Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Generation Y(outube)

They should rename my generation to GenY(outube)... I think one of the most 'innovative' things to happen to the internet in recent years has been the addition of multimedia websites.  Wikipedia is spectacular... but the robustness and potential for youtube is just unreal. 

Years ago, you had to rely on a TV commerical or word of mouth for product reviews and information, instructional VHS's and audio tapes were the only way to recieve any instruction aside from written literature. Now, we have the beast that is Youtube... Youtube (in case you haven't been online since 2001) is a collective website of user-generated multimedia content.. IE a butt-ton of user-submitted videos. These range from instructional videos, to 'Vlogs' (Video logs, or visual blogs) to America's Funniest Home Video-esque clips. While there is a plethora of useless content out there... there is an amazing amount of useful information on youtube. 

The other night I was wondering about the difference between the various Bike-Back protector's out there... sure enough, Youtube had product reviews of all the various manufacturers and models. You could see the person model the protector, see how well it articulates to the back, the natural curvature as well as get a good estimate on how protective it was. Also, small things, like strap-placement (for shoulder comfort), were evident on the video that you might not have thought of elsewise. 

Counter-steering is an often confusing concept in driving a motorcycle... so take 5 minutes and search on Youtube and you'll find 10's of helmetCam demonstrations of how countersteering works and real-world applications

Great Video showing the power of countersteering (nevermind the lane splitting... thats legal in NJ though, or the random pictures of girls on bikes....):


New to bikes and don't even know how to maintain the Chain and sprocket? Don't worry.. there's video's showing about 6 different techniques. Don't know how to change the oil in a ZX6R? There's a video showing the entire oil-changing process. 

It's just one of the most inovative uses for the internet, and it's all user driven. 

So... if you need to see how to do something (If you're a visual learner like me).. go to youtube and check out some videos; odds are, if you need to watch it done, it's on Youtube. 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Clutch control!

So I've been watching TONS and TONS of videos on youtube over the MSF course and the HD Rider'sEdge course, which I take this coming Thursday... and I thought how cool of an idea is that. 

I think I may make a couple of videos and post them up here and on youtube... this one guy's (reliic) really helped me know what to expect in the course, figure maybe I can help pass some stuff along. 

So last night, the battery charged and all... not all the way though; but I played around with the bike in the driveway...f inding the Friction Zone (where the clutch starts to engage) and working on getting the bike rolling. The course spends about 2hours of saturday on this basic function, so I figure I'd get a jump start... I'm just having a problem remembering to pull in the clutch when I stop. I'm sure it's like driving a manual car though... after about a week, everything is second nature.  I'm probably gonna go back out to the garage and practice some more in just a couple of minutes. 

We've got some BUSY WEEKS COMING UP, omg.  This week... Jack's got to go to the vet on Tuesday to get a rabis shot! He has to have this before getting his hair cut on saturday... both the dogs look pitifully homeless. We've had to keep putting their haircuts off cause we want them to go to C&T's nice and clean.. and if we got the clipped this weekend, they'd be dirtty by leaving for Italy. Thursday I start the Rider's Edge course (MSF course, but twice as long thru Harley Davidson.... 30 or so hours of classroom and roadwork; supposedly it's one of the best courses in the country. It better be, cause of the cost... =( lol. That Schedule is:

Thurs :  5:30-9pm  classroom
Friday: 5:30-9pm   classroom
Sat      : 8am-6pm  (no break!) Road work
Sun     : 8am-6pm  Roadwork
Mon   : 5:30-9pm classroom

Upon passing the road and the classroom work, I get a voucher that I can take to the DMV and get my Class M liscense, fun =) 

The saturday I'm in class, Jill has to take the boys to go get their haircut and then I don't know what she's doing about NWeds that sunday night, I won't be able to make it =( I'll be at the course when NWeds starts...So that ends on monday... Tuesday I'll get off early and go to the DMV. Wed's me and Jill have to pack like maniacs... Thursday night we've got a concert (B.Spears) at Gwinnett Arena, then Friday is the big day... Mr. & Mrs. Glawson leave the country for 8 days!  We leave Hartsfield at 1:50pm and get to Newark, NJ at 4:15... then we fly on a 767 to Rome and arrive at 8am on Saturday morning.... we've got a direct flight back, leaving Saturday the 14th from Rome at 9am. Here's to hoping it's great weather! =) 

One little tidbit to add too, that we're really proud of... we've recently paid off our third bill, and that's three so far for 2009 (well techincally 'will be' once jill sends her visa payment). We're working on shovelling cash towards debt (lol @ Buying a bike tho...)... and seeing success! 

