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Enjoy my articles below, there are hundreds of them!
This is part 2 of my write up on how I switched from riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles to Indian motorcycles in July 2017. You can read part one by clicking here.
In part 1 of my story, I discussed looking at new motorcycles, narrowing my decision down to two motorcycles, and ultimately choosing the Indian Roadmaster motorcycle. I also discussed how my fiancé went about buying the motorcycle, and a problem that I had with the motorcycles cruise control on the way home after picking it up.
Now this is where the story gets interesting. I have been riding motorcycles for over 40 years. I have been dealing with car dealerships and motorcycle dealerships for approximately 37 years.
The worst experience I’ve ever had with any dealership was last week at Indian Motorcycles of Orange County California, I recommend that nobody purchase any product there, or obtains service from them.
Let me explain what happened.
Within a day or two after riding my fiancé’s new Indian Roadmaster home from the dealership where it was purchased in San Jose California, I called the local dealership where we live, Indian Motorcycle of Orange, to inform them that I wanted to bring the motorcycle in for 500-mile service, and to fix the cruise control problem on the motorcycle.
We are talking a $35,000 motorcycle that was less than a week old.
I took it in stride, because I was dealing with the service department.
I explained to the service manager that I wanted a 500-mile service, that the cruise control did not work and it was a brand-new motorcycle, and requested that they install 2 locks that go on the lower fairing compartments.
We never discussed the cost of service, but I assumed it would be around the same as I was quoted from my dealer in northern California, approximately $200 and some change. I was told in northern California that it was about an hour and half of labor.
Before I left, I talked to the sales manager who was mentioned in my part one story, and explained to him that since I had not heard back from him, I purchased the bike in San Jose at Spirit Motorcycles. He told me he had found one for me locally, but part 1 of my story speaks for itself. You can it read here.
Later that day, after dropping my motorcycle off, I called the service department for a status, and was told that my 500-mile service was done, the 2 lower fairing compartment locks were installed, but that there was nothing they could do on the cruise control issue until they contacted the manufacturer directly for assistance.
They told me I can come pick up the motorcycle, and then when they found a resolution to the cruise control problem, I could take the motorcycle back in.
I asked them if they could come pick me up, just like Harley-Davidson used to do because I am local. They told me that they did not have the personnel to do pickups or drop-offs.
Although that kind of bothered me a bit because Harley-Davidson used to pick me up and drop me off for service, I took it in stride, and ordered a Lyft driver to take me to pick up the motorcycle.
When I got to the dealership I was told basically the same thing I was told on the telephone. However, I was hit with a $530.00 for 500-mile service, and the installation of the 2 locks which could not have taken more than 15 minutes.
When I asked the service manager what was included in the 500-mile service, he gave me a list of things that were done. I knew the $530 charge was excessive and outrageous for the 500-mile service , but I figured I would eat it this one time and go to another dealer if I wanted later.
A 500-mile service is basically an oil change, and inspection and tightening of certain parts. About an hour and half labor the most. $530 for the service is outrageous.
When I picked up the motorcycle the service manager reiterated to me that he needed to talk to Polaris, the manufacturer of the Indian motorcycle, to find a resolution to the cruise control problem, because, it appeared to be a computer problem, and they had taken as far as they could.
Mind you, this is a brand-new $35,000 motorcycle, with what I consider to be a major electronic feature, the cruise control not working.
I had to ride the motorcycle over 400 miles with no cruise control from San Jose California to Huntington Beach California in the middle of the night.
I told the service manager that I was planning to go to the Sturgis motorcycle rally, in Sturgis South Dakota, approximately 3000 miles round-trip, at the end of the month, that my fiancé just paid $35,000 for a new motorcycle, and we needed this thing fixed as soon as possible.
I was not rude or obnoxious in telling the service manager that we wanted to get this problem fixed, but I did express the concern of a consumer who just spent $35,000 for what was supposed to be the top and motorcycle, that had a major electronic feature not working.
The service manager explained to me that since it was late in the day, and the 4th of July holiday was coming up, that they would not be able to contact Polaris until after the holiday. Obviously, I understood, and I told him that was okay.
On July 5, 2017, a day after the holiday, I called the service manager in the afternoon, and asked him if he had heard anything from Polaris regarding the cruise control problem.
He told me had he had not heard anything from Polaris yet.
I knew from my research that Polaris has literally spent millions of dollars in engineering, manufacturing, and marketing of the Indian motorcycle brand. I knew that Polaris had a great technical staff in Minnesota, there to work problems like this every business day.
I knew that if the service manager opened a case with Polaris, and called Minnesota, that Polaris would’ve jumped on this problem. I also knew that the reason why decisions like this are delayed is because service departments like Indian of Orange sit on problems and don’t report them to the manufacturer in a timely manner.
I gave the service manager the benefit of the doubt that Polaris did not call him back on July 5 and waited until the next day.
Mind you this is a brand-new $35,000 motorcycle less than a week old.
On July 6, 2017, after not hearing from Indian of Orange, I tried to call the service department at Indian motorcycle of Orange, and it went to voicemail.
I have never called a service department at any car or motorcycle dealership and went to voicemail. Usually somebody always answers.
I tried calling again, and it went to voicemail again. I had a sinking suspicion that something was wrong.
I decided to go on the Polaris industries website, and contact Polaris myself, to find out what was going on.
As I suspected, Polaris told me that no case had been opened on my motorcycle by Indian Motorcycle of Orange, and that if a case was opened by the dealer on my motorcycle, that they would’ve jumped on it. Of course, Polaris did the best they good to assure me that everything would be okay.
SERVICE MANAGER LIED TO ME
I called the service manager at Indian motorcycles of Orange again, left another voicemail, telling the service manager I called Polaris directly, and that they told me that a case was not open on my motorcycle, and I reminded him that we just paid $35,000 for a new motorcycle, and that it was without cruise control right out the door.
I further reiterated that we had a motorcycle rally that we were going to at the end of the month, that would require the cruise control.
I then asked him if he could please call me back as soon as possible so we could get this problem resolved.
The service manager at Indian motorcycle of Orange basically lied to me when he said that he had not heard back from Polaris on July 5, 2017. He knew full well that he did not open a case with Polaris when he told me that.
He should’ve simply stated that he did not have a chance to call Polaris yet. I would have been upset, it’s better than lying to a customer. The actions of the service manager described below after this point are not only reprehensible, but would probably lead to his termination in any other business or entity that I know of.
THE SERVICE MANAGER AT INDIAN MOTORCYCLE OF ORANGE NEEDS TO BE SENT DOWN THE ROAD
I received a telephone call from the service manager at Indian motorcycle of Orange, shortly after I left the voicemail telling him that I had called Polaris and found out that he had not open the case with them yet.
My fiancé Teri was sitting with me when I took the call and put it on speaker. I told the service manager he was on a speaker phone.
The service manager told me that;
that motorcycles purchased from Indian motorcycle of Orange take priority over motorcycles thet were not purchased from this dealership. (I am assuming that this was the dealership’s way of punishing me for not buying the motorcycle there as described in part 1 of my story);
that he did not have to work on my motorcycle if he did not want to; and
that he did not like working with lawyers.
The service manager then went on to discuss how he had 20 years’ experience, and basically told me in no uncertain terms that I was under his mercy. He basically was on an egotistical power trip. Imagine spending $35,000 and a brand-new motorcycle from a company who then tells you to basically fuck off.
One thing that many of you may not know, but I have done customer service for basically 36 years. Before I became an attorney, I worked with some of the top aerospace, military, finance, computer, and industrial companies in the world providing service for complex data communications networks. I was also a national service manager for a major corporation. As an attorney, I have provided excellent customer service to my clients for 20 years.
I knew the service manager and Indian Motorcycles of Orange breached every possible customer service principal there is. My fiancé told me she absolutely could not believe how out of line the service manager was, and that she was surprised that I was so calm.
Frankly, I was calm because I could not believe what I was hearing.
I knew that if Polaris knew how absolutely horrible this dealership was, that they would probably take action, because imagine spending millions of dollars to develop a product like Indian motorcycles, and then having idiots like this service manager at Indian motorcycle of Orange destroying their customer relations, and reputation and providing the antithesis of good customer service.
