Something Just Clicked

Once again, we hosted the annual Lizrdbrth Memorial ride in Joshua Tree. Which is our fourth year now. It was time brush the dust off of P2 and hit the dirt. I don’t ride P2 very often, now that I have an adventure bike. I actually prefer riding on the slow winding back roads of the countryside.

In reality, I have never considered myself a very good motorcycle rider on dirt. I still remember vividly the first time I rode the TW200 on a group ride back in 2009. I was still green on the bike but Russ thought I could navigate the trails of Joshua Tree easily enough. Boy, he was wrong! I dropped the bike about 30 times. I broke every turn signals, both mirrors, and the throttle sleeves. Everyone sure had patience of a saint that day constantly waiting for me. I don’t know how they keep putting up with me.

We would do the ride each year and slowly I would improve on my riding ability. However, I would at least drop the bike a couple of times. There’s even a boulder that I would always run into every year to point where they would name the rock after me. Every year, I’m always nervous, exhausted and felt like I was over my head during the ride. To the point that I didn’t alway enjoy the ride. Meaning, I couldn’t enjoy the tranquility or the scenery of Joshua Tree. However, I’m always glad that I did push myself to do the ride. I enjoy the comradeies among the fellow TW riders.

This year was the first year where there wasn’t a rider in the group that has even met Russ except for Jeff and myself. It was a strange feeling. We had eight riders all together. First stop was to pay our respect to Russ. Four years ago, we put up a plaque in a secret location to memorialize the times we all spent together. When we got there, my first thought was wow, that was quick and the trail wasn’t as challenging as I remembered. In the years past, it felt like it would take forever to get there.

Then, we jumped over to Berdoo Canyon to head up to Joshua Tree National Park where we would meet up with another fellow somewhere on the trail. This trail has 2 rock waterfall that we have traverse up on. The first one is small and has the boulder that is infamously named after me. Every year, I would hit the darn thing. Believe it or not, it was the first time that I narrowly missed it and made it through without any incident.

The second one, is a larger pile of rocks that I never have been made it up on my own. It was either Russ or another more experienced rider that would ride my bike up. I would hike up the trail to collect my bike. This time, I left a couple of riders go ahead of me to watch the line they were taking up the waterfall of rocks. Then it was my turned and I told myself to just do it! To my amazement, I did it without any mishap. I was so tickled with myself.

For the rest of ride, I became one of those annoying rider who become impatient and frustrated with the slow riders in front. To point, that when I found an opening to pass them up and jumped up to the front to lead the ride. Since, I knew the trails, I would sometimes get ahead of them a bit and then slow down so they could catch up. Now, I know how those other riders felt when they were stuck behind me in the past.

Once, we hit the pavement, I didn’t want the dirt to end. I felt exhilarated and for the first time I wasn’t exhausted or even sore. It felt like something just clicked with my riding skills. That my body instinctively knew to react with the bike and the trails.

The next morning, we had another ride. A smaller one but its a single track with a lot more sands. My old nerve crept up and played with my mind thinking that yesterday was just a fluke. This time we had a rider that who was green on the dirt. In the beginning of the ride, I was behind the guide. However, I shifted toward the middle of the group to let the new riders in front of me. I was too self conscious of the new rider behind me worrying that he might run up on me. This meant I had to ride slower in the sands which pushed me out of my comfort level. However, it was good practice for me to work on my balancing and needless to say that I didn’t fall at all. I almost did once but recovered nicely.

Again, when the ride was over, I didn’t want it to end. So, the previous day ride wasn’t just a fluke. I did reached a plateau where my riding skills becomes more natural. Don’t get me wrong, I still a lot of room for improvement in my riding ability. I think that next year, my goal will be for me is to keep my feet on the peg during those two difficult sections.

The Transformation!

A couple of months ago, I mentioned that I purchased a 2014 Yamaha TW200 with only 97 miles on it from Ed Tamayo of 2wheelridersschool.   20160423_084826After a long consideration, I decided to name her as “P2” since she is the second generation of the original Purple People Eater.  Plus, her new vinyl wrap will contain both Pink and Purple in it which also hence the “P2” name concept as well.  So after several months, I’m finally finished with the transformation.

Here’s the low down of what changes I have made on it and why.

Footrest

The first thing I change are the foot pegs.  The stock one are soooo skinny which make it uncomfortable when you riding standing up.  So I ordered the fat peg from Amazon.  Look at the size difference in the picture below.

