Lock the welder

E-Fab West Coast Facility

I am back in frozen CT after another CA adventure. This latest trip lasted a little over a month, and culminated with finding a great shop space. The move west will happen as soon as I settle some business here, and pack up the critical tools and furniture from the current shop. Once again, this latest scouting mission would not have been possible without the help of a few good people, namely John, Brooke, Agatha, Steg, and of course Candice and my dad. Without their generosity and input, this move would not have been possible. From storing the bikes, giving Fre and I places to stay, educating us on the ins and outs of LA, and holding down the CT shop while I was gone, I owe them a huge thanks.

Here are a few random shots from the trip:

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The trusty "Interceptor" was my chosen transportation out there. I rode it relentlessly, and it performed perfectly.

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Getting used to the riding in LA is somewhat terrifying. I don't think I have ever ridden in a place with such bad drivers. Maybe bad isn't the right word, more like intentionally careless. I witnessed at least 5 accidents, all of which occurred right around me! Not bad ones, but slow, casual smash ups. People out there drive as if cars are disposable, and as if occasionally wrecking your car is just a way of life. The average speed is not really any faster than other cities, but the awareness just isn't there. I phones are looked at more than windshields, literally. Riding a high powered bike through the mess is an exercise in restraint for me. Its hard to exploit the occasional stretch of open road, because at every intersection there is some brain-dead housewife or teenager just waiting to ambush you. Making direct eye contact as you approach does seemingly nothing. On a bike, you just don't exist in Los Angeles.

The good news (at least from an east coast perspective) is that you have quite a few privileges that cars don't, namely being able to park almost anywhere, ride between cars, and cut to the front of traffic lines. Come to think of it, I was amazed by how few people were riding bikes, despite the weather being above 60 every single day.

Luckily motorcycles were not the only vehicle I got to play with during my visit. My friend Jackson invited Fre and I go flying with him in a helicopter, specifically an "R44 Raven 2". It is a cool little amalgamation of aluminum, plastic, and a fuel injected flat 4. We flew out of an airstrip in Camarillo, and just flew around the surrounding area for about an hour. Jackson practiced landings, which was probably the most entertaining part for me.  here is captain-jackson giving her once-over.

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Fre looked a bit skeptical....

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I also spent an entire day exploring the "Angeles National Forest", a great spot not far from the new shop location. The main road that winds through it is amazing; an endless series of smooth turns and switchbacks. Unfortunately the "Interceptor" lacked the range necessary to get from one end to the other, so I made a decision a ways in to turn back. I little extra fuel in a jug should get me through it next time.

Thats all for now. Next up: the drive out

Back From Artistry 2013

sorry about the lack of posts, but i have been on the road for what seems like forever! Left Branford 3 weeks ago in a budget rent-a-truck bound for Cali, with a few stops along the way. Michael Lichter was the first stop, in Boulder CO, for photo session with the Speed Fetus and Iron Triangle. Next up was the Artistry in Iron show in Las Vegas. I was invited this year- an honor to say the least. Here are a bunch of pics in no particular order...

art 1

art 10

art 11

art 12

art 14

art 16

art 2

art 3

 

art 6

 

art 7

 

art 9

 

more coming soon......

Back From MAD JAP

For the past 3 weeks I have been up in Calgary, Alberta, at Mad Jap Kustoms. Dale Yamada is the owner of this operation, and has quite an impressive thing going. I would encourage anyone needing a custom bike in Canada to look no further. I have known Dale for a few years now, and we have became close friends. I was there to help out with a custom bike dale is working on for Born Free 5. Neither Dale nor I were invited builders (there is a chopper build off as part of the show), but wanted to build a bike anyway. Sometimes you need to set a goal for a bike, and if last year was any indication, this should be a great event.

Unfortunately I cant show any pics of the bike as I left it, because we'd like to keep it a secret, but we are also doing a documentary about the build. Here is a link:

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/59854144]

 

And to add to the madness, now that I am home, my full attention can be paid to MY new project, the chopper that will house the Efab "mini stroker" experimental v-twin engine. Detail of the bike are, at this time, sketchy, but suffice to say that it will be of extremely high quality, structural integrity, and anti social aesthetics. See you at Born Free!

 

 

 

Back From Japan

I attended the Mooneyes show in Yokohama Japan with Mr Matt Olson, his wife Britney, his Dad Carl, and Ironworks writer Paul Holsworth. It was an amazing trip to say the least. I have tons of pictures but here are a few highlights... The cars were insane. Here is what i saw when I first walked in:

moon charger

This was my favorite bike of the show. Just spoke to me....

moon my fave

A feakin' Pantera:

moon pantera

Matts bike and a Yank racer:

moon matts and yank

Gasser:

moon gasser

Great FXR, bad pic:

moon fxr

Yup, plenty of chargers there:

moon green charger

Hows this for a chopper?

moon wtf purple chop

Umm, this one is way ahead of its time I guess:

moon minivan

Classy:

moon grey bike

And this was just upstairs..wait until you see the parking lot....stay tuned

Cannonball Fun

Pulling Matt's motor in the parking lot of a motel. The tappets cracked, and to replace them you have to pull the heads! Cant do that in the frame...

