Archive for the ‘Studio Life’ Category

Harley-Davidson Sportster vs. Indian Scout

Friday, January 4th, 2019

When the 2019 Indian Scout showed up in the Ultimate Motorcycling garage, we didn’t immediately think about stoking the Indian vs. Harley-Davidson rivalry—it took about 10 seconds to go there.

So, we looked to the Harley-Davidson Sportster line for a challenger, and the 2019 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Special stood out as the motorcycle to take on the 2019 Indian Scout.

Visually, the two motorcycles don’t look like direct competitors. However, our experience with previous editions, along with plenty of specs similarities, convinced us this pair belongs together.

Perusing the spec sheet of the 2019 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Special and the 2019 Indian Scout shows how close they are—they have similar displacements, claimed torque peak is almost the same, tire sizes are identical, the weights are within a few pounds of each other, rake is close, seating is solo, foot controls are forward, and the prices are within a grand of each other. Let the riding begin!

The most obvious difference between the Forty-Eight Special and the Scout is the ergonomics. While both have abbreviated seats with little wiggle room and the pegs are mounted at the front of the engine cases, the Harley-Davidson has mini-apes, while the Scout goes with low sweptback handlebars. There’s no confusing the two.

The Indian Scout has a roomier feel, despite the pulled back bars, due to it being a more stretched out motorcycle with a wheelbase 2.6 inches longer. The Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Special feels a bit smaller, even with the tall bars. With less vibration and a more relaxed riding position, the Scout gets the nod for the least fatiguing of the two.

Regardless, both motorcycles are happy for full days in the saddle, tackling canyons and urban areas. We wouldn’t take either on a long touring ride—you’re sitting too upright and in the wind for that. It’s worth noting that both companies offer windshields, bags, and passenger accouterments as factory accessories, so turning them into casual touring mounts certainly isn’t out of the question.

The two motorcycles tackle in-town riding in distinct ways. With the long wheelbase, inch-shorter seat height, and beach-cruiser style bars (also suitable for dirt tracking, of course), the Indian Scout is low and leisurely. The 61.5-inch wheelbase discourages fast lane changes, and the motor is smooth at lower rpm and revs out very nicely, should you find the room to do so. Also, the clutch pull is lighter on the Indian.

With a rubber-mounted air-cooled motor, the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Special provides a much more visceral experience. The clutch pull is significant, and the gearbox action requires more deliberate initiation. Though torque is strong off the bottom, the engine isn’t fast revving, so it does not wear you out. With a wheelbase under 59 inches, the fork angle a relatively steep 28.7 degrees (the triple clamp tucks the front end in an extra degree-and-a-half), and plenty of leverage courtesy of the mini apes, the Forty-Eight Special is downright agile in traffic.

One might expect the Scout’s liquid-cooled, short-stroke DOHC eight-valve motor to walk away from the Forty-Eight Special’s air-cooled, short-stroke, pushrod, four-valve powerplant, but that is not the case in the city. In the stoplight derby, the Forty-Eight Special held a slight edge and was easier to get up to speed. Of course, once, you hit 60 mph, the Scout runs off and hides.

The secret sauce that keeps the Forty-Eight Special competitive is the low-rpm torque. The torque peak of the motors is insignificantly different, but the Harley-Davidson hits the peak at just 3500 rpm, while the Indian requires revving up to 6000 rpm. That makes all the difference in the confines of urban riding.

Give an edge to the Indian in the suspension department for city riding. The Indian’s forks have an additional inch of travel, while the rear wheel travel on the Scout is nearly twice that of the Forty-Eight Special (3.0 inches to 1.6 inches). While the emulsion-style Harley-Davidson shocks are good, there is only so much that can be done with 1.6 inches.

The Scout’s suspension advantage is not a big deal in normal riding, but on a rough city street or when you hit an unseen pothole, it makes a difference. In both cases, the high-profile tires on 16-inch wheels do their part to help out the suspension.

