Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Stress Test

Making some progress on the job for my neighbor. He's getting the better of the deal for fixing my brakes on the old pickup but I'm pretty happy with how things are going so far. I'm building a cover box for a tool box on the back of his work truck. He furnished the stainless sheets, so that had much to do with the design of the project. They are a little too thin to stand alone with out some type of inner structure/armature (threw that last word in there for all the artists out there). The bottom photo shows what I'm working with. The sheets have flanges bent on all four sides and I need to straighten at least one edge out to maximize the size of the box. Stainless work hardens so it's tough to straighten out with out leaving a bump on the corner. I'm getting there, though.

While I'm in sheet metal mode, I made the door for the battery box for the trials bike. Need to get a hinge and a latch to finish that up. Also in the photo is some brake cleaner. It says something on the label I'm not quite sure of. I saw non-chlorinated which is why I grabbed it but then it also has the number 45% on there, like maybe it's only 45% chlorinated. I won't weld over anything that I use it on just to be on the safe side but it was only $1.89 a can. They also had carb cleaner on sale for the same price so I bought a can of that also. I should buy a couple more cans of each while they are cheap and before they get outlawed. Especially since I'm going to be back in the mechanic biz as soon as I finish the tool box for the neighbor.

I had my stress test yesterday. They didn't push me to exhaustion like they've done previously. The nurse asked me how I was doing and I responded in the affirmative that I could keep going a bit but she said we had hit the target heart rate so I bailed. I didn't quite make 12 minutes but I could have easy enough. After that, probably not much more. The speed increases as does the elevation on the treadmill every three minutes and I was going to have to break into a run after the next increase. I need to do some sprint work. My endurance is fine but I rarely push myself at the gym or on the bike to really get the heart rate up. My crazy chest thing seems to have cured itself so I've been skipping rope at the gym using that to get my heart rate up a bit more. Need to do more. I meet with the cardiologist next week and I'll see what he says about the results. I think most everyone in the health industry sets the bar pretty low, however.

I talked to a guy at school the other day who is in another guy's class, so I don't really know him. He was working on getting some additional training and overheard me tell another of the instructors I was having the stress test. Seems he had heart surgery not too long ago. Instead of the traditional open heart surgery, he had a new procedure where they went in through five holes in his side and a robot performed the actual surgery. I've never heard of that before. Pretty wild this new technology. I'm assuming this is a type of Da Vinci surgery but I don't know. The guy says he was surprised by the heart troubles because he did a lot of running and had a decent diet. Says he does a lot of cycling now. He and I sound like two peas in a pod. It was an interesting conversation.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Studying For the Test

I did another 5K Saturday morning. This was supposed to be a non-competitive walk so I just strolled the course at a brisk walking pace and shot the breeze with my running buddy. She was scheduled to run 8 miles to prepare for her half marathon next weekend but she wanted to do the running all at once rather than break it up in sections, so she walked with me and did her 8 miles later in the day. The girl's a trooper. My main reason for doing the 5K was to try and stay in shape, of course, but also to stay limbered up for my stress test on Tuesday. Not looking for a PR on this one but I figure I should be able to last at least 12 minutes. Find out soon enough.

After the 5K my running buddy needed to do some shopping at Costco and I had agreed to tag along mostly because I'd never been there before. If you're unfamiliar with Costco it's a big warehouse thing like Sam's Club. I wasn't overly impressed with the place. Since there's only the wife and I to shop for there's not much sense in us buying in bulk. The free samples are nice, though. However, the high point of the day was when we were getting ready to check out I hear a guy talking and laughing and I recognize the voice. I look over that way and sure enough it's a former student of mine from at least 25 years ago.

I walked over and introduced myself and it took him a second but then it was bingo! Seems he works there so we didn't have a chance to talk much but we were both real glad to see one another. I would say he typified the vocational student that every teacher loves having in class. Maybe not the greatest scholar academically speaking, but just one helluva nice young man to have in class. Always productive, never causing trouble but might be on the fringe of it occasionally. Great sense of humor and always appreciative of what you were trying to do for him. The kind of student that makes all the BS that goes along with the job worth putting up with. Made my day. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Ready For Some Heavy Lifting

I got the engine stand ready and rarin' to go. Braced both the bottom leg and the back of the upright tube with a piece of 1/4" x 2" - should be hell for strong now. I'm sure that's overkill but I'm also certain it'll hold the slant six now. I made arms and spacers to bolt the block to the stand, picked up some grade 8 bolts and slapped some paint on it. The stand was already yellow but more like a safety yellow. I came across a couple cans of the yellow you see on the stand while I was cleaning off some shelves in the basement. It's been down there for years, figured it was either going to work or I'd be off to the hardware store. Either way it would be one more thing out of the basement. 