 Footpeg

Tips: The foot pegs are offset from one side to the other. There are foot pegs on the market to make them even. Just be aware that they tend to be a little bit more expensive.

 

Vinyl Wrap

The very first thing I did was ordered some vinyl wrap for my bike. Now some can say this is mainly for cosmetic looks but living in the high desert, it is the best thing you can do to protect the plastic from drying out. Plus, since I’m know to be crash prone on my bike, it has saved the bike from being scratched too badly.  Actually, from all of the crashed I have done on Purple, it has never ripped.  So naturally first I went to Metrostyling.com which is where I got the wrap for Purple.  It has the best bang for your buck.  However, I couldn’t find another purple theme that I liked on their website for P2.  So I did a google search for other purple theme and came across the Muddy Girl design.  It has more Pink than I care for (I’m not a girly girl) but it was the best design I liked so far.

MuddyGirl

Tips: Make sure you buy a heat gun if you’re going to do the vinyl wrapping yourself. It helps with all of the curves on the plastic.

Gas Tank

The stock tank on a TW200 is only 1.8 gallon which is fine if you’re only doing short trip since the fuel economy on this bike is 78 mpg.  However, I love doing long trips and needed a bigger tank so I don’t have to gas up so much.  I went with the Clarke Tank which is 2.7 gallon. (FYI – if you wish to purchase one, just contact me since now I’m a dealer for Clarke Tank)

ClarkeTank

 Seat

The stock seat is not the most comfortable thing to ride on for a long time.  I have tried several things to make them more comfortable but nothing really last.  One time, I borrowed a friend’s TW which had the Seat Concept seat on it.  It is really comfortable but it added an inch to the height of the bike.  Since I’m vertically challenge, the added height made it more difficult to handle the bike.  So I thought I would give Seat Concept a call to see if they can make a custom seat for me.  They were more than happy to and since they’re a local company they suggested that I ride the bike down and they will build it while I’m there.  Before I headed down there, they asked for my height, weight and inseam to get it started and if needed to they can shave it down some more.  To my amazement, it nailed it on the first shot and didn’t need to any shaving to it.

SeatConcept

Tips: Since customize seats are expensive, ask your fellow riders if you could sit on their bike to see if you like the seat before making the purchase.

 

The other modification I made to the seat was added Mule Hitch seat clips to them.  The idea was originally created by a fellow T-dub rider, Jeff Bowman.  Originally, the seat is bolted down by screws.  The Mule Hitch seat clips help make it easier to access to the battery.

Turn Signals

As I sit here and write about why I changed the front and back turn signals, it instantly bring back memories from my first group ride I ever did back in 2009.  I just started learning how to ride a motorcycle again and Russ took me on a group ride with other fellow T-Dubbers out in Joshua Tree, CA.  It was my first serious off road ride and man I crashed more times than I can count (at least 30 times).  So of course with any crash, things tend to break. So naturally, the first thing that break are the turn signals because they stick out like sore thumbs.  On this ride, I broke all four of them!  Therefore, I needed a solution where they were less likely to break if I ever crashed the bike again.

So with this transformation, I decided to go with which I purchased at Cycle Gear for just $20 buckaroo a set.

speedmetal_micro_diamond_turn_signals_black_amber_black_clear_750x750

Warning: If you’re ever in an accident and have modified turn signals, be forewarned that the insurance company may not pay out your insurance claims.

Handlebar

I have made several modification to my handlebar.  One of them is adding riser to the handlebar.  At the normal state, when I stand up, I feel like I’m leaning over.  So by adding risers allows me to stand up straight.  This allows to control the bike better out in the sands. On Purple, I originally had the fat bars which allowed me to use the ProTaper riser with it.   However, on P2, I did not purchase a fat bars and bought the BikeMaster Aluminum Bar Risers from Cycle Gear.  This allows to choose the height that fits me.

The other thing I change are the grips.  Having Osteoporosis and Arthritis, I need to minimize the vibration on the handlebar.  I really love the Pillow Top grips but the problem with those are that they tend to wear down fast and become sticky.  So the next best thing that seems to help me are the ProGrip 714 Dual Sport Motorcycle Grips.

progrip-714-rally-dual-sport-mx-grips-3

The last thing I add on the handlebar are the brush guards.  Just like the turn signals, on my very first ride in Joshua Tree, I also broke the throttle sleeve.

Having the brush guard protect the levers and the throttle sleeves.  It also help to keep the wind off of your hands as well.  Not much but every little bit helps when it is cold out.

