Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Best Motorcycle Poetry Sites

Hey you moto heads, you're not leaving Kano's Coffee House without getting a little bit of culture. Some of you really need it, having a bike helps but you're going to need some refinement to get the girl. So how about rounding off some of those rough edges of yours?

I have scoured the Internet looking for motorcycle poetry and came up with a list of the very best sites around. So give them a look see, I'm sure you'll agree, nothin better than moto poetry!

Songs of the Open Road features motorcycle related poetry, songs and even Uglicoyote's version of *Haiku which he cleverly calls Biku. Uglicoyote also runs Hard Ride an excellent blog also worth checking out. Biker Poetry, & Words. This site has great biker poetry, well worth the visit.

Wild Bill's Biker Poetry. Wild Bill, poetry, hmm. Anyway you won't leave this site without having a rip roaring, good time!

There you have it; I picked up plenty of culture at these 3 sites without leaving the trailer park. I highly recommend you give them a visit too. Who knows maybe the inspiration will awaken your inner Shakespeare!

*Haiku - Originated in Japan in the late 19th century. The traditional Haiku consists of a pattern of lines, the first being 5 words, the second 7 words, the third 5 words again and so on. e.g.
Loud pipes roar into consciousness
Closing cage windows little boy waves dreaming
Mother looks away not knowing
-Kano (worst haiku ever?)
An update on the best biker biker poetry sites

The Motorcycle Betrayal Poems

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Owner Satisfaction Survey. Harley-Davidson Sportster XL1200C

Owner/State - Kano/Oregon
Year/Make/Model - 2006 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL1200C
Modifications/Accessories - Sport detachable windshield, luggage rack, mini rail sissy bar with sissy bar pad.
How tall are you? - 5'11"
How are the ergonomics, is the bike comfortable? - Fine except the stock seat gets feeling like sitting on a brick after about 50 or 60 miles. Needs more padding.
How does it handle? - It corners fairly well for a cruiser. Lack of decent shocks make the smallest rut or pothole a bone jarring experience.
What is the bike used most for? - Commuting to work.
Has there been any unscheduled maintenance or repairs done? - No
What is the average gas mileage? - About 42mpg.
What is the average miles rode per week? - 70 or so.
How many miles on the odometer? - 2086
What do you like most about the bike? - It's a Harley, it's relatively light and easy to handle and I like the looks.
What do you like the least about the bike? Uncomfortable seat, bike sits a little lower than I would like, inadequate shocks, gas mileage could be better, takes a while for the engine to warm up.
Would you buy another one? - Yes, a 2007 or newer because they have fuel injection.
If you had a different bike what would it be? Maybe a Triumph America or Moto Guzzi California EV, or a Harley Softail Classic.
Overall are you satisfied with your bike? - Yes.
Would you recommend the bike to others? Yes.

So there you have it, the first of many bike satisfaction surveys to come. If you would like to have your bike included in an upcoming survey post, please email me at $1.99 Domain Names

Monday, August 27, 2007

Harley Sportster = ATV? Motorcycle Camping Diary

I embarked on a motorcycle journey of adventure, camping, and even a long ride up a mountain on a rough and steep logging road. My Harley Sportster went where no street bike should dare go...
Read The Entire Post

Top 10 Vacation Destinations!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Lady Riders, Vegas Is Calling - Femmoto 2007

If any of you women riders are looking for an excuse to go to Las Vegas, this is it!
Femmoto 2007 will be taking place October 5-7.

More Info:
Hard Ride
Women Riders Now
Top Hotel Deals in Las Vegas

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Sportster Unleashed - Motorcycle Camping Trip Coming Up!

Well, the Sportster and I are going to get an overnight road trip before the end of summer comes. Just when I thought I would miss out on my annual summer motorcycle journey, a telephone call came from my boss at work.

I work at a group home and the boss wanted to know if I could go on a 3 day camping trip with them. The only catch being I would have to take my own vehicle! Of course that was no catch at all for me, this was a chance to take my Sportster and get in a road trip, and paid for to boot!

I am leaving today for the Umpqua National Forest near Cottage Grove, Oregon and will return on Friday. After I get back, I'll be posting all about it. So be sure to check back this coming weekend for a new post featuring how my butt fared on that stock Sportster seat after about 100 miles each way. Have a great week ya all!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Moto Quote

"I felt the torque tilt the bike under me. I was afraid to take my hands off the handlebars. My wife lowered the helmet onto my head; I compared it to the barber's basin Don Quixote had worn into battle, the Helmet of Mambrino."
-Thomas McGuane from Me And My Bike And Why.

