Tuesday, March 1, 2011

IMS Motorcycle Show 2011

It was about two weeks ago (Perhaps a few days more, who's counting?) some friends and I went to the Chicago IMS motorcycle show. In case you were wondering, I wasn't actually going to the bike show this year. I've been the last couple of years, don't need to buy anything, and have this long bike trip I'm planning which is taking up not enough of my time.

But one of my friends had never been, and didn't want to go alone, and offered to drive. So off we went.

Triumph was back this year, which was pretty nice. Unfortunately I don't seem to have many pictures of the place. Only my phone pictures have turned up on my computer, which I freely admit I don't understand but can't do anything about. What pictures I do have are mostly of Blue, my Limited Edition Star Wars Build-a-bear, sitting on motorcycles.
Blue sitting on the new Yamaha Super Tenere, which is a pretty nice bike. I took more pictures, but ultimately I am disappointed the non-super Tenere (lighter and with a smaller motor) isn't making the crossing. Europe gets all the cool stuff.

My friend (Deb) was looking for a new helmet, and that took up much of our time. The show is a good place to try things on and ask for opinions. It didn't take long before she discarded the helmets she had researched before arriving and started looking at new models, finally settling on the HJC RPS-10. She had to order the pattern she wanted, but I hear she is very happy with it.

Blue tried out a lot of bikes

The pink bunny is Shine, who travels with Deb sometimes. I guess bunnies don't know much about bikes, or Blue was trying to impress her. I saw him talking motorcycles with her some.

After Deb had her helmet and we sat on a few more bikes it was 9pm and time to head home. I was tired and I think I slept some of the way. Yay for not driving.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Okay, I might be back

I need to start this again, and do a better job at it as I am about to take off on my motorcycle to travel as much of the world as I can. I have been planning this for a couple years, but keeping a blog has been pretty far down on my list of things to do.

Among other things, where the blog is going to be is something of a question. I also have a website address, painonpatrol.com, but there isn't anything there. I am still working out how to put something there. I hear Wordpress is nice, but the set up page made me feel old and non-computer-savvy.

But this is about motorcycles, so that is what I should be talking about. I was going to ride my sr250but manages to damage the engine so badly that it would be cheaper to buy another one. The catch is I had decided early on I would not buy another motorcycle, restricting my choices to bikes I already owned.

With the 250 out of the equation I was left with my 1981 XS1100H and my 2007 Ural Patrol. The patrol is the popular favorite, but I worry about it's operational cost. It gets crappy gas mileage and goes through tires quickly. Yes, it is set up correctly, it doesn't go through tires any faster than any other Ural.

It does go everywhere though.

Right now I am taking the Patrol (A bike I've names Despair, in keeping with my cheerly naming theme), and am planning a longish ride to the Overland Expo in April to make sure I will be okay with what Despair brings to the table. The trip actually worries me, which is odd. The thought of taking the xs11 is soothing. Still, have to give it a try, living for a year or 4 on a bike the extra space might be nice.

I am planning on at least one post a week, so let see how that goes.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Weekend of Riding Part One

June 5th was the 10th Annual Soup Run. Or, at least, it was the 10th. I get the annual thing screwed up sometimes.

Since I need to improve my endurance on the sr250, I decided I would ride that bike, and find a few other things to do. Port Washington, Wisconsin was having a Pirate Fest, with pirate attacks on the harbor, live music and fireworks, so that was my second destination for Saturday.

Saturday's forecast was for rain, but the sun was shining when I rolled the bike out of the garage to ride to the Soup Run.

I was packing a spare gas can and a few different pairs of gloves (for when it rained later). I also had a few personal items, in case I opted not to come home, though in the end I would.

The ride north was as boring as it is every year. I keep meaning to find a better way, but my natural desire to sleep as late as I can gets it the way, every year. I did have one small problem on the ride. Since I was running a bit late I was speeding a little (More on that later), which was causing a little more vibration than what is completely normal. This caused the pin holding my right sidecover to break (again, technically). I managed to hang onto the sidecover and the pin, though need to come up with a better repair plan.

When I got into the area, there were a large number of bike, all headed in the same direction. Most were of the large displacement v-twin variety, but other large displacement bikes were also there. They were all very large.

There's an sr250 in this picture, can you find it?

There was a pretty good turn out, though there were definitely fewer bikes than in years past.

Of course it is the Soup Run, so I went and got some soup.

After the soup there was some standing around and solving the worlds problems. Or at least complaining about them. I looked at more bikes. I did find a couple other 250s, a rebel and this thing -

Of course, I know the rider and the bike, and MP3. Pretty cool ride.

Everyone seemed to pick up and leave around 230pm or so, but I opted to stay longer. You know, until it started to really rain.

