If you have god forbid been injured in a motorcycle accident anywhere in California, give me a call anytime 7 days a week, 24 hours a day at 800-816-1529 x.1, to discuss your case.
I can get you medical treatment even if you do not have medical insurance,
I will send my investigators to you so you do not have to come into the office.
I will work to get your motorcycle fixed.
I will work to get you all the compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and more.
I am not some marketing scam that you have seen posting flyers all over motorcycle rallies, or biker rags nationwide. I am not “an association of lawyers” who has attorneys paying me money to advertise for them nationwide, and then farms cases out to them. I don’t pass out trinkets and goodies at motorcycle rallies to make you think that I am something I am not. I am not some generic non-riding personal injury attorney who has designed a fancy website to get you to think that they are biker lawyers, which they are not, I am a real deal biker like you. My firm and I handle the actual cases that come in. We say what we are, and are what we say, experts in motorcycle accident cases.
Read my blog below. I am an expert in motorcycle accidents. Like you I am a real biker who rides, and I am an expert in personal injury cases.
Don’t be suckered into signing up with a firm because of fancy advertising, or who do not ride motorcycles, who says they ride just to get you to sign up with them. Don’t be fooled by fancy ads. I am a top rated attorney who rides in the wind just like you.
Enjoy my articles below, there are hundreds of them!
Well here I sit at 3am on what is actually day 6 and ½, 3 blocks away from the French Quarter in the nicest RV park yet, right smack dab 3 blocks from the French Quarter, within walking distance, after having had a great evening of riding my Electra Glide and walking down Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Let me first start off by telling you that I spent last night in an RV park that was basically in swamp land in Kinder, Louisiana. When it got dark and I shined a flash light on my RV, and what seemed like hundreds of small black bugs went for the light. Many of them got into the RV. I got rid of them within 10 minutes with a piece of paper. Last night was basically spent hunkered down in the RV resting and watching Satellite TV.
Today we left Kinder and drove to New Orleans. On the ride from Kinder to New Orleans I saw the most unique part of Interstate 10 I have ever seen and what is probably one of the top human engineering marvels of all time. The Interstate is literally raised over many miles of water logged swamp land. I have never seen anything like it.
The state of Louisiana is beautiful; it is a green state with millions of trees lining Interstate 10. The foliage is so dense that you cannot even see through it. I can only imagine what it was like when Europeans first found this place.
Another huge part of the ride today was crossing some big rivers including the mighty Mississippi River. Let me tell you something, I experienced fear driving my RV over the river bridges. My rig is as high as a regular truck. At that height the guard rails do not seem like they will do much good if you crash, and in a Class A motor home, there is no room for error on a bridge like the ones I crossed today. It was an experience I will tell you that.
I have to say that the New Orleans part of our trip has been the best so far. It was hotter than hell today with humidity that I have heretofore only read about, but it was a great day.
This is my first time in the big easy. I did not expect much except the French Quarter. Boy was I wrong. There is much to see and do here. The French Quarter was off of the charts. It is something you have to experience in person. Pictures do not do it justice.
After driving all through the French Quarter and New Orleans on my Harley Davidson Electra Glide, we parked and walked the French Quarter. We found a very nice Seafood Restaurant. Now anyone that knows me knows I hate seafood except for tuna fish sandwiches and breaded fish sticks and shrimp. Last night I decided to throw caution out with the wind and have a bowl of Gumbo. Gumbo has shrimp and Crab along with other ingredients. It tasted OK. We had a very good meal after that. We were seated literally right in the window of the café, so we could see all of the traffic walking Bourbon Street as we dined.
Across the street I noticed a cigar place, and went there after our meal to get $50 worth of hand rolled Cuban cigars. (The guy rolling the cigars was Cuban) $50 worth turned out to be 5 cigars. The guy gave me a catalog so I could order when I get back home.
As we walked Bourbon Street I smoked a big cigar that cost $10. It was the best dam cigar I have ever had. As I was walking and almost finished with the cigar some guy tried to talk me into going into his bar. I explained to him that I do not drink. He told me that he did not drink either. As we shook hands the dam cigar fell out of my mouth. Anyway…………………………
All I can say is that anyone who has not been to New Orleans needs to come here. No pictures can ever do how great this town is, justice. Everyone was friendly as hell.
The only bummer is that I noticed I have a bunch of mosquito like bites on my ankles and on my arm. I just put some deet on, hopefully that will prevent any more bites.
Well I am going to get some shut eye in a few minutes. Later today I will load the Harley back on the trailer, strike camp, and head through Mississippi and Alabama into Florida. Key West here we come.
Being able to take off for a one month vacation, from a super busy law practice, for an around the nation RV vacation has always been a dream of mine. My dream is about to come true, my trip starts this Sunday, July 15, 2012.
My clients will be able to reach me on the road by dialing my number and extension, it will forward to my cell phone on the road. If I do not answer leave a message, and I will call you back as soon as I can.
I have a full mobile law office set up in my RV, with full computer access to my office. I will also do new client consultations from the road.
An Attorney never really takes a 100% off work vacation; if they do, they must not really have a lot of cases!
You may also dial my Paralegal Kathy at extension 420.
My partners, associates, support staff, and investigators will all still be available at their respective extensions. Nothing will change at the office.
At 6am on July 15, 2012, I will depart in my 35’ Class A Georgie Boy for my first destination, Key West, Florida by way of Interstate 10. My Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Custom will be my dingy in tow on a new Trinity 3 motorcycle trailer.
I also got a couple of folding 12 speed bikes to pedal around the various campgrounds I will be staying in.
Many of my friends have been following my updates about the trip on Facebook; you can find me on Facebook by clicking here.
I literally have dinner, ride, and social invitations from my many friends all over the nation. Unfortunately I cannot really commit to anything right now; the nature of my trip is that I will take each day as it comes with no pressure to do any one thing.
I am a member of various RV clubs and my plans on this trip are to play it by ear. Under no circumstances do I want to make this trip about having to reach a certain destination every day.
