Friday, January 30, 2009

For Richie

In my continuing efforts to help destroy Richie's faith in humanity...

The Distillers.....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gypsy Run 2009

Oh yeah weinertots! It's on again, and the dates are posted. Aug. 28th, 29th, and 30th. It's the Gypsy Run 3

Yes there will be bikes.

Yes there will be beer.

Yes there will be CAMPING,

and best of all, it's THE RETURN OF EAST COAST MOTORCYCLE MAYHEM!!! Make sure to keep updated by checking the Gypsy Run link in my sidebar.

Be there holmes, that is all.

Iz Cleen Holmes

So I brought the frame and front end to work, since that's where I'll be doing a lot of the assembly/disassembly/clean up. I planned on cleaning up the frame before I get it to Tigman since it was covered in oil, grime, and muck. The nice thing about work, is that we have a pressure washer and cleaning bay. The pressure washer is also temp controlled, so a little hot, high pressure bathwater and the frame was clean. It was cool too, because the pressure washer also stripped a lot of the cucky paint off. It still needs to be blasted, but maybe it's a little less work for Tigman.

While I was there, I also set the tank on the frame because I'm a tool.

Iz Out Holmes

Well, she's out. Bike is stripped down to the frame and heading to Tigman's soon. Finished pulling the rest of the motor today. 8 Degrees outside, and slightly warmer in the shed where I did most of the work. All done in about a 5x5 area. Nothing like working in confined spaces! I'm planning on bringing everything to work, where I'll have the luxury of more space, heat, and more tools and equipment. Gonna strip the motor down and clean it up, pressure wash the schmootz off the frame, and pretty much reassemble the bike there. Little by little, it's coming along. Still a lot to do, and it's getting to be crunch time.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Stupid Valves Are Stupid, Good Machine Shops Rule

So I found a machine shop to take care of my valve/head work without raping me. Turns out, it was right around the corner from me. I went there the other day and ended up talking to the owner, Jim Reid Sr. I told him what happened and what I was looking for, and he said my favorite words: "No problem". Price wasn't what I expected either. What he ballparked was waaaaay less than most places.

We talked for a bit and he gave me a tour of the shop. They have some nice machines there. A brand new CNC machine, boring stations, lathes, you name it. Even showed me their dyno where they had a monster of an engine hooked up. Needless to say, it's the kind of place you like to find. They'll tell you what they think, sell you what you need, and will tell you when you don't need something. Check out the link below for their website.

(Also, after I removed the buggered up valve and mic'd it out, I got .339 on the top and bottom of the stem and .3405 in the middle. The guide was all out of whack too. Wierd.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chris Reeve- Sebenza

My all time favorite knife. I've been carrying a small classic Sebenza for almost 5 years since I've gotten it. It is bar none, the knife that all others are measured against. Cutler Chris Reeve (not Christopher Reeve, aka: Superman) has defined what a knife should be when he created the intergral lock, also known as the frame lock.

The sebenza (which means "worker" in Africa, where Chris is from) is simple in design, yet extremely elegant in operation. It uses full titanium handle slabs, a full bushing pivot, and the lockbar has a hardened face. Current line-up uses Crucible's S30V steel, which was actually created by Crucible with input from Chris. I could go on and on about the Sebenza (and in fact, all of Chris' knives) but there is just too much. Check out the website and do a search on the interwebs, and you'll find a wealth of information. If you ever want to check mine out, just ask. Chances are, I'll probably be carrying it.

Oh, and I forgot to add: He also used to race Grand Prix style motorcycles in the late 70's

Monday, January 19, 2009

Stay Tuned

I know the winter is everyone's slow season when it comes to bikes, but be ready because riding season will be here before you know it. I know I got a bunch of stuff to do within the coming weeks with both bikes plus a few other special projects, so stay tuned. More motorcycle content will be forthcoming!! (as well as all my other mindless drivel...)


