Wednesday, June 20, 2007


That is the Japanese translation for the word brutal (at least acording to google beta (english to conji) translation) This bike is a brutal cafe' racer, infact it was a racer and now we have to make it work on the street. Not so easy as we do not know exactly what is in it. We do know it has a big bore (size unknown) and a lumpy cam (we do not know how lumpy) but we are sure it will idle at less than 2k RPM , dual disk, and it is very, very loud. We are not done yet and it just looks mean. This bike is waiting for it's seat and tank to come back from on of our painters. right now we are dialing in the jetting, we have 105's in now and shows only white on the plugs. Gonna have to drop 110's or 115's in this beasty.

We have the Chad on this one.

The throttle and clutch and a whole lot-o-grinding.

So today the Bomber took several steps forward towards being my personal escort for the next couple of weeks. early this morning I cut down the throttle and clutch cables so that they will not be hanging out and waiting for some one to hang laundry on them. The 1/4 turn throttle is going to be fun.

And here is Matt gringding another 3 lbs off the frame, who needs a centerstand. (just use a jack)

Tidler Tour

Thanks to the VME! Half of my shop and our fathers made it out and about on Vashon Island this year. We need to build more small bore bikes and have more people come out. Great event and better than a crummy olde' game of golf.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Now that is an armadillo!

I think that this picture speaks for it's self.

It's been a long week and I'm going to bed, because tomorrow for fathers day me and my father will be on the tidler tour. I'll take some pics.

(Pic remastered by Mike)

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Shop Mechanic Army

This is The Chad, I was lucky enough to have him come to my shop one day looking for some cafe' mirrors and I found that he was a refugee HD tech and was flipping Cafe' bikes, so we worked out a deal and now chad builds custom cafe' bike at my shop. He is usually heard saying "Custom" at the top of his lungs and hacking or bending some piece of a fame or bracket off to accomplish his goals.

This is Isaac here grinding away. He is a talented motor builder with an attention to detail that would shock most engineers. As pleasant as he is he'll tell you what he thinks of your Virago if you ask him to make it run, or try and sit on his motorcycle (a lovely cb125).

I'm lucky to have both these guys in the shop as obviously I spend all my time writing this blog.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

XS 650 Bomber

It is at this point in the shop that we can actually do what we set out to accomplish. This bike is our best example, it has taken 5 month from start and stop to start and stop and you get the idea, but that has been how this project has gone nothing has gone right. I first picked this bike up (a 1975 XS650) from this guy that 1 could not get this bike to start, 2 was good and rusted, 3 was $600. Lucky me it had a title and I was in business. So I load it up and give him the cash and drove 40 miles back to my shop where on the way I lost one of the side covers as it was not properly attached to the bike, because the air boxes had been removed. So the next day the guy email's me that he has found the air boxes and an extra wiring harness and that for forty more bills I could come and pick them up. I always write back, but I failed to do so on that one.

I'm telling most of the story on the initial post because the project is about complete, But I will find some more pics and update as I is worth doing.

So long story short the bike now has the xs1 (1970) motor in it. Titanium valve springs, high compression pistons, mukuni Vm34 carbs and a host of other neat-o one of a kind replacement/upgrade parts, as well as a hand pulled wiring harness ( done by your truly) all of which we received one piece at a time. Isaac's favorite thing to say when about 20 minutes of working on this bike is "we have a problem" and is usually followed by the quick ordering of 1 little thing that we forgot, or worse did not know about. So said parts would take a week to get to us (Seattle which is by all means in the middle of no where according to everyone in the united states and UPS, but we do not know that up here). Piece by piece and week by week we moved this project along.

This bike fired up on its second kick after Ike nearly took his ankle off (no compression release, or starter, they will just weigh the thing down anyway) This bike is brutal, and now we know that it sounds that way.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The CB400F is started

Well this will have to do as the first picture for this project. I know it may not look like a Honda but I assure you it is we just tore it down before we snapped a photo, but that is what happens when you are just too busy to worry about it. Well I'm worried about it because I want to tell the complete story about this bike. I bought this stuff from a nice fella who was clearing out the basement and getting ready to have a little girl so it had to go and I happened to be there(thanks bob) and these parts sat waiting for a new home. Well now there is a new owner and when money is involved work gets done. So here is the start. I spent about 4 hours ordering a ton of parts today, things will start coming in next week. But up next for this bike is finding a seat and making the new seat mounts magically appear after lots of welding and grinding then it's off to get powder coated.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Silverback CB750

This is an old project I do not have much to say. Just what goes through peoples minds over a 35 year period, some how it usually ends up being a butchered wireing harness and a seat the size of texas. The only thing this bike is missing is boss hogs long horns. I'd photoshop em in but I don't have time, actuall if someone can do that for me I'll update this post.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The story ....

So I've been busy getting my shop up to speed for the last year and a half and we are now  producing  motorcycles that are of a quality that I am proud of. Last week we fired up an XS 650 that has been a learning process or the last 6 months one of the best things I have ever been apart of.  This bike is beautiful and raw. Loud and brutal. The work we are doing needs to be shared with my clients and the world. I will be using this blog as a way to keep my clients (present and future) connected to the progress  of their projects and also to keep them involved even if they are across the country. I want to document the story of each of our bikes as none are exactly a like and I do not think we could do it if we tried. Our projects take 3-6 months depending on the complexity and parts availability that comes with working on 30-40 year old bikes.  We have found that 99 out of 100 old bikes are in shabby to dangerous shape, we take these bikes down to the frame and crank bearings and build them to our clients desires.  I love what I do and am very thankful that I have an opportunity to persue my passion. I will be up dating this blog as often as I can. I will post daily until i need to do it more often.