Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chance Encounter

Just watched a short-film about an overworked man who's life is changed when he encounters a parked motorcycle; I thought I'd share it.

Love it! Pretty much nails the addiction. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Animated Engines: How those motors work.

Ever wondered how that 4-stroke thumper worked? How about that screaming 2-stroke?

Well, check out Animated Engines ( to see how these and many other engines really work.

Four stroke


Two stroke



Gnome Rotary

Jet Propulsion

Steam Locomotive

Oscillating Steam

CO2 Motor


Crank Substitute

Revolving Cylinder

Watt Beam

Grasshopper Beam

Unknown Beam

Newcomen Atmospheric

Two Cylinder Stirling

Single Cylinder Stirling

Ross Yoke Stirling

Low Differential Stirling

Friday, January 20, 2012

US states where I've ridden my motorcycle

This is a cool little program that shows the US states, Canadian Provinces and Mexican states where I’ve ridden a motorcycle. You can create your own Visited States easily and freely:

Bad, bad bike! (What my Triumph Rocket III Touring puts me through.)

Oy, my R3T is really testing me! Went out for a nice ride with 9 other bikes this past weekend. I met up with everyone in Temecula and proceeded to the desert (Borrego Springs) from there. Less than a 200-mile ride round-trip.

First issue: At the gas station where we all met, a Harley rider had to inform me that my Rocket was leaking. What?! Of all people, a friggin' Hog rider... Anyhow, it turned out to be a fresh (bright green) coolant leak coming from one of the 3 hex bolts on the pump cover. I tightened it, but we'll see. I have a chrome cover I've been meaning to install, so maybe now is a good time. I smelled coolant during the entire ride...

Second issue: On arriving to Borrego Springs, my bike decided not to start back up when leaving a service station. It appeared to be electrical so I checked the usual suspects -- fuses, loose wires, battery. Looks like I had a dead or dying battery. I jump started it off a Goldwing (what is going on in this world if a Harley guy tells me MY bike is leaking and a friggin' Goldie has to jump start me?).

Anyhow, I got home (100 miles of worrying) and turned the bike off; it would not turn over after immediately trying to restart it. No biggie, if it turns out to be the battery, I need a new one anyhow as this is the stock one.

I took the BMW for a planned ride to Julian over the Sunrise Highway (S-2) the next day. Too bad, as I love rolling thru Julian with my Rocket!

UPDATE: After my recent dead battery travails, I scoured the net for info on The Best Battery for our Rockets. The site I like ( agreed with others that:

1. The Scorpion was the best battery available, overall.
2. The Odyssey came in a close second.
3. The best place to buy it was

I followed the sage advice provided by the genius Rocket Scientists on that site and my battery arrived 3 days after I placed the order on-line. I installed it last night (it was an easy drop-in direct replacement). My bike fired up, sounding stronger than ever.

One bonus with the Scorpion battery is the extra mounting posts on the sides, allowing for uncluttered terminals for all those farkles we're prone to add.

So, it was a $100 fix and the bike is running stronger than ever. No biggie, as battery replacement (every few years) is just an accepted part of bike maintenance. I'll keep it on a battery tender.

Ah, the continuing saga of a very bad bike...

I still love her, even though she treats me bad.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Top 100 Motorcycle Road Tunes

A List of a "Few" of MY Favorite Road Tunes

Here are some choice tunes I enjoy listening to on long rides, pumping through my helmet at high volume as the road goes by under my wheels.

I know I'll miss a few -- and I've prolly included some that might not fit the bill -- but this is a pretty good start (in no particular order) and one of the most complete lists I've seen. I hope you enjoy 'em!

