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Updated on October 16, 2015



Of course. Don't everybody ride motorcycles? Actually I have heard there are some people who do not ride motorcycles. But consider the reasons to ride motorcycles.

l. They are a fun thing to ride. They offer greater freedom than a car or truck. That is why you see so many of them when the weather is nice.

2. Consider the price of gas. Need I say more.

3. Some of us buy a motorcycle so we can take it all apart. Then put it back together the way we think it should have been. This seems to satisfy something deep down in us.

4. Then there are people who get their bell rang and whistle tooted by buying all the chrome they can find. Bolt it on the motorcycle then spend all their free time washing and polishing the thing. If you know where the satisfaction is in this let me know. Around here that seems to be the driving desire of most "bikers'.


In this area there are a few of us who get together every January the first for a motorcycle ride - rain or shine. We call it the "Polar Bear Ride". This has been going on for about seven or eight years. Some years we were tempted to stay in by the fire because there is rain or worse and no shine.

The picture above is a few of the bikes that showed up for the 2012 run. You can see that contrary to most New Years Days - it was a great day for a ride. After having lunch here where the bikes are, we rode over into the hills and back roads of the neighboring county.

The best New Years Day ride we have had yet. Are we supposed to thank Al Gore and global warming? Well, we didn't. Those of us who know who controls the weather thanked God for the beautiful day he gave us.



The good doctor who owns this Norton rode in about fourty or fifty miles to join us on the "Polar Bear Run". This good man spent a lot of time during our meal explaining the merits of a Norton motorcycle. This is one of the real ones - about a 1971 or 1972 model. When Norton still built them.

Back when I was a kid, the Norton was the dream of all of us. The only thing that would have rated higher was the Vincent Black Shadow. So as the good doctor waxed more and more eloquent about their virtues - I begin to think that perhaps I should consider trying to find one. You bet I was beginning to look forward to the ride after out lunch. I wanted to see that bike in action.


I rode right behind that Norton on the ride. (Except where I had to lead on some back roads.) Well yes, it is a Norton. Sounds great for a twin. And really, it ran pretty good for an old 750 Norton Commando.

I was probably unduly influenced by the fact that I was riding a Bandit 1200 on this ride. I did not want to trade rides. Then after seeing him start it a couple of times - well. A guy might just as well have an old "harley".

For you "harley" guys. I learned to ride on a harley. And I have owned a harley. Now that is over, so I can go on and do what I want. Sorry.


Are these rides better than yours. Of course not. We all get what we want, need, or can afford. Some are just better for some situations than others. And our situations are different. Any thing on two wheels can be fun. For example my wife has a Honda Helix scooter. I almost hate to admit it, but sometimes I ride into town to do some shopping. Great trunk space and gas milage. But the truth of the matter is - in town it is more fun to ride that any of my bikes. Makes you wonder.

A question for you. Anytime I ride any of my motorcycles, past or present, down the road - any bike rider will wave at me. But when I ride my wife's scooter - they can't even see me. What gives?

The bikes in the picture above are my current rides. The bike on the left is an old stripped down Goldwing outfitted for riding back roads and in the National Forest. If I break down, get stuck or lost back there I can live out of the saddle bags etc. for several days while they are hunting for me. The one in the middle. OK so it is something stripped down too. It is for racing around the place here. You know. Make a lot of noise and throw dirt, gravel and grass all over the place. You guess what it is. The bike on the right is my ride for on the black stuff. (Yes, I've had it out in the National Forest too.)

I just thank God for letting me have these toys to play with. And especially for the strength and health to do it.



Grandpa's ridding buddy, my ten year old great grand daughter. She likes to ride with grandpa (In good weather) when it does not conflict with her "boy friend". No, she is not a motorcycle. But she does a great riding job.



One man's idea of a survival bike.

But that's an old Goldwing. Right. You use "what you got." Not what you don't got. To use what "you don't got" you would have to spend money. Any body can do that. Look at all the shiny stuff running up down the rode. Who wants to be like that.



If you are out riding where you are supposed to and run into trouble, you will need water. And, you know that the water over in that pond just finished cooling an old cow off. Adds flavor, and germs. And that water running down that cool looking stream - a coon just washed it's lunch off in it then - did it's job.

Moral. Carry some water with you.



That "toad stabber" tied on the side has a nine inch blade. If you ever run into an aggressive toad you want to be prepared.



No. It is not mine. This genuine rat bike belongs to a friend. You will notice that it is a "no nonsense" machine. Not a lot of trash tied to it in an effort to make it look "ratty". The "ratty" part comes from a lot of wear and hard work.

My friend has been riding motorcycles for probably thirty five years. But this particular motorcycle has been about the most reliable motorcycle he as ever owned - including newer ones. It is a 1978 Kawasaki KZ750 twin.



What do you do on an old rat bike when the pressure of the side stand finally tears the frame? Simple. You go to the scrap metal pile and start imagineering. The resulting new side stand mount simply bolts to other points on the frame. Then you go on like nother happened.



Rat bike mufflers. They come in many styles. The mufflers on this one were some I had on the shelf. They are old glass pack car mufflers. If I remember correctly, I paid about fifteen dollars each for these from J.C. Whitney many years ago. So, a motorcycle need them first. Just go down to your motorcycle dealer and try to get a muffler for your motorcycle for fifteen dollars. Now you are beginning to understand rat bikes.



Most of you do not even know what that thing is. It is a kick starter. When his starter wore out years ago he started using "that thing".

You put your foot on top of it, then push down real hard. Real motor cycles have kick starters as standard equipment.


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