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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.
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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 have been riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles for quite some time, off and on, for over 30 years. My last bike was a 2008, Harley-Davidson Electra glide Ultra – Classic,
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.
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.
Visibility is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to the hazards of riding a motorcycle, however a new product introduced at the Consumer Technology Association (CES) 2017 promises to solve that problem while adding even more passive features.
For the first time, there is now a smart helmet accessory that provides the first wearable brake light linked to smartphone application.
Developed by a French startup that are experts in the development of interconnected objects for motorcycle safety, it is called the Cosmo Connected.
The device has a straightforward as well as clever design, which can fit on all kinds of helmets using an adhesive and a special clip-on support so that you’re able to attach it to your helmet, and conveniently remove it if not required, it can also be worn on an additional helmet.
The Cosmo Connected emits a red signal light at visual eye level towards the driver of the vehicle behind the biker for additional visibility while braking. When not decelerating, the device continues to flash so the rider can be seen.
The braking light will switch itself on even when slowing down without having utilizing the brakes. We all know how dangerous it is when we downshift on our motorcycles when there are cars behind us, because even though we are slowing down by using engine braking, there is no brake light. Maybe in the future motorcycle manufacturers will design the brake light on a motorcycle to come on during deceleration, this is a critical feature.
Produced from durable plastic to withstand all-weather conditions, the gadget weighs in at no more than 200 grams and is designed to easily detach from the helmet in case of an accident.
On the subject of accidents, the Cosmo Connected will through your smart phone app call rescue personnel within 3 minutes, giving them the emergency alert plus, the GPS coordinates from the rider’s location, as well as the rider’s health profile. As a possible option, the app can be set-to alert friends or family in case of accident as well.
This device will have the ability to hook up with your smartphone through Bluetooth and will give low-power notifications once it is time to recharge the battery. If all works out, the Cosmo Connected will be on sale as of May 2017.
Below is an advertisement video from the company.
As a longtime motorcycle rider who rides thousands of miles per year, if this device is a simple and inexpensive as I think it will be, I will be the 1st one to buy this device and attach it to my helmet. Even with a ½ helmet, or a beanie helmet, this device could not hurt at night.
I am excited about some of the new things I’m seeing on the motorcycle market these days.
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.
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.
I have created a series of videos to help people wrench on their Harley Davidson motorcycles. The below video discusses not only how to get to the fuse panel on your Harley Davidson Electra glide motorcycle, it also teaches you how to remove your hard saddlebags, how to remove your seat, and how to put it all back together again.
I realize that I am I California motorcycle accident lawyer, but like all bikers I love to wrench on my motorcycle.
I hope you enjoy the below video, and I’m sure it’ll help many people who don’t blow to get to their fuse box, or how to remove their hard saddlebag, or how to remove their seat, to do so with ease.
I would like to wish you on behalf of myself and the Biker Law Blog a happy Independence Day for the year 2014.
On this day in the year 1776, a group of liberal radicals declared their independence from the English Empire, which was a treasonous act punishable by death.
In 1776, the English Empire was the greatest empire on earth.
The people of the American colonies wanted a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. They revolted against England because they had no representation in the English Parliament, and although they paid taxes, they were treated with disdain by England.
Then, as it is now, men have stood up and beared arms for the United States of America, and for the principles on which it stands.
Today is more than just a day for playing grab ass with the family, barbecuing, watching parades, and watching fireworks. Today is a celebration of our nation’s freedom and independence.
If you take a look at all the craziness around the world, especially the Middle East, and the Ukraine, you get a little taste of what it might be like for us if we do not stand strong as united nation.
As you watch the fireworks tonight, maybe reflect on how lucky we are to live in the United States of America.
When I left Hardin, Montana, on August 13, 2014, I drove my motorhome, with my Harley-Davidson Electra glide in my enclosed trailer in tow, to Cody, Wyoming.
Due to road construction, and the fact that part of this trip was through mountain roads, the trip took me approximately 3 to 4 hours. It was a good ride, and I was looking forward to getting to Cody Wyoming.