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bike Pics!

Ok, to start with... read the post below this first. Then... look at this one =)

It's a 2006 Honda CBR600 F4i in Tahitian Blue and Black.. It's got 9200 Miles, a Full Yoshimrua, new Pirelli Strada Diablo tires and a PowerCommander3.

Left Side

Right Side


So when you're little.. everyone always asks who your favorite (Super)Hero is... 

Usually the answers are.. Superman, Spiderman, Batman.... maybe toss in Ironman. 

Then you kind grow out of the superhero phase; kids grow up and while there may be really cool movies about them, you know those kind of super hero's aren't real. then the more you go through life you discover that there are in fact real life heros out there.... they just don't walk around with a Mask and Cape. 

Real hero's are the ones that, now matter what they're doing, they'll drop anything to come and help you out... even if it's a big inconvenience to them. They're the ones who know how to just about do anything... from home repair, to filling out random-paper work to working on an engine. They can show you what being a great father and a great husband is, everyday, without effort. They're the ones who.. having not ridden a motorcycle since the 70's, can just hop on it and make it look easy.. having never ridden that bike, let alone in unfamiliar territory AND at night. If it's 42 degree's outside; they don't complain.... they ride the damn thing anyways, cause they just want to help you out / make you happy. 

Batman eat your heart out. 

My Dad is my hero... he can fix anything, and he can do just about anything. When I grow up, I hope I'm half as awesome as he is. 

EDIT:  I got my first motorcycle last night... I'll be posting up pictures of it sometime today I'm sure. But Thomas drove it back (having never ridden it before) from East of Canton all the way to Kennesaw, at night in 42 degree weather.. and made it look easy.; 

Friday, February 13, 2009

So an update

The F3 has already sold =(  Which really kind of sucks, since it was such a good price and all. 

There's a bunch of Yamaha's and Kawasaki's for sale on Craigslist though... R6's are said to be really dependable bikes, and the Kawi's are supposed to ride really well. 

There's also a cruiser that's caught my eye... a Honda Shadow Aero: http://atlanta.craigslist.org/mcy/1032023211.html

It's really nice looking. There's a nice Kawi I've emailed about too though. 

There's an F4i that just poped up: http://atlanta.craigslist.org/mcy/1034508020.html

its an 02 with only 13k miles... I sent an email about it, so well wait and see what goes from there. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

'The' post

Background:  Because of an epic, epic tragedy... my mom and dad have two motorcycles parked in their garage for the time being. Last sunday, during Jill's birthday party there, me and my dad went out for a ride on the bikes... around the neighborhood and a little further. I rode a Suzuki Bergman 650 with trike kit, and he was on a HD Softtail. They're selling both for the owner, and were asking if I wanted / would be interested in the Bergman.. which kind of took me by suprise.

 Background to the Background:  I've wanted a bike since, well, birth.. but have never had one. There's always been disagreements as to safety / responsibility  / maturity.. etc, and despite having the financial means to buy one, I've never bit the bullet and done so. 

So now that we've got some background out of the way... Sunday was amazing. It's kind of hard to describe, and if it's not your cup-o-tea.. then you're not going to see eye to eye on it. Some people like to sew, some like to ride cars around the countryside, some like to read books, mountain climb, backpack, ski, boating... I like a world without cages. There's just something ultimately-freeing about riding on a motorcycle / Jet Ski... its just, boundary less.  I think if you've ever heard me drone on about my Sea doo.. or about wanting a motorcycle, or about knowing the specs of all things sea doo / motorcycle, then you'll kind of get the idea that... yes, I do love them. 

 I've never gotten one though. This is primarily due to my family's stance against their safety...Everyone doesn't want to see me get hurt, or worse. And, would I have gotten one previously... I would have essentially ostracized myself from them, or at least partially. It looks like though, with Marriage / Maturity and time that has changed for the most part. Sure, there *are* legitimate safety concerns; I'll be the first to say that they are dangerous... but, I'm not going to do stupid stuff on one. 

