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Flossin’ Traffic.

April 15, 2015

Many moons ago I had a catastrophic financial failure and had to sell everything I owned. I had been living in a forest building custom Toyota Corollas, all assembled from other peoples refuse. Suddenly I returned home to find I was forced to move into the City, all while shedding my precious Corolla stash. Landing on a couch I found a job at a local BMW dealership on the other side of town. After a few weeks of some big long walks, another local Corolla lover told me there might be a scooter I could have. Hosting a long term growth of weeds, lost in the brush behind his barn was a ’94 Yamaha Razz. A red headed step child, ex-rental scooter, exhumed from it’s grave, polished like a genie, with all 3 wishes spent wisely on asking it to run.

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Barely alive, this little scooter huffed and puffed for nearly 6 months with a bicycle helmet and homemade license plates back and forth to work until I could afford insurance and a legal helmet.

This lovely little scoot began to empower my life again and mobilized me in such a fun way that heading to and from work was a relief in itself from the work I was doing. Some may have a cold beer at the end of the day, but just jumping on the scoot after a long day of polishing luxury cars was a freeing contrast to relieve stress.

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This was my first scoot! It got me everywhere at a brisk 35km/h and I had no idea that was slow compared to other scooters. lol Eventually my friends nicked named it ‘Scooty Puff JR’. Funny enough this nickname would follow true to it’s Futurama reference when one dark evening bombing down hill the motor exploded. The catastrophic event was so big it lit up the street in a ball of light. Scooty Puff JR was dead.

I left the country for a bit and upon returning to Canada a year or so later I was chatting up a lovely young lady on a local dating site. She too had an appreciation for scoots. When I shared my pictures and story with her about how much I enjoyed my first SH50 Razz, she was elated to suggest her friend had one sitting unloved in his stash of broken scoots.

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Nearly identical, this slightly older Razz was yet again a free rescue! “It’s banging and I’m not sure what it is”. I hauled it home, spewing fuel into the interior of my Supra. Some rubbing and loving resulted in it firing up, the bang the previous owner mentioned, was obvious! After a bit of fiddling, I found it was a broken clutch spring.

Scooty Puff Jr the Second, rode great, and this one was much faster!!!! Either my previous one was too worn to go fast, or someone had fiddled with this one, as it managed a good 60km/h on flat ground and 80km/h on downhills. Such a crazy feeling or freedom and speed. I love riding scooters as I feel like I’m breaking the law even though I’m not.

During the construction of a race car, I was building out of a junk car pulled from a swamp, I was having to commute an hour out of the city to a small forest property to wrench. Wrapped in snow gear, our winters in Victoria are luckily much milder than the rest of Canada, with nearly no snow on the southern tip of the island. These hour long rides, though possible, were still cold!!!!

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Riding home one night really late I was cookin’ on a long, slight downhill at 75km/h when one of the clutch springs let go, and the transmission housing exploded! Oil everywhere. My poor little scooty puff!!!!! Soon after it was surgery time; where as much as we could cobble together was welded back together. The inner-raw cast aluminum housing did not weld well to say the least. Ever since, it’s leaked oil.

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As summer rolled around Scooty Puff Jr The Second, was still running decently, though the top speed seemed to drop down to 50km/h on flats ever since the transmission housing explosion. Using Scooty to get to work and back was a regular habit at this point, having owned it for around 6 or 7 months. One morning, I came out front of my house to see it missing from in front of my car. I looked around the house, called my roommates, knocked on neighbors doors, but no one had seen it!!!!

Scooty was stolen. :(

After filling a claim with the local police station, I began posting photos of my missing scooter on social media sites. One of which was reddit.


A local reddit member contacted me saying he had seen my stolen scooter and they he had contacted the police. Shortly after I had a knock on my door from the cops. Located only a few doors down from my house was my recovered scooter, stashed in an underground parking garage with much of the wiring and lock mechanism destroyed, but the rest of the scooter intact. Seems, even though the culprit had twisted the correct wires together to skip the ignition lock, he still couldn’t get it to fire up. Odd. Either-way I got my scooty back!

After fixing the wiring, and installing some anti-theft devices, scooty puff was back and rocking! and has been rocking ever since! It’s been slightly shy of a year now since the transmission exploded. I stopped putting oil in it 6 months ago as it leaks so fast it ruins the world anywhere I park, yet somehow it still finds and drips oil out the cracks. I don’t see too much life still left in it, especially since the prices for used parts on eBay is retarded for SH50’s, especially as I keep getting the scooters for free. I’ve had two others during this period, a free and extremely damaged Riva 125cc and most recently a poorly running Honda Dio. More on the Dio soon….

