Dry Falls

I finally got a chance to hop on my motorcycle for a quick trip. I have missed riding my Kawasaki. But this weekend we were reunited again. I did a quick service and grabbed my backpack for a run up to Dry Falls, Washington which is about five hour northeast of Portland. Dry Falls is located in the Channeled Scablands of eastern Washington. The falls were created by the massive floods that engulfed eastern Washington during the last ice age. It an impressive site, and the amount of water that rolled over the area is estimated to be all the rivers in the world combined and multiplied by 10!

IMG_0099.JPG

Dry Falls

IMG_0123.JPG

Up through the canyon, 12,500 years ago I would be at bottom of the river, with 300 feet of water above the top of the canyon.

IMG_9543.JPG

Selfie!

Three quick turns.

The first weekend of June, I jump back on the old Gpz for my first trip of the year. For the past three years I’ve been going back to eastern, Washington to help an old friend with his annual car show.

I always leave Portland just after dawn and head east thru the spectacular Columbia Gorge. With the Columbia river on one side of the highway, and mountains on the other its hard to keep your eyes on the road. While it nearly 400 miles you only need to make three turn on get there.

A couple hours of riding east on I84, and its a turn north on hwy 395 and thru the Tri Cities, and then a right turn and east on Hwy 26. This is probably the prettiest part of the trip as it takes you through the Palouse area of Washington State, where the majority of white wheat and brewing barley is raised on the rolling hills. Finally and another left on to highway 97 and you are there. No navigation needed.

IMG_9214.JPG

The rusty Indian

Most of my friends are always on the outlook for old and interesting cars or motorcycles. They usually send me a text message with a couple of pics and the question, “what do you think its worth?”. When I started in the auction business, I worked as an appraiser. I’d help the auction consignors establish a value, so they could get an idea of what their car might be worth before putting them in the auction.

I thought I was pretty good at that job.

But in today’s vintage car/bike market I can’t even come to understanding the market. This 1944 Indian Chief showed up on a local tow company website for their weekly auction. It was hard to get a good look at the old Indian with the posted pictures, so I went out to look at for myself. The Indian Cheif has been neglected for the past 60 years, it was rusty and had been disassembled. It was loaded with what is referred to as patina today.

It was an ex military bike bought in 1950, and by 1953 was put away. Needing a complete restoration, I thought it was worth $5-8,000 in present condition. On Ebay you can find fully restored ones priced from $15-40,000. It sold for $14,600 rust wins again.

fullsizeoutput_15cd.jpeg
IMG_9125.JPG
IMG_9129.JPG
IMG_9130.JPG

More Miles

Work and travel never keep me from clocking more miles on my old GPZ. I jump on my bike as often as I can. A spare minute always means another mile.

I have already managed to get a couple of really good rides in this summer. Last month; I made the trip back to my hometown of Spokane to help out my old friend, Jay with his annual car show in neighboring Rosalia. He had invited me back again to be one of the judges for his annual car show. It’s a tough job when there are so many great cars! Besides the old cars, I got to visit and chat with some of my old college friends who also made the trip to Rosalia for the day. 

My old 1983 GPZ ran like a top for the 800-mile round-trip. Even more surprising was how well I held up on the ride! When I rode the exact route last year, the 90-degree heat took it out of me. The much cooler temperature this year made for a much more comfortable ride.

This weekend, I did a couple of my favorite rides. First one had my heading east out of Portland onto Highway 84 towards The Dalles. From there I rode south on the 197 to Tygh Valley, then east onto Highway 216, which took me along the Deschutes River and up Shears Bridge Canyon. It’s a great twisty ride but you have to be careful because not all of the corners have guardrails. If you go off the road, it’s a hell of a long ways down to the bottom of the canyon! I continued on by connecting through Grass Valley onto Highway 97, then hooking onto Highway 84 westbound back to Portland. It’s a great 300-mile ride that I would highly recommend.

The next day, I took a quick spin to Mount Hood with a quick visit to Timberline Lodge. The road around the backside of the mountain takes you through the wineries and fruit tree farms of Hood River. It really was a perfect weekend of riding.

