Winter Photography in the Polar Vortex: Ice & Snow

Taken over the winter of 2021/22 with a Canon T6i DSLR and the STL Canon macro lens.  Backlighting created by opening a car door and shooting through the window into the morning sun. Click to zoom on image.

January 29th, 2022:

January 21st/22nd, 2022:

January 16th, 2022:

January 11th, 2022

January 3rd:

The Polar Vortex didn’t drop down on us until January.  December had a very different tone to it…

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Riding to a MotoGP Race, Next Level

Riding to Indy was a blast, one of the highlights of my summer.  I was all keen to sign up for the whole weekend next year, but then this happened.  With no Indy on the calendar any more, the chance of me riding south to see Valentino and Marc do their thing has just gotten quite a bit more extreme.  If Indy was level one, here is what more commitment would look like.


Riding to Texas, ironically, takes us right past the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  This one’s a bit tricky.  The Texas race next year is in April.  We can still get snow in April so it would have to be a weather permitting exit and then get south as quickly as possible to get clear of impassable roads.

Indy was a ~780km ride, Texas is over three times further at 2564kms; it’s basically a diagonal trip across the majority of North America.  The IBA has a Bunburner 1500, and the ride to Texas just happens to be 1593 miles.  Could it be done in 24 hours?  If it could, it would need some recovery time afterwards, and some serious physical and bike prep beforehand.

If the race is on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of April 8-10, 2016, I’d leave on Wednesday, April 7 (very) early morning, aiming to cross the border and be out of Detroit before anyone wakes up.  Baring any major traffic problems I’d land in a hotel in Austin Thursday morning early, and pass out.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday would be practice, qualifying and race day, and then I’d begin the trek back at a more sedate pace.  Five hundred mile days would mean a stop in Arkansas and Indiana on the way back, leaving Sunday afternoon and getting home late on Wednesday, April 13th.

Could a ride to The Circuit of the Americas be completed within a week from Southern Ontario?  That would be over 3000 miles or a touch over 5000kms in seven days.  Boo ya!


There is another MotoGP even I could ride to, but if you thought Texas was a stretch, this one is something else entirely.

The Argentinian MotoGP event takes place the week before Texas at the other end of the world.  If you thought the exit for Texas might be tricky, this one is downright diabolical.

This is a 13,655km (8485 mile) odyssey that would mean riding across two continents and crossing one of the highest mountain ranges in the world (not to mention the rain forests and dozen or so international borders).  Nick Sanders managed three trips up and down the Americas in 45 days, but he’s crazy, and legendary.  John Ryan, introduced to me through Melissa Holbrook Pierson‘s fantastic book, The Man Who Would Stop At Nothing, did Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to the tip of Florida in an astonishing 86.5 hours, but he too was crazy, and legendary.

The ride to Argentina would have intention.  This wouldn’t be a wishy-washy wandering around the world ride, it would have Terra Circa like intent.  I’ve thought about riding the Americas before.   Riding to Rio is about 16,500kms and I thought it would take 60 days (275kms/day – higher in North America, lower elsewhere).  Riding to Termas de Rio Hondo would be marginally shorter.  Pushing the average to 340 kms a day, it might be doable in 40 days.

That would mean a departure date of February 18th.  If you thought leaving in the first week of April might be weather problematic, leaving in the third week of February is positively terrifying.  I’d aim for a leaving ‘window’ between February 15-20 looking for clear roads to make a quick break south to get clear of the hard water.

This happens to fit nicely into a semester at school so it would be an easy absence to manage logistically.  With that in mind, I’d find myself in Argentina in the first weekend of April.  The end of the world is in the same country south of me, so hitting Ushuaia before coming back north and seeing Machu Picchu would be a nice idea.  Going down that way is a few hundred extra kilometres out of the way.

At this point do I have to return the bike?  If so, the ride back could take place over 18 weeks.  If not, the flight back happens in just under one day (though coming back via Texas would mean I’m on a plane with a whack of MotoGP types!

