Thursday, February 21, 2019

ooooops, there goes that $50.

It just followed me home! Can we keep it?





Now What? I am thinking hill climb race car... Anybody have any resources for me on parts< what kind of parts, or what kind of pain I am in for?

Friday, February 15, 2019

Holy Honky Honda Hombre

Currently in the shop I have three personal projects going. Truth be told I have a few others but these are the top three and of course they are all Honda four stroke XR thumpers, if you would allow me to call a mini bike a thumper.

A few weeks ago another XR650R came into my shop. Customer said it had been run without oil so I tore down the top end to inspect and found no trauma. I went to check the clutch basket bearing as I have seen this fail on the trusty tank of an engine once before, it was fine. I pulled out the sump screen and found a pea size piece of shrapnel... a magnet went fishing into the trans and snagged a big ol chewed up chunk of carnage-asada… Sweet I finially get to split the cases on one of these indestructible beasts. Fist gear on the counter shaft was fuct beyond believe. And to think the bike made no noise and operated completely normal! The customer didn't want to fix but I did. I have talked long about turning one of these bikes into a DTX tracker rotax killer. With correct bearings and some spacer rigging I mounted up my old beloved SV's original front end with the front wheel from...

The XR600 former Pikes Peak racer I picked up last fall. Since I last talked about this neat old 1988 historic air cooled Honda I have installed an ebay XR650L shock that I worked over the shim stack. After the sprocket bolts backed out of the CR500 hub I opted to test my TIG welding skill and but humpty dumpty back together again. I un-laced the old 19x3" Sun rim and will lace it up to the 650R tracker above. For only 20$ including fright Buchanan shorted their 30 year old spokes and re-threaded them for me to go back to an 18" hoop that I had retired from Molly my 450X. New bearings, 120 Maxxis Desert IT and a seat cover and now I am ready to upgrade the front end to the 650R one that I just removed from the tracker bike above.
Last but not least is this 1982 XL100 that my Mom bought herself at a garage sale so she could go riding with me when I was ripping up my CR80. We had some fun times together camping in the desert a few miles from where my shop is now located. I eventually ran the bike into the ground after I had done the same to my CR80. It sat in the back of a hay shed until last summer when I dug it out from several feet of cow pies knowing I must revive it and let my Mom ride it once again. -If I don't run it into the ground first using it for Motoball. I sorced some old RM shocks and a front end that I have yet to fit steering stem bearings to. I also have a big bore top end and hopped up camshaft on backorder....
 Since this picture was taken I downsized the front wheel back to a 19" and found a better fitting seat. The tank is not original but I'm pretty sure what's left of the rear sprocket is!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Are my dirty Dickies days done

When I was a teenager I raised a lot of hell. Or at least I sure was bent on trying to. So many are the times that I was cuffed and stuffed into the back of a cop car I can't re-count the count. Taught me a thing or two learning things the sure and hard way is always a good way to learn something. What that something is I am still figuring. When I had disembarked from my punk rock band of brothers I grew up with and dropped out of college after my first semester, I knew I was searching for something. Just as well could have been running from something but that has never been my way. I found a clue in the back ad pages of an Easyrider magazine while I was driving combination tractor trailer beer trucks across the open roads of the western Rocky Mountains; MMI, or Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, or as I later learned: Micky Mouse Institute. It ended up becoming the best way I have yet learned to make $18K disappear but anyhoo here I am so fair enough. I remember trying to pick up girls in that hell hole north Phoenix tech-scholastic stint of my life by telling them I was a washed up old Punk-rocker. -True it was but old was something I had no clue or grasp of until maybe perhaps lately as my hair farming chin is sprouting grey hairs. Not just a few but a full on patch. Stereotypical 36 year old freakout moment im not having. but it does make me ponder how washed up of an old Punk-rocker I am now. Silly thing it is to just write about but something on my mind lately and after sitting down to think about it while I try to spell shit on this keyboard I reckon that there is no true time we ever grow up or grow old. No moment we become washed up. Only one moment at a time.  But there is certainly a time when we can go race our motorbikes and live a life that isn't anything short of a true epic good fucking time. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

2019 racing has begun

Sir Mick had the idea to go arenacross racing while the national series came to Denver. Seemed like a great idea except for the potential ambulance ride. But hey, he was the one coming straight off of a shoulder surgery and a few months out of the saddle. After two full days and making both night programs I did see a lot of unhappy bodies leaving the arena on stretchers but we both managed to stay safe, free and clean. Even bagging a few top five finishes in the night program. Not bad for a couple of moto misfits, head light bike and all. Best of all was hanging with my Cookie who drove out from Kansas and hanging with Wallace in the pits. I even got to see some good old Denver faces. Happy trails friends.   



