Farrell’s feral ferrule

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I love old motorcycles. There’s a certain bit of character that they just show up with. At times that character can manifest some trouble, but it’s usually worth it.

One thing a lot of old bikes do not come with is spare parts or instructions. It’s sort of like raising foster children; you get them, you’re likely unprepared and there’s virtually no one to turn to for (constructive) advice and you don’t know how they’ve been treated.

When I loaded ‘Grover’, the 1971 Suzuki TC 90 into the back of my Subaru wagon a several months ago I knew I was getting in pretty deep. The piston was seized there was no real way to check out the rest of the mechanical condition. But, for $150, whaddya gonna do?

Grover the 1971 Suzuki TC90

Grover, as he looked when Jalet finished giving him a bath.

I rebuilt the top end and got it runni...

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Sidecar Superhero

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Lily, ready to ride on the sidecar hack

The old axiom, “Necessity is the mother of invention” has a gaping hole in its logic; the drive to create even when there’s nothing lacking.

Compared to most of the world, I live the richest, most opulent and adorned life one could ever hope for, yet my desire to create hasn’t melted away. My job is 76 miles away from my front door, a commute that gives me lots of time to think. There’s many a night when I roll up our gravel driveway and head straight to my notebook to scratch out some new something I hope to one day bring to life.

“Retrovation” is a word we’ve come up with around our house to describe the style of creativity we enjoy. It’s not necessarily innovation because we may be creating something that’s been done before, but we want the joy of doing it ourselves...

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Salem Flat Track Season Finale

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Brad Baker racing in vintage leathers

It was another great night out at the Salem Indoor Flat Track races. Tonight was the winter season finale and there was some super racing.

My favorite part was Brad “The Bullet” Baker’s vintage style leather racing outfit. Very classy.

Here’s a link to more of the photos:

Salem Flat Track Winter Season Finale 2014

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Salem Flat Track Racing

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Vintage Yamaha Flat Tracker

There was more great flat track racing in Salem Oregon tonight. Here’s a few images.

Click here to view all the photos from the evening.






Flat Track Racing

Go fast, Turn left


Vintage Yamaha Flat Tracker

Vintage Yamaha Flat Tracker


Close Action Flat Track Racing

Close Action Flat Track Racing


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1989 Subaru - Smokey

It’s safe to say the we don’t spend much time focused on football around our house. Knowing that virtually everyone else would be glued to their screens for the big game we decided to hack Smokey’s (our 1989 Subaru wagon) fenders and go wheeling. We recently drilled out some 15″ Toyota Tacoma steelies to fit the Subaru and shod them with 235/60/15 snow tires. The overall gain was about a 2.5″ lift but the tires rubbed on the fenders in a moderate turn.

A grinder and an hour is all we needed to prepare Smokey for some more wheel clearance. The net effect was overall very pleasing. The three of us boys headed up toward Valsetz, forked off at Teal creek and found an overgrown skidder trail to test our work.

All in all, the best way I can think of to spend Superbowl Sunday...

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Ride, regardless

Category: Motorcycles Comments: One comment

Riding with the boys - a view from the back of the pack

My face shield was virtually opaque with mud long before we turned onto Liberty Road and headed into the lush forest lands near our home. Waiting for ‘good riding weather’ here in the northwestern USA is a lot like dating a beautiful woman who’s sick all the time, she’s pretty to look at but you’re never going to get that kiss you’re dreaming about. Unless, of course, you don’t mind coming down with a cold…

And so it is with me and my two teen-aged sons. Sometimes we just have to get out there on two wheels in the muck and mess and have some adventure.

I’m pretty sure it all started this time with a glance from a bored teen-ager sitting next to the woodstove cruising craigslist for affordable project bikes. He fired off one of those looks like, “this blows”...

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Salem Speedway Flat Track Racing Photos

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There was some great flat track racing happening this weekend at Salem Speedway. A good mix of quads and bikes, pros and amateurs. A few photos are below.

Click here to see all the photos.

