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…

dc

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

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

1984 Alfa Romeo GTV – Great Shape, Even Better Price!

Paul sent me an IM tonight with this link and it’s too good a deal not to share. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest and looking for a modern-classic Alfa Romeo, this could be your car:

1984 Alfa Romeo GTV6-Silver – $3500 (SW Portland)

1984 Alfa Romeo GTV6 For Sale in Portland1984 Alfa Romeo GTV6 For Sale in Portland1984 Alfa Romeo GTV6 For Sale in Portland1984 Alfa Romeo GTV6 For Sale in Portland

quote from the Craigslist ad:

For sale is a very good condition GTV6 with 78k miles. I have owned it for about 10 years. Runs and drives great but has the usual fragile 2nd gear synchro. Tires are nearly new on period correct 15 inch OZ wheels. Windows work great, all gauges work as they should, as does all lights and signals. AC system is intact but missing the belt. Leather interior in good shape. Paint is shiny with minor defects here and there, no major dents or dings. Surface rust in spare tire well only. No leaks of any kind. I just had the timing belt, tensioner, water pump and all seals at the front of the engine replaced so I can drive it around for the summer. Always passes DEQ with ease. Sale includes original Campy wheels with tires.

Being a 1984 and 25 years old, this car qualifies for all kinds of ‘classic’ category events. It’s been on my mind recently when thinking about shows, vintage racing, etc… For $3500, this looks like it’d be a great entry into that arena.

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Larison Rock 2009: Day 1 Report

Larison Day 1 2009 055

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.

Larison Day 1 2009 051

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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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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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

Ride Report: OVM Vintage Motorcycle Ride, Corvallis, Oregon

Considering this show is in my own town, I had little excuse for not attending the Oregon Vintage Motorcyclists ride for their show this year at the Benton County Fairgrounds. Some really great looking bikes turned out for the ride, probably 60+ strong. And all kinds: restored show bikes, never restored beaten classics, and even some modern classics like my bike and Bob’s RC51. Good group, though there was one down on a great old late 70’s looking BMW. I heard broken shoulder and collar bone… Ouch!

Here are the pics from the Blackberry Curve:

Corvallis Vintage Motorcycle Show RideCorvallis Vintage Motorcycle Show RideCorvallis Vintage Motorcycle Show RideCorvallis Vintage Motorcycle Show RideCorvallis Vintage Motorcycle Show RideCorvallis Vintage Motorcycle Show RideCorvallis Vintage Motorcycle Show RideCorvallis Vintage Motorcycle Show Ride

I’m going to miss the show tomorrow so I can hit the Oregon Trail Rally. Don’t you love this time of year?!

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