Month: May 2011

I need opinions. I’m thinking about taking a break for a while and maybe opening things up to some guest bloggers. Anyone interested?

There’s a rule of thumb in blogging circles called the 10,000 reader rule. It’s along the lines of, if you only have a few hundred readers, blogging is something you do because you want to. You’re usually new to it and full of enthusiasm so motivation to post every day is never a problem.  But if you have 10,000 readers then it can begin to feel like something you kind of have to do. You don’t leave that many readers who check in every day hanging around with nothing new to read.  Now I’ll be the first to  admit that I’m nowhere near 10,000 daily visitors. But I am well into what I consider to be a “significant” enough number that I do feel an obligation to keep the content flowing.

But lately I’ve been thinking that maybe putting the words “of the day” in the title of the blog may have been a little ambitious for a blog that I wanted to do long term.  I don’t exactly regret it but there are days… well you probably get the idea.  Now obviously my blog posts aren’t exactly a chore. I generally don’t include five thousand word editorials like some bloggers do on a regular basis. I’m simply passing along photos that I’ve taken or that folks have sent in to me.  It’s not exactly “work”.  But still… sometimes you need to step away and recharge the juices that motivated you in the first place.  I love pizza but I don’t want to live off of it.   I’ve also noticed that daily visits are down a wee bit. Now this is a fairly typical cycle easily accounted for by by the arrival of summer.  I’ve seen it happen over the last three years.   My readers (especially the ones in snow country) are smart enough to turn off the computer and head out the door come spring time.  And well they should.   But I can’t help but think that some portion of that drop-off comes from the feeling that my contribution has perhaps been getting a bit stale. Maybe/maybe not but sometimes it feels that way.

So…  for my own sanity and peace of mind, I need to shake it up a little.  Take a break.  Go for a nice looong ride.  Turn the phone off and go.

Which leaves me with a few choices:
First I could do nothing and keep grinding and hope that I just shake it off.
Second I could betray the title of my blog and just slow it down for a while. Post only when I’m truly motivated and wait for my batteries to recharge.
Third I could announce that I’m on vacation and that posting will be on hold until further notice.
Fourth, I could open things up to an assortment of guest bloggers. Take myself out as the gatekeeper and see if I can find a select group of volunteers to run the place for a while  (or longer, who knows).   I KNOW there are people out there with great taste and even better suggestions who could make significant contributions to improve the content. And to be honest I kind of envisioned this place becoming a sort of group blog when I started it.

Now I’m not in a hurry exactly but the fourth option will present itself with some challenges. I’ve made contact with some great people through this page but I don’t know if any of them want to be even part-time bloggers. I’ve also met a lot of other bloggers but they obviously already have their own pages to deal with. For example, I think that a guy like Murph from “wherethehellismurph” for example would be fantastic contributor. But in reality, Murph is busy on the adventure of a lifetime. Why overdo it.

Anyway, I’m interested to hear what my readers might think and if anyone might want to put in their opinion about or be interested in taking the throttle on occasion.   Post in the comments or send me an e-mail if you prefer.   This would NOT have to be a total day-by-day commitment on any one persons part.  I could set up user rights for some folks and see how it goes.  If things were to get too wacky then I still have control and could dial things back… or not… whatever…  The more I think about this the more appealing it gets.

So I’m throwing this out there to the universe. What do you think folks?

Reader Ride. A sweet and nicely updated Triumph

Things have been really busy on my end this spring. Lots of great material coming in and I’ve been hitting a few shows and such. As a result this one slipped back in the queue a little. I really need to be more on the ball with my e-mail.

James from Ottawa, Canada writes in with another great bike.
Hi Steve

You may remember me from a couple of years ago after I bought my used ’96 Triumph Thunderbird 900 triple. Did some mods to it then sent you some photos – along with some of my former ’74 Norton Commando 850 – which you kindly posted. They’re still up on your archives I see – – scroll down towards bottom of page Thank you.

Well of course I kept diddling with the Triumph. Bought a salvage ’98 Thunderbird Sport and ended up swapping the engine into her after the cam chain inexplicably broke on the Bird engine (these engines are virtually bulletproof and there was no advance warning). Lucky I had the TBS engine and it actually worked out better – more horsepower in the TBS (82 vs 69) and 6 speed tranny vs. 5. And I like the black engine body better than the Bird chrome/silver one too – although I left some of the Bird chrome pieces on for accent.

Here’s what else was done to the bike for the final makeover

HID headlight
Dunstall style megaphones – what a lovely throaty trumpet sound they have!
New 1/4 fairing (fairing and TBS front fender and partially bobbed rear fender all done and painted to match)
New 17″ Excel front rim from Buchanan’s Spoke & Rim in California (did a good job) matched with TBS front end with the dual discs and dampening adjustments) vs. the 18″ front wheel, single disc on the Bird. This combo is MUCH better. I now have proper stopping power!
New fork tubes by Frank’s Maintenance & Engineering in Evanston, Ill (did a good job) and gaiters
17″ TBS rear wheel replaces stock 16″ Bird rear – again, major improvement in handling
New Conti Motion tires front and rear
Partially bobbed TBS rear fender
New Lucas style rear tailight with new, smaller turn indicators front and back
TBS rear gas mono shock replaces Bird mechanical one
M-bars (with the folding bar end mirrors) although may have to change those – custom bars? – to find the right riding position for me especially for the longer hauls. I’m getting too old to be bent over for long periods of time!
Custom made solo seat that is REALLY comfortable for long hours in the saddle even if she is a bit on the large side – but hey, so’s the ass in the saddle! 🙂

Really pleased with the final product – a Thunderbird/Thunderbird Sport hybrid. She looks, sounds and runs GREAT and is definitely MY Tbird now.

Keep up the great work with your site. Like many others I check it out regularly to satisfy my motorcycle porn habit and really appreciate it! Thanks

Maybe the most underrated of the modern Triumphs. Great power and classic looks. you’ve really done a great job with her!

Thanks for the pics!