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False Neutral Episode #4: Dollars & Harleys & Buells, Oh My!

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Eric and Pete welcome Hooniverse contributor Wayne Moyer. Topics include Erik Buell, entry-level Harley-Davidsons, and why it’s so hard to make money manufacturing motorcycles nowadays. Now with bonus background noise!

As always, follow along with the photos below the jump, then leave a comment about which of our opinions you agree or disagree with. Please subscribe, rate and review us on iTunes.


False Neutral – Dollars & Harleys & Buells, Oh My!

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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Cars named for speed

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Cars are marketed on the promise of many different characteristics: practicality, mobility, luxury, social status, or perhaps some sort of vague feeling that you live in another city. Since outright speed seems a bit dangerous, allusions to high performance are often couched in terms such as “Sport” or “GT”, rather than an overt reference to how fast a car goes. But the latter is what we want today: car names that overtly refer to speed.

The Caveats (there are always caveats):

  • We are looking for cars named for speediness itself, not just things that are fast. Neither Comet nor Falcon belong in this category, even though those are both speedy things.
  • It doesn’t matter if the vehicle itself is fast. I can think of several downright sluggish rides with speedy names.
  • Manufacturers’ marques, model names and trim lines are all fair game. Slang and nicknames are not.
  • The names of concept cars and prototypes are only allowable if it was an officially-bestowed name by an automotive manufacturer or recognized coachwork/styling house.
  • Purpose-built race cars are specifically prohibited.
  • Cars, light and heavy trucks, motorcycles are all fair game. Definitely NO airplanes.

Difficulty: Grasshopper, when you can snatch the low-hanging fruit out of my hand, then you will be ready.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates! Bonus points for adding photos.

Image Source: simoncars.co.uk and pistonheads.com.

False Neutral Episode #3: Custom Bikes

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Eric and Pete are joined by prospective co-host Vince Ma for a discussion of custom bikes, bikes as art, and the tension between form and function on two wheels. We talk about the role of individuality in motorcycle choice, discuss visual design theory just a bit, and name the bikes we think are perfect as they came from the factory. As always, follow along with the photos below the jump, then leave a comment about which of our opinions you agree or disagree with. We want False Neutral to appeal to YOU, the Hooniverse reader, so suggestions about our content and format are always welcome. Also, please rate and review us on iTunes.


False Neutral – Custom Bikes

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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: DOHC Straight Sixes

2004 Vortec 3500 5-Cylinder Inline Engine
‘Round these parts, we love straight sixes. But they can sometimes be regarded in America as outdated, low-tech beasts (except for BMW fanbois, of course). But the inline-six engine has progressed over the years into something as advanced and sophisticated as any other internal combustion configuration, including the use of dual overhead camshafts. In fact, DOHC inline engines have the advantage over vee engines in weight, cost and complexity, since the cam drive apparatus does not need to be duplicated for two separate heads.

So let us celebrate the DOHC straight six by compiling a comprehensive list of all the different iterations of this configuration.

The Caveats (there are always caveats):

  • We are listing engine designs, not cars. The number or variety of different vehicles an engine ended up in doesn’t matter.
  • Conversely, different generations count separately. If it’s got a new block or new head casting, it’s a new entry.
  • We’re looking for mass-produced, road-going engines. No grand prix works specials.
  • Diesel and petrol are both allowable.

Difficulty: Medium Hot (as long as you don’t bite into the jalapeño seeds).

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates! Bonus points for adding photos.

Image Source: counterman.com and Wikipedia.

What Would Your Fantasy Track Look Like?

ideal-track-3Writing last September’s profile of motorcycle flat track racing renewed my long-dormant interest in TT racing, in which the typical oval track is tweaked into a sort of kidney shape that features at least one turn in each direction and a jump, but that opposite turn is typically rather subtle, almost vestigial.  That got me thinking about track design; how much “enhancement” would a basic oval track need to provide real right and left turns? At first I considered something very close to the traditional dirt oval, scaling down one end of the oval and reversing it within the outer track, with 180-degree curves between the inner and outer half-ovals, creating a simple “C” shape. But there was one big problem: no runoff areas.  On the inner track, bikes and riders sliding toward the outside of the turn could either slam into a wall or slide into the traffic on the opposite end of the course. I began to ask: how I could incorporate the whole gamut of turns — right and left, increasing and decreasing radii, wide sweepers, chicanes and tight hairpins —  within a minimal length (1/2 mile or so) and the fewest number of turns? I wanted a “teaching track,” with well-defined, predictable turns that would be easy for student drivers to classify and study. That question blossomed over several months into a full-fledged circuit design exercise.

