September 30, 2011

Love is...to customize my bike

While the lawmakers in Europe are trying to push through another stroke of genius, which is the proposed law that you're not allowed to modify your bike, not even the air filter or the tyres(!), in Thailand no one cares. Thanks god!

In Thailand you can see the weirdest things done to a motorcycle. The young ones love to modify their Yamaha Fino's or the ever-present Honda Wave. For instance, they replace the tyres with super skinny ones and inflate them to the max. It looks cool and makes them go faster....so they say. Another genius move is to change the colour of their lights. The front light becomes green, yellow, even red, while the rear light (if its's working at all) is often transformed in a kaleidoscope of blinking, flashing and strobing lights. Not good if your epileptic...

Here are 2 pictures of the more extreme mods.



September 28, 2011

Short Film Title Sequence (the second)

I wasn't too happy with the first version. The picture resolution was too small and the frame wasn't in 16:9 format, so I decided to do it all over again.
After another 2 days of drawing and shooting pics, here is the result.

What do you think?




Yamaha SR video

Pretty little video found on youtube...


September 27, 2011

...And The Winner Is.....

The first Omega Racer Bike Competition came to an end, the jury (me) selected the best among thousands of entries (slightly exaggerating...) and reached the verdict. Jokes aside, it wasn't easy to pick the bikes. I know how much work and pride lies within each one and I didn't want to disappoint anyone. But then, a winner had to be found, such is life. I selected those 3 bikes that in my opinion stand out not only for their originality and aesthetic value, but for the story they tell, also.
Let's cut it short and pass over to announce the 3rd place.


3rd place goes to Thomas Grad with his Yamaha SR500. He built it in remembrance of a friend who died of cancer at a young age. I only have 1 picture, but that was striking enough to convince me. Very nice built.

Competition entry #2





2nd place goes to Curt in the USA with another SR500. His bike impressed me with its build quality and the gorgeous black engine. I also loved the story behind it that speaks of father-son relationship, precious memories and a passion for bikes in general. Well done Curt!


Competition entry #9





The first place goes to Reiner Kiehn with a rather special Yamaha SR500. Not only has he kept it in its original state for over 30 years and ridden it only 40.000km in all these years, but it is also the very first Yamaha SR500 to be registered in Germany, 20th of April 1978. Because of his passion, commitment and loyalty to the SR500, I declare Reiner the WINNER of this year's OMEGA RACER Bike Competition!
Congratulations!



To conclude I would like to thank all participants for taking part in this little competition and wish you all many more trouble-free journeys on your precious bikes. 

If you haven't done so yet, please subscribe to Omega Racer and continue to follow me on the Ultimate Riding Experience. Great things lie ahead! ;-)




September 26, 2011

BIKE OF THE WEEK #11

Interesting bike: Kahena from Brazil, with a VW Boxer engine.
120. Eine Kahena ist ein brasilianisches Motorrad mit VW-Boxermotor.

Bike Competition

The competition is now closed. The winner and the runner ups will be announced tomorrow.
Thank you all for participating!

Funny new Carlsberg ad

Found this funny ad while surfing...


Journey to Omega

I've been working on my short film project the past few days, writing the script and designing the screenplay. Furthermore, I managed to finish the title of the short. It's a stop motion clip of about 50 seconds. It took me 2 days to make it.

video

I won't share the screenplay at this point, but you can have a look at the title clip. This is just the raw cut, so please indulge me. I'm happy with the design, but definitely not with the quality of the pictures. I've made a mistake when setting up the camera, and now the resolution is terribly low and the aspect ratio is not 16:9 as the rest of the movie. Now I have to see if I have enough will power to start again...

Let me know what you think.


September 24, 2011

Bike Trivia #3

The only woman to ever win a Grand Prix was a man called Mike Duff at that time. His...erm...her name today is Michelle...
You didn't know this one, did you?

115. Die einzige Frau, die jemals einen Grand Prix gewonnen hat, war damals ein Mann: Mike Duff, heute Michelle Duff.

Bike Trivia #2

The acronym of the Honda CB, like the CBR 600 RR, originally come from the words city bike! <enter sarcastic laugh here>

97. Das &quot;CB&quot; in den Honda-Modellbezeichnungen wie &quot;CBR 600 RR&quot; stand ursprünglich für &quot;City Bike&quot;.

India on an Enfield

Ever wanted to have the adventure of a lifetime and ride across some spectacular landscapes? Ever looked at the news and wondered how you can make a difference to make this world just a little better?

