Jun 14, 2019

Jenny Craigslist returns (Jenny Craigslist2)

Okay,

It's like fishing.  Catch and release.  Soon it will be time to return Jenny Craigslist2 to where she came from.


So watch Boulder's craigslist in a few weeks.  
Then go get some of that kid's college money, call an Uber, and ride Jenny home. 

When you  can't afford or even to store any more cars  what do you do?  Fulfill the urge to buy shit with motorcycles,  they are a cheap substitute for cars.   


The original Jenny Craigslist
I like the Goldwing as my "alternative" project to cars.  Everyone does custom tiny displacement bikes as Cafe's or Flat-Trackers. I prefer something with some meat on its bones and more character.

With the original Jenny Craigslist1 being a pretty good project, I thought I'd try it again with a more premium example of the motorcycle.
Jenny Craigslist1 after a couple months.  

A half-million miles is feasible and you'll find the GL1100 holds some mileage records reflecting that.   Any 80's Honda is so reliable you can run them on chocolate milk or even nuclear waste and the motors will simply beg for more. They also can sit with garden hoses draped over them for years and suddenly "wake up" without needing a trip to the dealership. TRY THAT WITH A 35 YEAR OLD DUCATI. 

True story:   My brother stored a Honda CR125 for 13yrs in northern Minnesota,  changed the plug, primed the carb and it started in one kick.  I've got witnesses.

The holy grail of acquisitions is one owner bikes sold because the owner's hemorrhoids are finally to large for him to ride any longer. Typically these sort of guys end up on trikes with hospital beds for seats, or even one of those Polaris Slingshots.   The bike below wasn't exactly the holy grail scenario, but darn close.   Bonus!, it wasn't poop brown like so many Goldwings of that era.  Another Jenny Craigslist project began. 

Image result for gl1100 with vetter fairing goldwing
 this is a photo from the web but you get the picture
Step one, Jenny's diet. 

 Handle bar, crash bars, fog lights and fenders  were trashed.   
The kid requested the windscreen for his "Spaceship" or something or other.
Luggage will store tie down straps in the back of the raptor now.



too bad I cant use these. they look expensive

converted to storage in my truck bed.
now holds chains and tie down straps

trash


Jenny Craigslist1 had the wiring perverted to the point of unrecognizable.  That took a week to sort out.  Jenny Craigslist2 was blessed with nearly perfect electrical components.  Even the Vetter components appeared professionally wired (probably a dealer back in 1982).  Perfectly preserved stuff is so nice to work on.  I enjoyed being the first guy to ruin it.   

Off with the"ape-hangers" and on with black flat bars.
  I ordered them extra wide, like I order my condoms.   
Jenny Craigslist1 required some resealing for oil, forks, and exhaust leaks.  Jenny Craigslist2 Doesn't leak a drop of fluid or exhaust. Shit, this is too easy! So with pristine chrome exhaust that has survived 36 yrs, I doubled down on that crap with some chrome valve stem covers, woo hoo!.

I'm still brainstorming, on getting the front headlight lower.
Also by the time you read this i'll have lowered the front suspension.


What you see are fenders.  They come in handy for WATER.
You know, water you on the road after rain?  Yep, pretty ingenious things.

Bucking convention, I skipped the hipster fenderless bike crap.  After some Old Chub beer and a few episodes of Full Custom Garage, I sought our chrome 70's fenders on eBay.  Once they arrived I cut em up a little and viola!  A 70's chrome, bobberish look.  
Rear fender looks stock, but is actually off 1970's bike.
I cut them down about 6 inches shorter, hard to notice.



Frame mods?  Glad you asked.  I didn't chop off the rear of this bike to look like a stupid cafe bike that's trying too hard.  Yes I have a MIG welder and a cutoff wheel.  But I don't like those kind of bikes.  I prefer changes that are more subtle.     I'm still working on something snarky to say here, come back later and i'll think of something.


Okay, it's not technically a frame modification.
It's more of a factory seat mount amputation. 
Holes welded up,  and a little sanding.
I should start my own reality TV show .




I know Jenny is slow by today's standards, but I feel she is speedy in a sort of RoadKill kind of way.  Those tiny Honda CB350's everyone is building are cute, but they won't pass an RV on a mountain road will they?   Okay, she still may be big boned but having lost so much weight she's anxious to put out.  She’s "fast enough for you old man."   (if you missed the Star Wars reference there please find another blog to read, we don't want you here)


Some things just look pretty right, but in reality are a huge pain.
I bought a MIG welder, learned to weld and mounted this seat.
Don't you just love YouTube?


