Friday, August 21, 2009

this is BAD ASS!

click for video

Enicycle via Core77 via DVICE via gizmodo

continue reading this is BAD ASS!...

how to ride a Honda CRF450

esd stunter
click for video

This looks like a whole load o fun.

continue reading how to ride a Honda CRF450...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kawasaki KX450F with Christini All-Wheel-Drive conversion

Don Williams review at Ultimate Motorcycling of a Kawasaki KX450F with Christini All-Wheel-Drive conversion.

"When the KX450F was switched back to AWD, the bike easily and controllably topped the hill, making the rider wonder if an entirely different bike has been substituted. Quite simply, the difference in these sorts of situations (mudholes are another), the difference cannot be overstated. It's the difference between painless success and unqualified failure."
I sort of have an ongoing fetish for these Christini rigs.

continue reading Kawasaki KX450F with Christini All-Wheel-Drive conversion...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rise of the (chinese) machines - qlink motorcycles

Anyone who knows anything about bikes knows this: Bikes are all about sexy.

Power, handling, economy - whatever other reasons we have are all secondary. The bike has to look hot. And for those few super-perverse ones (like myself), a hot mess of duct tape, Krylon, rust and dirt looks pretty hot too.

One of the reasons why Chinese bikes have not taken off here is that most of them are styled like "sooo yesterday". Of course there are other reasons: limited dealer networks, bad reliability reputation, etc.

But Fugliness is the maker-breaker factor. With Suzuki now having 2 factories in China, you can be sure that China's well-honed industrial espionage moles are in full swing. What they learn from the Japanese will likely help improve manufacturing and quality control throughout the sector.

Once they improve reliability on the higher-power 250cc class powerplants, and on up into the 400-600cc motors - we'll see a horrendous shakeup in the global motorcycle industry. China's motorcycle manufacturing capacity is greater than the whole rest of the world combined... by a LARGE margin. They are like the U.S. in 1946 on steroids.

Very soon, these non-ugly semi-knockoff-styled machines are hitting our shores.

As a bike lover, and cash-strapped consumer, I'm pretty stoked.
qlink megelli 250r   qlink megelli 250mqlink megelli 250s

I, for one, welcome with open arms our new Manchu Overlords.

Qlink USA here

continue reading Rise of the (chinese) machines - qlink motorcycles...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Now it's on. Chinese Motorcycles invade Bed Stuy Brooklyn

qlink xf200 supermoto
These Bad Boys
are showing up in Bed Stuy.

There are 2 dominant types of motorcycles in Bedford Stuyvesant: 1) sport bikes and 2) Enduros... specifically, KLR650 Kawasakis.

The Japanese Sport bikes are sometimes blinged out - polished and chromed, painted, aftermarket pipes... though many fly with stock setups.

The KLR650 seems to be the most popular bike here. Really the KLR650 should just be renamed "The official motorcycle of Bed Stuy". Last summer it seemed everyone-and-their-mother was blasting around on one of those big thumpers. Though I'm seeing a few more Honda XRs this summer and I have yet to spot a Suzuki DRZ400SM this year. Not sure what happened to those few DRZs that were wheelying around like crazy last year.

The real Leading Indicator bike spotting event was the 200cc Chinese Supermoto I saw on Malcom X Boulevard last night. The owner said he "imported it from New Jersey" - a beautiful little orange scoot with very little "sticker clutter" on the tank. The color was a little lighter and brighter than KTM orange... more plastic-ey looking. Reminded me of 1970's Chrysler muscle cars: over-the-top tones. Nicely done.

manufacturer's site: here

...annnnnd you can buy them on the Internet. Though I recommend finding a dealer (for ANY bike).

At $2299.00, they might just be the most affordable little city bikes available. At that price, I expect a lot more to be appearing in the hood.

A good starter bike. You know: for the kids. Light and nimble... for avoiding those ubiquitous always-reckless-and-speeding Car Service taxis that infest the streets of Brooklyn like roaches at a Crack House.

continue reading Now it's on. Chinese Motorcycles invade Bed Stuy Brooklyn...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

electric motorcycles

eROCKIT electric motorcycle

I like this funky looking thing. But I think "Handcrafted in Berlin" is code for "will cost an arm and a leg".

