First Day of Summer, I Ride to Mary’s Peak

Our weather in Oregon has been a bit on the cool and slightly wet side this spring. But today temperatures jumped to nearly 80 degrees and it was too good to pass up. I did ride the bicycle a bit to try and get back on that horse, but the ride on the Ducati was sadly only the third ride of the year.

Paul and I are planning to hit Laguna Seca for MotoGP and do a proper vacation on motorcycles. But I’m a bit out of practice to say the least. He may be taking his BMW R75/5, but he’s damn proficient on it in the corners and I really do have to work to keep up with him. I need to attend one of Roger’s MotorcyclExcitement schools in the near future! (I maintain his current website and hope to make a new site for him soon!)

The good news is that Paul did such a stellar job dialing in this bike for Sears Point last year that she’s ready to hit the road again with nearly no adjustments.

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Indy MotoGP 2011 Wallpaper 1920 HD

Here are some of my pictures from the 2011 Indianapolis MotoGP. RareSportBikesForSale.com was on hand of course as this is an event we try to always make! The gallery is late as usual but at least within 30 days!

These were taken on Friday during a practice session. Doug, Bruce, and I all found ourselves in the same spot on this day as you can get pretty close to the riders with no fence in the way to spoil the shots. Race day, this spot is 20-30 people deep and nearly impossible to get unless you camp out all day in the spot. We usually show up just before the race nowadays since we’ve been there two straight days already and two boozy bike filled nights downtown as well for the bikes on the circle event.

On to the pics! That’s Rossi above, and here is Hayden. His sister had just got married and he wore this helmet to celebrate!

And here’s last year’s champion, Jorge Lorenzo:

Here are the others without post-processing but made available at 1920×1280:

And if you want to see more streetable rides, check out all the bikes I spotted in the parking lots and downtown in this Facebook album for RSBFS.

Thanks again to Doug for being a great host in Indy!

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Note: These are copyrighted images. You need permission to use these images and you can contact me at dan@motoringblogs.com for details.

Corvallis Bike Night Snaps

Stopped by American Dream Pizza for the monthly Corvallis Bike Night. This is a nice casual gathering and when the weather is nice there is a good showing and variety to be enjoyed. I haven’t made it out to one of these since I bought the Ducati — seems like there is always something going on the same night! I didn’t ride down because I wanted to have a couple beers on the rooftop seating area, but here are some quick pics of bikes that I saw. The red, white and blue F2 was my favorite, though I always love seeing Bob’s K100 too.

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Catching up with MotoringBlogs!

With less than 30 days to go at OSU, I’m very excited to start more dedicated work for my clients and my own websites. Here is the latest from my new sites:


1974 Norton Commando For Sale with Dunstall Pieces on CafeBikesForSale.com

1974 Norton Commando 750 with Dunstall Pieces For Sale



1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4 For Sale on Classic Italian Cars For Sale



Track-Ready Laverda SFC For Sale on ClassicSportBikesForSale.com


Thanks for checking out my sites! I hope you enjoy,

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Motorcycle Roadtrip to Sonoma – Long Overdue!

The last time Paul and I made this trip was over 15 years ago. Shame on me for letting this fantastic trip from being relived for so long. But we more than made up for it in the end. This trip will serve my memory for the rest of my life!

I’m keeping this post simple in the form of a photo journal of our trip to Sonoma via Highway 101, Highway 1, enjoying the West Coast MotoJam AMA Races of 2011, and returning on I-5.

Here is a map of the trip:


View Larger Map

According to Google, the back way takes only 6 more hours than just shooting up and down I-5. 6 hours well spent if you ask me!

And here’s a video of us on Highway 1 in the Redwoods. There are faster clips on YouTube, but it was our first time and the wide angle of the GoPro doesn’t do the pace justice. That said, it was a lot of fun and the scenery doesn’t get any better — until you hit the coast of course! I’ll come back to this segment in a few weeks and provide an edited version so we don’t have to wait for the good parts. The fun part starts at 1:45 in this one 😉

and here is part two. Skip to 11 minutes for the trek out of the forest and on to the coast. The next 6 hours would be all be about the same; as in awesome!

