McQueen’s Machines – Book Review

McQueens machines

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Steve McQueen is a little before my time but no one can argue he is a pop culture icon, a movie star of intergalactic proportion and a certifiable motorhead. As a motorcycle and automobile enthusiast I feel a kinship to Steve McQueen and jumped at the opportunity to review this book for MotorBooks Publishing. I love Ford Mustangs and Steve McQueen played the legendary Lieutenant Frank Bullitt. Frank Bullitt drives a highland green 1968 fastback in the most famous and best movie car chase scene in the 1968 movie Bullitt. Steve McQueen collected and raced both cars and motorcycles. “Whether you consider his positioning of motorcycles (among other fast machines) in his films and public life or stop to ponder the fact, at one point, he owned more than 100 motorcycles at one time, you can’t read much about McQueen and not realize that he was, deep down and to the core, a pure enthusiast, a man for whom motorcycling was, you might say, second only to breathing.” The book is unlike the a number of books about Steve McQueen in that this one is about the cars and motorcycles that passed through his hands, the hands of a respected racer on two wheels and four; on road and off. It covers a number of the fine cars he owned one by one. Each car a sub chapter of Chapter 1: McQueen’s Garage. Chapter 2 goes through many of his movie roles that were tightly woven to motorcycles and cars. Again each movie is like a sub chapter making the book interesting and easy to read. I would read about McQueen in the Great Escape and then put the book down. I would come back and read about McQueen in Bullitt and then again put the book down. This is how the book is written and I believe it works well for it’s audience. The quality of the book and the pictures is great. I recommend it, it’s a good read for any lover of fine cars and fast motorcycles. Click here for more information on this book at Amazon.

Motorcycle CB Radio Systems

J&M CB Radio from Cycle Accessory Store 

In February of 2010 I wrote Part 1of this story. Since then several members of our HOG chapter came to the same conclusion: that the ability to communicate would greatly improve the group riding experience. Four female members, including Diana, purchased the J&M handlebar mounted CB radio. Diana purchased hers used and was the third member of our chapter to own it (the two previous members were men who upgraded to CB equipped Ultra Classics). She got a good deal on it and it has worked fantastically. Some of our members purchased the J&M with the short antenna and found they had to replace it with a longer one. The only time Diana had a problem with her CB radio was when we stayed overnight in North Carolina and she didn’t put the cover on it. In the morning the condensation on it affected it’s performance for several hours before it dried out.

Midland CB 75-822

The J&M unit with all the attachments and antenna will cost in the area of $600. I was curious if I could find a more affordable system and purchased this handheld Midland 75-822 at $76.73 and a Cobra magnetic mount base antenna for $24.99 both from Amazon. I purchased a special motorcycle RiderComm-S1 headset that worked with the Midland at $89.95 from www.HiTechWireless.com

I spent a considerable amount of time and money trying to get the unit to work well as a mobile unit powered with the 12 volt cigarette lighter plug and utilizing a base antenna. In the end I found it worked best as a handheld unit powered by batteries with the short 7″ antenna. To say it works well in comparison to the J&B or the Harley CB’s would be a lie. It works just well enough for the absolute minimum of communications but not good enough for conversation. In the end I would have to say any amount of money spent to be able to communicate is well spent. However you will get what you pay for. I initially invested $200 and subsequently another $50 or so on antenna’s and antenna mounting brackets. The system does work and for $200 I would say it is worth it. If you can afford the $600 system I would recommend you go to www.CycleAccessoryStore.com and purchase the J&B.

TruckChamp.com 2010 Motorcycle Sweepstakes

Never ride with anyone whose title is “Director”

Back in October Dan Bateman had a great post on his blog about group riding. He asked me to come over to Musings of an Intrepid Commuter and post a comment on the topic since I obviously spend a great deal of time riding with my HOG Chapter. Thinking I’m an expert on the topic I left a lengthy comment.

