MOTORCYCLE LUBRICATION: Facts, fiction and folklore

Motorcycle Information
and Opinions


LEGAL NOTICE: All of the information on this page is my OPINION. If you disagree with any of my OPINIONS, that's certainly your right to do so. You are more than welcome and even encouraged to do your own investigation and research regarding any OPINION that's posted here. If you have something to contribute to the conversation, I will be happy to post it whether you support or disagree with any OPINION I may have stated here. Who knows what's going to happen once our new, ultra-Liberal President gets rolling? But for now, at least, our First Amendment Right of free speech is still more or less intact. If you think you might be offended by any OPINIONS I may have, now would be a good time to hit the "BACK" button.

There are people who own motorcycles and there are Bikers.  If you don't know or can't understand the difference, we think you will find this page to be too politically incorrect for your tastes.  This material was written by and for Bikers.

I hate mandatory helmet laws. The true morons in society think the debate is about wanting to feel the wind in our hair. For people who actually know what they're talking about, it's about not wanting to spend the rest of our lives as talking heads after this piece of so-called "safety equipment" breaks our neck and puts us in a wheelchair forever. If you happen to think that it's Government's job to force it's citizens to do things they are absolutely dead set against, you and I would not get along. In my opinion, you would be happier living in a Socialist or a Communist Country. I'll be happy to make your plane reservations if it will get you out of the USA any faster.

I could care less about Harley Davidson copyright problems, how much chrome you have, what size scooter you ride or what kind of yuppie scum biker propaganda you subscribe to.  If you love to ride and turn your own wrenches then come on in. If you buy bikes as investments, wear official logo roadgear from head to toe, worry about getting grease underneath your fingernails or think that mandatory helmet laws are a good idea then get the HELL away from me!

MOTORCYCLE LUBRICATION: Facts, fiction and folklore

Let those who ride decide
The Management

Biker dies riding without a helmet while riding in helmet law protest run.

Bearcat Lodge, Seneca, Oregon - For a variety of reasons, this place and the people who own it, are best avoided. Should you decide to ignore this advice and get involved with these people anyway, don't complain to me about it. These cats are bad news! You were warned.

Public service notice: Decide for yourself but the John Cowgill web site at looks like a scam to me. He's spamming people to promote his "invention", the details of which are a secret.... Cowgill states, "I will not reveal my invention as I will not apply for a patent, I will let it become public domain". Time will tell, I suppose. Interested people (aka "victims") are to send him $40 and if he gets enough suckers, he claims he will release his "invention" to the world. I'm guessing that only incredibly stupid people will fall for this but all the same.... he claims he's on the Oregon Coast but all the rest of the scams on his web site have New Mexico contact addresses. And his spam came in on a Comcast IP located in New Mexico.

UPDATE: Mr. Cowgill released his "invention" and while we will give him an "A" for effort, it's a truly moronic idea. Essentially, he is advocating the design and installation of "training wheels" for motorcycles that would challenge the definition of "motorcycles" and thus render mandatory helmet laws moot. I'm guessing that Mr. Cowgill has not looked at his motorcycle registration lately since it says "MC" right on it. Law Enforcement tends to be sticklers about little details like that.... You're certainly welcome to do whatever you like but IMHO, the only way Oregon is likely to get rid of the mandatory helmet law in my lifetime is the same way it got in -- through a ballot initiative. However, this would take a LOT of work and a substantial amount of money so I don't see anything like that happening here. I did look into it and I do have a few contacts who really understand the ballot initiative process... but the old guard here in Oregon prefers to stick with tried and failed ideas rather than attempting something that might actually work. You might want to think about this before you send in your next BikePAC of Oregon and/or ABATE of Oregon annual dues.

Oh, and if you are thinking about having Joe Cree and/or California Customs build you a motorcycle, take some advice: DON'T!!!!!

Horrible doesn't even begin to describe my experience with Joe Cree and California Customs. You're welcome to ignore this advice but don't complain to me if you are unhappy with the treatment you get from Joe Cree or if you are unhappy with the quality of the motorcycle you get from him once you hand over your money.

If you still aren't convinced, have a look at Joe Cree's "I'm a great builder, I just have bad customers" moronic rants on his very own web site to see how you will be treated as soon as your check clears. It's also worth asking your local shop, a present or previous owner or any Harley Dealer what they think of California Customs quality (or lack of it) *BEFORE* you make a serious mistake dealing with this Joe Cree[p] character. 'Nuff said....

Addendum: People have asked for specifics on Joe Cree's design blunders and poor workmanship, the implication being that I am perhaps being "too fussy". If expecting a $36,000 motorcycle to make it home from the Shipper's (7 miles), which it didn't, then yeah, I am a pretty fussy Customer. Luckily, I have friends with motorcycle trailers who are willing to drop everything to come rescue me and my motorcycle that had less than 20 miles on it.

Example 1: My brand new California Custom broke down on the way home from picking it up at the Shipper's. Instead of being able to ride it home, it was trailered to the shop for the first of *M-A-N-Y* repair visits.

