Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Sunday Harley Ritual...

The detritus of a middle-aged coupled lined the garage like exhibits of an abandoned museum. Boxes of stuff (books, china, clothes, and faded pictures) joined old lamps, rolls of carpeting, and left-over lumber jammed against the four walls. A disused canoe, covered with dust, had been hanging undisturbed for years. A set of shelves, once precisely organized, now held a random selection of garden chemicals, misplaced tools, partially-filled paint cans, jars of loose hardware, and Christmas lights that hadn’t made it onto the house in 10 years.  Each layer of past living was like the ring on a redwood tree, accumulating to the point where it was no longer possible to park the car inside.

Standing in the bay’s last remaining cavity was a 1990 Harley Davidson Fat Boy FLSTF 1338. The motorcycle dully gleamed in the subdued light that filtered in through mostly blocked garage windows. And while stuff was piled all over, nothing came close to touching this two-wheeled crown jewel.

He stood in the doorway connecting the garage to the kitchen, sipping a cup of coffee. It was impossible for him to look at the bike without remembering long runs to horizon, wild weekends with fallen friends, flights from the police, and nights lost to the arms of limber lovers. The last of those lovers dozed upstairs, making the most of this Sunday morning’s quiet hours. Yet it was these quiet hours that he liked to spend with the bike, thinking of they great open spaces they’s roamed together. Now the two of them were alone in the last open space of a cluttered garage in an equally cluttered life.

He triggered the button that raised the creaking bay door and the early sun’s rays ricocheted off flawless chrome pipes and accessories. Despite the 95,000 miles on the Harley’s clock, there wasn’t a scratch, a dent or a blemish in the silvery finish of this semi-precious motorcycle. The advance of arthritis and other assorted aches and pains kept him from the wild rides of his youth, but this bike was no garage queen. He was still up for a few hundred miles here and there, blowing past the younger wolves who tended to gather in short-run packs. Sometimes the squeeze came too. More often than not she preferred to hang back with the grandkids.

Grandkids... He never thought he’s be sharing his bed with a grandmother. She’d been coloring her hair for years, but he recalled the shock of watching her shower (one of life’s timeless pleasures) and catching a glimpse of gray pubic hair. His chest hair and piss-python pelt had been going gray for years, and he never gave it a second thought. It was something else though to see his age reflected in the woman he loved. He thought of an old television series, “Highlander,” in which an immortal found himself loving women  who aged before his eyes. He sometimes felt that way when astride the Harley... That he was immortal and the ride was ageless. Then he’d get the joint pain.

Who was he kidding? It was easier these days to throw a leg over the Harley’s 25-inch high seat than it would be to mount the pole dancers that were the delight of his youth.

Pushing some crap around on a shelf, he put the coffee cup down and picked up a can of chrome polish. A rag, well mired in the sweet chemical mix of solvent and buffing agents, was just under the cap. He began the familiar ritual of smearing the polish on the pipes and rubbing it in with with short, circular, methodical strokes. Then with a super-soft chamois, he’d buff it to an ingot-pure shine. He once figured out that there was 640 cubic inches of chrome to the bike’s 80-cubic inch engine. “Eight inches of shine to every inch of muscle,” he thought. “About the perfect proportion.” It would take the better part of three hours to get the Harley shining to his expectation, but it would be time well spent. “A man needs time to collect his thoughts as to where he’s been and where past events have led him,” he thought. His past had led him to comfort of one woman, two kids, three grandkids, and this bike.

Still, he was too easily lost in his daydreams, while she found comfort in friends he found alien and sometimes trivial. He’s gladly relive each day of his youth over again, with the same result. He wasn’t sure she would.

The aroma of the chrome polish slowly permeated the open garage as the chemical began to coat the skin on his hands. He realized he should probably be wearing gloves as stuff that breathed life into chrome couldn’t possibly benefit anything that breathed to live. Yet he’d grown accustomed to the softening effect the polish had on his hands. “And the stuff washed off easily enough,” he thought, massaging it into the curved section of the bikes pipes. He polished the chrome gently, firmly, and with tender purpose.

“I remember when you used to touch me like that,” said a soft voice from behind. The lingering emphasis was on the word “me.”

He paused, thinking, “She’s up.” And while he would be glad to see her, he wasn’t ready to pull himself away from the mind-soothing reverie of polishing the Harley. Turning, he saw a slender, silver-blond, standing in the doorway, holding her robe around her.

“And I remember when you used to walk around with your tits out,” he replied.

