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Old 31-08-2006, 19:15   #16
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Great Ketch,

If anyone is over generalizing it is you. The fact that some one enjoyed fast cars or motorcyles doesn't exclude them from being a real sailor. For that matter there are a lot of ways to be a 'real sailor' besides being long distance, long term cruisers.

Since you haven't explored motorcycles, I would suggest to you that there is a lot more similarities between fast or slow bikes and cruising boats than you could imagine. At least for me one of the pleasures of sailing is the living with and feeling the primary connection of the forces of nature. To me, a big part of sailing is using technology to feel and exploit the realities of physics and using technology to move through across the watery surfaces of earth. At speed on a motorcyle, you are also living with physics in real time and using technology to explore the physics of the universe we live in. Neither is about proving anything to anyone but yourself. It is living in the wind, using your skills and developing new one. It is seeing the world pass from a different perspective sometimes at speed, sometimes at idle.

My Spanish built trials bike took me back into places where people had not been in decades, it was a kind of 20th century pack mule that traveled on tires chosen to minimize damage to the ground they traversed. I moved through the woods slowly and purposefully, and went deep in the wilderness, dependent solely on my own abilities for my survival, only carrying in what I could carry, and carrying out all that I brought in to that wilderness near as virgin and fresh as any anchorage.

I developed my riding skills in Trials competition, just like sailboat racing teaches a lot of skills that are hard to get elsewhere.

My road racer was another story but then again, I herewith apologize to the world at large, begging the jury to find for me that plea of insanity that comes associated with youth.

And yes, DefJef bikes can be noisy. I must say that I agree with you, as a 'former rice burner, crotch rocket' pilot, I too...

" hate noisy motorcycles and the herd mentality that these Harley people seem to have.

I love silence and these people don't seem to understand how their noisy habit drives other people crazy... or maybe that's why they do it?"

Think of Harley guys kind of like vice boat people, but there are others of out here on the water in craft and on the road more acceptable to those around us who prefer peace and quite.


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Old 31-08-2006, 19:44   #17

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Originally Posted by Jeff H
Since you haven't explored motorcycles, I would suggest to you that there is a lot more similarities between fast or slow bikes and cruising boats than you could imagine.

Who said I hadn't explored motorcycles? When I was very young I drove a motorcycle for a short time while going to school in Boston. It was cheap and handy, but fun? Not fun enough for me to be worth the extra risk. Is it so hard to believe that someone could have tried it and not thought it was a big deal?

We all like different things. Even sailors. Many sailors have no interest in competative sailing. I only wish more of the drivers I see on the road had less interest in competetive driving!!!!


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Old 31-08-2006, 20:00   #18
Kai Nui

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First time on a bike, 1969 on an Indian Mini Bike. Last time, 2003 on a Custom Harley I built in 1998. The in between list is extensive, but suffice it to say, most were Harleys, and all were fast. Several ran tuned straight pipes My bikes got ridden, and my boats get sailed. The key, in my mind, is not how fast the boat, or the bike or the car is, but how much of it's potential speed can I get out of it. I bent allot of valves over the years. As for cars, 67 442, 79 Vette, 83 Camaro, 67 911T, Jensen Healey, Fiat Spider, 67 Impala that didn't live long, but was fun while it lasted. Can't compete with these 1000hp 4 cyl Japanese cars these days, so no much fun in cars anymore.
FWIW I gave up bikes for boats because the people changed. Got tired of having to go to a "Boutique" to buy parts, and couldn't build competitive customs anymore under 6 figures. Miss the days when People like Arlen Ness were a novelty, and not real competition for the rest of us. People used to ride to shows.
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Old 01-09-2006, 02:09   #19
Bob Norson

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Greetings all..

OK, first thing Great Ketch said: I think you are way over generalizing, and it might depend on what type of sailor you are hanging out with.”

Mate, I was very clear in my original post that I was referring to a part, “many,” not all. I try very hard to never exclude or categorise. I am on record in print on numerous occasions as stating that the great thing about cruisers is the variety and… read carefully.. tolerance of the community. I think the response here so far indicates the validity of the inquiry and the fact your marina may have more piston heads than you may realise.

Now.. where were we?

Kai nui… ah yeah, I remember now. It seemed to me when I lived in California there was a distinct cultural difference.. especially in the Harley crowd. Down south was more polarised. Mean.