Friday, August 17, 2007


The stranger slowly rolled into the dusty town on his iron horse, a Harley Road King. Only the ghosts seemed to notice, nobody else was around.

He took in the scene as he went, here the remains of a Phillips 66 station, there a boarded up place that may have been a hotel. An abandoned school house stood crucified at the edge of town on top of a rise in the landscape. On one side of the school was an oak tree and the other a lone swing. It moved to and fro in the dry wind, childless and lonely.

A few people still lived in the area. Clinging onto the skeleton of the once busy town in the Oregon High Desert. An assortment of vehicles in varied states of dilapidation sat in the driveways of several houses.

The stranger dismounted in front of the long closed gas station and fumbled around in his saddlebag retrieving a digital camera. He tried to take a picture of the old-style gas pump. It sat like a monument to the fading memory of a place alive. Dead batteries.

An old woman announced her presence by the slam of a screen door at a house across the street. The front part of the home had been badly converted into a convenience store. The stranger and the old woman exchanged polite greetings as he went inside looking for batteries and something to drink.

A dozen flies flitted in the air; a fine layer of dust covered the candy bars on the counter top. She didn't have any batteries to fit the camera. He grabbed a Pabst Blue Ribbon out of the rusty floor cooler and fished a piece of jerky out of a jar. Thinking the jerky should be safe, since it takes them a long time to go bad.

The stranger told the old woman that he was a history buff. She said it would be fine if he wanted to look around a bit. As long as he stayed out of the buildings and didn't steal or break anything.

He walked down the road and sat down on the faded wooden front porch of the school house. The once grassy yard was overgrown with sagebrush. He opened his beer and sipped slowly as he looked at the scene. He felt a little sad as he thought about how time keeps on ticking, nothing stays the same, we grow old, we die and eventually nobody remembers we had even existed. Time erases everything, and this town was nearly finished.

The swing was motionless now and he thought about the last time a child sat on it. He wondered if she even knew it would be her last time. The late afternoon wind gusted, re-animating the swing. His morose expression was replaced by a faint smile as he thought maybe the swing wasn't so lonely and childless after all.

Back at his motorcycle, the stranger ignited the fire that brought his iron horse back to life. He rolled out of town slowly, almost reluctantly, then quickened as he opened up the throttle.

The old woman looked on as he went out of sight past the old cemetery. Only a dust cloud marked the stranger's progress along the way. The Road King roared, echoing off the narrow canyon walls.

Then the din of its motor faded and was gone, replaced by the voice of the wind. The dust settled back onto the desert floor and the Sun went down behind the distant mountains, all was well.
©2007 N.(Kano)Miles, Kano's eCoffee House

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Motorcyclists, You Can Help Save The Rain Forests One Cup At A Time!

On your next coffee stop you might think twice about what you order and the same for when you buy coffee for home. Every action we take has a positive or negative impact on people and the environment. In the case of coffee, the impact on what we buy is huge. The Rain Forests are being cut and burned at an alarming rate. And the Rain Forests are important to our survival...

A while back I was running low on coffee in the house. I thought, hey I'm an affiliate for Island Joe's Gourmet Coffee in Key West Florida, and I have links for them on my blogs. Why not give them a try? I ordered the Organic Fair Trade Shade Grown Breakfast Blend. Within a few days I was brewing up a pot of some of the most aromatic and best tasting coffee I have ever had.

If you love coffee as much as I do then you deserve the best. It's definitely worth the extra cost to have good coffee delivered right to your front door. The flavor of freshly roasted and ground organic coffee just doesn't compare to the so-called coffee that comes in a can.

Why buy organic coffee, shade grown coffee, and fair trade coffee? And what the heck does all that mean you might ask. Well I don't want to lose readers by going too long on a post, so here's the short of it:

Organic = No fertilizers, pesticides or other toxic chemicals and that means better quality, healthier and less impact on the environment.
Shade Grown = No chopping or burning down the Rain Forest to plant bigger crops of coffee. Coffee plants are grown where they grow naturally, under the canopy of trees.
Fair Trade = The coffee farmers are paid a fair amount for their crops. Something that most of the coffee bean brokers don't do. Poverty, exploitation and misery are reduced.

