Tech Tips
Mike Schweder

Mike Schweder

Editor-in-Chief - Kansas City, MO

Mike is the original founder of Cycle Connections Online Motorcycle Magazine and an avid motorcycle enthusiast. He has been riding for over 40 years, belongs to several local and national motorcycle organizations and travels to numerous rallies and events throughout the US each year. Mike has been a writer and editor for many years and has a passion for sharing his motorcycling experiences and stories with you. Contact Mike at

Courtney from Sacramento, California is our February 2014 cover model, who our good friend and photographer Doug Mitchel shot on Ken Steenrod’s 2001 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic.

Our February 2014 cover bike is owned by Ken Steenrod owner of Ken's Custom Paint & Graphics in Peoria, Illinois. We had the opportunity to gather more information about Ken and his 2001 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic, and we were also able to gather information from this month’s cover model Chelsey.

Eric Miller is a fellow motorcycle enthusiast and the owner of Miller’s Mark Firearms Training. He has 20 years of military experience and is an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor and Range Safety Officer. Eric has been shooting firearms for over 30 years, and offers classes seven days a week. He teaches NRA Basic Pistol Instruction, NRA First Steps Pistol, NRA Home Firearm Safety Course, NRA Personal Protection in the Home Course, and Missouri CCW Classes. Eric is certified to teach CCW Classes to residents in Jackson County, Johnson County (MO), Lafayette County, Platte County, Pettis County, Cass County, Benton County and Clay County. He also offers private one-on-one pistol training.

If you have little or no handgun shooting experience, it is highly recommended that you take the NRA Basic Pistol Course, which will familiarize you with handguns, identify different parts of the handgun, and give you basic shooting skills.

Many females are interested in taking a Basic Pistol Course or CCW Class, but would prefer to take a class with female participants only. Eric offers a female-only class with a discount for groups of 10 or more. One-on-One Private Pistol Instruction is also available.

Below are the details and rates for each class:


8 hour class. 8 hours Classroom + Range Qualification (revolver and semi-auto) 50 practice rounds each and 20 qualification rounds each.


Non-shooting course and teaches students the basic knowledge, skills, and to explain the attitude necessary for the safe handling and storage of firearms and ammunition in the home.

This is a four-hour course for safe gun handling that is conducted in the classroom only. Students are taught NRA’s three rules for safe gun handling; primary causes of firearms accidents; firearm parts; how to unload certain action types; ammunition components; cleaning; care; safe storage of firearms in the home; and the benefits of becoming an active participant in the shooting sports.


NRA FIRST Steps Pistol is designed to provide a hands-on introduction to the safe handling and proper orientation to one specific pistol action type for classes of four or fewer students. This course is at least three hours long and includes classroom and range time learning to shoot a specific pistol action type. Students will learn the NRA’s rules for safe gun handling; the particular pistol model parts and operation; ammunition; shooting fundamentals; cleaning the pistol; and continued opportunities for skill development.


Teaches the basic knowledge, skills, and attitude for owning and operating a pistol safely.

This course is at least 8-hours long and includes classroom and range time learning to shoot revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. Students learn NRA’s rules for safe gun handling; pistol parts and operation; ammunition; shooting fundamentals; range rules; shooting from the bench rest position, and two handed standing positions; cleaning the pistol; and continued opportunities for skill development.


Teaches the basic knowledge, skills, and attitude essential to the safe and efficient use of a handgun for protection of self and family, and to provide information on the law-abiding individual’s right to self-defense.

This is an eight-hour course. Students should expect to shoot approximately 100 rounds of ammunition. Students will learn basic defensive shooting skills, strategies for home safety and responding to a violent confrontation, firearms and the law, how to choose a handgun for self-defense, and continued opportunities for skill development.

NRA Basic Personal Protection In The Home course is for law-abiding adult citizens, as defined by applicable federal, state, or local law, and experienced shooters (shooters able to show mastery of the basic skills of safe gun handling, shooting a group, zeroing the firearm, and cleaning the firearm) to maximize what can be learned from this course. Proof of shooting experience can be one of the following: NRA Basic Pistol Course Certificate, NRA FIRST Steps Course Certificate, NRA pistol competitive shooting qualification card, military DD 214 with pistol qualification, or passing the Pre-Course Assessment.


Private Instruction/Lessons. These lessons are designed to teach the shooter basic pistol shooting skills and help make the shooter a more proficient shooter. Instruction is also available for shooters with more experience who want to improve their shooting skills.

Contact Eric today to schedule your class. Call (816) 401-5385 or contact him via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also feel free to check out the Miller’s Mark Firearms Training Facebook page for additional information!

