Dainese Airstream Course D-Nect Bluetooth Helmet with iPhone

So, I decided for my longer motorcycling commutes that I might try a Bluetooth enabled helmet. I know, I know this defies logic for many motorcyclists. However, not every ride is a “pleasure/get away” ride and on many commutes if I can stay in contact I can actually ride longer.

I bought the Dainese Airstream Course D-Nect Bluetooth Helmet. Pretty comfortable for a full face. Being from the Rocker side of the tracks, I am still trying to get used to full face helmets and I don’t always wear them. You sort of have to have a full face for this application or have a big assed windshield.

Pairing was a bit of a pain, but once paired it seems to be great. I will be updating this blog with performance tests of this helmet. For now, I want anyone using this to know how to pair it with an iPhone.

1. Turn your phone on and get it ready for pairing. (See your manual.) Charge your helmet fully.

2. Press and hold the button until you hear a beep, then continue until you hear a higher pitched beep and continue even longer until you hear a double beep.

3. When “Stilo HF V2″ appears, click on it.

4. Here’s the important step… When prompted for a passcode the manual says to use 1111. Don’t, it won’t work. Enter: 0000

5. Now you should be paired with the iPhone!!!

Dainese Airstream Course D-Nect Bluetooth Helmet

Here she is!

Posted in Motorcycle Stuff | 2 Comments

Rikki, The Legend Tripper?

I have been obsessed with all things “scary” most of my life. Instead of sports posters on my walls, I had horror movie posters like Bella Lugosi as Dracula and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. I had monster models with glow in the dark hands and eyes. You name it, if it was a horror film, I was into it! As I got older, I didn’t grow out of it. I was now able to drive and go to the legendary scary places locally. These places are all around us everywhere and in every town in America I would later find out. You would think with all of my love for horror that I would have created a band like the Murder Dolls or something!

What is true and what is not is steeped in grey areas of fact and fiction and conjecture. Although I am part of West Coast Paranormal Research Society (www.wcprs.org) I am more of a “Legend Tripper” than a “Ghost Chaser”. In other words, I just go to these places and and allow whatever is supposed to happen, happen or not. Not very scientific, but my partners in WCPRS have that covered!

So, here it is 2010 and of all things, the most notorious haunted house in the world goes up for sale… The Amityville house! So, of course I want it. Yes, that’s right, I want it! Am I scared? Not really. I’d be more worried about the jerks who want to vandalize it then any real ghosts. It is what it is and that will never change. There will always be people seeking to see it, touch it and try and feel something.  Fact is, I like Amityville, the people and the house. I like many other houses in the area too. I love older houses and small towns. Moving back to the east coast would be quite a episode in my life  and inviting the controversy into my life would be a big bite to chew, so it’s probably better that the Amityville house sold to someone else.

Anyway… back to Legend Tripping…

I think since the world is littered with boatloads of Ghost Shows, it’s time for a Legend Tripping show! Yes, and with my vast collection of stories around the globe from touring, I think I’m the right guy! So, I have created “The Legend Trippers” and I am actively looking for a network. This WILL happen!

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White collar problems

I just recently learned the phrase, “White collar problems”. Meaning, problems that affect people that are for the most part are pretty well off. I order iced, vanilla soy lattes when I get coffee most of time. Only and I mean only, Starbucks Coffee doesn’t mix or stir the damn thing for you. They just put one ingredient after the other on top of it. (Excepet the Starbucks in Newhall, CA). Some people say, well, that’s the old school Italian way, but I say they are just too lazy because even with a dollar tip and me asking nicely, they still don’t do it 75% of the time. White Collar Problem!!! It’s a damn coffee. People are fuckin’ laying in fox holes in the middle east protecting our asses and I’m pissed about how they made my fuckin’ coffee at Starbucks!? Geez!!!  However… However… It’s also a damn four dollar and fifty cent cup of coffee and when you are paying that much, don’t you want it right? besides, when I go to Coffee Bean I can donate coffee to the soldiers. pretty good deal, huh? I can yell at the barista and feel good about my donation. All is well. By the way, fuck you Starbucks! It’s a bad economy, make the frickin’ coffee right and give something to the soldiers instead of rolling your eyes when I ask you to stir that $4.50 cup of joe!

Posted in My High Horse! | Tagged | 6 Comments

Couture Takes Toney To The Ground!

Toney vs Couture
Toney vs Couture

So, the fight last night went the way I thought it would go. Toney was a journeyman. Now everyone will say, “Yeah, but Couture is washed up and old and Toney is washed up and old, etc, etc” Now it will be. “Get us a young boxer and a young UFC fighter!” But, no one in boxing who is currently ranked in the top 5 is going to fight UFC. It’s not in anyone’s best interest to go back to Style vs Style type tournament again in the UFC. The way it is makes more money normally.