Did I do the speed limit?

Did I do the speed limit?

Sherars Bridge Canyon - a fun and fast series of twists and turns

Sherars Bridge Canyon - a fun and fast series of twists and turns

In the background is Oregon’s tallest mountain, Mount Hood

In the background is Oregon’s tallest mountain, Mount Hood

Taking a selfie break along the Columbia Gorge Highway

Taking a selfie break along the Columbia Gorge Highway

Fall Ride

The weather was perfect here in Portland this weekend. The smoke and ash from the nearby Columbia Gorge fires had cleared; so I decided to head out on my bike for a couple of motorcycle events.

Saturday, I headed over to Cycle Heaps annual fall swap meet. I'd been looking for a couple parts for my Honda CBX. Though I didn't find what I was looking for, I did come across this old 1965 Yamaha 80 80 that I liked. I ended up leaving empty-handed

On Sunday, I joined my friend Glen for a ride over to the Lighthouse Inn. We ended up in Linnton to join the Sang Froid Riding Club for its annual fall ride. The Sang Froid Club is a two-stroke motorcycle club, but this year they allowed a few of us four-strokers to join in on the ride too. There was a good mix of bikes. All-in-all, about three dozen bikes showed up. The ride took us on the old Vernonia Highway and along the Nehalem River. I met some great people and had a blast on the ride.

IMG_4725.JPG
IMG_4730.JPG
IMG_4728.JPG
IMG_4744.JPG

A Quick Trip

If you have been following my blog, you have already seen and read about the 1983 Kawasaki GPZ that I had purchased earlier this year. I'm happy to say I've covered over 4,000 miles without a problem. It's a really fun bike to ride!

A few weekends ago, I decided to take a trip up to see my parents. They still live in my hometown of Spokane, Washington. From Portland, Oregon; it's around 800 miles round-trip. The first four hours were smooth, but the last two got tough. It happened to be another really hot weekend, which makes for a really uncomfortable ride. But I made it and it was wonderful to spend some quality time with my parents. On my way back to Portland, I took the back roads as much as possible. So I got to travel through the rolling wheat fields of the Palouse, which is some of the most beautiful scenery.

fullsizeoutput_dc3.jpeg
IMG_4615.JPG
IMG_4613.JPG

Traveling Man

Last week was my busiest travel so far this year. I covered a lot of miles in a very short amount of time.

It started here in Portland after my weekly Wednesday Crosspoint auction gig. From there, I headed to the airport for my 3pm flight to California; a quick stop in Oakland and by 930pm, I had landed in Ontario. An early get-up Thursday morning to catch my shuttle ride to Riverside got me to the Highline Sale. From there, I caught a ride with my friend Rod for the four-hour drive to Vegas. I happened to be staying at the same hotel where the Mecum Motorcycle Auction was held, so I caught a glimpse of that. As luck would have it; three of the best professional motorcycle racers from the 70's and 80's, Gene Romero, Jay Springsteen, and Don Castroon were all on-hand for a VIP Q&A session. It. Was. Awesome!

I was up early again Friday morning to work the Manheim Nevada auction. My lane started at 9am sharp. I had 150 Kia's to sell. I sold 100% of them. By 1045am, I was jumping back on the airport shuttle to McCarran Airport, where I caught the 1230pm departure back to Portland. My plane touched down at 230pm; from there, I headed home to do a quick repack. My next stop was Rosalia, Washington; where I am a judge for my long-time friend, Jay's annual hot rod bash. So I took off from Portland again and did the six-hour drive up to Spokane, Washington. I made it to my parents' house at 10pm and pretty much, went straight to bed. An early get-up Saturday morning, so I could join my parents for their weekly breakfast meet-up at Denny's. I took the long way around Spokane to Rosalia, driving the old highway which winds through the Palouse. Once in Rosalia, I judged 70 cars to come up with the best in the bunch. It sure was hard to pick a winner. After the show and a quick bit of socializing, I headed back to Spokane to have a visit with my parents and to spend the night. I was up very early Sunday morning for my six-hour drive back to Portland.

