Spreading the Gospel of Brammo at 8000 feet.

6 09 2013

Brammo Blog: Mesa Verde felt like a Church and I was a Disciple.

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I have to admit that I had a hippie upbringing as a child. Southern California in the 60’s, a cat named Love, VW camper out front that Mom had to park on a hill to get a rolling start. Nature, open spaces, and quiet beauty have always been a draw to me. And it doesn’t get much more beautiful, open and quiet than Mesa Verde National Park in southwest Colorado.

I took a nice little 3 1/2 day weekend and headed north. Mesa Verde is only 250 miles from Albuquerque (I should freaking go every weekend), so not “far”, but too far to ride the Empulse R unless I wanted to take a few more days off work—which is what I will do next time.**

I didn’t take enough days off to drive to and from Mesa Verde by electric motorcycle, but I really wanted to ride the Empulse once I got there. Electric motorcycles excel at riding through nature. So quiet and smooth, you feel so attuned to the surroundings. Plus Mesa Verde has some cool twisties.

So off to U-haul to rent a trailer.

(hint to Brammo…Make an Empulse Trailer. I will buy one)

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Loaded up and ready to go.

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IMG_7673Like Sammy Hagar would sing/scream: “I can’t drive “backwards” 55″

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So I get a bit of a late start (this will figure into the blog later). I worked half a day Thursday and then went to get the trailer at about 1pm. When I got to the U-haul location where I reserved the trailer I noticed they only had a tiny trailer with 8 inch wheels. Their first question,

“So you don’t plan to go over 35 mph do you?”

Me: “Well yes, I am driving to Colorado and back.”

Them: “Oh, this trailer can’t do that. It is for in-town towing only.”

Ignoring the bigger question of why U-haul is renting trailers not much bigger than the Radio Flyer pull-cart my granddaughter gets pulled in around the Albuquerque Zoo, and trying to keep the incredulous look off my face, I ask, “What person would rent a motorcycle trailer for 4 days if they are only using it in-town?”

So off to a second U-haul stop where I get the trailer shown above. It doesn’t have a ramp and they want to send me to a third U-Haul location, but luckily I have a ramp at home. So with that bit of trouble over I am finally good to go. I get home, load up and it is suddenly 3pm (I had planned to leave before 2–I guess a hour late isn’t too bad). Deanna usually gets home from work at 3:30, so I decide to wait to say goodbye before leaving.

I hit the road just after 3:30pm. Since it is a 4 1/2 hour trip I figure I should get to the park at 8 pm (right at sunset). Off I go.

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And, as predicted, I am just outside of Mesa Verde as the Sun is setting (the edge of one of the Mesas is seen at the left of the photo).

Panorama Photo. If on the intrawebs, please click the photo for the bigger.

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So I get to the entrance at about 10 after 8 and the Entrance Booth is un-manned (un-womanned too). With nobody home and I drive on through. I notice a sign that says: “No Trailers beyond Morefield Campground.” I wonder if Morefield Campgrounds is before or after the Far View Lodge where I’m staying. Even so I figure they can’t mean a small little motorcycle trailer, right.

It’s 15 miles from the Entrance to the Far View Lodge where I had reservations for a couple of nights. It is rapidly getting DARK. I’m about 5 miles in when I pass a second sign that says, “Morefield Campground. No Trailers beyond this point.” OK. Hmmm, well I have reservations and there was nobody to ask at the Entrance Booth nor here in the middle of nowhere. So I drive on.

Suddenly I am no longer just the “I park where I want” guy; I am now the “I trailer where I want” guy. Both guys can get into trouble when on Federal Land (see Trinity Site blog).

