Monday, January 30, 2012

Here's a pretty unique bike....

There was a time when I would have poked fun at this bike mercilessly. It's not anything: it's not a cafe regardless of the bars, it's not quite a bobber though either. No stretched chopper front end so that's out. Rat!? No, though what little paint here is satin black there's simply too little junk heaped on the bike.

Genre-defying. Cool.
Take a little time to absorb the details that abound on this scoot!

A pretty simple formula at work here.....
Take a closer look at the pics shown here. There are a lot of interesting details that slip past the untrained eye.
One pair of worn out black Levi's and you're 3/4 the way to your very own custom seat! I love the pocket on the back too, I've been saving an old leather jacket for use as seat upholstery on something and I think I'll have to steal the pocket idea.
Note the rear of the frame in the seat pic above: It appears that he's capped the end of the frame where it was cut off. Nice touch...
It's got a one-off oil tank, that's nice and simple and it looks like he's made his own air filter. One thing I fee like I gotta point out also in the builder's favor on this one: While normally Ace bars without rear sets nets you a torture rack with wheels. one that you'll be happy to step off of after 20 miles or so, except.... 
Also note the ol'tank switcheroo; it's much shorter than the OE tank and the seat has been moved forward as well, hence a more or less useable seating position and in conjunction with the lowering lends it a stretched look without apparently adding any wheelbase. Neat.

See what else you can find:
305 tank? I don't know what model this came from, might not be a Honda for that matter but what fun!

Yes, even your aged Honda can throw gravel....but is it this cool looking?

Lots to dig here you nutjobs, dig in!

Looks like it even gets ridden now and again and though I think the pilot here may be of a more.......compact nature than some, the position looks pretty workable.

I stole these pics from a neat blog called: Aztoon Wheels
You should check it out, there's a little more about the bike and lots of other interesting things to see!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Loud pipes save.......well....nothing it seems.

editors note: This post now more or less finished.  I had to run out last night at the last minute to avoid being killed and dropped in the soup pot by a very hungry and somewhat insistent Miss Kitty. Read on and be smarter!

Leather Pirate: "I just put drag pipes on my bike, sounds so tough and you should see all the admiration I get now when I ride thru the neighborhood! Everyone tells me I'm number 1!"
Motorcyclist: "Wow, that is really loud."

Leather  Pirate: "Loud pipes save lives!"

Motorcyclist: "How's it run?"

Leather  Pirate: "FREEDOM!!!!!"
(translation: "Not worth a shit, it misses and is really down on power. BUT....I'm coool! Besides I never ride more than 30 miles at a time between coffee shops. And all my buddies have them....."

Motorcyclist: "Yeah....umm, I'm gonna go RIDE now but have fun man."

Leather  Pirate: "Whatever, where's the nearest Starbucks?"

(Yeah yeah, I'm a big meanie making fun of the dim and uneducated....go tell my Mom.)

I can't count the otherwise interesting bikes I've seen ruined by open or drag pipes. Why is it that the myth of open pipes being remotely useful still exists. Who's propagating this bullshit? 

Yes, you can tinker your drag pipes into working.....sorta. 
Yes, you can fuck with your jetting to get'm working.....sorta.
No, you won't make any more power than running a well designed muffler.

The only place open pipes serve any purpose is at the drag strip and possibly a Starbucks parking lot. 
Don't believe me? Listen to this guy then, he's smarter than you....and me.

I've been doing some research, freshening up my exhaust theory as I'm getting ready to design the pipes for the 920, and while the bike in the video is a Harley it's still a very useful and universal bit of info worth passing along. One thing that Bruce, the educated gentleman in the video brings up is reversion and what a great demonstration with the slinky. Welcome to first year physics kids! There are volumes of information available regarding wave front propagation in a tube (ie: those pulse waves in the exhaust pipes), but really he hit it dead-on here for what we need. 
There are things you should include in any well designed exhaust, and while I'm not the biggest expert on the subject I have built a few very good systems that have performed admirably. 

Starting at the exhaust port....

1) Keep the tubing diameter reasonable.
Giant, monsterously large pipes can look pretty neat on the right bike but just like running open, they will kill your power delivery. If you've had OE pipes off before you know that they're likely double piped with the smaller diameter inside portion doing the work and the outer as a pretty skin, especially in chrome pipes. 

