Tag Archives: MX-5.net

Miatas at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Bucket List

After compiling a list of all of my recent MX-5 Miata Road Trips I realized there’s one event I really must add to my bucket list: the Miatas at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca happening this October.

Why is this an important event?

I could think of a bunch of reasons… for one, Laguna Seca is a fantastic facility and a home of Mazda Motorsports and Mazdaspeed activities. The Global MX-5 Cup championship opened at Laguna Seca last weekend. California is perhaps the best place to own a Miata or at the very least a very appropriate place to visit, cruising to Big Sur along the PCH with the top down. And the best part there would be hundreds if not thousands of fellow MX-5 nuts in attendance many of whom would drive their cars there while others like me would be able to fly in and possibly rent one.

I’m seriously considering doing this event one year!

Here’s the promo pitch:

Miatas at Mazda Raceway has established itself as one of the must-do events on the Miata calendar. Don’t miss out.
The event will take place on October 1-2, 2016.
Registration for the hot laps will open at 9 am PDT on May 21st.
We’re still working on details, but here’s what you can probably expect.
  • 2 days of track time at world famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
  • Hundreds of Miatas and Miata enthusiasts of all types
  • Parade laps on Saturday and Sunday
  • Vendors on hand with displays and demos and product specials
  • A BBQ and car show on Friday night
  • A party with live band on Saturday night

http://www.miatasatmazdaraceway.com/

https://www.facebook.com/MiatasatMRLS/

miatas at mazda raceway laguna seca october 2016

Mazda MX-5: Polar Bear Run Cruising Rural Pennsylvania with the LVMOC on New Year’s Day

What a way to start the new year: January 1st and I’m off on my first Polar Bear Run with the Las Vegas Miata Owners Club… no wait, I mean Lehigh Valley Miata Owners Club… cruising the rural country roads of PA. Somewhere on the outskirts of Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch country, saw plenty of horse buggy warning signs along the way. It was an absolutely awesome experience, I really thoroughly enjoyed myself!

I saw a post on Miata.net in late December inviting people to join the LVMOC group for a “Polar Bear” run in eastern Pennsylvania just outside of Allentown (about two hours drive from where I live in NJ). But after being shaken down for money at the last “club” event I went to with a different group I was a little weary considering this event. But decided to give it a go. And I’m glad I did. The turnout was amazing, about 26 cars showed up… some Miata owners didn’t actually bring their cars relying on their winter vehicles like Subaru WRX’s or Mini Coopers, but the rest came out in force and drove around with the top down. (Something I completely chickened out to do myself… especially with the trip coming up to Australia, I cannot afford to get sick).

I left my home bright and early, just before 7am thinking I’d make it to the meeting spot at Cracker Barrel in Folgelsville, PA in time to have breakfast before the meet and cruise. I got there way early. Absolutely no traffic on the roads that early on New Year’s Day. Although I had a freaky encounter with a Subaru BRZ that blew past me on Interstate 80 in New Jersey. About 100 yards after he passed me, his rear window blew out and shattered on the highway. I could hear the little glass bouncing off the tires on my undercarriage. Freaky… to say the least.

At the Polar Bear Run there were no bad experiences. It was a very light traffic day being a holiday and we stayed as a group mostly while cruising together along the rural roads. I was very impressed with the condition of the roads, very minimal pot holes and in general a smooth ride. In a way the roads reminded me of New Zealand roads like those leading from Auckland to Taupo for example,  very twisty and lots of elevation changes with beautiful scenery along the way. We passed plenty of farm land, many corn fields, a few wineries and vineyards. It was just great!

The total run was about 75 miles long. That’s in addition to the 106 miles it took me to get to the meeting spot and another 108 or so to get back. The low fuel light came on about 10 miles from home. I went straight to my BP gas station and the car only took 9.8 gallons and $20 bux. Which is quite cheap for such a trip. The transmission, brakes and engine got a really good work out, and my new BFG Comp 2 A/S’s got a great scrubbing too.

We stopped at Hawk Mountain Bird & Wildlife Sanctuary for a group photo (and a much needed pee break). So enjoy some fotos:

polar bear run lvmoc hawk mountain 1

polar bear run lvmoc hawk mountain 2

polar bear run lvmoc hawk mountain 3

polar bear run lvmoc hawk mountain 4

polar bear run lvmoc hawk mountain 5

polar bear run lvmoc hawk mountain 6

polar bear run lvmoc hawk mountain 7

polar bear run lvmoc hawk mountain 8

polar bear run lvmoc hawk mountain 9

polar bear run lvmoc hawk mountain 10

polar bear run lvmoc hawk mountain 11

polar bear run lvmoc hawk mountain 13

polar bear run lvmoc hawk mountain 12

I would love to do another event like this in the future!

And some more photos from the meeting point at Cracker Barrel:

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 1

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 2

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 3

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 4

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 5

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 6

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 7

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 8

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 9

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 13

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 10

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 11

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 12

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 14

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 15

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 16

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 17

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 18

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 19

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 20

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 21

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 22

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 23

polar bear run lvmoc pennsylvania 24

One car I was particularly interested in checking out was the Niseko Edition – the Icy Blue special edition NC1 Miata. It was also nice to see the Marble White NC1 Miata in direct comparison to the Crystal Mica Pearl NC3 which was also in attendance. So many beautiful cars showed up, it was great to see all the variety… I always focus on NC’s but even with NB’s there were several shades of light blue which I really liked. What a great time! Can’t believe so many people showed up in the heart of winter… in January!