 

Update:

As mentioned above, I acquired a Honda Dio from a local. He had seen Scooty Puff Jr at a local car meet one night and was inspired by the fun I was having.

He too wanted to play, so he sourced a rescue scoot and began tinkering! One night Mathew rolls up to the local car meet on this crunchy slammed Dio. It looked great! Matthew, another rider and I all went for a aimless ride around the city in the middle of the night which involved waking up neighborhoods, sparks and yelling at strangers. It was pseudo-wholesome fun. Dictating some of the fun was the fact that the Dio would not run at wide open throttle. This happened to have an affect on Mathew’s intro to scooting, as he just couldn’t keep up with my already anemic scooty puff and Brians equally casual Honda Aero 50. Shortly after I got a message from Matthew stating he was moving and couldn’t take his scoot with him. He dropped it off at my house!

Here’s a tip for those of you playing with junk scooters. It needs the air box!!! After a few test rides I determined the fueling was incorrect for the Dio. At initial crack, the throttle felt great with a strong bump in the rear from the Dio. After 50% throttle the scooter would die. Crusing at 50% was spotty as the fueling would cut in and out. Installed over the carb was an aftermarket intake pod filter, great for flow! But I knew that 2 stroke intakes and exhausts are tuned to match each other, and this was not the original intake, though it still has the original exhaust. Before tearing the carb apart I decided to ‘try something’. Placing a piece of gorilla tape halfway covering the carb opening completely resolved the weird fueling issues. Not enough vacuum to draw fuel into the motor, opening the intake resulted in a lean condition.

Since this fix the Dio has been awesome! Slowly I’m customizing it as free junk comes available, including continuing my horn fetish. A lovely Wolo two tone air horn. :D This is how “Huffin Puffin” looks today! Thanks Matthew!


Cycle of Death: Auto Manufacturers Bread and Butter.

February 9, 2015

Over time things change. Change is inevitable. Foresight is often derived from hindsight, calculated from observable results. Repetition is the proof of reality, the science of predictable results.

Read more…

Understanding your butt.

February 3, 2015

The butt? An important tool of fun. Our posterior plays an important role in car fun. It’s often what we refer to when we discuss our experience in a fast automobile. “That one was a clencher, threw me right back in my seat!” Driving enjoyment is primarily decided by the feedback our body translates to our brains. Matt Tregars V8 Corolla is nick named ‘the roller coaster’ as the experience to an actual roller coaster is quite comparable. User experience. Let’s talk about it.

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Ibaraki is quite pleasant in December.

January 26, 2015

So this story begins a few months ago.  I was biking home from work, when I decided to take the back streets home.  As I rounded the corner, I saw the familiar silhouette of a loved one.  It was a Levin hatchback.  Then I saw another.  Then I had to meet the owner of this magical place.

Read more…

How Quinn Buys Cheap Cars.

January 21, 2015

I’m constantly berated with questions about acquiring cars. Although I’m touted for my success in enjoyment and reliability to value, so few ever take my actual advice. So rather than having to recite my script to them, after owning 65 cars by the age of 30, I’ve come up with this approach to acquiring junk cars.

#1 Rule:
Never spend more than $1000 on a car.

How to buy cars like Quinn:

1. First Start:

Check if the engine is warm when you view the car for the first time. (This is at best, a small red flag, if they’ve had it running before you arrive. Cold starts have a bit more information to them. If they do have the car warm already, no worry still check it out! )

I like cold starts as it shows the speed the motor turns over, how long it takes to fire and catch, any awful noises it makes while it’s cold, and any smoking it has before it warms up!

2. Fluids:

-Check the oil, see if there is any, how black it is. The more golden it is, the better. (To check the oil, pull the dipstick, clean it, reinsert, check the level now! Check the colour too, gold good, black, not as good. Foamy, not a great sign.)
-Coolant, as long as the engine is cold, check the coolant in the radiator! Low or can’t see any, bad sign, Clear, green, or red, good sign. Brown or black, very bad sign!
-Brake fluid, Clear/golden, is good, brown, not so good. No fluid? No good.

3. Wiggle the tires!

-Grab each wheel with your hands. Wiggle each aggressively left to right, then top to bottom. Any clunks might mean poor suspension joints, or a bad wheel bearing. Be rude when wiggling! It won’t injure the car.

4. Fiddle with all the bits!

-Try the signals, wipers, horn, brakes, hand brake, buckles, windows.
-Take it for a drive, beat it up a bit. Be rude on the test drive, try an emergency stop. If the seller is unwilling to let you take a test drive, this is a major red flag. Find something else, there is hundreds of thousands of other cars waiting for sale.

5. Things that don’t matter at all

Mileage. It doesn’t mean shit. Often High milage is a plus for me, as it means I can get a good deal on a car that’s proven it’s build quality and good care.