Well, the Australian Kenneth Maginnity found out how. He's planning to ride across India on a vintage Royal Enfield. Follow him here: http://www.indiaonanenfield.org/index.html





"This is a journey I have dreamt of for a many years, the time has come to stop dreaming and start riding. In May 2012, I will fly to Delhi, India to begin my journey.
I'll be riding approximately a 6000km/3500mile across India, from Delhi to Kolkata. Along the way I will be traveling through Kashmir, on to Rajasthan, back to Delhi, over the Ganges River, up to Kathmandu and end my journey in Kolkata
I am excited... I can't wait to see the breath taking scenery, to connect with the Indian people along the way, to eat the exotic foods and experience the fascinating Indian culture."
_______________________________________________________________________________
All donations will go to endpoverty.org

Let's give him a hand to fulfill his dream. I've done my part. Are you going to do yours?
http://www.indiaonanenfield.org/index.html

September 20, 2011

Ideas Wanted


All you creative people out there, I need your help with a new project!
I want to make a short movie, a motorcycle related movie to be precise.
I've got a new camera that can shoot in 720HD and I even have a proper action camera with wide angle to fit on the bike (thanks Frank). I have a few shots in my mind that I'm sure will look good....but there's 1 thing missing....
Something that holds the movie together, a red line that can be followed from the beginning to the end, something that can give an emotional response...I NEED A STORY!

Do you have a good idea? Let's brainstorm together! All inputs are much appreciated! :-))))


This is a comment from my friend Boris, who has some very good points:
The hero should be escaping from something - and we viewers shouldn't understand from what until the end of the movie. Where should be some clues and guesses appearing as the story develops (bits of phone conversations, odd man hero behavior, some objects he carries along, places he visits etc), so the viewers will be deducting the reason: leisure fun ride is not catchy. Go for suspense, dude - I'd suggest you'll watch some Hitchcock oldies to get into the right mood of thinking and get the atmosphere right. Create a new genre- noir road movie; maybe make it b/w? Can you give you a hand if you like for credits/flying me over for the filming process ;)

The Little How-To Corner: Shortening your rear fender

I wanted to replace my stock front and rear fenders with some shorter cafe ones for some time now. Last weekend I finally found a nice, used K&H stainless steel front fender for 1500Baht (~50$; 35Euros) in Bangkok. A Thai guy called Kung (shrimp) has a small shop around Rama7...well, it's not really a shop, more like a room with parts and a computer. He mainly deals online on thaiscooter.com and srthailand.com, but being the intrusive kind of farang, I went to his place.
The front fender was a bargain, but the rear was so expensive, I would have to sell one of my kidneys to pay for it. No way, I thought.

After installing the front fender, I started working on the rear one. The idea was to shorten the original fender and in the process save a lot of money. A win-win situation.

Of course this has been done before and probably better too, but I've never actually seen any threads on how to do it. I hope this can help you if you intend to do the same.


The big original and the short K&H fender

K&H mounted

The original Rear fender before cutting

close-up view, the fender is held into place by 4 bolts, 2 near the shocks and 2 near the turn signals. You'll have to cut right between the 'shock bolt' and the 'signal bolt' and the move the 'signal bolt' back to the 'shock bolt'.

mock-up (before cutting), 'signal bolt' is now where the 'shock bolt' is 

Find the cutting line. The cutting line is basically where the fender touches the black plastic (on the right in the picture)

I used an angle grinder for lack of better equipment, but it did the job....
 You'll also have to re-position your back light, drill a few holes in the fender and re-connect the cables.

Finished! Looks good I think....

September 19, 2011

BIKE OF THE WEEK #10

This week's 'Bike o'the Week' is, or rather was a Guzzi Griso and is now a kickass modern cafe racer. Made in Italy at Firestarter Garage by Filippo Barbacane.





Ratchada Night Market in Bangkok

Ratchada Night Market is one of my favourite places in Bangkok. There aren't many to start with to be honest. I try to avoid going to this crazy, busy city as much as I can, but sometimes I have to work as a chauffeur for my wife. The duty is only bearable because I have the opportunity to go to the night market to find parts for my bike. My wife also enjoys going there to hunt for shoes and bags.


The reasons I like this market are many. For once, very few 'farangs' (westerners) go there, so prices are not over inflated as elswhere. There is also a very nice open bar with a DJ who plays relaxing chillout tunes. Finally and most importantly, there are a lot of stalls selling bike parts or bike related things at a reasonable price. You can also find ridiculously-priced trainers, leather bags, shoes, jeans, books, CDs, antiques, furniture, home decorative items, and an assortment of vintage knick-knacks. Although most of the goods are pre-owned, new stuff is also available.