Thursday, January 24, 2019

Good to be a lucky dog

Looking back at some of the far out bikes I have been given a chance to race.




I am thankful for these experiences that were offered up to me. I am a lucky dog.

Monday, January 14, 2019

a bad day dirt biking...

Besides a bit of good luck,  just about everything good in my life has come from my ability to ignore common sense and throw caution to the wind. It does occasionally bite me in the ass though. Take yesterday for example, All my buddies were too smart to want to go out and slop around in the first January thaw. I could not resist though. The urge was just to strong and pappy needs his medicine. So I got up early (for a sunday) and went into the shop to prepare a stead... My trusty ol XR650R, My titts KX500, My most sensible red headed 450 Molly? No, those were all practical and nearly ready to ride, But my new old 1988 XR600 was just tugging at me. And plus I had just re-valved a XR650L shock I bought off eBay and was eager to try it. So installing this piggy back shock into the little hole next to the air box wrapped in the non removable sub-fram where the stock remote reservoir shock nested, well lets just say I had to channel my inner Harry Houdini. If i hadn't believed the kool aid internet forums I would have gave up but at last and before noon I had it in and was really happy about how it's dampening felt. I drove out into the north desert high country where snow was as scarce as I could find, less than two hours away and then another 20 minutes down a road so wash-boarded out it made Mexico jealous. Geared up and eager I not 5 minutes into my ride I crested what resembled and mars clay dome, so slippery that by the time I skidded to a stop I was behind the point off doing anything except to continue down its crevicey eroded slope that looked to go vert just at the bottom. Not an ideal transition on a bike I was not exactly ready to get all Graham Jarvis with. as I started to try to slide sideways the front tire wedged into a snow covered crevice and over the high side I went. in the midst of belly flopping onto a few nice of milk crate sized rocks I saw my goggles slide into a crevice resembling a rabbit hole to hell.  I used every bit of my lanky arm to retrieve and even more of my lank to upright the now broke in well aquatinted newold air cooled stead now missing it's front brake lever. A few more sketchy descents (even better with out a brake) and I was able to finally find the trail that I had set out looking for in the first place. a few minutes into the single track and I was starting to find the rhythm. Bout damn time! What was that noise? Must have been a rock in my chain. Brawwwp-waaaa. Fuck, must have thrown the chain? Nope, a quick glimpse affirmed the nightmare carnage only found when a squid has loose sprocket bolts. Yeah, I should have checked the torque on those right after I liberated this bike from a 22 year shed nap. I hiked some miles back to the van and drove it as close as I could which was not much as I did not want to continue my downward spiral with a stuck van. I had no appreciation of the bikes true iron girth until pushing it up and out of the rocky washes. At least I did not have a heart attack. And I even managed to get out before dark. AND... I was thoughtful enough to pack a victory beer! And you know what? It is true; A bad day dirtbiking is still pretty fuckin cool!!!


Monday, December 31, 2018

here - again

Another time around the sun. That is New Years. A holiday we can all understand. This my 35th time around has been a wild ride. Every year seems wild in reflection I suppose though. But through my own self absorbed indulgence allow me to expound; The move out the city, my wife and me having to living apart while she schools, a shop of my own, I am not registered for Pikes Peak or Baja or Bonneville or anything for that matter. What shall 2019 bring? - That is what I suppose is the beef of my post. Or is it reflection of the past year? Just another New Year's Eve post I reckon. Another year farther from that perfect childhood imagination land of bmx Evel Knevievel perfection. Another closer to feeding worms. Carpe de um. The life worth living always awaits us. A beautiful dancer just beyond our grasp it often seems but... DIRTBIKES- always just an air filter service and a van ride away. I am not much to babble on current events or the new times that they be but lets just say that we all need to remember to let go of so called life goals and just fucking live. Every breath should be a perfect 14.7:1 air to fuel emulsified sonic pulse induced particle charge swirled and tumbled into our perfect piston pocket domed head of squish band igniting white hot efficient combustion ignition mojo magic. 
We are here for a good time. Not a long time.
Come on 2019.
As the sands of time keep perpetuating, this DIRTBIKE bum keeps on....