1. Riding for The Son: Jerry Williams
2. Bad Motor Scooter: Montrose
3. Roll me Away: Bob Seger
4. (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66: Nat "King" Cole/Chuck Berry/Depeche Mode
5. The Devil's Chasing Me: Reverend Horton Heat
6. Call me the Breeze: Lynard Skynard
7. Long Lonesome Highway: Michael Parks
8. Heading Out to the Highway: Judas Priest
9. Highway Star: Deep Purple
10. Rockin' Down the Highway: Doobie Brothers
11. Highway Patrol: Junior Brown
12. Highway Knights: Tyran Pace
13. Highway in the Wind: Arlo Guthrie
14. Ventura Highway: America
15. I've Been Everywhere: Hank Snow
16. Traveling Man/Beautiful Loser: Bob Seger
17. Kick Start My Heart: Motley Crue
18. Flirtin' with Disaster: Molly Hatchet
19. Ramblin' Man: Allman Brothers
20. Radar Love: Golden Earring (or better yet, the White Lion version)
21. 1952 Vincent Black Lightning: Richard Thompson
22. Born to Be Wild: Steppenwolf (The Cult does a good version, too)
23. Rock’n Me: Steve Miller
24. East Bound and Down: Jerry Reed
25. Driver's Seat: Sniff' n the Tears
26. Driving my Life Away: Eddie Rabbitt
27. On the Road Again: Canned Heat
28. On the Road Again: Willie Nelson
29. On The Road: Motörhead
30. Six Days on the Road: Dave Dudley
31. King of the Road: Roger Miller
32. Open Road Song: Eve 6
33. Detroit Rock City: KISS
34. 24 Hours at a Time: Marshall Tucker Band
35. Running on Empty: Jackson Browne
36. Ramble On: Led Zeppelin
37. Ol' 55: Tom Waits
38. I Can’t Drive 55: Sammy Hagar
39. Runnin' Down a Dream: Tom Petty
40. Million Miles from Nowhere: Dwight Yoakum
41. Live to Ride: Neil Young
42. The Rover: Led Zeppelin
43. Movin’ On: Bad Company
44. Wanted Dead or Alive: Bon Jovi
45. The Distance: Cake
46. I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide: ZZ Top
47. Crimson Rider: Masterplan
48. Midnight Rider: Allman Brothers
49. Time for Me to Ride: Toby Keith
50. Henchman Ride: Testament
51. Let it Ride: BTO
52. Ride On: AC/DC
53. Ride The Wild Wind: Queen
54. Ride: Joe Satriani
55. Ride The Wind: Poison
56. Ride: Warrant
57. Ride Like the Wind: Christopher Cross
58. One Last Ride: Molly Hatchet
59. Slow Ride: Foghat
60. Ride: The Vines
61. Ride to Live, Live to Ride: Twisted Sister
62. Blessed Hellride: Black Label Society
63. I Wanna Ride: Feedtime
64. Free Ride: Edgar Winter
65. Born Free: Kid Rock
66. Motorcycle: Love and Rockets
67. Motorbikin’: Chris Spedding
68. Motorcycle Mama: Neil Young
69. Motorcycle Man: Saxon
70. Motorbike Girl: Feedtime
71. Motorcycle Girl: Road Vultures
72. Motorcycle Cowboy: Merle Haggard
73. The Motorcycle Song: Arlo Guthrie
74. Motorcycle Song: Billy Joel
75. Helsinki Motorcycles: Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction
76. Motorcycle Emptiness: Manic Street Preachers
77. MC Baby: Hanoi Rocks
78. Moto Psycho: Megadeath
79. Freewheelin: Road Hammers
80. Under my Wheels: Alice Cooper
81. Feel the Thunder: Blue Oyster Cult
82. Rider: Pretenders
83. Golden Age of Leather: Blue Oyster Cult
84. Ghost Rider: Suicide (or the Henry Rollins version)
85. Ghost Rider: Rush
86. I'm your Captain (Closer to Home): Grand Funk Railroad
87. Desert Plains: Judas Priest
88. Silver Machine: Hawkwind
89. Prodigal Blues: Billy Idol
90. Harley Davidson Blues: Canned Heat
91. Harley Davidson: TNT
92. Panheads Forever: David Allen Coe
93. Best Biker Song Ever Written: Devil's Lullaby
94. Unknown Legend: Neil Young
95. New Sensations: Lou Reed
96. Motor Angel: The Wild
97. Eye of the Hurricane: David Wilcox
98. Steve McQueen: Sheryl Crow
99. Built for Comfort (Not Built for Speed): UFO
100. Built for Speed/Mean Machine/Iron Horse/Born to Lose: Motörhead

Honorable mention? Here are some recommendations from other riders that may or may not be direct bike tunes (but they sure get the blood pumping).

• Turn the Page: Bob Seger
• Run to the Hills: Iron Maiden
• Harley Davidson: Brigette Bardot
• Blues Theme: Davie Allan & The Arrows
• Little Honda: Hondells/Beach Boys
• The Ballad of Easy Rider: Roger McGuinn/Byrds
• Ridin’ with the Driver: Motörhead
• Ezy Rider: Jimi Hendrix
• Roadhouse Blues: The Doors
• Bike: Pink Floyd
• Going Mobile: The Who
• Cruisin': Smokey Robinson
• Red: Sammy Hagar
• DOA: Van Halen
• Life Is A Highway: Tom Cochrane
• Bat out of Hell: Meatloaf
• Black Denim Trousers: The Cheers
• Goin' to Mexico: Steve Miller
• Night Prowler: AC/DC
• Across the USA: The Mahones
• It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock and Roll): AC/DC
• Black Betty: Ram a Jam
• Green Grass and High Tides: Outlaws
• Gone, Gone, Gone: Bad Co.
• On and On: Michael Schenker
• Alone Again Or: Love/UFO/Damned
• Born on the Bayou: Credence Clearwater Revival
• Give me Some Water: Eddie Money
• Paul Revere: Beastie Boys
• Mustang Sally: Wilson Pickett
• California Dreamin': Mama's and Papa's
• Green Manalishi: Judas Priest