Freeway riding is another place where the Scout’s longer suspension travel is an advantage. Neither are great freeway motorcycles, though they have plenty of power for most any speed limit. Although neither like concrete expansion joints, the Forty-Eight Special suffers more.

Choosing between the 2019 Indian Scout and 2019 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Special for in-town riding is ultimately all about riding philosophy. If you want a retro feel for the bike and road, the Forty-Eight Special makes that happen.

Riders desiring smooth performance and a highly stable platform will look to the Scout. The styling of both motorcycles is distinctive, with the pair getting regular positive attention from onlookers. “Those are two cool bikes,” according to a Millennial in a new Mustang GT convertible at a stoplight in Studio City.

Taking on the urban twisties, such as Mulholland Drive along the top of the Hollywood Hills, reminds a rider of the two different approaches the manufacturers took.

The Indian Scout’s long wheelbase and relaxed rake make for a stable ride at the expense of agility. In contrast, the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Special loves to be thrown around, and it is fun on the well-paved portions of Mulholland Drive.

Again, the power delivery styles are quite unique, giving each motorcycle a distinctive personality. The Forty-Eight Special grunts out of the corners from idle, while you will want to keep the revs up for good acceleration from the Scout.

If you’re an active rider, the Forty-Eight Special is rewarding. It doesn’t mind you stuffing the fat 16-inch Michelin into turns and twisting the throttle hard to get out. The Scout also has a good front end feel, though it is less receptive to input. If you like stability, the Scout provides it.

Neither motorcycle has anything approaching generous cornering clearance. The 2019 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Special will grind into the pavement without much provocation. In contrast, your heel is the first thing to touch down when riding the Scout. Still, both motorcycles have enough clearance to satisfy a reasonable rider out simply for fun in the hills.

The faster, more wide-open curving roads you’ll find in rural areas favor the Scout. There, you can take advantage of the high-revving motor and get moving pretty fast, along with its inherent stability. The Forty-Eight Special retains its thrust out of corners, but accelerates leisurely on fast sweepers followed by a long straight and never feels quite settled.

In both cases, the tires are more than satisfactory. The Forty-Eight Special’s Michelins and Scout’s Pirellis grip all the way to peg or heel touchdown without drama.

Front braking is intuitive and progressive—credit goes to the braking system setup in conjunction with the fat tire patches. The Forty-Eight Special’s rear brake (with a much smaller disc than the Scout) is exceptionally soft initially, for those who prefer plenty of warning before serious braking kicks in.

Out in the wide-open spaces, you can access the overdrive sixth gear on the Indian Scout and relax the engine. The Forty-Eight Special gets by nicely with just five ratios, though we wouldn’t turn down a six-speed Sportster transmission.

Pulling into the local watering hole is a push. People will check the bikes out and nod—both Indian and Harley-Davidson got the styling right.

Riding the two motorcycles extensively, we found we favored the Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Special as a city cruiser, and the Indian Scout in suburban and rural areas. However, that doesn’t mean both motorcycles aren’t fully suited to switching roles successfully.

At the conclusion of comparisons, the test riders often ask each other which bike they would keep, if that were an option. That question was met with unusual consternation. We all liked different aspects of each motorcycle, and picking a favorite just wasn’t practical. Really, you could justify owning both.

So, as is often the case, it comes down to your philosophy of riding. If you like stability, smoothness, and the neo-boardtracker look, the 2019 Indian Scout will be in your garage. For those who favor a more authentic retro experience, plenty of low-end muscle, and classic styling, your choice will be the 2019 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Special.


