A Quick Trip to Cape Meares on the Ducati and VFR

I had tried earlier this year to sell my Ducati 750SS, but admittedly it’s a slow market and I was asking a premium. Fast-forward to June and the weather has finally turned to summer. Time to take the bike off the market and ride! Paul suggested the following route for this Sunday:


View Larger Map

As you can tell, it’s a good day trip. But especially long if it’s your second ride of the year! My body is tired after this trip, but so worth it. Here are the pics (click for hi-res):

Cape Meares Oregon Coast Motorcycle Trip
Yep, this is what the Oregon Coast looks like when it's 70 degrees and sunny outside!
Cape Meares Oregon Coast Motorcycle Trip
The beautiful Oregon coast
Cape Meares Lighthouse
Cape Meares Lighthouse
Cape Meares Ducati 750 and VFR 750
Cape Meares Ducati 750 and VFR 750
Cape Meares Ducati 750 and VFR 750
Cape Meares Ducati 750 and VFR 750

Thanks for the great ride Paul!

dc

Early Summer Road Trips Photo-Gallery: SBK at Miller and Historics at Sears Point

As usual I’m completely behind on my personal blog, but the last few weeks have been epic! We were very lucky to be able to part sponsor the Veloce Racing team at the Miller Motorsports World SuperBike weekend a couple weeks ago, and then my wonderful wife treated me to a long weekend at Sears Point (it still doesn’t seem natural to call it Infineon) for the Wine Country Classic, which they now call the Historic Car Festival.

Each event deserves, and will receive, it’s own blog entry. But for now I thought I would at least share pictures that have been posted elsewhere with some captions. Stay tuned,

dc

World SuperBike Weekend at Miller Motorsports Park, Salt Lake City, Utah

Our Moto Forza Veloce Racing Aprilia 250 Gallery from Rare SportBikes For Sale:

A giant gallery of the Miller SuperBike 2010 event:

Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival

And here are a few shots from the recent “1st Annual” (20th Wine Country Classic) Historic Motorsports Festival. As you can tell, I’ve been fooling around with alot of Photoshop and wide-screen-like formatting:

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Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival 2010

Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival 2010

Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival 2010

Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival 2010

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More to come!

dc

Road Trip to SBK at Miller Motorsports Park

13 hours 20 minutes later, we have arrived in Salt Lake City for the SBK racing at Miller Motorsports Park this weekend. I have to say that this is one of the longest road trips I’ve taken in some time, but the XC70 was a really comfortable and capable car for this journey.

Paul and I are here to enjoy the races as RareSportBikesForSale.com is now an official supporter of the Moto Forza Veloce Racing Aprilia team! Keep an eye on the RSBFS Facebook page for some live blogging and pictures from the pits.

Here are some snapshots from our long day on the road:

Decals applied the night before (new logo coming soon!)

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Freaking cold over the pass!

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A stop for lunch in the middle of nowhere

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Lunch done right on the road

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We were treated to beautiful vistas like this all day long

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Lame self portrait in progress

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Arrival at the hotel! If I was a little dumber I would’ve waited for 9:16 😉

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A proper unwinding after a long drive: Pokerstars, Heineken, and deli plate

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And ready for tomorrow’s action

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The Moto Forza Veloce Racing team heads out early for qualifying tomorrow morning at 8:30 and we’re going to make a serious effort to be there — and hopefully see them positioned in the top 10 in a field of 45 (17/45 today).

Good night all!

dc

New MotoringBlogs Website: New Old Car of the Day

I’ve started a new website with a VWVortex member, Mr. Variety, who has a knack for finding extremely low mile classic cars on eBay. Introducing NewOldCaroftheDay.com:

NewOldCaroftheDay.com

Today’s find, an amazing 736 mile 1973 Porsche 911 — for an eye watering $185k!

