Monday, December 29
I kind of see the gnarly old dudes' point of view when they laugh at us discussing whether Bates seats or headlights have the original stickers on them. But I share the Japanese guys' fascination with the way these original little remnants link us to a cooler past and a fascinating history. I'll have to remove, laminate and frame this one when I run the fender. (Joke).
I'm starting to sort through all my shit to try to get it packed, so I'm coming across mags and books I haven't looked at in a while.
The 'Observer's' series of books were essential reading for kids like me – and this was my favourite (dated 1976). But no wonder I never spotted this Electra Glide – it's apparently an 'FLX'!
Hope everyone had a good Christmas! I hate Christmas, as I hate most things, but in the best British tradition made the best of it sitting in a friend's swimming pool in 30 degree heat, supping a few beers. He drank his way around Europe (with one of those gift cases of Euro beers; he didn't know we call Stella 'Wife Beater' in England; in Oz a 'Wife Beater' is a singlet, or vest). I, meanwhile, drank my way around Oz (with my gift case of Aussie beers, all of which tasted the same).
The Panhead has now gone to new owner Julian, and all I have left is a 50-weight map of where the bike has wet-sumped during its four years in my garage.
So what's next? Well, everything from my welder to my workbench to my bunch of old helmets is going on Ebay before the move to the UK, but I'm keeping a few bits whose cells will hopefully meld, divide and create my new project. I'm diggin' SU carbs again, so I'm keeping this nice example for the next bike, and I've been waiting for the right moment to use my clean-as-a-whistle NOS Wassell chrome fender. I'll decide which tank to use once I have a frame and engine.
So it's back to dreaming and sucking up inspiration.
Sunday, December 21
I met photographer Mark Mawson through the advertising work I'm involved with. He's another Brit living in Sydney, and although he usually does commercial photography, he took my picture for a book of portraits he's producing as a side project. He also took a snap of me leaving on the Pan as a memento – thanks Mark!
This was my last ride on 'Pankenstein'. I sold it on Egay ... and it's going to its new owner this week. This was the perfect last journey into the city: beautiful weather, and the bike ran faultlessly.
Saturday, December 20
Wednesday, December 17
Tuesday, December 16
Matt's a really nice guy, and a talented fabricator (amongst other pursuits). Here's a little preview of a neat Pan he's just put together, which we'll have in the mag soon. Plus a reminder of the cool Norton he built a few years back (you may have seen it in DicE magazine – one of my favourite customs from Oz).
Monday, December 15
I'm one of those bores who doesn't tolerate anyone with different musical taste to me. I was packing mags today feeling like a cretin on work experience, and listening to 'Cretin Hop'. If you don't have a copy of 'Rocket to Russia' I can't – as Ralph Fiennes said – pardon you.
Friday, December 12
So here's the second spread from the Ozbike feature on my Panhead (see part 1 below).
I thought I'd try to sell the bike (to finance our trip back to Blighty) and use the mag feature as a selling point, so I put the word out and stuck the bike on eBay.
Now I'm a pretty straight talking bloke, so I'm always amazed at the stuff that comes out of the mouths of the dreamers you attract, like moths to a flame, when you advertise something like this. "I'll buy it off you" said one guy, then found he didn't have the funds when it came to the crunch. "I definitely want it" said another, before trying to negotiate on the already attractive no-reserve price. "You're talking to the new owner!" gushed another bloke, then ignored my emails when he was actually offered the bike.
It seems so simple to me. You want it? Let's see the cash. Job done.
I can see I'll be shipping it back to the UK; not the best move for my finances, but at least I won't have to deal with any more tyre kickers and wannabes.
Thursday, December 11
Tuesday, December 9
Friday, December 5
I'm having another FTW afternoon. And today's soundtrack to my feelings of antipathy and aggression towards 99% of mankind is Anti Nowhere League's classic 'So What?'. I'm old enough to be a better person, so how come I'm still as angry as I was when I was 13? I love it.
Thursday, December 4
Monday, December 1
So my mate Roger moved with his lady to Italy, and now he gets to shoot all the cool Italian choppers for the mag! He said Blaster is a gent ... and I don't have to tell you how cool his Pan is. It's in the latest issue, no.8, and you can read why Ed Roth called him 'our Italian connection'...