The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.
Patrick Henry
where your opinions are noted, and then summarily ignored

1993 Harley-Davidson FLSTC (Softail Heritage Classic)

My last bike was a 1993 Harley-Davidson FLSTC (Softail Heritage Classic), bought new at San Diego Harley-Davidson. For the first 6 years of ownership, it was my only means of transportation, and I've managed to log over 82,000 miles on it by the time I sold it. With one and a half round-trips Texas, and one to Las Vegas, the rest are mainly local in-county miles. Considering I worked at home for more than half the time I owned the bike, you can accurately deduce that these miles are primarily non-commuting miles.

I sold the bike in June 2004 for a cople of reasons - the immigrants that live in this town think nothing of diagonal directions of travel to catch an off ramp at the last minute, and I managed to slice the tendons in my left wrist with a miter saw which made it damn uncomfortable to ride after an hour or so. I was really sorry to see the bike go.

When It Was New - March 1993 through May 1994

When I brought it home from the dealer.

This is the bike when it was just a few days old. Before I drove it off the lot, I had the dealer change out the cam, remove the packing from the exhaust, and install adjustable pushrods, larger carb jets, a free-breathing air cleaner, and a hi-performance ignition system.

The day I picked it up it was raining like hell - not a very auspicious beginning to a new relationship - but the bike didn't seem to mind as much as I did. I drove it as you see it here until I just plain got tired of seeing so many other Harley's painted the same damn color (despite the fact that I specifically waited for this color when I ordered the bike). Then, I got it painted...

First Paint Scheme - May 1994 through August 1998

First repaint - I hated it...

And this is what it looked like for four years. I really didn't care for the leather bags for a couple of reasons - a) everyone else with a FLSTC had the same thing, and b) they really didn't look retro enough for my tastes. So, before getting it painted, I found some used "hard" bags from a 72 FLH (including mounting hardware), and made some rudimentary adapter plates that allowed me to use the bag's brackets on my Softail.

I got it painted at a local auto body shop in Santee (C&H Autobody), and they did a fine job, considering painting bikes is not their "thing". The paint was 1994 Ford Mustang Laser Red over white. The white had a light coat of platinum pearl, and it's all topped off by silver thick-n-thin pinstripes.

If you'd like to know how I got the hard bags on the bike, look here for instructions.

The Final Solution - August 1998 - June 2004

I had the bike painted again, but this time took it to a shop known for it's custom bike painting - Hog Heaven. The pattern stayed pretty much the same, and even the colors were pretty much left alone, except the red is much richer, and the pinstripes were changed to dove gray and dark red. I think the pictures shown here are the best ones that have ever been taken of the bike.

...more Harley pictures

1999 Excelsior-Henderson Super-X

SuperX, or Super White Elephant...

In March of 1999, I saw this bike at a San Diego bike dealer. I was impressed with the appearance, and that it was another American-mad motorcycle. It seemed that two guys in Minnesota had resurrected the marque and were building Super-X's again. So, $22,000 later (and yes, it STILL hurts to say that price out loud), it was mine. The picture shows the bike with the accessorie windshield and driving lights, and sans passenger seat. The bike also has the factory slash-cut mufflers installed.

Well, if you're into motorcycles at all, you know what happened - the company made about 2100 bikes over a three year span, and then went belly-up. To make a long story short, I haven't ridden the bike since it started looking like the company was going to go under. Before that turn of events, I managed to put just 500 miles on it.

It had essentially been sitting in the garage collecting dust since November of 2000. I sold it for SIGNIFICANTLY less than what I paid for it.