Saturday, June 30, 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

Will The Real Philosopher Please Stand Up

Just in case you haven't guessed, I'm not a real philosopher. I'm a Moto Philosopher, and that's a whole different animal.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Mystery Bike Revealed!

It's a Buell Ulysses XB12x. An adventure tourer powered by a 1203cc fuel injected 45 degree V-Twin.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Honda Trail 90 - A Dream Realized!

When I was a youngster walking through a summertime berry patch a kid on his dad's new 1968 Honda Trail 90 roared past. Well whizzed by, roared might be too strong a word to describe it. I was thinking that I had to get one of those. In fact I thought on it a lot. And over the years I thought about it some more. Even as recently as about a month ago when I read an article about one. But the wish didn't come true. At least not for 40 years anyway. In that time other bikes have come and gone. But not A Trail 90. Yesterday I got one.

I got it from a guy who's wife threw him out of the house along with his collection of future restoration projects. Basket case bikes. I'm no mechanic so my interest was waning until in that chaos of rusting metal something recognizable caught my eye. A Honda Trail 90. I asked the guy about it and as it turns out it was a 1968 model. My wallet soon was empty, I gave the guy a hundred and ten plus ten for delivery. I was the recipient and owner of a fading dream realized.

Now this bike is no urban brawler or rocket negotiating the twisties at 120mph. It's no twenty thousand dollar rolling couch with all the bells and whistles either. It's a hundred and ten dollar 1968 Honda Trail 90 and it's all mine. Did I mention it's overdue for servicing? Maybe about 39 years overdue! She doesn't run. Good compression though. I'm going to get er going again. Stay tuned for updates.

Oh, the moral of the story. Don't get your butt kicked out of the house because you might lose a bike or two, and don't ever let go of your dreams.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

1968 Honda Trail 90

Is this Honda Trail 90 a dream come true or just another one of my wild fantasies? Come back tommorow to find out.

Just Give Me The Finger

It's been about a month now since I was sitting in the emergency room with my nearly severed finger soaking in a bowl of iodine solution. It was a busy night in the ER and I had a lot of waiting to do and time to think.

I had an accident at work. Like the dumb ass I sometimes am, I got my finger slammed in one of those heavy self closing doors. The pain was pretty intense. Some of the first thoughts going through my head were, will I be able to ride my bike home? How will I get my bike home if I can't ride it? If I can't ride it then how long will it be before I can ride it again?

Then I realized I had more important things to think about other than my bike. Like keeping my finger. They took me for xrays and then back to my little room. The Nurse put a bandage on my finger. There was nothing to read and nobody to talk to. I was alone with only pain and my thoughts to keep me company. Then the Doctor cave in and he started unwrapping the bandage. He said "I might have to take your finger off today, depending on how it looks". I thought to myself nope, it's going to be fine. I refused to think about the possibility of losing it. I just kept this image in my mind of my finger being perfect. When the bandage was off, I took a quick look at it and it was almost completely cut through. I looked away, determined not to put attention into the problem.

Then the Doctor said "it doesn't look that bad, I'm encouraged by the color." Meaning there was still circulation going to the finger. He explained that my finger bone had been severed completely, an open fracture, and that the break was jagged. He told me that he would put my finger back together with some stitches and for me to see a surgeon in two days. He said that if the surgeon decided that I could keep the finger, I would need surgery, and a pin to hold the bone together.

Next I payed attention to the details about where and when to go see the surgeon but did not think thoughts of losing my finger or even having surgery. I kept positive. I got a ride home and my brother in-law rode my bike to the house. The next two days I kept thoughts of losing my finger out of my head. Sure those thoughts came, but as soon as I noticed it I re-focused on the positive. I kept thinking and visualizing a perfect finger.

Later that day I washed the dishes one handed, with the help of my daughter. Then I mowed the lawn the next morning. I watched comedy movies that night, knowing that healing best takes place when the spirit is high. Then I went to work the next day but they sent me home. My intention was to not let the injury interfere with my life anymore than necessary. Also to deny in a way, that the injury even occured. What I really wanted was to get back on my bike as soon as possible.

Then I went to see the surgeon. A small miracle. He said he didn't think surgery was necessary. He said I would lose my finger nail, probably when the stitches are removed. Then he sent me home.

Two weeks after that I was happily back on my bike with a big fat smile on my face. Meanwhile it's been about a month. The stitches are off and I still have my finger, and nail. Thanks to keeping a positive outlook on life and using plenty of denial. Sometimes denial can be a good thing. My finger is healing up fine and I think it's going to be perfect.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Destination-Hippie Heaven in 2007

Looking for a good ride this summer? If you live in Oregon or can get there, the Oregon Country Fair is worth a visit. It's not like it sounds, you won't see cattle in a smelly dairy barn. What you will see is droves of tie dyed t-shirts and half naked bodies milling around 280 wooded acres near Eugene, Oregon. It's like stepping into a time machine and being transported back to the sixties.