So about a mile past that last sign I drive by a Ranger going the other way. And I see the near instant U-Turn of impending doom. When the authorities pass you and immediately make a U-Turn it is never a good thing. Ask my wife (that is another story though—short version—a child had been taken in a red car. My wife has a red car. Cop jumps a medium doing a U turn behind her and pulls her over. She starts to roll down her window when she notices the cop is now in the middle of the road with his gun drawn and pointed straight at her. He yells at her to put both hands out the window .Our daughters are in the back seat. My wife freaks out. She does everything she is asked, but is in tears from fright. The cop says, “Sorry, wrong make of car” and takes off. A man points a gun at my wife while our kids are in the back seat and he says, “sorry”. I know he has a job to do…a hard job…still, though this happened 15 years ago, I would like to politely punch him in the face. Especially as I have a police officer friend who tells me that anytime a cop pulls a gun he is prepared to use it. And if they fire they are not shooting to wound, but to kill.)

Blue Lights start flashing and I “pull” over. Pull over is a bit of a misnomer as there is no place to pull off the road. So I guess I more accurately “stop” in my lane.

Now the Ranger walks briskly up and I ask, “Do you want me to move further up the road and find a place to pull over?” He ignores this and I notice that he is actually quite angry…more so than I expected.

Him: “Did you see the signs back there?” He was red in the face and instantly pissed off.

Me: “Well it is pretty dark.” Perhaps not the best reply.

Him: “There are two signs that say, No Trailers. Did you stop at the Booth and get clearance?” He looked at his watch. “Oh, maybe they had already closed?”

Ok, I see that I am not going to get shot. He is pissed, but he hasn’t moved his hand toward his hip. Do Rangers even carry guns? I didn’t want to find out.

Me: “I’m sorry. Nobody was at the booth. I have a two night stay up at Far View Lodge and, yes I saw those signs, but I couldn’t ask anybody at the empty booth and thought I would ask up at the lodge. I just drove up from Albuquerque and I really wasn’t’ sure what to do. When I made my reservations nobody told me I couldn’t bring a motorcycle trailer. I ride an Electric Motorcycle and they don’t have the range, yet, to get here from Albuquerque. But I really wanted to ride it up here at Mesa Verde as it seems the perfect way to see the park without being loud and invasive.” A bit wordy…I might have been more nervous than I thought at the time. I really didn’t want to turn around and look for a room for the night some place outside the park.

He walked away and radioed somebody my license plate and name and came back a totally different man.

“Ok, just let the lodge know you have the trailer and have a great visit.” Holy Invasion of the Body Snatchers, he was smiling and pleasant. And then he left without another word.

On a side note: A) the road is twisty, but I’ve been on worse. I had no issues with the trailer, even in the near pitch black. B) I saw that same Ranger 3 more times over those two days. We had a pleasant conversation each time. He asked about the bike and my trip and was a very nice guy. I wonder if they have had some major issues with trailers in the past. When I told the Lodge about having a trailer and that I was to let them know, they didn’t seem to care at all. And at the Lodge there was another trailer parked right next to mine. So not sure what the fuss was about, but now I know to not bring a trailer…or get there earlier so I can get permission at the gate.

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But enough of all that. It was a 5 minute delay and not really a big deal…more important is this:

Mesa Verde.

IMG_7694click to embiggen

and

IMG_7738click…Cliff Palace. An amazing place.

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It is just so beautiful. And perfect for riding an Electric Motorcycle. More on that in a bit. For now…more photos.

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The weather was just insanely nice. Cool in the morning. A bit warm and intermittent cloud bursts in the late afternoon. Clear and crisp in the evenings.

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There are multiple cliff dwellings throughout the park.

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IMG_7776Panaroma. I call this “Life finds a Way”. The Mesas stand about 2 thousand feet above the surrounding area and get tons of lightning strikes, especially at this time of year with the summer monsoons. Huge areas are burned. But life, and flowers, keep coming back.

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IMG_7785Panaroma. Many dwellings are in the cliff. But there are ancient dwellings up on the Mesa tops too. The Native Americans do not want us to use the word “Ruins.” The spirits of the people are still here.

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This shows Eric Bostrom’s signature and his “signature” helmet.

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close up

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The mountains in the background are where Durango is. I love Durango. I love Mesa Verde. What a great area.

