Its been almost two months since my last post. Things had gotten very busy with finishing up my doctorate, looking for jobs etc. All that is done and I will be moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan in a few weeks to start my new job there! I’m going to miss my grad school days.
In bike related news, I haven’t done any exciting rides in the last two months, just a few favorite local routes. However, I just put two new Pirelli MT66 tires on my bike today. Ordered them online and had them mounted at Pro Stock Performance on Harrison Ave. I’ll get a chance to scrub them in this weekend on a trip to French Lick, Indiana. Also got a free dyno run at the shop using the coupon provided in the Dynojet kit I’d used when I rejetted the bike. Lets just say I’m less than thrilled with the peak horsepower of my bike ( Less than 50hp). I think its time for that new bike I’ve been planning on getting for a year.
I also ordered a pair of Tourmaster Winter Elite gloves online. They won’t be here by this weekend, but hopefully my old gloves will do the job. The temperature is expected to range between 30° and 55° F.
The fall colors were not great this year at least in these parts but I’ll have pictures from the upcoming trip posted sometime next week.
A few weeks ago Angie and I repeated one of our first rides together two years ago, the Serpent Mound Ride. The route we took was the same as last time and we ate at the Village Inn restaurant in Peebles. We also stopped at Ripley on the way back. Angie’s bike had a dead battery at that time, so she was ‘forced’ to ride with me. She also took a few videos from the passenger seat which I need to compile together and post. Meanwhile, here are some pictures.
Any AMA members out there? If you have received the September 2007 issue of the American Motorcyclist magazine, turn to page 43 and check out the top right-hand corner. Yep, that’s my contribution! Last year I had sent in the description of a motorcycle accident I had a long time ago in India, for the monthly column Crash Course. Well, they finally decided to publish it, along with many other similar stories in an article called Riding Smart. I’ll put a link to it online once it shows up on the AMA website.
Have been really busy at work lately, so haven’t been riding much. However, I installed the tail-light conversion kit from ElectricalConnections last week. The kit converts the rear amber turn signals to red running lights using LEDs, to improve visibility. They still glow amber when you use the turn signal (see below). The kit costs about $50 and is quite easy to install. But depending on your bike, getting to the various wires could be difficult. On my bike, I had to remove the entire tail-light assembly, which was a very cumbersome process, but I am very happy with the product.
Today, I rode out to Joe’s Cycle Shop in Dayton to test ride the largest production cruiser on the planet, the Triumph Rocket III, a 2300cc triple cylinder monster. ( Not counting Boss Hoss motorcycles, that use the 8200cc Chevy V-8 engines).
The first thing I noticed was that the bike has A LOT of power. At 704 lbs dry weight (320 kgs), the Rocket is lighter than several full dresser HDs and puts out a peak 140 bhp @ 6000 rpm and 147 ft. lbs of torque at 2500 rpm. As I let out the clutch slowly, I could feel the latent power in the engine, requiring just a flick of the throttle to unleash. I’m sure I could have popped a wheelie if I wanted to. The triple cylinder engine sounds good, very different from a V-twin. The seat is taller but I could flat-foot on both sides. The bike was surprisingly nimble for its size and handles very well. I would definitely want to own one some day!
By the way, if you have a Triumph dealer in your neighborhood you should go and test ride the Rocket. After you test-ride the bike, you can enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win a Triumph Rocket! See the Triumph USA website for details.
On Saturday, Angie and I rode to Greensburg, IN to watch my brother’s first AFF skydive. He made a good jump. (See below for video). After the jump, we went to the farm for lunch and returned home on US 50.
The weekend was brutal for bikers in the tri-state area. Three bikers in a charity poker run in Dearborn county, IN were killed when a car driven by an impatient 18 year old crossed over the center line. Another biker was killed in a collision with a car on US 50 near Dillsboro, just hours after Angie and I rode back home on that route. (Links: 1,2,3,4).
The 2007 Thundering Hearts ride was pretty much exactly like last year’s- nice weather, big turnout and a great ride! However, was an additional feature this time- a skydive show at Camp Joyful Hearts. The jumps were spectacular, especially, the skydiver with the huge American flag, Gene Newsom. Unfortunately, as he was trying to land, the flag got snagged in the the trees and he fell the about 40 feet to the ground. Gene survived, but broke his back in several places and faces a long road to recovery after surgery.
(If you would like to wish Gene well, you can contact him at gnewsom @ teamfastrax dot org or Gene Newsom, c/o Start Skydiving, LLC, Warren County Airport, 2460 Greentree Rd., Lebanon, Ohio 45036 Donations can be made at US Bank to help with Gene’s medical expenses. Checks should be made payable to “Jump Foundation”. One hundred percent of everything will go directly to the Newsom Family. The account is set up in the name of David Hart, DBA Jump Foundation.)