and back.

In an effort to save a bit of money I’ve returned from real hosting to free blogging.  Yay.



Due to low post and reader traffic on the [tfg] blog, I’ve decided to re-consolidate the blog with my personal blog:


I’ll be posting details of my upcoming solo Grand Canyon trip there.

sorting, sorta

z up on lift

I’ve been contemplating taking the Z up to Sonoma to enjoy the final days of sun and warm weather.  There are few fantasies more beautiful than humming past rolling vineyard fields, with the sun squatting down behind golden California hills in the distance.

Except being parked on the shoulder, with oil, water, and pride hemmorhaging out of the bottom of the motor, with the disapproving sun scowling down from above.

So I’ve been trying to figure out how to avoid this disastrous situation.  Things that need to be worked on:

  1. Exhaust.  There is at least one exhaust leak that is filling the cabin with fumes and robbing the car of power.  Although acceptable for around-town trips, over a long trip, it’ll probably kill me.
  2. Steering column.  I think it still rubs against the driver’s side exhaust manifold when it heats up, causing the car to vibrate and shake.  I need to fix this stat, there’s a good chance it’ll reduce the cabin vibrations by a lot.
  3. Seat.  The driver’s side seat needs to be modified a little bit for comfort.  There’s actually a sharp metal bracket jutting up into the bottom seat cushion (driver’s side, don’t worry passengers!), threatening to pierce through the foam and into my delicate ass cheeks.  Not good.

A lap of Lake Michigan

It’s a little hard to find the good roads in the Midwest, and I’ll admit I haven’t actually been trying that hard as of late. But this weekend I’ll be doing a lap of Lake Michigan on the CBR in what will sadly be the first and last trip of this season. My route above hits two recommendations I found on the net: the Red Arrow and Blue Star Highway coming out of Indiana into Michigan, and the Tunnel of Trees towards the top.

Other than that, I followed two rules. Rule 1) Stay close to a body of water Rule 2) If a road looks squiggly, take it. The map is a bit complicated, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to follow all the directions without a proper GPS. And you’ll notice the shot from Chicago to Green Bay is straight up highway. I couldn’t find any good roads inbetween here and there because most of it is part of Greater Chicagoland anyway.

We’re going to leave tonight and book it up there while we’re still fresh. Might as well get the boring stuff out of the way first.

LOL autoblog

equus autoblog

I have to share this brilliant piece of auto journalism with you.  This one quote demonstrates how far I am from being an excellent writer:

Hyundai looks to be breaking from its American past in a way that could leave future drivers incredulous when they hear about a thing called the Excel. With the Genesis and now the Equus – and what’s to come after – it’s like Hyundai has risen from vaudeville actor to perform Hamlet for the queen. If you told the monarch who only knew the actor as Hamlet, “You know, that guy used to wear a clown suit and get sprayed with seltzer water?,” she’d laugh, thinking it was a joke.

(taken from Autoblog’s Quick Spin of the Hyundai Equus found here.)

re: being a luddite


Alright, here’s a piece of technology I can stand behind.  It’s called Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer, which, judging by the picture above, is science talk for “miracle material.”  According to Autoblog, this little piece of amazing weighs just 7.5 lbs and features only FOUR layers of carbon fiber weave!

Why am I so excited about wings that we can stand on, and not excited about bikes with hydraulically powered front wheels?  Simple: this technology adds speed without adding complexity.

I haven’t read the full article yet, I just wanted to bring it to your attention before I go out to dinner.

The New Electric Chopper?

OCC builds an all electric chopper:

Too bad iPod white is so out.

Too bad iPod white is so out.

Looks pretty cool. Unforunately it suffers the same fate as all electric motobikes today.  Mainly, it sucks.  From Autoblog:

“Commissioned by Siemens USA, the zero-emissions motorcycle is powered by a 27-horsepower electric motor from Advanced DC and can go an estimated 60 miles after a five-hour charge. Top speed is listed at 100 miles per hour, likely making this one of the fastest bikes ever to roll out of the OCC showroom.”

27 horsepower gives about as much power and top speed as my 1966 CB77 has. 100 mph makes it one of the fastest bikes ever to roll out of OCC? I highly doubt that when they’re putting 2-liter v-twins into stripped out bikes on a regular basis. Batteries by the way, are really fucking heavy, and 60-miles means that you can travel 30 miles away from your house maximum before you can’t make it back home… about half an hour away by freeway.

Considering this bike is built to be a cruiser I’m not surprised it’s not headed for the mass market.