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Chrome and Hot Leather is a biker movie released in 1974 about four Army Green Beret search for a biker responsible for the death of their friend. The four soldiers take a break from military duty to go undercover and start their own motorcycle club in order to infiltrate the biker community. The great part of about this movie is the 1971 Kawasaki 250E enduro motorcycles purchased by the soldiers to start their motorcycle club, which is kind of weird to say the least. All four soldiers rode the exact same model Kawasaki 250E enduro motorcycles. I believe this motorcycle was nicknamed 'Bison' in Japan. I mentioned this same motorcycle in a post about Rosey Greir in the movie The Think with Two Heads. Here's what I wrote:

This particular model Kawasaki 250 enduro was manufactured in 1971 and 1972, and is a dual sport or dual purpose motorcycle with a single cylinder two stroke engine. This motorcycle is designed to be ridden on and off road. Having a two stroke engine makes this bike unique among modern motorcycles, but it was also unique among two stroke motorcycles of its day. It has a carburetored fuel system like other two strokes, but the carburetor is connected to the crankcase instead of the engine cylinder. The carburetor sits inside the right outer crankcase cover along with the 2 stroke oil injection pump. Fuel enters the crankcase from the right side and is controlled with a rotary valve instead of a piston port or reed valves. This made the right outer crankcase cover stick out farther than other 2 stroke engines, which you can see in the photo below. You can also see where the throttle cable and cable controlling the 2 stroke oil injection pump enter the cover.

Chrome and Hot Leather is an OK biker movie. You could do a lot worse. I don't recognize most actors except for William Smith who plays T.J., the leader of the Wizards MC who's member is responsible for the murder. I've seen William Smith in a couple of biker movies, and I think he was a popular actor in the 1970's for playing villain roles.

The 1971 Kawasaki 250E when the four army soldiers first see it displayed in a Kawasaki dealership window.Side note:  Notice the Hodaka sticker in the window. Hodaka was a motorcycle brand popular in late 1960's and early 70's who specialized in small displacement 2 stroke powered motorcycles. Hodaka went out of business in 1978.

The four army soldiers that go undercover to infiltrate the biker community.

Here's the four soldiers learning how to ride their new 1971 Kawasaki 250E motorcycles.

A picture of the soldiers right before they go to war with the Wizards MC. The fourth soldier is driving an army vehicle loaded with weapons stolen from their army base.

Actor William Smith who plays T.J. in the movie Chrome and Hot Leather

Here you can see the right outer crankcase cover and where the carburetor and oil injection pump cable enters the cover on a 1971 Kawasaki 250E. This photo is from the movie The Thing with Two Heads.

Another photo of the right engine crankcase used on the 1971 Kawasaki 250E.
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She Devils on Wheels is a 60's biker movie about an all female motorcycle club called The Maneaters. The film was released on May 7, 1968. The movie cost $50k to produce, and according to Wikipedia it's an exploitation film, which I think means a low budget film that relys on trends instead of marketing and quality to sell the film. She Devils on Wheels is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Everything about it is bad. In fact, it's so bad it makes it kind of interesting to watch. Many of the actors were real bikers recruited from the Iron Cross motorcycle club.

One redeeming part of the film was a very clean and nice, brand new 1966 Harley Davidson FLH Electra Glide used by one of the characters. I say brand new because the film was probably made in 1966 and 1967. The bike is powered by a 1200cc Shovelhead engine, which was just released in 1966. If you look at old Harley marketing material from 1966 you realize the name 'Shovelhead' hadn't been coined yet, and all print material referred to the new engine as having a new carburetor and new heads for increased power. The color quality of the film is poor and the bike appears to be all white, but I think it's actually a two toned white and light pink color.  See photo's below.


C.C. & Company is a biker movie released in 1970 and stars Joe Namath and Ann Margret. Joe Namath plays C.C. Ryder, a motorcycle mechanic and member of the Head motorcycle club. The movie is basically about him and his relationship with other club members and his new love interest with Ann McClley played by Ann Margret. I thought the move was OK and a lot better than the Hells Angels movie from the same time period starring Jack Nicholson. IMDb gave it a score of 4.9 out of 10 stars.