Monday, December 10, 2018

Saturday, December 8, 2018

“Deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex.” - Mr. Rogers

I acquired my latest project the day after I finished my last project bike, the Excess 650 (780cc motocrosser) winning it's first race/shake down ride. I traded two other old dirtbikes, my TT500 and an XR500 for this XR600. I tore down the engine and freshened up the top end with new rings and oversized valves. The frame was totally fucking broken around the left footpeg. I think the sidestand mount must have hit a rock and peeled the frame proper fuct. I put the plastics from Beasty, the old LA/Barstow Vegas bike on and replaced the 19" front dirt track wheel from it's last ride up Pikes Peak in '96 with another robbed skab off of Beasty, origanolly canobolised from an '84 XR500 now on 17" wheels known as the Womble, or Project Retard. -How far back did I loose you? Or lost my thread all together... Ah yes, this fine old archaic air cooled contraption of simple flawless operating beauty. I was hoping to rip it across Death Valley for Thanksgiving weekend and making Beasty proud of her former fenders but Baja needed some rest. She is doing much better now but the recovery was/is slow. She is just an old dog now. Still bat shit crazy as fuck though! Anyhoo, riding this bike in the desert on a cold December Saturday all by one's self is as gratifying as any encounter with true and pure living can be. Simple tasked machine from my simple rider's rotating wrist. Rewarding, like old shoes. Dependable as time. Now, lets service them suspenders...





Friday, November 23, 2018

Aging

          I have been feeling some weight of lately. Maybe it is just the post action blues from making the move over the summer and now having my own shop finally. Maybe it is just something I feel every year when the sun is not out as long and we are forced to set our clocks back an hour. Or maybe it is just the struggle of living 13 hours away from my beloved wife, my soul companion, life force, my best friend. Anyhoo, I was pretty excited to load up and hit the road and drive 14 hrs straight east to the three day Oklahoma Gold Rush Grand Prix. Not only is it a multi day weekend of different races at the most beautiful Hallet Motor Speedway but it is only a few hours from my Love. She was to meet me there. Baja dog and I arrived and got a few hours of good sleep in the back of the old van and enjoyed some track cafĂ© breakfast burritos. Cowboy, also only a few hours away tracked down to join us as well. First up was the supermoto and I had my dirt track racing wheels mounted up for the cold and wet multi surface track. I battled hard with a local fellow. In the main my muffler innards came apart and clogged my spark arrester with fiber glass packing. Old Molly the CRF450X was sounding like a muffled Honda Helix scooter every few laps. I fought hard right up to the checkered flag for the win and like a fairy tale scene, my beloved princess had arrived just in time to see the finish and was there waiting for me as I took off my sweat soaked battle armor. It had been almost one month since I had last seen her and damn was she fine to hold again. That night was the infield motocross. I battled hard again managing to get up to 2nd place in the main event after a shit start. The next day was the premier race; The 2 hour Grand Prix. As we awaited the starter's flag to fly straddling our front wheel between our knees facing our bike backwards, I realized that I was the only one on the front (pro class) line without a KTM, or an electric start magic button. Or a bike made in the last decade. I got a clean leg over my stead and made a successful stroke of my kick starter. By the first turn I had several pumpkins in front of me but the leader bobbled just a tiny bit and I smoothly applied throttle until I was exiting the first corner in the lead and wide fucking open I went out of that field and onto the road race track. My knobbies were drifting all over but I held the lead off of the pavement and into some 5th gear rolling grass track and then onto the previous night's motocross track for a lap. My trusty red headed stead Molly felt like the well worn comfortable glove she is. As the course went into the dark and tight wooded section that made up the majority of the Grand Prix I felt like I was dreaming; Leading the whole pack of racers, the gold and brown oak tree leaves covered the trail, by the 2nd lap all of the sketchy roots, rocks, and ruts were exposed. Some mud pits but mostly magic Velcro red clay dream dirt. On the 2nd lap I started to get a bit of tingle hand and I tried to slow down and relax a bit to shake it off but I could see 2nd place charging right behind my with their shinny new KTM, single digit pro plate and all. I charged on and got the pit sign from my darling Cookie. "Gas next" or did it say "DICK TITS"? I pitted for gas and saw the young KTM pro take my lead. It was at this moment that I wished I had put on my other fuel tank with the dry brake and brought along my quick full gas can. I put the stretch to my throttle cable and bashed out another flawless lap regaining my lead when the other rider pitted for fuel, pulling out only a couple of bike lengths behind me. I rode all six laps with out a mistake or even a bobble and when I crossed the finish line 2nd place was nowhere near. This was my first overall at a major off road race. I have been trying for it in the Expert/Pro class now for over ten years. I felt good, especially with my Love there at the finish. It was the most fun she has ever had at one of my races cheering me on.
We went and got a room in Tulsa. Without my partner Sir Mick who is healing a broken collar bone I opted out of partaking in Sunday's team race and went to stay the remainder of the week with my Cookie at her college student home in eastern Kansas. Time together for her and me is now more valuable than anything else in my life. A few days later Baja, my trusty sidekick of over 12 years now had a bit of an episode. Like a seizure or a stroke. Her eye balls darted around like ricochet bb pellets in a beer can. It was one of the most awful, scary things I have ever seen. After a few minutes she snapped right out of it and went straight to fetch her stuffed toy. Two days later she did it again, I awoke to her unable to get up and flopping around the floor in a giant puddle of her pee. She didn't snap out of it but after a day her eyes slowed to a rolling around and after a few more days she was able to go to the bathroom on her own and after a few more she could eat on her own. I am happy to say that after two weeks she is very recovered though she is for sure not the same dog as before. It is like the poor old girl feels like she just got off the merry-go-round. Her world is spinning but she is doing very well and most importantly I can tell she is not in pain and has a better attitude about it than I do. She has taught me more about living than any other soul I have ever known. I am blessed with having some of the best companionship a dirtbike bum could ever dream of. With her condition and my Cookie's homesickness I opted out of the LA/Barstow to Vegas even though I have a special new/old bike prepared, we are all together, at home, this thanksgiving weekend; I have much to be thankful for!!! 
Don't forget to live good and hard because someday your going to be dead!