For the droves of hotties I'll be taking home from clubs a cooler saddle was required.  One that says, "sit here and be completely uncomfortable,"   The new custom seat is brutally uncomfortable as any good custom should be.  Fake crocodile skin was cheaper than brass riveted leather,  Think of it as a vinyl coated brick that costs about the same


The sofa seat was great for riding from Florida to Arizona to visit retirement homes.


The factory seat was so ugly I chose to ride around with no seat.
I can't take credit, for the upgraded suspension.  The previous owner upgraded the suspension  to the popular Progressive brand air ride stuff.  Yes it leaked air, but silicone, o-rings and a dab of JB Weld turned off that warning light pretty easily.  Don't you love cheap fixes?  A man is defined by his junk drawer.   

Clear turn signals, and wicked LED lenses. Headlight coming too.
Yes, cool bikes are all "murdered" out in flat black these days,
 I've effectively rationalized the lazy, cheap route of chrome.  

The upside to choosing a project bike that typically weighs about 800lbs is the brakes are pretty darn good.   3 discs with twin piston calipers on an '37 yr old machine.  Jenny knows how to stop.  


Somebody loved these.  Rotors, pads and brake lines are all new.  


Jenny's MOTOR is fine. Not even a puff of white smoke at startup and with 68,000 miles on the odometer.  Goldwing motors wear like car motors, so it's possible it's just been well cared for.  It's also possible it's been rebuilt.  I've got no clue, but I dig it.  What is apparent is plugs wires and carbs are all sparkly fresh and that's good because carbs are like the moon to me.   Something mysterious goes on inside carburetors that i cannot understand.  It's just unnatural.


Frame guards had to go,  your shins hit them.  

I don't know what we have here.  A Goldwing Custom. Bobber,  Cafe Racer, Flat Tracker, Transcontinental Cafe?  Perhaps simply a Goldwing Sportster.   Whatever it is, it's got a certain character that is awesomely majestic and more unique than most Craigslist Cafe bikes.  To sum up riding it,  it kind of like taming a rhino and riding it around, expect attention and photos.  


Apr 27, 2019

Jenny Craigslist

Okay,


867-5309.  Jenny Jenny, you're the girl for me.

So in theory, selling the M3 was a good idea. but I lost a valuable pastime.  Tinkering in the garage was quite therapeutic and tinkering with the Porsche gets me broke pretty quickly.   Frankly if I could turn back time I'd get the M3 back and discard the Porsche.   But that's not news, I've regretted buying AND selling every damn car I've ever owned.   Why would the M3 be any different?  Oh, and did I mention the Raptor I bought?   Never blogged about that minor diversion.

 A blank template.   22K miles is nothing for these motors.

So I needed a project that was primarily elbow grease and minimal outlay of the Benjamins (that's hipster talk for money).   So I pulled the trigger on this 22K mile goldwing.  Since its an unexciting Japanese motorcycle, it should be mechanically sound albeit aesthetically unpleasing. 

The goal was to lose some serious weight from this porky bitch machine.
Hence the name Jenny Craig was born and quickly morphed to Jenny Craigslist.

I grabbed some cash and took an Uber to Denver after confirming the bike was capable of driving home in its current state.    Once home, I found it did indeed run quite well, but the electrical as well as countless little things needed addressing.  Like any 40+ yr old person it has seen better days but can still satisfy you if you are drunk or squint when looking at her.
Undoing a history of unqualified wiring "improvements" is a blast.
I've screwed up plenty of wiring, so I can spot bad work quickly.
This was just the mental health distraction I needed.  Why pay a therapist $150/hr when you can just tinker on a motorcycle every evening for free.   Well, "free"  might be a tad inaccurate if you check my eBay and Amazon.com history.  But hey,  I've been through a lot this past year and need this distraction.  I wonder if I get a doctor's prescription, will my insurance pay for these parts?

1. Rectify improper wiring to starter, headlights and turn signals.
2. Buy turn signals and tail lights.
First, get Jenny naked and check her out.. 
Rules to live by in any relationship.
Yes indeed, 40+ years did take a small toll on dear old Jenny.   The cables needed attention, tires were old, and forks were weeping slightly.  Lights were all gone, or broken, exhaust leaking, cellulite (just checking to see if you are reading).   Overall through, I wouldn't kick Jenny out of bed if I woke to finder her there.   She's not too shabby for her age.    Jenny's got character and she needs me to save here just like she is saving me.   Too sappy?  I'll tone it down.

