01 July 2013

Kraut Cup Trial '13

Subtitled "Hotter'n a jalapeño's coochie!" Thanks to my Facebook (and actual) friend Robin Jo for that! It was about 95°F and it kicked my ass but good. More on that later.

Mrs. G mostly caught me not riding very well, but that's perfectly in accordance with Murphy's Law Of Video and once again I thank her for her effort, and effort it was, believe me. She gamely trod through heat and distance and unforgiving terrain to catch me making a fool of myself for all the world to see and what wife wouldn't? Heh.

In clips 1 and 2, I fumble.

In clip 3, Fred and I banter. We ride the exact same machine. He rides much better than I do and he kids me that "it's all the machine!" Then I turn in the wrong place in the section, think I did well, and arrive at the end happier'n a pig in shit to find out I got the max 5 points. Waaaah...

In clip 4 you see Fred on the "1 line" for Advanced riders. I ride the "4 line" for children, beginners, and old farts who oughta be off rocking on their porch but don't know any better. The interesting thing about Fred is that he rides the Modern Bike class on a 27-year-old bike that wasn't a serious trialer to begin with. This is roughly comparable to running Formula One with a Ford Falcon. Then again, Fred is a rather large gentleman of the Kraut persuasion and that little bike wouldn't dare not do what he tells it to! He placed 2d in class this day. I told him that if he'da had just one more Wheatie for breakfast he'da won! Note the tear in his T-shirt from an earlier fall.

It's rare in these vids to have what might be called a "Main Event" but this one has one. A little setup - I had cleaned this section on the 1st loop but thought I had found a shorter line. I outsmarted myself again. Heh. Due to slight miscalculation on my part relating to handlebar width and tree/rock interface distance ... well, you'll see. I did get a number of "10s" for aerobatic form.

Between the time I did the swan dive to clear the bike and the time you see me get back up is an unseen and somewhat heartwarming little drama. The checker, shaped like me, no shirt, is a really good guy named Ralph. You can't see it, but I rolled (on purpose) to a nearly sitting position and started to get up. I wasn't hurt or even jolted very badly, but Ralph has been around motorcycle racing all his life and has seen many crashes where the crashee shoulda stayed down for a minute to regain his senses and hovered over me and exhorted me to do so. I think I finally had to say something like "Hey, Ralph, I'm OK. Lemme up!" I reminded him later that this wasn't exactly the same as going for a walk on the wild side at the end of the front straight at the Sacramento Mile. Heh. He meant well and we had a good laugh over it.

You can see that at one point I'm wearing my protective jersey and the next I'm not. This was because of the heat. It's always a risk to ditch the long sleeves. The branches on those pine trees will cut a bare-armed bitch and usually do. My get-off scratched me a little and I bled like a stuck pig due to my blood-thinner BP med. Joe Bill, one of the event organizers who seemed to be everywhere all the time, and a Fixer & Gordon-class smart aleck to boot, told me not to fret, that'd he'd got a pic while I was still bleeding! Yeah, send me a dozen!

That was the end of the second loop. Went back to the truck where Corpsman Mrs. G patched me up and sent me back into the line.

Now about the heat and a confession. I rode three sections of the 3rd loop and the heat started to get to me. Some of my body parts were not answering the helm as well as they should and I made the difficult decision to hang it up for the day. In other words, if I rode much more I was going to hurt myself. I had already made a coupla bad decisions that you saw in the vid.

Problem was, I wanted to finish the event to get my usual only-one-in-class award. I asked the 3rd section checker to "5 out" my scorecard so I could get a technical finish. He said I had to go to the exit of each remaining section and the checker would do that for me.

I understand the rules, but given my circumstance at the moment, that made no sense to me. The trails in between the sections were harder to negotiate than the sections themselves and that was what I was trying to avoid. Hell, I fall off in between sections a lot more than in the sections. Might as well just ride the sections.

I couldn't, my ass was whipped. I found a friendly checker (closest one to the truck) who 5'ed out my card and I got my class plaque. I think I was not the only one to do that on the day either. The event officials knew what was going on and let it pass.