I liked riding up north in your territory. Kay and I were the fastest two-up of the people we knew. Many times down G16 (I know you know the road eh) on a variety of bikes and Kay’s butt was about 6” off the seat half the time under brakes diving into turns. Yeah, Carmel Valley road was good and another favourite was Nacimeinto off the PCH and over the coastal range to fort hunter Ligette… know the road?

Jeff H… ah trials… very civilised sport! Not a Bultaco by any chance? There couldn’t be a more considered, quite style of riding, demands incredible skill and precision. I always wondered why they put seats on them at all! Ever do Europe?

Captain Jeff.. We actually merged those two groups… we toured.. but on a CBR 600 with a tank bag! Or sometimes on a NX 650.. dual purpose bike. Whatever, we had good times, often with the BMW guys.. they talked me into buying a K75S.

Wahoo sails… I know the bike alright! And the advantage always goes to the guy that knows the roads! On Palomar mountain by San Diego for several years I could not be beaten no matter what little toy I rode but I’ll bet your pumped up 650 was a terror! And it would have sounded nice.

Pura Vida… ahhh a flyer! Yeah, I can see it, the similarity. Yep, you get it. I would love to try your sport sometime.

This is all good!

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Old 01-09-2006, 04:00   #20
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I don't think this thread has any real relevance to cruising. In fact I find motorcycles as means of travel about as far from cruising as I can think. Well OK.. you can go from here to there on a motorcycle... but that is about where the analogy ends. Does it involve physics? Of course but everything that moves involves physics and mechanics... THAT is not a basis for a similarity.

Clearly cruising sailor will have many interests which may have nothing to do with sailing... perhaps.. opera... or tennis... or ice skating. I suppose there is a subset of sailors and bikers who want to chat bikes and boats.

What strikes me is how different cruising and motor cycles are and in many ways almost polar opposites. Motorcycles seem to be about brute force and machine power and noise. You have to enclose yourself in heavy protective gear... you have to follow roads (except off road biking and that seems to destroy nature rather than gently co exist with it as sailing does)... Biking does not work with the forces of nature... wind and waves, but over powers it plowing noisily over paved roads.

Noise is a big issue for me and why I find the things such an annoyance. Cruising sailors are rather quiet and respectful of others who want to enjoy nature. They try to and for the most pat leave a clean wake and you hardly know they are there.. or have been around. Not so with with motorcycles.. you hear them coming from miles away... can't hold even a conversation when they are close by and have to listen to them as they roar off until they are out of sound range. They are much like those noisy cigarette boats.

While people (mostly men) take pride in the machines.... cars, boats and so forth... the childish display of these noisy shiny toys is reminiscent of children who demand attention from everyone. How different from a anchorage of sailboats gently swinging to the wind! When you get a bunch of the bikers together it is like entering the gates of hell! I will admit that many are impressive in the "aesthetic? and attention to detail... but it is not one that appeals to this sailor.

Oh and did I fail to mention their use of fossil fuels as the only means to move the things? Sure auxiliaries use fuel... but sailing is more about the wind and the waves and the natural forces for motion than pumping hydrocarbons through cylinders.

Perhaps the racing sailors are more the biker types? At my yard, there are no motorcycles and usually a bunch of station wagons! But we have all sailboats. Perhaps at a marina with power boats the fit for motorcycles is better?

In any case... If motor cycles were quiet, safe and did not create so much anxiety to drivers by their crazy weaving in and out of lane driving, they would be acceptable. But the vast majority of motorcycle people act like children in my opinion and the fewer of them on the road.. the better.

sv Shiva
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Old 01-09-2006, 04:26   #21
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Doh! Its not to unusual for people to have varied intrests!!Seeing I wont get a reply I'll say my 2 cents worth."Have I just met a cross section of sailors?"Boy thats a dumb one!!.Ya probably dont know any bikers that like opera,"Theres a cross section!",But, if it's not related to sailors or cruisers then it wont be of use to you will it?."Why do so many people I run into on boats have a rev head,motor head,alter ego?"Is that so weird?If ya have run into so many people on boats with that backgrond then it's not just a cross section.Doh!.From your replys you have similar experiances,thats what I find weird,considering ya Qs.It really sounds to me like your compiling information from sailing people to use in ya paper in future publications.Hey,thats cool,whatever feeds your alter ego is fine by me,I just hope ya journalisim is more open than the way ya get your information.Mudnut.
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Old 01-09-2006, 04:37   #22
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I did not have a Bultaco. I had an Ossa Plonker MAR (Mick Andrews Replica). It is an amazing bike. Nearly dead flat torque curve. Nearly imposible to high center.

