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Motorcycles need love too…

I am a man of many talents even more so I’m a man of many interests, when it comes to sports I’m a fan of all local sports, I’m a HUGE Basketball fan, my guy Kyle Weidie from (@Truth_about_it) always keeps me up to date with my Local Wizards news and I have various local sources to keep track of my Redskins, Caps, Nats etc. But ever since I can remember I have always been truly addicted to speed, its something about the adrenalin rush you get when you have the muscle and power of hundreds of horses at your every whim is something that I truly can’t replace with anything else. Naturally this addiction to speed and power led me to have a fond love of automobiles, but I’ve always had that nagging curiosity of those guys with sometimes the third of the power, a fraction of the weight, and just about double the speed of guys with Cars. The high revving and screeching engines of motorcycle engines turns the heads of even the most dedicated domestic tuners. Since this curiosity was something I felt needed to be explored let me tell you a short story of my journey into the Motorcycle world.
A few years back I decided to enroll in a Motorcycle Safety Training Course and I must say it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Immediately I felt at home on the controls, and the leaning/turning mechanics even though took some getting used to felt so natural.
Now I must say anyone that is interested in purchasing a motorcycle in my opinion MUST take the Motorcycle Safety Course from a certified MSF instructor. The classes help to keen in on not only your riding abilities but also help you in your driving abilities. They give valuable information in “reading” traffic patterns and looking at certain situations and determining the proper course of action to avoid accidents. Fortunately right before my classes ended during that weekend a good friend of mine was looking to sell his 05 GSXR 600 for a very reasonable price so in my moment of excitement I went ahead and made the jump and had my first Motorcycle.
Now you are going to notice a color change in my bike and this wouldn’t be a fair article if I didn’t mention that I indeed intentionally (thanks to my MSF training) low sided my bike 2 months into my first season riding due to a driver cutting me off in a turn, in a moment of split decision I decided it was less risk to slide out than to run into the back of an unassuming driver. I was fine as I was wearing all my safety equipment but the GSXR took the blunt of the damage. The entire left side of the bike was scratched and damaged and I was forced to sit out my inaugural riding season. Using that downtime as motivation I decided to use this time to rebuild the bike on my own. After scowering various GSXR forums for information, Using my skills in paint prep, engine work, and buying parts from Ebay and various sites only receiving assistance from a local body shop for paint, I very cheaply repaired my bike and at the same time learned valuable information regarding my bike. I must say she turned out pretty nicely. Take a look for yourself:




In all these are the new parts installed on the bike after the accident:
Left side Fender (
Black paint job
Gold Reflective decals (
Gold Reflective rimtape (
Black with Gold adjuster Shorty Pazzo levers
Carbon fiber Tank Pad
Carbon fiber Rear Tire hugger
Carbon fiber Chain guard
Carbon fiber Suzuki “S” decal
Carbon fiber Seat tail trim (from 06-07 GSXR)
Carbon Fiber Yoshimura TRS Exhaust
Dark smoke Double Bubble windscreen
4500k / 3000k HID (

I hope you guys enjoyed this story of my side passion in motorcycles and I hope this warmer weather bids everyone well as Spring is right around the corner.

A New Leash On Life

As car guys, one of the most memorable and fulfilling things is to be able to grow up working on a car with your dad. Enjoying weekends or evenings under the hood can create a very strong bond and leave memories that last for years to come. In the world of aviation, one pilot is deciding to do a lot more.

I had the pleasure of being invited to do a little flying with private pilot Martin Hobson and his son Alex this weekend for a very special cause; rescuing dogs in need of loving families and new homes for a group called Pilots N Paws. Let me tell you it was one of the most enjoyable weekends I have ever had. Let me tell you how this weekend came about.

I’ve been a pilot since ’98 and have flown from time to time to keep my skills up, but I haven’t flown in the last couple of years nearly as much I would like to and I started to look for ways I could get in the air but offer a hand to those who needed pilots. Along my journey to find a path into the air someone mentioned a dog rescue website,, which I learned flew hundreds of dogs every year to new homes. Most of these dogs are abandoned or are rescued from pounds or animal shelters where they are scheduled to be put to sleep. Immediately I knew this is where I wanted to help as much as I could. I sent emails to several pilots in the PA/MD/VA area and let them know I was more than happy to offer my skills to help with some of these flights.

