2.4: Whiner Eligibility. Whiners are not eligible to compete. If you believe that you might be a whiner, please check with a domestic partner, guardian, or health-care professional before getting the rest of your team kicked the hell out of the race.
-24 Hours of LeMons Rules
Last week, I attended my first 24 Hours of LeMons race out at Infineon. In my last blog entry about LeMons racing, I talked about how I’m pretty much hooked on the concept, and have been doing more research/reading about the sport before making a full-on plunge into driving for one of the teams.
In reading the rules, a few things come through very clearly: LeMons is about having fun first, and foremost, and if you take the competitive aspect of this too seriously, or you cheat, it will likely not go well for you, your team, or, in the case of the People’s Curse, your car.
As stated, quite succinctly, in the official rules of 24 Hours of LeMons:
In other words, you try and race a “cheater” car, one that everyone knows, or at least believes, to be more than a $500 investment (not including safety gear), and you leave yourself at the mercy of the other teams who may decide, by exercising the democratic power of the ballot, to have your car cursed and/or destroyed.
I was asking Anton about this yesterday, and he quickly threw out a half-dozen, or so, stories about how this has happened to teams, and their cars, in the past, with exacting detail on the pain and misery inflicted on the cursed vehicle.
To paraphrase Marsellus Wallace, when the People’s Curse comes down on your team, they’re gonna’ get medieval on your ass…Well, your car’s ass. Do cars have an ass? Whatever.
This is especially true if you fall into in that last-case scenario, the “totally nasty, mega-fatal, possibly frame-flattening Curse penalty.”
Attached is a YouTube video in which the People’s Curse is enacted on a BMW that everybody at the race thought was worth just a wee-bit more than 500 bucks. It is pure carnage, and I must say that the backhoe work involved approaches fine art.
More LeMons to come …
Last night I went on an expedition, fueled by a Cole Coffee binge (Yemeni Mocca Sanani. It’s brilliant), to un-hose my iCloud setup, which was quite, well…hosed.
The reason for this is pretty simple: I’ve been dealing with Apple directly for over a decade, and have wound up with a handful of AppleIDs, all with different, and now mostly defunct, email addresses. This is a potential cause of having your iLife getting FUBAR when converting to iClould from MobileMe.
The problem was, in a nutshell, that my mail, photo stream, calendar, and contacts were all hooked into my MobileMe account, and my iCloud account was hooked in to the AppleID that I use for the iTunes, and other Apple Stores.
It took a few hours of experimentation, but I finally managed to get the whole thing sorted out.
At the end of the ordeal, and in an effort to help bail out other poor schmucks, like myself, I wrote a long and comprehensive blog entry detailing just how to do it. (I’m here to help …) But after finishing the lengthy tome, the result was confusing as hell, and only likely to help someone who had the exact same mashup of AppleIDs and MobileMe, and who had gone through the MobileMe Migration the same way I had. So I trashed it, and am just going to provide a couple of suggestions for how to transition, along with some links to docs that were useful in working everything out.
1) Create your iCloud account using the AppleID that you use for iTunes/App Store and Apple Store.
This is kind of key, and will make your life easier.
2) If you have a MobileMe account that is under a different AppleID, or has a different email address associated with it, migrate it to iCloud, and use it as a secondary iCloud account.
You can’t easily merge the two together, and MobileMe will be going away at some point, but you can add your secondary iCloud account to your Mail and Calendar apps and have everything in one place while you migrate your mail usage to your new iCloud .me email address.
What Apple Needs to Do …
Most of this mess could be a lot less messy if Apple were to take a more flexible approach with AppleIDs … Allow users to delete, or recycle them, merge them, and provide more flexibility about changing the name and underlying email account associated with an AppleID.
If you’re just starting down the iLife, with your first iPhone, iPad, or Mac, try to get it right from the beginning and use one AppleID for everything. It will save you headaches, and Saturday nights spent in an over-caffeinated-frenzy trying to figure out why your Photostream isn’t streaming and your email not going where you want it to …
For about as long as I’ve been having my bikes worked on over at Tyler Carson’s Hayasa Motorbikes, I’ve been hearing about LeMons racing (say Lemons, the capital “M” is just there for effect), or more properly, the 24 Hours of LeMons. Tyler, Anton, and a bunch of the other regulars at the shop have been into the LeMons thing at one point or another. In fact, Anton, has been very involved with the sport, and races for a number of teams.
