Saint Genevieve Ride – 10/30/2016

Two guys from the office, Jeff Hug, Eric Ent, and I decided to go for a Saturday morning motorcycle ride. Its fun to share hobbies and motorcycle people like to ride together. The plan was to ride down the river road in Illinois and catch the ferry to St. Genevieve to get back home. I love going on trips, so it should be no surprise that I arrived first.

While I was waiting, I went into the gas station looking for breakfast and coffee. This station is large, but it mostly sells alcohol, so I was relegated to a stale pastry and coffee.

It didn’t take long for Eric to show up on his Yamaha FZ-07 ready to ride after filling up.

Eric and I were wondering if Jeff would show up. We weren’t sure based on how far away he lived. We sent him a text and said we would give him fifteen more minutes before we left without him. Turns out that Jeff slept in and rode very fast to get out to us with time to spare before we gave up on him. His bike doesn’t have a ton of range due to a small fuel tank so he filled up as well.

With full tanks, we headed out to explore the riverside! We all followed Eric as he had done this ride before and had a vague sense of where to go. During the ride south, we paced a southbound train. Eventually after about an hour of riding, we got to the ferry crossing. It didn’t open till 9am giving us time to play around before it opened. We were quite concerned about the ramp to get on the ferry. The metal edges didn’t fit nicely against the pavement and looked bad for our tires.

We didn’t know what to think so we tried to get our minds off of it. We started by exploring the area around us.

Before we knew it, the ferry had arrived and it was our time. The guys asked me to go first as I said it wouldn’t be that bad. I picked a line and went slowly and everything worked out pefectly. The guys followed the same line behind me and we were all set to cross. This is always a fun time on a motorcycle as you always get off and walk around to check it all out. I was a bit worried as smoke continued out of the engine room of the tug, but it never stopped running and crossed without incident.

On the other side, I promptly rode up the ramp from the river to the road to meet Eric’s sister Alisa. She was going to join our group to make it a foursome. After a few moments talking to her, I saw Eric park his bike at the top of the rise and walk back down. This seemed like trouble so I excused myself and walked over. Trouble it was.

Jeff’s Suzuki C90 wouldn’t start. It was running perfectly the whole trip (I even rode it while waiting for the ferry). Eric and I pushed it up the hill to the top. It was decided to bump (push) start it. After a few tries with Eric and I panting for breath, it started up. All was not well with the electrical system as can been seen in the video below.

Eventually Jeff’s bike settled down and we were on the road. We decided to take I-55 straight north and get home ASAP. Unfortunately Jeff was almost out of fuel. Eric and his sister had departed earlier so it was just Jeff and I. Unfortunately, to fuel up, you have to turn the motorcycle off and use the ignition key to open the fuel tank. We made three laps around the gas stating trying to bump start his bike to no avail. After two tries, we eventually jump started it with cables from my bike to his.He made it home in after the final jump start to diagnose the issue.

It was quite the eventful ride and most of us had a great time!

Hogan Haake

Motorcycle Inspection – 4/17/2016

My motorcycle was due for inspection to get new license plates. There are not nearly enough places that will inspect motorcycles in Missouri. So I went with a co-worker and his sister down to Surdyke Harley in Festus Missouri.  We always look for an excuse to ride and they had inspections on Saturday! Corvin wanted to go with me, so we rode down there. While we waited for the inspection, we of course walked the lot looking at some fantastic motorcycles and 4 wheelers!

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After the successful inspection, we rode out to Waterfall for a quick look around.

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Eventually it was time to head home, but a fun productive Saturday morning ride!

Hogan Haake

Two Ferry Ride Again – 9/13/2015

Okay, I swear this is the last time for a while that I do this ride! I went with Eric Ent from work and Sonora on the back of my bike. We tried to get his sister to join us, but she couldn’t make it. We made a slight variation on the last two rides, making a small side trip to Pere Marquette start park for a view over the river.

Eric got  quite a kick out of both of the ferry rides and Sonora enjoyed her second pass at them. IMG_20150913_084232 IMG_20150913_084206

And of course from on top of the bluffs!

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Finally, if you’re still interested, I have a video from each motorcycle. First from Eric’s bike. Its a fixed mount at the handlebars.

Second is a mount from the top of my helmet.

Hogan Haake

Office Video – 3/17/2015

My current employer wanted to make a promotion video. We took two days out of work to film around the office. The project had started as a hand help iPhone video and moved to a full production. It turns out that iPhones are great, but not the quality that we were looking for. Lucky for us, we had Mike to help out. Mike is into photography and had some seriously fancy equipment and more importantly, knowledge how to use the equipment.

Mike Cook, the photo genius!

Mike Cook, the photo genius!

Daniel hanging out

Daniel hanging out

Josh making the video into something meaningful

Josh making the video into something meaningful

Eric Ent

Eric Ent

Christa and Anna moving furniture

Christa and Anna moving furniture

Getting for the pre-lunch shoot

Getting for the pre-lunch shoot

Reviewing our current progress

Reviewing our current progress

Jeff trying to ignore the mess and get is work done.

Jeff trying to ignore the mess and get is work done.

The video was an amazing change of pace for the office. We were not very productive for those two days, but it bonded us well. Below are two youtube videos. The first is the final product of all the work. The second will be a stop motion of the action around the filming.

Hogan Haake

Victory Motorcycle Demo Ride – 10/11/2014

I met Eric Ent early on a Saturday to do a demo of Victory motorcycles. We met at the dealership and walked around looking at all of the motorcycles. Lined up next to a semi truck were about 20 examples of Victory’s finest bikes ready for us to try out. Eric is a newer rider, so he is always curious. He sat on a few and found one he liked. But as we got closer to the demo, he declined to do the demo. He was worried his skills would not be enough. Even so, he looked good thinking about riding!

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Me leaving the parking lot for the demo ride. The bike looks good.

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I’m not much of a cruiser when it comes to motorcycles. I have a sport touring bike that I enjoy very much. I was looking forward to this demo. Many of the cycle magazines extol the virtues of the v-twin motor and how much torque they have all the way through the power range.

Sitting on the bike, I got everything adjusted and moved my leg very far forward to shift into first. Then took off in the group. I immediately noticed that the foot controls were a far reach. I was not comfortable using the rear brake or shifting as it unsettled my riding position and had me feeling slightly off balance. I didn’t look forward to stopping as reaching for the shifter and rear brake required lots of shifting.

The handle bars were very long to get to the front of the bike, so it had poor response at low speed. Even with all these faults, I was looking forward to the massive power that was reported. Again I was disappointed. This bike is a heavy pig, robbing it of any excitement a large motor should have provided. When I laid on the throttle, I waited for the power to come. Unlike my Concours, there was no fear from from the acceleration. I never felt like it was every close to out of control as the power came on slowly.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Victory bikes are not for me and the reviews  for new bikes are to be taken with a truck of salt!

Thanks to Victory for the demo ride, but your products are not for me.

Getting back on my Concours, I was quite happy to ride my own bike home. I even reached a mileage milestone on the way back.

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Hogan Haake