My Mechanic, who I had known for many years, called Joe Cree and found him to be hostile, combative and completely un-cooperative. It became obviously apparent that Joe Cree's "warranty" was ficticious and that this California Custom piece of junk was actually sold as-is.

Example 2: The fork stop design was nothing short of idiotic and was somewhat expensive to correct. The forks/steering would only turn a couple of degrees from stop to stop. This made it difficult to manuever this bike at slow speeds and impossible/very dangerous to parallel park in confined spaces. I noticed this problem before I had even fired up this bike for the very first time. The fact that Joe Cree designed it this way and never even noticed it during his "test rides" says a lot about his abilities (or lack of them) as a motorcycle builder. "BuilderX" my ass....

Example 3: Pretty much every electrical wire crimp needed to be re-done. This bike had MAJOR electrical problems and would routinely drop dead while going down the road. You always needed to say a prayer before trying to start this pile of junk. Needless to say, Joe Cree's shabby workmanship and choice of poor quality connectors caused a LOT of intermittent problems. It was eventually decided to replace pretty much every harness, wire and connector on this bike.

Example 4: Joe Cree's choice of a mono-shock softail frame was also a major screwup. While my bike never ran well enough to put more than a total of 5,400 miles on it in the 11 years I had it, pretty much every motorcycle built using this frame style has suffered catastrophic strut failure which causes the rear fender to collapse onto the rear tire. Needless to say, if this happens at highway speeds, this failure could very well be fatal.

Example 5: The oil bag drain plug mechanism was so poorly designed and installed that it fell off going down I-5. The bike was still on it's break-in oil at the time. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to guess what happens when you run out of oil at highway speeds.

Example 6: After several weeks of ownership, the headlight burned out. This was replaced and when it too burned out shortly afterwards, my shop investigated further. Turned out that Joe Cree's electrical wiring mistakes caused an intermittent, high current short circuit that causes headlights to fry. Needless to say, 7x24 headlight usage has been required on all motorcycles in the USA since the early 1970's. I could have easily found myself receiving multiple tickets and Police stops over this screw-up. "Builder X".... right.

Example 7: The clutch mechanism was so tight that a gorilla would tire trying to ride this bike in traffic. This wasn't terribly expensive to fix (at least compared to some of these other problems). But these are not things one should have to do to "correct" a very expensive product that "BuilderX" claims is very high quality with lots and lots of satisfied customers. In fact, while I have received a fair number of comments from past California Customs customers, I have yet to hear from even one who was happy with their purchase. Some have had horror stories that make my extremely bad experience seem tolerable in comparison.

There's *LOTS* more but by now you should get the general idea. I easily spent over $20k trying to turn this monstrosity into a reliable motorcycle. And at the end of that exercise, my Califonia Custom was still unable to consistently make it to the end of my street and back without needing to be pushed home. When I finally got rid of it, it had to be trailered out of here. For me it was a costly $60,000 lesson that the price you pay for something may not have any bearing on the quality of the product you are given. I've owned a lot of $200 clunker motorcycles in my lifetime. And even those ran waaaaaaaay better and were waaaaaay more reliable than my Joe Cree California Custom. So bluster on, Joe, about what a wonderful builder you are. But anyone who's actually owned a motorcycle that you've built knows better.

Caveat emptor

DEFINITIONS: A motor vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle) should be able to run for ten years and/or 100,000 miles with very few problems. A vehicle that does this is considered to be "average" quality. Vehicles that run for 20 years and/or > 250,000 miles without needing any major service work done are considered to be "great" vehicles that were well designed, well built and well maintained. Vehicles that require numerous, significant repairs within the first several months or the first few thousand miles of ownership are known as lemons. Had I lived in a so-called "lemon law" State, Joe Cree would have been required by law to refund my money. Unfortunately, Oregon does not have this type of consumer protection law.

Let those who ride decide
The Management

Portland, Oregon Dealer and Independent Shop Reviews
If you have an actual experience review, I will be happy to include it here

Joe Cree, California Customs - As stated previously, avoid at all costs

Tanja Roelli, another unhappy Joe Cree victim writes: the guy (Joe Cree) is building the bike since november 2007 & keeps on raising the price again & again. is there someone that you would trust with finishing? a way to sue the guy?

Gary George, Owner Obsession Motorcycles says, "Joe Cree has to be the most incompetent builder I have ever worked with!"

Wayne DePriest, Owner Fast Forward Customs says, "It would cost many thousands of dollars to fix the many major design mistakes that Joe Cree made when building your California Custom. And even after spending all that money, you will still have a motorcycle that is very poorly designed.

There are several reviews of Joe Cree and California Customs posted on the Topix web site. Except for a rant by Joe Cree himself, which insult and trivialize complaints by current/former customers, the reviews there are 100% negative.

