Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Extended Riding Season Cut Short

We have been enjoying an unusually mild fall here in Michigan that has extended the riding season deep into December. While I normally ride in the winter as long as the weather allows, it has been tough to get any winter riding in the last two years. Too many snow storms and freezing and thawing has made riding difficult the last two winters. I do not like riding after salt and chloride have been used to clear the roads, way too corrosive. Way too much of those two compounds spread around for my liking the last two years, does awful things to your bike.
The weather has nothing to do with my premature exit from winter riding this year. My doctor says I can still ride, just not my bike, but the crazy contraption pictured above. It's called a rollabout, and you use it to get around when you have an injury that you have to keep weight off of. After the wife brought it home and I got a look it, I won't be riding it either. Not unless I can mount a motor on it, it is a rental, so there will be none of that. It's heading back to the hospital supply. The photo pictured here is of my left foot. You see, my dumb ass went out and fractured my fifth metatarsal. I rolled my left foot as I walked out of a wet environment onto a painted porch with a fresh dusting of snow on it. I knew it wasn't good when I looked down and my foot was at a ninety degree angle to my leg and heard a sound like a twig snapping. Now all I have to look forward to is a six week vacation from work and a lot of sitting on my ass.
There is a silver lining in this black cloud though. I will have a lot of time to spend learning to play the blues. I have played the guitar for some years now and am basically a rhythm player. I have always wanted to learn scales and modes, this injury presents the perfect opportunity to head down that road. While I didn't get my VF1000R for Christmas, I did get a new Fender Telecoustic. I have to say, the timing of that gift could not have been better. It is a great addition to my Standard and Thinline Telecasters. So it looks like the only thing I'll be riding for a while is the couch, at least I have something to keep me busy.

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

Saturday, December 24, 2011

How About A Duc For The Holidays

Even if it doesn't look like my Christmas wish isn't going to come true this year, at least I get to see a good friend get his stocking stuffed. My buddy Felix, A.K.A. Bayou Boy just picked himself up a '05 Ducati 999. He already owns a Road King and was considering giving it up in favor of the Duc. He called me to get my thoughts. I advised him while the Ducati is certainly a work of art, riding it is going to be a bit painful. Designed as a no holds barred track weapon, rider comfort is sacrificed for all out performance. I told him he may find this bike too uncomfortable after his Road King and Triumph Scrambler. So he kept the Road King and added the 999 to his stable. He decided this bike was just to sexy and too much of a bargain to pass up. So he now has the best of both worlds, a bike he can ride coast to coast in total comfort and a finely honed sporting tool at his beck and call. The styling of this bike was somewhat controversial, following the 916/998, which is considered by many to be the most striking Ducati design. Myself, I prefer the 999 looks over the 916/998. I would have a hard time keeping this bike out of my house. I would enjoy looking at it as much as riding it, I just love it's lines. For Felix, this bike is his first dip into the sport bike pool. I believe he is going to find this bike to be completely alien to ride at first. Not that he hasn't rode bikes like this, he hasn't lived with one yet. My guess, he will find it's combination of light weight, handling and power to be overwhelmingly addictive. He won't be alone when he ventures out, he has quite a few riding buddies who are Ducati owners. I am sure they will take him to the best roads they know to make his riding experience with his new mount a good one. Being that riding a sport bike will be a totally new riding experience to him after riding heavy metal all these years he told me he will send me a couple post relaying his thoughts on the bike. He is in for a totally new riding experience, and to me, that's a good thing. He chose to skip the frying pan and jump strait into the fire on this one. Will he like the heat of that fire, only time with the bike will tell. I think once he gets used to the riding position and different riding dynamics he will be hooked for good. Especially when he is presented with the right riding environment, maybe even a couple track days. I hope you love your 999 Felix, and I have to admit, I am jealous as hell.

Till Next time.......

Thursday, December 15, 2011

All I Want For Christmas is........