Honestly Martin had invited me twice before I accepted the ride last weekend, and as I sit writing this I am upset with my-self that I didn’t take him up on the previous offers.

I arrived in Mannassas, VA early that morning and enjoyed a quick breakfast while I waited for Martin to arrive at the airport. After a brief greeting we went to work with pre-flight checks and warmed up the Piper Archer. In no time we were off and headed southwest toward Orange County Virginia where we would pick up our pooches for this trip. When we arrived Luke, who I’m told was a mix of Irish Wolf hound and Border Collie was waiting for us on the ground.

Luke, Alex and I.

Moments later our Golden Retriever, Sammie, landed.

Alex, the family who brought Sammie up, Martin, and of course Sammie!

Sammie’s is a real heartbreaking, yet heartwarming story. In fact this is the second time Martin has flown Sammie for the Retriever rescue and she holds a special place in his and Alex’s heart. Before Sammie found a good home she was badly neglected and beaten by her former owners which left her blind in one eye and due to a car accident while riding in the back of the owner’s truck, she suffered injuries and was not taken to a vet. and loss of the use of one leg. Since being rescued she has received A LOT of love and treatment as well as therapy and does have the use of that limb again but she still prefers to stay off of it. Were hoping that with a little more therapy work she will be confident enough to rely on it like she used to.

Once we were all on board we headed north to New Windsor, NY where Luke’s new person was there waiting to take him to his new home.

Judy, Luke, Alex, Sammie and Martin

Alex was enjoying a chocolate chip cookie so there was NO WAY Luke and Sammie were going to pay me any attention now!

From New Windsor, NY it was now off to Hartford, CT to finally get Sammie to a permanent home. Once on the ground it was very easy to see that she had found exactly what she needed. The family who picked her up was very happy to see Sammie and gave her lots of love.

As I mentioned before Martin and Alex had worked with Sammie before and even had her spend the night with them until she was able to be flown to the last home she enjoyed so it was definitly a long goodbye for Martin, Alex and Sammie.

On the flight back to Manassas I had quite a lot of time to think about the trip and really reflect on the impact of how truly magnificent the day was. It’s very, very hard to arrange a transaction where everyone gets a benefit, but it happened Saturday. I was able to log some much needed time, Martin finally got to enjoy looking out the window instead of doing the busy work at the controls. Alex and Sammie got to enjoy each other’s company once again. New families got new pups and most of all, the dogs were able to get the much needed love and good homes they deserved.

Martin has offered to let me know when his next trip is planned. It was a long day in an aircraft and I’m still recovering from it, but who can turn down the opportunity to see a happy face like this…

Guys, I think we should let Rudolf play some of our reindeer games before he goes postal.

“Below a certain ride height and beyond a certain offset, the geometry of the suspension and steering goes out the window, and the car rides like a bag of sloppy [Expletive Deleted].”

In case you arent up do date with the latest in the auto blogging community this is an exerpt from the article that fellow Up Shifter Jeris Jones recently posted his responce too.

Wow, so where do I start?

No wonder I’ve never heard of the blog page Speed:Sport:Life but you know what, here is the really important part. I’m not mad at them, and here is why.

Not long ago I wrote an article for Modified Magazine which I shall shamelessly self promote with this link HERE. I posted this on a few forums I frequent and one person came back to me talking about how the term JDM had been over used and completely misunderstood, taken out of context and how the trend had gotten so faddish that it made no since whatsoever. This sparked a pretty decent back and forth between this member and I. We were eventually able to agree on this one thing. When it comes to a form of expression in the aftermarket or tuning culture you have beginners who know absolutely nothing about cars other than they roll forward by themselves, and then there is the old school guys who have scared there knuckles with experience and can diagnose a cars problems by listening to it. We also agreed that at some point in time, we were both beginners who thought we knew something but often mis-quoted facts all the time. When it came to my article I had to keep the attention of the beginner, but keep the respect of the gurus who have been patient enough to educate me in the automotive game.