The Ass clown sales manager Tim at Westgate Dodge in Wake Forest NC

Friday, June 8th, 2018
Since I have lived in NC I have bought a Corvette, Cts, hummer h3, from Hendricks  and a Jaguar XF and land Rover Lr4 from Jaguar of cary and they all have been smooth and pleasant experiences.
 We recently bought 12 acre’s and found ourselves in need of a Truck so I went to Westgate dodge in wake forest on a friday to buy a ram rebel, I had $5000 cash to put down and a Cadillac SRX to trade in. I spent well over 4 hours waiting on them to look at my car and do paperwork and then at closing time,  I find out that the hold up is the manager Tim was gone all day dealing with a wedding, He shows up right before close and tells me we will have everything done for me Monday.
   Monday comes and no call, so Tuesday I call in the morning the sales rep says Tim is not in yet, I call at 3pm  the sales guy says he is still not in, So at 6 I start to drive to the dealership and call my sales guy, He tells me Tim is still not in but to come down and he can take care of everything for me. I get there and he wants to have the car looked at again for the trade and start the whole process over again, I tell him thanks for wasting my time and leave. 
The next day the sales rep calls and say’s Tim is not there but to  come on down and sign all the paperwork there is another manager on site that can help me.  I show up and everything we discussed APR, payment and trade  are all off and I walk out.
 They call me the next day and say they will get everything where it needs to be and they will call me back Monday, Monday comes no call. So Tuesday I call and I talk to a finance guy and he tells me if I put more down they could get closer to what I want on payment and Apr. So I tell him run the numbers with 10K down, he says he will get back to me, a week later no call but I get a letter from ally that everything was approved and they notified the dealership . I go down in person and pull Tim the manager a side and go down the whole list and ask him if he considers that good customer service? His response (He has no excuse for it) and asked me if I still want to get the truck, I then curse him out and call him a ass clown. This is the worst sales manager I have ever met Tim should be fired and the worst dealership I have ever dealt with. 
So I thought well I can have the truck transferred to the Raleigh location and 3 days in a row I call and all 3 days they tell me that the manager there has not been in ——WTF

Beware of these gift cards from U.S. Bank National Association

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

I recommend not using Gift Card’s that are issued by U.S. Bank National Association, unless you want to go through allot of drama, this happened one time in 2016, then it happened again at Christmas time again in 2017. Basically my kids got gift cards from their Grandfather. They went online and registered them on the web site. It showed that the cards were registered and the balance was there, but when they went to use them at the store they were declined.
I called customer support and they said they were having computer issues with registering cards, the same line they said a year before and then ask for my name, address, email and phone number to register the cards, then at the end of the conversation they asked if I would agree to their telemarketers contacting me!
So basically they sell you a gift card and purposely make them not work, to force you to call and give them your information so they can sell your information to telemarketers. Sounds like a class action lawsuit to me. Also sounds like a company I never want to deal with again.
There customer support number is 1-888-853-9536 and the website of this company is. I would suggest not using them and locating a different gift card company.


Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Ebay recently announced it was doing some lay offs because of sales being down. I laughed inside when I read that because the reason sales are down is because of their own fault pushing sellers away. Let me tell you about my past 5 years with Ebay.

My user name is feedmybabbies, I sell mainly aftermarket Harley parts that are imported from China, though the past 2 years we have got into the manufacturing end and are producing our own parts here in the good ole USA.

Five years ago on Ebay I had almost 5000 parts listed on Ebay and then Ebay decided to make it where the buyers can leave negative feedback but the sellers can’t and what happened after that was buyers started using that to extort the sellers. I would have guys email me and say “I like the chrome bars but the chrome could be better so if you refund me 10.00 I won’t leave you negative feedback”, or I would have people leave negative feedback and then email me and say “give me $20 bucks and I’ll remove the negative feedback”. It got so annoying I started pulling parts offline things like $100 exhausts it was amazing how many people thought the china chrome finish should look the same as a $900 American exhaust and got down to about 1500 parts. Meaning, I made LESS money and Ebay made LESS money. In dealing with Ebay it seemed like they always took the buyers side with things and the sellers always got screwed. Ebay made their money off the sellers yet treated the sellers like crap.