 Me and Jill are still talking this over and running it through the mill. We've talked about it several times in the past though, because she knows how much I'd love one... but we've both got some things that we have to talk out about it first though. 

 Speed - Everyone, in the past, has typically thought I'd be a speed freak on one. I've always argued against it, saying I wouldn't be.. but ya know, maybe I would've been, had I gotten on earlier. I've matured a lot in the past year, and have learned a lot... a whole lot. While none of it may have been about a motorcycle or speeding... the maturity still applies. I'm not out to buy the biggest, fastest bike on the road (Read: RXP of Motorcycles)... I don't want a 1400cc Turbo Ninja or 1300cc ‘busa.... I'm not stupid, and I don't have a death wish! 

                The problem comes with "the look" of the motorcycle I want. It's kind of like assault rifles... even if a rifle is a .22, if it 'looks mean' then everyone assumes it's some crazy assault rifle / people killer that needs to get banned. I like the look of Sport bikes... the lines, the frame, the over-the-tank positioning... they just look better than Cruisers and touring bikes to me. I want the bark of a Sport bike, but not the Bite. And I don't want to be an idiot either, and get a 1000cc starting bike, or even a 750cc Super Sport. I want a bike that is a great starter bike and has enough power to not grow out of it too quick, but not be too much to handle… and I don’t want to spend $3,000+ on a bike that I don’t really like, just so I can say that I have one.

                The bike I’m looking at is a Honda CBR F3 or F4i, it’s basically the 4-cylinder of Mustangs… It’s a Sport Bike look, but it’s got the same engine and gear-ratio’s as Honda’s line of cruisers (except 3rd and 4th gear are a little ‘longer’). I’ve read the reviews online, and they’re great starter bikes; they’ve got good low-end torque for starting easy, good throttle response, not too high of top end and not too much power to handle for a beginner. They’ve still got enough power to be a main-stay driver though, and not like a 250 or 500EX where you grow out of it in 6months because of a lack of power.

 Safety -  This is a huge area of concern for both me and Jill. Lets face it, Motorcycle’s are inherently less safe than a car. No ifs, ands or buts… they’re just not as safe, you don’t have a half-ton of metal surrounding you from collisions. Typically, a motorcyclist accident is going to be ‘laying it over’ either at a stop, not negotiating a turn correctly, or avoiding another car; so the biggest opponent is person vs. asphalt, or Road-Rash. If I get a bike, I’m going to invest in really good safety equipment, and wear it every time I’m on the bike. Its 100 degrees outside in the middle of June and I don’t feel like wearing the jacket, pants and gloves because it’s so hot? Tough stuff, don’t ride that day then. It’s my body, so this is my biggest area of concern.  I’m going to buy a Spine / Kidney pad as well, it’s like a belt that wraps around you to protect organs with ‘Snake Plates’ (interconnected metal plates, for movement).

                Road Safety and situational awareness is another thing, and pads don’t really help with that. If I do end up getting one, before driving it I’m going to enroll in the HD Motorcycle Safety Course. It teaches you the basics of learning to drive a motorcycle, how to negotiate dangerous situations, and passing the course grants you your license. Also, because you’ve taken a safety course, it’s a discounted rate for insurance purposes. In defense of Situational awareness and safety, I’ve had only 1 wreck on the road since turning 16, that was about a year ago now, and it was due to someone coming into my lane… I’ve been fairly safe, driving-wise… and I don’t really speed any more (the escape is a speed demon!) so I really think I’m responsible enough to handle one maturely.

                NO BLACK COLORED BIKES. Statistically speaking, Black bikes are the most frequently hit, because they’re harder to see at night and from an angle. There are fewer accidents with brightly colored / painted bikes than any other color (Google that stuff), so I can’t get a solid black bike, and I can’t wear solid black gear.

 Risk – This is the biggest point of contention because I’ve got no ‘real’ argument to offset risks… I’ve just got collateral damage control. Riding a bike is risky, like I said in the safety portion… there are safer ways to get to work, school and joyriding. The risks with the associated dangers are really big, because I’m not the only one who will be truly impacted; Jill is very dependant on me, and something happening to me poses a great risk to her, and the only ‘offset’ I can offer is financially controlling the fallout; you can’t do anything about risking emotional dependency.