I called the dealership back after the above call, to speak to their general manager. The service manager came up back on the phone, and told me that he had told the general manager everything he had said to me. And that the general manager did not want to speak to me. I did this with my fiancé on the speakerphone.
It became obvious to me, that the service manager went to the general manager, because he knew what he did was wrong, and was trying to cover his ass before I had a chance to call.
After regaining my composure from being told by Indian Motorcycle of Orange that I was basically nothing to them, and that I would be lucky if they service my bike, and that it did not matter and that my fiancé just spent $35,000 on a top of the line motorcycle with a factory warranty, I decided to call Polaris directly to complain, and to call the dealership that I purchased the motorcycle to complain.
The motorcycle dealership I purchased the motorcycle from was shocked. They jumped into action to help me get my situation resolved. Polaris was also shocked and they jumped into action to help me get my problem resolved.
I am not going to name names, but I was told by a person either at Polaris, or Indian, that Indian of Orange was authorized to do whatever repair was necessary to my motorcycle, including taking the part that was bad off of another motorcycle if they had to.
The reason I’m not going to name names is because Indian motorcycle of Orange apparently breached their dealership contract with Polaris by the way they treated me, and if there is some sort of action taken by Polaris against this dealership, I may become a witness.
In a nutshell, dealerships such as Indian motorcycle of Orange, sign a contract with the manufacturer stating that they will service the manufacturer’s products, and honor factory warrantees. They are then reimbursed by the manufacturer for factory warrantees.
Going back to the story, I called Indian motorcycle of Orange to let them know what I was told about them being able to take a part of another bike to get mine fixed. I talked to a gentleman from service other than the manager because the manager was unavailable.
TURNING WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A ROUTINE REPAIR INTO AN UTTER NIGHTMARE
A short time later I got a call from the service manager asking me if I called to tell his department that they can take a part off of another motorcycle to get mine fixed. I told him yes, I called, and that he can contact Polaris to determine what to do.
He told me that my bike was no longer welcome at Indian motorcycle of Orange. He actually seemed to take enjoyment in telling me that.
I asked him if there was a way that I can speak the general manager to try to get this situation resolved, he said no. I asked him if he realized the ramifications of what he was doing, and the potential legal action I could take against him, and Polaris. He said yes, he knew.
In a nutshell, because I found out the service manager initially lied to me about contacting Polaris to resolve a problem with our brand-new $35,000 motorcycle, and after we complained about his treatment of us, he thought he would punish us by stating that our motorcycle is no longer welcome at Indian Motorcycle Of Orange, in apparently violation of their contract with Indian Motorcycles and Polaris Industries, and in violation of my sales contract with Indian Motorcycles and Polaris Industries.
My fiancé and I have been victimized by the service manager at Indian Motorcycle of Orange, and this dealership. We paid for a top-of-the-line motorcycle, and a factory warranty, and the only local dealership in town tells us that our bike is no longer welcome at their shop, because we complained about the sales manager’s reprehensible customer service. I wonder if the owner of this dealership knows what’s going on?
Immediately after that call, I called the dealership that I purchased the motorcycle from, and told them what happened, and that if this was not resolved that I want to return the motorcycle, and just get a Harley-Davidson.
Of course, the owner Spirit Motorcycle, Martin called me as well is the service manager and spirit, to expeditiously get this problem resolved. They talked with a couple of other dealers, in order to get me in.
Furthermore, Polaris called with one of their customer resolution representatives, to resolve the issue.
Polaris industries, did not purchase the Indian motorcycle brand, and spend millions and millions of dollars in engineering and marketing, to have morons like the service manager at Indian motorcycle of Orange ruin their business.
Not only did Polaris directly intervene and talk directly to my new dealer and authorize the repair needed, they apologized for the treatment I had received. I made a formal complaint against this dealer, and told Polaris that I would like to speak to the owner of this dealership, to see if he knows what’s going on.
Turns our the Service Manger at Indian of Orange even lied in the service ticket to Polaris. He stated that we decided on our own to go to another dealer. He never told Polaris that he told us our bike was no longer welcome at Indian of Orange.
Even though at this time the problem has not been fixed yet, I have an appointment with my new dealership who is about 60 miles away from me, to get this problem resolved this Friday. The dealer told me they had whatever part was needed to repair my motorcycle in stock.
Harley Davidson Service versus Indian Motorcycle Service
When you buy a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, you know that there will be a large number of dealers nationwide to take care of you. If you have a bad experience at one dealership, you know that there will be other dealerships close by to help you.
Indian motorcycles on the other hand, is in the process of building their dealership network. Here in Southern California, particularly in the Los Angeles Metro area, there are only two dealerships local to where I live. You have just read about my experience with one of those two dealerships.
The other dealership in the Los Angeles area was apparently purchased by Harley-Davidson, and will not be providing service to Indian motorcycles anymore.
This lack of dealerships leaves customers like me with a quagmire. Because of the horrible service I received at Indian of Orange, I will now have to travel 60 miles to a dealership near San Diego, California.
Frankly, had I known about the lack of dealers, I probably would’ve went with Harley-Davidson knowing what I know now, even though I love my Indian motorcycle.
When I purchased the Indian motorcycle, I relied upon the fact that there were multiple dealers in my area. Obviously, I am not a mind reader, and had no clue that one dealership would turn out to be horrendous, and the other one was not going to be available to me.
One of my reasons for keeping the Indian motorcycle, and not just giving it back to the dealer in San Jose, is that I trust that Polaris will rectify their issues, and open more dealerships in the local area.
The Los Angeles market is by far the largest motorcycle market in the world. Los Angeles County alone has more population than 40 states in the United States. Orange county California has a population greater than 38 states of the union.
I am wondering what would’ve happened to an ordinary person who doesn’t write a blog, and who is not an attorney, if they had to deal with Indian motorcycle of Orange? I am sure this Service Manager has left other victims in his midst. There is no way this can be a one time thing with him.
This is a cautionary tale. I am going to keep my Indian motorcycle because I love it, but there is a bad apple dealership out there, and that is Indian motorcycle of Orange. I strongly suggest to all my readers, and anyone else who reads this article, to not buy or service your motorcycle at this dealership.
In my many years of owning Harley-Davidson’s and other brands of motorcycles, I was always treated with respect, because the dealership wants my business. I don’t think there’s any dealership in town who wants to lose money, so they treat their customers right. Sometimes a dealership cannot fix a problem in a way to satisfy the customer, sometimes you cannot completely satisfy a customer, but you do the best you can, you don’t tell your customers to go screw off if you want to stay in business. You don’t tell customers that you don’t have to provide service to them if you don’t want to, you don’t tell customers that they are not a priority, you don’t tell customers that you don’t like dealing with people from their profession.
If I were the general manager of this dealership I would immediately fire the service manager for his actions. Nobody is indispensable. The service manager needs to be sent down the road, because he is costing the dealership money, and ultimately potentially losing business for Polaris.
I know good customer service, and good customer service is not at Indian motorcycles of Orange.
Look for part 3 of my story, where I discuss my review of the Indian Roadmaster motorcycle in detail.
I decided to take a look at obtaining a new motorcycle, partly because I wanted to see what new technology was out there.
I finally narrowed down my search to two possible motorcycles, a 2017 Harley-Davidson Ultra – Limited, and an Indian Roadmaster.
In my research, I discovered that the 2017 Harley-Davidson Ultra – Limited had the new Milwaukee 8 motor, which has water-cooled heads, which means it runs months cooler than the current motorcycle that I have, has 11 more cc inches of power than I have now, a redesigned engine mount which lessens vibrations, a redesigned fairing which is said to be more stable, updated hard saddlebags, and an updated head unit with Bluetooth capability.
Frankly, I did not like any of the color schemes that came with the Harley-Davidson Ultra – Limited. With a motor cycle manufacturer such as Harley-Davidson, I would’ve expected more choices, or even custom options.
If I chose to get the Harley-Davidson, it would basically be getting the same motorcycle I have had for the past 12 years, with an updated engine, fairing, stereo, and saddlebag openers.
In my mind, there is no way to justify paying approximately $30,000 for an updated Harley just because of the few things mentioned above.
When I looked at the Indian motorcycles, frankly I was very surprised to see how far they’d come. The Indian motorcycles in this class have a 111 c.c. motor which is called the ThunderStroke. It puts out 119.6 foot-pounds of torque, and has approximately 90 hp. Although it is air cooled like the old Harleys, and heats up like the old Harleys, this engine is a beast, trust me it has some punch, it is fast.