So what in the Wide, Wide World of Sports is the 24 Hours of LeMons? (Hint: Click on the link and go to the website, slacker. Do I have to do it all for you?)
LeMons racing has been described as Halloween meets Gasoline, but coming from Planet Nerd, I like to think to think of LeMons racing as the Comicon of auto racing, where the cars do most (although not all) of the Cosplay.
The idea is this: You, buy a heap of a car, and get it ready to race without spending more than $500 , and create some kind of theme for the car … Like a Molvo (Half Miata, half Volvo wagon), an “Angry Birds” car or, this fine specimen, a car modeled after the Pokemon character, Pikachu.
That’s about it … Well, except for the part about finding a handful of your soon-to-be-very-best-friends for your driving team, and having a couple of mechanics, welders, and electronics tech folks comes in really handy. Then you go race, well, until you breakdown, and then you fix your heap, er, car, and go racing again.
This past weekend, after many years and a few false starts, I finally got my first whiff of LeMons racing at an event called “The Skankaway Anti-Toe-Fungal 500”, held at Sears Point/Infineon Raceway.
It…was…a…BLAST! (And not just in the oops, look, that car’s engine just exploded sense, although there was some of that going on as well.)
There are lots of interesting folks running around the race including cosplayers, whacky race judges who dole out bad driving punishments designed to educate, inform, and enlighten…like taping you to the hood of your car, placing your team in a chain gang (with real plastic chains) and parading them around the pit area while playing “Jailhouse Rock” on a car radio, doing repetitious writing assignments on the hood of your car, and other fun (to watch) stuff. There’s a whole show going on off of the track.
It’s pretty serious business that it is all geared towards the fun side, and the organizers (and many of the team members that I spoke with) prefer keeping the emphasis on the crazy circus sideshow, and less on the competitive racing aspects. There is also very strong sense of community evident here…Everyone knows everyone else, and folks seem willing to lend each other a helping-hand or some friendly advice when needed.
Oh, and don’t worry too much about the judges…They can be bribed, and bribery of judges is an encouraged form of informal business arrangement at LeMons races. It’s all part of the carnival fun, and I understand most of the food an other goodies collected by the judges as their “bribes” get kicked back to the folks out working the track all day.
Drivers can also buy their way out of penalties by writing a check to whatever the 501(c)3 charity that the organizers have selected for the event.
If only government worked this way …
Then there are the prizes…The winning team gets $1,500, usually in nickels. There are also a number of category awards, and special themed participation prizes at these regional events. For the Infineon race, there was a Bay Area, Jerry Garcia-themed award, the full title of which I can’t remember but it evokes the memory of an unfortunate incident in the late rock star’s past involving a cop, some smoking paraphernalia, and a BMW.
Anyway, I think I’m going to be writing, photographing, and doing videos (there’s one currently in the works) about this sport in the future … And who knows, maybe even driving on one of the teams.
Yeah, I think I’ve got bit by the bug pretty hard on this one.
Special Thanks to Nick Pon from 24 Hours of LeMons for allowing me to photo and video my way through the weekend, Anton Lovett for being the facilitator of my bad (and usually fun) moto-related habits, and “Judge Phil” Greden for … Well, it’s a long story, let’s just say I didn’t get taped to the hood of a car or anything.
Enjoy the photos.
Shooting pictures has been a way of life for me almost as long as I’ve been old enough to hold a camera. Well, for the most part. There have been stretches … Long stretches, where the need and desire to create images was short-circuited by whatever else was going on in life. Times when, after reaching a fairly high set of technical and aesthetic standards for my work, the planning and infrastructure (film, cameras, processing, darkroom) became too much of a burden to fit into the go-go, rush-rush, of life at the time.
Even now, with the transition to high-quality DSLRs and Adobe Lightroom-based workflow, hauling all of that Nikon gear around is just too much for most daily situations, but the iPhone is opening up a new set of opportunities for creating images in a fast, fun, and creatively fulfilling way.
The iPhone has become my go-to camera for almost all daily situations and, with the help of a few apps, given me a creative outlet that offers quick image acquisition, fast processing, and almost instant access to an audience via social media apps such as flickr, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter.
On a recent day trip out to The Warehouse Café, a local legend of a biker bar in Port Costa, CA., I shot exclusively with the iPhone, using Lisa Bettany’s Camera+ app, and TiltShift Generator from Art and Mobile, to process the results.
Camera+ offers a complete workflow for the iPhone, including everything from image stabilization to compositing FX (My favorite is the fake HDR effect, seen in many of these Port Costa photos.) Camera+ also integrates directly with a variety of social networking sites, including Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr.
