Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A 1977 Yamaha XS 650

I've been kicking around the idea for a few years now. Building a XS650 street tracker, basically because it cost thousands less than doing a Sporty street tracker. I am also very fond of bobbers, and I'm kinda stuck between wanting to build a bobber and wanting to do a street tracker.
Well I'm half way there, because I just bought the XS650 you see pictured here. It is a '77 as the title of the post implies, It was a second owner bike, the guy I bought it from purchased it from his cousin back in '83 and has owned it ever since.It only has 6,035 original miles on it, it is in pretty good shape for a thirty two year old bike, but it won't be winning any vintage bike shows. It has a few rough edges here and there. But it makes for a great starting point. If I go down the street tracker route, this is the look I would be looking to achieve.If I go the bobber way, this one makes the hair on my arms stand up. UPDATE: the bobber pictured above sold for $5,355.00. I will probably ride the bike like it is for a bit while I make my decision. The tracker offers racy good looks and the comfort of having rear shocks. The bobber looks bitchin' but the hard tail will have you pissing blood. Decisions, Decisions.

Till Next Time.................

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Vintage Motorcycle Days

Spent the day Saturday at Vintage Motorcycle Days at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Had a pretty good time, except the weather kept things a bit on the interesting side. I had been hearing what a great event this is, I needed to pick up some parts for a XS650 project I have in the pipeline, so I figured what better time than now to take in this gathering.

BSA was the featured marque this year, but the weather had the owners scrambling to protect their prize possession's. By the time we made it to the show bike area, there were but a few bike left on display for us to take in. There were a couple more pristine examples in the AMA's Historical tent, but not many. I was bummed about missing most of the vintage BSA's but what are you going to do. We still had a damn fine time in the GIGANTIC swap meet area, and watching a few brave souls flog their vintage hardware around the road course in so shitty wet conditions. Only a couple of riders threw their bikes down the road while we were checking out the action. Most were taking it pretty easy, but a couple of hero's were beating the daylights out of their bikes.

I didn't want to be saddled down with dragging my DSLR and all it's paraphernalia all over, so I had to settle with using Mrs. Gymi's Canon point and shoot. Which is not too bad in most situations, but really sucks a taking pictures of high speed action. So I have to send most of the racing pics to the recycle bin. I did manage to squeeze off a couple of half way decent racing shots. Here a few shots from the bikes in the swap meet area, concours and race track. A '40 BSA before the owner could get it out of the rain.
A super clean '72 H2 that had me pining for my old H2, he was asking 7,800.00 for it so I wasn't pining that much. A beautiful Ariel Square four before it ran for shelter. Another sweet BSA 650 that didn't find shelter in time. A sweet but wet Firebird.
A wild ass vintage Honda Chopper in the swap meet area. A super clean bobber with a Harley KR motor. A sweet Macthless 500. A nice example of a sporty cafe' bike. A pretty clean Suzuki Re5 rotary bike, I saw a cleaner example, but did't get a shot of it. A few brave souls, the guy flat tracking it was absolutly flying around the track on his Kz750. He would fly down the back strait and do a tank slapper braking for the corner every lap. Until he tossed it away on the last lap. He was exciting to watch to say the least. All in all we had a damn fine time and plan on returning next year on our bikes (if they are done by then, they should be, but you never know) Hope to see Ya'll there next year.

Till Next Time.........................

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Driving While Blind

The New York Times published an article on the dangers of using a cell phone while driving in their Sunday edition. This is info all of us that ride motorcycles on a regular basis already knew. Using a cell phone while driving is tantamount to blowing a .08 on the Breathalyzer. So texting would probably be like blowin' a 4.2, That the Federal government kept the statistics out of the public eye is no surprise. I would like to see the study on texting, to me this is far more dangerous that talking on a cell.

If I had my way, if you get caught texting while driving, you should receive a penalty at least as severe as drunk or reckless driving. You should have your ticket to drive pulled right on the spot. Lump a bit of jail time on top of that. I see all sorts of crazy things people do while driving on a daily basis, from eating cereal, not dry, but with milk and the whole shooting match, to texting while applying make up. To me these people do not give one shit about anybody they happen to be sharing the road with except for themselves.
I wonder how many of us being killed by these self absorbed assholes it will take before lawmakers pass some legislation to make these activities illegal. Here are a couple of excerpts from the original article.

“We’re looking at a problem that could be as bad as drunk driving, and the government has covered it up,” said Clarence Ditlow, director of the Center for Auto Safety.

That letter said that hands-free headsets did not eliminate the serious accident risk. The reason: a cellphone conversation itself, not just holding the phone, takes drivers’ focus off the road, studies showed.
“No public health and safety agency should allow its research to be suppressed for political reasons,” he said. Doing so “will cause deaths and injuries on the highways.”
State Senator Joe Simitian of California, who tried from 2001 to 2005 to pass a hands-free cellphone law over objections of the cellphone industry, said the unpublished research would have helped him convince his colleagues that cellphones cause serious — deadly — distraction.
“Years went by when lives could have been saved,” said Mr. Simitian, who in 2006 finally pushed through a hands-free law that took effect last year.

For the whole ball of wax on this story, check out the NYT article covering this subject.

I think they all could use a good beating, but that would land the beaters, not the beatee's in jail. Not exactly a solution for the problem. I guess we will have to just keep looking out for ourselves as usual.

Till Next Time...............

Monday, July 13, 2009

Richard's 1940 Ram

My buddy Richard Just about has his '40 ton and a half flatbed finished. He has a bit of interior work left to do. But he is about to set the football over the goal line. Here are a few pics of how close he is. It has the original flat six, completely rebuilt, and check out the steering wheel he hand made. The original was trashed so he made a new one out of six pieces of walnut. The truck is beautiful.

Till Next time...................

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Have a Safe and Happy Fourth

A couple of Vipers from the 127th ANG doing their part to help keep us all free.
The 127th recently transitioned to the warthog. Maybe not as versatile a platform as the F-16, it is a butal tank killer and air to ground attack plane. Always a favorite of mine.
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