Month: January 2012

WOW! One Million Pageviews! I mean HOLY FREAKING SLAP MY FACE WOW!!!


First things first!

From the bottom of my heart, A sincere and heartfelt THANKS TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR STOPPING BY!! The world is a fast moving and busy place. There are only so many minutes in the day and I am enormously humbled and infinitely grateful that you take some of those minutes and spend them here to see whatever the heck it is I have to pass along at the moment. I know from looking at the stats that you’re on every continent, in every time zone, and stop by during all hours of the day and night. Some of you visit during a morning coffee and some at lunch. Some are at a desk at work and some are on smart phones while on the go. And wherever and whenever you are, I hope that you’re getting as much joy from visiting here as I get from hosting. It is truly my pleasure.

One Million! 1,000,000. A hundred thousand times ten. Even in a world where billionaires are getting almost common it’s still a hell of a good, satisfying number!! And to be honest, I almost sorta missed it.

You see honestly, I don’t really look at the counter all that often anymore. Yeah it’s down there and I confess that in the early days I was a page view junkie as much as any new blogger. I’d look at the average hits and do the math in my head quickly. I remember in the early days thinking that 100,000 hits before Christmas was possible. Seems sort of weird mow. I am STILL just amazed that an average guy in North Florida with a quirky love of motorcycles could get this kind of action with a blog that was actually only started because he kept finding so much cool four stoke material while he was trying to sniff out images for his first blog which is two stroke only. Many long time readers know that THAT is my first real motorcycle obsession. And If I have any regrets (no not really) it’s that I’ve seriously neglected my 2 stroke page. Riding, work, family, etc etc. all take a toll on the clock. That and the fact that I didn’t attach the words “of the day” to the title of “Two Stroke Biker Blog”.

But it’s cool. Two strokes are like an understanding mistress. They’ll be there to show you a good time and get your heart racing when you need some excitement away from the sometimes mundane, reliable, routine (but loveable) world of the four stroke machines. And then they’ll go back to waiting in the garage, getting dusty, pilot jets clogging up waiting for the next quick tune up and thrill ride. Ahh.. but spring is almost here and the mistress’ will be getting some much needed attention soon enough. Daytona, Deals Gap, riding Into History, maybe even Barbers or Mid Ohio or even Indy this year!! Economy willing, who knows! Most of these aren’t four stroke vacations for me. They’re either close enough to ride the RZ or H1 or far enough away to trailer them. And anyway it seems like there’s some good material coming in for the other board. I’ll give it it proper attention soon enough. It seems like, where this place is like a metronome the other board is more like a cuckoo clock. Posts come at intervals and in bunches.

Now Where was I? Oh yeah sorry.. Staring at the counter and pondering the hits.

Not that I’m completely nuts… yet… but truthfully this place has almost become therapeutic for me. It’s never a chore anymore. At times it has been. I’ve even written about it here and there and asked for advice. But I churned through the occasional bout of melancholy and found some balance. And at some point it’s morphed into something more… more… I don’t know.. “organic” I guess. That’s close. It’s not something I do because I feel compelled to but because it’s become as much a part of my day as a cup of coffee up or kissing my daughter goodnight. Even on those weekends when I’m traveling or during the holidays, NOT doing it puts me out of whack. Like the feeling as I’m leaving the grocery store that I just KNOW I forgot to buy the thing I came for but can’t seem to remember now what it was.

I’ve also become a habitual and subconscious content hound. I do it without even realizing it. I get lot’s of great e-mails but i still do a lot of leg work (not work at all really). It’s like a reflex. Hit some shows. Stop by bike nights, events, group rides. See an interesting post somewhere and fire off a PM for permission, or even better I’ll be out and about and see something parked and just instinctively grab the camera (which is now always in my cay or stashed on my bike somewhere). Those are my favorites. Like catching an unexpected Marlin when you’re just trolling. It’s now essentially second nature. And yes sometimes there dry spells and I have to scramble a bit but it’s my fault really. I say “of the day” but truth is I have way more than 365 posts a year. I never save anything during the feast for when the famine hits.

SO! Anyway… Like I was saying, I noticed a few days ago that we were getting very close to this very significant number. I had lots of silly ideas about things to do to mark the occasion but it all seemed a big distraction to the actual reason for this place which is to show you what two wheeled oddity the universe has put on my plate today. So in honor of this occasion I figured I’d just put together a collage of what is really a tiny fraction of the images that have been posted on here. And in truth I wanted to re-post my first ever topic but the piece of crap image hosting service I used to use went offline and took a good portion of very early links with it so many of these are essentially empty now. Hey VillagePhotos “seemed” like a decent host at the time. Sorry about that. I do have the originals but not the patience to reconnect it all. So if you want anything specific let me know and I’ll get it to you. I do so wish that I had a screenshot of the very first attempts at building my own pages on the original blogger site. God were they awful! Thank you to those industrious souls who created the clean functioning templates. And also Thanks to blogger for screwing up my original page and lighting a fire under my arse to get me over to wordpress. Should have done it long before I did. Anyone who’s serious about blogging should really consider it.

Well enough rambling. It wasn’t really how I intended to go with this but it just sort of got the best of me. I know you guys aren’t here for my literary gifts. If I did I wouldn’t have started a photo blog!

SO! without further adieu. Here’s to the next Million!

By the way click the photo and look for the link on top of it for the full resolution image.

Cool video with a sweet old Kawasaki and a cool vibe.


