My First Rant

Okay – time for my first official rant…

How many of you bikers park at the end of the row in a parking lot (generally striped yellow)? I usually don’t, but that’s not what this story is about…

My wife and I recently decided to take a trip around the Olympic Peninsula (where I live). It was going to be the first semi-long trip on my new bike. Well, she needed to stop at Wal-Mart to pick up something first, so we headed there. I went down a couple of parking rows and didn’t see anything convenient, so I just stopped at the end of a row and told her to run in and get what she needed. I stayed on the bike.

Well, while I was sitting there I decided I was thirsty. About 30 feet away was an outside Pepsi machine, so I walked over real quick to get one. I turned around, and there was a cop (yes, c.o.p. – Citizens On Patrol – not even a real cop) giving me a ticket. I pointed out that I had just left the bike long enough to get a drink, but he said no dice. No warning, no lenience – ticket time. $450 ticket time… WHAT?

Turns out he claims I was blocking the access lane next to a handicapped space, and there’s a stiff fine for that. I told him there was no indication that it was an access lane (no different striping than any other row) and he said tell it to the judge. When I pointed out that I could have simply ridden my bike over and parked it on the sidewalk next to the machine to get the drink, he said that would have been preferable. Then he would have just told me to move on… WHAT?

I maintain that, while I was parked in the striped area, it is NOT part of the handicapped “access aisle”. As you can clearly see in the below photo (which was taken at the time) there is an aisle on the OTHER side of the car I am parked next to – BETWEEN two handicapped spaces. This is the designated “access aisle” for BOTH spaces according to the information in the Americans with Disabilities Act (the drawing is excerpted from that).  By the way, that’s the c.o.p. in the background – he’s coming back from giving the car on the other side a ticket for parking in a handicapped spot without a placard – only a $250 fine for actually parking in a handicapped spot…  WHAT??


At best he should have given me a warning and told me to move on – at worst I should get a ticket for parking in a non-designated area (a much less costly offense I’m sure), and NOT for violating handicapped parking regulations. And since he told me it would have been better if I had parked my bike on the sidewalk next to the soda machine, I probably shouldn’t even get that.

Anyway – he said I should be able to get the amount reduced if I go to court as this is something they’ve just started enforcing for motorcycles. I plan to do just that.  But I guess I’ll pay what the judge says…

Needless to say, after that I was in no mood for a trip around the Peninsula and cut our day short. Bah!

Rant over…


My Original Mod List (and how it’s already changed)

After joining the V Star 1300 forums that I’ve mentioned earlier, I came up with the following “basic” modifications that it looks like everyone gets around to doing to their V Star 1300 eventually.  I’ve also included the benefits I hope to realize from them.  Note that this list was created after I already modded the bike by adding passenger floorboards, hard leather saddlebags, and the windshield.

Here’s the list:

  1. Tilt back the stock windshield to match the rake of the forks and install “lowers” – more visually appealing and greatly reduces rider wind buffeting – see my Lowers and Windshield article
  2. Install Jack’s O2 mod – a device placed inline with the O2 sensor on the muffler to help reduce low range “surge”
  3. Drill holes in the air box – provides more air to the engine, resulting in better mid range performance and better MPG’s – see my Airbox Mods article
  4. Replace stock handlebars (I’m only 5’8″) bringing the handlebars back about 4 inches and a bit closer together so I don’t have to lean into the bike as much and lock my elbows
  5. Mod the exhaust by drilling out the baffle – reduces back pressure to the engine increasing performance
  6. Install a fuel processor (Cobra Fi2000 or Power Commander) to better regulate the fuel injection – better regulates flow of air to the engine to prevent backfiring and improve performance and improve MPG’s
  7. Modify the throttle cam to allow for less jerky starts, in the fashion of the Throttle Tamer commercial grip
  8. Install a lowering kit to lower the bike by 1” (better for my short legs, and lowers the center of gravity of the bike for better handling)

In the few months since I’ve had it, I’ve managed to take care of items 1, 2, 3, and 5.  Well, partially 5 – I didn’t drill out the whole baffle but just drilled holes in it.  And I have the handlebars on order for number 4.  Number 6 is a bit expensive so I’ll have to put it off for awhile, and 7 is waiting until I get my new handlebars as it involves removing the grips anyway.  And number 8 is time intensive and I haven’t gotten around to it…

HOWEVER, I’ve also managed to add quite a few things to the bike that weren’t on my original list.  Most of these will be documented (eventually) in my V Star Mods section on the menu above, as are many that I’ve already completed.

