Christin “Oki” Voros Tells All about Racing, GirlClutch and Her Tattoos

IMG_0229She’s a tattooed, half-Okinawan riding bad ass who rules the streets of Oceanside aboard her 2008 Honda CBR600RR. She’s also road raced at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway with CVMA racing and took home some pretty admirable finishes before retiring. But Christin Voros, a.k.a. Oki, is known for more than just her racing. She’s a YouTube vlogger that goes by the name OkiHondaGirl, a cross fit junkie saved by God and an advocate for women riders through her organization called GirlClutch.

Oki started GirlClutch–which is a woman rider organization dedicated to bringing women riders together to have fun and raise money for various charities–back in 2010. After a brief hiatus (due to the racing of course) she is revamping GirlClutch to continue her passion for uniting women riders through their love of two wheels. She also has some amazing ink. We caught up with her and she told us a little about why she rides and the stories behind her tattoos.

IMG_0222MI: When did you start riding and why?

CV: I took the MSF Basic Riders Course in 2006 but didn’t get to start riding consistently until 2008. I was riding pillion with my boyfriend-at-the-time and enjoying it, when I started noticing girls riding their own bikes and thought they looked amazingly cool. For some reason, I had never considered that I could be riding my own bike instead of sitting on the back. I somehow got talked into doing my first track day in 2009. I decided to make my bike full-race/track and I raced in the Femmewalla and Amateur Middleweight classes with CVMA from September 2011 until I retired in April 2014 (I got second in the Femmewalla class championships in 2011 and finished top 10 amateur in 2013, dropping about 40 seconds on my lap times). After retirement, I eventually converted my bike back to street-legal with the help of Armando Obregon at AR Motorsports in Temecula, and started going on joy-rides again in May 2015.

Photo by Tony Mino.

Photo by Tony Mino. As featured in SportbikesIncmag.com

MI: What do you love about riding?

CV: There’s freedom in it. I compare it to how a dog feels when he sticks his head out the window, or maybe a jet fighter.

MI: I’ve heard you were quite the prolific YouTube Vlogger.

CV: I’m slowly trying to get back into vlogging haha…It’s kind of hard for me to come up with content because 1) I’m a fair-weather rider (I don’t wanna ride if it’s too hot or cold!) 2) I’m not really the type of person to put my business or opinions out there (unless asked) and 3) I ride around the same places, so content is kind of hard to come up with. Maybe it’ll be an excuse to tow my bike out somewhere and come up with some moto-adventures.

Christin racing at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway as an amateur.

Christin racing at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway as an amateur.

MI: So what’s GirlClutch about anyway?

CV: A community of women riders passionate about all types of motorcycles, who meet every month to ride, empower and support one another.

MI: What are some things in the works for GirlClutch?

CV: We’re planning to have charity or fundraising rides every quarter to benefit charities ranging from the homeless, U.S. Veterans, animal shelters, women’s health…you name it. GirlClutch is giving back to the community. I’d love to be able to make a huge impact on the lives of those who need help. But it takes help, volunteers and teamwork! “Teamwork makes the dream work!”

You may recognize this photo as a viral Facebook and Instagram sensation which features none other than, you guessed it, Christin Voros and Kimiko Donahue.

You may recognize this photo as a viral Facebook and Instagram sensation which features none other than, you guessed it, Christin Voros and Kimiko Donahue.

MI: What other organizations are you involved in?

CV: Right now, just GirlClutch. I also attend Femmewalla, an all-girl track day at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, benefitting The Unforgettables Foundation, every year. But there is definitely room for growth. 😉

MI: How many tattoos do you have? 

CV: I think 14, if you count my sleeve by its individual pieces, 6 if you count my sleeve as one tattoo. I have gotten work done at Body Temple and About Face (both of which are in Oceanside), Chris at Absolute Tattoo in Claremont (though he’s not there anymore), Robia at Two Faced Tattoo in Fallbrook, Gary at Ace Tattoo in Ocean Beach, and Arnie at Electric Tiger Tattoo in North Park, who has tattooed the most real estate on me.

