Archive for ‘60’s’

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 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 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. 

September 5, 2017

Trailie 

Long Legged Lout – another reincarnated Moto using a Triumph twin lump to power its knobbly tyres. Blacked-out engine shoehorned into a svelte twin/shock off-road frame. Wide bars steer the mile high forks whilst the rear springs allow any airborne antics to land with fair stability. I’m sure I can make room for one… 

August 24, 2017

Named

Badge – makers mark or manufactures marque. 

Recognition and Trademark are what give these motorcycle companies a dedicated following. Signage of the machine.

August 23, 2017

The details are not the details. They make the Design

B&W – beautiful ’38 Velocette KSS. This single cylinder 350cc is vintage platinum best. Kam (Camshaft) Super Sport these saw racing success in the Twenties.  It’s the same model Charles & Ray Eames sat on in this wonderful portrait.

August 22, 2017

Mr Universe

Pumping Iron – each of these were forces to be reckoned with in their day. From the ’71 BSA Rocket Three which briefly had its moment in the spotlight before Honda’s CB750 turned up on the scene. Honda’s 450 Black Bomber heralded reliability in mechanics and electrics. The scaremongering H2 Mach IV 750 from Kawasaki to quote a contemporary Moto journalist  “scarily fast, good-looking, no holds barred motorcycle”. 

Finally the grandsire of all modern superbikes Kawasaki’s Kz900. The example here was sublime in finish, a looked like its engine was straining at the seams for a good thrash along the highway. It was also for sale…

August 21, 2017

Red ‘n’ Green

On Show – there was some superb vintage cycles on show yesterday; here’s a small selection: a forest green Triumph TRW. The military 500cc side-valve developed for multi-use tasks: courier, sidecar, MP. A smart item that’ll keep service like a Sam Browne belt holding a holstered Webley revolver.


Orion’s Belt – This ’37 Ariel Red Hunter was parked up with a polished engine, gauge cluster, and high pipes. Tomato red tank accent and gold pin-stripe adds a splash of color. These were the sports bikes in the pre-war period. 


The Green Enduro – New knobbly off road tires behoove this ’68 Sachs powered Penton 125 Six-Days KTM built ‘crosser. Would be a good woods bike to hare through the forests of Michigan; which it looks like this one already does!

August 17, 2017

Red is the Tank

Cherry Pie – a year ago today we were enjoying Michigans best cherry pies in Beulah up near the  Lelanau Peninsula. Well, this fine example of a pre-unit Triumph sure is a tasty treat wrapped in pastry, a la mode. 

August 14, 2017

A Right Pair

’69 & ’72 – the two Bonnie’s looked good at The Lake Cafe in Antioch yesterday. For a nearly combined age of a hundred years they’re holding their own on the highways.

August 12, 2017

You’re nicked!

The White Saint – in the fifties and sixties the British police utilized a TR6 Triumph for speedy road duty. Standard road bike with wider ratio gearbox, single seat, radio, leg protectors and the ubiquitous blues and twos.

August 10, 2017

Lights, Camera, Action

GoPro ’63 

In the olden days if you wanted to film from the riders eyepoint a cameraman holding firmly to a Boulex 16mm whilst standing on the pillion pegs. 

August 7, 2017

Purple Tank

Photo Finish – absolute realism is created in this ultra detailed painting from the superlative hand of James Hollingsworth. https://www.neilhollingsworth.com/

Look at his other works of ordinary objects and wartime aircraft. The light on them is perfect.