Misadventures of a Hoosierbilly Motorcycle Tramp

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by JB2, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Been a few days since posting here but it hasn't been for lack of everything motorcycle. I've been tweaking the Scrambler to more suit my liking. I started last August with this:

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    After decluttering the bike by removing the passenger pegs, reflectors, annoying caution decals... I added cleated pegs, skid plate, K&N, Corbin seat, a few “other parts” then painted some of the engine parts to match the other silver pieces Yamaha selected to paint. Is that run-on sentence? :scratch Anyways, here's how she looks today.

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    One of the “other parts” is this Moto-Fizz tank bag. This is my third Moto-Fizz. I sold the first one, still have the second one and probably keeping this one too. I needed something about twice the thickness of their map-case I've been carrying for years. I had to order it direct from Japan but it was delivered about 6 days after the order was placed. Great piece.

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    Another of the “other parts” are these nifty knurled screws that hold the side covers on. There's a ton of storage under the seat and these are far more accessible than the Phillips-head screws they replaced. I found them by following fellow inmate @ChopperCharles project Scrambler. I ordered these direct from China and they only took 3 1/2 months to get here. :fpalm However, they're the cheapest, most bang-for the-buck farkle I have purchased for the bike. Thanks Charles!

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    So, I had to adjust the shifter after installing the new pegs but hadn't really had a chance to take her for a decent ride, only around the block. I also wanted to get some miles on the seat to figure out if its a keeper or not. I was able to get in a 25 mile jaunt on Saturday then a thirty-miler tonight.

    If you've been through Indiana you might not think it's got very many geographical features. That's true, it does not. However, there are those special roads and old places that only locals know the history of. This almost forgotten place is an intersection at Gadbury Road and old 400 South. The background is the approach ramp and foundation for an iron bridge that used to cross Lick Creek right here. The guardrail blocks the creek line but this bridge and another bridge like it four miles from here in Elizabethtown have the same haunting... or had. Both have been replaced by slab bridges and relocated to straighten out the primary back roads. The hauntings were maybe an old wives tale or local folklore but two girls separately hung themselves from this bridge and the one at Elizabethtown. If you stop on the bridge at midnight, shut your vehicle off and honk the horn three times you were supposed to be able to see their ghosts.

    Of course it never worked but we scared the shit out of a bunch of teenage girls here. :nod

    There's a memory in the sound of a car crossing slowly over a wood-planked, steel bridge on a moonlit night with Lynard Skynard playing in the 8-track. :beer

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    Look closely you'll see curves and elevation changes. They are here in Indiana if you know where to go. Also note that Indiana is very brown and gray this time of year. There's still chaff in the roadways, especially in the corners, along with ruts at the inside apexes. Its always good to pre-run roads here before you crank it up.

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    I didn't go looking for "MoJo" when I went out tonight but I may have found it. Not in words but, in the bike. The Corbin killed the problems with the OEM seat. I can go all day in this saddle. The rear brake lever needs fab work to fix the foot position problem on the right peg. The bike is top heavy and has no ground clearance. It really is a 90/10 bike. Ninety percent street and ten percent dirt. The only thing that makes it dirt worthy are the looks but, this bike speaks to me.

    It is the best Sportster I have ever owned. :thumb Yep, I just said that.

    I name all of my bikes, eventually. Hadn't thought of a good one for her but it hit me one night to call her "Scramp". A cross between a Tramp and a Scrambler. Its a parts-bin bike that poses as a scrambler. It really is a street bike in dirty clothes but damn it is fun to ride. I think I will keep her.

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    And the music collection grows on... this is another song by The Steel Woods that hits on the topic of superstitions. Enjoy!



    Stay Tuned.
  2. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Good stuff, JB2.

    Think I'll be adding some of those knurled screws so I can store the registration and insurance card in the side panel. Absolutely no storage on my bike. Have to take the rear seat off to get under the front seat and that is the only place I can keep the papers on the bike at present.

    On the other hand, I don't have the patience to wait 3.5 months for them :lol3
    I may just buy enough allen wrenches that I can keep one in each jacket.
    JB2 likes this.
  3. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Joel - Thanks, it was good to be in the wind again after this lousy winter we've had. A week ago Saturday we had a 2 1/2" burst of snow that stayed around until last Monday. I know it missed you folks south of here but we got it. Fortunately they did not salt but they did spread sand and the roads are a little less than desirable. We need a good downpour to finish cleaning them off.