Just a heads-up: the alcohol bottles here are just for display. I bought one in the hope of drinking some nice cognac, but it was only colored water! Luckily I got my money back...

How to get there: The Ratchada Bangkok market can be reached by MRT, and is right next to the Ladprao station. It's open on Saturday nights, starting at 6-7pm, but most vendors don't come out til 8pm or later and stay till well after midnight.


GPS: 13.806867, 100.574555

Maphttp://maps.google.co.th/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&f=d&daddr=Ratchada+Night+Market+%4013.806867,100.574555&source=embed&oe=UTF8&showlabs=1&msa=0&msid=207108489269615858476.000498b3ea133561a8dea


The market is divided into 2 parts, a smaller and a bigger one. Conveniently, there's a (rather expensive) car park between the two.




September 18, 2011

Competition PRIZES!

Only 1 week left for the competition, so I thought I'll raise the excitement by revealing the prizes for the first time!
Don't expect expensive goodies for your bikes, I'm a poor teacher after all. Nonetheless, I think they're pretty special. (cats not included)

3rd place: SR key holder


2nd place: 'Omega Racer' leather key fob


1st place: Handmade (by me!) etched mirror

Competition Entry #9

Today's entry is from Curt in the US with a great build. The engine is particularly beautiful in my opinion. Curt also has a blog called Project Thumper, where you can read the whole build thread.

I have been into motorcycles since a very young age when my father sat me on the seat of a bright red Indian 30 dirt bike. I was 4 years of age – it was 1974. Motorcycles have always been a part of my life, but since that day they have been in my blood. Over the years I have owned a few different bikes, mostly Ducati, most recently a 999 Biposto. Over the last few years though, I found myself riding less and less. I loved spending time in the garage tinkering with my bikes, building small pieces such as custom aluminum fender eliminator kits and such. 




So recently I decided to sell my beloved Ducati and explore something I had always wanted to do. Build a custom cafe. So began the search. After countless hours pouring over images of bikes on the Internet, it finally hit me. My very first street bike given to me by my father at the age of 16 was a black 1978 Yamaha SR500. 


For a couple of years, I rode the wheels off of that thing until one day after a very wet trip from Spokane to my hometown in Montana, the bike just quit. She never ran again. Ironically, my father still has the bike, but after talking we decided it was too far in disrepair for my first attempt at restoring a bike. 


So, I started looking for one locally. Just my luck, with the new interest in in the world in classic cafe bikes, the SR500 has become sort of a sought after bike and a bit of cult classic. I couldn’t find one anywhere. Finally after several weeks of searching, one popped up on craigslist and wouldn’t you know it, it was a black 1978 SR500. 




It had to be fate - but it was in Canada. I immediately called the guy and he still had it. So the next day I rented a uhaul trailer and off to Canada I went. And so the journey began. I aptly named her Eleanor!



September 15, 2011

Bike Trivia #1

So you have a bike and you consider yourself a motorcycle enthusiast, but how much do you really know about our 2 wheeled friends? A lot you say? hmmm, let's see....

Did you know......



  • The first Ducati wasn't a bike but a radio. It was the year 1926 when Ducati first spread the sound of music through its radios. Almost 100years later and their sound is more beautiful than ever.


Wissenswertes Nummer 1: Ducati wurde 1926 gegründet; das erste Produkt der Firma war ein Radio.



    3. &quot;Honda&quot; bedeutet &quot;Reisfeld&quot;.
  • To burn 1 liter of fuel (benzin) you need to add about 8500 liters of air. Keep your air filters clean guys!
  • 'Honda' means rice field in Japanese (didn't know that, but somehow I'm not surprised. Nomen est omen, right? :-) )
  • Yamaha's first product was a Harmonium (1887), a musical instrument, hence the logo with the 3 diapasons. They started producing their first bike in 1955, called Yamah YA-1. Very col indeed. Just like Ducati, Yamaha knows what kind of sound we like! RROOOOAAARRRR 4. Das erste Produkt, das Yamaha herstellte, war ein Harmonium. Das geschah 1887. Das erste Motorrad wurde 1955 gebaut, die Yamah YA-1.
  • BMW stands for Bayerische MotorenWerke. They started producing aircraft engines in 1917 and motorcycles from 1927. The logo represents a moving aircraft propeller and the white and blue colours are those of the Bavarian flag. Today, BMW bikes are produced in Berlin (North Germany) and not in Bavaria (South Germany).5. BMW ist die Abkürzung für Bayerische Motorenwerke. BMW-Motorräder werden in Berlin gebaut.
  • Piaggio started out in 1884 producing locomotives and aircrafts during WW1and bombs during the WW2. They used airplane rear wheels for their first Vespas. Below is a splendid Vespa 150 TAP, modified by the French Army to accommodate a handy light anti-armour cannon. It could be fired straight from the Vespa. I wish I had something like that on the streets of Thailand!File:Vespa img 2351.jpg
  • The youngest GP world champion of all times is the Italian Loris Capirossi. When he won his first title in 1990 he was exactly 17years and 165days old. Sometimes I'm proud to have an Italian passport....sometimes                                                                                                                                            