She looked at him with the defiant challenge that had been her signature expression as a teenager, and slowly opened the robe. Her breasts reflected the years with grace and still sparked a reaction from his DNA. He stood and turned, glanced at the nipples that once drove him to distraction, then locked his focus on her eyes. He wrapped his left arm around her waist and began to gently rub her breasts in circular strokes with the chrome-polish scented chamois.

“You bastard,” she shrieked, squirming from his grasp. She stepped back, and slammed the door shut. A minute later, he heard the shower run. It had been his intention to join her, but discovered the door was locked.

“Oh well,” he thought. The next layer of polish went on as smooth as the first coat. The Harley was timeless and a talisman of youth.

The Moto World Is Talking About
Jack Riepe's Hot New Book:

There is still time to order your hand-numbered, personally autographed, and inscribed copy of Jack Riepe’s new book — Conversations With A Motorcycle. Absolutely limited to one thousand hand-numbered copies, the list will be cut off as the books are delivered. This means you may end up with a book in a much smaller collection (Though all the lower numbers are gone.)  The hand-numbered books are being offered by subscription only, with delivery expected in two weeks. To order your copy, simply send your name and address, with the phrase, “Advance Book Order,” in the subject line to.,

Conversations With A Motorcycle is part autobiography... Part philosophy... And part novel. It is written in a dramatically different style for this author, though remains all humor. Riepe is unbelievably candid about certain details in his life, providing the back-story for decisions that sparked his love affair with motorcycles. Those who purchased his previous work, “Politically Correct Cigar Smoking For Social Terrorists” will be delighted with the new book. Unlike the cigar book, the chapters in the moto-work are interrelated and read like a novel.

Dedicated Twisted Roads readers will be familiar with some of the characters and the scenarios in this book, though the added details and details and dialogues have never been before revealed. Accredited book reviewers are advised to contact the author directly for advance copies.

For more details, click here. 

 Twisted Roads Readers Respond... 

Curt Yeager....

Twisted Road Reader Curtis Yeager sent us this shot from the shores of Lake Tahoe this morning. He asks the question, "Who could find fault with the iconic lines of the BMW 'R' bike?" The Twisted Roads editorial review board in turn asks the question, "Is it a coincidence that Curt's riding gear sort of matches the paint job on his bike?" (We think not.) Curt stands 9'7" tall. That puts the seat of this rig at about 5 feet in the air.

Each month Twisted Roads readers who send in a picture of themselves and their machine will be eligible for a free prize drawing. Where are the Harley riders and their hot girlfriends? 

Letter From A Twisted Roads Harley Rider/Reader:

Dear Twisted Roads: 
I didn't realized how much dick you likely sucked until I noticed all you wrote about were BMW motorcycles. From what I have heard, the difference between BMW-riding men and women is that the women tend to have much larger dicks. There was a time when you alternated your focus between metric bikes and the American-made, internationally acclaimed, universally desired, and galactically acknowledged (as the sex bike of the century) — Harley Davidsons. 

What the hell happened to you? Did you drink the Kaiser's Kool-Aid or did you just wake up one morning with a wiener schnitzel sticking out of your ass? Could your Harley-riding readers kindly find a relevant, relationship-building story where the motorcycle plays a significant role in the entwined lives of a man and a woman? If not, go fuck yourself. 

Maximus "Snake Eyes" Magnamala
Anal Park, IA

Dear "Snake Eyes,"
I am shocked. As a moto-journalist dedicated to accurate coverage of the facts, I was compelled to re-examine my blog's editorial policy. Lately, I have done nothing but write about the Teutonic side of life, the joys of Bavarian biking, and the thrill of precision Prussian sex. Anyone who has ever made love to the strains of an "Om-Pah" band can understand how easily one can fall into this trap. (Nothing brings out the passion in a woman like blowing in her tuba.) But I would like to apologize to my readers for this unintended prejudicial coverage and present today's story, which meets the criteria expressed by Maximus  "Snake Eyes" Magnamala.


©Copyright Jack Riepe 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dispatches From The Front...

Twisted Roads will routinely publish readers' comments or respond to questions seeking advice about technical riding, maintenance, relationships, sexual dysfunction, or motorcycle accessories. While advice is given freely, you get what you pay for. You might be better off with the services of a professional bartender or a truck stop sexual surrogate.

Dear Jack: 

I've been reading your blog and articles in BMW's ON for a while now. Thanks for the many chuckles.  You and I are similar in many ways: born in '57 here, and my bike of choice in my late teens/early 20's was also an "uncool" steed — a 1977 BMW R75/7 with the huge barn door Luftmesiter fairing and the black briefcase styled saddlebags.  Sexy quotient: 0 percent.   But I loved it anyway.  I rode it like is was a crotch rocket of course. And being that age,  I was indestructible with no sense or fear.