Instead, I will play it like the Tortoise and take it easy. I want to enjoy the drive, and enjoy each destination along the way. I want to explore our nation like I have never done, meet new people, and have a blast.
Some of the Class A only campgrounds that I have seen are unreal.
There is only one destination that I have to make it too by a certain date and that is the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The actual motorcycle rally is August 6-12, 2012. My plan is to get there for the last 2-3 days, and then spend a day or two extra exploring without all of the crowds.
Let me tell you, making my dream come true was not easy. I have worked my ass off for the past month to get my cases in order so I could take this trip.
I also had to take my RV in for some customization for the trip. It is now outfitted with state of the art in-motion satellite, Wi-Fi internet, multiple HD flat panel TV’s, multiple color and infra-red cameras, the works.
Outfitting a 35’ RV for a trip like this is almost like furnishing a new home. I had 3 shopping carts full at Wal-Mart yesterday, and there is still more to get including food.
I plan on blogging all about this trip either every day or almost every day. I will have pictures, video, helmet cam footage, the works. I want to take you all on the trip with me.
I will write short articles while on the trip because this trip is about having fun.
So there it is, I may be coming to a town near you very soon.
I have been a serious long distance motorcycle rider for many years now. You may ask what is a long distance motorcycle rider. To me a long distance motorcycle rider is someone who rides 800 or more miles on a motorcycle trip multiple times a year.
So according to my definition, even a first time rider who does a few 800 mile or more motorcycle trips per year would qualify as a long distance motorcycle rider.
I regularly do trips of 1000 miles or more like they are no big deal.
I know many guys who are bikers, and what some would consider to be hardcore bikers, that literally do nothing but bar hop on their motorcycles. To them doing 300 miles in a day is unheard of. Further, many of these guys have motorcycles that are in no way set up to do any serious mileage.
Most of these guys do not have saddle bags, and brag about how they do not need wind screens.
I am not going to knock these guys that are basically local bikers, but they really have no clue what it is like to be a long distance biker.
There are also what I call your ubiquitous trailer queens. These are guys that trailer their motorcycle to events, and then unhook them and ride at the actual event, making it appear that they rode to the event. This article not about packing up your car, it is about packing up your motorcycle.
Unless you are doing an Iron Butt Ride which is 1000 miles in a 24 hour period, (basically nonstop riding except to stop for gas and quick meals) a 1000 mile or more motorcycle trip will be a trip that is at least a 2 days or more.
I have done runs that last a week or more.
The big issue for me on long distance motorcycle trips is; what should I carry on the trip, and how should I carry what I need on the trip.
For me what to carry with on long distance motorcycle runs is almost automatic. I carry:
Small Tool Kit
1 Quart of Oil
Sunglasses, and clear night glasses
Warm weather and cold weather gloves.
Emergency Contact Form
Fine cotton cloths
Plexus windshield cleaner
And whatever else I may need.
When I go on long distance motorcycle runs at least for the past 11 years or so, Elizabeth has been with me. Therefore inevitably, I also have to carry her purse, gloves, jacket, chaps, and whatever else she might want to bring as well which always includes her makeup and cloths.
In the past when I just had a softail or regular large cruiser motorcycle and no bagger, (see the picture above, the motorcycle is packed up to the brim, with tents, chairs, and everything for a full motorcycle rally.) my solution to accommodate all of the stuff that I like to carry, was to first to buy soft saddlebags, or a locking rigid saddlebag system, install a luggage rack behind the sissy bar, and buy a T-Bag soft luggage system that sat on the luggage rack behind the sissy bar, and then secured around the sissy bar.
The locking saddlebag system, called Leatherlykes Bags, was better than soft saddle bags, because they were bigger, and I could lock the bags and walk away without worrying about being ripped off.
I used the soft T-Bag motorcycle luggage system on a couple of my motorcycles. After a few years, I switched from the T-Bags, to something called the Kuryakyn Full Dresser Bag, when they first came out. This bag had a rigid plastic shelving system in it, held more stuff then the T-Bags, and actually looked better as well. Not only that, but it had a wheel system on it like conventional luggage so when I got to a destination, I could lift it off, and wheel it in.
I used this system a few times on my FLHT Electra Glide Standard when I got her, but once I put the removable Tour Pak on; there was no room for the Full Dresser Bag.
For 6 years with the Electra Glide we would use plastic bags to fill up the side hard Harley Davidson Saddle bags, and the Tour Pak. We would also utilize the luggage rack on top of the tour pak to bungee tie our leathers as necessary.
I eventually went back to T-Bags and got a Dakota bag which is specifically designed to fit the premium luggage rack on a Harley Davidson Electra Glide Tour Pak.
The Dakota Bag is so big, that it pretty much holds everything we need. Obviously there are some items that will not fit in the Dakota, so we continue to keep small plastic bags in the hard side saddle bags.
Liz and I are talking about riding cross country this summer. I figure on a cross country run we are not going to want to have to constantly lift the Dakota Bag off everytime we stop, and we are not going to want to have to park in a place where we can see the bike everytime we stop so someone does not rip off our Dakota bag.
I can get a cargo trailer that holds anywhere from 18 cubic feet of stuff, up to 25-26 cubic feet depending upon how much I want to spend, or how big I want the trailer to be.
I would need to install a motorcycle ball hitch onto my motorcycle for the trailer to hook onto, and rig up a wiring harness for brake and signal lights on the trailer.
It looks like there are many off the shelf trailer solutions for my Harley Davidson Electra Glide.
A cargo trailer at least to me would be the optimum way to travel cross country on a motorcycle, because we can just throw everything we want to take in the trailer, plus there will be room to store souvenirs if we decide to buy any along the way.
The trailer will take away the fun of trying to cram everything into a few small spaces on the motorcycle.
Even with a full Harley Davidson Electra Glide Custom Ultra, things can get tight real quick.
