Tag Archives: Honda

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

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.

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.