SCRC Loudoun VA Featured Member - February, 2007

Name:   Johann Mages

Nickname:   RainMaster

Marital Status:  Married with Christine for 16 years.

Location:  Sterling, VA

Hometown:  My hometown is Weiden in der Oberpfalz, a city with about 48.000 inhabitants. It is located near the U.S. training area for armed forces in Grafenwöhr. Former soldiers may know it.

Children:  None.

Age:  53 years old.

Occupation:  In Germany I worked as an official veterinarian since 1991. For example, I was responsible for two dairy plants in the county that exported cheese (Champignon Camembert) to the United States.In many cases the needed Health Certificates had my signature. Right now I am working as a volunteer at the dispensary of a medical center for equines in Leesburg.

Current motorcycle(s):  It is a Yamaha XJR 1200 with a 98 horsepower engine. I brought it with me from Germany. You can not get this bike in the United States. So sometimes it was not easy to get the proper maintenance service for it.

How did you hear about the SCRC and when did you join?
In July 2005 Christine.s and my motorcycle were due to a State Inspection. So we went to Loudoun Motorsports in Leesburg. There we became acquainted with Mary Ann. During a very nice chatting we got knowledge about the Southern Cruisers. The next week, on July 6 2005, we attended our first meeting at Mighty Mike's.

How long have you been riding?
I got my driver's licence in 1976. After a few years I had to stop riding for financial reasons. When Christine decided to have her own motorcycle I had to adjust. I think it was in 1996 when I restarted.

Have you ever taken a motorcycle safety course?
In order to get a driver's license it was mandatory to visit a riding school. In addition it was necessary to attend to a certain amount of theoretical and practicing lessons. Of course you had to pass both exams successfully.

What was your first bike?
My first bike was a Honda 250 CB with a 27 horsepower engine. When I compare it to my current motorcycle I realize that their styles do not differ to much. Of course, the Yamaha is bigger.

How many bikes have you owned?
After the Honda 250 CB I purchased a Suzuki 400 with a 27 horse power engine. It was a very reliable motorcycle. The Suzuki was followed by a used Kawasaki Z 1000 J. If I remember well, it had a 98 horsepower engine. It was a goodlooking, brutal motorcycle. Since 1998 I ride the Yamaha XJR1200.

Why do you ride?
It is the feeling of freedom. While riding my motorcycle I do not care about the past and the future. I am not asking myself what would be if ... ? Nothing is important while riding but enjoying the camaraderie and nature.

Have you ridden with an organized group before?
Not with an organized group, not on schedule, and not with riding rules. Sometimes it was within the bunch like catch as catch can. It was a wild time, hahaha. It ended when most of the guys got into a serious relationship. Very often the motorcycle then was replaced with a fiancee.

What modifications have you done to your bike?
Since nobody wanted to ride with me as a passenger, even Christine refused, I decided to get rid of the original seat in exchange of a solo seat. Technically, a pinion was changed. The accelaration is now a little faster. In exchange, high speed was reduced. With a naked bike, this is not a matter of concern.

What accessories do you want to add to your bike?

What is your dream bike?
I visited the motorcycle show in Washington a few days ago. To my surprise, I did not like any of the bikes on display. Is this a matter of aging? If I had to buy a new one I am quite sure it would be a Yamaha XJR 1300.

What kind of riding do you like to do — straight-aways or twisties?
Doing twisties with a bunch of skilled riders is a very enjoying part of a ride. But it can be stressful, too. So straight aways is not bad either.

If you have a nickname, how did you get it? Tell the truth!
Rainmaster. I got this nickname in 2005. I think 'Doc' suggested it after using my motorcycle during a poker run as the only person, although it was raining almost the whole day.

What is your favorite riding route?
I do not have a favorite riding route, but when time was sort of short we have done more often the following route: Sterling - Georgetown Pike - I 495 - Potomac - Rt 28 - Rt 15 - Rt 50 - Sterling.

Do you ride your bike to work?
No. First, my bike has no containers. Secondly, I would have to change cloth after arrival at the workplace.

What is the fastest you’ve ridden?
Several times 220 km / h or 135 miles / h, no windshield, on a German Autobahn. Of course, it lasted only a few minutes. I wanted to know how my Yamaha 1200 behaved at top speed. She really was doing a good job.

What is your favorite time of year to ride?
Whenever there is a bunch of riders to go with. Since I am convinced of the advantage wearing proper gear it should not be to hot.

Have you ever been down? If so, how were you hurt and what did you learn from the incident?
As a rider I never went down. But I was very lucky in several occasions. What I learnt was trying to be always in control of the situation, means a defensive riding style.

Have you ever done an "Iron Butt" ride?
No I did not.

If not, what is the furthest you’ve ridden?
The furthest I have ridden was Sonthofen, Germany to Barcelona, Spain within two days. The route was through Austria, Suisse, and France. In the Alps the temperature was unexpected low and there were fog and rain. I hated it. In southern France we had been targeted by the Mistral. Even when the road was straight you had to lean your motorcycle in order to battle the strong winds. It was a great adventure, perhaps my most adventurous ride.

What was the worst weather in which you’ve ridden?
See above.

Do you know how to work on your bike?
In Germany the licensed mechanic always allowed me to watch what he was doing. So in theory I know a lot, for example even how to adjust the valves hahaha. But I am sure that I would have needed a new bike if I would have tried to do something by myself.

What is your favorite road song?
I like 'Born to be Wild'.

What was your most adventurous ride?
See above.

What rallies or events do you like to attend?
I have no preferences as long as I can be together with friendly people. This is the reason why I am with the Southern Cruisers.

Is there someone who rides "two-up" with you?
No, that's why I took the seat off.

Off the cuff from...RainMaster
Thank you to you all!