My usual workflow, after processing the image within Camera+, is to upload the photo to my Flickr account and share it with other sites from there … This way all of my social networking sites link back to my main Flickr portfolio. Camera+ allows you to add image tags, captions, descriptions, and select a destination set in your Flickr gallery…The metadata tools are pretty powerful.
TiltShift Generator is another useful app that simulates a parallax-correction, or Tilt-Shift lens (e.g., a PC-Nikkor, or a Lensbaby), and allows you to control color saturation, contrast, blur, and vignetting. It’s best feature is the Tilt-Shift effect, and really the only reason I would jump out of Camera+ to do additional processing.
The one downside of this workflow is that TiltShift Generator loses all of your location, and other, metadata during the round trip, which is not good if you like to geo-tag your photos in Flickr.
Quite often I’ll save out several different images out of Camera+ and re-import them, adding additional effects along the way. The results can be very surrealistic, and take on a painterly quality. Part of the fun for me is twisting the original, photorealistic images into stark, and often dramatic, forms. Some might call it abusing the images, but there is something I find gratifying about the results.
It’s not about necessarily the quality of the images, in normal technical, and aesthetic terms, but using the iPhone to create a form of expression that is both immediate and visually compelling.
As a photographer who can’t always haul a lot of gear around, the iPhone allows you to both travel light and remain creative, and keep yourself in the game.
Have you ever wanted to be part of a web video? Would you like to have an opportunity to see your photo used as part of a comedy sketch that could potentially be seen by thousands of people?
If so, read on!
I’m working on a new short with a few friends, and am trying some crowd-sourcing for extras casting for photos…with a little help from the good people of the Interwebz.
The video is going to be a parody of an online dating service currently-running ads on National television. One part of it shows their web site, including a Classmates.com-like photo gallery with headshots of very nice-looking, clean-cut types, who all look like they grew up next door to Richie Cunningham. This gives the lonely user a chance to
cyberstalk examine the profile of his/her potential dream girl or guy, and check out their bio and other vital stats.
Without going into too many details and ruining the surprise, this parody is going to turn this commercial upside down, and offer a dating site for an “alternative lifestyle” crowd. Very alternative.
We are not just looking for pictures of happy, shiny, cleancut people with great tans and pearly white teeth. We’re looking for the average guy/girl next door. People you know in real life-types.
We’re also looking for goths, punkers, rockers, zombies, vampires, witches, warlocks, bikers, tattoo-and-piercing fans, and every other type of person your Mom warned you about not sleeping with in college, but you did anyway because you were young, foolish, and will always have that somewhat tragic Hieronymus Bosch-inspired tattoo to prove it (and not to be judgemental but, damn!)
In other words, it take all kinds, and that’s what we’re looking for…all kinds of people.
If you just want to get out your favorite cosplay outfit, or come up with one for the occasion, that’s all good, too! The more outrageous, the better! Scenes including (artificial) blood and (totally fake) gore, even betterer. (Bestest?)
Also, couples shots of you and your SO, ISO, POSSQL (or whomever you are hanging out with the time), are also highly encouraged.
We will also be doing a couple of live-action shots that will be shot locally (Oakland, CA), and will be casting for a few couples. So if you’re in the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area, and would like to be considered for live action work, please let us know.
If you would like to participate, please send your photo, in digital form to: firstname.lastname@example.org All photos should be submitted by December 15th, 2011 for consideration.
1) Photos should be a minimum of 2 Megapixels in size … The bigger the better
2) Photos should jpeg or camera raw format
3) If you like, give me a little “biography” of your character … Get as creative with the details as you like!
4) We will not use your real name, or anything that identifies who you are in real life, or where you come from.
5) If you’re photos are selected for use in the parody video and web site, we will let you in on the whole concept, and ask if you’d like to submit a self-made webcam video of you in your “character”, telling the World why you are the right guy/gal for them!
6) People who’s images are selected will get credited on a special web site, and a copy of the final video.
Have fun, be as goofy, or spooky, as you like … Remember, this is comedy.
Thanks, in advance, for all of your submissions. This video will be a blast!
The Legal stuff (The fine print):
1) All submissions will become the non-exclusive property of Doug Luberts dba Turbomandala Entertainment/dougluberts.com. This means, it’s still yours, to do what ever you want with, but we have the right to keep it in the video, or the web site, permanently (no backsies.)
