Paul and I Visit the 2009 Seattle Ducati Club BBQ

I’ve been meaning to attend the DesmoNorthwest BBQ for at least two years in a row and this year I had no excuse not to. Naturally I hit my buddy Paul up to join me; he can’t say no to rides over 100 miles, let alone nearly 650 miles. In two days total! Yep, we decided to ride up and back on Saturday and Sunday.

But the leg up on Saturday was the real meat of the trip. We rode back roads from Corvallis to Edgefield in Troutdale for a late breakfast. We both had the bacon scramble with fresh baby red tomatoes and smothered in freshly grated Parmesan. Delicious!

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From there we hit I-84 for a quick blast to Hood River, where we took the bridge across the Columbia to Washington, and headed North for Mt. St. Helens. Turns out this area is a meca for sportbike riders as we must have seen nearly 100 riders in this area. Most of the roads are fantastic and the vistas are even more amazing.

We continued on past Randle through the Mt. Rainier area, past Mt. Adams, through Enumclaw, and then on to Issaquah. All in all, I think we were on the freeway less than an hour and half all day. Here is our route:

route map

Unfortunately when you’re behind on your day long back roads trip, you don’t stop for pictures. But luckily lots of other Flickr users have. Here is what you can expect from the area:

After riding some of the best, and some of the worst, that SW Washington had to offer, we were beat. Ten and a half hours later, we were hurting to say the least! Paul being the saint he is, and having water-tight hard bags on the VFR, went and got us some refreshments to unwind with after our journey:

Desmo BBQ Trip 7.27.2009 021

The next day we cleaned up the bikes and headed for the BBQ. After supporting the Ducati website for nearly 2 years, I was able to connect names and faces. I already knew the club was full of great people and it was a really nice gathering of like minded enthusiasts. Here are some pics of the rides that showed up:

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The worst part of the trip was definitely the last leg, from Issaquah to home via I-5. A record heat wave started that afternoon and we rode home in some seriously hot air on the blacktop for over 5 hours. It was like being blasted from all angles with heat guns no matter how fast or slow we managed. So we ended up stopping about every hour to rehydrate and recharge. Not much choice as we both had to be at work on time the next day.

All that said, I’m really glad we did this trip. Not only did I finally get to meet some great Ducatisti, I proved to myself I’m still capable of a big trip. I can’t wait to go again!

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The VFR750 and 750SS Attack the Willamette Valley Again!

The VFR750 and 750SS attack the Willamette Valley again, but this time the VFR is being piloted by Blake in a very generous loaner agreement with Paul. What can I say, the man is the shit for extending such an offer!

We took the back roads on Thursday for a killer ride up to Portland to visit with our SEO and PPC Vendor, Anvil Media Inc., on official OSU business. The weather on the way up was spectacular and we were treated to the best the valley has to offer while passing up all the various crops Oregon is known for: grass seed, wheat, filberts, strawberries, hops, grapes, green beans, corn, and many other types of organic produce. A ride like this reminds me why we live where we do!

Here are a couple pics from the Wheatland Ferry where we crossed the Willamette, and the current Anvil Media headquarters:

Ducati-750SS-and-Honda-VFR750-on-Wheatland-FerryBlake-and-Dan-at-Wheatland-FerryBlake-and-Dan-at-Anvil-Media-in-Portland

Here is the Google Map of our route up and pictures from the trip:

google_map

To follow up our trip, we assaulted Mary’s Peak on Saturday morning via back roads again of course! Highway 20 leading to the peak has recently been repaved at the base of the mountain and the road to the summit is still one of the best hillclimbs out there in terms of corners per mile and scenic views. Here are the pics from the Peak:

Blake-and-Dan-at-Marys-PeakBlake-and-Dan-at-Marys-Peak_2Blake-and-Dan-at-Marys-Peak_3

Many thanks to Paul for loaning out the bike to Blake, the best in SEO and Social Media for hosting us: Anvil Media, and rural Oregon for best and most scenic roads anywhere!

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Larison Rock 2009: Day 1 Report

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Long story short, it has been my day. I tied my fastest time up the hill today — although Paul is right behind me with his best time ever at the ‘rock and is only 6 tenths behind me with a matching 2:13! But best of all, I just won the 50-50 raffle drawing for $310! The other $310 goes to the Oakridge Volunteer Fire Department, who did a amazing job today, on the 4th of July, but especially considering the kick ass job they did responding to a Ford Focus that met a Douglas fir at speed. The driver walked away and even attended the pizza dinner afterwards!