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I avoided most of the rain while riding, but I was often the highest thing on the Mesa and wondered if my electric motor and battery pack would attract or repel any lightning. I must of seen close to 100 lightning bolts in the time I was there. Not flashes, but bolts.

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A little back story. This is the “Sleeping Ute” mountain. Link here: http://deewebs.homestead.com/ute.html. The natives believed this was an ancient warrior god who was wounded in battle and had laid down to sleep and heal his wounds. I had to take some photos with this in the background.

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Cloud burst hitting Cortez, Colorado

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After a bit of rain, I went back to the Mesa Top Loop at sunset. Fun and beautiful…and I was the only one out at that time of day (the road closes at sunset…so I was pushing it a bit and thought I might end up getting my second unfriendly Ranger visit…but I finished before the road was locked shut. Lots of wildlife out and about at sunset. I didn’t have any issues as my motorcycle was driving past them before they knew I was there. Quiet is nice. One thing of interest. I’m use to white tailed deer. At Mesa Verde they have black tailed deer. They are bigger, and for some strange reason look dumber than white tailed deer. Hard to explain. They just have a slightly dim, goofy face.)

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Cliff Palace at sunset.

I mentioned about how nice it is to ride the electric motorcycle in nature. Example: early in the day when I was touring the Cliff Palace there was a group of Harleys parked up where the Empulse is in this photo. Well when they took off everybody in the tour turned and looked over as the Harleys were loud and suddenly they were part of our tour…or so it seemed. It’s not a horrid thing I guess, but it feels so much better to be moving so quietly through that place that the deer don’t even run from you.

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And the next day it was time to head back. Goodbye mesa tops. Hopefully in a few years as the tech improves, and there is more quick charging infrastructure, I won’t be trailering my next Brammo motorcycle.

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And coming down off the mesas I can see my next stop…Durango.

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Why stop in Durango? Ska Brewing. Had to pick up a few shirts and hats and such. And the Ska Brewing truck matches my black and white themed bike.

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And I had to get some Breakfast while I was there.

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Till next time:

Gavin

**Next time I go to Mesa Verde: I can ride from home to Cuba, NM. 80 miles of highway is pushing it, but I will likely stop for breakfast (a real breakfast, not a Ska Brewing breakfast) and get a few more miles of range by charging at that stop. I will charge to full in Cuba and then drive from Cuba to Bloomfield. I can stay the night in Bloomfield (never thought I would say that) and charge overnight. Next day, drive from Bloomfield to Durango. Charge while getting breakfast. Then Durango to Mesa Verde. Charge overnight. Couple of days in Mesa Verde and head home. Adds a night in Bloomfield each way (boring), but then I’m only taking the bike which is nice. And getting lots of riding in, which is nicer. There is some beautiful country between Albuquerque and Mesa Verde. Charging at Cuba could be a pain, but I think there should be 220 at the local RV park.

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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

Bonus:

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some photos, without the bike, from my trip:

IMG_7683morning from my room…at 8135 feet. Panorama.

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IMG_7687Excavation of a Pit House (approx 600 AD)

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IMG_7690Work being done on this cliff dwelling

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IMG_7720Cliff Palace from above.

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IMG_7748Cliff Palace from the far side heading out.

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IMG_7745A Kiva at Cliff Place.

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Inside a Kiva that was rebuilt at Spruce House.

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Bonus Blog. A Brammo Blog Breaking…story. Sorry couldn’t think of another B word that fit.

18 07 2013

This is the part where I went snooping and asking questions and Brammo gave me some information to get me to leave them alone.

A Brammo Blog Exclusive

BrammoBlog Ver. 2.0. Number 8.

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Ok, so if you follow Brammo on the Facebook you will get some tid-bits of information and some pretty photos. Like this one:

Eric Bostrom doing a sick wheelie on the Empulse RR at Thunderhill Speedway.

