the brakes.

Thinking ahead is your best tool to put the odds in your favor. It’s like having five aces, I meant four aces. When riding your motorcycle, continually scan your riding landscape. Run the different scenarios in your mind that could happen in front, along side or behind you. Never assume some sees you, even if you think they’re looking right at you. Stay out of the blind spots of an automobile drivers. You need to understand the mindset of someone doesn’t drive a motorcycle. They’re looking for other cars when they’re driving, not motorcycles. So even though they see you, your not registering to them as a car and their not looking for motorcycles. Again, you need to think ahead.

The most important factor for your well-being when riding a motorcycle is to continue to read my blogs. These blogs will enlighten, entertain and educate you. That’s right, shameless promotion. Be thankful it’s at the end.

Electronic Transmissions On Motorcycles… Why?

I don’t know if I want to live in this country anymore. I wonder if Canada would take me? Hopefully, the Canadians aren’t still be pissed off aboot the South Park movie. Although, I don’t officially approve of movies that criticize other countries, I did see the movie twice at the show and own a DVD copy. If I were to destroy a copy of the movie at the border, they might let me in.

We are a bunch of lazy Americans. I don’t really know if lazy is the right word that defines us. Calling us lazy is like saying that the universe is big. We now have three motorcycles in this country with electronic transmissions. That’s right an “ Electronic Transmission. ” I guess an automatic transmission isn’t good enough, it needs to be an electronic transmission. This has to be a sign that the end of the world will happen in 2012. This was mentioned on the back of Mayan calendar, in the lower corner.

That’s right your friends at Honda, not mine, have created another motorcycle with an electronic transmission in their line up. The VFR1200F is brand new and the DN-01 is an older model. Yamaha started the ball rolling about three years ago with the FJR1300AE. Could someone please explain to me why we need motorcycles with electronic transmissions? Why? Why? The only reason I can think of is we’re really really lazy.

What are we going to do with our right foot? No clutch lever to pull in either, instead you have paddles. Paddles! Really, paddles with plus and minus on symbols them. Just like the paddles in some cars. Operating the clutch and going through the gears is the essence of the experience of riding motorcycles which creates that all important inner peace. I think the lyrics from the song “In the Year 2525” were more about motorcycle design then anything else. If you’re under 35, you’ll need to go to Wikipedia for an explanation of the last sentence.

I knew we were in trouble when the manufacturers removed the kick-starters from motorcycles. After that, I knew, without doubt, dark days were head of us. That’s right, “us” the motorcycling community. Oh, I so see power steering coming next, you can bet your last dollar on that one. Here’s list of other future standard equipment coming to motorcycles: power kickstand, power mirrors, power foot pegs, power handlebars and a power seat. Who knows, maybe voice command motorcycles will appear down the road. Oh, I can hear it now. “Turn left, gear change, speed up.”

The first time I saw Honda’s VFR1200F was at the Oshkosh air show a few weeks ago. That’s right, the air show! I think Honda would promote their products at the supermarkets if the could them through the doors. I’m surprised they don’t have pictures of their vehicles on the inside of McDonald’s Happy Meal boxes. Oh, here’s an even better idea, Google Ad-pictures.

Looking at the motorcycle I noticed the clutch lever was missing. Shoddy workmanship? Doubtful. That instant, I felt as though I fell through a rip in space-time fabric and landed in some bizarro world. In this world, electrons have a positive charge and motorcycles have electronic transmissions. Then I realized I couldn’t be in bizarro world because my friend Len was standing near me. Len and bizarro world wouldn’t mix. A really really really big explosion would happen.

If you would like to shift your motorcycles with paddles that have pluses and minuses on them, then go back to your TV and continue to watch CSI Mars. Otherwise, we need to fight this trend with every breath we have. This an epic battle that we, the motorcycling community, will need to fight. We need to fight the man-ufacturers.

Wear a helmet.

I never got a chance to ride a Buell

I’m a big fan of V-twin motorcycle engines. Owned a version of just about every configuration of motorcycle engine one time or another. The only exception is a BMW with the opposed two cylinders. My legs are too short to ride their motorcycles; always needed a step stool to just to get on one. Not that I’m really that short. It’s just my legs are not that long. I don’t want you to get the idea that I’m some type of mutant. The fact is I won’t make living playing basketball.

Currently three of the four motorcycles that I own are the V-twin engine configurations. The other motorcycle I own has an opposed 6-cylinder engine.

I like motorcycles that have a lot technology in them. I’m not interested in riding motorcycle with a lawnmower engine and gearbox. Been there done that (see my blog about that subject). Although, I’ve always been intrigued by Buell motorcycles. I think the idea of the complete disconnect from the other manufacturer trends appealed to me. Not the new ones with the Rotex engine, but older ones with the air-cooled V-twins.

The Rotex engine was a last ditch effort to inject technology into the Buell motorcycle company. Trying to make it something is wasn’t. Competing with the other manufacturers in very competitive market segment was truly insane. I wonder what they were smoking at the Buell motorcycle company to get that idea. I think it was the same stuff guys at Honda were smoking when they created the DN-01.

There was never much cutting edge technology used to make these motorcycles more competitive in the market place. Compaired to what the other manufacturers were doing. But the creativity that went into these motorcycles is what made them stand out to me.

An air-cooled engine will not make the same HP as a water cooled one. So what did Buell do? He used the swing arm as an oil cooler. Trying to remove as much heat as possible from the air-cooled engine. Also, he had a small fan to blow air on the rear cylinder to help keep it cool. Putting the fuel in the frame allowed him to put the exhaust under the engine. This lowered the center mass point helping the motorcycle to corner better. He worked with what he had and tried to make things workout the best he could.