    You might be in luck on the thumb-screws. I ordered a couple of sets because of the turn around time. I have both 6mm and 5mm threads that are 25mm(1") long. I think your Triumph is Asian built? It should be metric? Anyways, if you really want one or two ping me. You might have to shorten them a skosh but they should long enough.
    Sal Pairadice likes this.
  4. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious

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    I really like the silver valve covers and the honesty. I've thought of this bike myself. Ther fortnine review of it is pretty good.
    bobw and JB2 like this.
  5. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    @Sal Pairadice - Thanks and even more thanks for the Fortnine review. Funny how I ended up with the bike. My budget was twice the purchase price of the bike. I had sold my KLR and was riding a couple of "flip" bikes waiting for spring and a chance to unload them to buy a replacement for the Kawasaki. I had a CL250 as a kid in SoCal and fell in love with the Scrambler platform way back then in 1972. I walked into the dealership looking for that next main squeeze when the SCR950 caught my eye. I could not get over the looks of the bike. It was begging to just go have fun and get dirty. It was very similar to the three Sportsters I had owned in the past. That was followed by four Buells. I was aware of what I was getting into when I bought it. I went home that night and watched a half dozen reviews but never found Fortnine's. It wouldn't have mattered though, I called the following Tuesday and put a down payment on the bike and simply quit looking for anything else. If everybody else was kicking dirt at it then it was the bike I wanted. A red-headed, step-child with an attitude. :augie

    The review you posted hit every detail and reason that I love about the bike even with all of its quirks and shortcomings. I've ridden 2 of the 5 Scramblers in the comparison. The only other real Scrambler in the bunch is the Triumph. I rode radianriader's last fall and was immediately taken with the handling and similar power delivery. If not for falling in love with this bike I probably would have bought the Triumph.

    I sincerely believe that the final decision in any motorcycle purchase is emotional. For whatever reasons a rider comes up with; be it performance, specs, pricing or best in class of whatever class it is in... the bottom line is does the bike speak to you? I could have doubled my dollars and bought one of two others in the marketplace at the time that fit my budget but, I could not shake the way this bike grabbed me. Its a one year only bike with a cousin platform in the Bolt so parts are going to be available for years to come.

    I can't imagine buying another Sportster since they rubber-mounted the engine and the cruiser version of the SCR950, the Bolt, is too cruiser-ish. There's not a lot of other V-Twins out there in this category once you rule those out.

    Other mods are coming but the biggest improvement thus far has been simply acclimating myself to the machine. :thumb
    bobw and Sal Pairadice like this.
  6. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious

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    I have an air cooled Bonny. Your bike is in the same sort of spirit.
    bobw, 72 Yamaha RD350 and JB2 like this.
  7. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Yes, same spirit indeed. Good taste in music you have too. That's back when Chris was fronting the band and his voice really rattles the walls on that one.

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    A good friend, Lou "Mystic" Usher, gave me a new one from The Dead South that has a couple of songs with nearly the same grove but with considerable more grit. This is a not so pretty song covering the days after Civil War. NSF/CSM

    bobw likes this.
  8. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    I posted this over on a Road Warriors thread. With the exception of a few good friends this story went untold for 17 years. While writing it down over there I realized how important it was to me and should be to fellow ADV'ers. Fred has long since passed, as have some of the other characters, but his bikes and some of his stories are carried on by those who knew him. It may not fit the Day Trippin' parameters exactly but I rode my VFR or Buell S2 to every visit I had with Fred until the day I picked up the bike. Considering my state of mind when these events unfolded it could well be considered a trip.

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    So it was the summer of 2002. I had just lost my dad in a motorcycle crash and had spent several weeks in NC helping Mom to cope and deal with the aftermath. When I returned to work a co-worker asked me if I was still interested in his dad's bicycle that had an engine on it? In my mind's eye I was picturing a Whizzer or something of that nature. Actually, I was attempting to buy the bike before Dad's untimely death but hadn't had the chance to see it yet. He had just restored a '66 Mustang and was looking for another project. I had mentioned the bike to Dad again while we were taking a lunch break at Deal's Gap and he was interested. I was supposed to take photos and send them to him when I returned home. However, thirty miles later our world was turned upside down and I had forgot about the bike.

    I told my co-worker that I was still interested so we arranged to visit his father and look the bike over. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the garage to meet his father Fred and laid eyes on a 1909 Thor single. It was Fred's first bike, he had purchased it as a teenager. He bought it from the original owner for $16.00 in 1927. Two weeks pay back then. That bike started Fred's passion for anything two-wheeled.

    In a few short sentences I quickly discovered that several people had attempted to purchase the Thor and offended Fred with their low-ball offer. They were escorted out of the garage with a firearm and asked to never return. I was immediately taken with Fred and his passion for anything motorcycle. I looked the bike over and over. I could not believe how complete it was. I left without making an offer but assured him I was genuinely interested in the bike and I would be back. I wanted to consult a local collector so that I could make him a fair offer. Fred was tickled and we quickly found common ground as he admired the VFR800 I had rode to his place. At that point Fred motioned me back inside to show me his most prized possession. After removing layers of oil-soaked canvas tarps there set Fred's 1938 Indian Four... and it was for sale too. SHEESH!