When I got to Cody, Wyoming, it was like seeing an old friend again. This trip marked my second year in a row coming to Cody, Wyoming, to ride the Yellowstone national park on my Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
This time around I selected an RV Park which was closer to the center of Cody Wyoming, whereas last year, I stayed in RV Park on the north end of Cody.
I stopped in the local Walmart, to get a few supplies, and headed to the RV Park. By the time I checked in, got parked, removed my motorcycle from the trailer, and set up camp, it was starting to get dark, and the sky was overcast.
I got my portable barbecue from the basement the motorhome, fired it up, and made some burgers and hot dogs on the grill.
It was with great anticipation that I ate, thinking about the great ride to Yellowstone national park I was going to make the next day. Although I intended to go to the rodeo that they have every night and Cody, Wyoming, that evening, instead, I opted after dinner to kick back in the motorhome and watch movies. By this time in my trip, I was burnt out to say the least.
The next morning on August 14, 2014, I saddled up on my Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic, and rode through Cody, Wyoming, which is a Wild West town whose sole existence relies on the tourist the travel to Yellowstone national forest each summer.
I stopped and got some gas, and proceeded to start my 70 mile ride north to the south gate of the Yellowstone national forest. Unlike last year, where I rode with my now ex-wife in cold cloudy rainy weather, this year the ride was sunny and nice.
Although there were some ominous clouds in the sky, by the time I got to Yellowstone they were all but gone.
The ride north of the main highway from Cody to Yellowstone is an awesome, awe-inspiring ride which words cannot describe. There were beautiful mountains, rivers, rock faces, the kind of scenery that makes you want to cry it’s so beautiful. This type of scenery, makes you know that there is a God, because only God can create such beauty.
The ride from Cody to Yellowstone National Park is an event all by itself let alone the actual ride through the Yellowstone National Park. It was awesome.
When I finally got to the Yellowstone National Park south entrance, I waited my turn to pay the entrance fee to the Park. When it was my turn to pay the fee to get into the park, I paid my fee, then hit the restroom at the entrance.
At this point I was very excited to be back at the Yellowstone national forest.
I entered the park, and had one hell of a great ride. For the heck of it, I stopped at the same Lake that I stopped at the year before with my ex-wife. This time however, it was nice and sunny, and I got some great pictures.
There were a lot of cars on the road this time around. As usual, there are your ubiquitous what I call Sunday drivers, who drive slower than the speed limit, and block everybody in behind them. It was with great pleasure, that I passed the Sunday drivers when I got the chance.
Yellowstone has some of the greatest riding in the world. As you can see from the pictures throughout this article, and my ride video below, it is awesome.
A few years back there was a massive forest fire in Yellowstone national forest. Much of the vegetation is been burned in many parts of the park. I am quite positive that the Park was much more beautiful before the forest fire that it is right now because the vegetation is burned, however it is still beautiful.
I rode over the Continental divide, and to Old Faithful, where I along with many other tourist enjoyed the geyser.
I actually rode so many miles in the park that I lost track of time, and suddenly it was late in the afternoon. I knew that I had at least an hour ride to get out of the park, and then another hour to get back to Cody. Further, the entire ride consists of twisties through beautiful mountain ranges.
It was with great trepidation, I began the journey from Old Faithful, to the south entrance of the park. Many of the tourists actually camp within Yellowstone National Park, so the ride out of the park at this time in the afternoon was really easy. As a matter of fact, there were no other cars on the road it was kind of odd.
I stopped to get gas at the last gas station, and the last stop before you ride to the south park entrance.
There I met a couple other or motorcycle riders who were on Harley-Davidson’s, they were surprised that I intended to ride out of the park at this time in the afternoon. They were staying in the park.
Let me tell you, I’ve ridden all over the country, at all times of the day and evening. Unless it is snowing, or pouring rain, I have no fear of riding at any time whether it be day or night.
I knew it would be a hard ride back to Cody, but I was looking forward to it.
As a left the gas station a few miles down the road, there were Buffalo smack dab in the middle of the road. As you can see from the first picture in this article, a bull Buffalo basically stared me down for a couple of minutes.
