Posts Tagged ‘Road King

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!!

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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!!

02
Apr
10

Can Harley Davidson make the come back they dream of…or are they over the hill, like most of their riders

I have always considered and heard that Harley Davidson sets the tone for the entire motorcycle industry. If that is truly the case, you may have plenty of time to find a smokin’ hot deal on that bike of your dreams!

Harley stock has taken a beating during this economic downturn to as low as $9 per share. It has bounced up to a whopping $15 currently but, that may be the ceiling for some time. Individual dealers are all but giving the bikes away and soon the time for “in dealer” weekend party time at dealerships are due to begin. That will open the door for deals, deals, deals! Here is what the experts are saying about Harley…http://ow.ly/1ucKx

Again, we are hearing about the aging Harley rider. Being one of those aging individuals, I get tired of hearing it. However, if I were someone in charge of things at Harley, I would have made changes ten years ago….when I first mentioned it to one of the employees at my local Harley dealership. They laughed at me when I recommended they consider trikes and sidecars for older riders and women…..hmmmmmm. Not so funny now, is it!!??
Here is a little bit of what the chatter is about it today….http://ow.ly/1ucMJ

Although it appears as though a comeback may be some time coming, I would recommend watching the stock. Harley may have its troubles with the economy but, it’s an icon known world-wide. If there is to be a comeback, Harley will be the one to achieve it on that merit alone. It might be worth a little money invested now for a profit in two years.

If you happen to be dreaming of a new Harley, they are back to running the “Harley competitive bike exchange” and I have been hearing that they have some great financing…http://ow.ly/1ucQU and next month is “Women’s month at Harley Davidson”…http://ow.ly/1ucTg . Now is the time. It might sound like I’m asking everyone to take advantage of a guy by kicking him when he’s down….oh, well! After the financial disaster the banks have put it in, I say “I can live with that!” ….chuckling

Food for though from Lady Godiva on wheels

29
Mar
10

I was beginning to worry….

My Road King has been kinda blue lately. He is used to being fussed over and polished and sometimes, just feeling a hand run across his fenders and tank. He is a beauty and I love him. I’m pretty sure he was feeling the pain of having to share me with “the new bike” but since he rescued her, he has been feeling much better. I think I even saw him puff up his chest while I was hooking her up to the electrical outlet. As I stepped out to let the garage door close…I swore I saw her wink at him. I wonder what the coupling of a Harley Davidson Road King and an Enertia electric-powered motorcycle would look like……….

LOL  Lady Godiva on wheels sayin, “I love my Enertia but, I’m still crazy about that Road King”.

29
Mar
10

two things you can’t do on an electric bike…and saved by a hog!

Well, I got my bike! (story to follow) She is a kick in the butt, too. Sporty, easy to ride, quiet and a reason for people to stare. I have been stopped at restaurants and mini marts. Everyone wants to know what it is, how it works, what it costs and where they can look at one. I have become incredibly popular and I am the first electric bike in my town and in my motorcycle club, Rose City Motorcycle Club.
Now, there are differences in electric verses gas and as I have been riding, I have learned two of them the hard way! If the visual that developes in your mind doesn’t cause you to giggle, I will be surprised.

So, here I am on my maiden voyage. I am lovin’ the feel of the bike. I have my full face helmet on with the face shield slightly open so I can feel the breeze in my face. My braids are flyin’ and I’m in heaven. I pull up to the first red traffic light and stop. I’m contemplating where to go and who to see and without thinking I bend the throttle a little, just like I always do. Anticipating the roar of the motor and that rat-tat-tat,  the electic bike lurches forward and me with it. My feet fly up and back down on the asphalt while my body leans back and then snaps forward. My head kinda follows and my helmet slides down ever my eyes. When all the motion stops, I mutter, “phew” as I adjust my helmet back to where I can see again! I couldn’t help but laugh at myself! Then the light turns green and while shaking my head, I’m off again hoping to remember to put that on my list of “things you can’t do on an electric bike..#1” and to never do that again.

Like any vehicle, it takes time to get to know your electric bike. I discovered that I hadn’t quite set the bike up right to charge after having it hooked up all night. I had been in counseling all day with my grandson and the whole time I am thinking about how much I want to get home and ride. The weather was warm for a March day and the sun was out. I just couldn’t stand the thought of missing a perfect day to ride. When the session was over, I kissed my grandson and was the first person out the door. My Suburban must have known what was up because it was unusually stealthy on the freeway and managed to find every hole it could fit in to avoid the traffic.
Once home, I discovered that my hubby had already taken the Road King and was off enjoying the day. I didn’t care! I threw off my clothes and slipped into my leather pants, t-shirt and riding jacket. I grabbed my helmet and gloves, slipped on my boots and ran out the door. It was 4pm and I could still ride for a couple hours before the sun went down. I opened the garage door, unhooked the bike from the electrical outlet, put the seat on and locked it. I was ready!  I pulled it outside and started it up. I checked to see how much juice I had and noticed that it wasnt fully charged. “hmmmm”, I said. I had a little less than 20% battery. “I wonder how far you can go on 20%?”I asked?  And as I was going through what I had done wrong with the charging process in my mind, I heard the familiar sound of the Road King. After “hello’s” my hubby decided we should go to dinner and take a little spin on the bikes together . I didn’t even think to say no……really?  I figured I would have enough juice to ride around town, down to the local Nonna Emilia’s Italian restaurant and back home with no problem. And, I almost made it, too.  But, alas, about a mile from home I lost power. I checked to see how much charge was left and it was at a whopping 3%. Crap!  I started the bike up again and made it a few more feet before I depleted all the charge that was left. To my right sat my hubby on the Road King laughing his butt off. He laughed so hard he just about hurt himself…which made me laugh. So, here we are in the middle divider of the street sitting on our bikes laughing like a couple of crazy people. Too bad laughter doesnt power my bike! But, I was sure glad he decided to come along.
To make a long story short, there we were with the tow rope attached to the forks of my bike and the tail end of the Road King making the last mile home. The Road King towing the Enertia to safety! I only wish someone had taken a picture of that. It does prove that 20% doesn’t go as far as I thought and that we all need each other, gas-powered and electric.That is when I decided that I would have to go home and add to my list..”things you can’t do on an electric bike..#2″.  Just to make a point, my hubby nearly ran out of gas the other day and anticipated having to call me to come get him!!
I’m sure some of you remember having a bike with no gas gauge and having to do the “tank shimmy”, that thing you do so you can hear how much fuel is in the tank. It took some time to figure out what you were hearing meant. From time to time you had to pop off the cap and make a visual. Sometimes you didn’t quite figure right and all you had left was the reserve tank or nothing at all. Well, that’s kind of what I’m going through. I don’t know what the heck 20% charge means, yet! But, I will. 
So, to recap:
#1 thing you can’t do on an electric bike….DO NOT bend the throttle at the red traffic lights..or anywhere else you might be while at a stop. It might not turn out well and you do not hear rat-tat-tat!
#2 thing you can’t do on an electric bike….run out of gas and call AAA to come and gas you up! Its electric and unless you plan on carrying a REALLY long extension cord, consider yourself screwed.
Despite the couple of mishaps, I love this bike. If you are or know a person who would love to ride but feels a little intimidated,  consider the Enertia. Once you get some skills under your belt, you can ride anything! This bike IS the perfect commuter bike. I can’t say enough good things about it. And, the best thing of all is my very “green” grand-daughter thinks I’m wonderful! 
P.S. I have been teased insesively….and all I have to say to that is, when gas is through the roof, think of me!

The “Green” Lady Godiva on wheels….charging!!




@makingmaps

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