eric

Author of "Automotive Atrocities" and "Road Hogs" (MBI). Currently living amongst the Edentulites in rural SW Virginia.

Heroes Taser Eight-Year-Old

PIERRE, SD — The use of force on a child sparked controversy after an 8-year-old girl was tased following an apparent suicide threat. The incident occurred when a babysitter phoned police on October 4, 2013, saying the young girl she was supervising wouldn’t put down a knife and was threatening to hurt herself. Four Pierre…

Pork Products

angry pig picture

There but for the grace of Mike Valentine go I, I thought. Yesterday was the first nice day we’ve had out here in The Woods in almost a week. So I took my ’03 ZRX1200 out for a run. The pork to people ratio in The Woods is relatively favorable and on a fast motorcycle, you’ve…

Kz900 Clean Up

engine1

It’s been raining for five days straight out here in The Woods. Not good for the writing mojo – or for riding. But, a great time to do some cleaning. Air-cooled bikes like my ’76 KZ900 have lots of nooks and crannies – the finned cylinder head/upper engine block especially. Plus, the bike is almost…

Bye-Bye Inline Five

'14 VW 2.5 engine 1

This week, in addition to the ’15 Honda Fit, I also have a ’14 Passat – equipped with the last of the inline fives. This engine – 2.5 liters, 170 hp – is in the process of being phased out. Its replacement is VW’s turbo four – 1.8 liters but making the same 170 hp,…

Heroes Seize Old Lady’s Cash – Just Because They Can

DETROIT, MI — Federal agents seized thousands of dollars from a woman at an airport because she didn’t tell them how much she had.  Now the government seeks to keep the cash seizure, without placing a criminal charge against the woman. This was the situation for 78-year-old Victoria Faren of Clearwater, Florida.  According to reports,…

2015 Honda Fit

'15 Fit lead

Last week, I test-drove the new three-cylinder (and turbocharged) Ford Fiesta. A neat little car – emphasis on little. This week, I have the new Honda Fit, which is also little - but isn’t small. At least, not where size matters. Much as I enjoyed driving the Fiesta – with its admirably eager (and laudably fuel-efficient) turbo…

Seduced by Stuff

obey submit lead

Give in to the Dark Side, urged Darth Vader. I think I may already have. But the “dark side” is just Stuff – the material possessions that tie me to the system, make me behave. Why don’t I tell the cop who has pulled me over for some manufactured offense to go inseminate himself? Because…

Bike Coolant Change

coolant drain pic

If your bike has a water-cooled engine, then periodic changeouts of the coolant – and general cooling system maintenance – are just as necessary as they are when it comes to your car’s engine. But the procedure’s slightly different – and there are some bike-specific things to know, too. The basic system is similar. You’ve…

2014 Hyundai Sante Fe

'14 Sante FE GLS

Having two versions of the same crossover is pretty smart. Not everyone needs three rows – and room for seven. Some, on the other hand, have got to have that third row. The Hyundai Sante Fe is the only medium-small crossover that comes both ways – take your pick. WHAT IT IS The Sante Fe is…

Muscle Cars Were Slow . . . Part II

burnout

I wrote a column a couple years ago (see here) that mentioned an unspeakable truth: Relative to now – classic muscle cars were slow. Back in the day, when the typical passenger car took 10 seconds (or more) to get to 60 MPH, a car that could get there in seven was faster-than-light. Today, it’s Camry Speed.…