The Dudeman Chronicles
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 "The limits of ignorance must be tested and explored, if we are to ever conquer ignorance. Knowing the enemy, that's half the battle...and we're severely outnumbered."

 "Is it really considered ridicule if they're complete idiots? I mean, how many people will stand up and claim themselves to be idiots? 'As a complete idiot, I found your Dudeman page very offensive.'  Yeah, that's about what I'm getting at..."

Stock Bike (used): $3875
Custom Modifications: $3500
Dudemen you encounter along the way? PRICELESS!!!

Behold, the dudeman! You've probably encountered at least one no matter what your calling is. It's not a motorcycle specific enigma, but sooner or later they come out of the woodwork. Named after their frequent usage of the words "dude!" and "man!" in the context that they are attempting to convince you that they actually KNOW something about the subject at hand. The intellect of a dudeman is amazingly ignorant. They obviously know nothing about the subject but go out of their way trying to convince you that they do. They will reach as far as they possibly can, and when you least expect it...reach out a little more.

On that premise, I tend to enjoy stretching out conversations with such types for as long as I can, or until I can no longer keep a straight face, whichever happens first.

Now I know nothing about astrophysics, so I have no reason to approach an astrophysicist and try to convince him that my bucket of bolts can make it to point-five past lightspeed. "Dude, didn't you see Star Wars?" Right. That's about what I'm getting at here, folks --- "Close Encounters With the Galactically Ignorant" or "Meet Brad Pitt's brother: Stu" , coming soon to a theatre near you. This page is dedicated to the motorcycle dudeman. In no particular chronological order, here are a few recollections of my more memorable personal encounters which I submit to you as:

" The Dudeman Chronicles "

(original dudeman concept courtesy of Duke at the forums)



1> This one happened at a former place of employment amongst co-workers, circa winter of 2002.


"Dude, was that you on that slick-ass Harley that rumbled in this morning?"

There's typically about a dozen bikes parked in the motorcycle section of the employee parking lot when I roll in at 6:30-6:45am each day, with said section located right at the entry gate where the guard shack has a clear view of them. Some of them are Harleys. Some are sport bikes. Some are dual-sports. Some are metric cruisers. You get the picture, but the typical dudeman doesn't. To the dudeman, there are two kinds of bikes: Harleys (anything with chrome) and Ninjas (anything with aerodynamic fairing).

"If you mean the burgandy/white chopper, yeah that was me."

"Yeah man, that's the one. Nice Harley, dude!"

"Thanks, but it's a Honda. Shadow VLX to be specific."

"Oh, yeah man...I used to have one of those. Traded it for my new bike."

"Right on, so whaddaya got now?"

"Got me another Honda. Can't go wrong with the best!"

"Cool. Which model?"

"The Ninja!" (See? I told ya so, it's either a Harley or a Ninja! For those not in the know, excluding our dudeman here, Kawasaki makes the Ninja line. Not Honda. Not Suzuki. Not Yamaha. But to the dudeman, all of those are Ninjas.)

About this time my friend/co-worker who rides a CBR1000 Hurricane walks into the conversation, with a perplexed look in his face. I give him a quick nod, and retort: "Hey Sam (names altered to protect the innocent and guilty alike), Ernest here has himself a Honda Ninja, ain't that what you ride?"

Sam answers, "Yeah, I got one too...which size do you have?"

"I got me the 1200 (at the time the ZX-11 was Kawi's biggest Ninja, and Honda's biggest sportbike was the CBR1100XX). Man that thing's so fast it scares me!"

Me: "Have you ever taken it on the freeway and opened her up?"

"Hell yeah, man! I got to state line in 16 minutes with it!"

Sam: "Not bad, what part of town did you start from to get that time?"

"I live near the Summerlin area." (at the time the extreme notrthwest end of town, and such a trip on the freeway commencing there takes you through the "spaghetti bowl" which is aptly named as it's the interchange downtown where traffic comes to a standstill for miles regardless of the time of day. It's even worse now...but I digress)

Me: Right on. So how fast did you get it up to?

"140 man. Any faster and I woulda $#!& my pants!"

(quick's about 40 miles from where we worked to the California state line. At 140mph you're moving 2 2/3 miles per minute, which in 16 minutes would take you 37 miles. This doesn't take into account where said knothead lives, which would add at least another 10 miles, and the interchange delays, let alone any traffic in between. In other words, had he been airborn and going as the crow flies, he still wouldn't have made it at those speeds and times.)

Me: "Say, I'm not too familiar with the Honda 1200 that the one with the V-twin?" (at the time only Suzuki and Honda had 1000cc V-twins, along with the various Ducati models...there were no other V2 sport bikes in production)

"Yeah, that's the one!"

Sam: "How do you like that 300 series front tire? Pretty snappy handling?" (a 300 series front tire will make any bike handle like an intoxicated yak)

"Dude, this thing kicks major snappy ASS!!!"

Yeah there was some major ass-gassing here for sure. Suffice it to say, without going into further details this guy managed to dig himself into a deep enough hole that by the time we were done with him he was staring face to face with a chinese fella.


2> This happened on the way home from work one summer night (which according to the Vegas analogies on the "About" page puts it in August) in 2006.


So, there I was...riding home from work one night. In the rain. Yes, it's one of those few times I got caught up in it (the annual Las Vegas rainfall averages two inches). It's coming down steadily, not a torential downpour or anything, just what might be described as a pleasant drizzle.