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Or this one:

A bunch of Brammo bikes getting ready to head to Laguna Seca for the Red Bull United States Grand Prix, featuring the MotoGP World Championship

http://www.mazdaraceway.com/red-bull-us-grand-prix

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Or you might find photos where Brammo is trying to be “Artsy” and come across this:

A pretty photo of the Team heading by Mt. Shasta on the way to Laguna Seca.

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And if you’re really sneaky you will follow Brammo on Twitter and find even more photos and information.

Like this:

What we see is a new rider cleaning Eric Bostrom’s bike…or at least pretending to for the camera. Is this a new rider?

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Still, one photo of a new rider all in Leathers at the Brammo paddock does not instantly make me think that rider is part of Brammo’s team of riders.  Brammo gets quite a few guest riders showing up to check out the bikes. Just last week Chip Yates leather-ed up and took a ride on the TTX as part of a story for Motor Trend Magazine:

 http://www.motortrend.com/.

But seeing Mr. Yates ride that Zebra and Neon Yellow Empulse TTX,  while doing a story on Brammo, didn’t make me think he was joining Brammo’s Team.

It did make me think Ms. 93 would be ticked off if he hurt her bike.

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I just thought this rider, all in leathers, was a friend of the Team. Pro Motorcycle racing is a fairly small group and they do tend to hang out and have fun together when not trying to beat each other on the track.

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Then I find this image:

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Test rides are one thing, but few companies let test riders do wheelies on their hella expensive race bikes….

Instantly my “what’s going on here” senses went off. Either that or my vertigo has returned. Damn you wretched gravity and rapidly spinning World.

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After taking a moment to regain my balance, I continue my snooping around looking for clues. (Dan Brown has my permission to cast me in his next novel. Is the title: The book that didn’t sell and ended Dan Brown’s career because the main character was boring as hell, too long?)

Snooping didn’t take long as I quickly found that Adrian Stewart, Brammo’s Head of Marketing, has just that day “liked” Shane Turpin on the Facebook. Hmmmm…the plot, as they say, thickens. Not unlike my blood due to my skyrocketing cholesterol from too many breakfast burritos. Which might also explain my vertigo.

And finally I find this photographic evidence:

With this final clue I assume Brammo is adding a new racer to their stable. After all, you get your name on a windshield and you’re part of the team.

So we have a new Brammo rider for Laguan Seca:

Shane Turpin

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A well known and well liked rider. He is a Pro, especially at his home track at Miller Sport Park in Utah.

http://www.millermotorsportspark.com/

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Which raises the question: Will he be riding for Brammo this year at Laguna Seca AND at Miller? And maybe even more races? I don’t know any of that…yet 🙂

And when I bug Brammo enough about how my “master sleuthing” (Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch has nothing on me…except fame, fans and a really crazy long name) leads me to believe that there is a new Brammo rider being added, I get this short reply:

Shane Turpin
“Tornado Turpin # 14”
Brammo building the dream team…

Which is a bit much in marketing terms. I would have gone with a somewhat more nuanced approach, but I put it here for the readers.

Congrats to Brammo and to Shane. And I really hope I get to see him race at Miller this year. That would be cool.

http://shaneturpin.com/

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More to come…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

Bonus:

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Wait…if having your name on the windshield makes you part of the team….

rr tank turpin

I must be on the TEAM!!! Looks pretty authentic to me…





Leaving OZ: I don’t think we’re in Ashland any more Dorothy…I mean Deanna. Oops.

3 07 2013

Brammo Blog Version 2.0, #6.

So this is the blog were Deanna and I leave the Mothership and head to Thunderhill for some racing.

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Deanna and I had a nice time in Ashland. (see yesterdays blog) Thanks Adrian for the tour of the town and heading out with us to Peerless for dinner and helping me kill at bottle of Pinot Noir. Nothing like heartburn at 3 am to make any trip extra nice.

Then came the tour of the Headquarters which was covered in the last blog.

And today we cover heading down to Willows, CA to watch Brammo race a bit at Thunderhill Raceway.

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The Track. 3 miles of Fun.

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IMG_7040Nice rolling, brown grass hills…And Wind Power.

