Friday, October 9, 2009

Version 0.1


Just wanted to put up a couple of quick pictures. Replaced the exhaust and fork tubes (scratching them up in the process - doh!), put in a new battery plus gas. Also got a sweet pleather chopper seat off of eBay. Rode it to work hoping the completely dry-rotted tire wouldn't let go. Handled like a dream.
By dream I mean nightmare. And yes, that's a yellow sponge helping to keep the battery in there.

Ironhead


I've ventured to the dark side. I saw a craigslist ad for a '77 Sportster XLH (aka 'Ironhead') and decided to take a look. Looking turned to owning.

I'd been seeing lots of builds lately where people are doing old-school bobber, cafe and other stripped-down Harleys and was intrigued.

I've always been turned off by Harleys because so many people who have them are douche bags. No other way to put it. I can remember when I started riding in Chicago. There was this place around the corner called the North Side and it was "Yuppie Lawyer on Bike" central. It seemed like every time I rode by some tool who'd put a total 50 miles a year on their bike (can't tarnish the chrome, dude) would yell something derogatory out. Showing his pals how he was true blooded. This shit even happened when I had my Norton. Either that or you'd bump into some fat ass wearing as much Harley-themed clothing as possible, riding some huge land-yacht who'd refer to anything else as "some jap crap" - didn't matter if it was Asian, British or Italian. Then for the last few years all you saw were lollipop-bikes that were trying to emulate those being "built" on some Discovery Channel show by guys who seemed to order everything new from a catalog (when they weren't yelling at each other and throwing tools).

Lately though there's been a sea change. Lots of guys looking back into the 50s and 60s for inspiration and coming up with the stripped-down essentials. Several overseas builders have cropped up lately with killer bikes that are bobber + street tracker + cafe + whatever = simple and clean. Mix and match components - whatever works. Form follows function.
I especially liked the looks of the builds made from pre-Evo sportsters; Harley's answer to the light fast British bikes that were taking over on the late 50s and 60s. Not much there but a big lump of cast iron and aluminum, a seat, 2 wheels and handlebars. Basic. Elemental bike. Even better is that they're not very desirable because 1) they're old, 2) they shake, 3) tend to leak oil, 4) they're mostly from the dreaded AMF days. Perfect - I could get one for cheap and not worry that screwing it up would make me feel like I'd ruined something expensive.

So I kept my eye out, but most people wanted 3 to 5 grand. Seems sellers aren't aware that the bottom has fallen out and people aren't paying a premium for anything anymore, never mind 25+ year old motorcycles. Then I found the ad - it ran, needed some work, was close by and cheap. I went and took a look. Guys was pretty straight-forward: he'd bought it 2 years ago and got it running (new generator and some other bits). And then let it sit in the back yard since. ?!? Rust is not your friend.

Overly loud 2" slash-cut drag pipes, rusty 4" over forks, rims spray-painted black (probably to hide rusty spokes), old gas in the tank making me ill. Just what I was looking for.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Black Rebel Motorcycle Exhaust

Saw a Craiglist ad for powder and ceramic coating of exhaust headers and other things. I had the pipes that came with the bike still around and had just gotten in some shorty megaphones, so I thought I'd give it a try.
The ceramic coating stuff has been around for a while and is supposed to help pull heat away from the heads - always good for air-cooled motors, but I don't know anyone who has tried it. I also liked the idea of not throwing away the original pipes; they looked bad but still worked fine. Plus black exhausts on red Guzzis always looks the business.
So I took the pipes and mufflers to Len at figurellc.com and had him coat them. I really like the result, especially how it brings out the imperfections (and the pipes had a lot of rust pitting). I like the aesthetic of "actually used" vs. "trailer queen". I think Len was kinda worried because the coating didn't fill in the pitting, and this shade of black kinda brought it out.
Another bonus is the sound of the shorties is pretty mean, especially when throttling down.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The route home

Here's the route back from the Speedway to Winchester:

