Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Side Streets of SoBro...

Took the side streets to the grocery store yesterday. It was pleasant, compared to the sauna of the last couple weeks, when stepping out the front door felt like stepping into a van left parked in the sun...

Super-trick Norton Commando café racer parked up in front of a couple be-scooped turbo Subies. That mo'cycle throws me into paroxysms of lust every time I motor past, even more than the Ducati SportClassic that used to park nearby. (There's also a Triumph Scrambler that lives on the same street.)

You know how I go on about narrow streets? The cell phone camera fisheyes things a bit, but if Captain Duallie  or Mr. Ford Familybus there had been parked about five or six feet back, the road would have been effectively blocked. As it was, it was a slalom to get through, even in the Zed Drei.

This one was actually taken two days earlier. I was sitting at the light and noticed the... 1960? ...Caddy Eldo ragtop driving around in 105 degree weather and had to try to snap a pic. Pardon the dirty windshield; the washer decided to take a dirtnap last week and it's been too dang hot outside to mess with tracing the reason.

What I was listening to while I was tooling around, accompanying some cool NASA solar flare vidjo footage. Entirely appropriate, given the local weather.


Keads said...

The thing about convertibles is you have to know when to put the top up and cut the AC on. Since the only ragtop around here is a 1967 Caddy, I must now convert the AC to some enviro friendly crap that will cost a crap load of money. We will not talk about the automatic temperature control that has a vacuum motor wiring diagram in the shop manual. It folds out like a Playboy centerfold. Plus the hoses have lost the color coding a decade or two ago.

Anonymous said...

Huh the narrow streets... a nearby town here had the fire department agitating for YEARS to get one side only ( alternate months/sides) so they get their trucks through.

No dice.

One night there was a house fire and the fire chief took a command decision (a.k.a. lost his temper) and basically drove his little convoy right down the middle of a crowded street at 30mph, biggest truck first, till he got to where he was going, where he used his truck as a bulldozer to move some cars out of the way.

The pics the next day were impressive, dozens of cars mangled on one side and 1/2 dozen completely trashed. Fire chief was notably unrepentant.

Mostly saved the house though, and inhabitants. The council ended up passing the one side only after that little episode after much hot air was expended. Word has it that the insurance companies basically presented the town council with an ultimatum. Fire chief took a lot of crap but I note he's still fire chief.

M. Sage said...

Windshield washer doesn't work on a BMW means the washer pump is bad.

Euro tech by day, gun nut by... err, all the time.

Mike said...

Also, when I had a Miata, I'd just turn the AC on and point it at the floor and enjoy comfy top-down motoring. Don't know how well that would have worked here in Texas...

Once Free Man said...

I kept the top up on the Jeep during the solar blast. Thank God the AC works better than the feeble vent/heat of my CJ. (more than once in the CJ, I was scraping the inside of the window to see because of its joke of a defroster)
The top went past down stage and went directly to "completely off" Sunday.
I've been enjoying the cool mornings and warm days immensely. (and I can go around/over how ever I damned well please when the streets get blocked)

Erin Palette said...

ZOMG I love VNV Nation. Have you heard "Art of Conflict"? It's excerpts from Sun Tzu set to a techno beat.

og said...

I had a friend with a Desmo once. Used to help him with the tune, the valves were a bitch but when you got it right, oh man, was it sweet. He sold it to buy a LaVerda, but now has a big cruiser. I miss tuning that old duck.

Anonymous said...

If you ever see a Moto Guzzi V7 in any configuration on this street let me know so that I move there and officially change my address to motorcycle heaven.

Anonymous said...

Hey, that looks like a Manx Norton - I want. I almost decided to get one, whilst in my wishful thinking mode. Here it is:


Trouble is I'd then have to wear a belstaff touring jacket.. and what about the helmet?(You have to get the WHOLE look right, right?)


I found a couple for Roberta too ;)



As to 'narrow streets'???? Er, that there street is as wide as the main thoroughfare in this (not so) fair city (and I'm serious). (preparing for all the 'Ye Olde Englande', 'rollerskates', toy car comments - sigh!)

Anonymous said...

Ooops, wrong style. It should have been:




Being a fashion conscious biker is such an effort nowadays.

See you at next years TT?

global village idiot said...

Ural sidecars get me all covetous, particularly those with the drive shaft to the hack wheel. Color me dork.

Don't want one in cammo, though - that's just too much. Either "NIPSCo Yellow" or English Racing Green, nicely pinstriped.

A DP28 on a pintle mount where the "second headlight" goes on the hack would make my daughter VERY happy. You've met her, Tam - I'm sure you'd understand ;^D


Anonymous said...

Hi Tam, so you prefer the Norton over the "Sport Classic"? Where would you rank the 1975 Ducati round case Sport I have in the garage. These were the very first Ducati twin, along with the near equally luscious GT. The cases were sand molded by hand as was pretty much erything else and it has real clip ons and rear sets and is painted a beautiful, non metallic yellow/orange gold colour. And the best thing is I've owned it since 1978 when I bought it for the then equivalent of $US850.


mike in Oz

BTW I have one of those air scooped, turbocharged, 4wd Subarus sitting next to it, along with a Husky 510 Motard. Life is good!

Anonymous said...

A Commando? Yes, I'd have to sell one of my 3-decade-old, hot-rod UJMs to get that. Just don't tell them, lest they try to twist my leg off as the last one did. Hell, it's probably safe, as long as you don't talk to 'em in Nipponese. I don't think they even know what I'm saying when I cuss 'em.
Then again, I don't want to buy a set of Whitworths, so....
--Tennessee Budd

Will said...

you would not like those pipes on that Norton. The single side and twin sided pipes were the first things that Norton owners tossed, back in the 70's. Only thing they were good for was ground clearance, but you couldn't hang off with them, and were just a pain in the ass, er, legs. And forget the Dunstall 2-1-2 pipe system, that sucked big time. Made decent power, but dragged on city street corners.

Best for power, cornering clearance (not so much on curbs), and light weight, was Cycle Shack's 2-1 system. Only drawback was it gave the bike a bit of a multi-cyl howl/bark at lower revs.

The best body work combo for the Commando was the '69 era Fastback, with the '71 oil tank/sidecovers, and the Dunstall 1/2 fairing. Your photo looks similar in style. May actually be a Dunstall fairing, can't tell about the rest of it.

In my photo album, I have a Polaroid of my and my friends '71 Nortons with the Fastback bodywork. His had the (complete w/mirror!) entire twin disc front fork assy from a '75 Goldwing we mounted. (He got tired of the drum brake on his bike.)