Brammo Blog: Ride for the Cure—Taking the Turquoise Trail to Madrid for a Cause

4 04 2014

BrammoBlog Ver. 2.0-Blog post something  something…I’ve lost count.

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So Saturday was a group ride to Madrid. The ride to Madrid is, as you know if you are a frequent reader of my blog—which is my mom and my split personality (split personality just mentioned that he hates the blog and never reads it…so it’s me and my mom)—one of my favorite rides. I love that ride to Madrid.

This will be, as usual, a photo blog with very little writing by me…which, judging by the happy grunts and squeals that suddenly appeared in my head, Jason (my other personality) approves off.

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The ride is a large group ride that starts from various locations with everybody ending up in Madrid. Madrid was prepared with food and beer and music and, thankfully, one of the most beautiful days ever. New Mexico has many beautiful days, but the spring can be dicey. Often the winds blow at gale force. But Saturday was sunny and calm and just gorgeous.

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The ride was a benefit to raise money for the Cancer Center at the University I work at. So a win win for me….help a cause and ride my Empulse.

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I started from PJ’s Triumph motorcycle shop.

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There were a few bikes…but I expected more as there were 1200 riders last year. I forgot that some start in Santa Fe and ride south on the Turquoise Trail and some start at PJs and some…well just a bunch of starting points.

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I parked here for two reasons…1. It gives me room as I know a bunch of people will come over to ask about the bike…and 2. They were filming over here and I like to get into the shot…I’m vain like that.

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See…I follow the media.

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The film crew came over and filmed the Made in the USA sticker on the bike.

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People always ask, “Who signed your bike?” I tell them, “My close personal friends, Eric Bostrom and Shelina Moreda.” Nah, I tell them that the great people who race for Brammo signed my bike, likely against their will…or that they thought they were signing it for a good cause, rather than signing it for some old dude in New Mexico.

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Off we rode and the first and only stop of the ride was Madrid…I parked at first up in the way back…I found these Chili Peppers and decided to park between them…but then moved down to the front where the other riders where.

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Remember that I park where I want. And so does my coat. I parked here for the first hour…then went and found a place I could charge while I walked around and got lunch.

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Checking out the bike…I would stand and answer a number of questions…but then finally had to walk around to see the other bikes and the booths…and the killer jackets…

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The Duke City Rockers are friends and asked me to eat with them…

rockersRon has a classic bikers look…I got to get me one of those shirts…

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Found the Cancer Center table…fairly modest…I think the bikers intimidated them.

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This great art table…

air brush bikeThis crazy airbrushed bike…

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But I guess I should show some of the turn out.

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Many liked to park near the Mine Shaft Tavern.

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click the panorama….

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Including this big “bike”…

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more parking

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Another big bike with a car motor. Notice the group coming in. Bikes were constantly coming and going during the 3 hours I was in Madrid.

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Lots of nice custom rat bikes…

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A bit down the road, this great house had a few bikes in front.

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Of course I had to explore a bit of the outskirts of town….

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This is my “find rusty things in New Mexico” series. Not much rain, no salt…it takes a long time for things to rust here.

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Love this….

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Great barn? Storage? No idea, but I love it.

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Funny…these tractor treads will take centuries to dissolve…but still the cactus will remain…

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Steampunk heaven…

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train panorama


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Great old train…

rust5More rusty gears…I felt like a small Alice wandering around broken watch gears.

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more chargign

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A shout out to the Crystal Dragon for letting me charge as I ate and wandered.

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And it was time to head home…I forgot to mention that I got up way too early and took this “before dawn” photo in front of my house…

pre dawnThat flowering Crabapple is a pain, but it is pretty in early spring.

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Here it is the night before…just at dusk….

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Crazy pink.

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Till next time….Gavin.

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: http://www.brammo.com

For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: http://www.brammoforum.com

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Bonus.

 Just a couple of photos from recent days:

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“Take you daughter to work on a tractor” day. These special event days at work are getting more and more complicated.

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Back alley in Albuquerque. I love wall art and this photo makes me happy.

a panorama, so click…

G

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Brammo Blog: Winter is Coming…or is here…but the weather is kinda nice.

12 02 2014

BrammoBlog version 2: edition something or another…I’ve kinda lost track.

Ok…it’s been a while. Life continues to be beautifully hectic. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Still, it’s tough to get in some “lets write on the blog today” time.  And I, like too many times before, have no theme for today’s blog. So it is another Mish-Mash Photoblog. As I always say, more photos and less me is a good thing.

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So this winter has been very mild compared to the rest of the country, especially the Eastern part. Little snow and mostly warm days. Heck, next Sunday, Feb 16th, it is suppose to be 70 degrees. That wouldn’t be surprising in San Diego, but we are a mile above sea level and actually get winter here in Albuquerque.