Further, when I looked at the Indian Roadmaster, I saw many built-in features that would cost thousands of dollars to get on a Harley-Davidson as add on extras.
The head unit on the Indian is incredible, it has GPS built in, a much bigger screen, and shows you all engine functions, including a multi-function display, right on the front bike.
Basically, the Indian Roadmaster is a beautiful bike.
Lucky man that I am, when my fiancé found out that I liked the Indian Roadmaster, she decided to buy one, for me to ride, with the only condition that she be the only female I allow the back. Of course, I said yes 🙂 this lady is about to become my wife anyway.
We went to a dealership locally called “Indian Motorcycles of Orange,” (More on them in part two of this article.) to look at the Indian Roadmaster.
They had in stock, a black Roadmaster, a black and ivory one, and a red one, however, I wanted the green and ivory color Roadmaster.
I told Indian Motorcycle of Orange County that my fiancé was a cash buyer, and we wanted to buy a new motorcycle within a week.
The sales manager told us that he would call around to his other dealer friends, and if anybody had one, he could have it within a couple of days.
I figured that the dealer would be very excited to have a cash deal on their most expensive motorcycle, and that he would have jumped right on it trying to find the motorcycle that we wanted.
I called him the next day, and he told me that he had not had a chance to check yet, but that he would, and that he would get back to me.
3 days later I still had not heard back from him, so I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I went online and looked at the inventory of all of the local dealerships myself. I discovered that only Spirit Motorcycle of San Jose California had the motorcycle I wanted in stock, the green and ivory motorcycle. Unfortunately, it was 450 miles away.
I called and talked to the owner, Martin, who was very helpful, and we worked the deal out over the phone. Within 2 days, I was on a plane to San Jose to go pick up the bike.
Ironically, the day I was about to leave to go pick up the bike, Indian Motorcycle of Orange called me and left a message, but it was already too late, the deal was already done with Spirit, and I was on my way to San Jose to pick up the Indian Roadmaster.
Had Indian Motorcycle of Orange called me back sooner, they would have gotten the deal.
If you are a motorcycle dealer, I doubt you are so busy that it would take you days to find a unit for a customer, or at least call them back to let them know you are trying. It took me less than 15 minutes to find the motorcycle I wanted.
If you snooze, you lose. More on Indian Motorcycle of Orange below, and in part 2 of this article.
When I got to San Jose, they picked me up at the airport, brought me to the dealership, you can see from the pictures here that this is what I picked up. It is the most beautiful motorcycle I have ever rode I think.
The dealer sent his expert out to teach me everything I needed to know about the motorcycle before I took off on it, I had the service department install infinity Highway pegs on the motorcycle before I left.
This dealership bent over backwards to make sure I was happy. Since I did not bring a helmet with me, I purchased an Indian DOT meanie helmet with the built-in visor for the road.
How many of you have obtained a brand-new motorcycle and then rode it 420 miles plus home :-)?
When I got the bike on the road I discovered that the floorboards seem to sit a little bit higher than the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra-Classic that I have, and because this motorcycle has a rider backrest installed, I could look not lean back as much. It was a riding position I was not yet used to. However, It took all of 5 minutes to get used to it 🙂
Even though this motorcycle has stock exhaust, due to the size of the engine, it still stock makes a loud low noise that lets you know you have one hell of machine between your legs.
I was told that the 1st 500 miles on this motorcycle is a break in. The 1st 100 miles you’re not supposed to give it more than ¼ throttle, or keep it at the same speed for too long of time. After 100 miles, no more than one half throttle, and after 400 miles, no more than three quarters throttle.
I broke it in riding it home from San Jose.
The only complaint I had about the motorcycle was that I could not figure out how to get the cruise control working. I stopped and read the manual while taking a break on the road, and discovered it worked just like the Harley-Davidson cruise control. You first turn it on, then hit set, it appeared my cruise control was not working, a little upsetting on a brand new 35k bike, but I was not worried because I have a five-year warranty. Turns out I have a lot to worry about. See my write up on Indian Motorcycle of Orange in part two of this article.
With respect to riding the Indian, here are my impressions. It is one hell of a fast motorcycle. The pickup and go on this stock motorcycle will blow away most of my Harley riding friends who have had serious custom worked on their motorcycles.
The motorcycle does not vibrate like the Harley-Davidson which is actually a pleasure. On the Harley-Davidson when you’re at a stop light, at least with my 2008, the whole damn thing is vibrating like hell. The Indian is smooth as a button.
The handling on the Indian is about the same as on my Harley, except my Electra Glide has a much tighter turning radius than the Indian. The Indian does have fatter tires.
Above all, the Indian is as far as I’m concerned, is a far more advanced motorcycle when it comes to rider amenities.
The stereo is mind blowing, it comes with the 200 W, 4 speakers, Bluetooth enabled, advanced head unit built-in, with a cell phone holder above it, and allows you to plug your cell phone into the motorcycle and charge it.
The Indian also has remote control locking and unlocking of the tour Pak and saddlebags, as well as keyless starting so long as your key fob is close by.
There are way too many other amenities that I have not included. I absolutely love my Indian Roadmaster.
I’m going to write another part 2 article about the horrendous and outrageously priced service I received for my 500-mile service, and my attempt to get the cruise control fixed, at Indian Motorcycle of Orange soon. This is the same local dealership that did not timely call me back when I tried to buy a motorcycle there.
The reason I’m going to write this article is to warn you all of you about this local dealer, who treated me very poorly, and to I strongly recommend my Biker Law Blog readers not to patronize.
A final word of closing for now, I still love Harley-Davidson don’t get me wrong, but I am now an Indian rider, and I think that many of you once you go check it out will also be an Indian rider. This competition is good because now it will force both manufacturers to produce better motorcycles.
I would like to wish all of you a Happy Independence Day, 2017. As I sit here in beautiful Huntington Beach California, looking at the clear blue sky, and feeling the perfect weather, I think about our men and women in harm’s way throughout the world putting their asses on the line for our freedom.
Most of you are with your family today or simply enjoying a day off celebrating 4th July. Today is the day we celebrate our founding fathers declaring their independence from British tyrannical rule. From that day until now, many men and women have died so that we may be free. The fireworks that you see tonight, are a symbolization of the hard-fought battles that we have endured for our freedom.
Happy Independence Day.
Now on a personal note, I am sure that you’ve seen I have written fewer and fewer articles lately. It’s been a tumultuous year to say the least. I have been super busy building my law firm and handling my client’s cases lately. Plus, I have founded injuredbikers.com which will eventually go nationwide.
I became engaged to a beautiful lady who you will become familiar with, and who will be my wife, Teri, among other things.
My mother passed away on May 5, 2017, which was utterly devastating for me. I have never felt such pain in my life. I am quite certain that those of you who have had their mothers pass away, and endure the type of pain that I am talking about, it is almost debilitating. Everything I do now, is in honor of my mother.
My fiancé Teri convinced me to switch from a Harley-Davidson Electra glide ultra-classic, to riding in Indian Roadmaster motorcycle. Presently, my Electra glide is for sale. Suffices to say the Indian is an awesome bike and I will be writing about it soon.
The Biker Law Blog is getting a minor makeover very soon to keep up with emerging technologies. This will make reading articles and visiting the blog on mobile devices much easier.
So again, let me wish you a happy Independence Day for the year 2017, and I look forward to writing many more articles soon.
My mother passed away on May 5, 2017. Words cannot describe the pain in losing your mother just before mothers day. Below I am posting links to her online obituary, the text of her eulogy, a link to her tribute website, and a tribute video I created for her.
Below is the text of Ann Lorraine Latman’s Eulogy:
Ann Lorraine Latman Eulogy, May 12, 2017
The children of Ann Lorraine Latman, Norman Gregory Fernandez, her son, and Debbie Louise Fernandez, her daughter, have asked me to tell you about the life of their mother Ann Lorraine Latman.
Ann Lorraine Latman, was born on July 22, 1944, in Los Angeles, California, to Nathan & Elsie Latman. Ann was the youngest of three children.
She has an older Brother named Barry Latman, and an older sister named Carolee Latman, who later after getting married, changed her name to Carolee Kish.
