Welcome to the West Report blog

     An open letter to my legislators in the 3rd district of Washington state concerning bills being submitted for this 2018 session.

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     Howdy Sen. Billig, Reps. Riccelli, Ormsby and all Staff,

     My feedback on the latest news of bills. These are Senate bills but if passed then they will hit the House also and I would ask you vote no on all of them.

     SB 5463 – Locking up firearms. All democrat sponsors including Senator Billig.

– In your district, in front of my home a 15 year old kid was beaten to death in the street while I was at work. No gun was used.
– My home has been broken into 3 times and my guns were taken once. They took the guns and my whole safe. Pretty much my entire apartment was moved to an empty one while I was at work. Very lucky the police recovered most of the big stuff that couldn’t go into a backpack. Locking my guns up did nothing to keep “Prohibited Persons” from taking them.
– My neighbor downstairs has had a car stolen three times. Mine has only been broken into.
– It wasn’t very long ago that about 1 in 4 houses/apartments in a three block radius were boarded up criminal or drug houses. The second over house behind mine was torn down to a bare lot after years as a nuisance house.
– I’ve had to pull a gun twice. I am thankful that was enough to defuse and disperse. I did not end up dead in the street in your district.
– The criminal you discover in your home already has a gun. During the next 3 seconds who do you think is going to be shot? Criminals do not schedule their crimes with you ahead of time so you can fetch your keys and find the piece of paper you wrote the safe combo on.

     My guns are already locked up. I have a deadbolt on my front door. There is nowhere in your home “Prohibited Persons” cannot get to. This bill only harms lawful gun owners. Your party either wants to make me a lawful death statistic or a living felon. The shotgun is staying under the couch. Please stop trying to get me killed.

     SB 5444 – Registration of rifles and magazines and an annual license to own both. All democrat sponsors.

     Your party is preparing to take my firearms or make the cost of keeping them a privilege only enjoyed by the wealthy. According to your very own statistics ( FBI ) 95% of all gun deaths nation wide are from handguns. There are 22 deaths from handguns for every 1 death from a rifle. I do not own any handguns. I use the same rifles and shotguns to hunt, shoot and defend myself.

     The only possible reason to require this law only for rifles is for the seizure of our firearms. Criminals will not register their guns since it is already illegal for them to own them. Criminals will have guns and I will not. Please stop trying to get me killed.

     SB 6146 – Allowing local government to regulate firearms. All democrat sponsors.

     The only reason to do this is to pass this bill and allow local governments to pass despotic gun laws to use as a precedent for state wide regulation. Just like your party tried to do recently with the Seattle income tax. My rifle saved my life. I’m rather attached to both. Please stop trying to take my firearms.

     SB 5992 – Ban on trigger modification devices. All democrat including Senator Billig along with 1 republican.

     If your party wants to ban bump stocks then call it bump stocks. Who cares? They are toys that do nothing practical. But this bill goes way past that. This bill makes my muzzle break and hunting trigger (hair pull) illegal.

     The bill says clearly, ” … any part … intended for use in modifying a firearm to use the recoil of the firearm to produce a rapid succession of trigger functions.” My muzzle break is a part that does just that. Do you really not understand the difference between a 2nd shot and spending three hours tracking a deer down through the snow? My muzzle break is not a toy, is not unpractical and serves a reasonable, lawful and damn useful purpose.

     The bill says clearly, “All trigger modification devices are declared contraband.” I change the barrel on my AR15 which normally fires a .223 round to fit the .300 along with my trigger system for deer and elk. Buying a trigger with a lighter more accurate pull will now make me a felon. Please stop trying to imprison me.

     SB 6049 – Redefining the term Large Capacity Magazine. All democrat sponsors.

     My 30 round magazines are standard. Have been for the last 60 years. Came in the box with the rifle directly from the manufacturer.

