20101025

Break In

Been busy with work and life so I haven't gotten around to posting lately. Did get a chance to break in a 2011 Heritage Softail in glorious yellow and I gotta say, if the footboards were positioned a little differently I'd really dig this bike. It's surprisingly quick and nimble and probably a great starting point to a killer long-hauler. Here's some pics from my trip.





20100926

New Gulley Boys Work

Been keeping busy, outside of my actual job, with some more work for the Gulley Boys. This time it's a bit more hands on as I'm actually contributing some music along with the artwork. All I can say right now is that I think this mixtape is going to be pretty sweet and should showcase Young Votta's flows quite well. No release date set and it could go long as the work depends much on J Kai and Votta actually being in the same city, not to mention the fact that I'll be telecollaborating. See, I just made that up. Until then, here's a little artwork teaser. 
And as always, don't forget to check out the Bandcamp page to get the No Sleep Mixtape. It's completely free right now but hurry, it's only for a limited time so act fast because operators are standing by and supplies are limited.
gulleyboys.bandcamp.com 

20100919

Skype Me!

MOTOanimus is now on Skype, username "motoanimus" without the quotes, of course. Give me a shout.

20100905

FTW

Check these guys out. Very good stuff. 
http://www.ftwride.blogspot.com/

20100824

Blinker Fluid

Had a guy ask me today if we'd been seeing a lot of problems with altitude sensors going out. I wanted to tell him "no, but we have been replacing an awful lot of johnson rods."

20100426

MOTOrider

20100425

Excitebike

20100424

Mach Rider

20100421

What's keeping me busy



is the fact that I'm working on some promo stuff for some buddies of mine, The Gulley Boys. Been having lots of fun with the classic video game concept. Makes me want to fire up the NES emulator and try in vain to beat Kid Icarus. Check the MySpace which is definitely a work in progress. There will be some free downloads of tracks from their new "No Sleep Mixtape." Also working on the art for Young Votta's solo album "Rise of the Phoenix" which should be out in the spring. Unlike "No Sleep," "Phoenix" will be a fully produced, mastered, packaged album available from the man himself. Until then check out the free tracks and give Young Votta a jingle if you want a full disc. Definitely some up and comers in the underground Hip Hop world.


http://www.myspace.com/gulleyboysmusic

20100415

Cutup

Went all Hacksaw Jim Duggan on the Sporty today and lopped 3 inches off the bars. Man, what a difference! I'm really starting to get the riding position where I want it. Also discovered I'm desperately in need of a brake flush. Going to tackle that tomorrow if the weather's not as perfect as it was today. My test ride stretched into a run to Barnes and Noble and the In N Out for dinner. Gotta love AZ weather. 

20100412

Phoenix Bike Week

It's bike week and I can't decide if putting up with people is worth it. I'll probably decide it isn't and go ride by myself like I usually do.

20100409

MOTOanimus Facebook...

...page coming soon. All three of you stay tuned!

20100325

Another Visordown List

Haven't bothered to read it yet. Don't know if I want to. Here it is. I'm off to Texas to hunt pigs for 10 days. So long sucktown!


Visordown List

20100318

MOTOlisa




There's beauty in imperfection I think. I'd venture to say Leonardo da Vinci thought so too. Today on my ride I realized that's why I like the Sporty so well. A buddy of mine owns three BMWs and is always deriding Harleys as being low tech piles of junk. He hates the single crank pin and the resulting weird cylinder cadence, he hates the weight, the relatively low redline, basically everything about them. He equates the 45 degree V-Twin to riding a bicycle with both feet on the same pedal. He loves the sheer precision and smoothness of the Bimmers and I admit, the geek in me does too. I, however can't stand their sometimes bland, sometimes in your face weird styling. I can't help but feel they're almost completely without soul. Notice I said almost. If you want a bike completely devoid of soul you must look to Japan. To be fair I don't feel the older Japanese bikes are without soul. The CB 750 sure does beg to be ridden. And that's not to say I wouldn't ride the shit out of a nice S1000RR or even an R1, and have lots of fun doing so. It's just that these bikes are so good and so perfect that it's almost completely insulating. It takes the skill of the rider somewhat out of the equation. It gives false confidence and makes one better than they really are. Kind of like driving a fully traction controlled, ABS, pin drop quiet Lexus. Why then do so many Japanese custom builders get it? Shinya Kimura makes some of the most beautiful machines I've seen. They are rough and raw and unpainted. They are asymmetrical. They are absolutely stunning. Certainly it's not cultural; the ugly, soulless perfection of the Japanese production bikes. 


