Motorcycles Are Next

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Why are some people into motorcycles?

The answer, of course, is because motorcycles are fun – and affordable fun. And why are they affordable fun? To a great extent, because motorcycles are still free of government-mandated encrustations. They are arguably what cars would be today had government not got into the business of “engineering” them by legislative fiat: Highly efficient, super-light, powerful – and cheap and fun. $11k will buy you a brand-new sport bike capable of running a 9 second quarter mile, zero to 60 in less than 3 seconds and with a top speed over 180 MPH. Oh, and it gets 40-plus MPG, too. A fully loaded, top-of-the-line touring bike with heated seat and grips, GPS, great stereo (not that one really needs that on a bike), gorgeous chrome and paint, etc. – will run you about what you’d pay for a  basic compact economy car. In between are all sorts of bikes that offer more (or less) performance, better (or worse) gas mileage – and most important of all, the design features and equipment that bike buyers – not the government – think are desirable.

Which is why bikes remain so affordable.

This lovely state of affairs exists not because of government beneficence – some generous impulse to leave bikes alone as a last redoubt of transportation liberty. No, it’s only because so far it’s been technologically impossible to fit a bike with the Rube Goldberg devices that are now mandatory standard equipment in all new cars. Air bags, for instance.

Well, that may be about to change.

There is an article in the just-out June issue of Motorcyclist magazine (see here) about air-bag riding suits being developed by Dainese and Alpinestars. Like any modern car, the suit is a suite of elaborate technology: multiple accelerometers and gyroscopes feed real-time data into a microprocessor, which can sense a crash and inflate the suit. The price for this elaborate technology is also comparable to the cost of the similarly elaborate technology in cars: $2,500. Or, about one-fourth the current cost of a top-line sport bike and about a third the cost of a standard.

Here’s how I expect this to go down:

At first, air bags on bikes (or in riding suits) will be optional – just as car air bags were once optional. Not many people will buy them – for the obvious reasons – just as very few people freely chose to buy air bags in cars when they first appeared.

Next, there will be an orchestrated PR juggernaut touting the “safety” of air bags on bikes (and in your suit). Very possibly, insurance companies will jack up the rates they charge for bikes without air bags – and riders who ride without air bag suits. And since the market mechanism that would ordinarily keep the insurance companies in check – the ability of consumers to say no to exorbitant, unjustified premiums – has been rendered inoperative, enormous pressure will be brought to bear on bike manufacturers as well as individual riders to embrace The Bag.

The final step will be a mandate. Mandates, actually. All bikes built henceforth must come equipped with air bags – and all riders must henceforth wear a suit equipped with air bags. No more T-shirts and jeans. Lots of tickets and checkpoints for non-compliance.

I know, I know. My paranoia is rising again. If only. In this America, “safety” trumps everything, including economics and individual liberty. Is it really paranoid to believe that this government will decide one day that it is “unsafe” for people to ride motorcycles without air bags – or without an air bag suit? That in the age of ObamaCare, it will not “do something” about “risky” behaviors such as riding a motorcycle without an air bag? Behaviors that might impose “social costs” on the great collective?

Oh, and don’t forget the other half of the equation: corporations. There is a lot of money to be made off bikers in the name of “safety.” And this time, unlike the way it went down at first with the car companies, the bike companies aren’t going to fight it. They will be doing all they can to push it. Instead of trying to convince reluctant bikers to buy $2,500′ worth of air bags – a deal few of them will sign up for – a mandate would force them all to buy in.

Think of the mark-up!

And the back end: A whole new “market” for replacement air bags. And the  money-making potential doesn’t end there, either. More rapid turnover – as formerly fixable bikes are thrown away (just as happens with air-bagged cars) and their owners pushed into buying a new one. On an easy monthly payment plan. Just like cars. As the price tag of “safe” bikes goes up, buying a bike in cash, outright, will go away – just as it has with cars.

More debt – more profit – all sold on the basis of “safety.”

