Incredible Museums should be cherished and loved; Motorcycle Museums should be memorialized. I would call Barber Motorsports Museum a Two Wheeled Shrine of epic proportions. Plan a trip there if feasible and make it a priority.
Category Archives: Harley-Davidson
Life is leading me towards one new Motorcycle and I can’t stop thinking about it. The 2018 Royal Enfield Himalaya haunts my brain while I am awake and my dreams while I sleep. Last night I awoke in a feverish sweat from a radical dream. In the vision, I was being chased by a King Kong size rodent with bunny ears. Luckily the mythical beast could not catch me as I raced around large shrubbery on my trusted Royal Enfield Himalaya.
Over the last few years I have followed this cycle as it was first sold in India and then later retailed to parts of Europe and Australia. I admit, there have been a few quality hiccups along the way, but Royal Enfield has been tweaking their manufacturing control measures to resolve these problems. From the research that I have read on-line, the initial glitches have been worked out after the first production year that the cycle was sold. I have never been an advocate of buying a first-year model even with quality obsessed Japanese based Motorcycles. The American Launch of the Himalaya in the Spring of 2018 will represent the 3rd Phase of Royal Enfield’s Distribution Plan and I hope the gremlins will have been fully worked out before it hits American Roads.
I have never ridden this motorcycle, but I love what it represents. It embodies freedom from pavement, freedom from dept, freedom from economic forces that keeps modest adventure riders from dirt trails and mountainous fire roads. With an expected base price of $4499.00, this is an “Every Man’s Adventure Bike!
Are you obsessed with motorcycling? Take the short test below to see where you fall in the Motorcycling Obsessive Compulsive Data Metrics Scale or (MOCDMS). The test is easy to complete. Just answer Yes or No to each question below. At the end of the questionnaire count the number of “Yes” Answers and correspond your result to the MOCDMS Result Metric at the end of the test.
TwoTireTirade is not responsible for future symptoms and or treatments of your Motorcycling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder nor is TwoTireTirade certified by any medical or physiological organization. The research used in the MOCDMS was not done in the conjunction with the American Psychological Association.
Please see the twelve Questions immediately below and remember to be honest in your answers. You will only answer Yes or No to each question listed. Falsely answering questions may lead to an inaccurate data result.
- Have you ever just drove your motorcycle on a major highway to weave in and out of traffic?
- Do you gaze at helmets for long periods of time like others do fine art?
- Do you know what “Farkle” Means?
- Do you know why Motorcyclist often have bells on their cycles?
- Have you debated the benefits of Leather Jackets verses Synthetic Jackets?
- Can you define what the “Tail of the Dragon” means?
- Would you rather ride in the Rain on a Motorcycle rather than be dry in a car in the same conditions?
- Do you know what the term “Cage” Refers to?
- Can you describe in general terms what the concept “Counter Steering” means?
- Do you believe that Lane Splitting should be legal in all 50 States?
- Do you know how to avoid a “Yard Shark Attack”?
- Does your spouse/friends/family roll their eyes whenever you bring up Motorcycling due to the fact that they are just tired of your rants on the subject?
Please tally your Yes Responses to the above questions and correspond your Results to the Data Metrics Below:
Number of Yes Responses
0 – 4 Yes Responses
No need for medication or therapy at this time. You are not at all fascinated by the motorcycling culture and should feel perfectly secure in the fact that you’re normal.
5 – 8 Yes Responses
You have dipped your toes into the world of motorcycling but have not dived in head first. There is hope for you to maintain your status as being part of the social norm. It is recommended that you stay away from motorcycle oriented retail operations and other motorcycle friendly establishments to curve your future motorcycle urges. We recommend that your refrain from adrenaline enhancing behavior which may lead to ugly thoughts of life on two wheels.
9-10 Yes Responses
You have issues and should seek immediate medical and or psychological treatment. You have been overtaken by the Philosophy of Life on Two Wheels. It will be a long hard road to get back to a normalized life. You constantly think of motorcycling and plan the majority of your social interactions around your motorcycling life style. The majority of your free time is spent dwelling about future motorcycling trips and or on plans to enhance your cycle. Motorcycling has dramatically changed your life and has affected the relationships between you and your friends and family. You have lost productivity at work because of your dependence on motorcycling. Motorcycling is becoming you and you are desperately in need of professional help.