Ann has two children, Norman Gregory Fernandez and Debbie Fernandez. Ann has three grandchildren, Carolee Fernandez, Elsie Chacon, and Jacob Fernandez. Ann has two great grandchildren Nathan and Isabella Chacon.
When Ann was a young school girl, she started collecting dolls from all over the world. She would write letters to the leaders of countries from all over the world asking them if they send her a doll and many, if not most of them, in response would send her letters and dolls.
When she wrote a letter to Nakita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union, in the 1950’s a time when the Soviet Union was a bitter enemy of the United States, and the Soviet leader actually sent her a letter and a doll, it made real waves.
I am quite certain that it caught the attention of the FBI as well, we will never know.
It was such a major deal in the 1950’s that the leader of the Soviet Union sent a young Jewish American school girl named Ann Latman, a doll, that the newspapers, and a major magazine picked up the story and published it.
You will see some of the pictures of Ann’s world class doll collection featured in her tribute video that is scrolling here.
When Ann was a teenager, she was run over by a car.
The car tire ended up on top of her body after the accident, and it took some time before they could lift the car off of her.
It was a miracle from God that she was not killed in the accident. She was told after the accident that she would never have children.
Obviously, god ensured that that prediction was not accurate. However, due to the accident, Ann had pain in her body throughout her life.
Ann’s father passed away while she was young and her big brother Barry became a father figure to her.
Ann graduated from Fairfax High School in Hollywood, CA in 1962. She shortly thereafter married Gilbert Fernandez. They had two kids, Norman and Debbie.
Ann loved her family. She idolized her big brother Barry, and looked up to her big sister Carolee.
Ann, being the youngest of Elsie Latman’s children, was real close to her mother and her sister Carolee.
Barry was off playing baseball in the major leagues, but after he retired from baseball, Ann became close to him as well.
Ann told her children Norman and Debbie tales of her family all through their childhood.
She told her children about her brother Barry who was a star Pitcher in Major League Baseball, about her sister Carolee who was the first woman butcher at Safeway markets, she told her children about cousin Raymond who was fighting in Vietnam, her cousin Julian who was an attorney and she told her kids about her mom Elsie’s sisters, Tessie, Bettie, Lee, and Elaine.
The greatest joy in Ann’s life was family. When we were young, we remember constantly being at Aunt Carolee’s house.
Norman and Carolee’s son Mark Lawrence although cousin’s, basically grew up like brothers. Ann became like a 2nd mother to Mark, Carolee became like a 2nd mother to Norman and Debbie.
Mom made sure that we always made the rounds as children to all of our uncle’s and aunt’s houses, and that we spent time with our cousins.
We remember always visiting Barry and Lynn, Nat and Ricky, Aunt Elaine and Marla, Lori, Bruce, and Frank, Aunt Lee and her kids, Aunt Tessie up in the Hollywood Hills, Aunt Bettie and her kids, Aunt Ann and uncle Maury, and others. We had a very full childhood filled with love and family, our mom made sure of that.
Ann instilled in her children a sense of honor, to not lie, steal, or cheat.
Ann and her husband Gilbert are probably the most honest people you will ever meet in your life. Salt of the earth kind of people. Very humble, loving, and giving people.
Ann would literally give you the shirt off the back if she could.
Ann was the type of loving and dawdling mother that everyone would like to have. She was funny, direct, and instilled a sense of decency on us.
From as early as I can remember, my mother taught me what it was like to be Jewish. Although we are reformed Jewish, we are Jewish nonetheless. My mother made sure we knew what it was to be Jewish. She taught us about the Holocaust, she taught us songs, and taught us that we are among the chosen people.
My mother loved the holiday season. Although we were Jewish, my mother being a 2nd generation American, also integrated other holidays into our repertoire.
Growing up we not only had a menorah for Hanukkah, with our mother making sure we had Hanukkah gifts every year, but we also had a Christmas tree. We did not really know what Christmas was about, to us it was about the tree and Santa Claus. My mom also gave us Easter baskets and Easter eggs on Easter. We did not know what Easter was about, to us it was about a bunny and the eggs.
Basically, my mom loved to celebrate any holiday because it gave her an excuse to be the loving mother that she was. She always had presents for all the kids on Hanukkah, Easter, Christmas, you name it. She was the stereotypical mother when I came to giving gifts.
Ann also loved to prepare meals for her family. My mom made the best Thanksgiving dinner you could ever possibly want. She used her mother Elsie’s recipe for stuffing. My mom made Thanksgiving dinner, until she was physically unable to do it anymore, and then Debbie took over.
Although grandma Elsie was a fantastic cook who made homemade Verenicas, latkes, and matzo ball soup, my mom made one hell of a fried matzo breakfast. Her noodles and cottage cheese were not bad either. We loved our mother’s cooking it was from her heart.
My mom love being with her family more than anything in the world. Elsie Latman, our mother’s mom, always seemed to be at our house. Elsie Latman was like a 2nd mother to not only Norman and Debbie, but to also Mark as well. We were a close family.
Ann and her husband Gilbert always made sure that there was food on the table for their children, always provided Norman and Debbie with love and affection, and provided a good life to Norman and Debbie. They were not rich, but they always did the best they could.
In the 1970s, under the guidance of her brother Barry Latman, Ann, along with her husband Gilbert Fernandez, moved us up to San Francisco and started to business called Gil’s Hallmark card and gifts.
During this time in Ann’s life, she had a great time owning her own business, and being her own boss. Our mom loved to go with my dad to nice restaurants, and she loved Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas.
Ann loved to play blackjack in Las Vegas probably more than anything else.
Although Ann loved San Francisco, she missed her family in Southern California.
Eventually in 1975 Ann and her family moved back to Southern California.
It was at this time that she became a marketing manager in a telephone sales company in Hollywood California. Ann literally had hundreds of people come through her company attempting to become salespeople, but few made it.
As the marketing manager in this telephone sales company, Ann used the moniker, Mary Nevins.
Ann had many future celebrities come to work for her in this company. She had Mickey Rourke, the band Poison, and many others come work for her before they made it as huge celebrities.
She would tell stories of people that are huge celebrities now begging her to keep their jobs, and offering to do crazy things in return. My mom loved her management job.
Ann would basically give anybody who could speak clearly a job, but if they did not make sales, they would be fired within a day or two.
Norman knows this well. Before he went into the military, he went to work for his mother, waking up at 5 o’clock in the morning to drive to Hollywood, California to sell office supplies to the Midwest, and to the East Coast. Norman was fired by his mother after 2 days because he did not make any sales. It was a very difficult job. Some of her previous employees may be here today. She was loved by all that worked for her because she was a good person.
Many people were able to survive and pay their bills, because my mom gave them jobs in Hollywood during this time.
During this time of the 1970s, my mother, Ann, and her big sister Carolee, tried several business ventures together, including a knitting mill in Los Angeles. There were sweaters everywhere.
Finally, our mother and her sister Carolee decided to go into comedy, and formed a comedy group called “The embryo twins.” I remember them practicing their act all the time. A big part of their act was when one of them would sit on a whoopee cushion. When they did this, it made a loud farting sound, which made everybody laugh. My mom performed at the Comedy Store and other venues with her sister Carolee. She met Robin Williams, Gallagher, and other comedians who later became major celebrities.
Unfortunately, one weekend we were all at a pool party at Barry Latman’s house in Northridge California, and a couple of days later Carolee was found dead.
In the 1970s, when Ann’s big sister Carolee Kish passed away suddenly, it hit her very hard. It hit all of us hard. It hit Carolee’s son Mark the hardest obviously.
Ann never really recovered from the death of her sister, they were that close. For a time, Mark came to live us, but then went on his own way too young.
Unfortunately, with the death of her sister, Ann could not continue with the embryo twins, and her comedy career was over before it really began.
When the company that Ann worked for as a marketing manager went under, Ann experimented with other ways to earn a living.
She went into retail for a while, where she sustained a head injury that caused her to be permanently disabled and not able to work anymore.
When Carolee Fernandez, Ann’s son Norman’s daughter, suddenly stopped breathing in 1985 due to an illness, Ann came to the rescue and saved her life by grabbing her by the feet, holding her upside down, and patting her back until she started breathing. Ann was a hero.
A short time after Ann’s mother Elsie passed away suddenly. When Ann’s mother passed away it was utterly devastating for her, and she never fully recovered from it. She lost two of the most important people in her life.