I'm stopped at a light with my foot down at an intersection that regularly floods out under heavier rainfall. Since it had been raining all day long, my shoe was completely submerged in about 5-6 inches worth of standing water. Dudeman pulls up next to me on the right in a jacked up 4x4 truck. I can see him gesturing at me to his passenger and laughing, and he's eyeballing back and forth between me and the light, waiting for it to turn green.

It changes. I already know what's about to transpire, so I ease out slowly and crawl across the intersection. Dudeman paces behind/to the right of me, and then I hear it: he guns the motor and sends a wave of water onto me as he rumbles past.

I catch him at the next light thanks to an accident closing off several lanes, and his window is down as I pull up next to him again (not difficult to lane split when they can't). Looks like there will be some time to kill, so I look at him and shake my head.

"You got a problem, mother $%#!-er?"

"Just marvelling at the ignorance."

"Oh, so you DO have a problem!"

I gesture up at the sky. "You might note it's raining."

"Yeah? No $#!&, Sherlock!" (laughter erupts from inside the cab)

I gesture down at the bike. "You might note that I'm on a motorcycle."

"Yeah? And...?!?"

"This is going completely over your head, isn't it?"

There is deafening silence inside the cab, and a quizical look from Dudeman.

"Okay, I guess I'll have to spell it out for you. Do you honestly believe you ticked me off by making me WET?"



3> This one happened at a Honda dealership, shortly after I got my chopper on the road so that's during spring of 2000. This is my personal fave, and all the others will have to work twice as hard to top it. God willing, they won't...but one should never underestimate the power of the dude side, they must obey their master, and their master is ignorance. Enjoy!


I had ridden the Dream to said dealership where this tale takes place, circa Y2K as it happened inthe spring/summer after I had done the conversion. It happened in the back service lot, where the bikes get parked before or after service behind the dealership. I was talking to the tech about aftermarket pipes or some other modification I was considering, I really can't recall exactly what but that wasn't important...this is where the whole Dudeman story begins at this point.

Dudeman interupts us (me, the tech whom I shall dub "Max", and a friend that rode in with me whom I shall call "Sam"...again names changed to protect the innocent).

"Do you guys service (some Kawasaki quad model that I can't recall at the moment) here?"

Max: "Yes, we're an authorized Honda/Kawasaki dealer. You can see the service writer for an appointment." We try to resume the conversation when dudeman interupts again:

"Honda? You sell Hondas here?!? Who the hell would want to ride that jap crap?!?"

Apparently you do, ya single cell're asking if you can get your Kawi Quad serviced here, aren't you? Alas, before anyone can answer that tactfully, I merely butt in with "So what do you ride?"

"Oh, I got me a 95th Anniversary Fat Boy."

About this time dudeman gets a glimpse of my black T that I'm wearing, sporting the caption "Bikers are a rare breed, Harley owners are a dime a dozen". I picked it up at an aftermarket HD accessory shop I frequented at the time. Dudeman is about to completely miss the meaning of that slogan:

"Man, I take offense to that shirt you're wearing. That Fat Boy of mine is a real man's bike, I feel like a real man when I'm on it. <yawn> I feel like a real man whether I'm on a bike or not, I don't need any bike to inflate my genetalia. </yawn> Those Hondas don't evoke that feeling. In fact they don't even hold their value, that means they suck. Do you realize I've had three offers of $25K for my bike since I bought it?"  <yawn again> I didn't buy an investment, I bought a bike. It was designed to be ridden in turns, not to turn any profits </yawn again>

"That's nice. So this bike's parked up front, right?"

"Oh no, it's far too VALUABLE to be riding on the street."

{ Of course. Rather convenient, that one... }

Sam: "Ah, so you have something else parked up front, a daily ride that you can take out on the street?"

Dudeman starts searching for an answer...apparently he doesn't want to admit that he DROVE his beat up clunker to a Honda dealership to start a Harley debate. After a brief moment of soul searching, he sputters out, "Yeah, I got a slick Sportster chopper parked up front."

Me: "Cool, can I see it? I just got done with a chopper myself...always interested to see what other guys are doing." So dudeman leads me, Sam, and the now amused Max up front to see this Sporty chopper. Suffice it to say, our collective curiousity is piqued. Along the way, Max belts out "Say, aren't those Sportsters considered 'girlie bikes' amongst the Harley camp?"

"No way man. Sportsters are HARLEYS! A Harley is a MAN'S bike, and only a real man can ride a CHOPPER!"

So we get up front and look around, the only chopper we can see is my VLX that I parked near the building. Not a single Sportster let alone any other Harley model on the lot. My buddy Sam blurts out, "So where's your bike, man?"

Dudeman gestures toward my bike. "Right THERE, are ya blind?!? You can't see that bad #$$ chopper parked by the building there?!?"

We're all trying valiantly to supress a rage of howling laughter at this point, but miraculously we manage straight faces. Well, astonished straight faces...but I sincerely doubt doctor dudeman caught on to any of that eye-bulging. Max snaps out of it first, and breaks the awkward moment with "Oh, yeah, I must have missed it. Yeah, that is a cool bike. Say, let's get a closer look at this <cough> SPORTSTER you've got..."

So dudeman proudly leads us, striding toward MY bike, talking about all the comments he gets when he rides it and some of the awards he'd gathered at bike shows. We get next to it and he throws out both hands, palms up, toward it. "Feast yer eyes!"

We're all looking at this bike, in sheer amazement. Not because it's the first time any of us had seen it mind you, but just sheer amazement at the shoe-sized IQ being displayed by this "real man biker". Max points toward the Shadow logo on my tank and says "Interesting paint job, did you get this done locally?"

"Yeah man, that's a custom paint job I had done. Paid five grand for it!"

