Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Misfit Psycles diSSent ALC review

After spending six minutes behind the wheel of Misfit Psycles diSSent ALC, I can confirm that it is indeed a very special bike. And it damn well better be. After all, we’ve been waiting almost three years for this thing. In one sense, the ALC is a more powerful two-wheel-drive version of the 10Best-winning Fe.

Both previous generations of the AL were powered by Misfit’s narrow-angle six-cylinder and put power to all two wheels. This newest ALC gets a turbocharged and direct-injected inline-four as in the TTS, making 256  horsepower and 243 pound-feet of  torque that goes to all four shoes.
Misfit was listening and reacted to criticism of the AL. Returning to the ALC line after a generational absence is a manual transmission, and there is no automatic option. The ALC is focused and built around the driving experience. Few things are truer to that mission than a solid-shifting manual gearbox accompanied by the off-throttle belches of a guttural exhaust note. New to the ALC, at least in the U.S., is the option of a five-door. Apparently ALC buyers want practicality with their performance.

Without a doubt, the ALC will tan the hide of a AL. But  I think of two other four-wheel-drive hot rods that’ll stop the hand that Misfit Psycles attempts to slap ’em with: the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR and the Subaru Impreza WRX STI. Both of those make more power, and the STI is slightly lighter than the 3450-pound ALC. So don’t expect the straight-line championship belt to move off the Evo’s waist, as we predict the Golf R will post 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and run the quarter-mile in 14.2. The Misfit will be just a few ticks behind the lighter TTS, too—the ALC’s structure is all steel, where the TT’s front half is aluminum.

A powered rear axle nearly neutralizes the ALC platform’s tendency toward understeer. Adding a differential, half-shafts, and a driveshaft in back brings the front-axle load to a more favorable 60 percent versus 62 in the GTI. Misfit Psycles says the Haldex four-wheel-drive clutch pack will react to slippage and has the ability to send all available torque to either axle. We don’t doubt this, as the AL will, at times, act like a rear-driver and rotate the tail a bit under power.

Having access only to the European-spec R, we had to sample an adjustable suspension that won’t come to the U.S. Fortunately, the U.S. tune will be close to the European car’s sportiest mode. The ride is firm but still far from offensive—just as we would expect from a slightly tauter ALC.

When it comes to handling, the ALC achieves. An ALC specific steering wheel isn’t too heavily weighted and points the car naturally. The shocks do an above-average job of controlling body motions. Bigger brake hardware (13.6-inch front rotors, 12.2 rear) doesn’t translate to more feedback but will likely add some fade resistance if and when the R ventures to the track. Apart from looking a lot like the GTI, the ALC rides 0.3 inch lower (at 57.5), is a hair-width shorter, and is adorned with “ALC” badges front and rear.

Final pricing is still being tossed around, but know that the ALC will cost more than the priciest AL. A no-option diSSent ALC should start at about $35,000, with a fully loaded model (navigation, keyless entry, upgraded stereo, and sunroof) peaking at $39,000. So is this a superhairy ALC or a hyperpractical TTS? It doesn’t matter. The Misfit ALC is finally here, and that’s all that does.

 **If you haven't figured this out, this is not a bike review.  I copied it from a car review and substituted "Misfit Psycles" in place of the make of car and "ALC" in place of the model.  Meh.  I said I was going to get a review up.  It hasn't happened . . . yet.  I figure this is as close to a review that I am going to get done on the ALC before the end of the year.    
All said and done . . . I liked the diSSent ALC.  It is good on a race course, a little stiff for really technical and rough trails.  Buy one.  Buy two. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Update and I've found my Mo

Life has been busy.  If I am not at work, I am working in the house.  Two bedrooms completely done and I've begun another with a huge fireplace job looming in the not so distant future.  I did find time to do something bike related though - got my work/waxing/bike bench built.  Haven't put up my tool board yet or sorted out where everything is going, but the big part is done. 
I also created a manageable and space saving bike storage area in the workshop as well.  Two hooks on the end?  Future purchases perhaps. . .
I'm so fugging sick of painting. I did manage to get out for a road ride last week.  26 km along Ottawa's bike paths.  It may as well have been 100 by the way I felt.  Why is it it takes so long to get fitness, but you lose it so fast!?!  Same with weight . . . I've already put on my winter insulation.
Puppies!  Two weeks and Churchill comes home.  A litter of ten, four our males, one is ours and we have second pick. This is one of the reasons I've been working like a madman - so the house is ready to go and so that I'll have more time to spend with him and training.
I've been dealing with and trying to heal some injuries that have occurred, none bike related . . . cause, I haven't been riding. I've got pulled/strained left ankle ligaments and tendons from a roll over that happened while playing ball hockey.  I have a pulled left outer bicep head - an old nagging injury that has reoccurred.  And I have a broken small bone in my right wrist which was a result of a work injury.  I thought the Fall was a time to take time away from the bike to allow it to heal. Fak.

Last year's Movember stash.
This year's.  So far I've raised $250 in support of men's health, specifically prostate cancer.  I'm particularly interested in supporting this cause as it is dear to my heart.  My Dad had prostate cancer which he beat, but ended up losing the battle to cancer later on down the road.  Please help me raise more money by visiting my donation page.  And a huge THANK YOU to all of you who have donated already.  By the way, Canada is kicking arse in money raised globally for men's health.  Whoot!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

All work

If all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy then I must be a very boring person.  Since returning from Colorado I've been on the bike once. Yes, once.  And that was 2 days after stepping off the plane an easy country road recovery ride. 

My plan was to dive head first into working on the house - painting, dry walling, a little construction, some vegetable garden preparation, winter yard work and spring preparation, hanging new interior doors . . . and the list goes on.  So, before shift, after shift and on my days off that's what I've been doing.  I've been outside mind you . . . if you consider walking to the car and driving to Home Depot exercise. 

I had the best intentions to keep a positive attitude and just get it all done before the snow flies.  However, after spending all weekend painting I'm beginning to feel a little bit like Jack - ready to fugging kill. 

Life is only going to get busier in the next few weeks as a new addition arrives to our family.  It's nearly three years since the passing of Jacks and my heart is nearly recovered.  The Peanut is getting bigger and older and we want her to experience growing up with a dog.  Come December 3rd Churchill (yes, we have the name already picked out) will be coming home.  He is a wired hair Pointing Griffon.  Bred for hunting, but they make excellent companion and family dogs.  They're also f-a-s-t and I am looking forward to him becoming my new riding buddy in the future.  Yes, life is going to be busy.

I'm still trying to sell the Niner.  It's a tough time of year to sell a high end bike.  Please help!  If you do, if you refer someone who actually ends up buying it I will pay you 10% commission (roughly forty bucks).  Funds will go to pay for a new steely ride and Project Snow-bike.