Even if your not into the movie I think it's worth watching to see all the different motorcycles from the 1960's and early 70's. There were no stock Harley Davidson motorcycles, but several Head club members rode choppers powered by Harley Davidson Flathead, Shovelhead and Panhead engines. There was even a trike powered by a Harley Davidson Flathead engine. A few choppers were powered by Triumph twins. Mid way through the film, C.C Ryder competes in a motocross race and you get to see two stroke powered dirt bikes from Kawasaki, Husqvarna, Hodaka, and Yamaha. Seeing a pack of two stroke powered motorcycles competing in an official motocross race is something you will probably never see again in USA unless it's a race for vintage motorcycles.

C.C & Company is available to watch on YouTube for free. The best version of the film was uploaded in different parts and I will link to them below.

Side Note: I don't think this film was possible two years earlier because the Hays Code put restrictions on what Hollywood could produce. The Hays Code was meant to protect the viewer and society, but Hollywood considered it unnecessary censorship and they managed to get the Code replaced in 1968. 51 years later I think we're in a better position to answer the question about unnecessary censorship. Some reasons why the Hays Code would prevent this film from being released are:

  • Scenes of passion should only appear where necessary, and should not be explicit.
  • Crime and immorality could never be portrayed in a positive light
  • Methods of committing crime could not be explicitly presented

Another interesting note is this film is too white. Too many white actors in this one, and it would never meet diversity standards to be released today.

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C.C. & Company movie Part 1

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C.C. & Company movie Part 2

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C.C. & Company movie Part 3 (some nudity)

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C.C. & Company movie Part 4
The original Fright Night horror movie was released in 1985 and starred Willian Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall and Chris Sarandon. In the movie Amanda Bearse character, Amy Peterson, rides a light copper metallic1984 Honda Elite 125 scooter. 1984 was the first production year for the Elite scooter models. I believe Honda named this scooter 'Elite' only in Canada and USA, and in other countries it was called 'Spacey.'

The 1984 Honda Elite 125 scooter is powered by a 4 stroke, overhead cam, water cooled, single cylinder engine with a displacement of 124 cubic centimeters. The Elite 125 seat height is 29.9 inches and the scooter weighed 216 pounds with a top speed of 55 mph. The scooter had a wheelbase of 47.2 inches and was equipped with 10 inch rims. The model colors available for the 1984 Honda Elite 125 were candy ruby red and light copper metallic. The Honda Elite 125 was only sold in 1984. In 1985 Honda bumped engine displacement to 153cc and in 1988 this generation of Honda Elite scooters was discontinued.

Some unique features found on the early Elite scooters was the popup headlight and digital dash used on the 125 and 150 Deluxe versions. The 1985 and later standard versions of the Elite 150 used a traditional mounted headlight and analog instruments.

Interesting note: I thinik the 1985 and 2011 versions of Fright Night are both entertaining movies, but there is something better about the older version that didn't rely so much on CGI. I noticed the same thing in the older version of the movie The Thing starring Kurt Russell. There is something lost in computer imagery.

Amanda Bearse riding a 1984 Honda Elite 125 in the movie Fright Night

Amanda Bearse riding a 1984 Honda Elite 125 in the movie Fright Night

The digital dash on a 1984 Honda Elite 125

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Here is a good representation of the older 1984 Honda Elite 125 and a newer Elite 110. It also shows the candy ruby red color offered for the 1984 Elite 125 scooter

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This video shows the pop up headlight used on the 1984 Honda Elite 125 scooter

The only motorcycle ridden by any main characters on the TV show Breaking Bad, was ridden by Aaron Paul's character, Jesse Pinkman, and appeared in the first pilot episode and the fourth episode in the second season called Down. The motorcycle is a Kawasaki Concours ZG1000. The Kawasaki Concours is a sport touring motorcycle powered by a 4 stroke, inline 4 cylinder engine with shaft drive. The first generation Kawasaki Concours was manufactured from 1986 to 1993. In 1994 the Concours received major changes and pretty must stayed the same until 2006. In 2007 to the present the Concours motorcycle received another major makeover, which included increasing engine displacement to 1352cc.

