Friday, December 31, 2010

Time To Daydream Again

In the late 70's early eighties a man named Harry Maillet built the closest thing you could get to a full blown factory suberbike. If you owned a KZ you could drop it off at his shop Performance Works, and after a wait, they would build you a fire breathing example of what a superbike should be. A couple of the bike rags of the day did a profile of his work and those bikes have stayed in my head ever since. I can’t even put into words how bad I wanted one of his works of art. Being a financially challenged young man at the time, the closest I could come to riding one of these beasts was in my dreams. I could afford the bike,not the hop up. Performance Works MkII

I don’t know what became of Harry and Performance Works, there is very little information to be found out there about the fate of either. But there has been a trend lately not unlike the resto- mods in the world of classic cars. Where a builder takes a vintage car and festoons it with modern running gear. So you wind up with the best of both worlds, vintage looks, with totally modern performance and reliability. There are quite a few builders out there now doing this with bikes. From the garage builder to the full service custom shop. Sanctuary Z1

Out of the pack (at least in my mind) comes a Japanese shop called Sanctuary RCN (Real Complete Machine) Not since the superbike specials of Harry Maillet has a builders bikes reached into my chest and ripped out my heart like Sanctuary’s bikes have. To those of you familiar with this blog and who know me, know that I’m a real sucker for naked bikes. And KZ’s GS’s and CB’s of the late seventies and early eighties hit all my pleasure centers. While Performance works utilized cutting edge technology of the time, Sanctuary takes the period bikes and while keeping the spirit of the original, lavishes them with the latest brakes, suspensions, and hand fabbed bits and pieces. Sanctuary MkII

These bikes, they have my tongue hanging out and beads of perspiration forming on my forehead like the originals did thirty years ago. While I’m in a better position financially, I have kids in college and retirement looming. So I find myself in the same place I was in way back in 1980. If I want one these beautiful sportsters, I’m going to have to build it myself. With my XS500 project not even close to half done, it looks like I will have to wait a while longer. I guess it’s back to daydreaming for me. Sanctuary CB1100

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

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Freezing Your FL's Off

Three decades of FL's brought together for Christmas by Bayou Boy, Slug and their Old Man. Slug's '86 Liberty Edition, the Old Man's '10 Street Glide and Bayou Boys recently acquired '99 Road King. The Old Man headed down to New Orleans from Marquette Mi for the winter and to spend some time riding with Bayou Boy. B.B. got a great deal on this Road King a couple of weeks ago after selling his Triumph Scrambler earlier this year. The two of them got a hankering (as people do around the holidays) to spend some time with family and old friends. So the loaded their bikes up in the Fun Mover and drove the twelve hundred miles strait through.

They got together for Christmas and decided to do a bit of cold weather cruzin' today. That led us to a little photo op with the three of them and the bikes using a small gallery called 323east as a backdrop. It's good to see the boys together again and have a few laughs. The weather isn't exactly rider friendly in these parts right now with temps in the twenties and twenty to thirty mile winds. But as long as you keep you union suit buttoned up and stay away a from the side streets one is able to manage. They won't be able to get together again until spring, so it's nice to be able to steal a ride and a laugh or two no matter how cold it gets. Plus spending time with family and friends at Christmas, it just doesn't get any better than that

Have a safe trip back down to the Bayou Boys.

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

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Here's wishing one and all a Very Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