Then Max points to the chrome crankcase cover bearing the 3/4" tall letters that spell out H O N D A in a semi-circle. "So which motor is that?"

"That's a 100 inch S&S EVO mated to a Rev Tech tranny!" (wow, my 600cc motor just tripled in size, right there on the spot!)

So I finally close the deal with "Can ya fire it up? I'd love to hear what a real man biker's bike would sound like."

Dudeman starts to lose composure as he begins to realize that his bluff has been called. "Uh, I just dropped the key off inside for a service." Right. You dropped the keys to a "Harley" at the service desk of a Honda/Kawasaki dealership that sells "jap-crap". Okay, any other bridges you'd like to sell? So I continue with "Mind if I throw a leg over? This is really a sweet machine. I'd like to at least sample the feel of a real man's biker's bike before I leave this Honda dealership."

Dudeman hesitantly responds, "Well, yeah...go ahead. Just be careful, that's a $5000 paint job and I don't want any scratches on it!"

So there I was, sitting on MY bike, feigning amazement at what a REAL bike feels like. "No chance you could talk the service guys out of the key for a moment? I'd really love to hear what this thing sounds like, and more importantly FEELS like. There's a lot of ideas here I'd like to apply to my own chopper someday."

Dudeman starts looking more and more flustered, so I finally put an end to the whole farcical suspense. "Never mind. Let me try my HONDA key on this Harley Sportster chopper..." and I proceed to fire up the engine. His eyes widened like saucers as his jaw hit the ground, and his face went beet-red. He stormed off to his clap-trap mid-80s Ford Escort as we all started cracking up, calling out to him as he left:

"Dude, listen to that 100 inch S&S HONDA motor scream!"

"Take that bad boy for a spin and see how well that RevTech HONDA tranny runs!"

"And be careful not to scratch that custom $5000 SHADOW logo on the tank!"



4> I had a Harley Davidson kickstand assembly in my possession ever so briefly once, early in my riding career (I'll say this happened in 1998 at the latest, before I got my second bike). There's a funny story behind it, which follows. This is not intended as a bash towards the brand in any way/shape/form mind you, but rather toward this particular owner who probably somehow qualifies for official Dudeman status despite actually owning and riding a bike. Hey, anything is possible...


I was waiting in the left turn lane of a red light and a guy riding a big-twin made a left turn from the through street crossing from my right. As he executed this maneuver his sidestand fell off along the way, bouncing and clattering until it landed practically at my feet. I duckwalked forward a bit, leaned over and picked it up, and stuffed it into my saddlebag. When my light turned green I made a U-turn and took off to catch the guy so I could give it back.

I weave and cut through a bit of traffic to catch the guy at the next light, and just as I pulled alongside Dudeman applicant #8345927 he cusses me out with a diatribe of "jap-crap" propaganda. I patiently waited and when he was finally finished spouting off about my insulting him via pulling up next to/tarnishing his "holy grail on the pedestal" bike, I just shook my head, smiled, and simply said "I know something that you're about to find out the hard way" and simply let him go his separate way as I went back my way.

I turned into the nearest shopping center parking lot and deposited that kickstand into a dumpster, but I would have paid good money to watch him park that bike at his destination.



5> This one happened at my current place of employment and serves to illustrate that the dudeman doesn't always travel alone. Much more recent, early 2009


I was at my current place of employment, passing by the new tattoo shop that opened up in the gift shop area to yip-yap with the owner  as he has a few cherry bikes that he rotates and displays there. He started with a vintage Matchless and had a Norton Commando more recently, along with several local customs that were being raffled off along the way. At the time of this tale, he had just displayed a sweet 60s Triumph chopper there.

Before I could enter and commence said chat session, a group of yoo-hoos wandered in nearby as I'm checking out the bike in the window. This group is comprised of a trio of dudemen and a pair of dudettemen (the latter being the feminine use of the term). I can't help but overhear their conversation:

Blond bimbo dudetteman: "Oooohh, Mark (as usual, names altered to protect the innocent and guilty alike), that looks like your old bike!"

Mark Dudeman, obvious leader of the pack: "Yeah, kinda..."

Blond bimbo dudetteman: "What did you used to have, a Road Glide?" (I can see how she'd make that connection: bare bones parallel twin chopper versus a faired toruing rig with hard bags)

Mark Dudeman: "No, it was a Fat Boy Ultra Classic."

Another instant connection: chopper = Fat Boy/Electra Glide Ultra Classic hybrid, if there ever were such a model. Man, how I wanted to butt in...but it continued.

Bob Dudeman: "Yeah, them are bad azz bikes man!"

Joe Dudeman, looking over to burnette bimbo dudetteman while pointing at the Trump chop in the window: "Actually that's one of those new Rockers that Harley makes these days." In his defense, if I were to even contemplate defending such ignorance, the custom leather seat had the word "rocker" etched into it. Joe obviously read a bike rag or two along the way to know that Harley had just released a chopper-esque model dubbed "Rocker", that made him the most educated of the group.

blond and burnette bimbo dudettemen in tandem "Wowwww..."

Mark Dudeman: "Yeah man, I nearly bought me one of those Rocker Rods. But I think I'm gonna end up with another Fat Boy Ultra Classic. I loved that last one so much!"

I just couldn't stand it anymore, I had to interject at this point. "Fat Boy Ultras? I got me one of those, dude!!! Which one are ya lookin' at, the 2009 Shovelhead or the 2010 XL1500?"

Mark Dudeman: "The new one, man! Can't beat that 1500."

