Jun 18, 2014

My 1976 R90

Bike's Current state 
This is the extent of my rides,  Starbucks.   I'm a busy guy, but while I've been riding since 1979 I'm not into long trips

I have the OEM mirrors too, but these are my favorites custom anodized to match

I will eventually restore these, who doesn't live Krausers

These latch better, and are serviceable.  Samsonite I think? 
Bike had spokes, which traditionalists prefer.  I like the more serviceable Lester mags.
These clean easier, never rust, are period correct and you can run tubeless or radial tires.  

The Hagon shocks are excellent, but I'm working on some $900 Works shocks

I know I didn't need a billet aluminum triple clamp.  But I wanted it.

Note tank: its a 1977 model.  It locks, and the 1976 didn't

This is an "S" model airbox too,  Breaths easier.

Other stuff I have lying around, or hard to see in the photos:.
  • Stainless bolts
  • Dyna ignition, with a spare or two.
  • Spare cables, throttle and clutch
  • Spare front and rear fenders (for future projects, perhaps a cafe project)
  • Spare gators for forks
  • Progressive Works Springs, front an rear and spares 
  • 3 drive shafts (can't have too many extras)
  • Piles of bulbs, books, seals, footpegs, grips, boots and bolts.
  • Dual discs, bar mounted master cylinder.
  • S-Air Box
Like so many airheads,  the work  done to the bike before purchased far exceeded the price I paid, and like my predecessor I have spent far more on this bike that it could possibly be worth. But I don't expect to sell, ever.  This is more of a heirloom than a motorcycle

(2014 photo) The bike as purchased in 2014.  Wire wheels are gone.
The original owner was retiring from two wheelers and looking to clear out space.
 He and his wife were quite sentimental when I came to pick it up in 2014
This looks a lot like an R90S,  but with unpainted calipers, wider handlebars,  a 1977 tank, and Bing Carbs, it is not a replica.    So if the similar appearance to an R90S offends you, kindly piss up a rope.

Forks are off a later model R100S, which have dual disks.   (2014 photo)

The seller purchased the bike in 1977 and had improved and maintained the bike with passion right up until the day I arrived.  Engine was gone through since 2000 but I didn't get particulars, it didn't spoke and it runs on unleaded, that's all that concerned me.  Besides, the owner was a NASA engineer & did the work himself.  I assured him that I was essentially 
adopting the bike, like a 2nd son, and it would live a good life since I learned a valuable lesson in regretting my last sale.   As sappy as it sounds, that mattered to the seller.
Engine was recently rebuilt and bored to closer to 1000cc.  Carbs jetted to match

Greg, the seller, and I hit it off immediately.  Nobody want's to buy from a jackass.  Read my blog "enjoy the process or walk"   and you'll get my meaning.  He'd driven this machine all over the planet alone and with his wife over the years.   While I'd primarily be going out for coffee with it, my passion about well engineered machines was the same.  

You'll notice I've already removed the back rest and the luggage rack.
  This is leaner  and more to my taste for the short 1/2 hour rides that I do.

Greg recommended that I bring a large SUV or truck even if I was riding home.  He had over 38 years of goodies accumulated and I needed to haul them all off.  Woo hoo!!

 The paint is a custom blend by BeeLine Paint in Colorado Springs, but the fairing was painted by FitzGraphics in Broomfield and he used Aztec Gold.   I'll be tinkering endlessly to make it my own, but the bones are good on this one for sure. (2014  photo)


It's exactly 30 days later,  I sold the Ducati for $5,000 and spent all t of that money on more goodies.  
I might have gone a little overboard shopping:

Overbuilt swingarm brace is overkill, but it makes me happy.

Fork brace,  an airhead just looks wrong w/out em
Triple clamp, billet aluminum is never a bad idea for anything.
Frame braces.  Don't need'em but they look racey. (Uninstalled)
Lester mags, and Avon tires so i can go tubeless and avoid rust.
Now sports a Factory Seat, and Corbin Seat as a spare. 
Stainless bolt kit.  Good summer project replacing every bolt.  
Not all have been installed, it's an ongoing project.

  bar mounted master cylinders brake far better. (Not my bike inphoto)

LEDs, you just gotta have these.
Extra front and rear fenders, to paint black and trim/customize
I'm thinking more tire should show from the sides and rear..


Current State as of April 2017

 Currently thinking a bare aluminum tank, charcoal fenders and no fairing.
The gold paint is new, so I'll box it all up and sell, or keep.   