New Old Car of the Day:  1973 Porsche 911

This will be a really fun blog to follow and I hope you’ll join us.

dc

My First Product Review: Nokia HF-510 Speakerphone

First of all I want to thank WOMWorld for giving me the opportunity to make my first ever product review blog post. It was really fun trying out the two devices and I appreciate you reaching out!

The product I was asked to review was the Nokia HF-510 Bluetooth speakerphone. With it they sent a Nokia N97 in white to test with. As soon as they arrived, I opened them both up and my immediate impression was that they were both very good looking and well made products.

My plan was to get the speakerphone out to my car as soon as possible to test everything out. But then my mechanic called and told me he had an opening to service my car that week and would need the car. All week. Not to mention it was raining anyway and I wanted a sunny day to photograph and video the speakerphone in action.

So in the meantime I swapped the SIM card from my Blackberry Curve to the N97 to try it on for that week. My initial impression was a bit soured when the back cover didn’t snap in flush to the phone. Doing some research online thinking I was putting it on wrong revealed that this is a common problem for the device. Too bad because the overall fit and finish of the device was really nice – beautiful screen, nice weight, and good materials. The action of sliding the screen back to reveal the keyboard had an especially nice solid and click into place feeling.

In brief, I’d say the N97 was a good smart phone but I can tell I’m now a full-on Blackberry addict. While the Curve is quite outdated compared to the N97, the menu navigation is much more intuitive. For instance, I’ve become quite accustomed to typing in the first few letters of a contact on file to call, and felt constricted on the N97. You can set up contact icons for those you call most often, but my list of commonly called would really exceed what was practical for this menu. Maybe there is a faster way to do this, but in my limited time with phone I didn’t find it by just looking around. I was also excited to try out the touch-screen on the N97, but found it very sensitive and often felt like my fingers were just too big for the interface.

That said, it was a joy to surf YouTube videos and enjoy the high quality screen and playback. The backlit keys were also really nice at night. The wifi connectivity was also very welcomed as my Curve doesn’t have this feature and the difference in speed is considerable. It also has a nice camera built in that took pretty good images. Here is the before and after of lasagna I made for my friends Pat and Steph:

Picture of Lasagna taken with Nokia N97 Picture of Lasagna taken with Nokia N97

The real bad news for U.S. customers is that if the N97 appeals to you, I wasn’t able to find a major carrier here that offered this phone in a package. As such you’ll need to buy an unlocked phone at full price. Amazon is currently listing the phone for $512.94

On to the HF-510 speakerphone, this was also a nicely put together device. It has a great looking LCD display on the front that makes it pretty easy to see what you’re doing, even in full sunlight. It also features a simple menu navigation via the main button on the front and the outer wheel that spins around the outside of the device to scroll through options.

Unfortunately my review of this device came at the very end of my trial period due to scheduling issues on my end, and my review of the actual device was quite short. That said, I was able to put together the following first time set up video for the two devices. Be kind folks, it’s my first attempt at one of these:

As you may have noticed, the actual use of the device during a call was quite limited. I have to admit that I’m not a regular user of speakerphones and it wasn’t totally intuitive to me on how to use these devices together. I have since figured out what I was doing wrong, but by the time that revelation occurred it was time to send the devices back. Long story short, don’t touch the phone once in the car and synced. Almost any interaction with the phone when connected to the speakerphone will result in phone reverting back to the active device — which of course defeats the whole purpose. I’m sure that I would’ve figured this out after the first day with more use, and I expect that it would’ve resulted in trouble free use.

In conclusion, I really liked the build quality, ease of installation, and easy to read display (which didn’t show well in the video, but looked great in person). Had I spent more time with the device and owner’s manual before getting in the car, I could’ve probably had everything setup as desired in an hour. And with Oregon’s new hands-free only law, it will definitely help drivers stay connected, safe, and lawful.

Amazon has the Nokia HF-510 listed for a very reasonable $70.35

Thank you again to WOMWorld for the opportunity to review these devices and try my hand at a review.

