THE MOTOR-SURFER

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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.

Saturday

Jónsi - Boy Lilikoi _ Sigur Ros gets surfy



Listening to Sigur Ros brings back memories of a post graduation compound (dubbed Gnarnia) where several (between 7-12 at any given day) young men eager to expand their minds and test the limits of their physical being (mostly the liver, but sometimes in the ocean) experienced some of the best memories (that they will never remember) in their lives. So here is a new song/video from Sigur Ros (please excuse the missing accent mark over the "o").

Friday

It Sets a Vibe... Video Test One: 600 FPS

GLOBE TEST VIDEO: 600 FPS from GLOBE on Vimeo.


According to my good friend JP at Wetsand / GrindTV and a recent tid-bit he wrote regarding surf films, entitled: Surf Films Are Good Now (check it). Albeit the several new films that us soggy fingers are eagerly awaiting... he goes on to explain that due to the dynamic and unpredictable circumstances of the sea, surf movies (until recently) have never been granted big budgets, fancy camera work, ubber creative cinematographic talent and all that other stuff involved in making a film... But the tides have changed (haha) and apparently "Surf films are good now"...
So as I'm off for the weekend to hopefully spend some time in the dip back on my home turf, I'll leave you with Globe's new surf project, Video Test One: 600 FPS. Pretty Rad (with a capital "R").

Thursday

Family Photo Vault - Motosurfing in 1972

So now I have photographic proof that the joy of melding two sacred arts is actually ingrained in my DNA and can be traced back to the early 70's. Pictured here is my Pop's circa 1972, expressing his genetic instincts of wanting to... I guess surf, with whatever means possible... in this case a 1971 Yamaha 360 (I think) on a stretch of highway in pre-revolution Tehran. Today, similarities in his surf style resemble that of his motorsurfing days.

Wednesday

180 South - Conquerors of the Useless






The new Woodshed/Malloy/Patagonia movie premiered last night in Santa Monica so we decided to check it out. I'm a big fan of their other movies and judging from the preview, 180 South looked just as inspirational and earth loving as the rest. (They all just make you want to travel and pick up trash... Which is a good thing.) However after getting in to the lobby we were told there was "no more free beer", which was pretty upsetting... So after a brief chat with the producer/star (Jeff Johnson... no not Jack) and checking out the memorabilia we tried to cruise into the theater for a bit of audio pleasure from the musical guest before the show and try to get a good seat for the movie... DENIED - They apparently oversold and where extremely adherent to California fire & safety codes on occupancy... I even tried pretending I had just been inside... "But dude, my girlfriend is in there..." "Sorry bro, a lot of guys' girlfriends are in there..." Oh well. (PS - check out all the links)

Jeff Johnson is a pretty rad guy. A great photographer and an ambassador Patagonia. He surfs, sails, camps, climbs, saves the planet etc... He also published a great photo book a few years back documenting a surf/road -trip from Bend Oregon (visiting Gerry Lopez) to Cabo San Lucas (getting shacked in warm water and drinking Pacificos), riding the entire time in a vegetable-oil powered pick-up truck caravan. Great stuff.
So, in September 2007, Jeff took a 5-month long trip inspired by Patagonia founder Yvon Chuinard and North Face founder Doug Tompkins' 1968 trip from Ventura, CA to Patagonia, Chile...


"Ten years after Jeff Johnson saw the film "Mountain of Storm" about Chouinard and Tompkins' 1968 Trip, Jeff is finally on his way south. His plan is to hitch a ride on the sailing vessel "Sea Bear" which is en route to Patagonia Chile. His eventual goal is to climb a peak in Patagonia called Corcovado, but he as a long way to go before then."

Sunday

Pieces of the Pie: Man Vs. Magneto


Ok, I must admit that the past few weeks (months?) have shown minimal progress in the rebuild of the motorcycle – the whole purpose of this blog. Had I the time, know-how, money and adequate work space, this project should have been finished in a few weeks… But then the blog would be short-lived and I would need to seek another creative outlet… which would certainly lead to something blowing up, burning down, breaking or getting arrested for public nudity. Nobody wants that. So I will go ahead and say it “I have been lazy, unmotivated and apathetic.” I blame the economy, forces of nature, the oil spill, Thailand, El Nino and my neighbor who thinks I’m washing dishes too loudly on a Saturday afternoon (yes I wash my own dishes).

But alas, I have made some progress. Although it may seem like a small step, removing the magneto cover/ flywheel has been the second most difficult and by far the most time-consuming challenge of the rebuild yet. I touched on the subject in an earlier post. It was a huge pain in the ass, however with the help of Dr. Daniel Galligani and his powerful mustache we were able to overcome the bolt that so firmly holds the flywheel/magneto cover in place. Damn that bolt. After several agonizing attempts, blistered palms and sweaty brows, Danny motioned me aside with a wave of his hand, gripped the crescent wrench and twitched his mustache at it. Miraculously the bolt loosened, and the flywheel came off, succumbing to the mighty forces of his mustache. Anyways, the reason this piece has to come off is so I can re-wire the entire bike. The magneto is a big magnet that spins with the motor and creates the electricity needed to power the spark plug, lights and horn. The main wiring harness attaches to several points underneath the magneto. There are also 4 other bolts underneath that, which need to be removed so I can take the left half of the motor apart to replace the kick-start gear and shaft that apparently broke off. I don't know what those Japanese engineers where doing 35 years ago because this engine was not designed with the intention of ever needing to be taken apart. (Too much Sake while drawing blueprints?)