In Your Shed

Richard of Going Fast and Getting Nowhere fame suggested a magazine to me a couple of months ago called Back Street Heros. It features home builders of incredible custom bikes of every ilk. Sounded like a read I would enjoy, so I shot down to my local Barnes and Noble to pick up a copy. While I was there another magazine from the same publisher MCN caught my attention. The subject matter of this publication deals with sports bikes from the ‘70's ‘80's and ‘90's. I grew up utilizing this kind of tackle and currently have two examples occupying space in my garage so I picked up a copy of Practical Sportsbikes as well.
While BSH is a fine publication with some damn good content, I really took a shine to Practical Sportsbikes It is chock full of tech and how to articles on everything from tire pressures to adjusting your valves. Each issue features a shootout of bikes that would have went head to head back in the day. They also profile garage restoration projects and the collections of the real fanatics.
That brings us to In Your Shed. This section of the mag features readers current projects, recent finds and everyday rides. That’s where I come in. After picking up my first issue, the publications second offering, I submitted my FJ for their approval. I really didn’t think much about it after that seeing I have submitted bits to a couple of other mags in the past with nothing to come of it. Since I’ve started reading Practical Sportsbikes, I can’t wait for the next issue to arrive. It is a quarterly publication so it seems like an eon before it arrives. I received the November to January copy Friday and was pleasantly surprised to see my FJ among the featured bikes in this issues In Your Shed section. It’s just a picture and small bit on the bike, but is kinda nice to see your bike in a magazine. I guess the wieners are going to have to pull extra guard duty now that one of my priceless Yams is in an international bike mag.

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

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wiener Dog Security

People are always asking me, Gymi how do you keep that priceless collection of vintage Yamahas safe from those who seek to remove them from your possession? Do you employ a crack team of security professionals? Do you have a top flight state of the art security system? Do you sit up around the clock seven days a week, three hundred sixty five days a year armed with heavy artillery? Do you have a flight of F-22 Raptors flying combat air patrol over you garage? My answer always is sort of.

Truth be told I utilize a impenetrable security system that consist of two wiener dogs, yes my friends, two wiener dogs. Skeeter and Sammy (PaPa) have fifteen years of front line security experience between them. Not even the tiniest interloper can escape the keen detection senses of these two. No Pit Bulls, no Rottweilers, Dobermans or German Shepards for me, only Wiener Dogs will do.

They are low to the ground so they posses both aerodynamics and stealth as qualities that they utilize in the field. Through keen sense of sight, no movement escapes detection. They can hear a tick clinging to a blade of grass at two hundred yards. They can accelerate from standing to four or five m.p.h. in around twenty seconds and can reach a terminal velocity of seven in about a minute. Which means the can cross the expanse of my compound in a quarter of an hour.
The wieners are always fun to have around and come with the added bonus of keeping my possessions in my stead. They are loyal to a fault and have a will of iron. I still have all three of my Yamahas, Plus I haven't seen a Badger around these parts for quite some time.Badger

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

Thursday, November 11, 2010


For all that our vets have done and continue to do to keep us free, Thanks.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Kenny Roberts Sr. Helmet

I have always wanted a Kenny Roberts replica helmet. I just love the design, simple, but gets the point across. AGV does not make them any more and I can't find one anywhere. So I did the next best thing, I whipped one up myself. Had a plain black helmet lying around collecting dust. Had myself a moment of nostalgia, next thing you know, my favorite helmet design is now protecting my skull. I knew I took up painting for some reason or other.

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

Monday, October 25, 2010


My Nephew picked up a Casio High-Speed Exilim EX-FC100 the other day. We thought what better way to break it in than take it skeet shooting with us. The quality on 1000fps leaves something to be desired, but is acceptable @420 and 360. I guess we can't expect the same quality as they get on Mythbusters, this camera cost about ten thousand less than ones they use. It was fun none the less and made a somewhat interesting video. We put down two cases of birds and Dan pulled this footage from the days festivities. I hammered the target in my turn at the plate, but the bird is pretty far from the camera when it turns to dust and is hard to see. This was Gymi Jr's first time wielding a shotgun. It took him awhile to get his sea legs, but he finally settled down and started breaking targets. Although my Nephew, Son and Brother are cheaters and started all their passes with their guns in the shooting position. I seemed to be the only shooter who started with my gun in the rest position. Not that it mattered, I still put a womping on the younguns. I guess there is no substitute for experience.I love shooting and don't get to do it nearly enough. Besides, I can't just sit around and let Red and Unk have all the fun

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

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Some Moped and Fixed Gear Action

Although I missed the mountain and road bikes as well as the scooter races, I did get to see the fixed gear,pit bike and moped races. All the proceeds from this event went towards the Detroit parks and rec department and to the maintenance of the Velodrome. I have to say again, this event was a blast, once word gets out it will only get better. Here are a few shots I managed to snap off.