Dan Crouch

{FTC note: these products were used on a trial basis for two weeks and sent back to WOMWorld after that. There was no monetary compensation for this review. -dc}

Our Visit to the 2010 Portland Auto Show

Nearly two weeks ago now, Shana and I made a day of the Portland Auto Show. We used to go every year to fantasize about new cars, but have missed the event in recent years. It’s fun to check out everything up close and personal without the hassle of a salesman crawling down you neck.

We started our day by hitting up the S2ki Forum Hillsboro Honda meetup for S2000 owners. I only got a couple of quick pictures but it was fun to finally meet some forum members I had met online numerous times but never connected with in person. Great job getting 30 cars to come out in the middle of winter Ira! Check out all the pictures on S2ki.

We were fairly rushed at the meet because we had an appointment after that to check out a used Infinity QX4 for the missus. Looked promising in the pictures, but was a little too rough for us. We’re actually having a pretty tough time finding a suitable car for Shana because we’re so used to enthusiast vehicle shopping, which usually results in clean and documented cars to shop for. We were thinking of going with a more dependable Japanese variant, but they’re just not cared for like the European rides we’re used to looking at. Now we’re thinking of going back to European shopping in the form of a Land Rover Discovery. We’re back in Portland this weekend, so we’ll probably stop and look a few then.

Then it was on to check into our downtown Portland hotel, Hotel Lucia. What a beautiful place and fantastic service! Not to mention it was in the center of everything we had planned and easy Max trip to the Convention Center for the show. Can’t wait to stay there again!

After freshening up, it was on to the Portland Auto Show. Tickets were reasonably priced at $10 and at the ticket window we were reminded that many major manufacturers were not there due to cutbacks and slow sales. This was a bummer as BMW, Saab, Mercedes, and many others were definitely cars we were looking forward to jumping into.

{warning: really crappy images ahead. I’ve been too busy to post-process these but wanted to put up what I had.}

Ron Tonkin brought out a few new cars and a couple older ones from his collection. These were all front and center outside the main conference areas:

Ferrari Daytona Spyder Ferrari Enzo Maserati Ferrari F430

MotoCorsa was also in attendance with the latest Lotus and Ducati offerings. The black Sport 1000 was exactly like the demo bike I rode a couple years back.

Lotus Evora Silver Lotus Elise Ducati Sport 1000 Aprilia RSV4

Then it was on to the Audi and Porsche areas. I have to admit, I wanted to check out the Panamera because it looks so bad in pictures. It didn’t disappoint, it’s ugly and HUGE! First the blasphemy that is the Cayenne and now this abomination. So sad that a more true to spirit business model couldn’t have been used to get them into the 21st century.

Audi Rings

Audi Q7

Porsche Panamera

Porsche 997 Turbo

The local SCCA chapter also had a nice area set up. There were several car corral areas that usually aren’t present, likely due to so many manufacturers pulling out this year.

Porsche 996 race car VW Beetle Race Car Porsche Moby Dick 935 Race Car

And here are few more random snaps. You’ll notice how crowded Saturday afternoon was. I think every Dad in town got babysitting duty as there were lots of kids running around. Reminds me that we prefer going on Thursday mid-day when it’s super quiet!

After the show we met up with our good friends Danno, his wife Angie, and our close friend Julie who also happened to be in Portland that day. We had a fantastic dinner at Mother’s Bistro just a few blocks from the hotel. What a meal! Plan on leftovers no matter how big your appetite is!

And by chance, another friend of ours was in town for a whirlwind 48 hour tour, my close friend Ed. He lives in Atlanta now, but amazingly we’ve managed to meet up several times in the past few years. We met for a nightcap at Pazzo and then stumbled upstairs to crash after a very long day.