Joe Cree just likes to stir the pot. He is known for being loud and saying what he wants. It was good that his shop was was shutdown. Good riddance to a really bad man! Posted by Dave, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 24, 2008 at 7:54 pm

I have had business dealings with Joe Cree and the outcome was unfavorable. I would think twice in doing any business deals with this man and his business California Customs.Posted by Andy, a resident of another community, on May 22, 2008 at 1:49 pm

From the head Creep himself: Just thought I'd let both of you two anonymous idiots know my shop is doing just fine in our new location in San Jose. Typical, neither used your full names, not surprised as you both sound like whiners to me anyway.Posted by Joe Cree, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Jan 14, 2009 at 11:38 pm

ED note: Even business owners with mediocre intelligence know that name calling, insults and trivializing customer complaints is a fundamentally poor business strategy. If Joe Cree was actually interested in improving his reputation and the reputation of his business, he'd build better and more reliable motorcycles and he'd be a LOT more customer oriented. Joe Cree's ignorant, confrontational and insulting rants do nothing to stem the increasingly poor reputation he has created for himself and California Customs. Smart business owners view customer feedback as excellent marketing input. Ignorant business owners view it as whining.

Another posting by Joe Cree pretending to be a happy customer (note the misspelling that is a typical Joe Cree trademark): I have been a customer at his shop since they opened in the 90's and always had supperb service. Now that they've moved to San Jose I still go there for all my service work and parts needs too.Posted by Phil, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jan 20, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Joe Cree has been known to pretend he is actualy a customer of his own shop and post on other websites as to the greatness of his work. He even boast about this great builder he calls "Builder X", which is actualy in fact joe himself, either way joe Cree is a poor example of a builder, his jealousy of the great builders out here is just a small sample of him not being very professional at all. i along with many others feel bad for him, don't be jealous of others to make yourself feel better, try being a better builder to begin with, you to might get a tv show or have your bikes on the covers of widely known magazines. So with having said all of that, I expect you to now, drum up a few fake customers and have them add to this blog, even though its just you doing it. Sad dude, to sad. people do yourself and your bank account a HUGE favor, do a google search on JOE CREE, you will see many complaints on him and his style or lack there of all over the internet. You talk of having intergrity joe, maybe you should go build yourself some of that, since you have NONE. The best thing that I ever saw come out of your shop was the talented person who painted your bikes for you, the rest is junk, to bad such art was wasted on such a worthless product.Posted by joe who???, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Feb 4, 2009 at 1:02 am

This one was posted on Topix on 2/24/2009 and gave my link as a reference. While the experience of this unhappy customer more or less mirrored my own, I did not post this. Joe Cree's paranoia and persecution complex notwithstanding, I have my own Biker information web site. Anything I have to say about my dissatisfaction with Joe Cree and California Customs I can say right here. This little web page scores number one or two in search engine ratings and I get thousands of hits a day. I have no need or desire to post negative reviews about this incompetent clown on other web sites. Posting follows:

Garbage in Garbage out! California Customs new slogan - Joe Cree AkA Builder X If there was a builder X I would not of been taken! Stop your dishonest tactics JOE CREE CALIFORNIA CUSTOMS Buyer beware when you deal with this so called builder Dont read into all the hype like I did, the other posts are correct take your money else where. JOE CREE CALIFORNIA CUSTOMS built me a bike, year later I had a real builder tear apart the bike and replace 50% of the parts! You should be ashamed of yourself JOE CREE CALIFORNIA CUSTOMS. This is one of the many websites that tell you to stay away from JOE CREE CALIFORNIA CUSTOMS

George Latus, Owner Latus Harley Davidson says, "California Customs have not had a very good track record for quality. The resale and trade-in value for your California Custom is going to be much lower than you might expect or want to accept.

Harley Davidson Dealers - general: If you are going to buy a new Harley, you need to accept the fact that even in really bad economic times, these Dealerships will happily watch you walk out the door before they will offer any sort of meaningful discounts. MSRP plus $1,000 or so seems to be as low as any of these guys are willing to go, even during the Winter of 2010, some of the worst months ever as far as Harley Davidson sales are concerned. If you have your heart set on a new Harley, that's just the way it is.

Latus Motors, Gladstone, Oregon, Harley Davidson Dealer. After many months of price shopping, I bought my 2010 FXSTC from Latus. Latus sells far more motorcycles compared to the other area Dealers and the showroom is always brisk with paying customers. Latus offered me a very compelling deal which none of the other area Dealerships were willing to come even close to, even though they knew that they would absolutely lose the sale if they did not sharpen their pencils. In addition, the entire sales transaction was about as fast and painless as it gets. I was riding my new Harley off their lot in well under two hours. The paper signing was a breeze and not the typical high pressue "Finance Manager" experience that you usually have to endure when buying a new vehicle.

A nice little plus in this transaction was that I ordered this bike as a basic add-ons. The bike Latus got from Cascade Harley Davidson had the fancy chrome spoked rims, alarm system and who knows what else. Latus never even told me about these extras, much less tried to get me to pay extra for them, which I thought was pretty darned nice. I wound up getting this bike for at or a little less than MSRP plus they gave me a more than fair trade-in allowance. So I would have to say that I was quite happy and pleased with the deal I got from Latus Harley Davidson.