First photos are from a week or two ago. It was in the mid fifties in town, so I thought, “Hey, it’s beautiful here in town, I should take a ride up to the top of the Sandia Mountains.” This was, as my lovely wife pointed out when I got back, a silly idea. The mountain is always 25-35 degrees colder, and usually much windier, making it feel even colder. She said, rolling her eyes (more on that later)**, “Gavin, it’s lovely here in town. Why ride up the mountain when you could have taken a beautiful, and warm, ride along the Rio Grande?” Damn…But she is smart and I am dumb. Plus I wanted some snow photos.

I hit a milestone on the ride. 5000 miles. Now I’m a year round rider…but I have a short commute. So to some, especially those people in California with nice weather and crazy long commutes to work, 5000 miles isn’t a lot. But for me, well I usually put 5000 miles a year on any bike I own. So the Empulse is just like another bike. In other words, I treat my electric motorcycle like I treated my previous motorcycles. And that is a good thing.

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I got a late start on the ride. It was really 3 o’clock…I am horrid at changing my clocks with daylight savings time.

I was about 4 miles into my ride when I stopped to get that photo. I would have to hurry a bit to get up the mountain and back before it got really cold and dark. The backside of the mountain faces East and gets dark well before the west side where Albuquerque lies.

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Snow!

I’m at the Ski Basin parking area at around 8,600 feet. The peak is another 2000 feet…but I didn’t make it that far this day. I stopped here as my start was a bit too late. Maybe next weekend. But I did get some photos.

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Sandia Peak Ski Area. I park where I want. Plus the ski day was over and only a couple of people where left.

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I used a twitter photo treatment here to get the dreamy effect from my iPhone. One day I’ll have to get a nice camera, but the phone is just so convenient.

Sad story…see the people on the stairs? They where helping a young man, 12 or 13, down the stairs. He had a leg brace and arm brace…obviously he had an accident on the hill and was in temperory casts till he could get proper care in town. One of the people, likely his brother, was helping him but was still wearing his ski boots. Walking down stairs in ski boots is hard…walking down stairs in ski boots while helping an injured person is near impossible. He stumbled, fell and took his brother down with him. It was painful to see, and to hear…I went over to help, but there were enough of them helping. Slowly, after much screaming, they got him to the car. After that I really didn’t want to keep going to the top and decided to get home while I was still healthy and whole. Casts and braces and screaming made me realize that going further on the slightly icy roads was probably not a wise choice.

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So, 58 degrees at home. Below freezing at the ski area. Almost 60 miles round trip. Use 75% of my battery. A nice ride. A river ride would have been smarter.

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So that was a couple of weekends ago. This weekend I was at home and I took a ride just before sunset. I thought, “Gavin, you should get a nice sunset photo up in the foothills at the base of the mountain.” And so….

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Up at Elena Gallegos. A nice picnic area. These photos are facing to the East, away from the setting sun.

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You can see the orange of the sunset reflected on the battery support bar.

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Panorama. Click, if on the internet, to make bigger.

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Panorama. I cast a long shadow. Like Peter Pan, I often have to sew my shadow’s feet to mine or it runs away.

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Also facing East…but a bit later as the sun was further down.

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Now facing West.

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The iPhone is not great at taking photos into the sun. I had to play with this a bit and it is still grainy. Oh well. Still pretty.

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I got the sunset photo bug the day before taking those photos. I was leaving my brother’s house just at sunset and took a nice sunset photo. Now to get a photo of the bike and the sunset is tough. Usually the bike is way too dark, or the sunset is way too washed out and bright. So what I sometimes do is take 2 photos and merge them. One focused on the bike and the second focused on the sunset. So that day I took two photos and downloaded them to my computer. When I went to merge them I mistakenly added a third photo. So my final merged photo added a little something to my sunset image. This is my Photoshop Fail photo…though I do like it. The Clownfish photo fits in very nicely with the color scheme. Happenstance can be a wonderful thing.

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We get a lot of orange and pink sunsets in New Mexico.

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Let’s  keep with the theme of random recent photos. I was with my brother and his wife for a bite to eat at 2 Fools. An Irish pub in town. I parked out front like I always do. There is never an spaces as the pub is in a busy area of Knob Hill near the University of New Mexico. But I can always find space between two cars. That nights spot was a biggish space and not at all a tight fit. I parked dead center giving good space for the cars to easily get out without hitting my bike.

I come out and two Harleys have parked on either side of my bike…very close to me. In fact, I wouldn’t have been able to move my handlebars if the bike to my right didn’t have a raised handlebar. No harm, no foul…just hope that if I ever cram in next to them that they don’t get bent out of shape over it.

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It was a bit tighter than the photos shows it. Nothing horrid. I’ve parked that close to friends before. But that was friends.

I was the Street Fighter meat in their Cruiser sandwich.