     A large capacity magazine would be a drum mag or ultra clip that hold 40-100 rounds. There is no reason given why this is even needed in the bill language or the summary. All this bill does is redefine the term “Large Capacity Magazine” as being a clip that holds 11+ rounds.

     Very odd that not only does it define my .223 magazine as an “LCM” but at the same time my hunting .300 magazine defines me a criminal guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

     In summary, your party wants me disarmed, robbed, killed and after imprisoning the pile of what’s left for felony crimes impose a gross misdemeanor fine on my estate.

     What the hell?

     Thank you very much for your time,

     Shawn West
     Spokane, WA

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The West Report

The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.

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Welcome to the West Report blog

 

     Heading into week 14 the Seahawks have the #6 playoff spot with a chance to move up to #5 with a win @ Ravens. The Thursday night game ended with a Vikings loss meaning both teams could end the week at (8-5) with Seattle owning the tie breaker. Here’s a look at the current playoff seedings.

     #1 Panthers (12-0)
     #2 Cardinals (11-2)
     #3 Packers (8-4)
     #4 Redskins (5-7)
     #5 Vikings (8-5)
     #6 Seahawks (7-5)
     #7 Buccaneers (6-6)
     #8 Falcons (6-6)

     With the NFC West title out of reach and only the top six teams making the playoffs this week’s game in Baltimore is almost a must win. Seattle could lose and still keep the #6 spot with a loss by Tampa Bay also but with the way the seeds are sitting we really want that #5 spot and a trip to the weak NFC East division winner. A road game being on the schedule during the first round a trip to Redskins, Giants or possibly Philadelphia would be much more welcome than playing @ Packers where the #6 spot will be going.

     Odds makers are giving the Ravens (4-8) no chance this week which makes me a little nervous. If the Seahawks aren’t the underdog then the universe just isn’t right. Call it a Pacific Northwest thing. You’d think after two straight NFC Conference titles I’d be confident. Maybe next year after a third straight. For this week I’ll be cheering on the home team and hope we can take care of business and stay injury free. Still got four regular season games to play.

     Go Seahawks!

 

     Bonus Games!

     Saints (4-8) @ Buccaneers (6-6)

     The Saints season is basically over. With both the Falcons and Bucs ahead in the standings and Carolina making a bid for a (16-0) season the playoffs are a goal for next year. This week however gives them an opportunity to play spoiler for playoff hopes in Tampa Bay. If the Bucs can win this week and go (2-1) in the final three weeks they almost have a lock on the #6 seed. A spot that the Seahawks might also need depending on how things play out. As great as it has been this season watching Tampa Bay climb out of the NFL basement that doesn’t mean I want them to take my Seahawks spot. Go Saints!

     Redskins (5-7) @ Bears (5-7)

     At the start of the season I had the Bears as being the worst team in the NFL. Since those first few games however they have pulled it together and played some real battles. This game doesn’t have a direct impact on the Seahawks but the meaning comes from next week with Bears @ Vikings. We need Chicago to win that game so for this Sunday lets hope they get the win and can carry that momentum into another victory during week 15. Go Bears!

 

     Here’s how the rest of the season looks for the NFC West.

     Seahawks (7-5)

     @ Ravens
     Browns
     Rams
     @ Cardinals

     Cardinals (11-2)

     @ Eagles
     Packers
     Seahawks

     Rams (4-8)

     Lions
     Buccaneers
     @ Seahawks
     @ 49ers

     49ers (4-8)

     @ Browns
     Bengals
     @ Lions
     Rams

 

     Got picks? Then head on over to The Fan’s Tribune and post ‘em up! Solid opinions about the games and it is just plain fun to compare your outlook with other fans.

     Want to read more? I’d suggest giving Buccaneer Bri a read. Honest posts from a true fan about their team while being a good read at the same time.
 