Snuff the air, take a look around. Does any of the foregoing not jibe with what has already happened elsewhere? What is happening all around us? If you’d told someone 25 years ago that they would not be allowed to smoke in a public park – or that they would be forced to wear a helmet while riding their bike – they would have declared you a hysteric. If you’d told someone ten years ago that in order to board an airplane, in order to “keep us safe,” they’d first have to allow a stranger to fondle their crotch, you’d have been laughed out of the room. This is America, after all.

Yes. It was.

Enjoy your bike – and your next ride in a T-shirt and jeans. It’s going to be over very soon.

Throw it in the Woods?

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72 COMMENTS

  1. This article reminded me of my first motorcycle a 1975 Ducati Super Sport. This had a right side shifter which to this day I think is the way it should be. The Feds after their resounding brilliance(1974)in using an interlock to prevent a car from starting if you put a bag of groceries in the passenger seat and neglected to put on its seat belt decided they’d screw with motorcycles by requiring them to have left side shifters. I still miss my Duck but I can’t replace it without buying an old one, the transition years of the Desmo engines were pretty ugly with their square cases. The new ones are better but they have left side shifters and are way out of my current price range. So you see, idiocy has a long and cherished history in DC. And of course don’t forget that the helmet laws were instigated by the NHTSA with a little highway funding blackmail.

    • Hi Piet,

      I’m partial to the old stuff, too – as you’ve probably guessed. And yes – the idiocy and tyranny has been flowing out of DC for a long time!

  2. Tinsley:

    I’ve been advocating a constitutional amendment requiring every law, regulation, executive order, etc. to sunset every 2 years (and requiring that extension past the two year period only be permitted to occur within 30 days of sunset) for a long time now, but you’re the only other person I’ve ever heard talk about this.

    This of course would have at least two beneficial effects: (1) it would tend to prevent laws from collecting on the books over the years and (2) it would cause Congress to be much less efficient in that it would have to continue to expend significant amounts of time and political energy passing the same laws over and over every 2 years, thereby bogging it down and limiting the time it could focus on new laws.

    Great minds think alike.

    • You are the only Individual ever to respond to the Sunset Clause idea that I’ve been sharing for many years now.

      As things stan now a bad law is virtually forever.

      B
      A
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      dot
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  3. “In any case this stupidity should drive us all in the arms of older bikes.”

    You meant to say “in the arms of older babes”. Trust me 🙂

    • WE have reached a point in America’s history to do three very important things:

      1. Examine every statute in the light of the Bill of Rights, Human Rights, and Unalienable Rights. Legal Powers that fail the examination should be avoided or repealed as quickly as possible.

      2. Create and ratify a Constitutional Amendment requiring a sunset clause for every piece of legislation. Permit no mere rubber stamping to give the law new life.

      3. Initiate Mandatory Concurrent Review,

      Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)

  4. I don’t think built in air bags are likely, except in the Honda Goldwing type bikes. 750cc and less bikes, especially without fairings should be safe from this bullshit. In any case this stupidity should drive us all in the arms of older bikes. http://www.scoop.it/t/cafe-racers/

    • Hi Alex,

      When it comes to “safety,” nothing (most especially our right to be left alone and make decisions on our own) is safe. They just haven’t focused on bikes much to date.

      Now, they’re beginning to.

      • Now that bikes are so numerous you can see those Dollar Signs in the lawparasites’ eyes.

        Tinsley Grey Sammons

      • Hey, Eric,
        Yeah, you’re right – if they can force adults riding bicycles to wear helmets, and now in NY I think they’re talking about forcing people to buy bicycle licenses, nothing is beyond those bureaucratic rats – time was when people would laugh at any attempt at coercion, and tell the politicos to go screw themselves, but these days…

        Things keep going like this you’ll see something never envisioned before – the flight of people from North America and the E.U. to 2nd tier countries, which are not wealthy enough to be able to fund most of these stupidities, and also have a more laid back attitude to life – want to buy raw milk, or garden, or choose not to wear a seat belt, smoke, whatever, it’s your business.

        • Given what’s already happened (precedent) I think one has to be naive to imagine further such regulations/restrictions are anything other than likely.