Monday, November 19, 2018

Motoball USA

Read all about it HERE!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Excess 650 (780cc)

The Come And Go Blues

Motorcycles- The come and they go; Something I am always saying. Like
many of us two wheel lovers, I get emotionally attached to them. I am always having to tell people that I am not a horse trader and buying and selling bikes is
not what I do, I only work on them… but running a repair shop, building bikes from what is left laying around, and constantly surrounding myself with like
minded others means that I end up with more than my fair share of
bikes. Like a crazy cat lady or a refugee animal shelter. I have to be
carful. I can only keep so many of them healthy. Enter the story of
last weekend; A race report, a drama, and an explanation…

The first bike that entered into my weekend’s complex was  an old XS
given to me like so many bikes. “Here Newbold, I know you can do
something rightous with this.” The rusted, locked up, and given up on
Yamaha was the 6th or 7th XS twin in such state I have been given the keys to.
I made it my ‘home shed’ project. I stripped it and began collecting
various motocross parts for it at my local motorcycle salvage yard;
1970’s YZ front end and rear wheel, A twin shock Suzuki RM swing arm
and other bits I had collected awaiting such an occasion.  The ‘Home
Shed’ project went kaput when we sold our home. It got bucked around
to my former shop.  The motor was totally gone through. I mean full
crazy build. I do what I can with what I have but when I build a race
engine, I build nothing but the best and yes, it can get expensive. But
nothing costs more than the heart break dealt from a blown up power
plant. The Engine was the climax of what I have learned building XS
race engines, And fresh. So I put it in my old trusty flattracker that
was so strung out it was starting to blow oil though the old case
castings like a drunk puking into a hand full of Subway napkins. The
old lump was ready for an easy life as a motocrosser, someplace other
than constant redline every straightaway. So enough back story on this
motocross XS bike, I finished it just in time for the weekend, the
weekend of the last vintage motocross of the season. And guess what-
The big ol girl got the holeshot and won her first moto against early
1980’s production MX bikes and then did it again in the second moto.
Not bad.