Steel Shoe

Goliath’s boot

Flat Track Racer

Getting Sideways

Cigarettes in the First Aid kit

“First Aid”

Lined up and ready

Lined up and ready



Coming out of the turn sideways

When in doubt, twist it out!

Cardboard and tape sign

All are welcome

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Georgia, the 1972 TS185 that saved the day

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For anyone who’s been following our progress with Georgia, the $200 TS185 Keenen bought a few months ago you know it’s been quite a path to get to a running bike. Well we finally got her running recently. It was a moment of pure joy for us. Hugs, high-five’s, fist-bumps and much whooping and hollering commenced. Sure, there’s still much to be done. The ignition electrical system is working and we haven’t tested the auxiliary charging yet. The wiring for the aux. is a pure mess and, as such Georgia has no headlights, brake lights, battery, etc. But, she runs, rides, shifts and stops. And, she’s a blast to ride.

1972 TS185 clutch repair

Fixing the clutch

Georgia and Ollie

Georgia and Ollie

The other day we took a little ride up to a gravel pit about 15 miles from our home on gravel back roads as a bit of a recon mission...

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1974 CB125S – ‘Piglet’

Category: MotorcyclesPhotography Comments: One comment

Some photos of the CB125S project.

Right profile of the 1974 CB125S from Twentythree Moto Co.

Look right, go straight.

Leather boot battery box on the 1974 Honda CB125S from Twentythree Moto Co.

A leather boot for a battery box

Stopping down - Camera tail light on the 1974CB125s

Stopping down – Camera tail light on the 1974CB125s

Rear view of Piglet - 1974 Honda CB125s

Baby got back

Hand crafted leather hand grips - 1974 Honda CB125S

Twisting the throttle take a little extra something.

Quarter-inch headphone jacks for light switches on the 1974 CB125S

Quarter-inch headphone jacks for light switches on the 1974 CB125S

1974 CB125S Leather Battery Box

1974 CB125S Leather Battery Box

Tractor Seat on a motorcycle - 1974 Honda CB125S

Yes, it’s actually quite comfortable. Tractor Seat on a motorcycle – 1974 Honda CB125S

Hand Crafted Leather Grips - 1974 Honda CB125S

Leather, works for cows, works for humans…

Glass bowl fuel filter on the 1974 Honda CB125S

Glass bowl fuel filter on the 1974 Honda CB125S – You never wonder if it’s clogged.

Brass Wingnuts and Camera Keychain on the 1974 Honda CB125S

Brass Wingnuts and Camera Keychain

Quarter-inch headphone jacks and connectors for a headlight switch with paracord wire wrap on the 1974CB125S

Paracord wire wrap gives that antique look

23 Motor Co - the mighty 125CC Honda

The mighty 125CC honda fed through a tractor filter

Brownie camera tail light on the 1974 Honda CB125S from 23moto.com

Stopping down never felt so good.

Rear view of the 1974 CB125S from Twentythree Moto Co.

Skinny tires and a wide, comfy seat. Recipe for success

Gauge Cluster ont eh 1974 Honda CB125S from 23moto.com

Leather and paracord adds age to the modern (in 1974) i...

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The World’s Fastest Rhino

Category: BicyclesExperimentalMotorcycles Comments: No comments

Rhino Redneck Rocket 1

A lot of rules, laws, legislation and general regulation of life is an effort to save those who can’t seem to think for themselves. Danger is a part of innovation. Trials lead to discovery. The more we try to keep people alive the more we stifle creativity. There needs to be some space in the world for those who think to take non-bulletproof-risks. We need to apply the skills we have, with the materials on-hand to achieve and innovate.

This next project should probably be regulated because it’s neither well-thought-out, nor safe in any way.

The goal is to build a CAS straight-line racer out of bike frames I have on hand and an old Subaru ‘bluebird’ 130cc engine. Here’s the 3D rendering that inspired me:

1915 Board tracker rendering from Craig Kitzmann

1915 Board tracker rendering from Craig Kitzmann

My version is a little less cool, but ...

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