There's nothing like a run to nowhere. No
plans, no dates, no deadlines and no formula,
we just rode in the sweltering heat like two
abused dogs searching for new owners. After
a couple of beers, if someone asked, "why?"
the cryptic answer would contain: Just to get
out of town, to test the new H-D Twin Cam oil
cooler, against an '89 Evo, to see the Hamster
gang on their way to Sturgis, to roadtest a new
pair of denims, to have my bike blessed by a
Catholic Cardinal and finally to avoid the rain.
The famous comforting Gusset in the
Diamond Gusset jeans.
Granted some of this scattered reasoning
was whacked. It's summer, why would it rain?
Dr. Hamster and I have ridden on perfectly
clear days to Arizona, a fuckin' desert, and it
rained on us. Not a misty sprinkle that relieved
the heat, but a goddamn downpour that had
us standing knee deep in gas stations
attempting to refuel.
High dollar chain wallet for road
protection. It was given to me at the LA
Calendar show by a blonde knockout. She
handed out free wallets to anyone who would
stare at her tits or her sponsor's truck,
Schapiro & Leventhal, The Motorcycle
This time we got the hell out of Dodge in
the middle of the day, under scorching rays.
The day before I tore into the King, changed all
the fluids and installed a new 1999 and later
oil cooler for touring models. Several readers
wrote concerning cooling problems with Twin
Cams, and I did some research. According to
Clyde Fessler the Twin Cam was destined to
be a fluid cooled motor, due to the excessive
heat that the factory design crew couldn't
eliminate, until Jim Fueling stepped in, at the
last minute. Jim tested larger exhaust valves
to remove the hot exhaust gasses fast and
efficiently. Apparently, his input saved the Twin
Cam project. It's not unheard of to see a Twin
Cam running through town with oil heated to
over 240 degrees, whereas an Evo will trip
through the same crowded streets cooking
the oil only to 130 degrees. That's significant.
The installation is destined for publication in
American Rider and on Bikernet in the near
After washing, the Gusset jeans didn't
shrink. They had the length I needed.
As the week closed, and I loaded my shit
for the run, a package arrived from a new
Bikernet advertiser, Diamond Gusset Jeans.
Here's a confession: I'm close to 6 foot 5
inches and have a problem finding denims
that fit and have the length for cowboy boots
on bikes. I discovered that my 36-inch-inseam
pants were riding high on boot shanks.
Another tall partner recommended 38-inch
inseams. I started looking. The only pair I
hunted down were special ordered from Levis.
There was a catch. They were unwashed
501s. When I washed them, they shrunk up to
36-length. Gusset came through with britches
built loose for a biker and long enough for a
tall bastard. I decided a road test was in order.
No button-fly on the Diamond Gusset
We traveled light, threw a couple of
T-shirts in a bag, with some sunscreen and
night glasses, and we hit the road with a
digital camera. After only 31 miles, I met Dr.
Hamster in Santa Monica and checked the oil
temperature. It indicated 213 degrees and my
ambient temp gauge told me it was 90
degrees on the coast at 11:00 a.m. We rolled
onto the 405 freeway, to the 118 East, to Glen
Oaks where we spun off to have our bikes
blessed at a custom car gathering near the
Hansen Dam. It's an old school, new kid
gathering of lowriders, hot rodders and bikers.
It was located in a hot open park, in Pacoima,
packed with metal flake, primer, babes,
chrome and flames. We had scrambled
through another 52 miles and the King was
sporting 222 degrees in the 95 degree air
temp. The jeans were still comfortable in the
blistering sun. I wasn't forced to pull on the
legs for relief, as I sat in the King saddle.
Restored 1958 BMW
We dodged security and fluorescent
cones to park with the show cars next to a
1958 restored R27 BMW single. A classic
machine. A girl wearing a black quilted
welder's cap was lying in the grass. "I've had it
seven years," she said behind dark
sunglasses, "but it took me a year to get it
Dr. Hamster, riding partner and
We were impressed by the tattooed
broads dressed like '50s rod chicks with
bleached blond hair in curls, checkered tops
pressed against store bought tits and ruby red
lips. An artist Sara Ray caught the action on
canvas. She should go places.
Sara Ray art, (562) 223-0967.
I ran into a couple of riders I had featured
in past issues of ER and one displayed his
super sanitary, teal Panhead. I told him it
deserved a feature. The truck-built hot rod by
Ian Rousseau, was unlike anything I had ever
seen. But the sizzling summer sun drove us
back into our saddles and down the road. It
doesn't matter what the temp gauge says, at
100 mph we're cool.
Industrial hot rod built by Ian.
