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What's it gonna take? Pt. 3

Some people weren’t reading close enough.
After posting my last blog, a couple of readers took me to the virtual woodshed for blaming the downturn …which is putting it mildly… in the motorcycle industry to the proliferation of Harley-Davidson “clone” motorcycles. Nope, that’s not what I said, or meant. The dozens of clones that cluttered the roadsides were not the cause of the market fall, just one of the more visible indication that things were going to hell in a hand basket.

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What's it gonna take? Pt. 2

Depending upon which expert you read, motorcycle sales in the U.S. are only about half, or maybe sixty percent, of what they were in 2007. You can argue the exact number, but the fact remains that our industry mostly fell in the crapper over the past several years. The obvious result of this has been closed dealerships, bankrupt businesses, shuttered magazines, and a large number of lost jobs. And then, of course, there’s been a gazillion articles telling why this happened, and what to do about it. My thoughts on this run on a slightly different path, and will not win me many friends.

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What's it gonna take?

The motorcycle industry showed signs of life in 2013. It wasn’t exactly the euphoria of pre-2008 days, but most of those I’ve spoken with answered the question, “How’s biz?” with a cautious “It’s OK.” Faint praise, but far better than the expletives that greeted that question a year ago.

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Running Away

Tent

I run away from home with some regularity. Oh, I call it other things. Things like, “researching an article,” or “testing a product,” but the reality is I just wanna get out of Dodge!

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"Ride To Work" Contest Winners

Bobby hwang

"Gilly" and Bobby Hwang starred in the picture show. The helmet prize really should go to "Gilly."

 

Thanx to all who submitted pictures for our “Ride to Work” photo contest.

When I look at all of them together it’s obvious we have a weird, strange group of riders out there …my kinda people! (And, no, we didn’t post them all)

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Don't get your knickers in a Knot

CustomBlogI have little use for custom motorcycles. Or, rather, custom bikes, as I don’t consider them motorcycles.

I’m not talking about someone’s catalog creation, or the OEM’s idea of style. Naa, I’m OK with those. The one’s I find useless are the ground-up creations that litter bike shows. Don’t get your knickers in a knot over this; good on you if they’re your reason for living.

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Burning Question #2

LS2Kid

Sit up straight, pencils at the ready… Burning Question #2 has arrived.

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Answers to "Burning Question #1"

Blog7 copy

My last blog asked the Burning Question #1:

“What are those things that you never leave behind when taking a motorcycle trip?”

I wasn’t referring to the obvious items but, rather, those things that you need to have in your presence to maintain a certain level of OCD control.

These are the three items that I listed as being essential, and never leave home without:

  • Nikon AW100 Camera
  • Leatherman Charge/Surge
  • Fisher “Trekker” Space Pen

Thanks to all of you that submitted your lists. The following is a consolidation of those lists with, of course, all the duplicates eliminated.

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The Burning Question #1

3 things

This may be exposing my OCD side but, hey, what’s one more flaw amongst so many?

Anyway, Burning Question #1 is this: What are those things that you never leave behind when taking a motorcycle trip? I’m not talking about the obvious …your motorcycle, credit card, pants, etc. ...but, rather, those things that while not essential for the preservation of live and limb are necessary for you to remain calm and focused on the important stuff? Put another way, what are those things that, were you to leave one behind, would cause you to return home and get it?

 

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Motorcycle Camping ...no, really

motorcycle-camping

I’m not fully domesticated. Oh, I don’t pee on the rug —I am housebroken— but when it comes to picking up after myself, keeping the weeds to a navigable level, and checking off items on the “Honey Do” list, well, let’s leave it with I’ll never be a finalist for “HOTY” (Husband Of The Year).

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ATGATT

Hayward copy

ATGATT!

What sounds like a cat hacking a hairball is actually a sound piece of advice.

From a logical perspective All The Gear All The Time makes sense. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to be as protected as possible when you climb aboard a motorcycle? ATGATT, however, appears to have an alternate meaning to many riders, particularly in warm weather: ‘alf The Gear, ‘alf The Time.

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Drowning in denial

bent-rim

I think I’m in deep denial …as reader Mark Bour managed to hint at when he questioned why I didn’t add a tire kit to my list of motorcycle “priority” items.

(Thanks Bour, for highlighting yet another one of my failings.)

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Your Crash Kit

your-crash-kit

“Flippant.” Who, me?

In my last entry I mentioned that an effective tool kit to carry on today’s motorcycles consists of a “cell phone and a credit card.” I was accused of being flippant about safe riding. I wanted to respond with another flip…call it a digital flip… but adulthood won out. So let me explain.

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Ahhh, the good old days!

good-old-days

… uh, can we talk?

Hang around us Ancient Ones −I prefer “youth-challenged”-− for any time and you’ll often hear us tell how great it was back in the day. Actually, you’ll hear them say that; this Ancient One doesn’t necessarily subscribe to that book of lore. Don’t misunderstand, I’ve had a great past, and certainly some of the “old days” were memorable to the extreme.

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