What to take?  Honda, Yamaha, Ducati and Suzuki all have factory presences at MotoGP and they each offer a viable choices:

Yamaha’s Super Ténéré is what Nick Sanders does his double ride up and down the Americas on.  When they took it apart after the trip the engine still looked brand new.  This is one tough bike.  That story impressed the motorcycle Jedi I work with so much he bought one.  It’ll handle less than perfect roads and swallow miles with ease… and it’s bullet proof.  I’d get mine in Rossi colours.  Whatcha think Yamaha Canada?

Honda’s African Twin is being resurrected next year.  Rumours have this bike being off-road capable and more than able to manage anything Central and South America might throw at it.  Canada to Argentina would be a solid way of proving the new Africa Twin’s metal, whatcha think Honda Canada?  I’d get mine in Marquez colours.

Ducati’s Multistrada is a long distance beauty with lots of tech thrown at it.  It doesn’t have the dependability rep of the two Japanese bikes above, but it appears a very capable all-rounder that would have no trouble managing the variety of roads to Argentina.  It’s so pretty and I haven’t heard of any epic treks made by one, so it’s a bit of a risk, but what’s a trip like this without some risk?  This ride would give the Multistrada that world beating rep.

I’d get mine in Ducati red, whatcha think Ducati North America?

Suzuki’s V-Strom is a road focused adventure tourer, but it has some off road cred after BIKE Magazine took one from the UK back to the factory in Japan where it was made.  Anything that can ride across Asia can manage Canada to Argentina.  Suzuki has only recently returned to MotoGP, it’d be nice to remind everyone that they’re there by riding a Suzi through all those countries.  Whatcha think Suzuki Canada?

My opportunity to ride to a MotoGP race hasn’t ended with the death of Indy, it’s just taken on a higher level of commitment.

Low Light Autumn 360 Camera On Motorcycle Photography

Taken around 4pm on a September 28th.  Sunset is about 2 hours off, but the sun is already low and a weather front is moving in bringing days of rain with it.  Not great light, but it shows you what a Ricoh Theta can pick up in poor conditions.  Most shots were taken while we were moving at 80+km/hr.


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Finding a Patch of Sun

As the sun rose on the shortest day of the year our little dog managed to find a fleeting patch of it and opened his solar collector ears to get as much as possible.  In a matter of minutes it was gone to be replaced by days of grey fog over Christmas; there was something in that moment.

If you get to fifty without any scars you’re not doing it right, and I have my fair share of scars.  I found myself struggling through another Christmas season feeling like the weight of the world was on my shoulders.  With a couple of weeks away from the emotional deficit that is Ontario education these days, I got some perspective and decided to try and make a conscious decision to find that patch of sunlight rather than dwell on the darkness.

The return to school started well enough, but you’re not just battling your own negativity, you’re also facing it in your students and colleagues.  With the end of the semester approaching and the system under attack from the elected representatives sworn to look after it, everyone is terse, but I was finding that my bonhomie was working.  I was able to calm and direct students, and when a colleague was rather unprofessional with my wife, I was able to help her through that too.

Yesterday was an epic shit show though. I got to school only to have my cell – which I’d forgotten in my classroom in a rush to get to the information picket the afternoon before – ringing off the hook.  It was my wife saying a snow plow had backed into her.  I rushed home to find the back window of the car blown out, glass all over the road and the ‘C’ pillar bashed in.  The plow had not only hit her, it had then pushed the car two feet sideways before stopping.

Alanna was ok but the kid driving the plow didn’t say a word.  His supervisor showed up and then the OPP.  It was all very amiable, but in retrospect this was them trying to manage an obviously at-fault accident.  The OPP officer (who never gave us his name) gave us an incident report number and that was that.  The township guys shovelled up the glass and  I followed Alanna over to the repair centre in Fergus to discover we were already $500 in the hole for a deductible.  They then said it might be a week before they even start working on it, and we only have 7 days of rental car coverage.  Nice to know our second most expensive car insurance in Canada rates don’t begin to pay for an accident that was in no way our fault.

