Spring basics

A friend of mine was on a ride with us on Saturday. He had purchased a used bike a few months ago, a Santa Cruz Megatower XXL. He’s a big guy, 6’5″, and this bike is small for him. Not much tuning has been done. The rear end was giving him some issue. There is … Read more

The contact patch

This made my day and was very nice to see. Owen at Donard Custom Bikes in Northern Ireland posted this image to his Instagram. Three tires contact patch. Each at 70psi. The top three are with a road tire labeled 25mm (26mm actual) loaded 0kg, 35kg and 70kg. The middle three are with a road … Read more

The anti-squat problem.

I’ve been working on my suspension bike design for about five months now. There’s no rush and I’m trying to do it right. I can prototype as much as I like in the computer and it doesn’t cost me a thing. What’s expensive is wasting money or time once I start cutting metal.  I’m nearing … Read more

PVD-JD2-32 Bender Cart

This may not seem like much but it’s pretty exciting for me. Bending tubes is an important part of making things out of metal. Everyone that works with metal needs a bender of some sort or is looking to find one. I’ve had one for a long time, an old DiAcro #4 but because of … Read more

Going faster…with mirrors

Going faster on a motorcycle is an interesting proposition because we need to also talk about when and where we are going faster. As a commuter in the traffic rich San Francisco Bay Area, my speed lane-splitting is very important to me as I spend an awful amount of time in that state. The CTX700 … Read more

CTX700 Shock Swap

The Honda CTX700 is a pretty awesome bike. I fall in love with it a little more every time I ride it. Still, it has issues. The rear suspension being one of the more glaring. Why is it so bad? A few reasons; it’s a lower priced bike, it suffers under Honda’s “we did it … Read more

CTX700 Small Bits

I’ve been picking away at making my CTX700 the bike it can be. Here are some of the updates on that. Gearing: I have been riding the 15/41 gearing on the bike for quite a while now. It’s great. The bike now gets up and gets down to business on the Northern California back roads. … Read more

Old man bikes

It’s time for my entry into the world of old man bikes. The sport bike kid has grown old. Still riding, just differently. I commute by motorcycle/maxi to San Francisco about 4 days per week these days. About 20 minutes on the highway and 25 minutes in real traffic. Highway in the afternoons is all … Read more

How to understand race results

Ok. The winner is the winner and second place is the first loser. We learned that a long time ago. Have you looked any deeper into your race results? Were you actually “mid-pack”? A top rider? Shitty? Sure, you can see what order you came in but knowing more about the race isn’t often discussed. … Read more

Staggered rim drilling

Now that I’m back from my Whistler trip and ready to replace the brutalized rim of the rear wheel on my bike, I’m looking into the spoke lengths needed to do the job. The Chromag BA30 rim has a nipple stagger of about 5.2mm, 2.6mm to either side. This threw a wrench into my usual … Read more

Suspension nerds

I came across this design in my hard drive this weekend. Back in 2004, I was elbow deep in suspension nerding. I was riding my sportbikes hard and tearing through tires. I probably had my forks apart twice a month for a year or so. The rear shock also. I was learning a lot. Of … Read more

Suspension fluids

In yesterday’s video post from Steven Mathews of Vorsprung Suspension as a part of his Tuesday Tune series (Ep 10) in collaboration with Whistler Performance Lubricants (WPL) mention was made of my old suspension fluid chart. It was nice of them to bring up this topic for folks and they did it justice. A page on the … Read more

Blind Drivers and the Spike

I recently came across an interesting situation with pedals and I figured that this would be a good opportunity to look into some fun topics: blind bearing extraction, slide hammers, and strange bearing sizes. I have a set of Spank Spike pedals. I don’t use them regularly but will on flow trail or jump park days. They are … Read more

Hammer Time!

