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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Good Friends and Great Friends

An old joke goes, "A good friend will post your bail. A great friend will be sitting next to you saying, 'That was fun!'"

Air bubbles in the upper injection line
When you you call for motorcycle advice, a good friend will patiently go over all the possible causes, effects, and remedies. A great friend will show up on your doorstep with manuals and special tools, and spend a couple of hours working on your bike with you.
Thanks Paul!

Nov 2 - Vote Like A Motorcyclist!


Saturday, October 30, 2010


Generally I think the MythBusters are a bunch of weenies who use bad science and twisted logic to be entertaining. However, I recently saw them rebuke the BMW tablecloth ad.

Granted that they seem to be using a Buell instead of the BMW S1000RR but the run up with all the cable seems to negate that. However, by making everything lighter they do reduce friction but they also reduce the mass and, hence, inertia of the resting objects. That's where there science gets a little lite.

No matter what or where the truth is in all this, the fact is that BMW has reaped an enormous amount of exposure for the RR from the ad and all the call backs. Somebody at the ad agency should be getting a big bonus this Christmas. A 1000cc bonus??

Here's Aprilia's answer

Here's the Vespa spoof.

Here's the original.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dirt Bag Challenge

San Francisco always goes its own way. Brooklyn has the HoleShot/Detonation/Brand-X rally and the City By The Bay has the Dirt Bag Challenge. I don't want to get into a left coast vs right coast thing. Each one has the flavor of it's environment.

One of the things I like about the DBC is the builders challenge. 30 days, $1000, and it has to be ridden 4 miles around Hunter's Point. Oh, and no Harleys! Check out the rules. The pictures of past year's event show the usual collection of choppers and bobbers. There is also quite a collection of vintage bikes and everyday riders. Luckily, I just might be out there for this event. I'll post a full report.

Finally, what's not to like about a girl with a 996 bra?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Way It Should Be

The Washington Backcountry Discovery Route is an example of what can happen when groups share and cooperate instead of dogmatically pursuing narrow agendas. The more people get out into the wilderness and experience all that it offers, the more the Green Taliban will be exposed for what they are.

Visit the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route website and check out the maps and descriptions. Now if they could hook up with the end of the TransAmerica Trail it would be even better! And then link up with the Continental Divide trail ...

Nov 2 - Vote Like A Motorcyclist!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tiddler Pictures

Getting Ready To Go In The Morning

Here is the link to the MMM Tiddler Rally pictures with help from John and Bob. It was a huge success with over two dozen bikes from all over New England. People rode in small groups of 3-5 bikes at their own pace. Lunch was at Harry's Place, an old hamburger and ice cream stand from the '50's. After the ride everyone warmed up by the fireplace with Amy's excellent chili while Beth showed pictures from the Bonneville Adventure.

Next year there will be three Tiddler rides; Spring, 4th of July with Amy and Doug, and Fall with Beth and J. Details will be forth coming as they develop.

A Rider Never Stands So Tall
As When They Stoop To Ride A Small Bike

Monday, October 25, 2010

Triumph Tiger XC

One of the reasons that Triumph has increased their sales while practically everyone else's has fallen off is because they continually think outside the norms. Their cruiser has a parallel twin engine. Their sport bike has 675cc triple for better torque rather than the same old high strung 600cc 4-cylinder.

Now they are trying something really radical. They're making their adventure bike, the Tiger, smaller! Down from 1050cc to 800cc, hopefully with a concomitant reduction in weight. I comes in normal and XC versions, the XC conspicuous by it's handguards and 21" front wheel. 

Admittedly it looks way to GS-ish but time will tell when it hits the showroom floors soon.

If only KTM would release the 690 Adventure here in the U.S. Then there would be real rejoicing in Mudville.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tiddler News

They're lining up already

Tiddler Route Sheets

I've driven the two routes for tomorrow's Tiddler Rally so often that I think I could do it with my eyes closed. I've checked, and rechecked, all the twists and turns, to make sure that every rider will stay on course and not get lost. I've tried to apply all the WTF?'s I've experienced following other route sheets so that people will not return wondering "What were you thinking here?"