Above: Jim Surgent with his classically beautiful BMW K75RT. More riders have gotten laid on BMW K75's than any other motorcycle in history. In fact, the K75 was known as the "Condom Sales King" of Motorcycles.

 Back then the "R" bike foot pegs did not have the spring hinge to fold up like your K75. They were solid, so as not to allow the cylinder heads to touch on hard leans.  I wore them down far enough to do just that.  Sliding around corners on the cylinder head became my favorite game.  I finally gave it up when I met a VW Rabbit head on in a corner on a one way road in a city park in Pittsburgh.  I was going the right way.  He wasn't, not that it would have mattered.  We missed each other by a fraction of an inch, and my riding has been much tamer ever since.  But I digress...

Above: Jim Surgent with his flawless BMW R1200RT. Contrary to public opinion, "R" bike riders are not required to carry a commercial zeppelin pilot's license in on Federal roadways. The "R" bike is the iconic BMW machine.
The first new bike I ever owned was a 2011 BMW R1200RT.  I had a K75RT for 7 years. I bought it used with 21K miles on it and parted it out after getting rear ended in a low speed wreck in rush hour, with 125K miles on it.  I first rode the R1200RT in 2006.  I was torn between the "R" and the K1200GT, and the local BMW dealer had an open house where I was able to ride both.  I rode the "K" first.  It was fast as hell, stopped on a dime and gave you 9 cents change. It was even smoother than the K75, and was as comfy as a stock BMW seat gets.  But it had no soul.  

"Then I rode the "R."

It was slower, vibrated more, seemed heavier, but it spoke to me.  My old R75 bit the dust in the early 80's and while the new "R" was much different, it still had the same soul.  The analogy that will resonate with you is this:  Remember that one girl you had the crush on in high school?  Well imagine that you ran into her 30 years later, and she was even hotter and more attractive now that she was in school.  Even better, now she liked YOU!  That's how I felt about the new RT.  Life got in the way though, so it took a few years until I got it.  In any case, the reason I tell this last tale is to prime you for what's to come.  Imagine if you will, that YOU got to meet YOUR high school crush (the Kaw H2) 30 years later, and she's hotter than hell, and finally...SEXY.  I'm not involved with the project in any way, just ran across it and knew it would catch your eye.  I'll expect a blog about it soon :)

This photo was forwarded to me by Jim Surgent from, where it was reportedly built by a rider named "Cabbie." It clearly demonstrates a hot new application for a screaming two-stroke engine. Please go to the above site to read this fascinating story, and to leave a comment.
Jim Surgent
Cumming, GA. 30041

Dear Jim:

You are the fourth rider who has advised me that my life is incomplete if I just go out and get another “K” bike without first test-riding an “R.” I am impressed by the passion and devotion of “R” bike riders when they describe their motorcycles. To be sure, they qualify what it is they like about these machines, and never cite overwhelming mechanical prowess — like in an unfavorable comparison with a “K” bike — as if such a thing could happen. But while the “K” bikes are acknowledged to combine speed, brute force, and raw sensuality, the “R” machines are said to have pure soul  and untainted character.

Mark Frump ran me through the fine points (and options) of an R1200RT on the showroom floor of Hermy’s — the legendary BMW and Triumph dealer on Route 61 in Port Clinton, PA — and I was astounded with the fervor in which this accomplished rider described this machine. Like yourself, he mentioned the lower center of gravity, the lower weight factor, the less frenetic output of the engine, and the ease with which one of these bikes can be flown at 100 mph+, all day. And the options list included just about everything you’d find on a “K” bike.

"R1200RT" devotee Mark Frunp at Hermy's BMW and Triumph, Port Clinton, PA
I tend to listen when riders like you and Mark give a machine high marks. I have heard similar stories from others, but just assumed they were trying to suck me in to their part of the tar pit. I do intend to get another bike for next spring, but it has to be that ca be lowered. I don’t know if the “R” machines will fit that bill.

Your letter was of interest to me for three other reasons.

Reason One:
You used an analogy of finding the hot girl I might have had a crush on in high school, somany years ago, and discovering that she is even hotter now. Below you will find a picture of the hot girl I had a crush on in high school. She was a sizzler then and she is just as hot now. In your scenario, you mentioned things would be perfect if I could imagine that she liked me even more now. 

The girl I had a crush on in high school. She is still hot...  Pouty lips and all... And still thinks I'm a douche.