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So first we have to find the Brammo folks. Luckily that is fairly easy as they travel with a big truck.It is a variation on the phrase, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” They drive quietly and travel with a big truck. On second thought, I guess those two phrases are nothing alike.

At the Entrance the nice people at Thunderhill tried to charge Deanna and myself an entry fee. I told them I was with Brammo and they quickly waved me through. Fibs make Baby Buddha cry. But this was a small semi fib. A Fib-ett. A Fib-let. A demi-fib. A…ok, enough of that.

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IMG_7014Brammo claiming their space.

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IMG_7016Deanna and I parked and walked over just as both racers (Eric Bostrom and Shelina Moreda) were getting ready to take some laps.

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It was, as it always seems to be, frantic kinetic energy and then Eric was quickly on his bike and gone.

IMG_7020Or maybe he wasn’t gone….maybe he just blended in with the herd of Zebras near the track*

*(full disclosure–there are no herds of Zebras near the track)

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IMG_7021Nope, Shelina was taking her first ride on an RR!

ps… I’ve been taking “The JJ Abrahms school of Photography” where their slogan is: “No amount of Lens Flare is Too Much Lens Flare.”

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IMG_7025Eric was out first and back first. Notice the mountain bike in the background. That is an Eric Bostrom edition. Notice the helmet he is wearing. That is an Eric Bostrom edition.

A few more endorsements and he will be moving into NASCAR territory. 🙂

As for that helmet…I just might have to get one. It would look wicked with Walter White.

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IMG_7026Shelina came back and was grinning from ear to ear.

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When Shelina came back after her first ride she was bouncing around like a 4 year old who had just had 6 Otter Pops and a fist full of Pixie Sticks. She loved the ride and was chatting up a storm about the bike. I think, but I’m not sure, that she liked it. 🙂

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Then it was discussion time with the crew and the riders. I do like how the riders give instant feedback to the crew and there is a very good and interesting back and forth. A few adjustments are usually made based on the rider’s suggestions and back out they go for a few more laps.

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IMG_7028+++  IMG_7030Close up of the companies helping to make Electric Racing a mainstream event. It takes a village to change the World.

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IMG_7048Some adjustment to the second RR.

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IMG_7045Lordy Lordy, those Icon people are not fond of subtle Livery.

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+++IMG_7042Icon’s latest helmets. As I said, Icon doesn’t do subtle. I actually kinda like the blue 32 helmet, but I don’t think it would go with my jackets nor my bike. Now the black and white goes with everything…and the fluorescent yellow adds safety!! Well at least that is what I will say to justify buying yet another helmet.

And that’s Brian heading out of the truck. I want to thank him and everybody on his team. They were all so open and friendly and willing to spend time with me. Brian was also very gracious with his time and talked with me for much longer than I thought he would/could…and he is a busy man.

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IMG_7049An Empulse getting some charge at the track.

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IMG_7037 Shelina on the RR.

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Shelina back from a ride on the RR and giving her impression. Here she is talking to 2 young professional men…and one old, bent-over geezer in a Mammoth Brewery shirt.*

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*Must remember to work on my posture…in my next life. Baby Buddha told me I might come back as a Silver-back Gorilla if I’m good. But I think he was just making fun of my white beard…and back.* I’m still hoping for an Orca or Eagle or Gibbon. Mostly I want to be the top of the food chain in the Sea, or the top of the food chain in the Air, or a Gibbon. I like Gibbons and I would love to have crazy long arms.

*(I’m kidding about the white back hair. I have the back of a twelve year old…just don’t tell him I have it, he might want it….back. Gawd, a disturbing joke ending in a disturbing pun. I am a horrid human being and now Baby Buddha suggests I might come back as a tapeworm.)

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Well, I can not possibly end on that note. So I have a couple of more photos to show. This next photo shows the Brammo van parked at night outside a restaurant in Willows. You may wonder why I took this photo. It’s boring and doesn’t really mean anything. Well it doesn’t mean anything until you have a bit more context.

