My trip to the 75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally. July 30, 2015 through August 12, 2015

California motorcycle accident attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the 2015 Sturgis motorcycle rally
California motorcycle accident attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the 2015 Sturgis motorcycle rally

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.

California biker lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez and friend that the 2015 Sturgis motorcycle rally
California biker lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez and friend at the 2015 Sturgis motorcycle rally

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.

California motorcycle accident lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Mount Rushmore, 2015 Sturgis motorcycle rally
California motorcycle accident lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Mount Rushmore, 2015 Sturgis motorcycle rally

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.

California motorcycle accident lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez and friend having fun on the Black Hills scenic by way
California motorcycle accident lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez and friend having fun on the Black Hills Scenic Byway

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.

The view from our table at Mount Rushmore Sturgis 2015
The view from our table at Mount Rushmore Sturgis 2015

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.

Biker lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez in Custer national Park, Sturgis 2015
Biker lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez in Custer National Park, Sturgis 2015

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.

California motorcycle accident attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez Sturgis motorcycle rally, Sturgis 2015
California motorcycle accident attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez Sturgis motorcycle rally, Sturgis 2015

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.

Biker lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez with friend in Sturgis 2015
Biker lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez with friend at Mt. Rushmore, Sturgis 2015

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.

California motorcycle accident attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez with friend 75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally
California motorcycle accident attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez with friend 75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally

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.

California biker attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone national forest just after Sturgis 2015
California biker attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone national forest just after Sturgis 2015

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.

Motorcycle lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez of the 75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally
Motorcycle lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez 75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally

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.

75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally
75th annual Sturgis motorcycle rally

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.

By California Personal Injury Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2015

A Video montage of Photos I took at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2013

As you all know, I drove my RV alone from Huntington Beach, CA to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2013, in Sturgis, SD from July 31, 2013 to August 16, 2013. I also drove to Custer, Montana, and to Cody and Yellowstone, WY.

This marked my first big trip since becoming a single man again.

Once at my destination, I rode my motorcycle over 1000 miles. Below is a video montage of the pictures I took at the Sturgis 2013 Motorcycle Rally. A couple of pics had to be edited to add pasties so Youtube would not delete the video. Look for my big write-up on the trip, and actual video footage taken from my various cameras to be published soon. Enjoy the video. Pictures were taken at Sturgis, SD, Full Throttle Saloon, Glencoe Campground, and all over the rally.

California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, December 29, 2013

What is up with all these So-Called “Biker Lawyers” all of a Sudden showing up with Booths at All of the Motorcycle Events?

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez
California Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Photo courtesy of the American Bar Association Journal, and photographer David Newhardt

Well with Palm Springs American Heat I have finally had enough with what I think is a disgusting advertising practice by what in my opinion are bottom feeder personal injury lawyers.

In Palm Springs a certain so-called Biker Lawyer group had some scantily clad young girls aggressively coming up to people who were walking by saying that they worked for a lawyer who actually rides, as they tried to force feed passerby’s their business cards, and cheap novelties and trinkets.

I told the girls who came up to me, “Sorry, I am a Biker Lawyer who actually rides.” They kind of had a shocked look on their faces.

You see, I actually ride to many motorcycle events all over the nation. This year was no different.

All of a sudden there are a certain group of the same personal injury lawyers showing up at events calling themselves “Biker Lawyer” and  “Lawyers that ride” at motorcycle events.

To me a Biker Lawyer and a Lawyer that rides, is someone like me who is a lawyer and who also is a biker that rides motorcyles. It is a real simple concept, not some bullshit marketing slogan!

I think that I may have been the first Biker Lawyer to coin that term back in 1997 or so, because I am a lawyer who really rides. Once I started putting it out there on my website and on my blog, all of a sudden I saw other lawyers claiming the same thing.

Well now all of a sudden there are groups of lawyers showing up at motorcycle events all claiming to be “lawyers that really ride.”

It is not that I do not mind competition, hell I think it would be great to find a group of lawyers that actually ride motorcycles, hell I would like to go ride with them and make some new friends.

But what I really think is going on is a marketing gimmick aimed at bikers, and the way I see it, showing up at a motorcycle rally with a booth telling people if they crash their motorcycles, to call them, is disgusting and despicable to me.

In two words it is “Bad Karma.”