It was time to go, there were fireworks in the offing. So I hoped on the bike and headed east. I managed to avoid the rain, for the most part, until I actually reached Pirate Fest, and then it started to pour.

Pirate fest was something of a disappointment. Most of the vendors were closed, the pirate ship was tied to the dock looking damp, and everyone was hiding in tents. I was hoping for some food, but there wasn't anything that looked good, and the sit-down restaurants were packed.

I went for a walk down the beach, which looked pretty cool despite the rain.

It was on this walk that I heard they were thinking about canceling the fireworks. I decided I didn't want to wait for a couple hours in the rain (With no food, sadly), only to have the fireworks canceled, and then ride home in the dark and rain. So I got back on the bike and headed home.

The ride home was all interstate, but I kept the speeds down and it was actually pleasant. I got home around 830. There were plans to meet for coffee in the morning, and I had heard of a new cafe not far away.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wisconsin Newest Museum

The day was bright and sunny, and the temps were expected to reach all the way into the twenties, so of course it was a great day for a ride.

The Ural started right up, and I headed south to meet a few friends before heading to the grand opening of the Motorider Wisconsin Motorcycle Museum.

There were a lot of bikes out, but the display was a bit...underdeveloped. Rows which had to be negotiated with care about bumping into something. Hard to manage with a helmet over my shoulder, but I am too nervous about my lid to leave it laying around.

The beemer really caught my eye.

The museum is actually attached to the Motorider shop, which will service every make and model, and is open seven days a week. A nice touch for a motorcycle shop. The owner showed us around and even took us in back to show the bikes not on display.

Actually there was food delivered for the Grand Opening, and that was set up in the shop area. So the 'private tour' wasn't all that private, though seeing the Owner's passion about the collection (Most of which is his personally), and motorcycling in general was worth it.

The museum website is www.wisconsinmotorcyclemuseum.com, and it is worth a hour or three of your time if you find yourself in South East Wisconsin.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Winter and stuff

There was a rumor of a sledding party today at the lakefront, actually on a really big hill that I thought would be good for a few pictures. And carnage, lets face it I was looking for some crashes.

I was disappointed though, as no one actually showed up. Or, if they did, they didn't stand out from the family who was already there sledding when I got there.

Still, it was a nice day, for being on a motorcycle in Wisconsin in December. So I took the chance for a Ural photo op -

Okay, I actually took about 10 pictures here, but this one turned out really well. My 'regular' camera didn't survive my recent move, so I've been limited to my phone camera. 3.2 mega pixals, with a LED flash. Its not bad, really, but I do need to replace it. I can, actually, with a free gift catalogue from work...which I lost somewhere in my house. All well.

After bumming around at the lakefront I headed inland to meet my mom for a Christmas lunch. She got me a rather cool book, and I got her a gift card, loving son that I am.

I did some shopping after that, nothing too major. I'm sure I'll mention it again later.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Sunday I rode all the way (okay, not really far) to Johnny V's Classic
Cafe, near the state fairgrounds in West Allis. Located in a strip mall,
it has a sort of charm. Neon signs and an attempt to conjour the classic
diner feel. They don't quite pull it off, but the food is good and I
enjoyed the company I was meeting.

After breakfast, and some virtual tire kicking (I was the only one to
ride, despite the incredibly mild weather) most of the group headed to
the local Harbor Freight, where a motorcycle lift was on sale. I stayed
a bit longer to discuss the Motorcycle Accident Management program
gaining local momentum. It is currently very HD orientated, causing some
non HD groups to shy away. One of my breakfast-mates is involved in the
program but unable to become a lead instructor, though I would be if I
was interested. I'll have to look into it.

After that I headed to Harbor Freight just in time to load 381lbs of
lift onto the back of a truck. Timing, it seems, is everything. That
done, a small caravan headed off to the destination to unload, while the
other half of the group wandered out of the store, wondering where
everyone went. A brief conversation revealed none of us had the correct
phone numbers to get the destination address, so with shrugs we headed
our separate ways.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Its hard to know what bike to take when I want to go somewhere, the downside of having more than one bike I suppose.

I would like to do a big ride, like all of the Americas, and write a book, keep a blog (maybe even with video), and have people give me money for it. Would be nice, I know.

I have the Ural, most expensive bike I own to ride around, but everyone loves the ural. It attracts attention in ways no other bike does. Even dirty.

Adultery, my sr250 is the cheapest bike I have. Light too. Riders would be impressed with it, maybe, but I don't know about anyone else.

Then there is the xs11s. Cheaper to run than the Ural, more powerful than the 250. But I don't know if even riders would care too much about those. Of course, those are my favorite bikes.

Hard choices.