Musings & Commentary 15
When I’m old and grizzled I want to be just like this guy.
Phil Funell from British Columbia. He’s somewhat famous in the BMW circles and attends all the ralleys. He has lots of great stories and tons of fantastic home brewed bike contraptions. In this video he talks about taking his bike across the Ice Road in the middle of winter.
Here is one of his crazy contraptions! He has more…..
Hi, Great Bikes you have!! I like your Yamahas the best. Do you sell them, or just keep them after you get them fix up? How big is your shop?
BIG ED XT&TT 600 FAN!!
I get a lot of shop questions. I’ve had lots of different work spaces over the years.
When I lived in a small apartment I worked out of here:
It was small and cozy, but I was able to get a lot done. I sealed it in with a tarp in the winter to try and keep it somewhat warm – but it didn’t work well.
Sometimes I have the bikes inside:
Then I upgraded to an excellent garage.
Man, I loved having that space. My landlord wasn’t thrilled though, hah!
When I’m on the road I work where-ever I can.
And there are lots of times I’ve worked out of storage units.
I pretty much just work where ever I can. I wish I had a great garage right now, but I don’t.
And to address your other question. No, I don’t keep them. I wish I could, but mostly I fix them up, ride them a while, then sell and buy something else.
I just found my old XR650R up for sale on a Russian Auction site. That’s me in the photos.
I sold it last year to an exporter who ships bikes to Japan. I’ve sold many vintage bikes to such outfits, but never encountered an exporter who dealt in dirtbikes (or modern bikes for that matter).
Speedway racing has really taken off in Japan and the bikes are just flat out incredible. They are one of the only series that allow for twin cylinder motors. Most of them are these AR600 race motors built by Yamaha specifically for the track.
I’ve been trying to figure out why they use external dampers on the forks. Seems strange to me. Any ideas?
I watch way too many motorcycle videos online, here’s a few I like.
The Higgspeed expansion chambers for GT750’s give the most incredible sound! I want!
Another incredible sounding bike – the Honda RC166 250cc 6 cylinder.
This is some serious touring on tiny little Honda z50’s. American’s get too fixated on the size of their ride~!
This is a gorgeous BMW /2
Some day I will own a CJ750 Side Valve with a sidecar. Not the matte military versions though.
Haha! Cool trick!
Here is Motolaw’s vid:
Amazing motocross national battle between James Stewart and Ricky Carmichael. The whole racing season that year was incredible because of these two. I remember watching this race on ESPN (or where ever) at the time and being transfixed by this battle. The best motocross season I’ve ever seen. I wish this video was in HD.
Anyone else like watching Japanese speedway racing on Youtube?
Their speedway bikes are crazy. Most country race regulations only have single cylinder speedway brackets, but Japan obviously allows twins – 2 strokes no less! Check out their custom bent handlebars!
I was just reading an article in Classic American Iron from a year ago posing a question about one of Joe Petrali’s flat track race bikes. I’ve been on a bit of a flat track kick lately and was just posting a few cool photos over in the forums, so I thought I’d answer it for them (since I know the answer).
They ask about the double down tubes on Joe’s bike (seen in the photo to the left) and ask why the bike same bike, which is on display at the Indiana Motor Speedway Museum, has only a single down tube (seen in the photos below).
The answer may be obvious to some, but it’s an interesting bit of history so allow me to explain.
The above bike is a typical Laverda Jota 1200 but with the awesome and hard to come by Cropredy Liberator bodywork. I’m not much of a Laverda fan because the engines, heads, and side covers are all a bit square which I think looks slightly odd:
The Cropredy bike above is once of the nicest looking Laverda’s around. The body work reminds me a lot of the Tracy body kits which were available for the Honda CB750’s in the mid 70’s.
I LOVE the Tracy body kits, and CB’s are right up my alley. I had an opportunity to buy a CB750 with the Tracy kit not too long ago but couldn’t swing the extra dough. Bummer!
The site has been a bit dormant lately while I’ve been preparing for an all out epic motorcycle adventure. It’s about to begin and this site will be ground zero for all that the trip entails.