We jammed onto the 210 freeway heading
toward Pasadena when the traffic locked up.
Downtown Pasadena and Sierra Madre are
known for their restaurants and Sierra Madre
Gusset jeans is Sierra Madre
restaurant. Note the handmade Bikernet belt
We jumped off the freeway for chow at
the Pepper Tree in the quaint Sierra Madre
village. After refueling we were hell bent for
Barstow on the 15, the main artery to Las
Vegas. It's a grizzly stretch of desert asphalt
aimed at the border of Nevada and California.
We rode from the 210 to the 57 south, to
the 10 east, to the 15 north, where we
discovered that the 210 connected to 15
directly. We sliced through traffic jams in
Monteclair, Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga.
These goddamn towns are spreading across
the desert toward Vegas like Locust on a ripe
crop of corn. The traffic is stifling in Los
Angeles, but there are times, when the revs of
your motor match the rhythm of your heart
beat, and you dance with the devil in lane
number one. When the fast lane lagged we
dropped, like fighter pilots, across four lanes
of whizzing compact bumblebees, into the
slow lane, between off ramps. We
down-shifted a gear and gunned our motors,
until we screamed past the slugs, then peeled
back, through the vast expanse of lanes, to our
home in Fastville. Dr. Hamster, aboard his
ghost flamed '89, blacked out FLT, with over
200,000 miles on the clock, slipped traffic like
a wire through pepper cheese.
Freeways expand annually, but the traffic
spreads with over-population, like ants in a
sugar bowl. There's no catching the growth. At
one time various freeway sported motley
personalities. The 15 was a truckers' freeway,
but now it's Las Vegas central, fighting with
18-wheelers, for asphalt space, as the
highway narrows peeling between desolate
Day Canyon and the desert town of Fontana
leading into the San Bernadino National
Forest. For the first time we smelled open
highway mixed with diesel fumes and
blistering heat. The King held to the road tight
as we piled on the high-octane coals and
roamed into the hills toward Hesperia, the
home of Atlas Frames.
"I won't do much over 90," the good Doctor
told me at a gas stop. "This thing quivers too
much." We discussed Wil's invention, the
True-Track. "Yeah, I talked to Wil," Chris
grimaced, "he doesn't manufacture them for
Mountain Gusset jeans test.
While flying along the freeway, just slightly
below his limit, I watched the ass of his FLT
shake like a plump girl dancing to Chubby
Checker. The King held fast except on one
sprawling stretch of cement freeway, carved
with a cheese grater device, to form rain
grooves. Occasionally the grooves snagged
my Avons. They were no- more than hiccups
on an otherwise perfect ride. We could smell
Barstow, as if a camel could sniff sand, 60
miles east, as we cut through the Cajon Pass
at 4260 feet. We made light of the next 40
minutes peeling through open miles, darting
from one car or 18-wheeler to the next, like a
kid playing pinball with Toyotas. Except our
rule book called for going around as many
lumbering vehicles as possible without
Barstow is a town millions travel through,
yet never see. Freeways have that adverse
effect on society. They slice through lovely
seaside communities, but the travelers never
experience the water's edge. I've skidded
through Barstow too many time to mention,
but this time we rolled off the second
"Business exit". There were four. We should
have stayed on the freeway and hit Daggot,
Baker or Ludlow. Take it back, they're all
two-pony towns with one gas station. At least
Barstow accommodates five restaurants, a
major supermarket, and another succulent
item, I'll mention later.
It's a dusty berg, of one main street and a
myriad of motels, two Holiday Inns (one at
each end of town) and a couple of Route 66
joints. Two main Mexican restaurants called to
us, singing Maria's Cantina ballad, but we
were on a mission to hook up with 50
Hamsters riding across the country to Sturgis.
The last time I split with them through 1,800
miles to the badlands, was two years ago,
when I head-butted a deer, on a Buell, in
The hotel parking lot was jammed with
customs and dressers. We unpacked and
asked the host behind the counter for a room.
"We have one, but it's smoking," the young guy
wearing an flowered Hawaiian shirt said.
"When it stops smoking, we'll take it," I
said. The Gusset jeans survived their first putt.
The bike was peaking at 224 degrees in the
97 temperature and Chris's Betsy held to 165
degrees. It was time for a beer.
It was good to see the bros, and even
better to see Jennifer, the bartender. She
sported a recent boob job and wore a top she
should wear while cleaning her kitchen on a
hot day. In her late twenties her boobs pushed
against that spaghetti strapped, shear fabric
like... Well, you know. They popped over the
top, pressed out the sides and protruded just
above her thin waist. Her budding nipples
talked more than she did. The first thing that
came to mind were the ominous words Sin
Wu said to me as I pulled the King into the
street, "Do me a favor. Don't hook up with a girl
in Barstow and make another life long friend."
