Friday, December 30, 2011

Gun fighter eyes.......

gimlet eye

1.a sharp or piercing glance. eye that appears to give a sharp or piercing look.

gim·let-eyed, adjective

Look into the eyes of a killer (hopefully you never have to) and you'll know exactly what I'm referring to. You can also see the same thing in the eyes of a fellow who regularly takes his own life into his own hands, swings a leg over some wacked out death machine and wrings it's neck until one of the two of them cries uncle.

This bike is RAD!!!!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ok I may be on a short country music bender, hang in here.....

I've been told I'm well on my way to hell.......but I'll laugh my ass off all the way there!

Coming full circle as is only fitting.........

My heros hav always......

...been cowboys
You don't have to dig the music, I'm not hot on all of it but......listen, there's nothing but heart here. Do a little searching on this kat, you'll be amazed at what you find, I have been.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I wanna ride!

My buddy Rich posted this over on DTT and I thought it was fun and worth sharing.

minor update, stole a couple minutes to myself....

Fresh bars that aren't tweaked, skinned down levers, crap bar-ends and equally crap budget turn signals

Got rid of that ridiculous grab bar/rack/box combo for this junk. One hacked up xs650 fender, some rubber mounting and more crap budget lights.
So I needed this fender to flex down just a bit as the OE seat base hangs down pretty far. The simplest solution I came up with was to add rubber bushings under the fender and some large washers. The nuts were tightened until the fender was firmly held in place but still able to bend down just a bit. As soon as you put the seat down the fender pops right back up. The extra nuts are there to lock the setup in place. (Rube Goldberg woulda been proud of some of the initial attempts)

Here you can see the fender pushed down about 1/2" at the end, not bad. Before this goes back on the road this spring I'll add an aluminum splash guard to the subframe to keep tire shit from flinging up into the works.
This is also about point where I found all the bad wiring "repairs" from a previous owner. I found the mess purely by accident, you see the bike in lovely condition for a stock 30 year old scoot, almost no rust (did find one spot on the rear drum adjuster), nicely rebuilt engine etc, so I really didn't feel like I needed to check under the tank. 


The wiring is haggard and it's even worse inside the headlight bucket. Obviously the guy who did the upkeep was good at everything except wiring. Honestly it's not my most confident endeavor either, though I've decided it's because of the hieroglyphic goddamned service manual wiring diagrams. 

..but that's for an upcoming installation (so to speak)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Statistical Analytics tells me I'm screwed!

So...the law of averages (or some other more appropriate statistical analytics concept) says that if you do something noteworthy, someone will take note. I dunno if I'm really doing anything noteworthy but this afternoon I see that note has indeed been taken.

And I'm screwed.

I've had the opportunity to email back and forth a couple times with Trent Reker from, who is by all accounts a giant personality. Though our chats have been few and brief, I came away feeling that Trent
was actually talking WITH me and NOT AT me. That's pretty cool, especially since he's likely got a heavy email load and it's tough to put yourself out there to so many people all the time. Been there, don't do it so much anymore...takes too much outta ya. Much respect for those who can pull it off.

That being said, this afternoon I see that Trent peeks in here now and again and has joined the horde. Not only that but he kindly mentioned this humble little endeavor on How cool is that? The problem I REALLY feel like I should being doing something truly noteworthy here.

One of my plans for this little hole in the 'toobz has been to move it into a more magazine like format with weekly or by-weekly features and content. Trent and are two of the primary reasons I want to do so.
The key difference here is that where Mr.Reker is a talented wordsman, I'm lucky not to stab myself in the eye taking the cap off a bic pen.

Mazel tov with a Molotov, Muthafuckas!

If you haven't checked out his gig, drag your sorry butt over there and get a dose of color for your life. If you've lost taste for the corporate shovel-job we're all collectively bending over for, you'll dig the shit outta

Plus he hasn't bitched me out for kyping the occasional pic now and then.
(I'll be better about attribution whenever possible, it's just good practice)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Swagger's Thermonuclear Rum spheres.
(Because I don't wanna eat balls.....)

1 cup smashed 'Nilla Wafers (think of a banker whilst smashing, it makes me smile)
2 cups crushed graham crackers (remember that banker know what to do)
1 cup confectioners' sugar (WTF it's powdered damn sugar)
1/3 cup good brandy
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons water

1) put all this garbage in a big bowl

2) enjoy a nice hot buttered 151 while looking at your bowl of carnage

3) after your shot, smash the shit out of it all 'til it looks like a disaster

4) take a spoon and scoop out some of the glump and roll it into a smallish sphere 

5) Admire your glump sphere and enjoy another hot buttered 151

6) Now get off your lazy drunk ass and roll up the rest of this shit into more spheres

7) coat them lightly in more powdered sugar (my dentist is rich)

8.) arrange your powdery spheres of goodness on a cookie sheet, it's ok if they snuggle...they've had a rough day.