2) Submitter, as well as any persons depicted in photographic submissions, must be 18 years old, or older, at the time the photograph was taken.
3) There is no compensation involved, other than a free copy of the video. You are giving me your photos for free, for the recognition you will receive from being a part of this video and/or website, or, to put it more succinctly: Doug Luberts dba Turbomandala Entertainment/dougluberts.com shall own, non-exclusively, all now known or hereafter existing rights to the submissions of every kind and nature, in perpetuity, and Doug Luberts/dougluberts.com shall be entitled to unrestricted use of the submissions for any purpose whatsoever, commercial or otherwise, without compensation, credit or any other rights to the provider of the submissions.
4) Any controversy or claim arising out of our receipt of submitted material will be settled by arbitration in Oakland, California, before a single arbitrator appointed by the American Arbitration Association. The prevailing party in any such arbitration has the right to recover its reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs from the other party.
This my bike. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My bike is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
My bike, without me, is useless. Without my bike, I am wheel-less. I must ride my bike true.
I must ride straighter than my enemy, the cage driver, who is trying to kill me. I must pass him before he t-bones me.
Okay, enough already. You get the idea (and my apologies to the U.S. Marine Corps.)
After my last post a few folks have asked me what kind of a bike I ride…Well, truth be told, someone I know asked me what kind of a Harley I ride.
Look, I’m fat, bald, and like to watch “Sons of Anarchy” on a regular basis, but stereotype much?
I love collecting Harley T-Shirts from dealerships visited in my travels, but the bike a person rides is usually a reflection of their personal style and riding preferences, and Harleys are just a wee bit too laid-back the kind of daily urban commuting runs, and canyon craving I do. I ride a 2007 Suzuki GSF1250s Bandit, and this is my bike.
The Bandit is a bike with a long, and kind of interesting, history. Suzuki started out in the late ’90s with the idea of building a no-frills bike with the basics of a sport touring bike. It was built with mostly off-the-shelf parts, and available with either a half-fairing, as seen above, or in a “naked” model that developed a rep for being a “hooligan bike” in Europe.
Over the years the bike evolved, and in 2007 was given a brand-spanking-new, 1248cc, water-cooled, engine, and made available with an ABS option. The non-ABS version (what I’m riding), was available for an MSRP of $8,299, which was ridiculously reasonable compared to other bikes in the Sport Touring class such as the Honda ST1300 or Kawasaki Concours.
In 2009 I was looking to trade in my ’93 Suzuki Intruder 800, a nearly indestructible cruiser with chopper styling (it was a great, reliable, ride, but uncomfortable and ugly as hell), when I came across a new, left-over, 2007 Bandit at a local dealership that was being offered at an even MORE ridiculous price.
I like the Bandit because of its inline-four, 16-valve, engine, which has a reputation for delivering a massive amount of torque (a must for any San Francisco commuter bike), in a highly reliable, low-maintenance, package.
For some reason the 2007 Bandits did not sell all that well in the U.S., possibly because of its in-between the lines positioning between a true sport bike and an upright standard, and just never got the same kind of love as the GSXRs and Hayabusas. The bikes have done extremely well in Europe, where there is a fairly decent aftermarket for turning the Bandit into a full-on street fighter, but Suzuki has re-tooled the 2011 Bandits into fully-faired bike aimed at the Sports Touring market. In doing so they’ve added ABS as standard equipment, and upped the price to a not-nearly-as-amazing-but-still-cheaper-than-a-Beemer-or-Honda, $11,599 M.S.R.P.
The U.S. buying public’s fickleness is their loss, and the potential gain for anyone who wanted to get a great deal on one of these bikes.
I’d love to say it was all rainbows and fluffy bunnies from there on (but I wouldn’t say that, ’cause I’m a guy, and we don’t say stuff like that), but it became clear on the ride home that the Bandit, while having the basics of a great bike, needed some serious sorting out before it would live up to the promise. That’s the trade-off in buying a Bandit vs. one of the higher-end Sport Touring bikes; There is less initial sticker shock, but you wind up having to put some of those saved dollars back in to the bike to bring out its potential.
The biggest problems?
- In order to meet Euro3 emissions standards the stock fuel injection map is so wonky that the bike is subject to serious lurching and stuttering in the lower power bands…Trying to maintain a steady pace in city traffic at 25mph is more or less like riding a horse that isn’t saddle broken.
- The front suspension, which offers only preload adjustment, and uses extremely light, multi-rate, fork springs, is too light for most U.S. riders (especially us plus-sized models), and is subject to major front-end dive when braking.
