Saturday, April 30, 2016

Weird Harold's

More from Weird Harold's. Weird Harold's was a mainly off road / race bike shop. They sold Bultaco, Ossa, Hodaka, Montesa and Husqvarna. The was a shop located on Wyoming just south of Lomas next to the original Holman's location and across from the National Guard armory. He is retired now but is still active with dirt bikes.


Idle Hands - Whitworth Edition

Most folks are familiar with Gary Griffin's iconic "Idle Hands" Knucklehead photo of Atomic Trent.


Here's the all English "Whitworth" edition. Crazy how small the Triumph mill looks by comparison.























I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the tattooed version shows up at a Auto Jumble across the pond.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Chabott Engineering Van

I recently stumbled across this photo of Shinya Kimura's van. Kinda cool that he's rockin' GeekBobber & Seattle Cossack's stickers. I think I sent him a handful of stickers and wished him luck when I heard he had committed to running the 2014 Cannonball.

 When we met Shinya for the Cannonball in 2010 in Albuquerque he was doing a bottom end rebuild on 1915 Indian in the hotel parking lot. Pretty hardcore. He seemed like a nice guy too. I doubt if that would be the case for me if I were rebuilding my bike in a hotel parking lot...

Polished Pre-Unit


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Rally Car 114

Thanks to the Rally Car 114 guys for letting Vaughn and I check out their car. It didn't make Vaughn want a race car any less...

Monday, April 25, 2016

Charlie's Acres Swap Meet

Atomic Trent mentioned this one to me recently. 5 hours is a pretty long haul. Word is it's a pretty solid meet though.


Twinline Gold Mine Swap Meet

The Twinline Motorcycles Gold Mine Swap Meet is April 30, 2016 starting at 9 AM. Mostly Japanese but it looks like they will have a mess of stuff.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Speedbird Update

It's been a while since I provided a Speedbird update. A very reliable source tells me there is still much progress being made. Rare TriCor dual carb intake, chopped Amal Monobloc. That looks like a complete engine to me. I've said it before but this bike is going to be well worth the wait.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Dirt Quake USA - 2016

I noticed dates have been announced for Dirt Quake USA 2016. Word is it's going to be 17-18 June. I'm assuming it will be at Castle Rock again. If you've been just trust me. You need to mark you calendars now (or just use my calendar).

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Saturday, April 16, 2016

American Motor Drome Co. - Wall of Death

I just recently heard the American Motor Drome Wall of Death show will be rolling through Lawless Harley Davidson in Renton, WA August 19th - 21st.

Flathead Rob mentioned dropping by to watch them while he and the Seattle Cossacks were performing in Sturgis last year. The show was running a then brand-spankin'-new Indian Scout outside on rollers and a '26 Indian on the wall. Evidently after the show they introduced Rob to the crowd and insisted everyone then go watch the Cossack's show. Pretty cool.

I'm kinda excited to see the wall for myself.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Monday, April 11, 2016

Welding Classes For Hobbyists

For quite some time I've been wishing I could carry a little more of the critical welding on own personal projects.  I've done a little stick welding & oxyacetylene welding in the past but have never even touched a MIG or TIG. I've always done as much of the work as I could possibly do myself and outsourcing the majority of the welding has been starting to get to me.
Nearly 3 years ago I started hunting for welding courses at the various community colleges in the area. I thought welding classes for hobbyist's would be fairly common and popular given the overall prevalence of the custom car/motorcycle trend. All the courses I found were intended for trade welders working toward a professional certification. I'm not sure my current employer would be too stoked if I missed work to attend a multi-week 9AM-5PM welding program so that wasn't really an option.

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from The Factory Metal Works offering a welding course targeted for motorcycle builders. Cool concept but Salisbury, NC is a long haul for one day welding class. Still, it got me hunting for something local again.

This time I eventually stumbled across the Hazard Factory. Folks online were saying great things about both the primary instructor and the various programs they offer. The website recommended taking the MIG course before the TIG course and it was reasonably priced so I set off about convincing Flathead Rob to take it with me. Little brothers are expertly manipulative so that wasn't hard.


We registered for a Sunday morning class that same week. When we initially showed up for the class I was slightly disappointed Rusty Oliver wasn't teaching our class as several Internet discussions really raved about him as an instructor. Our instructor was Mckenzie Smith. Mckenzie was awesome. She was smart, witty and quite entertaining. More importantly she is also a very capable welder and a fantastic teacher. 5 hours is not a lot of time to teach a complex technical discipline to mostly clueless newbies. Teaching set-in-their-ways adults is even more difficult.  Mckenzie is clearly passionate about teaching and was very motivated to send every student home a successful welder. Our class had three students of varying experience levels and perhaps more importantly three drastically different learning styles. Mckenzie identified those differences and effortlessly altered her teaching style to suit the individual. Having taught technical courses myself I can't overemphasize how difficult this can be. I think it's a skill some are just born with.

I was very satisfied with the course content and it's objectives. The instructor spent maybe 90 minutes discussing theory, demonstrating skills and pinpointing the variables that need to be considered to dial in that optimal weld. The reset of our course time was spent welding, the exact reason we were all there. A hobbyist welder can learn a lot from watching the hours and hours of instructional videos on Youtube. Those videos however can't watch you and point out the one or two minute variables you need to alter to get a really good weld.

I hoped to learn enough in a welding course that I could confidentially lay down a structurally effective weld and visually confirm I actually got one. I defiantly got that. I hoped to build a base upon which I could invest some individual practice time and learn to produce welds I was truly proud of. I think I got that too (I guess time will tell). Perhaps equally important for a hobbyist class is it was actually fun too. Taking a class or two is something you could do for the sheer fun of it and HazardFactory knows it. They offer welding classes especially especially tailored to women,  introductory classes for newbies, fabrication projects for all ages and even welding related Team Building "retreats" for you and your officemates.

 Given Mckenzie spent the day putting three wannabe welder motorcyclists through our paces we concluded turnabout was fair play. After class we walked her through kickstarting an 80 year old big twin flathead and even started on her introductory Seattle Cossacks stunt repertoire.

Long and short of it, the HazardFactory classes are excellent and ours was really fun. You can't go wrong taking one, the value for the money is outstanding and I'd strongly recommend requesting Mckenzieas an instructor. I will almost certainly take another. I'd really like to get some TIG time...

Myke's Bike

I have no idea where this bike is now but you never see pictures of it any more. The motocross TLS front brake is a cool, functional touch. Pretty timeless. I hope it's still putting down miles somewhere.


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