Me: "Yeah man, I wished I'd waited a year. Don't get me wrong, I love my XL884 Fat Boy Ultra, but now that the new ones are out I wish I had the stones that bigger motor throws out. You getting the three speed or four?"

Mark Dudeman: "I dunno, I was thinking about the auto."

Supressing astonishment here...and a brief pause in order to think of something I could continue with the rhetoric: "Yeah, I read about that CVT auto tranny Harley has in their new DN-01 line (the DN-01 is Honda's new scooter/sport/cruiser hybrid with an automatic tranny). It was carried over from their scooter line in Europe, I think..."

Mark Dudeman: "Yeah, that's the one."

Me: "But I was talkin' with the owner here the other day, he's interested in my Ultra so I'm working out a trade for that Trumpet in the window."

Bob & Joe Dudemen: "Trumpet? What's that?"

There are blank looks all around, including the bimbo dudettemen twins.

Me: "Trumpet, it's a nickname for that bike in the window."

Bob Dudeman: "Trumpet? I thought the Rocker was named after a guitar."

Me: "Right, Triumph Guitars, a european manufacturer. That's the V-Rod motor in that bike, Harley's fastest one yet. Designed by Porsche, so the boys at the Motor Company honored that landmark by naming it after a european guitar manufacturer: Triumph. The Bonneville series to be precise."

Joe Dudeman: "Ah, I think I heard of them. Some 80s band used to play those guitars."

Bob Dudeman: "Yeah, man...I remember them too. They had that video."

Me: "Yeah, that's the one..."

Mark Dudeman: "Cool, ya learn something new everyday."

Me: "Well folks, I gotta get back to work. Good yappin it up with you. Good luck with that new Fat Boy Ultra, dude!"

I was mentally giggling like a school boy all the way back to my station after that.


6> This is another one that happened at my current place of employment. Yet another one of the rarities where dudeman actually owns a bike, and a very fitting example of the Trailer Boyz ad mockery below. May 2010


I'm sitting in the employee cafeteria thumbing through the pages of my latest issue of Rider magazine. A guy on the other side of the room is showing a gal this calendar, apparently his bike graces one of the pages of the month. I'm not devoting 100% of my attention to this just yet, but the overall jist seems to be a fair degree of prancing and preening.

You know: poseur.

Now I'm nursing an intestinal disorder, long story short I had grinding guts and some major abdominal cramps which I can only guess as being what PMS must be like. Suffice it to say I'm just not in the mood to match wits with yet another dudeman. Yes, I really was that sick!

So I'm casually listening to this verbal display of knowledge in all things motorcycledom while I feign reading my magazine. Another guy sitting at a table near poser-dude, obviously listening in as well, calls out to him "Say, you should talk to Richard over there...he rides motorcycles too." (key word there being RIDES) It takes all my willpower not to glance over after hearing my name mentioned, and fortunately (this time) poserboy is equally uninterested in speaking with someone who might actually ride a bike, as he quickly gets back to the topic at hand: his bike in the calendar.

He proceeds to woo said gal by showing her pics on his cell phone, as if to prove that really is his bike in the calendar shot. "There they are, both of 'em!" The gal pipes up, "So did you go to Laughlin last month?"

"Oh yeah! Me an' my boys all went down together. We rode the hell outa those bikes, baby!" The gal returns with "So you rode there?" "Hell, no. Nobody rides that far on bikes like these, you gotta transport your rides there." (Laughlin is 90 miles from Vegas, the smallest fuel tank will get the biggest motorcycle engine there from here) The gal continues the questioning: "Don't they make bikes you can ride that far?" "Oh yeah, in fact I'm gonna buy me one soon. Gettin' me a Street Glide." (of course, why buy a regular Electra Glide and strip it down/customize it yourself for less?) "Top of the line, baby!" (Top of the line?! I thought the Ultra Classic and the CVO models were Harley's flagship bikes)

But this is where it really gets good.

"Yep, I'm gonna get me that Street Glide and my friends are gonna come over to load it into the trailer and take it home for me. That's what the brotherhood is all about!"

I was halfway into gulping some water down when that gem was unloaded, and I literally snorted that water back out through my nostrils. Once I finished choking, this is where I finally acknowledged the conversation by making eye contact with this clown. Did he really just say that? Did he really say "brotherhood", as if he was a patched-out hardcore outlaw type 1%-er? I was literally in a state of shock by now, attempting to scoop my jaw back up off the floor. Brotherhood...I'm sorry, but I had to get up and leave at this point.

How I wished my health had been better, with a little bit of my own personal input this one could have really been entertaining.



Time to update this one again. This one takes place from about 2008 to 2010. I posted this elsewhere but realized it needed to go where it's supposed to go, so here it is again for those that may have seen it earlier (and for those that haven't, here it is for the first time). Gals & guys, I respectfully give you...


About half the people I worked with at my former job were "armchair motorcycle experts". If it weren't for the fact that most of them admit to never owning a bike (with obvious exception to the "Brotherhood" clown I related earlier, BTW there is a rather amusing update to that as well), it could be Dudeman central. All but one of them know nothing of the concept behind a manual transmission. The one that does know about a manual tranny learned it at the MSF course five years ago and constantly reminds me of how he'll someday "buy a real bike to show me up" (he lusts after an 883 Sportster, a bike that gets just as much flak from the HD elitists as a Honda does, mind you). Personally the guy lacks the IQ to operate a Schwinn, let alone a motorized bike capable of freeway I'm not exactly holding my breath for this Harley that will some day show up my Hondas. 

