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By: Shaggy of TheCarolinaRider.com
This one's for all my brothers and sisters out there on their rice rockets. I mean the TRUE LOVERS of moto-sickles from the land of the rising sun, not the festering puss nuggets babbling stupid sh$t like, "I'm just learning on this," or "I'm saving up for a Harley." That's about the biggest ass load I've ever heard in my brief miserable existence. I've never been considered a sensible individual, but the question still nags me, "why tear up a perfectly good bike so you can run out and buy one that's going to f$ck up on its own? Fair warning: the rest of this rant WILL p$ss off a Harley rider, it's NOT MEANT TO but here we go ....
Japanese companies such as Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha started shipping motorcycles to the US and other parts abroad in the early 60's. The bulk of the early bikes were under-powered, awkwardly-shaped, and didn't hold a lot of "star power." Then in the mid-60's, the Rising Sun shined down upon a brand new mystical fire breathing dragon, the CB750 inline four engine. This beautiful offering from Honda took the market by storm, cornering all other cruisers, touring, (and most importantly,) race bikes of the day. The CB750 changed many things in the motorcycle world in many ways but none so infamous as this. You could ride it without dragging a bag of wrenches with you!!! Just kick, twist, and go!
With the power and reliability these machines produced, it's no wonder they were the preferred power plant of so many choppers, bobbers, and cafe racers of the day. I've had several older gents tell me, "back in the day, you couldn't beat a 750 Honda."
The years faded, but as any proud JapRider will tell you: the power and reliability did not. When I graduated high school, I walked into Palmetto Cycle Center in Spartanburg, SC, and I rode home on a brand new 2007 Honda Shadow Spirit 750. Since then I have put over 60K miles on the clock and good ol' Kingsh$t (the bike's name,) hasn't failed me yet. That bike has been layed down, wrecked and set on fire twice but I will be my bottom dollar that it will still be going when next year's Harleys are being hammered out into license plates and beer cans.
Let me pause here befreo some of you sh$t a brick ... to say that I am not prejudiced against any brand, I've rode Harley's, Triumphs, and many other brands and stil haven't found one I hated besides a Can-Am but that's another rant completely. I'm harping on this subject for one reason and one reason only: Harley riders are proud to be Harley riders and they SHOULD BE; but, dammit to hell, LAY OFF US JAP RIDERS! Nothing p$sses me off more than hearing people say shit like "Real bikers only ride Harleys."
Let me state this for the record: To anyone who f$cks with my bike, I came into this world kicking and screaming, and covered in someone else's blood and I've got no problem going out that way. I hold NO HARD FEELINGS for American and British bikes. I just want equal treatment for us Jap riders. That's why I present this idea. It won't be long now until the rest of the country hits "riding season" and rallies and runs will soon kick off in full force. If I can generate enough interest through The Carolina Rider.com, I will host a Jap-bike-only" motorcycle show in the Upstate of SC this Summer. Please, if this interests you, contact me (email@example.com,) and/or write a comment to this article. I may not reply to all of them, but I assure you I DO READ ALL of them!
To my rice riding bretheran, keep it verticle. To everyone else, I promise to stop and help when your bike leaves you stranded! Now, beam me up, Scotty, there's no intelligent life here.
Put up or Shut up!
By: Shaggy of TheCarolinaRider.com
As predicted, my last rant caused a few blood pressure spikes in the Harley community … Holy sh$t man, last month when I threw out a "what if" idea of a Jap-bike-only bike gathering, I didn't expect to get more than a few p$ss and moans from Harley riders (which were plentiful.) But what I got was a sh$t-ton of people practically beating their chest and singing the praises of their sleds. I asked for interest and suppot for this show and what I got looked more like a call to arms. You guys put up your end so come hell or high water, I will give you this show!
The kind folks at Palmetto Cycle Center in Spartanburg, SC are providing us with a location, Jon and FancyFree have agreed to employ The BIG RIDE Bus to provide the tunes, and I'm tracking down everything else as we speak. Thank you guys for this!
Now that the humble bullsh$t is over, I'd like to address a few things:
As predicted, my last rant caused a few blood pressure spikes in the Harley community. More than a few people brought up the point of patriotism. They seem to believe riding Harley's somehow makes you more of an American than others... Motherf$cker, please! You can't walk into a dealership and buy patriotism. These are the same guys who buy HD Road Barges and cover them with all those useless little chrome pieces stamped "made in Taiwan!" Porn is the only thing still made in America and even it's losing groud to the sh$t coming from overseas.
Another one is that I'm saying all this because I want a Harley and can't afford one. Let me set the record straight: I currently own three Honda motorcycles. Two 750 Shadows - one Spirit, one A.C.E. - and one 1985 Honda Vt500 which was my first bike. On top of that I'm in the process of restoring a 1967 Sears Allstate. If I honestly wanted a Harley, I could've had one by now.
What I wrote last month was not a slander attack against Harley! It was about bringing people together who (like me) wouldn't take anything in the world for their "Jay-pan" - made sled! Harley guys have HOG. I'm just evening out the odds. I'm aiming this show for June. You guys should have all the exacts and a flyer by next month. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The 2013 Kamikaze Bike Show. Hope to see you all there!