On to the pics, starting from the beginning:

Our first stop in Reedsport for breakfast, which was awesome!
Quick stop along highway 1 to take a breathe as we enjoy the Redwoods.
Enjoying a spectacular lunch at North Coast Brewing in Fort Bragg.
These are some big trees!
Paul crosses 60k miles on his Honda VFR750; most of which are his.
We stop in Stewarts Point for some refreshment and realize we still have 2 hours to go before we make it to Sonoma. Oh darn! This guy is well equipped with great beer, coffee, a proper selection of booze, and even fine cigars. Make sure to stop!
Just before we left highway 1 for 116, we stopped at the top of the beautiful overlook. An amazing end to our time on this stretch.

We arrive in Sonoma!
Shana scored us a kick ass pad to hang out in while we were in Sonoma. I could live here year round for sure!
Our bikes on the Sonoma Square
Team RSBFS at the Infineon West Coast Moto Jam AMA Superbike Races
Yes, there's snow in them there hills... You had to ride through that to get to here....
Yes, we rode through this with little choice once committed. I wouldn't recommend it...
The dirtiest bikes ever tucked away for the night in Ashland, Oregon.

I’ll likely add more to this post in the next few weeks as I gather all the pictures. Enjoy!

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Spring Aprilia Update

The weather here in the Pacific Northwest has been exceptionally wet, for the second year in a row I might add. So opportunities to get the bikes out has been few and far between early in the season. I did get the Aprilia out for a great ride on my regular loop south of Corvallis where I grew up. I went with Blake who recently picked up an old Katana 600. We had a blast running the RS and Katana up through the revs repeatedly on the back roads. And I confess: It’s so addictive hearing the little 2 stroker scream on these sweet pipes!

But of course the fun had to come to end as we got back into town. The bike started sputtering and losing power, and finally died all together. I waited about 10 minutes and the bike re-fired, but was noticeably down on power. I was able to get it back into the garage and started crawling through the AF1 Aprilia Forum for RS250’s. Sounded like changing out the plugs was the right place to start.

I chose to upgrade to the NGK Iridium version of the stock plug recommended by forum members as a preferred street solution to help prevent fouling. The new plugs feature a different top connector than the standard plugs though and I ended up having to change out the plug wire ends.

This is where I give a shout out to Fred’s Honda of Corvallis, who spent the time to look through the books to find the unusual plug wire ends that fit the fatter connector that is not usually found on wires for motorcycles. After searching the catalog, they found a snow mobile application that is basically exactly like the unit I needed, but with additional length on the rubber boots at either end for water proofing. I was impressed that they were happy to take the extra time help me get the right parts that were only going to cost $6 in the end. Good service is hard to find and I’ll be back — often!

Unfortunately the new plugs and wire ends did not solve the problem. Lots of smoke out of one pipe and no smoke on the other. So time to start going backwards from the wire…

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Check Out What’s Up on My Other Websites

Here’s my March 2011 summary of interesting posts on my other websites. Yep, shameless self-gloss!

Rare Sport Bikes For Sale

1992 Kawasaki KR250C3 KR1-S still in the crate!

This post has generated the most comments ever on a single post on my website. The seller is quote eccentric in his presentation and demands of the potential bidders. It’s a very rare opportunity to own a new 1992 KR1-S for sure!


Rare Sport Bikes

Mike hits the Las Vegas Mid-America auction and files his report. He is definitely inspiring me to make this a company trip next year! Great post Mike, thanks so much for the first hand account!


German Cars For Sale Blog

Steve McQueen’s 1970 Porsche 911S is being offered soon at auction and the classic car blog world is abuzz. We didn’t miss it either! We’ll be keeping an eye on the result of this sale for sure.



Classic Italian Cars For Sale

1958 Fiat Fiat Abarth Zagato “Double Bubble”

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A Dream Realized: 1995 Aprilia RS250 Chesterfield Replica in My Garage!

When I first started getting into bikes in the early 90’s, i did a lot of research. It’s in my nature really and no wonder I love the internet so much! But before the internet, I went to the Corvallis Public Library and Linn-Benton Community College Library, which both had great collections of motorcycle magazines. I spent many afternoons reading them. After my thorough analysis (with no seat time) I really wanted a Yamaha FZR400 or an Aprilia RS250. They both had the performance and look I wanted, and I had rationalized that they’d be great first bikes. But to my dismay the 250 wasn’t being imported and the 400’s were very hard to locate as most of the public wanted the more powerful FZR600. But I figured at least they were available. Today the FZR400’s are coveted for their aluminum frames, more pure sporting mission, and performance in amateur racing classes that made them nearly as fast as the 600’s; all of which I knew then and was a large part of why I wanted one — they were special!

