Ooops. I’ll get back to this. Just doing the whole “trying to change jobs before this becomes a career” thing right now.

I bought a new bike, to be used for parts. I’ll expand on this later.. but its a 1976 Honda CB750K. Here’s a pic:

Lots of weird things with this bike… but also lots of wonderful things as well.

Last weekend was Corsa Motoclassica 2009 – and it was really awesome. I rode my bike up and Jaxon drove his car – it was a caravan of awesome.

I’ve included the write-up after the jump – which also includes more pictures. Check it out.

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I’m ready to travel up north for the 2009 Corsa Motoclassica!

You can view my route here on Google Maps.

I’ve got my CL350 all tuned up and ready to ride. Here is what I’ve done in the last few weeks:

1. Changed out all cables for brand new Motion Pro cables – looks sharp and they are much smoother.
2. Had new Avon Road Rider tires installed.
3. Got a new speedometer and cable so I can actually see how far I’ve ridden, and how fast I am going while doing so.
4. Readjusted valves tappets (did this twice to make sure) and really locked it down within the tolerances.
5. Cleaned and retuned carbs.

This has been the best my CL350 has run since I bought it. It is quick off the throttle, and I can ride at a high speed for a long time, come to a stop and the tach drops to a rock solid 1,200 RPM idle. Everytime. It’s a really good feeling. And the new Road Riders are exceptional… they take a little getting used to after riding on square Chinese crappy tires.

I’ve packed up my tank bag for the trip. Jaxon will be coming along in his car, but I’ve packed up some stuff for any unforseen circumstances.

Here’s what I got:

1. Rag / Papertowel – Always handy for cleanup or handing hot parts
2. Duct tape / Electrician’s tape
3. Flashlight – Not planning on riding in the dark, but none of this stuff is for things going as planned
4. Leatherman – 90% of the tools I’m bringing are in this
5. Hex wrenches
6. Matches
7. Pens / Paper
8. Zip ties – Amazing what you can do with a few zip ties.
9. Spare change – In a fashionable coin purse!
10. Chopsticks – these aren’t for eating! It is amazing how many uses I’ve found for those disposable chopsticks you receive with sushi.

Still need to throw a few plugs in there and a couple wrenches, and I should be set! I also picked up some summer gloves – they are leather with mesh on the sides so I get some air. These should help with the severe hand fatigue I had last year after 5 hours of riding.

This will be an awesome trip! A full report and pictures will be posted when I return!

External injuries.

This is what it looks like when, after warming up your bike, you rest your arm on the pipes when adjusting your valves.

I also jammed my thumb and broke the thumbnail on the handlebars. This bleed a lot. I decided to do a hat trick by pinching my arm on the gastank on my Vespa and cutting it open.

None of these hurt.

Be careful in your garage.

It isn’t about motorcycles, but the trailer for “Love the Beast” has me excited. Ignore Dr. Phil.

The 2009 Corsa Motoclassica is thisĀ  April 25th and 26th at the Willow Springs Parkway. They are a series of AHRMA sponsored vintage motorcycle races and are an absolute blast. I rode my CL350 out last year and it is one of my favorite trips I’ve taken. Beautiful warm desert riding, and I was able to really open up the engine after the top end rebuild I did a few months earlier. The ride had a great mix of long, straight desert roads and twisty canyon roads. I also got to see the poppies bloom, which was a first.

The event has a motorcycle show and a free swap meet, where you can find all sorts of vintage parts and even “complete” bikes. The races are awesome – my favorites were the CB160 class as well as the all British class. The bikes sound amazing as they zip past you and Willow Springs is a really great racetrack. You can see every turn from the bleachers.

My dilemma is this! I was planning on taking the CB750 out to this event, but that rebuild is behind and won’t be done. So I’d like to take my 350 again, but this is not the best bike for a 2 hour ride with a passenger. Also – I need new tires on the 350 and I’m not sure if I’m going to get them on there this month.

Ultimately, it would be awesome to go out there with a truck and come back with a bed full of motorcycles and parts, but that isn’t going to happen either. I’ll be heading out there one way or another – and I’ll find a way to get my 350 out there as well. I was one of the only vintage motorcycles that rode out there last year, and it felt great to roll up on a 40 year old bike and park next to all the brand new bikes.

