Saturday, March 30, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Help Lee

Send Lee bender $5 and help the guy out! Shit!

One Sick Race

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Yesterday I brazed all the seams on the oil tank, filling all the pinholes. After about, oh, 10 attempts, it finally completely passed the pressure test. No leaks! I refuse to be that guy going 80mph down the freewat who's oil tank starts leaking and spraying all over his back. I've seen it happen. It ain't pretty. Speaky of not pretty, the tank might not be the prettiest thing, but it's solid, and filler does amazing things. Time for paint.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hustle Hustle

I was gifted garage time Saturday so I snorted a line of coke and drank 5 Redbulls and changed the bung on the oil tank as fast as I could. It was all going great until I got to the welder. I was having problems getting the gas to come out, and it was making my welds porous and ugly. I finally took all the lines off and blew them out and suddenly it worked again. Then I chased down 1000 pinholes and tried to weld them shut but I just seemed to make things worse. I'm going to try brazing again to fill all the seems. Wish me luck.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Can't a brother get a break?

I needed to make a sharp S bend on the 5/16" feed on the oil tank.

Problem is, the bender doesn't allow such a sharp bend. The tubing collapses on itself. I tried filling it with sand, salt, using a torch... same result. I finally discovered I could clear the clutch cable with a more gradual bend. SUCCESS!

Bouncing up and down with joy it suddenly occurred to me that I used the stock Tiger Cub oil bung and fitting. Sure, I attached a 5/16" line to it, but the fitting itself was still a smaller I.D. than what's needed for a 650. Maybe I could bore out the fitting? Nope, it would destroy the fitting end. FUUUUUUDGE...

Looks like my only option is to scavenge a trashed 650 oil tank I have for its bung and fitting. I'll put it on the bottom, and run an elbow line to the oil pump. No sweat, just an all day project for me, and I have no time to do it.

In some GOOD news I did manage to score the Superior Trumpet tips I wanted at a price I would pay. That completes my exhaust. Only problem is they are for 1-7/8" pipes and I have 1-3/4" flared ends, so I'll need to make a reducer sleeve. The tips that went for $91 that pissed me off the other day got relisted, so the buyer must have flaked. All I can do now is wait for my assembled bottom end to arrive, and figure out when the hell I can fix my oil tank. This is not a hobby if you have a baby.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lil Tough Guy

Yesterday was a very stressful day, Max had surgery on his abdomen. It's been a year of waiting for him to be old enough. We ran around and giggled as much as we could the night before. It's strange to not be able to tell your child that the next day is not going to be fun, and we won't be able to play like this again for a while. And you won't get to eat or drink anything. I didn't sleep a wink, we had to be at the Children's Hospital at 6:30 AM. He was still in his typical high spirits and flirting with all the lady nurses. We sang "ABC" to him as he inhaled the gas and went under. I knew he was in good hands, but it's still hard to see your child go to sleep like that and leave him in the hands of someone else. No matter how safe a surgery is, it's still worrisome. Two hours later we were invited back to recovery to watch him wake up. He was still very asleep. Perfect vitals. Eventually he woke up, very groggy and froggy. Not sure what was going on but happy to see mom and dad again. His legs were jello from the coddle they put in his back. He managed to stay awake for a meal and then sleep for 3 hours. Another hour up for food, and more sleep. But by end of the night he was running around again, but quickly learning his limitations. Not being able to bend over, he would just point at his toys on the floor and make us pick them up for him. It will be a couple weeks of recovery, and we need to try our best to keep him from ripping open stitches by his crazy antics. We sure love the little guy.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

Getting ahead of myself

But I couldn't pass up a good deal. I managed to pick up a tool box cover and some iron head rockers for the '55 for below the current going rate. I need a few more major items: iron head, crank, and the big one, a full front end.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


This build has had a very disjointed fabrication over the years. It's been moved constantly from one place to another to have work done on it. Often parts were sent to various people to fab and TIG weld onto with instructions from me. It's amazing that it's come together as well as it has. I had planned to have completely custom exhaust, which meant things could be put anywhere, but in the end, decided to go with the classy, sexy, stock headers... and suddenly some problems have arisen.

This is a stock '62. It has the slick-shift-styled gearbox. The oil lines run higher and the clutch cable has no interference.