To that end I've posted the route sheets here. However, the rules are:
  • No GPS
  • No iPods
  • No mobile phones (unless you need to be picked up but bonus points if you walk up to the nearest house and ask to use their phone).
Ride like it was 1966 - The Summer of Love 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

If You Got To Know Me ...

This is what the government of the UK does to help with motorcycle awareness. A great campaign to show that there's real people under the leathers and behind the face shields. Certainly a lot more creative than the bland "Motorcycles are everywhere" posters and bumper stickers you see here.

Not that it would have helped the biker who was killed by the drunken senator who was speeding or the rider who was killed by the woman who was painting her nails. Still, it might get people to past thinking that we're all morons with loud pipes and a sneer. It says, "Hey, we're regular people just like you. You'd like to have most of us over for tea sometime."

You can get a copy of the song from the artist here. This is the video of them making the video.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mouse Tales

The only reason for mice to exist is to ensure that other critters don't go hungry. And to make sure that the air filter industry stays in full production. Above are the filters out of two NX250's and one Transalp. Notice that the Transalp filter is eaten in both sides!

The mice come in through the air box inlet and set up house keeping. They usually bring in a lot of extra debris to enhance the environment so that the bike is not only not getting filtered air, it is running as if on full choke because of all the extra crap blocking the passage. Damn them! We are looking at $75 of filters here!

Willert Home Prod. E20 Moth Balls

Moth balls are the anti-mouse deterrent. Mice hate moth balls! I hate mice so I usually buy a case at a time. I always pack my bikes with moth balls when I put them away for the winter. Not only are the air filters eaten away but the little pests chew through the wiring and everything else in sight. Not to mention the mess from them using the world as their toilet. Whoever says that animals don't foul their nests have never seen a mouse nest!

This year seems especially bad. If the bike sits even 2-3 days they will move in. Now I have to put moth balls in ALL the air boxes.

You have been warned! If your bike is running a little strange check the air filter. Who knows what strangers may be lurking there.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More Tiddler News

It just keeps getting better. Over two dozen people from four states have told us they will be riding the MMM Tiddler Rally. WoHoo!

Here's a sample of the roads I've laid out for your enjoyment. 

As an added bonus a Cruise Night for hot rods and vintage cars will be held that same afternoon so we can go over after we get back and see some other sights.

Monday, October 18, 2010

MMM Tiddler Ride and Wonder Woman

It just might be coincidence but this Sunday's MMM Tiddler Ride is also the date of Wonder Woman Day! We just might see a glass airship flying overhead with a raven haired beauty watching our progress.

Lynda Carter is now pursuing a career as a jazz singer and is looking as hot as ever. The sounds from her web site are pretty nice and I'm looking forward to seeing her when she comes to Boston.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Berkshire Update

Here's Adam's update on yesterday's ride with more details than I had. I've sent him a note on how to spell my name (J. not "Jay"). Since he was such an excellent host and ride leader he won't be flogged.

Ride Report - Bershires

Adam put together some great roads to ride on. Although I've ridden extensively in the region many were new to me. Nature was cooperating, sort of. Scattered rain had  been forecast but it was always ahead or behind us. Slick roads mixed with lots of leaves meant that the pace was moderate with plenty of time for sightseeing.

The temps started in the high 40's and got into the low 50's as the day progressed. Sun occasionally popped out and the extra warmth was welcome. A quick stop for hot cider and a cookie was a treat and a chance to gain back some body heat.

Back on the road we were winding along the back roads near lunch when things go exciting. One of the guys on a K bike dumped it into a guard rail. Seeing it coming he jumped off the bike and somersaulted over the railing. Laying on his back he assured everyone that he was OK. Plastic was broken but nothing personal. Bungee cords and tape were produced to mend the bike enough to get home.

