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Thursday
Oct302014

Painful detour

It was a beautiful sunny autumn day in Ohio. I was the ride leader of “ RIDE WITH THE ROCKERS TO BARBER” and we were having a great run. I was properly outfitted with the finest riding gear from ride sponsors Icon 1000 , uglyBros USA , Ride 100% and American Kargo. We had started bright and early in Pittsburgh with a kick-start breakfast hosted by the Steel City Rockers. Next, we blasted west across Ohio for our lunch meet-up in Columbus with the local Ton-Up crew. After lunch we continued south west to our afternoon coffee stop rendezvous with Cafe Racer Cincinnati. We had riders joining us all along the way and our small group of four bikes departing Pittsburgh had now grown to close to a dozen. We departed the Coffee Emporium for the final leg of the day to Louisville with 300 miles down and approximately 100 more to go. As ride schedules usually go, we were running a little late. As we pulled out of Cincinnati we were about an hour behind. Tim Burke, our club host from Cafe Racer Cincinnati, volunteered to lead the ride out of the city through quickly building rush hour traffic.  

 

Traffic was getting heavy as I traveled in the middle of the pack on my awesome loaner bike from Soul Customs. Disaster happened swiftly and without warning as a distracted driver drifted into my lane and her rear bumper grazed my front wheel. The slight impact was enough to knock me slightly off balance and caused me to wobble. I almost went down on my right side as I was briefly able to save it, but I over corrected and I whiplashed down HARD on my left side. The impact with the asphalt was fierce as I landed directly on my shoulder and I felt and heard the crunch, my head immediately followed as it also bounced off the concrete. The motorcycle slid away from me and into the vehicle that cut me off as I skidded across the pavement. Adrenaline quickly had me on my feet and I gathered myself on the right shoulder of the highway, knocked out of breath from the impact. My fellow riders immediately stopped and controlled traffic around the crash site and looked me over, and then the bike. I knew immediately on impact that my collar bone and ribs were a casualty, but I also knew my cranium was safe thanks to my Icon Airmada helmet.

 
My friend Leggie from the Steel City Rockers was immediately sizing me up. Outwardly, I looked fine with the exception of the road rash on my helmet. The other riders were checking out the bike- they thought it looked ridable. I quickly put those thoughts to rest and told them I needed a ambulance. My ride was definitely over. As I sat in the chase truck waiting for the ambulance, overwhelming disappointment immediately sunk-in as I realized the ride was over for me and that weeks of planning and preparation were now wasted. My only saving grace was that my injuries were not more severe. As I sat there and I began to take an inventory of my many aches and pains. Remarkably, my armored Icon 1000 Vigilante Jacket and Ugly Bros Motorpool riding pants literally saved my skin. As I dusted myself off I noticed  that even though I skidded down the pavement on my left hip and backside that the jeans showed no road rash and that the knee and hip pads clearly did their job as my legs were abrasion free. I must also note that the Icon Elsinore boots also were also heros as the bike landed hard on my left leg and ankle and the heavy duty riding boots clearly saved my lower leg and foot. I asked Leggie to help me out of my Vigilante Jacket as I continued to wait for the emergency responders. Upon closer inspection of the jacket, there was subtle road rash abrasion on the left shoulder and sleeve but the jacket held up amazingly well under the circumstances. The armor did not save my shoulder but I do not believe there is any protection that would have saved my clavicle from such a violent blunt force collision with the tarmac. My Icon Beltway gloves also clearly saved me as I had no road rash or injuries to my hands. As the ambulance arrived I asked my riding buddies to help me pull off my Ton Up Club sweater, I didn't want to risk having it cut off. 
 
The EMTs immediately commended me for being properly “geared-up," they said they are often cleaning up much bigger messes when they arrive on the scene of motorcycle wrecks when riders do not wear a helmet or protective gear. I was transported to the Cincinnati University Hospital Emergency Room where I was evaluated and again was greeted with approval from medical staff for not making their jobs more difficult by making ill-advised fashion choices. As I suspected, the chest x-rays told the story: a broken clavicle, and 8 broken ribs. The good news was that none of the fractures were displaced and that surgery would not be necessary. The doctors recommended that I spend the night in the hospital under observation. An unexpected bonus of my stay in the hospital was a visit by Alysha of Look Twice Cincy, a local motorcycle riders advocate group. Alysha stopped in to bring me dinner and see if I needed anything. She even stayed with me until family arrived. As I sat and chatted with her she too agreed that there was a silver lining. My injuries were minor and in a couple of months I would be riding again. She noted that her hospital visits did not always have a happy ending.