                Financially, the risks are really mitigated. Through my insurance plan at work I have disability coverage, medical and life. Disability, I’ll have to double check, is something like 90% of your salary for.. 6 months? Or a year… one or the other. Life is three times my annual salary, and medial covers everything. If something truly tragic were to happen, we have mortgage insurance that would pay the house off in the event of my death, so the combination of that plus life insurance would ensure Jill’s financial stability; but if I do end up getting a bike, then I’m going to get additional life insurance, as further assurance. Life insurance doesn’t cover emotional dependency, unfortunately… and Jill’s very emotionally dependant on me, and if something were to happen to me, it would devastate her. This is my own personal biggest point of contention with getting a bike, because I don’t want to leave Jill alone. Marriage changes a bunch of things, and I put her first above everything; so the idea of having everything taken away because of a hunk of metal, bolts, and gears is very hard to justify the Risk vs. reward.

 Rules – This kind of falls into the same realm as Safety… but if I ever do get a bike, there are going to be some ground rules for driving it, mainly as an assurance to me driving it safely. First of all, no matter where I go, I’m going to call or text Jill letting her know that I get there safe every time; just so she won’t worry if I made it to work OK or not. Two, I’m going to wear protective gear every single time… running down to Publix or going out on a 3hour drive; safety safety safety. Third, Interstate driving is going to be kept to a minimum, and I’m going to use back roads whenever possible… that’s just putting yourself at more risk than necessary. Fourth, night driving will be limited to a bare minimum and I’m going to always check the forecast prior to going out... If there’s a moderate chance of bad weather, the Escape will get the nod. Fifth, If I’m running late for work because I woke up late, I’m taking the escape… if I’m going to have to hurry to work, I’d rather do it in the escape than end up making a bad judgment call and getting myself hurt. Sixth, no adding crazy !@#)* to the bike… cosmetic enhancements, maybe (finances permitting), but performance mods are a n0-no; Slip-On exhausts or a tinted windscreen  are ok, but no upgraded spark plugs, carbs, ‘kits’ or anything like that; “Stock Rocks!”.

 Finances  - I’m still working this one out on my massive spreadsheet, but I’ve got to be cool with an increase in insurance premiums and make sure that we can absorb that kind of financial burden. Me and Jill are working very hard at paying down / off our debt since we have the tool (my job) to do so. So far, for 2009, we’ve paid off 2 Bills completely, and are working on the 3rd.  Adding a bike to the mix will set our plans back a little, and we’re going to have to be OK with it. If me and Jill agree that a bike is the thing for us, then we’ll go about getting more specifics in this area…. I’m checking on insurance numbers, but since I don’t definitively know the year model and make of the bike I’m looking to get, it’s hard to get firm figures.  As for price of the bike, I don’t want to sink a lot into it.. because I plan on getting rid of it whenever we have kids, so there’s no need to drop $17,000.00 on a Harley, just to offload it in 3-4 years. Also, if something changes between now and then and I get rid of it early than expected, I don’t want to have to deal with having a high minium price.. etc.

 So, that’s pretty much it I think…. There’s a lot of thought going into this, I really don’t want it to be an impulse buy, and I don’t want to go into it not knowing what could possibly be a result of buying it.  I feel like I’ve offset / mitigated the fears of me getting one fairly decently… but it all boils down to 1) am I mature enough to handle on responsibly  2) Is it a good decision for Jill and I, and do we agree on it. 

If you’re curious as to what I’m looking at: http://atlanta.craigslist.org/mcy/1030681500.html   It’s a 1997 CBR F3, Burnt Orange with 10K miles and completely stock and just serviced.  It doesn’t look like it’s even been downed, and it’s being listed at just  $2975.  It’s not a Super Sport / RR… like I said, it’s the 4cyl. of the Mustangs. It's a Honda too, which are typically not know for being the speed / acceleration leaders of the pack... If I remember right, my dad started on a Honda (I think).

F3 Starter Bike Recomendations:  Yahoo ,  Fireblades , SportBikez.net , Thumper 

 **DISCLAIMER** This post is in no means, way, shape or form saying that I’m getting a motorcycle today. It’s simply a post about how I feel about the Motorcycle Debate. It’s in no way a ‘Beagle’ argument and it’s an attempt at displaying that I am thinking out all possible outcomes of owning said motorcycle and showing that I’m approaching it a responsible, reasonable manner.