My First Mod

What warning?

Apparently, Suzuki feels it’s their moral obligation to point out the fact that motorcycling is dangerous.  Personally, I think it’s so that they can cover their asses…

Smack-dab in the middle of the gas tank is a warning sticker that reads as follows:


Failure to follow these safety precautions may increase your risk of injury:

  • Wear a helmet, eye protection, and bright protective clothing.
  • Don’t ride after consuming alcohol or other drugs.
  • Slow down on slippery surfaces, unfamiliar terrain, or when visibility is reduced.
  • Read owner’s manual carefully.

Thanks, Suzuki, for that friendly FYI!

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Gettin’ Dirteh

I love motocross!

On July 26, 2008 I went to Dirtbike School!  It’s all part of my goal to become the #1 Novice AFM racer.  To be a well-rounded rider, I need to master riding on and off the road.  Riding off-road has its differences:

  1. Your rear brakes do most of the work when it comes to braking
  2. sliding is considered normal (and fun)
  3. When you turn, you let the bike turn under you while you stay upright
  4. ????
  5. PROFIT!!!

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Happy Wrenching!

The dealer wants $300 to do an oil change.

Well, not exactly.  They want $300 to do the initial 600 mile break-in service, which includes:

  • Replace engine oil and filter
  • Drive chain cleaning, lube, and adjustment
  • Tighten chassis bolts, exhaust pipe bolts
  • Brake inspection
  • Engine idle speed inspection
  • Throttle valve synchronization
  • Throttle cable play inspection
  • Steering inspection

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Thunderhill is Really, Really Far

UPDATE: Added some pics!

Good morning race fans!

This past weekend I took a trip to Thunderhill Raceway for Roadriding 2.0, which is a motorcycle skills class for MSF graduates.

They taught us:

  • How to do a tech inspection
  • Exercises we can practice to improve slow-speed skills
  • Cornering techniques
  • All about tires
  • Emergency maneuvers
  • How nightmarishly hot Thunderhill can get
  • Group riding

And, as a special treat, they took us newbies out on the track for a follow-the-leader session where we were given the opportunity to ride race lines.  That’s when I was able to put my 45mph top speed to some really good use.  But that’s not the end of it, or rather — that’s not the beginning!

First, I had to actually get to Thunderhill.  And how, pray tell, did I do that?

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First Steps

My goal is to become a licensed AFM Racer.

2007 AFM Top Novice Oliver Rowen (photo from

But first, some history:

The first riding I ever did was in Vietnam on a tiny little Honda scooter.  This bad boy had about 50cc and a max speed of what felt like a galloping llama, which is fast.  Listen — it felt exhilirating being able to ride the coast of the South China Sea without wearing a helmet and without any gear (or underwear).  It was just the wind in my face and the sun at my back[side]! I felt like a gangster.  A Vietnamese gangster…no.

Bad. Ass.

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