Monday, June 19, 2017

Happy Father's Day To Me! The Oregon Haul

The Triumph factory rigid, my elusive acquisition for 20 years, my unicorn. I have never been in the right place at the right time, and I have just watched prices climb and climb. I got word of 2 stashes in Oregon. I was determined to finally get MINE. I sold a bike, kissed my wife and thanked her for being so understanding and enabling of my mental illness, and set off for an 1100 mile ONE DAY road trip to Oregon and back.

I left just after 4AM Saturday morning. I haven't been in Oregon in about 10 years. Last time I did so Lori and I were driving a '63 Ford Galaxie back from Seattle. That trip didn't go so well. I had never been on the I-5 section and it was beautiful. The views of Mt Shasta were amazing. I was scouting future family vacation spots left and right.

I arrived at my first stop. I met some really cool dudes that have been into bikes and cars a hell of a lot longer than me. I picked up a 1952 frame set up for a Harley 45, and a chromed 1950 frame. Also a '66 Bonnie motor in a '63 frame, a butt load of wheels and parts, and a cool old Sansui and Marantz receiver.

On to my next stop 4 hours north. This time I picked up a '59 Bonneville motor with an ironhead top end in a 1954 frame, a 1954 T110 motor (8 bolt alloy head), a set of 47 5T cases and parts, and a bunch of other really useful... crap. All in all both stops, almost enough to build 3 rigids from.

Loaded up and headed home, I left at 6PM and made it home at 2AM, ahead of schedule.

The aftermath. I unloaded the car and trailer on Sunday in about 100 degree weather. This should keep me busy for a while. I already know how I want to build 2 of the rigids, and I can guarantee they will not have 16" rear wheels with unit front ends.

'63 frame, '66 Bonnie motor. Set up as a flat tracker at some point, neat oil tank mod.

Be Happy

All I can say is EPIC.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Bell Moto III Helmet 1977

A few months ago I was wandering around my new favorite man cave antique store in Concord and found this dusty old Bell Moto III helmet for $20. I've been watching prices on these for years skyrocket and be ridiculous. And the new ones aren't cheap either. I wore it for a while and then decided I should start restoring it. I removed the old foam and took the foam out of a helmet I don't use anymore and it fit perfectly. I then went to Ned's in Concord and got some color-natched rattlecan. I should add he was really excited to tell me how close he got it. I haven't decided if I'm going for the full resto look with stickers and all... I am leaning towards that.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Hypothermia and a tee pee

The new splash park at Larkey Park opened up by us. This has been an unseasonably chilly and windy year so far so it was mid 60's and breezy, and the park was in shade. I had to pull Max out when he couldn't even communicate anymore from being so cold. But the place is great!

Maeve was happy as usual

And after talking about it for a while, with Max's help, I made him a tee pee out of some old branches.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hill Holder

I've been helping Kjell with his '56 T110 project here and there, guiding him with parts. He wanted a small front hub (talked him out of a spool) so we got him a Tiger Cub, 1956 specifically. If we were mounting this on a later style clamp fork, it would be a breeze, it's almost direct mount. But adding it to a pre-unit set of forks is proving more challenging as the pre-unit axle is a slide-out type, pinch bolt and nut. The other problem is the Cub hub uses 2 different sized bearings with different inner dims.

This is my leading idea. Flip the forks so that the open-pinchbolt end is on the right side. Weld the drain plugs shut, cuz no one uses those anyway. New stepped axle to fit the different bearing inner dims. Brake plate rests against right fork. Inner bearing spacer sleeve spacer. Left side spacer, and a nut to hold it against the left fork. That should allow the axle to slide out the right side.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

1949 Harley Panhead first start full length

I've been going through some old videos and found a bunch of videos of the Panhead first starting a couple years ago. I assembled them into one long video for posterity's sake.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

1955 Triumph is a roller

I have been slowly productive on the '55. I've been juggling it with my '62 rebuild and some side projects. The motor is in LA with Wes awaiting completion.

My 62 and 55 motors together. NOW KISS

Polished my gearbox cover

Made all my motor mount hardware, CEI. I'm trying to keep all the hardware British. It has a certain look that I want.

My helper

Spray bombed the wheels and put some Ensign Trials Universal tires on

Pulled the bent swingarm back

Made an order with ACE in the UK for a bunch of chassis bits I needed to finish the rolling chassis.

And this is how it sits (mockup motor and exhaust). I boiled the oil tank and the white house paint came off revealing a similar paint scheme to the 3 gallon gas tank I picked up, weird and cool for now. While the motor is being finished I plan on rebuilding the gearbox, doing all the gas tank repairs (new bottom bungs and badge bungs), and building the bash guard. I picked up a Haifley Bros seat and ppad. Debating having a TT style seat made. The bike may have 2 modes, street and dirt.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017

On The Road Again

It is over. Almost 5 years ago I quit my job to stay home with Max. Maeve was born and we both wanted to switch roles, Lori home temporarily. So, fate is a funny thing, and shortly after starting my job search, the job I left called me asking if I might be interested in working again. After much discussion I agreed. I used to do this commute on series of KLR 650's, and much closer, 15 miles closer from Oakland. Now the commute is 80 miles a day, and there was no way in hell I was doing that in a car in Bay Area traffic. To treat myself to a resurgent industrial design career, I made the decision to go with a Triumph Tiger this time. Local results were horribly overpriced, so I found this beautiful, practically cherry 2014 model 6 hours south. Only 6500 miles, aftermarket windscreen, top box, and a few other goodies. I have never ridden a triple before. It is like a jet turbine engine. Fastest bike I have owned. It has a few design flaws (passenger pegs welded to frame, gearing is too close), but I love this bike. If commuting 80 miles in bumper bumper traffic and hour a day with almost nonstop splitting was possibly fun, this is as close as it gets.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Welcome Maeve Bisbee Blake Friend to the world!

Max was born on his due date, March 10, 2012. Our baby girl's due date was February 25, 2017. On February 24th Lori and I went to sleep, anxious, but her feeling nothing. At 3:45AM February 25th, she nudged me awake to tell me her water broke. Still no contractions. She took a shower and began feeling them, at 5-6 minutes apart. Lori was in no rush. Max's labor was 33 hours, and we were told cut that in half for number 2. But quickly they became more intense and frequent. At the urging of yours truly and her mother, we finally convinced her to leave for the hospital at 5:30AM, contractions at 2-3 minutes apart. The ride there was... intense but calm. I pulled up to John Muir and took her up to the rooms. Contractions even shorter. After 10 minutes I went down to park the car and bring the yoga ball up. I was gone, maybe 10 minutes. All hell had broken loose. The room was full of nurses informing us this baby was coming VERY soon. at 6:25AM little Maeve Bisbee Blake Friend was born. The sweetest girl on the entire planet.

photos by Carissa Valasquez