Unfortunately, I had chosen that moment to stare off into the forest and when I looked up all I saw was a lot of bikes stopped in the middle of the road. I grabbed too much front brake and found out how little traction knobby tires have on cold pavement. Down I went too. You can see the stripes that each knob made as it tried for grip.

This is when all that gear pays for itself. Armored jacket and pants took the hit. My gloves were scuffed in ways that I'm glad my hands weren't. I got up, got help picking up the bike and there was happiness that both of us were in good shape. My forks were twisted but I pulled out my t-handle and loosened enough bolts to get the front wheel pointed in the right direction again.

There was 70 more miles to get back to the car and I reflected on how a different bike would have been a better choice. That Honda NT700V with heated grips and ABS would have certainly been a good one. I wonder if it's too early to send Santa my request?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wooden I Love A Vespa

If you read the current motorcycle press you would be forgiven for thinking that the only creative thinking on two wheels is the bobber and the cafe bike. Frankly, they are not that original any more. Sure, it's great that people are doing some real custom work rather than just bolting on some more chrome from a catalog. But, be honest, when was the last time you saw one that really made your heart skip a beat?

I found this article in Wired magazine of all places. Daniela is Vespa replica built entirely of wood by a custom furniture maker. No showroom queen this one, it's ride-able! I can't imagine what one of these would cost but it's something that I would definitely put my own money down for if I had enough. This would be a total show stopper wherever it went.

Read the article and watch the video at the end. You can keep the Ducati, I'll take Daniela.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

MMM Tiddler Update

Details at the bottom

We've been out scouting roads for the upcoming MMM Tiddler Ride and I must say that I think that the morning and afternoon routes are especially scenic. Hill and dale, farmlands and lakes, my advice is to bring your camera and prepare to pause once in a while to appreciate the New England fall colors and sights. The photo above is my attempt to find a shortcut around a bridge that was out. As you can tell I'm having great fun. New roads were found and the route sheet was updated. No knobby tires will be needed!

The routes include a few graded dirt roads that are all small bike friendly. If they are Miata friendly your bike will have no problem. This is a rural area and such roads are part of why we live here.

The long range weather forecast is for cool temps in the 60's and sunny skies. Perfect for a leisure ride. After the ride chili, BBQ chicken, and hot dogs will be provided to everyone before they head home.


  • Date: Sunday, 24 Oct
  • Time: 9am
  • First bikes out: 10am
  • Place: 150 Kinney Rd, Amston CT 06231
  • Contact: Beth ( or J. (
  • Bikes: Think CB350 and anything older, slower, or smaller.
  • Nobody will be turned away for not having a small bike. Just ride in the spirit of the event and you'll have a lot of fun. Small bikes are infectious, you'll want one for next time.
  • Bring:
    • Route sheet holder - Both sheets and strip charts will be provided.
    • Camera
    • Cash for lunch at Harry's.
    • There are plenty of gas stations along the way.
    • A sense of wander.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ride Report

Reminder: MMM Tiddler ride on 24 Oct

Mart, Don and I met on Saturday to do a little dirt bike riding. The day started well by being sunny and bright. Forecast was for low 60's but 70F was more like it. We were quickly shedding layers as we began to heat up. Don was on his DRZ400, Marty was on an XR400, and I rode my trusty MT250 (also known as the Strawberry Express).

Start of the day, Marty and Don are ready to ride.

Freetown State Forest was new to all of us. The trail map didn't look extensive and I feared that we would run out of things to do quickly. Foolish me! The trails were very technical and both Don and I thought that Herman would be right at home with his trials bike. There were roots and rocks and lots of long narrow puddles. Luckily the bottoms of these were not too slippery and we motored through them with only moderate difficulty. One place on the trail had a fallen tree across it but we bushwhacked a new path around it.

We found a sand bank that Marty found irresistible. His first attempt was successful but when I asked him to do it again for the camera he got stuck.

The third time was again successful. Don declined to try it and I doubted that the little 250 had the motive power to make it up. Time to get the new piston and rings so I can try it next time!