There was one female competitor, although she was more about the spirit of the event and not the actual competition. For a video of the whole event compressed into seven and a half minutes click here.

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

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thunderdrome Baby

J.J. and I made our way over to the Thunderdrome races today. There was a pretty fair turnout, some came from as far as North Dakota and North Carolina. Although we did not arrive until 1:30 the racing began around eleven. We witnessed a fair amount of action. The racing was good, they even had LeMans style starts.

I shot these high quality videos of the pit bike races, complete with a climatic tank slapper at the end. I have to tell you, the boys did a great job with this event. It was a hoot, a good time was had by all. Unfortunately, I had to cut out just a bit early and missed the moped main (had to take Mrs. Gymi out to dinner for our anniversary). J.J. texted me that I missed the "best racing ever, ever and ever" I had a feeling that would turn out to be the case. At least I saved myself the hospital stay and memory loss from the resulting frying pan to the forehead for missing our anniversary date.

The camera cut out at the pivotal moment and missed the Yamaha throwing it's rider to the ground. The result of a little to much rear brake as I see it. Anyway, missing the end of the crash will surely result in SPEED not offering me a position as camera man for the 2011 MotoGP season and a whirlwind tour of Europe and Asia, such is life. More to come.

Till Next Tme.........

Friday, October 15, 2010

Horse Trading

The Slug got started eighteen months ago with a 1200 Sportster he picked up for four grand. He immediately got to the business of customizing it. He turned it into the Bratstyle Bobber pictured here.
He sold the Sporty soon after it was completed for a tidy profit of fifteen hundred. A FLH Shovel soon caught his eye, but turned out be a bit less than it appeared to be. It wasn't long before He spotted a nice '87 Heritage Classic on craigslist up in Houghton Lake for five large. He contacted the seller and soon found himself making the one hundred ninety mile trip to check the bike out. What he found at the end of the trip was a very clean one owner bike with twenty three thousand original miles on the clock. He promptly paid the man and with a wave of his magic wand he turned his Sportster into a Softtail Heritage.
He was happy with this bike until recently when his old man picked up an '10 Street Glide. After spending a little time with that bike he was bitten hard by the FLH bug. That bug bites hard and he soon found himself dreaming about batwing fairings and hard bags. Of course he put the Heritage on the market, but before he got a call, he found a '86 Harley Davidson Classic Liberty Edition. it's a low production bike of only eight hundred ninety nine units. He fell head over heals for this bike. I could see why, with its silver and black paint scheme it's one of the nicest looking baggers the MoCo has ever produced.
We rode out to the owners place last Saturday and as it turns out, he was looking for a Heritage. The bike was every thing he made it out to be. They made a trade plus some cash and next thing you know, the Heritage was suddenly transformed into a sweet Bagger.
He has had the bike for a week now and I think he has even been sleeping with it. So kids, that's how you turn a Sportster into a Electra Glide Classic in a year and a half. Now if I could only figure out how to magically transform my FJ1100 into a Concours 14 or a FJR1300.

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

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Thunderdrome!

Rediscovered by accident by a group of renegade landscapers the Dorais Velodrome is being brought back to life by a group of enthusiastic volunteers. Years of neglect had taken it's toll, but after much hard work, the velodrome will be hosting it's first race in about twenty two years. On Saturday October 16th the first wheels will be turned in anger as competitors on mopeds,scooters,road bikes fixed gear bikes and mountain bikes will be going elbow to elbow bringing back the former glory of a long forgotten Detroit landmark. Looks like a great time, I'm going to have to check this place out.