On a cross country trip I want to be able to enjoy the ride and the sights, without worrying about having to wash clothes every couple of days on the road.
There are many out there that say towing a cargo trailer behind a motorcycle is dangerous. Based upon my research, it can be done safely so long as you get used to it and take it easy just like anything else.
In closing, I have found that rigid saddlebags, a nice luggage rack mounted soft or rigid motorcycle luggage system, tour paks, and cargo trailers, all will allow you to carry the things you need on a long distance motorcycle run. What you do is really up to you.
My old lady and I just completed a run up to the Reno Street Vibrations Biker Rally this past weekend.
It was around a 450 mile run each way from our home, and sure was an exercise in extreme weather riding for us Southern Californians, who are used to mild temperatures.
The route we took was from the 14 freeway to Highway 395 to the 80, and to our hotel in Reno.
The day we rode up to Reno, Friday, September 23, 2011, started out to be a mild day. The weather was calm at 5:30am when we left our home, around 75 degrees.
As we started riding north, the weather got hotter and hotter, cooled off, and then got hot again as the day went on.
You see highway 395 took us through the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, past Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in North America, up around 8,000 feet and higher, then through Carson City (Lake Tahoe is just above Carson City), and then to Reno which is basically in the Nevada Desert.
I usually wear a light long sleeve type of t-shirt on hot days to protect my skin from the sun, and blue jeans. I know I should wear an armored fabric type of jacket, and I am in the process of trying to find a good one.
My old lady also wears long sleeves, and usually always wears chaps as well.
On Friday, due to traffic conditions, an accident in a bad spot where a biker went down due to a defective road under construction, the heat, and the extreme traffic in Reno again due to construction and the fact that lane splitting is illegal in Nevada, Liz and I were totally spent by the time we got to Reno.
My new Electra Glide Ultra got so hot that it almost cooked that day.
We tried as best as we could to hydrate along the way, but I think that we over did it on Friday. We both almost suffered severe heat stroke by the time we got to Reno. We were both dizzy and sick upon arrival.
I was in such a rush to get to Reno; I ignored my basic riding principals!
In the future, I will make sure we take more breaks, hydrate more, and give ourselves more time to get to a long destination.
450 miles in one day riding two up, is a very long ride under any circumstances. In heat it can be tough.
On the way back from Reno, it was warm when we left, but soon, when we got up into the mountains, we suffered severe weather. There was lighting storms, rain, hail, and cold. Imagine going from warm to very cold in just a few miles.
I let Liz use my chaps since she left hers with a friend by mistake, I put a sweatshirt on, my leather jacket, my gauntlet gloves, and we proceeded through the severe weather.
Upon reaching Lone Pine, we stopped to get some food at the Mt. Whitney Restaurant. (A great local restaurant with damn good food.)
Lone Pine is a tourist town along the 395 which caters to people on their way to see Mt. Whitney and Yosemite.
When we walked into the restaurant to eat, we were all bundled up in leathers and more, all of the locals were in t-shirts and shorts. I took my jacket off and sure enough it was at least 80 degrees outside.
We went from warm in Reno when we left, to cold lighting storms, back to warm again, all within a 300 mile stretch.
I proceeded to take my leather jacket and gauntlet’s off again, and switch to light gloves, and then we got on the road again.
There was a 30 mile stretch after Lone Pine, just before Mohave and the 14, where I never was so afraid in my life while riding a motorcycle.
Out of no-where we hit cold, and 60-70 mile per hour wind gusts or more that literally almost knocked my bike over while we were riding.
The wind was hitting us from the side going north to south. When a gust would hit us it caused my head to jerk hard to the left. It also caused the bike to jerk violently, and I have a very heavy bike.
Liz and I had our intercom hooked up, and she was freaking out. I had to tell her to be quiet and not panic. The wind was so bad that I knew if I slowed down and tried to pull over there would be no way I could hold the bike up. I knew the wind would knock us over.
I knew the forward energy and centrifugal force of the tires turning made it safer for us to keep riding than trying to stop.
I was genuinely afraid like I have never been before in my life while riding. It was a horrible experience, especially in the pitch dark of the Mohave Desert.
When we got to a 76 truck stop in Mohave where the 14 hits the 395 we pulled over to get our bearings back. It was then that another couple pulled in on a motorcycle in a panicked state.
They were on a Harley Davidson Road Glide, they each had beanie helmets on with clear glasses on for eye protection, and they were even more panicked than we were.
The women got off of the back of her old man’s bike and literally hugged him and would not let go.
We discussed the fact that it was by the grace of god that we all made it through unscathed.
I put my leather jacket and gauntlet’s back on and we rode off watching the woman from the other bike hugging her old man like there was no tomorrow.
Moral to the story; when riding a motorcycle, be prepared for any weather.
There are few things I enjoy in life more than jumping on my Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra and riding my motorcycle on the open road, especially with my brothers.
To be frank, it really is hard for me to express how much I enjoy riding motorcycles. The good thing is that I really do not have to explain it to those of you who already ride motorcycles, because you already know what I am talking about.
One of the reasons I bring this subject up is that last Friday night, I was on my home from a gathering of motorcycle club brothers in Tehachapi, California, when I stopped in Palmdale, California for some gas.
A fat guy dressed in what appeared to me to be medical scrubs of the type that doctors and nurses wear at a hospital, made it a point to walk up to me as I was gassing up my motorcycle to say “You really should not ride motorcycles around here because of all of the illegal aliens and unlicensed drivers.”
I looked at the guy who thought he was giving me genuine advice that would make me stop riding motorcycles after 40 some years, and said “dude, life in general is dangerous, I am not going to live my life here in America, worried about getting hit by an illegal alien or an unlicensed driver. Further, life itself is a fatal illness.”
The guy gave me a puzzled look and walked away.
This guy must be out of his fucking mind thinking that I would quit riding because I was afraid of illegal aliens and unlicensed drivers.
Riding motorcycles is one of the important pleasures that I have in my life.