MI: Which one is your favorite tattoo? 

CV: As most of my tattoos have meaning and a story behind them, it’s hard to pick between my Okinawan folk dancer tattoo and my Phoenix; both are on the outside of my sleeve. The Okinawan folk dancer represents the fact that I’m half-Okinawan and there is something special about Okinawa that makes me feel real strong emotions and homesickness. I think the culture and history is beautiful. I have the Phoenix because it represents the beauty, strength, passion and delicacy of Jesus’s love for me, as well as my own resurrection out of depression and thoughts of suicide.

MI: Have any ideas in mind for future tattoos? 

CV: I follow an artist on IG out of Austin, TX, by the name of Andrés Acosta (@acostattoo) I would LOVE to get a motorcycle/rose hybrid tattoo by him. It’s on my bucket list 😉

 Most Recent GirlClutch Ride Footage

What is GirlClutch?

One of Oki’s Races at Chuck

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Inked Bombshell: Combat Barbie Stunts

Alexis Rae a.k.a. Combat Barbie Stunts

Alexis Rae a.k.a. Combat Barbie Stunts

What happens when you mix a blonde bombshell with motorcycles and sick tattoos? You get Alexis Rae: an extremely feisty yet bad ass and beautiful stunt rider. Alexis is a 26-year-old motorcycle enthusiast from Bayport, NY who works at a motorcycle and ATV repair shop. But most people know her as “Combat Barbie,” a name she earned because of her boxing skills and trademark Barbie-long-blonde hair.

But this girl is more than pretty nails and good looks. She’s an incredibly talented stunt rider who has showcased her freestyle ability for crowds all over the country. This chick knows handle a bike in ways most of us only dream of.

And guess what else? She’s covered in ink and every tattoo is a reflection of how this wild child lives life to the fullest. But hey, you don’t need me to tell you. Let’s hear it from her.

MI: When did you start riding?
CB: I started riding in 2009 but didn’t start stunt riding until 2011.

Alexis' back ink by Pepe of The Tattoo Shop in Medford, NY.

Alexis’ back ink by Pepe of The Tattoo Shop in Medford, NY.

MI: How did you get into stunt riding?
CB: I started as “the chick on the back,” which was cool for a lil’ while until I met a group of guys wheeling in the parking lot behind Home Depot. After that, I was hooked and wanted to learn. I bought a 2001 Honda F4i that I crashed many times, but after a while, I was up on one next to everyone else. Now I ride a 2003-2004 Kawasaki ZX-636 and I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for my team (Lot Starz), friends and sponsors! Thank you!

MI: What happened to the F4i?
CB: I totaled the F4i in September 2013. It was the craziest thing. I was on my way to work one morning when a truck made a left turn in front of me and I T-boned the truck. I was just down the street from work and it happened so fast that I didn’t have time to hit the brakes. That was the end of the F4i.

MI: Ah bummer! Good thing you made it and now you have a bitchin’ Kawasaki 636 stunt bike. What modifications have you done to it?
CB: My 636 is all stunted out with a dented gas tank, 60-tooth 5th Gear custom rear sprocket, stunt cage, wheelie bar, rear hand brake setup, dirt bike handlebars and a stunt sub-cage. I recently got a StunterX steel frame too.

MI: What other bikes do you have?
CB: I also have a Honda CRF50F with an 88cc big-bore motor, front and rear stunt pegs, big bars, rear hand-brake, wheelie bar,

Alexis performing a spreader: a wheelie with both legs out to the side.

Alexis performing a spreader: a wheelie with both legs out to the side.

a 50 Stunt heel guard and a 5th Gear custom rear sprocket.

MI: Wow. That’s quite the set-up for both bikes. I’m sure having sponsors helps.
CB: Of course I gotta’ shout out to my sponsors:
Icon
K&N Filters

Dreamworx Cycles
5th Gear Sprockets
MSP Energy Drink

MI: What stunts do you like doing most?
CB: I really like performing spreaders and 50/50’s (a wheelie with one leg in front and one leg to the side). I’m a combo-type gal; I like to jump around the bike.

