Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Winter Maintenance Ritual Is Completed... My Bike Is Ready For Spring

The economy has responded to the election of Barack Obama by jumping in the toilet and pulling the chain. This has nothing to do with Barack Obama. It would have done this anyway. This has to do with with corporate mismanagement on a scale that the world has never seen before. Mismanagement that extends from the banking industry to heavy manufacuring, to the airlines to the oil industry. Money is disappearing faster from corporate America than politicians with something useful to say.

'The Ace 500 Stock Ticker..." Get the latest from Wall Street and deliver 
your exit address standing up. Also good for government employment reports."
(Photo courtesy of the internet.)

While I am still employed, it must be acknowledged that Public Relations writers are the first to be sacrificed in tough economic times. The prevailing philosophy is that since no one will believe any of the bullshit spouted by tarnished CEOs anymore (especially in the auto industry), why pay somebody to write it?

PR people are fired in a peculiar way. First, they are invited into the CEO’s office to review films of themselves having sex with their secretaries during various corporate retreats. This is to insure their silence. Even if the PR person is single, he is not likely to want a video of himself dressed as a peacock doing the trumpheter swan mating dance on U-Tube. (I actually ordered 5 copies of my last firing video.) Then they are offered a case of Swanson frozen dinners and a check for $500, which they always take. (Under all the glitz, they are still writers and this is a reflex action.) After being escourted to the parking lot with a black bag pulled over their head, their offices are purged with a flame thrower. The symbolism is clear. The PR person represents the corporate gall bladder and is simply removed.

This has happened to me three or four times in the past, so I know.

I spent some time this morning making a sign that reads, “Will write for food, rum, sex or a hip replacement.” I sat down behind it on a busy street, and started sipping an Irish coffee . Twenty minutes later, a cop got out of a car and clubbed me in the knees. Perhaps doing this on the “Main Line” in Paoli was a trifle ambitious.

By now, the gentle reader is asking, “Where is the moto content in fatass’s blog today? Has he succumbed to the temptation to think that his opinions on other things might be important?” People are going to need to laugh in the immediate future, and I have started my next book, titled: Better Sex and Eternal Youth Through Motorcycling -- A Re-Entry Rider’s Guide.

There are a lot of fine books on motorcycling, and more than a few that can be a help to the re-entry rider looking for advice, or for the intermediate rider desirous of becoming a long-distance Paladen. Many of these speak of the Zen of the bike, or the Tao of the road. Mine will offer a very different viewpoint. It will address the hidden, less politically correct motivation for riding a motorcycle... Like feeling seventeen again, with a rock-hard dick dictating the route, and the wind at your command... With gravity and centrifical force competing for your attention... And with the music of an engine that goes up an octive every time you twist the throttle. Women readers, who do not actually have a rock hard dick but who would like to spot one coming along on a red 1995 BMW K75, will also find this book especially useful.

It will be the companion piece for my cigar book, “Politically Correct Cigar Smoking For Social Terrorists,” that is currently selling “used” on Amazon from $36 to $173.00. My cigar book was written to preserve the delicate male image during difficult politically correct times. Click here to read two chapters from this book, but do not attempt to order it from this site. Four stories from an earlier work are here as well. My bike book will be about taking back what is righfully yours, and finding a long-lost dimension to your soul.

"Politically Correct Cigar Smoking For Social Terrorists"
This is my book, available through Amazon or through me.
(Photo compliments of the author)

I spent the last money I expect to have for the next three years getting my bike serviced for 2009. If this thing needs a tire in the next six months, I will be shit out of luck. It is safe to say that no mechanical device (that one keeps in the garage) has ever provided me with the satisfaction that I get from this 1995 K75.

I rode the bike 50 miles to the Rubber Chicken Racing Garage, in Yardley, Pa. The temperature was in the low 40’s, and traffic was light. I hit 90 mph in a couple of spots on I-276. Dick Bregstein followed me in his car, and graciously provided my ride back. The machine was ready four days later. You may wait to get an appointment at the RCRG, but you will not get a song and dance. Your machine will not languish for weeks in a shop.

The oil and transmission fluid has been changed. The brakes have been inspected and the fluid topped off. The plugs, the gas and the oil flters have been changed too. I had a Centech fuse box added and had the MotoLight wiring routed through it. I had the brake pedal raised 8mm to its the limit.

