Sunday, February 25, 2018

Suzuki GSX-R

I am reading Suzuki GSX-R, A legacy of Performance by Marc Cook and it is quite impressive the way these motorcycles were developed.  The whole concept of the GSX-R was based on racing performance and then that bike was made into a street bike instead of the other way around.

The dedication of the engineering staff led by Etsuo Yokouchi was second to none.  He came up with an oil cooled engine to push the performance to maximum levels and did so with impressive results.  Remember we are talking about the tip top of eighties technology.  When he asked his staff if the bike was breaking under stress and they replied "no", he asked them why it wasn't breaking.  Meaning it was too over built.  They stressed performance above all things and kept making things lighter until they broke and then addressed those issues.

I am just now recognizing how amazing some of this Japanese technology is....yes. I still love old iron but this is old iron now !  Check it out, you too may be impressed.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Taste for 45's

It seems like as of late I have had a taste for 45's....45" Flathead Harleys and Indians and  .45 caliber model 1911 pistols...

I ended up with a cool little Harley flathead which I enjoyed assembling and then I purchased a Springfield Armory .45 ACP loaded pistol. 

I really wanted a Colt Series 70 pistol but they are very expensive here in California.  The geniuses in Sacramento have come up with "the list" which means you can buy some 1911 model pistols but not others.  It's a long story and makes no sense so I won't get into all that.  I ended up with a Springfield Armory loaded model because it was highly recommended.  Springfield has been around for a long time and is now owned by Dennis Reese.  Mr Reese is also an avid motorcycle man and has a museum of some pretty cool bikes.  I sold him a 1940 Indian Sport Scout and a chopper that was owned by one of the  Sons of Anarchy producers a few years ago.

Springfield Armory 1911 model

This is the Indian Sport Scout that I sold Dennis Reese, the picture was taken before I owned it.  I saw it at Indian Days West and was very impressed with the build quality.  A few years later I had the opportunity to purchase it from the builder.

Harley Davidson 45" Flattie

Race of Gentlemen


JUNE 8,9&10, 2018

This event has breathed life back into our old American built handshift motorcycles.  There is more interest now in Harley Davidson 45's. JD's, RL's etc. plus the good old Indian Sport Scout than there has been in a long time.

Pick up an old hand shifter and go racing this year

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Couple of Knuckleheads

I started to build this motorcycle in 2007 but never completed it, too bad because I kind of liked it

I built this bike in about 2006 and it rode real nice and tracked true down the road.  That's my son Nick standing next to it.  I built quite a few custom motorcycles when I lived in Albuquerque.

Happy Valentines Day

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

K Model Affliction

I have had a thing for Harley Davidson K Models ever since I saw my first one in the 1970's  It was a blue custom chopper that was very sanitary, I wanted it bad but didn't have the where with all to purchase it.  The next K Model that came into my personal life was a basketcase 1953 K which my friend Mark Alexander purchased from an old man in Vacaville, California.  He had it for a while but didn't do a whole lot with it so I traded him my 1971 BSA Thunderbolt chopper for it.  I'm not sure who got the best end of that one...but I wanted it.

I had the basketcase K Model for a short time before my friend Mike Dickerson and I were almost killed on Highway 29.  We were going way to fast on the road between Vallejo and Napa California when a car pulled across the highway and stopped in the left lane right in Mike's path.  I was in the right lane and nailed the throttle missing the front bumper of the car by inches...Mike wasn't so fortunate.  He hit the car broadside at about 80 mph.  He lived but it was a horrible wreck that I will never forget.

After the accident Mike got into some things that delayed the healing of his broken leg and arms, he had broken both of his arms and one leg as well as almost having his head cut off by his helmet strap.
I was concerned for the direction he was heading so I gave him the 53 K Model to try to get him focused on getting well.  The bike never got built...again.  When Mike died tragically in 1987 the bike went to his brother Ralph who then sold it to a biker in Vallejo who went by "V Town" Willie.  I recently tried to contact Willie and found that he had passed away and that his widow may have the basketcase in her garage, so far no luck in getting it back but I haven't given up the idea. 