After that we went back to the truck to get gas and take a break. We decided to try the trail on the west side of the parking lot for something different. Surely it would be easier than the trails we had been on. Silly Rabbit!

I can only describe the new trail as a Rock Garden. One section after another with bread loaf sized rocks. The XR and DRZ were having a better time of it with their longer suspensions and better ground clearance. The little twin shock MT just careened off on rock after another making liberal use of the skid plate for defense. We actually checked the map to see if we were on a hiking trail by mistake but it was, in-fact, a motorcycle trail.

Here is one spot that gave us pause. A drop off with a 90° left at the bottom. The consensus was that we should go for it and not touch the front brake.
Marty goes down
Don goes down

When we came to the road on the other side we had gone only 2.3 miles in 2 hours.  Not quite ready for expert enduros yet. However, we all agreed that we were having a great time.

As it was getting time to head back we decided to take a faster path back. This consisted of a dirt road that had huge (20-30') puddles across it's width. Too much work to keep trying to go around so we just splashed through at speed. Since they were often back to back with a lip between them I kept trying to jump off the lip to splash down in the middle of the next one. There was a lot of interconnecting forest roads and it was all quite beautiful. Don is going to explore further as a future TA Rally sight.

Back to the trucks and it was agreed all around that it was a great day. We were tired but happy and you can't ask for more than that from a dirt bike!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

AeroStich Sale

Areostich products are great stuff but generally rather pricey. Sales and discounts are rare although they have a monthly email of discontinued items that are at reduced prices. Stuff nobody else wanted that might appeal to you if it was cheap enough.

However, today only they are jumping on the 10.10.10 band wagon by having a 10% off sale on everything in their catalog. Appealing, if it's what you want. Like the Combat Touring Boots or a Ram mount. Check around first, other places might still be cheaper. Check here for the link to the sale.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cafe Bikes On TV

Cafe Racer Magazine is having a Premier Party for their new TV series on Discovery Channel.

The series looks great. The party should be fun. I'll probably end up watching it on the tube unless I can find some crazies who want to drive to the party.
Cafe Racer TV Series Starts Oct 13!
CR TV logo

Attention Cafe Racer Fans!

Cafe Racer, the new series on
Discovery's HD Theater channel debuts
on Wednesday, October 13 at 9PM.
After a successful pilot episode in December,
Cafe Racer is back on television.  Don't miss the
first two episodes, back-to-back, on October 13!
To watch a preview of the new series, click here! 
 Don't have HDTV?  If you're within driving
 (or flying or riding!)
distance of Pittsburgh,watch with
the crew from Cafe Racer Magazine at the
 Wednesday, October 13 from 8 - 10PM
West Hills Honda
209 Moon Clinton Road
Moon Township, PA   15108
Doors open at 8PM; the show starts at 9PM.
Watch the first two episodes on the big screen
with free popcorn and sodas. 
Meet series creator, and editor/publisher of
Cafe Racer Magazine, Mike Seate
and get an up-close look at custom cafe racers
from the series, like the Project Fighting CB750 below!
 To reserve your seat at the premiere party,
be sure to
click here to RSVP by email.

Don't miss CAFE RACER on HD Theater!
Wednesday, October 13 at 9PM. 
Bike builders, rockers, rides and events
brought to you in high def every week.
Check local HD TV listings for air times in your area.
For a link to the series website, click here!
Cafe Racer Magazine

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Want to fly to Vegas and try out the hot cars in the picture? All expenses paid?? Enter Eastwood's Vegas Dream Ride and you might be the lucky winner. If you win, you’re driving these super-cars approximately 5 hours on scenic open roads, not just around the parking lot.

Personally I would just take the Z06 out for a 5 hour spin across the desert and let them keep the rest. I think I could make it to Wendover and back in 5 hours !!

You're on your own with the Hot Babe in the picture.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Think You're Having A Bad Day?

