Last night, R&R Gallery in the heart of LA's Art District hosted a party to announce the launch of the 2013 Moto Guzzi California. Not only did they have the new California's there in both Custom and Touring models, they displayed Moto Guzzi's of the past, courtesy of Cycle Garden (a huge vintage Guzzi shop from Orange County). Walking up to the entrance, the alley was lined with Guzzi's and other Italian beauties of all generations. The crowd ranged from industry peeps, Piaggio big wigs, to art enthusiasts. Speaking of art, there was some amazing wall-art around the gallery of cartoons with the signature Guzzi headers for eyes-so unique! They had a DJ spinning, served up PBR's and guests enjoyed grubbing at the Guerilla Taco stand.
I had the opportunity to take on of these bike's out and about up to Malibu through the Canyon and Mulholland (the Custom model). Having only ridden one or two cruiser's before (and not being too stoked on them either), I was absolutely floored at how this bike handled. Not only did I love it's power and the deep Guzzi growl when you yank on that throttle, but the bike's 680 lb. weight is distributed so well that you can power through the twisties (and maybe scrape a floorboard or two) and feel light as a feather. I didn't want to let go of the bike after the few hundred miles I got to ride it! Anyway, once these get into dealerships, take one for a test ride and see for yourself.
For now, enjoy some pictures of my ride and last night's launch party!
If any of you have ever ridden or owned an SV, you know that the front suspension leaves much to be desired. My boyfriend, Will, got a front end off of an Aprilia Tuono and made it work! I absolutely love the way my bike handles now that it's more upright with adjustable suspension and better brakes. I love my Aprilizuki! :)
Song: The Amazons by Mustard Pimp ft. EZ
Only a motorcyclist knows the real meaning of PMS: Parked Motorcycle Syndrome! Luckily for me since I live in sunny So Cal, I don't suffer from PMS a lot. Yesterday, Will wanted to take his Christmas present (a Moto Guzzi Norge) out for a quick ride to Cook's Corner...the forecast said 30% chance of rain but those odds are good enough for me! Literally five minutes after we got back home it started pouring cats and dogs - talk about good timing!
Song: Space by Magic Wands
I'm a little hungover from the flurry of gift giving, but no gift can top what Will got me Christmas this year! My boyfriend got me a Piaggio Beverly (BV) 200 scooter!! Now, don't think I'm going soft on you guys by getting a scooter, I still have my SV and in 2013 I plan on doing a bunch of track days with it!
Anyway, this red beauty gets around 90MPG and has a top speed of 80MPH! It's hardly yo mama's Rascal scooter. It's an '03 but it only has 600 miles on it, so it's pretty much brand new! If you remember a few years back when Piaggio loaned me those two Vespa GTS 300's, I fell in love with those and have a special spot in my cold black heart for Italian scooters.
I'm just waiting to get it registered and insured and she'll be on the road in no time! I plan on driving it to work on a regular basis (I only work a few miles from home) and it's so comfy I'd be down to take it on further rides when I don't feel like breaking the speed limit.
Also, our second bundle of joy is Will finally bought the Moto Guzzi Norge for himself (that picture is of us on Palomar). He's been riding it around and even though it looks like it's for an old fogey, he loves it!
That brings our garage total to SIX bikes...and I'm sure that'll grow in 2013...
Christmas is only two weeks away and some of you may still be scratching your head as to what to get that motorcycle rider in your life, or what you want Santa to bring you! Here are 12 items that I think any motorcyclist would appreciate (some of them I already own and love!)
Side note: I’m NOT sponsored/endorsed by any of these manufacturers!
If there is anything you think is a must-have, post a reply!
1.) Butler Maps
These maps are not only tear-proof and waterproof for taking along with you on a long ride, but they’re made by motorcyclists, for motorcyclists! Pick what region you want to ride, and there are plenty of routes to choose from, all of which are color-coded by difficulty. They run about $15 each or you can get their “Bucket List” pack, which comes with all of their maps and a few videos for $165.
2.) Helmet-Holding Backpack
When I go to the races or even just a bike night, the last thing I want to do is either wait in line for gear check or lug my helmet around. I’m not comfortable strapping a $500 helmet to my bike either, as I’ve heard of jerks cutting them off by the helmet straps. So, why not find an easy way to tote your helmet yourself? I’ve been looking to get a good helmet-holding backpack for awhile, and I saw someone in Indy for MotoGP with this AlpineStars Tech Areo backpack and have been wanting it ever since! It holds your helmet but also has a ton of other cool features like a rain cover and the straps snap together on the front for a tighter fit and also have a clear window for you to put your drivers license or toll-roads transponder. This one will set you back a cool $170, but there are many more cost-conscious alternatives out there.
