Friday, June 27, 2014

Road Tour Leg Three: Winding Up in the Rockies

If you've never been on a Road Tour with Jerry Dixey, you're missing something. Everywhere the AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour goes, the Road Tourians get the red carpet treatment. They also get to eat a lot of good food. And, oh yes, there is a lot of eye candy when it comes to spectacular cars.

This is the third leg of eight tours in 2014, designated the Aeromotive Tour. Tuesday's welcome at the Aeromotive facility in Kansas City was a treat. Wednesday morning the group travelled from Kansas City to Wichita across the grasslands of Kansas. By noon they had arrived at the Poplar Restaurant in Andover, a suburb of Wichita. The Poplar's owner Brian had put together a special buffet of chicken wings and pizza for his guests and it was yummy. After lunch they were ready for a full day of fun in Wichita beginning with a private collection of cars and vehicles that was one of the widest ranging groups of special interest vehicles that many of them had ever seen. From here to drove to downtown Wichita to Devlin's Rod & Customs. Tim Devlin had played a big role in organizing their activities in Wichita to make it a special day.

Heading West the tour landed in Dodge City with its famous Boot Hill Museum. Welcome to the Old West. Unfortunately, a hard rain dampened (cancelled) their evening plans there, but didn't dampen their spirits. Their final destination this week is the NSRA Rocky Mountain Nationals in Pueblo, Colorado. When you reach the Rockies and look east, well, this is where the song "I can see for miles" may have originated. There's nothing quite so beautiful as getting into that thin Rocky Mountain air. There will be more than photos of cars brought home by this group. But for the moment, we're just going to tickle your eyes with a few more photos of beautiful cars these folks got to see this week.

Now that it's summertime, keep your eyes open for vintage car enthusiasts out cruisin'... re-living their nostalgic dreams. If you've got a car and really want to live the dream, join up with a future leg of the AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour. You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Six Reasons Motorcycles Need Better Lubricant Protection

Why do people spare no expense on their vehicles, and especially accessories after the purchase, then use the cheapest engine oil they can find? Oil plays one of the most important roles in an engine’s performance, yet motorists often give it virtually no thought whatsoever.

For bikers it is especially important to choose wisely when selecting a motorcycle oil, because motorcycles put greater demands on their lubricants than autos do. Here are six of the primary differences between the two.

1) Operational Speed. 
Motorcycles tend to operate at significantly higher engine speeds. The result is added stress on engine components, increasing the need for wear protection. It also subjects the lubricant to higher load-carrying and shear forces. Higher RPMs also promote foaming and accelerate lube breakdown due to oxidation.

2) Compression Ratios. 
Motorcycles tend to operate with higher engine compression ratios than cars. This places additional stress on engine components and increases operating temps. Higher demands are placed on the oil to reduce wear. Elevated operating temps also promote thermal degradation of the oil, reducing its life expectancy and increasing the formation of internal deposits.

3) Horsepower/Displacement Density. 
Motorcycle engines produce nearly twice the horsepower per cubic inch of displacement of automobile engines. This also raises temperatures and adds additional stress.

4) Variable Engine Cooling. 
Automobiles generally use a more sophisticated water-cooling system to control engine operating temperatures. Many motorcycles are air cooled or use a combo air/oil design, which results in greater temperature fluctuations, especially in stop and go traffic. Higher temps promote oxidation and cause oil to thin, reducing their load carrying capabilities.

5) Multiple Lubrication Functionality. 
In passenger cars, the motor oil only lubricates the engine, with transmission fluid in the tranny and gear lube in the differential. Many motorcycles have a common sump supplying oil both to the engine and the transmission. In these instances the oil is expected to meet the needs of both the engine and the transmission gears. Many motorcycles also incorporate a friction clutch within the transmission which uses the same oil.

6) Inactivity. 
Motorcycles are typically used less frequently than automobiles. In many parts of the country they can only be used seasonally. Condensation of moisture within the engine can cause rust. Acid corrosion protection is also a critical need.

It doesn’t take long to recognize that motorcycles place a different level of requirements on lubricating oils. Motorcycle oils must therefore be formulated to address this unique set of high stress conditions. If you want power, performance and protection, the oil you choose can make a difference. We recommend a synthetic solution.

Note: Photos on this page are from the Laconia Bike Rally of which AMSOIL is the Official Oil. Visit our website for more information on AMSOIL synthetic oils for motorcycles.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

An Example of Good Writing by a Car Guy

When the rubber meets the road, there's nothing like a good story. Whether telling them or writing them, there are few things more entertaining than a story well told.