TCI Skid Plate

Okay, I’m not the most fluid rider and have crashed several times out riding in the desert.  You may remember in my previous blog post “Flying Nun”, I was traveling up a bolder waterfall and suddenly made a left turn and head over the side of the hill.  That crash could have destroyed my bike.  However, with the TCI skid plate, the crash did not damage my bike at all.  This is the most expensive aftermarket product on my bike but I would definitely recommend it.  There are other cheaper aftermarket skid plate out there.  I would suggest replacing the stock one which it doesn’t do much to protect the bike.

tw200-tci-skid-plate_274x274

Tires

I also changed the front tire to Shinko 241 Trial tire.  When I first did it on Purple, I noticed that it handled the sand and turn so much nicer than the stock tire.  However, it wasn’t I borrowed a friend bike while Purple was being worked on.  I took his bike to the Overland Expo and it was an uncomfortable ride due to the stock tire.  It was then I noticed how much nicer is the Shinko 241 tire is and will always replace the front tire on all of my TW200 in the garage.

241-series

Tips: Make sure that the tires are DOT approved because you can get a ticket for non-DOT tire when riding on the street.

Windshield

Last but not least is the Trailway Café Shield.  Some say it does help and some say it doesn’t.  For me, it does make a difference.  Plus, I think the TW200 looks naked without it.  The Trailway Café Shield was designed by a fellow T-dub rider, Jim Carter, and he make it in Neon Yellow, Blue, Smoke and Clear. (He does not have a website, so if you wish to order one, just send him an email at trailwaycafe@cox.net)

Grey DarkBlue NeonEdgeGlowBlue

Conclusion

All of these modifications above were done to meet the performance, aesthetic and comfort of my needs.  I would recommend riding your TW200 for a while before making any modification to it.  After a while, you will decide which part of the bike you would like to upgrade to meet your needs.

P2

 

 

A trip down memory lane…

You remembered in my last post, I have gotten a new TW200 and have been working on the transformation.  Well, she is almost complete but I needed to take a time out from working on her and to take her on a short road trip down memory lane.  You see, two weeks ago would have been our 5th wedding anniversary.  So, I hopped onto my bike and first went to the cemetery 13174117_10206013864217604_7660469739128796068_nto sit awhile and talk to Russ.

Once I was at the cemetery, I decided that I needed to visit the Harvey House as well to continue down the trip down memory lane.  That is where we had our wedding ceremony.  As usual, I didn’t hop onto the interstate to get there.  I decided to take the long way around and get my kick on the old Route 66. 13248581_10206015533979347_463893088809359330_o

Let me tell you a little bit about the Harvey House and how our obsession began with that place.  It actually began back when Russ took his horse trip across United States in 1993.  One night he camped at the Harvey House in Barstow, CA.  At the time he was there, it was stood empty and abandoned.  He was fascinated with architecture and the local history behind the Harvey House.  He actually envisioned that when he got back was to buy the building and restore it to its former glory.  Little did he know that back in 1990 the city started a preservation project on the building already but it was halted back in 1992 when the Landers earthquake hit the desert area.  It took the city and the preservation group another 8 years to receive Federal funding and finished the restoration.

So what is a Harvey House? It all started back in the 1800’s when traveling by train was glamorous and the Wild West was beckoning the adventurers to explore new area.  An entrepreneur named Fred Harvey decided to open up a chain of dining rooms and boarding house for the weary travelers.  Fred Harvey is actually credited for the starting the concept of “restaurant chains”.  The dining room offered fine dining with food and drinks being served in crystal and china.  The rooms in the boarding house were luxurious and comfortable.

However, it was the Harvey Girls gcr_HarveyGirlswho created the Harvey House reputation for friendliness and hospitality.  Their job was not only to serve food but to provide conversation and information to the weary travelers.  Originally, Fred Harvey hired men to work in the restaurants but found that they were as wild as the west was.  So he began hiring women to do the job.  In order to qualify as one of the “Harvey Girls”, the women had to have at least an eight grade education, good moral character, good manners, and be neat and articulate.  They were paid good wages, as much as $17.50 per month with free room, board, and uniforms.  In return, they would agree to a six month contract and agree not to marry while employed.  In times, it was the most sought after jobs by the women.

