Sunday, May 31
...it would be this one. It's so... right. Built by Mike D (check out the fantastically entertaining 'Born Loser' blog, linked right).
New owner Damon let us shoot it for the mag a few issues back.
Friday, May 29
I took my boy to the UK's National Railway Museum today. I'm not a train freak: it was always cars and bikes with me, but the design of some of these locomotives is unbelievable. And it's not often you get to see fabulous design on this scale.
This bike was campaigned by Modesto Harley-Davidson in 1970-71. It's owned now by Ron Sabey, and features early Cal product heavy duty cases with steel oil pan. Motor is 112", with 454 Chevy heads that were dissected by a chop saw! Thanks to Dr Sprocket for the photo.
Thursday, May 28
You know, when Dean and Matt first started their mag, I was cynical. I thought they were cashing in on a culture (kulture?) I was passionate about. I'd been into modified old Harleys for years, and felt prickly about people I felt who were outside that scene doing a mag about it.
How wrong I was. These talented blokes have not only gone from strength to strength with the quality of their magazine, but they've created a unique voice and a brand for DicE that many highly paid marketing departments would kill their grandmothers for. If they hadn't paid their bike-riding dues at the beginning, they sure as hell have now. They're a fully integrated part of the custom biking culture – inside, looking out. Not only that, but Matt D has proved to be generous with his advice to a fellow-mag maker.
I just hope they don't start writing grown up features or I really will have to give up this publishing lark...
A couple of things that I read yesterday made me wonder whether the world we inhabit as gearheads is about to end.
First, GM are facing bankrupty, and the news is that all GM manufacturing and sales staff will lose their jobs. I own a GM vehicle, so it's not great news for me either.
Second, the Isle of Man TT will run its first ever zero-emissions class this year. Battery and hydrogen-powered bikes will complete one circuit of the Island.
What's going to happen to the cars and sickles we all build and ride/drive?
As Fraser used to say in 'Dad's Army', "we're doooomed!".
Wednesday, May 27
It's terrible, this Internet thing. I should be sitting here at my desk, laying out issue 10, contacting advertisers, checking on shipping etc etc, and instead I'm checking people's Blogs, looking at old photos and generally doing fuck all.
Remember this from issue 3? Thanks Mochi, you rule!
Tuesday, May 26
I like punk and I like Sham
I got nicked over at West Ham
I'm a fool, I guess it's true
For all I know, I'll be in the back with you
In a Police Car! Police Car! Police Car! Police Car!
Police come in one hour later
They've been looking for a guy named Freddy Jesper
Show me my freedom, they know I lie
For all we knew, we were going for a ride
In the back of a Police Car! Police Car!
Police Car! Police Car!
Monday, May 25
Before you answer, consider this. Dan 'Bacon' Carr rode this super-cool homebuilt Knuck 12,000 miles over a number of months, around the USA, with nothing more significant than a broken belt to hold him up. At one point he rode 1000 miles from Ontario, Canada to Charlotte NC. Then he rode another 1800 miles to Sturgis... in under two days. On a rigid, jockey-shift, 70 year-old motorcycle.
Dan's a hero; and a nice guy too, genuine and humble. I spoke to him last night for the feature on his Knuck (photo by Josh Kurpius) in issue 10. He's just having fun, building and riding old bikes.
So, are you a real biker? After talking to Dan, I know I'm not!
Sunday, May 24
Friday, May 22
Thursday, May 21
I like 45s ... the only reason I've never investigated owning one is because I doubt Harley's little sidevalve could trnasport my muscular bulk at more than walking pace. But there's no doubt, they're super-cool.
This one is Roger Mune's, from the UK. See more of it in a future issue.
I've always been interested in T.E. Lawrence, especially in relation to the Brough Superiors he owned. He had seven in all, and had actually ordered his eighth when he died. Lawrence named each bike 'Boa George' with a consecutive number. He died on 'Boa George VII' exactly 74 years ago this month. Boa is short for 'Boanerges', or 'sons of thunder'.
George Brough repaired the lightly damaged 'Boa George VII' himself after the fatal accident.
Wednesday, May 20
I think I've used that cheesy headline for anything Italy-related in the mag so far ... lazy writer! But in this case, it's forgiveably apt, as we have been kindly invited by the lovely Alberto of Sinners Europe to his bash on the beach near Venice in July. Yes, it IS a job (and I won't say 'but someone has to do it').
Gallons of Peroni, good friends, nice bikes? I can't wait.
So Jeff Baer is out on his bike around Jersey and a friend asks him about the sticker, looks up the mag, then becomes a happy subscriber! They work!
We'll have some more soon: if you've got some of the first batch, we're not making any more of those designs, so save any unused ones for eBay in 50 years!
I don't care about our furniture, but I really hope all my collectible crap survives the long journey in a container from Oz. Here's another of my old Britains models – a pretty cool Triumph with a nod to Rocker style; note the skull and crossbones sticker on the rider's back.
Tuesday, May 19
I got an email from another Aussie pal of mine, Matt, whose brown Triumph you may remember from a recent issue. He's just finished this flattrack-inspired Triumph which he's caning around the streets of Sydney. Looks very thrashable.
Monday, May 18
How good a photographer is this guy? I've admired his work for a while now, and am stoked to have him shoot a piece fro GK. This is Bacon's Knuck; he's a well known character in chopping circles, and I was interested to see both he and Josh on the 'Free to Wander' DVD. I know this bike appeared in another mag, but I think it's worth revisiting ... with a more in-depth story and some fabulous shots. In issue 10!
I haven't been bikeless for more than a few months since I was a kid, so it's rough not having something to lay my spanners on right now. I miss Pankenstein, and I miss my buddies in Sydney.
This shot was taken by my friend Wasko. It was a snap from the day he shot the bike for 'Ozbike', but I like the contrast between the mural and the building in front of me.
It's been a tough few months, but finally we have a house, our dogs have arrived from Oz (with no jetlag; do dogs get jetlag?) and I'm online again. I'm also geting my shit together to answer emails, fulfil orders, get the new issue out and generally get back to being the consummately professional publisher I was before we moved, ha ha.
Anyway, thanks for your patience, and here's another sneaky peek at one of issue 10's treasures: Michael Nash's Triumph. Schweet!