Electric motorbikes seem to be everywhere. I've started to see some funky chinese moped-like things delivering Thai and Chinese food around Manhattan and Broolyn.

Now that the 1st annual TTXGP (zero emissions motorbike race) at the Isle of Man is over (written up perfectly here in the L.A. Times) and with development happening everywhere at once, we'll probably start to see "right sizing" of pricing structures for some mass produced Factory models out of Asia.

People are doing stuff in their own garages, both Yamaha and Honda are rolling out e-bikes in the next 24 months, parts are readily available for DIY projects and there are plenty of on-line guides.

It looks like the Golden Age of Electric Motorcycles has begun.

continue reading electric motorcycles...

Monday, April 27, 2009

warm sun, shiny bikes

AHRMA vintage
click for more pictures

My friend Shawn went to Willow Springs last weekend. He sent me some pictures.

continue reading warm sun, shiny bikes...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

All-Wheel-Drive Honda CRF250 on sale... Hellz Yesss. meh.

I want one i want one i want one i want one.

Christini is having a sale on their CRF250 Frame Kits. The Christini AWD Tax Return Stimulus Sale: $750 off plus free shipping. ($3250 US)

You ship them your bare frame and (in their words) "We’ll return to you a Brand New Pre-Assembled Christini AWD Frame kit complete with Custom Talon Hub, Billet Triple-Clamps, New Tank, White Plastics and Christini Graphics"

SOUNDS LIKE A DEAL TO ME! Now, all I need is a ski mask and a gun...

...and I am there Baby.

More info HERE.

continue reading All-Wheel-Drive Honda CRF250 on sale... Hellz Yesss. meh....

Sunday, February 8, 2009

great sales pitch

The cynical voice inside me says that the commercial for Harley's new "Iron 883" was imagineered by a group of Ruthless corporate Marketing Flacks leveraging the latest obvious trends and targeting young hipster-ific types.

But I'm jaded.

No matter. The bike looks good and the clearest most effective part of the pitch is at the end: $7899 in a big bold white font. Nice. That's all I need to know.

Harley Davidson Iron 883
click for video

continue reading great sales pitch...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Russian High-Tech Low-Tech

Russians have a knack for designing and building good usable machinery.

Check out these oldie-looking Ural side-hacks. The Patrol, Gear-Up and limited edition Sahara models have on-demand two wheel drive: flipping a lever powers the sidecar wheel.
ural safari
click for slideshow

Their site has all the details.
There's even a page of awesome/retarded flash animation commercials.

This one is my favorite. (Warning: the cartoon's folksy Hillbilly music might get stuck in your head and cause depression. It might drive you to the edge... you know: suicide or bowling.)

Here's another.

continue reading Russian High-Tech Low-Tech...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

oldie but goodie - turbo bike shenanigans

This video clip of a 500bhp Suzuki Hayabusa Turbo Motorcycle has been on the Global Interwebs for a few years. It's still one of the best videos ever recorded of unacceptable behavior on a public highway. Scary and exciting to watch no matter how many times I see it. Freakin Great.

click image to see video

continue reading oldie but goodie - turbo bike shenanigans...

funky good supercharged motorcycle

otto nero posted this beauty:

A nicely crafted cafe racer - Jawa single mated to a separate gearbox and supercharged too.

What I found particularly appealing is the single-sided swingarm with what looks to be a drum brake with a hydraulic line going into it. Crazy cool.

continue reading funky good supercharged motorcycle...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

simple winter project


The (lack of) braking power on my 70's vintage Suzuki GT550 scares me. I could get all obsessive and trick - swap the entire front end with something modern, but I'm lazy. The easiest, cheapest way to add stopping power: add a second caliper and rotor on the left side from another model of the same period.

A used GT750 caliper (and rotor) from eBay. Clean and mount it up. Will it go smooth, or turn into a total pig-fuck? Stay tuned.

click for larger view

continue reading simple winter project...

Monday, January 26, 2009

modern caveman paintings

click for more pictures

cheesy Photoshop mashups of pix scabbed off the Interwebs is good snow-day fun.

continue reading modern caveman paintings...

