3.30.2015

City Moto, Indianapolis IN


The north side of Indianapolis has needed a good gear shop for a long time.  Sure, you can go to a dealership and browse their minimal selection of gear but selling gear is not a bike shop's main priority.  There is also a shop on the south-side of Indy but we needed a shop that wasn't all moto cross or power ranger sport bike gear.  Something for the other riders.  The kind  that like matte black paint and classic black leather.  Vintage style gear with modern day protection.



In 2013, City Moto answered that call and opened it's doors to Indy's growing population of motorcyclists.  Located on the northeast corner of 49th and College Ave, the shop sells brands ranging from: BELL, Vanson Leathers and Belstaff to Corazzo, Rev'It, and Biltwell Inc.  Recently, they started carrying the ICON 1000 line, (just in time for the 2nd Annual Indy Mad Max Run).


You can pick up damn near anything you need for your ride. 


When you see a vintage Ducati in a store window, you know it's a cool shop.


Flyers for local races and events.










Some kick ass heavy weight belt buckles made by a local member of the Ton Up Club


Lids ranging from vintage style open face to full face and race ready.


If they don't have it in stock, chances are Joe can get it for you. 

City Moto doesn't just cater to us on two (legs that is), they also hold a yearly silent auction / fund raiser to benefit the low-cost spay and neuter shelter, FACE.  The auction features some great custom painted helmets. 

Click over to their Facebook page, website or better yet, swing a leg over your bike and ride there.   


3.16.2015

Adding a Pelican case to an XJ600 Part 2

With my mounts machined and rounded off, it was time to button up this project.  The days are getting warmer (and dryer) and I'm long overdue for some ride time.









I needed to mount the case high enough so the seat could be removed.



All in all, it was all pretty easy.  The case will give me secure and weatherproof storage for commuting, make me more visible (hopefully) and it's a good place for stickers!  I plan on adding some black retro reflective tape around the box and some LED brake/running lights at some point.

3.13.2015

2nd Annual Indy Mad Max Run 2015

April 26th 2015
The 2nd Annual Indy Mad Max Run!

Click HERE for the official Facebook page! 



If you missed last years run, you still have time to get ready for this year's apocalypse. 



There will be prizes! 


T-Shirts, stickers and patches!


We got to watch all the riders meet up last year and then roll-out in timed groups.  The bikes and costumed riders were great!  The guys over at Good Spark Garage did a great write-up with lots of good pictures. Head over and check'em out.  When you're done, get your leathers, some old football gear, black spray paint and get duded up.  

I'll be there, with horns on.  

3.10.2015

DIY Penny Tech Tank Pads

Something I wanted on the Ulysses but never got around to adding was a set of tank pads for added knee traction.  A few companies sell un-cut sheets of their material so you can custom cut your own but I'm on a "penny tech" budget with the XJ.  So, it was time to visit Harbor Freight.  I found 12"x12" self adhesive rubber mats that are perfect for what I need. I bought two at $5 each, much better than the $40+ for the professional kits.


The mats got left in the car overnight, so they're warming up in the sun. 


Using my cardboard template, I got both pads out of one mat.  



I cleaned the tank with an alcohol prep pad and dried/warmed it up
with my heat gun.  Peel and stick the pads and you're done!  

A fast, easy and cheap project to improve my riding position and control of the bike!

3.03.2015

Adding a Pelican case to an XJ600 Part 1

The aftermarket for the XJ series of bikes is slim to none in the US market.  There are factory racks and engine guards but they're as rare as hen's teeth.  Needing to be able to carry my laptop and other items in weatherproof and secure manner, it was time to improvise.  The rear sub-frame has four mount points for the factory rack, two sharing the mounts for the grab handles and two further towards the tail.



Yamaha was nice enough to mark the drill spots.




The Pelican case is too large to be mounted directly to the bike.  If it were, the seat would be almost impossible to remove.  Plus, it would sit at a downward slope towards the tail of the bike and look a bit odd.  So, to raise the case off the tail, I bent some 1/8" x 1" aluminum stock.  Originally, I had a very fancy idea and made a cardboard template. 








However, I ran out of room on the vice and talent. So, I was forced to simplify my design into a Z bracket. 


Here you can see the rough mounts sitting on what will become my rear rack.  In true Penny Tech and scavenger fashion, it's a wall mount that was going to be thrown away at work.  It fits perfectly between the to raised lines on the bottom of the Pelican case.  


The bottom of the mounts will have a slot milled out instead of a hole, that way I can fine tune the location and the corners will be ground down. Originally, I planned to mount them this way: 


But I'm concerned about the strength of the mounts since they're facing the same way. I don't want the case to get shoved back or forward and bend the mounts.  So, I changed the mock up to this:


This may require that I bend the center mounts and shim the ones towards the seat to make it as close to level as possible.  I'll know more once I pick them up from getting the slots milled and holes drilled. 

1.22.2015

Full circle.

After all my lusting for various bikes, everything from a dual sport DR650 to a stripped down 883 EVO, I've found myself back where I started.




Sleeping in my garage is none other than my first real bike, the 1993 XJ600 I sold back in 2012.  It's a bit odd to move backwards, technologically speaking, from a big 1200cc, fuel injected bike but I'm glad to be back on two-wheels. 

I'm working on adding a Pelican case for waterproof and lockable storage, along with some smaller saddlebags.  There is a laundry list of things I want to upgrade and or replace, such as a full LED conversion, new bars and a DIY steering stabilizer.  

My riding time will be mainly restricted to commuting and the occasional getaway but right now is time to focus on Family.  Plenty of moto related adventures are in my future.  I think it's finally time add a Ural Gear Up to the garage.  By the time I have the money saved up, I might actually have the garage cleaned out.  


6.24.2014

Irrational lust.

Even though I won't be bike shopping until spring 2015, that doesn't stop me from browsing and burning up brain cells thinking about what I want out of a bike.

My budget will be limited to the $2000 or below range and there are plenty of great bikes that tend to sell in that price range.  However, there are only a few that pique my interest.  Mainly, the KLR650, DR650, Honda Hawk GT and the lowly little Buell Blast.  Ultimately, it's the Blast that I keep obsessing over.  Even with all it's supposed flaws and shortcomings, the idea of a shaky thumper that you can toss around like a bicycle is very appealing.  (Plus you add, great brakes, almost zero maintenance and +60mpg and that's pretty sweet.)

Thinking about all the negatives does nothing to change my mind.  It did however, make me realize that as much as I want to be rational and choose the reliable and trouble free bike, I most likely won't.

I want soul.  I want a  more visceral experience.

Maybe I've been brainwashed into the Cult of Buell because if I had the money, I'd be all over another Ulysses.