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Archive for the 'Editorial' Category

FindTheBest Motorcycle Comparison

Posted in Announcements, Contributors, Cool Sites, Editorial, Internet, Links, Motorcycle News, Motorcycles, News, Search Engines on July 3rd, 2011

Looking for a new motorcycle but you need some help narrowing your choices? The Motorcycle Comparison at FindTheBest makes it easy for you to find the perfect motorcycle. Whether you are focused on features, budget or expert ratings, you will be able to have a better understanding of your dream motorcycle before you head to the dealership. Instead of looking at dozens of sites and reading hundreds of opinions, check
out this comparison, which includes an objective view of over 240 motorcycles.
In the comparison you can find and compare the horsepower, displacement, MSRP, and category for multiple manufacturers. If you have your heart set on a particular manufacturer, such as a Yamaha, select Yamaha from the drop-down Manufacturer menu. You will then be able to sort by price and features, located at the top of the comparison. If you are undecided between different motorcycles, you can compare up to ten different motorcycles by checking the boxes and clicking the “Compare” button. Your custom side-by-side
will show detailed information on the engines, factory warranty, suspension, wheel size, available colors and more. For an example, check out this side-by-side of the three most expensive motorcycles included in the comparison.
Once you have found the best motorcycle for your needs, check out the Motorcycle Insurance Comparison so that you can hit the road with peace of mind.

The comparison is at your disposable at any time directly from the MNO Blog just look for "Motorcycle Comparison" under the blog roll.


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Osama Bin Laden killed hiding in plain site

Posted in Editorial, Global, Internet, Internet Video, Journalism, Media, Military, National, News on May 2nd, 2011

Obama makes late night announcement of the successful operation to kill Osama Bin Laden
It was reported late evening Sunday that Obama was going to make an announcement from the White House at 10:30 pm. but when the news broke , many could only speculate as to what the announcement might be. I was monitoring the White House live feed waiting for the President to come on while moving from news site to site when I learned that the announcement was going to be about the death of one of the United States most wanted persons. Osama Bin Laden had, after all, been on the wanted list for almost 10 years and with a bounty of 25 million dollars. The live address scheduled for 10:30 pm did not take place until nearly an hour later from the White House when the President announce live on television that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan.

In fact, as of this post Osama Bin Laden remained on the FBI top ten most wanted list. The President warned Americans in his announcement that while this was a major milestone, it would not end the threat of Al Qaeda. Immediately after the announcement all U.S. Embassies were put on high alert around the world. The news from the white house brought almost an immediate reaction of people gathering at the White House and Ground Zero in NYC of people carrying flags, singing and shouting USA, USA!


The crowds grew quickly and contrary to one Pentagon leader saying the crowd was small only a handful of a younger crowd gathering and he opposed the celebrating of the death of Bin Laden. The large crowds in DC and NYC quickly proved him wrong, the gatherings closing the streets to local and police traffic in both spots.

After the live announcement from the White House, the news began to break out of the early morning assault by U.S. operations with scattered chunks of what happened. Still only small amounts of details were being released a little at a time of how the raid was constructed and when it had been determined that a million dollar compound did actually house one of the most wanted men in the world. It has been reported that the assault happened by helicopter and one of the helicopters crashed and had to be destroyed. However, there were no American casualties reported.

Later on in the early morning more details broke out of the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. It was reported that there were other people killed in the early morning raid that included two other males and one female. It has been reported that one of the men may have been one of the sons of Bin Laden and a courier. The woman killed was said to have been used as a human shield in what was called heavy resistance within the compound that was described as a high security compound with walls up to 18 feet and barbed wire. It was also reported that the original intelligence about the whereabouts of Bin Laden had been learned in August, but the confirmation of where he was living did not come until mid-March. The President signed the order for the operation on Friday before he left to visit the devastation of the storms in Alabama.