I see the Buell motorcycle as piece of artwork. A painting that has been intertwined in the American landscape by Eric Buell. A motorcycle “Mona Lisa” if you will let me make that comparison. Really, you don’t have a choice, I’m writing this. A part of motorcycling history that will be forgotten one day. When you have chance you should look up Eric Buell on the Internet and read about him. Not now, you need to finish this blog first.

I realize that Harley-Davidson is trying to survive in these tough economic times. Sadly, cutting Buell was one of the ways to help streamline their operation. But long term they’ve made a mistake by removing some creativity from their business model.

Wear your helmet, we don’t want you to damage the streets!

1,000 Miles on the Vmax

Well, I have just over 1,000 miles on my Yamaha 2010 Vmax. During the first 600 miles I treated it like a baby staying under 4,000 RPMs on all of my rides. The break-in period for a motorcycle engine is very important for the longevity of that engine. So even though it was tempting to light up the rear tire and see how fast I could leave a stop light, I didn’t. Motorcycles tires are not cheap to replace. Replacing the tires on my Honda VTX 1800 cost me about $550. So watching someone trying to burn up their tires is fascinating to me. I guess they see smoke flying off the tires, I see money.

Been thinking about buy a Yamaha Vmax for about 10 years. But the older generations Vmaxs had several problems that bothered me. First off, no fuel injection, it had carburetors just like on your lawnmower or gas-powered weed whacker. Why is Yamaha manufacturing a performance motorcycle without fuel injection? Brakes, I’m all about ABS brakes. They will save your life in the event you need to brake hard. Some people will tell you that it’s not worth the money to get them. Well, they’re wrong! Checkout motorcycle accident data. It will tell you something different. The frame would flex when you went into a turn giving you that carnival ride experience. You know the experience, the sliding from side to side of a rollercoaster on the track. Didn’t want any of that noise, that’s for sure. This motorcycle was completely redesigned, no parts from the older version, not a one. This was a big commitment from a manufacturer to completely redesign a motorcycle. A lot of motorcycle manufacturers don’t put this kind of effort into one of their products like Yamaha did. So I was very much looking forward to the outcome.

When I first saw the new Yamaha Vmax at the motorcycle show in Chicago in 2009, I thought to my self , “Damn, that thing is big.” Pretty weird because I’ve been riding Goldwings for last 24 years. Sat on the motorcycle at the show and thought, “Man is this thing going fit in our garage? Might have to punch out the back of the garage to get it to fit.” I was about ready to call my wife and have her measure the garage, to make sure it would fit. Somehow this motorcycle distorted spatial relations for me.

Didn’t buy one during its first year of production want to make sure all of the problems are worked out first. Also, I already have a black motorcycle and hoped they would come out with different color. They did come out with a different color, red. Okay red it is, I guess, no other choices anyhow. The last hurdle was the insurance rate. Well a big surprise here, it was cheaper than the insurance on my Goldwing. Okay time to write the check, 20,400 dollars with extended warranty and out the door. Ouch! The first condo I lived in cost me 34,000 dollars. But you can’t ride a condo or tune a fish.

I can’t think of anything negative to say about the motorcycle. The engine gets hot, but I saw that coming. It has a big engine that’s generating a lot of power, so it’s going to get hot. Handling of the motorcycle surpassed all of my expectations. Cornering this motorcycle is a dream. It sticks to line without floating around so you’re not correcting it during a turn. It stops on a dime and it has some big brakes. The engine is very manageable at low RPMs. It requires premium fuel. Saw that coming too. Goes through fuel like water goes through a screen door on a submarine. Didn’t see that coming.

Okay, there is only one problem and it’s me. That’s right it’s me. My behavior changes when I’m riding my Vmax. Going fast seems to be the overriding theme. Fear of damaging my body fades away with every gear change. I think it was best said by Hunter S. Thompson “Faster, Faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.”

Wear your helmet!

Aggressive Vehicles?

I’m currently reading the Proficient Motorcycling book. After four decades of riding a motorcycle, I thought it was about time to read this book. I might learn something, which would be a good thing. It seems like a pretty good book, color pictures, tables and a CD. What more could you want? On Amazon.com 244 people have written comments about the book, which is pretty good. Considering it’s not on Oprah’s booklist that’s really a lot of feedback.

No sense in starting from the beginning, so I jumped right into a certain section and started reading. Everything was going along just fine until I read the buzzword “Aggressive Vehicles.” Okay, maybe I need to go back and reread that section again. Could it have been that I read it wrong, maybe it said aggressive drivers? Maybe our new dog Bailey distracted me while I was reading the section. He runs around the house like he’s high on speed or something. No, I didn’t misread the section, it said “Aggressive Vehicles.”

Okay, go along with program, new term to learn, “Aggressive Vehicles.” As I read the section, I learned that when a larger vehicle hits a smaller vehicle, the small vehicle takes most of the damage. Good thing I read that because I would never figure that out.

There’s even a table with a list of aggressive vehicles on it. This list came from NHTSA that collected the data. So someone didn’t just make up this list. The most aggressive vehicle according to the table is a Dodge B series van. When I see Dodge B series van I’m going to get the hell out of the way.

The section goes on to talk about when a motorcycle hits an automobile, the motorcycle driver flies over the automobile and hits the ground. When a motorcycle driver hits an aggressive vehicle, he or she will do a body slam into the side of that vehicle. I think all of these things any motorcycle rider can understand.

Riding a motorcycle is a risk-taking event. You can take classes on motorcycle safety, read books and wear safety gear. Every time you get on a motorcycle,  you’re taking a risk. That’s a fact. So when someone gives a vehicle a rating of “Aggressive” that’s stupid talk to me.

I would want to know why motorcycles are involved in accidents with these vehicles at a higher percentage than other vehicles. Maybe they’re design flaws in these vehicles that create blind spots for the driver. Who knows?