At the Las Vegas biker rally a few weeks ago, as we were walking by one of these booths, some guy sitting on his ass in the booth looked at my wife’s hat and said in a smart ass way, “who is the biker lawyer?” (The hat said Biker Lawyer, www.bikerlawyer.net on it) I told him I was. I also told him that I don’t sit at booths at motorcycle rallies; I actually ride to the rallies.

He had a stunned look on his face because I was actually in my biker garb because; yes I was riding, unlike him.

Curious about what it actually takes to be a Biker Lawyer with one of these organizations that has started up in the last couple of years I believe; I contacted one who I think was based in Arizona if I am not mistaken. They sent me a bunch of literature. At the time I contacted them, they had some firm based in San Diego as their only California firm.

In researching them, I saw no indication whatsoever that anyone from the firm listed for California at the time rode motorcycles. Matter of fact, I never even heard of them! Now it could be that someone from that firm actually rode motorcycles, it all seemed fishy to me.

Basically, I was told that if you pay at the time I contacted them, approximately 10k or so yearly fee to the organization I am referring to, you can be a Biker Lawyer with their group.

They would advertise for cases for you, and send you the cases in your territory. Very interesting!

Now the casual person looking at this group would think that it is all the same organization. Well it is not. It is a marketing vehicle that attorneys pay to be a part of.

Nowhere on the application did it ask if you actually ride motorcycles. Further, they hold themselves out to be Lawyers that really ride.

I think this practice is very misleading. I think consumers and bikers should be notified that lawyers pay a fee to be a part of this organization, and I think each of their lawyers should actually ride if they are going to advertise that they are lawyers who ride!

My next question is that most States require you to be licensed in that particular State to practice law in that State. You can apply to represent an individual in Court on a one or two time basis if you are an out of state lawyer, however, you cannot do it all the time.

So I wondered, how do the now 3-5 groups of lawyers that show up at all of the biker rallies, and that advertise in all of the biker rags, actually practice law in all 50 states legally.

The answer is that they cannot. It appears to me that these groups of lawyers that are advertising nationwide either have some kind of fee splitting deal going on with lawyers in the different States so the main lawyer will advertise and get cases for them, and then they will share the attorneys fee with the guy in the State actually doing the case, or they have some kind of marketing scam going on, where the attorney pays a fee like the organization I contacted, and the main attorney will advertise, and then send cases to the lawyers who are paying their franchise fee.

I think this entire practice is misleading, and despicable.

I saw American Chopper last night where even another group that I have never heard of before has popped up. It appears to me to be another marketing setup where they have created a website to target nationwide the “niche” market of motorcycle riders.

After digging deep into their website, it looks like the main law firm sponsoring their “Biker law” marketing campaign is based in Pennsylvania, and they too are claiming that they are lawyers that ride. I have no clue how this site or law firm work, but again, unless they have attorneys licensed in each state, they too must have some kind of fee splitting or franchise type of deal going on.

They do not limit themselves to just one State on their website.

On the TV show, they had a guy who they represented to be an attorney come in and order a custom bike to honor the firefighters or something to that affect. Somewhere it stated that he was the “lead counsel” or “managing counsel” of the biker law end of the firm. What the hell does that mean?

Anyway, at the end of the show there were a bunch of people in t-shirts with the biker law website address on it.

I almost threw up. You got to admit these people are marketing geniuses. They get an hour of TV advertising for what looks to be new operation, and all they had to do is pay (probably overpay) for a custom chopper from Orange County Choppers.

In the end there sits us real bikers. What are we supposed to believe is true?

First, I think that no lawyer should be going to motorcycle events and advertising for motorcycle accident cases. People are at the events to have fun, not to have the fact that they could crash shoved down their throats by a bunch of marketing hacks.

Second, I think that all of these firms should be forced to disclose the truth about their organizations, i.e., whether they are a fee splitting shop, whether lawyers pay them to have cases sent to them, and who in fact is the real biker lawyer in their organization.

I personally know at least two major attorneys in the so-called biker lawyer nationwide marketing scam, and neither of them rides motorcycles. One of them even stated in the Los Angeles Times in an article that he does not ride; because he wants to see his grandkids grow up. The article featured one of their new associates who had just got a Sportser, who had ridden for less than 6 months. (This guy has since left and opened his own bike lawyer shop)

So here I sit a humble real California Biker Lawyer who actually rides motorcycles. I am the friggen real deal. I am not playing some marketing scam on my clients. They know what they are getting when they retain me.

If you are in California and want the real deal call me; 800-816-1529 x.1.

For the rest of you there is a saying; Caveat Emptor, which is Latin for let the buyer beware.

