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#187 FREE

A Bobber That Looks Cool And Rides Great

Inside: 2 017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber

Mini Bike Races • Waffle House


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Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly® #187 September 2017

Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly®

Table of Contents September 2017

PUBLISHER Victor Wanchena

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From The Hip

MANAGING EDITOR Bruce Mike

REVIEW WRANGLER David Soderholm

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All The News That Fits Road Rash

COLUMNISTS Paul Berglund Thomas Day

CONTRIBUTORS

Photo by Josh Mike

Sarah Mae Fisher Josh Mike

From The Hip

WEBMASTER Julie S. Mike Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly® is published nine times a year by: Hartman Press, Inc. 7265 Balsam Lane North Maple Grove, MN 55369 Phone: 763.315.5396 email: bruce@mnmotorcycle.com www.mnmotorcycle.com Subscriptions are available for $14.00 a year (U.S. funds). See subscription form below. Advertising inquiries: sales@mnmotorcycle.com 763.315.5396 Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly encourages your submissions. M.M.M. will edit all accepted submissions and retains nonexclusive, multiple use rights to work published in M.M.M. Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly will return submissions only if accompanied by an SASE. “Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly” is a registered trademark. Copyright 2017 by Hartman Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

By Bruce Mike

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Bike Review 2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber

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ast weekend I attended an event in Kellogg Minnesota called Two Wheel Disorder. The organizers sent us a request to put it on the MMM calendar. After checking it out I discovered it was something right up my alley. I quickly texted the info to a small group of like-minded folks and we all agreed attendance was a must. What hooked us was the mini bike races. There is a small group of us, including my brother and a couple of nephews, who have acquired a strong affinity for mini bikes and small displacement motorcycles. It all started with Vintage Torque Fest in Dubuque Iowa, that we’ve been attending for the past five years. We get to ride our little bikes on the county fairground track and we have a blast doing it. Little bikes are also a great way to get around the fairgrounds. In the beginning we were riding pull start mini bikes and a Honda Trail 70. Over the years we’ve come to the conclusion that suspension makes all the difference. Some of us older fellas got a little sore riding the rigid frame pull starts. I’ve had my Trail 70 for about 20 years. I got it as partial payment for a used car. In the past few years it has become a Trail 110 with adult suspension that will go over 50 mph. Don’t fret all you purists, I still have all the stock parts. When it was stock it was kind of fun, now it’s really fun. I can’t help it, I’m a rider not a restorer. I also have a stock Suzuki RV 90 that is really comfortable and just plain nice to ride. My friend Rick, who is also part of our little bike obsessed group, has an RV 90 too. We had a ball cruising through Duluth, parade style, at the Bring Out Yer Dead rally. This was the first year for Two Wheel Disorder and it exceeded all our expectations. The turnout was fairly small but the venue was great. It was put on by Dice Brothers at Midway Motocross Park. They set up a small oval for us to race on with an announcer and everything. The mini bike class we raced in was made up of six of us who went down there together. We were excited because that meant half of us were getting to the podium. The bikes being ridden were — two RV 90s, a Yamaha Big Wheel 80, a Chinese pit bike, a hot rodded Trail 70 and a hot rodded pull start mini bike. We rode two heats of ten laps each. The Big Wheel took first, The Chinese thing took second and the pull start finished a strong third. The rest of us finished without incident. After crashing a ridiculously fast pull start mini bike in the parking lot earlier, I was glad to get through the racing without further injury. These kind of events are far and away my favorites. The money always goes to charity and the people who put them on, as well as the people who attend them, seem to be the nicest people you will ever meet. There is an old school vibe to these things that harken back to simpler times which is probably why I like them so much. Everybody just wants to have fun. This was Two Wheel Disorder’s first year but the organizers are planning on doing it again next year. We hope so and we’ll do everything we can to get the word out. Any opportunity I can get to run around a track on a goofy little motorcycle, I’m taking it. Next up, Iron Invasion, October 7th, McHenry County Fairgrounds in Woodstock Illinois. MMM

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Geezer With A Grudge Who Is An Expert Rider?

