Philosophy and Motorcycles

Philosophy and motorcycles are two of my favorite things in life. This blog will be bits of wisdom gleaned from a misspent youth and an adventurous dotage. People who like/love wisdom or motorcycles, classic or modern versions of either, are welcome to visit and comment.

My Photo
Location: Wisconsin, United States

I have been married to the same lovely woman for decades. We have one son, two cats, and live in rural Wisconsin, USA. I ride and rebuild motorcycles, and I am semi-retired. Favorite bikes are Yamaha XS650, FJ1200 and Ducati 900SS. My wife is a home care nurse. I am a Myers-Briggs INTP. She is ESFJ. Our son works at the Apple store in downtown SF and is teaching English as a second language in San Francisco, no grandchildren.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Time to cull the herd

It's time for me to sell my 1973 XS650. It's been a good bike. I haven't driven it enough to warrant keeping it. It runs well, pulls great in every gear. Everything works except the starter which has the XS growl. It kicks out. I have other starter gears for it. It is in good general condition. Chrome is good. The exhaust is aftermarket but original mufflers are available from Mike's XS. The hand grips and seat cover are replaced. Paint is good with some usual wear, minor chips. This would make a good restoration and if it doesn't sell I will repaint it and replace the non original parts. I would not hesitate to drive this bike any distance. A bit of TLC and the new owner will have a classic. I can provide more photos if interested. It has 39k miles.

I am also going to list a 1975 Honda CB500T soon. I don't have a good photo of it. The Honda has just 5,900 miles and is unmolested. It has a Wixom style fairing that I find rather strange on such a motorcycle. I do not have the original front turn signals as the signals are in the fairing. I cleaned the carbs enough to get it running but I have not had it on the road. There is a dent in the right side of the tank, side covers are good, no cracks and all tabs intact. This would make a wonderful cafe bike as it has the beautiful British style tank. I will post pictures of it soon.

Weather continues to be cloudy here in the north. We had about 3 drops of rain today. A friend used to call this a 3" rain, the drops were about 3" apart. It has been so wet it is very lush in this part of Wisconsin.

Happy Riding.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Went to visit a friend who has clock reamers. These go down to hair sized and he managed to get the crud out of the slow speed jet for my Honda CB500T. I hope to have that running later today. It's a very nice find with only 5k miles. I liked the 450 I had and I'm excited about this 500. It also has much nicer lines. No photos of it yet.
One of the guys suggested getting rid of the pests in the garden by telling jokes. Somehow he doesn't think my sense of humor is appropriate. A couple more remarks like that and I'll wok his dog.
Saw another creature at the edge of the woods. I'll try to post a photo.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ring neck Yamacrane seen, bugs return.

I was out at the garden listening to public radio and notice that not only were all the insects returning, they were carrying little signs demanding that we integrate the vegetables and not segregate the beans from the tomatoes. The bugs don't respond well to right wing talk or leftist talk. Maybe I should just ignore my son's green advice and spray the darn things with some industrial strength toxin and be done.

On another front I made some progress today on a 1975 Honda CB500T. This is a genuine 5k mile barn find. Actually it was chained to a fence when I first saw it but the owner said it had resided in a garage for decades. Thankfully no one has gotten hands on the wires, chopped, bobbed or otherwise mutilated it. It did have an old Wixom style fairing that I ditched prior to doing anything else to it. If I had to depend on it for transportation I would put the fairing back on it but up here on the mossy side of the trees the weather is too fickle for a bike to be only transport for a man in his dotage. The basic lines of the CB500T are quite nice. The tank is classic shape. Unfortunately the color is awful. Since the collector value isn't too high I may paint it a better color than the dark olive quasi, or queasy, military yuck. Even new that Honda choice wasn't my idea of a good color for a motorcycle. It might be some two star general's idea of snazzy but to me it was one of Honda's mistakes.
The bike has many signs of its low mileage and I am hoping I won't be surprised by unseen issues. I will post a picture of it soon. Any ideas for color schemes will be appreciated.

Tomorrow the insect wars continue. The conservative talk radio helped get rid of bugs but they took a lot of the produce with them and the bees refused to pollenate unless they got a guaranteed 19% and a default swap if the crop got hailed out or some other disaster struck. My ant farm is on slowdown and the ants are threatening to form a union for ant's rights. I might have to squish a few of them under my green thumb to put down that action. It's good being thousands of times bigger.


PS: Spotted a Yamacrane by the ferns.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


This summer my wife, Norska, decided she wanted to start a garden. Since we've never had a garden she didn't want to get overwhelmed and decided to start small. Her idea of starting small was to have me build a garden box. This involved a day of carpentry and a total cost of materials that would have bought enough vegetables to fill a small pickup. But, who am I to complain? After more than three decades with my lovely lady I've learned that when she-who-rules makes a decision mine is not to reason why.
Now that the tomato plants are towering and the beans are blooming we had an infestation of unwanted visitors. The box is elevated on saw horses to keep the larger fauna from dining on our produce. Insects, however, found their way into it and attacked. Since neither of us like the idea of commercial insecticides we tried various organic substitutes. Nothing seemed to work. Then one day I had the radio outside and Glen Beck's program came on. I noticed bugs crawling away from the radio. Aha! Sure enough even the insects can't tolerate that level of poison. Now I just take the radio out once a day, turn on Rush or Glen, and the insects all leave. I now have a much greater respect for the intelligence of insects.