While I had the shop nice and warm I painted the back of the block as well - not yellow even though I believe they had a few yellow six cylinders in some truck or industrial applications. I'm going with VHT engine paint in "Aluminum Casting" on the block. Everything else will be Hemi Orange. They did make a few aluminum blocks, by the way. I'm going to give the paint a chance to dry up a bit and then I'll get the block mounted on the stand. I might wait until I get a few of the necessary parts before I put it on the stand, actually. The block's out of the way now and I've got a couple other things to work on. I also want to get the valve cover, oil pan, etc. painted up before I start to assemble things. I'll play it by ear, like always.

I got the floor crane assembled as you can see. I don't know how you can sell something like this for $99.99 and have anyone make a profit. Six casters, hydraulic jack, hardware, materials, labor, paint, packaging, shipping from China, shipping to the Midwest and then sell it at a retail outlet. I don't know how good the quality is on the hydraulic jack but I doubt I'll ever wear it out.

Tony Joe White passed away - aged 75 from a heart attack. We'll see how I'm holding up next week after the stress test. You never heard much of his music on commercial radio, but he was a talented dude.

I lost an uncle this week also. He had been suffering from dementia for quite some time. At a certain point dying becomes almost a blessing. It's bad enough for the individual suffering from the disease but it really puts a strain on the caregivers as well. Uncle George was a good man, active in the church, used his talents to help others not quite so fortunate. While we all have to go sometime, I'd prefer to go with the heart attack, even though I've been doing most everything in my power to keep from having another one. RIP both of you. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Variety is the Spice of Life

I got the little job done for the lab at the college. That would be the parts in the top photo. If they had a better selection of tools at the school I would have done it there. Just easier to do it at the house. 

The bottom photo is the start on the battery box for the trials bike. I'm going to make it so the battery comes out the side rather than out the top. That'll allow me to mount it right under the seat which will give me some more room to slide the rear fender forward. 

I figured out what year the slant six motor is - 1966 according to the casting number on the side of the block. There are a few numbers stamped into a machined section on the top of the block but I haven't been able to figure out what they mean. I don't think there are too many or any differences on the 225 blocks from the sixties, so I should be OK calling it a '66. I checked out Rock Auto for some prices and availability of parts. Looks like everything I'll be needing they have. In fact, they have options for most of the parts in different price ranges. I'm going to look up a few of the parts using several different years and see if the part numbers are the same to make sure I get what I need first time out. I've never ordered from this outfit before - might not this time either. But I'll have some part numbers and prices to compare with what I can get locally. 

The first order of business will be to make some plates to bolt on to the side of the block for motor mounts. I've got a plan coming together as to what I'm going to build. Regardless of what I finally decide, I'll probably use the round rubber mounts between the frame and the motor. They're easy to come by and cheap - Speedway sells a pair for $20.00. Once I get the plates that bolt to the block, I'll get it painted and start the assembly process. Should be fun trying to figure out what goes where when I open up all the boxes of parts. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Cadillac Walk & Slant Six Shuffle

I heard this coming home from the gym the other night - my kind of music. The kind of stuff that'll get you moving. And I need to get moving ……

because I've got a truck load of slant six parts. Pretty much everything except the crank. I'll grab that tomorrow. 

The head's been shaved .010" and it's got a three angle valve job. The block has been hot tanked, honed, with new freeze plugs and cam bearings installed. I looked for a serial number on the block but didn't find one. I'll need to figure out exactly what I've got so I can get a gasket set and all the rest of the parts needed to put this thing together. 

I re-welded the head for the engine stand. There was some more slag down in the weld but it would have held. I feel better about it and it looks better now just the same. Not that anyone is going to see it except Surly for now, but maybe later at the auction when all this crap goes down the road. I've got a few parts to make for the lab at the college where I was working. Since I'm still around the school I'm still fixing and making things. Last week it was the ice machine. They're going to miss me when I'm gone.

