Hand craftsmanship at its best

Hacker-Craft have been hand making boats for over a hundred years. Started by John L. Hacker in 1908, he was the first person to realize that it was better for boats to “plane” instead of “plow” through the water like canoes do, he invented the V-hull and even worked with the wright brothers on a floating biplane. To fund his company, he cashed in on the success of Au Revoir, a boat he made himself that held the world record for the fastest boat at the time in 1904. All in all, John Hacker was a pioneer in naval engineering, and helped to create one of the most iconic boats of the 20th century. These boats defined the idea that you can be classy while still tearing up some bitchin wakes, way back before it was in style.

If you enjoy beautiful works of hand crafted art, head over to their website, check em out and read up on em real quick. Ten times more expensive than anything you could even hope afford in your lifetime, but that is not the point now is it.

http://www.hackerboat.com/?locale=en_US

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Mind Wide Open

This is a stunning short movie about the excitement that is motorcycling. Dirt bikes got me involved in riding, and the thing I always loved most was knowing that by riding one, I would inherently see things that people in cars would not/could not see. A trail in the back country, flying down dirt roads, it is a truly remarkable experience that I hope everyone will get to enjoy. Sometimes it really is about the route less traveled.

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Why the die hard, American V-Twin enthusiasts both new and old, should love and buy the new Indian Scout.

Harley Davidson has been the iconic American motorcycle name almost since its creation. Harley Davidson began small by attaching small 7 cubic inches of fury to bicycle frames, but by the end of WW2, with almost no stateside competition they utterly dominated the market. Fast forward more than 60 years, and it would appear that the Harley Davidson machine is in full tilt spewing shirts, leather jackets and skull caps to anyone interested in 2 wheels hoping that they can sell an over priced antique for 3x market value. Maybe I am being way too critical. I love V-Twins, I love the long legged cruiser bikes that eat highways for miles, but I dont necessarily want the brand image of “skullz and Fuck Yeah Murica!” or 10 year old technology that Harley Davidson offers. Enter the Scout.

When Polaris Purchased Indian a few years ago, I had hoped  and wondered if something like this motorcycle would be in the cards. Being the 2nd biggest name in American Motorcycling on and off for decades, they had to win this game even if it was an uphill battle. Harley Davidson has not had any major financial issues since round the same time frame that the bowling ball manufacturer AMF bought them. Even when they were struggling to make reliable bikes, ‘Muricans still flocked to the dealerships to buy them, and for the most part things have not changed.

Frankly speaking, we need to quit holding onto the past. Air Cooled V-Twins are great if your just eating asphalt on the highway or want nothing more than to putt around town with technology that came from the steam engine era. The folks at Indian knew this however, and opted to quite literally revolutionize the American V-Twin game for the first time using a watercooled V-Twin. This is the first watercooled engine in Indians history. It produces 84 hp and 69 ft lbs of torque, which is significantly more horsepower than its Harley Davidson competitor, the 1200 Sportster, despite having a smaller engine. (The 1200 Sportster was chosen because of the price point of both bikes.) Not too mention the engine alone is beautiful. Just look at it. No seriously, stop what your doing and look at it. I just had a crisis… (if you dont get the reference, it’ll be ok)

Its lighter, easier to ride, doesnt vibrate you to death, and it actually performs which is revolutionary for American cruising motorcycles. And most important of all, it is CHEAPER than the HD sportster.

BTW, YES you H-D fanboys that are screaming at their screens saying, “Harley Davidson has a water-cooled engine too! Its in the V-Rod, Muscle-Rod, Night-Rod and jesus-another-special-edition-rod.” Yeah it does. It was co-developed by Porsche, can make a shit ton of HP, and dear GOD can it be beautiful.

But lets be real. 99% of the HD riders do not ride these, they ride blacked out fat boys with ape hangers like they just came out of Sons of Anarchy. If more HD riders were open to the new technology in the V-Rod, I would not be sitting here advocating the Indian Scout.

So go buy a new Indian Scout now so that Indian does not close up its shop for 2nd time this century alone and save a piece of Americana thats worth saving.

Scout HP: 84.8 at 7900RPM

Scout Torque: 63.5 at 5900RPM

HD Sportster 1200 HP: 60.78 at 5800RPM

HD Sportster 1200 Torque: 65.1 at 3800 RPM

A bit more about the S60 that Volvo is racing in the V8 Supercar series

I touched on the S60 that Volvo is racing with Earlier, but in essence it is the same engine that is in the XC90. Also, coincidentally it is in the Noble M600, the modern day equivalent to the greatest road going car ever, the Ferrari F40. Funny to think the engine that powers this amazing car

comes from this.

Gives me a few ideas for an engine swap if I could ever afford to. Below is a link that details exactly what they are racing with.

Polestar Shows Off The V8 Going Racing In Volvo S60s In Australia

http://jalopnik.com/polestar-shows-off-the-v8-going-racing-in-volvo-s60s-in-1479542023?rev=1392055494

BTW, in the link there was this picture posted in the comments. I thought it fitting. 

The FJ Cruiser will never die. In spirit at least.

When Jeep made the Willys, they had no idea how much of an impact that vehicle would have. With its go anywhere uber-capable can do attitude, returning GIs loved them as they were used for just about everything overseas. People wanted to get more of that go anywhere vehicle. A vehicle that you dont have to wash, dont have to worry about scratching, or maintaining is what most of us want and dream about anyways. Just get in and enjoy the drive. With every generation afterwards, Jeep has just perfected the formula and gained a massive following doing it.

