Ground Zero Bound

Lets go!

One of my favorite parts of a long trip is the preparation beforehand and the anticipation it brings. 2,000 miles on a motorcycle really isn't that big of a deal, but one still needs to get one's shit together, literally. I try to be relaxed about it, and not some militaristic weirdo, but it's difficult. I can see why normal people talk themselves into sensible bikes like baggers or GoldWings™, but that would just suck the fun out of it. So here it is, 40-some-odd hours before we launch and my bed roll, jacket and two(!) tool bags are mounted and ready. Plugs, filter and oil have all been changed, along with new rear brake pads and cables tidied up one last time. Nuts and bolts tightened, loc-tighted and safety-wired four days in advance, and I'll probably still break something in the first 100 miles...

After the Chop Meet, EDR3 and various other runs, when our good friend Joel suggested riding old Route 66 out to Trent's Ground Zero Throwdown, my reaction was "Hell yes, but you plan the route and lead the way! I'm not in charge of shit, and I'll just follow your lead." Joel is as solid as they come and has a sweet route planned, most of it avoiding the freeways, which will make it way more fun, but also make it longer for sure. He's also patient enough that when I suggested riding the back roads out of Temecula to Joshua Tree Tuesday night and camping there, he agreed. Our plan is to wake up with the sun and ride through that beautiful part of the desert in the early morning on Wed and then just make it as far as we feel like, then camp again. Wake up and repeat for a couple days until we make it to Trent's campground at a lake I can't pronounce. We don't have a chase truck other than McGoo back home with the team van and a ramp just in case.

Gear? My Sporty has just about zero gear-hauling capability. I made a luggage rack but it was so ugly and poorly made that I couldn't stand to mount it up. Instead, I figured out how to bungee my jacket and bedroll (Army-issue bivvy and inner-liner, plus a blow-up sleeping pad) to the fender. It seems pretty solid. Tools and spares went into two fork-mounted tool rolls. The cool one made by Breeane at Cycle Cosmetics, the other one some old junk I had laying around. Everything else is in my old assault pack; basic medic kit, flashlight, sunscreen, bug spray, skivvies and socks, poncho, etc. Joel taught me in Mexico to bring your worst old t-shirts and just throw them away when they get funky. That won't take long. Hopefully someone will be selling some new ones in ABQ or we'll be hitting the local WalMart for a resupply. If we had a solid itinerary and knew what hotels we were staying at etc, it'd be a different story but since we're "roughing it" keeping the list of essentials down, but well-thought out is paramount.

Joel is riding his (51?) pan he recently built, Chris is riding his Mr. Potato Head™ pan, Josh is on his Choppahead-built modern Triumph Chop and I'll be rocking my '98 Sportster I borrowed from the wife (kidding!). See you guys in New Mexico, if you need parts in the meantime, hit up Lick's Cycles, Lowbrow, Unit1Parts or your local shop, because we damn sure won't be answering the phone for about a week. If anyone wants to go with us, we're leaving the shop at 6:00PM on Tuesday, just show up ready to rock.




Gypsy Goes Down

No, Walter isn't helping Jersey Joe deliver a baby in the bushes, it just looks like that in the photo. Sounds like Joe went in a little hot and ended up in the ditch and his clutch perch took a good chunk out of his hip/side and tossed him around a bit.

If you don't know Joe "Scraper" personally, you might have seen him around here, I posted some pics of him jumping his Scrambler last month and his super-sanitary Trumpet won 2nd place at this year's EDR. He's a dedicated skater, motorcyclist to the bone, good big brother and all around solid dude so it sucks to see him giving birth in a ditch, but obviously it could have been worse so I guess we should be grateful. Joe, we appreciate you crash-testing that Biltwell helmet, but please don't do it any more! Heal up, son.

(I shot this pic of Joe last year as we rode through Jersey potholes. I thought it was ironic since he doesn't drink and I had no idea the sign was there, I was just pointing the camera backwards and shooting.)



Vintage Gold

Our friend Andy sent over a link to this photo collection on Flickr earlier today. WOW! A small gold mine of inspiring photos. Many of them with personal recollections in the captions, names, places, descriptions, etc. I had a hard time picking a couple favorites to put up on here as almost every photo is rich in detail and superbly illustrates the sixties Triumph desert sleds (and stock bikes and other makes too) and the fun that came with riding them. Cheers to you Mr. bcgreeneiv.