Saturday

Tear Drop



My better half made it out to the Jimmy Kimmel show on Friday night to see Massive Attack. They released a new album Heligoland. I dig the beats, not quite as amazing as 'Mezzanine', but they definitely still got it none the less.
PS - This is my first music post...

Happiness is a warm BMW...






An ad from 1965, a beautiful rebuild of an R65/7 from those crazy Danish kids at Wrenchmonkees and just a nice looking Beemer. There really is no way to not love that German precision.

Friday

The Thin Blue Line - Surfing with terrorist

Jesse Aizenstat poses in southern Lebanon, near the Blue Line divide with Israel. Standing in front of a poster of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Hamas leader Khaled Mashal. The US classifies both groups as terrorist organizations.


I stumbled upon this story while browsing the endless spew of diatribe that pollutes our media outlets. I have always taken great pride in being a self-proclaimed ambassador of Sea, one of Poseidon's minions and a devout follower of the ways taught by other Aquatic Naturalists (see: Gerry Lopez, Rastavich, Malloy brothers, Yvon Chouinard, Jim Moriarty, etc...). There have been a few stories of how the sea (surfing in particular) can melt away cultural, religious and other detrimental prejudices or differences - Like the section in Step Into Liquid (I think) in which the Malloys brings together Irish children from different sides of the ever-battling Catholic & Protestant divide and they all become friends and live happily ever after... Anyways here is another relatively inspiring individual who has found that surfing has brought together people from the longest, most well known and violent collision of religious and geo-political conflict.
Surfers on both sides of UN-demarcated Blue Line between northern Israel and Hezbollah-controlled southern Lebanon have a burning question: How are the waves on the other side?
Last summer, Californian Jesse Aizenstat , embarked on a trip to Isreal and Lebanon, searching for waves and looking for new perspectives on the region's conflicts.
“As a surfer, you’re always looking for new spots,” says Mr. Aizenstat. “I noticed that there was a question that both surfers in Lebanon and Israel had: What kind of coast is on the other side of the Blue Line?”
The Blue Line refers to the seperating Israel’s from southern Lebanon. Obviously surfers from either side don't cross the line... Despite travel restrictions, Aizenstat was determined to hear stories from surfers on both sides of the line, uniting them through a common interest across their political, cultural, and geographical divides. While Israel has a developed somewhat of a surf scene, in Lebanon the majority of surfboards reside on the walls of themed restaurants as decoration. In the Israeli city of Haifa, Aizenstat met a close-knit group of surfers – made up of both Arabs and Jews, some of whom have been friends since childhood – leading him to view surfing as a potential medium for mediation and understanding in the region.“Most of the Palestinians and Jews don’t mix,” he says. "But through surfing, people are, at the very least, civil – some even good friends, best friends” bound by the sea.
Article From the Christian Science Monitor

Thursday

iLikeDisBike - Danish Delight - CB 750 Four





The primates over at Wrenchmonkees in Denmark make some of the most beautiful custom bikes I've seen. I love everything from the fat tires to incredible unique detail. This will be the first of several gems I'll be sharing. Oh yeah and if you happen to be in Copenhagen this Saturday, they are having the grand opening of their new store. Check out their blog too.

Wednesday

Family Photo Vault - Generations




My Dad and a few of his biker crew circa 1972 near the Caspian Sea.... Me and a few of our biker (ok, bicycle) crew circa 2009 on the Venice Boardwalk. Wow they were way cooler than us.
- Photo courtesy of Janos Palko.

Tuesday

Cruise of the Snark - Jack London - The Royal Sport

I am inspired by his wisdom, perception and thirst for adventure. Read his life credo and let it sink in...
"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in a magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of a man is to live, not exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them, I shall use my time."
- Jack London 1876 - 1916

The Cruise of the Snark... An incredible account of Mr. London's 27-month long voyage through the South Pacific in 1907. As he witnessed surfing for the first time in Hawaii's massive waves, he described the Royal Sport with extraordinarly vivid imagery, as man's battle with the monsters of the sea. (I love the title "Royal Sport", it embodies how surfing feels like part of something ancient, sacred and privileged). The exerpt is long, but worth the read.

