My 2000 Royal Star Venture
My 2013 Ural
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The Season of the Bike
The Bikers Code
The Road Not Taken
Makers of the vinyl graphics
on my Venture
sorry - no longer in business
This page is for friends & other riding enthusiasts. You'll find photos of my bike, modifications, rides, etc. as well as lots of links to motorcycle forums, parts, dealers, accessories, and everything else think might be of interest or help to fellow riders. Please feel free to submit links that are not listed
This page is a work in progress.
click on image for more purchasing info
Makes the re-useable vinyl graphics on the saddlebags (Old Glory) and on the trunk sides (American Eagle & Stars). A quality product from a company that stands by what it sells. Check out all the other designs they offer.
Links of Interest (to
me at least)
More coming Soon!!
Road & Weather Info
Motosport.com - Links to the best riding, roads and other useful info
WI Rustic Roads program - Ride the Rustic Road system in WI and get a patch from the state
Road Trip Cost Calculator - also has the Top Five Road Trip Tips - useful if you're taking the cage or on bike trips
The Venture Riders
Technical info on Yamaha Ventures, friendly chat,Rides, Rides, etc. The place to go for all Royal Star Venture owners.
Life's a Venture - Get on and Ride!!
Soviet Steeds - web page - also on Facebook
forum, info, nice folks. HQ for USCA - United
Look for them on Facebook, too.
Motorcycle Tourers Forum
Stars 1100 Forum
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Trailers & Hitches & Camping Gear
Motorcycle towbars & Hitches - Austrailan
company - only one with a hitch for the 1100 V-Star
Trailmaster Inc.- motorcycle and auto products for touring and camping
Redline Compact Camping & Travel Gear, Inc.
VentureDad - makes an excellent hitch for the '99- current Royal Star Venture
Extreme Fairings - Fairings for most makes of crotch rockets
Leathers & Saddles
Accessories & Misc. Parts & Goodies
Ronnie Cramer's MOTORCYCLE WEB INDEX
over 4,500 links to all kinds of Cycle information
Bike Net Motorcycle News
Cycle Trader - Buy & Sell bikes
Motor Cycle Trading Post
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Yamaha Harley Davidson Honda Suzuki Kawaski Victory
MS Group Motorcycle tips, safety & an eclectic collection of information
Motorcycle Safety Resource Guide
Winter Storage for Motorcycles
How to stand up your bike if it tips over
The best group for info and fellowship for Royal Star Venture owners
The Venturers For all owners of Yamaha Royal Star Ventures
The Motorcycle Tourers Association A club for those that like to ride.
ABATE of WIS
Iron Butt Association
ISRA - International Star Riders Association
Harley Owners Group ( HOG)
AMA Motorcycle Museum
Antique Motorcycle Club of America
The Season of the Bike by Dave Karlotski
There is cold, and there is cold on a motorcycle. Cold on a motorcycle is like being beaten with cold hammers while being kicked with cold boots, a bone bruising cold. The wind's big hands squeeze the heat out of my body and whisk it away; caught in a cold October rain, the drops don't even feel like water. They feel like shards of bone fallen from the skies of Hell to pock my face. I expect to arrive with my cheeks and forehead streaked with blood, but that's just an illusion, just the misery of nerves not designed for
Despite this, it's hard to give up my motorcycle in the fall and I rush to get it on the road again in the spring; lapses of sanity like this are common among motorcyclists. When you let a motorcycle into your life you're changed forever. The letters "MC" are stamped on your driver's license right next to your sex and height as if "motorcycle" was just another of your physical characteristics, or maybe a mental condition.
But when warm weather finally does come around all those cold snaps and rainstorms are paid in full because a motorcycle summer is worth any price. A motorcycle is not just a two-wheeled car; the difference between driving a car and climbing onto a motorcycle is the difference between watching TV and
actually living your life. We spend all our time sealed in boxes and cars are just the rolling boxes that shuffle us languidly from home-box to work-box to store-box and back, the whole time entombed in stale air, temperature regulated, sound insulated, and smelling of carpets.
On a motorcycle I know I'm alive. When I ride, even the familiar seems strange and glorious. The air has weight and substance as I push through it and its touch is as intimate as water to a swimmer. I feel the cool wells of air that pool under trees and the warm spokes of sunlight that fall through them. I can see everything in a sweeping 360 degrees, up, down and around, wider than PanaVision and higher than IMAX and unrestricted by ceiling or dashboard.
Sometimes I even hear music. It's like hearing phantom telephones in the shower or false doorbells when vacuuming; the pattern-loving brain, seeking signals in the noise, raises acoustic ghosts out of the wind's roar. But on a motorcycle I hear whole songs: rock 'n roll, dark orchestras, women's voices, all hidden in the air and released by speed.
At 30 miles an hour and up, smells become uncannily vivid. All the individual tree-smells and flower-smells and grass-smells flit by like chemical notes in a great plant symphony. Sometimes the smells evoke
memories so strongly that it's as though the past hangs invisible in the air around me, wanting only the most casual of rumbling time machines to unlock it.
