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…

SPRINGS HERE! April Fools! Oh Nature, You Got Me Again…

Yawn.....

Snowy Rx8

......uh oh... QUICK! Check calendar!

AHHHHHH!!! Nature, You Little Rascal!

It was March 31st. The grass was green, the street sweepers were out, birds were chirping, cars were clean, jackets were off, and the snowblower was put away for the season. I then awoke on the morning of April 1st. I stood up, and peered out the window like a zombie. Just as my eyes began to focus, Nature screamed in my face “APRIL FOOOOOOLS! It’s still winter! L0Lzz!” Ugh. I hate being Punk’d by Nature.

Noteworthy Vehicle Inspection Rules

Reeeeeeeeeejected!

There are two states in the country that come to mind when you talk about extraordinarily strict vehicle safety and emissions inspections, California and Massachusetts. I have never been to California, but I have had the pleasure of living in Massachusetts my entire life. This means that I have always had my cars failed tested for emissions, and a variety of other interesting laws. I have also had the distinct honor of being a Massachusetts state vehicle inspector, so I am quite familiar with the rules. Today, I wanted to cover a few things that may be helpful to you or possibly even entertaining to talk about. » Continue reading more of this post…

The Original BIGFOOT Monster Truck

The original BIGFOOT Monster Truck, is by far my favorite monster truck of all time. The creation of BIGFOOT began as a brand new 1974 F250 Ford Pickup that was purchased by Bob Chandler and his wife so that they would have a vehicle with more cargo room for camping and have the ability to go off road.

While becoming frustrated with the lack of parts and services for four wheel drive trucks in his area,  Bob Chandler teamed up with Jim Kramer and began modifying his Ford F250. This partnership became Midwest Four Wheel Drive. Chandler used the truck to deliver parts from the shop. » Continue reading more of this post…

Video: This Subaru Didn’t Quite Stick The Landing.

subaru jump

…..or maybe he stuck it too much? Great car, big jump, rough landing no matter how you look at it.

Can’t see the video?  Here is the Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IT9OXhTWYOo

Please: Don’t Part Out Your Rare Unique or Desirable Car.

Rare 1962/63 Nova Convertible Shell

Today I have a gripe that I would like to discuss with you all. The topic really irks me on some cars and I feel it needs to be addressed because I see it too frequently. Maybe I need to stop getting emotionally attached to rolling heaps of metal. I don’t know, just peruse this and let me know your thoughts on the subject, because I may be the crazy one. This gripe of mine is known as “parting-out” your car. » Continue reading more of this post…

1A Auto Blog Asks: What Is Your Favorite Tool In The Garage?

Up until this year, I had never had a garage of my own to work in. I spent many…. many nights working on cars in the dark, in the snow, the cold rain, the hottest sun, and bone chilling wind. If that’s you, I can relate. Just substitute the word “garage” for “driveway” in the question above.

For me, my favorite tool has got to be my MIG welder.  I got mine when I was 16 years old, and I spent every last cent that I had on it. Today, I could probably buy a better welder for about one third of what I paid 13 years ago, but I don’t regret it for a second. It has paid for itself hundreds of times over, and taught me far more than I ever wanted to know about metal & things that are very hot. Sure it has burned me a few times, and sets my pants ablaze from time to time, but that’s always my own fault. When it isn’t causing a denim inferno, it is surviving my hundreds of trips to and from the house, sub zero temperatures and the hottest of hot days in New England. It’s all business. Weekend after weekend, it never lets me down.  I just flip the switch, crank on the gas, and liquify metal. It is by far, my favorite automotive tool.

So what’s yours?

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