Finally, you can have a say so if you also don’t like these bottom feeders showing up at our motorcycle rallies, simply don’t call them if you have an accident.

With a little research you can find someone like me who actually ride’s and is not part of some marketing operation geared towards bikers!

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2011

Norm’s Tidbits September 30, 2011

Norm's TidbitsLas Vegas Bikerfest Here I come: I am leaving shortly to go to the annual biker rally called the Las Vegas Bikerfest. It should be an excellent time. This biker rally and Palm Springs American Heat pretty much mark the last two major biker rallies on the west coast for the year. I always like going by the poser so-called biker attorneys who have booths at these events and mess with them.

Puppies are almost ready to go: There is one thing about puppies, when they are almost ready to go to their new homes, they get real frisky. Our 3 Shih Tzu puppies have about 2 more weeks to go before they go to their new homes. They are cute as hell, but I cannot wait to get my house back!

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © September 30, 2011

An Example of Extreme Weather Riding, Reno 2011

A nice view from the Go Go Bar, Reno Street Vibrations 2011
A nice view from the Go Go Bar, Reno Street Vibrations 2011

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.

A view from the Reno Street Vibrations 2011
A view from the Reno Street Vibrations 2011

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.

I can’t wait for next year 🙂

Keep Both Wheels on the Road!

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Biker Lawyer, Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2011

The Biker Law Blog is on the Move.

The Biker Law Blog is changing software platforms
California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at Laughlin River Run 2007

Actually, the title of this article should be that the Biker Law Blog is in the process of being converted. You see I am in the process of switching the Biker Law Blog to a different software platform.

The Biker Law Blog has literally become a beast of a website. The website, articles, media, and database on the website amount to almost 1 gigabyte (1,000 billion bytes) of data.

On top of that, I am getting about 1 million hits per month on the Biker Law Blog. The total data transferred each month is about 10 gigabytes of data, or 10 – 1000 billion bits of data per month. Further, we keep growing.

The Biker Law Blog has turned into a recognized motorcycle industry publication, and not just a law blog. For those of you who read the blog you know what I am talking about.

The software that the Biker Law Blog has been rock solid ever since I started the blog about 4 years ago. However, it has many limitations with respect to customization, and the ease of creating articles.

Many would say, it the software the blog is running on is not broken, why mess with it?

The answer to this question has caused me much grief. You see the guy who I paid to do the original customization of the Biker Law Blog is basically not around anymore. I have tried on numerous occasions to contact him, with no response.

Super Guru Ed B., the second customizer of the blog has gone on to greener pastures, and has told me that he has disassociated himself from the software that runs the blog due to an ethical conflict with the software’s creator.

Basically this has left me with a couple of choices. Do I stay with software that has worked for me, but that requires professional’s to upgrade and customize, or do I take a chance and go with a different platform that may not be so reliable (only time will tell), but that would make my job much simpler?

I have opted for the simple approach.

I am hoping that with automated daily backups using the new software, if something happens, I can simply restore the site.

The new software should be easier to customize, easier to do postings with, and will hopefully streamline the Biker Law Blog into a more manageable site.

As we speak, I have a test site up on a hidden domain.

I am trying to find a way to automatically get the posts, comments, and registered users from the existing Biker Law Blog software, into the new software on the test site. Since there is no current script to get this done, it may not be possible. Unfortunately, the current software that I use has no way to export the data, so it can be imported into another type of software. The designer’s rationale is that if they spend so much time creating the software, they do not want to help people leave it.

This is one of the big reasons I am leaving the software.

If I cannot automatically transfer the data to the new platform, I will literally have to manually transfer each post, comment and registered user to the new platform, one by one. This will take weeks since there are hundreds of posts, and thousands of comments.

Once the data is transferred to the new platform, we will then do the customization of the Blog to make it look sharp, be easier to use, and to make it simpler for users to register.

Registered users will no longer have to deal with the rampant spam that we have been hit with recently. I am sick of having to ban spammers on a daily basis manually.

Because of the changes that I am making to the new Biker Law Blog, and the time that it will take to transfer to the new platform, my postings will decrease temporarily until I get the new Blog done. Hell with a busy law practice, it is hard enough to write a blog as it is. Once the changeover is done, I can concentrate on blogging, and not software issues.

If you are a registered user of the Biker Law Blog, you will be receiving email updates to let you know what is going on.