Sunday, January 25, 2009


On Southsiders MC' blog HERE,
something wonderful, old and good.

continue reading wow...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

AWESOME Flickr Photoset

vintage motorcycles at auction
Click for Slide Show

El Caganer's "Las Vegas Antique Motorcycle Auction" Photoset on Flickr. Super good.

Open Thumbnail Page in a new tab/window.
View Slideshow in a new tab/window.

El Caganer's other Motorcycle-related photo Collections.

continue reading AWESOME Flickr Photoset...

Friday, January 23, 2009

iron fist. velvet glove.

cafe racer motorcycles
click for more pictures

One fine looking RD350 and one tough mother of a T500.
(The Cafe Racer Magazine booth - the last of my pictures from the Javits Center last week.)

continue reading iron fist. velvet glove....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ride Free

the new rollie free
The Reincarnation of Rollie Free

continue reading Ride Free...

Snow motorcycles

Waiting for spring, looking out the window at the snow. What I need is a SNOW-BIKE.
snow runner motorcycle
Out of China, the Snow Runner (pictured above). Probably not in North America yet.

An American company in Idaho, 2Moto, manufactures bolt-on kits for your dirtbike they call the Radix. As proof of its strength (and their own insanity) they mounted one on a turbocharged 650 Husaberg. Nice.

The concept goes back to the late 70s with the Chrysler Snorunner.

There's also the ready-to-run Snow Hawk, available in adult and child sizes.

And there's the Explorer track kit from AD Boivin Mfg.

NONE of them in my front yard. All I got is snow.

continue reading Snow motorcycles...

non ass-ey chinese motorcycles

Foraging through the bountiful treasure trove known as the Global Interwebs, I found some chinese bikes that don't look like ass.
good looking chinese motorcyclesThis tough-looking beast from Hi Bird tops the list. A 250cc Dual Sport pumping out 30hp. A bit porky at 300 pounds, maybe due to the weight of an electric starter. But the 5 gallon plastic fuel tank is the deal breaker - that will never pass DOT regs.

(more bikes below)   --- Click the pix to see larger images ---

What's this? A blatant rip-off of the Sachs MadAss perhaps? Except with rims, handlebars and USD forks all pimped out in gold. It's a ghetto fantasy moped from some factory in China.

Everyone (as in every Japanese company) is fielding a 250cc Supermoto this year. Of course the Chinese will respond to any dominant trend. This particular one comes in a horny color scheme and a Space Age name to boot: the Apollo Orion Supermoto... available sometime, somewhere, somehow, or maybe not.

New sporting single... or vaporware? 500cc, 50 hp, 370 lb, EPA and CARB certified. The picture looks good. Yeah, i like the picture. Does it exist?

Motorcycle or Scooter? This stylish red thing appears to be a motorcycle. The shape is motorcycle-ey. A CVT automatic tranny, 300cc motor and 90 MPH top speed look promising. But WhatTHUHhellIZzit? It's sort of a mystery.

Side-valve boxer motors and drum brakes. What is old is new again.
I REALLY love these 45 inch (like that? I called 'em 45 inchers) knock offs of decades-old designs. Take your pick - with or without side hack.

Will these become available in the U.S.? Will dealer networks supporting chinese imports grow here? Will our current recession/depression kill, help or hurt the chinese bike market? Which brands (factories) will begin to gain a reputation for quality and reliability, if any?

Is China the Sleeping Giant of the motor vehicle industry as some claim?

I guess we wait and see.

continue reading non ass-ey chinese motorcycles...

Monday, January 19, 2009

cute dainty little turbo bikes

small displacement turbocharged motorcycles
Who is Yuji Ochiai?

Apparently he's some dude in Tokyo who builds turbo bikes.

Not your average Euro-American style mega bikes. In Japan 400cc 4-cylinder and 250cc twins must be more common because his company Metal Speed Inc appears to have turned a bunch of them into forced induction mini hyper bikes.

Poke around his site a bit and you'll find a Kawasaki 1100 twin turbo beastie.


As Yuji so succinctly puts it: "Turbo is NO.1!"

Damn right, baby.

continue reading cute dainty little turbo bikes...