The Kawasaki Concours ridden by Jesse Pinkman is a first generation model based on the wheel rim design. I wasn't able to pin point the exact year because you can't see detailed shots of the motorcycle and not many changes occurred from 1987 to 1993. I have read on other websites that the Kawasaki motorcycle that appeared in the Pilot episode was in fact a Kawasaki Ninja, and at some point between first and second season it was replaced with a Concours. I don't believe this is true based on the air vents on the motorcycle's fairing seen in the Pilot episode. The motorcycle used in season one and two is the same Kawasaki Concour model and I don't think a Kawasaki Ninja model was ever used on the show by Jesse Pinkman. 

Jesse Pinkman's Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 from Breaking Bad, Pilot episode in season one

Jesse Pinkman's Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 from Breaking Bad, Down episode in season two

Jesse Pinkman's Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 from Breaking Bad, Down episode in season two

Kawasaki Concours first generation advertisement

Roman Holiday is an old black and white movie released in 1953 and stars Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. It's a romantic comedy, but not too sappy. The movie was nominated for an Academy Award and it really is pretty good. It was produced back when Hollywood was regulated by the Hays Code, so movies had to reach a moral standard unlike today, it is a family friendly film. Roman Holiday is available on Amazon Prime for free for members, and Amazon does offer a free 30 day Prime trial for anyone that wants to sign up.

I really had no interest in seeing this film at first, but it did have a 1951 Vespa scooter used by the main characters to ride around Italy, so I watched it. See video below. The scooter has become famous over the years for appearing in this film. It's powered by a 98cc two stroke engine, and that exact same scooter still exists today. It recently sold at auction for $250,000.

Interesting note: In a few years, this movie will not meet the new rules to be nominated for an Academy Award because it is too white. Nolte: Oscars Announce End of Artistic Freedom With ‘Diversity Requirement’

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Everybody wants a nice electric bicycle with the best quality features, but you pay a premium price for them, which creates a large group of potential buyers wondering why they're so darn expensive. Part of that group sees electric bicycles as just another bicycle or toy, and the other part sees them as a legit form of transportation using technology similar to a kitchen blender, and why wouldn't they? You have an electric motor, circuitry to control the electric motor and a power source just like a blender. For people in this group kept on the side line by high prices, the electric bicycle industry does have lower cost alternatives to expensive electric bicycles.

Meet Rad Power Bikes. Rad Power Bikes has been making lower cost electric bicycles for years. The company is primarily sells online, but they have started to expand into local communities. They even have vans in some cities used to deliver, assemble and repair their bicycles. The company is popular and growing, so I don't see them disappearing anytime soon. They make several different electric bicycle models for street riding and for all types of people. They provide many accessories and replacement parts for Rad bicycles, so support isn't a problem. You can check out their website here: Rad Power Bikes

Which Rad Power Bikes model do I like the most? I like the RadWagon which has an MSRP of $1699. Its an electric bicycle powered by a 750W geared rear hub motor, and a strong frame built for carrying cargo. It can easily be used for utility purposes like carrying groceries back to your home or commuting. It has smaller but stronger 22 inch wheels that provide a torque advantage for the geared rear hub motor when compared to larger wheel sizes, and the tires are wide to provide some cushion. The frame is extra long and tough for carrying heavy loads and the larger frame size makes it nice for heavier riders. No need to worry about being too heavy for the RadWagon because it has a 350 pound carrying capacity.