She thought I was a douche in high school and she thinks I must be an even bigger douche now. I recently asked her of three things that came to mind whenever my name is mentioned. She replied: The Johnstown Flood; syphilis; and legalized euthanasia. My chances of impressing her have not improved. 

Reason Two:
That is one hot motorcycle built around that Kawasaki engine. I loved the Kawasaki H2, despite its faults, which were legion. It is gratifying to see it has become a cult bike. 

The 1975 Kawasaki H2... The bike that spoke to me. It thought I was a douche too.

Reason Three:
You wrote: “Then I rode the ‘R.’ It was slower, vibrated more, seemed heavier, but it spoke to me.” I understand that. I have just written my first book about motorcycles, titled “Conversations With A Motorcycle.” Not only did my Kawasaki H2 speak to me, but I quoted it a lot. I have a great respect for riders who can hear the philosophy of their motorcycles. And by the way, thanks for ordering two copies of this book. 

The book for those who believe their motorcycle speaks to them.

Jack Riepe

Dear Twisted Roads:

It is about time that someone exposed the BMW “R” bike for what it really is — a cursed time machine that only moves in one direction, savagely aging the rider by three or four years for every mile traveled. Here at the Wilmington Institute of Holistic Dry Cleaning And Higher Awareness (WIHDCHA), we surreptitiously followed a BMW “R” bike rider over a run of 400 miles and watched him age before our very eyes. The rider initially appeared to be about 60-years-old at the start of the ride, and could have passed for one of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence when he dismounted at the end of the day.

In the interest of maintaining scientific integrity, the subject was unnamed, but given the fictitious moniker of Breg Dickstein. Our researchers indicated the subject’s profile most likely would reveal he is a liberal, in favor of restricting unwarranted criticism of federal leaders, and an enthusiastic supporter of art films favoring woman-on-woman romance. In picture #1, he rode a 2001 BMW R1150R a distance of 125 miles. He dismounted relatively happy, consumed a laxative, and oozed enthusiasm for the rest of the ride.

Photo #1 — Breg Dickstein relatively unchanged after 125 miles on a BMW "R1150R"
Yet in picture #2, taken after only traveling 250 miles, the subject has aged 20 years, grown a beard, and now has the kind of look in his eyes usually found in turnpike toll collectors after 60 years of constant service. He was noticeably less social and communicated through a series of grunts and whistles.

Photo #2 — After a total of 250 miles on a BMW "R1150R", "Breg" Dickstein has gown a beard and his eyes have gone "Asian."
Photo 3 — Rider Dickstein showing the aging effect of the "R1150R, after 400 miles.
 Picture #3 clearly indicates a major transition has taken place. The rider dismounted and discharged a CO2 fire extinguisher onto the seat of his riding pants. His only comment was, “I’m tired of waiting for that fat fuck to catch up.” The rider seemed to be talking to himself, and answering back in a different voice.

Please feel free to publish this information in your blog as it may serve to prevent  injury or inconvenience to BMW “R” bike riders.

Doctor Albert Hissingaz, PhD, NJ, and FU
Wilimington Institute

Dear Dr. Hissingaz, PhD, NJ and FU

Once again, the biker community has only to thank the Wilmington Institute For Holistic Dry Cleaning and Higher Awareness for its impeccable research and irrefutable conclusions. The transformation of “Breg Dickstein” has probably gone unnoticed for so long as most BMW riders with factory seats seem to dismount looking like the individual in photo #3.

Fondest regards,
The Twisted Roads Team

Want To Win A Numbered Edition Of 
Jack Riepe's New Book...
Compliments Of Dan Allen — Shango Rider!

Three lucky winners will receive hand-numbered, autographed, and personally inscribed copies of 
Conversations With A Motorcycle

 Plus find themselves published in 
Twisted Roads...
How to Win: Submit your funniest, or most tragic, or best story regarding a motorcycle intercom or bike-to-bike communications system to, by September 15, 2012. Please limit stories to 300 words or less. Please mark the subject line: Bike-To-Bike Communications Contest. All decisions of the judges are final. Void where prohibited. Three numbers on the list have been reserved for the contest.

And remember...

For The Best In Gerbings Gear And Motorcycle Communications Equipment That Is Far And Above The Rest...

And tell Dan (Shango Rider) that you appreciate his customer support! He never let's you down.

Dan Allen Advertises On Twisted Roads...
He makes this blog possible. 
Buy something from him!

To guarantee getting a numbered copy of Riepe's new book, buy one.  Click on the thumbnail cover in the column to the right.

©Copyright Jack Riepe 2012