One guy who's no longer there really cracked me up. Bona fide Dudeman, minus the constant use of the word "dude" (but he did utilize a lot of "man"). This guy has a brother in Oregon who allegedly has a Harley "Electra King" (he really said it --- how do you even get to that one? The Road King is essentially an Electra Glide minus the fairing, it's either one or the other but somehow this mystical bike is both) that he is supposed to pick up. Yeah, the brother is actually giving him his practically new Electra King...all he has to do is spring for a one way airline ticket to go pick it up. And for two years of hearing this amazing tale, he gave me nothing but guff for riding a Honda --- "How can you ride that wussy Honda every day?!" 

Care to take a stab at his elite mode of transportation? 

Wait for it: 

A 30mph max-speed Chinese scooter. 

Three of them within a two year stretch. They just couldn't outlast their warranty, nor could the shops he was buying them from. Now keep in mind that a one way ticket to Oregon (for a free Harley, no less) simply cost too much yet he had no trouble springing for the next $699 Chinese made scooter du jour. 

Until one day a relative in Oregon came down with cancer, and his brother sprung for a ticket for him to visit. Naturally, when he finally came back to work, the second line of questioning after seeing him (I did have the respect to ask him how the family was first and waited for the next time I saw him to actually spring it) was "Dude, I saw your Roketa scooter out in the employee garage today. Where's the Electra King?" 

He lost all composure at this point. He was flat out busted, and he knew it. It actually took about three minutes for an answer to finally stumble past his lips: "Oh, uhhh...ummmm <mumble> <murmur> it wouldn't start. My brother is gonna fix it up next week and I'll go back for it another time." 

These are the people who are experts at determining what I need to be riding.



Stop me if you've heard this one before: A motorcycle enthusiast rides his bike to the bank one day...

No, wait --- this always works better in the first person narrative. March 2011 --- behold, it's...

 20/20 DUDEMAN

I rode my red dragger to the bank today (VLX Max), and a storefront security guard hanging around outside starts making small talk with me.

"Nice bike, man!" (there's half of the dudeman title from the start) Before I can even say "thanks", he rattles on. "I used to have one just like it."

Interesting, since I haven't left much stock VLX behind on this particular bike. Pretty sure if there was another one in town "just like it", I'd have seen it by now --- or worse yet, attempted to stick my key into its ignition switch.  

Again, before I can even get a word in edgewise --- "My old lady made me stop riding it after that fight in Laughlin, but we used to ride down on that bike every year for that event." (referring to the infamous Hells Angels/Mongols melee at Harrahs that the media just won't let go of, I mean sheesh --- that happened almost nine years ago. Yes, NINE years ago. Like I said, pretty sure I would have seen a bike just like it in that time frame, my first River Run was in 2000)

Now wait a minute --- did he just say "he rode together with his old lady on a bike just like mine"? Does this guy need an optometrist? Can he not see my bike has a solo seat? For that matter, it only has about five or six inches worth of rear fender behind said seat --- so even one of those suction cup pillions wouldn't even work. See, suction cup pillions don't adhere very well to a fully exposed rotating tire...

Again, as I'm searching for just the right answer...he continues: "Yeah, I really miss my Sportster."

Yep, he definitely needs an optometrist. Those inch-high letters stamped on the lower case covers on both sides of the motor spell out "H-O-N-D-A", as does the emblem on each side of the tank (the latter of which coincidentally also spells out the word "S-H-A-D-O-W").

Not to mention that a Sportster sits considerably higher off the ground with a much shorter wheelbase and steeper fork angle. Beyond a unit engine and two wheels (count 'em: TWO wheels), I honestly can't fathom where someone could confuse a Shadow VLX (stock or customized) for a Sportster (stock or customized): 


> Air cooled/bare frame versus liquid cooled and a radiator

> Exposed dual shocks mated to a single tube swingarm versus a hidden monoshock mated to a triangulated swingarm

> Peanut tank versus wide tank (even the C model Sporties had peanut tanks prior to the '02 River Run-in)

> Belt drive on the right versus chain on the left

> Rear disc brake versus rear drum

> Oval air cleaner versus triangular air cleaner

Sportster/Shadow --- okay, they both start with the letter "S"...beyond that you'll probably have to explain it to me, because I don't understand.  

But here's where this tale really goes full-tilt dudeman.

About this time last month, I was exposed to the same exact drivel from the same exact guy while pulling in on my wineberry/white chopper (the Dream). Line for line, word for word.  On his behalf, one guy couldn't possibly own two custom bikes...right? So why not recycle the tale for the "new guy"  

Two completely different bikes at that: one with a solo seat versus one with a pillion and sissy bar. One with drag bars versus one with ape hangers. One with mild rake/4" over forks and one with extreme rake/10" over forks. One bright red the other dark wineberry. One with a color matched frame versus one with painted tin on a black frame. Neither of which share much in common with a Sportster.

Yet dudeman's former Sportster that he used to ride to the Laughlin River Run prior to the 2002 biker brawl looks just like both of them.

I really wonder how he pulled that off.




 Completely unrelated, and I don't mean to turn my site into a political arena...but I really gotta vent on this one. March of 2010


 Dude-ocrat Man


Backstory: about fourteen years ago I had to replace the water heater that came with my house. I bought it from a local place (names withheld to protect the innocent) since they had the best warranty at the time, 10 years on the tank/5 on the gas furnace. It cost me something around $400 back then, plus $75 to deliver/install it and haul away the old one.

Fast forward to about five years ago. With one year remaining ont eht ank warranty, it began to leak so I had them replace the entire unit per the warranty, at no charge to me save for yet anothe $75 deliver/install/haul-away, and it carried the remainder of my original warranty (about a year for the tank).

