Differential Gears for Dummies

Maybe not motorcycle specific, but great bit of mechanical knowledge thrown down in an easy to understand format.

February 6th, 2012 by grail21 in How To, Video | Comment (1)

Embossing / Hammer Crafting Sheet Metal

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Use your imagination and you’ll see the next hip trend in “chopper” gas tank design.

February 1st, 2012 by grail21 in How To | No Comments

Lathe How To

You or I will probably not need to machine a pulley anytime soon for moto use, but the principles and lathe work that our friend Tubalcain lays down are universally helpful.

January 30th, 2012 by grail21 in How To | No Comments

Motorcycle Engraving Video

I’ve seen a lot of killer engraving done for bikes before, but this just takes it to a different level.

January 30th, 2012 by grail21 in Video | Comments (4)

Portable Drill Bracket

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This looks handy, need to make myself one of these.

January 25th, 2012 by grail21 in How To | No Comments

Motomethod

This is making the round on the blogs, but it’s too good not to post. The shop and business concept is killer, wish we had something like it around here. Something like this really fosters that sense of community. Subject matter aside, the video is really well done and well worth you time.

January 24th, 2012 by grail21 in Video | No Comments

Bikes I’ve been staring at lately

Been away working on other projects, but getting back into the swing of things, back to working on some bike projects and getting this site updated. Here’s a few bikes I’ve been staring at over the past few weeks.

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January 23rd, 2012 by grail21 in Moto Art & Pics | Comments (4)

Tig Welding - Feeding the wire

January 18th, 2012 by grail21 in How To, Video | No Comments

From The Archives: Vol 2

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My apologies for the hiatus and the lack of posting, I’ve been juggling a few too many non-moto projects lately and it’s kept me away from the nerd box. I hope to get back soon, but I’m guessing posting will be spotty for the next couple weeks. I have a few personal moto projects in the works - the Acme sportster project I previously mentioned and the FXR is getting a mild refresh. My long term project (which is currently in the planning stages) is new shop space. I’d love to will that into happening tomorrow, but reality is working against me. There are some in-depth articles and reviews in the horizon - I’ve got a handful of them half written - I’m just trying to carve out the time to finish them up. Stay tuned, things might be a little slow around here for the moment, but we’re not going anywhere.

November 28th, 2011 by grail21 in Moto Art & Pics | Comments (2)

Brooklyn Invitational: Vol. 2

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November 16th, 2011 by grail21 in Moto Art & Pics | Comment (1)

Milling attachment for your lathe

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November 15th, 2011 by grail21 in How To | No Comments

Husqvarna Moab

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We don’t usually talk about new or concept motorcycles on this site, but this thing is all kinds of rad. The Husqvarna Moab concept bike - just revealed at EICMA show. IIt’s a concept bike, so who knows if they’ll ever make it, but damn she is a looker. I want one.

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November 14th, 2011 by grail21 in Bitchin' Bikes | Comments (3)

Brits and Bits

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October 29th, 2011 by grail21 in Moto Art & Pics | Comment (1)

Icon Patrol Jacket Review

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Synopsis: A gratifying departure from the brightly colored and giant logo encrusted swag that is the bread and butter of the Icon line. The Patrol jacket looks great, is built-to-last and packs a ton of features into a killer riding jacket. Stylistically closer to a snowboard jacket than your characteristic adventure riding African safari fashion, the Patrol holds it down with its smart and subtle design. It’s not cheap, and there are a lot of other well made jackets in this price range, but when it comes down to fit, style and features, this one gets my vote.

2010-Icon-Patrol-Waterproof-Jacket-Black.jpgWhat I really dig
Overall design and aesthetic: Plain and simple, this is a good looking jacket. As far as textile jackets go, it’s one of the best on the market. Simple, clean, and understated. Icon was smart not to cover this thing with bulldog graphics or sick tribals; it’s nice to see them bringing their quality gear to guys outside the flaming skull set.

Details: Lots of pockets, lots of vents, the magnetic storm flap is genius, the waterproof cellphone pocket will give you one less thing to worry about when the clouds come out and the detachable hood can be a godsend when needed. The camel back pocket is useless to me (but thankfully removable) and an additional exhaust vent on the back would have been nice, but overall they fit a ton of features into a svelte package. The fleece lining on the neck and wrist closures is brilliant, all jackets should have this.

