Sunday, February 27, 2011

Project Hollister Update

There's some serious progress going on with Project Hollister. Go check it out right now dammit!

It's all happened in almost exactly a year. Amazing what can be obtained through a little good old-fashioned psychotic obsession. I can't wait to see it in person.

Friday, February 25, 2011


V's rad new 1938 Indian 4 and a V self portrait. Thanks Flathead45!

Mom & Dad have spent a lot of time keeping those nostrils squeaky clean in the days since we left the hospital.


I saw this picture of a factory HD TT bike on MC Art.

The same post references a guy's profile that lists 20 blogs, each exclusively featuring a single bike. There's some cool stuff up there. Love this '39 Knuck.

I'm throwing this photo from Magneto Zoo (a Danish blog full of good stuff) just because it sorta fits in.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Glamor Shot

My friend Stephen took this stunning shot of my 'Liv. Stephen is a super cool guy with all the right interests... cars, motorcycles, airplanes, art, music, guitars. Vaughn really likes his dog too.

Thanks to Stephen I now get away with effectively "parking my bike" in both my office and my living room. Some of the other shots he took are just as cool.

His Triumph Speed Triple is immaculately clean from a design perspective, has flawless fabrication with incredible attention to detail and is still somehow remarkably understated. His other design projects and photography mirror all the same traits. Enjoy.

Incidentally, Stephen really needs to find a Triumph Cub project. Let me know if you hear of something irresistible.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Virtual Sock Drawer

Seat Crap

This post is mostly for me, organizing some bookmarks and thinking out loud. I've now experimented enough to know I either have to come up with some sort of seat suspension or it's time to sell the Triumph to fund something else I can actually ride. The last back surgery sucked and I don't want to go through it again. Sorry, this will likely be long.

I've searched around for more compliant springs, even at a longer length and haven't really found what I think would be much of an improvement.

I considered building a setup that uses a mountain bike rear shock. The infinite adjust-ability is certainly appealing. Problem is most modern MTB shocks are 6"-8" long. Some of the older shocks are are still available (new & used) but they are notoriously unreliable and rebuild parts are no longer available.

Next thought was some of the chopper specific shock setups like Chopper Shox. I've always thought they were pretty ridiculous looking but I want to be able to ride. There are other folks building these kits too. One of my favorites aesthetically are the Performance Works built for a bike being built by Speakeasy Cycles for Billy Joel.

Almost everyone seems to say these shock setups are too harsh/stiff, probably because the travel is very short (about 1"). No good for me.

Several people mentioned that the Paul Cox Rigidaire system is almost as good as a softail or a HD pogo. I saw a post by a guy running one successfully that had had 4 disc surgeries over 3 years. The Paul Cox deal is $1200 and way more complicated than I need. I don't care to run a compressor just so I can drop the bags when I park.

Lots of guys are building similar systems themselves. The core of the system is a Goodyear air spring vibration isolator used in semi-truck seats. The air spring appears to be very adjustable and provides about 2" of travel in a 3.5" space. The springs are pretty cheap, about $30 a piece.

Rather than running an on-board compressor and all the required tubing I'm thinking I could just run a Schrader to 1/8" NPT valve in the bottom for the spring and check the level before rides. I'm not sure I'll have the room to run two springs so I may try just one. The springs are inexpensive enough I may buy two and see how it plays out when I start fabbing brackets. If I only use one I'll then have a spare in case it leaks or something I guess.

If you have any suggestions or brilliant ideas let me know.

Friday, February 18, 2011

MidAmerica 1939 EL

I guess it's Knucklehead day.

I was browsing the recent MidAmerica auction results and this 1939 HD EL caught my eye. $37,500 seems sorta low. Why? Oddly diggin' the pimpy gator bags.


I'd never seen the Joe Petrali Knuck without it's rear fairing before. Wild.