A VF1000R. With ten days left till Christmas, it looks like my wish will not be fulfilled this year. That is unless someone out there has grown tired of their 1000R and is willing to donate it to me. I'm not holding my breath though. The 1000R was not most sharply honed back road weapon of it's time. It is heavy,even in it's heyday, but still handled well at speed, although it's weight becomes more apparent at low speeds. It also was hampered by a stiff price tag for it's day. It was built in the guise of "FWS" HRC works bikes that Freddie Spencer, Mike Baldwin and Joey Dunlop were using to tear up the competition.
That bike was a beast, the road going version didn't quite live up to it's legend. It did have a bit of grunt though, pumping out around 122 hp. Also sports gear driven cams. The specs are as follows,
Engine...............................DOHC 4stroke 16 valve v4
Bore & stroke.................77 x 53.6 mm
Displacement...............998 cubic centimetres Compression Ratio........10.5 : 1
Carburetors.................4 x 36 mm cv type
Max Horsepower...........122 ps/10500 rpm
Max torque..................9.4 kg-m/8000 rpm
Ignition......................electronic advance
Transmission...............5 speed
Final Drive..................O ring lubrication sealed chain
Wheelbase..................1505 mm
Seat Height.................810 mm
Ground Clearance.......130 mm
Fuel Capacity.............25 L including 4.5 reserve Wheels......................NS-type aluminium Com Star
Tires.........................120/80 v16-v250,140/80 vr17-v25
Front suspension.......41mm 3way adj. rebound damping 155 mm travel
Rear suspension.........Pro-link 3way remote adj. rebound 123mm travel
Front Brakes..............duel floating disks with duel piston calipers
Rear Brakes...............ventilated discs with opposed piston calipers
Dry Weight................238 kg
I have been using craigspal to track down a suitable unit for the last few months. I can search All of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio at the same time with this program. Or the whole country if I care to. A couple have popped up on my radar, but were not the best examples. For a low production bike, they seem to pop up for sale round these parts more than one would expect. I can't really tell you why, but I have always lusted after this bike. It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand at attention, and gives me goose bumps I could remove ten coats of paint with.

Time is running out fast for Santa to slip one of these beauties under my tree. But I will continue my search until the right example shows up in my gun sight. Until then, I will be have to be content to feed my midlife hunger with the FJ.

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

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Talk About Talent,

I have always been amazed at the level of skill possessed by trials riders. These boys make it look like child's play.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Coming Soon to a City Near You

The 2011-2012 Progressive International Motorcycle Shows 12-city tour schedule is as follows:

November 18-20, 2011 San Mateo County Event Center San Mateo, CA
December 2-4, 2011 Dallas Convention Center Dallas, TX
December 9-11, 2011 Long Beach Convention Center Long Beach, CA
December 16-18, 2011 Washington State Convention Center Seattle, WA
January 6-8, 2012 Suburban Collection Showplace Novi, MI
January 13-15, 2012 Washington Convention Center Washington D.C.
January 20-22, 2012 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center New York, NY
January 27-29, 2012 I-X Center Cleveland, OH
February 3-5, 2012 Minneapolis Convention Center Minneapolis, MN
February 10-12, 2012 Donald E. Stephens Convention Center Chicago, IL
February 24-26, 2012 Charlotte Convention Center Charlotte, NC
March 14-17, 2012 Ocean Center Daytona Beach, FL

