So I'm still not skating, not doing much of anything, and the snow is three feet deep in the yard. I've got the heebie jeebies, no doubt about it. Since we're working our way through the displacements, it only makes sense to take a quick detour back to the CB77, a 305cc bike that was the big brother to the CB160 -- stressed member, sloper, killer look, and unlike the 305cc Dream, had a tube frame. Those Dreams were always a bit wobbly to me and the brakes soft, (although I've had a few people tell me they're not that bad), and I've been after a CB77 for ages but haven't had any luck yet (but a few near misses). Besides the killer frame and chrome and rubber gas tank, the CB77 speedo/tach is a thing of beauty. They're combined into one instrument and are sunken into the headlight bucket. On the early CB77s, the tach needle went clockwise and the speedo needle went counterclockwise. I got one for my CB350F/400F bike, then quickly realized I would need a counterclockwise drive for the speedo. Found one on Ebay for not too much...
The CB350 was introduced in 1968 as a replacement for the CB77. No longer a stressed member, the engine sat completely within the frame. The early bikes had a great tank with rubber knee patches. Like the CB77, they also came in a scrambler edition. They were produced until 1974, and remain the most popular motorcycle ever built (which is why it's kinda crazy to see folks pony up big bucks for them these days). I like 'em, they're torquey and take off pretty quick, and are lighter than the fours, although not as smooth and not as much in the top end. In 1974 Honda introduced the CB360 to replace the CB350. It added some extra ccs (the 350s were actually 325cc, and the 360 was 356cc) and a sixth gear, but it was hampered by a winding cam chain that frequently failed (and was part of a Honda recall -- some bikes got new cam chain guides, some didn't bother bringing their bikes in for it). Similar to the CB350, fun and torquey, and the extra gear worked out great. Honda also added an extra gear to the CB400F in 1975 -- and it's become an uber collectable bike. Super fun, I've had a couple of them, and they haul ass (and will do the ton).
Bikes above: CB77, CB350, CL350 (from "Girl with a Dragon Tattoo"), and our pal Cindy (from fashion serial killer) on her CB360. Below -- the aforementioned CB77 speedo/tach on the 350F/400F project.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Although we've featured the CB160 before, found a new cool overview of one, thank tank gives it away although the speedo, headlight bucket, bars, etc., have been changed. Might as well talk about some evolution, since the CB160 sloper (sloping parallel twin, stressed member -- engine was part of the frame) gave way briefly to the CB175 sloper (adding a 5th gear), then the CB175 upright twin.
CB175 went from 1969 to 1973, and had a CL version as well (below, with scrambler pipes), and a CD version. My buddy Vargas has a killer example, in very nice shape, and we tried to source him some stock pipes since his were developing holes -- early Honda exhaust could be thin metal and sometimes poorly designed, so water pooled and rust holes developed. We went to an old junk collector with a yard full of bikes, by the name of Stan. Great guy, yard and house full of dog shit, raced Indians in the 50s, eccentric and cranky, but I've pulled some cool parts out of there. We found decent CB175 exhaust, although Vargas later decided against using it, but Stan wanted to sell the whole bike. For $200. Pretty much complete, no side covers and fucked up seat. How could I say no?
Vargas got the exhaust for $60, so the bike cost me $140. I decided to get it running, and did the usual: plugs, points, carb rebuild, coat the tank, timing, oil change. The thing fired right up and ran through all gears. I had seen some glitter paint and I thought I would try it, so the bike became known as Gary Glitter (See blog posts here and here). Next were some nice bits: headlight bucket and speedo from a CB160 that I had lying around, clip ons that I get made, a mini-tach that I had for another project before I went another direction, cool NOS old white grips, a cool looking cat tail light, and pod filters from Bob's, scrambler exhaust also from Bob's (those guys charged me like, $20 or something...), cafe seat old tank and "upholstered" with glittery gold fabric. I had to buy some thin metal tubing to make the pods work since they hit the frame, and rewire the battery into the seat bump, but that's standard shit right there. Probably had $250 in parts on top of the $140 entry fee. Got it dialed in and running killer, and blasted around the neighborhood for a few days. I kinda wish I woulda kept it, but the deal was it had to go, so I offered it up to friends for the "friends" price with no takers. Then I put it on craigslist for $1500, and sold it in a day to a new student at MMI, no haggling, cash on the barrel head. Wonder if his buddies at MMI gave him shit for having a tiny, glittery gold bike?