I bought directly from the General Manager but most of the sales people there seemed to me to be regular people and not at all slick. Very low pressure sales people and not the "Used Car Salesman" type that you see in some of these other Dealerships. As the former Executive Director for BikePAC of Oregon, I have known the Owner, George Latus, for a great many years. George is an eager and sustaining supporter of motorcycle safety and motorcycle rights groups such as BikePAC.

I can't say too much about their service and parts folks yet although they seem to be helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. Their pricing seems to be on the high side but so is the pricing at all of these Harley Dealerships, apparently.

Cascade Harley, Bend, Oregon, Harley Davidson Dealer. Bend is a fair drive from Portland so I communicated with them via e-mail. Cascade Harley was not willing to deal at all so they pretty much knocked themselves out of the running. Interestingly enough, Latus did not have the color FXSTC I wanted in stock so they traded Cascade for theirs. So my new Harley came from Cascades' inventory even though they were not willing to sell me the bike directly. Karma....

American Motorcycle Classics, Albany, Oregon, Harley Davidson Dealer. These guys seemed like Old School Bikers to me and people I would probably enjoy riding with. Albany is also a fair drive from Portland so there would need to be a compelling offer from them to buy so far away. AMC really wasn't interested in dealing so they too knocked themselves out of the running.

Salem Harley Davidson, Salem, Oregon. 60 miles from Portland, so not that close by. Contacted them several times via e-mail. Different sales guys each time and each one slicker than the last. A lot of phoney baloney and claims to want to "earn my business" ...a phrase that automatically makes me suspicious of someone's ethics... but at the end of the day, "earning my business" did not involve anything related to actually offering me a good deal. Salem Harley Davidson was the creepiest of all of the Harley Dealerships I contacted.

Columbia Harley Davidson, Vancouver, Washington USA. Very small showroom compared to other big city Dealerships. Usually crowded although I don't know if that means lots of sales or just lots of lookie-loos. I never got to actually talk to a sales person but overhearing their conversations gave me the impression that they were slicker than I prefer. I contacted the Sales Manager and he was not interested in taking my trade, period. He said that if I sold my trade-in privately, he would make me a "killer deal" on a new Harley. When I contacted him several months later, the "killer deal" was MSRP plus a LOT of "Dealer Appreciation" increases to the price. Had Salem Harley Davidson not been so over the top about being a greasy, slimy Dealership, Columbia Harley would have won my "creepiest Dealership" award.

Paradise Harley Davidson, Tigard, Oregon. Formerly Destination Harley and Beaverton Harley Davidson before that. These guys are an interesting case. I've lived here for 25 years and the old Beaverton Harley place was just down the street. Even though I have had at least one motorcycle since I was 15, I've never bought so much as a stick of gum from these guys. I have no idea if the Dealership owners changed each time they moved or changed names, but the old Beaverton Harley was about as bad as it gets. Think about the most arrogant, unhelpful AMF Dealership you've ever been in during the 1970's and these guys were 100 time worse. When they moved to Tigard they seemed to develop a little marketing savvy and were one of the early players wanting to "earn my business"... although they were always long on talk and short on delivery. More recently, their sales people seem to be knowledgeable and helpful and their parts and service folks are great to deal with. However, the sales guys are apparently instructed to turn over customers to a "closer" after 10 minutes or so which is annoying, to say the least. The "Closer" goes for the close every 2 minutes or less and it's about as high pressure a sales experience that you can imagine. Lot's of "what can I do to earn your business" and offers that expire if you don't buy in the next ten seconds. Only an idiot would believe that this guy is actually interested in helping them. This guy's one and only desire is to run a pole as far up your butt as he possibly can.... and he isn't even the slightest bit subtle about his motives. And at the end of this painful trial, the Closer, amazingly, walked away from the sale because he was not interested in my trade. Period. I do have to say that trying to trade in my Joe Cree, California Custom piece of crap didn't help matters any. California Customs have a horrible reputation and as soon as you mention that you have one as a trade in, most of these Dealerships run for their lives. Still.... even with no trade-in, Paradise really wasn't interested in competing with Latus even though they knew the deal they needed to beat. More than one person has told me that Paradise sends a LOT of customers over to Latus where they actually buy their new Harley. I always wondered if the Finance guy at Paradise was actually on Latus's payroll... Emily, their blue haired sales girl, is a hoot and a pleasure to work with. Actually, with the exception of their Closer(s), I liked most of the people I talked to there this past year.