To the uninitiated I can see how a relatively super low stance or leaning tower of Enkei could cause some to scratch their head. However, if we were to take a step back and look at a few of the trends, or should I say genres of our car culture, we would recognize that this type of “tuning” is nothing new. Anyone venture to give a guess at what this is?

62 Buick Special

Or how about this:

Take note of the ’65 Mustang in the back left and NSX to the right, sitting peacfully with the rat rod. Hows that for a juxtaposition? What’s really funny is that this last one kind of reminds me of another style of tuning:


Yeah I think this low slung, large and loud piped crazy stance car thing has been going on ALOT longer than the last 10 or so years drifting and the “stance movement” has been around. And if that wasn’t enough to give you a heart attack, here is another shot of Jimmy Crack Corn.


Sure some people do things to their cars just to “look dope”. But Low Riders, Boso, Rat Rods and Missile cars have been around for ages and inspired many artistic as well as functional expressions as well as presenting very large communities that people can share their love of not just a certain style of car, but cars in general. Am I going to go out and put a 5 foot section of 2.5″ pipe on my AE86…well actually I have been thinking about it. With one of those little tractor exhaust tip flaps. That would be monkey nuts. But I also don’t see a problem with clear hoods, chrome 20s, or even Big Sausage Pizza Delivery race cars like the one the guys at S:S:L seem to like…


So what would you have? Clean, shining 4×4 trucks or glossy coupes that show up on trailers? To each his own I say. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why this website was started. There is so much out there in the car world that everyone has a place. There is something for all to love and of course were not always going to like someone’s choices. Because there not ours. Who cares? Someone is having a blast doing what it is that there into instead of smokin crack or stabbing babies. In fact no one was complaining about what was going on over at S:S:L until just a few hours ago.

So, here is the deal. Enjoy what YOU enjoy about cars. Start your own blog and let people know why you like it, share what you’ve learned and help others who want to come behind you. Heck we did. And so have hundreds of others. You can even learn why people are so excited about what there into by reading up a bit like I did with S:S:L which actually isn’t a bad site, though it may be a bit misguided here and there. Just remember, you’re not the Adrian Paul of tuning styles. There can be more than one.



Drift Stylings debate: To Slam or not to Slam

    The one thing that makes the Tuner community so grand is the widespread variety of styles. Whether you are a Drifter, auto crosser, quarter mile racer, full blown track driver or something in between we all have our cars tuned and modified depending on what the main use of our car will be. So when our friends at directed me to an article bashing the “slammed” or drift auto style it got my attention.

 It is a fairly interesting read on someone’s take on the recent drift styling’s of some auto enthusiasts but One quote in particular stood out to me: “Setting up a car for drifting is usually ass-backwards to what actually makes a car handle. Still, it has managed to permeate the collective consciousness of young car enthusiasts, who are unaware that buying coilovers with absurdly stiff springs doesn’t actually make a car handle well, but rather masks a the deficiencies of a poorly designed car.” 

 This quote looks to imply that tuners that modify their cars to drift don’t actually know that they are doing for their everyday drivability. Most tuners that modify their vehicles for a specific purpose typically know that it will take away the ability to perform in other areas. For example if you set your suspension up for 1/4 mile racing you wont necessarily be successful in your endeavors to race your car on a road course. Even still I’m sure most everyone is aware of some drivers who do modify their vehicles solely based on what they see without knowing the functionality aspect of the tunes; but as a whole from my experience people who take the time to dial in settings and adjust their cambers just right actually KNOW what they are getting themselves into.

 All in all it was an interesting article taken from a perspective that I may not wholly agree with but still respect, take a look and see what you think:

Bullrun Team NSX

Its a little known fact that Bull Run is one of my favorite shows on TV, and believe me if I had the opportunity I’de treck my RSX through each one of those 4,000 miles without breaking a sweat. Anyone who knows me knows im a Honda guy, Ive never owned a car outside of the Honda Family so when I saw that this seasons cars included a 94 Widebody Veilside NSX needless to say I got a little giddy. Check this video out of Ryan and Nic’s Acura powerhouse, a beautifully designed Automobile with the grit to actually take the title this season.

