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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Winter modification options

I've been kicking around some ideas for winter projects.  Sadly, the sunny days of summer like this one are gone.

Will 2012 finally be the year of the hardtail?  Probably not, but it's still not out of the question.

The only "have-tos" on my project list are fixing two electrical issues:
  1. Replace the connector for my headlight - I screwed it up the first time and my headlight sometimes goes out (just need to jiggle the wire to fix)
  2. Figure out what's wrong with the neutral light.  Ever since I disassembled the speedo assembly for relocation, my neutral light hasn't worked.  A working light would give me more peace of mind when releasing the clutch at a stop.  It's either a loose connection or a burnt out bulb.

Possible winter projects for my Sportster include:
  • I have a pair of ruby red Hippy Killer grips that I might install but I still really like the look and feel of my Kuryakyn Iso grips
  • I really like Biltwell's new Sanderson foot pegs.  Again, I'm not unhappy with my Kuryakyn pegs so it's difficult to justify.
  • My header pipes could use a re-wrap since I tore my rear header's wrap a year ago
  • I am strongly considering making my own set of pipes - requires me to learn to weld too!
  • I want to finally shave my front fork legs (was on last year's list but never got around to it)
  • I want to relocate the choke to the right side of the bike - the choke on the left side drives me nuts when trying to warm the bike up
  • Belt-to-chain conversion (not convinced I want to do this but my belt is getting old...)
  • I might look into options to change the rear lights
  • My gas tank could use some touch up around the filler hole as the paint is bubbling (not visible when gas cap is in place).  It also needs another coat of clear so I can buff it really smooth.
  • Considering swapping the rear wheel with a spoked one
  • I am looking at options to clean up the rear of the bike (the fender sits too high above the tire, in my opinion).
    • Hardtail the frame - would require new seat, sissybar, oil tank, and more
    • Shorter shocks (10-11")
    • Struts (probably not)
    • Mount a new rear fender to the swingarm (I like the ribbed ducktail style) - would probably require a new sissybar and possibly seat.
Decisions, decisions...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

First Real Snow Of The Season

We had flurries back on the 10th but they only lasted a few minutes and melted fast. I knew more snow was in the forecast so I put Sta-Bil in both bikes last night and rode them a bit to get the stabilizer through the fuel system just in case I wouldn't be able to ride them again for a few months.

Today was the first proper snow of the season and while it wasn't a lot, it was enough to make driving suck. It'll warm back up but it's an unfortunate sign of things to come. Speaking of signs... I wrote these in the snow on my driveway:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Scribblenauts Biker Gang

I've been playing Scribblenauts Remix on my iPhone for a few days now.  It's a puzzle game that allows you to create and interact with almost anything you can think of using a built-in vocabulary of over 20,000 words!  The possibilities are endless!

Want to create your own biker gang?  Sure!

Want to shoot hippies with your shotgun from the comfort of your chopper?  Go ahead!

Want to blow up a sportbike with a bazooka? Why not?
* Obviously, Gophers and Cheese does not condone any of these acts in real life.  Leave real hippies and real sportbike riders alone.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Loving This Album

Five Finger Death Punch - American Capitalist.  I have been listening to this for a few weeks now and love it.  I have all 3 of their albums.  Highly recommend.

Listen to it here:

Buy it and their previous albums here:

Monday, November 14, 2011

2012 Progressive International Motorcycle Show

The riding season isn't quite over but all the big rides and events are so it's time to look towards 2012.  For the past five years I have attended the Progressive International Motorcycle Show.

The 2012 Progressive International Motorcycle Show (IMS) will be held February 3-5 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  Tickets are already on sale!

I really enjoy going to this show because it's like a little taste of summer in the dead of winter.  You can see all the latest models from the major manufacturers and there are usually a handful of custom and vintage bikes around too.  You can also sit on whatever bike you like (not the customs of course) and get a feel for the bike in a very low-presure environment, unlike a salesroom.  I remember seeing the Harley Nightster, Forty-Eight, and Blackline models at the IMS before I saw them anywhere else.  It was also the first place I saw and tried on a Fulmer helmet, which I later bought.  After seeing the Ducati Diavel at this year's show, I'm still thinking about that bike and still want one.  I just won't give up my Sportster or Road King and have no room (or money) for a third bike.

Here's a video from their website to give you a sense of the size of the show:

Here's a link since the embedded video is cut off a bit: CLICK HERE

Here are links to my blog posts from his past year's show:

See you at the show!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mid-November Ride and Fluid Changes

In spite of seeing the first snow of the season earlier this week, Saturday was really warm (by November standards).  I took the Sportster downtown and along West River Road from West Broadway down to Minnehaha Falls and back.  It's a slow ride (25 mph limit) but a real nice one.

Once home, with the fluids nice and hot, I changed the oil and transmission fluid.  I looked back at my records and I did the same maintenance on the exact same day (Nov 12th) last year.  Weird.

St. Paul HD Suing HD

St. Paul Harley Davidson is suing Harley-Davidson for the right to sell internationally online. Good for them and I wish them luck.

Check out the full story here:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Bikes of Frankensteiner's Ball 6

Last month, the Frankensteiners car club hosted their annual Frankensteiner's Ball at the Anoka County Fairgrounds.  It was a beautiful day and there was a huge turnout.

If you like hot rods and rat rods, this is the event for you.  There were tons of cars like this all over the place.