This weekend it leaked, so it's replacement time again. Yeah, our water's pretty rough. Today I stopped in at that same place on the way to work, after calling around yesterday to find out that they still have the best warranty (12/6 on the one I picked up today).

So as we're writing it up, I ask if it's still $75 to deliver/install.

"Well, if you had come here last year, it would have been."

"Okay, so what's it now?"

Sales guy pulls it up on the screen. With all the state/county/city fees added on by our wonderful legislators, the majority of whom are part of the "we won't tax the middle class" party, not to mention the haul away and disposal fees (I couldn't get out of that even if I wanted to haul it to the dump myself), it came to $400.

Yes, FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS, more than FIVE times what it cost last year!

Just looking at the list is enough to make me hurl. One set in particular: "earthquake straps" and "earthquake strap certification". Okay, so we had this 5.5 magnitude temblor that epicentered about 50-60 miles west of the city a few years ago. I never felt it, only found out about it in the news. I was even out and about when it supposedly happened. Apparently there was an epidemic of toppling water heaters from that (I never heard anything, but then again I never felt the quake either) and the city is finally reacting?

But the irony? When I moved here in the early 1980s the military was still performing underground atomic bomb blasts at the nuclear test site. I felt every one of those, but we never had "earthquake straps" mandated until 2010. Where's my brain bleach...

But there's a bright side. Well, it's pretty dim actually. Since it's a "greener" model there's no sales tax. La-dee-dah-dee-!#¢%-ing-dah...what a relief, after paying $400 for what used to cost me $75, our government is allowing me to save the $40 worth of sales tax. Give you a dollar you give me a dime --- thanks a pant-load, Chet!

Oh, but gets better. No really, there's more.

Me: "So, can I get this done tomorrow?" (past practice dictated that I could, I've played this game a couple times already, mind you...under the old rules).

Sales guy: "Well, if you had come here last year, it could have been arranged for tomorrow." <pause>

Sales guy (continued): "See this line here concerning the county inspection fee? Someone has to inspect the water heater before it gets delivered to you. We'll have it by Wednesday and they'll bring it over Thursday for the install."

Do everyone a favor this November:
Vote AGAINST the incumbents.


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"'re more than welcome to try it out anyways, man!"


And as a homage to the guy who coined the term, here's a few of his gems:

 The Original Dudeman Tale

I was having a torqued-up super-high-stress no-end-in-sight kind of day, I was positively exhausted when the last phone was hung up and the last contractor was chased off the lot...I finished up some paperwork, locked up my office and crawled out to the bike. My wife works tonight, and I just didn't feel like cooking, so I called in an order to be picked up on my way home. As I came out of the restraunt, I found a guy-- mid thirties, maybe-- oggling my bike and examining the 'wierd' engine (I had ridden the Valkyrie to work today).

He was wearing beat-up army boots, greasy boots, and a battered denim jacket hanging loosely around a black T shirt. A cigarette glowed from under long greasy-looking hair and it was really too dark for the sun glasses he was wearing. I came up, we talked a minute, and he told me all bout his years on the road and his love of bikes. And then he said it:

"Dude! I've never seen a Harley like this, Man!"

And then it hit me, all at once: the MidWestern Harley Davidson logo on the shirt. The Harley logo on the denim jacket. The fact that the only motorcycle near the parking lot-- on a particularly gorgeous night-- was mine... Oh. Wow. You speak really well for a Dudeman... At any rate, he continued on:

"I didn't think Harley made a bike this big!"

They don't.

"Oh, Dude! That's a great feeling, hunh, Man? That Big Twin thrumming under you..."

Yeah. All three of them... (it's a flat six, not a V2)

He stares blankly at the drive shaft. "Nice mods, Dude!"

The rust pits or the dirt?

"What's that got from the factory? A chain or a belt?"

It came with the same driveshaft you're staring through...

Dudeman continued on, telling me all about his super-bad HD that he _almost_ rode tonight, but for some reason opted for the Chevette with the differently-colored door and fender and nifty HeftyBag tint on one rear window...But what really got me was right before he finally decided to go inside:

He's fingering the controls, flipping switches, squeezing levers --- then he stopped. He squeezed the brake, then the clutch. Then again. Then he looked concerned and squeezed the clutch a couple more times.

"Dude! You need to get that left brake looked at, Man!"

Uhm, yeah, Dudeman... I'll get right on that...



I had upgraded the horn on my wife's bike, much as Mark (name changed to protect the innocent) did his own via an automotive horn. I've done this in the past on other rides, but I just never really thought about putting a cover on it.

Well this time it was for a woman who wanted it to look good...

I saw Mark's cover, and thought "%#!& ; that's a great idea!" So off I went to the different bike shops in the area to see about locating one.

Well no one had one in stock - they had parts; fancy dress stuff (except pegs bags and grips and a some factory-clone mirrors and sigies) were all special order. Well as much as I like to support my FLIBS, I wanted it in my hands _now_ so I could be done with it. So I sat and thought about it while. Hmmm... I need a shop that is going to have on hand useless tacky chrome crap... AHA! My local Harley dealer!

So off I went in search of a horn cover.

And much like Mark who had done the same with his, I was met by ignorance:

"I need a resonator bell."

A what?

A resonator bell.

Uh-hunh. What's it do?

It's a cover for the horn. A horn cover.

What are you talking about "horn cover?"

I am talking about a resonator bell. It's a big chrome thing-- looks like a beetle shell. Fits between the jugs and covers the horn.

I don't think I've seen one before.

See those thirty bikes over there? They've all got one.

Well I'll be ----! I've never noticed those before... Hey [other ignorant savage that works with him], do we sell them there chrome things to cover the horn?