So there you have it Motorcyclists. Buy the best, do the right thing, buy organic shade grown fair trade coffee. It's an honorable thing you can do for the less fortunate, for the Rain Forests and ultimately for yourself. You can make a difference one cup at a time!

gourmet coffee

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Moto Quote

"FINALLY...HERE WAS the actual living in the here and now that took the edge off my existential fear of time going on forever."
-Erika Lopez, from Flaming Iguanas: An Illustrated All-Girl Road Novel Thing.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Re-Creation on a Sportster

I don't ride as much as I used to. My riding these days has been mostly limited to a short commute to and from work. Once a week maybe I get out for a bit of a longer more recreational ride. It just doesn't seem like enough.

The word recreational says it all. Re-creation, to re-create. After going for a ride on my Sportster I feel renewed, born again into my real self, young. When I haven't ridden in awhile I slowly but surely feel worn down, rusty, old.

The price of gas and my growing concern about global warming have put something of a damper on what used to be frequent and joyful rides.

How to reconcile my need for the road along with being less of an impact on the environment and my wallet is the question. Doing what I'm doing now is the answer.

I ride and re-create, and when I'm not riding, I'm reading about riding. When I'm not doing that I blog, about motorcycles of course!

Rosie O'Donnel's Bad Biker Encounter

Saturday, August 11, 2007

My New Motorcycle Jacket

For the first time in my life I left my trusty old black leather motorcycle jacket in the closet and rode off wearing something else. A Tourmaster Transition textile motorcycle jacket.

I have a new job and am doing most of my commuting at night now. So I figured it would be a good idea to get a jacket that would improve my visibility. After all my Harley Sportster is black, my leather jacket is black and my helmet is black. In other words I haven't exactly been the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's poster boy. Some improvement in my motorcycle safety apparel was definitely in order.

The criteria for the new jacket was it had to have good night-time visibility and it had to be durable. I'm a practical guy and I don't want a closet full of jackets, one for each season and type of weather. This jacket had to do it all and for less than $200 bucks.

I did some research and found that the Tourmaster Transition Jacket fit the bill. It's a three quarter length jacket with removable armor and is made of 600 Denier Carbolex and 600 Denier Ballistic Polyester. The shell incorporates reflective Phoslite material panels for strength and visibility. It has a waterproof and breathable Rainguard barrier. The zippers are waterproof as well and there is a zip-out quilted liner for cold weather. For warm weather there are plenty of air vents.

I went to the local Honda dealership and tried one on. I fell in love with it immediately, it was everything advertised to be and more. I was very impressed with the quality and looks of the jacket. Even though it's made in China (try to find anything that isn't these days) it's very well made. For a MSRP of 149.99 I smelled a bargain.

I do feel a little guilty when I think about my old leather jacket collecting dust in the closet. Maybe I'll take it out for a daytime ride once in a while for old times sake. I cannot completely abandon my old friend. We've had too many good rides together.

You can find the Tourmaster Transition Jacket at Bike Bandit for $149.99
Motorcycle Apparel & Gear at!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Torn Between Form & Function - Ultra Classic vs Scooter

I'm torn between form and function. Being a practical man, I love basic bare bones function. The favorite cage I ever owned was a Jeep Wrangler for that very reason. No carpet to get muddy, everything had a purpose, no fluff, no frills, transportation. That's what I like. But when it comes to motorcycles, that's when things get complicated.

I love the big twins, loaded with chrome, leather, saddlebags and conchos. If I could afford it I might be riding one of those. But the practical guy inside me says my Sportster if fine. It serves it's purpose well and looks good too.

Practical, functional, utilitarian, that's me. Why then the conflict with bikes? I don't know, maybe some primeval leftover in our thought process tells us bigger and flashier is better. Maybe it's an instinctive need to attract the opposite sex by flaunting our virility and the opposite sex falls for it. I have no such feelings about driving a small car or truck though, why motorcycles? Something about bikes makes me identify with them more than any other object ever honed out of steel.

I look at the extreme. The Kawasawki KLR is supremely practical except it sits a little high. It has what it needs to serve it's purpose and has a reliable engine and is good on gas. It's no show stopper for sure but the beauty lies in it's utilitarianism. If one wants to include scooters in this discussion then they would take the prize for extreme function.

The other extreme would be those huge machines bristling with passing lamps, radar detectors, GPS units, windshields, bags and stereos. A Honda Gold Wing or Harley Ultra Classic comes to mind.

