Documenting life during the first attempt at restoring a vintage motorcycle.

Similar to the zen -like feeling that is realized through surfing,
motorcycle repair can elevate the mind to a meditative state that eludes time and space...
Meaning I obsess over it, get frustrated, yell, laugh at myself and overall waste a lot of time.


Castles In The Sky ... will make you weep (or want to get the hell out of here)

CASTLES IN THE SKY from Sipping Jetstreams on Vimeo.

The trailer for Castles In The Sky has been out for a couple weeks now and needless to say, everyone I know can't wait to see Taylor Steele and Dustin Humpherey's new surf/travel movie. The duo really took surf movies to a new level with their incredibly creative shots and a closer look at life in the unique and unlikely places they visited for Sipping Jetstreams (my favorite surf movie of all time). While most surf videos merely show the waves and sometimes beaches of the exotic places surfers visit, Taylor and Dustin turn their focus to the adventure of reaching and exploring those destinations. There are only a few times in life where I feel the most alive and full of wonder: when I'm surfing and when I'm traveling... t0 experience the indescribable rush of adrenaline, curiosity, wonder and anxiety that accompanies visiting a foreign country, meeting new people, learning new ways of living, outlooks on life, the tastes, smells, colors and atmosphere of the unknown, unfamiliar and extraordinary. Those feelings of travel combined with surfing a new wave only compounds the experience exponentially. Right now I'm just dreaming of when I will be "discovering how new veins of travel enhance the experience of riding waves."-T.S.
This definitely explains why I love Sipping Jetstreams and can barely contain my excitement for Castles In The Sky... Inspirational surf and travel all in wrapped up in a visually stunning movie served with a side dish of amazing music. Yes please. Just how excited is everyone for the premiere of Castles In The Sky??? No one puts it better than my good friend Janos Palko (Wetsand editor) - 'As far as i know, there isn't a word whose definition is "I am so eagerly anticipating this, that i would de-pants Ghandi in front of the Pope just to see it."

[From the Sipping Jetstreams Website]
"Several years ago, fed up with traveling to the same old places to document surfing, photographer Dustin Humphrey and filmmaker Taylor Steele had an epiphany. Though they'd spent much of their lives in airplanes, hotels, rental cars, and aboard boats, had they really seen the world? Hawaii, Australia, and Tahiti had already been thoroughly covered, but what about Italy? Egypt? Yemen? Kenya? Sri Lanka? India? Canada? Russia? Cuba? They realized that while surfing has proliferated since the days of Bruce Brown's Endless Summer, traveling surfers had grown comfortable and complacent. It became obvious to the pair that it was time to follow Robert Frost's advice and literally take the road less traveled."

Jason Lee - Skater, Actor, Motorcycle Collector & Scientologist...?

Mr. Jason Lee, whom you might recognize from the 35+ films he's been in (from Mall Rats to Vanilla Sky) and the fairly hilarious tv series "My name is Earl" (admittably only seen 2 episodes, but I did laugh). My favorite roll being Banky Edwards from Chasing Amy - "SAY would you like a Chocolate covered pretzel?" , which he won a spirit award for (well done Jason). However if you were a little cooler, you would also know that the Orange County native was a pretty amazing Pro skater in the late 80's early 90's. Founded Stereo Skateboards and was one of the first skaters (besides Hawk) to have a signature shoe with Airwalk (yes I had a pair), which at the time was a HUGE deal. Nobody had a signature shoe... Nobody. Lee had tremendous influence on the world of skating by changing the focus from vert ramps to street skating as a result of having limited or no access to them, like most skaters at the time.
Now if you were even cooler, you would also know that he owns an incredible collection of vintage motorcycles including an award winning, incredibly beautiful custom built Falcon Bullet (see pictures below). So you ask "why a post about Jason Lee?", well because I'm constantly scowering the web for a hidden gem of a vintage bike to restor next and I stumbled upon the little 1966 Honda CB160 Cafe Racer built for Lee (see above picture) that was for sale and thought I'd shed some light on a talented motorcycle enthusiast. Oh yeah and he named his son Pilot Inspektor... Weird and equally awesome.


Family Photo Vault - Part IV

It's been a while since I've posted any old pics of my pops and his motorcycle days from the early 70's. This one was his prized possession. From what he can remember it was a Yamaha 360? or 350? I'm not sure. Either a 71 or 72. Real specific, not that you care anyways. Love the "ape-hanger" style handlebars and check out that rad retro helmet (well probably modern back then), with the bubble face shield. Not sure why, but it seems that he favored riding in nice loafers instead of leather boots... Always keeping it classy. Beautiful bike, wish I had one now.


I pitty the f--l

I will be the first to jump up and shout from the rooftops that my career path is currently set on slow course towards the dull void of oblivion. But when I sit back, crack a brew and scan the web for sundry media indicative of our societies hell-bound path to ease my discomfort, the realization soon dawns that I can think of few jobs more nightmare-inducing, soul-crushingly disturbing than being an executive for the FCC or the MPAA. No I'm not going to spew a negatively charged rant about censorship and the tight ju-jitsu strangle hold said organizations have on our constitutional rights (see 1st amendment). We have all heard this before. I simply would like to reflect on how these people sleep at night. How mundane their daily experiences must be and how offended they feel on an hourly basis by everyone and everything they encounter. I understand that society needs regulations and rules to function smoothly. However the material these organizations deem offensive is quite laughable. Comparable to being offended that Michelangelo's David is naked. They must be incomprehensibly closed-minded, uncultured and ridiculously self-entitled. If you haven't seen "This film is not yet rated", please do, it's been out for 5 years. This all started after reading an angry parent's letter to the editor in a surf themed publication about being offended by the girls in bikinis and that it has nothing to do with surfing... Maybe she missed the 50 other half naked guys in suggestive poses?... Maybe she has never been to the beach? Does she get mad at the NFL for having cheerleaders? Anyways, I'm not sure where I'm going with this, other than feeling sorry for the poor bloke who thinks he's made the world a better place by censoring artistic expression to conform with what they believe is best for society to experience. Wow, I think this is the first post that has nothing to do with either surfing or motorcycles. Oh no, I'm starting to stray from the theme... heeeeelp.


