Sunday, July 31, 2011

HONDA Sabre Switchblade Concept Pro Drag

2011 HONDA Sabre Switchblade Concept Pro Drag motorcycle 1024x768 honda sabre switchblade concept pro drag
Specifications• Stock frame, VT1300cc engine & tank
• 3way fully adjustable sport suspension
• Carbon fiber custom bodywork & spec seat
• 535 Chain conversion (Before shaft drive)
• Single sided swing arm conversion
• Racing spec calipers & rotors
• Carbon Fiber 18″ rear wheel – Front wheel 21″ carbon fiber
• Onboard GPS laptimer & data acquisition unit
• Oversize Billet Top and lower bridge
• Air/Box/cleaner Conversion
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Happy Birthday America !


Declaration of Independence

Here is the complete text of the Declaration of Independence.The original spelling and capitalization have been retained.
(Adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776)

The Unanimous Declarationof the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer,

James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Source: The Pennsylvania Packet, July 8, 1776

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Yamalube Black Leather Polish Review

Yamalube Black Leather Polish Review

When I first got my V-Star I noticed the Custom Classic Hard Leather Bolt On Saddle Bags needed some attention. The leather was drying out and the black color was starting to fade. So, I went shopping for some leather treatment.

The first thing I tried was some Blue Magic Leather Cream Conditioner. It is a watery liquid in a spray bottle and the leather bags just soaked it up almost as fast I could spray it. However, this did not help with the fading issue. Next I tried some Pro Clean Leather Lotion. It is the same watery liquid but is dispensed from a squirt bottle. It too helped with the moisturizing the leather, but not with the bleached black issue.

After a year of commuting to work and my Mistress being parked out in the hot Texan sun for 12 hours at a time the black fading got even worse. I was browsing my local Yamaha Dealer when I spotted some Yamalube Black Leather Polish on a shelf. It came in a small round container about the size of a tobacco dip can. I bought it to try it out.

A few days before I tried it out I sprayed the saddle bags down real good with the Leather Cream Conditioner to let it soak in and moisturize the leather. Finally the day came when I gave the bike an extensive cleansing. After it was dried off I got out the Black Polish out and started the application. The Yamaha website says:

Black Leather Polish

Use to restore black leather to its natural luster by putting color back into the leather. Can be used for black leather jackets, boots, bags, etc.

I opened the small container of Black Leather Polish and found that it resembled black shoe polish in color. In consistency it was a lot thinner paste than shoe polish, more like a cream. I applied it using a soft cotton rag, translation, old T-Shirt. After rubbing the Black Polish into the leather I immediately noticed the black color was back on the section I had applied it.

Wow, what a difference the Yamalube Polish made in the color of the bags. I was really impressed with the difference from before and after. I really wished I could have found the camera that day to show you, but it was in one of my other vehicles, not at home at the time.

The soft consistency of the Leather Polish made it really easy to apply, even into the leather braiding my bags have. The Yamalube Black Polish sure surprised me with how well it made the saddle bags look. Torch gives the Yamalube Black Polish a M.M.M. Rating of 9.5.
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FieldSheer’s Expensive Shoddy Gloves

FieldSheer’s Expensive Shoddy Gloves or FieldSheer 57 Bob Perforated Glove Review

I bought a pair of FieldSheer 57 Bob Perforated Black Men’s Size XL Gloves and used them for my commute to and from work for two weeks. They cost around 1/3 more than my Motoboss Airflow Gloves, which I am still using. The FieldSheer gloves functioned, fit, and felt great, until they started falling apart.

The shell of these gloves is constructed of 95% Goat Skin and 5% “Other”. It’s that 5% “Other” that ruined a perfectly good pair of gloves in short order. The goat skin leather is comfortably soft and supple. There is an extra padded section for your palm. These Bob gloves have the back side perforated, including on the fingers and thumbs, for air flow. The wrist section of the FieldSheer model 57 is constructed out of an elastic stretchy material, comfortable, but extremely short lived. They fasten with a two inch strip of hook and loop on the back of the wrist.

After two weeks of driving I noticed some stretch marks on the elastic cuffs and after closer inspection found the stitching coming apart on both gloves in several areas. In fact, there were already holes formed between the elastic cuff and the leather part of the gloves.

I went to the FieldSheer website and read all about how they care about quality so I decide to send off and email to their Customer Service Department, but I guess they do not have one. Here is a copy of my email:

Dear FieldSheer,

I recently purchased a new pair of your FieldSheer 57 Bob Perforated Black Men’s Size XL Gloves from a local Yamaha dealer in Hurst Texas. I have used them off and on for my commute to work for about two weeks. Today when I was removing them I noticed some strange striations in the elastic cuff area of the left glove. Upon closer examination I found, along with the striations, the stitching coming out where the elastic attaches to the leather. I also looked at the right hand glove and it already has a large hole where it has come apart.