3.) Long Way Down / Long Way Around DVD’s
A few years back, movie star Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman set out to ride their BMW’s 15,000-miles from the tip of Scotland down to the south-most tip of Africa and documented their journey for a BBC mini-series for Long Way Down. They also completed a 20,000-mile journey across the globe in just 115 days for Long Way Around. Even if you’re not much of a touring rider, this will make you get the itch! I’ve watched both DVD’s several times and can’t get enough. I heard they recently finished filming another one but am not sure when that’s scheduled to release. You can get both videos for about $32, and they’ll even send you some extra goodies if you order it from their website.
4.) Bike Stands
Every motorcyclist should have one in his or her garage! If you want to do any maintenance yourself and save yourself a ton of dough, fork over $150 and get a bike stand! If you can’t afford one for the front and back wheel, you can get by with just a rear stand. My favorite brand is PitBull. Just a reminder though, if you’re buying this for someone else make sure you know what type of bike they have because you need different stands for single-sided or dual-sided swingarms and whether or not they have spool sliders.
5.) Custom Seats
Two years ago for Christmas, my boyfriend got me a custom Corbin seat and it’s made SUCH a difference! I can ride for hours and hours without any discomfort in my booty, and I loved the fact that I was able to select the trim and leather. These have stood the test of time for both of us because he’s had his for five years and it’s still holding up (it has hardened a bit from parking it outdoors for two years though, but if you send it to them they'll fix it). If you’re typically the passenger, they make seats for you too. Also, if you’re a shorter person, these will shave a few inches off your seat height! Their turnaround time is a few weeks, but it’s worth the wait! Mine ran me about $260. Other brands you can check out that make custom seats are HTMoto and Saddlemen.
6.) Helmet Communication System
I don’t know what I’d do without my Scala Rider. I’ve used them since the day I started riding. I can listen to music on my iPod or radio, I can talk to my boyfriend, take phone calls (no one calls me though LOL), and tell Siri to give me directions. I picked ScalaRider as opposed to Chatterbox because back then it was the only system that wasn’t the size of a brick. Not only do I love their product, but whenever I see them at the races or a tradeshow, they are happy to address any concerns I may have (like the time I blew out my speakers, they gave me a new set at no charge right then and there!) Depending on which system you buy, they’re anywhere from $160 and up.
I did a video review on the two Scala Rider systems I’ve used if you want to check that out too! -> http://youtu.be/imiHUGGevw0
7.) Phone Mount
If you’re like me and use your iPhone for EVERYTHING in your life, you want it handy while you’re on the road too (not to text, but to use your Maps!) Riding up to Laguna Seca this past year, I wanted to be able to actually SEE a map while I was riding, rather than listening to directions over my Scala Rider or having to stop and check the map. A company called AdaptivTech makes an awesome product called the AdaptivMount that easily clamps on to your handlebar (and I think they have one where you can mount it onto your triple-clamp). My phone didn’t move a millimeter the whole 500-mile ride from Laguna Seca. They also make fingertip covers called Farkle Fingers so that you can use your touchscreen with your gloves on. The mounts start at $85 and then you need to buy the right size holder, which are around $20.
8.) Helmet Camera
From GoPro to ContourCam to POV, there are a LOT of different video cameras to choose from. GoPro is definitely the most popular, but I really love my ContourCam. Just make sure you buy the accessory kit specialized for motorcycle mounting, and a high-capacity memory card (they usually come with a 4GB card). The higher the definition the better, but you can pick up a camera starting around $200.
9.) Fast Dates Calendar
If you’re tight on cash but want something that’ll bring a smile to a (male) motorcyclists face for just $17, look no further than the Fast Dates calendar! They make them specifically for either the cruisin’ Harley types, or the sportbikin’ MotoGP lovers, all with beautiful ladies in bikinis. This is the type of calendar you don’t throw away for the next year and guys will keep their favorite pictures hanging over their toolboxes for years and years.