In many ways it was an exhibition. No doubt. Dana is going to do whatever he can to make money. All we need now is a bad assed midget who can take the lightweight title!
This was Dana’s way of putting the final nail in boxing’s coffin in a pop culture sense. Boxing will always be around, but Pro Wrestling and Boxing have fallen off considerably since the UFC. However, it’s doubtful that the UFC will ever see the kind of money guys like Tyson saw at one time.
People want a scrap! Boxing is frustrating to watch now for fight fans. Too many rules. I love grappling and it’s what I do, but I also know that the average person is not going to pay to watch a Jiu-Jitsu match or a No Gi Grappling Tournament. People want to see guys scrap now. It’s has become part of our culture. The average person doesn’t care about technique. They want big guys, pissed off and wanting to kick ass in the ring. Hype and crash! That’s what it’s all about now. It’s a shame in many ways, but it sells Tapout merchandise shirts and Affliction T’s.
Posted in Martial arts | Leave a comment

UFC 118: James Toney versus Randy Couture

Randy and James

Can Toney make boxing the new King of the Octagon?

People, this is like old school UFC! The style of fighting in this event is as important as the person fighting. James “Lights Out” Toney, representing boxing, is out to prove that his boxing skills are enough to knock out Randy ‘The Natural” Couture. Now, Tony has an incredible record: 35 fights, 33 wins (32 KO’s), 2 losses. If Randy beats Tony, this is no small victory for Randy in the big picture. As MMA enthusiasts go, this is a repeat of many other fights where a boxer goes head to head with an MMA practitioner of one suit or another. Randy is getting up there in age for an MMA fighter at 47 and while Toney is a bit younger at 41. All in all, Randy looks to be in better shape and has always had great cardio in the Octagon.

Can Toney win against a tried and true veteran of the Octagon? Of course he can. As we all know, any horse can win on any day, ya never know. However, if we get down to brass tacks, the chances are in Randy’s favor. For Toney to win, it’s all about the “What if’s”. What if Toney lands a solid punch? What if Toney’s infighting counters Couture’s? What if Couture tries to take him down and Toney pops him on the way down? Look people, this isn’t Randy’s first rodeo. He has faced good punchers with grappling skills. He is now facing a great puncher with little to no grappling skills.

This is a classic match up between boxer vs wrestler. I’m paraphrasing here, but Bruce Lee said to the effect that if you can box and you can wrestle you can beat most martial artists. Guess what, Randy is both and Toney is just one. Is Toney’s boxing better than Randy’s boxing and wrestling? This will be interesting.

I’m giving the edge to Randy.

-Rikki

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Are Harley’s The Ed Hardy T-Shirts Of Motorcycles?

I refuse to be a Harley basher. At least in the out and out nasty sense. After all, I have owned quite a few over the years. I had always loved the look, the sound and the stance. However, even up into the early 80′s,  a Harley was an oil leaking liability mounted mostly by old saddle tramps. Still, I was drawn to them and I quite honestly always respected the old saddle tramps!

The very first motorcycle I was ever on was a 1968 Triumph Bonneville. A neighbor took me for a ride and scarred the hell out of me.  I loved the fear factor and I became hooked on bikes! I eventually grew up riding motocross bikes back in PA. , but I knew I’d be a natural for the street too!

When Poison was able to actually make some money, I decided that after I got some basic transportation that I’d look into a motorcycle. One day, I bought a used Honda Rebel and rode it back home on the freeway. I was terrified! Besides poor power, the thing was just too damn small! Plus, I simply I felt like a twerp! It was a mistake. What was I thinking? I did some soul searching and thought about what I had really wanted… a Harley! “But, what were they like these days?” I had wondered.

I finally stumbled into a Harley shop, the friendly sales person informed me that new Evolution motor was a huge improvement over the Pan heads, Knuckle heads and certainly anything AMF had gotten their hands on. He was right! Over the ensuing years I purchased a few Harleys, modified them and rode the hell out of them. I never really had any major problems. There were very few of us in the music biz riding Harleys back then. In fact, their were mainly saddle tramps back then and that was fine by me. I rode with friends, made friends and became part of the HOG club. I went to the Sturgis Rally in 1989, slept in a tent, grew a beard for awhile and immersed myself into the scene. I was a Harley guy!

Somewhere along the line and a few years later, things changed. I always call touring, “Life’s Suspend Animation”. You leave and when you return, places have changed, people have moved, gotten married, died, dogs have run away, parents have gotten older, malls have been erected and people sometimes forget about you. Life has pretty much moved on without you. This is what the sacrifice of touring is about. It’s a great way to make a living and you can make good money out there, but you pay in other ways. Literally, I went on tour one year and when I came back the Harley scene had seemingly changed… for the worst in my humble opinion. I had always modified everything in my life. I can never leave anything alone, but the mods people were starting to do made their bikes look like fucking Christmas tree ornaments! It had become snobby in some ways, disconnected in other ways and overall lost it’s honesty. We had been the sole riders of American iron and it had been reduced to bolt on mayhem and touchy feely suburban twats. I was appalled! Worse yet, these people tried to make me feel like I was behind on this hip trend! Was Harley Davidson becoming the Ed Hardy T-Shirts of the motorcycling world?