Recently I had my selling amount lowered from 250K to 5 thousand a month! I called Ebay and they stated it was a mistake and it took them 3 days to fix it, meanwhile my ads were falling off line!  So a few weeks later I’m sitting there looking at 5000 POSITIVE feedbacks with just 2 negatives and rows of 5 stars and Ebay lowers my sellers standard to below average and limits the amount I can sell. I’m sitting there dumb founded and I call Ebay and they tell me on the surface it looks great but they started this “new sellers standards” where they go by defects and my defect rate is high. I go to the page and start looking over what they are calling defects, by the way at this point I now only have a little over 200 items online, just the parts I manufacture, and my sales plummet  from 7-10K a month to $500 because I’m in “below sellers standards” and my rankings in their search engine is lowered and you can not find my parts!


So I look over my defects page. Five of the defects were open cases but here is the funny part, all 5 people said they did not mean to open a case they were just emailing me and they clicked on the wrong thing. I called Ebay  when these happened and each time they said they would contact the buyers to confirm they did not mean to open a case and remove it and they never did contact the buyers or remove anything. Ebay now says they have fixed that problem so people cannot accidentally open cases anymore admitting there was a design problem, yet the defects still show. Then one of the defects was I told a guy I would not ship to Puerto Rico and he bought any way, I refunded him immediately and he left negative feedback, then a month later I sold another part to a guy in Puerto Rico, I call Ebay and ask them how to handle this so I would not get another negative feedback and the rep tells me to cancel the sale and I do it while on the phone with him and later I find that me canceling the sale was treated as a defect.

And here is my Favorite, a guy buys a plastic part for a Harley street glide it weighs 6 lbs, I ship it to California and someone at the post office decides I paid the wrong rate and demands $83.00 from the buyer. I tell the buyer I have had this problem before and I have a guy at USPS corporate Randall Anderson and he can resolve the problem tomorrow and the buyer says he does not want to wait and wants me to refund him by midnight and states he is a Diablo nomad 1% biker and that if I do not refund him that “NC is small and he will make life very difficult for me and my family”! That Ebay buyer basically threatens me and my family over a $40 part. I went ahead and refunded him and never got the part back. I call Ebay thinking they will protect me. Three different times with three different reps they looked at the emails and said they would take care of this and remove the negative feedback he left and they NEVER did! I called 3 months later and talked with a supervisor about these problems I have with these defects and he said with Ebay’s system there is only black and white and there are no grey areas  and my problems land in a grey area and even though he would like to, he can not remove ANY of them and then tells me after looking at the emails from the biker guy, he did NOT consider what he wrote a threat. Once again NOT doing anything to help out Ebay sellers!

The other thing Ebay had a problem with is my parts were not shipping out on time. On my handlebars I advertised 3 days to ship but sometimes customers want the handlebars powder coated black, well that adds 3 -4 days more to ship. There weren’t any customers  complaining about the delay but Ebays computer thought I was a bad seller and what pissed me off even more was we started getting so busy I started offering FREE powder coat to customers because we already had so many handlebars already going to powder coat that they were flat rating us, so here I am GIVING EBAY customers a $59.00 powder coat for FREE and Ebay is holding it against me! I bend over backwards for my customers to make them happy  and have almost flawless feedback yet with there new standards I’m a bad seller and a risk, I give up on Ebay and I’m now getting setup on Amazon. It’s sad. I think if Ebay CARED MORE about their SELLERS maybe sales would not be down and maybe some people would not be losing their jobs.

google lies to steal your personal information

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

I recently purchased a google tablet because of a great app I wanted called torque pro that was not available for my iPad, I went to purchase the app and they said my credit card was denied and put me on a page like this