Okay, so I got a little side tracked with the history of the Harvey House but I can’t help that since I’m a little bit geeky and passionate about local U.S. history.  Anyway, today, the Barstow Harvey House, “Casa Del Desierto”300px-Harveyhouse3 is now home to an Amtrak stop, a Route 66 museum, a Western Railroad museum and rent out their ballroom for events.

While I was there that Saturday, the Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce was setting up for another event for that night which brought back memories of the time we were setting it up for the reception after the wedding ceremony.  I was getting emotional so I knew it wasn’t a good time to get back on the bike so I decided to check out the Route 66 museum.  It’s a place that I have visited so many times but knew it would be a good place to clear my head.

While I was in there, a couple from out-of-town started asking questions to the museum’s docent, Steven and Karen Diffenbacher, inquiring where the James Dean memorial was and I politely interjected since I knew the answer.  I used to live in San Luis Obispo and everyone who lives there know where it is.

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While chatting, they noticed my motorcycle gear and asked what type of bike I was riding.  I started to explain what a TW200 is but they already knew all about them because she has one.  As we were discussing about the T-dub and how she doesn’t ride it much anymore.  They’re thinking about selling it.  However, her 90’s TW200 still have the original tires, no battery and the tank has been creamed by the previous owner.  Steve even mentioned that at one point he almost had a replacement tank when they met a guy several years ago who had several TW200 and was willing to give to him one.  However, they lost his phone number and was unable to get a hold of him.  I immediately knew who he was talking about because Russ loved going to that museum and he had 13 TW200 on hand at that time.

Of course, I told them that I knew who he was and told them the story of his passing and my journey since then.  It is interesting our how lives can cross paths throughout times and remind us of those times in the past.  They are there to help us with the trip down memory lane…

life-is-a-not-path-quote

 

 

Gina Comes to Town

A couple of weeks ago, I needed to make a pit stop to get new tires on the bike. The down fall with the TW200 tires, you can’t just go to any motorcycle shop to get them so I have to order them which usually take three to four days to receive them. So I contacted a fellow Tdubber’s to see if I make arrangement to have the tires shipped to his house. He was more than happy to help me with my bike to ensure that I have a safe journey. I met up with Kurt and his wife at their ranch in Auburn, IN.

  
While there, I learned that Kurt was avid outdoorsmen and from the pictures on the wall in his warehouse that he probably has lots of stories to tell. So, after spending of couple of days working on both of our bikes and a day of traveling together, I have inspired the blogging bug into him. Here’s his story of my visit.

Gina Comes to Town

Going on right now, in the world you live in, is an adventure worth noting. Ginamarie Austin is in the process of traveling the length and breadth of the United States on a Yamaha TW200 motorcycle. Solo. In and of itself that doesn’t really make her or the trip special. Lots of people have traveled this country solo and done so on small displacement motorcycles. What makes Gina’s trip special is that she happens to live in a different world…a world I happen to share. Gina is profoundly hearing impaired.
Let me tell you a bit about Gina’s world. I’m the perfect person to do it. Gina’s world is a quieter place, but it’s also a more confusing place. It’s a place of endless frustration, and let me explain that-it’s frustrating for her, and the people trying to communicate with her. Nothing is more distressing to a hearing impaired person than the words “never mind”. For us it’s game over, something lost forever. A chance to communicate forever taken away. Gina wouldn’t hear a car horn while she is riding and she wouldn’t know someone was right outside her tent at night. Developing mechanical problems go unnoticed because she can’t hear them. Interacting with people on the road is more challenging because they have to invest themselves in communicating…and some simply don’t have the time. So, Gina’s trip is special, and so is she.

I knew about Gina and her travels because I am a member of an online forum that she participates in. That in and of itself is rather amazing since I’m really not much of a forum person. But, like I said, Gina came to town. My town. And I got to spend time with her. It was an amazing experience for me, I don’t know any other profoundly hearing impaired people. At the beginning of her trip my wife and I had offered Gina tools, food, a place to stay and rest up if she need it. I really never expected to hear from her. But I did, and I’m glad I did.

We spent a couple days visiting and working on her bike. She needed new tires and there were some other small issues. For me it was hilarious at times. I would say something while leaning over the workbench and I’d hear her shout “hey, I’m just like you …turn around and speak up”, it made me smile. I know exactly what she means.

