Category Archives: Archived Miscellaneous

June 2011 – Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

Well after all these 14 years a weld finally let go inside my SuperTrapps. Since I have two sons in college I decided to go cheap and replace with stock Electra Glide mufflers.

I had 70,000 accident free miles on those Loud Pipes. We shall see what the next 70,000 miles shall bring. (Maybe I need an orange vest?) I’m sure a few of my neighbors will notice the difference.

Wish me Luck,

Jim Klatt – via email


Thanks for the letter, Jim.

Welcome to the world of responsible riding. I hope the lack of noise emitted from your Electra Glide has not caused any crashes in your immediate vicinity.

We’re sure your neighbors will notice and appreciate your virtually silent motorcycle. Don’t be surprised if your calendar fills up with barbecue and picnic invites.

Keep us posted Jim. We’re always happy to hear from our readers.

– MMM Editors


Oct/Nov 2010 – Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

Hi Thomas,

I was reading MMM and your news blurb about Harley-Davidson divesting MV Agusta followed by your comment that our current business plan “appears to be centered around the idea that Boomers are going to live forever” and wanted to give you a little more perspective.

Of course we’ve been successful reaching the Boomer generation and we don’t apologize for working hard to make sure that they continue to enjoy riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles for many years to come. But what you may not have noticed is that Harley-Davidson is doing quite well against younger riders and broader demographics too. In fact, R.L. Polk & Co. registration data shows that H-D gained the top market share position among young adults (age 18-34) in the U.S. in 2008 and extended that lead further in 2009. H-D also has the top share position among women riders, Hispanics and African Americans in the U.S. and we’ve grown our overall market share in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

Just wanted to let you know that we do indeed have a broader business plan, and that we’re having success with it.

All the best,

Paul James
Director, Product Communications

The “news blurb” referred to in this letter can be found in Thomas Day’s All The News column in September issue #124. We at MMM appreciate any and all correspondence from our readers.


Oct/Nov 2010 – Motorcycles, Grass and Gravel

Motorcycles, Grass and Gravel
Do belong in the same sentence!

by Mary Ruth Rodel

I am a maturing female motorcyclist. I began riding my own motorcycles in 1979. In the intervening years I have learned that pavement is a good thing; keep the rubber side down and the helmet side up. Avoid grass and gravel at all costs; motorcycles, grass and gravel do not belong in the same sentence. I am fond of the electric start and have come to terms with the fact that I can not kick start anything – I mean anything, not even 70cc pit bike. At this point in my life, I admit my faults and move on; time is of the essence there is no time to waste.

Having said this, I celebrated my 2010 birthday with a gift from my Loving Spouse, a Yamaha TW200 with electric start and the scheduling of my bunion surgery (I said there is no time to waste). After lowering the Yamaha 2 ½ inches, I can almost flat foot the bike. This bike has been a motorcycle riding epiphany! Grass, gravel and non-pavement riding is a blast. I live in an area with miles and miles of Federal, State and County forest roads and trails too numerous to mention. This is an area dreamed of by many and ridden by few. Often I see no other riders!

March 2010 – The Zen Zone

Oh, Deer Me

by Mike Savage

The black shadow ahead on the right moved south.

“This could get ugly,” I thought.

Shadows moving on their own accord. Not good. Shadows moving south in front of an eastbound motorcycle at speed. Can be especially bad.

I was on the brakes instantly and heavily.

As the handlebars took a dive worthy of Greg Louganis, the shadow transmogrified into a big-racked whitetail buck who had it in his dim head to be anywhere south of where he was.

The animal’s big frame lowered and flattened as every muscle in its broad flank launched itself like a shoulder-fired SAM out of the ditch.

“This is what covering the brake lever is all about,” I thought as the whole bike shuddered from the pressure of maximum braking.

Winter 2010 – Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

I just finished reading the October edition of MMM. I had a chuckle with your ‘From the Hip’ column. I read with some interest Kevin Driscoll’s review of “Sea Foam”. I have a daughter that races motocross and supercross and gets regular new engine rebuilds throughout the season and with the tear down I could tell immediately the positive effect of including Sea Foam in the fuel mix. I ride a 2003 Harley-Davidson Road Glide with fuel injection thus no fuel shut off valve. In the old days we used to put the stabilizer in the fuel in the fall and run the bike to get the stabilizer into the carburetor and then shut the fuel petcock and let the bike run on the fuel in the carburetor until it was gone. This still allowed vanish buildup in the carburetor and lines by spring. I found that by adding Sea Foam it cleaned the engine, lines and carburetor and helped the bike start and run better. Most folks are not aware that gas stations sell a different blend of fuel in the summer than they do in the winter. And, this change over from one blend in the spring and fall can leave your vehicle with a lot of water in the tank at exactly the wrong time. Sea Foam is available at every gas station and I pour a can into a full tank of fuel at least four times a year in all my four wheeled vehicles. Like Kevin I have no hard empirical evidence, but I use the product regularly with great results. I second the motion and highly recommend the use of Sea Foam in all your engines. Now, I just wonder what to do with the pictures of my riding buddies taking a leak in the ditch. See you down the road. Owen Riess via email

Ed – We feel the same way about Sea Foam. Results often speak louder than studies. We’re wondering if you’re working on a sequel to La Ropa. (Readers will remember Owen as the author of La Ropa Sucia as reviewed in MMM #82)


June 2009 – Angry Letters

These letters printed as sent, without edits or corrections. Ed.