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Ed is just one of those people that can transfer the images in his mind into tangible objects. Or fix just about anything he lays his hands on. About six or seven years ago, he built his first guitar, in the classic Martin style dreadnought. That guitar turned out incredible. I have a friend that is a professional Blue Grass musician, when he played this guitar, he said he couldn't believe it. Ed's guitar had the feel and sound of his classic Martin's and he has a couple valued in the twenty to thirty thousand dollar range. High praise indeed, but Ed, always modest, was like, I did nothing special, anyone can do it. This was not a kit guitar, he built it from scratch. Enter Ed's first attempt at a arch top guitar. He has always admired the style and craftsmanship of the D'Angelico New Yorker. So it was a New Yorker or nothing for Ed. The guitar pictured above is an Original 1947 New Yorker. Originals are highly prized and worth a fortune. John D'Angelico hand made 1164 guitars in four different designs New Yorker, Excel, Style A and Style B before he passed away in 1964. The New Yorker is copied by several guitar makers and some of the high end builders get large sums of money for their versions.
Money was the last thing on Ed's mind when he decided to take on the challenge of building an arch top. He had more selfless ambitions in mind, but we will get to that later. He started this project, again, not from a kit but from a storm damaged maple tree. He did buy the sitka spruce as a solid piece from Alaska, and hand formed it for the top of the guitar. As any luthier will tell you, this is no simple task. It has to be shaped to not only the right form, but the right thickness or you will not be able to get the proper vibration to produce the sweet tone you are striving to achieve. He took the best pieces of the maple and quarter sawn it and then book matched and carved the back. He also made veneer from the same cuts of wood to make the sides. And made the neck from a solid piece. He used ebony for the fretboard and hand carved all the inlays and abalone he filled them with no dremel tool for Ed.Sorry about the quality of the pictures, I only had my cell phone on me at the time. I will post better pics later as these don't do the instrument justice. It took him about two years to build this beauty and the results are stunning. I had a chance to play it yesterday and have to say, it plays as smooth as butter, and sounds as good as any hollow body arch top I have ever played. I'm not in the same league as our buddy Richard, hell, I'm not even in the same sport when it comes to the quality of my playing ability. But I can play fairly well and have been playing for more years than I care to remember. I am truly impressed by the quality and sound of both guitars Ed has made. Oh yeah, I almost forgot I got so caught up in hyping Ed's latest creation. The reason Ed was compelled to build this guitar in the first place, He built it for his son Jeremiah's eighteenth birthday. Happy Birthday Jeremiah, here is one present you will never forget.

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

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Eldorado Barn Find

Well not actually a barn, more like a garage. My buddy Todd got a line on a '72 Moto Guzzi Eldorado 850 back in July. This is a true survivor bike, it had not been modified in any way since new. Todd was friends with the owner, who bought the bike new way back in'72.He rode the bike for a few years, and as with a lot of people, parked it after a small accident. That was way back in 1986, and it has stood silent in a corner of his garage ever since. Todd's friend passed away this spring. His widow, not knowing what to do with the bike turned to Todd. They weighed several options, and decided the best course of action would be to sell the bike to Todd for a price they both felt comfortable with.
I went with him to check out the bike, and could tell, under all that dust and cob webs there lurked one fine example of a vintage Guzzi. The bike showing only 13,616 original miles bristled with promise. We loaded her up and headed for the hills.

This is exactly how we found the bike and where it had rested for the last quarter century. Todd's friend always intended to get his old Eldorado back on the road. But as is with a lot of things in life, time passed him by before he could get her road worthy again. Todd would see that she was brought back to her former glory. He immediately set about diagnosing the problems and setting them strait.
As with anything that had sat in one place for so long, there was a laundry list of items that needed either changing or replaced. First on that long list would be all the fluids and tires. The coil was out to lunch, along with the cables and a few of the seals. The Dell'Orto carbs were in need of a thorough cleaning and tuning. As I have absolutely no experience with Dell'Ortos or flat slides, Todd turned to a professional to sort them out. The pro even had a bit of trouble with them, but after a while she was running like a champ.
With everything in it's right order, Todd found himself in a quandary. He really liked the bike, but was not sure if he wanted to keep it. He had been out of the riding game for quite some time and as much as he wanted to keep the Eldorado, he decided to sell her instead. So with mixed emotions, he placed an ad on both eBay and craigslist. A bidder soon won the bike on eBay, and the bike will be picked up Monday by a vehicle transport company. The new owner has already sold it to a collector in Japan. Too bad, it would have been nice to keep such a unmolested example of a Vintage Guzzi here in the states where it had spent it's entire existence. I'm sure it's new owner will lavish all the care and attention on her that she deserves. Even though it's not my bike, I'm sad to see it go.

