April 23, 2017

Bumble Bee

Baseball Tee – here’s bike builder Bryan Thompson’s t-shirt for Steve Caballero’s Scout special. I’m ordering one to add to my ever growing tee collection.

April 22, 2017

Indian Brit

Go Skate! – Vert maestro Steve Caballero shows off his immaculate pre-unit ’52 Triumph custom with builder Bryan Thompson giving it a thumb’s up. The nostalgia oozes all over the bike: from the script tank badge and gold pinstriping, to the girder forks and saddle-maker leather seat or the leather handgrips with reversed control levers. It’s called ‘The Scout”. Good name.

April 21, 2017

Vincent Black Lightning 1952

Said Red Molly to James that’s a fine motorbike

A girl could feel special on any such like

Said James to Red Molly, my hat’s off to you

It’s a Vincent Black Lightning, 1952

And I’ve seen you at the corners and cafes it seems

Red hair and black leather, my favourite colour scheme

And he pulled her on behind

And down to Boxhill they did ride
Said James to Red Molly, here’s a ring for your right hand

But I’ll tell you in earnest I’m a dangerous man

I’ve fought with the law since I was seventeen

I robbed many a man to get my Vincent machine

Now I’m 21 years, I might make 22

And I don’t mind dying, but for the love of you

And if fate should break my stride

Then I’ll give you my Vincent to ride
Come down, come down, Red Molly, called Sergeant McRae

For they’ve taken young James Adie for armed robbery

Shotgun blast hit his chest, left nothing inside

Oh, come down, Red Molly to his dying bedside

When she came to the hospital, there wasn’t much left

He was running out of road, he was running out of breath

But he smiled to see her cry

And said I’ll give you my Vincent to ride
Says James, in my opinion, there’s nothing in this world

Beats a 52 Vincent and a red headed girl

Now Nortons and Indians and Greeveses won’t do

They don’t have a soul like a Vincent 52

He reached for her hand and he slipped her the keys

He said I’ve got no further use for these

I see angels on Ariels in leather and chrome

Swooping down from heaven to carry me home

And he gave her one last kiss and died

And he gave her his Vincent to ride

April 20, 2017

Breath Easy

Whit a Gas! – Dusty trail across a rocky Mediterranean isle. An Indian Sikh despatch rider putting on his gas mask during a 50-mile motorcycle trial in Cyprus, 3 March 1942. A well worn BSA M20. The 

April 19, 2017

Donuts!

D’oh! Homer Simpson hit the screen thirty years ago today as a short animated piece on the Tracey Ullman Show. 28 seasons and 615 episodes later it has become part of popular vernacular in today’s society. Marge, Lisa, Bart, Maggie, Santa’s Little Helper, and Snowball II. The Post Nuclear family. 

April 18, 2017

Convergence 

Vanishing Point – as the parallel lines of the road converge ahead, the shadow of trees above open up to an advancing bright spot in the country lane. The enclosing headlight nacelle of a Triumph Cubs controls pulls you along.

April 17, 2017

BikeArt

PopBangColour – Bold artwork in strong colour carried out with a confident hand. This oil pastel looking piece is as lively as an itchy wool sweater.  Just enough detail to feel real yet in a looseness to seem that the engine is ticking over.

The artists site is Here.

April 16, 2017

850 Commando

Norton – My earliest memories of motorcycles was seeing these big beautiful machines roaring around the roads. The golden bagde quiff’d across the ebony tank and the perfectly balanced assemblage of parts are burned in my mind as the ideal motorcycle. 

April 15, 2017

Spring Spin

Behind the Bars – perfect April weather today. A warm breeze wafted across northern Illinois With the engine purring like a cat. Forsythia blooming sunshine yellow and redbud dappled in complementary purple. Brushed against the Wisconsin State Line along Russell Road and swung back down along the Lake. 

April 14, 2017

Easter Egg

Louche Lady – I’m sitting in the car listening to the haunting sound of Elliot Smith and the fresh sunny April skies hint at the seasons awakening. Trees are budding in response to earlier rains. Grass smells of growth. Good Friday sits astride Spring from a receding chill with the promises of warmth ahead. Hope I can get out on the bike this weekend.

April 13, 2017

Bicycle made for twenty one

And it’s goodnight from him – Ronnie Barker is captain of this endless tandem passengers by other bowler hatted riders as well as Blue Peter favorites John Noakes and Lesley Judd. The front end is definitely motorcycle rated and the structural truss frame very engineered. This was October 5th 1972. The Vigintipede (21) was used by Littlehampton Rotary Club to raise money for the RNLI and the Blue Peter lifeboat. 

April 12, 2017

Cinq Moto

50-59-68-72-06-16 Five of the Best. From Ed Turners Speed Twin, through the original Bonneville’s of the late fifties, sixties, and early seventies; to the New Century Bonnie’s right up to the latest Twins. 500cc’s up to 1200. 

April 11, 2017

Flat Tracker

Screenprint- artist Ryan Quickfall has some evocative motorcycle illustrations. Go to his site Here. This particular one is of AMA great Gary Nixon. 

April 10, 2017

Le Moto Paris

Place de la Concorde – a vintage gathering Gallic style. As well as some older Citroen, Mercedes, deux chevaux there is the odd British bike. 

April 9, 2017

War is Past

Century – A private of the Royal Engineers on his motorcycle. The chevrons on his lower right sleeve show he is in his third year of overseas service… One Hundred years ago today saw the start of a British offensive at Arras which, by its end a little over a month later saw close to 400,000 losses and casualties on both sides. The motorcycle is a wartime stalwart Triumph Model H.

Edward Thomas a notable wartime poet was killed in action this day. His work extolled the virtues of the English countryside and its invigorating open airs. One of my bosses twenty years ago was the godson of Thomas’ nephew, born in May 1918 he was named after his uncle. 

“And I rose up, and knew that I was tired, and continued my journey”