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    I remember riding home that night, my mind flush with the sights and smells of vintage motorcycles. Real vintage motorcycles. I called Dick Winger and told him of my dilemma. I wanted the Thor as it seemed an appropriate investment for the money I had just received from the insurance company for Dad's totaled bike. The Indian was way out of my league but Dick warned me to keep hush about it or the sharks would soon be circling and buy both bikes out from under me. His advice was heeded. He checked prices for me with other AMCA members and called back with a fair offer price for the Thor.

    I met with Fred a few days later, agreed on a price, paid cash for the Thor and arranged to pick it up the following weekend. I also told him that I had a "real" buyer for the Indian and that I would bring the gentleman to him when we could work out a date. Fred was happy with my offer and the prospect of finding a cash buyer for his Indian.

    As an aside to this you should know that Fred's health and memory were fading fast. His wife Roberta had told him that she wanted the bikes sold before he passed because she didn't want to carry the burden of "getting it right" as she put it. I pulled her to the side at one point and asked if he had any friends that would buy the Indian. He had been in a club with a bunch of fellow Indian riders over the years. Her reply was that Fred had quit riding in the early 1990's and most of his friends had passed away or simply did not stay in contact any longer. It was a very hollow feeling to receive this information knowing that the 1938 Four was a one year only bike but more for knowing he had made all of these wonderful friends over the years and... well, he was alone in his own mind. :fpalm

    The day I picked up the Thor was pretty special. I arrived mid-morning with Fred pacing outside like he was waiting for the mailman. He had it out of mothballs sitting on the back patio along with a bunch of spare parts, his 1927 title and a box of Indiana license plates starting in the late 20's all the way up to the early 50's. They were all plates that had been on the Thor. Fred helped me reassemble the bike while explaining where the oil, the gas and the battery went and how to start it once everything was primed.

    Afterwards we sat in chairs out back looking over the Thor while he told stories of both bikes and other bikes he had owned. He was called up for service during WWII and used his 1938 Indian "for the effort" while he was enlisted. He was a dispatch rider for an Air Force base in Alabama. Although he was stateside during the conflict his passion and fervor for winning "The War" was clearly evident. There was a lot that Fred had forgotten but there was a lot he hadn't forgotten... if he had the right ear to tell it to.

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    After returning home from "The War" he went to work as a meter reader for the gas company. He rode the Indian for his job until he retired. He only drove a truck in bad weather or when he "had" to. I also discovered that the Indian Four had taken several trips around the clock and was nearing the 300K mark. Wow, just wow. The stories continued to flow into the early evening and finally it was time to load up the bike and head home. I almost felt guilty looking at the Thor peeping into my rear-view mirror as I drove home that night. But, then again, life is a circle and as Fred's loop was nearly complete his stories and his bike entered mine. Hopefully I'll have a history like that to pass on some day.

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    Roberta called me at work a few days later to thank me for buying the bike and spending time with Fred. She said she was eves-dropping on our conversations and was grinning to hear stories she had not heard in decades. "You really brought a spark to his eye." she said, "Thanks." Hell, I would have paid the price for the Thor just to get to meet him and hear his tales. She followed that up with a heart-felt, hand-written Thank You card and some decals Fred had forgotten to give me.

    About a week later I get an excited call from Dick Winger. He was planning on looking at the Indian for his own collection but in doing his research ran into a fellow AMCA member who not only knew Fred but was promised first dibs on the bike when he sold it. Fred had simply forgot. The gentleman was none other than Don Miller of Miller Pipeline. Dick wanted to make sure I hadn't spoke a word about the Indian, I had not, because Don was currently tied up on a job and couldn't get there for a couple of weeks.

    Then, two weeks later, I got a very strange phone call. My wife handed me the phone and said it was a guy who wanted to talk to the guy who bought the Thor. I took the phone and the first words he said were, "You got my Thor,... boy." (long pause with emphasis on "boy" to make sure I knew he was talking down to me) "But, if you hadn't found it I wouldn't have got the Indian." It was Don Miller who, in a round about way, was thanking me for getting the information into the right hands while "keeping my mouth shut" about the Indian. He also asked that the Thor be restored properly and that if I didn't restore it to make sure that it ended up in the hands of someone who would. I gave him my word that I would then offered to sell it to him for the same price as I paid Fred. He declined saying that he really only wanted the Indian but would have taken the Thor to ensure it found a good home for Fred's peace of mind. That was now my responsibility he added but little did he know that Fred's story tugged at my heart-strings and I was already committed to the task.

    I found out that shortly after Don purchased the Indian Fred basically shut down and died. I was back in NC helping Mom and did not find out he had passed until after the funeral. Maybe the old bikes were keeping him going? Maybe a huge weight was lifted after the bikes were safely in the hands of people who cared as much about them as he did? Maybe he was like that old guard dog with nothing left to guard? It seemed too quiet of an ending for a man with so much passion for motorcycles. Ride In Peace Fred.