(I tried to format as a nice table, but the Blogger interface kept doing weird things to it)

Left ramp onto I-65 S
go 5.5 mi

Exit 112A (on the left) to I-70 E
go 74.9 mi (1 hour 7 mins)
[84.0 mi]

Exit 1 to US-35 W toward Eaton
go 9.8 mi (12 mins)
[93.8 mi]

Slight left at W Main St/OH-122/US-35
go 0.5 mi
[94.3 mi]

Turn right at S Franklin St/OH-122 (Continue onto OH-122)
go 8.8 mi (18 mins)
[103 mi]

Turn right at East St/OH-122
go 344 ft

Turn left at OH-725 E/E South St (Continue onto OH-725 E)
go 9.4 mi (20 mins)
[113 mi]

Turn right at OH-4
go 1 mi
[114 mi]

Turn left at Carlisle Pike/OH-123 (Continue onto OH-123)
go 4.3 mi
[118 mi]

Turn right at Dayton Oxford Rd/OH-123 (Continue onto OH-123)
go 0.8 mi
[119 mi]

Turn left at W 2nd St
go 2.0 mi
[121 mi]

Continue on W Central Ave/OH-73 (Continue onto OH-73)
go 24.7 mi (42 mins)
[145 mi]

Turn right at N Nelson Ave
go 0.3 mi
[146 mi]

Turn left at W Main St
go 1.7 mi
[147 mi]

Continue on Fife Ave
go 0.3 mi
[148 mi]

Slight left at Eastside Dr
go 0.1 mi
[148 mi]

Slight right at Eastside Dr/OH-3/OH-73/US-22 (Continue onto OH-3/US-22)
go 20.7 mi (26 mins)
[169 mi]

Slight left at W Court St
go 0.6 mi
[169 mi]

Turn right at US-22 NE/Washington Ave (Continue onto US-22 NE)
go 27.5 mi (34 mins)
[197 mi]

Turn left at Lancaster Pike/US-22 (Continue onto US-22)
go 37.8 mi (48 mins)
[234 mi]

At Public Square, take the 2nd exit onto E Main St/OH-668/US-22 (Continue onto US-22)
go 17.3 mi (21 mins)
[252 mi]

Turn right at E Main St
go 0.8 mi
[253 mi]

Turn right at Moxahala Ave/OH-555
go 0.4 mi
[253 mi]

Turn left at Granger Hill Rd/OH-555 (Continue onto OH-555)
go 3.1 mi (8 mins)
[256 mi – about 5 hours 45 mins]

Head south on Center Rd/OH-555 toward Fattler Ridge Rd (Continue onto OH-555)
go 10.5 mi (26 mins)
[10.5 mi]

Turn left at OH-555/State Route 555 NW
go 2.2 mi
[12.8 mi]

Turn right at OH-555/State Route 555 NE
go 0.4 mi
[13.2 mi]

Turn right to stay on OH-555/State Route 555 NE (Continue onto OH-555)
go 2.2 mi
[15.4 mi]

Turn right at OH-555/State Route 555 NW
go 1.8 mi
[17.2 mi]

Turn right to stay on OH-555/State Route 555 NW
go 6.1 mi (15 mins)
[23.3 mi]

Turn left at OH-555/OH-78/S State Route 78 SW
23.4 mi
[go 0.1 mi]

Turn right at OH-555/State Route 555 SW
go 1.7 mi
[25.2 mi]

Turn left to stay on OH-555/State Route 555 SW
go 0.5 mi
[25.7 mi]

Turn right to stay on OH-555/State Route 555 SW
go 1.2 mi
[26.8 mi]

Turn right to stay on OH-555/State Route 555 SW
go 4.0 mi (10 mins)
[30.8 mi]

Turn left at OH-555/S State Route 555 (Continue onto OH-555)
go 4.2 mi (10 mins)
[35.0 mi]

Turn right at College St
go 0.1 mi
[35.1 mi]