When I ride the Sporty I can't help but feel one with the machine. There's nothing but a cable between me and the carb. When I have to stop quickly I have to apply the proper amount of pressure to each of the brakes. I feel the engine's vibration being telegraphed through its cases, to the frame, to the bars, to my hands. I learn to identify new sounds, new vibrations. I love the way the engine roars up to redline, like a demon shot reluctantly from Hell, flaming and screaming almost to the point of breaking. But it doesn't. And they don't often. The old misconception that Harleys are unreliable is based on the rantings of very, very old greybeards and bike snobs. A reputation that started with the Knucklehead (ca. 1936) and ended well before the much lambasted AMF days (ca. 1969). Really, the Panhead pretty much solved that problem and it came out in 1948.  So while Hogs may be loud, big, and heavy one thing they are not is unreliable. Anyone who's been inside an Evo Sporty engine will tell you the damn thing is built like a tank. Twin Cams too. They're bikes built to make their owners happy. Since most BMW riders wouldn't be caught dead on anything that comes out of Milwaukee, and HD has one of the most loyal customer bases in the world I'd say they suit their purpose just fine. They are cruising bikes and what's important when cruising? Torque! Pulling away from stoplights, dodging family trucksters and the like. HD's current troubles aren't because they have bad product, it's because they have failed to capture the younger market. I wasn't always a believer. I used to tease my brother. Used to love it when we'd be somewhere having lunch and a crowd would form around my Triumph and ignore his custom painted Hog that cost three times as much. But when I went to MMI it was Harley that I enrolled in (partly because they don't offer Triumph or Ducati). I wanted to get to that early model class. To study the Flatheads, Knuckles, Pans. To hopefully get my hands on an XR750 (which was completely absent, though I did drool on an XR1000 daily). I'm a history geek and the MoCo's is as rich as any. But first I had to prove my mettle on the new stuff. As I progressed through late model I began to see what others saw in them. I saw just how well built these "antiquated" motors were. How great they were to work on. How wonderfully simple they are and how they have been constantly evolving for the last hundred years. My Screaming Eagle instructor illustrated just how much fun it was to coax performance out of a motor not built for it. I still have no desire to own a bagger. No thanks on the Dynas, I'll keep my Sportsters. A Fat Boy, maybe. An XR1200, definitely. I'll still go for a Ducati over a Hog any day all other things being equal but hopefully I'll never have to make that choice again.


It's different with the Ducati. The Monster is such a lightweight, well balanced, beautiful yet wonderfully imperfect beast. Mine was a 2002 M750. It took seemingly forever to warm up, the throttle was impossibly touchy especially when cold and never did run too smoothly until it hit at least 65 but when it did, boy was it a blast. My sportbike friends would get exceedingly tired of waiting for the damn thing to warm up, they being used to hitting the start and kicking it into gear in one fluid motion. My Harley buddies always seemed a bit embarrassed, like they were riding with a guy wearing a flowered dress, gorilla mask and 18 inch long jet black strap on dildo. The fact was, I was just wearing a full face helmet, mesh riding jacket and 16 inch long strap on dildo. That's OK, I like riding alone. I Ioved listening to the sweet Italian twin symphony coming out of those sexy raw titanium cans. I loved the way the growl would get when I'd wrap it up around 6k, then 7, sometimes 8k. I loved the way it sounded at idle, so deep and muted, yet somehow capable of triggering every car alarm it passed. The way it would make quick work of freeway on-ramps and carve up back roads. The Italian bike is one of pure riding passion. The Italians model bikes after their women: beautiful and full of piss and vinegar. They've always had great technology but never at the price of character. The beauty lies in the challenge of figuring out every little nuance and quirk. It's similar to why I've always loved the smaller 650-900cc bikes. Anyone can kick ass on a big, perfect liter plus bike. It's the real rider that will squeeze every little bit of performance possible out of a low tech, under powered imperfect junk pile.


