Saturday, October 31

A ride to Dracula's hometown




Pete and I decided to ride out to the coast today. We headed for Whitby, inspiration for and home to Dracula in Bram Stoker's novel. Stoker was drawn to this North Yorkshire fishing village, and though it's pretty it's also definitely a little creepy. (I'd be able to show you, but left the camera at home).

As a bonus (it's Halloween of course) we arrived in the middle of the annual Whitby Goth weekend, and watched whole families of Goths parading along the seafront, and pale Goth girls being photographed lying on gravestones in the churchyard, which sits high on the bleak hill overlooking the harbour.

It was a strange day: two 50s bikes in the middle of crowds of 80s Goths celebrating a 1900s novel and a 0000s pagan festival.

And I forgot how filthy you get on muddy country tracks with no front fender.

Friday, October 30

48 U from Italy



Gianni from Firenze sent me these photos of his '48 big inch flathead, looking like it's about to rumble into Hollister.

Sorry I didn't get to see you in Jesolo my friend, but after flying over as guests with a suitcase full of mags and stickers, we didn't fancy hanging around when we discovered there wasn't even a table set up for us...

Don't think that would happen in Japan.

Wednesday, October 28

Mindsnapping perfection


John Edwards is a nice guy with an astounding motorcycle. Hearing about the thought and deliberation that went into the creation of this '52 Pan makes me admire it all the more.

Check out Mark Kawakami's stunning new shots of the bike in GK issue 12. Thanks John, it was an absolute pleasure and education talking to you.

Tuesday, October 27

'48 Pan 4 sale with one drawback...

...it's in Oz.

But I know there are lots of Aussies out there looking at this, so one of you is bound to snap this lovely little EL up. Built by Matt at Machine who built my favourite custom Norton ever. He knows what he's doing.

You can contact him here.

Simo's Scout


Simo's a lucky blighter...he owns this handsome Scout bob-job, as well as a Harley VL bobber, a couple of other Scouts (including a Wall of Death bike) and numerous Triumphs...

We'll be bringing you the Scout vs VL feature in a future issue. In the meantime, enjoy this rather fine portrait of Simo's Indian taken by Johnny R at the Hot Rod Drags in September.

Monday, October 26

Vintage Trump & BSA scrapbook




These are pretty cool if you're a parallel twin fan... Mortons the publisher have dug into their vast archives to produce these scrapbooks of factory and publicity shots. There's a book covering BSA, Triumph and Norton... lots of stuff here I hadn't seen.

Sunday, October 25

Saturday, October 24

60s Outlaw photos from the original negs

Just got a press release about this, the second book of 60s photos by Jim "Flash" Miteff who was a member of the Outlaws MC. These photos were compiled by his daughter, and if the first book was anything to go by (excellent) this will be worth buying. Here's the blurb:

"Book two in the Flash Collection series showcases more photographs from the private collection of Jim "Flash" Miteff, taken during his years as a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club. Also in this edition are current photographs of some the members originally photographed in the 60's.
Pre-order now at Amazon.com"

Neat Knuck outtake

This is one of the shots we didn't end up using for the Danny feature in issue 3, but I always liked it. Great photo by the Flyin' Dutchman of course, with Danny's Knuck on the right sitting next to Nelson's on the left. I don't think I've seen many Knuckleheads done in classier, understated style than these two.

This shoot caused a few ripples for me down the line... 'nuff said, perhaps.

Friday, October 23

Tees me too

Nice t-shirt design from Mark Kawakami... these shirts should be available soon. Stay tuned!

Tyred



All that EGaying can wear a fella out, but occasionally you find something worthwhile. Just got this 18" NOS Goodyear Eagle for a tenner. They go for twenty times that in Japan, and will look good on the Pan I think.

Thursday, October 22

Another Ace Pan

That's the trouble with a new project, you think you have a vision of what it's going to end up like then your head is turned by yet another stunna (as The Sun used to say), usually from Japan.

I stole this image from Matt & Dean's Blog because it's so fuckin' glorious. Is that a K model front wheel? I know it's stating the obvious, but those Japanese shops just see potential in combinations of parts, contrasts in scale and blurring of lines that absolutely no one else does.

Maybe I should just try to be original and stop looking at other people's bikes. Damn.

Wednesday, October 21

Black denim trousers and motorcycle boots


My pal Rene in Canberra scanned these great images for me last year from a cool book he has, 'The Fabulous Century'. This is from the 1950-60 chapter, natch.

No credit for photographer but we reckon it may be Bruce Davidson.

Tuesday, October 20

Sid's flattracker


Homebuilt and hardcore. This Triumph beat everything... and was just one in Sid's stable of cool bikes including a Magnum and WR racer. Aussies rule!

From issue one, so you'll never get to see the feature unless you bought a copy back in the day!

Monday, October 19

Fatbobs... and skinny fenders?