College St turns left and becomes Coal St
go 0.5 mi
[35.6 mi]

Continue on OH-555/S State Route 555 (Continue onto OH-555)
go 3.1 mi
[38.7 mi]

Turn right at OH-555/State Route 555
go 5.8 mi (16 mins)
[44.5 mi]

Slight left to stay on OH-555/State Route 555
go 2.8 mi
[47.2 mi]

Slight left at Morris Dr
go 1.1 mi
[48.3 mi]

Continue on T238
go 1.5 mi
[49.8 mi]

Turn left at OH-555/State Route 555
go 0.6 mi
[50.4 mi]

Turn right to stay on OH-555/State Route 555
go 6.0 mi (15 mins)
[56.4 mi]

Head south on OH-555/State Route 555 toward Bull Rd
go 0.5 mi
[0.5 mi]

Slight left to stay on OH-555/State Route 555
go 0.8 mi
[1.2 mi]

Turn left at OH-32/OH-7/State Route 7/US-50
go 1.7 mi
[3.0 mi]

Merge onto US-50 via the ramp to Parkersburg (Entering West Virginia)
go 11.4 mi (16 mins)
[14.4 mi]

Slight right to stay on US-50
go 59.5 mi (1 hour 7 mins)
[73.8 mi]

Head east on US-50 toward Marshville-Camp Rock Rd
go 29.3 mi (39 mins)
[29.3 mi]

Turn left at N Pike St/US-50
go 0.2 mi
[29.5 mi]

Turn left to stay on N Pike St/US-50
go 436 ft
[29.5 mi]

Turn left to stay on N Pike St/US-50 (Continue onto US-50)
go 6.3 mi
[35.8 mi]

Turn right at George Washington Hwy/US-50 (Continue onto US-50)
Passing through Maryland / Entering West Virginia
go 57.8 mi (1 hour 6 mins)
[93.6 mi]

Turn right to stay on US-50 Entering Virginia
go 64.0 mi (1 hour 15 mins)
[158 mi]

Slight right at W Boscawen St
go 0.5 mi
[158 mi]

Turn left at N Cameron St
go 0.2 mi
[158 mi]

Turn right at E Piccadilly St
go 0.2 mi
[158 mi]

Turn left at N E Ln
go 308 ft
[159 mi]

Turn right at National Ave
go 0.4 mi
[159 mi]

Continue on Berryville Ave/VA-7
(Continue onto VA-7)

The road home

I flew back to Milwaukee to get the Guzzi and ride it to the MotoGP round in Indianapolis and then back home. A bunch of us were going to rent a motorhome and stay in (or camp next to) it during the races. I left Milwaukee a few hours before everybody else to try and avoid Chicago rush hour. The best route, though longer, was to go straight south to the Urbana area and then turn and head east to Indianapolis. This would avoid dealing with the skyway & nasty interstates around the Illinois / Indiana border.

The traffic around Chicago wasn't too bad, except I didn't have a speed pass, so I kept having to stop for tolls: Stop/bike in neutral/take glove off/get money/give to tollbooth op/get change/put in pocket/put glove on/shift back in gear/ drive off. Repeat several times. All in stop and go traffic with the motor getting hotter.

Once south of Chicago an hour the roads were pretty empty. Very straight, and between cornfields and other crops. Late summer light & looming clouds added to the ambiance. Sadly once I got a hour or two outside of Indianapolis it started raining. This was also when it started getting dark. I kept having to pull my headlight up and wipe my faceshield (the downside of the chopped front fender is revealed!) I tried to stay behind cars to see how the road went based on their taillights but wither they were going 90mph or got off at the next exit. It was pretty dark and the rain had let up when I crested a hill and there was Indy. It's such a low city I just came up on it all of a sudden. The only real indication were the signs for the beltway around town.