February 1, 2014

Proper Body Positioning

I’m sure you’ve seen extreme racing either on TV or at the track. You know the ones I’m talking about, with the riders hanging off their machines like monkeys and dragging their knees in the corners. Although this may help riders corner on the racetrack, it's not necessarily the best body position for street riding.

Danny is a good friend, and an important part of the Cycle Connections team. Danny covers several events for the magazine and always helps out at our cover bike & cover model search events we put on all over the KC area. Danny has put a lot of time and money into his beautiful Street Glide, so I wanted to interview him and feature him and his bike in this month’s issue.

CC: Danny, what is your occupation?

Danny: I’m a social worker.

CC: Do you have any hobbies other than motorcycling?

Danny: Is there anything else?

CC: Why do you ride?

Danny: It gives me a sense of freedom, to be alone and to feel the solidarity of riding with others.

CC: How long have you been riding?

Danny: Since I was five.

CC: What was your first bike?

Danny: It was a 30cc Little Indian with training wheels.

CC: How many bikes have you owned?

Danny: I believe I’ve owned eight different bikes. I drank a lot for several years, so it was kind of a blurry time.

CC: How many bikes do you currently own?

Danny: Just my Street Glide, and its killing me financially.

CC: What do you like most about your Street Glide?

Danny: Probably the radio on long rides; no more fighting ear buds falling out.

CC: What is your dream bike?

Danny: For now I have it. It’s a big bad bagger, and I get stares wherever I go, and someone always wants to ask questions about it. I do keep obsessing about getting an old school Road King with some Apes!

CC: What is your most memorable riding experience?

Danny: My first year riding to Sturgis with the Swinging Dick Bike Club (S.D.B.C.). I loved the big smile every kid in a car gave us as we passed them, and you could see the “I want to be just like you when I grow up!” look in their eyes. Riding the Black Hills was CRAZY the first time. I absolutely loved it; it was EMOTIONAL….

CC: What is your least memorable riding experience?

Danny: Years ago when I was a bad drinker. I dropped my bikes a lot of times.

CC: To what motorcycle clubs or organizations do you belong?

Danny: I belong to the Northland Harley Owners Group and I’m an honorary member of the Sturgis S.D.B.C., and of course Cycle Connections!

CC: What motorcycle rallies & events have you attended, and which is your favorite?

Danny: I rode to the 70th, 71st and 72nd Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rallies, a multitude of small benefit event rides, and of course a lot of Cycle Connections Cover Bike & Cover Model Cover Search events. I love them all for different reasons. Sturgis-DUH, Cycle Connections events- being part of something really cool, and the smaller benefit rides because of the amazing sensation of doing something you love (riding) while contributing to an array heart touching benefits.

CC: Do you have a favorite bike night hangout?

Danny: One-Eyed Jacks near Worlds of Fun. Just a bunch of good ol’ people having a good time..

CC: Tell us about your tattoos?

Danny: I have two big chest pieces, both arms are quarter sleeve, a half back piece and a half leg sleeve; all Japanese themed. My favorite is probably the Sun Rising on my leg. It’s colorful and reminds me that tomorrow’s another day the sun always rises.

CC: Who is your favorite tattoo artist?

Danny: Butch from Butch’s Tattoo’s on 7 Highway in Blue Springs, Missouri. He does absolutely amazing work and cover up work. He does free hand, with a bonus of being very affordable. Butch is a BAD ASS tattoo artist!

CC: Do you prefer riding in a group or by yourself?

Danny: Of course, I enjoy both equally. Riding alone gives you such a sense of freedom, while riding in a group brings the feeling of camaraderie. I have no preference.

CC: Who are some of your closest riding buddies?

Danny Hard Hittin Mark Whitton, who I haven’t gotten to ride with for a while, Tony Casas - The Parrot savior, and of course the Swinging Dick Bike Club.

CC: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Danny I would like to thank all the people involved in assisting me with getting my bike into the continually evolving condition it is in now. First and foremost, my wife Amanda for being so patient and understanding when it comes to the time and money spent on my bike. And of course a Special Thanks to Mike Mike Pilcher of Mike Pilcher Customs, Facebook/Airbrush-Masters for the amazing airbrush work and answering my continuous text messages, phone call and visits to look at the progress. And I can’t forget my photographer Crystal with Chickeypics ~ Photography by Crystal Hickey , and the beautiful model Christina Paulina. These two amazing lady’s professionalism can be found and enjoyed within these pics!

CC: Thank you for the interview Danny.



