Friday, July 30, 2010
Where is this going you ask? If there were some reviews from actual customers I may have thought twice about buying this. This is something we are really trying to push on our new website, we really want YOUR feedback on the items you buy! On every item listing there is a tab marked reviews where you can read reviews other customers leave and you can write a review and let people know what you think. It also helps us to know if there is an issue with a product or something that you just aren't digging!
So leave some reviews! We took it a step fiurther and now have automated emails going out to anyone who orders (about 3 weeks after the order ships) with a link right to those items to make it real easy on you! So help us, and help all the other people in their garages building their own bikes! Cheers, Kyle
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Home stretch. While at Fairbanks my wife called and said her flight wasn't getting in till 10:30 p.m. Alaska time. This should put us both in Homer around the same time. The problem was I had already ridden several hundred miles and had close to six hundred miles to go. Mother Nature didn't make things any easier with very cold crosswinds through Denali National Park all the way to Anchorage. At Anchorage she decided to add rain to the mix which put me at a very slow pace. It was two hundred and twenty miles to Homer from Anchorage which I figured would be a piece of cake. The rain and cold was wearing on me and it seemed the miles were going by at a snails pace. At one point I came upon another rider who had dropped his Road Glide in the middle of the road due to fatigue so after getting him going we rode together the rest of the way. Fourteen miles out I decided I was going to wait for my wife at a gas station and we go in together but the guy riding with me talked me into going on in and crossing the finish line so I could get warm and rest. So on Saturday, July 3rd after twelve days and two hours of sleeping by my bike every night, going without a shower, too many wrong turns to mention, and seven checkpoints I crossed the finish line and completed the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge! Checkpoint 7- 575.9 miles.
The July 4 party was pretty laid back while I was there. It was good to see people I had met along the road again and it was fantastic to see that my buddy Greg had made it. You could definitely feel a sense of pride in everyone there. I stayed for a group photo then headed out to spend some quality time with my wife.
In conclusion, the mileage of this ride turned out to be 8542.5 miles not counting the numerous wrong turns and backtracking that had to be done. Once the ride was over there was some complaining about this being a poorly organized event and there were accusations of it being a scam and there being no prize money. For a first time event of this magnitude I felt the organizers done very well getting a ride together that went across this entire country as well as Canada on all back roads. As far as the prize money that is between the organizers and the first place finisher. I am neither so is it not my concern. I have absolutely no complaints with any part of this ride and I consider it to be an experience of a lifetime. This challenge has given me a sense of accomplishment and has given me memories that will stay with me forever. You got out of this ride what you put in to it. If you looked at it negatively it was probably an unpleasant experience, if you embraced the challenge you came away with great pride and satisfaction. My greatest satisfaction was that I went to all the checkpoints following the route to the best of my ability and that I made the entire journey without using a windshield and having an open faced helmet and that I did it in twelve days and two hours. I've always told myself that I can do anything I want as long as I set my mind to do it and now I know that to be true. It has truly been an honor to be part of the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge.
Hoka Hey Competitor #111
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Click above for a little video from earlier this evening, my friend George came by to assist and make sure I wasn't missing anything obvious in my excitement and to just check it out. No problems at all, everything went smoothly, ran it on 110 octane gas. Slides on carbs were set all the way down, just need to adjust that as with a little bit of throttle it fired right up. I couldn't be more stoked!
I got these photos from Joe at Jerry's House of Kolors last night, he is working on the fairing and tank for my Bonneville bike. I can't wait to see it done
Monday, July 26, 2010
Another party and some race spectating is ready to roll for September 18th and 19th in Salem, Ohio. Check out the Lowbrow Holeshot webpage for more updates. Pass it on to your friends and get ready, this should be a real blowout.
FOR SALE: Triumph pre unit race bike, 70% ready for racing at Bonneville or El Mirage. Located in Pacoima, CA at Four Aces Cycle. Contact Wes White at email@example.com if interested. $4000
Sunday, July 25, 2010
A quick video of Kyle starting his '67 Triumph 650 c.c. land speed bike for the first time this Sunday afternoon. Almost ready to ride!
Saturday, July 24, 2010
I also finished making my shift and brake linkages I am pretty stoked with the way they turned out, and most importantly they works great!
I also took a bit of time to drill, tap, and vent my rockerbox caps. Just another item to check off the To Do list. Tomorrow static time the engine, and install my special built Hunt magneto! Cheers, Kyle
Friday, July 23, 2010
I woke up this morning with a couple late-night texts from Wes White of Four Aces Cycle. He poured some 105 in his race bike and fired it up, now ready (mostly!) for Bonneville. Wes is a true Triumph guy, and I don't think anyone could think differently. At least one of us has a running race bike! I gotta get back to work...
