Monday, January 31, 2011

Much Much Go Interview

Ever since discovering Pipeburn Magazine I've been digging through the archives looking for inspiration amid the beautiful cafe customs. I've also been following links to some other great magazines, blogs and custom builders. The Cafe style really is the hot thing right now and I love the "fix what you found" mentality of taking common old UJMs and making them into custom rolling works of art.

I doubt my first venture will be as beautiful as anything on these pages, but it is great to take in such inspiration.

One of the best visual inspirations for the customization of my CB400 of course is the Much Much Go ... winner of a build-off down under and a very controversial show bike. It is stripped down, and customized with minimal cash. A low displacement Honda with Comstar wheels, white pipes and no chrome dangles the attainability of such beauty to backyard hackers with limited funds and unlimited dreams.

I really like the design and I might even go with the white pipes!

Anyway, found a great interview with the creator in Pipeburn and wanted to point to it: Check it out here:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pipeburn Portland and Cafe Racers on TV

A friend at work just told me about a new series that started last fall on Discovery HD about the Cafe Racer motorcycle scene (or the return of that scene. ) Cafe Racer TV looks like a very cool series. Unfortunately, it is on a channel I don't get, I'm still hoping I can pick it up on Itunes or Netflix. While looking for the website, I stumbled across Pipeburn magazine, a cool Cafe Racer influenced mag from the Portland area. Great stuff here! Pipeburn also had this killer photo spread on the CB above. Check out that paint job!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Motorcycle Graveyard

I remember being a kid with my dad, crawling around junkyards looking for Fiat parts. I miss those open repositories of parts and the treasure hunt adventure of searching through the industrial archeology of the recent past. My dad was an industrial engineer and so he taught me the beauty of the machine.

I wish I could fine a graveyard of old motorcycles that I could crawl through on a wet winter's day, finding that that diamond in the rust. I'm jealous of the folks at Classic Cycles in New York who had an opportunity to access such a graveyard of old motorcycles recently.Here's the story:

Monday, January 10, 2011

2011 a repeat of 2008? Ex-oil Exec says get ready for $5 gas

Okay, so when I was convincing my wife that I needed a motorcycle again, one of the reasons I cited was that it would be great to have something that was good on gas for short hops around the valley and maybe even driving to work. I bought my Ford F150 pickup just as gas prices spiked last time. It runs E85, which is cheaper, but that drops the MPGs down to about 13. My old CB400 on the other hand was spec'd at least 45 mpg. It would be much higher if not for the auto tranny.

Now, the ScooterScoop is saying gas prices are slated to go up again. ( 2011 a repeat of 2008? Ex-oil Exec says get ready for $5 gas ) If you didn't notice, gas this Christmas topped $3 a gallon for the first time. Even with the dip in demand of the global economy, they aren't making new oil.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Missing Link - Affordable Well Built Motorcycles

One thing I love about the motorcycle magazine Hell For Leather is their lack of bias toward motorcycles. They like good motorcycles that can be ridden. They have been campaigning for a push by moto makers to attract new people to two-wheels by producing better, safer products.

Enter what they call "The Missing Link" The Honda CBR250R -- an all new, 250cc entry level motorcycle that has ABS and a decent price. Despite the small displacement, it is fully able to exceed all the speed limits and get you from point A to point B. Moreover, it looks fantastic, stops well (with optional linked front and back ABS!) and is comfortable to ride. What's the drawback? Our mentality toward bikes as a "lifestyle choice" here in the US of A.
Motorcycling in our countries has an image problem, one that puts up barriers in front of the venerable CBR250R and other machines like it. Despite our self-inflicted economic meltdown, big, bad-boy egotism still drives our industry. I will go so far as to say they are our industry. Everywhere else in the world, motorcycles are transport as much as they are recreation, and what’s more, they are OK with that. You don’t need to be on the extreme end of any spectrum: the fastest superbike in production; the baddest custom chopper; or some adventure soft-roader with GPS and aluminum hard cases to be cool. In Brazil, in Italy, in Japan and most every biker culture just being on a motorcycle, anymotorcycle, is cool.  Not so here.  Ride outside the box at your peril. .... This is the mountain, the towering height of fickle public opinion, that the Honda CBR250R has to scale if it is to succeed. Honda are no doubt aiming at not only sensible types (the ones we labelled “uncool”), but also people completely outside motorcycling’s bandwidth. There are a lot of consumers out there who like the appeal of motorcycling, but until now have been too intimidated by the image and products on offer to step in. They are the kindergarden kids, looking over the fence at the grade 1 playground, envious of their toys and increased freedom, but too afraid to cross over. Those people, professionals and students, young and old, with the right media message, will discover that they too can be cool and enjoy riding motorcycles, just like another generation of ordinary Americans once discovered.