Motorcycle Sales

In case you haven’t been keeping up with current events, things are slow in the economy.  We went to the local mall Friday night to see about getting a part for our dishwasher, and the place was a ghost town.  After finishing up at the mall, we also went to a popular local eatery.  We were one of three parties in the place.  All the rest of the tables were empty.

This afternoon, I went to Escondido Cycle Center, and North County Yamaha.  I was the only customer in NCY–another customer was leaving as I arrived–and one of two customers as ECC.  Dead, dead, dead.

Interestingly, the sales guy at NCC couldn’t have been less interested in trying to sell me a bike.  Since I have an insurance settlement coming from my accident last December, I am looking at possibilities for a second bike.  Something small and hooligan-like, but without the cramped riding position of the Gixxer or CBR.  I went to NCY because they have Triumphs there, and wanted to look into a Speed Triple 1050.  I told the sales guy what I was after, and he said, “I don’t know mcuh about it.  It has a good torque range.  Broad. why not go sit on it and see if you like it.”  He then turned on his heel and left me to my own devices.  Apparently, trying to sell a motorcycle didn’t fit into his schedule this afternoon.

And, keep in mind that this is their chief sales guy, and as far as I could tell, the only sales rep there.  I’ve seen him there before, and his whole vibe was that I was being a pain in the ass for trying to engage him.

Wierd.

The sales guy at ECC, on the other hand, was knowledgeable, and showed me not only the sportbikes, but an array of standard bikes that have same sportbike engines, but more comfy ergos.  Totally different sales experience.

Sometimes the guys at NCY are helpful, and sometimes they act like they’d rather you just didnt show up at their door at all.  When sales are as bad as they are currently, you’d think they would deep-six the latter attitude.

All is right with the world

Last night, my final replacement racing stripes came in from Premier Cycle.  I put them on, so this morning I finally got to ride my fully restored FJR to work.  Actually, I’ve been riding it every day since my last post, but without all the stripes.  Now they’re all back on.

Back to 100%+
Back to 100%+

And, I even added a farkle, for good measure,  You can’t really see it in the cell phone pic here, but I went all out and got the heavy-weight, matte black and decoratively milled silver Throttlemeister, and installed that, too.

So, the FJR is now better than it ever was.

I’m almost back to 100% physically, too.  I’m still having a little problem with tendon synovitis–whatever that is–in my right wrist, which is still causing me a little pain.  So, I’m still in physical therapy once a week for that.  Happily, the orthopedist gave me a prescription for a patch that uses a medicine called Flector, and that seems to be fixing things up, too.  So, I should be given a clean bill of health in the next few weeks.

All that remains after that is settling up with the insurance company for my personal injury claim.  I don’t know what the claim will actually end up being, but I have missed a couple of days work over this, and ended up with a bit less than $1,000 in out of pocket medical bills over and above my insurance.  What with all the time spent once or twice a week in physical therapy, MRIs, nerve conduction tests, and what-not, I bet it’s not going to be cheap, though.

I suspect I’ll probably end up being able to pay off a number of bills for other things.

I’m also hoping to get a corbin seat, and replace the rear seat and backreast with a Corbin Smuggler trunk.

I’m comfortable with riding again, although I notice that I really take a long hard look at all cross traffic now.

Gone From My Garage

The insurance adjuster finally came by today, and looked at the bike.  he said he’d wait on making an estimate until he heard what the repair shop had to say.  So, I called for a tow, and the FJR is now at North County House of Motorcycles.

I’ll have to go in first thing Monday and talk to my service writer about the damage, and the things that I know have to be repaired that aren’t obvious.

I’m still irked that it’s been six weeks since the accident, and I’m only just now getting the bike into a repair shop.  But, at least it’s there now, so finally I can see exactly what damage has been done, and if it’s fixable.

Style Evolves

As you can see, I’ve ditched the old theme I was using on the blog, and switched to one of the free WordPress motorcycle themes I designed last week.  I’ve tweaked that design a little bit, and done some monkeying around with the CSS stylesheet to change some things, but in general it’s the same theme I designed previously.

I liked the old theme, but it was a commercial theme that required I maintain some links in the footer for marketing sites that I didn’t really want to sponsor.  There’s still a marketing link, but now it goes to my company, which, of course, I don’t mind at all.

I designed this theme with a new tool called Artisteer, which is supposed to be a design tool for not only WordPress themes, but regular HTML web sites as well, with future support for designing Joomla and Drupal themes.

The software is in Version 1.0, so obviously it’s got a ways to go to get to where I can use it professionally.  For a first release though, Artisteer really does take a lot of the headaches out of designing themes, and web site templates.

Except that you really can’t use it to design web site templates.  Artisteer has some growing up to do before it’s ready for that.  But for slapping together a decent WordPress theme, there really isn’t much out there that’s better.

Still, it could use some improvement.  Because I do web development for a living, I would love a tool that would allow me to slap together a great template in a very short time, using a simple but powerful WYSIWYG interface.  Unfortunately, Artisteer is not that tool.  Not yet, at least.

First, it combines the formatting for both posts and sidebar into the same section, and formats them the same.  This is a bad idea, because the content column, and the sidebar column do completely different things.  They are completely separate entities, and should be treated as such.  Artisteer formats them both in fell swoop.

