Archive for April, 2017

April 30, 2017

Half a Century ago

Fifty Years – like some scene from MadMen here’s the brochure from a New England showroom a guy and his gal out for some fresh air. Precision, Power, Performance… the cards were on the table though. Honda’s sublime 750 was on the drawing board in Japan ready for release and two-wheeled domination in ’69. 

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April 29, 2017

Triple Power

Cubed – when Triumph emerged from the near fatal flatline in the nineties they used a modular engine design that could be shoehorned into different models. Good sturdy machines that still hold their own on the road. The Adventurous Tiger, rippled Speed Triple, and a speedy Sprint offered a British badged moto with doughty engineering.

April 28, 2017

Greaser Gal 

Taming Tigers – a cheery lass on her fifties Triumph enjoying the scene at some rockers reunion. All stylin’ in turnipped denims, James Dean shades, bouquet in curly hair, Bakelite bangles. 

April 27, 2017

Nib Nab 

Pen & Ink – fine illustration of a vintage racing Triumph twin with a line very much like some etching plate drawing. By Martin Squires. 

April 26, 2017

Tuesday to Thursday

Chopper Wednesday – we haven’t had a long-fork special for a while, so to get us over hump day here’s a stretched wheelbase Triumph rumbling down the highway, sunward bound. 

April 25, 2017

Two-Wheeled Philosophy 

Zen & Now – one of most seminal books to some out of the seventies Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974) by Robert M. Pirsig became the “On The Road”of its Day. Written as an odyssey of the mind and the search for inner balance it uses a real journey with his son on a Honda CB77 Superhawk 305 from Minnesota to San Francisco. Pirsig, who died yesterday aged 88, sought the metaphysics of Quality, and questioned “what is good?” The motorcycle is the ideal forum for this exploration; be it a vintage cycle or newer moto. 

April 24, 2017

Meme Moto

True Words – 

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.