19
May
10

My weekend rendezvous with the bike from Tilting Motor Works..

As I have written in a prior blog, https://mtajudy.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/i-might-have-to-rethink-the-traditional-trike/ , I have been looking for the bike that I can ride, even though I am a 55-year-old grandmother of four.
As I have said many times, the thought of riding a bike that doesn’t lean or feel like a motorcycle is not at all appealing. Yet, I have to admit that muscling a big bike around is no longer as easy as it once was. I have looked at all kinds of bikes and I have yet to find one that fits the bill…. until now!
I have been watching the Tilting Motor Works come along in the production of a three-wheeled motorcycle, for a couple of years now. I asked permission to come up and see the operation and interview the owner and his crew. To that he replied, “I am the crew, a crew of one.”  At the time, there was very little to see, but we kept in touch via emails and I anticipated seeing the bike when it was ready. I watched every one of the YouTube videos that showed the leaning abilities of the mechanism attached to a bike, riding down the street and making maneuvers that a two-wheeled bike makes. However, it is no match to actually seeing it in front of you, and that’s what I had the chance to do.
Bob Mighell (pronounced Mile), the owner and designer/developer of this fabulous mechanism, emailed me to let me know that he was, indeed, taking the trip from his home in Marysville,Washington, down to Southern California, to show off the Harley Davidson Road King with the leaning mechanism attached. It was the first long trip with the finished prototype, to test it out and see what the bike could do. (Read the Tilting Motor Works blog..http://tiltingmotorworks.wordpress.com/  for updates on his journey and to whom he expects to show the bike.) He offered to stop by and let me see the bike.. to which I jumped at the chance.
I have to tell you that I was as sick as a dog with allergies but, Saturday morning I dragged my butt out of the house and went to see the bike I had been waiting so long to see. We met in a local restaurant parking lot directly off the I-5 freeway, to make it easier for him to find his way back on. Bob was a lovely person and passionate about the bike.
We went over the mechanism and how it was attached, how it worked, and some changes that were to be made. The mechanism was fabulous. It was perfectly placed for a low center of gravity, stout with nice welds, smoothly moving parts, well placed bracing, and more than enough weight to the metal to make it worth a lifetime of riding pleasure. And then, Bob leaned the bike. I was speechless!! I hadn’t expected it to nearly touch the ground.
I wanted to ride it myself, in the worst way… but, I knew what this guy had riding on his Road King and I happily settled for a spin on the back. If you didn’t know that the bike had two wheels in the front, you wouldn’t have known it from the ride, either. It flowed, it cornered, it banked, it made the “S” move that I love when I’m bored on a straight road….you know the one I mean!! I said, “wow” so many times while on the back of the bike that I started to think it was the only word I knew. When the ride was over, I shook Bob’s hand. I think this man has finally found a bike that can accommodate new riders that don’t feel comfortable, people with disabilities, women that can’t muscle a heavy bike, older folks that need a little help riding, a bike for that long road trip, and anyone that just wants an “easy” ride. The safety factors for riding this bike are numerous. Bob and I are going to collaborate on a blog on that subject when he gets home.

One more little foot note; I am buying one! As soon as I can find a bike that I like, I will have one made that looks like the red Road King in the video from my last blog about Tilting Motor Works. For me, this bike has everything I need and then some. I still get the luxury of the saddlebag. I can get as large a bike as I choose and still be able to handle the weight. I can still feel the rush of the leaning, cornering, and banking that we all love. I can still be the bad-ass! Does life get any better than this?? I think not…
FYI..  The prototype Road King is void of the front nose piece that fits between the front fenders so that the tilting mechanism is more visible.

Lady Godiva on wheels….. I’m the one, above, with the helmet hair!!

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