Some other nice features about the RadWagon:
  • 750W rear geared hub, which, because it geared, allows the rider to pedal with normal resistance when motor is turned off
  • Rear derailleur and sprockets provide seven gears
  • Comes equipped with a bicycle stand instead of a kick stand.
  • 48v 14Ah lithium battery for a range of 25 to 45 miles.
  • Comes equipped with a headlight and taillight powered by the 48v lithium battery
  • Cable operated dual disk brakes
  • Frame is equipped with built-in attachment points for many different accessories like a front rack
  • Twist grip throttle as well as pedal assist
  • Telescoping seat post
  • Built-in rear rack

UPDATE: I may have spoke too soon by pushing the RadWagon model. I still think it's a good bicycle but it has a big flaw. Since posting this I realized 22 inch wheel size tires and tubes are very difficult to find. Rad Power Bikes does stock and sell them on their website. However, they only offer one brand of tire probably because no other tire manufacturer makes that size tire. You won't find this size tire and tubes at your local bicycle shop, Walmart or Target department stores. My recommendation would be to buy two tires and several tubes when you buy the Radwagon, then go down to your local department store and get a inner tube repair kit. This way you'll be able to repair most tubes that spring a leak and have replacement parts on hand if you need them. Another solution is to buy a used 2019 RadWagon electric bicycle model. The 2019 model used 26 inch wheels, and tires and tubes for that size are very easy to find.

Man, 22 inch wheels for any bicycle is a stupid choice if you can't get parts. If there's one thing I've learned from cycling its tire and tube problems always come up, so being able to get replacement parts is important.

Harley Davidson's new brand of Serial 1 electric bicycles are feature rich, premium electric bicycles. Harley Davidson didn't seem to hold back on fitting the bicycle with quality components. All bicycle models achieve a lower center of gravity by using a frame and battery constructed in a way so the battery sits lower in the frame creating a lighter more agile feel for the rider. All bicycle models are fitted with wider, bigger tires to provide cushion, but are not so big that they interfere with handling. All bicycle models use a belt drive that doesn't require lubrication and has a life span several time longer than a chain and doesn't get your pant leg dirty. Premium hydraulic disc brakes are found on all models. All models use a Boise electric mid-drive motor that produces 90Nm of torque and all multi-gear models use a Nuvinci internally geared hub. The higher end model(s?) are fitted with automatic shifting.

Serial 1 electric bicycles are a bit pricey though, and start at $3399 with the higher end model having a MSRP of $4999. Is it worth it? It depends on the rider. These bicycles are designed and marketed for urban city riding. They excel in areas like New York City where owning a car or motorcycle to get around is not practical for many people. For example owning a Serial 1 electric bicycle doesn't require:

  • A Drivers License
  • Insurance
  • Registration
  • Parking on the street
  • Gasoline
  • Oil
  • High Maintenance

A Serial 1 electric bicycle can be parked inside your home and charged every evening using a standard electrical outlet in about 3 to 6 hours. No need to worry about parking tickets and moving your vehicle to a different parking spot to avoid the meter maid. However, Serial 1 bicycle aren't worry free. The high cost makes them a prime target for bicycle theft, so you might want to think twice about parking outside. Having theft insurance might be a wise choice. Be sure and not skimp on security and buy only the best mechanical locks to secure a Serial 1 bicycle.

So yes, I think the high cost is worth it for some people living in congested urban areas. It will be interesting to see if Harley Davidson uses their motorcycle dealership network to stock and sell the Serial 1 bicycles. It would be nice to stop by and take one for a test ride.

Harley Davidson Motor Co. finally released their first production e-bicycle called Serial 1, and at the same time created a new bicycle company called Serial 1 Cycle Company. I' don't know if the bicycles will be sold at Harley Davidson dealerships, and I don't think they have released a retail price for the Serial 1 e-bicycle.

The Serial 1 e-bicycle looks good and is well thought out with many nice features for inner city/town commuting,. I just hope its affordable.

A copy of Harley Davidson's press release is posted at the bottom below the video.