Paradise Harley Davidson Service Department update: So I broke down and thought I'd try out the Paradise Harley Davidson Service Department on something simple. Purchased a luggage rack for my softail custom and had them put it on for me. B-I-G mistake!!!!! Expensive and unpleasant doesn't even begin to describe my experience. Since readers want examples, here are a few: I show up early for my 10:00 appointment and they open their doors 10 minutes late at 10:10. There's no line, no "take a number", nuthin'... so all the Posers who got there after I did just slink on in ahead of me which I guess you just have to put up with unless you want to punch someone out or something. Strike one. Then, even though I had an appointment, the service guy knew *NOTHING* about me. Name? Address? Phone number? What model? Year? Color? and on and on... each question taking five minutes to enter into the computer because either the guy didn't know what he's doing or the software they are using is crap. All the while I'm staring at their poster claiming how Paradise Harley Davidson has been "number 1 in customer service for the past five years!". If this is how the "number one" outfit performs, I'm wondering just how bad things are at the number two dealership!

Then, it takes this guy forever to locate my luggage rack that the parts guys apparently can't find even though it just arrived a couple of days earlier. Remember: Paradise Harley Davidson is number one in customer service... right. So I am already majorly annoyed at the unprofessional way these guys operate long before I get my outrageously high bill.

Installing this luggage rack involves drilling two holes in the plastic license plate frame and attaching the rack. I'm figuring a really slow mechanic who's never done this before could easily get it done in under 30 minutes. My bad for not demanding an estimate when I scheduled the service visit. I was billed for TWO AND A HALF HOURS!!!!!

Paradise Harley Davidson scores low on ethics... my bike sat in the entrance for over two hours even though I arrived promptly for my as soon as they open appointment. And the actual luggage rack install did take about 30 minutes. However, Paradise Harley Davidson also took the bike for a billable "test ride" afterwards.... a "test ride" after installing a luggage rack?!?!?!?! As a professional consultant I understand the business model of racking up the maximum number of billable hours possible, however if I behaved the way Paradise Harley Davidson does I would expect to not see much repeat business. They also washed my already very clean bike (while the billable time meter kept right on ticking). So yes, Paradise Harley Davidson did technically have my bike inside their shop for 2 1/2 hours... but it was the most expensive parking lot I've ever been in in my entire life!

It should probably go without saying that this was the first and last time Paradise Harley Davidson will be seeing my business.

Obsession Motorcycles, Portland, Oregon. Gary George, the Owner, was the best person I have ever dealt with in my entire life, bar none. I was a loyal customer over there for many years and wouldn't even consider letting anyone else work on my bikes. Unfortunately, someone thought it would be a good idea to murder him which meant I got to lose a great friend and a wonderful repair shop.

Fast Forward Customs, Tualatin, Oregon. I used these guys for a couple of years until they went out of business. Wayne DePriest was the owner and a good guy to work with. Eric, his main mechanic was one of those rare guys with natural-born abilities. A VERY good mechanic.

Forest Grove Honda, Forest Grove, Oregon. I bought several Hondas from the old man (Don) before he retired. When his Son Ken took over, he refocused the business towards off-road, ATV and power generator customers. Their main mechanic, Chris, has been there for 20 years or more and is VERY good. He is very tenacious about tracking down difficult, intermittent problems.... a personality attribute you don't find in many Dealership mechanics anymore. I understand that FG Honda has returned to the motorcycle sales end of the business, at least somewhat. I haven't been over there for several years though.

Beaverton Honda-Yamaha-Suzuki, Tigard, Oregon. I bought my 2006 Suzuki C90-T there. BHY absolutely refused to quote me anything other than full MSRP on this bike. So I shopped all over Town and got what I thought was a very good price from the Dealer out in Gresham. Pretty much for fun, I went back to BHY and told them the deal that I had in my pocket. BHY made me a COMPELLING offer that was $2,000 less than the best price I had been able to find after shopping all over creation. So one has to wonder why BHY pulled all of those used car dealer scams on me and didn't just save us both a lot of trouble and quote me a great price right up front.

BHY Service Department. My first few experiences with these guys were pretty much 100% negative. I did get lucky and found a "Service Advisor" who was pretty reasonable to deal with and from then on, so long as I went through him, everything went smoothly. Then, he was laid off. I've only been back once since then and I wound up having to complain to the General Manager to get any attention over there. Apparently, BHY has fired a LOT of people including their disinterested Service Manager due to incompetence and/or lousy customer service attitudes. They may need to get rid of a few more.

BHY Parts Department. These guys seem to be incapable of looking up a motorcycle's year and model and coming up with the correct part number for anything. Really difficult parts like, for example, ordering the correct replacement tire for your bike :( The dealership does a brisk parts counter business but you are definitely taking a chance if you ask for their advice or have them decide what part to order. These guys are definitely a challenge to deal with and so far, the BHY General Manager has had only limnited success in turning this place into a professionally run service organization.

UPDATE: I've been by a few times since I wrote the review above and I have to say that I have seen marked improvement in the serice department. There's still some cranky people there who lack customer relations skills and who give you the impression that they would rather be pretty much anywhere other than helping you, but... Nate seems to be doing a good job running a service department that is a lot more responsive than it used to be.