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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The great ones seem to leave us too soon.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

IT'S ALIVE!!!!!!

I thought this dirty old bike would fight back tooth and nail when we tried to bring her to life. Once J.J. figured the wiring out she came to life like she had only been parked a three or four days, not three or four years. I really can't believe how nice the bike runs too. For a bike with such a bad reputation and that had been neglected like this one had, it's hard to believe that she runs at all. Well I guess this is where all the fun starts. Now I can get to the business of taking her down to her bloomers and addressing all the rust and corrosion. Hey Red, here is the video you requested. Used a little slight of hand, it really didn't start after sitting all that time with one kick. We got her up and running and all warmed up before putting the boot to her. But when J.J. did, she did start with one kick.

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

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Episode 10 San Diego

This week Jason and the boys are in San Diego and will be stopping by the USS Recruit/Nimitz Bridge, Grand Horton Hotel, Gas Lamp District, Shelter Island, Harbour Island, Tuna Harbor, Ocean Beach Pier. Only on SPEED, check your local listings for air times.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pretty Freakin' Nice

Check out what Jason of Vintage Customs did with his XS500. If you get a chance, check out his bikes. That boy got the talent.

This bike is currently for sale on ebay.

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

Saturday, September 18, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different

I not only love motorcycles, I also am very fond of bicycles. While watching a program on PBS called Under The Radar Michigan, they profiled a unique furniture maker named Andy Gregg. Andy had been a bicycle mechanic for quite some time when he came up with the idea to make furniture out of used up bikes. Well, he not only had a damn good idea, he turned out to be one hell of an artist as well. His furniture creations are nothing short of art works. His shop is located in Marquette Michigan, one of the best cities in Michigan (if you ever get the chance, you'll love it there). Andy's shop is a great reason to plan a trip there.
If you can't find an opening in your Filofax to visit Andy's store, the are a couple of ways to buy his creations. First you can stop by his website Bike Furniture Design. Call them at (906) 361-2483, drop them a line at Bike Furniture Design P.O. Box 11 Marquette, MI 49855. Send them a email at Any way you slice it, it is worth checking out his unique furniture.

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

Thursday, September 16, 2010

This weeks Stealth Rider focuses on New Orleans. The boys visit Lower 9th Ward, Mardis Gras World, Lafayette Cemetery, Bourbon Street, Canal Street. Check your local listings for air times in your neck of the woods.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Flying Pilgrims R/C Club

My Nephew belongs to a giant scale R/C club called the Flying Pilgrims. They have a yearly two day airshow and usually have a pretty good turnout. This years shows were hampered a bit by the weather. Yesterday, was pretty much a rain out, today the wind was blowing 20-30mph so quite a few of the pilots were understandably gun shy. I attended last year and there was quite a bit of action including someone destroying his B-17. The weather seemed to limit the field of participating fliers, I really missed the helicopters, however a hawk showed up and seemed interested in the warbirds that were flying with him. Despite the weather I did get a couple of shots of few planes whose pilots were brave enough to send them up. Due to their size and speed, these planes make for a difficult subject. I used my 300mm lens and focused manually. Here are a couple of shots from the show.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Episode 8 Preview

This week the boys are in Houston and are hangng it out at the Enron Building, Sabine Street Bridge, George R Brown Convention Center, Jones Plaza. You a can catch the action tonight at 8:00pm Eastern on SPEED.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Man it's Been Hot