Maybe I’ll see you at the races!


An Indian at the Corsa Motoclassica 2008. More photos at my Flickr photoset.

I really like the garage I am in. For where I live in Los Angeles, getting a one car garage with electricity for the amount I pay is kind of unheard of. However, it is by no means the ideal garage. It is a single car garage, which can get cramped with two motorcycles and a scooter, a workbench, tools, and motorcycle jack. I can shuffle things around in a pinch, but I can’t wait for my next place where things can be more permanent. Here is how I will set up my next garage, ideally:

Garage flooring

Most garages have a concrete floor, which is functional but looks like crap after a while, and can be hard on your feet. Now if I were rich, it would be easy to install the classic black and white checkered flooring that most fancy garages have. But if I were rich, I wouldn’t be renting a garage in Los Angeles. However, a lot of places make a non-permanent solution that looks pretty damn sharp and can work in most situations.

Craftsman makes a tile that you can section together to cover your garage floor, and they are made of a durable plastic that has a little bit of grip to them. Also, they prevent that CLANG of the wrench after you wrack your knuckles for the third time on that stripped bolt head. I think I would go with light gray/dark gray checkered – looks handsome and small parts that you drop would be easy to spot.

Also, if you have a more permanent garage space, DynoTile looks awesome.

Tool Storage

Right now I just have a rally box for most of my tools, which does the job for what I have. But I also have a lot of larger tools and sockets that I keep in separate cases. I would like to have these all in one rolling toolbox. These are very expensive, but once you get one set up it could be a real time saver.

Also, a peg board would be handy for tools that you don’t necessarily use everyday, but want to keep handy. Tools like torque wrenches or clutch compressors don’t need to be out all the time, but when you need them it can be frustrating to search for ten minutes because you can’t find them easily.

On one of the walls, I’d like to have a corkboard and a whiteboard. A whiteboard would be handy for jotting down where those bolts go on the engine case – basically what I call the “idiot list.”

Finally, I’d like to have enough tools so I can pack a separate, smaller toolbox with all the tools I need for each bike. For instance, if I were going on a scooter rally, I would grab my “Primavera” toolbox, which contained all the sizes of wrenches I needed as well as a few spare plugs, etc.

Parts Storage

Shelves, shelves, shelves! Places to stick my spare carbs and cables, everything accessible but out of the way. I’d like to have a light under each of the shelves so I can actually see what I’m looking for. Finally, a series of small, well labeled drawers for small parts would sit on my workbench.

Work Areas

I would like to have a large, stationary wooden work bench. I would pick wood because it is soft enough to pound aluminum on without it marring up the aluminum. On the workbench, I’d like a small vice as well as a Vespa engine mount. I already have a rolling metal workbench that I can use for smaller jobs or for holding parts while working on a bike.

I have a motorcycle jack that holds up a bike by the bottom frame, however this doesn’t work for my 350 because of my exhaust system (and the 750 will have the same style exhaust system). I’d love to have a hydraulic motorcycle lift that holds the bike by the front tire. That way you can set it on the center stand lift the entire bike up to chest level. My friend Tanktop has one of these, and working on bikes on it is a dream.

I’d also like a parts cleaner – a large tub where I can let parts soak and clean them up without any worry of making a mess.

Misc.

A bathroom and a sink would be nice. Instead of the stereo I have in my garage now, I would replace it with my old Mac Mini. That way I can have a small, out of the way computer that I can look up info on, as well as access online radio stations and my iTunes library.

My mini fridge would definitely go into the new garage – fully stocked of course. Depending how big the garage is, why not throw in a small couch on the side? Awesome.

I always like having visitors in the garage, and making it more comfortable to hang out and yack with a couple of beers would be an awesome addition.

Finally, the lighting is a big one. Because fluorescent is a bummer. Halogen lights would be ideal, as well as having a hanging shop light that you can drag to wherever you needed extra illumination.

A small bookcase would be nice to store all of the manuals I’ve accrued as well as the parts binders I’ve been making.

All of this awesomeness isn’t that out of reach – it is basically a matter of having more space. If my next garage is twice the size of my current garage I would have more than enough space to do everything I’d like. The rest is just building and buying, and those are the most fun parts.

Hopefully soon.

Anything you think I missed? What would be in your ideal garage?

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