Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Some XS650 Love

This weekend was the big Clubmans British motorcycle swap and show. I didn't find anything I was looking for this year unfortunately. Next year I plan to go early and buy a project, as I hope to have my Triumph done by then.

I haven't spent much time with my XS650 in a while. This weekend I gave her a bath, replaced all the missing bolts, and made some lowbuck side covers out of 1/8" styrene. It will work for now.

When I get around to it, I'd like to remove some of the frame tabs and finally get that '72 tank and XS400 side covers on, match the paint to the tank. I have a bunch of petcocks but haven't got around to working on it.

I must get off my ass and get it done, so sayeth the tank lizard.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Got greens?

Got some more work done on the painting. I had no idea how to pull off the grass. It works I suppose. It's a learning experience.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Coming down from the high

Got a little more work done.

I got a 1-1/2" ball hone and welded an extension rod to it to hone out the inside of the fork lowers. That rusted rough spot is gone and everything is smooth.

Shaved the fork lowers of all the unnecessary tabs.

Here she is

Next I need to fix the kickstand, remake the front brake stay, make 2 front wheel spacers, mount the tail light, make a license bracket off fender, re-lace the front wheel, and remount the rear fender. Then the expensive work begins.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

So Tense

Alright, I got some stuff done Saturday. Feels good.

Made a new version of my chain tensioner. I also got the brake pivot located. I'll do all the finishing welds once I can get the frame down during disassembly and prep.

I got the spacers dad made me installed. I did have hone them out to fit. The work great, thanks dad! I also lowered the coils by about 3". They still need some more I think. Little tight still.

With Lori's help, I also made a sissy bar for my bud Jared for his Triumph. It's just like mine, except 4" shorter witha tighter radius.

And believe it or not, I got more done. I went to my coworkers house and started working on my seat. I found out he makes leather bags and has all the leather making tools. Stay tuned.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Happy Almost-Birthday Jess!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Today at lunch, out of guilt, I went home and took the dogs for a run. It is ever so fun running with both dogs. The joy it brings to me. They are so obedient and easy to manage...

Luckily the started to run out of steam after 1/2 a mile and I could almost run correctly. Anyway, I did 1 mile with them, and 1 mile by myself. We had a heat wave come in today, a whopping 68 degrees! I also managed to beat my max heart rate record. It used to be 197, now it's 202. Here's the deets:

Drunk as a skunk... or badger... or platypus... or chipmunk

Drew this last night, watercoloring tonight.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


This is my first running entry since September. I have run a few times since, but to just see the difference a few months of inactivity makes is astounding. If not disheartening. I did 2 miles today. Today was the first run in my new Kayano-16s. I still had the same problem of the horrible shin splint, and bruising of the bottom of my foot. Just my left leg. I think the problem is my foot doesn't work mechanically correct. Instead of rolling off my heel like my right foot, I smack down on the sole/arch area. I think I just need to build up some strength in my left leg. Running faster actually made it feel better.

Drop dead sexy

So once again my awesome dad came through on making me some parts for my Triumph.

His factory is closing this summer. It's odd and sad seeing things that I considered institutions and permanent all disappearing from my home town. My dad was a machinist for a while and then a machine repairman.

I worked at that factory for a summer before college as a maintenance team, going around painting all the buildings, fire hydrants, railings, etc. I remember spraying diesel in the back lot to kill weeds without wearing any sort of protective gear. And all the employees inside gagging and complaining. When people would find out I was "Bill's kid" you could see the amount of respect that they had for my dad in the way they would talk about him.

Before that I can remember being young with my mom going to pick him up after work sometimes, hearing the whistle. and all the people punching their time cards and walking out with their metal lunch boxes. Spangler candy company was next door, so my brother and I would run into their lobby and take some free samples.

But all this is disappearing. And I'm trying to cling on to what's left. I'm glad my Triumph is going to have little pieces of my dad attached to it.