This guy was not giving advice to a novice. I have literally handled many motorcycle accident cases all over the State of California. Everytime I handle such a case, I think about “what if that were to happen to me.” Yes it kind of freaks you out, but then again, flu season is coming up, am I supposed to hide in my estate afraid of getting swine flu? Hell no.
There is one unalienable fact of life; those who are alive today, will someday die. You cannot live your in fear of what could happen, all you can do is just live.
I am not cavalier about riding motorcycles. I am about as safe of a rider that there is out there, although I could improve my riding attire somewhat. I am thinking about adding an armored riding suit to my repertoire.
This weekend I will be on my new motorcycle. I cannot wait to test out the intercom and the CB that came standard on my Ultra. I have installed the speakers and mic inside Liz’s helmet and mine.
I hope we all have a safe riding weekend everyone; keep both wheels on the road.
Also just a reminder, My 02 Harley Davidson Electra Glide is still for sale. She is sitting in my garage waiting for you to come pick her up. You can check it out here at http://www.galaxystorm.com/bike.
I have been riding my ass off for the past 7 weeks or so, it has been a real blast.
Now here it is Sunday June 5, 2011, and I have a free afternoon. I went into my garage to get something out of my saddlebag. I looked at my Harley Davidson Electra Glide. Then I realized, it is friggen filthy and in serious need of a good wash and wax.
When you do hard riding like my bros and I do, your motorcycle gets real dirty.
One of the all-time things I hate doing more than anything in the world is washing and waxing my motorcycle.
With my car it is simple, I drive to a car wash and I let them detail my car. With the motorcycle it is not quite simple because there are no places to get your motorcycle washed.
You would think that living in, and riding in, the most populous motorcycle area (Southern California) in the nation, some entrepreneurial person would have set up a chain of motorcycle wash shops to make it more convenient for us bikers to wash our bikes. It has not been done yet.
So guys like me are forced to wash our own motorcycles. Don’t get me wrong, I am no sissy, but I friggen hate washing and waxing motorcycles with a passion.
In the old days when I had a basic softail motorcycle or a Jap cruiser, it seemed bad enough washing and waxing the motorcycle. It got a little bit easier using the spray on/rinse off washing solutions that did not require scrubbing.
On some occasions the spray on, no scrub wash would leave dried bugs on the motorcycle, so I would have to manually scrub a bit.
However, the waxing always sucked and there was simply no way around it.
Now that I have a bagger Electra Glide, complete with hard bags and tour pak, the job has gotten much worse.
I just took a look at my motorcycle downstairs, and it is real filthy, and I sure the hell do not feel like washing and waxing her today.
I have all sorts of cleaning supplies and such in my garage.
For the present dirty condition of my motorcycle, I will use a spray on, rinse off wash system to get the major road grime off and to clean the wheels. Then I will have to hand wash the motorcycle as well because the spray on, rinse off solution will not be good enough to get all of the grime off.
I will then use a microfiber cloth to do an initial dry off. This also serves to wipe off any additional grime that the washing left behind.
I will then use a blow dryer that I bought from JP Cycles a few years back to get most of the water off of the motorcycle. Especially the parts that tend to collect water like underneath the seat, and the bottom of the V-Twin engine and such.
Once the motorcycle is completely dry, I let her sit for about a half hour to an hour just to make sure all of the water has evaporated.
I then do a complete wax. This is the most sucky party of the whole process because it takes time to get a Harley Davidson Electra Glide all shiny with no wax streaks or residue.
The whole process takes around 2 hours to do it right.
So right now I am dreading washing my motorcycle again.
When will someone open up a motorcycle wash near where I live? I would be willing to pay a decent amount of money to not have to waste another 2 hours washing and waxing my motorcycle.
Oh yes, and usually after one ride, the damm thing is dirty again…………….
Great Riding: I have been doing some great riding with my bros for the past 5 weeks or so, and this weekend was no exception. The weather has been great, which also equals great riding. I love riding my motorcycle, and there is nothing better than riding with a bunch of friends who also love riding their motorcycles. Stay tuned for some great upcoming ride reports. My ride calendar is booked solid through December. These are some beautiful times people.
Equipment malfunction: I have a Harley Davidson removable tour pak set up with a 4.25 extension kit on it. Not this weekend, but the weekend before last, I discovered that the middle two bolts of the 7 total bolts that hold the Tour Pak onto the extension kit (5 bolts hold the actual tour pak onto the extension kit, the additional two secure the extension kit to the removable tour pak bracket) sheered completely off, which left my tour pak dangerously flapping in the wind on the back 3 bolts and lock nuts. I went to the Harley dealership and found a comparable bolt and lock nut and installed them where the sheared off bolts were. Everything was great until this weekend when I rode to an event on Sunday that was in downtown Los Angeles. The streets were full of pot holes. When I got to the event I discovered that one of the front two bolts that secure the extension kit the removable tour pak bracket was gone. (It must have broken from the hard core pot holes I went over). This was a more serious situation because it meant that only 3 bolts were holding the actual extension kit to the removable bracket. If I lost the other front bolt I would have probably lost the entire tour pak off of the back. Suffices is to say I escorted my friend to his work in Burbank, then went to the Home Depot in Burbank, bought a bunch of bolts, lock-nuts, and washers, and installed one in the place where the other one broke off. Now I have a bunch of extras for the road just in case. Moral to the story, it is important to inspect your equipment before and after every ride, and make sure that you do not over tighten bolts and nuts, especially ones that are under high impact or pressure because it will cause them to snap off under certain circumstances.
It has been about 10 days since my granddaughter was born, and since I have last written an article.
Basically I have been so swamped with work, that I have not had the time to write any new articles.
Now that I have been able to come up for a breath of air (kind of) I just wanted to throw an update out to you all to let you know I am still here and thinking about you.
Now I am not going to detail the amount of work I have produced or done since my last article was written, I will just say that it was substantial.
Enough of the boring, let’s talk about motorcycles.