Life in the Fast Lane: The Eagles
• Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress): Hollies
• Goin’ Up the Country: Canned Heat
• Promised Land: Chuck Berry/Elvis
• Chill Out: John Lee Hooker and Carlos Santana
• Whiskey in the Jar: Thin Lizzy/Metallica
• Hair of the Dog: Nazareth
• Gentle On My Mind: Glenn Campbell
• Asleep in the Desert: ZZ Top
• Guitar Boogie: Arthur Smith
• Coast to Coast: Scorpions
• You May be Right (I May be Crazy): Billy Joel
• How Soon is Now?: The Smiths
• Copperhead Road: Steve Earle
• Hush: Deep Purple
• Carolina Blues: Blues Traveler
• Gone to Carolina: Shooter Jennings
• Back Home Again: John Denver
• Home Sweet Home: Motley Crue
• Take the Long Way Home: Supertramp
• My Wife: The Who
• Panama: Van Halen
• The Weight: The Band
• Dreams I’ll Never See: Molly Hatchet
• Ghost Riders (in the Sky): Johnny Cash/Outlaws/Duane Eddy
• Hot Rod Heart: John Fogerty
• The Long and Winding Road: Beatles
• The Window: Steve Miller
• The Pusher: Steppenwolf
• Bad Company: Bad Company

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Planned Bike Rides for 2012

Ah, let's see...

I really want to get out there and ride this year. Alaska, Canada, Baja, maybe South America. However, the reality of my situation is that I have about 4 weeks of vacation time in 2012, and not all of that can be taken consecutively...or on my motorcycle. Like many of you, my wife expects, rightfully, that we spend some quality time together in tropical climes. We are planning on Tampa and San Antonio this year. We are seriously considering Australia, too.

Having said that, it appears my Deadhorse, Alaska/Inuvik, Canada ride is not gonna happen until at least 2013. That's fine. The Dalton and Dempster Highways will wait for me. They're calling me up north -- daily -- but they'll wait.

I "may" be on the hook for another USA 4 Corners Tour ( with my friend and fellow CMA'er Ted, who really wants to do this ride. I may be able to knock that out in 2 to 2 1/2 weeks, but that will be some serious riding. That would take place in May/June if it takes place at all this year.

I'd like to do another Iron Butt ride or two, as well. Something exciting and exotic, perhaps the 3 Flags Tour. I have a new (heated) Corbin on my Beemer so that may be my bike of choice for the next long distance rides.

I will likely host a couple of IBA Saddle Sore rides this year, just to show some of my fellow riders how easy and enjoyable a 1000-mile ride in under 24 hours can be.

There are some really interesting IBA rides ( that I’m considering. The National Parks Tour (visit at least 50 National Parks, Monuments, etc in at least 25 states within 1 year), the 48-10 (ride all lower 48 states in 10 days), the 48 Plus (49 States in 10 Days – ride to all 48 continental states plus Alaska) and the Border-to-Border Insanity (Mexico-USA-Canada in less than 24 Hours). Those are some intriguing rides.

I plan to get out to the desert (Ocotillo, Superstition, Anza-Borrego) for some long weekend camping dual sport rides. I'm slowly but surely putting together a bike equipped to handle all sorts of terrain, weather and distance.

I’ve made some friends on ADV Rider (, San Diego Adventure Riders/SDAR ( and Triumph Rocket III Owners ( and would like to meet up with some of them for informal rides throughout the year.

While I'm not a fan of large organized rides, I will continue to participate in charity events and poker runs for good causes. I enjoy supporting other bike groups and community functions relating to motorcycle awareness. Unfortunately, last year I did way too many rides for fallen officers.

Either way, I’ll be out on the road for a day, a weekend or an extended road trip at various times this year. I’ll likely be riding solo and I’ll probably be grinning like an idiot as I experience the sights, the smells and the culture of the road from the saddle of my Big ‘Ol Motorbike.

See ya out there!