Even with all that we were getting our sense of humour back as I drove Alanna to school.  As we approached the last traffic light before school I was in no rush and doing about 50kmh/hr.  I must have seen something in my peripheral vision because I suddenly found myself standing on the brake without knowing why as a mid-sized sedan blew through the red-light perpendicular to us.  I think we missed it by about fifteen feet.  At 50km/hr we were moving at about 13.9 metres per second.  Had I been moving at only a couple of kilometres per hour faster we would have been t-boned by that big, V6 sedan in our small hatchback and our son would have been an orphan.

None of this registered in the moment.  We were both already pretty shaken up by the morning and this was simply more nonsense piled on top.  We went to school and I got there about half an hour before my first class.  I spent most of that time sitting with my wife listening to the discussion with insurance.

With no breaks for the rest of the day I found myself unable to engage with my students effectively.  I told my seniors what happened and they went about their culminating projects and tried to give me some space.  I didn’t tell my junior classes, but our head of student support dropped by and when I told her what happened she offered to cover my class so I could get some head space.  It was nice to hear someone acknowledge how traumatic a morning like the one I had was.  I didn’t take her up on it and didn’t pursue leaving.  I’m anxious about asking for compassionate leave because I don’t have the greatest history when it comes to getting support while in crisis.

The next day I apologized to my junior students for being so short with them and found my way back onto the beam again.  After a weekend of biblical rain the sun rose on Sunday morning and the world had the colour turned up to eleven.  I just have to keep working on getting back to that small patch of sun, even when the world seems full of ineptitude and chaos.

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How Bespoke is Too Bespoke?

Owning a Fireblade checked a box, taught me
many things and was a zero cost experience!

I always try to balance out bike projects so that I land in the black on them.  I’ve gotten pretty
good at this.  The Fireblade Project cost me about $2300 all in and then I got to ride it for a season before selling it for $2500, which I then put towards the Concours14.  Even with fancy seats, windshields and other gubbins, the Connie only owes me about $7000.  Older model, double the mileage bikes are going for eight grand, so I’m still ahead there too.

People who throw big money down on customization that they like seem to think other people will pay extra to adopt their choices and tastes, which never made a lot of sense to me.  This goes for houses or in vehicles – just because you’re willing to pay a premium to get a certain look, doesn’t mean anyone else is, and expecting them to shell out for your choices is a bit naive.

The Concours was a cagey purchase that
still has me well in the black.

What does always sell is functionality.  As much as I’d like to get all romantic and throw money at the old Triumph I’m restoring, I’m more interested in making it work, and then riding it.  To that end, I’m not interested in creating a perfect replica of a 1971 Triumph Bonneville to put in shows, so modern touches (especially when they’re more cost effective than stock-at-all-cost options) are something I have no trouble with.  A bike that starts easily and runs sweetly sells itself much more quickly than a cantankerous but period correct trailer queen.  One’s a motorcycle, the other is art, and art is notoriously in the eye of the beholder.

One of the reasons I’ve always gravitated toward cheap and cheerful 80s and 90s Japanese restos was because the parts are usually easy to find, including hard parts from a breaker if needed, and they’re as cheap as chips to buy because people tended to use them rather than put them up on a pedestal.

My first brush with ‘vintage’ (I think a 51 year old air-cooled Triumph from before the collapse of the British bike industry qualifies as vintage) has me wondering if my approach still works.  The cost of parts is much higher than more recent Japanese bikes and this particular Bonneville was half taken apart by a muppet who wanted to be in Easy Rider, so I’m constantly finding parts missing or incorrect.  I’m also struggling with missing non-metric tools after having owned metric bikes my entire life.

When I’m reading Practical Sportbikes I enjoy the articles on DIY and the stories of scratchers who got a machine put together with their own hands.  When they run one of the ‘specials’ articles where it’s a rich guy with clean hands throwing money at a project, I lose interest quickly.  Classic Bike Magazine is similar.  When they’re talking about an owner keeping an old machine running on ingenuity and guile, I’m all in, but the minute it’s a millionaire adding to his collection with another bespoke machine put together by someone else, I’ve lost interest.

