28 February 2011 – …Another month gone…(John)

Time.

Tick…

Tick…

Tick…

What is the most valuable thing? Time. Time can never be retrieved. Once that moment has passed, it will NEVER come back. All the money in the world cannot buy back lost time. For example, those four hours I spent watching the Acadamy Awards with my wife last night are gone. Some day, years from now, I KNOW I will want those four hours back.

Motorcycles.

Time.

Time to ride motorcycles.

Motorcycles that need to be ridden.

Choices. Decisions, decisions. How much time do you have left? How much of the time that you have left will be QUALITY time. What is quality time? Would you want to live to 120 if you knew the last 30 of those years would be spent in a nursing home bed? How do you want to live the life you have left? A bucket list?

So, February is over. Here in the south it is warm enough to ride every day. I’m riding as often as I can. Every free day I’m riding. My wife is wise enough to allow me to wake up early on Sunday and go for a two hour spin on one of my machines. I’m a lucky man.

You get one shot at this world. Ride.

You can sleep when you’re dead.

Live. Ride, refuel, repeat.

March will be over before you know it.

Keep riding, My Friends.

27 February 2011 – Drive-by Post

I was away at the Indy Dealer show last weekend, which had me writing the story of that for MCN this past week. In addition, Bryan’s ST4S rolled in for a full service and I got the rest of the parts to make the voltmeter kits. That, plus the start of the Spring maintenance season has had me swamped. I have two other editors posting occasionally, so I’m glad to take a backseat to the DD for awhile so I can concentrate on my paying gigs. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one to write off-the-wall Posts.

The clutch master cylinder on the 853 took a dump, so I installed an Accossato radial master this past. Very tasty masters. They’re pricey when you factor in the required reservoir mounting kits, but I have a good relationship with Galfer so I may offer them for resale. They’re popping up all over on race bikes. Buell even picked them for his new Superbike. I tested the new master and a new map on the 853 today. All was well, but I think I need to switch to premium grade gas as I noticed some predetonation. I didn’t take the time to measure the compression ratio when I installed the 853 kit.

WSB is this weekend,  so let the racing season commence. My prediction for WSB is for Biaggi to repeat and Stoner and Pedrosa to finish one-two in MotoGP. I’d be happy if Rossi was healthy enough and did enough development on the D16 to get a podium or two.

Back to work for me. Have a good week.

LT evo

23 February 2011 – Ron’s Response (Ken)

Ron replied:

This is not an editorial, it is a rant, and we would best not conflate the two.

Ron, you have made my week by taking the time to answer back. This is exactly the type of discussion that is needed. However, as none of the regular readers of the Daily Desmo have an idea of where you’re speaking from, I wish you had given a bit more information so as to increase our collective understanding of your stance (actions equal truth).

Ken is certainly entitled to his opinion, which I respect. But he is not entitled to doing exactly what he complains about in others without comment in a public forum. That is, in the first paragraph he condemns ALL faculty and ALL students in elite universities as if they ALL were signators to this political manifesto. We are not. Ken has but to go to the website for any of these extreme groups and see that they are a highly vocal handful. I mean, they are naming each other in their minutes by first names, like the small club that they are. How is this representative?

Condemnation of the majority who stand by and do nothing when a vocal minority brings forward a “political manifesto” is a bad thing? I disagree. It is not only our duty as the keepers of social justice to support the desires of those who are seeking Transgender rights, but also to ensure that all organizations are allowed equal treatment on universities (ROTC included). Representative government only works when people actually step forward to be counted. When it becomes politically expedient to allow the rights of the Transgender community to be weighted well above those of others, being that any argument against them is considered “hate”, then democracy has failed.

So – shall we speak about the real world now? Why is Ken using a small group as an emblem for all of the elite universities of the U.S.? The vilification of higher education by the right is protracted, sustained, and utterly misguided. These are cheap political points for the poorly educated and indicative of a profound dislike of democracy, for democratic systems require a variety of opinions, like them or not. I am often amused that constitutional conservatives do not understand the basics of the actual constitution, but employ it as an club to limit dissent—a profound violation of the expressed intent of our founding fathers.