- The stock seat is pure Hell on Earth and, even after a 1600 mile break-in period, one of the biggest ergo/rideability issues with the bike (IMNSHO.)
Also worth mentioning, while not a huge issue, the catalysed stock muffler on the Bandit is a huge, ugly, chrome beast that adds an extra 20lbs of mass, and rusts almost instantaneously upon purchase.
None of these issues, with the exception of the fuel mapping, are absolute show-stoppers, and while the bike and rider is initially the worse off for the trouble, everything is fixable in the fullness of time…and cash. It’s also important to remember that this is a price-point bike, and that skimping on these things is what allowed Suzuki to keep the M.S.R.P. down on the bike in the first place.
While admittedly being a bit of a gearhead (okay, a complete and total gearhead in every aspect of life), I think you need to put your money into what will make your bike ride safely, and comfortably, so that’s the general order of priority for the upgrades made to the Bandit over the years.
Holeshot/Cogent Fork Springs and Race Tech Gold Valve Kit
Dale Walker, over at Holeshot, has developed a pretty large line of aftermarket parts and accessories for the Bandit, as well as other bikes. He worked with Cogent Dynamics on developing fork springs and rear shocks for the Bandit.
The springs are available in standard as well as heavy weight, and combined with a Gold Valve kit from Race Tech, which functions as a cartridge fork emulator, provide a nice, plush, response to the front-end of the motorcycle, and eliminate the nasty diving characteristics of the stock springs when you’ve got to get on the brakes hard.
While we’re talking suspension, the stock rear shock on the Bandit isn’t anything to write home about either, but it can be finessed enough to work well. At some point it will get replaced by a Hagon unishock (half the price of an Ohlins with about 85% of Ohlins’ quality), but it isn’t something that needs to happen in the first 15-20K miles.
DynoJet Power Commander and Leo Vince Evo Muffler
After building a safer front end, the problem of the throttle response/engine lurching has to be dealt with…Especially if you are a daily commuter, like me, who sometimes winds up having to deal with miles of backed-up and slow traffic where you are in the 18-25mph zone (yes, this is California, and lanesplitting is a helpful option, but some times you just have to sit in traffic and deal.)
The Power Commander is a nifty little computer gizmo that sits between the ECU (Engine Control Unit) and the fuel system, arbitrating between what the ECU thinks it wants the EFI system to do, and what the EFI really needs to do. You download a custom map for your bike/exhaust configuration, and the Power Commander takes care of the rest.
If you’re into a racing mindset, the thing to do is to get the bike run on a dyno and have a custom map generated for your bike. I’m not really into trying to squeeze every pony out of my bike …In fact, while I know that between the Power Commander and the Vince slip-on, the Bandit is capable of pulling something like 115hp and hitting upwards of 120mph, I wouldn’t know exactly what the numbers are, and don’t have any intentions of finding out first hand.
Using a stock map, the bike is fast enough, and torque-y enough, to negotiate the madness of California Freeways, and haul-ass up and down the steep hills of San Francisco during my daily commutes. That’s plenty for me.
Again, safety and comfort are the key words.
I could have left the stock can on the bike, but opted for the Vince EVO slip-on for ergo/aesthetic reasons; the stock can is coyote ugly and ways a friggin’ ton. The Vince slip on is quiet (EPA approved), small, light, and, yes, I paid about a hundred bucks extra to get the carbon fiber model ’cause it’s black and looks bad-ass. (So there. :p)
Corbin Gunfighter and Lady Seat
The last of the essentials was actually something I really waited too long on.
This past summer I finally got rid of the stock Bandit torture-seat-from-hell, and replaced it with a Corbin model. After about a 1500 mile break-in period, this single purchase has paid some of the biggest dividends on any investment put into the bike.
As a motorcyclist you can, and do, put up with a lot of adversity on a daily basis, from idiot Bay Area drivers who think that turn signals are optional equipment, to a hundred other obstacles in your way, but it’s a lot easier to take the slings and arrows of every day motorcycling in stride if your ass is happy. (And you can quote me on that.)
There is a lot of other little stuff on the bike … Mirror extenders, bar risers, and a Givi top box to carry tools, emergency supplies, rain gear, and a growing list of riding essentials (so much, in fact, I’m going to have to add side bags just to be able to pick up a few groceries on the way home.) A GPS would also be nice, but then I’ll have to add a bus box, some wiring, and, hey, that Bluetooth system for my iPhone/iPod would also come in handy, and … Yeah. Total gearhead.