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It is Beautiful

I wish I had the extra cash to spend on a 1000 Monster to just sit around and look at. I do find motorcycles to be objects of beauty, and yes I do spend time just looking at my bikes from different angles. but what I really like about motorcycles besides working on them, is riding them. So when a desirable bike such as a 2006 model Ducati S2R1000 come up for sale with only 684 miles on it, I find it hard to wrap my head around it.

2006 Ducati S2R1000 600 Miles

This is the ad copy "Mint condition 2006 Ducati S2R1000. Awesome bike only has 600 miles! Not a scratch or a flaw. No time to ride hate to sell:("

I would hate to sell such a nice bike too. But better he sell it to someone who will appreciate her for the fine instrument she is and not only drink in her sensual good looks. But ride her like she deserves to be ridden. To me, it's a crime to leave such a Thoroughbred tied to the hitching post.

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

Friday, September 23, 2011

For Shame

A while back I wrote a post I titled "More Motorcycle Porn". Little did I know at the time it would cause a rush of surfers looking for "Motorcycle Porn" to start stopping by in hopes of finding some sort of filthy activity involving motorcycles having sex of some sort or other. Lord knows, I do love naked bikes. Far be it from me to judge others on the type of entertainment they seek to er, um, entertain themselves. Well, not wanting to completely disappoint those who have stopped by hoping to find some form illicit content I offer up the folllowing photo.
While it may not fulfill the void you were looking to fill, I hope it goes a little way in making your stop at my crappy little blog less of a complete waste of your time.

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

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

This Sunday, September 11th brings to a close the three race Thunderdrome series. The racing should be good as always and a good time will be had by all. Hope to see Y'all there.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Man I Miss This Shit

Can't tell most of the cars apart nowadays, 'cept the Pro Stock class. I miss the old Detroit Dragway. Property values turned into a industrial Complex. Those were the days.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Dream Cruise

The month leading up to the cruise is a pretty good time. Lots of nice rides, good people and tales told. The Dream Cruise it's self, not so much, unless you really like being in traffic jams.

Monday, August 8, 2011


For those of you out there that love speedway, you have to check out Streetracker. Raffaele takes some fantastic shots. I sniped the photo above to give you a taste.

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

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The FJ May Be In Trouble

A pair of sexy new ladies have caught my eye. Hmmmmmmm.


They definitely have me rubbing my chin and tapping my toe.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Some Folks Call It Hell, I Call It Hades

It was hot yesterday at Vintage Motorcycle Days. It wasn't just hot, it was BLISTERING HOT! Instead of a racetrack located in Lexington Ohio, I believe the event, through a tear in the space time continuum, was some how taking place in Central Angola. Let's just say the heat and humidity was just a tad uncomfortable. There was so much chaffing going on, half of those in attendance, appeared as if they were on their way to a gunfight.

At this years event, the swap meet was as crowded as ever, and there was no lack of vendors. J.J. made out like a bandit, scoring several hundred dollars worth of bits and pieces for his various Harley's. But on the bike side of things, there just didn't seem to be as many "interesting" bikes as in years past. You can usually find a ton of clean bikes in the swap area, but there were few to be found. Even in the Concourse section, there seemed to be less. There was still plenty to do, bikes to check out and parts to find though. Here are a few that caught my eye.

A very trick H2

A KH350 I believe, If anyone knows for sure, straiten me out.

A very nice Sporty Tracker

As well as a sweet XS650 Tracker

Toss in a GS1000S Wes Cooley Replica

A CBX in Super Bike Trim

A very trick CBX, the detail put into this bike is incredible.

it looked factory.

A well thought out Z1 pro streeter.

A tatty ELR, but a true ELR none the less.

One of the racers sorting his shift linkage in the pits on his

very tidy SR.

A FLH with a wild ass Vetter fairing that looks to be an

AMF production piece, neither J.J. or I had ever seen one

of these. Any one with info on this fairing, please drop me a line.

Finally, a nice retro job on a Honda 50.

more to come.

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

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