“Democratic systems require a variety of opinions, like them or not.” Ron, you’ve made my point for me. However, as the situation now stands, ROTC, which most Ivy League universities banned in the late 60’s, is excluded from participating. As a person who has actually been to countries without governments (Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq) or with governments that aren’t democracies (Kuwait), I wonder who is best able to describe how valuable the ability to actually disagree with the status quo actually is? As a liberal, and a rather staunch one, I enjoy when people automatically assume that anyone supporting the Military is automatically a conservative, as though Liberals are somehow discriminated against or refuse to serve their country.

This is, to me, the ultimate insult to my service. That anyone would dare to question my understanding of the Constitution when I swore an oath to support and defend it, which implies that I actually know what the Constitution says, although many people don’t give people in the Military credit for having enough intelligence to actually do more than stop bullets with their bodies (as one person told my Brother, “that’s what they’re for”). Furthermore, I am not trying to “limit dissent” as you suggest, but rather stop the ignorant Ivy League schools from limiting the ability of scholars with the grades, test scores, and ROTC scholarships to attend their “superior” education facilities.

For example, when I took an ROTC scholarship as a contracted cadet my Junior year of college, I had the academic and financial wherewithal to transfer to any university in the nation. Would I have transferred to Harvard if given the opportunity? Without a doubt. However, I wasn’t going to put myself in a situation where every ROTC class was taken at another university. Why? Because I would have wanted Harvard to be proud of me, not to treat me like a second class citizen as currently is the case. If anyone is limiting dissent, it is the university. If the Federal Government wanted to limit dissent, the ROTC program would be mandatory, as it once was.

As to the elite universities—where do you think the technology for your weapons comes from? Who is designing the new prosthetic limbs, inventing new materials, testing the medications or developing computer models and languages for intelligent machines? Who is inventing the software or most of the hardware employed in guidance systems? When David Petraus got his doctoral degree at Princeton, I don’t think it was by accident that he used the faculty and facilities of one of the best “elite” universities of the nation. The best assessment of our universities is that they represent yet another pillar of our national security, without which we would be manifestly weaker in every sense.

It is here in your response that I believe you lost sight of your goals, as you again support my argument for a gentle Federal benefactor funding research and the magnificent lack of interference in daily operations. If the Federal Government was as draconian in its discrimination as is suggested by the continued rejection of the ROTC program BY THE UNIVERSITY, then all of this money you mention would just go away. No more grants. No more matched funds. Goodbye to your research products. However, as that is not the way that the Government operates, I find the fact that the University and the Students continue to oppose a “Military” presence laughable.

The people who are taking Federal dollars are supporting every policy in effect by the Federal Government no matter what they personally believe. You can’t wash the money and get the Iraq and Afghanistan off of it. Speaking of which, how much money does a university need to get in weapons research before they forget they’re making things that kill people? Not “targets” or “bunkers” or “vehicles” and the other words you use to sooth yourself. You’re making weapons to kill people. Oh, and for those who say “I’m just doing peaceful research,” I’ll tell you there is no such thing. Since a rock was used as a weapon, every advance in science has been somehow been tied into either supporting strength or taking it away from someone else.

As to Generals attending these universities, why not? The universities enjoy the prestige of being able to say “such and such is an alumnus” while in the other hand they push away that educational opportunity to the youngest of America’s combat leaders. I suppose that makes sense if you’re looking at this issue from the side of “what’s best for the university?” instead of “what’s best for the nation?” Keep telling yourself that your university is “too good” for “such people” with the substandard goal of entering the Military as a commissioned officer. Maybe you’ll even tell a student, like was once said to me, “you’re being wasted on the Military.”

