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Topics - r0ckrat

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US Motorcycle Industry's Woes - Part 1

Evaluation & Analysis
The US motorcycle market is very different from all other markets in the world. In India for example they sell 17M bikes a year. It's no wonder European brands are flocking there. We are a country of 320M and last year we purchased 17M new cars, SUVs and pickups. However, in the same year we bought only 470K motorcycles, including scooters and three-wheel vehicles (down from over a million units in '07). The US moto market has contracted or shrunk by about 60% in 10 years.

Read the rest at the link.

We finally moved our containers down from Seattle, and have the wife's piano. Surprisingly, it's held its tune quite well. Only a minor tune would be needed for those with sensitive ears. It's currently located in the LEXIN offices in Montebello. Asking $500 or best, see full details here:

Personally owned since 1992 and just taken from 4 years in climate-controlled storage (moved from Seattle). This is a spinet. Spinets are ideal for the smallest of spaces due to being the most compact of the "upright piano" family. It's very apartment-friendly in size.

Chickering & Sons makes a quality piano. They're American-made, and the company was founded in 1823 in Boston. This piano, made in 1954/55 based on its serial number, is in good condition and has true ebony and ivory keys, although some ivories are chipped (from before my time). I had it tuned regularly and should still be in fine condition. The wood is walnut. There is some cabinet damage - it's a 60-year-old piece of furniture.

All the keys have full action and it's still reasonably in tune, so you can play before you buy.

The piano can be moved by four men, one on each corner, or two body-builder types.
You are responsible for moving to your own location.
I recommend tuning once it is in position in its new home, although it is playable now.

"UNOFFICIAL" Rides / r0ckrat's 4th anniversary ride
« on: 05/24/17 03:18PM »
June 4th this year marks the 4th anniversary of being a rider for me, so I'm going for a long ride. You are more than welcome to join me, and celebrate!

On June 4th, 2013, I bought my SV650 - and never looked back. It was my first street bike after a long life of wishing, and it's been great so far. This year, the 4th falls on a Sunday, so I'm going to take advantage and go riding. My planned route is Hwy 2 (ACH) from Flintridge to Big Pines, head west towards Littlerock, and come back over Angeles Forest Road and Big Tujunga Canyon Road, coming out in Sunland-Tujunga.

Meetup will be the Shell Station at the entrance to ACH, 7:45am (Yes, I know it's early.)
4530 Angeles Crest Hwy, La Caņada Flintridge, CA 91011

KSU 8am

All rider levels welcome. Fast guys are welcome to run ahead, I'll be running a moderate pace. Slower riders are welcome, if turnout is low, my pace will be reduced to something anyone can keep up with safely, but be sure to ride your own pace.
Wear full gear.

Possible detours if people are interested:
* The view at the Mt Wilson Observatory is wonderful, and it's a nice ride to get to, adds about 45 minutes.
* Break at Newcombs, of course.
* Lunch on the backside of the Angeles Crest perhaps in Littlerock.

Rough route posted, subject to change. Only 116 miles, but most of it curvy.

Care to come out and play?

Misc / Zach Buob Memorial Ride
« on: 05/22/17 03:34PM »

Keep an eye on Facebook for full details.

Off Topic / Big things coming for me...
« on: 04/03/17 10:49AM »
Just turned in my two weeks notice at my current full time gig...

Back in November I worked at a booth at the LB IMS, and things progressed from a 3-day gig at the show, to a trip to China, to a part time gig doing editing and marketing, to a trip to Daytona Bike Week, and now to a new full-time gig with Lexin Electronics, a motorcycle accessories manufacturer...

Exciting times, it's going to be difficult, but it's a happy move. Thrilled to be part of the Lexin team. Hopefully it will equate to less commuter miles and more pleasure miles on the SV until I can afford to upgrade to my next dream bike...

Off Topic / My first trip to Daytona Bike Week - 2017
« on: 03/20/17 11:49AM »
So, I ended up with a gig to work a booth at Daytona Bike Week. What a crazy event...

First thing we noticed, and something I didn't even think about - no helmet law in Florida, and about 90% of the riders go without. WTF? Had no idea there were THAT many people willing to risk their skulls...