          We can never be too safe… if it saves even one life… for the children…

  5. Until you read the book, or if you don’t want to read the book but want to know more about it, these were interesting takes on the Fourth Turning:

    Into the Fourth Turning

    A Casey Research interview with Neil Howe, co-author of The Fourth Turning

    http://www.safehaven.com/article/14670/into-the-fourth-turning

    a description of Fourth Turning possibilities:

    http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/james-quinn/the-fourth-turning-skies-darkening

    YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHING YET –

    http://www.theburningplatform.com/?p=32482

    • “When the rogue comet went through the asteroid belt, it sent shrapnel right for us. For the next 11 days, the Earth’s in a shooting gallery. Even if the asteroid itself hits the water, it’s still hitting land.

      It will slam into the ocean bedrock. Now if it’s a Pacific Ocean impact, which we think it will be, it will create a tidal wave about three miles high, flash boil millions of gallons of sea water. It will hit the West Coast and wash up in Denver. Japan is gone, Australia is wiped out. Half of the Earth’s population will be incinerated by the heat blast, the rest will freeze to death in a nuclear winter.

      Basically the worst parts of the Bible.”

      Dan Truman – Armageddon, 1998.

      • BTW? The science fantasy of a comet dragging asteroids behind it is so damned funny that I, as a retired astronomer, would not be able to type while considering it.

        There’s no shortage of Chicken Little’s in this word, most notably among the “educated” population who refer to themselves as “sociologists”.

        Let me ask you a question Clark; when was the last time you hired a Sociologist?

    • Back when I rode and sought sexual favors from the ladies, there was no way I was going to cover my big, powerful tattooed upper arms. Even on days that kept many riders indoors I would wear nothing but my sleeveless homemade sheepskin vest.

      You can get a great triceps flex while steering a bike.

      tgsam

        • I never learned to dance and I never owned a white sport coat and a pink carnation. Besides, quail hunting armed with a crotch rocket is much easier and a helluva lot more fun.

          For a few years, I lived only a long walk from New Orleans’ French Quarter where there were lady toursists seeking a good time and Mardi Gras was the greatest time of all. A bike and good dope
          saves a lot of time and I’m lazy.

          Mardi Gras 1972 was the most fun week of my entire adult life. The Hippies were in town and I would not trade the experience for Woodstock.

          George Carlin might have considered flexing your triceps while astride an nice machine akin to waving your dick but it worked for me and its legal. Tinsley Grey Sammons, author of AMERICA’S FORSAKEN PROMISE

      • Ha… Awesome! I usually ride wearing a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups t-shirts because it’s the Harley colors! Then I zip tie a $6 skull I got from K-mart to the sissy bar. That way I have all the bases covered! The Harley shirt and the skull.

        Skull

  6. The United Police State of America’s Government Mission Statement:

    Our goal as elected officials is to do/say whatever necessary to obtain our positions.

    Once we’re in our next duty is to ignore the people who put us here.

    Then our primary objective is to inside trade, make sweet heart deals, and perform/be a part of any activity that make us and the government more rich and powerful.

    When we grow bored of the traditional criminal activities we participate in, that screw over the America people, we think up more methods of theft.

    Our favorite method of robbery is through the use of mandatory nonsense which we ENFORCE AT GUNPOINT on the Free American People.

    Clovers are our most valuable breed of cattle and they respond best to the word SAFETY.

    We will squander every cent we collect from the Free People and force them to pay more!

    Ah Freedom!

      • “. . . for the children”

        If I were a juror on a case where someone had beaten someone to death for seriously uttering those words, I would vote to acquit.

        Tinsley Grey Sammons

        • It’s weird because sometimes after reading an article, or hearing on the news, about some new mandate/law I then go around asking people about it. I’m like, Joe did you ask for shit? Ken? They all say no and add they don’t like it either. Then I ask myself, then I wonder well who the fuck is asking for this shit? It’s also funny because a lot of the stuff I ask people about (that is really fucking happening right now) they respond by saving that is against the law and violates our freedoms! I’m like, well the shit is happening right now! Usually they don’t believe me, so I forward them an article or two. Then I never hear a word about it from them. When I bring it up, they are just quite about it. WTF

          • And when did you last hear of a law being repealed? In my opinion, every statute should be burdened with a sunset clause.

            Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)

          • The gov’t is the only entity in society that decides to do something, does it and then bills us for it.

            Then we ask them what they did and they say shit like: we’ll have to wait until the final version of the bill comes out so we can read it. LMMFAO!

            Anyone who condones taxes and utters bullshit like: we all have to pay our fair share can suck my short and curlies.

          • Dom, back in the 90’s we were digging into the farce we call a school system with a particular focus on Outcome Based Education (and in Virginia, specifically the Common Core of Learning). What we learned was shocking, but only a scratch on the surface of John Taylor Gatto’s work. Anyhow, we were telling a friend of ours about what was going on in the schools / dept. of Ed. and gave her some literature. She had a kid in school and she also happened to be a Cuban expat. Her response was “Thees eez communism! Eez communism! I don’ wan’ to hear any more!” You’d think that someone who managed to escape Cuba in a small boat under cover of darkness and was now married to an American would respond with “What can we do to stop this?” or “Who can I call to complain about this?” But sadly, just like many people born here in the USSA, her answer was pull the covers over her head and pretend like there’s no intruder in the room. Freedom of speech was undoubtedly one of the things that drew her and her family here. But it’s a totally worthless right if we won’t use it. And failure to use it forcefully is why we’ve reached this point. Now we have the ability to make our voices heard and expose the deeds of evil people to the light of truth over the Internet. Naturally the PTB want a kill switch. Note to the PTB: I don’t think so.

          • It’s easier to stick your head in the sand Dom and pretend it’s not happening so you can stay warm and safe inside your own little bubbly delusion. Those people just hope they die before reality bursts their bubble.

          • I’ve had the same things happen Dom. First they say I made it up. So I have to prove it’s real. Once I do that then I am told I am “paranoid”. Because that’s only going to be used against other people, bad people, or it’s good what they are doing. They go from disbelief to saying it’s good. If they don’t say it’s good they put forth a justification… it’s a “necessary evil” Sometimes silence.

            This is why I love when clovers get busted under some law everyone ignores or get hassled by some government goons. But they always miss the point. These mainstream media people or congresscritters who get groped by the TSA or have family members with bad TSA experiences…. They can’t grasp it.

          • Tinsley has it (again) right. Every law should have a sunset. Every single one. Nobody likes to admit they had a bad idea.

          • “Thees eez communism! Eez communism! I don’ wan’ to hear any more!”

            Booth, what are her alternatives? She fled Cuba in the dark of night, sailed 90 miles across heaving seas, to find shelter in a country she thought was free. She found out she was wrong.

            You think she’s going to pick up a weapon? I don’t. She voted once with her feet and I say Good on Her! I’m a lower case libertarian, I won’t shoot somebody that doesn’t agree with me. I’ll pick up my shit and leave long before that. I applaud her position.

            We either convince our countrymen peacefully, or we leave. I’ve tried convincing, I’m (obviously) almost done with that, so I’m planning in all seriousness to leave. It’s the only rational choice.

            • The thing that prevents me from seriously considering leaving (for now) is… there’s nowhere else to go. Sure, there are some South American (and Central American) countries that are somewhat better, but only somewhat, and only somewhat because the governments are a bit less organized. But there is no cultural (let alone constitutional) respect for individual rights; in some respects even less than there is here. The chief plus seems to be they’re not – yet – micromanaging people’s lives on the basis of “safety” – but they still tax you extortionately, limit your property rights and deny your rights to own guns and speak/write freely.

              That’s my understanding, anyhow. Maybe I’m misinformed?

