Content © 2012-2018 by American IronHorse Owners Organization.  Use of AIH Logo Licensed by American Ironhorse, LLC
The Unthinkable I have never taken my chopper out for a long distance adventure, nor do I want to.  It's a fine idea in theory but the truth is that my ride is unsuitable for trips lasting more than a couple of hours.  The chopper might look really cool but lacks air conditioning, power steering and a six-way adjustable seat.  My aging booty needs more pampering than it used to.  Instead of The Beast, a softer seat cushion and a ride that doesn’t require me to pay so much attention to what I am doing are very much preferred for longer distances.  I normally ride to work when the weather permits which means that I won't be riding it for some time.  I am writing this in July and it is triple-digit-temperature season in Texas.  The mornings are wonderful but when I leave work in the afternoon it’s like riding in the seventh circle of hell - not fun!  For me, the riding season is between late September and early May. This past February, the unthinkable happened.  I was on my way to work at oh-dark-thirty.  It had rained the night before and the roads were still wet.  One of my turns involves a left, going the wrong direction against a banked curve and thus the turn must be executed very slowly and with the utmost caution.  Apparently, I wasn't going slowly and utmost cautiously enough.  My precious 2007 Texas Chopper slid out from under me so fast it left friction burns on the inside of my legs.  Since it was February, I was wearing jeans and shoes instead of my standard Texas riding gear of shorts and flip flops.  I wasn't hurt at all and had I seen it coming could have simply stepped off of the bike.  Instead, I was sitting on my butt watching my gorgeous chopper bang down on the left side, and then flip over and bang onto the right side, too.  At least all the damage I just did was going to be symmetrical.  It was dark as pitch but I could see that the right brake handle was broken off and the throttle mechanism was jacked.  Both mirrors were broken and both foot pegs were bent upwards.  It seemed to be ‘technically’ ridable but choppers are super-dangerous to begin with and riding one that was all busted up even more so.  Since I was in the middle of nowhere with nobody around I didn't have much choice so I picked it up, started it and limped on down the road.  It was an agonizing, butt-puckering experience.  I could throttle up but the mechanism was jammed and so required manually twisting the handle forward in order to throttle down – sort of like having cruise control against my will.  I also had to maintain inward pressure on the grip assembly to keep it from dropping off the handlebar altogether.  I had naturally experienced a major adrenaline dump when I went down.  Riding a wrecked chopper on wet roads in the dark didn’t do much to reduce the adrenaline coursing through my system.  I had about 15 miles to go including a stretch of interstate and I didn't know what else on the bike was broken or about to let go.  It was the scariest ride of my life and I swear the Grim Reaper himself was right behind me, panting his Sulphur-breath down the back of my neck and saying “Yes… just a little faster, my friend.  I want you!”  I made it to work without becoming a statistic and heard an audible "pop" as I lifted my backside off of the seat - that was just my pucker-butt losing suction.  When daylight arrived I was able to better see the damage.  Yep, my baby was beat to hell. One of my co-workers followed me as I drove my banged up steed to Hog Alley in Georgetown, Texas.  He had the video on his smart phone all cued up and ready to go just in case it exploded, turned me into a flaming fireball and resulted in a fiery death worthy of the evening news. The trip generated another massive adrenaline dump as I fought my wounded beast down the interstate.  For some reason the engine kept cutting out on me whenever I stopped – probably just some minor death throes.  Upon arrival, I had to endure the long walk of shame up to the counter and demonstrate to all the dedicated personnel and other bikers at Hog Alley that I clearly didn’t know how to ride my own bike.  Not only that, I was obviously incapable of cleaning it, too (aside from the wreckage it was embarrassingly filthy).  The thought did occur to just leave it at Hog Alleys back door, slink away and then call from the office so that I wouldn't have to face anyone.  Unfortunately, I had to fill out a service form so that wasn’t an option.  As I wrote down my contact information, my hands were shaking so badly I know it wasn’t even legible. The same co-worker was kind enough to drive me home at the end of the day and I showed him right where the catastrophe happened.  He pointed at the spot and then at me and laughed, which is pretty typical of the much beloved assholes with which I work.  Next, he recommended a floral cross to commemorate the historic location.  Smartass.  By this time the adrenaline had finally worn off and I had quit shaking.  I had also made the mental adjustment to the fact that my baby was bent I wouldn't be seeing her for a while.  Yes, my bike is a female - just look at her from behind and you can see the gorgeous butt and sexy lines.  Also, I could never derive that much joy from riding... um... a dude, so there you have it.  The next day I called in sick.  Even though I was unhurt, the massive adrenaline overdose and all the drama had left me feeling as though I had been beaten with a baseball bat.  I was sore all over and felt like I had the flu.  Maybe there was a little post-wreck depression, as well.  It was time to sit on the couch, ponder my stupidity and binge-watch Big Bang Theory. I have to plug my insurance company, Foremost.  