I have switched from Harley Davidson Motorcycles to Indian Motorcycles; Part 1

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 :-)?

Continue reading “I have switched from Harley Davidson Motorcycles to Indian Motorcycles; Part 1”

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

Face-to-face with a Wild Buffalo, my trip to Yellowstone National Forest, August-2013

Buffalo blocking road in Yellowstone National Park
I almost hit this bastard doing 100mph. When I stopped he stared me down for at least 2 minutes. Thank goodness he did not charge.

So far you have read about my 2013 trip to the Sturgis motorcycle rally, to the Little Bighorn National Battlefield Monument, and now I will tell you about the third leg of my trip, to Cody, Wyoming, and the Yellowstone national forest in August, 2013.

Ride video is at the bottom of the article.

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.

motorcycle accident attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez
Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at the first lake north of the south entrance to Yellowstone, 8-2013

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 best most beautiful motorcycle riding in the world. At over 8,000 feet, My Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Yellowstone National Park, 8-2013
The best most beautiful motorcycle riding in the world. At over 8,000 feet, My Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Yellowstone National Park, 8-2013

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.

My Harley Electra Glide in Yellowstone at gas station
My Harley Electra Glide in Yellowstone at first gas station about 28 miles from South Entrance to park. This is where later the bikers were surprised that I was riding out of the park so late. This pic was taken on my way in.

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.

Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Old Faithful in Yellowstone, 8-2013
Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez at Old Faithful in Yellowstone, 8-2013

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.

Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Continental Divide, Yellowstone Park 8-2013
Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez at the Continental Divide, Yellowstone Park 8-2013

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.

A view from my motorcycle in Yellowstone National Park, 8-2013
A view from my motorcycle in Yellowstone National Park, 8-2013

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.

My last stop before riding out of Yellowstone, the view of the edge was awesome.
My last stop before riding out of Yellowstone, the view of the edge was awesome.

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.

Another view of the buffalo that almost took me out, Yellowstone, 8-2013
Another view of the buffalo that almost took me out, Yellowstone, 8-2013

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.

By Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Attorney, Norman Gregory Fernandez, June 26, 2014

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

Norman Tidbits, August 9, 2013

Norm's TidbitsI have been at the Sturgis motorcycle rally since August 2nd, 2013. Due to very intermittent Wi-Fi service where I am staying, I have not really had a chance to blog since I have been here, not that I really wanted to anyway. I have been too busy riding and having a good time. I will be here until August 12, 2013. Once I return home I will write an extensive article on my great trip to Sturgis 2013. I have many videos and pictures to share.

My next destination will be the Little Bighorn National Battlefield Monument in Montana.

Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

Custom Motorcycle Trailer, Phase 3 Completed

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Well my custom enclosed motorcycle trailer is almost finished, and I must say that it is frigging awesome.

Today I picked up the trailer from Monster Image of Huntington Beach. They are the company I chose to do the wrapping of the trailer. They also designed the wrapping with my advice and consent.

If you ever want to get a vehicle wrapped, Monster Image of Huntington Beach should be the place you go. Make sure you talk to Scotty or Bobby, these guys are professionals.

If you take a look at the pictures you can see their handiwork. At the front of the trailer you can also see the diamond plate trailer tongue box I had installed. If you look at the back of the trailer near the top, you can also see the wireless video camera I had installed so I can see the back of my now 50 foot rig, including RV.

Next I am going to get my RV wrapped.

There are still a few things I need to wrap up before Sturgis, but they are not things that will prevent me from going. I still need to get a spare tire for the trailer, and a spare tire holder. I am also looking at shelving systems for the inside of the trailer, but unfortunately, since I am leaving for Sturgis this Tuesday morning, it is probably too late, we will see.

If you look at my phase 1 article by clicking here, and my phase 2 article by clicking here, and compare the pictures on each article, you can see the various aspects of my customization.

I also added a wireless tire pressure monitor to my RV, and the trailer, so I will have a computerized readout of all tire pressure for the RV and trailer tires, along with their temperature. If there is a leak or some other problem, the unit will show an alarm automatically.

So there you have it, a custom motorcycle trailer in less than a month.

I am really excited to try out the Biker Bar Strapless Motorcycle towing system, and meet up with the guys who manufacture it, and sell it in Sturgis. They told me they will be at Black Hills Harley Davidson, so that is where I will meet them.

Stay tuned, I will be blogging about my entire trip to Sturgis. I plan on posting video and a whole lot more.

The Biker Law Blog is now a recognized motorcycle industry and news publication. I have received press credentials to aid me in my work. So I am now not only a nationally recognized Biker and Motorcycle Accident Lawyer, I am also a reporter.