No honest person doubts the valor of those who put their lives on the line. Why do you doubt the patriotism of faculty and university-based researchers who teach and are supportive of that same commitment—because they have a different opinion? Is it simply because they ask important questions that those in the military cannot ask without putting their careers and morale in jeopardy?

I’m a bit lost here. Maybe it is because you are making a significant mistake in assuming that there is no discussion within the Military about what we are doing and why we are doing it? This is what we, as Veterans, face because of the very few Americans who have chosen to serve: ignorance beyond what you’ve seen in movies or watched on YouTube. There is always discussion about what is happening. Only a fool of a commander doesn’t encourage subordinates to voice their opinions. What is different is that once everyone has had their say, you still have a job to do. If ROTC was actually on your college and university campuses, you might actually get a chance to speak to people below the rank of General, who mostly have never actually seen combat, and learn how being in the Military doesn’t require a lobotomy.

As to the patriotism of faculty? Well, I just need to take a look at how you’re still denying students the opportunity (right?) to attend every program of instruction open to them. Where are the professors saying, “we might not like what they stand for, but we encourage them to come to our university?” If there’s been a single person who’s done this, please send along the information. For all of the profession of freedom, the truth seems a bit more convoluted (addressed in detail below).

Most importantly: why does Ken believe that the extreme left defines the system? Let us consider that in reverse: Were all the officers and men in Viet Nam equivalent to Lt. William Calley, conducting the msss murder of civilians at My Lie? Ken has articulated a model of university faculty and students that is wrong both generally and in the particular. If he wishes to rant and rail at an imaginary group conceived from a gossamer web created from a small group of extreme opinions, so be it. But please do not conflate this with truth, any more than I understood all Viet Nam vets to be mass murderers, as Calley has now admitted he was.

As shown above, the extremes of both the left and right are actually similar in their beliefs, only the details are different. While the William Calley example is interesting, and I would put him somewhere at the 12 o’clock position, he was the product of his environment. Besides the horrors of Vietnam, he was a college dropout who somehow was inducted into the Army and then into Officer Candidate School (OCS). Not well regarded by his Soldiers, who considered killing him due to his incompetence, the failure here was in the chain of command in not removing him earlier (the entire Division was named several times in investigations for the excessive force used against civilians).  Interestingly enough, General (then Major) Colin Powell was the officer tasked to investigate the incident. He, being General Powell, and General Norman Schwarzkopf, are two of the more famous members of this Division, the 23rd Infantry (Americal Division).

So, then, we have a college dropout who leads a massacre, and two West Point Graduates who later become Secretary of State and Centcom Commander. Sounds like a good vote for education as a “civilization” and screening tool, or perhaps just a “leg up” to the higher echelons of the force.

As to your idea that I am spinning a web of imaginary faculty and staff who are opposed to the restablishment of ROTC on college campuses, I would invite you to visit the following site:

http://advocatesforrotc.org/

While I’m encouraged that 34 professors signed a document that gives tentative support to an ROTC program at Columbia, the lukewarm language is actually quite weak:

Faculty signing this statement may not agree fully with all its features but all agree with the following: Provided that ROTC is subject to the same academic procedures as govern other programs,
we support the establishment of an ROTC program
So, 34 Professors at Columbia out of 971 Tenured Professors or Associate Professors. That’s 3.5% of everyone who is supposed to represent “academic freedom” on the university by way of their Tenured positions. Am I missing something. Talk is nice, but if you check the papers there are not a lot of people trying to get in the way of this issue.

We all are entitled to a level of civil discourse, for otherwise we will have no democracy at all. Let’s agree to disagree.

While I would love to “agree to disagree” on this subject, I find it especially troubling that the institutions of “higher learning” have thus far shown themselves to be exactly what the poor and working class (who many claim the Military preys on) claim to be: elitist, judgmental, exclusionary, and no longer representative of the American People. No wonder ROTC is unwanted: poor people of every cultural background who have had to work for everything they’ve ever gotten in their lives would greatly upset the status quo. God help us if poor people should ever get a chance at an Ivy League education.

