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.


Pieces-of-the-Pie - Some Major Progress

Finally, some progress has been made in the rebuild of this 1974 90cc little monster that I have learned to love and hate equally, dubiously named Betty. Well actually my mustachioed mechanical partner (yes, it's still illegal in California to marry another mechanic) Daniel Galligani, who actaully has an amazing blog of his own (more of that later), named her Betty the night they first met. I believe the name is quite befitting. The entire bike was painted jet-black, except for the bright red front wheel... Evokes an image of Bettie Page in black leather with red lipstick.

OK, so I finally got the motor apart, gear-change shaft and kick-start shaft have been replaced, along with the rotor bearings, crank-seals and 2nd gear. The inside was surprisingly clean and despite what the motor looked on the outside, there was actually little wear! Imagine my surprise when I didn't discover an awful mess of broken, spray painted, worn out pieces and a colony of elves living inside. So, once I get the gaskets in place and seal it all up, there are just a few (actually a lot) of things to finish up before she is ready for the open road...

Here is a quick recap of what I have left. Hopefully I'll have it done just in time for Christmas. Yeah, yeah, I know that's a long time, but I honestly spend about 20 minutes a week at most on this thing, if that.
  • Sand and finish the gas tank
  • Repaint both side covers
  • Paint the fork tubes
  • Sand off the rust from all 4 turn signals
  • Sand and repaint the frame
  • Clean up the wheels
  • Mount forks, shocks, fenders, tires and seat
  • Add the clutch & brake levers and controls on the handlebars
  • Mount the motor and exhaust/ muffler
  • Wire the bike up (ignition, coil, battery, lights, horn, speedo)
  • Cut the new chain
  • Adjust the carb
  • Make sure the oil pump works
  • Some other minor things I can't think of...
...and we're good to go.

Here are links to all the "Pieces-of-the-Pie" posts, to see the progress from Day-1.


Alana Qualifies - Women's Pro Surfing Octuples Fan Base

The world of Women's Professional Surfing just increased their following by 267% this week (mostly by teenage boys and middle-aged men with mustaches). WCT surf contest directors have enlisted the help of top computer scientist to handle the anticipated overload on computer servers during the live webcasts of the upcoming female surf contests. Well not really. But Alana Blanchard's 3rd place finish (after her miraculous last-minute heat win) at the Reef Hawaiian Pro in Halewia on Wednesday has solidified her spot on the 2011 WCT... Oh yeah, defending Triple Crown Champ, Parko won too. Fully recovered from his horrific heal injury, Parko smoked everyone, nailing a perfect 10-point ride (and a 9.87) in his first heat after 7-months! (check out all the links)

“I honestly didn’t even know I could qualify. I’m actually glad I didn’t know, so I could just focus on surfing well in the finals. I’m really excited for Sunset, and to get back on the world tour.”

Alana’s spot on the ASP Women’s World Tour isn’t the only exciting event on the horizon. Alana has the 2010 Surfer Poll Awards in December where she will defend her spot as the one of the top 5 most popular women surfers on Earth (for obvious reasons). She also will be portrayed in the new movie Soul Surfer based on the life of her best friend, Bethany Hamilton. Lorraine Nicholson, daughter of Academy Award Winner Jack Nicholson, will play Alana in the film that will premiere in April of 2011.

Pics, words, quotes, etc... from Rip Curl, Surfline, ASP, Reef, GrindTv, GoldCoast News, etc...


Kelly Gets Bronzed

Only slightly cooler looking than the Cardiff Kook, Florida unveils their bronze tribute to surfing's Champ10n of champions, Mr. Kelly Slater, on ironically "Kelly Slater Day", better known as November 17. The statue was inspired by the famous photograph taken by Tom Dugan at Sebastian Inlet and created by brother/sister synchronized sculpting team Sam and Tasha Drazich. Local police have filed several reports of WQSers seen sacrificing virgin surfboards to appease the Surf God.

Slater's statue joins the likes of other celebrities immortalized in bronze. Some of those include likenesses of Michael Jordan, Jim Thorpe, Bob Cousy, Magic Johnson, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Dan Marino and even "Rocky." Slater said he's never seen those, but he occasionally pays homage to the Duke Kahanamoku statue in Waikiki by leaving a lei to honor "the father" of surfing.

Photos and quotes from various sources, including but not limited to


Donkeys & Dings - A surf film by RVCA

So a few months ago the RVCA boys decided to head down to Mexico and shoot a little surf flick. I'm sure everyone has seen or heard of this by now, but what the hell.


Happiness is Warm BMW - Part III

Another fine specimen of German engineering... slightly modified of course.


VANS Triple Crown of Surfing - HAS STARTED!!!

The biggest contest of the year has begun on the North Shore of Oahu (we're actually on day 5 now). Made up of 3-separate contests - The Reef Hawaiian Pro (now@ Halewia), O'Neill World Cup of Surfing (Nov 24@ Sunset Beach) and the coveted Billabong Pipe Masters (Dec 8@ Pipeline, duh), which is the final and most challenging stop of the WCT. With over $1,000,000 in prize money, the overall best performer of the 3 contests wins the Vans Triple Crown Bonus and has bragging rights and priority for life at any surf spot in the world. Oh yeah, there are some girl contests in between.

