Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm with CoCo

Lori surprised me yesterday with Conan tickets! She requested them 2 months ago and won them in a lottery! How awesome is that? I made this image to make iron-ons for tshirts to wear to the show. Yes, I'm that guy.

Work related

I designed these simple looking yet ridiculously complicated lit tables. They just got installed in stores.

Monday, November 29, 2010


My brosef Kevin started a new blog. It's his Dream. And his dog Gus. You're the man now Dreamdawg!

It's all in the angles, baby

Exhaust Manifold Repair - Stage 3: Shoot me, it's over

Wow, what a lesson in tedious work this project has been. And a lesson in doing things the wrong way multiple times. I need to not assume ANYTHING anymore.

1. I assumed the replacement manifold was exactly the same. I learned it wasn't once it was already on. The connection of the heat riser to the manifold on the original has a lip that fit inside the manifold. The new manifold didn't have an allowance for the lip so I had to grind the heat riser lip down to make it fit.

2. I painted the manifold with high temp engine enamel. I thought I picked up a 1500 degree paint, no, it was a 500 degree paint. The red manifold, after running it for 30 minutes, is now a nice shiny black, and still smoking as the paint burns off.

3. By far the biggest wrong assumption were the manifold studs. What a nightmare that whole thing turned out to be. They were the same length as the originals, but the coarse and fine threads were drastically different in lengths. I thought it would be a good thing until I had the studs in and tried to get the manifold on. No deal. I couldn't slip it past the frame. I had to take out and cut and then reinsert and torque the studs 4 times. And there's 7 of them.

Here's 2 videos I made of inserting and removing the studs. I just want you to experience the banal, repetitive wrist movements I got to enjoy for a few hours.

But you know what? She purrs like a kitten. I'll retorque the nuts again soon and she should be all set. And thank Jeebus I can go back to working on my bikes. I'm very thankful I had a place inside I could work on it. That makes a world of difference.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lane Splitting: A Southern California Motorcycle Experience

Freeway lane-splitting is a part of my daily work life. Traffic going 35 mph, I'm going 50. Traffic is going 65, I'm, going 75. It's always an interesting topic to me. Everyone has a certain level of experience, courage, philosophy, and their own limits.

Lane Splitting: A Southern California Motorcycle Experience from Brian Leahy on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday Rule

We weren't as nutty as some of the other Black Friday shoppers, but we went to the city to try to find a new mattress at Macy's. Honestly, I don't really think we got any sort of amazing deal, but I think we actually got a nice mattress, possibly the nicest I've ever owned, a Sterns & Foster "Monet's Garden" plush. I know, a nailbiter of a blog topic.

We then bought a few ornaments and a hula girl night light for our bathroom. No more falling in!

We headed to the mall for some food. There was no where to sit, so everyone was sitting on the floor and be hassled by the mall cops about fire safety. That was an enjoyable meal.

But later that night we headed back to the city to Cafe Du Nord to see Lori's friend from Arizona and to watch some bluegrass bands. To use Troop's label, a bunch of "hicksters." But I was really surprised at the low level of hicksters there, just people really. Bluegrass style music has really gotten popular again which just mystifies me. Once again, I'm ahead of the curve!

The bands to me were nothing special except the last band "The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit." Imagine a more bluegrassy version of Lucero. I really liked these guys. We hung out with the mandolin player most of the night, and he was wailing on stage. The other lead guitar was kickass. Banjo, flying V Gibson, and a pedal steel! I kind of sat there day dreaming about having my own style of band. Check those guys out for SURE.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Not a finga!

Our first Thanksgiving in our new house. Just us, we were missing the rents, but we had Christmas music blasting all day and topped it off with A Christmas Story. Bacon wrapped pork loin, baked macaroni and cheese, yellow cake & chocolate frosting, pumpkin pie, Hawaiian rolls, mashed potatoes, and a few glasses of whiskey & ginger.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stronger than wood - that's what she said

A few weeks ago Luka went Puppy Crazy ® and knocked my Epiphone over, cracking the headstock off. After much crying, I discovered I could probably fix it with wood glue. Stronger than wood! Well, guess what, it worked!

Monday, November 22, 2010


It's hokey but Lori loved it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Got a new rug

It really ties the room together, fuckin' a.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Here's some updates of an Ariel build, I sold the dude the oil tank I had. Lookin' good.
Jockey Journal link

From the archive

Found some great pics of my old Galaxie and Jess hanging out, bout 5 years ago, just before moving to Calyfornee.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sweet Tunage

I made this totally sweet cartoon. SODY POP by vorhese

Like it? Create your own at It's free and fun!

Factory Metal Works

I waited 6 weeks but it arrived last night. I needed a different hardtail for the Triumph, the 4" stretch, 2-1/2" drop was just a little too much for me. I wanted to suck in the rear a little (that sounded nasty). So, even tho I did all that fab work on the rear section, I knew I had to make it right.

Everyone is running a David Bird hardtail nowadays it seems. I think they are great. But what drew me to the Factory Metal Works is the ability to get the hardtail in any fashion I wanted. I wanted a 2" stretch and a 2" drop, which DB didn't offer. Also the FMW were cheaper at $200.

I contacted the FMW guys, and Lucas was extremely quick on responses and a good guy to work with.

This is how it was delivered. Probably not THE best way to send something that should not be bent.

And it looks like one tab was the victim of a little postal damage. Luckily, nothing serious.

If I could make a recommendation to the FMW guys, if you want to ship in this fashion, I suggest making some blocking that fit between the axle plates and both front mounts to keep things in check. And probably add some thick cardboard tubing to the ends. It's worth another $2 in packaging to prevent an serious mishaps. But that's my only suggestion.

I think the hardtail looks great.

Look at those beefy axle plates!

Here's an old vs new comparison. You can really notice the difference looking at the axle.

I couldn't help myself

Overall I'm really happy. The true test will to see the finished project and actually put some miles on it. Still waiting on my 18" rear wheel (ROB!).


Hits a little too close to home for some! Hah!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Exhaust Manifold Repair - Stage 2: Hell Broth

The piece that attaches the manifold is a spring-loaded butterly valve called a heat riser. It's designed to keep the manifold warm in cold weather driving. This part was doomed to fail, and mine was rusted shut and only allowing maybe half of the exhaust to escape. So I did what any red blooded American would do and cut off all the crap.

I began to clean everything up with a wire wheel when I said heck with it, and just set up an electrolytic rust removal vat. I let it stew for about 8 hours. I could have gone longer but I was impatient.

All nice and clean

5 coats of high temp engine paint

I have the manifold and exhaust flange gaskets. I'm going to replace the studs and nuts with some nice grade 8 stainless. I'm trying to sell the Desoto, but I still am trying to repair it best of my abilities.