CITATIONS

Columbia Faculty who signed a document in support of (?) a return of ROTC.

http://advocatesforrotc.org/columbia/2011faculty.pdf

Number of faculty at Columbia in 2009, the most recent year available, broken down by status.

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/opir/abstract/faculty_rank_2009.htm

22 February 2011 – So let me get this straight… (Ken)

An open letter to administrators, activists, legislators, and other stakeholders in the issue of transgender discrimination and ROTC:

We are writing on behalf of Stanford Students for Queer Liberation (SSQL) and the Harvard Transgender Task Force (TTF) to express our concern with the conflation of the debates on Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT). No doubt, the repeal of DADT was a historic moment for a great number of lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members who have been and continue to be part of the military. We are alarmed, however, that the repeal of this legislation has been used to justify a possible re-introduction of ROTC at Harvard University and we fear that other universities, including Stanford, might use a similar logic, without considering the ongoing issue of de jure discrimination against transgender individuals.

Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary, © 2007 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

trans·gen·der

Pronunciation:  /tran(t)s-?jen-d?r/
or trans·gen·dered Pronunciation:  /-d?rd/
Function: adj

of, relating to, or being a person(as a transsexual or a transvestite) who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person’s sex at birth.


In the debate over ROTC, both sides seem to have forgotten about transgender students, who will still face explicitly discriminatory policies in the military, and by extension, in ROTC.  Transgender status or a Gender Identity Disorder (GID) diagnosis alone can disqualify a person from open military service.

Perhaps it is my experience as a Commander in Iraq during combat operations, where men were dying or being severely wounded regularly, but I don’t understand the disconnect between students and faculty at these so-called prestigious universities and the realities of life. Perhaps a lifetime of never being on a team, never playing sports, and never having to work together where results and not presentation were the actual metric of success. More simply, success is keeping everyone alive.

With all that said, let me deflate the ego of those groups among the universities who think they MADE the military and the government dispose of Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell: Well, you didn’t! It’s the same for the people who think Facebook / the internet is responsible for what happened in Egypt. Life is simple if you are a simpleton, here’s some more baby food…

The primary point to take away here is that this has been an internal movement within the Military ever since we invaded Afghanistan. WE, being service members, have known all along who is gay within our ranks. WE, again service members, have grown increasingly dissatisfied knowing that losers fighting for promotion will sabotage the chances of others by revealing their homosexuality (or even by hinting that they will). I, personally, have seen a young flight medic who was decorated, promoted well ahead of peers, and a Sergeant First Class in eight (8) years walk away from a career for fear of being “outed” by someone less qualified who would make an issue of sexuality to get ahead (in other words, a scumbag).

The end results? The Army not only loses a great Soldier, they also get a dud promoted because now there is an empty slot to fill. People pay attention to this, especially when bullets are flying.

Now, take that sort of unrest within the ranks, include gay soldiers serving in combat units on daily patrols, include them saving the lives of their friends (not “fellow service members”), include them being sent home in pieces and the unit left to “sterilize” their personal belongings before they are boxed up and mailed to the family, and you are left with several men sitting around weeping as they read journal entries from a friend who wrote over and over about the “rightness” of what they were doing; how they had complete trust in everyone around them, and that they hoped they didn’t make a mistake that cost someone else their life (this was done for every Soldier wounded or killed; it was away for their closest friends to say goodbye).

Add all of this angst within the ranks to the issues the Military has had with retaining skilled personnel, especially linguists, and the decision to repeal DADT is as much about the realities of maintaining the fighting force as it is about doing right by service members who deserve to be treated with dignity. Waving a flag at Stanford or Harvard didn’t have much to do with this; WE DID IT FOR OURSELVES, don’t dishonor the memories of our friends by saying you got the law changed.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice does not allow transgender individuals to serve openly, even with the DADT repeal in place.