Another EDC

The venerable Benchmade 556 Mini-Griptilian. One of the regulars in my EDC rotation. The mini-grips are a great knife in any flavor. They come with different blade steels and shapes, different colors, and different sizes. One thing they all share is Benchmade's patented Axis lock, which in my opinion (as well as many others) is one of the strongest lock mechanisms out there. Some people are turned off by the "plasticy" handles, especially for the price, but you'd be hard pressed to find a harder working knife. These things will take everything you can throw at them and more. Definitely something you should check out or have in your stable.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


If any of you are knifenuts like I am, you'll find the following link pretty interesting. It's a link to Crucible Steels, which is a company that produces steels for an enormous amount of applications, one of which, is different steel types used in knife making. They use a process called CPM (Crucible Powdered Metallurgy), in which they used powdered alloys compressed at high temperatures to create steel. The results are a steel with a finer grain structure than the standard ingot steels. Really interesting stuff if your into that kind of thing. Search around the site and check it out.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Arrivals

After being out in the cold working today, I got back to the shop to find a couple packages at my bench. So like a kid at Christmas, I tear them open and find my new rear wheel and new peanut tank. The guy that built the rear wheel for me did a fantastic job (and good price to boot). The pictures do not do it justice.

I have no pictures of the tank since I forgot to take some before I redkoted it. I'm sure you already know what a sporty peanut tank looks like.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


So the other day I was walking out of my shop, when our accountant comes walking in the other way with a box in his hands. Being polite (and nosey) I say hello and ask him what's in the box. He tells me that his ex-wife had given him some tools that he left behind a few years ago, and that he planned on just selling them to whoever wanted them. I've known him for about 10 years, and he tells me something that I had no idea about: he was formerly a millwright before he became an accountant.

Inside the box was all kinds of machinist's tools, and almost all were Starrett tools. Starret is located in Athol Massachusetts, and has been producing high quality tools for over 125 years.

He tells me to take a look and see if there's anything I may be interested in. I grab a few items, and we agree upon a price. I ended up scoring a 4 piece small hole gauge set, a 6 piece telescoping gauge set (actually 8 pieces because he had 2 extras in there), a micrometer, and a 4 piece punch set. All had for less than the small hole gauge set goes for. Granted they all have some years on them, but they all function perfectly. The mic has a little pitting on the body, but the rod faces are perfect, and it's still in alignment. Lucky day for me!

(Sorry about the pictures. I really need to get a light box, and not take pictures when I'm tired)

Monday, January 12, 2009

FXR Info

Here's some random cool info I had stashed on my computer. Not sure where I snagged it from, but here's you go. Also, check out the CVOHarley link. There's a BUNCH of FXR info there.

Edited to add: The article was written by Bill Garlinghouse. Thanks Bill!!

An ode to the Ugly Glide culled from the r.m.h archives and various historical accounts.

Designed with a lot of input by Eric Buell, the FXR had the lightest weight and stiffest frame of any big twin. The computer-designed, all-welded frame had a massive box-section backbone, thicker diameter tubing, and massive gusseting around the steering head. The result was the stiffest frame Harley ever produced

It was released with the latest incarnation of the venerable shovelhead.

81.6 ci, reduced compression to burn anything you might put in the tank and an oil consumption package. This was coupled to a new five-speed tranny w/shorter shift linkage for more agressive shifting. All mounted to the frame utilizing Harley's Tri-mount system - an adaptation of the FLT's rubber mounts.

The 19" front wheel was mounted between a narrow-glide front end and suspended on stiff Showa forks with a 32 degree of rake. Stiff rear shocks were mounted to the end of the swing arm, vice in the middle as was done on other FX models. Total wheelbase was 64.7". Dual 10" disk brakes on the front, and a single 11.5" rear disk provided stopping power. New master cylinders improved braking performance.

A relatively raked out front end, combined with a long wheelbase is usually a recipe for straight line stability and resistance to turning. However, the low seating and engine positions place the center of gravity low and centered. This results in a bike that turns easily and predictably. With it's high ground clearance, it's capable of some aggressive cornering.

It was the fastest, best handling bike Harley ever built, and it dripped less oil and vibrated less intensly than previous shovels. However, it was shunned by function-follows-form poseurs who dismissed the exposed frame, side panels and exposed shocks as "too Japanese." It has been said that the FXR was designed to appeal to the rider, not to appease the bean counters ... or Willie G's design department - which ultimately led to its demise.


In early models, the FXR & FXRS Lowrider have the same seat height and differ only in Paint, trim and wheels. The Lowrider Sport is an inch higher due to 2" longer front forks. It has a longer jiffy stand and speedo cable as well as dual front disc brakes. The exclusive Sport parts are located in the back of the Parts Manual in the "High Performance" section along with parts exclusive to the FXRC.