Which leads me to the old Triumph. The 1974 T120. Yes, it's one of those spare parts built Meriden 650s that weren't supposed to exist. The bike that was state of the art when it was originally designed in what, the early sixties? Some 15 years on it was the struggling red headed stepchild. The product of the once great but dying British bike industry. And I love it so. To call this bike quirky is to call Lady Gaga quirky. I remember explaining to my nineteen year old Yamaha riding MMI classmate what Ton Up meant. He was all "Whatevs man! I'd do that with my eyes closed while LOLing as I rode past." I was all "Pushaw! Oh yeah Broseph, try doing it on a bike older than me, based on technology older than your dad." A bike that despite its great condition still looks and feels as if parts might shake off at any moment. Do it on a bike that makes your hands vibrate for an hour after you get off. Check out the surprisingly frail looking triple trees. Hell, I'd have given the kid a hundred bucks if he could even get the damn thing started...then another hundred if he could make it around the block without jamming the brake when he meant to downshift. This is a bike that on a good day with proper modification is pushing its limits at 100. It feels as though it might completely shake apart at 100. Let's not forget there's no fairing to cut the wind and most guys wore sub par helmets back then, if they wore helmets at all. You get the point and eventually so did he.


At the end of the day it's useless arguing what's better. It's like arguing about the best band of all time or the best pizza ever. That's not what's important. That's what dynos and big glossy magazine shootouts are for. These are things that can be measured. What can't be measured is the interaction I have with my bike. Or the interaction Mr. Bimmer or anyone else has with their bikes. We all have our tastes and even when I don't quite understand what makes someone like their chosen ride I'm always glad to hear them try to explain it. For sometimes we can't quite and that's the beauty in it. I just wish everyone could drop the silly name calling and just ride because it's something we love to do and it's something we have in common that non-riders just don't understand. At the end of the day we're all in the same boat. We're those crazy two wheeled hooligans willing to risk their lives in the name of speed. As my buddy Jared says "As long as it puts your knees in the breeze it's all good." You know what? He's absolutely right.

20100316

Ten Sexiest

The folks over at Visordown have released their list of the top ten sexiest bikes of all time and as you might expect it is even worse than their top engines list. They included one Harley and all the rest were Japanese and Italian sportbikes. Um, hello? Norton Manx, Triumph Bonneville, Vincent Black Shadow? Hell, Vincent garbage can is better looking than some of these bikes. I know Visordown is a sportbike-centric site but come on. If you're going to release a sexiest bikes list then all bikes must be considered. Otherwise it's just the sexiest sportbikes plus a Harley list. Really, I don't know who these people are but truly there is no accounting for taste.


Visordown 10 Sexiest List

20100312

Sporty's Done!

At least for now, that is. Mid pegs are on and everything is working. Turned the bars downward a bit to give a more cafe/boardtrack inspired riding position and after 50 or so miles I can easily say that I really like the results. Other than the sleeker look what was most apparent to me is just how much, well, sportier the damn thing is. A simple tweak has made the gearbox feel more responsive, the handling better, the braking better- and all because some jackass put cheap ass forward controls on. I figured the shifter and brake pedals would feel a bit tighter once all the superfluous rods and connectors were gone but damn. It's like night and day. Plus the fact that my legs aren't sprawled out in front like I'm in a La-Z-Boy means I can shift my considerable weight around better and get off the seat a bit for big bumps and the occasional backflip. I can't for the life of me figure out why guys will buy a Sporty and then spend all kinds of money making it into a mini bagger other than the fact that they absolutely have got to ride a Harley and can't afford anything else. Here's a novel idea: buy a used bagger! Next step is the rear fender chop and new taillight. Pics soon.

20100310

Finally seeing some progress on the Sporty. Of course, it won't be done until the rod end for the rear brake shows up (Friday or Monday I'm now told) but at least those ugly ass forward controls are off. I'm also managing to finally get the last few chrome bolt caps off as well. Honestly, I just don't know what possesses people to put shitty plastic caps on bolts. It's a fucking motorcycle! It's supposed to have bolts! Shouldn't be much of a surprise, this is the same guy that put shitty Kuryakyn forward controls on a Sportster.  I'm also slowly replacing the silver bolts with pretty black hardware. Unfortunately I keep forgetting little things here and there necessitating extra trips to the store and slowing the process down. After this the next major move will be to chop the rear fender a bit. The damn thing is just way longer than it needs to be.