9) put this crap in your oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes
note: we're not really 'cooking' them per-say, just giving them the opportunity to firm up a bit. Squishy little fuckers anyway.....

10) oh what the hell, how about another hot buttered 151!?

11) Once they've suffered in the inferno, put a cup of 151 in a spray bottle and give'm a good dousing. Roll them about a bit and respray (masking not required).

12) Reroll in more powdered sugar (it's a dental conspiracy) and let'm sit for an hour.

13) No, not more hot buttered 151. Let's do a shot of Bushmills to change it up!

14) spray them again (refill the spray bottle if you need), not saturated but well sprayed and let'm sit another hour.

Repeat the spray and sit process for the next 8-10 hours. You should end up with 4 dozen and you should have used up the entire bottle of 151. No...really.
At this point they should be firm and heavy with a smooth consistency. I keep them in a tupperware type container and your eyes should water a bit when you open yours. From joy AND the 151 fumes.

I have put slivered almonds in them before and that's kinda fun. You can add almost anything you think would taste good so go to it.

WARNING: These WILL get you loaded if you're not careful. I'm a large viking man and 6 of them yield a nice buzz, maybe try 3 or 4 at a time. Serious.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Some of the best 'fails' of 2011

My favorite is right around the 10:50 mark! And yes...he does say "Hi Slut". 

And since it's the holiday season.....
I really dig this pic, the subject matter a favorite of mine but the 'action' captured is fantastic.

Nice sofa!

"Quick, wrap the table in plastic..."

Rural life wouldn't be so bad after all...
See...there's a bike!

Masume Max+frosting&sprinkles=snack time

'Nuf said

Inky goodness

repost, but I doubt you lot mind.....

70's tan-lines FTW!!

Lovely lovely forest creatures.

More vintage 70's glam. Mybe 80's as it appears she's trimmed the hedge.
I'd wager he's NOT thinking "Da plane...da plane!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Xmas stuff........

So.....there's chirpy tunes on the radio, the hardware store I like had lights for sale in August and hints are being dropped as often as a politician's pants at an intern holiday party. 

Gird your loins you few proud hordesmen, for once again Christmas is upon us like a car salesman just shy of quota. Don't get me wrong, I like the holidays mostly. I like eggnog with Jameson, my thermonuclear rumballs are fucking awesome (flamable and will get you loaded), dinner is good and where else can one average dude participate in the kind of insanity that really tragic 'reality tv' is made of?
As the evening progresses, Uncle Bob will do his "famous"(read as: drunken) impression of cousin Wally's birth complete with cocktail napkin simulated afterbirth, much to the horror of Wally and anyone else who may be sober(Cousin Wally needs to drink more). The matriarch will expend massive energy smiling at everyone except the patriarch who will then scuttle about trying to avert whatever disaster She Who Must Be Obeyed may or may not be gathering steam for, a baking dish will explode coming out of the oven destroying one of 27 dishes laid out for only 14 people feast upon. Indiscretions will occur, important family heirlooms will get knocked over, someone will fuck someone they shouldn't  and some well meaning friend of the family will once again attempt to save my mortal soul. 
Good times.....

So with this I give you my ten favorite tips for surviving the Holidays with your family, especially if they're as wacky as mine.

1) Drink. 
This year I'll begin my pickling process promptly at 6:30pm on the 22nd. This gives me a few full days to build up the appropriate level of self insulation. I'll start with a goof primer shot of Bushmills Black, later in the evening I'll work my way to Manhattans. After that I'll go for a more traditional approach to the holidays by mixing hot buttered 151 in one of my 6 gallon fermenting buckets. Scoop and go baby!

2) Stick with the 'Kids Table'. 
Trust me on this one, I've been thinking about it for a while now. Kids just have more fun. Fuck this grown up shit, too many political/religion/economy conversations.....yuck. Not for me, I'll be hanging out with a more entertaining crowd.

3) Drink.
See rule #1

4) Spread some cheer.
The knees of an attractive female make me cheerful. Boobies are good too. Nothing says Christmas like a good snog under the tree!

5) Eat. 
It's important to strength up whilst defiling one's self for the Holidays. Red meat, potatoes....real food. If your doctor or other half hates's probably great!