Our booth was in a venue that is new for the overall Bike Week festivities, so actual visitation was low. We were located in the Florida Full Throttle Vendor Showcase at the Ocean Center about a block from Main Street on the Daytona Beach downtown island. The location was nice - indoors, clean restrooms. But it wasn't as well attended as other locations, and if the company goes again they'll either be getting space at the speedway or Destination Daytona Harley.

Starting to set up the booth...

Picked up a bike from a nearby Eagle Rider franchise, and put it into the booth at the end of the day...

One of the products this company makes is a 50w/channel Bluetooth speaker, pretty good sound for a handlebar or engine guard mount system.

They also produce really nice DIY lighting kits. 15-color selectable, two color changing modes, breathe, flash, and brake-attached (system goes red when brakes applied, and goes back to whatever the riders sets when released) with RF remote, and they have a smartphone controlled version as well.

This is the owner of the company setting up a secondary display:

In a nearby parking lot I spotted this crazy Boss Hoss trike - 454 V8's in the Boss Hoss bikes.

Had to take a selfie at the track of course, this was Friday before the official start of the event.

Here's a shot from at the vendors area at the track. This is a slow day - and the general background noise is like being on a widebody jetliner. Add in the nearby bikes with pipes topping 140 db constantly blipping the throttle, and you might be able to imagine a little of what it sounds like there...

One of the two girls helped a customer install a set of speakers on a Sportster...

So many customs... Think about this...
New bike - $24k
Custom fenders/bags/fairing - $5k(?)
Custom Paint - $10k+
Custom Wheels (some fronts over 36" dia.) - $5k(?)
Custom sound system - $2k

This one was a nice looking setup, rider had canes with him.

Some really nice paint and leather work on a Duc Scrambler.

A couple more Boss Hoss bikes. Behind the leg is painted "675 HP 454 Ci".

Crazy custom HD, really nice but gaudy paintwork, and sportbike headlights...

This one is another extreme bike, but one of the better customs. Everything is really well integrated, and the paintwork is very well done. Check out the little machined dots that are on the sides and running boards - on the "bags" the largest dot is where the keyhole is on each side. Airbag suspension for custom ride height and stiffness, and it sets it down on powered center stand feet that retract up under the bike.

And, that's a wrap!

Miscellaneous / Call for riders for catalog photoshoot
« on: 02/16/17 07:28AM »
Call for riders for photoshoot - $100 for a few hours on Saturday, Feb. 25th.

All positions filled pending emails from participants. If I haven't heard from you yet, please send me an email to confirm. If not confirmed, I'll re-open slots tomorrow.

1 cruiser - Found
1 full touring - 2-up if possible (Rider and Pillion) - Found
1 sportbike - Found
1 std/naked - Found
1 ADV - Found
1 classic/custom (Cafe/Bobber) -Found

Must wear full gear. Possibility of alternate gear desired, but not required. Must be willing to ride in tight formation. Must take directions from staff at the shoot. Must be calm, smiling, and respectful of all involved throughout the shoot.

We are looking to get some great pictures in group formations and as singles for a motorcycle products catalog, with happy, smiling riders enjoying themselves in the mountains.

If you are interested in participating, please message me, and I'll provide an email address to which I would like you to send a couple of photos for review.

Thanks for reading!

New jacket is HiVis so I no longer need this vest.

FREE, size M/L.
Meets requirements for HiVis riding when going on base, lots of reflectivity, be more seen while commuting.

Anyone know who this might be? Lifeguards recovered a GoPro during diver training, and would like to return it to it's owner...

Off Topic / Beware Craigslist scammers when selling...
« on: 01/23/17 02:50PM »
So, I had an interesting exchange with a "possible buyer" through craigslist, and thought I would share it here for entertainment and as a warning to those selling vehicles via CL...

Quote from: Me
Uhm. No. If you want a VIN report, you will have to run that yourself. I have a pending buyer, so if that falls through, I will contact you and provide the VIN for you to run your search on.

I am the third owner, have the current title in hand, and have already stated that this has a salvage title.

A VIN report is not going to tell you anything different, and feels like some form of scam, to be honest.

If you are still interested, I'll contact you when the current buyer fails to meet our agreed upon settlement.