But, after all, this is my bike. There are many like it, but this one is mine …
Props to the Folks who Keep Me Running …
When I first started riding, almost 10 years ago now, I knew absolutely nothing about motors, cars, or anything mechanical. While I keep learning, and do more fiddling about with a wrench and a voltmeter than I used to, all of the heavy lifting for customizing the Bandit has come with a lot of help from some friends.
Tyler Carson and Anton Lovett, over at Hayasa Motorbikes in East Oakland, have been working on my bikes for about 5 years now, and have done all of the custom suspension and electrical work on the Bandit. They’re great mechanics, knowledgeable, honest, and have created a shop that’s every bit as great an environment to hang out around as it is to have your bike worked on at. More about Hayasa in a future blog …
My geekyness knows no bounds.
Comic books, film, TV, sci-fi, theater, the web, gadgets, its all in there. But there is no bigger place in my geeky heart (outside of the one reserved for Dr. Who, Star Trek, and the collected works of Felicia Day) than the spot set aside for the geekiest of obsessions … Motorcycles.
Now some might say that Motorcycles are not a true object of geekery, that motorcycling is a rough-and-tumble world of big iron, hard chrome, and lots of leather (not to mention ink), but I would disagree.
Motorcycling is a realm of geekery as vast as The Vortex, and as endless as time itself. No matter whether the biker in question is a hardened Harley rider with a 3-piece patch and a rap sheet longer than the 4th Doctor’s scarf, or a devotee of vintage British bikes with a penchant for Bellstaff Trialmaster jackets and hand-rolled cigarettes; Motorcycling is all about the boys (and girls) and their toys.
Toys that go fast.
My own interests fall more towards the vintage British side … Especially anything Triumph or Norton (with a nod to BSA as being the coolest thing to come out of an armaments factory not designed to explode … Well, at least not intentionally. Old British bikes due tend to behave about as reliably as a vintage TARDIS with a blown chameleon circuit.)
Getting a hold of one of those old bikes, like a 1960s/’70s Triumph Bonnie, and restoring it, is something I want to do further down the road, but that ambition has been held back by the need to have a good, reliable, daily commuter that doesn’t require constant attention and maintenance, as these older bikes do.
But there is a whole market that has been opening up in the past few years for new “modern classic” lines of bikes that have the look and styling of vintage bikes, but all modern technology under the hood. These bikes, such as the newly-reborn Triumph Bonneville line, offer the best of both worlds.
Another bike that is taking off in popularity is the new line of Royal Enfield Bullets.
Royal Enfield is a venerable name in motorcycling with roots going back to Edwardian England, and the Bullet is a bike with a design history dating back to the 1930s.
Currently produced in India, Royal Enfields have one of the longest production history of any bike around, and were in constant manufacture up until a few years ago, when the company changed hands. (For a complete history of the Royal Enfield Company, and Enfield India, read Mick Walker’s execllent book, Royal Enfield: The Complete Story, available through Amazon.)
Although available abroad, and in certain U.S. States, for the past couple of years, we’ve only seen the new Enfield Bullets in California starting in 2011, after a complete engine redesign including electronic fuel injection, and a muffler with a 3-stage catalytic converter, enabled the bike to meet State emission standards.
The result is a thoroughly vintage-looking British single-cylinder motorcycle, with an electronic brain and a host of cleverly-hidden modern conveniences that make this puppy a ton of fun to ride.
It’s important to note that these bikes aren’t powerhouses…The Bullets is rated at 27 ponies, stock, but this isn’t about speed, it’s about stepping out in style …
Jay Leno did a walk-though of the various Bullet models for his “Jay Leno’s Garage” web series, which I’ve included on this page. You can also see the bikes at the Royal Enfield USA page, which also includes user forums, and a store with all kinds of aftermarket goodies that you can pick up to trick out your own Bullet.
Best of all, a new, top-of-the-line, Bullet C5 Classic will set you back a little over $7k out-the-door, so it’s in that range of being affordable for a second bike that isn’t your daily driver or, as Leno points out, a very cool alternative to a scooter, for tooling around town.
Munroe Motors is the local dealer in San Francisco, and I hear that they’ve got a Bullet reserved for test drives.
He challenged everyone to “Think Different”.
Felicia Day linked the trailer for her new webisodic on her blog today, along with details about the production, and release schedule.
The trailer is total kick-ass, so stop reading and go watch!