In today's fast times, short and sweet is the name of the game. A good story begins with a strong hook. But the hook will only take the reader so far. Early on the writer must lead the reader to believe there's going to be a payoff.

Once hooked a good story will keep the reader hungry to discover what happens next.

Last week, an eNewsletter from Cars and Parts magazine had a short story by freelance writer Roger Johnson that appeared in the publication's Back in the Day section. Johnson told a story about a Street Hemi vs. a Big Block Corvette. The opening paragraph clues you in that this is a car guy.

I was cruising through the Kent State campus in Ohio during the fall of 1966 in my ‘62 big block Dart. At a stop sign, while eyeballing the coeds, I heard an angry engine roar behind me, emanating from a dark blue 1966 Plymouth Belvedere. I just knew it was a Street Hemi. Rather than move along, I hopped out of my car and walked backed to the Plymouth to meet its owner and ask him for a ride in his brand new Mopar. He agreed, so I parked my Dart at the closest curb and eagerly jumped into the passenger side of the 426.

In paragraph two the storyteller now switches from ogling girls to ogling the Hemi.

This two-door post came with a bench seat and a four-speed transmission. The driver told me he had the dealer install 4.56 gears. Eight-ply, 7.75 Goodyear Blue Streak tires were part of the early Street Hemi package. Blue steel wheels and dog dish hubcaps, along with two small 426 Hemi badges, finished off this humble looking machine.

The narrator is thrilled to be taking a spin in this powerful ride. But it gets better. They head out onto a highway.... and...

Well, let's not steal Mr. Johnson's thunder. Kudos for a story well told... one that resonates with many a car guy's memories. You can find out what happened here, back in the day.

Meantime, if you own a Hemi or one of those big block Corvettes, or any powerful Sixties machine, make sure you take care of it on the inside, where it counts. Take care of your engine and your engine will take care of you.

Ride on!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Here's a Cool Video on the EBR 1190RX Superbike We're Giving Away This Year

Earlier this year we introduced you to the Building Legends Sweepstakes in which we announced our planned giveaway of an EBR 1190RX Superbike. This afternoon it seemed like a good idea to remind you that there's still plenty of time to enter. If you have a minute, check out this video from Motorcyclist Magazine online.

If that's that kind of thing that gets your heart thumping, then be sure to read the official rules and enter to win. And if you just like staying current with what's happening with Erik Buell Racing, be sure to bookmark this page and follow along. It's been exciting so far, and the best is yet to come.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour Gears Up for Round Three

50th Anniversary L.A. Road Show Father's Day Lineup last weekend.
The AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour is heading into the third tour leg of the season, kicking off at the Back to the 50’s event June 20 in St. Paul, Minn. From there, Road Tourians will head west before finishing the week at the NSRA Rocky Mountain Nationals in Pueblo, Colo. Those on board will no doubt turn heads at both of these massive car shows that bookend the Tour, which already draw out the nation’s finest street rods and vintage automobiles. The Tour will likely pick up a few more participants eager to hit the open road with their fellow enthusiasts.

Along the way participants will enjoy a welcome party at the Aeromotive facility in Kansas City, Mo. before making their way through the plains of Kansas and the Colorado Rockies. Photo ops will be in abundance as they wind through scenic highways and towns in the heart of the country. There’s still time to join any of the remaining tours, so be sure to visit the Street Rodder website for full details and information on each of them. The AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour promises a unique opportunity that delivers memories and experiences not found on any other road trip.

Live the dream. Be part of the Tour.

Note: Vintage vehicles need special care. Do you own a vintage classic car or light truck? Learn more about why you may need a specialized oil for these special cars.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Everyone Is Welcome In Laconia, Whatever You Ride

One of the highlights of any biker rally is seeing all the varieties of motorcycles attendees ride. Especially fun is the customization that has gone into so many of the bikes, making one's passion a labor of love.

Here are a few of the bikes we saw so far this week...

If you happen to be in New Hampshire and choose to glide through Laconia, be sure to stop by the AMSOIL booth on the north end of the Lobster Pound to visit with AMSOIL corporate staff and learn more about how AMSOIL products maximize motorcycle performance and life. Or just stop by to say "Hi." And if you need an oil change, you can have AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oil installed in your bike at one of two locations on Daniel Webster Highway within 10 minutes of Weirs Beach: Laconia Harley-Davidson and the Fun Spot.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Laconia Motorcycle Rally Kicks Off This Weekend

Laconia's Motorcycle Week is famously the grand-daddy of motorcycle rallies. The New Hampshire rally was birthed nearly one hundred years ago, making it more than ten years older than the the initial ground breaking at Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of Dakota.