By: Golden "Bub" Carper, of TheCarolinaRider.com
It's a cold February morning, but Christy Henderson, (meteorologist for Channel 7 Spartanburg,) promises the sun will shine and it will be warmer in the afternoon. We're counting on you Christy. Mickey shows up at 9am on his Yamaha FZ1, I tell Margie "later," plug in my heated jacket and gloves, fire up my FZ1 and we're off. The plan is to get on NC 80 where it begins at Marion NC, to NC 226 near Bakersville NC where it ends. Then go south on 226 to US 19E at Spruce Pine NC, connect to NC 194 over to NC 181 and be at Christa's for lunch. Christa's is a general store/restaurant at Pineola, NC popular with cycle riders of all kinds. Located where NC 181 crosses the Blue Ridge just south of Linville, NC. I'm sure many of you reading this have been there.
The temp gage on my bike says it's 32 and my heated gear is just keeping up as we leave my home between Gaffney SC and Boiling Springs NC. Up SC 150 to Boiling Springs and keep going straight where 150 turns toward Shelby, cross US 74 and into Lattimore NC, where we consider many of our rides to begin and end. Out of Lattimore on New House Rd, left on Jack Moore Mountain Rd and turn right onto Duncan's Creek Rd. Excellent motorcycle roads, curvy with very little traffic. Duncan's Creek dead ends into Bostic Sunshine Highway and we turn right for a short run to 226 where we turn left toward Marion. 226 is a super road for bikes, but, beware: keep your radar detector on as the local LEOs know this also. My temp gage shows it is now 40 and the heated gear is doing a fine job. We turn on NC 70 at Marion and run the few miles to the start of 80. Mickey says on our bike-to-bike intercom that we should probably be a little careful as it's still early and there may be some black ice. I agree and slow down going around the corners that are out of the sunshine So with a much more leisurely pace than we generally ride, we proceed up the mountain.
After a little while I'm thinking this isn't so bad - I'm seeing things I never had time to look at before....
That little stream I'd glanced at before is really quite nice as it winds among the rocks and trees. And that rock wall that is generally a blur has really got some character. With the trees bare it is possible to see into the woods and it is surprising what is in there. Huge boulders and gullys cut into the hillsides. Really nice. We top out at the Blue Ridge Parkway and see that it is closed over to Mt Mitchell, but no matter as we plan to continue on 80. It winds north down the mountain, nice curves but not as tight as the previous section from Marion to the Blue Ridge. But be careful as several miles past the golf course the road curves gently to the right around a rock wall and then, !!! -- the radius sharply increases almost 90 degrees. Even at our modest speed I have a hard time keeping the bike on the right side of the mustard (yellow center stripes.) This curve has got to me several times and I've been lucky that there was no oncoming traffic.
We're in the valley now and the road is clear and dry so we can wick it up a little. 80 Ts into 19E, where it turns right to run with 19E for a little bit and then turns left to head up to NC 226. If you think the stretch of 80 from Marion to the Blue Ridge is tight, --you ain't seen nothin yet! But this time of year and especially after the region had several snow falls, you better go slow. We run across lots of wet places from snow melt and you never know if it's water or black ice. Once Mickey hit a black ice patch and slid a little, then a couple of miles further on, I hit a patch. Talk about your pucker factor!! But you know, as I mentioned earlier, it was kinda nice running slow and taking in all the scenery. Even in the bareness of winter the mountains are beautiful. And the quaint communities we ride through are interesting, there is BoonFord, Bandana and my favorite, - Loafer's Glory. We reach 226 and the end of 80, turn right and head east to Bakersville where 226 turns south toward Spruce Pine. After riding in the rural mountain areas as we've been, coming into Spruce Pine is like the outskirts of Charlotte! Turn east on 19E to Ingallis and NC 194 which joins up with US 221. Stay on 221/194 and go through Crossnore and we turn right on NC 181 and a few miles later we're at Christa's where the temp is 36. What a nice ride we've had so far and now we can enjoy some of Christa's barbeque and for dessert have a "made right there" cinnamon bun topped with creamy butter. Christa tells us that we are the first bike riders of 2013.
After our long lunch break, we hop on our trusty steeds - Well maybe not hop on after all that food! - and ride down the mountain on 181 toward Morganton. And for most of you , I don't have to tell you about 181! Near the bottom we turn onto Fish Hatchery Rd, which is very curvy, and the temp has risen to 52 and we can turn down the heat on our jackets. Fish Hatchery ends at NC 126 where we go left to Power Dam Rd. We stopped at the intersection of 126 and Power Dam for fuel at the convenience store there. This is the only gas station since Jonas Ridge on 181 and I knew our FZ1's couldn't make it home without a stop. Power Dam Rd, besides being twisty, has some outstanding views as it follows the shore line of Lake James. It dead ends at NC 70 where we turn east for a short run and then right onto Dysartsville road which runs into NC 226 and we're on our way home. Home finds us with a run of just over 200 miles for the day and feeling good about our Feb. ice run.
Mostly, we really enjoy the fast runs on the mountain roads, but once in a while it's nice to ride slower, relax and really look at the scenery we're riding through. Enjoy our mountains, we're very lucky to be where we are as bike riders!