As you can see I have an affection for these little pre-Sportster Harleys.  The bike pictured above was a 1953 Harley Davidson KK that I owned a few years ago.  I am now in the process of piecing together a 1956 KHK and will keep you posted...Be safe out there

Rudyard Kipling...Gunga Din

Gunga Din

You may talk o’ gin and beer   
When you’re quartered safe out ’ere,   
An’ you’re sent to penny-fights an’ Aldershot it; 
But when it comes to slaughter   
You will do your work on water, 
An’ you’ll lick the bloomin’ boots of ’im that’s got it.   
Now in Injia’s sunny clime,   
Where I used to spend my time   
A-servin’ of ’Er Majesty the Queen,   
Of all them blackfaced crew   
The finest man I knew 
Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din,   
      He was ‘Din! Din! Din! 
   ‘You limpin’ lump o’ brick-dust, Gunga Din! 
      ‘Hi! Slippy hitherao 
      ‘Water, get it! Panee lao, 
   ‘You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din.’ 

The uniform ’e wore 
Was nothin’ much before, 
An’ rather less than ’arf o’ that be’ind, 
For a piece o’ twisty rag   
An’ a goatskin water-bag 
Was all the field-equipment ’e could find. 
When the sweatin’ troop-train lay 
In a sidin’ through the day, 
Where the ’eat would make your bloomin’ eyebrows crawl, 
We shouted ‘Harry By!’ 
Till our throats were bricky-dry, 
Then we wopped ’im ’cause ’e couldn’t serve us all. 
      It was ‘Din! Din! Din! 
   ‘You ’eathen, where the mischief ’ave you been?   
      ‘You put some juldee in it 
      ‘Or I’ll marrow you this minute 
   ‘If you don’t fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!’ 

’E would dot an’ carry one 
Till the longest day was done; 
An’ ’e didn’t seem to know the use o’ fear. 
If we charged or broke or cut, 
You could bet your bloomin’ nut, 
’E’d be waitin’ fifty paces right flank rear.   
With ’is mussick on ’is back, 
’E would skip with our attack, 
An’ watch us till the bugles made 'Retire,’   
An’ for all ’is dirty ’ide 
’E was white, clear white, inside 
When ’e went to tend the wounded under fire!   
      It was ‘Din! Din! Din!’ 
   With the bullets kickin’ dust-spots on the green.   
      When the cartridges ran out, 
      You could hear the front-ranks shout,   
   ‘Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!’ 

I shan’t forgit the night 
When I dropped be’ind the fight 
With a bullet where my belt-plate should ’a’ been.   
I was chokin’ mad with thirst, 
An’ the man that spied me first 
Was our good old grinnin’, gruntin’ Gunga Din.   
’E lifted up my ’ead, 
An’ he plugged me where I bled, 
An’ ’e guv me ’arf-a-pint o’ water green. 
It was crawlin’ and it stunk, 
But of all the drinks I’ve drunk, 
I’m gratefullest to one from Gunga Din. 
      It was 'Din! Din! Din! 
   ‘’Ere’s a beggar with a bullet through ’is spleen;   
   ‘’E's chawin’ up the ground, 
      ‘An’ ’e’s kickin’ all around: 
   ‘For Gawd’s sake git the water, Gunga Din!’ 

’E carried me away 
To where a dooli lay, 
An’ a bullet come an’ drilled the beggar clean.   
’E put me safe inside, 
An’ just before ’e died, 
'I ’ope you liked your drink,’ sez Gunga Din.   
So I’ll meet ’im later on 
At the place where ’e is gone— 
Where it’s always double drill and no canteen.   
’E’ll be squattin’ on the coals 
Givin’ drink to poor damned souls, 
An’ I’ll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!   
      Yes, Din! Din! Din! 
   You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!   
   Though I’ve belted you and flayed you,   
      By the livin’ Gawd that made you, 
   You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!