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Speaking of sandwich…I took a ride on the Range….

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Or “to the Range” would be more accurate. Yummy wedge salads and wonderful green chili stew.

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Well that about does it for this blog post. Not as exciting as some posts…better than others.

Till next time….Gavin.

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

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Bonus.

I was riding home from a Farmington clinic when I saw this building. I was pretty sure it was a site used in Breaking Bad…but it looked more run down than I expected. So I grabbed a quick photo as I drove past. I know Breaking Bad is over, but I can now add this to my list of known sites. I will have to jump on the Empulse and get a photo one day soon. It will be the furthest site on my pretend tour.

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It is an abandoned gas station near the Zia Pueblo.

Here is an image that shows it in Breaking Bad as a functioning gas station:

Big_Chief

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**My wife’s eye rolling is legendary. I once wrote about it in a story of when I was helping a tarantula…well here it is:

Every September during mating season when the male tarantulas are out looking for love I will stop my car on the road whenever I see one of these 8 legged Casanovas to make sure they don’t get run over. One time an especially lethargic tarantula was taking too long, so I took of my sweater and let him climb on it and then dragged him across the road. My wife was sitting in the car, rolling her eyes and shaking her head. Like making a circle on your stomach with one hand and tapping your head with the other, it’s tough to do. But it is possible with practice…and she gets lots of practice with me around.





BrammoBlog: “Tour Lightly”…Or “I am the one who’s engine never Knocks”

30 09 2013

Brammo Blog: ver2. A beautiful day: a slightly melancholy yet joyful ride.

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So it was Saturday and it was just beautiful out. Fall came on fast, like a welcomed visit by a long-missed friend. Fall is wonderful for riding, especially in New Mexico. Cool, crisp, clean air accompanied by endless blue skies.

And it was the Saturday before the big Breaking Bad finale. I knew I wanted to take a long ride. I knew I wanted to ride alone. And I knew I should take that Breaking Bad self-tour just one more time. Plus I had added a new locale or two. So off I went.

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Like always I started off from my house. I was planning a new route and wanted to see how it went. I usually start with Walt’s house, but that always seemed like starting with dessert. So this time I was going from HIGH to LOW. So I would ride to the base of the Sandia Mountains (Hank’s House) and hit stops along the ride down to Los Pollos Hermanos down in the South Valley.

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La Casa de loco…

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Noon. 70 degrees. Ready to ride. 2nd gear Sport mode is my default riding in the city gear.

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So Hank’s house is just below the foothills and next to a nice hiking trail. A great place to start.

This is about 6 miles from my house and the furthest point East and also the highest point. It’s, literally, all downhill from here.

(A quote my wife made on our wedding day.)

(ps. No photoshop on any images. Just beautiful New Mexico sky. My mother thinks the cinematographer of Breaking Bad is a genius. I tell her the person who decided to film in New Mexico is the genius…the landscape begs to be filmed…but yes, the cinematographer is very talented.)

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Next stop is waiting for “relocation” at the Dam.

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Notice the object on top of the dam.

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It is  a full-sized, real vacuum cleaner. Gosh I do love the sense of humor of my fellow Albuquerquen’s.

(and yes, I did use an effect on this image. But it is the only one.)

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Yes, a lot of “Dam” photos. It was a new location, and it was a nice photo stop. I understand why Vince Gilligan used this location as it is quite striking.

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The next stop is one of least favorite stops. But I get asked to show Saul Goodman’s office all the time. Well a while ago it was an empty store front and it looked like it did in the show. But it has been bought and turned into a bar and now looks nothing like his office.

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Still, Hooligans is not a bad name for Saul’s office to be called.

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Next is the highlight of any Breaking Bad tour. Walt’s house.IMG_7981

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I’ve been told I need to show more than just the bike at the locations. So here is a “selfie”. The helmet is kept on to protect the innocent.

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Off to have an “A1 Day” at the Octopus Car Wash.

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Next is another “new” location. I hadn’t stopped here till my nephew came to visit from South Carolina. He loved the episode where Walt shows up naked with amnesia at a grocery store.

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The fun story here is that this store is in a mildly bad neighborhood and when I took my nephew on the Breaking Bad tour earlier this summer, his mom and my wife wouldn’t let us get out to take photos. We had to stay in the car and take photos out the window. Lame. The area isn’t that bad. It’s called the International District, so how bad could it be? Acutally the area just named itself that recently, putting up signs. Welcome to the International District. Everybody still calls it by it’s older name, “the war zone.”

I stopped to take a couple of photos. Nothing happened. It really isn’t that bad of an area.

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Next is a brand new location I had never visited before. Mostly because this house is only shown at night so I thought it would be hard to recognize. But it is actually a nice house…and look: SOLAR PANELS”. Gus Fring is eco friendly!

