Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now?

One maneuver I have learned how to do well on a motorcycle is the U turn. This can be tricky for a lot of folks, especially if the area doesn’t allow much room to maneuver. My skills increased as a direct result of following my husband, whose curiosity leads us down many a dead end road. Sometimes he doesn’t notice the sign indicating it’s not a through street, other times he claims to have seen it, but is just “curious.” I think he just tries to save face.

On other occasions we might be traveling to a particular destination which neither of us has been to before. Sometimes I see the sign for a turn, sometimes he does. To prevent us from making a wrong turn, should I see that he is about to do so, he gave me instructions to “toot” my horn. This would seem the logical thing to do since we do not have bike-to-bike communications. However, I discovered two flaws with this plan. The first is that when motorcycling, a person can get into a Zen like state. The motion of the bike, the scenery flowing past, the dappling sunlight, all of it putting the soul in such a state of reverie that listening for a “toot” is far from one’s mind.

The second flaw is that Jade has a very delicate and refined “toot.” In fact, it’s more of a “beep.” We’ll be riding along and “BEEP BEEP!” Jade will exclaim just to watch us zip past our turn. This happened so often that I began to pay attention to the horn conversations taking place on the motorcycle forum. Then, when out on a ride with the group ask to listen to what their horn actually sounds like. This lead to my discovery of the air horns made by Stebel.

Last Christmas when my daughter asked me what I would like, I sent the link to the Stebel Horn website. The specific model is the Nautilus Compact Series. To my delight, I found the horn under the tree. Although I’ve had it in my possession for five months, it wasn’t until Sunday, that we were able to take the time for installation. Andy had to fabricate a bracket to relocate the horn, and we used extra patience when working out the wiring to avoid any more electrical issues. All went well, and at the end of the day, Jade had a new horn that commands attention. “Honk” and “Beep” do not define this horn. One thing is for sure however, the question “can you hear me now?” is definitely rhetorical!

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