MI: Yeah, I’d probably fall off trying to do that. Speaking of falling – any tricks that were hard or scary to learn?
CB: The hardest trick to learn was highchair wheelies where you have both feet in front of you, pop the clutch and give it throttle. It really made me feel uncomfortable.

MI: Of course all that practice pays off! You get to perform in front of crowds!
CB: I do perform at shows and events up and down the east coast and I recently started performing out west. I just got back from Butte, Montana where I performed at Evel Knievel Days, which was one hell of an experience, especially since my team was there too! I’m looking forward to traveling around the world doing what I love and that’s to RIDE!

Combat Barbie, as featured in sportbikesincmag.com

Combat Barbie, as featured in sportbikesincmag.com

MI: Rad! But it’s mostly guys who do stunts, right? What is it like to be a female stunt rider?
CB: I feel that women get noticed more because there are so few of us. Stunt riding pushes me to be tougher and show others that a girl can be as strong as the guys when it comes to throwing a 400-pound motorcycle around. I don’t get to ride with other female stunt riders often because they live all over the country, but when we do get to ride together, we tear shit up!

MI: Have you made any media appearances?
CB: I was in the February 2012 issue of SportBikesIncMag. I was also in the newspaper in Bogota, Colombia, as they had their first annual stunt competition and I was a judge. My favorite media appearance was when I was on channel 12 news during a “lot bust” where 20 cop cars, news reporters and helicopters appeared at our stunt spot as the cops handed out trespassing tickets. They thought we were a “biker gang,” which we aren’t.

Alexis (on the bike) with another female stunt rider, Christina Billings. This photo went viral.

Alexis (on the bike) with another female stunt rider, Christina Billings. This photo went viral.

MI: Does crazy stuff like that always happen at the stunt spot?
CB: There is never a dull moment. Things happen all the time. From cops showing up and kicking us out to people having gnarly crashes.

combatbarbiestunts_6MI: Good times. Now on to the important part. Let’s talk about your tattoos.
CB: I have eight tattoos that are all in random, odd places: a Kaika’ana / Kaikaina on my left wrist, a star on my right wrist,  a pinup-biker girl with my name “Combat Barbie” on my upper arm which is soon to be a sleeve, the word “anarchy” inside my lip, the phrase Death By A Thousand Ki$$es on my right thigh, wings which take up most of my back, the phrase “Sporty Spice” on the bottom of my foot and a bandana with my brother’s name on the left side of my ribs.

MI: That’s quite the collection of ink. Who were the artists?
CB: Two out of eight tattoos – my back piece and thigh – were done by Pepe of The Tattoo Shop on 112 in Medford, NY. If you live on Long Island, I highly recommend Pepe! I got the other six tattoos when I was in high school at random tattoo shops and I don’t remember who did them. Let’s just say it was “one of those nights!”

Combat Barbie 50 StuntMI: Why are you drawn to tattoos?
CB: All of my tattoos either have a memory or reason behind them, except one. Tattoos give you freedom of speech. You only live once. I’ve seen some crazy, amazing tattoos, from big to small, to bright with eye catching color! I love how someone can make art out of their body.

MI: How do you respond to all the haters out there?
CB: “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” I’m not too worried about people who judge. I work at a motorcycle shop and ride street bikes. It’s my life style and who I am. If you don’t like it, sucks for you! 😉 I got better things to do like ride and get tatted!

MI: Any advice for new stunt riders?
CB: If you’re learning and practicing any trick – make sure you wear your gear! You can always fix your bike, but not yourself!

Photos courtesy of Combat Barbie

Inspired by Chicks on Bikes: A must read!

This book reminded me of who I really am.

This book reminded me of who I really am.

