Monday, October 31, 2011

The best $25 I ever spent.......

(except for that one EPIC table-dance for a buddies bachelor party...that girl was something else!)

A while back I was at the shop doing what I do (a little work, a little fucking off etc) and the kat next door wandered over and said he had an old Yamaha 650 sitting in his backyard, would I be interested? 
Now, I've had lots of people offer me carcasses for cheap but Rex was a decent guy and told me $25 and it was mine, he'd even drag it to my shop the next day. I said sure, what the hell....$25 is not much to gamble on pure potential. I forgot to ask WHICH Yamaha 650 he had but I figured it didn't matter much since I'd likely gut it and sell off the bits for beer money.

Well whadayaknow!? No hair on this deal at all:
There's some potential here.....

So here's what showed up the next day with a new chain in a box along with a few little bits and baubs. One complete and largely unmolested 1982 XS650, with a good title no less. He said it hasn't been run since 2005 or so when he parked it after being scared to death by some crank in a cage. Been there, I just didn't lose my compulsion for the damned things.

Hadn't been run in over 5 years huh? Well...what the heck, not like I'm losing anything.....a quick check of the oil showed what looks and smells like nice fresh dino squeezin's, open the tank and the gas doesn't smell...'that bad'....the carbs are pretty gummed up but a little lube in the throttle cable and a bit of working and at least the butterflies are moving, no telling what the slides are doing til I check.
Again...hmmm.....not bound up at all. Weird. The plugs look like poo so I gave'm a quick scrub too.
Throwing caution (and any sense of my own welfare) out the window, I squirted some ether into the carb throats, hooked up some jumper cables to the shop van and started cranking.


After 15 seconds or so it actually fired up. Now, by fired up I mean it was sorta running, rough to say the least and the foul stench that came from the exhaust told a sad tale of rotten gas and despair. runs. It's clear that the exhaust hasn't fared well in the backyard...this is Oregon after all. The crossover tube that runs between the left and right pipes is so rotted that the pressure from running blew it right out. As well I believe some little furry critter made it's home in one pipe because something I'm fairly certain was alive at one point kinda launched out!

Not bad for $25.......

Here's a factory "security chain" and the plastic housing it lived in. Never been opened from the looks of it, nor had the chain been handled. It's keyed to the ignition key.
This front end will be transplanted into the Sakura bike after some heavy cleaning and equally heavy modifications. It's already laced with a 21" rim, but I doubt these forks were ever 'set-up' beyond the final assembly at the shop that originally sold it. The oil in them is thin thin thin...and yucky stinky, not nice. No worries, there are plans afoot to handle these and other issues.'ll have to wait for that til later.....
Nice and clean under the headlight ears/tube shrouds, nice. I was a little worried that maybe the rust monster had visited whilst she stood in wait. Guess the fucker missed this one...score one for the home team!
...and after and hour all the 'extra shit' comes off to reveal a clean frame and engine, a wee bit of surface rust under the battery box but no damage to speak of.
All in all a good score I think, more to come on this one later....probably much later.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ringo's Gorgeous Gulf 550 'Le Mans'

I've been wracking my beer-soaked noodle trying to write a couple feature articles, but the truth is I suck at writing on demand. I have moments of inspiration which, if I'm lucky and can get'm down in print...aren't too bad. However just like H.S. English class, a writing project just plain kicks my ass. 

So....while I plan to do several features they'll likely take the form of a photo spread with a few words here and there. Eventually I'd love to find a capable wordsmith willing to do some of this kinda stuff for bad no pay, faint praise, homemade booze and a strong commitment NOT to screw his or her sister. Unless nobody is around to object and she asks nicely. Or gives me booze. Or a smile. HA!

With that in mind, if you're looking to officially call yourself a 'Staff Writer' for this structureless(for now) disaster, hit me up at the email address up top and we'll chat. 

No time like the present however, so here's a bike I REALLY dig. Another buddy of mine Ringo whipped this tasty scoot up, made his own bodywork and everything! Plus he sent pics of his incredibly hot lady in her skimpies astride the could I pass up that kind of incentive? Can't...'nuf said......