The brake pedal was an interesting development. I told the mechanic it seemed as if the pedal was traveling further than it should before I got a good bite on the rear brake. On my older K75 with the discount drum brake, this could be adjusted by simply turning a wingnut. It requires an engineering degree to accomplish the same thing on this model with the hydraulic disk. The mechanic, a charm school tutor in his spare time, stated that the pedal was “okay,” but that the bulbous roll of fat than extends downwards from my gut, draping over both sides of the gas tank, makes it difficult for me to turn my elephantine foot into the brake properly.

I learn something new everyday.

I once had a Mazda RX-7, which was the best car I ever owned. Like a BMW motorcycle, the parts were astronomical. When the brakes went, my local Irish mechanic called to say Mazda wanted $1500 for replacement parts, but that he could use aftermarket for $1200.This was a “no brainer.” I drove this car hard. A year later, it needed brakes again. I told the mechanic, “If you knew how to install these things I wouldn’t be here so often.”

He relied, “If you could push yourself away from the table every now and again, this little car wouldn’t need brakes so often.”

To the naked eye, my motorcycle looks the same -- except for a tiny Kuryakan voltmeter that now sits on the dashboard. When the ignition is switched on, it does a neat little LED countdown to test the system, then settles on a nice green reading in the comfort zone.

Yet while the bike looks the same, it is a nuclear reactor on two wheels. The Parabellum Fairing lends this machine a dignity it did not have leaving the showroom, 13 years ago. And the seal of mechanical perfection from the Rubber Chicken Racing Garage guarantees this bike will hum a tune of terror for those unsuspecting squid, who assess my presence as merely another disillusioned old fatass, riding a squared off BMW, on his way to the La Brea tar pits.

Fireballs -- 1995 BMW K75
While I have run this picture before, I never get tired of it.
This is a Teutonic Wet Dream
(Photo compliments of the author)

I hope to make one more set of changes to this machine during the winter. This would include pulling off the crash bars and getting them powder coated black. I then want to mount a Steble/Nautilus dual tone compact air horn to this assembly, via a black metal bracket. I’ve had the black version of the horn in the garage for a year. I am going to have to get a paper route or something to fund this project, however.

Jack Riepe disguised as a writer. His mother believes he is a piano player in a whore house.
(Photo courtesy of the Police Gazette)

Our monthly Mac-Pac dinner is tonight. I have gone through my change jar and have enough to buy a burger or a drink. I pray to God I won’t be hungry. Though snow flurries are falling, there will be at least one bike parked outside the restaurant/lounge/bar. There always is at these things. Alas, it won’t be mine. My arthritis is screaming again today, and I am walking around like a cripple.


Side notes:

This story contains two “dick” references, but not in connection with a joke. My daughter, who is also a professional writer, raised the question that there were two many “dick” references in my work. Now while it is odd to be discussing “dicks” as an element of style with one’s 25-year-old daughter, I did pose the question of dick content with my readers. With one or two dissenters, they did not see the validity of her point. (Smile of smug satisfaction.) Yet the two references in this story are nothing less than the scientific name (in biker terms) of a key issue in motorcycling. This cannot be considered sexist as it does not refer to women. It cannot be considered gratuitous because... (Well, if you’re a guy, you know what I’m talking about. And women know what I am talking about too. It’s what they discuss when they all go the bathroom together.)

In future blogs, I plan to offer a factual dialogue with one of the world’s fastest motorcycle riders and accomplished racers -- Chris Carr. I hate to drop names, but Chris and I are pals. I will also detail a fabulous story of bad luck titled, “How 10¢ In A Toll Booth Cost A Bald Humorless Midget A Fairing.”

©Copyright Jack Riepe 2008
AKA The Lindbergh Baby (Mac-Pac)
AKA Vindak8r (Motorcycle Views)
AKA The Chamberlain -- PS (With A Shrug)


Unknown said...

That's a nice picture of you, Jack. I like it.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Rogers:

I can always count on you. The picture was taken by a guy named "Vinnie" in the Adirondacks. Thanks for checking in.

Fondest regards,

Unknown said...


I once had two RX-7's, a base, and a GSL, I really wanted to get the GSL-SE to get the FI as the carb is more finicky during cold weather. Harder starting etc. of course it was a 5-speed with 4 wheel disc brakes. It felt like a skateboard on wheels.

and if your Mac-Pac meeting wasn't so far away, I'd spot you for a burger, fries, and perhaps a drink too

redlegsrides said...

Fireballs is a gorgeous motorcycle Jack.....but like my motorcycles, the figure which sits astride them leaves much to be desired in the looks department!