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge was awesome! Let me start off by saying that when Jim Red Cloud said this would be a "Challenge" he meant every word of it. Nothing like a good ol' challenge to go along with riding from Key West Florida to Homer Alaska on all back roads with a fourteen day time limit for my first cross country motorcycle trip. I decided to make the trip even more challenging by not putting a windshield on my Night Train and using an open faced helmet. I've never liked nor used windshields.
Seven hundred and fifty of us headed out of Key West around 6:30 a.m to a great sunrise with lots of folks cheering us on all the way to Homestead which was cool. I never been a big fan of riding in Florida but I was impressed with the back roads in the Homestead area. The first accident happened a few hours outside of Homestead when two Hoka Hey riders traveling in the same direction somehow crashed causing the road to be shut down for about an hour. Those in front of the wreck were able to put some distance on those behind the wreck. Once we got rolling again our next logjam came at a toll road because we had to get a receipt from the toll lady who was not prepared for the rolling thunder. She probably would've called in sick if she knew what was coming that day. After that there was one more wreck when a rider high sided after missing a turn and letting off his rear brake after locking it down. The rest of the morning/ afternoon was pretty calm till around 4:00 p.m when the bottom fell out of the sky. When the rain started it didn't let up and it rained hard (Sunshine State my ass!!!).
It was kind off comical watching a fifty deep pack of Harley's riding on these small backroads making countless turns and splashing through water puddles. The rain quit just outside of our first checkpoint which was Destination Daytona. Checkpoint 1- 616.4 miles.
I got my next map and headed out in the darkness. Navigating at night sucks-wrong turns galore. It would take me to New Mexico to learn to quit trying to navigate at night (more on that later). I got close to the Georgia line and seen a group setting up for the night so I pulled in and set up my tent. I didn't sleep much that night seeing how it was my first time ever camping as every little noise woke me up. This would be the only night I would have trouble sleeping the entire trip. I got up around 5 a.m and got rolling and entered Georgia and continued through to Alabama. As the sun came up this day it got very, very, hot! The hottest day of the whole ride to me. By the time I got to Alabama I was roasting and on top of that I had a scare when my tank bag holding my directions blew off when I was passing a semi. Luckily I found it on the side of the road back where I was making my pass, I was afraid it may have stuck to the semi as I was going by it since the tank bag was magnetic. While in Alabama I was having real hard time following the Hoka Hey map. I kept taking wrong turns and having to backtrack which was not alot of fun in the heat. It was at this time myself and probably the majority of the riders realized we could not depend on just our given map and none of us were really prepared for it. Before this ride started almost everyone, including myself, had certain expectations and ideas as to what this ride was going to be like and what challenges we were going to have to face. We were prepared for our endurance and riding ability to be challenged but we were not prepared for our navigating ability to be challenged. The biggest thing that really shook us as far as the directions was that we did not know how far we were supposed to travel on a given road. We may have to travel twenty miles, we may have to travel five hundred miles. When you were tired or not sure you were on the right road paranoia would set in and you would start questioning whether you had missed a turn and should you go back to check or should you keep going so that you didn't waste miles. The fear was that if you missed your turn and kept going you would have to go back that much further to get on the right road or if you went back and realized you didn't miss your turn you just lost time by adding unnecessary miles when you should have kept going. This was where alot of people came to a crossroads on this ride. You had the harleybabies who started pissing, moaning, and whining because there wasn't a pink ribbon attached to each sign where we were supposed to turn (I suppose these people seeing half a million slipping through their fingers had something to do with them being pissed off) and then you had those that came to ride and realized that the organizers were very serious when they said this would be a CHALLENGE! I decided to embrace the challenge part and walked my happy ass into a convenient store and asked directions, actually we all did. I suck at navigating anyway. My nickname is wrongway JJ. We realized we needed to use all resources available which meant asking the locals if we were on the right track. One thing I learned on this trip is that there are alot of good people in this country as well as Canada. One guy even flagged us down and had us follow him in his personal vehicle to get us on track when we were all wondering around a small town lost because the city had changed the names of the street signs after our maps were printed. Store clerks were always extremely helpful as they would go as far as getting a local map out to show us the way. This became a regular routine the rest of the trip. So we bumbled and stumbled around till we finally made