Spending as much time as I do poking around the web looking for material I can’t help but notice the giant leaps that have been taking place in regards to “amateur” video creation. Of course many of these are way beyond someone shooting from the hip and just posting it up. Yes, there ARE a lot of very well equipped and highly skilled “non-professional” cinematographers out there doing amazing things. But there is no doubt that the huge leap in functionality and drop in costs of equipment and post processing editing software has led to an explosion of really great content. I’ve seen everything from simple and fun short riding clips to some ongoing and very slick dramatic serials. I probably now spend as much time on youtube and Vimeo looking for entertainment as I do watching television. Probably more actually but I don’t think I’m typical… yet.

Anyway, here’s a great example of what I mean from Liad J.Shulam who wrote in:

G’day,
Me and my mates from Melbourne,Australia have made this movie about my 1980 Z500 , I hope you like it and will feature it in your Blog.
I just wanted to say your Blog Is Great! And that I check every day 🙂

Thank you for your time.

My pleasure! Keep em coming!

Farewell to Ernie Kicklighter.


In the early 80’s Jacksonville Florida motorcycle scene, Ernie Kicklighter was kind of our local motorcycle legend. There were other guys. Drag racer Ron Turner was doing well in those days on his lightning quick Suzukis. Even started his own dealership. But Ernie was different. He was the guy with enough talent to be “approved” by Kawasaki (at least that’s how we told the story) and secure a REAL Kawasaki ELR with all the factory goodies. Those of us who followed such things were all abuzz when we heard about it. Hot damm! Ernie had an ELR and was going racing with it. He’ll show em what he’s got. Just wait!

At the time, I had just started a lifelong friendship with the brother-in-law of the local Kawi shop manager known as “Maico George” Masdea (who sadly also passed back in 95 or so). Well anyway George was good friends at the time with Ernie and got us lots of behind the scenes info so we always felt like we were getting some inside scoop whenever we talked to him about it.

As these things go, I just got the word today that Ernie has passed. He’d been in a bad offroad riding accident quite a few yeas back and had been in rough shape since. It finally got the best of him.

It’s a strange feeling because thinking about it now, I’d only met him maybe a few times and really only heard stories about him second hand but his local legend status from my youth never left me. He was THE guy who didn’t just talk the talk. He went out, had the talent and freaking DID IT. He actually Raced Daytona and banged bars with the giants and the greats. No, I didn’t “know” him but he will be missed all the same.

Anyway, I did some searching around the web and there isn’t much on him. I did find a blurb here and there like this post over on Rider Files that confirms his racing status in a weird way. There are pictures of his bike and a caption mentioning that he’d been “hit on the starting grid of the F1 race by the speeding Marty Roth. It was claimed that the throttle stuck on Roth’s machine causing him to plow into the back of the F1 grid.”

Here’s the shots of the bike. It was a bad day for Ernie.

There were also some blurbs here and there like this one that talk about another rough weekend of racing.

I’d love to tell you more but details are scarce. I don’t know how much actual bar banging he ever did with the greats. I don’t know when and how he left racing or what his career record was. These things have a way of fading from view as you turn the corner into your 20’s towards other pursuits like girls and cars and generally always being broke.

But hey, if anyone has any details and could clue me in on any of it’d I’d be very grateful. I’m sure there’s a few old racers out there who might know a guy who knew a guy.

Thanks. And Godspeed Ernie. I hope you’re banging bars again.

Thanks for the ramble..

Update: I’ve found a few posts on message boards from old timers commenting on him here and there like this one in a thread on OMC outboards of all places that touched on ATV racing:

“One of the best ATV racers in the day of 3wheelers was a guy from here named Ernie Kicklighter,He turned Honda’s offer down for a factory ridein atv’s and superbike cause he didn’t want to move to California.He did ride for the local Kawasaki shop owned buy Bill Gettz.Bill built an experimental Tecate with a Rotax engine to take to a national race.When Ernie rode it in the heat race he almost lapped Marty Harts(#1 in the world) Honda and everybody started crying foul.To keep from going through a bunch off bitching Ernie pulled the practice bike out of the trailer and took 2nd overall on sunday.He said he couldn’t use all the hp the rotax made because of tire spin and picking the front end up.They would be a formidable competition in the outboard world.They wouldn’t let a world record go uncontested for 15 years thats for sure.:cool: :cool:”

Yep. Sounds right, Bill Gettz was the shop owner at the time.

And from what I’ve found he was still racing as lat as 1993 in CCS

“Expert U.S. TWINSPORTS Pos Laps Number Bike Size Name
1 1 210 KAW 750 ERNIE KICKLIGHTER, JACKSONVILLE, FL. Regency Kawasaki, Regency HD, Enco “

Another cool air powered bike. This time three tanks!


Thanks to Tim Hillsamer for the link. Lots more here at TECHVEHI but it’s all in French.

I found a bit more info on it in english at the “car body design” site. Apparently the first one is set up to be a land speed bike. Cool!

“The Saline Airstream Concept is a speed record motorbike concept powered by a compressed air engine. It was created by five design students at the ISD of Valenciennes (France).”

At the wicked fun 1963 Bridgestone BS-7/D cafe!


Great little buzz-bomb and a really interesting site! for more on this bike and other cool stuff that Chris has going on check things out at http://subrewgarage.blogspot.com/

Chris wrote in:

Hello,

I just wanted to drop a quick note about a little bike I’ve finished
up recently. It started life as a run-down little 1963 Bridgestone
BS-7/D. I decided to do a bit of a cafe/racer look to it, using as
many Bridgestone parts as possible, and without hacking up any of the
original BS-7 parts in the process. The end result is a good little
runner, complete with a BS90 Sport fuel tank and set of BS90 front
telescopic shocks. I did a bit of porting on the original 50cc
stroker, built a pipe, and installed a bigger 19mm carb. It will see
close to 60mph if I get a long enough run!

Hope you enjoy it!

Chris H.

Cool pipe too! I love projects like this. Really unique and must be a lot of fun to blast around on.
Thanks!