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In other news, Ed’s time still stands even though we we’re wearing slicks on the car now. But we have one day left and we both feel confident now that we’ve felt the incredible difference between street and race tires.

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And of course no Rabbit Track Day car post would be complete without a huge shout out to Paul Breen who built the most solid and reliable vehicle we could’ve wished for with the budget we started out with 6 years ago. Thank you Paul!

Here is my 2009 Larison Rock Hillclimb gallery so far:

Check out Paul’s post on his blog as well.

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Gallery From Parts Obsolete Camp Out Car Show 2009

Just a quick gallery of pics from my visit to the Parts Obsolete Car Show and Camp Out this year. Check out my route and pics on theS2000blog.com And here’s the link to last year’s show post.

Here are my favs from this year:

Wine Tasting and Parts Obsolete Porsche Show 2009

Wine Tasting and Parts Obsolete Porsche Show 2009

Wine Tasting and Parts Obsolete Porsche Show 2009

Wine Tasting and Parts Obsolete Porsche Show 2009

Wine Tasting and Parts Obsolete Porsche Show 2009

Wine Tasting and Parts Obsolete Porsche Show 2009

And the gallery:

If you’re a Porsche fan and in the Willamette Valley, you owe it to yourself to make sure this event is on your calendar for next year!

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2009 Portland Rose Cup Races Recap

Got a chance to hang out at PIR for an afternoon with Paul, Ed, Bob, and Brenda for the Rose Cup races, featuring the Trans Am series. The weather was a perfect high 70’s and cleared up nice by the time the main event was on. Congratulations to Tommy Drissi for his authoritative win in that Jaguar!

Here’s my quick pics from the event {yep, they’re over Photoshop’d, sue me!}:

A Mazda RX-2 Custom
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An exceptional Porsche 951
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Congratulations to Tommy Drissi!

Tommy-Drissi-PIR-Rose-Cup-Trans-Am-Winner


The Chicane at Portland International Raceway:

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The Sports Car Shop support rig with the race cars:

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Check out the entire gallery, unedited:

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A Behind the Scenes Look at SpeedyMoto in Portland, Oregon

I recently got the opportunity to catch up with an old friend from my childhood, Christian Hansen, who now happens to being making performance parts for Ducati motorcycles — right up the road in Portland! SpeedyMoto manufactures custom triple clamps, clips-on’s, rear sets, and many other billet aluminum pieces. Christian explained that what started as a business making custom clutch covers five years ago has grown every year and expanded to provide numerous parts for the discerning Ducati enthusiast tuner.

Here are some pictures from my SpeedyMoto tour:

Christian kicking back at the SpeedyMoto office.  That's their Ducati Monster development bike in the background and to the left is a custom 250 MotoGP frame on the conference table.
Christian kicking back at the SpeedyMoto office. That's their Ducati Monster development bike in the background and to the left is a custom 250 MotoGP frame on the conference table.
Here is a SpeedyMoto triple clamp development piece that they were working on the day of my visit.
Here is a SpeedyMoto triple clamp development piece that they were working on the day of my visit.
Christian showing me the rapid prototyping machine that spits out an ABS plastic prototype pieces after clicking 'print' from the workstation.  He said this piece took about 8 hours to build.
Christian showing me the rapid prototyping machine that spits out an ABS plastic prototype piece after clicking print from the workstation. He said this piece took about 8 hours to build.
As we started to walk through the production area we stopped to check out a lot of recently produced bar risers for Ducati SuperSports.
As we started to walk through the production area we stopped to check out a lot of recently produced bar risers for Ducati SuperSports.
At the far end of the shopping, Christian pointed out the raw aluminum stock as delivered, which will eventually become clutch covers.
At the far end of the shopping, Christian pointed out the raw aluminum stock as delivered, which will eventually become clutch covers.
And here are the clutch covers in mid-production form.  The aluminum stock is first cut into 3-4 inch discs, and the shapped on each side as seen here.
And here are the clutch covers in mid-production form. The aluminum stock is first cut into 3-4 inch discs, and the shapped on each side as seen here.
On our way out of the production area, Christian pointed out this vintage 1960's P&H welder.  It was originally used in Portland to build IndyCar race car frames and has always resided in a race facility in the Portland area.  He tells me they're like vintage guitar amps.
On our way out of the production area, Christian pointed out this vintage P&H welder. It was originally used in Portland to build Indy Car race car frames and has always resided in a race facility in the Portland area. He tells me they're like vintage guitar amps.
Here are the SpeedyMoto showroom bikes.  These bikes feature lots of custom SpeedyMoto parts and are not show queens but hardcore development machines.
Here are the SpeedyMoto showroom bikes. These bikes feature lots of custom SpeedyMoto parts and are not show queens but hardcore development machines.
A SpeedyMoto Pressure Plate on the custom Sport Classic on display.
A SpeedyMoto Pressure Plate on the custom Sport Classic on display.

