Sometimes too much time on your hands can turn into an interesting display of materials that were going to end up as trash.
Let me back up a bit. This "General Lee" charger plastic model kit was something I built back before I even had a licence to drive. This was one of the early kits where MPC re-purposed their Charger 500 1/25th scale molds, threw in a roll bar and decal kit and created a General Lee. Purists (including me) will note that the Charger 500 is very incorrect for a General Lee clone, most notably the rear window, the standard Charger has a recessed tunneled rear glass versus the Charger 500 with its more aerodynamic flush mount glass. But hey, it was the only kit available at the time if you wanted to build your own General Lee. So anyway at the age of 14 (?? can't exactly remember) I built this and did a "just ok" job, not terrible, I did do some detailing, but not exceptional.
Fast forward to the present. In an instance with I was back at my folks going through old stuff boxed up from my childhood, high school and college days, I ran across a box with the handful of models I had built. Included in this box was this General Lee. The years of improper storage had not been kind, as always 20+ years of age the glue was coming apart so pieces were falling off all the cars. Then to add insult to this, the cat (I love this cat) nuzzled up to the box (as cats do) and pushed it off the table and well you can guess that outcome.
Even if that box had not fallen on the floor this model probably would have just ended up in the trash anyways, I mean its not worth anything monetarily and it is not a priceless heirloom that I ever intended to pass along to my kid(s). So while walking to the garbage can I got to thinking, "All the pieces are here, I should do something with it" Well this is what I did.
My inspiration was some still shots of those few seconds the editors left into the show when the front end would just start to crumple from the impact just before the cut to the studio car and the Duke boys pretending to bounce around in their seats. The General seemed to most often to land nose first and with some sort of gangsta lean. That moment of impact was what I chose to replicate in diorama form. My wife just rolled her eyes...
This is one Outa'-sight mini bike! Did you know I built a mini bike of my own inspired by this 1/8th scale model?
Raked out front wheel... padded seat... hi-rise sissy bar... this mean li'l chopper's go it all!
Dig the super-real detail in that gleaming chrome engine with its chain drive.
Knobby, deep-tread tires add to the realism.
And don't forget... this model is 1/8 the actual size of a real mini bike!
A Tom Daniel design
I built the original plastic model when they re-released it in 1997 and then built my own mini bike in high school shop class inspired by this plastic model. I still have my creation and some day I would like to try again and replicate the model more closely. You will have to remember that I didn't have the skills or more importantly the money for expensive materials. This was all built with scrap and a few mail order parts. Most notably the Comet torque-a-verter for the drive system. The color I painted was left over when I painted my first car so it would match. Same with the crushed velvet material for the seat and headrest, I upholstered them myself on to some left over MDF and high density foam. Click to enlarge the photos.
With a new tire desperately needed on the rear of the KX, I choose a somewhat unconventional tire. Also when you have the rear wheel off it is always a good idea to lubricate and apply some anti-seize to the chain adjuster bolts. They have a nasty habit of corroding and sticking in there if they sit too long.
I love my 18 inch trials tires on my other bikes including my Gas Gas trials bike. We will see how I like this 19 inch tire from Shinko. Its a bit lower profile and not quite as soft, but still feels sticky. I will have to play with the pressures to find the sweet spot. Thinking about starting with 12 psi
If you want some tips and tricks on changing a motorcycle tire see my complete video on the subject. Link below.
It may seem like some new car manufacturers have taken the Briggs and Stratton approach to maintenance marketing. Briggs and Stratton have recently touted a no more oil change EXi engine the catch is owners need to be even more vigilant about checking and topping up the oil as well as changing the air filter more frequently. As a DYI garage mechanic myself I see trouble a brewing. Most seasoned small engine repair shops will tell you most people never check the oil and air filter let alone change them. Seems Consumer Reports did a story on this, but I question their bias sometimes as I think some manufacturers bought them off so their names would not get published.
Here are my real thoughts on how things might go down when those customer relations, marketing research people get together with the engineers that design the car engines. Colorful adjectives added for comedic relief.
Customer "Waaaahhh, I want better gas mileage and performance,"
Engineer "Ok, but there are tradeoffs, a smaller turbo motor will have to work harder, lighter weight oil and low tension rings might mean a little more oil consumption, so with longer oil change intervals, you might need to check the level and add a quart occasionally."
Customer "Waaaaaahh, my engine burns oil."
Marketing geniuses "Let's remove the oil level sensor to save money and so the customer won't know he's a couple of quarts low."
Customer "Waaaahhh, my engine blew up because I didn't change the oil for 15k miles and never checked the level" Lawyers "Call the whaaambulance, someone's feelings got hurt."
The pussification of automobile drivers have caused this.
Jon "the junk man" helping to promote responsible riding and recreation whether it be at the track or at the trail. Your source for motorcycle how to videos and much more!