The Laconia rally has its roots in June 1916, when a few hundred motorcyclists gathered at Weirs Beach in Laconia. Seven years later, the event was officially recognized by the Federation of American Motorcyclists (to be later called the American Motorcyclist Association) as part of the Gypsy Tour, where motorcyclists celebrated races and hill climbs for an entire weekend. The Federation of American Motorcyclists continued to sanction the event until 1960.*

The 91st Anniversary of Laconia Motorcycle Week (a few years were missed) takes place in Laconia, N.H. June 14-22. As the legendary rally’s Exclusive Official Oil, AMSOIL maintains a can’t-miss presence around town, including title sponsorship of the new AMSOIL Passport Program, a scavenger hunt for bikers looking for new things to do, new places to visit and the opportunity to walk away with some great prizes. Bikers can pick up their AMSOIL Passports at Laconia Rally Headquarters’ new location on the Boardwalk (on Lakeside Avenue next to the Pier).

Be sure to stop by the AMSOIL booth on the north end of the Lobster Pound to visit with AMSOIL corporate staff and learn more about how AMSOIL products maximize motorcycle performance and life. Have AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oil installed in your bike at one of two locations on Daniel Webster Highway within 10 minutes of Weirs Beach: Laconia Harley-Davidson and the Fun Spot.

Find out more about AMSOIL synthetic motorcycle oils and performance products for bikers.

* Source: Wikipedia

Thursday, June 12, 2014

High Drama Continues in Hollister: Top Truck Challenge 2014

Wednesday at the 2014 Top Truck Challenge delivered more action, destruction and excitement to Hollister Hills as drivers faced more brutality for the 2nd day of competition. Day 2 opened with the Obstacle Course, which promptly started claiming driveshafts and other parts while dashing hopes of finishing for others. It took out 3 drivers before the 4th was even able to clear the finish line. Up next was the Hill Climb event, where deep holes and ruts swallowed tires whole as drivers attempted to stay on course. Afterwards it was on to the Coal Chute, constructed of giant boulders and concrete. Once they made their way through that, there was an incredibly steep wall waiting to be cleared before crossing the finish. From the looks of the course the odds seemed unbeatable, but some drivers and their rigs had what it took to finish with impressive times.

Yes, they have to drive over that.
Video and photo updates on Four Wheeler’s Instagram page speak to the challenges these rigs faced, but no results are being announced just yet. At this moment competitors are in the midst of conquering the final and most grueling event of Top Truck Challenge 2014: the Tank Trap. As of press time none had yet to finish the course, but plenty had timed out or found their rigs succumbing to the Trap's perils. It’s been an incredible week so far, and we can’t wait to see how the points add up in the end. Stay tuned for another update tomorrow, and make sure you’re following AMSOIL on Facebook for updates live from the scene.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Action and Anguish on the Hills of Hollister: Top Truck Challenge 2014

The 2014 Top Truck Challenge is underway and as expected, showed no mercy to competitors on the first official day of competition. The opening Tow Test event welcomed drivers and their rigs with a 36,000-lb military tow vehicle waiting to be hauled uphill. The power needed to accomplish such a feat is tremendous, and gave competitors the opportunity to showcase what they brought to the table.

After the Tow Test it was on to the Frame Twister, which wasted no time living up to its name. It quickly claimed the tires and axle of Jeff Noggle’s ’92 GMC K1500, pictured here. Despite how bad it looks, Noggle got to work welding parts back together and was expected to be back in the saddle for the last event of the day. The cement, boulders, logs and overall mayhem found in the Frame Twister all culminated into suspense as everyone watched to see what happened (or broke) next. Recovery crews were on hand to remove the broken parts left behind, and there were plenty to be found.

The California drought eliminated the Mud Pit event as water conservation is essential right now, but organizers were ready with an alternative and responded with an old Top Truck Challenge standby: the Mini Rubicon. The Mini Rubicon took competitors through a large pit of boulders that tested both driver skill and power. Judging by the photos and videos on Four Wheeler’s Instagram updates, some had an easier time than others making their way through the course.

All of this and more took place just on Tuesday, the first official day at the 2014 Top Truck Challenge. There's plenty more to come, so be sure to check back soon for additional glimpses into the action and photos of destruction. Just ahead is the Obstacle Course, Hill Climb, Coal Chute and the grand finale that is known as the Tank Trap.

Jeff Noggle grabbed a welding torch and went right at it.
Action and traction in Hollister: Each picture's worth a thousand words...

The Tow Test
The Mini-Rubicon
Moving on to the next event.


The AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour Hits the Open Road

The 2014 AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour is off to an excellent start. 60 participants joined Tour leader Jerry Dixey as they embarked on the first tour of the season, the Vintage Air Tour. This year’s event added a unique opportunity to participate in the Triple Crown Challenge, a back-to-back 3-tour experience that will keep those up to the task on the road for most of June. Those who complete the Triple Crown Challenge will earn a commemorative jacket and great memories of the ultimate road trip.

When the tour kicked off in San Antonio June 7, participants got acquainted with their fellow Road Tourians and the plans for the week ahead at an evening cookout hosted by Vintage Air Headquarters. After the welcome event, members headed to the Alamo in downtown San Antonio for a tour and overview of this important piece of American history. The AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour is currently heading West as they make their way to Pomona, Calif. for the Father’s Day Los Angeles Roadster Show. Stops along the way will include legendary hot rod shops, a tour of the Unser Racing Museum and miles of beautiful scenery throughout the American Southwest.

Clovis, New Mexico
The 2014 AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour is just getting started, so there’s still time to join any of the remaining tour legs. Find dates and locations below, then head on over to the Street Rodder website to register for the road trip of a lifetime.

The Vintage Air Tour 
June 7-15 Vintage Air, San Antonio, Texas, to the 50th L.A. Roadsters Show, Pomona, California

The MSRA Back to the 50's Weekend Tour 
June 13-22 The 50th L.A. Roadsters Show, Pomona, California, to Back to the 50s, St. Paul, Minnesota

The Aeromotive Tour 
June 20-29 Back to the 50s, St. Paul, Minnesota, to the NSRA Rocky Mountain Nationals, Pueblo, Colorado

The Eastwood Summer Classic Tour 
July 18-26 The Syracuse Nationals, Syracuse New York, to the Eastwood Summer Classic, Pottstown, Pennsylvania

The Tour 
August 9-17 A Week on Woodward Avenue, near Detroit, Michigan

The Shades of the Past Tour 
August 30-September 6 The 60th NHRA U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis, Indiana, to Shades of the Past, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

The Dynamat Tour 
September 5-14 Shades of the Past, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, to the NSRA Nationals North Plus, Kalamazoo, Michigan

The Sherm's Custom Plating Tour 
October 31–November 8 Sherm's Custom Plating, Sacramento, California, to the SEMA Show, Las Vegas, Nevada

If you're a Classic Car enthusiast and like adventures on the open road, follow along at  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

AMSOIL at the Top Truck Challenge Day One: Mixing It Up

Traditional opening for the Top Truck Challenge video.
The trucks have rolled in to Hollister Hills and the energy level is once again high here in sunny California. In fact, it's been too sunny this year. There's been a drought so serious that Californian's are begging for relief. One impact of this dearth of rain is that we may not have a mud pit this year.

In response the Four Wheeler staff has stirred up their imaginations to devise new challenges. One of these will be unveiled this afternoon.

The forecast is for weather in the 70's all week, and mostly sun after a partially cloudy opener for this year's Top Truck Challenge. Our guess is that the weather pattern is the only thing that will be predictable this week. How the contenders deal with it will determine who has the last truck standing by week's end.

Take a quick peek at this "Welcome" from Hollister Hills.... We can't wait to share more!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Top Truck Challenge Returns to Hollister Hills

The 22nd annual 2014 Top Truck Challenge event is just around the corner, kicking off June 9 in Hollister Hills, California. This Monday10 teams will descend on Hollister to prove themselves and their rigs worthy of the Top Truck Challenge Champion title. Plans have been in the works for months, culminating in a week of mass destruction for these heavily-modified 4x4’s. AMSOIL is the Official Lubricant of Top Truck Challenge, installed in each rig, ensuring that engine failure is not what takes them out.

The week features obstacle courses and trials that test the mettle of each competitor brave enough to face the gauntlet that is the Top Truck Challenge. Four Wheeler Magazine organizers go to extremes in designing the nastiest course they can dream up, aiming to take out as many trucks as possible. As they navigate through aptly named ordeals such as the Frame Twister, Mud Pit and Tank Trap, competitors strive to defeat the odds against them. Check out the list of contenders and the rigs they are working with here.

The Tow Test kicks it off.
Tow Test: Having these big, impressive rigs tow a load for 150 feet sounds easy, right? Wrong. Competitors find themselves facing an uphill climb towing a heavy load, usually a 36,000-lb cement mixer. This particular challenge has destroyed driveshafts and 2.5-ton axles in the past, while weeding out the weakest among the group on the very first event of the week.