Here are additions to the list that I have already completed:

  1. Installed an auxiliary fuse box to allow addon accessories to have their own fuses.  Also included the installation of a grounding block and a 12 volt “cigarette lighter” type adapter – see my Electrical mod article
  2. Replaced the stock rider and passenger seats with aftermarket Mustang seats.  These are more comfortable for the rider and especially the passenger due to increased padding and wider bases
  3. Installed halogen running lights
  4. Installed an aftermarket passenger backrest with luggage rack
  5. Installed a Stebel Mini Nautilus air horn (a WHOLE lot louder than the stock horn) – see my Stebel Horn Install article
  6. Modded neck of gas filler tube to allow more fuel to be put in the tank
  7. Installed a handlebar mounted switch for my garage door opener – see my Garage Door Opener article
  8. I’m currently replacing side reflectors with LED lighted versions for better visibility.  This will probably also include the addition of a Knight Riderz LED light and additional rear lighting mods as well, such as Dynamic-Clusters or a Turn Signal Conversion Kit.  I also bought some decorative purple LED engine accent lights, but I’m not sure if I’ll be using them or not.

So stay tuned for all my future fun…


Testing Themes

If you’ve visited this site more than once, you’ve probably noticed I’m still trying to settle on the “theme” I want to use with this site.  This means it may look different every time you view it for awhile.  Please excuse the mess.  I’ll get back to the real business at hand (motorcycles, rants, etc.) as soon as possible.


Time to Ride!

I figure, at 51, that it’s darn well time for me to make my presence known on the internet.  I’ve been working with computers and the internet for over 30 years, and in all that time I’ve never seen fit to have my own website.  Well, that’s all gonna change.

I recently purchased a new 2009 Yamaha V Star 1300 motorcycle (well, yeah, it’s a year old, but it only had 7 miles on it when I bought it – most of which I put on during my test drive…)  After doing some research on the bike, I discovered two excellent forums for V Star 1300 owners.  The first is the _V Star 1300 Riders_ forum on, and the second is  Both of these sites offer excellent content and great people (many of the same people are on both).

One type of section both of these forums have is a section on modifying (modding) various portions of the motorcycle to improve performance, gas mileage, appearance, etc.  These mods have inspired me to make all sorts of modifications of my own, many identical to those on the sites, many slightly different.  After posting several of my own modifications to these sites, I was asked if I had a website that I could put them on so people could review them AFTER they fall off the “current” forum listings and become old news.

With that in mind, I contacted my son-in-law who has his own website ( and asked him what a good option might be for posting this information.  This site is the result.

As far as the site name is concerned, I often go by the name BakaNeko or BakaNeko59 on various forums, game sites, etc.  This, loosely translated from Japanese, means idiot (or stupid) cat.  I have had numerous cats in my lifetime, and I can say without fear of reprisal that they have ALL acted stupid at some point or another.  (I can say this without fear, cuz none of my cats can read yet – and unless this site is still around when the evil feline empire rises up and takes over the planet, I think I’m safe).  Since was taken, and seemed a little long, I settled on  I realize this means I’m a stupid rider, but hopefully only in title and not in actions.

I will be posting not only information on my V Star modifications, but may include pointers to other sites, rants about various things, info on my rides, personal views, and who knows what else.  If I feel I need an outlet for speaking my piece, this site should work out nicely.

So thanks for taking the time to look me up, and thanks for coming along for the ride.

BakaNeko – Sep. 14, 2010