Reading the book – Chicks on Bikes – by photographer Christina Shook, reminded me of a trip I took to the Women on Wheels rally in Michigan in 2007. What I saw there made me look forward to getting older and it made me realize some of the best moments of my life could happen after the age of 60 as long as I have a motorcycle.

Women rode solo and in groups to the rally from several states away, across thousands of miles of open highway through rain, traffic and uncomfortable temperatures just so they could commune and laugh with other women like themselves. They rode GoldWings, fully dressed Harley Davidsons, Can Am Spyders, sport bikes and pretty much anything with two to three wheels. It didn’t matter how big the bike was or how small the lady was, most of these women rode with the same finesse it takes to pilot an airplane. Some of them were frail, some of them were young, some of them didn’t learn to ride until after the age of 50. Some of them had been riding their entire lives. I was only 26 at the time riding demo bikes for Kawasaki. The funny thing was these women impressed me just as much as I impressed them. This mutual respect between my generation and theirs made the Women on Wheels rally a benchmark in my motorcycling career.

Samantha Morgan was a runaway who rode a motorcycle on a wall when she was just 15. Just like Sonora Webster who dove horses in a swimming pole, this women proved that life is limitless despite injury.

Samantha Morgan was a runaway who rode a motorcycle on a wall when she was just 15. Just like Sonora Webster who dove horses off a tower and into a swimming pole, this women proved that life is limitless despite injury.

Chicks on Bikes reminded me of the amazed and inspired feeling I had when I attended the rally. When I saw these women, they each seemed so powerful to me in their own way. They didn’t care what anyone thought of them. They just rode because they wanted to, some because they had to. Life couldn’t stop them. Time couldn’t hold them. They could go anywhere they wanted and be anyone they wanted as long as they had two wheels.

A motorcycle does for women what steroids do for men, but without all the nasty side effects. A  motorcycle enhances a woman. It makes her sexier, stronger, happier and more resilient than she ever could have been without it. A motorcycle can make a woman independent, indelible, persevering, determined, motivated, adventurous, unafraid of loneliness and sublimely happy. It doesn’t matter if she was cheated on, has cancer, was abused in the past, if she was laid off or fired from her job. It doesn’t matter if she was a burn victim, a soldier with a missing limb, a mother who lost a child. Nothing matters. It’s amazing how a combination of wind, wheels, motor and open highway can have more healing power than any medicine on the market. A motorcycle is as close as we can get to the other side while still breathing. Motorcycling is the ultimate way of life and it’s the Chicks on Bikes who get to live it.

A peek inside: Melinda Moore lived and died on two wheels but if her soul could speak now, she'd probably say the journey was worth it and not to mourn because she died doing what she loved.

A peek inside: Melinda Moore lived and died on two wheels but if her soul could speak now, she’d probably say the journey was worth it and not to mourn because she died doing what she loved.

The women in the book made me remember all the women I’ve met and learned something from while riding motorcycles. It’s these women who taught me to never settle for a dead end. They have proven there is always a trail, a road, a path to get to where I need to go. For women, motorcycles can carry us to places that would otherwise be unreachable.

Christina Shook not only took photographs of so many unique and amazing women, but she also learned a little about them, lessons of which she wrote on the pages alongside the unforgettable smiles of the women in her photographs. Christina captured them and brought out their spirits in ways most male photographers would overlook.

 

Christina Shook is the author of Chicks on Bikes and a rider herself.

Christina Shook is the author of Chicks on Bikes and a rider herself.

The book Chicks on Bikes gives the reader a glimpse of women riders in their true forms at a time when they were or are happiest and strongest – a time when they’re riding a motorcycle. Christina Shook’s book will keep the memories of these women alive long after they’re gone. Their legacy will thrive on the pages of Chicks on Bikes and they will continue to inspire us as motorcyclists for years to come.

If you haven’t read the book or seen the photos, purchase a copy here.

