Posts filed under ‘2 Wheel Luv’

Branding things to death: Ducati

There is an interesting article over at Hell for Leather Magazine about the recent rebranding of Ducati’s famously sparse logo into something a little more… lame. This along with other stupid crossovers really dilute a once quality brand. My favorite part of the article is the not so subtle jab at famously shitty American motorcycle maker Harley Davidson.

Can we get a quality American made motorcycle, please? And Buell doesn’t count. Neither does an Indian relaunch. Moving on…

It’s a pleasantly snarky article that really addresses the fact that the best motorcycle companies focus on one thing: the motorcycles. When a brand starts throwing itself on ballpoint pens and yo-yos for the kids, then it loses its edge as a high-end product.

The Ducati has lately been the go-to bike for guys (usually in there late 20’s and early 30’s) who all the sudden have the money and decide they want a Motorcycle (capitalized on purpose). These guys go and drop 10 large on a Monster and wreck it 2 months later. I see Ducatis peppered all over the streets of Los Angeles, and I feel like this surge of popularity has ballooned Ducati out of the high-end sportbike arena into the unforunate “league of status symbols for the well-to-do young adult crowd,” which includes such things as BMW convertables, home theater systems, and 500 dollar jeans.

Ducati – scale back. Stick to your motorcycles. And keep the damn red circle with the slash.

At least there is always Moto Guzzi.

And old Hondas.

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December 4, 2008 at 1:46 pm 6 comments

dirt track

This was in the parking lot when I went to go buy Chinese Democracy:

See it larger on my Flickr page.

November 28, 2008 at 3:02 pm 11 comments

Perfect CB450


Image Credit via Bubble Visor

Click the Image Credit to see it larger.

I love everything about this bike. Here’s the list of awesome:

1. Headlight tallest part of the bike. Removed speedo and tach give it a trackbike look.

2. Air Filters removed for stubbies attached right to the carbs. This gives room for:

3. Custom pipes. They used the space the air filter used to take up to snake some side pipes through. Short, sharp, and probably loud as hell.

4. Fenders removed. Gives the bike a shorter, more agressive stance. This, coupled with the cafe seat draws the eyes to the wheels.

5. Air holes drilled in rear drum – not too many and nice uniformity to them.

6. Stuck with the original tank. The only color on the bike, and it’s a nice one too.

7. Custom horn. No other info on it, but I can tell it isn’t stock.

8. Tiny bullet-style rear signals, although I’m not sure what the point is as the bike is clearly not street legal (Lack of front signals, no speedo, etc)

9. Custom rear pegs with linkage to rear brake and shifter.

10. Black hand levers.

With all the leaning out they did with the bike, I’m surprised they kept the electric start. It fills a nice spot on the front of the engine I suppose, and looks very clean.

I’d love to have a closer look at this bike. What a lean little bulldog of a bike. This is obviously a CB450 (dual overhead cam, front disk brake) and they did a really great job with it. Salut!

November 25, 2008 at 12:28 pm 7 comments

no test to what they amount

danny-johnson

November 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm 3 comments

Pop Secret Negotiations

Last night I decided to stop by wrench night at my friend Tanktop’s. I drove up to Westchester, and ONE BLOCK away from his house, my throttle cable snapped. It was amazing, crazy luck. I pushed my bike to the garage, Tanktop had a spare cable, and I removed the old one and built a new one. This is fortunate because:

a. I don’t have any spare cables at the moment
b. If I were anywhere else, I would have had to call a tow truck
c. My new pipe allows access to both carbs, which is required to remove the cable slack on the 2:1
d. He has a well lit garage with a motorcycle lift

I got it done in a little less than an hour. Phew!

 

And oh yeah:

Man: I brought the briefcase, but why did you ask me to bring the season salt?

Other Man: Because these aren’t any regular negotiations, kid. 

 

November 19, 2008 at 9:34 am

The Rolls Royce of Motorcycles – The Brough Superior


Image Credit: The Brough Superior Club

I was watching “Lawrence of Arabia” and really, really dug the motorcycle Lawrence was riding at the very beginning of the movie. So I did some research on the real Lawrence of Arabia and discovered the fantastic Brough Superior! (Pronounced like the British – “Bruff” Superior).

From the wikipedia article:

Each motorcycle was assembled twice. The first assembly was for fitting of all components, then the motorcycle was disassembled and all parts were painted or plated as needed, then the finished parts were assembled a final time. Every motorcycle was test ridden to ensure that it performed to specification, and was personally certified by George Brough. The SS100 model was ridden at 100 mph or more prior to delivery. The SS80 model was ridden at 80 mph or more before delivery. If any motorcycle didn’t meet specification, it returned to the shop for rework until it performed properly. The fit and finish was comparable to a Rolls-Royce automobile, and were among the most expensive motorcycles.

And here is a clip from the “Greatest Motorcycles Ever,” where it places #7:

Of course now the Brough Superior is a major collector’s item, but wouldn’t it be amazing to find an original in some farmer’s barn? British bikes are so damn cool. Just give me a Norton Commando and I’ll be happy.

November 17, 2008 at 2:42 pm 4 comments

Over two years on two wheels

I was talking with Jaxon last night about cars and car shopping. Jaxon is currently shopping for a new car, and he was talking about Camrys and Volvos and whatnot. Reliable cars. I had a flashback.

I’ve never really owned a cool car. The closest was a 1990 Chevy Cavalier that I put shiny rims on, and it had a sunroof and four doors so we could all pile in and turn up my wicked-awesome 300 dollar stereo. That car was a lot of fun, but it wasn’t cool. It didn’t get compliments on the street or anything. The next car was a Geo Metro. Now, I’m not one to bad-mouth my Geo Metro even though everyone gave me a lot of shit for driving one. But it was functional and it fit 4 people and I moved a freaking couch in it – so I love the car. But it wasn’t a desirable car.

So I guess I’m trying to make up for lost time with my motorcycles. I always get compliments and questions about my bikes – once a week at least and sometimes everyday. Mostly because both my motorcycle and scooter are older and uncommon, and I ride them every single day. It makes me happy when I’m at a stoplight and some stranger gives me a thumbs up. Going places is fun, and I feel a little more unique in the sea of cars on the road.

Yesterday I was watching traffic at the crosswalk to the library. I think I counted about 40 mid-size SUV’s, most indistinguisable from each other despite being different brands and different colors. It was depressing to me, and I couldn’t figure out why. I’m not one to think that a car defines the driver – I think that is ridiculous. But something felt weird and disposable about all these cars driving by.

Anyway – it has been over two years riding on two wheels only, and I love it. I still get the same questions:

“What do you do when it rains?”
“How do you buy groceries?”
“What if you want to carry something big?”
“Isn’t that dangerous?”

And of course, the answers are always the same:

“I get wet.” (Andrew WK reference!)
“With a debit card.”
“I’m always carrying something big… (wink).”
“Isn’t everything?”

Only sometimes I pine for a small pickup truck. But that is what friends are for.

In conclusion – National Ride Your Motorycle to Work Day is for Harley riding Dentists.

September 10, 2008 at 10:30 am 17 comments

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