Second, when you aren’t exporting a WordPress template, Artisteer still uses the insanely unecessary WordPress DIV tag setup.  It’s so complicated that, when you open up your exported HTML file in Dreamweaver, it takes two or three minutes for Dreamweaver to render all of the insanely nested DIV tags into the preview screen.  Sure, WordPress is complicated, because it’s a full-scale CMS system.  But designing a web page should result in a lot less complicated output.  As a result, the tool is useless to me for web template design, despite having purchased the “Standard” rather than the “Home” version.

Maybe, as this product evolves, it will become more useful over time.

The State of Things

I am a little perturbed.  The lack of progress of any sort in clearing up the aftermath of my motorcycle accident is bothering me. I still haven’t been contacted, after a month, by the insurer of the livery company that employed the driver who ran the stop sign and hit me.  My motorcycle still sits, broken, in my garage.

My lawyer is difficult to get hold of, and seems too busy with other cases to tend to mind with any regularity.  Which I don’t understand at all.  A professional driver for a commercial livery company negligently ran a stop sign and struck my vehicle, broke my toe, sprained my knee, and badly hurt my leg and wrist.  I spent two weeks on crutches and a cane.  and, being a commercial livery company, they are required to have $1,000,000 in liability coverage.  You’d think a lawyer would be on that like gangbusters, but apparently not.  I had to call this week and light a fire under them to get on it.

As for my health, I am recovering, finally, from the accident.  I’m not 100% even yet, though.  My wrist is still pretty painful, and I have a line of pain that runs right up my shin to my knee.  My broken toe is still tender, too, which is to be expected, but last week I was able to start wearing regular shoes again.  So, I finally got to ditch the wierd, orthopedic, open shoe with the hard sole.

I have an appointment with an orthopedist on Tuesday, and he’ll look at my banged-up bits, to be sure everything is coming along OK.

After calling my lawyer this week, and now that the holidays are over, I’m hoping that the adjuster from the other insurance company will get in contact with me, and we can see if my FJR is reparable…or if it’s gonna get sent to the breakers.

Lawyering Up

I’m not even gonna try to deal with this myself.  I got rear-ended in my SUV a couple of years ago, and I handled it myself, and I got screwed.

No, this time, I’ve already set the lawyer wheels in motion.  Their investigator is coming by today to look at the bike, and my hurty toe.

What really gets my goat is that the guy who hit me was a professional driver, working for a commercial livery service, not some stupid airhead soccer mom on a cell phone.  He should know better.  It’s his job.

So, I’m not gonna be some patsy for his company’s insurance carrier.  I’m gonna get someone who damn well knows how this stuff works, and can ensure that I am made whole again.  I want my bike fixed or replaced, my medical bills paid, my gear replaced, and to be repaid for the time away from work this is gonna cost me.

I was just out in the garage looking at Fidget, and I was just sick.  There’s this beautiful motorcycle I put my money and time into getting it just the way I wanted, and now she’s wrecked.

I’m pissed off.

The Next Day

Holy Judas frickin’ Priest on a Popsicle stick!

I am experiencing some discomfort in my legs and foot.  In much the same way that the residents of Hiroshima experienced discomfort in august of 1945.

Fortunately, I only experience this discomfort in the islands of lucidity I have between Percosets.  So far, the cycle has been:  Hurt, waken Percoset, sleep.  Repeat.

You gotta hand it to narcotics, boy. They don’t futz around with any silliness.  They just go right to work.  “I sense you are uncomfortable.  Here, let me bludgeon you into foggy bliss.”

Don’t mind if I do, thanks.

Actually, I’m not doing too bad.  The Percs eliminate the pain so that I can limp around on my dorky cast and crutches.  So, I can still do stuff.

It’s kinda nice though, just to lay on the couch and have my chick wait on me.  She’s gone to the store to get me some goodies, and is bringing me back a double Whopper, so I’m good.

The only bad moment I had, really, was when I was stepping over the baby gate we use to keep the monster dogs in the den.  Somehow, when I brought by hurty foot down, I jammed my tow right into the edge of their water dish.  I got a few seconds crash course in astronomy when that happened.  I think I can now recognize all the main sequence stars.

All things considered, though, I’d rather be up in Long Beach today, filling my CF card with pics of booth babes.

The New K1300GT

The Boys of Bayern have upgraded their premier sport-tourer.  The New K1300GT is on the way.

2009 BMW K1300GT

When you absolutely, positively have to spend $21,000 on a motorcycle  BMW has just the bike for you.

Of course, it has every conceivable farkle, and the new 1293cc powerplant puts out 160HP. At the crank, of course.

It makes me wish I had money to burn.

I’m Not Dead

I’m still here.  Still loving motorcycles.  Still wanting to write about them.

My problem, however, has been time.  Since May, I’ve been crammming to finish my Master’s degree, and keep my web development business going.  The master’s degree was the tough one.  Since May, I’ve had to take the CMBA exam, and complete my master’s thesis/project, and do the oral defense for it.

It was pretty hairy, and I had to put in a lot of hours.

And finally, in preparation to begin again, I had to switch over from a Blogger account and put the blog on my own web site, where I have more control over the look and feel.  I think this blog is a LOT better-looking.

But, I’m done!  And that means I can go back to writing about motorcycles.

And there’s a lot to write about…