Dunno, seems like mayo and tommy-k on the same plate. But there are always exceptions that prove the rules... and I'm lapping up influences (especially from Japan, as we all are) at the moment, and trying stuff out in the garage. Yoshiki from VISE sent me this great shot last year...

Saturday, October 17

Friday, October 16

Might actually get to use some of this

Finally starting to sort through some boxes and see what I can use for the Pan project over winter. Going to try a few things and see what works. Amazing what you find that you'd forgotten you had.

And much of this stuff has now travelled from the States, to England, over to Australia, and then back to England, making it some of the the most expensive and widely travelled motorcycle-related crap on the planet.

Thursday, October 15

Funky-forty-five

Benny's selling his funky lil' 45... it's a neat bike with the right look and some sensible mods (hey, it's always nice to be able to stop). Flatties rarely come up for sale in the UK, so if you're after vintage style and you want something that's already sorted by someone who knows what he's doing, call him on 01527575934.

Jeff Triggs' Triumph

Always really liked Jeff's bike (we featured it a couple of years ago in issue two). I was reminded of it when I was talking to Lucky Lindy about his Triumph which is coming up in the next issue... he mentioned that Jeff had been a big influence and help in the build. Small world...

Wednesday, October 14

Josh Kurpius... bikes, trains and automobiles



Had a good chat with ace photographer Josh last night for a forthcoming feature in GK #12. It always inspires me to talk to focused, creative people who are living a life they've chosen – whatever sacrifices they have to make – rather than one foisted onto them by da man.

I asked him about influences, and he's not the kind of guy to reel off lots of heroes... but he did mention O.Winston Link, whose amazing photographs of cars and trains I have always loved, too. And if you look at some of Josh's portraits of men and machines, I think the Link influence (especially the lighting) makes sense...

Check out Josh's BLOG.

Tuesday, October 13

OK, OK, the title includes the 'b' word...

... but for you lucky locals, this is an evening's entertainment not to be missed. Get on down there this Thursday night and support Zack & Scott! I wish I was in SoCal (and not just in my mind), yet again!

"I blew motors as often as I changed tyres"

"Hi Guy, noticed you like a drag pic or two on your blog, so sending this from the late 70s... a before and after of my supercharged 6T... oh and I've still got that gearbox, you don't see many Triumph Pre-units running in the 12s over a standing quarter... this is what happens to them when you try too hard.... there was quite a large group of us running old Pre-units back then, this was taken at Long Marston, but not to worry we were only paying about 300-350 quid for a 6T motor... God knows how many times we did this to them..... I personally blew motors probably on a par with changing back tyres. Use the pics or not as you decide mate, cheers Rowan".

Monday, October 12

Pinstriping the Weird-oh way



I heard from my friend Simon Watts the other day, and was reminded of this neat little feature in Australia's 'Street Machine' magazine (well, from their 'Hot Rod' supplement) which appeared a few years ago, where he covers the basics of pin-striping.

He's a master of the art... in fact he's a master of most arts... and hopefully if you fancy some tips, you can blow up the images above big enough to read.

Sunday, October 11

Saturday, October 10

Neat lil' ironhead

I have a soft spot for ironhead Sportsters... for a while they were the only Harley I could afford (like many people) and I went through a few of them, with no major problems and a lot of affection.

This is Zippy's bike, being built by Benny at Boneshakers... I'm diggin' it and hope it doesn't lose its raw appeal with too much prettying-up!

Friday, October 9

Across the moors





Pete took me on a great 80 mile ride across the North Yorkshire moors this afternoon, taking in some amazing scenery, unspoiled villages, Castle Howard (Brideshead Revisited) and tasty teashops. I felt a bit incongruous on the lumbering Pan, following Pete round the deserted twisting country roads on his super-smart '57 A10, and I wished (not for the first time) I had a Triton. But then when we stopped for tea and a fag Pete said he was wishing for a pogo seat after 80 miles of clip-ons.

Ee, it were bloody cold though...

Good stuff inside


The way I feel about W&W reflects the ongoing contradictions I am aware of in my own personality.

I am a fierce exponent of do-it-yourself, punk rock ethics, whether it applies to work, life, motorcycles or music, but I am also a trained designer who is a sucker for beautiful product design and branding.

So while I hate the idea of getting a big catalogue of bike parts delivered, I actually love the reality of how nice W&W's book is. You may already know that I ran one of their VL springers on my previous '55 Pan, and I don't think I've ever been as impressed by the quality and service from an aftermarket company.

The packaging for their catalogue rocks (hey, I even got a t-shirt in the box!) and it's designed with love. Hell, yes, they're expensive, but sometimes a bit of quality is refreshing in this world of make-do and mediocrity.

Wednesday, October 7

Crazy Orange





Leedog, the South Welshman whose neat lathe-green Ironhead chopper is resplendent in the next issue, mentioned this Japanese shop to me as one of his influences. And I can see why... this '70 XLH is just perfect.

Check 'em out here if you haven't already for more short-forked, super-compact, perfectly proportioned custom madness.