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So let me explain a little more. This is Friday night and the team had a long day at Thunderhill. They returned to their hotel to clean up and then all jumped in the van to go out for dinner. Deanna and I stayed at the same motel and we also ended up at the same restaurant for dinner. The thing is this: Deanna and I didn’t drive to the restaurant. Nope, we walked. Why did we walk all the way from the motel to the restaurant at night in a town we did not know? Because it was literally 100 feet or so from the motel.

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hotel-foodAnd here is a small panorama Deanna and I took on our way out the next morning. The black arrow is the Motel. The red arrow points to the restaurant that we walked, and Brammo drove, to.

When Deanna and I got to the restaurant I had to go over and give the Crew a hard time about driving (and driving a GAS van) from the motel to the restaurant.

They all laughed and told me they thought it was much further away and felt a bit sheepish.

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Next blog. I ride the Empulse from Albuquerque to Santa Fe for a Classic Motorcycle show.

Fun times.

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

Bonus:

Information: I drive (a gas cage, 😦 ) to Gallup, New Mexico every month to do an outreach clinic and see some of our pediatric patients who live far away. Last month I passed a trailer carrying 8 Tesla S electric cars and thought, “Dang that’s cool. I bet I never see anything cooler than that again on this ride.” I was wrong. The very next month on my Gallup trip I passed the freakin’ BAT-MOBILE. Well the Bat-mobile from the 60’s TV show. I think that one is cooler than the Dark Knight one anyways. Kitsch Kounts. (I should trademark that…but I have to be Kareful not to add another K word in there.)

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IMG_7270And yes, I was driving and taking photos of the Batmobile with my iPhone. I am a bad man.

A tapeworm for sure.

Sigh.





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.





Brammo Blog: Closed for Renovation

5 03 2013

Blog 65: This blog can now, at the ripe old post age of 65, officially retire and collect…well nothing.

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Shutting down for a renewal. Kinda like a Phoenix, if a Phoenix was a pudgy and balding middle aged man.

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And by Renovation and renewal, I mean very little (if any) actual change.

I am horrid at web design so I follow the path of KISS. Which means I either try and Keep It Simple, Simpleton…or I listen to Detroit Rock City every night.

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But it looks like I will be giving the Enertia Plus back to Brammo and getting an Empulse R…Shipping Friday…Probably.

When do I get it exactly? However long it takes the trucking service to get from Ashland to Dealer to Albuquerque (there is a country song in there somewhere).

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So I’m boarding up the Enertia Blog shop and opening up the Empulse Blog shop. The new shop will open shortly after the bike arrives and I get some rides and some photos.

In the meantime, please keep the graffiti on the store front classy:

e=empulse

E=Empulse

E= Energy

E=please don’t sue me Banksy

not sure how E equals the last one, but I really don’t want to be sued

Take Care

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

Ps:

shelina copy

Here is Shelina doing a crazy wheelie on the Brammo Engage prototype.

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Last time I showed an image of Eric Bostrom signing the tank panel of my Empulse R.–

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Today I have the image of Shelina signing the tank panel.

(at least I think that is Shelina…It could also be the lead singing of most hair bands of the 80’s, he types jealously while rubbing balding head)

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Sadly, what I’ve learned is that clearing coating over Sharpie marker is VERY hard to do…

Haven’t seen what the panel looks like, but hopefully the pros at Brammo found a way to do it well…

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Brammo Blog: The Fork in the Road.

13 02 2013

Blog 64: Will you still need me, will you still read me, when I’m Blog Post 64?

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Ok…(heavy sigh)…I have approached the proverbial “Fork in the Road.”  Two paths. Which should be fine since I have two feet. Sadly my two feet must always walk together in one direction. Stupid feet. Why have two feet if they have to stay together? But I digress. It is a common problem of mine. Or a problem of mind.

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The Fork in the Road. I guess the most famous quote is from our Greatest American Spokesman: Yogi Berra.

“If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Wise, sage words.