I ended up with a ratty FZR600 as it’s what I could afford at the time though. Here’s my original blog post on that bike at an early age riding to Sonomafest with Paul from the Willamette Valley to Bay Area.

Sonomafest really opened our eyes to the amazing talent that road racers possessed. Being able to witness their skill at speed, up close and personal, was really inspiring. We started to follow the top road racing series around the world, and in particular would watch the 250GP class on rented VCR videos. The star of that series was Max Biaggi and he rode the Chesterfield sponsored bike from Aprilia.

Watching Biaggi’s battles and victories only fueled the impossible lust that grew for the factory replica Aprilia RS250 that bears his race livery. But I never really thought I’d have an opportunity to have one considering they weren’t being imported. Here’s a picture of the race replica offered by Aprilia in 1995. I took this picture at the Barber Motorsport Museum:

Aprilia RS250 Chesterfield 2 stroke

Back to Sonomafest, it is one of my favorite road trip memories because we were essentially broke, had no proper gear, but made the trip anyway with great success as two wide-eyed enthusiasts joined up with what felt like thousands of our soon-to-be peers.

As we were staging up for the parade lap of Sears Point that was included with our Cycle World ‘Sonomofest’ ticket package, a guy pulled up next to me on an Aprilia Chesterfield replica — and it even had plates, which certainly added to the excitement of seeing an example like this that was legal-ish to ride on the street! The guy probably thought I was nuts as I practically fell running over to him, motioning to him that I wanted to talk. I tried to ask him how you get an RS250 into the states and get it plated. You could tell he had been asked this a million times, but he wasn’t giving up any secrets today and rode off.

Ever since I’ve been watching the ads. And sure enough, every now and again over the years, I would spot an RS250 that was for sale. Not often, but the more that surfaced, the more intent I became on watching the entire web to spot these rare opportunities.

After getting my job as a Web Services Manager in 2005, I started this personal blog that you are reading right now. And on occasion I started to blog car and bike classifieds I found from time to time that I found interesting and wanted to share. {sorry most of the images are broken on these ancient links!}

In some part, the RS250 and bikes like it, is what made me want to start Rare Sport Bikes For Sale and German Cars For Sale Blog.

Skip to 2008 and I actually blogged this exact bike when it came up for sale last time: http://raresportbikesforsale.com/1995-aprilia-rs250-chesterfied-replica/ Later I would find out that it was actually owned by an old childhood friend of mine, who is a part owner of SpeedyMoto. He invited me over to look at it and explained that he couldn’t actually go through with the sale. It was his wife’s bike and she got it from a family friend that went through considerable expense importing it into New York from Holland.

But on Tuesday last week he emailed that it was again available and asked if I could help list the bike on RSBFS. I said of course I can, but before we do that, I’M INTERESTED!

We quickly settled on a price and the bike is now in my garage with the Ducati 750SS. Now that I’ve been up close with the bike, it’ll be a 7/10 cosmetically when it gets cleaned up. Long story short, it needs some serious time on the buffer. They used it as a backup track day bike and occasional Sunday rider. It’s great mechanically, probably 9/10. Not to mention it came with crazy spares too. Like a full race body kit, a piston rebuild kit, and a factory decal kit that will allow me to restore the factory body work to new when I’m ready some day.

Luckily the day we went to get it in Portland, it was an amazing 60 degrees outside in January. That’s unheard of but it made for an amazingly awesome test ride in the sun. It makes about 60hp at the rear wheel and weighs in at 308lbs dry. The gearing is very aggressive right now and as Paul said, first gear is silly. There is next to no power below 6k, but then it starts moving and showing some grunt as the revs climb. When you hit 8k the real magic happens and in an instant another 20-30hp kicks in. It screams to the 12k redline immediately as it tries to lift the front end up — and I’m no lightweight myself! A very special experience was realized this day, and one not soon to be forgotten.

Since I read those magazine articles, it only took 16 years to get what I thought I’d never put my hands on. And this is going to sound corny but it probably wouldn’t have happened if RSBFS wasn’t created. The reach, connections, and friendships that the site enjoys has helped me to share what has completely exceeded my expectations and I feel very fortunate.

