Who am I and why the hell should you care about reading my blog?

Avid motorcyclist & freelance writer, specializing in motorcycles & motorcycle related topics, with a healthy dose of good humor, good vibes & general advice on simply being a good person.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

I'm signing off...

That's right folks. I'm signing off of the socials. I'm simply too busy at my real job to maintain the Instagram and Facebook pages for The MotoWriter, or the MotoWriter YouTube channel, with the regular and updated content that you guys want. Not to mention- these days, it really seems like we spend way too much time scrolling and not enough time actually living.

Ferris Bueller said it best- "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." I've said it before and I'll say it again, we only really have around 75 good years on this rock to live our best life and, while that may seem like a long time, I'll ask you this- how many of those 75 years do you have left? If you're already in your mid 30's... you are already halfway through them. I'm not trying to be a downer here, but instead, I'm telling you to stop peering in on everyone else's lives, which is often faked and filtered anyway, and start living your own. Stop trying to photograph and/or video every moment just to post it on social media, and start enjoying the moment for yourself. 

Get out and play. Sweat. Get dirty. Have fun and make memories, not posts. 

If you're a regular reader of the blog here on the ole interwebs, don't worry... I'll keep writing stuff as often as I can. You can always drop me an email at motowriter74@gmail.com if you would like to keep in touch or if you'd like me to feature your motorcycle or motorcycle story here on www.TheMotoWriter.com. I'd love to hear from you and hear about your adventures.

Until next time, MotoReaders, Ride safe, make good choices and live your best lives making new friends, good memories and gaining cool stories to tell around the campfire! I hope to see you out there!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

My inner cheapskate LOST...

If you know me, you know that I don't mind spending a little money on things that I like....BUT... you'd also know that there are some things I just can't quite justify to myself, no matter how much I like it (or want it). Typically, my inner cheapskate comes out and saves my bank account from the abuse that my childlike fascination with shiny new things would do to it. Well, not this this time. Today, the cheapskate lost.

When I first bought my 2017 Harley-Davidson Road King Special, the lighting was pretty basic. The turn signals were the same generic 1157 incandescent bulbs that have been used for decades and the stock headlight was the same stock 7" halogen that was in every Harley Touring bike. It's chrome reflector against the all-black bike just looked awful and out of place. So, my very first upgrades to the scoot were LED lightbulbs all around. Now, I refused to pay full price for the $600 Harley-Davidson LED projector, so I waited until I found a J.W. Speaker 8700 (which is a half-halo LED projector with black trim) on eBay for the right price. In case you didn't know- J.W. Speaker is based in Milwaukee, USA and just happens to be the company that makes the LED projector lights for Harley-Davidson (and several other companies). I paid about a third of what the light normally cost because it was one half of a pair for Jeeps that was used as a demo. I've been pretty happy with it, especially for the price I paid. Being a Jeep headlight though, I did notice some deficiencies while riding the sharp and twisty mountain roads of the Appalachians. Obviously, Jeeps aren't supposed to lean, so this headlight projects a long, powerful beam when riding down a straight stretch of road with the headlight upright, but tip the light to one side or another, and that's when you see the end of the light beam, which, on an LED projector, tends to be a pretty defined "edge" of light and darkness. 

Enter the Adaptives.

When I first saw the Adaptive headlights a couple of years ago, I was beyond impressed with the technology. A headlight that actually shines into the corners? Crazy! But the price was ridiculous (to be honest- it still is). In spite of the price though... I just couldn't shake the temptation of dropping the dough on this super rad, Jetson's level, piece of lighting. So a few days ago, I finally broke down and did it. 

So what changed? Well, my wife and I are planning a trip to the "motorcycle motherland" next year for the MoCo's 120th anniversary celebration. This will be the longest trip that my wife has taken on the bike, so I'm getting things ready for her (new helmet, comms, rain gear, boots, passenger floorboards, etc.). While perusing the ole interwebs for the new stuff, a new product from Kuryakyn caught my eye- Tracer diffused LED turn and tail lights. WOW. These things are sexy. I normally don't care for the look of Kuryakyn's products, but these things are cool and very modern looking, as opposed to the plain ole' LED bulbs that I've got in now. As most Kuryakyn products are, the Tracers are a bit pricey, but Kuryakyn's products are well made and they are a well established company with good customer service, so I wasn't afraid of the price. So, my inner child figured that since I'm  going to be upgrading my tail and turn signals... I may as well take another look at that fancy new headlight.

The Harley-Davidson version is still well over $800, so that was a hard "no" for me, however, after perusing around a bit, I found the J.W. Speaker Adaptive 2 priced between $560 and $599. While that's still a ridiculous price, I've always believed that you get what you pay for and in this case, I'd be getting a headlight with technology that would enhance my night riding experience and, very likely, improve my safety on those twisty backroads that I love riding so much. So, after a week or so of going back and forth, trying to justify it and rationalize it over and over, my inner cheapskate said "f**k it" and gave in. I ordered everything off of Amazon, which I regret because I actually ended up spending about $50 bucks more for everything than I would have if I had ordered it from Revzilla, but the 'Zilla was out of stock on the rear Tracers and my inner child wanted it all now, so my hastiness cost me more dough. Oh well, live and learn, I suppose.

So, was it worth the price?

I love it when people ask me this question. "Worthiness" is relative. What makes something "worth the price" anyway? What is worth it to me, may not be worth it to you. After all, there are so many factors to consider, like our income, our budgets and our overall spending, to just name a few. For me, I don't hang out in bars or casinos, I don't golf, I don't own a boat or an RV (although an RV could be a fun addition to go with the bikes...) and I don't wear expensive clothes. I only drink a little when I'm at home and I don't smoke... my only real vice is my motorcycles. I work hard, earn a fair wage and, especially lately, have been working a bunch of overtime (which is why I haven't been posting much to the site). My point is- for me, adding a few hundred bucks worth of lighting to my primary motorcycle is absolutely worth it, especially if it helps me see a little further down the road or helps other drivers see me coming, or stopping. You may be asking how well the adaptive part works... well, it's difficult to describe really. If I had to use one word to describe it, I'd probably choose "seamlessly." The light is amazingly bright on low beam and I'm pretty sure the high beam may have inadvertently vaporized a bird that flew in front of it. The adaptive part works very well in adding light in the darkness of the corners, but you don't really "see" it doing it, meaning it doesn't "turn on" a light into the turn, then turn it "off" as you straighten out- it's much more subtle, which is a good thing because it does it's job without being distracting. 

As for the question of, "is it worth the money?" For me, it is. I  really like the way the adaptive headlight, paired up with the diffused LED turn and brake lights, really add a modern lighting touch to the scoot and I really like the way they perform. I haven't had a chance to try it out on any super tight, dark roads yet, but when I do, I'm sure it will be a vast improvement over my previous headlight. 

The best advice I'll tell you is this- if you do decide to upgrade your lighting, consider giving the folks at Revzilla your money. Amazon is great for some things, but not for every thing and I've never had any issues ordering from the 'Zilla. 

Until next time, MotoReaders, ride safe and make good choices... (like upgrading your lights)!

I added a few pictures of the lights, and a short video of the headlight's "start-up" sequence to my Instagram page, if you're interested in taking a look at it.