I just finished Guy Martin’s new book, Dead Men Don’t Tell Tales, and Guy ends the latest one
talking about trying to find what makes him happy.  This requires a fair bit of self awareness – something that most people don’t have.  Guy’s particularly difficult in that he will often act on an urge that turns out to be incorrect, but, as he says in the book, he’s evolving.

There’s a scene in Guy’s Garage where Cammy, his professional race mechanic mate, knows how to fix the car they’re working on but Guy has his own ideas and keeps bashing away at it wrong.  Rather than push the point, Cammy backs off and waits for Guy to realize he’s using the wrong tool for the job.

Guy is critical of Cammy for being slack in his approach to work in the book, but I’m left wondering if the truth isn’t somewhere in between:  what looks like a lack of effort from Guy’s point of view is actually a better use of his energy from the professional race mechanic’s point of view.  There’s more to all this than just jumping in to the physical labour, you need to be exercising the grey matter too.

What I’m taking from this latest round of Guy Martin media is that you’re more likely to stay engaged with and finish big projects if they make sense to you.  To that end, I spent yesterday working out why the kickstarter on the Bonneville wasn’t working (the muppet had put it in backwards).

The goal is still to have gone through the whole bike and have it back in working order without breaking the bank.  The amount spent on it matters less than whether or not the project is in the black.  If a functional ’71 Bonneville is worth about five grand, then that’s what I’ll work to on the budget, while keeping an eye on what engages me most about all this:  putting a sidelined bike back into service again… and then riding it!

This morning I’m looking at Motogadget’s mo.Unit Blue and considering how to best tackle a 51 year old wiring loom that looks to be in good shape but should probably get rebuilt if dependability is the goal.  An ignition powered by bluetooth on a smartphone is just the kind of steampunk anachronism that a riding focused buyer would dig.  That it’s also invisible means it won’t hurt the look of the bike (the only change is the ignition key isn’t there).

Got into rebuilding the Amal carbs only to discover the muppet who took them apart before didn’t install any of the air slider hardware for the choke, so now I’m hunting for hard parts for 51 year old carbs… in a pandemic.  Note my anemic imperial socket wrench set.

Ready to go and then stopped – neither carb has the air slider or hardware in it.  I’d normally call around to the local breakers, find a donor set of carbs and then keep them handy for situations like this.  That isn’t an option with a 51 year old British bike.

It’s coming along – slower than I’d like, but it’s coming along.  When it seems too much I remind myself why I’m doing it: one day soon that engine will turn over for the first time in decades and shortly after that I’ll be out riding the thing!

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DGR: Social Connections Challenge: Remember The Ride

I took a swing at the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Social Connections Challenge with MOTR Garage in the last post, but that idea might not tick the “innovative and disruptive” box – motorcycle coops already exist, though not in the format I’m suggesting.  My angle was to leverage retired teachers to connect men inter-generationally, but otherwise it’s an existing concept and not particularly disruptive, though it is scalable anywhere public education exists.

I just heard back from Motorcycle-Diaries and learned that I did not win their 2020 Dream Ride Contest, though being a top 5 finalist worldwide was pretty good by itself.  The winning trip by Theo De Paepe on riding to the northern lights is a moving piece worthy of the win.  Participating in this contest and reading all of these moving dream rides got me thinking about how digital connectivity might be used to reach out to younger potential riders lost in the digital wastes of 2020.

My own piece for that contest was on riding my granddad Bill’s path though France as a part of the British Expeditionary Force in 1939 and 1940 before the Blitzkrieg swept them out of continental Europe.  William Morris’s war record was another one of those family secrets that wasn’t talked about, but his military service during World War 2 is the stuff of film.  One of only a handful of his RAF squadron that escaped occupied France, Bill recovered downed planes during the Battle of Britain and then experienced three harrowing years in Northern Africa fighting Rommel as a driver in the RAF armoured car division.  He finished his tour in the white helmets motorcycle stunt team, doing drill and stunts on motorbikes!

