Sunday, February 28

Bonhams motorcycle auction

A friend sent me this from Bonham's auction held yesterday at Hendon RAF museum... a place well worth a visit in its own right if you're ever in northwest London.

It's a 1926 J model OHV racer... and went for £30,000 ($45k).

I'm nosy, me, and love seeing what people will pay for things. This auction offered Hendersons, Excelsiors, Indians, an Ace, a Cleveland, Broughs and Vincents. To find out what sort of wads collectors are whacking on the table – and for what – check the sales results here.

Friday, February 26

I really need a toolchest

"One hand loose...

... and I'll be satisfied."

Generally disapprove of 'stolen photo' posts, but this was on the JJ and I figured that everybody reading this can appreciate a one-handed power slide! It's captioned 'Aldana', and I know Dave Aldana raced as no.13 so I presume it's him.

Wednesday, February 24

Bars are done... only 736 jobs to go



My lo-rise, internal throttle bars are done... thanks to Pete (see below) and Will.

I had every intention of doing most of the cutting and reworking of these two sets of bars myself but with not even a workbench to my name, I called round at Pete's last week for some assistance. Of course, he ended up doing all the work (inch out of the middle, six off each end, then cutting off the Panhead bar ends) while I drank his char and bent his ear; we then took the bits to his mate Will, who TIGd and dressed the welds beautifully.

In fact, my only contribution was to only measure once (incorrectly) so Pete had to cut twice.

I promise I will be doing some work on this re-vamp, but with such helpful and generous friends it's hard to get motivated into building that workbench and replacing my bench tools...!

Pete's palace





Went over to Pete Stansfield's workshop yesterday to collect my bars (see above) and start documenting the progress on his ...ssshhhh... top secret new chopper project. We'll be bringing you the results in GKM, and believe me, this is gonna be one sick... er... sickle!

Pete's place is a veritable gearhead's palace, with chopper parts, posters, helmets and bikes cramming every available inch of wall and floor space. The tea's good too.

He's been building award-winning choppers for many years (not to mention some drool-inducing cafe racers). Check out his blog, EAT THE RICH!

Tuesday, February 23

CHASING THUNDER




By coincidence I just got an email from another favourite lensman, Scott Pommier. These are just some of the images from a book he's been working on for four years.

You can see more here.

It's been an image-rich Tuesday!

ROADCOURSE



If you saw our profile of Adam Wright in issue 6, you'll know I'm a big fan of his photography.

His ROADCOURSE books... like all his publications... are essential and valued reading at GKM HQ. We hoard them!

Thanks Adam!

Flippin' it, German-style

We haven't featured a German chopper yet... but that will soon change.

Thanks Horst!

Friday, February 19

Usual inspiration from the new Vibes...




There's the usual jaw-dropping fare in the new Vibes magazine... but these shovels and '59 KH chopper really stood out for me. I find I run out of adjectives to adequately sum up how inspirational I find the choppers in Japan.

I'm heading down south for a bit... so no posts for a few days.

Wednesday, February 17

Ok, couple more...


... of that TT & Co Sporty. It's a '77 XLCH, and while I'm not a big fan of brass, some of those little handmade bits, especially around the bars, are pretty neat and crucially not overdone.

Tuesday, February 16

TT & Company


I remember Bill Mize telling me about the cool bars Daisuke from TT & Company in Japan made for his Evo chopper, and I just heard from Daisuke (or 'Dice' as he's known) that TT & Co will export... pretty cool if you're looking for some Japanese funkiness to inject into your chopper (ooer) or one of their wild lids. That sweet ironhead above is one of their project bikes, by the way...

Anyway, check out the goodies they have to offer here.

Sunday, February 14

Don't accept authority


I hate anyone telling me what to do or how to act. Always have, always will. If I didn't, I'd have close friends and a really well-paying job. If you're reading this, I'd take an educated guess that perhaps you're a little like me (the no-authority bit, I mean... you probably do have a well paid job and close friends).

Someone who is a lot like me is my son. He was two recently, and is already tired of my constant warnings and demands.

This morning we took advantage of the snow disappearing (temporarily no doubt) to go for a walk in the beautiful countryside we're surrounded by.

My boy ran towards me, creating one of those beautiful Kramer vs Kramer moments for the camera, while I awaited his smiling arrival with loving arms outstretched. At the last second he stopped smiling and just veered off to his right to start studiously kicking some leaves.

Later on, I told him to keep up and stop jumping in muddy ditches, and that he must listen to what daddy says. He looked me in the eye and growled 'No!'.

Ha ha. How life comes full circle. The (almost constant) shit I gave my dad when I was young is about to be redirected back at me by a new generation. I actually think it's pretty cool, and I hope I deal with it a lot better than my dad did.

A movie with heart

Apocalypto is one of my favourite movies from the past few years, and it's on TV in the UK again tonight. If you're in the mood for some crazy, tattooed, heart-ripping, pyramid-climbing Mayan action, it's worth a look.

Saturday, February 13

Tanks, Rich



Irish Rich narrowed some fatbobs for me, and did a lovely job. It was important for me to have my tanks axed by someone as knowledgeable and steeped in chopper history as Rich... he's been there, done that, and has all the t-shirts.

It also gives me much-needed impetus to get the rest of the bike done...

Friday, February 12

Pete 'n' Nifty



Nothing much happening here... laying out issue 14... so here's another look back at a bike from issue 1: Nathan's Sporty, built at Chops 'n' Bobbers who were featured way back in March 2007.

Just the right amount of rake, just the right amount of grunge, just the right number of unique little touches...

Thursday, February 11

Tony Blain's '34 VFD revisited






Here are a few outtakes that didn't make it into the feature on Tony Blain's '34 bob-job in issue 3 (now sold out). It was one of the best bikes I came across in Australia, and Tony's business Redfern Motor Parts is more like a Harley museum than a shop. The bike is nearly all '34, and all H-D... built out of parts Tony had lying around the shop.

I love the exposed timing gear and as-found crust on this bike... you cannot fake patina like this! And this old Harley is ridden... we saw it at Sydney's Bankstown show, where it had been ridden – not trailered – from the shop, a 160km round trip. Tony has campaigned his WR at Daytona and is an all-round cool bloke... look him up at Redfern Motor Parts if you get a chance.