It has been real chilly (California chilly) where I live since winter, except for a few days here and there, although it has been steadily sunny and warming up for the past month.
Last Friday night, a few of my bros came over for a bite to eat. I tried to start my motorcycle, but it would not fire up. As a matter of fact, when I hit the starter is was completely dead.
I just installed a new battery in this thing last year, so I was kind of surprised.
I hooked up my Battery Tender (trickle charger) and at first the red light was flashing on the Battery Tender. A flashing red light on the Battery Tender indicates that the Battery Tender is not properly hooked up to the battery.
It does not take a rocket scientist to hook up a Battery Tender; there are only two connections, red (positive), and black (negative).
After screwing around with the wires for a bit I got the red light to be on steady. A steady red light means the battery is charging.
I checked the charger on Saturday morning and the red light was flashing again. However, I tried to start my Harley like on Friday night. This time the engine turned a couple of times and then clicked real fast. This indicated to me that the battery got a little charge, but it was still dead.
I re-connected the Battery Tender, and got the flashing red light again. I was starting to think that the battery was bad. However, after messing with it for a time, I got the solid red light again.
I let it charge until Sunday night at which time I finally got a solid green light which means the battery was fully charged.
Finally I was able to get my motorcycle started up. I let it warm up at idle for about 10 minutes.
I was planning on riding to the Laughlin River Run this weekend, but unfortunately I will be in Las Vegas doing depositions during the latter part of the week, and then I have to attend a biker funeral this Sunday. So there will be no Laughlin this weekend.
So for me, when it rains, it pours. Let’s just hope the rain will not prevent me from blogging more frequently!
The main reason I like riding motorcycles is the feeling I get when I open my Harley Davidson Electra Glide up on the open road.
To be frank, I enjoy riding virtually any brand, make, or model motorcycle on the open road. I just happen to presently ride an Electra Glide.
There is no real way to describe the feeling I get when I ride my motorcycle, except to say that it is it is basically like meditation, or even psychotherapy.
If I am stressed out, taking my motorcycle out for a ride will calm me down.
As for me, I am a long distance rider. This means that I put 10-20k miles or more on my motorcycle every year.
I know many guys who bar hop or event hop on their motorcycles, some just ride on the weekends; hell that is all right too. Whatever floats your boat if you know what I mean?
I really like the fact that many women are also riding their own motorcycles these days. The more riders the merrier.
All bikers and motorcyclist all basically share the same kind of experience when riding; we feel the wind on our face and body, we know what it feels like to crack the throttle on a powerful machine that we ride on and not in, and we all experience the utter freedom and thrill of riding a motorcycle on the open road. City traffic kind of sucks, but once we get on the open road, it is the ultimate.
No cager or person who does not ride will ever understand the feeling of riding a motorcycle, and what a rush it really is.
Another added benefit of being a biker and a motorcyclist is that most if not all bikers and motorcyclist are amongst the most gracious, giving, and all around cool people you are ever going to meet.
You might see a tough looking guy in leathers with a big beard, a real scary looking dude, and yet the guy will turn out to be the nicest guy you will ever meet.
Most bikers will bend over backwards to help each other in times of need, in a way no biker or motorcyclist will ordinarily ever get to experience.
I kind of feel sorry for people who do not ride motorcycles; they will never know the experience of going to a motorcycle rally and having 1000’s of instant friends.
Well it has been 40 something years since that sunny summer day in the sixties when my dad first put me on a mini-bike in the fields behind the housing development where we lived at the time.
I have ridden some form of motorcycle ever since.
I will admit that from time to time, especially when I was in my teens, and early 20’s, I was not so concerned about motorcycle safety.
Since becoming an attorney who handles motorcycle accident cases all over the State of California, and becoming a recognized expert on the subject of motorcycle safety, I figure I am really careful at least 99% of the time. The other 1% of the time I do foolish things like maybe crack the throttle and go real fast, or wear no helmet in States that have no helmet laws; stuff like that.
Well today I did a bonehead thing that could have cost me my life.
You see I have been to NBC studios twice in the last few weeks to be interviewed by an Emmy award winning news producer and her team, and to have action shots taken of me on my motorcycle. I am not going to go into any detail with regards to this piece, until it airs so don’t ask.
Today was the action shot day. So I woke up early, suited up, and rode my motorcycle to the NBC studios in Burbank. Hell I went straight to the A lot today, that is where the insiders get to park.
Anyway, back to the subject of this story. It was a real hot day today. It was in the 100’s. It was so hot that I had a gallon jug of water in my tour pak, and when I got home it was hot.
So as I left the NBC studios, the Alameda on-ramp to the 170 freeway was closed so I had to take a detour. I ended up on Lankershiem Blvd. in North Hollywood.
I got into a left hand turn lane behind a big ass truck that had multiple cars in front of it. This was on old fashioned light with no green arrow. If you are lucky two cars can turn when the thing turns yellow.
The light turns green and nothing. We did not move. It was over 100 degrees, I had long sleeves on to protect myself against the sun, and I had a full face modular helmet on.
I knew if I sat at this light another cycle, I would start to severely overheat the way I was dressed. I decided to move into a traffic lane to the right, flip a U turn, and make a quick right.
Well this is where my life almost ended. I looked in my rear view mirror, did not see anything, and then flipped into the traffic lane to the right. Just as I got into the lane, there was a friggen car right there. In other words, I cut off a car that was doing at least 35mph, on my Electra Glide. Had the guy not been paying attention, had he not hit the brakes, had I not accelerated like a bat out of hell, I would have been toast on the hot pavement.
I fucked up and I know it. When I went to flip a U turn the guy passed me and gave me a hand signal which means “what the fuck” He put his hand out the window with the palm facing up. If you saw it, you would know what it meant. Anyway………….. Right after the incident, I thanked GOD for keeping me safe. I pray that way from time to time.
I analyzed what happened on the long hot ride back home. The first fuckup was that I was in too much of a rush to flip into the lane.
