Tuesday, April 28

Hank 'Blackie' Bernal

You may have seen this link before on other Blogs, but if you haven't, check out the great photos (many from Bonneville Salt Flats) of Blackie Bernal and friends: the website was created as tribute to this pioneering speed merchant by his grandson.

Monday, April 27

Arsenal revival

Haven't had much to do with motorcycles recently, what with trying to sort the family's life out after leaving Australia. I've already got lots of cool stuff lined up for issue 10, and I'm hoping the GK online store will be back up and running again soon (I have the back issues here, just sorting out a distributor), but with no bike at the moment other things are filling my (limited) leisure time.

Anyway, one thing I have found time to do is go to the football, or more specifically, the Arsenal. I was born only a couple of miles from Highbury, the team's original ground, and so they were naturally my team, though I was never a rabid supporter. I remember as a kid them winning the double in '71 though (yes, I'm that old) and since coming back to the UK have seen them a few times (my brother in law is a season ticket holder). It's an interest that's been revived in me, and I love the tradition, ritual and excitement of going to the games.

At the FA Cup semi-final recently, I was lucky enough to get a ticket at the new Wembley Stadium, and though Aresnal lost to London rivals Chelsea, it was a great day. Booze before and after the game, the songs and chants ("Shit club, no his-tory, shit club, no his-tory" sung to the tune of Pet Shop boys' 'Go West' at the Chelsea fans), the constant undercurrent of violence... there's nothing like it. If you're not from the UK, this will mean absolutely nothing to you!

Friday, April 24

Nice to see U

James, a Brit with a shop in Copenhagen (via Seattle) built this neat 1200cc flathead. Check the details (the pic's big) ... nice! It'll be in issue 10.

Tuesday, April 21

Von Daz... moving!

More of Von Daz's supercharged Trump. A great example of Aussie engineering ingenuity!

Diesels are slow?

A guy called Alan McDonald sent me this. Pretty radical!

"This rod is made from a 1928 Dodge body, with a Cummins turbo-charged, nitrous-injected diesel motor... the owner and builder is Steve Darnell of Billings, MT - a real personality!"

Thursday, April 16

Bust yer knuckles on this

If you read the mag, you'll be familiar with Jeff Baer's bikes - he resurrects some of the coolest knucks and flatheads you'll see, using original parts and lashings of crusty patina.

Now Jeff has a Blog where you can check out his latest builds and old photos (see the pic of the '41 he's currently putting together below), so check it out:


Wednesday, April 15

Drink beer and carry on

The best thing about coming back to the UK is being able to while away hours in a traditional pub, drinking proper pints of proper ale.

And that's exactly what I was doing yesterday with me old mucker Pat in The Ship on Wardour Street in Soho. As the hours and pints went by, we bemoaned the state of the economy and the fact it is forcing hundreds of UK pubs to close every week.

It's a problem close to our hearts, but Pat is doing something positive to raise awreness of our publicans' plight and try to stoke up some wartime, stiff-upper-lipped defiance of the bleak outlook. These tees are the result. So if you like a tipple and want to show your solidarity with your British drinking brothers, go here:


Supercharged issue 10 ....

Remember Von Daz's supercharged Triumph street tracker? Well Wasko got some nice snaps of it this weekend, and so it will be gracing the pages of issue 10, oh yes siree. The term 'rad' is one of the most overused in bike circles, but this thing is truly, genuinely RAD.

I know, I know, most people still can't get hold of issue 9 (the GK shop will open soon!) but there's no harm in looking to the future, eh?

Friday, April 10

Hey it's Nate (again!)

I have a rule that I won't put anything in the mag that I wouldn't park in my own garage ... something other (mainstream) bike mags could never claim.

But of course out of all these sublime rides, I have favourites. One recent cover bike that I loved was Nate's XLCH, Miss Piggy (issue 7), and here's the follow-up, in progress. Sporty front brake, that cool signature seat and rabbit ear bars ... can't wait to see this spot-on Pan in the mag!

Alberto, shot by Roger

When I first moved to Australia 8 years ago, I met a guy called Roger Chambers who'd been around bikes and the bike scene for many years, and we became firm friends.

He now lives in Italy (which means we'll get to catch up more often now!) and shoots lots of cool stuff for GK as well as other Euro bike mags. If you saw Alberto's flathead (previously Corner's bike) in the current issue, this image will be familiar. Roger met up with Alberto again recently and shot some great images for a top-secret project. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 6

My Panhead on YouTube

Posted by the new owner. At least he gives me credit for building the thing (even though my good friend Buzz should take the lion's share of the credit for fabrication).

I miss it!

Riding a Guzzi Cali... anonymously

As you may have gathered, nothing remotely interesting has happened since we came back to the UK. We still have nowhere to live, no cash, and I have an increasingly demanding 14 month-old and a 7-month pregnant wife not far behind. In fact, it's a nightmare.

On the plus side, some very cool material is lined up for issue 10, and I got a bit of a ride in today on one of my brother's many Italian bikes. He's a proper bike journo, and wanted to test his new Canon 40D, so we went to a country lane nearby and I rode his early 70s Guzzi California round the same bend a few times so he could get his eye in. None of my riding gear is here yet, so I had to wear his full face Arai and Barbour (ho ho!).

I tried to add a bit of interest by messing up his shots doing stupid stuff. As you can see, it didn't add that much interest at all, but it was slightly better than looking at my dwindling bank balance and the grey skies.

Wednesday, April 1

True LIFE again

I love suddenly coming across bike and biker images from the sixties I've never seen before, and these come from the LIFE magazine archive. Dunno about you, but I can't get enough of them, and check every detail on the bikes, every detail of the clothes, absorbing and trying to pinpoint what these original trailblazing outlaws were doing.

Hatch as ever was the source for these amazing images, so to get the 'secret access code' to these and many more, check out his post on the Jockey Journal.