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The West Report

 
The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.

week 11

 
     Week 10 Cardinals @ Seattle went something like this;

     1st Quarter

     Seahawks offensive penalty, another penalty, penalty, recovered fumble and two plays later the Seahawks defense is back on the field. That about sums it up for the 1st quarter in Seattle. It ends with Cardinals having an 11:30 to Seahawks 3:30 time of possession advantage. The Seattle defense is playing great but are visibly getting worn down with no rest from their offense and our good guys are lucky Arizona only leads 3-0.

     2nd Quarter

     R. Wilson fumbles into the end zone and the Cardinals grab the safety for a 5-0 lead. Seahawks penalty, penalty and another automatic 1st down for Arizona which leads to a visitor touchdown. Add in some more yardage ending with another touchdown and it’s quickly 19-0. Not looking good. Under 3:00 left in the half and the Seahawks make a few long yardage plays including a fantastic throw to Richardson. Richardson limps off the field with a bad hamstring. No good deed goes unpunished. Next Lynch limps off the field with an injury added to the penalty insults. Out of an I formation with Jackson the tail Wilson gives the hand off to the leading fullback instead for Seattle’s first points, 19-7. A clear fumble going to Seattle on the following Cardinal drive is called an incomplete pass instead which leads to a field goal by the Cardinals. Going into the half its 22-7 with a 21:17 to 8:43 time of possession advantage for the visitors.

     3rd Quarter

     A touchdown to open the quarter for Seattle is offset by a field goal by the Cardinals. A great stop and punt by Arizona that should of been Seattle ball on the Cardinal 40 is called back by penalty to the Seattle 40. A long drive by the Seahawks that included a 4 & 1 conversion ends in a punt. Two spectators in the stands are flagged with holding penalties on the drive. The quarter ends with Cardinals on top 25-17.

     4th Quarter

     Seahawks defense comes up with a touchdown as Avril pops the ball up into the hands of K.J. Wright. After review it’s called back and the Seattle mascot is flagged for lining up in the neutral zone. Seahawks ball on the 3 yard line from where Lynch runs it in for an official touchdown that I’m marking as a defensive score for Seattle. The two point conversion is no good. 25-23 Cardinals still on top where a personal foul penalty gives the Cardinals great field position compliments of K.J. Wright. A few plays later Wright redeems himself by stripping Palmer of the ball where B. Wagner picks up the fumble and runs it back 33 yards for the go ahead score. Seattle’s cheerleaders are flagged for un-sportsman like conduct with is reversed upon official review. The two point conversion fails again leaving Seattle on top 25-29 while Irvin limps off and into the locker room with an injury.

     Seahawks penalty, penalty, Arizona given a 1st down at mid-field, tipped pass caught by Arizona for another 1st down. A 3rd down stop is negated by another penalty, touchdown Arizona who takes the lead 32-29. Those two points given up on conversion tries are looming large for the Seahawks. Penalty (of course) brings up 3rd and 23 for Seattle who comes up short and punts leaving 6:09 left in the game. Irvin officially out for the game with a knee injury. Arizona 3rd and 4 with 2:14 left at mid-field keeping it inbounds to run down the clock. A 43 yard run for a touchdown is the nail in the coffin for the home team. Cardinals win 39-32. Props to the Seahawks defense with an interception, two fumble recoveries and 14 points scored. This game was lost by Seattle’s offense without a doubt.

 
     NFC West standings heading into Week 11

     Cardinals (7-2)
     Rams (4-5)
     Seahawks (4-5)
     49ers (3-6)

     What does it mean for our Seahawks? Well, outside of some very long shot mathematics 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th playoff seeds are now out of reach with the 5th spot most likely going to the Panthers or Falcons. Seattle after the halfway + Bye mark is playing for the 6th Wild Card spot. The good news is the way things are looking the Seahawks can still go 4-3 through the rest of the season and get it.