2) Don't cheap out on the pipe material you choose.
Good DOM tubing will make a better exhaust than the shitty seam-welded crap you get at the autoparts store. Also, avoid really thin wall stuff, for a number of reasons. 
First, you're building something for the street so it's gotta last. If you're building a race bike then sure, go for the thinnest you can get away with. Thin pipe, aside from simply not being as strong is also less effective at keeping the heat (which supports exh. velocity) inside. Worst.....they ring. Take two pieces of steel tubing of the same length and od, we'll use 1.5"od and 24" long as an example; one with a wall thickness of .045" and one with .080". Suspend them from a piece of string and give a tap with your handy 10mm box wrench. What will you notice? Well, beside the ding you may have just put in the thin wall piece, it'll also ring like a tuning fork where the heavier wall won't nearly as much. That ringing comes from vibrations in the metal itself, just like that tuning fork. In an exhaust this can result in lots of bad stuff from simply extra noise to stress cracks and fractures. Badnews bear kiddies! 

3)Torque cones and other anti-reversion tech
These little guys go in against the port and help fight that reversion by trapping a portion of that energy from smacking back into the port and slowing the charge velocity. I was surprised to find something similar built into some OE XS650 pipes I cut up the other day.

That's where they go!

3b)Buzz Cones
These work a little different, as well as having a secondary function.
The idea here is that the openings in your perforated cone add up to equal or more area than the pipe itself allowing them to be inserted into it but not adding much obstruction. These act as a damper to that reverberation we're worried about, and used with the torque cones above can make some real improvements over a regular old chunk-o-pipe. As well, they also break up the higher frequencies associated with free flowing pipes, most evidenced by the asshole kids with coffee can pipes on their civics. I add these between the collector/headpipe and the muffler. I've pointed them both ways and haven't found much difference. I choose to point them toward the exit though.

4) The Muffler
There's a lot of good technology available now for getting the most out of your engine without deafening the innocent. There are simple straight thru mufflers with perforated or louvered cores, just like that old cherrybomb glass pack you thought was so cool on your '74 Pinto from highschool.
This is more than likely the core type you're going to find in an aftermarket muffler for a bike. Keep in mind when choosing, while the louvered core will be a bit quieter you give up flow because those louvers protrude into the 'bore' of the pipe. If you pick your inner diameter carefully however you can get good performance from either style.
On the other end of the spectrum are reflection baffle designed like Flowmaster does for cars and trucks. We're beginning to see a lot more of this style of muffler core from high end manufacturers as well as a few high end AFTERMARKET manufacturers as they offer very good performance, no packing to burn away and relatively light weight.
This is a fairly common 'Turbo' performance muffler for a car. You can see the curved internal deflectors that keep the flow going more or less where it needs to. There is some sound damping via those deflectors, as well as the packing. This style exists somewhere between the restriction muffler for Mom's Buick and that reflection setup above. Lots of OE bike mufflers are this style and offer decent performance and not too aggressive sound output.

The bottom end is the restriction style, just like all the OEM mufflers from that old Honda you have parked in your carport to your mom's Buick.
As a general rule, a larger case design will yield better results than a small case. Now, that seems an awfully broad statement to make, but in practice it almost always works for mufflers. A good portion of its overall function is directly tied to how much expansion the exhaust pulses do when entering the case. The more you can allow the pulse to expend energy filling the internal volume of your muffler case, the less restriction required to damp down the most egregious frequencies. 
Ahh, the ubiquitous Emgo shorty. The only thing this is suitable for is your mower powered margarita blender or maybe your kid's totegoat. Seriously....these aren't mufflers, they're thinly chromed weight to hang on the end of your pipe. Don't....just don't. There's so much wrong here: tiny case doesn't offer any expansion volume, the length is also just sill, there's not enough room inside to damp anything. I have a buddy who will remain nameless who has two of these on his CB350. I'm hoping one day to convince him that they aren't helping AT ALL and may actually be making his bike subjectively louder due to the incredibly loud initial CRACK!!!!! with each firing. Bad bad bad.
Here's a good experiment for you to illustrate exactly what I'm getting at. Build yourself a box from some 3/4" particle board, say....18" square, used gorilla glue and deck screws so it's a nice sealed box but make one side of it removable. 
In two opposite sides use a hole saw and cut a 2" in and out. In the output side stick a piece of 2" exhaust pipe and silicone seal around it. In the other end throw a 2" reducer to whatever your pipe happens to be and use a piece of cheap radiator hose and some hose clamps to seal it to your pipe.
Staple some regular old pink fiberglass insulation to inside surfaces of your box and close it up. Connect this soon to be stinky box up to your open header and give'r a crank. What will you get? Likely a fairly mellow tone, not too much 'crack' and generally good flow. From a box. Made of wood.
BUT! It does illustrate the effect of internal volume on noise control.
A last thought for you to consider: 
Physics is physics is physics. Period, get used to it Bunky!
The rules don't change no matter how loud you squawk, no matter how hard you stop your feet. You can however, a little forethought, planning and using just a little mental exercise build a great sounding exhaust for your pride and joy that actually works well, looks good and won't lead the torch and pitchfork wielding mob back to your house after a ride.....