Many of the news agencies still trying to get the break on what really happened while in New York more and more people gathered at Ground Zero singing God Bless America and the Stars Bangle Banner. Questions began to pop out about how long Bin Laden may have been living in a mansion less than 60 miles from the Capitol of Pakistan. It was learned that the mansion was built for Osama nearly 5 years ago but only speculation as to if he had lived there that long.

This was great news to hear that our troops have finally prevailed in a long battle and our intelligence officers were able to gather the information that lead them to where Bin Laden was. The strike force was successful in their mission and carried it out without any reported injuries of the task force. There will still be a battle for our troops and I pray for the safe return of them all.

UPDATE!!! AP has just reported that the body of Osama Bin Laden has been buried at sea.

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Patriot Guard Riders a security risk?

Posted in Editorial, Florida, Internet Video, Journalism, Military, Motorcycle Events, Motorcycle News, Motorcycles, National, Opinion, Politics, Rants and Raves, Sanford, Titusville on August 28th, 2010

I try to stay away from political commentary on this blog, but I am making this post for a few reasons.

  1. I recently read a news article that is still eating at me (to be discussed below)
  2. I have not made a post in a long time. I have been busy.
  3. There are a lot of things going on in this country that can’t continually be overlooked.
  4. This post is about dignity, dying , veterans and a motorcycle organization of honor.

Recently I stumbled across an post entitled Obama Tells Patriot Guard Get Lost. Yes, it is kind of an old article, April of this year, but not old enough to raise a valid concern over it. First off, the title of the post is a little misleading as no one apparently no for sure who called off the Patriot Guard Riders from being allowed. One thing was for sure the families of the 29 miners killed in a West Virginia mine accident asked for and welcomed the riders. Evidently so did the Governor of the state. So to set the scene a little better, on April 5, 2010 there was a huge coal mine disaster that took the lives of 29 miners. A memorial was planed for late April and the families of the miners asked the Patriot Guard Riders to attend and escort with honor their loved ones. Somewhere along the line a message was sent that the Patriot Guard were to “stand down” for this mission as Obama and Bidden were to attend. Again, no one has come forward with who actually issued the order, but I am sure it was relayed through the secret service.

Whoever made the decision is under a huge misconception on what this group of people stand for and exactly what it is that they do. They certainly would not have posed any type of a security risk for Obama, if anything security would have been tighter. They are a nationwide organization many of which are law enforcement officers and veterans. What possible threat could they have posed. Did they see them as a motorcycle gang, just because they ride motorcycles? Was there some sort of paranoia fear that some rival gang might ride in and have a big shootout? By far, the Patriot Riders are not a gang, they are motorcycle riders period. It is the mode of transportation that they choose and I speak from experience when I say that they add a great deal of honor and dignity to a funeral procession and memorial. My brother died on the streets a homeless vet in July of 2005. I asked the Sanford Chapter of Rolling Thunder if they would give my brother Lonny one last ride before I scattered his ashes in the water at the Veterans Memorial Park in Titusville. My brother loved and respected the grounds of this park and spent a lot of time there. On the day of his last ride along with Rolling Thunder there were also members of the Patriot Guard riders. I have the deepest respect for what they did that day and how they honored my Brother. I have some pictures of that day that I would like to share with you, this is what the Patriot Guard is

These people took the time out of their life to honor my brother and asked for nothing in return

over 30 motorcycles lined up for the memorial service

A short service was given before I set my brother free

 This is what the Patriot Guard Riders mean for me. They brought honor and dignity to the last ride and memorial service for my brother Lonny Odom. For the families of the 29 miners to be denied the same honor and respect was wrong. Whoever made the decision not to allow these people their rights were very wrong. My heart goes out to the 29 men who lost their lives and the loved ones they left behind. Now I share with you a documentary on the Patriot Guard Riders, who they are and what they stand for. How could these men and women have been considered a threat?