After some confusion over which RV Park we were staying at, I finally met up with everyone. The place was surreal - right across the street from the track with nothing else around but RV parks and a few (closed) hot dog stands. Except there were a few people who had permanent homes and seemed to live there year round. We found out later there are only 3 events at the Speedway all year. Otherwise it's just empty.

Other than the few residents it was nothing but RVs, tents, motorcycles and motorbike nuts in town to see the MotoGP circus. The entire track is surrounded by these lots. And it was loud. All you heard up and down the street were bikes: Harleys, Ducatis and other twins with loud pipes, crotch-rockets revved to 12000 and what not. At one point a police chopper came over shining a light on someone on a crotch rocket flying down the street. I think they just turned into one of the parks and lost the cops.

I finally got to sleep around 2AM, only to be woken up at 7 when the track issued it's wakeup call in the form of Blind Melon blaring over loud speakers. Within minutes the 2 strokes were being warmed up at the track. No point in trying to sleep. That's when the manager came by and told us we needed to turn the RV around because it was facing the wrong way. Plus our tents were in another reserved spot so we had to move them too (we ended up just paying for another spot). Fun turning that thing around without hitting telephone poles, tents, parked cars, etc.

The two days of practice / qualifying and racing were great. It actually cooled down quite a bit. For the entire month before it had been high summer, but the Friday before the races it suddenly turned to fall temps. I ended up buying a sweatshirt at the track (I think the vendors made a lot on hoodies). It was pretty amazing to see all the people at the races. No one in the US really cares about motorcycle racing, but seemed like all the ones on the East Coast were there. Plus on Saturday night we got to see the Indy Mile flat track races. Kenny Roberts (Sr) did a few parade laps (at speed) on the Yamaha KZ750. What a sound. A bunch of the GP starts were there too to watch.

Sunday I decided to get out of Indianpolis by about an hour and then get a hotel. After a long weekend in the sun, drinking beer and too little sleep I wanted a good night's sleep. Found a cheap motel near the Ohio border and crashed for the night. The next day I was able to make it home, although it took about 15 hours. The big problem was that the tempratures really dropped. I think when I got in it had gotten down to 58 or so. I was wearing a long sleeve t-shirt and 2 sweatshirts under my jacket. Still wasn;t enough because, like a dumbass, I decided at the last minute to bring my vented dirtbike gloves, and not the good Held gauntlets I usually wear.

The Guzzi never missed a beat, even with it's cobbled together electrics (thanks to my headlight redo) and getting rained on. The thing was a tractor just plodding along hour after hour.

The highlight of the trip back were Routes 555 in Ohio and US-50 in West Virginia. A friend told me about 555 so I planned my whole route home around it. Something like 60 miles through Ohio farm country on narrow roads with tons of curves (many blind) and elevation changes. About the only traffic I saw was an Amish guy in a horse-drawn cart, two dachsunds and a couple of other bikes. Totally amazing road. At the end of that it was into W. Va. on US-50 which sucked for a bit - more like an interstate with a few cities thrown in. Then it got more and more rural. Next thing I know it starts going up into the mountains. For the next 2 or so hours it was more and more curves as I went up and over part of the Appalachian Mountains (I think) in the dark. I was worried about the timid illumination from my head light when I realized it *did* have a highbean - problem solved. By the time it flattened out at Winchester VA I was done. Cold and tired. Time to get home. Luckily there were no cops because I was definitely moving at a "spirited pace". It's always the last hour or so that's the longest. Of course I had no trouble riding out or back from Milwaukee *until* I got into the DC area. I think I had three idiots to contend with in the last 10 miles. Oh well, made it back in one piece with no breakdowns.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Helmet


Saw these for sale at Rockerbox - couldn't pass one up. As Jack Nicholson would say: "Oh, oh I've got a helmet! I got a beauty!"