Apr 4, 2014

The Poor Man's Guide to the Barrett-Jackson Auction

'35 Packard Convertible.  What you expect at Barrett-Jackson.
I'm interested in who this sells to,  but it aint gonna be me. 

Don't be stupid, This is not a Poor Man's Guide.  That guide would be simple: Stay Home!

 But if you find yourself accidentally at the auction with your child's college fund available, you could sneek off with something interesting.

This is not what I'm talking about.    This Camaro is way too cool for you.
So stop staring at it and keep looking, no wonder you don't have a sports car. 

Barrett-Jackson, Palm Beach is coming April 11th, and I'll be glued to the television.  These cars pictured  will be up for auction and I'll be watching them instead of the the "blue chip"cars. They aren't Bugattis, Packards, or Boyd Coddington Customs.  They might just be the auction "misfits", and an opportunity for a awesome deal.

Flawless # matching V8 4 speed Mustang.  This isn't gonna go cheap.
So stop looking. These are not the cars you're looking for. Move along.

I haven't blogged in a while,  so you thought I was dead didn't you.  Nope, just moving, having a son born, and starting a new career.  Now onto business.

To clarify, I'm calling these perfectly nice automobiles misfits because the bar is set pretty high at Barrett-Jackson.  Meaning the cars are usually impeccable, original and unmolested or alternately, modified to a highly custom degree. Like Foose machines on Overhaulin for example.  That said, the attendees may not be looking for cars that don't fit clearly into one of those two camps.  Other auctions might be different, but this is a pretty upscale affair.
'68 "custom" with wrong paint and wheels mean this might just go cheaper.
Unoriginality can be your friend when you don't want to pay a premium.
A bit too flashy for me, buy it, and sell off those hideous wheels ASAP.
An "all wrong" Camaro, done well like this would be nice for $25K

Like any red blooded car guy, I would really like to go, but the real world is keeping me from it.  Not to buy, but just for the fun of spotting cars for the average guy. Spotting cars that may not fetch big bucks is big fun.  After all, anyone can pay top dollar for a super-star automobile, but spotting the cars that might be worth more to you, and  less to others takes talent, or experience, or luck, or humility, or something....  I don't know what you call it, but it is a very important skill and I've got it. So pay attention, and help me find a way to get paid for it while you are here....  

Typically not an auction type car,  the BMW M3 is a hoot of an overlooked convertible, and safe.
Though this has staggeringly low miles many may pass on it,  two big factors may be in you favor
The SMG is a better tranny but unpopular, especially when you need a hand free for your baby's bottle.
Also M3 fans don't like convertibles, they are heavier and slower.     So that's a win if you don't care..
Low miles if these are under $30K they are an amazing value.  High miles, think $15K if you luckly

Perhaps we'll call this Money Ball for cars. 
I recall a misfit from a past Vegas Barrett-Jackson auction.  My Aunt Dee's GTO, she bought it cheap if memory serves me correctly.   It was all alone on the auction block, lost in a sea of super perfect cars and bidding frenzies.  Like the undercard at a boxing match, people may or may not pay attention. Budget minded car guys should pay attention at these moments, because its our time to strike.  

This GTO was bought in Vegas and is exactly what i'm talking about. I'll explain:
Nice, but wrong wheels, B quality paint, wrong tranny and poorly fitted panels.
This GTO went cheaper than others and is a super car to actually DRIVE now.
Currently your budget may be more about Matchbox cars, and premium coffee.  But pay attention and watch every minute of the auction on television.  When did Noah build the arc?  Before he had the spare cash for a convertible, that's when?  Seriously,  it's nearly as much fun to watch as it is to buy at Barrett-Jackson. Seeing cool cars go for reasonable money, might be sad for the seller but screw him. It gives us hope for my own collection some day, once we find an 8 car garage, with a modest shanty attached for our family.

'92 Fox Body Mustang.  This could go completely ignored and is quite a car.
LX Summer Editions are rare and ea$y to own, the market for these hasn't begun yet.
Most 90's Fox Body Stangs are hideous, but his one will prove a collector eventually,
I dig it, but you'll need to get your wife on board, which if you are me, it won't be easy.
If under 40,000 miles, these will be worth $20K.  Over that mileage: figure half that.

