Sug­ges­tions for our Road­ster, cre­ative-writ­ing crit­i­cisms, and Gresh gets told

Motorcyclist - - Contents -


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.


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


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.

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