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So now those who did not know may be a little wiser as to not only the Patriot Guard Riders and groups like Rolling Thunder, but the entire biker community in general. Respect is always given were respect is due. One more video of a funeral escorted by the Patriot Guard below. This video brings chills to me, just to see the endless line of motorcycles following in honor of a fallen military hero that has paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

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Thanks again to those who came out to honor my brother, this post has been a long time coming. You don’t have to support the war folks, but always support our troops!

Dedicated to my dearly loved brother Marvin Lonny Odom

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Shipping a Harley

Posted in Contributors, Editorial, Links, Motorcycles, Travel on November 20th, 2008

Whether you own a classic big-twin or a new Sportster, the last thing you want is your bike to be damaged during a transport, so it’s always a good idea to prepare your cycle before handing it over to a shipping company. The following process is quick, easy, and will minimize the possibility of your bike getting damaged during shipment. Also, if an accident does occur these steps will help you collect compensation.

Begin prepping the hog for shipment by washing it down. As you clean it note any existing scratches, dents, dings or other imperfections and document them with pictures and in writing. Don’t rush, as this evidence of the bike’s condition will be the basis of your argument should you need to file a claim.

Following the wash, remove any customizations and loose items that could possibly be lost while on the haul. A shipping company’s insurance will not cover any missing or damaged accessories, so make sure that you’ve got everything.

The final step is a quick mechanical evaluation. Even though the shipper won’t be joyriding around, they may have to fire up your hog to get it on or off the trailer so it is important that it is in running condition. Check the tire pressure, fluid levels, charge the battery and make sure it has some gas. If you have been experiencing any reoccurring problems or the bike requires any unique procedures be sure to notify the carrier ahead of time.

Another thing to keep in mind: If your Harley is antique, rare or extremely customized you may want to go with a shipping company that specializes in that area. They will be accustomed to going the extra mile to protect your investment.

Written by Ben Leffler of uship.com, an online marketplace for Motorcycle Shipping.

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Sons of Anarchy hit the road September 3 on FX

Posted in Celebrity, Editorial, Entertainment, Links, Media, Motorcycle News, Motorcycles, News, Television on August 30th, 2008

A new drama series on FX channel that is centered on a small town outlaw motorcycle club called Sons of Anarchy and the life of the members. I was asked by Fox to review the new FX original drama series and give my readers a little bit of insight on what to expect from the series.

 I was given the opportunity to see both the pilot and the first episode, so I figured I would watch the pilot and then do a review while saving the first episode for another review. It didn’t work out that way though. After watching the pilot, I went right on to the first episode without leaving my chair. I have to tell you that says a lot, as I normally do not watch television. However, the pilot was good enough to keep me watching through the entire first episode.

 

 The pilot begins with a bang as a rival club burns down SAMCRO’s arms warehouse after stealing all of the high price weapons. Minutes into the show we learn that the Sheriff is on the take and that SAMCRO has a lot of control over the small town of Charming, California. The shows writer, Kurt Sutter mixes in the true blood side of family into the family lifestyle of the motorcycle club. Jax discovers more about the original concept of the club and what his father thought it should be when he finds a journal that his father had left behind with some old photographs. As Jax reads through the journal, he begins to rethink the current course of the club and makes some dangerous decisions.

 I am sure that many will be interested in seeing one of the first television series that looks into the world of a outlaw motorcycle club. At the same time many may not agree with the way the series depicts the club, but you must remember that this is a drama that is created about one particular club and not motorcycle clubs in general. Every club or family has their own set of rules and values and this series only touches on the feelings of one club that was developed for a television series. It is interesting the way that Kurt Sutter mixed in the family within a family in this series.

  The word brother gets thrown around in the biker community sometimes without the sense of the true meaning. In the club atmosphere the word brother is taken much more serious than just in passing and this series has more of the true sense of the meaning. We see club meetings and discussions about taking care of each other as well as the overall interest of the club and their survival. Still, remember this is a television series, not a documentary or reality show. It is for entertainment purposes only and does not necessarily depict the true life of a biker or motorcycle club.

