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.


Dark Side Of The Lens - The Silent Work Horses of Surfing

Alright, now I want you take a moment to sit and watch this incredible 6-minute short film about the other side of the surf world... The photographers. In this case, Mickey Smith. (By now this video has spread like wildfire all across the web... featured on every surf and photography site with any sense of style, beauty and appreciation of the amazing.) Be inspired.

DARK SIDE OF THE LENS from Astray Films on Vimeo.

This mind blowing, awe inspiring piece from renowned photographed, surfer and bodyboarder Mickey Smith explores his world of documenting wave riding and the dramatic seascapes of Ireland.


The Battle Royale - Surfing vs. Motorcycling


I can't believe it took me this long to realize that my two (current) passions needed to be thrown into the gladiators' arena... Facing each other in an epic battle that will be remembered for generations. In my mind they always seemed to meld into a harmonious ying-yang / balance of opposites-type, singular entity. The two evoke very different feelings on a similar plane. The depth of that plane only being achieved by a gifted and brave few. The fearless and skillful. The redundant and repetitive. Who will rejoice in triumphant victory? Well thats a no-brainer... to me at least. Surfing. Despite the cargo-short, popped collar wearing, puka-shell sporting, no socks white shoes, folded bill hat, ironic t-shirt slogan touting image that our beloved Abercrombie hs created in the eye of the rest of society, surfing is F-ing hard. And not the "I bet I can bench-press more than you" type of hard. The difficulty I'm referring to, is when the surf is tiny or pumping... being ecstatic to wake up before the sun, leave a warm bed (with a warm body in it) scramble into a soggy cold wet wetsuit and know that the next wave could be the one that drowns you... crazy? maybe. Addiction? Some would say it's a problem. They don't understand.

There is no limit to the degree you can take your surfing... look at Slater... Greg Long... Dane Reynolds... Craig Anderson... No one would have dreamed anything they do is possible, but I'm pretty sure there where motorcycle riders going pretty damn fast 30 years ago... and despite technology changes... not much else has...except for backflips which are ridiculous (but still learned in the safety of a foam pit) and maybe stunt riders, but they're weird. Plus I like the motorcycles, riding style and fashion from 30 years ago better anyways. And yes, bikers are tough tattoo-sporting bad-asses and gnarly biker gangs stab and shoot people for fun, but so do 13 year old kids in Colombia.

Sure you see little kids splashing about and spry octogenarians slowly making that paddle out at malibu... Still the experience of that split-second zen like feeling that seems impossibly infinite is still incomparable to anything else.

Aaanyways, I found some motorcycle riding chap who happens to be friends with a surfboard riding lad... the two of them apparently got to talkin and started argueing over which was easier to learn... surfing or motorcycle riding.. DUH!!! Are you frickin kidding?!?! The rider argues that motorcycle riding is harder because if you fall you can get hurt and in surfing there is (and I quote) "almost zero chance of you getting hurt"... Right, so how about we go learn to surf at Chopes?... Shipstearns perhaps?... Or maybe a quick lesson at Ours with the Bra Boys? Ok fine, I wouldn't enter Erzberg Rodeo or Baja 1000, but still... Twist-n-go man. Is there even localism in motorcycle riding? Then this Jazzhole (thats right I called him a Jazzhole) claims that riding a motorcycle "involves more things to be taken into account" Riiiight, so at what levels of surfing and riding are we talking about here? Sorry, I'm getting really fired up.

I would love to see some kind of reality show based on this argument. Maybe the Nitro Circus versus the Wolfpack or Bra Boys OR just Travis Pastrana versus Mark Healey? Like tow surfing a whale shark in 100 foot Antarctic waves or quadruple backflips in a winnebago over the pirana part of the Amazon? So in the end there is a little poll to cast your vote and the people have unanimously agreed (ok, it was 62.5% to 37.5%) that surfing is obviously harder to learn. I think anyone could learn to ride a bike in a day and get good in a month. In the dynamic world of surfing, you would be a prodigy to accomplish anything of the sort.

P.S. I didn't re-read or proof-read this post. Not sure what just happened.