Newness/year. This means nothing. I’ve driven cars brand new right off the delivery truck that were absolute junk piles straight from the factory. Some of the most solid and well built cars have been some of the oldest cars I’ve owned. Year means nothing.

Paint/visual damage/dirt. I used to buy dirty cars, clean them and sell them for triple what I paid. The dents, scratches, dings, and bangs have no direct connection with the mechanical quality of the vehicle. Inspect the parts that make the car run, stop and turn.

Cracks in the glass. I’ve heard a lot of absolute nonsense about front windshields being structural. Unless your location in the world requires an unbroken windshield, then ignore the small chips and cracks.

“old tires” is a lot of nonsense bullshit. The tires are the windows to the sole of the car. Look for wear patterns. I like old tires on cars as I get a good view of how evenly they’ve worn over time. The age or condition of a cars tires shouldn’t be the deciding factor of your purchase. Use the tires as a way of measuring the vehicles interaction with the road. Odd wear patterns are more of a red flag than the tires manufacturing date.

6. Advanced tips:

“Where is this car parked usually” is a question I like to ask. You can then look for any long term leaks.
“How long have you owned it?” Find out some history, some people spill about problems and abuse they’ve experienced or subjected the car to.
“Will you take -60% of asking price- for it?” Just ask, don’t be afraid. It’s only rude, if you make it rude.
Try some of the worse advertised ads. The worst the info/photos, the better the car can possibly be. Also, the more likely no one else has called.
Offer trades, it doesn’t have to be all cash all the time. Be friendly, don’t be a jerk!
Dealerships are a HUGE waste of money. They have incredible overhead that you are paying for. If you are having trouble with sellers with private sales, you, yourself must be the problem. Have a good attitude.

7. Things to remember.

We’re all people, individuals with different traits. It never helps to be rude or aggressive. Inversely, don’t take crap from anyone. Don’t feel rushed, it’s your money. There is thousands of cars for sale every day. Be friendly, have fun, maybe you’ll make a new friend! Everyone has stories of their cars, and although people might not be ‘car people’ their cars are often still a member of the family, so show some love and respect for the seller and their car.

Good Luck!

Taking an Artistic Dump.

January 21, 2015

Although this blog was the original medium showcasing the spirit of Speed Hero, it has slowed drastically. Other mediums have become more convenient or at least more obvious in their actual reach. For those of you who still subscribe to this, here’s an open dump of some Speed Hero propaganda created since the last time you saw.

 

Circuit board inspired graphic. A t-shirt design that never panned out.

 

 

 

An actual T-shirt, Only a single was printed and sold as a ‘Mystery Shirt’. The buyer, forced to pay before seeing what the shirt was. Lol

The original shirt design for my Mystery Shirt idea. I printed a two prototypes, but couldn’t find a local company willing to bring in the material I wanted it printed in.

Two versions of a modernized Speed Hero Team Decal. Friends voted and selected the top design. It was printed and sold in an okay volume.

 

A heading image for this very blog. Being YEARS out of date on payments for the blog, it no longer allows me to upload artwork. The current banner is here to stay I guess.

Brutal and direct rip off of the Animal Style logo. I didn’t feel too bad creating this, as their logo is heavily borrowed as well. :P

 

I don’t actually know how this happened, but I liked it, so I kept it.

Probably already posted to the blog, the Island Style decal was a great success, my most popular sticker yet. The Japanese reads ‘Speed Hero’. If you look close the silhouette is not of Japan, but Vancouver Island. :P

 

Designed to look like the graphics from a Walmart T-shirt, this X7 Chassis car was taken by James while him and I were touring Japan.

 

Highway racer inspired. True to the audience; the cars we build are solely for the affordable sports.

 

Modernized Speed Hero Team Decal.

 

Almost everything I do is a copycat of styles I like. I am in no way, nor have I ever claimed to be, original.

 

Stealing artwork from the corners of the internet, mash it all together, and you get something new that represents something old.

 

A watch inspired by the digital dash of an AE86. Never actualized.

 

An oval shaped sticker, which reveals the full printing of the cut sticker area. I like to put some extra artwork on the parts that you don’t use. If you look close there’s a dragon or a fish or some shit in the back round. If you look REALLY close you can find some subliminal images too.

This is a two colour image James and I printed and installed on my current polo bike. It’s placed on the wheel cover and looks awesome. The dark silver was done using a reflective material. It’s pretty sweet. Seen here: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8600/16328023741_874da800f0_b.jpg

Another design made for the Mystery Shirt idea, this too was far too difficult for every shop in town to print for me. Whatever, lame.

 

Crank up your Speakers

January 20, 2015

Turn them up, full blast. This shit is about to get nutty.

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