This is where things really get interesting. Going to the actual website for SSQL (see below), I can’t even find out what they want other than “the right to be different.” That’s great; however, the irony of an organization (SSQL) protesting against the establishment of “the military” (ROTC) on their campus, while demanding to be protected by the freedoms of the constitution that that organization (ROTC) is supposed to train people to uphold, almost is too much to bear. By the way, does “…our liberation is not contingent on adapting to the status quo, but on contesting and changing social norms…” sound like they’re saying: “Victory comes not through us adapting to our environment, but in THEM adapting our environment to us!”

STANFORD STUDENTS FOR QUEER LIBERATION

Vision Statement: As an activist collective, we believe that LGBT freedom involves more than legal equality – it necessitates radical social change. We affirm that the right to be different is a fundamental human right and organize around the fact that our liberation is not contingent on adapting to the status quo, but on contesting and changing social norms. We envision a world where all people can manifest their identities with integrity and security.

The military’s Anti-Harassment Plan also fails to protect individuals against harassment targeted toward a person’s gender identity. Various military bureaucratic entities including DD-214 forms in the military, the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, do not contain provisions to alter gender (from male to female or vice versa).

What is a “gender identity?” Can I buy one in a store? What new identities do they have coming out for Spring? More to the point, where did this information come from? There is not a single source cited throughout, although I can speak to the difficulties in getting anything changed on your Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) leave and earning statement, no matter if the mistake was theirs (most common) or yours. The same for the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS), which is usually updated whenever you move, get married, or have kids. It took me three attempts over six months to make my marriage official by the Army; most of the difficulty was being married to another person in the Army (just wait until a gay or lesbian couple tries to get their stuff fixed; we’re talking months to get the computers to make sense of a program probably written in the 1980s.

As to altering gender, lets take a look at the mighty document know as the DD-214 (I wonder if the author had ever seen one or knows what they are?). As your discharge paper, this should be as accurate as possible upon separation, retirement, or death. It has where you’ve been, what you’ve done, awards, qualifications, and just about everything else you can expect that the government would jam onto one form.

Let’s say that I decide next week that I want to be called Jennifer. Nothing else, I just like the name. I get my name legally changed, so how hard would it be to change my retirement paperwork after I’m retired?

I suspect the first question I would be asked is this: “Was the form factually correct at the time of your retirement?” My answer: Yes.

The second question: “Is this your signature next to your clearing date (the last day on active duty)?” My answer: Yes.

Their expected response before they hang up: “There is nothing incorrect about your DD-214, please reference your legal change of name paperwork if there are questions in the future. [CLICK]”

Here’s why: My identity never changed. Call me a different name, change whatever you like, but I have the same Federal Identity by way of my Social Security Number.

Furthermore, numerous Veterans Affairs medical services including prostate exams, pap smears, and mammograms are routinely denied to transgender veterans.

Besides not citing any sources, it does make me wonder: are we talking about prostate exams for women who have become men? Pap smears and mammograms for men who have become women? Here’s the rub on all of these “denial of service” claims: As we have no idea of the who or how many that they are claiming, we’re left with the idea that these people are trying to be both a man and woman, and thus take up medical care for both sexes. If that is indeed the case, then the people attempting to “double-dip” on services are not being fair to other veterans (much less to the taxpayers), and any organization that condones or encourages this behavior is promoting fraud against the Federal Government in attempting to obtain services under false pretenses.

Currently the ROTC program is not an affirming, or even open, option for transgender students.

Since we still don’t have a definition of transgender that makes any sense in an organizational way, we’re left with Male, Female, and Other(?) as our choices. One day my squad leader is a woman, next day they’re a man. What leadership style will they use? A different one for each day? Maybe we need to take the “trans” out of the equation, as “trans” refers to a change. Once those students have decided what they want to be, then maybe they can join the military. There’s nothing to stop them from taking ROTC as a physical education credit as many college students do, maybe then they’ll learn that we don’t all eat babies for breakfast.