Discovering my Granddad’s history was a great way to reconnect with a man I was close with as a child, but lost connection with when we emigrated to Canada.  As I was working through that family history I uncovered another mystery the family had been very quiet about, the death of my great aunt Faye.  My mum’s middle name was Faye, but I hadn’t realized she was named after her aunt.  I also didn’t know that Faye had died in a motorcycling accident in Norfolk in the mid-sixties when she was hit by an army lorry.  My mother had always stridently opposed me riding, and now that all suddenly made sense.  That my great aunt’s death ended my granddad’s life long love of riding and also prevented me from getting on a motorcycle when I first started driving is a lasting source of frustration.

Motorcycling isn’t easy, but it speaks to your very being, and it tends to self-select a certain kind of person.  It tends to run in families because families are literally all certain kinds of people.  Trying to bury my motorcycling family history only worked on me because I was an immigrant child separated from his extended family.  While I had uncles and cousins riding in the UK, I was oblivious in another country.

Finding my way back to my motorcycling gene played a big part in me eventually getting my license, though I’m frustrated at the lost decades I could have been riding.  It got me thinking about how many people are separated from family and live in a cultural void where they feel like they come from no one and from nowhere.  But we all have history, and many of us will have ancestors who rode.  Motorcycles used to be transportation before they became recreation.  Any rider can tell you how often an old timer will come up and start chatting about a bike they once owned – it happens to me on the Tiger all the time (Triumph is an old brand with a long history and a lot of old-timers have owned one).

DGR’s Social Connections Challenge wants to focus on disruptive, on-the-ground projects that help socially disaffected men who are more prone to suicide.  As a group, immigrant children are more socially disaffected than most, growing up in a strange country where they have no extended family.  The UN’s latest report has over two-hundred and seventy million people living as immigrants in countries they weren’t born.  On top of that there are many more people living without connection to their family history for various reasons.  Having grown up in a place where I had deep roots and moving to North America, I often meet people who have no idea where their families came from or even who anyone was before their grand parents.  In the early 20th Century motorcycles were transport, not a recreational activity, so many people have family history on two wheels they know nothing about.  I speak from personal experience when I say that making that connection is a powerful thing.

With that in mind, here’s another pitch to DGR’s Social Connections Challenge:

Granddad Bill on his bike in rural Norfolk well before I was born.

Inspiration:  As an immigrant child I’ve been separated from my extended family for most of my adult life and missed out on motorcycling through family as a result.  After my grandmother’s death I returned home to England for the first time in three decades and discovered secret family motorcycling history which prompted me to get my license.  Family connections have allowed me to bypass the postmodern amnesia many people face; that feeling that we are no one from nowhere. Ride To Remember would be an online resource that connects riders and would be riders to their family motorcycling history.  Realizing that riding is a part of your personal history is powerful.  Not only would this encourage new riders to ride by normalizing what is now considered a high risk activity in our sedentary, safety-first societies, but it would also reconnect us to a sense of continuity and belonging through our own family history.  Motorcycling is an acknowledgement of an inclination that often has roots going back generations.

Target Group:  disassociated men who feel that they don’t have a culture or family history related to riding.  The UN reports over 270 million people have immigrated internationally, and many others are separated from family through circumstances such as adoption.

Proposed Solution:  An interactive website/online community that collects and shares family history related to motorcycling: an for motorcyclists.  By connecting disenfranchised men to their family history, I hope to offer them the same sense of belonging and cultural connection that I have discovered.  By leveraging online connectivity and modern data management, Ride To Remember collates historical motorcycle related media in an easy to access database surrounded by a engaged community that encourages disassociated men to rediscover their moto-roots.