But I’m more of a Cheshire Cat kinda guy, so I would go with:

“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”

Lewis Carroll was a witty man. Damaged for sure, but witty.

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cheshire-cat copy

and speaking of damaged….

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And still I find ways to delay. It is likely because I am torn by the decision. Or that I’m too lazy to focus on the task at hand. My wife would know which to pick.

The Fork in the Road.

fork

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As some of you know, I have a very low pre-order number for a Brammo Enertia Plus. A bike that would be identical to the Beta Test bike I currently have at home. And I love using the word currently when talking about my electric motorcycles.

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snowing

T’Challa at “home” getting a light dusting of snow

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I also have a very low pre-order number for a Brammo Empulse R. I knew I could only get one, but I was hedging my bets and placed an order for each.

Would I like both? Heck yes. Would my lovely wife instantly leave me? Most likely. She has had 30 plus years with what she calls my “frivolous” spending. She is dangerously close to the breaking point.

But back on point: Just about a week or two ago I got a message from Brammo:

“Hey Gavin. Got a bike or two with your name on it. Which do you want, the Plus, the Empulse or both?”

“Of course I want BOTH!”, I almost screamed out into the phone.

Luckily I remembered that I do love my wife and don’t really want to be homeless, nor, shudder, garage-less. So I had a decision to make.

“Can I think a bit and get back with you?”

“Sure. Take all the time you need, as long as it’s in a day or two.” I think that was a joke……

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And that brings us to the topic of today. The Fork. The Road. And what to do.

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fork with bikes

The known and lovely Enerita Plus       or      The sexy and powerful Empulse R

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So I thought and I thought and I thought. Then I played a bit on my computer and made myself a nice sandwich because I was a bit hungry. And then I thought some more.

And I thought: Let’s do this rationally. Let’s write out the Pros and Cons. And let’s stop saying “let’s“…I don’t think “me” = “us”. But (all together) I digress.

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Pros and Cons:

Enertia Plus:                                                           Empulse R

   Cost: Much cheaper                                               Cost: Much more

And the list could have stopped right there. But I had to dig a bit deeper.

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The Plus is a great commuter bike. Easy to ride. Nimble and quick. Good range for my riding. And I know her well after riding many thousands of miles on her.

Downsides are: One seat. The Enertia Plus can ride on the highway, but not for long bits. She is a bit too light and a bit too slow (top speed just over 65 mph) for a lot of highway riding.

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The Empulse R is a bigger, faster bike. She seats two (a plus as my wife likes to ride to the Isotopes games on the motorcycle. Better, closer parking). The Empulse is much better on the highway than the Plus. She is Brammo’s “Halo” bike. She would be a new bike to me, and I do like new toys.

Downsides. Cost. That’s about it…maybe a small downside would be that I know the Enertia and love it…will I feel the same about the Empulse?

So I kept playing it through my head. I couldn’t discount the Empulse purely because I had never driven one. It is a logical reason not to buy a bike. And really a sane person doesn’t buy a motorcycle without riding it. But I had planned to buy the Enertia without riding it, so that reason would have been a bit inconsistent.

I also realized that the Empulse is Brammo’s “American” bike. The bike they want to sell the crap out of here in the States. And I really wanted to show that bike off around town and to other riders and local dealers. Everybody in Albuquerque has seen the Enertia. Nobody has seen the Empulse.

Still…I wasn’t sure what to do.

So last Friday morning at work, as I do most Friday mornings, I was scanning an OB patient. I look at fetal hearts if the OB department is worried and wants either a second opinion, or if they think something is wrong and want Peds Cardiology to give a more complete diagnosis. And I was scanning a nice woman similar to this smiling one…

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And I know it is very likely that on my screen I was seeing a cute little kid, possibly sucking his toes like this:

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Or perhaps peeing into the amniotic fluid like this:

(I actually caught this video clip quite on accident. Fetuses pee all the time in utero, but it’s not often you get just the perfect angle to see it this well)

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But all I kept seeing on my screen was this**:

ultrasound

So I decided I should probably either:

A) Change my meds.  B) Up my meds.  C) Get the Empulse R.  D) Do all three.

hint: unlike the SATs where B is usually the correct answer, here D is obviously the correct answer.