Still got a few things to do around the house yet and I need to put the Suzuki to bed for the winter but things are going well. I've got a stress coming up real soon and then the follow up with the cardiologist. I've been continuing to work out on a regular basis, so the stress test should go well. I've been checking into a couple of motorcycle adventure tours. I've never done much off-road riding. I'd like to give it a try. Maybe next year. I might have to teach a few more classes to support my travel habit if I'm not careful. But at my age, I can't put it off if I'm going to do it - another reason to stay in shape, by the way. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Crystal Garden

I was cleaning up the shop - something more than just a put the tools away and sweep the floor - and opened up a can of Bondo to see if it was worth saving and found a crystal garden had blossomed in there. I don't know what would have caused that. I remember way, way, back when I made one in Cub Scouts. I can't remember what we used to get the crystals growing but I'm pretty sure it wasn't body filler.

I went ahead and bought the Harbor Freight floor crane - only $99.99 with the coupon - I couldn't make one for that price. In fact, I looked at an engine stand while I was there. Same deal. I couldn't make one for the coupon price, but then I'd have four stands. That's probably the number where I should seek out a support group of some kind for people with an engine stand obsession. In reality I probably should find some support group for people who start projects but never finish them but how will I ever get my projects done if I'm going to meetings?

I did manage to get a lot done over the last few days. The shop is a little more user friendly and I got rid of some crap from both the shop and the big barn. I've still got way too much junk but I did make a dent in it. So there's that. 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Engine Stand Progress

I decided I needed to get busy on an engine stand because I'll be picking up the block on Monday. I don't have a floor crane any more. I loaned mine out years ago to a friend of mine and I haven't seen it since. There was one at the high school shop that I came up with that I suppose was technically mine but since I left it behind and I've been gone going on seven years, I should probably consider it a donation to the school and leave it at that. I'm sure I could borrow it, however. Harbor Freight has a one ton for $99.00 with the coupon. I'm considering buying it - maybe even later today. I do have a hook over the big doors in my shop that I can hang the come-a-long on and I can unload the truck that way - set the block on the piano dolly and roll it back out of the door way but a floor crane would be handy for this operation and later on when it's time to install the slant six or install the small block into my hot rod project. 

The photo above is the head I'm planning to use. The slots were only 5/16" wide so I put it on the mill and opened them up to accept 3/8" bolts. Ordinarily I would use 1/2" bolts but 3/8" grade 8 bolts should be plenty strong. The weld holding the pipe to the plate is not all that lovely. There's a few slag inclusions. I'm sure it would hold but I'm going to grind out the weld and then put a nice three-pass fillet on there. That's the trouble with having students do your welding for you. Things don't always come out quite like you want them to. There wasn't an  issue with it holding up a 100 pound bike motor but car motors are a bit different. 

While I was working on the head for the engine stand on Friday, a woodpecker attacked the corner board on the house. Just as I was finishing up all the outside work and feeling real proud of myself for getting most everything on my to-do list taken care of - along comes this. Swapping out the board won't be that big of a deal but my big concern is why was the woodpecker drilling away on this one. Bugs back there? It'll be just my luck there'll be termites or carpenter ants back there. I really don't wish to deal with any of that. I'd much rather work on the car and bike projects. It'd be nice to get a head of steam built up and be able to spend a few weeks out there in the shop with out interruption. Now would be a good time because we all know what's coming.

That's right, snow. And damned if it didn't snow yesterday afternoon. The day started out pretty nice but turned raw right quick like after lunch. The wind picked up, the clouds rolled in, it started to sprinkle, and then the wind started gusting and the snow started flying. No accumulation but certainly an omen.

I'm going to continue on the clean-up/fix-up campaign and try to clean up the docket a bit. As always, steady by jerks.

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Engines Last Stand

If you look at the photo above, you'll see various heads for the three engine stands I own. The white one in the back is a universal type for motorcycle engines, the one to the right of it is for a different stand but has plates to hold a Aermacchi/Sprint motor and the gray one to the right of that is for the 900 on yet another stand. The piece in the front left fits the same stand as the Sprint head and is for a VW engine, to the right of that is a rusty piece for holding up an outboard motor. Three engine stands but not one of them equipped for holding up a car engine - specifically a slant six motor.

