Monday, April 30, 2012

The UP! Personal, Portable 3D Printer

UP! Personal 3D Printer
Another low-cost, 3D printer for the home, school, lab, and maker/DIY market has come to our attention: the UP! personal and portable printer from Delta Micro Factory Corporation in China. The research we've done so far indicates that the UP! printer has been on the market for about two years now. We have not been able to find a recent review of it, however, there are a number of Youtube videos uploaded by the company and by users.

The American distributor is UP! USA in Brooklyn, NY. Their listed price is $1,499 plus shipping and handling. (You may need to be patient when visiting their website... each page was annoyingly slow to load, at least for us this evening.)

The UP! has its own software environment for setting up the machine and running print jobs. It is claimed that the company is investing significant resources into software development, so that they are releasing frequent software updates that add new features. The software accepts the standard STL file format, so you can use a CAD program of your choice to create models. 

In our researches, we did find that ten UP! printers are being given away as prizes in the Instructables  "Make It Real Challenge" this year (we'll be doing a post about that soon... if you are a maker, take a look, you might want to enter). Meanwhile, check out the UP! demo video below.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

"Making Things Move", an Excellent Book for the Maker

Making Things Move, by Dustyn Roberts
Making Things Move: DIY Mechanisms for the Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists, by Dustyn Roberts

I found this excellent little book from prominent robotics engineer, consultant, and educator Dustyn Roberts on the new books shelf of our local library this past week. The Robby the Robot themed cover caught my attention right away, but after leafing through it for a few minutes, I found the content compelling and immediately tucked it onto our stack of the day's take-home selections.

This book teaches you how to apply basic mechanical engineering principles, and some basic knowledge of electronics, to your DIY projects without sending you back to school for an engineering degree. Perhaps you are an artist or graphics designer and don't consider yourself a "technical" person, or your technical experience is limited to the more abstract realms of software or chip design, but you'd like to get your hands dirty with a project using mechanical components, such as nuts and bolts, motors, gears, and solenoids. Maybe you have a great idea for a project that incorporates mechanical motion, but you just don't know how to get started. If so, this book can really help and guide you. From the introduction:

In this book, you will learn how to successfully build moving mechanisms through nontechnical explanations, examples, and do-it-yourself projects. Maybe you're a sculptor who wants a piece of art to come alive, a computer scientist who want to explore mechanics, or a product designer who wants to add function to complement the form of  your product. Maybe you've built projects in the past, but they fell apart easily. Or maybe you didn't grow up making things move but want to learn. The students in the class I teach at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program in the Tisch School of the Arts have been all of those things, and they gave me the inspiration to write this book. 

Ms. Roberts deliberately goes light on the math throughout... you don't have to be a calculus or physics wiz to understand it, just some knowledge of very basic algebra and trigonometry is all that's required, and if you're rusty on those subjects, you can easily brush up with a little help from the many tutorials available on the Web.

The book begins with a presentation of six basic machines and mechanisms: levers, pulleys, wheels and axles, inclined planes and wedges, screws, and gears. The second chapter presents common project materials (metals, plastics, etc.), their basic properties, and how to choose the right materials for your applications. The third chapter outlines the basics of joining materials with screws, rivets, nails, adhesives, soldering, and so on. The next couple of chapters present some basic physics of mechanics, such as force, torque, friction, energy, work, and power, which lay the background for an understanding of the basic requirements --- strength, power, energy, and so on --- that a successful product will need to meet so that it won't fall apart or otherwise fail.

After these opening chapters concerning fundamentals, the real fun begins, with stepper motors, servos, bearings, bushings, springs, basic electronics, and how to combine them to make simple machines that are useful and fun. The final chapter details a handful of good projects that give you hands-on experience that complements the teachings of the book, such as a miniature wind turbine that powers an LED. Finally, the book closes with an appendix about the popular open source Arduino microcontroller board.

Dustyn Roberts has put together a website and blog for the book. Check it out, the website is very useful. I especially liked the "Resources" page set that is organized around the book's chapter, with videos and links to relevant external resources. Her professional website and blog is also interesting.