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No Breaking Bad tour is complete without a stop at the Crystal Palace, aka the Crossroads Motel. Just looking at it and you know that the room are sticky.

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Panorama

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Next is a stop at Java Joe’s: or Tuco’s place.

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And then on to Jesse Pinkman’s grandmother’s place.

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Not a scheduled stop, but just a couple of blocks away is The Dog House. Used a couple of times in the show. Jesse buys a gun there. Jesse gives away a wad of money to a homeless guy there.

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Then off to one of the saddest locations: Jesse’s apartment.

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And then the furthest location on the tour. Twisters. Also know as….Los Pollos Hermanos.IMG_8007

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I actually had to bend over and tie my shoe on my way in…I felt like I should have a magnetic box to place on a car.

I think this place should buy an old Blue Volvo and park it permanently outside.

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The booth Walt sat in for his first visit. I wanted to park my bike there, but my helmet will have to do for now.

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95 has no symbolism…Just my order number. The food isn’t great, but I like to support them for being part of Breaking Bad’s history.

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I love that they keep this painted on their wall.

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And then I headed back home.

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3 hours. 55 miles. About a dozen stops. And lunch. A nice day. And the temp jumped up to a San Diegoesque 72 degrees.

I will miss Breaking Bad as the show is so good. I’m glad Albuquerque was a large part of the show. But I think I’m done with the tour.

Luckily I have tons of great rides around town. So this might be my last Breaking Bad tour…and definitely my last Breaking Bad/Brammo photo tour.

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Till next time….Gavin.

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For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

No bonus this time…sorry Proto.





Brammo Blog: Madrid (MAD-rid), not just an over-the-counter insanity cure.

25 05 2013

BrammoBlog Ver 2.0–Number 3.

Walter White gets a bit of kindness from a stranger…or how my bike became Blanche Dubois for a day.

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So I played hookie from work last Wednesday. Actually we were a bit overstaffed and I was a bit over-lazy…so I jumped on Walter and decided to take a bit of a ride.

One of my favorite local rides is going out to Madrid, New Mexico along the Turquoise Trail.

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The ride from my house to Madrid is a fun and fast 45 miles through some beautiful open country. And if I understand how that Math thing works…I take 45 and carry the 2 and do something with Pi and 3 hours later I get the answer of 90 miles round trip.(thanks honey for giving me the answer). Since this is not city driving I grab my charging cable and head out the door.

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drive out

My home is on the other side of that mountain in the background. That is the east side of the Sandia mountain.

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It was a partly cloudy morning, with possible afternoon showers. But the ride out was quite nice.

This photos is a panorama facing West.

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Click to make bigger (only works on the internet…clicking the image on the email–if you’re one of the three people who get my emails–will do nothing…and yes I’m typing at you Mom…I know your clicking this image as you read the email and I’m asking you not to…so stop.)

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This is the same panorama as above, but facing East.

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After a bit of riding and a few short stops to take photos, I arrived in Madrid….

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And pulled into my favorite little parking spot in front of the Mine Shaft Tavern.

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park mine shaft

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park entrance

Outdoor eating and bar. I usually go to the inside bar for a burger as it is wicked cool…but I decided to eat outside that day.

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I like to stop here to stretch the legs and grab a bite to eat and talk to the locals….who are really quite nice and mostly mad as hatters.

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But first things first…I look at my speedo…and no, not that type of speedo. I look at my Empulse display.

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madrid mileage

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I left my house a bit after noon and stopped a few times for photos. So 45 miles in just under an hour. About right for this trip: 45 miles per hour average speed. 7.5 miles of city driving and then the rest had posted speed limits of 45 to 55 mph. I did the last 22 miles at a pretty even 60-65 mph. So about 5 to 10 mph over the posted speed. A good pace, but not flying down the road.

So doing the difficult calculations: I was half way through my ride and I used 55% of my battery. Which is why I brought the trusty charger. I figured that I could eat a burger with fries, chat a bit with some locals and look at a few art shops and have the perfect amount to get home. An hour of level 1 charging (any standard 110 outlet) and I would be good for the ride home. And I’ve charged the Enertia at the Mine Shaft Tavern before*, so I knew it wasn’t an issue.

* see previous blog: https://brammoblog.com/2012/09/19/brammo-weekly-blog-some-photos-some-phacts-and-some-phun/

So I ordered a buffalo burger and a Coke.

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lunch

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And then I went to hook up the charger from my bike to the wall outlet. I always like to ask first and order some food so I’m not just mooching some juice. So food ordered, coat and helmet on table, I grab the charger and walk back toward the bike to the only outside wall outlet–the building is very old  plug it in…and the only outside wall outlet was dead.

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bad outlet bad

Shame on you Mister Outlet.