Internally routed wires are cleaner looking for sure, so a must.
But damn  they are hard to do with a dremel and a cordless drill.
If I wasn't' so cheap I could have paid to have them pre-drilled.

Everyone is doing a cafe bike these days, and fenderless bobbers bore me.  My initial thinking was some sort of straight bar flat-tracker tribute.  Some super-small saddle would work nicely and cool shocks or a hardtail conversion.   
Instead of cutting the exposed end or removing the fender entirely
I cut the forward edge, then rotated the tail section forward.  
3. Buy fork seals
4. But starter switch for donor parts
5. Buy tachometer for donor parts
6. Buy seat
7. Buy handlebar, grips and end caps
You cannot buy a new starter button,
but I like tiny impossible rebuilds.
8. Buy motor oil, collant, gear oil and brake fluid
9. Buy shocks and fork seals.
10. Buy tire$

Had to learn to weld to do this,  you should see all the scraps I practiced on.
Sometimes looking good comes with a cost.  Once completed I have found that this tiny saddle could easily lead to a broken tooth or spinal damage.  The shocks look sweet, but don't work much like shocks.   I'm thinking perhaps a mouthguard would be a wise investment,  I've also ordered seat springs that are coming soon.
Rebuilding tachometers is not as hard as you think.
 Buy a spare on eBay first if only to show you what you screwed up.
11. buy throttle cable
12. buy digital flasher relay
13. buy speedometer cable
14. buy tachometer cable

Fancy looking shocks, but they are one stiff-ass ride.
Check out the nifty LED tail light.  I'm so cool.
Rear fender is now mounted ON TOP of the frame.
This will look better as it flows beneath the new seat.
Gold Calipers, a period correct color.
New fork seals are not as hard to install as you might think.
I was disappointed no vintage looking tires were readily available.  Frankly nothing was available except expensive Pirelli Knight Dragons.  I couldn't confirm existing tire age,  they had no miles on them, but were probably 20 yrs old.   Unsafe.   Luckily these are now radials  for it now, which my chiropractor appreciates. 
Straight bar and brown grips to match the saddle.
Ran a wire wheel over the clamps to "freshen" them.

You think you want a classic till you realize it adds 4 minutes to your drive to Starbucks to warm up every morning.  So how's it ride?   Well it's got long legs, meaning it likes to cruise at higher speeds, typical of a Goldwing. 
Saddle is a brutal ride, but looks perfect.  
How did anyone get anywhere in these old bikes?  The think gets about 9 miles per gallon, so the range is quite short given the tank is small and hidden under the seat.  I've run out of gas twice already due to stupidity and my inability to read a gas gauge or use the reservoir properly.
Jenny is an Emotional Support Vehicle.
So I can take her INSIDE the grocery store.
Left over paint,  now that's thrifty isn't it?   I'd originally planned to prime the panels and pay a painter to spray the bike whatever color was readily available during a car respray.  But the primer I used on my BMW R100RS last year looked pretty darn good.  So I sprayed some clear coat left over my the M3's wheel refinishing right over the primer.  Perfect is not the goal here,  character is the goal.  Speaking of character, check out that faded Honda logo on the rear fender above.  It is from the original dealership in Florida, circa 1977.
Shake down run.  Note I didn't install the all-too-common license relocator system.
Instead I modified the OEM plate mount to recycle it on the fender. 
The best part about riding the bike is the stops.  Watching hipsters appreciate it from the sidewalk.  Letting people take my photo at traffic lights, etc. My favorite. is the older guys telling me stories about when they had one.   Now, to find a CBX.... Hehe



Whenever I ride her that song goes through my head over and over again.   If you are as old as this bike you'll know the song I mean.     This would  be the perfect project if only it was a car. 

Sold nearly immediately to Shane via Craigslist,  Enjoy Shane, she's a good woman.


Dec 23, 2018

What's my car worth? BMW E36 M3/4/5



My stable needs an AWD for my personal winter coolness.  As a poor blogging pharmacist, the M3 may just have to be the car to fund it.  Please comment on the blog, or suggest a value, a trade, send me money or just call me an asshole.

