Charles Keefer's Blog

Don’t Bother Checking For Flies

with 8 comments

vtx1800

Contrary to popular belief, I am not dead. I’ve just been busy.

I am 3/5ths through the five seasons of Stargate Atlantis.

I just bought a new motorcycle. You see it above.

I wish I had the words to express how exciting it is to get a new motorcycle. The only image that comes to mind is a young Indian brave getting his first horse.

It is a thrill that makes getting a new car pale into insignificance.

I rode it to Jupiter to break it in with a beer at Judy’s, a motorcycle tradition, and the ride back can only be described as slow ecstasy. It was 7:30 p.m. The light was perfect. Coming over the bridge at the port gave a view of West Palm Beach that was almost magical.

I know you people think anyone who rides a motorcycle probably howls at full moons. I don’t only because I can’t keep track of when they come around.

But unless you do ride a motorcycle, there is a true sense of freedom you will miss. I go back to the Indian boy with his first mount. I think it is built into our DNA.

I would do a horse, but I can’t afford one.

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Written by Charles Keefer

August 18, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Posted in Motorcycles

8 Responses

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  1. Friday, Sept. 4, is the next full moon.

    We’ll see you at

    http://www.palmbeachbiketours.com/full-moon-drum-circle-pleasingly-primal/

    ksteinhoff

    August 19, 2009 at 9:34 am

  2. Keef,

    Here’s the perfect solution to your motorcycle / bicycle problem:

    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=132964

    Carry your bike in case of motorbike breakdowns.

    ksteinhoff

    August 19, 2009 at 10:44 am

  3. Wow. Incredible.

    But if they had a folding bike, it would be much easier.

    I probably could mount a folding bike on the back of my BMW or my new Honda with two elastic straps. The only problem is that folding bikes aren’t much fun after about 10 miles. I proved that on a 40 mile trip. Start slow and end up slower with major pains in the posterior.

    But interesting photos. Can’t believe they wouldn’t just trail the damned things behind them. A simple clamp off the back to hold the front wheel land let the back wheel hold the weight.

    Maybe I should invent it.

    Charles Keefer

    August 20, 2009 at 9:57 pm

  4. Oh, yes. I remember the ride on the dike where I was sure I was going to have to perform a buttectomy on you.

    http://www.palmbeachbiketours.com/lake-o-ride-a-lost-opportunity-to-do-a-buttectomy/

    As far as letting it trail behind, I’m not sure I’d want to have my bike tire rolling at 60 mph for any distance. If it blew, you’d never know it up front until your rim was completely shredded.

    ksteinhoff

    August 21, 2009 at 12:42 pm

  5. I was just going to message Steinhoff to see if he’s checked the windows for flies, and saw this….explains it all – including why you didn’t reply to my dinner invitation. (You missed a fun one.)

    Then again, you could trail the bike and report the miles you’re supposed to be getting by pedal-power. Somebody’s going to own a light, methinks.

    Jan Norris

    August 26, 2009 at 9:38 am

  6. That’s not the sort of bike on which I want an update.

    Miles?

    Cheers,
    Matt

    Matthew Steinhoff

    August 26, 2009 at 3:52 pm

  7. Are you back in town or are you road crayon under a bent pile of metal on some back mountain road?

    ksteinhoff

    September 10, 2009 at 11:09 am

  8. Finally.

    The VTX-1800 is now what it should be. It has a pair of Honda leather bags in which to store things like a rain suit, digital camera in a Ziplock bag, and an extra pair of jeans.

    Today it received its Power Commander. This is a programmable chip that makes the engine run smoother and cooler. Also a K&N air filter for better air flow.

    We had thought that this would bring down the mileage a bit, say from my original estimate of 42 mpg to 36 mpg or so, but no. I filled the tank and did a 100 mile circuit from West Palm Beach to Stuart and back, landing at a Sunoco station on Northlake at exactly the 100 mile mark. It took 2.51 gallons to top off the 4 gallon tank. That is 40 mpg almost exactly.

    I am pleased.

    I have a bit more than 1400 miles on the bike now and it is still being run in. It should get even smoother over the next 1000 miles.

    I’ve toured to Orlando and Key West on it and it is comfortable on the road. Somehow, for a naked bike, the wind isn’t bothersome until you get above 65 or so. And for a 750 pound machine, it is amazingly easy to ride.

    Maintenance should consist of changing the oil and filter for the foreseeable future – we are talking tens of thousands of miles.

    This isn’t the bike to take on the Tail of the Dragon. Too much peg scraping. But for an easy run up the Blue Ridge Parkway, it probably can’t be beat except for the BMW. And, honestly, I don’t know which one I should tour first.

    I’m thinking the BMW. It has seniority in the stable. And it simply can’t be beat as a road bike. Last time I took it on the road, I ran into some light rain around Fort Pierce. I just hunkered down behind the windshield, set the cruise for 70, and hardly got wet at all.

    As soon as the floods leave Georgia, I’ll be off.

    The bad news is that my friend Paul Vilte is planning to close his motorcycle shop, Competition Power Sports, next month. Lots of people who ride motorcycles don’t have money to spend in this economy and the numbers just can’t keep the doors open. Motorcycles, after all, are toys, and toys are the first things to go when the rent is due.

    Fortunately, Paul has another job. But his employee, Danny, a great guy who works hard and has been with him for three years, doesn’t.

    The DOW is at 9,665 but that doesn’t do you any good unless you have money in the stock market.

    I saw a guy on TV who said the DOW is up because of all the money the government is pumping into the economy. What I’m seeing on the street is more closed businesses and more people like Danny.

    I’m seeing health insurance that doesn’t pay when you get sick, dental insurance being cancelled, and hundreds of ads telling you how to turn your old jewelry into cash.

    I’m seeing banks charge fees for everything they can think of, then canceling your credit.

    It looks to me like the biggest economy in the world, namely us, is being treated like a sponge. It is being squeezed.

    And I am not seeing an upside.

    I’m thinking two things. Democracies only work where there are enough middle class citizens to support them and all empires end badly.

    What is it that has made us ignore these basic rules.

    Charles Keefer

    September 26, 2009 at 7:31 pm


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