- Owner: Danny Webb

- Year/Make/Model: 2010 Harley-Davidson FLHX Street Glide

- Size (ci)/Make: Harley-Davidson 96 ci

- Carburetor: Fuel Injected

- Air Cleaner: Arlen Ness Stage 2 Retro

- Pipes: CVO Screaming Eagle 4inch

- Transmission: Harley Davidson 6-Speed

- Molding: Chin Spoiler and Low Profile Dash from FBI Fat Baggers Inc.

- Painter: Mike Pilcher w/ Mike Pilcher Customs

- Color: Brilliant Silver body with custom airbrush

- Rake: KewlMetal 12 inch triple trees

- Bars: OEM for now

- Fenders: RC Components Phantom front fender

- Headlight: Autolite LED

- Taillight: OEM

- Speedometer: OEM

- Pegs: Harley-Davidson Streamliner

- Gas Tank: OEM

- Fabrication: Harley-Davidson Badlander

- Grips: Avon

- Forks:: Chrome forks with Progressive Mono Tube front suspension

- Front Wheel: Arlen Ness Retro

- Front Wheel Size: 23 inch

- Front Wheel Rim Width: 3.5 inch

- Front Tire: Vee Rubber

- Front Brake: Brembo

- Rear Wheel: Paul Yaffe Smoothie

- Rear Wheel Size: 18 inch

- Rear Wheel Rim Width: 5.5 inch

- Rear Tire: Dunlop

- Rear Brake: Brembo


4.5 inch Extended Saddlebags - Fairing Factory USA

Turn Signals - Kuryakyn LED, Yellow front, Red rear with rear Brake Light Bar

Kuryakyn Chrome Hand Control Kit and Levers

Sinister Industries - Sinister Big Baller 3-D Paintable Windshield

Arlen Ness Retro Chrome Fork Cans and Saddlebag Latches

Alpine CDA-9886 Marine head unit

Rockford Fosgate PBR 300x4 Amp

Rockford Fosgate 5 ¼ Punch Components

4 inch Extended Rear Fender

Color Matched Inner Fairing

Color Matched aftermarket Razor Tour Pack with all HD Hardware

Photos by Crystal Hickey with Chickeypics ~ Photography by Crystal Hickey .

When Editor Mike and I visited Shawnee Cycle Plaza to attend the unveiling of the Victory 15th Anniversary Cross Country Tour motorcycle, we had the pleasure of visiting with Rick Fortner, president of the Great Plains Victory Riders Chapter.

CC: Rick, please talk about your chapter’s affiliation.

Rick: We’re a chapter of the Victory Motorcycle Club that began in 1998 with a group of Victory owners who got together as a Yahoo online chat group. Back then, there were only about 500 Victory motorcycles on the road. Now it’s an international club with 50 chapters.

CC: Is the club associated with the Victory factory?

Rick: No, we’re autonomous. The club is an independent, not-for-profit organization.

CC: How long have you been a member?

Rick: I joined in 2003. I’m a former national vice-president. Now I’m just an officer with the local group. That’s a lot more fun.

CC: How much are the membership dues?

Rick: The national dues are $8 a year, and chapter dues are $25. National membership is required to join the chapter. We collect local dues during January through March only. It gives new Victory owners during the year a chance to try us on for size without having to pay the local dues.

CC: Is Victory motorcycle ownership a requirement?

Rick: Yes, for a full membership. Associate members don’t have to own motorcycles.

CC: When was the local chapter formed, and how many members are there?

Rick: The chapter began in 2004. We currently have about 25 members. The count fluctuates some.

CC: How often and where do you have meetings?

Rick: We normally meet on the second Saturday of each month, and the location rotates among the local Victory dealerships. Shawnee Cycle Plaza, Topeka, and St. Joe all host meetings. Of course we consider the dealerships our friends, but we are independent of them.

CC: Do you have a chapter website?

Rick: We just use the national website. They have a forum setup that works well for us.

CC: What about chapter rides and events?

Rick: We usually have at least a half-dozen rides every year. A couple of weeks ago, we had our annual wrenching party. Wagner’s Classic Cars in Bonner Springs donates the use of their shop to us so we can get in out of the weather and work. We generally go to lunch as a group after our monthly meetings. In December, we have a Christmas dinner in lieu of a business meeting, and we invite the staffs of the dealerships to be our guests. Our big event is Victory in the Ozarks held every year during the weekend before Memorial Day. We’ve been having it at Eureka Springs, Arkansas, for the past 9 years. Victory riders come from all over the central region—Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and Missouri. It’s like a big family reunion.

CC: Do you sponsor any charity rides?