Though B could be correct if worded as “Up my meds A LOT!”. Again, I digress.

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Truthfully, I really want to try it out after all the positive reviews. And I want to show it off up at Coffee at Dawns (every Saturday and Sunday morning there are 100’s of bikers stopped there to talk and show off their rides before hitting the road up the Sandia Mountain or taking the Turquoise Trail to Santa Fe. Both wonderful rides I plan to do often on the Empulse R).  And though I LOVE the Enertia Plus, if you want to show off, well the Empulse R is the bike to do that with.

Soooooo, 1 Empulse R in white ordered. And now a little bit of a wait, but hopefully not too long. On a positive note:

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photo(14)

Eric Bostrom this week at Thunderhill for some Empulse TTX testing with Brammo and Shelina.

This is my first Empulse R “MOD”…weeks before I get the bike 🙂 . White panel getting signed before the clear coat is put on.

Thanks EBoz…and Shelina too? I think so, but don’t have photographic evidence.

Sadly SteveO was not at Thunderhill…perhaps I can get him to sign at a later time.

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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

Bonus

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At SEVENteen thirty five, with SEVENty one percent of battery and SEVENty eight miles on the trip odometer, I hit SEVEN thousand SEVEN hundred SEVENty SEVEN point SEVEN miles.

** close up of the image on the Ultrasound monitor.

Brammo_Empulse_Ultrasound1

This image was, surprisingly, not made by me. It was, I think, commissioned by Adrian Stewart and then never used as some people found it disturbing. I think the theme was something like, “The Birth of the Electric Sports Motorcycle” or something like that. I, of course, didn’t think the image was disturbing at all…kinda fun. But the image alone is a bit much for some people…which is why I used it in a bigger setting. Keeps the image small and gives some context to the image. At least that was my thought process going into the finished photo used up above with me in riding attire. Well that and I thought it funny…in a David Lynch/Blue Velvet kinda funny.





BrammoBlog: The Addendum to the Addendum to the…

7 09 2012

Blog 41: I am getting OLD and FORGETFUL…..A “No-Blog Friday” blog post.

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Forgot a few photos I wanted to add to yesterday’s blog about Miller Motorsports Park and Brammo’s 1st and 2nd place finish in that race. And their North American TTXGP 2012 season 1st Place finish for Rider (Steve Atlas) and for company (Icon Brammo).

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Good to see SteveO smiling and flashing the number 1

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Yes it is a helmet commercial…but it has beautiful video of SteveO tearing up the course at Thunderhill. Nice.

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And tons of Racing photos here:

http://brammoelectricmotorcycles.smugmug.com/Racing

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I have stolen a few to post here

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Eric Bostrom posing like a BOSS.

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Another side by side photo of the  bikes pre-race.

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Practice time….or the most elaborate way to do a prostate exam?

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The Icon Brammo riders

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The Podium–1 and 2 for Team Icon Brammo

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Still, I am only suppose to do a blog a week…AND it’s No-Blog Friday….so better bail before the Internets Police come get me….

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Till Next Time…

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 photo.

Eric Bostrom doing some test riding of the Production Empulse R.

Yesterday showed that electric motorcycles can do a burn out.

Today’s photo show that the Empulse can do a wheelie…at 60 mph.

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One last Photo from Miller:

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SteveO’s helmet. At Laguna Seca he told me I could have it after the season was over. But…sadly…

A) It is likely he wouldn’t remember…and B) I have a big Irish head and usually run a XL helmet on my melon.

I doubt that helmet will fit me.

Plus I really want Icon to make a Special Edition Carbon LifeForm helmet with IconBrammo logos.

Still…Thanks for the offer SteveO. While I am also a Shoei guy, I would love to rock that helmet as it is now a piece of history.