6) Limber up.
It's good practice to stretch before a workout. Dodging smelly Aunt Matilda's too lingering/wet kiss on the cheek or Cousin Wally the banker's defense of WallStreet requires ninja like reflexes and the strength of a bull. 
Well...kicking the shit out of that little douche Wally doesn't take much the Auntie's bringing her ready.

7) Drink.
See Rule #1
Also, if hooched up I may not be a likely to tell that story about my xxxxxx xxxxxx xx xxx with XX, which could either cause all sorts of trouble or really be funny. My bet is on trouble so I'm staying sauced. She really IS a xxxxx though..

I generally avoid 'news' for the most part as it's all fucking bad. Some asshole will green light a shitty news story for Christmas eve that will fuck up the whole holiday for someone else. Don't do it. Just leave that shit out for the holiday. Everyone will thank you. Unless it's John Stewart....he's a funny fucker.

9) Tell someone they rock.
It's simple, even a drunk can do it. Just make one person feel really good this Christmas, it doesn't take much. Not really. We're all so geared up for bad news, bad attitudes, bad breath, bad work bad food, bad etc.....think about the last random compliment YOU got. Unless you're a sociopath (you know who you are), you probably felt great and it likely stuck with you. Make someone's day.
10) Appreciate.
If someone goes to the effort to think of you and procure a gift for you, appreciate it. If I buy/make/steal a gift for someone I really want them to dig it, it's important to me. I've received some clunkers myself: No, I really don't need that ChiaHead but the fact that someone went out and got it is what matters. I can dredge up a little enthusiasm for almost anything if it makes the gifter feel good and shiny. 
Most of all, appreciate that same family that drives you to drinking, they're the only one you're likely to get and they know YOU too.

And since I've been slow to post, more pretty girls:

Christmas enough for me!

"Smokin' Hot still life.....with tree"

Happy Holidays you fucking nutjobs! I love ya!
(note: this one didn't post when it was supposed to and I dunno why so it's a week late.)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Some goodies for the XV and some other important things....

It's been a busy time here recently so I've been concentrating on customer work (more of which I can't show unfortunately) and haven't done much on my own projects but I did snap a couple pics that make me smile:
So I was cleaning(moving crap around the shop) and rudely piled stuff in front of the XV but thought it needed a pic for giggles: 41mm Showa front end originally from a K75 BMW with emulators and springs from Racetech, very tasty indeed! Spoked wheels from a CB500 with really good tires, CBR discs and those lovely six piston calipers.
Think it'll stop?

And what you really want to see:
Dig the aviators!

She can be in front, I don't mind at

Those little red panties, they passed the test........

Umm...Miss? I think perhaps you've lost a button......thanks.

P.I.L.F. (I don't really need to I?

Uhhh....uumm, to see here, just look at the pretty picture. I'm told there's a bike in there somewhere.

(this is for you Failmart, nobody can say I don't take care of my horde!)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Oh hey...just noticed

Hey I see there are a few new members of the Barbarian Horde, very cool!
C'mon guys, get me those names and addresses for your freebees!

Another Vendor Shoutout: Bridge City Cycles

Bridge City Cycles
My pal Mark has been bugging me to come out to the cool bike shop he works at but life has been doing it's best to keep me too busy to breath so I only recently made it out to check them out. 

I finally got to meet Mark in person(mlinder online) though it's believed that we may have met in passing at a previous group ride, I also had the good fortune to meet Anthony the proprietor, his partner Megan and Romeo the very friendly shop dog. I was immediately greeted and embraced like family (by the dog) and the humans seemed to like me too.

The shop's been in place for a short while but it's relative newness is obscured by no less than 12 bikes on the main floor for services ranging from a simple spruce-up to a full-on rebuild. Mostly neat older UJMs, just the kind of shop we need here in that caters to everyone, not just those who tool about on brand new shiny bling-barges. I like that a lot. 

Bridge City has or can get just about anything you'd need for your personal two wheeled pursuit of nirvana so just ask. You'll probably make a few new friends too....

Hopefully I'll be able to get out again soon with a camera and I'll snap some shots for a real live Shop Feature #1! Stay tuned for more, fellow babies...

My newest current favorite thing

Hiya! November was a helluva month to be sure. Between keeping the joint from burning down, wrangling a cranky old guy, making some parts (not nearly enough) and building on a few bikes....not much time to update the blogo like I should've..

With that out of the way here's a few more pics of my current new favorite-most-important-desperately-needed-gotta have it motorcycle.

This is a remarkably straight and clean 30 yearold bike and I stole it for less than it is worth!