I don’t need to tell y’all it has been like a lake of fire out there this summer. This hot and humid weather pattern has prompted me to do something I thought I would never do. I have forsaken my traditional leather jacket for a textile hide. Now as I have stated before, I’m not a all the gear all the time kind if rider. But I do like to have some protection in the way of jacket, gloves and helmet. I’m also kind of a traditionalist and really like my old worn leather better than any other piece of gear I own.
This summer changed all that. It has just been way too hot to wear my leather on a regular basis. I guess I could have, but I would have been sopping wet everywhere I went and would have went through a fifty five gallon drum of Old Spice grooming products. With the fear of alienating every one I came within a nose shot from, I knew action needed to be taken. So I picked myself up a Joe Rocket Phoenix 5.0 textile jacket in black. I sat by the door wringing my hands in eager anticipation of the UPS truck to come to a halt in front of my house. I sprinted to meet my surprised delivery man and snatched the package out of his grip like a line backer stripping the ball out of the hands of the running back he just leveled. I ripped the package open like a five year old at Christmas. What I found inside was a well built light weight jacket with a removable liner for those cold mornings and armor in all the right places.Rocket
I quickly slipped it on and headed for the garage. I found that the mesh of the jacket let the air pass through like a summer breeze through a open window. With it’s light weight you barely know you are wearing it. The CE approved shoulder and elbow armor along with the dual density back pad gives you confidence that you're protected in the event you find yourself sliding down the road.There also is reflective piping across the front and back and down both sleeves so you don’t disappear into the night. Another neat feature is the sunglass pocket built into the left front just inside the zipper. It is fleece lined so it won’t scratch your favorite pair of shades. Rocket1
So far I am happy with the Phoenix 5.0. It’s comfortable and light, offers the protection I was looking for and won’t empty your bank account. I ordered mine from Riders Discount for $157.49 not a bad price and also a Michigan based supplier. All in all I am pretty damn happy with this jacket and wear it all the time. I’m not going to completely kick my old leather to the curb. I will still wear it when the cooler temps of fall and spring arrive. I still love that old jacket, while I may stray from it when the when the summer temps threaten to cook me like a pig on a spit. It will still have a place among the gear I utilize in my day to day riding. I just will be spending a bit more time with my new found riding partner.

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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stealth Rider

Speed has a new motorcycle stunting program called Stealth Rider. It has been on for a few weeks now, for those of you whom have not seen it here is a little sample. Jason Britton along with Tony Carbajal and Eric Hoenshell travel the country stunting at famous landmarks. They even wind up showing their stuff here in Detroit. So if you haven't had the chance yet check out the clip, and head on over to SPEED to check out the show.

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

Thursday, August 19, 2010

JBM Industries

If you have 38, 36, 34mm Mikunis on your bike and your slide diaphragms have seen better days you need to check out JBM Industries and pick yourself a new pair. I have shopped around and for the money you cannot beat what they are offering @ JBM. I needed a set for my 1978 XS500 and after doing a bit of research I stumbled upon JBM site.
You can pick up the complete slide and diaphragm set at MikesXS for $69.00 a piece. Speed and sport carry the assembly for $97.00 a piece or this guy sells them on ebay for $49.00 a pair.
After checking out the other guys, I came to the conclusion JBM's products are by far the best option for replacing your worn out diaphragms. They "started in 1978 making reproduction rubber and machined parts for vintage automotive hydraulic systems.
JBM is unique in that we offer both design, development, and manufacturing of many hard to find or obsolete mechanical or rubber parts.
Being small offers us flexibility and the ability to offer attention to detail. We solve problems here. JBM strives to make better quality parts. We are not always cheaper, but in many cases we are both cheaper and better than other manufacturers. We design and build our own tooling, or can run your tooling in our shop".
They also make carb holders for the same size carbs I mentioned in the beginning of the post. The installation of the diaphragms could not be simpler, and they have detailed instructions on their site.They also make diaphragms for KZ400's and 440's with Keihin CV's. Or if you need some for the Hitachi HS32's on your Maxim or Seca, Jbm is your one stop shop.If you can't tell by now, I am very satisfied with the product they offer and think you should run over there and get yourself a set whether you need them or not. They do make nice knick knacks and would look nice sitting on a shelf next to all your softball trophies.

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