I never really considered the stuff I write for the Biker Law Blog to be news, but others do.

Stay tuned for one hell of a trip to Sturgis!

By California Motorcycle accident Lawyer and Biker Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © July 25, 2013

The Laughlin River Run 2013, a Good Time for Most

Oatman, AZ on the last day of the Laughlin River Run 2013
Oatman, AZ on the last day of the Laughlin River Run 2013

I attended the Laughlin River Run 2013 this year as I do most years. The Laughlin River Run is billed as the largest motorcycle and biker rally on the west coast.

This year’s motorcycle rally was different than most past years rallies because the turnout appeared to be smaller than past years rallies, motorcycle club patches and soft cuts were not allowed anywhere near the strip, and there were a gaggle of what I call fake biker lawyers with booths set up at the event just waiting and hoping for those in attendance to refer their motorcycle accident cases to them.

I had for the most part a great time at the event. This was the second major motorcycle rally I have attended in many years, where I drove my motorhome to the motorcycle rally and trailered my motorcycle behind on a motorcycle trailer.

In the past when I rode to motorcycle rallies like this, I basically just rode my motorcycle to the event.

I will tell you that I have learned a valuable lesson in why it is better to take an RV and trailer the motorcycle to major motorcycle rallies. I no longer have to pay $200 a night for hotel rooms and hotels that just wait to poach money off of bikers, I put more miles on my motorcycle at the event than I ever have in the past, and there is much more fun happening at the RV parks than the hotels! I no longer have to worry about squeezing a weeks’ worth of toiletries and clothes onto my motorcycle; it all goes into my RV now.

This year I arrived at my RV Park in Bullhead City, AZ on May 24th, 2013 and proceeded to set up camp. I put up my Star Spangled Banner, California Republic, and POW/MIA flag above my RV, took the motorcycle off of the trailer, unrolled the awning, and we were ready to rock and roll.

The first thing I saw when I rode my motorcycle to the strip which was just across the river from Laughlin, NV, was an electronic sign stating that no this was a no MC Colors event, soft cuts not allowed, and bait motorcycles were being used to catch thieves.

I do not mind going after motorcycle thieves but I certainly did not like the fact that a major event such as this managed to ban all motorcycle patches from the strip. I think it is a violation of the 1st Amendment right to Freedom of Speech.

Notwithstanding the affront to motorcycle club members, this year’s event was a great time. There were plenty of fine looking ladies all over. Obviously there were guys for all the gals as well. There was the usual full line up of good bands and plenty of booze all over the place.

Those that know me know that I do not drink alcohol or use drugs. I would rather ride than sit around watching a bunch of bikers get shit faced at the bar.

Ride is exactly what I did throughout the entire event. I put on almost 1000 miles during the 6 days I ended up staying in Laughlin/Bullhead City. I found a road that is off the beaten track near Oatman, AZ called the scenic byway. My companion and I literally owned this road on Sunday. You are basically in the middle of the desert with no contact to the outside world for many miles. It was a great and hot ride.

During the ride in the desert I kept thinking I hope nothing happens to my motorcycle because here I would be up shit’s creek without a paddle. I opted to take a more populated route back to the RV on the way home since it was getting dark.

I managed to win over $70 dollars as well on this trip where ordinarily I always lose at the casinos.

On a down note one of my friends was arrested on Friday night /Saturday morning for Disorderly Conduct and another charge. They were transported from Bullhead City to Kingman, AZ to the county jail there. There was a weekend judge on duty. Suffice is to say I got almost no sleep on Friday night / Saturday morning, and I had to go bail them out on Saturday afternoon and give them a ride back to Bullhead City. Saturday night was spend crashed out in my RV recovering from helping my friend out.

Aside from bailing my friend out and losing Saturday night, I had a good time this year at the Laughlin River Run Motorcycle and Biker Rally. I will be going to many rallies this summer including Sturgis, Las Vegas, and Palm Springs.

See you on the road.

By California Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Biker Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © May 1, 2013

We almost died in Big Horn National Forest

The scene of my RV accident on US-14 above Greybull, Wyoming in the Big Horn National Forest
The scene of my RV accident on US-14 above Greybull, Wyoming in the Big Horn National Forest. This shows the damage after my RV was pulled off of the embankment.

** This article was written on August 30, 2012, 2012, but it is being published on December 18, 2012. There will be one final article to be published soon about the rest of my epic vacation. There will also be a post of many videos from the vacation. Again, this article was written on August 30, 2012.

First off, before I get started, let me follow-up with my status on August 27, 2012.