I had been looking for a pair perforated gloves for some time when I found these. The rest of the glove has been flawless and I really like the fit and I thought at first they were worth the premium price compared to other gloves. This has been my first experience with FieldSheer products. Honestly, I think after this experience it would be doubtful if I would recommend or purchase any FieldSheer products in the future.

Your website claims that you want, “…to make certain our products will perform…” So I wanted to make you aware that these gloves do not.

It’s been a couple weeks now since I emailed FieldSheer and still nary even an apology.

As stated in my email to FieldSheer this has been my first experience with any of their products. Because it was bad, undoubtedly, it will be my last. These gloves are extremely poor in quality. On top of that, they won't even respond to a customer who tells them about their quality issues. I will avoid all FieldSheer products in the future. Torch gives the FieldSheer 57 Bob Perforated Black Gloves a M.M.M. Rating of 0.

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What to Do When You Can’t Ride?

A panned shot of a motor cycleImage via Wikipedia
What to Do When You Can’t Ride?

There are a lot of reasons why you may not be able to go riding on your motorcycle. A few things that may stand in your way are, work, health, financial, weather, equipment, and To-Do Lists. Of course, none of them are good reasons not to ride. Here is a short list of suggestions of things that you can do that are motorcycle related when you cannot get out on the open road:

Wash your bike

Catch up on your biker forum dejour

Perform routine maintenance on your bike

Go shopping for motorcycle equipment or paraphernalia

Read a good book about motorcycling

Read some good motorcycle blogs

Watch motorcycle shows on TV, the Internet, or DVD

Catch up on the latest motorcycle news

Perform modifications on your ride

Check in on your Twitter friends

Install accessories on your bike

Join a motorcycle organization

Read a good motorcycle magazine

Browse or buy some motorcycle art

Plan your next trip or long ride

Go shopping for more motorcycle accessories

If you are a blogger, update your blog

You get the idea. Now I’ve got to get to work on my new header….
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Torch's List / Directory of Motorcycle / Biker Magazines

Torch's List / Directory of Motorcycle / Biker Magazines
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Nuances of Temperature Changes While Riding

Orchestrated cloudscape (36850003)Image by Shutterhack via Flickr
Riding a motorcycle truly utilizes all your senses. I have written about the sounds, smells and the effect of the sun while riding previously. Another one of the nuances of riding that I really enjoy is touch. You have a heightened feeling of temperature change as you ride.

While riding in a vehicle you are protected from the elements and will never notice the subtle changes in temperature that you can while riding a motorcycle. When standing, walking or running the changes are generally to slow to notice. There is nothing better while riding on a hot day than to take slight dip in elevation and feel a pocket of cooler breeze against your skin. I think that is one of my favorite things that I enjoy about riding.

If you ride on a regular basis you will pick up on patterns of temperature changes while you ride. This is because hot air rises and cold air sinks. If the road you are traveling suddenly takes a drop in elevation you generally can actually feel the drop in temperature as you descend. Since cold air seeks lower elevations, naturally you will find it along creeks and rivers. Of course, the opposite of this is true as well. In Texas you can sometimes feel these temperature changes on longer bridges and overpasses.

Another factor that comes into play is the location of cover. Trees and buildings also block the wind and as the day warms up they will hold the cooler air at bay. There is a small wooded area with a creek in it by my house and usually on a hot day I will feel a nice cool section of the road while riding through the area. I don’t know why it feels so invigorating but I guess it just makes you more cognisant that you are alive.

Some temperatures are just not comfortable and you better have the correct riding gear to compensate for it. Hot weather gear for summer, cold weather gear for winter and rain gear for the rain. It is fun to race a storm to your destination before it starts to rain, or to stay out in front of a storm. Tornadoes, lightning or hail is not something you wish to tangle with on the back of a motorcycle.

Having your senses bombarded with information is just one of the things that make riding a motorcycle so exciting and enjoyable. Feeling the temperatures change as you ride is quite exhilarating and is definitely one of the reasons I prefer to ride.

Ride on,
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Skull Candy Ink’d Earphones Review

Do You Ride with Ear Plugs or Earphones?

Being a music aficionado with extremely eclectic tastes, just a few months after getting my bike I wanted to be able to enjoy listening to music when I rode on my daily commute. I had acquired an Apple IPod Nano a short time back which I had won in a contest at work and did not use very much. I had filled up the Nano’s four Gigs with great music including Oldies, Classic Country, Classic Rock, Contemporary Country, Blues, Disco and, Jazz genres. I still have a hard time keeping just my top favorites on the Nano’s limited storage space, there are still other music and genres I would like to include.