We’re heading back up to Portland for a wedding at Edgefield this weekend. That makes about 4 trips up there in 5 weeks. Maybe we should get a condo!

dc

The Paul Frere Article That Turned Me On To Alpina

I’ve been meaning to make this post for a while. I spotted this scanned article on VWVortex over the holidays and it’s been on my to-post list since then.

Fujimi Alpina B10 Biturbo Model KitMy Dad was always a Road & Track reader when I was growing up, and he used to bring home his latest issue after a business trip for me to read. I vividly remember this March 1991 issue because soon after I read it, I went down to Trump’s Hobbies in town and placed a special order for the . I painted it black on black because I have no skills building models and it turned out awesome! I wish I had a picture.


Paul Frere
was a fantastic writer and an accomplished race car driver. He was well respected in his field and here are some of his quotes from the article:

[…] but the 535i-based B10 Biturbo is surely the most impressive of them all: a comfortable 4-door that blends Rolls-Royce silence with Testarossa performance, with road manner to match.

The B10 reached a maximum speed of 181 mph. At such speeds, the car feels entirely stable, with no suggestion of the front end getting light or any tendency to wander.

Thanks to the low inertia of the two small turbo chargers and to the electronic wastegate control, response is nearly immediate n al most any circumstance.

Ever since reading that article I’ve wanted to have a real Alpina. I’m going to have to keep an even closer eye on the classifieds having reread that article again! Please feel free to leave a comment with your Alpina experiences!

Here are a few e34 Alpina videos for you to snack on tonight:

dc

Steve Hislop Onboard at Isle of Man TT 1994

Check out this fantastic lap ridden and narrated by Steve Hislop aboard an RC45 in 1994:

I love how he talks about that first section and how he normally hits 170mph through there on a flying lap! This is such a strong reminder that I need to visit this event in person sometime soon… I mean how much longer can such a bad ass and dangerous event continue to run like this?!

dc

source: Hell for Leather


By the way, have you been by Rare SportBikes For Sale recently? It’s been great having a co-author and we’ve found some beauts this summer. Stop by and say hi!

Pictures from the Start Line of the Monte Shelton Northwest Classic Rally

Portland Anniversary Trip 8.8.09 186

6780_619064911988_19710368_36481035_4288835_nThe Monte Shelton Northwest Classic Rally is an event I’ve wanted to become more knowledgeable about for a long time. My wife and I were on the coast probably 6 or 7 years ago and saw a line of classic cars heading down 101 with the Monte Shelton number plates on the sides, and I knew that some day I’d like to participate.

This year we planned to be in Portland for the start of the event to take see what it was all about. I was pleased to find that while some of the cars were in fact very valuable and rare collector cars, there were also many other vintage cars of varying rarity and value. It truly looks like an event for well prepared cars and individuals with a passion for driving in the Pacific Northwest. The event also serves as benefit for the March of Dimes which I thought was a nice touch as well.

I’ve never done a TSD rally before, but it looked like there were plenty of first-timers at the event and the morning meeting promised no surprises. And for those not interested in competing, there was even an opportunity to simply follow the route for fun and join everyone at the checkpoints.

I look forward to getting an eligible classic sometime soon so I can participate too. In the meantime, here are the pics outside start/finish line in Downtown Portland:

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Portland Anniversary Trip 8.8.09 213

Portland Anniversary Trip 8.8.09 195

My full gallery is here (348 pics!):

And I stumbled onto this YouTube picture gallery as well:

dc

LaVelle Vineyards Summer Club and Party European Car Show

LaVelle-Vineyards-Car-Show-8.2.09-049

This past Sunday was the first LaVelle Vineyards European car show hosted by Sports Car Shop. It was a fantastic afternoon affair on the slopping lawns surrounding the tasting room outside Elmira. Good company, great cars, and delicious wine made for an easy formula that attracted over 40 cars on display and lots of enthusiast onlookers.

Here are my pictures (snapshots really) from the show. Can’t wait to go again next year!

dc