As indicated in the quote above, the book is an outgrowth of the author's real classroom experience with real students from diverse academic and professional backgrounds, many with very little or even no hands-on experience of technical work. In this book, she's showing you that you don't have to let this intimidate you and stop you from doing something cool that you really want to do. Study it, work the exercises, apply the principles and you'll get better results from your own DIY projects.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hades Vintage Gothic & Steampunk Women's Boots

Hades/Metropolis Leather Steampunk Boots
Hades (formerly Metropolis) makes awesome steampunk/goth boots and shoes. Check 'em out at Amazon.


Meeblip Open Hardware Synthesizer

Meeblip Low-Cost, Open Hardware Synth
The Meeblip is an open hardware, open source monophonic music synthesizer with a MIDI interface.  It's ready to use as is, or, since it's an open, community-based technology initiative, you can hack it to suit yourself.  

The Meeblip is available in several configurations: a "quick build" kit with complete enclosure and an assembled printed circuit board for $149.95; a "build-it-yourself" kit for with enclosure but unassembled circuit board for $129.95; and a "micro" version for the experienced hacker, pictured below, which is a circuit board with MIDI interface but without the manual controls... think of the micro version as more of a software development board. It costs only $39.95.
Meeblip Micro Hacker's Kit

The Meeblip is open source hardware, so you are free to make your own version of the Meeblip and to sell them. You are also free to buy Meeblip kits, assemble and test them, then put them up for sale as finished units to buyers who don't want to go to the trouble of building the kit themselves. You are also free, of course, to modify the software, to add new features and functions to it.

The Meeblip hardware is based on the Atmel ATmega32 micro, so if you already have Arduino experience, you'll be up to speed on hacking and programming Meeblip to a great extent. 

To learn more about the Meeblip community, go to the Meeblip forum pages here at 

To find out more about the Open Source Hardware (OSHW) movement, check out their wiki.

Steel Bent Customs CL350 Cafe Racer

Steel Bent Customs CL350 Cafe Racer
This CL350 Honda Cafe Racer from Steel Bent Customs of  Tampa, Florida was a pleasant surprise for me... if there was one bike I didn't have much love for back in the days when this baby was new from the factory, it was the Honda CL350. At the time I was working after school and weekends in a Honda dealership, so I saw a lot of them coming through the shop. I thought the CL350 was a lame excuse for a scrambler, especially when stacked up against a real scrambler, like the Triumph Trophy.

So, I was really surprised to find that I like this bike. It's got clean good looks, and looks like a hell of a lot fun. Kudos to the guys at Steel Bent.

This is just one fine little example of their work. Check out their gallery here. There's also a good article here at their site we they explain what they do and how they do it, and the philosophy behind their modus operandi. Notice that they sell their bikes on eBay, so they are selling nationwide, not just locally.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Daniel Proulx, Steampunk Artisan & Jeweler

Daniel Proulx Ring Featured on Warehouse 13
We recently posted about The Art of Steampunk, a very cool book that features the work of nineteen of the best known steampunk artists and artisans. One of those is Daniel Proulx of Montreal, Canada, a prolific Steampunk jeweler. His work is also featured in another popular book, 1,000 Steampunk Creations.

The ring pictured at the left is worn by a character on the popular SyFy show, Warehouse 13

A large selection of Daniel's exquisite work is available at his Etsy site, including a copy of the ring pictured here. Check it out.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Need a Job? Build a Project Portfolio

I want to share this interesting post from The Kneeslider for those of you who are looking for a job... Do like artists do... don't just write a resume, build a portfolio, too. Here's an excerpt:

Are you are looking for work? With constant news of high unemployment it's easy to feel a bit frustrated and demoralized, especially if you've been out of work for a while, but maybe you're going about it the wrong way. If you're looking for technical hands on work, you are uniquely positioned to do something many other job seekers can't, you can literally show potential employers or customers what you can do by showing them what you've done with a portfolio of your past projects.