Cheating? Yes. International scandal like blood doping? I hope not. Let me know what you think.

A final word about the heat. I drank well over a gallon of water from noon, when the event started, until and after I got home about 5PM. Finally pee'd a little at 8PM. Where'd all that water go?

29 May 2013

Bragging Rights For Life

I know, I should be ashamed of myself for not posting here for so long.
Bad Busted but I had to share this one.

This is the stuff legends are made of.

23 March 2013

Junk Yard Find

I went to a junk yard Tuesday to pick up a spare tire and wheel for The RatMoblie.
Not having a spare isn't too cool.

While I was there I saw what I thought was a pretty decent looking mid 80's El Camino they had up front for sale as a "builder".

I didn't pay a lot of attention to it because it was raining and hailing and shit. I got caught in a hail storm while I was out there and had to take shelter in the nearest junker that turned out to be full of green mold but it didn't last long.

I also saw a station wagon that had the instrument cluster I wanted but didn't have the right tools so I wound up going back later.
I took a longer look at the El Camino that turned out to be an 83 GMC Caballero.

Damn was it clean. Good paint, nice interior and completely original. It even had brand new tires on it.
Of course it only had a V6 in it.
It had a price of $1999.00 on the windshield.

After I got back home I called them up and asked about it.
The guy didn't know anything about it because it had just came in but said it ran and drove and they would sell it for $1600.

That started it.
I started telling the wife about it.
She , of course, wanted nothing to do with it.
I told her whatever was wrong with it was worth fixing because this thing was nice!

Yeah, yeah.
Being the persistent little fucker I am, I wasn't dropping it.
Yeah, we could come up with the money.
I wheedled, begged, cajoled and generally turned into a pest but she finally relented.
I went down and looked at it again to make sure everything worked.
I noticed the lid to a quart bottle of transmission fluid under the hood and that gave me a serious pause but when I started it up it went right into gear.
This thing had the original radio in it and everything.
Completely bone stock.
Somebody took good care of it.
I gambled and paid the money.

I had to go to work so I asked them to store it for me one day.
I went back with my dad to pick it up and sure as shit as the guy is trying to back it up to pull it up front I hear the engine revving and it not moving.

Fuck, the tranny is messed up.
He gets it out and I thank him. He tells me they put a little fluid in the transmission but not much.

I get it around the corner to a gas station and have Dad go to Freddy's and pick up 3 quarts and a funnel.
He comes back and I dump in 2 quarts and it goes right into gear.
I tell him to follow me and I went straight to my buddy who has a transmission shop.
The thing is trailing blue smoke the whole way and I can hear my wife bitching every inch of it.

It runs like a top though. It was so quiet I could hear the clock on the dashboard ticking when I was sitting at a light!
I get to the transmission shop and my buddy puts it on the hoist and there is fluid dripping on the floor. We thought maybe just the pan bolts were loose but no dice.
He cleans it up and runs it for a bit then picks it back up and finds a pressure switch puking.
He says it is probably for the back up lights. He pulled it out, stuck a plug in it and charged me $20.
I love that guy.
Filled it back up and off I went.

While I was under it it I took a look around.
New tires, new shocks all the way around, new exhaust from from to back.
This thing looks like it's brand new underneath.
Runs like a champ, everything but the A/C works.

I have to take it to the State Police to have it inspected because it came out of a wrecking yard but I scored big time with this thing.
The guy at the wrecking yard said it was a one owner rig and had a huge stack of receipts going way back for all the maintenance and I believe him.
I even got the window sticker that has the estimated mileage on it from when it was new.

That picture up top?
That is the cover of the brochure from the dealer. I even got that with it!

It looks just like this.

Notice the price in the windshield.......
Same color and everything. I do have to put a windshield in it eventually because it has a crack in it.

I went from driving a POS looking like this,
with no carpets, bad wiring, water oil and noisy exhaust leaks, to a cream puff like this.GMC

Do I have an awesome wife or what?
The fact that she puts up with my ass alone should give you a pretty good idea.

