Kawasaki Ninja 300

Kawi has come out with a Ninja 300.  Full on for no other reason than to give Honda the middle finger.  
You see, for just about forever Kawi has done the Ninja 250.  Really the only 250CC Class Option for a Sport Bike for the last few Eons.  Then recently Honda rolled out a CBR 250.  And it’s a nice little bike.  A bit underpowered compared to the Ninja it’s trying to compete with, but riders are saying it’s an all around better bike thanks to upgraded tech and handling, yada yada yada. 
Well, Kawi is a bit Type A in the personality department, so they didn’t take this laying down.  They trotted out a new beast altogether instead of doing a massive redo on the Ninja 250.  They rolled out the Ninja 300.  It’s 16% heavier than the CBR 250… but playing with a full 50% more horsepower.  Better handling is not going to help the Mini-CBR, as the Ninja 300 is still as Flickable as a Butterfly Knife. 
This soundly puts Kawasaki back on top of the performance leadership board. Honda has nothing that can match it and they were pretty much taken by surprise by this. 
Here’s the thing… It’s cheap too.  For 5 Grand, you couldn’t have more fun even if you spent a week in Thialand and you paid the Catholic Church off for the Endulgences. 
Kawis are not just about rip-snorting aggression… Yes, they accel at that, but until you crack the whip, they can be very docile daily commuters that turn in high Miles Per Gallon numbers that make them very economically feasible.  And insurance is cheap on them if you stay away from Tickets and Teenagers. 

Honestly however, I’d have rather have seen Kawi roll out something more along the lines of splitting the difference between the 250 and the 600.  Like a 450 maybe.  Using one of their power plants from one of their dirtbike lines.  Dirtbike engines are more compact, lighter weight, and seem to be a lot more pissed off about not constantly tearing shit up.  That’s what they do.  They tear shit up.  Putting that sort of Honey Badger inside a Ninja body would truly be a thing of evil.

To make matters even more potentially interesting is that many of the Cycle Co.’s are considering bringing back the Two Stroke.  With modern Engine Tech being applied to the Two Cycle power plant, they are able to make the engines far more powerful, fuel efficient, and much much cleaner.  My Yamaha was an RD400 Daytona Special… a Street Legal 2 Stroke that ate Ninja 600’s and other bigger sport bikes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and in between meal snacks.  And it was just a little 400.  Sure it drank oil and blew blue smoke like it was a steam powered train… but dayum… You couldn’t shift it without picking up the front tire.  It would hit 80 before you could take a full breath.  I had to put all my weight over the front tire to keep it down even if I rolled on the throttle hard.  And that was Old 2 Stroke Tech.  I can’t imagine a 450 or 500 with new electronic fuel injection and all the goodies.  
Wait.  Yes, yes I can imagine that… and I want that.   Full on Tazmanian Devil all the time.  How fun would that be? 
Come on, Kawi… Give me that Ninja 450 Two Stroke!

Dear Mr President

You swore an Oath, Sir.

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

You have failed miserably in this matter and in fact have acted counter to your Oath.  I would ask you, Sir, to read that document you Oath binds you because you seam to not know anything about it.

100,000 More Beretta M9’s for the Army

Beretta has announced that the US Army is set for the M9 for another 5 years and has ordered another hundred thousand M9 handguns.

So there you go… No new Army handgun for some time to come.  Sorry guys.

Of course, the M9 isn’t all that bad, when running off of good Beretta made magazines.  It’s full sized frame makes it controllable, confidence inspiring, and it’s both accurate and reliable… again, when running off factory mags and not after market.    Of course, my problem isn’t the gun, but the chosen caliber.  Maybe we can get an upgrade kit and make them all .40’s at least?  No?  Oh well.  The 9mm has done a good job with what it’s had to deal with.  The problem though is that the US Military has to use FMJ ammunition, where as we can run good JHP’s if we like.  If the Military could use some good old Hollow Points, then I think the complaints about stopping power would diminish greatly.

If not HP’s, then how about EFMJ’s?  Expanding Full Metal Jackets.  They look like regular Ball ammo but expand on impact.

Continue reading 100,000 More Beretta M9’s for the Army

Monday’s Motorcycle: Moto Guzzi V7 Racer

This is a motorcycle that I hate to love and love to hate.  I love Moto Guzzi’s, always have.  I love Cafe Racers since the first time I saw one.  So when I first saw this V7 Racer, a factory made Guzzi Cafe – I felt my heart flutter.  It is beautiful.  Under the looks it has some things I really like.  5.8 Gallons in the fuel tank, you could ride this thing as long as your butt will let you.  That V-Twin, facing sideways, allowing that Air Cooling to really keep things cool so when your hot, it’s chill and turning some lazy revolutions.
But there in lays the problem… those Revs are not just lazy, but damn near lethargic.  The bike only has  48 Horses and 40 pounds of torque.   What is this?  The 60’s?  Come on Guzzi… Well, yes, the machine is running on an electronic fuel injection.  This is an advantage, and should help the 744cc engine crank out more Miles Per Gallon.  Well, 47 to 50 MPG in the highway is pretty good, but not as big of a number as I’d have hoped, especially when the engine is so tired.

Here’s the thing… it’s expensive.  10 Large.  It’s under powered.  You are not going to be lifting the front wheel very much on this thing.  But there is something about the V7 that wont let me look away.   It’s beautiful and innocent… You just want to ride it hard and put it away panting.