     This week we have the 49ers @ Seahawks. This isn’t a must win game but it is a key piece of the playoff puzzle because we need to finish the season at least 8-8 to get into the post season. Looking down the road to week 13 the @Vikings game is the must win. With how they are playing the Vikings are who the Seahawks are going to be fighting for that last spot with. Seattle can lose Steelers, @Ravens and Browns with a week 11 win against Santa Clara and a week 13 win @Vikings.

     Go Seahawks!

 
     Bonus Games!

     Packers (6-3) @ Vikings (7-2)

     Both of these NFC North teams are battling for the 2nd or 3rd playoff spot with the Packers already having the head to head against Seattle and the Vikings a half game ahead in a head to head situation. With a Packers win here that gives Seattle the push if both the Seahawks and Vikings finish the season (8-8) or (9-7). We need a Packers win here or else we’ll be relying on the Giants or Bears to beat them down for us. Not good. Go Packers!

     Raiders (4-5) @ Lions (2-7)

     It’s hard to believe that the Lions are this bad. A win by the Raiders means the Lions can finish the season no better than 8-8 with the push going to Seattle for the #6 Wild Card spot. It’s the Raiders so I won’t suggest anyone cheers for them but if the Lions lose we can all cheer that.

     Rams (4-5) @ Ravens (2-7)

     Slim odds for the Ravens but the Rams have the same chance at the #6 spot that the Seahawks have. This isn’t that important of a win for the Rams but helps them keep pace with Seattle. A loss most likely means they finish the season (7-9) tied for 8th place and out of the playoffs. Go Ravens!

     Bengals (9-0) @ Cardinals (7-2)

     At this point the Cardinals have almost wrapped up the #3 spot for the playoffs and we really don’t want them to lose. For the larger scheme of things this is a meaningless game for the Seahawks but we need to cheer them on to end the game with no injuries. Looking down the road the Week 13 @ Rams and Week 14 Vikings are games we need Arizona to win for us. Those wins let the Seahawks grab a #6 spot at 8-8 at the end of the season. Go whoever!

     Buccaneers (4-5) @ Eagles (4-5)

     Both of these teams are in the same outside edge that the Seahawks are in but the head to heads still favor Seattle. Considering the remaining schedule for both teams I think Tampa Bay has the harder schedule so we need the Bucs to pull off the win here and almost put the nail in the Eagles playoff hopes. Go Buccaneers!

 
Here’s how the rest of the season looks for the NFC West.

Seahawks (4-5)

49ers
Steelers
@ Vikings
@ Ravens
Browns
Rams
@ Cardinals

Cardinals (7-2)

Bengals
@ 49ers
@ Rams
Vikings
@ Eagles
Packers
Seahawks

Rams (4-5)

@ Ravens
@ Bengals
Cardinals
Lions
Buccaneers
@ Seahawks
@ 49ers

49ers (3-6)

@ Seahawks
Cardinals
@ Bears
@ Browns
Bengals
@ Lions
Rams

 
     Got picks? Then head on over to The Fan’s Tribune and post ‘em up! Solid opinions about the games and it is just plain fun to compare your outlook with other fans.

     Want to read more? I’d suggest giving Buccaneer Bri a read. Honest posts from a true fan about their team while being a good read at the same time.

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The West Report

The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.

Seahawks: Week 4

October 2, 2015

Welcome to the West Report blog

     The Seahawks are (1-2) heading into the week 4 Monday Night game at home versus the Lions. The headlines this week have varied but most seem to agree that this is an early season must win for Seattle. With the season only just starting and their playoff hopes already being doubted this game does raise one important question.

     Am I the only one who could care less who Russell Wilson is dating?

     Seriously. This is what my Pacific Northwest news outlets are wasting ink on? How about the Kam holdout. Or some updates on Mebane’s injury. How questionable is Lynch really? How is Wagner getting ready while nursing a bad ankle? But no. My newspaper seems to think I want to read the Seahawks gossip page. I have no idea who this person is! I have never heard her music! Maybe, just maybe, if she was an ex-groupie for Slayer or had the largest Iron Maiden paraphernalia collection in my state I might just read the rest of the article. Failing that however I really DON’T CARE!