Ok, the second bike of this Saga is a little more heavy. Heavy of
heart that is. The late great Hot Carl’s 2013 ZX10R race bike. You know the
one if you know of my doings . I could go into deep detail on how and why. I wont. I don’t want to talk about it. But I will explain myself in why I came to sell it.
No, I cant talk about this. Don’t want to but lets just say that my
summer of moving shop and not working has left me with some Visa
plastic lashes on my ass. I now live 5 hours from the nearest tarmac
track. I have not ridden this expensive tire eating bike for over a year. Most of all to my defense is that Carl I feel would agree that I am a DIRTBIKER. I loaded the bike and took her with me on my way to the Vintage Motocorss race. I met my contact along the way and passed on a very special and I hate to say; lucrative race bike. He was going to race her and that made me a bit happy. Come and go. Ah!

Bike number three: Molly my trusty red headed 2009 CRF 450X. No story
needed other than the Vintage Motocross has a class for modern bikes
and it brings out a lot of nutters who enjoy the luxrery of a groomed
smooth vintage track lacking the bumps that modern bikes can make. I
battled. Passions exchanged with hot headed moto young’ns who don’t even
know the semblance of 1980’s, let alone true vintage mx.  Ten year old
Molly and 35 yearl old I made the podium, headligh, beer belly and
all.

And now the real cherry of our weekend’s tale. Bike number four. –I
know you are wondering how I could fit all these bikes in my van; I
used a little help from my friend tiny trailer. This bike has a rather
important back story. Ok. Ready; While racing the Alta in Portland I
met a friend of a friend who is a very real and genuine individual.  He
must have deemed me a decent enough gent because over a year latter he
contacted me and said he wanted to deliver his father in-law’s old
XR500 to me in Denver all the way from Portland. All he really wanted
in payment was for me to race it and send him a picture of me jumping
the shit out of it. This near perfect condition old gem was given to
me just before I packed up and moved shop this past summer so the first time I touched it was Friday morning. It started right up and ran perfect! It smoked
a wet haystack fire! I changed the oil. It was of the consistency of the black
tar found in a dying lung cancer victim’s lungs who lived on
filterless Palmals. I did not have time to put a fresh rear tire on it
which was funny because it was as bald as a bull frog’s ass. The 23”
front was nothing to get excited about. Once the bike made it’s first
lap around the track I was delighted to see it’s previous lap’s track,
like a worm trail in the wet sand. There was no mistaking what line
was left by me on the stock beauty. Moto one: I nearly got the
holeshot in the ‘Enduro class’ against nearly modern bikes as long as
they had lights. I bagged a vey solid win. Moto two: I got pinched on
the inside of the start straight by an Orange KTM with over zealous
early braking power. I had nearly no brakes and no choice but to auger into their swing arm and I did an impressive endo at speed. I picked up the poor abused and not so long ago perfect old bike to find both front brake and clutch
perch broken along with bent shifter and rear brake. I got it fired
and managed to jam it into gear and pass every single bike on the
track. Once in first place I committed a ruthlessly simple tip over in
some slimy mud ruts. I kicked and kicked and kicked but the old girl
was not having it, finally after last place passed me I saw that the
shut of switch was not in the run position. Back at it I tried my best
to re-pass everyone again with only a lap and a half to go but with
many in front of me and half a lap to go the chain broke. At least it
did not damage the cases but the poor old bike looked awful. Dents and
scratches in the tank form my knees, both lovers flopping around like
fingers that were mostly chopped off in a hydraulic log splitter, mangled chain tensioner, seeping blown shocks and all. I had a feeling I might miss-treat her so. The bike clearly deserved better than me. Maybe she had the most thrilling day of her life. However I could hardly stand to look at her. But wait! The Happy ending ensues!
After the race I attended the season final party at a nearby fellow nutter’s house and compound. This guy had Honda SL350 sidecars ripping around his yard, other XS650 DIRTBIKES and way more crazy cool bikes in his shop than even I
and guess what?! He had a 1988 XR600 with a pikes peak inspection
sticker on it. The thing had a big fin head and enough curiosity bits
and bolts on it that I had to have it and a deal was made! For this
hunky old Pikes Peak racer I traded the poor XR500 that I had just
committed severe battery and abuse upon plus my Yamaha TT500 vintage
racer that I raced last year( a whole other story all together)! Fair deal says all! Now all I have to do
is delivery one Yamaha. They do come and go… All I can do is try my
best to treat them well or at least find a home where well is well
enough. Enough… for now!