 The show is well written with a deep plot that will spark a desire to watch the next episode. The soundtrack and cinematography rivals that of a box office hit. There is plenty of action as SAMCRO seeks out their stolen weapons and wards off a white supremacist drug gang. You will also get an occasional chuckle at the dark humor in between the lines. Its worth a watch!

 Sons of Anarchy is a original series produced exclusively for FX. The pilot will air on Wednesday September 3rd at 10:00 pm E/P. Check your local listings for exact times and channels in your area. Visit the official site for Sons of Anarchy for more information and to watch the trailer.

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Billy Lane DUI hearing cancelled, no new date set

Posted in Brevard County, Case Research, Celebrity, Chopper Builders, DUI, Editorial, Florida, Investigative Reports, Journalism, Law, Melbourne, Motorcycle News, Motorcycles, News on June 14th, 2008

June 12th was the hearing date scheduled in the William Lane DUI Manslaughter trial that an actual trial date was expected to be set. However, the hearing was cancelled because attorneys Gregory Eisenmenger and Robert Barry were out of town on another case. Judge Allawas had ordered that all motions be filed by the defense no later than June 6th during the last hearing so that she could proceed with a trial date.
Three motions were filed by Lane’s attorneys on June 6th to meet the court’s demand. All 3 motions are to suppress the blood evidence that may be crucial to the state to uphold the charge of DUI. Lane is currently awaiting ruling by the Division of Administrative Hearings regarding the sufficiency of certain rules. One of the motions filed alleges that the State of Florida and FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement) rules were not complied with and it is for this reason that the Administrative Hearing is in place and still awaiting a decision.
The motion further state that several critical errors were made in the handling and analysis of the blood evidence. First is that the blood kit was taken to the post office in Rockledge, Florida on September 5, 2006 and was sent by certified mail to the FDLE crime lab in Orlando and was not delivered until September 12th, 7 days later.
evidence delayed in Lane trial may cause problems in case
The delay, it appears, was due to the way the FHP mailed the blood kit (image above). According to the motion the FHP chose to send the evidence by certified mail rather than overnight or by courier. Florida rule does not require refrigeration of blood used as evidence if it is submitted for analysis within 7 days which apparently was very close in this case. The same motion goes on to state that the proper procedure was not used in the analysis of the blood by the FDLE examiner.
Although all of the 3 motions filed were to suppress the blood evidence in the case, none of them mentioned the expert witness or lab work completed in Colorado that had caused major time delays in the case previously.
So at this date there is no date set for the three motions to be heard, Lane still awaits decision by the state on Administrative Hearings and no date has been set for the start of the actual trial.

Update! on 6/18/2008 A new court date has been scheduled for July 10, 2008 at 11:00 am

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Custom motorcycle produced in numbers – the production custom motorcycle age

Posted in Chopper Builders, Editorial, Equipment, Links, Media, Motorcycle News, Motorcycles, Opinion, Parts and Accessories on May 5th, 2008

Motorcycle manufacture showroom

 

The word custom really gets tossed around in the motorcycle industry of today. There are of course still true custom motorcycle builders both commercial and the garage builder. However, I have a hard time with the phrase “production custom motorcycle”. Now there are motorcycle manufactures that use the word custom in the model name, but that does not make it a custom motorcycle. Certainly if we look at the definition of the word “custom” we see that it means that the motorcycle was produced as specified for an individual. It does not take a mathematician to figure out that this means for one.

 Production motorcycles lined up for sale

 

Some of the top and upcoming motorcycle manufactures insist on staking claim to adding a new production custom motorcycle to their line. This is simply a false claim in advertising and no more than a gimmick of play on words.