Photos for review by Salvador Maltbie

Words by Rachael Maltbie

 

Part 3 of Project Ninja Turtle: 300R Handlebar Conversion

If you’re going to build a streetfighter, especially a Ninja streetfighter, you need to have a bad ass handlebar that instills fear into the enemy the way a policeman’s nightstick makes a purse snatcher pee his pants. You have to be able to throw your elbows up and muscle your bike into corners and slides the way a matador grabs a bull by the horns.

To do that, you need a tough handlebar that makes you forget about the wimpy, stock risers the bike came with. These risers are basically a Steve Urkel version of what a handlebar would be if it wasn’t made by Renthal. The Renthal “Street-Fighter” bar is perfect for transforming the 300R into the streetfighter who can Hoo-doo-kin! his competition to tears.

We approached Renthal with the idea of building the Ninja Turtle and of course they were on board. Who doesn’t want to see David beat Goliath? Thanks to Renthal, we were able to acquire the “Street-Fighter” handlebar so you could see first hand how we did a seemingly impossible task in a just a few hours.

The Transformation

The stock handlebar risers had to go. Riding a 300 with these is like watching a T-Rex make a bed. Just sad.

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We used KX250F OE handlebar clamps to fit the Renthal Street-Fighter handlebar to the Ninja 300R’s stock upper triple.

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First thing’s first. To remove the stock handlebars, we had to first remove the left and right hand handlebar switches, the brake lever, perch and throttle grip.

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To keep track of the screws for the switches, we left them in the switch assemblies.

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Since the bar end had never been removed before, we tried to remove it using an impact, but eventually had to turn to the torch to get it off. Say bye bye bar ends!

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We removed the clutch lever, perch and left side switch.

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Lastly, we used compressed air to remove the left side grip.

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With everything removed from the risers, we were able to take them off by removing two bolts on each side.

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Now that the upper triple was bare, we finally had to chance to figure out how to install the Street-Fighter handlebar without weakening the triple.

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We decided the best way to do it would be to use the upper two holes that were already there for the risers. This way, the Street-Fighter handlebar would be centered on the upper triple and we wouldn’t have to drill any extraneous holes.

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Next we removed the steering stem nut and loosened the upper triple fork clamp bolts. Please note that to remove the triple, you have to turn the forks to the side to allow the ignition switch to clear the steering neck.

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The bummer was even though the triple was free of the forks, the ignition switch was still connected. The ignition switch connector is located underneath the gas tank, so we had to remove the tank to disconnect the switch and remove the upper triple.

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We used a mill to drill the holes for KX250F bottom clamps into the 300’s upper triple. Unfortunately, the mill doesn’t come with a jig for these sorts of things, so we had to make one.

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The bolts attached to the KX250F bottom clamps measured at .470’’, so we matched a 15/32’’ drill bit to that size for a precise fit between the clamp and upper triple.

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Watching the mill do its work was as entertaining as seeing a shoe hit George W. Bush in the head. We loved it.

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As you can see, our measuring paid off. A perfect fit!

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Now for the other side…

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With the bolt holes drilled, we de burred the edges with a de burring tool – A classic machinist’s trick for a clean finish.

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After we installed the clamps, we noticed the bolts were too long. In most other cases a long bolt would be considered an endowment, but in this case it was an impediment. How do we make it so we can tighten the clamps to the upper triple with the bolts that we have?

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Before we continued machining, we made sure that we could fit the bars to the clamps with the holes that we drilled and still clear the ignition switch.

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Luck is on our side. Our machinist happened to have an extra piece of stainless steel we could use to make spacers for the bottom clamp bolts. Using a lathe, we peened a hole into the steel so when we connect the drill bit, it can drill a hole to just exceed the diameter of the bottom clamp bolt.

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After a little sharpening, we installed the drill bit into the lathe and drilled a hole into the steel deep enough to match the length of the spacers we needed.

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We measured the sections of steel and cut the spacers to our desired length.

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Once the two spacers were cut, they’d take some fine tuning to clean up the finish.

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Using a belt sander, we cut a notch into each spacer so they’d clear the bolt holes for the wire/cable routing brackets on the under side of the upper triple.