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Now I wasn’t overly worried. I know of a few places I could charge on the way home. But I had already ordered my food and I hated to not use that time to charge. If I had known the outlet wasn’t working I would have ridden to Madrid, walked around a bit and then hopped back on the bike and eaten instead on the way back in Cedar Crest at Ribs. They’ve let me charge there before and they also have Buffalo burger and other refreshments. So I kinda just thought, “Oh well, a quick burger here and then off to Ribs for a tasty beverage.” And that is when my super nice waiter said to me: “The outlet didn’t work? Dang. Well you can park at my house and charge. I live about 11 houses down the road and there’s an outlet on the front porch”. Me: “Really? That’s really cool. Thanks.” Him: “No problem. If my roommate asks, just tell him Brian said it was ok. But I doubt he will notice. He’s probably on the X-Box gaming. It’s the yellow house next to the General Store. Just straight down the road.”  And as there is only one road in Madrid, it was pretty easy to find.

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Walter White grabbing some juice.

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good outlet good

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And the walk from Brian’s house (Bryan?) allowed me to take a few photos of Madrid to share with my readers…reader…voice in my head.

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madrid car

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madrid art

Madrid was a coal mining town. Then a Ghost town. Then repopulated with mostly Artists. Some work in stone. Some Metal. Some “Other.”

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Panorama of this Photo Park. I loved it.

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train store

Madrid residents seem to love turning rail cars into buildings. I saw a few.

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rope art

Random mixed media art on my walk. Part of me thought it peaceful. Part thought of the Blair Witch.

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ghost town

I’ve never been through the Museum. I will have to next visit.

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wild hogs sign

One of Madrid’s claims to fame. Wild Hogs was filmed here.

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wild hogs

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Personally I like that the bar scene in the movie “Paul” was filmed at the Mine Shaft Tavern.

A horribly small photo from the movie. That’s the Mine Shaft Tavern. It was renamed Roy’s Roadhouse Bar for the movie. No idea why. Mine Shaft Tavern is a better name.

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play in road

A very true sign. The road has a 20 mph speed limit…but it is hard to go faster than 10 mph. Everybody and everything usually walks right down the middle of the road. Thankfully the whole town is about 1/2 a mile long.

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restroom

Madrid doesn’t put on too many “Airs”.  The Mine Shaft does have an indoor bathroom for the main bar. This is the bathroom for the outside bar.

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Heading back, this is another rail car turned into business, house. It sits at the southern entrance to Madrid and is very cool.

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red train panorama

A Panorama. Mom, stop clicking on the email image and go to the internet site to see it bigger.

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clouds

As I was talking to a local about the bike and getting ready to head home, thicker clouds started to move in. And there was a bit of thunder and lightning. And as I had charged for an hour and bumped the charge up to 55%, I decided it was time to head back to Albuquerque.

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 I did get a bit wet on the ride home. But nothing major.

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heading home virga

See the wispy clouds in the distance above the front tire? I love that we have a name for rain that doesn’t hit the ground. Only in the desert do you name rain that evaporates mid air. Virga.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virga

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vista

Facing West with the Sandia mountains again in the background.

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vista virga

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end mileage

And I arrive back home. 91 miles of fun. 4% charge left. Thanks Brian for some charge. Thanks Madrid for a nice little day trip.

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Till Next Time…which might be a while. The lovely wife and I are going on a road trip for the next 9 days. There is a good chance she might kill me in my sleep after many many hours riding in her car. But if by some miracle I survive, I will post photos. No motorcycle, but some lovely photos, hopefully, of Death Valley, Mammoth Lakes, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and Crater Lake. Should be great, but hectic. Kinda like life. See ya.

Gavin

For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

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Bonus: well maybe a bonus.

I was asked to pose for the 2014 edition of this calendar…but I politely declined.

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geezers





Brammo Blog: The Empulse Went Over the Mountain (repeat 2 more times), to see what it could see.

15 05 2013

BrammoBlog Ver. 2.0. #3.

As you can tell by the Title: I have been working in Pediatrics too long.

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Ok, this blog post was to be about a quick little ride I did this weekend up to the top of Sandia Crest. And it will be about that. With one addition. Which I will start with. (Obviously I like. Short, Abrupt. Sentences.)

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I had a nice, totally unintended, test of the Empulse R brakes on Monday. It was the usual culprit: an automobile (Usually a car. This time a pickup). Doing what I consider the most dangerous maneuver that a motorcycle driver has to encounter: Automobile turning left in front of motorcycle.

I was heading to work. I was riding at 40 mph in a turn only lane. The thru lane was backed up with cars going straight and one of the cars was “trying” to be nice and let a pickup (with trailer) turn left in front of him since the thru lane traffic was stopped. Sadly he did not think about the second lane where the traffic was moving freely and that I happen to be riding in (and 40 mph is the posted speed limit on this road, so I wasn’t riding recklessly). I noticed the pick up turning in front of me with either 3 or 4 car lengths between me and the space in my lane that the truck would soon occupy. So 50-60 feet? I let off the throttle and applied front brake. I don’t think I even used the rear brake at all. And I stopped. Easily.

