If it\’s got an engine. . .

Dorri probably likes it

Archive for March, 2007

Speaking of Cafe Racers. . .

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on March 18, 2007


I came across this one the other day and was amazed. I used to own a Suzuki Savage and would have thought that it would never make an acceptable cafe racer.

I haven’t been able to find out who made it. The only information about it that I’ve found is in this forum thread.

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Cafe racers galore

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on March 14, 2007

If you’re into cafe racers at all, this is a great time to be alive.

I particularly like the Triumph Thruxton. It has a 900cc parallel twin engine and sells for about $8000. Not bad for a modern take on a classic.

For a bit more, you could step up to Ducati’s SportClassic series, the nicest of which is the Sport 1000 S. It has a 1000cc V-twin and costs $12,500.

I’d be happy with either.

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How (not) to use a crescent wrench.

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on March 13, 2007


It occurred to me, after many years of using adjustable wrenches the “right way”, that using it backwards makes more sense.

You see, when using a crescent wrench as in the illustration, you are applying the force (from the nut) to the top of the movable jaw and the bottom of the fixed jaw. This provides the greatest possible leverage with which to bend the movable jaw.

If you operate the wrench “backwards”, this force is applied to the base of the movable jaw, where it is strongest.

What else am I doing wrong?

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My First Wreck

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on March 6, 2007


My first car was a 1983 Mercury Capri. This was the car I was driving; however, it wasn’t my car yet. It was my Mom’s. It was 1988. I was 15. I didn’t even have my learner’s permit yet.

I had a friend with me and we were actively searching out dirt roads. They’re not particularly hard to find in semi-rural Alabama. We had no business on dirt roads, I just wanted to fishtail the car.

At one point, the fishtailing got a bit out of control and I saw the ditch coming up fast. My heroic efforts sawing at the wheel were no help at all. I remember a sickening thud as we went nose-first into the ditch and I remember seeing someone’s mailbox flying across the hood of the car. I just knew the entire side of the car was caved in and I was going to be grounded for the rest of my life.


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But that was for later. At this point I was interested only in getting the car out of the ditch, and far away from the man standing on his front porch. Unfortunately, the car wouldn’t move. The engine revved, but we didn’t go anywhere.

Eventually I found reverse and made it out of there. I drove to my friend’s house (I wasn’t about to take the car home!) to assess the damage.

All I found was a scratch on the hood about an inch long. It might have been there before, I’m not sure.

This was a theme which I would revisit frequently in my automotive travails.

Posted in Capri | 2 Comments »