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See! Perfect fit! Now we can tighten the clamps.

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Before re-installing the Street-Fighter bar and upper triple to the forks, we had to install the bar to the triple off the bike and tighten the clamps to make sure they were straight.

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We installed the upper triple with the handlebar on the forks and had originally thought about cutting the Street-Fighter bar shorter, but after comparing the length of the stock handlebars to the Street Fighter bar, we determined that the length was the same. We needed all the room we could get to reinstall the levers, grips and switch assemblies.

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Next we had to drill holes in the Street-Fighter bar in order to reinstall the switch assemblies. We were able to measure the exact length and spot where the holes needed to be to reinstall the switches just as they were before.

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We removed the handlebar and used a center punch to punch a divot into the bar for the drill bit. If you don’t do this, it will walk around the drilling surface and do more damage than good.

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Using a drill press, we drilled the holes we needed into the Street-Fighter bar. We had to sharpen the bits, as the bar’s hard exterior was putting up quite the fight.

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With all the machining complete, we reinstalled the Street-Fighter bar and put the bike back together. It came out so awesome! The handlebar install is so clean it looks stock, with the exception of the open holes in the upper triple, but we can fix that later.

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Just one hiccup. We had to reroute wiring and cables to get the switches and levers to fit with the new handlebar. Unfortunately, our Ninja Turtle is an ABS unit, which presented quite an issue with the front brake hose. It was way too short. We tried to route the hose behind the triple, but with a few turns of the handlebar, the hose was already cut from being pinched against the plastics and it was also binding behind the triple. We’d play with it for the rest of the day, but it became evident this is going to take some research. Stay tuned to see how we resolve the brake issue.

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What’s Next for the Ninja Turtle?

Unfortunately, we are left with a few minor problems after installing the handlebar. With the brake hose from the front master cylinder to the ABS unit being too short, we’ll need to find a longer brake line that will not only work with the ABS, but be long enough to reach the master cylinder while being safely routed with no danger of binding or tearing. In short, the Ninja Turtle needs different brakes.

Also, we’re now on a mission to find a set of bar end mirrors that can be adapted to fit inside the Street-Fighter bar’s uniquely smaller interior.

A Little About the Renthal “Street-Fighter” Handlebar

se-road-1The “Street-Fighter” handlebar (part # 789-02) is a new bar by Renthal that is designed with a bend specifically designed for street bikes and equipped with a cross brace and bar pad for a dirt-bike look and feel. The handlebar has a 7/8’’ or 22mm external diameter and fits most standard clamps and controls.

The Street-Fighter handlebar has a shot peened finish in an effort to prevent breakage or failure due to fatigue. The bar is made from 7010 T6 Aluminium, a developed alloy specifically used by Renthal to manufacture handlebars. This high-impact material has the strength of Edward’s diamond skin, which was evident when trying to drill holes for the handlebars switches. The strong material of the Street-Fighter bar is as durable as it is thick to provide some serious dampening against vibration.

The bar also has other features that are beneficial to the rider. The left side of the handlebar is knurled on the grip end to better adhere the clutch-side rubber grip to the bar surface. At the center of the handlebar is a laser etched positioning grid which really helped us to position the bar where we needed once the job was done.

List of Mods So Far

Competition Werkes GP slip-on exhaust, Competition Werkes Fender eliminator kit, Renthal 7/8’’ Street-Fighter handlebar with KX250F handlebar clamps and custom machined spacers, rreen adjustable levers (from China)

Special Thank You to Sam Rothschild

196178_3089152122493_1530828056_nWe couldn’t do this installation with the tools we had in our garage, so we had to take the Ninja Turtle to “Sam’s Man Cave,” a code name for the extremely well equipped domicile of our brother-in-law, Sam Rothschild.

Sam races an H4 Honda CR-X with Southern California NASA or National Auto Sport Association at tracks like ButtonWillow and California Speedway and he turns lap times most motorcycle road racers only dream of. He is also a driving instructor for NASA Pro Racing. Sam finished 5th in points out of 18 racers for the 2013 season.