Got Mid-life-crisis?

2009 yamaha vmax
click for more pictures

Well then. This will cure your ills when a suitcase full of Viagra and Roofies fall short. The 2009 V-Max.

Even guys like me, who aren't into the whole "Boulevard Cruiser" muscle-bike thing, give a nod of respect to the balls-out insanity of such machines.

210 horsepower? TWO-hundred-ten... HOLYJEEZZUZGAWD!

Thank you Yanaha. I'm sure your attorneys are NOT pleased.

Yeah, I can picture myself aboard a V-Max with a broadsword slung on my back... wandering the post apocalypse urban wastelands - foraging for food and slaying vampire-zombies in my spare time.

What? It could happen.

continue reading Got Mid-life-crisis?...

what gear am i in?

motorcycle gear indicator
click for more pictures

Back in the day when I was a wee lad still shooting blanks I rode a dinky little 60cc Yamaha JT1. It had a "4 down" shift pattern with the neutral at the end. Sometimes when cutting fast through a tight turn, I'd downshift at the apex and goose the throttle only to be greeted with the engine freewheeling and screaming in neutral. Being leaned over for the turn, the bike would swiftly thud sideways down onto the dirt. Oops.

In the early 70s, Suzuki started putting high tech red LED gear indicators on their street bikes. They used a rotary switch attached to the end of the shift drum

Nowadays gear indicators require microchips and sophisticated algorithms to calculate what gear you're in based on "gear position signals" or road speed/engine speed calculations. This is what is known as "progress" - you need a tiny thumb-sized computer to figure out what a 50-cent switch used to do.

In any case. They are certainly a lot brighter than the hair-thin 7-segment LED display on my old GT550 smoker.

Various models from various manufacturers for various bikes. don't be an assclown and get the wrong one.

The Gipro unit has some "Timing Retard Eliminator" feature that is supposed to make certain bikes run better.

continue reading what gear am i in?...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

the blower, man!

TTS motorcycle supercharger
click for more pictures (and a Road Test video!)

"Look at the blower! She's meanness put to music, and the bitch is born to run."

I can not believe I have never heard of these cats before today. TTS Performance in the UK specialize in integrating Rotrex centrifugal superchargers with cars and motorcycles. Belt-driven superchargers: forced induction just the way god meant it to be.

They have kits. For motorcycles. Supercharger kits.

They cost anywhere from £2,000 to £5,000 for a complete kit. There are kits for the Triumph Speed Triple and Rocket-3, BMW 1150, various Jap 4-bangers and Harley-Buells.

Centrifugal blowers allegedly have a very smooth power delivery. Though I don't know how smooth 200 horsepower can ever feel as it runs through the one little tire patch of a motorbike. Clearly, further investigation is warranted.

Someone... get one of these. Now.

Go for it. What are you? Chicken?

continue reading the blower, man!...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

green machine

kawasaki versys
click for more pictures

My favorite of the current crop of '09 bikes - the Kawasaki Versys.

It's beautiful in green. Gorgeous. Down for anything "Swiss Army knife" of a bike.

continue reading green machine...

not a motorcycle

mobiky genius folding bike
click for video

But CLEARLY, just as much fun as one. The video should be titled "how to ride like a completely self-absorbed twat".

Yeah, totally looks like a blast, and a great way to get around. Especially for subway-enhanced cities.

The Mobiky Genius.

continue reading not a motorcycle...

triplet smoker fetish

classic 2-stroke suzuki GT750 special
click for more pictures

There ain't nothing like a triple with castor bean oil in it's DNA.

continue reading triplet smoker fetish...

poor defenseless BMW gets molested at Javits Center

BMW F650GS parallel twin
click for more pictures

I like this beautifully fugly Beemer - their "entry level" parallel twin.
Dudes were pawing at it like it was a chick on Roofies.

continue reading poor defenseless BMW gets molested at Javits Center...

Motorcycle Outsourcing

Johnny Pag Sport 300cc Streetfighter
click for more pictures

I don't think I'm being an asshole when I say, "Chinese motorcycles are ugly as sin."