Check out this vintage motorized bicycle:

There was a small section of bikes including this Yamaha hardtail.

Here's a nice pair of ironheads:

This bike's dropseat looks about as uncomfortable a seat as I've even seen but he's running shocks so how bad could it be, right?

It's not always easy to get info on the club or their shows but it's definitely worth it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Harley should buy me dinner after each service appointment

Why why why the hell do I take my bikes to dealers for service???  I've done virtually all the mods on my bikes myself and have done a lot of oil and transmission fluid changes but for some reason there are still some things I haven't learned to do myself that keep me going in for insanely expensive service.  I'm embarrassed to post how much I just paid for the 20K maintenance on my Road King.  It makes me want to puke.

All I can think of is the Humancentipad episode of South Park where I'm Cartman and the service department at my local Harley dealership is Cartman's mom. The last line of the clip below is the best (explicit content - you've been warned).

If the embedded video doesn't work, try going here.  It's Abobe Flash so unfortunately it won't work on iPhone & iPad.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Still a motorcycle blog

In case you're wondering, don't worry, this is still first and foremost a motorcycle blog.  I am just adding in some music recommendations here and there as it's another interest of mine.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

$5 Albums Worth Checking Out

Each month, Amazon has a different set of albums (usually 100 of them) available to download for only $5 each.  Here are my top recommendations out of their November set. I highly recommend owning every album by The Black Keys so Thickfreakness is no exception. I like Seether and "Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces" is my favorite Seether album, mostly because of tracks 7 & 13.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Release Tuesday

Downloaded the brand new Disturbed album "The Lost Children" today.  Technically, it's a collection of B-sides and rarities, but I'll take it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Portland Oregon - Not a big Harley town

Last month, I spent a long weekend with my brother in Portland, OR. It was my first time in Oregon and we had amazing weather - it never rained! We had great beer and food.

Having just bought a Subaru Outback, I was used to seeing one or two on the road in Minneapolis but in Portland Subaru must be the state car of Oregon as every other car on the road is a Subaru, most of them Outbacks. The other thing that stood out to me was the lack of motorcycles. There were a few but not a lot.  Maybe it just rains too much or perhaps the issue is that Harleys aren't vegan.

I snapped these photos of artwork outside Ptown Scooters.

One thing I will say for Portland - they know doughnuts.  Voodoo Doughnut is AMAZING!  I had the Portland Cream, Rocky Road, and Bacon Maple.  Had to wait in line about half-an-hour but it was totally worth it.

My brother and I did one small road-trip while I was there.  We saw Multnomah Falls and then did the loop around Mt. Hood, stopping at Timberline Lodge (the exterior was used for the hotel in the movie in The Shining).  The trip was by car but it would have been way better by motorcycle.  In fact, I was shocked not to see many motorcycles at all as the roads and views were absolutely beautiful.

If you get the chance, be sure to check out Portland. It's a cool town. Bring your Harley but don't wear leather and be sure to slap some Subaru stickers over your bike's tank emblems so you'll blend in.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Into The Wind

Saturday was sunny and relatively warm, peaking in the high 50s.  I took the Sportster for what was likely to be the last big ride of the season.  I covered 150 miles from Minneapolis to Stillwater into Wisconsin, past Hudson & Prescott to Diamond Bluff and then back up to Prescott and on to St. Paul and finally Minneapolis.  It was very windy and I was riding into the wind the whole first half of the trip.


Nauti Hawg in Diamond Bluff, WI:

Point Douglas Park on the Minnesota side near Prescott, WI:

Warming up with a cup of coffee at Bob's Java Hut:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

First Thursday - November 2011

It hasn't snowed yet and it's still warm enough to ride.  Thursday was chilly but clear.  I headed downtown after work but it was already dark by the time I got to Dulono's for First Thursday.  There was an impressive number of bikes for it being so late in the season.  Unfortunately, they weren't serving pizza through the little outdoor window or else I would have had a slice or two.  I didn't stay long but I managed to snap a few grainy pics with my phone.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Five years and over 40,000 miles

I bought my first motorcycle, my Sportster, five years ago. I bought it used with 8,000 miles on it and the condition was practically stock. In five years, I have transformed the look of the bike and have put an additional 25,000 miles on it. I bought my Road King new in 2008 and it now has 19,500 miles on it (roughly 3,000 of those were miles my dad put on it while we were riding together).

Time flies.

Here are photos of my Sportster in October 2006, the day after I brought it home.  When I bought it, I remember saying to myself, "it's perfect - I don't need to change a thing."  It looks a little different today, doesn't it?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

2012 Calendar of Events

Since the 2011 riding season is sadly almost over, I added a 2012 Local Events section to the right sidebar.  Many events already have 2012 dates set so get busy marking your calendars so you don't miss your favorites.

If you know of a motorcycle event in the local Twin Cities area, please feel free to e-mail me the details so I can add it (gophersandcheese at  Thanks!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nearing the end of another season

It's November and the northeast just got hit with a bunch of snow. Time to start thinking about winterizing the bikes and putting them away for the winter.

December and January are the only months I've never ridden in Minnesota. I try to ride into November and I hope to get back out in February but sometimes have to wait until March. Yes, I'm a little nuts. I prefer the weather in the 40s and up but I'll ride in the 30s. I tried riding in the 20s once but I only lasted a few minutes. I don't have any heated gear.

I am planning to hit up First Thursday at Dulono's this week but it'll probably be chilly.
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