Read the whole thing here.

Incredibly Colorful Crab Species Discovered in Philippines

Insulamon Palawanense Philippine Crab
This very colorful freshwater crab was recently discovered in the remote Philippine island of Palawan by a team of German scientists. Colorful, indeed... kind of like a certain Rick Fairless paint scheme... cool.

Rick Fairless' Custom, "Pam"

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Metisse Limited Edition Steve McQueen Desert Sled

Rickman-Metisse Steve McQueen Scrambler
The Rickman brothers at Metisse Motorcycles are taking orders on a limited edition run of 300 Triumph desert sleds that they claim are faithful reproductions of the original that they built to Steve McQueen's specs years ago, right down to the custom footpegs, the 35mm Cerianis with 7" of travel, the Triumph front hub, BSA rear hub, and the BSA fork yokes.

The engines are period-correct reconditioned 650cc twins with single Amal carb.

Awhile back we posted about the new Triumph Steve McQueen T100... well, this bike is the truly fitting tribute to the late, great McQueen.  

If you are interested, go here to fill in your contact information and Metisse sales will contact you. 


Sheet Metal Fabrication, Tools & Techniques

I've really enjoyed working with sheet metal in recent years. It's really satisfying to start with just a sheet of say, 18guage steel and some mallets and hammers, and shape something useful or beautiful from it. If you've got a hankering to try your hand at metal fabrication, take a look at some of the resources available from Amazon and Amazon Supply here.

I have some Martin body hammers and dollies, very nice tools... high quality stuff.

Ron Covell is a great teacher in this arena. He has various books and videos out there, and he holds seminar classes around the country, too.


Analog Motorcycles Honda Cafe Racer

Analog Motorcycles "Analog 01" Honda Cafe Racer
Awhile back we stumbled across a very elegant and classic Yamaha RD350 cafe racer from Analog Motorcycles that was featured at BIKEEXIF. We were so impressed with its clean good looks and stylish logo that we jumped to Analog's site to have a look around and liked what we saw there. So, we featured one of Analog owner Tony Prust's customer builds, a clean and muscular Kawasaki K750 streettracker here.

We went back the other day to take a look at what might be new or what we might have missed the first time through and found this Honda cafe racer, the Analog 01. Follow the link and you'll see a gallery of very good photos of the bike from all angles.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Budnitz Titanium Bicycles

Budnitz No. 2 Titanium
Paul Budnitz is an American original with a heck of a life story... a man of many talents: computer programmer, artist, photographer, author, clothing and footwear designer, toy designer at Kidrobot, filmmaker, and a successful entrepreneur who's founded a dozen companies in the arena of art and technology.

Paul started designing and building his own bikes in 2006.  By the time 2010 rolled around, people were stopping him in the street to ask where they could buy one. Some even asked if they could buy it from him on the spot, so with all that encouragement he founded Budnitz Bicycles in 2011 to bring his designs to market.

These bikes were born of Budnitz's desire to design and build bicycles that he would love and value... quality, durability, easy and comfortable to ride, and beautiful, too. He ended up with a bicycle he loved and rode so much that he sold his car.

To get lasting quality and durability, Budnitz bikes are constructed from titanium, stainless steel, and cro-moly. Only top-end components are used, many hand built by boutique suppliers of racing bicycle parts.

Budnitz Bicycles are expensive... $3,000 and more. But they are built to last a lifetime and more, and meant to be valued for their utility and beauty. Here are some thoughts on that subject from his Budnitz Bicycles blog:

A very good bicycle fits your body.  The geometry is well thought-out so it’s comfortable, you don’t feel like you’re going to fall off when you pedal.   It doesn’t creak or rattle.  A very good bicycle is beautiful, and it makes you feel beautiful.  It’s an extension of your body, just as the car is an extension of your body when you drive.  And a very good bicycle will last a very long time, maybe your whole life.

Check 'em out here.