Rick: Members often recommend charity events for us to attend. Last year, one of our members was killed at the Ozarks event. We raised money for his family including two kids. The national club raised about $4,000 for them. Our chapter normally has funds left over at the end of the year that we use for charity support. Last year we made a donation to Ron’s family. He was a very good friend to many of us.

CC: We’re sorry about your loss. It’s good to hear that you were able to come through with assistance for that family.

CC: I’m sure you’d like to talk about your own experience with the Victory brand. What’s your current ride?

Rick: I have a 2011 Cross Roads now. My first was a 2003 Classic Cruiser that unfortunately got totaled near Platte City. Then I got a 2002 Touring Cruiser. You don’t see a lot of those around anymore. Then I traded for the Cross Roads. My wife and I really enjoy sharing the riding experience. If I mention riding, she’ll have her gear on before I’m ready to go. We’ve been back to Georgia four times on the motorcycle. We’ve been to Montana. I really like the dependability of the Victory and the fact that it’s built in the U.S.A. I’ve made a lot of great friends in the chapter. Last August one of them went with me for a ride to Maine for lobster rolls. It was a 5-day, 3,200-mile trip to get lobster rolls. My previous job involved a lot of travel. I met a lot of Victory owners from Eastern Long Island to San Francisco. They’re great people!

CC: What’s been your impression of tonight’s event?

Rick: Barry and Doris really went to a lot of trouble for this event. They have really welcomed our chapter with open arms. They are really enthusiastic about Victory motorcycles.

CC: Rick, thanks for the information. It’s about time to go check out that new Victory. We’ll look forward to shooting a group photo after the program if you can get the chapter members rounded up.

Rick: Will do.

More information about the national organization is available on their website , and Rick can be contacted by e-mail for local info.

Photos by Stripe

Saturday, August 17 was a beautiful day to ride down to Knucklehead’s Saloon and help raise money for the 4rd Annual Outlaws for Paws Benefit Event that’s put together by Brooke Turner and her non-profit organization The Bombshells.

The nation’s number one Bikers for Babies® fundraiser takes place in Kansas City. Beginning in 1995 with $3,000 raised by 130 riders the event has seen dramatic growth. Last year participants numbering nearly 5,000 came from 20 states and raised more than $675,000 for March of Dimes.

In January 2013, Shawnee Cycle Plaza (SCP) became Kansas City’s newest Victory Motorcycle dealer, and in mid-February, they received their first shipment of 2013 model bikes. We were so excited that SCP had added this new line of motorcycles that we arranged to photograph one of their 2013 Victory Cross Country bikes for our April 2013 cover.

Since receiving their first shipment, SCP has already sold several new Victory motorcycles, and their popularity is growing quickly. The dealership was also lucky enough to receive a 15th Anniversary Cross Country Tour® Limited-Edition motorcycles. This is a very rare bike, with only 150 being made, and Shawnee Cycle Plaza is the only Victory dealership in Kansas City area to get one, which they unveiled on Thursday evening, March 28, 2013 to a large and very excited crowd.

Doris Sarver greeted everyone, and then handed the microphone over to SCP owner Barry Bunner. Barry thanked everyone for attending, and expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome they’ve already received from the Great Plains Victory Riders. Barry then handed the microphone back over to Doris, who announced several of the dealership’s upcoming events (See event listing at the bottom of this article).

Doris also told everyone about Operation Gratitude, which is a Victory philanthropic charity that provides care kits for our military. Doris also invited everyone to stop by and visit with two U.S. Army representatives and the beautiful SCP “bunnies” that were there, and to donate to Operation Gratitude if they wished. She then invited everyone to grab a plate and enjoy the BBQ dinner that was prepared and served by the dealership staff.

After everyone had finished dinner, it was time for the unveiling. The microphone was handed over to Doug, who asked for the showroom lights to be dimmed and the spotlights to be turned on. As Hal played a drumroll on the sound system, the bunnies pulled the cover off the bike to the applause and whistling of the crowd. Doug explained that the bike was #15 out of 150 bikes, which ironically coincides with the 15th Anniversary bike. Pretty cool, huh? Doug went over several features and specs of the bike, and handed the microphone back over to Doris.

Doris introduced Great Plains Victory Riders President Rick Fortner, who thanked SCP for the warm welcome, and gave everyone a brief history of their group, and encouraged everyone to join. Earlier in the evening Stripe and I had the opportunity to interview Rick for a Bike Club Review article, which is also published in this month’s issue.

Doris once again thanked everyone for coming out and once everyone had a chance to check out the bike and visit for a while longer, before climbing aboard their bikes and riding home.

