Archive for August, 2010

Comfort Rear Guards for the Road King Classic

Posted in Harley-Davidson with tags , , , , , on August 30, 2010 by bleiglass

Their exact name is: Comfort Profile Rear Saddlebag Guard Kit, and the Harley-Davidson magic ID is 49179-09.

I ordered them when I ordered my new Road King Classic, as my Missus complained about the high standard Rear Guards while we took a Road King for a test drive. This was back in April 2010 (see my report here), and now, after 4,725 miles, and driven through 8 (eight) European Countries, the dealership finally got them delivered.

Here a comparison of the left standard and the comfort guard

As they were busy and could not fix them right there, I took them home and changed them DIY.


left changed to conmfort

doesn’t it look great how they angle down…

A ride to the 7 Hotel-Diner (a report will soon follow) proved 2 things:

a) my Missus likes them very much and considers them very comfortable
b) I would suggest to Harley-Davidson to change the name from Comfort Guards to Gorgeous Guards, as they just look right on a Road King Classic.

This is one more example where Harley-Davidson adds some standard stuff to a new bike, well knowing that it will be changed (for Cash) pretty quickly. The intriguing thing however is: I do not see many Road King or Touring models with these gorgeous Comfort Guards.

Is it because you loose the ability to attach a Saddlebag Guard Bag and Water Bottle holder?

Please comment, and check later to see pictures of these beauties on my Road King Classic…


Ride to London’s Highgate Cemetery

Posted in Harley-Davidson, HOG with tags , , , , on August 26, 2010 by bleiglass

Last weekend we had a interesting Hogsback Chapter ride to London’s famous Highgate Cemetery. Over 30 Harley Davidson roared through Camden Market, to visit this old and historic place. As so often, the ride started at Rykas.

my Road King Classic waiting for a ride through London

Gary showed us the way

nice low saddlebag solution

In the early decades of the nineteenth century London faced a crisis. Inadequate burial space along with high mortality rates resulted in a lack of room for the dead. Graveyards and burial grounds were created between shops, houses and taverns – anywhere there was space. The stench from these disease-ridden burial places was terrible. They were overcrowded, uncared for and neglected.

Part of the problem was that in the early 1800s London had a population of just 1 million. Within a few decades the population had increased to 2.3 million and was still rising. By the 1830s the population of London had virtually doubled and the authorities realized that provision would have to be made for the increasing numbers of deaths and to that end Parliament passed an act that saw the creation of seven new private cemeteries. These cemeteries were Kensal Green (1833), West Norwood (1836), Highgate (1839), Abney Park (1840), Brompton (1840), Nunhead (1840) and Tower Hamlets (1841).

Highgate became a great success, attracting a varied clientele and soon becoming one of the capital’s most fashionable cemeteries. In 1854 the London Cemetery Company was doing so well that the cemetery was extended by a further 20 acres on the other side of its Swains Lane site.

This new ground, now known as the East Cemetery, was opened in 1856. A tunnel beneath Swains Lane connected the new ground with the Anglican chapel in the older (West) side. With the aid of a hydraulic catafalque, coffins could descend into the tunnel and remain on consecrated cemetery ground for their entry to the other half of the cemetery.

My favorite sculpture of the East cemetery

The first burial in the new ground took place on 12th June 1860. There were over 10,400 graves by this point within the cemetery, which then continued to be used on both sides. During this decade over 30 burials a day took place and by the 1870’s the profits were so good that an outer set of tombs was added to the Lebanon circle in the classical style, which had then returned to fashion.

By the turn of the century the desire for great elaborate funerals was waning and families began to choose less ostentatious memorials than in previous decades. At the outbreak of the Great War, many of the cemetery’s gardeners and grounds men were called up to fight. Despite this diminished workforce, the grounds continued to be smart in appearance, held under the strict authority of the superintendent.

Although some wealthy families continued to purchase rights of burial during the 1930s, Highgate Cemetery was passing into a long, slow, terminal decline. Greater and greater numbers of graves became abandoned and maintenance became minimal. The chapels were closed in 1956. In 1960 the London Cemetery Company, facing bankruptcy, was absorbed into the larger United Cemetery Company, which struggled to keep the cemetery afloat until funds ran out in 1975.

