30 November 2009 – The new brutale and the VFR

I read a review of the new MV Brutale and intro of the new Honda VRF in a few motorcycle mags today. The new Brutale is a serious upgrade, even though it looks basically the same. Of course, the premium version costs over 20K. Speaking of which, the new Multi-S tops 20K. I was just shopping for entry level sporty cars in the same price range. Comparing bang for the buck of a car vs a motorcycle is a moot point though.

The new VFR, with the optional Automatic tranny tops 600 pounds. The manual tranny is still only 20 pounds lighter. Does a sport-tourer need to weigh that much? The old ST was a full 100 pounds lighter than that. Honda packs a lot of technology into their bikes, but I’m really not interested in a 600 pound tourer. Of course, I’m not interested in a 20K naked bike from MV either.

Enjoy your week.

26 November 2009 – Black Friday Sale

DT is having a Black Friday sale. 10% off all products except OEM belts and exhaust systems. Customers must type “black friday” in the Customer code section of the shopping cart order during checkout. the discount will be processed manually after checkout, so you won’t see it on the shopping cart acknowlegement. Paypal order prepays will get a 10% refund after checkout. 24 hours only all day Friday. allow a few days extra for shipment due to expected volume of orders. We’ll honor stockouts. This sale is for friday only. Happy hunting.

25 November 2009 – “Sir! Sir!, You Can’t Shop Here” (billg)

Well it has happened again. I was stopped in my tracks. For the second time this year I have been singled out as someone who is a robbing stealing crack whore son of a bitch. Maybe that’s a little over the top, but I have no idea what the F people have a problem with.

Scenario, You’re an avid rider. You ride all the time. People actually know of you by being seen all the time. How can you not notice a Ducati rider among the masses of cruisers and rice bikes? For the past few years I made the full transition to riding all the time. Unless I have to pick up something that don’t fit in a backpack, I’m riding. So last month I was shopping…correction, attempting to shop at Winn Dixie. “HALT! HALT! You with the back pack! Stop! Surrender your backpack or you can’t shop here,” said the power hungry Winn Dixie Greeter. I asked if this was store policy, she retorted that it was. I had no time for bullshit, my bag was empty so I gave it to her. When I got home, I immediately emailed Winn Dixie corporate with a complaint.

My email to Winn Dixie went something like this: Does your company require the surrender of property in order for customers to shop? Does this include large purses or backpacks? I would like a copy of your policy so that I can alert other shoppers… etc

Not a few days later I get a call from Winn Dixie corporate apologizing for this manager and stating they have no policy on surrendering property before someone can shop. I still have not been back, I chose Publix.

Today I’m at the local IGA, a small grocer that does not stock a lot. Next door is a Family Dollar. I needed some light bulbs for my porch light. I’d shopped there before with my back pack and had no problems. Not two steps in the door the manager singles me out, “Sir, Sir, you can’t shop with your back pack. You have to leave it up here”. I answer back, “Are you serious?” “Yes”, she proclaims. “Well I guess I wont shop here”, I answer as I do a one eighty and head back out the door.

I wish I had made a scene. I’m too nice some times. I should have grilled her in front of all the women shopping. If I had it would have gone like this, “Now hold on their little Missy, are you telling me that anyone with a bag capable of concealing goods like this back pack should be surrendered to you? Does that include every handbag in here? Excuse me miss,” as I turn to one of the ladies shopping, “are you going to give up that hag bag so that little Missy doesn’t get ripped off? I mean you could park a Smart Car in there!”

911: 911, whats your emergency?

Family Dollar Missy: There’s a crazed man with a backpack. Come quick.

911: Backpack? What color?

Family Dollar Missy: It’s gray, lots of zippers, he could have a thing in there! He could have lots of things! Please hurry.

911: Mame, I’m going to have to tell you to keep calm. Are there any other back packs there?

Family Dollar Missy: No, lots of hag bags and some clutches that went out of style. What should I do? He says he wants light bulbs. Can’t I just give him the bulbs and maybe he will leave. I’m not ready to die. Oh my God, he’s removing his backpack!

911: Mame, units should be there now. Mame? Mame?

Occifer Klunk: Hey, hello, this is Occifer Klunk, Missy passed out. The man with the back pack apparently opened it up, removed two McDonalds cheese burgers and pie faced her. She’ll be alright, once they remove the pickle from her nostril. The suspect is down. We tazed him good. What was the original complaint?

911: The woman said he tried to shop there, with a backpack.