3D Stuffmaker's RepRap 3D Printer

3D Stuffmaker "Allstar" 3D Printer
In response to our recent post about Cubify and the "Cube" 3D printer, one of our readers contacted us about 3D Stuffmaker and their RepRap-derived 3D printers for the DIY market. RepRap is an open-hardware, community-based project, so makers are free to create and market their own printers based on RepRap designs.

The engineers at 3D Stuffmaker have made it their mission t o improve on the RepRap technology, and to make it much more accessible to a wider range of home users and educators by offering DIY kits and assembled printers... at their website, click on the "Sales & Specs" tab to see what's on offer.

If you are in the market for a low-cost 3D printer, or just want to get a feel for what's happening in the 3D print community, check out 3D Stuffmaker.

We will continue to post here about 3D printing and other Rapid Prototyping technologies as things develop in those arenas.

Yamaha RD400 Cafe Racer with a Kenny Roberts Look

Found this classic Yamaha two-stroke cafe racer. Looks like the Kel Carruthers-tuned Yamaha 350 that I saw King Kenny ride at Laguna Seca back in the Seventies... It was really cool to see him wheelie out of the hairpin up the front straight while he flipped the peace sign at the crowd in the grandstand.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Torc Rebel Star Helmet

Torc Rebel Star Open-Face Helmet
We love the retro look of this Torc Rebel Star helmet, a perfect complement to your all-American bobber. The Rebel Star is one helmet in Torc's Route 66 series.

The shell is lightweight ABS, with a removable, washable liner. It comes with a sun visor, too. 

Genuine Motorworks of Brooklyn, NY has it in stock for $100.

Renovo Bicycles, Constructed from Hardwood!

Renovo "Badash" Hardwood Mountain Bike
Renovo Bicycles of Portland, OR is building bicycles from engineered hardwoods, even a mountain bike... amazing.

Ken Wheeler and his son Stuart developed these groundbreaking wooden wonders, even though neither one of them is a trained carpenter or woodworker. The closest either one ever got to that was some time in high school woodshop classes. Ken previously worked with composite materials as the designer of the Wheeler Express four-seat composite aircraft.

Renovo now has a versatile lineup of eight proven models on the market, ranging from road bikes, a daily commuter, a mountain bike, and a triathlon competition bike. Their bikes have enjoyed an excellent reception on the domestic and global markets... they are shipped around the world. For example, see this review from a New Zealand bicycle mag. They have just announced a collaboration with Audi, the German automaker, to produce three models to be labeled and marketed by Audi.

Falcon Motorcycles, Ten One-of-a-Kind Customs

Falcon Motorcycles Vincent, "The Black"
Falcon Motorcycles was founded in 2007 by Ian Barry and Amaryllis Knight with a very specific mission: They would design and build "ten unique machines without compromise" based on  "ten unique British [motorcycle] engines," each with a racing pedigree. Each bike would truly be one-of-a-kind, never to be duplicated.

Falcon Motorcycles Triumph, "The Bullet"
Their first bike was "The Bullet," based on a Triumph Thunderbird pre-unit construction twin engine, which gained fame as the bike that Marlon Brando rode in The Wild Ones. It immediately caught the attention of the custom motorcycle world and enthusiasts all around the world, putting Falcon Motorcycles on the map.

Three of the ten are completed now and sold: "The Bullet," "The Kestrel," and "The Black." Seven are planned and still available as of this writing. Go to the Falcon gallery to see info concerning the remaining seven project bikes.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Metisse Motorcycles 997 Cafe Racer

Metisse Parallel Twin 997 Cafe Racer
British motorcycling legends Don and Derek Rickman of Metisse Motorcycles are bringing an entirely new bike to market... The Metisse 997 Cafe Racer, which was introduced at the Nov. 2011 NEC international motorcycle show in the UK.

The Metisse is based on a proprietary 997cc parallel twin. The UK motorsports composites company, TS Composites, helped design the tank and seat combination, and is the exclusive supplier of these components to Metisse.