Today with her passing, Ann will be reunited with her father Nathan, her mother Elsie, and her sister Carolee all of whom are interned here at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Ann will be laid to rest next to her sister Carolee and her mother Elsie.
In 1993, when Ann’s son Norman obtained custody of his daughters Carolee and Elsie, while he was in Law School, Ann without hesitation agreed to take them in and raise them as if they were her own daughters even though they are her grandchildren.
She raised them as great kids, to adulthood. Ann is for all intents and purposes the mother of Carolee Fernandez, and Elsie Chacon.
It is children and being a mother, that above all gave Ann the most satisfaction in life.
Ann cared very little for herself. Everything she did was for other people. Ann was a woman of very modest means, yet she always bought cloths and gifts for others, forsaking herself. She was always a giver.
When her daughter Debbie had a son named Jacob, Ann cared for him as an infant while Debbie was at work.
Words cannot describe how much Ann Lorraine Latman will be missed by those who knew her and loved her.
In the final years of her life, Ann had debilitating pain in her back and other serious health issues.
A few years ago, she suffered a stroke and almost died.
When she was unable to care for herself anymore, she lived in a skilled nursing facility.
When she was taken to the hospital in her final days, her final words before being put on a ventilator were her calling out for her mom, Barry, Carol, and Mark.
None of us realized just how sick she was.
Ann passed away on May 5, 2017, on the Sabbath, with her son Norman and her daughter Debbie by her side. A Rabbi came earlier in the evening and said the appropriate prayers.
Just before she passed Norman said the appropriate prayers.
Ann was 72 when she passed. She missed 73 by two months.
I believe that when a righteous and good person passes, god put clouds in the sky to signify the passing of a righteous and good person. This was true when our grandmother Elsie passed away, and this was true when our mother Ann Latman passed away. It was cloudy and rainy for two straight days after her passing, last week just after May 5. Usually it is sunny and hot in May.
We are all glad that you could make it here today to pay tribute to the life of our mom Ann Lorraine Latman. She may be in heaven now reuniting with her family and god, but she will never be forgotten by those who knew her. She lives on in her progeny now and hopefully to the end of time.
When you go outside today take a glance at the trees, the sky, and the beauty one last time for Ann Lorraine Latman, a righteous and good woman, whose spirit has now left this world, and reunited with the lord for eternity.
Thank You, Norman and Debbie.
Written by Ann Latman’s son Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., May 12, 2017
In the past I would’ve loved to of had a bag such as this when I was running with a motorcycle that had a sissy bar, but since I have a tour pak on my current Harley-Davidson motorcycle, I personally cannot not use the bag right now.
I have a brother in my motorcycle club named Andrew T., who I knew was considering getting saddlebags, I knew he had a sissy bar, and no way to carry anything on his bike.
I decided to give him the bag for personal use on the condition that he review here on the Biker Law Blog.
The following is a synopsis of Andrews review:
The bag is big and has plenty of room. It easily fits over the sissy bar, and it’s probably best to secure it down with the included strap buckles, rather than just leaving it placed over the sissy bar. It is lockable, and durable. It looks like it’s waterproof as well. It is really easy to put on and take off. This bag can be used as luggage for your motorcycle. I highly recommend this bag to others.
Since Andrew used the Viking Bags motorcycle sissy bar backpack personally, and recommends it, I will also recommend as well since my brother vouched for it.
Below is also a video about the backpack.
In the past I have used many types of sissy bar motorcycle luggage. Most of the ones I previously used, or a hassle to strap on and to take off, especially in the dark.
Further, most motorcycle luggage is that I purchased in the past were over $200. This simple $99 bag looks to me to be a very good solution if you need something to carry her stuff around, motorcycle luggage, and something that’s easy to put on and take off.
The Biker Law Blog has been named 1 of the top 100 motorcycle sites and blogs for motorcycle riders on the planet by Feedspot.com .
Some of my competitors appear on the list as well, frankly I do not know why, there’s much better content and pictures on my site 🙂
all kidding aside, I have been so busy with litigation lately they haven’t been putting a lot of content on here, that soon will change. The biker Law a is getting a minor makeover to make it compliant with the new standards, and so that will be much easier to read with a cell phone.
I would like to thank Anuj for bestowing this honor to the Biker Law Blog.
Polaris Industries, the parent company of Victory Motorcycles announced yesterday that they were ceasing operations as a January 9, 2017. Victory Motorcycles is no more.
The CEO of Polaris industries, Scott Wine, stated that it was a difficult decision for the Board of Directors and he, but Victory Motorcycles despite significant investment by Polaris industries, was never profitable.
The last few years Polaris Industries shifted much of its attention to getting Indian Motorcycles restarted to compete with Harley-Davidson. Some believe that this shift was responsible for the demise of Victory Motorcycles.
Victory Motorcycles was one of just a few American motorcycle brands on the market today.
I know this news will be a shock to many people who have gone out and purchased a Victory Motorcycle. I personally thought that the victory motorcycle was a good concept, but never actually rode one.
On a personal level, it is kind of upsetting to know the Victory Motorcycles did not make it. I think Victory put Harley-Davidson on notice that they had to make changes to make their motorcycle more competitive on a technological basis.
Goodbye Victory Motorcycles. What we have left is Harley-Davidson, and Indian Motorcycles with respect to American brands.
I know many people do not like surprises, but I have a big surprise that’s coming that will revolutionize the way motorcycle accident cases are handled nationwide.
As many of you know I have been utterly disgusted at the marketing tactics that have been directed towards motorcycle accident victims by 2 outfits in particular that in bad taste plaster motorcycle rallies in advance with a bunch of their advertisements.
Who the hell wants to go to a motorcycle event to have a bunch of non-riding personal injury attorneys posing as motorcycle lawyers bombarding them with advertisements every single place they look. I sure the hell don’t.
I will be at the annual Laughlin motorcycle rally at the end of this month, and I am quite positive I will see the same BS marketing outfits bombarding bikers with their advertisements.
The fact of the matter is yes sometimes motorcycle riders do get into accidents, sometimes motorcycle riders need the assistance of an experience motorcycle lawyer to get them help.
I have been riding motorcycles over 30 years, I have been in motorcycle clubs, I have ridden motorcycles all over the world, and I have done many motorcycle cases all over the state of California. I have put thousands of miles on motorcycles of various types. I know what goes on out there on the street and on the freeways. I am known in the motorcycle community nationwide, and I have finally had enough of looking at these outfits basically sucking the blood of motorcyclists of who have been in accidents.
There is another sort of generic personal injury attorney that advertises for motorcycle cases as well. These are simply generic personal injury law firms that take all types of personal injury cases, and do not have any specific expertise related to motorcycle accident cases other than them applying general personal injury theory to your motorcycle accident. How the hell is this type of attorney going to know what happened in your case if they can’t even describe how the gears are shifted, what counter steering is, or explain to a jury why you have a right to be on the road with cars?
The new organization that I’m starting is going to be a premier motorcycle accident resource nationwide. There will be a lot of hoops that I will have to jump through to get this thing going, and I am jumping through them now. I have been contemplating doing this for many years, and I am finally now doing it.
I am hoping to partner with some of the largest entities in the nation so that we can provide real value to you motorcyclists and bikers out there, my people, because I am one of you, and I want to help you if God forbid the time comes when you have an accident and you need help.
I will be attacking these entities had on and exposing them for what they are, and above all I will be the go to resource for motorcycle accidents nationwide.
In the meantime, if you a motorcycle accident, or any other type of accident in the state of California, continue to give me a call at 800-816-1529 and I’ll take care of you.
Soon, this will move to a nationwide set up for motorcycle accident cases.
I have been a personal injury attorney for almost 20 years. I have been riding motorcycles over 40 years. The one thing I can say for certain is that a motorcycle with 2 wheels, has much less traction than a car with 4 wheels.
Further, a motorcycle wheel has much less traction than a car wheel, because the motorcycle wheel is rounded, whereas a car tire l is flatter and has more area of rubber on the pavement.
With that being said, it’s very important for motorcycle riders to not tailgate, and to keep a safe distance and speed from the car in front of them, so they can stop in case the car comes to a sudden and unexpected stop.