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    I kept the Thor for two years and had managed to find some of the missing parts. One being the front fender. Oddly enough it had a 1913 HD front fender on it. I was able to sell the Harley fender and purchase a handmade reproduction with the correct braces for the Thor. I was working with Dick trying to decide if the bike should get a patina restoration or a complete restoration taking into consideration was a running survivor. The bike ran good and was originally dark blue even though it had been brush-painted black.

    I was on the fence regarding the restoration. It was within my capabilities but not within my interest. I was still going through some rough times with Mom and dealing with Dad's passing. Dick picked up on my reservations with the Thor and offered to find it a good home. As it ended, I sold the bike to a Thor collector who specialized in restoring these rare bikes. I kept my promise to Fred and Don, doubled my money and Dick made a nice seller's fee for finding the buyer. But still, the purchase price for the Thor, albeit expensive, was worth every penny just to meet and to know Fred.

    The Thor was more than just an entry on my life-list. Knowing Don and Fred were able to reconnect and that Don ended up with Fred's Indian was a huge profit, spiritually. But, motorcycles always end up being more than just an entry on someone's life-list. They represent someone's passion and the adventures they had when they rode it.

    Sorry for the longish "short story" but bits and pieces would not do justice to the bike nor the owner. I've posted this video on a thread here before but "where" escapes me. Reminds us to all remember those who went before us. Enjoy!

    radianrider, thebeancounter and bobw like this.
  9. jim a

    jim a Adventurer

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    Great read Jimmy!
    JB2 likes this.
  10. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    Thanks Gentleman Jim. That happened a year or two before we met. Its always a good day when you post here. Looking forward to September and adding another trip to our history. :thumb
  11. jim a

    jim a Adventurer

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    Hopefully we can miss the snow experience this year!
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  12. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

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    So how does a great day of motorcycle mischief start from the windshield of an F150?

    Well, for the last few months, or year... maybe a year and a half... okay two frikkin' years. Anyways, I've been preoccupied with restoration work and flipping bikes to upgrade the small shop that I plan on supporting my motorcycle habit with after retirement. Then about six months ago I got caught up in the story of Trevor Ware and the letter writing campaign to keep the person who ran over him in jail. So for those of you who don't visit Jo Momma and for those I wish to point to this post I'm throwing out some bones to: @Shunka , @dogjaw , @kerncountykid , @CVAN , @TorribleZone .

    It has been on my mind that I really wanted to get up to visit Janus Motorcycles in Goshen, Indiana. It has also been on my mind thinking about the effect of someone I do not know has had on me. If you haven't followed Trevor Ware's story then I suggest you read his thread and watch the video posted at the end of this post. When you add up the full time job, working late at night in the shop every night, tight deadlines and watching the good unfold that a bunch of fellow inmates can do for a downed brother from afar you might get a glimpse of why I was feeling like Max Headroom getting ready to have a carbonated explosion. It was time to get out and mingle with other riders.

    I found out about Janus Motorcycles right here on ADV when one of the co-founders started a thread about his trip across America on Janus motorcycle. I thought to myself, "WTF is a Janus motorcycle?" So I read the thread and have waited patiently for each new installment. Read it for yourself HERE. I was struck with the ideas and the approach this team of enthusiasts had about motorcycles then channel that passion into a business. Plus they hail from my home state.

    After a few inquiries about their Discovery Days I was finally able to pinpoint a date that would work for me and a life-long friend and fellow rider to join in the fun. It was an almost two hour trip from Hartford-tucky to Goshen. It was a cool and overcast day but the anticipation of getting a factory tour, test riding bikes I knew nothing about and meeting new riders prevailed over any flaws in the weather. Arriving at their facility throws you a little bit. I guess I had in mind a factory, not a small shop in the historical downtown area. The bike you see setting out front is the very bike Richard Worsham rode across the USA.

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    The trip Richard took was a ride that re-traced the steps of George Wyman in 1903 who rode a handmade, 200cc motorcycle from San Francisco to New York. If you're building 250cc lightweight motorcycles and offer a hardtail version then you just might hear the Moto-gods calling on you to re-create the trip. Especially since there was already an organized event going to take place.

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    Their shop is in fact a waypoint for the ride. Even though George's actual stop was a few blocks away in a restaurant the organizers thought it fitting to designate Janus as the waypoint. Pretty cool deal if you ask me.