11 October 2012

Cafe Racers Japan

I got this off my Facebook news feed. Put it here mostly so I can watch it later. Via Cafe Racer TV.
Cafe Racers Japan is a short, documentary film exploring a day in the life of Tokyo's cafe racer scene combining interviews, visual imagery and music to create…

16 September 2012

Juicer 48

Here's a good look at the Juicer 48 electric motorcycle. These are hand made in the Los Angeles area. Top speed is 46 mph, and it has a 13 mile range. I'm not sure if this is an electric bicycle ebike or an electric motorcycle, but it looks great. The designer, Dave Twomey was going for a very retro, primal board track racer look, and he got it right. The Juicer electric motorcycle looks amazing.

Check out the brakes. Cable-operated mechanical front disc and rimsqueezers on the rear. Wear rubber-soled shoes and plan ahead...

Me want!

Thanks to hoohoohoblin, SoCal.

11 September 2012

Boreal Ridge Trial, 9-1-12, 3 & 4 lines

By ecotrials. Me (red jersey) and a buncha kids (most of whom can outride me but can't possibly be having as much fun because they don't know what fun is yet), one on an electric bike, and brand new mom Jozie (black & white riding suit). Luckily she and I are in different classes because she cleaned my clock points-wise.

09 September 2012

Burning Man Rat Rod

Folks have been wending their way home from Burning Man through my town for days. I was out running errands (not "outrunning errands". That's impossible!) and saw this obviously homebrewed rig parked on our main drag. I went home and got my camera because it was too good not to share.

Besides being a burn-yourself-down-to-your-socks-or-you-didn't-have-a-good-time bacchanal, Burning Man is a festival of art and counterculture. This rig is a perfect example of gearhead self expression. One wonders how much of what substance went into the idea and execution!

Kudos to the owner and builder of this thing. Looks to me like more thought and sweat than money went into it.

Click fotos to embiggen

This is a Honda CX motorcycle engine, about 30 years old. In my not-so-humble opinion as a motorcycle mechanic for forty years, it's one of the worst engines Honda ever built. I still look at the engine number boss on these to see if it has all the center punch marks indicating the various recalls have been performed. Heh.

That said, a lot of folks love these things and the engine was a good choice for this rig because a) it's shaft drive, and b) they're cheap.

The next view is the view you want to have - the thing going away! Heh. The exhaust pipes are terrific, and the Burning Man Acceptance (?!) sticker is to die for!

Close-up of the steering gear. Better than a clothesline wrapped around the steering column like on your soapbox derby little car when you were a kid, but not much.

A few final thoughts:

The rig got a workout. It is caked in Black Rock dust.

The seats look like someone, somewhere, has to stand to wait for a bus. Seat belts? Nah, this is a better-to-be-thrown-clear job!

The lights might work but this is definitely a rig best driven by the light of yo' blazin' brain! With lotsa "Yahoo!"ing. Ah, memories...

This rod is the-hell-with-safety-stand-on the-gas-and-give-all-the-girls-rides! A little reminiscent of dry lakes rods of the '50s and why not? They worked then and they still do.

If you spot anything you think I missed or shoulda covered, puh-leeze comment!

13 August 2012

Prepare To Be Amazed

A friend of mine sent me the following link and I am still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor.
If you enjoy old cars and bikes like I do this is going to blow your mind.
An old gentleman from Chicago spent sixty years collecting old cars, motorcycles and just about anything you could possibly imagine, even police badges.
It took SIX DAYS just to get all the cars and motorcycles out of the building. Over eighty cars.
Some of the motorcycles are One Hundred years old. What is going to blow your mind is the fact that after sitting for untold decades, they drug them out, put gas in them and fiddled a bit here and there and then started them!
That's right, they all ran!
There are some extremely rare cars and bikes shown here, some I have never even heard of. Some that are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, all pristine and original.
The guy drove them in and parked them then buried them in junk he collected.
This is a series of Youtubes that will play back to back. Kick back and enjoy the show, it is incredible.
Many thanks to Dwayne for sending this my way.
The Ultimate Barn Find.