 

 

 

If it looks like I am confused in these pics- it's because I was. I was not very familiar with how these bikes worked. I know a bit more now thanks to Matt.

Here are more random Cannonball pics:

 

 

 

 

 

Back From Sturgis 2012

Wow, one hell of a trip! I just returned from almost 3 weeks of motorcycle heaven, minus a bit of driving. Unfortunately my camera ran out of batteries the first day, but I have already found a few pics out there. I drove out with Jay from Acme Choppers, because we both were invited to show our work at the Buffalo Chip, where Mike Lichter has his yearly show. Once the bikes were set up, we retreated to the "Thunderdome", Jay Allens latest venture, where we had our encampment. Dale from Mad Jap was there with us and we set up one booth for all three of us, right inside the dome, complete with Dales purple couch, carpet, and ottoman.

We did a ton of riding over the course of the week, some sponsored rides and some just for fun. Matt Olson took a group of about 20 guys on the "old Iron Putt" as Jay puts it. Matt handed over the routing to Panhead Billy, who legend has it knows every road in America and doesn't need a map-ever. He decided we should ride about 40 miles into the middle of nowhere on dirt roads. I love riding on dirt because it filters out the do-rag crowd immediately, but I don't think there were any with us to begin with. The dust got so thick I cant believe my motor even ran but eventually we reached a clearing, where Jay unloaded a mountain of beef jerkey packets, provided free by a sponsor of his (forgot name of company). We ate them and then all parted ways.

Later in the week when the Lichter show was over, 6 of us got our bikes down from the pedestals and went for a ride, with Mike doing his typical backwards camera position on a guys bagger. The protocall is to simply get as close to each other and the bagger as humanly possible without literally getting tangled together. For some reason Mike always sets the pace at around 75, even though you cant tell in the photos, which makes it even more complicated. It is fun though, especially trying to communicate....

Icarus ran like a champ, held at 75 for about a solid hour in high heat. The homemade rockers and solid lifters are proven in my mind after that ride.

During the week we also rode to Deadwood, Spearfish Canyon, the Badlands, "The Ranch", some random lake in the middle of nowhere east of Sturgis, and endless miles of black hills back road.

It was great to see all my friends who I only see once a year. Special thanks to Mike Lichter for letting us be in your show- it was something I had wanted to be a part of for years.

We also checked out the AMD W0rld Championships. This is the last year the show will be held in Sturgis. Apparently The next version will be in Germany. Here was the winner of this years freestyle, from Thunderbike...

Jeremy Cupps hillclimber. I have a feeling a lot of people didn't look at this bike closely enough. It had exposed valves and rockers with a recirculating oil system plumbed through it.

A lot more pics coming stay tuned....

Sturgis 2012!

Today i am leaving for Sturgis, SD. If you are going please come see me and my bikes. I will be set up at the "Thunderdome", across from the full throttle outside town. I will also have a bike in the Lichter show at the Buffalo Chip, as well as the bike Matt Olson and I built. See you there!

Born Free Trip #2

After we left Carls Cycle we headed straight to Cali with the two bikes. Not much to report, just a lot of open road.

The show itself was amazing. It was apparently around 10,000 people in attendance. The best part, and this is coming from an east-coast perspective, was the complete lack of do rags, pleather chaps, new bikes, baggers, dreamsickles, can-ams, trikes, crotch rockets, etc. Literally every person that came either drove their car or rode a real chopper! The general age of attendee was much younger too, and people seemed more non-violent in general. All in all, it was a great show, and I will return next year.

Matts bike won the "best in show" award at the bike build off. That is a big honor considering the level of talent that was present there.

Here are a ton of random pics...

Born Free Trip #1

Matt Olson and I had previously collaborated on his born free build off bike several months ago. He hired me to build the dashboard and primary cover, which went smoothly. A few weeks before the due date, he asked if I wanted to come back out, help him finish the bike, then drive out there with him! I accepted of course, and also shipped my bike out to his shop so it would be there when I arrived. I have to admit shipping my bikes always makes me nervous....

Luckily it arrived unscathed in SD. Here she is at the legendary Carls Cycle.

Carl approves....

The shop was a busy place as we all worked non stop for a week to get the bike done. My main job was the exhaust. I made it out of 321 stainless, and blended all the welds. Matt had some replica knucklehead muffler components made from 304 stainless steel, so we grafted them on. Matt borrowed this crazy buffer from a friend for the polishing.

The best part was when we had about 4 hours left before we had to leave. I asked Matt if we should try starting the engine (which hadn't been run yet!). He said "yeah might as well", and just gave it a few primer kicks, then turned on the power and kicked it once and it started right up. Amazing how good Matt is at building knucklehead motors- such confidence! People you get what you pay for in this business. Matt and Carl are perfect examples. Next- the trip from South Dakota to California....

Wheels Show Recap

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who came down to New Haven on Saturday. The show went perfectly- great day, lots of people, and amazing cars. No lame stuff - except for a dude on a tiger print hayabusa, decked out with neon and bumping r and b- but that may have been the best part too. Thanks to Robert and Denise for making this happen. Many pics will come soon