There's a reason my face does not appear much if at all in my blog.....

Yours is fine.....and I say that in the most manly way possible of course!


ps: you know if you rode the bike through the winter, you could skip this ritual of which you write.....but then again the snow sticks around longer around your parts of the empire.

BMW-Dick said...

Dear Jack:
I can't tell you how happy I am to hear that you'll be spending less time discussing dicks.
It may be a good time to switch to cleavage.

Anonymous said...

Jack, entertaining work and I think a saw that photo in the post office.
Grandad 43
PS 14

Anonymous said...

Another entertaining story which was appreciated on this cold wintery day. I'm glad to see fire balls got a clean bill of health and will be ready for duty with the first break in the weather.

But yes, quality mechanical work is pricey and can put the vise-grips on your descretionary funds. I knew a fellow who had to sell his house to pay the balance of his bill the last time he had work done on his motorbike at that fancy motorbike repair emporium in lower Bucks County :)

Hey what a daper photo of you with the hat and cigar. It may be time to have you audition with that theater group of Mike Evan's. We got to get you up there on that stage. It would be a sell-out I know that much !!

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bobscoot:

Yuo are spot on about the RX-7 being a skateboard. It wouldn't handle a wet road worth a damn and it was close to suicidal in the snow. I got caught in the snow with that car three times. On one occasion, I checked into a hotel.

Our club holds two events a month. Depending upon the weather and other somewhat cyclic circumstances, they draw from 15 to 75 bikes. It is a great way to celebrate a group passion.

If you're ever out this way you can be an honored guest.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

Thank you for your commentary on my bike. I just like looking at it. When I first got it, I wasn't sure about the Parabellum "Scout" fairing. I'm sure about it now though.

The K75 is an acquired taste. It has all the classic lines of a bowling shoe. But it is an honest motorcycle with a lot of heart.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Dick:

You're goose is cooked regardless of the circumstances.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Grandad43 (Dave):

This last post was a bit of ramble. The fact is that I do have a lot of organized stories for the next few months but this blog then becomes more like a job.

Then again, we did get four inches of snow yesterday, and I don't have anything else I'd rather do.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Todd:

My bike eventually becomes a victim of a dozen little things I've been meaning to do for months. Finally the day arrives when it's slow to start or something falls off of it.

It went into the shop for a MotoLights problem, some wiring I wanted done on it, a frivolous farkle addition, and serious fluid maintenance. Quite frankly, it is ready for the next warm day, or the entire 2009 season.

Fondest regards,

Anonymous said...


Another fine piece of writing. My dad had a RX7. Fine car. True embaresment is when the redline beeper goes off and dad is in the right seat :-0.

Ride Safe,


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Joe:

Thanks for your comment. The first time I ever hit 70mph, I was six years old, sitting in the front seat of 1957 Chevy Belair, with my dad at the wheel.

I guess it rubbed off.


Anonymous said...

Do be sure to let us know when the new book goes on sale. We would love to have it to help keep the other bathroom door propped open, er, to match the Cigar Smoking book we already have

John said...

I used to have a picture of a baby Harp seal in my classroom. I replaced it with your picture and no one noticed for a week. Then finally a kid said, "Hey, that seal looks even sadder now!"

I told the student it was because he was a ciger smoker and his fur stank. But on the bright side he should be safe from clubbing.

MackBeemer said...

Dear Jack,

As always, etc.

A little known humorist of good vintage once said, "Two things will destroy a healthy man. Love trouble, ambition, and financial disaster. And that's already three, and there are a lot more."
Peter Altenberg.

Altenberg was a master at the pithy saying which lesser lights would try turning into a book.

Another example: A girl friend (one of not a few) complained that he only liked her for sex. Altenberg replied, "What's so only?"

Indeed. "Was ist so nur?"

Your pal,
Two Shot MackBeemer

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Sgsidekick:

It is always a pleasure to hear from you. It's nice to know my cigar book is performing a public service in your house. I can't image a fate worse than death, than to have the door close on somebody after Bugser has been in there.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear John (Claus):

Too bad you don't teach a senior year college course. I could send you a picture of myself, giving the battered baby seal look, and you could direct the ladies that fell under its sway to me directly.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mack:

There are many ways to say, "What's so only."

When addressing a critic of one of his policies, Abraham Lincoln smiled and said, "Fuck you." To emphasize the punchline, he had the man jailed without charge for the next four years.

I never met an old girlfriend I didn't like.

Happy Thanksgiving.