What a whirlwind of a week - 4 states in 72 hours!

Ms. Gina Z

Hi everyone! It's Ali here. Steve's made me his guest writer this week; so via photo blog, I'm going to share with you a little bit more about the other girl in his life.

As many of you may already know, Steve has recently rekindled with one of his old flames. He spends a lot of time with her, and who can blame the guy? She's red hot! Whenever I can't reach him on the phone, I know he's with her. After hanging up, I'll text him. "You're with Gina again, aren't you?" Usually, he'll just respond back with a photo. Here are some from their latest roadtrip to The Gorge:   

fullsizeoutput_c18.jpeg
IMG_3646.JPG
IMG_3654.JPG

Loving Every Minute

I'm one of those types of people who tends to bottle things up inside of me. I know that's not a good thing, but I'm working on it. I've struggled to be open, even around my closest friend. I find it hard to share what I'm thinking, but eventually I sort out what life throws at me.

So what do I find is the best thing for clearing the mind of life's stickiness? For me, it's getting on my bike. Heading east out of Portland for a good half day ride into the Columbia Gorge is, in my opinion, one most spectacular landscapes in the Pacific Northwest. There is nothing more grand than carving a day out of your week along the roads through the Gorge. Riding takes your full attention and focus. It forces you to get out of your head and onto the task of keeping yourself alive while barreling down a freeway or a narrow two-lane road. You have to be completely present. You notice everything when you're riding - the smells in the air, the noises, the brightness of the sun. It's one of best feelings. That's why I searched for so long to find another GPZ. The first 50K miles I put on the old bike were all fun, all "smile miles",  all good times. I'm already well on my way to the next 50K miles with my new old bike and loving every minute of it.

The One Moto Show

One of my favorite Portland motorcycle events was back again this year. In its eighth year, The One Moto Show was at its biggest and best yet. I went to my first Moto Show six years ago. Back then; it was a just a gathering of a few custom, restored and original bikes in a small warehouse space in SE Portland. This year though; over 80 builders and their custom bikes were out on display in a big, old warehouse that used to be a working factory in North Portland. Over three days, more than 15,000 people came to check out all the metal masterpieces. Can't wait for next year's show!

A Very Special Delivery

Life is always changing.

Whether good or bad, things are always happening. In other words, things never stay the same. Otherwise, life would just get plain boring. Throughout the past 35+ years of my life; I have had some good times, bad times, and sometimes challenging times. But the fun times always outnumber the bad.

Some of the most fun I have ever had was on my first real high-performance motorcycle. In the spring of 1984, I bought my 1983 Kawasaki GPZ 750. Going on trips across the country, riding through the back roads here in the PNW, and best of all riding with my pack of long-time biker buddies. We had a great six years together before I sold it in 1990.

So a couple years ago, I started looking for another one. Maybe I was caught up in the fog of nostalgia. But I would always find myself checking out Ebay and occasionally traveling to motorcycle auctions and always coming home empty-handed.

A couple of weeks ago; though, my luck turned around. I found one on Craigslist, took one look at it, and I bought it. A one-owner bike with just 10K miles on it, it hadn't really been ridden much in the past ten years. Dirty and dusty, languishing in the corner of a garage of the original owner's son; it was a true barn find. Perfect!

It was all there, sitting in waiting for me. Now, all it needs is a little TLC. I can't wait to get it up and running, so I can take it for a real ride. More good times ahead.

Summer Has Arrived!

Summer has arrived here in Portland!

Last weekend, we already reached temps of 100 degrees. So I've been getting out early in the day to ride my motorcycle with my riding buddies. We always congregate at a local coffee shop to shoot the breeze while enjoying a great latte. This past Sunday, we hit three different spots. Talk about a caffeine overload.

I'm still managing to get a bit of work in, between gardening and auctioneering. Although The fundraising calendar slows down in the summer, new and old clients alike are calling to book their fall events. Spring of 2017 is gearing up to be a busy one with my February and March nearly fully booked. If you can believe it, I've already had a booking request for 2018!

Enjoy your summer. I already am. But then, an auctioneer's work is never done. I'll be close by this summer if you want to drop a line or give a holler!