Cross posted at Ornery Bastard.

22 July 2012

Hard Rock Trial 2012

First, a coupla words about last week's AHRMA Donner Summit Trial. Then it will thankfully disappear down the memory hole if I have to tamp it like a muzzleloader.

This was a real vintage event. There were some terrific old trials bikes there. Many '50s and '60s BSAs, a coupla '60s-ish Ariels, and one rigid frame '47 Matchless that looked like it just came off the showroom floor. The Japanese brands were well represented by some '70s trials models. My '87 Honda may well have been the newest machine present.

I was watching as one of the '50s BSAs took a tumble. You could almost hear the crowd gasp, as in "Oh no! Don't dent that beautiful aluminum gas tank!". Hey, ride it, risk it. They were meant to ride rather than sit in some collection somewhere and never get the tires dirty.

AHRMA does things different than my club, SactoPITS. They had me ride the 3 line, a step above my usual class. I sucked. I only fell off once, but I caught the palm of my right hand next to the last two fingers under the end of the handlebar. I didn't notice it much until the next section when I realized I didn't have a very good grip on the handlebars. Bad grip = bad juju. Combined with the difficult course which had kicked my ass into exhaustion in only eight sections and I decided to call it a day. I didn't complete a whole loop, of which there were three.

Bad day. No fun. Pain. The next day, my hand swole up pretty good and the last two fingers were useless. You don't think too much about it, but those two fingers are pretty useful. Until they're not. I had to learn how to flick my Bic with my left hand, and writing checks was a painful chore.

The swelling mostly went down by today, but I still can't extend my hand completely. It was OK for holding the handlebars but shaking hands or getting helped to my feet with it simply wasn't on.

The Hard Rock Trial today was a blast! It totally made up for last weekend's debacle. I rode fairly well and for the first time in my trials career never fell all the way off. A milestone! I can pretty much predict that won't hold up. Heh.

Mrs. G took some video clips and I ran 'em together for another short video. She discovered the 'wide/tight' button as you will see. She covers a lot of irregular ground on foot to get these and takes almost the same chance of getting bruised up that I do, and she does from time to time. Thank you, honey.

The course today was laid out by Brodie Bill who is a master at it as far as I am concerned. Some of the 4-lines were easy, but some were challenging for me but makeable, maybe not on the first attempt. I rode 3 loops of seven sections and got 12 'cleans' and 27 points and the trophy for being first-and-only in class. I sold one of my Reflexes a coupla weeks ago to a new friend who would have been in my class but he has the flu and didn't show up.

In the vid you will see me flame out ONE FOOT before the end of a section and do a backwards plotz. My second try went better and on the third try I stopped and rolled backward again (without falling), but the scorer said my front axle cleared the section first so he gave me a clean. I think he was just being nice. I'll take it, though!

In another clip you'll see me put my foot down for balance (called a "dab") and the scorer holding up one finger signifying one point. I never did clean that section and you'll see me sit it out and make it through without stopping for a 3. Stopping, which includes falling off, gets you the 5 max.

When my run was done, I felt great. Tired but happy. Ever the smartass, I told a coupla people that my favorite section was section 9. They looked at me funny and told me there were only eight sections, which was correct. I told 'em it was on a new section of between-sections trails that Mr. Bill had blazed, and consisted of a coupla hippie-lookin' gents stirring something in a big steaming pot that they laid me out a big gagger of that got me through the day. I'm not exactly sure how that went over. Heh.

Please enjoy. Also, there's a nice pair of legs in this that are not on a male scorer. :-)


Watch this video of Saturday's Section 1 from the vantage point of a 2-line rider. A lot harder than the line I rode.

Thanks to drkayak.

And some nice stills here.

02 July 2012

Kraut Cup Trial 2012

Click foto to embiggen

As the only two theme-attired bozos at the trial, a formal photo was requested and carefully posed as you can see by the near perfect alignment of our helmet spikes. That's me with my 1st-in-class trophy and Jim with his lunch. Jim is a fount of knowledge on the model of motorcycle I ride and you'll hear me refer to that in the short video.