The most awsome practice spot ever – want

Thanks to Ryan Tuerck for this video from his facebook page. Its really making me want to get my RX-7 back out there. Thanks Ry!

off seasons from Drift Alliance on Vimeo.

Stance Is Everything – Man, your missing out.

You have to admit, most americans don’t know anything about the rest of the world.  Even our next door neighbors the Canadians.  usually what pops to mind when you think of Canada is Niagra Falls, Maple Leaves and unfortunatly, the French.  Mostly the French.  Surely the last thing you would probably think about is a booming car culture.  Thanks to Dave Thomas, all that is going to change.

Poor Dave never stood a chance and was doomed from the start to be a true car enthusiast.  “I had a lot of hot wheels, transformers, slot cars, and remote control cars growing up.  It was nothing for me to spend all winter building model cars while watching what was TNN, now Spike, and trying to incorporate what I saw on TV into my models.  My dad was somewhat of a car nut as well…

“It didn’t hurt that my neighbor had a white challenger with tripple traps and a daily white IROC-Z either.  I also happened to live on the same street as Scott who runs Hot Rod Scotts (who did my exhaust) and I would see his 32 Ford in his garage quite often.

“In high school I took auto shop, or transportation technologies as it was called and was lucky enough to have an amazing teacher who didn’t just teach us maintenance but modification as well.  Working on a Lambo/Fiero kit car is still a highlight.

All this experience coudn’t have hurt when it came to his first car, an 85 BMW 325e which he did some of his own body work on.  Then there was his second vehicle, a Chevy Blazer that Dave pulled off a well done amp and box installation on and even created a custom center console for even more audio equipment.  Then there is his current ride, an 04 Mazda 3 GT which is in every sence of the word, clean.

Just in the few short interchanges that I have had with him, it is very easy to tell that Dave has a true love for cars that goes far deeper than just body kits and wheels.  Which is funny, because thats exactly where he has decided to make his Presence in the industry with his Automotive Blog – Stance Is Everything.

Just last year it hit Dave that there were no sites for our neighbors in the great north and decided that he would create a place where the Canadian car scene could be well represented and show everyone exactly how its done in the Provences.  Especially in his neck of the woods, the Greater Toronto Area.

“I was somewhat tired of seeing all these other automotive blogs and none based in the GTA, so I figured others were as well.  I wanted it to be a place people can visit that reflects their scene.  If I could do that and make a bunch of new friends along the way then the site has done it’s job.”

We all know it to be true.  Nothing brings a care togethe rbetter than the right offset wheel with a nice lip, just kissing the wheel arch with a perfect ride height.  So take a few minutes to check out his work and that of your fellow car nuts just north of us.  The site is well prepared and always has something new and exciting to check out.  At this rate it wont be long before you see Dave covering much larger industry shows like SEMA which is one of his future plans.

Check out some of Daves work here:

85 BMW 325e –

Chevy Blazer –

04 Mazda 3 GT –

Nissan Receives Government Support For Zero Emissions Efforts

As we take stock of our situations during the global economic downturn, everyone is looking to implement new strategies that will not simply band-aid the problem so to speak.  What most are concerned with are alternatives that allow permanent change to take effect.  To reduce the bad habits and practices that caused the negative effects to begin with.

The first company we take a look at is hot on the heals of just such a solution.  Nissan Motor Co. announced in July that they, along with its subsidiary NEC TOKIN Corporation, have begun trial production of an advanced Lithium-Ion battery thru its join joint-venture company – Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC).  AESC has the aim of becoming a global leader in advanced battery products and services, and intends to mass produce and market its batteries to any interested automaker.  This marks the start of a strong effort by Nissan to move toward a Zero Fossil Fuel culture.

They have taken very large steps in making an automotive future of Zero Fossil Fuels a reality with just the type of support and backing needed to breathe life into a tangible structure to support it.  Back in July the Renault-Nissan Alliance announced that it was partnering with the U.K. and Portuguese governments to build two plants for the production of advanced Lithium-Ion batteries in Europe for what it calls its Zero Emission Mobility Program.