Build quality and fit: Every jacket I own has been a bargain bin special or at the bottom of the price spectrum. After riding with this day in - day out, it’s easy to see what you’re paying for when you move up into more premium gear. The build quality, finish details and most importantly the fit are all top notch. It’s so much better than the $99 jackets you find peddled at your typical biker events that it’s not even a fair comparison. Of course, for $370 is better be, but coming from the low cost alternatives, it immediately made an impression. Everything from the material to the stitching let’s you know you’ve got a well made piece of gear.

PatrolJacketInterior_Black.pngTemperature control: Taking one look at the specs and design, it should be apparent that it’s not meant to be a summer jacket. I’ve ridden with it up into the low 80s (half zipped, all the vents opened) and that’s where I’d put the high temperature limit. Anything hotter than that would be uncomfortable and sweaty. The flip side is that it’s great when the temperature drops. With the liner in, the jacket kept me super warm and comfortable when I would have been shivering in any other jacket I own. Your mileage will vary, but it definitely excels in colder weather.

Waterproofing: The waterproofing is a big selling point for Icon when it comes to marketing this jacket, but it honestly wasn’t a huge deal for me. I’m one of those guys who doesn’t buy into waterproofing textile jackets. If it’s a raging downpour, I want legit rain gear. I almost always carry full rain gear with me; New England weather will beat the “be prepared” into you. That said, for light to medium rain, the waterproofing is a huge bonus. My own neurosis wouldn’t trust it in torrential downpours but for those annoying but not bone soaking showers, it’s great to not have to pull off and throw on the plastic wrap. I’ve worn it a few times in light showers and it kept me completely dry.

What I’d change
My only real nitpick with the jacket is that I wished the adjustable elbow straps cinched down a little more as the sleeves tend to be on the baggy side for a skinnier dude.

The final word:
There are a lot of well made jackets in the general price range of the Patrol jacket - some a little more, some a little less. Frankly, most of them look like shit. I don’t want to look like a paramilitary commando or a photojournalist when I’m heading out for a ride. It might seam superficial, but the reality is if you don’t like the look and style of a jacket, you’re not going to wear it, so what’s the point. Not only does the Patrol jacket deliver on aesthetic design, but it has the build quality and technical features to make it stand out. I dig it a lot and would absolutely recommend it.

For more info and specs, click here: Icon Patrol Jacket

October 26th, 2011 by grail21 in Reviews | Comments (4)

From the Archives

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October 25th, 2011 by grail21 in Moto Art & Pics | Comment (1)

Horizontal Band Saws - the return of TubalCain

It’s been a while since I posted some TubalCain videos, this time around he goes in depth with the horizontal metal band saw. This guy is such a wealth of information and incredibly passionate about metalwork. I could sit and watch these videos all day (I’ve done that on a few occasions). I hear he’s now compiled his videos into DVDs so you can watch them on your mega flat screeen instead of having to sit in front of the computer. But true to form in the effort of spreading knowledge, he’s keeping all his videos on youtube, free for anyone to watch and learn. Sit back and get schooled.

October 24th, 2011 by grail21 in How To, Video | Comments (6)

Getting the Acme Treatment

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Decision made. After long deliberations and far too much time sitting on the bench waiting for my schedule to clear, I’ve decided the next iteration of the Sporty will be handled by my boys over at Acme Choppers. You guys are familiar with how they throw down, their vision and attention to detail is well documented on this site. I’ve been a fan of theirs since we met over 5 years ago and started working on the Greasebag together. I’m stoked to work with them on this and let their creativity run free on my quad cam mill, I’m sure the final results will be beyond this world (and certainly beyond my humble fabrication skills). I’ll be carting the bike and my surplus of swap meet finds up to their new shop later this winter and documenting the entire process. Stay tuned for the stoked.

http://www.acmechoppers.net/

October 22nd, 2011 by grail21 in KB News, Moto Art & Pics | No Comments

Machine

One of the best I’ve seen so far. This makes me happy.

October 17th, 2011 by grail21 in YouTube & Internet Videos | Comments (3)

Greasebag Photos: Vol. 4

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October 11th, 2011 by grail21 in Moto Art & Pics | Comment (1)

Milling 101

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Download the PDF to get a basic intro into basic milling procedure.

Click this link to download the PDF: Milling_101.pdf

October 10th, 2011 by grail21 in How To | No Comments