While I’m making light of this, I am really pissed that this sort of thing happens. At least what is good is that you can complain and get things fixed. When a rider is not treated like any other person, it just sets it up to happen again to the next guy. Don’t let “them” off easy. Let the home office know. Let other people know. When Family Dollar responds, I’ll let you know what they say. What a way to start the holidays… You Can’t Shop Here!

24 November 2009 – Happy Thanksgiving

I’m heading out of town for Thanksgiving. Here’s wishing you and yours a happy occasion with your family and friends.

I haven’t had one in a year, and since everyone else is doing it I thought I’d have a black friday sale. Info will be forthcoming. I’ll post again tomorrow or Thanksgiving.

Enjoy your holiday.

21 November 2009 – local offerings

 

I went by a few of the local dealers to kick tires. All were lamenting the sales this year. The multi-line dealers seem to be having the toughest time. I’d be mighty nervous to floorplan exotics. The local Ducati/Aprilia dealer had both regional reps visiting. It was weird to see the competing reps eye one another while handing out free baseball caps. Aprilia’s lineup is pretty awesome. They were rolling an RSV-4 off the truck while I was there. If my phone was worth a damn, I would have taken a few pics. I didn’t, so a canned shot from the Milan show of the 1198s will have to do.

20.5 November 2009 – Ducati’s Lineup for 2010

Ducati has a sparce plate next year in terms of new offerings. I’m surprised that they have any new models at all given their finances, but they have to keep developing bikes to create interest. They have a lot riding on the new Multi. It will be their new flagship tourer, and even though that segment is small, it brings people into dealerships. On the other end of the spectrum, they have the Monster 696, which is also relatively new. The 696 is more important to Ducati than the Multi 1200 in terms of units sold, but the Multi will have a bigger margin for dealers. All in all, Ducati’s lineup isn’t that long in the tooth. However, the 1098 enters it’s 4th year of availability next year. The 999 only lasted 4 years, the 916/996/998  10 years, and the 851/888 8 years. What will they develop next? Good question. I have no idea, although I’ve voiced my hopes of a redesigned SS. I doubt we’ll see any more retro bikes. I think that craze has been tapped. With regards to the new Multi, my hopes are that the new model hits the mark, and has few gremlins. They can’t afford the electronic instrumentation glitches of the multistrada or the ECU problems of the ST4S. I wish I could put a word in the ear of every engineer at Ducati — Convenience. Evidently, they’ve forgotten about quick-release fasteners and ease of maintenance. If you think an ST fairing is a pain, try doing a service on a 1098… or removing the tank from a HM.

Enjoy your Weekend.

20 November 2009-Goodbye (Mark)

After much thought and various reasons which I will not go in to over the past six months, I have decided to make this my last post.  It’s been great chatting with all of you but when light hearted humor is continually edited and/or deleted I will no longer participate.

11 November 2009 – Happy Veteran’s Day

 

By Wainwright Jeffers

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – This week America will celebrate and honor the men and women who have fought for this country.

In Albany it started with a ceremony Sunday morning, more than 100 Harley Davidson riders honored a special team of runners making a 600-mile journey, they help families of special force veterans when they need it most.

“We started Operation One Voice to send some challenge coins to troops who had boots on the ground,” said Bill Stevens, Duluth Police Department.

The challenge was a success and more than two dozen special operations forces now take part.

“There are some hills that we weren’t expecting. We don’t have that may hills in Tampa, but the support we’re seeing along the road is fantastic,” said Jay Bradley, US Special Operations Command, Tampa Fl.

Officers with the Duluth Police department in Gwinnett designed the program to raise awareness and funds for the families of our wounded and fallen warriors.

“We decided to run to show that police can do what they as special forces can do, and they do a lot of running, so we ran from Duluth to Savannah,” said Stevens.

Albany Harley riders say they wanted to show some type of recognition for what these runners are doing to help veterans.

“We need to recognize them unlike the era I went through in Vietnam where we got back to the airport and was spat on and now there is some recognition,” said Paul Murray, Motor Cycle Ride Coordinator.

On Wednesday two dozen runners will hit the finish line at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida.

“Veterans Day supports and recognizes all veterans unlike Memorial day which recognizes veterans who gave their lives to the country,” said Murray.

1 November 2009 – … the work continues.

I got motivated this weekend to continue work on the book.  Six chapters are now complete and I’m slogging my way through the worst chapter — on the Clutch. I’ll try to stay focused on the book until I leave for 5 days for the Warrior run on TH.

Glad to see Mark is keeping Blackwater lined with fresh layers of hot rubber.

Enjoy your week.