Le Mans 550
For all the technical dirt go here: Ringo's Build Thread

550ccs of blisteringly hot motorcycle

There are a few things every bike feature needs, moodily lit photos would be one, the other would be..........
...the other would be an equally smokin' hot woman to pose with it!
"Catch me if you can?"
Love the tail on the bike. The BIKE'S TAIL you dirtballs! No.....really.........

This lovely young thing is Ringo's girl Elaine and she's currently booking modeling gigs, so if you're anywhere near Montana or have the dosh to book her plane ticket(..and probably Ringo's too) get ahold of him at DTT and maybe she'll grace your loving creation!

Lack of updates: not much free time lately.....

Sorry it's been a bit quiet here, I've had my hands full keeping the shop moving forward and wrangling a cranky old man. 'Nuf complaining, here's some random fun....
Here's an adjustable fork brace for my pal Swapmeet Louie's latest bike. Lou's off his fookin' nut; he's building a truly unique XV920 TURBO!!!!!!! cafe/track inspired death machine. I love this guy! Yup, a Turbocharged Virago, I'll wait till he's a wee bit farther along but I will sneak you a quick peek.

See....this is why Swaps is cool. Anyone can drop a few grand and slap together a mostly acceptable UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle) like an cb350? It takes a certain kind of vision to work from an uncommon platform like this. I love it specifically because the engine is just a predominant visual element and let's be honest, a well tuned V-twin sounds cool as hell.
Without giving up too many details before it's ready, he's got the front end and wheels from a Seca Turbo (fitting no?) on it already, the tank from an ancient Benelli, an honest to gods fabricated steel seat and some very cool hand made clip-ons. More to come when it's done...I know I'll be waiting for this one!
A very cool side benefit to this whole gig? Swaps and his lovely partner in crime Heidi came out last week for dinner and BSing, all the way from Boise Id. I've 'known' him for several years online but this was our first face to face and it was a damn good time. I have the feeling we'll blow some stuff up together in the future!

Let's see, what else has been going on....

I've made very minor headway on my 'Sakura' roadster project. I reworked the rear pin mount for the tank and gave up on the brass front mounts for something a little easier on the sheet metal.
Here's the new pin mount, I like it much better. It was carved out of some brass hex barstock that I bought for the project...for something to be shown later. In this case it really beats the first one, on several key points. First it's slightly taller and cut deeper with a recess so the pin is far better located, not much chance of popping out; thanks to Haplo-84 for the rework idea mate!
Here's the real lifesaver though. I'd been wrestling with ideas to hold the tank up off the backbone just a touch and hopefully damp the vibrations inherent with a vertical twin. I had several other possibilities mocked up but all of them were fairly easy to see and just didn't look clean enough. In this case, there's a 1.25" strip of 1" high density closed cell foam (D60) glued to the top of the backbone. With the leather belt pulling the tank down against it, the tank will be firmly located with enough 'give' to damp any crazy hits or vibes it might take. Not shown are a couple small milled pieces of delrin bolted to the sides of the tank for flats that along with some 1/4" thick foam will keep the tank from wobbling left/right but allow some flex too.
On other fronts, I need a CAD monkey! Anyone out there feel like creating some files for me? I've had enough interest in some of my parts to invest in having them pumped out on a CNC machine. I love making these parts but hand-making every single piece is a time consuming labor of love. I'd be ok with less love, more like and more time/money! haha the real reason you all peek in this hot mess now and then:

So perky she levitates!
Stacey Dash is quite lovely!

If there was ever a 'Come hither..' look, this would be it!
Can you feel the force?
I'd sure like to try...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Yes please.....

I could use one.....well, maybe a 12pack....

I loved this commercial when I was a little kid. I ran around the house screaming it at the top of my lungs with my ratty old dirtbike helmet on. Dad drank Oly......wasn't pleased. I didn't care.....Oly's commercials were dumb.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Seems like a good day for some ogle some pretty engines......