I thought for sure I would hit the truck (the driver saw me too late and came to a stop totally blocking my lane). I’m pretty sure I would have hit the truck on any of my other rides. The interesting thing is: There was no squeal of brakes and tires. No locking up. No skid. Walter White (the name I’ve given my White Empulse R) just calmly and smoothly stopped in a hell of a short distance. And I think I know why.

1) Good Brakes. Obviously.

2) Perfect conditions. Dry road. Bright morning sun. Mild temps of 70ish.

3) I am a fairly defensive driver. I always assume every car is actively trying to kill me. And they were that morning.

and

4)…Regen/engine braking. The very powerful engine braking of the Empulse really slows the bike down quickly. And that regen does it without wheel skid or lock up. I think the regen/engine braking really gives the Empulse superior controlled braking in emergency maneuvers.

Like all long time riders I’ve had my share of close calls with cars. After the performance of the Empulse brakes, I feel that I have the best tools to keep those close calls from being a trip to the Emergency Room.

Thankfully there were no cars behind me in the turn only lane. There isn’t a car built that would have been able to stop as fast as I did on the Empulse. I would have avoided hitting the pickup only to be rammed from behind and then crushed between car and the pickup truck. Nasty.

I was also surprised how calmly I took it all. No honking or cursing. No single finger salute. It must have been the shock of stopping so easily in a distance I didn’t think was possible. All I did was shake my head at the pickup driver and then turn and shake my head at the driver of the car who waved the pickup through and into my lane. And then I drove on to work.

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But what I originally wanted to share here was my ride up the mountain. I’ve done this ride on my 150 2 stroke scooter (fun). On my 3 wheeled 500cc MP3 (fun). On the Enertia Plus (fun). And now I’ve done it on the Empulse R (funnest yet).

I will talk a bit about the ride and I will talk a bit about the distances and speeds. Yes one day I will talk about a road trip and not go into range and all that, but it is still an issue and a concern with all electric bikes at this time…so I will discuss it.

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But first things first: The Ride. From my house to the top of Sandia Crest. 36 miles. 5000 feet elevation gain. 14 miles of fun, twisty road up the mountain. Beautiful views when you get to the end.

When I did this ride on the Enertia Plus I made it there and back fine. I also, to conserve a bit of battery, went mostly the speed limit of slightly below. 70 plus miles round trip is a bit much for the Enertia Plus unless it is all city roads. And the ride to the crest is not all city roads.

It breaks down this way: 7.5 miles of city roads, 14.5 miles of roads that are either 45 or 55 mph, and then those 14 miles up twisty fun roads to the top. After you look around and enjoy the scenery, you turn around and go back. I was surprised and happy that the smaller Enertia Plus could do that round trip pretty easily and I got home with 9% of my battery. Being cautious, I did go either the speed limit or slightly below with the Plus. But she handled well and was fun up the mountain twisties.

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sandia crest house

Here she is up on the Crest…just before the Ranger yelled at me for parking there

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So how did the Empulse R do on this same trip? Beautifully. My funnest trip up Sandia yet.

I left my house with a full charge and, unlike with the Plus, I didn’t baby anything. I averaged a good 10 mph faster on the Empulse R and felt right at home on all the roads: city, country, semi highway, mountain twisties.

And boy does Walt tear up those twisties. I took those 14 miles much faster than I ever have…and I did it all on Standard mode as I forgot to put the Empulse into Sport mode. Doh! Sports mode is made for mountain twisties. Grrrrrrrr. Next time.

I did use Sport mode on the way down and it was a blast.

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At the top. One downside of the larger, faster Empulse: I didn’t feel I could just ride it up the walkway to the Crest sign like I did with the Enertia Plus.

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So the whole 71.4 mile round trip was super fast and fun. Can’t wait to do it a few more times and really get a nice feel for each on-coming turn.

And now some photos and some numbers. For the people who like photos (everybody) and the people who like numbers (nerds…typing at you Proto)

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Top of the mountain. It was a mostly cloudy day and I did get sprinkled on a bit. Strangely I did a ride a couple of days later (next blog post) and again it was mostly cloudy and I got sprinkled on a bit more and a bit harder. We almost never get rain in New Mexico in the Spring.)

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Left the house a little after 3 pm. 36 miles later and 5000 feet higher my battery was at 46%.

Sad: note the lack of SPORT on that screen.

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Heading down the mountain.

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More heading down the mountain.

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Bottom of the mountain. 5% of battery used to go 14 miles. Man oh man, if only that was the normal drain rate 🙂

I used close to 28% of the battery to go fairly fast up those 14 miles. Only 5% to go fairly fast down.

