Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Chasing Ice - Glacier Calving

Impressive glimpse into our changing world.  You don't get the full scale of it, until the end of the video.  Mind boggling...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

International Motorcycle Show - Seattle, Washington

The Progressive International Motorcycle Show rolled into town recently, town being Seattle and last stop of the tour.  I've been to many variations of this show over the years, dating back to the '80s in the NYC area.  Main point of show for manufactures to show off models for the upcoming season, so for this year all 2014 model on display.  Then mix in some vintage and other bikes, and you have yourself a few hours of walking and gawking.

And that's exactly what I did on a rainy late Saturday afternoon.  Plenty of gawking, walking, and snapping photos...

Suzuki DRZ400 SM.  SM for Super Moto, as per dirt motorcycle with road oriented wheels for pavement fun.  Would be a cool commuter and backroad blaster.  I've never ridden one, but call me curious.

Huge Ducati mural fills the frame and imagination.

Ducati 1199 gleams in red.  I've always had a thing for Ducati, though never owned one.  I've ridden a few older models, nothing recent.  I'd still dig a vintage 900 SS or the late '90s 748.  Would also be quite a bit less expense then new.  When that winning lottery ticket arrives, a new 899 would be on the list.

Ducati Hypermotard also pretty sweet.

KTM makes some really cool stuff in various flavors, from dirt to street.

Custom Harley or possibly Buell project bike.  Interesting look for sure.

View of downtown Seattle from the convention center, where the show was hosted.

The reborn (again) Indian motorcycle company display of Bill Munro's streamliner.  I'm assuming this is a replica, looked a little too perfect - but hey - what do I know.  Been a few years since I've seen it, The World's Fastest Indian, well done movie on Bill Munro.  Worth checking out.

This BMW 650 GS appears to have been places and done a few things.  A well used motorcycle is always a good thing.

Vintage Norton looking splendid in orange.

Extreme patina alert.

Well done '76 Yamaha RD400 that I've spotted previously in the Seattle area.  I've owned two RD350s many years ago, fun bikes.  Eventually I'd like to grab another one.

Suzuki RM370 from my era of motocross, looking ready for the next AHRMA event.

VME displayed an interesting collection of very vintage iron.  1946 Norton here as proof.

2012 era Norton, fantastic mix of Old 'N' New.  2014 model also on display, very similar to this one.  Place your order here.  While you're at it, order one for me...

Enjoy your temporary X-ray vision...

Big boy pants required...

Triumph Thruxton with a few Triumph accessories added.  One of my favorite bikes of the show.  Old school lines with modern reliability and performance.  I'm a Triumph fan and owned a '97 Speed Triple for a few years, which I still miss.  I'll weep silently in the corner.

Cool looking Triumph project bike.  Project bikes are always great to look over, but I wonder how they actually ride...

My favorite bike of the show, hands down.  Triumph factory flat track bike, modern serious with a touch of history to boot.  I talked to the builder for a bit, he mentioned Triumph investing resources into this project.  I've never been to a flat track race, need to get that on my agenda.

Honda CB160 spec class racer, affordable way to get out there.  This being the WMRRA booth, these folks sanction road racing events here in Washington.

Certainly the most photogenic bike of the show, 1968 Egli Vincent Black Shadow.  Cafe racer dream for many.  I shot this example for quite awhile, interesting bike from many angles.

1982 Suzuki GS1100 project bike.  I dig the current cafe racer craze, some interesting bikes emanating from it.

Dual sport camping set up.  Plenty of options for such adventures here in Washington State.

Slot car race action in progress...

Zero motocycles had a few models on display.  Electric motorcycles are becoming more and more of an option, but they need to get the price down to bump up the interest.

Kawasaki Ninja 300 in black.  I have a hankering for this small bore bike - light weight, high MPG, enough real world speed.  I need to test ride one soon...

Honda Grom 125, sorta like a modern CT70.  Kinda, but probably even more fun.

After three hours of wandering around, packed up and headed home.  Decent show with enough vintage bikes to interest me, and also cool to see the new models gleaming under the lights.  Two wheels in any form always fun to ponder and enjoy.  I'll keep this event on my calendar, see you next year...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday Driver - Brock Yates

Buried in my Pile-O-Books since the '70s, this copy of Sunday Driver last read by teenaged me.  That is until recently, when I dusted it off for a revisit.

Even with a few decades between readings, I actually remembered sections of it, especially the ending - where author Brock Yates races the very illegal Cannonball Run across the US, with legend race driver Dan Gurney in a Ferrari.  That bit of history stuck in my mind for 35+ years.

Up until that point, Brock Yates - who also was involved with  the early era of Car and Driver magazine - writes in detail about attending the Bob Bondurant racing school, racing some SCCA events, then finally a few Trans-Am races in a very modified Camaro.

All with an interesting and fun writing style.  Brock also knows his way around a track and appears to race fairly well throughout the adventure.  Super talented pro driver he is not however, so also puts a Walter Mitty spin on the tale.  You can imagine yourself in his shoes attempting all this along with him.

A very easy, entertaining, quick read for fans of auto racing. Being written in 1972 also puts a time capsule aspect to the whole gig.  Dig up a copy for a test spin...