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Tales From The Road Once Upon a Waffle House

Cover photo by Sarah Mae Fisher

Review Bike Provided By Belle Plaine Motorsports 908 E Main St Belle Plaine, MN 56011 (952) 873-4500 bpmotorsports.com

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Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly® #187 September 2017

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All The News That Fits Vietnam Is Planning On Banning Motorcycles

pactful ways. In addition to Werner, the roster of Hall of Famers who have been honored as Legends includes Mark Blackwell, Dick Burleson, “Willie G.” Davidson, Roger DeCoster, Torsten Hallman, Bob Hannah, Mert Lawwill, Wayne Rainey, Kenny Roberts and Malcolm Smith. That’s fine company to be included in.

Officials in Vietnam’s capital city have vowed to banish motorcycles by 2030 to ease congestion and reduce air pollution. Hanoi has long been known for its large number of motorcycles, some packed with families or cargo. A report from Agence France-Presse states that there are 5 million motorcycles in this city of 7 million residents. Authorities plan to expand public transportation to encourage people to forego use of their motorcycles. Personally, I’m going to miss all the photos of families of five and there belongings motoring through a busy city.

The Nicky Hayden Award

The Board Of Commissioners Has No Love For An OHV Park In Renville County. Officials said the proposal for a 272-acre park will appear on their Aug. 8 agenda, holding out the possibility of a formal vote. At its June 27 meeting, the board opted not to renew a second phase grant of more than $126,000 for the project, according to a report in the West Central Tribune. And the board has taken no action recently on an environmental assessment that was completed. The county spent $60,000 on preliminary plans and has a $297,000 grant for land acquisition.
Even with grant money available, they can’t get it done.

its equity investment through ComSar Invest, an investment fund Black Ocean Group, owned by Russian Timur Sardarov. Financial terms were not disclosed. The new structure places 100 percent control of Agusta Motor S.p.A. with MV Agusta Holding. ComSar will obtain a minority interest in the holding company, and Giovanni Castiglioni will own the controlling stake. The moves are parts of MV Agusta’s restructuring plan that was approved by a quorum of creditors.


Ducati May Be Going To India

Harley Cuts 180 Jobs

India’s Bajaj Auto is close to forming an alliance to buy Ducati from Volkswagen, according to a report from Reuter’s. Rumors have been swirling for weeks that Harley-Davidson, Italy’s Benetton family and U.S. buyout fund Bain Capital were prepared to bid on Ducati. The report also says Indian firm Eicher Motors is interested.
Rumors have circulated. Polaris also interested. Maybe MMM should be buy Ducati. I think we’re the only ones not being reported as “interested”.

Harley-Davidson Inc. announced 180 layoffs after reporting that earnings fell due to U.S. motorcycle sales that were weaker than predicted. The company is cutting production after net income fell 7.7 percent to $258.9 million in the three-month period from $280.4 million a year earlier. Revenue fell to $1.58 billion from $1.67 billion. Harley said U.S. sales were down 9.3 percent, and global sales were down 6.7 percent from the same period a year ago, when sales also declined. Hopefully the smaller displacement bikes will expand their market. When the largest part of your market share is turning in their bikes for walkers, it’s pretty hard to increase sales.

Mercedes Is Getting Out Of The Motorcycle Business MV Agusta Holding announced that Mercedes AMG has sold its 25 percent stake in motorcycle maker MV Agusta Motor S.p.A. to the holding company. MV Agusta has consolidated

Photo Courtesy of Nathariane Travel

Builder Bill Werner 2017 Hall Of Fame Legend Bill Werner has been selected as the 2017 AMA

Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend. Werner is the most successful tuner and bike builder in AMA Grand National Championship history. Werner, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000, will be honored Sept. 22 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, alongside the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2017. AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legends are Hall of Famers whose accomplishments transcend their categories in im-

