Monday, November 17, 2014

TWM v2.00

Wow, 18 months since an update.  That.  Is.  Pathetic.  But in that period of time, I lost the engine in my Saab 92x, swapped in a JDM EJ207 STi engine, and tuned it for our 91 octane at 18 lbs of boost, which took about five months of solid effort to complete solo...

The EJ207 just after its first start-up photo IMG_4933.jpg

... my wife and I had our first child, who is absolutely amazing, but also very time consuming...

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... and I acquired two new motos.  In fact, that last detail affects the direction of this project dramatically.

The first moto is a near mint 1974 Suzuki TS125 with 3,476 original miles.  It was my wife's grandfather's who passed it down to her father who eventually passed it down to us.  It has all the charm that an underpowered 70s 2-stroke should have, and my wife is thrilled to have it - a response I did not expect.

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The second moto is a 1994 Yamaha TW200 I purchased with 4,759 miles.  This oddly proportioned moto is one that has intrigued me ever since I rode one for two days during my MSF motorcycle endorsement.  What it lacks in power and excitement, it more than makes up for in character.  In fact, of the motos I have owned and spent real time on, my little T-Dub has earned the coveted title of "favorite."  The last few hundred miles of commuting and dirt road exploring have been so pleasant, the DR350 - the original Tiny War Machine - has dropped out of my mind completely.  So this marks the birth of Tiny War Machine v2.00 (TWM2) - very fitting name given the bike's model name.  The TWM title has been passed from the mighty DR to the mild T-Dub, but it is a change that brings optimism for project progress, even if it is a completely new path.

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I have learned [from experience] that it is a lot easier to maintain excitement about something that runs than something that does not.  I was pretty unexcited about having a Saabaru without an engine for five months, but am thrilled to have the hyper little grocery getter it is now.  My excitement for the DR350, well, I think my lack of real updates and progress over the last 18 months speaks for that.  Additionally, part availability, part cost, and off-the-shelf modification options are magnitudes better for the T-Dub than the DR, especially for such a niche-moto.  It does not feel overwhelming to envision a completely customized T-Dub.  Store-bought mild to fabricated wild, I can choose the level of customization I want to go without committing to complete fabrication, unlike the DR.  That is very appealing when I start dreaming up project path options.

So what is the project path?  I am not sure I want to commit to one just yet and may never.  An error I made with the DR was telling myself it was going to be a bike like "xyz."  With the T-Dub, I think I'm just going to start doing stuff and see where it goes.  The goal here will be to always return TWM2 to a rideable form after every modification; to never take such a large leap that I have a basket case instead of a running bike.  Maybe that strategy will yield more success than the original TWM.  We will see.

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