In 1974, Honda upped the displacement to 200cc and added a sixth gear, and made some cosmetic changes. The CB200s are sorta famous for the weird vinyl stripe down the tank -- some people love 'em, I think it's kind of hideous. They also had a cable-operated front disc brake.
Around 2000 or so, I picked up a CB200 for $50 on craigslist in Phoenix. Did the usual, got it running, but never got it registered or anything, mostly just tooled around the neighborhood. Roger came down from Colorado, and I wound up trading it to him for a tattoo. Easy come, easy go, I guess. Great little bikes, although Maaike's was a stubborn little fucker that took some time, effort and outsourcing.
So uh, yeah, fuck all to report. Arm is still jacked, so I am not skating or riding the motorbikes. Photo above is 6 weeks after the break, no surgery, no cast, but it looks like someone patched up my humerus with JB Weld. It's all good, gotta get it flexible first, then strong, then back on board.
Did get to see Fred SMith's band the Loud Ones play a record release show at the Taunton skatepark with Chuck Treece/McRad. Super fun, total blast, and above spokesmodel Big Tim blurs a grind while the band plays.
It was rad to meet and talk to Chuck Treece a little, legendary dude, this is a Thrasher cover from May 1984.
Good buddy Gernot came from Austria to hang out, and apparently it was colder in Boston "than at the top of the highest mountain in Austria. That's some cold shit! Also in town: Brewce Martin, who I don't think remembers me right away when I see him. But when he realizes I work for Thrasher, it's non-stop, incessant "Hey, tell Jake Phelps a thing or two from me!", "That dude blackballed me!" "What's up with Jake Phelps, let's call him right now!" and other assorted jibber jabber until he leaves. Rad dude though, and Dug E. Death is in between 'em.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Thursday, January 9, 2014
A month ago on my birthday, I maintained the tradition of doing my age in frontside grinds. There were no pools to be had, so I made do with the pool coping on the Orchard mini ramp. Skated with Dug and two kids, and I'm not sure what they made of my frontside frenzy, but they seemed cool with it. I made my 45, with one or two extra for good measure. I dropped in to do a frontside rock on the extension my next run, something I've done a bunch of times before, and watched as my front foot slid off my nose. I slammed super hard to my right shoulder, and thought I dislocated it. Couldn't get up off the ramp for 15 or 20 minutes. The guys made me a sling, and Dug took me to the ER. They said it was a small crack in the humerus, and that I had to go see an orthopedic surgeon the next day. Percocets helped that night. Next day, orthopedic surgeon in town says I need more x-rays, so I walk uphill, about a mile, in the snow. Then walk back, to find out that it is cracked all the way through. He'll be gone when I get back from my trip, so he says go see another ortho. He takes more x-rays, gives me a script for straight oxycodone without tylenol, and sends me on my way.
The next day I fly to Phoenix. Get wheelchair assistance, as I am out of my gourd. Check in at my hotel, and since I requested a room with a tub, it overlooked the pool we skated a few years ago when they were remodeling the hotel. Meg arranged a caregiver to give me baths every two days. Humbling.
Do some record shopping and hanging out. Went to Vargas' and noticed this: cover art from the Clash's "Give 'em Enough Rope". Someone scanned it and photoshopped the background, but I posted it as the original artwork for the record on Instagram and Facebook, and got some "No ways!", etc. I'm a dick.
Hoss sent me this gem, the jizzmobile with Santa driving.
Taylor found this at a thrift shop for a buck. I opted out of the viewing, but I understand in generated some (deserved) chuckles.
Dinner with some of the AZ crew, miss these folks. O'Douls allowed me to stay on the heavy medicine and have something in my hand.