Continue reading Monday’s Motorcycle: Moto Guzzi V7 Racer

Trunk Monkeys

I’m concerned about Trunk Monkeys right now.  The term comes from the funny videos on YouTube, just go there and look it up.  It’s amusing.  But what’s not so funny is the job of Rear Security and the guys that have to pull this slot.  They are called “Trunk Monkeys”.  This is not an easy job to pull if you get tasked for it.  Reason being, you get told to be the Trunk Monkey, you jump into the back on an SUV and it’s pretty much up to you to make the best of it.

Trunk Monkey in Nepal.
Detail in Israel.

You can see these Trunk Monkeys are in the back with gear, tools, an unsecured spare tire…  No safety, no protection.  These Trunk Monkeys are hanging it out on the line more than anyone else in the detail.

Looking Cool is a Priority in the US Secret Service. Note how everyone is looking at the photographer who is about 2 second from getting lit up.

This is one of the most famous Trunk Monkey photos out there, as this one is US Secret Service.  I’m not giving anything away as this one has been out there for years now.

Now, of the Trunk Monkey is lucky, he’ll at least have a seat or something.  But again, very little protection for the Agent in the back.

This is how you make the best of the situation… With a really big freaking gun.

This guy has a seat and a weapon mount to help him do his job better.  Maybe a seatbelt, and some upgraded body armor…. but again, the protection is minimum his movement in the vehicle is minimum. The fronts of the vehicles are protected with bullet resistant glass.  The backs?  Not so much, and especially not if the rear window is opened.

I’d like to see an armor plate on that weapon mount.  Something to help deflect some incoming fire..  I’d like to see a swiveling seat on a slider so the Trunk Monkey and can move side to side to better engage and avoid threats.

Uncle Musket

In the Uprising Saga, there is a character called “Uncle Musket”.  Uncle Musket to many, just Musket to me.  For those that don’t know, “Uncle Musket” is a real guy.   He is in fact my younger brother.  He posts from time to time on WTA.   Recently he just posted his thoughts about an Automatic Pistol:


You buncha unholy meddlers and mad alchemists have true topped yersefs now!
This damn thing! Have ye any shame? An arm far defense is it? Whot?
Through the mad currents of private trades, I have this we bobble of an alleged defensive pistol and by the dark blazes you magazine and cartridge people make me ill sometimes!

Right then. This lilliputian thing.
So, yes, OF COURSE this thing runs on metallic cartridges…very small ones.
Damn your eyes! “Oh well, you see it’s 380, and that’s not very far from 9mm!” 9MM! 9mm is a fair size for lock plate screws, not bores, you giggling twits! Did this JUST to make me mad!
Well, so, here it is. It’s bloody SMALL. Has a trigger there. The whole fool thing is the size of a proper arm’s trigger mechanism. The “grip” such as it is, made of poly-I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU CALL THIS CRAP!…holds a tiny magazine which contains the preposterous metallic cartridges. Each cartridge has a primed disk on the back…damn stupid thing to do…prying that little thing out for repriming…you people must have wagon loads of spare time…so, this tiny magazine rides inside this tiny grip handle…which is designed for a beetles’ pinchers more than for a man’s hand…you can’t club a footpad with this shameful gadget! Stoopid! If one of my stock cutters or locksmiths showed be this!
Six of the cartridges in the magazine mind. Cause, holy hell, havin six of the nonsensickle things make up for it’s glaring USELESSNESS!!
So now…this is a compact 380…polycrap frame…the SLIDE…purports to be steel of some kind.
The barrel. Look at this. This! is a pistol barrel! This sad broken pipestem is a pistol barrel!
You buncha gibbering loons.
Oh by the greenman’s beard do I feel deprived! Poor silly old me! I’m too ignorant to prance about your stone and glass cities stingin my sciencecraftic mates with these tomfool 380s!
My dear wood gods…pinacle of guncraft this…theres the magazine release…perfectly made for a fairey staff to articulate. That little speck there…
Fine! Grand! If you lads load up with these Gnome guns! You’ll dominate the field!
Stay back! He has a fel 380 of top sciencecraft! That little blob in his hand! Thass a GUN!
Thanksa bushel for this! I’ll toss out all me kit and wield this mighty cannon till me dying days!
No ball mold either!

I would like to see a whole series of Uncle Musket Reviews… but that’s his business.

SIG’s Latest

I’m thinking George Lucas must have joined SIG’s board of directors.  Check this out.

That my friends, is a SIG P228.  I used to have one.  I liked it.  So did other guys.  But not enough to keep SIG making it.  SIG discontinued it for many years.  Then they brought it back, briefly, with the addition of a rail.  Then they discontinued it again.

Now they are bringing it back with the Military Designation M11-A1.  To the Milspec Guys, the A1 designation means it’s all revamped to the newest standards.   And now some gun dudes (Not THE Gun Dudes) are getting all mushy about it.  “It’s a completely different pistol!” They say.  Oh for the love… No, it isn’t.  It’s a bloody P228!  If I take my wife’s Ford Explorer, scoot the seat back, and spray A1 on the back with Krylon, this doesn’t make it a completely different vehicle, it’s still a Ford Explorer.  And this M11A1 is still a P228… The same gun everyone ignored for the last 20 years.  But now all the sudden because it’s being sold under it’s Military Designation, it’s somehow better.  It’s just a 228.  And that’s a good thing.  The P228 is one my favorite handguns… It handles better than a 229, lighter too.  It’s a great gun.  But the way some guys are jizzing their pants about this is just crazy.  Where were you guys 20 years ago when SIG dropped the 228?  Because the M-11 has been around since 1989, used by the Military since then… and SIG still had to discontinue it because you guys were not buying it.

Hey SIG, just go ahead and Drop the “P” Designation of your pistols and make it “M”.