Quote from: Them
I am interested in seeing a history report for your bike. If you don't have one,i would appreciate it if you can obtain it from - I'd like to pay you back if we make a deal, and they're a lot cheaper than carfax.
I'd get it myself but i don't want to risk it being bad and just end up wasting my money. If everything is ok with it, I would like to see the bike tomorrow, If you are free
 Looking forward to hearing from you,

Quote from: me
Waiting on a pending sale.

Don't understand what you mean by "history report" - it now has a salvage title, although all damage was cosmetic.

Bike is being sold "as-is", but runs fine, and with replacement controls will be perfectly ride-able.

Quote from: Them
Good. I'm quite interested in your bike. Looks like a really nice ride.  But I need to be assure everything is fine with your bike first. Do you have a history report I could check ?

Quote from: Me
Still available, and can work with you on price a little.

Quote from: Them
I really like your Suzuki , I'm wondering is it still available? Also, are you firm on price?

I went and checked the site in question for VIN reporting, and the report showed what I'd suspected, having heard about this type of scam elsewhere.

So, Seller Beware! Don't spend money on a VIN report from a website that isn't one you know...

2006 Suzuki SV650, 53577 miles, Salvage title.

"Hi, I'm Dory." Dory is looking for a new home. Her owner recently ran into a little misfortune, and is unable to care for her any longer. Looking for someone who can adopt her, rehabilitate her, and allow her to "just keep swimming" for many more years and miles to come.
She runs strong, no issues, valves always right on spec. Frame and forks are straight, but due to the cost of returning her to previous condition, she is being considered a total loss by the insurance company.

If you are looking for an excellent bike to convert for track use, as an upgrade from a 250-300cc bike, or something that can be repaired and ridden for daily commuting use, this is an excellent bike for all of the above.

Past maintenance includes:
Intake seats replaced. Steering head bearings replaced. Oil changes every 3-4k miles. New battery. Lower mile fuel pump.

Extras installed:
RaceTech .90kg front springs, RaceTech Gold Valve Cartridge Emulators, '08 GSX-R 750 rear shock, Two Brothers carbon fiber slip on exhaust with PowerTip noise reducer (scuffed), Heated Grips (possibly damaged), Steve's a-TRE (included, not installed), Rear Fender Delete, MotoSliders frame sliders (one needs to be replaced), Suzuki SV Gel Seat upgrade in perfect shape.

Will provide if not replaced prior to purchase (to repair damage):
Used handlebar, stock "S" turn signals (used) to replace bent item, grips, brake levers (Front & Rear), new HammerGrips tank pads, stock springs and rear shock, stock windscreen, additional right side front cowl (less scuffed than currently installed), front brake master, throttle tube. Some or all of these parts may be installed prior to sale depending on time allowed and how long this bike is on the market. Some parts are still being shipped.

This bike has served me well, owned since June 2013 and 6500 miles. Runs strong, has been a great commuting vehicle and touring bike. With just a little work to replace the broken bits, this bike will continue to provide many thousands of miles of smiles.

$2000.00 or best offer.

thepretender, this one is for you!

Turbocharge it!

BMW S1000RR Turbocharged custom build

Crash Stories / New Year, new stories...
« on: 01/03/17 01:42PM »
This morning on the 405 South just past Warner Ave, everyone got heavy on the brakes, myself included. Unfortunately, one of them swerved across the break between HOV and the #2 lane, right into my path. Swerving, I bounced off the left side of the vehicle, and (while hoping to recover control) was tossed unceremoniously down the HOV lane. I was down to about 40, maybe a little less, by the time of the impact. Basically high-sided.

After coming to rest some unknown distance later, and regaining the ability to breathe, I looked myself over, and scooted back against the barrier, checking to make sure everything was intact. A nice lady in an SUV stopped in front of where the bike came to rest, and called for paramedics. Thank you lady. Her husband rides, too. She tried to drag the bike a little, and by that time I was recovered enough to get up. Stood up the bike, and pushed it to the wall, too.

A few minutes late the firetruck showed up, then the paramedics, and I was shuttled off to Fountain Valley Regional for x-rays. Nothing broken, and the wife picked me up a little later.

Should find out later today if the SV is totaled or not, if not it will go to OC Motorcycle for repairs.

Pics (Public facebook post, no account required):
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I know, it's late notice, but just decided to do this about an hour ago...