Serial 1 Cycle Company

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Dedicated Brand Will Debut its First eBicycles in March of 2021

October 27, 2020 — MILWAUKEE, WIS. — Serial 1 Cycle Company, a dedicated eBicycle brand formed with iconic American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson, Inc., today announced its entrance into the eBicycle market. The new company’s first line of products will arrive in Spring 2021.

Taking its name from “Serial Number One,” the nickname for Harley-Davidson’s oldest known motorcycle, Serial 1 Cycle Company combines Harley-Davidson’s world-class product development capability and leadership in two-wheel electric propulsion with the agility and innovation of a start-up brand dedicated exclusively to the eBicycle product and customer.

“When Harley-Davidson first put power to two wheels in 1903, it changed how the world moved, forever,” says Aaron Frank, Brand Director for Serial 1 Cycle Company. “Inspired by the entrepreneurial vision of Harley-Davidson’s founders, we hope to once again change how cyclists and the cycling-curious move around their world with a Serial 1 eBicycle.”

Born as a skunkworks deep inside Harley-Davidson’s Product Development Center, the eBicycle project began with a small group of passionate motorcycle and bicycle enthusiasts working with a single focus to design and develop an eBicycle worthy of the Harley-Davidson name. The decision was made to structure the eBicycle business into a new entity that could focus exclusively on delivering an optimal eBicycle product and experience. The Serial 1 brand is led today by a team of Harley-Davidson alumni including Jason Huntsman, President; Ben Lund, Vice President, Product Development; Aaron Frank, Brand Director; and Hannah Altenburg, Lead Brand Marketing Specialist.

Combining the freedom and simplicity of a bicycle with the effortless joy of electric power, Serial 1’s eBicycles will allow anyone to ride farther, faster, and with less effort, making an eBicycle the perfect solution for urban commuting and recreational riding. The global eBicycle market was estimated to be over $15 billion in 2019 and projected to grow at an annual rate of over 6 percent from 2020 to 2025.

“The dynamic, fast-growing eBicycle space is at the forefront of a global mobility revolution,” says Frank. “The formation of Serial 1 allows Harley-Davidson to play a key role in this mobility revolution while allowing Serial 1 to focus exclusively on the eBicycle customer and deliver an unmatched riding experience rooted in freedom and adventure.”

About Serial 1 Cycle Company

Serial 1 Cycle Company, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, offers premium eBicycles that are guided by intelligent, human-centered design and crafted using the most advanced bicycle technology available, to create the easiest and most intuitive way to experience the fun, freedom, and instant adventure of riding a pedal-assist electric bicycle. Serial 1 eBicycles let riders move where they want, when they want, with the maximum sensation of independence, autonomy, and personal accomplishment. Find out more by visiting
Several different technologies have been used over the years to lock your car and prevent someone from driving away with it. From the very beginning up until around 1986, all cars and motorcycles used simple mechanical keys to lock and unlock mechanical locks installed in your vehicle. The keys were either single sided meaning cuts were made on the key on only one edge and could only enter the lock one way, or the key was double sided meaning cuts were made on both edges of the key and could enter the narrow key way in one of two different positions. The double sided key made it easier for the user and was often referred to as a convenience key.

The mechanical lock technology varied depending on the make of the vehicle. The types of mechanial locks used on cars and motorcycles are either wafer or pin tumbler locks. Often times a side bar was added to make it more secure as seen on many General Motor's vehicles. These type of mechanical locks are still used today.

Around 1986 General Motors added an electronic resister to the key blade on keys used for several different GM models. The resister could be 1 of 15 different resistance values and the car was configured to recognize only one value. If you used a key with the wrong resistance value the car would not start even though you might be able to turn the ignition lock. This system was called VATS, Vehicle Antitheft System. The VATS system added another level of security and was successfully used for more than a decade to help prevent car theft. The VATS system was in use from around 1986 to 2002 and was only found on General Motors vehicles.