I could see friendship, in the making,
each time Jennifer bent over the deep sink to
clean a glass, those luscious soft mounds
whispering endless tenderness to me.
View from Ramada window.
Shifting gears, back outside Barry Cooney
pointed out his latest creation that's
scheduled for the cover of ER in the near
future. It was a S&S, 120 inches of chopped
monster surrounded by Ness frame, wheels,
controls, etc. Barry has an eye. Mr. Lucky was
one fine looking motorcycle. I apologize for not
taking a group shot of the yellow shirted
rodents. I was consumed with hanging out
with some longtime pals.
Here's a tip, not a tit, yet. Barry's bike
sports an S&S shorty and it was gagging at
mid range. He tried everything to remedy the
problem with no luck. Even S&S volunteered a
carb replacement. He finally hauled the bike to
a renowned motor man. After research, he
discovered that the big engine was sucking
the float bowl dry through the vent. He drilled a
direct vent to the outside of the carb and
welded up the internal vent. The bike hauls
Speaking of ass, we scarfed enchiladas
at a local Mexican restaurant and returned to
Molly's bar. I was wearing a DragonFly
Hawaiian marvel that caught Jennifer's eye. "I
see you cleaned up, big boy," She said with a
smile that would melt a man, like a rose bud
torch tip. My Diamond Gusset jeans handled
the Jack Daniels with aplomb, but I avoided
making a new friend. After five marriages, I've
learned something. Not sure what the hell it
is, but I blinked and let the opportunity pass.
She had soft blue eyes and a smile that
beckoned. A playfulness danced on her lips.
I finished my Jack and said goodnight as
the conversation lingered. It was good to hang
with the guys and catch up.
The Hamsters were scheduled to ride to
Williams, Arizona the next morning, a mere
180 miles down the road. They had no choice,
but to peel along the 40 interstate into the
brittle Arizona underbrush. We had cut through
a taste over 200 miles to reach Tarantula
Tomb Barstow. Williams and another freeway
didn't call to us. We wanted two-lane highways
Train racked sunrise in Barstow.
I was up at 6:00 a.m., since two sets of
train tracks border the swimming pool out
back, and our room faced the pool. Every 15
minutes trains packed with 40-foot truck
containers rumbled past hell bent for Los
Angeles, like machine-gun fire in the ghetto. I
opened the window once and the crackling
noise of a passing train blew me over my bed.
But the sunrise was spectacular over the
barren arroyo in the distance.
I dusted off my HA leather vest, donned a
Crime Inc. T-shirt, and the good doctor and I
hit the road before the rodents climbed out
from under their sawdust covers. Small roads
were the order of the day. The winding choices
throughout the southern half of California were
many: Big Bear, Ortega Highway, Oceanside,
Escondido, San Clemente. We jumped
desolate 247 running out of Barstow for the
hills where we had breakfast in the Lucerne
Valley. Check the signs around the restaurant
at the corner of 18 and 247 Highways. It was
nearing 75 degrees and the King's oil was
relaxing at 202 degrees in comparison to the
Doctor's dresser at 150 degrees.
We began a hill and mountain hopping
ride on the 18, to the 38 into Yucipa, then
stopped in Redlands for a beer. It was
cresting 90 degrees, but the King's oil had
cooled to 191 degrees and the blacked out
FLT was flying at 130 degrees. At that point the
Doctor revealed that he was catching the 24
hour Mung. At 90 degrees under dazzling,
Southern California sun shine, he had the
We were in Redlands when I backed away
from him at the Hotel California and dashed
toward my ride. We caught a the 10 Freeway to
the 91 and onto the 215 into Perris where we
jumped off on the 74 by shear luck and
scrambled over the Highway Patrol-encrusted
Ortega Highway. They were behind every pine
tree strewn corner. Bikers waved us to slow
down at each bend.
We dipped and weaved into San Juan
Capistrano on empty tanks, refueled, grabbed
a bite to eat, jumped the 405 north to Los
Angeles and home. I rolled into breezy San
Pedro in the afternoon with 430 miles on my
trip gauge, for the weekend, and 215 degrees
on the digital oil temp gauge. Every rider we
ran across praised the King and discussed
finding one. The bike ran flawlessly, and the
Diamond Gusset jeans survived the heat, the
sand and the hot wind. I would estimate that
the oil temps were down 20 degrees, we
avoided rain and goddamnit, got to party with