As we wrapped up the tour, Christian had two pieces of exclusive news for dancrouchblog.com readers. First that there will be a special edition 848 model coming from Ducati later this year and it will feature a few pieces made by SpeedyMoto! And in other news, the SpeedyMoto crew is excited to see their first product on the big screen in the new Transformers Movie: Revenge of the Fallen. Check out the triple clamp on the Ducati in the movie!

SpeedyMoto in Revenge of the Fallen Transformers Movie

It was great catching up with Christian and something tells me this won’t be the last time he’s mentioned on this blog as we’re planning to meet up again soon.

If you have a business that should be featured on this blog, shoot me an email and let’s talk about advertising.

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Maybe Gran Turismo 5 will be Released this Decade?! New Video from E3

GT Planet got this video up about an hour after it was shown at the E3 conference:

Looks like real time damage, and it look REALLY good! That shot of the rally car is fantastic. And to get WRC and Ferrari licensing in is welcomed news as well. But if the inclusion of NASCAR is what delayed this game the last 3-4 years, I’ll be pissed. The marketing powers that be really squeezed in a whopper though and this should bring the game to a whole new audience segment. Hopefully they’ll all see the light: that turning left and right is a more entertaining sport!

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btw – I dug out the old PS2 and started working through GT4 again. Join me over at theS2000blog.com to play along 🙂

We Attend the Oregon Vintage Motorcyclists Show

This year’s OVM Vintage Motorcycle Show in Corvallis was great again this year. A perfect 85 degree day with fantastic attendance that Paul, Scott, and I finished with a blast up and down Mary’s Peak. Life doesn’t get much better does it?!

I’m going to quick post this entry with just pictures as I have a pretty full week ahead. Good thing we got out when we had the chance!

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OVM Vintage Motorcycle Show Corvallis

A Laverda hiding in the parking lot:
Laverda at OVM Vintage Motorcycle Show Corvallis

A rare BMW R100RS:
BMW R100S OVM Vintage Motorcycle Show Corvallis

A gorgeous BMW R90S in the parking lot:
BMW R90S OVM Vintage Motorcycle Show Corvallis

An early 91 or 92 Ducati 900SS in the parking lot:
Ducati 900SS at OVM Vintage Motorcycle Show Corvallis

A vintage 1970 Ducati 450 For Sale:
Ducati For Sale at OVM Vintage Motorcycle Show Corvallis

A 1971 Honda CB 500 Four. Once upon a time I almost bought one just like this — except it was totally clapped out. This one was perfect.
Honda CB500Four OVM Vintage Motorcycle Show

A perfect and original Honda CX500 Turbo:
Honda CX500 Turbo OVM Vintage Motorcycle Show

A gorgeous vintage Ducati and exposed bevel gears!
Vintage Ducati at OVM Vintage Motorcycle Show
Vintage Ducati Bevel Gears OVM Vintage Motorcycle Show 5.17.09 006

An R90S For Sale at $5950:
BMW R90S For Sale at OVM Vintage Motorcycle Show Corvallis

And the shot at the top of Mary’s Peak to cap off our day:
Honda VFR, Ducati 750SS, BMW 4 Valve at Mary's Peak after OVM Vintage Motorcycle Show Corvallis

The entire 2009 OVM Vintage Motorcycle dancrouchblog.com Gallery:

Check out even more pictures at Brad’s Blog, Troubadour on a Triumph, for more OVM coverage.