My trousers were clean at the start of the event. A lot of effort was used in getting them that dirty, not to mention the effort in getting this ancient bod back up after a few of my signature 'garage sale' bodyplants, including one after a section when I pulled up to the scorer and put my foot out on the downhill side and ended up sprawled full length in the road. Oh tres embarrassique!, but I believe in putting on a good show. Heh.

Also in the video you can see my new Bell Shorty helmet. What a difference! Lighter and airier and my Active-i eyeglasses/vidcam will fit under it, although I didn't try the camera this time.

Mrs. G got almost as much exercise getting the video clips as I did riding the event and I thank her for it. She hasn't managed to catch me going ass over teakettle yet and I thank her for that too. Enjoy.

Observed Trials is a game of thinking in inches and I will illustrate that with a little story. It's hard to describe a section in words, but I'll try.

My first section of the trial, the first of my trials season in fact, was maybe eighty feet long, with a swoopy downhill S-turn and then a decreasing-width straight shot until a 90° left turn not much wider than my tires with a rounded dome of rock sticking up maybe two feet out of the earth on the left side and a big patch of three-foot-tall straight shoots of something growing on the other.

I couldn't get the bike to make the turn around the rock for the life of me and went about a bike length straight into the weeds. I think I threw my first bodyplant of the day in an attempt to not go any farther. It worked. The scorer helped me extract the machine, scored me the max 5 points and told me I needed to declutch for the turn next time.

He was right. The next loop, I whipped in the clutch lever a coupla feet before the turn. Almost made it this time. I went about three feet farther before I nosed gently into the weeds. Wrassled the bike out by myself this time. The scorer said, and I swear these are his words, "I hate ta say this, but that was better than last time". I could not but agree. Heh.

The third loop, I pulled in the clutch ten feet before the turn and as I coasted into it I put my left foot on the dome of rock and pivoted around the turn. The bike still wanted to visit the weeds but I didn't let it this time. I was so far off balance I rode the last few feet to the end of the section with my left leg stuck straight out to the side. It was dicey but I made it and gladly took my one point for putting my foot down. Loads better than my face.

Negotiating that one little turn more or less successfully was my biggest personal victory of the day. It's little things like that that make the game worth playing.

A very good day, lotsa fun riding and talking loud and telling lies with some awfully good people. That's what motorcycling is all about.

Next up will be the AHRMA Donner Summit Trial in two weeks. My 25-year-old bike will be one of the newer machines at that one and I'll probably have to ride a "Modern Bike" class. Stay tuned.

23 June 2012

Words Fail Me

The World’s Worst Car Is For Sale On Craigslist

Someone in East Kentucky has grafted the cab and hood of a 1962 truck onto a 1990s Pontiac Grand Am and has put it up for sale online.

for sale 1962 international truckcar, has every optional that a car could have ,has frontwheel drive driveline disk brakes all around , has air bags that are in working order has oldsmobile dash with tilt cruise , power seats , air -did work but i low of freon due from setting -can drive it anywhere, every light works as well as new cab lights allready has grandam door handles installed and work great, has alloy wheels and this truck has a good title which is titled as a international, has a grand am rear with the original duel exhaust, car is fuel injected and there are no check engine lights on?everthing is in working order but the aircondition is low of freon call if interested to much to list lots of time put in this car , have to many other projects to ,do so call 606 456 xxxx -no emails please -price is firm -have probly twice as much invested .-this vehicle will be sold where is as is…thanks

Why someone would even let this thought go through their mind without immediately dismissing it is beyond my comprehension.

Actually acting on this bizzare impulse and spending God knows how much time and money trying to put this Frankenstein's abortion together will forever be a mystery.

The really, really scary part?
Someone will probably buy the damn thing.

31 March 2012

Quote of the Year

From a really, really good issue of Motorcyclist magazine. Quote from Vincent guru Big Sid after setting a record on the salt:

"Bonneville? She's like the whore that gives you the ride of your life, and then when you get home your dick falls off. There's salt everywhere. It'll take a year to clean these bikes!"