Project vision:  the pilot period involves setting up a .org site that creates an online relational database of motorcycling history using existing online documents tagged with details that allow users to search for material based on time, geographic location, names and other details.  A.I. image recognition software would be used to web-crawl and archive historical motorcycle related online images and online sources.  Long standing manufacturers, museums and vintage motorcycling organizations already have online presences that would provide regional structures in this growing information cloud.   With a growing data structure in place, analytics would allow users to quickly find connections.  They would also be encouraged to add information to the database, further enriching it.  We are at a pivotal time where a lot of analogue material will get lost in digital translation, this project would also encourage digitization of photos and documents for future motorcyclists.  The final stage would be an interactive database that connects people to their motorcycling past and reminds us that none of us comes from no one, nowhere.

Project leads:  writers, photographers and family historians who ride (like myself), anyone with family history in riding (motorbikes used to be family transport!) would be encouraged to share their ancestral motorcyclists.

Project title:  Ride To Remember



The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Social Connections:

Over 270 million immigrants in the world today:

My granddad’s war history and my great aunt’s death while riding was hidden family history that, once exposed, allowed me to embrace riding in a deep and personal way:

The Motorcyclist, by George Elliot Clarke – an ode to George’s father, who rode at a time when Canada made it difficult for black men to do anything:

We live in a broken world where families are torn apart while chasing (or being stolen) by globalism.  There is a power in riding that self selects a certain kind of person.  Remember The Ride will reconnect lost people to family two-wheel roots that run deep.
Pier 21 in Halifax is the location of the Canadian Immigration Museum.  As a nation of immigrants, Canada is particularly prone to family amnesia.

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On Going Historical Research: 1930s Off road riding

1930 Scottish Six Day Trial bike and the enigmatic Ms E Sturt
previous S6DT winners

Beer, and war!

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Brake System Maintenance on a C14 Kawasaki Concours

 I’m busy in the garage these days with the on-going 50 year old Triumph Bonneville restoration project.  It’s a big project that will take some time to sort out, but it’s -20°C outside with snow squall warnings of 20cm of snow coming, which means it’s also regular maintenance time on the two running bikes in the stable.

Tiger’s back in hibernation after last week’s sprockets & chain maintenance, waiting for a break in another never-ending winter of COVID for a chance to ride.

Last week the Tiger got new chain and sprockets.  I hadn’t done the sprockets on it since getting it over 5 years and 40k ago, so I figured it was time when I noticed the latest chain had stretch in it that made it impossible to set the sag properly.  This week it’s all about the Concours.

I got the Connie last spring in the middle of the second lockdown.  My son and I rented a van and drove down to The Beaches in Toronto and picked it up from its second owner who hadn’t been riding it for several years.  It’s a very low mileage bike (under 30k when I picked it up), but I like to cover all the basic maintenance so I can set a ‘zero point’ for future work.

As you would expect from Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the brakes on the GTR1400/C14 Concours are superbly engineered Nissin calipers.  I’d picked up the pads last summer but they hung on the wall until now because I was putting miles on the thing.  I did find the brakes were squeaking a bit, suggesting the calipers weren’t releasing properly – something that can happen in a bike that sits for several seasons.  Like I said before, I don’t like riding a bike where I’m not sure of the maintenance, especially on brakes, so it was due.

Doing the pads on the Concours is remarkably easy.  You don’t need to remove any body panels and everything is very accessible.  Undo the pin that holds the pads and spring that holds them in and then everything comes apart in your hands.  The pins were rough and there was some odd gunk stuck in the front right caliper.  I cleaned everything up and lubed it and then slotted the new pads into place with the now lubed pins (I think it’s a #5 hex head that does the trick).  All very logical.

If you’re looking for torque settings for the
brakes on a Kawasaki GTR1400/Concours
C14, here they are.

The rears are just as easy and a similar design with the same pin and caliper bolt sizes (everything is hex metric).  The back was as mucky as the front and I went to lengths to clean up the pressurized caliper slider and lube the pins and areas where the pads move.  The action immediately felt better afterwards.