Sam is not only a driver, but he is also a very gifted machinist and fabricator. The guy even makes his own wiring harnesses for crying out loud! He also made a custom stunt cage for our 2010 Kawasaki ZX-6R. We’re very grateful to Sam for his help with all the random projects we drop in his lap. Of course, bringing a case of beer always helps to make up for the time we take him away from his race car. Thank you!

If you’d like to see Sam drive, click here.

Facebook photo reel

So there are a lot of photos of moto-inspired tattoo pictures I post to our Facebook page and not here. The main reason for that being it seems social media does more to drive a following these days than an individual website. If you look at the number of views to this page, I could be mistaken. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m a compulsive Google searcher with a taste for the savory sight of fresh ink on riders or models for that matter. Draw from that what you will. If you like the pics you see, I upload more daily to our Facebook page and they can also be seen on instagram @motoinked. So like us with the button to your right ===> if you’d be so kind. Thank you.

“You only get one lap in this life, make it count.” by Jen Dunstan

Jen with her SV, Angie, in Virginia

Jen with her SV, Angie, in Virginia

Jen Dunstan, formerly Jen Ross, has been around the motorcycle industry for several years. She has road raced in the vintage class back east and is currently #70 with CVMA. She also contributes articles and test rides for MotorcycleUSA.com. As she plays such an integral part in this recovering industry, it adds so much weight to what you’re about to read. 

I have always respected Jen as a rider and racer. Her words below remind me so much of me and the emotions I’ve felt over the years after losing so many of my friends to motorcycle accidents. But she sees a bright side to it all and it’s that bright side that drives us as riders to see past the danger and go on living our lives as best we know how. Thank you for these words Jen. Cheers.

 

321328_705865378135_440170260_nBy Jen Dunstan via Facebook:

“Yesterday there was a motorcycle fatality on the I-15 freeway. My co-worker saw the wreckage, and our printer knew the lady rider well. Her name was Wendy. Wendy was riding her Harley during her morning commute to work. It just another regular day, but then a pick-up truck on the opposite side of the freeway punched through the cement jersey barrier. The force of the flying cement fragments tore Wendy off her motorcycle (which continued riderless for many feet) and into traffic, where she met her end. Wendy’s fiancee was also commuting to work, and drove by the wreckage, not realizing his whole world had changed until he spotted her crashed motorcycle.

Jen with husband, Alex

Jen with husband, Alex

I cleaned my street bike today. It was covered in dust. The last time I rode it was nearly seven months ago on a quick jaunt around the neighborhood to make sure she still runs. I crashed on a California freeway last year, I had a bruise or two and some cosmetic damage to the bike. I wiped the rag across the scraped paint, over the hole where a blinker should be. I thought about my husband finding me dead, I thought about me finding him dead. My heart tumbled and ached for Wendy’s fiancee. I admired the shiny clean side of my gleaming silver SV, I frowned at the marred fairing on the other side.

The two sides of the coin. Metallic beauty on one side, and mangled, scarred plastic on the other. Heads or tails. Life or death. More than ever, I reconsidered keeping my street bike. I reconsidered the dangers of racing. More than ever, I counted all the lucky stars for my husband, my friends, my family, my life.

But I can’t live in fear because life is too short. Eventually we will all meet an end. We do not get to choose when, we do not get to choose where, or how. But we can choose how we live. Hug your loved ones, live for each moment of each day, live with no regrets. You only get one lap in this life, make it count.”

Arizona Bike Week Instagram Diary

I worked at West World in Scottsdale, AZ, for Kawasaki doing demo rides during Arizona bike week. While I was there, I took some photos of the motorbiking mayhem. I certainly saw some interesting things as hordes of bikes took over the streets from Glendale clear over to Scottsdale (about a 30-mile radius). Check out the photos here or on our Instagram @motoinked. ===>>>