We haven't seen anything yet about the availability of production models, or any recent test rides. Brit bike website published a piece about their test ride of the prototype in late 2009, however. When we see any new news about the availability, or any published test rides or reviews, we will update here.

BTW, follow the link above to TS Composites to see another Metisse surprise.... which we will blog about in a followup. 


Steampunk Arts & Crafts Materials

Amazon Supply is a great source for Steampunk project materials, such as brass, copper, adhesives,brass nuts and washers, gears, metalworking tools, leatherworking tools, etc.The Amazon bookstore is, of course, a great source for Steampunk how-to project books.

Check 'em out.


Roc City Cafe Racers, Awesome Alloy Tanks & Seats

CB350F Cafe Racer with Roc City Alloy Set
Roc City Cafe Racers of Rochester, NY fabricates alloy and composite tank and seat combinations for cafe racer builders. The alloy tanks are absolutely gorgeous, such a classic look from the Fifties and Sixties.

They've got a blog that features "what's new in the shop" where you can see the design and fabrication of new parts and project bikes. You can buy online from their web store, too.

Classic Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer For Sale

We just found this clean 1980 RD350 Cafe Racer for sale on eBay for $5,000. We've embedded the seller's "walk-around" video of the bike here.

If you've got 5 Grand and a desire for a hot two-stroke classic cafe, maybe this is your next bike.

Frank Black, "Men In Black"

We thought it would be fun to put up this Frank Black music video ahead of the release of the new MIB3 movie.

Update: Aaaaargh! The original video at YouTube has been taken down, but you can go here for a video of a live performance:

Bienville Studios "Magnolia Special" CNG Powered Concept Car

Bienville Studios Magnolia Special
Bienville Studios is a small design company in the French Quarter in New Orleans. They've created this compressed natural gas (CNG) powered open cockpit, custom roadster, the Magnolia Special. She was designed to demonstrate the promise of CNG as a practical automobile fuel.

From the start of the project, lead designer J.T. Nesbitt intended to drive her coast-to-coast on a cannonball run to prove that she was more than just a beautiful piece of garage jewelry. Last November he drove her from New York to Los Angeles in 89 hours, averaging 30 to 35mpg.

 FYI: Nesbitt designed the famous Confederate Motorcycle Company's Wraith motorcycle.


The Derestricted Dot Com Design Blog

Honda Retro Cafe Racer Featured at Derestricted
Piers Spencer-Phillips is a very talented and successful product, graphics, and web designer. He's to a excellent blog called Derestricted that features great motorcycles and bicycles, especially mountain, BMX, and downhill bikes. His website is real eye candy. 

Piers is also an avid snowboarder

If you are a designer yourself, I recommend visiting it on a regular basis if you are looking for inspiration for your won work. If you are not a designer, but an aficionado of beautiful machines, check it out, too. 

To sample Piers' great work prior to Derestricted, see the Minus 273 website. 

The Awesome Morgan Aero Supersports

Morgan Motor Company Aero Supersports
While researching the Morgan three-wheeler cyclecars for another post, we found out more about what they are doing in the four-wheel domain, and have to say this Aero Supersports is awesome, beautiful work. Sensuous curves, beautiful interior woodwork and leather, and performance to boot.

Check out the cars of Morgan Motor Company... and they've also brought back the three-wheeler.

Yeah, Jay Leno's interested... and he's got a three-wheeler, too.

Cycle Source Magazine, Cafe Racers & Bobbers

 Cycle Source magazine is one of our favorite bike mags... real grassroots stuff, featuring daily-rider bikes built the little guy, usually the owner-rider, not just the big-name custom bike builders and the big corporations. We really like the down-to-earth attitude. Also, the design and photography is excellent.

Cycle Source got its start as a free publication in Pittsburgh, PA back in 1997. Eight years later, after expanding somewhat on the East Coast, editor Christopher Callen took it national. 

If you like retro and vintage stuff, you'll like what you see in each issue of Cycle Source... bobbers, cafe racers, board trackers, etc. They've also got a great website and blog where they showcase cool bikes, parts, and cycle news, so you don't have to wait by the mailbox each month to see the cool stuff they feature. They are on Facebook, too.