BECAUSE THEY ARE UGLY (with a few exceptions - the QLINK XF200 Supermoto is in the not-ugly category).

So let's say you get a designed-in-the-U.S. > built-in-China thing going.

Enter Johnny Pag.

I'm not a big fan of factory built cruisers, which is what they've been selling for a while. but this new Sport model is pretty damn sweet.

They put the same twin cylinder 300cc motor in it, but give it a naked/streetfighter-ey treatment: Black everywhere, wave rotors, pipe-under-seat... you know the drill.

The big 'ol electric fans behind the blocky radiator look a bit kludgy, but I like that kind of kludgy. Makes it look tough.

I'm betting it's a kick-ass funtastic around-town ride.

The bikes are assembled in China by 8-year-old chinese girls. (okay I made that part up.)

Oh yeah, MSRP is $3,399... dollars... AMERICAN dollars.

They should give these away free with Happy Meals at McDonalds. The girl version could be painted pink with a Hello Kitty tank badge.

Hey Johnny, do it up with 17 inch wheels. Or an 18" on the back too. Do it. do it.

do it.

continue reading Motorcycle Outsourcing...

Friday, January 16, 2009

2 wheel drive motorcycles: obtainable unobtanium

Christini two wheel drive motorcycle
click for more pictures

Two wheel drive. I've been hearing about this sort of thing for years.

There's the utilitarian Rokon sporting the same design for a half century. Ian Drysdale's experiment (his site has a lot of clear information on AWD technologies.) Rumors of a production KTM that remained a rumor.

Same goes for Yamaha. Rumors, prototypes... no production.

Leave it up to some Philly boys to put their money where their mouth is.

Christini Technologies has something to sell you. Not vapor. Actual hardware.

They had a Gas Gas 2 stroke dirtbike on display at the Javits Center today. And a KTM supermoto too.

Both badass.

It will be interesting to see how these things do in terms of reliability. We'll find out soon, as Roland Sands has a Christini AWD-enabled Super Single running in Cali right now. Yes that's right - a road racer.

So if you already have one of the models of Honda/KTM/GasGas that they've already tooled up for, another $4,000 to $4,600 will get you a tricky ass 2 wheel drive version.

Call them up. They're real nice guys. And by "nice guys" i mean: waaaay into bikes.

Go ahead. All the cool kids are doing it.

continue reading 2 wheel drive motorcycles: obtainable unobtanium...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

supermotos rock

KTM 990 supermoto
click for more pictures

...even big bloatacious ones like this KTM.

Long travel suspension turns the WORST roads into the MOST fun.

They're pretty much good for most tasks - can turn a mundane commute across town into "race-boy fantasy camp". I wouldn't recommend riding one from L.A. to Chicago in 2 days, but I know it's possible. (Done it ONCE... never again.)

The XR650 in the above Slideshow was my daily ride for years. These days, factories all over the world are churning out this style of bike.

That's progress, baby.

There is a recession depression going on... You could maybe hit up eBay Motors and buy a used one or roll-your-own on the cheap. All it takes is buying a dual-sport/enduro, getting 17" rims laced on and mounting a big rotor and caliper offset bracket.

Maximum fun - Minimum outlay of cash.

continue reading supermotos rock...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

sweet hacktastically compelling RD

yamaha RD400 rat racer
click for larger view

You might be saying "what the f*ck are you thinking, man?"

After all, It's not your typical super-finely-detailed Special. In fact there doesn't seem to be anything special about it at all.

Look at it. It's COOL!

Seems nearly stock, with the money put where it does the most good - old School fork brace, piggyback reservoir shocks, expansion chambers.

Random, eclectic styling: Yellow tank with a lowered badge, weird pastel fenders (undercoat?) with stickers plastered on, a single bar-end mirror (keep it legal), red fork brace, black side panel with the number "4" on it... "8" would've been cooler.

Pure Genius. It would be TOTALLY at home trolling the Forbidden Zone with the Toe Cutter and his gang, thumbing it's nose at "The Bronze".

Seriously... I'm not being facetious here. I love this bike. It's badass.

P.S. - In the future, I might post pix of bikes that actually have chrome and billet on them... maybe.

continue reading sweet hacktastically compelling RD...