Please be patient during this time of change.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © June, 2010

Rush Slip On Mufflers for Harley Davidson Touring Motorcycles; My Review

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez's Halrey Davidson Electra Glide with Rush Mufflers
My Harley Davidson Electra Glide

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.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez's Halrey Davidson Electra Glide with Rush Mufflers 2I 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.

This review is of the Rush Mufflers with the 2 inch baffles.

I scored a set of chrome Rush slip on Mufflers for 95-10 Touring motorcycles, slash up, part number 15302 on EBay for $142.51. The mufflers were almost in new condition.

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!

The list price for these mufflers from the Rush website is $398.95, so you know I scored on EBay. Click here to go to the Rush website to see the mufflers I purchased.

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.

By California Motorcycle Accident and Biker Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

Just another Sunday Ride; NOT!

Norm's GoPro Hero Helmet Camera
My GoPRo Video Camera on my Modular Helmet

 Last Sunday, May 23, 2010, I decided to take a bit of a ride here in Southern California.

The ride was not only for pleasure, but I wanted to check out my new Rush Slip on mufflers, my new Sony HD Stereo, and my new GoPro helmet camera. (I will write reviews about all of them later on)

My plan was to meet some of my friends in Chatsworth, CA, ride to Simi Valley Harley Davidson in Simi Valley, CA, and then ride with them to Bartels Harley Davidson in Marina Del Rey, CA. I ended up doing a local 300 mile all day ride minus the time I spent at Simi Valley Harley Davidson.

My ride started out early Sunday morning on May 23, 2010. I got on my motorcycle at around 8:30am to take a bit of a ride before I met my friends. I captured the vast majority of my ride on my new GoPro helmet cam, a picture of which you can see to the left.

I have the helmet cam mounted on the side of my helmet rather than the top of my helmet, because I have a modular flip up helmet and the top mount would not work with the flip up aspect of my modular helmet. I will discuss this more when I review the camera.

Suffice is to say, it was a great day. My total riding hours in the saddle riding last Sunday was around 9 hours plus, and I have plenty of video footage of my ride. I am showing 30 minutes of the ride here. It was very hard for me to select which video footage to show here.

I met my friends in Chatsworth at around 9:45am after taking about an hour ride. We then rode together to a little event at Simi Valley Harley Davidson. There was a band, food, and vendors at Simi Valley Harley Davidson.

I took advantage of being at Simi Valley Harley Davidson. It turns out on the ride over there, I discovered that my left spot light was out, plus I needed some bushings and bolts for my removable Tour Pak. I was able to get all of the parts I needed at the dealership which made me very happy notwithstanding the fact that I paid $57.00 for a spot light replacement, two bolts, and two bushings.

I decided to replace the spotlight in the street while I was there. It was probably a good idea, because once I got the spot light off, I could not figure how to get it back on. There is a rubber strip, a backing that the spotlight goes into, as well as a metal ring. I walked the separated parts up to the service desk, and even though they were closed, there was a guy in there who obviously worked there, who packed the rubber back into the housing, and showed me how to put the pieces back together which I did. Repair completed right there in the street.

My friends and I walked around a bit and hung out at the Harley Davidson dealership until at least noon by my estimation. I purchased a $5.00 lemonade – 5 friggen dollars for a large lemonade. After complaining a bit about the price, the guy agreed to give me a free refill. I don’t know but if I was putting on one of these events, I would talk to my food and drink vendors to ensure that they were not gouging my customers and guests. This is a whole other story.

At some point, the guys decided to take off. When I got on my motorcycle to leave with the guys, I found an electrical problem from my earlier spotlight fix, and my motorcycle would not start. I waived my friends off and told them I would meet them later.

I opened the spotlight back up and everything seemed OK. The light powered up when I put the ignition switch to the run position, but the bike would not start. Then I had a stupid me moment, I engaged the kill switch before I did the repair which I forgot about. Once I disengaged the kill switch, the motorcycle started. I then buttoned the motorcycle back up and was ready to roll. It was by now a half hour later or so. I knew my friends were probably already very close to Bartel’s in Marina Del Rey.

By this time I was hungry. I had not had breakfast that morning, I did not eat the food at the Simi Valley event because I did not want to have acid reflux all day, so I decided to take a detour off of the 118 to go to Jerry’s Deli on Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills, CA to get some Matzo Ball soup and some Kosher Dills. I knew if I rode to Bartel’s in Marina Del Rey, they would probably have the same greasy spoon type of food that they had at Simi Valley Harley Davidson, and that I did not want to wait to eat.