RockerBox 2009

Rode out to RockerBox - a street fair in Milwaukee that's brand-non-specific. My friend Scott helped start it years ago to provide a non-Harley rally, aimed at cafe racers and Euro and Japanese vintage bikes. It's turned into an event where you'll see just about everything and anything. Mostly regular bikes, but with some rare stuff, and some downright weird stuff thrown in. Even the lame 50,000$ over restored choppers get represented (although there seem to be fewer and fewer that show up every year - maybe because the rat XS650 with the crazy frame mods sitting next to it gets more attention). All proceeds from beer and food sales go to the Steel Shoe Fund to help injured racers.


This picture doesn't do the # of bikes justice. Basically it was 4 or 5 blocks of bikes on both curbs and back to back running up the middle.




Nice Whizzer!




BSA? 125? 250? Looks like fun. Plunger rear suspension from the looks of it.





This Oil-in-frame Triumph ice-racer kicked ass. Guy competes with it too, not just for show.




True dat.




The Harley 2 Stroke was really cool - it not only had a miniature Harley-branded (original equipment!) fire extinguisher bolted to the rear subframe, but it also had a small gas can flask on the right fork held by a little leather holster.




Shows you don't have have lots of flash to look good. That seat don't look comfy.




Nice cafe. There were tons more. The Mid-West sure has a strong Cafe Racer scene. Reminds me of the old days. *sniff*






This XS (400 I think) Street Tracker was not only a nice job, but the guy had done up his own underslung mono-shock. "Mufflers" were made out modern fork tubes. Owner said it was super loud.




Old-school is back. Several hardtail bobbers and choppers were there - from Harleys (natch') to XS650s to Triuphs. Thank god the overdone BS chopper thing is over. That seat don't look comfy either.




Triple engined Norton dragster. Pushrod Mofo indeed.




Trophies made during the event. Sweet.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Road trip to Rockerbox 2009

Time to stop messing with the bike and just ride it. It's easy to get wrapped up in this detail or changing that and find all the good time for riding has passed.
Rockerbox is a motorcycle street fair started by my friend Scott as a) a chance to have a (free!) street fair and b) something for the non-Harleys in Milwaukee. This is the 7th or 8th edition I think.

A perfect destination.

Of course with older bikes you want some tools should something go wrong. Especially if you've been changing bits. I didn't worry too much as Guzzis are pretty stout and the weather forecast was great, but you need a screwdriver. And an adjustable wrench, Well, maybe two - a small one and a bigger one. And then you've been messing with wires, so maybe so snips and some wire and electrical tape. And so on, until the tang bag has 10 lbs of tools.

As is usually the way, come Thursday morning it was raining in D.C. and when I got to Milwaukee it was raining too. Great in-between though. And I didn't have to use a single tool. Well, except for the flashlight when I stopped for the night (it was pretty dark in Adrian Michigan).

Now the bike is resting comfortably, as I took a plane home - didn't want to take 4 days off of work in a row, and I knew I'd be back in 2 1/2 weeks as I heading to MotoGP in Indy with the Milwaukee / Chicago crew.

I thought it'd be fun to take a pic. every time I stopped for gas. First pic was setting out (first time; I got down the block and realized I'd no mirror and had to head back to put one on). Second to last is the Palomino in Milwaukee - bad cell photo and it was raining, so I eschewed composition for getting in and getting some food. The last pic is where I found myself a couple hours later - a Misfits show. Always a success when a trip takes an unexpected turn.











Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Headlight

Not happy with the stock headlight. Kinda klunky looking, plus mine was rusted all to hell (found this after I stripped the paint off). Went with a generic chrome shell from EMGO - looks much better, but I'll have to find a real British one if I want the good chrome.
Also put some Tommaselli headlight brackets on. I like the contrast between the fork tubes, the black rubber, the chrome clamps, the flat-aluminum or the ears and the chrome shell.
The biggest problem (as expected) was the wiring. Guzzi runs a lot of wires inside the shell (comes in via one Molex block and out through another) - 4 idiot lights, 2 gauge lights, turn signals, kill switch, horn, etc. etc. The previous owner had done some creative wiring and actually JB Welded in one of the connectors - maybe hacking a waterproof seal? Whatever - they were a beyotch to get out.
The new shell has a single hole, so a lot of these wires are now behind the shell rather than in it. Doesn't bode well should I get caught in a downpour. I'll have to rewire the whole thing this winter for sure.
In the process of the swap I of course proved how bad I am at crimping spade connectors - at least 4 I did in the last few weeks came off the wires.
Ah well, looks better I think. Next up will be tossing the gauge clusters and figuring a way to mount the idiot lights (the charging system requires the generator light to be in circuit - don't ask me why - besides, it's fun to watch it flicker at idle).

Before:


After:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Brake update


Got a brand new Brembo Master Cylinder from MG Cycle. The original one felt like there were giant pieces of gravel in there, and the brakes felt wooden. I believe the lack of feeling was because the stock T master cyl. is for a single disk, not 2. The crunchy stuff was probably from this thing sitting for a million years and the brake fluid drying out.
I had put a GSXR master cyl. on there, but really had no way to mount the reservoir (other than zip ties), without finding a generic bar clamp / bracket. The other problem was that I had "borrowed" it and the original owner at some point will want it back.
What's nice about this one is the reservoir is not detached, but cast into the housing so it's smaller than the Tokiko one. The other great part is it actuates the brake like waaaay better than the original Guzzi pressure sensor. Before I had to really pull on the lever to make the brake light came on, so I had to make sure and use the rear all the time to guarantee it lit up. I don't use the rear a lot, especially under light braking, so it was kinda annoying.
I have to admit to spending a few minutes player Homer Simpson: light comes on! light goes off! light comes on! light goes off!
Last week I had also remounted the front fender after redrilling the bracket holes. Now the front edge sticks out a little more. Looks pretty good with the Tarozzi fork brace. I must admit to liking the "no fender" look, but that also means more junk / water / whatever being flung from the tire hitting the front engine / me.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Smokey



So you know how you hear people say how they pinched a wire putting the headlight shell back together. So you know how you think they're kinda dumb for not paying attention. So I'm kinda dumb. Made it 2 blocks and the bike cut out. I look down to see the insulation melt off the kill switch wire and smoke coming out of the headlamp. That's not good. Pushed it back home (yes, up hill).
I got lucky - only the kill switch wiring got fried. And my headlight bucket smells smokey.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Front End

So begin the modifications.

I'm going to try and lighten up the looks of the 850-T; less cruiser and more what? Cafe racer / street tracker / spare "standard motorcycle" I guess. The massive Guzzi engine just calls for attention, so I want that to be the focus. In olden days some of this would be 'chopping', but now this makes everyone think stretched front ends and garish paint jobs. Call it what you will - making it restoration proof?

First job is to clean up the front end visually. Off come the gaiters and the black powdercoat on the sliders, and I'll also chop the fender - make the wheel itself stand out. Based off a tip (on the internets of course) I went looking for some Permatex gasket remover. Seems nobody is carrying the stuff anymore. While in the auto-parts store I couldn't pass up the "Blaster" - now that's the solution to all your needs - "As seen on TV!":


As an alternative I did find Mar-Hyde Tal-Strip II Aircraft Coating Remover. It looked serious and stuff so maybe that would work. Back home what do I spy on the Shelf of Chemical Death (tm)? Permatex Gasket Remover. Where did that come from? So I spray it on, wait a bit so it can do its magic (while I install new fork springs), and then try and wipe off the results. Not working quite as easy as the Internet might suggest. I use the rest of the can on a second dousing and go looking for something to scrape the chemically-melted coating off with. A while later I scrape off a bunch with a plastic paint scraper, but still lots of black coating left. The gasket remover is used up, so I switch to the "Tal-Strip II".