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Just a quick one this afternoon.....

So I'm running my ass off today getting ready to cut Jordan's swingarm to suit his soon to be wackjob kz650 but I wanted to ask for a little assistance if it's to be had.

I'm not all that savvy at this whole 'blog' thing. If you look at BikerMetric, FTWCO, Kneeslider and a list of hundreds more.....they all look good and are well fleshed out. 
Honestly at this point all I really want to do is add a list of other blogs and sites I dig. I'm sure i could dig around in the menu system for an hour and figure out how to add that feature but frankly I don't have the time and I'm feeling lazy. Anyone care to point a voluntary Luddite in the right direction? Thanks, hugs!

edit: looks like I have it covered, thanks to all you lightening quick folks that were happy to point out what an idiot I am. There really IS an easy to find section for this....I'm just blind.

Been hearing this song a lot lately (on the way to overplayed I'm sure....damnit) so I checked out the video, what a fucking riot! I'd have loved to be part of the making of that carnage....check it out:

I also kinda dig that this kat with such an iconic sound is a coke-bottle glasses wearing mook. He seriously reminds me of my 7th grade science teacher.....I don't think that guy could sing though.

Here's a bit on making the video....seriously man, what fun! I wanna job where i can hang out with stuntment, hot chicks with guns and we all blow the shit out of something!
(nobody looks good on unretouched video....)

And of course what you really come here for......

Same girl as above? Certainly a similar helmet fit....

Guzzi Girls...gotta love'm!

Another Guzzi-Girl from Cycle Garden...

Nice boobs, great smile but it's the flight cap and goggles that really sell this one for me.

Kitty wants to take a nap on your hot girlfriends ass....what's not to like?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fuck it, it's Wednesday and my dad doesn't have a beard....

Miss Kitty pointed these guys out to me last night and after laughing my ass off I felt the need to broaden your musical horizons and cram some of this shit into your collective cranium. Make room.......

Yup....songs about beards. Lots of them.


Friday, January 20, 2012

So far so good.....

Looks like maybe, just maybe we had an impact. Great! 

Wikipedia is just one of many high profile sites that participated. To see more, follow the link below.


But......don't think this will simply go away now that's it's been STALLED.....not beaten, but only just stalled. The MPAA WILL revamp this travesty, they WILL rework it to appear more palatable to the lemming masses, they WILL try again. 

"They" WILL try again.

...because the badguy ALWAYS COMES BACK!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Don't break the internet please.....

If you haven't made your position known yet, what the hell are you waiting for?
Here's more info for you to absorb, even if all you do is watch the the fucker. This is serious stuff, more serious than I'd originally thought. Do yourself a favor:

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

Metalica wants to control what you listen to.
Tom Cruise wants to control your soul (and jump on your couch).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Go. Sign. Surf.

The folks that don't want you do to anything but shovel up the drek they're spewing forth are also trying to limit what you can see, do or say on the internet and calling it a 'protective measure'.

Fuck that! Read up for yourselves, find out what's REALLY going on and DON'T LET IT HAPPEN!

Go here and read:

Go here and sign:

What more do we need to give up before we're fed up?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship's hull.

Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one's actions. Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy, in that it regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.
The word "integrity" stems from the Latin adjective integer (whole, complete). In this context, integrity is the inner sense of "wholeness" deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others "have integrity" to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.
A value system's abstraction depth and range of applicable interaction may also function as significant factors in identifying integrity due to their congruence or lack of congruence with observation. A value system may evolve over time while retaining integrity if those who espouse the values account for and resolve inconsistencies. 

Note: I had a different piece written here but as usual lately it went off on a rant that might have been a wee bit too pointy for these soft and squishy times so I reeled it in a bit.

