Tuesday, April 28, 2015


My wife's Aunt Nancy passed away recently. I've met her a number of times over the years but I obviously never knew her as a young woman. These photos kinda make me wish I had. Funny how it's folks from a big family that always make certain to acknowledge you as an individual. We'll miss you Aunt Nancy.

Nancy on someone's 1941 Knucklehead
Milk & Crackers in the Bonneville

Supermoto vs Superbike

I've been thinking lately a Supermoto bike would be the obvious choice for commuting. This didn't hinder the decision at all...

Monday, April 27, 2015

Big Boy Toy

I spotted this over at the Old Motor. It might just be the coolest car show display setup I've ever seen. 100-4 new in the box? I want one.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Dungey Posse

Rumor has it the Red Bull KTM Team and Roger DeCoster are scouting some non-traditional avenues to build out the Team and support their new 450 champion for the 2016 season.

I don't recall there ever the kind of media support the upcoming East Rutherford race is getting. Live network broadcast coverage... Maybe our little sport is actually growing up.

22nd Annual Bonehead Enduro

While I didn't make the Bonehead Enduro, Tom Samuelsen was nice enough to pass along some of the photos he took along the way. I have to make this event someday. In a previous post I mentioned JD's success on his 1928 HD JD.

Bone #2
Bone #6 - On the Trail
Sasquatch Bridge
Sunday Creek
Ed Hines - 1962 Jawa

Sasquatch Bridge Bone
Ed & Sean
Lester Lost Chain
Don's Yamaha Not Running
Don Harvey In The Mud Bog
Paul Hendersen
Don's Yamaha Wet Points
Mud Bog Bone
Snow Bone
4000 Feet Up The North Fork - No Snow Bone
Debb & Gary On Broken Triumph. Debb Harvey rode to south America 2 years ago with her husband Don
Lenox Creek Bridge
Black Dog Cafe
Black Dog

Broken Bones
Mailman & Jon (JD)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rossi vs Marquez

I spotted this little gem on Bike-urious. Someone please explain to me how NASCAR is the most popular spectator motorsport in the US.

Eventually Marquez opted to run a softer tire compound than Rossi and his tires were fading dramatically near the end of the race. Watch Marquez' approach going into the corner just prior to minute 1:13.Wow.

Grizzly Rideout Invitational

I spotted these photos on the Southsiders blog. Pretty incredible photos too. More importantly where are all the bikes like these in the US?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Charger Chick Magnet

No joke. My 1969 Charger played a significant role in meeting my wife (primarily as a conversation starter - I can be a fairly shy guy). I was very impressed that she knew what it was.

Based on Dodge advertising I ran across recently I guess I was really lucky she landed me before I turned into a giant douche bag. Thankfully some sales approaches don't really stand the test of time.

Ran When Parked

1952 Triumph Thunderbird 6T - Thanks to Vorhese for pointing this one out. Cool bike but I think it's WAY over priced given it's currently a non-runner. Literally a "ran when parked."

We have a 1952 Triumph Thunderbird with 9547 miles all original. Asking $18,000.It's all original it ran when it was put in to storage.

Monday, April 20, 2015

GME History

I have been working on an old GME gas tank for a project I'm working on. Don't even ask me how many hours I spent cleaning it up and retunneling it. Sometimes projects can take you down a rat hole. I've always sort of hated Mustang tanks. Then it occurred to me that if they weren't so drastically Frisco'd they are effectively a Triumph/Wassell hybrid.  I especially like the old GME tanks as the rib is almost identical to the one on a stock Triumph tank. Seemed worth a shot.

Long story short spending so much up close and personal time cleaning up and cutting apart my GME it got me interested in what G-M-E stood for and the company's history. A little digging turned up a very informative post by Irish Rich on JJ.

GME was General Motorcycle Engineering aka The Machine Shop, in N. Hollywood CA. It was Gene Shaffer, Don Tomasko, and Don Orr. Don bought out what Mustang inventory was left, and the name Mustang from a guy in Texas. Unfortunately, Don didn't get all the paperwork and titles to the stock, so he just dumped all the parts after he built a couple dozen "Stallions' as he called them. 

Don didn't use the Mustang for a pattern for the GME tanks, but he did give Ronnie Paugh a NOS mustang tank so that Paughco could make the prototype dies to stamp them out around '70 or so (maybe earlier). They stamped Amen's and GME's out for them as part of the deal. 

Don was in partners with Neil McNeil, then he sold his share out and went in on The Machine Shop. He left there, and started Triton Engineering, and had Billy Westbrook custom painting bikes there when he was THIRTEEN YEARS OLD! That is, until Triton burnt down. 

Last time I talked to Don Orr was about 5 years ago, and he still had a lawsuit against H-D pending, and he was up in Bend, OR building Bonneville racers.