If you’ve arrived at this page, it means that your Google Wallet online account is currently suspended because we were unable to verify the credit or debit card information for your recent order. To maintain the security of your account, please follow a few simple steps to ensure your account information is up-to-date.
What do I need to complete the form? To confirm your financial identity and protect your account, you’ll need to scan or take pictures of (using your cell phone, for example) your verification documents and then upload them to this form. The verification documents are:
One non-expired government-issued identification
One billing address verification document dated within the last four months and containing the same address on file in your Google Wallet account (if you can’t remember your billing address on file or had multiple on file, use your most recent home address)

Well heres the problem the card was never denied, I called to verify that and it was never even put through, google lied about it to try to get more of my personal information, as far as I’m concerned a company lying about something to force you to give up personal information is illegal and sounds like a good class action law suit, if you have had a similar problem with google please contact me and let me know about your experience.


Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

Midwest motorcycle supply and Jrieh cycles must have some problems in their shipping department that they need to deal with. A builder from Cayton NC about a hour away from me just called, and asked if I have ever heard about anyone else having the problem that he is having with Jireh cycles. The problem being he ordered a LSD 6 speed transmission and when the box arrived at his house all that was in the box was a 45LB dumb bell. I have been a dealer for 8 years and in the past 7 years of dealing with midwest I have had 1 transmission, 2 primary’s (1 from Jrieh’s)  and one complete motor show up at my shop with nothing but weights inside. I also talked to a good friend of mine Frank winn who has been in the industry for over 20 years and he also has talked with dealers that have had the same issues. So either someone in midwest’s warehouse is walking away with parts or someone at fedex  knows when they see a box that says ultima its expensive motorcycle parts and is walking away with the parts. either way Midwest needs to resolve this problem. because it seems to be a growing problem. Just to make a point,  other companies have these same kinds of issues. I talked with Bob Deiss who Owns Trik shift and he said that one time he got a pallet of transmissions in and all the transmissions were missing and replaced with weights. If you have had similar issue’s with Jrieh’s or midwest Plaese contact me and let me know your story.