I submitted the claim ($5,000) and they ponied up without squawking about it - even after 2 amendments to the claim.  I was somewhat surprised and more than a little relieved.  Insurance companies are in the business of collecting premiums, not paying out claims and frequently try to find a way to avoid living up to their obligations.  In my opinion, insurance providers are among the most criminal elements in our society.  For example, a friend of mine had a custom 1971 Formula 400 Firebird (and insured as such) that was stolen and later found stripped and burned next to some railroad tracks.  It was probably his delinquent cousin but no arrests were made for lack of evidence.  His cousin would later, however, do hard time for killing his mother’s boyfriend with a shotgun blast to the chest.   Anyhow, my pals insurance company, let’s call them "Charmers Insurance" offered a book value settlement in accordance with a fully depreciated, run of the mill Firebird, something on the order of $1,200.  The VIN along with photographs proved otherwise and after a lot of back and forth and a couple of threatening letters from his attorney, another zero was added to the settlement figure.  It still wasn’t what it was worth but was close enough. Now it was a waiting game to get my bike back.  Most of the damaged parts had to be replaced which is somewhat problematic for a chopper whose creator went out of business years ago.  Salvageable parts had to be sent off to be re-chromed.  Others had to be sourced from far off corners of the globe, such as the doo-hickey that is now manufactured only by Serge, a French-Polynesian inmate of an insane asylum in Trinidad who makes odd motorcycle parts and straw hats.  Interestingly enough, the only damage to the skins was a tiny nick on the edge of the back fender.  Shoot, I have touch-up paint and an airbrush for that!  I used the money for that ding to pay for some upgrades like extended pegs to accommodate my 6'3" frame.  The stock bazooka-style exhaust pipe took damage and had to be replaced, so I opted for Vance and Hines Big Radius pipes - sweet!  It wasn't until June that I got my baby back - just in time to put it up for the heat of summer!  It is a much better bike.  The new pipes sound great!  It turned out that my carburetor settings were hosed up (they were likely the 10 year old original factory settings) and it now starts easier and has a lot more power.  Thanks to the unfamiliar extended pegs and resident muscle memory, my feet initially had difficulty figuring out where to go.  When starting out I looked like a dog scooting his butt on the carpet – not sexy at all.  So how does she look?  See for yourself:
October 19, 2017
Want to contact Fat Max? email Fat Max ...
ORGANIZATION ORGANIZATION OWNERS OWNERS For All American Ironhorse Motorcycle Owners
Fat Max
© 2012-2018   American IronHorse Owners Organization Use of AIH Logo Licensed by American Ironhorse, LLC 
The Unthinkable I have never taken my chopper out for a long distance adventure, nor do I want to.  It's a fine idea in theory but the truth is that my ride is unsuitable for trips lasting more than a couple of hours.  The chopper might look really cool but lacks air conditioning, power steering and a six-way adjustable seat.  My aging booty needs more pampering than it used to.  Instead of The Beast, a softer seat cushion and a ride that doesn’t require me to pay so much attention to what I am doing are very much preferred for longer distances.  I normally ride to work when the weather permits which means that I won't be riding it for some time.  I am writing this in July and it is triple-digit-temperature season in Texas.  The mornings are wonderful but when I leave work in the afternoon it’s like riding in the seventh circle of hell - not fun!  For me, the riding season is between late September and early May. This past February, the unthinkable happened.  I was on my way to work at oh-dark-thirty.  It had rained the night before and the roads were still wet.  One of my turns involves a left, going the wrong direction against a banked curve and thus the turn must be executed very slowly and with the utmost caution.  Apparently, I wasn't going slowly and utmost cautiously enough.  My precious 2007 Texas Chopper slid out from under me so fast it left friction burns on the inside of my legs.  Since it was February, I was wearing jeans and shoes instead of my standard Texas riding gear of shorts and flip flops.  I wasn't hurt at all and had I seen it coming could have simply stepped off of the bike.  Instead, I was sitting on my butt watching my gorgeous chopper bang down on the left side, and then flip over and bang onto the right side, too.  At least all the damage I just did was going to be symmetrical.  It was dark as pitch but I could see that the right brake handle was broken off and the throttle mechanism was jacked.  Both mirrors were broken and both foot pegs were bent upwards.  It seemed to be ‘technically’ ridable but choppers are super-dangerous to begin with and riding one that was all busted up even more so.  Since I was in the middle of nowhere with nobody around I didn't have much choice so I picked it up, started it and limped on down the road.  It was an agonizing, butt-puckering experience.  I could throttle up but the mechanism was jammed and so required manually twisting the handle forward in order to throttle down – sort of like having cruise control against my will.  I also had to maintain inward pressure on the grip assembly to keep it from dropping off the handlebar altogether.  I had naturally experienced a major adrenaline dump when I went down.  