Ya wanna know what bugs me? ( of the things on the list and yes, it's getting to be a long list.)

It bugs the shit out of me when I see the hard work of someone I know capitalized on by another solely for they're own profit. I think that both sucks and blows, neither in the good way. Only after being called on it publicly did this individual admit that his design is a ripoff, but used the excuse that he's "just trying to do business" and as far as I know continuing with it as before.

What really hurts about the whole affair is that someone I respected a lot has decided to support this rampant douche-baggery by purchasing said rip-off AND declaring so publicly, basically crapping on those who make his place of business solvent. This hurts I suppose because we inherently expect more from people 'in high places' whether that be a politician or a cop or just someone schmuck whose banner we all gathered under online. Seems like if people are supporting you financially you should be willing to give a little support back. At best your bike will be derivative.

I'm done with this at this point, I've said my piece on it and made my position known. It bought me hatemail from people I thought were more heads up. If people want to support products that are at best derivative and at worst a complete rip-off, well....I guess that's your business.
Hand made in a gravel floor garage in West Virginia.

Derivative. Copy. Lame.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Ah Monday......and day two of a mean hangover.

Epic Hangover Day 2: Return of the Hurk.
I found myself in need of some distraction this weekend and since J and G were heading home, what better way than to hit the town?
What a great time, but I most certainly remember once again why it is that I don't get THAT HAMMERED. My buddy Jason (Miss Kitty's brother)and his lady Galilee came to town from Nashville last week and it was only right to send them home with a night of relaxation to reflect upon. The night started at the Montage restaurant in P-town. What a neat joint where I had probably the best Jambalaya ever, the only problem was that it didn't come in a bucket. If you don't mind the wait to get in, good joints in Portland have's WELL worth it. Good spicy Cajun food and group seating make for a good time.
They dig bikes too

Dunno for chopsticks, but this is the dining room....
One bowl-o-goodness

Afterward add 8-10 other good friends, one perilous dive bar and a total lack of restraint and you have the makings for a fine throw-down. 

I carry a 'smart phone'...fucking thing is certainly smarter than I am, and so I thought it would be neat to nerd-out and keep track of consumables for the evening. Now, I kept track of my own and I know that everyone else was putting forth the effort as well, we spent a shit ton on hooch:
-4 Coffee Nudges (before dinner waiting in the lounge)
-1/3 of a Rainier stolen from Miss Kitty during dinner
-1 Cap't & coke as a dive bar warm-up
-3 Jaeger shots
-a shot of Bushmills
-5 vile jello shots (it was peer pressure!)
(once again, yes this was just my list....)

Still kinda gives me the willies when I look at the list. Keep in mind, I'm a large Viking man, bears, wild boars and Huns fear me. That being said, it sure was a lot of hooch for one liver to absorb. I woke up actually fairly early around 9am on Sunday morning feeling fine, just fine. 

Then I moved. 

More accurately, my eyes cracked open and I foolishly thought 'Hey...I think I'm gonna be just fine' and attempted to sit up (baby steps) at which point I'm fairly certain it was the room that was doing the moving and not me. In truth I think the room was trying to eject me out the window it was spinning so hard. I tried the old drunks trick of putting one foot on the floor to 'ground' the spinning bed....I think I missed. I know the carpet SHOULD have been there but somehow I couldn't really manage it. Not good. 

Needless to say, while I did manage to drag myself out and onto the couch...that is where I stayed short the repeated visits to the head to...umm...purge myself. I did finally manage to keep some food down late in the evening so no worries of wasting away. This morning....well, I guess it's still going on. No hurling or twirlies but my innards are still vibrating all at different frequencies and my eyes feel like dirty ashtrays....but what a fun time just the same.

-Thor kept his pants all night!
-Nick wanted to go home hours before he managed it but couldn't waste a drink that kept appearing in his hand though.
-Brian got a rose from some random girl who may or may not have wanted him to go away. He did get a lot of mileage out of that flower though....
-Some random hiphopster thought J was famous (he IS making his living in Nashville music)
-an angry blonde bartender's ass got grabbed (by hiphop boy) and a minor street conflict occurred as a result. Who knew hiphop splattered?
-2 fingernails were obliterated by the air hockey table
-nobody in our party lost any blood
Nobody went home with this.....bullet dodged

This?....yeah mighta happened.....

