01 May

OPMODasaki With Nanuk Versus Harley

Steven K. Ledin,

I've been riding and racing bikes before kindergarden, since about 1964. I've had maybe 10 or so since then.

The OPMODasaki is the most satisfying bike I've ever owned, mostly because it fits my riding style. I love the dirt, and having a big thumping enduro bike between my legs with full bags on back is awesome. The KLR's knobbies splash through mud, sqirt dirt, and hop curbs and potholes like breathing. It is quick and nimble with a throaty growl, and the superb Nanuk cases on the Moose Expedition racing frame makes carrying cases of beer or ammo effortless. I keep my tools, extra clothes, and mini fishing kit in them, with plenty of room left over for an AR-7. It's a squirrely beast that will plant you hard if your rooster tail gets away from you and you're not the alpha dog. Don't ride on this bike. Ride it like you mean it.

My 20 year old Harley Sportster is low and slow and pretty. Putting it into gear sounds like a minor train wreck every time. It needs maintenance, coughs and sputters and leaks some oil. It is made in Milwaukee, USA, and is perfect. What a comfortable ride, and the king and queen seats are very non-intimidating for first time passengers.

This time of year, watch for cars that aren't looking for bikes, watch for potholes, then watch yourself. I think loud bikes are mostly dumb and annoying, and the reason some people like them is that cars can hear them. Well, it's your job to not get in any blind spots, and always be thinking a few moves ahead.

A few years ago on a Yamaha 650 I was jumping speedbumps in a thunderstorm with Jose Cuervo on back. I told that SOB to hold on, but while airborne, the right grip came off and I ate asphalt. A lot of it. I left the skin on the right side of my body on the pavement in a bloody streak about 20 yards long.

Dumping bikes in the dirt prepared me and prevented me from crashing on the street many times. Showing off will get you killed, though. I've broken my head and foot and heart this way. Learning to wheelie is when bikes show off by themselves, without a rider on them. I keep a supply of clutch and brake levers handy.

When not wearing a helmet, like almost always, I use my Edge Golan safety goggles. My side-zip 5.11 Tactical ATAC 6" boots are my favorites. Love the zipper.

My Shirley and I went on a road trip to view our new adoptee, Crash, a Miniature Pinscher, or MinPin. It was sunny and I had my shirt off. This was the first time I've been able to enjoy that, since last year at this time I was being treated with chemo and radiation. The sun was dangerous poison. I'm starting this year off with a vengeance.

Enjoy the spring rides, watch out for idiots, and keep the rubber side down. The winner of OPMODasaki vs Harley is me.

About Steven K. Ledin

Steve has never not known guns. Before motorcycles, money, or girls, they have always been part of his life. He was tenured as General Manager of one of the country’s largest gun stores and ranges, a buyer in a big box sporting goods store, and is currently OpticsPlanet’s Director of Product Intelligence. He was a US Navy gunners mate, and is an NRA certified instructor in ten categories, as well as an Illinois CCW instructor. He shoots competitively and has hunted from Alaska to Africa. He thoroughly loves life with his beloved wife, Shirley, and their three wildish dogs Tinker, TranRek (pronounced “Train Wreck”), and Crash Almighty. He is a stubborn stage 4 cancer survivor not yet ready to cash in his chips.

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