Waste not, want not. 

Ever since I bought my ’13 Bonnie I’ve been bolting on aftermarket items and I’ve started to accumulate spare stock parts. They have been sitting and collecting dust in my garage. As I was sitting in my garage enjoying a delicious beverage I started to look around and take an inventory of the junk that has started to overtake my space. I was getting a little uncomfortable sitting on a stack of spare shingles in the corner. It was then that I saw my stock seat from the T100 (or the ironing board as I have called it since the moment I rode the Bonnie out of the shop). I grabbed it off the shelf and sat it down on top of the shingles. It was actually rather comfortable. That’s when I had my idea: to make a shop bench out of it.

[ This guest post is courtesy of Scott Sowers. When not teaching science, he can be found doing home improvement projects, being a dad, being a husband, and maybe riding a motorcycle. — ed.]

IMG_0261.JPGI grabbed another beer and got to work. I need to take a second to say that I am a new father as of July 31st, so my attention has been primarily on my daughter. I get few moments to myself and they come generally only when she is napping. So let’s just say that time was working against me. This wasn’t going to be a pretty creation. It was just something fun to do. I grabbed a box of screws, my screwgun, and my saw and started throwing scrap wood in a pile outside.

IMG_0262.JPGIn the corner of my garage was an old rickety ladder left by the previous homeowners. A few weeks ago when my dad was over he told me he liked it and wanted to take it home but it didn’t quite fit in his truck. Well we fixed it – we sawed off about 2 feet from the bottom! For some reason I kept the extra bit of the ladder (probably for firewood for the winter). That became the base of the bench. The rest of the wood was simply scraps. I reinforced it so that it wouldn’t collapse under my weight and mounted the saddle to the top. There was no measuring; just eyeballing. It looked good but something was missing. I grabbed the stock pipes and a couple of pieces of wood, and before long my bench had some shiny chrome!

This is not a masterpiece by any stretch, but it’s my creation. It looks perfect in the garage with the rest of my stuff, and it’s actually not a bad place to sit and contemplate when I need an escape from the daily grind.

Share Button

Distinguished Gentelmen’s Ride 2015

Unfortunately, I won’t be doing this ride this year. But, you can still contribute! Via Jeff Remsburg’s page.

Jeff and I chatted a little at last year’s ride and rolled out on our Triumphs a few weeks afterward to get a nice fall ride in.

Share Button

“I used to …”

I have a penchant for “used to” bikes.

A few weeks into owning my ’09 Nightster, I ran over a piece of metal left over from some construction and blew my bike tire out on I-70. Since the bike was new and had roadside assist, I used it! The tow truck driver “used to” have a Sportster.

It was some special model of the 900, but he was sure it was bigger than that, and that thing would run 200 mile-an-hour in 4th gear. He swore he never used 5th gear because 4th was all it needed.

The BMW G650GS was a little different. It was such a weird looking bike that people gawked at it just because. Then the noticed the little blue and white BMW Roundel.

“I didn’t know BMW made motorcycles.” Being a pedant, I would inform them that the Bavarians had been making motorbikes since 1923. I should have kept my mouth shut, because the next thing was always, “Oh yeah, those flat motors! I used to have one of those. Those would run forever.”

The next two bikes were Triumphs. The first, a Street Triple R which is a sport bike with regular handle bars and the second a Scrambler.

The Street Triple was a looker, bass boat metal flake black with gold wheels and logos. “I used to have a Triumph … ”

The Scrambler even more so since you don’t even have to read to tell it’s a Triumph. “Hey, is that a Triumph. I didn’t know they still made those. I used to have a ’75 … drunken slurs“.

Even other guys on bikes will pull up to me and say something. Yesterday and old guy on a Harley-Davidson FLH-STFU pulled up and said, “Nice bike! I used to have a Triumph. Those are great bikes.”

Well man, if it’s so great, why aren’t you on one?

Share Button

Bikers For Babies, Kansas City

Last year’s Distinguished Gentlemen’s ride marked my first organized group ride. This is definitely not a part of bike culture that I tend to be involved with.

Yesterday I got a text from Dave about riding with him and his friends at Bikers for Babies. I had a good time with these guys riding out to Greaserama, so I grudgingly agreed and signed up online.

We were meeting at Dave’s at 8:00 a.m. I was there just a hair before and just hung out outside. Jorge and Justin rolled up with a bit more throttle jockeying and Dave’s mom looked out the window and informed us that he wasn’t there. Apparently, Dave took to partying last night. Jorge, Justin, and I went on to the next spot to meet up with some other guys. After the, “hi new guy” festivities, we headed out to Kansas Speedway for the ride.

IMG_0201Registration gave us all packets that included some coupons, a patch, a pin, and not a map. Thankfully Doug noticed this and grabbed some maps. Some road resurfacing caused a last minute change and the new maps hadn’t been put in all the packets.

We meandered around the grounds for a bit looking at vendors stuff and half watching the opening ceremony. I wan’t interested in too much of the stuff the vendors had. I did see and Indian Scout in the flesh, and I am definitely intrigued by this motorcycle.

That's a lot of bikes!There were a ton of bikes! Way more than I really had a concept of. My jaded eyes didn’t like most of the bikes, but it’s pretty awe-inspiring to see 4,300 bikes all ready to ride together.

The first bit of the ride was a little sketchy with everyone leaving at the same time. Our group got invaded by the Harley version of a squid on some temp-tagged, fat-tired noise maker. I just backed up and gave the asshole some space because I don’t want to be around that at all. Luckily, we peeled up for a pit stop and were able to keep a good spacing between our group and the rest of the riders.

Pit Stop!From that point on the ride was nice an uneventful. Just a group of people riding together enjoying some amazing midwestern weather.

Barbecue.We got back to the Speedway just in time to snag some of the last of the lunch. Some barbecue, some liquids, and a little time out of the saddle and we were all ready to head back to Dan’s place to have a few beers and hang out.

I’m still warming up to this idea of group rides, but the last couple have been pretty positive. I’m still anxious about riding with people I don’t know, but I’ve been fortunate enough to fall in to groups of good riders.

Share Button

Fender Eliminator from British Customs

I always say I’m not modifying motorcycles … but guess what, I do. This one was kind of necessary as I accidentally broke my taillight lens by backing my Scrambler into the corner of my house. Whoops.

I looked at a few kits and stuck with this one as I liked the shape of the lights included. If you want to kill 25 minutes, here’s a YouTube video (scroll down for more text and pictures).

If you watched the video you’ll see that I was pretty frustrated by the lack of instructions. With all of the work that would go in to designing this and sourcing the parts, a few simple pages would have been easy to knock out. An especially bad part is the wiring. The colors didn’t match up to the Triumph colors (at all … not even kind of close). Luckily, some people on Triumph Rat had gone through the trouble of blowing fuses so I didn’t have to. This is made even worse when I look at how much this cost.

On the plus side, British Customs shipped the same day I ordered, everything was packed well, and the parts all feel like quality parts.

Share Button

Archer Likes It

Labor day weekend. Up early on Sunday. All the boys at the skatepark.

Archer Likes it!

Share Button