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  • Robert Farago

Horse Badorties Is Going Out!

In which the author fails to get to Dallas on his Gold Wing. Again

Once upon a time in a desert far, far away, I was aiming a machine gun at a target when I noticed it begin to wobble…

The barrel, not the target. Strange! And not particularly helpful for the task at hand. The next thing I knew I was dead, more or less.


I awoke in an ambulance, happy as a Jew can be to be alive, thankful I hadn’t experienced hallucinations and/or performed “paradoxical undressing.” But something deep inside me had changed forever.

Don’t worry my pretentious essay averse friends; it wasn’t philosophical. My cold tolerance was considerably diminished. Add that to my long-standing intolerance for heat (and hypocrites) and welcome my world!

Flash forward to last week...

My man Jay at Kustom Wings awaits my arrival in Dallas, ready to turn Charley the Gold Wing’s AM-radio quality audio into a two-wheeled sound garden. A kick-ass motorcycle sound system, not the ‘80’s grunge band.

Growing up in Rhode Island, we winter-whipped whipper-snappers considered spring sprung when the thermostat hit 40°F. It was a balmy 54°F in Austin, albeit with a stiff wind.

I’m nothing if not an idiot. I figured it wasn’t that cold.

Good thing I own Gerbing heated motorcycle gear: jacket liner (above), pants and gloves. Bad thing the Wing wasn’t wired for it.

Imagine going to war with a machine gun without any bullets, assuming your firearm will intimidate the enemy into submission. Driving down I-35 in five layers of clothing thinking I could make the 3.5 hour journey to the Big D that day was equally delusional.

I got an hour down I-35 before I noticed the teensiest little wobble in the bike. Yup. I was dancing with the M in S&M on the edge of a cliff. I returned to Austin for the longest hot shower of my life.

Take two

A week later I’m picking up Charley from Ride Now Powersports. They’ve blessed her with a 12V socket for the heated gear. Anyway, it’s a beautiful warm day! Chocks away!

In between Dallas attempts, I paid Ride Now to install a Two Brothers Racing exhaust system. I wanted Charley’s 1800cc flat-six to sound less like a sewing machine, more like a “proper” motorcycle.

The fact that the system looks like a couple of WWII torpedos should have given me pause. That and the warning:

Sure, I thought it would be loud when I twisted the go-lever. Uhhhh…

You know how you can sing a note in the shower that resonates to fill-up the entire space?

The Two Brothers’ pipes were like that, except excruciatingly loud anytime I so much as thought about the throttle. The sound filled-up the entire known universe.

If cruising at 70+ mph wasn’t enough to scramble my brains – and it was – Charley’s modified flat-six assaulted my ears at the same frequency the Cubans used to create Havana Syndrome.

“The symptoms range in severity from pain and ringing in the ears to cognitive dysfunction.” Pain. Check. Ringing in my ears. Check. Cognitive dysfunction? What were we talking about?

Seven miles. That’s all I could stand. Only it wasn’t seven miles was it? It was seven miles out, seven miles back. Fourteen miles of audio hell. And negative miles to Dallas.

I Ubered back to my Austin aerie, leaving Charley with the increasingly ironically-named Ride Now.

My man Mark’s minions are re-installing the stock Honda pipes and adding the Honda OEM tour pack and heated seat that comes standard on the Tour model.

Which, in my infinite wisdom, I didn’t buy because it didn’t look cool, before I learned that the audio system fills one of Charley’s tiny side saddles.

And then…

Love demands delay

Back at base, my youngest daughter calls to inform me she wants to spend the month of May – my departure date – in Austin. I can’t hit the road when Lola hits town.


Will I EVER get to Dallas, never mind the open road? Is there some mystical force trying to keep me from my two-wheeled peregrinations? Do I need to sacrifice a small animal or just more cash?

The non-Jersey Shore situation reminds me of Horse Badorties. The drug-addled “hero” of The Fan Man, not the 00’s indie folk band. Horse can’t get organized enough to leave his apartment.

Alternatively, Rob Schneider’s Iggy in Surf Ninjas A surfer who never actually surfs. Not it? Not it!

More Than One Way to Skinner a Cat?

In a week or so, Charley should emerge from surgery with its new windscreen, heated seat, rear trunk and original sewing machine-sounding pipes.

If Murphy’s Law has anything to say about it, the current New England summer-like weather will give way to another bone-chilling challenge. But Gerbing’s plug-and-play toaster clothes should be good-to-go.

Meanwhile, I take solace in B. F. Skinner’s admonition: “A failure is not always a mistake. It may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.”

Said the man who invented the pigeon-guided missile.

Not gonna lie: I’m the pigeon. The animal guiding the motorcycle, not “the male in which a female does not, and will never, take seriously.” Recent dating history notwithstanding.

It won’t be long before I’m singing Up in the Air Junior Birdman! At least in theory…


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