Monday, May 12, 2008

Norge

This is the first of my non-TMNT-related blog posts. Well... actually, in a way, it IS kind of related to the TMNT, I guess. Let me explain...

A few weeks ago, I said goodbye to one of my motorcycles, a 2007 Moto Guzzi Norge. This is a new model for Moto Guzzi, a sleek "sport touring" style bike. I fell in love with the styling of the bike when I saw it in pre-release photographs in the motorcycle magazines a few years ago. I ordered it through our local BMW/Moto-Guzzi dealer, AJ's Cycles, and picked it up early in 2007. REALLY early -- I took delivery in January! And Januarys in Massachusetts are generally pretty darn cold... in fact, it was around 24 degrees when I rode the bike home from the dealer, about a twenty mile trip. Thankfully, one of the nice features of the Norge is the set of heated handgrips that are standard equipment on that model. Without them, I don't think I could have made it.



The Norge is a great bike -- sleek, powerful, nice luggage capacity -- but it let me down in a big way last year on one ride. I was off on one of my favorite day rides, heading up the Mohawk Trail to North Adams, a route beloved of motorcyclists for its wonderful curves and scenic beauty. Heading uphill through a series of undulating S-turns, the Norge suddenly... died. Just quit, dead... all electrical power gone. Fortunately, there was no traffic behind me at the time, and I was able to roll safely to a stop by the side of the road. As the section of road I was on did not have a wide shoulder, it would not have been very safe for me to remain there, so I cautiously rolled the bike to the other side of the road, and coasted back down the hill about a mile to where I knew there was a rest stop where I could safely examine the bike and try to figure out what happened.

It didn't take too long -- one look at the fuses under the seat told me what had happened (though not WHY). The master fuse for the bike's electrical system had blown. As luck would have it, the was a back-up fuse in the box, and I plugged that in. The Norge started right up, and I nervously rode it back home, expecting at any moment to have another mysterious power failure.

I didn't, and some weeks later, after having returned the Norge to the dealer for diagnosis and repair, I got the word -- this was not the first Norge to suffer this fate. Apparently, there was some wiring directly behind the headlight which ran too close to the headlight bulb, and the heat generated by that bulb could, over time, melt the insulation on these wires, potentially causing a sort-circuit. The dealer fixed this, adding a lot more insulation to the wires and routing them away from the headlight. So all was well.

But I guess that incident kind of put me off the Norge, and it started to gather dust in my garage. A couple of months ago, I realized that I probably was not going to ride the Norge too much, and began thinking that I should probably get rid of it. And then the light bulb went on in my head... and I got a plan.

You see, Jim Lawson -- penciller of many Mirage books (including TMNT Volume 4 and several "Tales of the TMNT" issues), and PLANET RACERS, as well as his own PALEO -- is a HUGE Moto Guzzi fan. And it dawned on me that Jim had been without a Moto Guzzi in his stable of motorcycles for over a year. So, within a few days, we had struck a deal -- Jim got the Norge, and I got a bunch of Jim's artwork.


(Here's Jim at Mirage with his new ride.)

So I don't feel bad about not having the Norge anymore, as it has gone to a very good home. Jim loves it, and has already started his inveterate customizing thing with it (he just CAN'T leave his bikes stock!). And I have a lot more pages of awesome Lawson art for my collection! A win/win situation, all around. -- PL

21 comments:

Slash said...

That's pretty cool. Hopefully Jim has better luck than you with it! :)

m. said...
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m. said...

Another shining example of how writers get screwed around here. No one ever wants to trade me for a script!!!

Slash said...

Murph, I'll trade you a box of donuts for a script!

Alright, maybe some sprinkles too...

W.Peabody said...

Great example of the barter system! Art for a motorcycle.

Worked for a decoy carver years ago in Maine who traded his wonderfully carved and painted birds for things like new Whirlpool kitchen appliances, a new Saab...
So, thought I'd try it, and recently traded art for some NECA TMNT figures. :D

GreenWillow said...

That's pretty scary having your bike die suddenly like that. Good thing you were on a back road and not the Interstate!
Seems like if that was a common occurrence the manufacturer would've (should've?) recalled that model.
Well, at least the story has a happy ending.
I once bartered Tarot readings for a wood-burning stove. I'm pretty sure I got the best end of that deal but the guy seemed pretty happy with the readings...;o)

Jim Lawson said...

As of this writing I've had the Norge for about 3 weeks and I've managed to put somewhere around 400 miles on it. I've had no issues other than the grin I can't seem to suppress. Anyways, last night the Norge and I climbed the infamous Mohawk Trail and it was very much on my mind what had happened in it's previous life...
Yeah, I'm really into motorcycles, and Guzzis in particular. If anybody is a regular reader of the book, this information I'm sure comes as no surprise. In issue 15 of series 4,it opens with Mike and the Regenta cruising New Hampshire on an old 60's vintage Ambassador. And on the cover of the latest issue, 29- Casey is seen wearing an M-G tee shirt. Oddly, I checked my inked version of that cover and the logo on Casey's shirt was something that Dooney added when he painted it. So you see, I'm not entirely to blame for all the motorcycle references in the comic.
The Norge right at this moment, sits downstairs. Yeah, we both made it off the Trail. Maybe soon, when I leave, we'll take the long way home.
And the Mandello Eagle will fly...

GreenWillow said...

Jim Lawson said...
...I've had no issues other than the grin I can't seem to suppress.


Well, thank goodness she's behaving herself!
;o)

Vaughn Michael said...

I think allot of us hardcore TMNT fans are aware how much some one at Mirage likes Motorcycles by how many times we've seen the Playmates brand release and release and realse figures with them lol. :P
Interesting story though :)

~ tOkKa said...

-->> ..Notice the particular design of the " Norge " in the photo.. ..


..and notice the design on Falcon's bike ..

..

you'll see it.

(( ..

also .. you guys ain' seen nothin' until you've read Jim's "Guzzi Lemans"

..one of the coolest post-apocalyptic super-heroines on the planet.

EXTREMLY RECCOMMNEDED !!

and if ya don't read it, well.. you're loss !!
))

GreenWillow said...

Guzzi Lemans is probably the reason I immediately thought of this motorcycle as female...

Splinter's Iroonna said...

What is that saying about the difference between men and boys?

Nice bike. I've only ever been on one motorcycle in my life, behind my cousin. I was a teenager then. Don't know if I have the nerve to do it again in my 50s...

Yes, the barter system is always a good thing. Right now I wish I could barter some of my stuff for an ice cream cake like the one GW got for Mothers Day.

GreenWillow said...
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GreenWillow said...

Splinter's Iroonna said...
...Right now I wish I could barter some of my stuff for an ice cream cake like the one GW got for Mothers Day.


Well, maybe I can hook ya up. ::grins::

Peter-- what SI is referring to is a TMNT-decorated ice cream cake made for me by one of my kids. Pretty darned cute, too.

roseangelo said...

Lookin' sharp there, Jim!

Ectopaul said...

I've been thinking of getting a bike recently. I'm having a sort of quarter life crisis.

That bike looks really REALLY nice. Congrats to the both of you.

I was thinking of getting a ninja, but that would be too obvious for a turtles fan wouldn't it?

Dion Turner said...

Could this mean another series of Bade Biker?... and Orson of course!
Perhaps just a guest spot in Tales?

Vaughn Michael said...

Dion Turner said...
Could this mean another series of Bade Biker?... and Orson of course!
Perhaps just a guest spot in Tales?

HELL YES BADE BIKER IS AWESOME!
I finally just got the trade paper back after some year of searching.
I really like Jim's art in those stories.

Splinter's Iroonna said...

Well.. while we're at it, what about some more Planet Racers?

Though I have to admit, my real exposure to that creation was the TMNT T3K arc where the guys are separated by the "ultimate drako" creature...

And I did like the cameo or whatever of "falcon" in the ff series... though whether that was supposed to be Godwin F. was never clarified... and then it gets into those uneasy corners I hate about time-travel stories...

Jim Lawson said...

It's funny about Planet Racers. I think I speak for Pete as well as myself when I say that the years spent doing PR were a lot of fun. I really grew to like the characters and of course drawing it was a blast.
Very recently, Pete had come to me with an idea to sort of reprint the old stuff, along with some new enhancements...I'm not being too vague here an I? Anyways, I was a little reluctant to do that, however it got me thinking that it would be great to do some new material. After rereading the original volumes, I got really psyched.
So I wrote a story. As is the practice here, I gave the plot to Pete and awaited his response. I guess it's just best to say that it had some serious issues- all of which are valid, I must say. : )
Pete, Talbot and I have a long drive down to North Carolina next month. Maybe I'll bring the plot with me along with his comments and we can hash something out. That would be cool.

Jason said...

Great trade. You can always get a bike but you can never replace a work of art. Sorry Jim, I think Pete got the better of that deal, although it is an awesome machine.