Dear MMM,

Since the start of the new GO High-Viz campaign from our Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center, this letter has been building up in me like acid reflux. With the recent tragic death of Anita Zaffke, it can no longer be contained.

6:30pm, May 2nd, Anita Zaffke was pronounced dead. An hour earlier, Anita stopped her bike at a traffic light in a Chicago suburb and was fatally injured by a moron painting her fingernails while piloting her multi-ton weapon of death; the Chevrolet Impala. Yet another example of why it doesn’t matter how visible you are when you share the road with idiots who don’t look where they are going.

April 2008 – Angry Letters

These letters printed as sent, without edits or corrections. Ed.

I just read an archive issue by Pat Hahn on loud pipes. I was so disappointed with his reasoning.

He stated that do to physics the epicenter of a sound wave cab be directed and do to this the noise that loud pipes make is only truly heard by the rear motorist and the motorist beside you.

This is true of course, the rear motorist and the motorist next to you will get the blunt of the noise but it is obvious by the turning around of the kids of a vehicle in front of you that you are heard by the vehicles in front of you.

Anyone who has ever ridden a motorcycle with loud pipes has seen this at some point.Therefore, do load pipes warn a drive that you are coming? Obviously it does. He also claims for the noise to be heard it will have to be reflected off other vehicles, buildings and signs. As far as I know, that is what I want! If I had the road to my self with no vehicles around me no buildings to cover me coming around the bend and no signs to cover my approach. I WOULDN’T NEED THE LOUD PIPES but the fact is that motorcycles ride in traffic, around buildings and signs so if the sound uses them to tell a vehicle that a motorcycle is near by then the pipes are doing there JOB! Much like a police or ambulance siren does.

Oct/Nov 2006 – MC Tech

Winter Storage

by Victor Wanchena

No one likes winter storage. It’s a sad but necessary task. Many riders overlook the importance of proper storage. They simply roll their bike into a corner of the garage and forget about it for the next few months. These same riders are often very sad come spring when their machine refuses to start or runs like a paint shaker. They also enjoy the extra bonus of getting their bike serviced during the spring rush. But it doesn’t have to be like that. A few simple tasks can save all that hassle and mean you’re on the road while Billy Bad Storage is waiting for his bike to get serviced. A small disclaimer; if any of the following steps are above your mechanical ability, contact your service professional.

MCTech89The first item on the agenda is to wash and clean the bike. Even though I don’t wash my bike very often during the summer, I try to put it away clean. A good thorough cleaning will help reveal any issues and help prevent corrosion over the winter.

The most important item to take care of is your fuel system. The modern formulation of gasoline does not give it a long shelf life. But there are two things to fight that. First, try and find a station that sells non-oxygenated gasoline. Non-oxy fuel does not contain some of the chemicals in regular pump gas that can cause trouble over the winter. Not sure where to find non-oxy fuel? Check the Minnesota Street Rod Association website. They maintain a list of which stations around the metro that sell non-oxy. A full tank will help prevent condensation in your tank over the winter. Second use a fuel additive that stabilizes the fuel. I have had good luck with both Stabil and Sea Foam. Add the recommended amount of stabilizer to the tank and take the bike for a ride to bring it up to operating temperature.

September 2006 – Angry Letter


May 2006 – Bring Out Your Dead

Bring Out Your Deadfeature84a

by Victor Wanchena

Poor guy. He thought a Full House, queens over 10s, was a sure bet. He was wrong. As the winner of this last hand in a late night card game, I found myself in possession of a 1972 Yamaha DS7. That was the good news. The bad news was I was now the owner of a 34-year old bike that hadn’t run in at least 10 years. Bringing the mighty DS7 back to life was going to take some work. The following are the basic steps I used to resurrect my dead DS7.

A quick safety note; motorcycles contain flammable and hazardous substances. Use the proper caution when working on any motorcycle. If you are accident-prone or have ever lit yourself on fire, stop reading now. If any of the steps outlined here are more involved than you are comfortable with, bring your bike to a qualified mechanic. Inevitably the stuff you break costs more than the mechanic would have charged.

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