I rode to Jerry’s Deli which is a San Fernando Valley hotspot eatery where many celebrities can be seen from time to time, and thoroughly enjoyed my meal, although it took quite a time to get my meal. There is nothing like Matzo Ball soup when you are on a run where the weather is kind of cool. It will open up your sinus every time. Matzo Ball soup is a Jewish remedy!

By the time I finished my meal at Jerry’s Deli, it was already around between 1:30 and 2:00pm, and I did not have my friend’s phone numbers with me, so I decided to skip Bartel’s Harley Davidson. I figured that by the time I rode there with traffic, I would not make it until around 3pm or later, and to be frank, I wanted to ride rather than sit around hanging out at another Harley Davidson dealership, so that is exactly what I did, I rode; I rode my ass off : )

I decided to ride to the Rock Store by way of Topanga Canyon to Mulholland Highway, the long twisty route. You can see some of the video from my GoPro here. It was a fanfuckentastic run. You see we absolutely have the best and most beautiful riding in the world right here in Southern California. It does not get much better than this anywhere in the world. Most Angelinos (Los Angeles Residents) have no clue about the beauty just outside of the concrete jungle here. We have great mountains, great coastline, and twisties that are just as radical as any in the world here.

As I approached the last stop sign before arriving at the Rock Store, I ran straight into a friggen road block. You see the Tour De California Bicycle race was also being put on this weekend, and the Rock Store was on their route. I was a bit pissed. I wanted to visit the Rock Store and then do my hidden route behind Mulholland to some of the best 1st gear twisties, ending up at the coast. I ended up turning off my motorcycle and watching the bicycle racers, the fans yelling like screaming Durban’s, and the helicopters overhead, not to mention the bicycle rider chase trucks, and chase motorcycles on the route. When a CHP officer told me the route was to be closed all day, I flicked a U’ie and rode back to Malibu Canyon Road. I rode to Pacific Coast Highway, and ended up doing a straight coast ride all the way up to Neptune’s Net. I stopped at my old surfing grounds before Zuma Beach and cruised the coast a bit. I have some great memories on this strip of beach.

It was a great day to ride on Sunday. The coast part of my journey was fanfuckentastic to say the least. Look I love riding with my friends and my brothers, but I also like riding solo as well. There is no pressure to stay in the pack when you are riding solo, and you can ride wherever the fuck you want with no one bitching. It is freedom.

I rode real easy up to Neptune’s Net. I had many cagers waiving at me, and honking at me. I presume this was because of my helmet camera. I assume these people probably thought that I was filming for some kind of Hollywood movie or something. I literally had people in Mercedes Benz’s, Ferrari’s and beater cars all giving me the thumbs up. It was unique and I got many of it on the helmet cam.

When I finally got to Neptune’s Net there were a bunch of bikes and bikers there just like every Sunday. For me it is the same old thing, kind of like a routine if you know what I mean. I had a bunch of guys come up and ask me about the camera on my helmet. One of the guys was this Euro type who claimed to have shot all of the pictures for Harley Davidson’s new motorcycle line that was coming out. He was very interested in the specs for my camera and the mount. I ended talking to these guys for a half hour, exchanging business cards and what not. This is the good thing about being a biker, it is easy to meet and greet with new people. Something that cagers will never really get to experience. It is a biker comradery.

At this point is was around 4pm plus or minus an hour : ) I had a choice, I could take Kanan Dune, or Malibu Canyon to the 101 Ventura Freeway, and ride home, or I could cruise Pacific Coast Highway up to Santa Monica, then take the 10 to the 405 and cruise up to the snow via the Antelope Valley back route. Hell this time of year it stays daylight until at least 8pm; what would you do? : ) Well what do you think I decided to do? If you guess take PCH to Santa Monica and then cruise up the snow by way of the Antelope Valley back route you would be correct.

Look, my wife is in law school, she was at home studying for some freaking test, it was a great not too warm sunny day by this time, and I had nothing better to do. I was one of those great days where I could have rode 24 hours straight, all around my favorite spots.

So there I did it, I rode PCH all the way to the 10. It was a great costal ride. I noticed that there are many more homes along the coast which is a real bummer. When I was growing up, it was straight coast all the way up, now there are homes blocking the view for a substantial part of the trip. No biggie, it was a great ride. I got on the 10 to the 405 north. There it was bumper to bumper traffic; a good excuse to get off before Getty Center Drive, get some gas, and then take Sepulveda up the canyon until the traffic opened up. Once I got on the 405 I took it to the 14 east and then got off at Sand Canyon Road for a bit of dinner at Coco’s Restaurant.