     I also don’t give a frigging hell what house he just bought or what car he’s driving! Football man! FOOTBALL! It’s the god damned sports page! Move that crap to the Sunday insert section you set aside to start fires with over the winter.

     Anyway, Monday Night Football, week 4.

     The pressure is on for the Lions to get a win or fall to (0-4) on the season. Of all the places in the world to play they draw an away game against Seattle on the most feared field in the NFL. Pity them, because the 12th Man won’t.

     A lot was made of Seattle getting the win against the Bears but I totally disagree. To blatantly steal a term from the “Bleacher Report” Chicago at this point in the season is a dumpster fire. Getting that win wasn’t a turn around or an improvement. It was simply taking care of business and getting the win when expected to. And this week is looking to be the same to many sport analysts for my Seahawks.

     And again, here I am going to totally disagree. Sure, the Lions might have some problems, but after an extensive and exhausting five minutes of internet research I could find no definitive reasons for them.

     Look, the Lions drew @ Chargers, @ Vikings then played the Broncos at home. That’s one hell of a way to start the season without a trip to Seattle topping it off with. (0-4) isn’t an unreasonable record all things considered. Week 5 has them @ Cardinals before they get the Bears at home. Detroit being at (1-5) heading into week 7 was already in the tea leaves. And for that reason I think the Seahawks are going to have their hands full on Monday Night.

     Of all the games this week I think Lions @ Seahawks has the biggest upset potential.

     It is at home, sure, but it is a late game. It’s also on a Monday which further breaks up the routine. And don’t forget that we have some banged up players, B. Mebane (groin), K. Pierre Louis (knee), S. Terrell (hip), D. Dobbs (shoulder), T. Simon (toe), M. Lynch (hamstring), K. Wright (hip), M. Morgan (hamstring), L. Willson (back), B. Wagner (ankle), W. Boy (thumb). On top of that this will be a short week before playing @ Bengals. Not good.

     All in all a tough game but I think the Seahawks manage the win.

     Go Seahawks!

     Got picks? Then head on over to The Fan’s Tribune and post ‘em up! Solid opinions about the games and it is just plain fun to compare your outlook with other fans.

     Want to read more? I’d suggest giving Buccaneer Bri a read. Honest posts from a true fan about her team while being a good read at the same time.

     
     
How the rest of the season looks for the NFC West.

Seahawks (1-2)

Lions
@ Bengals
Panthers
@ 49ers
@ Cowboys
Week 9 Bye
Cardinals
49ers
Steelers
@ Vikings
@ Ravens
Browns
Rams
@ Cardinals

Cardinals (3-0)

Rams
@ Lions
@ Steelers
Ravens
@ Browns
Week 9 Bye
@ Seahawks
Bengals
@ 49ers
@ Rams
Vikings
@ Eagles
Packers
Seahawks

Rams (1-2)

@ Cardinals
@ Packers
Week 6 Bye
Browns
49ers
@ Vikings
Bears
@ Ravens
@ Bengals
Cardinals
Lions
Buccaneers
@ Seahawks
@ 49ers

49ers (1-2)

Packers
@ Giants
Ravens
Seahawks
@ Rams
Falcons
Week 10 Bye
@ Seahawks
Cardinals
@ Bears
@ Browns
Bengals
@ Lions
Rams

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The West Report

The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.

bike header 1    

     Three weeks later and over 150 motorcyclists are still being held in a Texas prison for no other reason than attending a political meeting while being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

     Waco city police along with Texas state troopers, SWAT, FBI and ATF used the unfortunate incident on May 17th to conduct a mass arrest of just about anyone they wanted to. Those arrested have included citizens on the other side of the building, a man who doesn’t even own a motorcycle who was just giving some friends a lift and at least one rider who showed up late for the meet after events were over.