Last spring when I got the bike I had to sort out a leak in the hydraulic clutch which resulted in entirely new DOT 4 brake fluid (what the Connie uses in both clutch and brakes).  Changing up your brake fluid removes impurities and moisture that can eventually cause real corrosion headaches in your brake system, so after doing the pads I changed up the brakes fluid on both front and rear systems.  The only fluid change left now on the Concours is the antifreeze.  I’ll do that at the end of next season.  When I tested it the fluid it was still bright green, looked new and showed good temperature range.

Getting all the air out of the hydraulic clutch so that it felt tight and had positive action was a real pain in the ass last spring.  The good new is that this air-line powered vacuum system did the trick then (it’s not crazy expensive) and takes the headache out of bleeding anything with steady, controllable suction.

In the case of the brake system, I set up the vacuum bleeder and then kept adding fluid in the reservoir at the top until it came out clear (the used stuff was darker and cloudier – it looked almost like water once the new stuff made an appearance.
Just a note:  don’t keep brake fluid laying around open.  It collects moisture and goes off pretty quickly.  As with all brake fluid changes, I opened the bottle and then immediately used it this time.
The front brakes took less than 10 minutes to completely bleed of old fluid and the rears even less.  If you’re doing your own brake/hydraulic fluid maintenance with any kind of regularity, let that hand-pump go and get one of these things (assuming you have an air compressor of course).
With the brakes sorted on the Concours and the sprockets and chain on the Tiger, both are waiting for a break in the weather for a cheeky winter ride to kick off the 2022 season.  As long as I’m not trying to navigate ice on the road, I’m good to go.  An above zero day and some dry pavement is all I need

Now that the regular movers (I was going to call them new but the Tiger is almost 20 years old and the Connie turned ten last year) are sorted out maintenance wise, it’s back to the old Bonneville project.  Next up I’m rebuilding the two Amal carbs, then it’s rebuilding the ignition system and then (hopefully) hearing the old thing bark for the first time in decades.

Sometimes the Bonneville can feel like it’s too big to manage, it needs so much, but with two other working machines I’m never going to be angry with it not being ready, though I would love to have it running in time for The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride on May 22nd.  A ’71 Bonneville with some early 70s retro style would be a blast.

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3d Modelling & Imaging

Through work I’ve done a fair bit of 3d modelling and imaging.  A cheap and easy to use 3d scanner is the Structure Sensor, a laser scanner that clips on to an ipad and quickly builds a 3d model by painting it with a distance sensing laser.  It takes the distances and builds up a model of polygons from the location data.  

Using that process I’ve rendered 3d models as well as 2d images of them.  I use Sketchfab to upload 3d models to the web to share them.  2d images are typically screen captures of the 3d models either off the ipad after the Structure Sensor scan or out of Sketchfab after they’ve been uploaded.

Here are some examples:

This is a 3d print of the Tigertester model above.
These black and white images are off the Structure Sensor software on the ipad (in xray mode).

You can skin the image to give it colour, this is an example of the skin that would go over the wire frame model to render it in full colour.


3d modelling & graphic design work on motorcycles.
3d modelling & graphic design in the classroom.

from Blogger

Love It When They Do This


This popped up on my Facebook feed.  I actually contacted the local dealer about this one last year and asked if he’d consider $6500 – he couldn’t be bothered to email me back even to barter; love that arrogance.

This is a first gen Concours C14 with almost 60,000 kms on it.  I ended up picking up a second gen C14 that was two years newer with half the kilometers on it for $5500.  I had to put a bit of time in on it sorting out the electric windscreen, a clutch gasket and picking it up and safetying it.  $5500 for the bike, $120 for the rental van to get it, $20 in parts (from Two Wheel!) and $90 to get it safetied with a $715 tax bill still had it all costing me less than $6500 on the road.  Thanks to that price they’ll be looking at over $300 more just in taxes for the lucky new owner.

Even with my fancy German windshield and American saddle I’m still coming out ahead.  Prefer the colour on mine too.

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