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photo(24)And Home.

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So….

A) Fun

B) Fast

C) Less than 2 hours for this 70 plus mile ride…with Photo stops and a couple of stops for questions. I always get questions when I ride this bike.

D) Didn’t go slow or baby the bike at all (though I am not a holligan or hoon like Wes Siler) and still got home with 18% of the battery left. Twice as much as when I took the Enertia Plus. And I did the ride much faster.

E) Next time I go without taking the battery charger. I was sure I would be fine…but why take chances?

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I’m thinking of getting the tail bag just for this beast of a plug. It’s not insanely heavy, but I would prefer not to have it on my back.

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Till next time…

Take Care

Gavin

For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

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Boring bonus…Gavin plays with photoshop…what a surprise.

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photo(22) saturatedSuper Contrasty Empulse R

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Cut out Empulse R





Brammo Blog: “I got Mods, they’re multiplying…and I’m losing all control…”

15 04 2013

Brammoblog Ver. 2.0: #2.

I’m in the mood for love mods, simply because you’re near me I’m crazy.

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Ok… So got the lovely Brammo Empulse R a week and a half ago. I have never ridden a sports bike, so I am slowly learning that style of riding. The bike is easy to learn, but will take a lifetime to master 🙂 I plan to spend a lot of time “learning”.

But Walter (the bike is named Walter White after Breaking Bad) is fun and powerful and the bike does make you an instant Rock Star/ Movie Star. People stopping and staring, asking questions, pulling out their cell phones to take a picture. Or in some cases to google “Brammo”.

Case in point: A car was next to me at a light. It had been parked next to me at a store just a few minutes earlier and I noticed the passenger had gotten out of the car to look at the bike. We left the store at the same time and at the light the driver, a young woman, rolled down the window and the passenger, a young man, leaned over and asked out the window, ” So that takes 3 1/2 hours to charge?” “From empty, yes it does, on 220 or level 2 charging. You must know a bit about the bike?” “No, I just now looked it up on the internet and I’m reading about it now.” He lifted his phone in my direction as if to confirm this to me. I believed him even without the phone screen thrust across the drivers face toward the window.

And most places I stop; to shop or chat or what not, people wait for me to leave so they can hear the bike taking off. Funny. I always love the first part of, Me: “Well the bike is on.” Them: “Really?!?! Cool.”

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One such stop.

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So of course the first thing I do to a brand new bike is change a bunch of stuff. Why? Who knows. All the parts work and are nice. It is just a sickness. Once you start modding your ride, it’s all down hill.

I thought I would share my mods, my sickness (Officer Krumpki, I’m down on my knees, cuz no one likes a fella with a modding disease), as it’s been either tooooooooo windy, or work as been tooooooo busy for nice rides up in the mountains. Hopefully in a week or so I will have photos from Sandia Peak and Madrid. Maybe a nice ride down to Los Lunas?

Till then: MODS: More than just a British fashion statement of long coats and scooters with a crazy amount of mirrors.

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First off I should note that this Modding sickness is shared with a number of people over at Brammoforum.com. And they have many threads to help novice modders like me get really addicted. Sure it all starts with a tail tidy or a mirror change…and then it’s on to the harder stuff: Shock replacement. Suspension tuning. Adjustable clip-ons.

It isn’t long til your wife catches you at 2 am in the bathroom reading electrical schematics in Italian by flashlight. Suddenly it is a bad after school special and she’s yelling, “Where did you learn to MOD?! Where did you learn this?” “I learned it by reading Brammoforum…I learned it from THEM, OK!”

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Day one with the bike. And the first thing I did was shorten the tail section. Day freaking ONE.

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Empulse mine

Pre—Picking up the bike. Bag on back seat is the free Brammo bag that holds the charger, the Chargepoint card, manual and odds and ends.

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Post…Bike at his namesakes home. Tail shortened so that brake light is right up against the rear seat.

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Second mod. Mirrors.

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Removed upright mirrors and added bar end, lane splitting mirrors.

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Third mod. A small one.

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Swingarm sliders. Mostly to help out the shop boys. A nice and simple way to lift the rear tire for service work.

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And the fourth mod is a bit of a combo mod…New LED turn-signals all around, with a vanity plate, carbon fiber license plate cover and fancy license plate bolts.

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First: The rear turn signal. One side is  a new Rizoma LED turn signal in anodized gold metal…the other is the standard turn-signal.

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Then I replaced the front turn signals.

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Much smaller, brighter and you can see the turn signal light more easily from the drivers position. And, most important, they look cool.

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And the back turn signal lights and new license plate…with Masonic license plate bolts! I’m not a Mason, but I do like the “G” for Gavin. I just like to do weird stuff from time to time. 🙂

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And finally, the bike with it’s first round of mods done.

