False Neutral #32: Intermot & The New 2017 Models

After taking a week off due to travel, the flashy new models shown at the recent Intermot motorcycle show caught our attention this week. Garrett and Eric and I review what’s new for 2017, and of course how we personally feel about the many new and tweaked models. We also discuss Garrett’s TX750 (it’s good news this time!) and Ford Escape shock towers (not-so good news for Eric). We wrap up with a review of the book Save The Triumph Bonneville by John Rosamond and a bit of background on the Meriden Workers’ Cooperative.


The Rust Damage on Eric’s Ford Escape

False Neutral – Intermot & New 2017 Models

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Classic Captions – 1957 Corvette Edition

Some of the promotional images we feature in our weekly Classic Captions Contest have a spin or backstory made very clear by the accompanying ad copy. But when seen out of context, the intended story line is much less apparent, lending the image to many more possible interpretations. Such is the case with the Corvette photo shoot above. What do you think is going on here? Leave your best clever caption in the comments section.
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Classic Captions – Triumph Spitfire Mk3 Edition

It’s a common reverse-cliché in advertising: some product is so intriguing to men that they will ignore a pretty girl en masse when it is present. The supposed humor is predicated on the widely-held belief that there is nothing so alluring, so distracting to the typical male as an atypically attractive female. But wait! In this image, the boys’ behavior has left the pretty woman nearby with a look of disappointment, perhaps exasperation, over not receiving her expected allotment of male sycophancy. The supposed humor is predicated on the widely-held belief that women want nothing beyond having a large number of prospective suitors. These rigidly perceived gender roles might explain to our younger readers why your grandparents were so disappointed that you never wear pretty dresses anymore. Or, that you do wear dresses, as the case may be.

Whether you find the original intent of this ad hackneyed or not, I certainly expect you to come up with a caption for it that the rest of us will find entertaining.
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False Neutral #31: Garrett’s Supermoto Vlog

This week we’re doing something different. Rather than just let you listen to Garrett talk about his YZ450F supermoto conversion, he’s created this helmet-cam video. After he gives us a quick walk-around of the bike, he shares the experience of riding across town and gives us the lowdown on how he converted the bike and what it is like to own and ride.

For those of you who want to listen to the False Neutral in your car or while mowing your yard, the audio track is available as this week’s podcast on ShoutEngine and iTunes, However, the podcast is identical to the narration in the video above, which will provide a much better overall experience. (To be fair, the audio version may be preferable for those of you who have a fetish for heavy breathing and four-stroke engine sounds.)

False Neutral – Garrett’s Supermoto Vlog

Classic Captions — 1974 Vega Edition

I can’t quite figure out what this Vega ad attempts to depict. There are cones and flags and hay-bales, so we’ve obviously we’re at a racetrack, but race drivers rarely pull over and chat during a race. Also, who is this guy crouching track-side? What is that sheet of paper? Why are those two women running with the track flags, and where are they coming from? The most logical explanation I can come up with is that the course marshal is driving the circuit before the first race of the morning to ensure the corner workers are in position and give them the day’s race schedule. When he offered to give the girls a ride out to their assigned spot, they took one look at his Vega and decided to walk it.

But that’s just my take on this photo. You’ll all have your own tongue-in-cheek comments, and we want you to share them all after the jump.
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False Neutral #30: Loose Ends & Auction Bikes

This week’s episode has no special guest, just your three regular hosts. We talk about our own bikes; Garrett found some interesting anomalies inside his TX750 engine. We also talk about bikes we’ve recently seen for sale, both online and in person, and bikes we’d LIKE to see for sale. The discussion wraps up with Pete’s reactions to his visit to the Harper classic bike auction.

NOTE: Rather than include individual photos of Mike Harper’s collection, I’ll simply refer you to my separate Redusernab article about the auction.

False Neutral – Loose Ends & Auction Bikes

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Classic Captions – Fisher Body Edition


As a kid, I couldn’t help but notice that my dad’s Chevy and my mom’s Oldsmobile both had “Body by Fisher” emblems riveted to the door sills. This was confusing to me. I finally asked my dad why General Motors didn’t stamp their own body shells. Dad explained the whole concept of a wholly-owned subsidiary, but frankly it all sounded unnecessarily confusing and complicated to me. In some respects it still does, because I can’t figure out what the business case was for Fisher Body to advertise separately from the General’s motor vehicle divisions. But advertise they did, all the way up into the 1960s. This 1958 ad is certainly remarkable, showing happy passengers flying through space without a need for any form of propulsion. Or life support, for that matter. I guess it makes about as much sense as Fisher Body advertising to consumers in the first place. So head to the comments and either try to make this image make sense, or simply highlight its absurdity. Or just go with some amusingly random non-sequitur, which often turn out to be the best comments of all. This image certainly deserves it.
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Two-Wheel Tuesday: Harper’s Auction Was A Field Of Dreams


Most vintage bike enthusiasts who’ve lived anywhere close to the center of the USA know the name Mike Harper. If you’re a Moto Guzzi aficionado, you’ve probably at least heard of Harper’s Moto Guzzi, and have more likely ordered parts from them at some time or another. After a , Mike’s turning the Guzzi parts business over to his son and retiring. He decided it was time to sell off his collection of , innumerable frames, engines, parts and accessories, cars, trucks, even some oak parts cabinets from the original Indian factory. In what was billed as a “living estate sale,” motorcycle auction house held a no-reserve auction last Friday, September 9th at Mike’s farmstead in Greewood, Missouri, just southeast of Kansas City.

Here in the Midwest, big sales like this are decidedly uncommon, so it was kind of a big deal for those us of nearby. For a fee, prospective customers could get in to inspect the auction items the day before the auction. I had long heard claims and rumors about what Mike had (I, myself, had sold a pickup-load of parts bikes and spares to his son about 20 years ago), so I was eager to eyeball his collection. I got there about 40 minutes before the 5PM closing time on Thursday and paid $10 to look around. It had rained heavily the night before, so the field was a muddy mess, but I was soon face-to-face with an amazing selection of rare models, many I’d never before laid eyes on in person. Mike was a dealer in obsolete parts, not a museum curator, so very few of the bikes were in top shape, but with this sort of  selection that didn’t matter much.

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False Neutral #29: LeMons Rallying With Jeepjeff

This week, Redusernab regular Jeepjeff joins us to share his crazy (and fairly unwise) adventure, crossing Death Valley on his Yamaha TW200 during the recent LeMons Hell On Wheels Rally. We also discuss Allen Millyard’s trip to the Isle of Man, find out how and why Garrett got a painful case of roadrash on his…new Supermoto conversion.

False Neutral – LeMons Rallying With Jeepjeff

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Classic Captions – 1971 Nissan Cherry Coupe Edition


One of the amazing things the Internet age has brought us is the ability to interact more expansively with cultures other than our own, to increasingly become , as it were. In this case, one random click of my mouse was all it took to discover this warmly-hued photo from the Japanese-market dealer brochure for the Nissan Cherry line-up. Prior to DARPA allowing all of us to wander around in their , the odds of any of us in North America or Europe laying eyes on this particular image would be much, much slimmer. It makes me wonder where these two bright youngsters are today, now in their mid-’60s at the youngest. Is the Western-looking male still living in Japan? Did she continue modeling? Did the photographer ever figure out how to properly color-balance his shots? What fender on the Cherry rusted through first, and which scrapyard melted it down into chunks of pot-metal? So many unknowns. But there’s one thing we do know: you guys will find plenty here to riff on in the comments.
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