Posts Tagged ‘Harley Owners Group’

Towed away!

As I noted in Part 2, we left the Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum headed north on the Blue Ridge Parkway. But my internal navigation system “honed through years of military training” (LOL) kept telling me we were going the wrong direction. The crazy GPS lady was stating we were headed in the right direction but my trust was not there.

So going against the rules of my “man card” I stopped at one of the overlooks with several bikers taking in the awesome view. After a bit of small talk they confirmed I was headed in the right direction…so much for my instincts LOL. BUT, I was not completely wrong, turns out that this portion of the parkway made a long southern dip before turning to the north. So…vindication!!!

The next day we left the hotel at about 8 AM and hit Interstate 40. WOW, if you have to ride on an interstate highway let them all be like I40. Lots of elevation changes, even more gentle twists and turns on good to great tarmac, I40 is a motorcyclist dream of how every interstate should look. The next time I head to that part of the country I will roll through there again.

That wonderful feeling you get when the bike, the road, the weather and everything else comes together for the perfect ride came apart about three hours into our sojourn when the bike came apart. I was feeling an odd tap on my boot but when I looked down there was nothing there, when Debbie looked she said my shifter looked loose. Turns out it was more than loose, the linkage had come apart!!!!

I was in 6th gear and unable to change gears! I saw an exit coming up and decided to try and baby the bike off the highway, down the exit ramp and into a gas station. I was afraid that if I had to stop that the bike would stall and I was in no mood to push. Luckily, there was no traffic at the bottom of the ramp and with a wide turn I made it through the exit and was able to roll to a stop in front of the Hartford, TN Citgo.

As soon as I was off the bike it was clear that this was a big issue around a little part. Somehow the linkage that connects to the shaft that connects to the heel/toe shift levers had disconnected. The torx screw that is used to tighten the linkage to the shaft was still there, the whole thing just vibrated right off.

The multi-tool that Harley gives you with the Ultra Limited was of no help. One bit was to small, and the next bit was to large, even so I am not sure I would have been able to fix the problem with the tool based on where I needed to be to reattach and tighten the screw.

So, as Harley Owners Group members, we called in for a tow. A few hours later we were talking with Joe at Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson of Pigeon Forge, TN. Less than 30 minutes after it was off the tow truck it was fixed and ready to ride.

From what I can tell, based on comments on Twitter, Facebook, user forums and HD techs this is not an uncommon problem. In fact I have had several people comment that, based on my roadside breakdown, that when they checked their linkage they found loose connections. IF YOU HAVE AN FLH… CHECK YOUR SHIFT LINKAGE!

Anyway, the entire ordeal lasted about 6 hours altogether. Which put us behind our semi-planned scheduled. We stopped for the night right after crossing into Virginia and then rode the all the way home the next day… through some rain of course!

The entire trip was 6 day and 1700 miles in length. We spent some quality time together even if the weather and traffic and breakdowns put a crimp in our trip. We had a good time and look forward to our next adventure. Hopefully with less rain!

This is a repost from…..

The Florida State Fair motto is “Discover the Fun.”

Well it appears that the motto only applies some of the time.

In 2010 a group of motorcyclists, including two from the Spirit Riders Motorcycle Ministry and one with the US Military Vest MC were turned away from the Florida State Fair due to a “no colors” policy that was initiated in an effort to discourage gang activity.

The fair’s employees turning away the motorcycle riders was caught on tape and the three filed suit in Federal Court.

Last month, the trio were awarded $72,500 in a settlement.

The Fair Authority and its insurance company decided to settle the lawsuit, but they still believe the no-club-colors policy was constitutional.

Most people with the IQ equal to their shoe size know that if you pay that kind of money, you don’t think you will win.

The Florida State Fair policy has since been changed to: “the fair may turn away or eject people who are disruptive or who display behavior associated with “criminal gang membership.” Yeah because we all know those Christian bikers are such a law-breaking bunch!

This should be a lesson to anyone who would stop the free speech rights of bikers to wear colors. While it’s reasonable to assume that you don’t want the Hells Angels and Mongrels facing off in a public place, there are other ways of dealing with the problem, and punishing everyone for the acts of a view is about as unAmerican as it gets.

motorcyle touring, maryland, motorcyle riding

I have been meaning to post this for a while but forgot about it until recently.

A reader of this blog, Greg G., has a nice website to document good motorcycle rides in Maryland. If you are in or near Maryland you should check out his site, Maryland-Motorcycling, for ride ideas.

Each of his rides contain a short description of the ride and links to the Harley Davidson Ride Planner to show the actual route and waypoints.

ride planner, motorcycle touring, motorcycle ride, maryland

If you are going to ride in Maryland, Greg’s Maryland-Motorcycling website is well worth a look.

…. the Task Force’s presentation to the CDC in October 2013 “links the adoption of universal helmet-use laws to a potential reduction in motorcycle riding, which would help meet the CDC’s goal to reduce injuries and fatalities”….

I am so happy that the AMA is jumping in this issue! They have sent a letter to the CDC asking for meeting to discuss the issue. As I noted in earlier posts (here, here, and here), it is my opinion that this is the first strike to make motorcycling a bad health choice just like cigarettes, soda and trans fats.

The AMA has created a FAQ that attempts to inform us of what they are concerned regarding this issue.

