Suggestions for our Roadster, creative-writing criticisms, and Gresh gets told
I read the Megaphone article by Joe Gresh (July/august, MC) and had to re-read it to make sure I understood it. In essence, he has compared the risk takers at NASA with the “stunters” he sees on the highways.
I have no issue with stunters in a controlled atmosphere, but the jerks that find it necessary to put others at risk on public roads are a menace to society and to motorcycling as a whole.
“As irresponsible as stunters are, we need them.” You could not be more wrong with that sentiment, Gresh.
—Colin Walker / Richmond, VA
I have been a middle school science teacher for 23 years and a motorcyclist for much of my life. I cringe when I see stunters and the bad press they can bring, but part of me cheers at the sheer bravado of a wheelie at speed. Despite the heat the members of Gen X, Y (“Millennials”), and Z catch, I see these kids shine in my classroom. I have students that not only ride but wrench on their own machines. With technology and social media it’s a different world to be sure, but there is greatness among them. Like the rest of us they will grow up, and when needed they will rise up. I am not worried.
—Clay Lubbers / via email
No, Mr. Gresh, the selfie-obsessed motorcycle stunters will not magically grow up into a new Greatest Generation. There is no fire to forge them and they lack grit. If there is to be another greatest generation, their members are in our all-volunteer military.
—Daniel J. Mcelroy / via email
Gresh seems to have confused purposeful risk taking with recklessness. Since stunting has been around a good 20 years or more, you’d think by now we’d be able to find at least one bona fide hero or someone who has made a selfless contribution to society who was a stunter in their youth. I can’t think of any. Can you?
P.S. Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you can’t ditch the Sansabelts and squeeze your butt into a pair of Levi’s skinny jeans. Now that’s some risky behavior for pretty much anyone over 50.
—Tom Short / San Rafael, CA
I just read Brian Hatano’s Doin’ Time piece on the H-D Roadster (July/august, MC). I’m paying close attention to this, as the H-D has come into my short list of next bikes. I’ve never been a “Harley guy,” but with the recent Café Custom pieces I’ve seen in Harley’s accessory catalog, the Roadster has piqued my interests. The list of bolt-ons that were shared includes basically everything I was thinking about if I went this route. In addition, the café seat, suspension upgrades, and maybe a short fly screen are ideas I came to consider. —Eric Swanson / Lynden, WA
I’m responding to your request for suggestions for the Harley Roadster. I would love to see Harley build a street tracker, and this bike is close so hopefully there are some accessories to get it there.
Also, I was on the fence about the new format of the magazine, but this last issue nailed it! Keep up the variety of the content and I will be a happy man. —Mark Williams / via email
I’d like to see some luggage options for your long-term Roadster. If you can find something that does not mess with the looks of the bike, I’d be grateful. There are dimensional differences on this frame that negate other Sportster-compatible luggage. H-D has not addressed this in my opinion.
Seats are another thing to experiment with. The stock seat is okay, but I think there are other options that may better accommodate luggage and/or passenger considerations. —Glen Trezise / Millersville, PA
Brian, I applaud your efforts to “sporterize” the Sportster, and I’m eager to see what you arrive at with mid-controls and lower bars. A few years back I modified a 1979 Ironhead Sportster, and, long story short, my favorite changes were the drag bars on shortened risers and repositioned footpegs—i used the passenger peg locations for the rider sets. I had to make linkage for the shifter and flip it to racer pattern, but the riding position was near perfect for me. I customized the entire bike for just $500. —Ben Getz / via email
That’s a sharp-looking bike, Ben. Nothing says “sport” like GP shifting! —Ed.
ESCAPE FROM REALITY
For a hunting-knife-strapped-to-adrz400-gas-tank-weirdo like myself, “The Escape” (July/august, MC) was an awesome read. Zack needs to do more of this type of stuff. —Jeff Lundgren / Littleton, CO
“The Escape” is a puff piece about a fantasy trip to leave Hell-a. It has so little to do with the emotions of motorcycling that it seems written and edited by someone high on drugs. —David Schnoerr / via email
A FEW EXTRA STEPS
I just read Ari’s article “Perform a Pre-ride Safety Check,” (How To, July/august, MC) and it’s spot on. My personal safety check doesn’t include all of his recommendations (though I plan to incorporate all of them now), but I also do two additional checks that I feel are essential: I inspect the chain for both overall condition as well as proper tension according to the specs in the bike’s manual, and I check the sidestand spring to make sure it will hold the sidestand in place. —Jeff Ratner / via email
Great reminders, but I’d like to add one part to item #6 (Lights, action!). When checking the brake light, make sure both the front and back brakes light it up. When doing my check the other day, I found the front brake on my Tuono wasn’t causing the brake light to come on. I ordered a new front brake light switch straight away. Problem solved. —Neal Steik / Lynnwood, WA
I loved the article in the July/august issue about the making of the Motus MST (Hurricane ‘Merica). I particularly liked the photograph of the one-man foundry setup. Very individualistic.
A lot of things about these V-4 sporttourers seem appealing, but they’re just too heavy and probably too expensive. I mean, a hundred cubic inches on a motorcycle? That’s out-of-this-world ridiculous.
More realistic would be a 600cc inline triple engine. That would help lower the overall weight compared to the gigantic Motus V-4. A sub-600-pound bike weight might sound fairly good compared to an 800-pound Indian, but the reality is that the maximum practical weight for a motorcycle is way down at about 350 pounds. —Michael Traum / via email
A 350-pound sport-touring triple? Now that’s a bike we’d like to see. Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist and the premise is far-fetched. Unlike the Motus, which is real and fantastic. —Ed.