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How a Blind Date Led to a Mexican Honeymoon...

Adrian Waggoner had never heard of the Rice Paddy until the day-long, ten-band, locally-grown Pinned Ohio Motorcycle Festival touched down at the Paddy on May 19th.

As he enjoyed the music, the bikes, the scene and its scene-makers, he rooted around the Paddy compound. He got to talking to Grant( Who rides the infamous Columbus Lager bike, a KZ750E with no stock parts) about his bike, a '72 CB-750 and how he was just a tad uncomfortable with the riding height. Can we talk about shock options, he basically wanted to know?

Talk they did.

Grant began by showing him the Paddy's shocks department (a lovelier stock of shocks there never was), and our friend from Idaho (he moved to Columbus recently) didn't find the shocks of his dreams that day but his interest was piqued.

"He wanted the bike lowered," recalled Grant, "so the next time he came in we took care of that with a pair of MIDI Forza 11 inch eye to clevis shocks.

The Idaho Easy Rider started coming back on a daily basis. "He was planning a trip to Mexico," said Grant, "and he had a list."

So, the men of the Paddy--who come to work with their sleeves rolled up--got to work. Ignition system, brake pads, brake line, fork seals, new chain--best to do it here and now and not in the land of the cartels, right? Over the course of a month, bit by bit, part by part, Grant and the Gem State rider got his CB running real well. He's been on his adventurous road trip since mid-June with no major problems to report though if there were an problems the Paddy stands ready and will respond ASAP. He does keep in touch. I am sure he saw many amazing sights like this one from Utah provided by MikeyRevolt. The Paddy's more than happy to ride with its customers as they hit the road. We're just a text, an email or a phone call away. Sort of a nice 'social' motorcycle insurance.

Just send the occasional awe-inspiring pic.

Upstate New York Calling: Rare Bike Needs Some Rice Paddy TLC...

There's good phone sex and then there is good phone motorcycle advice. And while we're not exactly sure what Ryan does in his non-Paddy hours (he gnawed through the GPS ankle bracelet we forced on him during lunchtime last month), when he's running the Paddy's counter or manning the phone and minding the emails, he's a helpful font of information. Not the hard sell, mind you. The Paddy doesn't do that. More the helpful sell. Or even just lending a sympathetic ear to bounce a bike problem off of. Where that leads is up to the bike caller.

Ryan's got listening skills. Dude called the other day from Upstate New York wanting front and rear turn signals for his pretty rare '84 ZN-700 LTD. No problem. Ryan finds 'em in the Paddy data base. The conversation continued. Our Empire State friend had brake lines on his mind and later, ye olde clutch cable blues, too. Throughout the week the two conversed, exchanged and communicated. Result? Turn signals, brake lines, clutch cable and a follow-up by Ryan to see how things turned out. Initial call: June 29th. Over the next week, the two traded half-a-dozen emails and two phone calls.

When someone like the upstate New Yorker calls, Ryan (who rides a 1975 Suzuki GT 185) listens closely to "help him figure out what he needs. He had an interesting bike, they only made that version for one year." To effectively get to know a 30-year-old uncommon make hundreds of miles away, the Paddy is plenty to willing to go the extra effort. "Teach him, inform him, whatever it takes, no problem," said Ryan, who also sent the NY dude a variety of links.

Morale of the story: Don't be shy. You don't always have to know exactly what you want to call and tell us what's on your moto-mind. Just speak English. Or draw pictures. Bottom line: We love to solve problems.

And Then There's Jack in the Back...

Walk the grounds of the Rice Paddy and it will occur to you--this place has a lot of stuff! Everywhere you look--inside, outside, next to you or 75 feet away. One can only wonder what the Chinese think when they send their spy satellites to hover over the Paddy to see if there's anything they need.

But it's not lost on Jack who works in back (doesn't every shop, from bookstores to motorcycles, have a Jack-in-the-back?) that he's sort of the deep-sea diver of the Rice Paddy. While he doesn't have every piece of metal and plastic and rubber in the place mentally categorized--nobody could possess that much info--he does know how find the proverbial needle in the haystack of parts called the Rice Paddy. If he even thinks it exists in the Paddy's grease-stained vaults, he's gonna find it. Hey, he likes his job. Nice.

Jack, who rides a '95 ZX 750 Streetfighter, admits to getting a kick out of what the Paddy's seemingly bottomless well of accumulated parts will cough up next. To wit, as they say:

  • "A guy with a KZ EX 250 needed an '86 or '87 carb--the bike was only made for a coupla years. From '88 to 2005 early carbs are an easy hop-up." Difficult? Maybe. But the customer asked, Jack dug, Rice Paddy produced. Dude got his slightly rare carb. No sweat. In fact, we've never seen Jack sweat.
  • Side covers--where would we be without them? While your average automobile is mostly finely finished metal covering a lot frame and mechanics, most motorcycles are mostly naked. One could regard the proper fine side cover, as you know, sort of fine lingerie. Especially in the case of the CB 750 Custom. To find 'em in good shape is getting harder and harder these days. Nevertheless, "We got 'em," said Jack, proudly, as he gently held the 5-mil thick plastic bags holding each side cover like precious state's evidence, #1 and #2. They did look good. Sexy, even.
  • Yet one more side cover of note: Jack again shows why he's kept in back as he caresses a little too fondly an excellent condition set of '83 Nighthawk CB550SC side covers. "It was manufactured for one year only," he said, getting a little emotional. As he regained his professional Rice Paddy composure he admitted, "It's cool see that stuff and learn what's hard to come by."

And then we returned Jack to his cage, where he fulfilled even more orders and got them ready for our intrepid Post Office and its rival, U.P.S. that's another story, for another day.

Book Reading at Rice Paddy Motorcycles...

Monday July 14th 7pm @ Rice Paddy Motorcycles

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