As a community we need to make sure that motorcycling stays out of the health care debate. Please contact your congressional representatives (202-224-3121) and ask them to keep the CDC out of motorcycle safety issues. Motorcycle, motorcycling, Harley, Harley Davidson, café racer, café motorcycle, motorcycle safety, motorcycle advocacy, congress, Motorcycle Ride, motorcycle riding, hog, hd, custom motorcycle, harley owners group

Aerodynamics, motorcycle art,Motorcycle, motorcycling, Harley,  Harley Davidson, café racer, café motorcycle, motorcycle safety, motorcycle advocacy, congress, Motorcycle, Motorcycle Ride, motorcycle riding, harley davidson, harley, hog, hd, custom motorcycle, harley owners group

Airodynamics as Art

They say that art is in the eye of the beholder, will I behold art.

This was a small picture on page 65 of the current issue (# 23) of HOG magazine (the scan does not do it justice).  The moment I saw it I began searching the web for this or similar photos, I did not find anything as nice as this.

Harley Davidson, if you were to offer framed versions of this for sell I think you would get a few takers. HOG how about making this available as a wallpaper for our computers/laptops/tablets.

I have a lot more than 25,000 miles on my bikes. Heck, Debbie and I put on nearly 6500 miles on the bikes this year. But I just got around to submitting the paper work for the 25K award to the Harley Owners Group a few weeks ago.

This is the patch that you receive for this milestone. There is a matching pin that you can use as well. So now I have to update my biker/pirate vest! 😉

photo by scott massey

HOG 25,000 Mile Patch

harley Davidson

Harley Davidson Vehicle Operations, York, PA Open House

Debbie and I decided to ride to the Open House at the Harley Davidson factory in York, PA on September 19th.  The factory, which is officially known as the “Harley Davidson Vehicle Operations, York, PA”, has an annual open house and allows the public a chance to see how HD Softails, Trikes, Touring and CVO are built.

We left the house a bit later then we wanted but hit the road mid-morning.  Taking US Route 15 North to Gettysburg (after stopping at Deb’s favorite, Chick-fil-a for breakfast).  The ride on 15 between Frederick, MD and Gettysburg is nice smooth, picturesque trip through Farm County.  But, you need to be alert on this road as there are many, many crossroads that require attention!

When we reached Gettysburg we turned on to US Route 30, also known as The Lincoln Highway, which is the third longest route in the US.  The exit for Route 30 is also the exit for Battlefield Harley Davidson.  I was surprised at the number of motorcycle related small businesses were along the road between Gettysburg and York.  While we did not stop, we were running a bit later then I wanted, I counted at least 5 bike related stores including Battlefield Leather and the Iron Horse Repair Garage.

The worse part of the ride occurred just outside the town of New Oxford. The major crossroad in the town is being repaved and had traffic backed up at least 5 miles.  The GPS showed no way around without a lot of back tracking and Deb would not allow me to skip traffic by riding on the shoulder.  Once we reached the city limits I was able to ride through the back streets and bypass the traffic and construction.  All in all the road worked added another 30 minutes to the ride.

We arrived at the factory a bit before noon. There were all makes and manor of bikes there, even for a Thursday afternoon.  After registration we were issued safety glasses and told to stay inside the yellow lines.

harley davidson

Debbie having lunch outside the factory!

During the walk through we witnessed the birth of a Harley (the VIN stamped onto the frame), fenders and tanks stamped from sheet metal, fairings and saddlebags attached, and bikes tested then loaded into trucks.

We talked with a few of the workers that were assigned to keep us on the path and out of the way of the robots moving the bikes and parts along the assembly line.  They all like working at the plant and enjoyed having us walk through and see what they do to make the bikes.

The walk though ends with you in the gift shop, of course.  There were many “Vehicle Operations” labeled items including the ubiquitous t-shirts.  Because this was an open house the factory had invited several local dealers to “setup shop” in the parking lot along with some food vendors and the “Globe of Death”!  In a different part of the factory campus there were demo rides of the new 2014 bikes as well as the HOG (Harley Owners Group) Pin Stop.

All in all we had a great day (with the exception of the town of New Oxford), so much so that we are considering going back for the “Steel Toe Tour”.

I recorded this at the Harley Davidson Vehicle Operations, York, PA Open House!

Recently I have had battery issues on my Harley Davidson Heritage Softail Classic.  The battery does not hold a charge for more than one day of nonuse.

To connect my charger, I have to remove both seats and attach the clamps to the battery.  As often as not the clamps would slip off and the battery fails to charge.

Harley has Battery Charging Harness with LED Charge Indicator for $14.95 (that’s right not HD (hundred dollar)).  This product not only lets me charge or maintain the battery but flashes a red LED when it reaches a level that it requires charging. I bought the device at Frederick Harley Davidson.

Installation was straight forward: remove the seats, attach the leads to the battery, tuck in the fuse, zip tie the lead to the frame and put the seats back on.  After I have used this for a while I will let you know what I think of product.

harley owners group

The HOG life

After doing the math it was cheaper in the long run to join as a HOG life member.

I have no idea where I would wear the pendent/medal, guess I will put it in my dealer/event pin collection.  The patch I will put on my biker/pirate vest.  😉

The benefits of a life member are the same as a full member except I get the pin and patch… Oh, and do not have to pay the annual fees again.