 

Personally, I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to the sponsors that supported the ride but especially to Icon 1000 and Ugly Bros for providing the gear that literally saved my ass and skull!
-Larry Fletcher

 

Photos of the gear post crash:


 
Sunday
Oct122014

Continental Scout by Analog Motorcycles

I'm sure many of you have seen the 1949 Indian Scout from Analog Motrorcycles coined "The Continental Scout" on the interwebs. What we wanted to present was a more personal approach with words from Tony Prust and some in process shots of the build. For those who haven't had the honor of meeting Tony, he is a highly respected in the custom arena. He is a very talented builder! Not only has he been wrenching and riding for close to 15 years, his builds have been shown on countless sites and he is currently the face of the Pro Builder Series from British Customs. On a personal note, he is modest, friendly and all around amazing dude. We couldn't have been more honored to share booth space with him this weekend at the Barber Vintage Festival. Thank you Tony! If you are at Barber, you still have time to stop by the Vanson area in the upper paddock and meet one of our favorite builders.  
~Sasha Valentine 

 

Here are the in process shots:
 

Now some personal words from Tony Prust:
"Many people have asked me to do a Harley build and I have pretty much declined on a regular basis as there are many HD builders around here and I am not really drawn to the design of the engine. The engine to me is the heart of the bike and I prefer using engines that have more character. I did however want to build an American made build but my options are limited seeing as HD is the only one with some older bikes that are worthy if customizing. Mostly anything else is super rare and difficult to find. And when you find one you don't want to customize it. This Indian was too far past a restoration point so it made for a perfect candidate. It also just so happens to line up with Indian making it's come back. That was merely coincidence though. Doesn't hurt on a marketing front though.

The build originally started with my buddy that went to the guys shop and saw it with me. I gave him my idea for the bike and we set a budget. Then we blew it like 3 times so I ended up sitting down with him and telling him my creativity for this one was going beyond what we had discussed and that the only way to really pay myself on this one we would probably need to sell. At that point he became the investor in the project. And once complete we would see where it landed cost wise and he would either buy me out of my portion or we would sell and recoup costs and split anything left over. So there is a magical number we are looking to get but not throwing it out there just yet. It isn't cheap though as it's a completely hand built machine so it's not priced for the faint of heart. But if you are interested feel free to send me your offers and I can let you know if you are near the top of the list or not. We have already had a couple interested parties but at this time I am using it for media and promotion for Analog and showing it off. It will be at the Barber Vintage festival this weekend in Alabama. Then the plan is hold onto it and take to the Quail gathering in May next year and show it off there a bit.

The engine builder used to race these and Warriors and hand cut 5 billet cylinders during the 70's. He happened to have one that never was used so we gut that one. He made or modified several internal. One of the engines short comings were the heads. The push rod tubes thread in from the top and you are supposed to tighten and then back out but most people didn't know that so they would tighten and when the engine heated up it expanded the push rod tubes and cracked the heads. I called around hunting for heads and after about 4 different sources, I found a guy in Maine that said he had a bunch up and would call me when he went through them. Said he found 30 of them and out of the those 3 were not cracked. So I picked 2. When I received them the castings were very different so I had to machine the bigger finned one down to match the smaller finned one. That little engine was quite the challenge to get it to the level it was. And then Mikes polishing blew my mind at how well he got it polished up. 

It rides great. Still working out a few bugs but nothing major. For a 500cc 65 year old engine and design it's not a bad little machine. I think Indian was on to something but didn't spend enough time in the development stages to make it last. It's light and nibble as well. I'd guess 380lbs and maybe 38 hp. This is merely a guess but shouldn't be too far off." ~Tony Prust