Having twice the energy density of conventional nickel-hydride batteries, AESC’s advanced Lithium-Ion batteries employ a compact module comprised of laminated-type cells that contribute to more efficient packaging.  The use of manganese-type electrode offers thermal stability and the laminated structure improves cooling, thus contributing to the battery’s safety performance.  The battery has undergone extreme durability tests demonstrating average runs of more than 100,000 Km.  That’s 60,000 Miles!

The effects on the automotive industry are obvious and revolutionary.  Not to mention the long term benefits to the national and regional health of the countries that welcome the production facilities.  The automotive and associated industries can look forward to a boost in jobs, growth in the skills sector, as well as having bragging rights to pioneering the manufacturing of Zero Emission Vehicles in Europe.

Portugal and the U.K. have show that they recognize the impact of this initiative and extended more than just financial support to ensure that Nissan locates the plants in their countries.  Talks are continuing with other governments in Europe to identify more locations for other battery plants in an effort to meet expected production requirements.

Specifics for the U.K. site have not yet been detailed; once they are the plant is expected to be located in Sunderland, England where Nissan already ahs an existing manufacturing facility.  This Sunderland location is planned to be the Nissan European Mother Site for battery production and the centerpiece for the newly established Low Carbon Economic Area in the North East of England.  As part of the newly established Low Carbon Economic Area, local government intends to establish a new training centre, specializing in low carbon automotive technologies; a technology park and an open access test track for low carbon vehicles.

Nissan Senior Vice President for Manufacturing, Europe, Trevor Mann said: “In March Nissan and regional development agency One North East signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing both partners to explore fully the North East’s potential to spearhead the U.K.’s drive towards Zero Emissions Mobility.”

“Since then, a great deal of work has been going on at both the local and national level to promote and facilitate the introduction of electric vehicles within the region.  Today’s announcement potentially marks another important milestone in establishing low carbon transport as a viable and attractive alternative across the North East and beyond, and reinforces Nissan’s commitment to lead the world in the mass-marketing of zero emission vehicles.”

The plans for Portugal are the most exciting part of this report.  The first European country to sign a final agreement with Renault-Nissan, Portugal will be implementing a Zero Emissions Mobility program in the year 2010.  This plan will allow Renault-Nissan to supply its electric vehicles starting in the spring of 2011 that will be supported by an extensive network of 1300 recharging stations constructed across Portugal over the next 2 years.

This past June a prototype of the recharging stations was unveiled.  The development of the station between a Portuguese co-operative in collaboration with Nissan has gone so well that the Portuguese Government has signed an agreement with 25 cities, key motorways and parking industry leaders aimed at the implementation of the stations.  These agreements mark a crucial step.  The plan will allow the construction of stations throughout Portugal, creating a recharging network that will secure full coverage for the entire country.  This will transform Portugal into what some are calling Europe’s EV Eco-Valley.

The U.K. and Portuguese plants will be the exclusive supplier of the Advanced Lithium-Ion batteries for electric vehicles to be produced by the Renault-Nissan Alliance and will be here A LOT sooner than you might think.  Renault-Nissan’s commitment to the production is so advanced that it says they will begin to offer the electric vehicles in the United States and Japan in 2010.  The 2010 release is scheduled ahead of a mass marketing campaign that will provide the vehicle to consumers globally in 2012.

“The zero-emission mobility program is a priority for the company,’ said Eric Nicolas, Senior Vice President of Administration and Finance for Nissan Europe.  “At Nissan, as we manage through this global crisis, we continue to prepare for the major evolutions that are occurring in our industry.  We are not compromising our efforts to mass-market the electric car.  And today, we have taken a key step to making zero-emissions a reality.”

More details on Nissan’s initiatives can be found here:

Mazda Releases ’20th Anniversary’ Special Edition Roadster in Japan

The 20th Anniversary of the MX-5 Roadster, A.K.A. Miata in the U.S., truly is something to take note of.  Since its launch in 1989 the MX-5 has sold in excess of 860,000 units in approximately 60 countries.  After selling 800,000 units it was certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s most produced two-seat, open-top sports cars.