Lots of people are watching the big dollar cars, and that's just fine.  I'm keen on the cars that will be washed with soap from under the kitchen sink, not the ones that will be detailed at auto-salons.  No offense to auto-salons of course, I'd love to own one some day.     It's these auction misfits, that might go cheap, and more importantly inspire me to scour Craigslist for similar hidden value.  Meanwhile we can all watch an hone our skills at spotting these misfits.

1970 Oldsmobile 442 convertible.  Typically a W30 powered car goes for mad money.
The catch is this is a fake W30,  so it might attract less attention from serious collectors.
Who cares if the numbers match, you're going to change diapers in the back seat anyway.
 If it goes for under $45K you need this car, and an Exxon credit card.
Let me stop right in the middle of this blog and apologize for my style departure.  I have not been the smart-ass that you have come accustomed to.  Rest assured, I'm am still full of contempt for you and myself for not owning one of these cars already.  Apparently being a wise ass, requires more time and focus than I currently have. I'm hiring an assistant who works for animal crackers, but not much help yet.

We are focusing on convertibles for one good reason.  It's spring, and the sun is coming out. Convertibles in spring are not a good idea frankly, and certainly unoriginal,   These cars would all go cheaper if snow were on the ground, so basically this blog ain't worth shit.  Buy hey,  you didn't exactly need a credit card to log into my blog now did you?

1970 Chevelle SS.   Damn nice car, but undocumented.
W/out documentation this might attract less interest and money.
And no, these aren't good in the snow. Dig those stripes?
If this goes for under $45K, buy two of them.

You'll also notice that I've skipped all the two seaters.   Why, because it's my blog, and 2 seaters are dead to me.   I'm not blogging about any car that can't haul my wife and son. The dog on the other hand, can stay home.  Your kid too needs to grow up with a cool dad, so pay attention because you've still got options.  If your wife will loan you your balls for a few hours anyway.

Though popular in Europe, slant nose Porsches are not a hot item in the USA
This one is also a "custom"  911 Slope, so wasn't even a slant nose originally.
So it could be wanted by nobody, and be a deal.  Yep, they've got back seats.
If this went under $25K you couldn't loose as a car to drive regularly.

Make your kid cool by letting him grow up in the back of something better than a minivan. Although the population at the Palm Beach auction might be pretty loyal to some of this older American iron,  these all have some shortcomings that might make then turn out to be misfits. Misfits for the real world use at non-premium auction prices.   As a weekend driver, any one of these cars would cost less than a new Volvo SUV, some might cost less than a year of private school.  Send that kid to public school and give him an education on the open road.

Jan 5, 2014

CSU ECOCAR2 Car Guy Envy

I don't want people to get the wrong idea here on where I stand regarding fuel efficiency; I'm against it.  I prefer a car that accelerates so biblically fast that a hole in the ozone follows it around like a crow follows the son of satan.   BUT... there is no denying that it has gotten pretty damn expensive to drive a Hemi Cuda from NY to LA lately. 

This blog isn't about building efficient cars.  It's about building the car guys of the future.  I was invited to meet a few of these car guys and they are some smart, cool dudes.  I'm jealous of what they are doing, even if it isn't all taking place at the Bonneville Salt Flats or Pikes Peak. 

Okay car guys, be honest... your fingernails just are not as dirty as they used to be, right?  Your only true quality time with your automobile is waxing.  Okay, maybe you shop in the Griots Garage catalog while in the bathroom, but you fondly remember the days when you really got involved. Well, what if this photo below was your classroom back in college? I bet you'd have grease under your nails then!

What did you expect? A Tesla? You've got to start somewhere and small, practical
cars pay the bills.  Then, with your profits you can manufacture something stupid
fast and irresponsible.

Now, you rationalize that you are still a car guy by reading obscure blogs written by other "wanna-be" car guys.  If only you'd ignored those college advisors and your parents.  If only you'd done your physics homework.  Maybe joining mathletes might have been wiser than wrestling or soccer.  Blame your parents; they should have known better. Either way, your best bet is to read this and learn something before your kids leave the nest.  There's still a chance for your offspring to be cool, even if it's too late for you and me. 

Personally, when I look back into my alternate existence, like in one of those movies where you do it all over again.... the life these car guys are living is what I see. 

Instead of one enormous hydrogen cell like in the mass transit buses of England, 
     you'll  see multiple smaller,  albeit less efficient, cells here in CSU's Chevy Malibu.
  It proved a pretty smart  decision because it still makes plenty of power and fits nicely under the hood.  Though, come to think of it, they should have loaned this car to me for some drag racing road tests, I need a lot more road tests in this job.  