Maybe I would be content if I had all the bases covered. A Harley big twin, a basic scooter and my trusty Sportster for the middle. Yep, that's it. Or is it? Nope, that wouldn't be practical either, owning 3 bikes. Sure would be fun though!

See the adventure documentary Long Way Round. 2 Men, 2 Bikes, 20,000 miles.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

A Quick Coffee Run

Sometimes I forget how fortunate I am to be living where I do. It had been a couple of long days since I last rode my motorcycle when my Brother In-Law called. He asked if I was interested in going for a short ride for some coffee. "You bet I do", was my quick answer.

We headed out from My house on the outskirts of Salem, Oregon. He on his Buell Odyssey and I on my Sportster. The destination was The Silver Creek Coffee House in the nearby farming town of Silverton. Silverton is just 13 miles east of where we started. The ride took us through beautiful farm country. The sun was riding low in the sky to our backs. Taking a short detour off the main road we stopped at the Gallon House Bridge. The bridge spans Abiqua Creek and is Oregon's oldest remaining covered bridge, built in 1917. The traffic on that country road is rare and slow. We parked our bikes right on the bridge and got off to look around awhile.

The bridge was named for a nearby house that used to sell whiskey by the gallon. Silverton was a dry town back in the old days, so the nearest place to get alcohol was to cross Abiqua Creek and buy it over at the Gallon House.

On to Silverton. With it's population of just over 7,000 this small town has maintained the flavor of perhaps the 1950s or early 1960s. No cookie cutter strip malls, factory outlet stores, McDonald's, or Walmarts here. All the downtown business is local and unique. About 10 other bikes were parked on the block where we parked. We weren't the only ones with the idea.

The Silver Creek Coffee house is located in an old building with well worn wooden floors. They had the usual house coffees and all those fancy lattes, mocha's and cappuccinos. My brother In-Law got an iced mocha and I got an excellent big cup of organic house coffee. On nice days I prefer to sit outside and there are a few tables out front overlooking the parked bikes and the goings on about town. We opted for the terrace on the back of the building though with it's umbrella covered tables overlooking the swiftly moving Silver Creek.

We talked about bikes, trips we had taken, trips planned, and trips we probably won't get to in our lifetimes. Then it was time to go. We aimed our bikes into the now setting sun. In a short while we were on the outskirts of Salem again, the strip malls and fast food chain stores started appearing. I gunned the engine and went even faster, wanted to get past this mess of modern businesses. I glanced into my mirror, Starbucks loomed like a monster chasing me in a bad dream, I glanced again and it was falling behind, getting smaller, unable to keep up.

Home again and not even gone long enough to get my Wife mad. She had barely even noticed I was gone. Yes, it's a good place to live, a place where even a short ride is a good ride.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A Midsummer Nights Dream Ride

2am-The silence of my suburban neighborhood was broken by the roaring to life of my Sportster. Not wanting to incite the ire of the locals I left the enricher knob wide open, not taking the time to allow the engine to warm-up, I kicked it into 1st gear and headed out.

It's times like these that I am glad I didn't replace my stock pipes with the Screamin Eagle louder ones. I come and go a lot at night, and even though the sound of my bike is music to my ears, I understand it's not necessarily music to other ears.

It was my night off and I wanted to take advantage of the full moon and the still warm summer air. There is something special about such rides as these. The traffic is Nil, especially on the country roads I ply. The road twists and dips down into hollows where the temperature noticeably drops then warms again at the top of the rise. I smell the earthy humid air as I pass through a wooded area. I see what is illuminated by my high beam and the orange glow of my speedometer and nothing else. That is why I keep my speed down. This is the time when deer, raccoons, possums and skunks are out and crossing roads.

I pulled off to the side and hit the kill switch. The lights went out after turning the ignition off. Silence. After a few moments the temporarily cautious frogs and crickets renewed their song. After a little while my eyes adjusted to the darkness. I sat down and leaned my back against an oak tree and watched the moon pop in and out of the clouds overhead.

Ignition on, lights, the Sportsters engine comes to life, the crickets and frogs must have paused to listen to the roar of what must have been a monster to them. I disappeared over the top of a hill, leaving the hollow behind in peace.

Back at home and in bed when I shut my eyes, I could see and experience the whole ride over again. Not much else leaves a memory as vivid as this. It was a midsummer nights dream ride.