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Small Gallery from the Euros in the Valley Car Show 2009

Paul was one of the organizers behind this year’s Euros in the Valley car show. Naturally I had to attend and I was really surprised with the great turnout. Here are my personal favs from the show:

Scirocco MK2 owned by Josh from Sports Car Shop:
Euros in the Valley 2009 Scirocco MK2

Check out the uber rare Zender fan covers! I’m going to have to go back to the VW&Porsche archive to see if I can find an original ad for these. I hear the rims underneath are just as impressive.
Euros in the Valley 2009 Zender Fan Disc Covers

Darren’s sweet e30 325ic, which has been brought back from the dead, literally! Great job man!
Euros in the Valley 2009 BMW e30 325i Cabriolet Alpina

This BMW 3.0CS was in fantastic shape:
Euros in the Valley 2009 BMW 3.0CS

I finally got to see Richard’s e21 320i that I posted on German Cars For Sale Blog. The first real e21 buyer that comes along is going to buy this car. No negotiation required as $3200 is more than fair!
Euros in the Valley 2009 BMW e21 320i

Paul’s Porsche 911SC looks like one of the standouts at this years show:
Euros in the Valley 2009 Porsche 911SC

My personal pick for best of show was this bus. Totally perfect in every way:
Euros in the Valley 2009 Bus 500 Windows

Though a close second would be this Sahara BMW 2002:
Euros in the Valley 2009 BMW 2002 Sahara

Here’s a gallery of all the cars I took pics of:

Nice event! Looking forward to participating more in the coming year,

dc

A Visit to the Barber Motorsports Museum: Sportbike Nirvana

If you should find yourself even within 500 miles of Birmingham, make an effort to get to Barber Motorsports Park. In addition to hosting the likes of AMA Superbike, NHRA drag racing, Grand-Am road racing, WERA, and two vintage weekends, they also feature a museum of rare sport bikes. The on site museum is packed with sport motorcycles; and they’re all perfect. Either ultra-low mile originals or beautifully restored examples. Many of the 20-40 year old examples had as few as 10 miles on them!

Paul and I recently made the trip to Birmingham to see our close friend Ed for his birthday in Duluth. On the way out of the airport towards Atlanta, I remarked to Paul that we should find out where the Barber Motorsports Park was in Alabama and see if we could fit that into our trip on the way back. 10 minutes later, we saw the billboard for the ‘next right, Barber Motorsports Park’. We looked at each other and noted that we would definitely make sure to hit the museum on the way back. Then we checked out the website. It boasts over 1000 motorcycles on display. I knew the collection was impressive, but I had no idea it was going to seriously rival the collection I saw at Hockenheim.

And as I eluded to, the collection didn’t disappoint. The entire facility is gorgeous and the place is spotless. Every bike on display is of significance and was almost always in perfect condition. We stopped by on a Monday in late February and nearly had the entire 5 floors to ourselves. To say the least, it was a totally orgasmic sportbike experience.

Here are my standouts, shot with a simple point and shoot digicam. Had I planned a little better, I would’ve known the racetrack was just outside our airport and packed the DSLR. Something tells me we’ll be back sooner than later though, and I’ll have the chance to redeem myself. In the meantime, check out the collection in the Flickr Group Pool for Barber Motorsports Park, which features beautiful hi-res pics of the museum and recent races.

Here’s a perfect example of the bike I rode in college: 1989 Yamaha FZR600, in this exact paint and graphics scheme. Mine was never in this condition, but it was super cool to spot it in the collection for sure. I can brag that a bike I used to own is on display!
Yamaha FZR600

An Aprilia RS250 Chesterfield replica. The bike I’ve always wanted and for some stupid reason didn’t buy when it came up for sale last year.
Aprilia RS250 Chesterfield 2 stroke

Upon spotting this awesome Honda CB-X, Paul’s first comment was, “I wonder how much those hard bags go for on eBay?!” I was dying with laughter!
Honda CB-X

And a little corner of the museum I’d like to refer to as my personal corner of sportbike porn heaven: A Ducati SS, an NC30, an RC30, an original Katana, AND a Yamaha FZR750RR OW01!
Birthday Trip to Georgia Feb 2009 103

And here’s the complete photo album of our visit to the Barber Vintage Museum:

$15 was never better spent, that’s for sure! If you should find yourself anywhere near this part of the world, and have ever had curious itch or a serious addiction, to sporting motorcycles, this is a must do.

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Check out Paul’s Garage Blog for more Barber Vintage Museum coverage!