Riding out to Latigo and Mulholland tomorrow, with stops at the Rock Store and Malibu Temple before returning on Piuma Road.

Anyone is welcome to join in.

8:30am - Meet at the Chevron at 14791 Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica, CA 90402
8:45am Kickstands up.

I'm riding a fairly slow, relaxed pace, so fast riders up front, break and regroup at the Rock Store (closed), short break at the Mulholland Lookout, short stop at the Malibu Temple (because it's pretty), return back to PCH via Piuma Road.

Dress for cooler weather? :D And pack snacks/water (Rock Store is closed Mondays.).

Off Topic / RawHyde Adventure is expanding
« on: 12/21/16 03:43PM »
If anyone out there is an adventure rider, or wants to be, RawHyde is there to help you...

No, this isn't supposed to be a plug for RawHyde, but their newsletter just came. They are building a new facility and are looking to hire all sorts of tradesmen. Construction, Solar, etc.

They are also looking for a couple of internal positions if you are interested in applying.

You can check out their newsletter for more info here:

General Motorcycle Discussion / H-D Road King owners?
« on: 11/22/16 07:30AM »
Hey all,

The guy I was working with this weekend is looking to hire a bike for a photo shoot with some of his products. Something like an H-D Road King or similar with room on the handlebars for some speakers.

Here's the bike we had at the show for reference:

We were supposed to have used that bike for photos, but not being able to get it out of the show Sunday really threw a wrench into things.

He just needs it for a day near La Verne (I'm pretty sure the photographer is local to La Verne also), pays well, and you would be riding it up, positioning it, and be there with it. All the stuff to be shown would be temporary mounting, no scratches or holes or anything. Probably free product if there was anything you were interested in.

If you are interested, please PM me and I'll put you in contact.

He's a great guy, has taken the CMSP, but not his written test yet.

And yes, I know this is predominately a Sportbike forum. But if you know someone, please spread the word. :)

Hey all,

I was working at a booth at the show this weekend, and we ran into a snag. The people I was working with need help loading a Harley Road King into a uhual between 8 and 5. Small Chinese guy isn't going to be able to do it on its own, and (long story) the bike is disabled... pm me if you can help and I'll connect you with him. He'll pay for your trouble, but I have to work - used up all my pto.

Last night I stopped to pick up dinner at Louisiana Fried Chicken on 7th, and met Chinky  (?). Anyone remember him?

He's moving to NY! Sold all the bikes for the move, but plans on getting another there next spring.

Painting my helmet scratched an itch...

Would anyone be interested in a custom paint job? Here's how it might work in my current situation...

Sit down, discuss your desires, talk about the how, and decide whether to proceed.
- Bring pics of design features you like from other helmets or things.
- If I think I can do it, I'll tell you.
- If it's something I don't think I can do well, I'll be upfront about that too.
You buy the helmet to be painted, after determining what to start with as a base.
- Must be willing to accept that the helmet will need to be disassembled and reassembled, and the warranty probably voided.
We meet again at Coast Airbrush for supply choices.
- Must be willing to split the cost of colors if I don't already have them.
- Must be willing to cover the cost of a specific base coat if needed, and the clear top-coat (one-time costs for each helmet done.)
- Base coats would include a heavy metal-flake, silver, or white if required for the design.
- IIRC, the colors are about $15 each, and the clear was about $30.
I paint the helmet to the best of my abilities.
- Process updates and masking photos provided to you via txt each step of the way.
- Minor adjustments to design possible at this stage, but paint already applied cannot be altered.
Finished helmet is returned to you, and unless gross errors encountered a small fee paid to me for the work.

Depending on the complexity, I'd be willing to start around $50 for the fee for something similar in complexity as my helmet. Probably wouldn't ask more than about $150, as if it got more complicated than that I don't think I'd take the commision...

If you missed it, my first custom painted helmet. Learned a lot doing it, too.

Errors seen here won't be happening again...

General Motorcycle Discussion / RDTodd says hello!
« on: 10/19/16 11:03AM »
Talked on the phone with Todd yesterday evening, he says Hi everyone!

He's been out fishing and racing vintage dirt, and spending less time online. He sent me a few pics:

He's begun hoarding classic Yammies...

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