Posts Tagged ‘Harley Davidson

14
Jun
12

I’m back… I think!!

Its been way too long since I have visited all my readers here on the old blog. I am just touching base to let everyone know where I was…
My dad had a sever decline in health early last year and I spent some of it taking care of him down in California. He was, at times a real trooper. Then there were the times when he went kicking and screaming! It was a journey for all involved. In November, just after Thanksgiving, he lost the good fight but he was ready. Not that it made it any easier for the rest of us….
One of the things my father and I talked about was my website, Motorcycle Travel America.com. He loved his Harley and loved the thought that we had motorcycles in common. He wanted me to continue on with the website and enjoy my life on the back of my bikes. Although it has been a tough grind to make the website do all I want it to do, my dad helped make the decision to forge ahead. Thanks Dad!
Yesterday was my grandest meeting with the web gurus and the search for funding has begun! The need to explain why motorcyclists need more than 10 waypoints on a map of a road trip proved to be difficult but I was successful!  Now the real work begins. Business plans, proposals and charts are all I will be working on for the next month. My sweet little trike sits down in Chandler, AZ in the talented hands of Jason Sarratt from Hellcat Customs. Although I would love to be out riding her… and I would… I know that I need to get some things done first. Jason has been so patient with me and I love he and Kelly for it. There will be lots of fun to come and many more stories to be written but they will have to wait for now.
So, there you have it. I couldn’t leave everyone wondering where I went and what had happened to me. Life.. that’s what happened to me. We all have our stories! Stay tuned and I will keep writing and let everyone know where I am and how its going. If there are hiccups and I stay away too long, I will always be back!

Lady Godiva on wheels getting back on the horse.

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05
Oct
11

Things I learned about three wheels…

Warning: This is a very wordy blog! Sorry… I had a lot to say….
Well, the Las Vegas Bikefest is over and we have all taken our bikes and gone home. But what a wild ride it was while we were there.
First you have to imagine that my bike was placed in the “Radical” group. Really? You should have seen the competition. Outrageous would be the word for all but my sweet little black darling with the two little wheels on the front. Man was she out-of-place!  But what was amazing is that right off the bat, we drew a crowd. Kelly, Jason’s fiance, was out there talking and demonstrating but the people were coming so fast that I got out there and helped. We talked to people and handed out my cards and the wooden nickles for Hellcat Customs.

It didn’t surprise me that the majority of the interest was with the older crowd, in the same age bracket as the main group for single vehicle fatalities (see here). That was actually what prompted me to start advocating for an alternative riding method that will give the rider the same or similar thrill as riding a standard two-wheeled motorcycle but with an added bit of safety. Then my motorcycle club, Rose City MC, lost one of its long-standing members and a very longtime rider who got the front tire of the bike into gravel around a curve on a road that he had traveled for decades. That just cemented what I already knew…. as we get older, our abilities diminish a little more as time passes. I don’t see as well, I’m not as quick as I used to be, and I can’t hear for crap! Along with that, I’m just not as strong as I used to be. So, whats a girl to do? Call the one guy that can build anything…. which wasnt how this story begins so I digress;
I started on Twitter when I started the website Motorcycle Travel America.com and did it to find other motorcycle people. And, wow, did I. That is where I became familiar with Jason Sarratt of Hellcat Customs. I did my homework to find out a little bit about him and was impressed with what I found. I needed an artist to do some specialty artwork on one of my bikes and wanted portrait work. That isn’t the easiest thing to do and if it doesn’t come out right, it doesn’t look good. After seeing some of his work and realizing how delicate it was, I was sold. Let me just remind you all… he painted Dorothy… remember. I wasnt disappointed in fact, I was thrilled!
So, here comes a time in my business world that will require a company vehicle and I have given considerable thought to the fact that I want something different for the long rides and with a spin for me to use to get my point across about older riders. I did so much research and found two really fine adaptations that might have worked for me. One was Mystery Design in Dallas, Texas and the other was Tilting Motor Works in Marysville, Washington. Both were excellent products and both tilted! Sorry, I just can’t give up the lean… So, after much research and consideration, I decided to let Jason purchase a bike for me and called Tilting Motor Works to order a kit to be sent to him. Unfortunately, the kits were only for the HD Road King and to make a conversion to the kit to fit the Sportster I had already purchased would have taken 6-8 months to complete and then longer to attach it to the bike. That would be too late to put it in the LV Bikefest as well.   Fortunately for me…. Jason has a remarkable mind and has been doing what he does for a very long time! I had many a conversation with Jason about his past experience and was always impressed and so, we decided to go ahead and let him make the most of his remarkable mind!  Here is a rundown of what he has been doing up until now;
He started out under hoods and around motorcycles in highschool and did a mc repair class as a trade school elective. Later he started as a Tech with Honda of America and did repairs and reports back to the factory on “at risk lemon law” cars and correcting design flaws on the mechanical side. Some of his duties led him to develop a lot of repairs to correct engineering issues. He had an admirable record of averaging 8-10 cars a day for 6 days a week and only had one come back with an error that couldn’t be remedied. He even helped write test questions for Honda to use to hire Research and Development Techs, like he was.
I asked him about his education and the answer certainly didn’t surprise me… He said,”I went to school to start a mechanical engineering degree and quit when the professor couldn’t answer the questions I asked. I figured he had nothing to teach me!”.
And so, the story began and the story still continues today.
Now the thing I learned at this particular show with the revealing of my little 3 wheeled wonder is that there is a definite interest in the design… but with more than just older riders. The interest with men wanting their women to come look at it and their delight at what they saw was overwhelming. The comment from the ladies was always the same…”now that bike I would ride!”. The stability that the front end offers is just what some women need to make them feel like they could ride it themselves. Heck, she stands with no kickstand. And that brings us a third group and the one that blew me away.
I was standing with a crowd and noticed a man on the fringe examining the bike. And then he walked off abruptly. It looked quite suspicious! He came back in about 10 minutes with a woman in an electric wheelchair and said to her, “I think you can ride that, what do you think?”. She said the same thing I had heard all day…”I could ride that bike!”. We had a gentleman that had only 20% use of one knee.. he loved the design and even sat on it to give it a try. Last but not least was a young man who lost nearly all the use of his one arm in a motorcycle accident. He didn’t want to give up riding and got really excited about the thought of being able to ride again and this bike design could be altered to make riding available to even a guy with only partial use of one arm. The excitement in the crowd got us excited. Jason was really happy to think that he could do some good with the design to benefit people. He’s just that way, God bless his heart!
This could open a lot of doors for Jason and give riding back to people who thought they had lost the option of riding something other than a rigid trike or a CanAm Spider. Not that there is anything wrong with those options but, its nice to know there is something more. So here is to innovation, here is to Jason’s beautiful mind, and here is to the future. Stay tuned…. there is a lot more to come!

