Open post
Twin Sons of Different Mothers

Sidecars in the Flint Hills

OK, I know - I don't have a sidecar but I'm fascinated by them so I tagged along with a fellow Airhead and sidecar owner to Joyce Canfield's Sidecars in the Flint Hills rally this past weekend. I've been thinking about putting a sidecar on my project bike (a 1983 R100 RT) or possibly Strix. To help with my decision I attended this rally to learn more, see more sidecars up close and personal, and see what this sidecar thing is really all about. Otus did his usual fantastic job getting me there and back again. What a great machine!

I got to see somewhere around 20 different sidecar rigs from the very traditional Ural, a few Goldwing-equipped sidecars, a couple of cruiser-based rigs, and a really fun "Frankenbike" sporting a Velorex sidear. Not only were the machines cool to look at, the people were great ambassadors for their sidecar passion. I couldn't have asked for a better indoctrination to the sidecar lifestyle. There was good food, good conversation, and a genuine willingness to answer any questions I had.

If a picture's worth 1,000 words here's a whole bunch of thousands.

Open post
The Flag @ The Ace Cafe Orlando

At The Ace Cafe Orlando

After visiting The Ace Cafe London just a few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to find myself in Orlando and got to visit The Ace Cafe Orlando. While both cafes are cool each in their own right, The Ace Cafe London is steeped in tradition where The Ace Cafe Orlando is finding its own way. This is probably explained by the difference between a pub in London and a bar in the US. More about this later but for know each cafe has its own unique vibe.

Since discovering The Ace Cafe when traveling on business last year I have made it a point to get back there each time I'm in Orlando. Thursday night is Bike Night at The Ace and every Thursday night I've been there has been a pile of fun. This most recent Bike Night was additionally awesome for two reasons - one of the Slow Drags was flagged using my home club's flag, and I got to see my friend Casey again.

Kent is the "MC" of Bike Night. His job is to get the crowd involved and he does a good job. I got to know Kent while I was sitting at the bar before the festivities started. We talked about the Slow Drag competition - slowest rider to complete the course without putting their feet down wins! - and using my home club's flag to send off a pair of competitors. He's a wild man! Casey is my favorite server in the place. She got stuck with me the first time I went to The Ace and she's taken care of me on every return trip. She's good stuff!

Open post
Air & Oil - Featured

Shake Down Ride – the GS

The GS was ready to come off the lift so we went for a shake down ride! An Airhead friend near Vinland, KS spent minutes planning our impromptu ride. The weather was glorious (60 degrees in January - this kind of weather confuses me when it comes to global warming...) and the roads were dry! I met him at his place and we took the back roads to The Blind Tiger in Topeka. Beers on their deck was a great January treat! We stayed too long and it got a little chilly after the sun set. I suppose I could have tried out the heated grips but my hands stayed warm behind the GS hand guards.

The GS ran well and is very stable. I've replaced a lot of broken parts since trading for it so I was a little worried that my euphoria during the test ride hid big problems. Fortunately there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the bike! It tracks straight and true, goes and stops well, and handles very predictably. It's a heavier bike that Otus and the traffic circles made that obvious, but it never surprised me. At 70 mph it revs at 4,000 rpm in 5th gear - almost identical to Otus - so it feels very familiar and comfortable. The riding position is what I was hoping for - my feet beneath me and my back straight. While it is a bit more work to ride this big bike, I am very pleased with the GS!

Spotwalla Route Map

What's Next?

Now that the shake down ride is in the books I'll be doing a bit more maintenance-related jobs - fluids, filters, and lots of grease - so I'll be ready to go anywhere on this big machine!

Scroll to top