So, these might bore some of my friends, but some will get them. I asked my dad for a couple spacers and brackets. I drew him up a rough diagram with some dimensions, and here's what he delivered.

Chain Tensioner:
I needed dad to make me two little pivot brackets for my chain tensioner. The front mount goes over a sexbolt that will screw onto the frame. The rear one goes over a bolt for the skateboard wheel. I'll be making a connecting arm.

Brake Pedal:
I had dad make a pivot for the brake pedal. Not only that he planed both sides of the brake pedal so they were parallel. Before this I had a crudely welded on piece of tubing and a big bolt.

Fork spacers:
These little beauties, made out of aluminum, slide on the fork tubes and allow the forks to be sucked further into the fork lowers, lowering the forks. he made me a 3" and 2" set. Beautiful!

Pics to come showing them in use. Thanks dad!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Climbin' Ocean Beach cliffs

This weekend my buddy Tom and I pretended we were monkeys and climbed up and around the cliffs (again) from The Cliff House to almost Golden Gate Bridge, including going out on Dead Man's Point. The weather was perfect. It had just rained so tide was high and the rocks were wet. But it was RAD. Here are some pics.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Out with the old

Goodbye Kayano-15
Hello Kayano-16

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


This weekend I finally got the CB750 chassis together and rolling. It's so nice to be able to push it around instead of cautiously lifting it and setting it on blocks. So chassis is together, I need to finish up with all the other chassis bits to stick on. Then I can start the motor. The front forks are slid up 2" to lower it. Before I buy shorty shocks, I'm going to see how the whole thing sits with the motor in. The bars are just temporary until I find ones I like.

CB750 Build Gallery

Monday, March 8, 2010

Charlie Don't Chirp

About a week ago Lori and I were watching a movie and she started hearing this chirping sound in the house. We tried to track it down and finally pinpointed it in the computer room. It sounded like a trapped bird in the wall or ceiling. I got the ladder out of the garage, and armed with my motorcycle gloves, helmet, and a broom, went into the attic for the first time since we've lived there (over 2 years). I didn't find a bird. And there wasn't much of anything up there except for one lonely, dusty box. I brought the box down and it was full of photos from Vietnam, circa 1969. Most were just the typical site-seeing photos, a few were of the barracks and machines of war, some were smiling GI's and Vietnamese people. Lori and I spent an hour going through them. Pretty boring for the most part, but there were a few good ones in the bunch. Here are some of my favs.

Click for a bigger image

Just a note on the chirping. It went away after that night and returned a week later. I finally found it. It was the fan on the computer. I think the bearings are going out!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Just what IS in there?

Lori told me she had a dream the other night where Luka had a giant hole in his head and there was nothing in there. I don't think that's too far from the truth.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Rain, rain, go away.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Here we go again

Lori decided to sign us up for the Petaluma Foot Race again this year. I haven't really run much since October and have pretty much gained all the weight back I lost last year and really lost all my running abilities I gained. You lose that stuff quick, in as short as a week even. So today I started all over. I have 7 weeks to be able to run 3.1 miles. Last year I did it in 31:42. I will be ecstatic if I can beat that by 1 second. My longest run last year was 9 miles. Just doing a mile now is rough. My knees, ankles, and feet hurt. My guts are burning. And my pulse is almost topped out, and I'm going slower than my training pace last year! But I needed a kick in the butt. I gained 20+ pounds back. My blood pressure is higher. Do or die baby!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Halfway there

The next couple months I'm dedicating my play money to finally getting the Desoto an exhaust. It's hanging by 2 coat hangers at the moment and sounds like a leaky tea kettle. Not too ballsy. It's currently a 2 into 1 with some generic muffler that's rusty and looks like swiss cheese. The plan is running dual exhausts out the menifolds, to stainless steel dump tubes coming out behind the front tires, and then through 22" Smithy mufflers and out chrome tips out the side of each rear quarter panel. I got the dump tubes and mufflers. Later this month I'm going to get the exhaust installed. I've been waiting to hear what her purr sounds like for 3 years.