A ride on a summer afternoon can border on the rapturous. The sheer volume and variety of stimuli is like a bath for my nervous system, an electrical massage for my brain, a systems check for my soul. It tears smiles out of me: a minute ago I was dour, depressed, apathetic, numb, but now, on two wheels, big, ragged, windy smiles flap against the side of my face, billowing out of me like air from a decompressing plane.
Transportation is only a secondary function. A motorcycle is a joy machine. It's a machine of wonders, a metal bird, a motorized prosthetic. It's light and dark and shiny and dirty and warm and cold lapping over each other; it's a conduit of grace, it's a catalyst for bonding the gritty and the holy.
I still think of myself as a motorcycle amateur, but by now I've had a handful of bikes over a half dozen years and slept under my share of bridges. I wouldn't trade one second of either the good times or the misery. Learning to ride was one of the best things I've done.
Cars lie to us and tell us we're safe, powerful, and in control. The air-conditioning fans murmur empty assurances and whisper, "Sleep, sleep." Motorcycles tell us a more useful truth: we are small and exposed, and probably moving too fast for our own good, but that's no reason not to enjoy every minute of the ride.
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The Biker's Code
by Author Unknown
It used to be that all bikers shared a common bond, an unspoken code of ethics and behavior that transcended words and was built on actions. There was never a bible written on this Biker's Code and there was no need for such. But the times are a-changin' and there seems to be a lot of new riders out there. These days the riders you see blastin' down the road are just as likely to be clad in shorts and sneakers as jeans and engineer boots. And the roughest, toughestlooking biker you pull up next to could be your doctor or lawyer and may be wearin' a Rolex watch under his leathers. There's nothing wrong with that, so long as these new riders learn the Code just as we old-timers did. Being a biker used to be about using your creativity to take a basket case old hawg and using only grit and ingenuity, turning it into a one-of-a-kind eye dazzler, then risking your life on the asphalt on a bike you made yourself out of pride. Bikers wore leather and grease because they knew cagers would just as soon run them down as look at them, so they had to be intimidating. We were a breed unto ourselves with no union, no support group, and in many cases, no family (they threw us out). We had to make it in the world of our own, against all rules, against mainstream society, and against all odds. We survived and prospered because of the Biker Code and we never took shit from anybody. As an old scooter bro once said, "It's every tramp's job to school~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
the young. How else are they gonna know a Panhead from a bed pan?" With that in mind, we bring you a primer on the basic two-wheeled Code.
Take heed, brothers and sisters, for our Code is a hallowed one filled with honor and loyalty, the likes of which have not been since the days of knighthood:
Don't take any shit. Be kind to women, children and animals, but don't take any bullshit. This is an essential part of being a biker. It has to do with respect and honor. Anyone can be a quick-tempered fool.
Be cool, stand tall and backup what you say with action.
Never lie, cheat or steal. Another way of saying this is to always tell the truth. Bikers are always the greasy bad
guys in the movies, but every real biker knows that his word is his bond. Your word is all you have in life that is truly yours. Guard it carefully and be something noble, for you are a true knight of the road.
Don't snitch. If you see a wrong, fight it yourself, if you are about anything you'll take care of problems yourself and never feel the need to snitch someone off. Snitches are the lowest life forms on earth, right up there with biker thieves.
Don't Whine. Absolutely no one likes or respects a whiner. Another way to say this is hold your mud. Still another way to think of it is, "Don't sweat the small stuff" . Most of life's little inconveniences work themselves out whether you whine or not. Keep your chin up, dammit! You're a biker, not some lowly snail..
Never say die and never give up. Whether it's in a fight, a debate, or a business deal, no matter how bad it gets, a biker never gives up.
Help others. When a brother or sister is broken down by the side of the road, always stop and help them. Even moral support, if that is all you can give, is better than riding on by. Remember life is about the journey, the ride, not getting there. You already are there. And don't just help bikers, show the world that we are better than our image portrays us. Courtesy costs you nothing and gives you everything.
Stick to your guns. Do what you say you'll do, be there when you say you will. This is called integrity. This also goes back to standing for something. Like the song says, "You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything."
Life is not a drill. Yeah, this ain't no dress rehearsal. This is life -- go out and take big bites of it. You've got no time to lose and bikers don't stand around waiting for the party to come to them. You only go around once. Tomorrow you could be road kill, thanks to a chain smoker asleep at the wheel of his Caddy. Live life now, make
the most of each moment.
All right, now let's review.
You are a biker, a modern-day knight of the road.
Protect the weak, walk tall and stand proud.
Your word is your bond.
Stick to your guns.
Don't take any shit.
Life is not a drill.
Now go forth and ride. When in doubt, ride. That's what we do...ride. If you want to ride around in a Day-Glo Hawaiian shirt and sandals, go for it, but if you intend to look like a idiot, at least don't act like an idiot.
These commandments are just a few of the broad strokes, there is a lot more to being a biker than buying a bike. If you just buy a bike, you are a motorcyclist. Being a biker is a way of life, a proud way of life we hold in high regard with a burning passion for the open highway.
What say you?
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The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and Ió
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.