Frame Twister: The Frame Twister always promises to deliver on its name, and it succeeds. Competitors are given 10 minutes to make it through 200 feet of seemingly-impossible obstacles. Giant boulders known as the ‘Squeeze Rock’ section, logs and deep holes made to swallow tires await the teams. The Frame Twister has destroyed many hopes and dreams along with the broken parts it’s collected over the years.

The Mud Pit is a messier kind of fun.
Mud Pit: The Mud Pit is about 135 feet in length and built to test the tires, cooling system and ground clearance. Competitors never know what awaits them underneath the bog, but Four Wheeler Magazine takes great pride making it every bit as unpredictable and difficult as years past.

Obstacle Course: Day 2 of Top Truck Challenge welcomes competitors with the Obstacle Course event that begins at the top of a mountain with only one way down; through various obstacles, tight turns and an off-camber dogleg finish. Cones are strategically placed throughout the course that will result in time-penalties if they are hit or knocked over on the way down.

Editors spend a whole year dreaming up new ways to get you stuck.
Hill Climb: After making their way through the downhill Obstacle Course, competitors move to a 600-foot-long uphill course wrought with loose dirt, twists, turns, and deep holes along the way for good measure. Competitors have 5 minutes to make their way as far as they can up a hill that averages a 60° angle without deviating off course or getting stuck as the clock ticks on.

Coal Chute: The Coal Chute made its debut at Top Truck Challenge 2013, as Four Wheeler Magazine looked for ways to make the week even more grueling. Last year the Coal Chute was approximately 525 feet long with steep walls over 7 feet high, lots of rocks and cement tubes littering the course. Four Wheeler Magazine promises even more destruction for the Coal Chute’s second year in existence.

The Tank Trap is where competitors show what they're made of.
Tank Trap: Wrapping up the week’s brutality is the dreaded Tank Trap, best described as the Holy Grail of Top Truck Challenge. Four Wheeler Magazine describes it as awe-inspiring, legendary and in a class by itself. There’s a reason it’s the last event of the week; those still standing have proven themselves worthy of a chance to make it through, and points are doubled to make it anyone’s game. From start to finish, the Tank Trap climbs almost 195 feet in elevation and forces rigs through a poison-oak lined course filled with deep water holes, dirt holes, a canyon nestled between steep walls and much more. The Tank Trap has taken down many solid rigs that withstood amazing feats prior to meeting it.

The Top Truck Challenge is filmed on location for DVD release in the coming months, but we’ll be posting updates and photos throughout the week. Keep up with the action by following us on Facebook and Twitter, or check back soon for a recap here.

Photos here are from the 2011 competition.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

10 Cool Quotes about Marketing, Business and Life

Nearly everyone can use a good pithy quote now and then. Here are 10 gems from various sources that you can pocket for your next after hours chat, or water till they germinate in your soul.

“I find the harder I work, the more luck I have.” – Thomas Jefferson

"When executing advertising, it's best to think of yourself as an uninvited guest in the living room of a prospect who has the magical power to make you disappear instantly." – John O'Toole 

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." -- John Quincy Adams 

"Believe you can and you’re halfway there." -- Theodore Roosevelt

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." -- Harry S. Truman

"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right." -- Henry Ford

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." -- Thomas Edison

“Victory belongs to the most persevering.” -- Napoleon Bonaparte

“There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions – in a way that serves the world and you.” -- Richard Branson

“Go ahead and be a dreamer, but do something about your dreams. Don’t just let them flit away. Dream about something. Go ahead! I dreamed about being successful with AMSOIL, with the synthetic oil. Yes, I dreamed about it, but I fought my hind-end off to get it going... You’ve just got to do it. You’ve got to do what you say and you’ve got to work." -- Albert J. Amatuzio

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

1959 AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour Impala: Putting It All Together

This is year six of the AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour and it promises to be yet another exciting one. Street Rodder magazine is consider by many rodding enthusiasts to be the Bible of street rodding. Since the Road Tour was conceived many years ago, spearheaded by Road Tour director Jerry Dixey, participation has grown steadiily

Here's a quick peek of how this year's 1959 Chevrolet Impala looked as it was being assembled in the shop of Hot Rods By Dean. This coming weekend "Leg One" of this year's eight road tours will be kicking off from San Antonio, Texas heading west to the 50th annual L.A. Roadsters Show in Pomona, California. That's one beautiful drive across the Southwest, and it's a great way to start this year's tour.

If you're interested in being part of one of the 2014 AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour, here's this year's schedule, along with a link to a form to fill out so you can get registered. It's a great family of rodding enthusiasts creating memories for a lifetime.

And maybe at some point along the way, if you get a chance, ask Jerry what it was like being at Woodstock.