Liz and I toured all over the Black Hills of South Dakota. We visited Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Sturgis, and Rapid City. We had a good time in South Dakota especially on the motorcycle. The Black Hills offer some great riding in what I consider to be intermediate twisties. I think the twisties we have where I live in the Angeles National Forest or in some places in the Santa Monica Mountains are much more difficult to ride than the Black Hills.

All in All though, the Black Hills are beautiful and I will be back next year.

We left South Dakota on August 29, 2012 for Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

When we reached the mountains off of US 14, I knew we were in for some exciting views. These are the steepest mountains I have taken my RV on since getting the RV. We went up to an altitude of 8,900 feet.

The trailer after my RV accident.
The trailer after my RV accident. It jackknifed into the rear bumper causing a crack and a small scratch on my lower, other than that there was no damage to the motorcycle thank god.

On the downside of the mountain, there was a sign showing a truck on a downgrade stating that it was for the next 17 miles. Another sign stated for trucks to switch into lower gears. I shifted into 2nd gear.

The downgrade was extreme. I pumped my brakes rather just holding them down. I cannot describe what it is like to try to slow down a very large 35’ RV with an Electra Glide and trailer in tow, on declines such as the one we were on. It was scary.

On the way down, we both heard a noise that we could not identify. Later on, I felt the brakes get a bit mushy but they still worked. We came to a visitor’s area where there were waterfalls and a viewing area. I told Liz that I was going to stop to check out the brakes.

It was around 6-6:30pm or so and starting to get a bit dark in the mountains. Since the sun was going down Liz did not want to stop or possible or get stuck in this desolate place. I told her we had to stop. I got the rig slowed down and turned right into the area, I downshifted to 1st gear to slow down more without using the brakes, when I pushed down on the brakes to stop, the pedal went to the floor and to my horror were gone. We were not slowing down and we were not stopping.

Where we would have died had I not intentionally crashed into the embankment
Had I kept on going straight in my RV instead of intentionally crashing my RV to the left, this is the cliff we would have went over, at about 300 feet we both would have died. God was with us this day.

In my 49 years heretofore, I have driven or ridden many cars, trucks, motorcycles, you name it, nothing that I have driven or ridden has lost all brake power before, nothing.

Here I was heading for a sheer cliff straight ahead, literally a sheer cliff, and I had no brakes. I yelled to Liz that we had no brakes. I tried shifting the rig into park; it just made a click click sound but did not slow down.

I told Liz that we were going to crash.

I intentionally steered the rig sharply to the left so that we would hit the side of the road which were rocks rather than go off of the cliff. I could not believe that when I made the sharp turn to the left that we did not tip over on our side.

I told Liz to brace herself. Literally from the time I realized I had no brakes until the time we crashed was just a few seconds.

I noticed a white thing where we were headed, I steered to avoid it.

We jumped up onto a curb, crashed through a wood fence, and by the grace of god were finally stopped by two beefy barriers that the National Park Service has planted along the sides of the road.

After the initial impact we kept going until we hit these barriers. We did not stop right away.

After the impact we just sat there. I was freaked out about the damage to the rig, Liz said “Norman don’t worry, we are alive.”

Let me tell you, had I steered wrong or stayed on the road that day, I have no doubt we would no longer be here on this earth. What if I would have lost the brakes on the road? I would have gone 35-40 mph or faster right over the edge. If anyone has ridden the US 14 in Wyoming, you know what I mean.

Two days ago I lost my brakes on a severe downgrade on US 14 in the Big Horn National Forest in Wyoming. I had to intentionally crash my RV in order to get the rig stopped.

The front bumper on my RV after the accident
This is the front bumper on my RV after the accident. It was destroyed. A new bumper has to be fabricated from scratch to fix the damage.

Thanks to the fine people of Greybull, Wyoming, we were towed off of the mountain into a KOA RV Park last night, and the same guy came this morning to pick up the rig to repair the brakes. The parts won’t be in until tomorrow, so the repair guy is allowing us to bunk down in the RV on his property.

I have fallen in love with Greybull, Wyoming and so has Liz. The town has about 1100 people who all seem to know each other. Went to dinner tonight and ended up meeting some of the town folk. I was invited to attend a shooting event on a private ranch. The people here leave their keys in the car, and will bend over backwards to help you.

I rode up to the crash site twice today, from Greybull, Wyoming east on US 14 up into Big Horn Forest, once by myself, once with Liz. This ride is the most beautiful and awe inspiring ride I’ve ever taken in my life. No words can describe the wide vistas, the ancient canyons, the trees, and the waterfalls. It was as if I was in the most beautiful place on earth on my Harley.