Sunday, January 6th, 2013


I decided to get into the motorcycle business three years ago after being pissed off countless times by dealers that had no idea how a motorcycle even worked and then selling me the wrong parts and holding my money for 3 to 4 weeks before telling me that the part was backordered.
The first distributer I got setup with was Midwest motorcycle supply. I had used their products in the past on builds and was quite happy with the products.
You can call me old fashioned, but because they were my first distributer I was very loyal, always trying to get my parts from them even though I had other choices.
My first year out of the box I did 1.4 million in sales and a large chunk of that, was spent with Midwest. My only complaint with Midwest was Jireh Cycles. All motorcycle distributers have some form of a retail outlet (a perfect example is parts unlimited has Dennis Kirk), but they don’t undercut and screw over their dealers. Unfortunately Midwest does. The Owner of Midwest (Jim) has a son Jim JR who runs Jireh Cycles, it has always been a thorn in my side. I have had customers buy parts from me and then see it on Jireh’s website or ebay store for below dealer cost and get mad at me thinking I’m taking them for a ride on what I charged them. It only happened once in awhile but since the economy has took a crapper, on an average I see 100’s of items on Jireh’s ebay store at below dealer cost with free shipping. 99.9% of buyers including people that walk into my shop go to Ebay to see what things are selling for.
Here is where it does not make any sense. In a bad economy Midwest should be trying to make their dealers happy and get them out there pushing their product as much as possible, but instead they’re pissing off their dealers and their dealers are going elsewhere.
Let me give you an example of something that is seriously stupid. Let’s say my dealer cost on a tranny is $550.00, if Midwest lets me -the dealer- go out and sell it they get $550.00 and shipping cost, but when Jireh’s sells it on Ebay for $550 with free shipping after the ebay , paypal and shipping fees are taken out Midwest is only walking with $448.00 and it has gotten to the point that when you look on ebay the only person selling their trannys or primarys is Jireh’s. However if they would just let their dealers sell their product they would be making more money, instead of running off their dealers.
The sad thing is even if they shut down Jireh, dealers are so pissed it would take a long time to get their dealers loyalty back. I know they have lost mine. Six months ago Mid-USA contacted me and gave me the same pricing as Midwest and a better deal on shipping and I have had 2680 orders go to Mid-USA that would of normally gone to Midwest. Midwest motorcycle supply is shooting themselves in the foot and it does not make any sense.
To top it off Midwest constantly denies that Jireh Cycles is a part of them, even though they have some of the same web addresses, ip’s and registrars and every rep working at Midwest knows the truth. So they undercut and lie to their dealers and they wonder why their sales are plummeting? Yes it’s a bad economy but Midwest has made it far worse for them selves. Just to prove a point I sold a ultima primary to a client in Australia so it had to be shipped to me first and then I would forward it to my client in Australia, so instead of buying it from my rep at Midwest I bought it from Jireh cycles Ebay store and Midwest made $68.00 less and I made $68.00 more in profit. How stupid is that? And just incase you did not know, Jireh means Jehovah. It amazes me how these people who claim to be Christians lie and love to screw people over.
I have talked with a few people that use to work in the upper levels of Midwest and they all say that the owner believes as long as he has the cheapest motors out there he can treat his dealers and reps however he wants and people will still come to him, kind of the Sam Walton approach. Well Karama is a bitch, a large part of Midwests parts come from an overseas company called Riverline and Riverline now has a invested interest in Mid Usa and now refuses to sell to Midwest. If you haven’t noticed lately Midwest is back ordered on just about everything and they are having a hard time finding a replacement manufacturer for the same kind of pricing from what I understand most of the people there finding are about 25% higher than what they were paying with Riverline. It will be interesting to see what happens with Midwest when the dust settles. But one things for sure Dealers are pissed and going elsewhere. And even with their motors I doubt you will be seeing many dealers coming back.
Personally I’m sick of waiting on containers from overseas with crap parts and here at FMB Choppers we have been working hard and coming up with our own product line of parts that are made here in the USA and when you make a order your parts will ship within a few days, Currently we are making custom handlebars, Custom Ape hangers, custom oil tanks, shift rods, anchor rods, and choke knobs and were are currently in the process of Building a new building to get some CNC machines put in place so we can expand further. I would like to get to the point where I’m not selling anything except American made parts, like some of my favorite companies like Jaybrake, Accutronixs and joker machine.

Super Trapp Buys Jay Brake

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011


SuperTrapp acquires JayBrake

NOTED Cleveland, Ohio based motorcycle exhaust manufacturer SuperTrapp has acquired the popular JayBrake brand and product line from Horschel Motorsports of Springville, New York.

Founded by Jay Brainard in 1981, JayBrake is one of the best known custom V-twin and Harley-Davidson aftermarket brake component and controls manufacturers, with a reputation for robust quality and innovative design.

Speaking to the acquisition of JayBrake assets, SuperTrapp President Kevin Berger said: “We are excited about the addition of the JayBrake line and are confident that the combined talents and resources of the two brands will be of great benefit to our customers and the market place.

“We look forward to continuing the high-level of quality, product development and customer service that JayBrake customers have come to expect over the last 30 years.”

Jay Brainard will be working closely with SuperTrapp in the coming months to assist with product development and the transition of manufacturing to SuperTrapp’s Cleveland facility, and effective immediately all JayBrake orders can be placed with SuperTrapp



Friday, September 16th, 2011

FMB Choppers has released a new design in handlebars. Our new hell bent ape hangers are available in   12″ 14″ 16″ and 18″ inch rise with knurling options for standard or springer setups. There are hand built at out shop and our turn around time is 2-3 days. These custom handlebars are a perfect ape hanger to compliment any harley or custom chopper


Friday, January 28th, 2011

Midwest Ultima 127 Engine Review

A 140 Horse Midwest Monster

From the February, 2009 issue of Hot Bike