How I Changed The Tires On My Motorcycle With A Shovel.

During my lunch yesterday, before I even got off the motorcycle, I was told by the local inspection station that I needed new tires, a license plate light, and a more visible location for my license plate.  Apparently I have been riding dirty for a while now.  ”Oopsy! You caught me!”  I won’t lie though, I was aware of all of this, and figured somebody would call me out on it eventually.  As it turns out, that time was yesterday.  Ah well, at least once I fix it all I won’t have to cross my fingers, toes, and bring a lucky rabbit’s foot to the inspection station each year.  What a relief.

Since I was replacing my tires this year whether I had an inspection sticker or not, I ordered them about a week ago. Now, I have never had new tires on my bike, so I had no idea that shops charge anywhere from $25 – 50 per tire for mounting and balancing.  Surprise! Yea, no.  I am way too cheap, and I tend to stress out when people touch my vehicles.  I have trust issues I suppose. Anyway, when I got home yesterday, my fresh new tires were waiting for me, and “operation tire swap” was about to commence.  I had swapped car tires without machines before, but never motorcycle tires, but how different could it be?

I began by hanging my bike from my garage rafters and popping the rear wheel off.  I laid it on a piece of cardboard, and pulled the schrader valve out of the valve stem to let all of the pressure out.

With my fingers crossed and happy thoughts in my head, I broke the bead loose on the old tire with a shovel.   » Continue reading more of this post…

Done: Honda Hawk GT NT650 Motorcycle Project

It all started back in early April when I posted the Honda Hawk GT Build Part 1.  I had just pulled it out of my dark, damp, and disgusting shed, and found that it had become the meeting place for all of the local spiders. Once the arachnid population was evicted and the sunlight hit it, I came to the  realization that my long term neglect had really taken a toll on my once loved motorcycle.  Every piece of aluminum was corroded, and all of the steel was rusting.  It was flat out sad looking.  The only way to properly correct this situation was to strip the whole thing down and start over. » Continue reading more of this post…

Love: This Factory Fuel Injected 1964 Corvette Convertible.

This short story of mine has been many years in the making, and yesterday was a major unexpected turning point. You see, years ago I heard a rumor of a mid year Corvette (1963-67) sitting all apart in a garage.  I was told that this Corvette had entered the garage for a restoration around 1980 and never came back out again. Naturally when you hear about this sort of thing, you imagine that it could be the “holy grail” of car finds, but when reality enters the scene, you find a derelict shell of a 1970′s Yugo. Yeap, been there before.

Up until yesterday, this story consisted of me begging, then me pleading, and then sadness, followed by extended periods of time.  May 10th then arrived and as if by magic, I finally got just a tiny taste of what this car really was.  I opened the first image and stared at it in amazement.  Instead of the 1970′s Yugo shell that always sneaks up on me, I was staring at an absolutely beautiful Silver Blue 1964 Chevy Corvette Convertible with the L84 Fuel Injected 375 horsepower 327 engine.  Inside my head, my brain was screaming “Cannot Compute! System Malfunction! Meltdown Imminent”.  I slapped myself in the face, started breathing again, and welcomed back my surroundings.  The next two pictures were equally mesmerizing.  This was definitely a very, very special car.

Just how rare is this car you ask?  Well, let’s take a look at the production numbers for the minimal facts that we do know.

1964 Corvettes

Total Convertibles – 13,925 produced

Total with Silver Blue paint – 3,121 produced

Total L84 Fuel Injected 327′s – 1,325 produced

Now, we know that at the very “worst”, it is 1 of 1,325 built, which is crazy rare as is.  But how many of that total were in convertibles vs. coupes?  I would imagine that we can assume half? (Corvette gurus, feel free to jump in anytime.) Okay, so let’s say that the car is now about 1 of 650 convertibles with the L84 fuel injected 327 produced.  But wait, out of 22,205 Corvettes made in 1964, only about 14% were painted Silver Blue and that was included coupes and convertible. For the sake of fun, let’s just assume that the color was split evenly across both body types. We can then assume the car is about 1 of 300 built based on what we currently know.  Now, how many of those still exist?  Not all of them, that’s for sure.

