Friday, May 30, 2008

European Invasion

The European invasion has begun.

Twinline has been taking in European stuff from the beginning, but word has only just gotten around that the guys can master these bikes as well as Japanese ones. It happened overnight. We had no British stuff at all, and then wham! We got hit by six projects in a week and a half.

One guy wants us to do a cafe seat for his Triumph. Another Triumph is in the works. We've taken in a '68 BSA Lightning, followed shortly thereafter by a '71 or '72 Norton Commando 850. The Italians didn't want to be left out, so a '61 Ducati has appeared as well.

"It's gonna be fun to work on these bikes," Ian said. "They're designed differently and have a different character than Japanese bikes, so they're a refreshing change of pace after having our heads in the belly of the Japanese beast for two years."

The guys already solved the BSA's electrical problem. We just got the parts for the Triumph pictured. The Norton is waiting its turn.

"We're keeping the Norton in the shop because it's really gorgeous and we want to look at it for as long as we can," Ian grinned. "Ah--but we can't wait to ride it, either."

The owner took two years of weekends and evenings to put the Norton together. He did fantastic work but couldn't get it to start.

"It's hard for a person to work on a big project without somebody to bounce ideas off of," Ian said. "Plus, the weather's getting really nice and the owner doesn't want to waste weekends trying to get the bike started. He kicked it for two hours straight and couldn't get it to go. Hopefully we won't have to kick it for two hours, but we will if we need to. We'll figure out what's going on with it."

The (well-funded) Ducati will be a 250 Manza cafe bike--Ferrari red. We'll document it well.

"It's gonna be hot," Ian said. "Way hot."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

We're Famous!

This is what happens when they do a writeup about a little bike shop in the PI:

That doesn't even show the bikes out front in various stages of deconstruction--and it's before the European Invasion (see blog to come). The guys now have to do a kind of sliding-puzzle game each time they switch out the bikes they're working on.

Here's the article:

Sound Rider magazine also did a piece on us:

KUOW just covered us next past week:

A Seattle Metropolitan article is soon to come. I think we might need to expand our capacity.

Bring it on.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

KO 360: Out the Door

The Knockout 360 finished with Hellbillie coming down and throwing pinstriping on it (see previous KO 360 blog). Ian gave Ben license to do whatever he wanted, "as long as it looked awesome." Ben ran with it, accentuating the bike's waspish shape in gloss black against the flat black coat.

"When you trust that your artist is gonna turn up with something good, he does," Ian said.

The guys have put some miles on the KO. They decided to change out the sprockets, giving the bike a higher top speed so it doesn't buzz all over the place at 70 mph.

They also ran it on the Dyno at the Dyno Party. It has about 25 horsepower at the rear wheel and about 16 pounds of torque from 3,000 rpms to about 9,000 rpms--absolutely, perfectly flat.

One thing the guys test for is loudness. The KO is plenty loud.

Last Friday night, when Ian was in to tinker with some electrical stuff, he took the KO out toward the Cretins' clubhouse, where they were having a Max RPMs weekend and poker night. A train was in the way. So, instead, Ian took the 99 all the way downtown and rode back down 1st through Mariners traffic--just as a game let out.

"There were millions of people on the road," he said. "I went through a parking lot to get around them. The timing plate had been knocked a little bit, so the bike wasn't idling perfectly at the bottom and I had to keep blipping it to keep it alive--crank the throttle here and there just so it would go. It scared the crap out of people. They scattered like rats. It was great, and the bike did great. It's a lot of fun to ride. You could safety-wire this thing for road-racing if there was a class to handle it. It would do well, because it's quick and lightweight and has a heck of a motor under it. It's tuned really, really well."

So this bike is beautiful and fun. And obnoxious. That's pretty much the definition of a Twinline bike.