A quick shout out to SpeeyMoto and Christian Hanson. Thanks for the call!

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Shopping for a Virago and Stopping by the Portland Historic Races

This blog post could also be titled, “How to Get an Awesome Sunburn on a Perfect Sunday in July”… Who would’ve guessed that not wearing suntan lotion on a partly-cloudy July afternoon and being in the direct sun for about 5 hours (at least) would do any more than add a little color. You’d think I was 14 or something.

Part 1

I started the day by driving the S2000 up to Portland (top up actually) to meet friends who were shopping for their first motorcycle. I was coming up to help out with the test ride and once over for overall condition. Twist my arm right?

{Mark 10:00am: Dropped the top after a quick stop for a bottle of water.}

Danno wanted a beginner bike that was somewhere between a standard and a cruiser. We went to look at a 92 Honda Nighthawk 750 and an 82 Yamaha Virago 750. To be honest, the Nighthawk looked pretty promising in the ad and I was secretly pulling for this one over the Virago — mostly because it’s newer, I know a guy who’s put a ton of miles on one, and it’s more familiar in terms of the riding position I’m used to.

Unfortunately as is the case with many Craigslist sourced leads, those re-sized (and generally crappier) photo’s they host for you make it difficult to tell just how nice the bike really is. In short, the Nighthawk was generally not well cared for. Maintained just enough that all systems worked ok, but in general needed a thorough service front-to-back to be right. At $2000 it didn’t feel right to me. One sentence review of riding experience: Even though it’s power is pretty good for it’s age, the bike didn’t feel well balanced and in fact felt pretty heavy and a bit awkward during transitions.

So we decided to consider this bike as a ‘maybe’ and decided to break for a quick breakfast since it was still only mid-morning at this point. A quick stop by was needed at Fat City Cafe in Multnomah Village, where we were quickly served a great breakfast. Now we were ready to check out the next potential ride.

Next up was the Virago which was actually in Vancouver across the river. We met a nice retired man who had probably 6 Japanese bikes of this vintage in his garage, all in mostly good condition. Initial impressions were really good as the bike had obviously received some recent care with good tires, new starter, and very clean overall. Compared to the Nighthawk that had a brutally filthy chain, peeling paint, and a leaky caliper, this bike was ready for sale: clean, similar miles at under 15K, and was priced at only $1200. Granted it’s ten years older and power was no comparison to the Nighthawk, it was really easy to ride. It can’t weigh much and dipped into corners with ease. The riding position was somewhat new to me and I actually put my feet on the rear pegs the first time I sat on it. But after riding it for 15 minutes, I see the appeal. It’s totally relaxing and I’ll be damned if those vents on the front of your jacket don’t work 100% better when air is actually hitting them head on instead of getting the leftovers just above the tank!

My advice was to sleep on it and offer $1000 the next day. Danno replied, “I’ve got a thousand on me right now…” and then walked back to the front door and made a deal. We’re going back next week to get it. Congratulations guys, it’s a great first bike!

Part 2

Then I continued top-down in the Honda to the racetrack for the Portland Historic Races around 1pm. This is a great event in our own backyard, and Bob and Joe from Sports Car Shop were racing as well. I was looking forward to putting the 70-200 F4 L into the field again and the weather was perfect.

Sports Car Shop got a great spot for their team and was in the parking lot just behind the clock tower. Plus their close friend decided to add to the general Feng Shui of their pad with his recently acquired Ferrari F430! Beautiful car!

I then puttered around the paddock and club parking areas while grabbing a quick bite to eat before Joe and Bob went out in back-to-back sessions between 3 and 4pm. Once they were out, I grabbed my favorite spot at the track even though the light was facing me. Nonetheless, it was worth the full frontal sun assault considering some of the resulting pictures:

Leaving PIR with the top up, I washed up in the bathroom before hitting the road and when I saw myself in the mirror, my cheeks were definitely a little pink, but not bad. But now that I’ve cooked dinner (on the BBQ outside, doh!) and sat down to edit photos and blog about the day, I’ve gone from pink to full on red — all over. Like an idiot I failed to remember, like I do every year after the first good drive with the top down, that when the top is down = you’re outside and getting burned. Maybe I’ll remember next year…

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Partial Gallery of 2010 Portland Historic Races Sunday Afternoon