          • @Scott – “what are her alternatives?” Let’s see here: She could have taken her son out of school and home schooled him. She could have taken him on a field trip to the Virginia Dept. of Education and politely asked questions about the Common Core / OBE and watched the bureaucrats sweat, shuffle her from one office to the next and give her documents marked “Not for public distribution.” She could have informed friends and neighbors and encouraged them to call their state representatives and senators about these federally mandated education initiatives. She could have written letters to the editor until she got more than a few published. Those were just a few of the actions we took “back in the day” while TGS was contributing to unwed motherhood down in New Ah’leens. 😉 It was hard work and thankless to boot. But we did put some of the players on notice and worse yet (for them) made them accountable in the realm of ‘what comes around goes around’.

            Once you’ve been clearly informed and *know* what you’re doing is wrong and harming other people, your actions have a tendency to come back on you (I know from personal experience). This is probably the most important thing we can do to / for Clovers; rub their noses in what they’re doing and explain how and why it hurts other people. At that point they no longer have the excuse “well I didn’t know…” or “I never thought about it like that…”. The Universe has an amazing knack for ‘balancing the books’ so to speak. If nothing else, by exposing the deeds of evil people to the light of truth, we make them confront their erroneous beliefs and plant the seeds of cognitive dissonance in their minds. Then they will have to confront these uncomfortable ideas at least temporarily and it is unpleasant for them.

            The more of us that call ‘an Ace and Ace and a Spade a Spade’, the better. Be bold; force the Cloverian mass mind to confront the collective theft, kidnapping, counterfeiting, murder and maiming they actively support. You won’t make many friends (I can attest to that), but people with the statist-fascist-totalitarian mindset aren’t your friends anyway so who gives a rat’s ass? So what could my Cuban expat friend or any of us do for that matter? While tell the truth, of course, and let the chips fall where they may.

        • Yes but then you’d end up voting to acquit hundreds of rabid congresscritters who senselessly beat voting citizens to death.

          It’s carte blanche. I don’t think it would work.

    • “Clovers are our most valuable breed of cattle and they respond best to the word SAFETY.”

      Dom, the technical term is “useful idiot”. Please remember this in the future.

  7. I’ve said, more than once, and more so recently, that if motorcycles weren’t already legal, it would be well nigh impossible to bring them to market today. I’m still a bit surprised that the still-nascent and quite garish Can-Am Spyder, functionally a snowmobile with tires, is alive and well these days.

  8. While motorcycle manufactures may have executives that sign up for such mandates the result won’t be more profits. It will be the end of motorcycling or close to it. The resulting lower numbers of deaths and injury will then be proof the safety mandates work.

    It’s been done before. Bicycling like motorcycling is under constant attack by those who want to force conformity through their ideas of “safety”. Safety is in quotes because it’s an opinion, a personal judgment, but I digress. In targeting bicycling the cult of the magic foam developed which in some places became helmet laws. After a couple years the figures of reduced head injuries in bicycling were brought out to claim success. There was just one problem. All the injury reduction and then some was due to one thing, a dramatic reduction in bicycling. Instead of wearing the foam hat, people just didn’t use bicycles any more. And let us not forget that the “before” head injury numbers were inflated with scrapes and bruises and other minor injury that happened to be to the head. About all that these foam hats protect against anyway.

    I believe that motorcycle helmet laws broke down with similar analysis but I am not familiar enough with the motorcycling side.

    But the goal isn’t safety. It’s getting rid of two wheeled transportation. That’s my “paranoid” opinion. The people behind these safety mandates and such are people who feel the world should run by their opinions. They would rather have two wheeled vehicles off the road. Why? Because they don’t like them on the road.

    For bicycling these safety advocates have listed things like they would feel more comfortable on the road with a bicyclist wearing a helmet. Why? So they won’t feel so bad if they hit him. Yes, I’ve actually read that argument. People get nervous behind the wheel near two wheeled vehicles and they don’t like it. The less of them the better as far as they are concerned.

    CAFE was the first law, but many more have followed. It’s about making us all conform. One choice or only the choice of minor details. Do you want your Trabant to be bland beige or bland blue? Then they’ll take that away.

    The sad thing is most people find choice difficult so they’d rather have these control freaks do it for them. Sad.

