Thursday, October 30, 2014

Serious Business of Liberty

This guy,

is putting us in grave danger.  He is out there ignoring explicit threats to our freedom on our own soil.  He tells us we are safe. 

We are not. 

There are MANY people out to get us.  They are both here in America and in other places in the world.  A significant number of them have U.S. passports or passports from other nations that have free access to the United States. 

Beheadings are not just a Middle East happening, they have reached to our own soil now. 

They are the radical Islamists and their stated goal is to fly their black flag over our White House.

They are actively recruiting people in our country to destroy our way of life here.  

...and what does our leader do?  Golfs.  Vacations.  Fund raises.  Ignores the reality of U.S. citizens already being killed.  Tells us that he has conquered terrorism. 

What is he waiting for?  This? 

Vote Republican and Tea Party in November.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Puzzled at a Harley Dealer

I recently traveled to western New York and visited Buffalo Harley-Davidson.  I know, I'm getting a reputation for being a Harley watcher.  What's my obsession, you ask?  I'll tell you that in a few seconds. 

Anyway, the Harley folks in Buffalo have a very nice building with tread plate and hardwood floors, and other attractive masculine decoration.  They have lots of bikes in stock, both new and used.
Overall view of showroom.

They also have a small display of twenty or so vintage bikes on display, mostly Harley, but some others as well.  That is the real reason why I went there.  I came in the front door, and headed for the old bikes.  Here is a smattering of what was there:
Old one with itty-bitty engine.

Topper scooter.

1970 Police Special.

That one toward the rear has a 0 cc engine.  It's a bicycle. 

1971 XLH.  Last of the 900 cc Sport.

Not much use for these in South Carolina, but Buffalo, yes.

1917 J Model.
A print.

I noticed that a salesman was helping someone else amongst the new motorcycles for the first twenty minutes or so I was there.  I snapped quite a few pictures of the old iron, then walked into the main part of the showroom. 

They had bikes ranging from around $5000 to the upper $20,000s.  I looked at several, examined the price tags, and generally loitered amongst the wares.  By that time, the salesman had retreated to an office and was talking with another employee. 

As I happened by the office door, he yelled out, asking me whether I needed any help.  I replied that I was just browsing.  Still, I was surprised because he didn't get up out of his chair or give me another look, absorbed in his conversation with the other fellow.

Now, people have said that I look like I might be the kind of guy who would ride a Harley, if anything.  How did this salesman know that I didn't have a wad of cash or a nice-size checking account? ...the wherewithal to leave the place riding one of his bikes? 

Wouldn't it be, at the least, expedient for him to have struck up a short conversation with me?  Perhaps he could ask if I ride.  That would be an easy ice breaker.  Or how about asking if I had considered riding a Harley, and whether he could help sort out the various models of bikes that were on the floor?  Maybe even step way out and ask whether he could get a piece of literature or some technical specs for me to take home to study and dream over. 

He did none of these things.  It wasn't as though the showroom was busy.  I was the only one there. 

How can the dealership stay open without some level of interest of its salesmen in making a sale? 

I have noticed this near home in South Carolina as well. Neither Power Sports of Greenville nor Foothills Motorsports in Piedmont have salesmen who get up from their chairs when a potential customer comes by.  Any time I have been interested in a bike, I have had to ask for their help.

Harley surely didn't make a sale in Buffalo that day.  Not to me, anyway.  They didn't even try.  I wonder how often they do -- and I wonder how often they could


Having left there puzzled, I ran across another Harley dealer not too many miles away.  This one had only one bike on display, and it wasn't for sale.

You can sit on it, but you can't buy it.

The store was in Niagara Falls Ontario, and sells only Harley-related merchandise like tee shirts, jackets, and souvenirs. 

Harley-Davidson, Niagara Falls Ontario.
Yet again, I went in to browse.  You never know what you might find.  The lone visible employee, a girl at the sales counter, stayed by the register, and didn't offer to help me find anything either.  That is probably more understandable than at the Buffalo store, this being more of a self-service-type place, and considering that it is off season at the Falls. 

I didn't buy anything there either. 


Or, maybe salesmen are not expected to sell these days.  If not, what good are they? 

What do you think?  Have you been on the verge of buying but couldn't get a salesman to give you a little help and take your money? 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Gloves Gone, but Not Forgotten...and a Replacement Pair

I noticed a couple of weeks ago that my favorite riding gloves were starting to go to pieces.  The perforated sections were tearing between the perforations.  Not good. 

So soon?  They still seem like they are my "new" gloves. 

The tears mean that they are probably not as protective as they ought to be in case of a fall. 

I bought that pair of Shift Carbine Motorcycle Gloves in 2008, based on a review by WebBikeWorld, that said they were a good value for gloves that were almost of race quality.  I paid about $88 for them, mail order. 
Fingers are not supposed to stick through.

They are comfortable and have given me good service over the years.  The loop half of the Velcro had become worn out a couple of years ago to the point where they would not stay closed, so I had some new Velcro sewn on by a local seamstress for about $20. 

It seems that Velcro does not last as long as it should.  Maybe it is counterfeit Velcro in the case of these gloves. 

I searched and searched for glove recommendations when I started looking for replacements of my old-faithful pair.  I ran across a sale at CycleGear online for the 2011 version of Alpinestars GP Plus Gloves.  Their original price was $189, but, because they are a few years old in style, they were advertised for $139.95 + local tax, and free shipping.  (I just looked, and they are now out of stock.  Sorry.  The newest version is likely just as good or better, but higher priced.) 

I carefully examined their sizing chart to make sure I sent for the right size.  You measure straight across your palm beneath the knuckles where your fingers meet your palm.  I settled on a size medium, and pressed the payment button.  (I thoroughly enjoy the research process up to that point, by the way, but not beyond.) 

After a few days waiting, the gloves arrived and I tried them on. 

They fit snugly across the hand and around the fingers, but since they are leather, they will break in and stretch a bit with use.  It does take a few extra seconds to get them on, being so tight.  They are quite comfortable, however.  The gauntlets cover my riding suit sleeves adequately, and there is a narrow strap with Velcro to secure the glove around your wrist to prevent its coming off.  Even though it has been hot, the gloves are comfortable and not oppressive. 

3rd and 4th fingers attached to one another

Alpinestars says there is dual density knuckle protection and finger sliders that offer superior impact and abrasion resistance.  The 3rd and 4th fingers are attached to one another to prevent the little finger from rolling (and breaking) if you are sliding on the outside of your hand.  They also say there is KEVLAR® in the lining.  The palms have little bumps that are supposed to allow for the palm to slide on the pavement instead of sticking.  Sticking instead of sliding can cause tumbling, and tumbling increases the probability of fractures.  There are stretch panels and perforations in the wrist area.  As might be expected, the fingers are pre-curved so you don't have to fight the gloves to grip the bars. 

So far, I like 'em. 

We'll see how long they last, and whether they remain comfortable over their life. 

Anybody have these gloves?  What do you think of them?