In 1995 European insurance companies succeeded in pressuring countries in Europe to pass laws requiring all new cars sold in Europe to be equipped with a transponder system. The requirement forced auto manufactures to use transponder systems on cars sold around the world, which is why you see transponder systems used on all cars and trucks sold in the United States today. A transponder is an electronic device usually installed in the key and has the ability to communicate with the vehicles computer. The cars computer and the key can pass information between each other to verify that the right key is being used to start the car. If you insert a key into the ignition lock that can operate the lock in a transponder equipped vehicle, but has the wrong electronic information, the vehicles computer will tell the immobilizer system to disable the car and not allow it to start. The immobilizer is an electronic part of a vehicles antitheft system that disables the car when the wrong key is used. There have been several different algorithms used over the years with ever increasing complexity to make transponder systems a more secure. The transponder system is still in use today and has allowed auto and motorcycle manufacturers to almost eliminate the mechanical key and lock in some higher end vehicles.

Even though electronics is becoming more popular in automotive and motorcycle security, the simple mechanical key and lock are still in use today. Many single and double side keys have been replaced with another type of mechanical key often referred to as a high security key. The high security key has the cuts milled into the side of the key instead of on the edge. I'm not sure why the key is referred to as "high security." Maybe because it's new and the knowledge to defeat the technology isn't as widespread? I believe barrel keys and locks used on so many candy and coke machines and also on Harley Davidson touring motorcycles were once called "high security" when they first appeared, but are no longer called that. I guess every new antitheft technology is considered high security until someone figures out how to defeat it.

Below is a list of descriptions and their definitions used to describe modern day electronic vehicle antitheft systems:

Passkey Systems

I think "Passkey" orginated with General Motors and was primarily used to refer to the GM VATS system, which I described earlier. I've also seen it used to refer to a transponder system or key.

Keyless Entry Systems

Keyless Entry is used to describe automotive remotes used to unlock and lock your car doors and trunk to gain access to your vehicle. Some remotes also have panic buttons to set off the car alarm, and a remote start button to start your vehicle at a distance. Keyless Entry is also used to describe a key pad placed on the car door which allows the driver to input a code and open the car doors. I've seen these key pads on many Ford vehicles.

Smart Keys or Proximity Key

Smart Keys look like remotes and have the same remote features, but are also equipped with a transponder used to communicate with the cars computer. On some smart key systems a person inserts the smart key into a slot in the dash and presses a start button to start the car. On other higher end smart key systems the person with the smart key simply needs to be within a certain distance from the car for the computer to recognize the key and allow the person full access to the vehicle. Smart key systems eliminate the need for mechanical locks and keys. Smart Keys use radio frequency signals to communicate between the smart key and the vehicle. A car can be divided into zones allowing the car to grant access to different areas of the car depending on the location of the driver and smart key. I believe later model Harley Davidson touring motorcycles use some type of smart key. Often times the vehicle manufacturer will place a mechanical door lock on the drivers door and hide a mechanical key blade in the smart key to use in case of an emergency.

Alarm Systems

Some cars and trucks come equipped with alarm systems from the factory. Most motorcycle models don't have factory installed alarms, but I believe it is an option on Harley Davidson touring models. Alarms can be passive or active. Passive alarms switch on and off automatically and active alarms require input from the driver. When someone tries to break into a car and the alarm goes off it usually beeps the horn on and off while flashing the high beam headlights and hazard lamps. Some alarms have a built in siren that goes off. Alarms can come with different features such as ultrasonic sensors to detect movement inside the car or motion detectors to monitor the vehicles tilt.

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The first key is GM high security key with cuts milled into the side of the key, and a keyless entry remote. There is a transponder chip embedded in the key head or bow. The second key is a Ford double sided key with cuts on both edges of the key. It is a regular key with no transponder. The third key is a Chrysler single sided key with cuts on only one edge of the key. It is a regular key with no transponder. The fourth key is a Mercedes Benz smart key that is also a keyless entry remote.

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This is an aftermarket VATS key for GM vehicles. This key is a single sided key, but they also make a double sided VATS key. You can see the resister embedded in the key blade.

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