The American Motorcyclist Association’s Horizon Award has been renamed in honor of Nicky Hayden. The award annually recognizes amateur competitors poised for greatness in the professional ranks. Hayden won the inaugural AMA Horizon Award in 1997. He subsequently won the 1999 AMA Supersport Championship, the 2002 AMA Superbike Championship and the 2006 FIM MotoGP World Championship. He was competing in the FIM Superbike World Championship this year. While training on his road bicycle in Italy in May, he was struck by a car and died as a result of his injuries on May 22. The Executive Committee of the AMA Board of Directors unanimously voted to rename the AMA Horizon Award in Nicky Hayden’s memory, in perpetuity. Nicky Hayden AMA Horizon Awards will be presented annually to the top amateur racers in dirt track, motocross and road racing. Well done AMA, well done. MMM

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Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly® #187 September 2017

2017 Triumph Bonneville I

Paul Berglund

’m not a cruiser kind of guy. Over half of all American riders are cruiser men and women, so I’m not going to complain about the feet forward riding position of the 2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber. Clearly, I’m in a minority here. It’s a mild version of the style and it’s easy for me to move on with this review, because that’s my only problem with this bike. I was a little skeptical when this assignment came down the tube and landed on my desk. I didn’t go to the MMM Christmas party, so maybe they don’t know who I am? My bad. I have ridden the 2017 Triumph Bonneville T120, a very close relative of the Bobber, and I loved that bike. I hoped that the radical look of the Bobber didn’t ruin the party. By that I mean, if you start with a perfectly good motorcycle and then radically change the look of the bike to be cool, you also make the bike much less competent to ride. Form over function. I just can’t go there. Most manufacturers when faced with that dilemma choose form to please their potential customers. The bike becomes a bloated caricature of a motorcycle. I was afraid of what my beloved Triumph would do. Somehow they managed to pull off the function as well as the form. It may look like a custom bike, but the Bobber is still fully functional and dare I say, a fun to ride motorcycle. If you like your feet to arrive before your butt, you can do that in style now, without suffering with crappy handling and suspension. Before I even got on the bike I did a walk around with Mike Anderson of Belle Plaine Motorsports. It’s his personal bike and he was kind enough to loan it to me for a day of test riding. Before I get into the details, Mike has put a lot of goodies from the huge stock of Triumph accessories on his bike. Base price for a Bobber is $11,900. The “as tested” price on this Bobber is over $16,000. I’ll try to point out when I’m being influenced by

Photo by Paul Berglund

Old school styling with all modern tech. the Bling, and when I’m talking about the meat and potatoes of the stock bike. First up, the seat. The one on the test bike is a Triumph upgrade. It did give my tush a little more cush, but the cool thing about the Bobber seat is that it’s adjustable. The stock seat or one of the many Triumph accessory seats can be unbolted and slid forward or back for you to find the best position. So riders of all sizes can find the sweet spot. That lead me to ask, “just who is buying this bike”? At Bell Plaine at least, they’ve sold them to men and women, both young and

the grey. While I was out riding I got several complements and thumbs up from a broad range of people. So a lot of people think this is a good looking bike. With the adjustability of the seat and the variety of accessory handlebars, if it’s cool you’re after, this bike comes in your size. One other thing that baffles me about cruisers is the weight. Why on earth are they so heavy? Most cruisers start over 600 pounds for a entry level bike and the big ones can top 900 pounds. Are the frames made out of tungsten? This bike is a very refreshing

exception to that trend. It’s claimed dry weight is 503 pounds. In a world gone mad, this restores a small measure of sanity. And looking on the bright side, filling the tank with gas won’t add much weight, because it only holds 2 and half gallons. You even get a gas gauge, miles till empty display and a readout of your miles per gallon. So you can avoid range anxiety. Expect about a 100 miles between fill ups. The speedometer is a large, old school looking analog gauge. It has a gear indicator (which I love) permanently displayed

Photo by Paul Berglund

With all the options available you can craft the look of this bike from an ape hanger handlebar bar hopper, to a light duty traveler.

Photo by Paul Berglund

From saddlebags to license plate mounts, the accessories available for this bike seem almost endless.

