29 February 2008

Oh boy ...

Now we're pretty sharp and on the ball, but sometimes the planets align (along with Harry's mojo) to throw us a curve we can't deal with. Today was one of those days. Harry, in his wisdom, booked Mr. H and Mr. S in with their red 2000 Ford Windstars on the same day. Both needed an inspection. Both had engine control problems (same problems by the way). Both were a quart low on oil.

Click pis to enredden. Sorry about the quality, I took 'em with my phone.

We forgot if we did the safety part of the inspection on one or the other. One of 'em also needed a new wiper motor. Almost put the new one on the wrong car. Writing up the bills later, we forgot which one we did what on. Oy, what a fucking day. We told Harry that if he ever does that again we were gonna shoot his ass.

27 February 2008

A Diesel Powered Bike?

The Marines have one now.

The following article is from the New York Times, written by Dexter Ford.

I clipped a little more than I really wanted to but I also left quite a bit of relevant information there so please go read the whole thing.

Other American and NATO military machines, from diesel generators to stealth bombers, run on JP-8 to simplify fuel supply logistics. While JP-8, a formulation of jet fuel similar to kerosene and diesel fuel, works fine in those engines, commercially available motorcycles require gasoline.

That situation presented an opportunity for Fred Hayes, chief executive of Hayes Diversified Technologies, a military contractor in Hesperia, Calif., that has built specially adapted motorcycles for the Marines and the Army Special Forces for more than two decades. The bikes are modified to run in the harshest environments on earth with special lighting and more rugged suspensions and tires.

When the Marines requested a motorcycle that would run on JP-8, other military contractors proposed outlandish turbine-powered machines. But the Marines wanted a bike that would actually work, and soon, at a reasonable cost. Hayes won the contract.

The resulting HDT M103M1 uses the chassis, a few engine components and all the internal transmission parts of the Kawasaki KLR650, a workhorse capable of anything from daily commuting to Sahara exploring. But the Marine machine’s major engine components are all new, built for diesel service.

The difference was apparent the instant I thumbed the starter button. In place of the gasoline-powered KLR’s anxious idle, the Marine machine came to life with the low clatter of a London taxi.

In contrast to a gasoline engine, which responds instantly to the throttle, a blip of the twist grip resulted in — well, not much. It took a good three seconds for anything significant to happen.

On a half-hour test ride, the M103M1, though sluggish at first, gathered speed with dogged insistence. The footpegs and handlebars buzz as the engine revs — the counterbalancer that controls vibration in the stock KLR has been omitted to save weight and reduce complexity. Shifting through the five-speed gearbox gets the M103M1 past 90 miles an hour, a speed it will hold, apparently, until the end of time.

One of the great advantages of the M103M1’s diesel engine is its efficiency. At a steady 55 m.p.h. it gets 96 miles a gallon, according to Hayes, about twice the mileage of the gasoline engine.

This is really pretty damn cool, when the production starts keeping up with demand these things are going to be all over the world.
Looking at the size of the fuel tank I am guessing this thing will go at least 500 miles on a tank of fuel.

22 February 2008

Mechanics Are Nasty

Everything you have ever heard about mechanics being nasty perverts is probably true, there is a reason most women would rather walk over hot coals than walk into a repair shop.
I will never as long as I live forget this one old guy I worked next to for years.
Hell of a nice old guy, real quiet with a dry sense of humor.
He never had a whole lot to say and when he did you had to listen good because he talked so quiet.
One hot summer day both bay doors were open to let the breeze through and this gorgeous hottie came strolling through one end of the shop, wearing a halter top and a flimsy see through skirt.
Instantly you could have heard a pin drop in a garage over hundred feet long, with twenty mechanics staring like they had just seen Jesus.
As she sauntered by, I heard the old man say something I couldn't believe came out of his mouth.

"Look at that would ya boy, I'd let her pee in my face for sure".

I thought I was gonna die laughing,fucking bastard.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought of HIM to say such a thing.
Of course the young lady didn't hear what HE said but she stopped and looked at me like I was retarded.

Ahhh, good times.
I hadn't thought of that for ages, until I saw this angel.

Cross Posted at Ornery Bastard.

21 February 2008

Eye Candy Revisited

200cc Triumph, late '60s. I've got 2¼ of these.

While I was cruisin' back issues of F & G, I ran across this post from Dec. '06.

Well, the photos available have gone from 30 to 71. The guy's been busy at the Up-N-Smoke Engine Project. Go see.