10.) Hand/Glove Warmers
This is a great stocking stuffer for any motorcyclist! Since it’s winter, you want to keep your hands toasty on your ride. You can go the more expensive route and install some heated grips, but if you want some instant gratification, check out these hand warmers by Grabber. They last anywhere from 7 to 18 hours and all you do is just slip them inside your gloves and you’re good to go! They also make them for your feet and other body parts, and are only about a buck each!
11.) Throttle/Cruise Control
Back again to my ride to Laguna Seca, I would have not have made it without a throttle lock/cruise control on my bike! This was SO easy to use and get used to, I recommend it to everyone I know! They’re only $20 so they’d make a great stocking stuffer.
12.) Destination Motorcycle Trip
This is more of a bucket list thing for me, but if money is no object, why not travel somewhere and take a guided motorcycle tour through Africa or Germany or somewhere exotic? There are a ton of different companies worldwide that have trips that will provide you with a bike, a tour guide, and lodging packages. The one I have as #1 on my bucket list is a 12-day ride through Africa (I’ve been watching too much “Long Way Down”!!!) I just gotta get my passport renewed and save up $6,000 and I’m good to go! ;)
I made it out to Long Beach IMS on Friday evening for a few hours and Sunday. Friday's are great because it's less crowded and you can spot a few more "celebrities", but the excitement and events going on over the weekend is what most people go for. I hit up every booth and display and got to check out the XDL stunt show too (video coming soon!)
Did you go to IMS this year? What was your favorite thing there? The highlight of my weekend was getting to meet Cal Crutchlow! What a nice guy.
Anyway, here are some pictures aka bike p0rn for ya!
Despite a downpour in LA yesterday, Will did some shots on the 2013 MotoGuzzi Griso for their website
! They look pretty bitchin' if you ask me, but I could be a little biased. ;)
My boyfriend had a track day a few years back, and I made a tutorial on how to paint your own track fairings DIY-style. I thought I'd bring that post back from the dead!!
Anyway, three weeks prior to the track day, he decided he wanted repaint his extra full set of fairings he had from a crash (he has a Ducati 999S) and make his bike look like a “real” track bike. Lucky for him, I took Autobody for three years in high school. We had all the fairings ready for the track, and spent less than $100! It took a lot of time, but the results, as you will see, were definitely worth it. So, here is step-by-step of how we did it!
Step 1 - Prepping the Plastics
You will save a lot of time if you can use an electric palm sander
or an electric drill
with the round sandpaper attachment bit
. Otherwise, buy a sanding block
and be prepared for a sore hand! I wanted to get rid of all the old paint, so I used 80-120 grit sandpaper to get off all the layers of paint down to the plastic. You will need about 5-10 sheets. I highly recommend wearing a face mask and goggles. If using the electric drill method, be careful to just use the outer edge of the drill and not to “burn” dents into the plastic if it gets too hot in one spot. Make sure to sand the edges too. For spots where you cannot use an electric sander, do it by hand.
Since these were for the track, we decided to make a number plate and block out the front headlight holes. You can buy malleable metal patches from Pep Boys to do this, but we didn’t know that until after the track day (LOL) and used beer cans instead. Ghetto, but effective. Anyway, I used metal sheers to cut the cans and epoxied them over the headlight holes.
is awesome in my book. You can get it at Ace, Pep Boys, Kragen, etc. for like $8 for the small can, which for us, was enough for the whole bike. Bondo reminds me of tile grout. You slap it on, use a putty knife to smooth it over the dent or area you are patching, and sand off. Read the can instructions, but for a golf-ball sized amount, use a tiny dab of the red tube hardening cream with it. Don’t mix too much at a time, because it dries fast, and be sure to mix it really well. Give it 30 minutes minimum to dry, and then sand it with 80 grit to start, and then smooth it out with 120 grit. Try not to apply too many layers, especially on plastic, because if the plastic bends, it could chip or crack.
Step 2 - Priming the Plastics
I bought this primer
at Kragen. I used five cans for the whole bike ($4.99 each). Try to hang each plastic piece in a cool, dry, non-windy place where you can spray it at all angles in one go. Be sure to hang newspapers behind where you are spraying and wear a mouth/nose mask, goggles, and gloves. Spray horizontally in a pattern like this:
Hold the spray can about 4-6 inches away while you spray, and again, be sure to cover the sides too. Give it 2 or 3 coats, allowing 15 minutes to dry between each, and 45 minutes before going to Step Three.