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Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly® #187 September 2017

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Bobber — One-Of-A-Kind was surprised to learn there are several other definitions of the word given in the Urban Dictionary. One is motorcycle accessory, another is a card game… and then it gets weird. Back to the bike review.) So you don’t have to spend the money to fix the flaws, just add 87 octane gas and ride. And! When you go to your local Triumph dealer to check out the Triumph Bonneville Bobber, look around the showroom. Odds are there will be a 1200cc T120 parked next to the Bobber. That’s the middle bike of a trinity of Bonnevilles. The Bobber is the cruiser, the T120 is the standard and the achingly beautiful Thruxton is the sport bike. I said I loved the T120 at the start of this review. I found the Bobber to be one of the best cruisers I have ever ridden. It’s not handicapped by it’s styling. So if you came in for the look-at-me styling, you can stay for the ride and be a happy biker. Or to put it another way, if you hear the siren’s call of the Bobber, but you don’t want the typical cruiser draw backs. There is no need for wax in your ears, don’t tie yourself to the mast Odysseus, it’s safe to listen.

Photo by Sarah Mae Fisher

A pretty standard riding position with a very adjustable seat. and all the other information is in a small digital screen at it’s base. You can switch between the above mentioned gas and milage functions as well as the odometer, two trip meters, a clock and my must have favorite, RPMs. I feel any manual transmission vehicle should have a tachometer and this one does. Some of the other electronic wizardry are ABS brakes and traction control. The ABS was never intrusive and I was told not to turn off the traction control, as apparently, I have that hooligan look about me. I did arrive at the dealership on a bright orange hooligan bike, so I took my restriction in good faith. I’ve never mastered the art of the wheelie and I had my fill of burn outs back in my muscle car days, so I rode like a gentleman and I was rewarded with a very well behaved bike. So how did I have fun without smokey burn outs? In the corners. The Bobber isn’t handicapped with restricted cornering clearance. Nothing dragged while navigating corners. It’s light weight and responsive steering made the wide sweepers down along the Minnesota river a blast to ride. It has short legs by motorcycle standards (Travel is 3.5 inches front and 3 inches in the rear) or long travel suspension by Sportster standards. Ether way you choose to label it, the ride is set up stiff. It’s great on a smooth road, but beware rail road crossings, your butt will see day light when it gets tossed up off the seat. For what it is, I found the ride to be spot on and the bike was a treat when at play in the twisty bits. The other part of the equation is the motor, and the 1200cc parallel twin was the other half of the fun. This Bobber had a Vance and Hines exhaust strait out of the Triumph catalog and it was just shy of annoying your

neighbors loud. Not quite too loud, but it sounded very sweet. All bass and thump without any bad harmonies to ruin the song. V-twins still sound the best to my ears, but I’d be proud to ride this bike through a small town near you. Sounds good is fine, but goes good is better. The spec sheet has the stock bike putting out 78 horses and 78 foot pounds of torque. I can’t say how much the modifications done to this bike have improved on that. But I had plenty of go in this show pony. The six speed transmission was just about perfect. It was smooth and easy to shift and it was spaced out just right for a spirited take off and a mellow 3 grand on the freeway. I wish my 2008 Triumph Speed Triple had a transmission like this. Triumph has learned a thing or two about transmissions in the last nine years. The brakes are adequate. They stop the bike without drama, but the whoa isn’t as fun as the go. However my tightie whities remained skid mark free as did the roads of Scott County, Minnesota. ABS coupled with my Kung Fu grip, and there is nothing scary to report. One of the options on this bike was the license plate relocation kit. It moves the plate from the rear fender just below the tail light to the left side of the swing arm. That allows the mounting of the optional small saddlebag in the same location. I have an irrational fear of the asymmetric. I can never buy a BMW with their hideous lopsided front face because of that. So this is one option I wouldn’t order on this bike, but the cool thing is, you can get a pair of similar looking large saddlebags from the option catalog too. You can have symmetry and tote your stuff with you. So with all the options available you can craft the look of this bike

from an ape hanger handlebar bar hopper, to a light duty traveler. The reincarnated Triumph has consistently made high quality and stylish accessories and clothing. So if you want to bling out your Bobber, just bring your credit card. The best part is that all those options are truly optional. When we rolled the Bobber off the show room floor at Belle Plaine Motorsports, it was ready to go without the added farkels. (By the way, I have always heard the term “farkel” to describe motorcycle accessories. I Googled the word to check the spelling and

