Buffalo Rider and Tire Maker!

Ron B from Buffalo, NY has agreed to be our first Featured Customer. We’ll meet motorcyclists from around the country once a month and hear about where they ride and what they do. Thank you Ron for being our first!

Question: Ron, please tell our readers a little about yourself and about riding in upstate New York.

Answer: I’m 55 years old, happily married to the same wonderful girl for the past 29 years. We have a son and a daughter, both who will be finishing their college degrees shortly.  I am an electrician at the Goodyear / Dunlop plant here in Buffalo where we make among other things, Harley motorcycle tires.
The Buffalo area is great for riding, for one it’s not severely congested like the bigger cities.  We have some great destinations and many active clubs and cruise nights almost every night of the week during the summer. One of my favorite rides is to cross the bridge into Canada and follow the Niagara River to Niagara Falls, very scenic route and rarely ever busy (until you get to the Falls.) Another ride I enjoy is to head up to Rochester for lunch at the Dinosaur restaurant. We are a nice day trip away from the Finger Lakes, some great state parks and best of all Port Dover Canada.  If you have never heard of Dover, it’s a lake side town that hosts a great biker event every Friday the 13th.  It’s Canada’s version of Sturgis.
I like to ride my bike any chance I can.  It’s my daily commute to work, about 40 miles round trip.

Question: How and when did you get into motorcycling?

Answer: I got the biker bug when I was about 20 years old.  I remember seeing an ad for a Suzuki that I liked, wound up in the dealer showroom and before you knew it, I was bringing home a brand new 1978 Suzuki 550E in my friend’s horse trailer. I didn’t have a license, and never rode anything much bigger than a mini bike till then.

Question: How many motrocycles do you own?

Answer: I only have the Road king myself, but my wife and son also ride. She is on a Yamaha Virago and my so owns a Kawasaki 600 sport bike. My daughter also has her motorcycle license but no bike yet.  Next season I’m hoping to move up to a bike with a fairing and radio, leaning toward a Road glide. I have some test rides in my future! My wife is ready for something with a bit more power and road worthiness.

Question: Who does the maintenance on your Road King?

Answer: I do most repairs and upgrades myself.  I like to tinker on the bikes as well as our cars.  The only time I had the dealer do work for me was when I knew my cam chain tensioner was on its’ way out. I was nervous tearing into the bike that far. Not having any experience with any local bike mechanics I went o the Harley dealer, knowing it wasn’t going to be cheap, but at least it would be done right. Several of the guys at work are bikers and are always willing to share what they know when someone has a problem with a bike or wants to do an upgrade. I bought the service manual for the bike and have found the internet invaluable as a resource.  Also vendors like you are a great resource when it comes to questions regarding their products.

Question: Have you taken any motorcycle riding courses?

Answer: I rode for several years when younger, got married, had kids and sold my bike.  Many years went by where I was too busy being a dad to even miss it. Then one warm summer day I said to my wife “wouldn’t it be nice to have a bike again to take out for a nice ride like we used to?”  She agreed without hesitating and a month later I found the Road King.  My previous bike was almost half the weight, didn’t have floor boards, and had turn signals on only one handle bar and no heel and toe shifter.  With those differences and the fact that I hadn’t ridden in roughly 15 years, I thought a biker refresher course was a great idea.  I found Ride with Pride in my area and since I already had a license, signed up for their advanced course. Best thing I could have done. They really helped me with the low speed handling of the bike. 
I was impressed enough that I had my wife take the course a couple of years later to get her license.  I also insisted my kids go through the course before they ever got on a bike which they both have done.  

One Response to “Buffalo Rider and Tire Maker!”

  1. Glad to meet you, Ron. It is always nice to hear about another family that “plays” together! Sounds like pretty soon the whole family can do some bike swapping…you get your Road Glide, pass the King on to your wife, and your daughter gets the Yamaha! Everybody wins!
    Best of luck to your kids in college.
    We hope to head to the Finger Lakes region this summer. Perhaps you could offer a few pointers on places to go, things to see, or roads to take. 🙂

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