Portland Motorcycle Company, Portland. These guys are over by PDX and sell Suzukis, Hondas, Triumphs and maybe other brands as well. They seem to cater more to the sport bike crowd and you don't see many Old School Bikers like me over there. I've only used them once, for warranty maintenance service, and my experience then was "ok". Not great, not bad... just ok. I've contacted them a few times since for various quotes but they have not been very competitive on their pricing so I have not made any purchases there yet. Since they are clear over the other side of town and since there have not been any compelling cost savings or wonderful customer service to attract me, it just hasn't been worth my while to develop a relationship with these guys.

Wingman Industries. Just down the street from the Portland Motorcycle Company. These guys also seem to be more sport bike-centric than some of the other shops in town. They have some favorable reviews posted on the Internet and they seem to be "ok", at least as far as responding to e-mail inquiries goes. I have yet to actually visit the place and will update this section after I do. So far, the price quotes I have been given have not been all that compelling and they do seem to have the attitude that your business really isn't all that important to them. For example, I wanted to buy a particular Fulmer helmet that turned out to be a discontinued model. Wingman wasn't all that interested in pursuing my business and referred me to Wendy Love of Love's Leathers up in Ridgefield, Washington. Rene, their helmet guru, called around and found a helmet in my size sitting in a motorcycle shop showroom in Wisconsin and arranged to have it sent here without a deposit or even a commitment from me that I'd buy it. This is what I call excellent customer service and going above and beyond to satisfy customers! Wingman Industries makes claims that they are committed to providing superior customer service but they fall a little short on their delivery of those promises. If Wingman happens to have what you want in stock and if you don't care that much about price, you will probably be happy with them. But they don't seem to be all that fired up to be the "A-Team" of motorcycle shops in this city.

Loves Leathers - Wendy Loves Outpost, Ridgefield, Washington. You'll find a lot of "Old School" Bikers browsing here (as well as a lot of Posers). And there is almost always at least one majorly cool, vintage "something" motorcycle parked in the driveway when you get there. If you're looking for something in leather or some old school Biker paraphernalia, this is the place you want to go. Really nice, helpful, friendly folks working there. Free coffee, cookies and so on. Their motto is, "if you have nothing to do, come do it here". Great place to do business!


AMSOIL 10w-40 synthetic motorcycle oil - Do *NOT* use this oil in a 1500 Suzuki Intruder/Boulevard/C90!!! After putting it in my 2006 Suzuki C90-T, I soon started noticing engine noises. Turns out that Amsoil 10W-40 synthetic, even though it is JASO MA2 certified, is known to take too long to replenish the valve lash adjusters in this model motorcycle when the motor is cold. Expert Suzuki Mechanics in the Suzuki forum claim that continued use will cause permanent problems. I don't use a lot of AMSOIL products but I have not personally had any problems with Amsoil in any other applciations. For Suzuki C90's, Suzuki Intruder 1500's and so on, Shell Rotella T6 5w-40 works much better and even costs a lot less.

The other possibility is that the Suzuki design really requires a 5W-40 oil for "cold" weather startups... cold being anything below 50 degrees F. AMSOIL doesn't offer a 5W-40 synthetic for motorcycles otherwise I would have tested this theory. Considering AMSOIL's large market share and overall popularity, it's really not clear to me if this is an AMSOIL quality problem or a crappy Suzuki design.

Motorcycle Lubrication Information

Karl Baldner will head to court later this month to face charges of petty theft for removing an American flag from a local business last summer.

It began in August of last year when Baldner, who served a decade in the US Army, said he saw an American flag flying at a local business that was in bad shape; the colors were faded and more than 50 percent of it was missing. According to the police report, Baldner confronted the man who owned the real estate business, indentified as John Granfield.

In the report Granfield said Baldner had "stormed" into the office a month prior and told him to take down the flag. Granfield said he told Baldner that the flag meant a lot to him, but he felt the country was going through a "difficult time" and to him "the flag accurately depicts our present situation".

Baldner said a month later he went back and saw the same tattered flag was still flying; it was then that he decided to take it down.

He said he left a note with his name, number and a message that he would replace the flag. Baldner then took the old flag to the Veterans Administration office in Winter Park.

According to Granfield, he had gone on a family vacation and when he returned he found the flag missing and the flagpole on the ground. He added that he found the note and that it said that he (Granfield) was a "disgrace to the nation". It was then that he decided to file charges.

Deputies took a report and asked Granfield if he would talk to Baldner to try and resolve the issue; Granfield refused and insisted charges be filed.

Baldner had expected to hear from Granfield; instead heard from a deputy with the Orange County Sheriff's Office who asked if he was the man who took the flag. When he answered that indeed he was the deputy told him that a report was being filed with the State Attorney's Office.

Baldner said he was offered a plea deal, but refused saying he'd rather go to jail; he added that he has a wholehearted belief that the American flag shown in public in the poor condition he found the original one in.

Baldner's court date is next Tuesday, October 19, 2010

John Barry Granfield contact info:

2808 Kinloch Dr
Orlando FL 32817
Phone: 407-718-5082
Fax: (321) 972-2250
Website: John Granfield Orange County Realtor flying tattered american flag Orlando, Florida

ED Note: This John Granfield, Barry Granfield or whoever he is, seems like a real winner. His outfit used to be called Value Homes and is now Accommodating Realty. His name seems to change as often as his company name... this character is not an agent for any reputable (or even any disreputable) Real Estate firm.... but he is conveniently located next to the Post Office and BoA.... let's hope prospective buyers and seller hear about what an anti-American sleeze this guy is and take their business elsewhere.

ABATE of Oregon and BikePAC of Oregon
mandatory helmet laws!

Biker Bitches

Helmet Law Fact Sheet
Do mandatory helmet laws save lives? Here's the facts
Why does ABATE support the Oregon mandatory helmet law?
Why do Harley Davidson Dealerhips look like clothing boutiques?
Why does everyone seem so interested in the safety of greasy Bikers?
Cop kills Biker while chasing Motorist with expired inspection sticker!!!
The Government harrassment of so-called "Deadbeat Dads" in America
Bearcat Lodge Review, Seneca, Oregon
Ideals the Easyrider (tm) believes in

May 29, 2010 - Dennis Hopper died today at age 74 - prostate cancer

June 24, 2010 - Legendary bikers rights advocate from Texas
William "Sputnik" Strain died today - heart attack

The Genesis of Easyrider
Check PageRank

Biker Bitches
Something pissing you off, Bunky?

Click here to add your own opinions to the discussion

banner9.jpg (7097 bytes)

peeman.gif (40750 bytes)helmett.gif (2063 bytes)

Motorcycle Web Ring Home Next Site
This Motorcycle Web Ring site is owned by Frankie's Biker Info site.

Click for the
[Previous] [Skip Previous] [Random]
[Next] [Skip Next] [Next 5]

Click here if you would like to joinThe Motorcycle Web Ring.

Motorcycle Builder Reviews - The Worst Builder
Joe Cree, California Customs Customer Opinion

Built the biggest piece of crap motorcycle I have ever owned. Charged me $35,000 for it (back when $35k was real money) and totally refused to stand by his work or pay to have any of his MANY design screw ups and poor quality workmanship corrected.

Nine years later, this bike has only 5,400 miles on it and even after spending many thousands of $$$ to get it to run right it is still such an unreliable piece of crap that I am afraid to ride it any further than I want to push it home. I would dearly love to sell it and would practically give it away, but California Customs has such a lousy reputation that no one wants to buy it. And try getting Allstate, Geico or one of those to insure one! Good luck with that! I currently insure this piece of junk Joe Cree California Custom through Progressive (although why I don't know since I'm lucky if it can make it down the street without needing a tow truck to get it back home). Progressive charges me twice what I pay Geico to insure my Big Dog which, unlike this Joe Cree reliability nightmare, actually gets ridden once in a while.

Gary George, owner of Obsession Motorcycles, said to me after talking to Joe Cree, "Well, I've just talked to Satan himself! And what a miserable creep he is to have to deal with. I don't think we're going to get anything out of this guy except grief and stonewalling." How right he was.... And Gary hasn't been the only experienced Harley builder and Mechanic to point out some of the many knucklehead design mistakes that Joe Cree made when building this motorcycle. Probably the biggest and most expensive to correct boneheaded move was the use of a dangerous and unreliable mono shock softtail frame. Check this out on the web sometime. More than one rider came to a screeching, grinding halt when the suspension broke and the rear tire slammed up tight against the rear fender.

Throughout all of these trials, Joe Cree could have cared less that the bike he built for me was a complete piece of garbage. This bike barely made it home from the 7 mile ride from the Shipper's warehouse. It was in the shop being repaired the very next day and had to be trailered there! A brand new, $35,000 motorcycle! And this Joe Cree California Custom has spent most of it's nine year life either sitting in a repair shop somewhere or sitting in the back of my garage collecting dust. Joe Cree did absolutely nothing to make any of this right. In fact, he turned in to a total jerk as soon as he got my check. And he has treated me horribly ever since. If you doubt this, you only have to read Joe Cree's own words, posted further down the page.

Luckily, Joe Cree had "California Customs" painted on my bike (against my wishes...) Ever pay $4,000 for a custom paint job and have the nit-wit builder put a self serving advertisement for himself on it?

Anyway, it all worked out because anytime someone sees this bike when it's in the shop and asks me how I like California Customs, I give them an earful and STRONGLY encourage them to NOT give their money to Joe Cree and California Customs. Then they tell someone who tells someone who tells someone else.... The best advertisement is word of mouth. The worst advertisement comes from unhappy past customers. The very worst advertisement comes from company owners like Joe Cree posting vile and obscene comments that insult their unhappy customers instead of trying to do something to make things right. That says a lot about Joe Cree's integrity and sense of honor, I think. Not to mention his apparently limited vocabulary.