For some reason Gina has an infatuation with things on her ride. World’s larges prairie dog, windmill museums, world’s largest truck stop and museum, stuff like that. I on the other hand define a good trip as the absence of things. I dislike all the touristy things and sacrifice even the ones that could be defined as cultural just to stay away from those type of crowds. Because of this love of things along the way she has developed what I consider an unhealthy attraction to old US highways. US 6 doesn’t run very far from my home and that was Gina’s intended route when she left here. I talked her into riding a different route, and in fact I accompanied her from northeast Indiana to Starved Rock State Park in Illinois and so got to ride about 250 miles of her trip with her. I enjoyed it tremendously. I took her on state routes and rural roads through what I refer to as the cornfield corridors. I figured maybe I had broken her habit. But I was wrong. I got up the next morning and started packing up. Gina emerged from her tent as I was looking at my map and came and looked over my shoulder. Then she exclaimed “oh wow, I’m only four miles from US 6.” You win some and you lose some.

So, you might see Gina out there riding home. Coping with problems she never chose to have. If you do, look at her and speak up. Take the time to interact. She’s worth it, I guarantee you.

To read more of his stories, click on the following link: http://borneodreams.com

  

In Memory Of

Well, we had our 2nd Annual Russ Austin Memorial ride in Santa Margarita Lake, CA and once again it was a success. For those of you has been following my blog for a while, may remember that the last year event was a bittersweet experience for me. It was a joyous event in remembering all of the good times we had but also a painful reminder that he is not here anymore.

Just like one of the cliché expression that I don’t like says “time heals all wound”, the wound was still there but it was easier to deal with the emptiness of his presence. We had the same amount of TW200 riders as last year but with new faces than last year. We had several rides come from out-of-state, such as Washington, Nevada and Arizona. Also, we had a couple of women riders this year which I’m always excited about! It is nice not to be the only girl in the group.
Just like last year, everyone arrived on Friday, even me. Actually, I made it up a day early but stayed overnight in Morro Bay, CA to visit with my sister-in-law. As usual, our wonderful camp host, Mel, provided us with the meals all three days. He loves providing us with a central place for chow so we would have more times among with each other than everyone retreating back to their tent or cabin during meal times.

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Since, the beach ride last year was a huge hit, we did it again. We rode up through Hi Mountain Road starting from Pozo and ending up in Arroyo Grande. It’s a 34 mile fire road through the Los Padres Forest. It is classified as an easy trail but there seems to be more ruts in it than last year. At one point on the trail, there was a broken down truck which amazingly our chase vehicle narrowly squeezed by. The chase vehicle was driven by my son’s girlfriend which was loaded with many of the guy’s significance others who wanted to tag along for the ride. All of the wives gave her high praises for her skilled driving.

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On day two of the event, I took one of the guy’s wife who is a beginner for a private ride to help her gain confidence in own riding skills while the guys went on a ride looking for the Pozo mine. I don’t think they ever found it but still had fun exploring the various roads in Pozo. I had a blast riding with her, it actually brought back many memories of the days I was learning to ride while Russ patiently riding behind me. It is so nerve wrecking having someone we love watching us as we learn how to ride. It sometimes become unproductive because we’re so self-conscious of trying not to make a mistake and we end up making more mistakes than normal.

Most of everyone left on Sunday night except for the usual hard-core SoCal TW200 riders, we stayed the night. As we sat around the campfire, we noticed two motorcycle riding into camp trying to find an empty site to camp. So, we offered to share our site with them. They were best friends, one live in Oregon and the other one in Colorado who meet up once a year and ride around. They were ever so grateful for our hospitality and as usual, our camp host, Mel, ran off to dished up a warm meal for our guests.
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All in all, it was an awesome weekend with old and new friends sharing our passion for motorcycles. As I said last year, “remember that life is too short and cherish the times you have with your friends, family and loves one. You’ll never know when you might go home to an empty house”. As for me, the open road is now my home and my heart is not empty anymore since he is riding with me in spirit.

The Journey Begins!

“Tin Man”

Sung by America

Oh, Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man

That he didn’t, didn’t already have

I can’t believe that the day actually has arrived where I’m starting the journey of a lifetime.  I can remember the days where Russ and I were dreaming and scheming ideas and places to go on our adventure when we retire.

Here I am, my entire life is now sitting in a 10 x 10 storage unit and l am living the life of a vagabond for the next year without him.  If you have asked me several years ago if I could do this on my own, I would have said no way.  Apparently, Russ has alway known that I could do it.  He had more faith in me than I did myself.

The other day, I got a very special message from my sister-in-law.