One thing I had done during the entire time I was a Harely Cultist, was to blow off every other motorcycle made. I still had that little affection for the Triumph I had cut my teeth on, I didn’t talk about that, ’cause dammit, I was an American rider! Sport bikes were for assholes, BMW riders were weird, Jap bikes were rice, Brit bikes were for old guys who couldn’t let it go and the Goldwing crowd were super old farts who should give it up! This was my and most of the other riders ideals. Blinders my friends, blinders. I wanted to be loud and proud! Stock exhaust? “Fuck you! Straight pipes!”  “Move outta my way! I have a loud American bike and you should move your Jap car and let me pass!” Ahh, the attitude.

I was introduced one day to a Chiropractor at a restaurant who had apparently spent the greater part of his earnings on his new Harley recently. He was enthusiastically and quite arrogantly, going on and on about a Baker transmission, special pipes he had made bent and heat coated, a specially ground cam, etc, etc. Some guy in the next booth apparently tired of hearing the banter finally blurts in a low tone, “Yeah, and on a good day it might do a hundred!” The Chiropractor was speechless, just turning away and looking back at me. I was speechless as it wasn’t even my bike we were talking about. The guy continued… “Sorry, you can do all you want to that bike and I’ll still go twice as fast, stop three times as quick and spend a third than you on my Hayabusa!” “What the hell was a Hayabusa!”, I thought!

“Never mind the track. The track is for punks. We are Road People. We are Cafe Racers.” - Hunter S. Thompson

I don’t own a Suzuki Hayabusa or any other shrouded sport bike today, but I do have respect for the engineering and the ridiculous speeds that they can option. Why would you want to go that fast? So you can ride to the track and actually compete, I suppose. Try that on a Harley Night Train or whatever. Now, granted, that isn’t the idea of a Harley. However, why spend stupid money on performance parts for that bike then? Defies logic. Just my two cents, of course. Of course, I don’t race either. Not on a track, anyway.

So, whats wrong with paying stupid money for a Harley, modding the damn thing, riding around acting like you are a chosen minion of God, being super loud and hating every other bike on the market!, (ok, not all Harley riders hate other bikes, just most of ‘em) and dressing in clothes with American Eagle patches made in Pakistan. The answer is: Nothing. There is not a damn thing wrong with it. I just am not a participant. Just can’t do it. This is the best America can do, folks? I guess. I have always been about quality. If the Japanese make a great car, good on ‘em. If the Swiss make a great watch, I’m in! If the Brits make a great motorcycle, I’m also in. In a big way! But hang on, I’ll get to that in a moment.

As a side bar I must mention that I am an American manufacturer of custom drums. “Rockett Drum Works”. I pride myself on being American and using American made parts and shells. Why? Americans can still make some of the best drums in the world and an American company is who I’d go to for drums if I didn’t make my own. The Japanese simply are not better at it than we are. The Swiss are better at making watches. The Italians still design and make the best clothes. Let’s not forget the Germans… Most of what they make is well done. Anyway, you get the idea. Go to who is great at what they do. Doesn’t mean everything else sucks. I am just talking about the pride of quality here, not the pride of where it was made. That is what is important to me, personally.

So, what’s my beef then? It’s the attitude when people become so cultish that one puts blinders on. It’s not healthy and you end up bypassing some really great things in life. You end bypassing some amazing bikes made by the Italians, the British, the Germans and yes, the Japanese. All bikes have their place if they are putting a smile on someone’s face even when they act up and don’t want to run. Bikes are like children, you can’t imagine life the same way after you’ve had one!

I say ride on my brothers and sisters. Whatever it is that moves you. One day I may own another Harley. Maybe a really big bagger? For now me and those finicky old Brit bikes with all of that soul will do me just fine. When I need my speed, I still have my Ducati Hyper!

- Rikki (Owner of 8 motorcycles)

Posted in Motorcycle Stuff | 2 Comments

1968 Montgomery Ward’s Benelli 250 cc Motorcycle

Anyone who know me knows that I really love a “barn find”. You know, a dilapidated motorcycle or car that is just begging to be loved again. Well, my buddies tossed me a nice little barn find for my birthday yesterday. This is what I think it is: 1968 Montgomery Ward’s Benelli 250 cc Motorcycle. It all seems to be there. I took some pics before I started to clean her up tonight. Got too dark by the time I was done to take after shots. This week I’ll see if Roy at “Roy’s Cycle” can help me get her started. If she runs ok with minimal fuss, I’ll probably do a sort of “rolling restoration” and enjoy the bike for awhile. If she has any motor issues I might decide and tear the whole thing down and do a full on resto from soup to nuts. Maybe I’ll do that anyway. Who knows.

Posted in Motorcycle Stuff | 8 Comments