I know of many instances where individual riders, groups of riders, and even motorcycle clubs have had mass accidents, because the people in the front are tailgating or riding to close to the cars in front, the car suddenly braked, causing a chain reaction crash.
I just gave a consultation to a gentleman who in his mind thought he was not at fault, when he had to lay his motorcycle down on a freeway on-ramp because the car in front of him came to a sudden stop.
Apparently there was a crosswalk on the on-ramp, and a pedestrian was within 20 feet of the crosswalk when the car stopped. In the biker’s mind, the car should not have stopped for the pedestrian. It never occurred to him that he should have kept a safe distance from the car in front of him so that in case the car stopped he could stop.
I had to tell him that it was he, the motorcycle rider, that was at fault in that instance.
Not only do motorcycles take more time to stop in an emergency situation than a car because of less traction area on the pavement, but the consequences of crashing can be catastrophic to motorcycle riders.
Basically it’s not worth your life. I know guys who tailgate when they ride. It drives me crazy to ride with these guys, and I absolutely will not stay with them, I will stay back so that in case the cars brake they’re going to eat the back of the car not me.
Ensure that you keep a safe distance and speed from the car in front of you, and anticipate that the car may slow down or suddenly stop. If you ride with this in mind you will be a safer motorcycle rider.
Every year for the past 5 years I have posted pictures by way of a video slideshow of all the pictures I take at the Sturgis motorcycle rally. This year, 2015, was the 75th annual rally, and as usual I am publishing my video picture slideshow. Enjoy
The year is 2015, the month is November, and the day is the 11th, another Veterans Day.
As I type this many men and women are serving our nation’s armed forces, and many are in harm’s way.
I and many millions of people have served in the armed forces of the United States of America from its inception.
Today we give thanks to all of those who served in the Armed Forces of the United States whether it be the Navy, Air Force, Marines, Army, or Coast Guard.
Let me tell you from personal experience that enlisting in the military is the easy part. The hard part is getting to boot camp and realizing your ass belongs to Uncle Sam. There is nothing easy about any part of our military service.
Anyone who joins the military puts their ass on the line not only for their friends, but for the nation.
The United States of America would not exist in its present form unless many many people but their ass on the line to serve this great nation.
Many have paid the ultimate price for our freedom, that day is observed by Memorial Day. Today, Veterans Day, is to honor all who served in the armed forces.
Although I served many moons ago, my service is entrenched in my mind, and the United States Air Force is part of my blood. I will never forget.
For those of you who have not served in the armed forces, give thanks to those who have because it is a very difficult thing to do, and for those who do it they’re basically signing a contract and taking an oath that they will defend our freedoms with their lives if they have to.
I always look forward to my annual trip to the Sturgis motorcycle rally. For the last 4 years I’ve taken my RV, and trailered my motorcycle. This year was no different.
However, what was different this year, was that because it was the 75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally, everything was completely sold out months in advance.
I usually stay at the Glencoe campground. However, this year, all they were offering for $1200 was an RV site with electrical hookup, and water, but no sewer. If you wanted to dump your RV, you’d have to notify them and wait for them to come.
I could’ve went to many ordinary RV parks in and around the Sturgis area that provided full hookups, but as in previous years, I wanted to be in the middle of the action, and in an RV park that offered concerts, recreation, and other amenities.
I found that the Broken Spoke Campground was advertising a full hook up RV site without sewer just like Glencoe was advertising, but their price was only $899. You would also have to purchase a $200 wristband per person if you were to stay at the broken spoke campground, whereas Glencoe was charging $300 for the wristband.
Basically sites like the Glencoe, Broken Spoke, and others, have premium concerts every night, so they charge for wristbands on top of the charge for the actual RV site.
I ended up choosing the Broken Spoke Campground because it was approximately $800 cheaper than Glencoe. It turned out to be a big mistake see below. The total price was approximately $1400 including the wristbands.
This year I purchased a new RV 3 months before Sturgis. The damn thing was constantly in the shop up until a few days before Sturgis. There were still a few bugs with the unit that were not fixed prior to leaving, oh well.
As in previous years it was kind of hectic getting ready for the trip. For the most part I think it’s all a mental thing. I, and I’m sure a lot of other people get so excited before the rally, that just preparing to leave is exhausting.
It is very hard to find people that can take a week to 2 weeks off work to travel with you to the Sturgis motorcycle rally. Many guys plan trips like this years in advance. Last year I went with a friend to Sturgis, she was able to do the entire trip with me. This year my new female friend was unable to do the drive with me due to work, but was able to fly in on Tuesday night, and then fly out on Sunday night, September 9, 2015 the last night of the rally.
Although I like to travel with friends because it’s much better, I’m the kind of guy that is no problem packing up and going across country by myself. Done it many times, no problem.
I love the drive to the Sturgis motorcycle rally, it’s the excitement that gets you. Many moons ago before I got into the RV scene I would traditionally ride to events like this on my motorcycle. There’s something to be said about doing either. I love riding don’t get me wrong, but 1700 miles each way wears on you a bit. At my age, I prefer taking my RV. At motorcycle rallies the big party happens in the campgrounds anyway.
I have done this drive many years in a row, so all the sites along the way are becoming familiar to me now, almost like old friends and landmarks. This year it took me a bit longer to get to the rally because frankly I was burnt out on the 2nd night of driving and stopped at a rest stop in Wyoming to sleep for a few hours.
Sturgis, South Dakota was about 150 miles from the rest stop. Excitement was in the air in the morning. In years past I went through this area at night, let me tell you the drive from the Wyoming to the South Dakota border was beautiful. Coupled with the fact that there were thousands of bikes on the road made it even better. You could just tell that this year was going to be special.
Ordinarily every year I get off of the freeway and drive on the main drag through downtown Sturgis to go to the Glencoe campground and set up. This year it kind of sucked because as I pulled off the traffic was much worse than any previous year that I’ve seen. It took me an hour to get from the freeway to near the Glencoe campground. It was bumper to bumper motorcycles the entire way. Being in a big RV above the action was kind of cool because I could see all the action but the traffic was horrible.
This year because I was staying at the Broken Spoke Campground, I passed the Glencoe campground for a couple miles then made the turn off to the Broken Spoke Campground. It was on the way to the Broken Spoke that I became concerned. I was basically in the middle of nowhere and there is barely any motorcycles on the road.
Finally about 15 miles down the road, the Broken Spoke arose out of the country rolling hills. It was exciting, and it was packed.
I was directed into the check-in area and proceeded to go from my RV to the check-in area. This is where my nightmare began.
The girl at the Broken Spoke campground check-in immediately told me that they had no spaces with water, and that if I had a problem with that I could go online and request a refund. I told her “what are you talking about, I paid for a full hook up space, and my RV is almost that of water.” She told me that there is nothing that she could do, and that if I placed a certain flag in front of my RV there would be somebody coming around to pump water. Imagine, all of Sturgis was sold out this year. I was pissed.
I thought to myself this is complete bullshit. I would’ve never stayed at this place had I known there was no water for the RV.
I’m not going to waste a bunch of space in this article to talk about what bullshit the Broken Spoke Campground was and how it almost ruined my trip this year, but I will say that after wasting 2 days of the rally there, I found another RV Park with full hookups in Deadwood, South Dakota, for $600 thank god, and high tailed it out of the Broken Spoke Campground as soon as I could. I felt sorry for the poor shmucks stuck there waiting for water for 4 days. Screw that.
The Broken Spoke Campground was a dustbowl in the middle of nowhere. I am sure if it wasn’t so crowded it might’ve been an okay place to be, but they grossly oversold it knowing full well they didn’t have enough spaces to accommodate what they were selling. I was able to get a refund of a thousand dollars from them via PayPal a week after I got home. I will give them credit for that they did refund me for the campground part of the trip. I never did recover the cost of the wristbands and lost $400 on that deal because I never went back.
Suffices to say I will never stay there again, I highly recommend that you find another place to stay if you are ever at the Sturgis rally. Now if they come to me and make me an offer I might give them another chance but right now I am highly pissed off at them still over a month after the fact.
I went and stayed at a place called Whistler’s Gulch in Deadwood, South Dakota which is about 16 miles from the main drag in Sturgis. I love this place, but it is a bit of a drive to and from Sturgis.