 

The making of a custom motorcycle.

custom motorcycle frame

 

I think most reading this article would agree that the true custom motorcycle is one built by an individual for that individual. These type of motorcycles won’t be seen sitting side by side on the polished floors of a large manufacture showroom. You will not see the same motorcycle anywhere, because it is a one of a kind custom built motorcycle. Most garage custom builders remain unknown and are happy just to build their own motorcycle or maybe one for a friend or two. Some move out of the garage and open up a shop building custom motorcycles to be sold. Others will grow into large shops that employ many and produce 2 or 3 bikes a month.

Building a custom motorcycle includes fabrication to fit the design of the bike

 

Still, the one thing that ties all of these builders together is that they build one of a kind custom motorcycles. Their carefully designed product is as original as the person that the motorcycle is built for. In most cases, if the motorcycle is not being built by the owner, he or she still plays an important part in the development of the machine and how it will look in the final outcome.

 

The custom motorcycle builder.

custom motorcycle builder Scott Hall installing pipes

 

Everybody has to start somewhere and if you read the stories of most of the popular chopper and custom builders, you will see they also have many things in common. All of the well known custom motorcycle builders have a love for the machine and most started in the industry when they built a custom bike for themselves. Many of them develop a style that is easily recognized and yet each creation is unique in the design. One thing that you will also see if you follow the lives of any of the builders is that the amount of time and effort spent to get to where they are is overwhelming. Though in speaking with many of the builders I know, some seem to feel that a lot of making it to the top has to do with timing. I tend to agree with this in some ways as I look at some of the creations of the garage builders and the guys that have opened shops locally. Their work can be as much of an art creation of smartly shaped iron and chrome as one of the well known builders, yet they do not seem to get the recognition. Still, they push on and seem happy even to win a trophy and prize at one of the big bike shows like the Rat’s Hole custom motorcycle show.

Rat\'s Hole custom bike show winner

 

Custom bike shows are a great way to see the work of many of the small shops and garage builders from around the country. I recall one show when the wife of a builder thanked me just for taking pictures of her husbands work. Her expression of thanks was sincere and showed that she shared her husband’s passion for building a one of a kind custom motorcycle. This is where I see a notable difference between the guy that draws his gas tank template out on a file folder to create one bike versus the large manufacture that uses an auto cad program to design a stamp mold for hundreds of that design. Simply put, the true custom motorcycle builder fabricates a one of a kind bike that is unlike any other machine created where each process in putting the bike together is as unique as a finger print.

custom motorcycle builder Alan Bernard is the Bobber King

 

Ultimately, the final phase of building a custom motorcycle is watching the owner look the machine over and sitting on the seat of the bike to take the first ride. Custom motorcycle builders are scattered all over the world and create many types and styles of motorcycles, but they all build for one.

 

The difference between custom and customized.

Motorcycle gas tank customized with airbrush art work

 

I think many people seem to get the term custom confused with customized. We have already discussed the meaning of custom above and we know that a custom motorcycle is built for an individual. To turn out a customized motorcycle is to take a stock bike and change or add on parts or paint to set the bike apart from other motorcycles of the same model or class. The building of a customized motorcycle is usually performed by the owner of the motorcycle after purchase, although there are companies that specialize in customized motorcycles. The customized motorcycle begins as a stock model and the customizing begins as new paint, chrome or engraved parts are added. Many times a motorcycle can be customized by simply removing stock parts that are not necessary. Though many may disagree that this is the same as a custom motorcycle, it is better described as a customized motorcycle. A good example of the customized motorcycle would be when a rider changes the seat, changes the exhaust pipes and adds airbrush work or pinstripes. Another example would be removing the stock front forks and replacing them with extended forks and different handlebars. While a customized motorcycle can be a great looking machine, they are still stock motorcycles with pieces added or taken away.

 

The chopper.