We riders of motorcycles do not get second chances like I got today. I was lucky. Next time I won’t be so lucky.
I should have not relied exclusively on my mirror; I should have turned my head to make sure the coast was clear.
A simple turn of your head can save your life.
The second thing I realized was that even though I feel that a full face helmet is the way to go for safety, it has an inherent flaw; it takes away your peripheral vision. Had I not had a helmet on, I may have seen the car. Then again, if the car had taken me out, I would have rather had the helmet on.
What lessen did I learn today that I am passing on to you; turn your head when changing lanes, don’t just rely on mirrors, turn your head, and take your time.
Yes it may be a little hot, or you may have to wait at a light in 100 degree weather. However, this inconvenience is better than ending up frying on the pavement in a pool of blood.
See below for a video demonstrating how the mufflers sound.
Many of my friends have aftermarket exhaust systems on their motorcycles which sound great and are not too obnoxious. Some have exhausts which are so obnoxious, that they would cause strain on long rides.
Through the years I have tried many different types of mufflers on many different types of motorcycles.
For about 5 years, I have run Screaming Eagle slip on mufflers on my Harley Davidson Electra Glide, with a stage 1 setup on my carb. and air filter. It is basically a Screaming Eagle stage 1 setup. Other than that, I am running a stock Harley Davidson 88 c.i. Twincam engine.
My right muffler developed bluing where the head pipe met the slip on muffler, very soon after I put the Screaming Eagle mufflers on the motorcycle.
I recently decided to try out some new slip on mufflers. My criterion was that I wanted my mufflers to have some bark, but not be too obnoxious.
As I have said many times before, I am a Biker Lawyer and Attorney, not a mechanic.
In the past, I have had my slip-on’s put on by the dealer. However, now there are many dealers who will not install slip-on’s due to E.P.A. regulations.
I almost pulled the trigger on some slip-on’s at the Laughlin River Run, but they were gouging the prices a bit, plus I did not want to wait any longer than I had already waited to get repairs done to my motorcycle.
After doing research on the internet, including watching some YouTube videos of guys installing slip-on’s, I decided that I could do the install myself this time which would save both time and money.
Some guys are running mufflers with no baffles. This is not only obnoxious and loud as hell, it is illegal. Further, unless you have some serious engine modifications, and/or carb. jetting, or fuel injector mapping modifications, running with no baffles will make your engine run too lean, and can burn your engine out.
Read the rest of the review below the video.
On top of that running open pipes without mods. will actually decrease your power output.
Baffles are encasing’s in the mufflers which decrease or muffle the sound of your exhaust/motorcycle. The smaller the baffle diameter, the less sound that is supposed to come out of the muffler.
Conversely, the smaller the baffle diameter in the muffler, the less exhaust flow you will have through the muffler, and the less power you will get out of your motorcycle engine.
Although in the past, I would just buy a set of mufflers for my other motorcycles, and just go with whatever I bought, this time, I decided to do a significant amount of research on the internet to determine which set of mufflers I would put on my Electra Glide.
One thing I have learned with Harley Davidson’s as opposed to other types of cruiser motorcycles is that you have a huge selection of options. Further, the sky is the limit as to how much money you can spend as well.
There are slip on mufflers out there such as the Vance & Hine wide ovals that run around $700.00, or you can get a set of LaRosa Design mufflers on EBay for $99.00.
It is reported that each of the above mufflers sound great.
After doing a bunch of research, I decided the best bet would be to get some muffles on eBay, because I could save money on used mufflers, and if I did not like the mufflers I could simply sell them again without taking a loss.
I also did not want to spend $400-600 dollars on new mufflers that could be a hit or miss with respect to being too loud, or that had an exhaust note that I did not like.
Many guys on the internet forums recommended Rush Mufflers as being a good sounding muffler, and not too expensive. I also read good things about LaRosa Design Mufflers, which were also supposed to have a great sound at a low price.
I decided to buy a set of Rush Mufflers with 2 inch baffles, and a set of LaRosa Design Mufflers with 1 7/8 baffles to test out.
I saw many guys bidding away on almost the exact mufflers in other auctions. Hell some guys were paying about $300.00 for the same used mufflers in other auctions. I just got lucky in my auction. The secret was to go with someone who was not too savvy with their auction design on eBay so that it was not too flashy!
Another excellent feature of these mufflers is that the Rush mufflers feature removable baffles, and you can buy different size baffles from them at their website here. I am running the 2 inch baffles. If I want to quiet it down a bit I can buy smaller diameter baffles.
The baffles can be removed and replaced with one bolt on the bottom.
When I received the mufflers you could tell they were used by looking inside of the pipes and seeing the grit, but the Chrome on the outside was in surprisingly good condition, they were basically new. The mufflers were heavy duty, and actually heavier than the Screaming Eagles. They appear to be longer than the Screaming Eagle mufflers as well, and protrude further out of the back than my Screaming Eagles did.
Now I could see why the guys on the forums were recommending them, these are top quality mufflers for a better price. But did they sound good?
The slash-up design fits the taper and shape of the back of the Harley Davidson hard saddlebags, I like the look. My Screaming Eagles were slash downs.
The install was kind of a bitch to say the least.
The easy part was removing the hard saddlebags on each side to get to the mufflers, which I did.
I decided that the install would be easier if I removed the heat shields on each side, so that is what I did, I removed the right and left heat shields which butt up next to the mufflers for easier access.
I then unbolted the muffler on the right hand side from the clamp at the head pipe, and the two bolts below the saddlebag bar, no problem.
I then tried removing the Screaming Eagle muffler on the right hand side; it would not budge. I tried twisting and pulling, it would not budge; it was stuck on real good. This is the muffler that blued so I was worried that the damm thing was welded on to the head pipe.
I decided to take a break and do the left side pipe. This one came off easy.
After trying everything to get the muffler off and failing, I in the end, went to Home Depot, and purchased a strap wrench to get the right muffler off. It worked like a charm, but I still had to use some heavy elbow grease. It finally came off.