September 12, 2011

BIKE OF THE WEEK #9

Few weeks back I featured a similar styled Yamaha XS as 'Bike of the Week'. While going through my terabytes of bike pictures I stumbled on this Japanese Yamaha SR and I have to say, as different and somehow strange as it might look, it still has something 'special' about it...I don't know, I can't really put my finger on it...

Fact is: I like it, even though you must need an iron butt to ride it...crepe-padded seat and no shocks!?


September 11, 2011

Competition Entry #8

Today's entry is a bit of a black sheep, literally. No fancy chrome parts, no specially imported parts from Japan or pieces of art handcrafted from hi-tech super alloy....no, quite the opposite actually. I'm not sure if the story with the dung fork is true or not, though....



It was a rainy evening in July when I sat on my veranda after work and let my mind wander while I took a sip of cool milk. Holger said that I finally have to fix the old bike. I always use all the things until they are beyond remedy and in general I would just be a simple, heartless farmer-soul. Granted, he wasn't completely at fault. Constantly just work, work, work and if there is some time left I am always sitting on my veranda with milk and letting my mind wander. Nine years ago I bought a SR500 from my neighbor. YOM ’80. He rather wanted to fix it on his own, but broke his hip while boinking someone and finally decided to buy one with an e-starter. Back then I didn’t tell Holger that I promised him a nice chopper with a lot of chrome, a sissy bar and a fox-tail just because I wanted him to take a few bucks for a rundown Japanese out of a wet cellar. And I promised him a trip, with an orange helmet, across the Alps to the ocean so that he can have a look at the ocean for the first time.




Of course I have just used it since then. I put away the milk and got started. I cut off the rear of the seat which was rotten already. I found a piece of foam on the garden swing and I offered up the right leg of my rain pants for the covering. I thought that if the seat is repaired, I won’t need them anymore. The calving rope which functioned as an accelerator cable for three years wasn't that good anymore. I substituted it by a piece of wire from the electric fence on which I casted two new stannic nipples. It got easily through the old envelope by using a big dose of MoS2. After that the rear looked exceptional somehow but with so much rust and with this huge rear light it won’t pass the TÜV. Fortunately I found an old tractor rear light and a dung fork in the scrapheap, so that I was able to form a nice rear easily which was in accordance with Holger’s notion of aesthetic. Meanwhile it had become late and I felt relieved. It felt like a comfortable high. It was just me and technology.




I replaced the old cast wheels with spoke wheels and trail bike tires,which I bought long ago, and painted the whole composition with a deep, beamless black. It corresponded very well to the general view of the SR. And it strengthened my high. When the first rays of sunlight loomed on the horizon and the cows started to call for attention, I quickly cut two pieces out of the assembly line of the old potato digger to tinker some useful tank pads in order to protect the new lacquer.After I had taken care of the animals, I carved a stencil during breakfast. Holger always said that I am a shabby pussy because the other guys would always screw me when playing skat and I would never beat them. I was therefore quite amused of my idea to manifest this on my moped. (see side covers) It was still too wet for harvesting, so the I used rest of the afternoon to build a speedometer out of aluminum. The zero is at the top on the right. I always liked it if something works the other way around. In the afternoon I drove to the garage to pass the TÜV in order to bring the construction of this agricultural machine to a good end.




Technically the machine remains quite unspectacular. Used for the cattle drive and to drive towards the sunset. Just a simple farmer soul. 
Holger is gone long ago.

UPDATE:
The thing with the dung fork is actually true! Check it out here
http://www.flickr.com/photos/delerkim/5942650894/in/set-72157627081577631/