A re-introduction of ROTC, therefore, constitutes a violation of both Stanford and Harvard’s non-discrimination clauses and the statutes of any other universities that protect against discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

We are writing to ask for a statement of your support for campuses that decide against reintroducing ROTC programs on the basis of transgender exclusion.

We realize this is not an easy decision to make, but we feel partnering against such open injustices is essential to upholding our mutual investment in equal opportunity.

Stanford Students for Queer Liberation

Harvard Transgender Task Force

What I love about some people on the Far Left is that they actually come around and start sounding like the people that they hate the most. Banning something won’t make it go away, if that were the case, prohibition (all of our different experiments throughout the years) would have worked. So we now have people who are trans / alt / queer / whatever campaigning against the freedom of another organization. My, but the tables have turned. I suppose they’ll be calling for the expulsion of the campus Police next, as they don’t have enough “compassion” for their lifestyle. Maybe they should boycott any academic program that does not have enough professors who share their views, or better yet, boycott academic programs that lead to careers that do not openly embrace the transgender lifestyle (as that seems to be the trigger point to go after the ROTC program).

Wait, that would mean that they wouldn’t be able to go out an be investment bankers and lawyers, institutions that are as closeted as any in the world. I wonder who the real sell-outs are here: the people who take FEDERAL GRANTS and FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS, or have their education paid for by their parents, and then work white-collar jobs with their Stanford or Harvard degree, or the students who are trying to get into ROTC at those universities with the hope that they can turn Military Service into a quality education?


My final thoughts on this:

If I’m understanding what this open letter is really saying, it comes down to this: The best way to fight discrimination by ROTC is for the university to discriminate against ROTC.

Take a moment to let that settle in…

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” Mahatma Gandhi

21 February 2011 – Happy President’s Day! (John)

I hope you are all out riding today. I am heading out to the garage to install new fuel lines on my 1997 Monster 750. She’s vapor locking on me and I THINK it is because my fuel lines are pinched and right on top of my vertical cylinder and getting cooked.

I want my Monster ready for cross country travel. I am attending LT Evo’s clinic in April and I want to ride my Monster to P-Cola from my Louisiana home. I think it would be wrong to ride my V-Strom there. I also want to attend this year’s “Harvest Classic” European bike rally in Luckenbach, Texas in October. It’s a laid back weekend in the Texas “Hill Country” where I grew up. I really want to ride my Monster there this Fall and make this rally.

I’m not a very social person. I keep to myself. There is a great line of dialogue in “Tombstone” where one of Wyatt Earp’s posse asks Doc Holiday why he was riding with them while coughing up blood. Doc says, “Wyatt Earp is my friend.” The fellow replies, “Hell, I have lots of friends.” And Doc looks into the distance and says, “I don’t.”

I don’t have a big circle of friends. I prefer to ride alone. But, I do want to meet fellow Ducatisti and look forward to meeting LT Evo and seeing the Ark. The few car or bike shows I have attended have left me cold. If you have ever been to a Hot Rod show, it’s just guys in lawn chairs sitting next to polished rides with pouting baby dolls leaning on their cars. Bored the heck out of me. The only bike rally I went to was a bunch of Harleys. Same thing.

So, on this day where we celebrate the fact that we have free elections instead of gathering in the town square and rioting in order to change our government, I want to hear the collective’s thoughts on motorcycle orderly assembly. Do you attend rallies? What kind of rallies? What do you look for in your motorcycle social universe? Are you a show and shine person, or would you rather just ride all day and then “garage race” at night with the gang and a beer?

Finally, where will you RIDE this year? Do you have plans for the MotoGP races? AMA races? Daytona? Or do you want to ride to Alaska alone?

What are you getting your Ducati ready for this year? What story will you share next year?

