September 20, 2017

On Patrol 

Vietnam – there is currently a phenomenal documentary on PBS by Ken Burns about the dreadful conflict in south west Asia during the sixties. Though mostly fought on foot through dense jungle, of from helicopters, here are some images and information about the use of some lightweight motorcycles utilized for single-track reconnaissance…

You Meet The Nicest People On the Trails of War Zone C

TAY NINH – Like Hell’s Angeles, the Rat Patrol, and the Wild Ones all rolled into one, the Reconnaissance Patrol of the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry Regulars prowls War Zone C with 175-cc motorcycles leading the rest of the patrol.

The four motorcycles were introduced into the patrol by the Regulars’ battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Carmichael, who wanted a fast and efficient way for his reconnaissance element to investigate the swarm of trails that twist through the marshes and jungles of what used to be a reliable sanctuary for enemy troops.

“Knowing where the enemy is not is almost as good as knowing where he is,” Carmichael says. “This mobile unit can cover a great deal of territory in a very short time, which enables us to gain information on the whereabouts of the enemy.

In addition to the motorcycles, the reconnaissance unit includes Rat Patrol Type vehicles equipped with machine guns.

Patrol Leader First Lieutenant Stephen Campbell, Falls Church, Va., takes his men out at dawn every morning, with the flack jacket, crash helmet-clad cyclists leading the way. The unit has already uncovered several mortar and rocket sites used by enemy forces.

Major Jospeh Hacia, the Regulars’ executive officer, is convinced of the value of using the motorcycles. “At first I was very leery of the whole idea, but now I am confident it was a good one,” Hacia says. “Recon has provided us with valuable information which normally we would not have.”

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September 19, 2017

Dealer

Repairs under Warranty – that’s what was behind the dealers doors in the 70’s. Poor management, product, and development back in the U.K. Meant shiploads of Bonneville’s, Trophy’s, and Tridents were sent ‘Statesward in various levels of quality… the red overlay hints at the bloodshed that was to be… well as they said back then: “You meet the nicest people on a Honda!”

September 18, 2017

Three is the Magic Number 

Triptych- I’m starting to put feelers out for a project. This time instead of a rebuild using a plethora of parts from all points of the compass I’d like to start with a solid mostly original titled bike that runs and do a clean restoration to make it more Show-worthy. These Triumph triple Tridents seem like a worthy undertaking.

September 17, 2017

Parthenocissus tricuspidata

Ivy League – dusted-off and kicked the wee green tiger to life earlier today. Took it along a few alleys and around a couple of parking lots. It’s a friendly little thumper that is light to maneuver in tight turns and when bumpy undertire. Need to plan for a trip to some off-road facility to get it around a trail, over a dune, or through some woods.

September 16, 2017

A Door Ajar

When is a Triumph not a Triumph? When it’s a Kawasaki KZ400… some youth punk has blacked-out his little twin; draped an old anorak over the back as a saddle; and daubed the Triumph logo across its tank in red, the modern Hinckley logo mind you! Like some Lisbeth Salander (she with the Dragon Tattoo) heap- it’s both goth and grunge. 

September 15, 2017

NYPD

Need a Light? Urban roadster gal with Big Apple attitude looks ready to take on the Upper East Side with a new vintage Bonneville in black ‘n’ grey. Ripped stockings, pearly Chuck Taylor’s and a Spade badged lid complete the Biker chick look.

September 15, 2017

Built for Speed

Donkey & Horse – “The story with the next one will be much more interesting. Built up as a road racer in 1973 with the best stuff available. Never finished and sat for 43 years. Now I get to finish it. New Trackmaster frame, trick motor, Magnesium wheels, Cieriani forks, Hunt plasma sprayed aluminum rotors, Lockheed calipers, Fontana master cyl, TR2 Yamaha tank and seat. It’s gonna be awesome!!! ” Richard Pollock (Mule Motorcycles)

September 13, 2017

mule

The Dog’s Pollocks – SoCal bike builder extraordinaire Richard Pollock Can conjure up a mean moto. He puts his able hands to many models but the tracker Triumphs are his most sublime offerings in my opinion. Tight geometry that will direct the riders control with immediacy; engines that have been fettled to a symphonic tune; and exotic frame elements, such as the 70’s Panther oil-in-frame & under-braced swingarm; all make for Mule badged machine.  A Pegasus Burro.

September 12, 2017

Pygoscelis adeliae

Penguin – in the Antarctic realm all around you is white… so you have to bring your color with you. Here’s resourceful aussie Frank Scaysbrook with his 350 Velocette, Adele, the sledding malamute, and a nonplussed Adélie penguin on his lap. Location is the research base at Mawson, in Wilkes Land, Australian Antarctic Territory 1968

September 11, 2017

Summit

Mountain View – September is a good month to be in the hills: lush flanks with a promise of snow on the rugged peaks. A curvy road and distant views. Full tank of gas, sunglasses, and no immediate place to be…

September 10, 2017

Italian Geordie

Bellissima! – a fun errand today. Some very good friends celebrated a double 50th birthday and their 20th anniversary together. As part of the event we had to shuttle a few of his ‘cycles to the venue. I plumped for the Ducati Hypermotard . It was like taking a thoroughbred racehorse for a trot… eager to rapidly go fast… and able to stop on a dime. 

September 9, 2017

…going thrice; sold!

“I don’t believe it!” – the catchphrase of character Victor Meldrew from 90’s sit-com One Foot in the Grave. An ornery old got played perfectly by Scottish actor Richard Wilson who can be seen here on a ’93 Triumph Trident for a publicity shot of a TV show ‘Under the Hammer” about a London auction house. Back then this was the best way to zip about the Big Smoke.

September 8, 2017

Tunnel Vision

Go towards the Light – Friday night and the weekend is here… put your hair down and let it wave in the breeze as your scoot zooms along the sun drenched lanes.

September 7, 2017

Bic Bike 

Dean’s Doodle – riding buddy’s post-weekend scribble on his desk notepad. Obviously reminiscing about a weekend ride when jotting down tasks for the week ahead! 

September 6, 2017

This’ll keep yer busy!

The Projection – lost under a tarpaulin for several decades here’s a suitable time and money sink. Complete of sorts and a bit of a mongrel with a Beeza pre-unit chassis and similar vintage Triumph engine. It needs elbow grease, vision and moderately deep pockets.