The details:
-Track Master style frame made by Frame Crafters
-All aluminum tank, seat and fairing designed by Analog formed by Pavletic Metal Shaping
-Brass light covers and fender formed by Mike Ardito
-Polishing by Mike’s Polishing, Rodsmith, and Analog
-Engine built by Bill Bailey of ZyZX Vintage Motorcycles
-Engine has hand cut billet cyclinder, 12 volt conversion and Dyna III electronic ignition.
-Carburetor Amal 928
-Exhaust custom made by Analog with parts and stubby mufflers from Cone Engineering
-Custom made oil tank with internal plumbing made by Chassis Services
-All plumbing designed and made by Analog
-Paint and clear coat by Kiel of Crown Autobody
-Gold leaf and pin striping by Brando
-Seat by Rod’s Designs
-Magura controls
-Speedometer designed and rebuilt by Seattle Speedometer
-Tarrozi rear sets
-Betor Forks and triples
-TZ750 hubs with custom detailing by Analog
-Spokes and rims made by Buchanan’s
-Speedo mount, rear sprocket and oil manifold machined by Free Form Design
-Gas cap by Crime Scene Choppers
-Piaa LED headlights
-Radiantz puck LED taillight frenched into seat hump
-All custom electrical. Battery and fuse block under seat hump
-Custom made bar switch by Analog,
-Modified GSXR windscreen
-Maund Speed equip velocity stack
-Avon Road Rider tires
-All custom made cables by Ed Zender at Morries place
-Extremely strange and difficult to design custom kick starter lever (version 5) by Analog
-Top oiler lines made by HEL brake lines
-Probably forgetting a bunch ;-)
Tuesday
Oct072014

Ride With The Rockers to Barber

The Cafe Racer XXX | Soul Custom "Ride with the Rockers to Barber" starts today!! Follow along here as we weave our way south from Pittsburgh, PA to Birmingham, AL with rendezvous points in Columbus, OH, Cincinnati, OH, Louisville, KY and Nashville, TN.  Our final destination is one of the most prestigious motorcycle events in the world- The Barber Vintage Festival !! 

First, we want to give a SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR RIDE SPONSORS!

                

*WE WOULD ALSO LIKE TO THANK OUR PARTNERS AND PARTICIPATING TON UP CLUBS INCLUDING: Ton Up Club Chicago, Steel City Rockers, Ton Up Columbus, Cincinnati Cafe Racer, Louisville Vintage Motors, Pseudo Moto, Ton Up Club Nashville, Do The Ton, and the Blackbirds!

FULL SCHEDULE AND EVENT POSTER HERE:

Tuesday
Sep302014

"The Fast Black Bitch" by Choppahead

Choppahead is known for their finger in your face personalities, hardcore videos that date back before the new breed of motorcyclists hit puberty and some bad ass custom Triumph choppers. They will be quick to let you know they build "Choppah's" pronounced with all the Boston draw that even if you were a full blooded New England-er you'd be scared to admit it. In my book, these guys put the real "punk" back into motorcycling. With a mask of pissing people off with their outspoken rhetoric and sometimes offensive clothing line, it only hides the teddy bear soft affection these guys have for all things motorcycles. This and their constant goal to build everything better has only gained them legendary status in the alternative motorcycle world. I've got to admit I got a couple VHS Choppahead movies in my collection (those are the big tape deck things from back in the 80s). Just Kidding! But before I ever opened my shop doors, I knew and respected these guys so when I first saw their Triumph engine, mono-shock, BSA framed bike, it was of no surprise that I fell in love. The fact that these motorcycle lovers built a "street race" bike is awesome. I hate the "Cafe Racer" name being put on a style of a bike because in my mind it is a "person", not a "thing". Choppahead hit this street raced machine out of the "bauwl pauwck" (that's Choppahead speak for "Ball Park"). They prove that deep down inside of that brutal and intimidating exterior, Jay and his crew are "Cafe Racers" at heart. Check this out if you have any doubts.  -Kevin Dunworth

Now some words from Jay at Choppahead:

"Back in 2009 our good friend Andy was in the market for a custom Triumph while we were in the market for some heavy-duty plumbing at our new shop. So after a lot of trading of work for work and a little bit of money, we built him up a cool little rat. Fast-forward to 2012, we had just got finished with the Tronza. Andy stopped by the shop and was floored. He was determined to own a Choppahead Cafe bike so we told him that when we found a cost-effective donor, we would throw one together for him. We picked up this 1978 Triumph t140 and immediately had Andy on board. Although he loved our monoshock bike, his vision of a café racer was a little more traditional. When we build bikes for a good friends we try to keep it a little more on a budget but we want to be able to showcase our work so we always end up over doing it" - Jay

Full shoot of the bike including under the cover photos:

 

Technical Specifications:
Bike 1978 t140
Displacement 750cc
Wheels 19" front powder coated/ 18" rear powder coated
Tires  conti go
Clip ons ebay
Rear sets ebay/Choppahead
Headlight lucas 5 3/4
Seat cowl Pete chase Cafe Cycle
Paint Choppahead
Rotors Harris / lightened
Brakes triumph stock disc
Ignition boyer electronic
Carbs AMAL 930
Sprockets 20 on the front 45 on the rear