You can sign-up for a subscription here at their website. You can also pick-up a copy at your local Barnes & Noble bookstore if you want to check it out before subscribing.

Another cycle mag you might like: A few weeks ago we did a post about another favorite of ours, Cafe Racer magazine.

Baja Iron Sportster Scramblers

Baja Iron Sportster Scrambler
Here's a something you don't see every day: A Sportster refashioned to be equally at home in the dirt and on the street... A Sportster Scrambler from Baja Iron in San Clemente, CA.

The Baja Iron Scrambler is the brainchild of Gary Streuter, a motorcycle enthusiast with years of desert, motorcross, hillclimbing, Super Motard, and street riding under his belt. Gary wanted a versatile bike, a multipurpose  "Adventure Bike", that was equally at home on a fire road or freeway, with big V-twin sound and power. So, he created this Sportster Scrambler and formed Baja Iron to do conversions for Sportster owners, and ultimately to bring conversion kits to market for the do-it-yourselfers. 

Another Example of the Breed
For a base price of $7,995, Baja Iron will take your 1986 to 2006 Sporty and convert it to a scrambler with long-travel inverted dirt forks, heavy-duty twin rear shocks, DOT on/offroad knobbies, a chain drive, and a set of dual-sport pipes tucked up high.

If you have a hankering to go adventuring on your Sportster, check out Baja Iron's terms here.

(The gorgeous green and yellow Sporty scrambler you see here is not a Baja Iron bike, but we liked it so much we just had to post the pic. See some more pics of it at the Derestricted design blog here.)


ACE Cycle-Car Morgan Three-Wheeler Reproduction

Morgan Reproduction from Liberty Motors
Here at Cool Stuff we have a real love for vintage/retro cars and bikes that have been reborn, brought back to life and to the marketplace with modern materials and technologies. For example, awhile back we featured Aniket Vardhan's Royal Enfield-based Musket V-Twin. So, we were knocked-out when we found the ACE Cycle-Car from Liberty Motors of Seattle, a reproduction of the classic 1930's Morgan "Super Sport" three-wheeler.
The original version of this Morgan "cycle-car" was designed and manufactured in the UK in the 1930's. It featured two steerable wheels in the front, and one driven wheel at the back. Power was provided a V-twin adapted from, for example, the JAP motorcycles

Original 1937 Morgan
Pete Larsen of sidecar manufacturer, Liberty Motors, originally wanted to import a Moto Guzzi based Morgan kit form Italy, but that didn't work out, so he took matters in hand and designed and constructed his own reproduction. The ACE, which stands for "American Cycle Endeavor," Morgan is powered by a Harley-Davidson Twin Cam B series motor, in either 88" or 103" displacement. The chassis is constructed from TIG-welded round tubing, and the transmission is a five-speed manual automotive unit with reverse, also. You can see the complete specifications here.

In most states, the ACE would be registered as a motorcycle, not a car, so it should cost less to register. The price tag at $48K is pretty steep, however. 

We will keep posting other examples of fine vehicles of the past that have been resurrected with modern tech.

Update: The Morgan Motor Company in the UK has brought the three-wheeler back to life, check out this piece at Jay Leno's Garage. 


Renault DeZir Electric Concept Car

Renault DeZir, 2010 Paris Motor Show
The Renault DeZir Z.E. electric-drive concept car was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in 2010. So, maybe this is a bit of old news... but still, this car is beautiful. Enjoy.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Factory Metal Works Brit Bikes & Parts

The Factory Metal Works "True Vintage" Triumph Bobber
The Factory Metal Works specializes in vintage Brit custom bikes, especially bobbers, and the design and fabrication of parts for builders, including repops frames and complete hardtails for Triumph and BSA motors.

Their work has gotten plenty of notice over the years. For example, the "True Vintage" 1973 Triumph bobber you see here was featured on the cover of Cycle Source magazine's Dec. 2011 issue, and in the Jan. 2012 issue of Back Street Heroes mag in the UK.