Try to use a primer similar to the color you want to paint the bike.
For black, dark colors, blues, purples, or dark red, use black primer.
For light blue, lavender, teal, green, or silver, use grey primer.
For red, orange, yellow, pink, or brown, use beige primer.
For white, use white primer (if you can’t find a white primer, use beige).
DupliColor, the primer brand I used, has many colors of primer – see them here: http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/se...licolor&mc=DPL
Step 3 - Prepping the Primer for Paint
Now that the primer is dry, you are ready for the final step before painting, so make sure you do this really well, because you want a perfect canvas for your paint.
You will need about four sheets of 320-400 grit wet/dry sandpaper, a hose, and your bare hands. You are now ready for water-sanding. Turn the hose on low, and wet the primed surface and your sandpaper. Sand down the entire primed area. Feel with your hands for spots that are still rough with primer. BE VERY TEDIOUS!!!
Make sure you get in all the small crevices and corners. Anywhere that you do not water sand properly WILL show up when you paint it and look BAD!!
Have a friend help you feel for spots you may have missed.
| || |
Once you are done water sanding, use white vinegar or dish soap and water to clean the pieces.
Step 4 - Painting the Plastics
You may need two types of paint for this.
IMPORTANT!!! - DO NOT use regular paint for cars on plastic!! Metal paint does not stretch and bend, and plastic, especially on a motorcycle and when it gets hot, bends A LOT! Use paint specifically for plastic! The only time I did not use a plastic paint was on the gas tank because that was metal. You can buy the plastic paint at Home Depot in a variety of colors. My boyfriend wanted to paint it a flat black, so we used special car bumper paint from Kragen. But like I said, Home Depot had plastic paint in a ton of colors from pink to forest green – if it says “Stops Rust” on it, it’s not for plastic – it will have a plastic lawn chair on it if it’s for plastic. Don’t use plastic paint on metal either, it will not stick (we found this out the hard way on the gas tank and had to repaint it with the proper metal paint!!!).
**Since we wanted a number plate and a few spots to be white, we used blue painters tape
and newspaper to block off the sections. I did the black first, let it sit overnight, then taped off the areas to be white and sprayed it.
Try to hang each plastic piece in a cool, dry, non-windy place where you can spray it at all angles in one go. Be sure to hang newspapers behind where you are spraying and wear a mouth/nose mask, goggles, and gloves. Spray horizontally in a pattern like this:
Hold the spray can about 4-6 inches away while you spray, and again, be sure to cover the sides too. Give it 2 or 3 coats, allowing 30 minutes to dry between each, and then let sit overnight to dry.
**Since none of us are Mrs. Sherwin Williams, you might have a few drips here and there. That is why it is important to hang your plastics and paint in a steady motion so you don’t get paint built up which leads to drips forming. Sometimes you can rid these by water sanding with 400 grit and going over it again with a light coat of paint.
Since we did a flat black, a top-coat/gloss-coat was not required. If your plastic paint isn’t glossy enough for you, get a top coat and follow the instructions on the spray can (again, make sure it is for plastic!!!).
Step 5 - Putting on the Plastics
Now that you’re done painting, before you put the plastics back on, take note if there are any screws or bolts you want painted to match too (like around the wind shield).
If there are any stickers, decals, vinyl lettering, etc., it’s a lot easier to put them on with the plastics off the bike.
| || |
This was our "inspiration" for how we placed the decals.
Step 6 - Wax On, Wax Off
Protect your fancy new paint job! As soon as you secure all the plastics back onto the bike, give your baby a good wax job. The paint is vulnerable, so a good waxing will not only make your bike shine, but offer it’s first layer of protection.
Step 7 - Admiration
Show up at the track or bike night, and watch everyone “Oooh” and “Aaah” over your totally awesome and totally inexpensive paint job!
(From a 2007 Suzuki SV650 SF)
I did a front end swap on my bike and have my original one for sale here.
It has about 8,000 miles on it.
It comes with a front fender (pearl white), wheel, and tire (the tire still has at least 50% life left and is a Bridgestone BT016).
The only thing missing is the left clutch lever.
Never been crashed - great condition!
I'm in Costa Mesa right off the 55 and 19th. Let me know if you want to see it.Craigslist Ad: http://orangecounty.craigslist.org/mcy/3432127265.html
If you could have ANY bike under your tree this holiday, which bike would you pick?