But for me, standing on the showroom floor, it’s the 1200cc Thruxton R that fills me with a great desire to own one. That is why I was so happy to have sampled the Bobber and the T120, but I have not ridden the Thruxton. I got a taste of what could be but did not fall to temptation. I am sure I would drain my bank account and my all ready full garage would burst at the seams. I have dated two of the Bonneville sisters and we had a wonderful time, but it’s the Thruxton that I want to marry. I think years from now I will be perusing Craig’s List and see an ad for a Thruxton R with the optional fairing and I’ll have to make that call. I just have to figure out how to get a bigger garage before that day. So when you go to Belle Plaine Motorsports, or a Triumph dealer near you, bring a bouquet of roses. You are going to want to ask one of these Bonnevilles to the dance.. MMM

Photo by Sarah Mae Fisher

Whether cruisin’ through town or tearing up twisties, this bike is fun to ride.

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Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly® #187 September 2017

Geezer With A Grudge

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By Thomas Day

his August, I took advantage of a Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center (MMSC) Rider Coach invitation to take the program’s Expert Rider Course at Century College. Two of my favorite coaches from the Minnesota program, Rich Jackson and Ben Goebel, were the instructors for this class. It was pretty much a no-brainer that if I was going to demonstrate how far from “expert” my riding skills are, this would be the safest place. Both of those guys are so far outside of my skill-set I hesitate to call myself a “motorcyclist” in comparison. Sort of like when someone asks me if I’m a musician, my immediate point of reference is Jeff Beck and my response is, “Hell no.” Also, lucky for me, it was a small class, so there wouldn’t be many witnesses to tell tales of how many times I rode through an exercise without making the slightest attempt to demonstrate the skills being taught. The MMSC offers a variety of classes, beyond the Basic Rider Course (BRC) that many people use to obtain their motorcycle endorsement. For example, the MMSC offers Basic Motorcycle Maintenance, Intermediate Rider Course (IRC), Introduction to Motorcycling Course, Moped Rider Course, the Minnesota Advanced Rider Course and the Expert Rider Course. I’ve taught the IRC for about 15 years under a variety of names (ERC, BRC II, and the current acronym), but my previous summers’ teaching schedules prevented me from taking either the

Who Is An Expert Rider? Advanced or Expert courses. This summer, I had a light schedule and I lucked into an open weekend. The price ($75 for a one-day, eight-hour range, 9AM-5PM) for either the Advanced or Expert courses is a steal, but the classes aren’t offered often and enrollment is limited. There is very little similarity between the IRC and either of these courses. Both the Advanced and Expert classes were designed by Rich Jackson, a Minneapolis Police Department motorcycle officer and MMSC Rider Coach; both courses have some similarities to the training a motorcycle officer receives. The cones are bigger, the exercises are harder, the speeds are higher, and the expectations are elevated. What passes for “a tight, low speed turn” in the other MMSC classes feels pretty roomy compared to the Expert Course obstacles. Likewise, an emergency stop or an offset-weave at 30-40mph is very different than from the 12-15mph BRC or IRC experience. Many of the exercise names are selfdescriptive: “40-mph brake-and-escape, instantaneous stops, the Iron Cross, J-turn, slow and 30 mph offset weaves, tight and locked turns in confined spaces.” The exercises are broken up by “breeze-outs,” which are follow-the-leader trips around the college campus; in single-file, side-by-side, or staggered formation. The breeze-outs are an opportunity to experience group ride tactics, hand signals, and the three basic formations for group riding. When Rich introduced a few of the