In Coco’s a young 20 year old kid named Shane who was sitting with his absolutely fine girlfriend 19 year old girlfriend Tammy, and his 25 year old friend Steve, introduced themselves to me and shook my hand, they sat directly in front of my in another booth.

I had a good meal and good conversation with these folks. Hell we talked about everything from relationships, to career, to riding motorcycles, you name it. It has been a long time since I had such a good conversation with young folks. I thought to myself that these kids ought to be more careful about opening up to strangers like me the way they did because there are many assholes out there that might do them harm just because they were so nice. I did not have enough time to tell them what I thought, but I thought it as I saw them leaving. These were some good kids. They showed me respect which is unique these days. I think their parents raised them right.

After a really good steak dinner, I got back on the road. I took the 14 to Pearblossum Highway, to my secret turn off on the 138 and headed up to the still snow covered mountains.

At the turnoff I decided to change the batteries in my Gopro cam, and to check the memory card. Turns out I needed to replace both. The batteries were dead, plus I had already used up an 8GB SD card which records 6 hours of video. Whoops. I put in new batteries, and a 2 GB SD card to record this aspect of my ride.

To give a short summary I owned the road, I was basically all alone form the desert to the mountains. I rode to my spot where the San Andreas Fault line is, and then up to the Juniper Hills and beyond up to the snow. By this time I was freezing my ass off, and the sun was going down, so I decided to ride home.

When I finally got home, my wife bitched about me being gone form the early morning to the evening and wondered what I did for so long. I let her see the video’s of the day. I know the real reason that she was upset; because she did not ride with me, and spent a beautiful Sunday by herself studying all day. Been there; done that.

Unfortunately I lost the 2 GB SD card of the final part of my journey in my home office somewhere. Once I find it I will post some video from it.

So there it is, one hell of a great Sunday Ride in Southern California, from the desert to the sea, to the mountains.

Maybe I may take one of my lucky readers on this same ride someday.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

Actor Dennis Hopper dies at 74; directed Motorcycle Classic Easy Rider

Dennis Hopper Dead at the age of 74Dennis Hopper, the maverick director and costar of the landmark 1969 counterculture film classic “Easy Rider” whose drug- and alcohol-fueled reputation as a Hollywood bad boy preceded his return to sobriety and a career resurgence in the films ” Hoosiers” and “Blue Velvet,” died Saturday. He was 74.

A longtime resident of Venice, CA who also was known as a photographer, artist and collector of modern art, Hopper died at his home of complications from prostate cancer, said Alex Hitz, a friend of the family.

A frail-looking Hopper, whose battle with prostate cancer was revealed in October, was able to attend a ceremony for the unveiling of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in late March.

In a more than five-decade acting career that was influenced early on by working with James Dean and studying at the Actors Studio, he made his film debut as one of the high school gang members who menace Dean in the 1955 classic “Rebel Without a Cause.”
Hopper went on to appear in more than 115 films, including “Giant,” “Cool Hand Luke,” “Hang ‘Em High,” “True Grit,” “Apocalypse Now,” “The American Friend,” “Rumble Fish,” “Speed,” “True Romance” and “Rivers Edge.”

But it’s his role as the long-haired, pot-smoking biker Billy opposite Peter Fonda’s Wyatt (Captain America) in the hit movie “Easy Rider” that gave Hopper his most enduring claim to fame.

The low-budget tale of two bikers on an ultimately tragic cross-country odyssey after scoring a big cocaine sale, “Easy Rider” became a generational touchstone.

The movie, which boasted a star-making performance from a little-known Jack Nicholson as a boozy small-town lawyer who goes along for the ride and gets his first taste of marijuana, set old-guard Hollywood back on its heels.

“The impact of ‘Easy Rider,’ both on the filmmakers and the industry as a whole, was no less than seismic,” Peter Biskind wrote in his 1998 book “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-And-Rock ‘N’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood.”

“Hopper was catapulted into the pantheon of countercultural celebrities that included John Lennon, Abbie Hoffman and Timothy Leary,” Biskind wrote. “He was surrounded by groupies and acolytes. He may have started down the slippery slope to megalomania and grandiloquence on his own, but he had plenty of help.”

“Easy Rider” won an award at the Cannes Film Festival for the best movie by a new director, and it earned co-writers Hopper, Fonda and Terry Southern an Oscar nomination.