If you find yourself around 50th and Division st. in Portland and you dig a good dive, check out the Scorecard. Great service and they survived us, that's saying a lot.

Also, in honor of an unofficial tradition and our pals at Tender Indifference:


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sail on Dennis, we'll take your watch.....

Dennis, you will be missed my friend. We're all richer for having the privilege of your participation and presence in all our lives. Bring her head 'round into the weather mate......

Friday, January 13, 2012

When demi-gods strode the earth.....

In car on the Nurburgring, when racers were men who took danger by the ankles and fucked it into submission. My favorite race course ever with footage narrated by one of my favorite racers ever.

Minimal safety equipment, no giant wing to hold you to the pavement, crap helmets without a Hans, maybe a lap belt and giant polished brass balls. 
Hell yes!

Next up: A little chat about Integrity, sticking up for those that matter to you and the impetus to back those who support you. It's gonna be a hot one kiddies....bring out yer nomex undies....

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hullo Miss Kitty, I just noted that you're one of the Horde; beware for here be sea monsters!

But....can I post the video...puhleeease?

It's like Christmas all over again!

Thanks Monty!

Not much progress on personal bikes thus far for 2012 but I did get some needed goodies so that was nice!
A GIANT collection of Weatherpack connectors! If you've had the fun of working on the harness of any bike by any manufacturer over say....15 years old, then you know the joy of crap plastic connectors that crack and fall apart, corroded connections and similar fits of joy and merriment. This should come in handy as I've got 5 bikes to wire....yay.

I've wanted one of these for a while now, just so nice and convenient when all you need to do is clean up a small area. As long as your air is dry and you're media in of a consistent grade you're golden. This little gun works a treat, highly recommended if you need one. Price is right too!
Haha....yeah I know it's upside down in the pic, this was the only one that came out clear enough. I tried inverting it so the text was right but the perspective was wacky and it kinda made me feel a little dizzy so this is what you get. I looked into several fusebox options and this one 'felt' the best to me. I'll be housing this in a weather tight enclosure. LOVE LOVE LOVE the binding post style connection points....and it's got a shiny cover. Everyone knows shiny is better right?

Huzzah for time wasters. Those that know me know I only sleep a couple hours a night, as a lifelong insomniac one finds ways to cope. I read several books a week....mostly brain candy but a few 'important works', I play video games and watch crap 'B' movies. Wha'cha gonna do? Portal was way more fun that in had any right to be, created originally as 'extra' content in the HalfLife2 series but kinda took off on it's own. I dig both 1 and 2 because you have to think and reason tactically to survive the puzzle environment. Hunter/Prey...well...that's probably going to be less mentally stimulating but there are aliens and guns!

One fairly large chunk of aluminum. it's a 6"x3" slice of 7075 that will be the 2pc cush drive bolted to the XS650 front hub used out back on Sakura. Say that five times fast. The plan as it stands now (subject to change, forgetfulness or absentmindedness) is to machine each 'half' such that they interface together just like any other cush. I'll coat the two pieces in paraffin wax and cast my own rubber bit between them. No....really......
Yay teeny tiny digital dashboard! For those not in the know, this is a TrailTech Vapor. It displays speed, RPM(bar graph and numeric), outside and cylinder head temp, max speed, odometer, stop watch, distance (different than odometer?), ride time and accumulated ride time, 12/24hr clock and when the cookies are done baking. I'd forgotten just how compact this unit is, but don't let that worry you if you're thinking about one...the display is very readable with key info in large font, day or night with a nice soft blue back-light. It looks nifty.....and weighs less than the air it displaces.

 In other news, I'm changing a personal policy. I tend to keep customer stuff on the down-low, don't want anyone's wife pissed off at unannounced expenditures and all. However I've been receiving loads of inquiries about pics of customer projects, enough so that I've decided to ask for permission to post stuff up more often. I'll put out the word to current customers and those in the recent past. If they're good with it I'll put up more pics. Names and dates will be changed to protect the guilty!

Our good pal Mike D. opted for the little S90 piston tail light and I wanted to make some quickie brackets for him to start with. Mike, when you have your positioning settled you can send back the sheet brackets if you want and we'll chip out something more substantial and artsy.
Remember this one?

Finally got around to making the simple brackets. Mike, this is finally ready for you, just drill the bases to suit. You can bend the tabs to suit as well. I kept the resistors fairly conservative so the LEDs should last longer than you, but if you want it to be more blinding we can do that too but try it out first.