The white stand is made out of pretty light gauge tubing, I wouldn't want to use it for anything heavy. Either of the other two are plenty strong for a car motor but I'm hoping to work on the 900 motor over the winter, so I don't want to tie that one up. The remaining one doesn't have any casters under it, so if I assemble the engine while it's on the stand I won't be able to move it after I'm done. So it looks like I need to make a head, or alter the one I have, to accommodate the slant six and any other car or truck engine I might need to work on some time in the future. Since the stand only has a single leg coming out the front, make a cross piece on the end of it to stabilize it when I add some casters. I damn sure don't want the thing tipping over when I try to roll the engine into the back of the shop when I get it put together, and just to be on the safe side, I think I'll add a stiffener on the back of the upright for my own piece of mind. That six cylinder is going to stick out there a ways.

I ordered some material to make some arms for the head. I'm going to shop around and see what I've got to make the cross arm on the bottom. The rest of the stand is made out of 2x3 tubing. I don't think I've got any of that lying around but I might have a piece of angle that would work. If not, I'll pick something up locally and then get some casters. I'll rig up some threaded pieces to run down through the tubing legs to raise the stand off the casters when in use so I don't have to chase it around in circles when I'm torqueing down head bolts or main caps. On some rainy day I'll throw the rusty pieces in the photo in the sandblaster, get some paint on them and then hang them up in the big barn.

I got the job for the Missus painted up yesterday. Looks pretty good. I got real lucky and found a paint that was almost a perfect match so I didn't have to repaint the whole thing, just touch up the parts I modified. She's happy - good enough. Cleaned out the truck and delivered a piece of yard furniture for my sister-in-law. Picked away at a couple of other little things as well. I'm feeling pretty ambitious with this beautiful fall weather we're having. It's a good thing - it's not going to last.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Wednesday is a Birthday

I'm about done with all the painting for the season. I've still got a bit of trim work to do but we had a hard frost the other night, so the timing's just about right to call it quits. 

I've got the neighbor's job to finish up and paint the job I did for the Missus this week. Hopefully I'll get back on the trials bike soon. I want to get that finished up so I can get the motor sent out to my buddy and have it for next year. Still working on some ideas for the slant six project. I shouldn't be - I've definitely got more pressing concerns but that's just the way my mind works.

Surly's birthday today. Happy birthday! 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Bazooka Time! - Only It Wasn't

Since we didn't go to the races over the weekend, I figured I'd help Bazooka Joe. We went to the weigh-in on Friday which was kind of a typical SNAFU. Weigh-ins were supposed to start at 3:30 but didn't get started until about 5:00. Joe's opponent didn't show at all - not a good sign. We hung around until close to 6:00 but no show. I did get my "seconds" license renewed while I was there.

I was planning on finishing up the painting on the shop Saturday morning but it was a bit chilly so I worked on getting my passport renewed. It's surprisingly easy to fill out the required paperwork online - just follow the prompts and print out the result. Photo at Walgreens, certified check at the bank, throw everything into an envelope, mail it off at the post office. $125.00 later, all done. And while I was out I picked up a roller cover to finish the painting.

The new pad painter I had just bought had an issue with the handle coming loose so I was going to glue it together. When I took it out of the paint tray the thinner had dissolved the glue holding the pad on so it was essentially useless. They didn't have a short roller cover to fit my trim roller at the hardware store, so I bought a standard nine inch size and cut it down. Worked well enough to finish up the job, fortunately.

I went to watch the grandson play ball later in the day and checked in with Joe after getting home. No opponent, so no fight. It didn't look like it was going to be much of a card so I stayed home. I feel bad for Joe. If my plans hadn't have fallen through, he wouldn't have had anyone to go with him to the weigh-in. Jimmy's pro coach was going to work his corner during the fight but Joe's never worked with him before. I've worked all of Joe's Golden Gloves fights, so I was going to be a familiar face, plus I've worked with Jimmy's coach at all but one of Jimmy's fights over the years and we make a good team. Joe's a nice guy, trains hard, sold a bunch of tickets to friends and family for his pro boxing debut and ends up with nothing. Oh well, that's the fight game I suppose. He's looking to fight some time before the end of the year either locally or in Indy depending on what he can get.

New class at the college this week - Stick II. Eight weeks and then I'll be off until March. Which means I'll have time to travel, hence the passport renewal. I'll be going to Ireland during that time for a week. Pretty excited about that. In the meantime, I'll keep plugging away.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Torsion Bar Suspension

Surly sent me a link to a custom coachbuilder and while checking it out I came across the photo above. Set up like you see in the photo it's about $15K. The thing I found most interesting is it's pretty much like what I've been thinking about building some day. It's got torsion bar suspension front and rear, which is what most of the champ cars I like so much use to run - actually still do in the Silver Crowns and sprints.