I got a call from my friend Ben last night. Here's his tale of woe:

For the last few weeks he's been having trouble with his Triumph Sprint ST, The battery wouldn't stay charged. He replaced the battery but the replacement proved to be defective so he got another one. No fun and no autumn riding.

Then the starter started making  noises. Off to the dealer to find that the starter mechanism was chewed up. Possibly from trying to start it with a low battery. No bike for a couple of weeks.

Since he had prepaid for a track day he borrowed a friend's track bike. And crashed it. Not good although the friend was unperturbed. "Just fix it and it's OK"

The dealer called and said the Triumph was ready so Ben went over to pick it up. $1150 later he was out the door with a new starter and starter drive. Fifteen minutes later he was on the side of the road with a dead bike.

The owner came out with a truck and took it back to the shop where they found that the regulator had failed. This might well have been the original source of all the problems. Of course, the part was not in stock. The dealer (Second Wind) was good enough to cross reference the part to a Speed Triple and take it off a brand new bike on the showroom floor.

Ben is back on the road and a happy camper. Now he can do another track day on his own bike. Life is good. Until he crashed again on the track yesterday. Cold tires in a tight corner. Lots of plastic bits on the track and a hole in his clutch cover.

JB Weld to fix the hole, a cardboard box to put the plastic into, and some duct tape for his leathers. A little sore but still vertical he now has to face the final black cloud. He has to ride the bike home 40 miles in the rain!

Ben's attitude in his own words, "I am really annoyed!"

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me

Believe it or not, today is the 1st Anniversary of the MondayMotoMadness blog. It's been an interesting year. Bonneville, road trips, bikes that I bought and bikes that I sold.

341 days out of 365 days is not too bad. Obviously some have been better than others but I've tried to be interesting and informative. Analytics show that there are approximately 100 of you out there. Mostly from the US, Canada, India, Oz and UK but also Finland, Germany, and Spain.

So I'll take the rest of the day off to celebrate and see you tomorrow. Cheers!

Monday, October 4, 2010

California Voters

Today's Sacramento Bee  had an article "Boxer faces her toughest Senate race ever" Nobody would be happier than I would if she went down in flames. Barbara Boxer is one of the worst enemies of off road riding in the country. With her pals Dianne Fienstein and all the green meanies, she has forced the closure of many of the best riding areas not only in California but all over the US.

Check out this article from Off Road Park Info:

California Senator Barbara Boxer Goes After Several OHV Crown Jewel Areas

Senator Barbara Boxer of California has introduced bill S.493 The California Wild Heritage Act of 2007. This act proposes to create approximately 2 million acres of additional wilderness lands in California, which already has 14.3 million of wilderness designated lands. Areas included in this bill are several locations which are known as the "Crown Jewels" of California OHV areas. Once an area is designated as wilderness most uses are prohibited including but not limited to commercial activities, mechanized uses and roads. In other words, no more OHV opportunities. Studies have shown that less than 3% of people who visit and recreate on public lands ever visit a Wilderness area. California OHV enthusiasts, you'd better start contacting Senator Boxer to stop this bill. Senator Boxer's contact information and web page are at . Let's rev it up to her folks and make sure she hears us!
She sees herself as Big Sister who is intent on saving us from ourselves. If you live in California please vote. Get all your friends to vote. Get them to get their friends to vote. Save California from Boxer!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

From The Road

Hard to take pictures while I'm riding. I don't have a RAM mount on the RS. The day started off cool (49F) and cloudy but the spirits were bright and that was enough.

Lunch by the Farmington River in the Berkshires. The sun was finally out although it was still cool. Hard not to like a full fairing on a day like this. Fall colors have yet to peak. I guess we'll just have to do this again next week.

Time to head back to the hot chocolate.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

More Bonneville Pictures From The Past

From the archives of Life Magazine here are some pictures of Bonneville Speed Week in days gone by. Because the Southern California Timing Assn. makes such an effort to include vintage classes may of those same cars could be running today.

Here are some other pictures of cool guys on motorcycles. The Life picture galleries could consume an afternoon if one was to procrastinate.