Yes Emily

Yes Emily, girls can ride motorcycles!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

That’s It For Another Season …

So, how does one put a smile on one’s frozen face after spending an hour long bad date with the dentist? (Don’t get me wrong I love Dr. Bob – we have a long standing relationship and over the past 20 years we’ve come to an understanding, “Give me the gas and no one gets hurt.”) The answer might just be: Fire up the VStar (It was cool, there had been heavy frost this morning, and she’d been neglected for the past 31 days while life got in the way but she finally came round), endure cool +6 C temps (but don’t mind ‘cause you’ve turned on the heat), stop at the local Ultramar for a fill up and take her for one last ride this season. (Are you able to  read between the lines here? If not, here's a hint - just read the 'red' text - 'Coles Notes Version.')

The ride ended all too soon and the frown turned smile - turned upside down again as I pulled into the KTek lot and I had to admit, That’s it for another riding season, take care of her boys!”
(And just as an aside, thanks for the long lasting Novocain Dr. Bob – it’s been 7 1/2 hours and I still can’t feel half my face :0)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Vincent In The Barn …

This isn’t about Tom Cotter’s story of motorcycle archeology nor is it about a Vincent found…this
Vincent in the barn is the love child of a friend of mine: A basket (or as he describes it, several baskets) full of Vincent parts, now nearly reconstructed after 31 years in the barn.

A Vincent's Humble Beginnings.
The project started in 1982. Back then my friend was racing on the vintage circuit when he picked up several parts cases and a project idea. A serious accident ended his racing career and, as he puts it, the project “languished for 30 years while life got in the way.” The baskets full of ’52 and’53 Vincent parts sat in the barn until 2010 when he succumbed to the “exorbitant pressure” and “unrelenting nagging” of his wife and best friend. Parts were traded across the ocean, parts were machined ... the story was nearly as rich as the history of the Vincent motorcycle itself.

I got to listen to him and his friend banter about the project tonight. They talked parts and old times and went over a few details of Vincent mechanics, always trying to improve my understanding of engines and cylinders and front ends. They discussed the difference between restoring and recreating and let me peek into the craftsman's machine filled barn cellar. “What was the hardest part? I asked. “All of it,” was the answer. “Lots of parts don’t fit because the originals were all hand built.”  A mechanical technologist by trade he made the parts fit and slowly the Vincent began to rise from the dust.

“Spring, next spring,” there’ll be a complete, 1953(ish) Black Shadow in the barn (it'll have the wrong cylinder heads, but they're temporary) – he promised!
And then ... he might just start again.