      • Should have been ‘foam hat’, but the typo does add more originality to it 🙂

        The folks who resist bicycle helmets started calling them ‘magic foam hats’ or ‘Styrofoam hats’ many years ago so I can’t take credit for that.

        • For me it’s poignant because when I’m faced with the Safety Police I usually propose they just wrap us all in bubble pack, throw us in a concrete bunker and feed us through a tube. In the immortal words of Ripley, “It’s the only way to be sure.”

  9. I’ve never ridden a bike, but, just through casual observation, I have to believe that an airbag on a bike would cause more injuries than it would prevent.

    Any bikers out there care to weigh in?

    • Yes, I’ll weigh in: What do you believe about airbag-equipped motorcycles that make them more dangerous to the rider than bikes not so encumbered?

      • Airbags, like any technology, are not without flaws – especially as time goes by and parts wear. An unexpected deployment could easily kill a rider. This could be a big problem for bikes because unlike most cars, which tend to be retired after 15 or so years, bikes tend to be kept for much longer. I own three bikes that are 30-plus years old, two of them almost 40 years old. I would not want to own a bike more than ten years old with air bags, let alone 20 or 30 or 40.

        Is it a “big problem” – as in, will it affect lots of of people? Probably not. But that’s immaterial. Being forced to accept the risk (and expense) because some Clover thinks he has the right to impose his will on you is the issue here.

      • Cars have a crush zone that absorbs an impact, a bike not so much…should you have the misfortune of coming to a sudden stop because of your own error or that of some bozo – I am not a “mechanical engineer” but I cannot comprehend how an airbag is going to stop your body from impacting anything in the space of about 2 feet(+/-) or less at speed (2 Ft is the approx distance of your head to the front of your bike). So since more likely than not you are DEAD anyway why spend the money on a false sense of security?

        • My guess is that the airbag suit anyway isn’t supposed to stop a body… it would appear it is to work like that the landing system for that mars rover. Suit inflates and the rider bounces down the highway until coming to rest.

          An airbag in the motorcycle itself seems well pointless for the reasons you mention. By the time the system sees the crash the rider has either already suffered the injuries or has left the bike.

    • Very likely.

      In a car, it is key that the occupant be buckled up for the bag to work – that is, to not cause injuries rather than prevent them. But on a bike, you’re not buckled in. The deploying bag will pummel the rider – and obviously cause immediate loss of control in most cases, which is much more serious on a bike than in a car because the rider is completely exposed.

      There is also the issue of systems degradation as the machine ages. I have read the owner’s materials that come with the new cars I test drive and several recommend replacing the bags, and all related components, after 12 years for precisely this reason. Wires fray, sensors fail. Unexpected deployments have happened in cars. They will certainly occur on bikes, too. Probably more so, because bikes tend to remain in service longer than cars – as I mentioned in another post. Fifteen or 20 years from now, that air bag – and its explosive charges – could be a debacle just waiting to happen one fine day, when you’re running 75 on the highway… and boom. Followed by… splat.

    • Absolutely right Lib.

      Imagine this; you’re out on a fine Spring afternoon wearing your government issued airbag. You come up on a little cafe/bar/grill in the middle of nowhere and decide to stop for a burger. You walk in, order a root beer and sit down at a nice table in the sun to wait for lunch. Some fat dude with hair growing out of his nose and breath that stinks of cabbage walks up to you with two weaselly looking toothpicks behind him and insults your mother-in-law. When you stand up, he smacks you on the ass with a pool cue, then falls on the floor laughing when you suddenly blow up into a balloon the size of Detroit.

      That’s how we get our fun down here. 🙂

  10. Eric, in your last paragraph you point out that if you’d told someone ten years ago about only a few of the onerous intrusions of government into our lives that have now come to pass they’d have thought you crazy and paranoid. Quite right; I warned many of my friends and coworkers about much of what was coming to Amerika back fifteen and even twenty years ago. Most laughed and told me I was nuts. I went back to visit my former place of employment after a ten year absence. Numerous people I’d worked with walked up to me and said things like “All that stuff you told me; you were right!” I’m pretty confident they were watching fuuuhtballl and “Friends” while I was studying history and current socio-political and economic trends. All of the information (the “sign of the times” if you will) was there for anyone with a modicum of curiosity to see, but the masses weren’t (and for the most part still aren’t) interested.