I can't identify all of these but they are timeless
Engines were just plain prettier


Matchless G12

Matchless G9

MV Agusta 750s

I believe this Velocette engine came from the Venom, anyone know for sure?

Oh no....there goes the neighborhood. I'm not sure I can call many newer engines pretty, but this is certainly purposeful.

A neat old Husky 500cc V2.

1935 Indian 4cyl.

Vincent: the rightful God of V-twins.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Baby needs new shoes! Wheel cleanup pt.1

I needed a break and still wanted to be productive, so I switched gears this afternoon and prep'd some EX250 wheels I've had on the rack for a while. I picked these up for a little race bike I was putting together but that project moved on to someone else to be finished up. 

The plan for these was a strip, smooth and refinish in a nice gold metallic with a red rim stripe and a good hard glossy clearcoat. I still like the idea since they are really quite nice to look at and deserve something better that black. Dunno what I'll do with them once they are done; hang'm on the wall? make lamp bases? Naw....think I'll make someone out there a REALLY good deal on wheels and discs that are lighter than should be fair and perfect for someone's smaller custom bike.

This will be a multi-parter so stay tuned for more, but in the meantime:
Here's your basic '08 EX250 aluminum motorcycle wheel. it's got a nice design but being a production piece, it's also got evidence of 'production', mainly some casting marks and such left behind. Note the rim lip: this was the first place I felt needed to be addressed. The edge was rough from the casting process and even with the thick coat of powdercoat on there you could really tell. I just took a fine file and skimmed the lip. Easy peasy.

These were really the only other areas I thought needed to be addressed. They are left behind after the blank wheel is pulled from the mold. For 98% of people out there it's no big deal. Bugs the shit outta me. And yeah, that hole in my fingernail hurt like fuck-all, did not occur during this work..
It really IS as simple as carefully filing them down and blending the edge of the spoke. It is and should be time consuming though, lots of work involved but nothing good is easy.

Here's what it looks like after blending. I'll be stripping this wheel down to bare and doing a final blend after too.
I did pretty good right up to the last step, then as per my usual got too into the work to remember to snap pics. You didn't miss much, after I was satisfied with the blend of the casting nubs I had the wheels beadblasted clean. Once they were back in my hands I gave'm a quick spritz with 50/50 phosphoric acid and distilled water. This etches the surface nicely and after a wipe down is as good as you get for painted aluminum. What you see above is the front after two basecoats of epoxy silver metallic. Once the rear is done to this point I'll spray them in gold. I'll have a pinstriper that i know come in a lay down a nice simple hand painted red pinstripe around the rim, then off for a nice durable glossy clear powdercoat. For those technical enough to worry; both the paints and the one-shot for the rim stripe are more than up to the powder curing temps needed. 

From the desk of: Captain of the Pabst Drinking Team

Ok it's been a while since we've had something new from Mike D. but there's good reason. Mike got a new job that has him hopping and has lost access to the computer he was surfing porn on I mean joining singles chat rooms (FUCK!) working on and as such there hasn't been much from him. Out of the blue in the mail I get his latest submission in hand written form. Cool. That's dedication right there.

First thing I notice, Mike's got great handwriting. WTF!! Isn't there a rule that if you dig bikes and beer and all things that follow, you also have rotten handwriting?
.....wait? Seriously? There isn't? Goddamnit! (I have shitty handwriting)

Second thing I notice? Fucker can spell too. I'd be ruined if not for a keyboard and spell-check. Seriously......I'd be fucked.
So without further delay, here's a little something from your buddy and mine, Mike D.

Note: Much easier to read after expanding

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday is rainy and cold...I know! How about a little sunshine for your day?

Pure 70's HOT right here!

This one makes me smile....

By popular demand, Sorry Kats, dunno the woman in the pic or where to find more. Inspiring though, no?

Some bicycle booty! I wonder if the guy with the breadbox on his back is carrying their undies?
I love Oktoberfest!


There was a dumb-ass country song a few years back about some sexy tractor or something. Forget the goddamned tractor Otis, you're not paying attention.