Noise or Music

I just got off the phone with my riding buddy and fellow lawyer, Dan a.k.a. “007.” Dan’s a devout Moto Guzzi nut and won’t ride any bike newer than 1985. I’ll bet Dan owns 20 bikes, all piles of crap if you ask me, but hey, one man’s crap is another man’s “classic.” Nonetheless, he can smoke any squid on a new gixer or Ducati, having raced WERA for 20 years and racked up some impressive credentials, as well as a pile of trophies. He’s a real moto philosopher and I respect his opinion when discussing any aspect of bikes. I told him about the new “blue tooth” ready helmet I was thinking of ordering from SHOE and he did not approve. I told him you could talk on the phone, listen to music, etc. His response was immediate and pointed. “The motor dude, that’s all the sound you need.” Something about “mental Yoga.” He said something else about some “musical base” feeling you get when “being one” with your motor. Wow, that’s deep! I forget what he said now. Nonetheless, Dan is a biking purist. No electronics! I doubt if his ignition is even electronic. I, on the other hand, prefer electronic ignition and may not even recognize an old set of points if I passed them like a kidney stone. “Dan, the 21 st century is here man; embrace it or die with the dinosaurs.”

We have all seen the biker electronics explosion. Helmet to helmet intercoms, cell phone ear buds, satellite radio, CB on board, i-Pod hook ups, blue tooth, GPS mapping; you name it and the biker audio distraction is out there for the buying. I have tried to keep away from this trend until recently. Some long trips with mind numbing miles have prompted me to start looking. What would be better than Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” inside the helmet as you are cruising down the interstate? Dan evidently thinks it is a terrible idea. “Dude, what about keeping in tune with your motor? The best meditation… yak yak yak..”

There is the safety issue to deal with. Certainly there is the fact that car drivers are less attentive when talking on cell phones. (I dare anyone to debate me on that one!) I suspect it is true that a rider distracted by changing channels, answering calls, checking signal strength, or just switching to the next song may be “less safe.” I know this. But, as long at you keep it simple, how much could a little Marshal Tucker hurt?

Before I spend my hard earned cash on the moto electronics rage, I have planned an experiment. A lawyer with a little electrical tape and some wire is always a dangerous thing. I have planned to tape/zip-tie my cell phone to the bars of my Harley (left side) and see if I can fit my blue tooth ear set into my helmet to make a few calls to my wife Yvonne as I take a spin around the neighborhood. Meanwhile, in departing with Dan’s advice, I thought I could wire up a small old speaker I have in the garage to the inside of my leathers to hear/feel some Rolling Stones fed from my i-Pod, also wired to my bars (left side). No speakers in the helmet, just pressed against the old flesh for that “musical bass” feeling Dan referred to. Why not mix a little symphony of V-Twin and Rock-n-Roll? That’s kind of purist in an electrically complex kind of way!! Dan would be proud. I called Trevor, the bike wiring harness genius, to see if such a contraption can be wired directly off the battery. His answer was just what I needed, “Why not?” Electrical caps would make things so much easier, but a trip to Radio Shack for some is in order before I can test my device. Well, here goes. Wish me luck!

Hello all, this is Yvonne, Steve’s wife, signing on to finish up his article before deadline. He cannot yet type. We just got back from Steve’s primary care doctor, after our little visit to the ER last week. Steve’s stitches are doing well, and Greg over at the Harley Dealer says there is only about $2,000.00 in damage to the bike. Toe is not fractured but is big as a plum and same color! Stitches on privates will heal well, yet doctor doesn’t understand the electric wire burns there. Steve won’t talk about it. Make sure you ask him. Neighbor is kind of mad about the Japanese Maple tree. Steve says to sign off with the following.

“Folks, never, ever run 12 volt wires inside your underwear for any reason, ever!” “Thank you for the flowers and cards.”

Well, signing off for now. Remember, ride strong, ride safe, and in the end, make sure you ride home.

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