Now I will admit, on the straightaway leading up to where the Buffalo was standing, I opened my bike up. I must have been doing at least 100 miles an hour. At that speed, you have to have your shit together.
When I saw the Buffalo, I basically locked my breaks up, that’s how fast I was going, and that’s how fast the Buffalo appeared. My heart was beating rapidly to say the least. I stopped in time luckily.
It was an ass puckering moment in time that only bikers know.
There is nothing more exciting than having a huge bull Buffalo that probably weighs a ton or more staring you down while you are sitting on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
I had nowhere to go, he was blocking the road. There was no way to safely turn around.
My plan if the beast decided to charge me, was to drop the bike and run like hell. If you know anything about Buffalo, you know full well that these things Buck each other head-on during mating season, and can run a hell lot faster than I can.
Basically, I was worried that the beast would mistake my motorcycle, for another Buffalo and try to buck me. I was screwed.
I stood my ground and did not move. The Buffalo just stared at me.
Take a look at the picture how would you react? In a car you’re protected, on a motorcycle you’re screwed.
Thank goodness the Buffalo lost interests after a while, and moved on. As soon as he moved on I moved on.
As I was riding the twisties out of the park, I contemplated my close call with the Buffalo both as I speeded up towards him and locked up my brakes at high speed to avoid hitting him, and as he stared me down.
I knew I was lucky to have made it out of there without either hitting the Buffalo, or having him hit me.
Sundown was fast approaching, as I was leaving the park, about 20 miles from the south entrance, I came upon a grand Valley, and Canyon. You can literally look down thousands of feet and see the most beautiful valley that you have ever seen in your life. I must stress that there was no other cars on the road, I owned the road. I finally got to a steep Canyon Road at around 8000 feet elevation, and parked my bike on the side of a steep cliff to get a couple of pictures.
The beauty was just so unbelievable, that it makes you want to go back year after year. I knew that I would not see this site again for another year and I took it in before finally doing the final ride back to Cody.
I was still in Yellowstone National Park.
At this time I unleashed my leather jacket from the saddlebags, and got ready for the 70+ mile ride back to Cody Wyoming.
I took it easy on the ride back to Cody, and just took it all the sites, and really enjoyed the ride. I love Wyoming.
When I got back to Cody, it was already dark. I passed the rodeo on the way in. I could hear the announcer, and see the tourists at the rodeo. I had a long day in the saddle, and I was very tired.
When I got back to the RV Park, I fired up my grill and made some burgers. I met a couple of people at the RV Park who were going to ride the Yellowstone national forest the next day.
After saying good night, I went into the RV, and watched a movie, knowing that the next day I would be headed towards Las Vegas, and ultimately home in a few days.
The next day I struck camp and began the long journey home.
I’m looking forward to riding Yellowstone national forest again in about 45 days.
Check out some of my ride video below, which includes GoPro footage taken from my motorcycle while riding the Yellowstone National Park in August, 2013.
The venerable Harley-Davidson has announced a new line of motorcycles, and an electric motorcycle, which are not only exciting, but show the Harley-Davidson is finally going after their Japanese competition, and not just sticking to tried-and-true things.
The electric motorcycle, is actually a prototype, which actually is their first attempts to build electric bike for mass production. It is called project LiveWire, and although the bikes that will be introduced next week are not for sale presently, they will be going on tour nationwide at dealerships, and will be available for test rides.
These motorcycles can go up to 92 miles an hour, however they would probably go faster if they weren’t electronically limited to that speed limit by Harley-Davidson. The motorcycles are said to be able to go 53 miles on one charge.
Let me tell you for most commutes, that type of range would be right on target.
Harley-Davidson’s new lineup of small cc Street motorcycles are geared towards the urban market, where bigger engines are not needed, whereas more nimble and smaller motorcycles are.
It is good to see Harley-Davidson finally being an innovator.
Soon, I will write about my trip to Cody Wyoming, and the Yellowstone National Park in August 2013. I’m a little late writing these articles, because it is been a very hectic year.
When I left Sturgis, SD on August 11, 2013, it was late in the afternoon. I was in my 35 foot class A motorhome, with my enclosed custom motorcycle trailer, and Harley-Davidson in tow.
