Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ok, because you asked...

Yes, there is actually a picture of me with Ewan McGregor. It was taken at Laguna Seca Raceway in California in 2002. The stupid(er) look on my face is because he is grabbing my butt in the picture.

The story; It was my 2nd anniversary, but I was working in the booth on Ducati Island. Ewan (and His dad, pictured in the background) were super cool and hung out in our booth beating the heat and the crowds for a long time. We talked about motorcycles, steaks, wives and beer. After a little while he offered to call my wife and wish her a happy anniversary. He said "Hello Merritt, this is Ewan McGregor" she of course didn't believe him and thought it was one of my Scottish friends playing a prank on her. He eventually convinced her and said "I'm with Phil at the racetrack, and he's being a good boy, and I'm keeping an eye on him"...I could then hear her shout into the phone, "I'm watching you in Moulin Rouge right now!" he started laughing and chilled her out and wished her a happy anniversary. He made quite an impression on both of us, and it's given us a great story any time people talk about what their spouse got them (or didn't get them) for an anniversary. The next day Ewan and Ben Bostrom were invited to take a lap on Laguna Seca on scooters the company I was working for provided. We had a blast and actually rode the wrong way up the corkscrew just so Ewan could do it again faster (it's super intimidating). He was completely thrilled and kept saying "I was on Laguna Seca with Ben Bostrom!!! I will always say "I rode the corkscrew (twice) with Ewan McGregor and Ben Bostrom".

Friday, February 20, 2015

Clevelandmoto #79 To Scramble or NOT to Scramble?

We weigh in or opinions about scramblers and recap our trip to the motorcycle show a few weeks ago.

9° and Steve is still wearing Jorts.

Dustin, and math has shown if every listener sends us $1 we can buy a Walking Dead Winnebago...

paypal us $1 at and if we go over $100 we'll start the worlds most ridiculous kickstarter. 

So, we've heard a rumor that there won't be a progressive international motorcycle show next year...while we can't find anything saying those words EXACTLY...we have found this...

You will eventually be able to buy the bike of your dreams....

The second article is 6 years old...but it still represents some AMAZING deals.

Click on this picture to see what scrambler meant when the term was created.

KTM raises the bar on the term ADVENTURE BIKE...

Type Hipster Scrambler into google...what comes up? 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Clevelandmoto #78 (The Exhausting Episode).

We exhaust the topic of exhausts. Pipes, cans, mods that may need to be down to tune it properly. But first we touch back on the Craigslist topic to decide when even a buck a cc is to much.
Chris Smith wonders if $1000 is too much for a 1000cc motorcycle? 


2 Stroke Expansion Chamber: 

Zoomie Exhaust (aka Drag Pipes) 

Why is my Chrome turning blue? 

Why Can't I just drill a big hole in from the back???

That's the INSIDE of your factory exhaust you understand where the pressure is going? It's a labyrinth. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Podcast Special! Cleveland Motorcycle Show.

We go to most of the major booths and check out what they are offering for 2015. At each booth we all have to answer the same question. "If you had to leave this show with one bike here, which would it be and why".

We start in the Victory Booth where Johnny Chrome and John McElfresh both like the Magnum  and Cross Country,
Dustin loves the Gunner - As seen with our new friend Jacqui Van Ham
Over to the Indian Booth - Merritt likes the Scout, but like me can't stand the forward pegs and it's looking pretty grim for mid-controls. 
Johnny Chrome digs the Chieftan in the Blue/White color and it does look great. 
Chris Smith's kids Tegan (15) and Ty (24) actually do like the scout, so maybe that's a good thing for Indian. 

You can't talk about Polaris without mentioning the Slingshot, and we were wrong...they enter the market at $20,000
Everyone agrees we'd rather have one than a Can Am Spyder

KTM has scored a direct hit on our group with the new Duke 390

In the Suzuki booth Merritt and Johnny Chrome both picked the SVF650  - Argh!!! It is STILL called the Gladius....dammit, I'm certain the one in the booth wasn't blue and white, but I serious don't like what they've done to the venerable SV...
Man, you can't tell me that this bike is cooler than the old one...(Merritt's actual bike btw)
Honorable mention goes to the GSX-S750 

In the Yamaha booth Chris Smith loved the Super Tenere
Everyone else seemed to REALLY dig the FZ-07, young and old alike....
I think Yamaha has a real winner on their hands here. 
Unfortunately, I have to complain about the Bolt C-Spec...I didn't like the repli-sportster before and I definitely DON'T like it with drag bars and a plastic cover on the back seat. This bike has AWFUL ergos. 
Airbox and things were jamming into BOTH of my knees and who sit's like this? 

And you can SMAX your bitch up....
Wow...Harley davidson had 2 different bikes on rollers! 
Wow, the Harley booth got us kind of emotional....there were bikes sleeping on their sides...
Johnny Chrome liked the new Road Glide because he used to have the same bike 20 years

I love Chris Smith's choice the Road King Classic - This is what a retro Harley should look like. 

The Kawasaki Booth didn't give us any surprises....