“Hopper and Fonda were renegades, Hollywood-bashers, the Vietcong of Beverly Hills,” Biskind wrote. “To them, it was vindication, beating Hollywood at its own game, proof that you could get high, express yourself and make money all at the same time.”

Continue reading “Actor Dennis Hopper dies at 74; directed Motorcycle Classic Easy Rider”

American Chopper is Coming Back in a New Form

american chopper is coming back in august 2010 TLC is reviving “American Chopper” with the estranged Teutuls going head-to-head in competing bike shops.

The new show, “American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior,” begins filming next week and will premiere in August.

It focuses both on the original Orange County Choppers business run by Paul Sr., and Paul Jr.’s startup bike shop.

The new shop, Paul Jr. Designs, is located across from the original OCC shop in Rock Tavern, NY, near OCC’s Newburgh site.

The hook? Father and son haven’t spoken in over a year, ever since Senior fired Junior from the family business.

BIKE BATTLE: Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul Jr. haven’t spoken in a year, but will both appear on a new version of “Chopper.”

The split effectively ended their long-running reality show. TLC axed “American Chopper” last February and, in an ugly legal battle, Senior is demanding the return of Junior’s 20 percent stake in OCC. After a brief reconciliation, Junior rode out his one-year non-compete clause and moved into his new shop last week. Father and son remain at odds, with no resolution in sight.

“I’m always hopeful for a reconciliation, but sometimes these things happen for a reason,” Junior told The Post yesterday.

“Even though you never want dissension in any family, especially with your father, this has allowed me to break out and do things on my own.”

Senior also says he’s moved on to a point.

“Junior seems to say all the time he’d like to reconcile, but the thing of it is, he’s never come to me with that,” Senior told The Post. “I’m happy he’s making an attempt to go out on his own, but I don’t feel he’s ever really followed through with anything in his life.”

“But this way, if he fails, he can’t say, ‘My dad made me fail.’ ”

The resurrection of “Chopper” will be good news for fans of the show, including “Late Show” host David Letterman.

“Letterman e-mailed me when he heard the show was going off the air and said, ‘What am I gonna do now, Paul?,’ ”

Senior says. “He was devastated.”

It remains to be seen how “Senior vs. Junior” will play out, but series executive producer Christo Doyle says there’s no formula on how much air time the two competing shops will get per episode.

“This is a very bitter situation that runs really deep at times I feel I’m a family therapist and not a producer.”

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Website

Rock & Roll legend Ronnie James Dio dead at 67; 1942-2010

Rock & Roll Legend Ronnie James Dio Dead at 67LOS ANGELES- California

Ronnie James Dio, whose soaring vocals, poetic lyrics and mythic tales of a never-ending struggle between good and evil broke new ground in rock & roll, died Sunday, according to a statement from his wife and manager. He was 67.

Dio revealed last summer that he was suffering from stomach cancer shortly after wrapping up a tour in Atlantic City, N.J. with the latest incarnation of Black Sabbath, under the name Heaven and Hell.

“Today my heart is broken, Wendy Dio wrote on the singer’s site, adding he died at 7:45 a.m. “Many, many friends and family were able to say their private goodbyes before he peacefully passed away.

“Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all,” Wendy Dio continued. “We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us … Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.”

The statement was confirmed by Los Angeles publicist Maureen O’Connor.

Dio rose to fame in 1975 as the first lead singer of Rainbow, the heavy metal band put together by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, who had just quit Deep Purple.

Dio then replaced legendary vocalist Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath in 1980 with the critically acclaimed album “Heaven And Hell,” considered by many critics to be one of the finest heavy-metal albums of all time. His on-again, off-again tenure with Black Sabbath touched off an intense debate among fans as to which singer was the true essence of the band — a discussion that lasted until his death.

He also enjoyed a successful solo career with his self-titled band, Dio, in between his three stints with Black Sabbath (1980-82; 1992; and 2007-2009, when the band toured as Heaven And Hell, to differentiate it from Osbourne-led versions of Sabbath). Dio was also inducted into the Rock Walk of Fame in Hollywood in 2007.

Many of his most memorable songs revolved around the struggle between good and evil, including his signature tune “Heaven And Hell. He also drew heavily on medieval imagery in songs like “Neon Knights, “Killing The Dragon and “Stargazer.

“He possessed one of the greatest voices in all of heavy metal, and had a heart to match it, said Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French, whose band toured with Dio since 1983, and was to do so again this summer at European rock festivals. “He was the nicest, classiest person you would ever want to meet.

