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False Neutral #24: Budget Vintage Superbikes

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Surprise! All three hosts are on the podcast together this week, even if I show up a tiny bit late. We discuss a recent Gear Patrol article listing their picks for The Best Vintage Superbikes Under $10,000, and share our own point/counterpoint about the bikes they chose. While our views differed, we all agreed that there are plenty of cool deals to be found from the late ’80s through the late ’90s. Garrett and Eric also briefly update us on their project bikes, and I continue shopping for a new bike.


False Neutral – Budget Vintage Superbikes

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Classic Captions – Gurgel G-15L Edition

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Even though we just featured a Brazilian car three weeks ago, we’re going back to South America in honor of the Summer Olympics currently underway in Rio. This week’s Classic Captions Contest features one of Brazil’s most iconic — or perhaps just most original — homegrown vehicle designs. The Gurgel (“goor-JHEL”) G-15L was a forward control pickup based on Volkswagen running gear, but with a monocoque body of plastic and steel composite construction (called, unremarkably, “Plasteel”) that afforded a very utilitarian 1-ton load rating and 37 gallon fuel capacity.

The photo above illustrates the rugged usefulness of the G-15L, while also appealing to the Brazilian cultural affection for the iconic, self-reliant frontier gaucho. What is the Gurgel driver pointing out to his equine-mounted compatriot, and why? You tell us. Click through to leave your snappiest witticism in the comments.
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False Neutral #23: Dead Parts Society

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This week I’m on my own. In this slightly abbreviated solo episode, I talk about finding an ’83 Honda CX650C — an under-rated bike I’ve always wanted — on my local Craigslist, only to discover how quickly the unavailability of parts is hastening this model’s (and some other bikes’) demise. On a brighter note, I went new bike shopping with my wife, and decided some new tech and new styling might suit the two of us.

    A few notes:

  • The Project Car SOTU article on the CL125S can be found here.
  • The Project Car SOTU article on Bultakenstein is available here. There is also a full build thread on Caferacer.net.
  • I accidentally published the podcast a day early this week, so iTunes subscribers have probably already listened to it.
  • It has come to my attention that the iTunes RSS feed now indicates that all our episodes contain explicit language. I assure you, they do not. There was one four-letter word in one episode. But thanks to Cam, we’ve been eternally branded with the Scarlet “E.” It’s an annoying iTunes thing that can’t be undone, evidently.


False Neutral – Dead Parts Society

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Classic Captions – ’57 Dodge Royal Lancer Edition

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Hooniverse’s Classic Caption Contest for this week features some appropriately manly ’50s military men having a testosterone-fueled chat near an Air Force jet and a Dodge Royal Lancer. What is that airman saying? Why are the other two smiling? Why is there a civilian car parked on the apron at a military base? How can this scene be made humorous? Those are all questions it is up to you, dear Hive-Mind, to ponder deeply and answer in the comments.
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Project Car SOTU 2016: Bultakenstein

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There’s a point in nearly every project where moving forward means holding your breath and jumping in over your head. That could mean expanding the scope of a project to require greater expenditures of time and money than you expected to devote to it, and perhaps well beyond what you can comfortably afford. Or, it might mean taking on a fabrication task that is way beyond your level of skill, at the risk of ruining the whole thing. Or perhaps both. And at that decision point, you have to ether fold up, walk away, and write off your losses, or double-down and say I’m all in. And if you choose the later, what happens next is going to be pretty scary.

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Project Car SOTU 2016: 1974 Honda CL125S

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About two months ago, I took my other project bike on its maiden voyage — a whopping 19 miles to the KC Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club’s Spring Show and back. The bike cruised quite nicely at 45-50 MPH and handled just fine, though the brakes are a whole lot weaker than I remember them being back in high school! The aluminum restrictor cone I made to fit the outlet of the universal muffler brought the exhaust volume down to acceptable levels, but it’s still pretty raspy. My stainless steel heat shield worked well and no parts fell off, so I guess that’s something. Overall it was fun. But…

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False Neutral #22: V Four Variety

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This week, it’s all about the machines. After catching up on some of our project bikes, we get technical, discussing V-4 motors. From pre-war British bikes to Grand Prix Hondas, we explore what makes V-fours so attractive from an engineering point of view, why they don’t always work so well aesthetically, and why we don’t see more of them on the market. We also discuss related issues regarding engine balance, vibration, and blueprinting.


False Neutral – V Four Variety

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Classic Captions – 1925 Dodge Touring Car Edition

1925 Dodge Touring Car

In the words of Monty Python, “And now for something completely different…”

The ad art featured in the Classic Captions series typically dates from the 1950s through ’80s. But in my quest for journalistic excellence novelty, we’re going all the way back to the roaring 20s, when cars were still young and magazine illustrations were still drawn by hand. In this monochromatic depiction from 1925, Ma is tending her flowers when a uniformed boy jumps out of a man’s touring car and runs to her holding a leather bag and a be-ribboned proclamation of some sort. Is her son a recent military school graduate? I can only assume the context of this scene was less inscrutable to the ad’s contemporary audience, but today it could as easily be a delivery boy, notifying her that she’s won American Tourister’s free luggage giveaway. And is the man in the car just dropping him off, or is that Dad? And if so, why is he still behind the wheel? It’s all up to you good people: tell us what you see in this image with a clever caption.
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False Neutral #21: Twin Cams, Part 2 with Cam Vanderhorst

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In our conclusion to Cam Vanderhorst’s visit, he claims to go “FULL LIBERTARIAN” over the Kymco K-pipe recall (although he doesn’t, really—you never go full libertarian). We wade ankle-deep into the world of cyclecars for a bit, then veer into Suzuki cars and why they didn’t make it in the U.S., and finally offer our opinions on which of the Japanese manufacturers is the least reliable. Somehow, we end up talking about the sounds sea mammals make.

NOTE: I’ve checked iTunes “explicit” flag for this episode just to be on the safe side, but I believe we’re free of F-bombs this week. And don’t worry, there are no random sound clips this week.


False Neutral – Twin Cams, Part 2

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Classic Captions — Brazilian Willys Aero Edition

1961 01 Aero Willys 1st Gen Prop

Few people who aren’t car geeks remember what a Willys Aero was, and far fewer know that after being discontinued in the USA in 1955, production resumed in Brazil five years later. In South America, the Aero’s robust nature could shine, far away from the cheaper, flashier compacts coming out of Detroit. And shine it did. Production, with more and more homegrown Brazilian alterations along the way, lasted until 1971. Not a bad run for car that had been declared dead over a decade and a half earlier.

While one might conclude that Brazil’s auto industry was a bit outdated and crude by North American standards in 1961, it would appear that its advertising industry was too, as evidenced by today’s Classic Captions illustration. There is so much in this photograph to riff on, from the oddly posed family to the obviously studio-lit “beach” location, to the artsy backdrop, to the inscrutable inclusion of the pensive lifeguard walking out of frame in the background. What is your witty reaction to all this? Take a shot and leave a clever caption in the comments.
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