The strap wrench is basically a rubber strap that wraps around the muffler and attaches to a special handle which allows you to get rotational torque around the muffler without damaging or scratching the chrome.
The install of the left muffler was no problem at all, it slipped right on; the right muffler did not seem to fit. It would not slip on!
Hell, I had my wife hold the front of the motorcycle, as I tried to force the muffler onto the head pipe. I sprayed WD-40 and Silicon lubricant onto the damm thing, but it was a no go. The muffler simply would not fit onto the head pipe. I pushed and twisted so hard, I was worried that I would damage the head pipe or the connection between the head pipe and the cylinder.
I went on the forums to see if I could find a solution. As usual there were many good solutions from buying a tool to expand the muffler pipe, to using other creative methods.
I decided that the best solution would be to take the muffler to an automotive muffler shop the next day, and have them expand the muffler pipe where it slips onto the head pipe.
I found a place close by. They charged me $10 bucks to expand the muffler pipe. This solution was cheaper and faster than buying a tool to do it, and it took no time whatsoever other than driving down there.
When in doubt, use professionals who know what they are doing.
I decided to run by the Harley dealership to buy a new muffler clamp for the right side as well. These are supposed to be single use items. They only had one left. I reused my old clamp on the left hand side and have no problems with it.
When I got home the muffler slipped on very easily, probably too easily. I was worried that the muffler guy may have expanded the muffler pipe too much.
My worries were unfounded. Once I tightened up the clamps and bolts on the slip-on’s, and checked very carefully, everything was great, with no apparent leaks.
After I started my Electra Glide, I first felt that the mufflers kind of sounded like my Screaming Eagles or just a tad deeper and louder.
When I did my ubiquitous test ride down my block with no helmet on, it sounded a bit louder and deeper. However, when I got back in the garage, my wife said they were much louder and deeper. I could not tell.
However, I then went on two day riding binge and discovered that these pipes are much louder and deeper than the Screaming Eagles, no doubt about that. I am quite satisfied.
Hell with ear plugs in; my ears were ringing pretty well after the two day jaunt. I do have tinnitus or ringing in my ears that gets worse at times with loud sounds.
I have decided to keep the Rush slip-on’s, and to sell the LaRosa mufflers that I purchased brand new without installing them. Why play around if I am satisfied.
As of right now I have a pair of stock mufflers, a pair of Screaming Eagles, and the LaRosa’s.
I give the Rush slip-on mufflers a big thumbs up and would recommend them above all.
I am a long distance motorcycle rider. This summer I am not only planning on riding to the Sturgis motorcycle rally which is a 2700 mile round trip plus ride, I am also planning on doing other rides, not to mention the 2000 miles I have already put on in the last couple of months. I wanted a state of the art stereo on my motorcycle with built in MP3 for my music collection, a built in High Definition receiver, and the ability to have built in Satellite reception for when I am in the middle of no where. I want to listen to CNN in the middle of the Western Desert!
In 2005 I switched to a Harley Davidson Electra Glide motorcycle from a traditional cruiser motorcycle. Before 2005, I had never ridden with a stereo system built into a motorcycle before, hell a windscreen was luxury to me back then. Since 2005, I have become spoiled. I will probably always ride baggers from here on out. Once you get used to luxury it is hard to turn back.
My Harley Davidson Electra Glide came with the Harley Davidson Advanced Sound system installed in the bat wing fairing, which in of itself has done its job quite well over the last 5 years, but the technology is outdated, even on the new units.
On my unit, there was a built in CD player, minimal AM/FM presets, built in weather band, and a sensor which increased volume as I would increase speed on the motorcycle. There was also an auxiliary input which allowed me to plug in an external MP3 player so I could listen to my music collection. The system worked with my OEM hand controls so that I could virtually control the entire stereo via my OEM handlebar mounted hand controls on the Electra Glide. The unit is great, but it is old technology. If all you want is a standard CD, a few AM/FM presets, and weather band, this unit is perfect for you. I am a tech geek, I wanted more!
Over the years I have plugged in an I-Pod, a smaller MP3 player, and I have also used my Garmin GPS to serve music to the Harley Davidson Advanced Sound System via a cable plugged from the device to the auxiliary input of the Harley Davidson Advanced Sound System. It worked, but to be frank, there was no real control of the tunes being played unless I dangerously tried to skip tracks while I was riding because the external device was controlling what was being played rather than the head unit. There were issues with the volume of my MP3 device having to be cranked up to full volume to sound good through the auxiliary input, and each device sounded different through the stock stereo.
Furthermore, the cable plugged in from my GPS, or a device in my pocket looked like crap, it flutters in the wind, and the quality of having an external connection is not as good as it could be. Not only that, but everytime I got off the motorcycle, I would have to unplug my external MP3 player, turn off the external MP3 Players, etc. If the battery wore out on my external MP3 Player, I was shit out of luck. Lately using the GPS solved many of the problems, but I had no real control of the tunes being served to the Harley Davidson Advanced Sound System. When I got back on the motorcycle, I would have to plug everything back in, and start the MP3 player before I started riding, a real hassle; I am sure you get the picture, because many of you are doing this right now!
For short trips, rather than plugging in my external MP3 player, I used one of my home burned CD’s in the OEM system, which I have probably listened to over a 100 times now. It gets old if you know what I mean.
Let’s face it, with MP3, standard CD’s are obsolete, even CD units which read MP3’s, and other digital formats are obsolete because you can only fit so much on a disk, and most of these units have a limit as to how many tracks can be on a disk even if you buy the more expensive DVD format units.
Modern technology allows you to literally have every song ever made on one thumb drive, or standard USB disk drive now. There is no reason to ever have to switch CD’s anymore. Most of you including me don’t have every song ever made on disk, but my collection is almost 4GB and growing weekly.