I can’t be the only one here who has attempted to sketch out his dream circuit.
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False Neutral Episode #2: “What Would Be A Good First Bike?”

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For our second episode, it’s just Pete and Eric. We start out discussing Eric’s high-octane choice of first bike, which leads us to examine what makes a suitable first bike for new riders or those returning to bikes. After discussing general features and characteristics, we go on to name names, listing the specific models that we’d recommend.

Since we’re still finding our groove, please feel free to come back after listening and leave us a comment about how you like the new podcast and what bike-related topics you’d like to see us cover in the future. Also, please rate and review us on iTunes.


False Neutral – “What would be a good first bike?”

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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Cars With Both Inline Six & V6 Engines

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I was discussing with a friend what modern engine would be a good swap candidate for a 1958-1960 Ramber American. When I mentioned the Buick 3800 V6, he recoiled in disgust. “You can’t replace a straight six with a V6; that’s blasphemy.” Well, it turns out that by his yardstick, there are a lot of blasphemous manufacturers out there, because a number of platforms have housed both vee and straight 6-cylinder engines. And that, my friends, is the topic that will fill another blank page of our virtual reference guide.

The Caveats (there are always caveats):

  • I am looking for examples of the two different configurations in the same platform, not model. That means that structurally unrelated generations that just share a nameplate don’t count. Conversely, if the same basic body shell was shared between marques or manufacturers, it need not have both engine styles under the same brand name.
  • The two engine designs do not have been offered concurrently; they simply must have both been used at some point in the platform’s production run.
  • Obviously, we’re talking about production cars here, so it has to be something in serial production. The only exception I’ll make is if the manufacturer displayed a prototype version of an existing model with a different engine that never made it to the assembly line.
  • Cars, SUVs, light trucks, and vans are all fair game. If you can make the motorcycle or airplane thing work, I’d be very impressed.

Difficulty: 2.6 microfarads per fathom.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates! Bonus points for adding photos.

Image Source: Wikipedia, paceperformance.com, and accurateengines.com.

False Neutral: The Hooniverse Motorcycle Podcast Arrives!

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The new motorcycle-centric member of the Hooniverse Podcast Network is here! Your hosts Tanshanomi and Eric Trytko are joined by Garrett from Vancouver (the first of our Podcast Star Search victims prospects) for our debut episode. We start out by getting to know each other through our riding background and preferences:

  1. How did you get into motorcycling and who were your mentors?
  2. What motorcycle features are must-haves and which are deal-breakers?
  3. How much work on your bikes do you do yourself?


False Neutral – You Gotta Start Somewhere

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Inset Rear Windows

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Last week, C-pillar buttresses got a whole lotta’ love from our commenters, therefore, I thought it prudent to let you explore that topic in depth today. Since what constitutes a buttress is up to debate, I thought I would open it up to anything with inset backlight glass. An amazing number of vehicles have back windows that are not flush with the roof profile. A definitive list of these is what we’re after here.

The Caveats (there are always caveats):

  • It’s an all-skate. Customs, race cars, prototypes, concept cars — go wild.
  • If you can come up with a motorcycle or airplane that fits this category, please feel free to get in there and put your thing down.

Difficulty: This one is pretty straightforward. No combat bonus pay today.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates! Bonus points for adding photos.

Image Source: Wiki-freakin’-pedia.

Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Arthropod Vehicle Names

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Humans generally do not look kindly on invertebrates. Creepy-crawlers with a surplus of appendages are, for the most part, unattractive and undesirable to have around. But there are exceptions. Insects and spiders bite, sting, can carry disease, carry venom. And, as we all know, any creature that is badass enough to inflict pain and potentially kill you is marketing gold.

Since most people are a bit fuzzy on the differences between insects, arachnids, and crustaceans — and don’t realize that a centipede is none of the above, I’ll open up this discussion to all Arthropods, which is basically any animal with a hard exoskeleton and six or more jointed legs.

The Caveats (there are always caveats):

  • Manufacturers’ marques, model names and trim lines are all fair game. Slang, nicknames, and marketing imagery are not.
  • The names of concept cars, race cars, one-offs and stillborn prototypes are only allowable if it was an officially-bestowed name by a recognized automotive manufacturer, kit car builder, or styling house.
  • Cars, light and heavy trucks, motorcycles are all fair game. No boats or airplanes, please.

Difficulty: As easy as getting bit my a mosquito on a summer’s night at dusk.

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates! Bonus points for adding photos.