Great, now where do we go from here? Well, I have been sworn to secrecy and I don’t have any more pictures or information.  My hope is that it will someday be finished because I would absolutely love to hear that this Silver Blue convertible is back on the road again.

*Special thanks to the “Top Secret Informant” for sharing these pictures with us.

Fact: This Is The Greatest Table Ever Made.

A friend forwarded me an email this morning that he received from Lincoln Electric (The Welding Experts).  In this email was the most fantastic table that mankind has ever witnessed.  It is made entirely of old wrenches & engine parts.  Does it get any better than that?  Let me answer that for you – no, no it does not. » Continue reading more of this post…

The Resurrection: Honda Hawk GT NT650 Motorcycle Project

Back on the 4th of April, I showed off my terribly neglected motorcycle.  It clearly needed a bath, along with a complete tear down, and rebuild.  We left off with a picture of a motorcycle frame & suspension sitting on a wooden block in the middle of the garage. It was not a pretty site, and it only got worse from there. » Continue reading more of this post…

Not Cool: Gluing Your Battery to Your Battery Box.

A friend of mine has a black 3rd generation RX7 that is stunningly beautiful. Over the years it has acquired an epic list of modifications, and made ludicrous amounts of horsepower with its single turbo conversion. There has always been one modification under the hood that has never been quite right though… the battery box. » Continue reading more of this post…

From the Darkness: Honda Hawk GT NT650 Motorcycle Project

Over the past weekend, I pulled my motorcycle out of its multi-year outdoor / indoor hibernation, and it was not a pretty site. The once shiny motorcycle was corroded, rusty, and covered in dirt and debris. It was down right neglected. The sad truth is that this isn’t the first time that this bike was in such rough shape. I guess I shouldn’t have treated it like I did.

Throughout my entire youth I had worked on and ridden dirt bikes, so I had a fairly good idea of how to ride (and crash) on two wheels. It was some of the most fun that I have ever had, but ultimately, four wheeled vehicles were really where my heart was at. The feeling of sliding two rear tires down the street closed course, is just unmatched. However, about 9 years ago, all of my friends had bought motorcycles, and I didn’t want to be left out of the fun. It was peer pressure I guess. At the time, I didn’t know which kind of bike I wanted, but I knew it had to be custom and unique, because stock is boring. After some research, a bizarre series of events, and a fair share of good luck, I ended up purchasing a basket case motorcycle project off eBay. It was missing the gas tank, seat, rear cowl, subframe, exhaust system, and misc other stuff. Unlike my family and friends, I could see the hidden potential for greatness behind all of those missing parts. After all, it was a 1988 Honda Hawk GT NT650, which was a unique bike in stock form. Once customized, it could really be spectacular. For those of you that are unfamiliar, this bike is somewhat rare and odd in a variety of ways. It was designed with a V-twin engine, single sided swing arm, and a very short wheelbase. They were only made between 1988 and 1991, but many riders believe that they were way ahead of their time.

The first step in the resurrection process was attaining & building parts that it was missing. Over the course of a few weeks, I acquired the necessities, and built the rest out of fiberglass, steel, aluminum, and spare ’64 Chevy Impala parts.  I spent many long, cold, wintery, nights working on my soon-to-be dream bike, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute.  It was genuinely relaxing.  Eventually the Viper yellow paint went on with the white pearl stripes and I had completed my bike project, for the time being at least. This is what it looked like.

1988 Honda Hawk GT NT650

I then rode it periodically over the next few years, added a few new things, life took place, and it was stored in a variety of terrible places, including uncovered outside. Yesterday when the bike came out of its latest storage, it was disturbing, disheartening, and discouraging. » Continue reading more of this post…

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