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.

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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.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


I saw three motorcycles out yesterday. Unfortunately mine was not one of them. My drive way is sheltered on the south by large pine trees and the layer of compacted snow does not melt off until long after others are out riding. There is also a large berm of snow surrounding the garage on three sides. My garage is 30x70 feet with 30x40 gravel and 30x30 concrete floor. There is a wall between the sections and a garage door that allows access to the concrete section where I work. This is generally an excellent arrangement. This spring we have had so much snow that the run off cannot get away from the garage and runs under the wall and into the gravel part of the shop. I now have an indoor area that is swamp by day and ice rink by night. It will not go away until it has been warm enough long enough for the frost to go out of the floor so the water can seep down. It's frustrating. My motorcycles remain dormant. It does give me extra time to work on projects. I have two machines done and ready to sell and am working on a third. Soon it will be warmer and the ice will melt away. Although I am anxious to see my classics out on the road I am content for now to keep working on a Suzuki GS1100E that is my current project. I had one of these in the past and sold it. It was by chance that I found another. This one is not so nice as my former machine but it will be when I am done. Like many of the machines I find this one has been repaired to death. Some people should avoid tools and some prior owner has modified this one into a thoroughly messed up piece. Luckily the basics seem strong. It will be a big job to go through the process of removing the black paint someone thought would improve the chassis and engine. It is a rough as undercoat with overspray everywhere. Yuck. Seeing it was almost like seeing a badly abused dog. I felt a strong urge to rescue it from further degradation. Even though the weather up here is not quite suitable for riding I remain happy to work on rebuilding another great classic bike. The GS1100E series were and are truly great muscle machines. Handling is dated, tires skinny by today's standards but oh that engine. The twin swirl combustion chamber, the bulletproof bottom end and general ease of maintenance make these wonderful machines. Just having adjustable valves makes them easy to own. That is a feature I wish I had on my Yamaha FJ1200. Shim and bucket systems have their benefits but for a street machine the adjustable rocker is still a blessing. The adventure continues. 3-28-13