Bikes and Lattes

The combination of perfect weather, no weekend work and a fully functioning vintage motorcycle all added up to make a memorable Saturday afternoon ride around my wonderful city, Portland. I wish I could have more time for weekends like I did this past weekend. My neighbor and fellow biker nut buddy had a great ride to Portland's newest motorcycle inspired coffee shop. Located in historic St. Johns, Two Stroke Moto Cafe is fast becoming the destination ride for PNW riders and coffee drinkers. It was great to join all the other Portland riders, talking motorcycles and enjoying coffee. The guys there make a great vanilla latte.

Yeah, Portland's built up a lot of traffic since I've lived here; but when everything lines up, it's still one of the greatest places to ride a motorcycle.

The Line Starts Here

A few Friday nights ago was the opening night of The One Motorcycle Show here in Portland. This was the fourth time that I had attended the show and this year's was, by far, the biggest and busiest.

Some of the best bike-builders in the country came from near and far to have their bikes on display. All-told there were over seventy-five motorcycles in the show. Every one of them, a customized work of art. Each one, a unique sculpture on two wheels.

As I mentioned, I decided to attend on the opening night; thinking that the majority of the crowd would show up for the big Saturday night party. Boy was I in for a surprise. It ended up taking an hour to get inside. Though we literally inched our way to the front door, everyone in line was extremely polite and patient. There were people from all over the USA and even Canada, plus one guy who came all the way from South Africa. While we were all waiting together, we talked about the bikes we owned and the ones that we might like to buy in the future. It was a great night that started early in the line-up all the way through till the end of the show.

I'm already excited about next year's and would highly recommend it!

Las Vegas Motorcyle Auction

This year I had the chance to attend Mecum's Annual Motorcycle Auction in Las Vegas. I happened to be working in Vegas anyway, so I met a bunch of friends a day earlier to catch up over a few bikes and beers.

It was Mecum's 25th anniversary event and they had an awesome selection of bikes this year; over seven hundred to be exact. Whatever kind of bike you were looking for or interested in, it was there.
The bikes that I'm most into are the ones that were produced from the mid-seventies up through until the early eighties. I have always felt that the bikes built in this period offer riders style and power; best of all appreciation in value.

One of the bikes that caught my attention was a 1983 Kawasaki GPZ750. I owned one of these bikes back in 1984. At the time, motorcycles were making the transition from bikes with just a straight-line speed and quick acceleration to what has now evolved into today's modern sport bike. The GPZ had uni-track suspension, ventilated front disc brakes, and a powerful 92hp motor. So is the second generation Kawasaki GPZ poised to take off in value? I think if you could find one for less than $4,000, it would still be considered a good buy. The one which sold at the Mecum auction, while not perfect, still went for $4,250.


Bob Lanphere's Bikes

One of the best vintage motorcycle collections in the world is located just outside of Portland in nearby Beaverton, Oregon. This collection is made up of over 400 vintage bikes; 150 of which are housed under one roof. It was assembled by the late Bob Lanphere, who was a motorcycle enthusiast and racer, as well as car and motorcycle dealer. Bob opened his first Honda dealership in 1964 and built an automotive empire here in the Pacific Northwest. He celebrated 50 years of business in August 2014, before passing away October 2015 at the age of 81 years. He was an inductee of the Trailblazer Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Many of the bikes in his collection are in original, showroom condition. While others have been restored to their original specifications. No matter, they are all beautiful; and together, make up an impressive and thorough example of a great, old bike collection. Though Bob's collection is predominantly comprised of Hondas, there is also an excellent representation of English, German and other Japanese manufacturers.

I was personally and especially interested in the turbo-charged bikes of the early 1980s and his vast collection of vintage Honda mini bikes. Looking at all the bikes from the sixties, seventies, and eighties; brought back a lot of memories of motorcycles that I lusted after when I was kid.

For more about Bob's legacy and vintage cycle collection, go to his Honda motorcycle dealership website: http://www.beavertonmotorcycles.com/custompage2.asp?pg=vintage_bike_collection.