Here's a shot of A. J. Watson standing behind one of his roadsters with independent front suspension but still using a torsion bar. The stock Chryslers used a similar set-up with the torsion bar running parallel to the frame but it was attached to the lower arm. Lots of ways to skin this cat. 

I'm hoping to formulate a plan and have most of the details worked out so when I start construction I'll be able to jump in with both feet and work on it without too many interruptions. It might take me five years to get to that point, but that's OK. The above photo is from the A. J. Watson Tribute page on Facebook - worth checking out if you're on FB.

Friday, October 12, 2018


The Fed Ex guy showed up yesterday while I was painting the south side of the shop. So I've now got a good start on the slant-six project, at least as far as parts go. I'll get the valve stuff to the machinist so he can get the head done. Need to check the condition of the crank but the block is ready to go already. Making a lot of headway on a project that technically isn't even a project. The motor will be an orphan until I work out the details on the build, but I'll find it a home one of these days.

I ran out of paint so I couldn't finish the shop painting. Today's weather forecast is not looking real promising, so I'll pick up the paint and run a few more errands while I'm out today and try and finish up the painting tomorrow. I still need to make a couple of new trim pieces for over the service door and paint the trim around the window and that'll about finish out the painting for the year. 

Cuzzin Ricky and I were planning on going to Terre Haute for a sprint car two-fer tonight and Saturday night - USAC sprints one night, winged sprints the other. Unfortunately, Rick had to call off sick so I'll be a boxing "second" instead. Bazooka Joe is making his pro debut tomorrow night so I'm going to his weigh-in this afternoon and help work his corner tomorrow night. He's in good shape and ready to go. He's fought enough amateur fights he shouldn't be too nervous. We'll see how he does.

Once again a busy weekend lined up but it'll slow down real soon as we approach November and the shorter days and colder temperatures.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


Here's a book out of my personal library by Tex Smith. Tex died just a few years ago but left quite a legacy of both written material and real live hot rod stuff. Probably his most famous car was the XR6.

Wild design from the early sixties. It was pretty popular on the show circuit and AMT had a model kit you could buy and assemble so you could have your own XR6 sitting on a shelf. The photo is from here. If you check out the link you can get a nice write up about the car as well as see this photo of the powerplant.

Slant Six, Baby! How's that for a cool hot rod motor? This one is an aluminum block with three Webers. The slant six wasn't known to be a real power house but I would imagine this one stepped out pretty lively in the lightweight XR6. I dug out one of my old Motor's manuals and the earlier 225 motors were listed at 145 horse. As they went into the seventies the power rating fell off until it bottomed out at 90 or 100 depending on the application. I'm assuming that was due to the emissions concerns back then.

I shopped around on the web and found both Summit and Jegs listed a kit for the 225 - cam, lifters, retainers, keepers, and timing chain. I paid the guy for the motor, ordered a kit with a mild cam and before I bring the thing home I'll have him work the head over, including taking a skin cut off the bottom to make sure everything is nice and flat as well as bumping up the compression a bit. Stock is 8.4. 9.0 to 1 would be better.

Tex's book has a nice photo of the frame of his XR6 to give me an idea of what he did. I don't have a specific design in mind just yet for my project, but I didn't want the engine to get away from me. I'll get it together and then mothball it until I get ready to start on it someday. 

This'll be the last big project I undertake - it'll have to serve as my masterpiece.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Let's Work Together

Seems an appropriate song considering what's going on in politics today. This was from almost fifty years ago - a little hard for me to believe - but hard to beat the music from back then. Throw in some go-go dancers in mini skirts and things seemed pretty good as I look back today, even though they weren't. Here in the northwest corner of Indiana the Chicago television yesterday was all about the verdict handed down in the case against the Chicago cop and how the city was gearing up for protests/riots depending on how the verdict came out.

I remember all the riots and protests back in the late sixties and early seventies. Chicago, Detroit, Watts. I was living in Crown Point when Mayor Hatcher was first running for office in Gary. I was hanging out at the Texaco station on Main Street when the National Guard rolled troops through town just in case he didn't win the election. Crazy times - kind of like now but without the decent soundtrack and the go-go dancers. It does seem more serious to me now. Maybe it is, maybe I'm just older.