     As reported by ABC News Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton stated, “At last count we have 170 individuals that we have arrested and are booking or have been booked into the McLennan County Jail. Those individuals are being charged with engaging in organized crime in reference to the shooting at Twin Peaks, which is a capital murder.”

     What?

     So everyone. Protagonists, antagonists, witnesses, victims and innocent bystander alike have all been arrested and charged. Seriously? How would you like to be shot then arrested for helping the person who shot you. According to Texas officials not one single person who attended the pre-scheduled public legislative meeting is the victim of a crime. There are no witnesses or innocent bystanders. Everyone who attended the event is guilty of being a biker and that’s good enough for Texas.

     Regardless of what state you are in this should really be raising some red flags. And apparently the red one being raised in Texas is that of China. Since when was attending a political gathering considered a capitol crime against the State in America?

     And yes, that’s exactly what the May meeting was. The under reporting by news outlets on that fact I find infuriating. Every state in America has a COC (Confederation of Clubs) meeting to discuss legislative issues that all riders no matter who have a vested interest in. Three seconds of research by any news reporter could of confirmed that. But in Texas showing up for a public gathering to hear the latest on House Bill 2459 is a crime against the state and if anyone steps out of line you will all be arrested.

     An online petition to Free the Waco Bikers has been started and could use your signature.

     Texas House Bill 2459 by the way is a proposal that would make drivers give motorcycles a three foot buffer when passing or making a turn. I haven’t seen the actual agenda but it’s a reasonable assumption this might of been one of the topics to be discussed. And as an example this would be one of the topics you could expect to spend some time on when attending a COC or any MRO (Motorcycle Rights Organization) meeting. Don’t let the Hooters knockoff location fool you. Anyone who’s attended an MRO conference can tell you that if you can stay awake for the whole thing it’s considered a success.

     But in the People’s Republic of Texas political activists, MRO groups and concerned citizens alike are all considered members of criminal gangs for the purpose of mass roundups and detentions. Makes for more dramatic headlines don’t ‘cha know. It also helps distract from arrests being conducted without individual probable cause, punitive $1,000,000 bonds, presumed guilt by association, refusals of public information requests and a projected three months of imprisonment without a court appearance.

     Still unexplained is what exactly 18-22 local and SWAT police were doing there in the first place. Ask yourself this. When attending a public event or scheduled political gathering and extra police are present to help keep the peace are they stationed throughout the venue? Or are they all waiting out front with automatic rifles.

     Yeah, thought so.

     The actions taken by police following this tragic event should be a concern for all riders, not just those in Texas. It’s too easy to think this type of thing couldn’t happen to you because any reasonable person should expect to be treated equally before the law. Especially here in Washington.

     Why especially us? Because a few years ago we passed a motorcycle anti-profiling bill that said these types of mass arrests and presumptions of guilt by association are wrong and illegal. And yet even here this is still happening.

     RCW 43.101.419 – Motorcycle profiling.

     (3) For the purposes of this section, “motorcycle profiling” means the illegal use of the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle-related paraphernalia as a factor in deciding to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest, or search a person or vehicle with or without a legal basis under the United States Constitution or Washington state Constitution.

     The language of the law seems pretty clear cut me but that didn’t stop police in the Tri-Cities. The Tri-City Herald reported back in June of last year that police in Benton county had stopped motorcyclists to gather potential gang information unrelated to any traffic violation. It was stated that photos and videos were taken of the motorcyclists, including having some of the women remove pieces of clothing so photos of tattoos could be taken. One of the stops involving eight motorcyclists occurred as they were leaving a political meeting hosted by the COC to discuss legislative issues. Following the incident public officials then went on with refusals to public information requests about the detentions.

     Sound familiar?