In the same year, The Friends of Highgate Cemetery was launched to secure access to the cemetery for public benefit and future generations. Over the last 30 years much restoration and conservation work has been carried out on buildings, boundary walls, architectural features and the landscape. Several features and monuments have been listed as of special importance by English Heritage, and it recently became a Grade 1 listed park.

The biggest dude in the cemetery, with the largest monument and I suspect the most visitors, should also have been one of the most modest ones: Karl Marx.

The world could have had more fun if Karl Marx would have concentrated his efforts towards a Harley-Davidson of all lands unification. But in the end we did not need him to create HOG.

Highgate Cemetery continues to be a working cemetery. Enquiries regarding the purchase of burial rights, funerals and related matters are available from the cemetery manager on application to the cemetery office.

Source: Highgate Cemetery

Full set of 52 pictures in high definition on Flickriver

Art Bleiglass - View my 'Highgate Cemetery Ride' set on Flickriver

Flickriver and the Harley-Davidson motorcycles

Posted in Harley-Davidson with tags , , , , on August 19, 2010 by bleiglass

I want to present you a new feature which I will try to integrate more often into my posts.

My dear readers will surely have noticed, this blog is often less about words, and more about images, the visualization of our Harley-Davidson experiences and emotions, trying to replicate what we saw in our rides.

Unfortunately, quality pictures can quickly become heavy lifting work for some browsers and the bandwidth by which they are connected to the internet. Therefor I try to keep the displayed pictures below 20 for each post, and scaled the pictures down to 450px in width. It is a bad but necessary compromise, as most pictures are best viewed in a larger scale, and often I have double or triple the amount of pictures supporting a event.

I upload the full set of pictures into Flickr, but even here the viewing is not ideal, white screen background and numerous needed clicks to move around, do not generate a positive user experience. Until I found Flickriver

which is basically a simple viewer of pictures stored in Flickr. This is how the Flickriver page will look, and I recommend you to increase the image size to large, can be done individually on the left upper right of the page:

From now on, you will more often find a link at the end of a post, pointing to the relevant set of images, viewed with Flickriver. Then all you have to do is scroll down the page, the images will be added dynamically, flowing like a river, now you know why its called Flickriver.

Here a small collection of links, note that each time you reload the page, the thumbnails change. Please enjoy and comment what you think:

Art Bleiglass - View my 'Highgate Cemetery Ride' set on Flickriver

Art Bleiglass - View my 'SOFER 2010 - Hogsback Blue Ride' set on Flickriver

Art Bleiglass - View my 'SOFER 2010 - Saturday impressions' set on Flickriver

Art Bleiglass - View my 'SOFER 2010 - Friday' set on Flickriver

Art Bleiglass - View my 'RNLI Selsey' set on Flickriver

Road King goes to: RNLI Selsey Lifeboat Station

Posted in Harley-Davidson, HOG with tags , , , , on August 18, 2010 by bleiglass

On a sunny weekend Hogsback chapter drove down to Selsey, joining with New Forest Branch Chapter, to attend the annual RNLI Lifeboat Day.

The  lifeboat station at Selsey operates an all weather Tyne class lifeboat and a D class inshore lifeboat. Over its 145-year history the crew have been presented with 10 awards for gallantry.

Up until 1809 when the ferry bank was constructed, the ‘island’ of Selsey was linked to the mainland via a ferry crossing. The unique setting of Selsey Bill, jutting out some three miles to sea, has excellent views across the sea to Bognor Regis to the east and Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight to the west. With three beaches, Selsey lifeboat station is found on East Beach.

The first lifeboat at Selsey, Friend, arrived in 1861 and was launched over the beach on skids. Until then, with the exception of two vessels on the Isle of Wight, there had been no lifeboat between Worthing and Lyme Regis in Dorset. During the Second World War Selsey’s lifeboat, Canadian Pacific, made many rescues out in the Channel especially during the Battle of Britain.

my Road King classic

Selsey was established as an inshore lifeboat (ILB) station as well in 1968 and the present ILB boathouse was built in 1987 with a crew room, store and gift shop.

The all weather lifeboat station has been rebuilt a few times over the years and the gantry has also been extended as the sea claimed more and more of the peninsula. The building of the sea defenses at East Beach in the 1950’s luckily halted the sea in its tracks on this side of Selsey.

The current boathouse was built in 1961 and the reinforced concrete slipway has a gradient of 1 in 5. The museum is located behind the ILB boathouse and has displays covering the 140-year history of Selsey lifeboats.