"THAT IS WHAT IT IS, a royal sport for the natural kings of earth....one sits in their shade and looks seaward at a majestic surf thundering in on the beach to one's very feet. Half a mile out, where the reef is, the white-headed combers thrust suddenly skyward out of the placid turquoise-blue and come rolling in to shore. One after another they come, a mile long, with smoking crests, the white battalions of the infinite army of the sea. And one sits and listens to the perpetual roar, and watches the unending procession, and feels tiny and fragile before this tremendous force expressing itself in fury and foam and sound. Indeed, one feels microscopically small, and the thought that one may wrestle with this sea raises in one's imagination a thrill of apprehension, almost of fear. Why, they are a mile long, these bull-mouthed monsters, and they weigh a thousand tons, and they charge in to shore faster than anyone can run. What chance? No chance at all, is the verdict of the shrinking ego; and one sits, and looks, and listens, and thinks the grass and the shade are a pretty good place in which to be.
And suddenly, out there where a big smoker lifts skyward, rising like a sea-god from out of the welter of spume and churning white, on the giddy, toppling, overhanging and downfalling, precarious crest appears the dark head of a man. Swiftly he rises through the rushing white. His black shoulders, his chest, his loins, his limbs -- all is abruptly projected on one's vision. Where but the moment before was only the wide desolation and invincible roar, is now a man, erect, full-statured, not struggling frantically in that wild movement, not buried and crushed and buffeted by those mighty monsters, but standing above them all, calm and superb, poised on the giddy summit, his feet buried in the churning foam, the salt smoke rising to his knees, and all the rest of him in the free air and flashing sunlight, and he is flying through the air, flying forward, flying fast as the surge on which he stands. He is a Mercury -- a brown Mercury. His heels are winged, and in them is the swiftness of the sea. In truth, from out of the sea he has leaped upon the back of the sea, and he is riding the sea that roars and bellows and cannot shake him from its back. But no frantic outreaching and balancing is his. He is impassive, motionless as a statue carved suddenly by some miracle out of the sea's depth from which he rose. "

Monday

It's Better In The Wind - Two Wheeled Truth On The Road

"We've been on and off the road for months, and making memories that are full of dirt and smoke. Making stories we can tell our kids to let them know that this generation wasn't completely lost within the confines of modern technologies."

Not only an incredible artist, but apparently a god-damn poet. Photographer Scott G Toepfer and few like-minded friends embarked on a road trip across our country's vast highways and documented the experience on a blog and subsequent photo-book, which I just might have to order. Just something inspiring about road-trips... maybe because they focus on the ride and not the destination, similiar to how I would like to look at life ideally. Enjoy.





It's Better In The Wind - Video Trailer 2 from Scott Toepfer on Vimeo.

Sunday

MOCA Crap-A-Chino

So last weekend we paid a visit to one of our favorite mind expanding establishments, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Little Tokyo, or the MOCA as it likes to be called. I have seen some incredible pieces over the years at MOCA, but this weekend, well.... Wow, not only was I embarrassed just to be looking at the so called contemporary art, but I was mortified for these "artists" and the ass-hats that deemed them museum worthy. Really??? This is your so called expression of artistic creativity? I am big fan of contemporary, big fan, I find it intriguing and I usually get inspired by the creative geniuses like Tim Hawkinson (check out his feather motorcycle below)

(Tim Hawkinson- Feather Bike)
While making my way through the maze of gARTbage, I was quietly hoping for Ashton Koochface to pop out around the corner and scream we all "got Punked" for our $10 entrance fee. There was literally only 1 piece in the entire collection worth mentioning and not just because it involved a vintage bike, but because it actually took some work and creativity. The other crap, uhh sorry I mean art, looked like a 3-year old ADD kid rummaged through a trash can in Venice and hot-glued 8 random things together, pissed on it , then mounted it the wall of the MOCA. Sorry do I sound bitter? Well I am. OK fine not really, but I did try to drink away most of the memories from that day. The one piece I did enjoy was a sculpture from Chris Burden (from 1979). The piece consists of a huge cast iron flywheel from a coal mine used in the 1800's, which is spun (up to 70-mph apparantly) by a 1968 Benelli 250cc motorcycle. Interestingly, the Benelli was Burden's own motorcycle when he was just starting his career. Check out the video of Stacie London reving up the bike & wheel. After reaching top speed, the wheel spins quietly for most of the day. They even had a tube attached to the exhaust, leading to some weird contraption to capture the fumes and muffle most of the noise (I wish we could attach one to Sarah Palin....).

Friday

The Cycle Zombies - Fellow motorsurf enthusiasts


I call them comrades. The Stopnick brothers from OC, who dig vintage bikes and rip their kook-sticks around the fun wedges of Newport Beach. Apparently these guys are getting or have their own reality show... but who doesn't? (actually I don't, so I guess they win) They're sponsored by Hurley, which funds their lifestyle to master the arts of surfing, skating and doing burn-outs. Check out their blog if you have some time to kill... (wait who am I even talking too? I think only 2 people looked at my blog in the past month, including my Mom). What can I say, I'm pretty jealous as I sit here in my suite & tie, slaving away the work week until I too can become a master of the arts... a feat which remains quite difficult when you are a weekend warrior. &%$!@!!! I have become my own worst nightmare. Anyways. These guys are living the dream, kinda.


Scotty Stopnik from Madison Dyer on Vimeo.

If I lived in 1965...


This is how I imagine I would have travelled. I like the suction cup hat... Genius? Definitely. Functional? Definitely not. Am I going to try this? Absolutely.
Also please see "If I lived in 1871" for more on what my life would have looked like...