     The same newspaper has since reported that a suit against the city of Kennewick for refusing those information requests was settled in favor of the motorcyclists. The rest of the suit has since moved and is pending in Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Washington State against the City of Kennewick, Benton County and the officers involved in the stops. It will be the first major legal test of the anti-profiling law we passed a few years ago. Here’s me hoping the motorcyclists win. 

     Without a similar law protecting riders in Texas it is unclear what suits will be filed against the city, county and state. The Waco Tribune has reported that at least one suit for unlawful arrest, detention and property seizure has been filed. I would expect this to be just the first of many. Simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time isn’t supposed to be a crime in this country.

     For those riders reading this and are thinking, “But I’m not a member of any Motorcycle Rights Organizations!” My reply would be, “Well why the hell aren’t you?”

     Our local and national MROs are the reason we are slowly putting an end to Motorcycle Only Checkpoints. Ever wonder why we don’t have to dress up like Power Rangers with inflatable air bag suits? MROs. Who is putting a stop to motorcycle seatbelts and reducing the use of cheese grater guardrails? Your Motorcycle Rights Organizations that who. I encourage all riders to look up their local chapters and help secure your rights.

     The Texas COC has issued two alerts asking concerned citizens to act, First and Second. Help yourself by helping a fellow rider in Texas and let officials know that these actions will not stand.

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The West Report

The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.

VS 700 Intruder

 

     With the weather warming up it’s best to start working on excuses to take a ride now rather than find yourself without one during the summer. There are very few things in life worse or more annoying than having nowhere to ride to on a beautiful day. So here are some excuses to use this riding season to help kick start your list.

     Breakfast

     At the top of this post is a picture I took the other morning of my VS700 at Frank’s Diner. Breakfast is not only a good excuse for a ride but it is after all the most important meal of the day. And best of all as an excuse it can be used seven days a week all year long.

     Non-ethanol gas

     My bike is 30 years old with dual carburetors and really really hates the 10% ethanol gas that is just about everywhere now. Filling up with non-ethanol is almost like a full tune-up with how much better it runs. Here in the Spokane area we are down to just five places that you can get real gas. The good part though is that they are all at least a 20 minute ride away from me. Pure-Gas.org has a list of stations that still have it so take a look and do your bike a favor by taking a ride and filling up on the real stuff.

     It might rain later so I’d better go now

     Probably a better excuse on the west side of the state than over here but it’s a tried and true excuse to go for a ride. Rain can be substituted with hail, snow or locust swarm depending on where you live. Better safe than sitting at home is what I say.

     Keep the battery charged

     It isn’t going to charge itself you know. Where I park doesn’t have electricity so I am unable to keep a tender going on the battery all the time. So its not just a good excuse for a ride but a necessity! Absolutely vital to take the bike out for a good ride and keep that battery in shape. Considering that my last motorcycle blog post was about putting in a new battery this year I can even add getting my money’s worth out of it.

     Road test

     Sure, I have a battery tender that I can only use once in a while but what I don’t have is a load tester. It might say fully charged but the only way to know for sure is to take the bike out for a good ride. The road test excuse can also work for a list of other things like; scuffing up new tires, checking fork seals, listening for rattles and unusual engine noise, windshield placement, action camera settings, headlight aim or periphery test with a new helmet. So take the bike out and when you get home you’ll sleep better that night with the peace of mind coming from knowing the saddlebags didn’t fall off.

     Milkshake

     Oddly enough I only seem to crave ice cream during the winter but over the summer nothing beats a good milkshake. Well, maybe a root beer float, but there just happens to be a burger stand with both only 20 miles away. Plus I get to ride along the Spokane River for most of it so even on the hottest days the ride is still mostly cool. Wherever you live it is a good idea to plan ahead and find something similar to ride to this year when the need arises. Oddly enough the further away it is the better the milkshake tastes. Not kidding, try it out for yourself.