Dustin of course still loves the Versys and the KLR650...but, so does Johnny Chrome and the young points to the old tractor. 
Kawasaki Ergo fit...what do you mean if you're 5'4" you have to be a woman? 
Kawasaki uses male images for the mid and extended, but a female form for the "short". 

We go into the Honda Booth and Dustin loves the Honda CB1100 
I have to admit I have a guilty pleasure for the F6B, I like what they've done there...

Johnny Chrome digs the VFR1200...

Chris Smith spotted this really cool Honda Grom / GL1000 Gold wing tribute scooter they were raffling off. 

Ty digs the NC700 - the one at the show had the flappy/paddle electronic automatic transmission...

Not to be outdone, his younger brother Tegan went for the NM4 "Vultus" (best name for a new bike). 

Batman, we found your scooter.

And a big shout out to our friends at Metal Rescue, remember to send us a picture of something NASTY, so we can send you a free jug of Metal Rescue so we can get some real-world before and after pictures.

Friday, January 30, 2015

ClevelandMoto #77 FOURTH ANNIVERSARY Craigslist Special!

We celebrate our 4th Anniversary! Thanks to ALL of our loyal listeners.

In this weeks podcast we discuss buying a bike on Craigslist and what you should be aware of.

 Also we talk about the recent news of Polaris purchasing electric motorcycle company Brammo.

Sources tell WBZ Buzea has been duping people nationwide who are buying cars online. He’s been operating out of a Woburn hotel room for the past six months.
Investigators say well trained thieves like Buzea are working with counterparts in Romania.
They successfully direct online car buyers to bogus yet very real looking online payment systems.
Michele Grand of the Suffolk County District Attorney Office says buyers, “Were duped because the people they thought they were buying the cars from provided them a fake Paypal link.”
The judge has ordered he be fitted with a GPS tracking ankle bracelet if he is released on $100,000 bail.


1. The Accidental Check

Just like in the housing scams, buyers will pay the seller with a cashier’s check or money order that looks real and then suddenly “realize” they paid too much. This usually happens with buyers who are overseas or otherwise unable to meet with the seller in person. The buyer will then ask the seller to just wire them the overage. Then the seller will arrange to have the car picked up by a middleman, or pick-up agent. By the time the seller realizes the check was a fake, they’ve lost the money they wired to the buyer as well as their car.

2. The Out-of-Town Seller

Some sellers will list a car at an unbelievable price and then tell the buyer a sob story to go with it. It may be they are going through a divorce, or have been transferred overseas and can’t afford to have the car shipped or registered to the new locale. Whatever the story, it justifies the low price and the buyer thinks he’s getting a great deal. But because the seller is out of the country, the buyer will have to wire funds to them in order to take possession of the car. You can imagine what happens next – the seller disappears with the money and the car is nowhere to be found.

The combo -

If a con artist senses a buyer’s hesitation about wiring money before they have possession of the car, many times they will offer to do a “safe” transaction utilizing a company like, or or another online escrow service. They will tell the buyer to transfer the funds to the ebay pay  account where they will be held until the buyer picks up the car.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? The problem comes when a spoof email (one that mimics a legitimate site) is sent to the buyer from the supposedly secure escrow site. The funds then aren’t routed to a legitimate escrow account, but rather a fake one. The seller is never heard from again and the buyer is left with no money and no car.
The EBAY moneygram/western union scam :

Simply put . ; eBay does not supervise or guarantee any transactions that occur outside of eBay or the eBay platform

12 Steps to buying a used bike online/ebay/craigslist/cycletrader etc.

1. Know what the bike is and what it's worth (and what you're willing to pay) before you even call. Be prepared for a seller to claim it's worth WAY more than it is. If you have a couple of ebay completed auctions printed out this will help your case and prove what they're actually selling for. 
 2. The Meet Up: Call first. Get as much information about the vehicle as you can on the phone—and always ask if more photos are available or can be taken, especially of problem areas—when you get the persons address do a reverse look up and see if that's where they live. works. 
Make an APPOINTMENT to see the bike, be there when you say you will, do not rush right over if you don't have to. If there is any sense of urgency, be careful. 

If the seller is sketchy or doesn't want you coming to his house, go to a police station or a bank. Of course, if the vehicle in question isn’t in running condition, you’ll have to visit the car where it sits Don't meet someone at their house. Don't meet them in a deserted parking lot or in their van down by the river.
3. Does the person match the title match the bike? 
5. Is this a running bike?
6. Before you start the motor:
7. Warm up the bike: 
9. Now pull the bike in the driveway if it's liquid cooled make sure it idles long enough to cycle the cooling fan, then shut the bike down. 

 Get the sellers name - is this the bike on the title, check the VIN? 
Size up the seller, Just Assume that the person selling the car is a con artist (unless it's a licensed dealer). Nearly ALL vehicle fraud is committed by private sellers. false paperwork, salvaged vehicles, vehicles with tampered odometers etc. If you find a deal from a private seller that seems too good to be true, it is. Walk away. If this is his brother-in-laws bike, or if he's just waiting to get the title from the he got it from...walk away.