Photo by Cat Ely

hand signals, mostly for my benefit, I demonstrated my one and only motorcycle group hand signal: a wave bye-bye. No one was amused. Rich and Ben are excellent instructors and I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to learn from their experiences, but I’m still unconvinced that group motorcycling is a clever idea. Even when the group is being led by actual experts (instead of the usual best-dressed pirate bozos), it still feels to me like rolling bowling pins. I have seen no evidence of safety in numbers when it comes to motorcycles. I’m glad I got the Expert group experience, but I’m still riding solo on my time. The breeze-outs are a terrific opportunity to cool off the motorcycles, reduce some of the performance pressure of the class exercises, and get a feel for close-quarters group exercises without the hazards of traffic. There is enough of a hooligan aspect to the breeze-outs to blow off a little steam, too. When else will you get to ride the sidewalks, basketball and tennis courts, and handicap ramps of a college campus without worrying about campus security? Those rides aren’t aimless rambles through the park, though. Rich and Ben kept the pace quick enough to require serious lean from the big bikes in the group. Most of the student and instructor bikes were pretty large, too. There is a 400cc minimum size requirement for either the Advanced or Expert classes and most of the participants in my group exceeded that engine-volume by a few multiples. Unexpectedly, I was really impressed with my fellow “students’” abilities. Of my group, I was clearly the least “expert” in the crowd, but I was the most experienced/oldest. For every rider who claims the DMV’s riding test is “impossible” on a “real motorcycle,” these guys consistently proved that the DMV’s test is a cakewalk for an actual motorcyclist.

torcycle morbidity and mortality, it’s only common sense to require motorcyclists to make a minimal effort to be competent riders. So, who is this course for? It should be obvious that anyone who intends to participate in group rides belongs in the Advanced Course; at the least. There are a lot of subtleties to riding in a group that most people participating in these rides do not know. Becoming familiar with hand signals, the tactics and complexity and importance of formation riding, and knowing how a group should come to a stop and take off from a parking spot are just the beginning. Doing all of that in a completely supportive and non-threatening situation should be a baseline requirement for anyone wanting to ride safely on public roads in a group. For riders like me who don’t feel particularly tested with the IRC’s basic exercises, the Advanced and Expert Courses up that game considerably and provide a dose of humility when you see your skills compared with other experienced riders. If the Basic or Intermediate course seemed difficult, this isn’t a great fit for you. However, if you put in the time and effort to become comfortable with those fundamental exercises, setting your sights on these two courses for your near future is a practical aspiration. I strongly recommend this course and, particularly, with these two instructors. At the least, you’ll spend a day playing around on a motorcycle refining your skills and hanging out with terrific people.”

In my opinion, this course is really close to what I think should be required every four years to re-up a motorcycle endorsement. Currently, there are about 200,000 more licensed riders than registered motorcycles, just in Minnesota. Far too many people simply pay the extra $13 to add an M-endorsement to their license without being able to demonstrate even the most basic skills. Even better would be a tiered license system that required riders to take and pass a course like this to obtain a license for 500cc or larger motorcycles. If the goal is to reduce mo-