One of the things I did not like about the IPods was those uncomfortable ear buds that came with them. They are large, bulky and extremely uncomfortable. Since I ride with a half helmet I decided to look for some comfortable earphones so I could listen to music during my work motorcycle commute. I had heard of earphones with active noise cancelling and since I have Cobra exhaust I figured that feature would be helpful. I found some at Wal-Mart and they did have active noise canceling that required a double A battery to power.

I rode with them on to work and home one time before I donated them to one of my teenaged sons. It was not that they did not work; it’s that they worked way too well. I cannot even remember what brand they were. The problem I had with them was that I could not hear anything. I couldn’t hear my exhaust nor could I hear the sound of the vehicles on the freeway coming up along side me. My motorcycle, a V-Star 1100 Classic does not come with a tachometer and without the sound reference I could hardly tell when to shift.

Part of the problem was at the time I was a fairly new rider. Not being able to hear the traffic around me really scared the beJesus out of me. It almost scared me as bad as the time on the way home late in the day on a two lane freeway. A vehicle passed me on the left lane and its shadow followed it on my right. I happened to be passing an onramp on my right at the time. I about jumped off the bike catching the shadow to the right in the onramp lane in my peripheral vision, overtaking me.

It’s been a year and a half now and I decided to try again with non noise cancelling ear buds. I guess you figured out I live close to a Wal-Mart now. I picked up a pair of Skull Candy Ink’d Earphones. Here is the description with specs from their website:

Ink adds permanence. It forces the visual representation of an idea, concept, ideal or experience, and tangibly commemorates it. Like a tattoo, graffiti, or stretch marks. Until you're really ready to commit, go with the INK'D ear buds. Big sound, little price, no visible scarring.
Speaker Diameter: 11mm
Magnet Type:
Frequency range: 20 -20K Hz
Impedance: 16 ohms
Max Input Power: 100mw
Cable Length: 1.3m
Plug Type: 3.5mm Gold Plated

Accessories: 3 Silicon Gel Sizes

They came with three gel ear bud sizes and the middle size worked perfectly for me. I had started off with the larger size but they kept the body of the speaker housing out too far. This distorted (lessened) the sound and made the wind rush around them louder. The gel part makes cleaning the Ink’d earphones easy enough. Just hold the gel ear cup upside down, slightly squeeze and shake. I cannot believe I’m writing about earwax.

Sound quality is not too bad for MP3 files playing through small earphones. I did have to turn on the IPod’s bass boost setting, found in the EQ section. This helped with the trebly tinny sound inherent in small speakers. Then I dialed in the sound level to the desired comfortable level. I have the level set to where I can enjoy the music and still barely hear the traffic and Mistresses Mighty V-Twin purr.

I am fairly sure I would not want to ride a motorcycle with all the sound blocked out by ear plugs. I feel you need to use all your senses when guiding a metallic rolling horse down the rode. Skull Candy did a real good job with these Ink’d earphones. They are small and compact, extremely comfortable, size adjustable, and sound good. On top of all of that, they come in numerous colors and are inexpensive on the pocketbook. Torch gives the Skull Candy Ink’d Earphones a M.M.M. rating of 8.

Ride on,

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

2009 Dallas Cycle World International Motorcycle Show

2009 Dallas Cycle World International Motorcycle Show Photo Log

We got to the show fairly early, parked, and went right in with the steady flow of arrivals. I sat on several different bikes worried that I would find one that felt nice and catch new bike fever. However, that did not happen. None of them really felt that great to me. The closest in comfort to me was the Star Stratoliner.

Browsing the venders that were present I made several small purchases. Some thin leather non vented gloves for cool riding. Another pair of winter gloves with built in zip out rain covers. Lastly some clear goggles for riding in the rain and at night. Oh, and one cotton bandana.

We signed up for all the drawings and missed most of the shows and got out of the Dallas Convention center shortly after lunch. I’m not much of a photographer so bear with the photos. There should be some eye candy for every one, sport bikes, cruisers, vintage bikes, custom bikes, etc. Click on the photo for larger size.

Above: Joshua my youngest and future Ninja Warrior

Above: One of the customs from the Strokers Display

Above: Strokers Display

Above: Cam Am Spider

Lots of Vendors

Above: Me (Torch) & Joshua Checking out the Harleys

Above: Me again. Don't worry, I did not get the Swine Flu.

Above & below: The HD Ultra Classic Electra Glide Cutaway Bike

Above: Twisted Throttle talk about motorcycle luggage

Above & below: T-Rex

My better half at the Womans center trying on helmets.

Above & below: T-Rex's again

Above: Joshua hamming it up in front of one of the vendors.

Me (Torch) checking out the Honda Furry. It was marred by ugly frame welds.

Hope to see ya'all there next year.

Ride on,
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