The chopper was originally created by removing or \

 

Today a chopper can be a custom motorcycle, while the early history of the chopper was to customize a bike by removing or chopping parts down. The original chopper motorcycle dates back to post world war II when solders returning from the war were not happy with the look and feel of the motorcycles built in the states. Many of them formed groups and began to chop their stock motorcycle and customize it to better fit their need and desire for comfort, speed and style. These original groups also began the term “biker” and met regularly to discuss and help each other with new ways to customize their motorcycles.

the captain america chopper from the film easy rider

 

The biggest recognition of the chopper was when a customized motorcycle was used in the 1969 film Easy Rider staring Peter Fonda bringing to light the cool look of these choppers. The actual designer and builder of the two famous motorcycles are not known to many, while the captain America chopper is world famous. The two men responsible for the building of the two customized motorcycles for the making of the film Easy Rider were Ben Hardy and Cliff Vaughs. After seeing the movie, more riders wanted to have a chopper, but some did not know how to customize their own motorcycle. Shops began to open where motorcycle owners could take their motorcycle to be customized and later as time went on these shops began to build custom motorcycles, choppers and bobbers.

 building a custom motorcycle frame fit for a particular engine and design

 

Early custom chopper builders would completely disassemble the motorcycle and then cut and weld the frame to extend the front end and lower the motorcycle to the road. Today, the custom motorcycle builder begins with a frame and builds the motorcycle from the frame up. While some builders buy frames pre-built, most of the more popular builders start by building the frame as needed for the end design. In the years passing, many shops became specialized in frames, wheels and exhaust pipes.

 

The impact of television on the motorcycle industry

Television and movies have had big impact on the motorcycle industry throughout history

 

More recently, television brought on a new wave of the custom builder with television shows like the Great Biker Build-off, American Chopper and Motorcycle Mania. These television shows sparked a world wide interest in motorcycles and turned many builders into a celebrity. Even more shows and documentaries followed giving a broader insight into the world of motorcycles and the biker lifestyle. Television and the new reality show craze gave us all somewhat of an inside look at some of the lives of the custom motorcycle builder, though most of the shows were staged, they created a spike in the custom motorcycle business for a period of time.

Vinnie DiMartino left OCC to start his own custom motorcycle business

 

Reality television shows that created bigger than life personalities out of custom bike builders. Jesse James of West Coast Choppers and of course the family business of the Teutuls of Orange County Choppers both had a large following of fans glued to the television set each week. These television shows took the custom world a bit further with the creation of “theme bikes”. Though the concept of the theme bike was not anything new, sponsors were quick to jump on the commercial wave and ride it in to shore.

 Russell Mitchell of Excile Cycles

 

Names of those known mainly in the motorcycle industry like Russell Mitchell, Chica, Billy Lane and Matt Hotch became household words with the making of the Discovery Channel’s Biker Build-off. These popular hit shows spawned new shows , documentaries and DVD collections attempting to give the television viewer something new and exciting and keep the home viewing audience enthused. However, as the ratings fell, the shows began to die ending the era of the celebrity chopper builder. The motorcycle industry and especially the works of the custom builder have seen this rise and fall before. The builders that survive and continue on are the truly dedicated and hard working men and women that belonged in the field in the first place. It is their drive and spirit that will keep this part of the industry alive to stand the test of time.

 

Motorcycle manufactures and the custom motorcycle.

Harley Davidson Motorcycles

 

The large motorcycle manufacturer such as Harley Davidson, Suzuki, Yamaha and Honda produce thousands of motorcycles every year and some still have trouble keeping afloat. Harley Davidson recently reported a fall in sales and laid off workers in the hundreds. American IronHorse is filing bankruptcy while Honda recently opened a mega factory to produce even more motorcycles. Indian Motorcycle is promising delivery of the newly designed Chief, but has not announced a formal delivery date. The motorcycle industry as a hole seems to have taken a drop in late at a time with the price of gas so high that more people think of buying a motorcycle that probably never would have. Yet the industry seems troubled and financially unstable. Some of these major players saw the custom motorcycle market as a way to pull in more sales and began to produce a new look or even produced under a new name. However, new look and name does not make the motorcycle custom and the major manufacture will never be able to break into that corner of the market until they realize that it is not about being number one, it is about building for one. The production custom motorcycle are words that totally contradict themselves and reality will dictate that there is no such thing.