Hippy Killer Garage

After a 2-month hiatus, I'm working on the StreetTracker project again. Duane Ballard and I drove out to Kutty's shop this afternoon to drop off the chassis and swingarm for a little light hack job in Hemet, CA. When I pick her up next Tuesday, Kutty will have the CB750 swingarm shoehorned into the CL450 frame, and all the extraneous bits on the Sportster fork legs will be shaved off and trimmed down so the floating brake caliper doesn't rub. Thanks for helping me out on such short notice, Kutty, and on Labor Day, no less! That's what I call work ethic!

Part museum, part motorcycle shop, Kutty's HKC is packed with goodness. Like a couple other talented young builders we know and respect, Kutty is a master at landing sweet deals on impossible-to-find stuff.

We're flattered every time we see a pair of our bars on a bitchin' custom-built bike like this. Kutty told me he's crafted several pipes for personal and custom bikes with our pipe kit, and he loves it. Thanks for the props, Mr. Notebloom.

Duane Ballard rode shotgun with me to Kutty's place today, and this is an example of his handiwork. I'm pretty sure every bike in Kutty's well-stocked garage features a DB Leather custom creation. Of course, I hit Duane up to work his magic on the leather seat that I'll eventually put on the StreetTracker when it becomes a roller.

I'm sworn to secrecy on the new bikes Duane and Kutty are working on, but I did see the front wheel Kutty dug out of a time machine for DB's top-secret project. Four words: minibike dual disk brake.


'Ol Browneye

Josh's '04 Triumph Bonneville was the first modern Bonnie chopper I remember seeing that actually looked right. I recall a couple other ones, but they always looked kinda awkward or goofy. Truth and the boys built this one and they nailed it. Looks even better now with some Keystones on it, huh?


Mild Face lift

Lowered, new headlight, some boots...

Good in the Hood

Just in time for fall, these babies are thick and comfy!


Almost Done

Check out this sweet Shovel Irish Rich is just finishing up for Chris in Jersey. Note those fancy schmancy Biltwell/Four Aces pipe tips. They look great with the outside polished and the inside left blasted.



J-Rod's shovel looking good with some Friscos mounted up...


East Coast Destruction

I'm bummed we're not making it back to the East Coast this year for the Gypsy Run. We'll just have to soak up all the photos online when everyone gets back. Perusing Greaser Mike's blog really makes me want to ride into Manhattan again, that place is like nowhere else I've ever been, especially on an old motorcycle. Have fun you bastards.


Low budget camera mount

Me, Chris, Josh and Joel are headed east in a little over a week and we're going to take as much of Route 66 as possible on our way to Ground Zero so I thought it might be interesting to shoot a little footy. I've been interested in shooting some riding video since I saw the great results Keith got by zip-tying his snappy to the bed roll on his Thruxton in Mexico. I've messed with zip-ties and bungies and haven't been happy with the results. Since there is a tripod mount on the bottom of my old Sony (and most cameras) I figured this set up would work; 1/4x20 bolt welded to 1/2x13 bolt, threaded into an old short riser, with a nut on the 1/4x20 bolt to lock the camera in position. A cheesy 'beener around the lanyard just in case and wal-lah! I'll road test it this week and see how it fares. If you've got any decent riding videos, let's see 'em!


Jumping Jersey Joe!

Our bro Joe demonstrates improper use of a Biltwell Helmet! Joe ain't scared to scramble his Scrambler...

Speaking of modern Triumphs, check these Keystone bars on Bob's Bonnie Black.

The James Garner Olds

Anyone got $55,000 I can borrow?



More Nighties!

We get a lot of questions about bars fitting and looking good on particular bikes. Shawn out in NY has a pair of the Keystones on his Nightster and he's using the stock controls, etc. (That took some work, but was do-able). Thanks for the pics Shawn. The Keystones and Friscos look good on lots of bikes but are just the right width for a narrow glide front end.

Anyone else have decent pics of bikes with Biltwell parts please email them to Bill, we are compiling a photo section to show other riders how they look and the more examples we have, the better it will be.


Favorite of the week

If you come out to Bonneville for BUB, look for this one.

Big D Triumph

Norton 121 mph

For Kim

2nd record in the books!

Chuck got his 2nd Bonneville record yesterday. 250 A-VF at 86mph and
his first record was 250 A-VG at 78mph.


Wind this afternoon

The wind picked up this afternoon and stopped the racing for the day.
Tarps came down so its time to re-tune and get ready for tomorrow