Tiny spoiler is off a E46, but it's applied with tape,
You can peel it off if it offends your sensibilities. 

If it was for sale the add would look like this......................

For Sale:  Made FAMOUS BY THIS BLOG.  MY 1997 M3 4 door 5 speed sedan 116,000 miles and climbing.  All those nagging little projects have been done.  Apparently, I forgot it snows in Colorado. 


This is the car in current state.  Just outside of Estes Park, my favorite Saturday drive.
Saturday drives and cars and coffee is all I do.  I don't have the nerves for  track days
Please note there are no pizza delivery guys or teenagers in it's ownership history.  No offense intended, I'm a big fan of both for different reasons.
  • Owner 1.  ER manager at Seattle hospital
  • Owner 2.  ER physical at same hospital
  • Owner 3.  Pharmacist at Boulder hospital. (Me)

You can see here all the Dinan shocks, springs, sway and muffler.
Dinan is a great compromise between streetable and sporty feel. 
After all, they sold their stuff through most dealerships.

It is not a Carfax virgin, which can put off some folks.  I bought it because the condition was exceptional, not because the Carfax was exceptional. The was struck by a grocery cart, wielded by an angry vagrant in 2007.  Opportunity to paint the entire car and address years of scuffs and scratches presented itself.  So it's been resprayed pretty darn well.

This photo shows the Motorsport belts, but there are other things to admire.
Note the condition of the arm rest, the door panel & the seats side bolsters.
Please note: I'm showing you the worst seat, the driver seat.
Service history: This cars had the privilege of attentive, financially capable ownership.  It is evidenced by a binder thick with original purchase paperwork, maintenance history and repair documentation.  I personally, love service paperwork, just because it shows the owners were obsessed with the car's care. 


  1. Dinan intake, the original carbon not the new crappy ones.  
  2. Dinan Strut Tower brace.  just  front one.  Sedan's w/out a pass through, like this one) are the most rigid M3's you can get.
  3. Dinan Sway bars, front and rear.
  4. Dinan Suspension front and rear.
  5. Dinan Exhaust, not too loud but sounds better than stock.
  6. Dinan short shifter
  7. Dinan pedal kit
  8. BMW Motorsports seat belts.
  9. Aluminum Radiator & upgraded waterpump.  
  10. Kenwood radio well matched to interior coloring.  Pandora, IOS, handsfree etc.   
    1. Installed w/adapter so not a single wire has been cut.  OEM radio included 
  11. M3 Roadster x-brace.  (you know what that is? then this might be the car for you)
  12. Three spoke steering wheel conversion. 
  13. BMW factory alarm system w/remotes
  14. Recent window tint
Stickers are blasphemous I know.  But they come off and I like em.
These are not pristine wheels, but they are pretty darn presentable

Also of note
  • Original window sticker.
  • New plugs
  • New oil
  • New filters: oil, air, interior air
  • New O2 Sensors (Meister Motorworks, Seattle)
  • New seals (I don't like leaky cars)
  • New wipers
  • New clutch  (Glen Shelly, CO)
  • New tail OEM lights  (cheap replacements trigger a service engine alert)
  • New BMW badges, floor mats & many small interior, exterior and engine trim pieces etc
  • New A/C (Dynamic European Service, CO
  • I've had the dent people run through and correct tiny imperfections.
  • Ignition switch issues don't exist. Been there, done that.
  • Door actuator issues don't exist. Been there, done that.
  • Blower motor doesn't rattle.  Been there, done that
New floor mats.  What kind of moron pays $250 for Dinan pedals.
I'm that moron

What you'll need to do
  • If you plan to drive daily, I bet you'll need new tires in 12 months.
  • If you park outdoors (god I hope not) I bet you will need a new Idle control motor too.  When super cold, the idle control feels sluggish.  ($150 for the good ones, $50 for the cheap ones) 


Professionally detailed.
Seriously, I have removed all trim and scrubbed this car to the bone.




Car and it's roommate.  
No, I don't want to sell.  But i'm not Jay Leno, and if I want a new car, something's go to go.
If I can't afford to fund something interesting I can experiment with snow tires and mud flaps
Back seats, that's why people buy these.  Kids actually fit.
I've tested it, and yes you will find cookie crumbs if you look

So, now you've seen it.
A Dinan badge worthy package
Manual transmission
Sedan, not coupe
Black leather, not grey or white.