it to our next checkpoint in Mississippi, Southern Thunder H-D. Checkpoint 2- 905.1 miles.Day 3 had me heading through Tennessee into Arkansas which is as far west as I have been with the exception of Sturgis twice and a small ride in San Diego, CA so I am know in uncharted territory. Arkansas was a pretty nice ride and was not as hot as the south and if I knew what was coming I would have enjoyed it more because I was about to enter a very miserable part of this ride- Oklahoma. Oklahoma blows, literally. The crosswinds were terrible, the roads were terrible, and the scenery was terrible. Straight, flat, bumpy roads and crosswinds that would knock your head off. I cannot tell you how happy I was to get into New Mexico. New Mexico was a good, bad, good situation for me. I got out of motorcycle purgatory in Oklahoma and got into Motorcycle bliss in New Mexico. The scenery was beautiful, and the riding was great! This was why I was on this trip, to see places like this. At this time I was riding alone and feeling pretty good so I wound up riding for twenty three hours that day. Unfortunately I was riding alone and feeling pretty good so I wound up riding for twenty three hours that day. This was where whatever minute chance I had at winning this thing went down the toilet. Our directions for New Mexico were to ride north and then west paralleling, but not entering the Colorado state line. I kept riding north in the dark because the road I was on was supposed to intersect to another road to head west. I figured I had not made it far enough north yet (remember we didn't know how far we were supposed to travel on any given road) so I kept going not realizing I had entered Colorado- bad. There were no state line signs posted on the road I was on. So I camped out at 9900 ft elevation freezing to death and sleeping in everything I had including my rain suit and woke up to even colder temperatures. Making yourself get out of a warm sleeping bag into the cold is not easy. After packing up I kept heading north til I needed gas. Once I gassed up I went in the store to warm up and noticed there were maps of Colorado everywhere. I asked the clerk where I was and she said South Park Colorado. Yes, that South Park. I then asked her how far from the New Mexico line I was and she said at least one hundred and fifty miles. I cannot begin to express the sick feeling that came over me at this time. At this time the temptation was to cut across Colorado to Arizona and get back on track there but that wouldn't be right and I couldn't say I completed the ride if I knowingly took a short cut. So I started backtracking to get on the right road and even though I was pissed at going so far out of the way I seen even more beautiful scenery while riding through Colorado- good. It was also as this time I came to the revelation that I didn't need to ride at night for two reasons: 1) I suck at navigating 2) I would miss seeing this country which was my main reason for doing this. Once back in New Mexico I got back on track and made it to Arizona trouble free. I would have a hate/ love relationship with Arizona as well as the rest of places I went for the rest of the trip. I would hate the first part of the state/ country and love the second part. The first part of Arizona was long, straight, endless, crappy roads in unbearable heat-not as bad as southern heat but close. I would crest a hill on one straight, endless, crappy road hoping for something different but there would only be another long, straight, endless, crappy road as I headed down toward Show Low before going back up toward Flagstaff. When I first entered Arizona I was on the Red Rock Hwy looking for a turn that never seemed to materialized. To make matters worse along with the heat was road construction and I was getting pelted with rock and sand. Feeling like I missed my turn I pulled off where a flagman was standing to check my atlas to see where I was. The flagman asked me if I was looking for a road. I told him yes and he said I passed it about 20 miles back. I don't think I was the first biker he saw looking for that road. Once again, great people in this country. I got back on track and kept going and so did the roads. It was in Arizona though that I had the good fortune of meeting a future friend- Greg Darby. Greg was on an Ultra and had some serious navigation skills so I rode with him as much as possible the rest of the trip. The second half of Arizona was fantastic. Sedona was beautiful and the Grand Canyon massive. The red rock in Arizona is truly unique. We headed on in to Utah and was in awe of monument valley and the surrounding mountain areas. I would definitely like to visit Utah again. We left Utah for Wyoming in the home stretch for our next checkpoint Flaming Gorge H-D. I checked my rear view mirror to find Greg when we got off the exit to see him in sliding off the road headed for a concrete drainage ditch after sliding on a patch of dust on the ramp. The irony was that we had just rode through a boatload of mountain ranges with steep grades and curves with no trouble and here he was about to eat it on the exit ramp. He went down the hill and I waited to see an explosion of plastic dresser parts fly up in the air but to my surprise up comes Greg on the other side with the bike laid down riding it to a stop and then does the first thing we all do when we crash even it we're lying...jumps up and says "I'm o.k."...thankfully he was and so was his bike. People helped up get the bike up and on level ground then we rode on to the checkpoint. Checkpoint 3- 2753.7 miles.