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Tail tidy, new mirrors and turn signal lights so small in size you can barely see them. Plus the neighbor’s  Oklahoma Redbud tree is blooming nicely and the wind has the American Flag all held out and patriotic. And of course the Sandia Mountains in the background. I thought it would make a nice photo.

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Till next time…

Take Care

Gavin

For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

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Brammo Blog: The Return of the Blog. The Bloggening. Dos Bloggen…etc etc

8 04 2013

BrammoBlog Version 2.0–#1.

Oh the Blog, Oh the Blog
Oh the Blog is back
Stone cold sober* as a matter of fact…

*Sadly. But smart since it’s like 8 am on a Monday morning as I’m writing this. Anything other than Stone Cold Sober would be questionable. One can only get away with a certain amount by saying, “Dude, I’m Irish. A beer or two at breakfast isn’t drinking, just priming.”

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So it’s been a while, and I will be rusty at this. Of course that entertains the notion that I was ever any good at this blogging stuff and I just need to scrape some rust off my bony fingers. The reality is far from that. Still I soldier on. And by “soldier on” I mean ramble wildly. And “Lord I was born a rambling man.”

Those words mean something different when you see me on the street corner having a heated conversation with the faux ornate lamp posts along downtown Route 66. Those lampposts think their soooo special. But I digress.

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There is big news afoot that is much more important and interesting than those stupid lampposts with their special curves and pretend cast iron paint. It makes me mad just thinking about them now and my coworkers are looking at me strangely as I curse while typing. Maybe I should move on. Or get a more private cubicle.

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In short: I have a new bike: A Brammo Empulse R. And one bike, the Enertia Plus (T’Challa), has returned to Ashland. Today I will talk a bit about the new bike and save the maudlin goodbye post for later this week.

So…Hello Brammo Empulse R.

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Empulse mine

This is the first time I saw my Empulse R. My daughters comment when she first saw it was, “Dang, I would be mad at my friends for putting graffiti on it already.” She thought my scooter friends had written on the bike. It was not my scooter friends, but it was 2 of Brammo’s professional racers who signed the “tank”.

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Eric Bostrom (EBoz) signing the panel’s left side while on a break from speed testing at Thunderhill Raceway.

Empulse EBoz

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Shelina Moreda (Shezracing) signing the right side.

Shelina 93

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Both really nice people with lots of energy.

Sadly SteveO (2 time champion for Brammo) was not at Thunderhill the weekend of testing. Since the part is now clear coated and probably wouldn’t take a signature, maybe I can convince him to send me one of his cool SteveO decals. 🙂

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But back to the bike….

Some facts: She’s FAST. End of facts.

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Well I guess I should give some more information…but really you can get all that from:

http://www.brammo.com/empulse/

The home page of the bike straight from the manufacturer—located in beautiful Ashland, Oregon.

And yes, as I’m often asked, the Empulse R is designed and built right in the old U S of A.

or

http://brammoforum.com/

A really great forum with lots of information and photos…and even some odd ramblings from me from time to time.

or

http://translogic.aolautos.com/2013/03/18/translogic-125-brammo-empulse-r/

Has a pretty cool video that discusses the Empulse and shows it in motion.

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But all you really need to know is this:

2013 Motorcycle of the Year by Playboy magazine.

BDjqS_HCIAAHcV3

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And while I’m linking faster than Jimmy Dean, one last one…

http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/video/2012-brammo-empulse-r/1431474/

The Empulse R hanging out at Jay Leno’s Garage.

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But what this blog post is suddenly lacking is more ME!!

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I’ve only had her for less than a week. So I haven’t had time to do a lot of Riding and Testing and Trips. Oh my. But I have ridden her as much as my insane schedule has allowed. So here goes.

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First day at home. New mirrors added for sporty look…and they actually show more of the stuff behind me as it quickly fades further and further away.

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First day driving to work. One of these things is not like the other…..

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Friday night the whole family went to the late showing of Jurassic Park in 3D.

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I don’t often go downtown during the week…but I had to stop and try out the Electric Charging Station there. Free Juice!!

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Not sure how long the free parking AND free charging will last, but nice to see. And thank you Brammo for including a ChargePoint card with the bike.

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And though I haven’t taken any real trips on her** yet, I did have to stop at Walter White’s house. After all it is only 1 1/2 miles from my house.

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and I did meet Walter’s son the other day…

Super nice kid.

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And….Everybody….

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I PARK WHERE I WANT!!!

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Till Next Time…

Take Care

Gavin

For more info on Brammo, please visit: www.brammo.com
For more images, photos, discussions and all around Brammo goodness: visit, lurk and maybe join: www.brammoforum.com

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**-I had thought of the new bike as a she…till some annoying person said I should call her Walter White…and damn it that is just too good to pass up…So “she” becomes a he and is now Walter White, or Walt…or Mr White.