On Two Wheels


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Spring Cleaning…

'76 Kz900

Some of my bikes are more than 40 years old now – which is a long time in human and machine terms. And yet, they all still function as new. Unlike me. Well, with a little TLC every now and then. But that’s the cool thing about them. For the most part, a little TLC…

Things Unseen…

Reagan with Harley

The hand of Uncle – which aways wields a gun – distorts our lives in so many ways it’s impossible to catalog them all. There are the things we’re forced to have – and things we never had. (Frederic Bastiat, the 19th century economist, called this phenomenon “things seen and unseen.”) In the things-we-never-had category: Affordable…

When Seconds Count, a Cop is Just Minutes Away

Parkway pick

Last night was another object lesson in the uselessness of cops for other than random tax collecting and general harassment. Traveling home on the Blue Ridge Parkway – where it seems there is always a cop available to ticket you for “speeding” – I came upon the scene of a motorcycle accident. I am still not…

A Slingshot Around Uncle

slingshot lead

There is a way out. Of half a dozen (or more) air bags and seat belt buzzers and back-up cameras and narc-you-out black boxes and automatic braking (soon to be a mandatory “feature” in all new cars). Just don’t buy a car.    Buy a “motorcycle” that just happens to be a car… or close…

Hardley Ableson Electric Starter Odyssey

'80 Hardley

If you’ve never dealt with an AMF-era Ironhead Sportster electric start problem, perhaps this will help you deal with it – learning from my fumbling around. Here’s the scenario: I agreed to try to sort out an ’80 Sportster that had been sitting for a long time. Bike needed a pretty major going-through, including cleaning/rebuilding…

The Harley Odyssey

harley 1

So the bike won’t start. More accurately, the starter won’t spin the engine – which is why the bike won’t start. But the starter spins. It just doesn’t spin anything else. So, I know the breaker for the circuit is good; the wiring (especially the ground) is good. The solenoid is good. This leaves the starter…

FrankenHarley

Frankie pic

For about a month now, I have been trying – like Dr. Frankenstein – to breath life into something inert: The cobbled-together corpse of what was – once – a 1980 Harley Davidson Sportster. The derelict ironhead had been been left outside like a yard gnome for about four years. Its owner – my neighbor’s son –…

The Littlest Triple

'72 S1 ad

Weird little bikes are hard to find new. A bleak homogeneity has settled in. Small bikes are safe bikes; conventionally styled, with mild engines. Made, in brief, for beginners. To be thrown away once mastered and their owner moves on to something more interesting. Kawasaki’s littlest triple – the S1 250 Mach I – was…

Thinning The Herd

last sherpa 2

When you haven’t got time anymore, it’s time to let some of them go. So – with lots of sadness – I recently sold one of my five bikes. The dual sport Kaw I’ve written about here on several occasions. The bike did not deserve this. Indeed, it deserved better. Which is exactly why I…