If you know anything about Yamaha's XV series, I'm certain it's the Virago you know or perhaps the newer V-star line.
The RH however never carried the Virago name or thankfully the 80's disco-chop styling either. What we have here is a standard non-chopper layout, chain driven V-twin UJM. 
UJM = Universal Japanese Motorcycle.
Relatively comfy
Relatively good handling
Relatively good power
Relatively overweight

I love a good looking engine and this works for me; clean, uncluttered and simple. Hidden ponies abound in this mill too. For the short term modding the OE mufflers for less restriction and adding pod filters with the appropriate jetting and slide mods is shown to yield ~10hp and similar gains in torque(as seen in several owner's groups and online articles) and stepping up the ignition can only help too.

Essentially two xt/sr500 top ends on a single crankshaft with great oiling and a good stout gearbox. Though very little 'performance parts' are available for the XV family, there are options: XT/SR top end parts can be had by the bucket load including hi-compression overbore pistons, big valves, aftermarket cams etc etc. Long term plans call for the internals from the V-star 1100; they will all but drop in yielding 1067ccs with vastly improved electrics, a lighter crank and lighter/stronger rods. The V-star guys have some pretty interesting hop-up parts too. Pipes can be had but I'll make those, as well as specing out my intake system around a pair of VM38s or possibly some flatslides. Some of the V-star guys are pulling well over 100hp/110ft-lbs!

Another reason I dig this's a Lego-bike! The seat-frame unbolts and you can build nearly anything you want to bolt right up!

Not my bike or my shop but you get the idea
Like every 80's streetbike out of Japan, at it's best it was squishy and way too heavy. Now it's squishier and just as chubby. Both things that can be addressed with relative ease. Just wandering around the bike with a semi-critical eye tells me that there's conservatively ~50lbs of useless flab that can be lost before having to replace anything structural or otherwise critical.

As far as curing the squish, I have a boatload of parts on hand for this. Initially I'll swap the front end out for a 40mm Showa fork set from a K75. This set has emulators and racetech springs that were sources for the slightly heavier Kaybike. These should prove to be a vast improvement over the wobbly spaghetti forks this bike came with. I'm sorry but 36mm forks no matter how good or who made'm are gonna flop and wallow on anything heavier than 350lbs. The Showas have BMW's snazzy looking and well designed OE forkbrace and triples and the stem is easily within conversion bearing range.
To shore up the rear I've got a gorgeous Ohlins shock that was set aside for the Triumph but I've since gone with something else and Ohlie is just sitting there on the shelf getting dusty. invariably some doofus will whine about my putting a shock of this caliber on THIS bike. Fuck'm....
It'll need a more suitable spring and I'll be machining a fresh bottom clevis that will yield an inch or so worth of lift out back to help quicken the steering response.

As far as aesthetics are concerned, while this IS a lovely very clean example of this bike it's still a wee bit dated. The first two things anyone notes are the horrible dead-weight veg-o-matic wheels which are cast from the most lead like aluminum I've hefted before. These wheels are heavier even than the XS850's 7 spoke cast rims...and that's saying a lot. 
The other major visual issue with this bike for me is the firmly packed bratwurst seat and to a lesser degree the rear fender. 

The wheels will be relatively easy to deal with and will assist in dropping weight; XS650 spoked rims can be fitted up nearly as a drop in. However I don't have any XS650 wheels to spare, what I do have is a pair of spoked rims with excellent tires in the correct size from a 76 Honda. Rooting thru a bearing book shows me that a simple swap will allow these to fit the Showa axle specs up front and the rear will slot right on with a wee bit of work on the swingarm flanges. Nice. Add to those a pair of 320mm CBR1k discs I've been saving along with some very tasty Tokico 6-piston calipers, braided lines and the radial master-cylinder taken from an R1 track toy and this thing will stand on it's nose. The eventuality is that I'll swap to a disc/spoke rear hub and some black Excel alloy hoops for it's final act. 

This 'first phase' should yield a sub-425lb, 70-ish horsepower, composed and good handling all around bike. 
The wacky shit starts later......
Built by the incomparable Sepp Koch

I have no idea who put this one together but what an outstanding job! You can see it's based on the OE upper frame and swingarm too!
I believe this one is Herr Koch's work as well(noting the header) in a modified Norton(via Rex and Cromie McCandless) Featherbed. Neato!

I do love that fairing.......
hey look....someone stole my 'phase one' idea.....bastard. Glad it works though!

This is much closer to my final goal for this bike. Under 350lbs, 100hp/110ft-lb, taught, fast, unique. Gimme.....
This one is just plain clean!