20100309

10 Best Engines

Sure to spark plenty of arguments, fisticuffs, name-calling and divorces, Visordown has compiled their list of the ten best motorcycle engines ever. Here's the list as they see it:


10. KAWASAKI H1 500
9. HARLEY-DAVIDSON EVOLUTION
8. TRIUMPH DAYTONA 675
7. HONDA NSR500
6. KAWASAKI Z1
5. HONDA C90
4. SUZUKI GSX-R1100
3. YAMAHA R1
2. HONDA CB750
1. DUCATI 851


I'm really surprised there's no BMW engine on the list. Surely the R90S meets all their criteria, much more so than at least a couple of these. Also glaringly omitted is the unit Triumph 650 twin and the modern MV Agusta F4 engine. I suppose you could argue that the MV is too rare but the Triumph 650 is easily one of the most widely regarded and important engines of all time. Definitely top three. I'm glad to see Harley got some credit though. Too many bike snobs like to deride the American MoCo but the fact is they make some pretty good shit that is well designed for its purpose and yes, I'd grudgingly admit the Evo is their most important engine even though I'm a Sporty guy. Head on over, read the article and voice your protest.


http://www.visordown.com/features/the-10-best-motorcycle-engines--ever/9854.html

20100308

Today's the day...

...to begin prepping for the switch back to mid pegs! The Sporty unfortunately came with some fuckugly forward controls (Kuryakyn I think) and it's finally time to transform this thing back into a proper bike. I snagged a group of parts from some old guy who also uglified his Sporty years ago and threw the stuff into a box in his garage only to be discovered years after the bike sold. Everything for the mids was there except the rod end that goes to the master cylinder and wouldn't you know it, no shop in all of Phoenix has the damn thing. Plus it's 8 bucks which seems like highway robbery to me. So I reluctantly ordered it, stopped at Ace for the rest of the hardware and I'm eagerly awaiting its arrival. When all is said and done I'm Craigslisting the other parts and hope to end up with a zero net cost transformation. Today I'm scotchbriting parts, taking the Dremel to a couple rough edges and doing whatever else I need to get these things on as soon as the part comes in. I'm so excited I'm moist. Also thinking of giving the bars a little downward turn too. Might be problems with the internal wiring though. I'll see. When all is said and done I'll be off to a couple spots I scoped out for good pics. Hopefully by Thursday. That is all.

New Milestone

Thanks to the folks over at Magneto Industries, MOTOanimus has hit an all time new high of three followers. I'd like to thank all three of you, you're the ones who make this all happen. I'd also like to thank my mom and Jack Klugman, both of whom have been inspirations in their own rights. Now, with a little bit of work and a whole lotta luck, perhaps by summer we can break that seemingly unattainable goal of four followers. We can do it!

20100307

Falcon?



Alright Falcon Motorcycles, it's been over a month since you launched the caferacers.com website and nothing more has been said since. All we really know is that Falcon plans to put their touch on factory Triumph Thruxtons. We've seen other builders do some very choice stuff with these factory cafe bikes. Mecatwin is the first to come to mind, but when a builder like Falcon, who in one fell swoop (The Bullet, above) raised the bar so high announces something like this, well, let's just say I sit up and take notice. So please Ian and Co., give me a teaser, a peek, a tickle... just give me something! In the immortal words of Tom Petty: the waiting is the hardest part. 

Magneto Industries

Those crazy Blood Falcons just keep on giving. Discovered the sweet Magneto Industries blog thanks to motoguru. Lots of nice vintage stuff to be had there. Almost makes me want an old Kawi. Almost. Check 'em all out.

20100305

Sweet Duc

Found this one a few years ago when I was bike shopping. Ended up buying my Triumph because this little beaut' was more than twice the price. Damn if it isn't sweet though. 

20100302

Porsche concept

Is Porsche finally getting back to building small, fun, beautiful cars? Click on over to Porsche.com for the official lowdown on this concept. My unofficial take is that the once great company needs to rediscover its roots and this one here...well, this one here's a good step in that direction.

20100228

Bolts Action

Just discovered the sweet ass Bolts Action blog. Head on over and see vids of the boys jumping Sportys and causing general disarray. Very sweet.


http://boltsaction.blogspot.com/

20100219

Blood Falcons Stix

The Sporty is definitely looking a bit more zoot thanks to the Blood Falcons. Thanks boys, your MOTOanimus stix will be on their way shortly. If you haven't checked out their blog I suggest you do so immediately, if not sooner.

http://bloodfalcons.blogspot.com/

20100212

A few logos





More to come...

20100202

Grey Flash


Scored this gorgeous little beauty off the Pipeburn blog the other day. It's a rare replica of an even more rare Vincent thumper. Just sit and take it all in. Mmm hmm.