A resonator bell? Sure, we got those. Hang on; let me get my books.... This for a Sportster or a big twin?

Neither. I just need a resonator bell.

Oh. For a Road King?

No. I just want a plain horn cover. Have you got one?

Yeah, sure we got it. I just need to know which one you want.

There isn't a difference! It's just a plain cover with a bracket in the back! Woah-- wait a minute... I may be out of the loop with HD, but is there a Road King that is _not_ a big twin?

No; I don't think so.

I see...

So it ain't for a Sportster or a big twin or for a Road King. OH! Is it for an Indian? I've got a cross-over book around here somewhere..... [begins digging under counter]

No; it's not for an Indian. I tell you what; you bring me one of each and every horn cover you have, and I'll pick the one that I want.

Well I've got to know what it fits so that I know which one you need...

They are universal! They'll fit whatever I ---- well tell them to fit!

No Sir. You see all these catalogues? [gestures at extensive catalogue rack] Well every single model of every single year for every single Harley Davidson ever built has a part number for every single part, and if I don't have that number I can't be sure that I am going to get you the right one. You want it to fit, don't you? You know how many motorcycles Harley Davidson has built in the past hundred years?!!

Yes. Three. The Iron Head 1000cc Sportster, the 883 Sportster and the 1200 high-boy Sportster.

What? Are you crazy in the head or something? There's a dozen Sportsters, and God knows how many Big Twins and Road Kings.

You asked me about motorcycles. Those are hardly motorcycles. Those are ridiculously priced under-powered irrigation pumps wheezing along in a desperate and flatulent attempt to move a pair of wheels.
[writer's note: nothing against the fine folks I have met or the pride they have in the improvements they have made to their rides. Please keep in mind that this was directed at one idiot in particular, and the more he hacked me off, the more my opinions came tumbling out...]

I'll tell you what, smart @$$ ! You think you know so much about being a parts man, why don't I just go and get every ---- horn cover in stock and you can tell me which one you _think_ will fit on your bike!

Didn't we cover this ground already? Is there an echo in here, or did the words falling into your empty skull rattle around and finally pour out of your @$$ ?

You just wait right here, smart guy. I'll be back. I hope you know what you're getting into!

[Directed to his disappearing back] So how many have you got in stock?

[fired back over his shoulder, with theatening and powerful overtones] TWO!

You have got to be $#!^-ing me. You just have to be $#!^-ing me... You have two in stock, and yet you just had to make sure that it would fit my wife's bike? What the #!&% ? Why not just bring them up and let me pick one ten minutes ago?

Well now you're going to have to, ain't you Funny Boy?

Have you ever looked up any part numbers for these?

This is a #!&%-ing parts counter, ain't it? [he's still in the shelves rooting around]

Have you ever not had the right one in stock?

#!&% no! We got customers to think about! You know, some people come in here to get what they need and not just #!&% at the people trying to help them customize their freedom [no $#!^ , people - he said it!]

Have you ever stocked more than two?

What's it matter to you? Worried you might not be as right as you thought?

No; I was wondering how many years you've been doing this without noticing that they all take the same part numbers!

They can't be the same part numbers, Buddy. [dumps them triumphantly on the counter] They're different!

And by golly, he was right. They were different. One was the plain chrome resonator bell that I wanted. The other was the same thing, with a bar and shield carved into it.

See? Now which one do you need?

I think I'll go with the plain one.

You don't want the bar and sheild?! [he was genuinely surprised] It'll look good on a Harley....

Are we really going to do this again? Are we really going to list all the Harleys so that I can once again say "no, it's not for that?"

Well what are you going to put it on?

It's going on my wife's Vulcan, as a matter of fact. And it is going to be used to cover a horn that I pulled off a nineteen-and-sixty-five Ford Mustang. So go ahead-- look that up in your book and see which cover is for that!

You #!&% ! You can't put that on a Vulcan!

Watch me, Gomer.

[He picked one up and turned it over to expose the mounting hole in the back] You see that hole? Well that Vul-coon [clever boy, this Gomer ] is a Suzuki or something; it's got Japanese bolts. This hole right here, it's only gonna fit on a Harley bolt! [Honest to God, people; he said it, and he meant it]

[I look out the window for my body] Did I die pulling off the road? Was I hit by a car or something? Am I in like some kind of Brain Hell or something? "What the #!&% are you trying to say? That the good people at the Tennesee _Kawasaki_ plant sent away to Japan to get the special bolts that used to put together their bikes?!"

Well where do you think that Metric $#!^ comes from?

Well, the system comes from France, actually. The Brittish pushed for it the hardest in the Anglo world, but the Asians - big fans of order and interchangeability - went for it full bore early on. The Americans gave in during the 80s in order to remain competitive in foreign markets without having to tool two separate assembly lines for everything they wanted to sell here and abroad. In fact, if you hand me a set of metric wrenches - maybe that fancy set there behind the glass with the bar-and-sheild stamped in them - I garauntee I can walk right over to that twin cam and find a bolt that fits every #{}!%-ed one of them!

You don't know what you're talking about. Harley don't buy no bolts from Japan. This is all American made stuff in here!

Fine. I'll tell you what; when I leave here, I'll stop buy a hardware store and pick up some Harley bolts so that I can mount this piece of tin to my wife's evil demon machine. Would that get me out of here any faster?

[Laughs a bit] Buddy, there ain't but two places you an get Harley bolts! That's right here and at one hardware store over near the county line. But I wouldn't go over there! I've got to buy from him when we run out before our shipment. _MY_ price on them things is almost two bucks apiece!