Once arriving I left Greg and went on as he had to go over his bike and have it serviced. I was pretty sure I'd see him again. Now I know Wyoming has some good areas to ride in which is why I'm going to rate it higher than Oklahoma but not by much. After getting back on the road I rode in nothing but straight, boring roads with high crosswinds with increasing elevation which made it cold. Hot weather I can handle, but I despise cold weather especially when I'm not expecting it. Civilization was nowhere to be found for the longest time causing fear to creep in of running out of gas. I made it to Casper where I packed it in for the night. I was tired, cold, and disgusted because I hadn't ridden half as far and I was starting to really miss my wife and children. I called her to check in which only made things worse but after I hung up with her I had a message from a longtime close friend who had left me some good words of encouragement. It's funny how the right things can come at the right time. The next morning I continued the ride of boredom into South Dakota where things got better. We had the privilege of going to Chief Oliver Red Clouds home which turned out to be a surprise checkpoint also (Checkpoint 4). I had buffalo stew and Indian pudding for the first time and was honored to be at his home. We were invited to stay and rest up but I decided to get back on the road. Our route led us through The Badlands, Spearfish Canyon, and Deadwood before taking us through another small part of Wyoming then into Montana. I tried to make it through the straight and boring part before stopping and actually spent the night on an Indian Reservation outside of Billings. Once into the mountains Montana was very impressive and the roads were in good shape too. While cruising along taking everything in I noticed a black fairing coming up behind that looked familiar. Sure enough it was Greg. Montana was a very enjoyable, relaxing ride. I was hoping to see a bear on this trip but so far no luck. We cruised on in to our next checkpoint at Montana H-D in Missoula.
Checkpoint 5- 1351.6 miles.
JJ Phipps, Hoka Hey Competitor #111
More to come, Part 2 of The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challange. Thanks a ton JJ, this write up was amazing! Just another thing to add to the "To Do" list of life!
We just got in our first batch of Fabricator Kevin's bitchin' custom parts, 100% hand made in the USA. Fab Kevin needs no introduction, check out some of his high quality, bullet proof parts here.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
More coming shortly...
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I got my oil tank mounted, saftey wired and my braided stainless oil lines run and my dead man switch mounted.
I'm pretty happy with the progress and have parts showing up tomorrow and Saturday so I can get this buttoned up! Thanks from all of us here at Lowbrow Customs to everyone for all the support and the feedback! Cheers, Kyle
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I am stoked to say the least! I can't wait to get crackin' the next couple evenings and get this thing buttoned up! I want to hear it run this weekend! Cheers, Kyle
Monday, July 12, 2010
The brand new MIG Welding Fundamentals and TIG Welding Fundamentals with David Bird DVDs are now available and up for sale. Be sure to check out the trailers for these DVDs, we couldn't be happier with the quality of the film and of the content! This is a joint effort between Lowbrow Customs, Four Aces Cycle, and David Bird, we had a lot of fun making these films and think they are going to be a big hit.
We also are offering these as a 2 DVD set, buy both and save $5 on the pair.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
A package arrived early this morning that I have been waiting for with baited breath. Wes, my good friend and Triumph motor go-to-guy over at Four Aces Cycle put together this motor for me for my Lakes bike. What is inside it? What trick parts does it have? Come race me on the Salt and you can guess for yourself! Thanks Wes!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
We are preparing for Mid Ohio Vintage MC Days, we leave tomorrow to set up. It isn't far from the shop, about an hour, so that is nice for a change, we are used to hauling half way across the country in every direction for bike shows. Come visit us, we have a sprawling setup in a couple new spots this year, P5 and P6. We will be there Friday through Sunday vending, and Mike D from Biltwell is going to be hanging out as well.
Husqvarna is marque of the year this year, and guess who the Grand Marshal is? None other than Malcolm Smith! I hope I get to meet him. Malcolm rules. My wife Larissa watched On Any Sunday with me and she thinks he rules too.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Some grade 8 holding the frame together and my rearsets in their new home.
The engine in its place, fit like a glove and just a couple little touch-ups. Not bad for putting it in alone! I also finished sorting out my bearing setup for my NOS Ceriani front end.
The goal for tomorrow: get the front end fully assembled, clip-ons and throttle installed, steering damper bolted up, and install the rear wheel and brake set-up (who needs front brakes?) and mount the oil tank. I am excited to see this take shape, I never had all the parts together at once so seeing it come together fully is a first even for me. Cheers, Kyle
I was too busy swimming and hanging with the family and sweating my ass off in our un-airconditioned house to get a blog post up in time. This is what the 4th is all about, babies eating watermelon in the sunshine. That and keeping the King of England out of our face! Thanks to all our armed forces, current and veterans, it is great to be an American.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Funny thing about a build like this in such a short timeframe is that every day you can alternate between confidence of finishing with plenty of time to tune and test, then later that afternoon feel overwhelmed at how many details are left! Evidently some of us even talk about motorcycle parts in our sleep. Like the Man in Black said, one piece at a time......
Friday, July 2, 2010
The Lowbrow Getdown was a big success, with over 100 people riding in from NJ, New Hampshire, NY, PA, MI, and all over Ohio, as well as Canada! Click the photo above or here to check out a Flickr set with a bunch of photos from the event. Some of these photos are credited to Tim Averre and Atesh, and perhaps others, this is all the photos that have come in, if you have any to add email them to us!