Dio organized an all-star charity collaboration in 1986 called “Hear N Aid” to raise money for famine relief in Africa, styled on the successful “We Are The World” campaign of a few years earlier.

His solo hits included “Rainbow In The Dark,” “The Last In Line” and “Holy Diver.”

Wendy Dio said that friends and family were able to say their goodbyes to her husband, and asked for privacy. She concluded: “Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.”

I remember when Ronnie James Dio became the front man for Black Sabbath. My friends and I went to see Black Sabbath at the Los Angeles Colissium in 1979-1980. It was one heck of a concert. When Ronnie James Dio belted out the classic Black Sabbath song Heaven and Hell, it was awesome.

When Dio fronted for Rainbow and Richie Blackmore, they were the best.

He was truly one of my favorite rock & roll vocalist of all time; he will be missed.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney & Biker Lawyer

Lucky to be alive after the Laughlin River Run 2010; however, we still had a good time!

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Laughlin River Run 2010
California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Laughlin River Run 2010

See Videos Below

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.

Continue reading “Lucky to be alive after the Laughlin River Run 2010; however, we still had a good time!”

The Yuma Prison Run 2010; a Great Time

California Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez with wife at the Yuma Prison Run
California Biker Lawyer and Motorcycle Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Yuma Prison Run

*** 4/21/10 Update – See the Short Video Below!

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.

Continue reading “The Yuma Prison Run 2010; a Great Time”

Truck Driver Charged in Fatal Arizona Motorcycle Crash

3 Phoenix Arizona Motorcycle riders mowed down and killed After Being Rear Ended in a Horrible Crash.
Motorcycles on the ground after horrible motorcycle accident in Arizona

The dump truck driver responsible for the deaths of four motorcyclists in a horrendous rear ender crash in Arizona has been arrested after toxicology results found methamphetamine was in his system on the day of the crash.

46-year-old Michael Jakscht is being charged with 4 counts of manslaughter, 5 counts of aggravated assault, and 7 counts of endangerment. He is being booked into the Maricopa County Jail.

Phoenix Police say that Jakscht was driving the truck that plowed through a group of eight motorcycles stopped at a red light at Carefree Hwy and 27th Ave back on March 25.

Three men caught under the truck and dragged were killed almost instantly. They were 67-year-old Clyde R. Nachand, 35-year-old Daniel L. Butler, and 52-year-old Stephen Punch. A female driver, 47-year-old Dayle Veronica Downs-Totonchi, died the next day from her injuries.

Phoenix Fire Captain Ernie Lizarraga was also one of the several victims seriously injured.

Officers arrested Jakscht Tuesday in the area of Highland and State Route 51.

Jakscht was being watched at his residence in Scottsdale. The surveillance team saw him leave and he was stopped by officers who observed impaired driving behavior.

Jakscht has been under surveillance ever since the fatal crash, as police waited for toxicology test results. The test results were completed in record time and illegal drugs — methamphetamine — were found present in Jakscht’s system, according to police.

Crime lab tests usually take between 4 to 6 weeks, but police made this test a priority and it was completed in two.

There are possible charges pending for impaired driving.

The accident is still under investigation.

I cannot believe that Arizona waited so long to arrest this guy.

California Motorcycle Accident Attorney Website

Jesse James Charged with Vandalism in Long Beach

Jesse James of West Coast Choppers and Monster Garage fameToday, Jessie James has been cited for vandalism by the Violent Crimes unit of the Long Beach Police Department after approaching and threatening a celebrity photographer parked across the street from the location of a West Coast Choppers Place press conference. The actual incident took place on March 25, 2010.

It is alleged that James blocked the photographer’s car with a motorcycle and yelled at him through the driver’s side window as a friend struck the car’s windows with a knife and slashed three tires. It was all caught on video.

The photographer was also cited for stalking James, but it’s the celebrity that took the biggest hit.

The photographer never would have been there, of course, if news had not broke a few weeks ago that James had been unfaithful to his movie star with Sandra Bullock – his wife of five years this July – with a variety of women.

Then came the photos of Jesse James posing as Adolf Hitler – years before meeting Bullock – and the questions of possible neo-Nazism were not far behind.

I hope Jessie James gets some treatment for anger management while he is in rehab. He is lucky because this incident could have been much worse if the photographer was actually struck with glass, or had a heart attack or something like that.

A quick outburst of anger has ruined many of men’s lives.

Jesse James must be thinking that it was nice while it lasted. However, I have a feeling that he is going to be OK.

Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorney Website

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