Getting back to the accident; had I not turned the way I did Liz and I would not be here. There was a sheer cliff in front of us when I lost the brakes. It was a scary experience. The RV sustained damage to the lower front where it hit, and the back where the trailer fish tailed. We are not injured. I was told that many RV’ers lose their brakes up here every month; live and learn. I lost my lower lights in the front and some fiberglass. It can be repaired.

If the parts come in tomorrow and the RV is otherwise safe to drive we will be heading to Cody, Wyoming, where I will set up camp. Saturday we will ride the Harley through Yellowstone from the east entrance. Until then….

By California Biker Attorney and Motorcycle Accident Attorney Norman Gregory Fernandez

In the Black Hills of South Dakota for a few days

Deadwood, South Dakota
Deadwood, South Dakota

We arrived a few hours ago in our home for the next few days and nights, an excellent RV resort in Deadwood, South Dakota, within the Black Hills. We are about 12 miles from Sturgis, South Dakota and about an hour away from Mount Rushmore.

Deadwood is a happening town when the Sturgis motorcycle rally is not happening. There are many casinos and bars and an actual nightlife. It is a historic place high in the Black Hills, whereas Sturgis is a small town except during the rally.

The Black Hills happen to be the oldest mountains on the North American Continent.

My last update had us staying at an RV park in Illinois. Last night we spent the night in what was basically a muddy mess in Minnesota.

Since my last update we have driven through or stayed in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota.

All of the States we have driven through have been beautiful.

South Dakota is probably the most desolate state by far with respect to places to stop, traffic, etc. It is truly a plains state. We went through hundreds of miles of corn fields before South Dakota. Once in South Dakota it switched to endless grasslands. To be frank South Dakota reminds me of the drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco in a way, but it is still unique.

The Sturgis motorcycle rally was August 6 – 12, 2012 this year. The rally ended two weeks ago. It is amazing to me that there are still a bunch of die-hard bikers here. I saw many bikers on I-90 as I was driving in.

I guess I will still have much fun riding my Harley Davidson Electra Glide amongst other bikers while I am here.

Tomorrow before I do anything, I will have to wash my motorcycle in place on the trailer before taking her off. She picked up a thick coat of white paste in Iowa, and rinsing it with water, nor rain in Iowa and Minnesota did not wash it off. So I will be delayed for at least an hour washing her. Once she is washed I will be off.

I plan on getting GoPro helmet footage of my ride as well as standard HD footage when stopped. I will post it on the blog when I get home.

That is it for now. Time to relax; it was a long 500 mile plus drive in the RV today.

By California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq.

The Great American Corn Belt

Indiana Countryside

Yesterday, August 23, 2012 and today, August 24, 2012 found me cruising my RV through and camping in Indiana and Illinois. I cannot begin to tell you how beautiful these States are.

First off, all of the states I have driven through since New Jersey have toll turnpikes which are basically freeways that you have to pay to have the privilege to drive on.

I decided that I do not like paying these tolls for my RV and motorcycle trailer since I am sometimes having to pay 75% more than a car. It is not that I cannot afford the tolls; it is that I think they are bullshit. Therefore, I set my GPS to avoid the toll roads.

Avoiding the toll roads is the best thing I have done on this trip. The reason being is that instead of driving on freeways, I am not driving on state highways off the beaten track.

In Indiana we drove all day through the most beautiful farm and tree laced land you could imagine. The landscape was like in a movie. We stayed in an excellent RV park right smack dab next to a huge corn field.

When I went outside just at sunset, all I could see for miles around was corn. I would love to live in a place such as this. I enjoyed an O’Doul’s and a cigar.

Today on August 24, 2012, we again drove off the beaten track from Indiana to Rockford, IL. We made sure to drive through Chicago, IL, but since we could not find an RV park near Chicago, we decided to head for Rockford with our next main stop being Sturgis, SD.

I am from Southern California where I was born and raised. I have traveled the world but I have always come back to California.

My trip all over the nation these past 38 days or so have made me question why I stay in California. The east coast is beautiful.

Indiana is truly a beautiful State; so is Illinois. However, I really liked Indiana. Heck we saw our first genuine Amish buggy with family in Indiana.

The people are nice, the entire State reminds me of Mayberry.

The next time I take a trip such as the one I am on right now, I may take 6 months to a year to travel around, so that instead of taking freeways, I can take roads off of the beaten track and really see the countryside.

So there it is, tomorrow I will be on the road again headed for Sturgis, SD which should take two days if all goes well.

Once in Sturgis, I will take the Harley Davidson Electra Glide off of the trailer, and ride all over the Black Hills and more.

By California Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez

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