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MMM

Photo by Cat Ely


Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly® #187 September 2017

Tales From The Road

I

By Paul Berglund MMMRoadTales@gmail.com

have a terrible memory. My brain is to memories as a colander is to water. That bothers me like it did Roy Batty. He said, “All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain” And like Roy Batty, “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.” That is why I took on the mantle of Tales From the Road, to preserve these small moments before they’re gone. Here are a few of the things that I have seen in restaurants while I was on motorcycle road trips. I met two riding friends at a Chinese buffet in Brooklyn Center. We were seated at a table and the waitress asked if we wanted the buffet. We all said yes. She then asked if we wanted anything to drink. Both by companions said in turn, “hot tea”. The waitress dutifully wrote that down on her pad. She turned to me and I said “hot tea and a glass of water”. She stared at me with a blank look on her face. She looked at her pad and then at me and asked “What do you want?” I replied “hot tea and a glass of water.” She wrote something on her pad and continued to give me a funny look. She walked over to another waitress and had a conversation with her. Our waitress pointed over at me while they were talking and both women gave me a strange look. My companions and I got up and got our food. We sat down at the table just as our waitress returned. She set a tea pot and two tea cups on the table. She then set a murky glass of water in front of me and remained standing there watching me intently. Her eyes darted between the glass of water and my face. So I took a drink. It was equal parts of water and hot tea. In Buena Vista Colorado, (former editor of MMM) Sev Pearman and I had eaten breakfast at a local restaurant. After a long day of trail riding we went back there for supper. We placed our food order and the waitress asked us if we wanted any thing to drink. Sev asked for an Arnold Palmer. Before I could place my order the waitress told Sev, “We don’t serve alcohol here”. Sev explained to the waitress that an Arnold Palmer was half ice tea and half lemon aid. Just then the manager appeared and asked the waitress if there was a problem.

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Once Upon a Waffle House The waitress pointed accusingly at Sev and said, “He ordered an Arnold Palmer”. The manager turned sharply to Sev and said, “We don’t serve alcohol here.” Sev once again explained that an Arnold Palmer, in fact, is made of half ice tea and half lemon aid. The waitress and the manager stepped away from the table and had an animated discussion. Finally the waitress nodded to the manager and went into the kitchen. The manager came back to our table. He told us “We can work something out. Stacy will be right back with your order.” And he went back to were ever he had appeared from. Stacy, who was now dear to our hearts, returned with two glasses. Sev and I were both amused because she hadn’t ask me if I wanted anything to drink as of yet. She set both glasses in front of Sev and said with pride. “We are only charging you for one drink. I filled the glass of ice tea and the glass of lemon aid three quarters full so you can mix them.” Sev thanked her and we enjoyed our meal with out further incident. I did have to rely on my prodigious production of saliva to avoid choking during the meal, do to my reluctance to ask Stacy for a glass of water. The next two incidents happened on the same road trip. An artist friend of mine and his wife had invited me on their trip to Leadville Colorado. He was going to inspect the foundry that was casting a statue he had carved. The plan was to eat lunch at a Chinese restaurant in Des Moines Iowa on the first day of the trip. We stopped for gas about half way down and while they did what ever the hell it is rookies do in a gas station that takes so long, I had time to drink a 33 ounce glass of Dr. Pepper.

Photo by Paul Berglund

We eventually got back on the road and by the time we got to the restaurant I had to pee. Very much so. I parked my bike and jogged to the restaurant. I found the bathroom and went inside. Standing near the sink was a man in his eighties. His pants were down around his ankles. Thankfully, his grandpa underpants were still in place. He held up one finger as if he had something to say to me. I made a mental note of all this and went straight to the urinal. Just then my artist friend entered the bathroom. The elderly man asked my friend if he could help him with his pants. Without a word the helpful artist retrieved the wayward pants and the old man thanked him. My friend gave a nod and went into the stall do relieve himself. Over lunch we exchanged weird tales of restaurants. They had never been to a Waffle House, so I won easily. I stop at them when ever I get the opportunity in my travels. They were intrigued. Our route took us right past Fort Collins Colorado. There is a Waffle House just off the freeway exit. The

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next day we pulled in at lunch time. Waffle Houses do not impress you when you walk in. We sat down in a booth and I talked them through the place mat style menu. The waitress came over to our booth and shoved me over with her back-side and sat next to me. She looked at my friends across the table and asked them what they wanted. They fumbled out their order and she turned to me. I wanted a large breakfast and ordered accordingly. At this time I still didn’t drink coffee, so I asked the waitress if it was tacky to drink Mr. Pibb with breakfast. She set down her pad and said “Listen honey, my sister drank a twelve pack of Mountain Due a day. When she got pregnant she kept on drinking twelve cans of Due every day. When she had that baby…” She shook her head. “…that boy ain’t right.” She got up and placed our order with the cook. And that is how my friends were introduced to the joys of Waffle House. MMM


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Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly - September 2017  

MMM #187

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