Riding a wrecked chopper on wet roads in the dark didn’t do much to reduce the adrenaline coursing through my system.  I had about 15 miles to go including a stretch of interstate and I didn't know what else on the bike was broken or about to let go.  It was the scariest ride of my life and I swear the Grim Reaper himself was right behind me, panting his Sulphur-breath down the back of my neck and saying “Yes… just a little faster, my friend.  I want you!”  I made it to work without becoming a statistic and heard an audible "pop" as I lifted my backside off of the seat - that was just my pucker-butt losing suction.  When daylight arrived I was able to better see the damage.  Yep, my baby was beat to hell. One of my co-workers followed me as I drove my banged up steed to Hog Alley in Georgetown, Texas.  He had the video on his smart phone all cued up and ready to go just in case it exploded, turned me into a flaming fireball and resulted in a fiery death worthy of the evening news. The trip generated another massive adrenaline dump as I fought my wounded beast down the interstate.  For some reason the engine kept cutting out on me whenever I stopped – probably just some minor death throes.  Upon arrival, I had to endure the long walk of shame up to the counter and demonstrate to all the dedicated personnel and other bikers at Hog Alley that I clearly didn’t know how to ride my own bike.  Not only that, I was obviously incapable of cleaning it, too (aside from the wreckage it was embarrassingly filthy).  The thought did occur to just leave it at Hog Alleys back door, slink away and then call from the office so that I wouldn't have to face anyone.  Unfortunately, I had to fill out a service form so that wasn’t an option.  As I wrote down my contact information, my hands were shaking so badly I know it wasn’t even legible. The same co-worker was kind enough to drive me home at the end of the day and I showed him right where the catastrophe happened.  He pointed at the spot and then at me and laughed, which is pretty typical of the much beloved assholes with which I work.  Next, he recommended a floral cross to commemorate the historic location.  Smartass.  By this time the adrenaline had finally worn off and I had quit shaking.  I had also made the mental adjustment to the fact that my baby was bent I wouldn't be seeing her for a while.  Yes, my bike is a female - just look at her from behind and you can see the gorgeous butt and sexy lines.  Also, I could never derive that much joy from riding... um... a dude, so there you have it.  The next day I called in sick.  Even though I was unhurt, the massive adrenaline overdose and all the drama had left me feeling as though I had been beaten with a baseball bat.  I was sore all over and felt like I had the flu.  Maybe there was a little post-wreck depression, as well.  It was time to sit on the couch, ponder my stupidity and binge-watch Big Bang Theory. I have to plug my insurance company, Foremost.  I submitted the claim ($5,000) and they ponied up without squawking about it - even after 2 amendments to the claim.  I was somewhat surprised and more than a little relieved.  Insurance companies are in the business of collecting premiums, not paying out claims and frequently try to find a way to avoid living up to their obligations.  In my opinion, insurance providers are among the most criminal elements in our society.  For example, a friend of mine had a custom 1971 Formula 400 Firebird (and insured as such) that was stolen and later found stripped and burned next to some railroad tracks.  It was probably his delinquent cousin but no arrests were made for lack of evidence.  His cousin would later, however, do hard time for killing his mother’s boyfriend with a shotgun blast to the chest.   Anyhow, my pals insurance company, let’s call them "Charmers Insurance" offered a book value settlement in accordance with a fully depreciated, run of the mill Firebird, something on the order of $1,200.  The VIN along with photographs proved otherwise and after a lot of back and forth and a couple of threatening letters from his attorney, another zero was added to the settlement figure.  It still wasn’t what it was worth but was close enough. Now it was a waiting game to get my bike back.  Most of the damaged parts had to be replaced which is somewhat problematic for a chopper whose creator went out of business years ago.  Salvageable parts had to be sent off to be re- chromed.  Others had to be sourced from far off corners of the globe, such as the doo-hickey that is now manufactured only by Serge, a French-Polynesian inmate of an insane asylum in Trinidad who makes odd motorcycle parts and straw hats.  Interestingly enough, the only damage to the skins was a tiny nick on the edge of the back fender.  Shoot, I have touch-up paint and an airbrush for that!  I used the money for that ding to pay for some upgrades like extended pegs to accommodate my 6'3" frame.  The stock bazooka-style exhaust pipe took damage and had to be replaced, so I opted for Vance and Hines Big Radius pipes - sweet!  It wasn't until June that I got my baby back - just in time to put it up for the heat of summer!  It is a much better bike.  The new pipes sound great!  It turned out that my carburetor settings were hosed up (they were likely the 10 year old original factory settings) and it now starts easier and has a lot more power.  Thanks to the unfamiliar extended pegs and resident muscle memory, my feet initially had difficulty figuring out where to go.  When starting out I looked like a dog scooting his butt on the carpet – not sexy at all.  So how does she look?  See for yourself:
October 19, 2017
Want to contact Fat Max? email Fat Max ...
ORGANIZATION ORGANIZATION OWNERS OWNERS
Fat Max