To commemorate 20 years of Mazda Roadster sales, Mazda Motor Corporation has released a Special Edition version for the Japanese Market.  The Mazda Roadster 20th Anniversary goes on sale today at all Mazda and Mazda Anfini dealerships nationwide.

The new 20th Anniversary is based on the MX-5 soft-top model with a six-speed manual transmission, while the VS Power Retractable Hard Top or RHT model is equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission.

There are a host of features that sets the 20th Anniversary apart from the other MX-5 models.  Each unit only comes in Crystal White Pearl Mica, a first for the Mazda Roadster, with exclusive ’20th Anniversary’ badges on each side fender.  Clear front fog lights and bezels.  Black Alcantara or red leather seats appoint the interior with a heated option that has 5 temperature settings.

Owners will appreciate the soft padded door armrests and center console lid.  If they are anything like me, they will need them.  Sure to give the roadster gripping performance are the standard front strut tower bar and 205/45R17 tires with 17-inch aluminum wheels.

Tempted owners can plan on spending 2,860,000 Yen for the Soft-top and 3,120,910 Yen for the RHT model, $29,878.42 and $32,604.15 respectively.

A Brief Look Back So That We Can Look Forward

This is actually a copy of a rather old press release from October of 2008.  In fact some of you may already know about Mazda’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and have seen the RX-8 Hydrogen RE.

The reason I wanted to revisit this article in its entirety is because the momentum behind the green movement, and its effect on the automotive industry, is starting to show signs of not only picking up momentum, but accelerating toward a greener future.  We may see the infrastructure and availability necessary to support the Eco-Cars of the future alot sooner than anyone ever expected.

In fact, for the entire month of August I plan to focus on a few key developments in the industry.  They showcase clear plans in place for a new automotive industry, centered on responsible motoring, that will be a reality in just a few years.  For now thou enjoy a spark from that flame:

HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation today introduced the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE (Rotary Engine) vehicle to Norway’s public roads in collaboration with the Norwegian national hydrogen project, HyNor. Initially, the RX-8 Hydrogen RE’s driving performance on Norwegian roads will be validated with a single vehicle, which will also be shown at various events. This marks the first time that a Mazda hydrogen rotary vehicle has been put into regular use on public roads outside Japan.

Mazda signed a memorandum of understanding with HyNor (Hydrogen Road of Norway) to participate in the project in November 2007. HyNor is a national project in the Kingdom of Norway that aims to establish a clean energy transport system based on hydrogen fuel. Beginning in fiscal year 2009, Mazda will provide approximately 30 RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicles for the HyNor project under commercial lease contracts.


RX-8 Hydrogen RE handover ceremony


The RX-8 Hydrogen RE validation vehicle is being delivered in advance so that Mazda and HyNor can jointly assess its driving performance in Norway. It will also be exhibited at environmental and other events for potential customers who are interested in leasing a hydrogen vehicle.

“Up to now, real world use of Mazda’s hydrogen rotary vehicles has been limited to Japan. Participation in the HyNor project marks our advancement to the next stage,” says Akihiro Kashiwagi, Mazda’s program manager in charge of hydrogen RE development. “After we validate the first vehicle on Norwegian roads, we intend to deliver 30 more units under commercial lease contracts. We are pleased to be a part of the establishment of a society based on hydrogen energy in Norway. Mazda plans to use the wealth of data and experience that will result from this project for the further development of hydrogen vehicles.”

HyNor is a unique Norwegian initiative to demonstrate the implementation of a hydrogen energy infrastructure along a 580 kilometer route from Oslo to Stavanger in Norway. Hydrogen filling stations are being established along this transport corridor to enable refueling of hydrogen vehicles. The project aims to revolutionize transportation in Norway by encompassing buses, taxis and private cars, and varying types of transport systems, including urban, inter-city, regional and even long-distance transport. In August 2006, Mazda attended the ceremony to commemorate the opening of Norway’s first hydrogen filling station constructed by HyNor. This was also where the first on-road demonstration of a RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicle outside of Japan took place. Since April 2006, Mazda has delivered eight RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicles to government bodies and enterprises in Japan under commercial lease contracts.

Mazda Hydrogen Technologies:

I highly encourage you to check out Mazda’s commitment to CSR: