Volume 1                                         January 2004                                            Issue 2




The Montana Retreads Christmas party was held at the Victor Steak House and was a roaring success. 21 Members turned out for great food, wonderful and unique gifts and a chance to see Rich Pedersen win the door prize.

In an attempt to confuse the Victor Steak house management, Bill Varien made reservations under his name and also under the Retreads name (just kidding, Bill). Fortunately, the steak house was kind enough not to charge us for the second large table grouping.

Next year, there is a chance we will celebrate dinner at a member’s house, if it gets finished in time.

(See the pictures on page 2.)


Monthly Breakfasts

Our next monthly breakfast is scheduled for February 14th at the Stevi Café in Stevensville. Make sure you let Bill know if you’re coming as we need to alert the wait staff that there needs to be lots of coffee available, especially if it’s still below freezing. Anyone riding a bike that day will be given a special acknowledgement at the breakfast. Our January turnout was well attended with the magic 21 people showing up. Barb Pepprock won the 50/50 drawing and gave $6.00 of it back to the chapter kitty. Way to go, Barb!


Annual Barbecue

We have scheduled our annual barbecue for August 28th at Fort Fizzle, just about a mile or so up the Lolo Pass road (highway 12 going west).  It will be pot luck. More news on that will be coming soon.


Experienced Rider Course

We have been able to reserve Sunday, May 9th (unfortunately, that is Mother’s day) for the club to take the Experienced Rider Course in Missoula. It’s something your mother would want you to do and if we can fill the class (maximum 12 riders) we’ll get a $20 reduction per rider. Otherwise the cost would be $60 per rider. This class, when you pass the written and riding test, is enough to get your motorcycle endorsement on your license and probably a reduction on your insurance. Everyone who’s taken the course says it’s a must, especially for riders who’ve been riding for years with no formal brush up on skills. So far, we have 6 riders signed up and are looking for more. If we don’t fill the class, there are other clubs willing to fill in the vacancies, so hurry and sign up. Call or e-mail Dave McCormack.

Montana Hope Ride

On July 24/25, the annual Hope Ride to West Yellowstone will take place. A few of us have committed to doing the ride. It’s a great charity and a great opportunity to do a two-day ride with other riders from around the state. The charity was put together some years ago by the Montana Highway Patrol Officers and takes the proceeds from the fund raising and returns 95% of it to the Montana Make a Wish Foundation. As a result of your making the ride, a very ill child may have his/her wish come true.  Details about the ride and the charity can be found at “www.montanahope.org”


International Retreads Rally in Spearfish, South Dakota

Some of us have decided to make the journey to the International Retreads Rally in Spearfish, S D, in August. We plan to leave on Monday, August 2nd, making our first overnight stop in Billings and then push on to Spearfish on Tuesday. The Retreads organization has reserved a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn where we will spend 3 nights before we begin retracing our route back home on Friday, arriving home on Saturday. If nothing else, it should be a fun trip with riding friends and a chance to see the eastern part of the state. We’re hoping other Retread groups from other states west, will figure out how to meet up with us so that we can ride with other Retreads. Call Bill or Dave for details, or get the schedule and reservation form from www.retreads.org.


Text Box:  


Text Box:  





Thanks to Rich Pedersen and Joyce Cowan, the Montana Retreads is one of the first Retreads chapters to develop and go on line with its own web page. We are grateful for the assistance and support from this fine business. Let’s all try to use it and add our own input to make the effort wall worthwhile. The address for the web page is


And, do yourself a favor…stop in and see Rich or Joyce for all your computing needs.


Newsletter Staff:

Editor: Dave McCormack  (406) 375-9379  < dhmcc@aol.com >

Montana State Retreads Representative: Bill Varien  (406) 642-3963 
         < gobv3@earthlink.net >





Here’s one that most of us old timers use…if you want to know when it’s time to get off those slick tires and put some new ones on…simply take a Lincoln Head penny, insert the penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head in the bottom of the groove, and looking sideways…if you can see all of Lincoln’s head, you need new tires. For the technical amongst you, the distance is about 1/32 from edge of the penny to the top of Lincoln’s head…a measurement that most tire manufacturers say is the minimum you should go before tire replacement.




When riding season starts again, we will find that our skills have diminished somewhat and it’s important to go slow when the warm weather hits until the skills and confidence return. This is the time when we often accidentally lock up the rear wheel when braking because we’ve forgotten how much pressure to use. If that should happen, keep the rear wheel locked (increase the pressure); keep you eyes pointed forward at a target far ahead and gradually increase the pressure on the front brake. For you Goldwingers and integrated braking types, this tip doesn’t work. For the rest of us, this is a “must learn” skill. The most important part is to keep the handlebars straight and your head up on the horizon line. You’ll find the bike will eventually come to a straight and controlled stop, even if the rear wheel fishtails as you apply more and more pressure to both brakes.



If from time to time, you’re thinking of trailering your bike to the local mechanic, I have a trailer (5x10) that is outfitted to haul a bike, including a wheel chock, d-ring tie downs and straps. If you need to borrow it, let me know. You need a 2” hitch and a 4 pin electrical hook up on your rig. It is licensed and insured. It has a tall rear gate that when down, makes it easy to run the bike in. Call Dave McCormack.



Dave is still trying to sell his 2000 Kawasaki Nomad FI. Comes with everything a biker would need, including much chrome, accessories galore, and all the shop manuals and maintenance records a body would want. Still asking $8000 OBO.