Old Kawasaki TV commercial - Rad!!!

Quite possibly the greatest TV commercial of all time... The bike is almost the same as the little lady I'm working on now. I NEED to get one of those white racing suites... I'll be flying through the air and picking up Japanese chicks in the park (with clothes that spontaneously disappear) in no time.


Pieces of the Pie - Gettin Kreemy

Today is the day we get Kreemed. The neglected gas tank of our beloved little motorcycle finally gets some well deserved attention. Although the previous owner(s) had applied several hundred coats of spray-paint to the outside of the tank, they failed to realize that whats on the inside is what really matters... Meaning the years of neglect have left the inside of our tank rustier than an old trombone... uh never mind bad analogy. Anyways this 3-part kit basically dissolves the rust and coats the inside with a creamy gooey epoxy-like gel that seals it up and prevents further oxidation. Almost like getting a new tank... kinda.

Grinding the paint off - from previous post "Getting Tanked"

The whole process is supposed to take a whole day and promises to be an epic pain in the ass - First you have to rinse the tank with a degreaser several times and then toss a handful of wood screws in the tank and fill up with the included "Tank Prep A", shake like a Bond-style martini for several hours, loosening all the rust flakes etc... then an overnight bath in the etching/rinsing fluid, "Tank Prep B", which finely etches the metal to allow the coating to stick to the tank. Finally the Kreem. Just pour in the goop and slowly rotate to make sure the entire inside gets coated well, then let it dry for 30 hours. And that's it. Keep your fingers crossed I don't blow it. I can only imagine coating my intestines while accidentally grabbing the Kreem bottle sitting next to my beerverage.


On Any Sunday & The Endless Summer

It was in late summer of 1989...well actually I don't remember and it could of been anytime between 1986 - 1995, that my Pops played me the two Quintessential Motorcycle & Surf films of our time, Bruce Brown's - On Any Sunday and The Endless Summer... I was too young at the time, with my erratic attention span and all, to fully appreciate these incredible documentaries. Bruce (may I call you Bruce?) was one of the few (well probably many, but I like to think few) adventurers/visionaries in the 60's & 70's that where drawn to the indescribable experiences that can only be understood by those who posses the focus, commitment and cajones to master the art of surfing and motorcycle riding. Or at least, he really loved to film them fading romantically into the sunset.

He saw the similarities in each of the sport's athletes... that "grace under pressure" attitude. A certain genetic link (probably a missing one) that allows the mind to convince the body into a sliding turn at 120 mph on a dirt track or paddle into 40' mountains of water, all while staying calm, cool and collected. From the comedic commentary to the classic styles and colors, bikes and boards, mustaches and sideburns, these two films will never, ever get old. Ok well maybe if you don't really care about either of those activities, in which case, I'm not sure why you're even reading this or made it this far down in the post. Well like I was saying, seeing the best in the world doing the most with what they had at that time is pretty amazing. If you haven't seen either then don't bother, because we're not friends anymore and I don't really care about you anyways.

PS - Danny if you're reading this, come get your sunglasses, they've been here for like 4 days and it's bright outside.


Billabong Pro Tahiti teaser - Hold on to your butts

The infamous Tahiti contest starts in a week. Trails have already started and it's pumping down there. Teahupoo really separates the Men from the Boys. Relying on pure, fearless instinct. One of the only contests where all you have to do is make the drop and hope you don't get eaten. The speed, force and torrential river-like flow of water, breaking below sea level?!?! This degree of surfing and confidence baffles me. A couple years ago I happened to be on the North Shore during the Da Hui Backdoor Shootout contest at Pipeline. Second reef was maxing out on a couple sets = 25 foot faces of barreling death. Just watching these guys waiting on the beach, timing sets and excitedly racing out to laugh in the face of death is humbling enough, let alone dropping into these bombs and pulling in like it was a walk in the park... (check out the video here)

Anyways... Watching these gladiators battle it out in the ultimate arena finds me feeling mixed emotions. Knowing I'll never find myself racing through one of these Tahitian kegs, getting blown out through the foamball, claiming it with a crotch-grab middle finger to all the photogs and boats in the channel... is slightly saddening, yet also somewhat comforting. The utter lack of skill and cajones makes me feel inadequate as both a surfer and man... however a shred of solace comes from knowing that even if I attempted to scratch into one of those thundering behemoths, I would most probably be instantly cheese-grated to death by the very sharp and shallow reef hungrily waiting below. So, as we all eagerly sit, wait and watch the swell models for the South Pacific, let's keep our fingers crossed for some aquatic drama in the form of horrifying wipe-outs and unforgettable barrels.