I watched most of the Reef Hawaiian Pro yesterday, which was being held in pumping Haleiwa. The heat of the day was the Clash of the Legends - Featuring a 4-man heat with former WCT Champions and surfing legends Tom Curren, Mark Occy Occhilupo, Tom Carroll and Sunny Garcia. To see these 40 year olds all scoring 9's in huge, overhead surf was both inspiring and humbling. They definitely set the bar for the rest of the competition (some less than half their age). Watch the highlights of the heat here.

The Vans Triple Threat bonus goes to the Men’s Vans Triple Crown Champ ($50,000), Women’s Triple Crown champ ($25,000), ASP Men’s World Champion ($50,000), winner of the Billabong Pipe Masters ($50,000). This $175, 000 Triple Threat bonus is in addition to the $875, 000 Triple Crown prize purse and totals a whopping $1 million dollar prize purse for the 2010 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing


Layback Larry Presents - Weekend at Larry's Art Show

My buddies at are putting on an art show featuring the works of my artistically inclined friends. The show is next Friday, November 19th in Culver City (4500 Jefferson Blvd.)


Dues X Brixton = Thursday night @ Thailia

Thursday night, aka tomorrow, Thalia Surf Shop in Laguna Beach will be hosting the Dues x Brixton release party. Yes, I love Dues Ex Machina (see post below) and all their beautiful motorcycles, Brixton is a pretty rad clothing company that compliments the style (see the video below)... So I'm sure this thing will be fun. At 9pm everyone will be heading over to the Marine Room for drinks and music. See you there.

Brixton Holiday 2010 from BRIXTON on Vimeo.


Deus ex Machina - opens in Canggu, Bali

Just when you thought the raddest frickin motorcycle/Surf shop couldn't get any cooler, Dues Ex Machina (Latin for "God out of the Machine") open a full compound in the Mecca of Surf a.k.a Canggu, Bali. In a country where 90% of the population rides scooters and motorcycles and 90% of the tourists are traveling surfers and topless European girls... I couldn't have picked a better location. Their Bali complex - The Temple of Enthusiasm - will house a showroom, art gallery, workshop facilities, photography studio (run by Dustin Humphrey, see main photo of my blog), artists studio, and surfboard shaping bay. Uh, can I please move in? If I could design a dream home, it would include all of the above... and probably be in Bali.

I love their motorcycles. The design speaks my language and their retro resin-tinted twin-fins look amazing too. They also make fixed-gear bicycles. Is there anything these guys don't do that isn't amazing? (ok, maybe the fixed-gear bike thing, but still!). Check out their blog(s) too, always up to something fun (board swap meets, cycle swap meets, art shows, etc...).


Kelly Slater Wins 10th World Title!!! - Greatest Athlete Of All Time

He has done it again!!! The King of Surfing, Mr. Kelly Slater (aka Poseidon) has won his 10th World Championship Tour Title (along with the Rip Curl Pro Puerto Rico, his 45th WCT contest win), making him the greatest, most dominant athlete of all time... in one of the most competitive, physically demanding, progressive and dynamic sports on the planet. (If you don't agree, then you my friend, are an idiot. Read this article... then go cry in the corner)

His win at Puerto Rico, along with the ASP Bonus for winning the World Title, earned Kelly $175,000. The biggest pay-out ever for a surf contest. Not to mention his $10,000,000 bonus from Quicksilver for winning 10 World Titles. A record we may never see again, ever, by any surfer, athlete or human.

After winning five straight titles in the 90s (six total) Slater retired in 1999, which, when translated, means he went surfing more. He chased swells around the planet for three years, visiting friends at every stop, waiting for a new crop of talent to mature and actually threaten his legacy before coming back to competition in 2003. In his first year back, he fell short in the final heat of the season. But by 2005 he had his title back, repeating again in 2006, and nabbing another in 2008. Now again in 2010, which he dedicated to the memory of his late, long-time rival Andy Irons, saying "If it wasn't for Andy, I wouldn't be here right now" adding, "I'd give this title away in a second if Andy could come back."


Re-Post: Dark Side Of The Lens - The Silent Work Horses of Surfing

Not that there isn't all sorts of awesomeness happening all over right now... The Rip Curl Pro Search in Puerto Rico is into Round 5, Kelly Slater about to win a 10th World Title, the passing of one of the greatest surfers - Andy Irons (not awesome), geneticists creating artificial spider silk, astronauts landing on the moon, Guinness in a bottle, etc... etc... etc... But I just can't get enough of this short film, shot entirely on a Canon 5D mk11 Digital SLR camera. Now go feel sorry for yourself that you don't do incredible things like this with your life (tear, sniffle, frown)

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.


3x World Champ Andy Irons Passes Away - Surfing World Stunned

"Today, the surfing world lost one of its favorite sons..."

It is with a heavy heart that we spread this news of Andy Irons untimely death. Initial reports have him passing away after contracting dengue fever in Portugal. On Sunday, Andy, 32, withdrew from the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico citing an illness. According to reports which have yet to be confirmed, Andy was so sick he was unable to board his flight from Dallas to Kauai, got a hotel room, and was found there dead leaving behind a pregnant wife, family, and world full of friends and fans.
We will miss you AI - RIP

As one of my favorite surfers growing up, Irons was arguably the most dominant surfer of the early to mid 2000s. In addition to his world titles, Irons had 19 world tour victories and has the distinction of being the only surfer to have won at every location on the tour. But more significant than the statistics was his reputation as perhaps the only true rival nine-time World Champion Kelly Slater has ever known, and the two engaged in some of the most memorable title races in history.

Story, words, news & pictures from Transworld Surf, ESPN, Tim-McKenna, internet, etc...