It's been said that the FXR was designed by Eric Buell, the Dyna was designed by HD accountants.

The original Dyna was an EVO and flexed excessively if pushed hard while cornering. When HD bolted the stiffer Twinkie drivetrain to the frame, the chassis flexing diminished somewhat.

The FXR had a "3-point" engine mounting system considered by many to be superior to the "2-point" design used by the Dynas.

However, the FXDX has a higher and more compliant suspension compared with the "regular" FXR models which have shorter forks and shocks. And, the FXDX comes with the TC88 engine and the fuel injection option. You can easily go to 95", add a cam, a Power Commander ...


82-83 gets you a Shovel. After that, you're looking at EVOs. 82s have chain final drive, 83s have belts. '82s embody the spirit of a reenergized, post-AMF, "The Eagle Flys Alone" workforce.

84-85 buys you any number of hard-to-support variants. However, as of this writing, the MoCo still stocks lots of parts for 84 and later FXRs.

FXRs built in model years 88-94 can be considered a "mature" product, as most of the bugs/upgrades are worked out by then.

When looking at 93 & 94 models, be sure to ask whether original IMA camshaft bearings were ever changed.

When buying the FXR, remind the seller that it is the "ugly" Harley, that they are NOT popular and that the seller is lucky that you're even interested in looking at the bike.

There are two types of people who own FXRs...The type who doesn't know what the heck they are (in which case, the above tactics may work), and the kind who do know what they are...In which case they're usually not for sale ...

Saturday, January 10, 2009


This is a picture of my Spyderco Paramilitary. One of my regular EDC rotation pieces. This particular one is a Sprint Run variant. It sports a CPM D2 blade (finer grain structure than ingot D2) and the Foliage Green G-10 handle scales. Since it's CPM D2, it's not quite stainless, but only a couple points lower. It has a chromium content of 11.5%. To be considered stainless, it must meet or exceed 12%, so you can see that it's close.

The standard version Paramilitary has black G-10 scales and has CPM S30V steel, which is considered a stainless (14% chromium). The advantage of D2 over S30V is the D2 is tougher and more wear resistant, which equates to a longer time between sharpening. Couple that with the fact that it has a compression lock (one of the toughest in the business), and you got yourself a fine EDC. They may look fugly, but Spyderco's stance has always been Form over Fashion. If you're unfamiliar with them, do yourself a favor and check them out.

Friday, January 9, 2009


So if any of you have been following the problem I was having with the rolling nightmare, I got some news.....I think I figured out what it was.

To recap: I was going crazy last season trying to find out why my bike felt like it had no power. It would go pretty fast, but getting there was a chore. It just felt like it was lacking. I tried and checked everything I could think of (and a big thanks to all of you that helped me), new clutch plates and steels, switched points to electronic ign., swapped coils, adjusted timing over and over, pushrods, you name it I tried it. Well the one thing I couldn't/didn't check I finially got around to since I'm tearing the bike down for a complete overhaul. I started pulling the valves out of the heads to clean them up and yup, you guessed it..........


Of course it was the last one I pulled. The other 3 all spun out nice and smooth. I still haven't got the bent one out. It won't spin at all and only has about 1/3 of it's full open and close movement. It didn't show on a compression test because it would fully close, just not open all the way. Weird. Guess I got real lucky it didn't seize up on me, especially during the Gypsy Run!!

The good news is that I have another set of heads and valves pretty much ready to go. I measured out the valve stem to guide clearance and they're all within spec. The seats measure a little deep though, so it looks like the heads will be going to the machine shop to have some new hardened seats put in.

All in all, it could've been a heck of a lot worse and it was a good learning experience. Don't you love when things work half-assed and don't just break? Sure makes things a lot more complicated!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Pans are cool I guess, at least Brutus says so. I think they'd be a lot cooler if I had one.

Larry's Rat Fink Pan

Pan Cutaway

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

17 Dollars

My neighbors? I think we have a match!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

See This

If you haven't seen this, see it. Borrow it or buy it, but definitely check it out. Thank you to Richie for hooking me up with a copy for my B-Day.