The Rebel

Disclaimer: Although having (heavily) sampled my fair share of the good juice, visited "Wine Country" and been practically raised on the stuff... I still know next to nothing about wine. Sure I'll pretend to appreciate the "subtle notes" of whateverthehellisinthis and admire the "finishes" of yeahsureIcantastethat. 97% of the time I buy a wine because it has some combination of either costing under $9 and/or having won some kind of wine award (which is usually proudly posted on its label) The other 3% would be based purely on label design (and of course costing under $9). The Rebel clearly falls under the .05% of my wine purchases, having cost a whopping $17.95, don't scoff, I got bills to pay. The label sold me, I didn't even check the price until I got home. Rad Cafe Racer, tasteful colors, font and of course the name. Yes, I'm a sucker for Marketing. Hey it's what I studied and happy to support a job well done. The winemakers, O'Shea Scarborough, are from Wahluke Slope...
"The Rebel Cab rumbles with juicy black cherry, currant, and black berry, adding a yin and yang of candy notes and bitter chocolate on the finish."

Whatever... it was damn good. Tasted like a $30 bottle, at half the price.

Justify FullIf you haven't finished your PhD in Geography yet and are wondering where the hell Wahluke Slope is... well here is a picture of it from Google Earth... looks like a bunch of radar screens. I guess it's in the Eastern part of Washington State, wherever that is.


Shinya Kimura - Art meets Machine

Functional Design + Speed + Bold Imagination = Shinya Kimura

Mr. Kimura creates visually stunning masterpieces at his workshop, Chabbott Engineering, in Azusa, CA, where these very fast and imaginative motosculptures come to life.

This amazing video gives us a glimpse into his work - "not merely building custom motorcycles -- but creating functional art by infusing his philosophy and aesthetic values into his sculpturally unique and rolling designs."

I was brought up surrounded by the smell of oil and steel, and the sound of machinery.... I think this is why this life suits me well

For me a motorcycle is more than art...


Holy Sh*t This Site is RAD

Two of my very dear friends have decided that life is just too frickin RAD... to not be documented (outside of facekook), so they started a blog, rightfully titled: HolyShitLifeIsRad! Check it out... Events, photos, cakes and other Rad things that happen in life... They even featured me in a post... why? Because, life is rad and so am I (kinda). I'm so amped on how rad life is right now, I just want to roundhouse kick a pigeon and eat some cheese!!! WOOOOOOO.


Pieces Of The Pie - My Wheels are Red and so is your baboon's *ss

The wheels on my bus don't go round & round... I don't want a bus, I want a working motorcycle. So on to the next phase of motorcycle destruc... uh restoration. With a little elbow grease... aka blistered palms and mosquito bites (yes I work outside barefoot & wearing boardshorts), the front wheel came off, the front forks and rear shocks removed and throttle assembly, well, disassembled. The throttle assembly seems to be in good shape. The wheels & tires however...

At this time I would like to draw your attention towards the red spray-paint that heavily coats the wheels (and tires) as well as the various paint colors (white, black, yellow, blue, etc...) that were generously applied to the rear springs. Previous owner(s) might have been an ADHD artist? Partially retarded baboon with a weird paint fetish? Who knows... Downside: It will need to be cleaned thoroughly. Upside: The paint has actually acted like a protective barrier against rust, scratches and grime, so these parts remain slightly preserved. So for now, I'll be cleaning and trying to find new tires. Oh yeah, I haven't removed the rear wheel yet, but that should be relatively easy (fingers crossed).