It's amazing what some $10 Vistaprint business cards can do.  Someone at Colorado State University got the mistaken impression that I write a blog that people actually read.  I took advantage of the misconception and accepted an invitation to tour the facility and met the students working on their ECOCAR2 Challenge.  I tried to hide my jealousy and actually be happy for them. It wasn't easy. My wife came along and took these photos. I think she came to be sure I actually returned home... I can loose track of time in such situations.

No, they won't explode you moron. They worried about that Hindenburg problem already.  
 The tanks are tougher than a diesel engine block and it's safer than that Accord you're in.
Oh, and stop your complaining - you know damn well you'd buy a car without trunk space 
if it was cool enough. Hell, the Shelby Series One didn't even have a trunk.

Basically these lucky bastards (ok, it's not all luck) here at CSU work on some pretty interesting stuff.  The ECOCAR2 challenge (link)  enables them to work on this hydrogen cell powered car for credit.  Explanation? Go get a degree and explain it to yourself.  Oh, and for the record, that's not the only stuff they work on, see the EAC cars below.. hehe.

Ram Racing.  No cars development is proper w/out some connection to racing.  
No matter how small, I think its essential for the two to mingle in some way. 
Even if its simply making your engineers go to 24 hours of Daytona, just don't separate 
the two completely.  If you don't understand what I'm saying then you probably aren't
fond of the Porsche 918 RSR (link).  Which means you're stupid.

Okay fine, I'll take my  prestigious BA in Chemistry (2.0 GPA) and translate for you laymen:

  • Simply put:  H2 (in the tank) + O2 (in the air) = (via the hydrogen cells) Electricity + water vapor as the only waste product.   
  • Add electric motor, an extension cord and rechargeable battery and you get a FCPHEV (fuel cell plug-in hybrid electric vehicle)

Sure, they don't sell hydrogen at the Safeway fuel station, yet.  But that isn't these student's problem.  They have chosen this system as FCPHEV to the typical gas or diesel hybrids that nearly all the other chicken-shit universities have chosen.  Way to go guys.   

Okay a little suggestion here.  Even though the tailpipe (for water vapor) is small,
 you could still use some oversized chrome here guys.  Just my 2 cents.

Still not sold on alternate fuel vehicles?  How about this: The less fuel others use, the more fuel will be left for you.  So get behind it.

They work on Saturdays, willingly, on cool shit.  Stuff like fuel cells, carbon fiber, user interfaces, dynamometers, EFI computers, hydrogen cells and even motorcycles.  All while people like you and I are raking leaves, walking dogs, or tiling our kitchens.  Sad isn't it?

It's not all ECOCAR2 competition either.  
Check em out, Ram Racing here (link).  
I might have mentioned this before :)

While you posted the names of your favorite car movies on Facebook, these kids worked on optimizing the performance of their Malibu. They utilize the kind of intellectual and fabricating resources we “retail car guys” can only dream about.  They get goodies for free that we would, or have, killed for.  Hell, they have an extra F1 car hanging from the goddam ceiling.  What do you have hanging from your garage ceiling?  Yeah, I've been to your house... it's a Walmart mountain bike!

Most F1 cars can drive inverted at 70 mph due to the wing design.
This one is better, and can actually drive on the ceiling at zero mph.

While you tweeted photos of parking lot cars this morning, they built carbon control arms on their race car.  While you washed the dog, they repaired an eddy current dynamometer. I guess this brings up the important question: are you really a car guy at all?  Which we will need to discuss in a future blog. Don't worry, I think you are. Really.

This is the part makes time travel possible. or was that a DeLorean?

You’ve got a good life and hopefully have a shiny sports car in that 3rd garage space.  But is that job your true calling? Shit no jack! You should have been working with Tesla or tinkering with McLaren by now.  These kids will be doing just that in a few years. Those lucky bastards!  Hell, I know I would have done my homework if I'd met these folks 20 years ago. I could have designed the Pinto-II for Carroll Shelby or something.

You'd smile too if this stuff was your weekend work.

Yep, they've got it better than you and I for sure. I, myself, have digested my envy for now and have even found a moral to this story:  Don’t hate these guys. Rejoice! For they are living our dreams.   

PS:  You'll see the big manufacturers offering this very sort of hydrogen cell concept very soon.  Toyota Honda and Hyundai have recently announced intentions on this very concept.  (link)