Lady Godiva….. feeling very grateful!
Next up… the newest ideas for the reverse trike. What until you hear who Jason is talking design ideas with!!

28
Sep
11

Las Vegas, here we come!

My bags are packed and Im ready to go…. Las Vegas Bikefest is calling my name.  I feel like Im waiting to give birth. Really! Think about it; I conceived a baby..the reverse trike idea, I found the best OBGYN…builder Jason Sarratt of Hellcat Customs, I’ve seen the ultra-sound…the teaser pictures from Jason, and now I wait to see what the little critter comes out looking like…at the Las Vegas Bikefest.
This is the last picture I have seen… notice that its not a whole picture! Jason is such a tease…

Now, as Jason has made perfectly clear…. What I am about to see in Las Vegas is simply the bike with the concept showing but, its not the finished product. My beautiful baby will be worked on until early spring… pre-mature birth and she still needs the tender love and care of her pediatrition…yup, you guessed it. Jason!  I dont even care! I will be falling in love in a matter of days….Im on the count down…Wednesday, Thursday, Friday!! Stay tuned to Motorcycle Travel America’s Facebook page for the baby pictures and videos.

A very happy Lady Godiva on wheels, packed and more than ready to go.
FYI.. my spell check is mal-functioning so no wise-cracks about my spelling. Im tired!

02
Sep
11

The amazing Hellcat Customs’ Jason Sarratt and his design…

For just a little teaser… here are a couple of pictures that show the progress of my new Sporty’s front end.

 To quote Jason’s comment to the picture he sent me, “Front end of a Nascar or Judy’s bike”. I hope that will be a good explanation… ” But officer, its made from a Nascar. I can’t be held responsible!”

Me on this bike… God help us all!

  To quote Jason, ” This is a joint, this and raw tubing is all we started with. The suspension in the picture is all hand-made with the exception of these joints”. I asked Jason if it would lean. He said, “Hell yeah, that is what it’s designed to do. Once you lean, it returns to straight up center”.

Well, talk about making this old girl happy! Motorcycle Travel America.com’s first official vehicle. I think we have arrived and I have Hellcat Customs to thank for it, again. If you’re thinking about a bike and want something different, Jason is your builder. Find him on Twitter @HellcatCustoms. Or at his website at Hellcat Customs.

Stay tuned, there is much more to come…
Lady Godiva on wheels…. so excited!!

02
Sep
11

“When life gives you lemons…build a bike!” Jason Sarratt of Hellcat Customs is at it again….