Ol' Sid cuts through the shit, huh? Heh.

23 February 2012

Counting Carbs

No, I am not talking about your diet.
I see at least six.

Wait, it could be three Quadra Pukes back to back.

I am obviously positive this is a custom rod but I just noticed the bed and the  top of the cab are married.

Is that a Studebaker bed?

18 February 2012

I Need A Kick In The Can

I swear, I am the definition of lazy lately.

I have three rigs, all of which are undriveable right now.

The Beast, my 67 Ford 4x4 started crapping out on me last week on my way to work.
I got there finally but it was a hit and miss struggle.
It felt like there was water in the distributor cap.
Spit, sputter, back fire, miss fire, no power and I had to baby it just to get off a stop light, after it warmed up, about two miles from work, it ran fine.

Same thing on the way home.
I parked it and started beating the daylights out of my moms  Pontiac Grand Am.
She is in Arizona for the Winter.
I gotta say, for a V-6, that thing hauls ass.

Anyways, I finally got off my dead ass today and went to the nearest idiot squad, who actually HAD what I was looking for for once and got a cap, rotor, points and condensor for a forty five year old rig.
I came home, got the dang thing under the car port and opened the hood.
I am damn near six foot tall and it is all I can do to see the top of the engine.
I yanked the air cleaner off on my tip toes and messed with the fuel mixture a bit, something that is verboten normally.
Then I snapped the clips off the cap and pulled it off and sure as the pure driven snow, there was moisture inside.
I swapped it out, one plug wire at a time, a lesson learned the hard way years ago, put on the new rotor and fired it up expectantly.

Yeah, it still ran like crap.

I had a suspicion the timing chain was going to hell a while ago and had cranked the disributor around until the vacuum advance ran up against the hose clamp screw on the bypass hose.
I finally went and got a screw driver and loosened the clamp to rotate it, retightened it and cranked the distributor around as far as it would go.

Presto- Change-O
It purrs like a love starved kitten.
The distributor has to go, it is as sloppy as  some guy named Joe but the timing chain is definitely shot.
Back in the day I would be out there until two in the morning, cursing and happy, wrenching away.
Now, I have three rigs that are messed up, don't run or are untrustworthy and I can't seem to find the energy to get off my dead butt to even open the hood on them.
I can't blame this on a mid life crisis either, at 52, I am way past that.
I am just plain tired after working all week, my feet hurt,my left shoulder is so messed up I can hardly turn my head and I just don't wanna.

It's time to pay.
Pay someone else to do this work.
I hate that but I am just getting worn out.
Just like my vehicles.

16 February 2012

Admin ...

Yeah, I had to finally switch over to a more modern template and change the comments to make them useful again.

12 February 2012

Beauty and The Beast

I ran into this over at FARK.. It's called The Stretch Boat Limo Van.

It's not a bad idea and if you start at the back and work forward, it is sleek and graceful, until you get to the front.

It is like someone grafted Frankenstein's head on to Beyonce's body.

An E350 van nose on such a pretty body?

I have worked on hundreds of those vans and my first question is, WHY?
My second and more pertinent question is just how long and how many thousands of dollars did it take to make that boat anchor waterproof?

This thing is actually supposed to float!

09 February 2012

07 February 2012


HMM, I decided my mechanical vocabulary doesn't belong here.

If you have a set and can hang with a pissed off mechanic, you can find it  here,.http://ornerybastard.blogspot.com/2012/02/grrrrr.html

05 December 2011


Heh ...

A luxury sports car outing in Japan has ended in what may be one of the most expensive car crashes in history.

Eight Ferraris, three Mercedes-Benzes, a Lamborghini and two other vehicles were involved in the pile-up in the southern prefecture of Yamaguchi.

No-one was seriously hurt, but the road was closed for six hours after the accident.

Media reports estimate the damaged cars are worth at least 300m yen ($3.85m; £2.46m) in total.


Some of the most expensive scrap metal I've ever seen.