First day in Seattle, I take the bus into town. Both my dad's cars have manual transmissions, so I can't take them. First stop, Pagliacci on the Ave. Overheard the guy behind the counter telling someone they'd been open 35 years. Thought to myself I'd been going there for almost that long. Good 'za.
Bussed it to Fremont, and dug through the crates at Jive Time. Only got a couple records. Morris came to pick me up, and we boogied to Marginal Way.
This place is shaping up, and has come a long way. Dudes there are holding it down. Wish I could've skated, but stoked to have rolled by.
After family time, Christmas night was spent in Al's Tavern with old friends, and the comforting familiarity of their bloody Native American whale hunt mural. years of good memories in this place -- lived down the street from it for 4 years in the early '90s.
Homebound, and the mountain was out.
Dug drove my truck back home -- it had been sitting at his place since the night I broke my arm. Thanks pal!
The night after I got back, the Nervous Eaters played with the Real Kids. Both bands played kinda slowed down, but it was worth it to hear "Just Head" and "Loretta"...
... and "All Kindsa Girls", "Bad to Worse," and others. Also found out that the Real Kids' John Felice is from the 'Dick, as is Jonathan Richman!
Then Snowpacolypse 2014 happened, bitter cold, and 14" or so of snow. I was homebound, but got out every day for a walk. Coldest temps I have ever experienced.
The Turquoise Tortoise is holding its own. Snowed in. Can't drive it anyway, can't ride my skateboard, can't ride my bikes. Four weeks out, my arm is healing properly but it'll be another 2 weeks before I can get aggro on the physical therapy. I try to console myself that since it's so damn cold I'm missing fewer skate sessions. But that thought is outweighed by the thought that I'm missing out on the few sessions that do happen.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
So, uh, yeah, skateboarding has been a little difficult. Been skating 2-3 times a week at indoor spots. Do you care to see a photo of a 16-foot-wide mini ramp? I thought not (but thanks to Orchard for letting me skate). Taunton has been fun, although it's an hour-long drive. Still, gotta get my shred in. No pools to speak of. Is that a surprise? No. Is that a disappointment? Yes. In two days I leave for Phoenix. I will skate pools. In the meantime, another installation of HJCCB because... why not?
First up is the ol' go-go boots and bikini look in B&W. Head to the beach? Got your shades on? If you're riding your CL160*, bring it down to the beach and rip through some sand. High pipes and if they're like the CL77s, lower gearing.
Taking it to the beach...
This one is cribbed from the women's moto exhibit, see here. I will unabashedly steal more chicks on CBs photos from them. Very cool project, psyched to see a lot of chicks who ride, looks like a killer scene in PDX/NW and wherever else. Similar to the skateboarding world, there are a lot of dudes who ride bikes who don't think chicks should ride, etc. Poppycock. Throw both legs over one side and cruise, sister!
*Yeah turdbrain, I know that CLs are not technically CBs, but pretty much the same thing, high pipes, fewer gadgets (e.g. no tach), lower gearing, etc. So what?
Monday, December 2, 2013
So, uh, yeah, I've been blagging again. Only skated once since last checking in, at the mini ramp at Orchard Skateboards in Boston. Fun, not really photo worthy (and I didn't take any photos anyway). Then there was Thanksgiving... I'll post a couple shots from that at some other time. So, why not another edition of Chicks on CBs? Above, the lovely and talented Meggers on my CB160. I wanted to duplicate the Jeannie C. Riley "Girl Most Likely" record cover (even though she's on a CB450, or maybe a CB77? either way, it'll wind up here eventually). We went to Hammeke's house, he had the backdrop and shot the digital photos, Carly did Meg's hair, and voila!
My bike got some love at the Love cycles 2011 party as well -- it won best Japanese bike. Out of, like, 5. Not bad for a bike I bought for $100, but that's another story...
Difficult to make fun of the other random CB160 shots, they're wholesome and pure as the driven snow. Meaning the ladies keep their clothes on. Must be something about the CB160 bringing out the classiness in everyone.
They came in red, white, blue and black.
Original ad. Far out.