Volume 1                         OCTOBER 2004                        Issue 6

Newsletter Archives


Welcome to all our new members.
May you find what you’re looking for in this club with almost no rules, except to show up and have a good time.

 New Members:
Dusty Samouse
Penny Rhodes
Richard Conway
Paul & Jeanine Bailey

Breakfast Schedule

November 13th – Frontier Café in Stevensville
December 4th – No Breakfast – Christmas party instead

Christmas Party

 The annual Christmas Party is being held on December 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Dave & Sue McCormack’s place in Victor. Saturday should be a good time to drop in, bring a dish and enjoy sharing the ins and outs of the past riding season. Dress is casual and you will be notified by e-mail about further details. Call Dave or Bill Varien for more info.

The Annual Picnic

Joe Rice and Iva Gilmore made the arrangements for the annual summer picnic at Fort Fizzle and about 20 folks showed up (only one of us rode…atta boy, Larry). Good weather and great food and some limited horse shoe playing made the picnic a success.


Hope Ride

Altogether, nine members of the Montana Retreads attended the July “Ride for Hope” event. Most riders began in Missoula, checking in at somewhere before 8:00 a.m. and then following a 450 mile route to the finish in West Yellowstone. We were supposed to be there at the finish by 4:00 p.m. so there was no reason to dawdle along the route. After scraping grasshopper and bug bodies off of the bikes, approximately 250 riders from all over the state who were participating in the event, lined up and began a 1st gear parade through downtown W. Yellowstone. One wonders what the visiting tourists thought about that many bikers circling the town. Certainly, the parade was a way of celebrating the long rides everyone made and also the great feeling of having contributed to some child’s dream. The parade was followed by a large banquet hosted by the Montana Highway Patrol and the Project Hope Volunteers. Many awards were handed out and we’re proud to announce that at least one of our members received one. Because it was called the “BS” award, his name shall remain anonymous. We wouldn’t want to encourage him.

Our hope for next year is that a greater number of our members will participate in this worthwhile event. It is the only riding event on our club calendar associated with a charitable effort. For those of us who have been involved in the program, it is gratifying to be part of an effort that is purposefully a Montana only event. All the money raised for the “Make a Wish” part of Project Hope stays in Montana and is for Montana kids.

For more information, go to the Website:www.montanahope.org



Tech Tip

When selecting a fuel grade for your bike, consult your owner’s manual and go by the manufacturer’s recommendation. But, contrary to popular belief, increasing Octane rating does not increase power output, unless the Octane you are using is causing pinging or knocking. The higher the octane, the slower the burn rate, which reduces pre-ignition (pinging). Also, the higher the elevation, the lower the octane needed. Save some money…use the proper Octane rating.



“You can ride fast on a motorcycle, but you should never ride in a hurry”. 

“Just because most motorcycle accidents occur within 6 miles of home, doesn’t mean you need to trailer your bike to the grocery store.”

Tech Tip

As winter approaches and we begin to think about putting our steeds away until spring, it’s worth noting that the best way to store a bike is to change the oil and filter just before storage. That way, the bike doesn’t sit with old oil that is already disintegrating. Also, as I learned last year, cleaning the bike and adding a little polish before putting the cover on, keeps those bug guts from pitting chrome and brushed metal parts. Lastly, put fresh gas in the tank with a little Stabil and make sure the tank is completely full. Any air space left in the tank invites condensation and therefore rust.  Lastly, according to Monte, putting your battery on a trickle charger will keep it fresh and ready for action in the spring.

There are some of us, however, who will ride all winter long, even when it’s snowing. It’s too darn much trouble to get the bike ready for storage.

Safety Tip

Many of us have no trouble negotiating a bike up mountain roads but seem to have a little more difficulty with going down those same roads. The issue is all about traction. When you are going up a hill or incline, most of the weight of the bike is loaded towards the rear tire. That’s the tire we want well planted any time we are in a lean or a turn. On a downhill run, the weight has clearly focused more to the front because we are leaning over the bars and are shifting our weight forward naturally. That difference in attitude unloads the rear tire and gives us the feeling that the bike isn’t as well planted as it should be and may slide out from under us due to centrifugal force. The trick is to understand the phenomenon and move your weight back as much as possible in the downhill turns. Also, clamping your legs to the gas tank helps keep the weight back as much as possible. Try it next time and see whether your confidence improves on the downhill turns.

Pick Up Rides

One of the fun reasons to belong to the Montana Retreads is the opportunity to go riding at the drop of a hat with other like minded riders in this great riding state. Although there is an official club ride schedule, it is always okay to “ping” the membership by either e-mail or phone to see if anyone wants to ride at times other than the published schedule. Over the last 6 months we’ve had many rides that were spur of the moment. Many of them resulted in a ride up Lolo Pass to the Lochsa Lodge for breakfast or early lunch.  Some rides ventured further to places like Coolidge Ghost town, Lowell and Salmon, Idaho.

As always, every rider has a different view of what constitutes a good ride. Some like to go fast and others like to go at a slower pace and enjoy the scenery. All purposes are acceptable and should be talked about with the group before proceeding. As was discussed just recently at a club breakfast, even on pick up rides, a ride captain should be appointed so that personal changes in schedule, gas stops, or mishaps can all be handled by one person and no one gets left behind or disappears from view without an explanation.  This is not a requirement, but a suggestion for future rides. The last thing we want to have happen is someone getting lost or having a “fall down” and no one going back to look for them.


Editor’s Box

This little newsletter is put out whenever we have a chance and is put together for the benefit of members.  Issues with the content or the desire to contribute should be addressed to Dave McCormack at dhmcc@aol.com or call him at 642-9840.

Or go to www.montana-retreads.org for more information.

Ralph Harris Memorial Ride

18 bikes and two cars showed up at the Lone Pine station in Hamilton for the annual ride for tacos in Gibbonsville. 33 of us made it to the Broken Arrow for an early Mexican feed. This year, Joe & Iva decided to add some complexity to riding over the mountains by organizing a poker run in conjunction with the event. Between figuring out if you had a good hand or not and stopping every 10 miles for another card, most of us managed to negotiate the stops and the losses…except for Ed Irwin who had the winning hand. In an act of pure charity, Ed gave some of his winnings back to Joe and Iva in the form of a “tip” for their outstanding efforts. Way to go, Ed. Our thanks to Joe and Iva for the additional fun and to Carol and Sue for schlepping the card table from one spot to the next. Let’s do it again next year, but with a fresh deck of cards. And, maybe by then, Dick Conroy will have his new tire so he can actually ride the route on his bike.

Joe’s still trying to get the players correctly at the next to last stop

JT and the gang scarfing up good Mexican eats.
Just sitting around trying to pretend we’re not hungry


See More Event Pictures at www.montana-retreads.org

Thought for the Day
“Even a dead fish can swim downstream”