This post is for editorial purpose and is in the form of an opinion. This opinion is that of the author and not that of any of the advertisers, persons or companies mentioned in the post.

Sources and credits:

All photos are the work and property of MNO Photography.

Pictured above

Alan Bernard of Santiago Chopper

Russell Mitchell of Exile Cycles

Scott Hall of Corrupted Concepts

Vinnie DiMartino of V-Force Customs

Custom frame designed by Tempest Cycles

 

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Leesburg Bikefest 2008

Posted in Bike Shows, Bikefest, Editorial, Entertainment, Florida, Leesburg, Motorcycle Events, Motorcycle News, Motorcycles, Music, Rides on April 27th, 2008

Leesburg Bikefest 2008 your best bet for Florida fun in the sun. Today is the final day of the 12th annual Florida motorcycle event, but there are still big things happening today in Leesburg.

The Rats Hole Custom Bike show winds down the three day event with the “metric madness” contest held today and there are still plenty of concerts, motorcycle demos and stunt shows scheduled for this afternoon. If you did not make it out to Leesburg this year, make plans to visit next year when the Bikefest will be held April 24-26 2009. The Rat’s Hole bike show holds what is known as the largest 3 day show in the country each year in Leesburg, Florida.

We were present to see the custom motorcycle show and of course the famous ratmate contest. Ten beautiful women on stage competing for the title of miss ratmate is always a big crowd pleaser.

Vietnam Tribute Bike at the Rats Hole in Leesburg

 The motorcycle show was huge as always, but this Vietnam Veterans Tribute Bike was one of my favorites. The detail and use of actual military gear showed the great amount of planning that went into building this bike.

Custom motorcycle built by Guilty Customs

Guilty Customs had a booth set up that proudly displayed one of their bikes as a former Leesburg Bikefest Rats Hole winner. The downtown area remained crowded from just after 9 am until after 11 pm with music, food and fun. There is always plenty to do and see and with four stages set up, the free concerts never stop.

gas prices on the rise

Even with the current gas price on the rise, it did not seem to have any effect on the amount of visitors to this annual Florida motorcycle event. Downtown and Main Street was filled with the sound of motorcycles and music, while the smell of food vendors made me want to try all the grilled sandwiches available. Leesburg allows their biker guests to walk the streets of the fest with beer and other alcoholic beverages, which adds to the welcomed atmosphere there. I had a frozen rum runner that was filled way above the rim and priced reasonably at only 6 bucks.

Logic Motor Company Emblem

While walking around the area, I ran into an interesting display of custom motorcycles built by Logic Motor Company. Now, you may not recognize this brand name right off, but maybe this next picture will tell you more.

Geico Powersports

Yea, it is that Insurance company that has a reptile in their commercials, Geico Powersports custom motorcycles are built by another face you will recognize from the Geico motorcycle insurance ads.

Rick

 Busy man, but I got a quick opportunity to meet Rick “Big Rick” Hoffman, motorcycle builder and company spokesman for GEICO Motorcycle Insurance. Cindi and I had a great time in Leesburg and I strongly suggest that you make it out for this event next year.

 

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Google goes black and turns out the lights at earthhour.org

Posted in Blogs, Computers, Editorial, Internet, Links, News, Search Engines on March 29th, 2008

Google goes black for Earth Hour

The main page of Google went black today in an effort to raise awareness for Earth Hour. However, the power of the big G seems to have knocked out the lights on the movement’s web site by sending record breaking traffic to their server.

www.earthhour.org down by Google traffic

Millions of visitors to the Earth Hour web site shut down their main server, but it appears they were somewhat prepared for this by adding new addresses and more than likely more servers.