The all weather lifeboat station has been rebuilt a few times over the years and the gantry has also been extended as the sea claimed more and more of the peninsula. The building of the sea defenses at East Beach in the 1950’s luckily halted the sea in its tracks on this side of Selsey.

During its long station history, the crew have been awarded eight Medals for Gallantry, five Silver and three Bronze, the last in 1983.

full set of 51 pictures N E W

Art Bleiglass - View my 'RNLI Selsey' set on Flickriver

This event was before the SOFER Rally

SOFER 7 – Hogsback Chapter’s Blue Ride Out

Posted in Harley-Davidson, HOG with tags , , , , on August 10, 2010 by bleiglass

There were several ride outs on offer at SOFER 7. One organized by the Ladies of Harley, unfortunately I missed that one on Friday, and two on Saturday, one by Oxford Chapter and one by my own Hogsback Chapter. This one was called The Blue Ride, simply for the fact that when registering you got a little blue dot to put on your main lights, although some unique places to fix it were found:

Both rides were limited to 125 bike registrations, first come first serve, something I quickly learned in the HOG world.

Ride leader Dik

The ride itself took us from Bisley grounds to Bookham Grange, a place I knew as some of our monthly Club Nights are held there.

Not even a level crossing could split us up

Robin and Beverly

In their garden, a buffet was offered, and live music played rock songs.

I would guess that about 150 bikes joined this ride out, although to my regret the 2nd man drop off system was not used. Instead, the whole ride was controlled by numerous road marshals, who protected each roundabout and junction, so the group would not be broken up. The did a great job, here some pictures of them in action.

I hoped the 2 man drop off system was used, as I wanted to see as a drop-off the whole ride go by and capture this on video, as I did in a earlier ride, the chapter convergence ride. Here the previous video:

The plan was such a video but with 4-times as many bikes… but it wasn’t with drop-off, and that turned out to be ok, as later I found out that the whole video camera stopped working after 20 sec, and no footage was recorded – stupid unreliable thing, had to remove the battery to stop it playing crazy.

It worked again on the ride back to Bisley, where I stopped trying to make a video, but capture a picture every 2 seconds. This yielded some results, as you can see above and below:

We left Bisley at 10:30, and where back at 14:30, this was a hell of a ride. Thanks to the organizers and the road marshals putting their life and bike at risk by throwing themselves in front of aggressive but understanding cars.

SOFER 7 – Friday’s impressions of the HOG Rally

Posted in Harley-Davidson, HOG with tags , , , , on August 9, 2010 by bleiglass

Friday morning, I drove early the 24 miles from home to Bisley, to register for the 7th South of England HOG Rally. Cloudy but dry, it was only later in the morning that the sun showed its summer strength.

Here my Road King Classic is standing in front of a classical Airstream trailer.

The camping started slowly to fill up

Here some impressions of the trade stands and their products

A very American Diner

And a very HOG loyal dog from Oxford Chapter

Guildford Harley-Davidson, the dealer where I bought my Road King and sponsor of the Hogsback chapter, displayed bikes designed by Michael Noble

Here Michael Noble is starting his next new new design…

To be continued…

SOFER 7 – The South of England HOG Rally 2010

Posted in Harley-Davidson, HOG with tags , , , , , , on August 8, 2010 by bleiglass

I got a ticket, I cleaned my Road King Classic, I went to Bisley to the 7th South of England HOG Rally.

Limited to 2000, these tickets were quickly sold out. Thanks to the director of Hogsback chapter UK, I could buy the ticket of a fellow member who became ill and could not come.

Note to myself: get one for next year early, this year I had no chance as they were sold out before I even could test-drive my first Harley-Davidson. In HOG world, you learn quickly, and I really enjoyed 2 days of action. In the next days I will post my 4 part report, some words, many pictures.

But here a nice linkage: SOFER 7 (my second Rally) and the 19th European Rally in Lugano (my first Rally) are closely connected by a Harley-Davidsons Fat-Boy.

How that? This Fat Boy is part of the Harley-Davidson Rally circus, its a DEMO bike everyone can book for a ride. Chek out the number plate, from the same bike, pictures taken in Bisley and Lugano. The world is small.

Congratulations to the 5 organizing Chapters, it was great fun and very well organized.

To be contuinued…