Oh Geeze, not the helmet law thing again, Thanks Barry. I wish they would just shut the f@#k up about helmet laws, it was bad in the old days, but now with Facebook, I’ m going to have to hear the choir of whiners who are “losing their freedom” and are going to either quit riding or find the most uncomfortable helmet that exist and become a martyr… spread misinformation about breaking their “buddies” neck…”My buddy hit a concrete barrier head first at 45 MPH, had he been wearing a helmet, it would have broken his neck!”
I could give a hairy rats ass if anyone wants to wear a helmet or not, I just wish everyone would be honest about it, and quit making disclaimers about comfort, or anatomically impossible or how the man is taking their freedom from them.
It’s the freedom aspect that drives me crazy though; Mezzlemorphs down at Jimmy Struthers bolt-on bike supply and freedom distribution system preaching for generations how not wearing a helmet is akin to starting a revolution and practicing free speech in the town court yard while juggling flaming chainsaws…all the while standing in line at the corner of conformity and homeland security.
Helmet laws aren’t restricting your freedom, tax laws are; you want freedom, tell your company, your representative, your elected officials, and the IRS that they are to quit withholding taxes from your paycheck because you are a free helmetless wearing muthaf@#ker. Take a look at your paycheck and imagine there are no withholdings, and then imagine sitting down every week to write the IRS a check for the amount you owe to the Federal, State, SSI, Medicaid, local and library taxes. Whoah gangster bandana wearing – Muthaf@#ker, I thought that money was going to go to: (freedom?)
- That business that you have been dreaming about forever but can’t even start for the amount of government overhead that would make a profit akin to being a greeter at Subsidized Walmarts.
- That brand new motorcycle that you are always lusting after and make the disclaimer that you can’t afford it…not with what your employer pays you…
- Better tools for your shop that are made by American manufacturers, by American craftsmen.
- A shop, a structure, a piece of property to put the shop on, that will not be taxed and zoned to death for f@#kingever.
- A college education at a college that is not subsidized to death by the government; for you and your children and grandchildren, to be able to give your offspring the very thing that all parents want, a better life than you have.
- Career opportunities that don’t make you feel desperate and imprisoned to a job due to lack of options.
You’re not free to no amount of riding to Sturgis with your hair follicles in the wind will make you free anymore.
Oh yeah I get it, you worked Nightshift, (not third shift Jimmy, night shift, 12 f@#king hours,) you wore a welding helmet in a cramped f@#king space, overhead and in extreme heat and dirt; your local state reprehensive posted on Facebook all night about the fish dinner he had at the local volunteer fire department, (wait what? Volunteer? Where are your state, local and property taxes going?), you successfully lived thru the night and made your company a profit; You followed in the footsteps of your ancestors, your worked hard for your employer, your family, your paid your taxes and earned the ability to build your chopper, you just want to ride your motorcycle home without a helmet to enjoy that early morning air, revel in your values and freedom and live in case someone drops a concrete barrier off a truck in front of you, that you made need to
bust thru head first. But you isn’t free mofo.
I guareenf@#kingtee you that if you had to sit down with pen to check to pay the Federal, state, and local taxes, every Friday afternoon, that helmet laws would be that you’d throw your Macbook across the room for even suggesting it…you’d be more concerned with:
- Financing spy agencies that use scare tactics and political blackmail to keep an endless funnel built into your withholdings, and they NEVER have to show proof that they serve a function. We know there are bad people/terrorist who don’t like Hammer, Gaga, Miley and Roadside Marty, we just need to know can’t they reach us with their rocks and slingshots and will they affect our ability to get alloys to make steel with? Other than that, yeah, let them have their little Burning Man festivals in the desert and burn effigies of Roadside and Elvis, then fire every f@#ker at the CIA and NSA.
- Corporate tax breaks. Yeah you appreciate your job and the risk the investors took, but they didn’t do it out of community service, they did it for profit, just like you accepted the job for. That tax break they get affords them the ability to not have to sit down in the financing cubicle at the HD dealership for that ElectraGlide Classic you have been wanting to tour on those long “free” weekends you get with your significant other or your offspring. Tax breaks should only go to the laborer, as in no taxes at all.
