Rants & Raves Index
Defense of the Trailer
The Editorial You Thought You Never Read
Ya, ya…we’ve all seen ‘em “Trailering is a disease”, “I rode mine to trailer week” etc, etc. …and for the most part I agree with ‘em. If you’re gonna build the damn thing, ride it into the dirt. But then I spent some quality time watching Motorcycle Mania 2 on the Discovery Channel and I wanna spend a little air-space here talking about what I saw.
Here’s the deal, no doubt that Jesse James builds some of the most bad-ass choppers in the Universe – he is truly an artist in metal of the highest order. The point of the show was that Jesse was gonna build a chopper and ride with some buddies from California to Sturgis, South Dakota for Bike Week. Sounds like a cool deal and we know Jesse is up to this task. He chose some righteous riding partners: Indian Larry, Chopper Dave and another buddy from Europe.
If ya know anything about choppers, you know who Indian Larry is and ol’ Chopper Dave has a seriously cool website. The point is – these are not lightweight weekend warriors, these guys are the real deal – chopper riders and builders of the highest order. They even stopped on the way to visit Mondo of Denver’s Choppers (which is not in Denver) and Two Wheeler’s (which is in Denver).
Anyhow, these four chopper pilots were gonna hard-tail it across four or five states in a few days to make it to Bike Week. Now, we all know “stuff” happens out there on the big slab-o-life, and radical custom bikes have a habit of breaking down. But that’s not really an issue for the chopper fanatic; it’s just part of the deal.
So as we watch these guys take off on their journey, Wendy turns to me and says “Where’s all their stuff?” - you know, jackets, chaps, water, tools – all the crap you gotta pack when you take off cross country. These guys were on hard-tails wearing t-shirts. Then the camera pulls back to reveal the truck and the giant (dare I say it?) trailer that would be following the guys across the US. Now, this is the kinda support I want on my next jaunt!
No sooner are they two feet down the road than Jesses’ seat pops off (see the show), the trailer pulls over and he goes there to fix the seat. A coupla’ hundred miles away, the heads strip out some bolts on his brand new motor and he gets to spend some quality time drilling and tapping in what looks like a grocery store parking lot. Now, there is never any real problem here. Why? Because they have a trailer. If the repairs don’t hold, they can always bump the thing up into the box and continue on.
Right after that, Chopper Dave’s panhead barfs it’s carb and he’s out of the running somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Is everybody stuck? Of course not, they put Dave’s bike on the trailer (there it is again) and they’re down the road. They get to Denver, where they locate a carb for Dave – but now Indian Larry’s magneto won’t fire. So are they stuck? No, they put the bike in the trailer (hello) and they’re off to Bike Week.
So, what’s the body count here? Out of four bikes – one has required major surgery (that would probably be beyond the ability of most riders) and two have spent time with tie-downs on. Now, we’re not preaching about the unreliability of the big twin here folks, or the mechanical ability of these riders, because we know they’re the best in the country. What we are talking about is the trailer.
If it wasn’t for the support trailer, this group would have made it to Sturgis in time to watch the vendors pack up the last of the tents. But as it was, they got there in time for big fun, got to ride their scooters around and generally enjoy the show – because of the trailer.
So the next time some yahoo starts spoutin’ “If ya see mine on a trailer, call the cops because it’s being stolen” – think about Jesse and Indian Larry and Chopper Dave. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do to get from point A to point B. And sometimes, that involves a trailer.
That’s all for now!