Bonehead Enduro - 2015

This news is too cool not to share. The Bonehead Enduro is a local event associated with the Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts (VME). JD McGeary just posted the following on FB:

"I won the Bonehead Enduro today on my 1928 Harley JD. I was on the only American bike out of 60 people who entered and the next oldest bike was a 1961 triumph. Most everybody was on 70's thru brand new dual sports and enduros. 60+ miles of dirt mud rocks and ruts."

I've only had the opportunity to chat with JD on a couple of occasions but I liked him right away. I love it when people own and RIDE old bikes. JD takes that to a whole new level. Nicely done JD!


Tom Samuelsen was kind enough to add some additional details on the Bonehead this year. I was afraid they'd go unnoticed buried in the comments section. Thanks Tom!

74 year old Mailman from Tacoma VME won the oldest Rider. He picked up all of the bones, there were 19 this year. There were 55 riders in total. 4 of them over 70, three in their 20's and one female this year. Gary Griffith got the hard luck award on his 1961 triumph twin. It started to run on one cylinder then gave up completely about 25 miles out of town. The Roseburg Race Team from Oregon got the long distance award. We found a few motorcycle parts, if you are missing any thing call to claim. A. Bonehead

Friday, April 17, 2015

Opening a Can of Oiled Worms

There is no greater topic to generate a holy war in vintage motorcycle circles than oil. You can pick almost any topic on a vintage motorcycle forum and there will be some "experts" citing "X" is the only way a topic should be handled and immediately someone will profess if "X" rather than "Y and Z" is done your bike will be reduced to a pile of goo and every knowledgeable Greybeard will immediately exile you for life. Still, you as a rider must make some choice. This Franz and Grubb post is exactly the sort of information I like to consider when I make those choices. Is it right? I'll never ride and teardown enough "trial" engines to know for certain but those guys might. In my opinion it's worth reading. From the Franz and Grubb post:

"New Federal regulations led to the creation of a new oil standard that is intended to improve fuel economy, lower emissions, and extend the life of catalytic converters. The new standard is ILSAC GF-5* and API SN. While these new standards may be good for your new passenger car, it is not good for your vintage motorcycle. Triumph motorcycles along with other flat tappet automobile camshafts need more protection from oil than these new formulations can provide."

"The most common antioxidant/ anti wear additive in motor oils is ZDDP. It works by forming a sacrificial film on the surface it protects, which is extremely important in preventing wear on tappets and camshafts. ZDDP has been found to harm catalytic converters, and more legislation has led to the reduction of this additive in passenger car oils. This means that the oil you buy at the auto parts store may no longer protect your engine. Any oil with the API SNSMSL  ratings along with ILSAC GF-5, or anything labelled ”energy conserving” or “resource conserving”  should never be used in a vintage motorcycle. There are however many oils on the market today with high levels of ZDDP, you just may not find them at your local auto parts store."

The article later also recommends looking for oils labeled as "Racing Oil" if you have to buy something at an auto parts store as off highway use oil is not bound by the same regulations.

Is anyone else with a stake in the game saying anything similar? This is from an older British Cycle Supply oil recommendation post:

Barb Dour of Megacycle Cams specifically warns against usage of current Castrol GTX and of Mobil 1, which in her experience have resulted in a disproportionate number of badly worn cams and followers, and says best results have been encountered using the following motorcycle specific lubricants with her cams. As a matter of interest, Megacycle may void warranty if other brands than those below are used and damage has been caused by lubrication failure:
*Redline Synthetic Motorcycle Oil
*Joe Gibbs Racing Oil
*Brad-Penn # 1
*Kendall Oil
*Valvoline Motorcycle Oil

I've been using the Valvoline 4-Stroke Air Cooled Motorcycle oil in my bikes for the last several years. Is it the best? Probably not but it's more important to me as a rider to be able to find a quart of oil in small town Somewhere USA if I need it than to provide protection for repeated 7,000 RPM passes at Bonneville. That said, I'm no expert.

To me the cream of the Franz and Grubb post is the understanding that vintage car/motorcycle people are on the fringe of automotive culture and it's up to us to understand how it affects our decisions as Gearheads:

"Since the overall percentage of vintage vehicles on the road is so small, almost no consideration has been given to the owners of these cars and motorcycles by anyone in government. There is no money in keeping old vehicles on the road, it is considered a hobby and as witnessed with the “cash for clunkers” program the mentality is just about the opposite of how most vintage motorcycle owners think. No one cares if your cams go flat from bad oil or your vintage fiberglass tank turns to jelly from ethanol. It is up to you to keep track of what is changing and how it affects you."

Thursday, April 16, 2015

VME - Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiasts

Just a reminder. The VME meetings are in a new location now. This poster was worked up by the venue. The venue is promoting the club... pretty cool.

Michelin Man

The Old Motor has a nice feature on this Michelin Man on the job.

 The photo reminded of how utterly creepy some of the early Michelin Man stuff is. Here's a sample.