A LOT of people have found this web page over the years and have told me that they were considering doing business with Joe Cree and wanted to know about the problems I had dealing with California Customs. I even got an e-mail from one of Joe Cree's Sales Lackeys Tanja Rolli who pretended that she was an unhappy Joe Cree customer but really seemed to be just trolling around for information. Pretty creepy....

So here's a sample of what you'll be dealing with if you hand over any $$$ to Joe Cree and California Customs. Note the not so subtle threat of violence from Mr Tough Guy who doesn't like bad customer opinion reviews ..... although I have every confidence that there are plenty of other unhappy Joe Cree and California Customs past customers out there based on e-mails I have received over the years. And Joe Cree's insulting tone including belittling this web site which gets more visitors in a day than his site gets in a year. But Joe Cree's antagonistic, pissy little girl whining, peppered with "real man" tough guy chest pounding does very little to inspire confidence that one will be treated professionally and with respect should they decide to do business with these guys. In my opinion, if Joe Cree was even remotely interested in customer satisfaction (and his reputation), he would have said something like, "Frank! I'm absolutely flabbergasted and horrified to hear that one of our motorcycles has performed so poorly. I am just hearing about these problems and I can't begin to tell you how sorry I am that your experience with California Customs has not been what you expected. We try very hard to build great bikes and to develop long term, repeat business relationships with our Customers. I am VERY sorry to hear about these problems. What can I do to make things right for you?"

Needless to say, that's not exactly the words that have been coming out of Joe Cree, starting on day one. Received 10/28/08, exactly seven days after his stooge Tanja contacted me with her phoney story and looking for information

Joe Cree writes: Saw you mentioned me in some post on this page:

Kind of curious who you are and how would you even know about my shop and our work? Far as I know you're not a current customer nor have you ever been a customer yet you seem to think it's okay to run my name and business down behind my back. Just curious how you get off thinking that's cool? If you were all you preach in your little web site you'd step up and say those things to my face, or at least in an e-mail since that seems to be your realm. My suggestion is try growing a pair and saying this to my face instead of posting it on some obscure web site.
Joe Cree
California Customs

And Joe The Blowhard's tirades continue (posted on a public forum which is read by minor aged children among others):

Saw something posted here on some part of this site by some douchebag named Frank, or at least that's who this site is registered to. In his rant he slams me and my shop. Never heard of this **** *** (expletive deleted) and don't know where he gets off talking nuts behind my back but he can **** ** (expletive deleted). He's not a customer of ours, never has been asnd has no balls by talking smack on a site behind my back. So here ya go Frankie or whoever it was that posted my name on this site, **** ***, (expletive deleted) **** ** (expletive deleted). Anytime ya wanna be a man and talk nuts to my face let me know. **** **** (expletive deleted)

Don't know who this Frank Whack off, oops, I mean ***** is but he knows ******** (expletive deleted). He sucks donkey ***** (expletive deleted)

Joe Cree- California Customs

Easyrider again: Do you eat with that mouth Joe?

I'll bet you make your Rabbi proud

Does Joe Cree sound like a guy you'd want to do business with? Or someone you'd be comfortable babysitting your child or dating your Daughter? I certainly wouldn't want my Grandchildren playing over this guy's house, that's for sure! I'll bet he's a real credit to his church and to his community

And what I've posted isn't even the complete diatribe. Some of Joe Cree's rantings were so vile and so profain that they were just not suitable for a family web page. But considering the filth he posted that I didn't delete, you can probably imagine how bad some of Joe Cree's other comments were. I'd hate to be the Cop who has to drag an angry, violent, drunken, verbally abusive, profain Joe Cree out of a bar at 2 AM if this is what he's like when he's in control and sober (assuming that he wasn't plastered when he wrote this stuff). Quite a businessman. Quite a credit to the motorcycle building profession. And quite an example for his children and others to aspire to, huh?

I certainly support anyone's right to do stupid things if that's what they want to do. But forewarned is forearmed. In my opinion and experience, if you hand over your money to Joe Cree at California Customs you will DEFINITELY regret it. And the above is just a sample of the treatment you will get after the sale, when you aren't happy with the way that things turned out. I have lots of other snotty, unresponsive and mean spirited Joe Cree E-mails that he sent while I was still a new customer and hopeful that he'd do the right thing and stand behind this pile of junk that he built. But, this most recent missive from the head creep himself should serve as ample warning to potential victims to steer way clear of this character.

Read Joe Cree's own words and decide for yourself whether he and California Customs in San Jose, California is worthy of your business.

11/09/08 Tanja Rolli e-mailed me again claiming that she is not trolling around for information on Cree's behalf and claims that she is, indeed, yet one more unhappy Joe Cree customer. It would seem that California Customs and Joe Cree have certainly racked up a lot of dissatisfied customers since he's been in business. Quite a few have e-mailed me over the years after reading about my experiences. It's certainly possible that Ms Rolli is yet one more of those. I do have her e-mails if anyone wants to know about her specific complaints with Joe Cree and California Customs.

You are Visitor number to this page