If I lived in 1871...

When I sometimes catch my wondering mind (probably severe A.D.D.) drifting off midday at work, I try to imagine what life was like back in the day and what I would look like/be doing with myself (see above picture). Not Roman gladiators tickling lions at the colosseum type of way back-in-the-day, more like the wax-mustached, bowlers hat, 3-piece leisure suite, playing cards and sipping mint juleps and bathtub bourbon back in the day. Wait I still do most of those things... Aaanywaaays, the good ol boys at The Ryde are pretty creative when it comes to surf art. I love all their designs and characters. Check out some of their T's.


Pieces of the Pie: Piston Pete & The Pissed Off Pirates

I admit it has been a while since I've worked on the motorcycle. I haven't had very many visitors to this site and my childish humor and inclination to use alliteration has resulted in this title post. Simply hoping to lure any would-be visitor to read my rant about replacing the Piston Head on the motorcycle a little longer than the 2.5 minute average time spent visiting my blog. Hope you weren't to excited about hearing a strange escapade involving a deranged motorhead named Piston Pete and a gang of agitated privateers. Sorry, no story here. I actually just now Googled "Pissed Off Pirates" to see if an entity even existed by that name (i.e. musical group, pirate workers union, angry eye-patch wearing enthusiasts, etc...) and found this website dedicated to a Biker Club in Seattle: Pissed Off Pirates and takes you to a gay motorcyclists dating site. Another search of "Piston Pete" only came up with a chain of gas stations and their adorable logo of a cartoon piston named Pete. Anyways, wow that was boring and I apologize. IF you have made it this far, keep reading a little longer and find out about the next step of progress in the motorcycle rebuild.
I removed the cylinder head, which was surprisingly easy, 4 nuts and it separated from the bottom piece. Took a peak inside and saw the blackened charred top of the piston (not good, see picture above). After a little prying, pulling and gentle hammering with a rubber mallet, I was able to remove the cylinder base. Was I surprised when a piece of the top piston ring fell out? No, no I was not. I now know better than to hope for the best. In fact I had assumed anything from a beer bottle to a litter of puppies would be jammed inside the various orifices of the engine. So what does that mean? Well the piece of the piston ring (please see above picture, again) was stuck inside the cylinder aka combustion chamber, while the motor was still being used/running for who knows how long, subsequently scratching the hell out of the cylinder walls that should be oh-so-clean and shiny. The reason being is that a smooth cylinder wall is essential to create a good seal in the combustion chamber with the piston and piston rings during the ignition/combustion cycle. This is the key to good pressure which means power out of the motor, proper timing and an overall smooth running motorcycle. Unfortunately it is scratched pretty bad and slightly rusted from having gas sitting in it. The previous owner(s) also had been pre-mixing oil into the gasoline instead of using the oil injection system built into the bike (which we will visit in the near future) and caused a lot of carbon build up inside the cylinder and on the piston head (see pictures above one last time). Based on the condition of everything else on the bike, I assume the previous owner(s) also failed to use the proper ratio when mixing the oil so the cylinder and piston where improperly lubricated which may have been one of the causes of the broken piston ring. Don't worry my friends, I will be honing out the cylinder to get an almost smooth surface and replacing the piston head and rings with brand new ones. A little tricky to measure the inside of the cylinder walls to know exactly which size piston to get (they come in all sizes by very small increments), but with a little luck and mostly just using the right tools (micrometer), I'll be moving up in size by just a few tenths of a millimeter. So the next step will be cleaning the years of grime, dirt and oil off the outside of the cylinder base, shining up the inside of the cylinder walls and sizing up the new piston head. Later I'll tackle the oil pump and oil injection system.
PS - still can't remove the flywheel from the magneto. I may have to visit a shop, lame.

Font size


Move... Into the Bold World of BSA

Whilst sitting in my den, fire roaring, sipping scotch in my velvet robe and prowling the web for inspirational material, I stumbled across this incredibly powerful and sexy ad by BSA. I wish I could meet the marketing genius behind this campaign. Seriously. He has single handedly (well maybe it was a team of people, or even a woman) hit almost every interest for my demographic (young male, interested in: motorcycles, retro bikini girls with spearguns, the beach and rad 2-piece-front-zip wetsuits) - Ha sounds just like my personal ad. Now throw a peeling wave in the background and I could stare at this for days. I'm getting this framed immediately. I just love how the 70's could make these daring activities seem classy in a James Bond / Steve McQueen kind of way. I bet the guy in the ad is wearing a tuxedo under that 2-piece wetsuit. I think I'm going to start doing that and while I'm at it, hire a butler to stand on the beach with a towel and wait for me to finish my session, caddy my board and fix me a vodka martini, shaken not stirred.