“I am so proud of you for seeing this through… (have to admit to my tiny bit of jealousy that you are doing what I can only dream of doing)

I know what Russ wanted for you (he spoke incessantly about it) I know how important it was for him to know that you would one day venture out and more importantly that you would trust and believe that you could do anything you put your mind too. He knew how amazing you were… but somehow he didn’t think you knew how amazing you were. I think I was assigned the task of making sure you understood exactly how amazing you were when he was gone. I know how hard it has been this year. I have been in your shoes. You are an amazing woman. He knew it. I know it.  You have to be to get through it and do what you are doing!”

Russ was right, I did not give myself enough credit or had enough faith in myself that I could do it.  Especially about writing, all my life it has been a difficult challenge for me to write due to my hearing impairment.  He has been pushing me for a long time to start blogging about our little bikes and I just always shrug at him.  It wasn’t until last year where Carla King who gave me the final nudge to just do it.  At first, it felt awkward and I was over thinking the process.  Then after talking to several of my friends, they told me just write from the heart and ignore what others think of my writing skills. Next month will be a year since my first blog post and I have had 15,000 views since then.

Then came the final preparation for the trip itself, all of the planning and logistic are starting to come together.  I talked and wrote incessantly about it.  I think a lot of people just listened to me ramble about it but did not really believed that I truly was going to do it.  I actually overheard a conversation between two guys where one of them said that I wasn’t going to last more than a month.  I may and I may not but I have sneaky feelings that I will prove them wrong big time.

As the departure date came closer, I decided to apply to become a Jupiter’s Traveller thinking that I have nothing to lose in trying.  I never considered myself to be qualified to be in such elite group of adventure travelers.  Suddenly, I got an email from the Executive Director stating that he was delighted to see my application come through.  He also stated that they have a lot of applications to review and will let me know in a couple of months.  However, he was pretty confident that I will make the list.  I was pretty stoked, I couldn’t believe that they thought my story would be worthy enough to be in the same class of those other adventure travelers.  The official announcement came a day after my last day of work.  What perfect timing.

Here I am, on the road starting the next chapter of my life.  Just like the song, I guess the OZ never gave me anything that I didn’t already had in me.  I just needed to believe in myself that all.

Why do we give our ride a name?

After I posted about getting Purple back, my aunt made a comment about how as a little girl I have always loved the color purple, only eating grape ice cream and purple gum.  So, she thought I was still infuriated with the color purple.   I didn’t actually seek out a bike that was purple but it kind of fell into our lap.  Russ was looking for another TW200 for me since the first one we got had a bad CDI which was a common problem with 1987 model.  A guy nearby where we lived was selling a 1991 TW200 on Craigslist and it was in good condition so we bought it.  This bike became my baby.  So Russ suggested that I come up with a handle so I can join the TW200 forum community.

So I decided to run with the color since I didn’t think I would be changing the look anytime soon.  When I first started looking into name of characters that were purple.  Upon research, I could only find a handful of characters that were purple; Barney (oh heck no!), Cheshire Cat (a tongue twister for me), Grimace (eh?), and the Purple People Eater (that is the one I decided on).  So that became my handle which is kind of long-winded.  Most people either call me Purple or PPE for short.

Since I christen the bike as Purple People Eater, I had to run with theme when I decided to give it a facelift.  When I was looking for a vinyl wrap that has the color purple in it. I stumbled upon a website called MetroReStyling.com where they had a wrap that in a camo pattern and it was purple.  It was damned tedious to put on but it was one of the best investment I ever did.  That wrap has protected the plastic every time I have crashed on the bike (not that many, honest!).

Now, you’re probably wondering if I have given a name to my street bike as well.  Of course I did, his name is Felix after Felix the Cat.  I know that it sound weird to name my ride but I discovered that I was not alone.  According to a Nationwide Insurance survey, plenty of drivers name their ride.  They polled about 1,082 U.S. car owners and found that:

•Nearly 25% of U.S. car owners have a special name for their car.

•More than 31% were inspired by the vehicle’s color and appearance.

•At 36%, car owners between the ages of 18 and 34 are more likely to nickname their cars.

•Women are more likely to have a nickname for their cars than men — 27% vs. 17%

•About of out of four surveyed think of their car as a girl, with women more likely to have a “baby” girl. Such as “Eleanor” from the film Gone in 60 Seconds or the homicidal Chevrolet named Christine from the movie Christine.

•Men are more likely than women to name their car after a famous or historical person or a character in a movie.

So, do you have a name for your motorcycle or car?  If so what is it?