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    Once inside you immediately get the feeling you are family. The friendly faces and excitement among all those who work there hit you like breath of fresh air. Best friend Ernie and Jaclyn from Janus were locked into a conversation as soon as we arrived. We were early but even at that, we weren't the only ones. There were a total of 15 scheduled for this Discovery Day event. From what they told me this is the perfect size of group. A pre-paid, $25.00 ticket gets you a sales brochure package, donuts and coffee, a factory tour, a test ride on any model you choose and a great sit-down meal with the Janus folks at the Goshen Brew Company. When we left at the end of the day I have to say it was the most bang for the buck I ever got out of $25.00. You'll see.

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    This is a mixture of company bikes and owner bikes. The bike in the foreground is waiting for pickup by its new owner.

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    This Halcyon is done in Vintage Red. I had not considered this color until I seen it in person. This bike wowed my senses.

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    Ernie and I went on the test ride and it only took a couple of blocks to find out what the bike wanted. These little single-cylinder, pushrod engines like to have the gas dumped on at the lower end and easily hum up to 70mph sustained. It took a little to get used to the tight spacing on shifting but soon I was looking for a 6th gear like all five-speed motorcycles beg for. But, for the size of this engine, a 6 speed is not a major issue once you find where the sweet spot is. The Earles-type front fork gives excellent feedback and works very well. There is absolutely no brake-dive with this front end. Period. I first rode the Halcyon which is the hardtail version of the Janus 250 lineup. Then I rode the Phoenix which has rear swing-arm suspension and a cafe seating position. I couldn't get enough of that little demon.

    Ernie rode Richard's "Across America" bike which is also a Halcyon. We both concurred that the Halcyons do not feel like a hardtail bike. On the worst bumps, yes. But your average lumpy pavement with tar snakes did not upset the ride nor the comfort. I could put several hundred miles on this bike a day without a thought. Neither of us rode the Gryffin which is the dual sport version. That's alright, I've narrowed my pick down to the hardtail or the cafe.

    After getting our adrenaline pumped up we were off to the factory tour. This is Devin Beik, the other co-founder, showing us their motorcycle supermarket. Its actually where every piece of the bike goes until it is pulled to fill a build-order. Many of the parts are also sub-assemblies that are assembled here in house.

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    These are the frames for both the Gryffin and the Phoenix. One of the things that impressed me the most is that nearly 90% of the bike is made within 20 miles of their shop. Goshen, Indiana is right in the middle of the RV - Mobile-Home - Manufactured Housing capitol of the world, literally. This area is blessed with Amish craftsmen and their job-shops that support the manufacturing industry. The frames are hand-built locally as is all of the sheet metal. The tank is handmade of high grade aluminum. All parts are hand finished and powder-coated. The hand finishing is done in house and the powder-coating is sourced locally. Although there are several color choices they stick to a limited number of options to streamline the cost. The leather accessories and upholstery are all done locally by the Amish. The engines are Honda designed and built to Janus specs in China but are of proven lineage and are pretty much bullet proof.

    The value of having most of the parts suppliers within 20 miles is the ability to produce high quality parts in limited numbers with hands-on, complete control over the quality.

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    This is Janus Motorcycles numeral uno. Richard and Devin met through their passion for small caliber motorcycles and scooters. They went through several design steps before arriving at this frame set-up. You'll notice that it is a 50cc, two-stroke, water-cooled bike. They made less than 50 of the 50cc variant before jumping into the 250cc bikes.

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    Here are some tins waiting for pinstripes. The bare aluminum tanks will be polished before powder-coating. This is done in house and the polished area is masked off before it is sent out. These units will become their deluxe tank option. Reminds me of the racks at Harley's assembly line only this is not an assembly line.

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    And here's the pin-striping station. The pinstripes are applied by hand but at the moment they are done with a guide tape. Jaclyn is the primary striper and hopes to get good enough to do it free hand. You just get the feeling that every one connected with this operation is passionate. It shows in their attitude and their craftsmanship.

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    And these are the old fashioned products. Sign Painter's 1-Shot has been around since the beginning of pinstripes.

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    Here's Ryan doing the demonstration. He originally did all the striping until Jaclyn started doing it now she is the primary striper.

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    Here's Devin explaining some of the processes of building the bikes. They are hand assembled, built to order, one at a time. To this point they have avoided the franchised dealership route and prefer to remain a direct order manufacturer.

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    Here's one that's minutes away from being finished. Its also done in Vintage Red. Beautiful! I'm listening as Devin tells the group all about the process for each bike and the quality standards they are dedicated to maintaining while gawking at this bike. Note the build-sheet for the bike to the right. They stress that their goal is to create a lightweight bike(less than 300 pounds) that was first and foremost three things; FUN(they stress that a lot), easy to work on and bullet-proof. A retro look with just enough modern technology to make them fun and reliable. And they are.

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    This is Ryan again and here's a good image to let you know you are in his place. He is the only assembler. He's covered other bases in the past including assembly but now that they have grown a bit he's been able to shed some of the other duties to stay focused on hand building each bike. The guy he is chatting with flew in from California for this tour. He was part of a group of five that were either related by blood or by motorcycle... or both. To quote dogjaw, "We be of one blood, ye and I" So true.