If you get some complicated story, beware. The more interesting the story, the more likely the seller is trying to trick you. Ask to see maintenance records. Most long term owners keep copious records. If there's a new bike in the driveway, why wouldn't the new bike dealer take it in on trade? 

Make sure you clarify BEFORE you show up, Running, Reliable and Titled. When was the last time you rode it for more than 30 minutes? 
If it is, make sure it's cold when you get there, inspect it COLD. Be nervous about a bike that's hot when you get there. 

Check the turn signals, horn etc. look for evidence of non-standard wiring
Turn on the fuel tap and look for leaks
Swing the handlebars full left and right to make sure nothing is pulling / binding and to check the headset bearings. Do a good walk around and a pre-flight check, look at the owners manual online before you get there to know what to look for. Look carefully at tires / tubes, they're more expensive than you think.

Make the seller start the bike for you, if the bike requires any special starting techniques make sure they tell you Check ALL the pipes to be sure they're warming up evenly. 
Look for any leaks
Roll the bike back and forth checking for smooth rolling
chain smooth
brakes working (and releasing!!!)
Do the lights surge when you rev it? (weak battery, bad voltage regulator)

8. Test Ride (you'd better) 
Is the bike insured? 
If you refuse to let me test ride, why? 
Have the seller lead, or follow you if they're nervous.
Let them hold your car keys, license or even some $$$. 
Check the play in everything, sloppy = bad maintenance
smooth throttle response both on AND off the idle should return naturally
listen for Rattle from the timing chain
Ride the bike like it's your first time ever, do everything more slowly and listen carefully.
Do several 2nd or 3rd gear roll on's - make the bike go from lug to zoom.
Freeway - you need to go fast enough to detect handling / balance issues
make sure the test ride is long enough to make a liquid cooled bike cycle the system.
Before you return the bike do some figure 8's, tells you a LOT. 

Is the oil milky or frothy, that could be a head gasket! 
Let it sit for a few minutes while you remind the seller of EVERY shortcoming you've found.
Restart the bike. A weak charging system or a wet-sumping bike will be hard to restart. 

Remind the seller of his asking price MINUS what it's going to cost to make it whole.
Never hesitate calling a friend or a shop for a second opinion or estimate for a repair.
Don't just make a $ counter offer without backing it up.
"you're asking $3000, but it needs $500 worth of work, I'll give you $2500" 
Remind them of the shortcomings you've found and then ask them "what do you need?"
Never underestimate the power of reminding the seller that you don't really NEED this motorcycle.

This is Larry Newberry,
He is the BEST at buying bikes and cars, because he loves it. 
 I've learned everything about buying from him...If you're ever going up against this away. He'll get your bike and ALL your money, and you'll probably give him your last beer.

11. Bonus Points 
'What else do you have for this bike"
You'd be amazed at how much valuable stuff the seller doesn't need once he's sold you the bike. 
Is there another bike, boat, gun etc. this guy (who now loves you) wants to sell? At this point they should know you're a quality buyer. 

Either make your own handwritten bill of sale or download one online, believe it or not, the bill of sale may save your butt if you later discover a small problem with the title. You can even use it to PROVE you are the owner of the vehicle if the title (which is a state document) ever is disputed. Understand how the title you're looking at works, if you're not absolutely sure, don't write on it, let the notary or title bureau help you, once you make a bad mark on the title, you're going to end up having the seller get a duplicate title. 
Go to the bank and hand off the cash there, there are notaries there too. 

Congratulations, I know it was a pain in the ass, but every time I've had a problem I can tie it directly to a step I've missed.

Polaris Buys Brammo:

Hybrids are alive and well:

Honda Hybrid -

As usual most new technology is tested in the scooter market. Yay Scooters!

Friday, January 23, 2015

ClevelandMoto 76 America....Fuck Yeah!

The "America FUCK YEAH!" episode. American motorcycles, jackets, helmets, boots....Does any of it really exist? We go to a LOT of trouble to find you awesome motorcycles and products that are made in the USA. 

JRC  Seamless from $55 (not armored) -
Fox River Seamless from $46 (not armored) -
Lee Parks design DearTours from $95 (not armored) to Armored for $135
Vanson – Engineer Gloves $109, Talon (racing) $239 -
Aerostitch – Roper $49 – DeerSports Armored $125 -
RedWing – Starting about $200 -
Chippewa – Starting around $250 -
Danner – US made starts around $250 -
Jackets and Chaps:
Vanson – Jackets start at around $500 -
Hot Leathers – Jackets starting at $300 -
Brooks – Jackets starting at $399 -
Hillside Leather – Jackets starting around $360 -
Schott – All kinds of jackets starting around $500 -
Seer Motorcycle Law Enforcement / no full face – $395 -
Simpson – Only their track/automotive helmets are made in the US, – $599 -
Diamond Gusset Defenders –$139  -
Draggin’ Jeans – $119 -

Garage Support: 

Our favorite Product from right here in the USA... METAL RESCUE