My current passion is motorcycles and motorcycling…

It all started innocently enough when I bought a Honda Helix scooter in 1991 to commute back and forth to work. I was having lots of fun with the Helix, and eventually got interested in taking some longer rides. Elaine asked to go along but I told her it didn’t have the capacity to haul two people comfortably. Her response: “Then why don’t you get something that does?” That was all it took! It was 2004, and within weeks I had my first motorcycle

Actually, my passion for bikes began much earlier when I was growing up on our farm in Iowa. Dad rewarded my brothers and me with a “new” Cushman scooter like this one. He found it in Des Moines and brought it home in the back of the pickup. We painted it a nice, deep yellow color, and rode it all over the countryside. It frequently blew the head gasket, which required us to take it down the road to the shop run by Jake and Francis who would pick up a new gasket in Iowa City on their daily parts trip, and have it ready for us the next day. That is no doubt how my love of motorized two-wheeled transportation was born.

Valve job

My passion for motorcycles has two facets — the bikes themselves, and the adventures they take me on.  I appreciate fine machinery, well maintained, and performing at its best. I particularly enjoy wrenching on my bikes doing the usual oil changes, brake bleeds, valve adjustments (right), throttle body syncs, filter changes, etc. — but I also like to get into more extensive maintenance such as removing the transmission and lubing the clutch splines, upgrading the shocks and forks, and replacing the pivot bearings on the final drive. Every so often I get stumped, like the day I broke off a piece of dowel inside the cylinder of my K1200LT and after three days of trying everything I could think of I finally got it out — nothing (okay, almost nothing) compares with the satisfaction I get from solving problems like that!