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    And here's a sign that the American Pickers will never get. Devin used to own a high performance, 2-stroke shop. One of his primary sales in involved hand-made expansion chambers. This four foot expansion chamber used to be integrated in his shop sign. Now it hangs at Janus as a conversation piece.

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    About noon o'clock they closed up shop and we walked down to the Goshen Brew Company. I did not get any photos outside in downtown Goshen and its regrettable because their downtown is really vibrant and well cared for. However, I did get this shot of the bikes that two friends rode in from the Chicago area. This Guzzi was a monster. No other description even comes close. He fired it up for all of us on our way to the brewery. His buddy was riding the Royal Enfield. Talking with this eclectic group of interested buyers I come to find out most own or have owned Buells. This day was becoming a real deja vu event. It reminded me a lot of the early days with Erik Buell and fellow riders. Taking the tour of the assembly plant. Mixing and dining with the employees. Sharing their passion for motorcycles with those who buy their product.

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    At the Goshen Brew Company we had two large tables reserved for our group. All of the crew from Janus sat and broke bread, answered questions and talked of their past experiences. Ernie and I spent the day with folks we did not know but, anybody observing from the outside would never know we had not been friends for life. But then again, that's why we're all here. Motorcycling has always been that way. That's Devin and Ryan in the center and the Guzzi owner on the right.

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    We were warned that the food was excellent and the beef brisket sandwich was recommended. In true ADV fashion I got a shot of the sammich before I ate... it all. No disappointments here. I've not had brisket this good, ever. Melts in your mouth good. I hear the beer is pretty good too but being the "DD" I went with Dark Cherry Cola.

    [​IMG]
    After gorging on good food and camaraderie we walked back to Janus and were all preparing to leave. The Janus folks stayed outside with us to send us off with new friendships and handshakes. This was a great day. I caught this image of the Guzzi rider taking snaps for the group of five who the Janus people dubbed the California Group... even though they weren't all from California. In my mind, though its not always a safe place to be, this image says it all. I think the smiles and the antics speak well for the day this had turned out to be.

    [​IMG]
    So you might wonder, or not, how this trip segues to Trevor Ware and my own shop. Well the latter is easy; I need to sell some bikes so I can park one of these hand-crafted machines in my garage. The first was a request by those in support of Trevor's plight. He likes things sent to him from other riders. It makes the times he's wheelchair bound a lot easier to deal with. His journey to just talk and walk has lasted over five years. The Kern County Kid is fighting to recover.

    We riders are good at taking care of our own when the time arises. In my situation, I lost my dad in 2002 in a motorcycle crash. Immediately I was gifted the love of a very tight-knit Buell community and the citizens of Franklin, NC. You don't receive that kind of gift and not feel compelled to give back to your brotherhood. My intent was to get Trevor something from our adventure today. I had purchased that earlier in the day. However, I had talked of Trevor's deal because I was trying to get an extra sales package from them to stick in the box. Grant and Jaclyn said yes to the extra literature but also offered to put together a goodie bag for Trevor. He's got some cool stuff headed his way. Thanks a million to the Janus crew!

    So if you don't know who the Kern County Kid its probably a good idea to start where it started with me. I'm getting older. Its hard to imagine the younger generations being avid motorcyclists sometimes. While surfing YouTube for a motorcycle video Trevor's "When Were You Young?" video popped up in the recommendations. I remember watching it over and over. I was grinning ear to ear like possum eatin'... well, you know. Remembering when I was young and how cool it would have been to ride a vintage motorcycle around the country for three years. I still watch the video to this day.

    Then you meet the younger folks who make up Janus Motorcycles and you get that warm, fuzzy feeling that somewhere underneath this crust of division and conflict our Great Country is going through things are going to be just fine. Watch this video and tell me I am wrong.


    Ride Safe, JB2





    bobw, Sal Pairadice, Prior and 4 others like this.
  13. CVAN

    CVAN Polite as Fuck

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    792
    Location:
    Reno,NV
    Great pictures and brilliant story-telling, Jimmy. And thanks so much for...well...you know.
    JB2 likes this.
  14. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,346
    Location:
    Edge of The Great Plains
    Thanks @CVAN !

    I finished putting Trevor's care package together last night and mailed it this a.m. Thanks again to the folks at Janus Motorcycles for the items they added to the package.

    I see @dogjaw just got back from his trip to deliver the sidecar rig that @Shunka donated to the @kerncountykid and his mother Pam. There's not enough to be said about the group of inmates who banded together to make this happen. I don't know of anyone who has watched Trevor's video and not had that fire that drew us to the road stoked in a big way.