    Based on what I’ve seen in my short lifetime, your prediction of (more) government intrusion into motorcycling (as well as every other aspect of our lives) will come to pass in some form or another a lot quicker than we’d like. I’ve been seriously looking at big bore 4-stroke dual-sport bikes lately. But nostalgia (and the desire to be as politically incorrect as possible) keeps drawing me back to vintage 2-stroke crotch rockets. Soooo…I’m thinking I need another open class air cooled oil burning Enduro like that old ‘72 TS-400 Suzuki I used to have. I’d want better suspension than the farm tractor set-up on the TS, but the arm ripping power of a 2-smoker is really what I’m after. Simply having the ability to get 3 miles ahead of Officer Friendly in 90 seconds, then leave him sitting at the head of the next deer trail, still has a lot of appeal to me. Or just blowing blue smoke up Clover’s nose when it’s sitting behind me at the light (this bird’s for you Clover) would be satisfying too. I’m seriously thinking a mid 80’s Yamaha IT490 would fix what ails me (along with a wheelie across the Wal-Mart parking lot, of course). I guess some of us never grow up. 😉

    • Two-stroke Crotch Rocket

      *sigh* I owned a Kawasaki 500 Triple back when they were a newly designed and marketed.

      Hell, I was with a Fellow Biker the day he purchased the first issue of Easyriders Magazine. Gawd, I’m old and he’s dead*.

      Tinsley Gey Sammons (1936 –)

      *Larry died a natural death.

      • You’re lucky!

        I would have loved to have been born earlier – in time to be in my 20s when bikes like the H1 and H2 were new.

        They were already long out of production by the time I was old enough to get a street bike. But I am reliving those days as best I can by buying/restoring the old stuff, of which I now have three (two Kaws and a Honda). After the S1 is done, I will be looking for an H2. The H2 will be modified. Reed valves, porting – the works. You can get 140 hp out of a 750 cc triple, more than sufficient to keep anyone who isn’t also an F-18 pilot awake!

      • Hey! I had a Kawasaki 500, the thing scared the living crap out of me so I gave it to my brother (I never liked my brother).

    • Boothe (et al)- regarding what is to come – If you haven’t already done so, I suggest reading the book “The Fourth Turning, An American Prophecy” by William Strauss and Neil Howe – first published in 1997 it is amazing how much of it has already come true and is frankly a bit scary about what is yet to come…this book is what kicked my ass into gear to get ready, if anybody can read this and remain complacent – well then they must be a clover!

      • Yes GW, I’ve read it. Some of their “accepted” historical facts are questionable (conventional history is typically written to justify the actions of the victors in any conflict), but their theory of the saecular cycle seems pretty sound. Much of early man’s symbology (e.g., the cross, swastika and “dream catchers”) denote the seasons of man and his culture as well as the four annual seasons. As Strauss and Howe point out, we have abandoned the self evident truth of the quaterna in life cycles in favor of linear progression to our own peril. Man has always “ridden the surf” going from trough to crest back to trough in a sinusoidal fashion in society and government (with a fair amount of modulation impressed on the carrier wave all along the way). What Strauss and Howe do point out is that even though we’re heading into winter we don’t know if it will be wild or mild or what kind of spring to expect. What we can be sure of is it will be very interesting to see how it plays out.

        • “What Strauss and Howe do point out is that even though we’re heading into winter we don’t know if it will be wild or mild ”

          National Scholastic, the book company that brought you so many “must read” issues and virtually invented the term “required reading” (isn’t that a lovely thought) just announced a better than anticipated quarter due to unexpected sales of “The Hunger Games”.