Well, here we go again, folks.  As the title states, when life gives you lemons… build a bike.  My sweet friends from Hellcat Customs are some of the select few who have had to listened to me whine about life for the past few months.  With everyone’s words of wisdom and kindness, ultimately I bounced  back and hit the drawing board with a new idea for a bike that is sure to lift my spirits as I roar through my home town and to places far away. Of course, Jason Sarratt, owner of Hellcat Customs, is always a good sounding board for me and a great person to listen to the ideas because he is so knowledgable and exuberant. He gets as excited about my projects as I do, maybe even a little more! So……… here we go again with a new adventure coupling Hellcat Customs and Motorcycle Travel America.com.  So, sit down and relax and join us on the journey…..
As I have said many times, I am an old girl who loves to ride. The stats on riders as we age is a staggering read and has made me do some reflecting. I don’t want to give up riding but I do realize that I am experiencing diminished capacities; i.e. vision, strength, hearing, reflexes and response time. With that said, I have decided that if I am to enjoy the long ride and the draw of the open road, I may have to make some changes. One thing I decided to do is research alternative riding machines. I looked at tilting trikes with two wheels on the rear out in Texas at Mystery Designs and two wheels in the front at Tilting Motor Works up in Washington state. Both are really great adaptations and allow you to ride with the feel of the lean that we all love so much and that I was not willing to give up. In the end I decided on the two wheels on the front and the excellent build by Tilting Motor Works owner, Robert Mighell.
Of course, the only person that will be building bikes for me is the brilliant and talented Jason Sarratt because of his innovative ideas and passion for the project. You may recall the absolutely outstanding artwork he did on my Brammo EV motorcycle, Dorothy.  (I know it sounds like I’m gushing about the guy but, I can hardly help it! He really is that good!) So, the call was made to Jason and a bike was located and purchased. Here is what she looked like in her perfect off the showroom floor condition… a sweet little 2010 HD Sportster 883.  But, she wont look like that for long.  A call to Tilting Motor Works revealed that the add-on for the front end currently could only fit a HD Road King and that the fitting of a Sportster would take several months. That was several months that we didn’t have because Jason, in true Hellcat Custom style, had promised the bike to be shown in the upcoming Las Vegas Bike Fest at the end of September. I was truly bummed but Jason wasnt worried at all. He decided to build me one from scratch…. no, really! He designed and is building a unit that leans to attach to the front end of my beautiful bike. The guy never stops amazing me…..

So, that is the beginning of the whole story. There is much more to come and I am so honored to have Hellcat Customs build me this wonderful bike. I am even more honored to have Jason Sarratt (HellcatCustoms on Twitter) and his beautiful pink haired fiance Kelly Rogers (FieryPinkGirl on Twitter) as my friends. I look forward to this project and all that comes with it! And so the journey begins…..

Lady Godiva on wheels saying, “somebody pinch me cause this is like a dream come true!”

A little P.S.  The next build will be a Road King and Jason has promised to install the front end from Tilting Motor Works because I believe in it. Kudos to Robert Mighell! Take a look for yourself at tiltingmotorworks.com.. If that doesn’t suit you, try the fabulous machines at Mystery Designs out Texas way. See them here..   They are both great ideas and good people to work with.  Dont be afraid to tell them I sent ya!!

08
Mar
11

a close call with “ape hangers”….

PICT0015

 Over at the blog site “Better Motorcycling“, I found this story about a very scary mishap with a bike, a couple, and  ape hangers…see picture.

I had dinner with my buddy Stephanie Basalyga (on facebook, aka @motorcyclejones on Twitter) and was showing her the garage where we will be doing an interview on Sunday. I was showing her the bikes and telling her about changing out the handlebars on the HD, in the back of my mind I was remembering this picture. Sadly, I don’t like my ape hangers! Maybe I shouldn’t have insisted on the 16″, maybe I should have test ridden a bike with the ape hangers first, maybe I should have left the damn bike alone because the stock handlebars were great!  But, the husband absolutely LOVES them. He thinks the bike handles better……Venus and Mars, I tell ya.

Lady Godiva…. needin a new bike without ape hangers!!

25
Feb
11

All I wanna do is ride..cant a girl get a little ride around here??

Well, as I said in a previous post, I’m pretty pissed at the stupid groundhog. All I want to do is grab my bike and take a ride. A ride around the town, around the corner, around the yard, around anything!! Wanting to do something and being able to do something are two different things! The snow and bad weather just wont go away and we are all getting a little tired of it. At this point I am thinking about loading my Harley on my trailer and driving south until I can find some decent weather. I realize I will need to brush up on my spanish….heavy sigh and a pouty face.
I have been having a few days that have made me feel a little out of sorts and having no possibility at “two-wheeled therapy”, I was feeling pretty bleak! And then today…. I came home and got the mail. When I opened that mail box and saw that beautiful sight… well, lets just say that I was feeling high! It felt like I was floating as I stepped into the house and onto the couch………… 
 
 with my IronWorks Magazine!
This day is looking up.

Laura Klock..this is great! I wanna be her..
I’m feeling better already.


and Marilyn Bragg has an article?? 
Does it get any better than this?
 

I might just make it until the weather changes after all. Thank you, IronWorks Magazine. You aren’t as good as my “two-wheeled therapy” but, you do make me happy!

Lady Godiva on wheels….with a glass of wine and my IronWorks magazine. Sweet, Im gunna make it after all! (Mary Tyler Moore would be proud!)…spuishy faced smile.




@makingmaps