    This link has been posted elsewhere today but it really needs to get passed around the motorcycling community. Nothing like a huge dose of good karma to start a weekend of riding.

    https://photos.smugmug.com/Trevor/i-GPph7nM/0/8c27975e/1280/video-1558052812-1280.mp4
    Shunka and CVAN like this.
  15. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,346
    Location:
    Edge of The Great Plains
    Our time off around here in northern Indiana lately has added up to lawn maintenance and picking up after storm damage. About 4:30am on Thursday we were awakened by strong winds hitting the front of the house from the west. The lightning show, cinema worthy at the very least, showed that a storm was heading our way from the SW. We laid back down and the weather alert sounded just after 5:00am. I took a peek outside while gripping the screen door against the wind and noticed the siding on the house bellowing. Its gettin' bad out there darlin'.

    Around 5:30am we heard several loud cracks that could only be a tree yielding to the winds and taking flight. The rain and winds started to subside around 6-ish and I went outside to assess the damage. I pulled the branches off of the truck before it was light enough to photograph. Here's a few pics of Mother Nature's handiwork. The branch you see in front of the truck was originally lying across the windshield and cowl vent. At the time, I couldn't see any damage until I came back out to get these shots.

    [​IMG]
    The first thing that caught my eye was this nice little doink in the windshield post and the cracked windshield.

    [​IMG]

    Then I spotted this stub that punched right through the plastic cowl vent screen. This damage is minor compared to the damage around us in our own neighborhoods and the cities and town all around us. We were lucky.


    [​IMG]
    It took another couple of days before the yard and the grass was dry enough to mow. My plan was to do it this morning before another round of storms would hit us this afternoon. I managed to get the yard mowed along with a trip to the compost center with all the clippings. By noon I was showering and getting ready to head out for a ride.

    Memorial Day weekend has always been special for our family. For Dad and I it was always our first motorcycle trip of the spring. Him riding from his home in Columbus, NC and me from Indiana. We usually met at the Gap or in Franklin where we had become regulars at the Franklin Motel. On exactly May 25th, 2002... Saturday of Memorial Day weekend he lost his life while we were riding together. We had met at the overlook on the other end of the Dragon's Tail around noon. We crossed over 129 to Deal's Gap and had lunch before ambling off in the early afternoon for Franklin.

    Around 3:30pm we were just to the Lost Bridge on NC28 about ten miles outside of Franklin. I had last seen him in my mirror as I rounded the corner and into the last set of gnarly twisties before the outskirts of town. I pulled over at the BP three miles before the city limits and waited for him to catch up. Our normal routine. He never came. An ambulance and several State Police cars were on a call going the direction I had just came from so I turned back and came upon this accident scene. Things changed that day. Your life gets tossed out into the wind.

    He'd died at the hands of a teenager on the run from the law. The kid had turned directly in front of him at Lost Bridge. I never seen it happen and probably better that I did not. The winds of change were blowing pretty hard. The things you have to deal with in the moment, the immediate future and the long term are things most riders never consider.

    [​IMG]
    I was approached by a man at the hospital. The nurse informed me he had rode upon Dad's crash and found out he was traveling with his son. He introduced himself and insisted on helping out. He told me that he was my brother only that I did not know it yet. Words and stories would not aptly describe the days since I met Mike Breedlove. The city of Franklin along with the love of Mike & Sue turned Franklin into our second home. Its a story that should be told but it is still pretty hard to relive that day. :fpalm

    However, this is only the second time since 2002 that the 25th fell on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Our routine has been that my best friend, Ernie, and I would go out to the cemetery on Monday of Memorial Day weekend but I decided to go today alone and see an old friend... the best friend I ever had. It was that whole numerology thing telling me I needed to get in the wind and show Dad the new Yamaha.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    There's another friend in our family plot who was Ernie's wife. She died of cancer(CANCER SUCKS! BTW). Her treatments and care had left Ernie nearly broke when she passed. Kim and I had 12 grave plots that we inherited from my Dad's parents so we deeded two to Ernie and Cindy. I'm Christian by faith so yeah, I have faith we'll at least be called for our reckoning and if we're lucky enough, called home to heaven. What a better way to be called than next to your family and your best friends? Cindy was close friends with several members of our family and a rider too. We sent her off in style with a motorcycle hearse and all the riders who knew her. Miss you Cindy.

    [​IMG]

    I'll head back to the cemetery with Ernie on Sunday but I had to make this stop to get in the right headspace. Iffin' you know what I mean. The plan was to hit a bunch of two lane twisties and some gravel roads right around the county here that every one else in the world thinks is flat and straight. This is 450 South in Blackford County. It's mostly straight but has a couple of offsets. It's hardpack with a layer of marbles on top but an easy ride. The road getting there is asphalt and really twisty. I was going too fast to get a still shot so... :augie

    The scary side of this image is twofold. First its the end of May and there are no crops planted in Blackford County. The non-stop rain has kept the farmers at bay all spring. There is talk that if things don't dry up in the next couple of weeks they probably won't plant at all. The second thing is the sky has quickly went from clear to a large thunderhead rolling in. Where you see the leading edge of the storm is about where my house sets. This ride has been awesome but is going to get cut short by the weather. Less than 25 miles but they were good ones.