I’d like to thank Barry, Doris, Doug, Mike, and the entire Shawnee Cycle Plaza crew for their hospitality and for putting on another great event!

Poker Run

Sat, May 4, 9:30am – 10:30am

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., last person out by 10:30 a.m., last person in by 1:30 p.m. Proceeds to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation's Ride For Kids. Map and score sheet $10 per person. Rain or shine. All Kansas scenic route. Games, door prizes, 50/50 drawing, Lunch available. For info or email call John 913-780-4144 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Victory Demo Rides-Mother of a Ride

May 10 – 11, 2013

Join us on both days to demo ride a new Victory Motorcycle. You will have an opportunity to donate to Operation Gratitude. They provide care kits to our US military. We will have lunch available on Saturday and lot of prizes. The SCP bunnies will also be here on Saturday.

Biker Diva-Matchmaking -Finding the Right Bike and Movin' On Up!

Sat, May 18, 10am – 11am

An instruction from our salesmen on finding the right bike and getting something bigger.
Photos by Stripe

I’ve lived in Blue Springs, Missouri for about 30 years now, and was very excited when Blue Springs Harley-Davidson opened up only 10 minutes from my house. I’d recently purchased a 1999 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy, so it was nice to have a dealership so conveniently located for getting parts, service, accessories, and that annual or bi-annual vehicle inspection we’re all blessed (or cursed) with here in the state of Missouri. So when I heard about Blue Springs Harley-Davidson putting on a huge 15th Anniversary party, I knew Cycle Connections had to be a part of it.

The three-day event officially kicked off Thursday evening, June 13 during Blue Springs Harley-Davidson’s bike night, which takes place the second Thursday each month. When we arrived, the parking lot was packed, as the popular band Switch was rocking the house (or technically the parking lot). They are an awesome band, and their lead female vocalist Melissa Bollman is one very attractive and talented singer! Woo Hoo!

There were several vendors setup in the grassy area in front of the dealership, and the east end of the parking lot was blocked off for the stage and beer garden. While we were there, one brave rider decided to try out the burnout pit, which consisted of a forklift sitting on the sidewalk with a wheel chock attached to the forks; a bit crude, but quite efficient.

We arrived early on Friday, June 14, and Eric and Danny were nice enough to help me setup the Cycle Connections booth. Several vendors were also there setting up, including Stick This in Your Ear, LLC, who sells custom ear protection & digital stereo “flat in ear” earphones, Team Cocktail, who sells custom drinking apparel and accessories, Damsel in Distress, who offer a variety of self-defense and personal protection products, Highway 7 Chiropractic, and numerous other vendors.

Friday’s activities was equally exciting, and to kick things off, Mayor Ross and the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce were on-hand for a chamber brunch and ribbon-cutting, with David Worth wielding the huge pair of scissors. The Harley-Davidson demo truck was setup at the west end of the parking lot and licensed riders had the opportunity to take demo rides on their choice of several new Harley-Davidson models. Both Stripe and Eric took advantage of this opportunity, and really enjoyed the nice route that was laid out for the demo rides. Stripe enjoyed the ride so much he decided to share his experience by writing a Demo Rides article for this month’s issue. Guests were also invited to sign up for their chance to win a 2013 Sportster 883.

Around Noon, the huge black Corona Light tour bus pulled into the parking lot to kick off for the official Kenny Chesney No Shoes Nation Tour Pre-Party. Q104 had their van setup on the parking lot from 3-7 p.m. for the TJ Live Show, and free Kenny Chesney tickets were given away. Jared Scott., and Travis Martin and Bush Hawg took the stage from 6-9 p.m., and our July 2013 cover model LeeAnn showed up to help work our booth, and was also all afternoon posing for photos on guest’s bike, and alongside the tour bus.

The Harley-Davidson demo truck was busy again on Saturday, and the band StonyHogg played from 11-3 p.m. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans on Saturday afternoon as a huge thunderstorm rolled in as the crowed rolled out. We quickly packed up all of our things and I was almost halfway home on my bike when the floodgates opened. Even though it was a short ride, I was totally drenched by the time I pulled into my garage.

Oh well…aside from the storm, it was an awesome weekend to help celebrate Blue Springs Harley-Davidson’s 15th Anniversary. A special thanks to Charlie who was in charge of coordinating the event, and a special congratulations to David Worth and his entire crew at Blue Springs Harley-Davidson for 15 years of wonderful service to our community!

Photos by Stripe, Eric Miller, Skylar Sherwood and Mike Schweder.