Enough with the politics - at least until later today when the Senate votes on the confirmation - then we'll see where we're at. In the meantime, have a look at the battery for the trials bike. It's just a little bit of a thing. I should have taken a photo of the new one with the old one I was planning on using. This one should be just the ticket - no vent, no maintenance, no muss, no fuss. I think I've got it figured out where I'm going to put it as well as the design of the battery box. I'm pretty well booked up today but if I get some time I'll rummage around and see what I've got for material and then get started. 

I fell into a deal on a slant six motor. I've been thinking about a project for several years powered by one of those motors. Obviously I don't need another project currently but the price was right and as long as I store it properly, it won't go bad anytime soon. I'll know more about the engine and what my immediate plans will be after the first of the week. 

Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018


We had a blow-out on the sliding screen door over the weekend. I checked for a replacement at Menards - they had three or four different ones but nothing that looked like it would work for me, so time to make a custom one. The piece of stock I started with was a scrap piece they were throwing out at the lab. It has a bunch of holes in it but it was about the right size for what I wanted. I had to weld up a thru hole where the latch fits into the slot which is what you see in the top photo. The piece was anodized so I had to sand that off prior to welding, and that also explains why the part has a dull finish. Fits like a glove though, and functions and looks good on the door.

While I was at Menards I was going thru the LED light bulbs looking for a replacement for a bulb that burned out at the house and came across a LED that contained a battery back-up. If the power fails, the bulb will operate off the battery power for up to 3.5 hours. That's pretty slick. It was just under $15.00 which I thought was reasonable. Something to consider if you're in an area that has frequent power outages.

Battery for the trials bike is supposed to be delivered today. Today is another painting day but it's looking wet the next four days. Time to move forward on the bike and the project for my neighbor. I've been kicking around some ideas in my head on that one and I've about got it figured out. Hope to get started on it in a day or two and maybe get it down next week.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Mono Posto

The post title refers to the old joke about why a chicken coup only has two doors. In this case there's only one - but - it's got a fresh coat of paint on it. I replaced the trim board over the top of the door and got a coat of primer on it. I ran out of red paint so I didn't get the whole coop painted but the part you see from the house looks good. Depending on the weather this week, I'll try to get the rest of it finished.

I did get the outhouse finished. Looks pretty good. It's actually a little garden shed I made for the Missus when I taught a construction class one year at the high school. There's a sidewalk leading from the house that went no where when we moved in. There used to be the "Mother-in-law" trailer out back, hence the sidewalk. A fancy outhouse at the end of the sidewalk seemed to be a good fit.

Besides the painting I went to a ball game Saturday that the youngest grandson was playing in. They have a two hour limit on the games and they were right up on the time limit to play five innings. Kind of tough to sit through but it's real baseball, not "T" ball. The other grandson played a season of that and that's just brutal to sit through if you're a baseball fan. If you're a grandparent and just want to support the kids, if you look at it as just an outing with family, not bad at all. Good to see those young guys playing ball rather than sitting on their thumbs or fooling around with their electronics, though, and the kids all seemed to be having a good time out there. Did my old heart good.

The boxing gym had a fundraiser Saturday night - 10th anniversary show. Jimmy presented me with a plaque in appreciation of my contribution to the club over the years. I no longer have any official dealings with the gym. I'm just a volunteer coach who helps out where I can but I appreciate being recognized for my contribution. I appreciate what my old coach did for me, so I'm just paying it back or paying it forward, depending on how you want to look at it.

Yesterday Indian Motorcycles released their new street model based on their flat track bike, the FTR 1200. It looks pretty sweet. It's supposed to be in the dealer showrooms next Spring. You can see it HERE. I keep hemming and hawing about a new bike but just haven't been able to pull the trigger. This one might be the one, however. I'd still like to take a trip to the west coast on a little bike but the Missus is not at all on board with that idea. The little Royal Enfield would be just right for what I've got in mind but if I'm not going to make that trip, maybe the Indian would scratch the itch. If I was thinking logically, I'd just get busy and finish a couple of the project bikes and along with the SV650 I'd be all set. Motorcycling has never been about logic with me - or most other bike guys either for that matter. I've done several bicycle tours but never a motorcycle tour. Probably shouldn't have watched Bronson when I was a kid.

The battery for the trials bike should be here tomorrow. I'll get to work on that project when it's too wet to paint. I've still got a few other outside things I want to finish before the weather closes in also but at least the outhouse looks good.