- Farm subsidies. Yeah I know, they feed America, GMO corn and tobacco are all an important part of the FDA food chain, and
- high quality fuel for your Kia Rio, but do you have to finance brand new Tractors and Diesel trucks for every corporate farmer? Your grandfather seemed to do just fine with an antique Massey Ferguson 131. ….(but Flynch, think of all the jobs that the Farm subsidies supply, someone has to build those tractors, trucks, and work the cash registers at “CheapFoodmart.”)
- Healthcare reform. Oh yeah free muthaf@#ker, tell me about helmet laws while you try to interrupt your last billing statement for that prostate exam. Was your free doo-rag wearing/Mt. Dew drinking ass invited to sit down to discuss healthcare reform?
- Defense spending. Before your tongue licks that stamp, ask yourself how important Ukraine’s refinery business is to you. Are you willing to send your offspring and half your paycheck off to profit Dick Cheney and Joe Biden? I’m fairly certain that if you were in charge and financing national defense, you’d be downsizing the whole she-bang in return for riding to the Big Mountain Run, the Smoke-Out and shorter work weeks.
- Government research grants. Pennies add up folks. Would you rather finance Pat Patterson to build a magneto side cover for Evo sportsters or a new penile erection drug that runs the risk of erections lasting longer than four hours, bloody bowel movement, suicidal thoughts and/or behaviors?
- How much of your paycheck would you like to distribute to the FDA, BATF, CDC, the teachers Union, the treasury department, first
class airline tickets for your congressman, five star dinners in Washington, personal transportation for your politicians to ride
around with Lobbyist and a healthy salary? Hmmm, NSA or S&S?
Would your ancestors consider you to be free? What kind of repression drove your ancestor to come to American to seek freedom? Was it helmet laws that put them on that ship?
Our ancestors were freer than us. My great grandfather came from Ireland, or Scotland, or England; (on my biological mother’s side) the records aren’t clear in the family history. My great grandmother’s family came from Ireland. It was around the time of the Industrial revolutions heyday in America. I can only guess what their motivation was, and I’ll take a wild ass guess and say “Freedom?” (Imagine that a glamorized and photoshopped half-naked Supermodel laying back on silk sheets is lip syncing those words), it wasn’t just to own things, better opportunities, clean, air or water, or make more money or even provide a better life for their future generations; no I’ll put a K note on the fact that they wanted freedoms, the Freedom of self-government. It wasn’t that moonshine tasted better, it sure the f@#k don’t, but freedom does. They wanted to go to the church of their choice or not go to the church of their choice, not based on their family and geological location, freedom to feed themselves without bowing to a King, freedom to explore their trades without duty to their community, freedom to serve their community on the level they wish, morality and from unfair taxation (and while your grandmother may have not started looking for a burning barrel when she got off the boat, I bet that her undergarments were a wee bit uncomfortable in a metaphysical sense.)
And yes I’ll agree that our ancestors would have thrown a literal revolution had you demanded that they wear helmets for any occasion, but I’m sure their doing pinwheels in their graves with all the real freedoms that we have given away without thought well above wearing a helmet; and I’m sure they would laughed hardily at your lame excuses for not wearing one. Just admit the truth, you don’t want to put the effort into finding a full face helmet that fits and works good because you don’t want your friends to mock you for not looking as “cool” as they do. And you want to get laid.
The Glorified welder versus Miss America
Most of our ancestors were tradesmen, farmers, skilled laborers, artisans and humans with the desire to learn and thrive; live long and prosperous even. Their desire to “open up shop” was strong, their desire to branch out and explore was legendary, their ability to grow and prosper reached a goal we may never see again in any lifetime, and we spend a great deal of our lives clinging passionately to those values and philosophies and we will fight to the literal death to those who insult them. Finally, and I’ll give credit to people like Mike Rowe and Jesse, that the skilled laborers and hard workers in society are finally given their just rewards; reminding people of their grandparents who were skilled laborers, not import/export lawyers. I’m afraid it is more than a little too late, even with the Union’s existence and daily reminder to buy American, and grumblings of inferior foreign made products, the skilled laborer jobs are not coming back at even a tenth of the speed they left (Ross Perot anyone?).