As far as the rally this year went, frankly, it sucked compared to previous years. The Broken Spoke Campground nightmare was part of it, but also it was a sausage fest, meaning there was at least 4 to 5 guys for every one gal at the rally and most of the gals of the rally were not hotties like I am so used to seeing at motorcycle rallies. There were only a few hot gals there. Seems like every guy in the country and their friends decided to go to Sturgis this year and left the gals behind. It was a complete sausage fest.
Further, the traffic was so bad that it was horrendous. I did ride about 3000 miles on my bike during the rally. I’m not the bar going type of guy. I’m a rider. When I get into the Black Hills and start riding, which is my passion. I rode my ass off this year as in previous years.
I rode my old favorites, Mount Rushmore, Custer National Park, all through the Black Hills, the Black Hills Scenic Byway, Crazy Horse, and many places off the beaten track. As usual I found hidden places to ride for many miles on dirt roads with my gal riding shotgun on the back. As usual we found a couple secluded spots to enjoy each other as well, which is kind of tough in the Black Hills because there are really are no places to hide.
Staying in Deadwood this year definitely changed the ambience of the rally for me. It was a lot mellower this year than in previous years, because in previous years I would’ve been at the concerts every night until 2 in the morning. Hell last year after the concerts ended I went to the only gym in town to work out in the middle of the night.
Now this rally totally sucked compared to all the other rallies I’ve been to in the past at Sturgis. The main culprit this year was just flat-out shitty weather. It was cold and rainy over 50% of the rally this year. Just flat-out shitty weather. The rain caused many people to leave after a couple days, and by the end of the rally the place was pretty much empty. You can’t do anything about Mother Nature. This year the weather really sucked. In previous years there was rain for one or 2 days at Sturgis, but nothing as bad as this year.
I definitely got some good riding in, and had some good times, but this year was definitely not worth the time and effort as in previous years. I’m hoping next year will kind of calm down a little bit. What may sound like a sacrilege is I may not even go to Sturgis next year. It remains to be seen. I’ve always wanted to ride Alaska during the summer, so I may take my rig and do an Alaska trip will see.
My lady friend and I had a good time on this trip. She was the one good thing about the rally other than the great riding. We had some good times between each other as a man and women do, which I’m not going to describe here but I’m sure you can let your imagination run amok.
Rallies like this are about adult pleasure. If you go by yourself without a woman to a rally like this the chances of actually hooking up with a woman at the rally or are almost impossible, because most of the women are hooked up with men. So all these guys showing up with all their buddies just kind of ruin it.
On the last day of the rally, Sunday, I struck Camp and drove my RV through town to the Rapid City Airport to drop my lady friend off who had to fly back home to be at work the next day. It kind of sucked to watch her go but they get then again I was excited, because I was now headed towards Cody Wyoming and Yellowstone.
I should’ve just parked the RV when it got dark and camped out for the night but I figured if I was able to get to Cody straightaway I could spend 2 days riding Yellowstone instead of just one day. That’s exactly what I did. I rode my 36′ Class A motorhome with 12 foot trailer, total length of about 50 feet through the Greybull National Forest which goes up to about 90,000 feet in pitch darkness.
I had an accident 4 years ago where I lost the brakes on my motorhome in the same forest and almost got killed, see the article about that experience by clicking here.
I Rode the same exact route, and actually stopped in the middle of the night at the spot where I had the accident 4 years earlier just to contemplate what happened. Let me tell you something, it’s eerie in the Greybull National Forest at night, there was nobody else on the road with me. If anything would’ve happened nobody would’ve discovered me until probably the next morning. The time I got to the Yellowstone highway through Greybull, I was spent and could barely keep my eyes open. I got to the Walmart in Cody, parked the RV and crashed out.
When I woke up the next day and went to the Yellowstone Valley campground set up camp, got my motorcycle out of the trailer, and rode the Yellowstone national forest. I was able to ride Yellowstone for two days before heading home. This article is not about my ride through the Yellowstone national forest, but I will just say that I’ve done it every year after Sturgis and I love it.
I definitely had a good time riding Sturgis this year but it was not as good as previous years. Nothing is perfect, but I had a good time.
As a personal injury attorney who is an expert in motorcycle accident cases, I get reports of motorcycle accident cases from all over the country on a daily basis.
This particular summer, seems like the worst summer for fatal motorcycle accidents that I’ve ever seen. Many of the motorcycle accidents are caused by negligent cars and cagers, but many are caused by drugs and alcohol, or excessive speed, on the part of the motorcycle rider.
Here are examples of some of the reports I received within the last 21 hours:
Uncasville man dies following Friday motorcycle crash
An Uncasville motorcyclist died at the hospital following a Friday afternoon crash in North Stonington, according to state police. Alexander Morales, 61 …
Police ID man killed in Fair Lawn motorcycle crash
Elgendy’s Harley Davidson motorcycle was traveling northbound on River Road, he said, with the Ford F-150 pickup truck, traveling southbound, …
Man injured in South Berwick motorcycle collision
SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — A collision between a motorcycle and car sent one man to the hospital Sunday morning, according to a dispatcher with …
Ramp Was Closed After Deadly Motorcycle Crash
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The ramp from State Route 104 to U.S. 33 southbound was closed after a deadly motorcycle crash late Saturday afternoon.
Two seriously injured in motorcycle crash
County police summoned to the scene at Ritchie and Cedar Hill Lane at about 9:37 p.m. found that a southbound Honda motorcycle had struck the …
Lenexa man dead in motorcycle accident, Shawnee woman hospitalized
Police on Saturday released the name of the driver of a motorcycle who died Friday evening in a crash in the 19100 block of Prairie Star Parkway in …
Police say Bigelow man killed in motorcycle crash
Associated Press, news source 8:17 p.m. CDT August 15, 2015 … Arkansas State Police say a Bigelow man has been killed in a motorcycle crash.
Sheriff: Speed, alcohol factors in fatal motorcycle crash
Speed and alcohol appear to be factors in a crash that killed a motorcyclist in Green County Saturday night, according to a release.
2 Charleston County motorcycle deputies involved in accident
Shortly before 12:30 p.m., two of the motorcycle deputies from the Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit collided with each other while on a special event escort …
Above is just a small example of the motorcycle accidents that have taken place over the past 21 hours. It is hard to fathom how many motorcycle accidents occur on a daily basis.
I have been riding motor driven two wheeled vehicles since I was a kid. I have been riding street motorcycles since I was 16. I have been in motorcycle clubs, I have been riding clubs, and ridden with thousands of people over the years. I ride on my motorcycle thousands of miles per year. I can tell you from personal experience the things that will make you most safe riding.
Wear proper motorcycle riding gear. This means good helmet, good jacket (armor plated jackets are readily available), denim pants, good riding boots, and gloves. I see too many idiots on the road riding in shorts, tennis shoes or flip-flops, and even with no shirts on. When you go down the only protection you have is what you are wearing.
Always anticipate that the cars on the road do not see you. If you ride as though the people you are on the road with do not see you, you will be much safer. It is a documented fact that most people riding in cars, trucks, or other motor vehicles, do not see motorcyclists. For some reason the way human beings are wired, they are not looking for motorcyclists. We can literally be right in front of them, and they do not see us. Another issue is the ubiquitous use of cell phones and texting drivers now, which is an epidemic. If you act as though you are invisible, you will ride safer.
Do not ride fast. Speed is the number 1 enemy for motorcyclists. It will kill you in an accident that is not your fault, and it will cause accidents that are your fault. If the speed limit is 80 miles an hour that does not mean you should be riding 80 miles an hour on the freeway. Unlike people in cars or trucks who have 4 more wheels to stop with, to balance with, and to turn with, motorcyclists have two wheels only. We have a lot less tire area, and friction between the pavement to work with. Riding slower will give you more time to stop, to take turns more safely, and allow you to identify potential hazards. To be frank it also makes riding more enjoyable.
Do not tailgate. I not only ride with people who tailgate, but I see many motorcyclists tailgating behind cars. These people are idiots. I never tailgate on a motorcycle. What do you think is going to happen if you tailgate a car and the car suddenly stops? A few years back an entire motorcycle club in Oregon was taken out by an SUV that stopped suddenly in traffic. The same thing happened in Arizona when multiple members of motorcycle club were killed when they hit a truck. I know of many instances where entire packs of bikes have gone down because one or two riders in the front deciding to tailgate behind vehicles. California law requires that vehicles keep a safe distance between them and the car in front of them. It is just common sense only for motorcyclists but for cars and trucks as well; do not tailgate.