Frankly, I wasn't all that good in competition. Even so we used to practice in an abandoned junk yard, and the best illustration of what a trials bike can do, is at my best I could get over a 55 gal drum either way, climb up the front of a truck loading dock, or up the trunk over the roof, and down the hood of an automobile. I never did compete outside of Florida and Georgia where I lived at the time. Even though I wasn't all that good in competition, I learned a lot out there and that gave me the confidence to use the bike to get far out into wilderness areas. \

The other souvineer is a bike that I hand built. It is a replica of a Kawasaki Green Streak that was built from salvaged stock bike parts.

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Old 01-09-2006, 04:57   #23
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Jef - ummm... this IS the "off topic" forum.
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Old 01-09-2006, 05:17   #24
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I rode from 1971 (Yamaha RD350) until 1996 (Suzuki GS850) when we bought our first boat (J/30).

I also drag raced my Plymouth 340 Duster in the 70's, and owned a Toyota Supra for 8 years in the 80's - 90's (didn't race it)

We also raced our J/30 for 8 years.

I am trying to move from all this racing into a somewhat more sedate cruising lifestyle. Somehow the thought of screaming around town with that 350 Yamaha revving at 8000-9000 rpm all the time just isn't that appealing any more. My thoughts these days are more of rum drinks and warm Caribbean sunsets in the cockpit of our Morgan 38.

Methinks I may have finally come to my senses!!

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Old 01-09-2006, 05:52   #25
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Looks like we're talking bikes here. Had the following after I stopped street riding:
Bultaco Lobito
Bultaco Alpena
Ossa Six Days Replica
CanAm 175 TnT OR
Kept the last two in the garage for 25 years. Couldn't part with them but finally sold them to collectors. Of course they were in mint condition!!
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Old 01-09-2006, 06:16   #26
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oh yes! Kawasaki 400, Norton 850, Norton 750, Honda 650 and now borrow an 1100 for some Suzuki Therapy from a friend as i'm buying lot's of Ply and epoxy.
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Old 01-09-2006, 13:29   #27
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Bob: I had the same problem with the EX (it's not the rims so much as needing the good new compound, right?). I put a Ninja fork and swing arm on the EX and that did the trick. Problem was, though I had 17s, as rims got wider I had trouble getting the latest tires on and had to start shaving down the sides (207s in particular) to fit them in between the swing arm.

Jeff H: “It is living in the wind...” I like that, nothing is more pleasurable than hearing some buddies say “let’s get in the wind” after a nice greasy burger up in the Angeles Crest. Riding with friends is really like playing football on Sunday or Tuesday night dinghy races, just plain active fun with friends.

I can understand how hard the motorcycle/sail boat connection may be to get for some. Bikes can be about ego and all the other guff mentioned above but in the pure sense they are not. Pride of ownership can come from care and craftsmanship. You may not be a wooden boat person but if you see a beautiful hand-built wooden boat and its beaming owner you get it, right? Guys (and some gals) that tweak, tinker and coble together a motorcycle with character and beauty are similar. I had a Ducati Paso that was a nightmare to keep running but when I had it just right it was my favorite bike in the world.

Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. -- HG Wells
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Old 01-09-2006, 13:53   #28
Bob Norson

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defjef... you said; "I don't think this thread has any real relevance to cruising. In fact I find motorcycles as means of travel about as far from cruising as I can think." I did put this in the "off topic Forum" so as not to interfer with a specific cruising discussion. Isn't that what this is for? As far as relevance.. and "as far from" etc.. again, the responses here validate the question which is what this was all about, me asking. It's perfectly OK that it's not your cuppa tea but you can not invalidate the position of the rest of the people posting here. For us (those posting an interest) there is relevance. I am not here to knock anyone for anything and particularly some one who doesn't have this particular interest. The rather unkind and inaccurate description you have applied to motorcyclists could be turned around and used on any group of special interest, including yachties and I have seen it done. Remember, your thing of beauty and peace is a mean old fart from Miami's eye sore and environmental vandal that should not be allowed to anchore within sight of their fair city. Think about it.