We have become a nation of salesmen and consumers, celebrity makers and viewers, mining for our e-mail addresses and W2 statements.
I am very proud to see that in the motorcycle world there is a huge respect for craftsmanship and a loyal following of people who purchase items made by small specialized businesses that may only have a blog and a PayPal account. I’d like to encourage this type of trend, and add things to the list that I think motorcyclist need for budding fabricators.
- Custom GoPro mounts. There are lots of good ones now, but they lack that Chopper bling that most of us desire, and the YouTube channel market is growing daily. I don’t have cable TV, I don’t know what Biker shows exist or who the modern celebrities are, I read magazines and books and watch YouTube. I’m betting I’m not alone.
- Anything to do with ergonomics; floorboards, footpegs, shifter lever, brake lever, seats, handlebar adjustment, and speedometer relocation. At least once a week on many of the Sportster boards I follow, someone asks about replacing the 1200C risers or handlebars. Yes the market is strong, but it’s a sign that the ergonomics of the modern Sportster are not perfect and there’s a strong market out there NOT meeting all the needs.
- Luggage- I toil daily over my hauling abilities on my bike. There has to be better ways. Backpacks suck if you are wearing proper gear, and luggage racks are never perfect…but could be. I want a custom made messenger bag that doesn’t look like something Sheldon Cooper would wear and that could be locked to my bike safely when I walk into the Rabbit Hash general store for a drink. I want a better easy-on/off bracket that fit my bike and doesn’t look like I shopped at Home Depot for supplies.
- Lighting and headlight brackets. I live in a demon white tail deer country. I can’t even get out of my driveway without braking hard. Maybe I need a huge Jousting rod? I’ll be testing my bikes charging system for sure as I bolt on some aftermarket lights that will surely ruin the looks of my bike. My bike, I don’t care what you think.
- Exhaust; this market never ceases to let up. I’m probably going to build my own, because I’m not perfectly satisfied with anything on the market, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t.
- Fenders and fuel tanks; same thing, this market never ceases to stop growing, and I’m one of the ones always shopping for new items.
- Dual sport parts. Every week there is a new Sportster being converted to Dual sport that shows up in Advrider.com and every time the people are building their parts from scratch. The rigid mounted 5-speed Sportsters may be the best all-around dual sport motorcycles for the money. You can get a rock guard for a Dyna, but not a Sportster?
- Sportster drivetrain anything. This market is growing leaps and bounds. Finally the motorcycle builder world is not doing resell math on their modification chart.
- Kickers and magneto drives for modern bikes. Nuff said. This never goes out of style.
- Custom frames for alternative powerplants. Don’t think I don’t watch that YouTube video of the guy who put the Yanmar diesel in a rigid frame daily. The Ming has been looking for a small Diesel for me for a couple months now. (Englishman and Hammer are breathing a huge sigh of relief now thinking I was gonna start digging into their engine supplies,…Fab Kevin however should be sweating!)
- Gear; boots, gloves, armored jackets, armored pants and full face helmets, (real ones, if you’re going to wear one, you may as well wear one that is comfortable). More and more modern chopper riders are wearing proper gear. Don’t make us send our money overseas when we don’t want to (hint, I need new gear.)
The myths that never die.
Full face helmets won’t break your neck; they’re not too hot in the summer and they don’t restrict your peripheral vision. Aside the safety aspects, they provide excellent eye protection, UV ray protection, and ability to control your temperature better than wearing a half shell helmet ever can. They provide better comfort, protection from blinding rain, hail, snow, sleet, corn bugs, Locust, plague and you’re not always fighting the wind trying to whip the thing off of your head, and the ability to blue tooth your GPS coordinates into your ear without fighting wind noise, or your favorite Old school rap songs, not to mention a place to put your FTWCO/ ChopperF@#KingDaveRocks stickers.
The same goes with jackets and pants. I don’t know how many times I hear riders, soaked in sweat proclaim to me that I must be dying in full gear in the heat of summer.
I just smile and tell them I’m not hot, I’m free.