When I say “my HOG Chapter” you have to wonder if I mean it is mine because that is the chapter I belong to as do all the members; or have I become posessive of the chapter since I became the Director? Jack Riepe who is another blogger (Twisted Roads By Jack Riepe) left the 20th comment in the form of a numbered list. His first rule about group riding:

1) Never ride with anyone whose title is “Director.” They generally prove to be real douches in the long run and can kill a good time in a flash.

I was offended the first time a read that and was tempted to respond in a snippy way. I didn’t. I have recently started to fear that I am that douche, am on my way to becoming that douche or was coming close to it. I am hopeful that I can undouche. I enjoy being Director but I don’t want to be a douche and I don’t want to kill a good time.

TruckChamp.com 2010 Motorcycle Sweepstakes

Fast Lane Biker Delmarva Nov 2010

Click here and go to page 33 of the November issue of Fast Lane Biker Delmarva to read part three in Diana’s series on her quest to ride. This installment is titled An Insane Women’s Thoughts.

TruckChamp.com 2010 Motorcycle Sweepstakes

Truck Accessories

Fox Creek Leather Lined Motorcycle Chaps – Product Review

Jay in his new chaps

Fox Creek Leather makes the finest leather motorcycle chaps I have come across. Their jackets, vests and chaps are handmade in America and backed up by a lifetime warranty. These are premium leather motorcycle accessories that you will own for a long time. They will not fall apart like the cheap leather garments found at motorcycle rallies. In comparison all other leather garments are just a fashion statement.

checking chaps length
  
My wife and I could have ordered our lined leather chaps on the Internet from FoxCreekLeather.com but there were several advantages to visiting Fox Creek in person.  The first was a good excuse to take a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The second was to take pictures to accompany this product review. The third reason was to try our chaps on and make sure they fit. Fox Creek chaps are available in 130 different size combinations ensuring proper fit around the waist and thighs. Melinda the Office Manager spent a tremendous amount of time making sure that we were sized correctly and happy with our new motorcycle chaps.

Diana getting fitted
    
The customer service at Fox Creek is unbelievable! Fox Creek is a small company that genuinely cares about their customers. While we were at Fox Creek’s store on Highway 21 in Independence, VA not only were we given sodas and snacks but we witnessed how other customers were treated. Melinda offered to loan a leather jacket to a customer who was travelling through the Blue Ridge Mountains by motorcycle in a hoody and was feeling the chill of early fall. The customer didn’t take Melinda up on her offer but it blew my mind and I’ll never forget it.  I have read several outstanding customer testimonials. One story was from a customer who ordered a vest online and asked to exchange it for a different size. Fox Creek sent the replacement out first thing; they didn’t wait for the original item to be returned! You’ll find numerous stories like this in the About Us section of their website and at their blog: FoxCreekLeather.com/blog. Read a few of these customer reviews and you will understand why Fox Creek customers are loyal to the company and their products.

Fox Creek leathers are made of full grain drum dyed 3.5 – 4oz naked leather that is supple to the touch and offers superior road protection. The Lined Motorcycle Chaps feature a zip out quilted Thinsulate® liner for extra warmth. They have heavy duty brass YKK antique zippers. Diana and I have been out riding in our lined chaps this fall and they are doing a great job of keeping our legs warm, even when the temperatures are dipping down into the low fifties and high forties.

We highly recommend the lined chaps from Fox Creek Leather. The leather garments exceeded our expectations in every way and it was a pleasure doing business with a company that still has old fashioned values.

On Black Friday, think Black Leather! Click below banner advertisement for more information on FCL.

RC USA Welcomes AutoAnything.com

AutoAnything

I would like to extend a special welcome to a new sponsor here at Road Captain USA. We have recently partnered with AutoAnything.com just in time for your holiday shopping. You can view their tower advertisement on my sidebar. They have great cleaning products and other things that cross over from the automotive world to our two wheel world like this Air Force Blaster Sidekick Car & Motorcycle Dryer. Put that on my wish list!

air force blaster sidekick