An Entertaining Review

In one of the most entertaining reviews of a car in recent memory,writer Dan Neil
takes the new Lexus hot rod out for a spin, I'll let you see what he thinks, strike that, I HAVE to tease you with one piece first;

The car also sings. The IS-F is equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission, in which the gear ratio intervals are very evenly spaced. Eight speeds happen to correlate to eight notes of the diatonic scale -- do, re, mi, etc. If you hold the throttle and speed steady, and you shift up and down with the shifter paddles, you can actually coax simple melodies out of the stacked-pipe quad exhaust, for instance, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." And, yes, I get paid for this.


Now go read the rest

17 February 2008

It's That Time Again

Today's Daytona 5oo marks the opener for another ten month long season of NASCAR.

I will be the first one to admit I don't follow it nearly as much as I used to.
I know guy's who can rattle off statistics for it like die hard baseball fans can tell you who was on second base in the fourth World Series.
Get a grip.

I grew up with racing, my dad raced little British cars and later Motocross bikes in the seventies.
It can be lots of fun and I do go see a few races over at PIR later in the year but some of this is just overkill.

I watch and enjoy as much as I want and I find it hard to even keep up with who is driving for whom in what kind of car anymore.
I did notice Ford has a much thinner herd in the run this year, oh well, the amount of money it takes to sponsor one team for one year is getting obscene and Chevy and Ford both are looking at some hard times ahead in the sales department.

Good luck to the new talent and old alike.

12 February 2008

Where I work* ...

Sam the Fashionista! My road call jacket, her funky orange hat. I betcha they saw her from the space station. Heh ...

Click to increase the glare.

Mrs. F made the mistake of letting me get a cell phone with a camera this week.

*Part of an ongoing, semi-regular series.

11 February 2008

General Who?


Roland Sands has spent the last year peeling the skins off dirt bikes, reaching deep inside their body cavities. What he's found are the bikes' unlikely alter-egos.

The Super Single idea is so new that Wikipedia doesn't have an entry -- yet -- but when it does, it might go something like this: "A 450 Super Single is a single-cylinder 450-cc dirt bike that's been converted into an entry-level road racer. The frame, subframe, swing arm, motor and transmission are all stock, but the wheels, tires, suspension and bodywork have all been modified for on-track use and general skulduggery."

General skulduggery? Now ya got me interested...

Actually, it makes perfect sense if you've ever seen a good 500 single show its taillight to a Fastass Sumbichi 4-cylinder on a canyon road. They're light, narrow, and have a low center of gravity.

10 February 2008

Mad Sunday

Since we're goin' fast in the twisties today, here's a coupla videos from the Isle of Man TT. 'Mad Sunday' is the official name of a couple of periods of a coupla hours each when the Mountain Circuit is open to the public. They bring in extra ambulances for this.

First, a video of a BMW R1150GS, which is not a roadracer. The interesting thing is the speedo and tach on camera, and also the amplified engine noise behind the fairing as perceived by the mic on the camera. Sounds like a cement mixer fulla walnut shells! About ten minutes.

Next, a much shorter video of a 1000cc Gixxer. You can read the speedo really well on this one. Scares me...

09 February 2008

Curves ...

Much as I love racing in all its forms, my favorite is on a road course. I love curves, and not only on da wimmins. Reader Mr. Natural turned me on to this YouTube of a Cobra chasing a motorcycle and it brought back fond memories of a hell ride I took in a Corvette on the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut (CT-15).

There was another Mrs. F and I took down Westlake Boulevard in California (CA-23) from the 101 to the Pacific Coast Highway in a rented V8 Dodge Dakota pickup. By the time we reached PCH, I had that truck so twisted every panel rattled. Heh ...

Which, in turn, reminds me of this tune:

Counting Crows - A Long December

Amazing how my deranged little mind works, ain't it?

07 February 2008

Surrounded By Swamps And Bored?

Find yourself an old tractor, a canoe, some ski's and a drivetrain, then build yourself a

========== SWAMP BUGGY!! ==========

I about fell out of my chair the first time I stumbled onto these while channel surfing a few years ago.

I couldn't figure out WHAT the hell it was I was seeing!
When they are skimming around the track, the only thing you can see is the cockpit sticking out of a giant spray of water.

This is mud bogging on steroids.
They have all kinds of classes, both sexes and some of these things are damn serious machines.

They are a HOOT to watch!
If you ever find yourself sitting in front of the TV bored on a Saturday or Sunday in the Summertime, try and catch one of these shows.

I snagged these pictures from Mike Johnson, at his website.

01 February 2008

If they do this in New York ...

I'm fucked:

MESA, Ariz.- A pair of vans deployed by the state Department of Public Safety last week to electronically nab speeders are just the tip of the iceberg.

The DPS intends to install up to 120 fixed speed-enforcement cameras alongside rural highways and urban freeways in coming years, according to documents obtained by the East Valley Tribune newspaper under a public records request.