This site has been getting lots of traffic lately which is flattering to say the least. As a result I now receive emails on a daily basis from visitors who have questions about their bikes or motorcycling in general. I am happy to answer these questions and they are part of the reason I put this site together in the first place. It brings me great satisfaction to know that I can share knowledge and help others enjoy the hobby I have grown to love so much. I am doing my best to respond to as many emails as I can, but am sad that some have slipped through the cracks. I plan to take a more structured approach to your queries in the coming months and I might even start responding to them here on the website.
Hopefully you can all rest soundly in the fact that despite the slow going recently I have in fact been working on many great bikes. All of which I will post about over the next few days!
Until next time, keep the rubber down.
I love how passionate Harley riders get about their bikes, but most of it doesn’t make much sense to me. Harleys have been proven over time to be extremely expensive, labor intensive, and prone to breaking down. I’m all for having an old Iron Head motor bike for bar hopping, but if I had to cruise across the country I’d much rather take a $200 Japanese bike from 30 years ago.
I just stumbled upon some Harley arguments on a forum and thought this one was particularly interesting. Please excuse the authors poor grammer!
when harley sued the jap companies for sound ,they tried to copy write the exhust note! what a bunch of pussys!
then they sued for looks… and it was proven that harly stole the looks from indian and excellsor and 3 others!
and as for v twin “harley” motor…it was stolen and copied from Jason A Preswick.
harley sued everybody under the sun! the sued a shop called the hog farm! claiming hog was a harley copy write and that shop was not a dealer.once the jugde found out the shop has had that name longer than harley was in business he told them to go fuck thems.
if harley had more enginers than lawyers,they would have a better bike!
buy the way a honda golw wing is made 95% in the US vs. 60% of a harley!
so much for an american bike! the forks.japan,wires, grips ,lights,shocks,tins,black box, tiawan…….and more.
just so you know,i am a certfied cycle tech from MMI and i works in a few harley shops and have built 3 bikes(helped on 7 others) that got into easyriders mag.
yes i love harleys ,i just hate all of that mine is better than yours bull shit.it makes me sick.there is a reason you can buy a 1970 honda cb 750,that has been sitting for 10 years…clean the carb,new oil ,plugs..and ride away!
its called better enginering.
the only bike in the world that needs more attention and work..and tune ups… is ducati..but atleest they go fast!
Yesterday I found what I thought was a great deal on a 1993 KTM 300 for $500. I have a 94 and they share most parts, so it would be great to have some spares. I talked to the owner briefly and learned that the motor had just been overhauled, but the bike needed a throttle tube and a kill switch to be on the trail. The owner stated that otherwise the bike was in good condition. Sounds like a deal to me!
So I grabbed my $500, put the trailer on the Jeep, and drove 2 hours out into the middle of NH to buy the bike. When I arrive a teen (the seller) opens the garage door. His friend is crouching next to the bike and a space heater. It is clear they were just working on it in preperation of my arrival.
Before I even get up near the bike I know I was dooped. The bike is not a 1993. I walk right up to it, turn the forks to the side and read the the Vin plate. Manufactured in 1989. What shocked me more was that the owner knew. He knew it was an 89 but puposefully listed it as a 93.
Well, I came up to look at the bike, I might as well look at it. And afterall, a 1989 300 in good condition is worth $500 anyway.
It very quickly becomes clear to me that this bike has been absolutely ridden into the dirt. Wheel bearings are trashed, chain and sprockets are junk, brakes are toast, all the plastics had been spray painted multiple times and were flaking and chipping and falling off. The seat cover had been redone with fabric and was wet, soggy and sagging. There was no clutch perch or lever, no kill switch, no throttle assembly or cable. The wheels had flat spots on them. The rear fender sat a mere 3 feet from the ground because the rear shock was clearly ruined and ridden to death.
I told him “This bike isn’t worth $100.”
I didn’t bother checking the engine or hanging around. I got back in the car and headed straight home. That was the UGLIEST “good condition” dirtbike I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of them.
Hey. Bike me!
I have owned nearly every make and model of vintage Japanese motorcycle as well Europeans and more modern bikes. I do everything from simple fixes to full restorations. I also travel by motorcycle and race off-road. This is a blog about my bikes.
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