          Anyone who’s read this book will understand the import of that statistic. It is not a warm and fuzzy story about pink Cadillacs and milkshakes. Written in a banal form and lacking any sort of literary merit, its a story of social violence writ large; Anthony Burgess can’t hold a candle to this tripe. It is completely and utterly without merit, yet it’s the single most popular book ever published according to an entire generation of young American readers.

          Run, do not walk, for the exits.

  11. This is a bit off-topic but I gotta post it. I have made at least two important decisions since I started reading this blog: 1. I bought a small pickup, manual tranny, no airbags; and 2. I am determined to at least learn how to ride a motorcycle, even if I don’t end up buying one. This is the Peters effect on my sensibilities. Before, it hadn’t even occurred to me that a little truck would satisfy many of my needs in a vehicle, but it does, in spades. And I thought that dudes on bikes were insane to take the risks, but after reading here for a while I can now see the logic and beauty of it. I’ll be taking the bike safety course this summer and then I’ll make a decision about buying, but no matter what happens I have new respect for the bike and bikers.

    However, if those dipshits in DC start fucking with motorcycle builds, grrrrrrrr………..

    • I am living proof that a person can ride for many years without serious injury. Smart Bikers have fun and live long because they never assume for a moment that they are “safe”.

      Somehow I “instinctively” knew when the driver of a particular four-wheeler was going to do something stupid. I never ASSUMED that the driver of a four-wheeler would respect my Right to Life.

      There are a lot of jokes about Truckers and Bikers but I seemed to get more respect from Truckers than I got from drivers of other vehicles. (If I had a cooperative female riding behind me I’d have her flash her boobs whenever I passed a Rig. (That was always good for a wide grin and an approving blast from an air horn.))

      Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)

        • I rode Honda’s and Kawasakis. Most of the Bikers I hung out with rode Harleys. Don’t know if they actually liked me or the good pot that I grew. Anyway, the fun time of my life was when I hung out with the Gallopin’ Gooses.

          tgsam

      • Ditto.

        Not that I consider myself immune; that would be moronic. But the fact is that “accidents” usually aren’t. Most wrecks involve some kind of driver (or rider) error. If you’re competent – and prudent – much of the risk goes away. The rest comes down to luck. And I’m willing to take my chances – which are no one else’s business!

    • As long as scores of millions of Americans clamor for respect for Particulars rather than Principles, it ain’t a gonna git no betta.

      How many persons do you know who, as jurors, might nullify and vote to acquit in a marijuana case, yet vote to convict someone possesing so-called “hard drugs”? I know plenty. Seems like every anal sphincter has his favorite freedoms and would just as soon have the Persecution continue if it involves something he does not care about having or doing.

      Tinsley Grey Sammons

      • Yup!

        For me, the only relevant question is: Has someone (a real person or persons) been unwillingly victimized? Have anyone’s rights been violated?

        If not, then leave them the hell alone!

    • Hey Mike,

      You just made my day!

      You’re going to really like riding. It’s one of life’s best experiences, with the added bonus of being a rationally justifiable thing, too. Bikes are a great way to cur your transportation costs down, even if you only ride part-time. They also help keep you sharp mentally and physically. A good rider is a better driver.

      Keep us posted!

      • Don’t underestimate your influence, Eric. There is actionable information on your site and lots of us take it seriously.

        Keep up the good work!

  12. What the political terrorists are actually saying….
    “You will give up your personal transportation devices and use public transportation with all the other smelly little parasites and psychopaths”

    They want to kill individualism and make you sacrifice to The Clover Borg.

    They socialist-fascists will eventually win.
    Resistance is futile…You will assimilate.

  13. As a daily rider all I can say is ARRRGGGGHHHH – this is 2 weeks in a row that you “Mr Peters” have started off my week with a really depressing scenario that has a decent chance of becoming reality. Mucho Grassyass!
    On the bright side – most old Harleys will pretty much run forever with a little TLC and some bailing wire, and I don’t forsee many old Harley Riders lining up to buy a $2500 balloon suit, even if it comes in leather!

  14. 11 years ago I would have said you’re crazy. No one would be that stupid (mandatory airbags ).

    Today I can see your scenario as very possible. 🙁 >:

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