Tag Archives: Motorcycle

Gratuitous Bike Videos

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I wrote a pretty long post last night, so instead of boring you with my words, I’ll just share a couple of videos that I found today.

The first is for Anchor Butter, which I’d never heard of, prior to my internet-browsing this evening. It’s a New Zealand-based free-range butter company, churning out spreads that may not be any better for you, but at least come from happy cows. Here’s a fantastic stop-motion felt advertisement they put out:

It’s cute, and the fact that it’s stop-motion-craft-y makes it a winner for me.

Speaking of cute, I recently saw a video (via Boingboing) that made me realize I live in the wrong country. Now, the USA isn’t all that bad, and it’s getting better (I hope), but check out what these policemen are doing in Denmark:

Hugs! And free helmets! Nice ones, too. I guess when the Danes embrace their two-wheeled bretheren, they really mean it. While I’m tempted to go to Denmark anyway, now I know for sure I’m not going to be wearing a helmet. Just in case.

All of tonight’s mashups will be courtesy of the Illuminoids. Click on that link. And appreciate their fantastic intro/jump page. You actually have to click, though– the “SnapShot” image when you hover over the link isn’t the one I want you to see.

The Temptations never sounded so electro-pop as they do in this first track.

I was interested to see where they went with LCD Soundsystem in this second track. Turns out, they used one of the only songs I really like on Sound of Silver. I guess I’m still not sold on the rest of the album.

This final track does a great thing: it takes the Velvet Underground and keeps Nico away from the microphone.

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Alt. Transportation 3

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My internet wasn’t working last night. It was a catastrophe. Not only could I not check my Facebook, but I couldn’t update this site. Luckily, I’m only operating on ResNet’s terms for another two weeks.

In my continuing infatuation with motorcycles, I’ve been looking at all different varieties. This isn’t as much for potential ownership as pure appreciation and curiosity. If I got one, it would probably be something dreadfully efficient and practical, if not beauteous, which is exacly the opposite of this motorcycle:

The motorcycle aside, I love the commercial. While the average age for a Harley buyer is somewhere north of 50, this commercial imagines a town entirely filled with beautiful 20-something hipsters with a penchant for retro/rat-rod culture. And, of course, Iron 883s. I can’t say I blame them– I’d love to live there! Though with a town economy apparently centered on mechanics and pool halls, I’d have to brush up on both skills considerably.

The marketing ploy seems to be working somewhat, though. As Motorcycle magazine points out:

Harley’s blacked-out and matte-finished “Dark Custom” line has proven to be attractive to younger buyers, appealing in both style and price. H-D sold 29,000 bikes to people under the age of 35 in 2008, and the Dark Custom line holds particular interest for the younger demographic. Sales of DCs were up 24% in ’08, aided by the addition of the bobber-like Cross Bones.

Like I said, it worked like a charm on me, too. If I had that kind of money, I’d probably blow it on this. Even if it’s huge, heavy, low-tech, and uncomfortable for someone as tall as I am. There’s just something about Harleys that is spellbinding. I read somewhere that almost everyone who starts out on a Harley never buys anything else, and I don’t doubt it.

I’m equally attracted to the retro look though, which Triumph has been working on, as well. From the fork gaiters to the slammed suspension to the black, powder-coated… everything, the bike is dripping with rat-rod style. But what does that say about the current situation with rat-rodding, as it is?

Have you had your fill of virtually everything under the sun being called “old school” (or old skool, oldschool and oldskool; take your pick)? I know I have. What was once a genuine urban turn of phrase suddenly finds its way into everyday language, and its trendy tone is spewed casually from grade schoolers to grannies. Thanks for nothing, mindless advertising agencies!

Now that you know how I feel about that, let me share a great piece of slogan: “An iron fist in a soft-bellied world…”

…The Iron 883 not only advances the Dark Custom line, it also reflects a trend toward bobbing in the bike culture that’s now moving into the mainstream. Makes us wonder if at that point it’s still rebellious?

Again, Motorcycle seems divided on the point. Still, the Iron 883 was released at a gallery that was featuring artwork by Shepard Fairey, among others. It seems perfectly appropriate– Fairey, like the style that this motorcycle represents, started out on the far side of alternative, and has now become (to some extent, at least) a part of mainstream culture.

Regardless, I still think they’re both ridiculously cool.

Speaking of retro, Dr. Dre is BACK in this first track.

According to this second track, so is disco.

Elvis Costello is kind of retro, right? Whatever. This final track sounds awesome either way.

Alt. Transportation

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It’s spring again, and that means my mind is stuck on one thing… my 1974 Honda CB360. Though it hasn’t ran in years, the key still sits on my key-ring, half as a reminder to work on it, and half as the token of a dream.

Cars are fine. They’re just rather boring, under $5000. Either it’ll be a beater or a tinny econobox, and either way it’s not going to be that great. Motorcycles, however, have a certain mystique about them. Though they’re almost never comfortable, have tiny gas tanks, and have almost no luggage space, something about them screams “road-trip.” Maybe that’s just a result of my early exposure to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Anyway, they’re cheap, easy on gas, and a lot of fun. A wonderful alternative to cars, in these hard economic times. Which leads me back to my original daydream. I’ve been wanting to get my bike running for years now. A long time ago (six or seven years now, I believe), I started to disassemble it. However, I stalled, much like the bike, and it’s been sitting in my backyard in a sort of limbo ever since. It’s under a tarp, but the engine seals are broken, so the elements (or moisture at least) has been able to do some damage for quite a while.

The bike has never turned over, at least since John found it in the alley behind his house many years ago, so the engine was pretty shot anyway. At the very least, it would need a rebuild. Technically, I’m not up to the task. As much as I’d like to know how to tinker, I’m sadly deficient in that area. I blame my parents– they only bought Hondas, which never broke down, so I never got to see how they would be fixed.

The conundrum, then, is this: do I pay the money for parts/labor to fix my bike up? Or do I spend an equivalent amount of money on a bike that already runs? I’ve found CB360’s on the internet for $600, and that’s probably not too far from what it would cost me to get my old bike running again. Alternately, I could spend a bit more, and get an even better (used) bike.

So the options are:

1) Make it rain on a mechanic, and get my baby running.

2) Buy another CB360, and keep my old one for parts.

3) Buy a different used bike.

Yes, I know they’re dangerous. Yes, I know they have limited use in the snowy winters, where I reside. Don’t care. Since my apartment will have parking next year, I’m going to want some sort of real transportation. It’s much easier to find jobs when you’re not confined to a one-mile radius from the train.

Thoughts?

Since this post has been all about me, the mashups tonight will be too– or they’ll be from my birthday month, at least.

If I didn’t know this first track was a mashup, I might not have noticed.

This second track is much more clearly mashed, and much higher-energy, as well.

The simple inclusion of Lady Gaga in this last track makes it an obvious mash, too. That’s not a bad thing.