     Almost out of smokes

     Washington has one of the highest cigarette taxes in the nation. A carton of smokes on average is running about $85 around these parts. Lucky for me Idaho is only an hour ride away where I can get the same carton of smokes for $15. Not only a great excuse to go for a ride but over the course of this year’s riding season my bike will have almost paid for itself with smoke runs. For those of you who don’t smoke then make a run for a buddy who does and save ‘em some money by taking the bike out for a ride.

     Poker run or charity ride

     Chances are one is happening soon somewhere in your area. I know here there are two benefit rides and three poker runs coming up and the riding season hasn’t even officially started yet. These are great excuses to go out for a ride, meet some fellow riders and is usually for a good cause.

     Photo tag

     As far as I have been able to track down this started in Portland, Oregon but since has spread to just about everywhere. Chances are an online motorcycle forum in your area has one going. Basically someone posts a pic of their bike somewhere and the challenge is to go out and find it. Once found take a pic of your bike there then find another location. Take a pic of your bike in the new location and post up the old and new pics. Tag, your it. Great excuse to take a ride at any time.

So there are a few excuses that I have used to take the bike out for a spin. Hope this gets your list started and have fun out there this summer.

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The West Report

The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.

Batteries not included

March 18, 2015

battery box

Changing the battery on a VS700 Intruder is such a joy! Not just because I have a brake rod on one side and a rectifier on the other covering up the connection bolts mind. Though that can be hours of family fun to navigate around. No. The best part is that the battery drops out of the bottom of the bike and I only have 3 inches of low side clearance to work with.

Let the fun begin!

Well, fun for someone anyway. I’m sure there is a bunch of engineers over at Suzuki still laughing about that one. I don’t know if it is still this way after they renamed the Intruder to the Boulevard line of bikes but I wouldn’t doubt it. A running joke like that around the office is too good to fix.

Lucky for me the parking area at my place is gravel and not paved. After securing the stand on a block of wood so it doesn’t sink into the ground and tip the bike over I just dig a hole under the box to drop the battery out with. I know, real high tech stuff huh? With no space to slide a lift under this beats the hell out of trying to kill yourself with a scissor jack.

Or so I’ve heard I mean. Ahem.

So I’ve been up to the shop and traded in the old battery. Cleaned all the wire ends and checked for pinches. Dug my trench to install the new battery and only then do I notice it.

Top and front posts.

old battery

To say the least I was not having hours of family fun at this point.

Same exact battery yet sometime over the last three years the posts were changed. Are they looking at the same bike I am? To be fair with the shop I have checked a bunch of sites and they all say this battery is an exact fit for me. And sure, I should of checked the battery they pulled instead of just matching serial numbers.

Still.

You can’t go in from the top or the front on a VS700. Even with triple jointed tools it still doesn’t work because the battery case top that snaps down after install has no room for top or front bolts. There is a hole in the side for it.

The shop at least didn’t screw me and leave me stuck with a battery I couldn’t use. None of the XT16B-A1 types there had the right terminals. I was able to trade it in and go a step up to a XT16BS-1 with side facing connections for $20 more. Same height but a tiny bit thinner and I had to suck up the space with a bit of foam so it wouldn’t move. Not a perfect solution but whatever gets you down the road eh?

Since the swap I have not been able since to find a XT16B-1 with the right terminals searching online. There IS a replacement for it on one site I found listed UB16B-A with the right ones but I don’t know how old that picture is. Something to keep my eyes out for while I wander through other shops this spring.

The bike certainly likes our new battery and is sounding great. Fired right up after sitting since November. If the battery is my only stumbling block heading into the riding season then I’m calling it all good.

The mirrors I ordered over the winter to fix my broken ones actually fit. Wonder of wonders. The stems are a little longer than the old ones and I can even see better than I could before. The weather is getting warmer, only 36 degrees last night so we are staying above freezing. Won’t be long now.

Hope your spring tunes are all going smooth out there and I’ll see you on the road.

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The West Report

The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.