Google knocks out the lights at earthhour.org

Internet traffic was rapidly being redirected to any available source that could handle it. Sub domains up to www9 at eatrhhourus.org were seen as an attempt to balance the load of Google traffic.

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Happy to have helped

Posted in Bike Week, Daytona Beach, Editorial, Florida, Military, Motorcycle Events, Motorcycles, Parts and Accessories, Travel, Volusia County on March 9th, 2008

We were on the way back to our campsite at the Cabbage Patch Bar when I caught a bike in a parking lot across the road out of the corner of my eye. Cindi asked what was wrong as I quickly changed lanes and made a u-turn. “I think I see a biker broke down” I told her as we made our way back. It was late Sunday afternoon and we had been up since dawn out taking pictures of bike week happenings, so we were both pretty tired. I could tell this young man was happy to see someone pulling in to check on him as we turned into the parking lot. I make it a habit to carry tools and always pull over to see if I can be of assistance when I see someone broke down. It seemed a shame to see hundreds of motorcycles and cars passing by while no one stopped to ask if he needed any help.

 roadside_motorcycle_help.jpg

The custom motorcycle that this young man was riding looked pretty new and it seemed that the transmission plug had vibrated enough to work its way out. I introduced myself and he responded that his name was Tony. I was quick to notice that he had a great deal of respect as he spoke using the word “sir”. I wanted to tell him to leave off the sir, but I sensed there was a reason for it. Tony was in trouble and had no way of getting help, so I offered to attempt to find a Harley Davidson transmission plug or at least a close resemblance to get him back on the road. We also would need to find some transmission oil for the machine as it was all drained from the case. I knew this was going to be tough late on a Sunday afternoon during bike week, but we headed out to try.

I found a auto parts store reasonably close, but they had no idea what I might be able to use for a Harley. I guessed at the size and grabbed a couple of bolts that I thought might work and then asked if there was any type of a motorcycle shop nearby. The guy told me that Carl’s Speed Shop was up the road about 2 miles, so I gave them a call to see if they were open and had the parts we would need.

Carl’s Speed Shop

Luckily, I was able to get someone in parts and they said that they had the part and the oil. We headed on up Nova Road in Holly Hill to Carl’s Speed Shop though it was right at closing time for the motorcycle shop. When we arrived, I found the guy I had spoke with outside at one of the vendor tents and we went back inside to get the parts. When he held up the bolt I knew it was definitely not what I was looking for. This drain plug was way too small. I had measured the opening to the case and found it was about one half inch.  He asked one of the mechanics to help and though he was busy, he made his way over to the parts bin to find an assortment of drain plugs. We were able to find the correct drain plug, purchase some transmission oil and get back to Tony just before dark.

repairing a motorcycle during bike week on the roadside

When I returned, Tony was glad to see that I had brought back the exact part needed to get his bike back on the road. As he put the drain plug back in and filled the case we talked. I learned that Tony was active Army and was in fact a Captain! He was only home on leave and his parents had surprised him by booking a hotel room in Daytona Beach for Bike Week. After filling the case with oil, we found that one quart was not enough to bring the level up to the stick. He was not real sure as to the Harley specifications for the transmission either. I remembered seeing a fairly large crowd of motorcycles just up the road at a Dunkin Doughnuts, so we followed him up to the restaurant. While I was inside asking if they had WIFI to check on the transmission specs, one of the men asked me what I needed Internet for. I explained the problem and as luck would have it, he had extra transmission oil on him. This was great being as Carl’s Speed Shop had already closed and chances of finding another motorcycle shop or Harley dealer open were real thin. He had enough oil to properly fill Captain Tony’s transmission up and we got him back on the way to having a good time at Bike Week. Thanks for the help!

I followed Capt. Tony back to his hotel and it made me feel good to have helped him out. He called a few days later to thank me again.

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