    [​IMG]
    It was six miles from the previous shot to home and with the rumble of thunder it was also time to head there. I was able to park the bike outside for a few minutes before the rain hit. As soon as she was backed in the garage here came the rain. This Indiana monsoon is getting very old.

    [​IMG]


    Even with the storms and the sentimental thoughts of the weekend at hand this is a great day. Prior called last night. Ernie has been over most of the afternoon and I think I will call Mikey here in a bit. It was 17 years ago to this very day, almost to the minute, that we met. We're brothers now in a larger circle of friends that I would have never had without losing Dad. Its a concept some won't understand but we're told that God has a plan... sometimes it just takes a long time to understand what that plan is. Miss ya Dad.

    Speaking of bad weather. Nothing sums up the spring we've had here in the Hoosier state or how things can change in an instant quite like this song from Ray Wylie Hubbard. Enjoy and Ride Safe, JB2


    Prior likes this.
  16. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2018
    Oddometer:
    536
    Location:
    New York
    Whoa! I returned to this seemingly happy little thread to find this dark and ominous post. I guess now I know why it's JB2. I am sorry. Tomorrow is memorial day. time to put flowers on the gravestones. Began with the end of the civil war I believe. The ladies of the southern towns and cities would decorate the graves of solidiers of both armies, which I always thought was a beautiful thing. The weather is now turning beautiful here in NY. Peace.
    JB2 likes this.
  17. JB2

    JB2 Dirt Of The Earth

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,346
    Location:
    Edge of The Great Plains
    @Sal Pairadice - No dark and ominous intended. It was actually a great little spin around the county. The one thing we cannot do is turn back is time so I carry a burden with me every living moment. However, I also carry with me the comfort in knowing the motorcycling community has always had a way of taking care of our own. Like Mike Breedlove and the BadWeb community did for me and many others in the past. Like the ADV community has done for Trevor Ware and others. We're all in this together. We share the same passions for travel and adventure by two wheels but also the same risks and sometimes, the same outcomes. We help each other when we're broken down at the roadside and line up by the thousands to support toy runs and veterans groups. I think motorcyclists are unique in the fact that we give without asking and give back when those around us have lent a hand in hard times.

    I remember as a kid that my Grandma was heavily involved in the Women's Auxiliary of the American Legion. Dad was a Korean War veteran when she started with the local chapter and remained active until her late 60's. The girls would spend the entire week before Memorial Day decorating military graves. Ernie and I will head out tomorrow and visit fallen friends and family members.

    There's been many happy days since Dad left us. Family aside, all of the very best days have been in the saddle of a bike while traveling with like-minded souls. Life goes on.

    It stormed again this early morning but no trees are down. The weathermen are all deciding if they can get the Indy 500 in between bursts of rain today. More rain expected over the next few days but the Granddaughters are here and it looks like breakfast will soon be served. Maybe I can get in a ride today after all. And if not, I'll ride vicariously here while reading others' threads. :thumb
    bobw likes this.
  18. Sal Pairadice

    Sal Pairadice Captain Obvious

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2018
    Oddometer:
    536
    Location:
    New York
    Also the more I see that SCR, the more I like it. Its a good basic platform with some attitude, and the look just works.
    JB2 likes this.
  19. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,076
    Location:
    God's country, Western North Carolina

    Amen
    JB2 likes this.
  20. jdfog2

    jdfog2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    307
    Location:
    West Central Indiana
    Dang JB2. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Having lost of couple of family members that last few years, including my Mom, I know it's sometimes tough to talk about.

    Like you were saying. The Motorcycle community has a way of becoming our extended family and I think that's something that a lot of people don't appreciate or understand. When I say "the Motorcycle community" I am really referring to "motorcyclists" not just people that "own a motorcycle and ride it every once in a while"

    I have had family and friends tell me repeatedly "you're gonna kill yourself on that thing." However, I feel like I'd already be dead if it weren't for the "wind therapy" in my life. Maybe not dead in a physical sense, but certainly not fully alive in the soul.
    It's not really about the motorcycles though - it's about the people you get to meet along the way.

    There's a few inmates I have interacted with online (only) several times but I feel like they'd come to my aid, and I know I'd come to theirs if needed.
    There's a couple more inmates (one from here and one from Stromtrooper dot com) that I have interacted with in real life and I KNOW that's how they feel.

    This is a special community and we're all blessed to have you as part of it.

    Thanks again for sharing your heart with us Brother. God bless you and your family.

    JD
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