Over the years though there have been more than one copy-cat trying to capture the same utilitarian attitude. The Land Rover most notably, but the FJ40 was an almost exact replica of the original Willys DNA. In that spirit, the new FJ is as much a re-imagining of the original as Jeeps new Wrangler.

Instead of trying to capture all the mall-crawler consumers with a half-assed attempt though, this is more functional than you would think. The interior is thought out in its layout, with there being plenty of room for camping supplies. It has an electrical outlet in the back in case you need to plug in a space heater or an electric stove. The knobs and dials are big enough to be used easily when wearing think gloves. The floors and seats are waterproof so that you need not worry about a heavy duty cleaning job that will await you when you get back from your epic wheeling trip.

Before we go any further, I can hear the Jeep fanboys screaming. No it does not have a solid front axle, and no it doesnt necessarily need it. Unless your going to Moab or doing some seriously heavy duty wheeling, the Solid front axle just ruins the every day driveability in sacrificing the road comfort that comes from Independent Front Suspension. Having driven both I definitely prefer the Independent Front Suspension.

Yes Independent Front Suspension can be beefed up to perform just as well if not better than your solid front axle. It will only cost you slightly more than the astronomical cost you’d spend on a long travel SFA set up.

No it does not have Electronic Disconnect Sway bars, and unless you own a Rubicon, yours does not either. (assuming your running stock vehicles)

Yes you can put them on the FJ, and it will still cost less than your Rubicon while being twice as comfortable with 75% of the capability at 75% of the price.

It is bullet-proof reliable, gets respectable gas mileage and will never die. There are many examples of these engines going for well over 300K miles and still soldiering on. The FJ comes with a rear locker and a “torque vectoring” ish system called A-Trac, that actually works pretty well if you give it the chance. It has taken everything I have thrown at it with the grace of a mountain goat.

(And lets be real here. Your probably not one of the guys that goes to Moab. The most you do is drive it to the lake or to the campsite trying to hit the mud puddles on the way there to make it look like you wheeled it up Mt. Everest. Unless you do take it to Moab, in which case…carry on.)

No it will not blend it to the parking lot with all the other CRV’s and Nissan Murano’s or BMW X3’s. It is beautiful in its own right, even if it has a face only a mother would love. But it grows on you in ways you would not expect when you drive it for a long period of time. I appreciate that is different from the Jeep.

It is honestly the last true competitor to the Jeep that still survives. Or at least survived until Toyota said they were going to axe it a few months ago. Its a shame then, that more people will not get to experience the FJ Cruiser and what it offered to the rugged vehicle game. Toyota will surely regret this one day.

Wanna help me build a track?

So here is the idea. I want a track thats 1.5-2 mile long with long run-offs so it can be opened up to motorcycles and cars alike. I want to open it only to members, but I want a relatively low cost member ship fee. Maybe around $100 bucks a month plus lap fees.

With a low membership fee, it will be open to everyone from the Ferrari’s to the Honda Civics. If you work on your ride, no matter what it was, and want to see what your +5 horsepower sticker new brakes, new grippier tires, new suspension, new headers or turbo or whatever actually gets you in no shit measured performance, bring it out here. Get actual lap times to see how your upgrades have helped or just to practice your driving and have fun pushing your vehicle to its limits.

I want it to be low stress, fun and enjoyable yet challenging. I want everyone from the Novice to the expert to have fun here.

I want to rent it out for corporate events and let dealerships do test drive events there. I want this to be a mecca every weekend for petrol heads to see cars and get their motor fix. Cars’n’coffee, car shows, swap meets. The place that always seems to have something going on. Like the Goodwood Festival of Speed, but for the normal joe. Lets make it happen people.

Ultimate Adventure Challenge

Motortrend just started their Ultimate Adventure Challenge. Its kinda like our own toned down version of the major Rally Raids in Europe, or even Dakar to a degree. The fully built rigs ranging from epic Jeeps to Cummins powered Dodge’s running some serious suspension travel and heavy duty axles, have to travel 1400 miles conquer some brutal trails with little or no help. Pretty cool either way.

This is the bike that made me love the Cafe Racer scene. Bonita Applebum.

The man who created this masterpiece did so starting out with nothing but a frame, and built it in his apartment living room entirely himself, even doing the wiring while color blind. Wiring is hard enough to do before you add in the color blindness. . Worth following the link and reading through it real fast.

http://www.pipeburn.com/home/2011/01/04/honda-1971-cb450-bonita-applebum.html#.VGpZX_nF-So

The bike that gave me a Broner

I love this thing. The idea that a bike this capable and as awesome a bike as any KTM have ever made, and only required oil changes every 7500 miles. One that DOESNT require insane upkeep like the EXC’s, that are also technically called Enduros, but are barely street legal race bikes with only some turn signals and a head light. If only other manufacturers could make a big Thumper, give it close to 95 hp and give it all day reliability and an affordable price tag, we could all experience the awesome utility that these things encapsulate. Go anywhere, do anything, everyday useability. The two wheeled version of a Jeep. On the “must own before I die” list for sure.

http://www.cycleworld.com/2014/11/13/2014-ktm-690-enduro-r-motorcycle-review-first-ride-photos-specifications/

2014 KTM 690 Enduro R action shot