Hey Jeff.. I know of the Englishman Mick andrews, used to drive around Europe in his mercedes with his bike hanging off the back.. I have old video of him doing impossible things. I was never so hot at the track either. Mid packer having a great time. I was good at road race but the La Carrara was the last one held.

S/V Elusive.. thanks mate.. it sure is!

Hey John.. you kept that old RD for a long time! We grow, we change but if you were starting over would you have done different you think?

Wow, Vasco.. you had a nice collection of trials bikes... someday soon I've got to figure out what to do with my TZ 125.. mint condition of course! (with spares)

Savvy Mike, Which 650 honda? NX? And sounds like you are having a boat project... curious.. since you ride bikes must be a racing boat right?!

Hey Randy A.. HHmmm.. Mine was a problem of high speed sweeper. Would start a nasty weave with a little ripple in the pavement. A common problem but none of the usual fixes worked for me at the time. I had plenty of other bikes so gave up and handed the bike to my wife as she didn't ride that hard and she liked the grunt it had compared to her 250 ninja which I loved! We were a sight riding around, her on the 500 and me on the 250.. Kay is only 5' so looked odd! We have done the crest highway many times!

Your other comments? I couldn't agree more. full stop.

Right now I've got our 65 malibu torn apart and looking for a set of L98 alloy corvette heads. The 383 stroker and the muncie are getting a thorough look through and put back together to clear the table so I can start building a 12 metre cat... pray for me!

And generaly... The idea that yachties with motorhead background gravitate to racing boats doesn't seem to hold up. But would be interesting to see what you guys say... cruiser or racer?
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Old 01-09-2006, 17:55   #29
Kai Nui

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DefJef, the connection between bikes (at least the older ones) and sail boats is very clear to me, having done both for long periods of time. The enginuity to keep an old flat head Harley on the road and the enginuity to fix a broken shroud underway, or to get a diesel to run when the wind dies and the thing just won't start are very much the same. The skill to take a big bike through the turns at high speed on the edge of control, and the skill to hold a course with the 3rd reef in and nothing visible around you but walls of water are also very much the same. Yes, a bike uses fossil fuel. A boat, on the otherhand, if you are amongst the majority that sail plastic fantastics is built with toxic chemicals that insert more polution into the air and ground while being built than many bikes will in 20 years of running. And What about anti fouling paint?
The independence of most bikers, and the desire for freedom. the enjoyment of being out in the elements and feeling the wind... Are those not some of the key elements of a cruising sailor?
IMHO it is a perfect match.
Oh, and as for being wrapped up in safety gear and being noisy, have you ever heard 40kt winds roaring through the shrouds? Have you ever put on a float suit, a harness and jackline?
Before you condemn, you should rent a bike, and go for a quiet ride on a deserted mountain road, throw up a tent just off the road for the night alongside a small stream, and try it out. Then again, maybe not. There are some scary people out there.
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Old 01-09-2006, 20:58   #30
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I haven't read all the posts as it appeared to deteriorate into "I said... you said...crap" which is the electronic forum version of pollution.

There is a relationship between motorcycles, of which I owned a number, from 125 cc to 1100 cc bikes, including a BMW bike and many BMW cars, as well as Triumph cars (son, never buy an English car!). The relationship is the great outdoors, both a cruising boat and a bike bring you directly into contact with nature that a car and an enclosed power boat can't do. I wouldn't be surprised to read that many have toured on bicycles, back packed, hiked and just camped out doors for the h... of it. I've done all these things. I also prefer to walk places rather than ride places; it slows you down and brings you into contact more with the seasons; you see what is budding, growing, gone formant and dying. You can stop along the way and eat wild berries, blow the fuzz off of dandylions, and smell the roses so to speak.

Sailing and cruising reminds me my life is less significant than a drop of water in the ocean, but more significant as well. Cruising in a blow reminds me how insulated from nature I normally am; how my concrete asphalt junkle alienates me from the inherent power of nature. On a motorcycle, I was amazed at how quickly hypothermia can set in, in relatively benign conditions. Cruising forces me into another world with different rules, incredible vocabulary, and varied skills.

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