I was excited about the trip I was about to take, but I was a little bummed out when leaving Sturgis SD, because the motorcycle rally had ended, and I had such a great time, I did not want to see it end.
By my calculations, the trip to Hardin, Montana would only take about two hours. As it turned out, my calculations were a bit off.
On the way in to Hardin, Montana, I stopped at a Walmart and stocked up on supplies. I also stopped and filled up the RV with gas.
My trip from Huntington Beach, California, to Sturgis, SD, to Hardin, Montana, and to Cody, Wyoming, cost about $1300 in gas, not including all the gas I put into my motorcycle in the thousand plus miles I rode while on this trip. Unfortunately, motorhomes eat gas like Carter eats pills.
Although I thought I would get to Hardin, Montana while the sun was still out, it started to get dark while I was in Indian country. The trip from Sturgis, SD to Hardin, Montana takes you through beautiful country, and a couple of Indian reservations. I could feel the history as I drove from Sturgis to Hardin.
As I was driving my motorhome, I could sense that I was entering a historic place. I had the same feeling when I toured the Gettysburg national battlefield in 2012.
I arrived at the RV Park in Hardin, Montana, in the evening, at around 10 PM. On the way in I passed the Little Big Horn National Battlefield Monument, but because it was dark, I could not really see anything.
The lady at the RV Park gave me a pull through space which is easy to get in to and set up in with the motorhome. Since it was on a gravel pad, I know I would have to be very careful taking my motorcycle off of the trailer in the morning.
In the morning when I woke up, I prepared to go to the Little Bighorn National Battlefield. I had a quick breakfast in my RV, and some coffee. I quickly took my motorcycle out of my enclosed motorcycle trailer.
The battlefield was only about 10 miles from the RV Park up the interstate.
I rode hard and fast, like I love to do, to get there. I did not wear a helmet in South Dakota, or Montana.
During the day, it started to become quite warm.
Outside of the Little Bighorn National Battlefield Monument, there is a gas station on the Crow Indian reservation. I stopped there to fill up my motorcycle. The reason I’m mentioning this gas station, is because the potholes in the surface of the gas station were so bad, and I had to be real careful so that I did not drop the motorcycle.
It’s not something you want a ride a motorcycle on too slowly because you will drop it.
There were some Native Americans with a small tractor working on the road outside. I knew I was on an Indian reservation, and I could feel that I was in a historic place.
Directly across the street and up the road just a bit from the gas station, is the entrance to the Little Bighorn National Battlefield Monument. When you pull into the entrance, you have to drive up a ways to get to the actual visitor center below the main battlefield cemetery, and monument.
I did not know, but the Little Bighorn National Battlefield Monument, stretched on for miles, and even through private property. It was a much better experience than I expected.
When I initially got in, I parked my motorcycle at the visitor center. I noticed the park rangers were giving a talk to a bunch of visitors at the visitor center. It looked like a scheduled class in a way. There were at least 100 people at the visitor center.
I decided to walk up the road to the main resting place of General Custer on Last Stand Hill.
You cannot help but see those famous graves as you walk up the hill.
I walked around and got many pictures and video which can see in this article and below, of my experience at the Little Bighorn.
After touring this area above Last Stand Hill, I went and got my motorcycle and rode back up to this area again on the top of the hill.
After taking in the sights, and trying to imagine what it what it must have been like for those doomed men as they were slaughtered many moons ago, I got on my Harley-Davidson and rode very slowly South through the battlefield.
As with my tour of the Gettysburg national battlefield, my tour of the Little Bighorn National Battlefield Monument would not even be close to the same in a car; you must do this type of tour on a motorcycle.
Considering the fact that this battle was mostly on horseback, except for the parts of it where the 7th Calvary, and the Indians dismounted, it is only right to tour it either on horseback or on an iron horse, a motorcycle.
As you go further south on the road, there are grave markers scattered all over the battlefield. There are also signs and placards showing significant places throughout the battlefield.
There are wild horses scattered throughout the battlefield monument.