I saw the top photo on the Dice magazine blog. I think it's the original bike restored as restored by "Chicago Ray" Schlee. I found this post from Craig Vetter while messing around. Aeronautics geeks, I don't know...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

V 2.0

V will likely be in the hospital a least another day. Lab results are back so at least we know what we are dealing with and know we are using the right antibiotics. He's been a remarkable sport about it all. He was pretty stoked to get his Valentines from school today even though Kindergarten has somehow made him swear off girls.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Supercross Houston

I'm not too ashamed to admit that as a Supercross spectator I like James Stewart. It's hard to argue that when he's not riding "beyond the edge" he's typically the fastest guy on the track. Often it's because he has some amazing line somewhere or is clearing some gap no one else can. After watching round 6 from Houston I couldn't help thinking that if I actually raced against the guy there's a pretty good chance I'd hate him.

At least 4 or 5 times now I recall him taking someone out in very similar fashion as the collision with Jason Thomas in round 6. Rumor has it the crash resulted in a knee injury for Thomas. Stewart is either really reckless or totally clueless about the racers around him. If he's not jumping directly on top of someone (which like I said, has happened many many times now) he's re-entering the track in some oblivious fashion that results in a really lame crash like one where he walked blindly into Kevin Windham after colliding with Chad Reed at Anaheim I (2009). Lots of these incidences result in serious injuries for the victim racers. Remember when Stewart landed on Ivan Tedesco in practice at Toronto back in 2006? It resulted in a season ending broken wrist for Tedesco. Ever notice Tedesco now tries to t-bone Stewart almost every chance he gets? I suspect there's a reason.

So, is Stewart a squirrel? I'm certainly starting to think so.

V Update

After complaining off and on about mild eye pain late in the day my chief mechanic woke us up in the middle of the night. He was really hurting after an apparent late night bar fight (wonder what the other guy looked like). The next morning the very concerned Mommy ran him into his regular doctor, who ushered him off to the pediatric ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologist sent him for a CT scan and then off to the pediatric ER. Orbital Cellulitis was the diagnosis which ultimately lead to a surgery and hospital stay for a few lovely IV antibiotic cocktails. They treat this stuff pretty aggressively as there is significant risk of the infection spreading to the brain. Tough kid, I'm so proud of him. Peds department is pretty incredible here. I feel good about supporting such awesome people for a living. Next time something weird happens with your kid and you really can't decide if they need to see a doctor do me a favor and just take them in.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


First time I've ever tried upholstery. I still need to futz around with the front a bit but over all it came out better than I thought it would.

What the hell is the name of the "coming of age" movie where the younger brother is left watching his older brother's '57 Chevy while the upholstery is done in Tijuana so the seats "don't get stuffed with cow shit?" It was a lesser known movie with a Porky's like story line. They must have played it 1000 times on HBO/Cinemax when I was a kid.

V grabbed the camera as I came in the house and had to play photographer. 20 minutes later I actually got to pull the photos off. "Wait I want to take a picture of his tail... now I need to take I picture of the carpet..."

Check out this taillight...

Lifted from Good Luck Photo:

Monday, February 7, 2011


I received a small package of hardware from Flathead45 (thanks!). Sucks when you don't have a hardware store worth a damn.

I've been reluctant to post any progress pictures of the Suzook, I'm tired of seeing it just get uglier. Flathead45 asked for pictures so it's the least I could do.

I decided to bolt rather than weld on the battery box. The small battery is a bit of an experiment. The same sized battery has worked great on the Triumph but there's no electric start. Seems to be working well so far but who knows...

The wiring looks like crap here because nothing but the starter solenoid and battery are firm mounted yet. I'll work on dressing everything once it's more permanent. I'm fairly happy with the shape of the rear plate now I just need to find the nerve to actually weld it in place.

I've been working on shaping the seat foam for a couple of days. Might well be the lamest "building a motorcycle" task I've done to date. It takes for ever and is making a fucking unbelievable mess. A couple more days and it might actually fit the pan right. I don't have $$ for vinyl right now so I'm in no hurry anyway.