[I was stunned here, and a bit amused] Are you telling me that you pay two bucks a pop for SAE bolts?!

No; these are Harley bolts, not that imported Metric crap!

Oh-- stainless or chrome or something like that? I didn't think there was a hardware store in town that sold chrome fasteners...

No, these are just the plain Harley bolts! I can't imagine what he'd charge me for chrome! [leans in conspiritorily] That's why we only use him when we run short. We can get them cheaper from the factory warehouse.

So you _are_ paying two bucks a pop for simple grade-five SAE bolts?

NO! Not "SAE;" These are Harley bolts-- in inches and fractions and stuff!

[okay, I had nothing to say here, but the pause was long enough that I thought I should mention it. Finally:] What do you do here? You the head parts guy?

Nope; I'm lead tech and shop foreman and service writer. I just help out on the counter when they get confused because of my experience. [and cussed proud he was when he said that, let me tell you!] Okay, now which of these you want?

Still think the plain one will look the best on the Vulcan...

Your loss. That one's some no-name junk. _This_ one [lifts the 'fancy' model] is the officially lisenced one! HD don't put their name on nothing but the _best_!

Well, I have had bad experiences with cheap chrome. Maybe I can tolerate a bar-and-sheild, at least till she finds something to put over it... [I picked up the 'upgrade' model] What the #!&% ? _This_ is the better one?

Says HD, don't it?

Dude! It's made of plastic! How the #!&% can a 'resonator' bell be made of plastic?

Well it don't look like the Motor Company has a problem with it, does it? What makes you think you will? Because it's going on a Jap Jet?

No, actually, I don't think I will have a problem with, because it is going on a nice, smooth, vibration-free well engineered machine that already has a very loud horn. But I can't imagine trying to 'resonate' a horn with a plastic shell, and I sure can't imagine it not breaking right off one of these paint-shakers you call Big Twins! What the #!&% are you supposed to do when the #{}!% bracket breaks and drops your cover on the highway?

Well most folks just buy another one. [and rather smug he was here, too]

You mean this happens? People have bought this piece of garbage, bolted it to their bikes, had them break off, and come in and bought them _again_?

Sure. I sell a couple a month.

Well no wonder you're pushing it...

Well it's got to be better than that other one; it's got the logo.

I wish I thought you were kidding...

It's like I said, HD don't put their name on nothing but the best! Don't believe me? Look at this! [tinkers with a computer and turns the screen] See? It even costs twenty bucks more than that other one. Quality costs. [again, smug in his stupidity]

No, I think I'll take the plain metal one for twenty-two bucks and go and put it on my wife's bike and spend the rest of the evening shoving pipe cleaners into my brain until this whole incident is behind me...

[Dumb Look] [More dumb look]

[Dumb look continues]

You're a real smart #$$, aren't you?

It helps me to stand out when I am surrounded by dumb #$$es. Ring me up; I'm leaving.

[I swear, as I was leaving, I heard him say this to green guy:] Dumb-#$$ jap-crap mechanic. I bet he's too stupid to pick up a Harley bolt for that tin crap cover he bought, too!

[turned back] I'm pretty sure that there are other things that will fit through this little hole here in the back. The collective IQ of that entire counter, for example. But you're right. I'm gonna go home and call Japan and have them send me a metric bolt that might fit into this Harley hole and hope for the best. Ya'll have a good afternoon, and don't play with anything pointy.

Listen, when you get tired of trying to make it work, come back here and I'll cut you a deal on a couple Harley bolts.

True story folks, as witnessed by several people. How people like this manage to repeatedly find work-- and in this case, working on people's rides!-- is beyond me. $#!^ , how they get their shoes on the right feet is beyond me! I ain't knocking the whole dealership, but like any other -ship, stupidity can sink it in a hurry.  



Not a dudeman tale, but rather a revealing follow up to the above "Harley Dolt":

"Mommy, where do Harley Dolts come from?"

As it happens, one day I had to ride right past the hardware store the 'expert' had referred me to for "Harley bolts." Burning with curiousity, I stopped in.  I asked about chrome fasteners, socket-heads, and a number of other types of fasteners you might want when working on your bike. And all of my inquiries were met with 'no' or 'try the Harley dealer.'

So I told them my story with the parts counter.

The guy at the Hardware store broke into laughter, and told me _his_ version of the story. Seems that a long time prior, he had gotten a phone call from the stealership looking for 'Harley bolts.' He offered that they had stainless, but no chrome or anything fancy" Phillips, flat, hex-- no sockets, etc.

The guy on the other end was upset, explaining that he didn't care what the heads were, just that they were "Harley bolts." Befuddled, the hardware guy says 'run one up here so I can see what you're talking about.'

The stealership did, and it turned out to be (Surprise!!!) a simple grade five SAE bolt. He went to the shelves to get some, and the guy told him that he didn't want 'any old bolt', but specifically needed Harley bolts.

So the hardware guy tells him to wait a minute, goes into the back, gets a full twenty-pound box of the same bolts and carries them up. He explains that _these_ were rated for use on Harleys, though they were not Milwaukee logo. The guy asks "are you sure that these are rated for HD?"

"Oh yes; you don't pay two bucks apiece for something out of a bolt bin!"

And from that day on - and I assume right up until the dealer wisened up and got some brains behind the counter - any time they needed bolts at the dealership, they sent a guy out to buy a twenty pound box (can't break a case of Harley bolts - it's all or nothing, see  ) of whatever bolt they needed at an average cost of two bucks a bolt...

As is so often the case, even a tiny genius will end up feeding on the strongest and most powerful stupid...