11 – 12 Yes responses
You have Terminal Motorcycling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; for you there is no hope. At this time, your best bet is to dive head first into your obsession and let it consume you to the bitter end. Indulge in a new bike and or buy another cycle for your collection. Given your horrific mental condition, ride hard and ride often. Don’t toil over needless worries and ride free. Dream big and live bigger. Let no one diverge you from your passion and surround yourself with others whom suffer your same affliction. As they say, misery loves company.
This community service has been provided by TwoTireTirade. Leave me a comment and let me know how you did on the test.
The snow finally melted in the low lands of Colorado, so 3 friends and I decided to take a weekend ride to the Great Plains of Eastern Colorado from Denver for the weekend. Our plans were to leave at 5:30 pm on Friday Evening and Camp out two nights with a return trip home on Sunday. Traveling in early May is a little tricky because the sun sets quicker than expected. After a few hours on the road, we arrived in Wray, Colorado as the sun set and by the time we got to our campground it was already dark. We used our cycle’s headlights for some artificial light and set up camp at a great little place just outside the city limits. Once our tents were set up, we hit the road in search of dinner and found a great burger place to eat. When we arrived at the restaurant, a stranger on a cycle followed us into the restaurant’s parking lot. We chatted for a bit and invited him to eat with us. We began our first meal of our trip meeting a total stranger and he joined us for a great meal. He rode a 2015 Kawasaki Verses and open carried a 9mm Berretta on his left hip (“Open Carry” means he carried a gun unconcealed in a holster). This guy was either going to kill us or be a really nice guy; luckily he ended up being just another motor head who loved talking motorcycles.
Riding through the prairie is not for everyone. Some folks just don’t understand the wonders of such places. Adrenaline junkies will miss the excitement of the curvy roads through the mountains and others will just think the Great Plains lacks a diverse scenery. There is nothing wrong with such opinions; beauty is a matter of perspective. The prairie provides a place where the simplicity of the environment enhances the micro elements of everyday sights. The colors of the sky seem more vibrant and enriched. The contrast between the grass, road and horizon is acute beyond detail. The way that the grass blows from side to side almost mimics “the wave” one might see at a baseball game. The visual aspects of the Great Plains lacks the shock and awe value of a colossal mountain landscape or sandy ocean beach but if you open your mind to its mystic charm, you will find a wondrous environment to enjoy.
On Saturday Morning we got up early and broke down camp. We only had two objectives to achieve. Our goal was to ride to both the Sand Creak Massacre Monument and the Grenada Japanese Relocation Camp both in South Eastern Colorado. Riding south from Wray Colorado, we arrived at Sand Creek Massacre Monument around noon. The road to the monument off the state highway is an 8 mile hard pack dirt road. If you take it slow, this road is safe enough to travel. The monument is run by the National Park Service and it worth its weight in historical gold. We learned the terrible history of this place, where more than 220 Native Americans (mostly women, elderly and children) were slaughtered by members of the US Army. The mood of the park was eerie and somber as if a cloak of sadness surrounds the hollowed grounds. As a veteran of the US Army, I listened and learned of this terrible event in deep sadness and wondered how individuals could do such terrible things.
The next stop was the Grenada Japanese Relocation Camp where America forcibly relocated more than 7,500 Japanese Americans during World War 2. This site is surely worth a visit. The roads throughout the old internment camp are made of loose dirt soil and motorcyclist should consider walking the area and parking their cycles at the entrance. I am not proud of the history of this place but its story serves to remind us that we can do better as a society to prevent bigotry and racism so this type of behavior will never happens again. The buildings in the camp were torn down after World War 2 but the foundation still exist. A recreation of the camp’s water tower, barracks and guard tower have been built so visitors can better understand the life of the Japanese American Citizens in the internment camp. During our visit at the camp we saw a wild-fire seem to originate out of nowhere. It was the strangest event. As we explored the ruins of an old guard tower we noticed a small amount of smoke drifting from the ground about 100 yards outside the boarders of the camp. Within one minute the trickle of smoke turned to something more daunting and we noticed a small flame in the open field. We called 911 and reported the situation immediately. By the time we left the park, there were more than 3 fire trucks working the fire. I believe the fire ignited in the county landfill that lies adjacent to the Internment Camp. This was just another random odd situation that we witnessed during our trip
After learning about such ugly times in my country’s history, my mind really went a drift during our ride to our tent site. Both parks were thought-provoking entities that every American should visit. We as a society need to learn of these events and visit these places, in hopes that we as a culture will never be doomed to repeat such actions. If these ugly events can take place in Eastern Colorado, the same type of situations can play out anywhere in America. We as a society can and must do better and should be made aware of the evil that lurks in the hearts of men.