On a couple of occasions I had to be real careful, because the horses were crossing the road right in front of me, and then right next to me, and there was no fence to keep a them away. I did not want to spook these guys. Check out my GoPro video footage of my ride through the Little Bighorn National Battlefield Monument below.
Throughout most of my tour of the battlefield, or at least this part of the battlefield, I owned the place. I guess most of the tourist stayed at the visitor center. There was one couple in a small RV that pretty much stayed near me the entire time and at each stop miles down the road, you can see them and their motorhome in some of my video below. I did some very slow riding through the battlefield monument. I was in no rush, I wanted to take it all in.
Throughout my tour of Little Bighorn National Battlefield Monument, I tried to imagine what it must have been like the men of the 7th Calvary.
I not only took still pictures, I also took some GoPro video from my handlebars, and some handheld video with my camcorder.
When I got back to the visitor center after riding the Little Bighorn National Battlefield Monument, I parked my motorcycle near the visitor center, grabbed a cigar, and went to listen to the class that the park ranger was giving to another group of tourist.
The park rangers described in graphic detail, how General Custer, his brother, and his men were slaughtered by the Indians during the battle. These guys were basically butchered. You Can’t really blame the Indians, to them General Custer and his men were an invading army, and the Indians who were present at the Little Big Horn had their family and children with them on site, to them it was a life or death fight against an invading army.
There was about 3,000 Braves on horseback, against a couple hundred seventh Calvary men on horseback.
General Custer did not really know what he was riding into when he approached the Little Big Horn. I think it is safe to assume he thought it was just an ordinary Indian village.
When he crested the bluffs, and got real close, he must’ve then realized, the bad situation he put himself into by splitting his troops up. He tried to send a messenger back to Reno but by this time it was way too late, he was already doomed and he did not even know it.
After hearing the park rangers give their speech about the battle, I went into the main cemetery, sat on a bench where you can perfectly see Custer’s grave along with his other men’s graves, and had a fine cigar. I took it all in.
After I finished my cigar, I walked back up to my Harley-Davidson. I saw that there was a bunch of other motorcycles there as well. I said hello to all the other bikers, and introduced myself.
I then mounted my motorcycle, to go find somewhere to eat. In this part of Montana, there is literally nothing around. Hardin is the biggest town close by, and it is tiny.
There are no restaurants anywhere near the battlefield monument, so I jumped on interstate to head back to Hardin where I was camped out, because I saw some what I thought were restaurants there, on the way to the battlefield.
When I got to Hardin, there really wasn’t much of a selection. There was a fast food restaurant, so I decided to ride through town to see if I can find anything else. This was a tiny town to say the least. I saw a sign that said Chinese buffet, so I decided to go in.
When I got inside the Chinese buffet, there was no air-conditioning, it was hot, humid and stifling inside. I got some food started to eat.
I found myself talking to a Native American woman inside the Chinese buffet which is the reason why I even brought the story up.
Turns out she was a honcho in the Crow Indian tribe. She said she was a princess.
She told me that in three days they were going to be having a major Indian powwow on the Crow reservation. She invited me as a VIP guest of the tribe. I had a good conversation with this lady.
She mentioned that in the town of Hardin, Montana, that there were still problems between the town folk, and the Native Americans.
There were a couple local people in the Chinese buffet at the time the Crow Princess mention this.
I also met a couple from Canada at the Chinese buffet, the female was one was beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. They were very nice to me, and extremely interested in the fact that I was traveling so long of a distance alone.
They were on a Harley Davidson Road Glide and had also been to Sturgis. They were much closer to home than I was.
To be frank, I felt kind of uncomfortable, when the Crow Princess told me about the problems between the town folk and the Native Americans. One of the town folk was actually sitting at the table listening to her talking. It was almost like being in a Billy Jack movie.
I have seen enough movies to know that I did not want to get into any beefs between the town folk and the Native Americans. She told me that there were killings still going on.
I seriously considered either staying for the powwow, or going to Cody, Wyoming, and the Yellowstone national forest, and coming back for the powwow.