Keep riding, My Friends.

20 February 2011 – …American Ducati…(John)

Erik Buell has returned from his exile imposed by Harley Davidson to start building a new, V-Twin superbike. Ya gotta love this guy. See this link for a quick peek at the new machine:

http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/News/newsresults/New-bikes/2011/February/feb1811-buell-1190rs-first-look/

Keep riding, my friends.

18 February 2011 – LT evo

I was reading the latest RRW while giving an exam yesterday. It has a review of the new Monster 1100 evo. I was in the dark about the new Monster’s tweaks compared to my 2009 spec M1100s. DTC is included and engine and exhaust mods to add 5 more hp. For the first time, a stock Desmodue has 100 hp.  There’s also a revised seat, taller bars, etc… all for the same price as the 2010 spec price. It even looks different, with a shotgun exhaust like the Diavel, Streetfighter and the last generation of Monsters. It’s quite an improvement. With the M1100 evo, Ducati follows similar upgrades to the Hyper 1100 evo, and the 848 evo. In honor of these revamped editions, I’ve decided to upgrade myself. I will no longer go by the nickname of “LT”, but rather “LT evo”. Feel free to change your Christmas card label maker to include that addition to my name. What mods have I made? Well, I’ve gained 10 pounds as a rebuff to Ducatis insistence that their models shed weight. With the addition of 10 pounds, I have more strength and horsepower. I’m also smarter after another year of wrenching and reading. Taken in combination, I think that’s enough to be called “LT evo”.  Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be an “R” spec. At the very least I’ll keep one day ahead of myself.

The latest RRW also has excellent profiles of the Ducati MotoGP effort and a great interview with Nicky. You can’t help but like the guy after reading the interview. He’s very well grounded and aware of where he is and all that he to be thankful for.

Just because I couldn’t ride last or this weekend doesn’t mean I can’t be creative. I decided to go for a mid-week romp. Wed morning was very foggy, but I mounted the 853 and headed to Milton to meet Daryl at our breakfast hangout. By the time I got there, I had wiped my visor a million times, and I and the bike was soaked. We sat at breakfast waiting for the fog to lift, but by 9 o’clock gave up and headed back. Of course today it is sunny and beautiful. At least I can commute on the 853 and enjoy a short ride.

I’m off to the Indy Dealer Expo this weekend to scout new products. Enjoy your weekend. 

LT evo

15 February 2011 – …900 vs. 750 (John)

Opinions please, does anyone out there believe that the 750cc 0r 800cc versions of the Monster, and SuperSport Ducatis are “better balanced” or “better all-around” bikes than the 900cc versions from the ’93-’00 time period?

I own a 1997 M750. I have always felt like a second class citizen with my wet clutch and lowly five-speed transmission. Not to mention my single brake disc up front.

However, I just read a nice article in a British bike mag comparing all of the desmodue Ducatis from that era and they describe my M750 as,”…a better all-a-round, real world bike than the 900 version.”

I’m all warm and fuzzy inside.

Discuss.

13 February 2011 – Diavel first ride… (John)

Here’s a short video from a “First Ride” of the new Ducati Diavel. Enjoy.

http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/News/newsresults/videos/2011/February/feb1011-video-ducati-diavel-first-ride/

11 February 2011 – V-Day Special

We tend to neglect our Dukes during Valentine’s Day, so to promote love for your bike, I’m dishing out a free large can of Honda Cleaner for orders of $75 or greater through Monday. See the website for details. I’m a spaz when it comes to marketing, but Marishka is helping me with ideas.

I popped up the ad for my digital voltmeter kits. They won’t ship for a few weeks, but I’m taking pre-orders, and I’m only making 25 kits. It takes me awhile to do the kits and I only gathered the materials for 25. I also now have Dzus conversion kits for the 848/1098/1198 and Odyssey dry cell batteries.

I put up a new Bike of the Quarter on the website.

Stay warm.

LT