Single Swing-Arm Motorcycles

There is something deeply attractive about the janky Italian single swing-arm bikes. The MV Augusta Brutale is admittedly flavor of the month right now, but my goodness. Look at that thing. Sci-fi, crazy wheels, a single arm to show off the wheels, it look like cyborgs.

Can it ride? I dunno. I’ve not thrown a leg over it. But on looks alone, it flies.

Motorcycle reviews

I wish motorcycle reviewers would tell you how tall they are.

Motorcycles, unlike cars, don’t have a whole lot of variability in things like ergonomics. Even Kawasaki’s ergo-fit is underwhelming, and it only applies to fresh from the factory purchases. For bikes, the seat is where it is, and can’t be moved forward or adjusted much. Even buying a whole seat only allows an inch or two of adjustment.

Especially in reviews heavy on pictures, I’d like to know how tall the rider is. I often scan those pictures trying to figure out where their knees are and how far they bend, where the pegs are, and what the posture looks like.

My NC700, which was a great bike, had pegs too far under the seat. Riding for any amount of time made my knees hurt and my thigh’s cramp. Now I’d love to get another, but I just keep thinking of the ergonomics. I consistently got 70mpg and 100 when I rode for mileage. Great bike.

I wonder if among Japanese people the height-variation is narrower than in places like the US. Designing bikes for bigger or shorter people vs a norm might not be as significant to them.


Pirelli is an Italian tire company. They make great tires.

But they’re also really dramatic. One of their tires is called the ‘Night Dragon’ which I love. You don’t find that with American companies. We might name something after animals, but it would be some real animal, moose or wolverine or something, or possibly snails or barnacles or some other grippy animal.

Not for Pirelli. The Night Dragon! Because Dragon!

I approve.

Christmas Day, 2020

So Christmas without the family was a little rough this year. Global pandemic, et al., so I’m not travelling, am wearing masks and washing my hands until they blister, but Christmas alone was difficult. I had Thanksgiving alone, but that was to be expected. Due to scheduling, it was always going to be a challenge to get home. I had been holding out hope for this one and New Years, but ah well.

I’m not being as productive as I’d thought, but I am looking at lots of pictures of motorcycles I don’t intend to buy. That’s basically the same, right?

Mara and the Trolls is going to be free on Kindle the 31st of December through Jan 2nd. Read up. Nile won’t let me advertise the sale, which is weird, but Nile is kinda weird to begin with. They’re staying on brand, I guess.

Mara is just fun. It’s meant to be read to children, but the way I write, I effectively read it to myself. It’s not high drama. I didn’t write it to express the nature of the human condition. It’s just fun, things are going to be alright, and in the end, it’s very childish.

Feeling good, which might not come through this post but I am. The vaccine makers did the impossible to get it done soon. I’m optimistic they succeeded. Things could have been better, but they could have been a lot worse. Life is like that.

I have a friend who’s always looking at new guitars. He doesn’t need one, but he looks. I do the same thing with motorcycles. I just look. Ducati xDaivel or Triumph Rocket 3, if my fairy godmother is reading. A Polaris Slingshot would also be delightful. I haven’t thought about them much, but the more I do, the more I like them. They’re weird, difficult, intense little machines, and those are my boxes. I wonder how waterproof they are.

They’ve got no roof. Sooner or later, you will get caught in a downpour. How do the speakers do, the dash, the infotainment, the wiring? It’s going to happen. Do the seats turn mildewy? Does the upholstery change colors? Does it stink after a few rains?

It’s early, and I might still fall into productivity if I throw myself down a hole in my word processor a few times. The lab is open tomorrow, and I’ve got building to do.

Take care everyone. I’m rooting for you.

And Merry Christmas.


There’s a bit in the second Chronicles of Amber wherein Merlin is being hit on. He thinks to himself something along the lines of, ‘I’m probably not the subject of incessant and omnipresent female lust.’ It works out ot be a scam or something.

I feel that way when I consider blogging about US politics. If you want commentary thereon, there are a lot of better sources for it.

The end of history is not upon us, and we have to live with each other in the morning. Let’s ease up a little, shall we?

I like the Ducati xDiavel, and I wonder if they’ll make one with a camless motor. If I had a few free grand, I’d probably drop it into that bike, and if I had a few hundred free grand, or more likely a few million, I’d call Freevalve and get it done. I don’t, but it’s still a nice bike.

Honda NM-4 Vultus

I really wanted to like this bike. The sheer difference of it made me want to like it. It had paniers built in. It was all weird looking. It wasn’t another generic sport bike, naked, or cruiser.

It was $12k with 670cc engine. The paniers were tiny. I couldn’t fit boots in there, much less a helmet. Forget luggage.

It would have been a fine $6k bike. It would have been wonderful at $12k with a 1800cc. They really should have thought twice about the luggage.

But it couldn’t back up what it said, and it cost way too much for what it was. What it was was fine…for an NC700.

Ah, but what could have been.

“Affordable” motorcycles

I was reading a list of ’10 new affordable bikes’ on some website, and half of them started at or above 10 grand.

Seriously, what are you people thinking? Most any dealer is going to take $1,000 onto msrp for DH and Setup, so even an ostensible $9k bike is ~$10 to $11k after sales tax. How are those the affordable bikes? Affordable motorcycles are ~$5k, all in.

CO ride

This state is magnificent.

I wanted to get out of the apartment, so I went twenty minutes west and up Lookout Mountain. The Ute tribe used the mountain as a lookout over the plains, though I don’t know how strong a connection between them and the name is. I saw Denver wavering below, a city in rows. Beyond the lights the prairies are dark, so Denver always looks like the edge of the world, a city built to the horizon and stacked up against the dome of the sky.

It’s a lovely place. Makes me delighted to live here.

Colorado Mountains

I want to ride the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway and set out this morning to see what I could do.

I got cold. That’s what I could do.

It’s an amazing ride. Even in cold misery, that was obvious. From Rt 6 and up 119, taking a few detours onto gravel roads, the scenery was incredible for right outside town. There’s fun stuff of there calling my name, but until it warms up twenty or thirty degrees, it’s going straight to voicemail.