After I finished my meal, I went back to the motorhome, and did a load of laundry. I had a cigar and watched the sun go down. I heard on the radio that there were expecting severe thunderstorms in Hardin, Wyoming, big sky country, where I was.
They were not wrong. As I was watching a DVD in the motorhome at about 10 PM, the wind started blowing the motorhome severely. I had the jacks down, but the motorhome was still swaying from the wind. The rain started pouring down like thunder, and there was a severe lightning storm. I have never heard of any tornadoes in Montana, but it sure felt like there was one coming.
I hunkered inside the RV, knowing the next day I would be departing for Cody, Wyoming, and the Yellowstone national forest.
The next day, on August 13, 2014, I put them motorcycle in the trailer, struck Camp, and departed for Cody Wyoming. It was a beautiful sunny day, after a night of thunder, lighting, and severe wind.
In the end, I decided not to stay for the major powwow on the Crow Indian Reservation. I felt that a three-week trip away from the office, was long enough, it wouldn’t be fair to my partner to stay for an additional week. Hell, I was gone almost two months the summer before this one.
My trip to the Little Bighorn National Battlefield Monument was something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.
As you can see from the pictures throughout this article, and the videos below, it is a beautiful and historic place.
I have been all over the world. I’ve ridden my motorcycle all over the world. No matter where I’m gone, the most beautiful country on earth, is the United States of America.
Nowhere on earth is there better motorcycle riding, or a better place to ride, then the good old United States of America. I enjoy sharing my trips will all of you. My next article will be about my trip to Yellowstone national forest that I took right after the trip I just described. Look for it soon.
Below are some videos i took at The Little Bighorn National Battlefield Monument. The last two videos are videos I took with my GoPro Hero 2 HD video camera attached to my Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic on the handlebars.
You can actually ride through the Little Bighorn Battlefield with me on my Harley.
On June 8, 2014, I decided to take a little motorcycle ride down Pacific Coast Highway with one of my friends affectionately known as “the Swede.”
This also happened to be her first ride on or Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Previously, I purchased a new helmet for her, because none of the helmets that I have in my collection would fit her head. She wears a medium.
After giving her some instruction on how to get on the bike, where to put her feet, and how to act on the motorcycle, we both saddled up and took off from my condo in Huntington Beach California. We went down Main Street, to Pacific Coast Highway, and headed south to San Clemente California.
The ride down Pacific Coast Highway from Huntington Beach, California, to San Clemente, California, is marked by brief moments of good cruising, and a lot of stop and go traffic. The stop and go traffic is mostly in Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach.
There is however, some excellent ocean views on this run, and for the most part it is a stress reliever.
I always like to smoke a big cigar on this run. That is the beautiful part of having a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide, Ultra Classic. The fairing is a good wind blocker which makes smoking cigars while riding a breeze.
We had a pretty good ride, and I could tell that the Swede was really enjoy herself. It’s always a good thing when a beautiful lady enjoys the backseat of a Harley-Davidson. I always like to be the first one they ride with 🙂
The Swede was a trooper, she did not complain at all. On some stops she even rubbed my shoulders, which is always a good sign.
I ended up taking her to a Mexican restaurant in San Clemente that I always go to. As usual, I had a protein bar, while I watched her eat a regular meal. I’m a weirdo when it comes to my diet. To be ripped at my age, you have to really watch what you eat. This is another story for another time.
For some reason on this day I did not bring a sweatshirt with me or a jacket. I have done this ride many times, since I live next to the beach. I should’ve known better. As we left the Mexican restaurant at approximately 7 PM, the weather was cooling significantly. Luckily the Swede brought a little jean jacket, and I had a pair of gloves for her use. I had nothing on myself but a muscle T-shirt. I knew it was going to get cold fast.
We rode back up the coast, back to Huntington Beach. One of my customs, is a stop in at Starbucks in Seacliff Village and have a coffee before I go home.
It was a great ride with my beautiful friend the Swede. I look forward to riding with her again very soon.
Unfortunately, I developed an issue with the volume control switch on my handlebar control, and will have to take it in the Harley-Davidson to get fixed.
Looking forward to going to Sturgis in less than two months.
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