I'm running a '57 gearbox. Here's a close-up of my custom Tiger Cub oil tank with redirected plumbing... I miscalculated the oil lines, and the feed runs right into the the clutch cable. Not a big deal, I can make an "S" shaped tube to route around the cable.

The right footpeg I acquired was bent and I bent it back into position, but possibly not high enough. The headers are hitting the bottom. I won't truly know if I need to reposition it until the motor is firmly in place. But if you look at the stock image above, it looks like it almost touches the footpeg.

This is the big one. The brake lever mount I made is positioned in a spot where the header really hits it. I will have to cut it off and move it, probably higher. Again I'll have to wait until the motor is completely together and headers in position to see where it goes. The kickstand mount is in a bad place too.

Everything is fixable, but another PITA to add to the list. I just have to wait until things are almost ready to go back and fix them.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Zoo Crew

Sunday was Max's real first birthday so we hit the zoo!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Amazing Lifto!

My latest acquisition... Harbor Freight lift, like new, snagged it for one-fiddy. I'm moving up in the world!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Max's Birthday Extravaganza

I busted booty all day Friday cleaning up the backyard for the party on Saturday. The yard has been severely neglected in the last year. I borrowed a power washer and did my usual dog doody duty. And good thing, too, as all afternoon kids were throwing rocks, eating rocks, and doing stone angels. It was a great turn out of friends and a few kids. We figure the first birthday is more about the parents, so there was ample alcohol. Lori and I were running around being hosts, so we didn't get to just relax. Luckily lots of people took turns playing with Max and he loved every second of it. How us two antisocial people created this super social happy boy is beyond us. And even though we said no presents, quite a few came bearing gifts. Perfect weather. It was a great day and a great party for Max. We have some great friends.

All pictures

Friday, March 8, 2013

Preparing for the festivities

Max turns 1 years old on Sunday, but his big party is tomorrow. Today will be a day of preparation, gift wrapping, cake baking, dog-poop picking up, backyard cleaning, and alcohol purchasing. I better get to it!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Literally all I can do is plan out the '55 right now.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Welcome to my pity party

It's time to just have a little pity party, while also donning my tinfoil hat and shaking my rage fists. I'm just being a whiney bitch, let me have a moment. I have effectively been priced out of my hobby. Even Japanese bikes are going for stupid money now. But my favorite, Triumph pre-unit stuff, is quickly becoming a thing of the past for me. I get that there are rare parts and they will be expensive, but the prices for these parts have skyrocketed recently.

I put most of the blame on the internet, the rise in nostalgia, the hipster skateboarder biker movement. It used to be you could go to a swap meet and get killer deals... but now those swaps are drying up as dealers discover it's much more lucrative to sell on eBay. Or worse, the ones that buy up all the parts at swaps and then put them up for sale. More and more people with more money than sense are buying these inflated priced items... and the dealers are happy to sell them.

So who's buying all this stuff up? Perhaps some old timers with retirement funds, but doubtful. Maybe some cutwearing tech-type type trying to buy period-correct-everything for scene points to post on his Instagram... maybe. But I put most of the blame on Japan.

Anything Americana is hot hot hot right now in Japan. Old Levis, old cars, and old American and British motorcycles. Tons of Knuckleheads and Panheads and Pre-unit Triumphs are leaving this country en masse and showing up in Japan in it's thriving vintage motorcycle scene. They are capitalizing on our weak dollar, and things are going for STUPID money now. I can't even come close to competing. They set up export addresses in the states, so the dealers THINK they are selling to Americans, but in fact, they are all going to Japan, and some places like Sweden (another culprit).

What's a guy like me to do? I guess you got to pay to play. Guess I don't get to play anymore.

Here's a few examples...

$300 for a bent rod that swivels...

This is the one that really hurt. I really wanted this for my Triumph. It was $12.50 until the last minute. These normally go for $40-$50.

Pit party over.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Found this restoration of a '56 Tbird on BritBike Forum... gives me a little hope for my '55, though I've officially decided against a stock looking bike.

Friday, March 1, 2013


Got my UK made duplex-era headers in today, beautiful. 1.5" O.D. flared to 1.75" on the ends.

Next step is to duplicate these old pre-unit megaphones, I have an option I'm working on, and I'll post an update if I get a good solution...