I would be amiss if I did not at least mention the phenomenal small towns that dot the landscape of Eastern Colorado. There is just something eccentric and right about these places. The people are friendly and polite. These are the type of places that make one feel welcome as soon as you arrive. I always thought that small town America always represented what the term home should be.
Our motorcycling trip through Eastern Colorado ended up being a historical trek for knowledge which made the trip even more impressive. The trip was also organized around a simplistic plan without a ton of complications. We traveled without a detailed agenda nor plan of route. Only armed with a sleeping bags, tents and wet weather gear, we hit the road heading east towards the Great Plains. Our goal was to see a few historical sites and sleep under the stars for a few nights of motorcycling bliss. Eastern Colorado is part of the Great Plains and is rural beyond measure. This part of the country has escaped modern inconveniences that tend to overwhelm us. Traffic is non-existent, life feels slower and the environment is defined by a vast wide open sky that lasts as far as the eye can see. Riding through the plains is not filled with twisty roads or gnarly sloping cliffs. One must head 4 hours west towards the mountains for that type of scenery but there is a certain amount of majestic bliss that one feels while riding through the open vast scenic landscape. The trip is highlighted by never-ending open skies and vast fields. It’s this environment that provides a mystic key to one’s mind and allows profound freedom of thought. The panoramic view of never endings prairie grass is a wonder to observe. Take a chance on places you have never seen, you never know what interesting things you can find.
I knew that it would be another tough day at the office filed with turbulence and strife. My commute is about an hour and felt a profound satisfaction that my hectic work day would start and end on my motorcycle. During my ride, I dwelled upon the end of winter and the beginning of a new season.
As the sun peaks over the horizon and shares its warm vibrant rays, I realize that winter has retreated north. The scent of new life has permeated through the plains and mountains and one can almost smell the land coming alive from a winter’s desolate exile. The rivers are more vibrant, fed by melting snow and the birds chatter among the trees in an epic devotional of the miracles of spring. For motorcyclist living in a multifaceted climate, this time of year represents an open door to freedom which removes limitations to our ability to ride. The warm air and gentle breeze call us from afar to find new paths to places rarely visited.
Motorcycling in spring is like waking up to find that one’s awe-inspiring fantasy has indeed become a reality. Seize the moment and ride. Find a new adventure, research the wonders of history in your backyard, visit a friend long-lost, and cherish the majestic environment that only spring can display. We are our own leading restraint in finding happiness in this world; don’t let any obstacle get in your way. Now is the time to leave the chaos of life behind and chase smiles and grins on black top covered dreams.
We live a life of risk and rewards. Every day may be the last day but we are always planning for tomorrow. It’s a life of balance and one must never lose touch with rationale thought but an occasional jaunt living on the edge builds character. Find time to live and breathe the fresh air of an uncluttered mind. Focus on the Ride and let the road be your long-lost muse.
“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn” – Hal Borland
American Travesty Tour, Research before the Ride- Sand Creek Massacre and the Granada War Relocation Center
I am in the process of planning a ride through Southeast Colorado which I am calling the American Travesty Tour. I try to research the historical significance of places that I plan on visiting on my motorcycle. I find that a bit of inquiry before the trip, makes the sites I see more vibrant and impactful. Planning this ride really made me reflect upon the concept of the duel Characteristic of Man. The notion that an individual can be both good and evil is not all that easy to swallow until one really dwells upon the deep unending depth of an individual’s soul. Were all capable of doing wondrous positive things as well as committing horrific acts of evil. What is an even more bazaar is that individuals often can do these things in conjunction with one another. Researching the historical significance of the Sand Creek Massacre and the Granada War Relocation Center in Southeast Colorado put into perspective the wrongs that my own country has committed. These are not the only sins that burden my own cultural identity but give me a sense of what we are all capable of doing if we do not live with an ethical and spiritual conscious. As a combat veteran, I can tell you that I am proud to be an American but one also must keep their hearts open to learning opportunities that we can learn from the past.