They've got a great lineup of partners around the world who carry their parts. TFMW also has a lineup of apparel for men, women, and "the rest."  


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Canadian Glow-In-The-Dark Dinosaur Coin

Canadian Glow-in-the-Dark Dinosaur Quarter
The Canadian mint has just released this coin that features the Pachyrhinosaurus dinosaur, fossils of which was discovered in the province of Alberta in 1972. The skeleton glows in the dark.

The other side of the coin features Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. We are assured that she does not glow in the dark. 

New Zealand, on the other hand, has released a series of Star Wars commemorative coins.


Cleveland CycleWerks, New Motorcycle Manufacturer

Cleveland CycleWerks Cafe Racer
Cleveland CycleWerks is a motorcycle design and manufacturing startup with headquarters in Cleveland, OH. Design and prototyping is done at their Cleveland shop. Parts are manufactured, they say, "all over the world," and final assembly is done in China.

They have a handful of low-cost, small-displacement bikes now in several styles; cafe racer, bobber, naked streetfighter, and standard. Looks like they've got about thirty dealers in the US, and a few overseas, including Japan. They're also touting their financing program.

Their cafe racer, the "Ace," and bobber, the "Misfit," have an MSRP of $3195. Prices on the standard and the streetfighter, the "Hooligan," are not announced yet.

BSA Cafe Racer of CCW Exec Scott Colosimo
Don't know what to think of this outfit and its bikes. Did some googling and found this article at BIKEEXIF, which featured the the awesome BSA that belongs to Scott Colosimo, the executive who runs CCW. We will be keeping an eye on CCW to see how they do.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ryca Motors Low-Cost Cafe Racers

Ryca CS-1 650cc Cafe Racer
Casey Stevenson, founder of cafe racer builder Ryca Motors, is an engineer who left a job at NASA to design motorcycles. He wanted a lightweight thumper for navigating the streets of Los Angeles, but found slim pickings. So, he decided to build his own machine. His solution will probably surprise you:

"I discovered my ultimate thumper café racer hidden inside a bike known as the Suzuki S40 (aka the Savage). They have been around for over 20 years and are still available brand new. The custom parts and accessories were designed to avoid any major modifications to the frame or engine, which allows anyone with basic tools to build their own bike from kit components. The end result is a machine that is simple, fun, and affordable."

Take a look at the raw source materials here, the Suzuki S40 Savage/Boulevard, and marvel at the fact that someone could draw so much inspiration from the frankly uninspiring S40.

Check out the gallery of buyers' bikes at the Ryca Motors site. Casey's work has garnered some great press, too, from the likes of Cycle World and The Knee Slider. Now's he's got a scrambler in the works, also based on the Suzuki.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Steve Storz's Champion Trials Riding Sons

Riding Straight Up!
Trials riding is a very specialized motorcycle competitive sport that involves riding over obstacles in terrain that you would swear no one could get a motorcycle over. Trials emphasizes balance, throttle control, and planning over speed. A lot of trials competition happens at walking speed, in fact.

At Storz Performance website we discovered that his son's, Neil and Eric, are champion trials riders (scroll down to the bottom of the page there). There's an amazing video of Eric riding in a trials competition, which we've embedded below.

Trials bikes are of a very specialized design available from a few manufacturers, such as Beta, GasGas, and Sherco. Yamaha used to have a trials bike lineup, though we believe they no longer do.... we understand that those vintage Yamahas, for example, the Majesty, are highly sought after.

Men in Black 3, New Trailer

The latest MIB3 trailer is out.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Shaw Speed & Custom's Sportsters

Shaw Sportster XLST3 Scrambler
Shaw Speed & Custom in the UK built this awesome Sportster scrambler. For you Sportster fans, they've got quite a line-up of Sporty-based customs.

Check out their Big Twin customs, too.

Tip of the hat to the folks at BIKEEXIF.

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