One of the most important tool in a mechanics toolbox is the hammer. Yes, the hammer. Such disrespect it’s seen in its time that it rarely get’s mentioned. Today, I am sharing three important hammers in my arsenal that make a real difference to me. Two of them have been on my bench almost every … Read more

Bad engineering

Years ago, at an early Maker Faire in San Mateo, I was lucky enough to see and touch an early test mule and prototype for what is now the Lit Motors C1 vehicle. It was so cool. It had gyros and batteries and computers and sensors. It balanced on it’s own and corrected itself when … Read more

Superbike 300

I have some serious motorcycle lust right now. The new 2015 Yamaha YZF-R3 has arrived and it looks fantastic! I want to love this bike. I want to ride it at redline all day. I want to take 30 pounds off it and tune it for hard sport. Somebody just give me one!!! As the … Read more

Remanufacturing

I’m a fan of the WTB line of saddles. The company is local to me and they’ve been in the game since 1982. Legit. My current favorite is the Silverado. The long nose and thin line give me what I need on the trail. I can sit in comfort, hold fast, and slide forward on … Read more

Light bright

I just got a Nightrider Lumina Micro 250. It’s an amazing little light. The purpose of this little lamp is to use it head mounted for night riding. I have a Nightrider Pro 1800 Race for my handlebars. I just need a crawler and a scouter. The crawler is a very low powered light that … Read more

Chopper!!!

This last Saturday, I drove out to Sacramento from Fairfax and back over the course of five hours. Upon returning, I had a crashed up 2000 Honda Shadow A.C.E. (VT750CD2). $600 with a bill of sale for the ‘Junk’ titled vehicle plus a spare set of pipes in superbe condition, a set of saddle bags, … Read more

Limelight

On my way to work this morning I passed a television or movie film crew on 18th Street near Valencia Street in the Mission District of San Francisco. They were busy setting up so I didn’t get a chance to talk to anyone about what they were specifically filming. Of course, I had to get … Read more

Scooter crash repairs

Late last October (2013), I had a pretty bad crash on my Yamaha Majesty Scooter. I was headed home from work around 5pm on Park Presidio in SF heading North to the bridge and then Marin. Just as I was passing Geary Boulevard, I was momentarily distracted and didn’t see traffic stopping short ahead of me … Read more

Finishing the job right

There are right ways of doing a job and wrong. People talk about this a lot but somehow few really stick to it. Recently, while trying to solve some gearing issues, I ordered a custom chainring from Warhawk Industries. I wanted to get a 32t and 34t ring in 80BCD. I ordered the part with 2.5 … Read more

Fast and furious…scooter

My new (to me) Yamaha Majesty scooter had an issue. The gearing was way too tall for it. It kept the bike feeling pretty mild. Something many people like in a scooter but not something I do. I want every bit of the bike working. This gearing was so tall it left a lot on … Read more

Two Scooters

We often hear about the search for the vehicle of the future. Americans like to believe that it’s an electric car and that we are still years away. It’s not that. It’s not even a car. It’s the lowly scooter and it’s been very available around the world for over 60 years. The truth is the … Read more

Fox Racing Shox tour

I went down to Fox Racing Shox for Dealer Day. It was pretty cool. We were able to see the new museum, R&D, and HQ in Scotts Valley and tour the manufacturing and service in Watsonville. Defiantly worth doing if you never have. I was impressed. I wish that we were able to see the machine … Read more

Doing things right.

“I can make a streetfighter out of anything!” That was the title of a post made by some internet clown in the BARF-Garage forum a few years a go. It really stuck out as the whole “streetfighter” thing was in full bloom around then. Essentially, this guy had ‘invested’ in a $3.60 hack saw and figured … Read more

Weight loss of scooter tires due to wear.

I just changed out my insanly worn out tire from my 2001 Honda Reflex 250 scooter. It’s such an amazing commuting machine. I had to get it back up and running asap. Nothing can really match this thing for the job it does. I could live without my motorcycle but not my scooter. I decided … Read more

Back in focus, finishing the GSX-R forks

I finished working on the forks from my GSX-R750 K8 this Sunday. I was able to take a short ride on the bike that afternoon and a longer ride on the way to work this morning. The results are simply awesome. Not just in the functioning of the forks themselves but completing the whole bike … Read more