Do not use drugs or alcohol when riding your motorcycle. This is not just a cliché or saying. When you are on a motorcycle you need 100% mental function, and even then sometimes you get yourself in dangerous situations. If you use drugs or alcohol you exponentially increase your chances of wrecking your bike. Do not do it.
Keep your motorcycle in proper working order. There was recently a Harley-Davidson recall on 2014 touring models for an improperly placed brake line, that in time could cause too much pressure to be put into the brake line and that could cause the front wheel to lock up. If the front wheel locks up on you on a motorcycle 99.9% of the time you are going to go down. One idiot from a major motorcycle magazine was making fun of the recall saying that in the old days a real biker would not have to take their motorcycle back to the dealer simply to get a tie wrap placed around the improperly placed brake line. He went on to say there was an unwritten contract between the biker and the motorcycle manufacturer, that the motorcycle manufactured can put out crap, and it was the biker’s responsibility to fix it. This guy is a moron. He is one of those types of guys who does not think that an injured person should go to court to get compensated for their injuries. This guy is so out of touch, he should not be writing for a major motorcycle magazine. The bottom line is you as a rider, have a duty to inspect your motorcycle to make sure the tires are properly inflated, have proper tread, and that basic maintenance is done on the bike, so that when you are riding at 40 mph plus, your engine, transmission, or wheels don’t suddenly lock up, or blowout. Unlike in a car, the situation what a mechanical malfunction occurs is much more dangerous. It is up to you to make the probability of this happening less likely by proper preventive maintenance. However, it is also the responsibility to take your motorcycle in what any recalls occur.
Do not ride your motorcycle when you’re in a bad mood. You definitely do not want to be a road rager on a motorcycle. If you’re in a bad mood or pissed off, it’s better to calm down before you get on your motorcycle.
Do not ride in bad weather unless you have to. Yes I know there are a lot of Midwesterners and East coasters who have very bad weather to contend with compared to me here in Southern California. These people always badmouth us Californians for being sissies when it comes to riding in bad weather. I don’t care how much of a badass you are, when the pavement’s wet, your tires have less traction. Hydroplaning on 2 wheels is much worse than hydroplaning in a car or truck that has 4 or more wheels. Taking a turn on wet pavement on a motorcycle is much more perilous than on dry pavement, especially at high speed. Unlike in a car, truck, or other motor vehicle, we and motorcycles do not have windshield wipers. If you have a car, you should ride your car on rainy and wet days. If you absolutely have to ride in bad weather, make sure you have a good motorcycle rain suit, a full-face helmet, keep your speed down, and anticipate that you will lose traction.
There are many more safety tips I could give you about riding motorcycles. I’ve learned many of these from personal experience, and from observing. I welcome you to make comments with your own safety suggestions.
I am a real deal expert in motorcycle accident cases. If God forbid you a bit of an accident anywhere in the state of California give me a call at 800-816-1529 extension 1. I will personally talk to you about your situation and we can discuss together what to do.
I am announcing the termination of my partnership with Lawrence A. Moy.
I have been friends with Mr. Moy for many years. They say friends should not go in the business together, and I fully agree. If any of you have any questions regarding the termination of my partnership with Lawrence a Moy, give me a call to discuss.
The Law offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez & Associates is back. We aim to provide excellent customer service to all of our clients.
We have meeting locations throughout the state of California, and have a central prelitigation office in Huntington Beach California.
I just got back from the 75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally, in Sturgis, South Dakota. Although it was not as good as previous years, it was definitely more crowded, and it was a blast. I will be writing about it soon.
It appears there are 2 primary marketing outfits advertising to bikers at the motorcycle rallies.
I am not going to name them, but one of them says they are tigers, and the other rhymes with rust.
The last I checked the one that’s named after the animal, is an association of attorneys that does marketing for lawyers, and that anyone can join for an annual fee. Basically they are marketing for those that pay the annual fee. The other signs up cases, and refers them out to associated attorneys, in return for a referral fee. Both of these outfits make it appear to bikers that they will be represented by real biker lawyers from their organization. I think their advertising is grossly misleading to the biker community.
I am sure there may be legitimate motorcycle riding attorneys associated with either one or both of these outfits, but as for me I think it is absolutely disgusting for attorneys to be advertising in this misleading manner at motorcycle rallies, I think it’s bad karma.
As for me, I am the real deal. I ride and I do motorcycle cases. I’m an expert in motorcycle cases. If God forbid you have a motorcycle accident call the guys I mentioned above, and then call me. I’m sure you want to sign up with me after talking with me.
With respect to the biker law blog, thank goodness, we are on a new server. You may have noticed delays with comment moderation, load times of the blog, and my flat out not updating the blog very often anymore. The fact is the biker law blog has become a huge monster. At the present time it takes up about half a terabyte of bandwidth per month, and is almost 2 GB in size. Our previous web host severely limited what I could do with the blog. Many times it was suspended for using too much bandwidth. Hopefully this problem has been resolved.
I look forward to writing many new articles in the near future. I look forward to hearing any feedback.
Many moons ago on a sunny day, my girlfriend, my father, and my childhood friend who I grew up with drove me from the San Fernando Valley to Los Angeles Airport for my trip to United States Air Force basic training.
I had just turned 17 a few months earlier, and hadn’t even started shaving yet. It was February, 1981. All my friends were still in high school, and 12 grade. I opted to skip 12 grade to go into the military.
I was a long haired blond kid from the San Fernando Valley dressed in a surfer shirt when I got the boot camp. The nightmare for me began when I climbed on the bus with all the other recruits going to Lackland Air Force Base Texas. The nightmare really began when we disembarked at the base from the bus. The multitude of drill instructors made us quite welcome.
Suffices to say it was the worst night of my life, and I would not wish it on my worst enemy.
When I got off active duty a long time later, I was lost. I put my fatigue pants on, my black combat boots bloused and ready to go, and my Air Force issue white T-shirt, and walked my bald ass down to the liquor store to buy a six-pack of Schlitz malt liquor.
As I walked it was very hard for me to acclimate to being home from active duty military. A couple hour plane I went from hard core military to the land of civilians and hippies. I had no clue what to do. Back then, everybody were longhairs. Being bald was not yet in vogue.
Thank god I did the palace chase, and went to the reserves. When I reported to my air National Guard station I felt at home again.
Believe me when I tell you that there are many many stories I can tell you here about my military experiences. But this is not the point of my story. The point of my story is that many many thousands of men and women have gone through a similar experience that I have gone through.
Some have fought in combat, been grievously injured in the service of their country. Many have not come home alive, and paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country.
Veterans Day is not just about a day off work. On this day in 2014, we still have men and women in combat in Afghanistan, advisers in Iraq, and Air Force and Navy combat pilots flying sorties against the terrorist group Isis.
I would appreciate you making a donation to a reputable veterans group today. Many veterans have come home completely fucked up. They have PTSD, or wounds, and many are not able to get jobs or fend for themselves because the economy still is not recovered completely.
The least we can do for our veterans is help them. While your sorry asses are enjoying barbecue today, many veterans put their asses on the line for you and yours.
Don’t thank me for my service, donate to other veterans for their service. They deserve it.
Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm, The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez & Associates, are real bikers helping other bikers. Unlike some other so called "fake" motorcycle accident attorney's who do not ride motorcycles, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. actually rides a motorcycle.
We are experts in dealing with motorcycle accident cases.
We handle motorcycle accident cases, motorcycle passenger injury accidents, and other personal injury cases all over the State of California. We are real bikers and motorcycle riders who represent bikers and motorcycle riders who have suffered injuries due to motorcycle accidents and crashes. We handle Motorcycle Accidents, Motorcycle Passenger Accidents, Dangerous Conditions on public roads which cause motorcycle accidents, defective motorcycle cases, Cruiser Motorcycle Accidents, biker rights, criminal law, Car Accidents, Uninsured Motorist Claims, Wrongful Death, Torts, Cager and/or Car negligence, personal injury and Other Injury Cases. We have locations in Southern California and Northern California. We handle personal injury, and motorcycle accident cases in all over California including: Southern California, Central California, and Northern California.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or any other motor vehicle accident, you may call us 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x. 1, or submit your case online here.