Mazda MX-5: Oil Change at 5,000 miles with Mobil 1 Synthetic 0W-20 & M1-102 filter

File this one under the: “what have you done to your Miata today” category. I changed my oil. It was exactly 5,000 miles since the last service in April, at 37,297 miles which included several 400-500+ mile road trips Upstate New York to Watkins Glen and New England to Thompson Speedway. In fact my father and I changed the oil on both the old Ford Explorer SUV and the Miata, and I mention the Explorer for a reason, because I want to use a different oil the next time I do my service, one that doesn’t turn so dark so quickly.

mazda mx-5 miata oil change mobil 1 synthetic 1

I got a hell of a deal December of last year when walking into a local AutoZone I found a 5-QT jug of Mobil 1 on sale for $5. I bought two. This is the second jug being used. I was reading all about Mobil 1 on Miata.net, and so many people swear by it, but I don’t see what the big deal is, especially when you consider paying the full price which is typically around $27 to $35 depending on the store. The oil turned dark at only 5k miles, about the same shade of dark as the Explorer’s standard Pennzoil 10W-40 at 4k miles, and it’s not synthetic. The feel is about the same on the Miata as on the Explorer. Maybe I had unreasonable expectations for the feel from the Mobil 1.

mazda mx-5 miata oil change mobil 1 synthetic 5

mazda mx-5 miata oil change mobil 1 synthetic 4

mazda mx-5 miata oil change mobil 1 synthetic 3
Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy “Recommended for most Hondas and Toyotas”

But at any rate I think I’ll try something else in the spring time to at least make a comparison for myself. I will stick with 0W-20 weight and full synthetic, but will change the brand.

The options are:

Pennzoil Platinum or Ultra Platinum

pennzoil platinum 0w-20 or ultra platinum 5w-20

Castrol EDGE or Castrol EDGE Extended Performance

castrol edge 0w-20 or castrol edge extended performance 5w-20

I’m also thinking of replacing the Mobil 1 M1-102 oil filter with a K&N version, which seems like it’d be easier to install and remove when the time comes with the wrench instead of trying to work in a tight space the way it is now. The nut seems like a great idea. The filter goes for around $10 to $15 apiece, available at Walmart but probably the most reasonably priced at Moss Miata – $9.95

K&N HP-1002 oil filter

mazda mx-5 miata K&N oil filter HP-1002 k-n

So if anyone has any personal experience with the products I’ve listed above or some other products that I haven’t considered, like for example the $37 a jug Royal Purple synthetic oil, do share your thoughts… please! I would especially be interested to hear from people with a NC Miata so I can base my decisions on something concrete. A real world experience, like I got from Jason for example, Stevie – his 2009 Miata gets Pennzoil Platinum + K&N filter changed on an 8,000 mile interval. That’s impressive!

hello stevie 1 mx-5 miata

Oh yes, besides the recommendations on facebook and Miata.net I am a sucker for Motorsport advertising, hence the BFGoodrich tires for my Miata just like the BFGoodrich sponsored MX-5 Cup series cars (tires might be different but whatever). So which cars use what oil in what series? Well, this Mazda comes to mind using Castrol:

lone star le mans 6 hr of the circuit of the americas 17

& this car in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge using Total:

2015 petit le mans continental tire sports car challenge mx-5 miata

Mazda MX-5: JDM “Roadster” badge

My JDM Mazda “Roadster” badge has arrived from Japan.

A few weeks ago I was contemplating whether to get a JDM Roadster badge for the rear decklid of my car, see this post: To “Roadster” or Not to “Roadster”? As much as I couldn’t justify spending close to $30 bux for a plastic badge, almost double what I paid for a Mazda badge I got earlier to stick on the inside of the car (check out this post: Personal touches to my Miata) I went ahead and ordered it. The price was only a few cents different to buy from an American seller in California and getting the real deal from Japan. I chose the Japanese option, a company called Amayama which billed my PayPal account through their Singapore HQ apparently.

But anyway, fast forward to today, I went and picked up the giant EMS shipping envelope. Had to go to the post office because I wasn’t home when the box arrived last week. It was meticulously packed and nothing was damaged, so it was well worth the $13 in shipping.

roadster 1

roadster 1a

roadster 2a

To mount the badge I had to wash the few inches of dust off the car from the Watkins Glen Road trip. And then the “MAZDA” debadging begun. There was some residue that was left when I peeled the original badge off. But with some serious rubbing using an Alcohol swab and Windex, it came off nicely.

I couldn’t initially decide where to mount the badge.

roadster 6

On the right where it appears in Japan instead of the MX-5 badge.

roadster 7

In the center like some folks on Miata.net have done.

roadster 5

Or on the left instead of the Mazda badge which looks a bit odd.

roadster 2

And that’s what I ended up doing. The Mazda badge looks a bit out of place where it is. So much so that later NC2 and NC3 miatas came without it on the trunk lid. Only the MX-5 badge appears. So I was happy to remove it.

The final result looks awesome, in my view:

roadster 3

roadster 4

roadster 4a

roadster 4b

The car is further personalized to my tastes, and I like it very much!

roadster 4c