Pipeburn

Motorcycle Pic of the Day

Hey readers! That is, both of you. Check out Motorcycle Pic of the Day in my sidebar and give them a big pat on the back for topping 17,000 visits last month. With any luck and good word of mouth maybe we can get this here little blog topping 17 visits next month. Guess maybe that would require me upping the frequency with which I post. Maybe I should reconsider such a lofty goal. Hmm...I think on it. Till then, go on over and gaze at the beauties Steve posts every day. Ciao!

Motorcycle Pic of the Day Blog 

20100130

Why we do this...

Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba... --Hunter S. Thompson

20100129

Last Chance

Last Chance Garage. Check 'em out. Good stuff Maynard.

20100126

Tamburini's Answer to Viagra


As if the plain Jane MV Agusta Brutale isn't boner-inducing enough, Tamburini brings you his special carbonfiber swathed special edition. Price is yet to be announced but rest assured these will find homes next to more Ferraris than Accords. Long jacket to hide "Captain Standish" sold separately.

20100122

Falcon Cafe

While the big news today seems to be Harley's new 48 (which I'll talk about soon), the big news to me is Falcon's announcement that they're working on a new line of cafe racers based on the Triumph Thruxton. As you can see from the link there's practically no info but news like this from one of the most interesting builders on the planet is definitely something deserving attention. What remains to be seen is the bikes themselves. I'm also curious to see if this is something done in partnership with Triumph or completely independent of them. Good move on Triumph's part if it's the former. This is something I've always said Harley should do. Who wouldn't like to see a Sporty given the Roland Sands treatment? Oh yeah, you can at Bike EXIF (it's surprisingly not easily found on Roland's site). And while HD continues to do what they do and announce bikes that hardcores look at and say "yeah, it's OK," Roland and Falcon and others continue to build bikes we drool over but can't afford anyway. Fuck it. Just build your own drool inducing ride. Laters.

http://www.caferacers.com/

Roland Sands Cafe Sporty at Bike EXIF

20100118

Pure Beauty


This has got to be one of the most beautiful AJS shots I have ever seen. Of course I was so captivated by its beauty that I forgot to note where I found it. If you happen to know drop me a comment so I can give credit. They just don't build 'em like this anymore. 

20100112

DB at the Bluebird


Almost forgot to mention this one. My buddy and collaborator (on one song but hey, it's the only one I ever wrote) is playing down at the world famous Bluebird Cafe. You know, the place where Garth Brooks and countless other music stars have been discovered. Anyway, if you're a fan of good music or a rich and powerful music exec head on down. You can also check his website and download everything for free. The best song by far is "Emily." It might also be the one I co-wrote. Gig info on the poster (which I designed), website below. Check it! Laters.

By Bike

Just wanted to post a quickie here about this blog I stumbled upon. It's full of great vintage style artwork sure to tickle your fancy, not unlike a nice 40 year old British twin vibrating betwixt your legs. Check it out. I've also added it to my sidebar. Laters.


http://bybikenglish.blogspot.com/

20100110

New Ride


Hey all. Wanted to post a pic of my newest ride courtesy of my buddy Choad. Choad is one of my oldest friends and one hell of a guy. Last time I was home we were hanging out and I mentioned that when I get another BMX project going I wanted to do an old school Redline cruiser. Choad, being the guru of old school bike building, took that offhand comment and ran. Technically it's not old, but damn if it doesn't look it. He figured I'd probably want to ride it quite a bit and old school bikes being uncomfortable and all and me being old and all he decided to combine the advantages of a newer bike with some sweet styling right out of the late 80s. He had most everything lying around (he has literally a basement full of this stuff) and did all the powdercoat himself. He said the stem used to be blue and he hand polished it to pure aluminum perfection over the course of many a TV and smoking session, complete with plenty of Diet Mountain Dew to be sure. Needless to say I was completely impressed the second I saw it and completely shocked when he told me it was mine. I wasn't going to accept but his parents made me. There's no arguing with Mr. and Mrs. Gill. Plus it rides like an absolute dream. So here's to you Choad! You're one of the bestest friends a guy could ever have. Not to mention the best bike builder around. Next year I'll take one of those sweet Auburns you have cluttering your basement, thank you very much. Laters.

20100108

Happy Birthday King


TCB. Nuff said. 

20100103

Fun With Photoshop


Had a little fun with this vintage "Motorcyclist" mag cover I snagged online today. Man I gotta get a project. If the weather and light are good I'm going to try and snap some good Sporty pics Monday or Tuesday. Keeping my fingers crossed. Laters.

Happy New Year

New stuff coming. Laters.