On November 29th 1864, America lost its moral compass when a force of Colorado US Volunteer Calvary under the command of US Army Colonel John Chivington attacked a peaceful village of Cheyenne and Arapaho Native Americans. The encampment was filled with mostly women and children, since the men were out hunting food for the upcoming winter. The band of Indians were requested to move to the Sand Creek area of Southeast Colorado and were guaranteed their safety by the American Government. In their village flew an American Flag along with a White Flag underneath the stars and stripes which was raised by the tribe to show their peaceful nature. Most adult Cheyenne and Arapaho men in the encampment were either sick or too old to attend the hunt. There is no real accurate causality list but it is safe to report that more than 100 Arapaho and Cheyenne Native Americans were killed, mostly women and children. This attack became known as the Sand Creek Massacre. This blood bath lead to further violence throughout the region when countless reprisals were made against white settlers in response to the Sand Creek Massacre by Native American Warriors. It’s a classic sad tale of hate begetting hate. Not all the military personal under Colonel Chivington participated in the massacre. Captain Soule who was in charge of Company D of the 1st Colorado Calvary ordered his men to stand down and did not attack when given the charge orders. Captain Soule latter testified against Colonel Chivington. On April 23, 1865 Silas Soule was murdered in Denver, CO while on duty as a Provost Marshal. Evidence suggests that his untimely death was payback for his eye witness testimony against Colonel Chivington.
Granada War Relocation Center, also known Camp Amache was a Japanese Relocation Camp located just outside Granada, CO in Southeast Colorado. In the spring of 1942, Japanese Americans were rounded up and forced from their homes and made to move to one of ten such Japanese Relocation Camps. Individuals were only allowed to bring one bag to the relocation centers and were forced to sell their valuables and property including pets and livestock before getting forced out of their homes. It’s hard to fathom such fear and hate which lead to such an abysmal act. While their family members were stuck in War Re-Location Camps, Japanese Americans were fighting the fascists in Europe. The US Army 442nd Regiment was made up of mostly men of Japanese ancestry and was the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of American Warfare. The 442nd Infantry Regiment earned 9486 Purple Hearts and was awarded eight Presidential Unit Citations. Their motto was “Go for Broke” and they lived up to that creed with twenty-one of their members being awarded the Medal of Honor.
I never have posted my pre-ride research before an upcoming ride but felt so affected by what I learned that I wanted to put in words and share. I plan on taking this journey in the next few months and will hopefully be able to share more information.
A few days ago, I got my cycle out for a short jaunt. It was a sunny February day and the snow had melted and there was no ice on the roads, it felt safe to ride. Given the melancholy bleakness of winter, it felt like a hot summer August day. Weather can be a matter of perspective. I went to school in Buffalo, NY where it rained and or snowed 6 days of the week. Snow drifts the size of houses are a normal occurrence in Western, NY and the snow will last from November through March. This Sunny February day felt like the Bahamas but the reality was that it was about 40 degrees.
It felt good to ride again. I recently did a bunch of maintenance on my ride and she felt nimble and ready to pounce. As I was rounding a corner, I saw a golf course sprinkler system watering the greens. There was a brisk westerly wind pushing tiny droplets of water away from the golf course and onto the road. I automatically knew that given the temperature outside that the mist accumulating on cold tarmac would translate into a caustic situation. The fact that I was riding on a brand new front tire did not help the situation (Always Be Careful on New Tires). I was already in the curve and without thinking, I tried to upright my bike before going into the wet pavement because I felt that it may be ice. I am not right often but this time I was, that golf course sprinkler mist turned that corner into black ice carnage.
As soon as I hit the patch of water, I felt my tires sliding out of control and that is when my brain went into slow motion. It’s like you’re thinking in normal speed but everything in your environment is moving at a snail pace. This has not happened to me since Iraq. In combat situations, sometimes things just slow down. Do you remember in the movie Saving Private Ryan when Tom Hanks is on Omaha Beach on D-Day and everything just goes in slow motion, that is what it was like.
The funny thing is the first thought in my mind was the safety of my new Bell Helmet. It’s such a gorgeous helmet and the thought of it bouncing off the road chipping paint was just to horrific to contemplate. Then I thought of wanting steak and eggs with white toast, eggs done over easy fashion. Then I pondered my wife’s reaction, she would be so angry at me. I imagined being in a coma and having my wife lecture me for 43 hours straight on the dangers of motorcycling. Trapped in a coma listening to anti motorcycling propaganda sounded almost as bad as damaging my new slick painted retro lid. My last thought I remembered was hoping the dogs would be ok outside if I did not make it home till my kids got back from school. The beasts are inside dogs and it was a little chilly and hoped they would not be cold.
Then as soon as it happened the cycle righted its self and I was off the ice driving safely forward. The moment lasted less than a second but it felt like 4 minutes.
After further reflection, I am not sure about my contemplative priorities while getting ready to crash on the motorway. Luckily the crash never happened but it makes me think that we could all be only one second away from a life changing moment. Cherish the time you have on two wheels when you can get it and always let your loved ones know how much you care for them.
I don’t fear crashing as much as I fear not being able to ride.