Thousands of hippies and hippie curious folks make their way to the fair from all over the world. It's been going on every summer since 1969 and this summer it's on July 13th ,14th and 15th. It's a big event, so parking is a problem. Shuttle buses run from several locations in Eugene about every 15 minutes or so. I highly recommend taking the shuttle instead of boiling out in the sun while waiting to get into the parking lot.

The fair features handmade crafts, music, foods and community based culture. The times I went to the fair, I didn't see any police around but the fair had it's own security. So it's safe, you won't see any drunken brawls or anything like that. People watching is a hoot too. You won't be the only wild looking character around! There's plenty of other colorful people to see. Kind of like Mardi Gras, you'll see folks strolling around wearing masks and dressed up in costumes. There is a variety of entertainment, lots of music, juggling acts, fire breathers, sword swallower's, you name it. Be sure to check out the displays at the Energy Park and see the towering "Silver Man".

The Fair is located 12 miles west of Eugene off of highway 126. To find out more go to the Oregon Country Fair website. So dig out that tie-dyed t-shirt from the bottom of your closet, dust off those bell bottoms and head out to the fair, see you there!

p.s. I'll be the funny looking dude with a camera, taking snapshots of the energy display in the foreground, and some shocking examples of under dressed hippies gone wild in the background. You might also recognize me by the new store bought tie-dyed t-shirt I got that day. Hope I don't forget to take the price tag off! There's still a lot of hippie left in me, but my everyday fashion apparel has changed some over the years. I now wear a lot better jeans and my t-shirt colors are a little more, shall we say, discreet.

Does Riding A Motorcycle Make You A Biker?

Pee soaked jeans. That's the first thing that comes to mind when I think about "real bikers". You see it's all a matter of perspective. You ask different people and you are likely to get different answers. I did just that.

My wife who is in her 40s originally came to the U.S. from Mexico. When I asked her what a "real biker" was she said "Ladies who like to ride bicycles!" I know some people that are not going to like that! I asked my 12 year old son the same question and he said "guys who like to go off jumps with their bikes." I am 50 and have been riding motorcycles since I was a kid. People I know of my age and generation refer to bikers as members of a motorcycle gang. They ride an old Harley, are tough, like to fight and want to be feared. They wear black leather jackets, sometimes with a patch on the back (colors), they drink plenty of beer and smoke lots of pot. They live on the very fringe of society but are not interested in hiding who they are. In fact they make every effort to call attention to themselves sometimes with their extremely loud exhaust pipes, ape hanger handlebars and their rough look. One story that comes to mind that I heard in my younger days was that part of the initiation to be accepted into one of our local gangs was to have all the members urinate on the prospective members jeans. They then had to wear those jeans for two weeks without taking them off or showering. Urban legend? I don't know but I imagine it's not all that easy to get into an outlaw biker gang either.

I ride a Harley but have an appreciation for all makes. I have been riding most of
my life and I welcome newcomers to the road. I'm pretty domesticated and am not "real biker" material by my own definition. "Real bikers" would call me a wannabe. If that's what they want to call people who ride Harley's and don't belong to a gang that's fine by me. Many people not familiar with the motorcycle culture would lump together all motorcycle riders and Harley riders in particular as hooligans. That would be a wrong assumption. There are a lot of people who ride and belong to different motorcycle groups and organizations that are not gangs. They make a tremendous amount of charitable contributions especially for children and are making a very positive difference in society. They should be admired and not feared.

To learn more about motorcycle culture I recommend the excellent book "She's A Bad Motorcycle: Writers On Riding," edited by Geno Zanetti and published by Thunder's Mouth Press. There is plenty of stories in the book about bikers, motorcyclists and motorcycling. There is even stories written by Ralph "Sonny" Barger, the founder of the Hell's Angels in Oakland, California. He does a great job of writing from his perspective about "real bikers."** This blog entry is from an article I published at

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Name The Mystery Bike

Who will be the first to id this bike?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hello and Welcome!

Welcome to The Moto Philosopher. The main purpose of this blog site is to share with you my passion for motorcycling. I hope you find this a good read. Your questions, comments, opinions, stories and insights are needed. So feel free to share, and Thank You in advance.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My Ride Is A Sportster

My bike is a 2006 black Harley Sportster 1200 Custom and I love it! It's the 2nd Sportster that I've owned and will never again so easily part with this one as I did with my last. It's light and nimble, has plenty of torque and goes fast enough for me. I'm really not interested in going more than 120mph anytime soon.

I like all sorts of bikes. Everything from a 96ci big twin Harley to a 49cc scooter. It's nice not living in a box! I can appreciate them all. I guess that's what makes me a motorcyclist.