There was an MP3 option for the Harley Davidson Advanced Sound System, but it is an external unit that mounts to the handlebars and it is ridiculously expensive for what they give you. Plus you are severely limited to memory on Harley Davidsons MP3 option. On top of that, the new Harley Davidson Advanced Sound Systems need to be programmed at the dealer. If the unit goes dead, it can only be revived by a dealer reprogramming it. How much would that cost everytime? No thanks, I love Harley Davidson, but the reason I am upgrading is to go state of the art. Their solution is not state of the art.
The Biketronics Article and Review Continues below the two videos.
One good thing about the Harley Davidson Unit is that it was as reliable as a beast. It is basically waterproof. I have ridden through rain storms, and washed my motorcycle many times, and the stereo kept working no problem.
Well recently, I decided to upgrade my stereo to an aftermarket non OEM stereo so that I could have modern electronics on my motorcycle the way I wanted it, and not the way Harley Davidson wanted it.
My first dilemma was to find a stereo system (head unit) that would work with the existing hand controls on my Harley Davidson Electra Glide, and that would mount in the faring without having to modify the OEM wiring. I wanted a plug and play solution.
In December 2009, I took a little ride to Las Vegas. I was supposed to meet up with some friends along the way, but I ended up not meeting up with them until we got to Nevada.
Now I know some of you cannot ride in December due to snow and weather. Well here on the South West Coast we basically have year round riding. The below video proves it.
For me as a true Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Accident Attorney, just give me an excuse to ride and I will be there. Unlike some other poser attorney’s out there claiming that they are “Motorcycle Attorney’s.” I am the real deal.
I have literally met up with hundreds if not thousands of Bikers and Motorcyclist from all over the United States and Europe. I love riding my motorcycle just like you do.
I love riding my motorcycle to Las Vegas, Nevada. Not necessarily because I like going to Las Vegas, but I flat out like to ride my motorcycle, and Las Vegas is another excuse to ride.
I shot this video during a ride to Las Vegas in December 2009. Some of the video was shot while riding my Electra Glide, with me holding my HD camcorder in my left hand, while holding the handlebar and throttle with my right hand.
Toward the end of the video, I took some video of me riding with my friends in a pack. This video is unique in that you can get in the saddle with me and see what it is like ride an Electra Glide solo and in a pack.
I am planning on taking many more videos of my rides in the future.
Well the title says it all, my wife and I owe our lives to god after this years Laughlin River Run. I will explain below.
If you did not know it, it is said that the Laughlin River Run is the largest motorcycle rally in the western United States, and some people say that it is the second largest motorcycle rally in the nation next to Sturgis. It is a great time.
You can read an article I wrote about a previous Laughlin River Run that I did by clicking here.
This year’s run began when we packed up my Harley Davidson Electra Glide to go to the Laughlin River Run 2010 on Friday, April 23, 2010.
Since I had to be in Court early Friday morning in Victorville, CA, we could not leave for the Laughlin River Run until Friday afternoon. Many of my friends left on the Thursday, the day before, but I could not go with them because I had to be in Court.
Therefore my wife and I planned on riding alone to Laughlin. By the time I did my pre-ride routine, and we got the motorcycle all packed up, it was very late. We did not get out of dodge until around 7pm; it was already dusk. I had to make a couple of stops along the way before we got on the road. Read the rest of the article below the videos.
By the time we hit the Pearblossom Highway, it was almost dark. We made good time to Victorville and onto the I-15 east. We stopped at Denny’s in Barstow and had dinner because we knew we would not get into Laughlin until around 1am or so according to the GPS.
Once back on the road we made good time from the I-15 to the I-40 split. If any of you have ridden on the I-40 between Barstow and Needles, you know that this is amongst the most isolated and desolate places in the United States. This is the Mohave Desert and there is nothing there except Rattlesnakes, Scorpions, and a couple of gas stations along the way.
Living in Southern California we are blessed with year round riding. However, when April comes along there are several west coast biker rallies that take place every year. The Yuma Prison Run is one of those rallies. This is my review of this years rally.
This year the Yuma Prison Run was scheduled for the weekend of April 16-18, 2010. You can check out the Yuma Prison Run website by clicking here now.
The Yuma Prison Run is put on by the Norwalk Motorcycle Club, and has been an ongoing charity event since 1961; two years before I was born! The run is in Yuma, Arizona, and is located at the Yuma County Fair.
I decided to ride to this rally months ago. The rally location is approximately 300 miles from my home one way, or around 600 miles round trip, not including the miles I put on at or near the event once I get there. I consider this to be a medium distance sleepover run.
If any of you have read my blog, you will see many articles where I mention my fiancé. Well since we got married on January 31, 2010, she will now be referred to as my wife. I am still getting used to saying it! We have been together for 9 years, but wife is a new term in my life.
As usual, I started getting anxious and excited the night before we took off for the rally. I have been riding for many years, but it does not matter. Any of you who ride like I do know exactly what I am talking about; biker rallies are analogous to going to an amusement park when you are a kid.
There are not too many things that adults can look forward to that are fun and exciting like a good old fashioned biker rally. Unlike vacation travel, riding to a biker rally is different. It involves physically getting on your motorcycle and riding to and from the event. It is a much more involved and physical experience than just jumping on a plane and going somewhere. I am not going to even mention the ubiquitous trailer queens who don’t actually ride to an event; they are not worth mentioning!
My wife and I packed up my Harley Davidson Electra Glide on the Thursday before the Yuma Prison Run. The Harley Davidson hard saddle bags and tour pak really makes it much easier to pack up and go then in the past where I have had to squeeze everything for two into special motorcycle travel luggage. (Which I still have)
Since this is a 3 day, 2 night rally we try to pack as light as possible. As usual, I had reservations at one of the two Motel 6’s in town. Motel 6 is set up with laundry rooms, so worst case scenario; you can wash your clothes if you have to. What this means is that you do not have to pack as many clothes, which saves room on the motorcycle.
Hell if you are like me and are toting along your wife, you will need the extra room, because she will use it up 🙂
Basically we had the motorcycle mostly packed up on Thursday night, the day before we left.
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