You don't need to read the 14 warnings to know this is some bad shit, just a whiff and you know this is serious business. This seems to work better, but still requires 3 or 4 passes. Finally after about 4 hours total and a pile of gloves (you don't want to get this stuff on your bare skin) it's pretty much done and ready for installation. Buffing and shining will wait for another day.


In addition to the new springs I also got a Tarozzi Fork Brace, which I admit was mainly gotten for the looks - even the box it came with looks cool:


A quick attack of the front fender with a hack-saw (originality freaks will claim I could have gotten an aftermarket front and left the original alone, but considering good ones are available on eBay for $70, they're not hard to find - or desirable apparently, and cheaper), and then bolt it all together. Looks pretty good, although the fender needs to be chopped more, plus I'm not sure I like how the brake lines come forward like that. Not much to do about it though - maybe rotate the fender forwards a bit?


Monday, June 29, 2009

850-T Interceptor

Here's my new (to me) Moto Guzzi 850-T. 1975. Pre-oil filter. Paid too much for it, but it seems in good shape. So far I've installed a new battery, new tires, changed the fluids, cleaned out the carbs (and put bigger mains in), checked the valves, put on a new exhaust and installed several relays to get the lights brighter and horn louder. Guzzi routed all the power so it was going through the various switches (which were old) and this was causing power drops. Same for the ignition - all the power ran through the ign. key cylinder. Stupid. Plus mine was flaky so sometimes it'd just cut out the power. Now I've got a new cylinder + it's just used to signal a relay to open the gates. Mo' power! I also put a new master cylinder on there - the original felt like there was a pound of grit in there, and the brakes felt like wood (possibly an effect of the prev. owner putting a second disk on it?). Oh, and I added a kill switch. Previous owner removed the kill switch? Huh.





Chinese Zodiac - Rabbit

Occupying the 4th position in the Chinese Zodiac, the Rabbit symbolizes such character traits as creativity, compassion, and sensitivity. Rabbits are friendly, outgoing and prefer the company of others. Rabbits believe strongly in friends and family and lacking such bonds can lead to emotional issues.

Classy, sophisticated, expressive, well-mannered and stylish, those born under the Sign of the Rabbit enjoy leaning about cultural issues and learning about people from other countries.

Wood Rabbits – Years 1915 and 1975

Wood Rabbits occupy their time doing for others; always feeling the need to make others content. This generosity is easy for others to take advantage of and sometimes Water Rabbits don’t even realize is happening.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A motorcycle is not an appliance.

"A motorcycle is not an appliance. No one hugs their refrigerator" -Big Sid from Big Sid's Vincati.

I'm currently reading this - Matthew Biberman sets out to help his dad, legendary Vincent tuner "Big Sid", build the special of their dreams: a Vincati - a Black Shadow engine in a Ducati frame, after Sid suffers a heart attack. Good stuff.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Commando

Originally a Hi-Rider (the horror) that had literally been pulled from a chicken coop, I'd swapped the tank, panels, bars, etc. from my Combat Commando. It had a bad valve guide so it smoked liked crazy. Occasionally I'd find bird seed wedged in places. Eventually I returned it to Hi-Rider trim and sold it.



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Origin

So about 10 or 12 years ago, I went down to Tumin's (Alcohol Abuse Center) to meet up with some lady friends. I believe I rode the Commando. After I walk in there's some drunk who yells something about guys riding vintage bikes or something. All in good fun. Or so I thought.
He makes a couple of more comments about leaky this or whatever, and it becomes apparent that he's not just joking around with a fellow rider. This is made all the clearer by his embarrassed girlfriend who is simultaneously apologizing to us, and trying to hustle him out of the bar.
Then the magical phrase rings out; he calls me a "pushrod motherfucker". We were dumbfounded - this guy was seriously pissed off about people riding motorbikes with pushrod engines. To further display his disdain he hops on his 80's POS and does a masculine wheelie down the street (it was actually a pretty good one). He sure showed me.
And a legend was born...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

And what is a pushrod mofo?

It's complicated. Not really.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pushrod